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The Top of the Mountain

I had on my running paws this past Saturday, but the vast crowd at the Hartford Marathon intimidated me. So I stayed on the sidelines. My ears perked up during the blessing of the runners before the start of the 26.2-mile race, though, when I thought I heard a familiar voice. That made me scramble up the nearest tree to look over the mob, to the steps of the State Capital, where I saw Newtown Congregational Church minister Reverend Matt Crebbin offering words of thanks and inspiration. No doubt that gave some added enthusiasm to the many runners from Newtown and Sandy Hook that were mixed in to the more than 15,000 participants.

Instagram user @chanecullens posted this photo of a beaver swimming in a pond off of Berkshire Road, on October 14.

I’m so happy it’s not a photo of a bobcat or mountain lion, that I have to share it. The photo is the latest to be posted to The Bee’s website via Instagram using #viewfromnewtown.

Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, a Sandy Hook School teacher currently on sabbatical, has started the nonprofit Classes4Classes, using a website to teach kids how to be kind to each other, to have compassion, and to be empathetic. It looks like Ms Roig-DeBellis is carrying on the philosophy of her late SHS principal, Dawn Hochsprung, whose quote is on the windows of all of our school buses: “Be nice to each other. It’s really all that matters.”

We don’t want it to be a case of Old Mother Hubbard and her bare cupboard. Support our Newtown Animal Shelter with donations of dog food (IAMS), dog toys (Kong toys are good), slide leashes, choke chain collars, and other pet items. Cleaning supplies, like bleach, ammonia, and paper towels, will help out, as well, and I am pretty sure that dry cat food would not be turned away. A big box is set up at The Bee, just inside the front door, waiting for your generous offerings. I peeked inside today, and there were two lonely little cans of dog food. The collection runs through the end of this month.

Opening your heart and home to a kitty can make a cat happier than a can of Fancy Feast. The Animal Center is holding another cat adoption day, this Saturday, from noon to 2 pm, at Your Healthy Pet on South Main Street (just before Sand Hill Plaza). Check out the adorable options at www.theanimalcenter.org.

Jan Howard, Kaaren Valenta, Dottie Evans, and Shirley Ferris, all past news editors of The Newtown Bee, had their annual luncheon to catch up on... the news. The news, that is, as it relates to their active personal lives. According to Jan, everyone is busy, and life is going well for all.

The government shutdown is holding new brides hostage. Take Bethany Ober, for example. The Newtown native married Ethan Mannon on October 5. And while Bethany plans to become Bethany Mannon, she can’t change her name officially until the Social Security office is back up to speed! With the backlog of brides, that could take a few weeks, even once the shutdown is alleviated. I guess Bethany doesn’t have to practice writing her new name for a while.

The Full Hunter’s Moon rises at 7:38 pm this Friday night, and is the only month of the year when the full moon is in the sky all night long. Also known as the Travel Moon or Dying Grass Moon, the October full moon once signaled to Native American tribes a time to hunt in preparation for the winter ahead. The full moon on Friday also coincides with the MouthPeace event at the Teen Center on Church Hill Road (see the October 4 issue of The Bee, “MouthPeace Arts Center Hoping To Ignite Creativity…”), which includes a Howl At The Moon contest.

That full moon should be shining down on clever scarecrows decorating the front lawn of the Newtown Middle School. That’s right — it’s time for the annual Scarecrow Contest. Look for voting ballots in this week’s Education section of The Newtown Bee. I’ll be voting for whichever talented sculptor has incorporated a black cat into his or her design, of course.

The Newtown Youth Academy “Playing it Forward” gala is coming up on October 26, at the Matrix Corporation Center in Danbury. Proceeds from the fundraiser will support ongoing free programs at the local youth academy. I was not a bit concerned about my attire when co-chairs Kristin Scianna and Terry Sagedy told me it’s a black tie affair. I wear my black and white tux every day, so I’m all set. Find out more at www.nyasportsfitness.com/gala.

You don’t even have to be political to enjoy this Sunday outing. The Newtown Republican Town Committee will host a wine tasting fundraiser in neighboring Brookfield, Sunday, October 20, from 5 to 7 pm, at DiGrazia Vineyard. The vineyard is at 131 Tower Road, just off Obtuse Hill Road (Route 133). For just $40 per person, you can indulge in wine tastings, appetizers, and a tour of winery. If you would like tickets or additional information, call 203-364-0803.

I wonder if DiGrazia Vineyards has its own version of the Japanese “Nyan Nyan Nouveau” wine for cats? The nonalcoholic kitty beverage is selling for $4 a bottle, I hear, and only one thousand bottles are being produced. Grape, with overtones of catnip, is what I understand this catty drink is all about, and just in time to compete with the Beaujolais Nouveau season. (PS: “Nyan Nyan” is the Japanese equivalent of “Meow Meow.”)

I’ll be checking my water bowl for a delicious treat, I guess, and checking each and every corner around town for the news you want to read. I know I can count on you to… Read me again.

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