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ABOUT TOWN: Mall

Did you know that Weston can have a mall?

No, not a commercial shopping mall with fields of paved parking. But a real mall. In the traditional sense. Similar to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. A pedestrian extravaganza.

Our nation’s capital, including its Capitol building with dome, and the Washington Monument for emphasis, is a model. Weston may not compare in terms of venerable history, but we’ve had our moments!

This year the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee has chosen Sunday afternoon, Sept. 9, from noon to 5, for what amounts to a community garden party. School Road without cars and buses! Wow!

In 1994, what was referred to as “Club Weston” inaugurated the concept of street closings here. Dogs came on leashes, kids on tricycles and roller skates. No repetition has happened since then. School construction has intervened in some of the years, and even Mother Nature has gotten in the way.

That was the case last year, when Mother Nature prevented a revival of this pedestrian-friendly event. But it is comforting to know that the Planning and Zoning Commission, in the 2010 Town Plan, recommended street-closings to help build community feeling. They even recommended that smaller neighborhoods give it a try!

Bravo to street fairs, and in advance to the volunteers who will man the roadblocks on Sept. 9. And as the saying goes, let the games begin!

Pets

As we enjoy and work to preserve Weston’s natural beauty, we also care about the smaller members of the animal kingdom. That is one reason why I like it so much here.

Consider dogs, for example. There is a human family to go with him or her or it. There is a pet dog in at least one-third of our roughly 3,400 households.

The last time this columnist reviewed our canine population, as of Sept. 10, 2010, there were around 1,300 licensed dogs in Weston. That was an increase over my informal 2005 dog census, which showed 1,167.

Not all Westonites remember to either get or renew their best friend’s legal papers. So there are most likely even more four-legged residents than the statistics show. Dogs are not wild animals, and deserve to be treated like members of the families with whom they reside. Make sure your pet has all the necessary shots, and renew its license.

Just last week, a town Code Red alert came through Friday, which was immediately publicized via an email from The Forum. It warned of aggressive coyotes. This is news in Weston. There are lots and lots of coyotes who fill the night air with their barking howls. Until now I had just considered this to be part of nature’s background chatter.

To begin with, what this alert showed was the refinement of the town’s Code Red warning system. Only the general neighborhood of the two Aspetuck Land Trust properties that were involved, on the southeastern side of town, received the alert. It is a good thing that the town can target these alerts. Many of the land trust’s properties are small, neighborhood preserves.

I am grateful that the Aspetuck Land Trust and the town of Weston attentively care about canine visitors and their two-legged friends. What is a Weston neighborhood without its pets? And their protection from emboldened wild animals is important.

NOTE: “About Town” is also a television program. It’s on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). 

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Check out Margaret Wirtenberg's website: http://www.aboutweston.com/

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