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

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In abandoned fishing village, a link to Hudson’s past

The future of an abandoned former fishing village along the waterfront in Hudson, N.Y., could soon be shaped by a state decision on whether to support conversion of the area into a new city park. City officials in Hudson have yet to decide whether to preserve or demolish a collection of 17 fishing shacks clustered along the river. Some local people see the rundown buildings as a blight, but others are hoping the structures will be saved, citing a previous state determination that the shanties have historical significance.

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Filling a need for film

Founder celebrates successes as Berkshire festival marks 13th year.
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Proposals sparks debate over early voting in New York

New York regularly ranks near the low end among states for voter participation, and in 2016, just 57 percent of the state’s voting -age adults cast ballots. Good-government advocates have long argued that one reason for the low turnout is the state’s rigid election laws. So a proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow early voting in New York -- a practice already allowed in Massachusetts, Vermont and 35 other states -- has set off a debate among local legislators and election officials around the region.

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At the Hyde, two sides of Rockwell Kent

Rockwell Kent traveled widely and painted landscapes from Greenland to the tip of South America, but he also lived and worked in the Adirondacks from the 1920s until his death and 1971. Now The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls is offering two exhibitions exploring differing sides of Kent’s work. The twin shows -- one of paintings, the other of prints -- offer the public a chance to see many seldom-viewed works from private collections.

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Poetry in Bennington: Fruits of life’s joys and sorrows

In the poetry of Ross Gay, life and vigor often run with what threatens them -- like the juice of plums and the death of someone he loves. Gay’s third and most recent book, “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,” was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. He’ll read his works May 16 at Bennington College.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron