Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
M/sunny
54°
M/sunny
Hi 56° | Lo 33°

Environment

Lava creeps closer to Hawaii homes

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PAHOA, Hawaii — After weeks of slow, stop-and-go movement, a river of asphalt-black lava was less than the length of a football field from homes in a Big Island community Tuesday. The lava flow easily burned down an empty shed at about 7:30 a.m., several hours after entering a residential property in Pahoa Village, said Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira. A branch of the molten stream was less than 100 yards from a two-story house. It could hit the home later Tuesday if it continues on its current path, Oliveira estimated. Residents of Pahoa Village, the commercial center of the island’s rural Puna …

Coalition plans advertising campaign backing projects such as Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Monday, October 27, 2014

With higher electricity costs scheduled to kick in next week for National Grid customers, a recently created “Coalition to Lower Energy Costs” is planning a media campaign, backed by large industrial electricity users — and organized by lobbyists connected to pipeline proponent Kinder Morgan — pushing for support of projects such as the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline. The coalition was organized Oct. 8 …

Relicensing of Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project raises concerns about erosion study

Monday, October 27, 2014

As part of a 35-year effort to stop erosion along the Connecticut River’s banks, engineers, environmental groups and representatives of federal, state and regional agencies routinely troll the shore in the 22-mile river stretch between the Turners Falls and Vernon, Vermont, dams to produce a “full river reconnaissance” study. But as FirstLight Power prepares for relicensing of its hydroelectric projects, that study — …

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 …

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 …

‘Ghost riders’ draw scrutiny for transit systems

Sunday, September 28, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Transit agencies across Pennsylvania are being scrutinized by the state over the subsidies they claim for transporting riders 65 and older, with at least four agencies being docked millions for inflating senior ridership numbers. Criminal charges are pending against two high-ranking employees of the transit …

Miraculous migrations in the insect world

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Now that summer is behind us, many Valley residents are making plans for trips to warmer climes during the colder months and students are migrating back to college. But we aren’t the only creatures traversing thousands of miles …

Maine woman finds 2-headed baby snapping turtle

Friday, September 26, 2014

HUDSON, Maine (AP) — A woman in Maine has come across a two-headed baby snapping turtle that was trying to cross the road. Kathleen Talbot of Hudson tells WLBZ-TV she found the tiny creature this week while she …