In Valley, a Crisis in Care for Mental Illness

Recent budget decisions by the governors and state legislators in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont have caused a crisis here in the Valley for people with mental illness who don’t have good health insurance. That’s according to Paul Gorman. He’s president of the New Hampshire chapter of a national group, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Gorman is also director of the Dartmouth College Psychiatric Research Center He spoke with the Valley Post on July 13.

Free 'Jobs With Justice' Conference is March 6 in Holyoke

The non-profit group Jobs With Justice will hold a conference in Holyoke on March 6 from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. with a dinner break. Admission is free for "low-income" people. The conference will be followed by a dance.

The keynote speech will be by Rob Witherell. He has worked as an organizer for the Steelworkers union for almost 20 years. Witherell will talk about Mondragón Cooperativa in Spain, the world's biggest network of worker-owned cooperatives.

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.

Springfield/Holyoke Area Unions Endorse Candidates, Plan Rally

A group of unions in the Springfield/Holyoke area has endorsed candidates in the November 3 local elections. The Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council endorsed Domenic Sarno for mayor of Springfield and Elaine Pluta for mayor of Holyoke.

Rick Brown is president of the labor council. "We're excited about the new ward representation system in Springfield," he said. "It will open up politics to the people."

Workers Unite

About 30 years ago, the middle class in the United States was the biggest it’s ever been. Today, the U.S. is looking more like a country in Europe in the 1600s: a king, a handful of rich people around him, and almost everyone else living in varying degrees of poverty. Why does that matter? Well, if you ask Derek Dobiecki, a worker at the Cingular Wireless store in the Holyoke Mall, the answer is, leanin.’