hill country observerThe independent newspaper of eastern New York, southwestern Vermont and the Berkshires


JULY 2014 Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE



Railroads become Oil Pipeline

In Saratoga Springs, a construction boom keeps going

In the past 10 to 15 years, the city of “health, history and horses” has seen a development boom that likely can’t be explained by its mineral springs or racehorses alone. Along Broadway and the side streets just to its west, a series of new multi-story buildings have sprung up, offering retail space on the ground floor and upscale apartments upstairs. The growth of Saratoga Springs makes it the envy of small cities across the Northeast -- and more new buildings are on the way.
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Vermont Passover

Gift to a hometown

Couple’s efforts lead to new arts center for Pittsfield. Ghazi Kazmi put his career on hold to work full time launching the Whitney Center for the Arts, which opened last summer in a former mansion on Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield. Kazmi’s wife, New York City lawyer Lisa Whitney, bought the property with the aim of giving back to Pittsfield, her hometown. read more



EPA steers middle course on Housatonic cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its long-awaited proposal for cleaning up PCB pollution on the Housatonic River, calling for a $613 million dredging project that would take 13 years to complete. But environmental watchdogs say the plan will leave too much contamination in the river ecosystem. read more


In Vermont, new meaning to changing seasons

The Vermont of maple syrup in the spring, red and orange foliage in October and snowy winters may be just a memory within a few decades, according to a new study of how climate change will affect the Green Mountain State

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The Clark reopens, freshly reimagined

For lovers of fine art, it’s an occasion worthy of fireworks: On the Fourth of July, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will reopen with new and expanded facilities on its 140-acre campus, capping a redesign that’s been discussed and planned for at least a decade.
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Event planner develops low-impact Adirondack retreat

Potash Mountain, a 1,750-foot-high foothill of the Adirondacks, is a landmark in the town of Lake Luzerne, owned by the state and protected from development. But when Donna Gagnon learned that 325 acres at the mountain’s base were up for sale, she jumped at the opportunity to preserve that land -- and also to share it with others. The result is the Prinpaw Eco-Forest Private Retreat.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron