64 Protesters Arrested

At the office of Vermont governor Peter Shumlin, 64 people were arrested for non-violent, civil disobedience October 27. They were protesting his support for a proposed fracked gas pipeline in Vermont. Shumlin is from Putney, Vermont, near Brattleboro.

Fracked gas is a climate change-causing fossil fuel. Scientists say climate change is a threat to human life on earth.

Fracked gas is mined by Exxon Mobil corporation using a technique known as fracking, which contaminates drinking water for people who live near the drilling sites with cancer-causing chemicals.

275 Acres at Risk

The town of Dummerston, Vermont borders Brattleboro. In 1960, there were about 300 houses in Dummerston. Today, there are about 800. Towns throughout the Connecticut river valley have seen similar growth in the number of houses, the vast majority of which are single family homes that require a car to get to, not apartments like those in downtown Northampton, where residents may live car free.

1,200 Tons of Coal a Day Burned at Holyoke Plant

On April 8, activists will take a bus from Holyoke to Hartford to hold a rally at the office of the owner of the Mount Tom coal power plant. The coal plant is in Holyoke. “In the past few years, my wife has gone to the emergency room several times for asthma caused by the coal plant,” Carlos Rodriguez told the Valley Post. He lives in Holyoke and plans to take the bus to the rally.

Keene Wetlands Vote Is August 1

At its August 1 meeting, the Keene city council will vote on whether to save wetlands. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. According to the federal government, wetlands “trap floodwaters, recharge groundwater supplies, remove pollution, and provide fish and wildlife habitat.” That quote is from:

http://water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/index.cfm

On July 24, a Keene city council committee voted 3 - 2 in favor of a law that would save wetlands. The law won’t take effect unless the full council approves it. Opponents say it will cost landowners because they won’t be able to pave their wetlands.

For Forest Near Keene, Against Holyoke Wal-Mart

Logging is underway in the biggest state park in New Hampshire. Pisgah state park is near Keene and Brattleboro. It includes more than 13,000 acres. Kathy Thatcher is president of Friends of Pisgah www.FriendsOfPisgah.org an environmental group. On June 27, she said that, in 1968, the state asked the federal government for money to buy the land that is now Pisgah state park. The request was approved. The written plan was “to build a state park specifically for outdoor recreation... The request also stated [there would be]: ‘an emphasis on wilderness experience for the user.

413 Acres Saved

Activists have saved 413 acres of farmland and forestland near Brattleboro from being turned into parking lots, strip malls, McMansion vacation houses, or other forms of so-called “development.” In Hinsdale, New Hampshire, 244 acres of forestland were saved by the Monadnock Conservancy www.MonadnockConservancy.org. The land is home to bobcats, black bears, and other animals.

In Dummerston, Vermont, a 169 acre farm was recently saved by the Vermont Land Trust www.vlt.org. The group is looking for a farmer to take over the farm, which can never be “developed.”

On March 11, Valley Trains Will Accelerate

On March 11, trains between the Massachusetts-Vermont border near Brattleboro and White River Junction, Vermont – a trip of about 75 miles -- will travel at speeds of up to 79 miles per hour. That’s faster than ever before. This is the result of improvements made to the tracks. By April, the trip on Amtrak from Brattleboro to Burlington will be about 24 minutes faster. The trip will take 3 hours and 10 minutes and cost $26 on Amtrak. By car, the same journey takes about 2 hours and 23 minutes.

Protest at South Hadley Dump

Residents of South Hadley are protesting a garbage landfill in their town. South Hadley borders Amherst and Holyoke. The landfill is run by a corporation that’s based in Florida. Advanced Disposal Corporation (AD) of Jacksonville, Florida had $351 million in sales last year.

On January 24, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection said AD violated the law at the South Hadley dump. The company has been landfilling material that should be recycled. AD makes money by the ton for landfilling, not for recycling.

Connecticut River Headwaters in Peril

The Connecticut river starts in New Hampshire, near the state’s borders with Vermont and Canada. It flows through Brattleboro, Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke, and Springfield on its way to the ocean. The town of Columbia, New Hampshire is home to about 750 people. It’s near Canada. In Columbia, Roaring brook flows into the Mohawk river which, in turn, flows into the Connecticut river.

Activists To Rally at Local Wal-Marts October 10

Last year, Wal-Mart Corporation built a new store and parking lot on acres of farmland a few miles from Brattleboro, in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. When the new store opened, an existing Wal-Mart a few miles away was closed. That store and parking lot have been vacant ever since. In Brattleboro in 2008, Home Depot Corporation closed a store. That store, and the huge parking lot around it, are still vacant.