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

August 2022Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE

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Changing a summer theater festival’s culture

Inside the ‘62 Center for Theatre & Dance at Williams College, 20 students in a new intensive training program have been immersed in the inner workings of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, watching as the festival produces new shows while also working to transform its workplace culture after a year of upheaval. The festival has stripped down its offerings this year and shut down its internship and apprenticeship programs, which some of its alumni have charged were rife with abusive and even dangerous working conditions.

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Fresh fruit of the fungi

A family farm makes the most of mushrooms
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U.S. House races heat up as Aug. 23 vote nears in N.Y.

In New York’s northernmost congressional district, two Democratic candidates have lately been sparring over a third-party line as they compete for their party’s nomination to take on incumbent Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville. To the south, voters in Rensselaer and Columbia counties will be deciding a special election on Aug. 23 to fill the remainder of the term of Democratic Rep. Antonio Delgado, who resigned earlier this year to become lieutenant governor. And there are Democratic primaries in the Albany-area district of Rep. Paul Tonko and for a newly drawn open seat that covers Columbia County. read more


Despite upgrades, gaps persist in trail along state line

As recently as the summer of 2018, people walking or biking the D&H Rail Trail in western Vermont were met with overgrown sections where there was barely a narrow path through the brush. Now, after an investment of $1.5 million, the trail has been widened and resurfaced with crushed stone, creating a smooth surface for riding and hiking. But there are still a couple of stretches of the old railroad route on the New York side of border that remain impassable, caught in a legal limbo that is frustrating the dream of creating a through trail from Castleton to Salem, N.Y.

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