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





The debate over Lyme that lingers

When Holly Ahern found out several years ago that her teenage daughter’s
mysterious illness was Lyme disease, she quickly immersed herself in the
subject. Ahern, an associate professor of microbiology at SUNY Adirondack,
soon learned about the controversies swirling round the disease and came
to realize that many others were suffering the way her daughter had, with
symptoms that were misdiagnosed or received inadequate treatment early on. Now she is focusing her academic research on the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.. read more



A pinnacle of culture?

Partners shape a creative mission for state-owned lodge.

Brothers Peter and John Dudek and their business partner Brad Parsons are extending the vertical reach of the culture and the creative economy in the Berkshires.

Three years ago, the men took over operation of Bascom Lodge, a historic structure at the summit of Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts. read more



Bipartisan push on mercury pollution

At first glance, Mark Jester doesn’t seem like the right demographic to be calling for tougher rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Jester, the president of the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen, is a registered Republican whose Twitter feed includes pointed criticisms of President Obama. Over the last year, however, he has spoken out repeatedly in favor of the EPA’s controversial new rules to regulate airborne mercury pollution. read more



A forester finds a new mission: growing organic greens

When Chris Lincoln and Tammara Van Ryn returned to New York in the late 1990s after several years of living and working in New Hampshire, Lincoln decided to leave forestry for farming. The result was New Minglewood Farm, a small-scale operation in Greenwich that has gained a reputation and a following for its certified organic greens.. read more



Local celebrations mark Woody Guthrie centennial

From Great Barrington, Mass., to Glens Falls, N.Y., several cultural
organizations are planning celebrations this month to mark the centennial
of Woody Guthrie’s birth. Guthrie never actually lived in this region,
but his family became associated with the Berkshires through his son
Arlo, who attended the Stockbridge School in the 1960s, and whose
adventures led to the “Alice’s Restaurant” movie in 1969. read more





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