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The Top of the Mountain

Published: August 19, 2016

The Newtown Bee

The tickets are going fast, but if you act now, you can probably get one to the Third Annual Newtown Forest Association Sunset Wine Tasting. This popular event takes place on Saturday, September 10, this year. From the top of Holcomb Hill, 65 Great Hill Road, you will enjoy not only a beautiful view, but sample a variety of wines and delicious food. Proceeds go to support the NFA, which works to preserve open space in Newtown. Tickets are sold only online at
We said farewell to our summer intern, Maddie Peck, last week. I hope you enjoyed meeting her at various events around town these past two-and-a-half months, and reading her articles. We certainly enjoyed having her in the office, and foresee a wonderful career in journalism for Maddie. Best of luck to her as she returns to her studies at Ohio University.
That familiar, beautiful, confident, smiling face sitting across the desk from Greta Van Susteren last Thursday night was none other than Newtown native — and former Newtown Bee intern — Sarah Ferris! Sarah was featured on a segment of “On The Record” with Greta Van Susteren after an article she had written caught the eye of Van Susteren and her producers. That article, “Next president faces possible ObamaCare meltdown,” had been published Thursday morning at, for which Sarah is the health care reporter. She was invited to speak with Van Susteren that same evening, and spent 3½ minutes discussing the state of the Affordable Care Act, or what most people refer to as Obamacare. Sarah was poised, well informed, and had a fair and balanced response for each question. We could not be more proud of one of our latest hometown heroes.
I was saddened to hear that members of the Lutheran Christian Charities Comfort Dog program, the same group that sent six comfort dogs from the Midwest program to our community post-12/14, were injured in the Saturday, August 13, shooting in Joplin, Mo. Four handlers and two dogs, Jackson and Louie, were injured. According to the LCC website, one handler “received multiple gunshot wounds…” and another was shot in the arm. Two other handlers were injured. Jackson was struck by a bullet in the ear flap, and Louie underwent surgery to remove a slug to the neck. All are recovering — and additional LCC staff and dogs Chewie and Luther were deployed to bring comfort to the shocked Joplin congregation. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Joplin team, Jackson, and Louie, who have been deployed to nearly every major disaster or crisis since the 2011 Joplin tornado.
Andrew Carey had quite a surprise on Wednesday morning of this week when he looked out on his deck and spotted a fine specimen: a bobcat. I think this pretty kitty was just as surprised as Andrew. The question is, what tempted the wild cat up onto the deck? It hardly seems the usual haunt of a bobcat. If you live in the area of Platts Hill Road, you might want to keep your eyes peeled.
Newtown pottery artist Karen Pinto and Paula Marian of Sherman are scheduled to give a special talk on Friday, August 19, from 6 to 7 pm, at Gallery 25, 25 Church Street in New Milford. The talk will focus on their May 2015 trip to Cuba, Cuban culture, touch on the complicated visa process they underwent, and highlight their visits with painters, potters, dancers, musicians, and farmers. Hear about the Havana Biennial in the ancient fort and free art on the streets of Havana; Cuban food and politics; and old buildings, museums, and cars. There is limited seating on a first-come basis.
Two fire companies have excitement this weekend. Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue welcomes the public to the newly renovated substation at 249 Berkshire Road (Route 34) for an open house. Stop by between 11 am and 2 pm this Saturday, August 20, or make a point of being there for the formal dedication at noon.
Then kick up your heels at the Botsford Fire & Rescue Summer Bash Fundraiser, from 4 to 8 pm, at the firehouse, 315 South Main Street. A $10 entry fee supports the fire company, and you can enjoy music by Midnight Rodeo from 6 pm on. Grilled foods and drinks will be available for purchase, so prepare to have fun.
Here’s something to look forward to — the Hook & Ladder Fire Co. Firehouse Ride, coming September 24. The 50-mile motorcycle ride concludes with a barbecue, music, and tours of the new firehouse on Church Hill Road, so mark your calendar and look for more information in upcoming issues of The Bee.
I see that Stanford University archeologists believe they have dug up a 5,000-year-old brewery in the Shaanxi province of China. Beer-making equipment and pots with ancient beer residue were among the finds. Talk about craft beer… yes, let’s talk about craft beer. Take a look at this week’s article on local beers, elsewhere in this edition, and we’ll have lots to talk about.
You have to do some traveling for this event, but if you would like to hear a reading by Newtown author and blogger (Poor Man’s Feast) Elissa Altman, make plans to be in Rockport, Maine, Saturday, September 3. Elissa will read from her soon-to-be-published book Treyf, My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw. She will also be signing copies of her book, Poor Man’s Feast, at Nina June Restaurant, 24 Central Street, in Rockport, following the reading (4 to 5 pm). You can place an order for Treyf, as well. Maine is awfully nice in late summer…
Keep an eye on the website for up-to-the-minute additions to the eateries taking part in this year’s Restaurant Week, September 26 to October 2. You’ll find participating restaurants, their menus, and details on the weeklong foodies extravaganza. Now, there’s a good reason to eat out every evening, if I ever heard one.
Take some time to appreciate the skills of Newtown’s senior citizens. On display through August 27 in the meeting room of the C.H. Booth Library are examples from pottery classes, art classes, knitting, and other crafts — all created by members of the Newtown Senior Center on Riverside Road.
Take some time, too, to appreciate this column, is my humble request; be sure to… Read me again.

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