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A pile of railroad ties at North Canal and Cabot streets in Holyoke caught fire earlier this week, and the flames spread to nearby utility poles. The ties are among the debris left behind throughout the Pioneer Valley following construction work on the Connecticut River Line.

Holyoke rail tie fire highlights hazards posed by debris along Connecticut River Line

Friday, November 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A fire that engulfed a massive pile of discarded, wooden rail ties in downtown Holyoke earlier this week is raising new concerns among public safety officials and area lawmakers about the hazards posed by the thousands of such ties left along the newly constructed Connecticut River Line. Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials had pledged earlier this year to …

Quabbin region joins Global People’s Climate March for the Earth

Thursday, November 26, 2015

As France prepares for next week’s gathering of world leaders to act on climate change, citizens from the Quabbin region will join with over 2,500 other groups around the world to stage the Global People’s Climate March for the Earth. The North Quabbin People’s March will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Uptown Common in Athol. The common purpose …

UN expects 2015 to break heat record

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — Because of man-made global warming and a strong El Nino, Earth’s wild weather this year is bursting the annual heat record, the World Meteorological Organization announced on Wednesday. The United Nations weather agency’s early bird report on 2015 says it is the hottest year on record, surpassing last year’s record heat. …

Horns, body of Nola the rhino to be preserved at Smithsonian

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SAN DIEGO — The horns and body of Nola, the northern white rhino who died Sunday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, are being sent to the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington to assist researchers. Nola’s death leaves only three northern white …

Activists challenge deer hunt

Sunday, November 22, 2015

BOSTON — A plan to allow hunting in a nearly 11-square-mile swath of pristine forest within sight of downtown Boston to thin the exploding deer population is coming under fire from activists who insist that contraception and other …

Coalitions in Massachusetts and New Hampshire call for joint federal review of all pipeline proposals in region

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Three municipal coalitions in Massachusetts and New Hampshire have called for a consolidated federal review of all pipeline proposals in the region. A letter sent Friday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from the coalitions representing 38 communities follows release last week of a study commissioned by Massachusetts …

Saved by the soil: Climate change and the earth beneath our feet

Friday, November 20, 2015

The challenge of climate change presents a dizzying array of choices and obstacles to consider as we try to develop global solutions. As an activist and a gardener, I’ve been heartened to know that part of the answer …

Valley Views

Friday, November 20, 2015

White-Throated Sparrow Quabbin Reservoir, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, Amherst My usual thoughts on sparrows are that they are everywhere and are all brown and look alike. Lately I have been trying to photograph them …

Heading outdoors

Friday, September 4, 2015

 Pioneer Valley Women’s Running Club — Weekly runs for women of all ages and abilities Saturdays, 8 a.m., Forest Park, Springfield. pvwrc.org  Boreal Spruce-Fir Forest Late Fall Hike — Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Notchview Reservation, Route 9, Windsor. 532-1631 or pvregion@ttor.org to register.  Trees and Forest …

Deerfield Academy joins opposition to Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Thursday, November 19, 2015

DEERFIELD — Deerfield Academy has joined the growing opposition among the area’s private schools to the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. Spokesman David Thiel said the school’s trustees voted at a recent meeting to adopt a resolution opposing the project, which would …

Opponents of Tennessee Gas Pipeline applaud report commissioned by Massachusetts attorney general’s office

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A new study of the region’s energy demands and reliability through 2030, commissioned by the state attorney general’s office, is being hailed by people who have questioned the need for the Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline expected to be formally proposed Friday. However, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., …

Wal-Mart grant aids effort to preserve 1,650-acre Northfield Forest

Thursday, November 19, 2015

NORTHFIELD — An effort to protect the 1,650-acre Northfield Forest is $250,000 closer to its goal thanks to a grant from Wal-Mart. The national nonprofit land conservation organization Trust for Public Land received the money through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to ensure the land’s protection. The …

Solarize PAB signs up 104 residents in Plainfield, Ashfield and Buckland

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Plainfield, Ashfield and Buckland residents have signed up for 104 solar photovoltaic energy systems through the Solarize PAB (Plainfield, Ashfield, Buckland) purchasing collective, which will result in about 800 kilowatts of solar-produced energy to be produced in those …