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The Top Of The Mountain

Published: September 8, 2017

The Newtown Bee

The parade was something else this year, with gorgeous weather bringing out the crowds. But the accident involving the Shriners mini motor car at the corner of Glover Avenue and Main Street could have been quite nasty if the driver had not opted to sacrifice himself by a sharp turn and flip over. It might be a good idea if future paradegoers opt to not set up across Main Street, where out-of-control parade vehicles could end up. Not all of them may be able to veer away easily from pedestrians — and it does block emergency vehicle access. Just a thought…

Republican candidate for first selectman Will Rodgers shares a “Nicer in Newtown” moment with us from the parade: “I was walking back to my car up at the beginning and lo and behold fell into step with Dan Rosenthal [Democratic candidate for first selectman]. We, of course, have known each other forever and just had this nice talk, first about politics, then his daughter visiting colleges, etc. All this time we were walking up the sidewalk from flagpole to his dad’s house and people saw us. What was neat was many gave a double-take that we were together, but most smiled like they liked seeing opponents socializing and expected it — nobody except one party stalwart was shocked by it. Was a nice cap to the parade.”

With a little help from others, artist Virginia Zimmermann was able to complete the mural on the Church Hill Road underpass this past weekend. It’s quite the effort when you find out that Virginia broke her right arm in three places in July. “The arm is healing but I’m unable to paint with it, so I painted left handed,” she tells us. “My family and friends knew how very much the mural meant to me, so they pitched in and helped me finish.” And what a finish it is! Thank you from the whole community, I think I can say, for beautifying this entrance into the center of town.

Great need for help is still the word for the mid-Gulf region of Texas, recovering from Hurricane Harvey. John Celli and his wife of are raising funds to support victims of Hurricane Harvey. “We are selling T-shirts through our company website and are donating all profits to the Red Cross,” said Mr Celli in an e-mail to The Newtown Bee. According to Mr Celli, in a collaboration with the family of Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School who died 12/14, the T-shirts are imprinted with her quote, “Be nice to each other. It’s really all that matters.” Each T-shirt is $15. To order, go to

It turns out that the painted rocks left mysteriously out front of The Bee office a couple weeks back were not from Shelton artist Craig Smith. It was totally coincidental that they appeared right after Mr Smith’s visit to our office. So who did leave them? Members of Newtown CT Rocks, who hand paint and distribute artistically rendered rocks, are responsible. According to member Lois Barber, it was Sue Corey who painted The Bee gifts, along with residents of Nunnawauk Meadows. The question now is, where did the rocks go? As of Wednesday, they no longer graced the front garden of the office…

Lois also reminds me that all of the donations for the Beautiful Baby contest this year (which she organizes) went to two Marines from Connecticut, to help them build homes.

The public is invited to enjoy one of the final days of summer at a free concert on Sunday, September 10, at Dickinson Park, 50 Elm Drive. Erica Howard will be performing at 2:30 that afternoon. Ms Howard, from the band On The Rocks, will be performing “non hard rock sounds.” The concert is sponsored by the One Community effort between Parks & Rec and Friends Of Newtown Seniors. Attendees should bring their own chairs and light refreshments.

International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) reminds us that September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Fido and Fluffy can’t tell you when or where they hurt, so it’s up to you to be the detective when pets seem under the weather. Contact your vet if you suspect any of these signs indicate pain going on, advises IVAPM: Your formerly voracious dog isn’t finishing his dinner; your cat stops jumping up on his/her favorite spot on the back of the couch; changes in the pet’s gait; pets that don’t want to run any more — even when you offer them food, toys, or encouragement; licking, biting, or staring at a spot on their bodies; cats who disappear — when cats don’t feel well, they tend to hide; or formerly affectionate pets no longer want to be petted, or wince when touched. Make September and every month “ouch-free” by staying alert to your pet’s body language.

I hear that an Ashford Lane family kept a mouse family “ouch free” this past week. When firing up the grill for a cookout, Mama Mouse rushed out from the grill, which had been unused for a couple of weeks, carrying a tiny baby. The grill was immediately turned off, and a quick peek showed that Mama had set up housekeeping in it. So the nest and squeaking occupants were gently removed, and placed on the ground, where Mama found them and moved the family to a new — and hopefully less dangerous — home. Quite the start to an evening, I’d say!

This week we have a Good Egg Award to give out to the gentleman who last Wednesday afternoon looked like he was rushing around an elderly couple to get into the Bank of America ahead of them. In fact, he was hurrying to open the door for Barb and Tom Gates as they entered the Queen Street bank. For this random act of kindness and courtesy, whoever you are, you are a Good Egg!

We’ve got the Arts Festival up at Fairfield Hills and the Health Fair at Reed Intermediate School on the way the weekend of September 16. Residents should come to the Reed Intermediate School cafetorium on September 16, between 9 am and 1 pm, for the free Health Fair event. Head over to Fairfield Hills on Friday evening, September 15, for the Arts Festival opening event — Sawyer Fredericks in concert. This is followed by two days of arts, crafts, food, music, and more on the FFH grounds. Check out information in this week’s Health and Enjoy sections, or online at calendar.

Make time on Sunday, September 17, for the Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company community craft & flea market event, from 9 am to 3 pm, at the 34 Hawleyville Road firehouse. Along with lots of vendors selling crafts and treasures from the attic, there will be a fire truck demo for kids, and food and drink for sale. Supporting this fundraiser is a win for the fire company and the participants. You can still reserve a space if you have wares to sell — call Terry at 203-426-5301 or Madeline at 203-730-6377.

“Kiss the Moon,” a painting by Newtown summer resident and artist Susan McLaughlin, was selected from among 800 entries to be in Manhattan Arts International’s fall online group exhibition, “The Healing Power of Art.” The theme of the exhibition is “Inspiring The Positive: Art that serves as a catalyst for healing and raises awareness for positive change.” View Susan’s piece and others at

We do not forget that this coming Monday, September 11, marks a day of remembrance for our country. Take a moment to honor the lives of those killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

There is always news to be found, and I’ll be seeking it out. Promise that next week, you’ll… Read me again.

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