Victory for Brattleboro Bike-Ped Activists

After years of pushing for crosswalks to be built on one of the busiest roads in Brattleboro, activists are celebrating the opening of the first crosswalk. It's on Putney Road in front of the circus school and it has a solar powered flashing light that turns on when people press a button. The activists have a web site at www.LocalMotion.org. A crosswalk in front of Hannaford supermarket will be built in or around March, the town manager told the Valley Post. The below photo was taken on January 20. To enlarge the photo click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photo by Eesha Williams

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Thirty or so people attended a rally in Greenfield for the Green New Deal, and other issues on January 17. The organizers have a web site at www.fccpr.us.

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On January 22 in Northampton at noon there will be a peace rally outside 50 Prince Street. Organizers have a web site at www.TheResistanceCenter.org.

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On January 25 in Brattleboro and Northampton there will be noon protests against the Yemen war. The Brattleboro bicycle and car caravan starts at 880 Route 9. Organizers have a web site at www.ActionCorps.org. The Northampton rally will be outside 94 Pleasant Street. Organizers have a web site at www.TheResistanceCenter.org.

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Ninety-four year-old Saul Finestone lives in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Longmeadow borders Springfield. For about 20 years he ran the group Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty. Last year, Biden said if he became president he will do all he can to abolish the death penalty. “That's wonderful, if he does it,” Finestone told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on January 18.

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On January 14 in Deerfield, Massachusetts the zoning board voted to let Dollar General corporation pave open space. But the fight isn't over, Julie Cavacco told the Valley Post on January 17. Deerfield borders Greenfield. Cavacco attended a Deerfield rally against Dollar General last month. On January 17 she said, “The sense by viewers was that the zoning board was rushing it because the town lawyer was only available for the first hour.... The most recent traffic study provided by the applicant was done during the pandemic when schools and businesses and travel restrictions were in place. Add these to the ongoing flooding concerns and a good number of residents have a lack of confidence in the board. There is discussion that many on the the zoning board don’t value extensive input from residents, and many feel the majority of the zoning board is voting for personal reasons.... Residents will still protest.”

She referred the Valley Post to a local group that's fighting the proposed Dollar General. The group has a web page at:

www.facebook.com/DeerfieldForResponsibleDevelopment

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On January 21, a spokesperson for the Franklin Land Trust told the Valley Post the group has saved 24 acres of forestland in the neighboring Massachusetts towns of Ashfield and Conway. Conway borders Deerfield.

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Last year, the Northampton-based group Free Press, which employs dozens of people, called on Twitter to ban Trump. On January 8, 2021 Twitter did what Free Press wanted. Free Press fights for government help for locally owned news outlets, like Valley Free Radio in Northampton. By contrast, the radio station WRSI "The River," which is heard throughout the Valley, is owned by Saga Communications, a giant corporation whose shares are traded on the Nasdaq stock market. Saga is based in Michigan. Its CEO makes $3 million a year.

Two of the founders of Free Press, Robert McChesney and John Nichols, wrote a cover story for The Nation magazine proposing a way to increase government funding for journalism while preventing government control of journalism. Everyone who lives in the USA would get a $300 annual voucher to donate to the news outlets of their choice. This would bring the USA closer to Europe's per capita amount spent by the government on journalism.

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