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Hilltown Voices: Goshen Meltdown ends, organizer to take frigid plunge into Hammond Pond

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The 11th annual Goshen Meltdown is over, but organizer Bob Labrie has one last thing to do before officially wrapping things up for this year. This Sunday, Labrie, a captain in the Goshen Fire Department, will live up to his spur-of the-moment challenge to hurl himself into the frigid waters of Hammond Pond. The Meltdown has become Goshen’s popular harbinger of spring in which people place bets on when the ice on Hammond Pond will give way to a 69-pound cement block. Bets list dates and times, and the closest one without going over wins. Labrie said that he issued his rather hasty challenge in order to boost ticket sales, and to convince people who …

Hawaii to set legal smoking age at age 21

Friday, April 24, 2015

HONOLULU — A bill that would make Hawaii the first state to raise the legal smoking age to 21 cleared the Legislature on Friday and is headed to the governor. It’s unclear whether Gov. David Ige will sign the measure, and an Ige spokeswoman said he wasn’t immediately available for comment. The bill …

Former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner: My brain is more female than male

Friday, April 24, 2015

NEW YORK — Former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner told the world that “for all intents and purposes, I am a woman” in an extraordinary television interview aired Friday about gender confusion he first felt as a youngster trying on his mother’s and sister’s dresses. The 1976 decathlon champion, known better to a new …

Digital Life: Plenty of options for HBO online, not enough time

Thursday, April 23, 2015

HBO Now, the cable channel’s new stand-alone streaming service, is both a blessing and a curse. Like HBO Go, the app that cable and satellite TV subscribers have, HBO Now gives you instant access to new TV episodes …

Chef’s Best: For classic Alabama barbecue, only white sauce will do

Thursday, April 23, 2015

When people think barbecue sauce, they usually think something tomato- or vinegar-based. But today, I want to convince you to consider another breed of barbecue — white. White barbecue sauce is popular in northern Alabama. I was introduced …

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sometimes you find poker wisdom in unlikely places. I was recently reading “The 4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss when I was introduced to the idea of consonant decisions, which are decisions we make to be aligned with a …

Networks aim to court more minority viewers

Thursday, April 23, 2015

By Scott Collins Los Angeles Times (TNS) LOS ANGELES — If TV pilots are any indication, the four major networks are planning fall lineups that could make prime-time television more diverse than ever. NBC has “The Curse of the Fuentes Women,” a drama with a magical-realism bent about …

Lady Gaga to get first ‘icon’ award

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NEW YORK — Lady Gaga’s icon status is being reaffirmed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The 29-year-old pop superstar will receive the inaugural Contemporary Icon Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 19. The award is to honor a performing songwriter “who has attained an …

A ‘Beat the Clock’ for the YouTube generation

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

LOS ANGELES — This isn’t your grandparents’ “Beat the Clock.” Inside a soundstage at YouTube Space LA, a high-tech production facility operated by the streaming video site, a couple of YouTube stars have been outfitted with helmets and …

Changes to state law require parental leaves for both men and women

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Giving equal leave time to fathers as well as mothers is the biggest change among the several revisions to the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act — now the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act — that went into effect April 7. …

The road to recovery: A year after adopting two special-needs orphans, the Schildbachs of Leverett are seeing the fruits of their love

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Eyes barely open, 7-year-old Anelia “Nellie” Schildbach stood at the piano the other day, listening intently as her fingers explored the keyboard. She rocked her head back and forth as her hands moved fluidly across the flat white …

To Do List: Family fun

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

FRUIT, Veggies, Fun Spring has sprung, baseball season’s first pitch has been thrown, the black flies are biting, and the farm fields are finally free of snow. The Amherst Farmers’ Market has returned, offering music, a story hour, …

Parent to Parent: Looking beneath the surface of things

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

‘Do you realize that all four of the soldiers in this play have Down syndrome?” A friend said this to me recently, while we were laughing and waiting for our kids to finish rehearsing for a production at Smith College in Northampton. The play in question was “In …