Top Of The Mountain

Published: November 17, 2017 at 12:00 am


The 2017 Holiday Decorating Contest, for residences and businesses, is underway.
The 2017 Holiday Decorating Contest, for residences and businesses, is underway.
A bald eagle perched high on a tree overlooking the town earlier this week.
A bald eagle perched high on a tree overlooking the town earlier this week.
This bobcat was one of three frolicking about a Hattertown Road yard this week.
This bobcat was one of three frolicking about a Hattertown Road yard this week.
I cannot clap my paws enough for the Newtown High School Marching Band & Guard, which became the new National Champions in Group IV Open at the US Bands Open Class National Championships at MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday, November 11. The undefeated band deserves nothing but praise for its hard work and award-winning performances this season. What is coming? Winter, of course. Winter Percussion and Winter Guard tryouts are coming up soon…

I've also noticed that a number of student works created in Christopher Lee's Music Technology 1 and Music Technology 2 classes have been posted online for people to listen to. Check them out at newtownnewmusic.weebly.com/student-worknews/new-sounds-from-music-tech5820408.

Newtown High School has launched a new online school store, located off of the high school website's home page, nhs.newtown.schooldesk.net, by clicking on a pop-up box at the bottom of the page that reads, "Newtown Nighthawks 100 percent Custom. Design Your Gear Here." NHS Computer Science teacher Kristin Violette tells me she has 600 coupons for $10 off a purchase available while they last.E-mail her at violettek@newtown.k12.ct.us.

On World Kindness Day, November 13, the Catherine Violet Hubbard (CVH) Foundation announced on its website, cvhfoundation.org, the start of Catherine's Pledge of Kindness effort to mark the fifth anniversary of the CVH Animal Sanctuary. The foundation is asking people to "perform compassionate acts in your community to help spread kindness and love for all living things, then post your commitment via social media using #catherinespledge."

Antoinette and Pete Wlasuk had not one, not two, but three bobcats visit their Hattertown Road backyard on Monday morning. While Pete was doing paperwork, Antoinette says, he looked up and saw one - then multiple - bobcats out the window. She grabbed her camera and sneaked around the side of the house where she was able to get individual photos of the big cats, but not one of all three together. They have seen a bobcat on their property now and then over the course of the years, Antoinette tells us, but never three at one time. She wonders if it is a mother and kittens - which would be pretty big by this time of year. The bobcats didn't stick around too long once the camera started clicking, but Antoinette and Pete will definitely be keeping an eye out for a reappearance.

More wildlife about town: Donna Lindsay was driving up Castle Hill Road on Tuesday when she spotted a bald eagle watching over the town. When she stopped and got out of her car, she did send the eagle off in flight, but what a beautiful sight, following right on the heels of Veterans Day.

Mike McCarthy has updated us on the photo that ran last week in the "Way We Were" column. Mike tells us "the picture in this week's Bee is from the October 20, 1995 [Newtown Bee]. It was take at Albert's Hill cove on the final day of Dive Rescue I training, given by Dive Rescue International from Fort Collins, Colo." NUSAR hosted the training, says Mike, and had several members in the class, as well as members from other teams in Connecticut and New York.

Train riders should be alert to this news: "The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing that from Friday evening, November 17, through Sunday, November 19, rail service will be suspended to accommodate the removal of overhead catenary wires on the Danbury Branch Line. Buses will be substituted for trains between South Norwalk and Danbury during this period."

Join Newtown residents Roberta Ahuja, Ros Liljengren, and Karen Pinto, and other members of the The Connecticut Clay Artists guild at the "Artique" art boutique, this Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18, from 10 am to 5 pm, at St Stephen's Church, North Hall, 351 Main Street in Ridgefield. Sandy Hook's Hanna Roehrs is exhibiting her weaving. An opening reception was scheduled for Thursday, November 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, with music by Mat Kastner and Bruce Elder.

Summer resident Susan McLaughlin reports that she is over the moon for having the Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Broward Art Guild honor her with a Judge's Award for her painting "Kiss the Moon" at its group show "For the Birds." Many congratulations to Susan!

The Newtown Senior Center's Annual Holiday Bazaar is Saturday, November 18, from 9 am to 3 pm, at 14 Riverside Road. Handmade jewelry, table runners, quilts, ornaments, knitted and crocheted items, and much more will be for sale. Proceeds benefit the center's programming. For more information call the Newtown Senior Center at 203-270-4310.

All of Newtown's fire companies will participate this weekend in the Fill The Fire Truck Food Drive, an annual event that stocks the shelves at FAITH Food Pantry (FFP). On Saturday, November 18, from 9 am until 2 pm, members of Hawleyville, Hook & Ladder, and Sandy Hook will be outside Big Y, at 6 Queen Street.Members of Botsford and Dodgingtown will be outside Stop & Shop, 228 South Main Street (Sand Hill Plaza). All donations received on Saturday will be delivered to the food pantry that afternoon. (FAITH Food Pantry will be closed on Thursday, November 24, for Thanksgiving. In lieu of that, volunteers will be at 31 Pecks Lane on Monday, November 20, from 6 to 7:30 pm, as well as for regular hours on Tuesday, November 21, from 10 am until noon.)

Friends of Newtown Seniors will host the production of The Trip To Bountiful, Saturday, November 18, at the Little Theatre, 18 Orchard Road. There will be light refreshments and wine at 1 pm, with the show to start at 2 pm. Tickets, $35, can be purchased by calling 203-648-6905. Anyone who would like to attend, but cannot afford to do so, can contact Tracy Brady at 203-767-0670. The Friends have a generous donor who will buy up to four tickets for those in need.

Honan's Funeral Home, 58 Main Street is among the nearly three dozen funeral homes statewide participating as a collection point for Operation ELF. Operation ELF assists the families of Connecticut National Guard soldiers and airmen who are deployed during the holidays, and provides support to military families throughout the year. Donations of gift cards to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc, and unwrapped new toys for children of all ages are welcomed. Donations will be accepted through Wednesday, December 6. Call Honan's at 203-426-2752 for best hours to drop off items.

We see that the Adopt a Sandy Hook/Newtown Cop Program Facebook page, which goes hand-in-hand with the program of the same name organized by Linda Antignani, will be ending as of December 14, 2017. "Our mission five years ago was to bring support to the first responders who I felt were given an unfair deal following the events in Sandy Hook on 12/14/12," the FB page notes, and adds, "Friendships blossomed as we prayed for a community that was dealing with such a huge tragedy. Now, as we prepare to acknowledge the 5-year mark, I feel it's time to move on." Linda sends her gratitude to all, and assurance that she will "continue to send prayers to [first responders] and support 150%." Thank you should go to Linda, as well, for her efforts.

The second annual Newtown Holiday Decorating Contest has kicked off. As always, extravagant decorations rule. There is no fee to participate. Judging night will be either December 16 or December 17. Girl Scout Troop 50293 is making small star-shaped ornaments as keepsakes for all the winners. If you want to be a Christmas Critic judge, there is a suggested fee of $25 per person ($40 per couple if they share a bus seat) to ride the bus. One hundred percent of the judgeship money serves as a tip for the bus driver. It takes almost four hours to drive to all the homes. Go to the Newtown Holiday Decorating Contest Facebook page and join for more information.

I'll be judging what news to sneak into this column next week, so be sure to... Read me again.

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Is Nutella overrated?

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