When we stepped into ‘activist central,’ aka, the Hull home of Judeth Van Hamm, her computer sat on a desk, layers deep with books, articles, papers, art that echoed out into a fully utilized office/living room. Her abundant personal library features books on spirituality sitting next to those on Urban Planning, Solar Transit, and Biodiversity. Judeth is a dedicated climate activist who never separates the physical from the metaphysical, and she is determined to change this world for the better.
Guest post by Tracy Valletti, Candidate for Commissioner of the Peabody Municipal Light Plant.
Nothing can quite prepare you for the experience of running for elected office.
When I first started this campaign, I did so because I wanted to stand up against the proposed gas plant, known as the “peaker” plant. I didn’t know if people were aware of the project, or if I could even win. All I knew was that the proposal would harm our communities, and I couldn’t sit by and do nothing.
“I had no intention of running for the Hull Light Board,” said light Commissioner, Jacob (Jake) Vaillancourt, who beat the incumbent by over 200 votes. Once you get him talking, it’s easy to understand how this young man with a remarkably facile mind and ability to circle issues from multiple perspectives eventually saw this role, not as an end game, but a piece of the new energy puzzle that might just keep Hull, and much of our coastline above water.
Mary Harris Jones, the famous labor organizer, told a group of young miners who’d rented a church for their union meeting:
“Boys, you pray for the dead. You fight like hell for the living.”
Then Mother Jones snatched from the priest’s lap the hat, full of money that they’d paid to use the church hall, and led the miners out of the church into the fields.
If there were a contemporary incarnation of Mother Jones, it would be Pat Gozemba.
Breathe Clean North Shore demonstrated early on the evening of Monday, September 13, 2021 against the Peabody peaker plant during a political gathering attended by Governor Charlie Baker at the Brothers Restaurant on Main Street in downtown Peabody. Carrying signs and distributing flyers, demonstrators staked out both the front and rear entrances, and managed to get the Governor to accept a flyer as he rushed past them.
Some people are so self involved that they don’t notice the world around them, except in the ways it touches them.
Some people see a problem, shrug their shoulders and say ‘That is too big! I can’t do anything about it.”
Lynn Nadeau looks at a problem, rubs her hands together, rolls up her sleeves, and says “Let’s get to it, now!”
[Julie Smith-Galvin and Ron Smoller joined with Jerome (Jerry) Halberstadt to appeal the refusal of the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electrical Company (MMWEC) to provide the public records request for "Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) contract(s) for the 2015A power project."
Rebecca S. Murray, the Supervisor of Records in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, ruled that "the Company is ordered to provide Mr. Halberstadt with a response to the request, provided in a manner consistent with this order, the Public Records Law and its Regulations within ten (10) business days."]
Contributed by Lynn Nadeau
I am concerned that the Marblehead Municipal Light Board (MMLP) bought into the Peabody peaker project 2015A, along with 13 other MLPs on the advice of Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) . But they acted years ago in 2017—before the Next Generation Roadmap (Acts 2021 Chapter 8) was passed—before the IPCC raised the warning on our overuse of fossil fuels—and before a full MEPA Environmental Impact Study was made.
I believe that it is in the public interest to halt project 2015A, a 60MW gas turbine generator. A comprehensive review of the public health, environmental, and climate impacts of a fossil fuel plant should be undertaken. Alternative methods for addressing capacity requirements must be considered and fairly evaluated. Mass Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) could develop a distributed battery storage system. MMWEC could invite a new, all sources proposal to find a comprehensive solution. In addition, Federal, state, and foundation sources may be tapped to provide support for demonstration and pilot programs to engage the community together with power plants to create a truly comprehensive energy system.