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Parks and Recreation director Amy Mangold is quite excited about the Big Food exhibit at the Peabody Museum in New Haven, and even hopes summer camps will be able to include a field trip to the museum this summer, just to see it. She visited the spec



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Parks and Recreation director Amy Mangold is quite excited about the Big Food exhibit at the Peabody Museum in New Haven, and even hopes summer camps will be able to include a field trip to the museum this summer, just to see it. She visited the special multimedia exhibit recently. “It is brilliantly done and would be a great tool for any school or group to see to keep our healthy connections moving forward,” said Amy. Not only does the exhibit delve into the neuroscience of appetite, obesity, and genetics, but it looks at behavioral choices, too, in a totally interesting way. Parks and Rec does what it can to contribute to healthy lifestyles through programming and camp options, so the Big Food exhibit is a perfect pairing to that, says the director. For more information, go to Peabody.yale.edu. The exhibit runs through December 2 — but don’t wait!

Newtown senior citizens are invited to a special free tea and showing of the upcoming Newtown Middle School production, Bye Bye Birdie, next Wednesday, March 8. Tea will be served in the NMS cafeteria at 2:15 pm, with the show to follow at 3 pm, in the auditorium. Seniors interested in attending are asked to RSVP at 203-270-7998. Even though I’m not a senior citizen, I’m hoping I can sneak into the preview of the NMS musical. Bye Bye Birdie sounds like the kind of show that could make a cat purr.

It’s so nice that Newtown has expanded its recycling program to include nearly any recyclable. But a friend of mine is wondering if her efforts to do so in a considerate manner are not appreciated. “I am diligent to make sure that my recycling is clean and sorted, showing respect and consideration for the people who have to handle it after me, yet I don’t see that returned,” she laments. “My kids call me the Recycle Police, because if I catch someone putting something unwashed into our recycle bin, I am all over them,” she added. But many weeks, she finds herself picking up the items that fell out when the bin was dumped. I know it’s not a pleasant job, but is it really necessary to leave a trail of debris? A reminder to all — rinsing out the items keeps bugs and bees at bay, and make sure not to pile the bins too high with cans and bottles. Get a second recycling container if you regularly have a lot of items that don’t quite fit. Junk mail, magazines, and papers should be snugly put in paper bags or the clear plastic bags before being put into the recycling bins for pick-up. That way, there is no chance of the pieces flying free as they are deposited into the truck. Remember, one hand (or paw) washes the other. Let’s make sure recyclables make it to the right destination.

Two art exhibitions will celebrate their opening receptions this weekend and while they are both scheduled for Sunday afternoon, they overlap enough so that anyone who truly loves local art can make time to visit both (of course each show is also on view for a few weeks). The members of Flagpole Photographers Camera Club have selected some of their favorite works, and have put them on view at Avancé Esthétiques in Sand Hill Plaza, 228 Main Street South. The collection will be on view until March 28, and the club will host an opening reception — with many of the photographers planning to attend — on Sunday, March 4, from 2 to 4 pm.

Meanwhile “Eyes of March!” an exhibition featuring the drawings of Joan Pollak, will be on display at Cyrenius H. Booth Library this month. A Newtown resident for 25 years, Joan studied graphic design and creative writing at the University of Florida. Influenced by both the Impressionist and Pop artists’ use of bright, bold colors as well as an interest in changing (and challenging) the viewer’s perception of ordinary, everyday objects, Joan crops and alters her subject matter so that it takes on a new identity — and forces her audience to take a closer look. Since her earliest attempts at drawing (doodling during school to keep focused, she said in a note to The Bee last week), eyes have been a recurring theme. “Whether or not they are actually the window to the soul,” says Joan, “eyes express every human emotion. And, they never know when to stop speaking.” An opening reception will be held at 25 Main Street on Sunday, March 4, from 3 to 5 pm, during which time the public is invited to meet Joan, enjoy some light refreshments, and see what their eyes can find within her work.

Congratulations to Middle Gate Elementary School third grade teacher Roxanne Melaragno, who was recently named as one of Connecticut Magazine’s “40 Under 40” inspirational people in the state. Cited by school principal Christopher Geissler as being “an intelligent teacher-leader and valuable member of our school system,” Ms Melaragno is co-chair of the Early Intervention Team, a Team program mentor, and a member of the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee of the District Strategic Planning Committee. And, she has a great rapport with her students, to boot.

At my age, a loose tooth is of great concern, but I suppose there was a time when I was as excited about that event as little Oliver Pategas. Oliver was so excited about his wiggly tooth, that he has asked his mother to alert the mayor of Newtown “so she can tell everyone in Newtown!” I hope I’m not stepping on First Selectman Pat Llodra’s toes by announcing this big news: “Hey! Newtown! Oliver Pategas has a loose tooth!”

If you think nothing exciting ever happens in Newtown, stop by the exhibit set up by town historian Dan Cruson, on the second floor of the library. “Nothing Exciting Ever Happens In Newtown” is a look at the War Maneuvers of 1912 that took place in this very town, one hundred years ago. Dan has set up three display cases with photographs, postcards, and other artifacts from that weeklong endeavor that pitted a Blue Army against a Red Army. Visit the exhibit to find out what the squabble was all about.

That’s not all Dan has been up to. Town Historian Dan Cruson has a pair of programs this month regarding his latest book, Putnam’s Revolutionary War Winter Encampment: The History and Archaeology of Putnam Memorial State Park. Dan’s book, which comes after he spent the past 12 years engaged in archaeological excavations in the easternmost of these three encampments, will be the basis of a slide presentation and book signing at Gunn Memorial Library, in Washington Green, on Saturday, March 10. Admission to the 1 pm program is free, with a snow date of March 17. Call 860-868-7586 for details or if weather is questionable. Then on March 31, Dan will be in Danbury for part of Danbury Museum & Historical Society’s ongoing “Locally Grown Authors & Artists” series. An 11 am program, Saturday, March 31, is also open to the public free of charge; call 203-743-5200 for details. Copies of the book will be available at both events, and are also available around Newtown, including the library and Everything Newtown.

The Newtown Junior Women’s Club receives collections throughout the year to help promote their programs that support the community and is now working on Easter baskets and Easter holiday items for needy children. Jim Marcucilli, owner of Berkshire Motors, is one of the first merchants to sign on to be an official donation site for NJWC’s Easter collection. Residents are invited to drop off Easter basket donations at Berkshire Motors, located at 25 Berkshire Road (opposite the high school), any time between now and the Easter holiday.

I am lucky to find the bulk of my news by traveling around town “a pied,” but if I didn’t, you would sure hear me caterwauling over the gas prices. Midweek, most local stations posted regular gas prices hovering near or somewhat over $4 a gallon. I suspect this does not bode well for summer prices. What is most surprising to me, is how little ranting and raving I’m hearing from those who do rely on cars to travel to and fro. Maybe the yo-yoing of prices the past couple of years has numbed drivers to the pain of paying more at the pump.

The only thing that has me going is thinking about all the exciting news to pump out next week, so be sure to… Read me again.

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