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Environment

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 10 to be awarded by the state next month, residents and businesses in these towns would be eligible to participate in the …

Red pine scale: Insect the size of fleck of pepper killing trees in Northampton’s watershed

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 and develop a harvesting plan for early next year. Known as red pine scale, the …

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 strawberries and pop one into his mouth. He seems not to notice the stench of …

Kinder Morgan maintains choice ‘should be clear’ between Tennessee Gas Pipeline and competing proposal

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tennessee Gas Pipeline or Brand X? Proponents of a pipeline that would pass through Plainfield and nine Franklin County towns have responded to a competing proposal that would instead bring natural gas to the region along the coast, telling its potential wholesale natural-gas customers the choice “should be …

VIDEO Mount Tom forest mayhem has an upside — greater biodiversity

Monday, October 13, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — Once overshadowed by swaths of soaring, leafy-green trees, the road into Mount Tom State Reservation from Route 141 now offers sweeping vistas after last week’s microburst wreaked havoc on the mountain landscape. Nearly a mile of …

Oil prices fall while cost of natural gas climbs

Sunday, October 12, 2014

HARTFORD — Pipeline bottlenecks that drove up natural gas home heating prices in New England last winter could cause trouble when the weather again turns cold, but oil prices that once climbed to record territory continue to fall. That unusual sequence of events — higher prices for natural …

Stewardship by Hadley family preserves 160 acres on Mount Warner

Friday, October 10, 2014

HADLEY — Carolyn Hayes has fond memories of visiting her family’s dairy farm on Mount Warner in North Hadley as a child in the 1940s. She rolled down hills, visited the cows and played in a stream on …

Mount Warner Reservation grand opening details

Friday, October 10, 2014

WHAT: The Trustees of Reservations, a statewide land conservation group, will celebrate the opening of the Mount Warner Reservation Oct. 18 at 10:30 a.m. Located on Mount Warner Road in North Hadley, the event will feature a guided hike along a new two-mile trial loop called Salamander Trail. …

Bird Sightings

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A Say’s phoebe was seen and heard calling along Route 2A in downtown Greenfield. Three white-rumped sandpipers and three greater yellowlegs were found on …

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, October 10, 2014

SUMMER SUNSET Barton’s Cove, Turners Falls Photograph and text by Dot Barnard of North Hatfield Last summer has afforded us some spectacular sunset views. When a friend and I traveled to Barton’s Cove in July hoping to photograph …

The giant elves of fall

Friday, October 10, 2014

The mushroom is the elf of plants, At evening it is not; At morning in a truffled hut It stops upon a spot . . . ’T is vegetation’s juggler, The germ of alibi; Doth like a bubble …

Heading Outdoors

Friday, October 10, 2014

∎■ Senior Cycling on the Norwottuck Rail Trail — All Out Adventures holds cycling program on the Norwottuck Rail Trail, Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bikes and helmets provided. Fee: $5. Preregistration required; call 584-2052. ■ Skinner State Park — Department of Conservation and Recreation sponsors …

Two agencies intervene in request by Northfield Mountain hydroelectric station to increase winter storage capacity

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Two local agencies are intervening in a proposal to temporarily allow the Northfield Mountain hydroelectric station to boost output by pumping and releasing more river water at its mountaintop reservoir. The Franklin Regional Council of Governments and the Connecticut River Watershed Council have filed a joint intervention in …