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

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



Saving a country crossroads

Many in the crowd that packed a Copake Planning Board hearing in early October were there to oppose a proposal for a new gas station and convenience store they feared would overwhelm the tiny hamlet of Craryville. The development, critics warned, would be one of the largest gas stations in Columbia County, with enough pavement to accommodate 12 fueling stations and 48 parking spaces spread out across a 1.7-acre lot at Craryville’s main intersection. By the end of the month, however, developers announced they were making major changes to the proposal. Is it a victory for smart growth?

read more



A slice of Vermont to sip and savor

In a former dairy barn, Poultney vineyard bottles wine, creates memories
read more


New York rewrites manure rules for large farms

New York regulators are preparing to implement a new set of rules for controlling wastewater pollution at large dairy farms under the federal Clean Water Act -- acting after a judge sided with environmental groups in blocking an earlier rewrite of the rules. But while this legal process has been playing out, more than 200 dairy farms across the state have opted out of regulation under the Clean Water Act, which the state administers, and instead chosen to seek permits under an alternative state law.

read more

From Japan, fine art for the masses

In 200 years, Japan moved from stability to civil war, and through rapid change to World War II. And in that time, a new art form grew, reaching a new audience in Japan and then in a wider world. Two linked shows opening this month at The Hyde Collection examine Ukiyo-e printmaking.

read more


















Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron