Q&A: The World According to Dar Williams
Sep26

Q&A: The World According to Dar Williams

Dar Williams came to the Valley in 1992 to put down roots and start a career. Between then and when she left in 2000, she became a bonafide folk rocker, touring on a wave of good gigs that carried her to a breakout moment in 1996 with Mortal City, an LP that became an alt-classic for a whole generation of twenty-somethings waiting on a new millennium. “I was working with coffeehouse volunteers, local radio stations, and promoters who...

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Not Just Duck Lips and Avocado Toast: Instagram for Western Mass Artists
Sep26

Not Just Duck Lips and Avocado Toast: Instagram for Western Mass Artists

Jeff Kelley, a Northampton post officer and owner of the Instagram account @postaljeff, scrolls through months of his posts, reaching a series featuring a red phone. He stops at a post with the phone dangling off a tree by the cord, it was photoshopped by another photographer he met on an Instameet. An Instameet, Kelley explains, involves various photographers and Instagrammers coming together IRL (that’s in real life) to take photos...

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Deported from a Sanctuary?
Sep26

Deported from a Sanctuary?

The debate over immigration reform isn’t new, but it’s taken center stage in the 2016 presidential campaign. Republican candidate Donald Trump has made it a central part of his campaign and recently made headlines when he vowed to cut funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” — jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal requests for help in detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants. According to Trump, sanctuary cities...

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Scene Here: Rent Rally
Sep26

Scene Here: Rent Rally

Several dozen protesters gathered this past Friday at Mason Square in Springfield, chanting What Do We Want? Affordable Housing! When Do We Want It? Now! and carrying signs down State Street — through one of the city’s most blighted neighborhoods — to Court Square in the heart of the downtown area. Organized by Arise for Social Justice and No One Leaves — Springfield, it’s no coincidence that the rally is  a stone’s throw from both...

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Between the Lines: E-ZPass and the Impending Robot Takeover
Sep26

Between the Lines: E-ZPass and the Impending Robot Takeover

I’m soon going to have to decide if a pull towards convenience outweighs my fear of a total robot takeover of the world as we know it. I may get an E-ZPass transponder. The decision should be made simpler by the fact that the state of Massachusetts isn’t giving any of us much choice. Anyone who uses the Mass Pike without one will pay close to double what E-ZPass subscribers pay when new toll system goes live in late...

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Backtalk: Immigration celebration, saving water, and love for old lesbians
Sep26

Backtalk: Immigration celebration, saving water, and love for old lesbians

Celebrate Immigration I think the people of Northampton and the whole Pioneer Valley should take the lead and turn the arrival of refugees to our area into a celebration. Our country’s founding principles are based on no discrimination. Instead of fearing these unknown immigrants, let’s let them want to contribute to our community. Instead of greeting them with bigotry, why not present each of them with Statues of Liberty?...

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