Electrifying the Vinyl: Electric Eye Records in Florence is a vinyl lover’s go-to destination
Nov21

Electrifying the Vinyl: Electric Eye Records in Florence is a vinyl lover’s go-to destination

That slight scratching sound the needle makes when you gently place it on the record. The brief static that comes through the speakers before the music hits. Then: bam! Just like magic, music emerges from my vintage suitcase record player, sounding like nothing else. It was my mother’s. She gave it to me when I was a child, and I was immediately drawn to it. Surely the ’70s rainbow design on the inside lid was the initial culprit....

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Stagestruck: Closing the Gender Gap
Nov21

Stagestruck: Closing the Gender Gap

Every year I take note of the plays I’ve seen that are written and/or directed by women, and those that revolve around a woman (or women). For me, these are key indicators of progress in achieving gender equality in theater. To be sure, there are plenty of women filling backstage roles, and 11 professional theaters in the area have women artistic directors. But here and across the country, in these three artistic areas that define the...

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O, Cannabis!: Getting the Best Deal on Medical Marijuana
Nov21

O, Cannabis!: Getting the Best Deal on Medical Marijuana

If you get up real close to the New England Treatment Access medical marijuana dispensary in Northampton, you can smell the earthy aroma of cannabis through the brick walls.Established in 2015, NETA’s Conz Street dispensary is, so far, the only medical Mary Jane shop west of Worcester. In August, I obtained my Massachusetts medical marijuana card — and I used it this past week.The dispensary is a weed oasis behind a fortified gate....

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Sweep it Under the River: Berkshire County’s Battle with GE Over the Housatonic River Cleanup Continues
Nov21

Sweep it Under the River: Berkshire County’s Battle with GE Over the Housatonic River Cleanup Continues

Decades later and General Electric still hasn’t remedied its contamination of the Housatonic.Woods Pond in Lenox is the picture of quaint backwoods New England: the kind of place leaf-peepers flock annually to the Berkshires to behold. The golden yellows and fiery oranges of the remaining foliage pop from the gray sky and cast their reflection on the water’s surface, but beneath the tranquil veneer lies a hidden danger:This pond...

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Nerding Out: Fungus Passion
Nov21

Nerding Out: Fungus Passion

Dianna Smith walked to her third floor office at her home in Leeds to sort a collection of dried fungi.The specimens were picked during a workshop on identifying native fungi she teaches through her club, the Pioneer Valley Mycological Association. (Mycology, as you may have guessed, is the study of fungi.)“When I first saw the array of shapes, colors and substrates of fungi, I was overwhelmed by their intricate beauty. As the years...

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