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The Top Of The Mountain



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Congratulations to the men and women of Newtown Police Department, who participated in their first roll call at their new headquarters last week. Senior Sgt Doug Wisentaner conducted roll call at 8 am Friday, November 20, inside 191 South Main Street, which was formally dedicated on November 7. First Selectman Dan Rosenthal was also in attendance at the public safety facility Friday morning, offering his best wishes to the officers and civilian staff. The new building is not yet open to the public. The PD expects all police records and evidence divisions will be moved into the new building and set up by early December. Until then, operations for the public continue at 3 Main Street.

Dear Santa, I would love a fuzzy mouse and a new cream saucer for the holidays... What will you write to Santa Claus? With Santa respecting COVID-19 protocols, there won’t be much opportunity to get an up close and personal chat with the jolly old elf before Christmas. But Newtown Youth and Family Services has arranged to get your letters to him lickety-split, as part of the extended NYFS Holiday Festival this year! Write a letter to Santa, drop if off with a self-addressed, stamped envelope in the mailbox by The Toy Tree, 14 Church Hill Road, between now and December 18 — or mail the letter with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Santa Claus, c/o 15 Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook CT 06482. Santa will write back to you! (Check out the NYFS website, newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org to find out about the many other Holiday Festival activities coming up.)

I perked up my ears when I heard that the Newtown Community Center, 8 Simpson Street, is hosting its first Winter Holiday Market, Saturday, December 5, from 2 to 4 pm. Local artists and businesses will be on hand, if you are looking to find a special gift this holiday season.

Handily, the Newtown Senior Center, also located in the NCC building, continues its Craft Boutique, from 8 am to 2 pm, on December 12. Handcrafted items made by members of the Senior Center offer still more opportunity for shopping — right here in town!

I’ll be putting the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Holiday Book & Gift Sale on my prowl about town. The sale, which takes place during library hours now through December 31, is a great way to support this group and get some wonderful gifts — for others or yourself. Details are on page A-7 of this issue.

The Newtown Bee continues to be a site to drop off donations to the Toys For Tots program, through December 15. Unwrapped new toys for all ages are welcome. The Bee also collects donations for the FAITH Food Pantry. You’ll find the boxes in the lobby of our 5 Church Hill Road office, open Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm (except this week, when the office is closed Thursday and Friday).

My feline friend Mimi was peacefully perched by the window, hoping to spot a bird at the new window bird feeder at her house, but instead became incensed when a very persistent squirrel latched onto the screen, hoping it could attack the bird feeder from there. After a bit of some impressive clinging and some choice meows from Mimi, the squirrel gave up and scurried off to easier pickings.

It has been a while since there has been a dog at the White House, but when President-Elect Joe Biden moves in, his two German shepherds, Major and Champ will be calling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home, as well. And the day before the inauguration in January, Dial Books for Young Readers is planning to release a picture book about the newest canine occupants in the Oval Office, Champ and Major: First Dogs. The book’s author is Joy McCullough and it is illustrated by Sheyda Abvabi Best. McCullough is an award-winning young adult/middle grade novelist from Seattle, and Abvabi Best is an artist from the Midwest.

A press release at nwf.org tells me that the National Wildlife Federation has partnered with L.L. Bean to create program called “The Green Hour Movement,” intended to get kids (and families) outside more often, no matter the weather. Not just grownups, but kids are feeling the stress from this long slog through the pandemic, and spending more time staring at screens. So the Green Hour will provide weekly outdoor activities, and hopefully also create a lifelong love of nature. You can find the Green Hour content through L.L. Bean Outside website, https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/517992?nav=ln-517992, and NWF newsletters and social media, as well as at https://www.thegreenhour.org.

I understand there is a lot of trotting that will be underway during the long Thanksgiving weekend, as walkers, runners, and joggers get going in the virtual C.H. Booth Library’s Annual Turkey Trot. You won’t be able to get a view of the hundreds pounding the pavement on the usual run route through the center of town, but don’t be surprised if you see a family or two doggedly pursuing their own 5K route one of these days. The Turkey Trot is a big fundraiser for the library, so we hope that lots of dedicated (and even the reluctant) runners have signed up for the fun. Participants have been invited to post photos of their run at https://runsignup.com/race/results/69572, and I’m looking forward to seeing them.

You can run right over to the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue main station at 18-20 Riverside Road, starting the day after Thanksgiving. Members of the fire company will be selling Christmas trees, wreaths, kissing balls, roping, and more. Can’t make it that day? SHVFR will be hosting the sale every Thursday through Sunday until Christmas Eve; unless, of course, supplies run out. Proceeds of all sales benefit this fire company.

I wonder if there will be a discovery in any of those trees to match that of the recent find in the tree delivered to Rockefeller Center in New York City? The Associated Press shares that a worker setting up the big holiday tree found a tiny Saw-whet owl in the branches. The undernourished and thirsty little owl was fed a big meal of mice (lucky owl!) at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Hudson Valley, in preparation for its release from the Saugerties, N.Y. center.

Happy Thanksgiving, however and with whomever you celebrate this year. Be safe, be well, and be sure to... Read me again.

A pesky squirrel is an unwelcome attraction for a Newtown kitty.
One of several in Newtown, the Toys for Tots collection box in the lobby of The Newtown Bee is ready for donations, M-F, 8 am to 5 pm. Donations for FAITH Food Pantry are also collected in The Bee lobby.
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