Peace and Quiet

On October 4, 2023 eleven peace protesters were arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience at Bernie Sanders's Washington office. In Brattleboro, peace protesters presented Sanders with a petition on August 10, 2023. The October protest was over Ukraine and was organized by a group that has a web site at www.CodePink.org. The Brattleboro action was over Yemen and was organized by a group that has a web site at www.ActionCorps.org.

With 4 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much money on war as the rest of the world combined.

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In Greenfield, people are working to ban gas powered leaf blowers. Al Norman has lived in Greenfield for decades. He led a successful movement to keep Walmart out of Greenfield. He runs a group that has a web site at https://sprawl-busters.com. On October 3, Norman told the Valley Post the status of the Greenfield effort. His quotes are below.

The town of Montreal West, Canada is about 30 miles from Vermont as the crow flies. The town web site says, “The use of (electric) leaf blowers is now permitted from November 1 to November 30 (only).... Gas-powered leaf blowers and vacuums will be completely prohibited as of November 1, 2023. Leaf blowers may be used between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday." They are banned on Sundays.

Hatfield, Massachusetts borders Northampton. In Hatfield, anti-noise activists are working to ban air brakes. Trucks use these, also called Jake brakes, and they are very loud. Northampton has already banned them. "Noise that disrupts sleep and causes annoyance also has adverse affects on our health," Jamie Banks told the Valley Post on February 14, 2023. She runs the group Quiet Communities, which is based in the Boston area and works nationally. Banks chairs the Noise and Health Committee at the American Public Health Association. She earned masters degrees from Dartmouth Medical School and MIT.

Greenfield's Al Norman told the Valley Post on October 3, “No one on the city council’s ordinance committee agreed to sponsor an amendment to ban gas leaf blowers. It was discussed, but at this time it was not introduced as a motion to vote... It is possible that the chair of the ordinances committee, Counselor Marianne Bullock, may consider re-drafting the proposal for the committee's review. During public comment (period), I indicated that Home Depot has already announced that it plans to phase out gas powered leaf blowers to be replaced by electric blowers."

Norman said, "There were people who doubted that the use of electric leaf blowers was any more environmentally preferable cost-wise and pollution-wise, than gas, but there was no hard evidence to present for either side, so it went nowhere. The city council’s ordinances committee discussed this issue at its September 13 meeting. There was testimony for and against during public comment. There was no motion to adopt any regulation, so it was just a discussion. The agenda for the October ordinances committee has not yet been posted. I do not believe this ordinance will be adopted as written.”

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