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The Top of the Mountain

Longtime Newtown resident Pete Samoskevich was surprised on Saturday by his family and friends with a celebration of his 80th birthday. Pete, known best around town on the ball diamonds and working at Sunoco, continues to be a presence in town, entertaining anyone who will talk with him. Happy Birthday, Petey!

You have seen him on the sidelines photographing the sports activities in town, but I’ll bet you didn’t know that Bee Sports Editor Andy Hutchison is quite the hockey player. Andy showed up at the office last week with a shiny trophy won by the hockey team he skates with, the Dit-Wylers. The Bridgeport-based team was top dog in the Wonderland of the Summer League Championship, played recently. Congratulations to Andy and all his teammates! At least I know now why he seems to skate circles around the rest of us…

Author Justin Scott and producer Amber Edwards have put out an APB for their black cat, Isaac, who has been missing this past week. The cat, named for one of the characters in his books, does not usually take off, so Justin and Amber are distraught. Please contact The Bee at 203-426-3141 if you have seen a stray in the Parmalee Road area, and we’ll let Justin know.

New St Rose School Principal Sister Colleen was “christened” by one of her students this past week, I hear, with a few daubs of chocolate on her white habit. It seems that a young guest at the Back To School Barbeque held on Monday could not resist giving her a big hug… right after devouring a chocolate cookie. I don’t mean to rub it in, but I understand that the helpful youngster then attempted to wipe it off… with chocolaty hands.

I heard a story worthy of the Good Egg Award on Tuesday, the first day of the 2014-15 school year for Newtown students. Two older Middle Gate Elementary School students, Nicholas DeBlasi and Ben Rosenthal, swooped in to help kindergartener Emily Sachs, when Emily was in need of moral support at their bus stop. The boys each took one of her hands, offered quiet advice, and led her onto the bus. Nicholas and Ben, you are Good Eggs!          

Reed Intermediate School wasn’t only “abuzz” for the new school year on Tuesday. Two large bees’ nests could be seen attached to windows on the outside of the school, near the bus drop-off area. I haven’t heard any loud “ouches” from there, so I’m hoping there have been no close encounters.

Newtown Rotarian Pat Caruso says that Arben and Leona, the two children from Kosova in the US for life-saving heart surgery, are recovering well from the August 20 surgeries performed in New York last week. Arben and Leona are among nearly 30 children around the world who have been helped by the Newtown Initiative of the Rotary International Gift of Life program this past year. Newtown Rotary members got to meet Arben and Leona last week, presurgery. More good news, Pat says, is that little Genesis, from Belize, the first child helped by the Newtown Rotary Club, in February, has passed her follow-up exam with flying colors, and will not have to have another check-up for two years.

A Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring Newtown youth and Broadway stars Maria Mindelle, Saum Eskandani and Clarke Thorell, rocked the stage this summer at NHS in one of The 12.14 productions. You can preorder the cast recording of this world premiere production, from Van Dean’s label, Broadway Records. (Van Dean is the 12.14 Foundation musicals producer.) The CD set features 30 songs from both the Moon and the Stars casts, and a photo booklet. If you order it now, you will get it a month before the official release date. For ordering information, visit www.Broadwayrecords.com.

Break in those sneakers now, if you haven’t already. It’s the 9th Annual Newtown Road Race, at 8 am this Saturday morning, at Dickinson Park on Elm Drive. The 5K and Kids’ Run benefits Newtown Youth & Family Services. For more information or to register visit www.NewtownYouthandFamilyServices.org or call 203-426-4335. What a great way to start the long weekend.

There are so many opportunities to be a part of the Newtown Labor Day Parade, it’s hard to choose. Here’s an incentive to get off the sidelines next Monday, though: Friends of Newtown Park and Bark invites you to march with them — and the first 27 walkers to sign up at FriendsofNewtownParkandBark@gmail.com get a “Green Tee” shirt. Marchers will step off from Johnnie Cake Lane at 10 am, Division I. If Fido is going to march with you, he or she (Fidette?) needs to be on leash and you should supply water. Need more tempting? The Friends will provide you and your canine marcher with a FREE poop bag! Oh my gosh. I hope I’m not too late signing up…

Resident and former American Stock Exchange floor broker Howard Lasher invites the public to attend a memorial service Thursday, September 11, at 8:15 am, at his 68 Dodgingtown Road (Route 302) property. The ceremony will commemorate those who died in New York City and Washington, DC, September 11, 2001, along with the victims aboard United Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. A grove of maple trees painted by artist David Merrill to represent the American flag honors several of Mr Lasher’s friends and colleagues killed in the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center. Music will be performed, local elected officials have been invited to speak, and Mr Lasher will offer a keynote address during the 13th anniversary service.

The big yellow buses all around town might have clued you in to the fact that Newtown schools opened for the 2014-2015 year this past Tuesday. Just in case you’re unaware, though, the Newtown Police Department has a new sign flashing at the corners of South Main Street and Route 302, reminding drivers that school is in session. It’s a good idea, as there will be many walkers of all ages going back and forth to the Newtown Middle School and even Hawley School. But is the electronic sign, first set up to caution summer drivers about not leaving children in hot cars, going to be a permanent part of the Ram Pasture landscape? Somehow, it seems to lack that low-key quality in signage we seem to demand in town.

There is nothing low-key about how I seek out the news. To find out what’s what, be sure next week to… Read me again.

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