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

August 2016Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE



Of eggs, farms and the law

Nearly all of the egg-laying hens at farms in the Berkshires and across Massachusetts live cage-free. But most of the eggs on the state’s supermarket shelves come from out-of-state farms where animals may be kept confined in tight spaces that critics contend are inhumane and unhealthy. Now, a question on the November ballot asks the state’s voters to decide whether to outlaw the sale of eggs, veal and pork from animals confined in tight quarters. The question is raising a philosophical and sometimes emotional debate that touches on economics and social justice as well as animal rights and agricultural practices.

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Amid cool marble, a hotbed of creativity

Dorset estate finds new life as retreat for artists. The Marble House Project has transformed a massive old home in Dorset, Vt., into a retreat for visual artists, dancers, musicians, writers and other creative people. Eight artists at a time share three-week residencies at the property from May through October and regularly share their work with the public.
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Gun shows may vanish from Saratoga scene

A promoter who has staged more than 100 gun shows at the Saratoga Springs City Center over the past 32 years says his show there this month may be his last -- after officials at the convention hall told him they have no more dates available through the end of 2017. The shows have become the focus of controversy in recent years, and the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee recently passed a resolution calling for a ban on future gun shows in the city.

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Feds delay ruling on placing refugees in Rutland

The federal government appears to have put off a decision on whether to resettle 100 Syrian refugees in Rutland after city aldermen chose last month not to endorse the resettlement effort.
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Counterculture lives on as Rainbow Gathering visits

When thousands of people converged on the Green Mountain National Forest last month for the national Rainbow Gathering, they resumed an experiment in alternative living that has played out, a week at a time, nearly every summer for the past 44 years.

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In the Green Mountains, seeing color in a new way

Look at a Milton Avery painting, and the first thing that will strike you is the extraordinary color. Now an exhibition at the Bennington Museum shows how many of the traits in Avery’s work can be traced to the summers he spent in Vermont in the 1930s and ‘40s.

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Belcher Hollow Forge, Handforged iron