Northampton Company Mows Lawns With Sheep

A locally-owned company is offering sheep lawn mowing services in Northampton. The advantages of sheep over fossil fuel powered lawn mowers include: the animals are usually silent; they don’t emit lung cancer-causing air pollution; they fertilize the lawn; and they produce cheese, yogurt, wool, and meat.

One hour of gas-powered lawn mowing produces as much pollution as driving a car for four hours. That’s according to:

http://environment.NationalGeographic.com/environment/green-guide/buying...

Dairy goats also work well for lawn mowing.

In Northampton, 175 Protest for Workers' Rights

On June 23, about 175 public school workers and their supporters attended a rally outside a meeting of the Northampton school board. They were protesting a decision by the board – also called the “school committee” -- to not raise the workers’ wages next year. Several of the workers spoke to the board to oppose the move, which amounts to a pay cut for the workers, when inflation is taken into account.

Tragedy, Celebration for Bicycle Riders, Walkers

On May 20, a mini-van gravely injured a woman who was riding her bicycle in Granby at about 5:30 p.m. It was a “hit and run” crime. Police are trying to find the driver. Granby borders Amherst. A police spokesperson said that the impact sent the woman flying off her bicycle and into a telephone pole. The bicycle rider was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Police are asking anyone with information about the vehicle or its driver to the Granby Police at (413) 467-9222.

There is also good news for local bicycle riders and walkers.

Northampton Group to Host Nobel Winner, Congresswoman

The public is invited to hear speeches by a Nobel prize winner, a congresswoman, and others at an event organized by a non-profit organization in Northampton. The three-day National Conference for Media Reform starts April 8 in Boston.

Joseph Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia University. He won the 2001 Nobel prize for economics. In his 2010 book, “Free Fall,” Stiglitz says big banks pay their CEOs too much, and blasts the federal government for giving the banks billions in taxpayer money in recent years.

Vusi Mahlasela in Northampton

Vusi Mahlasela, a singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist who lives in South Africa, performed an outstanding public concert in Northampton on February 16. Mahlasela was active in the movement that overthrew the apartheid government in South Africa. In 1994, he performed at Nelson Mandela’s presidential inauguration.

"Vusi has a sort of profound beauty about him. He has a light on," said two-time Grammy award winner Dave Matthews.

Photo: Northampton Street Life

This photo was taken on February 11 in downtown Northampton. It shows a block of ice that was later turned into a sculpture. The ice sculpting event runs through February 14. To make the photo bigger, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full-size image." photo by Eesha Williams

More information is at www.nohoarts.org/announcement/view/269

Activists Slow Pavers in Valley

On January 27, the Franklin Land Trust announced it had saved farmland and forest land from development in the Massachusetts towns of Ashfield (near Greenfield), Conway, Hadley (near Northampton), Heath, Leyden and Whately. In Ashfield, the Trust worked with landowner Peter Corens to conserve 81 acres of land, including pasture that was most recently leased to Sidehill Farm for their dairy operation. Also protected are critical woodlands and historic sites along Bear River.

Events Will Help People Get State Money for Home Energy Efficiency

A group of people in Springfield is helping Valley residents get state money to make their homes more energy efficient. The group, the Alliance to Develop Power, is hosting free, public evening meetings in: Amherst January 19, Easthampton January 20, Northampton January 26, and Greenfield February 2.

People at the meetings will learn how to sign up for a free energy assessment, get money for weatherization and other energy efficiency services, said Boone Shear of the Alliance.

The meeting will be in:

-Amherst, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk;

Activists Likely to Save 100 Acres Near Northampton

A local land trust needs to raise just $500 more to permanently protect from development a 100 acre farm in South Hadley, near Northampton. A spokesperson for the Kestrel Trust told the Valley Post on December 28 that the fundraising effort was nearly complete.

The farm is known locally as McCray's farm. It is the last remaining dairy farm in South Hadley. From the farm, one can see Mount Tom and the Mount Holyoke Range.

More information is at www.KestrelTrust.org

Nov. 29 Rally in Northampton to Stop U.S. Funding of Israeli Military

On November 29 from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. in Northampton, there will be a rally to call for an end to U.S. government funding of the Israeli military. The rally will be outside city hall at 210 Main Street.

Between 1949 and 2008, the U.S. government gave the government of Israel about $114 billion, according to:

http://wrmea.org/component/content/article/245-2008-november/3845-congre...

Currently, the U.S. gives about $3 billion annually to Israel, according to: