Letters to the Editor: Venezuela could be US’s Waterloo
Mar21

Letters to the Editor: Venezuela could be US’s Waterloo

Hampshire College price tag comparable to most private institutions In response to: “Letters to the Editor: What’s missing from the Hampshire College discussion” (March 14-20, 2019): Hampshire College gives deep discounts and takes in diverse student pop. Hampshire College doesn’t have the coffers of state institutions. The price tag is comparable to most private institutions. You may very well get to see what the Pioneer Valley looks...

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An Advocate History: The Valley’s alternative voice for over 45 years
Mar20

An Advocate History: The Valley’s alternative voice for over 45 years

The first edition of the Valley Advocate was published on Sept. 19, 1973, with a cover story titled, “Prophet & Profit — ‘Spirit’ Dies,” about a large hippie commune in Leyden called “The Brotherhood of the Spirit,” which became defunct when more than half of them quit. So it’s no wonder why 40-year Advocate journalist Stephanie Kraft says that during the alternative weekly’s early years “a lot of people saw us as this little...

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Bizarro Briefs: A New Meaning for Phone Shield
Mar20

Bizarro Briefs: A New Meaning for Phone Shield

A new meaning for phone shield A 43-year-old Australian man may have his phone to thank for the fact that he was left with only a small cut on his chin after he came under attack by a man wielding a bow and arrow in rural New South Wales. Confronted with the bow and arrow, the first man whipped out his phone to take a photo of this would-be assailant. That quick thinking may have saved his life, as the attacker fired an arrow at him,...

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Editorial: Still At It After 45 Years
Mar20

Editorial: Still At It After 45 Years

Astute readers will no doubt observe the “plus” sign after the number 45 on this week’s cover. That is us coming clean that, no, this is not exactly our 45th anniversary issue. We wanted to bring you something like Chris Goudreau’s vast history of the Advocate found in this week’s edition, but in September of last year on the Advocate’s actual 45th anniversary. Unfortunately, that date was about two months after a major...

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Letters to the Editor: What’s missing from the Hampshire College discussion
Mar14

Letters to the Editor: What’s missing from the Hampshire College discussion

What we are not talking about when we struggle over the possible loss of Hampshire College Everything I have read in the papers about the possible loss of Hampshire College has centered on the value of its creative approach to higher education, the progressive social orientation of many of its programs and the value of its faculty and staff. All of these things are important to our community. We have also had a good deal of exposure...

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Anti-Racism Now: Chipping away at racism by talking face to face
Mar13

Anti-Racism Now: Chipping away at racism by talking face to face

“One of my first memories of discrimination was when I was 10 or so,” said Gloria Graves Holmes, one of two co-facilitators of the Bridge 4 Unity project. “When I was standing on a corner, getting ready to cross the street, a white man drove by me and screamed ‘Go back to Africa!’ I never saw him again, but that moment resonated.” An echo of that moment occurred years later, when she and her family were moving into their dream home on...

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Editorial: So Long, Sam’s Pizzeria
Mar13

Editorial: So Long, Sam’s Pizzeria

Last Saturday night after returning home from The Big Surf Dance, an indoor, 12-hour winter music fest supporting veterans transitioning into housing, at Hawks & Reed in Greenfield, I heard the sad news that Sam’s Pizzeria in Northampton was closing after 12 years of business. For me, the news was pretty stinging as I imagine it was for others, especially local musicians. The Sam’s Pizzeria open mic night was one of the best and...

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Bizarro Briefs: A Year of Free Taco Bell
Mar13

Bizarro Briefs: A Year of Free Taco Bell

A year of free Taco Bell We have an update regarding the man and his dog featured in last week’s Bizarro Briefs who survived five days in a car in the snow on nothing but Taco Bell Fire Sauce packets. Taco Bell this week released an odd statement, both announcing that they are giving the man “a well-deserved care package,” — free Taco Bell for a year — and also seeming to take credit for the man’s survival. “We know our sauce packets...

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Rep. Sabadosa champions immigrant driver’s license bill at discussion in Northampton
Mar07

Rep. Sabadosa champions immigrant driver’s license bill at discussion in Northampton

One undocumented woman’s husband was pulled over by a police officer and was asked to present his license. Even though he was obeying the rules of the road, he was arrested for not having a driver’s license. This was one common story from a group of local undocumented immigrants who shared their personal experiences with State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa (D – Northampton) during a roundtable discussion at the Pioneer Valley Workers...

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Resist Like It’s 1786: Modern protest movements have echoes of Shays’ Rebellion
Mar06

Resist Like It’s 1786: Modern protest movements have echoes of Shays’ Rebellion

The Daily Hampshire Gazette, one of the oldest newspapers in America, printed its first pages in the summer of 1786. From the start, things were tense in the Western Mass communities it covered. The front page of the earliest surviving issue of the Gazette reports that on August 29 a large crowd of people “assembled at the courthouse in Northampton, many of whom were armed with guns, swords, and other deadly weapons.” By taking over...

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Editorial: Massachusetts must consider supervised drug consumption sites
Mar06

Editorial: Massachusetts must consider supervised drug consumption sites

This past week, the state Legislature’s Harm Reduction Commission — the advisory group looking at solutions to the drug epidemic — released its report. As expected, the commission, which is made up of current and former drug users as well as doctors, government officials and experts in law enforcement, is pushing strongly for supervised consumption sites. Supervised consumption sites are basically places people can go to take drugs,...

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Bizarro Briefs: Polly Wants a Hit of Opium
Mar06

Bizarro Briefs: Polly Wants a Hit of Opium

Polly wants a hit of opium The farmers who grow fields of poppies in India to produce opium, which is sold on the medical market, often have to contend with seasons of uneven rainfall — but there’s another unpredictable factor that has been wreaking havoc on the crop this year — addicted parrots. The brightly-colored, backtalking birds have been biting into seed pods and even carrying them off to, one imagines, opium nests out of...

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Letters to the Editor: Solar and recreation can coexist
Mar05

Letters to the Editor: Solar and recreation can coexist

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. Solar and recreation can coexist Hickory Ridge golf course in Amherst is in its last...

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Lifting Every Voice: Springfield Black History Month lecture series educates and inspires
Feb27

Lifting Every Voice: Springfield Black History Month lecture series educates and inspires

On a cold night in the middle of February, lights are glowing in the windows of Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ, a small brick church on Alden Street in Springfield. Inside, the pews are about three-quarters full, and the attendees are listening to a different kind of sermon. “Out of fires, great things happen,” said 1999 Pulitzer Prize winner, Karen Hunter, after recalling a conversation between Martin Luther King Jr. and...

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Editorial: The ABCs of the #FakeNationalEmergency
Feb27

Editorial: The ABCs of the #FakeNationalEmergency

It was, to put it mildly, an act of moral turpitude and callous disregard for the suffering of separated families and victims of violence when President Donald Trump announced he would be circumventing Congress to declare a national emergency that, by his own admission, is unnecessary. The fact that he did it three days after Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and one week before George Washington’s birthday — presidents who faced true...

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Bizarro Briefs: No Bananas Stolen
Feb26

Bizarro Briefs: No Bananas Stolen

No bananas stolen Police in Sulphur, Louisiana, arrested a man wearing a gorilla suit, who allegedly broke into a home and hid underneath a mattress before his arrest. According to local news outlets in Louisiana, officers saw the costumed man walking through yards and had received calls about a suspicious person gazing into homes. The man ran into a home as officers approached and was then discovered hiding under the mattress. He was...

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Letters to the editor: Men must respect boundaries and be supportive
Feb26

Letters to the editor: Men must respect boundaries and be supportive

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. Men must respect boundaries and be supportive in the local music scene In response to...

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Wellness: Workouts that actually work out
Feb18

Wellness: Workouts that actually work out

It’s a month and a half into 2019, and what may have seemed like an easily obtainable fitness resolution on New Year’s Day might not seem that way anymore. To encourage those who may need a boost, we asked readers and fitness experts to share their best fitness advice. Siobhan Tripp of Hatfield says she seeks out fitness activities at the gym that she enjoys. “For me, it’s going to classes,” she said. Tripp schedules and tracks her...

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Letters to the editor: Passing the volunteer baton
Feb18

Letters to the editor: Passing the volunteer baton

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.   Limousine Liberals — a rebuttal What makes those right wingers think that right...

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Bizarro Briefs: Nazi Art Not a Winner
Feb15

Bizarro Briefs: Nazi Art Not a Winner

Nazi art not a winner Adolf Hitler can’t seem to catch a break. First, his quest for world domination hit a snag in the 1940s when the Allies defeated him in World War II, and now, no one wants watercolor paintings attributed to him. None of the five paintings believed to be painted by him received a bid at a German auction this week. Some believe that this is because the paintings are suspected fakes. But others just don’t think they...

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Purging Plastic: The quest to break the addiction to single-use garbage
Feb14

Purging Plastic: The quest to break the addiction to single-use garbage

Eight billion metric tons. According to Industrial Ecologist Roland Geyer of the University of California, Santa Barbara, that is the amount of plastic that has been produced since the 1950s, and almost half of that, was created after the year 2000, causing plastic pollution and its environmental impacts to explode as well. Many argue that it is our societal addiction to convenience and a lack of forward thinking that has allowed...

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Editorial: Back in the Weekly Swing
Feb14

Editorial: Back in the Weekly Swing

Excitement. Elation. Eagerness. Those were the emotions that bubbled up when I got the news that the Advocate would be returning to a weekly schedule, and that after six months performing other roles in the company I was being asked to return as its editor. What you now hold in your hands (online readers will have to imagine this) is the last of the Advocate’s biweekly issues. Also, after a stint going purely arts and entertainment,...

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Bizarro Briefs: Singing Locusts
Oct11

Bizarro Briefs: Singing Locusts

An opera about locusts in the Rocky Mountains? You bet. Locust: The Opera premiered on Sept. 28 at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming. The piece tells the tale of the lost Rocky Mountain locust through arias and recitatives. Locusts disappeared in the Rockies during the early 20th century and no one’s 100 percent why. For decades, the insect could be found by the trillions. During the 19th century, they were...

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Longmeadow artist Max Rudolph wants you to draw in his community-wide giant coloring book project
Oct09

Longmeadow artist Max Rudolph wants you to draw in his community-wide giant coloring book project

Every Tuesday during open mic night at Bishop’s Lounge in Northampton, Longmeadow artist Max Rudolph rolls out dozens of pages of artwork—each spanning more than 10 feet long—across the tables in back and asks people to pick up a crayon or marker and draw whatever comes to mind. For more than a year, Rudolph, 49, has been working on a collaborative art project in the form of a giant coloring book, which weighs more than 60 pounds and...

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Bizarro Briefs: Welcome to Jurassic … Er? Hotel
Oct09

Bizarro Briefs: Welcome to Jurassic … Er? Hotel

A hotel in Japan has a very weird and niche schtick, and that’s saying a lot considering Japan is known for many things wonderfully weird. This hotel has a reception desk manned by robot dinosaurs. Whether you speak Japanese, English, Chinese or Korean, the pair of robo-dinos are more than happy to assist their customers at the east Tokyo hotel through the use of a tablet system. The hotel belongs to the Henn na (weird in English)...

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Bizarro Briefs: A Mammoth Hat
Aug31

Bizarro Briefs: A Mammoth Hat

If you suddenly came into possession of a bag of woolly mammoth hair, the first thing to come to mind likely wouldn’t be a hat. A man in Yakutsk, the capital of one of Russia’s eastern provinces, created a traditional style hat, usually reserved for horse hair, from woolly mammoth hairs. The bag of ancient fur had been sold to the man from a relative in need of funds after it was discovered on a permafrost melt hunt. Now, the man is...

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Back Talk: Support for Eric Nakajima and thanks to the League of Women Voters
Aug31

Back Talk: Support for Eric Nakajima and thanks to the League of Women Voters

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.  Vote for Eric Nakajima on Sept. 4  As a longtime local progressive activist, and Democratic Party leader and friend in Hampshire County and beyond, I strongly encourage residents of Amherst, Pelham, and...

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Patty Schemel — drummer of Hole — is coming to the Valley, thanks to Women Of Rock Oral History Project and Amherst Cinema
Aug29

Patty Schemel — drummer of Hole — is coming to the Valley, thanks to Women Of Rock Oral History Project and Amherst Cinema

On a stormy Wednesday afternoon, I huddled in my car, pushed the driver’s seat back to get comfy and opened up my Wonder Woman notebook, clicked my pen and put my phone on ‘do not disturb.’ After a failed attempt to reach her, she called me back two minutes later and the name “Patty Schemel” popped up on my phone. Her pleasant, friendly voice on the other side — all the way from California to my Massachusetts — calmed my nerves as I...

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Student-led group SALT brings alternative music to UMass Amherst
Aug29

Student-led group SALT brings alternative music to UMass Amherst

For the past four years, students at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst have been bringing alternative DIY local and regional music to the college through a student organization called Students For Alternative Music (SALT). Whether it’s heady math rock, cool indie rock, intense hardcore music, experimental bands, or psychedelic rock, students involved with SALT have developed hands-on skills for booking and hosting local...

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Amherst’s Andrea Dezsö works across different media, public art spaces — and the world
Aug21

Amherst’s Andrea Dezsö works across different media, public art spaces — and the world

There was a time earlier in her career, Andrea Dezsö recalls, when people told her that if she wanted to succeed as an artist, she needed to find something to specialize in — and to stick with it. That idea never appealed to her, though. As Dezsö puts it, “I like a lot of stuff … I’m really interested in material, I’m interested in ideas and process, in working across a range of media. I knew even then I can’t commit myself to...

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Back Talk: Reactions to the Valley Advocate’s endorsement of Chelsea Kline
Aug21

Back Talk: Reactions to the Valley Advocate’s endorsement of Chelsea Kline

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.  Reactions to the Advocate’s endorsement of Chelsea Kline In response to “Vote for Chelsea Kline for State Senate on Sept. 4” (August 2 -15, 2018):  The Advocate’s choice for the replacement of Stan...

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Bizarro Briefs: Have You Herd This One?
Aug21

Bizarro Briefs: Have You Herd This One?

A usually calm herd of cows became vigilantes when they began chasing a fleeing suspect in Sanford, Florida. The Sanford Police Department said officers attempted to make a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle. The driver took off and crashed into a ditch. The passenger fled the vehicle at which time the cows decided to make a citizen’s arrest. “A group of cows provided law enforcement a big assist, repeatedly following and helping...

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Journalists performing a public service are not the enemy
Aug16

Journalists performing a public service are not the enemy

Despite unprecedented attacks on the press by the president of the United States, journalists across the country — including here at the Daily Hampshire Gazette — continue our mission of informing a responsible citizenry and holding public officials and institutions accountable. We regard that as a public service and not the “fake news” that President Donald Trump insists drives the media, which he has repeatedly described as “the...

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Editorial: Vote for Chelsea Kline for State Senate on Sept. 4
Jul29

Editorial: Vote for Chelsea Kline for State Senate on Sept. 4

So often with candidates running for public office, one must rest the decision to vote for them primarily on their words. In her short political career as a candidate for state Senate, however, Chelsea Kline has amassed some impressive actions. Kline is running in the Sept. 4 Democratic primary to replace former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, who resigned following censure by an independent ethics investigation. Kline will be the...

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O Cannabis: Swapping bongs to benefit the Holyoke Creative Arts Center
Jul26

O Cannabis: Swapping bongs to benefit the Holyoke Creative Arts Center

The Great New England Marijuana Accessories Swap Meet will be “like an Antique’s Roadshow for bongs.” According to Jeff Bianchine, director of the Holyoke Creative Arts Center, which will benefit from the fundraiser event, potentially hundreds of people swapping, selling, or purchasing marijuana accessories and two appraisers of marijuana accessories available to buyers or sellers. The bong swap is slated for Aug. 26...

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