A Local Healthcare Story

Sherry Fortin sat leaning against a mailbox outside Pinocchio’s in downtown Northampton, knitting a winter hat. On the sidewalk lay her finished products: several hats and scarves, which cost $20, mittens, which cost $15, and bracelets, a bargain at only $1.

A colorful sign advertised her wares: “I have diabetes and need medication. $1 donation for a bracelet. I can knit anything you want, and will take orders.”

Climate Actions Around the Valley Oct. 24

Activists are planning a mass bicycle ride, marches, rallies with speakers and live music, and other actions around the Valley on Saturday, October 24 to protest the government’s lack of meaningful action on climate change. Climate change resulting in large part from burning fossil fuels in cars, electricity generation, and heating and cooling buildings, is causing glaciers to melt, which in turn causes flooding of places where people live and grow food. Droughts and severe rainfall are both becoming more common, which makes it harder for farmers to grow food.

Northampton Union Members To Meet About Mayoral Race

The mayor of Northampton took second place in the Sept. 15 primary election for mayor. City council member Michael Bardsley got 2,234 votes, Mayor Clare Higgins received 1,759 votes, and resident Roy Martin got 72 votes. The outcome means the Nov. 3 general election will likely be a close one.

Fifty People at Hadley Whole Foods Boycott Rally

The CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, recently wrote an article that was published in the Wall Street Journal. In the article, Mackey argued that health care is not a right, and opposed universal health care. On September 12, some 51 local activists showed up at a rally in the rain at the Whole Foods store in Hadley, near Northampton, calling for a boycott.

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Los Lobos in Northampton Sept. 17

Los Lobos has won three Grammy awards. Rolling Stone magazine said, “With the exception of U2, no band has stayed on top of its game as long as Los Lobos.” On Sept. 17 at 8 p.m., Los Lobos will play at the Calvin Theater in Northampton.

Tickets start at $25. Tickets for $75 include a “meet and greet” with the band and benefit the Latino Scholarship Fund.

Los Lobos (spanish for "the wolves") has five members, all of whom are Latino. The band is based in Los Angeles, California, where it was formed in 1973.

A Local School District Thrives Despite Recession

In Granby, Mass., near Northampton, teachers and administrators are breathing a sigh of relief as they prepare for the upcoming school year. Using stimulus grants and reserve funds, and by making minor cuts, Granby kept its school budget nearly identical to last year, despite the recession.

For Fiscal Year 2010, which began on July 1st, Granby lost $150,000 of state aid and faced an increase of $240,000 in contractual obligations over last year. To close this deficit, the town:

Rally Against Racism in Northampton

A rally for Jason Vassell was held on August 6 in Northampton following an evidentiary hearing related to a Motion to Dismiss filed by Vassell’s attorneys at the county courthouse there. The former UMass student was involved in an altercation with two non-UMass students in the Southwest dormitory complex on February 3, 2008. The rally was in support of the motion filed on Vassell’s behalf and to hear further information regarding recent court finagling over the defense’s discovery process.

August 9 March and Bike Ride to Close Vermont Yankee

On August 9 at 10:30 a.m. two groups of anti-nuclear activists will meet at the gates of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The Walk for a Nuclear Free Future will march to Northampton. The Solar Rollers will ride bicycles to Burlington. Both groups welcome anyone to join them for all or part of their routes. For information about the march call Daniel Sicken at (802) 387-2798 or e-mail Hattie Nestel hattieshalom@verizon.net

Solar Rollers schedule:

Sun. Aug 9 - Brattleboro area
Mon. Aug 10 - Springfield, Vermont
Tue. Aug 11 - Randolph
Wed. Aug 12 - White River Jct

'Get Off the Bus'

A recent incident on a Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus has set off a surge of advocacy efforts in support of the right of mothers to breastfeed in public places. On June 16, a PVTA driver asked a woman to stop nursing her baby daughter. When she refused, he insisted that she, the baby, and her 7-year-old son get off the bus.

Video: Winterpills in Northampton

On June 20, the Winterpills played at the Iron Horse in Northampton. The audience was appreciative. The show wasn't sold out, but there weren't many empty seats. The band www.winterpills.com will play in Greenfield on July 17 at the Green River Festival www.greenriverfestival.com Some of the Winterpills live in the Valley. video by Eesha Williams