With this autumn marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II — and May 7 the anniversary of the unconditional surrender by the German Allied Forces, the beginning of the end of the war — The Newtown Bee reached out to local veterans with an invitation to share their stories. Ken Stroud’s memories of the end of the war in Europe are quite different from other World War II veterans. The St Rose deacon emeritus and former Royal Air Force soldier had been a Japanese prisoner of war for more than three years on May 7, 1945, when General Alfred Jodl, chief of staff of the German Armed Forces High Command, signed the unconditional surrender documents for all German forces to the Allies. Dr Irving Freedman's patriotism stems from his experiences in World War II, when he was a member of the six-man US Army 19th Ordinance Bomb Disposal Squad. And Margaret Brokaw may not be able to remember a recent telephone number, but there is one thing the 95-year-old former Army nurse does remember: her Army serial number.
The theater at Edmond Town Hall will offer a free screening of "McFarland USA" on Saturday, May 9. The 7 pm screening will be free of charge thanks to Ingersoll Auto of Danbury. Kevin Costner’s latest film follows a struggling coach and teacher (Costner) who has had to move around for different incidents in his career, who finally comes to one of the poorest cities in America: McFarland, California. There he discovers buried potential among several high school boys and slowly turns them into championship runners and brings them closer than even he could ever imagine.
The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts (TBTA) will continue its 58th season with a production of "Godspell" TBTA will be performing the “revival” version of the show, which opened in 2011. Director Mensah Robinson has even added additional updates to the local production, including the performance of Pharrell’s “Happy,” and impressions of Donald Trump and characters from Lord of The Rings, according to Julia Bogdanoff. Julia, 15, is very familiar with the upcoming production, considering she — and 11 other regional actors — have been in rehearsals for the TBTA production since February.
Ashley Gong, a Newtown High School junior and one of five 2014 National Student Poet Ambassadors, is looking forward to sharing her love of poetry with area students in grades 6-8 at the “Po(w)e (r)try” workshop, four Monday evenings, beginning May 18, at C.H. Booth Library.
While Newtown sisters Katie and Jamie Rowan are happy hanging out and playing games or taking an occasional romp on the family trampoline with big sister Amanda, the younger siblings know how their family depends on the sensitive and expert support they receive from state Department of Developmental Services (DDS) professionals who are expert at handling behaviors related Amanda’s autism spectrum disorder. So when Katie, who attends Reed Intermediate School, learned that proposed state budget cuts could greatly reduce or eliminate Amanda’s DDS services, she became one of the younger and more vibrant voices arguing against those possible cuts.
Thirteen residents stood before Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead on Tuesday evening with hands raised, as she swore them in as volunteers forming a new Community Center Commission. They are John Boccuzzi, Bill Buchler, Andy Clure, Rob Cox, Sean Dunn, Brian Hartgraves, Carla Kron, Brian Leidlein, Christopher McDonnell, Jeremy Richman, Sheila Torres, Kinga Walsh, and David Wheeler. Sworn in ahead of time and not present Tuesday was the 14th member, Nicole Hockley. Leading the members as the interim chair, First Selectman Pat Llodra then asked for a moment of silence to recognize 12/14. The community center project will, in part, be funded through a $15 million gift from the GE Foundation in the wake of 12/14. Several commissioners are parents of children killed that day.
Cotton clouds against an azure sky hung over hundreds of residents gathered the 8th Annual Newtown Earth Day Festival on Saturday, May 2. Filling Newtown Middle School’s lawn were vendors touting earth-friendly crafts, booths with children’s activities, demonstrations, live music, and more. Many town organizations and individuals were available at the festival to tout their organization, display their services, or demonstrate how to live greener, all while a rotation of local musicians kept the crowd entertained. Among the booths were many local businesses including a botanicals display with residents Barbara Toomey and Mimi Brown. The women had samples of their Moongate Farm botanicals, which, according to their website, uses “use homegrown, wildcrafted, and organic herbs, fruits, and flowers to create our natural products.” Proceeds from the annual celebration of Earth Day benefit a green scholarship for Newtown High School graduates.
Julian Lage, who is headlining this Friday’s tenth show in Newtown’s Live at the Edmond Town Hall series, told The Newtown Bee that his touring partner Chris Eldridge is recovering from the ski injury that waylaid him and prevented the Punch Bothers guitarist from appearing on the same bill here. But Lage is soldiering on, promising an even more intimate and diverse performance in a solo format, with Stamford-based father-daughter duo Dave and Emma Hart opening. guitarist from appearing on the same bill here. But Lage is soldiering on, promising an even more intimate and diverse performance in a solo format, with Stamford-based father-daughter duo Dave and Emma Hart opening.