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Environment

SWEDENINUSA
Sweden topped the recently released environmental sustainability ranking of 60 countries by the Global Green Economy Index.

Sweden is a global leader in green efforts

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: I recently heard that Sweden is the greenest country in the world. Is this true and, if so, by what standards? And where does the U.S. rank? — Raul Swain, New York, NY It’s true that Sweden came out on top in the recently released ranking of 60 countries according to sustainability by consulting firm Dual Citizen Inc. …

Bird sightings

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A golden eagle was seen in Holyoke, and a northern goshawk was reported in Northampton. A greater white-fronted goose was found in Lee. A few surf scoters, red-necked grebe and a black vulture were reported in Turners Falls. A …

Guard to boost security around Hawaii lava flow

Friday, October 31, 2014

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — The National Guard is deploying troops to a rural Hawaii town as lava makes a slow crawl toward a major road and threatens to further isolate the community that got its start during the lumber- and sugar-plantation heydey. Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said Thursday the National …

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 …

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves streamlined review of proposed gas pipeline

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a request by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. to use an expedited “pre-filing” process for its proposed Northeast Energy Direct project. That prompted an immediate letter from U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-Worcester, expressing his “extreme disappointment” in the decision and the …

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, October 3, 2014

YELLOW LEAVES AND REFLECTIONS Mill River Recreation Area, North Amherst Photograph and text by Julius Lester of Belchertown In this part of the world, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins when nature is making its transition from …

Reducing threats to air quality

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: What are some of the more dangerous threats to our air quality and what can be done to eliminate them so we can all breathe more easily? — Melanie Smith, Pomfret, Connecticut The main threats to …

Bird Sightings

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A blue grosbeak has been seen off and on this week in the Arcadia Meadows of Northampton. A grasshopper sparrow, a yellow-billed cuckoo and …

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 …

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 …