Workers Win, Land Saved

Workers at a factory is Greenfield won a new union contract, and environmental activists permanently protected 323 acres of land in the Valley from development. “We are very pleased with the contract we ended up with,” Jay McGrath told the Valley Post in a July 18 interview. He is one of 74 workers at the Kennametal factory on Sanderson Street in Greenfield. McGrath started working at the Greenfield factory 17 years ago. The workers have a union, which has a web site at www.UEunion.org.

Activists in Court July 18

Eight people who were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience to stop construction of a fracked gas pipeline in the Valley will be in court July 18 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. They are asking the public to come to court to support them. “The trial starts at 9 a.m.,” Ellen Graves of West Springfield, Massachusetts told the Valley Post in a telephone interview. She is one of the people who were arrested on June 24 in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. “There is only one court in Great Barrington. I feel good about how the protest went. We succeeded in bringing attention to this pipeline.”

Brattleboro Planned Parenthood Rally

Earth's population is growing fast. In the year 1700, there were about 600 million people on earth. By 1800, there were about 900 million. In 1900, there were about 1.6 billion. In 2000, there were about 6 billion. That's according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

By the year 2050, there will be about 11 billion people on earth, according to:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140918-population-global...

People are the main cause of climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

Local News Roundup

The 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital will go on strike on June 26 unless management agrees to stop assigning so many patients to each nurse that it is impossible to provide good quality health care. The nurses want the hospital to hire more nurses. The nurses also want better health insurance for themselves.

Thousands to March

On April 29, there will be marches in Springfield and Keene calling on politicians to pass laws stopping pollution. The focus is on pollution that causes climate change. "Climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet," according to the United Nations Paris Agreement, which was signed by the leaders of almost every nation in 2015.

Valley Nuke Fight is On

A risky procedure is planned for this spring at a nuclear waste dump in Vermont that's three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire. If the operation goes wrong, thousands of people could be killed.

Civil Disobedience Planned

Activists in Brattleboro are planning to use civil disobedience to protest TD Bank, which is funding the Dakota Access Pipeline to move oil, which causes climate change. The action is set for February 22 at 3:30 p.m. at the TD Bank at 215 Main Street in Brattleboro. The activists are asking people to come and support them, without risking arrest. The Brattleboro chapter of 350.org is promoting the event.

Environmental Victories

Thanks to the work of the environmental movement, solar power plants and bicycle paths are being built. New Hampshire's biggest solar power facility will likely soon be built in Hinsdale, which borders Brattleboro. In Keene, the government is set to spend $412,000 to extend an existing bike path by four miles. Pedestrians are allowed to walk on the path. The only motorized vehicles allowed on it are snowmobiles. More information about the path is at:

www.keenepaths.com/trails/cheshire-rail-trail

The city held a public hearing about the planned improvements to the path on February 13.

Activists: 'Healthcare is a Human Right'

About 400 people attended rallies in Amherst and Keene on January 15, declaring, “Healthcare is a human right.” President-elect Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are planning major cuts to programs that provide free or reduced-price health care to poor people. The Amherst rally was also intended to protest plans to cut Social Security.

About 200 people were at the Keene rally and about 200 attended the rally in Amherst. The rally in Keene was organized by the Monadnock Progressive Alliance, which has a web page at:

www.facebook.com/groups/MonadnockProgressiveAlliance

Labor Rally in New Hampshire

On January 4 in New Hampshire, the day before a new, anti-union governor was sworn in, labor activists held a rally at the state capitol. The Republican governor-elect wants to make it harder for unions to exist. “The next few years are bound to be incredibly difficult, especially if these changes happen along with changes to voting rights,” Kim Schmidl-Gagne told the Valley Post on January 2. She works at Keene State College and was a leader of the successful union organizing drive among 300 or so workers there in April 2016. The college fought the workers' effort to form a union.