Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Bethel Hunt

The Bethel Hunt  ~ By Michele Conderino,Director of Homeless Services, Catholic Charities

The Bethel Hunt is a town scavenger hunt organized by downtown Bethel businesses and members of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce. It is open to everyone and we hope everyone wants to participate.  The Bethel Hunt will begin in the Plain Jane’s Restaurant parking lot on Sunday July 17 at 2:00 p.m. and will end at the Municipal Center lawn at 5:00 p.m.

Participants can go as individuals or teams. We are hoping that families will participate as teams.  To keep kids involved, there will be small prizes handed out to children at every few stops.

Beginning at Plain Jane’s, participants will have to decipher clues that will lead them to a business downtown.  Once they locate the business they will find a clue to the next business and a letter.  Some businesses might make you work for your clue while others will be posted in available spots.

At the end of the Hunt, participants will have to de-scramble the letters collected to form three words.  Once this is complete they will turn in their card at the lawn and it will become their raffle ticket.  Additional raffle tickets can be purchased. The raffle prize will be a basket of items from local businesses in Bethel. We are rapidly approaching a $500 value and more businesses are donating every day.

We will also be selling wraps and sandwiches after the event as there is the concert on the lawn starting shortly after we are done.  The first clue card can be purchased for $10 at Plain Jane’s starting Thursday, June 30.  Catholic Charities will have a booth set up for Bethel’s Summerfest Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, July 16, or in the Plain Jane’s parking lot starting at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 17.

Participants can start any time after 2:00 p.m. but will want to give themselves ample time to finish by 5:00 p.m. We encourage participants to  explore downtown ahead of time to give themselves a head start!

Michele Conderino,Director of Homeless Services, Catholic Charities, (203) 748-0848 ext 231.



DAWS Kitten Adoption Open House is Thursday!

Don’t forget Thursday is DAWS Kitten Adoption Open House from 4:00-8:00p.m. Reduced fees!Below is information, courtesy of DAWS.

Event Details

Kittens for adoption at DAWS shelter in Bethel, CT
Jun 30 2011

Location: DAWS Shelter

4pm – 8pm

First come, first served

Adoption fee: $75

We have more than 25 kittens currently in foster care looking for loving homes. We have both male and female kittens that range in age from 8 – 14 weeks old….they’re really little and cute and come in a variety of colors and fur lengths!  To help them find their forever-homes, we will be having a special Kitten Open House on June 30 at the DAWS Shelter (147 Grassy Plain Street, Bethel) from 4pm – 8pm.

We will show kittens to potential adopters on a first come, first serve basis. Please come prepared to wait as a few people may come or a lot of people may come. We will do our best to limit visits to 15 minutes per family.

Pre-Approved Applicants can take kittens home the same day!  For fastest service, the day of the event, please complete and return a cat application (download it here) to by June 28.  NOTE:  We reference check all of our prospective adopters.  If your application is approved, you will be able to take your kitten home on June 30.  Applications received during the open house, will be processed following the event.

All kittens will have age appropriate vaccines/medical care at time of adoption and will be altered. If you have questions, please email

The kittens are cute, cuddly, and playful.  Take a look at a few of the little ones waiting to meet you:












Please download the event flyer and post it on a community bulletin board at the supermarket, gym, coffee house – anywhere you can think of.  We appreciate your help to make sure everyone knows about our Kitten Adoption Event!

We are also in need of foster homes for kittens.  If you’re interested in fostering, please email

Brothers Keep it “All in the Family”

Brothers Keep it “All in the Family” ~ By Wendy Mitchell

For brothers Ryan and Shawn Clifford, continuing on in their parent’s footsteps was only natural. The brothers went to their first day of work at their parent’s hardware store in Wilton when they were little boys over thirty years ago and now run their own shop, True Value of Bethel.

The brothers are a fifth generation hardware store family and are experts in the field, as are their parents, Bill and Mickie Clifford, who presented them with the idea of opening their own shop after they retired.

“We love Bethel and when we heard CVS was moving we knew this would be the perfect location,” said Ryan Clifford who runs the store with his brother Shawn.

What people don’t realize, Ryan said, is how many household items can be found at his locally owned shop, such as blenders, kitchen gadgets and small appliances.

“People don’t think of us for items like that and will go to Wal-Mart or Target but it’s so important to support the local businesses here in town. Everything you need can be found right here in Bethel,” he said.

“If we don’t have it chances are Caraluzzi’s does.

Ryan lives in Danbury and has wanted to move back to Bethel for years but due to the real estate market has had a hard time selling his house. “We wanted to redo our floors to make the house more sellable so we thought, ‘who in town can I buy flooring from?’ I went across the street to the carpet store [Colonial Carpet & Flooring] and he set me up with some really nice hardwood flooring,” Ryan said.

It’s supporting each other that will enable Bethel’s downtown to survive, Ryan said. He and his brother are well known for their helpful, friendly approach and are extremely knowledgeable in their field, something shoppers of big-box stores won’t often find.

“We are all about customer service. Our customer’s happiness is the most important thing. We also realize that times are changing and we need to stay competitive,” he said.

True Value of Bethel is ready for summer and invites Bethel residents to come in and cheek out their large variety of summer supplies such as Tiki torches, kiddie pools, Adirondack chairs, air conditioners, pool chemicals and much more. And be sure to tell ‘em Bethel Buzz sent ya!

True Value of Bethel is open daily, Monday- Friday 8:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturday 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday 9:00 am-5:00 pm.

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Adults & Kids Summer Concert Series Schedules

Below is the schedule for the special free Wednesday night Children’s Summer Concert Series presented by downtown Bethel merchants, Bethel Chamber of Commerce and Ultra Violet Productions. Scroll down for the schedule from the Town of Bethel for the Sunday nights free Summer Concert Series for adults on the green at the Municipal Center.

Ultra Violet Productions, Bethel Downtown Merchants &

Bethel Chamber of Commerce is proud to present a

FREE Kid’s Summer Concert Series

Who? Kids & families

What? Puppet shows, kid’s karaoke, music, dance & more!

Where? The green at P.T. Barnum Square, Depot St, Bethel

When? Wednesday nights, 5-7pm, July 6 – August 10

Why? Enjoy fun family entertainment geared towards kids, support your local downtown merchants and have a fun night out with family & friends!

Need-to-Know Info: Bring a blanket and/or chairs, bring money for vendors set up on the green, the square will be roped off, however parents must stay with their children; this is not a drop-off event.

Schedule of entertainment is as follows:

July 6: “Summer Safari” sponsored by Private Studio Fitness & Brennan Purdy State Farm Insurance

July 13:  “Rock-n-Roll Summer Jam” with special guest Will Michael, sponsored by O’Neil’s & American Pride

July 20: “Water Wonderland” sponsored by Famous Pizza

July 27:”Adventures in Space” sponsored by The Toy Room

August 3: “Country Western Hoedown” sponsored by Marisol’s Consignment & Jacqueline’s Bakery & Restaurant

August 10: “Island Adventures” with special guest Will Michael, sponsored by The Purple Zebra & Dilillo Realty

For more information call Wendy Mitchell at Ultra Violet Productions at 203-826-7194 or email

Bethel Summer Concert Schedule – 2011

Thank you for joining us for our FIFTEENTH consecutive Summer Concert Season. A very warm thank you to all our sponsors. CJH Municipal Center Lawn  Free and Open to the Public. With Support from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. Bring Lawn Chairs, Blankets, Picnics, and the family. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be held in the gym. For your convenience, restrooms are available inside the CJH Municipal Center.

Sunday, July 10, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. J & B Band
Bethel’s own master of enthusiasm, Billy Michael opens the Concert Series with his unique mix of eclectic music, talented vocals, and hometown stories.
Sponsored by Belardinelli Tire Company, Smitty’s Auto Body, and First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker.

Sunday, July 17, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. The Kerry Boys
Expect a wonderful evening of infectious humor and rousing Irish music with The Kerry Boys performing. Mark James, originally from County Kerry, Ireland, teams with Pierce Campbell, Connecticut State Troubadour for 2007 and 2008, to present familiar, traditional ballads along with original selections.
Sponsored by Selectman Richard Straiton, Newtown Savings Bank, and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

Sunday, July 24, 2011 – 6:00 p.m.  Riverboat Ramblers
Come hear New Orleans jazz, bluegrass, Cajun, calypso, zydeco, and swing all in one evening of amazing entertainment. The resumes of these performers reflect music degrees from outstanding schools along with experience touring with big bands and performing with renowned orchestras.
Sponsored by Attorney Daniel O’Grady, State Representative David Scribner, K-Man Glass, Heitcamp, Inc., and The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

Sunday, July 31, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. Phil LoPresti Jr. Clark Eno Orchestra
Enjoy a wonderful evening with the “Big Band” sound of the Clark Eno Orchestra featuring the talented Phil LoPresti Jr. as vocalist. Close your eyes, go back in time, and experience the mellow sounds of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin.
Graciously donated by LoPresti & Sons Carting.

Sunday, August 7, 2011 – 6:00 p.m.  Mental Health
A local band formed in the 1980’s, Mental Health has roots deeply imbedded in the bluesy rock ‘n roll sounds of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Founder and leader Richard Madwid on vocals and guitar is joined by Jon Condie, vocalist/guitarist; Tony DeCamillo, bassist; Scott Roland, drummer; and John Francese, keyboard player.
Sponsored by State Representative Dan Carter and Caraluzzi’s Bethel Food Market and Nutmeg Discount Liquor.

Sunday, August 14, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. Kenny Lee Band
A pleasing selection of “oldies and goodies” from the ’40’s and ’50’s provides an evening of easy listening. Relax and sing along to the familiar tunes that are part of our musical history. Dating back to 1955, this 5 piece local group is known for smooth rhythms and pleasant harmonies.
Sponsored by Friends of Seniors, State Senator Michael McLachlan, Old Heidelberg German Restaurant, and Selectman Paul Szatkowski.

Sunday, August 21, 2011 – 6:00 p.m.The Mike James Band
Country music comes to the Gazebo with The Mike James Band. Bethel resident Mike James performs with Brenton Vaughan, Connor Andres, and Donny Pierro. The Band will present an enjoyable mix of Vintage Country (including songs by Hank Williams and Roger Miller), Classic Country (Willie Nelson and Wayland Jennings), and some Modern Country.
Sponsored by State Senator Toni Boucher, R. E. Lawlor Graphics and Printing, Savings Bank of Danbury, and Boylan Chiropractic.

Sunday, August 28, 2011—6:00 p.m. Hot Cat Jazz Band
The last concert of the season brings a first-time visit from Ross Tucker’s Hot Cat Jazz Band. Six instrumentalists – trumpet, clarinet/tenor sax, trombone, piano, guitar/banjo, bass and drums – perform swing standards of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington; Big Band hits of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and Tommy Dorsey; Dixieland and New Orleans selections along with Popular Songs from the 1920’s.
Sponsored by The Bethel Republican Town Committee, Union Savings Bank, and R. T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc.



News From the First Selectman

From the office of the First Selectman, Matthew Knickerbocker.

There are quite a few important projects underway this summer.  The following is a short update on several.  As always, please feel free to give my office a call if you have any questions.

Old Hawleyville Road repaving:  This project began last summer and is complete except for the short narrow section just south of the Plumtrees Road intersection.  This area will be widened to conform with the width of the rest of the road and will be completed later this summer.

There were several reasons it could not be done at the same time as the rest of Old Hawleyville:

  • The town did not own the property in the location where it is to be widened.  Negotiations to acquire the easements took until this past winter, and no work could begin on that section until spring.
  • Once the easement was secured, extensive tree removal was needed.  This step is now complete.
  • The final phase before widening and completing the road requires several AT&T utility poles to be moved.  The town can not proceed until AT&T completes this step.  Once that is done, that small section will be completed.

As a reminder, 100% of the cost of the Old Hawleyville repaving was provided by a Federal ARRA grant.

Safe Routes to Schools:  In 2007, the town won a grant to provide safe sidewalks to the school complex, and this project is finally under way.  The Safe Routes sidewalk will run from the corner of Hickok Avenue down along Maple to the intersection with Whittlesey Drive.  Work to move the underground utilities along Maple in preparation of sidewalk construction is now underway.  This project should be complete before winter, weather permitting.

Old Train Station Parking Lot:  The lot has been completely repaved, at no cost to Bethel taxpayers!  This project is a separate project, not part of the $2 million Road Recovery Plan.  Funding for parking lot improvements comes from rent payments from the business that occupies the Old Station.

Road Recovery:  Road reconstruction is proceeding quickly.  Far Horizon, Green Pasture and Quaker Ridge have been resurfaced and will be completed when the new curbs are installed.  The month of July will see reconstruction of Walnut Hill and Weed roads.

Watch the town website for further updates on the remaining roads in the 2011 summer plan.


CT Agricultural Experiment Station is on the Chopping Block

This email was sent to Bethel Buzz from State of Connecticut Associate Scientist Kimberly Stoner. 

Photo Contributed.

I am writing to let you know the status of Governor Malloy’s Plan B, which would completely eliminate the CT Agricultural Experiment Station.  This Plan B was put out by the governor’s office about a month ago as the alternative if the state employee unions did not agree to wage, pension, and health care concessions.  At that time, the list of layoffs included the complete elimination of CAES, with 100% of the employees laid off.

As I expect you have heard, although a majority of the state employee union members voted for the concessions, it was not the overwhelming majority required to put the concessions in place.

The governor has said that he will be moving to layoff state employees and making other cuts as soon as possible.  The State Legislature will be meeting on Thursday, June 30 in special session to consider these cuts.

If you would like to speak up in favor of keeping the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in operation, please do so before Thursday.  I have pasted a list of key contacts from the governor’s office and leaders of the state House of Representatives and Senate below.  Contacting your own state representative and senator would also be important.

An overview of the many roles and accomplishments of the Experiment Station is available for your reference by clicking here.

Thank you for your support.

Kimberly Stoner, Associate Scientist