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The Top of The Mountain

A post on The Bee Facebook page this week confirms our faith in humanity. On Friday, July 12, Nicole Capener lost her paycheck. The following Monday, it was sitting on her desk — “Clearly rained on, run over, and even had a dead worm stuck to it,” says Nicole. “Thank you whoever brought my check back. There are good people in the world,” she adds. Now I’d like to add something: a Good Egg Award.  This one is for the Good Samaritan of Paychecks!

Tickets are available for Shrek the Musical and Annie Jr, presented by Sabrina’s Encore Productions LLC and The CT Broadway Stage Company at The Palace Theater in Waterbury, July 26–28. A number of Newtown students are involved in these shows. Shrek the Musical will be performed Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27, at 7:30 pm, and Saturday at 1:30. Meet-and-greet events with the characters will take place before the evening performances and after Saturday’s matinee. On Sunday, July 28, at 2:30 and 5 pm, members of The Children of Newtown Choir and other young actors will perform Annie Jr. Tickets for Shrek the Musical are $18.45 to $33.45 (plus venue and other fees). All seats for Annie Jr are $21.45 (plus venue and other fees), with $10 student tickets available at the box office for this show. To purchase tickets without additional fees, visit the box office at 100 East Main Street. For tickets call 203-346-2000 or visit www.PalaceTheatreCT.org.

Pastor Bill Sherman of Crosswood Church in Maumee, Ohio, sent me a note to let me know that the Midwestern church community has created a kind of living memorial to the lives lost 12/14. The grand opening of the Haiti’s Sandy Hook School, in Haiti, is scheduled for the first week of September. Members of Crosswood Church, who have helped build the school, have created a plaque with the names of the children and educators of Sandy Hook who died that day, which hangs in the school. Two teachers, one secretary, and a principal have been hired, and the children are registered and excited, he said.

Have you every tossed a penny into the fountain at the Pleasance and made a wish? Those coins go on to help fulfill other wishes. A couple of times a year, workers at The Pleasance collect any money in the fountain and it is donated to charity. But this past week, someone decided to donate to their personal charity. When Pleasance workers went to collect the coins, the fountain held no money at all. I sure hope that in the future no one decides to pilfer the fountain again. PS — Throwing stones into The Pleasance fountain should be discouraged.

If your memory is good, you may recall reading a commentary in the August 13, 2004, issue of The Newtown Bee by First Lieutenant Rob Anders, a 1998 graduate of Newtown High School, a USMA West Point 2002 graduate, and at the time, a platoon leader in the Wolfhound battalion. Back in 2004, Rob was serving in the Paktika Province on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Rob, who has since earned his master’s in energy policy from Georgetown University and is currently a fellow in Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy for the US Department of Energy, has now taken those real-time notes and turned them into a book. Winning Paktika is about his deployment under Colonel Walter Piatt in 2004-05, in which the colonel announced to the battalion “Win the war without killing a single person,” not quite the order the troops expected.  “In the ten months leading up to that moment, the Wolfhounds had conducted hundreds of hours of combat training, sharpening our claws and canines for combat… The men were fit, the teams were set, and the Wolfhounds were ready for war. Just days prior to departure, however, the Colonel’s simple statement seemed to contradict everything we had done to prepare for, and indeed everything we were about to encounter in Afghanistan,” Rob writes in his book. “The story describes our struggle with our own identity as infantrymen in a new role,” he tells me. “Our mission was vastly more complicated and confusing as we sought to build rather than destroy as a means of ruining the enemy,” he says of his book, which turn out to become allegorical to winning the broader war. You can find out more about the native Newtown author and his book at www.WinningPaktika.com.

When Newtown Youth & Family Services offered its first session’s class of its new Safety Town program, this mini-Newtown Bee building, created by Patrick Brady of B&B Home Design & Improvement LLC along with assistants, was ready for the rising kindergarten students.  The building is one of four that will be used as a backdrop for the program, which offers an environment for students to lean about safety. According to NYFS, Safety Town is a national program that was developed in 1964 to teach young children important information on traffic safety, fire safety, water safety, bus safety, bicycle safety, awareness of medicine and poison, and awareness of strangers. All safety topics are taught in collaboration with local community and health agency members.

NHS graduates Riley Wurtz and Will Fletcher traveled to Uganda two years ago with the Fields of Growth International charitable foundation, teaching and playing lacrosse on fields created by the foundation. Ever since then, Riley’s younger brother Chase, who will be a senior this year, has wanted to take part in the Uganda experience. This summer, he got his wish. Riley returned to Uganda with Chase, and the two “had an amazing experience working with the orphans at the Hopeful School and teaching lacrosse,” says dad, Jeff Wurtz. Check out the video of their trip at www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCbyEWvTYIg.

 Working from home can be lonely, so if that’s your gig, why not check out the Work From Home Newtown lunch gathering? The brainchild of Sandy Hook resident Greg Pategas, this group of remote workers, home-based business owners, sole proprietors, job seekers, stay-at-home parents, retirees, et al, invites you to join in some networking and socializing, 11:30 am, at The Inn at Newtown, 19 Main Street, on Thursday, August 1. For information call 914-414-5163.

Everyone knows that life at The Top of the Mountain can be lonely. But I’ll make a point of doing my own networking and socializing this next week. You can find out what’s up, if you… Read me again.

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