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

May 2016Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE



The Eddy nursing home article

Vermont’s new anti-sprawl law faces test in Rutland

A proposal for a new big-box retail store in Rutland is shaping up as an early test of a new state law aimed at limiting roadside sprawl in Vermont. The 20-acre site where a developer wants to build a BJ’s Wholesale Club as well as two restaurants and a gas station is at the south end of more than a half-mile of strip development that extends along the highway from the city line to the southern junction of routes 7 and 4. Critics point out that there already are several large commercial spaces sitting vacant in the area -- most notably across Route 7 at Diamond Run Mall, which has lost two of its three anchor tenants within the past 18 months.

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Equine Advocates

N.Y. wine country expands to north

Cold-hardy grapes, simpler regulations allow vineyards to thrive.
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VT School merger

State pesticide-reporting effort lags

Twenty years ago, a coalition of breast-cancer activists, environmentalists and others celebrated a hard-fought victory when New York agreed to set up a statewide system for tracking the sale and use of pesticides. When the system was signed into law in 1996, supporters hoped it would soon provide a trove of new data that could be studied to find out whether heavy use of pesticides might be correlated to the incidence of breast cancer and other ailments. But two decades later, it appears that New York’s pesticide-reporting system is failing to deliver on its promise, offering data that is old, missing or compiled in ways that make it difficult or impossible to analyze.

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Oldest N.Y. theater space set for revival

The curtain has risen at Hudson Opera House for the final act of a restoration that has been under way for nearly a quarter-century. This spring, the nonprofit group that owns the structure started construction on the largest and most significant phase of the effort -- one that will lead to reopening the building’s main performance hall.
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Caffe Lena developer

From war to circuses, poems of vivid imagery

His poems come in vivid scenes, often condensed, in a city street almost empty in the small hours, or at a picnic table off a New Hampshire back road in the summer dusk. And they will come to North Bennington on May 11, when Charles Simic will read his work at Bennington College.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron