Podcast: Local author Kathy Harrison discusses being prepared for your own personal apocalypse
Jul23

Podcast: Local author Kathy Harrison discusses being prepared for your own personal apocalypse

Kathy Harrison doesn’t believe the zombies are coming to get us. But she does believe in being prepared for the worst. Harrison, of Cummington, just wrote her fifth book, called Prepping 101: 40 steps you can take to be prepared. Stocking up on necessities might seem obvious, but another thing Harrison takes pride in is stocking up on the good will of her neighbors. “I’m not food secure unless my neighbors are food...

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Podcast: Ashfield Resident Tom Leue Invents Heating System that Runs on Vegetable Oil
Jul16

Podcast: Ashfield Resident Tom Leue Invents Heating System that Runs on Vegetable Oil

It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Ashfield inventor Tom Leue. When making his own brand of biodiesel, an alternative fuel made from plant matter, he accidentally set fire to his workshop and burned it to the ground (hear about the fireball that ensued at minute 15). Still, his commitment to selling biodiesel (made by other people) has lasted 19 years. Now Leue has come up with an invention that will allow users to heat their...

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Podcast: Beverly Ketch and Hannah Brookman talk about Greenfield art space Looky Here
Jul09

Podcast: Beverly Ketch and Hannah Brookman talk about Greenfield art space Looky Here

Recently opened nonprofit artist space Looky Here in Greenfield is a place for workshops, art making, thrift shopping, and most things you can (or can’t) think of. Leaders Beverly Ketch and Hannah Brookman talk about how they got started, what to expect, and their new children’s TV...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: Artist Dara Herman Zierlein on cutting plastic out of her life
Jul02

Valley Advocate Podcast: Artist Dara Herman Zierlein on cutting plastic out of her life

Dara Herman Zierlein made a choice to have an affect on the planet by eliminating plastic from her life. Even despite that decision, she sometimes does use plastic. But she holds onto it rather than throwing it away or recycling. She says that only about 9 percent of plastic that is sent to be recycled actually gets recycled. Zierlein is also an artist and her art tackles environmental issues, which was recently on display at the...

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Podcast: Undocumented immigrant Eduardo Samaniego discusses family separations
Jun25

Podcast: Undocumented immigrant Eduardo Samaniego discusses family separations

Eduardo Samaniego is an undocumented Hampshire College student turned immigrant rights activist at the Pioneer Valley Workers Center. Having arrived in Georgia at the age of 16, he graduated high school as student president, but was precluded from attending the University of Georgia because of his immigration status. Now in Massachusetts, Samaniego has been active in trying to get the state Legislature to pass an immigrant bill of...

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Podcast: Beerhunter Hunter Styles and Beer Week co-founder Sally Noble talk beer
Jun18

Podcast: Beerhunter Hunter Styles and Beer Week co-founder Sally Noble talk beer

Advocate alumnus Hunter Styles, who still writes our Beerhunter column, and Sally Noble, co-founder of Western Mass Beer Week, tell us about the embarrassment of riches of beer we have in the Valley. Hear about Sally’s beer beginnings and the start of Western Mass Beer Week, of Hunter’s recent travels (and beer sampling) in Norway, and see whether the pair can convince Gina that beer is actually...

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Podcast: Jennifer Levesque on music in the Valley and 10 years of Advocate cover designs
Jun11

Podcast: Jennifer Levesque on music in the Valley and 10 years of Advocate cover designs

Jennifer Levesque brings the Valley’s music shows to life as the Advocate’s Valley Show Girl columnist. She’s also been designing the Advocate’s covers for more than 10 years. She tells us about her favorite Advocate issues and what’s going on in the Valley’s music scene, especially with new Valley Show Girl concerts starting this...

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Podcast: Making granola inspired by local music
Jun04

Podcast: Making granola inspired by local music

What is the taste of local music? Tony “Tonez” Hall is finding out through making granola. Hall is co-owner of Holyoke-based Massachusetts Artisan Foods, wanted to make foods out of local products. One such product, Local Maple Granola, is made from maple syrup from Massachusetts, but also inspired by local musicians. Hall is in a band Flame n’ Peach & the Liberated Waffles, and also reached out to a handful of...

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Podcast: DJ Hip Socket talks 10 years of ecstatic dance in the Valley
May27

Podcast: DJ Hip Socket talks 10 years of ecstatic dance in the Valley

Aaron Brando, a.k.a. DJ Hip Socket, has been practicing and running Pollinate Ecstatic Dance for 10 years. Ecstatic dance is a free form dance, and Pollinate works hard to establish a safe environment for expression and dance. Brando talks about the variety of people who come to dance and what it has been like to watch the dance community flourish over the past decade. The 10-year anniversary is taking place June 1 at 25 Main St. in...

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Podcast: Making a connection with coal-country Kentucky
May21

Podcast: Making a connection with coal-country Kentucky

Sharon Dunn and John Clayton are members of the Hands Across the Hills project, an initiative to connect the people of Leverett, where about 90 percent voted for Hillary Clinton, with those of Letcher County, Kentucky, where 80 percent voted for Trump. Clayton wrote an essay with Sharon’s help on the Kentuckians visiting Leverett. In April, folks from Leverett went down to Kentucky for a return visit, and Dunn wrote an essay...

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Podcast: An adult jump rope team! Jennifer Therkelsen talks about adult fitness and practicing in a bar
May14

Podcast: An adult jump rope team! Jennifer Therkelsen talks about adult fitness and practicing in a bar

Jennifer Therkelsen had never jump roped as a kid, but now is one of the core members of the Pioneer Valley Jump Rope team, an all-adult jump rope team that practices weekly at The Taproom in Hadley. In our weekly podcast collaboration with Amherst Media, Therkelson talks fitness, jump ropes, and what it’s like to practice in a bar. The team has made nationals and will be competing in June. Check out their fundraising page...

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Podcast: Sex workers Bella Vendetta and Brook Rain speak out against SESTA
May07

Podcast: Sex workers Bella Vendetta and Brook Rain speak out against SESTA

The federal anti sex trafficking law known as SESTA/FOSTA was passed nearly unanimously by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump earlier this spring, but local consensual sex workers says the law does little to stop sex trafficking while taking away protections for their already dangerous work. Bella Vendetta and her girlfriend Brook Rain are both sex workers in Western Mass and talk about what the law does and how it...

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Podcast: Cannabis business owner Seth Frappier talks about breaking down stoner myths
Apr30

Podcast: Cannabis business owner Seth Frappier talks about breaking down stoner myths

Seth Frappier started Easthampton-based Chronic Trips as a way to bring cannabis together with wellness and an active lifestyle. So far, the business has hosted hikes as well as a yoga session. Frappier talks about his hopes for opening a studio in Easthampton and the importance of reducing the stigma of the “lazy stoner.” He also talks about the changing laws related to cannabis and what social consumption does for...

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Podcast: Monte Belmonte plays wine therapist to Advocate staffers
Apr23

Podcast: Monte Belmonte plays wine therapist to Advocate staffers

WRSI Morning Host Monte Belmonte was recently voted this year’s best radio personality in the Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll, and is probably best known for walking dozens of miles to raise money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in his annual Monte’s March. He’s also one heck of a wine columnist. Join Meg Bantle and Gina Beavers as they probe Monte’s wine knowledge and he...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: Artist Barbara Hadden on women, men, lesbianism, and becoming an artist
Apr16

Valley Advocate Podcast: Artist Barbara Hadden on women, men, lesbianism, and becoming an artist

According to artist Barbara Hadden, you’re just as likely to see her painting a house as you are painting a portrait. Hadden’s approach to art is informed by her practical and thoughtful demeanor, as well as her experience in the outdoors. Discussing her final show at the Oxbow Gallery, Title Nine, Hadden talks about her thoughts on the male and female form, as well as an abandoned attempt to hike the Long Trail in...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: Tahirah Amatul-Wadud discusses her historic candidacy for Congress
Apr09

Valley Advocate Podcast: Tahirah Amatul-Wadud discusses her historic candidacy for Congress

A woman, an African American, and a Muslim, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud’s candidacy for the First Congressional District of Massachusetts makes her a first for the district in a couple respects. But for her, the campaign is about representing interests of the people of the district, something she accuses her opponent, longtime Congressman Richard Neal, of taking for granted. Neal and Amatul-Wadud will face off in the Democratic Primary...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: Solomon Goldstein-Rose on why he dumped the Democratic party
Apr02

Valley Advocate Podcast: Solomon Goldstein-Rose on why he dumped the Democratic party

First elected as a Democrat in 2016, 24-year-old Solomon Goldstein-Rose of Amherst replaced longtime Amherst Rep. Ellen Story in a crowded primary after Story retired. Now some Democrats are criticizing his decision to leave the party and run as an unenrolled candidate in the 2018 elections. Goldstein-Rose talks about his aversion to the two-party system and some things he hopes to accomplish working outside of it should he be elected...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: Advocate Theater Critic Chris Rohmann directs Tar2f!
Mar26

Valley Advocate Podcast: Advocate Theater Critic Chris Rohmann directs Tar2f!

For nearly as long as the Advocate has been around, Chris Rohmann has been writing theater reviews for it. But about a decade ago he got the chance to be on the other side of a production as a director and got hooked. Next month, Rohmann will be directing Tar2f!, a musical version of the 17th century play Tartuffe, which he says is quite current with its lampooning of swindlers gaining positions of authority. In the latest episode of...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: A Marijuana Cafe Plan B with Karima Rizk
Mar19

Valley Advocate Podcast: A Marijuana Cafe Plan B with Karima Rizk

Karima Rizk was hoping to have one of the first cafes in the country where patrons could come and use marijuana legally. Unfortunately, Massachusetts put the kibosh on that with it’s new regulations. Rizk hasn’t given up and still plans to move forward with the cafe in a different from. Hear about her experiences in the marijuana field and her dream of turning Western Mass into “the Emerald...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: TX Watson Is selling their soul to pay for student loans
Mar12

Valley Advocate Podcast: TX Watson Is selling their soul to pay for student loans

T.X. Watson, a transgender student at Hampshire College, feels grateful to the academic institution for the level of aid they received. However, upon graduation this spring, T.X. will still have more than $45,000 in debt between student loans and credit card debt for necessary items during the time they have been a student. So to pay off that debt, T.X. is planning to sell their soul at $45 per share. With 1,000 shares, that will undo...

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Advochat Podcast: Healthy food and social justice in Springfield with Liz Wills-O’Gilvie
Mar05

Advochat Podcast: Healthy food and social justice in Springfield with Liz Wills-O’Gilvie

As chair of the Springfield Food Policy Council Steering Committee and board chair of Gardening the Community, Liz Wills-O’Gilvie thinks a lot about how growing up as a minority in an urban neighborhood affects your access to healthy food. She says there are 10 McDonald’s within a mile and three-quarters of her house and limited access to fresh produce. Wills-O’Gilvie, who was recently in the Advocate talking about...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: The Lifestyle of a Sex Columnist
Feb26

Valley Advocate Podcast: The Lifestyle of a Sex Columnist

Yana Tallon-Hicks has been writing the Advocate’s sex and relationship column, The V-Spot, for seven years. It’s something she enjoys greatly, but she says it isn’t exactly the Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle some people seem to think it is. She is also a freelance sex educator. In our weekly podcast collaboration with Amherst Media, Yana talks about the state of sex education, how she uses cookies in her sex teachings,...

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Video Podcast: Keep Your Cruiser Clean; Lainey and Michelle are Coming to Your Town
Feb19

Video Podcast: Keep Your Cruiser Clean; Lainey and Michelle are Coming to Your Town

Lainey Wood and Michelle Pontbriant have a mission — they want to visit, photograph, and fully experience all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. Since 2014, they have embarked on Lainey and Michelle’s Photo Safari, and have about 120 under their belt, mostly from Western Mass. The pair tells us their favorite and least favorite (Hint: it’s in Franklin County) of what they’ve seen so far, who has the nicest (and...

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Video Podcast – A Cannabis Chat with Meg Bantle
Feb12

Video Podcast – A Cannabis Chat with Meg Bantle

There never fails to be a whole lot of news about everyone’s favorite sort-of legal recreational/medicinal substance: cannabis. This week on our new Valley Advocate Podcast, produced in collaboration with Amherst Media, we speak with columnist Meg Bantle about cannabis in the news. Meg tells us about the novel way the state of Vermont joined the recreational bandwagon, the confusing legal status in Massachusetts, how to use...

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Introducing the Valley Advocate Podcast – a chat with provocative artist Imo Imeh
Feb06

Introducing the Valley Advocate Podcast – a chat with provocative artist Imo Imeh

Recently, the Advocate wrote about President Donald Trump’s derogatory comments about Africa, Haiti, and El Salvador during an immigration discussion – calling them shithole countries. Now we are pleased to continue the conversation and simultaneously introduce our first Valley Advocate podcast – in video form below. In partnership with Amherst Media, Advocate Editor Dave Eisenstadter and Arts and Culture Editor Gina...

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