Local News Round-up

Thousands of people marched in Northampton for the Women's March in January 2017 and January 2018. Debby Pastrich-Klemer helped organize both marches. On October 1, 2018, she told the Valley Post that the next Northampton Women's March will be on January 19, 2019.

Some of the most frequently seen signs at the 2018 Northampton march read, "Dump Trump" and "I Stand With Planned Parenthood." The Northampton Women's March was organized by a group of people who have a web site at www.PioneerValleyWomensMarch.org. The below photos show the 2018 Northampton Women's March. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." To zoom in more, click on the image again. photos by Eesha Williams

In other news from the Valley, in Brattleboro on September 30 about two dozen people attended a rally calling on the U.S. senate to reject Trump's proposed supreme court judge. The rally was organized by Nancy Braus, co-owner of Everyone's Books, a store in town.

In other news from the Valley, the company that owns a nuclear waste dump in Vermont that’s three miles from Massachusetts and a stone’s throw from New Hampshire, and another company that wants to buy the dump, had full page ads in the Brattleboro Reformer daily newspaper, and in the Commons, a weekly newspaper published in Brattleboro, every week for months, earlier this year. The ads urged people to support the deal.

Sandy Levine lives in Vermont and is a lawyer at the Conservation Law Foundation. In March, she told the Valley Post her group opposes the deal. “Entergy is responsible for cleaning up their plant, but wants to hand everything over to NorthStar – a company that has no experience decommissioning nuclear power plants. The deal Entergy and NorthStar proposed leaves Vermonters vulnerable to picking up the tab if something goes wrong. The promises are not supported by insurance, or money set aside until the work is done. ”

The sale can only go through with the approval of the government. The clean-up is expected to cost about $1 billion. Supporters of the deal say NorthStar would begin the job immediately; Entergy has said it would wait up to 60 years to start. On October 1, Deb Katz told the Valley Post it would be safer for workers to wait at least 10 years to start the job. She is director of a group that has a web site at www.NukeBusters.org. “Rapid dismantlement exposes workers to a hot reactor,” Katz said.

In New Hampshire news, Portsmouth won a national award from a group that works to reduce noise. On October 1, the Portsmouth police department won a Quiet Hero award from Noise Free America for cracking down on loud motorcycles. The police will be monitoring the sound of motorcycle exhausts. With the purchase of decibel meters, Portsmouth police officers can enforce existing laws. Captain Frank Warchol said, “The initiative was put together because people were complaining."

Ted Rueter works for Noise Free America. “Motorcycles come out of the factory quiet,” he told the Valley Post. “People illegally modify them so they make more noise.”

“The Census Bureau reports that noise is Americans' top complaint about their neighborhoods, and the major reason they wish to move,” Rueter said. “Ninety percent of calls to New York City's quality of life hotline concern noise.”

In Europe, many downtown areas are pedestrian-only, which is quiet and better for the environment. Boston has pedestrian-only streets in the area known as Downtown Crossing. Burlington, Vermont (population 42,000) has a four-block-long pedestrian-only street downtown, Church Street.

Rueter's group works to reduce noise from leaf-blowers (raking is good exercise), lawnmowers (electric lawnmowers are silent), car alarms, and other sources.

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