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Photo bombs continue to be a very popular trend, and this week I spotted one of my own doing just that. When one of our Bee photographers was out collecting Bee’s Buck photos last week, she didn’t realize that while she was trying to sneakily take a photo for this week’s challenge photo, the photographer herself was also being watched.

Brenda McKinley called The Bee office this week with a good news-bad news item to share. The new director of C.H. Booth Library wanted to make sure that patrons know in advance that not only will the Main Street institution be closed on July 4 for Independence Day, it will remain closed on Saturday, July 5. Seems the library’s computer system — “the whole consortium of local libraries,” Brenda said — will be offline for some maintenance work, beginning Thursday evening. The techs expect to have everything back online in time for the library’s regular Monday opening at 9:30. That’s the bad news. The good news is for Brenda’s staff: with the library already being closed on Sunday for summer hours, that means the crew at 25 Main Street will have an extended holiday weekend this year.

Toni Earnshaw, a volunteer for Friends of C.H. Booth Library, also called this week. While she and other volunteers preparing for this year’s book sale are thrilled with the number of items that continue to roll in for the big July 12–16 event (see related story), Toni asked me to remind everyone that there are only two places that books, CDs, DVDs, etc should be dropped off. Donations can be left in the lower hallway at the library, at 25 Main Street; and at the dedicated trailer at the transfer station on Ethan Allen Road. “We are truly grateful for everything,” she said, “but people have been trying to take their items to Reed School lately, and no one there can accept anything.” Someone has been to Reed School for the sale already, she added. “We had our first person show up and leave a marker for his place in line,” she said Tuesday morning. Now that’s someone who likes the book sale!

After 30 years of filing theater reviews for plays done across the region, Julie Stern recently handed in her notebook so that she and her husband Peter could retire to the Philadelphia area. While we continue to miss her Julie and the way she looked at local productions, the show must go on. And it needs to be reviewed. So this week The Newtown Bee welcomes Elizabeth Young into our fold. Elizabeth has written a few plays of her own, and has long enjoyed attending theatrical shows when she isn’t busy with her full-time job. Now she is adding reviewer to her résumé, and we hope readers will be as pleased with her work as we are with her decision to join us.

Speaking of which, most local theaters are taking a performance break this Independence Day weekend, including Town Players of Newtown/The Little Theatre. But no fear, if you want to catch local thespians in action, they will return next Friday, July 11. Town Players are currently offering I Hate Hamlet, and Elizabeth Young’s first review concerns that show. Nearby, TheatreWorks New Milford will raise the curtain on its next show, Adam Pack’s take on the tale of Bonnie & Clyde, next weekend as well. Sandy Hook resident Adam Stordy is co-starring with Marilyn Hart in this dramatic, but nonglamorous telling of two young people who stopped at nothing to realize their dreams. Visit TheatreWorks.us for details, or call 860-355-6863. The Town Players production continues weekends until July 20, and the TheatreWorks New Milford production will run to August 2, so there is time to catch both shows.

Meanwhile, Musicals at Richter isn’t taking a break for the holiday weekend. The outdoor theater at Richter Park in Danbury will continue performances of Anything Goes, with shows planned for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, July 3, 5-6 — weather permitting, of course — of the Cole Porter classic. Newtown residents Michael Wright and Amber Mason have roles in the production, which includes plenty of mapcap antics, a romantic love story and a hilarious cast of characters, including Wright as the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Performances are outdoors under the stars, and the lawn opens early for picnics. Tickets range from $6 to $21. Visit MusicalsAtRichter.org or call 203-748-6873 for additional information or reservations.

Meet 11-month-old Giuliana Arconti (above right), who has won the 2014 Beautiful  Baby Photo Contest. Her proud parents are Christina and Joe of  Newtown, and they will be riding with their daughter in the Labor Day Parade on September 1. Watch for them and the other Beautiful Baby Contestants. Lois Barber single-handedly coordinated the contest again this year, in which parents or family friends submit photos of their children and the public is invited to vote for their favorites. All money from the contests, which Mrs Barber has been running for a few years, is always donated to charities and/or nonprofit groups. This year’s entry fees and part of the money collected during the two-week voting period will be donated to the Labor Day Parade Committee, and the remainder of the money collected during the voting period will be donated to Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company.

Until then, we will celebrate this weekend those who fought to bring independence to a young country more than two centuries ago. Be safe with the fireworks if you find yourself near them. This scaredy cat will be inside for most of the loud booms (along with many dogs, I’m sure), but I won’t forget to meet you right back here next week, when you can … read me again. 

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