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...

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Forgotten: Springfield’s Black History Is Nowhere In Sight
Jun05

Forgotten: Springfield’s Black History Is Nowhere In Sight

Springfield, Massachusetts, was a big abolitionist hub during the days of the Underground Railroad — not that many people know this.When talking about Massachusetts history, Western Mass isn’t well represented in historical texts — they’re more focused on Boston. And even less well represented is Pioneer Valley black history.Springfield, Massachusetts, was an early safe haven for refugees. In 1783, Massachusetts was one of the first...

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Springfield Advocacy Group Disappointed By Updated Police In School Deal
Jun05

Springfield Advocacy Group Disappointed By Updated Police In School Deal

Despite unanimous approval at the Springfield School Committee’s May 18 meeting for a revised memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Springfield Public Schools and the Springfield Police Department, advocacy group Neighbor to Neighbor thinks the new document does little to disrupt what it calls the “school-to-prison pipeline.”Jafet Robles, a Springfield organizer with Neighbor to Neighbor, told the Valley Advocate the group fears...

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Back Talk: Reader comments on marijuana, climate change, and addiction
Jun05

Back Talk: Reader comments on marijuana, climate change, and addiction

Sticky Green ThumbsA few responses to the May 25-31, 2017 O, Cannabis column: “Growing Your Own Weed In Massachusetts: A How-To Guide”Editor’s Note: Marty Klein was quoted in the article for his growing expertise.A slight clarification re: number of plants allowed. There is no limit on the number of plants a MA medical marijuana card holder can grow. They are limited, however, on the total weight of cured buds in their possession at...

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Boston Just Got A Free College Plan. Can Western Mass, Too?
Jun05

Boston Just Got A Free College Plan. Can Western Mass, Too?

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker just announced a low-income, free-tuition program for the city of Boston that sounds like it came from the progressive wing of the Democratic party. Four years of college education in Massachusetts public colleges without tuition or mandatory fees for low income students eligible for federal Pell Grants.The question many in western Massachusetts are asking is, “Can we get a piece of that, too?”In a...

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