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The Top Of The Mountain



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I think it is purr-fectly within my rights to remind everyone (as does the CDC) that COVID-19 is still a threat, that there is still no standard treatment if you get sick, there is no vaccine yet, and that there are steps you can take to protect others and yourself. Please wear a face mask in public places like the grocery or other retail stores, while pumping gas, at protests, at the pool (well, not in the pool!)... Even if you’re not worried about getting COVID-19, you are protecting the more vulnerable population you may encounter. Social distancing is still a thing if you are among people other than your immediate household family. That means staying six feet away from others, which is about two adult arm lengths. Don’t be shy about speaking up if you choose to support a local restaurant and are not comfortable with the distance between tables. And I know you have heard it for weeks, but wash your paws... oops, hands... for at least 20 seconds frequently throughout the day, especially if you’ve been in public spaces. Keep hand sanitizer handy for those times when you can’t get to a sink to wash up right away. And hopefully no one needs an Elizabethan collar to remind themselves to not touch eyes, nose, or mouth. We will, one way or the other, get through this. I don’t mean to be catty (though I can’t help that, 100 percent), but we have to accept that life looks a little different than it did at the beginning of the year!

Newtown Youth & Family Services is taking a leap of faith in order to keep community members and visitors safe this winter by transforming the annual Holiday Festival, the first Sunday in December, into a weeklong virtual celebration of the season. As the Holiday Festival is NYFS’s biggest fundraiser of the year, please be sure to support this safety-first version with your contributions. Mental health services and support are especially important this year, as the pandemic has created numerous worries for a lot of people.

The Labor Day Parade is still being pondered by the parade committee. The Bee has been in touch with the parade committee president and a decision will be made in upcoming weeks regarding if and when and how the parade could safely step off. Don’t cross this off your calendar yet!

Thanks to Phyllis Zimmer, who called to say that she recognized the female ambulance crew member pictured in the June 5, 2020 “Way We Were” column. Phyllis says Katherine “Kit” Smith is one of the three happy Newtown Ambulance members in that photograph, and that she and Kit worked together at Southbury Training School back then — Phyllis as an occupational therapist and Kit as a physical therapist. Phyllis believes Kit moved to Florida many years ago.

I like the Instagram posted last week by C.H. Booth Library: While doing repair work, newspaper scraps from 1932 were found in the walls. The advertisement for Red Top Malt “Hop Flavor” is a bit crumpled in the photo, but still in pretty readable condition for a 88-year-old piece of paper. Now, if it is from a copy of The Newtown Bee, that is harder to discern!

You don’t have to color my world, but if you are coloring any of the in-house created coloring pages that have appeared in the past three issues of the paper (thanks to education reporter/artist Eliza Hallabeck), please take a picture and send it to eliza@thebee.com.

Remember Mackenzie Page, who started the Great Pumpkin Challenge in 2011 to raise funds for her friend Zoe McMorran, who passed away in 2017 from brain cancer, the American Cancer Society, and The Hole in the Wall Gang? Thanks to efforts of Mackenzie and youth at Trinity Episcopal over the years, the Great Pumpkin Challenge has raised thousands of dollars for charity. Now I see that Mackenzie has graduated from Babson College in Massachusetts, so we want to send her our congratulations and best wishes. We know that her future is as bright as any glowing pumpkin!

Summer has been right on target with hot and humid weather arriving along with the summer solstice this past weekend. All of those endless rainy days in the spring are just a memory now, with lawns and plants thirsting for a good rain. The dry weather has water companies concerned, and Aquarion Water Company has even requested its customers adhere to an irrigation schedule until the dry conditions improve. Those who rely on wells for water might also want to slow down on water usage, too, so as not to run into problems in the long term.

Wet or dry, Connecticut growers are in full swing. Take a look at the photos in this issue as we welcome back this week the Newtown Farmers Market at Fairfield Hills.

Thank you to Edmond Town Hall and Ingersoll Auto of Danbury for providing Newtown with a drive-in movie option. If you haven’t had a chance to go, check out the ETH website at edmondtownhall.org for details on how you can enjoy a night out at the movies, right in the comfort of your own vehicle. Max Winslow and the House of Secrets and Up are in the queue for next week and the week after. Then Ant-Man and Cinderella will give you family fun options as summer plays out.

Multiple towns will benefit from the Newtown Savings Bank “Drive & Drop Food Collection” taking place this weekend. NSB branches in Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Monroe, Newtown, Oxford, Shelton, Southbury, Trumbull, and Woodbury invite you to drive up to a branch office with donations of nonperishable food items, personal and household items, or pet food, and an NSB employee will unload the donations from your trunk. The drive takes place from 9 am to 4 pm, Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27, from 9 am to noon. Food pantries in each participating town will receive donations from this drive.

Planning to celebrate the Fourth of July with some fireworks? You’ll want to keep pets somewhere safe. The loud noise can be pretty scary to dogs and cats — no need to include these furry family members in the outdoor celebrations. Just like people, pets can experience burns if a firework explodes too close to a curious cat or dog, and look out if your pup is a chewer: fireworks may contain toxic substances if chewed on. Other items that pop up in celebrations, like alcohol, glow necklaces, and citronella candles can be hazardous to pets, as well. A quiet place in the corner, inside, is just fine!

Whoops! Realizing that the USPS will indeed be delivering mail on Friday, July 3, there is no need for the early deadlines for our paper advertised last week. You’ll find The Newtown Bee out front of the 5 Church Hill Road office the afternoon of July 2, as usual, and subscribers will find it in their mailboxes, as always, on July 3. The office of The Newtown Bee, however, will be closed on July 3!

No matter what holiday looms, I am always on the lookout for some good news. Be sure next week to... Read me again.

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