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Westport’s ‘Top Dog’ to be Named Dec. 15

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Westport’s “Top Dog” for 2012 will be named on Dec. 15 at a 4 p.m. ceremony at Westport Town Hall by the Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA) group. Finalists include (top, l-r)  Bruce, a 150-pound Lab-Newfoundland mix; Bella, an always welcoming yellow Lab; Baby, a miniature poodle rescued at 11 years of age who now provides therapy services at an adult day care center; (bottom, l-r) China, a chow-mix rescued in Florida; Bluebear, a Westport Animal Control rescue, and Lola, who was born on a sheep farm in western Wales and lived with her family in London before she made the long trip to Westport. The winning dog’s photo will join the Top Dog Hall of Fame in Town Hall outside of the Town Clerk’s office. In addition, WASA will be presenting its first Second Chance award for the dog and family that truly represent the spirit of WASA in providing a second chance for a homeless dog.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photos

Wakeman Farm Holiday Open House on Sunday

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A Miggs Burroughs designed poster promotes the open house. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Wakeman Town Farm will hold an open house on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at which time the farm team will unveil a new farm logo designed by Westport graphic artist Miggs Burroughs.

At the event, guests will welcome home farm stewards Mike and Carrie Aitkenhead in a holiday event that will feature cookies, mulled cider, and ornament crafts. Admission is $5 per person admission fee to cover costs. Attendees are asked to bring a canned good for donation to the Gillespie Center’s food pantry.

“While the kids decorate cookies and make mini-gingerbread homes, the adults will enjoy a mug of good cheer with your neighbors and learn about the farm’s exciting roster of educational programs and kids’ camps focusing on farming and sustainability,” an announcement said.

The newly unveiled logo will be featured on mugs with the original WTF t-shirts and hats on sale, just in time for holiday gift giving.

Legislators Get 15 Days to Finish Congressional Map

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Legislators seem to always need a hard deadline for anything important, and now they have one: the Connecticut Supreme Court today set a final deadline of noon on Dec. 21 for the legislature’s redistricting commission to produce a map of new congressional districts.

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The state’s congressional districts as proposed by the Republicans. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

The legislature got the census data necessary to draw the maps in March, but the redistricting panel missed deadlines of Sept. 15 and Nov. 30. Now, if the panel fails by the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the court will draw the district lines for the first time in state history.

Last week, the panel unanimously approved new districts for 151 state House and 36 state Senate districts, but its only joint work on the congressional districts involved the Democrats and Republicans exchanging very different maps.

Democrats handed in a map that preserves the existing districts, making only small adjustments necessary to balance the population in each of the five districts.

Click here for more of story

Staples Student Wins $10K Siemens Scholarship

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John Solder: Siemens finalist. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Staples High School senior John Solder has won a $10,000 scholarship in the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, America’s premier science research competition for high school students.

The 13th annual awards were presented Monday at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., host of the 2011 Siemens Competition National Finals. Solder won for his study of brain disorders.

Administered by the College Board, the Siemens Competition is a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, which supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Solder was among the finalists that saw the top $100,000 grand prize in the individual category go to Angela Zhang, a senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif. She won for using nanotechnology to eradicate cancer stem cells.

Real Estate Report: Positive News

By Judy Szablak

The news on a national level is uplifting, and locally, it appears even better. The Pending Home Sales Index rose sharply in October, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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This waterfront estate at 3 Charmers Landing is listed for $8,850,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy Granite Studios

The report is released during the first week of each month, and the latest report shows an October increase of 10.4 percent over September’s figures. The index measures housing contract activity and is based upon signed real estate contracts for single-family homes, condos and co-ops.

While pending properties are not guaranteed sales, they are an excellent gauge of the market health. Locally, we have had an outstanding week in reported pending properties, and especially so for this time of year.

The latest economic reports for November indicate that consumer confidence has risen, and our local market seems to agree. The weekly statistics:

Hugh Pickering, 89

Hugh Pickering, a lifelong resident of Westport, died at his home on Dec. 1 after a short illness. He was 89.

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Hugh Pickering: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Born in 1922 in Malvern, N.Y.,  he was the son of the late Samuel Pickering and Natalie Ronalds. He attended Westport public schools, graduating from Staples High School in 1940. He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from New York University.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a fighter pilot during World War II, flying the F4U-1 Corsair on 42 missions in the Pacific. Aviation was a passion of his which continued long after the end of the war.

He worked for the Chevron Oil Company and retired in 1986 as the general manager of the Hoffman Oil Co., Chevron’s subsidiary in Stamford.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


7:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – TEAM Westport Committee
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society –  “At Home with Stone” & “The Wit & Wisdom of Frazier Forman Peters”
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “On Duty: Odermatt, Metinides and Weegee”
10 a.m. – Westport Public Library – Business Special: Eddie Ramirez, “Investors Business Daily”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Historic District Commission/Architectural Review Board Joint Meeting
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Dr. Lynn Wilkinson, “What can science tell us about happiness?”
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Representative Town Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar