Western Mass Year of the Woman? Election could bring all-female delegation to Hampshire County
Mar27

Western Mass Year of the Woman? Election could bring all-female delegation to Hampshire County

Hampshire County has the highest proportion of women of any county in the state, and yet for years has been represented in the Statehouse mostly by men. With the retirement of longtime Amherst Rep. Ellen Story in 2016, this has been especially true. But this year’s elections could alter that in the extreme. There are credible female candidates running for four of the state House seats representing the bulk of the county, and more than...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: A Marijuana Cafe Plan B with Karima Rizk
Mar19

Valley Advocate Podcast: A Marijuana Cafe Plan B with Karima Rizk

Karima Rizk was hoping to have one of the first cafes in the country where patrons could come and use marijuana legally. Unfortunately, Massachusetts put the kibosh on that with it’s new regulations. Rizk hasn’t given up and still plans to move forward with the cafe in a different from. Hear about her experiences in the marijuana field and her dream of turning Western Mass into “the Emerald...

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Editorial: Sunshine Week Important Now As Ever
Mar13

Editorial: Sunshine Week Important Now As Ever

I’ll never forget the Open Meeting Law conference I covered a few years ago in Northampton. Then State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg held the conference in March 2015 for local civic leaders and venting about the Open Meeting Law, which is in place for all of us to get necessary information about how our government is run, commenced immediately. John Payne, who was then Select Board Chairman in Shelburne, said he found that the...

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Vermont Yankee transfer gaining traction with state agencies and environmental activists
Mar06

Vermont Yankee transfer gaining traction with state agencies and environmental activists

After several weeks of negotiations, Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant owner Entergy, potential buyer NorthStar, state agencies, and citizen activists have come to an agreement on how the shut down plant could be transferred and decommissioned by NorthStar. One agency, however, does not think the plan has enough financial supports in place if something unexpected happens. NorthStar had proposed to buy the plant so that it could...

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Advochat Podcast: Healthy food and social justice in Springfield with Liz Wills-O’Gilvie
Mar05

Advochat Podcast: Healthy food and social justice in Springfield with Liz Wills-O’Gilvie

As chair of the Springfield Food Policy Council Steering Committee and board chair of Gardening the Community, Liz Wills-O’Gilvie thinks a lot about how growing up as a minority in an urban neighborhood affects your access to healthy food. She says there are 10 McDonald’s within a mile and three-quarters of her house and limited access to fresh produce. Wills-O’Gilvie, who was recently in the Advocate talking about...

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