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The Way We Were

January 27, 1989

Lynn Pace — who originally didn’t offer an explanation for her resignation as social service director on December 1, 1988 — now says she quit as a direct result of First Selectman Rod Mac Kenzie’s management style. That style, she charges, “can best be described as an inability to manage effectively, fairly or honestly.” In a letter to The Newtown Bee, Ms Pace said she decided to speak out on her resignation after reading an article in the January 13 issue of The Newtown Bee; in that article, Mr Mac Kenzie was quoted as saying that Jim Benson (who resigned as conservation director) was the only ex-employee he knew who had quit due to dissatisfaction with his (Mr Mac Kenzie’s) handling of town affairs and personnel management.

 

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When three young vandals went on a rampage last November in Hawleyville’s Land’s End Cemetery, randomly knocking over 150 headstones, it took them only minutes to complete the job. To undo their work will take hundreds of hours — not to mention over $10,000 — but by the end of June, there will no longer be a visual reminder of the senseless destruction that took place at the historic burial ground. Repair work is scheduled to begin at the cemetery next week, said Land’s End Cemetery Association President Ernest Gismondi. Mr Gismondi said that legally, the owners of the graves are responsible for making repairs. But it is impossible to contact relatives of all whose graves were damaged, especially the older graves, whose occupants may no longer have living descendants. Therefore, said Mr Gismondi, the association is going to pay the repair costs.

 

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Rejuvenated by their holiday break, members of Funspace Unlimited of Newtown (FUN) are preparing plans for the home stretch of their playground project. Everyone with FUN has his eye on Construction Week, June 7–11, when in a massive community effort 400 to 500 volunteers will build the playground in Dickinson Park. The construction of the playground will be fine-tuned on two days in February that have been dubbed Organization Days. Also on the calendar are Contractors’ Days, June 7–8. FUN is appealing to area contractors to lend whatever time they can to the construction.

 

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Mike Siedman, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Newtown, says the responses to a recent Chamber poll show strong support for the idea of the town’s hiring a town planner. The last time the issue of a town planner was seriously considered  — in 1984 — it was upon the urging of the Legislative Council, which asked the Board of Selectmen to consider the idea. Selectmen said they could envision the need for a planner at some point in the future, but that they saw no need to jeopardize the harmony that existed between the land use agencies, nor the growth the town was experiencing. Under the proposed job description outlined by the 1984 study committee, the planner would serve under the first selectmen but be responsible to the Planning and Zoning on planning and zoning matters.

 

 

January 31, 1964

It is announced by Ralph L. Knibloe of Taunton Hill Road and Martin Sealander of Main Street that they have started plans for the construction of Colonial apartments on the east side of The Boulevard, on land presently owned by Mrs Stephen E. Budd. An application has been filed with the Borough Zoning Commission for amendments to the Borough zoning regulations, which will permit more than two-family dwellings in Newtown. The property lies on the easterly side of The Boulevard. It is bounded on the north by School House Hill Road, on the east by the industrial zone belonging to Churchill Business Forms Company, and on the south by the residence of Mr and Mrs George Tibbitts.

 

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Tickets for Newtown Day at the World’s Fair will be available Monday, February 3. The Connecticut National Bank, the Fairfield County Trust, and Newtown Savings Bank are cooperating with the Rotary Club and will have tickets available during business hours for townspeople who want them. The price of the ticket is $4.35 for adults and $3.70 for children under 12. The ticket includes round trip bus fare and admission to the fair.

 

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Mrs James Brunot was the recipient of the annual prize awarded for the most species bird count, by the bird committee of the Newtown Garden Club. Mrs Seth Broday, chairman of the bird committee, presented Mrs Brunot with a twenty-pound bag of birdseed, which was kindly donated by the Newtown Farm and Garden Center. Mrs Brunot’s list totaled 37 species. Only birds seen within Newtown qualified.

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If early interest is any indication of success, then the Eighteenth Century Ball, sponsored by the Newtown Historical Society, promises to be an outstanding event. For with May 16 still several months away, 17 of the available 100 tickets have been sold. The program committee of the Society has found it necessary to limit the number of tickets, due to the comfortable capacity for the Alexandria Room in the Edmond Town Hall.

 

 

January 27, 1939

The work of filling the ice houses of the Newtown Ice Company was completed on Saturday last, with eleven-inch ice cut from the Foundry pond. Mr Quinn said that it is the clearest and cleanest ice he has ever harvested.

 

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All sportsmen in Newtown who are interested in reorganizing the local Fish and Game Club, are invited to attend a meeting which will be held this Thursday evening at 8 o’clock in the meeting room over Morris & Shepard’s store. Officers from the Fairfield County Sportsmen’s League will be present to outline the program for Fairfield County.

 

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The Alexandria room of the Edmond Town hall was crowded with about 300 voters and taxpayers, who attended the special town meeting for the purpose of authorizing the construction of the following town roads: The Currituck road, beginning at the northerly end of Main Street, by the way of Twist Hill, to Land’s End schoolhouse. Also the road running in a northerly direction from the intersection of Route 34 at Gray’s Plain schoolhouse towards Cedarhurst, as far as the concrete bridge near the residents of Samuel Dietz; the construction of these roads to go forward simultaneously and to be paid for by moneys now available and to become available from the State of Connecticut.

 

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Newtown justice proved, last Monday, how quickly it can act when the occasion demands, for within five hours after the theft of a watch at Fairfield State Hospital, the culprit had been apprehended and was on his way to serving a six-months’ sentence in the Danbury jail. An employee of the telephone company, having left his watch after scrubbing his hands, returned to find his timepiece missing. An investigation was begun which brought suspicion on a man who had applied for work at the institution shortly before the theft was discovered. The culprit and watch were picked up at 3 pm, just thirty minutes later. This erring son now has six months in which to decide whether a life of crime would pay its way in Newtown.

 

 

January 30, 1914

Cider and Grist Mill Notice. Having taken entire charge of the Johnson Mill, now owned by L.B. Parsons, I am prepared to make cider and propose to treat all customers in an honest and business like manner. The mill has the best features of the old and new process combined. Corn and Feed Grinding in all the branches. F.E. Wetmore, Newtown.

 

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The Newtown High School team journeyed to Redding, Friday afternoon and again met defeat at the hands of the Sanford school boys. During the first half, Newtown was unable to find the baskets although at times the passing was excellent. All Newtown, or at least that part of it that was anxious to see the Newtown High school regain its prestige against the Sanford school of Redding, went to Redding. There were two loads of jolly sled riders from the school, two more sleighs, and an auto. The final score was Sanford 20 - Newtown 7.

 

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Corbett & Crowe harvested their ice crop, Friday, cutting it on what is known as “The Eddy” on Pootatuck brook. The ice was 12 inches in thickness and clear and fine.

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Hattertown: A cow belonging to Irving Waterhouse slipped on the ice, Sunday morning, and broke its hip. The cow had to be killed.

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