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The Top Of The Mountain

Published: January 12, 2018

Nancy K. Crevier

I think we’ve gotten the winter’s bitter cold temps out of the way for this year: negative 10 on Sunday morning, in parts of town. That’s darn nippy for this part of the country, especially with any wind chill factored in. We seem to have survived, though, and temperatures began an upward trend this week. Before you know it, we’ll be looking for the Groundhog’s Day pronouncement of springtime.

Bee staff member Lynn Remson took advantage of the snowy day last Thursday and recycled her Christmas tree to be a shelter and feeding station for the birds. The newly repurposed tree featured bird seed ornaments Lynn received as part of a Bee DIY Craft exchange last month, created by colleague Alissa Silber. There are surely some happy creatures in the Remson yard now.

Newtown resident Debi Modzelewski shared a photo of her dogs Zoe and Sophie in the snow. The dogs “made” a snowman (with the help of Debi’s son, Jared)… but now they want the tennis ball eyeballs, Debi tells me.

Like many others, young Grayson Engelke enjoyed last week’s Nor’easter, which brought 12.6 inches of snow to town on January 4. What made that storm particularly special for the Sandy Hook toddler was the fact that he shares an unofficial name with the first snow storm of the year. The Weather Channel dubbed last week’s storm Winter Storm Grayson. Barbara Rafter shared a photo of her son staring out at the snow last week, looking forward to when he would be able to go outside and play in it.

Our hearty congratulations go out to Newtown High School senior Elle Sauli, who was named as Miss Connecticut Teen at the Miss Connecticut Teen USA Competition held on Saturday, January 6, at The Palace Theatre in Stamford. Elle was recently honored at the Board of Education’s meeting on December 19 for creating the “Lunch Love” program, designed as a fundraising program to help feed students who cannot afford lunch in Newtown’s schools. We hope Elle feels nothing but love following her crowning celebration.

The American Red Cross issued an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to help address a winter blood donation shortage. According to the organization, “Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected… Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org, or calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).”

Newtown is killing it in the Connecticut Magazine Readers’ Choice Best Restaurants 2018. Sal e Pepe takes honors in numerous categories, including Overall Excellence, Best Romantic, Best Bartender, and Best Italian. Red Rooster makes the grade in the Best New Restaurant and Best Late-Night Restaurant categories, as well as others. You’ll find Tor and New Wok taking a bow for Best Chinese/Japanese, and Newtown’s Thai Delight listed as first in the Best Thai category. Kolam is up there with the Best of Indian Restaurants. Who is among the Best Delis and the Best Butcher? That would be our Butcher’s Best Country Market. Sandy Hook’s Nouveau Monde Wine Bar is recognized for its Wine Selection, and Cover Two (where you’ll find one of The Bee’s favorite bartenders…) is noted as a Best Sports Bar. Are you surprised to find Ferris Acres Creamery in first place for Best Ice Cream? The Best Coffee shop category has a spot of honor for Cafe Xpresso. Hurray for our town — and just think of all the other great places in town that the magazine’s readers didn’t get a chance to rate. Hurray for our restaurateurs!

If your New Year resolutions included becoming more computer literate, remember that the C.H. Booth Library hosts “Computer Tutor,” Mondays, from 1 to 2:30 pm. One-on-one help will make you more confident in using your computer. Sign up at the third floor reference desk, or make an appointment by calling 203-426-8552 or e-mailing boothref@chboothlibrary.org.

The monthly Free Saturday Movie Night continues on January 13 with a screening of The Man Who Invented Christmas. Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, owned by Newtown resident Todd Ingersoll, will cover the cost of tickets for anyone who wants to enjoyed the 7 pm screening at Edmond Town Hall. Check our calendar listings on page A-2 or the Calendar page on our website for all available showtimes and other details.

His life was relatively brief, but Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s impact on the world was huge. A proponent of nonviolent means to achieve equality for African Americans, Dr King led numerous peace marches and protests, as well as encouraging civil disobedience to raise awareness of the need for change in this country. He is best known for his “I Have A Dream” speech, presented during a March on Washington rally in 1963. Dr King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. in 1968. The first official national holiday recognizing Dr King was observed on the third Monday of January in 1986, three years after President Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Connecticut, however, has observed the King holiday since 1973. This year, the holiday falls on Dr King’s birthday, January 15.

Tis the season… for Girl Scout cookies. Later this month and into February, you should be able to find a cookie booth somewhere around town, bump into a Scout selling cookies — or go online to www.girlscouts.org/digitalcookie. The faithful trio of Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-Si-Dos, and Shortbread/Trefoils are available, of course, along with lots of your other favorites. Did you know that Thin Mints, Thanks-A-Lot, Lemonades, and Peanut Butter Patties Girl Scout Cookies are vegan? Toffee-tastics and the Trios are gluten free, so there’s no need for anyone to feel left out!

Just a reminder that you can still support the NFA effort to purchase open space at Cherry Grove Farm; the deadline to raise $600,000 is January 15. Beautiful artwork: watercolors and oil paintings of Cherry Grove Farm by Newtown artist Ruth Newquist, on display a the C.H. Booth Library, were  all sold as of Thursday morning, to benefit this effort.

Summer might be a long way off, but it’s not too soon to start considering opening up your home to a Fresh Air kid. The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, provides free summer experiences to New York City children from low-income communities. Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from 7 to 18 years old. For more information about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, contact Nicole Johnston at 212-897-8953 or visit freshair.org.

It’s not too soon, either, for me to start looking for next week’s news. Be sure to… Read me again.

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