Photo: Common Mergansers

This photo shows common mergansers on the Connecticut river in Northampton. It was taken on June 13. Common mergansers eat fish. Common mergansers sleep in hollow trees. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” photo by Eesha Williams

The Connecticut river is dammed. In 2023, the USA's biggest ever dam removal project is scheduled to happen. Details are at:

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201110-the-largest-dam-removal-proj...

Asian Rights Rally is May 18

In Brattleboro on May 18 at 7 p.m., there will be a rally calling on local, state, and federal politicians to do more to address the series of murders and assaults against Asian Americans that have occurred around the USA in the past few months. The rally will be at Plaza park, 1 Main Street, between the food co-op and the art museum. One of the speakers is Emma Allen. She is from the Brattleboro area and is a University of Vermont student. A photo of Allen is below. Another speaker is Lisa Chen. She is on the board of the group that has a web site at www.sevca.org.

Rain, Snow, Protest

As of April 15, the weather forecast looked good for the April 17 Brattleboro climate march. Longtime Brattleboro resident Ellen Schwartz is one of the speakers scheduled for immediately after the march. She is a retired teacher, former board chair at the Vermont Workers' Center, and is still active with that group. Nine-year-old Grace of Dummerston, Vermont has written a speech and will read it unless she feels shy. Her parents' last names are Rosa and McNamara. Dummerston borders Brattleboro.

155 Rally

About 100 people attended a Northampton rally in solidarity with Asian American women following a racist, sexist mass shooting in Atlanta. The Northampton rally was on March 19. Organizers have a web site at

https://ValleyWomensMarch.org

About 25 people attended a Brattleboro rally about the same issue on March 23. Tracy Donahue organized the Brattleboro rally. She told the Valley Post, "It's important that all of us are educated on this history of violence."

245 Rally

In Northampton, 200 people attended a rally against racism on February 24. The goal was to support the principal of JFK middle school, who is African American. Someone recently started a racist Facebook page attacking him. The rally was promoted by a group that has a web page at www.facebook.com/REALNoho

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Rally to Abolish Police

The group Northampton Abolition Now organizes to move money from the police department into programs that make the community safe. On February 13 and 14, the group held a rally in Northampton. Dozens of people attended. A contact person for the group, Mary Jones, can be reached at (512) 413-5592 and mary.m.jones12@gmail.com.

She told the Valley Post, “We hope Mayor Narkewicz will shift the resources we now pour into policing, directly into community initiatives whose core aims are helping, healing, and sustaining people, rather than controlling them.”

The group has a web page at:

Dozens at Rally

Dozens of people attended a union rally in Northampton on December 4. “We represent all types of employees: teachers and other licensed educators such as nurses, educational support professionals, clerical workers, some administrators, cafeteria workers, custodians and bus drivers,” Heather Brown told the Valley Post on December 7. She is an English teacher at Northampton high school (NHS) and vice-president of the union that helped turn people out for the rally. The union has a web site at www.nasemta.org.

The goal of the rally was to stop standardized tests. It was outside city hall.

Photo: View from Mount Holyoke

This photo was taken on December 6 in Hadley, Massachusetts. Hadley borders Holyoke. The photo was taken at Skinner state park. According to the park web site, "One way many birds cope with the harsh northern winters is to migrate to more southern latitudes.

March Plan Coming Soon

In the Valley every January for the past four years, hundreds – and in most cases thousands – of people attended the Women's March, first in Northampton then Springfield. “We are having conversations about what and how we might do it considering the pandemic but nothing is set in stone yet,” Gladys Franco told the Valley Post on November 28. She is the board chair at the Resistance Center, which is the “fiscal sponsor” of the Pioneer Valley Women's March. “I should be able to share more in a couple of weeks,” Franco said.

The relevant web sites are:

www.TheResistanceCenter.org

and

Workers Win

Hundreds of union workers in Brattleboro had a major win November 16 when Megan Baston resigned from her job as a senior executive at the Brattleboro Retreat mental hospital. The workers held rallies earlier this year demanding her resignation. “The union wishes Meghan Baston the best in her future endeavors," Sy Creamer told the Valley Post on November 19. Creamer is president of the union at the Retreat. The union has a web site at www.unap.org. Unions reduce inequality and increase democracy.

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