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western massachusetts

Western Mass Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO Logo
Western Mass Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO

A group that represents more than 30 labor unions and 30,000 workers across Hampshire, Hampden, Franklin and Berkshire counties in Western Massachusetts says it’s ready to strike if President Donald Trump attempts to manipulate the outcome of the election. Lydia Wood of the Western Mass Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO spoke with WAMC about the resolution it released ahead of next week’s vote.

On the last weekend in July, nine local potters will open their studios and kilns to the public for the 13th annual Hilltown 6 Pottery Tour & Sale.

Visitors will meet potters and guest artists from around the country in the unique tucked-away settings of eight different Hilltown pottery studios. This year they will feature educational demonstrations at each venue where you can learn about this ancient yet contemporary craft as you climb inside a massive wood kiln and hear how it is fired or watch a master potter turn a hunk of clay into a beautiful pot.

To tell us more we welcome potters Christy Knox and Sam Taylor.

Western Massachusetts is getting some clout in the House of Representatives.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science continues his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Third-party candidates say 2016 could be their big year.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Libertarian candidate Thomas Simmons concludes his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Can a Libertarian really win the Western Massachusetts Congressional seat?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Libertarian candidate Thomas Simmons continues his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

A political newcomer is trying to take down one of the longest-serving members of Congress.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Libertarian candidate Thomas Simmons tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock why he’s running.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will talk about some of the issues that shape misperceptions of Muslims in the United States, and about the “Dialogues Across Divides” series about these issues taking place this fall throughout Western Massachusetts and supported by Mass Humanities.

We are joined today by Mehlaqa Samdani, executive director of Critical Connections, the nonprofit organizing the dialogues in partnership with the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. The first event will take place on September 15th in Longmeadow, MA, and will address different kinds and causes of violent extremism in the United States; the second event is on September 28th in Amherst, MA, and will tackle Islam and homosexuality.

  The Green River Festival, Western Massachusetts' favorite music and hot air balloon festival will take place July 8, 9, and 10 on the grounds of Greenfield Community in Greenfield, MA.

Presented by the record label, Signature Sounds, the first Green River Festival took place in 1986 as a free one day headlined by NRBQ, who are returning to the festival this year to help celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Headliners include Dawes, Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Shovels & Rope, and Shakey Graves. There will be music on three stages, family events, hot air balloon rides, a new sustainability partnership with Klean Kanteen and more.

Jim Olsen is the President of Signature Sounds and he joins us to tell us more about this weekend’s Green River Festival. 

  Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s first main stage Powerhouse production this season is Lucy Thurber’s Transfers.

As two young men from the Bronx vie for acceptance to an elite college, their shared past threatens to overshadow their bright futures. Class, ambition, and expectations are called into question when higher education – and its life-changing potential – is just within reach.

Thurber is a Lilly Award winner and won a 2014 OBIE Award for her theatrical cycle, The Hill Town Plays. She was also a member of the influential Obie-winning playwrights’ collective, 13P.


As part of the state budget, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the creation of a rural policy commission in Massachusetts. It continues a longstanding effort to express small town needs in the Boston-centric commonwealth.


Deval Patrick was fond of saying he was governor for the whole state -- a dig at Massachusetts’ Boston-centric political culture. It has been clear for the last eight years that Patrick has a fondness for western Massachusetts.

At a ceremony with the governor last week welcoming high-speed passenger rail service to Greenfield, Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield echoed comments Patrick has heard many times at many public appearances in the state’s four westernmost counties.

Western Mass. Turnpike Tolls Set To Be Restored

Sep 10, 2013

Tolls will soon return for motorists traveling on the western end of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The first of two informational hearings is scheduled for tonight on implementation of tolls between Exit 1 in West Stockbridge and Exit 6, which leads to Interstate 291 and Springfield. The meeting will be held at Lee High School.

Western Massachusetts Scenic Byways

Scenic roads are a staple of western Massachusetts, and a new marketing campaign is trying to make sure people know what that part of the state has to offer.

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The Massachusetts Medical Society has released an annual study revealing that patients in the western part of the Bay State are still facing challenges in accessing healthcare.

This week, the Massachusetts Medical Society released its ninth annual Patient Access to Care Study, which surveyed 1,137 physician offices across the state in fields ranging from family and internal medicine, to specialties including OB/GYN, cardiology, gastroenterology, orthopedic surgery, and pediatrics.


Eleven applications have been filed for lucrative gaming licenses in Massachusetts. Companies that want to develop resort  casinos  or a slots parlor had to meet a 5PM Tuesday deadline to file paperwork and a non-refundable $400,000 fee with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

       Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Steve Crosby was thrilled. He said the state is primed to achieve maximum job creation and revenue from its fledgling gambling industry.


A special committee of the Springfield City Council appointed to weigh casino development proposals is going to hear today for the first time from a casino operator.   Springfield has become the focus of several major gaming companies competing for the lone casino license that will be issued in western Massachusetts. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports...


The five member Massachusetts Gaming Commission held a  forum Wednesday in western Massachusetts. It’s the area of the state where competition for a lucrative casino license appears to be most keen..  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

The chairman of the powerful gaming commission, Stephen Crosby said the apparent level of interest in western Massachusetts by major casino operators is proof the state’s new casino law is working as intended.

More emergency funding is being sent to western Massachusetts communities hit by the tornadoes a year ago this week.   WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation says $3.9 million dollars in federal funding is available for eight communities. 

Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray , who announced the money Wednesday in Springfield, said it is to reimburse the cost of repairs that were made to streets and sidewalks…

A survey of tornado survivors finds many with unmet needs as the one year anniversary of the natural disaster in western Massachusetts approaches.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Eight days of canvassing by disaster response volunteers in tornado impacted neighborhoods of Springfield found dozens of people who still need help ranging from major roof repairs to replacing household appliances and furnishings.

Steven Abdow, a board member of Springfield Community Together, the FEMA organized long term recovery group, said the unmet needs are estimated to cost $1 million…