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In case you missed the announcement earlier this week, we have received word that American Legion Post 202 is seeking buglers/trumpeters or other brass instrument musicians to play “Taps” along the Housatonic River. “The melody, which lasts 59 seconds, will be played every minute. The hope is to create a continuous echo of the 24-note tune on the Housatonic River with lone buglers spaced about one mile apart on the river, from the Long Island Sound to the Massachusetts State Line. This will be a special way to honor deceased military while maintaining social distancing” on Memorial Day, May 25. There are eight spots in Newtown in need of musicians and accompanying veterans. Contact Americanlegionnewtown@gmail.com or call 203-577-9568 for locations and more information.

The American College of Emergency Physicians reminds me that May 17-23 is EMS Week, honoring the professionals who are — especially now — on the frontlines of care. “This year’s campaign will focus on recognizing the selfless calling that makes EMS so vital,” according to acep.org, with a 2020 theme of “Ready Today. Preparing for Tomorrow.” If you have a way to virtually let our local emergency responders know just how much they are appreciated (just read the number of ambulance and fire reports to which they respond each week!) this coming week is the perfect time to do so. A note, a call, a text... or join in with so many in town who have created beautiful Thank You signs to post along the roadways, reminding these workers every time they pass by that they are valued.

Congratulations to NHS seniors Sophia Guizzo and Jackson Hebner! Sophia has earned the honor of the 2020 Valedictorian, while Jackson has earned the honor as 2020 Salutatorian for their class. Congratulations, as well, to the 19 other students who made the top five percent of the class this year.

Did you know that May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month? I know we’re all concerned with staying safe from COVID-19, and doing what we can to stay well; that should include adhering to safety practices to prevent any tickborne illnesses, as well. With the weather (hopefully) improving day to day, the outdoor world beckons. Remember that ticks do not care that there is a pandemic. You’ll find tips for preventing tick bites and what to do if you are bitten, and lots of other tick talk at https://www.newtown-ct.gov/newtown-health-district/pages/tick-information-test-results.

Construction work and repairs about town have been able to safely continue, including this past week when the roof above State Farm and Villarina’s Pasta Shop at the corner of Queen Street and Church Hill Road got a major renovation. Workers took advantage of the crisp but pleasant weather to bring it down to the rafters and then get to work building it back up again. (Good to see they were practicing coronavirus safety protocols, wearing masks around each other!)

The Hospitality Hall at Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street, needs donations. The NCC Hospitality Hall has been placed outside of the lower level glass entrance doors and is continuously supplied for our neighbors in need. The supplies to restock are beginning to run short on various items. There is a plastic bin for donations on the ground outside the side doors by the Hospitality Hall shelves. (You’ll also find a bin for donations to Mothers United Against Violence.) If possible please consider donating some of the following items: shampoo, deodorant, dish soap, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, peanut butter, jelly, Spaghetti o’s, Chef-Boy-R-Dee canned pasta, spaghetti sauce and pasta, tuna fish, mayonnaise, ketchup, cookies or cookie mix or brownie mix, coffee or tea.

Al-Hedaya Islamic Center is also collecting to support those in need at its 115 Mt Pleasant Road location. Drop offs — social distancing and with use of face masks, please — are Mondays from 1-3 pm, or Fridays from 2-3:30 pm.

This reminds me to thank everyone who braved the windy, chilly weather this past Saturday to bring plastic bottles and cans to the No-Touch Collection and Food Drive at Reed Intermediate School. From the piles of bags volunteers accepted, it looked to me to be a great success and will provide needed funds for our FAITH Food Pantry. Thank you, too, to organizers Superior Remodeler, Maple Craft Foods, Associated Waste, and the Town of Newtown!

By the way, Joy Hoffman, who leads sessions of Yoga Nidra at Newtown Congregational Church, tells me that she has recorded “a few Nidras” that can be accessed at the NCC YouTube site. Yoga Nidra is a guided practice for deep relaxation, said to facilitate the release of negative emotions and thought patterns, and calm the nervous system.

Newtown Parent Connection (NPC) is hosting Zoom Hope & Support meetings for anyone with a loved one who is abusing or addicted to substances. For Wednesday Zoom meetings in May, at 7 pm, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/704002364?pwd=THZGTmRFbGlKYUEyWFFSdzYva2Nidz09. Use Meeting ID: 704 002 364, Password: 609929.

For Thursday evening meetings in May, at 7 pm, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/430292386?pwd=OThrOXV5NFdIUnZHYldWUTI1b0FwUT09, Meeting ID: 430 292 386, Password: 329426. NPC Director Dorrie Carolon welcomes calls at 203-994-5394 if there is a problem connecting.

It seems like a dream now — or a nightmare — but several videos posted online have confirmed that there was a big snow squall creating whiteout conditions in Newtown this past Saturday afternoon, May 9. It may have been brief and left just a coating of white on shivering flower buds, but it was impressive while it lasted. This must be one of the latest recorded snowfalls for this area, and hopefully the final one for this spring. I’ll be staying curled up in my basket with my tail over my nose the next few days, anyway, just in case...

I will rouse myself, of course, to bring you the news you desire, so be sure to... Read me again.

A major roofing project was underway this week for the building at the corner of Queen Street and Church Hill Road. —Bee Photo, Baggett
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