Holyoke Rally Set

There will be a rally for tenants' right on September 13 at 3 p.m. outside Holyoke city hall. The event is being organized by the group Neighbor to Neighbor. According to that group's web site, "An elite few have created a housing crisis here in Massachusetts. A handful of lawmakers -- and the real estate speculators, corporate developers and landlords that fund their campaigns -- jack up rents, destroy affordable options, and price us out of the neighborhoods we call home. No matter how much money you have in your wallet, you should be able to make a home in Massachusetts."


All Aboard

Thanks to the work of activists, including ones in Northampton, the federal government is investing more money than ever before in making trains better. The Northampton activists have a web site at www.TrainsInTheValley.org. “We're waiting for the hopeful award of federal money to rail work between Worcester and Springfield,” one of the Northampton activists, Ben Heckscher, told the Valley Post on February 22.

May 1 Rally

Brattleboro people are planning to attend a May 1 noon rally outside the Vermont statehouse. The rally is being organized by the state AFL-CIO; Springfield, Massachusetts and Holyoke-based UFCW and UAW union locals that have members in Vermont; Planned Parenthood; Migrant Justice, the Vermont Workers' Center; 350 Vermont, and other groups. Details are at:


Land Saved

On November 26, two local land trusts announced they had saved nearly 1,000 acres of forestland in the Massachusetts towns of Westhampton, Williamsburg, Northampton, and Chesterfield. Westhampton and Williamsburg border Northampton and Chesterfield. The land trusts are Kestrel and Hilltown. The USA is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day.


Car Kills 33-Year-Old Amherst Janitor on Her Bicycle; Another VT Cyclist Hit

Misty Bassi, 33, was killed while riding her bicycle in Amherst around 10:30 a.m. on May 25. The motorist fled the scene, but police caught them. The punishment for someone who kills a person with their car is usually much weaker than when a gun is used. Bassi was a janitor at UMass. The driver of the vehicle that killed Bassi was Parvin Niroomand.

In NH, Fight Over Sustainable Transport Heats Up

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch said on May 22 he would veto the legislature’s effort to raise gas taxes. The House’s budget includes a 15 cent increase in the gas tax. The tax would raise $44 million next year.

Gas in Europe is more than twice the price of gas in the U.S. because of taxes. The tax money is used to create train networks, bicycle paths, and other transportation alternatives that work much better than in the U.S.

Taxes in France make up about 70 percent of the price of gas. In the U.S., it's less than 20 percent.

No Way to Run a Railroad

There is just one passenger train a day that runs down the length of the Valley. Assuming the train is on time, which it often isn’t, it takes two hours and nine minutes to get from Brattleboro, Vt. to Springfield, Mass. That’s an average speed of 27 miles per hour. (The train makes just one stop, in Amherst.) Driving from Brattleboro to Springfield usually takes under an hour.