Shane Vereen remembers hearing about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He wears a green and white wristband inscribed with Angels of Sandy Hook on his right wrist, a daily reminder of a cold morning Friday in December 2012 when Sandy Hook suddenly became known around world. Within days of the shootings, rubber wristbands designed by Sandy Hook resident Kris Schwartz began appearing in Newtown. As days and then weeks passed, the bracelets began showing up everywhere, even across the country. Last weekend when Vereen and the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX, one of those bracelets was spotted on the running back's wrist. A gift from someone shortly after 12/14, Vereen says he hasn't taken it off since he received it.
“Take a minute to watch something special," wrote Newtown Forest Association President Robert Eckenrode, referring to a video submitted to him by “two young aspiring artists.” Two residents and photo and videographers created a film depicting the natural beauty they experienced at the Holcombe Hill property owned by the Newtown Forest Association, and sent it to Mr Eckenrode.
The newest version of "Annie," released in December, opened this week at Edmond Town Hall Theatre. The film continues daily through Sunday, February 8. On Saturday and Sunday, February 7-8, all screenings of the family friendly musical are being offered free of charge. Ingersoll Auto of Danbury has announced it will sponsor all seven screenings planned for the two days. "Annie" (2014) features Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale and Cameron Diaz.
Greeting guests as they enter the Matthew Curtiss House museum on Main Street, junior docent Mairin Hayes appears at the door as an authentically dressed Colonial girl. She welcomes guests to her 1750s world perfectly preserved inside the circa 1750 saltbox home. Newtown's Historical Society opens its doors to the public throughout the year, and relies on docents to run tours, history camps, and open houses. Docents perform a critical role for the historical society, creating opportunities for the community to engage with living history.” Junior docents, according to Interim Head Docent Amy Fallas-Kerr, “are some of the society’s most enthusiastic volunteers. It’s incredibly rewarding to see them volunteer with the society throughout the years and witness the lasting impact that this program has for our local students. We hope to instill a lifelong love of history.”
Supermarket shelves swept clear of basic food items. Schools and businesses closed. Travel banned. It is the Storm of the Century — and it happens at least once each winter season. Modern technology keeps the public informed about every nuance in the weather. If a storm is in the making, there is a rush to stockpile necessities and a flurry of cancellations and postponements. When Snowpocalypse does strike, warnings keep us one step ahead of big and small disasters. Then we complain about the inconveniences of working from home, lapses in electricity, rescheduled appointments, truncated train schedules, or having to watch movies from our cozy couches and sip hot chocolate while the cold winds swirl around us. What did our predecessors do, though, when winter dumped feet of snow onto the land?
The Newtown Torpedoes youth swim program, sponsored by Newtown Parks & Recreation, held its second annual Swim-A-Thon at Newtown High School on January 31. Dozens of swimmers in three age groups – 8 and unders, 9-10-year-olds, and 11 and overs – combined to complete consecutive laps during the four-hour event at the Newtown High School pool. Swimmers are raising money through donations and pledges for the Newtown Scholarship Association to support The Daniel Barden Newtown Torpedo Scholarship, as well as go toward present and future needs of the team. Student volunteers helped set up the lanes and track laps completed by the Torpedoes swimmers while cheering them on. Among those on hand to donate their time were Newtown High swimmers who came up through the Torpedoes program. “It’s a good program and we wanted to help out because we started with the Torpedoes,” said Newtown High senior Eliza Eggleston.
“The North Wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, and what will poor robin do then?” If he is lucky, he will visit a clean and well-stocked bird feeder. We are quick to hustle off to the grocery store when winter storms threaten. But what about the many songbirds that do not have such a handy source of food available, just when it is most needed? Bird feeders can provide that source of energy for Connecticut's birds that overwinter, and offer natural entertainment for the humans perched inside, watching the birds perched outside.