Vermont Yankee Leaking Nuclear Waste Into Connecticut River

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is leaking cancer-causing tritium, a form of nuclear waste, into the Connecticut River, a spokesperson for the Vermont Department of Health said on February 9. The river, a popular swimming and fishing area in summer, flows south from Vermont through Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke, and Springfield. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

Hundreds March in Greenfield for Library

Hundreds of people marched down Main Street to Greenfield town hall November 13 to protest a proposal by mayor William Martin to reduce the public library’s budget by $30,300 this month. The library recently reduced its hours in response to earlier budget cuts.

“I’m here to stand up for our library,” said marcher and Greenfield resident Ted Compton. “Having a library is civilized.”

Feds To Hold Hearing on Polluting Power Plant

On August 13 at 7 p.m. in Russell, Mass. – about a 30 minute drive from Northampton - the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public hearing about a plan by a Connecticut corporation that wants to build polluting power plants in Greenfield, Russell, Palmer, Fitchburg and Pittsfield.

Russell Biomass Corporation says it wants to discharge hot, contaminated effluent into the Westfield River, a federally-designated "wild and scenic river" that is home to endangered Atlantic salmon.

The hearing will be at the Russell Elementary School auditorium: 155 Highland Avenue.

Proposed Local Biomass Plants Debated

Biomass - burning wood and other organic products for energy and heat - has elicited intense passions throughout the Pioneer Valley as proposals to build plants in Greenfield, Springfield and Russell receive public airing.

Police Harass Citizens of Shelburne Falls

Several residents of Shelburne Falls, Mass., near Greenfield, told the Post on July 18 they had been harassed by police while swimming at a popular swimming area on the river near downtown Shelburne Falls. They asked to not be identified for fear of retribution.

Shelburne select board chair John Payne told the Post on July 22, "The police are not harassing people, they are enforcing town rules."

The swim area is known as the Potholes. It is located just downstream from the dam in downtown Shelburne Falls.

Michael Franti in Greenfield July 18

Musician and peace activist Michael Franti of San Francisco www.spearheadvibrations.com will play with his band at the Green River Festival www.greenriverfestival.com on July 18 at Greenfield Community College.

Franti performed live in the studio at Brattleboro Community Radio as a benefit for the station. www.wvew.org

Here are some of the lyrics to Franti’s song, “Bomb the World to Pieces.”

---------

We can chase down all our enemies,
bring them to their knees.

We can bomb the world to pieces
but we can’t bomb it into peace

Violence brings one thing:

Photo: Protest Sign on Interstate 91 Near Vermont Yankee

As of July 8, this sign was visible to motorists heading south on the freeway in Bernardston, Mass., near Greenfield and the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The sign was put up at least a week earlier. Vermont Yankee is owned by Entergy Corp. of Louisiana. Residents of towns near the reactor have voted overwhelmingly to close Vermont Yankee. For background on this issue, please see:

http://valleypost.org/2007/11/09/what-can-history-nuclear-power-teach-us...

and click the "nuclear power" tag at the top of this article.

'Get Off the Bus'

A recent incident on a Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus has set off a surge of advocacy efforts in support of the right of mothers to breastfeed in public places. On June 16, a PVTA driver asked a woman to stop nursing her baby daughter. When she refused, he insisted that she, the baby, and her 7-year-old son get off the bus.

Valley Activists Fight Proposed Power Plants

More than 250 people turned out for a second public hearing on a proposed polluting power plant in Greenfield on June 25. City officials allowed only about 12 people to speak, though many more members of the public wanted to speak. Of those who spoke, only one was in favor of the proposal.

A Sunny Day on the Connecticut River in Greenfield

This photo, taken on June 4, shows the view looking north from Massachusetts Route 2 on the Greenfield/Gill town line. The river is tested by the state of New Hampshire and other agencies and is now safe for swimming. (For many years it was too polluted.) Please click on the photo to enlarge it. photo by Eesha Williams