Franklin County Pride is On; Holyoke Has Month of LGBTQIA Events
Jun12

Franklin County Pride is On; Holyoke Has Month of LGBTQIA Events

Across the country celebrations are taking place for national Pride month, and the Pioneer Valley is no exception. Franklin County and the city of Holyoke are hosting events to bring together the LGBTQIA community.This year marks the return of Franklin Country Pride, which will take place in Greenfield on June 24th, after taking a year or two off. Organized and lead by a team of volunteers, the celebration will occur in two parts.The...

Read More
Should You Give Money to Panhandlers?
Jun12

Should You Give Money to Panhandlers?

When a Holyoke City Councilor said, at a public meeting, “Don’t feed the animals,” in regard to homeless panhandlers, I figured I had a good idea for a fiery column defending people who beg for a living.It is vile to call any person an “animal” in a dehumanizing way — that’s not up for debate: everyone has worth. But did he have a point, underneath that craven misunderstanding of poverty, about not giving money to people with their...

Read More
More Than Half of Springfield’s Unemployed Don’t Qualify for Casino Jobs
Jun12

More Than Half of Springfield’s Unemployed Don’t Qualify for Casino Jobs

Radames Lopez is a 24-year-old lifelong Holyoke resident with a six month old daughter. He’s unemployed and every day is a struggle to find work because of his felony criminal record.“They’re not going to call me back … I can’t even go into the Army even if I want to because I’ve got felonies,” Lopez said following a Holyoke City Council meeting this month.Lopez spoke during the public comment portion of the Holyoke City Council’s...

Read More
What Is A Hidden Gem, And Where Are They In The Valley? An Advocate Chat
May31

What Is A Hidden Gem, And Where Are They In The Valley? An Advocate Chat

The Advocate Chat is a recurring series where the Valley Advocate staff talks about a topic on their minds. The text below has been lightly edited. dave.eisen (Managing Editor Dave Eisenstadter): This week we are talking about hidden gems. At the end of June, we’ll be putting together a list of them from six communities in Hampden County (a bit like Arts Editor Hunter Styles did for Franklin County last year, only bigger!). But...

Read More
Back Talk: Life Is More Than ‘Get Them Fat Stacks’
May30

Back Talk: Life Is More Than ‘Get Them Fat Stacks’

I started talking with a customer the other day at work. He was looking for something in the store, not sure if we had it, he may have got something else. I was in the middle of something, not in the mood to make small talk. But we started to chat.We kind of butted heads at first, I had some other things to do, he had some real questions, and he may have been looking to talk a little as well. We’ve been understaffed lately, so it can...

Read More