In bid for seventh term, Mass. Secretary of State William Galvin clarifies his history of support for same-day and automatic voting
Jun22

In bid for seventh term, Mass. Secretary of State William Galvin clarifies his history of support for same-day and automatic voting

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, who is running for his seventh term in office after serving in the position for more than two decades, is facing a challenge from Boston City Councilor and Democratic opponent Josh Zakim, pushed back on the notion that he has been slow to embrace expansive voting policies such as same-day registration and automatic voter registration during a visit to Amherst on Thursday, June 21....

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Pick of the Day 6/24: A Voice for ALS Fundraiser
Jun22

Pick of the Day 6/24: A Voice for ALS Fundraiser

Here’s a worthy cause: A Voice for ALS features NBC Voice star Terry McDermott. Although the concert is free, contributions to the ALS Association are encouraged. For many with ALS losing their voice is connected with the loss of identity; here’s a great opportunity to join the fight to find a cure. 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Union Station, 125 Pleasant St.,...

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Pick of the Day 6/23: American Animals
Jun22

Pick of the Day 6/23: American Animals

Oh boy, there’s nothing more delightful than amateur criminal movies, and this is the unbelievable but true story of four college guys who attempt to an extraordinary art heist at Kentucky’s Transylvania University. The film centers around two friends, Spencer and Warren.  They’re over-privileged boys from the burbs who fear they won’t realize their full potential.  There’s Warren (Even Peters of American...

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Dark and Light: Duality at the Hosmer Gallery
Jun22

Dark and Light: Duality at the Hosmer Gallery

The Forbes Library is a handsome structure abutting the Smith College Campus at 20 West St. in Northampton. It’s stately and grand and at one time it was known as “the castle on the hill.” The grounds are perfectly manicured and the circular drive allows for easy entrance and exit. The second floor of the library is dedicated to arts and music, and the Hosmer Gallery sits between the second floor stacks and the Calvin Coolidge...

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Valley Show Girl: Rock Like It’s 1794
Jun22

Valley Show Girl: Rock Like It’s 1794

For my last column, I wrote about The Stone Church in Vermont, a church renovated into a performance venue. What are the chances I happen to find another one of those without knowing it until I show up? Well, I did. Enter the 1794 Meetinghouse in the center of the quaint historic district of New Salem. And on the night I went, it was the season opener for their summer concert series. I had heard about this venue before, but never had...

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Lucio Perez, himself separated from his family, to call for humanity at the border with Congressman McGovern
Jun22

Lucio Perez, himself separated from his family, to call for humanity at the border with Congressman McGovern

Congressman James McGovern, D-Worcester, and undocumented immigrant Lucio Perez, who is taking sanctuary at the First Congressional Church in Amherst, will make a joint call to end inhumane practices at the U.S.-Mexico border on Saturday. “President Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents is cruel, it is un-American, and it is evil,” McGovern said in a written statement. “There is no law requiring...

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Haymarket owner, who raised pay, ended tipping in 2015, praises minimum wage legislation
Jun21

Haymarket owner, who raised pay, ended tipping in 2015, praises minimum wage legislation

While the Legislature was debating raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in a ‘grand bargain’ bill passed by the House and Senate on Wednesday, Haymarket Cafe owner Peter Simpson was increasing his lowest paid workers wages to $15.50. Simpson announced a few years ago that he would increase the minimum wages of his workers to a living wage. He said he applauded the Legislature’s decision to do the...

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VIDEO: Mamma’s Marmalade on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Jun21

VIDEO: Mamma’s Marmalade on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Mamma’s Marmalade is a a jammy bluegrass group with plenty of old timey cheer. Check out a teaser video of the band’s Advocate Sessions, which will be released this Friday.

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Local Calendar: Thursday 6/21- Sunday 6/24
Jun21

Local Calendar: Thursday 6/21- Sunday 6/24

THURSDAY 6/21 MUSIC British Dance Invasion: 7 p.m. Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main St., Northampton. Colorway Album Release with Easy Weasel, Featuring Chris Collingwood: 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. $10 advance, $12 at the door. Colorway has been keeping the spirit of rock music alive in the valley for five years. New album release party with Easy Weasel opening. New City Brewery, 180 Pleasant St., Easthampton. Drop-in Traditional...

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Pick of the Day 6/22: Christopher Bekriges at the Bing
Jun21

Pick of the Day 6/22: Christopher Bekriges at the Bing

Got a personal note from Christopher Bakriges.  He and whole bunch of heavyweights are in Forest Park tonight at the Bing.  I’ll let him speak for himself:  Pianist/composer Chris Bakriges will be “joined by his mentor at Wesleyan University, Jay Hoggard on vibes [Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Tito Puente, Hilton Ruiz], renowned Panamanian-born bassist Santi Debriano, another Wesleyan alumni] [Pharoah Sanders, Sonny...

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Pick of the Day 6/21: Vilray at the Parlor Room
Jun21

Pick of the Day 6/21: Vilray at the Parlor Room

There’s a lot going on tonight: Junior Reid at Hawks and Reed and Liz Longley at the Iron Horse. But I thought I’d let Vilray (pronounce Vil-ree) give his own shout out for today’s pick. He posted this back on 6/11. You can see him up close and personal at the Parlor Room tonight. He describes his sound as a mix of  jazz and country-swing. The Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St, Northampton. I am at @ParlorRoomMusic 6-21 and...

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‘Grand bargain’ $15 minimum wage bill passed by Legislature
Jun20

‘Grand bargain’ $15 minimum wage bill passed by Legislature

The Massachusetts House has unveiled and quickly passed a long-awaited “grand bargain” bill aimed at keeping citizen petitions off the ballot this year, including measures supporting a $15 minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, and sales tax adjustments. Later on Wednesday, the bill passed the Senate with no amendments, meaning it will go to Gov. Charlie Baker for a signature. Both houses passed the bill with veto-proof...

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Stagestruck: “Tight Pants” and strong bonds
Jun20

Stagestruck: “Tight Pants” and strong bonds

A six-week workshop for first-time playwrights taught by the Majestic Theater’s Danny Eaton has borne unexpected fruit. It has not only brought forth a full-length play, but has inspired Eaton to establish an annual “new works” week at the theater. Betel Arnold’s Tight Pants, which grew out of that workshop, inaugurates the projected series this weekend. Arnold’s play is set in the Dominican Republic, her mother’s homeland. It’s an...

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Staycation 2018: Food, fun, hiking and a whole lot of summer fun in the Pioneer Valley
Jun20

Staycation 2018: Food, fun, hiking and a whole lot of summer fun in the Pioneer Valley

Welcome to summer, the season for much needed respite from the tiresome routines of daily life. Planning an elaborate vacation, however, can be just as stressful as a day on the job. So why not slow your roll and keep it local? Staycations are all the rage and there’s so much to do and see in Western Mass. We’ve pulled together a load of worthy places and events you’ll want to check out on your summer staycation. Biking Western Mass...

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Bizarro Briefs: Keep Your Eyes Off The Road
Jun20

Bizarro Briefs: Keep Your Eyes Off The Road

Keep your eyes off the road A county coroner in Kentucky has been accused of working with at least two others — a retired police colonel and a current state police trooper — of illegally transporting a number of items. The most serious appeared to be $40,000 worth of illegally obtained weapons and ammunition, but the most eye-popping was a literal pair of eyeballs. Prosecutors allege the coroner, who is running to be re-elected as...

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Pick of the Day 6/20: Junior Brown at the Iron Horse
Jun20

Pick of the Day 6/20: Junior Brown at the Iron Horse

Okay, honestly, I can’t stand new country music; it’s a horrible thing.  I absolutely despise it.  So when somebody like Junior Brown blows into town, it’s an opportunity  to hear country music done right.  Junior Brown’s a country guitarist and singer, and he’s not like Brad Paisley or Zac Brown or whoever else is hot in Nascar Nation right now.  No, Junior Brown’s been playing since the ’60s...

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Fresh off Democratic endorsement, Secretary of State challenger Josh Zakim visits Northampton
Jun19

Fresh off Democratic endorsement, Secretary of State challenger Josh Zakim visits Northampton

Josh Zakim, a Boston City Councilor and a Democratic candidate for Massachusetts Secretary of State, visited the Northampton farmers’ market this afternoon alongside Mayor David Narkewicz, speaking with customers and vendors about how he plans to implement progressive changes to the election system in Massachusetts if elected. Zakim, who said he considers himself a progressive, was endorsed by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as well as...

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Massachusetts high court quashes democracy in decision on Fair Share Amendment
Jun19

Massachusetts high court quashes democracy in decision on Fair Share Amendment

The state’s Supreme Judicial Court did an extreme disservice to voters this week, taking away the potential to vote on the popular “Fair Share Amendment,” which would have created a 4 percent tax on the wealthy and used the money for education and transportation funding. Rather than let the voters decide, the court stripped the provision off the ballot on a technicality, basically stating that the wording might confuse voters because...

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Can Legal Marijuana Snuff Out the Black Market?
Jun19

Can Legal Marijuana Snuff Out the Black Market?

The long-awaited moment is nearly here: marijuana will be legal to sell in the state of Massachusetts as of July 1 — with a license. But a question that has arisen for many long-term users of marijuana is: what is going to happen to the unlicensed, illegal marijuana black market. Many believe it’s here to stay. No licenses have yet been granted by the state, and longtime users and dealers alike argue that higher quality and lower...

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Letters to the editor: Tiny houses? How about tiny families.
Jun19

Letters to the editor: Tiny houses? How about tiny families.

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. Tiny houses? How about tiny families. In response to “Downsize Me: Tiny houses...

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Editorial: Zero tolerance for U.S. ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy
Jun19

Editorial: Zero tolerance for U.S. ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy

I’m angry these days. I try to hide it as best I can, but the piling up of atrocities committed by the Trump administration is taking its toll, and I doubt I’m the only one concealing a bubbling rage as I go about my day. But the recently-implemented “zero tolerance” policy that has resulted in just shy of 2,000 children being taken from their parents from the border during a six-week period from April to May — and probably many more...

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Pick of the Day 6/19: Mutlu at the Iron Horse
Jun19

Pick of the Day 6/19: Mutlu at the Iron Horse

After last night’s wild and woolly weather, you need a de-stressor. Check out the smoothness of Mutlu at the Iron Horse tonight.  He’s a real deal, a soulful singer-songwriter from Philly and a proud first-generation American of Turkish descent. He’s shared the stage and studio with heavyweights Darryl Hall, Adele, and The Blind Boys of Alabama.  The good people in the City of Brotherly Love have shown Mutlu a lot of love,...

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Stagestruck: A Crisis of Faith, with Laughs
Jun18

Stagestruck: A Crisis of Faith, with Laughs

Church & State is the funniest play about a serious issue I have ever seen. The issue is gun violence, specifically mass shootings, and the humor is threaded into the storyline so organically that, far from cheapening the theme, it lends to it a richer, more deeply human heart. The central figure in the Berkshire Theatre Group’s thrilling production is North Carolina’s (fictitious) junior senator, Republican Charles Whitmore, who...

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Podcast: Beerhunter Hunter Styles and Beer Week co-founder Sally Noble talk beer
Jun18

Podcast: Beerhunter Hunter Styles and Beer Week co-founder Sally Noble talk beer

Advocate alumnus Hunter Styles, who still writes our Beerhunter column, and Sally Noble, co-founder of Western Mass Beer Week, tell us about the embarrassment of riches of beer we have in the Valley. Hear about Sally’s beer beginnings and the start of Western Mass Beer Week, of Hunter’s recent travels (and beer sampling) in Norway, and see whether the pair can convince Gina that beer is actually...

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The V-Spot: How Do I Move Past Old Heartbreak?
Jun18

The V-Spot: How Do I Move Past Old Heartbreak?

Hi Yana, I’m a dude in my mid-thirties struggling to recover from a sort of recent break-up (over a year ago). We were together for seven years. The last three of those years were spent in couples therapy and the last year of our relationship was spent trying to be non-monogamous (her idea). Long, painful story short: she ended up falling in love with the other person she was dating outside of our relationship during our...

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Free Will Astrology: Scorpio, Go play outside for a while!
Jun18

Free Will Astrology: Scorpio, Go play outside for a while!

ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you have cosmic permission to enjoy extra helpings of waffles, crepes, pancakes, and blintzes. Eating additional pastries and doughnuts is also encouraged. Why? Because it’s high time for you to acquire more ballast. You need more gravitas and greater stability. You can’t afford to be top-heavy; you must be hard to knock over. If you would...

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Cinemadope: A great time for film lovers to check out Forbes Library
Jun18

Cinemadope: A great time for film lovers to check out Forbes Library

Something I’ve come to love about Father’s Day weekend is my own dad’s profound disinterest in the world of the internet. He doesn’t give a fig for Facebook, has no email address, and if he were ever involved with something viral it would be cause for a trip to the doctor’s office. The man is so offline that he doesn’t even have a debit card. What he does have is a library card. And for as long as I can remember, he has made the...

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Local Calendar: Monday 6/18 – Thursday 6/21
Jun18

Local Calendar: Monday 6/18 – Thursday 6/21

MONDAY 6/18 MUSIC AMHERST JAZZ ORCHESTRA: 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Free. With vocalist Ethel Lee. No cover, free parking and great food. Union Station Grand Ballroom, 125A Pleasant St., Northampton. 413-253-1607. info@amherstjazzorchestra.com. STAGE/FILM/DANCE On Chesil Beach: Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity St., Amherst. Pioneer Valley Ballet Presents: Celebration of Dance: 6 p.m. $10 – $20. Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main St.,...

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Pick of the Day 6/18: The Seagull
Jun18

Pick of the Day 6/18: The Seagull

Who doesn’t love a little Russian tragicomedy? Chekhov did. No, not Chekhov from Star Trek, I’m talking about Anton. The movie The Seagull is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s play by the same name.  Here’s the scoop: Friends and family gather at a Russian estate and spend the weekend “passionately loving someone who loves somebody else.”  Sounds fun and lighthearted and in some instances it is. But...

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Basemental: Wendy Eisenberg just wants to be a good person and make very complicated music
Jun15

Basemental: Wendy Eisenberg just wants to be a good person and make very complicated music

Wendy Eisenberg has made a name for herself in the amalgamated DIY, jazz, and improvisation scenes in New England and beyond. Coming via Rochester and then Boston, Eisenberg now lives in Amherst. Eisenberg has a variety of tactics in her artist’s toolbox. Among them are songwriter, teacher, improvisor, session musician, and heady writer on musical theory. She has played with the likes of the alto-saxophonist-and-jack-of-all-trades...

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Pick of the Day 6/17:  Brooke Annibale at the Parlor Room
Jun15

Pick of the Day 6/17: Brooke Annibale at the Parlor Room

It makes my job easy when my picks make their own plugs! Singer songwriter Brooke Annibale posted this on Twitter Friday afternoon: “Playin in Northampton, MA this Sunday night@ParlorRoomMusic with Ben Jaffe! Everybody bring your dads cause it’s Father’s Day and they love you.” What she said! Check her out tonight at The Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St.,...

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Pick of the Day 6/16: Kevin Morby at Gateway City Arts
Jun15

Pick of the Day 6/16: Kevin Morby at Gateway City Arts

Kevin Morby rose to fame as bassist in the folk rock band Woods and as the co-founder of The Babies. It’s the one year anniversary of his fourth studio album City Music; it was released on June 16, 2017. He describes the album as a “listless wanderlust” and an ode to the vibrant rush of city living. Go help him celebrate City Music‘s birthday. Gateway City Arts, 92 Race St.,...

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New mixed use building at North Square coming to Amherst Mill District next year
Jun15

New mixed use building at North Square coming to Amherst Mill District next year

By the summer of 2019, Amherst will have a new mixed-use development of 130 low to moderate income apartments and eight to 10 new spaces for businesses at North Square in the community’s Mill District. A groundbreaking ceremony for the development took place with local and state officials on June 14, including a rare visit from Gov. Charlie Baker, who said funding for the project was partially made possible by MassHousing Partnership...

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Northampton resident and lifelong activist Rose ‘Arky’ Markham dies at 102
Jun14

Northampton resident and lifelong activist Rose ‘Arky’ Markham dies at 102

Some sad community and activism news — longtime political activist Rose “Arky” Markham passed away earlier this week. Sad in that she passed away, but among the things she has left behind are the results of a life well-spent, as can be seen in her obituary. I got the chance to interview Markham and attend her 100th birthday celebration, a packed house full of change-makers, activists and political figures alike. I...

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Students ask the questions at Northampton High School event for state rep and senate candidates
Jun14

Students ask the questions at Northampton High School event for state rep and senate candidates

“I am consistently inspired by the youth activists in this community,” said Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton in front of a room full of students, teachers, parents, and community members at the Northampton High School auditorium on June 13. Sabadosa, a candidate for the 1st Hampshire state Representative seat, was one of eight candidates to participate in a question-and-answer forum at the school where the questions were fielded by...

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