Local News Round-up

The union for public school teachers in Northampton held a well-attended rally to demand that all workers in the schools make at least $15 an hour. Starting pay for cafeteria workers is $11.64 an hour; for custodians it's $12.01. The rally was on March 28. About 100 people were there. A phone number for the union is at www.MassTeacher.org.

In other news from the Valley, in June the number of Amtrak trains between Greenfield and New York City via Northampton, Holyoke, and Springfield, will go from one round-trip per day to three round-trips per day. This victory is the result of work by activists in Northampton who have a web site at www.TrainsInTheValley.org. In a March 26 phone interview Lee Khan told the Valley Post this more-frequent train service will extend to Brattleboro – if enough people get active. Khan is board chair for a group that has a web site at www.RailVermont.org. “It won't happen by June, but it can definitely happen within two years,” she said. “It would be on trains owned by AllEarth Rail.” Those trains do not need a separate engine. A photo is below. Photo provided by www.AllEarthRail.com. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.”

In other news from the Valley, in a phone interview on March 29 Al Norman told the Valley Post the Greenfield town council is trying to change the town charter to take away the right of townspeople to overrule council decisions by referendum. More information about Norman – and his contact information – are at his web site: www.sprawl-busters.com. “In 1993 we used a referendum to keep Walmart out of Greenfield,” he said.

In other news from the Valley, people seeking to stop logging of an 88 acre, publicly-owned forest of 110-year-old trees near Greenfield asked the public to attend a training on how to use non-violent civil disobedience. "We strongly oppose logging the oak stand in Wendell State Forest," Michael Kellett told the Valley Post in December 2018.

According to a September 5, 2016 article in the Lowell Sun daily newspaper, Kellett was a “key player” in the creation by President Obama of the 87,400 acre Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine. Logging is banned in national monuments. Kellett runs a group that has a web site at www.restore.org. More information about civil disobedience plans for Wendell is available via www.SugarShackAlliance.org.

The below photo was taken on the Brook Road trail in Wendell State Forest on April 1, 2019. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” photo by Eesha Williams

In other news from the Valley, Vermonters are organizing to fight Trump's plan to bring nuclear bombs to Vermont. The activists have a web site at www.canbvt.org. A Middlebury College professor and a state senator are on the group's board.

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