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The Top Of The Mountain

Published: May 19, 2017

The Newtown Bee

The entries are starting to arrive at our office for the Protect Our Pollinators contest. In case you need a reminder, Protect Our Pollinators (POP) invites artists to design a 11-by-14-inch poster depicting a favorite pollinator — a bee, a butterfly, a hummingbird, etc. Draw, paint, write a poem, make a collage, take a photo, or write a song. Entries will be displayed at the Municipal Building at Fairfield Hills during June. Finished posters can be dropped off at The Newtown Bee office, 5 Church Hill Road, during regular office hours (Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm), before Wednesday, June 1. Put name, age, phone number, and e-mail address on the back of the poster. All entries will be eligible for a prize, so get those crayons/paints/pastels/pens going.

Andrea Santella noticed two coyotes browsing her Yearling Lane backyard last Wednesday, a little too close for comfort. It’s a reminder to us all that there are plenty of wild creatures in our town, sharing our woods — and on the look out for easy pickings. Keep small pets safe by checking surroundings before putting them outside, and don’t let them overnight outside of the home. Chickens? Make sure that fencing is secure!

Looks like Ohio resident Bob Votruba was back in town with the Million Acts of Kindness bus this weekend. We spotted his bus (hey, was Bogart, Bob’s terrier, there,too?) outside of Caraluzzi’s Market on Queen Street. Bob started his “kindness mission” back in April 2007 after the Virginia Tech shooting, and now visits schools, colleges, businesses, churches and more across the nation to spread his message of kindness and positivity.

Braving last weekend’s gloomy weather, members of the Newtown Lions Club installed the 30 American flags along Main Street to show their patriotic pride in their community, for the eighth year. The flags on Main Street, which will be flying until September, are a tradition begun by Lion Paul Arneth. You may have spotted Lions Tom Evagash, Steve Bennett, Ray Keegan, Doug Body, and Kevin Corey hard at work putting the flags up this year. They’re not done, though — on May 20, feel free to gather at the flag pole at 8 am, when the Lions Club, with the help of the fire company, will replace the winter flag with a brand-new large summer flag.

“The couple in the photo are my grandparents!” That’s the exclamation explanation we received this week from New York City resident Deborah (Chernoff) LaPorte. Deborah saw the mystery wedding couple in the May 5 “Way We Were” column, and immediately recognized the young couple from years gone by. The wedding portrait is of her grandparents, Ann (Busker) and Milton Chernoff. “They used to boast that they were the first couple to get married at the Edmond Town Hall (or maybe to have their reception there in the Alexandria room). Their wedding date was October 12, but I don’t know the year — I suspect in the early 1930s,” Deborah tells us. “They built and ran the gas station on South Main Street in Newtown in the Huntington district, by the Middle Gate School, which still remains. Back then it was a Mobil station and a package store.” Thank you, Deborah, for solving this photo mystery.

It looks like Melanie Bots White of Sandy Hook won’t be doing any household chores that require the use of her ladder, in the near future. A little birdie has decided the top step is just the right place for a nest.

All Aboard! The Newtown Train Mural Project is seeking volunteers to help paint, this Saturday, May 20, at 9 am. Artist Virginia Zimmerman will oversee the mural for the Church Hill Road train trestle, and lots of help is welcome for this big project. Dress for painting, and in case of rain, check Instagram welcometrain5471, or contact Virginia at

Hazardous Household Waste Day is this Saturday, from 9 am to 2 pm. Bring your paints, polishes, chemicals, fluorescent bulbs and more to the Turkey Hill Road highway garage and safely dispose of these items. A complete list of what to bring — and what not to — can be found at, under Government, Public Works.

A local book club group took a field trip to the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden in Bethlehem, after reading  The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. A prominent character in the novel is Caroline Ferriday. The tour was very interesting, we hear, and beautiful, with gardens coming alive and lilacs in bloom. The wife of the horticultural specialist working there is in charge of the formal garden, keeping it authentic. According to the docent leading the book club tour, Marj (mentioned in the acknowledgements of the book), since The Lilac Girls became popular, attendance at the house has tripled. Sure enough, two more groups of 12 arrived just after our Newtown readers.

You won’t find this in our Police Reports, but it is truly a crime: the cupboards are bare at the FAITH Food Pantry at 31 Pecks Lane. Food items and dry goods are desperately needed, and you need go no further than the front door of The Bee at 5 Church Hill Road to drop off your donations. A collection box is placed handily as you enter the lobby, and will be there through Friday, June 2. The office is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. You’ll find an additional box located in The Village Perk on Glen Road in Sandy Hook Center, or bring donations directly to FAITH Tuesday mornings between 10 am and noon, or Thursday evenings between 6 and 7:30 pm. Complete pancake mix and syrup; bottled juices; jelly; rice; peanut butter; canned chicken, soup, or chili; laundry detergent; shampoo; and toothpaste are among the donations that would be most welcome. For a complete list of most needed items, click on the ad on the homepage of

VFW volunteers will be sprucing up the graves of Newtown’s fallen soldiers, as Memorial Day approaches. Every year, the VFW provides new flags for each soldier’s grave in each of Newtown’s cemeteries. Then mark your calendar for the Memorial Day ceremony at the VFW property on Freedom Defender’s Way, Monday, May 29, at 11 am.

It’s not too soon to lick your lips in anticipation of the Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company’s Lobsterfest, scheduled this year for Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10. Keep an eye open for upcoming details… hint: it involves lobster.

Here’s another hint: You don’t want to miss out on the behind the scenes news, so be sure next week to… Read me again.

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