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The Top of the Mountain

Hang onto your picnic baskets. I think Yogi and friends are in town. Joe Paliotti spent about an hour watching this bear last week on Parmalee Hill Road, where his mother lives. His mom had crossed paths with the big guy — Joe, a hunter and outdoorsman estimates the bear was 350 to 400 pounds — when taking out the garbage after dark. Newtown Police investigated her call, but the bear was a no show by the time they arrived. After arriving at his mother’s, picking up the trash, and reassuring her “that the bear will not kill her,” Joe was all set to leave, too. “As I open the door to my truck, the bear was at the passenger side, walking back to the rear of the house. So I got a flashlight and ran through the house to the porch,” says Joe. There was the bear, happily munching down a box of doughnuts he had pulled from the garbage. Joe watched the bear finish his snack, scratch a tree and rub up and down the tree to mark his territory, before he lumbered off. Joe’s bear is the second in as many weeks that I have heard of bear visits in town. You won’t find me poking around the yard after dusk, with these big guys waking up!

The Sandy Hook Arcade Center will continue operating until at least the end of the month. Co-founder Andrew Clure also says that the Sand Hill Plaza venture, free to residents, has different operating hours now. The arcade is open Fridays, from 4 to 8 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 6 pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 am until 2 pm. The arcade is closed Mondays and Wednesdays.

If you find yourself in Hartford on Saturday, Vasilia Penna, and some friends and fellow Zumba instructors, will lead a special “Love Wins!” Zumba class to benefit The Ana Grace Fund this weekend. The class takes place April 13, beginning at 2 pm, at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, 53 Vernon Street, Hartford. Donation is $10 per person. Proceeds benefit Ana’s family. For details visit AnaGraceFund.com.

Lynn Kovack asks that if you tagged an item at the municipal center in February, and have not picked it up, call her at 203-270-4261.

Dr Laura Nowacki, of Newtown Center Pediatrics, is running the Boston Marathon for Team Newtown Strong, raising scholarship funds for families who lost children 12/14. The 26th mile is dedicated to our Sandy Hook 26, and Dr Nowacki was asked to speak at the opening ceremonies. She was also a sponsor and participant for the Sandy Hook Run For the Families in Hartford on March 23. Dr Nowacki, you are a Good Egg!

Newtown resident Pamela Ahtchi of Saha Sauces, LLC, is pleased as punch that for the second year in a row, one of her zesty products has come away from the annual Connecticut Specialty Food Association’s Food Products Competition with an award. This year, Pam’s Chipotle Harissa Hot Sauce earned second place. The spicy condiment company has products featured in all Connecticut Whole Foods stores, notes Pam, and many organic and natural food stores in this state, as well as in New York and New Jersey. In addition, Saha Sauces will be featured at a special Caraluzzi’s Market event the end of April, and in May at the new Danbury Whole Foods store opening. For information, visit www.ctspecialtyfood.org.

The EverWonder Experience will be getting crazy with color this weekend. Kids ages toddler to 12 are invited to the temporary EverWonder Children’s Museum site at 31 Peck’s Lane to paint with golf balls, make your own color wheels, and paint coffee filters. Then, guess what? It’s the Discovery Guessing Lab, the following weekend, April 20 and 21. Test out your senses to identify different objects — and don’t forget to visit the Cool Moves exhibit in the adjacent room, where nine different science stations are always set up for fun exploration.

Spring is really in bloom! Floral designer and Newtown resident Lori Friedlander, owner of Floré Fine Flowers in Woodbury, is one of 70 select floral arrangers that have been invited to participate in the 32nd Annual Fine Art & Flowers fundraising event at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, from April 19 to 21. Lori will interpret into a floral arrangement “Prescience,” a painting by 20th Century artist Roberto Matta. She’ll be collaborating on the project with a fellow floral artist and longtime friend, Christopher Isaacson. Hours for the event are Friday, 11 am to 5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. For tickets call 860-838-4100 or purchase tickets online at www.wadsworthatheneum.org/flowers.

A press release from the Connecticut Office of Tourism has landed in my paws, announcing the second annual celebration of the places that make our state still revolutionary. The socially driven “Connecticut Fan-Favorite Town” program asks people to vote for the Connecticut town that they think most embodies the spirit of the state’s brand — still revolutionary — by being a home for original ideas, inspiration, and innovation. “Participants will also have the opportunity to vote for the business, destination, or attraction within that town that inspires them. The top 10 favorite towns will receive widespread promotional support, and the winning town will also receive a two-minute video showcasing their innovative, inspiring, and unique places and bragging rights for all of 2013. For each vote cast, people will be entered to win a getaway to the charming Connecticut River Valley.” Vote daily on the Visit Connecticut Facebook page through May 15, and encourage your friends to vote. For more information, visit www.CTVisit.com.

I may not be revolutionary, but I do hope to be inspiring. So be sure next week to… Read me again.

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