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The Top Of The Mountain

Published: October 20, 2017

The Newtown Bee

How very exciting it must have been for Micheline Baker to see the November/December 2017 issue of Litchfield magazine, which features her three beautiful dogs on the cover. Thatcher, Truman The Third, and Nixon The Second were photographed by Suzan Hurtuk, of Pawtown Dog Walking, the photo was submitted for the magazine’s Dog Contest, and it was that photo that editors of the magazine selected for the new issue. In addition, a photo of Thatcher swimming in the pool of the Baker home, taken by Bryan Pagels, also of Pawtown, is included inside the magazine’s new issue.

While I’m excited from reading this week’s story in the Education section about all of the work the students have been doing to prepare for the November fall drama production, I heard some more “drama” this week. The school has announced its spring musical production will be Les Misérables. I can practically hear the people singing now… in a newly renovated NHS auditorium, I hope.

There was a little case of disappearing political signs last week, but you’ll be glad to know it was not due to any spitefulness on the parts of either party or the candidates. Will Rodgers tells me that he posted his signs for first selectman around town on October 7, and then a campaign team member was notified by a neighbor that DOT was removing some signs “and actually challenged them about it because, at that particular time, only Republican signs were in the back of the truck.” Subsequently, Will found that some of Dan Rosenthal’s signs were also added to the heap. “I am imagining their placement was too close to the road by some measurement, though I can assure that none posed a safety danger” says Will. Based on the fact that he placed the signs approximately as they had been before the Primary, Will had assumed everything was a-ok. You might notice that the signs have been replaced — at a distance all hope is acceptable to DOT — thanks to Ryan Knapp’s father, who retrieved the signs from a DOT substation. “I personally was mollified to find that apparently there’s no partisan or town bias at play,” says Will.

Find out how candidates for First Selectman approach the various challenges (beyond sign placement) facing Newtown at the Tuesday, October 24, Newtown Bee Candidates’ Forum. The event kicks off with a meet and greet in the lobby of Edmond Town Hall, from 6:30 to 7 pm. Then hear candidates’ responses to questions solicited from the public these past several weeks, from 7 to 8:30 pm in the ETH Theatre. Candidates for the selectman position will also be allotted time to introduce themselves to the public. We look forward to seeing you there; there is a lot to learn before the November 7 election.

Ed Geoghegan had a visitor to his Park Lane backyard last week. It’s that time of year when bears are seeking snacks to tide them over for the winter, so keep an eye out. Several have been spotted around Newtown/Sandy Hook in the past weeks. had a little video announcement that made my whiskers quiver: “Researchers captured first-ever video of sand kittens in the wild. Grégory Breton of the global wild cat conservation group Panthera and his colleagues spotted the three young felines as they drove through the Moroccan Sahara in the dark early morning. They believe the kittens to be six to eight weeks old. Sand cats are hard to spot because their fur blends in with their surroundings and their tracks are barely visible.” All I can say is, if Bee reporter Alissa Silber was on the scene, her cat radar would have gone off and those kittens would be rescued and in happy homes by now…

Can you help make someone’s prom a special night? The Connecticut Alliance of Foster & Adoptive Families will help provide 150 foster and adopted youth statewide with prom attire. The “Avenue of Dreams” Prom Dress, Makeup, Tuxedo and Accessory Drive is now through Friday, March 2, 2018. CAFAF is requesting donation items, including new or gently used prom or bridesmaid dresses, shoes, accessories, tuxedos, suits, ties, and new makeup or body products. Service providers from the hair and makeup and barbering industries to provide makeovers during the event and hair cuts are also needed. “Fairy glam mothers” and “shining knights” to act as mentors during the event are sought. You do have to travel a bit to donate, but if you join up with several friends, maybe donations can be combined for a single trip. Donations can be dropped off at the CAFAF office located at 2189 Silas Deane Highway, Rocky Hill; or by contacting the outreach coordinator and arranging for pick-up. For more information call Catherine Rose, Outreach Coordinator at 860-258-3400 or visit

Stratford Rotary Club is planning an annual fundraiser, and a Newtown group will be one of two to benefit from the event. Rib Night will be held Friday, November 4, from 6 to 10 pm, at Vazzy’s Four Seasons, 337 Kenyon Road in Stratford. Tickets are $45 per person, which covers a dinner of ribs or chicken marinara with salad, potato, coffee, and dessert (cash bar), as well as music and the chance to win goodies through a silent auction and a raffle. Proceeds from this year’s event will be split between Hearts of Hope — which has a well established chapter in Sandy Hook — and The Global Clean Water Project/Kenya. Reservations are suggested and can be done by contacting Jeff Krause at 203-615-2338.

Everybody has a story, and The Bee loves to introduce residents of Newtown/Sandy Hook to our readers. Do you know someone who would like to take part in our Snapshot column, the weekly personal profile of a resident? If you have a suggestion, please let know, or call Alissa at 203-426-3141, with that person’s contact information. (It’s nice if you give a heads up, if you are submitting his/her name!)

An e-mail from D.J. Kingsley tells us that the recent “Way We Were” picture of the softball players “is from around 1990. The batter is Andy Schpunt, behind him from left to right are Dave Kingsley, Jack Matern, Rick Matern, sitting on the bleachers are Gary Andrews, I think George Matern and our illustrious leader, Tony DiCarlo. I believe the young man standing is George’s son. We were the team to beat in those years. Almost always defending champs.” Thanks for the history update!

If thrill rides are your thing, hurry over to Fairfield Hills this Saturday and Sunday when Parks & Rec presents a Fall Carnival with amusement rides and lots of food and fun activities. The carnival runs from 1 to 10 pm on Saturday, and from 1 to 5 pm on Sunday. Big kids and little kids are welcome, but please leave pets at home. All-day wristbands can be purchased for $25; cash only please.

Right after you and your dressy pooch finish up with the P&R Howl-O-Ween Party at the Park & Bark on Saturday, October 28, (11 am to 1 pm) you might want to get involved in a Food Fight. Ergo Chef, LLC and Newtown’s Chef Plum present “Food Fight — Octember to Dismember,” A Halloween-themed event to benefit The Exceptional Sidekick. The Exceptional Sidekick is the Newtown organization that provides trained psychiatric service dogs to children and adults, at no cost. According to information I received, this culinary competition “will have a real ‘Fight Club’ feel. Award-winning Chef John Brennan from Elm City Social & Olives and Oil in New Haven takes on Food Network veteran Chef Carol Koty from Brookdale Wilton. They will go head to head in a secret ingredient culinary battle in front of a live crowd…” The “food fighters” won’t see their secret ingredient until two minutes before the Food Fight gets underway. And you can win a raffle for a seat at the judges table. Go to for tickets ($50). The fun begins at 9 pm.

The fun begins anew for me each and every week. Be sure to… Read me again.

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