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

December 2018 -January 2019 Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE



Recycling’s season of discontent

The blue bins at curbside are just as full of recyclables as ever. But do all the plastics, paper and glass that people dutifully separate from their trash actually wind up being recycled? In some communities around the region, it’s no longer the case. Over the past year, recycling markets have plunged into disarray, with prices for some materials so low that haulers who previously received revenue for recyclable wastes now have to pay to get rid of them. One result is that some of the tons of recyclables collected locally simply wind up being hauled to landfills or incinerators.

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Honoring black history in the Berkshires

Group aims to transform former church into visitor, cultural center.
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Blue wave moves north as Delgado wins

When Antonio Delgado flipped a Hudson Valley congressional district from red to blue on Nov. 6, he set the stage for another likely battle in two years that will test how much the region’s politics really are shifting. Riding a Democratic wave to victory in his first bid for elective office, Delgado defeated freshman Rep. John Faso, a Republican whose political career in Columbia County stretches back three decades.

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Election 2018: Results from three states

A roundup of election results from across the region, and a look at the shifting political balance in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont. read more.

Celebrating light in a season of darkness

Andrea Davis Pinkney remembers a family holiday with warmth and music and laughter. Holidays connect to famiily, to birth and love and time, to the past and future, and to the land. Across the country, as winter comes, families look to a stable in Bethlehem or the hills of Judea, and in Pinkney’s family a holiday reaches from California to a market in Ghana or a farm in Zanzibar. She tells the story in “Seven Candles for Kwanzaa.” This winter, a show at the Norman Rockwell Museum brings together illustrations from six well-loved books to reflect on winter holidays around the country and around the world.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron