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

July 2017   Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE



At Wild Oats food co-op, testing limits of cooperation

When Megan Rusk took a job 18 months ago at Wild Oats Market in Williamstown, she figured working at the local food co-op was a good match with her personal values. But when some of her co-workers organized to improve working conditions by joining a union, they say the store responded in ways they would have expected from a big business, not a community co-op. After 16 months of negotiations, the roughly 50 full- and part-time workers in the bargaining unit have yet to achieve a labor contract. The co-op’s management says it wants to treat its employees well -- but that that goal has to be balanced against other priorities.

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Saving a strawberry farm

$1.5M campaign aims to preserve Columbia County destination
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Climate-change efforts move to local level

With President Trump’s announcement June 1 that he would pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, area states, cities and citizen groups are redoubling their efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions and shift to renewable energy sources.

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Juice bar puts healthy, sinful under one roof

At SoCo Creamery’s year-old juice bar in Great Barrington, there seem to be two kinds of customers: those who make a beeline for the frozen yogurt, and those who stand at the fridge case, pondering which variety of cold-pressed juice they’ll choose. This is proof that all is going according to the plan of the shop’s creators.
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Vivid images, colliding cultures

Cheetahs raise their hackles against an abstract background. Two boys play with a sleek black dog in a spare, shaded room, in a bar of sunlight from the doorway. The murals fill entire walls with warm, varied images of daily life in southern Africa in Meleko Mokgosi’s “Lex” and “Love,” an installation of paintings and text at the Williams College Museum of Art.

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‘A world of her own imagining’

This summer the Bennington Museum is presenting works of Grandma Moses in an unorthodox manner: hanging side-by-side with works by such paragons of Modernism as Fernand Leger, Helen Frankenthaler and Andy Warhol.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron