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<p><strong>Hi, are you new to Go Local? You may be with this issue.</strong></p> <p>Go Local is a monthly lifestyle magazine exploring the interesting places, events and<br />people in western New England.</p> <p>I write this introduction as the magazine is being distributed to three new communities<br />with this issue: Westfield, Southwick and Granby, CT. Welcome to the readership! Our<br />hope is that Go Local helps you realize just how rich an area in which we all live.</p> <p>Western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut are filled with great stories that may<br />have slipped your attention. It’s our intent to bring them to you along with great photos.</p> <p>For instance, our Go Local Picks is a monthly feature that showcases everything from a<br />great place to eat – Cindy’s Drive-in in Granby, MA – to area artisans, such as Moon Snail<br />Creations in Southwick.</p> <p>Sometimes we feature places or businesses that you might drive by every day and may<br />not be aware of all they offer. Stanley Park in Westfield is the heart of that community,<br />providing a wooded respite in a busy urban area. This month’s feature allows you to explore<br />all that the park offers.</p> <p>Another example of a gem under our collective noses is the A2Z Science and Learning<br />Store. A pioneering business in the field of combining learning with play, I’ve gone there<br />many times to find gifts for our grandson. Even if you don’t have a younger member of<br />the family right now, the store is a fascinating place to walk through: part revelation and<br />part nostalgia. I bet you’ll want to buy something for yourself!</p> <p>In this issue, we also go to Ellington, CT to that town’s farmers market. I don’t know<br />about you but I try to shop as often as I can at these markets. That one trip allows a person<br />to support local farmers, buy the freshest of local food products and build a sense of<br />community. In Ellington, the market is a non-profit and has the difference of offering<br />educational and entertainment features. As Market Master Diane Trueb said, “My favorite<br />aspect of the market is how it has become a social event for people in town. There is no<br />official ‘downtown’ area in Ellington and other small rural towns in the area. People who<br />attend don’t always come to shop; they come to visit friends. It’s rewarding. Seeing senior<br />citizens come with their chairs and listen to the music, or seeing repeat groups of folks<br />who come and hang out – it’s just fantastic.”</p> <p>That sense of community runs through every issue of Go Local.</p> <p>Now that we are the midst of summer – and going through some very warm weather – ice<br />cream is king and we feature seven different independent ice cream shops in our region.<br />JB’s Ice Cream in East Longmeadow is the closets of these to my home in Springfield and<br />my wife and I frequently make the trip to enjoy a premium hand-made ice cream.</p> <p>We also like to present folks who are innovators, bringing their vision of a business or a<br />product to the local market. This issue is no exception with a story about Ruthie and Scott<br />Sutters of Somers, CT. They are both runners, have founded RunBuddy, a smartphone<br />app that acts as your “buddy” when you’re out for a walk, run, or bike ride. It’s a cool idea.</p> <p>I hope our new readers will enjoy this edition of Go Local and we look forward to getting<br />together next month with a new selection of great stories.</p> <p>- G. Michael Dobbs, Managing Editor</p>