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Ben's Bells

  • The Top of the Mountain

    If you’re reading this column, I know you are a supporter of the printed word. Need I remind you that one of New England’s largest book sales gets underway this Saturday, July 12, right here in town? Friends of the C.H. Booth Library presents the 39th Annual Book Sale at Reed Intermediate School, 3 Trades Lane, beginning at 9 am. The real fun begins at 7 am, though, when numbered admission tickets go on sale at the door, for $5 each.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    My back arched and my tail stood up straight last week when I heard about two acts of vandalism at Sandy Ground playgrounds, built in the tri-state area to honor each woman and child killed on 12/14. In another show of love winning over evil, however, both senseless acts have been turned on their head. Nelba Marquez-Greene has said that she would like to have a message board installed at the playground in Hartford honoring her daughter, Ana Marquez-Greene.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    It is not too late to go to www.ragnarrelay.com/race/capecod and pick out a team to support for this  year’s RagnarRelay, a 24-hour relay run from Hull, Mass., to Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod. There are several teams running this year to support Sandy Hook and Newtown foundations, and all welcome your donations (and moral support). The race is from May 9 to May 10, so don’t delay.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Mother Nature had to stick her tongue out at us one last time this season, on Monday morning. A coating of sleet and giant snowflakes were not what I wanted to see, but I’m hoping that is the last of the wintry weather. The daffodils and crocuses poking up through the soil around town are giving me hope that spring truly is imminent.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Instagram user @chanecullens has been keeping The Newtown Bee’s Instagram photos at newtownbee.com full of photos of birds in the last few weeks. She has uploaded three beautiful pictures of birds since the end of January, but this week is my favorite: a cat. According to the post, the cat was out prowling for mice in the snow. You can see for yourself that this brave feline was certainly claw deep.

  • Spreading Kindness Beyond Newtown

    Members of the Ben’s Bells Newtown (BBN) team visited Pequenakonck Elementary School in North Salem, N.Y., recently.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Instead of the usual NBC “Bugler’s Dream” trumpet blast that has been greeting my ears during the 2014 broadcasts of the Winter Olympics, I perked up at one point when I recognized the Connecticut-produced “Nothing More” song. “Nothing More” was composed by Tim Warren of the band Alternate Routes, to support Newtown Kindness, an organization founded by the family of Charlotte Bacon, who died 12/14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

  • 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

    I’m happy to hand out my first Good Egg Award of the year. Beginning in early December, at the Sandy Hook Tree Lighting, the Foundry Kitchen and Tavern in Sandy Hook Center began handing out customized baseball caps in return for donations to support the Newtown Fund Holiday Basket program. This program uses 100 percent of the proceeds to support Newtown families in need, throughout the entire year, with food and fuel assistance, utility bills, rent, and medical expenses.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Does Newtown have the most polite drivers? We’ll soon find out. NHS Principal Charles Dumais announced this week that the high school will be running a “traffic experiment” the mornings of November 25, November 26, and November 27. The school has coordinated the experiment with the Newtown Police Department, Newtown High School Security, and All-Star Transportation, according to Mr Dumais. During those mornings there will be NO traffic control officer in place.