Letters to the Editor: RIP Charles Neville
May08

Letters to the Editor: RIP Charles Neville

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. RIP Charles Neville Charles Neville died recently. We here in Western Massachusetts had...

Read More
Letters to the editor: King Sarno overstepping his royal office
Apr24

Letters to the editor: King Sarno overstepping his royal office

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. King Sarno overstepping his royal office Jesus Christ!! Springfield has anointed a...

Read More
Back Talk: Hurrah for ranked choice voting!
Apr10

Back Talk: Hurrah for ranked choice voting!

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Hurrah for ranked choice voting in Amherst (In response to “Voting politicians off the...

Read More
Letters to the Editor: Hope we will listen to student gun protesters
Mar28

Letters to the Editor: Hope we will listen to student gun protesters

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. I hope we will listen to student gun protesters On Wednesday, March 14th, I witnessed...

Read More
Letters to the Editor: Banning specific guns won’t work, but taking them away from violent people will
Mar13

Letters to the Editor: Banning specific guns won’t work, but taking them away from violent people will

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Banning specific guns won’t work, but taking them away from violent people will I...

Read More
Letters to the Editor: Mixed Reaction to Amherst Rep. Leaving Democrats
Feb27

Letters to the Editor: Mixed Reaction to Amherst Rep. Leaving Democrats

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Mixed Reaction to Amherst State Rep. Leaving Democrats In response to “Bravo to...

Read More
Letters to the Editor: Praise for New Podcast
Feb13

Letters to the Editor: Praise for New Podcast

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. A Great Kick Off for the Valley Advocate Podcast We kicked off our new Valley Advocate...

Read More
Letters to the Editor: Offensive Language; Excellent Reporting
Jan31

Letters to the Editor: Offensive Language; Excellent Reporting

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Offensive Language; Excellent Reporting Several people wrote in about our article...

Read More
Back Talk: Let’s Overturn Citizens United
Jan16

Back Talk: Let’s Overturn Citizens United

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Missing Ballot Question: Amendment 28 In response to “Getting it on the Ballot” (Jan....

Read More
Back Talk: Rejoice – Nukes are Now Illegal
Jan02

Back Talk: Rejoice – Nukes are Now Illegal

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. It’s Not Food; It’s Transportation I’ve read your recent article about food deserts in...

Read More
Letters to the Editor: Scared of Inexperienced Bully Trump with Nukes
Dec26

Letters to the Editor: Scared of Inexperienced Bully Trump with Nukes

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Where Are Our Congressional and Military Leaders? In response to “Between the Lines:...

Read More
Back Talk: Men, Stop Harassing Women
Dec18

Back Talk: Men, Stop Harassing Women

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Men: Stop harassing women! To all males living in this country I issue a collective...

Read More
Back Talk: Where do we go with this?
Dec04

Back Talk: Where do we go with this?

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Where Do We Go With This? Do we laugh to stop the pain? Do we weep because it isn’t...

Read More
Back Talk: Where are police when downtown violence breaks out
Nov27

Back Talk: Where are police when downtown violence breaks out

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Where are police when downtown violence breaks out? Responses to “Smashed Northampton...

Read More
Back Talk: Misquotes, misuse of media, and misallocation of tax cuts
Nov20

Back Talk: Misquotes, misuse of media, and misallocation of tax cuts

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Thoreau Didn’t Say That In response to Rob Brezsny’s astrology column, posted online as...

Read More
Back Talk: Respect for Immigrants and Recommended Reading on Porn
Nov13

Back Talk: Respect for Immigrants and Recommended Reading on Porn

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Immigrants Deserve Respect, Not a Life of Fear Over the last number of months, the...

Read More
Back Talk: Disgusting Tabloid News in Western Mass
Oct30

Back Talk: Disgusting Tabloid News in Western Mass

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. ‘Disgusting’ ‘Tabloid’ News Many readers commented and wrote in about Andy Castillo’s...

Read More
Back Talk: Amherst is Made Out of Particle Board
Oct23

Back Talk: Amherst is Made Out of Particle Board

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. They Might Be Giant Eyesores Particle board, particle board. Amherst is made out of...

Read More
Backtalk: All The Best to Kristin Palpini
Oct16

Backtalk: All The Best to Kristin Palpini

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. All the Best to Kristin Palpini Many readers took the opportunity to respond to editor...

Read More
Backtalk: Keep Your Prayers, Act On Gun Control
Oct09

Backtalk: Keep Your Prayers, Act On Gun Control

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Keep Your Thoughts and Prayers. Act on Gun Control (via email) Well, it has happened...

Read More
Back Talk: Rage Against the Gantries
Sep11

Back Talk: Rage Against the Gantries

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Rage Against the Gantries (via Facebook and valleyadvocate.com) Comments in...

Read More
Back Talk: Wypipo Smoking Weed in the Streets and a New Name for Amherst
Sep05

Back Talk: Wypipo Smoking Weed in the Streets and a New Name for Amherst

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email  editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Weed in the Streets (via Facebook) Some reactions to “Smoking Weed in Public:...

Read More
Backtalk: Further Thoughts On Gender Pay Gap
Aug21

Backtalk: Further Thoughts On Gender Pay Gap

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvcoate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvcoate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. It Follows: The Gender Wage Gap (via email) I have read your article in the...

Read More
Back Talk: Mercs, Bicycles, and Farm Fresh Humor
Aug14

Back Talk: Mercs, Bicycles, and Farm Fresh Humor

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvoate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. A Prince Among Mercenaries (via email) I was so excited to hear that Donald Trump...

Read More
Backtalk: In Defense of Iron Horse Entertainment Group
Jul24

Backtalk: In Defense of Iron Horse Entertainment Group

Letters to the Editor In Defense of Iron Horse Entertainment Group Tiring to see all the IHEG (Iron Horse Entertainment Group) bashing [“Behind the Music: The People and Promoters Going Beyond IHEG,” July 13-19, 2017]! First, people don’t realize how fortunate we are to have national acts coming to the area. I’ve personally enjoyed many awesome acts throughout the years at all the IHEG venues [Pearl Street, Iron Horse, Calvin,...

Read More
Back Talk: IHEG Under Fire
Jul17

Back Talk: IHEG Under Fire

Iron Horse  Entertainment Group Under Fire Several readers took issue with what they perceived as a lack of interest in the local music scene from IHEG in the comments section and on Facebook in last week’s cover story, “Behind the Music,” July 13-19, 2017. Here are a few examples. Austin Hatch: As a member of a local band, we DO have some power to change this. My band won’t play IHEG venues, and we’ve turned down booking...

Read More
Back Talk: With Rep. Neal in Office, Who Needs a Republican?
Jul03

Back Talk: With Rep. Neal in Office, Who Needs a Republican?

With Rep. Neal in Office, Who Needs a Republican? Thank you for the excellent article on Representative Richard Neal (“Can Rankled Rural Voters Dethrone Congressman Neal?” June 22-28, 2017). I remember when the state redrew our districts so that Northampton and Amherst, both from the 5 College liberal quadrant, were separated. This thrust Northampton, where I lived, into Neal’s district, something at the time I was not happy about...

Read More
Back Talk: Why I Marched For Science
May22

Back Talk: Why I Marched For Science

Why I Marched for Science In 1970, we celebrated the first Earth Day. I remember it vividly as a college student at the University of Michigan. The energy of the first Earth Day, focused on the alarming rate of deterioration of our environment, helped lead to landmark changes in policy such as creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Earth Day is now a worldwide...

Read More
Poem: A Sunny Reunion in Look Park
May15

Poem: A Sunny Reunion in Look Park

The mesmerizing reversal of icy lunacy from sitting in the long-absent sunshine is exactly what his fetus signed up for and intuited long ago in the bog of his mother’s biospheric love.   The scent of soil; the touch of heat; the spectacle of black birds mirrored in the glinting pond are all great and gentle comforts to a boy who has seen sorrow up close and swallowed his share of shared pain.   Having fled the faded nest of...

Read More
Earth First and Last, a poem by Connolly Ryan
Apr24

Earth First and Last, a poem by Connolly Ryan

Earth First & Last Like children       in summertime,       our planet thrives on vivid evidence that there is always something to be. Unlike fools who amass acres by way of massacres, nature plants herself in one area and creates worlds around her. Earth itself (like birds and wisdom) feeds on uncertainty and sees death for what it is: the freedom to erode. — Connolly Ryan Connolly Ryan is a poet and senior lecturer at UMass...

Read More
Letters to the Editor: ‘Achievers have been out bred and out voted’
Apr10

Letters to the Editor: ‘Achievers have been out bred and out voted’

Stay Home From School Better questions for the article (“Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline: Springfield reduces in-school arrests, but is it enough?”, March 30-April 5, 2017) would have been: Why were the students arrested? Did anyone do the same thing and were not arrested? We had children in schools when Dr. Peter Negroni was superintendent of Springfield schools [in the 1990s]. Crime in the schools was a regular occurrence. A...

Read More
Back Talk: Weighing in on Boston’s Racism; and a Dumpty Trumpty poem
Apr03

Back Talk: Weighing in on Boston’s Racism; and a Dumpty Trumpty poem

You Can’t Make an Omelette … Poem and illustration by Mary L. Rice, maryl.rice@yahoo.com Is Boston Super Racist? Readers weigh in on the question posed in a Between the Lines of the same name in the March 30-April 5, 2017. Via Facebook Evan H Gregg: “Beloved Boston?” This is Western Mass, kid. Only people from Boston love Boston around here. — Ben Easton: Well put, man! What grinds my gears is those stupid traffic message signs...

Read More
Back Talk: Call out Anti-Semitism and Avoiding Fire Disasters
Mar27

Back Talk: Call out Anti-Semitism and Avoiding Fire Disasters

Tell it Like it Is Editor’s Note: This comment is in response to “Cinemadope: In Plain Site: Stories from overlooked worlds,” March 9-15, 2017, and the author’s statement, “Over the last few months, it has become impossible to ignore the rising tides of xenophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry and hatred that have suddenly made America a much scarier place …” In the future could you include the word “anti-Semitism”? It...

Read More
Back Talk: Music venues, a hero, and weed
Mar20

Back Talk: Music venues, a hero, and weed

Our Hero! Thanks for the Facebook comments left in response to “Don’t Be Afraid to Get Arrested: Longtime Activist Paki Wieland Says Today’s Protesters Aren’t Disturbing Enough People” Jim Sorter: Now we have a new hero who will inspire our lives. Thank you for letting us meet her! Kathleen Daly: ’Bout time someone put this to the page! Ana Thompson: Loved reading about this woman! Pro-Marijuana Groups are Blowing It Many people...

Read More
Back Talk: West Mess, readers respond to ‘West Mass’ tourism video
Mar13

Back Talk: West Mess, readers respond to ‘West Mass’ tourism video

‘West Mass’ Responses on Facebook… We had some questions about the ‘West Mass’ video, an effort by the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts to re-brand the area and attract tourists — and you had some thoughts about this dud, too. Here are some comments left on the Advocate’s website and Facebook page in response to “We Have Questions About That ‘West...

Read More