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The Way We Were

February 17, 1989

The question has arisen at Newtown High School about whether or not using an Indian as the school’s mascot is a moral issue that should be addressed. The issue, in fact, is part of a nationwide movement by the Native Americans, who are not happy with the stereotypical use of their people as high school, collegiate, and professional sports team mascots. Spearheading the cause at Newtown High is faculty member Larry Ashmore. Ashmore admitted that his feeling s on the subject became stronger when he noticed boxer shorts being sold at the high school which had the Newtown Indians on the front and had the words scalp ‘em printed across the backside. A large percentage of Newtown people questioned on the topic had never given it any thought. The majority views an Indian as a thing and not a race of people. Rayna Green, a Cherokee and director of the Smithsonian Institution’s American Indian program, stated that she believes the use of human beings as mascots is wrong. She believes that depersonalizes Indians to such a degree that it removes them from a human category and equates them with animals.

 

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An efficient government and many costly and long-term projects could be threatened by Newtown’s divisive political climate, unless town officials work together. This is the picture First Selectman Rod Mac Kenzie painted Wednesday for Legislative Council members in his State of the Town address. “Today, Newtown politics means anger, revenge and petty conflict,” he told the Council. He recommended putting aside anger, and asked council members and town Democrats in particular to drop the “revenge of sore losers” and work together.

 

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A majority of town employees said this week they were not relieved by their first selectman’s explanations of a controversial comment he made publicly, concerning workers’ resignations. In a letter published in the February 10 edition of The Newtown Bee, First Selectman Rod Mac Kenzie addressed the subject of town employee turnover, which he described as normal. Of 116 workers, about 20 people resigned in 1988, he said. Selectmen Duane Baumert and Michael Snyder have contended some resignations were a direct result of Mr Mac Kenzie’s erratic management style. “Yes, 20 people have resigned,” wrote Mr Mac Kenzie, “and quite frankly, it would be fine with me if 20 more would follow suit. In many cases, the town would benefit by some ‘new blood.’”

 

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Newtown Police Chief Michael DeJoseph, who like other chiefs is the local “issuing authority” for pistol permits, estimates he granted over 100 permits to carry pistols in Newtown during 1988. He also recently denied permits to two separate applicants who had a record of misdemeanor crimes involving violence. The chief said he has no objection to issuing permits to those who are qualified, but in certain cases, “I can’t in good conscience issue them permits to carry handguns.” As far as a gunshop owner, whenever someone wishes to buy a pistol, the shop owner is required to notify the police chief of the town the buyer lives in, as well as the State Commissioner of Public Safety. If they are found to have a felony, the shop owner is instructed not to sell the person a gun. The granting of these applications allows one only to own a gun and store it in his house or business, not to carry it in public. An applicant denied a permit to either own or carry a pistol can appeal within 90 days to the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. Detective Michael Viscuso took over as the supervisor of the Weapons Unit of the state police’s Special Investigation Services Division about a year and a half ago. “This year has been crazy,” says Detective Viscuso, adding that he cannot explain why there seems to be an increase in the number of applications to own and carry pistols. Chief DeJoseph, however, offers a fairly simple explanation. “In this country, there is a fascination with guns. There always has been, and there continues to be,” he said.

 

February 21, 1964

An issue of $903,000 of school bonds of the Town of Newtown has been sold at a net interest cost to the town’s taxpayers of 3.09 percent. The bonds, which will be delivered on or about March 11 of this year, will provide funds for financing a new elementary school, additional classrooms at Sandy Hook school, and alterations and improvements at the high school.

 

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The 1963 vital statistics summary for the Town of Newtown shows both more marriages and more births than in 1962. Births in 1963 numbered 214, as against 210 in 1962. Marriages recorded numbered 93. The 93 marriages in 1963 are 20 more than the 73 recorded in 1962. In 1963, of the 214 births, 105 were baby boys and 109 were baby girls.

 

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The regular monthly meeting of the Jaycee Wives will be held on Monday, February 24, at the home of Mrs Timothy Treadwell, Zoar Road at Bennett’s Bridge Road. Mrs Martin R. Callahan, president, has announced that the program for the evening will feature the Victor and Louis Beauty Salon located in the Newtown Shopping Center, with demonstrations of new spring hair styles.

 

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Spring hat fashions will be modeled at the Sandy Hook Fire House on Thursday evening, February 27, at 8 o’clock. The hats, supplied by Fabulous Fashions, will be for sale if so desired. Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the evening. The Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Fire company cordially invites the public to attend.

 

 

February 17, 1939

Theodore Kaechele of Currituck district had the misfortune to fall from the roof of a house he is building on his property, on Monday. Dr J. Benton Egee attended him and later removed him to the Danbury hospital where X-ray pictures showed that two bones had been broken in Mr Kaechele’s left ankle. Following the setting of the bones, the injured member was placed in a cast and he returned to his home.

 

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On Monday, The Bee Scribe had the pleasure of talking with George Wiggins of Bridgeport, who formerly resided in Newtown. Mr Wiggins lived in the house now owned by Mrs Nellie Gannon and moved to Bridgeport over fifty years ago. Mr Wiggins recalled many of the older residents of the town and said that while a young man he worked every Thursday at the office of The Newtown Bee, which at that time was located on Main Street in the post office building, which stood on the present site of the Edmond Town Hall. The old Campbell press, which was used to print the paper, was propelled by a crank and it was Mr Wiggins’ job to turn the crank on the press for hours at a time.

 

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The most successful and enjoyable Scouting event to be held in Newtown for several years, took place on Monday evening at the Edmond Town Hall, when approximately 300 Scouts, parents and friends of Scouting gathered in celebration of Boy Scout Week. As a surprise feature, the guests were first ushered into the balcony of the theater, where Scoutmaster Paul Cullens led in informal singing. The latest release of “March of Time” was shown on the screen. Featured in the film were pictures on Scouting, in recognition of the 29th anniversary of the Boy Scout organization.

 

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An apple tree, near the residence of Sylvanus Hayes on Washington avenue, Sandy Hook, blew down across the electric wires during the blow on Wednesday leaving the residents of Berkshire and Zoar districts without electricity during the afternoon.

 

February 20, 1914

A very pretty and unique whist was given on Valentine eve at the Library, by the Misses Hoyt and Ferris. The library was tastefully decorated in red, white, and green. Red carnations and ferns in baskets and heart shaped crepe paper boxes were used on each side of the room. St Valentine’s gateway, through which each guest passed, was of green, large hearts marking the five and six foot limit, and tiny red hearts the inches. Delicious refreshments of cake and punch were served from heart decorated tables. The sum of $11 was cleared.

 

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Charles Hawley, the veteran stage driver, got stuck in a snow drift on schoolhouse hill in Zoar, Saturday night, while carrying a passenger to Mr Roach’s residence. He was forced to retrace his steps to C.L. Page’s and secured the latter gentleman and his horses to pull his wagon out. He was delayed two hours or more over the interesting experience. Few stage drivers in the country are more efficient and persistent in discharge of their duties than the old veteran, Charles Hawley.

 

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In pursuance of the effort to keep the creamery open at the Newtown Station, the committee appointed by Pootatuck Grange have been quietly at work. On Monday, A.P. Washburne, representing the Borden’s Condensed Milk Co., was in town. He told Mr Northrop that they would remain in town if they could receive 4,000 quarts more than they now receive. If the local dairymen wish to retain them here, or to bring some other concern in their place, they must act quickly.

 

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The Dodgingtown Firemen will hold a dance on Friday evening, February 20. The proceeds of this dance will go towards a new fire apparatus which the firemen are trying to get. Come one. Come all. And help the fire boys get the new apparatus. Admission, gents, 25 cents; ladies, free.

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