Click It! Are Your Neighbors Voting? Find out in our interactive map
Jul19

Click It! Are Your Neighbors Voting? Find out in our interactive map

Western Mass has a reputation for being politically active, but at least in terms of voting, some communities are more engaged than others. An analysis of city and town voter turnout rates in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties for the 2012 presidential election revealed towns where nearly 90 percent of registered voters made it to the polls and others where the turnout rate was closer to 60 percent. How Votey Is Your Town?...

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Between the Lines: A Rebar River Runs Through It
Jul19

Between the Lines: A Rebar River Runs Through It

More than 100 yards of industrial concrete waste along the Connecticut River along Route 47 in Hadley is going to be removed, thanks to an anonymous phone call. Earlier this month, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an enforcement order against general contractor Christopher J. Baj, of Hadley Concrete Service, alleging violations of the state’s solid waste, wetlands and waterways laws when debris — 2,860 cubic...

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Scene Here: On Tap Festival at Berkshire East
Jul19

Scene Here: On Tap Festival at Berkshire East

Last Call, Franklin County This past Sunday’s inaugural Franklin County On Tap festival drew over 400 intrepid fans of craft beer, cider, and mead to Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont to sample brews from a dozen local operations, including the newest: Hitchcock Brewing in Whately, pictured here, which shipped its first keg May 15. Visitors wandered among two floors of vendor tables inside the lodge, but the most fun was to...

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Flashback: Stearns Square Over Time
Jul20

Flashback: Stearns Square Over Time

1881 — Chester W. Chapin, a railroad tycoon and congressman from Springfield, commissions renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create a bronze statue of his ancestor and early city settler, Deacon Samuel Chapin. Springfield builds a small park, Stearns Square, to showcase the artwork. 1887 — Saint-Gaudens’ statue, The Puritan, is unveiled in Stearns Square. The square, which is most likely named for real estate speculator...

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Down to Earth: Americans have no ‘right-to-roam,’ but we should
Jul19

Down to Earth: Americans have no ‘right-to-roam,’ but we should

Last month, on a Sunday afternoon, I drove down to the Oxbow for an ultimate Frisbee pickup game. Clouds had been gathering all day and it began to rain as I drove, so when I arrived at the athletic fields, no one had turned up to play. I parked my car and decided instead to go running in the pleasantly warm rain. My circuit took me around the fields past the banks of a marshy inlet, and eventually back down to the Oxbow Marina, which...

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News of the Weird: Fashion Challenges
Jul19

News of the Weird: Fashion Challenges

Beautician Sarah Bryan, 28, of Wakefield, England, who garnered worldwide notoriety last year when she introduced a wearable dress made of 3,000 Skittles, returned this summer with a wearable skirt and bra made of donated human hair — a substantial amount of which, she said, is pubic hair. She admits having had to work in an eye mask, breathing mask and thick gloves, out of fear of donors’ hygiene habits. More conventionally,...

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