600 at Vermont Yankee Protest Vigil

More than 600 people attended a protest vigil at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant near Brattleboro and Greenfield on March 20. The action was organized by www.NukeBusters.org "NRC" usually stands for Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that has more than 1,000 employees and gets 98 percent of its money from the industry it regulates. There are 104 reactors at 65 locations in the U.S. Closing one of them would result in lay-offs at the NRC. More information on Vermont Yankee is at http://valleypost.org/node/536

Photos: Sunrise Near Greenfield

These photos were taken at dawn on March 17. They show part of the campus of the Northfield Mount Hermon boarding school in Gill, Massachusetts, near Greenfield. In the background is mist over the Connecticut river. To make a photo bigger, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photos by Eesha Williams

Japan Quake Puts Valley Nuke in Local Spotlight

The massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 12 created a still-evolving disaster at several of Japan's nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, the Louisiana company that owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is trying to get permission from the government to run the 40 year old reactor until at least 2032. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

Fight Over Valley Nuke Rages

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.

Photos: Eagles Over River Farm

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

Activists Slow Pavers in Valley

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.

Events Will Help People Get State Money for Home Energy Efficiency

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;

Photo: Miller's River in Snow

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

In Greenfield, Thousands Say 'No Incinerator'

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.

Photos: Volunteers Install a Solar Water Heater

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