• Theater Review: Theater Barn Gets Great Mileage Out Of ‘Becky’s New Car’

    If a woman says she wants new shoes, it means she wants a new job. If she says she wants a new house, it means she wants a new husband. But if she says she wants a new car, it means she wants a new life. This is the message that Maria de Vries, as the slightly daffy but clearly likeable Becky Foster, delivers in Steven Dietz’s slightly daffy but clearly likeable play, "Becky’s New Car," currently in production at Ridgefield Theater Barn until December 7. The show offers an entertaining evening, a feel-good play for the holiday season, and, as usual, the Ridgefield Theater Barn — in this case smoothly directed by Sherry Asch — gives it great mileage.

  • Field Notes: The Scarcity And Scattering Of November Light

    It is the law of supply and demand. The value of a commodity increases with its scarcity. So the increasing scarcity of light these days has made it silver and gold… deepening to violet and magenta at the margins of the day, when we travel to and from work in synchrony, for a few weeks, with the sun’s own daily commute. In November, when the landscape drops its modesty along with its veil of leaves, nature dims the lights in a deft bit of physics and stagecraft as the woodlands bare all.

  • Stink Bugs An Autumn Nuisance For Homeowners

    The brown marmorated stink bug is flying, crawling, and piggy-backing its way into Fairfield County. The bark-colored, shield-shaped bug from Asia, about one-inch in length with long, segmented antennae, was first identified in Pennsylvania in 1998. Since then, it has made its way into at least 30 other states, where it spends the spring and summer months feasting on — and heavily damaging — fruit and vegetable crops. What makes it particularly pesty, as its numbers increase in an area, is its penchant for moving indoors during the cool months of September and October. While the stink bug does not damage homes as it overwinters, it will dart about, its little wings thrumming. Multiple invaders can be disturbingly disruptive.

  • Theater Review: Suspense Abounds In ‘Veronica’s Room’

    Halloween is over, which makes the timing just slightly off for Town Payers of Newtown's current production of Ira Levin’s "Veronica’s Room." Levin gained fame with his scary portrayal of New York’s Dakota building in "Rosemary’s Baby." But while that was a supernatural horror story involving congress with the Devil, "Veronica’s Room," which came after that, deals with scary horror that is purely human in its origins — albeit sick human. If you like this sort of thing, it is an entertaining offering at The Little Theatre; but if you don’t enjoy the psychologically gruesome, forewarned is forearmed. The show continues weekends until November 30.

  • Nourishments: Ancient Grain Is A Popular Modern Ingredient

    It’s hard to believe that quinoa, the “super food,” has only now been recognized as the powerhouse nutritional food that it is. The United Nations General Assembly selected 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa.” But this quasi-grain (more closely related to spinach and beets than it is to any of the grassy grains) has been feeding people in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia for thousands of years and has been making its way into the international marketplace for decades. As a matter of fact, nearly 30 years ago, the natural food store I shopped at stocked this “new” grain, and we began cooking with it. Because quinoa is one of the few grain-like foods that is a complete protein, it had great appeal to the many vegans and vegetarians we knew. Not only that, it looked cool, the tiny, cream-colored seeds turning nearly see-through, with a little white spiral outside, when cooked; and it was delicious.

  • It’s Fish-Eat-Weed At Taunton Lake

    About 250 grass carp are now silently swimming in the waters of Taunton Lake, the scenic 125-acre spring-fed, glacial lake in the Taunton District whose waters drain into Pond Brook and eventually to the Housatonic River. The grass carp, which are not native to the lake, recently were released into it as part of a project designed to curb the growth of the weed known as aquatic milfoil. Grass carp eat milfoil. Taunton Lake has remained a relatively clean water body over the years due to its limited access and because only a fraction of its shoreline has been residentially developed. In 2007, however, testing indicated that the lake had become infested with aquatic milfoil, an invasive weed that has entered many lakes and ponds in North America. Locally, Lake Zoar, Lake Lillinonah and Candlewood Lake have heavy milfoil infestations.

  • Snapshot: Maria McLennan

    A weekly profile of a local resident.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Newtown, from a cat's point of view.

  • The Way We Were

    A look back at Newtown 25, 50, 75, and 100 years ago.

  • Newtown Nighthawks Rule In A Dream Come True

    “His smile was ear to ear!” exclaimed Dream Come True dream manager Kristie Perry, as she recalled the November 8 unveiling of Justin Bogdanoff’s new “Boy Cave.” Repainted in warm gold and a rich blue, with the Newtown High School Nighthawks logo dominating one wall, new bedding, cushy Yogi-bo couches on which to lounge in front of a 55-inch flat-screen television, with an Xbox gaming system and home theater system, and a mini-refrigerator, his new room reflected the 12-year-old Newtown boy’s love — the Newtown Nighthawks — and was truly a dream come true.