Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rethinking College Career Services

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_57d1aa7ce4b0f831f70716eb?timestamp=1473359012561


Adam WeinbergPresident, Denison University

The old college career service model doesn’t work. It is not up to the task of helping students prepare for a world that is becoming increasingly competitive, complex and fast paced. Too often, the career service office is small, isolated and underfunded. For these reasons and others, students do not bother to access it until senior year, sometimes even waiting until a month or two before graduation. It is clearly time for a new model.
At liberal arts colleges, there are two particular challenges: 
First, there are small but significant gaps between that which students receive through the academic curriculum and that which employers expect. In a wonderfully insightful article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Matthew Sigelman, chief executive at the job market analytics company Burning Glass Technologies, calls for moving beyond the “lazy debate” that pits the liberal arts vs. pre-professional programs. The data collected by Burning Glass Technologies finds that the answer is not either/or, but both. Employers value and need the skills acquired through the liberal arts, combined with profession-specific skills. 
Put most simply, to compete for the best jobs, students need a solid range of liberal arts skills, from effective communications and critical thinking to the ability to work in teams and connect disparate ideas. But they also benefit from some profession-specific skills development through seminars, online training, courses, and internships in one or more of the following areas: marketing, graphic design, computer programing, data analysis and management, social media, general business, project management, sales and information technology.
Second, students who choose a broad-based liberal arts education have the benefit of developing a range of interests and skills. Their eyes are opened to the wide range of opportunities that exist for bright, talented and ambitious students from top colleges. While exciting and inspiring, that high level of knowledge and awareness can make it daunting to get started. Without an initial career goal in mind, liberal arts students sometimes can feel like they aren’t sure where to begin. 
For the last 36 months, Denison University has been exploring these questions with our alumni, parents, faculty, staff and forward-thinking employers. In response, we have launched the Austin E. Knowlton Center for Career Exploration, which will house a state-of-the-art approach called Denison@Work.
Denison@Work is built upon the following set of foundational observations:
- There is no one-size-fits-all solution to career preparation. Colleges need to offer students an array of programs from which they can choose, depending on their individual needs and interests. 
- Students are only in classes 60 percent of the calendar year. Colleges need to recapture the remaining 40 percent to focus on career exploration and should support those activities financially. 
- Liberal arts colleges like Denison have a strategic advantage, with a large network of highly successful and engaged alumni who cut across a remarkably wide range of professions. 
- The day is gone when students can wait until senior year to think about careers. Colleges must create a shift in campus culture that encourages early engagementwith career exploration. 
Our new model is built upon a developmental understanding of the college process that broadly maps as follows:
The first year is an ideal time to bolster confidence while exploring the different ways people build lives, and how careers and professions fit into those lives. During the first year, students have access to The Possibility Project, which is a semester-long series of guided workshops. Small teams of students develop awareness, confidence and clarity about the range of possibilities to pursue during and after their college years. At the core of this program, students have a chance to meet alumni and parents who share their own paths. The program culminates with each student developing an eight-minute TED-style talk about a subject or issue they care about deeply. 
The second year is designed to help students fill skills gaps, while also connecting with alumni and parents as coaches and mentors. As students begin to imagine the kinds of lives they want to lead, they need to connect with those in the professions who can serve as guides and coaches. In particular, they benefit from alumni and parent stories about how careers unfold in unpredictable ways, and about the wide array of paths people take to build successful and satisfying lives. We are rolling out a number of programs to connect alumni with students early in their college careers. For example, NextGen brings recent graduates back to campus for short residencies focused on connecting face-to-face with students and discussing lessons learned about career searching and landing well in the professions. 
At the same time, students have access to several new ways to use non-academic periods to offer professional seminars that range from a few days to a few weeks. Some of these are programs that are broadly available to students from any college, and some are specific to Denison@Work. For example: through a partnership with a member of the Denison family, we have developed OnBoard, an online platform that delivers nine instructional modules. The goal is to enable students and recent grads to master the “Day One” skills that most employers find lacking in their entry-level applicant pools: using spreadsheet programs, managing projects, reviewing financial statements, understanding basic accounting, and writing professional documents. 
The junior year is about gaining first-hand, hands-on experience with internships, “short but intense” externships and other experiential opportunities. This is the single most valuable thing a student can do to enhance professional readiness before, during, or after the junior year. First Look is a set of programs that gives students a chance to explore particular professions and connect with alumni across the country. Last year, for example, a group of students spent a week in Chicago visiting different types of financial firms. At each firm, an alumnus or parent arranged a multi-hour seminar on what the firm does and where the industry is headed. Another group of students set out on a road trip over spring break to meet with alumni in five cities to discuss career preparation and post-graduation paths. And one program took advantage of our proximity to Columbus to take students interested in the arts and nonprofits to meet with an alumna who runs the city’s art museum. Many students establish connections and summer internship leads through First Look trips. For others, it helps them decide with more precision what path they want to follow (and those they do not).
All of this pre-work leads to summer internships, which form the cornerstone of career exploration at Denison. Many students source their own opportunities in areas of interest ranging from field research to nonprofit work, government, education, and business. And many students take advantage of opportunities made available by parents and alumni. For example, this summer we had students doing everything from working at Amazon, to helping an alumna build a new company called Mom Made Foods, to a group of pre-med students who interned with a rural hospital in India. All students are eligible to apply for funding grants to help offset living expenses and remove the concern of a student who wants the important experience of an internship but worries about lost wages.
One seldom-recognized fact is that all internships are not created equal. At the core of the Denison@Work model, internships are designed to connect students with alumni and parents who can continue to serve as coaches. We also work to build some reflection into the internship, giving students opportunities to process what they have learned about the profession, themselves, and the kinds of careers and professions that might be good starting points for them. For example, in metropolitan areas with concentrations of Denison interns, we are starting to organize evening and weekend events, sponsored by alumni, parents, and other friends of the college who can provide advice and offer short evening seminars on profession-specific skills and workplace topics, such as ethics, networking, leadership, and important issues impacting relevant fields of employment.
The senior year is time to take stock, firm up goals, and create a transition plan. A signature program called Campaign for My Future helps seniors (and a select number of juniors interested in particular fields with earlier on-ramps) to prepare for an effective job search. Students learn how to set appropriate milestones to achieve their goals, how to navigate resources, and how to create clear messaging to prospective employers through written and face-to-face communications. This program is much more than a to-do list. The goal is to help students articulate and persuasively communicate the unique value they will add to the organizations they want to serve. This campaign approach involves students taking ownership and being “hungry” to execute the strategies and tactics. 
Students also have access to a variety of online platforms to connect with alumni and parents. Some of these are widely available. For example, we are building out our LinkedIn presence. And some platforms are more nuanced. For exampleSwitchboard is a new online networking platform that connects students, alumni, and parents across the country for the purpose of posing questions, participating in discussions, and sourcing opportunities. In October this year, along with the University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve University, Denison was invited as the first liberal arts college for a pilot launch of the new alumni mentor network Wisr, which matches, connects, and supports our students (and new graduates) with our alumni serving as their professional mentors.
Much of this remains available to students after graduation as they get started on their career path. For example, students have access to Denison Connecting, career networking events which are organized by our alumni in major cities domestically and abroad, and to more specific career communities, which operate as “communities of practice” through which alumni and students connect around shared professional interests. Recent graduates also have full access to OnBoard.
Denison@Work is housed in our recently launched and endowed Austin E. Knowlton Center for Career Exploration, where it is supported by a talented and passionate staff, which has doubled in size, in a large space that is centrally located on campus. 
Upending the Old and Creating the New Paradigm: In a wonderful new book, There Is Life After College, Jeffrey Selingo writes, “For all the time and attention students and their families place on the college search, they spend comparatively little on the search for the right job a few years later.”
Denison@Work is replacing the traditional stand-alone career service office with a new paradigm that puts students at the center of a network of relationships, increasing their awareness of self, exploring professional interests through hands-on experiences, and pursuing opportunities through personalized plans. 
In doing so, Denison@Work is deepening, broadening and extending the career exploration process at Denison. Career exploration has moved from being a frustrating and often solitary activity to an engaging process that leverages relationships with faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and peers. After all, those relationships are at the heart of what makes a liberal arts education so extraordinary.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Class fourteener?

Hank put some meaning into his Labor Day weekend and summited Mt. Democrat (14,154') in Colorado with his "new adventure hat btw, from Paraty - rj, Brazil. (All the old farts are wearing them these days.)"

Then he had a thought. "We should all get together next summer and do a peak then drink some mountain brew in Breck."

What do you think fellas?



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Shorter walk for the most brave...

http://www.recorder.com/New-Liquor-license-in-Deerfield-4491766

Deerfield gas station granted license to sell beer and wine

  • The Deerfield Convenience Store in Old Deerfield will start selling alcoholic beverages. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz » Buy this Image
  • The Deerfield Convenience Store in Old Deerfield will start selling alcoholic beverages. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz » Buy this Image


Recorder Staff 
Sunday, September 04, 2016
DEERFIELD — There’s a new store in town where residents can go to purchase beer and wine.
A beer and wine liquor license, applied for by the Sunoco gas station on Routes 5 and 10 in Old Deerfield, was approved during a recent Selectboard meeting, but not before some residents voiced concerns 
“We have a different view — we’re opposed to the liquor license for a number of different reasons,” said Richard Arms, who was speaking on behalf of his mother, Joan Arms, who lives at 8 Old Main St., the property next to the gas station.
He expressed safety issues liquor might bring to the area, mentioning previous break-ins and citing the murder of 21-year-old Brandy M. Waryasz and her unborn son back in 2005, which happened in the gas station when it was under prior ownership and when the station didn’t sell liquor.
Zafar Kiani, the current owner, purchased the store in the beginning of 2015. Since then, he said the property has been dramatically improved with upgrades that include a surveillance system.
The Selectboard expressed confidence in Kiani’s management and agreed that the store looks a lot brighter since changing hands.
As far as the impact a liquor license would have on the community, a spokesperson for Kiani said the businessman, who owns other gas stations, hasn’t had an underage buyer incident in more than 10 years. He also said any incidents that happened at the property under prior management don’t reflect on the current owner.
Despite the rebuttal, Arms said he doesn’t want to see more liquor sold in the area.
“We don’t see the need for it, given Savage’s market a stone’s throw away, and Deerfield River Liquors store up the road,” he continued, “It seems overkill to have that many liquor stores in that area.” 
He also said he’s afraid the liquor license will tempt students from nearby Deerfield Academy to illegally obtain alcohol.
In opposition to Arms were a few residents, including Hamdi Yildiz, owner of Mr. Hamdi’s Tailoring in Greenfield. Yildiz said in the short time Kiani has owned the store, he has made a good name for himself as a good and fair businessman.
After hearing public comment, the two members of the Selectboard who were at the meeting, Henry Komosa and Trevor McDaniels, unanimously allowed the gas station to sell beer and wine.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Up the hill...

Congrats to Craig and Bridget Pattee on helping Mack join the 7th grade at Eaglebrook this year!  Nice to see Kegger represent...


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Valley Dining

In case you missed it, Van Sullivan and the UMASS Dining team have hit the top of their profession!

Congrats Van Sullivan!

http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/princeton-review-ranks-umass-amherst-no-1


The Princeton Review Ranks UMass Amherst No. 1 for Best Campus Food 



Today Show appearance set for Tuesday morning

UMass Dining
Hampshire Dining Commons at UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. – The Princeton Review today ranked the University of Massachusetts Amherst No. 1 for best campus food in the nation.
After being ranked among the top three schools nationally since 2013, news of the No. 1 ranking is being celebrated by UMass Dining staff, who have worked tirelessly to achieve national recognition, says Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst.
The university will be among the schools featured live on NBC’s Today Show on Tuesday, Aug. 30 between 9 and 10 a.m. Sam the Minuteman, the UMass mascot, is expected to make an appearance.
“This honor is shared by every member of our staff who work each day to serve healthy, sustainable and delicious meals to our students,” says Toong. “This ranking is also a tribute to our students, whose high expectations drive our team to excel.”
“We’re pleased to see that The Princeton Review has recognized what all of us at UMass Amherst have long known: when it comes to college food, UMass Dining can’t be beat,” says Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. “Congratulations to the entire UMass Dining family.”
The rankings of the top 20 schools in 62 categories in The Princeton Review’s The Best 381 Colleges, released Aug. 29, are based on surveys of 143,000 students at the schools in the guide.
UMass Dining is now the largest college dining services operation in the country, serving 45,000 daily meals or 5.5 million per year. Since 1999, overall participation in the university meal plan has more than doubled, from 8,300 participants to more than 19,200.
The award-winning UMass Dining is a self-operated program committed to providing a variety of healthy world cuisines using the most sustainable ingredients. UMass Dining incorporates recipes from accomplished chefs and nutritionists as well as principles from the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard School of Public Health to its cycle menu. UMass Dining is known for being among the most honored collegiate dining programs in America by many national organizations. For the past six years, UMass Dining has been selected to the Princeton Review’s Best Campus Food list. Previously, it was ranked No. 10 in 2012, No. 3 in 2013 and 2014, and No. 2 in 2015 and 2016.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Hello John!

Congrats to Paul Schlickmann on the birth of John Meyer Schlickmann on July 31, 2016!!  The young civil rights activist weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz and tipped 20.5 inches on the stick.  Family doing well and older sister Mackenna is ready to set him straight....

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

No Shoes Nation

Thomas Perry at the "last show of the year for Kenny Chesney in the birthplace of No Shoes Nation!" (FB steal)


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Alumni Hockey - Last one in The Barn


Mark your calendar for an Alumni Hockey game on Saturday, January 21, 2017!

Don't miss this final chance to skate in the beloved Barn and check out the plans for the new rink and athletic complex! Sign up today!

Hope to see you there,

Tim McVaugh History Teacher and Boys Varsity Hockey Coach

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Key West

Key West brought some old friends together recently.  Do you recognize Scott Pryce, Andrew Witherspoon and Hank LeMieux??


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

So close to #10...

Colorado almost added its tenth classmate recently...But alas the plan has changed and major revisions are needed for the post originally prepared...

Here are the Colorado Nine:

Gassman
Graney
Hammar
Harrington
Hindman
Knight
Piersol
Spadafora
Watts

It was November 2015 when Matt Calman visited Denver with his wife to scout the area for his wife's job shift with TransAmerica.  I kept it quiet so we could have a big dinner when they got settled...and to surprise the CO 9....



















Since then, Matt landed an Innovation job at Microsoft in Seattle and his wife's job has shifted back to HQ in Cedar Rapids, IA! This modern couple is frequently traveling, and Matt may one day write a post for the blog on said glamorous (?) expeditions.

Too bad not to add another to our group but best of luck with your transitions!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Enduring friendships

There's so much history between Jim and Brian and Alex that it didn't take long for the three old buddies to connect when Brian recently headed to LA for a conference.










































There was some work done during theses meetings I'm told.  There was a pitch for the making of The Chris Flagg Story...




















Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tourney Time 2...

Chris Davey visited Colorado last week with most of his family for U16 boys soccer nationals.  Nothing like flat land and hot sun to play host to these tournaments.  Great for me to see a familiar face.



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tourney time...

Hardie Jackson visited with Chaz Gagne recently in SoCal during Hardie's daughter's soccer nationals.  Also go to see Chaz's son play for Encinitas Little League - stay tuned for another run to the World Series!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Colorado dreamin'...


Wonderful to have the Steward family (briefly) in Colorado as a run up to Brian's birthday!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hooray for Hollywood!


Just Al Kerr and Jim Wareck providing more entertainment during my recent weekend in Hollywood...Always great to see classmates - thanks to them for making the effort...




Friday, July 1, 2016

John Milne former DA faculty

From Martin Milne's Facebook post on 7/1/16

Dad, you were an amazing father, grandfather, teacher, coach, husband, and camp director and thanks for giving us so many years of your love, joy, and keen wit. May you rest in peace and keep the angels laughing!


--

DA did it!

And YOU helped!

"We did it! Thanks to all of your help, Deerfield reached its goal of 50% alumni participation by midnight last night (the end of our fiscal year)! As a result, the school will be receiving an additional $1 million donation from a brother/sister alumni team. We are incredibly grateful to all of you who made gifts and helped spread the word about the Million Buck Challenge. It would not have been possible without you!"


--

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Leaders get followed!


Did you catch the recent DA Magazine "Comments" section?

"The mountain climbers of the Class of '83 are an inspiration to us all" wrote Tom Wilson '48.  Then he included a photo of his 2013 summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (about age 86?)!
As usual we crushed the classnotes section including Nate Nourse's latest ski adventure getting its own page!!! And how 'bout the three page spread on the work Mark Beaubien is doing to track hurricanes?  The blog has had a few posts in the past as interesting things happened but the article compiles it all.

Our lives go their own ways but we're forever connected.  Thanks for sharing whatever is going on in your life - it all adds up to '83 leadership.. Screw the class of 1980 and their King...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Focus...For a Million Bucks

Three days left to help DA: 1) reach 50% alumni participation - a huge accomplishment and 2) earn an extra $1MM from a brother sister alumni pair.  Every gift, no matter how large or small, will get us closer to our goals.

https://deerfield.edu/alumni/challenge/

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Colorado Dreamin'

Don Hindman is living the dream my friends...

Saturday: Skiing Arapahoe Basin (a LeMieux favorite destination btw)
Sunday: Running a 10K in Boulder


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Met Life

Doug, Hank and Andrew connected on a NYC rooftop at the Met.  Great work fellas!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It's just lunch...

Will had business in Denver (he lives near Boulder) so made a point to schedule a lunch with JK.  Then the business cancelled and he still came to lunch.  Great wide-ranging chat between two old friends who hadn't seen much of each other in the last 30+ years.  You should try it too!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Month With New Meaning

With April being Parkinson’s Awareness Month, I wanted to share some health news with you. 
This past September, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects nerve cells in the brain.  In short, a person's brain slowly stops producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. With less and less dopamine, the nerve cells die, and a person has less and less ability to regulate his/her movements, body and emotions.
For about two years, I had been experiencing slight tremors with my right arm that progressively worsened. Over time, my right arm stopped naturally swinging as I walked, and I began dragging my right foot as I stepped. I attributed the “weakness” to an old shoulder injury, and the foot-dragging to wearing flip-flops. 
As it turns out, I exhibited many of the primary and secondary young-onset symptoms of the disease.  The good news is, with medications and rigorous exercise, unless I am an outlier, I should be able to manage well for the foreseeable future.
That said, I encourage you to learn more about Parkinson’s.  The Michael J. Fox Foundation is doing incredible things to advance research in this area.  If you are feeling philanthropic, now or in the future, after donating to Deerfield, consider going to my fundraising page athttp://www2.michaeljfox.org/site/TR/TeamFox/TeamFox?px=2304245&pg=personal&fr_id=1890
All the best,
Dean

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Makin' Movies

After 3 years of trying to get the next movie off the ground, and a steep learning curve on "Hollywood values", I was fortunate to work with some incredible people and finish shooting (first step in long march to your screens) an anti-romantic comedy called Brand New Old Love, written and directed by a young comedienne here in LA. It is a low budget project but we were fortunate to get some great and known actors from movies and TV shows like Broad City, You're the Worst and Silicon Valley and Austin Powers. But my highlight was the day we worked with Brian Doyle Murray, the writer of Caddyshack and we shot on a golf course no less. I had to explain to him that phrases like "you're killing me Smails" are part of my everyday vocabulary and I was not just trying to suck up. He was incredibly gracious and a tremendous actor. Unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity to ask about his years rooming with John Belushi. Otherwise, all adequate, spend a lot of non-working time walking the dog (not a metaphor) in LA for foreseeable future and lucky to see DA folks in region.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Oldie but a goodie

Chris Davey just updated his LinkedIn profile to inform his rabid followers (or am I the only one?) that he is now Chief Strategist for Publicis.Sapient.

Which sent me on a search for related news...which is when i uncovered the man himself in a company video...

https://youtu.be/M0UeZpxg5ZY


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

P.R.

In this case, P.R.= Premature Reprimand.

Varsity chain yanker, Chaz Gagne, pulled another one the other day.

Your intrepid editor merely wished him a happy birthday (in as few keystrokes as possible) on Facebook.

He then mentioned he had just seen a classmate.

Your editor immediately Chaztised him for not taking a picture for the blog.

Which he posted a moment later.

Nice.










Thursday, March 31, 2016

Same Flight!

Don and JK were on the same PHX-DIA flight on the way back from Spring Break - but didn't realize it until baggage claim!

Even though break was over - it was still a great day to see some '83!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hey - it's just news...

Eric Suher owns 6 of 14 vacant storefronts in downtown Northampton, says he's waiting for 'right tenants'

http://www.masslive.com/business-news/index.ssf/2016/03/eric_suher_owns_5_of_14_vacant_storefron.html

NORTHAMPTON -- When business owners and community members talk about downtown's empty storefronts, one person's name comes up more than any other.
Eric Suher owns six of the 14 vacant spots on Main Street and the core roads that connect to it, city assessor's records show -- the most prominent of which is the former space of Spoleto at 15 Main St.
For many, the popular Italian restaurant's 4,000-square-foot location, with its faded burnt-orange awning and the Iron Horse Entertainment Group fliers in the windows, has become synonymous with Suher's perceived neglect of his downtown Northampton properties. It has been empty for nearly four years.
Contrary to rumor, Suher maintains, the space isn't vacant because the rent is too high.
"If I feel like someone is going to be great for the town, rent is secondary," Suher said in an interview with MassLive, adding that two "fairly substantial restaurant groups" are considering the property.
Suher said he's been waiting for the right tenants to fill the space. There's been a lot of interest in the property, he said, but from "unqualified retailers."
He said he won't consider tenants who don't have enough financial backing to "weather the ups and downs of the retailer-restaurant cycle."
"I don't think Northampton needs any more nail salons, tattoo parlors, tie-dye or T-shirt shops," he added. "I don't think adding more of these certain stores, just for the sake of filling the vacancies, is what's best for the city."
The Holyoke businessman said he's toyed with the idea of splitting the former Spoleto space in half, as it is so much larger than the typical storefront on Main and Pleasant streets.
"Every time we look at that, someone comes along who seems like a promising fit," he said.
Suher has three vacant properties on Center Street, two of which -- numbers 21 and 24 -- he says he expects to fill by the fall; A building he owns at 47 Center St. is also vacant.
Northampton pedestrians share thoughts on empty storefrontsWhen a few retailers left the city's core in late 2015 and early this year, residents and visitors alike began to question the financial well-being of this 28,000-person community that has made a name for itself as the Pioneer Valley's pillar of arts, culture and food. 
He has come under fire for holding onto liquor licenses for properties that have sat vacant for years, including those for the former First Baptist church at 298 Main St. and the Green Room at 26-28 Center St., which opened in the fall of 2014.
The Northampton License Commission stripped him of his Green Room license in summer 2014, expressing unhappiness with the progress of the then-unopened bar and church projects. But Suher opened the cocktail lounge soon after, and transferred his license there from the Baptist church.
There are about 38 liquor licenses in Northampton. But because the city has reached the quota set by the stated Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, bar and restaurant owners have to wait for one to become available.
Suher said the 15,000-square-foot Baptist church site, which is slated to become an event venue, should be completed by the end of 2016. 
Suher also owns the Pleasant Street building that houses Diva's Nightclub -- which announced last week that it will close in the fall -- as well as several local music venues including the Calvin Theatre, Pearl Street Nightclub, the Basement and Iron Horse.
Why so many empty Northampton storefronts? High rents, e-commerce part of equation
When a few businesses left Northampton's core in late 2015 and early this year, residents and visitors alike began to question the financial well-being of this 28,000-person community that has made a name for itself as a pillar of arts, culture and food.

Pat Goggins of Goggins Real Estate, which represents many downtown spaces, said Suher is, in many ways, an asset to the community.
"Most downtowns would be happy to have someone such as him, who is as active a participant in owning properties over the years," he said. "As a practical matter, it's real green dollars he's spent." 
But, Goggins said in a general statement on downtown Northampton businesses, "It's just not good to have vacant buildings."
Hank Ross, a local realtor, has a differing opinion. He explained that a storefront that sits vacant has a perceived rent potential, one that assessors base a property value on. But if a landlord lowers rent to fill a space as quickly as possible, the building's value will likely decrease.
"If everyone drops rent prices, the whole value of the downtown will go down," Ross said. "It's a downward spiral."
Members of the Northampton Arts Council, the Downtown Northampton Association and the Chamber of Commerce are looking at ways to make vacant spaces available for pop-up cultural exhibits.
The proposal comes after a rash of Main Street establishments closed -- including The MercantileWestern Village Ski & SportThe Hinge nightclub and restaurant and a Subway shop -- in the span of just a few months.
Northampton has already home to such a pop-up: "Play Like A Girl," a multimedia perspective on musician and Institute For the Musical Arts founder June Millington, was displayed in the former Hempest storefront in February.
Suher said he's not opposed to potentially lending his empty properties to the arts community, but added that many of his spaces are undergoing renovations and it's "not so easy to show sites when there's full art installations inside of them."
Guerra said he is galled by how long the former Spoleto spot has remained empty.
"If I were a landlord of a nice piece of property downtown that's empty, I would lower my price to a point where I would get somebody in there," he said. "If the price isn't something I can live with in the long run, I'd give a short-term lease."
"Some of these buildings that have been sitting empty for this long, it's almost criminal," Guerra later added.
Guerra moved from the 15 Main St. spot to 1 Bridge in 2012. He said his mortgage for the new building is less than what his rent was at the former.
Adam Dunetz, owner of Green Bean and the Roost said "some really prime, beautiful locations are decaying visually and spiritually" in Northampton.
"Spaces that once felt vibrant and were part of Northampton's rich character are sitting vacant for years," he said. "It's very disheartening."
Suher said it's easy to point fingers at his choice to keep some buildings empty.
"As the building owner, I'm the most qualified to make that decision for the long haul," he said.