Thursday, June 30, 2016

Haas Kowert Tice at Gateway City Arts



Haas Kowert Tice
Acoustic Folk / Bluegrass / Americana Trio

Saturday, July 16 / 7:30pm
Tickets: $12 advance / $15 Door


Location: Gateway City Arts, 92 Race Street, Holyoke, MA 01040

A confluence of three of the most exciting young voices in acoustic music today. Together, Brittany Haas (Fiddle), Paul Kowert (bass), and Jordan Tice (Guitar) produce innovative bluegrass/folk/americana that contains flights of improvisation and interesting compositional turns all grounded by memorable melodies and driving rhythms. The group's adventurous spirit and desire to show the audience something new is never at the expense of the most intrinsically rewarding elements of music such as the beauty of a well crafted melody or the dance-inspiring energy of a great groove.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Holyoke Parks & Recreation Basketball Program


The Holyoke Parks and Recreation Department has openings in their second week of their full day hoop program.  The week is July 11-15, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Monday-Thursday with Friday dismissal at noon). Free early drop off is at 8:30 at the air-conditioned Holyoke High School gym. 

The cost is $140 for the first child and $120/2nd child.

Please click on the link for more information on the day which includes: basketball, drills, fun, swimming (optional) and more for players entering grades 3-9.

Holyoke Receives Green Communities Grant Totaling Over $115,000

The City of Holyoke received its fourth Green Communities competitive grant on Tuesday.  Secretary Matthew Beaton, awarded Holyoke a competitive grant totaling $115,895 to fund lighting upgrades in eight separate municipal buildings.  With today’s award, the City of Holyoke has received over $833,832 from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) since receiving Green Communities designation and applying for competitive grants since 2010.

“With this round of work under DOER’s Green Communities program, we will save Holyoke’s taxpayers $36,000 annually in electrical expenses and remove one percent from HG&E’s annual power demand,” said Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse.

Since becoming a green community in 2010, Holyoke has leveraged funds provided from the Green Communities program to reduce municipal energy consumption by 21%, placing it among the Commonwealth’s most successful communities for energy reduction. Holyoke and Amherst were the only two communities in Western Massachusetts to receive a grant.

“This work is exciting because it will continue our commitment to remaining a national leader in using the green economy to combat climate change and to improve our city’s quality of life while giving taxpayers a good return on their investment,” Mayor Morse said, noting that the projects funded this year will pay for themselves in two to six years.

“Cities and towns are on the forefront of clean energy adaptation across the Commonwealth and are vital partners in meeting Massachusetts’ ambitious energy goals and emissions commitments,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants will allow the Green Communities to build upon the impressive efforts undertaken to earn their distinguished designation.”

In Holyoke, each project that received funding this year is a lighting upgrade, specifically replacing older lighting systems with LEDs in the following locations:
  • Holyoke City Hall - upgrading and replacing exterior floodlights with modern LED system;
  • HG&E’s Jackson Street Garage - Replace 42 existing garage interior light fixtures with LED light fixtures;
  • HG&E’s Walnut Street Garage - Replace 18 existing garage interior light fixtures with LED light fixtures;
  • Hadley Falls Station Outdoor Lighting - Replace existing Hadley Falls Station Light Fixtures to improve safety, save power, and improve aesthetics of the dam;
  • HG&E Main Office Lobby Lights - Replacing 18 lights with LED
  • Dean Technical High School - upgrading parking lot lighting
  • All Public Schools - replacing 100 exterior wall lights
  • Fire Station #6 - replacing 8 interior lights

These eight projects were selected because they represented shovel-ready projects that could yield significant energy savings from the moment they were completed.

Around the Commonwealth, 47 Communities, including Holyoke, received a total of 9.5 million dollars in funds for projects ranging from ventilation system upgrades and high efficiency lighting to installation of insulation and energy management systems at municipal buildings and facilities. Also included are projects to install LED streetlights, oil-to-gas heating system conversions, electric vehicles, and electric vehicle charging stations.

“I’d like to thank Andrew Smith the City’s Conservation and Sustainability Director for applying for this grant. He works day in and day out to find the best and most affordable means of making our city green and his efforts in obtaining this grant will mean an improved quality of life for the citizens of Holyoke”, said Mayor Morse.

Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. The grants provide financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated communities’ clean energy goals. 155 Massachusetts cities and towns have currently earned the Green Communities designation, representing 54 percent of Massachusetts’ population. This fifth annual round of DOER Green Communities competitive grants is awarded to existing Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants and previous competitive grant awards. Grants are capped at $250,000 per municipality.

Mayor, Holyoke Wins Award for Climate Protection Efforts at USCM in Indianapolis


This past Friday, Mayor Alex B. Morse and the City of Holyoke were awarded one of the 2016 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards. The award was presented during the Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards luncheon, held in conjunction with The United States Conference of Mayor’s 84th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

This initiative, sponsored by the USCM and Walmart, recognizes mayors for their energy and climate protection efforts. Awardees are selected by an independent panel of judges from a pool of mayoral applicants. This year was the mayors’ awards program’s 10th anniversary.

“Maximizing our generation of carbon-neutral electricity and minimizing municipal electrical consumption are clear examples of our commitment to taking a leadership role in addressing climate change,” said Mayor Alex B Morse. “Since 2010, the percentage of carbon-neutral power generation has increased to 84.77% of the City’s energy mix. Simultaneously, we’ve used strategic investments in lighting improvements to reduce municipal energy consumption by 21% since setting a five-year 20% reduction goal in 2010.”

“When we take action to address climate change, we are working to improve our quality of life in Holyoke.  That’s why I want us to lead by example.  We are a leader in renewable energy production, a leader in research to increase use of renewable energy and a leader in leveraging this work to increase economic activity for our residents. Through this work, we have demonstrated that bold actions to tackle climate change can produce tangible results for each of our residents.  Holyoke is honored to receive this recognition for our efforts.” said Mayor Morse.

Conservation Director for the Holyoke Conservation and Sustainability Commission Andrew Smith attended the event and accepted the award on behalf of Mayor Morse. “It was an honor to represent the City in front of some of the most dedicated public servants I have had the privilege of meeting.  The Mayor's team, starting with Marcos Marrero and Jim Lavelle, have gotten our nation's attention and it's going to be exciting to see what else we can accomplish."

Mr. Marrero is the Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Holyoke, and Mr. Lavelle is the Manager of Holyoke Gas & Electric. Both have made contributions to the City’s efforts to create a green, energy efficient city.

Descriptions of the winning programs can be found at: http://usmayors.org/climateprotection/2016Awardees.

For more information about USCM’s 84rd Annual Conference, please visit www.usmayors.org/

Here is a link to the 2016 Mayors Climate Protection Awards Luncheon (at 15:10, Holyoke's Conservation Director Andrew Smith accepts the award). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yoBT53h8cc

About The United States Conference of Mayors -- The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

Photo: Andrew B. Smith, Conservation & Sustainability Director, receives 2016 Climate Protection Award on behalf of Mayor Alex B. Morse.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summertime Specials at the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round


Make the most of summertime in Western Massachusetts with special deals at the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round! This summer, rides are two for $2 on Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, seniors ride for $2 all day and grandchildren pay only $1 for each ride. Special prices are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Tuesday, July 5 through Wednesday, August 31. Visit the Merry-Go-Round for affordable family fun!        
                                                              
On Tuesday, July 5 the summer schedule begins and the Merry-Go-Round will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. Regular price tickets are $2 per ride or 6 for $10. Summer camps, school and daycare groups, and other non-profit groups are eligible for 1/2 price rides. Holyoke Heritage State Park is located on 221 Appleton Street and borders Dwight Street in Holyoke. The Park offers family-oriented cultural and recreational programs. The eight-acre site contains the Park Visitors’ Center, Holyoke Children’s Museum, Volleyball Hall of Fame, and the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round.

For more information, call 413-538-9838, visitwww.holyokemerrygoround.org, or find us onFacebook.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round


The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round will be open on Monday, July 4 from 12 to 4 p.m. to celebrate America’s Independence Day. Veterans and active duty service members will be treated to free rides; family members of veterans and service members will be treated to 1/2 price rides. Come take a spin on the carousel, bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in Heritage State Park, and thank our veterans!

On Tuesday, July 5 the summer schedule begins and the Merry-Go-Round will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $2 per ride or 6 for $10. Summer camps, school and daycare groups, and other non-profit groups are eligible for 1/2 price rides. Holyoke Heritage State Park is located on 221 Appleton Street and borders Dwight Street in Holyoke. The Park offers family-oriented cultural and recreational programs. The eight-acre site contains the Park Visitors’ Center, Holyoke Children’s Museum, Volleyball Hall of Fame, and the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round.


For more information, call 413-538-9838, visit www.holyokemerrygoround.org, or find us on Facebook.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Women in History: Bessie Coleman


Sunday, June 26, 2016, 3 p.m.
Journey into the past with the “First Negro Aviatrix:” Bessie Coleman as her story is brought to life in this live, family-friendly performance.
“You will take an international voyage that begins in the segregated south of the United States, where cotton was king and Jim Crow ruled underneath white sheets, where the color of your skin could determine whether you lived or died. Your journey ends in Paris, France, where self-determination — not skin color or gender — is what truly matters.”
This program is free and open to all. Donations in support of this and other community cultural events are welcome.
About the artist:
Tammy Denease was born in Columbus, Mississippi where she spent countless hours with her great-grandmother and grandmother. Her great-grandmother was a former enslaved person and lived to be 125 and her grandmother lived to be a 100. Both were known storytellers, and passed this gift along to their granddaughter. An accomplished Performing Artist/Storyteller, Tammy Denease specializes in bringing to life the lives of very important, yet “obscured” women in history.