Between the Lines: A Packed 4/20 Issue

Welcome, to this week’s jam-packed Advocate. We’ve got the winners of our annual Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll, 4/20-themed stories in celebration of Massachusetts’ first year of legal recreational weed, more about our new online Friday music concerts, Sessions, and news about what’s going on at the paper.

First up: The Best Of the Valley Readers’ Poll is a who’s who and what’s what of all the top people, places, and businesses Western Mass and Southern Vermont have to offer. Thank you to everyone who voted. We can’t provide this handy guide without you!

There are over 170 Best Of categories, and this year we added awards for Best Plumber, Electrician, Roofer and more. Flip through and find the answers to all your “Does anyone know a good … ?” questions.

Next: The 4/20 theme issue is bursting with recreational marijuana news and … stuff. The cover story takes a deep look at how area communities are preparing for the new industry and some business owners looking to get in on the action. Check out the story online to read about how one black market pot dealer is handling the legal shift. We’ve also got stories about where to get the best cheesecake, movies never to watch high, movies to always watch high, and some heady event picks.

Also: The Advocate’s weekly online music concert series, Sessions, continues to provide big talent on a tiny stage (a really tiny stage — it’s in the back corner of our office). Thanks to partners Northampton Community Television and Signature Sounds local artists with great sounds are streaming 24/7 at This Friday, video for Hammydown goes up. The local trio, promoting their new album Pizzaface, stopped by the Advocate to play their compelling version of punk rock with just a touch of Americana. Want to play Sesssions? Contact us at

Finally: News at the Advocate! We’ve had some staff changes over here. Hunter Styles, our arts editor, is leaving to go back to his roots: the stage. Styles will be helping to promote and organize the annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. Fortunately, he’s staying on with the Advocate as a columnist and continuing his Beerhunter column and he will remain the editor of Preview Magazine.

Coming onto the Advocate staff are Chris Goudreau, writer, and Dave Eisenstadter, managing editor.

Goudreau comes from The Reminder (East Longmeadow) and enjoys writing about music, politics, history, government, science, and pretty much anything else you could think of except for stories about MCAS. He believes writing about standardized tests is a form of mental torture akin to listening to the soundtrack of Frozen on repeat during a five-hour car ride. Contact Goudreau at

Eisenstadter has a decade of experience as a journalist, writing for the Boston Globe, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the Keene Sentinel and other publications. He brings his loves for politics and contra dancing to the Advocate. Contact him at

Hope you enjoy this week’s Advocate and Best Of. As always, we’d love to hear what you think about us. Contact Editor Kristin Palpini (that’s me) at

Kristin Palpini

Author: Kristin Palpini

Editor of the Valley Advocate

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