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The Way We Were

April 22, 1988

Organs have been an important part of Leonard Manz’s life and he, in turn, was largely responsible for bringing to town the magnificent pipe organ housed in the Newtown Congregational Church. He is still very active in that direction and is currently involved in a fundraising effort to move the pipes from their home in the old sanctuary to the new facility being built at the corner of Castle Hill Road and West Street. He figures that by moving the pipes from the old church to the new, the congregation will save nearly $99,000. The new console will have 100 preset combinations which will allow him to make the most of the 1,340 pipes, 23 voices and ranks.

 

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The April 1 incident in which 24 youths, most of them Newtown High School students, were issued infractions for trespassing on private property off Platts Hill Road, exemplifies the biggest problem facing young adults in Newtown: they have nowhere to go, and nothing to do. Parks and Rec Director Barbara Kasbarian pointed out that while teen nights held for seventh and eighth graders have been very well attended, efforts to draw high schoolers to social functions have been futile. Once Newtown teens get their licenses, they don’t have a place to drive to. Thus, they congregate where they don’t belong, like they did April 1. A well known recurring problem in Newtown is kids constantly being kicked out of the parking lot of the Grand Union.

 

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Most of the 160 public officials and residents at an April 16 public hearing on the proposed jail demanded objectivity in the state’s environmental impact study, and provided a long list of focal points of evaluation. Six regional and national mental health organizations have expressed opposition to the siting of a 400-bed jail on 100 acres of state-owned land here, about a mile from Fairfield Hills Hospital.

 

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As Maxine Ginn, executive officer of the Newtown Board of Realtors, wrote in a letter to the landlord, it was a case of “nonpaying downstairs tenants.” And, she added, they were creating a smell that “wasn’t Shalimar.” The “tenants” — holing up in the dirt area beneath the office of the Newtown Board of Realtors — were wearing masks. They were a bunch of raccoons.

 

April 26, 1963

As the next step in the tree planting program for Newtown’s Main Street, a letter of appeal for funds is being sent this week to the residents and business houses of Main Street. The committee in charge feels that the beautification of Main Street is a matter of concern for the entire town. It also feels that those who live and do business on Main Street are most directly concerned and so should be generous in response to the special appeal.

 

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The Newtown Park and Recreation Commission has appointed Arthur J. Bennett, Sr, of Platts Hill Road, as superintendent of the two town parks. Mr Bennett will supervise all employees in the two town parks and will be responsible for the maintenance of buildings and grounds.

 

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Earle H. Megin, Newtown’s Zoning Enforcement Officer, reports to The Bee that once again it becomes necessary to point out that automobile junk yards are prohibited throughout the entire Town of Newtown. The zoning regulations further prohibit unsightly outdoor storage visible from the street or adjoining property. Mr Megin trusts that this notice will serve to eliminate the necessity of sending individual notices to the many property owners now in violation of one or both of these regulations.

 

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Over 200 persons from this area attended a legislative hearing before the Roads and Bridges Committee at the State Capitol on Tuesday in support for bills which would carry out the “Route 25 by ’65” slogan for an early start and swift completion of the proposed expressway from the Connecticut Turnpike to Interstate 84 in Newtown.

 

April 22, 1938

The search for Andrew Carnegie Whitfield, society aviator, whose plane was believed to have been seen last Friday about 5 pm, in the South Center district in Newtown, is still in progress. The report of Mrs Bernstein, of Botsford, that she had seen a plane about 5 pm, Friday, flying at a dangerously low altitude, caused concentration of the extensive search in that district. John J. McCann and James F. Downey, both of Bridgeport, claim they saw a plane flying low, just missing the tree tops, in the Botsford section and were of the opinion that it might have crashed in the dense woodland but dropped the matter until they read of Whitfield’s disappearance. The search for the missing flier and plane is being continued this Thursday in the Botsford section of Newtown by State Police, Newtown’s constables, and Boy Scouts, and interested parties who will scour the territory by plane and foot in an effort to find one clue as to Whitfield’s disappearance.

 

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Fire, thought to have been started by a defective wiring, destroyed two buildings on the property of William S. McLaughlin in Hanover district, early Sunday evening. Besides the loss of the buildings, an electric lighting plant, machinery, and tools were also burned. Damage was estimated at $2,000.

 

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Like the coming World’s Fair in New York, each day brings us a little nearer to the “Spring Swing” to be presented by the Young People’s Club for their fund to send delegates to the Summer Conferences. In many ways there is a similarity between the “Spring Swing” and the World’s Fair. Both will be modern and different. The lighting is to be of the indirect type and the decorations will be in black and silver. Harold Smith has been drawing sketches of the decorations which include a huge Sun Burst effect going from deep purple to crimson in color and lighted cleverly from within and so designed that the orchestra can be hidden behind its various tiers.

 

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Mrs Paul Pierc and Miss Ada Belle Kellogg were among the successful fishermen on Friday morning at the opening of the season. They pulled four nice trout from Pond Brook in Hanover Springs, and as the Bee Scribe understands it, did rather better than Mr Pierce, who returned with an empty basket. But, as he says, baiting hooks for the whole party does take time, and so we must somewhat pardon his lack of catch.

 

April 25, 1913

Both teachers in Half Way River and Riverside districts observed Arbor Day, and with their scholars, cleaned the grounds of their school houses, making them look much more attractive.

 

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The Fabric Fire Hose Co. are having a large cement reservoir built on the hill, west of Pine Street, to add to their water supply for fire protection. The water will be pumped from the factory dam to fill the reservoir and then will be pumped back to the factory.

 

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James Clark was brought before Justice McCarthy, Thursday morning, for intoxication and abuse. He was given $5 and costs and 10 days in jail. Constable Thomas Carlson took Clark to Bridgeport on the 10:14 train. A year ago, he was up before the justice for the same offense and put on probation, but paid little attention to the warning. Louis Bonnette was arraigned before Justice McCarthy, Monday, charged with assault upon his wife and son. He was fined $1 and costs and  put on probation for a year. Judge Beecher appeared for the state.

 

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The young daughter of Mr and Mrs E.F. Northrop was struck by the train passing through North Newtown about 11/15 am, and was instantly killed The child had strayed away from the house and toddled on to the track. Mr Northrop is ticket agent for the railroad and is also engaged in farming. The little girl was two years old.

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