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Ben's Bells

  • 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.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    You may have seen our own Newtown personal chef Kristopher Plummer (widely known as Chef Plum) on episodes of Chopped or The Taste, or maybe you’ve run into him doing the family shopping at Caraluzzi’s. If not, be sure to tune in to the Food Network this Sunday evening, at 8 pm, when Chef Plum competes against three other chefs in Guy’s Grocery Games. Chef Plum tells me the show, hosted by Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives fame, is a the old Supermarket Sweep meets Chopped. How does our local cooking personality fare?

  • Ben’s Bells Event Held At Hawley

    Volunteers from Ben’s Bells Newtown visited Hawley Elementary School for a Friday, October 18, evening event to create the ceramic and bell creations that are randomly distributed works of art.

    Hawley School students and family members gathered in the school’s gymnasium for the event, and according to Hawley Principal Jo-Ann Peters, roughly 150 people signed up to participate.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    I craned my neck as best I could, trying to see through the cloud cover during Monday’s Labor Day Parade, but I did not see a single vintage airplane or B-17 flying overhead. Parade Committee President Beth Caldwell cleared up the mystery for me, saying that last minute paperwork due to increased security could not be filed in time to schedule the planes this year, after all. Fortunately, there were plenty of wonderful distractions at ground level to alleviate any brief disappointment over the unexpected cancellation.