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Slideshow: Eclipse Viewing In Western Massachusetts

13 hours ago
Scenes from an eclipse-watching party at Smith College.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Parents with the kids, workers on a lunch break, astronomy buffs getting their fix. Across the Pioneer Valley on Monday afternoon, people stared at the sky to see a sun partially obscured by the moon.

Two boys in Worcester watch the Aug. 21, 2017, solar eclipse.
Melissa Hanson / MassLive

During Monday's eclipse, the moon blocked out 65 to 68 percent of the sun in western Massachusetts, but a more dramatic eclipse is on the way.

Fred Venne is the director of the Bassett Planetarium at Amherst College.

"The eclipse that's happening in 2024 is going to more significant in this region," he said. "We'll be looking in the Amherst, Northampton, southern Vermont, northern Connecticut area at about close to 94, 95 percent coverage of the sun. And if you go up to Burlington, Vermont, it will be 100 percent."

Over 10,000 people attended a counter-protest of the "Boston Free Speech" rally on the Boston Common on Saturday, August 19, 2017.
Dan Glaun / The Republican

On Saturday in Boston, tens of thousands of people gathered in a counter-protest to a planned "Free Speech" demonstration. Supporters of the conservative "Free Speech Rally" said, despite being outnumbered, their event was a success. The Free Speech keynote speaker was Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, a Republican US Senate candidate.

As we do most Mondays, we turn to State House New Service reporter Matt Murphy for the details.

The total solar eclipse on August 1, 2008, as seen in Novosibirsk, Russia.
Alex Polezhaev / Creative Commons

Nearly 66 percent of the sun will be covered in Springfield, Mass., when the eclipse takes its maximum effect at 2:45 Monday afternoon.

Counter-protesters surround a man who was trying to approach the Parkman Bandstand in Boston, on Aug. 19, 2017.
Bruce Gellerman / WBUR

Police estimate that 40,000 people converged on Boston Common on Saturday to protest a few dozen people attending what organizers called a free speech rally.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
File Photo / The Republican

Our panel of journalists looks at the big stories in the news. 

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a news conference on Aug. 15, 2017, about a planned free speech rally Saturday. Gov. Charlie Baker looks on.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

The city of Boston is preparing for what is being called a free speech rally Saturday afternoon on the historic Common. Thousands of counter-protesters are also expected to show up, including some from western Massachusets.

Holyoke resident Rick Purcell and friend will be among a group that will meet in Northampton at 5:30 a.m. to carpool and then caravan to the Boston.

Purcell said he is going to the counter-demonstration because he wants to stand up to white supremacy. He said speaking out is in his legacy.

Jimmy Rowles
Sy Johnson / All Music

Tomorrow is Jimmy Rowles's 99th birthday anniversary. The Spokane, Washington, native was quirky, unpredictable, and utterly compelling, making even the most hackneyed standard sound fresh, alive, and better than you'd remembered it. He had a unique harmonic sense that left plenty of room for surprise. He's reputed to have known more tunes than anyone else in the business, and he knew potential when he heard it. Diana Krall took lessons with him in 1983 before she enrolled at Berklee, and he (and bassist Ray Brown) encouraged her to sing.

In this episode, Media Lab Podcast explores a world of uncertainty and discord with stories of  immigration and deportation. 

New England Wildflower Society's Bill Brumback, opening the freezer that acts as the "seed vault," in Framingham, Mass.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

In New England, 22 percent of the region's native plants are considered rare. Some of them are on the federal list of endangered species. Biologists worldwide and locally have been saving crop seeds, and seeds from other plants important to the ecosystem. 

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