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 July 2021 issue


N.Y. redistricting poses risks for area representatives

The arrangement of congressional districts across eastern New York could be altered dramatically in the coming months as the state embarks on the once-a-decade redrawing of its political maps. The redistricting process, always full of intrigue and surprises, has some new twists this time, and the results could quickly reshape the careers of area Reps. Antonio Delgado, Elise Stefanik and Paul Tonko. Depending on how the maps are redrawn, the three incumbents could find themselves running for re-election next year in unfamiliar or difficult political terrain, and one or more of them could even wind up competing for the same district.
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Soothing scent, striking color

Lavender is key crop at a Columbia County floral farm.
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Free clinic aims to fill health-care gaps

A large-scale free medical clinic planned for this fall at the Washington County Fairgrounds aims to fill some of the gaps in a health system that still leaves many people without ready access to care. The pop-up clinic on the weekend of Oct. 2-3 will offer free medical care -- including dental and vision services -- to anyone who shows up. Volunteer physicians, nurses, dentists, opticians and other health professionals, as well as nonmedical volunteers, will power the event. A grassroots group of local people calling themselves the Southern Adirondack Health Initiative has been working for months to organize the clinic, which supporters say will be open to all regardless of residency, income level or insurance or immigration status.

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Live music returns, mainly for outdoor shows

Live music is returning to the Berkshires, Vermont and eastern New York. In the wake of the pandemic, creative spaces across the region are emerging one careful step at a time, and they’re scheduling performers from diverse genres and regions. Most of the shows are outdoors.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron