Total of 24 ‘Sugar Shack’ Protesters Arrested in One Week at Otis Park
May08

Total of 24 ‘Sugar Shack’ Protesters Arrested in One Week at Otis Park

LATEST UPDATE: Twenty-four protesters affiliated with The Sugar Shack Alliance, a Northeast coalition that aims to disrupt the fossil fuel industry, have been arrested thus far at Otis State Forest in Sandisfield. Charges stem from allegations that protesters blocked access roads and barred tree cutters entrance onto an easement in the park — the site where 3.8 miles of natural gas pipeline is slated for construction as part of the...

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Facing the Wolf: Old Flame’s Wolf in the Heather EP Reviewed
May01

Facing the Wolf: Old Flame’s Wolf in the Heather EP Reviewed

The blues has always been about addressing heartbreak and strife going back to 1930s Depression-era America. Northampton-based indie garage rock blues duo Old Flame seem to share that sentiment for today’s world. The band’s debut seven-song EP, Wolf in the Heather, features songs of resistance to the Trump Administration with biting lyrics and a penchant for muddy blues riffs. “The storm is raging but I’m caught in this cage/ I ain’t...

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Fracked Gas Protesters Names Released
May01

Fracked Gas Protesters Names Released

Eighteen protesters were detained at Berkshire County Jail on May 2 after blocking access roads to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s easement where construction of a $93 million 3.8-mile Connecticut expansion gas pipeline project at Otis State Forest in Sandisfield is planned for construction. The Massachusetts State Police released the names of the 18 individuals arrested for blocking two access roads, stating in a press release...

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Nice Pot! The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail open studios this weekend
Apr24

Nice Pot! The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail open studios this weekend

Nice Pot! Flowers are blooming on the trees, the sun is shining, and asparagus are being planted in the Valley, which means it’s time for the annual springtime Asparagus Valley Potter Trail. Every year the self-guided tour takes place across nine pottery studios in Western Mass. This year 13 guest artists will also be displaying their work. Witness the elegance of a sassy red clay robot by Francine & Frank Ozereko or creations...

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Eight Western Mass Towns Considering Fees for Carbon Emissions
Apr25

Eight Western Mass Towns Considering Fees for Carbon Emissions

This spring, voters in eight towns in Western Massachusetts may pass resolutions requiring fossil fuel companies to pay fees to its citizens. The resolutions are non-binding, so the votes will be more about sending a message than actually leveraging the fees, according to a statement from Ashfield Citizens’ Climate Lobby. The towns of Amherst, Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Plainfield, Shutesbury, and Whatley have all placed...

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Between the Lines: Baker gets a ‘C’ in environmental protection
Apr21

Between the Lines: Baker gets a ‘C’ in environmental protection

Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration has been deemed mediocre – receiving a “C” for the second year in a row for its environmental policies and leadership, according to a report card from seven leading environmental organizations. “Unfortunately, once again we are seeing the Baker Administration fall short. From climate preparedness to toxic landfill emissions, there are serious challenges ahead for our state, and it’s critical...

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Women’s March Organizer Linda Sarsour to speak at UMass
Apr20

Women’s March Organizer Linda Sarsour to speak at UMass

In the age of President Trump, many people are stepping up to organize and counter the rising tide nationalism, xenophobia, racism and hate fueled far-right flirtations with Nazism. Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American Muslim civil rights and racial justice activist who was one of the organizers for the Women’s March on Washington, is one such person. She’ll be speaking at UMass Amherst in Mahar Auditorium April 28 at...

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Is Recreational Weed Coming to a Town Near You?
Apr18

Is Recreational Weed Coming to a Town Near You?

From the outside, 5 Appleton St. in Holyoke looks like any number of towering, brick artifacts from a time when Holyoke earned its unofficial title “The Paper City.” But looks can be deceiving. New life is being breathed into the 200,000 square-foot facility and that’s all due to recreational marijuana. Unlike some of the neighboring buildings, this 125-year-old mill, located in the downtown canal district, has been busy since...

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Tick, Tick, Tick … Boom? No bumper crop of ticks this year, but keep your socks tucked into your pants anyway
Apr03

Tick, Tick, Tick … Boom? No bumper crop of ticks this year, but keep your socks tucked into your pants anyway

Every year billions of ticks creep through wooded areas across Massachusetts and New England, feeding vampirically off the blood of wildlife, pets, and humans. With ticks comes the most obvious fear: Lyme disease. But how much of what seems like common knowledge about ticks is really true? Do cold winters or mild winters affect tick populations? Is it really the smallest ticks that carry diseases most of time? “They’re always...

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Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline: Springfield reduces in-school arrests, but is it enough?
Mar27

Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline: Springfield reduces in-school arrests, but is it enough?

You’re a teenager in high school. You’ve been texting on your smartphone when you shouldn’t be or otherwise refusing to listen to your teacher. You think you’ll probably get berated, maybe detention, but never thought you’d be handcuffed and taken into police custody. That’s the reality for some students who find themselves caught in the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline” – an acknowledgement of the increased rate of incarceration...

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Music Review: “15 Sunrise” by Calico Blue
Mar20

Music Review: “15 Sunrise” by Calico Blue

Amherst-based psychedelic dream-pop and surf-blues infused band Calico Blue released its second album early this month, 15 Sunrise, which presents songs that could be best described as meditations on life. They confront the ghosts that live in the corridors of the mind: regret, heartbreak, and solitude. But in the darkness of the lyrics there is hidden light, which builds to bring about a dawning, as the title suggests. Vocalist Sarah...

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