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

September 2015Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE



Bees vanish

As bees vanish, critics build case against pesticides

As commercial beekeepers around the Northeast struggle with the devastating effects of colony collapse disorder, the federal government and many scientists maintain that the no single cause of the phenomenon has been identified. But other researchers have compiled considerable evidence implicating a chemical culprit. They contend that a relatively new class of insecticides called neonicotinoids are behind the disorder, in which adult bees abandon their hives, queens and food reserves. read more



Judy Kniffin

Artist paints with a style all her own

Shutting out the noise of the world, North Bennington artist expands her creative range — and wins fans.
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Banding together for solar power

Dozens of households in Rensselaer and Saratoga counties are going solar this summer with the help of a program that cuts costs and takes the guesswork out of installing a solar system. The Solarize program, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and launched in Portland, Ore., in 2009, relies on local people, usually volunteers, who sign up homeowners and businesses to buy solar-power installations at bulk, discounted rates.

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Vital Eats

Fryer foods showcase duo’s artisan sauces, spice blends

Jude Goldman and Reuben Schwartz are cousins who share a vision of creating delicious food and condiments with a conscience. Two years ago, they started their company, Vital Eats, which offers a line of signature sauces, rubs and spices that are vegan and gluten-free.
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Hudson River artistry: Present meets past

Visitors to the historic homes of 19th century artists Frederic Edwin Church and Thomas Cole are entering an aesthetic time warp this summer, thanks to a major collaborative exhibit of contemporary artwork inspired by the Hudson River School painters.

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Brush strokes for conservation

When Ronald G. Dodson, a conservationist from the Albany area, set out to write his new book, “On the Farm: The Uncertain Future of an American Legacy,” he enlisted Washington County artist Adriano Monacchio, who completed 28 original oil paintings to illustrate the work.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron