Features


The Way We Were, for the week ending February 23, 2018

Published: March 02, 2018 at 12:00 am

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The state has dropped plans to build either a new limited access highway or an arterial road linking Newtown and Monroe. The road had been proposed to improve north-south traffic in the area. Richard Martinez, transportation administrator for the state Department of Transportation, said the DOT has abandoned its plans for the new roadway. The DOT had been considering construction of a limited-access highway to speed traffic past the existing congested Route 25, or possibly building an arterial road which would have been linked to major local intersections in the Route 25 corridor. Instead, the DOT now plans to improve the existing Route 25 to facilitate traffic flow. Mr Martinez cited a lack of state and federal transportation funds, plus environmental concerns as the reasons why DOT opted against building a new road. During the past year the DOT has been considering construction of one of four proposed new Route 25 sections between Newtown and Monroe or widening the existing road to improve traffic flow.


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There is an interesting debate underway in the state capitol about personal freedoms and the public interest. It involves the rights of smokers to indulge their habit in public places and the rights of nonsmokers to not be assaulted by the secondhand smoke. "Assault" is a strong word that may seem pejorative to those seeking to preserve the rights of smokers, but in recent years, researchers have gathered data that shows that children and adults subjected to secondhand cigarette smoke suffer more respiratory ailments, and many nonsmokers are finding nicotine in their blood. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency says about 3,000 people across the country die each year from breathing secondhand smoke. In some cases, "assault" is an understatement. While our society has traditionally recognized personal freedoms and rights as paramount, those rights have always had limits. No one has the right to harm others. People smoking in enclosed public spaces are harming other people. It should not be considered a right. It should be illegal.


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First Selectman Zita McMahon said this week she would once again pursue the idea of the town acquiring land off Riverside Road for ballfields that would be near Treadwell Park. The Iroquois natural gas company has $179,000 reserved for Newtown for a project or projects involving the protection of open space. The Iroquois committee approved the concept of the town using the money to purchase 6.5 acres of property owned by Betty Ann Ecsedy. But the committee rejected the town's use of the funds for the purchase of adjacent SAC field, owned by the Boys Social & Athletic Club, because this field is already maintained by the town and used for sports programs. Mrs McMahon will explore the town acquisition of the Riverside Road property for ballfields. The Iroquois funds could be used for this purchase.


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After delays caused by bad weather, workmen have returned to building the new municipal swimming pool at Treadwell Park. Parks and Recreation Director Barbara Kasbarian said components for the pool's gutter system were delivered to the Philo Curtis Road construction site on Tuesday. The gutters are used to transport swimming water to and from the filtration system. Workmen were doing initial installation at the pool on Wednesday. Clyde Finger, the town's clerk of the works on the pool project, said, "All in all we're ahead of or on schedule," in terms of construction work which was expected to be done by now. The pool will be ready for its scheduled early July opening, he said.


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Newtown's newest police officer Aaron Bahamonde was sworn in this week by Assistant Town Clerk Sue Shpunt. A graduate of Masuk High School and Monroe Police Academy, Officer Bahamonde, 21, formerly was a part-time officer in Monroe and a member of Bridgeport Ambulance Corps. Training officer Joseph Joudy, Mrs Shpunt, Officer Bahamonde, and Capt Michael Fekete joined First Selectman Zita McMahon for the ceremony.


 

March 1, 1968


DISASTROUS FIRE TAKES TOLL ON SANDY HOOK PROPERTY: A vicious fire erupted in the center of Sandy Hook shortly after 1 am on Sunday morning, destroying three buildings including Newtown Cleaners, and leaving 14 people homeless. There was no loss of life. Four fire companies and about 100 firemen battled the blaze for nearly five hours. According to Sandy Hook Fire Chief Herbert J. Lewis Jr, the fire was reported at 1:07 am by Edward Monroe Jr, a tenant at the Corrigan house located at the rear of the cleaners. It apparently started in a barn behind the cleaners and is said to be of suspicious origin. Fireman George Lockwood awoke tenants and neighbors on both sides and had them evacuate.


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Fires continued to plague Newtown on Monday, as two grass fires and a garage fire kept volunteer firemen hopping. Most serious was the Zoar Road garage fire, which was well underway when discovered by passing motorists. The call came in at 2:18 pm and Lou Lewis of Engine One and Fred Lajoie on the Botsford tanker, and Eddie Casey on the Sandy Hook pumper responded. In all, ten firemen worked to keep the blaze from spreading to the house. There was no car in the garage at the time, but the outbuilding was used to store firewood and tires and was connected to the dog runs. It was completely destroyed. Cause of the fire is under investigation. Two grass fires also were reported on Monday. The first was on Huntingtown Road, near Adath Israel Synagogue. A second grass fire was reported on Monday afternoon on Flat Swamp Road in the Dodgingtown district. Another fire was reported behind the Paddock Restaurant on Church Hill Road, and another in the woods off Deerfield Drive, Sandy Hook.


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Eleven months and three weeks after a referendum approved the $3,900,000 for the new high school in Sandy Hook, bids for construction will be asked. Plans may be examined at the office of First Selectman Francis J. Hiney or at the architect's, John J. Fordor Jr, 64 Wall Street, Norwalk. Bids are to be received at Mr Hiney's office until 8 pm Wednesday, April 10. They will be publicly opened at 8:15 that night in the Alexandria Room. The right to "reject any and all bids for any reason whatsoever" is retained.


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The lugubrious basset hound pictured on the front page recently of The Bee has found a home at Open Gate Farm in Newtown. Her new family is Mrs Rhoda Hopkins, proprietor, and Mrs Sidney Booth, farm manager, five assorted canine friends, and a varying number of canine companions. Mrs Wallace DeLaney, former hostess of the homeless pooch, told The Bee that she had received over 100 calls from dog lovers all over the state. Newly dubbed Esmeralda, the formerly dolorous hound has assumed an entirely new personality, according to her owners. They theorize that she prefers farm life to the role of protector to the DeLaney household. They report that she is affectionate to humans at the farm, respectful of the horses, and a good friend to the other farm dogs.


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Mr and Mrs Irvin Clifford of Fieldstone Drive, Newtown, will be leaving April 16 to make their home in Christianstead, Virgin Islands, where Mr Clifford has taken a position as partner with Cissel and Ellis. Following the close of the school, Mrs Clifford and the four children will move permanently into their new home where their closest neighbor will be Dr Clifford Johnson, formerly of Main Street. The children will attend St Dunstan School in the Islands.


 

March 5, 1943


Twenty girls became members of Newtown's Girl Scout Troop on Monday afternoon, which now fulfills the quota for the troop and so no more girls can become members until vacancies occur. Further information may be obtained by calling Miss Mary Leonard or Mrs Henry Tayolor. The next regular meeting will be Monday afternoon, March 8, at 3:15 pm, at Hawley School.


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William H. Egan, the genial station agent at the Pennsylvania Railroad Station, New York City, spent the weekend at Camp Egan on Walnut Tree Hill. "Big Bill," as is his usual custom, generously favored The Bee with several calendars of the Pennsylvania Railroad.


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It was an impressive moment on Monday afternoon at the regular meeting of Troop 70, when Albert Boyson was installed as Scoutmaster. The guest of honor was Judge James Shannon, president of Pomperaug Council and one of the leading citizens of Bridgeport. He was introduced by Rev John Mutton, who represented the local troop committee in the absence of George Stuart, chairman. The boys ended the meeting with appropriate cheers for all concerned, and an important planning session of all the patrol leaders and Scoutmasters. All went away with the feeling that the local troop is in good hands and an even greater interest in this finest of boys' work is just budding.


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Last week we mentioned that Virginia Peterson is doing her "war work" in Benham's drug store, replacing Don Warner (who has been to Africa and back, since last he worked at Benham's). We should also have spoken of Adrian Peterson and Chester Mahoney, two other young men who went from behind the counter and into different branches of the Army. We asked Virginia how she liked the "point system," and she said it wasn't too bad. Her own fiancé, Whitey Gustafson, is also in the Army.


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Two games of basketball were played in the Edmond Town Hall gymnasium on Wednesday evening between the first and second town teams of Newtown and teams from the Southbury Training School. Both games were won by Newtown by wide margins. The town team played a close game Friday evening against the Saints of Bridgeport, winning by a slim two points.


 

March 1, 1918


Deputy Sheriff Morris Beers, who lately retired from the meat business at Sandy Hook, has bought out the stage and livery business of Charles Hawley, who has conducted business for 28 years with great faithfulness. Mr Hawley was stricken last week with apoplexy and will not be able to undertake hard work. Mr Beers will probably have one or more automobiles in the business, and will give special attention to teaming. The many friends of the genial sheriff wish him the best of success.


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John Wegee was arrested by Sheriff Beers and brought before Justice P.H. McCarthy, Saturday, for the failure to pay his personal tax. The total costs to the young man footed up to $23.43, which he loudly declared he would not pay, but when he got within sight of the frowning walls of the hotel in Bridgeport, he weakened and paid up. One J. Morgan was also arrested for failure to pay his tax.  He made arrangements to pay $3 a week until the amount was paid.


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Miss Marguerite Bradley returned to her home Tuesday, having been the guest of friends out of town since Washington's birthday.


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Miss Emma Spicer Smith of Newtown has petitioned superior court for a divorce from her husband, Mortimer F. Smith of Newtown and New York, whom she claims is worth $17,000 and she wants alimony. Intolerable cruelty, beginning January 1, 1916, is charged by Mrs Smith. She also wants custody of her three children. He is residing in New York, where service was made upon him by registered letter.


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Mrs W.A. Canfield, of the Boulevard, who has been ill with severe grip cold, is convalescent.


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Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with readers. Images can be e-mailed to kendra@thebee.com, or brought to the office at 5 Church Hill Road to be scanned. When submitting photographs, please identify as many people as possible, the location, and the approximate date.


way we were -- Feb 23, 2018 -- updated Hook & Ladder and Sandy Hook firefighters at NMS




This file photo found in an envelope shows firefighters - and Hook & Ladder and Sandy Hook can be seen on the back of some of the turnout gear - doing something outside Newtown Middle School. The photo is marked only with the month, August, but no year is indicated.

-Bee file photo

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
33% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
33% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
33% (1 vote)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 3