Photos: Autumn Colors

These photos were taken at a pond in the Madame Sherri Forest, a park in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, near Brattleboro and Keene. The photos were taken on September 18. More information about the park is at this town web site:

www.ChesterfieldOutdoors.com/plands/sherri.html

To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "See full-size image."

photos by Eesha Williams

Target Fights Its Workers' Union

Workers at the Target stores in Keene and in Hadley, Massachusetts, near Amherst, will likely be watching the outcome of a June 17 vote by workers at a Target store in Valley Stream, New York on whether to form a union.

In 2009, the most recent year for which data were available, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel was paid more than $13 million.

Tashawna Green has worked at the Target store in Valley Stream for more than a year. She makes $8 an hour.

“We need a living wage where we can get by,” Sonia Williams told the New York Times. She works late at night at the store.

Tragedy, Celebration for Bicycle Riders, Walkers

On May 20, a mini-van gravely injured a woman who was riding her bicycle in Granby at about 5:30 p.m. It was a “hit and run” crime. Police are trying to find the driver. Granby borders Amherst. A police spokesperson said that the impact sent the woman flying off her bicycle and into a telephone pole. The bicycle rider was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Police are asking anyone with information about the vehicle or its driver to the Granby Police at (413) 467-9222.

There is also good news for local bicycle riders and walkers.

Activists Blast Planned Polluting Factory Near Keene

On May 9, a group of activists attended a public hearing in Winchester, New Hampshire, near Keene, to try to stop a proposed asphalt factory in Winchester. Asphalt is made of fossil fuels. It’s used to make roads and parking lots for cars and trucks. Cars and trucks cause global warming, acid rain, lung cancer, obesity, and some 40,000 deaths in traffic accidents every year in the U.S. Alternatives include walking, riding a bicycle, and trains and busses. Trains and busses are far more energy efficient – and much safer -- than cars and trucks for moving people and freight.

Workers to Rally April 4 in Springfield, Greenfield, Keene

On April 4, the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., there will be rallies for workers' rights in Springfield, Greenfield, and Keene. The award-winning documentary film "At the River I Stand" shows King's last days in Memphis, in which he spoke to big crowds and marched, in support of striking garbage workers. Information on the film is at:

www.newsreel.org/video/AT-THE-RIVER-I-STAND

The DVD is available by inter-library loan from your local public library.

The time, location, and organizers' contact info for the rallies in Springfield, Greenfield, and Keene are at:

Ninety People at Keene Peace March

About 90 people attended a peace march and rally in downtown Keene on March 19, the eighth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. The march and rally were organized by a group called the Keene Peace Vigil. More information on the group is at:

www.nhpeaceaction.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=...

More than half of the $2,650,000,000,000 federal budget was spent on war in the most recent fiscal year, according to the War Resisters League:

www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm

Information on war tax resistance is at www.nwtrcc.org

Photo: Snow Melt Cascade Near Keene

This photo was taken on March 6 in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire, near Keene. Spring is on the way, snow's melting, and streams are full. For people with wetsuits, it's good white water kayaking weather. To make the photo bigger, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Keene Will Spend $2 Million on Solar Panels, Energy Efficiency

On December 16, the Keene city council voted to spend about $2 million on energy efficiency and solar power for city-owned buildings. In 12 years, the investment will pay for itself. After that, the city will be making a profit from the investment.

The move means the city will be significantly reducing air pollution and its contribution to global warming.

Solar panels will go up at city hall. More efficient space heating and lights will be installed in municipal buildings.

37 Home Apartment Building in Keene Will Save Open Space

On August 23, the Keene Planning Board approved construction of a 37 home apartment building a few blocks from the center of downtown. The building will create affordable housing and protect farmland and forestland by reducing pressure to build single family houses on the outer edges of town. The new building will replace a vacant, run-down industrial building now at the corner of Emerald and Ralston streets. It will be built and owned by J. Chakalos Investments Corporation.

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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 www.dartmouth.edu He spoke with the Valley Post on July 13.