Massachusetts readies for legal fight over ‘Student Loan Bill of Rights’
Apr13

Massachusetts readies for legal fight over ‘Student Loan Bill of Rights’

State legislators hope to create a “Student Bill of Rights,” which passed in the state Senate on April 11 and aims at granting better protections for students in disputes with loan service companies. There’s one catch though: the federal government doesn’t want states regulating the student loan service industry and Massachusetts may have to fight for the proposed law in court. “Right when [students are] about...

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Thoughts on Barb Hadden’s Thoughts on the Education of Daughters
Apr13

Thoughts on Barb Hadden’s Thoughts on the Education of Daughters

Barb Hadden walks about the white walled Oxbow Gallery on Pleasant Street, contemplating the placements in her show at the Northampton artist collective. With two galleries, artist-members have a show in the large front gallery and a show in the back gallery. Hadden’s show is in the front gallery and it is her last. “I can’t figure out how long I’ve been a member at the Oxbow,” she says perplexed. “About 10 years maybe… or maybe...

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Pick of the Day 4/14: Matali Shaka Banda Oneness Project
Apr13

Pick of the Day 4/14: Matali Shaka Banda Oneness Project

“I’m trying to represent who I am and the way I’m trying to be, making sure my art and my life are one,” says jazz saxophonist Matali Shaka Banda.  “I think a lot of artists preach a certain way but don’t live that way. Or attempt to live a certain way, but their music reflects something else. I want to make music that reflects everything I am and everything that I’m trying to be — no bullshit.” So there. Banda and his group released...

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Pick of the Day 4/15: Fatai at the Parlor Room
Apr13

Pick of the Day 4/15: Fatai at the Parlor Room

Fatai is a big deal. She’s sold-out multiple headline tours in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, and is touring again internationally. She’s making stops at SXSW and The Parlor Room in Northampton! Check out this young phenom up close and personal tonight at the Parlor Room. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. $10/Adv, $13/Door. The Parlor Room. 32 Masonic St.,...

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Pick of the Day 4/13: Brain Damage at Amherst Cinema
Apr13

Pick of the Day 4/13: Brain Damage at Amherst Cinema

It’s Friday the 13th and if you were a big humdrum, you’d watch Friday the 13th. But because you like to think outside the box, your best bet for horror tonight is Brain Damage!   Here’s how Amherst Cinema describes this…uh…film.  “How do you follow up an all-time cult classic like 1982’s BASKET CASE? If you’re the one and only Frank Henenlotter, you next unleash BRAIN DAMAGE: his ultimate Grimm’s...

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Fuzz Puddle on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Apr13

Fuzz Puddle on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Fuzz Puddle is an alternative rock duo that mixes indie jazz influences with an experimental approach. Interview with Fuzz...

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Down to Earth: Sugaring in a warmer world
Apr12

Down to Earth: Sugaring in a warmer world

In the sugaring room of North Hadley Sugar Shack and Market on a recent Saturday, a trio of young farmers manned the massive wood-fired evaporator slowly boiling off water from maple sap. Mahogany-colored product rushed every couple minutes from the spigot. On a smaller corner woodstove, a kielbasa sausage bubbled for their lunch in a pail of sap. I’d just ordered my breakfast of two eggs, bacon, home fries, and – of course – the...

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Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: What is Thunderbird Six???
Apr12

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: What is Thunderbird Six???

Hands up! — how many readers remember HL Childs’ toy store in Northampton? I was there on closing day and came across a massive “Thunderbirds Island” playset commanding an entire shelf. As you may recall, “Thunderbirds” was a British TV show featuring marionettes and plastic rocket ships (in an earlier column I reviewed the movie version of the show, “Thunderbirds Are Go”). Anyhow, I was (atypically) inclined to financial prudence...

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Pick of the Day 4/12: Irin Ajo at Mount Holyoke College
Apr12

Pick of the Day 4/12: Irin Ajo at Mount Holyoke College

Ìrìn Àjò is a world premiere opera by Bode Omojola. It’s about Káyò̩dé, a Nigerian engineer who immigrates to the United States in search of a better life.  His parents in Nigeria now look up to him to take care of them and other members of his family back home. Kayode’s story is spoken and sung in English and Yoruba. Composed and written by Bode Omojola, the four-act opera will be performed by Mount Holyoke College/Five College...

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Staff picks: Ingmar Bergman, Katherine First, and Mtali Shaka Banda
Apr12

Staff picks: Ingmar Bergman, Katherine First, and Mtali Shaka Banda

Ingmar Bergman’s Persona // SUNDAY, APRIL 15 It’s tax time and to increase your psychological stressors, check out Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona. Amherst Cinema has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Swedish master’s birth. Hooray! Persona is another trippy Bergmanian piece wrought with WTFs. Liv Ullmann plays Elisabet, an actress who, without reason, has gone mute. Bibi Andersson’s, character, Alma, is the exact...

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Events Calendar: Thursday 4/12- Sunday 4/15
Apr11

Events Calendar: Thursday 4/12- Sunday 4/15

THURSDAY 4/12 MUSIC Live Music!: Wyld Nightz: 8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, 36 Bridge St., Brattleboro. Luke Baillargeon: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Live Italian music with Luke Baillargeon in The Mick. Free. The Mick, 3 Country Club Rd., Holyoke. 413-532-1800. info@logcabin-delaney.com. Open Mic Night at The Taproom Hadley: 7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Free. The Taproom Hadley, 1 Mill Valley Rd. Suite...

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Springfield police union pickets Sarno following contract negotiation breakdowns
Apr11

Springfield police union pickets Sarno following contract negotiation breakdowns

Sarno repeatedly calls himself a “law and order mayor,” but for Springfield’s police union president, his recent decision to leave the bargaining table speaks louder than his words. “The fair thing to say is that we judge people on how they treat us,” said Joseph Gentile, president of the Springfield Patrolman’s Union, IBPO Local 364. “This is very disrespectful, I would say that it would make me question some of what he’s said in the...

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Spring Arts Preview in Western Mass
Apr11

Spring Arts Preview in Western Mass

When spring blooms burst forth, you’ll want to rove the Pioneer Valley looking for fantastic things to see and do. We’ve pulled together some of the best events happening in the area April through June. 4/14: Radically interconnected There’s a plethora of arts events happening across downtown Turners Falls during the Full Disclosure Festival on April 14, whether that’s poetry, visual art, song, dance, or theatre. There’s “The Pass,” a...

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Pick of the Day 4/11: Jesse Cook at the Academy of Music
Apr11

Pick of the Day 4/11: Jesse Cook at the Academy of Music

Guitarist Jesse Cook says, “I want to take people to places they haven’t been,” and he’s traveled the world looking for and mastering sounds that speak to him. His new album, Beyond Borders, is an expression of that world music combination his fans love so much. Cook has earned Juno (Canada’s Grammy) nominations – and a win, for  2001’s Free Fall – in the World Music and Instrumental...

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VIDEO: Fuzz Puddle on Advocate Sessions Friday
Apr11

VIDEO: Fuzz Puddle on Advocate Sessions Friday

Fuzz Puddle is an alternative rock duo that mixes indie jazz influences with an experimental approach. Check out a teaser video for the band’s upcoming Advocate Sessions performance to be released this...

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O’ Cannabis! Inhale, Exhale: Cannabis friendly yoga comes to the Valley
Apr10

O’ Cannabis! Inhale, Exhale: Cannabis friendly yoga comes to the Valley

Slow, meditative breathing is an important part of most yoga classes, but at Chronic Trips’ first cannabis-friendly yoga class on April 7, there was also a different kind of inhaling going on. “We want to reduce the stigma of the lazy stoner,” said Chronic Trips owner Seth Frappier. Frappier hosted the first Inhale Exhale yoga at Ora Care in Springfield, a store and café that sells hemp and CBD (cannabidiol) products. Participants...

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Editorial: Find someone else to pick on, Mayor Sarno
Apr10

Editorial: Find someone else to pick on, Mayor Sarno

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno spent the better part of the past two weeks railing against a Springfield church for offering sanctuary to an undocumented Peruvian woman and her two American children. Immigrant Gisella Collazo’s cause was taken up by the Pioneer Valley Project, which released a statement late in March saying that Collazo had taken up residency in the South Congregational Church. Sarno, sounding a lot like President...

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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...

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Wellness: PCOS, affecting fertility and appearance, quietly plagues many reproductive-age women
Apr10

Wellness: PCOS, affecting fertility and appearance, quietly plagues many reproductive-age women

“I was the fat girl complaining about back pain,” said Becca Minardi, 24, of Longmeadow about the early symptoms of her polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Diagnosed just six months ago, Minardi feels as though doctors didn’t take her seriously before her diagnosis. She believes she fell victim to what she calls “the stigma of women’s health.” PCOS affects between 8 and 20 percent of reproductive-age women but many don’t know that...

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Pick of the Day 4/10:  A Better Chance Gospel Choir Concert in Amherst
Apr10

Pick of the Day 4/10: A Better Chance Gospel Choir Concert in Amherst

Tonight, Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst will host the Better Chance Gospel Choir Concert.  Choirs include the Amherst Area Gospel Choir, the Amherst Regional High School Chorale, the Hampshire Young People’s Chorus, and the Resurrect Gospel Choir at Amherst College.  You’re welcome to light refreshments from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. prior to the show in the Connector.  You’ll get a chance to the Amherst A Better Chance...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: Tahirah Amatul-Wadud discusses her historic candidacy for Congress
Apr09

Valley Advocate Podcast: Tahirah Amatul-Wadud discusses her historic candidacy for Congress

A woman, an African American, and a Muslim, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud’s candidacy for the First Congressional District of Massachusetts makes her a first for the district in a couple respects. But for her, the campaign is about representing interests of the people of the district, something she accuses her opponent, longtime Congressman Richard Neal, of taking for granted. Neal and Amatul-Wadud will face off in the Democratic Primary...

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Inspection of Springfield church offering sanctuary to undocumented woman finds building habitable
Apr09

Inspection of Springfield church offering sanctuary to undocumented woman finds building habitable

South Congregational Church in Springfield, which is offering sanctuary to an undocumented Peruvian woman and her two American-born children, has passed the minimum requirements for an inspection by the city with only minor violations.  Mayor Domenic Sarno sent out an email to city officials on March 27 calling for a re-inspection of the church in response to South Congregational offering sanctuary to Gisella Collazo and her two...

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Pick of the Day: Foxtrot at Amherst Cinema
Apr09

Pick of the Day: Foxtrot at Amherst Cinema

Michael and Dafna’s son Jonathan is killed while serving in the Israeli Defense Forces; they experience gut-wrenching grief when army officials show up at their home to announce his death.  The family’s overzealous mourning, as well as the army’s bureaucracy, begin to take its toll on Michael.  His rage begins to mount and spiral into another life changing event.  Director Samuel Maoz delivers “a meditation on...

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V-Spot: Teach My Nice Guy to Play Rough
Apr09

V-Spot: Teach My Nice Guy to Play Rough

Writer’s note: This column contains mention of rape/non-consensual sex. Hey Yana!! I’ve been dating the sweetest guy. Well, sweet in ways that he always helps with housework, takes care of my dog for me, and is ALWAYS there for me. He’s a solid and loyal dude which is kind of a different pace than what I’m used to. He’s a shy boy. He’s 30 years old and I may be the only real girlfriend he’s had so far. We’ve been together a little...

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Bizarro Briefs: Dog Doesn’t Bite Man
Apr09

Bizarro Briefs: Dog Doesn’t Bite Man

In 2016, dogs bit human postal service workers a total of 156 times in Colorado. But that shouldn’t deter any prospective mail carriers. A recent study shows that the number went down in 2017 … to 132 times. Nationwide, the number of dog bites to postal employees went down by about 500, which the Postal Service attributes to new technology that allows customers scheduling package pickups to indicate whether dogs will be at the...

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Calendar: Monday 4/9 – Wednesday 4/11
Apr09

Calendar: Monday 4/9 – Wednesday 4/11

MONDAY 4/9 MUSIC Tommy Castro and The Painkillers: The Iron Horse: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton. STAGE/FILM/DANCE Facing the Surge: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Free. A 25-min. film showing the costs of sea level rise for the people of Norfolk VA. and the largest US naval base. Discussion and refreshments to follow. Forbes Library Community Room, 20 West St., Northampton. 413-586-8885....

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Cinemadope: Bringing the Red Sox to Israel
Apr06

Cinemadope: Bringing the Red Sox to Israel

After a long winter, spring has returned to Western Mass. And with it, as hotly anticipated as any crocus, comes a new season of Red Sox baseball. It’s a tradition that we have come to take for granted, and even when it’s not a great season — let’s face it, disappointment is part of the deal when you’re a fan — we can count on the Sox always being a part of spring. Bostonian Larry Baras wanted to bring that feeling to a place that had...

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Free Will Astrology: Don’t wait 9 years to publish your poems, Capricorn
Apr06

Free Will Astrology: Don’t wait 9 years to publish your poems, Capricorn

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries statesman Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States. He wrote one of history’s most famous documents, the Declaration of Independence. He was an architect, violinist, inventor, and linguist who spoke numerous languages, as well as a philosopher who was knowledgeable about mathematics, surveying, and horticulture. But his most laudable success came in 1789, when he procured the...

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Pick of the Day 4/7: The Local Vocal Chord Bowl at Amherst Regional High
Apr06

Pick of the Day 4/7: The Local Vocal Chord Bowl at Amherst Regional High

Who doesn’t want to support the arts in public schools? On Saturday, April 7, you can. Watch nine great a cappella groups sing for music and arts enrichment in the Amherst and Northampton public school systems. Proceeds will be divided between the two and will be earmarked for music and arts education. You can’t beat that with a stick. Tickets can be purchased at various local businesses and are $8 to $14. Concert starts at 7 p.m....

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Pick of the Day 4/8: Isle of Dogs at Amherst Cinema
Apr06

Pick of the Day 4/8: Isle of Dogs at Amherst Cinema

Something terrible has happened in Megasaki City! An executive decree has exiled all pets to a vast garbage dump called Trash Island.  Well, no young boy worth his salt would let that stand, and 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a little prop plane to find his bodyguard dog, Spots.  There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, Atari begins “an epic journey that will effect the fate of his home, Megasaki...

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Calendar: Saturday 4/7 and Sunday 4/8
Apr06

Calendar: Saturday 4/7 and Sunday 4/8

SATURDAY 4/7 MUSIC AEIOUkes: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. A community ukulele club who meets regularly to sing together and to improve our playing. For uke enthusiasts of all levels and experiences. Forbes Library, 20 West St., Northampton. 413-587-1012. reference@forbeslibrary.org. Chris Potter Quartet: 8 p.m. $35, $25 general; Five College Students and Youth 17 and Under: $10. A world-class soloist, accomplished composer, and formidable...

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Pick of the Day 4/6: The Eagle Huntress
Apr06

Pick of the Day 4/6: The Eagle Huntress

It’s Friday and you’re free as a bird, or as Steve Miller might say, “I wanna fly like an eagle!” If that’s the case, you might want to head up to Shelburne Falls tonight and catch The Eagle Huntress to get inspired. It’s a beautiful documentary that follows Aishol-pan, a 13-year-old Kazakh girl from Mongolia, as she attempts to become the first female eagle hunter to compete in the eagle festival...

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Progress and backlash highlighted in Springfield MLK assassination 50th anniversary commemoration
Apr05

Progress and backlash highlighted in Springfield MLK assassination 50th anniversary commemoration

On a rainy Wednesday afternoon in Springfield, NAACP president Bishop Talbert Swan, Mayor Domenic Sarno, a host of interfaith clergy, and a roomful of citizens gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s April 3 “Mountaintop” speech and his assassination on April 4, 1968. Bishop Swan, who organized the event in conjunction with the mayor’s office, said he couldn’t let the day go by without...

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Congressional challenger Amatul-Wadud says Neal’s seniority won’t help his district
Apr05

Congressional challenger Amatul-Wadud says Neal’s seniority won’t help his district

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, a Democratic primary challenger to longtime Congressman Richard Neal, is attacking her opponent from an unlikely angle — his seniority. Neal, a Springfield Democrat who has served in the House since 1989, would likely be appointed chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee if Democrats retake the House in what is increasingly predicted to be a blue wave election in November. But Amatul-Wadud, who hopes to...

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Pick of the Day: Valley Voices
Apr05

Pick of the Day: Valley Voices

Do you have a story to tell? Do you want to tell it in front of a bunch of people you don’t know? You’re in luck! Season 4 of Valley Voices is the place to do it. Tonight “The Silver Lining” is the theme. Listen to all sorts of stories told in five minutes by your friends and neighbors from around the Valley. The audience picks the winner, and the winner will go on to compete in this year’s Best of Valley Voices coming in...

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