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Groups Join Forces for First Upper Valley Gun Buyback; Challenging Reads; Brattleboro Hikes for the Homeless

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Groups Join Forces for First Upper Valley Gun Buyback

A fifty-dollar gift card for each shotgun, handgun or rifle, and two $50 gift cards for each assault weapon, will be distributed by the Northwestern District Attorney’s office to people who bring in their guns for the Upper Valley’s first gun buyback on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guns should be brought to the police stations in Northampton (29 Center St.) and Greenfield (321 High St.). Ammunition will be accepted as well, but there will be no payment.

The buyback is not on the taxpayer’s dime: money for the gift certificates is put up by people affiliated with organizations that supported the buyback. The buyback was first proposed by the Amherst chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense; Northampton Pediatrics, Clinical Support Options, the Hampshire and Franklin Deputy Sheriff’s Associations and other groups also helped organize the event. Organizers cite a figure of 30,000 Americans killed each year by firearms—10 times as many people in any given year as died in the 9/11 attacks.

The aim of the program, according to DA David Sullivan’s office, is to get unwanted weapons out of closets and basements so they won’t be stolen and make their way to the black market, or fall into the hands of children. Several buybacks have been held in Springfield; a buyback there on March 2 netted 333 guns. The DA promises “no questions asked;” people bringing in guns will remain anonymous. Guns should be brought in in working order, unloaded and in a bag.

 

Challenging Reads

Below: The 10 books most frequently challenged in libraries and schools in 2012, according to the American Library Association. The books were challenged for offenses including language, sexual content, portrayals of drug or alcohol use and “religious viewpoints”:

1. The Captain Underpants series, by Dav Pilkey

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,

by Sherman Alexie

3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James

5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green

8. The Scary Stories series, by Alvin Schwartz

9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls

10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison

 

Brattleboro Hikes for the Homeless

Early October abounds with reasons to take oneself on a good hike: the leaves begin to change color, the air starts getting crisper, the bounty of harvest season demands bigger appetites. Hikers looking to hit the trail this weekend, however, will have an additional incentive: helping the homeless.

This Saturday (or rain date Sunday), Brattleboro’s Morningside Shelter will host its third annual Hike for the Homeless at Mount Wantastiquet, just across the bridge in Hinsdale, N. H. Participants can either hike along the river at the base of the mountain or head up to the summit, which looks back across the Connecticut River to Brattleboro, the community Morningside has served since 1979.

“For over 30 years,” Morningside’s website (www.morningsideshelter.org) reads, the shelter has worked “to effectively assist homeless families and individuals in securing and successfully maintaining stable housing. As the only year-round homeless shelter in southeastern Vermont, services are in high demand.”

This year, the shelter hopes to raise up to $25,000. To register for the hike, or support someone who will, go to Morningside Shelter’s website.

 

WORTH QUOTING:

“[H]ere in rural western Massachusetts (or Baja Vermont), a state completely dominated by progressive Democrats, there has long been a simmering anger at Boston for failing to fully fund critical line items in the annual state budget for regional school transportation reimbursements and payments in lieu of taxes for massive amounts of state-owned forest and parks that are hosted by rural towns and are off the tax rolls. Add in resentment over paying off the debts from the huge cost overruns of the Big Dig (or Big Pig as we call it) in Boston, which has resulted in the short-changing of local road and bridge projects in the small towns, and you can see how the seeds of secession can easily be sown.”

Political consultant Matt L. Barron of Chesterfield in an essay titled “Failure to Secede” on www.dailyyonder.com.

 

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