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

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



Saratoga Springs Greenbelt

Local groups get creative in fight against hunger

In the aftermath of the economic shocks of 2008-09, more people around the region are turning to emergency food pantries to help make ends meet. Some of the organizations that provide emergency food aid are struggling to keep up with the increasing demand for their services, but others are bracing the challenge. In Greenwich, N.Y., a new community group took over operation of the local food pantry more than a year ago, expanded its hours, moved it to a more accessible location, and figured out how to make lots more food available; the result has been a dramatic increase in the number of people it serves
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Spring’s arrival finds an age-old tradition thriving in Vermont

Romney sheep roamed the pasture at Merck Forest and Farmland Center as the center’s communications coordinator, Melissa Carll, and farm manager Tim Hughes-Muse pondered a micro-to-macro question about the wool industry.
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Artist Tony Conner

Vermont weighs options for its veterans home

More than 130 years ago, the Vermont Legislature voted to establish a home for aging and ailing Civil War soldiers, choosing Bennington as the site for what became the Vermont Veterans’ Home. The home has served generations of veterans since its construction in the 1880s, but in recent months its future has become the focus of a statewide debate. With Vermont facing a budget shortfall of $100 million, some state officials have begun casting about for ways to make the home less dependent on state subsidies; others have raised the specter of closing it altogether.

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Matching farmers, landowners in the Hudson Valley

Miriam Goler and Mark Stonehill dreamed of starting a farm in the Hudson Valley, but they figured they’d never to be able to afford land in the region. Then they learned about the Farmer Landowner Match Program, a joint effort of land conservancies in Columbia and Dutchess counties.
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Myth, religion and comic-book heroes in MoCA show

To walk around “Entertaining Doubts,” Jim Shaw’s sprawling new show at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, is to step into the mind of the artist and wander, sometimes without a guide. The show, which opened in late March and remains on view through January 2016, is a swirl of styles and subject matter, one in which, for example, Superman enters the artistic realm of William Blake.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron