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American Legion Post 202 has again collaborated with local organizations to plan a service of remembrance this Memorial Day weekend. The brief event will again take place around The Liberty & Peace Monument at 66 Main Street on Saturday. It’s a nice service, and an important time to remember any late veterans we know — as well as every person we don’t know who made the decision to honor and serve this country — by taking just a few minutes for this important national holiday. The Service of Remembrance is planned for 5 pm, with “Taps” to be played along Main Street to guide attendees to the monument. First Selectman Jeff Capeci has been invited to speak, Newtown High School musicians will be among those performing, and Newtown Woman’s Club will have the property lined with American flags ahead of the weekend. Luminaria will also be set up for the weekend, and volunteers plan to light them Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings. Parking is available along Main Street and organizers have again arranged for a police officer to control traffic. They’ll be ready to help those who want to park at nearby Edmond Town Hall and safely cross Main Street on the short walk to the monument on the opposite side of the road.

Remember to lower flags on Monday. Flags are always lowered for Memorial Day, although this is one day each year when we lower them at sunrise and raise them back up at noon.

The summer flag was raised last weekend on the Main Street flagpole. Reporter Jenna Visca had the opportunity to cover that event for the first time, and she was so swept up in the beauty of the 16- by 20-foot winter flag coming down, and then the 20- by 30-foot summer flag that was raised, she nearly forgot she was working! Fortunately her professionalism kicked in and Jenna did end up taking some great pictures of the twice-annual event. The photos can be seen elsewhere in this week’s print edition and Old Glory herself will remain atop that 100-foot-tall flagpole until after Labor Day. Enjoy the view.

Another sign of the approaching summer: Treadwell Pool and Eichler’s Cove Beach open this weekend for the new season. Opening day is Saturday, May 24, and while hours will again be limited for the first few weeks, Parks & Rec expects to extend the schedule as the availability of their lifeguards is confirmed. May 25-June 23, both locations will be open weekends 9 am-3 pm and weekdays 4-7 pm. If you haven’t already arranged for your Pool & Beach Membership Passes, or want to look into day passes, contact Parks & Rec at 203-270-4340 or visit newtown-ct.gov/parks-recreation.

I’m giving a Good Egg Award to John Boccuzzi Sr. As noted in a letter this week from Paula Toi (see The Letter Hive), John was instrumental in suggesting The Garden Club of Newtown apply for a grant to cover some of its expected costs to install raised beds within the rows the club manages at The Victory Garden. Paula’s note got me thinking, and I realized it was hardly the first time I heard John’s name tied in to grants. He has not only suggested applying for grants, he has also helped many with the process, which can be very challenging. I know there are others locally who also do this — and remind me of them if you’d like, because they too are Good Eggs — but recently it’s been John’s name that has been raised during grant application discussions. That’s a very specialized form of writing, and he has been very generous with his time and talent. For continuing to lead by example on being a good friend and neighbor, I announce the latest Good Egg Award goes to John.

Members of The Town & Country Garden Club of Newtown were visiting the traffic island at the corner of Queen Street and Glover Avenue recently and were pleasantly surprised when one driver made a point of rolling down her window to thank the ladies for their work. The garden club has been taking care of three traffic islands — including the one at the intersection of Church Hill Road at Queen Street and another at the intersection of Glover Avenue and Main Street-South Main Street — for years and it’s a lot of time and effort. One of the women at Island #2 on Friday shared a wonderful story. She said she and others were on one of the islands a few years ago, using bags to pick up leaves, weeds and other debris. One man stopped at the nearby traffic signal, rolled down his window, and told the group: “You’re the best looking bag ladies I’ve ever seen!”

The Fairfield Hills campus will welcome an exciting addition within the next few months. Ground has been broken for a new playscape located between Newtown Community Center and NYA Sports & Fitness Center. It should be open to the public late this summer. NCC Director Matt Ariniello said this week the vibrant playscape is the result of a collaborative effort between the community center and Friends of the Newtown Community Center, who generously contributed funding and donations to bring the project to fruition. The total cost of the project is around $275,000. Funding was made possible through the community center’s ongoing commitment to community enrichment through a special revenue fund, with additional support from the Friends of the NCC. Matt says the playscape will be more than a playground. It will be, he said, “a space designed for all ages and abilities. From the toddler section to the inclusive and handicap-accessible equipment, everyone can enjoy the fun and adventure.” What a fun thing to look forward to!

For those looking for more, a splash pad is already being talked about. Matt hopes to have that addition to the new playscape for 2025-26, he also said this week.

Bee Week is nearly here! Naturally, every week is Bee Week at 5 Church Hill Road, but I’m talking about Bee Week for the Scripps Spelling Bee, which this year begins Sunday, May 26, and continues to Friday, May 31. One of our own hometown bees will be in the middle of all the happy buzziness (not a word on this year’s spelling list) and I could not be more excited. Hayden Hughes is heading to Washington, D.C., next week and I’m sending all my good energy and spelling vibes with her. Preliminary rounds begin on Tuesday and the finals are scheduled for Thursday, May 30.

Law enforcement officers will carry the Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT) Flame of Hope across the state on foot, bike and motorcycle for three days next week, honoring SOCT athletes and promoting inclusion for people of all abilities during the annual Connecticut Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Three Torch Run legs will crisscross the state, working their way toward Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, opening ceremonies May 31, and the Summer Games June 1-2. There are 1,500 active and retired law enforcement personnel representing more than 90 active municipal departments and 18 Department of Correction facilities participating in this year’s Torch Run. I understand Newtown PD will again participate, and regularly see members of the Garner Correctional Institute staff for the local leg as well. The Torch is scheduled to cross the Bethel-Newtown town line at 11:37 am Friday, May 31, with the route coming in by way of Dodgingtown Road/Route 302 in Dodgingtown. From there it will again follow Dodgingtown Road to Sugar Street (still Route 302), to Glover Avenue, to Queen Street, and then continue east on Church Hill Road to Blue Colony Diner. The public is absolutely welcome to wave and encourage the runners along their route. Drivers may want to plan around the route and its time frame because traffic is not allowed to pass the runners, for their safety. The Torch should arrive at Blue Colony Diner’s parking lot at 12:33.

Leo McIlrath celebrated his 58th year of Ordination on Pentecost Sunday. The longtime Sandy Hook resident has been the Ecumenical Chaplain at The Lutheran Home in Southbury for 16 years. He said this past week that it’s good to be working still.

I’ll continue to work hard for the next week if you’ll promise to come back in about seven days to … read me again.

John Boccuzzi Sr is our latest Good Egg Award recipient.
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