A Genre Soldiers On: Antonio Hart Quintet at Vermont Jazz Center

There was a brown door in a modest kitchen, scuffed by the onslaught of time, children and life's general maneuvers. It guarded a staircase leading down to a basement, spacious enough and made congenial, such that it was often strewn about with middle-aged men.

When closed, this door allowed a generous amount of space between it and the floor, and was not the most efficient muffler of sound. If one crouched by its bottom, the world it attempted to conceal came spilling forth like the secrets of some giddy deluge.

Photo: Brattleboro Farm

Following the current thaw, the weather is expected to get cold again on Friday. This photo was taken on January 27 on Old Ferry Road in Brattleboro. To enlarge it, please click on the photo, then scroll down and click "see full-size image."

At Capitol After 122 Miles, Marchers Say: Close Vermont Yankee

More than 150 people walked to the Vermont statehouse on January 13, completing a 122-mile march that began in Brattleboro on January 2. The protesters were calling on the state legislature to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power reactor. The reactor is owned by Entergy Corporation of Louisiana.

"We are tired of Entergy and their toxic waste," said a jubilant Chad Simmons of Brattleboro, one of the marchers.

Hundreds March in Greenfield for Library

Hundreds of people marched down Main Street to Greenfield town hall November 13 to protest a proposal by mayor William Martin to reduce the public library’s budget by $30,300 this month. The library recently reduced its hours in response to earlier budget cuts.

“I’m here to stand up for our library,” said marcher and Greenfield resident Ted Compton. “Having a library is civilized.”

150 at Rally Against Lay-Offs at Northampton Hospital

About 150 people turned out for a rally against lay-offs at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton on November 9. Hospital officials recently said they will soon lay off an unspecified number of workers, including nurses. The officials said the number of lay-offs could be around 10.

"The lay-offs are unnecessary," said Charlie Rasmussen of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the union that represents 270 nurses at the hospital. “Cooley Dickinson has an $8.9 million surplus this year.”

Protesters Arrested at Vermont Yankee

Four women were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant Sept 28. Arrested for blocking the entrance to Vermont Yankee were Hattie Nestel of Athol, Mass.; Ellen Graves of West Springfield, Mass., and Frances Crowe and Paki Wieland, both from Northampton.

In recent years, dozens of people have been arrested for non-violent civil disobedience at Vermont Yankee and at the Brattleboro offices of Louisiana-based Entergy Corp., which owns the reactor.

The Budding Industry of Vintning in New England

Vermont is known for several aspects of the good life—breathtaking, mountainous scenery; a reduced focus on materialism; and a never-ending stream of organic, local cuisine. This cultural oasis with a northern clime is not, however, known for its wine or viticulture. In fact, the stereotype is that only tart, overly sweet, highly acidic fruit wines are produced here, because blueberries, apples, rhubarb and cranberries can thrive where grapes cannot.

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Fifty People at Hadley Whole Foods Boycott Rally

The CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, recently wrote an article that was published in the Wall Street Journal. In the article, Mackey argued that health care is not a right, and opposed universal health care. On September 12, some 51 local activists showed up at a rally in the rain at the Whole Foods store in Hadley, near Northampton, calling for a boycott.

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Officials Seek Help With Insects Threatening Valley Forests, Jobs

Officials are seeking volunteers to look out for two kinds of insects that could devastate the Valley’s forests and cost jobs in logging, maple syrup making, and related industries. The insects are the Asian longhorned beetle and the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Income from sustainable logging and maple syrup production often prevents land owners from having to sell their land for development.

Rally Against Racism in Northampton

A rally for Jason Vassell was held on August 6 in Northampton following an evidentiary hearing related to a Motion to Dismiss filed by Vassell’s attorneys at the county courthouse there. The former UMass student was involved in an altercation with two non-UMass students in the Southwest dormitory complex on February 3, 2008. The rally was in support of the motion filed on Vassell’s behalf and to hear further information regarding recent court finagling over the defense’s discovery process.