Hannah & Maggie on the Advocate Sessions Stage
Apr28

Hannah & Maggie on the Advocate Sessions Stage

Bright-eyed and bolstered by a rapidly growing fan base, the award winning NYC duo has set out to make the world of singer-songwriters a more cheerful place. Although they’ve been favorably compared to Simon & Garfunkel and The Indigo Girls, these ladies have an undeniable originality and a sound all their own. Their efforts to blend the folk music they were raised on with a modern-day melodic energy prove successful time and...

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Staff picks: Get out there and enjoy the Valley!
Apr25

Staff picks: Get out there and enjoy the Valley!

Upper Valley Music Festival – Saturday, April 29My wife is going to be participating in an all-day yoga event Saturday, leaving me with our 3-month-old. What better way to entertain the little guy than 12 hours of live music in Greenfield with dozens of acts on five stages? Tickets are $20. Venues throughout downtown Greenfield. Music goes from noon to midnight. More information at http://www.uppervalleymusicfest.com. -Dave...

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News of the Weird: SWAT Called on Homeless Intruder
Apr24

News of the Weird: SWAT Called on Homeless Intruder

A June 2016 police raid on David Jessen’s Fresno County (California) farmhouse caused a $150,000 mess when sheriff’s deputies and Clovis Police Department officers “rescued” it from a trespassing homeless man — with the massive destruction leading to Jessen’s lawsuit announced in March. The misdemeanant helped himself to an ice cream bar, some milk and half a tomato, but was otherwise “unarmed.” However, by the time the police...

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Winners of the Best Of the Valley Readers’ Poll Announced, top local businesses in 160+ categories
Apr19

Winners of the Best Of the Valley Readers’ Poll Announced, top local businesses in 160+ categories

 The Valley Advocate would like to thank everyone that took time to vote in the 2017 Valley Advocate Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll.This year you will notice that we have changed how the winners are displayed on our new website. We hope that you will find our new format to be more user and mobile friendly.Thank you again for voting and please let the businesses know that you saw them on our website as you congratulate...

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Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman speaks today at Mount Holyoke
Apr25

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman speaks today at Mount Holyoke

Amy Goodman, host of radio program Democracy Now!, will speak at Mount Holyoke College at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25.Goodman will speak at the Gamble Auditorium at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum about increased threats to freedom of the press and the importance of truly independent media to hold those in power accountable. She is also presenting her new book, “The Enemy is not the Enemy.”Doors open at 7 p.m. and...

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Best Store for beer selection 2017 – Table & Vine
Apr18

Best Store for beer selection 2017 – Table & Vine

Table & Vine Best Store for beer selection Address: 1119 Riverdale St., West Springfield, MA Phone: (413) 736-4694 Website: http://www.tableandvine.com The 55-year-old Table & Vine has become something of a regional destination now that it carries nearly 4,000 wine varieties, 2,700 kinds of spirits, 1,000 beers, and 1,700 specialty food items. People are clearly coming from all over, said wine sales manager Michael Quinlan: “It’s...

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Best Liquor store 2017 – Liquors 44
Apr18

Best Liquor store 2017 – Liquors 44

Liquors 44 Best Liquor store Address: 238 King St., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 586-3007 Website: http://www.liquors44.com Good thing Staples retired its catchphrase “Yeah, we’ve got that” a few years ago, because that certainly describes Liquors 44. From liqueurs and cordials to craft beer, flavored vodkas, international wines, and 30-racks of old faithfuls, Liquors 44 is pretty much bound to carry it at one, or all, of its three...

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Best Independent coffee house/cafe 2017 – Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters
Apr18

Best Independent coffee house/cafe 2017 – Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters

Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters Best Independent coffee house/cafe Address: 322 Russell St. (Rte. 9), Hadley, MA Phone: (413) 582-1890 Website: http://www.shelburnefallscoffee.com With six locations across Western Mass, an assortment of coffee blends, fresh pastries, delicious breakfast sandwiches made to order, and an emphasis on local produce, it’s no wonder Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters has been ranked the best by readers once...

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Best Store for wine selection 2017 – Table & Vine
Apr18

Best Store for wine selection 2017 – Table & Vine

Table & Vine Best Store for wine selection Address: 1119 Riverdale St., West Springfield, MA Phone: (413) 736-4694 Website: http://www.tableandvine.com The 55-year-old Table & Vine has become something of a regional destination now that it carries nearly 4,000 wine varieties, 2,700 kinds of spirits, 1,000 beers, and 1,700 specialty food items. People are clearly coming from all over, said wine sales manager Michael Quinlan: “It’s...

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Best Local non-profit 2017 – Dakin Humane Society
Apr18

Best Local non-profit 2017 – Dakin Humane Society

Dakin Humane Society Best Local non-profit Address: 171 Union St., Springfield, MA Phone: (413) 781-4000 Website: http://www.dakinhumane.org An adoption center for cats, dogs, and other small animals, Dakin focuses on improving the lives of animals in need and the people who are there for them. Since 2006, this local nonprofit, based in Springfield and Leverett, has provided services such as dog training classes, spay and neutering,...

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Best Local TV personality 2017 – Dave Madsen
Apr18

Best Local TV personality 2017 – Dave Madsen

Dave Madsen Best Local TV personality Address: WGGB, , Phone: Website: http://www.wggb.com A longtime favorite local TV personality, Dave Madsen has been reporting the news for the past 36 years. He has a way of cutting through spin and getting to the heart of news and finding stories that impact people in the Valley. “In spite of what’s being said about the media on a national level,” Madsen said, “we’re still doing what we always...

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Best Local green business 2017 – River Valley Co-op
Apr18

Best Local green business 2017 – River Valley Co-op

River Valley Co-op Best Local green business Address: 330 N. King St., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 584-2665 Website: http://rivervalleymarket.coop River Valley Co-op is a juggernaut of a cooperative grocery store and community hub. Since opening nine years ago, the market has expanded exponentially and seems to be always undergoing some kind of tweak or renovation to make the store that much more convenient and expansive for...

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Best Local meteorologist 2017 – Dave Hayes the Weather Nut
Apr18

Best Local meteorologist 2017 – Dave Hayes the Weather Nut

Dave Hayes the Weather Nut Best Local meteorologist Address: , , Phone: Website: http://westernmassweather.com For more than half a decade, Dave Hayes has been following his lifelong passion for weather while keeping Pioneer Valley residents informed about conditions. Working under the name, the Weather Nut, Hayes has a popular Facebook page and website where he keeps local people up to date on what’s falling from the sky. He posts...

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Best Local radio personality 2017 – Monte Belmonte
Apr18

Best Local radio personality 2017 – Monte Belmonte

Monte Belmonte Best Local radio personality Address: WRSI, , Phone: Website: http://www.wrsi.com It’s hard to keep track of where Monte is, and what he’s up to on a given day — the Turners Falls family man jumps from concert halls to city streets to far-flung locales, raising money for good causes, taking on heavy-lift projects like the renovation of the Shea Theater, and chatting up everyone on every topic from politics to wine to...

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Best Landscaper 2017 – Snow & Sons Landscaping
Apr18

Best Landscaper 2017 – Snow & Sons Landscaping

Snow & Sons Landscaping Best Landscaper Address: 221 Leyden Rd., Greenfield, MA Phone: (413) 774-2604 Website: http://www.snowandsons.com As winter recedes and green returns to the Valley, one thing is clear — this place is a mess! After lying under blankets of snow for months, lawns and landscapes need a little tender loving care to bring them back to lush glory. If you’re not up to the challenge call Snow & Sons, a 38-year-old...

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Best Tree service 2017 – C.L. Frank & Company
Apr18

Best Tree service 2017 – C.L. Frank & Company

C.L. Frank & Company Best Tree service Address: 50 Cooke Ave., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 584-9417 Website: http://www.clfrankandco.com C.L. Frank is now known for full-spectrum, professional arboricultural services for residential, institutional, and commercial clients. “We employ sincere, honest, hard-working individuals and treat them with common courtesy and respect, and ask them to treat each other and our clients in exactly...

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Best Computer/electronic repair 2017 – Yes Computers
Apr18

Best Computer/electronic repair 2017 – Yes Computers

Yes Computers Best Computer/electronic repair Address: 196 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 585-0007 Website: http://www.yescomputers.com Northampton’s Yes Computers has built a 23-year reputation on a knowledgeable sales team, Apple-certified service department, and a well-designed, inviting space that serves as a local alternative to the big box stores. “We’re able to establish long-term relationships with our customers...

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Best Solar installation 2017 – PV Squared
Apr18

Best Solar installation 2017 – PV Squared

PV Squared Best Solar installation Address: 311 Wells St., Greenfield, MA Phone: (413) 772-8788 Website: http://pvsquared.coop This worker-owned cooperative has been providing high-quality workmanship to Valley solar-power since 2002. “We have a great team,” Andy Toomajian, sales, and Jon Child, sales manager, said. “We’re one of the longest standing solar energy specialists in Western New England,” they said. So far, PV Squared has...

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Best Roofer 2017 – Florence Roofing
Apr18

Best Roofer 2017 – Florence Roofing

Florence Roofing Best Roofer Address: 77 West St., West Hatfield, MA Phone: (413) 585-9171 Website: http://www.florenceroofingwma.com Phil Andrikidis has worked in the industry for 25 years and has run Florence Roofing for the past 11 years. The business specializes in residential and commercial roofing as well as custom copper and metal work. “Most roofing products have been around a long time, and are tried and proven,” he said, but...

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Best Electrician 2017 – Whiteley Electric
Apr18

Best Electrician 2017 – Whiteley Electric

Whiteley Electric Best Electrician Address: 52 Cottage St., Easthampton, MA Phone: (413) 527-1440 Website: http://www.whiteleyelectric.net A family owned and operated business since 1972, Whiteley Electric has built its reputation based on “quality work at reasonable rates,” said owner Dan Whiteley, who took over the electrical business that was founded by his father. Customers are longstanding and building a relationship with them is...

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Best Home improvement contractor 2017 – Valley Home Improvement, Inc.
Apr18

Best Home improvement contractor 2017 – Valley Home Improvement, Inc.

Valley Home Improvement, Inc. Best Home improvement contractor Address: 340 Riverside Dr., Florence, MA Phone: (413) 584-7522 Website: http://valleyhomeimprovement.com Valley Home Improvement offers a wide range of services from bathrooms and kitchens that need a little pizzaz to creating additions such as sunrooms and garages. The company also offers weatherization and insulation services, and installation of screen porches as well...

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Best Plumber 2017 – Richard’s Plumbing & Heating
Apr18

Best Plumber 2017 – Richard’s Plumbing & Heating

Richard’s Plumbing & Heating Best Plumber Address: 8 Easthampton Rd., #1, Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 585-0291 Website: For more than half a century Richard’s Plumbing & Heating has been providing quality service to customers with a traditional approach — always putting the customer first. A fourth generation family owned and operated plumbing and heating business, Richard’s is “always trying to keep our customers with the best...

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Best Real estate agency 2017 – Canon Real Estate
Apr18

Best Real estate agency 2017 – Canon Real Estate

Canon Real Estate Best Real estate agency Address: 199 Northampton St., Easthampton, MA Phone: (413) 527-8311 Website: http://www.canonre.com Since 1983, Canon Real Estate has “always put their customers first,” said owner Bob Canon. The cornerstone of this local real estate agency is its reputation and its continual cycle of referrals. “The overall feeling of unity in the Pioneer Valley is truly unique and exceptional. The diversity;...

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Best Banquet facility/reception hall 2017 – The Log Cabin
Apr18

Best Banquet facility/reception hall 2017 – The Log Cabin

The Log Cabin Best Banquet facility/reception hall Address: 500 Easthampton Rd., Holyoke, MA Phone: (413) 535-5077 Website: http://logcabin.com The Log Cabin features three rooms that can hold up to 1,000 people for an anniversary party, bar mitzvah, bridal shower, or wedding. Featuring beautifully landscaped grounds, the Log Cabin also features private spaces whether it’s for a cocktail hour or a renewal of vows ceremony. With a...

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Best Window/door installation 2017 – Pella
Apr18

Best Window/door installation 2017 – Pella

Pella Best Window/door installation Address: 240 Mohawk Trail, Greenfield, MA Phone: (413) 774-7231 Website: http://www.pella.com Pella has been providing great sturdy doors and air-tight windows to the Valley since 1985. General manager and VP Al Herringshaw said aside from Pella’s quality products, it’s the little things that make the company stand out. For one thing, Herringshaw said, the installers have a wide enough inventory to...

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Best Carpet & flooring store 2017 – Summerlin Floors
Apr18

Best Carpet & flooring store 2017 – Summerlin Floors

Summerlin Floors Best Carpet & flooring store Address: 322 College St., Amherst, MA Phone: (413) 253-9022 Website: http://www.summerlinfloors.com Since 1981, Summerlin Floors has been helping Pioneer Valley residents improve their homes by offering large selections of American made and imported ceramic tile as well as metal and glass tiles. The store offers more than 8,000 carpets from Karastan, Mohawk, and the Flooring Network in...

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Best Event/Wedding DJ 2017 – Bobby C’s DJ Service
Apr18

Best Event/Wedding DJ 2017 – Bobby C’s DJ Service

Bobby C’s DJ Service Best Event/Wedding DJ Address: , Montague, MA Phone: (413) 834-4222 Website: http://www.bobbycdjservice.com Bobby C has been DJing for 30 years now, specializing in weddings, anniversary parties, birthdays, school dances, and scores of occasions in between. “I have entertained thousands of people from Keene, New Hampshire to Springfield,” said Bobby C, who also works the airwaves at WHAI in Greenfield. 2nd...

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Best Equipment/party rentals 2017 – Northampton Rental
Apr18

Best Equipment/party rentals 2017 – Northampton Rental

Northampton Rental Best Equipment/party rentals Address: 59 Service Center Rd., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 584-5072 Website: http://northampton-rental.com For party rentals, Northampton Rental offers tents, tables, table linens, dishware, flatware, glassware, and more. The company also rents a wide range of equipment for homeowners and light construction work, including floor sanding, carpet cleaning, garden tilling, lawn seeding,...

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Best Local insurance agency 2017 – Finck & Perras Insurance Agency
Apr18

Best Local insurance agency 2017 – Finck & Perras Insurance Agency

Finck & Perras Insurance Agency Best Local insurance agency Address: 6 Campus Ln., Easthampton, MA Phone: (413) 5527-3000 Address: 63 Main St., Florence, MA Phone: (413) 584-1970 Website: http://www.insuringyourway.com The Finck & Perras company dates back to 1935, said president Genevieve Brough, and now has 27 employees at two locations, in Easthampton and Florence. This past year, Brough said, the company updated its website,...

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Best Two-year college 2017 – Greenfield Community College
Apr18

Best Two-year college 2017 – Greenfield Community College

Greenfield Community College Best Two-year college Address: One College Drive, Greenfield, MA Phone: (413) 775-1801 Website: http://www.gcc.mass.edu Greenfield Community College (GCC) President Bob Pura said GCC student experience is one of the college’s top focuses — really teaching the students instead of just teaching the subject. GCC continues to offer new courses, begin new initiatives, and enter into collaborations every year. A...

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Best Local bank 2017 – Florence Bank
Apr18

Best Local bank 2017 – Florence Bank

Florence Bank Best Local bank Address: 85 Main St., Florence, MA Phone: (413) 586-1300 Website: http://www.florencebank.com There are lots of banks in which you can keep your money and apply for financing, but most of them are staffed by bottom-line focused corporate wolves. Not so with local banks — especially Florence Bank. The bank, founded in 1873, is best known for a commitment to customer service. “This is our top priority,”...

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Best Law firm 2017 – Bacon Wilson Attorneys at Law
Apr18

Best Law firm 2017 – Bacon Wilson Attorneys at Law

Bacon Wilson Attorneys at Law Best Law firm Address: 33 State St., Springfield, MA Phone: (413) 781-0560 Website: http://www.baconwilson.com The general practice law firm is known for its outstanding legal representation and for its longtime commitment to community support and service throughout the Valley. Established in 1895 — 1895! — shareholder Michael B. Katz said outstanding attorneys and working with the community have...

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Best Caterer 2017 – Seth Mias Catering
Apr18

Best Caterer 2017 – Seth Mias Catering

Seth Mias Catering Best Caterer Address: P.O. Box 538, Leeds, MA Phone: (413) 695-4874 Website: http://www.sethmias.com This past October, Seth Mias Catering bought the former Look Restaurant space in Leeds and moved in. Mias said he is delighted to have “our own headquarters, with office and kitchen space,” right in time for the best year of business he’s had since he started his company 15 years ago. Back then, at age 20, he said...

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Best Wedding/event photographer 2017 – Dani Fine Photography
Apr18

Best Wedding/event photographer 2017 – Dani Fine Photography

Dani Fine Photography Best Wedding/event photographer Address: 150 Main St. (Thornes Marketplace), Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 341-3031 Website: http://www.daniphotography.com Whether it’s for a wedding, commercial, a national ad, or boudoir photos, Dani Fine Photography has been capturing the best moments on camera for the past 18 years. The business mostly focuses on shooting photos locally, but has also been hired to take...

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Best Private/charter/alternative School 2017 – Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School
Apr18

Best Private/charter/alternative School 2017 – Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School Best Private/charter/alternative School Address: 15 Mulligan Dr., South Hadley, MA Phone: (413) 522-1580 Website: http://www.pvpa.org PVPA is best known for having the most outstanding performing arts programs of any public or secondary school in the Pioneer Valley. In it’s 21st year as a Massachusetts Commonwealth Charter Public School, the head of school, Scott Goldman has been...

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