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  • Gestures Of Kindness, Part 15: Honoring Those Lost By Sharing From The Heart

    This is the 15th and final installation of a series of stories that have shared special events that have taken place as Newtown began healing following 12/14. In this installation of "Gestures of Kindness," view a photo taken by a Sandy Hook resident in Norwalk of a longtime holiday tradition that incorporated the victims of 12/14 in this year's display; dance studios that have made donations to a Newtown dance studio for a scholarship fund named to honor three dancers lost that morning; a former Newtown family encouraging kindness in their community in Pennsylvania; and a group of women in Monroe who have begun sharing kindness by building handmade dolls for children at The Ronald McDonald House in New Haven.

  • Ducks Abroad

    Sandy Hook resident Ricky Grasso is not only studying abroad this semester, but he is also sharing a special part of his home with residents and tourists in Rome. Ricky (NHS ’11), who has taken a photojournalism course, has decided to place Sandy Hook Ducks — white and green rubber ducks that have come to symbolize Sandy Hook Elementary School and the town of Newtown — at locations around the city. And then he sits back with his camera and waits for reactions. He received “some pretty unbelievable feedback,” he said in a recent message.

  • Bricks At The Doorway: Mementos Of Another Life

    When Margot Hall steps through the doorway of her Newtown home, two bricks stacked nearby remind her of a place far away and long ago. She thinks of the home in Forst-Berge, Germany, where she was born in 1939, the stucco-covered brick façade and the gleaming red roof tiles. She remembers large family celebrations, and peeking into the living room through the keyhole of the wooden door on Christmas Eve, as her father embellished the Christmas tree with ornaments, and set out the handcrafted village and train that ran about the base of the tree. She recalls happy times, and happy people. Ms Hall was just 5 years old when Russian soldiers banged on the door of the home and stood by as her parents, Elli and Karl Sachs, hurriedly packed a handcart, bundled her infant brother Christian into a carriage, took her by the hand, and fled. Walking eastward in the chill weather of autumn, the family moved from one vacant house to another, staying just ahead of the fighting. “We were homeless,” recalled Ms Hall, an odyssey that would last until the end of World War II.

  • Nutmeg Kart Club Donation Will Keep Lions Club Fund Operating

    The family room of Bob Schmidt’s home quickly filled with nearly 250 toys on the morning of Saturday, December 7, but the donation had very little to do with Christmas. The toys had been collected during the end-of-season Nutmeg Kart Club (NKC) members gathering. They were donated to Newtown Lions Club with the hope that the local Lions can use them to entice more people to purchase additional tickets for next year’s Great Pootatuck Duck Race. The Lions will thank those who purchase tickets by offering them one of the small toys from the new collection when they begin selling Duck Race tickets in the spring. Partial proceeds from those ticket sales will continue to benefit the Lions Club's Sandy Hook Elementary Fund, which has been providing financial assistance for those seeking therapy since 12/14.

  • Santas Salute Lakeside Residents

    A small group of avid Lake Zoar water-skiers resurrected a longtime tradition Sunday with a half-dozen Santa Clauses saluting lakeside residents with hearty “Merry Christmas” greetings in a spectacular fashion. The Santas, mainly a group of friends who have skied together for more than 25 years, gave up their annual tradition a few years ago as they reached age 50 — and the dangers of skim ice on the lake, and hypothermia from a dunking, became more apparent. Led by Sandy Hook resident Edward Lundblad of Lakeview Terrace, Chris Goldberg of Norwalk and Tom Sullivan, who has a summer home on the lake, the expert skiers decided to do a run this year as ice receded and air temperatures rose into the 50s. They were blessed, also, because a blanket of heavy ice fog that had covered the lake all morning, eased up about the time of the 1:15 pm departure on December 22.

  • ‘We Love Eunice Day’ Celebrates Bagel Delight Owner

    It all started earlier in the week with a Facebook post of praise by a 2013 graduate of Newtown High School. “You may all know Eunice as the owner of Bagel Delight here on Church Hill Rd in Newtown. Today, like many other days, she characterized what Newtown is really about. I told her about how I was heading back to Boston to take final exams and she could tell I was stressed out. After ordering the (excellent) egg and cheese bagel, she proceeded to hand me three enormous bags full of bagels to bring back to college. Eunice, you ARE Newtown and you show us that it doesn't have to be one of the 26 Days of Kindness to be kind.” By midweek, residents had rallied to create “We Love Eunice Day,” for Friday, December 20. Suggested by Sue Primevera, Sue Hendrickson Vogelman created the event page, and Facebook was soon all atwitter with notices to join in.

  • Another Donation To Library’s Permanent Collection

    Newtown resident George Duncan met with C.H. Booth Library Interim Director Beryl Harrison on December 16 to formally present a photographic portrait to the library’s permanent collection. Mr Duncan has given the library a portrait of 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Alice Munro. The portrait of Ms Munro was taken in a studio in New York City and appeared in The New York Times Magazine in October 2004, timed to coincide with the publication of her short stories entitled Runaway. An alternate image of the one that appeared in the article, the portrait donated to the library is Mr Duncan’s personal favorite from the photo shoot.

  • An Anthem For Sandy Hook

    Vancouver-based vocalist, pianist, and songwriter Robyn McCorquodale is among those around the world who was “rocked by the mass shooting and loss of 20 first-graders and six educators. An unimaginable assault on beautiful human life,” she said. In response, she has written and recorded a single, “Garden of Angels,” that is available as a digital download from iTunes and CD Baby. Proceeds from the song’s sale will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise.

  • Aztec Two-Step Mixing Holiday, Folk Favorites For Local Fans

    DANBURY — The venerable folk duo Aztec Two-Step, aka Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman, were often reviewed as having the “east coast sensibility,” “intellectual lyricism,” and supplying the “ethereal harmonies” of Simon & Garfunkel when critics got hold of their debut album in 1972. But over the course of their more than four decades performing together, the duo has also been the subject of a documentary entitled No Hit Wonder. So why not just hang up their well-worn guitar straps and cruise into retirement entrenched in semi-obscurity? According to Fowler, who connected for an engaging chat with The Newtown Bee ahead of the duo’s December 28 concert at the Danbury Palace theater, it’s because they still have many songs to sing, and even a few more to create together before ever considering anything resembling retirement.

  • Newtowner Helps In Naval Philippines Recovery Efforts

    United States Navy Seaman and Newtown High School 2010 graduate Dustin Hanson arrived in the Philippines November 14. The massive Typhoon Haiyan made landfall November 8, battering central Philippines and leaving in its wake a death toll that was more than...