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

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Click the cover for the full issueHill Country Observer April 2021 issue


Pandemic offers new blood for a rural region

Soon after Covid-19 began shutting down the big cities of the East Coast last spring, second-home owners began arriving in Winhall, Vt., to take refuge. Winhall is hardly alone. From Columbia County and the Berkshires north to Vermont and the Adirondacks, local government officials, real estate agents and others have been reporting an influx of people from urban areas over the past year. And though much of the evidence is anecdotal, at least some of these new residents seem to be planning to stay for the long term.
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A hub for food and community

Columbia County market blends co-op, consignment models.
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Critics target Stefanik as redistricting nears

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik handily won a fourth term in office in November, but voters in New York’s northernmost congressional district could be forgiven for wondering if the campaign season ever ended. The storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of Donald Trump -- and Stefanik’s continued questioning of the legitimacy of President Biden’s victory -- have sparked a new wave of campaign-style criticism of the congresswoman, and not just from Democrats.

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Darkness, light invoke scenes of protest at MoCA show

Deon Jones is singing the U2 song “Bloody Sunday.” In his voice, a protest in Derry, Ireland, comes together with a protest in Selma, Ala., and they become as immediate as a night last summer when people across the nation mourned the death of George Floyd and called for change. On April 3, the Los Angeles artist Glenn Kaino brings his new work, “In the Light of a Shadow,” to the vast space of Mass MoCA’s Gallery 5.

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In a time of isolation, exhibit explores kinship, intimacy

In a year that has amplified fear, division and protest, the curator Nolan Jimbo, a graduate student in art history at Williams College, has gathered the works of artists who are pursuing themes of kinship and intimacy.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron