Radio Show #268 – 2019 Toys for Tots

Western Mass. “Toys For Tots” for 2019 is underway!

Autumn leaves may still be falling, but for the United States Marine Corps, it’s time to start thinking of the children this holiday season.

Toys for Tots, a 70-plus-year tradition with the Marines, is well cared for in Western Mass. by SSgt. Michael Vopal and his crew.

Sergeant Vopal chatted with Pioneer Valley Radio about the program – what they are looking for, and how you can contribute to the only holiday gifts some children in our region may receive.

Web: westernmass.toysfortots.org  •  Email: chicopee.ma@toysfortots.org

Tel: 413.210.9780 • 413.557.7619

Radio Show #266 – Career Electrician and Teacher, Michael Poole

Michael Poole has operated Poole Electrical Services in Western Mass. for more than two decades.

He not only specializes in residential and business electrical needs, he also finds time to teach the electrical trade to students in the Springfield school system.

Michael’s experiences teaching this industrial trade to young people, as well as the common pitfalls and dangers of the “amateur  residential electrician,” comprise this conversation with Brad Shepard.

Email:  mpoole1966@yahoo.com

Radio Show #265 – The Future of the Holyoke Mall with Bill Rogalski

For 18 years, Bill Rogalski has been the General Manager of the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside.

Bill discusses the mall’s effort to cope with the huge shift in retail, and its effect on this signature mall.

He explains the philosophy behind converting the mall to a more “experiential” theme .

A new movie theater, new restaurants, the return of some stores that closed and have now reopened – Bill Rogalski continues to navigate these changes.

Where is the mall ultimately headed?

Listen in!

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

Radio Show #264 – Harshal Patel and
Zen’s Toyland

It may seem that the traditional American toy store is a thing of the past, but that may be changing. Again.

As the independent toy store was supplanted by the big box toy stores, and as they in turn have faded away, a Connecticut real estate broker is dabbling in this lost art.

Harshal Patel took over a Wethersfield, CT toy store less than a year ago, and now brings his toy experience to Longmeadow, with the soon to be Zen’s Toyland.

The store will occupy the former Kiddly Winks location on Williams Street in Longmeadow.

Many may see this as a welcome infusion to the void left by the much-missed Kiddly Winks.

In this program, Patel describes his vision for the Longmeadow store.

Email:  zenstoyland@gmail.com • Web:  www.zenstoyland.com

Radio Show #263 – Boston Herald Reporter
Alexi Cohan

East Longmeadow native Alexi Cohan just celebrated her first anniversary as a reporter with the Boston Herald.  She served an internship as a field reporter here at Pioneer Valley Radio in the summer of ’17 while attending Hofstra University as a communications major.  Michael Harrison conducts a fascinating interview with this bright young woman destined to go far in the media.

Radio Show #262 – Judge William Boyle Remembered

This week, Springfield District Court retired Judge William Boyle succumbed to a lengthy battle with ALS.

Glowing tributes seem to follow one theme: “beloved and missed.”

Tony Cignoli, international political consultant and a friend to the man known as “Billy” Boyle, presents his insight into the difference made by Judge Boyle on the bench, and remembers both the jurist and the man.

Radio Show # 260 – Keeping Seniors Active and Engaged, with Alicia Smith

The quality of life for seniors has become a calling for Western Mass.’ Alicia Smith, the Programming Coordinator for the East Longmeadow Council on Aging at the Pleasant View Senior Center.

Organizing and devising events from fitness to wellness to legal issues to entertainment is an engaging role that Alicia truly enjoys.

Her personal and professional story unfolds in this program on Pioneer Valley Radio.

Web:   East Longmeadow Council on Aging

Email: meralee.kratovil@eastlongmeadowma.gov

Radio Show #258 – The Professional Worlds of Wade Dubois

With a common thread of service to the public, in and out of the private and public sectors, Granby’s Wade Dubois, has moved seamlessly through a few varied careers.

In this program, Wade will trace his travels through the retail world of jewelry, a tour of duty in law enforcement, and now a new concept in mobile jewelry repair as “The Jewelry Medic.”

Email: wade@jewelry911.com •  Tel: (413) 370-4880

Radio Show #257 – Max Hartshorne and Little Known Western Mass Beaches!

Need to beat the heat?

Need the water and the beach?

Don’t want to drive for hours in traffic?

Horace Greeley once said “Go West, young man, go West!”

Well… Max Hartshorne says, “Go North!”

In this program, noted travel authority, Max Hartshorne of gonomad.com tells us about some great “swimmin’ holes,” off the beaten path in Franklin County!

Website: gonomad.com

Radio Show #256 – Ashley Gearing
Comes Home!

From Western Mass. to Memphis – and now around the globe – it’s been a whirlwind fantasy story for Ashley Gearing, an authentic country music star, at the age of 28!

Her solo career has hit extraordinary heights and has brought her into the sphere of top stars!

She needs no introduction in this area, where she has been performing since the age of 12.

Ashley has now moved her solo career into a new band with three other girls, branding themselves “Farewell Angelina”

The band, with its signature tight harmonies and fusion of guitar and violin, will return to Western Mass. with their first appearance at the Iron Horse in Northampton.

In this program, Ashley reflects on her journey, as well as how the “Women and Wine” concert tour developed!

Radio Show #255 – Carl Ohlin and the
East Longmeadow Fourth of July Parade!

This year’s signature East Longmeadow Fourth of July Parade coincides with the town’s 125th anniversary!

Carl Ohlin notes this, as well as other special events in the celebration!

The parade is on schedule for the Fourth, and promises to be every bit the red, white and blue crowd-pleaser that is its heritage.

The identity of this year’s Parade Grand Marshal, and other elements that make the event distinctive, are presented in this enjoyable program with Carl!

Radio Show #254 – Star Spangled Springfield! With Judy Matt and the Spirit of Springfield

With Independence Day coming, Judy Matt and the Spirit of Springfield are proud to present another edition of “Star Spangled Springfield!”

In this program, you will hear a rundown of the day, from the music and entertainment at Riverfront Park, to the grand finale of the fireworks over the river as presented by the famous Grucci Brothers!

You’ll find out how this event comes together, as well as some tips on attendance, parking and more!

Radio Show #253 – The Wonderful Story of
“Bob the Bike Man”

Ensuring that your life makes a difference, or perhaps leaving the world a little bit better than it was, or however you wish to think about it, these feelings are exemplified by the life led by Springfield’s Robert Charland, more affectionately known as “Bob the Bike Man.”

And Bob’s story has gone well beyond Western Mass.  In fact it has been the subject of a film, CBS Evening News, and coverage in People magazine.

Bob Charland is a deputy with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, a teacher at the Willie Ross School for the Deaf, and a Girl Scout leader.

After being diagnosed with a terminal neurodegenerative brain disorder, Bob proceeded to quickly settle his own affairs and to move full steam ahead on his pet project – restoring junked bicycles and distributing them among the disadvantaged children of the region.

More than a thousand bikes have been gifted to underprivileged youngsters through Bob’s organization, PEDAL THRU YOUTH.

Here is the story of  life that makes a difference, the story of a man who knows that how much time we have is not as important as what we choose to do with it.

Email: contact@pedalthruyouth.org    •   Web: www.pedalthruyouth.org

Radio Show #252 – Hoai Le and Pho Delicious!

Taking its place among the unique eateries of Western Mass., Hoai Le introduces Pho Delicious in East Longmeadow!

Pho Delicious promises an authentic Vietnamese dining experience.

In this conversation with Pioneer Valley Radio’s Brad Shepard, Hoai takes great pride in his locally owned and operated restaurant.

Independent, and not part of a chain, Pho Delicious stands on its own.

Hoai Le, his wife and family forge a strong connection with all those who come for lunch or dinner, and insure that Pho Delicious lives up to its name!

Visit us on Facebook!

Radio Show #251 – Eric Letendre and
the Eric Letendre Dog Training School

Aggressive or unruly dogs are very common in our region and can be a problem.

Lunging or snapping at other dogs or other people can expose you to litigation – or worse!

Originally from Feeding Hills, and now branching out across the state, Western Mass.’ Eric Letendre, the “top dog” at Eric Letendre Dog Training School, can help get your dog to respond to proper commands and maintain acceptable and safe behavior.

Even if the dog is straining at the leash, or will not come when called, Eric, his books, website and email accessibility can help!

Eric chats with Pioneer Valley Radio’s Brad Shepard about the common problems and misconceptions of effective dog training!

Web: ericletendre.com  •  Contact us here.

Radio Show #250 – A Weekend In Worcester With Max Hartshorne

Western Mass.’ all-purpose gadabout and travel authority Max Hartshorne has a great suggestion for a three day weekend – or anytime.

Looking to break away for a day or more? How about Worcester, Massachusetts?

Max Hartshorne of gonomad.com paints an appealing picture of a vibrant city with great restaurants, art, and culture.

Max picked up on a perceptible enjoyment and appreciation of the people and  their pride in their city.

All in all, there is much to appreciate – and it’s only a car ride away!

Email: Editor at GoNOMAD.com  •  Web: www.gonomad.com

Radio Show #248 – Payton Shubrick,
Cannabis Entrepreneur

Springfield’s Payton Shubrick of 6 Bricks, LLC, has entered the recreational cannabis shop sweepstakes in the Pioneer Valley, with her proposal for 6 Bricks, LLC to locate at 250 Albany Street in the McKnight neighborhood.

Payton’s shop would be local and family-owned, immediately distinguishing it from outside companies vying for the coveted city operation licenses.

Parking, security, qualifications, and what makes her shop hit just the right “key” for “Gasoline Alley” is covered in this special program.

Radio Show #247 – George Myers and the Amherst Cinema

George Myers is the General Manager of the Amherst Cinema – a movie theater that offers Western Mass a “one of a kind” movie experience.

George presides over far more than a conventional movie house.

The Amherst Cinema is a happy confluence of crowd-pleasing “popcorn movies” – foreign, independent, art house films, and in general, film material that you are not likely to see at your neighborhood theater.

How these films are selected, and the other distinctive aspects of the Amherst Cinema, are presented in detail by George Myers in this program.

Web: amherstcinema.org/ • Email: info@amherstcinema.org

Radio Show #246 – Colin Tracy, The Firefly Creative, and Urinetown!

Colin Tracy is the Theater Director of the Evangel Assembly of God in Wilbraham.

With The Firefly Creative, he is also the “new community theater kid on the block!”

Colin’s background is an interesting fusion of theater education, instruction, and the clergy as well.

As producer, director, music director and more than likely utility cast member, Colin’s “maiden voyage” production is the off-Broadway hit, with the most unusual title: “Urinetown.”

What is it like to create a community theater from the ground up?

And why this particular show to introduce The Firefly Creative?

All that and more is under discussion with Colin in this special program.

Email: colin.tracy.creative@gmail.com

Web: www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-firefly-creative/x/20292775

Radio Show #245 – Dawn Erickson and the
St. Mary’s Parish Auction

Westfield’s Dawn Erickson has transitioned from a career in media promotions and sales to managing several businesses, taking care of two young daughters and still finding time to add a professional setting and boost to the St. Mary’s Parish Auction this Saturday, April 27, 2019.

In this conversation, you’ll hear just how exciting this auction promises to be!

You’ll find all manner of items including sports memorabilia!

Beer, wine, and a great opportunity to help the kids and perhaps pick up some great deals!