It was 1997 when Newtown Bee reporter and web designer Andrea Zimmermann and then-managing editor, now editor, Curtiss Clark decided to mentor a new generation of reporters. None of the “interns” were yet enrolled in journalism school. As a matter of fact, some of the new writers were not yet enrolled in first grade. “Kids! Write Book Reviews For The Newtown Bee!” announced the initiative on the Just For Kids page. “Book reviews written by you and your friends will appear every week in the newspaper and on The Newtown Bee Internet pages,” the young Hemingways were told. More than three dozen boys and girls from Newtown, and even one young lady from Idaho, accepted the offer. The Newtown Bee wondered recently whether the experience had an impact on their lives.
Reverend Jim Solomon’s mother Amanda Tamer Solomon “is an awesome woman,” and she has Alzheimer’s, he said. Handling her illness has been hard. With his daughters’ encouragement, Mr Solomon recently wrote about his experience in caring for her. “Although it was difficult to share, I hoped it would bring comfort and even hope, along with some laughter — which is always good medicine — to others in similar circumstances,” said Mr Solomon, who lives with his family in Newtown and serves as the senior pastor for New Hope Community Church. He has for years “felt that oftentimes our most effective service/ministry to others comes out of our deepest wounds, as God never wastes a hurt.”
Pressing her trowel into sun-baked soil, Victory Garden volunteer Barbara Toomey started this season’s preparations for her row in the community garden. Pulling at weeds and leftover plant husks and removing old plant supports, she glanced up as several other volunteers arrived Monday afternoon: “It’s our first time together [this season], I guess we’ll clean up,” adding, “we’ll need fresh mulch between the rows.” Located within the Fairfield Hills campus near the Mile Hill South entrance, the community garden that provides fresh food for FAITH Food Pantry is entering its fourth season.
Flags honoring American lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan wars currently cover the front lawn of Newtown Congregational Church. Volunteers spent a few hours on Friday, April 25 putting more than 6,800 small flags -- each one representing an American soldier killed in those locations -- into precise rows, creating a breathtaking, solemn display that will remain on view for a few weeks.
Florence Foster Jenkins was a real person, a very rich, very deluded daughter of a wealthy Pittsburgh physician, who settled in New York and proceeded to launch her own career as a soprano soloist, despite the fact that she could not sing. By the time of her death in 1944, Florence had gained great fame because of a unique combination of qualities: She had an absolutely dreadful voice, an unshakable conviction that she was a uniquely gifted singer whom audiences loved, and enough inherited money to finance her concert career, buoyed by the happy misapprehension that the crowds who flocked to hear her did so out of genuine appreciation of her talent. To see Stephen Temperley’s "Souvenir" — which continues only through April 27 at Westport Community Theatre — is like attending one of Florence’s actual concerts. It's worth it, says Newtown Bee Theater Reviewer Julie Stern.
The Resiliency Center of Newtown (RCN) has invited the public to celebrate next weekend the healing that has already been done through the center’s programs while offering financial support for future offerings at an “Evening Under The Stars” May 2 at The Waterview in Monroe. RCN offers long-term healing to anyone in the greater Newtown community impacted by the events of 12/14, to help these individuals reach their full potential. Founder Stephanie Cinque has, since September 2013, arranged for music, art, and even chocolate therapy programs to take place at 153 South Main Street. RCN Office Manager Jennifer Holguin says the event is not only a fundraiser for RCN, but also a reminder, to offer an “awareness of what we do so we can increase our outreach to the community.” Last Friday afternoon, about 15 children joined artist and former Newtown resident Dave Brooker to create a very special piece of art that will be a focal point of next weekend's event.
To celebrate the installation of a new digital movie projector and an upgraded sound system, Edmond Town Hall will host free screenings of "Gravity" and "Frozen Sing-A-Long" this weekend. Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, which has provided free movies one Saturday night each month since January 2013, has offered to cover six additional screenings for residents who would like to enjoy a free movie on April 25 or 26.