Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mayor Announces Winners of MGHPCC Scholarships

Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse today is announcing the winners of four scholarship awards totaling $16,000 from the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) to Holyoke Public School students. The announcement will be at MGHPCC at 3 pm today.

“I’m proud of our students and grateful to the MGHPCC and its member institutions for their support of the scholarship program,” said Morse. “The program is just one part of the MGHPCC’s commitment to the city and of our partnership around education and workforce training.”

“To our member institutions, this scholarship program is about not just helping deserving students along the path to success, but cultivating a new generation of leaders who will make a difference for society across a range of endeavors,” said John Goodhue, the executive director of the MGHPCC. “We’re delighted to invest in these students and we congratulate them on their achievements thus far.”

The MGHPCC scholarship program, in its fourth year, is open to any Holyoke Public School student matriculating at one of the five founding institutions of the MGHPCC: Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, MIT or UMass. It is open to students in any major and not limited to students of computer science or other scientific disciplines. Recipients are chosen based on an 800-word essay answering the question, “What do you see as the three biggest challenges currently facing Holyoke, and what would you do to address them?”

“Higher education opens up a world of options and opportunities,” said Dr. Stephen Zrike, superintendent of schools. “By winning these scholarships and getting accepted to MGHPCC member universities, these students have already demonstrated their ability to work hard and compete. I have every confidence that they will continue along the path to academic and life success.”

This year’s recipients of the $4,000 scholarships are:

Jack Courchesne (UMass Amherst).
Jelitza Gonzalez (UMass Amherst).
Andrew Mier (UMass Amherst).
Josephine Moriarty (Boston University).
About the City of Holyoke
Holyoke is an exciting community with committed citizens, a rich history, a dynamic business sector, and a wide variety of opportunities. Holyoke developed in the 19th Century as the nation’s first planned industrial community, at one time boasting the greatest paper production in the world. The City’s attractive complement of urban scale and natural serenity includes numerous mill sites as well as a collection of parks, historic sites and recreation destinations.

About the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center
The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) is a ground-breaking collaboration of five of the state’s most research-intensive universities, state government and private industry — the most significant collaboration among government, industry and public and private universities in the history of the Commonwealth, and the first facility in the nation of its kind. The 90,000-square-foot computing facility in Holyoke, Massachusetts, opened in November 2012. Funding was provided by the five member universities — Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts — the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Cisco, EMC, and the Federal New Markets Tax Credit program. The member universities will fund the ongoing operation of the MGHPCC. For more information on the Massachusetts High Performance Computing Center, visit

Monday, May 22, 2017

City of Holyoke to Celebrate National Immigrant Heritage Month

On Monday, June 5, from 6 – 8 p.m. the City of Holyoke will kick off a month-long celebration of the city’s immigrant populations, past and present, at the opening reception for The Art of Steven Huerta at Wistariahurst Museum. Huerta, a Holyoke-based artist, will present a show of works whose inspiration has been drawn from the experiences and stories of his family, who journeyed from Mexico to California. During the reception Mayor Morse will present citations for two honorees in the City who have made contributions to the community as immigrants and State Representative Aaron Vega will speak on the importance of Holyoke continuing to be a safe and welcoming community for all people. Live classical guitar music will be provided by Malgorzata Lach. The event is free and open to the public.

Former California native, Steven Huerta, made New England his home in 1996, and now resides in Holyoke, MA. From singing to the visual arts, Steven has fostered a spirit of discovery that he attributes to his Buddhist practice, and the never ending inspiration he derives from his friends, and the experiences he’s acquired in this lifetime. His work will be on view at Wistariahurst Sundays - Tuesdays, noon - 4 p.m., or by appointment throughout the month of June.

The event is the first in a series of public programs put together for the month of June to celebrate the history, personal stories, and contributions of immigrants to the City of Holyoke. “Holyoke is a city built and maintained by wave after wave of immigrants,” says Kate Preissler, Director of Wistariahurst. “Wistariahurst itself was built by an immigrant, William Skinner, who came to the United States in his twenties with very little and used his knowledge of silk dying to make his fortune. We’re excited to be able to spend a month sharing not only his story but the stories of so many others who have travelled from far to make Holyoke home.” Preceding June’s public programs, Wistariahurst will be hosting local elementary school students as part of their annual “Immigration Experience” immersive field trip program. Each year 200 – 300 students from the area participate in the program, which uses role play and hands-on activities to teach about the 19th century immigrant experience to the United States through Ellis Island.

Throughout the month of June individuals and organizations will be participating in the celebration of Holyoke’s immigrants with history talks, panel discussions, movie screenings, and more. The month will close out on Thursday, June 29th with a community gathering and picnic in the historic gardens of Wistariahurst to celebrate “All who make Holyoke home.” For more information visit the Wistariahurst website at

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mayor’s Citywide Clean Up Gathers Local Residents, Organizations for Community Service

Mayor Alex Morse will host his annual Citywide Clean Up tomorrow, Saturday, May 20th, from 9 am - noon. Participants will gather outside City Hall in the morning to sign in, pick up supplies, and grab some coffee donated by the local Starbucks before heading out to clean.

Afterwards, the volunteers will gather in Heritage State Park for some pizza and refreshments provided by Suez Water.

This event is public and open to the media.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

SPARK Holyoke to Host Holyoke Soup Community Crowdfunding Event

SPARK Holyoke, a program of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Centennial Foundation, invites the public to attend its community-based crowdfunding event, Holyoke Soup on Wednesday, May 24 at the Waterfront Tavern located at 920 Main Street, Holyoke at 5:30PM. This event is open to the public and admission includes a $5 suggested donation that will be awarded to an entrepreneur at the end of the night.

Holyoke Soup is a dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in Holyoke. For $5, attendees receive soup, salad, and bread while listening to presentations ranging from business ideas, art, urban agriculture, social justice, to social entrepreneurs, education, technology, and much more. Each presenter has recently graduated from the SPARK Holyoke entrepreneurship program.

The event will begin with a brief presentation from our last cash winner, Chef Kay and the Culinary Arts Department at Dean Technical High School, who participated in the last edition of Holyoke Soup held in February. Then, each presenter will have four minutes to share their idea and answer four questions from the audience. This is a great opportunity to support local entrepreneurs, have a bite to eat prepared by the Culinary Art students from Dean Technical High, network and vote for the entrepreneur that makes the best pitch. At the end of the night the ballots are counted and the winner goes home with all of the money raised to help fund their project. Winners come back to a future Holyoke Soup dinner to report their project’s progress.

There is no admission charge to the event but a minimum of a $5 donation is requested. All proceeds are awarded to the presenter that receives the most votes. Those interested in presenting an idea at Holyoke Soup may apply at: Please call Jona Ruiz of SPARK Holyoke at 413-534-3376 with any questions.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wistariahurst to Host Container Garden Workshop

On Monday May 22, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Wistariahurst will be hosting a workshop on Planting a Container Garden. Participants will learn the basics of container design, pot selection, potting media and will plant their own containers. Welcome guests to your home with a container garden for your front entry or create your own private garden for a deck or patio. Tickets for the workshop are available for $45. 

This cost includes all materials. Register online at or call 413-322-5660.

Monday, May 15, 2017

City of Holyoke Requests Proposals for 200,000 SF Mill Building at 1 Cabot Street

The City of Holyoke requests proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of 1 Cabot Street. The property consists of five interconnected mill buildings that contain approximately 200,000 square feet of finished building area with 9,072 square feet of basement space.

The City will be choosing the highest and best use for the property among the proposals received. Some of the most prominent factors to be evaluated will be demonstrated: commitment to maintain and improve the property, potential to stimulate private investment, creation of employment opportunities for residents and increase real estate property tax revenue to the City of Holyoke. In addition, redevelopment proposals must be in the character of the neighborhood.
The property is situated between the Connecticut River and Holyoke’s third level canal. The site has rail access and a prime location along Rt. 116 with close proximity to I-391 and the Mass Pike. The building has high ceilings and is ideal for manufacturing/industrial uses or creative reuse for other commercial ventures.

"This property has many great features, making it a perfect opportunity for development." says Mayor Alex Morse. "With the City's affordable energy and the building's beneficial location next to the river and canals, I believe this building has the potential to spur economic activity and benefit the residents of the neighborhood."

Additional information can be found at:

To obtain the Request for Proposal (RFP No. 974) contact the City of Holyoke Purchasing Department at (413) 322-5650.
All proposals must be received by 2:00 pm on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Zumba at The Holyoke Public Library

at The Holyoke Public Library
Mondays from June 5th - August 28th

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Library Community Room

Please pre-register, space is limited!
Linda 413-420-8101 or

Limit class size: 15