May 3 will bring good news for dog lovers. On that day at 11 am, Newtown’s off-leash dog park will celebrate its grand opening and ribbon cutting at the recently constructed facility on Old Farm Road below the Second Company Governor’s Horse facility. The park will not be open to the public until then. Based on the feedback she has heard from the public, Assistant Director of Recreation RoseAnn Reggiano said, “People can’t wait. Cannot wait.” The park, construction of which began in mid-2013, includes benches, a fountain, water features, agility equipment, and more. On Saturday morning guests with dogs should enter the park with their dogs leashed. After a brief ribbon cutting and a few words from town officials, guests can let the dogs go in groups, rather than all at once Ms Reggiano said. The park will be officially open to the public at that time.
Gary Fillion motored away from his dock and cut across Lake Zoar, taking his Beagle for her daily ride on Friday, April 25.
She may like to watch the waves, but Mr Fillion, who serves as Lake Zoar Authority (LZA) vice chairman, was out on business. Heading upriver toward the Glen Road bridge (referred to locally as “The Silver Bridge”) that connects Sandy Hook and Southbury, a white buoy appeared in the water closer to the Newtown shore. The white pillar — jutting up about two feet from the water’s surface — is one of 13 placed in areas where there are obstructions in the water that could pose danger to unsuspecting boaters.
It was 1997 when Newtown Bee reporter and web designer Andrea Zimmermann and then-managing editor, now editor, Curtiss Clark decided to mentor a new generation of reporters. None of the “interns” were yet enrolled in journalism school. As a matter of fact, some of the new writers were not yet enrolled in first grade. “Kids! Write Book Reviews For The Newtown Bee!” announced the initiative on the Just For Kids page. “Book reviews written by you and your friends will appear every week in the newspaper and on The Newtown Bee Internet pages,” the young Hemingways were told. More than three dozen boys and girls from Newtown, and even one young lady from Idaho, accepted the offer. The Newtown Bee wondered recently whether the experience had an impact on their lives.
Reverend Jim Solomon’s mother Amanda Tamer Solomon “is an awesome woman,” and she has Alzheimer’s, he said. Handling her illness has been hard. With his daughters’ encouragement, Mr Solomon recently wrote about his experience in caring for her. “Although it was difficult to share, I hoped it would bring comfort and even hope, along with some laughter — which is always good medicine — to others in similar circumstances,” said Mr Solomon, who lives with his family in Newtown and serves as the senior pastor for New Hope Community Church. He has for years “felt that oftentimes our most effective service/ministry to others comes out of our deepest wounds, as God never wastes a hurt.”
Pressing her trowel into sun-baked soil, Victory Garden volunteer Barbara Toomey started this season’s preparations for her row in the community garden. Pulling at weeds and leftover plant husks and removing old plant supports, she glanced up as several other volunteers arrived Monday afternoon: “It’s our first time together [this season], I guess we’ll clean up,” adding, “we’ll need fresh mulch between the rows.” Located within the Fairfield Hills campus near the Mile Hill South entrance, the community garden that provides fresh food for FAITH Food Pantry is entering its fourth season.
Flags honoring American lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan wars currently cover the front lawn of Newtown Congregational Church. Volunteers spent a few hours on Friday, April 25 putting more than 6,800 small flags -- each one representing an American soldier killed in those locations -- into precise rows, creating a breathtaking, solemn display that will remain on view for a few weeks.
Florence Foster Jenkins was a real person, a very rich, very deluded daughter of a wealthy Pittsburgh physician, who settled in New York and proceeded to launch her own career as a soprano soloist, despite the fact that she could not sing. By the time of her death in 1944, Florence had gained great fame because of a unique combination of qualities: She had an absolutely dreadful voice, an unshakable conviction that she was a uniquely gifted singer whom audiences loved, and enough inherited money to finance her concert career, buoyed by the happy misapprehension that the crowds who flocked to hear her did so out of genuine appreciation of her talent. To see Stephen Temperley’s "Souvenir" — which continues only through April 27 at Westport Community Theatre — is like attending one of Florence’s actual concerts. It's worth it, says Newtown Bee Theater Reviewer Julie Stern.