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Environment

ALF SOLLUND
Northern lights in Norway

Earth Matters: Awesome auroras: Watch for them in a sky near you

Friday, December 19, 2014

By all accounts, I am a space junkie (I suppose that beats being space junk). Gazing skyward gives me a proper perspective on my worldly concerns. My childhood was enlivened by hours spent watching the first moon landings on a grainy television screen, and I am still stirred by Neil Armstrong’s first words upon stepping onto the lunar surface. I …

Bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A black-headed gull was found Sunday in Hadley. A Barrow’s goldeneye, three canvasbacks and a red-necked grebe were seen at Turners Falls. Another red-necked grebe was found at the southern end of the Quabbin Reservoir and the clay-colored sparrow …

Valley Views: Adumbration

Friday, December 19, 2014

Adumbration, Springfield Road, Belchertown Photo and text by Julius Lester, Belchertown November is its own season. The colors of autumn have faded, but winter has not arrived. On Nov. 13, when I saw the dead leaves with a sprinkling of snow on the deck, I felt I was looking at the past in …

Heading Outdoors

Friday, November 21, 2014

■  Gas Pipeline Walk — 1.5-mile walk with Franklin Land Trust naturalist Joshua Morgan on land in Ashfield that stands in the path of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline Saturday, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Meet at the intersection of Baptist Corner Road and North Bear River Road in …

Vermont Yankee to begin layoffs in January

Friday, November 21, 2014

VERNON, Vt. — The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has officially notified the state of Vermont that it will be laying off 165 employees starting in January. That there would be layoffs has been common knowledge since Entergy’s announcement in August 2013 that it would ceas operations at the …

More snow brings Buffalo total to 7 feet

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Roofs began to creak and collapse and homeowners struggled to clear waist-high drifts atop their houses Thursday as another storm brought the Buffalo area’s three-day snowfall total to an epic 7 feet or more. Gov. …

Buffalo snow onslaught not over

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Homeowners opened their front doors to find themselves sealed in by sheer walls of white. Shovelers turned walkways into head-high canyons. A woman gave birth in a firehouse after the snow prevented her from reaching …

Comments accepted through Tuesday on decommissioning, dismantling of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Two studies on the future of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant site are under review by the Vermont Public Service Department, which is accepting public comment through Tuesday. The Vermont Yankee Site Assessment Study, issued last month by plant owner Entergy, describes its plans for …

Forest owner raises concerns about potential alternate route to Tennesee Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

As Massachusetts environmental officials negotiate with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. about alternatives to its main proposed route across Massachusetts, one private forest owner has raised concerns that a new alignment to avoid state-owned conservation land could jeopardize his own protected timber land. The recently announced “Article 97 Avoidance …

Environmental news in brief

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

EPA chief says not all greenhouse gas cuts from power plants WASHINGTON — The ambitious reductions to greenhouse gases that President Barack Obama pledged in China last week will not lead to deeper emissions cuts at power plants, according to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. At a …

River walks and paddle created by the Mill Ri er Greenway Initiative

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Here are the river walks and one paddle created by the Mill River Greenway Initiative. ■ Downtown Northampton I: Paradise Pond to Old South Street ■ Downtown Northampton II: Old South Street to Hockanum Road ■ Bay State Village: Paradise Pond to the Cutlery Building ■ Florence I: …

Waterborne virus may be cause of epidemic killing sea stars by the millions

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

SEATTLE — Grisly sea star deaths are continuing to litter the tidelands along the West Coast with decaying, ghostly goo, but scientists now believe they, at least, may have identified a potential culprit. New evidence suggests a mysterious …

Some question legacy of John Muir, patron saint of environmentalism, as centennial of his death nears

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES — John Muir is the patron saint of environmentalism, an epic figure whose writings of mystical enlightenment attained during lone treks in California’s wilderness glorified individualism, saved Yosemite and helped establish the national park system. As the first president of the Sierra Club, Muir shaped enduring …