1. Articles from MikeRPlaisance

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    1. Much work remains but improvements emerging at Holyoke's Dean Technical High School...

      Much work remains but improvements emerging at Holyoke's Dean Technical High School...

      The sign at Dean Technical High School facing Main Street read, "97 percent attendance keep coming." The public display about the rise in attendance from last year's 87 percent along with a drop in suspensions, upticks in the graduation rate and passing grades for all of the current seniors in all of their courses have educators in a Dean-boasting mode, kind of. "I think it's important that we get the word out about how things are going so well at Dean Tech," Principal Jeffrey Peterson said Monday.

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    2. Solar energy offered to Holyoke Gas and Electric Department residential customers

      Solar energy offered to Holyoke Gas and Electric Department residential customers

      Residents can get solar power without installing solar panels. Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (HGE) residential customers received information about the "Sign Up For Community Solar" program in the Energy Insights newsletter included with their latest bills. "Community Shared Solar is a unique model established by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources that allows multiple customers to share in the benefits of a solar project without having to install solar panels on their property," said Kate Sullivan Craven, HGE director of marketing and communications.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    3. Up to 60 housing units envisioned in South Holyoke redevelopment

      Up to 60 housing units envisioned in South Holyoke redevelopment

      The part of South Holyoke around Carlos Vega Park would get 28 to 60 new units of housing as the Holyoke Redevelopment Authority said Thursday it was seeking "expressions of interest" from developers. "I'm proud that as an administration we've advanced work towards a significant home ownership development project in South Holyoke," Mayor Alex B. Morse said in an email. "This is an exciting time for South Holyoke." The project is beginning, with questions like cost, funding to pay for the construction and number of units unresolved, said Marcos A. Marrero, director of the Holyoke Planning and Economic ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    4. Summer opening eyed for $1 million bankESB in Holyoke

      Summer opening eyed for $1 million bankESB in Holyoke

      BankESB officials expect to open by summer a branch under construction at Sargeant and Beech streets in a $1 million project that will provide seven to eight new jobs, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. "We believe strongly in the future of the city and we're excited to be a part of that progress forward," President and CEO Matthew S. Sosik said in a press release. A groundbreaking was held on Oct. 31 and construction should be done and the branch open in the summer. An exact date has yet to be determined, said Cara M. Del Tatto, bankESB interactive marketing ...

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    5. $43 million latest estimate to renovate Victory Theatre in Holyoke

      $43 million latest estimate to renovate Victory Theatre in Holyoke

      The cost to renovate the dormant Victory Theatre has increased to $43 million and the latest re-opening target is Dec. 20, 2020, city councilors were told Monday at City Hall. "I did use the word 'patience,' but it does take patience and persistence. It's going to happen," said Donald T. Sanders, executive artistic director of the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts Victory Theatre (MIFA), which owns the closed theater. The Victory Theatre at 81-89 Suffolk St. opened as a vaudeville stage in 1919 and closed as a movie theater in 1979.  MIFA bought the Victory Theatre from the ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    6. Apply now as $40,000 in grants available from Holyoke cultural council

      Apply now as $40,000 in grants available from Holyoke cultural council

      The deadline is Oct. 16 to apply for Holyoke Local Cultural Council grants for projects such as musical shows, school field trips and events like Celebrate Holyoke. The council with last year's round of nearly $40,000 issued about 50 separate grants of $40 to $3,231. About the same amount is available this year, Anne N. Thalheimer, Holyoke Local Cultural Council treasurer, said Wednesday.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    7. $1.6 million in federal grants to fix sidewalks, renovate parks, raze eyesores in Holyoke

      $1.6 million in federal grants to fix sidewalks, renovate parks, raze eyesores in Holyoke

      Parks will get renovated, sidewalks fixed and blighted buildings demolished with $1.6 million in federal grants, Mayor Alex B. Morse said. Morse recently discussed the over 30 ways in which he has divided the city's share of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), working with city agencies, the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce's SPARK business program and OneHolyoke CDC.

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    8. Tour construction at the $6.2 million MGM Resorts HCC Center for Culinary Arts in Holyoke ahead of the public (photos)

      Tour construction at the $6.2 million MGM Resorts HCC Center for Culinary Arts in Holyoke ahead of the public (photos)

      HOLYOKE -- Construction of the $6.2 million MGM Resorts HCC Center for Culinary Arts is on schedule and tours of the downtown site will be offered during the Celebrate Holyoke festival on Aug. 26.

      "This is an exciting program," Jeffrey P. Hayden, vice president for business and community services at Holyoke Community College (HCC), said on Friday.

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    9. 'Once kids know how to grow something, they will eat it': Education emphasized at healthy food workshop in Holyoke

      'Once kids know how to grow something, they will eat it': Education emphasized at healthy food workshop in Holyoke

      Teaching children how to grow food and providing education to establish new restaurants and chefs are ways to improve Holyoke's access to healthy food, participants in a workshop said Tuesday. "Once kids know how to grow something, they will eat it," said Neftali Duran of Nuestras Raices, at the "Local Food, Local Places Workshop." The workshop drew about 50 people to the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center at 206 Maple St. It is part of a two-day effort led by federal agencies aimed at identifying issues and determining how to strengthen the local food system.

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    10. $275,000 approved to study renovating 3 Holyoke schools

      $275,000 approved to study renovating 3 Holyoke schools

      HOLYOKE -- The City Council approved borrowing up to $275,000 in a special meeting Tuesday at City Hall to fund a study of renovations needed at Sullivan, Morgan and Kelly schools.

      The city will be reimbursed for 80 percent of that spending from the state, said Stephen K. Zrike, the state-appointed receiver in charge of managing the public schools. That would put the city on the hook for $55,000 if the full $275,000 is borrowed.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    11. 11-acre site in Holyoke getting groomed to attract developers

      11-acre site in Holyoke getting groomed to attract developers

      Tasks like soil borings and wetlands delineations are being carried out on 11 acres on Whiting Farms Road in a grooming that city officials hope will attract a buyer. "The idea is to advance predevelopment actions so that it's more 'site ready,' " said Marcos A. Marrero, director of the Planning and Economic Development Department. "We'll be doing things such as soil borings, utility hookup survey, wetland delineation and some conceptual design patterns that can help us market the property and make it 'easier/lower risk' for a developer to advance a proposal," he said in a recent email ...

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      Mentions: Northampton Holyoke
    12. Want to start business but not sure how? SPARK Holyoke gives explainer to entrepreneurs

      Want to start business but not sure how? SPARK Holyoke gives explainer to entrepreneurs

      The next class is Sept. 12 to Nov. 14 for the SPARK Holyoke program that helps entrepreneurs launch new businesses, organizers said at an information session Monday. "You're not alone when you're going through this program....and you'll see there's a lot of people that want to help," Program Manager Tessa Murphy-Romboletti said at the event held at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow St.  The deadline to apply for the nine-week course is Aug. 1. Interviews will be held with prospective participants Aug. 14 and 15, she said. Classes will b e ...

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    13. $475,000 fueling battery storage study for Holyoke Gas and Electric Department

      $475,000 fueling battery storage study for Holyoke Gas and Electric Department

      The local utility just got $475,000 from the state to acquire a battery aimed at saving ratepayers money. "Battery storage is changing the conversation around peak demand and (the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department) is excited to be a part of the solution," said Kate C. Sullivan, marketing coordinator at the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (HGE). The grant from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is part of the state's "Peak Demand Management Program." The money will be used to obtain and analyze state-of-the-art battery storage, she said.

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    14. Online-based program helping Holyoke students with laptops, video, 'gamification,' open house scheduled

      Online-based program helping Holyoke students with laptops, video, 'gamification,' open house scheduled

      An open house will be held this week about an "innovative" online-based school program called P3 or Personalized Pathways Program. The open house will be from 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday at Peck Full Service Community School, 1916 Northampton St. The program features students using Google Chromebook laptops and other technology with methods that help them learn skills at their own pace, according to a press release and information online. It began in September at Peck. This year, 90 students with four teachers are involved in the program, said Stephen K. Zrike, the state-appointed receiver in charge of ...

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      Mentions: Northampton Holyoke
    15. 30 computer tablets helping kids read at Holyoke Boys-Girls Club thanks to Holyoke Rotary donation

      30 computer tablets helping kids read at Holyoke Boys-Girls Club thanks to Holyoke Rotary donation

      The Holyoke Boys and Girls Club bought 30 computer tablets, books and other items to help children read thanks to a $12,000 grant from the Holyoke Rotary Club. "Recognizing that technology is a strong motivator with our youth, the tablets will help create a literacy and technology-rich environment at each of our satellite sites," Eileen D. Cavanaugh, executive director of the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club, said in a press release issued by the Rotary Club on Tuesday. "We are grateful to the Holyoke Rotary for supporting the club and helping us to make sure that our programs involve ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    16. $36.3 million onset of Lyman Terrace renovation marked by ceremony in Holyoke

      $36.3 million onset of Lyman Terrace renovation marked by ceremony in Holyoke

      A ceremony marked the beginning of the first phase of construction of the $36.3 million renovation of the Lyman Terrace public housing complex on Monday with U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, praising the city's commitment. "It's a very complicated project, and I think that there are few things in urban life that are more challenging than housing. It's like a big game of musical chairs and you hope when it's done that everybody gets a chair," Neal said after the ceremony. The ceremony was for onset of the combination of demolition, construction and ...

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    17. SPARK Celebration today to highlight business-catalyst program in Holyoke

      SPARK Celebration today to highlight business-catalyst program in Holyoke

      The first annual SPARK Celebration to highlight the program that helps entrepreneurs start businesses will be today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Volleyball Hall of Fame, 444 Dwight St. "Holyoke is lucky to have so many talented and passionate entrepreneurs that have launched or are in the process of launching their businesses and we want to celebrate their efforts," said Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, SPARK program manager.

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    18. "1984" nets Holyoke Creative Arts Center $300 thanks to South Hadley's Tower Theaters

      "1984" nets Holyoke Creative Arts Center $300 thanks to South Hadley's Tower Theaters

      Arts groups struggling to stay viable embrace the notion that every little bit helps, so the Holyoke Creative Arts Center appreciated the $300 received from South Hadley's Tower Theaters' recent showing of "1984." "It is unfortunate the arts can be such a struggle in a crowded field, and things aren't getting any easier lately, which is why the students, members and board at HCAC really appreciate the attention from Tower Theaters and all those who donated," said Jeffrey C. Bianchine, president and interim director of the Holyoke Creative Arts Center (HCAC).

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    19. 100s of businesses participating as Holyoke Chamber offers 'Table Top Expo' trade show

      100s of businesses participating as Holyoke Chamber offers 'Table Top Expo' trade show

      The annual "Table Top Expo" of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Holyoke Community College Bartley Center, 303 Homestead Ave. "Every year about 200 small business professionals and entrepreneurs attend the Holyoke Table Top Expo to take their business to the next level and to develop their business leads," a chamber press release said. "The Expo is a multi-chamber event that includes Holyoke, Chicopee, Easthampton, and Northampton Chambers with vendors from Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties," the press release said.

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    20. President Christina Royal of Holyoke Community College to speak at International Women's...

      President Christina Royal of Holyoke Community College to speak at International Women's...

      Christina Royal, the first female president of Holyoke Community College, will be the keynote speaker as the college celebrates International Women's Day at 11 a.m. on Wednesday in the courtyard of the 303 Homestead Ave. campus. Refreshments and group discussions will follow the rally, which is open to all, said a press release from Holyoke Community College (HCC). "International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Yet progress has slowed in many places across the world, so global action is needed to accelerate gender parity," according to internationalwomensday.com

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    21. Career center to help students with options opening at Dean Technical High School in Holyoke

      Career center to help students with options opening at Dean Technical High School in Holyoke

      In keeping with the mission to fine-tune the focus of high school, a career center will open at Dean Technical High School at 1045 Main St. on March 10. "The focus of the center is to provide career and job services to students, to help make connections for students between their academics and their future career options," Judy Taylor, spokeswoman for the Holyoke public schools, said Monday. The opening ceremony will be 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Dean, and the public is invited, she said. The career center at Dean will be a partnership with CareerPoint, a nonprofit ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    22. Buying 57 Suffolk St. for Holyoke school offices in $3.1 million-$4.7 million plan among options

      Buying 57 Suffolk St. for Holyoke school offices in $3.1 million-$4.7 million plan among options

      The $3.1 million to $4.7 million option of buying the 57 Suffolk St. property that the city has leased for years as the long-term choice for School Department offices was the favorite of some officials after a presentation pf eight ideas Monday at City Hall. "It seems reasonable, it seems the least expensive," City Councilor Peter R. Tallman said. The Central Office Task Force presented an update about long-term options for school headquarters with costs ranging from $3.1 million to $32.5 million to the City Council Finance Committee. The presentation emphasized that whatever steps the city ...

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    23. Coding explored by 36 Holyoke Girls Inc. members at high performance computing center (photos)

      Coding explored by 36 Holyoke Girls Inc. members at high performance computing center (photos)

      The computing center is an academic research facility located on Bigelow Street downtown. That's where the 36 high-schoolers from the Girls Inc. of Holyoke Eureka! Program participated in a workshop about codes and cryptography presented by Holyoke Codes on Dec. 10. Eureka! Scholars spend time on the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst experiencing laboratory activities in science, technology, engineering and math, the press release said. With the realization that being able to use technology is vital, Holyoke Codes provides opportunities for students to be involved in coding, robotics and technology. Coding is the strings of letters, numbers and ...

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    24. $1 million renovation improves patient rooms, expands therapy gym at Mont Marie Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Holyoke

      $1 million renovation improves patient rooms, expands therapy gym at Mont Marie Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Holyoke

      Mont Marie Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center at 36 Lower Westfield Road Wednesday unveiled a $1 million renovation to its 84-bed facility that includes updated patient rooms and an expanded therapy gym. "We give care to residents that come here short-term and long-term," said Carol Mortensen, the center's new administrator, who began last month. Mayor Alex B. Morse toured the renovated wing and said that investment and the center's 180 employees are economic generators for the city.

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      Mentions: Holyoke Westfield
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