Western Mass Missed Connections: To The Welcoming Hippies Who Generously Dosed Me…
May22

Western Mass Missed Connections: To The Welcoming Hippies Who Generously Dosed Me…

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.Berkshire co-op deli bar — m42 (Great Barrington)Incredible lady. I think you noticed me seeing you as you were ordering at the deli/sandwich bar in the...

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Cinemadope: Northampton Movie Night
May22

Cinemadope: Northampton Movie Night

An evening in Northampton has never been boring. Meet your date for a cocktail or a glass of wine, move on to dinner at any number of downtown bites, catch a concert, go to an art opening. Stroll the streets, duck into the renovated Pulaski Park, circle Paradise Pond on the Smith campus. They weren’t kidding when they settled on “walk into something wonderful” as the slogan for downtown.But get the itch to see a movie, and your...

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Bringing New Life to Old Things
May22

Bringing New Life to Old Things

It’s surprising what you can create from seemingly broken or time weathered objects. From Brattleboro to Palmer artisans are doing just that whether it’s creating human-shaped sculptures from colored pencils wired together or a Victorian inspired lamp made from a fruit bowl and a candle stick.Gallery in the Woods, located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Brattleboro includes a plethora of artistic works that were made from...

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Between The Lines: Trans Allies Needed More Than Ever
May22

Between The Lines: Trans Allies Needed More Than Ever

Last week I interviewed an organizer with the “I’ll Go With You” campaign, which sells buttons trans allies can wear to show they are willing to go into a public restroom with a trans man or woman to help keep them safe.That may seem like an extraordinary step to take, but with violence against trans people higher than ever and on the rise, it is an important role an ally of trans people can play.As a cisgender heterosexual caucasian...

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News of the Weird: Speed Bumps For Fast Walkers
May22

News of the Weird: Speed Bumps For Fast Walkers

Officials in charge of a Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal heritage site recently installed “speed bumps,” similar to those familiar to Americans driving residential streets — but on a pedestrian walkway, with row upon row of risers to resemble a washboard. A Western travel writer, along with editors of People’s Daily China, suggested that officials were irked that “disorderly” tourists had been walking past the ancient grounds too rapidly...

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Free Will Astrology: Aries: Cultivate More Surprising and Original Sins
May22

Free Will Astrology: Aries: Cultivate More Surprising and Original Sins

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Sin” is a puerile concept in my eyes, so I don’t normally use it to discuss grown-up concerns. But if you give me permission to invoke it in a jokey, ironic way, I’ll recommend that you cultivate more surprising, interesting, and original sins. In other words, Aries, it’s high time to get bored with your predictable ways of stirring up a ruckus. Ask God or Life to bring you some really evocative mischief...

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Remembering the Turners Falls Massacre, Saturday
May15

Remembering the Turners Falls Massacre, Saturday

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect the proper date of the remembrance ceremony: Saturday; and provide more info on where the event will take place. The Great Falls MassacreOne of the bloodiest battles during the viscous King Philips War — a conflict over land and revenge between Native Americans and English settlers that lasted three years, 1675-78 — took place in the Peskeompscut-Wissatinnewag community,...

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Poem: A Sunny Reunion in Look Park
May15

Poem: A Sunny Reunion in Look Park

The mesmerizing reversal of icy lunacyfrom sitting in the long-absent sunshineis exactly what his fetus signed up forand intuited long ago in the bogof his mother’s biospheric love. The scent of soil; the touch of heat;the spectacle of black birds mirroredin the glinting pond are all great and gentlecomforts to a boy who has seen sorrow up closeand swallowed his share of shared pain. Having fled the faded nest of domestic...

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Local Yemeni Student Wins National Award For Aid Work In Home Country
May15

Local Yemeni Student Wins National Award For Aid Work In Home Country

Protecting children from Al Qaeda and Houthi militias. Persuading boys against joining militant groups. Aiding children traumatized by violence, abduction, and rape.These are some of the things accomplished by 30-year-old Fadia Najib Thabet of Yemen while working as a child protection officer in her home country, starting in 2011. Now she is a student studying peacebuilding and conflict transformation at the School for International...

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News of the Weird: Hello, My Name is Isis Harambe
May15

News of the Weird: Hello, My Name is Isis Harambe

The word “Isis” arrived in Western dialogue only after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as an acronym for the Islamic State, and the Swahili word “Harambe” was known to almost no one until May 2016 when the gorilla “Harambe” (named via a local contest) was put down by a Cincinnati zoo worker after it had dragged an adventurous 3-year-old boy away. In April, a Twitter user and the website Daily Dot happened upon a 19-year-old California...

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Valley Show Girl: Alt Jazz With The Greys at The Still in Agawam (w/vid)
May15

Valley Show Girl: Alt Jazz With The Greys at The Still in Agawam (w/vid)

A couple of weeks ago on The Still’s Instagram page they posted a beautiful picture of a mint julep. I’ve never had one, but always wanted to try the drink simply because that’s what they drank in The Great Gatsby. So, when I saw that The Greys were playing at The Still, I was like “Yes! I get to drink a mint julep while listening to jazz, so Daisy Buchanan of me.” And that I did. Although, I learned I don’t like mint juleps, but I do...

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The V-Spot: Should I Dump My Triad?
May15

The V-Spot: Should I Dump My Triad?

I’m a bisexual woman and I’m the third wheel to a married bisexual male couple. We’ve been dating for about a year-and-a-half and so far things have been running pretty smoothly. We see each other two or three times a week for dates, group sex, and just regular hanging out. I have casual sex with other people and am available to date, but just haven’t done that with anyone else yet.Okay, so here’s the issue: Sometimes I feel sort of...

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Valley Music Showcase in Easthampton, Friday (w/vid)
May15

Valley Music Showcase in Easthampton, Friday (w/vid)

Valley Music ShowcaseGenres clash in the most melodic way possible Friday night in Easthampton. The Valley Music Showcase at the New City Brewery is a “bi-monthly mini music fest” — or as I like to call it, the Bi-Mon Min-MuFest — and it pulls from all musical genres, according to organizers. The fest is judged and there are prizes for the winner. This show’s bands include a wealth of Valley Advocate Sessions alumni: Grayson Ty, The...

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Theater: ‘Shipwrecked!’ You Had Me at Giant Killer Octopus
May15

Theater: ‘Shipwrecked!’ You Had Me at Giant Killer Octopus

You Had Me at Giant Killer OctopusRight now, in Trump’s post-truth America, is an excellent time to stage Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as told by himself). The play is based on the grandiose stories of a Victorian huckster who fills in the audience about his time as a castaway in the South Pacific, including anecdotes about a killer octopus, cannibals, and buried treasure. Written by Donald Margulies,...

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Contemporary Stillness: Larry Preston’s Solo Exhibit Rethinks the Silent Ordinary (w/vid)
May15

Contemporary Stillness: Larry Preston’s Solo Exhibit Rethinks the Silent Ordinary (w/vid)

Be Still (Life), My HeartContemporary still life artist Larry Preston paints solely for himself and what he interprets as beautiful. Beauty is often lost in ordinary objects you see all the time. Preston’s art focuses on bringing out those details and you’ll surely view them from a different perspective. Preston’s recent oil paintings will be showcased through a solo exhibit at William Baczek Fine Arts. Larry Preston solo show:...

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Addiction Response Milestone: Spike In Local ODs Non-Fatal
May15

Addiction Response Milestone: Spike In Local ODs Non-Fatal

An unprecedented cluster of drug overdoses in Northampton late last month tested the city’s first responders. Their preparation — including training in the use of Narcan — helped prevent any fatalities.As the abuse of prescription and illegal opioids continues to plague the Valley, state and nation, the response has become more sophisticated and effective. That is largely due to emergency networks such as the one established in...

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Figures … New England In Climate Change’s Crosshairs
May15

Figures … New England In Climate Change’s Crosshairs

New Englanders are trained from a young age to expect the unexpected when it comes to weather, but according to a new UMass study, we ain’t seen nothing yet.Flooding, extreme heat, and unusually warm winter weather — all effects of climate change — are anticipated to wallop New England 20 years earlier than most of the rest of the country, according to researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Northeast Climate Science...

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Yep, Climate Change Is Real … We Checked It Ourselves
May15

Yep, Climate Change Is Real … We Checked It Ourselves

Climate change is a worldwide problem, and we often hear of how it is affecting low-lying countries in Asia and the melting polar ice caps, but local climate data shows us how things are changing right here in the Pioneer Valley.And changing they are.The National Centers for Environmental Information, run by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, collects station data all over the world, and has for more than 100...

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Missed Connections: The Lunch Counter Where I Often Showed Up In Your Bed
May15

Missed Connections: The Lunch Counter Where I Often Showed Up In Your Bed

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.PS — Rabbit where are you? — w4m (Easthampton)We met on Pleasant St in the late 70’s or early 80’s. I last met you at my place in the late...

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The Pour Man: Summer is for Rosé
May15

The Pour Man: Summer is for Rosé

The rosé season is upon us, and a glass of Laurent Miquel’s Pere et Fils pale-pink wine is an excellent choice for welcoming warmer weather or enjoying while sitting on the porch and watching the sunset.Although Provence is France’s premier region for rosé, this dry, low-alcohol blend of Cinsault and Syrah red wine grapes from Languedoc is beautifully structured with fresh fruit flavors and a crisp, smooth finish that holds its own...

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Free Will Astrology: Gemini – Pack Your Decrepit Emotional Baggage in Garbage Bags
May15

Free Will Astrology: Gemini – Pack Your Decrepit Emotional Baggage in Garbage Bags

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “A two-year-old kid is like using a blender, but you don’t have a top for it,” said comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Would you like to avoid a scenario like that, Aries? Would you prefer not to see what happens if your life has resemblances to turning on a topless blender that’s full of ingredients? Yes? Then please find the top and put it on! And if you can’t locate the proper top, use a dinner plate or newspaper...

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Back Talk: Hope for Better Health Care
May15

Back Talk: Hope for Better Health Care

Hope for Better Health CareThank you for your piece in the Advocate (“Between the Lines: With Obamacare Under Fire, Massachusetts Must Lead on Health Care — Again,” May 11-17, 2017). However, it seems from it that you may not be familiar with House Bill 2987 and Senate Bill 619, Mass-Care, or our WMass network of pro-single-payer advocates and groups.You may also be interested in the fact that single-payer is in the Massachusetts Dems...

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TEASE: Appalachian Still, Jamming Bluegrass on the Sessions Stage (w/vid)
May11

TEASE: Appalachian Still, Jamming Bluegrass on the Sessions Stage (w/vid)

Check out the full Appalachian Still Sessions concert Friday online at valleyadvocate.com. Can’t wait for Friday to hear more Sessions? Great! Head over to the archive and listen to sets by the likes of The Suitcase Junket, Ray Mason, Eavesdrop Trio, Hannah & Maggie, Eric Lee, the Merrill Shepard Show, Mammal Dap, Fancy Trash, And the Neighbors and...

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Basemental: You Know Amber Wolfe Now See Her Arresting Video for ‘No Thorn’
May08

Basemental: You Know Amber Wolfe Now See Her Arresting Video for ‘No Thorn’

You may know Amber Wolfe. She fronted the “speakeasy, post-apocalyptic band,” O You Villain, books shows at Amherst Coffee, and is a veteran of the Institute for Musical Arts, where she found “some of the foremothers of local music.”Despite strong roots here in the Valley, last year, Wolfe went home to the Washington, D.C., area to record her debut solo EP, I Left the City. What followed was a full circle collaborative return with...

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That’s Not an Air Guitar: Air Sex Tournament Comes to Northampton (w/vid)
May08

That’s Not an Air Guitar: Air Sex Tournament Comes to Northampton (w/vid)

That’s Not an Air GuitarThe national Air Sex Tournament is coming to Northampton Monday night and for anyone who thinks they’ve got the pantomime moves to beat the competition, it’s not too late to enter the foray. A fun, and funny, sex-positive show, performers get on stage — alone and clothed enough — to physically demonstrate their craziest, orgasm-inducing moves. Some competitors go for sexy while others go for silly and some mix...

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Missed Connections: Let Me Take You Out, Liar
May08

Missed Connections: Let Me Take You Out, Liar

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.Grilled Peaches — m4w (Big Y, Southampton) This was my last chance. Instead of asking you for your number in some terribly cheesy way, I invited you over...

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UMass Student Exhibit Elevates Street Art Friday
May08

UMass Student Exhibit Elevates Street Art Friday

Occupy.A joint art show by Eric Mandeville and McKenzie Stuetzel makes a powerful statement, but only for a short time — so be sure to see it. By utilizing imagery from street art in contrasting colors, their show explores the idea of living in society, but outside of its boundaries. Mandeville will use a projection of a time-lapse video of the creation of his mural, Occupy Your Street, in the hope of changing the thinking of street...

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Join the Herd: Donna the Buffalo Stampedes Into Town (w/vid)
May08

Join the Herd: Donna the Buffalo Stampedes Into Town (w/vid)

Join the HerdQuintessential ’90s folk rock band Donna the Buffalo is coming to Holyoke as part of the group’s politically-active Stampede Tour. In addition to providing groove-heavy dance-able tunes, Donna the Buffalo seeks to bring attention to the inappropriate use of money to influence politics. DtB’s music is a mix of electric Americana, Cajun/Zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country that produces a high-energy sound. Call out your...

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What Will the Hatchery Do Next? Inventive Dance Performance This Weekend
May08

What Will the Hatchery Do Next? Inventive Dance Performance This Weekend

So, You Know They Can DanceAn homage to Wes Anderson’s highly stylized films and a self-reflective, choreographed spoken-word piece called “Perception” were among the performances featured in Hatchery’s debut show this winter. The pre-professional dance troupe’s second show is coming up this weekend, and it’s exciting to think about what this 10-person group of 13- to 19-year-olds have created. Part of the School for Contemporary...

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Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘Bad Channels’ Tune Into 666 … if you dare (w/vid)
May08

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘Bad Channels’ Tune Into 666 … if you dare (w/vid)

I was saddened when I heard the news that Paul O’Neil, the founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, had died. It seems my favorite bands have either passed away (the Ramones, the Cramps), or are eligible for AARP but continue to stumble on. In addition to Sparks and Alice Cooper, the Blue Oyster Cult is a prime example of the latter. Looking to expand their fan base in 1992, BOC produced the soundtrack for a movie called Bad Channels....

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Radical Moms: Using The Power of Motherhood To Make Political Change
May08

Radical Moms: Using The Power of Motherhood To Make Political Change

One of the proudest moments that Madeleine Charney has shared with her son, Eli, is when she got to hold up the front page of the newspaper on Nov. 7, 2015, and show him that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline had been struck down by President Obama.Charney, 51, of Amherst, is a member of the Pioneer Valley chapter of Mothers Out Front, a Boston-based climate activist group. She had protested regularly against the construction...

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Staff Picks: See The Greys in Agawam
May09

Staff Picks: See The Greys in Agawam

The Greys at The Still in Agawam • FridayThe Greys came in a couple months ago to perform a Sessions set with us and the duo had me in awe. The powerful, whispering voice of singer Cait Simpson folds perfectly inside the jazz-styled stand up bass plucking of Chris Merritt. They make their debut at The Still this Friday playing some originals along with “haunting renditions” of covers. 7 p.m., The Still, 858 Suffield St. — Jennifer...

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Northampton Activists Stage ‘Emergency’ Rally For Investigation of Trump
May10

Northampton Activists Stage ‘Emergency’ Rally For Investigation of Trump

Local activist groups are staging an emergency rally calling for an independent investigation and for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia. The planned peaceful demonstration will take place May 10 from 5 to 6 p.m. on the steps of Northampton City Hall.The rally arrives on the heels of Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating the...

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Enough With the Hearts: What Mom REALLY Wants on Mother’s Day
May08

Enough With the Hearts: What Mom REALLY Wants on Mother’s Day

Just a list of stuff any mother could love: An opportunity to finish a book … in less than six months. A box of tissues for those inevitable moments of disappointment in you (plus it’s allergy season). Michelle Obama merch (“When they go low, we go high” tote bag, anyone?) Silk pillow cases. (This is how she saves her hair from becoming a frizzy mess overnight.) A crystal wine glass. (Just one; it’s the queen’s glass.) Gift...

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With Obamacare Under Fire, Massachusetts Must Lead on Health Care — Again
May08

With Obamacare Under Fire, Massachusetts Must Lead on Health Care — Again

The Republicans did it. They cobbled together an Obamacare replacement bill so bad that they got the most conservative members of the House to vote for it — people like Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, who implied the majority of people with pre-existing conditions have them because they don’t “lead good lives,” and like Raul Labrador of Idaho, who recently said that “no one dies because they don’t have health care.”Now we in...

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