Talkback

You left out that the GOP hopefuls keep making statements that make them sound like lunatics. Maybe that's intentional to satisfy the fear and ignorance of the conservative base. ...(full comment)

Zinan/My Turn: A crowded Republican presidential field

Hope you win the van!! ...(full comment)

Turners Falls 11-year-old needs your online votes

As a former resident on Northborough, (as well as Northfield) I have had the pleasure of meeting Jim McGovern. We had left the area before he was elected but we have kept in touch and followed his progress. I second the praises for him. When in Northfield I was a Startup Engineer at Vermont Yankee. The writer has fallen for the anti nuclear hype and bait. The plant operated for 42 years and several years of used fuel is already in Dry Casks. There is then less than 40 years of fuel in the pool. Balanced precariously? Blather! Designed to resist earthquakes and proven! The Fukushima plants are GE MK-I also and the pools there withstood the great earthquake with no damage, even though the Unit 4 building tilted a little and the whole coastline sank half a foot or so. Entergy only wants to save Decommissioning fund money because the hazard is so much less now, and decreases minute by minute due to radioactive decay. They will notify the public if needed, but with a much smaller hazard instant notification is not needed, nor is evacuation. ...(full comment)

Kelly/My Turn: These lawmakers serve us well

Pieridae has an application before the DOE for export: published in the Federal Register on Dec. 10 2014. Reading in related documents states that "pipeline and fossil fuel companies" will make 18 QUADRILLION DOLLARS from the export of LNG from that facility. THIS IS AN EXPORT pipeline: there will NEVER be any benefit whatsoever to this region. Only private profit: and seeking eminent domain for this is an outrage. All this will accomplish is to enrich the obscenely greedy, and raise gas rates permanently as we compete with other nations for a U.S. resource we have already subsidized to the tune of billions every year. Mr. Farrell is making many false statements: allegations of "terrorism" are a peculiar form of projection: he and his ilk are so intent on greed that they are endangering and permanently harming hundreds of thousands of people all along this route. ...(full comment)

Berkshire Gas rep. makes case for pipeline

The "bodyguards" are unnecessary and this is complete fabrication. High Theatre. This is an export pipeline that is seeking eminent domain for private profit. There are already measures in place to address New England's energy needs: Demand for gas has been flat lining in New England, nonetheless there is the TGP NH-NY pipeline (already in service, over 300,000 dth): William's Rockaway lateral and Northeast connector (100,000 dth in service, 547,000dth coming in 2015); and between the PNGTS non-pipeline option and the likelihood that either Constitution or Aim will begin construction this summer- 300,000dth to 1,100,000 dth. Additionally, National Grid has received approval from the Massachusetts DPU to liquify large amounts of pipeline gas instead of imported LNG. That is an ample amount of supply. Also, by 2017 there will be savings from LED lights and at least 36GW of renewables. The so called "eco-terrorists" are homeowners and stewards of conservation land, who rightfully object to the use of pristine land for private profit: this pipeline is not needed, and is only intended to syphon off U.S. gas for private profit. P.S. Mr. Farrell, someone who advocates putting enormous quantities of volatile gas under horriffic pressure near live electricity, and poisoning well water, along with obscene amounts of compressor gas belching out chemicals: well, the benign and heartfelt protestors look a lot less like terrorists than a gas cabal harming innocent and hard working citizens. I guess anyone who disagrees with the gas lords gets called names. It is the citizens of our region who need body guards: and thank God for our representatives. ...(full comment)

Berkshire Gas rep. makes case for pipeline

It is absolutely correct that safety trumps shortcuts. Vermont Yankee, and all plants have been designed and operated that way. It is also true that the NRC does not require wasting money on measures to satisfy vocal opponents. Why would keeping the Emergency plan with a 10 mile evacuation zone be wasting money? Because the hazard is much less than when the plant is in operation, and it decreases every day. When the reactor is operating, atom splitting provides 93% of the power, with the additional 7% coming from the radioactive decay of the splitting pieces-which are other atoms. There is a steady level of atom splitting pieces in operation. As soon as splitting stops the number of radioactive pieces decreases continually, because they are radioactive. The potential hazard comes from the possible release of these pieces in an accident. The possible accidents with the reactor not operating and fuel in the pool take a long time to reach the point of fuel damage, time for corrections!! The pool has so much water in it, that cooling can be stopped for a period of time. The water will heat up and eventually begin to boil off. This is not harmful, since the fuel boiled in the reactor!! There is time to restore water from any loss due to accident or sabotage. With so man fewer radioactive pieces (and the number decreasing minute by minute) any release would be much, less than from a reactor just shut down. ...(full comment)

Editorial: Keep Yankee’s emergency plan in place

What you all are doing matters. Thank you. ...(full comment)

Woolner/My Turn: My choice to protest

They also almost immediately seek abatements as they have done in Agawam, and towns receive less money than is promised when they want access to land to build. They are not, after all, a utility company: they are primarily an investment company, that happens to own assets. ...(full comment)

Northfield anti-pipeline group blasts gas co.

There is ample research available documenting the failures of various wireless technologies here in western Mass, including Whitespace and fixed wireless. A summary of the problems and case studies are available here: http://wiredwest.net/2015s2/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Wireless-primer_2.docx To summarize: - Mobile wireless for broadband service is prohibitively expensive; costing hundreds of dollars to do what the average household with cable is able to do. And the service in the region is notoriously spotty. - An MBI grant was offered for a Whitespace experiment in Ashfield that never transpired due to early conclusions it simply wouldn't work in our region. Additionally, Princeton looked into it and found their town would most of the Whitespace licensed in the state to have decent bandwidth just for their town. You can read about it here: http://princetonbroadband.com/tag/wireless/ - Other wireless technologies (ie fixed wireless) that have been deployed in our region have had massive coverage challenges and costs per premise up to $9,000 which far exceeds the cost of fiber, but provides a fraction of the speed, capacity and reliability of fiber. I would caution citizens to rely on solid proposals and documented information when considering such an important infrastructure solution for our region. ...(full comment)

Letter: Not the only option

Carrie ally love and support. Hope to see you very soon. Love Tiff and Gracie ...(full comment)

Montague woman needs a new heart

Clearly the ginormous compressor station that Kinder Morgan has planned for Northfield has no such reverence for much of anything: including human life. This compressor station will belch out enormous quantities of Benzene, VOC's, neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and God knows what else, to fall as acid rain on every ling thing in the vicinity for miles: to fill export tankers: with no benefit whatsoever to any residents. The folks planning this have made a science of invading religious organizations, fomiting hate speech, and getting people all het up about social issues, while syphoning off our nation's assets for private gain. The past and future of Northfield are going to be obliterated by this atrocity.- Get involved and start advocating now. ...(full comment)

Letter: Northfield’s message

Too bad this did come back to Deerfield. I heard a gallant effort was made to get it but they were outbid. ...(full comment)

Shays’ Rebellion letter by Deerfield militiaman sells for $35,000

Dear Anita, Thanks for this great article on Quabbin Trails and your new Walk About column. Have you heard of Ashfield Trails? Ashfield Trails is a volunteer collaborative which for several years has been working to establish a community network of trails and footpaths in and around the Town of Ashfield. So far we have built over 17 miles of trails. There's the 2 mile Two Bridges Trail from The Trustee's of Reservations Bullitt Reservation to their Chapel Falls Reservation which connects to a 3 mile trail to DAR SF. There's a 4 mile trail from Sanderson Academy to Bear Swamp Reservation. The Overlook Trail is about 3 miles and ends at Rt 112. The Ridge Trail starts on 112 and heads 2 miles to Bailey Rd. We have a new trail from Bailey Rd to the Mary Lyon birthplace and will be working this spring to open a new section from Mary Lyon's to Edge Hill Golf Course. In honor of Ashfield's 250th Anniversary, we will be hosting a hike on Sat., June 6 (National Trails Day) from Bullitt to Chapel Falls. For more info, please check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AshfieldTrails Thanks, Phil Pless ...(full comment)

Life & Times: Walking the Quabbin