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

April 2018 Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE



Employers vexed by new limits on foreign labor

When Anita Daly began to find it impossible to recruit all the workers she needed for her landscaping business a few years ago, she turned to a federal program that allowed her to import foreign laborers. Around the region, the H-2B visa program, which provides seasonal workers for low-skill, nonagricultural jobs, has become a significant source of labor for businesses ranging from masons to resorts to summer carnivals and the backstretch at the Saratoga Race Course. But this year, a lot of those businesses are wondering whether they’ll get the workers they need.

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A springtime bouquet of the arts

Author’s visit to The Mount is among 30 Berkshires events in ArtWeek.
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Solar siting law faces first test in Bennington

A new state law that was intended to give Vermont’s towns more of a say in the placement of renewable energy projects is facing its first legal test in Bennington, where a developer’s proposal for several large solar power installations has become the focus of controversy. read more



Consider Bardwell: A pioneer of local cheese making

In its 14 years, Consider Bardwell Farm has evolved into a small cheese-making operation with a wide reach. Its cheeses, produced with raw milk from its growing herd of goats and from the Jersey cows of two neighboring farms, are served at some of the most elite restaurants of New York and California. But the farm’s owners weren’t thinking about making cheese when they bought their bucolic property in 2001.

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Out of the tent, into the new theater at PS21

After hosting its shows in a tent for 12 years, PS21 is about to undergo a major expansion with the official opening April 14 of its innovative new theater building. The new structure will allow the nonprofit performing arts venue in Chatham to offer programming year-round and accommodate larger audiences in the summer.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron