2,000 Acres Near Amherst Protected from Development

Two thousand acres of forestland in three towns, all of which border Amherst, has been protected from development. Kristin DeBoer confirmed the 2,038 acre deal in a December 30 interview with the Valley Post. She runs an Amherst-based land trust that has a web site at www.kestreltrust.org. The USA is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day. Local, state, and federal politicians decide how much to tax rich people, and how much money to give to land trusts.

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The out-of-state corporate chain owner of the Daily Hampshire
Gazette newspaper in Northampton is eliminating eight full-time workers' jobs at the Gazette. The following local newspapers are owned by out-of-state corporations: Hampshire Gazette, Amherst Bulletin, Brattleboro Reformer, Springfield Republican, Greenfield Recorder, and Valley Advocate. The corporations that own these newspapers are run undemocratically. The Valley Post is locally owned and democratically run. The Post is funded by readers' donations, not by corporate ad money.

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Retired nurse Emily Greene organized a Black Lives Matter rally in Greenfield on December 26 as part of a weekly series of such events. They are every Saturday at 10 a.m. at the town common. Greene told the Valley Post, “There were six of us this last Saturday and it always warms my heart no matter how many are there, to see there is a desire to not push Black Lives under the carpet. We need a presence but we also need to do the best we can to help change the system that keeps white supremacy going. All white people are benefiting from this white supremacist society and I do hope in my lifetime to see steps taken to change that and value each human being for the gifts they have equally. I hope if we learn nothing else from this pandemic that we have seen it laid bare the incredible amount of people who are struggling. We seem so ready to throw billions of dollars at our military – way beyond what it needs or what we need it to do – yet when it comes to helping people with basic human needs we can't even pass a relief bill. And the president of the U.S., Trump, plays golf. Let's cut the military budget in half, and close 400 of the 800 bases the U.S. has overseas. Then we'd have plenty of money to meet all our citizens' basic needs and set up a beautiful Medicare for All health care system we so desperately need.”

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