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

Standing Rock March is Nov. 4 in Brattleboro

Hundreds of people have been arrested in recent weeks as part of a Native American-led effort to stop a proposed oil pipeline at Standing Rock in North Dakota. The pipeline is bring funded by TD Bank. On November 4 in Brattleboro, there will be a protest outside TD Bank. The protest will start at 5 p.m. at 215 Main Street. The bank closes at 6 p.m. At that time, the protesters will march to Pliny Park at the corner of Main and High streets. As of November 1, more than 50 people had RSVP'd at the event organizers' web page:

www.facebook.com/events/1326894787352164

Protesting TD Bank

On September 30 in Brattleboro, about two dozen people attended a rally outside TD Bank. They were protesting the bank's support for a proposed oil pipeline in North Dakota that thousands of Native Americans in North Dakota are using civil disobedience and mass protests to try to stop.

Photos: March, Rally in Solidarity with Native Americans

More than 100 people marched in Brattleboro September 13 in solidarity with Native Americans in North Dakota who are fighting to stop a proposed oil pipeline. On the same day in Amherst, about 100 people attended a rally for the same cause. Both events were promoted by www.350.org. The Amherst photo shows the activists standing in a circle on the town common; they also held signs at the main downtown intersection. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." The Brattleboro photos are by Eesha Williams; the Amherst photo is by Gilbert Wermeling.

Amtrak Getting Better in the Valley

Activists are working to make Amtrak service between Springfield and Boston faster, more frequent, and cheaper. Thanks to their work, Amtrak is set to go much faster between the Valley and New York City starting in January 2018.

In addition to Springfield, Amtrak stops in Brattleboro, Greenfield, Northampton, and Holyoke. Activists are also working to increase the frequency of Amtrak service within the Valley. They have a web site at www.TrainsInTheValley.org.