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

February - March 2016Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE



The Eddy nursing home article

Reimagining the nursing home as a village of elders

When senior managers at The Eddy were trying to make decisions more than a decade ago about renovating or replacing their large nursing home and rehabilitation center, their new long-term care administrator posed a strategic question: Would any of them want to live in the facility they were planning? Their answers became the catalyst for a radical rethinking of their mission.

read more



Equine Advocates

Riding to the rescue

Chatham farm gives sanctuary to equines saved from slaughter.
read more



VT School merger

In Vermont schools, a merger mandate rankles

When Vermont legislators passed an ambitious school-district consolidation bill last year, supporters said the new law would help small school systems join forces and maintain their viability in the face of declining enrollment. But in the hills of southwestern Vermont, the merger guidelines set up by the new law are sowing frustration among local officials in the neighboring towns of Arlington and Sandgate.

read more



Village in crisis over tainted water

For more than a year, some local citizens had been warning about the presence of a toxic chemical they’d found in samples collected from the Hoosick Falls water system, but state and local officials insisted the water was safe. Then in November, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that wasn’t true -- and that the water shouldn’t be used for drinking, cooking or even to run a humidifier. Now people in Hoosick Falls are angry, frightened and worried about the future -- and about the likelihood that they already may have been exposed for years to a cancer-causing chemical.
read more



Caffe Lena developer

Deal with developer sets stage for change at Caffe Lena

Saratoga Springs’ historic coffeehouse will partner will local developer Sonny Bonacio on a major renovation -- and will sell its parking lot to make way for a new mixed-use building.

read more



Art and race, Black Lives Matter

Through art, a conversation about race

Black Lives Matter, perhaps the most successful activist movement born of Twitter, is the inspiration for a new art exhibition at MCLA Gallery 51 in North Adams.

read more











Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron