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Newtown High School Athletic Director Matt Memoli announces that “beginning on Saturday, May 1, our spectator policy will be changing: We will be allowing any and all fans to come to our outdoor events as long as they are wearing a mask and are socially distant from any non-family members. For boys’ volleyball, we are allowing Newtown fans only and not permitting any visiting fans.”

NHS chatter reminds me, Newtown High School alum Caitlin Jenner has made it official: She is running for Governor of California. The Blue and Gold Stadium once carried former track star Jenner’s name.

I spotted something I had not seen before as I pussyfooted up the busy pathway near Glander Field one afternoon this past weekend: deer! My ears perked up, my cat eyes widened, and my whiskers stood at attention as three deer leaped across the path in front of me, not seeming to care that the path was heavily peopled.

I would also venture to say that the Storywalk posted along that path enjoyed a popular final weekend, with not just kids, but adults pausing to read Good Dogs, Great Listeners, the feel-good tale from the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation. INSERT STORYWALK PHOTO The foundation honors the memory of 12/14 victim Charlotte Helen Bacon. Good Dogs, Great Listeners was written by Renata Bowers and Charlotte’s parents, and illustrated by Michael Chesworth and the story boards added another dimension to a lovely walk at Fairfield Hills.

Newtown High School Drama students present Godspell on May 7, at 7 pm — virtually. You can get tickets to watch it streaming at showtix4u.com/event-details/47760, for $25. It has been a challenge to produce this for a virtual experience, but as with past live performances, I have no doubt the young cast will excel.

Good news! The red-tailed hawk that was rescued in Newtown earlier this month — thanks to Diane Costallos and her 10-year-old daughter, Aspen, who spotted it — is making great strides in its recovery. The hawk had been severely injured with an arrow through its body and is currently under the care of Christine’s Critters, who is rehabilitating the bird of prey. Christine’s Critters posted to its Facebook page on April 23 that South Wilton Veterinary Group has cleared the hawk to be able to go into the first flight cage to begin to stretch its wings and hopefully prepare for its release. The post detailed, “He won the first battle and beat the infection, now he has to win the battle of getting back in shape to survive a second chance out there.”

Local photographer Michelle Morgenstern was lucky enough to spot a barred owl from her Sandy Hook yard last week, and the owl was most cooperative in striking a pose. INSERT BARRED OWL PHOTO

If you like horsing around, it may be time for you to join the Newtown Bridle Lands Association. I hear they hosted a fine trail ride at Huntington Park this past Sunday, and have a Show and Go trail ride scheduled for May 16 on the Trail of Angels at the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, as well as one in June. To join — just $45 a year per individual, $75 for a family — visit nblact.com. Details on events and membership can be found there.

Jennifer Hubbard addresses the question of faith in times of suffering with her book, Finding Sanctuary: How the Wild Work of Peace Restored the Heart of a Sandy Hook Mother, released on Amazon on April 23, and also through Turning The Page bookstore in Monroe. Hubbard is the mother of Catherine Violet Hubbard, a first grader among the 26 people killed at Sandy Hook School on December 14, 2012. Hubbard is the president and executive director of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary on Old Farm Road. The Sanctuary honors the memory of her daughter, who loved all living creatures, and will provide care for animals and offers educational opportunities for all.

Congratulations to Anne Fries, second grade teacher at Hawley Elementary — she recently received the 2021 Weller Excellence in Teaching Award! You’ll read more about this teacher and why she was recognized in an upcoming issue of The Newtown Bee, but I couldn’t wait to share the news.

Congratulations, as well, to Zoe Velush-Rogers, who grew up here in Newtown (and first learned cooking at her very talented mother’s knee) and Keith Bisciotti, who are the proud new owners of The Pantry in Washington Depot, 5 Titus Road. Check out thepantryct.com to find out what delicious things they are cooking up, and if you are out that way, be sure to pull up curbside for a tasty lunch.

You know all those paints and chemicals and what-have-you hanging around your house and garage that you no longer need? Here comes a chance to get rid of many of them. The Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 8, from 9 am to 2 pm, at Newtown Public Works, 4 Turkey Hill Road. Paints, thinners, stains, varnishes, swimming pool chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, dry cleaning solvents, engine degreasers, waste fuels, rechargeable (Ni-Cd) batteries, and mercury thermometers are among the items that you can bring. No electronics are accepted, nor can you bring propane tanks, auto batteries, tires, motor oil, medical wastes, or fluorescent bulbs. If you have empty aerosol cans, household batteries, or smoke detectors, those can go in your regular garbage. Call the police department for information on safely getting rid of ammunition, fireworks, or explosives, please! You can get complete information at hrra.org on what is and is not accepted. Happy housecleaning!

Don’t forget the Lions Club Food Drive to support local food pantries continues through May 15. A collection box is placed inside the Newtown Community Center, 8 Simpson Street, and nonperishable food items and household care items are needed. The Community Center is open Monday to Thursday, 6 am to 9 pm; Friday, 6 am to 8 pm; Saturday, 7 am to 5:30 pm; and Sunday, 7 am to 5 pm.

“Tra-la! It’s May!” as they would say in Camelot. Well, almost May. And that means that the Red Cross has partnered again with Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street, to host additional blood drives in the merry month of May. Visit redcrossblood.org and enter 5320 or call 1-800-733-2767 to schedule an appointment for Thursday May 6 or 20, between 8:30 am and 6 pm on the 6th, or until 6:30 pm on the 20th.

Well, tra-la, indeed. The merry month of May means Mother’s Day is on its way, as well. Check out pages 12 and 13 in this week’s issue for local businesses with ideas on how you can celebrate your mom.

What? Another good thing about May? That’s the month that The Newtown Bee features the first of a series of gardening columns by local author and garden expert Sydney Eddison. Look for her first column in the issue of May 7.

Did you know The Newtown Bee posts a new question to our Facebook page each week soliciting reader input? And no. That was not this week’s question. The question we asked last week was, “What positive message would you share with Newtown residents this week?” We had one response that was too good not to share: “There is goodness around us just breathe, relax, and it will find you.” We couldn’t agree more. What will we ask next? Find out at The Newtown Bee Facebook page. Responses may be used by The Bee for future coverage.

The only response I’m looking for right now is that you have plans next week to... Read me again.

A wise owl captured on film. -Michelle Morgenstern photo
The Storywalk at Fairfield Hills provided fun reading along the pathway. -Bee file photo
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