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Going Green
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State lunches $1M loan fund to aid farmers affected by drought

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Valley Views: Singing for their supper - Young robins singing for their supper University of Massachusetts campus, Amherst Anne E. Ely, South Hadley, While at the University of Massachusetts for the New England Camera Club Council Conference in July, I noticed this robin’s nest outside one of the buildings. There were three young robins that looked about ready to fledge, but were still being fed by the parents. Although unable to create a capture of them feeding, I did make this one of them...

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Mickey Rathbun: Of politics and asters - One of the most eminent gardeners in Amherst’s history is the historian and journalist Ray Stannard Baker, who lived on Sunset Avenue in the early decades of the past century. He wrote several very popular books under the pen name David Grayson, including The Countryman’s Year, a month-by-month account of his outdoor life here and his love for many things, including asters. In his September chapter, his rambling, lively notes include mention of books...

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Northampton rally against Dakota Access pipeline scheduled for Monday

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Camp blends environmental philosophy and exploration - On a sunny Thursday morning in August, 8-year-old Sophie Levin, of Florence, stood on a natural rock dam in Turners Falls clad in a black life jacket and eyeing the small falls below before joyfully launching herself into the air and landing in the Connecticut River. She was quickly followed by many of her fellow campers participating in the Biocitizen “Our Place” summer program. The camp is run through the Biocitizen School of Field En...

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States review clean energy projects for New England region - HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts officials are joining with electric utilities to evaluate more than 50 solicitations from companies to build plants that would generate clean energy for all three states. The states are hoping to leverage their combined purchasing power and attract projects they possibly couldn’t lure on their own. The goal is to ultimately lower consumers’ utility costs in a high-price...

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Dairy farmers struggle with low prices, high costs - The lowing of cattle on Franklin County pastures like Deerfield’s Bar-Way Farm is nothing compared to the moaning of farmers experiencing months of the lowest prices they have seen in years. “Our income is down by 30 percent,” said Peter Melnik, who like many of those on the fewer than 35 dairy farms remaining in Franklin County have seen prices paid per dozen-gallons (hundredweight) of milk stuck at about $15 for the first six months of ...

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Drought produces region’s driest summer since 1956 - Southampton farmer Tom Bashista doesn’t bother with insuring his crops. What’s the use, he says, of spending all your earnings from a good year on insurance, waiting for a bad year to come along? He’s standing next to an apple tree in the orchard that has borne the Bashista name since 1926. The sun is strong, the air is hot and thick with humidity like it has been all summer. In the shop, there’s an apple cake in the oven. The smell is in...

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Opponents of Shutesbury solar project file federal lawsuit  - SHUTESBURY — With continuing frustrations at being denied access to the property on which a large-scale solar array is proposed, and arguing the site could be a Native American burial ground, three Shutesbury and two New Salem residents have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the developers and the town planners who approved the project. The lawsuit, filed Aug. 17 in U.S. District Court, aims to prevent construction of ...

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Earth Matters: Reflections on the death of a tree - Sometime in early March, I noticed that the ground around my chicken coop and kitchen garden was littered with gray needles, and, looking up, it occurred to me that the fir tree might be dead. I didn’t want to believe it, and took refuge in the thought that these trees sometimes do shed as part of their natural cycle. There was still a green twig or two jutting out among the naked branches. But as the season progressed these, too, withered...
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