A Sunny Day on the Connecticut River in Greenfield

This photo, taken on June 4, shows the view looking north from Massachusetts Route 2 on the Greenfield/Gill town line. The river is tested by the state of New Hampshire and other agencies and is now safe for swimming. (For many years it was too polluted.) Please click on the photo to enlarge it. photo by Eesha Williams

Vermont Governor Sides With Louisiana Nuclear Co. Against State Legislature

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas on May 22 vetoed a bill that would have required Entergy Corporation of Louisiana to pay for cleaning up the mess it made at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. On June 3, Vermont Senate president Peter Shumlin of Putney said the legislature will wait until January 2010 to try to override Douglas's veto.

Anti-nuclear march, Brattleboro, 2008. photo by Eesha Williams (click to enlarge)

 

Bear Chases Man Near Downtown Keene; Both OK

From the Keene Sentinel: A hungry young black bear ripped open a homeless man’s tent Tuesday (May 26) and chased him through the woods in Keene, according to wildlife officials. The local man, identified as Dave Kolek, was not injured during the incident. Kolek wears tattered clothing, has a thick beard and long hair and is known by an array of nicknames, including “Tarzan” and “Jumanji.”

The bear tore open Kolek’s tent, which was located in a wooded area near the intersection of Main Street and Route 101, shortly after 10:30 a.m., N.H. Fish and Game Officer Josiah Towne said.

UMass Activists Meet June 6

The 2,500 or so grad student employees at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst do more teaching and research than the 1,000 or so professors there. The grad students are paid about $12,000 per year for 20 hours a week of work. The professors make around $100,000 per year for 40 hours of work per week.

UMass Amherst is one of the biggest employers in the Valley. The wages it pays its workers affect the region's economy, and influence wages other local employers pay, according to UMass Amherst economist and labor studies professor Stephanie Luce.

Cops Shoot, Kill Bear; 100 Attend Meeting on How to Prevent Repeat

There have been numerous reports of bears in people's yard in Dummerston, Vermont over the past few weeks. Dummerston borders Brattleboro. The state police shot a bear in East Dummerston on May 3. To avoid attracting bears, take down your bird feeders, put the feed inside, have your grill and all other possible food sources and garbage under cover so bears can't get at it.

On May 19 more than 100 people attended a meeting with bear expert Ben Kilham at the Dummerston School. The event was hosted by the Dummerston Conservation Commission and the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center.

Brattleboro Students Rally Against War

On May 13 in Brattleboro, students at the Austine School for the Deaf (ASD) were joined by students from half a dozen other local schools as they made a giant peace sign that was clearly visible from Interstate 91. Austine teacher Brittainy Brougham helped the students plan the action. photo by ASD.

Spring Is Here

photo by Eesha Williams

1,000 at Vermont Rally: 'Healthcare Is a Right'

Sheila Linton of Brattleboro spoke at a "Healthcare Is a Human Right" rally at the Vermont statehouse on May 1. The event was organized by the Vermont Workers Center. The U.S. is the only rich nation that does not provide universal health care. More information on the rally is at www.workerscenter.org photos by Eesha Williams

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.”