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The Way We Were

August 11, 1989

For years, criminals have been walking around with guns that make the police issued .38 caliber revolvers seem like pea-shooters — but no longer. As of Tuesday, August 8, all Newtown Police Officers began carrying Austrian Glock 9mm guns, trading in the “archaic” Smith and Wesson .38s. According to Police Chief Michael DeJoseph, he is “delighted” with the incorporation of the new weapon into the police department. It is smaller, lighter, more accurate, more durable, easier to maintain, easier to reload, and has less of a kick after firing.

 

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The Legislative Council committee studying the idea of the town’s forming an economic development commission has been advised by Ridgefield’s planning director that this would be a good idea. Oswald Inglese told the committee August 9 that establishing a commission would give such a group the status that would help its efforts to achieve planned economic development. To have successful economic development, said Mr Inglese, requires that a town have a “community commitment” to such development. He said the community should be informed that encouraging “clean” industry to locate in your town can help keep taxes down.

 

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After the $339,000 proposal received the final go-ahead from voters last week, all that remains is the installation and Newtown will have its Enhanced 911 dispatch system. For several years, the E-911 system has been a political hot potato in Newtown and now, finally, a proposal has been agreed upon. However, all is not in the clear, according to several town officials, for if the town drags its heels, the result could be costly. Although the state has mandated that E-911 be installed by January 1, 1990, Newtown must have its system installed by November 13 or they will have to foot the installation for themselves.

 

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A handful of concerned town citizens attended the meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission last Tuesday night, August 8, to voice their opinions on the condition of the swimming pool at the Dickinson Town Park. Elizabeth Carlson of Fox Run Lane explained how she had been testing the water with her own pool kit and it had yet to get a favorable chlorine level reading. The group suggested the commission look into getting a filtration system for the 1.2 million gallon pool. “We’ve looked into it in the past,” said Barbara Kasbarian, the Parks and Recreation Director. “The main experts that looked at it told me that the cost would be astronomical.” Mrs Kasbarian explained the Dickinson pool situation. “It’s not really a pool it’s a pond,” she stated… “by law, we don’t even have to chlorinate it. We add 100 pounds of chlorine every night. It’s much cleaner than a lake.”

 

August 14, 1964

St John’s Church of Sandy Hook marked 100 years last Saturday with a fair, pageant and Bar-B-Q at the Wood’s Park grounds on Church Hill Road. The pageant depicted the growth of the church. Despite the clatter of thunder and a few sprinkles of rain on Saturday afternoon, hundreds of friends and neighbors of St John’s Episcopal Church in Sandy Hook came to Wood’s Park to join the gala centennial celebration of the church.

 

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As the Bee goes to press, Clifford Ettinger of Walnut Tree Hill reports that he had just discovered that some vandal had removed two planks from the iron bridge on Black Bridge Road in the Glen. Aside from the danger to traffic by removal of the planks, the theft itself moved him to report it at once to the Newtown Police. When discovered, the culprit should be brought to terms.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday should be a high point for the Films of Special Interest at Edmond Town Hall. Two of the screens greatest comedians are to entertain, Charlie Chaplain and W.C. Fields. It has now been possible to obtain classic film shorts to make up an hilarious program. A film under consideration for the series will be screened soon before an invited audience. This French film, “The Lovers,” face broad pro and con comment when it was first released. Recently, the Supreme Court upheld a decision that it is not considered to be obscene. The private screening is in an honest effort by the board to evaluate the film’s merits.

 

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The Explorer Scouts of Newtown have returned from another of their adventurous trips to Canada. Led by the Rev Paul A. Cullens, the Scouts gathered in their own food and cooked their own meals, living off the land or — more precisely — the water. Included in the diet was “delicious soup” from a 40-pound snapping turtle. There was much paddling, portaging, and some “creeking.”

 

August 11, 1939

The Newtown A.C. Baseball team made secure their third place position in the Pomperaug League on Sunday, when they beat the Roxbury nine by the score of 12 to 10. When Newtown came to bat in their half of the first inning, they showed good baseball sense by capitalizing on three Roxbury errors which resulted in four runs and a lead that they were able to hold intact throughout the remaining eight innings of play.

 

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The golfers and softball enthusiasts at the Country Club were given the unexpected thrill Sunday of seeing a plane take off from the second fairway. The plane, owned by Kenneth Goodsell of Bethel, experienced difficulty in getting off the ground, narrowly missing “Tom” Neary and his golfing companions. As it finally headed majestically northward, a slight skip in the motor discernable to the spectators gave rise to fears that the ship was going to soon experience trouble. After scouring the vicinity, Mr Goodsell with Miss Beryl Stock came upon his crippled six-foot model plane being carried by Robert Mayer, from the lot opposite his house on School House Hill. Robert stated that the plane had apparently stalled and fell, hitting the electric wires. Mr Goodsell discovered only slight injury to the landing gear.

 

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Fourteen members of the Newtown Fire Company attended the annual meeting held Monday evening at the fire house. P.H. McCarthy, president of the organization, presided. The motion was introduced and passed to request the board of finance and the selectmen to make a provision in the town’s budget for an annual salary for the Chief and hourly wages to be paid firemen who work at fires.

 

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First Selectman Stanley J. Blackman and force of men are cutting away the curve on the town road along the north side of the Country Club. This has been a dangerous spot for many years and residents of town who travel this road will appreciate the repair now being made.

 

August 14, 1914

An automobile hailing from the Castle met with a serious accident at Sandy Hook, Tuesday night. It appears a young lady was at the wheel and in turning the corner at the Brick store she made a short turn and ran the car up the iron girder supporting the bridge. An axle was bent, the crank shaft broken, the radiator put out of commission and other damage done. The car was nicely balanced on the girder, otherwise it might have crashed into the Pootatuck river.

 

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Mrs S.J. Scudder writes home friends under date of August 3, from the Kingsley Hotel, Hart Street, Bloomsbury Square, London: New York papers always give so much of European news I do not need to write much of what is happening. We knew nothing of it till late Friday afternoon at Windsor Castle our guide assured us we were on the eve of war. When we got to London and read the papers we found it all too true. All Europe is at war and mobilizing troops as fast as possible. Saturday morning we went to our Embassy. They were issuing passports there but their advice was not to leave England. They said we could doubtless get a boat to cross the Continent, but there might be no trains to take us anywhere. We had engaged tickets for a night boat to Holland, but they had simply taken for granted we would not be going. Things looked more serious yesterday and much more so this morning, so we went to the steamboat office to see about changing our sailings. Our boat from Genoa will probably sail but the company is making no provisions for its passengers. So we cancelled the date and took one on Atlantic Transport Line sailing from England September 5 and reaching New York September 14… We shall have to give up all thought of the Continent, which is of course a great disappointment, especially Switzerland.

 

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Farmers are finding their potato crop is beginning to show signs of blight. The present “muggy,” cloudy weather is causing this trouble. A good strong sunshine is their only salvation after the blight has set in.

 

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A very handsome set of pulpit furniture has been placed in the Congregational church, this week. It was designed by Architect Barnett Phillips and conforms nicely to the architecture of the interior.

Photo:

This Bee file photo shows two young men having a great time splashing around at the edge of some waterway — but no identifications. If you can enlighten us as to the who, when, and where — or even the “what” of what they are up to, please e-mail nancy@thebee.com.

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