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35 minutes | Mar 18, 2020
Downtown Northampton Assoc w/ Amy Cahillane
Beautification, Events & AdvocacyWhen you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go to Woodstar and get a scone and a coffee. And soon you can also spend your alone/lonely time at the new Uya location where Glazed Doughnuts used to be. Or at Thornes Marketplace. Or Northampton Brewery. Or go to Silverscape and solve your loneliness problem by checking out these $2,000 sapphire and diamond white gold drop earrings. And for the past four years the organization watching the backs of our downtown businesses has been the Downtown Northampton Association.But wait, there’s more! The DNA is also responsible for Arts Night Out, the Holiday Stroll, Sidewalk Sales and even more more. Amy Cahillane has been the Executive Director of the DNA since its inception. So she knows more than anyone what the challenges and the strengths of our commercial district are, as well as how things are looking for the future.The DNA can be found at NorthamptonDNA.com and @northamptondna on Instagram and Facebook.
38 minutes | Mar 11, 2020
Sutter Meats w/ Terry Ragasa
Sweet MeatsWhen you think of an idillic small town you probably think of rolling hills, a corner store, a one screen movie house and a butcher shop. We have one of those things!! Terry Ragasa and his wife Susan knew they wanted to start their own butcher shop and looked all over the country for the perfect place. Northampton beat out Austin, Ann Arbor and more. And those other places might be really mad at us now. Be careful if you travel there.Sutter Meats carves up 1 or 2 cows, 4 or so pigs, 3 lambs and about 150 chickens a week. Which is apparently small time. They carve the meat up and sell it all—bones for broth, they render fat into tallow, they make dog food, jerky and sausages including the world’s best bologna according to me. There’s also rotisserie chickens, sandwiches and classes. And you can find it all at 65 King Street in Northampton and SutterMeats.com on the web. And they keep their social media simple with @suttermeats on Instagram and Facebook.And look, Terry’s phone had a slight buzz. Get over it. Just imagine you’re listening to one of those old time wax cylinder podcasts of yore.
30 minutes | Mar 4, 2020
Faces w/ Marcus Maulucci
[Crying Face Emoji]On March 31, 2019 Northampton lost something dear to all of us. Faces, the iconic Downtown Northampton shop, closed its doors suddenly. The dark, shuttered storefront of Faces still sits on Main Street, its hair and nails continuing to grow on its bloated retail corpse. Faces does not exist any more. It’s gone forever. Except it’s not! Faces lives!In the Hampshire Mall there is a food court where the sustenance is not sticks surrounded by hot dogs or Pandas in an extreme rush, rather the “food” is go carts, bowling, skating and laser tag. And just off this food court is Faces. Still kicking. Still weird, wonderful and committed to social justice.Marcus Maulucci is the intrepid Media Coordinator at Faces and he takes us through what has changed, what’s stayed the same, what we lost and what we can still find inside ourselves and inside the Mall.Faces can be found at the pointed URL FacesHadley.com and Instagram and Facebook under @facesmainstreet
61 minutes | Feb 26, 2020
J2Guides w/ Jane Goldstone Sarouhan
The World is Your ClassroomA college education today costs approximately four hundred billion dollars a second. But not every eighteen-year-old is prepared to take the fullest advantage of a mid-morning Writer’s Workshop I recitation. Maybe instead of setting fire to a giant pallet of cash because peer pressure says high school graduate go college now, you could take a detour, look around the world and experience some of it via a gap year.Jane Goldstone Sarouhan has been leading experiential education directly or counseling families on gap year programs for 25 years. Along with her husband Jason she founded J2Guides to create a gap year counseling service that emphasizes access (i.e. less expensive) and agency (i.e. let’s let the kids drive decisions about their own lives). Jane also takes us on her own circuitous journey from Bay Area idealism to Western Mass bliss by the least direct route allowable.J2Guides can be found at J2Guides.com and at @j2guides on Instagram and on facebook.
43 minutes | Jan 29, 2020
Bill Scher, Volunteer with Yes!Northampton
Override BarriersLater this year we get a choice between a Democrat-to-be-named-later and Donald Trump. But even in the worst case scenario, Donald Trump will not be President 40 years from now. Proposition 2 1/2, however, is like the immortal Donald Trump vampire god-king of our nightmares.Proposition 2 1/2 sets property tax revenue growth for all municipalities in Massachusetts at a tight 2.5% in American dollars. Which means that when the value of property in Northampton goes up too much, the city is required to cut the property tax rate. In other states, cities choose whether to lower or raise their property taxes based on, you know, like, whether they should or not. But here in blue Massachusetts we have the ghosts of Conservative Republicans Past strangling our wonderful local government just because there was an oil crisis in 1979. More or less.Having said all that, Yes!Northampton isn’t trying to repeal Prop 2 1/2, they’re just trying to pass the Property Tax Override on March 3rd so we can keep Northampton humming along. Bill Scher is a volunteer and (gasp) former Brooklynite and gives us the word on the override.You can find out more about why you should vote Yes! at YesNorthampton.com and on the facebooks.
49 minutes | Jan 15, 2020
Molly Hoyt, Program Director for Girls on the Run Western Mass
Run for Something ImportantIt’s no secret that girls’ preteen years can be a tricky time. Even in the Pioneer Valley, our culture is not always supportive or kind to girls as they transition from children to adolescents (or, maybe, at any part of their lives). Wouldn’t it be nice if someone created a safe space for them to gain self-confidence and develop social and emotional skills that will help them as they face the crucible of middle and high school?Girls on the run is so much more than running. Girls and coaches don’t have to be elite athletes or even just athletes to benefit from this program. Molly Hoyt helped bring Girl on the Run to Western Mass five years ago and she can tell you as well as anyone what makes this program a vital and unique resource for our tween girls.Girls on the Run may be at your child’s school. Look for a flyer or go their website at GirlsOnTheRunWesternMA.org or on facebook @GirlsOnTheRunWesternMass.
51 minutes | Dec 30, 2019
Blair Winans, President of Rhyme Digital
Your One Stop Source for Kind of EverythingIf you’re one of the 10,000 people who have visited the Northampton.Live website you are probably aware that there’s a website called Northampton.Live at the URL https://northampton.live. You may have also seen them on Instagram where they ceaselessly profile local businesses with shiny pictures and glowing captions. Or on Facebook where they make sure the retail and nightlife gems of Northampton are well known even to Russian bots. But who is promulgating Northampton retail, nightlife, entertainment and beauty/wellness to the world? And why? And also, who? WHO IS DOING THIS?Turns out it’s Rhyme Digital, an Easthampton digital marketing firm made up of real humans led by President Blair Winans. Blair explains where Northampton.Live came from, who’s actually taking those beautiful Instagram pictures, and coins the phrase MGMageddon. Actually, I just made that up just now.Rhyme Digital can be found at Rhyme.Digital. Northampton.Live can be found via a DuckDuckGo search and also on Instagram @Northampton.Live and on Facebook at @NorthamptonMAlive.
26 minutes | Dec 18, 2019
Justin Pelis, Director of Facilities & Grounds at Look Park
Fahoo Fores Dahoo DoresThose are the words, apparently, that the Whos sing on Christmas. Do the Whos believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Unclear. What is certain is that presents are incidental to the Who celebration of Christmas while noise, feasting and singing are essential. Holding hands also seems important. And being part of a close-knit and vibrant community… what’s beyond essential? Primary?In Northampton we have a Christmas tradition that is just as local and homespun as standing in a giant circle and singing about Doreses. The hard-working Whos of Look Park spend all of November bringing out of storage the hand-made light displays that populate the park’s Winter Wonderland. Justin Pelis is the Director of Facilities & Grounds and this merry task falls to him and his crew. And also, pretty much everything. (Just try to picture in your head what parts of Look Park are neither a facility nor a ground.) We talk GFCIs, LEDs and dip a little into Santa’s Trains and when Santa had four legs. Join us, won’t you?You can find Look Park where Florence and Leeds shake hands and also on the internet at LookPark.org and on the facebook at facebook.com/lookpark01062
69 minutes | Dec 12, 2019
Heather Brown, Vice President of NASE
The Heart of NorthamptonFrom Brooklynites vying to lay down roots away from four-story walk-ups to the prodigal Hamp-born returning home after getting an advanced degree in, let’s say, Colorado, the draw of Northampton again and again is the schools. People move here for the schools. Then they get locked in by the coffee and the music and the slowly circling hawks.The Northampton Association of School Employees (NASE) represents not only teachers but also ESPs (Education Support Professionals) and the administrative, custodial, cafeteria and clerical workers that make the schools run. Your Northampton school employees are your neighbors and friends, your fellow parents and caregivers. And NASE is trying to keep it that way under trying conditions. Heather Brown, NASE Vice President, explains the contours of the many-layered issues that affect our schools so that all of Northampton can understand how we can keep the heart of our city beating away.You can stay up on NASE on the facebook page: facebook.com/northamptonassociationofschoolemployees
39 minutes | Dec 10, 2019
André Boulay, Co-Owner of A2Z Science & Learning Store
A Little Bit MoreIn the 1980s toy stores were giant warehouses filled with a maze of ten-foot-tall shelves hung with every plastic Hasbro abomination moulded plastic and cardboard could contain. Now, toys stores are apps where a few capacitive taps can make cheap plastic goodies magically (ie the unfeeling wheels of capitalism crushing the souls and flexor tendons of low-wage workers) appear on your doorstep in 48 hours.But here, in Northampton, we are blessed with a better way to acquire toys for our kids (and selves). André Boulay learned to yo-yo at A2Z when he was just a fresh-eyed Hilltown teen. He became an employee, his wife became an employee, and five years ago they bought A2Z and took over a Northampton institution. Was he afraid he’d mess it up? Yes. But he hasn’t. A2Z only keep getting better.You can find A2Z at A2ZScience.com and at 57 King Street, behind the giant stegasaurus skeleton.
35 minutes | Dec 4, 2019
Nora Hill, Assistant Director of Camp Howe
Don’t PanicCamp registration is open, people. It may seem like Summer is a distant and possibly unattainable dream, but the Earth really does revolve around the Sun every year and the proof is that returning families can lock down their Camp Howe weeks at this very moment. New families only have to wait for January.Nora Hill has been spending her summers at Howe since she was 11 and is the current Assistant Director, so she can tell you what it’s like at the camp better than anyone. Spoiler: it’s super fun. With counselors from all over the world, working as a team, empowering kids to explore, do and learn, this is really a special place, worthy of planning your summer around.You can register for Camp Howe at CampHowe.com and you can stay up on the camp news by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
46 minutes | Nov 26, 2019
Swansea Benham Bleicher, Director of the Northampton Parents Center
Where It’s Always SummerYou’ve made your little human. They’re healthy and thriving. The snow has started falling. Your house seems to be getting smaller and smaller. Where can go?For the past 33 years, the Northampton Parents Center has been a free resource where parents can bring their kids for toys, trains, kitchens, snack, music, slides, tunnels, trikes. How is this even possible? What fleet of magical angels keeps this place in our lives? Turns out it’s really nothing more than a group of Smith students on work study, a crew of parent volunteers and super human Director Swansea Benham Bleicher.You can find the Northampton Parents Center at NorthamptonParentsCenter.org and on the lower level of Edwards Chuch, the door is around back in the alley across from Fly By Night.
58 minutes | Nov 20, 2019
Lexi Walters Wright of High Five Books
Small Business, Small CustomersHow did 29 N. Maple St in Florence go from being a derelict dry cleaners to a children’s book store and art space? A fateful walk and a trip to an honest-to-god book store boot camp were two of Lexi Walters Wright’s stops on the rainbow road of small business inception.You can find High Five Books at HighFiveBooks.org and 29 N. Maple St in Florence.
50 minutes | Nov 14, 2019
Alex Jarrett, Northampton City Councilor-Elect
Local PoliticsWe just had an election. You saw the lawn signs. The people standing at the corner downtown or exactly 150 feet outside every polling place, braving cold weather and slight drizzle to support their candidate of choice. And guess what, the candidates were your neighbors. The people ahead of you in line at State Street or Pie Bar. People like Alex Jarrett.Alex came to Northampton at 22, looking for the right spot to put down roots. The roots took. After co-founding a Northampton institution, Pedal People Cooperative, Alex Jarrett remembered that city government is run by regular people such as himself. And he set about conquering his own shyness to run for office.Find Alex at AlexJarrett.com.
2 minutes | Nov 11, 2019
You have to start somewhere.In this vivid introduction, Jacob Ditkovski explains what a podcast is, what Northampton is and, eventually, what Northampton Podcast is.
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