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Continued thanks to those who organized and participated in last weekend’s Memorial Day Service of Remembrance. Representatives from the local American Legion, Sons of American Legion, local politicians, active and retired members of the Armed Forces, high school students, and others were joined by guests of all ages for Saturday’s gathering at The Liberty and Peace Memorial.

With the return of Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer was also recognized. Treadwell Park pool and Eichler’s Cove beach had their first weekend of the 2024 season. While the hours were already limited due to lifeguard availability, they were further curtailed on Monday due to the weather. The beach was closed on Monday due to the rain, and the town pool was open for a few hours but also fell victim to the weather. Nevertheless, the Parks & Rec lifeguards and staff are ready to head back to the shore edges and pool this weekend. Until June 23, both locations will be open weekdays from 4 to 7 pm and weekends from 9 am to 7 pm. Weekday hours will then expand to an 11 am opening — although readers should also remember that summer campers will have use of the pool from 1-2 pm weekdays through August 9. Full details including membership fees and other information are available by calling 203-270-4340 or visiting newtown-ct.gov/parks-recreation/ Have fun, friends. I for one will not be partaking in the jumping into either water body by choice. Cats and water get along about as well as mayonnaise and sunshine.

Two members of Newtown Board of Realtors were at the Animal Control Center last week. That was just a small fraction of the folks who helped coordinate this year’s collection ahead of and on the day of Strutt Your Mutt. In addition to Liz Newnham from William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Danbury and Bianca Harlacher from Coldwell Banker in Newtown, who were able to get to 21 Old Farm Road last Tuesday morning, five additional Newtown offices also hosted collection bins this year: Around Town Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Better Homes and Gardens/ Gaetano Marra Homes, ReMax, and William Raveis Real Estate all participated in this important event.

Do you know how easy it is to win an ice cream cake from Ferris Acres Creamery? If you are the parent or grandparent of a local child, it’s as easy as picking out or taking a photo of your favorite child ahead of their birthday, sharing that photo and some details with us, and then hoping your photo is picked. It’s that easy, yet for the second week in a row we didn’t have any children to feature in our long-standing Birthday Cake column this week. If you’re reading this and you know of a young person whose birthday is approaching, think about joining the fun. The deadline for the June 7 Newtown Bee Birthday Cake is Tuesday, June 4, at noon. To enter send the child’s name, address, phone number, age, and birthday, along with an original head and shoulders photo to Birthday Cake-The Newtown Bee, 5 Church Hill Road, Newtown CT 06470, or email information and a JPG photo to shannon@thebee.com. Photos should be sent as attachments to the email, and birthdays must be within one month of submission. One name will be randomly drawn weekly from those published and that lucky winner will receive a coupon for Ferris Acres Creamery.

I can’t help but think Rita Power had flashbacks to Charlotte’s Web and the words of E.B. White when she rounded a corner of Hanover Road last weekend and this was suddenly her view (photo, above). That is, as White wrote, “some pig”! Rita was heading toward home Sunday morning after taking her dog for a walk, and encountered this guy. Maybe it was just looking for some attention and its own guided walk.

May 31 and June 1-2 will be the final weekend sales for Great Pootatuck Duck Race tickets. Readers can still purchase tickets from club members, and local businesses that have been hosting sales, but the approaching weekend will be the last time this season that members of the club will have pop-up locations around town. Tickets are $5 for the June 8 event, and sales are planned on Friday from 5:30-7 pm at Carminuccio’s Pizza & Subs and My Place Restaurant; Saturday, 8 am-noon at Bagel Delight; and then Sunday from 9-11 am at Newtown General Store and 11 am-3 pm at Stop & Shop.

According to a note this week from organizers, the Lions will be welcoming plenty of local clubs, organizations and businesses to Heritage Park next weekend. Duck Race attendees can visit booths and tables set up by Town & Country Garden Club of Newtown, Newtown-Strong Therapy Dogs, Troop 870, Cullens Youth Association, Newtown Historical Society, Women Involved in Newtown (WIN), Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP), and Flagpole Photographers Camera Club, among others. Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice and Porco Karate Academy will not only have tables, they’ll also be celebrating their students with performances during the day. Visit newtownlions.org for full Great Pootatuck Duck Race details including the day’s schedule and prizes.

Time is also ticking down if you’d like to purchase Sandy Hook LobsterFest tickets at their advance price. Members of Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company are getting ready for that big two-day event, which returns to their main station on Riverside Road Friday, June 7, 5-9 pm; and Saturday, June 8, 4-9 pm. Tickets for a full lobster or steak dinner are $35 in advance, cash or check only, and they are available from most company members. They can also be purchased at the Office of the Fire Marshal, within Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street; and my favorite place in town, the office of The Newtown Bee, 5 Church Hill Road. Early sales close at noon Friday, June 7, however, so don’t wait much longer if you want to save. Full dinner tickets increase to $40 at the door; credit/debit cards will also be accepted then as well. Hamburger and hot dog dinners are $10 each, whether you buy tickets in advance or next weekend. Dinners include the entrée, potato salad, chowder, a dinner roll, and a soft drink or water. The event also features a raw bar, desserts from the company’s Ladies Auxiliary, a full bar, and live music both nights.

File under Best Laid Plans: Friends of Newtown Seniors (FONS) roundtable gatherings were going to resume this week. The gatherings to discuss senior life in town had been on hold since the pandemic, and Ned Simpson was ready to resume talks with fellow residents on May 28. Unfortunately he needed to cancel this week’s plans on short notice. The good news is, next month’s gathering is still being planned. Anyone interested in joining the discussion is encouraged to put Tuesday, June 25, on your calendar. The roundtable will begin at 3:30 pm and while it will be held at Newtown Senior Center, membership to the center or FONS is not required to join the event. Contact Ned at neds2124@gmail.com if you’d like additional information.

Connor Flynn had a wonderful night recently. The St Rose School seventh grader attended an awards dinner hosted by Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering on May 21, when he was presented with special Congressional recognition and a certificate after being named a middle school winner in the Connecticut State Invention Convention. Connor and his invention, Safe Twist, which protects young children from accidental injuries in the kitchen, are now heading to the state convention finals on June 8 at UConn. Connor will be joined by fellow St Rose School finalists that day. Congratulations and best wishes to all St Rose Rams!

We had a wonderful visit last Friday morning from the entire Hawley School second grade. The children were on their annual walking tour of historic and/or significant locations, and The Bee office was among the stops. Jenna Visca took a photo of one of the groups as they were finishing their visit at 5 Church Hill Road. Main Street resident Andy Carlson also shared the news that his home also became an impromptu stop on the tour. Andy and his wife live at the historic home at 17 Main Street, which has a great connection to Bee Publishing Company. That big, beautiful home was constructed in 1904 for Arthur Smith, who was this newspaper’s co-publisher, with his brother Allison, from 1892 until 1934. After Allison’s death in 1934, Arthur remained as publisher for another ten years, until his son Paul took over the lead role in 1944. Arthur lived on one side of 17 Main Street, and his sisters lived on the other side. Paul Smith grew up there, and then moved one property south to 13 Main (remember, 15 Main Street didn’t have a house on the lot until 25 years ago), where he raised his family including our late publisher R. Scudder Smith.

This Friday morning we’ll welcome Middle Gate students for their annual walking tour. I’ll share any fun stories from those visits in next week’s column when you come back to … read me again.

Rita Power had flashbacks to Charlotte’s Web and the words of E.B. White when she rounded a corner of Hanover Road last weekend and this was suddenly her view. —Rita Power photo
Newtown news and notes, told from the point of view of a cat named Mountain.
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