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

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



Money change votes?

Fracked gas for New England?

Its backers say a proposed natural gas pipeline across Rensselaer and Berkshire counties is vital to New England’s energy needs and would cut costs for many utility customers. But opponents say a major new pipeline will carry steep environmental costs, isn’t needed, and represents a step backward at a time when the region should be moving away from reliance on fossil fuels. The debate over the pipeline will enter a new phase this month as its developer, Kinder Morgan Inc., files a formal application for the project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. read more



Judy Kniffin

Tails, it’s Saratoga

New quarter honors turning point in American Revolution.
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In court case, solar energy vs. parking garage’s shadow

A dispute over access to sunlight has become the latest obstacle to a controversial proposal for a new five-story parking garage in downtown Saratoga Springs. City planning officials halted their review of the parking garage proposal last month after the owners of a neighboring restaurant went to court, claiming the City Council had abruptly rewritten a 25-year-old solar-power law to benefit the project.

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Vital Eats

Rediscovering Edith Wharton’s wartime dispatches

Most people do not imagine Edith Wharton, the novelist of high-society New York, walking in the World War I trenches of Europe. But Wharton made six expeditions to the front lines over the course of a year in 1914-15. She came within sight of snipers, stood next to a sentry looking out into No Man’s Land, and visited the hospitals and encampments where wounded and shell-shocked soldiers were taken.
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North Bennington sculptor builds art and community

Joe Chirchirillo has had a lifelong fascination with building things. After enrolling in a furniture-making class in college, he became interested in sculpture, setting off a creative journey of more than 40 years that led him from metropolitan New York City to Vermont.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron