1,500 Acres Saved

Fifteen hundred acres of forestland has been protected from development in Holyoke and West Springfield. “The deal will be completed on or around April 22. I am certain it will go through,” Bob Wilbur told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on January 13. He is director of land conservation for MassAudubon. A map of the land is at:


Photo: Green Mountain Forest

There are two popular ways to get to the summit of Stratton Mountain in Vermont, near Brattleboro. One is to take a ski lift. The other is to hike. The hiking trail is on the opposite side of the mountain from the ski resort so hikers don't see any sign of the resort until they reach the fire tower at the summit. The summit is big so the only sign of the ski resort from the fire tower is the top of one ski lift in the distance. This photo was taken on November 8 from the fire tower. It shows Somerset lake and, beyond the lake, Massachusetts.

Workers' Strike Shuts Down Cafe

About a dozen workers at a coffee shop in Brattleboro are on strike. Mocha Joe's is closed due to the strike. The strike began on October 24. “We are not making a livable wage,” Lu Racine told the Valley Post in an in-person interview on the picket line. Racine has worked at Mocha Joe's for about 18 months.

Nel McNeill has worked at Mocha Joe's for about a year. “One of our co-workers was fired over something small,” McNeill said.

The workers can be reached at mj.coworkers@gmail.com. They are asking the public to sign their petition at:

250 in the Streets

Two hundred or so people attended a Women's March rally in Brattleboro on October 17. Protesters held signs that said, “Black Lives Matter,” that called for gay rights and for action on climate change, and that encouraged people to vote. The second photo, below, shows the rally. It was taken by Leah Nussbaum.

Organizers have a web site at www.WomensMarch.com. One reliable source said about 150 people were at the Brattleboro rally; another said 225 or so.


Rally, March Planned

At 4:30 p.m. on September 3 in Springfield there will be a rally to protest a proposed facility that would cause lung cancer and climate change. It would turn trees into electricity. The rally will be outside city hall. Details are at:



In Northampton on September 5 there will be a Black Lives Matter march. It starts at 1 p.m. at Sheldon field and ends at the police station. It's being promoted by the Pioneer Valley Workers' Center.


Nurses Fight Back

On August 24 in Springfield, about 75 people attended a rally calling on Mercy Medical Center owner Trinity Corporation to provide better health care. The rally was organized by the nurses who work at the hospital. They have a web site at www.MassNurses.org. The below photo shows four nurses at the rally. The photo is by Joe Markman. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.”

Brattleboro BLM Rally is July 17 at 5 p.m.

In Brattleboro on July 17 at 5 p.m., there will be a Black Lives Matter rally at Pliny Park at the corner of Main and High streets. More information is at:



Bike-Ped Victory

After years of work, activists in Brattleboro are celebrating. Crosswalks will be installed this fall on Putney Road at the Hannaford supermarket and at the circus school. As of 2017, Brattleboro had the nation's highest rate of pedestrian death by car.



A non-violent revolution might look something like the marches in the Valley that happened this week to protest killer cops. At least 5,000 people took to the streets in Holyoke, Springfield, Brattleboro, Amherst, Northampton, Keene, and smaller towns around the Valley. General strikes have shut down American cities in the past -- Seattle for six days in 1919, San Francisco for four days in 1934. Strikes created the American middle class. Maybe they can fix policing and challenges like climate change.

First Rally Since Virus Began

The first labor rally in the Valley since the virus began – not including car rallies -- happened May 7 in Springfield. The below photo shows the rally. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “view full size image.” Then you can click on the photo to zoom in more. The photo is by an employee of the union that has a web site at www.MassNurses.org and that organized the rally.