Photo: Fitzgerald Lake in Northampton

This photo was taken on October 6. It shows Fitzgerald Lake in Northampton. The lake is part of a 633 acre city-owned wilderness park. There is a wildlife viewing blind with a notebook where visitors record birds and animals they see. The notebook contains dozens of entries. Directions to the park, and a trail map, are at:

www.BroadBrookCoalition.org/fitzgerald-lake

To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "See full-size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Pavers Battle Nature Protectors Near Keene

Hundreds of acres of wilderness on the lower slopes of Mount Monadnock, near Keene, are at risk of being clear cut logged, paved, Chem Lawned, and “developed.” But activists are racing to save the land so future generations will be able to hike there. Details about that struggle are below.

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

Springfield Eviction Protests are August 29 and September 2

Bank of America paid its CEO, Brian Moynihan, more than $1.9 million last year. Now, in Springfield, Bank of America is trying to evict a low-income family from the family’s only home. On August 29 at 12:30 p.m., activists will rally in front of the Jimenez family home at 91 Granada Terrace. The Jimenez family is asking the public to attend the rally, which is being organized by a group called Springfield No One Leaves www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org

Photos of a protest in May in Springfield that was organized by the same group are at:

Northampton Company Mows Lawns With Sheep

A locally-owned company is offering sheep lawn mowing services in Northampton. The advantages of sheep over fossil fuel powered lawn mowers include: the animals are usually silent; they don’t emit lung cancer-causing air pollution; they fertilize the lawn; and they produce cheese, yogurt, wool, and meat.

One hour of gas-powered lawn mowing produces as much pollution as driving a car for four hours. That’s according to:

http://environment.NationalGeographic.com/environment/green-guide/buying...

Dairy goats also work well for lawn mowing.

Photos: Lake Swimming

These photos show people swimming in a lake at Pisgah State Park, and relaxing on the shoreline. Pisgah is the biggest state park in New Hampshire. It's about a 10 minute drive from Brattleboro, Keene, and Northfield, Massachusetts. The photos were taken on July 2. Mountain laurel flowers are visible in the second photo. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "See full-size image." photos by Eesha Williams

Information on land use in the Valley is at www.valleypost.org/2008/01/09/place-open-space

Photo: Activists Hang Anti-Nuke Banner on I-91 Near Brattleboro

This photo was taken on June 7. It shows an anti-nuclear banner that was hung from a bridge over Interstate 91 in Putney, Vermont, near Brattleboro. The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire. More information on Vermont Yankee, and the movement to close it, is at http://valleypost.org/node/536

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

photo by Eesha Williams

Local Workers Seek Public's Help in Contract Fight

Workers at a state-funded agency in Holyoke are asking the public to help them win a fair contract. "Our bosses want to take away some of our co-workers' health insurance," said April Elias. She works as a "parent aide" at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The union contract covers Elias and about 100 other workers at the Society's office in Holyoke.

The workers have elected a small group of their colleagues to negotiate a new contract. The negotiators met with management on June 1. The current three-year contract will expire on June 30.

Photos: Springfield Bank Protest

In Springfield on May 7, dozens of activists occupied the Bank of America branch on Oak Street to protest the multi-billion dollar corporation’s decision to force poor people out of their homes. The action was organized by the No One Leaves Campaign, spokesman Malcolm Chu told the Valley Post.

The occupation followed a march up State Street with marchers chanting "Bank of America, Bad for America!"

More information is available at www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org

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

2,000 at Rally Say 'Healthcare Is a Human Right'

In what could be a model for Massachusetts, New Hampshire and the nation, Vermont is poised to enact single-payer health care. On May 1, more than 2,000 people, including a large contingent from Brattleboro, marched on the Vermont statehouse.

The march was part of a movement that has earned the support of Vermont governor Peter Shumlin, and the state legislature. Shumlin lives in Putney, near Brattleboro. The insurance industry is working to kill the movement's momentum in the legislature.