Pioneer Valley Blog

Pioneer Valley Local Businesses Need and Deserve Our Support

With About Music and the Pizza Shark closing recently, I wanted to write and encourage everyone to take a moment and think of the locally owned businesses they would truly miss if they too were to close their doors.

What Local businesses did your parents or grand parents take you to when you were young? Do you take your children to these same stores today? I know for myself that I treasure the memories of when my dad would take me to McCusker's Market and the idea of that store ever closing would be a sad, sad day. What stores would you miss?

Come Celebrate Earth Day!!


Help us celebrate Earth Day!!! Please join us for dinner, cocktails, and special presentations from: Westfield State Colleges Geology Department- Dr. Carsten Braun-How climate change affects us and the rest of the world.

Better Life whole Foods- The history of the chemical industry, and recipes to make homemade cleaning products for a fraction of the cost of store bought products containing harmful chemicals.

Mass Wild Life Rehabilitator-Loril Moondream- How Ma. Wildlife is being affected by environmental issues

What a Real, Living, Durable Economy Looks Like by Bill McKibben

Dear citizens of the Pioneer Valley,

Speaking recently at the Odyssey Bookshop and at Mount Holyoke College I am again reminded of the beauty and unique character of western Massachusetts. I've spent the last twenty years of my adult life writing and thinking about global warming. I can tell you about hydrogen, hybrid cars, solar panels, wind turbines, green building, carbon offsets, carbon sequestration, carbon credits, and on and on and on and on.

National Perspective on Buy-Local Campaigns

Rieva Lesonsky, former editorial director with Entrepreneur Magazine, knows a thing or two about the business of owning a business. In her short blog entry linked to below she cites some figures on how buy-local campaigns can make a difference for communities across America.

Specifically, one recent survey showed that for independent retailers in cities with buy-local campaigns, holiday sales declined just 3.2 percent from the prior year, compared to a 5.6 percent decline for those in cities with no buy-local campaigns, and a 9.8 percent drop nationwide.

What the World Needs Now:

This 23 acre old estate and its hilltop placement is stunning and so is the vision that we have developed and held for this place's best use for the last few years. Our vision was timely before Obama's Inauguration, but is even timelier now. The world needs to see this vision happen and we're calling on you to help make it happen! Please read this synopsis of our ideas and their situational context and then please see the list of ways you could help to shape and actualize the potential here on the last page. Thanks, in advance.

The Vision:

Buy Local, Buy Fair This Valentine's Day

Hello All,

This Valentines make sure to visit locally owned and operated "Blue Marble"
gift shop. Cathie has some delicious and cute Fair Trade Valentine hearts
from the aptly named Divine Chocolate company. Divine is owned by a coco
farmers cooperative, in Ghana, that has a strong emphasis on empowerment of
women in their management. Fair Trade chocolate embraces all the same
principals as FT coffee with a big emphasis on no slave labor. Child slave
labor is a major issue in the production of coco. Fair Trade deals strongly

Need Funding for your Community? Read on!

Dear New England Activists,

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund sent this along and I wanted to make sure that people through out the area were aware of this great source of funds. If schools, parks or other parts of your community have suffered from the effects of budget cuts or other related ills, please read on. 


Independent Retailers Outperform Chains Over Holidays, National Survey Finds

Hi New Englanders, In case you missed this.

For Immediate Release

Independent Retailers Outperform Chains Over Holidays, National Survey Finds

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (Jan. 15, 2009) - In an extremely challenging economic climate, independent retailers are outperforming many chains, a national survey has found.