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New business to launch Latino magazine for Holyoke

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE A new photographic and design business in the city will be launching a publication to help promote businesses in the city to a Latino audience.

Javier Negron, the owner of Imagine Photographic Studio at 21 High St., made the announcement at the monthly Downtown Revitalization meeting on Thursday.

Negron, who opened his studio on Dec. 1, said "Envision" magazine will be a full-color, 24-32 page free publication with an initial print run of 5,000 copies. They will be distributed to businesses in Holyoke.

Negron said the magazine will have "a little bit of everything," and will be published every three months. He will be contacting businesses to ask for support for the new venture.

Imagine Studio not only provides photographic services to businesses and individuals but also design services for brochures, boxes, and CD covers.


The meeting also covered up-coming activities downtown and other developments.

The Holyoke Health Center, Open Square and the Hope VI housing development were recognized at the meeting for the Smart Growth Awards each entity recently won.

Holyoke Health Center won the award for downtown revitalization; while Open Square was award the citation for best mixed use and Hope VI for affordable housing.

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, the Valley Development Council, the Home Builders Association of Western Massachusetts, the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and the Massachusetts Smart Grown Alliance presented the first Pioneer Valley Smart Growth Award on Jan. 16 at Holyoke Community College's Kittredge Center.

The awards were established to recognize the use of smart growth characteristics such as walkability, affordable housing, environmental protection and higher density. The Holyoke projects received three out of the 13 awards.

Frank Mertes, the director of finance from the Holyoke Health Center, was at the meeting and said the Health Center now employs 200 people in its downtown location. There are tenants renting space from the Health Center that currently employ 50 people in the former Epstein Furniture complex and Mertes said there should be 50 to 75 more people employed by tenants by next year.

The Health Center will be opening a daycare center at the location operated by Springfield Day Nurseries, in the near future. The new daycare center will provide 100 day care opportunities for Holyoke children and bring 25 more jobs into the downtown.


Terry Shepard of the Holyoke Parks and Recreation Department told the group about the up-coming "Winter 20007 Children's Sunday Series" that will begin Jan. 28.

She said that last year, the six-week family crafts and entertainment program attracted between 75 to 200 people each week.

"We draw quite a nice crowd of families from all over the region," she said.

The free programs begin at noon with an hour-long workshop at the Volleyball Hall of Fame. That is then followed by a crafts session at the Holyoke Heritage State Park Visitor Center from 1 to 1:45 p.m., followed by a performance at 2 p.m. at the Visitor's Center.

The schedule is as follows:

Jan. 28: Clowntique

Feb. 4: Henry the Juggler

Feb. 11: singer and entertainer Jackson Gillman

Feb. 18: Burpee Zoo

Feb. 25: the comedy, juggling and sideshow antics of the Dangerous Comedy Duo

March 4: storyteller and musician John Porcino.

The workshops are designed for children seven years old and older and require pre-registration. Call the Parks and Recreation Department at 322-5620 for more information.