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Environment

In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo, a sea wall separates Asharoken Village, N.Y. from Long Island Sound. The wall was washed over during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, causing erosion and and taking down power lines. Asharoken can accept federal aid to build a dune and create public access to its beach for the first time in nearly 90-year history. Or it can reject aid, retain its private beach and allow erosion and other issues to worsen. (AP Photo/Emily Dooley)

Sandy-hit village wrestles with keeping beach private

Monday, September 1, 2014

ASHAROKEN, N.Y. — On a tiny spit of land off Long Island, the wealthy village of Asharoken faces a dilemma borne of Superstorm Sandy. Either it accepts millions of dollars in federal aid to build a protective sand dune and for the first time in its nearly 90-year existence allows the public to use its beach or it rejects the … 0

Groups: Monarch butterfly endangered

Monday, September 1, 2014

WASHINGTON — A coalition of environmental and food-safety groups is asking the Fish and Wildlife Service to grant endangered species protection to the monarch butterfly, whose U.S. population, the groups say, last year fell to 90 percent below its 20-year average. In a petition asking for the designation, which would allow the federal … 0

Low-level tornado touches down in Worcester

Monday, September 1, 2014

WORCESTER (AP) — The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down briefly in Worcester. Forecasters said it was the lowest rating on the tornado scale, with winds at about 85 mph in a storm that swept through on Sunday night. The tornado began at about 8:10 p.m. and ended four minutes later. It brought down trees and damaged cars, but no … 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

Local organizers encourage participation in People’s Climate March in New York City

Thursday, August 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Local organizers of the People’s Climate March in New York City are holding a meeting Monday seeking to spark interest in the Sept. 21 event. Susan Theberge, with the groups Climate Action NOW/350MA, said the main focus of the meeting will be on how social justice … 0

Study: Toothless ‘dragon’ pterosaurs once ruled skies

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ancient winged reptiles called pterosaurs were so successful that they ruled Earth’s skies for tens of millions of years, according to a study published in the journal ZooKeys. The fearsome fliers, part of a family of pterosaurs named Azhdarchidae, get their name from azdarha, the Persian word for … 0

‘Severe’ drought in 99.8% of California

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Drought conditions may have leveled off across California, but nearly 100 percent of the state remains in the third-harshest category for dryness, according to the latest measurements. For the past two weeks, California’s drought picture has remained the same, halting a steady march toward worse. … 0

Fire near Yosemite that 1,000 fled doesn’t grow

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

OAKHURST, Calif. — A wildfire that forced about 1,000 people from their homes in the foothills near Yosemite National Park held steady Tuesday as humidity and calmer winds aided the fight against the second blaze around the park … 0

MAP:E. coli bacteria levels high in Connecticut, Mill rivers; Health officials warn against swimming, boating following storm

Monday, August 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The deluge of rain last Wednesday has elevated levels of E. coli bacteria at select spots on the Connecticut and Mill rivers, prompting health officials to warn people not to swim or boat there. Water samples … 0

Study: Less shake from artificial quakes

Monday, August 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the … 0

SeaWorld responds to animal rights critics with plan to expand killer whale habitat at its parks

Friday, August 15, 2014

SeaWorld will expand the killer-whale habitats at its theme parks, starting in San Diego, the company announced Friday. SeaWorld said it will create “new, first-of-its-kind killer whale environments” that “will offer park guests unique and inspiring killer whale encounters for generations to come.” The Orlando-based company made the … 0