The Top of the Mountain

For those of you watching the premiere of this season’s American Idol on Wednesday, January 15, you might have recognized Sandy Hook resident Hayley Pettinato. She was shown briefly, but earned a “golden ticket” to continue on to Hollywood, where the show continues. Seventeen-year-old Hayley is one of three Connecticut residents chosen by the judges for this season. “Getting that golden ticket was honestly like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It was so surreal. It was like a blur when I got it,” Hayley said in an interview posted by American Idol on YouTube. “It was honestly the best feeling in the world.” Watch the video here. Good luck Hayley!

I always keep a carton of Good Eggs handy, and it’s a good thing I do. This week I’m handing out another Good Egg Award to a mysterious gentleman who donated a substantial sum to FAITH Food Pantry. Nancy Taylor, co-director of the food program there, tells me that just before Christmas, a time when the Pantry receives many generous donations of time and product, she was working on a Thursday evening. “As usual, that night was very busy and my head was down as many families were signing in, and I was recording their visit on index cards,” says Nancy. A man watching off to one side was approached by a volunteer and asked if he needed help. “He quietly handed the volunteer $500 in cash and asked that the money be spent in the best way to help the families. He refused to leave his name and address for us to send a proper acknowledgement of his donation,” Nancy says. The volunteers are hoping that this kind man know how very much his donation is appreciated. If you are out there, Mystery Man, you are a Good Egg!

Word has trickled down from Vermont that Newtown business partners Sara Jasinski and Jason Petrelli, with the assistance of Mark Tambascio of My Place Restaurant in Newtown, are ready to open the Pizzapalooza Micro Pub in Wilmington. Pizzapalooza will feature specialty pies and local and regional microbrew beers. Family friendly in the light of day, they hope to attract a night crowd for live music in the evenings. If you’re heading north for snow and fun, take a detour over to Wilmington, and support our far-flung entrepreneurs.

Just a reminder that as the library staff and outside professionals work diligently to return service to the C.H. Booth Library, patrons are asked to hang on to any books, CDs, or DVDs checked out prior to the January 4 flood. No fines are accruing, and it will help them immensely if they know items from regular circulation will return directly to them when the doors reopen. If it is question you need answered, or tax forms, look for the opening of the C.H. Booth Library information center in Edmond Town Hall. Reference Librarian Andy Forsyth and staff will be on site to assist. The information center will be open Mondays through Thursdays, from 2 to 6 pm, and on Saturdays from 10 am to noon, until the library reopens.

Well, it wasn’t due to freezing, but just like the mess created at the C.H. Booth Library on January 4, it was sprinklers responsible for a drenching at the Golden Globe Awards this past Saturday in Beverly Hills. According to a CBS News report, sprinklers went off just before the ceremony, triggered by a lighting rig, turning the red carpet into the wet carpet. We feel their pain.

Rescue and rehabilitation organization Green Fur Kidz has organized a puppy and dog adoption event, hosted by Your Healthy Pet, 224 South Main Street, this coming Saturday, January 18, from 11 am to 3 pm. Raffle tickets will be sold for Jerry’s Fund, a grant for dog fighting victims and survivors that honors the memory of the late Gennaro “Jerry” Prete of Newtown. The fund will benefit a bait dog named Beau who was horribly mauled by dogfighters. Find out more about Beau, the Jerry Fund, and Green Fur Kidz at www.greenfurkidz.com.

If you want to chime in on Ben’s Bells, there are two opportunities to take part coming up tout suite. The studio, at 17 Church Hill Road, will be open for everyone from 1 to 5 pm, this Friday, January 17. It will also be hosting the first of a new series of monthly fundraisers that evening, “Girls Night Out Filled With Kindness.” Each third Friday of the month, from 8 to 11 pm, women are welcome to attend alone or with friends. Light refreshments will be offered (BYOB), and “be kind” raffle prizes will be awarded during the evening. Suggested donation is $10 per person. Walk-ins are welcome, but groups of six or more should send an e-mail to newtown@bensbells.org or register at www.Facebook.com/BensBellsNewtown. The studio is also planning to be open on Monday, January 20, from 10 am until 4 pm.

Former university professor Dan Wolinsky has been keeping busy in retirement, writing three books among other things. His latest, Sines of the Bizarre, with illustrations by Jeff Sheldon, offers “a novel approach to word play through puns and homonyms,” says the Newtown resident. Dan will be celebrating the book’s recent release with a book signing event at Byrd’s Books, 126 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, on Sunday, January 26, beginning at 2:30. This is a new location for the store, which is now next door to Verizon; plenty of parking and an entrance are both available behind English Apothecary. Dan will discuss his book and sign copies of the 152-page paperback. For additional information about the event call the bookstore at 203-730-BYRD (203-730-2973); for more information about Dan and the book, visit www.sinesofthebizarre.com.

It snows, it rains, it freezes, and it thaws. Welcome to winter in New England. On the bright side, it is barely more than 60 days until spring. Luckily for you, it is only a seven-day wait until you can… Read me again.

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