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

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



Candidates line up for chance at a blue wave

With control of the U.S. House of Representatives at stake, Democratic voters will go to the polls this month to choose their challengers to two Republicans who now represent much of eastern New York. Political observers say the crowded primary ballots in New York’s 19th and 21st congressional districts are a sign of Democratic enthusiasm and outrage that has been on display in a series of special elections around the country since Donald Trump won the presidency. But the choices made by Democratic voters in the June 26 primary could determine whether the two area districts -- now represented by Republicans John Faso and Elise Stefanik -- will really be in play in November.

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Connecting the threads of history

Photos, music play roles as artist explores African diaspora.
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Town takes a green stand, bans plastic water bottles

Supporters call it a victory for the environment: Voters at last month’s town meeting made Great Barrington, Mass., the third community in the nation to ban the most common type of plastic water bottle. The ban, effective in May 2019, was approved by an estimated 2-1 margin and applies to single-serve containers made from PET plastic and used for non-carbonated, unflavored drinking water. But despite the wide margin of the town’s vote, local opponents have already launched a petition drive to force a second vote on the issue.

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With goats and grit, a new farmer finds joy in hard labor

Leah Hennessy’s 46-acre farm in Argyle, N.Y., is home to 35 goats plus a gaggle of kids, more than 90 heritage chickens, four geese, two draft horses and a retired racehorse. Piglets were arriving in late May. And apart from an intern and a volunteer helper, Moxie Ridge Farm & Creamery is largely a one-woman operation.

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Oldcastle’s season, from contemporary to classic

Oldcastle Theater Company’s 49th season kicks off this month and offers something for every taste: comedy, music, award-winning contemporary plays and a closing fanfare with a monumental classic.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron