Japan Quake Puts Valley Nuke in Local Spotlight

The massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 12 created a still-evolving disaster at several of Japan's nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, the Louisiana company that owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is trying to get permission from the government to run the 40 year old reactor until at least 2032. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

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

Workers' Rally Is March 2 in Amherst

Activists are asking the public to attend a rally in Amherst on March 2 to show their solidarity with government workers in Wisconsin. Tens of thousands of workers have been rallying at the Wisconsin state capitol in recent days to protest anti-union legislation proposed by that state’s governor. Similar legislation is pending in several other states. Experts say the trend will likely affect workers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Springfield Bank Protests Feb. 22, 24

Activists are asking the public to attend three protests against banks that want to foreclose on Springfield homeowners. On February 22 at 10:30 a.m., a protest will be held at 1179 Saint James Avenue. There will be two actions on February 24. At 9:30 a.m., activists will gather at 12-14 Foster Street. At 12:30 p.m., they will be at 29 Verge Street.

On February 7, about 25 people protested a foreclosure auction of a Springfield home by Wells Fargo Bank.

Photos of the February 7 protest are at:

https://picasaweb.google.com/AFSCWM/ForeclosureAuctionProtestFebruary72011#

Photo: Northampton Street Life

This photo was taken on February 11 in downtown Northampton. It shows a block of ice that was later turned into a sculpture. The ice sculpting event runs through February 14. To make the photo bigger, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photo by Eesha Williams

More information is at www.nohoarts.org/announcement/view/269

Photos: Eagles Over River Farm

These photos were taken on February 4 in Gill, Massachusetts, near Greenfield. They show a pair of eagles, farm buildings, and the Connecticut river. The Golden eagles who live in the Valley go to Canada to raise their young. The Valley Post welcomes comments from anyone who can identify these birds. To make a photo bigger, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photos by Eesha Williams

Photo: Miller's River in Snow

This photo was taken on January 9. It shows the Miller's river in Erving, Massachusetts, near Greenfield. The river starts north of Worcester, Massachusetts near the New Hampshire border. It flows west and enters the Connecticut river a few miles east of Greenfield. In summer, it's a good spot for whitewater kayaking. To make the photo bigger, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Nine Women Arrested in Protest at Valley Nuke

On January 1, nine women were arrested at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant for non-violent civil disobedience. They were calling for the reactor to be closed immediately. Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

The nine arrested were Vermonters Julia Bonafine of Shrewsbury, Martha Hennessy of Weathersfield, Robin Lloyd of Burlington, and Nina Swaim of Sharon, and Massachusetts residents Frances Crowe of Northampton, Marcia Gagliardi of Athol, Ellen Graves of West Springfield, Hattie Nestel of Athol, and Paki Wieland of Northampton.

Photo: Skating on a Frozen River

This photo was taken December 19. It shows people ice skating, and an ice fishing shelter, on the West river just before it enters the Connecticut river in Brattleboro. Skating conditions were especially good because of the absence of snow, and weather forecasters were predicting more good skating weather. To reach this spot from the Brattleboro town common, take Route 30 for about half a mile. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full-size image.” photo by Eesha Williams

Photo: Goldfinch Near Brattleboro

This photo was taken on August 15 in Dummerston, Vermont, near Brattleboro. It shows three goldfinches. In autumn, male goldfinches shed their bright yellow feathers and become drab like the female. Females build nests in trees. The nests are woven so tightly that they will hold water.

One goldfinch that was banded in Ontario, Canada was found in Louisiana. The vast majority of the food eaten by American Goldfinches is grain. They eat large numbers of weed seeds, which helps vegetable farmers.