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I hope everyone had a nice Martin Luther King, Jr, Day this year. It is an important day to remember and reflect, and it is a day that, I hope, can be reflected year-round.

The next day on my radar is Valentine’s Day, and Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) is preparing for it already. NYFS is returning its Operation Heart to Heart, Valentines for Troops effort, and the deadline to participate by making a card and dropping it off at NYFS, 15 Berkshire Road, is February 1. Cards should be 5 inches by 7 inches, and all cards will be sent to troops deployed overseas or stationed in the US. NYFS is open Monday to Thursday from 9 am-8 pm, Friday from 9 am-5 pm, and Saturday from 8 am-1 pm.

Do you like singing? Are you looking for a group of like-minded people who just enjoy singing, and occasionally performing? Newtown Choral Society will begin rehearsals next week for its spring concert. Singers of all backgrounds are invited to join the long-standing local choir directed by Mary Andreotta. There are openings in all voices. Susan Anthony-Klein is the group’s accompanist, and rehearsals are weekly at Newtown Middle School on Queen Street. The spring concert is scheduled for May 21 at Newtown Meeting House. Still interested? Stop by the middle school Wednesday night and see if it feels like a fit. If you’d like additional information first, contact Choral Society President Laura Lerman at 203-426-3769 or lel@se-ltd.com.

I noticed some helpful information on the Protect Our Pollinators Facebook page this week. A post read, “Three steps to creating a new garden area without digging up turf: Make the area, cover with cardboard, and then [cover] with leaves or mulch. Doing this in the late fall or early winter will give you a ready-to-go or ready-to-grow planting area in the spring!” It happens to be early winter now ... And you know my favorite plants to attract bees happen to be catnip and catmint.

C.H. Booth Library announced this week that it is launching a “Read Across Genres Challenge” this month for students in sixth through twelfth grade. To celebrate 2023, the library said a different genre will be highlighted each month. “Read a book in that month’s genre and write a quick review. Then, drop your review off at the Young Adult desk to be entered in a monthly drawing for a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!” The genre chosen for January is Science Fiction/Dystopian. Review sheets are available in the library’s Young Adult Department. According to the library, all reviews will be added to the Recommended Reads binder, and January’s winners will be drawn on February 1. I wonder if one of the genres will be “newspaper columns written by cats.”

In other library news, C.H. Booth Library announced a virtual author talk for January 31 at 2 pm with Randall Munroe, creator of the xkcd webcomic and What if? series. “Please join for what is sure to be the most fun-filled hour of the day as we chat online with Randall Munroe about his new book What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions,” the library announcement reads. “The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger. Thank goodness xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to help. Planning to ride a fire pole from the moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking the landing. Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone’s freezer door at the same time? Maybe it’s time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics. Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-story building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.” This cat is certainly intrigued by that description. I wonder what odds Munroe would give to a cat writing a column for a newspaper...

I know there are some Good Egg Award-worthy people out there. Do you know a town resident or someone who works in town who is deserving of The Newtown Bee Good Egg Award? Maybe you witnessed a kind deed, you were surprised by the kindness of an unknown stranger, or you know a generally good person. I love to hear about all the good eggs out there, and I extra love sharing the news with our readers. Simply email my coworker Reporter Alissa Silber, alissa@thebee.com, with the person’s name and a description of why you think they are deserving of the award. Then cuddle your dog, shower your cat with love, and wait to see the announcement in one of my future columns...

Friends of Newtown Seniors will be doing a midday event for this month’s Social Gathering. Janice Garten has arranged for local senior citizens to have space at My Place Restaurant on Saturday, January 28, for a lunch gathering. Checks will be the responsibility of each guest, and reservations are definitely requested. Contact Janice before Friday, January 27, at 203-430-0633. “We’ll go back to dinner events when the weather warms up again and it stays light out longer,” Janice said. We’ll keep everyone posted on those plans, as always.

Two of the Newtown-New Fairfield hockey team members scored three times in a 10-1 win. I know you want to know more than that, so catch up with the Hawks on the ice in this week’s Sports section. I triple dare you. Also in this week’s Sports section, you will find that The Newtown Bee’s Sportsman of the Year has been named.

If you don’t regularly check out our calendar listings, you should. And I can prove to you why: You’ll be sure to “Have The Slime of Your Life.” Find out what I am talking about in our print and online calendars.

Save the date! The RSO Quartet, featuring the principal string players from Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, will perform this season in Newtown for the first time. Violinists Jorge Avila and Mialtin ZheZha, violist Suzanne Corey-Sahlin, and cellist Nicholas Hardie are scheduled for an evening performance on Saturday, March 11, at Edmond Town Hall. Tickets are $40 adults, $35 seniors, and $10 for students, and already on sale at ridgefieldsymphony.org. We’ll have additional details including the program, musicians’ bios and even pre-show plans closer to the show, but wanted our readers to know about this exciting event now.

I use my strings, whiskers, to scope out all the news each week just for you. And all I ask in return is that you promise next week to ... Read me again.

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