Walking through the Capitol Building, alongside 50 awe-struck and ambitious high school journalists, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy stopped us outside the Senate press briefing room. The veteran Democrat and most senior member of the 114th Congress teasingly asked if we were the “perspiring” journalists he’d heard would be clogging up the halls of Congress that day. For the sweat-drenched “aspiring” writers attending this journalism conference who had just trudged through Washington DC’s grotesque summer air, Leahy’s quip gave everyone a lift.
The afternoon following his 90th birthday celebration, Newtown resident and the acknowledged “Father of Robotics” Joseph F. Engelberger relaxed in his Hattertown home while his daughter Gay tended to his comfort by bringing a small glass of white wine. While Mr Engelberger obviously appreciated the effort along with all the care he receives from his daughter and others, he would much rather see many day-to-day chores being performed on his behalf by a mechanical assistant.
Newtown Yoga Festival returns Saturday, August 22, for a third year of sharing well-being and health through yoga and related positive energy practices. The festival takes place at NYA Sports & Fitness Center, and yogis can choose from a variety of yoga and dance practices throughout the event. The festival's headline program this year will feature a presentation and class led by Drs Patricia Gerbarg and Richard Brown, pioneers in the emerging field of yoga and medicine. Specials guests this years will also include members of the dance company Pilobolus. Food vendors, a Lululemon trunk sale, a silent auction, and live music can also be enjoyed in the courtyard at NYA during the festival, and with a "YogaBear: Yoga for Youngsters" book signing by author Karen Pierce and illustrator Paula Brinkman, both of Newtown.
A dance group performing “Stand Out” opened the Kindness in Motion Newtown Dance Concert on Friday, July 24. The special event was held to benefit NewArts, a division of The 12.14 Foundation. Persephonie Alvarez, founder of Thrive The Essence of Dance in Monroe, was the director for the dance concert, which included 33 acts, all performed by local youth. Ms Alvarez also performed the final act of the night.
NOTE: This story was updated July 29 removing incorrect references to a possible Broadway run for the musical "Liberty Smith." || Are you one of those lucky theater lovers who saw "A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder" during its premier at Hartford Stage before it went on to capture four 2014 Tony Awards on Broadway? Well, you won’t have to travel further than Newtown High School this weekend to see another entertaining musical that could have its next premier on the boards in New York. During a visit to final runthroughs of the historical comedy/musical "Liberty Smith," running this weekend at Newtown High School, NewArts summer program director Michael Unger hinted that the version of the show he has adapted for Newtown’s run is under consideration for a New York theater run in the near future.
Families from Newtown and area towns stood in the shade outside Christ the King Lutheran Church on July 27, waiting for their Fresh Air Fund guests to arrive. Heads turned as a coach bus from New York City carrying young passengers arrived at the parking lot of the Mt Pleasant Road church. Soon spilling from the opening door were young guests who would spend a week with families in Newtown and nearby towns through The Fresh Air Fund. As area coordinator Marie Athans and her husband Dave helped unload guests and get their luggage, words of greeting included comments from “Hello” and “Welcome back” to “Good to see you” and “You definitely got taller.”
Marching bands, salsa dancers, pipe and drum corps, the skirling of bagpipes, and banjo music have also been regular parts of the Newtown Labor Day Parade over the years. Parade-goers will experience a new kind of music on September 7, though, when Joseph FireCrow, of the North Cheyenne tribe of Native Americans, and an acclaimed Native American flutist, brings his indigenous music to town. Meanwhile, the Labor Day Parade Committee has also introduced a new way for the public to support the parade's fundraising efforts.