Archive for ‘Northampton’

May 15, 2012

The Valley Advocate’s ‘Best of the valley readers poll 2012’ results

   It might be a little late but due to the unexpectedly high number of views that I saw the ‘Valley Advocate’s Best of    readers poll 2011’  get when I posted it on here last year, I thought it would be appropriate to make my first post after several weeks of reluctant exile from the blogosphere this years winners in what has become a tradition of sorts in Western Massachusetts.

For all those outside the region who don’t know, the Valley Advocate is an immensely popular weekly publication of news, commentary, and events listings in Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont that is about as ubiquitous as a Bible is in Vatican city.

Every year between January and mid April readers are encouraged to go online and cast a ballot in one of  nine broad categories for 177 businesses, services, places, or products unique to the region with superlatives range from the best Bakery, to the best auto repair shop, the place serving the best margaritas, the best Financial services and just about everything else you can envision.

Eventually voting is then stopped and  all results can be tabulated and later published in an April issue of the advocate , and locations dubbed ‘the best’ then often display their badge as a seal of local pride in their establishment windows and in their advertising. So this years winners are…

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February 27, 2012

Northampton City Council says no way to the NDAA

Northampton  became the first city in Massachusetts to pass a resolution last Thursday night, objecting to the ‘National Defense Authorization Act’ of 2012 [NDAA].

At its Feb 16 meeting, the City Council voted unanimously in favor of the nonbinding resolution calling on Congress to repeal controversial portions of the law, and urging  city departments to not comply with federal or state requests that could lead to the indefinite detention of individuals suspected of terrorism.

The Council, said copies of the resolution will  be sent to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees,  Intelligence Committees, U.S Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA 02), Senators Brown and Kerry, the U.S Attorney General, and the President.

“I think it’s important this community says ‘this is wrong’,” said Bill Newman, President of the American Civil Liberties Union of Western Mass,  one of many in attendance to speaking out in favor of the resolutions’ passage.

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November 21, 2011

‘Wolf Man Conspiracy’ live at the Iron Horse in Northampton Massachusetts

The quality of the video might not be that good, but this is the Western Massachusetts band ‘Wolf Man Conspiracy’, performing live at the Iron Horse in Northampton MA on the night of Saturday Nov 12.  

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November 2, 2011

Editor’s Note: Sorry about the delay.

"Stomp and Holler' march from the Bridge Street School down to City Hall in Northampton on Oct 22.

Sorry about the delay for my posting on the Oct 22 ‘Stomp and Holler’ in Northampton, similar to the ‘Slut Walk’ demonstrations  organized to raise awareness of sexual abuse and victim’s rights,that have surfaced in cities around the globe, will be up a little later than I had planned due to the blackout and other personal obligations I have had to deal with. I will have it written and posted as soon as I can. Again I am sorry about this.

September 28, 2011

The Valley Advocate Grand Band Slam

The logo for the Valley Advocate's 2011 'Grand Band Slam' (Pic courtesy of Valley Advocate)


The Valley Advocate  released the names of the winners of this year’s annual ‘Grand Band Slam’, in last week’s issue.

I actually wasn’t going to do a post on this, but I remembered how my post of the results of  the Advocate’s  ‘Best of the Valley 2011 Readers Poll’  was one of my most viewed posts. Besides, I thought those who reside outside the valley and view my blog, those local music fans who don’t regularly read the Advocate ( a rare breed), or those who don’t read the Advocate and read my blog (hey, it could happen); could hear the rooster of names who have been crowned  winners in this local contest.

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September 21, 2011

Northampton sidewalks as a canvas.

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September 6, 2011

Daily Hampshire Gazette first published on this date in 1786

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Those who don’t reside in Western Massachusetts or aren’t steeped in the history of the American media, likely are unaware that today marks a seminal day in the life of both. It was on September 6, 1786 in a small printing office lodged in Northampton Massachusetts, where a young printer by the name of William Butler in a desire to keep the populace knowledgeable and ensure the continuation of spirited debate on issues of the age, printed the very first issue of what would become the  Hampshire Gazette.

Three years had passed since the signing of the ‘ Treaty of Paris’ which ended the American Revolution and secured her independence from the British Empire. Butler worried that with the objectives of victory and independence reached, his fellow countrymen (and women) would lose interest in the issues and challenges facing the young nation’s future. In response to those fears, he with the support of others began the printing and publication of what would become one of America’s oldest newspapers.

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August 11, 2011

Too many heroes?

Picture courtesy of

Farmers markets have gained traction in recent years as cooperative locally based venues where small farmers can sell their goods to consumers, while getting people acquainted with where their food comes from and cutting down on the amount of energy used to harvest it. The number of such markets has soared, increasing in number by 17 percent according to the U.S Department of Agriculture; going from 6,132 such markets around the nation to 7,135 in the past year alone.

Massachusetts is one of the states with the most, having as many as 255 peppered throughout town squares and parking lots throughout the Bay State. But have these alternatives to a world of agribusinesses and corporate grocery store giants, begun to crowd each other out? In other words in some areas are there more vendors selling goods at more of these markets in a given area then there are customers to keep all these markets profitable?

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July 26, 2011

Pleasant Street Video: The way it was in Pictures

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July 15, 2011

‘Pleasent Street Video’ shuts down, efforts continue to preserve its movies for the Forbes Library

'Pleasant Street Video' clerk Bill Dwight (left) alongside store co-owner and Manager Dana Gentes (right).


 End credits rolled and like an old cowboy drenched in Technicolor, ‘Pleasant Street Video’ metaphorically rode off into the sunset of local memory at 6pm last night, closing  its doors for the final time.

    The  announcement that the small independent movie rental store that has animated the corner of Pleasant and Armory streets in downtown Northampton for the past twenty-five years would be closing in July; came last month after five years of declining revenue.

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