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Drive-In Makes Pitch on Kickstarter

The Northfield Drive-In, a beloved attraction in Franklin County since 1948 and one of only 364 drive-ins in the U.S., is fighting for survival. Its operators need to switch to digital projectors for the opening of next spring’s season, a transformation they estimate will cost $150,000 to $180,000.

The drive-in has launched a Kickstarter campaign for $40,000, a sum it must raise by November 12 or—because of the way Kickstarter works—no donor will be charged and the theater will get nothing. At press time, donations amounting to more than $12,000 had come in from fans of the Northfield, which is situated on the border between Massachusetts and neighboring New Hampshire in such a way that patrons can actually choose which state they park in to watch movies under the stars. Contributions can be made by visiting http://www.saveourdrivein.com or by using the keyword “Northfield” on Kickstarter; the theater is also accepting donations mailed to Northfield Drive-In Digital Fund, P.O. Box 487, Keene, N.H. 03431. Throw in $100 or more and you’ll be invited to “donor night,” a gala with movies, food and prizes, sometime next season.


Hey, Big Spender!

The Westfield State University Board of Trustees settles into a special meeting Oct. 16 at the Horace Mann Center. Facing camera, from left, are John F. Flynn III, chairman; University President Evan Dobelle, under fire for questionable expenditures; Kevin R. Queenin, secretary; and Elizabeth Scheibel, vice chair. Inset: Dobelle.


Oct. 24 is Food Day, a national event to draw attention to the importance of “healthy, affordable and sustainable food” and to grassroots efforts in support of better food policies.

In the Valley, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the day—and not just on the day itself: on Oct. 23, Clapp Memorial Library in Belchertown will screen A Place at the Table, a 2012 documentary about food security, at 7 p.m., followed by a discussion; that same day, UMass-Amherst holds a Sustainability Day, which will include the formal signing of the “Real Food Challenge,” signaling the campus’ commitment to ensuring that at least 20 percent of its food purchase will be local and humanely and responsibly produced by 2020. On the 24th, the Holyoke Farmers’ Market will celebrate Food Day from noon to 3 p.m.; students at Mount Holyoke College will organize to press the college’s food services department to buy more sustainably grown food; the Springfield Food Policy Council holds it annual meeting at 5:30 at the Mason Square Library; and the Holyoke YMCA hosts a Healthy Halloween Party from 5:50 to 8 p.m., among other events. For more information on Food Day and local events, go to http://www.foodday.org.


Worth Quoting:

“Oh, I haven’t been as eager to have someone nominated for president since Newt Gingrich blew up.”

—Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, one of the architects of the standoff that led to the government shutdown


By the Numbers:
$366.1 million

That’s the amount by which Massachusetts cut funding to higher education between fiscal 2001 and 2013, according to a new report from Mass Budget (www.massbudget.org). The national average over that same time period was 10 percent.

Between fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2012, appropriations per full-time student dropped by $2,291 at UMass and $1,352 at community colleges, while full-time tuition and fees rose by an average of $3,684 for UMass students and $918 for community college students (all figures adjusted for inflation).

On a brighter note: state funding for higher ed increased by $86.6 million in the current fiscal year, Mass Budget points out.


Author: Advocate staff

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