Big Win for Climate

In a major victory for bicycle and pedestrian activists, construction is underway on proper sidewalks and physically-separated-from-cars bicycle lanes in two cities, both of which border Springfield. The work is happening in the cities of West Springfield and Agawam. Springfield is home to 154,000 people, 69 percent of whom are people of color.

“This area has been a desert of bike infrastructure,” Galen Mook told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on March 1. He runs the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition.

In Springfield, most people do not own the home they live in; they rent. Among households that rent in Springfield, 20 percent do not have access to a vehicle. If they want to travel they must walk, ride a bike, take a bus or train, hire a taxi, or some other method. That's according to:

West Springfield is home to 29,000 people, 20 percent of whom are people of color. Agawam is also home to 29,000 people, 11 percent of whom are people of color.

About 9 million people die of starvation every year. Droughts and floods caused by climate change make it harder for farmers to grow food. About 3 million people have died of Covid worldwide since the disease was first widely reported about a year ago. Cars cause climate change. Just 2 percent of the USA's electricity comes from solar; 63 percent comes from fossil fuels. So electric cars are little better.

Mook said his group is working to create rail trails from Northampton to Boston and New York City. He is optimistic it will happen, if people get involved. Details are at


The following emails were all sent on March 4:

From: Eesha Williams
To: Peter Elwell (Brattleboro town manager)
sent at 7:15 a.m.

Hi Peter,

Can you commit to hiring someone else to be police chief by June, since the current chief shot and killed an unarmed person of color? This is for a Valley Post article. Thank you.

All best,



From: Peter Elwell
To: Eesha Williams
sent at 8:17 a.m.

Hi Eesha –

I do expect to announce the appointment of a new police chief by June.




From: Eesha Williams
To: Peter Elwell
sent at 9:06 a.m.

Will it be the current interim chief?


From: Peter Elwell
To: Eesha Williams
sent at 9:11 a.m.

We will advertise nationally. I will determine who gets appointed and when they get appointed after a thorough review of the applicants. Members of the Selectboard, Town staff, and the community will participate in the selection process.


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