Free Will Astrology: Be inspired by melting cheese, Aquarius
May07

Free Will Astrology: Be inspired by melting cheese, Aquarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Torah is a primary sacred text of the Jewish religion. It consists of exactly 304,805 letters. When specially trained scribes make handwritten copies for ritual purposes, they must not make a single error in their transcription. The work may take as long as 18 months. Your attention to detail in the coming weeks doesn’t have to be quite so painstaking, Aries, but I hope you’ll make a strenuous effort to...

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Cinemadope: A courtside seat with Norotious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg)
May07

Cinemadope: A courtside seat with Norotious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg)

Celebrity is a funny thing. Usually, it charts along one or two familiar trajectories: the discovery of some young talent, followed by either the long work of career-building or the short decline of a crash-and-burn. But once in awhile, someone captures the public imagination in a way that defies the expectations of even the most jaded celebrity observer. So it is with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice who, now 85,...

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Editorial: Rosenberg resignation the right move to regain trust
May04

Editorial: Rosenberg resignation the right move to regain trust

We had been waiting a long time for it, but the speed of the events it set in motion once it finally arrived was breathtaking. The state Senate announced an independent ethics investigation of former Senate President Stan Rosenberg of Amherst in December. It took five months for a report to be delivered to the public, along with a rebuke for Rosenberg. And one day after that, Rosenberg resigned. Rosenberg ascended to the Senate...

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Valley Advocate Q&A with YouTube star and political song parodist Randy Rainbow
May04

Valley Advocate Q&A with YouTube star and political song parodist Randy Rainbow

Randy Rainbow achieved Internet stardom with his series of political spoofs and song parodies satirizing mainstream media and conservative leaders such as Donald Trump through green screened mock interviews and now he’s set to bring his unique brand of song comedy to the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on May 18. Rainbow spoke with Valley Advocate staff writer Chris Goudreau about his upcoming performance and speaking truth to power...

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The Gaslight Tinkers on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
May04

The Gaslight Tinkers on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

The Gaslight Tinkers perform traditional Celtic fiddle music mixed with Afrobeat, funk, reggae, and Latin grooves. Check out the band’s Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with The Gaslight...

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Following alleged assault, tattoo parlor looks at what it could have done differently
May03

Following alleged assault, tattoo parlor looks at what it could have done differently

Following public backlash online, the owner of Off the Map tattoo Gabe Ripley says that he regrets not having a no tolerance policy for sexual harassment and assault in the shop four years ago, but that there is now a no tolerance policy in place. There was harsh criticism on Facebook on May 1 after Off the Map published a post about tattoo artist Watsun Atkinsun, who was accused of violating and sexually harassing a customer at Off...

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So … that’s it for Rosenberg
May03

So … that’s it for Rosenberg

Former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will soon become former Senator Stanley Rosenberg. Following an ethics committee report made public Wednesday, Rosenberg announced Thursday he would be stepping down in his role as a state Senator effective the end of day Friday. Here is his statement: “As I have stated repeatedly over the last 5 months, I deeply regret the difficulties that this situation has created for the members,...

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Off the Map Tattoo facing public backlash over alleged in-shop sexual assault
May02

Off the Map Tattoo facing public backlash over alleged in-shop sexual assault

Editor’s note: Off the Map Tattoo was recently recognized in the Best of the Valley Readers Poll, which is awarded by readers. The Valley Advocate is not affiliated with the tattoo parlor. Off the Map Tattoo is facing public criticism online over its continued relationship with a tattoo artist who allegedly sexually assaulted a client while tattooing her in 2014. Off the Map tattoo, which has three locations, including one in...

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The Beerhunter Abroad: Norway – Despite strict alcohol laws, a new generation of craft brewers is born
May02

The Beerhunter Abroad: Norway – Despite strict alcohol laws, a new generation of craft brewers is born

As a New Englander accustomed to long, cold winters, I had never put the Arctic Circle atop my summer vacation list. But in case you missed the billboards along Interstate 91, Norwegian Air now offers discount flights to Europe from Boston, Providence, and New York City, some priced at around $100 (sadly, service into Hartford was short-lived). That’s how I found myself in the Arctic last July, dancing to Nordic pop music at the Riddu...

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Ethics probe finds fault with Rosenberg, recommends barring senator from leadership positions through 2020
May02

Ethics probe finds fault with Rosenberg, recommends barring senator from leadership positions through 2020

The Senate Committee on Ethics has recommended former Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) be barred from Senate leadership or leadership of any committee for the duration of this legislative session or the next. State Sen. Michael Rodrigues, who is chair of the Senate Committee on Ethics, announced Wednesday that Rosenberg allowed his husband, Bryon Hefner, unfettered access to the goings on in the Senate. “The firewall...

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The Massachusetts State Police Troop embroiled in an overtime scandal has now been eliminated
May02

The Massachusetts State Police Troop embroiled in an overtime scandal has now been eliminated

State Police Troop E, which patrols the length of the Mass Pike, has been eliminated and absorbed into three other regional troops as a result of reforms initiated by Gov. Charles Baker. The change was in part a response to allegations that more than 20 troopers in Troop E put in for overtime that they never worked in 2016. Baker’s office released a statement on Wednesday, May 2, that several reforms to the State Police have...

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Sex workers to march in Noho Pride parade following passage of new law they say endangers their lives
May02

Sex workers to march in Noho Pride parade following passage of new law they say endangers their lives

Spurred on by a new federal law they say makes their already dangerous jobs less safe, sex workers are marching in this weekend’s Noho Pride Parade in Northampton to declare “sex work is real work.” Bella Vendetta, a dominatrix and award-winning porn star who lives in Berkshire County, said the group that is marching, called Team Clear Heels 413, was born out of the need to organize and educate people about the law,...

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Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz pledges to support protections for undocumented immigrants
May02

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz pledges to support protections for undocumented immigrants

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz pledged to stand by undocumented immigrants in his city during a May 1 press conference on the steps of Northampton City Hall and promised to support initiatives such as allowing undocumented immigrants to vote in local elections. “I will work with our City Council to try to send a ‘home rule’ style petition to the Legislature to see if we can get the ability at local elections to allow...

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From the Palace to the Parlor Room: Celtic fiddler Jamie Laval on playing for Dave Matthews, Queen Elizabeth
May01

From the Palace to the Parlor Room: Celtic fiddler Jamie Laval on playing for Dave Matthews, Queen Elizabeth

American Celtic fiddler Jamie Laval is world renowned for his unique approach to traditional Scottish music by adding virtuosity and a contemporary ear to ancient reels or jigs. Laval will be performing in Western Massachusetts on Sunday, May 13 at the Parlor Room in Northampton. Laval spoke with Valley Advocate staff writer Chris Goudreau about his passion for Celtic music, performing on a Dave Matthews record, and getting to play...

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Expanded ArtWeek a big opportunity for small galleries and emerging artists
May01

Expanded ArtWeek a big opportunity for small galleries and emerging artists

Only five years ago, ArtWeek was a series of 25 events in Boston. This year, ArtWeek, which started on April 27 and runs until May 6, expanded to Central and Western Massachusetts and includes over 525 events, making it the only statewide art festival in Massachusetts. For artists, small galleries, and craftspeople in the Pioneer Valley, ArtWeek represents a unique opportunity to get new people involved in the Western Mass art...

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The V-Spot: WTF even is college dating?
May01

The V-Spot: WTF even is college dating?

Hello Yana! I’m looking for advice on navigating college relationships. I’m a young lesbian and I’m trying to consolidate not feeling in a good emotional place for a full romantic relationship with also looking for physical intimacy. I had a short relationship earlier in the year and I don’t feel like I’m in a good time in my life to both take care of myself and keep my grades up and also maintain a healthy and loving relationship...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: It’s not your nana’s rosé
May01

Monte Belmonte Wines: It’s not your nana’s rosé

White Zinfandel ruined rosé. My Italian grandmother, Nana B, always had a bottle of Sutter Home White Zinfandel open in her fridge. She called it “Zin-fan-DEL,” with the accent on  the last syllable. I was allowed small sips as a child, and my mental memory of those sips helps inform grown-up Monte of the taste of wine when it’s been open for too long. Nana would leave a single bottle open and in the fridge for weeks. I loved my Nana....

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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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Students continue to call for meeting with Smith & Wesson CEO to discuss urban gun violence
Apr30

Students continue to call for meeting with Smith & Wesson CEO to discuss urban gun violence

Students from Springfield and Boston gathered alongside local faith leaders and grassroots organizers held a second protest on April 27 against Springfield-based gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson after activists called on the company meet with them to create a dialogue about ways to end urban gun violence, and were met by silence. Local students want to meet with P. James Debney, CEO of Smith & Wesson, and delivered an initial...

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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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Cinemadope: The kaleidoscopic philosophy of jazz percussionist Milford Graves
Apr30

Cinemadope: The kaleidoscopic philosophy of jazz percussionist Milford Graves

So few of us follow our deepest drives — it’s a path that leads along high wires and narrow ledges, and for many, the fear of failing big keeps us dreaming small. On the other end of human experience is a man like Milford Graves. Graves is a renowned percussionist who has been on the avant-garde jazz scene since the beginning, performing with the likes of Albert Ayler, Sonny Sharrock, and Paul Bley. As he and his fellow musicians were...

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Mass Cannabis Chefs elevate edibles across the state
Apr27

Mass Cannabis Chefs elevate edibles across the state

What does cannabis taste like? Many people might describe it as earthy, pungent, or bitter. According to Joe Nelson, 29, of Plymouth, one of the chefs and co-founders of Mass Cannabis Chefs, the idea that all cannabis tastes the same is a misconception. “It’s different all the time, it’s different for every plant,” Nelson said. Nelson said that he has tried plants that taste citrusy and lemony, and plants that taste more like pine. As...

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World Renowned Saxophonist and Valley resident Charles Neville dies at age 79
Apr27

World Renowned Saxophonist and Valley resident Charles Neville dies at age 79

One of the brightest music stars in the Pioneer Valley and the world succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Saxophonist Charles Neville, age 79, passed away Thursday, April 26, at his home in Huntington. A member of the acclaimed Neville Brothers band, Charles Neville’s storied career spanned over 60 years. The Neville family released a statement regarding Charles Neville’s death today. Neville was a staple on the Pioneer Valley...

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz to Mt. Holyoke students: ‘True leadership comes from the heart’
Apr27

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz to Mt. Holyoke students: ‘True leadership comes from the heart’

Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico spoke to students, faculty, and staff at Mount Holyoke College on April 26 recounting the tragedies the occured after Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the island seven months ago, while also being optimistic in Puerto Rico’s transformation in the years to come. Yulin Cruz said she learned the value of true leadership after the hurricanes devastated her home of San Juan. After the...

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Local jazz legend Charles Neville dies at 79
Apr27

Local jazz legend Charles Neville dies at 79

Charles Neville, Grammy award winning saxophonist and member of R&B, soul, and funk group, The Neville Brothers, died on Thursday at the age of 79. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for the past several months. Aaron Neville, Charles’ brother and another member of the Neville Brothers, tweeted a tribute to Charles on Thursday afternoon. “My dear brother Charlie the horn man, just want you to know that if I...

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A skip, hop, and a jump away: A local, adult jump rope team makes it to nationals
Apr26

A skip, hop, and a jump away: A local, adult jump rope team makes it to nationals

http://valleyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/video-1524758618.mp4 “As far as we know we’re the only (team) that jumps in a bar,” said Jennifer Therkelsen, 31, of Shutesbury. Therkelson, who is the fundraising manager for the all-adult Pioneer Valley Jump Rope team, was referring to the team’s practice locale, which is the Taproom in Hadley. The team is there, providing a sort of unique form of live entertainment on...

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Valley Show Girl: Snacktime! Musical story time with a pirate from the Valley
Apr26

Valley Show Girl: Snacktime! Musical story time with a pirate from the Valley

Valley Advocate writer alum Tom Sturm has a new gig these days. Dressing like a pirate and singing the songs of pirate life for kids — but pleasantly appealing for adults as well. With the album glued in my CD player in my car for weeks, my 7-year-old son and I knew each song by heart. And when the music on my phone synced up to the car, he’d request Snackbeard instead of his normal faves, The Talking Heads or Bowie. I sadly missed...

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Basemental: Attention to detail sets new Taxidermists’ record ‘Tax’ apart
Apr26

Basemental: Attention to detail sets new Taxidermists’ record ‘Tax’ apart

Tucked away in an old house in Hadley live two musicians named Sal and Cooper, who collectively make up the rock duo The Taxidermists. The band has nurtured something of a cult following from DIY persistence and their 2015 record Honesty Box. One showgoer recently told me told me it was his favorite record of all time. Once associated with the now defunct Dark World Collective, Sal McNamara (drums) and Cooper Handy (guitar/vocals)...

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Local female film producer Colleen Lyon talks about new horror film ‘Silenced’
Apr26

Local female film producer Colleen Lyon talks about new horror film ‘Silenced’

Colleen Lyon is a busy woman in a club of one. The owner of Vermage Productions, a Western Mass movie production company, Lyon laments that she is the only female movie producer in the area. When asked if she gets lonely, she sighs and says, “It’s lonely. Very, very lonely. I know other female producers, but none of them make movies like I do.” Lyons has produced and directed films that have been aired on television, local theaters,...

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“Water, water everywhere”: Mass. program helps towns prepare for climate change
Apr25

“Water, water everywhere”: Mass. program helps towns prepare for climate change

Over 20 municipal leaders from all over Western Mass attended an April 24 meeting with state environmental officials to discuss a state grant program that will help communities all over the Commonwealth to prepare for their unique climate change needs. Katie Theoharides, assistant secretary of climate change at the state’s Energy and Environmental Affairs department, opened the meeting in Greenfield with two powerful images. The...

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May 1 will be final Valley Gives Day as organizers shift to year-round strategy
Apr25

May 1 will be final Valley Gives Day as organizers shift to year-round strategy

Valley Gives Day, the day in which Pioneer Valley residents are encouraged to support local nonprofit organizations, will likely be happening for the last time on Tuesday, May 1. Springfield-based nonprofit Community Foundation of Western Mass has run the event since 2012, and announced recently that after this year’s event, the focus would be on a year-round support model for local nonprofit organizations rather than a single...

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Staff Picks: Donnie Darko, The Gaslight Tinkers, OroborO, John Trudeau, Rebel Base, and Joy on Fire
Apr25

Staff Picks: Donnie Darko, The Gaslight Tinkers, OroborO, John Trudeau, Rebel Base, and Joy on Fire

Far Out Film Discussion: Donnie Darko // MONDAY, April 30 Forbes Library in Northampton hosts the Far Out Film Discussion, which is basically a book club for weird cult classic and art house films. The next meeting the group will be discussing 2001’s cult classic, Donnie Darko, written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring a young Jake Gyllenhaal as the title character. The film is somewhat science fiction, but is dream-like and...

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Valley made sex toys fill gaps in the market
Apr24

Valley made sex toys fill gaps in the market

Over the past 20 years, people have begun to care more and more about what goes into their bodies. Most think about this in terms of the food they eat, but for customers of Oh My Sensuality Shop in Northampton, the same can be said for sex toys. “Most companies have become more aware of what they’re selling,” said Beth Meyers, co-owner of Oh My. “I feel like the retailers really pushed this movement through.” With that in mind, it...

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Editorial: Listening to people from ‘coal country’ our best chance to change minds
Apr24

Editorial: Listening to people from ‘coal country’ our best chance to change minds

Smith College hosted a fascinating speaker earlier this month who addressed a topic that’s been on my mind for several months leading up to the 2018 midterms: communicating and collaborating with people in what’s called “Trump country.” Without their help, we’re all likely destined for more divisiveness and hate-fueled policy from Washington. Hailing from Appalachia, Nick Mullins used to work for a coal mining company. Now he gives...

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