Good News for Nature

Easthampton, Massachusetts is expected to pass a fee on vacant commercial buildings in the coming weeks. Easthampton borders Holyoke. Brattleboro will likely pass a fee on vacant commercial buildings within a few months, town manager Yoshi Manale told the Valley Post.

The Brattleboro Home Depot and its vast parking lot have been vacant for 14 years. In 2019 Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Watters Smith told the Valley Post her company would like to find someone to rent the building and parking lot. Years before that, another Home Depot spokeswoman told the Valley Post the same thing.

Victory for Brattleboro Bike-Ped Activists

Activists in Brattleboro are celebrating a December 15 victory for the rights of pedestrians and bicycle riders. As of 2017, Brattleboro had the nation's highest per capita rate of pedestrian death by car. Five people were killed in the five years that ended in 2017. Brattleboro is home to 12,000 people. In 2021, two pedestrians were hit by cars in Brattleboro and taken to the hospital with major injuries.

Underground System Concert is Nov. 20

Underground System will perform in Holyoke on November 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. A video of the band performing, and more information about the venue, are at:

www.gatewaycityarts.com/event/laudable-productions-presents-underground-...

How to Get Faster Trains

Activists in Northampton are working to make passenger train service between Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke, Springfield, Boston, and New York City faster, more frequent, and cheaper. Ben Heckscher is a spokesperson for the group Trains In The Valley. On October 25, he told the Valley Post, people should tell their “elected officials that you want more frequent passenger rail service north of Springfield, and fares that are comparable to the fares offered on the Hartford Line for travel south of Springfield.”

Brattleboro Climate March Set for April 17

On April 17 in Brattleboro there will be a march calling on local, state, and federal politicians to do more to address climate change. Marches are a big part of the reason Vermont Yankee closed, the civil rights movement had the successes it did, apartheid ended, women won the right to vote, and the labor movement built the middle class.

In recent years, 9 million people a year have died of starvation. Droughts, floods, and unseasonable heat and cold -- all caused by climate change -- make it harder for farmers to grow food.

160 March

About 160 people marched in South Hadley, Massachusetts on March 8. They were protesting a decision by Mount Holyoke College, which has $789 million in its endowment, to close a child care center. South Hadley borders Holyoke. “This impacts women most,” Andrea Fernandes told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on March 10. She is one of the march organizers.

The group that organized the march has a web page at:

www.facebook.com/groups/268773044614053

1,500 Acres Saved

Fifteen hundred acres of forestland has been protected from development in Holyoke and West Springfield. “The deal will be completed on or around April 22. I am certain it will go through,” Bob Wilbur told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on January 13. He is director of land conservation for MassAudubon. A map of the land is at:

https://www.massaudubon.org/our-conservation-work/land-conservation/urge...

60 Rally

About 40 people attended a women's rights rally in Chicopee, Massachusetts on January 5. Chicopee borders Holyoke and Springfield. “The rally went well. We had a few dozen people brave the cold and darkness to make their voices heard," Jeannette Rivera told the Valley Post. She organized the rally with the help of a group that has a web site at www.OurRevolutionMA.com.

365 Rally

About 100 people attended a Brattleboro rally calling for democracy. The rally was on November 4, 2020 at 5 p.m at the town common. “It was beautiful,” Abby Mnookin told the Valley Post on November 5. She lives in Brattleboro, is on the staff of the group 350 Vermont, and she helped organize the rally. “We sang – masked and distanced -- the songs 'Labor of Love,' 'Lead with Love,' 'Phoenix Song,' and 'We Are Together,'” Mnookin said. More information is at www.350Vermont.org.

Forest Victory

The biggest cause of climate change is overpopulation. One of the best ways to fight climate change is to guarantee the right to safe, legal, affordable abortions. That's one of the demands of the Women's March, according to www.WomensMarch.com. The Women's March in Northampton was set to start on October 17, 2020 at noon at the corner of Main and Pleasant streets.

The Amherst Women's March was set to start on October 17, 2020 at 1 p.m. outside 4 Boltwood Avenue.

The Brattleboro Women's March was set to start at the town Common on October 17, 2020 at 1 p.m.