Students in eight classes at Hawley Elementary School were introduced to The Willow Reindeer Project last month, thanks to a two-day visit by the project’s founder. After the two-day visit, the students had created eight small-scale reindeer sculptures under the guidance of Willow Bill, who told each class that it was up to them to decide what to do with their reindeer. “Many teachers have their students sign their sculpture,” Willow Bill told Hawley School first grade teacher Jennifer Pirone on May 20. “Some teachers decide to put their reindeer outside their school, others keep them in their classrooms. It’s up to you,” he told Ms Pirone, “and your students."
The bus pulls up, and driver A.J. Collier hops out and sets a plank in place on the steps. Inside, the passengers stir, anxious to get out and start work. One by one, they disembark, sniffing the fresh air and solidly planting all four feet on the ground. The Rowanwood Farm“Llama Limo” has arrived. This, said Ms Collier, the owner of Rowanwood Farm, is how most expeditions with her llamas begin. The Sandy Hook farm, located just off of Route 34, is home to 17 rare breed miniature llamas, and a herd of Pygora and Nigerian Dwarf goats that fluctuates between 5 and 15 in number. Seven of the miniature llamas, which measure only up to 38 inches at the withers, are trained to visit off grounds, usually with Ms Collier or her “right arm,” Leslie Alexander, providing the educational aspect of the visit. The llamas have visited schools, birthday parties, senior citizen centers, and dementia wards. They are also the llamas that travel to take part in Rowanwood Farm Llama Hiking Adventures.
Like many in his vocation, comedian Andrew Kennedy has a very serious side. “Sometimes,” Mr Kennedy said last week, “you just don’t know why things happen in life. “When your back is to the wall, when bad things happen,” he continued, “ just hold on.” After losing his dream home in the recession and uprooting his family from the East to the West Coast two years ago, Mr Kennedy has found himself in a sunnier place, physically and emotionally. The timing of his family’s move to The Golden State also makes him believe that “sometimes we don’t have the answers, and we won’t always get them. Just try to be patient with the universe.” The former Sandy Hook resident will be returning to Connecticut this month. Since moving in 2012 to the West Coast — and allowing his wife to realize her dream of living on the central coast of California — work has again become “excellent, never better,” he said.
Sunday, June 15, is almost here, and that means it is time to start thinking about what to buy dad for Father’s Day. There are a number of businesses and stores in Newtown that have something to suit the interests of any father, and some businesses responded to queries by The Bee to share gift ideas. Some offered traditional ideas while others had some very specialized thoughts on what to offer to the man celebrated each year on the third Sunday in June.
It is not quite summer, but it is the first of June and in Newtown that means Lathrop School of Dance (LSoD) is prepared to present its annual Stardust Revue. Without a hitch, four performances flew by last weekend, with students performing four shows on the stage at Edmond Edmond Town Hall. On Saturday and Sunday, May 31-June 1, dancers were tapping and gliding over the stage, smiling as they enjoyed performing for their family and friends. Those familiar with the “Stardust Revue” know they will see quality tap, jazz and ballet along with some hip hop during every performance.
As a fundraiser for the group to create a professionally recorded CD, the Newtown High School Gold Jazz Band is set to host “Time To Talk ‘Bout Jazz” on Saturday, June 7. The evening of jazz and Mexican food will run from 6 to 9 pm, in the cafetorium of Newtown High School. Adult tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door; children’s tickets, for ages 5 and under, are $5.
Rising high above wooded hills in the western section of town, the cleared expanse at the summit of Holcombe Hill affords a 360-degree view of the surrounding terrain, where ridge upon ridge recede to the horizon. Holcombe Hill, which has the highest elevation in town at 830 feet above sea level, is located in the Holcombe Hill Preserve, an 86-acre parcel protected from development by its owner, Newtown Forest Association (NFA), a local land trust. The summit provides views of three counties. The hilltop also holds NFA’s headquarters. Also, the cleared area atop the hill provides an ideal spot to fly kites, when considering that the site catches winds from all directions. Last weekend NFA hosted a gentle hike on the property, and encouraged families to bring their kites with them.