The Latest

Radio Show #288 – “The Changing Face of
West Springfield Dining” with Joe Stevens

Long-standing restaurants of all manner of cuisine in West Springfield are ending their days.

Debbie Wong, the Monte Carlo, and the White Hut have stood for decades, satisfying the tastes of West Side diners!

Only the White Hut has attracted the restaurant “cavalry” of Messrs. Yee and Picknelly, in another rescue operation.

The latest departure from the scene is 1105 Main, formerly the Hofbrauhaus.

After two eras of rebranding, owner Joe Stevens has opted to close down and sell off the real estate.

In this program, Joe relates the circumstances motivating his decision, provides some insight into why the dining scene is changing, and also what is next for himself!

Radio Show #287 – “Love on Broadway” with Maestro Kevin Rhodes and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra

Maestro Rhodes will fill Symphony Hall with romance and delight, performing classics of the Great White Way, this Saturday, February 22nd, at 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy Broadway love songs from composers including Irving Berlin, Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.

Selections include “I Could Have Danced All Night” (My Fair Lady), “If Ever I Should Leave You” (Camelot), “If I Loved You” (Carousel), “Agony” (Into the Woods), “Getting Married Today” (Company), “Song That Goes Like This” (Spamalot), “Somewhere That’s Green” (Little Shop of Horrors)… and many more!

SSO is asking for donations at this concert for the Dakin Humane Society.

To participate, please bring a donation on concert night and leave it in one of the donation bins at Symphony Hall.

Email: BoxOffice@springfieldsymphony.org or Info@springfieldsymphony.org

Website: www.springfieldsymphony.org

Radio Show #286 – Doug Sousa and the 2020 Springfield Sportsmen’s Show at the Big E!

Doug Sousa, on behalf of the Outdoor Sportsmen’s Expo Group, joins us on Pioneer Valley Radio to talk about the 2020 edition of the Springfield Sportsmen’s Show!

This outstanding event takes place on February 21-23 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The show includes the best of hunting, fishing, boating and adventure recreation.

If it’s a part of the outdoor world, you’ll find it at the 37th Annual Springfield Sportsmen’s Show!

Web: www.osegsportsmens.com  •  Email: doug@osegshows.com

Radio Show #285 – Mark Gionfriddo and
“The Big Broadcast” at Mount Holyoke College

The Golden Age of Radio comes alive for the 15th year in a row at Mount Holyoke College!

The music, the performers, the commercials and all of the fun of this bygone form of entertainment is brought to you live and on stage!

Our special guest, MHC Music Director Mark Gionfriddo, is the creator of this show, and also appears on stage.

“The Big Broadcast!” is a re-creation of a live 1940’s radio variety show featuring the Jazz Ensembles (Big Band Jazz, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz) performing well-known tunes and hidden gems from the swing era and the Great American Songbook. For the last 15 years, the show has been emceed by Brian Lapis (WWLP-TV22 meteorologist) in the role of host “Fred Kelley,” while Gionfriddo appears as bandleader “Matt Morgan.”

Radio Show #284 – Come Back To Sorrento in West Springfield! With Patsy Albano!

For 42 years and three generations, Sorrento Pizza has kept West Springfield and Western Mass. well-fed with pizza and assorted delightful Italian cuisine!

Here, owner Patsy Albano proudly presents Sorrento’s new look and new bar!

It’s a family affair at Sorrento, with Patsy and wife Sheila.

You’ll also find out why Sorrento has become a “go to” spot for “West Side” professionals in all walks!

Web: www.sorrentopizzawestspringfield.com

Email: sorrentopizza413@comcast.net

Radio Show #283 – John Heaps Jr., CEO of Florence Bank, Announces His Retirement

John Heaps Jr., the longest continuously serving CEO in the 147-year history of Florence Bank, is stepping down in just a few months.

In a candid conversation with Brad Shepard, John discusses his storied career in Western Mass. banking.

John details the transition in stewardship for the institution and its future expansion.

Florence Bank’s unique relationship with its customers is just one source of pride for John Heaps.

Web: www.florencebank.com   •  Email: customerservice@florencebank.com

Radio Show #282 – Darcie Farber, The Unity Players, and “Les Miz,” School Edition

Many versions of the musical “Les Miserables” have been performed over the years – in many languages, permutations, and even in concert.

Did you know there is a “school edition” for youth performers?

It comes your way from the Unity Players of Springfield.

Here, the director of the production, Darcie Farber, gives us an inside view of this forthcoming production!

Think a school production of this musical might pose a reduction in some of its hard-hitting themes?

You might well be surprised!

Email: Darcie@UUSpringfield.org

Web: www.UUSpringfield.org/Community Theater: Unity House Players

Radio Show #281 – Springfield City Councilor Melvin Edwards’ Views on Facial Recognition Technology in Springfield Police Work

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno supports the use of facial recognition technology in the Springfield Police Department.

Councilor Melvin Edwards and other members of the council do not believe that this is the time to move forward on its implementation.

A moratorium has been proposed by the council, and rejected by the Mayor.

Here, Councilor Edwards presents his position on the issue.

Radio Show #280 – Sheila Coon is Sharing the Cookie Love!

Sheila Coon made a sharp turn from a career in law to baking cookies!

With seven children, Sheila and her husband and business partner David have made HOT OVEN COOKIES a singular success in Springfield and Hadley!

It’s gratifying to Sheila to know that some folks are driving more than two and a half hours for cookies from her store!

You’ll hear in this program how her business has grown to two locations, with possibly more on the way!

Listen in –  you’ll more than likely soon be “sharing the cookie love!”

Web: www.hotovencookies.com • Email: hotovencookies413@gmail.com

 

Radio Show #279 – Caribbean Food a Big Success in Western Mass., With Yaad Food!

Springfield restaurateur Orlando Roberts has found success in adding Caribbean fare to the international cuisine mix in Western Mass.

Yaad Food brings Jamaican food to the region!  Yaad is the Jamaican word for “home,” the theme of the cuisine!

Together with partner Alexis Mercure, Orlando discusses the idea and the creation of Yaad Food in Springfield, and now, in its second and brand new location, in Chicopee!

Email: yaadfoodjar@gmail.com

Radio Show #278 – Michelle Wirth and The Chinese New Year Gala at Mercedes-Benz of Springfield!

The Western Mass. Chinese Association’s annual Chinese New Year Gala will be held on Saturday, January 25th, from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

It will be held at the beautiful showroom of Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, located in Chicopee… certainly a most unique location for this event.

There will be food, non-alcoholic beverages, live performances, unique cultural presentations, and, of course, many raffle prizes!

Co-owner and Chief Marketing Officer of Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Michelle Wirth talks with Brad Shepard, and explains how this event developed!

Radio Show #277 – The Big E Responds to Accusations of Mistreatment of Elephants

Animal activist groups have seized upon the death of “Beulah,” the elephant at the Big E, to allege mistreatment.

In this special program with Brad Shepard, Eastern States Exposition President and CEO Gene Cassidy responds to these allegations, and further discusses the role of exotic animals at the fair.

Radio Show #276 – Jay Pagluica and Westfield’s New Concert Series

Realizing that the desire for live music entertainment doesn’t end in November, Jay Pagluica and Patrick Berry have filled the void with a new concert series for Westfield!

Gaslight Entertainment has pledged itself to bringing top artists in continuing concert entertainment to the city!

In this conversation, Jay Pagluica discusses his background in live entertainment and his vision for this entry into the concert world of Westfield.

You’ll also hear a rundown of the forthcoming acts that comprise the series!

Email: info@westfieldconcerts.com •  Web: westfieldconcerts.com

Radio Show #275 – The Sights and Sounds of the Season – and Other Reminiscences with
Michael Harrison and Brad Shepard

It’s time for Michael and Brad’s annual informal chat about the great days of holiday films and music!

Where do they stand today?

You are cordially invited to pour an eggnog and listen in!

Radio Show #274 – The Salvation Army’s
Joy Trombley

The cold weather doesn’t bother Western Mass.’ Joy Trombley – she’s used to it.

After a career as a letter carrier with the Springfield Postal System, it was an easy decision to join The Salvation Army and spend the holiday season ringing The Salvation Army bell for donations!

And she’s been doing it for the last 4 years!

In this short but sweet program (she was working), you’ll hear just what the annual kettle drive means to Joy.

Radio Show #273 – Kelly Dobbins and SOS

To Springfield’s Kelly Dobbins, SOS Means Serving Our Students.

Kelly Dobbins sat in his Springfield restaurant and pondered what he could do to make a difference and a contribution.

His thoughts turned to students and how to keep them from dropping out of school.

With that, SOS, or Serving Our Students, was born.

How does it work?  How is the mission implemented?

Those questions and more are addressed in this passionate and energetic conversation!

Contact Serve Our Students • See us on Facebook • Telephone: 413-543-1718

Radio Show #272 – Judy Matt and Bright Nights

”Tis the Season for Bright Nights at Forest Park.”

Holiday magic is in the air, distilled in amazing displays of lighting at the region’s premier holiday event, Bright Nights at Forest Park!

A special edition this year?

It is, to be sure. It’s the 25th anniversary of this huge event!

Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt relates the magic of this year’s display, as well as a special accolade for Bright Nights that YOU can vote on!

Web: spiritofspringfield.org  •   Email: jmatt@spiritofspringfield.org

Radio Show #271 – “The Eternal Allure of the Vampire!” With American International College Professor Dr. Lori Paige

Why has “the vampire” from the middle ages endured into the 21st century ?

This mystical, supernatural, and at times terrifying creature’s undeniable seduction of the reader and viewer’s imagination is probed in this conversation with Dr. Lori Paige of American International College in Springfield.

Dr. Paige not only teaches a class on this subject, but has authored books on it as well.

In this special Halloween-styled feature, Dr. Paige provides engaging insight into the creature’s impact on centuries of poetry, literature and the performing arts.

Radio Show #270 – Patrick Kandianis, Helping Students and Families Understand College Costs

Holyoke’s Patrick Kandianis, and his firm, Pay 4 Education, have “set up shop” in Springfield with the mission of helping families discover college affordability.

Patrick has been innovative in the higher education arena for over thirty-five years, and has spent the last fifteen focused on student finance – first at First Marblehead Corp., and then as co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of SimpleTuition, an award-winning consumer friendly site that has helped millions of families make sound financing choices.

In this program, Pat explains how Pay4Education boils down the confusing math of the award letters and tuition bills (and all of the acronyms like EFC, NPC, FSA, PLUS, COA and FAFSA) and turns them into real numbers.

Web: www.pay4edu.com  •  Email: info@pay4edu.com

Radio Show #269 – Donut Dip in
East Longmeadow

Pioneer Valley Radio’s Michael Harrison and his wife, AIC professor Bernadette Duncan Harrison, stopped by the legendary coffee/donut shop Donut Dip at 648 N. Main Street in East Longmeadow on Thursday morning (10/17), only to have found the store closed due to its roof having blown off in the storm that ripped through the area.

As they were about to pull out of the empty parking lot, Paul Shields, president of Donut Dip, came out of the darkened shop and explained what had
happened. The Harrisons offered their friendly concern and were about to leave when Shields offered to bring each of them out a cup of hot coffee to alleviate their disappointment.  Michael Harrison thought that this was an extraordinary example of customer service and exemplary character and interviewed Shields on the spot for Pioneer Valley Radio.

Check out their brief conversation. Donut Dip has two locations in the area – in addition to East Longmeadow, they also have a store at 1305 Riverdale Street in West Springfield.  The company was started in 1957 by Paul Shields’ grandfather, Robert Shields.