For 40 years, Mary Dugan has watched her hometown of East Greenbush, New York, transform from a sleepy rural community into a bustling Albany suburb, its once solitary forests now peppered with stripmalls and daily traffic jams.

It’s a transition Dugan hasn’t minded. But when the utility company that supplies gas to the region proposed tearing up the road a mile from her one-story ranch to install a new pipeline, Dugan put her foot down.

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