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

June 2015Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE



Saratoga Springs Greenbelt

Along the Hudson, some see Dollar General as a poor fit

Schuylerville is hardly the first community in the region where the arrival of discount retailer Dollar General has been greeted with trepidation. The chain has expanded aggressively in the past few years, adding at least 20 new stores across the Berkshires, southwestern Vermont and the border counties of eastern New York. But the battle under way in Schuylerville is unusual because Dollar General has drawn strong opposition among local business owners -- and because the chain is perceived as a direct threat to a long-established, locally owned supermarket in the center of downtown.
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The Einstein of Glens Falls, Local man’s memoir details ties to famous physicist but draws questions

Stephen Einstein’s book “My Uncle Albert” describes the five boyhood summers he says he spent with Albert Einstein.
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Artist Tony Conner

From border mountains to a fertile swamp

A pair of conservation projects now under way in the town of New Lebanon aim to preserve a diverse swath of land along New York’s eastern border while also highlighting the town’s Shaker heritage and its pioneering role in the development of herbal medicines. Although the two projects are technically separate, they involve contiguous land areas and are connected in other ways. The combined site includes an area known as the Shaker Swamp and extends east to the upper reaches of Mount Lebanon.

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At Dorset festival, the new play’s the thing

Dorset Theatre Festival has lately been drawing attention and financial support for its efforts to develop and premiere new plays. Now the festival is adding new staff and projects to expand that emphasis, with artist residencies, retreats and school programs all aimed at cultivating and supporting contemporary playwrights.
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Showing off the range of the cartoonist Roz Chast

As a student in art school, Roz Chast wanted to be a cartoonist but was stuck in a world that looked down on that form and insisted she work on creating fine-art paintings instead. But with a massive new show that begins this month at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, it’s clear Chast has come a long way since those days. “Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs,” which opens June 6 and runs through Oct. 28, will feature 125 images from her recent autobiographical graphic novel as well as sections devoted to her work at The New Yorker, children’s book illustrations and personal memorabilia and photographs.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron