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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 …

Bird sightings

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A buff-breasted sandpiper and a stilt sandpiper were seen in Longmeadow on separate days. A Connecticut warbler was found in Northampton. As many as …

Your Photos

Friday, September 11, 2015

Oran Kaufman of Leverett was kayaking at Barton’s Cove, Sept. 5, and spotted this eagle in a tree. He said he was able to take some shots of it before it flew off. When Kaufman later returned to …

Rosenberg hears strong concerns about pipeline in testimony he’ll deliver to FERC

Thursday, September 10, 2015

GREENFIELD — Local seventh-grader Rowan McKeon’s mother always told him that it’s not right to make a mess and expect others to clean up after him. Lately, he’s found himself concerned that that’s exactly the situation he and …

Study financed by Kinder Morgan concludes proposed gas pipeline would save billions for New England electric customers

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A new study done for Kinder Morgan has concluded that the construction of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline could save electric customers in New England between $2 billion and $3 billion annually. The study by ICF International, a Fairfax, Virginia-based consulting firm was paid for …

Environmental news briefs

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

IN THE NEWS Watershed Council targets trash tires The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 19th annual Source to Sea Cleanup on Sept. 25 and 26 will focus on cleaning up trash tires along rivers. The event occurs in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut, all in the 410-plus-mile Connecticut …

Wild and Scenic Westfield River Committee works to protect tributaries

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Environmental educators have long believed that people with a deep understanding of, and meaningful ties to, the area in which they live are more invested than others in protecting that environment. Proof that this “sense of place” concept …

Fired regulator testifies that California Gov. Jerry Brown pushed oilfield operations at expense of groundwater

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — California’s top oil and gas regulators repeatedly warned Gov. Jerry Brown’s senior aides in 2011 that the governor’s orders to override key safeguards in granting oil industry permits would violate state and federal laws protecting …

Study finds purified wastewater triggers release of arsenic within aquifer

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

When it comes to the science of transforming sewage into tap water — or potable reuse — engineers say there’s no question the product is clean enough to drink. The trouble is, researchers are now learning that this drinking water may be too clean to store underground without …

Unusual California algae bloom that can produce deadly toxins worries researchers

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

RIO VISTA, Calif. — On a sunny August afternoon, a team of federal researchers cut a circuitous path through the heart of California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta doing real-time monitoring of water quality. Again and again, they made the …

Survey finds dark, star-filled skies draw visitors to national parks

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What do you look for in a vacation — rest and relaxation? Gorgeous vistas? Cultural experiences? How about a view of the cosmos? A new study suggests that gazing upon a naturally dark sky that is unpolluted by artificial light plays a significant role in visitors’ enjoyment of …