Spirit of Springfield

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the largest holiday light snow in New England.  Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield features more than a dozen different light displays along a two-mile drive through the city’s largest park.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Judy Matt, president of Sprirt of Springfield, the non-profit that produces Bright Nights along with the city’s parks department.

   In our series, Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities we visit with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area and discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we welcome the folks from Mass Humanities to discuss – Frankenstein! Linda McInerney joins us. As Artistic Director of Old Deerfield Productions, Linda has been creating, producing, and directing performing arts for 30 years. In 2013, she commissioned a new theatrical adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (adaptation by Lindel Hart) that will be performed at the Springfield Museums, thanks to Mass Humanities, on Sept. 26 and 27.

  Springfield has been banking on casino gambling, but voters in November could overturn the law.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti, director of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that a grassroots repeal effort is gaining steam.

One note on this segment: after Alan’s conversation with Tim Vercellotti, the federal government informed Massachusetts that it would not need space to house the Central American immigrants.


A new year in municipal government began in Springfield, Massachusetts today with an historic ceremony at city hall.  The new city council and the new city council president are both “ firsts” for  Springfield

The city council sworn in Monday morning is the first in Springfield’s history where a majority of the councilors are black or Hispanic—a makeup that mirrors the city’s population which is 61 percent non-white.  The new president of the city council Mike Fenton turned 27 yesterday and is the youngest council president in the city’s history.

UMass To Detail Satellite Center In Springfield

Nov 26, 2013

The University of Massachusetts is about to establish a long-awaited physical presence in the city of Springfield.

Gov. Deval Patrick is scheduled to join UMass President Robert Caret and several other officials to announce the location of a satellite center that will open next fall in the state's third-largest city.

The facility will house academic programs affiliated with the university's flagship campus in Amherst, as well as other UMass campuses.

More details are expected to be released at a late morning news conference.

When a new city council is seated in Springfield, Massachusetts this January a majority of its 13 members will be black or Hispanic.  It is the first time in Springfield history voters elected minorities to a majority of the seats on both the city council and school committee.  City councilor Michael Fenton said he has commitments from his colleagues to be elected council president in January.  At 26 , he would be the youngest council president in the city’s history. He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill

  Before he was in Congress, Richard Neal was mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Neal discusses the legacy of a fellow mayor of Springfield with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Western Mass. Turnpike Tolls Set To Be Restored

Sep 10, 2013

Tolls will soon return for motorists traveling on the western end of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The first of two informational hearings is scheduled for tonight on implementation of tolls between Exit 1 in West Stockbridge and Exit 6, which leads to Interstate 291 and Springfield. The meeting will be held at Lee High School.

Donkey Hotey/Flickr

A decade-old Massachusetts program that allows a property tax break for senior citizens may be introduced in the state’s third largest city.  Springfield would join several smaller cities in the region that already offer the popular program.

The Senior Tax Work-Off Program allows homeowners over the age of 60 to perform tasks for a municipality in exchange for a one-time abatement of a portion of their property tax bill.  It is offered in more than 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts including Westfield, Chicopee and Holyoke.


The  city of Springfield, Massachusetts will begin a new fiscal year on Monday July 1st with a balanced budget.  The conclusion this week of the annual budget debate in city hall left unresolved several issues that resonate beyond Springfield. 

       Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno praised the city council’s  12 to 2 vote to adopt a $572 million budget. He said it will maintain current municipal employment levels and keep core city services intact.