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The Top Of The Mountain



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Congratulations to one of our former Newtown Bee summer interns, Julia Preszler, who is one of the recipients of the Journalism Education Foundation of New England (JEFNE) 2020 scholarships. We are so pleased that her talent and hard work has been recognized!

There’s nothing like a good book to make the time pass pleasantly. Here’s how you can buy books for your family and support the C.H. Booth Library. The CHB Library Virtual Book Fair is underway through July 10, with Usborne Books & More. When you buy a book, CHB gets 50 percent back in free books that will boost the offerings in the Children’s and Young Adult collections. Visit https://w4054.myubam.com to see the long list of books available for purchase. And make sure that C.H. Booth Library is in the checkout drop down menu so that our library gets the credit for your purchases. Happy reading!

The Town of Newtown’s Economic & Community Development Department is working on a community branding project and wants your input. If you have not yet taken the survey, set aside a few minutes and visit https://newtown.org/newtown-community-branding-surveyto answer a few questions. Your opinions do matter!

Don’t feel bad if you’ve missed other opportunities these past couple of months to donate blood. The American Red Cross will again be at Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street, on Tuesday, July 7, from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, for another blood drive. And, for a limited time, Red Cross is offering free COVID-19 antibody testing when you donate blood. You can make an appointment for July 7 and find out more about the antibody test — and lots of other useful information — at redcrossblood.org; or call 1-800-733-2767. The need for blood remains high, so please consider giving if you are healthy and at least 16 years old and 110 pounds. Safe COVID-19 protocols will be in place, so not to worry.

Sweet and savory and oh, so fresh! I hear it is all at our Newtown Farmers Market, which had its opening day last Tuesday at Fairfield Hills. The Farmers Market continues every Tuesday through the summer from 2 to 6:30 pm.

The Newtown Bee Diversity Discussions program continues on Thursday, July 9, at 4:30 pm, when we host school officials, moderated by Associate Editor John Voket. Questions from the public are welcome ahead of the live webcast by e-mailing john@thebee.com no later than 4 pm, Wednesday, July 8. Please make sure your questions for this week are focused on diversity and inclusion issues within our school system. Then tune in to The Newtown Bee Facebook page to hear what school administrators and others in the community are thinking about this subject. You’ll find it later on The Newtown Bee YouTube channel, along with the first Diversity Discussions forum, which took place June 18.

There have been visits all over town again this summer from black bears, some rummaging through garbage, some tearing down bird feeders or sipping from hummingbird feeders, some ambling mildly through the yards, and one even taking a swing in a hammock! Maritz V. shared a photo with us of her visitor to their Parmalee Hill backyard last Friday. He/she seemed to enjoy the safflower seeds in the bird feeder, Maritz tells me — and didn’t seem anxious to head off, if the photo is any indication! Just a reminder, though, that DEEP recommends not filling bird feeders in the spring and summer — because guess who likes them as much as the birds? The bears are fun and amazing to watch when they wander onto private property, but be sure they don’t get the chance to become too used to human activity. They are, of course, still very wild animals. This little kitty will be looking over both shoulders whenever I am out and about!

I know some are star gazers, but I get my kicks out of pretending to chase clouds across the sky — and I have to say that we have had some stupendous clouds the past couple of weeks, from boiling thunderheads to puffy cotton balls; from darkest gray to blinding white. I’m enjoying them all, and enjoying the sunrises and sunsets reflecting off of them, too. (I’m thankful that a few of those clouds decided to finally spill some much needed rain on the thirsty lawns this past weekend, too. Rolling around in crispy brown grass is not so much fun.)

“Bah, humbug!” is the exclamation we get from the Newtown Salvation Army Committee, with the announcement that “After a very successful ‘Christmas in July’ in 2019, our 2020 ringing in July is canceled due to COVID-19.” Of course, we hope this doesn’t mean that the annual holiday time bell ringing will be silenced, too. Fingers (and paws) crossed!

Bridgewater Fair organizers decided weeks ago that there would be no 2020 fair in August. This week, The Big E (maybe you were one of the more than one million visitors in 2019?) has been canceled for 2020. “The Big E is so much more than just a fair, it is tradition, it is celebration, it is the showcase of everything we are so proud of in New England. This is why our hearts are heavy as we bring you this news. For the safety of our fairgoers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers, and the broader community, the 2020 Big E has been canceled. Thank you all for your support and we’ll see you September 17-October 3, 2021, when we can all celebrate together again,” reads the message we have received. It makes us wonder now, what will happen with our Newtown Labor Day Parade? Parade organizers were still mulling it over in their last communication with this newspaper, hoping to find a safe means to hold the townwide celebration...

It looks like a lot of C.H. Booth Library patrons are taking advantage of the many accommodations the local library has made to get books and more out to its supporters. The tables beneath tents out front of the building are consistently filled with bags for curbside pickup every time I saunter by. If you need more information on how you can have books selected and prepared for you to stop by and fetch, visit chboothlibrary.org. There’s even a helpful “Ask a Librarian” tab, if you need extra information.

I reminded all last week, but will once again: Fourth of July celebrations that involve noisy firecrackers are no place for pets. We much prefer a soft cushion indoors, away from the festivities! I do hope that you will find a way to safely celebrate with a small gathering outside, though. Our freedoms have been so restricted for weeks and weeks, that even a toned down get together will seem like true liberty. Have fun, and be safe.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget next week to... Read me again.

One of many bear visits about town, this curious bear visited a Parmalee Hill Road back yard last week.
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