Local News Roundup

On March 7 at 1:30 p.m. in Springfield activists will hold a rally to stop a bank that wants to evict a low-income family from its home while the bank's CEO makes millions of dollars a year. The rally will be at 139 Maebeth Street. Details are available from rally organizers, who have a web site at www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org. They have had a number of recent victories. Details, and photos, are at:

www.valleypost.org/node/1101

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On March 12 at 10 a.m. in Brattleboro, anti-nuclear activists will hold a rally at Pliny Park, which is at the corner of Main and High streets. The rally is to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, and to draw attention to the on-going dangers of the nuclear waste at the recently closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The reactor is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire. More information is at the rally organizers' web site: www.SafeAndGreenCampaign.org.

The owner of the Vermont Yankee site wants to end the system of sirens, free “tone alert radios” for people within 10 miles of the reactor, and automated phone calls in case of a nuclear emergency. Vermont Yankee's 700 or so tons of nuclear waste is the deadliest material on earth. According to the federal government, the waste will still be toxic 1 million years from now. Much of the waste at Vermont Yankee is in a water-filled pool seven stories above ground. If the water leaks out of the pool, the waste will catch fire, leak radioactivity into the atmosphere and will kill thousands of people, according to a report to Congress by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The site's owner is planning to end the emergency alert system next month. Regulators appointed by Vermont governor Peter Shumlin are trying to find a way to keep the emergency alert system going.

Vermont Yankee closed in 2014 thanks to a grassroots protest movement that saw hundreds of people arrested for non-violent civil disobedience.

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Peace activists marched from Amherst to Northampton on March 5. On March 7, they will march from Holyoke to Springfield. On March 8 and March 9 they will be marching in the Worcester area. Details are at their web site:

http://newenglandpeacepagoda.org/walk-for-a-new-spring/15th-annual-walk-...

Almost half (45 percent) of this year's entire federal budget of $2.9 trillion is being spent on war. That’s according to:

www.WarResisters.org/FederalPieChart

With 5 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much on the military as the rest of the world combined.

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In Brattleboro, pedestrian rights activists are asking the public to attend a selectboard meeting on March 8 at 6:15 p.m. about a proposal to eliminate stop lights on Main Street. If approved this plan would make downtown more dangerous for pedestrians. Four pedestrians were killed by cars in Brattleboro in 2012 and 2013. More information is available from Alice Charkes at acharkes@myfairpoint.net or via www.LocalMotion.org.

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In an important victory, a land trust announced on March 4 it had permanently protected 74 acres of farmland in Amherst and neighboring Hadley. Details are at www.KestrelTrust.org.

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