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Way We Were, Week Ending March 9

Published: March 9, 2018

Kendra Bobowick

March 12, 1993

Workmen began a project this week to remove dead or dying sugar maple trees from Ram Pasture which will be replaced by new maples. With the aid of a cherry picker, chain saws, and a wood chipper, Alan Potter and William Lillis of Newtown Tree Service Inc, methodically removed dead limb growth from a row of trees along South Main Street before cutting down several trunks and removing the remains. Trees stood near the remnants of a stone wall along Village Cemetery Association’s pastureland property. The town Conservation Commission, with the cemetery commission’s endorsement, has been conducting a fund-drive to replace dead and dying trees on the pasture.

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Readers will notice a format change in The Bee this week: our popular Enjoy section has grown from its previous tabloid size to become a full broadsheet. This new format for our arts, food, and cultural coverage is part of our continuing effort to improve the paper’s layout and organization. We have always been proud of the cultural life of Newtown and surrounding towns, and we are committed to bringing readers interesting and timely reports on the arts, theater, food, music, gardening, antiques, and travel every week. Look for it all on Enjoy’s pages, which are now bigger and better.

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Significant progress has been made in resolving problems that have delayed opening the new post office on Commerce Road, according to Postmaster Richard McGuire. Some problems remain, however, such as the need to replace framing for the building’s windows with the kind of framing indicated in the project specifications, the postmaster said. The Postal Service might take control of the building soon, possibly as early as March 12, on the understanding that the building would not be accepted formally until remaining problems are corrected. After the Postal Service takes control of the building, the post office possibly could open within two weeks, he said.

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Police Chief Michael DeJoseph stressed this week that he will not participate in Garner Correctional Institution’s advisory board meetings unless the meetings are open to the public. Chief DeJoseph spoke at a weekly press conference Monday at the Department of Police Services. His remarks underscore comments he made in January after the Garner board first met. As a panel member, Chief DeJoseph and about eight others from the local government and community attended the January 25 session to learn about operations at the new high security prison. On January 26, the chief said he would not attend future meetings unless they were conducted in open session. Chief DeJoseph said he would not resign from the board but will refrain from participating in its sessions until the public is allowed to attend. If a matter requires private discussion by board members, they can convene an executive session. The chief asked why the state Department of Corrections should not be subject to the state’s right-to-know law. He said that holding meetings behind closed doors harm’s the DOC’s credibility as a public agency. A Freedom of Information Commission spokesman said it is unclear if FOI provisions extend to the workings of a board such as the one formed for Garner Warden Frank Crose. The FOI Act specifies regulations concerning the public’s right to access public agency meetings.

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One of the inmates who escaped the state Department of Corrections Western Substance Abuse Treatment Unit on March 2 was arrested by Bridgeport police when he was found attempting to break into a building, police said. The inmate was found attempting to burglarize the Briarwood Service Center, an auto repair facility on Huntington Turnpike. The second man remains at large.

March 15, 1968

PRINCIPAL DUTIES: For those who read The Bee’s school page, news from Sandy Hook last week brought out some interesting facts. When reporter Edmund Smith asked some of the children in the primary school class just what they felt the duties of a principal were, answers ranged from checking papers in the halls, scolding people, sitting in his chair and washing the walls. On Tuesday a new duty fell to Principal Alfred Lorenzetti as he was observed walking a baby goat which was visiting the kindergarten class as part of a special science fair. From all reports, the only accomplishment from the stroll was exercise for the principal.

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Mrs Vincent P. Gaffney and Mrs Sam Paproski presented traditional Ukrainian Easter Eggs decorated by Mrs Paproski at the Fairfield County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee meeting March 7 in Bethel. Mrs Paproski showed the painstaking four-hour process that transforms fresh white eggs into brightly colored symbols of Easter. Each design has meaning, such as health, prosperity, happiness, etc. Eggs are coated with wood varnish once designs are completed.

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Shelden McKee, a Civil War buff and officer of the 17th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry authentically recreated unit, spoke to Mrs Hawkle’s grade 8 US history classes recently in the Middle School library. Tom Gorton, in full Civil War combat gear, wore the 1861-1865 Federal Army uniform, a Bummer cap, wool blouse, and light blue pants. He carried upon his person a cartridge box, bayonet, primer box and a haversack containing food and small sundry articles. He carried a metal canteen for drinking, and a knapsack containing extra clothing. The weapon is an 1863 Springfield musket, muzzle loaded. Mr McKee’s talk included fascinating information about war weapons and gear, and was punctuated with anecdotes about the soldiers’ life and battles.

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The grade one class of Miss Pape and the grade two class of Mrs Glorioso have combined, under the direction of Mrs Kefauver, music director, for a special show called, “Irish For Today.” Students gave the first performance at Hawley School in the gymnasium, followed by two more on Thursday and a final time this Friday. Among those taking part in the show are Amy Schwartz, wheeling her “Cockles and Mussels,” with Susan Elliot, John Grossman, and Gregory Richardson. More than 50 children are involved in the show and all parents are invited to attend.

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Two “big wheels” in the farm equipment business will be doing business together on Newtown’s Main Street as Lovell’s Farm Equipment becomes Lovell’s of Ruwet-Sibley. No drastic changes are expected. Louis Lovell, still the property owner, will continue with the company, as will the entire staff. It seems a happy merger all around, for both companies and for the customers. Don Mougenot of Torrington is working in as the Newtown manger. He has been with Ruwet-Sibley since George Ruwet and Harold Sibley Jr formed it in New Milford in 1949-50. He is now the corporation secretary.

March 19, 1943

Some people are doing more than others in the war effort. Lester Reynolds, farm superintendent of Fairfield Hills state hospital and president of the Fairfield-New Haven Artificial Breeding Association, has long been active on the food front, but on Tuesday morning found himself, or rather, one of the cows in his fine herd, establishing some sort of new record. It all happened in the birth of a bull calf which tipped the scales at 140 pounds, when weighed two hours after birth. Mr Reynolds, nurse-in-charge, reports that the calf, artificially bred, and the mother, a registered cow, are both well and doing nicely. He intends to raise the calf. The average weight of a Holstein calf at birth is 88 or 89 pounds, so this latest addition to the herd is really something to write about. To put it briefly, Mr Reynolds said, “I never saw one like it!”

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IN KEEPING WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE TIMES: A High Watch Farm Victory Tree is on display in the Executive Chamber in the state Capital in Hartford, according to a letter just received by Garland R. O’Neill of Cornwall Bridge, from Governor Raymond E. Baldwin. The letter read as follows: Dear Mr O’Neill: Thank you for your thoughtful letter of February 26. The White Birch victory “V” is certainly in keeping with the spirit of the times. Should you call at the executive chambers, you would perhaps be pleased to see your V on display. Very truly yours, Raymond Baldwin, Governor.

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Corporal Roswell J. Tilson, now stationed at Albuquerque, New Mexico, recently spent a ten-day furlough visiting his mother Pearl Tilson, and family in Sandy Hook. While at home he had a surprise: his brother, Private f.c. Charles Tilson of Staten Island, N.Y., also came home on weekend leave. It was the first time the brothers had been home together in thirteen months.

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While the family of William Akin of Pawling, N.Y., was away on Sunday, fire of undetermined origin completely demolished their home and its contents, it was learned this week from relatives in town. Mrs Akin is the former Miss Florence Ferris, daughter of Mr and Mrs Charles D. Ferris Sr of Sugar Street.

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The Bee has been the medium recently for an increased number of communications on a variety of subjects

March 15, 1918

DON’T FORGET: This week I was invited to a function and did not go because I forgot all about it. This served as a reminder that I was not up to the mark physically or mentally. There is no excuse that will be least likely to be accepted than “I forgot.” It is disastrous for a businessman to forget; it is disastrous for a professional man to forget; it is disastrous for any of us to forget. It is time to take inventory when that happens. All your energy should be put into your work, and you should work for all you are worth for the institution you represent. And don’t forget — “I forgot” won’t do anywhere.
—Rev W.C. Cravner

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William Leahy of Brushy Hill got up, some time Wednesday night, and went out on his piazza where he dropped dead. Medical Examiner Kiernan viewed the remains and pronounced death due to heart trouble. He was about 45 years old and is survived by a wife and three children.

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Judge W.C. Johnson and helpers completed on Thursday the task of filling the ice house at the Foundry pond. The ice is now 22 inches thick and clear and fine. It has been many years since it is possible to cut 22-inch ice as late as March 14. Heretofore it has been so thick it was literally impossible to harvest.

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Glover Warner, who has had a hard time with an attack of the measles, was out Wednesday, for the first time.

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Clause Lewis had the misfortune to cut his foot badly with an axe. He was taken to the Bridgeport Hospital and is getting along nicely.

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Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with The Newtown Bee readers. Images can be e-mailed to kendra@thebee.com, or brought to the office at 5 Church Hill Road to be scanned. When submitting photographs, please identify as many people as possible, the location, and the approximate date.

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