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Feb. 5, 2024: Preserve, Secure, Protect

Today’s show is all about giving back.

It’s in ordinary members of our community who come together to mentor our growing youth. The Center for Human Development (CHD) is hosting the second annual karaoke fundraiser, “Big Love, Little Performances,” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. Executive Director Susan Nicastro joins us to talk about how important mentors are, how great the need for them is, and how much “rick-rolling” to expect at this event happening on Feb. 8 in Hatfield.

It’s in preserving the memory and legacy of beloved community activists from Deerfield. Wally and Juanita Nelson were the impetus and founding members of the Greenfield farmer’s market, the Harvest supper, and much more to enrich the area’s community. Despite their passing, their life philosophies have continued to be an inspiration for many. We talk with Bob Bady and Betsy Williams, members of the Nelson Legacy Project, about teaching classes inspired by the couple’s passivism and much more.

And it’s in a community persisting to right itself. Holyoke Public Schools have been in receivership since 2015. This past fall, school committee Chair and Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia petitioned the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for a release from that receivership, and the decision for that release has just been deferred to a later date. What does that delay mean for the schools and students of Holyoke? How is the state measuring the growth of the city’s education? We delve into these questions and much more with the mayor, along with newly appointed vice chair of the school committee, Erin Brunelle, and the president of Massachusetts Teachers Association, Max Page.

Christopher “Monte'' Belmonte is host and executive producer of NEPM's The Fabulous 413. He was born and raised in Massachusetts and has been a radio host in western Massachusetts for the last 20 years — the last 17 of them as host of Mornings with Monte on The River 93.9/WRSI.
Kaliis Smith is a radio host and producer for NEPM's The Fabulous 413. She was most recently host and producer at The River 93.9/WRSI where she appeared on Mornings with Monte for the Nerdwatch segment and hosted weekday evenings.