Fight is On for Better Trains in the Valley

Activists are working to improve passenger train service in the Valley. “Our two main goals are more frequent train service between Greenfield and Springfield, and faster and more frequent trains between Springfield and Boston,” Ben Heckscher, Jr. of TrainsInTheValley.org told the Valley Post in a November 7 telephone interview.

Traveling by train rather than by car is better for the environment, and safer.

Ten Arrested for Civil Disobedience

Ten people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience in the Connecticut river valley town of Sandisfield, Massachusetts on September 13. The activists blocked construction of a fracked gas pipeline. Fracked gas causes climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

Dennis Carr was arrested at the protest. He lives in Cummington, Massachusetts. Carr told the Valley Post, “It went well. We intend to continue to resist." The activists have a web site at www.SugarShackAlliance.org.

22 Protesters Arrested

Twenty-two people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience in the Connecticut river valley town of Sandisfield, Massachusetts on July 29. They were protesting the construction of a fracked gas pipeline. Fracked gas causes climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. Almost all the protesters are from the Pioneer Valley. The action was organized by the Sugar Shack Alliance, which has a web site at www.SugarShackAlliance.org.

March to Stop Sexual Harassment

On July 8 in Northampton, there will be a march and rally against sexual harassment. President Trump has boasted of sexually assaulting women. Earlier this year, Trump defended a male Fox News employee who sexually harassed five women so severely that Fox paid the women $13 million to get them to agree to not take Fox to court.

The march will start at noon at 2 Parsons Street and will end at Pulaski Park, where there will be a rally. More information is at www.facebook.com/events/1168327906646279.

Celebration is May 19

On May 19 in Keene, there will be a celebration of the opening of a pedestrian/bicycle bridge that activists have worked for two decades to make happen. The bridge crosses Route 101, about 500 feet southeast of the Walmart. It's known as South Bridge. The below photos show another pedestrian/bicycle bridge in Keene – North Bridge – that looks almost exactly like the new one.

“South Bridge is a great addition to the city's trail system,” Phil Jones told the Valley Post. He is on the board of the group Pathways for Keene.

Amtrak Getting Faster Between Valley and NYC

In January, Amtrak will get at least 35 minutes faster between the Valley and New York City. This victory is the result of the work of environmental activists. Traveling by train rather than by car is better for the environment, and safer.

Rally to End Domestic Violence

On April 27 in Brattleboro, there will be a march and rally in solidarity with survivors of domestic violence. More government funding is needed to provide homes for survivors who can't afford to pay rent. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Brattleboro town common, on Park Place between Linden Street and Putney Road. Vermont Senator Becca Balint will speak at the rally.

More information is at:

www.facebook.com/events/144625839397034

Locals React to Standing Rock Victory

Hundreds of people attended solidarity marches and rallies in the Valley in recent months for Native Americans who were fighting a proposed oil pipeline in North Dakota. On December 4, they won. The U.S. Army's Corps of Engineers announced that it would reject a building permit for the pipeline.

Amtrak Getting Better in the Valley

Currently, one Amtrak train per day runs north and one runs south between Springfield and Brattleboro, via Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield. “The plan is to have two trains in the morning and two in the evening, in addition to the existing trains,” Tim Brennan told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on November 21. He is the director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, a government agency with 47 employees. “I'm pretty confident this will happen within two years.

Photo: Brattleboro Rally

In Brattleboro on November 4, about 200 people attended a march and rally in solidarity with Native Americans who are fighting to stop a proposed oil pipeline in North Dakota. The rally was outside TD Bank, which is funding the pipeline. The below photo shows the rally. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” photo by Eesha Williams

More information is at the rally organizers' web page:

www.facebook.com/BrattleboroSolidarity