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The Top Of The Mountain



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Since the repaving of Main Street, the hatchmark paintings in front of the Newtown Police Department driveways on that street have gone missing; but please don’t block those driveways while waiting for the light to turn green at the intersection of Main Street and Route 302. Police business can require a quick exit, and cars in the way only delay their response.

The weather cooperated on Monday, at least, saving the deluge of rain until after the Annual Labor Day Parade had ended. A few sprinkles along the route did not deter viewers from the sidelines, cheering on their favorite organizations. (You’ll find plenty of parade photos elsewhere in this issue!) And are you one of the lucky ones eating pie today? Volunteers from Maplewood at Newtown handed out 300 pies, I’m told, to people along the route. Thank goodness they weren’t throwing them!

2006 NHS grad Jillian Tanner Philbin and husband Andrew shared this photo of their son, Connor, with his friend Lucy Dittmar, waving flags at the Labor Day Parade. Lucy is the daughter of two other NHS grads, Maggie DeMarco Dittmar (Class of 2006) and Pete Dittmar (Class of 2005).

In my prowl about town, I found out that Friends of Newtown Seniors (FONS) is looking for a volunteer to lead a chore service for seniors in need in Newtown. It requires someone with a high level of organization and a real interest in helping people. The volunteer would work with Social Services and other organizations to provide help with simple chores or coordinate work with Habitat for Humanity and/or local contractors. If you’re interested and think you qualify, e-mail info@friendsofnewtownseniors.org or leave a message at 203-430-0633.

The Newtown Forest Association is the oldest private land trust in the state, and this nonprofit relies on donations to help preserve Newtown’s natural environment. This Saturday, September 7, NFA is hosting a great way to support the organization and show off one of the most amazing properties belonging to the trust: Holcombe Hill. The Sunset Wine Tasting takes place from 4 to 8 pm at the 65 Great Hill Road preserve, with food, wines (of course!), music, and the incredible view from Newtown’s highest point. Tickets are only online, though, so visit newtownforestassociation.org if you plan to go, and don’t waste any more time to do so!

Sometimes it is hard to pick what to do in this town. Also on Saturday is the first Hope On Main Street event, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It’s an opportunity to honor cancer patients and survivors, and the memory of those who have lost their lives to cancer. Buy a luminary bag for $10 and help light up Main Street. There will be music and speakers, and an easy walk down our central street. It begins at 5:30 pm, in front of Edmond Town Hall. Find out more at facebook.com/hopeonmainstreet.

Don’t be alarmed by the roar of motorcycles on Sunday. The CT United Ride, our state’s largest 9/11 tribute, will pass through Newtown via Route 302 and South Main Street about noon-ish. Local responders will be stationed at Dodgingtown firehouse on Route 302 and at Amaral Motors and the Botsford firehouse with flags for the fundraiser supporting Connecticut police, firefighters, and the United Way. Find out more at ctunitedride.com.

Birders may have heard the news that a Magnificent Frigatebird was seen flying over Hammonassett Beach State Park, mid-August. That sighting coincides with the launch of the CTAudubon Rare Bird Alert, a new free service that will let you know ASAP when a rarity is seen and confirmed here. Sign up at p2a.co/cxjeoin?bblinkid for the alerts via text. (CTAudubon estimates one or two a month on average.) CTAudubon members and supporters are out looking for birds year-round. The staff experts are in almost constant touch with the best birders in the region. When they find something or get word of a great find, you’ll hear about it.

Weir Farm Historical Site in Wilton has announced that the works of art submitted to their August contest are now on view at the G&B Cultural Center in Wilton, 49 New Street, as part of the “Impressions of Weir Farm—Art in the Park 2019” exhibit, which runs through October 3. The G&B Cultural Center and Weir Farm National Historic Site will be hosting a reception, open to the public, to celebrate the exhibit at the G&B Cultural Center on Thursday October 3, from 5 to 7 pm, if you care to take a little art trip.

Who loves our kids’ page in the Education section and the fun information it provides? Well, we received a note from Betty Debnam, the founder of The Mini Page, which provides much of the content you’ll find on our page — this is the 50th anniversary of The Mini Page. Along with a lovely anniversary calendar, Betty also thanked those newspapers that continue to utilize Mini Page content.

A little further into the month, the Newtown Arts Festival is set to amaze you with a weekend of arts of all kinds: dance, music, fine arts, education, interactive programs, vendors, food, and more. It all takes place at Fairfield Hills, September 20-22. You’ll want to get your hands on a poster or T-shirt with this year’s art work by Paula Brinkman, too. Find out details at newtownartsfestival.com. Your support of this festival supports a scholarship for a Newtown student focused on the arts.

Those who love all things Irish will want to squeeze in a visit to the Danbury Irish Festival that same weekend, September 20-22, at 65 Sand Pit Road. Presented by the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, we are told that Newtown’s Ashurst School of Irish Dance will be taking part. For more information visit danburyirishfestival.org.

Take a break from art and dancing, if you please, on Saturday, September 21. Head over to Ridgefield, where Newtown indie author Kristin Ward will be featured at a book signing at Touch of Sedona, 425 Main Street, from 1 to 4 pm. Kristin is celebrating the release of her latest YA SciFi-Fantasy novel, Rise of Gaia! You can sign up to attend the event at facebook.com/events/481434065989743/?ti=icl.

While deer rifles, shotguns, and their ammo remain available for purchase, and concealed carry gun owners with permits are still allowed, Walmart has taken some steps to reduce gun violence. In a press release issued September 3, Walmart announced it will reduce its gun and ammunition sales, one month after more than 20 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Walmart also pressured Congress to enact gun safety measures. The company, America’s largest retailer, said it will stop selling handgun ammunition and ammunition for short-barrel rifles after selling all of its current inventory... And Walmart will request that customers no longer openly carry guns into its 4,700 US stores, or its Sam’s Club stores, in states that allow open carry.” Baby steps... thank you.

I’ll not be concealing any of the news I carry to you next week, so be sure to... Read me again.

A Frigatebird was spotted at Hammonassett Beach in August. Sign up to hear from CT Audubon about other rare bird sightings.
The Mini Page celebrates 50 years of providing fun information.
Lucy Dittmar and Connor Philbin have fun waving flags at Monday's parade.
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