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Environment

Whale sightings increase off New Jersey coast

Sunday, August 31, 2014

HACKENSACK, N.J. — While it hasn’t become Cape Cod just yet, the number of whale sightings around New Jersey has increased substantially this year, suggesting that the state’s coastal waters are now clean enough to sustain humpbacks, finbacks and other species during their feeding season. Since April, dozens of whales have been spotted from Sandy Hook to Cape May chasing down schools of small fish sometimes within a mile of … 0

Plainfield joins with Ashfield and Buckland to offer Solarize Massachusetts program

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Plainfield, Ashfield and Buckland are forming a consortium and will apply for a grant that could save homeowners and businesses hundreds of dollars on the cost of solar-panel installations. The program is called Solarize Massachusetts, and the Clean Energy Center has announced two new rounds of funding grants, according to Plainfield Energy Committee Chairman Tim Walter. Walter said the newly formed consortium will … 0

Bird Sightings

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A black tern and a greater scaup have been seen off the Winsor Dam at the south end of the Quabbin Reservoir. A black-crowned night-heron, a great egret, a pectoral sandpiper, a semipalmated sandpiper and a greater yellowlegs were … 0

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, August 29, 2014

TUFTED TITMOUSE Route 9, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely of South Hadley “Peter, Peter, Peter” would have been what I would have heard from this tufted titmouse, should it have decided to sing while perched … 0

Nature’s water purifiers: The “bugs” in wastewater treatment

Friday, August 29, 2014

Often in life we take the little things for granted. But microorganisms, which are among the world’s smallest creatures, are nature’s workhorses. Aquatic ecosystems rely on a diversity of organisms to consume organic matter and filter impurities from … 0

Conway residents question safety, contents of proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline

Thursday, August 28, 2014

CONWAY — The safety of the community and questions about the contents of natural gas that will flow through a proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline dominated a special Select Board meeting in Conway Thursday night. In a question-and-answer session that followed a brief presentation by parent company Kinder … 0

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it’s increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on … 1

Nuclear Regulatory Commission reopens petition from anti-nuclear groups seeking Entergy financial information

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently reopened a year-old petition from anti-nuclear groups concerned about the financial ability of Entergy Corp. to safely operate its nuclear plants, including Vermont Yankee. The original petition, filed before Entergy announced plans to shut the 620-megawatt reactor in Vernon, Vermont, at the end … 0

Crocodile attacks swimmers in Coral Gables canal

Monday, August 25, 2014

MIAMI — Coral Gables, Fla., authorities on Monday were combing a canal for a crocodile that went on the attack over the weekend. They’re also handing out warnings to area residents. Two people were bitten by the croc while swimming in a Coral Gables canal around 2 a.m. … 0

Hilltown Voices: Solar signups deemed success

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In the latest round of Solarize Massachusetts, Chesterfield and Williamsburg added a total of 58 households that will install solar electricity systems. Solar coaches in both communities said that the number of households to sign up to install solar panels on their homes far exceeded their expectations. “We … 0

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, August 22, 2014

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER Route 9, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely of South Hadley With a flat tray feeder most birds usually dive right in, hopping around and picking out the choicest morsels. But not the red-bellied … 0

Fuel cell cars, facing hurdles, slow to catch on

Friday, August 22, 2014

EarthTalk: Is it true that fuel cell cars aren’t really any greener than conventional gas-powered internal combustion cars? — Michelle Adamo, Portland, Oregon A decade ago cars powered by fuel cells seemed like the future of green automotive … 0

Bird Sightings

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. Two great egrets, a Virginia rail, two black vultures and a dickcissel were seen in Longmeadow. A little blue heron, a cliff swallow, a … 0