O Cannabis: Hey Pilgrim, How Was Your First Weed Harvest? 
Oct23

O Cannabis: Hey Pilgrim, How Was Your First Weed Harvest? 

The harvest is in and I can’t believe the results. My husband and I didn’t weigh our cannabis haul from our home garden, but we were able to fill a bunch of regular-size salsa jars with marijuana. This is more than good enough for me! Like many weed enthusiasts in the state, we enjoyed our first home-grown harvest in October. Strike up the weed exchanges! It’s kind of like a cookie exchange — and there may be cookies — but way danker....

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Editor Kristin Palpini’s Advocate Farewell: Riding Off Into The Sunset, Y’all
Oct09

Editor Kristin Palpini’s Advocate Farewell: Riding Off Into The Sunset, Y’all

It’s been real, but it’s time for me to be moving on. I’ve stepped down as editor to pursue other writing opportunities and I’m looking forward to getting back into reporting on, rather than assigning, stories. Reporting is how I got my start in the business back in 2003 at the Advocate’s sister pub, the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Good God, what can I say about 15 years with the same company, the last three of them leading the Valley...

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Your Hot Steaming Guide to Local Mac & Cheese From Springfield to Brattleboro
Oct09

Your Hot Steaming Guide to Local Mac & Cheese From Springfield to Brattleboro

The weather is getting colder, so it’s time for us New Englanders to look inward for some of that warm toasty comfort — literally. Fill yourself with some happy via one of everyone’s favorite comfort foods, mac ‘n’ cheese (even the dish’s name is nice ‘n’ cozy). At its best mac ‘n’ cheese is a sumptuous joy ride for the mouth across various plains of strong and/or creamy cheeses strung together by buttered noodles. Mac ‘n’ cheese...

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Valley Advocate Fall Arts Preview of Western Mass
Oct02

Valley Advocate Fall Arts Preview of Western Mass

Fall 2017 in the Valley is stuffed with anticipated moments of cultural and artistic profundity; below is just a taste of all the amazing events taking place October into early-December across the three counties, and southern Vermont. Fragile Freedom After the U.S. entered WWII, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the evacuation and imprisonment of 120,000 mostly Japanese-Americans into 10...

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How to Help Puerto Rico while Trump Golfs
Oct02

How to Help Puerto Rico while Trump Golfs

Ripped apart by Hurricane Maria about two weeks ago, Puerto Rico is suffering from a severe lack of food, water, medicine, and shelter. Only 5 percent of the nation has electricity, according to the Associated Press. Federal aid is slow to arrive, people on the island say. On Sept. 27, CNN reported that more than 10,000 containers of supplies were sitting on the docks in San Juan unable to get to people in need due to damaged roads, a...

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Correction for ‘Sacred Enough?’ Sept.21-27, 2017

Correction The cover story of the Sept. 21 Valley Advocate, “Sacred Enough? Native American sites in the Valley destroyed with a might shrug,” wrongly suggested that a 6.2 megawatt solar project in Shutesbury had been shown to destroy or threaten Native American artifacts and sacred lands. The use of photos also wrongly suggested that Native American ceremonial stones had been found on the 30-acre Shutesbury site. Neither suggestion...

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O Cannabis: A How-To Guide to Harvesting Weed
Sep25

O Cannabis: A How-To Guide to Harvesting Weed

You can smell fall in the air — and in Massachusetts the aroma is a lot danker than usual. This October will mark the first major outdoor weed harvest since people ages 21 and up were given the green light to legally grow marijuana in Massachusetts on Dec. 15, 2016. In May, I wrote a how-to-grow guide and it feels fitting to follow that up with a how-to on harvesting. I spoke with cannabis artist Marty Klein of Easthampton and medical...

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What the Film? It’s Northampton Film Fest
Sep25

What the Film? It’s Northampton Film Fest

A birdboy, 1900s Northampton, virtual realities, silly horror, and brimstone are among this year’s offerings at the Northampton Film Festival. Now in its third year under the leadership of Northampton Community Television, the annual multi-day event gets going Wednesday, Sept. 27, with a screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in Pulaski Park in downtown Northampton and closes with the debut of the crowdsourced community cinema...

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Bizarro Briefs: If a Monkey Takes a Selfie, Is It Yours?
Sep18

Bizarro Briefs: If a Monkey Takes a Selfie, Is It Yours?

If a Monkey Takes a Selfie, Is It Yours? The case of who owns the copyright to a selfie taken by a monkey — the monkey or the guy who owns the camera — has been settled out of court. In 2015, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sued on behalf of the macaque monkey who became a celebrity after he took a photo of himself with David Slater’s unattended camera during a 2011 trip to Indonesia. PETA was seeking financial...

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Yea-Hoo and Rockabilly, too: Flathead Rodeo Friday in Easthampton
Sep11

Yea-Hoo and Rockabilly, too: Flathead Rodeo Friday in Easthampton

Songs From the Rodeo Flathead Rodeo is Northampton-based roots rockabilly band recently won Mark Sherry’s Valley Musical Showcase in July, a regular, judged competition at New City Brewery in Easthampton. So, now they have the honor of opening and closing this week’s Showcase. Go see ‘em: They’re rocking, fun, and funny. Mistress Miriam (who got her name from Iggy Pop) has a long history of singing and performing improv — a...

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Springfield Puerto Rican Parade SUNDAY
Sep11

Springfield Puerto Rican Parade SUNDAY

The annual Puerto Rican Parade kicks off Sunday in Springfield. The parade, which featured more than 100 marching contingents and floats last year, will start at 11 a.m. and go down Main Street, from Wason Avenue to Boland Way. Expect to get your dance on and enjoy some killer empanadas. There will be a main stage and celebration outside at 1500 Main St. Puerto Rican Parade: 11 a.m. Main Street, Springfield, from Wason Avenue to...

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Selfie Indulgent? UMass show explores the self portrait
Sep11

Selfie Indulgent? UMass show explores the self portrait

No one gives Picasso shit for all the self portraits he’s painted. And I’m yet to hear someone call Frida Kahlo’s self portraits “navel gazing.” But right now, the self portrait is under fire. People like to heap a lot of scorn on selfie-takers, folks who have read up on how to pose for the best pic and keep their smartphone cameras set to “Beauty” mode. The selfie is often derided as being selfish and trite, but people’s desire to be...

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Amherst Emily Dickinson FEST!!!! Now Through the Weekend
Sep11

Amherst Emily Dickinson FEST!!!! Now Through the Weekend

Kindly Stopping for Emily Dickinson Amherst’s annual celebration of one of its most famed artists begins Thursday, Sept. 14, and carries on through the weekend with the Amherst Poetry Festival and Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon. The fest, held at various locations, features a day-long marathon of reading Dickinson’s 1,789 poems aloud (starts at 6 a.m. Saturday at the Emily Dickinson Museum); Poetry in the Planetarium with Dara Wier...

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Go See: Museum and Gallery Exhibits on Sept. 14-20, 2017
Sep11

Go See: Museum and Gallery Exhibits on Sept. 14-20, 2017

Alumnae House Gallery: Greenhouse Panoramas — A Process of Reinvention. Large-scale greenhouse images by photographer/artist Esther Pullman. Through Jan. 8. Free. 33 Elm St., Northampton. (413) 585-2190. mhobbes@smith.edu. Amherst Town Hall: Changing Landscapes. By Janet Pozar paintings from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where she grew up. Through Oct. 31. 4 Boltwood Ave., Amherst. janet-pozar.squarespace.com. Anchor House: 5...

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Bizarro Briefs: Urine Town
Sep11

Bizarro Briefs: Urine Town

Urine Town Massachusetts is home to so many agricultural fairs, it can be difficult to stand out during fair season, which we’re in the midst of right now. Setting themselves apart from the pack is the annual North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival in Orange, Mass., which will feature recycling human urine this year. The festival, scheduled for Sept. 23-24, will collect the urine of the events estimated 10,000 attendants from...

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Western Mass Missed Connections: What Was I Driving?
Sep11

Western Mass Missed Connections: What Was I Driving?

The Missed Connections forum on Craigslist is a wasteland of terrible poetry, dick pics, and whining, but among the detritus are some truly fascinating, funny, and occasionally sweet entries. The following are highlights from the Western Mass Missed Connections forum, sans detritus. shelburne falls walking — m4w (shelburne falls) was driving a car and almost crashed into the crosswalk sign looking at you, you stopped and laughed...

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The Sacred Space in Between: Auferoth Exhibit in Easthampton
Sep11

The Sacred Space in Between: Auferoth Exhibit in Easthampton

The paintings in Susannah Auferoth’s exhibit at the Grubbs Gallery in Easthampton, have one thing in common: They all use the template of three exact lines, two thick, the middle one thin, in colors with cavernous depth. But that’s it. Within this framework Auferoth has created individual expressions of movement and reflection on three plains: Earth, sky, and the space in between where life happens. Seven of these pieces are on view...

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Michael Ruffino of the Unband: All Rock, No Bullshit
Sep05

Michael Ruffino of the Unband: All Rock, No Bullshit

Unband bassist Michael Ruffino doesn’t bullshit. Outside on the deck at Northampton Brewery,  I ask the rocker with a new memoir about music, the Valley, LA, the creative process, his book; and he’s refreshingly candid. How do you feel about the music in the ‘90s, Mike? “Just self-centered people, trying to be deep, but not being deep. It’s like, talk to a professional about this instead; don’t make me sit through it.” What do you...

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Missed Connections: Hot Dog! We Have a Wiener!
Sep05

Missed Connections: Hot Dog! We Have a Wiener!

The Missed Connections forum on Craigslist is a wasteland of terrible poetry, dick pics, and whining, but among the detritus are some truly fascinating, funny, and occasionally sweet entries. The following are highlights from the Western Mass Missed Connections forum, sans detritus. Hot Dogs — m4m (Lenoxdale)  We had hotdogs at the same time today (Saturday). I’ve seen you around town. You’re very handsome. Long-shot I...

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The Shea Is Haunted … Wanna See?
Aug28

The Shea Is Haunted … Wanna See?

Come Play With Ghosts In Deus Ex Machina, audience members become part of the show — a vaudeville rehearsal at The Shea, the ghosts of the past, the costuming, the makeup —through dozens of disorienting and thrilling encounters, and reunite when the world resolves at the end of the evening. Presented by Eggtooth Productions. Deus Ex Machina: Aug. 30-Sept. 1. Shows at 7:30 and 9 p.m. each night; only 18 participants per show. $20. Shea...

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Blandford Fair: All’s Fair in Love and Corn Dogs
Aug28

Blandford Fair: All’s Fair in Love and Corn Dogs

What can you say about how much fun the Blandford Fair is that hasn’t been said 150 times before? The four-day agricultural fair has been going strong for a century and a half, tweaking the format a little every year to keep up with the times while staying firmly rooted in local heritage. This year’s highlights include: horse shows, an art show and sale, historical re-enactments, carnival rides and games, country-fried...

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Staff Picks: Three County Fair, Garlic Fest, mo’
Aug28

Staff Picks: Three County Fair, Garlic Fest, mo’

Crash, Mmm, Moo, Whee! Sounds Like a Fair to Me It’s a few days away, but I can already smell a unique blend of corn dogs, funnel cakes, old engines, smashed buses, and livestock that can only mean one thing: It’s fair time, baby! The Three County Fair is holding its 200th — 200th!! — agricultural fair this weekend at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton off Bridge Street. The fair will have all the wonderful things...

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Nabbed by ICE on Prom

Whenever someone asks me where I’m from, I say that I live in Westchester, New York. Although that means next to nothing to my peers at The University of Massachusetts, anyone from New York will hear that and think that they have an immediate understanding of my family and upbringing. Though Westchester County is known as the affluent suburb of New York City, and the county includes 10 percent of America’s wealthiest places, the town...

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Pick Some Rolling Papers and We’ll Reveal a Deep Truth About You
Aug28

Pick Some Rolling Papers and We’ll Reveal a Deep Truth About You

The paper you use when wrapping marijuana into a dank joint says a lot about who you are as a person. Do you go for flash over substance? Are you discerning or thirsty? Are you a class act or a hot mess? Pick your favorite papers, and we’ll reveal a deep truth about your personality. And if you want to know more about which rolling papers create the best spliffs, gorilla fingers, jays, pinners, and fatties, check out this week’s...

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Gas From The Past  
Aug28

Gas From The Past  

The first gasoline-powered car was developed in Springfield by Charles Duryea and his brother Frank in 1892. Does that mean climate change is our fault? Somewhat, but these days the Valley is known for student efforts to have their institutions divest from fossil fuels. 

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Ultimate’s Origin
Aug28

Ultimate’s Origin

Amherst is the birthplace of Ultimate Frisbee — don’t let those kids at Columbia High School tell you any different. The game got its start at Amherst College prior to the 1940s and the invention of the Frisbee (students played the game with cake pan lids then.) Today, it’s inescapable — especially on beautiful afternoons in pretty parks (like, say, the Amherst Commons).

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You’re Walking In Dino Tracks
Aug28

You’re Walking In Dino Tracks

The first dinosaur tracks in North America were discovered right here in the Valley. Credit goes to Pliny Moody, the South Hadley farm boy who stumbled upon them in a family field circa 1800. Thanks, Pliny! The tracks are all over the Valley, as it turns out — Greenfield, Turners Falls, Holyoke — preserved in what was once subtropical swamp soil, about 200 million years ago.

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Venerable  Valley-ites
Aug28

Venerable  Valley-ites

Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth escaped slavery in upstate New York and toured her lectures around the country, but it was Northampton’s abolitionist-founded Association of Education and Industry that attracted her to the Valley in 1844. Emily Dickinson famously resided here, as did the poet Robert Frost. Lupita Nyong’o (from 12 Years A Slave) went to Hampshire. Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Banks, and Uma Thurman...

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Back in the Day a Monkey  Burned Down Springfield City Hall
Aug28

Back in the Day a Monkey Burned Down Springfield City Hall

In 1905 Springfield’s City Hall burned to the ground in less than an hour. A New York Times article at the time said the $50,000 hall was completely destroyed and employees barely escaped the blaze. The fire was caused, allegedly, by a monkey who was hanging out in Assembly Hall as part of an ongoing fair, knocked over an unattended kerosene lamp. The charges against the monkey didn’t stick, however, and the true cause of the fire was...

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The Advocate’s Guide to the Valley

Hey-hey, new and returning students! Welcome to Western Mass.    This area, the Pioneer Valley, is a unique space for free spirits and old salts. We’re in the middle of nowhere (we just have to accept this, my Western Mass chums), surrounded by nature’s charms and small farms, yet we still have a strong culture scene. What do you want? Live music, a bevy of theater, art house movies, dancing, museums, galleries, artist spaces, and...

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Venue Menu: Live Music for  $10 or Less
Aug28

Venue Menu: Live Music for $10 or Less

You’ve got your schedule. You’ve got your books. You’re settled in your dorm room. Now, what are you going to listen to? Whether you’re from the area or brand new, one thing you should know about the Pioneer Valley is that it is bursting with great music and opportunities to see it. Amherst and Hadley don’t have much for traditional venues — it’s mostly DIY bands playing underground shows at homes with nicknames like TubeCat and The...

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O Cannabis! : Puff Or Pass? Best and Worst Rolling Papers for Your Weed
Aug28

O Cannabis! : Puff Or Pass? Best and Worst Rolling Papers for Your Weed

Rolling papers and Rodney Dangerfield have long had a lot in common: they didn’t get no respect. But as marijuana’s cultural cachet has risen, so too have the quality and variety of smoking equipment. The humble rolling paper has been elevated to prestige level with Shine, a 24-k gold leafed paper that sells for $12 per sheet and, from what I hear, provides a premium smoking experience as the gold flakes off with the burn. Overall,...

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Smoking Weed in Public
Aug28

Smoking Weed in Public

I have a friend, she’s a trip: She loves, LOVES, smoking marijuana where she isn’t supposed to. I call her a guerilla smoker, lighting up any time we’re in public no matter who’s around or what we’re doing. With recreational marijuana now being legal in Massachusetts, I asked her if she’s noticed any difference in how she and other people approach smoking in public. First she laughed, then she said she would show me. While weed is...

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Go See: Exhibits at Local Museums and Galleries
Aug28

Go See: Exhibits at Local Museums and Galleries

Amherst Town Hall: Echoes of the Past — Photographs of Abandoned Places explores the beauty of decay and what’s been left behind. Through Sept. 4. Free. Amherst Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Ave., Amherst. (413) 222-4924. echoesofthepast2014@gmail.com. A.P.E. Gallery: The Neural Architecture Sees Itself in Patterns. Paintings by John Aiken. • Incision Objects/ Sound Installation by Jake Meginsky: Sound installation, sinewaves,...

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On  Repeat: DJs, Karaoke, and Open Mics, R-SU
Aug28

On Repeat: DJs, Karaoke, and Open Mics, R-SU

THURSDAY 8/31 Buccaneer Lounge: DJ. 86 Maple St., Agawam. Christy’s Lounge: DJ. 278 Main St., Indian Orchard. Doc’s Place: Karaoke. 1264 Granby Road, Chicopee. Froggy’s Saloon: DJ karaoke. 846 Airport Industrial Park, Westfield. Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center: Open mic. 289 Main St., Greenfield. Hot Shot Billiards: DJ. 1440 North Main St., Palmer. Hu Ke Lau: Karaoke. 705 Memorial Dr., Chicopee. J.J.’s Tavern: Karaoke. 99 Main...

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