Police report filed on vandalism of Parkland shooting art installation
Apr30

Police report filed on vandalism of Parkland shooting art installation

Following reporting that vandals defaced a piece of artwork meant to honor the victims of a recent school shooting late last week and that no police report had been filed, police have received a complaint and are investigating. Police originally said no investigation was taking place due to a lack of a police complaint, but Springfield police were contacted Friday night at 7 p.m. about the vandalism of the art installation, which was...

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Podcast: Cannabis business owner Seth Frappier talks about breaking down stoner myths
Apr30

Podcast: Cannabis business owner Seth Frappier talks about breaking down stoner myths

Seth Frappier started Easthampton-based Chronic Trips as a way to bring cannabis together with wellness and an active lifestyle. So far, the business has hosted hikes as well as a yoga session. Frappier talks about his hopes for opening a studio in Easthampton and the importance of reducing the stigma of the “lazy stoner.” He also talks about the changing laws related to cannabis and what social consumption does for...

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Free Will Astrology: Wreak creative destruction, Libra
Apr30

Free Will Astrology: Wreak creative destruction, Libra

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I hate rampant consumerism almost as much as I hate hatred, so I don’t offer the following advice lightly: Buy an experience that could help liberate you from the suffering you’ve had trouble outgrowing. Or buy a toy that can thaw the frozen joy that’s trapped within your out-of-date sadness. Or buy a connection that might inspire you to express a desire you need help in expressing. Or buy...

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Izzy Heltai on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Apr27

Izzy Heltai on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Izzy Heltai is an indie folk singer-songwriter with a penchant for storytelling. Check out his full Valley Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Izzy...

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VIDEO: Izzy Heltai on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Apr25

VIDEO: Izzy Heltai on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Check out a teaser for video for Izzy Heltai, a North Adams-based indie folk songwriter with a penchant for storytelling. A full performance will be released this Friday.

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Podcast: Monte Belmonte plays wine therapist to Advocate staffers
Apr23

Podcast: Monte Belmonte plays wine therapist to Advocate staffers

WRSI Morning Host Monte Belmonte was recently voted this year’s best radio personality in the Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll, and is probably best known for walking dozens of miles to raise money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in his annual Monte’s March. He’s also one heck of a wine columnist. Join Meg Bantle and Gina Beavers as they probe Monte’s wine knowledge and he...

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Father of Parkland shooting victim recalls son through art in Springfield
Apr23

Father of Parkland shooting victim recalls son through art in Springfield

When the hammer first punched through the drywall people flinched. The crowd was silent as Manuel Oliver began to destroy parts of the art he had just created, mirroring the destruction of his son’s life in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Oliver, the father of shooting victim Joaquin “Guac” Oliver visited the South Congregational Church in Springfield Friday for the latest in a series called “Walls of Demand,” an art project...

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Free Will Astrology: Put down your quills Aries!
Apr20

Free Will Astrology: Put down your quills Aries!

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Imagine you’re one of four porcupines caught in frigid weather. To keep warm, you all have the urge to huddle together and pool your body heat. But whenever you try to get close, you prick each other with your quills. The only solution to that problem is to move away from each other, even though it means you can’t quell your chill as well. This scenario was used by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud as a parable...

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Anders Warringer on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Apr20

Anders Warringer on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Anders Warringer performs eclectic acoustic originals with a side of absurdity. Interview with Anders...

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Valley Advocate Readers’ Poll 2018 winners announced!
Apr19

Valley Advocate Readers’ Poll 2018 winners announced!

We are excited to announce the 2018 Valley Advocate Readers’ Poll winners! The categories and winners are available to view here. Thank you to all of our incredible local businesses, and of course to The Valley Advocate readers that vote! Congratulations!  ...

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Bizarro Briefs: No Singing Zone Ahead
Apr19

Bizarro Briefs: No Singing Zone Ahead

Dutch residents formed a chorus of opposition to a newly installed “singing road” earlier this month, prompting the road to be shut down after only one day of use. Workers had installed strips that act like rumble strips on 490 feet of road near the village of Jelsum, but instead of the familiar rumbling sound, the strips used vibration to play a popular portion of the regional anthem “De Alde Friezen,” or “The Old Frisians.” But like...

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Calendar: Thursday 4/19 – Sunday 4/22
Apr19

Calendar: Thursday 4/19 – Sunday 4/22

THURSDAY 4/19 MUSIC Bill Charlap Trio: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton. Dirk Quinn Band w/ The Franz Robert Quartet: 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. The Stone Church, 210 Main St., Brattleboro. Luke Baillargeon: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free. Live Italian music with Luke Baillargeon in The Mick. The Mick, 3 Country Club Rd., Holyoke. 413-532-1800. info@logcabin-delaney.com. Open Mic Night at The Taproom...

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Best Local TV personality 2018 – Dave Madsen
Apr18

Best Local TV personality 2018 – Dave Madsen

Dave Madsen Best Local TV personality Address: WGGB, , Phone: Website: wggb.com Dave Madsen has been in television and radio for 48 years, 26 of which were at Western Mass News. Born and raised in Southampton, Madsen started at radio station WHMP, worked there for 10 years, and then got into TV in 1979. “I always wanted to work in media, whether it was radio or television,” he says. “I go into work on a given afternoon and anything...

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Best Tourist destination in the Berkshires 2018 – Tanglewood
Apr18

Best Tourist destination in the Berkshires 2018 – Tanglewood

Tanglewood Best Tourist destination in the Berkshires Address: 279 West St., Lenox, MA Phone: (413) 637-1600 Website: tanglewood.org Nestled in the beautiful Berkshire Hills, Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is marked by acres of well-groomed grounds and great music. The space is dotted with stages and music halls big and small, which draw audiences who huddle around picnic baskets on Tanglewood’s rolling...

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Best Tourist destination in southern Vermont 2018 – Downtown Brattleboro
Apr18

Best Tourist destination in southern Vermont 2018 – Downtown Brattleboro

Downtown Brattleboro Best Tourist destination in southern Vermont Address: , , Phone: Website: brattleboro.com With live music every Thursday night, weekly yoga classes, African drum and dance classes every Wednesday, and monthly Irish music sessions, it’s no wonder that Downtown Brattleboro is a favorite tourist destination of southern Vermont. There is tons of shopping to be done. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to...

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Best Local meteorologist 2018 – Dave Hayes the Weather Nut
Apr18

Best Local meteorologist 2018 – Dave Hayes the Weather Nut

Dave Hayes the Weather Nut Best Local meteorologist Address: , , Phone: Website: westernmassweather.com Dave Hayes is the Pioneer Valley’s own down-to-earth hyper-local weather nut, who has been combining his passion for weather with humor and a knack for explaining meteorological data. Hayes also ranked first place in Valley Advocate Best of the Valley 2017, 2016, and 2015. He said he loves being a part of the western Massachusetts...

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Best House painter 2018 – J. Greene Painting Service
Apr18

Best House painter 2018 – J. Greene Painting Service

J. Greene Painting Service Best House painter Address: 30 Water St., Leeds, MA Phone: (413) 584-1987 Website: jgreenepainting.com Jason Greene wound up in a career in sales originally, but found that he had a much better time painting as a part of his father’s business during summers and weekends home from college. A Leeds resident, Greene wanted to start his own business and contribute to the community he grew up in. “I started small...

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Best Handyperson 2018 – Handy Hubby, LLC
Apr18

Best Handyperson 2018 – Handy Hubby, LLC

Handy Hubby, LLC Best Handyperson Address: , , MA Phone: (413) 221-5814 Website: wmasshandyhubby.com Quality work and no surprises are what Paul Bradish says Handy Hubby is known for. Bradish has been in business for just over a year, but have customers clearly determined Handy Hubby takes care of business. “We do just about everything, from major renovations like additions to installing faucets,” he says. After 39 years, Bradish...

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Best Landscaper 2018 – Snow & Sons Landscaping
Apr18

Best Landscaper 2018 – Snow & Sons Landscaping

Snow & Sons Landscaping Best Landscaper Address: 221 Leyden Rd., Greenfield, MA Phone: (413) 774-2604 Website: snowandsons.com Entering its 39th year of being in business, Snow & Sons continues to try new products, plant varieties, and equipment to expand the options it presents to its customers. They take pride in their employees and customer service, and are constantly getting feedback from their customers about how...

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Best Chimney sweep 2018 – Superior Chimney Sweep
Apr18

Best Chimney sweep 2018 – Superior Chimney Sweep

Superior Chimney Sweep Best Chimney sweep Address: 151 Wayside Ave., West Springfield, MA Phone: (413) 529-9436 Website: superiorchimneysweep.com Sweeping chimneys may not be a glamorous line of work, but Robert LeBlanc at Superior Chimney Sweep, Inc. is proud of the job they do. What sets them apart is “our attention to detail,” says LeBlanc. “Our employees are knowledgeable and we have great customer service,” he says. LeBlanc grew...

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Best Tree service 2018 – Dostal Tree Service
Apr18

Best Tree service 2018 – Dostal Tree Service

Dostal Tree Service Best Tree service Address: 88 South Main St., Florence, MA Phone: (413) 478-3659 Website: dostaltreeservice.com Dan Dostal says, “I’m humbled. Shocked,” when asked how he felt about winning best tree service in the Valley. But winning over folks with caring customer service seems to be a recipe for success. “We pride ourselves on personal one-on-one touch,” he says. Dostal Tree Service has been in business since...

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Best Solar installation 2018 – PV Squared
Apr18

Best Solar installation 2018 – PV Squared

PV Squared Best Solar installation Address: 311 Wells St., Greenfield, MA Phone: (413) 772-8788 Website: pvsquared.coop PV Squared is all about solar — the business has specialized in renewable energy for homeowners and businesses across western Massachusetts since 2002, says Jon Child, design and sales team leader. The solar business has placed first for the Valley Advocate Best of the Valley last year as well and Child said he...

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Best Computer/electronic repair 2018 – Yes Computers
Apr18

Best Computer/electronic repair 2018 – Yes Computers

Yes Computers Best Computer/electronic repair Address: 196 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 585-0007 Website: yescomputers.com If you want a new computer but don’t want to go to a big box giant, Yes Computers gives you an alternative without scrimping on the merchandise and knowledge. They offer a line of Apple products that will satisfy your electronic needs. They have a wide array of accessories from dozens of...

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Best Local green business 2018 – River Valley Co-op
Apr18

Best Local green business 2018 – River Valley Co-op

River Valley Co-op Best Local green business Address: 330 N. King St., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 584-2665 Website: rivervalleymarket.coop River Valley Co-op has a birthday coming up and it’s going to be a big one. River Valley is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Northampton on April 30 and is doing as much looking ahead at the future as reminiscing. The Co-op is a favorite among customers who want local food products all year...

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Best Local non-profit 2018 – Dakin Humane Society
Apr18

Best Local non-profit 2018 – Dakin Humane Society

Dakin Humane Society Best Local non-profit Address: 171 Union St., Springfield, MA Second location:163 Montague Rd. Leverett MAPhone: (413) 548-9898 Phone: (413) 781-4000 Website: dakinhumane.org Dakin is always a sure Best of the Valley favorite, but Executive Director Carmine DiCenso doesn’t take winning for granted. “It feels great to win. It’s wonderful to know people like what we do.” A leader in animal welfare in both the region...

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Best Local radio personality 2018 – Monte Belmonte
Apr18

Best Local radio personality 2018 – Monte Belmonte

Monte Belmonte Best Local radio personality Address: WRSI, , Phone: Website: wrsi.com Monte Belmonte, the secret to his success is being genuine and honest. “I think people can sense if the host or the format feels forced,” he says. “When we let our freak flags fly, as it were, people respond to that, even if it breaks the traditional ‘rules’ of radio.” Belmonte describes himself as having a limited filter and says he tries to be as...

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Best Real estate agency 2018 – Canon Real Estate
Apr18

Best Real estate agency 2018 – Canon Real Estate

Canon Real Estate Best Real estate agency Address: 199 Northampton St., Easthampton, MA Phone: (413) 527-8311 Website: canonre.com Robert Canon has owned Canon Real Estate since 1983 and has watched the Valley grow and change. His company has grown and changed along with it. “We really try to keep up with technology. We use drones now to shoot video for properties with special views.” But it’s experience that makes the company hum....

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Best Home builder 2018 – Wright Builders, Inc.
Apr18

Best Home builder 2018 – Wright Builders, Inc.

Wright Builders, Inc. Best Home builder Address: 48 Bates St., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 586-8287 Website: wright-builders.com Do you want to build your dream home, but don’t know where to start? For over 40 years, Jonathan Wright and his team have built the homes, businesses, and schools that have become a part of western Massachusetts. Wright Builders, Inc. is practiced in the art and science of green and sustainable...

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Best Home improvement contractor 2018 – Valley Home Improvement, Inc.
Apr18

Best Home improvement contractor 2018 – Valley Home Improvement, Inc.

Valley Home Improvement, Inc. Best Home improvement contractor Address: 340 Riverside Dr., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 584-7522 Website: valleyhomeimprovement.com The secret to Valley Home Improvements success? “Listening to clients throughout the design and construction process and beyond.” In business since 1991, this residential remodeling company has been dedicated to keeping up with technology. “We have a 3D scanner which allows...

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Best Kitchen design 2018 – Classic Kitchens & Baths
Apr18

Best Kitchen design 2018 – Classic Kitchens & Baths

Classic Kitchens & Baths Best Kitchen design Address: 20 Colrain St., Greenfield, MA Phone: (413) 774-4714 Website: classic-kitchens.com Classic Kitchens was established in 1987 in Greenfield by Jonathan and Carol Rastallis. The current owner, Erica Smith, bought the business in 2007 after working there for many years. The business is known for providing personalized design solutions and quality products and professional service...

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Best Heating/air conditioning installation or repair service 2018 – Richard’s Fuel & Heating
Apr18

Best Heating/air conditioning installation or repair service 2018 – Richard’s Fuel & Heating

Richard’s Fuel & Heating Best Heating/air conditioning installation or repair service Address: 79 Union St., Easthampton, MA Phone: (413) 527-0194 Website: richardsfuel.com After 51 years, Richard’s Fuel & Heating knows what it takes to be successful in the Valley. Their business in Easthampton has been successfully caring for the heating and fueling needs of Valley families for decades, and they are showing no signs...

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Best Window/door installation 2018 – Pella
Apr18

Best Window/door installation 2018 – Pella

Pella Best Window/door installation Address: 240 Mohawk Trail, Greenfield, MA Second location:69 Ashley Ave. West Springfield MSPhone: (413) 736-9239 Phone: (413) 774-7231 Website: pella.com Al Herringshaw of Pella says they have been in business since 1962. “We are best known for providing the highest quality and most innovative windows and doors in the Valley,” he says. “We are also known for providing an outstanding customer...

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Best Carpet & flooring store 2018 – Summerlin Floors
Apr18

Best Carpet & flooring store 2018 – Summerlin Floors

Summerlin Floors Best Carpet & flooring store Address: 322 College St., Amherst, MA Phone: (413) 253-9022 Website: summerlinfloors.com Since 1968, Summerlin Floors has been the “home town flooring experts,” says the owner, Ann Bronner. Summerlin carries ceramic tile, carpeting, hardwoods, and laminates. They also have vinyl flooring from brands that include Armstrong and Mannington. Their collection of green materials are really...

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Best Electrician 2018 – Dan Whiteley Electric
Apr18

Best Electrician 2018 – Dan Whiteley Electric

Dan Whiteley Electric Best Electrician Address: 52 Cottage St., Easthampton, MA Phone: (413) 527-1440 Website: whiteleyelectric.net This is the second year Whiteley has been voted Best of the Valley. A man of few words but hard work, Whiteley’s dad started Whiteley Electric back in 1972. Now Whiteley and his crew are busy going “wherever our customers take us.” Asked about the secret of his success, Whiteley says, “We try to develop a...

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Best Plumber 2018 – John T. Geryk Plumbing & Heating
Apr18

Best Plumber 2018 – John T. Geryk Plumbing & Heating

John T. Geryk Plumbing & Heating Best Plumber Address: 20 Jackson St., Northampton, MA Phone: (413) 727-3057 Website: johntgerykplumbing.com For John T. Geryk, there’s a simple way to become respected in the business: “I develop good relationships with clients and do good work,” he says. Having been in the business since 2011, Geryk puts an emphasis on being responsive, returning calls and emails, and keeping people up to date....

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