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Environment

Doves fly over Tiananmen Gate after the flag raising ceremony on the National Day, the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Reports: China body-searched 10,000 pigeons

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BEIJING — The 10,000 doves released in a ceremony Wednesday for China’s National Day underwent unusual scrutiny, each having its feathers and anus checked for dangerous materials, state-run media reports said, reflecting government jitters over possible attacks. The symbols of peace were released at sunrise in Beijing’s symbolic heart of Tiananmen Square in a ceremony for the Oct. 1 holiday …

Operator of region’s electricity grid supports request by Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage for increased winter capacity

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The operator of the region’s electricity grid is backing plans to pump more Connecticut River water through the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage hydrogenerator this winter. Northfield Mountain’s owner, FirstLight Power, wants federal approval to boost the capacity of its generator station by 22 percent to augment the electricity supply available in the region when demand grows during the winter. The letter from ISO …

Hampshire Power will supply Lowell with locally produced renewable energy in first-of-its-kind deal

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — In what its leaders believe is a first-of-its-kind agreement, the Hampshire Council of Governments has signed a deal to supply power to the city of Lowell solely through renewable energy produced in New England. The state’s fourth-largest city has signed a contract through which Hampshire Power will supply electricity to about 31,000 residential and 4,200 commercial ratepayers citywide. Hampshire Power is …

Two hit by lightning on Mass. beach

Sunday, September 7, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Ipswich police say two women who were struck by lightning remain in critical condition. Police on Sunday did not identify the women who were injured while at a beach during severe storms on Saturday. Police said one woman is 69 and is from Concord, and …

Great white shark may have attacked kayakers

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

PLYMOUTH (AP) — Authorities say two women in kayaks taking photographs of seals were attacked by what appears to be a great white shark off Plymouth. They were not injured. WCVB-TV reports the women, both in their 20s, were about 150 yards off White Horse Beach in Plymouth …

Halliburton to pay $1.1B settlement in 2010 gulf spill

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Halliburton has agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion that spewed more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and killed 11 people, attorneys for the company and plaintiffs said Tuesday. The settlement seeks to put …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Whale sightings increase off New Jersey coast

Sunday, August 31, 2014

HACKENSACK, N.J. — While it hasn’t become Cape Cod just yet, the number of whale sightings around New Jersey has increased substantially this year, suggesting that the state’s coastal waters are now clean enough to sustain humpbacks, finbacks and other species during their feeding season. Since April, dozens …

Plainfield joins with Ashfield and Buckland to offer Solarize Massachusetts program

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Plainfield, Ashfield and Buckland are forming a consortium and will apply for a grant that could save homeowners and businesses hundreds of dollars on the cost of solar-panel installations. The program is called Solarize Massachusetts, and the Clean Energy Center has announced two new rounds of funding grants, …

Bird Sightings

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A black tern and a greater scaup have been seen off the Winsor Dam at the south end of the Quabbin Reservoir. A black-crowned …

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, August 29, 2014

TUFTED TITMOUSE Route 9, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely of South Hadley “Peter, Peter, Peter” would have been what I would have heard from this tufted titmouse, should it have decided to sing while perched …