Stories From the Storm: Before the storm, a homeless man settles in on the streets of Northampton
Jan28

Stories From the Storm: Before the storm, a homeless man settles in on the streets of Northampton

The first snowflakes begin to fall Monday night. It’s my cue to head into the gusty blizzard, geared with elbow-high gloves and the coziest scarf I could find, in search of the city’s homeless. How are they faring, outside in this storm? I walk several frosty laps around downtown. The usual faces are nowhere to be seen. I follow a homeless man inside the Interfaith Cot Shelter on Center Street and find a packed common room — it’s the...

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Lined Pockets, Full Tanks: What Valley People are Doing With Money They’re Saving at the Pump
Jan28

Lined Pockets, Full Tanks: What Valley People are Doing With Money They’re Saving at the Pump

Gas prices haven’t been this low in nearly a decade, and many people in the Valley are downright giddy about it. At its highest point in the last decade, July 2008, regular gasoline was about $4.03 per gallon at the pump. At that price, filling an 18-gallon tank cost $72.54. But last week we saw gas prices in the Valley around $2.03. At that rate, filling up the same tank would only cost $36.54 — a savings of $36! I went with a...

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News of the Weird: What’s In A Name

Fourteen employees of a Framingham, Massachusetts pharmacy were indicted in December for defrauding the federal government by filling bogus prescriptions (despite an owner’s explicit instructions to staff that the fake customers’ names “must resemble real names,” with “no obviously false names” that might tip off law enforcement). Among the names later found on the customer list of the New England Compounding Center were: Baby Jesus,...

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Cinemadope: Cracking the Enigma
Jan28

Cinemadope: Cracking the Enigma

As a young and nerdish boy, I was obsessed with words. I collected them the way a lepidopterist might collect moths, catching them on the wing and pinning them down to puzzle out their origins, oddities, and family ties to other words. It all felt like a marvelously intricate and interconnected game that was going on around me all the time, but that most of the world seemed to ignore. I couldn’t understand that; to me it seemed like...

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Between the Lines: The Vagina Dialogues
Jan28

Between the Lines: The Vagina Dialogues

The show must go on, as they say — until it’s gone on long enough. On Jan. 14, the student-run Project Theatre group at Mount Holyoke College canceled its annual production of Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues, opting instead to write and produce a new show of its own. The reason: Ensler’s 1996 play, made up of an annually updated collection of monologues about what it means to have a vagina, offers little voice to transgender...

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Comments From Our Readers: The hunting debate rages on
Jan28

Comments From Our Readers: The hunting debate rages on

Instead of complaining, do something to improve Springfield I have lived in many places, and have lived in Springfield for over 30 years. I grew up in Longmeadow, lived other places for 20 years, moved back to Longmeadow, and then to Springfield. I like it here. Every place has some problems; ours are not unique. Instead of complaining about it, more people should do even a little something to improve it. How many people belong to...

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