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The Top Of The Mountain



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The Ingersoll Auto Pop-Up Drive-In Movie Theater at Edmond Town Hall was having a rough week to begin with — a few of its recent screenings were canceled due to bad weather — but then Tropical Storm Isaias made things even worse. The strong winds of Tuesday afternoon’s storm destroyed the screen that had been in use on the western side of the historic 45 Main Street building since early June. So in-person movies — which were gratefully received during these pandemic days of social distancing — are on hold once again. The good news is, a new screen has already been ordered, so drive-in movies at Edmond Town Hall aren’t finished. Those who purchased tickets for the August 6 screening of Captain Marvel, or any of the upcoming screenings of Frozen, will receive refunds. Both films will be rescheduled once the new screen is installed, Edmond Town Hall Operations Manager Sheila Torres said, which could be as soon as the middle of next week. As soon as the new screen arrives, the installation will go quickly. “The first time we put the screen up, it was a lot of work, figuring everything out,” she shared. “This time, the brackets and screws are all in place. We just need to re-hang the screen itself.”

C.H. Booth Library Director Douglas Lord was quick to announce, after the recent storm and power outages that followed, that while the library building may be closed, there is WiFi available for patrons while parked in its back parking lot. “One of our more recent upgrades blasts a great WiFi signal into the back parking lot. We’ll also be putting out extension cords and two charging stations… While you’re here you can take a couple moments to learn about the library’s curbside service and (weather permitting) patio browsing service!” he wrote in a message to patrons.

We had it partially correct last week when we shared a photo of a bird nest at Newtown Municipal Center. Associate Editor Shannon Hicks had been told that the birds nesting above the southern entrance of the Primrose Street building were barn swallows, but Renee Baade thinks differently. In a note to us this week, Renee said the birds depicted in Shannon’s photo were actually cliff swallows. “Their nests have these distinctive shapes and downward shaped necks,” Renee pointed out. “Barn swallows tend to have more open nests,” she added. We compared photos of both types of nests. While some barn swallow nests do look similar to those of cliff swallows, we will agree with Renee that most cliff swallow nests do look like what was spotted recently at the municipal center.

Newtown’s own Chef Plum was set to begin co-hosting a brand new show alongside Marysol Castro this week for NPR on Connecticut Public Radio. The series will be called Seasoned, and the first show was set to air on Thursday, August 6, at 3 and 11 pm, before this week’s print edition of The Newtown Bee went to press. The time slots previously belonged to the very popular and long-running Food Schmooze with Faith Middleton. According to a release, Seasoned will explore Connecticut’s local farmers, passionate chefs, food makers, and innovators. The radio show/podcast will feature guests who will discuss everything from how food is grown, harvested, and prepared across Connecticut to how we use food to celebrate and connect in our communities. Each week, the co-hosts will explore Connecticut’s current seasonal ingredients and the dedicated people who grow and prepare our food, or teach us how to do so.

We learned some sad news from Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo recently. Meri, a seven-year-old female red panda, died on July 27. The zoo’s animal care team found that she had passed away in her sleep during the night, with no obvious signs of distress. It was later learned the cause was a cardiac condition. Born on June 27, 2013, at the Detroit Zoo, Meri arrived at Connecticut’s zoo on January 11, 2018, from Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, Delaware. She was named for Meriadoc Brandybuck, a character in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. She was a beloved member of the zoo family.

Animals are everywhere this season, and the National Wildlife Federation recently released a reminder that opossums are nature’s pest control and cleanup crew. They can consume around 5,000 ticks in a single season. These unfussy omnivores do more than protect us by eating disease-carrying ticks; they also clean up our ecosystems by eating rotting plants and dead animals, according to the federation. These nocturnal creatures are resistant to rabies and are more likely to play dead than attack when they encounter humans. So the federation reminds all residents that if you see an opossum in your area, do not call an exterminator. This misunderstood marsupial keeps our ecosystems healthy and keeps humans safe from disease.

Sandy Hook Promise had some big news to share on its Facebook page recently: Its “Back-To-School Essentials” PSA , launched in September 2019, was nominated for a 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Commercial. “Thank you Emmys/Television Academy for the honor, and BBDO New York, SMUGGLER, and director Henry-Alex Rubin for partnering with us on our mission to #ProtectOurKids and #EndGunViolence,” the announcement on Facebook read. See the full list of nominees at emmys.com/events/72nd-emmy-nominations-announcement.

Speaking of social media, do not forget to tell us what you think when we ask a question on Twitter using #TellTheNewtownBee. Periodically, we will post a question to our Twitter account (@TheNewtownBee) with #TellTheNewtownBee included in the tweet. Some responses will be featured in a later print edition of the paper. Keep an eye out for our next question.

The Newtown Bee is also collecting pictures, with descriptions, from local residents to depict “life now.” The deadline to submit photos for each week’s paper is Wednesday at noon. To submit a photo, e-mail the image to reporter Eliza Hallabeck, eliza@thebee.com, with a brief description, including the names of those pictured.

I can picture next week’s column already as long you as promise to… Read me again.

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