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Surely you have heard the phrases "the elephant in the room" and "a babe in the woods," but a baby elephant in the woods? That's what Barbara Wallenta saw recently while running her daily bus routes along Sugar Street. Actually, Barbara not



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Surely you have heard the phrases “the elephant in the room” and “a babe in the woods,” but a baby elephant in the woods? That’s what Barbara Wallenta saw recently while running her daily bus routes along Sugar Street. Actually, Barbara noticed that one of the trees that had fallen following the heavy rains of early last month resembled a baby elephant. When she pointed it out to a friend recently he agreed, so Barbara took a photo and shared it with me this week. Look at the fall tree on the left in this photo. What do you think? I think Barbara has indeed discovered a baby elephant in the woods of Newtown.

Hmmm. I don’t think you’ll see any baby elephants here, but the Botsford Fire Rescue will be hosting its annual Spring Carnival next week. Members of the volunteer fire company will be setting up the carnival in the parking lot at Newtown High School on Tuesday, April 19, and will be ready to welcome carnivalgoers of all ages beginning Wednesday, April 20, at 6 pm. The event, a fundraiser for the company, offers traditional carnival rides and food, along with games of chance. It will open at 6 pm Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, April 20 to 22, and at 2 pm, Saturday afternoon, April 23, and runs until 10 pm each night.

This past week in history was a busy one, I discovered. Most notably, Tuesday was the 50th anniversary of the first human flight into space, when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagari, in the tiny Vostok space capsule, completed the first orbit of Earth. Tuesday was also the anniversary of the start of the Civil War, 150 years ago. Confederate soldiers fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina, April 12, 1861, starting a 33-hour, rare bloodless battle that resulted in the surrender of the fort.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office on April 12, 1945. Apollo 13 was launched on April 11, 1970, with hopes of being the third lunar landing, until an oxygen tank aboard exploded, aborting the mission and sending the crew back to Earth under precarious circumstances.

April 14 is the anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, in 1865. President Lincoln actually died the day following the shooting at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.

On April 15, 1912, the unsinkable British liner Titanic sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic. More than 1,500 of the 2,200 passengers aboard perished.

Sandy Hook School students Erin and Colleen Phaneuf don’t like the half days off from school, each first Wednesday of the month, and they recently wrote to Board of Education Chairman Bill Hart to let him know. In copies of the letters mom Jeanne provided to The Bee, Erin, a first grader, wanted to know, “Why were (sic) having so many half day’s (sic)?” and added a p.s. — “I have to rush all my work and it come’s (sic) out sloppy. Think about it.” Third grade sister Colleen quizzed the BOE chair, asking, “Did you know that these half days are disurpting (sic) our education?” The sisters hope that Mr Hart will take into consideration their concerns, and “maybe you may change your mind.”

Here’s a date you might not change your mind about, once you save it: The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury will hold its ninth annual fundraiser “Shelter from the Storm” Gala, Friday, May 6, from 6 to 10 pm, at the new Matrix Conference & Banquet Center in Danbury. The center provides free and confidential services to prevent or lessen the trauma associated with domestic violence, sexual assault, and other major life transitions to thousands of women, children, and men annually, in surrounding towns and Newtown.

 This year’s gala will honor Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Mercedes Benz of Danbury, Dental Associates of Connecticut, and Joe’s Salon & Spa in New Milford, companies that gala chair Glori Norwitt calls “ideal models” of businesses with big hearts.

Gala attendees will enjoy dinner, live music, and a chance to bid on fabulous items at both live and silent auctions. In addition, comedienne Christine O’Leary will entertain the crowd during the live auction. The center is also selling raffle tickets now through May 6 featuring the Grand Prize of a seven-night vacation for two at the Ritz Carlton in St Thomas, including airfare. Both gala tickets ($100 per person) and raffle tickets ($20 each) can be purchased by calling the center at 203-731-5200, or on the website at www.wcogd.org. Corporate tables and sponsorships are also available.

A little closer to home, and a little bit earlier in May, is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s big annual event, Light The Night. It may not actually return until the fall, but fundraising continues year round. In fact, Kristen Angell, the new special event coordinator for LLS’s Wilton office, will bring one of her first special events to Sandy Hook next month. “The Cure is only a Sip Away,” is a wine tasting with live music and catered hors d’oeuvres that will be hosted by McLaughlin Vineyards on Sunday, May 1. The event will run from 1 to 4 pm, and tickets are $25 if you reserve a ticket in advance, or $30 at the door, with proceeds to benefit LLS and its mission to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Give Kristen a call at 203-665-1400 for reservations (credit cards are fine) or additional information.

A little bird told me (and don’t ask why birds are willing to share with me) that 2005 NHS grad Sara Davis will be heading to Germany for two years, come October. Sara got into grad school at the University of Hohenheim to study environmental protection and agriculture. Congratulations, and good luck, Sara!

Speaking of birds, I see that Liz Arneth has one of her wings in a sling. Liz is one of the volunteers supporting the young writers at C.H. Booth Library, and involved in many Newtown activities. Hope this doesn’t keep her grounded for too long.

I’ll be out investigating what all those birds are singing about so early every morning these days, and looking for any other bits of news I can lay my paws on, so don’t forget next week to… Read me again.

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