Twelve months ago, the Vermont senate voted to permanently close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The New York Times published several long articles about the vote, which, the newspaper suggested, would mean the reactor’s owner, Entergy Corporation of Louisiana, would be required to close Vermont Yankee in March 2012. In the weeks after the vote, activists who had worked for decades to close Vermont Yankee celebrated. There were at least two victory parties in Brattleboro, one of which was attended by about 200 people, including Peter Shumlin.
These photos were taken on February 4 in Gill, Massachusetts, near Greenfield. They show a pair of eagles, farm buildings, and the Connecticut river. The Golden eagles who live in the Valley go to Canada to raise their young. The Valley Post welcomes comments from anyone who can identify these birds. To make a photo bigger, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photos by Eesha Williams
On January 27, the Franklin Land Trust announced it had saved farmland and forest land from development in the Massachusetts towns of Ashfield (near Greenfield), Conway, Hadley (near Northampton), Heath, Leyden and Whately. In Ashfield, the Trust worked with landowner Peter Corens to conserve 81 acres of land, including pasture that was most recently leased to Sidehill Farm for their dairy operation. Also protected are critical woodlands and historic sites along Bear River.
A group of people in Springfield is helping Valley residents get state money to make their homes more energy efficient. The group, the Alliance to Develop Power, is hosting free, public evening meetings in: Amherst January 19, Easthampton January 20, Northampton January 26, and Greenfield February 2.
People at the meetings will learn how to sign up for a free energy assessment, get money for weatherization and other energy efficiency services, said Boone Shear of the Alliance.
The meeting will be in:
-Amherst, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk;
This photo was taken on January 9. It shows the Miller's river in Erving, Massachusetts, near Greenfield. The river starts north of Worcester, Massachusetts near the New Hampshire border. It flows west and enters the Connecticut river a few miles east of Greenfield. In summer, it's a good spot for whitewater kayaking. To make the photo bigger, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photo by Eesha Williams
More than a third of some 11,000 eligible voters showed up to vote in Greenfield on June 8. They overwhelmingly vetoed the Greenfield mayor’s and city council’s support of plans by an incinerator corporation to build in Greenfield. The company is Madera Energy Corporation (MEC).
Janet Sinclair was a leader of the campaign against the incinerator. “This is a great victory,” she said.
An MEC spokesman said his company would seek to build an incinerator in Greenfield despite the will of the people.
On May 22, volunteers from the Greenfield-based group Co-op Power installed a solar water heater near Brattleboro. Farmer Elizabeth Wood showed one of the volunteers her dairy goats. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "See full-size image." More information is at www.CoopPower.coop photos by Eesha Williams
On May 6, union iron workers built an addition at Greenfield Community College and the owners of the Greenfield Music Store sold and installed home and car stereos, while also gathering signatures on a petition seeking to slow down city approval of a new Wal-Mart. The iron workers said they are proud members of the www.IronWorkers.org union which has given them a middle class standard of living.
Gael Wakefield is a public transit bus driver in Greenfield. In 2008, she was elected president of Local 274 of the UE union. She still serves as president, while also working as a bus driver. The UE’s web site is www.UEunion.org
On May 5, Wakefield sat down with Eesha Williams of MassLaborNews.com to talk about her union.
On March 31 at noon, union activists around the Valley will hold rallies asking people to boycott Bank of America. They say the bank has done little to reduce the state’s unemployment rate despite receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer money last year. The bank paid its CEO in 2008 some $9.9 million.
According to Jon Weissman, spokesman for Jobs with Justice www.jwj.org the activists will be at Bank of America branches in: Springfield at the corner of Main Street and Boland Way; Northampton at 144 Main Street; Amherst at 1 South Pleasant Street; and Greenfield at 208 Federal Street.