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Steve Daletas, center, of Pleasant Hill, Ore. poses for photos with his his pumpkin, which weighed in at 1969 pounds to win the Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Half Moon Bay, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Calif. contest taps plumpest pumpkin

Monday, October 12, 2015

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — A rippled white whopper weighing in at 1,969 pounds took the title Monday for plumpest pumpkin at an annual San Francisco Bay Area contest. Growers gathered with their gargantuan offerings to try to break the world record of 2,323 pounds, which was set by a Swiss grower during a competition in Germany last year. …

National park proposal controversial in northern Maine woods

Monday, October 12, 2015

TOWNSHIP 3, RANGE 8, Maine — The rolling forests where Henry David Thoreau once paddled a river in the shadow of Mount Katahdin are at the center of a fight over a $100 million offer by the founder of Burt’s Bees to create the nation’s next national park. Roxanne Quimby wants to donate …

Zimbabwe not seeking US dentist’s extradition

Monday, October 12, 2015

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe is no longer pressing for the extradition of James Walter Palmer, an American dentist who killed a well-known lion called Cecil, a Cabinet minister said Monday. Palmer can now safely return to Zimbabwe as a “tourist” because he had not broken the southern African country’s hunting laws, Environment, Water …

State attorney general urges comprehensive review of Tennessee Gas Pipeline by federal regulators

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last month’s decision by the state Department of Public Utilities approving three long-term natural-gas supply agreements with the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline “makes it more important than ever” that federal regulators conduct a comprehensive and meaningful examination of the need for and alternatives to the Tennessee Gas …

Bull moose wanders through Florence neighborhoods

Monday, September 21, 2015

FLORENCE — Elena Ciampa had just taken her 11-week-old puppy, Alma, outside about 7 a.m. Monday when she encountered an unexpected visitor in her neighborhood. She recalled hearing a little “yip” from Alma, looked up and saw a …

Dog stands guard for week protecting trapped friend

Monday, September 21, 2015

VASHON ISLAND, Wash. — A Washington state animal shelter says a dog dutifully stood guard for a nearly a week on Vashon Island to protect another dog that had fallen in a cistern. Tillie, a setter mix, only …

Valley Views: Underneath Queen Anne’s Lace

Friday, September 18, 2015

Underneath Queen Anne’s Lace Rail Trail, Route 10, Northampton Photograph and text by Bob Solosko, Easthampton Queen Anne’s Lace has been growing in rich profusion all along the rail trail in Easthampton and Northampton and some of the …

Earth Talk: Buildings that bring the outdoors in enhance inhabitants’ well-being

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dear Earthtalk: What is biophilic design in architecture and where can I see it implemented? — Winston Black, Newark, New Jersey Biophilia is defined as the inherent human inclination to affiliate with nature. The moral imperative of biophilia …

Flying beauties

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Text — Here …

Groups push for Atlantic’s 1st national monument

Sunday, September 13, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Undersea ravines deeper than the Grand Canyon, submerged mountains rising thousands of feet from the ocean floor and forests of kelp and coral would become the first marine national monument in the Atlantic if conservationists …

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg to air ‘specific requests’ in Washington about gas pipeline alternatives

Saturday, September 12, 2015

When state Senate President Stanley Rosenberg carries local comment on the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline to Washington, D.C., he also intends to bring “some specific requests” to the federal pipeline regulators. Thursday night’s public hearing in Greenfield on the proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline provided …

Valley Views: Oriole on Nest

Friday, September 11, 2015

Oriole on Nest Hank’s Meadow, Quabbin Reservoir, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley In mid-June I was patiently waiting for a pair of Baltimore orioles to sit still long enough for me to photograph …

Earth Matters: The Connecticut River watershed, a five-state wonder

Friday, September 11, 2015

If you’re like I was a few years ago, you may be wondering, “What is a watershed, anyway?” In fact, the word “shed” is quite descriptive of this geographic phenomenon. Much like rain cascading down one side or …