Photos: Cows Watching Snowstorm

These photos were taken at a farm in Dover, Vermont, near Brattleboro, on March 13. The first photo shows two cows looking out from their barn at a snow storm. These cows have free access to the outdoors all winter. Cows may be "healthier and happier outside" during winter in Wisconsin, according to a study by the University of Wisconsin. The study is at

www.cias.wisc.edu/outwintering-dairy-cattle-animal-health-issues

Habib Koite to Perform in Northampton

Habib Koite, a singer and guitar player who lives in Bamako, Mali, in west Africa, will play at the Iron Horse in Northampton on February 16 at 7 p.m. Koite (pronounced KWA-tee) performed an outstanding public concert in Amherst in 2011. He possesses an unusually warm voice and guitar skills that inspired Bonnie Raitt to famously tell him after one concert, "I would drink your sweat."

Greenfield Nurses Will Strike

On February 10, the 209 nurses who work at the Greenfield hospital will go on strike. The strike was approved by a vote of the nurses. “One day last week I had to work until 10 p.m. I start at 7 a.m.,” Linda Judd told the Valley Post in October. She is a nurse at the hospital. “They don't let you leave until you finish all your paperwork.”

Valley Nuke Danger Peaks

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant may be more dangerous when it closes later this year than it is now, an expert told the Valley Post this week. Vermont Yankee is so dangerous that no insurance company will cover it. The facility gets its insurance from the federal government. A major accident or act of sabotage at Vermont Yankee would cause thousands of “prompt fatalities,” and leave an area the size of New England uninhabitable for generations, according to a report by the federal government.

Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

Workers Vote for Union

Ninety workers in Springfield voted to form a union. “We're looking for change from a company that is making millions of dollars,” Erskine Kelly told the Valley Post before the vote. He is a soup cook at Springfield College.

The college hires Aramark Corporation to run its dining halls. So the workers are employed by Aramark, which is based in Philadelphia and is the 19th biggest privately owned company in the world, according to Forbes Magazine. The workers voted for the union on October 24.

209 Greenfield Nurses Give Their Elected Leaders Power to Call a Strike

The 209 nurses at the Greenfield hospital voted October 15 to authorize a strike. That means their elected representatives in the union have the power to call a strike. The nurses went on strike last year (see photo, below).

Photo: Eviction Protest

On October 9 at 8 a.m. in Springfield, residents protested the eviction of Sue and Miguel Soto from their home. The sheriff arrived, then left without evicting the Sotos from their home at 275 Main Street in Springfield's Indian Orchard neighborhood.

The protest was organized by a group known as Springfield No One Leaves (SNOL). The group's web site is www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org.

Photo: Keene College

This photo was taken on October 9 at Keene State College. “The average college graduate with loans now leaves college $25,000 in debt. Student loan debt exceeds $1 trillion and is now greater than credit card debt,” writes Katrina vanden Heuvel in the Washington Post. “The debts are inescapable. Bankruptcy doesn’t extinguish them; even Social Security payments can be garnished to repay them.”

The full Washington Post article is at:

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-05-01/opinions/35457797_1_studen...

Photos: Rally at Springfield City Hall

These photos were taken on October 7. They show Springfield residents at city hall. They were protesting mayor Domenic Sarno's failure to implement an anti-foreclosure ordinance that the city council passed in 2011. Banks have paid their CEOs millions of dollars a year while forcing dozens of poor people out of their homes in Springfield in recent years. If the city had implemented the ordinance, the city would have collected millions of dollars in so-called "security bonds" and fines from banks, according to rally organizers.

Workers Fight Back

On October 3, about 7,000 workers in Vermont voted to form a union. In Massachusetts, on October 24 in Springfield, workers will vote on whether to form a union. “We're looking for change from a company that is making millions of dollars,” Erskine Kelly told the Valley Post on October 1. He is a soup cook at Springfield College in Massachusetts.