Hundreds at Statehouse for a Nuclear Free Vermont

Claire Chang lives in Gill, Mass., less than 10 miles from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. On April 29 at the Vermont state capitol, Chang and her partner held a sign reading "No Radiation Without Representation." They were joined by hundreds of activists, and their dog. photo by Eesha Williams

(Click on the "nuclear power" tag, above, for details on the upcoming vote by the Vermont legislature. The vote will decide whether Yankee will close in 2012, or run until 2032, as owner Entergy Corp. of Louisiana wants.)

Pro-Big Box Greenfield Mayor Voted Out

A major goal of Greenfield Mayor Christine Forgey has been to build a Wal-Mart or a similar “big box” store on an area of open land that’s too far from downtown to easily reach on foot. On April 21, in a primary election, Forgey was voted out of office. In June, voters will choose from two candidates for mayor.

“I was glad the mayor was voted out,” said John Ward, co-owner of the Solar Store www.GreenfieldSolarStore.com on Fiske Avenue in downtown Greenfield. “Open space doesn’t have to be paved just because it’s open space.”

Moose in Dummerston, Vermont. April 4, 2009.

photos by Eesha Williams

Dummerston, Vermont. April 4, 2009.

Shut Vermont Yankee March Is April 29

A volunteer-run citizen's group is organizing an April 29 march on the Vermont statehouse to call for the closing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. “We need to show Vermont legislators that the citizens of Vermont want Entergy Corporation held accountable for decommissioning, and we want the dirty, dangerous, unreliable, and costly Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant shut down,” said event organizer Debra Stoleroff, of the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance (http://www.vyda.org/).

Blues in the Hills: Timeless genres trounce musical uniformity

Although southern Vermont has a vibrant music scene, by percentage it can be somewhat limited to similar Eurocentric genres: folk, roots rock, hard rock. And, of course, there are classic evenings of contra and New England fiddlers. It is rare that down-home, messy, slinky soul music finds its way to this trickle of the Appalachian Range. Though Vermont is statistically both the second least populous and second least ethnically diverse state in the union, musical energy does not have to suffer proportionately.

Hadley Residents Asked to Act Today to Save Farmland

These photos, taken March 17, show three ways that farmland has been used in Hadley, Mass. They show McMansions, the "Mountain Farms" strip mall, and an unprotected farm. Activists are proposing a fourth way for western New England: buy and bulldoze rundown single family houses near existing downtowns and replace them with energy efficient, multi-family housing, while permanently protecting farmland from development. Government policies can encourage stores to be built in and near downtowns so people can reach them on foot, or by bicycle or public transit, instead of by car.

Local Nuke Affects People in Vermont, NH, Mass., and Nevada

Ian Zabarte, a leader of the Western Shoshone Native American tribe, stands in front of Vermont Yankee. The Shoshone's land includes Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Vermont Yankee's owner says it will dump its nuclear waste at Yucca. photo by Eesha Williams

What Can the History of Nuclear Power Teach Us About Whether Vermont Yankee Should Operate After 2012?

Two lessons can be taken from the history of the nuclear power industry. First, the 103 reactors now operating at 65 locations around the United States should be closed immediately. Second, ordinary people, acting together, can close existing nuclear power plants, and stop new ones from being built.