On behalf of the Ram Pasture Christmas Tree Lighting Committee, member Diana Johnson, on Monday, December 8, issued “sincere apologies to the whole town” for the abject failure of a new lighting option in the luminarias provided by the Chamber of Commerce and placed down Main Street, adjacent streets, and around Hawley Pond, a traditional prelude to the annual tree lighting.
Mrs Johnson admitted that the decision to eliminate traditional candles from the luminarias was a failed experiment.
Despite a gentle rain, a small crowd gathered at Ram Pasture on Friday, December 5, for the 30th Annual Ram Pasture Tree Lighting.
As announced at the event, Newtown Chamber of Commerce President Tim Haas, Peggy Velthuizen, and Carol George were in charge of “flicking the switch” for both of the trees at Ram Pasture during the lighting event.
Wilfrido A. Cardenas Hoffman, 31, of El Hatillo, Venezuela waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty on December 11 in federal court to making threatening phone calls to residents of Newtown shortly after December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. According to court documents and statements which were made in court, on December 16, 2012, two days after the shootings that claimed 26 lives at the school, Hoffman used a voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) computer application on an iPod to make numerous phone calls from his home in Venezuela to Newtown residences. The charge of making threatening telephone calls carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Foundry Kitchen & Tavern, at 1 Glen Road, has designated the restaurant as a drop off location for both nonperishable food items and new or used coats and jackets to help families in need this holiday season. Donations are welcomed through January 4. Nonperishable food items will be donated to FAITH Food Pantry, while winter coats and jackets for men, women and children will be given to local families in need.
Sandy Hook Promise will premiere a new documentary tonight at the Helen Mills Theater in New York City. The documentary is part of a comprehensive educational effort designed to help parents protect children from becoming future victims of gun violence. The documentary, "What They Left Behind," chronicles stories of gun violence and aims to shed light on the underlying issues that allow these tragedies to take place. Through these stories, Sandy Hook Promise introduces a new approach that engages and empowers Americans in the prevention of gun violence in our country.
On Saturday, December 6, the town conducted the first of two public forums on the advisability of allowing rental apartments by special zoning permit at the Fairfield Hills campus. About 50 people attended the December 6 session, at least one-quarter of whom were members of town agencies, including the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z), Fairfield Hills Authority, Economic Development Commission, Legislative Council, and Board of Selectmen. Judging by comments made during the session, the public is skeptical and unconvinced that allowing rental apartments at Fairfield Hills is a good idea. A second forum on the controversial topic is slated for 7 pm on Thursday, December 11, also at Reed Intermediate School.
In light of the upcoming 12/14 anniversary, The Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Center and its staff will be available for support and resources to anyone in the community, according to agency spokesperson Melissa Glaser. The team is fully staffed with clinical and support professionals who are able to address any concerns or needs that may arise during this difficult time. In addition, a number of other special programs and resources will be available for community members during the weekend of the 12/14 anniversary at area agencies and houses of worship.