Newtown hockey coach Paul Esposito was at Monday’s Labor Day Parade, part of a group effort to distribute 2,500 flyers promoting his group’s vision for a community center in Newtown: one that would include an ice rink. While another group in town — the Community Center Commission — is tasked with community center planning, Mr Esposito has presented his ideas to that committee. Among those handing out flyers were Newtown youth and high school hockey and figure skaters and Newtown Ice Arena Committee members.
Making a list and checking it twice is not just for Santa Claus. Newtown Labor Day Parade organizers were checking lists once, twice, and maybe multiple times more as coordinating the parade entries got underway, early Monday morning, September 7, at the top of Main Street. While organizers tweaked the order of march, thousands of paradegoers settled in along the parade route in anticipation of the annual end of summer event. It wasn't just Newtown residents who were looking forward to the parade. Visitors from all around the area spilled out of friends’ homes along the parade route, or secured a spot at the edge of the road. Friends Riley Burke, 5, and Arianne Lauf, 6, were with their families from Danbury, just to see Newtown’s Labor Day Parade.
The Connecticut Public Transportation Commission will hold a public hearing at Derby Town Hall (Aldermanic Chambers), 1 Elizabeth Street in Derby, on Wednesday, September 9, at 7 pm. This will be the first of four hearings that the commission holds statewide this fall to gather testimony from the public, transportation providers, public officials, and other entities concerning the operation of public transportation services, dial-a-ride and ADA transportation and other issues. The commission is seeking public comment on the extent to which existing services are meeting public needs and on improvements or new services to address unmet travel needs.
The Newtown Public Schools announced Tuesday afternoon that due to the higher temperatures, after-school activities on Tuesday, September 8, and Wednesday, September 9, and the school day on Wednesday, September 9, are being changed. On Tuesday, September 8, the district announced there would be modified after school athletic practices at Newtown High School with fall athletes asked to check with their coach for specific updates; Hawley Elementary School’s planned Open House is postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date; Middle Gate Elementary School’s Open House is postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date; Sandy Hook Elementary School’s Open House is postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date; Head O’ Meadow Elementary School’s Open House is still scheduled for Tuesday, September 8; and Education Connection programs are still operating in the afternoon as scheduled. For Wednesday, September 9, the district announced all schools will have normal openings, but some schools will have altered release times.
Besides welcoming nearly a dozen first-timers to the line of march, Newtown's annual Labor Day Parade had everything the near record crowd of attendees expected.Clowns and cows, fire trucks and a funk band, joined sports teams, community organizations, Newtown's five fire companies, ambulance corps, and Underwater Search & Rescue team, pipers, jugglers, gymnasts and martial arts experts as the spectacle moved slowly down Main Street from the War memorial, making its turn onto Glover Avenue and finally wrapping up in front of the judges reviewing stand on Queen Street. Check out a photo montage of images from all of The Newtown Bee photographers who were on duty throughout Labor Day's parade route this week in the newspaper's print edition and on line.
A quarter century ago - long before her career as a Newtown Police Officer, Maryhelen McCarthy was jolted by a message from her mother that her youngest brother had committed suicide. That was the morning of March 15, 1990. Rushing home, she pushed past police and emergency workers to witness the tragedy herself. “There was no note… no closure,” Ms McCarthy told The Newtown Bee this week as she stood beside a banner hung at Fairfield Hills reminding residents that September is National Suicide Prevention Month. The banner’s notice is reinforced by the news that last year, more than one person each day here in Connecticut took their own life.
While the immediate victims of 12/14 — 26 families, two injured teachers, and 12 witness/survivor children — will continue to be served on an “as-needed” basis within current limitations, the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation (NSHCF) will initiate a cap in payouts that help other individuals cover out-of-pocket costs for mental health and other alternative posttraumatic treatments. “We’re really proud that we’ve been able to support nearly every reasonable request that came in — a lot more than we thought we might when we started,” she said. On August 27, the foundation completed mailings notifying local families who applied for or are receiving compensation from the fund about changes to the level of financial support going into effect on January 1.
Monday morning, Main Street and the Borough will reverberate with the rum-pa-pa-rum of drums, clip-clop of horse hooves, blasts of fire sirens, and so much more will signal Newtown’s end of summer extravaganza is once again underway. The 54th Annual Newtown Labor Day Parade begins at 10 am, Monday, September 7, marching from the top of Main Street to Glover, and on to its final destination, the grand stand of judges set up in front of the Big Y parking lot on Queen Street. It is a day that unites all of Newtown, lining the streets, and spilling out from backyard barbecues and front porch brunches, as residents bid farewell to summer and welcome the busy days of autumn.