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The Top of the Mountain

It was not just the 25 kids who took part in the History Camp last month at the (un-air-conditioned) Matthew Curtiss House on Main Street who sweltered during the heat wave. So did the teachers who served every day for the whole week. “They directed the making of lanterns, making and painting marbles and playing marble games, giving tours of the house and barn, and many other activities, as if were a delightful 70 degrees,” says a very impressed Gordon Williams. “They did so with cheer and with no pay, totally volunteering their time and energy,” he adds, and I’d like to add that Chris Schmidt and Mike Asselta, and high school students Mairin Hayes and Eric Benson are definitely deserving of my Good Egg Award. (Just don’t try to fry it on the sidewalk during the next heat wave, please!)

I sure hope you had the chance to take in one of the Seussical: The Musical performances last weekend at Newtown High School. Broadway pro John Tartaglia brought out the best in Newtown youth actors, and gave the audiences way more than their money’s worth. Congrats to all!

Job seeking? Creative? Focused? The Newtown Cultural Arts Commission announced this week that a grant from the National Endowments of the Arts will enable them to recruit a director of HealingNewtown, created after 12/14 to support arts-focused recovery efforts. The position will be sponsored by the NEA for six months. The director will oversee day-to-day administration and operations of the volunteer art space. There is a possible extension after six months, if funding is available. E-mail lel-rhn@se-ltd.com for complete job requirements.

NHS teacher Trent Harrison seems to have found a new vocation — as a tour guide. Forty new Newtown School System hires piled on to a school bus, Wednesday, with Trent in charge of giving them the grand tour of the town. Highlights included the schools, of course, but plenty of other “must sees,” from restaurants to the Fabric Fire Hose factories to The Bee and the view from the top of Castle Hill. Is it necessary to say that Trent provided a running commentary?

If you missed the first public focus group this past Thursday morning at the C.H. Booth Library, with new director Shawn Fields, you can still speak up on what the library means to you, what changes you want (or don’t want) to see as the future unfolds, and any other concerns about our local library. The second focus group is scheduled for Saturday, August 24, at 10 am, and the third will take place Tuesday, August 27, at 7 pm. For more information, call the library at 203-426-4533. The CHB Library website, www.chboothlibrary.org, is always a great place to visit to find out what’s going on there, of course.

I have figured out that if every resident donated just $1, the Annual Newtown Labor Day Parade would not have to worry about funding the end of summer event. Bands, dancers, and other parade entertainment do not come free, but are a big part of what makes the parade the spectacular event it always is. Visit www.newtownctlabordayparade.org to donate. You might stand a little taller along the parade route this September 2, knowing you made it happen.

If you are reading this column online, you may not know that the Newtown Bee’s “Back to School” special edition is in each print edition of The Bee this week. We did something a little different this year. Along with the bus routes, provided by All-Star Transportation, and stories ranging from what the Newtown International Center for Education (NICE) has in store for the 2013-14 school year to healthy lunch advice from Chartwells School Dining Services Resident Dietitian Jill Patterson, The Newtown Bee also put together trivia questions and coloring pages. We pulled together some of our favorite photos of the local schools, turned them into coloring pages, and are encouraging students and adults to take a photo of a colored-in picture and post it through Instagram with #viewfromnewtown in the description. Each entry posted with that description will be displayed on The Newtown Bee’s website, www.newtownbee.com. And look for trivia questions throughout the “Back to School” section. The answers are in the back, but no peeking!

As summer comes to an end, so will operations at The Sandy Hook Arcade Center. SHAC has been offering free play on arcade games including driving games, pinball, air hockey (a personal favorite), and other favorites since February. Andy Clure, one of the men behind the kind venture, mentioned this week that he plans to close up shop following Labor Day weekend. The arcade remains free of charge for Newtown residents of all ages and now, said Andy, admission is free “as well for our out-of-town guests.” The arcade is in the eastern side of Sand Hill Plaza, and is open by chance. Check SHAC’s Facebook page (open to anyone on Facebook, not just members) or call the arcade at 203-364-9412 “to see if anyone is around,” he said.

Can’t make it to the Ben’s Bells Newtown studio? Here’s the answer: the studio announced last week “to-go boxes,” available for those who want to sculpt beads or paint Kindness Coins and beads at home. Clay “to-go” boxes include all the materials needed for 100 people to sculpt beads, for one hour. Paint “to-go” boxes have enough material for 50 people to work for an hour. Boxes include detailed instructions. You just need to provide the space to work and bowls of water. Clay boxes are $30, with a $30 deposit due at pickup, and Paint boxes are $50, with a $60 deposit; each project should be finished and returned to BBN’s Church Hill Road space within two weeks. Submit requests three weeks in advance. For details, visit BBN’s Facebook page or send an e-mail to newtown@bensbells.org.

You don’t need a bell to call me. I’ll be around, so be sure next week to… Read me again.

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