Photos: Shaw's Workers on Strike

Here are two photos from Methuen, Massachusetts. They were taken on April 27 of striking Shaw's warehouse workers. The workers were excited because the company called the union on April 27 and asked to meet on April 28. On April 28, they were to bargain a new contract for the approximately 300 workers who have been on strike for weeks. More information is at www.jwj.org -- follow the links to the eastern Massachusetts coalition web site. There is a Shaw's store in Keene. Click the photos, then scroll down, to enlarge.

Photos: The Valley and the Mountain

The first photo shows the Connecticut River and UMass Amherst. The second was taken on April 18 from the summit of Mt. Monadnock, near Keene. The first photo is by www.commons.wikimedia.org The second is by Matthew Hoffman. To enlarge the photos, please click on them, then scroll down and click "See full-size image."

Columbia University Professor Will Sing in Keene

Singer Philip Hamilton will perform a public concert in Keene on April 13 at 7:30 p.m. Hamilton teaches at Columbia University. Born in West Medford, Massachusetts, Hamilton graduated from Middlebury College and Berklee College of Music. In Keene, he will sing with his nine-person a cappella group. They will sing Gregorian chants, the blues, and miners' songs. They have performed at Lincoln Center in New York City. The concert will be at Keene State College, in the Redfern building at 229 Main Street in downtown Keene. Tickets cost between $12 and $23.

More information is at:

Keene Police Harass Striking Workers; Leave Girl Scouts

On April 3, the Keene police ordered protesters to leave the parking lot of a Shaw's supermarket in Keene under threat of arrest, but allowed Girl Scouts to keep selling cookies in the same parking lot. A spokesman for the UFCW union www.ufcw.org said his union and/or the ACLU might sue the city of Keene for violating the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Striking Grocery Workers Will Rally in Keene on April 3

Workers at the Shaw’s and Star Markets supermarket chains went on strike March 8. There are Shaw’s stores in Keene and near Brattleboro in Wilmington, Vermont. Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 791 voted 288 to 8 to strike. The workers asked people to boycott Shaw’s until the strike is over.

The striking workers distribute perishable food like fruit, vegetables, milk, and meat to Shaw's and Star Markets stores throughout New England.

“Shaw’s has recruited C&S to scab,” said Jon Weissman of the western Massachusetts chapter of Jobs With Justice www.jwj.org

New Hampshire House Moves Toward Legal Marijuana

On March 10, the New Hampshire House voted to reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill now moves on to the Senate. Matt Simon is director of the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy. "We are organizing people to attend the Senate's public hearing which will be in April or May," he told the Valley Post.

The bill would decriminalize possession of less than a quarter ounce of marijuana. Under the current law, marijuana possession is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Granny D, 1910 - 2010, Fought for Democracy

Doris “Granny D” Haddock died on March 9 at her home near Keene. She was 100 years old. In 1999 and 2000, Haddock walked from the Pacific Ocean in California to Washington, DC to call for public financing of elections at the national level. Thousands of people, including several members of Congress and former Texas Secretary of Agriculture Jim Hightower, joined Haddock for the last few miles of her walk to the U.S. capitol building.

Maine and Arizona have public financing of state elections.

Local Peace Activists Prepare for April 15

Every year on tax day, April 15, activists around the Valley hand out fliers at post offices showing people how much of their taxes go to war. To join the local actions, contact the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee www.nwtrcc.org and/or the War Resisters' League www.WarResisters.org

Out of a federal budget of about $2,900,000,000,000 about half goes to war. Details are at:

www.warresisters.org/files/FY2011piechart.pdf

Regulators Say They May Shut Vermont Yankee Now

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant may be ordered to close immediately by state regulators, according to a statement released on February 25 by the Vermont Public Service Board, whose members are appointed by the governor. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

Photo: Keene Mountain

This photo, taken in Keene on February 15, shows Mount Monadnock. To enlarge the photo, please click on it. The mountain, including thousands of acres of land, was protected from development by the collective action of ordinary citizens. Hiking trails lead to the summit. From there, one can see all six states in New England. A trail map is at:

www.NHstateparks.org/uploads/MonadnockHikingTrailsWeb.pdf