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The Way We Were

December 2, 1988

The new “no right on red” sign at the intersection of Church Hill Road and Queen Street has apparently alleviated some of the traffic congestion on Church Hill Road, while creating a new problem: backed up traffic on Queen Street. Newtown Police Captain Michael Fekete said that it is too early to make any assessment about the situation, as the sign was put in place less than a month ago.

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A panel convened by the state will not formally endorse or adopt a nine-page draft report that assesses the possible stigma of locating a proposed state jail a mile from a state mental hospital here. Three of six panelists said in letters and at the seventh and final meeting that they could not endorse a report that concluded, among other things, that stigma “may be problematic, [so] the state should avoid, wherever possible, co-location of such facilities in the future.”

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Newtown may have a new municipal agent before the month is up. First Selectman Rod Mac Kenzie said Monday, November 28, he expected to speak with Joy Previdi, chairman of the Commission on Aging, this week to set up joint interviews with two candidates. That’s good news for the senior citizens in town. Without the help of a municipal agent, seniors in town are losing benefits or making errors on applications.

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The Board of Selectmen has called a town meeting for Thursday, December 8, in the Alexandria Room at Edmond Town Hall to decide whether the town should accept ownership of the old meeting house, the former Newtown Congregational Church. The church had voted to turn the 180-year-old church over to the town at a congregational meeting in June, 1987. The Board of Selectmen voted to accept the old meeting house in August this year. The Heritage Trust of Newtown, Inc was formed July 27 to create a vehicle through which the meeting house could be preserved without the town having the responsibility of maintaining it. Trust officials have said it will cost about $10,000 a year to maintain.

 

December 6, 1963

Virtually complete annual enumeration figures for this year show 320 preschool children in South Center area and 322 preschool children in the Sandy Hook area. No other area of Newtown contains nearly as many future elementary school children. In total 3,859 children ages 0-17 have been enumerated thus far, 305 more than last year. Never before in Newtown’s history has the enumeration increased so much in one year.

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It is announced by the Newtown Chamber of Commerce that Santa Claus will arrive in town by helicopter on Saturday morning, December 14, at 11 o’clock sharp. He will land in the parking lot behind the Edmond Town Hall. All children are invited to visit Santa in the town hall gym, where they can tell him what they want for Christmas. He will give out candy canes and will be glad to see everyone.

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From H.E. Pearson, owner of the Pearson’s Bird and Animal Farm, Southbury, temporarily in Florida: Have noted the fine photo and comments on the White Mute Swan on page one of your November 22 issue. You may be interested to know that this bird is a male and is an escapee from our Farm in Southbury. You will note he has a plastic wire on one leg. This was put on to identify him as one that was not pinioned. We receive these Swans each spring from Holland and most of the birds are pinioned, ie, the first joint is cut. This permanently prevents them from flying. This particular bird was not pinioned and thus the feathers grew to full length and he flew from us. We have given Ted Dunican of Kettletown Road, Southbury, permission to capture him if possible while we are away. If he is not captured, he will winter without difficulty, as swans are very hardy birds.

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At a special meeting on Tuesday, December 3, the Newtown Planning and Zoning Commission approved an alternate pattern for traffic control at the intersection of Cold Spring Road and Route 25. This plan will allow adequate vision for vehicles approaching the intersection. The Planning and Zoning Commission feels this alternate pattern promises greater traffic safety in the area of the new school site than its original stipulation.

 

December 2, 1938

Last week’s storms which surprised everyone with their suddenness and severity, worked many hardships on those living off the main highways. Practically all side roads in town were blocked with deep drifts piled high by a cold biting wind of high velocity. Selectman Stanley Blackman and his men worked many hours overtime and all day Sunday. Their work was hampered for a short time when one of the trucks broke down in a huge drift on Shepard Hill. Mr Blackman and his men deserve much credit and appreciation from local citizens for their untiring efforts in opening up the many miles of roads.

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On Friday, Constable Wesley Stanton was called to Mt Pleasant district on complaint of several residents who claimed that a herd of cattle had been left outside during the storm of Thursday night. The cattle were without food or shelter. Constable Stanton notified the Humane Society in Bridgeport, who, in turn contacted the owner of the cattle, who is a resident of White Hills, Shelton. The owner arrived in town later in the day and removed the cattle, also two horses that were being pastured in the lot.

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Earle Collins, popular barber of Sandy Hook, has put into his shop a pool table, where the men-about-town can sport with comfort. It will be a benefit to the clan who like this sport.

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“Billy” Hayes, genial clerk for H.G. Warner of Sandy Hook, while delivering groceries in Hanover district, had the misfortune to get held up. While he was turning out, for the truck of the telephone company, he got a little too far off the main road and before he knew it, he was straddling a fence. The telephone men saw his predicament, and stopped long enough to put him on the main road, which was very much to his liking.

 

December 5, 1913

Mrs Sargent Haskell, one of the best readers and impersonators on the stage today, who has a reputation for ability that extends from Maine to California, will appear at the Town hall, Newtown, on Monday evening, December 8, in one of her famous programs. Newtowners are to be congratulated on their opportunity to hear real talent and at the same time benefit a worthy object. The admission will be 25 cents.

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Principal L.M. Johnson of the Newtown High School exhibited several pens of his Buff Wyandottes at the Waterbury Poultry Show and won one first and two seconds on his birds.

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It is a foolish, an idle and dangerous thing to make accusations against public or private citizens without having a basis of fact. It seems that Selectman W.C. Johnson has been accused of doing private work for G.E. Hayes, who is building a new residence at the head of the Street, at the expense of the town. Mr Hayes asked permission of the first Selectman to cut off the dangerous high bank at the corner of Schoolhouse Hill and Hanover avenue. Mr Johnson gave his consent. Mr Hayes then hired C.B. Johnson and John Hubbell to do the work. A 10-inch tile was put down, and the first selectman asked permission of Mr Hayes to connect a sluice across the road with the sewer. Mr Hayes has visited The Bee office and showed the bills receipted, which he paid himself. Mr Hayes is quite indignant over the matter, and rightly so, too. We are minded to refer parties who peddle stories like this to Proverbs 15:2: “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright, but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”

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A.E. Brinton will put on new tin roofs on the residence of Charles Van Keuren on the Boulevard. Brinton has been installing an additional bath room at Snake Rock farm for President Arthur T. Hadley, and will also overhaul all the plumbing in the house.

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