The Top of the Mountain

You may have seen our own Newtown personal chef Kristopher Plummer (widely known as Chef Plum) on episodes of Chopped or The Taste, or maybe you’ve run into him doing the family shopping at Caraluzzi’s. If not, be sure to tune in to the Food Network this Sunday evening, at 8 pm, when Chef Plum competes against three other chefs in Guy’s Grocery Games. Chef Plum tells me the show, hosted by Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives fame, is a the old Supermarket Sweep meets Chopped. How does our local cooking personality fare? He’s not saying, so it looks like I’ll have to curl up in front of the TV with my bowl of cream to find out.

Dick McEvoy will host an Open Studio, Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27. Dick creates wonderful contemporary Impressionistic landscapes in pastel and oil, and Abstract Expressionist paintings in oil, and he does much of that work in a studio that overlooks Taunton Lake. Residents are invited to visit the studio at 51 Taunton Lake Road this weekend, between 1 and 4 pm, each day.

A Good Egg Award goes out this week to West Street resident Aaron Lengel. I understand Aaron spent two days this week, along with a friend, at Charlie and Jean Fadus’s, raking and clearing out leaves. Jean is recovering from two broken shoulders, and unable to help her husband with fall chores. Aaron reportedly told the Faduses “Don’t worry about your leaves. I’ll take care of them.” And then he did. Aaron, you are a Good Egg!

Chris Licht, who grew up in Newtown and is now vice president of news and executive producer of CBS This Morning, discussed the state of network morning news when he delivered the School of Communications Dean’s Distinguished Lecture, October 17, at Quinnipiac University in Hamden. Chris is pictured here (second from left) with Paul Janensch of Bridgeport, professor emeritus of journalism, Karin Schwanbeck of Cheshire, associate professor of journalism, Ben Bogardus of New Haven, chair and assistant professor of journalism, and Lee Kamlet of Fairfield, dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac.

If you are planning to dress up as a flamingo for Halloween, hang onto that costume. The family of Vicki Soto, a first grade teacher who died last year at Sandy Hook School, is hosting the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford, Saturday, November 2, and is hoping runners will dress up as Vicki’s favorite bird, the flamingo. Registration is capped at 1,200 runners, so don’t delay in registering at www.runsignup.com/race/ct/Stratford/vickisoto5krunwalk. Proceeds from the $26 entry fee will go to the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships to students wishing to pursue a teaching career.

Barring snowstorms or hurricanes, it looks like Halloween on Main Street will return this year, with thousands (yes, thousands) of ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties swarming from the top of Main Street to Glover Avenue, seeking treats. This can be a lot of fun, but quite a burden for the good residents of the street. If you would like to support Main Street residents, the Parks and Recreation Department on South Main Street is accepting donations of bags of wrapped candy, now through next Wednesday. P&R employees will also accept candy donations at this Thursday’s Halloween party at Dickinson Park, for the 8 and under crowd, from 4:30 to 6 pm. Candy collected will be distributed to Main Street residents next Tuesday or Wednesday. Looks like I need to go out and scare up a few bags of treats.

Kids can get a jump on Halloween this weekend, too, when Sandy Hook storeowners welcome trick-or-treaters to the Center. Costumed visitors can go shop to shop between 11 am and 2 pm, Saturday, October 26. I hear that business owners are looking forward to seeing the creative costumes.

The Bee wants in on the fun. We’ll be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters next Thursday, beginning around 5 pm — or when the first costumed guests find their way to us — and we’ll be stationed at the building’s front stoop for as long as our candy supply lasts. Happy Halloween!

For those who enjoy heading into the center of town for trick-or-treating, parking can be a challenge. Trinity Episcopal Church, at 36 Main Street, has a large parking lot that makes it easy to park in the middle of all the fun. The church will welcome families to use their parking lot on October 31, and is asking for donations in return. Proceeds from the Halloween collection will benefit the church choir.

By November 1, many of the little gremlins that begged door to door for treats are already tired of the sweets. Here’s a feel good answer to the “too much of a good thing” syndrome: On Tuesday, November 5, from noon to 2 pm, the Newtown office of Dental Associates of Connecticut, 11 Church Hill Road, will take part in the group’s 11th annual Candy Buyback program. The Tooth Fairy herself will be on hand to weigh candy brought in that day, and pay $2 per pound, up to 10 pounds per person. Believe it or not, between them, the five offices of Dental Associates of Connecticut takes in nearly a ton of Halloween candy each year. The candy is boxed and donated to Operation Gratitude, supporting our soldiers, as well as Give Kids the World, a charity that benefits terminally ill children.

Looking forward, Ben’s Bells Newtown has found inspiration in Pat Llodra’s announcement last week that the town will not host an event on the first anniversary of 12/14, instead encouraging all to “perform a kindness in honor of those who lost their lives at Sandy Hook School.” They have announced extended hours on Saturday, December 14. The studio, in the rear of 17 Church Hill Road, will be open from 9 am until 9 pm that day for anyone who wants to continue the project’s ongoing mission to spread kindness to others. “We hope that this simple gesture offers many in the community a place to come and find peace, love, and solidarity on what will be a difficult day for Newtown,” the group posted on its Facebook page on October 21. There is no charge to participate in Ben’s Bells workshops, but a $5 donation is requested, and used to cover supplies. 

A collection box is still set up to support Newtown’s Animal Control Facility, in the lobby of The Bee’s office at 5 Church Hill Road. The box will remain in place until November 1, the end of Adopt A Shelter Dog Month. Nutro Max mini chunk dog food, Iams dry dog food, freeze-dried liver treats, poultry tooth paste, pigs’ ears, large rubber, rope, and Air Kong toys, Frisbees, squeakies, tennis balls, choke chains, and sturdy slide leads, as well as gift certificates and cleaning supplies are welcome.

Maybe you’ll spot me in my black cat costume next week, or maybe you’ll just hear about all the fun when you… Read me again.

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