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Environment

Now-closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant maintains emergency plan, security measures

Saturday, January 31, 2015

VERNON, VT. — Although the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant shut down permanently in December and later laid off one-third of its employees, emergency plans and security measures remain in place. The plant shut down Dec. 29, after about 40 years operation. Last month, its workforce was cut from 528 to 329. Its fuel has been removed from its reactor, mixed with older, used fuel in canisters and placed in …

Valley Views: Nonotuck Park Winter

Friday, January 30, 2015

Nonotuck Park Pond, Winter Bill Halford Way, Easthampton Photograph and text by Bob Solosko, Easthampton Several months ago, while walking through the woods at Nonotuck Park in Easthampton, I came across a small pond that I thought would be interesting to photograph. After a recent snowfall, I went back to the pond and …

HEADING OUTDOORS: Upcoming outdoor activities in the area

Friday, January 2, 2015

∎  DCR Accessible Winter Recreation — The state Department of Conservation and Recreation hosts accessible winter recreation for persons with disabilities, their families, and friends. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wendell State Forest, Montague Road, Wendell. Skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, more. Free. Pre-registration is required. All Out Adventures, 584-2052.  ∎ Snowshoeing for Seniors — All Out Adventures sponsors snowshoeing for ages 60 …

Keystone XL amendments had senators doing the unusual: voting

Sunday, January 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — Something unusual happened in Congress last week: Senators voted — not just once or twice, but more than 20 times, right up until midnight Thursday. In contrast to the recent years of gridlock and paralysis, senators took vote after politically tough vote as they worked their …

Keystone Q&A: Debate is no longer limited to oil

Sunday, January 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — Congress wasted no time this year getting back into the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, despite last voting on approving the project in November. Now with firm control of the House and Senate, Republicans are eager to contrast their energy policy with that of President …

Valley Views: Blue Heron

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blue Heron Manhan River, Route 10, Southampton Photograph and text by Andrew Brodeur, Southampton I created this image just before dusk on my way home from work on Route 10 in Southampton Jan. 14. I always look in …

Earth Talk: Flame retardants can be toxic, especially for kids

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dear EarthTalk: What is being done to get toxic flame retardants out of children’s furniture and other products? — Mary Sweetland, Seminole, Florida Putting flame retardants in furniture seemed like a good idea back in the 1970s to …

HEADING OUTDOORS: Upcoming outdoor activities in the area

Friday, January 2, 2015

∎  DCR Accessible Winter Recreation — DCR hosts accessible winter recreation for persons with disabilities, their families, and friends. Saturday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 7, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wendell State Forest, Montague Road, Wendell. Skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, more. Free. Pre-registration is required. All Out Adventures, …

3 bald eagles found ill at Lakeville pond

Friday, January 23, 2015

LAKEVILLE — Federal and state authorities are investigating whether three bald eagles found ill at an eastern Massachusetts pond fed off a farm animal that had been euthanized with a drug. The Standard-Times of New Bedford reports that the eagles were found Wednesday on the shores of Assawompset …

Magnets used to plant drugs under cars from Mexico

Friday, January 23, 2015

SAN DIEGO — Drug smugglers are turning “trusted travelers” into unwitting mules by placing containers with powerful magnets under their cars in Mexico and then recovering the illegal cargo far from the view of border authorities in the …

Study: Toolmaking earlier among human ancestors

Friday, January 23, 2015

Our ape-like ancestors may have stopped dragging their knuckles and started making tools a half million years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study. The study, published online Thursday in the journal Science, suggests that the art of tool making may not be exclusive to the …

Four NH bears die of chocolate overdoses; expert proposes ban

Thursday, January 22, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s bear expert is proposing to eliminate the use of chocolate as bait after four bears were found dead at one trapping site due to a chocolate overdose. The bears — two female adults and two cubs — were found dead within 50 …

Another sloppy winter storm heading for NE

Thursday, January 22, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — The first significant winter storm of the season is expected for the Northeast’s major cities this weekend in the form of a messy mix of rain, snow and sleet along Interstate 95, according to the National …