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The Top Of The Mountain



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Ice-covered branches clattering in the wind and layers of crusty snow greeted us on Monday morning, a reminder that winter is coming... or maybe, here. You can count on The Newtown Bee to keep you updated on weather conditions at newtownbee.com or our Facebook page, when wintery conditions create dicey situations.

Bee Associate Editor Shannon Hicks captured this odd ice photo, where icicles on wires froze dripping not only down, but up!

The Newtown Bee is seeking memories of Newtown holidays past. Tell us what you remember from attending holiday happenings of yesteryear. Is there an event in town that you miss?A special big celebration? Did you have a favorite holiday tradition in town? Send your story, limit of 300 words, to eliza@thebee.com, by December 12.

A recent issue of being “buzzed” has led local bicyclist Mark Lurie to note that winter weather does not stop all avid bicyclists. No matter the time of year, Chapter 248 of the Connecticut General Statutes, Sec. 14-232 makes it clear that vehicles passing a bicyclist must pass at a distance of “not less than three feet.” Section 14-286b does state that “Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable;” but keep in mind that our narrow back roads, construction, closed-to-traffic roads, and accumulated snow or debris at the side of the road may mean that bicyclists must ride a little closer to the edge of the road than is ideal. While bike riders will do their best to move over for emergency or police vehicles, routine business by those vehicles must also adhere to the Connecticut Statute. Please be courteous to these intrepid travelers!

Do you remember Pearl Harbor? It seems fewer do, all the time. December 7 honors that day in 1941 when Japanese forces surprised the US naval base with an airstrike at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. According to history.com, around 20 naval vessels were destroyed or damaged that day, along with more than 300 airplanes. Most devastating of all was the loss of life: more than 2,400 American troops and civilians. The event at Pearl Harbor launched the US into war with Japan.

Ding, ding, ding! Salvation Army is still looking for some ringers for this coming weekend. Help is needed on Friday, December 6: Stop & Shop South (Bottle Return) 7-8 pm, Stop & Shop North (liquor store side) 7-8 pm; Walgreens 7-8 pm; Bottle Stop (by Caraluzzi) 6-7 pm & 7-8 pm; Yankee Wine 4-5 pm, 5-6 pm, & 7-8 pm; and Pizza Palace 5:30-6:30 pm & 6:30-7:30 pm. On Saturday, December 7: Walgreens 11-noon, noon-1 pm, 1-2 pm, & 3-4 pm; Bottle Stop 2-3 pm; Yankee Wine 2-3 pm & 3-4 pm. Sign up at signupgenius.com/index.cfm.

Lynn D’Angelo, director of Therapeutic Recreation at Newtown Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, said she would love donations of iPods and iPads for personalized music for people with Alzheimers. “It offers comfort and relaxation, brings back positive memories,” she said. “If they have word-finding difficulties, they can sing along, and it heals them.” Music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain and improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. Make donations, attention to Lynn or Abigail in the therapy and recreation department, 139 Toddy Hill Road, Newtown.

Next week begins a time of reflection and remembrance in our town, as the date of December 14 looms. How you choose to honor the memory of the 26 people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 is a personal choice. Some may prefer to do so in solitude; others will seek the comfort of a group. Our calendar will be updated as we receive information about gatherings. Currently, we note that a Candlelit Live Music Memorial, hosted by the Joy of Art’s Joy Hoffman, will take place from 6 to 7:30 pm, Wednesday, December 11, at Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street. Also at Newtown Congregational Church, on Saturday morning, December 14, beginning at 9 am, there will be an event led by the Newtown Interfaith Council. A Mass of Remembrance will take place at St Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Saturday morning, December 14, at 9:30 am.

Longtime Bee Publishing employee Eileen Hardiman, who works at the Commerce Road plant, stopped by the 5 Church Hill Road office last week to show off the ribbon she earned November 24 at the Unified Holiday Sports Classic at Milford Lanes. Eileen bowled doubles with her son Jimmy Flechner, Jr, and won her first participation ribbon, after returning to the sport of bowling after an 18-year hiatus. Congratulations, Eileen!

Check out the Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol bit of trivia that just happens to be in this week’s Way We Were column — I hear that the new Carm’s Classics Club at the library was discussing that very tale this past week!

Tag-A-Gift to benefit Newtown senior citizens, sponsored by Golden Opportunities, is underway. Grab a tag from the tree setup in the lobby of Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street, or Newtown Savings Bank, 32 Church Hill Road, Stop & Shop, Sand Hill Plaza, or Taunton Press, 63 South Main Street. Drop off the unwrapped present by December 10, please.

We continue to collect new, unwrapped toys for the Toys For Tots program here at the office of The Newtown Bee, through December 15. Look for the collection box in the lobby of our 5 Church Hill Road office, and drop off your donation during our office hours, Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. For other local Toys For Tots locations, see our calendar listings at newtownbee.com. You can also bring donations for FAITH Food Pantry to our office. This is a particularly difficult time of year, and donations are so welcomed by this organization. Thank you, in advance!

Every year on the popular independent book shop’s birthday, Alice Hutchinson of Byrd’s Books in Bethel serves cake... or rather, cakes. On Sunday, December 15, from 4 to 6 pm, celebrate Byrd’s Books’ eighth birthday with author Samantha Seneviratne, there to discuss and sign her new book, The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life. Goodies created from the book’s recipes by local bakers will be on hand, and there is still time to join in the baking event. If you do, you will receive a $20 gift certificate to Byrd’s Books when you bring your goodie to the birthday party. Boxes sold for a $10 fee will be available for taking home baked goods — and the proceeds are donated to DAWS, Bethel’s local no-kill shelter. To register, visit conta.cc/2XMGWZw. Byrd’s Books is located at 178 Greenwood Avenue. Call 203-730-2973 for more information.

Did you give on Giving Tuesday? If you forgot to do so — donations to charities and foundations are welcome any day of the year! You can have your own Giving Tuesday... or Wednesday... or Thursday... pick what works for you, but please support those organizations that mean so much to you and to the people they help.

Blume Dolls, Elsa’s Ice Palace, robotic pets, the Nerf Fortnite dart gun... and of course, all things Baby Shark are falling off the shelves and into the shopping carts this holiday season, I’m told. Personally, I’m intrigued by Hasbro’s Lost Kitties Mice Mania mystery box. It involves digging around, mice, and cats: how could you go wrong?

I am quite excited about all of the holiday happenings this coming weekend. I’m making my list and checking it twice, so I don’t miss out on any fun — I hope you do the same!

One more thing for you to add to your list: Be sure next week to... Read me again.

Icicles froze not just down, but up on these wires! -Bee Photo, Hicks
Bee Publishing employee Eileen Hardiman proudly displays her ribbon won at a bowling tournment. -Bee Photo, Crevier
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