Solar project on 28 acres of farmland on table in Easthampton 
Jul21

Solar project on 28 acres of farmland on table in Easthampton 

EASTHAMPTON — A California-based solar energy company has proposed building a four-megawatt array on 28 acres of land at 50 Florence Road and is in negotiations with town officials — even as neighbors of the proposed project are expressing reservations.Beacon Solar, a limited liability company owned by Santa Monica-based Cypress Creek Renewables, has submitted a special permit application to the city Planning Board for a solar array...

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Valley Views: Blue-eyed grasshopper?
Jul20

Valley Views: Blue-eyed grasshopper?

East Hawley Road, HawleyRecently, I was strolling around my yard looking at plants and insects because the species mix changes from year to year. I’m never sure what I’ll see. I was pleased to discover that blue-eyed grass is beginning to spread. It made such a delightful splash of color, that even though I didn’t have my macro lens and tripod, I thought I’d try to capture an image anyway. At first, I thought there was damage to the...

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Earth Matters: Of beech bark, bumps and bears
Jul19

Earth Matters: Of beech bark, bumps and bears

The smooth silvery gray bark of beech trees seems to call out, “Write on me!” Or at least those with handy pocket knives may think so (not a good or polite idea, by the way). Some of the thinnest bark of our New England trees, not fire-adapted like thick oak or pine, nor flaky like the shagbark hickory, beech bark does readily record past wounds and impacts as obvious scars eventually overgrown with callus.Beeches are relatively...

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Guest column Karl Meyer: A sturgeon revival on the Connecticut
Jul17

Guest column Karl Meyer: A sturgeon revival on the Connecticut

Something remarkable occurred below Turners Falls this May: four dozen federally-endangered Connecticut River shortnose sturgeon were discovered at their embattled spawning and nursery site — the largest documented aggregation since long-term research began there in 1992.In the afternoon of May 8, when U.S. Geological Services biologist Micah Kieffer walked down to the river near the Silvio O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, he...

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Heat wave starts Friday
Jul17

Heat wave starts Friday

NORTHAMPTON — A heat wave is expected to hit western Massachusetts starting Friday and continuing through the weekend. Temperatures are predicted to hit a high of 97 degrees Saturday, but it will likely feel hotter.The National Weather Service released a map of weekend heat indexes — measurements that combine temperature and relative humidity to estimate how hot it feels outside — for locations around the state. Peak heat in Amherst...

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Report: Killer heat could plague region if climate change left unchecked 
Jul17

Report: Killer heat could plague region if climate change left unchecked 

NORTHAMPTON — Later this week, temperatures in western Massachusetts are expected to climb into the 90s, reaching a possible high of 98 degrees Saturday.And there might be more sweltering days in the not-too-distant future if no or little action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change, according to a report published Tuesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) titled “Killer Heat in the United States.”...

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