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The New York Times

August 8, 2008 Friday

Late Edition - Final

34 Vetoes, And Caveats By Paterson


SECTION: Section B; Column 0; Metropolitan Desk; Pg. 1

LENGTH: 850 words


Holding up the specter of a ''serious economic crisis,'' Gov. David A. Paterson has wielded his veto pen 34 times in an attempt to curb new spending, according to documents released on Thursday.

The governor has sounded an alarm in recent weeks over the state's fiscal woes -- specifically a projected deficit of $26.2 billion over the next three years -- and in many of his vetoes made good on his vow to hold the line on spending.

But his aggressive approach has created some tension between him and many Assembly Democrats and labor-backed groups, who have begun accusing him of turning his back on his liberal roots.

Again and again in memos written to explain his vetoes, Mr. Paterson praised the aims of various measures he rejected, calling one ''an excellent example of a worthy initiative'' and calling the goals of another measure ''laudable.''

But he made it clear that in these uncertain economic times, the bar has to be raised for approving new proposals. Although some of the proposals could have been quite costly, even small outlays of public money were often turned back.

''Many difficult financial choices will need to be made,'' he said, in rejecting a proposal to spend $25,000 on a state entrepreneurship award.

The bills the governor vetoed covered a wide range of topics. One would have seriously weakened the power of Buffalo's financial control board and made it more of an advisory panel. The governor said that ''as we enter a period of state and national recession, we cannot afford to jeopardize the state's ability to wield this vital tool.''

Two bills he rejected would have made it easier for police officers and firefighters to receive disability benefits for heart ailments even if the ailments were not clearly related to their duties. Such bills, known as ''heart bills'' in Albany, have long been a favorite of labor unions representing public workers.

''These proposals cannot be viewed in isolation from the deep fiscal crisis in which the state now finds itself,'' the governor said in vetoing the bills.

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe, a Rockland County Democrat who sponsored the two bills, said, ''Our police and firefighters put their lives on the line every day, and I don't think you can put a price on that.

''I think that this is a very difficult time,'' she said. ''There are clearly fiscal concerns, and that in itself is going to create an environment where there is going to be tension, there is no doubt about it.''

A bill that would allow State Police officers injured in the line of duty to keep full pay and benefits until they reach retirement age was also rejected. The governor, who last week imposed a state hiring freeze, said the bill would essentially give officers ''the right to unlimited sick leave at full pay -- a leave that could last for decades.''

''The result would be a significant drain on the state's fisc ---- one it can ill afford at present,'' he added.

Mr. Paterson rejected another bill that would have made it more difficult for the state to reassign workers. He said it would ''significantly complicate the state's efforts to carry out reassignments rationally.''

The governor also vetoed a bill that would have had state bureaucrats compile a database of volunteers that could help senior citizens and would have developed training programs for such volunteers.

''These are expenditures that are not imperative in this time of fiscal uncertainty,'' he said.

Mr. Paterson turned back an attempt by the City of Albany to start collecting millions of dollars annually for state-owned land in the city exempted from taxation.

And he vetoed a bill that would have created training courses for waiters and waitresses who serve liquor -- an attempt to limit sales to people under 21 -- explaining that the State Liquor Authority would have to spend at least $300,000 more.

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, a Westchester Democrat who sponsored the bill, commented, ''I have to say, I was shocked. It was a no-brainer to me.''

She said that restaurants and taverns would have borne most of the costs.

''I am of the belief that when you're cost-cutting you also have to be far-thinking,'' she said, adding that legislation was ''not being evaluated properly'' by the administration.

''It's extremely disappointing,'' she said.

The governor's administration also announced on Thursday that 35 new bills had been signed into law, including one that strengthens the state's ability to discipline doctors for mistakes on the job. Many of the bills concerned issues of local interest, like the classification of a parcel of parkland in the Syracuse area.

Mr. Paterson did make an exception to his belt-tightening by signing legislation aimed at further expanding eligibility for benefits for those who helped clean up the World Trade Center site. The projected cost for the city's various pension funds is $3.2 million a year.

''It is imperative that we continue to provide those workers who face health consequences from their work at ground zero with the very best care,'' the governor said in a statement.





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The New York Times

August 8, 2008 Friday

Correction Appended

Late Edition - Final


SECTION: Section E; Column 0; Movies, Performing Arts/Weekend Desk; ANTIQUES; Pg. 29

LENGTH: 962 words

If you like folk art, Maine is the place to be this summer.

Eleven museums have put together the ''Maine Folk Art Trail,'' a joint exhibition for which each institution has created a show from its own collection.

The trail is actually a loop, starting on the coast in York and ending up, inland, in Lewiston. By car, the itinerary would comfortably take about three days. (A map and directions are at .) The exhibition includes the full panoply of examples: weathervanes, quilts, painted furniture, hooked rugs, portraits, pottery and paintings by Grandma Moses.

Stacy C. Hollander, the senior curator at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, wrote the introduction to the exhibition catalog. ''It's a unique opportunity to see Maine's contribution to folk art in one fell swoop,'' she said.

Maine has long been associated with lumbering, shipbuilding, fishing and sea trade. The museums on the coast are particularly rich in artifacts with a maritime influence: scrimshaw, figureheads, carvings and useful implements (including a mackerel plow, a tool carved in the form of a shapely female leg).

''Maritime art is the strength of most of the collections,'' Ms. Hollander said. ''I was surprised at the diversity and excellence of the artworks.''

The show at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport includes graffitied sailors' bags, decorated sea chests, models of ships and textiles. One standout is an early-20th-century decoy of a drake eider duck, a bird often seen hunting for mussels in Maine's coastal waters. No one knows who made it, but the carving is the product of a dedicated amateur.

''Some of the Maine decoy forms are particularly elegant and sculptural,'' Ms. Hollander said. ''A few carvers are quite extraordinary. They tend to focus more on pure form than the painted surface.''

Maritime folk art appeals to specific groups. ''Maritime collectors tend to be Navy veterans, maritime lawyers, people with a great love for our history and first-generation Americans who strongly believe in the American dream,'' said Ron Bourgeault, the owner of Northeast Auctions in Portsmouth, N.H. ''Of course people who live on the Maine coast focus on things from Maine.''

In the 18th and 19th centuries Maine's ports were thriving, producing wealth that manifested itself in Georgian and Federal houses, shops, public buildings, factories and works of art. The Saco Museum has the largest known public collection of portraits by John Brewster Jr., including one of Col. Thomas Cutts (1736-1821), an entrepreneur in Saco who grew rich from shipbuilding, lumbering, running an iron works and retailing.

In about 1800 Colonel Cutts commissioned Brewster to paint two full-length portraits, one of himself and one of his wife, Elizabeth Scamman Cutts.

Brewster, who was deaf, was a portraitist popular with the local gentry. He rarely did full-length portraits. Here he depicts the colonel nearly life size, in a conservative black outfit, holding a walking stick, standing on an elaborately patterned carpet. His wife wears a white bonnet, lace-trimmed shawl and long dark dress. She carries a snuffbox, a status symbol at the time. Both look unapproachable.

Brewster, the subject of a 2006 traveling show organized by the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., is considered one of America's finest folk artists. He is known for his stylized treatment of the human form, paired with sensitive renderings of a subject's facial expression. The portraits of the Cuttses are among his finest.

The folk art trail was the idea of Charles Burden, a retired doctor and collector of nautical antiques from Richmond, Me. Two years ago he learned that the American Folk Art Society, a private group, was planning to visit Maine in fall 2008 to look at folk art collections. Since he knew most Maine museums keep their folk art in storage, he approached them about simultaneously organizing shows this summer.

''Most of the museums didn't know what folk art they had,'' Dr. Burden said. ''Apart from Colby College no one had ever thought of doing a folk art show.''

He called Raymond C. Egan, chairman of MethylGene Inc. and a longtime folk art collector who lives in Maine, asking him to help coordinate the shows and organize grant appeals. ''In the end most of the museums changed their schedules for us,'' Mr. Burden said.

About 100 works from the exhibition are illustrated in a catalog published by Down East Books: ''Folk Art in Maine: Uncommon Treasures: 1750-1925,'' edited by Kevin D. Murphy, chairman of the art history department at the City University of New York Graduate Center in Manhattan.

The institutions' shows close on different dates, but all stay open through September. On Sept. 28 Mr. Burden and Mr. Egan will hold a symposium with nine experts at Bates College in Lewiston. Registration is $45 and includes lunch.


For the second year Salzburg, Austria, is home to the Salzburg World Fine Art Fair, which has more than two dozen dealers exhibiting in the Residenz, a Baroque archbishop's palace, from Aug. 9 to 17 (). The dates coincide with the city's annual music festival.

The fair has dealers in photography, fine art and jewelry, but its strength is in the Austrian, Swiss and German dealers who participate; they rarely do shows elsewhere.

Galerie Kovacek of Vienna, a glass specialist, has a glass beaker depicting St. Stephen's Cathedral that was painted in 1825 by Anton Kothgasser of Vienna. Albrecht Neuhaus of Wurzburg, Germany, has medieval sculpture, Kunstkammer objects and Italian and German furniture in styles ranging from Gothic to Empire: not the kinds of antiques you see at fairs in the Park Avenue Armory in New York.




LOAD-DATE: August 8, 2008


CORRECTION-DATE: August 15, 2008

CORRECTION: The Antiques column last Friday, about folk art in Maine, and an accompanying picture caption, both using information from the publisher of the book ''Folk Art in Maine: Uncommon Treasures: 1750-1925,'' misidentified a duck decoy on display at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Me. It is a merganser drake, not a drake eider duck.

GRAPHIC: PHOTO: A decoy of a drake eider duck

these ducks often hunt for mussels in Maine's coastal waters.(PHOTOGRAPH BY ELLEN MCDERMOTT/THE PENOBSCOT MARINE MUSEUM, SEARSPORT, ME.)


Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

503 of 1231 DOCUMENTS

The New York Times

August 8, 2008 Friday

Late Edition - Final

A. Pininfarina, 51, Chief of Car Designer


SECTION: Section B; Column 0; Metropolitan Desk; Pg. 6

LENGTH: 586 words


Andrea Pininfarina, the chairman and chief executive of the Italian company founded by his family that designs Ferraris and other cars, died on Thursday when a car struck his Vespa scooter. He was 51.

Mr. Pininfarina died instantly in the accident in the town of Trofarello, which is seven miles south of the northwestern city of Turin and close to Pininfarina's headquarters, a police spokesman said. The 78-year-old driver of the car that hit Mr. Pininfarina had failed to give him the right of way, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

Mr. Pininfarina was part of a family dynasty that began its move into industry in 1930 when his grandfather, Battista Pinin Farina, founded the company, which in its first year designed cars for Alfa Romeo, Fiat and other Italian manufacturers. Mr. Pininfarina's father, Sergio Pininfarina, is the company's honorary chairman and one of Italy's seven senators for life. His younger brother, Paolo, is Pininfarina's vice chairman. His older sister, Lorenza, is on the board.

''Our country has lost a leading personality of its industrial life and the representative of a dynasty that has contributed to creating the Made in Italy brand in the world,'' Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a statement.

Andrea Pininfarina was born on June 26, 1957, in Turin, the heart of Italy's auto design industry. After graduating in 1981 with a degree in mechanical engineering from Turin's Polytechnic University, Mr. Pininfarina went to work in the United States. He joined the family company upon his return to Italy a few years later and became the chief executive of its German unit in 1991. He became chief executive of the company as a whole in 2001 and chairman in 2006.

Under Mr. Pininfarina, the company diversified its portfolio, balancing flashy projects like the Ferrari Enzo supercar with less exciting car designs for Hyundai, Daewoo and Ford.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the chairman of Fiat and its Ferrari unit, said in a statement: ''Italy, Turin and the whole Fiat Group have lost a stellar businessman. I shared with him years of work and the success of the Ferraris he designed.''

Mr. Pininfarina was deputy chairman of Confindustria, the powerful employers lobby, when Mr. Montezemolo was chairman.

Mr. Pininfarina's death comes at a pivotal time for his company, which lost 115 million euros ($176 million) last year and is struggling to regain its footing. Trying to rebound from four years of losses, Pininfarina said last week that it would sell 100 million euros in new shares to raise fresh capital, though another loss is projected for this year.

The share sale will bring the family holding to 30 percent from 55 percent and will be the first time the Pininfarinas have ceded majority control of the company. The new capital will be used to design an electric car that Pininfarina is developing with Vincent Bollore, the French financier.

Mr. Pininfarina's death raised speculation that the family could sell the company. Its shares surged 21 percent on Thursday.

Pininfarina is working on five cars, including ones for Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Ford and Mitsubishi. The company has branched out in recent years and has designed many products including lamps, pens, water bottles, coffee pots, mobile phones and the Olympic torch used in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

In addition to his father, brother and sister, Mr. Pininfarina is survived by his wife, Cristina Pellion di Persano, and three children, Benedetta, Sergio and Luca.




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CATEGORY: Business and Finance

Andrea Pininfarina

LOAD-DATE: August 8, 2008


GRAPHIC: PHOTO: Andrea Pininfarina, head of the Pininfarina design house.

DOCUMENT-TYPE: Obituary (Obit); Biography


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The New York Times

August 8, 2008 Friday

Correction Appended

Late Edition - Final

Can the New Rich Buy Respect? One Ukrainian Oligarch Is Trying


SECTION: Section C; Column 0; Business/Financial Desk; Pg. 1

LENGTH: 1371 words


There comes a time in the life of an oligarch when spending money becomes more important than making it. And for Victor Pinchuk, the controversial oligarch and Ukraine's second-richest man after Rinat Akhmetov, that time is now.

At his invitation, Paul McCartney recently performed before 350,000 exultant Ukrainians in Independence Square in Kiev during a thundering rainstorm. ''This is for Ukrainya,'' Mr. Pinchuk yelled after the performance in June.

It may have been, but the concert, which cost Mr. Pinchuk more than $5 million, was also the latest, most lavish stage for his own uneven metamorphosis from grasping, post-Soviet oligarch to international mover and shaker. Now, he calls the likes of the financier George Soros and former President Bill Clinton friends.

The worldwide boom in commodities has created a growing number of billionaires in once destitute economies like Russia, India and Ukraine. At the same time, the global credit crisis has set back the ambitions of many a Western titan and opened the way for a new breed of the superrich, hungry for art, access and, ultimately, acceptance.

For Mr. Pinchuk, and many of his contemporaries in neighboring Russia, the prizes they extracted from the ashes of the Soviet Union were a function of brute political calculation and ruthless business practice.

But in an interconnected world, success is measured not only by the size of their fortunes but also by their ability to use their billions to achieve recognition and influence far beyond the grimy precincts of their industrial triumphs.

His detractors say that Mr. Pinchuk's wealth would not have exploded had he not married the only daughter of Leonid D. Kuchma, Ukraine's controversial former president.

He has been accused of securing sweet deals on privatizations, especially in the steel industry. One of his privatization deals has been revoked. Another, his purchase of Nikopol, one of the world's largest iron alloy producers, resulted in a lawsuit that accused Mr. Pinchuk of paying bribes to officials and siphoning off $41 million in profits.

That case was settled in 2006, and Mr. Pinchuk brushes off the allegations. He also denies that he benefited from favoritism.

''My pipe business I created from scratch; my media assets and bank I bought from the secondary market,'' he said. ''The only gift I get from Kuchma is my wife. I am trying to be transparent but nobody likes rich people.''

But his critics are undaunted. ''I wouldn't mind getting paid what his P.R. people are getting paid to clean up his image,'' said Bruce S. Marks, a lawyer who represented the rival Ukrainian businessman who filed the lawsuit against Mr. Pinchuk.

In Russia, billionaire oligarchs like Roman A. Abramovich and Oleg V. Deripaska have taken steps to present themselves as acceptable international figures. Mr. Abramovich has invested millions in art and soccer, while Mr. Deripaska met with Senator John McCain in 2006. But few, if any, have been as bluntly aggressive in using art, philanthropy, public policy and even rock 'n' roll to advance their agendas as Mr. Pinchuk.

''What I am doing is not about image,'' said Mr. Pinchuk, 47. ''I just want to participate in the building of my country.''

He is engaged in a level of philanthropy unparalleled in Ukraine, mixed with supercharged celebrity hobnobbing. He is one of the larger non-American donors to the foundation established by Mr. Clinton, and has bankrolled a substantial AIDS awareness initiative in Ukraine. He is equally at home enjoying a night out with Elton John or a private showing of Jeff Koons's latest sculptures.

To sustain his quixotic dream of securing Ukraine's entry into the European Union, he has financed programs in Washington at the Brookings Institution and the Peterson Institute. And he lured George H. W. Bush, Mr. Clinton, Karl Rove and Tony Blair to give speeches in Yalta to support the cause.

None of this comes cheap. Such pursuits, along with his art purchases, have cost Mr. Pinchuk about $200 million over the last four years out of a fortune estimated at $5 billion to $10 billion.

But the investments are already reaping dividends. A Pinchuk luncheon at Davos drew 400 luminaries; he has attended Mr. Clinton's 60th and Mr. Bush's 80th birthday parties; and he can now call upon Damien Hirst, known for his shark in formaldehyde, to propose a color scheme for his new private jet. (The suggestion was blue.)

Mr. Pinchuk's endorsers include Kofi Annan as well as Mr. Soros, whom he identified early on as a mentor. He has since become a large benefactor to foundations backed by Mr. Soros.

''He is behaving like an enlightened capitalist, and there are not many in that part of the world,'' Mr. Soros said.

It is not a role he was born into. Mr. Pinchuk was raised in a two-room apartment in Dniepropetrovsk, a town south of Kiev.

As an engineer out of college, he had modest goals -- an apartment, a TV, perhaps a dacha. ''This was my dream,'' he said. ''Then perestroika started.''

Armed with a patent for a specialized form of pipe production, Mr. Pinchuk persuaded his manager to let him market his services to pipe factories. In 1990, he formed Interpipe as an engineering consulting firm and positioned himself as a middleman.

With companies cut off from Moscow and the old business relationships, and unschooled in the ways of marketing and entrepreneurship, Mr. Pinchuk recreated the industrial chain of manufacturing steel -- converting coal to coke to pig iron to hot rolled coils to steel pipes -- taking a cut at each stage.

When Ukraine began selling its assets in the 1990s, Mr. Pinchuk built up stakes for a few million dollars in two pipe companies, which are now worth billions.

His fortune has attracted attention in the West and Mr. Clinton's attention in particular. Sharing a fondness for blending high policy with kitschy celebrity gatherings, the two men have bonded.

''Victor is motivated by the rare quality of inclusion and doing whatever he can to bring together those who can help with those in need,'' Mr. Clinton said in a statement.

Mr. Pinchuk makes scant effort to cloak his wealth, whether it be a $23 million purchase of a Koons sculpture or the $160 million he recently paid for a London estate. But such displays are not so easily digested in Ukraine, a country ravaged by inflation, AIDS and an inchoate political process.

Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko, who, like Mr. Pinchuk, is young and glamorous, has advanced an anti-oligarch platform squarely focused on Mr. Pinchuk and his ties to Mr. Kuchma.

When asked about her, Mr. Pinchuk declines to comment, saying only that the country is in need of real leadership. ''Politicians love power. I love freedom,'' he said. ''That is why I am not a politician.''

It is the day after the concert, and Mr. Pinchuk has invited select guests to his sprawling Japanese garden. To honor Mr. McCartney, a vegan, Mr. Pinchuk has flown in the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra. The orchestra is now entertaining his brunch party by performing a cacophony of pumpkin pounding and celery screeches.

Mr. McCartney shows up with his new girlfriend. William B. Taylor Jr., the United States ambassador to Ukraine, is in attendance, as is Viktor A. Yushchenko, the president of Ukraine; Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia; and Mr. Hirst, the artist, accompanied by Jay Jopling, the influential art dealer.

It is in many ways a coming-out party, with each guest representing a swatch of the gaudy tapestry of legitimacy that Mr. Pinchuk so badly craves. The presence of Ambassador Taylor brings the implicit approval of the United States; the Ukrainian and Georgian presidents attest to his local clout; and the mere presence of Mr. Hirst and Mr. Jopling underscores his weight in the world of modern art.

President Yushchenko, whose face still bears the scars that made him a symbol during Ukraine's Orange Revolution, takes it all in -- the shimmering garden, the rock star and, in the distance, a nine-hole golf course that Mr. Pinchuk (who has just taken up the game) is building.

''The world has given it all to Mr. Pinchuk,'' he said. ''Now it is time to give it back.''





CATEGORY: Business and Finance

Victor Pinchuk

LOAD-DATE: August 8, 2008


CORRECTION-DATE: August 11, 2008

CORRECTION: An article on Friday about Victor Pinchuk, a wealthy Ukrainian who has become an international mover and shaker, referred incompletely to a lawsuit brought against him by a rival Ukrainian businessman. While the suit, which was settled in 2006, did indeed accuse Mr. Pinchuk of siphoning off $41 million in profits from an iron alloy producer he had purchased, it also included other allegations of wrongful diversion estimated at more than $500 million; the alleged diversions did not total only $41 million.

GRAPHIC: PHOTOS: Victor Pinchuk has a fortune of $5 billion to $10 billion.(PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES HILL FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

To build his reputation, Mr. Pinchuk paid more than $5 million to have Paul McCartney perform at a concert in Kiev in June.(PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES HILL FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)(pg. C10)

DOCUMENT-TYPE: Biography; Biography


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505 of 1231 DOCUMENTS

The New York Times

August 8, 2008 Friday

Late Edition - Final

Eccentricity Fuels a Revival of Vermont's River Towns


SECTION: Section A; Column 0; National Desk; GOING DOWN THE ROAD; Pg. 11

LENGTH: 1391 words


Few people would describe Stephen McAllister as conventional.

After all, he once jumped out the window of his 11th-grade English class during a discussion of ''Don Quixote'' that he considered ''particularly boring,'' getting himself expelled from school in the process.

Now, Mr. McAllister has a plan that may seem as quixotic. At age 59, he has returned to this gritty river village, buying an abandoned paper mill on the Internet that he is turning into an eco-resort, a go-to place for ''green marriages, green bar mitzvahs and carbon-neutral vacations.''

It is the kind of entrepreneurially eccentric idea that writers of a Depression era federal guide to Vermont found flourishing back then, especially in this southeastern sliver of the state along the Connecticut River, which has long bubbled with a kind of creative chutzpah.

Vermont, the authors suggested, was not just a state, but a state of mind.

''Vermont apologists have defended this attitude as the very essence of liberty,'' they wrote. ''Outside observers have considered it as a consistent manifestation of unenlightened perversity.''

Revisiting some of the river towns nowadays finds them trying to rebound from factory closings, farm consolidations and fading Main Streets by again embracing idiosyncratic ideas, and drawing on the bedrock that once made these towns vibrant: the river, the railroad and a hardy independent streak.

Consider the colorful characters in the 1937 guide, a nationwide writers' project sponsored by the Works Progress Administration that has been republished online and is attracting new public attention.

In Brattleboro, there was Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft, a German political refugee, who established the ''water cure,'' a mineral spring attracting far-flung folks with frayed nerves, reportedly including opposites like Stonewall Jackson and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

In Bellows Falls, Henrietta Howland Robinson Green, an investor then considered the richest woman in America, reportedly did not change her undergarments until they had worn out, rebuffed heat and hot water, and refused to pay for a doctor to treat her son's broken leg, which was eventually amputated. (The site of this miser's home is now a bank.)

And in Putney, John Humphrey Noyes, a ''magnetic, elusive, and provocative'' religious fanatic, wrote in 1847 that '' 'there is no more reason why sexual intercourse should be restrained by law, than why eating and drinking should be' '' and ''led his followers from communism of property, through communism of households, to communism of love, or, as he called it, complex marriage,'' the guide said.

''There has always been real creativity and real eccentricity and independent thought,'' said Dona Brown, an associate professor of history at the University of Vermont. ''People who had a big idea and went with it,'' often exhibiting ''a tinkering or artisanal quality.''

''They had this idea that they could fix things, even fix humanity,'' Professor Brown said.

That spirit seemed to come in bursts, usually after economic hard times. The early 1900s spawned manufacturing masterminds; the 1960s, following a postwar slump, drew back-to-the-land hippies.

Now, that cycle is recurring. In Brattleboro, when people ''saw the regular businesses not being viable, they really wanted to make sure Brattleboro didn't suffer,'' said Elsie Smith, 37, who, with her twin sister and trapeze partner, Serenity Smith Forchion, started the New England Center for Circus Arts in a defunct cotton mill, where arts-related businesses were offered low rents.

The mill's strong beams allow circus folks to ''hang off them without worrying too much about bringing the ceiling down,'' Ms. Smith said. More importantly, here, ''you're not odd or weird or strange for being a circus performer.''

In Bellows Falls, ''by the mid-1990s, 75 percent of the stores were vacant,'' said Robert McBride, a painter who has helped convert derelict buildings into housing and studios for artists, igniting an economic resurgence. ''People were saying we needed to get a mill back, bring back in a big company. Wasn't going to happen. So we brought artists to the table.''

Among them is Denny Partridge, who returned here after decades in New York to perform plays in bakeries and other offbeat venues during the ''mud season'' of late winter and early spring. ''I've always had a theory that art exists best in places where life is hard,'' she said.

A group from Brooklyn, ''So Percussion,'' has been commissioned to write and perform music on a Bellows Falls boxcar and in Brattleboro's train station. Their ''instruments'' -- oil drums, paper spools, pipes, bicycle wheels -- echo the town's industrial past.

Professor Brown said the 1937 guide, influenced and partly written by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, ''spends a lot of time highlighting odd historical aspects'' of Vermont, as if to say ''even if the milk check is cut in half and factories are shut, these are your roots, this is your heritage, these are your resources you can draw on.''

Some landmarks noted in the guide are making a comeback.

Take Naulakha, the house in Dummerston, where Rudyard Kipling wrote ''Captains Courageous'' and ''The Jungle Book,'' and where he apparently introduced skiing to Vermont using skis from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Kipling left in 1896 after a public spat with his ne'er-do-well brother-in-law, and for decades the house went unused. Now, vacationers can sleep in Kipling's bed, flush his toilet tank, scribble at his writing desk.

A factory started in 1846 by Jacob Estey, who ran away from an orphanage and became the world's largest maker of reed organs, closed in 1960, but it, too, is being revived.

In its heyday, ''thousands of American women sewed till the small hours, picked berries under a blazing sun or rented the spare room, and saved their egg money in a cracked teapot on the top shelf with just one goal in mind: a black walnut Estey organ in the parlor,'' the guide rhapsodized.

Now, Estey reed and pipe organs from around the world have been reclaimed by the fledgling Estey Organ Museum in Brattleboro. Ned Phoenix, an organ restorer, refurbishes them, sometimes holding ''organ bees,'' like quilting bees, inviting the community to help fix up the instruments. The museum is also restoring a pipe organ that visitors will be able to walk through.

Easy to reach from urban centers like New York but unspoiled enough to feel remote, these towns beckoned unconventional types. Unlike other parts of New England, where ''people from away'' never really become equals, newcomers here are woven into the fabric -- like the '60s back-to-the-landers who set up communes, learned farming from books and weathered winters so harsh no mail was delivered.

''You had your problem-solving skills, your cussedness, and your neighbors, and a kind of wonderful, chastening place to be,'' said Verandah Porche, 62, a poet (nee Linda Jacobs, originally from New Jersey), who still lives at Total Loss Farm in Guilford, now a multigenerational homestead.

These days, a back-to-the-river movement hopes to reinvigorate the region with boating, fishing and other activities, said David L. Deen, a Democratic state representative who was out rowing recently. For decades, the river was ''a sewer, and the smoke from the mills filled it up,'' said Artie Aiken, 95, ofWestminster, who worked the railroad, drove ''four horses on a tater digger'' and risked his life saving a farmer's cows in a 1936 flood.

Still, the ambition of Mr. McAllister's eco-resort, Liberty Mill, has surprised locals in this struggling town, whose lodging choices now include the Hetty Green motel -- not exactly the green Mr. McAllister has in mind. ''Avoid at all costs,'' said one traveler in a review of the motel on Trip Advisor. Liberty Mills plans to offer an Olympic-quality kayak race course, a skate park and a pool where a coal furnace once fumed; photovoltaic, wood pellet and geothermal power; and compost toilets for guests that will fertilize a farm growing food for the resort.

''When I first heard about it, I was flabbergasted that anyone could think they could pull that off,'' said Jim Mullen, the town manager of Rockingham, which includes Bellows Falls. But, he added, ''the community here always says 'just go for it.' ''




LOAD-DATE: August 8, 2008


GRAPHIC: PHOTOS: ALONG THE RIVER: Enjoying a river near Bellows Falls, Vt. The town and other river towns in the state, featured in a Depression era travel guide, are being reborn.

RELOCATING, TO HOME: Verandah Porche, a 62-year-old poet originally from New Jersey, lives at Total Loss Farm in Guilford, Vt.

IMPROVISING: At the train station in Bellows Falls, Vt., a band makes music with unconventional instruments.

HOME TO MANY: Total Loss Farm, a multigenerational homestead in Guilford, along the Connecticut River.(PHOTOGRAPHS BY TYLER HICKS/THE NEW YORK TIMES)

POLISHING HISTORY: The Estey Organ Company in 1927 in Brattleboro, Vt. Today, the Estey Organ Museum is home to old reed and pipe organs.(PHOTOGRAPH BY CLIFTON ADAMS/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC) MAP Map details area of Bellows Falls.



Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

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