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The Top Of The Mountain



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Did you sense that there was a local hand in the Super Bowl’s special effects this year? Maybe that’s because Eric Mockovak of Newtown was at the Super Bowl in Miami on February 2 with the company Strictly FX, which does all of the special effects and pyrotechnics for the Super Bowl halftime show, as well as many other concert tours and awards shows. In Miami there was rooftop pyro, and CO2 jets on the field stage. All of the gear had to be brought to the rooftop via crane, and during the show Strictly FX had to connect its gear on all the field carts that rolled in. The crew was in Miami two weeks prior to the show to prepare. Whew. What an effort!

My fellow animals have much to rejoice about as State Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan, who serves Newtown, has been awarded the 2019 Humane Legislator Award by the US Humane Society. (See related article in this issue of The Newtown Bee.) The award recognized his efforts to shut down the puppy mill pipelines into Danbury, and elsewhere in Connecticut, which was covered in The Newtown Bee’s article “Allie-Brennan Works To Protect Pet Owners From Inhumane Puppy Mills” last April.

Congratulations, as well, to Sandy Hook author Sophfronia Scott, who has been awarded an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts! Write on, Sophfronia!

Newtown Bee editors and reporters are still abuzz from last weekend’s annual New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) conference. In addition to earning a half dozen NENPA awards last Friday and Saturday night, five members of our editorial staff also spent time this past weekend attending workshops and training sessions at the convention, covering all things journalism. They have been sharing some of those new ideas all week, will formally present their new information during an editorial department meeting next Friday afternoon, and hope to inject many of those ideas into upcoming issues, stories, features, photos, and advertising. We look forward to those ideas also being enjoyed by you, our readers.

After a few years of highlighting single properties, Newtown Historical Society is planning on resurrecting its traditional Homes & Gardens Tour this year. That means multiple locations for ticket holders to explore. Co-chairs Gordon Williams and Peggy Jepsen are already looking for locations. They would also love to hear from folks who would like to volunteer their homes and/or gardens for consideration. The public event is scheduled for Saturday, June 13. If you’d like additional information, contact Peggy at 203-770-9157 or Gordon at 203-405-6392.

We have received this photo of a Newtown High School Class of 1972 ring from a former Newtown resident, who discovered the class ring in the early 1980s and is still hoping to reunite the rightful owner with the ring. The ring was found by the NHS football field many years ago, and has a blue stone in the center. If you think this is your ring, e-mail alissa@thebee.com and specify the initials engraved on it. We’ll get in touch with the finder, who prefers to remain anonymous, and get the ring back on the hand where it belongs.

If you have not yet made the time, stop in the Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street, during regular 8-to-5 hours, to view the SCAN Color In Winter Show & Sale. SCAN artists have a beautiful exhibit there of works by more than two dozen members. Not only will you spend some most enjoyable time admiring the works (and maybe adding one to your collection?) but you can bid on “New England Shore,” a painting donated by artist Mike Eagle, who is an award-winning Connecticut painter. The show continues through February 28, and is definitely worth a look.

Thanks again to the many readers who have responded to our print survey. The input is valuable to us, and we appreciate the comments provided by several respondents. We’ll tally up the answers and share them with you in an upcoming issue, as well as the name of the winner of a one-month subscription (or extension) to the paper.

I’m ready for spring any time now, and I see that the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary has plans in the works already to celebrate the end of winter. It is not too early to mark your calendar for the March 22 CVH program, currently scheduled at the Newtown Community Center, 8 Simpson Street. “Pasture Animals — Wild And Wooly!” will be a celebration of the agricultural society from which our town sprang: Meet llamas and baby goats, spin some wool, and churn some butter, for a start. How about meeting an adoptable German shepherd? Register at cvhfoundation.org. You don’t want to miss out!

Actually, it seems Mother Nature’s alarm clock is going off a little early . . . some signs of spring have been noticed, such as witchhazel blooming in at least one yard — more than two weeks early. Some snowdrops have been spotted opening up and then quickly closing again; and daffodils have begun poking through . . . and thought twice about that wisdom. There are some yellowing green tips along Main Street emerging, and the quince buds have started on the winter stalks: little bundles that open into clusters of leaves. They start small and are almost jelly-bean size when they open. They are a few weeks ahead of schedule, as well. Hmmm. Maybe that Pennsylvanian groundhog was right this year! I’m not complaining.

Wouldn’t you love to own a piece of Newtown history? The recently formed Flagpole Preservation Committee has announced a free sweepstakes open to anyone who would like to take a chance on winning the 20- by 30-foot American flag that flew from the Main Street flagpole last summer. Don’t let the name of the committee fool you. There is no concern that the flagpole itself will disappear. The “preservation” the group’s name refers to is of the massive pole itself — the painting, lighting fixtures, the gold ball atop the pole, and other general upkeep. Donations toward those efforts are always welcome, and can be sent to Flagpole Preservation Fund (with that fund also noted on the memo line of a check or money order), c/o Town of Newtown, 3 Primrose Street, Newtown CT 06470. We have entries for the contest at our office, 5 Church Hill Road. They can be filled out and left with us, or picked up and then mailed to Newtown Lions Club. Either way, entries are due by May 1.

The Guide To Newtown, published by this paper, has a new look coming this spring! The full color Guide will open your eyes; and all of the information you need to know about who, what, where, and when — plus a business phone directory — will open your eyes, as well. Look for the 2020 Guide To Newtown delivered to every home, at newsstands around town, or in the lobby of The Newtown Bee, 5 Church Hill Road, in March.

Who isn’t concerned about the climate on one level or another? Audubon CT is worried about how North American birds are affected by climate change. They have a Climate Watch program underway, and seek participation from those with birding skills. Volunteer birders will count target species twice a year and, using scientific protocol, share the results. That’s it in a nutshell, but if you are interested and want details, visit ctaudubon.org and select the How to Join Climate Watch link. You can find out lots more about birds and the work of Audubon centers here, too.

Find out lots more about your hometown next week, right here, if you will just . . . Read me again.

Did you lose a NHS Class ring in the 1980s? Someone has found it!
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