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Top of the Mountain

  • The Top of the Mountain

    For those of you watching the premiere of this season’s American Idol on Wednesday, January 15, you might have recognized Sandy Hook resident Hayley Pettinato. She was shown briefly, but earned a “golden ticket” to continue on to Hollywood, where the show continues. Seventeen-year-old Hayley is one of three Connecticut residents chosen by the judges for this season. “Getting that golden ticket was honestly like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It was so surreal.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Letters from Sandy Hook — Newtown to the World, compiled and edited by Sandy Hook resident Suzanne Davenport, has been released. The book is available at The Newtown Bee office, C.H. Booth Library, and Everything Newtown. The cost of the book is $30 and when purchased at any of the abovementioned locations, all of the proceeds will be donated directly to the Newtown Memorial Fund. The book is available on Amazon, but the foundation gets only three percent of the proceeds in that case.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Calling Newtown’s lords, ladies, and house servants. The C.H. Booth Library has a “Downton Abbey Tea” set for Saturday, January 4, from 3 pm to 4 pm, to celebrate the January 5 return of the popular BBC Channel Downton Abbey program. People attending the tea party at the library are asked to come in costume. Register for the proper tea party at www.chboothlibrary.org, under the events calendar link.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Amazing what a cat finds out, curled up beneath a chair. I’ve heard from a number of people that among Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Gejda numerous talents, she bakes a delicious biscotti. I do hope she shares the recipe with us at The Bee (ahem. nancy@thebee.com) so all of Newtown can indulge this holiday season.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Julie Hasselberger’s son, Daniel, who lives a severely medically restricted life with polymicrogyria, celebrated his 16th birthday recently. Julie had put out a request for birthday cards to brighten her wheelchair-bound son’s day, and found herself plastering his room with 845 cards received from all over the world — and they keep coming, says Julie. “A local 7th grade Girl Scout Troop came and sang to him at his school, STARR, at RIS, each holding a balloon and a card.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    I was grateful for my fur coat when I scurried into the Bee editorial department Monday morning. Just in time for one of the chilliest days yet, the radiators in that section of the building refused to cough up any heat. Naturally, I sought out the sanctuary of the warm conference room and any other cozy spot around town. That’s when I found out about something that at least warmed my heart.

  • Top of the Mountain

    Those who have this coming Monday, November 11, off in honor of Veterans Day, are welcome to attend the Veterans Day ceremony at the VFW Post 108, on Tinkerfield Road. The ceremony begins at 11 am, and is expected to last about an hour. Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra will be the guest speaker.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    I had on my running paws this past Saturday, but the vast crowd at the Hartford Marathon intimidated me. So I stayed on the sidelines. My ears perked up during the blessing of the runners before the start of the 26.2-mile race, though, when I thought I heard a familiar voice. That made me scramble up the nearest tree to look over the mob, to the steps of the State Capital, where I saw Newtown Congregational Church minister Reverend Matt Crebbin offering words of thanks and inspiration.

  • Top of the Mountain

    Little Sophia Lasaro has donated the gifts she received at a recent birthday party to Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation, and according to Diane Burke of the Network, Sophia hopes her donation brightens the day of the kids who receive them. Sophia’s donation benefits pediatric patients at Danbury Hospital, and helps make the hospital experience a bit less scary for the kids.  In recognition of Sophia’s generosity, she has been inducted into the Danbury Hospital’s Kids Care Club.

  • Top of the Mountain

    More news has arrived from America Responds With Love, the charity organization that took on multiple pallets of stuffed animals donated to Newtown after 12/14, for distribution to others in need. You might remember that Richard McDonough of America Responds reported in July that 200 of the stuffed pillows and animals had been provided to Aurora, Colo., for healing purposes. Now Aurora is paying it forward, donating 100 of the stuffed animals to Cañon City, Colo., as that town recovers from devastating springtime fires.