Newtown native and accomplished poet Amy Nawrocki will read from her latest book of poetry, Four Blue Eggs, Saturday, March 1, at 7 pm, at Byrd’s Books, 126 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel. "Four Blue Eggs," published by Homebound Publications, was released February 7. The collection of more than two dozen poems are works developed over an extended span of time, said Ms Nawrocki, and are a reflection on the natural world around us, family, and many life experiences. The book is a full-length collection that was inspired by a contest run by its publisher, which encouraged poets to work with a contemplative theme. Ms Nawrocki anticipates a 35-40-minute reading Saturday night, to be followed by a question and answer session, and feedback. With the independent book store hosting the event located just a few minutes away from her former hometown, Ms Nawrocki hopes to see old and new friends at the reading.
Helping, outreach, camaraderie, pride, community service and bond are just some of the words veterans use to describe their membership to Newtown’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308. And as Post Adjutant Walter Dolan said, “It feels good” to be a part of the organization, “Absolutely.” Sunday, March 2, is a special day for Newtown’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308. One of the state’s oldest VFWs, Post 308 — established in February 1939 with 14 founding members, and formally chartered the following month — will be celebrating 75 years with a Diamond Jubilee. The public, post members, and prospective new members can enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and cake on Sunday, starting at 1 pm at the post, located on Freedom Defenders, off Mile Hill Road. Past Connecticut State Commander Ed Zamm (1960–61) will present a citation from the National VFW Commander-in-Chief during the afternoon event.
The father of two young children, Newtown resident Dr Michael Baroody saw the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, as “an assault on our soul, with no verbal way to communicate what had happened. I felt like I had lost my own kids, but I realized that my world is not just my living room. These Newtown children are our kids and it is our responsibility to protect our kids.”
As he sought a way to understand and move through the horror, he began to realize that language is sometimes a barrier to healing. “I asked myself, what does our community need? What is one nonverbal way to express ourselves?” he said.
Neither an actor nor a member of the performing arts community, Dr Baroody nonetheless thought about the power of music and theater, and how a world-class performing arts center could become a means of moving people forward in a positive, ongoing manner.
It is Monday morning, February 17, and 3-year-old Genesis Fuentes is visiting the office of The Newtown Bee. Unlike most toddlers who would be racing to and fro, jabbering, or excitedly grabbing at the numerous knick-knacks within reach, Genesis sits quietly in the lap of her 22-year-old cousin, Melanie Lopez, brown eyes set in a thin face, curiously gazing about the room and smiling shyly. It has been 18 days since Genesis, from Belize City, Belize, received the Gift of Life — open heart surgery funded by a special program of Rotary Club International, and sponsored locally by the Newtown Rotary Club.
The Klondike Derby is a winter scouting skills and leadership competition that has been sponsored annually by Boy Scout units since 1949. Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Venture Crews gather for the daylong event, working in teams and vying for points earned at several skills stations set up along a course. Named for the late 19th Century Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska, when thousands of hardy, young men headed north to find their fortunes, dragging with them sleds of tools and possessions, the Scouting Klondike Derby also features sleds laden with useful tools, food, and other supplies. Participating Scouts must drag their handcrafted sleds from station to station — regardless of whether the yearly Connecticut winter brings rain, snow, mud, or sun. Last month, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Scatacook District and Troops 9, 33, and 52 hosted more than 400 Connecticut Scouts in 30 team at the Hoyt Scout Reservation in Redding. At the end of the chilly, snowy day, the Newtown-based Venture Crew 70 team had earned the highest number of points, slip-sliding away with the first place honors for the Scatacook District 2014 Klondike Derby.
Members of the Ben’s Bells Newtown (BBN) team visited Pequenakonck Elementary School in North Salem, N.Y., recently. A family session on January 31 had 140 students, teachers, and parents all working together to make beads and/or paint Kindness Coins. The program allowed BBN volunteers to continue their mission of inspiring, educating, and motivating each other “to realize the impact of intentional kindness and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby changing our world.” It was the first event for the two groups. Meanwhile, Ben’s Bells is celebrating its first anniversary in Newtown. Jeanette Maté, the founder of Ben's Bells Project, based in Tuscon, Ariz., visited Newtown along with a few volunteers in early January 2013. They were joined by a few Newtown residents to hang the first Ben's Bells in public places, creating more than 1,000 opportunities for residents to discover the random acts of kindness.
Recently, a friend offered me some tortilla chips from a local restaurant. I declined, explaining that lately corn chips were making me congested. (What the heck?!) That got me lamenting to him about how much I missed snacking on corn chips, and how Fritos had figured predominantly in my childhood. Just saying the name “Fritos” conjures up a memory of corn chips so salty they made your fingers and lips hurt. The chips are thick and crisp, requiring a solid chomp to chew them, more so than with the oh-so-breakable tortilla chips that crumble at the sight of salsa. Fritos are just the right amount of curl and size to fit snugly on the tip of the tongue, I discovered years ago, where the flavor can be savored a little longer, so long as there is no one around to see.