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Environment

Massachusetts, other NE states tops for efficiency

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Four New England states have been ranked in the top 10 nationally for their energy efficiency efforts. Massachusetts led the way in the annual ranking by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, with Rhode Island and Vermont tied with Oregon in the No. 3 spot and Connecticut ranked No. 6. In the region, only New Hampshire and Maine were excluded from the top 10, …

Tennessee Gas Pipeline schedules three December ‘open house’ meetings in Franklin County

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tennessee Gas Pipeline has scheduled three “open house” meetings Dec. 2, 3 and 10 in Franklin County to discuss its proposed Northeast Direct Natural Gas Pipeline project. The company on Tuesday submitted its schedule of a dozen meeting dates with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including Dec. 2 at the Orange Innovation Center, Dec. 3 at Greenfield Community College and Dec. 10 at …

Nepal vows new rules after trekking disaster

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

KATMANDU, Nepal — Nepal on Tuesday said it will introduce new rules, improve weather forecasts and better monitor the movement of trekkers after the Himalayan country’s worst hiking disaster left dozens dead last week. Tourism Department official Tulasi Gautam said trekkers venturing to mountain trails will be required to take trained local guides, …

Plainfield, Ashfield, Buckland join to seek state grant reducing cost of installing solar panels for residents, businesses

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

With 133 households interested in installing solar-electric systems on their homes, the newly formed Ashfield-Buckland-Plainfield consortium has applied for a “Solarize Mass” grant that would cut the cost of electricity-producing solar panels by up to 20 percent below the statewide average. If the consortium’s application is among the …

'In a year or two, they'll all be dead' Tiny insect is killing off Northampton's red pine trees

Monday, October 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A tiny insect the size of a fleck of pepper is wreaking havoc on red pine trees in the city’s watershed lands, forcing the Department of Public Works to hire a forester to survey the trees …

Activist dives in dumpsters across US to highlight food waste

Monday, October 20, 2014

CLEVELAND — Rob Greenfield is standing barefoot and shirtless in a dumpster when he finds the strawberries. He’s ravenous after bicycling more than 60 miles, so he stops rummaging through bags and boxes to open the container of …

More sea turtles come to Florida, but reasons mysterious

Monday, October 20, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. — This year’s early count of sea turtles nesting on Florida beaches is encouraging, though there are many unknowns in the numbers. Welcome to the mysterious world of sea turtles, which spend much of their life far from Florida’s beaches encountering fishing boats, oil spills, plastic …

Nepal closes trekking route with storm’s death toll at 38

Sunday, October 19, 2014

KATMANDU, Nepal — Nepalese officials closed a section of a popular Himalayan trekking route Sunday after rescuers, overwhelmed with last week’s snowstorms that killed at least 38 people, had to save new hikers who set out after the …

Hikers enjoy Salamander Trail at newly opened Mount Warner Reservation in Hadley

Saturday, October 18, 2014

HADLEY — Outdoor enthusiasts dodged falling leaves Saturday to take the inaugural hike on the newly opened Mount Warner Reservation. “Every time you walk a trail here, it’s different,” said Hadley resident Andrew Morris-Friedman. “It’s great to be …

From costumes to art, Northampton ReUse Committee encourages repurposing waste

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Ellen Smith showed up at the Halloween costume swap at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Saturday morning to drop off the makings for a skunk and rooster. She and her 5-year-old twin sons Gabe and …

Pipeline opponents sponsor ‘Not in Anyone’s Back Yard Sales’ fundraiser

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cummington is among the Hilltowns that will join other communities in Massachusetts and New York this weekend in holding a “Not in Anyone’s Back Yard Sales” fundraiser to fight a proposed natural gas pipeline. Other participating towns in the region include Conway, Northfield, Orange, Athol and Royalston. While …

Are bans on plastic bags making a dent?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest on efforts to ban plastic bags? How many U.S. locales have instituted some kind of ban, and have these initiatives made a dent in the amount of plastic litter? — Melinda Clarke, New …

Bird Sightings

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A Nelson’s sparrow was found in the Arcadia Meadows of Northampton. A white-fronted goose was seen with a large flock of Canada geese off …