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Regional News

In recent weeks, this newspaper company has published a survey on the pages of The Lakeville Journal and The Millerton News, and at our website at www.tricornernews.com.

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Regional News

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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Picture perfect

C. J. Brito and other fourth-graders from the Region One School District journeyed to The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville on March 9 for the annual regional Arts Day. Students took part in creative workshops and watched performances on The Hotchkiss School stage. For a story and additional color photos, turn to Page A3.

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Rigby votes against ‘sick leave’ bill

winstedjournal@sbcglobal.net

HARTFORD — State Rep. John Rigby last week voted against a proposal (S.B. 913) that would require some Connecticut employers to give employees paid sick leave. The bill passed by a 6-5 vote in the House Labor Committee.
If approved by the full Legislature, the measure will provide benefits to approximately 257,000 people in the private sector by mandating employers of more than 50 employees to offer paid sick leave to workers after three months on the job. Employees would earn one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked.

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