Lynn Kovack of the Building Department is grateful and thrilled that certain items inadvertently removed from the Newtown Municipal Center in February have been returned. The charcoal drawings of victims of 12/14 and a special quilt are in the hands of the families who had requested them, so thank you to those who heeded Lynn’s plea.
Bon jour! A delegation of 20 students and three educators of Le Vésinet, France, are visiting Newtown through the Newtown International Center for Education (NICE), from Newtown High School’s sister school Lycée Alain this week. The delegation arrived Saturday, March 23, and staying with host families for the weeklong visit.
You might know Newtown’s Dr Bill Begg as a triathlete (or maybe from a visit to Danbury’s ER), but he’s gone the extra mile here. After challenging South Carolina legislator Joshua Putnam to a debate on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live recently, based on the senator’s proposal to ban medical staff from discussing gun safety with their patients, the lawmaker back down. The collective pressure from the medical community led not only to a cancellation of the debate with Dr Begg, but to an amendment that says discussing gun safety with patients is up to the individual doctors.
St Patrick’s Day has come and gone, but the Clan na Gael Players will present a comedy, “The Chastitute,” written by Irish author John B. Keane and directed by Newtown’s own Tracy James, Thursday through Saturday, April 4–6, at 8 pm, and Sunday, April 7, at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm, at the Gaelic American Club on Beach Road in Fairfield. Tracy directs an outstanding cast of actors, playing more than 20 characters, from the towns of Stratford, Newtown, Monroe, Bethel, Bridgeport, Greenwich, Fairfield, and Norwalk. Tickets are $15, and you can call 203-333-4736 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to make your reservation.
The Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Ladies Auxiliary Easter Flower Sale will take place at the fire company’s main station, this weekend. Members of the auxiliary will be at 18-20 Riverside Road, Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30, from 10 am to 6 pm. Easter and spring flowers will be available for purchase while supplies last. Proceeds from this annual event — one of two flower sales the auxiliary offers each year — help the auxiliary support the fire company.
While you’re hunting around for Easter eggs this weekend, don’t forget to hunt up some books to donate to the library. Friends of C.H. Booth Library are holding a Book Donation Day, Sunday, April 7, from noon to 5 pm. They welcome any used books, CDs, DVDs, games, and puzzles. Bring your donations to the rear parking lot of the library that day, and volunteers will be happy to assist you.
If you miss out on an egg hunt this weekend, here’s some good news. Nunnawauk Meadows will host a special Spring Egg Hunt, Sunday, April 7, at 2 pm. Families are asked to register by April 5 for the event, which will take place near the Nunnawauk Meadows gazebo. Call 203-942-0102 or 203-304-9166 to register or for additional information. Refreshments will be served in the community building at 3 Nunnawauk Road, and live music by “a local music teacher” will be offered, according to Terry Pellicci, one of the event organizers.
I hear that Nicole DeFeo, daughter-in-law to the late Monica DeFeo, who worked in the Newtown School System and raised her three sons here, will be running in the 117th Boston Marathon, Monday, April 15, in honor of Monica. Nicole will be part of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Marathon Challenge team, which has set a goal of raising $4.6 million for the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research, among its 500 runners worldwide. Monica lost her battle with cancer last September, leaving family members to face “the sober reality that cancer truly is a vicious, unrelenting disease,” says Nicole in a press release. “In 2011, I ran [the marathon] with the blind optimism that Monica and others could and would beat cancer. In 2013, I run with the keen understanding that we need to continue fighting… It is the one thing we can do,” says Nicole.
Something’s fishy in Newtown these days, and Donna White has provided me with a photo to prove it. A not-too-friendly fisher cat (not actually related to us gentle felines, by the way) showed up in Donna’s Miya Lane backyard recently in Sandy Hook, adding to the growing list of residents who have spotted the weasel-like creature. I’m telling my pal, the Easter Bunny, to look out, as rabbit happens to be high on the list of this predator’s favorite meals. I’m telling all of my small dog and cat friends, too, to stick close to home, as well, since the fisher cat is not averse to dining upon small domestic animals.
Looking ahead — way ahead — the Ridgefield Writer’s Conference will feature two local people with a lot of writing experience. Chris Belden, author, teacher, and Garner Prison writing workshop leader, and The Newtowner editor Georgia Monaghan will be among the many experts leading workshops and panels, September 28. For more information on the conference visit www.adeleannesi.com/Ridgefield-Writers-Conference.html.
Dr Thomas Draper tells us that Paul Sorace, nationally known exercise physiologist and author from New Jersey, is supporting his proposal for a walkway from the Sandy Hook Firehouse to the center of Sandy Hook, and eventually extending from the flagpole up to Nettleton Preserve. Mr Sorace, a marathon runner, is dedicating his 13.1-mile run in the Garden Spot Village Half Marathon in New Holland, Penn., April 6, to the 26 lives lost 12/14. He is pleased that his fundraising will go toward a worthy project in our town.
The Sandy Hook green and white “ribbon” car magnets that began appearing shortly after 12/14 are still available, along with a few other special post-12/14 items, at The Newtown Bee’s office. We heard from Kerry McClelland recently, who shared the news that another $1,730 has been turned over to Newtown Rotary Club, bringing the total amount raised through donations for the magnets to $5,095.
Newtown Hikers will be hosting their end-of-season hike and planning lunch this weekend. But for anyone who is hoping to catch up with the group Saturday morning, please note that they will be doing a moderate hike along part of Al’s Trail here in town, instead of within the Upper Paugussett. John Boccuzzi will be leading the hike, and then he and his wife will host a potluck lunch and planning session at their home in the center of town. If you would like to join the group, or want more information, call John at 203-364-0360. Newtown Hikers meet each week in the lower rear parking lot of Edmond Town Hall to carpool to each week’s hike location. All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by their parents. Bring some water with you, and sturdy shoes or boots are recommended.
If your plans for Saturday are still up in the air, the Juggling & Circus Arts Club will be at the Pleasance, from 3 to 5 pm. This club is for anyone interested in the art of tossing objects creatively and other circus tricks. Check out www.Facebook.com/groups/NewtownJuggling for more information.
My days are always up in the air. Nonetheless, I’ll be back next week with more of the news you most desire, so… Read me again.