The Latest

Radio Show #335 – Federico Mendiola and
the Frontera Grill Carry On

In Pioneer Valley Radio’s continuing narrative of how popular eateries in Western Mass. have faced the challenges of the COVID-19 era, PVR’s Lauren Brill spotlights the Frontera Grill and its owner, Federico Mendiola.

Federico’s story is a classic example of the manner in which a restaurant faces disruption and determines the necessary changes to a business model to accommodate the extreme limitations of the pandemic.

There is expert calibration in compassion for employees and solid and difficult choices to protect the future of a successful business.

Web: www.fronterafreshmex.com   •   Email: fronteragrillchicopee@gmail.com

Radio Show #334 – Adele Hill and the East Longmeadow VIRTUAL Fourth of July Parade!

Not content to let East Longmeadow’s formidable Fourth of July Parade disappear completely from consciousness this year, East Longmeadow Rotary Club Secretary, Nurse Practitioner, and Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve
Adele Hill has joined forces with East Longmeadow Community Access Television and others to bring you this first – and perhaps only – virtual edition of the parade!

You’ll find out what to expect in this exclusive interview on Pioneer Valley Radio!

Web: www.elrotaryclub.org   •  Email: eltogether@aol.com

Radio Show #333 – Lorraine Gorham and The Coalition to Fund the Holyoke Soldiers Home

Speaking on behalf of a newly formed organization, The Coalition To Fund The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, member Lorraine Gorham is excited about a big event planned for July 3rd.

This event to raise awareness about the organization includes food, beverages, and music!

Lorraine Gorham provides the specifics of this event (being held as close to the Fourth of July as feasible) in this interview exclusively on Pioneer Valley Radio.

It is hoped that as many as possible will come out to support this organization, as they work for a better Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

Radio Show #332 – John Flynn Wins His Sixth Consecutive Term on the Selectboard of Hampden, Mass.

Long-serving Hampden selectman John Flynn triumphs in his sixth bid for the Board of Selectmen in the town’s election.

In this exclusive interview on Pioneer Valley Radio, Selectman Flynn reflects on his years on the board.

Mr. Flynn also comments on the impact of the pandemic on local business, public safety, and gives an update of the town’s litigation with the School Committee.

Web: www.hampdenma.gov/people/john-d-flynn •  Email: Contact Us

Radio Show #331 – Tara Franklin – Actress, Director, and Baker of Sweet Sam Bakes Cookies!

When does an actress/director go from baking cookies part-time to baking cookies full-time?

When a pandemic closes the theaters and halts productions, of course!

This is the story of Tara Franklin –  teacher, actress, director and entrepreneur.

Tara is the Associate Artistic Director/Director of Education at the Chester Theater Company in the Berkshires, and the woman behind “Sweet Sam Bakes.”

In Tara’s own words, “The shop is named after my son, who has loved helping me in the kitchen since he was very small.  We have been baking, packaging and sending these beautiful and delicious treats to our friends and family for years. They make wonderful gifts for anyone on your list.”

Web: www.etsy.com/shop/SweetSamBakes  •  Email: m.me/136746696968116

Radio Show #330 – Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton Discusses MGM Springfield’s Reopening… Is It When – or If?”

The new health and safety guidelines, handed down to the Mass. Gaming Commission by the state, are causing MGM Springfield operators to question the impact of the protocols on revenue and on the entire casino experience.

Councilor Fenton presents insight from deep within the issue.

He also provides an opinion on Springfield Police reform proposals, and the possibility of a lawsuit lodged by the Council against the Office of the Mayor.

Email: mfenton@springfieldcityhall.com  •  Web: www.springfield-ma.gov

Radio Show #329 – At Mike’s Auto Service, Mike Zabik Clarifies Inspection Schedule Confusion

Some auto inspection deadlines for certain months have been extended by the Registry.

Some months have not.

Mike Zabik, at Mike’s Auto Service & Repair in West Springfield, explains what you need to do and when.

Mike also has some great tips for summer driving and the effects of hot weather on your car!

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

Radio Show #328 – East Longmeadow’s
Carl Ohlin, and The Year Without a Parade

Count the annual East Longmeadow 4th of July Parade as another victim of COVID-19.

This institution in East Longmeadow for all the cities and towns and people of Western Mass. has been officially canceled.

Longtime organizer of the parade Carl Ohlin speaks exclusively to Pioneer Valley Radio and outlines the efforts, input and discussion of how the parade might have been adjusted to be consistent with current COVID-19 guidelines, as well as the final decision to skip the event entirely for this year.

Radio Show #327 – Kevin Kousch and Formal Affair Clothier in West Springfield

At Formal Affair Clothier in West Springfield, owner Kevin Kousch has seen his business through a microburst and a pandemic!

Kevin has acquired and revived important components of the old Yale-Genton and created this sparkling alternative to the big box stores for high end men’s fashions.

Formal Affair Clothier in West Springfield has reopened with its full array of rentals for all formal occasions.

Kevin has also painstakingly addressed all PPE requirements to assure customer safety.

For those who mourn the loss of the venerable Yale-Genton, you can relive the experience with Kevin Kousch at Formal Affair Clothier of West Springfield.

Web: www.formalaffairtux.com  •  Email: kkousch@hotmail.com

Radio Show #326 – Running an Iconic
Local Food and Dessert Establishment
During the Pandemic

Jeremiah Maloni from Cindy’s Drive-in, located in Granby, MA, discusses how he and his team are adjusting to the COVID-19 crisis at one of the region’s most beloved ice cream restaurants.

Web: cindysdrivein.com

Radio Show #325 – In Brimfield, Watch Out for Turtles Crossing the Road!

It’s the time of year when our shelled friends are laying their eggs, and likely to be making their way from one side of the road to the other.

What should you do if you are driving along and come upon them? How might you help them?

Brimfield Police Officer Ryan Olszta answers these questions and more in this exclusive conversation!

Web: www.brimfieldma.org/brimfield-police-department

Email: policedept@brimfieldma.org

Radio Show #324 – At Agawam Pack & Ship, Business is Good!

In this program, former Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen, along with his brother Alan, are pleased to relate that business is brisk and busy!

Agawam Pack & Ship offers an impressive array of business and personal needs for any packing or shipping task.

There is more to the story of this most successful store in the city of Agawam!

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

Show #323 – Hampden, Mass. Chief of Police Jeff Farnsworth

American police departments in large cities and small towns are under fire due to the death of George Floyd.

Protests are commingled with rioting and looting.

Hampden, Mass. Chief of Police Jeff Farnsworth speaks candidly about the challenges facing his force and other departments in simultaneously protecting freedom of speech as well as protection of life and property.

Chief Farnsworth is also the head of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, and as such is in regular contact with the chiefs of other forces in the Commonwealth, as well as the governor.

Here he presents his views on the potential for protests and lawlessness, now originating in our urban centers, to reach the smaller towns in Western Mass.

Web: www.hampdenpolice.com • Email: contact@hampdenpolice.com

Radio Show #322 – Criminal Attorney William Bennett Represents Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh

In an exclusive interview with Pioneer Valley Radio, Criminal Attorney William Bennett refutes the suspension of Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh, and the associated allegations of his mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis at the Home.

Attorney Bennett maintains that Superintendent Walsh made consistent and appropriate pleas for help from the state and other emergency agencies.

Meaningful help and support at that time was not forthcoming.

Bennett provides insight into Walsh’s present state of mind and his attitude toward returning to his previous position.

Radio Show #321 – Hofstra University Journalism Major Lauren Brill

Pioneer Valley Radio’s newest summer intern, Lauren Brill of Granby, MA, is a journalism major going into her senior year at Hofstra University.  She is interviewed by PVR president Michael Harrison about being a college student during the pandemic, the state of journalism, and her plans for the future.

Radio Show #320 – Brian Juliano, Owner of Juliano’s Pools & Spas

He may be the president and the owner of the company… he may have almost 250 employees, and 130 trucks out in the field… but he’s also the guy who will come and check on the installation and the maintenance of your pool!

That’s the secret to the success of Brian Juliano and Juliano’s Pools & Spas!

And it isn’t a secret!

Juliano’s Pools has tens of thousands of satisfied customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island – Brian is licensed in all three states.

You also have the added benefit of interacting with the owner from the start of the project to the final finish. Brian provides his personal cell phone number to every customer.

In this conversation, you’ll hear Brian’s evident pride in the innovations he offers, as well as how the pandemic has affected his business in Western Mass.

It may surprise you!

Web: www.julianospools.com

Email: quotes@julianospools.com  •  service@julianospools.com

Radio Show #319 – John DeVoie and Hot Table

John DeVoie’s Hot Table is a Western Mass. success and a high note in what is known as “fast casual” dining.

From one original location in Springfield to a total of 7, from Western Mass. to Central Mass. and into Connecticut, only the pandemic has slowed down Hot Table’s amazing growth.

In this program, John speaks candidly about the harrowing drop in revenue as a result of COVID-19, and his drive to continue his downtown Springfield Tower Square renovation.

Hot Table will reopen – and John’s optimism speaks for itself!

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

Radio Show #318 – Pomeroy’s Vegetable Farm Carries On!

A silver lining in the pandemic cloud?  Possibly, at least as far as your fresh vegetables are concerned!

Neil Pomeroy and his family at Pomeroy’s Vegetable Farm in East Longmeadow are proud to carry on their tradition of providing the freshest vegetables the earth can sport.

Spinach, lettuce, peppers, spicy greens, peas and more, all are on the way as Pomeroy’s gears up for their full opening this summer.

Right now, Neil and his family offer certain vegetables through their Facebook page with appointment times for pick-up.

All pandemic and social distancing guidelines are supported.

Western Mass. folks are pleased to find Pomeroy’s a happy alternative to the lack of certain produce at the local supermarkets.

All of the produce at Pomeroy’s is organic, as well as herbicide, pesticide and GMO free!

You’ll hear more about the full array of fresh vegetables and how Pomeroy’s has steered through the days of COVID-19 in this exclusive program.

And try the spinach!

Email:  pomeroysvegfarm@yahoo.com  •  Facebook: Pomeroysvegetablefarm

Radio Show #317 – Southwick’s David Sutton, Heating and Air Conditioning Business Owner and President and Founder of One Call Away

In Southwick, David Sutton operates his heating and air conditioning business, but the greater meaning in his life is as the president of One Call Away, an organization that has touched lives and saved lives.

In this program, you will hear the inspiration for David to create this organization that provides help any time of the day or night to local veterans and others coping with PTSD.

In addition to the personal stories, you will hear about the full array of services Dave and his organization make available to our local veterans.

Email: rangerdave4@comcast.net  •  Web: onecallawayfoundation.org

Tel: 413-478-7748 (24 hrs.)

Radio Show #316 – Agniezka Valenta,
Another Western Mass. Business Professional Now Working From Home

Agniezka Valenta, better known as “Aggie,” is a wife, mom, author, marathon runner and business professional rolled into one.

Aggie was born in Poland and moved to Massachusetts at age 9. She is fluent in Polish and conversational in Spanish.

Her three children (the youngest has autism), have provided Aggie with the background to publish children’s books dealing with the condition.

At Morgan Stanley, Aggie, a financial advisor, concentrates on wealth management strategies and portfolio management.

In this program, Aggie touches on the reorientation of her daily life – away from her familiar work environment and into the “new normal” of a vibrant and busy household.

Web:  advisor.morganstanley.com/aggie.valenta

Email: aggie.valenta@morganstanley.com