Kayak, Canoe Protest at Valley Nuke Is August 10

On August 10, activists in kayaks and canoes will protest near the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which is on the Connecticut river. The public is invited to join the protest. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts.

The event is being organized by the same group that organized a protest against Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro last year that drew 1,500 people, 137 of whom were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. The group’s web site is www.SAGEalliance.net. More information is available by calling Deb Katz of www.NukeBusters.org at (413) 339-5781.

Photos: A Road Returns to Nature at Robin Hood Park

These photos were taken at Robin Hood Park in Keene on May 15. The 130 acre park is less than a mile from downtown. Many historians believe that Robin Hood lived in England roughly 900 years ago. A popular book, “The Adventures of Robin Hood” by Howard Pyle was high on the Amazon.com bestseller list on May 15. A novel based on the real person, the book says Robin Hood stole from the rich and used the money to help poor people.

Photo: Hundreds March in Springfield for Immigrant Rights

On May 4 in Springfield, hundreds of people marched from the federal building on Main Street to City Hall. They were calling for passage of the so-called "Trust Act" by the Massachusetts legislature, which would reduce deportations of immigrants, and for federal reforms to help immigrants. More information about the Trust Act is at:

https://www.aclum.org/news_3.19.13

More information about the federal immigration reforms that march organizers are seeking is at:

www.jwj.org/blog/standing-workers-immigration-reform-may-day

Photo: Tulips

This photo was taken in Dummerston, Vermont, near Brattleboro on May 4. It shows tulip flowers growing outdoors. In Amsterdam between 1634 and 1637, "a single bulb of the most prized tulips fetched a price greater than the grandest canal houses in the city." That's according to:

www.pbs.org/thebotanyofdesire/tulip-beauty.php

To make the photo bigger click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Photos: Signs of Spring in Springfield

These photos were taken on April 16 in Forest Park in Springfield. They show blossoms of a red maple, and green shoots next to a beaver-chewed tree trunk. Beavers chew on big trees to sharpen their teeth, and to fell trees so they can eat the smaller branches. At more than 700 acres, Forest Park is the city's biggest park. It includes a lake, sports fields, a rose garden, and forestland with trails. A map is at:

www3.springfield-ma.gov/park/270.0.html

To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photos by Eesha Williams

Vermont Rally for Justice Is May 1

Vermont's governor, a Democrat, and the state's Democrat-controlled House, are poised to approximately double the cost of health insurance for Vermont's poor and working class people. The governor is rejecting proposals to raise taxes on millionaires to provide free health care for poor people. The Vermont Senate, also controlled by Democrats, is debating its version of the health care plan. A final agreement among the governor, House, and senate is expected in early May.

Photos: 1,000 People March to Close Vermont Yankee

These photos were taken on March 30 in Brattleboro. They show about 1,000 people marching to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. After the march, there was a rally. Speakers included Vermont state senator Jeanette White and Deb Katz, director of www.NukeBusters.org. Reggae music was provided by DJ David Longsmith of www.wvew.org 107.7 FM in Brattleboro. More information about Vermont Yankee is at:

www.ValleyPost.org/node/803

To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "See full-size image." photos by Eesha Williams

Keene Photos: New Bike/Ped Bridge, New Food Co-op

These photos were taken on March 18 in Keene. The first two photos show a bicycle- and pedestrian-only bridge that opened in autumn 2012 near the corner of West Street and Route 9. It was funded by government programs that exist because of the advocacy of grassroots group like the Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire: www.bwaNH.org. Similar groups exist in Massachusetts and Vermont. They have web sites at www.MassBike.org and www.VtBikePed.org.

Environmental Victories

A garbage dump will close and 802 acres of farmland will be saved from development. The dump is in South Hadley, Massachusetts, which borders Amherst and Holyoke. The farmland is in Leyden, Massachusetts, near Greenfield and Brattleboro.

On March 11, the owner of the dump, Advanced Disposal Corporation (AD) of Jacksonville, Florida, said it will close the dump in March 2014. AD had $351 million in sales last year. The announcement came after anti-dump protests by South Hadley residents.

Victory for Bus Drivers

In Greenfield, public transit bus drivers recently voted to approve a new union contract that will result in higher wages. “The contract is the best we could have expected,” Gael Wakefield told the Valley Post. She is a bus dispatcher and president of UE Local 274.