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.  

I’ve got my own Nifty Nabber now

In response to “Mini Bottles — Mega Mess: Agawam man on a daily quest to get trash off the streets,” published April 25-May 1, 2019.

Thanks for the article on John Coughlin’s clean-up efforts in Agawam. I too am a sometimes picker of mini-bottles and roadside trash, although I am not as ambitious as John. Happily, I came upon a “Nifty Nabber” like his yesterday, at Manchester’s Hardware in Easthampton. Made by the Unger company, this light-weight device is exceptionally well designed, and seems raring to go. Another good tip from the Advocate.

Hats off to Kevin Gutting for his dramatic photography. Those pavement-level shots make Mr. Coughlin appear as the titan he is.

— Chris Bowen, Southampton


King Richard (Neal)

In response to “Who does Richard Neal represent? Follow the money,” published April 25-May 1, 2019.

Booya, yahoo, kudos to VA for allowing and printing the article on King Richard (Neal) in the April 25 issue.

The despicable and hypocritical action is something I’ve had a feeling about for many years and finally someone is able to come up with the evidence and you folks printed it. Thank you. I sincerely hope the readers of Western Mass will take heed and see to it this poor excuse for a Congressman from Massachusetts will not “serve” us again. He hasn’t had an opponent for decades and just keeps on bilking the electorate.

— Dave Zajchowski, Chicopee


‘Seems like a horrible job’

In response to “Amherst Canvassing director says she was fired for supporting her staff,” published April 25-May 1, 2019.

What a bunch of capitalist bullshit. Firing someone who introduced voluntary collectivization for the workers’ wellbeing and job security.

— Lisa Sergienko, Facebook comment

I can’t believe it works as a fund raising campaign. Seems like horrible job. I try to be kind to the folks working, but I don’t want to stop and chat and I’m not giving money or signing up to do so with some kid on the street. (Same with anyone that does phone calls).

— Garth Shaneyfelt, Facebook comment


Another take on good local venues

In response to “Best Place to See Local Bands — Iron Horse” in this year’s Best of the Valley supplement, published April 25, 2019.

Theodore’s is the best music club in the area for a show bar none. Great room, great food, great ambience. Poor Richard’s is great for rock shows, superior sound, stage, and lighting. Luthier’s is my 3rd favorite spot, great acoustics, vibe, and now great food c/o my brother-in-law. The Valley likes to pretend that places south of the Pike don’t exist. It’s a bubble. And it’s stifling to musicians and artists who have convinced themselves that playing for free or close to it is acceptable. There’s no reason that musicians should play for tips when a venue is owned by a millionaire. IHEG is but a shadow of its former self at this point. The days of weekly big draws and crash landings from really big names are gone. There are plenty of other places for people to go watch original music and not have to pay $5 for a water, or be berated by the resident bartender at a club with little to no air conditioning and no re-entry.

— Kevin Bias, Facebook comment