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





Digital age leaves small post offices endangered

To passersby on Route 315, the tiny Rupert post office offers a postcard image of rural Vermont. But inside, a notice next to the post-office boxes warns that the U.S. Postal Service may soon shatter the idyllic scene: The Rupert post office, like more than 3,600 across the nation and at least a half-dozen in the region, is under study for possible closure. read more



Fear, safety and leafy greens

As a veteran grower of leafy green vegetables, Ted Dobson has a hard time seeing the need for a new food-safety regimen being pushed by the federal government. Dobson and other small producers are watching warily as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, spurred by a 2006 outbreak of E.coli that was traced to spinach, crafts a new marketing agreement that would impose new rules for growers. read more



Study backs restoring train service to Berkshires

A newly released analysis strongly backs a proposal to restore passenger-train service between the Berkshires and New York City, concluding that the effort would create $240 million in new economic activity in the Berkshires over the next decade. Williams College economist Stephen Sheppard found that the value of rail service would be large when compared with the investment required to get the trains running. read more



ACentury-old play set to return to Colonial Theatre

A little more than 100 years ago, a local playwright and a composer dug into Pittsfield’s past and created a lighthearted look at events near the end of the War of 1812. The result was a comedic opera, “The Happy Day,” that turned into a big hit for its time. Now, as part of the city’s 250th anniversary celebration, a group of local people have dug up that play, modernized it and will present it in a staged reading Nov. 26.read more



Public gets rare chance to see inside Yaddo

Yaddo may be renowned as the artists’ retreat where prize-winning plays are birthed and great musical scores are composed, but it’s nearly as well known for the air of mystery that surrounds it. This month, for the first time in nearly a decade, it will open for public tours...................................................read more



Your Ad could be Here