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This Week: Stop Logging at Quabbin; Save Money--Decrease Funding for Nuclear Weapons; Monson Art Exhibition Sees Record Attendance; and More on Stand Your Ground Law

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stop Logging at Quabbin

For the benefit of 99 percent of Massachusetts citizens who do not work in the timber industry, there is no good reason for logging in the Quabbin, and there are many good reasons not to.

The Quabbin forest represents less than 2 percent of Massachusetts forests, and is the most important block of undeveloped forest in this third most densely populated state. These publicly owned forests protect fish and wildlife habitat, provide clean air, carbon sequestration, scenic beauty, tourism income and recreational opportunities and, most importantly, protect the drinking water for 2.2 million residents.

Most of the Quabbin logs cut are shipped to Quebec, and the logging loses money, so the public is forced to subsidize the cutting of its own forests.

Protecting the water is the reason these forests were purchased, not to supply cheap wood to the timber industry. Don't buy the industry propaganda claiming that logging will "help" the water quality. Both common sense and credible science say otherwise. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: "Local impacts of timber harvesting and road construction on water quality can be severe, especially in smaller headwater streams. These effects are of greatest concern where logging activity occurs in high-quality watershed areas that provide municipal water supplies or support cold-water fisheries."

How is it possible that, allegedly to protect the water, citizens are not allowed to walk on the Prescott Peninsula, yet large diesel logging trucks are allowed in to clear-cut nearly down to the water's edge? Such absurdity only happens when foxes are running the henhouse, and when the watchdogs have become lap dogs, like the Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee (WSCAC). Lexi Dewey writes for WSCAC defending the logging in the Quabbin [Letters, April 5, 2012], and tips her hand when she claims there was only a single problem. In fact, there was rampant clear-cutting, including many illegal cuts practically down to the water's edge. For photos, see www.maforests.org/QUABBIN.pdf

Dewey also turned down an offer to visit the clear-cuts and was apparently content with the dog and pony show by the very people who caused the problem. Maybe none of this is surprising, since the chairperson of WSCAC works for the New England Forestry Foundation, a clear conflict of interest.

The public owns these forests, not the timber industry, and the public and the environment will benefit most by having these important public forests protected from commercial logging.

Chris Matera
Massachusetts Forest Watch

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Save Money: Decrease Funding for Nuclear Weapons

Congressman Ed Markey has introduced legislation, the SANE Act (H.R.3974), which would decrease funding for nuclear weapons and result in 100 billion dollars saved over 10 years.

At this time, we are maintaining a stockpile of more than 5,000 nuclear warheads, yet even scholars at our military universities think our arsenal is too large. In 2010, Gary Schuab of the Air War College and James Forsyth of the U.S. Air Force Air University argued that our deployed nuclear arsenal could be as small as 311 warheads and still provide a credible nuclear deterrent.

A recent Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) study showed that even 100 small, Hiroshima-sized nuclear warheads deployed during a limited nuclear war in Southeast Asia would devastate the lives of over 1 billion people and would cause climate changes that would disrupt agriculture worldwide for a decade.

We of the Pioneer Valley Physicians for Social Responsibility urge Representative Richard Neal to join his colleagues John Olver and Jim McGovern as a co-sponsor of this legislation.

Meg Breymann, N.P.
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Pioneer Valley Chapter

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Monson Art Exhibition Sees Record Attendance

The Monson Arts Council 19th Annual Art Exhibition and Sale recently closed after a wonderful three weekends during which a record number of people toured the nine rooms of our show to view work by 77 artists from almost every community in our region, and nearby Connecticut.

With assistance from our business sponsor, Monson Savings Bank, we were able to offer close to $4,000 in prizes to these artists. Other area businesses stepped forward to sponsor our reception, a wine tasting, advertising and our full-color program. Thanks go to the Valley Advocate/Preview publications, Johnsens Catering, Hardwick Vineyard and Winery, Roberts & Sons Printing and Giclee of New England.

A private sponsor, the Shepherd Family, underwrote a major prize and the Massachusetts/Monson Cultural Council sponsored two fabulous writing workshops. In addition, a superb bluegrass band from Brimfield called Haystack and The Elizabethans, a marvelous acapella group from Williams College, donated their talent to entertain our art show visitors. Xanatos.com sponsored our online art show.

Often people ask us how a small town like Monson can produce so many exciting artistic events. The business and individuals listed above help so much. Their invaluable support, combined with hundreds of hours of donated time by dedicated volunteers, makes for an unbeatable team effort that comes together to benefit all of us, especially our community, Monson, whose spirit is amazing.

We want to say, once more, thank you to everyone who helped us put on this show.

David Dupuis and Susan James
Monson Arts Council Art Show Committee Coordinators

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More on Stand Your Ground Law

We had a package store armed robbery. The package store owner shot and paralyzed the armed robber, who was putting everyone in danger. The robber successfully sued the package store.

When the robber got out of jail after serving his trivial sentence, he wheeled his wheelchair into a bank and robbed it at gun point. He probably drove there in a van paid for from the proceeds from robbing the package store.

The legislature should pass Senator Brewer's bill ["'Stand Your Ground' Bill Filed in Massachusetts," March 29, 2012].

Robert Underwood
via Internet

 

 

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