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The Top Of The Mountain

Published: February 17, 2017

The Newtown Bee

New Englanders know that if they don’t like the weather, they should just wait a minute. That seems never more true than the past ten days when we saw rain, ice, springlike 60 degree temperatures — and a foot of snow the next day. This was followed by a few more inches of the white stuff on Sunday, topped off with a glistening mantle of freezing rain. Looks like that groundhog did some good predicting the beginning of the month.

On a recent early dismissal from a snow day, Kate Magness, a teacher with the Project Challenge program at Middle Gate Elementary School, offered to clear a car for a fellow teacher, who was not feeling well. When Ms Magness went outside though, she found a mother and second grade student already clearing the car as a random act of kindness. The mother said she was teaching her child what it is like to perform an act of kindness when expecting nothing in return. Ms Magness joined the effort. The mother, second grade student, and Ms Magness are all Good Eggs, says the teacher who was feeling ill. I agree, wholeheartedly.

Longtime Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps member Harold Evans was recognized during an event at NVAC’s headquarters on February 8. An EMT, Harold has given 35 years of service to the town’s volunteer ambulance corps, but will be moving out of the area soon. Fellow NVAC member Kris Peterson said that working with her fellow volunteer had always been a pleasure. He has been “ever calm, sequential in his steps, always reassuring to those he assisted,” she said.

I hear Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, has been traveling on a five-state media tour. Last Friday, February 10, she landed in Arkansas and found almost as much snow as Newtown had received with Winter Storm Niko. Good luck with the rest of your travels, Nicole.

Congratulations and bon voyage to Kelley Sullivan, a graduate of NHS, Marist College in New York, and Illinois State University, who finished a stint with USA Rugby in Colorado this past Friday, as the training and education manager — and is off to play for the Waverley Rugby Club in Bondi, Australia. Kelley has been playing rugby since an undergrad at Marist; an ACL tear her senior year there pushed her into pursuing the sport from the research end of things and ultimately her position with USA Rugby. Good luck to Kelley as she returns to the field with her new “maties.”

If love is still in the air, but your pockets seem to have no loose change, maybe it’s because Valentine’s Day can be costly. According to the National Retail Federation, the average cost to prove your love on Valentine’s Day was expected to be around $140 per person this year.

Take a break and enjoy some art. The SCAN “Color In Winter Art Show & Sale” can be viewed at the Newtown Municipal Center, Fairfield Hills, through the end of March, Monday through Friday. The annual exhibition features original works by SCAN members, and is worth a gander, whether you plan to purchase a piece or not.

Two Newtown artists received top honors recently during the opening reception of Washington Art Association’s 2017 Members Show. Congratulations to Anne Marie Foran, whose painting “Cascade” was named first place winner in the Paintings division of this year’s exhibition. Fellow resident Roberta Shea picked up second place, in the same category, for her work, “Winter at Low Down.” Ferguson ~ Sherr ~ Rea Awards were presented to first, second and third placements, and honorable mentions were additionally named, in Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Works on Paper during the reception on February 4. The annual show is on view at WAA’s gallery, within Bryan Memorial Plaza in Washington Depot on Route 47. The gallery can be visited Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; and Sundays, noon to 4 pm. Call 860-868-2878 or visit for additional information.

I’ve been nibbling nutritional yeast on my Fancy Feast for years, but now I see that Bon Appetit magazine, a most trusted source in the food world for many years, predicts that the cheeselike sprinkle is going to be a trend food in 2017. We’ll see about that — as well as the prediction of the return of the classic pizza place, an expanded line of all kinds of yogurts, and a rise in popularity of Amaro, an Italian digestif. What’s not hot? Bon Appetit has some thoughts on that, too. Goodbye, avocado toast; farewell smoothie bowls; and octopus can hang on to its tentacles. (I breathe a sigh of relief for the octopus, especially. Along with dolphins and pigs, they are particularly intelligent. Even more so than cats, I hear…)

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is seeking donations to provide teddy bears to law enforcement officers to share with children after a crash. The teddy bears can provide a cuddle during a stressful situation. MADD will be gathering donations all month for the bears, and then distribute the bears to law enforcement departments across the country. $35 provides one teddy bear to a child in need. Visit to find out how you can help.

Make way, American Girl dolls, for Logan Everett, the first male doll to join the series of 18-inch female dolls that have captured the hearts of young girls and boys for decades. The boy doll was added to the lineup of characters from different historical eras, each with its own book, in response to requests from parents and children.

Rumor has it… no, really. Rumor, a German shepherd, was named Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this week. She is named for singer Adele’s song “Rumor Has It,” according to CNN, and is the 39th female dog to win the top prize at this show. Rumor Has It V Kenlyn also took top honors for Best Herding.

If you find yourself standing sadly outside of the C.H. Booth Library on Friday, wondering where everyone is, it’s because the library is closed for staff training. You’ll want to pick up some extra reading material over the weekend, too, as the library takes a day off on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20.

Now that winter has settled in, you may be seeking some way to keep young folks occupied. Don’t forget to check the Parks & Rec winter schedule, where you’ll find a number of late winter/early spring offerings, like the Drawing Mixed Media course. This class runs March 8 through April 19, on Wednesdays, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm for ages 5 to 8, and 5:30 to 6:30 pm for ages 9 to 13. The $96 fee includes all materials. To find out more or to register, visit parks & rec at the town website, or call 203-270-4340.

Is poetry your favored form of art? You’ll be pleased to know that the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission “Risk-A-Verse” event is returning to the Newtown Meeting House, Sunday, April 23, at 2 pm. Here’s a chance for you to read your favorite poem to friends and neighbors. Check out Risk A Verse-Newtown on Facebook to find out how you can be a part of this ode to poetry. “The fog comes on little cat feet. / It sits looking over harbor and city / on silent haunches / and then moves on.” Thank you, Carl Sandburg.

I’ll not be sitting on my haunches as we move through the next week. Be sure to… Read me again.

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