Between the Lines: What’s Another $1,000 on Top of Tuition?
Jul24

Between the Lines: What’s Another $1,000 on Top of Tuition?

The cost of a University of Massachusetts Amherst education has increased on average by more than $1,000 each year for the past three years.This, in a world where most working people can expect a 2 -percent cost-of-living raise — if that. In the summer of 2015, the increase brought the cost of UMass Amherst up above $25,000 for the first time — from $24,215 the previous academic year. With the past week’s 3-percent increase, the cost...

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What The Heck Is That Veggie?
Jul24

What The Heck Is That Veggie?

When I first got a farm share several years ago, I had a dream of a bounty of tomatoes, carrots, and other recognizable vegetables. The reality was that yes, these vegetables were there, but there were also oddball veggies I’d never heard of or seen before; and suddenly I had to find a way to use them.Kind of like a subscription service, farm shares are when a person buys a “share” of a farm and receives weekly boxes of...

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Where You Can U-Pick In Western Mass
Jul24

Where You Can U-Pick In Western Mass

Why should the farmers have all the fun harvesting the fresh fruits and vegetables from their own farms? U-pick farms abound in the Pioneer Valley. Strawberry season has mostly gone by, but blueberries are ripe for the pickin’, and it won’t be long before apple season hits us. Below is a list of farms where you can grab your own produce. These farms have pick-your-own that is open to the public, but some area farms allow members...

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Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self-Terminator
Jul24

Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self-Terminator

The Knightscope security robot, an R2D2-shaped rolling bot, can turn, beep, and whistle while on patrol. It can also self-destruct, as one proved while working outside the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, D.C. It rolled into a decorative fountain and drowned. Bystander Bilal Farooqui summed up the disappointment of the 21st century on Twitter: “We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots.” A recent study reported...

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Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self Terminator
Jul20

Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self Terminator

A Suicidal Robot Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself.We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots. pic.twitter.com/rGLTAWZMjn— Bilal Farooqui (@bilalfarooqui) July 17, 2017The Knightscope security robot, an R2D2-shaped rolling bot, can turn, beep, and whistle while on patrol. It can also self-destruct, as one proved while working outside the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, D.C. It...

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Art and Politics Do MixPROTEST is the July exhibit at Gallery A3 with a group of artists exploring the current political situation through photography, painting, sculpture, and mixed media. Everyone is welcome to an art forum on Thursday, July 20, 7:30 p.m. Gallery A3, 28 Amity St., Amherst.

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Jul17

Banish Misfortune, traditional Irish Music: SUNDAY, 5-8 p.m. Free. Northampton Brewery, 11 Brewster Court, Northampton.

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Jul17

Psychic Night with  Psychic Mark: SATURDAY, 6-9:30 p.m., $40.  Northampton Country Club, 135 Main St., Leeds, Northampton.

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Jul17

Cymbeline by William  Shakespeare at  Shakespeare &  Company: THURSDAY (and through Aug. 6), 2-4:30 p.m.,  $15-$75. Tina Packer Playhouse, 70 Kemble St., Lenox. 

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“Recipes from the Herbalists Kitchen” Great for Herb-an Renewal
Jul17

“Recipes from the Herbalists Kitchen” Great for Herb-an Renewal

Yes, I had cooked with herbs before, or I thought I had. But the first lesson that Conway author Brittany Wood Nickerson’s Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen (just out from Storey Publishing in North Adams http://www.storey.com) taught me is that my prior forays in cooking with basil, oregano, and thyme were feeble attempts at best.My wife and I picked a recipe for miso peanut sauce and the first ingredient was two full cups of...

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Anchor House of Artists: 50 Visions by painter Kevin Bouricius. Opens July 20. 518 Pleasant St., Northampton. (413) 588-4337. artists@anchorhouseartists.org.A.P.E. Gallery: ARC. Four projects in dance, installation, video and music. Through Aug. 5.• The Debriti Show. Created by JonMarc Edwards, the show is an interactive installation that comments on the power of language and communication.126 Main St., Northampton. (413) 586-5553,...

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Bizarro Briefs: Holy Handgun, Batman!
Jul17

Bizarro Briefs: Holy Handgun, Batman!

A man and woman dressed as Batman characters were shot by police while having sex in an Australian nightclub. The man, dressed as the Joker, was shot in the stomach after police mistook his fake gun for a real one. The woman was dressed as Harley Quinn, and was shot in the leg. Roughly 40 police officers raided the event, called the Saints and Sinners Ball — and reportedly billed as a “no-holds-barred extravaganza of adult fun,” on...

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Northampton Activists Demand ICE Release Longtime Florence Resident
Jul17

Northampton Activists Demand ICE Release Longtime Florence Resident

When he was 15 years old in 1976, Niberd Abdalla immigrated to the United States from Iraq fleeing persecution due to his family’s Kurdish heritage and democratic activism. He’s lived as an undocumented person in the United States for the past 41 years and has complied with biannual immigration enforcement check-ins for the past seven years.On the morning of June 8, when Niberd, a former Florence resident who now lives in Connecticut,...

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THURSDAY 7/20MUSICA Little Night Music: 6 p.m. Free. Trinity United Methodist Church, 361 Sumner Ave, Springfield.  (413) 737-5311, trinumc361@gmail.com Berkshire Hills Music Academy: 6:30 p.m. Free. Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St., Chicopee. 413-594-1800 ext. 3, cpl@chicopeepubliclibrary.org. Downtown Beats Free Concert – Mister G: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Grammy -winning artist Mister G performs. Child-friendly. Picnic...

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Quakers Make Coal Plant Pilgrimage To Fight Fossil Fuels
Jul10

Quakers Make Coal Plant Pilgrimage To Fight Fossil Fuels

A religious pilgrimage is taking place to oppose fossil fuel use in New England.Members of the New England Yearly Meeting, a group made up of Quakers from the six New England states, plan to walk 60 to 70 miles the week of July 9 from Schiller Station power plant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire — two of the few remaining coal-powered plants in New England (Schiller also burns wood and other...

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Introducing … Bizarro Briefs
Jul10

Introducing … Bizarro Briefs

Last week we got the surprising news that longtime News of the Weird feature writer Chuck Shepherd is retiring! Like, very surprising, because we had no idea this was coming. BUT, the Advocate is all about weird news, so we’re going to keep it going ourselves!Without further ado, the following are the strange, eclectic, zany, madcap, and — as Chuck might describe them — weird stories we found in the news this week: Putting The Weed In...

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Jul10

Perfectly ImperfectHolyoke artist Theo Fadel’s wooden figures and prints are featured this month at Nina’s Nook in Turners Falls — a tiny gallery packed with booming, powerhouse artwork. In Imperfect People, Fadel’s work is reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s Grotesques, a series of sketches featuring people with bulbous noses, sunken eyes, exaggerated chins, and deformities — But only sort of. While da Vinci’s Grotesques are...

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Jul10

37th Annual Catfish Derby You know what it is: One of the biggest catfish tournaments in the Northeast returns to the Valley this weekend. Fishing is open to the Connecticut River and all its tributaries. The biggest fish wins the biggest cash prize. Prizes are awarded for 1st through 20th place, and there are three trophies in the 14-years-and -younger division. Only live fish will be weighed and you’ve got to bring them to HQ on...

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Jul10

Tense Vagina — An Actual DiagnosisThe motherhood we see on TV and in the movies has nothing on what it’s like day in and day out to be a mother. For instance, did you know loss of bladder control is pretty common among new mothers? Or that dildos in the nightstand drawers are even more common? Sanitized images that portray motherhood with calm smiles; huge, clean homes; dinner on the table can kick rocks. And the foot behind those...

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Jul10

The ‘J’ in July is for Jazz, Baby! Jazz music may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about UMass Amherst, but the state university has a long and storied history with the art form. This month UMass is celebrating its jazz roots with the annual Jazz in July concert series. UMass has one of the oldest higher-ed jazz programs in the nation. Founded in the ’70s by composer Frederick Tillis, the program attracted...

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Amherst Town Hall: Cherry Press Trio. Contemporary prints. 4 Boltwood Ave., Amherst. corinne@cherrypress.org.A.P.E. Gallery: ARC. Four projects in dance, installation, video and music. Through Aug. 5.• The Debriti Show. Created by JonMarc Edwards, the show is an interactive installation that comments on the power of language and communication.126 Main St., Northampton. (413) 586-5553, lisathompson@apearts.org, apearts.org.Berkshire...

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THURSDAY 7/13MUSICAidan O’Brien and Friends: 6-9:30 p.m. Acoustic guitar. Free. Luxe Burger Bar, 1200 West Columbus Ave., Springfield. (413) 785-5893, steve@luxeburgerbar.com. Barret Anderson and the Blues: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free. Forest Park Branch Library, 380 Belmont Ave., Springfield. (413) 263-6843. Eleanor Reissa and Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars: 8-9:30 p.m. $50. Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West St., Amherst....

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Quakers Make Coal Plant Pilgrimage To Fight Fossil Fuels
Jul07

Quakers Make Coal Plant Pilgrimage To Fight Fossil Fuels

A religious pilgrimage is taking place to oppose fossil fuel use in New England.Members of the New England Yearly Meeting, a group made up of Quakers from the six New England states, plan to walk 60 to 70 miles the week of July 9 from Schiller Station power plant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire — two of the few remaining coal-powered plants in New England (Schiller also burns wood and other...

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Jossie Valentin: I Just Went to Cuba, and Trump Policy is Wrong
Jul03

Jossie Valentin: I Just Went to Cuba, and Trump Policy is Wrong

When Donald Trump was making his announcement about reversing steps his predecessor — Barack Obama — took in normalizing relationships with Cuba, Holyoke City Councilor Jossie Valentin had just returned home from a trip to the island to talk with women there.Valentin, who was first elected as a City Councilor for Ward 4 in November 2013, is a senior academic advisor at Holyoke Community College. She left for Cuba on May 28 — her first...

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We Got Our -ERN Back, Now How Bout That $80,000
Jun30

We Got Our -ERN Back, Now How Bout That $80,000

Four months ago, then-Advocate arts editor Hunter Styles wrote an excellent take-down of the hugely unpopular ad campaign trying to rebrand our region with the name “West Mass.” The heart of it was a list of questions about a dizzying, poorly-thought-out video released along with the brand name — among them “Did it really need to cost $80,000 and take 11 months to decide to take the letters “-ern” off the existing name?”This week, the...

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Are The Dems Doomed? An Advocate Chat
Jun26

Are The Dems Doomed? An Advocate Chat

Each week on valleyadvocate.com, the Advocate staff chats about whatever has us really riled up at the moment. This week’s discussion was on the Democrats’ losing streak in special elections, and what it might mean for 2018. This is an excerpt; the full chat is online. Text below has been edited.Editor-in-Chief Kristin Palpini: I’m pumped! Let’s talk Dems and Reps, donkeys and elephants, Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Jon Ossoff lost in...

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STAYCATION … And ALL   The Rest
Jun26

STAYCATION … And ALL The Rest

Every region has its own special and unique places to go. Don’t miss your chance to check out those in your own backyard! Contra Dancing Western Massachusetts is home to some of the best contra dances anywhere in the world. What is contra dancing? It is shocking to me that contra dance, which is sort of the lefty-liberal version of square dancing, remains relatively unknown outside the people who do it. I randomly walked into my first...

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STAYCATION — TREAT YO SELF

During  your staycation you might be tempted to  make the same old stuff at home for dinner. But think about it for a second: If you were traveling on vacation would you be cooking dinner or would you be feasting and letting someone else do the dishes? Why not explore your own backyard? Treat yourself. Jumbo Culinary CuriositiesIn Chicopee, one of the most distinctive restaurants is Bernie’s Dining Depot. It’s a former passenger train...

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STAYCATION — WESTERN MASS TOURISTS
Jun26

STAYCATION — WESTERN MASS TOURISTS

Real New Yorkers don’t visit the Statue of Liberty, so they say. Why bother? It’s always right there. We, too, have our own tourist destinations often taken for granted by the residents here. Staycations offer a chance to become a tourist and check out the famous sites of Western Mass (or “West Mass” if you’re a real tourist). TanglewoodI went once for a recording of the NPR show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. I’d long heard about...

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STAYCATION — OUTDOORS

The great outdoors — a majestic beauty that has been captured in poems and songs since the dawn of recorded history. Why sit inside all day and binge watch your favorite crime drama when you could spend your staycation out in the glorious bounty of nature? Hiking Trail AdventuresWhether you’re up for a quick jaunt through the woods or out to climb a steep rocky trail, there are plenty of places to go hiking that will satiate your...

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STAYCATION — SUMMER ESCAPES
Jun26

STAYCATION — SUMMER ESCAPES

The idea of a staycation is all very well and good, until you find yourself on your third day and all you’ve done is binge watch Netflix. The whole point of a vacation is to escape the humdrum of your daily life right? Escaping routine or stress or pressure or — yikes! — people. These summer escapes can offer you a chance to get out of your comfort zone and try something new with your family, friends or solo. Northfield Drive-In,...

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Fourth of July Fireworks: Where and When
Jun26

Fourth of July Fireworks: Where and When

It’s Going to be a BlastCommunities all over the region are lighting off fireworks this week to celebrate America’s independence — July 4, the day, back in 1776, the 13 colonies told King George to kick rocks. It’s a good time to party and reflect on what made the colonists risk their lives for freedom. There are about two dozen grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence, here’s a few (the “he” is England’s King...

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Hip-Hop Workshop for the Family
Jun26

Hip-Hop Workshop for the Family

The Family That Rhymes Together …This hip-hop workshop is family-friendly and focused on training young people in fashion, rhythmic poetry, and visual arts. The weekly class integrates inner-city arts and graffiti using constructive “off the wall” methods. Hosted by Sheldon Smith, who’s been producing art and clothing since the ’90s, the workshop seeks to help people of all ages find their creative voices.Off the Wall: Visual...

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RISE UP Board Game Is All About Fighting The System
Jun26

RISE UP Board Game Is All About Fighting The System

What do you do when the state of the world makes you so angry and/or demoralized that you don’t even want to leave the house? A new board game called Rise Up: The Game of People & Power, and created by former Hampshire College students, is the answer!Rise Up is a collaborative board game in which you and your fellow players are activists fighting against “the system.”So, of course, the Advocate had to play!Before the game begins,...

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STAYCATION — ARTS & CULTURE
Jun26

STAYCATION — ARTS & CULTURE

We’re lucky to live in an area where most towns organize summer concert series, summer theater is plentiful, and mind-blowing museums are just a short drive away. Summer Theater The Valley can has a right to brag about its theater scene: how many rural areas can boast a dozen or more theater companies? We’ve got: TheatreTruck, Silverthorne, Hampshire Shakespeare, the Majestic Theater, Stageloft Repertory Theater, Hampshire Shakespeare...

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