Westfield Nurses Vote to Authorize a Strike

About 130 nurses at a hospital in Westfield, Massachusetts have voted to authorize a strike. This does not necessarily mean they will go on strike; it means their elected union leaders have the power to call a strike. Westfield borders Holyoke. The nurses work at Noble hospital. They voted earlier this month.

Hundreds Rally Against Racism

In Northampton on August 13, hundreds of people attended a rally to protest racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The same day in Keene, about 60 people attended a rally for the same cause. On August 14, about 80 people attended a rally for the same cause in Greenfield. On August 15, dozens of people attended another rally for the same cause in Springfield.

CJ Chenier Concert is July 8

CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band will perform in Northampton on July 8 at 7 p.m. CJ Chenier was born in 1957. According to his web site, he “spent his childhood in the tough tenement housing projects of Port Arthur, Texas.” Chenier played with Ringo Starr on Paul Simon's album Rhythm of the Saints. Chenier performed with Simon on a concert tour. A video of CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band performing live is at:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMMSv2WpYKw

Eight Arrested, Land Saved

In the Valley, eight people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience and 184 acres of land were permanently protected from development. On June 24, eight people were arrested while protesting the construction of a fracked gas pipeline in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. Sandisfield is in the Connecticut river valley, about an hour by car west of Springfield.

Celebration is May 19

On May 19 in Keene, there will be a celebration of the opening of a pedestrian/bicycle bridge that activists have worked for two decades to make happen. The bridge crosses Route 101, about 500 feet southeast of the Walmart. It's known as South Bridge. The below photos show another pedestrian/bicycle bridge in Keene – North Bridge – that looks almost exactly like the new one.

“South Bridge is a great addition to the city's trail system,” Phil Jones told the Valley Post. He is on the board of the group Pathways for Keene.

In the Streets for Peace and Justice

Dozens of people attended a rally in Northampton on April 9 to protest President Trump's military attack on Syria. Sabine Merz spoke at the rally. "The way to help Syria is to open our borders to them," she told the Valley Post. The event was outside city hall. It was organized by the American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts www.afscwm.org.

Peace Action

There will be a rally for world peace, and in favor of major cuts to military spending, on April 15 at 2 Main Street in Brattleboro, outside the food co-op. The rally starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. There will be a march calling on President Trump to release his tax returns, the same date on Main Street in Brattleboro, starting at 1 p.m. Details about the march are at:

www.facebook.com/events/1540683959275840

Fishbone Concert is Free

In its heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Fishbone was among the best bands of all-time. The group will play a free concert near Brattleboro on March 25 at 3 p.m. The concert will be outdoors at Mount Snow. Details are at:

www.mountsnow.com/events/calendar/bud-light-reggaefest

Fishbone's more recent recordings aren't as good as their albums “Truth and Soul” and “The Reality of My Surroundings.” The members of Fishbone live in Los Angeles.

You can hear an excellent Fishbone reggae song at:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0ZUIcYT7zs

Nurses Vote to Authorize a Strike

The 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital voted by a 93 percent margin to authorize a strike. This gives their elected union leaders the power to call a strike if current contract negotiations fail. The next bargaining session is set for March 27, Joe Markham told the Valley Post on March 21. He works for the nurses' union, which has a web site at www.MassNurses.org.

Nurses to Rally for Justice

In Greenfield, nurses are asking the public to join them at a rally for justice on March 9 at 4:30 p.m. The event will be at the town common. The nurses work at the Greenfield hospital, now known as Baystate Franklin Medical Center. They are members of a union, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which is organizing the rally. The workers want fewer patients per nurse, and better wages and benefits.