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The Top Of The Mountain

Published: March 17, 2017

The Newtown Bee

So much for the lamblike weather that had March turning the old proverb on its head (In like a lion, out like a lamb…). The balmy weather that teased us the first few days of the month are but a fond memory now. This week’s winter storm reminded us that nature will do what she will do — especially in New England. Meanwhile, some hairy lions and fuzzy lambs, created by Middle Gate Elementary School students under the direction of teacher Lola Aldrich, were on view in a hallway at the school last week.

Neighbors who thought they were dreaming early Tuesday morning when they may have heard some unusual animal sounds in Sandy Hook weren’t dreaming. Neither was Erin Siksay, when she and her husband found what she described as “a pack of very spooked creatures” — two horses, a miniature pony, and even a donkey — wandering along Berkshire Road near Great Ring Road around 3 am, shortly before the snow arrived. Fortunately, the animals remained calm while they were corralled toward a nearby farm, the police were summoned, and the errant critters were reunited with their very happy owner (or as happy as they could have been to have been awoken by the police at that hour).

St Patrick’s Day calls for lots of celebration, and lots of stout and beer seems to be a part of that. Make sure that if you get out to celebrate the Irish saint’s day this Friday that you have a designated driver to get you safely from bar to home. Whether driving or not, choose to drink wisely, this day and every day.

Longtime former resident Lorraine Hurley sent us a note (see the Letters Hive, this week) from Colorado, as well as a photo of herself  at a recent viewing of the documentary, Newtown, with Steve Mack, community liaison, Jeremy Nye, operations director, and Carlo Maldonado, creative director for the Independent Film Society of Colorado.

The Board of Trustees of the C.H. Booth Library invites the public to a meet and greet, this Sunday, March 19, for Karen Tatarka. Ms Tatarka took on the duties of library director as of March 1. The reception will take place from 2 to 4 pm, on the main floor of the library, 25 Main Street. Refreshments will be served. I’ll be curling about the legs of patrons there, so I hope to see you, too.

The Resiliency Center of Newtown has a history of auctioning music-related items. The nonprofit organization has benefited from two large-scale auctions in recent years, when multiple items formerly owned by and/or autographed by Lorde, Jack Johnson, Neon Trees, Colbie Caillat, Psy, Bon Jovi, and many others were sold through online auctions to raise funds for the center for healing at 153 South Main Street. This month RCN is earning donations through the raffle of a Gibson Les Paul guitar and hard case that was autographed in 2014 by all of the members of Pearl Jam. Each $10 donated to RCN equals one chance to win that guitar. Visit to see a photo of the guitar and its case, and to enter the drawing, which will end on Friday, March 31. This is not the first time a Pearl Jam item has been used to raise funds for RCN. In January 2014, a limited edition poster from the band’s concert in Hartford on October 25, 2013, was the top lot in the 2nd Annual Music For Newtown Auction, selling for $1,350.

What would be one of the saddest things ever, in my eyes? No Labor Day Parade. At this point, that seems to be the direction we are headed. Longtime anchors of organizing, fundraising, and pulling off the annual end of summer event have retired, and so far, no one has stepped up to take on the many responsibilities. Former committee member and treasurer Dan Cruson tells me that someone to take over as president of the Labor Day Parade Committee is needed, as is a person (or persons) to handle the soliciting of participants and parade lineup. The members of the former committee will be meeting one more time in upcoming weeks, and hope to have the names of others willing to keep this tradition on the march. If you are interested in finding out more, contact Beth Caldwell at 203-994-4849.

Congratulations to Newtown summer resident and artist Susan McLaughlin. During this past month one of her earliest paintings, “Iris Allee,” received both Judge’s Best in Show and the People’s Choice award by popular vote at the Broward Art Guild’s Landscapes exhibit, and her recent painting, “Kiss the Moon,” was selected for The Bonnet House Museum’s “Making New Impressions” juried exhibition. The Broward Art Guild and The Bonnet House are both located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., near her winter home.

Your Healthy Pet, 61 Church Hill Road, continues to be the collection point for the Newtown Board of Realtors’ “Donation Day At The Pound” effort. A donation box for cat and dog items is set up at the pet store, and donations will be accepted through Saturday, March 25. All donated items will go to the Newtown Animal Shelter, and purchases for the shelter receive a ten percent discount. Seems like a purr-fect opportunity to help a good cause.

Are you looking for cocktails and conversation? Join the Friends of Newtown Seniors at McGuire’s Ale House, 130 Mt Pleasant Road, on Wednesday, March 22, from 6 to 8 pm. One cocktail and refreshments are included in the $15 fee for this social event. Reservations are required. Call 203-767-0670.

The Parks & Rec Department reminds us that Fairfield Hills is not a big litter box for dogs. P&R Director Amy Mangold herself, and many others who walk the beautiful grounds, have noticed that the stations with “doggie bags” and trash receptacle are often being ignored. Doggie doo-doo is a no-no; please pick up after your dogs, is the message we pass on. The director also reminds dog walkers that the Animals on Town Property Ordinance No 84, Chapter 113 will be enforced: animals must be on leashes at all times; and owners must remove any solid waste left by pets and dispose of it properly. Also, animals are not allowed on any playing fields. There are fines attached to offenses, if that inspires more to be responsible pet owners. First time offense is $25; second, $50; third or more, $99.

The Newtown Forward Climate Change Subcommittee is hoping to organize a bus to Washington, DC, for a march against climate change. The trip is scheduled for Saturday, April 29. If you’re interested, there is information at

February seemed a lot more like spring than the past few days, but according to the calendar we’ll welcome the new season this coming Monday, March 20. It does make one hopeful that the tenacious little flowers that started sprouting up before the snowstorms will soon make a full appearance.

I’ll be making my appearance, regardless of good or bad weather. Be sure to… Read me again.

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