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.

--------

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.

Union Claims Victory for Shaw's Workers; Strike Over

On July 8, workers at Shaw's supermarkets voted to end a months-long strike. There is a Shaw's store in Keene. The union www.ufcw.org called the new contract a victory for workers. The contract includes "good wages, comprehensive and affordable health care, and a generous retirement plan," according to a union press release. The union did not make workers available for media interviews. Coverage of the strike is at:

www.valleypost.org/2010/04/27/photos-shaws-workers-strike

www.valleypost.org/2010/04/28/grocery-warehouse-strikers-speak-out

In Keene, Bicycle Thieves Active

Police say there has been a rash of bicycle thefts in recent days in Keene. Perhaps the nation's leading experts on how to prevent bicycle thefts, the staff of the group Transportation Alternatives (TA) in New York City, can help concerned Keene residents. From recommending the best bicycle locks, and the best way to use the locks; to helping draft local laws that require builders of apartment and office buildings to install indoor, locked bicycle parking; to ways to persuade cities and towns to install more on-street bicycle parking -- TA can help. Details are at www.transalt.org

In Danger: Giant Park Near Keene, Brattleboro

Pisgah State Park, with thousands of acres, is the biggest state park in New Hampshire. It is in the town of Hinsdale, and two other towns. Hinsdale is directly across the river from Brattleboro. The following article was written by Jeffrey Scott and Marti Hobbes of the group Defenders of Pisgah. It was posted on a bulletin board at one of the entrances to the park on June 27. The only contact info provided for the group was:

P.O. Box 31
Spofford, NH 03462

Keene Congressman: Close Valley Nuke Now

On June 16, Keene congressman Paul Hodes blasted the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its failures at the tattered Vermont Yankee nuclear power reactor, and called on the NRC to order Entergy, the Louisiana company that owns the reactor, to shut Yankee immediately.

In a formal complaint to the NRC, whose members are appointed by the nuclear industry funded President Obama, the Keene congressman demanded “public answers for the lax oversight that has allowed Vermont Yankee to continue operating despite a safety record featuring frequent, repeated radioactive leaks.”