Rallies July 21

The environmental group 350.org is promoting rallies on July 21 in Keene and near Springfield, in Hartford, Connecticut. The Keene rally starts at 6 p.m.; the Hartford rally is at noon. Hartford is about 30 minutes from Springfield by car; Amtrak and Greyhound provide non-stop service.

“If elected, Trump would be the only national leader in the world to outright dismiss the science of climate change,” said event organizer May Boeve.

The Keene rally is at 44 Central Square. The Hartford event will be at 31 Pratt Street.

Proposals for Vacant Buildings

These photos were taken on July 2 in downtown Keene. They show two vacant buildings that will become apartments and a performing arts center, if the city approves developers' plans. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” photos by Eesha Williams

Most people who live in the Valley need a car to get to work or school, and to go shopping or visit friends.

688 Acres Saved

Activists saved 688 acres of forestland in Keene and the New Hampshire towns of Chesterfield and Swanzey. Chesterfield borders Brattleboro and Keene. Swanzey borders Keene and is about five miles from Massachusetts. Protecting land from development is one of the best ways to stop climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. Most of the money for protecting land comes from the government; politicians decide how much to invest in saving land, versus tax breaks for billionaires, war, and prison for non-violent people.

300 Workers Form a Union

About 300 workers in Keene formed a union April 6. “Pay, benefits, and the grievance process are our key issues,” Kim Schmidl-Gagne told the Valley Post last year. She is one of the workers in the new union. They work at Keene State College. “New Hampshire is in last place among the 50 states in funding for higher education,” Schmidl-Gagne said. “We want a voice to advocate to change that.”

Workers Unite

How can democracy exist in a nation shared by millions of workers making minimum wage and billionaires? History shows an effective way to spread the wealth is for workers to join unions. Earlier this month, workers in Brattleboro had a victory, and workers in the Springfield area held rallies.

On January 20 in Springfield, Chicopee, Westfield and West Springfield, there were rallies outside Price Rite stores that are paying workers low wages while the chain's owner gets rich.  The rallies were organized by the local chapter of a union-backed group that has a web site at www.jwj.org.

Valley Activism Heats Up

Between December 2 and December 7, four rallies are planned in the Valley. Two are to protest billion dollar banks that are trying to evict poor people from their homes. One rally is to win justice for Verizon workers. Another is to call on politicians to deal with climate change.

On December 2 at 12:30 p.m. at 28 Edgemont Street in Springfield, activists will protest PNC Bank, which wants to evict Jacques and Marie Fortilus from their home. Event organizers have a web site at www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org. They have had a number of recent victories. Details, and photos, are at:

Photos: Halloween March to Stop Pipeline

These photos were taken on October 31 in Keene. They show a march against a proposed fracked gas pipeline. The proposal comes from Texas-based Kinder Morgan Corporation. The pipeline would be near Keene and Greenfield. It would carry gas that is mined using a process called “fracking,” which poisons drinking water. Fracked gas is a fossil fuel. It causes climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

Photos: March to Stop Pipeline

These photos were taken on August 29 in Keene. They show a march against a proposed fracked gas pipeline. The proposal comes from Texas-based Kinder Morgan Corporation. The pipeline would be near Keene and Greenfield. It would carry gas that is mined using a process called “fracking,” which poisons drinking water. Fracked gas is a fossil fuel. It causes climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

Land Trust on Verge of Saving Farmland

Almost all the money needed to save 57 acres of farmland from development has been raised by a local land trust. The land is in New Hampshire, less than a mile from Massachusetts and Vermont. “We have raised a little over $250,000,” David Kotker told the Valley Post on August 20. “We still need to raise about $4,000.” Kotker works for the Mount Grace land trust, which has a web site at www.MountGrace.org.

Bike-Ped Victories

In mid-July, a new pedestrian and bicycle path will open in Keene, Kurt Blomquist told the Valley Post on June 23. He runs the city's Public Works department. A local group of volunteers successfully lobbied for the trail. Chuck Redfern is a member of the group. “The trail will reach Stonewall Farm from downtown Keene,” Redfern told the Valley Post last year. The group's web site is www.PathwaysForKeene.org. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the path. The project will cost $132,000.