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WINGDALE— Joining together with Housatonic Valley Association, Harlem Valley Homestead ushered in the month of November by inviting the community to a tree-planting party on Saturday, Nov. 3.

While the morning was clouded with dark skies and a burst of rain, volunteers were determined to set up roots along the Ten Mile River — rain or shine. By the afternoon, the weather warmed up and the sun came out, casting a light on the autumn colors. Open to all ages, volunteers planted flowers and trees.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the homestead organized a tulip-planting pre...

Regional News

Fine time for chicks, lambs

It takes a big man to raise a tiny chicken. Antonio Razzaio of Scarsdale, N.Y., left, came to Tractor Supply in Amenia over the weekend to pick up a half dozen baby chicks, which he said he will raise for their eggs. Although his main residence is in Westchester, Razzaio said he also has property in Dutchess County.

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Whassup?

Vivian, the Ag-Ed sow at Housatonic Valley Regional High School, took interest in something in the barn.

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Who pays the most in property taxes?

christineb@millertonnews.com

WASHINGTON — Town of Washington residents asked at the comprehensive plan visioning meeting about taxes. In fact, based on an analysis by The Millerton News, town residents on average pay lower tax rates than in surrounding Dutchess County towns.
But that doesn’t mean that town of Washington residents have lower tax bills. The total estimated market value of Washington properties is high, four times that of Pine Plains, two-and-a-half times that of North East. As a result, Washington residents pay as much in county taxes as residents in Amenia, North East and Pine Plains combined.

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Census Bureau data released for state

The U.S. Census Bureau released detailed data for Connecticut Wednesday, launching the state’s redistricting process.
The reapportionment committee has until Sept. 15, 2011, to get three plans — U.S. Congress, state Senate and state House — passed by two-thirds of each house of the General Assembly. Failing that, a redistricting commission will be formed.
In recent years, the process has been intense without being divisive.
According to Census data, the 2nd Congressional District grew faster than the other four. Legislators will need to remove 14,952 residents from its boundaries.

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Hiking season is here; take a flashlight

karaw@lakevillejournal.com

When it first begins to feel more like spring than winter, there’s nothing sweeter than getting outside, breathing deeply, feeling the sun on your skin —and taking a long walk that doesn’t involve an indoor treadmill.
Hiking on flat trails or up the nearby mountains provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, uses most of the body’s muscles and gives the walker a chance to get out and commune with the beauty that is the Litchfield and Berkshire hills.

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Perigee moon

It was a super-full moon Saturday night, March 19, when the orb was closer to Earth than it has been since March 1993. The next perigee moon will be in 2029. Mark your calendar.

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Why Easter is so late this year

karenb@lakevillejournal.com

Over the centuries, people around the world have found lots of things to squabble about — including “the celebration of God’s holy and supremely excellent day.”
That description of Easter was written by Epiphanius of Salamis not long after the First Council of Nicaea met in 325. There and then, it was decided that all Christian churches would celebrate Easter on the same day (whatever that day is); and that the complicated Hebrew calendar would no longer be factored in.

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The power of political cartooning

TORRINGTON — Acclaimed Litchfield County illustrators Marc Simont and Barry Blitt have been tapped by the Litchfield County Writers Project to talk about political cartooning on Monday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m., at UConn’s Torrington branch.
Simont, whose work has appeared in this newspaper, is an artist, political cartoonist and illustrator of more than 100 children’s books. His first children’s book was published in 1939.

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Federal cutbacks could impact Torrington’s Planned Parenthood

shawi@winstedjournal.com

TORRINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment Friday, Feb. 18, to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, eliminating $330 million in annual Title X funding that helps fund the organization’s preventative health services.
Susan Yolen, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, said in an interview last week that the potential federal cutbacks would make accessing services difficult for lower income residents.

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What good are state report cards to school districts?

corya@millertonnews.com, christineb@millertonnews.com

HARLEM VALLEY — Responding to their school district’s state-issued “report cards,” local superintendents attempted to put the results in perspective.
First, all three superintendents pointed out that the 2009-10 report cards are the first to use a new system of standards for the math and English tests.
Test results were broken up into four levels, Level 1 being the lowest and Level 4 the highest. Levels 3 and 4 are considered passing.

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