Local delegation hopes to learn — and teach — at nation drug abuse summit
Apr22

Local delegation hopes to learn — and teach — at nation drug abuse summit

The first time Northampton Police Officer Adam Van Buskirk participated in the RX Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit two years ago, he returned to NPD and kicked the city’s Drug Addiction and Recovery Team into high gear. Known as the DART program — and now replicated in almost all Hampshire County police departments — DART sends teams of police, harm reduction educators, and recovery coaches out to visit with people who have recently...

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The V-Spot: I’m Just Not Jealous and My Partner is Pissed
Apr22

The V-Spot: I’m Just Not Jealous and My Partner is Pissed

Hi Yana!! I’m 19 years old and I recently ended my first really serious relationship that lasted about a year. A big reason we ended it is that I felt a little restless and wanted to explore an open relationship. I did a lot of research and we both felt comfortable with it in theory but when my partner started having intercourse with other people, my partner became angry that I wasn’t having any feelings of jealousy. I know an open...

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Cinemadope: A Woman’s World
Apr22

Cinemadope: A Woman’s World

There were always a lot of women in my family. When I think back to my childhood, to family cookouts and graduations, to birthdays and funerals, it is always the aunts and grandmothers that rule my remembered roosts. They made sure everyone was fed, slipped the youngest of us extra candies, and kept the wheels turning on all of our lives. But if they were the busiest — at most of these affairs, the men could be found in armchairs,...

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Free Will Astrology: Learn from ‘Cards Against Humanity,’ Aries
Apr22

Free Will Astrology: Learn from ‘Cards Against Humanity,’ Aries

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the U.S., the day after Thanksgiving typically features a spectacular shopping orgy. On “Black Friday,” stores sell their products at steep discounts and consumers spend their money extravagantly. But the creators of the game Cards Against Humanity have consistently satirized the tradition. In 2013, for example, they staged a Black Friday “anti-sale,” for which they raised their prices. The coming weeks...

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Stagestruck: Angles and Aliens — Three productions take a slanted view of our world
Apr21

Stagestruck: Angles and Aliens — Three productions take a slanted view of our world

These are precarious days, observes Peter Schumann, founder and director of Bread & Puppet Theater. The social order, the democratic contract and the earth itself are tottering from unprecedented stresses. Bread & Puppet’s Diagonal Life: Theory and Praxis, coming to Holyoke’s Gateway City Arts on Tuesday, arises from that tension: “Diagonals are created from the leaning power of hurt verticals,” says the publicity for this...

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Jennifer Stuart on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Apr19

Jennifer Stuart on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

This week’s Valley Advocate Sessions performer is Jennifer Stuart who play talking folk music about love, life, and poetry. Interview with Jennifer...

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Back Talk: Support Forestry in Massachusetts
Apr19

Back Talk: Support Forestry in Massachusetts

Support Forestry in Massachusetts In response to “Hey! DCR! Leave Those Trees Alone,” published April 11-17. The extent of exaggeration and distortion by the anti-forestry protesters in Wendell is truly astounding. I have a degree in Forestry from UMass and over 30 years’ experience helping landowners protect and manage thousands of acres of forest land across Massachusetts. Wendell State Forest consists of over 8,000 acres of which...

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Valley Advocate Staff Picks: Christa Joy & Rosie Porter, Weege & the Wondertwins/ The Screaming Hearts, and Shakespeare’s Birthday Bash
Apr18

Valley Advocate Staff Picks: Christa Joy & Rosie Porter, Weege & the Wondertwins/ The Screaming Hearts, and Shakespeare’s Birthday Bash

Christa Joy & the Honeybees / Rosie Porter & the Neon Moons at the Ashfield Lake House // SATURDAY, 4/20  Two great local country-folk singers will be performing at the Ashfield Lake House this Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. Both Christa Joy and Rosie Porter are set to play songs from their upcoming album alongside with their respective bands. You’ll likely hear country heartbreak tunes that’ll make you mist up (I know I would) as...

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The Human Tragedy of ‘Lost Girls’
Apr18

The Human Tragedy of ‘Lost Girls’

The artwork of Zitong (Ann) Xu blends myth, magic, and the fantastical together to tell human stories about sorrow for “Lost Girls” at the Barnes Gallery at Leverett Crafts & Arts through the month of April. With lifelike haunting faces of women combined with imagery out of an ancient Greek poem or the dark fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, Xu, a senior at Northfield Mount Hermon preparatory school in Gill, presents a series of...

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Stagestruck: Shakespearean Trifecta
Apr17

Stagestruck: Shakespearean Trifecta

It’s the Bard’s birthday next week, and three shows on area stages are celebrating it. (Shakespeare’s actual birthdate is unknown, but it was sometime around April 23, 1564, and since he died on April 23, 1616, that symmetry has become traditional.) This weekend and next, Smith College’s theater department mounts an all-female As You Like It. A new troupe called the rig stages an abbreviated Pericles in Easthampton and the Berkshires....

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An Old Stoner’s Guide to Modern Cannabis
Apr17

An Old Stoner’s Guide to Modern Cannabis

I’m not sure I’m ready for modern cannabis. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for legal weed — for medical purposes and for grown-ass adult consumption (stay in school, kids, and just say no). As a young adult in my 20s and 30s, I indulged regularly. I inhaled frequently. Alright, alright — I was a pothead. Fast-forward and I’m now a decade into the AARP years. My consumption rate has dropped considerably to maybe a few times a year, mainly...

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Editorial: Human Support for Striking Stop & Shop Workers
Apr17

Editorial: Human Support for Striking Stop & Shop Workers

Since Thursday, April 11, Stop & Shop workers have been on strike, picketing what their union says is an unfair contract deal with owners of the grocery store chain. Hanging in the background of this dispute is one of the great demons of employment today — robots. Tyrone C. Housey, president of the Springfield-based United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1459, which represents local Stop & Shop workers, named automated...

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Bizarro Briefs: Turtle Power!
Apr17

Bizarro Briefs: Turtle Power!

A man from Florida (yes, it’s one of those Bizarro Briefs) who calls himself “the saint” threatened to unleash the potent power of his turtle army to destroy people in the town of Indialantic, according to the town’s police department. The 61-year-old Florida man was also accused of yelling obscenities and causing disturbances at businesses along North Miramar Avenue, including Starbucks and Sassy Granny’s Smoothies. The man was...

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O Cannabis: How To Grow Your Own Weed Outside
Apr16

O Cannabis: How To Grow Your Own Weed Outside

The legalization of adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts has ushered in a brave new world for adult past times, including a first for many of us — the opportunity to legally grow cannabis outdoors. Massachusetts state law allows for adults to cultivate up to six plants per adult at home (no more than 12 plants per household). Plants must be grown on private property, guarded by either lock or security device, and not visible from a...

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Valley Show Girl: The Valley’s Own Supergroup
Apr16

Valley Show Girl: The Valley’s Own Supergroup

A little bit country, a little bit psychedelic rock and a lot of heart and soul. Valley supergroup Opal Canyon debut their album Beauty and Loss this month. Valley veteran musicians Debra DeMuth, Dave Houghton, Ray Mason, Bob Hennessy, and Jason Smith joined forces to produce this new musical project. “Beauty and Loss” by Opal Canyon I was lucky enough to catch up with DeMuth for an interview. She talked about Opal Canyon,...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: An Unscientific Blind Taste Test
Apr16

Monte Belmonte Wines: An Unscientific Blind Taste Test

“Why we can’t tell good wine from bad,” The Atlantic, published October 28, 2011 “Does all wine taste the same?” The New Yorker, published June 13, 2012 “Wine tasting: it’s junk science” The Guardian, published June 22, 2013 “The legendary study that embarrassed wine experts across the globe” Real Clear Science, August, 2014 I could post at least one headline like this from a respectable publications from every year going back to at...

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Extravaganja Organizers Seeking New 2020 Venue Due to Age Restriction
Apr15

Extravaganja Organizers Seeking New 2020 Venue Due to Age Restriction

After a forced move from the Amherst Common to Northampton in 2016, this could be the last year that political rally/festival Extravaganja will be held at the Three County Fairgrounds. The reason: the student-led University of Massachusetts Amherst Cannabis Reform Coalition (CRC), which organizes the event, is upset by restrictions imposed by the city of Northampton, including barring attendants under the age of 21 — with Five College...

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V-Spot: How Do I Help My Partner Without Being His Healer?
Apr15

V-Spot: How Do I Help My Partner Without Being His Healer?

Dear Yana, My new reciprocated crush is terrified of and obsessed with sex. He hasn’t had many good experiences, and I’m excited to potentially be a part of his new, positive experiences. But I’m also nervous and feel a lot of pressure to navigate his sexual trauma. I’m a slut and love sex and am not afraid of it. It’s difficult for me to understand the nervousness, no matter how much I care about him. I want to always heal and work...

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Cinemadope: The Biggest Little Farm at Amherst Cinema
Apr15

Cinemadope: The Biggest Little Farm at Amherst Cinema

Spring in the Pioneer Valley always brings with it the sweet reminder of how lucky we are to be surrounded by so many working farms. Drive down just about any road that leads into or out of one of our bigger towns, and you’re sure to coast by a few coolers with “Fresh Eggs” signs leaning against them, and horses, cows, pigs, and more are as common here as protest signs (another nice thing about living in the Valley, I think). Our...

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Free Will Astrology: You’ll Soon Transcend Jane Austen, Sagittarius
Apr15

Free Will Astrology: You’ll Soon Transcend Jane Austen, Sagittarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): French writer Simone de Beauvoir sent a letter to her lover, Aries author Nelson Algren. She wrote, “I like so much the way you are so greedy about life and yet so quiet, your eager greediness and your patience, and your way of not asking much of life and yet taking much because you are so human and alive that you find much in everything.” I’d love to see you embody that state in the coming weeks, Aries. In...

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Dave Dersham on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Apr12

Dave Dersham on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Dave Dersham is a wordsmith who performs ambient folk and Americana songs. Check out his music on this week’s Advocate Sessions video. Interview with Dave...

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Poetry: Gentleness on the Heartening Prowl
Apr12

Poetry: Gentleness on the Heartening Prowl

Some moss and meltwater flashing in the placid gulch. The delicate theatrics of any flower’s mouth. All the tranquil angles quilted into a female face. The hand that was made to touch the saddest parts of trees.   Where does gentleness go when softness shuts down? How does kindness survive the numb rage of global heartbreak? How can one be expected to opt for heroic tenderness when brutality is the bride of success?  ...

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Basemental: The Flywheel is an Idea Worth Celebrating
Apr12

Basemental: The Flywheel is an Idea Worth Celebrating

The Flywheel celebrates its 20th birthday this month. In 1999, the Flywheel launched in a former cabinet shop in Easthampton — hosting shows and rousing rabble. The thought that the all-volunteer collective show space would enter a second decade, let alone a third, wasn’t a thought that likely computed, as few DIY spaces last this long. But the fact that such a space has survived is a testament to the community that makes it happen —...

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Staff Picks: Kalliope Jones & Moving Day, Zines and Punk at Flywheel, Revolutionary re-enactors in Deerfield
Apr11

Staff Picks: Kalliope Jones & Moving Day, Zines and Punk at Flywheel, Revolutionary re-enactors in Deerfield

Kalliope Jones & Moving Day at the Stone Church // FRIDAY, April 12 Two great local bands and past Advocate Sessions groups will be performing at the Stone Church in Brattleboro this Friday. Kalliope Jones is a teenage post-rock group with rich vocal harmonies and catchy original indie rock hooks. The band is one of the best in the Valley. If you haven’t heard them live, I implore you to do so. Your eardrums will be happy....

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Bizarro Briefs: Don’t rob cars in jail parking lots
Apr11

Bizarro Briefs: Don’t rob cars in jail parking lots

Don’t rob cars in jail parking lots After spending time in jail on grand theft charges, a Florida man found himself again in lockup only 15 minutes after being released. The 37-year-old man was seen “acting suspicious and checking vehicle doors” in the parking lot of the jail facility. An officer confronted him and retrieved an iPhone 7, four packs of cigarettes, a lighter, a debit card, a Florida driver’s license and $547 in cash...

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Letters to the Editor: Peace through music
Apr11

Letters to the Editor: Peace through music

A message best received through music “The Okee Dokee Brothers” wrote and perform the song: Somos Amigos (we’re friends). The video accompanying the tune showcases the duo joined by four other Mexican musicians standing on a bridge in which one might assume that perhaps it is the Rio Grande flowing beneath. One may also interpret the meaning, in such a setting, as actually dissolving of a border crossing and the bonding of two...

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Stagestruck: ‘Death of a Salesman’ and ‘The Tattooed Man Tells All’
Apr10

Stagestruck: ‘Death of a Salesman’ and ‘The Tattooed Man Tells All’

Two plays coming to area campuses this week and next have starkly different, but equally pessimistic takes on life and death. Death of a Salesman, at Springfield College, finds tragedy in an ordinary life, while The Tattooed Man Tells All, at Smith College, draws tragic lessons from viciously extraordinary conditions. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is perhaps the classic American tragedy. Winner of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize and...

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Hey! DCR! Leave Those Trees Alone!
Apr10

Hey! DCR! Leave Those Trees Alone!

The road into Wendell State Forest was frozen solid with six-inch ruts formed the week before by vehicles navigating what must have been a muddy slog caused by yet another change in the weather. It’s said if you don’t like the weather in New England just wait a minute, something never more true than now as the Climate Crisis makes itself known to those who have been following the science. The frozen surface would be ideal for loggers...

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Editorial: Half-baked Plan Not Good Enough for Hampshire
Apr10

Editorial: Half-baked Plan Not Good Enough for Hampshire

Although the future of Hampshire College still remains uncertain, there’s a lot to be said for the strong level of support for the experimental 1960s-established college among Valley residents, alumni, students, faculty, and staff in advocating for an independent Hampshire College. That idea is the opposite of what college administrators set out to do — remedy financial woes by seeking out a partner. Amid the several leadership...

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Woman accuses Hadley Police of discrimination, mishandling her case
Apr10

Woman accuses Hadley Police of discrimination, mishandling her case

The first time Carmen Allison’s things were taken from a storage unit at Stuff-It Storage in Hadley was in the summer of 2015. She had recently lost her job as a caretaker in Amherst and was away for a few months to look for work in New Jersey. She reported the items missing to the office and the manager gave her a new lock. But a short time later, her unit was robbed again. When she went to the police to report the crime, however,...

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The Beerhunter: The Gluten-Free Beer Problem
Apr09

The Beerhunter: The Gluten-Free Beer Problem

Billy had an innocent question, but he should have known what to expect when he posted in a local craft beer Facebook group in December. “My buddy is gluten free,” he wrote. “Need some good beers for him.” A few group members responded in good faith. More than a few did not. “There are none,” replied Jeremy. “Tell him to try cider.” “Try not being gluten-free,” wrote Jacob. Scott went one further: “Find a new buddy!” Michael suggested...

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Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: Ants
Apr09

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: Ants

Flashback: Ten years ago, the morning after Christmas. True story. I am on the john at my sisters house when a car barreling down the road hits a utility pole, frying every appliance in the house, including a TV/DVD combo I just received as a present. The car then back flips and flattens two vehicles parked in the driveway. Picture in the Gazette. Insurance company can’t determine how much is my fault(!), and since my TV is 24 hours...

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Stagestruck: New Kid on the Block
Apr09

Stagestruck: New Kid on the Block

There’s a new theater company in the Valley, with a kick-ass name and no less a purpose than helping to “undo established hierarchical structures and their attendant damage.” It’s called Strident Theatre, and its vociferous founder is actor/director/playwright Susanna Apgar. After a year of planning, the troupe officially kicks off this Saturday with a “Season Teaser Wine and Cheeser” at the Northampton Center for the Arts, an...

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V-Spot: I Caught My BF on Grindr
Apr08

V-Spot: I Caught My BF on Grindr

Hi Yana! I’ll just dive right in — it’s come to my attention my boyfriend has Grindr on his phone. He was talking to multiple people, sending scandalous pictures, and making plans to have sex. We’ve talked about this and he says it’ll never happen again and he’s sorry. He can’t explain why he was talking to other people, and swears up and down he is straight. How do I learn to trust him again? How do we move forward? — Findrs Keeprs...

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Cinemadope: Is Hellboy actually a Western?
Apr08

Cinemadope: Is Hellboy actually a Western?

The tropes of the American Western have had a surprisingly wide influence. Its heady mix of self-sufficiency and violence, often presented as a necessary but natural manifestation of a hero’s morality, has spread like seeping blood into nearly every kind of popular modern storytelling. Even sci-fi stalwart Star Trek was initially pitched to network executives as “Wagon Train to the stars.” The bones of the western are just that: a...

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