The ABCs of The Big E

9/21/2017 | Chris Maza, G. Michael Dobbs & Payton North

Assistant Managing Editor Chris Maza put together this alphabetical guide to the Big E while Managing Editor G. Michael Dobbs and Assistant Editor Payton North provided more coverage from the fair’s 101st year. ...

Healthy Living: Out of the Darkness Walk finds new home

9/21/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

Now in its 16th year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Greater Springfield Out of the Darkness walk has a new home in School Street Park in Agawam. The walk, which is slated for Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., is one of the principal fundraising and awareness efforts put on by the AFSP&rsquo ...

Eat.Enjoy.Live.: Tree House grows into its new home

9/21/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

Hidden in plain sight at Tree House Brewing Company’s new facility in Charlton is a subtle nod to its humble beginnings. Etched into the floor is the original floor plan, with proper dimensions, of the original brewery in Brimfield. The positioning of the bar, fermenters, stairs and even the potbelly stove harkens back to a past that seems long ago, but is, indeed, not forgotten. ...

Hockey returns to Eastern States Exposition on Hockeyday

8/25/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

The Springfield Hockey Heritage Society hosted its seventh annual Hockeyday in Springfield, featuring former Springfield Indians, Kings and Falcons, at the Young Building on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition on Aug. 12. For more info on the Springfield Hockey Heritage Society, visit Read More

Taste of the Valley offers good times and tasty treats

8/25/2017 | Dennis Hohenberger

West Side's Taste of the Valley returned to the Town Green Aug. 10 to 13. Local restaurants offered a wide-variety of delicious food, drinks and treats. See a gallery of our photos of the Taste here. ...

Grant gives fire personnel a much needed boost

8/25/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

With a $1.2 million grant, the West Springfield Fire Department will be able to conduct a much-needed expansion of its personnel. On Aug. 4, the city was awarded a SAFER Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) grant provided through FEMA, which will allow for the hiring of eight new firefighters. With four different response groups making up the department, two new recruits would be added to each, bumping their staffing up to 18 firefighters on a shift. ...

Health Living: Local Eagle Scout creates Diabetes Survival Kit

8/25/2017 | Debbie Gardner
debbieg@thereminder.com

Eagle Scout Daniel Godbout designed a survival kit to help him be prepared to handle diabetes-related challenges in the great outdoors. It includes what he considers 11 essentials. Loosely based on a self-care package he was given when first diagnosed, it contains alcohol wipes for cleaning hands before blood testing, glucose tablets to help raise blood sugar numbers if the reading is too low, and a protein bar to help stabilize blood sugar once a reading has reached a safe level. Godbout amassed the essentials to create 50 similar kits, and with assembly help from fellow scouts in his troop, donated them to Baystate Medical Center’s Pediatric Endocrinology Unit. ...

Eat.Enjoy.Live.: Homebrew Showcase supports local adoption

8/25/2017 | G. Michael Dobbs
news@thereminder.com

By day he’s the assistant managing editor of Reminder Publications, but by night (and weekend) Chris Maza is a dedicated home brewer and beer aficionado. His love for homebrewing, as well as the craft beer movement, was used to raise funds for a cause also near and dear to his heart, the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE). Maza organized a Homebrew Showcase that took place Aug. 5 at Paddy’s Irish Pub which raised $2,245 for MARE. ...

West Springfield Hall of Fame nomination deadline is Aug. 31

7/27/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

One hundred and 43 years in the making, West Springfield will soon have its own high school Hall of Fame. When the Terriers baseball team captured the state championship in 2016, Mayor Will Reichelt and Brian Griffin, vice president of the City Council, came to the realization that the town did not have a Hal ...

Opinion: Is a later last call for MGM really a good idea?

7/27/2017 | G. Michael Dobbs
news@thereminder.com

So what do you think about idea of MGM Springfield being able to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., to people who are gambling? Good idea or not? ...

Eat.Enjoy.Live.: First row for all 13 Six Flags rollercoasters

7/27/2017 | Craig Harris

Speed, twists, turns, inversions, corkscrews, and vertical drops are all part of Six Flag New England’s roller coaster experience. On July 11, I rode in the front seat of the Agawam amusement park’s 13 roller coasters. The adrenaline continues to fuel me. A roller coaster ride takes 30 seconds to two minutes but its effect lasts long afterwards. ...

Reichelt competes in Running of the Mayors

7/27/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

Mayor Will Reichelt joined fellow mayors Alex Morse of Holyoke, Domenic Sarno of Springfield, Richard Kos of Chicopee and Brian Sullivan of Westfield for the Running of the Mayors at the Valley Blue Sox’s victory over the Winnipesaukee Muskrats at Mackenzie Stadium on July 19. The Blue Sox regularly hav ...

Fontaine named new Storrowton Village director

6/22/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

Jessica Fontaine still remembers when she first volunteered at Storrowton Village. Her grandmother began volunteering at the living museum in the early 90s and shortly after, as a young girl she began borrowing a costume and tagging along. “My grandmother was involved in a lot of different programs, but my memories are of the fair,” Fontaine recalled. “I remember sitting on the steps of the Potter House as my grandmother gave tours and I thought that was really cool.” ...

Irish Cultural Center seeks funds for phase two

6/22/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

With ambitious long-term plans for the future, the Irish Cultural Center is embarking on its first major capital funding drive in its continuing efforts to improve its new home on Morgan Road. ...

Opinion: Conversation must trump rhetoric

6/22/2017 | G. Michael Dobbs
news@thereminder.com

I don’t know about you, but the senseless shooting at the baseball practice of the Republican House team underscored for me the continuing crisis in this country. ...

Police to host annual Bike Rodeo and Family Safety Day

5/25/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

It’s probably happened to you. It could even be a quick trip down the street. You could be paying complete attention to the road. You could be obeying every traffic law. Then … gasp! A child on a bicycle darts out from behind a parked car and you’re forced to react. No one is hurt, but your heart is pounding and you think about how much worse it could be. You also wonder if that child knows just how lucky they were. ...

Thunderbirds looking to build on momentum

5/25/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

The ice is melted, the boards have been removed and players have long since left to head home for the offseason. But for the Springfield Thunderbirds’s front office team, this is the proving ground. After what has been heralded by most as a successful start for the franchise in its inaugural season, Executive Vice President Nate Costa and his team are now tasked with building upon their accomplishments to build a sustainable future for the team. ...

Reichelt preps for first run for re-election

5/25/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

With the amount of time he’s spent at meetings, community events and school functions, regardless of time of day or day of the week, Mayor William Reichelt says some have asked if he has a life. “I don’t,” he jokingly confessed. “But seriously,” he added, “this ...

Opinion: Words of wisdom for graduates from an old greybeard

5/25/2017 | G. Michael Dobbs
news@thereminder.com

Our nephew Douglas is graduating from high school next week. I’m turning 63, provided I make it to Monday. The intersection of these two events has put me in a mood to do what young people dread from their seniors: hand out free advice. Yep, few things are more dreaded by a graduate at his or her party than being forced to listen to sage words from some geezer. The only reason they do is to get some sort of gift. ...

Eat.Enjoy.Live.: Want a free comic book? You're in luck!

4/27/2017 | G. Michael Dobbs
news@thereminder.com

This year the Springfield City Library is among the locations that would be giving people free comic books. Librarian Liz Meier from the East Forest Park Branch explained the library has not always participated in the worldwide event that first started in 2002. ...

K-Fest to return to Eastern States

4/27/2017 | Chris Miracle

Formerly known as the Kielbasa Festival, the annual rite of passage now known as the K-Fest is nearing, coming to loyal fans at the Eastern States Coliseum in May, loaded with a full menu of fine food and entertainment options. ...

Healthy Living: State bets GameSense will stem problem gambling

4/27/2017 | Debbie Gardner
debbieg@thereminder.com

Who hasn’t done it? Plunked down a dollar or two for a scratch ticket when you hit the convenience store for gas or milk? Kicked in a few bucks when the office pool was betting on the latest big Powerball? Taken advantage of one of those “fundraising” bus trips to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun? Congratulations, you just joined the ranks of the 72 percent of adult Bay Staters who gambled last year. ...

Shriners Hospital builds upon its original mission

4/27/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

Since the 1920s, Shriners Hospitals for Children have been providing essential care to the youngest and most vulnerable of our population. They have also been constantly evolving. When the doors opened at the Shiners Hospital in Springfield on Feb. 21, 1925, the mission was the treatment of children with polio. As polio was essentially eradicated, the hospital’s focus shifted to its current role as a specialty hospital treating pediatric orthopedic and spine issues, rheumatology, chest wall deformities, neuromuscular cerebral palsy and cleft lip and palate issues with no restrictions on care due to an inability to pay. And even now, Shriners keeps evolving. ...

New Pope Francis head sees challenges, 'but the opportunities are incredible'

4/27/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

Dr. W. Paul Harrington Jr. was selected to lead Pope Francis High School after a nationwide search assisted by Partners in Mission School Leadership Search Solutions. He was most recently the head of school for the Bishop Garcia Diego High School in California. ...

Opinion: Sensationalism abound in Aaron Hernandez coverage

4/27/2017 | G. Michael Dobbs
news@thereminder.com

I understand the controversial concepts and discussions about tragedy, forgiveness and working toward redemption that might result from a story about a murder conviction, but what I can’t get over is how some media outlets reacted to the suicide of Aaron Hernandez. ...

From the Editor's Desk: Resources galore in our own backyard

3/23/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dennis Picard, retiring director of the Storrowton Village Museum. Sitting in the Gilbert Farmstead building, the first structure reconstructed at Storrowton Village in 1927, he marveled at the foresight Helen Osborney Storrow had in bringing original – not facsimile – antique structures to the Eastern States Exposition. He also, while praising the success of Storrowton Village, opined that not enough people have an appreciation for the kind of resource those buildings and the museums represent for the community. The same could be said for many places in the Pioneer Valley. ...

Storrowton Village director to retire

3/23/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

After nearly three decades as director of Storrowton Village, Dennis Picard is walking away. But his career isn’t history just yet. Picard, who has been with the living museum on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition for 27 years, said in his retirement he hoped to continue to pursue his passion for historical education without all of the “other stuff” that goes along with being the director. ...

Welcome to Calabrese Market

3/23/2017 | Payton North

Just a quick drive over the North End Bridge into West Springfield sits Calabrese Market and Deli, a family owned Italian shop that features an extensive panini menu, home-cooked pre-made meals and a whole lot of nostalgia. After 30 years of being a convenience store, husband and wife, Tony and Gina Calabrese took over the 54 Park Street location in 2015. While the couple has owned the building for about 20 years, they stepped in when their tenant who was running the convenience store wanted to retire. The Calabrese's proposed a plan to turn the store into a market and deli, selling family-style meals, unique paninis, fresh salads, homemade soups, and gourmet grilled cheese melts. ...

Bruce Landon: 'I'm certainly very grateful, very honored'

3/23/2017 | Payton North

At three years old, he started playing hockey at his Canadian home. At 20 years old, he was drafted, and moved to Springfield. At 28 years old, he injured his knee, retired from professional hockey, and transitioned from the ice to the office. Now, at 68 years old, Bruce Landon is retiring, and was inducted into Springfield’s Hockey Hall of Fame on March 3. ...

Classic Burgers crowns burger champion

3/23/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

When Classic Burgers hosted its first contest, Danelle Dias and her uncle John Paul agreed if it came around again, they would blow away the competition. “He said, ‘Next time, we’ll make a burger and win this thing,’” Dias recalled. In December 2015, Dias’ uncle passed away, but his prediction proved correct. Dias and her burger, named “The JP” in her uncle’s honor, ran away with the grand prize at the second annual burger contest. ...

Healthy Living: Brain Injury Awareness Month sparks advocacy

3/23/2017 | Debbie Gardner
debbieg@thereminder.com

Stacia Bissell knows firsthand how life can change in an instant. The career educator was on the fast track to become a middle school principal when she and a colleague decided to take a weekend bike ride to celebrate the successful end of the first week of school. Something happened on the trail, the two bikes clicked and Bissell dumped, striking her head in the fall. Although she was wearing a helmet, the accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that cut short her career, and changed life as she knew it. ...

Eat.Enjoy.Live.: Vanished Valley Brewing – the little brewery with big aspirations

3/23/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

In a tiny space behind Europa Black Rock Bar & Grill in Ludlow, big things are happening. Into what looks like a small storage shed that once served as the chef’s quarters when the restaurant was an inn, Josh Britton and Mike Rodrigues have crammed an entire brewery. But don’t let the operation’s diminutive nature fool you. The two have grandiose plans. ...

Group’s fundraising for dog park progressing

3/23/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

One local nonprofit is getting ready to “unleash” a major fundraising effort in West Springfield. The dog owners group teaming with the West Springfield Park and Recreation Department in the push to build the Terriers Unleashed Dog Park, is ramping up its plans to raise money to cover construction costs. ...

CARE Coalition helps parents find what's 'Hidden in Plain Sight'

2/24/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

“Hidden in Plain Sight,” modeled to simulate a teenager’s bedroom, was exhibited in front of Sears at the mall throughout the month of February. From the coat rack to the desk to the trash can, it contained a plethora of seemingly innocuous items that could in fact be red flags for parents. ...

‘I get called Queen Gabby’

2/24/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

West Springfield Colleen Trudeau, a senior at West Springfield High School, is well-qualified to lead her court in representing the town. A Renaissance and National Honors Society student and recipient of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Award, she said she plans to attend a four-year college, though she’s unsure as to what field she intends to pursue. ...

Yamashita brings art of swordplay to West Side

2/24/2017 | Chris Maza
chrism@thereminder.com

Taro Yamashita, the head coach and owner of the Riverside Fencing Club, conducts beginner and intermediate/advanced fencing classes in Western Massachusetts, including West Springfield in collaboration with the Park and Recreation Department. ...