Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kate's Kitchen and Margaret's Pantry

Providence Ministries works hard to ensure that all our Holyoke residents have access to healthy, nutritious food. To be more available to working families in need, Margaret’s Pantry will now remain open on Monday until 6 pm and Kate’s Kitchen will serve a brown bag supper on Wednesday evenings from 5-6pm.

Margaret’s Pantry
56 Cabot St.
Holyoke, MA 01040

OPEN: Monday 9 am- 6 pm & Tuesday - Friday 9:00am - 3:00pm

A full-service food pantry that provides food to residents of the greater Holyoke area. Clients must be referred by letter and client verification form. Referral agencies include, DTA, VOC WIC Office, Public and Private Schools, Churches, En Lace De Familia, New England Farm Workers Council, shelter providers and more. For a complete list of referral sources please call (413) 538-8026 or (413) 536-9109 X 11. We are always looking for additional partners; please give us a call if your Holyoke agency wishes to be a referral source.

Kate’s Kitchen
51 Hamilton Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Kate’s Kitchen serves a noontime meal 365 days a year and a brown bag supper Wednesdays from 5-6 pm to anyone no questions asked.

Providence Ministries programs are funded in part by the Annual Catholic Appeal. , Office of Community Development, HUD, FEMA, WestMass Eldercare and our generous community.

Mayor Morse Announces New Celebrate Holyoke Initiative

Mayor Morse announced a new initiative to revive Celebrate Holyoke, a weekend-long community event in downtown Holyoke. The much-beloved event will come back to Holyoke in August of 2015.

Celebrate Holyoke consists of numerous musical acts from the region and across the country, as well as local restaurants, vendors and community organizations. The weekend-long festival showcases Holyoke’s heritage and culture to Holyoke residents and people from outside the community.

“When I ran for office last year, one of the things people were most excited about was my emphasis on civic pride, and especially, my pledge to bring back Celebrate Holyoke. I am excited to announce that we’re moving forward with that pledge. I have great memories of attending Celebrate Holyoke. Restoring this event will be a credit to us all, and will show people from around the region why Holyoke is such a special place,” Mayor Morse said.

The City of Holyoke is announcing the formation of a planning committee for Celebrate Holyoke 2015. This year’s planning committee will work on the logistics of the event, and will help plan for a sustainable approach for the coming years. If you are interested in serving on the planning committee, please submit a letter of interest to the Mayor’s Office in City Hall by September 15th.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Holyoke Going Gold For Kids with Cancer

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Mayor Morse is helping spread the word. Please join us for our 2nd annual Proclamation Ceremony in support of children who've experienced cancer. This free event encourages people in the City of Holyoke and surrounding towns to learn about Childhood Cancer and how it affects our communities.

WHAT: Proclamation Ceremony with Mayor Morse

WHERE: Holyoke City Hall
536 Dwight St.
Holyoke MA 01040

WHEN: Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

September Events at Wistariahurst

September Gallery Exhibition – Look for the Name: A Series of Skinner Advertisements

For over 150 years, the Skinner name was synonymous with silk of the finest quality. William Skinner & Sons produced products ranging from threads, silks, satins, dress goods, sewing notions, to lingerie and bridal gowns. It was a brand associated with excellence, quality and reputation. A variety of advertisements from the 1880s to the 1950s for silk, satin, rayon and taffeta products will be on view in the gallery demonstrating the William Skinner & Sons marketing style and confidence in a superior product. Admission to Gallery $3 / Free for members

Sunday, September 14 at 3:00 p.m. – Tour the Wistariahurst Mansion with a Skinner Descendant

Allerton Kilborne will return to Holyoke to offer a very special tour of his grandmother’s home and share his memories of living at Wistariahurst. When Allerton enters the home on Cabot Street, it is like entering a time machine. Allerton lived at Wistariahurst with his grandmother, Katharine Skinner Kilborne, and a full staff, whom he remembers in detail and with great affection. Join Allerton Kilborne in a journey back in time as Wistariahurst comes alive with his memories. Reservations suggested. Admission $10 

Monday, September 15 at 6:00 p.m. – Historical Lecture Series: Threads that Bind – Textiles in the Connecticut River Valley: A Trip Through Time and Space at WEBs

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, WEBs began as a home-based venture developed by Barbara Elkins and a friend. The project could have failed, but instead, WEBs has become the largest independent yarn retailer in the country. Through visuals and a presentation by both Barbara and Art Elkin, the history of the company will be illustrated. $7 general / $5 members

Saturday, September 20 at 9:30 a.m. – Terrariums Workshop

Don’t let the thought of impending winter get you down. Learn how to make lovely miniature indoor gardens under glass. If you create these gardens in the early autumn, the plants will have matured in time for holiday gift giving and you can share a bit of greenery with friends and family. Attendees will each make a terrarium. Presented by Master Gardener Shari Petrucci. Reservations necessary. Workshop is $50 per person; all supplies included. Proceeds to benefit the garden restoration at Wistariahurst. Garden workshops are presented by Wistariahurst Museum Gardeners and the Western Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association.

Monday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m. – Historical Lecture Series: Threads that Bind – Textiles in the Connecticut River Valley: Fashion and Frugality: English Patterned Silks and Connecticut River Valley Women’s Fashion in the 18th Century

Ned Lazaro, of Historic Deerfield, will explore the ownership and survival of three elaborate 18th-century brocaded silk gowns worn in the Connecticut River Valley. Woven on a draw loom, patterned silks like brocades took weeks or months to make, and were extremely costly. A significant investment, these garments continued to be worn and altered as fashions changed, enriching their stories even further for 21st Century fashion scholars and enthusiasts. $7 general / $5 members

Saturday, September 27 at 12:00-4:00 p.m. – Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!

Wistariahurst will grant free admission for one person plus a guest for an historic house tour with a Free Admission Card. Visit our website for tour schedule. Participates are encouraged to schedule tours in advance as group sizes are limited. For more information and to obtain free admission card go to

Sunday, September 28 at 3:00 p.m. – An Afternoon Concert with Bella Voce

Join Bella Voce in a tribute to the American Songbook as they present selections from Opera and Broadway, taking you on a journey from La Scala to 42nd Street to Tin Pan Alley! Works by Mozart, Humperdinck, Bizet, Jerry Noble, Krieger, Bernstein, Porter, Gershwin and more! Bella Voce is Lisa Woods, Teri LaFleur and Jerry Noble as accompanist. Tickets are $12 general / $10 for members and seniors

Monday, September 29 at 6:00 p.m. – Historical Lecture Series: Threads that Bind – Textiles in the Connecticut River Valley: Rivals of William Skinner: The Cheney Brothers of Manchester, CT

Dennis Gleeson will tell the story of the Cheney Brothers and their transition from selling trees into making silk thread and the influence of the sewing machine on their business. He will discuss the growth of the company to 1923 when it had almost 5,000 employees and then its decline due to wars, tariffs and depression. $7 general / $5 members

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mayor Morse Responds to Reverend Swan Letter

Mayor Morse Responds to Reverend Swan Letter Regarding Policing Strategies in Holyoke

Dear Reverend Swan,

Thank you for your letter. 

Like millions of people across the country, I am deeply disturbed by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri—not only because a young man lost his life, but also because of what those events reveal about the persistence of injustice in our country. The anger and frustration we are witnessing in Ferguson do not emerge overnight; they are the result of a long and difficult history with which our country has yet to fully reconcile. 

As you know from our recent conversations, these issues have been on the forefront of my thinking about public safety issues in the City of Holyoke. From the time I took office in January 2012, Chief Neiswanger, the whole police department, and I have maintained a strong commitment to a community policing strategy—a strategy designed to nurture a spirit of trust and cooperation between our officers and our residents. In that time, we have taken a number of important steps in the effort to build these relationships. 

We have hosted meetings with Chief Neiswanger and other community leaders. We have set up multiple community policing units throughout the city. To expand our community policing approach, we turned an old S.W.A.T. vehicle into the Mobile Community Policing Unit—a clear example of both our innovative approach to public safety, and of our de-militarizing of the police department. And this past year, we used funds from the Department of Mental Health to train our officers in crisis prevention, and we introduced diversity training for all of our officers. 
And so, as for the priorities you articulate in your letter—including cultural competency of law enforcement, appropriate use of lethal force by law enforcement, and respect between law enforcement and diverse communities—you’ll find no disagreement with me. These are also priorities of mine, of my administration, of our police chief. Moreover, these priorities guide and inform my administration’s approach to public safety. 

Watching the events in Ferguson, I was grateful to know that we’re doing things differently in Holyoke. It is my hope that other communities throughout the country will adopt a similarly sensible and humane approach to policing. Although significant challenges remain, I am confident that the City of Holyoke is becoming the safe and inclusive community we know it can be. Moving forward, I will continue to do everything I can to make sure all levels of our city government are guided by the principles of justice, fairness, and respect for the dignity of all persons. 

Again, I thank you for your letter and for the important issues you raise. As always, I welcome the opportunity to work together to make our communities safe for everybody. 

Mayor Alex B. Morse

Look for the Name: A Series of Skinner Advertisements

For the month of September, Wistariahurst will be hosting an in house exhibit of advertisements made by Skinner & Sons from the turn of the century to the mid 1900s. For over 150 years, the Skinner name was synonymous with silk of the finest quality. William Skinner & Sons produced products ranging from threads, silks, satins, dress goods and sewing notions used to create lingerie and bridal gowns. William Skinner & Sons was a brand associated with excellence, quality and reputation. A variety of advertisements from the 1880s to the 1950s for silk, satin, rayon and taffeta products will be on view in the gallery demonstrating the William Skinner & Sons marketing style and confidence in a superior product.

Admission to Gallery $3 / Free for members. The gallery is open during museum hours on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Holyoke Library Computer Courses Attract Patrons

José E. Cartagena, a Computer Coordinator at Holyoke Public Library has reported that the library has received a strong response to the various courses being offered through the Computer Lab. All courses are free to anyone with a Holyoke Public Library Member Card and all are offered in both Spanish and English. The September program is as follows:

For anyone interested in learning the Spanish language, one hour classes are held Monday through Friday, starting at 11 AM each day. This course is for individuals who are interested in learning Spanish as a second language. Those who already have some background in the language and wish to practice their Spanish are also welcome.

Programa de Alfabetización (ABE), is a course that will offer Spanish heritage language speakers the opportunity to improve their writing and reading skills This program will meet every Tuesday at 9 AM, beginning September 2, for 50 minutes in the Library’s Community Room. Fundamentos de Computadora (Fundamentals of Computers) is scheduled for alternate Tuesdays, September 2, 16, and 30, at 10:30 AM each day.

Computer Basics, in English, will be offered on Tuesday, September 2 and September 16, at 10:30 AM, and September 30 at 2 PM. Using the World Wide Web (www), will be offered on Tuesday, September 9 at 10:30 AM and in Spanish, as Usando la www on Tuesday September 9 at 2 PM and Tuesday, September 23 at 10:30 AM.

Library Online Resources has been scheduled for Wednesdays, September 3 at 10:30 AM, and September 17 at 2 PM. Recursos electrónicos de la biblioteca, will be offered Wednesdays, September 10 at 10:30 AM and 24 at 2 PM.

Introduction to Microsoft Office is scheduled for Thursdays September 4 and 18 at 10:30 AM and 2 PM. Intro to email is scheduled for Thursday September 11 at 10:30 AM and Thursday, September 25, at 2 PM. The Spanish version, Intro al Correo-e, will be offered on Thursdays Sept 11 at 2 PM and 25 at 10:30 AM.

Resume Writing/Escriba su Resume, will be offered on Fridays, September 5 and 19, at 11 AM, and again on Saturdays September 13 and 27, at 2 PM.

To participate in any of the above listed course programs you must have a valid Holyoke Public Library Card. For any questions or to register by phone, please call 413-420-8118. To register by email, write to