Although he was not the first President to have a bathtub in The White House, many people are aware that the 300-plus pound William Howard Taft was the first who needed to be extricated from the tub. What else do you know about Presidential firsts and unusual facts? On Monday, February 10, at 7:30 pm, at Newtown Meeting House, Newtown Historical Society will host a program called “The President Did What?!” The program is being held at the meeting house, 31 Main Street, due to the continuing restoration of C.H. Booth Library, where the historical society usually meets. Presented by Bob Berthelson, guests will have the chance to test their knowledge of all things Presidential.
An opportunity to see a working home solar panel installation will be offered to Newtown residents on Saturday, February 8, at a Solar Open House. The event will take place from 1 to 3 pm at a private residence whose owners recently joined Solarize Newtown, an initiative promoting home solar use. Nearly 20 residences that have gone solar through the town- and state-supported program.
The Genealogy Club of Newtown invites anyone interested in genealogy to join its members for a short road trip this month. Due to the temporary closing of Newtown’s town library, the club has been invited by Ridgefield Recreation Center to hold their meeting at that location instead. Newtown Genealogy Club will meet on Sunday, February 16, at 1:30 pm. The guest speaker this month is Marian Wood, a member of the Newtown club, who will speak on “Local Genealogy Via Long Distance.”
The Sandy Ground Project was established by the New Jersey Fireman’s Benevolent Association last year. Its mission is to build 26 playgrounds along the coast of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut in towns hit by Hurricane Sandy. Each playground honors and and provides a lasting memory of the 26 children and teachers who lost their lives on December 14, 2012. Milford will be the location of one of those playgrounds, to be built in memory of James Mattioli. James was a 6-year old who was among the children killed on 12/14. His playground is scheduled to be built on March 15, with a ribbon cutting planned for March 22. That same morning, a 5K run/walk and kids fun run/obstacle course will be help to help cover the costs of the Milford playground.
Copies of this photo, “Newtown Landmarks,” by resident and photography Linda Lubinsky, is being sold to benefit the CH Booth Library’s restoration fund. The matted color photo (8 by 10-inch photo, matted to 11 by 14 inches) is available at Everything Newtown for $35, cash or check. All proceeds will go to the library and its restoration efforts following flooding that occurred in January.
The 14th Annual Southern Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair will be Saturday, February 8, Newtown High School. The fair is sponsored by the Southern Connecticut Science & Engineering Foundation (SCSEF). Over 500 students and judges are expected to attend from towns including Newtown, Darien, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Redding, Ridgefield, Westport and Woodbridge. NHS science teacher Tim Dejulio is in charge of Newtown-related logistics and a proud champion of 11 students from Newtown who will be participating. The public is welcomed to view the exhibits starting at noon, free of charge. The public is also welcome to the awards ceremony and listen to keynote speaker David Pogue, award-winning journalist, author and TV host, who will speak at 1:30. The event should conclude by 3.
Responding to the needs of the community, HealingNewtown Director Valerie Culbertson has unveiled new schedules as well as a new pricing structure for a number of workshops that had recently been announced. Most workshops are still taking place, with some shifting their timeframe and/or the days they will be presented.
A family ice skating party sponsored by Newtown Parks & Recreation for Friday night has been relocated. Instead of the temporary rink at Fairfield Hills, the February 7 event has been moved to the Dickinson Park pavilion rink. The party which will run from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. DJ Kevin Koschel will provide the music, and there will be a small bonfire. There is no charge, but reservations are requested so that organizers know how much hot chocolate will be needed.
Joining the charitable efforts emanating from Newtown to employ the performing arts as a healing mechanism in the wake of 12/14, The 12.14 Foundation announced this week the selection of platinum-selling country music singer-songwriter Scotty McCreery as its first National Ambassador. He will play an active role in promoting the foundation’s arts programming, supporting its fundraising efforts, and building awareness for the organization’s plans to build a world-class performing arts and education center in Newtown. McCreery will promote the foundation’s mission and fundraising efforts through personal appearances and social media. The 12.14 Foundation’s long-range goal is to build a landmark, multi-purpose performing arts and education center of historical significance in Newtown as a beacon of hope and positive change for use by and to benefit people everywhere. Meanwhile, the foundation provides arts programming in other venues.
Broadway Records has announced the release of From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Sandy Hook on DVD (February 4), as a two-CD set, as two volumes digitally via iTunes (February 7), and on Blu-Ray (February 18). Broadway Records will donate 100% of its profits to support the Newtown-Sandy Hook community via The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation. Beginning February 12, the 2-CD set and DVD will be available for purchase with combined discounts at Newtown/Sandy Hook area retailers, including Caraluzzi’s, The Toy Tree, Wishing Well, Down on Main Street, Queen Street Gifts & Treats, and Everything Newtown. The Blu-Ray will be available for purchase by February 24. The CD, DVD and Blu-Ray can also be purchased on Amazon.com. Additional retailers within Fairfield County are expected to join going forward.