WMass Metal: The Valley’s Diverse Scene Rises AGAIN
Feb20

WMass Metal: The Valley’s Diverse Scene Rises AGAIN

Wesley Jillson has been a part of the local metal music scene since the ’80s. He saw Western Mass area metal rise to national prominence in the ’90s, then fade away by 2010. At the fifth annual Promoterhead show at the 13th Floor Music Lounge in Florence in early February, Jillson was standing at the highboy tables, talking with friends he’s met at metal shows and drinking a cocktail while Disguise the Curse was on stage. The scene...

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Between the Lines: Losing Our Rights, So Write
Feb20

Between the Lines: Losing Our Rights, So Write

Online ads for an upcoming Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book The Handmaid’s Tale got me thinking: it’s really about time I read this classic dystopian novel. The story takes place in a near-future New England. A militia of religious conservatives take over the Northeastern states and push outward to claim more of the U.S. for its own. The people living under militia rule are put into strict class and gender roles. The new...

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O, Cannabis! Get Weed Now — No Medical Card Required, if you know where to go
Feb20

O, Cannabis! Get Weed Now — No Medical Card Required, if you know where to go

Standing outside a strip mall in Springfield, I pull on the handle of the double-deadbolted door of a storefront with dark windows and a paper green arrow that says “Herbs” hanging under the company sign, but it doesn’t budge. I can hear men inside talking and laughing, so I give a knock and stare straight into the camera above the door, hoping there’s something in my face that will let the bouncer know I’m cool. Nothing. Do I need to...

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News of the Weird: The Man With the Golden Mop
Feb20

News of the Weird: The Man With the Golden Mop

San Francisco’s best-paid janitor earned more than a quarter-million dollars cleaning stations for Bay Area Rapid Transit in 2015, according to a recent investigation by Oakland’s KTVU. Liang Zhao Zhang cleared almost $58,000 in base pay and $162,000 in overtime, and other benefits ran his total income to $271,243. He worked at San Francisco’s Powell Street station, a hangout for the homeless, who notoriously sullied the station 24/7...

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Back Talk: Love Trumps Hate
Feb20

Back Talk: Love Trumps Hate

Facebook Love Response to “Love Trumps Hate: Transgender women find romance in an insane world,” Feb. 9-15, 2017. Melissa Robinson Ferris: I’ve known Bri since our sons were in grade school together 10 years ago! It’s wonderful to see her looking so well and sounding so happy Caroline Wills: What a great love story for Valentine’s day! Brianna and Amy thank you for sharing your story! The world needs more love stories! Leslie Gray:...

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Between the Lines: Love in the Time of Climate Change
Feb13

Between the Lines: Love in the Time of Climate Change

At the bottom of the stairwell behind my apartment building, a baby stroller sat for weeks. Every time I carried a laundry basket down the back steps, I had an opportunity to read the cardboard sign strapped to the side of the stroller. In rigid capital letters scrawled with Sharpie, it read: “The World Doesn’t Have Four More Years.” The first blizzard since Inauguration Day prompted someone to toss the protest sign and bring that...

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