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

September 2022Facebook linkHill Country Observer TwitterHill Country Instagram page NEWS ARCHIVE

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Doctor shortage limits access to care in a graying region

When a local ear, nose and throat specialist retired 10 years ago, officials at Rutland Regional Medical Center set out to recruit a replacement. A decade later, they are still trying without success, and now they have a second open position for an ENT specialist. The case is emblematic of the physician shortages that experts say have been hampering the delivery of health care in much of upstate New York and northern New England in recent years. The problem is likely to worsen as more area doctors age and retire along with the general population.

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The herbalist and the carver

Couple’s homestead business yields soaps, tinctures and wooden spoons
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States weigh expanded land protections in climate fight

A bill passed by New York legislators this spring sets a goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the state’s land area by 2030 -- a goal that will align it with national and global targets set by environmentalists and the Biden administration for curbing the worst effects of climate change.
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A dry summer leaves some farms parched

Hot weather and a lack of rainfall this summer have led to stunted crops for some farmers --- and to more work and worry for many others across the region. The U.S. Geological Survey’s mid-August update placed all of southern Vermont and eastern New York into its “moderate drought” or “abnormally dry” categories, while much of western Massachusetts was experiencing “severe drought.

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Picturing a path to freedom and equality

A woman listens to music with her eyes closed, sunlight touching her shoulder. Nearby a boy sits cross-legged, sketching a bird on a branch outside his urban window. Around these images and others, visitors hear Nina Simone singing “Young, Gifted and Black.” The works are part of “Imprinted: Illustrating Race,” a show at the Norman Rockwell Museum that explores the visual representation of people of color in America across more than 400 years.
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