Monthly Archives: September 2011

Democratic Canvas Kicks Off Saturday With Door-to-Door Campaign

Democratic Canvas Kicks Off Saturday With Door-to-Door Campaign

Arleen Pedone, Don Goodrich and Board of Finance Democratic candidate Patricia Smithwick stand in front of the large flag at Democratic headquarters Friday evening, after preparing handouts for the Democratic campaign kickoff on Saturday.

The Democratic Town Committee and candidates for office ready themselves for their official campaign kickoff Saturday morning.  Volunteers and candidates, armed with campaign literature, will meet at the Democratic headquarters Saturday morning for a pep talk and street assignments before they head out to canvas neighborhoods.

Volunteers came out Friday evening to prepare pamphlets and bags to hand out to Bethel residents. Saturday at 10:00 a.m. they will gather, along with Democratic candidates, for the first official walk to share their platform with voters. Volunteers are welcome to assist in the campaign.

According to their handout, the Democratic party pledges the following to the citizens of Bethel:

~To let YOU vote on the full Road Recovery Project

~To support our seniors by restoring funding for Meals On Wheels, Regional Hospice and other essential services

~To work with the Board of Selectmen on Bethel’s 5-year Capital Plan to protect your investments in town buildings and schools, reduce debt and establish sound fiscal policies

~To work with and respect all Boards and Commissions

Democratic candidates for re-election First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker and Selectman Richard Straiton hope to clinch their re-election by reminding voters what they accomplished from 2008 up until now:

~Secured funding for Phase-1 of the Road Recovery Project

~Relocated Bethel Teen Center to a new temporary space at no cost to taxpayers

~Created a new Economic Outreach Commission to bring business and shoppers back to Bethel

~Opened Bethel’s first downtown farmer’s market

~Put the Bethel Public Library renovation back on schedule

~Restored civility and cooperation within Bethel’s town government

With their commitment of “Leadership and experience working for you,” Knickerbocker, Straiton and the rest of the slate of Democratic candidates set out to share how they plan to accomplish that goal.

Democratic candidates for Board of Finance, Eileen Freebairn, Patricia Smithwick and Claudia Stephan  are “Financial Professionals with decades of business experience,” according to their campaign flyer.

Their flyer also states: “If you’re tired of the politics, if you want a Board of Finance that will respect your wishes, there is a better alternative.”

The Democratic headquarters is located at 110 Greenwood Ave., in the plaza next to O’Neil’s Restaurant. All are welcome to come out for the campaign kick-off.

Republicans Officially Open Headquarters Saturday, Oct. 1st

Republicans Officially Open Headquarters Saturday, Oct. 1st

Republican candidate for First Selectman, Kevin Cleary, stands in front of the flags displayed in the Republican headquarters on Greenwood Ave.

Kevin Cleary and the Republican Party candidates will officially open their headquarters on Saturday, October 1st. The Republican candidate for First Selectman will be available from 2-4:00 p.m. on Saturday to greet potential voters and answer any questions and concerns they may have.

Cleary said his main concerns for Bethel include the following:

1. Work and secure quality schools that focus on student achievement, while working to secure the highest levels of educational cost sharing from the state.

2. Work with engineers to evaluate and correct the issues of flooding throughout the town.

3. Support senior tax relief by adding a one-on-one administrator to assist with paperwork filings and increase senior center space.

4. Continue to promote “Buy Bethel First.” Work to bring businesses to downtown and Stony Hill areas.

5. Ensure that all town offices and departments are user-friendly.

6. Bring more jobs to Bethel by working on industrial development.

The Republican headquarters will be open Saturday form 2-4:00 p.m. at 108 Greenwood Ave. The committee expects many of its candidates at the event.  This is an opportunity to meet the candidates running for local Boards and Commissions in the November election.   The event is free and open to the public.

Hollandia Celebrates 20th Fall Fest This Weekend

Hollandia Celebrates 20th Fall Fest ThisWeekend

This weekend  Hollandia Garden Center is celebrating their 20th Fall Festival.  On October 1st and 2nd, shoppers will find lots of seasonal color around the nursery and lots of autumn cheer as Hollandia ushers in the changing colors of the season. They have plenty of fun activities for families planned including hay rides, a variety of food, and their extensive collection of antique tractors, trucks, cars, and farm tools.  Come out and get your pumpkins, corn stalks, gourds, mums, and cabbage to decorate your house with the colors and sights of  the season.

Hollandia Garden Center  is a family owned operation and has been in business for 45 years. Eugene Reelick took over the business from his Dutch parents, Hans and Sally Reelick, who came to the United States in 1958 and are now retired. Reelick runs the farm with his business partner Ken Kolwicz and is a member of the CT Nursery Association.

Hollandia practices organic farming, has on-site composting, offers pick-your-own produce and a large variety of freshly grown produce including lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and more. They also sell fresh eggs and fresh honey from bees raised on their farm.

Hollandia Garden Center is located at 103 Old Hawleyville Road. The Fall Festival is on Saturday, Oct. 1st  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 2nd from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, call 203-743-0267 or visit

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High School Students! Live Green & WIN Green!

High School Students! Live Green & WIN Green!

The following is information from CL&P’s website about a contest for high school students–

How “Green” is Your School?

2011-2012 “Live Green – Win Green” contest coming soon!

Click here to view 2010-2011 “Live Green – Win Green” student entries!


High school students throughout the CL&P service area will be competing for $35,000 in prize money that they can apply to the green project they envision for their school. The grand prize winner will recieve a $20,000 grant and 3 runners-up will each be awarded $5,000 grants. It’s a simple as putting together a two-minute video and an essay telling us how your school is going green, and how the prize money can help you achieve your goals.

Thanks to all the schools that entered in the 2010-2011 Connecticut Light & Power “Live Green – Win Green” contest! We certainly hope you will be back for this year’s contest.

Contest Information


Green thinking has become one of the most important and necessary lifestyle changes in the 21st century. The Live Green – Win Green competition has been put in place to build green awareness with Connecticut high school students and to reward the schools who support students making their school a greener place. Connecticut Light & Power is challenging students to tell us why and how we should help you help your school become more “green.”


Live Green – Win Green is sponsored by Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P). CL&P is Connecticut’s largest utility company, supplying more than 1.2 million Connecticut residents and businesses with electricity. CL&P plays a major role in the growth and vitality of Connecticut’s economy and quality of life. They are dedicated to educating future generations about using energy more wisely and being more environmentally conscious.


Each entrant (either group or individual) must submit a video and a short essay. Each entry must be made by a school administrator or faculty advisor on behalf of the students who develop the submission.

Video – Students must produce a two minute video showcasing the changes you and your fellow students are making to conserve energy and make your school environmentally friendly. Creativity counts so make sure these videos are fun and exciting. Each video must be uploaded to by the date specified below.

Essay – Write an essay (maximum 1000 words) telling us about other environmental and energy efficiency changes you would like to see implemented at your school, but currently lack the financial resources to accomplish. We’re looking for real commitment to effective changes that are creative and sustainable.


Entries will be accepted online at between February 13 and February 29, 2012. Winners will be announced in April, 2012.

Where can I learn more and see last year’s entrants? Please visit and click Live Green Win Green for more info and to see all of last year’s great entrants.

Bethel Artist Alec Jordan Shows Work at Art & Frame Gallery Show

Bethel Artist Alec Jordan Shows Work at Art & Frame Gallery Show

Bethel artist Alec Jordan, photo contributed.


Furniture maker and outdoor enthusiast Alec Jordan will display his work at Art & Frame of Danbury’s newest exhibit, “Local Color” which opens Friday, Sept. 30 and runs through Nov. 14. The opening reception is Saturday, Oct. 1 from 5-7:00 p.m. at the shop, 60 Newtown Rd., Danbury.

Alec, a life-long Bethel resident, is the owner of Jordan Woodwork & Design. His work includes restored classic New England furniture, as well original new, contemporary pieces.

Alec studied sculpture and woodworking at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York and is an avid tree climber.

According to his website, “He haunts local land clearing companies in search of unique woods, creating one-of-a-kind hand-crafted pieces from beautiful woods that might otherwise be wasted on firewood or – worse – wood chips.”

In addition to Alec’s work, two other local artist’s paintings will be displayed at the exhibit, Antonio Carvalho and James Mazza. Local musician Amanda Bloom will perform during the opening reception on Saturday.

Art & Frame of Danbury, LLC opened in June by John O’Sullivan, Bethel High School class of 1988 graduate. For more information about Art & Frame of Danbury, LLC and  displaying work in the gallery, please visit their website by clicking here.

Rep. Scribner Welcomes Change to License Renewal Process


Photo Contributed

HARTFORD – State Representative David Scribner (R-107) commends the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles for their establishment of a new program starting this fall which offers verified identity protection to people renewing driver licenses and DMV-issued identification cards.

Rep. Scribner was a key negotiator in formulating this new process, as the lead Republican on the legislature’s Transportation Committee, and pursuant to new federal identification standards, the Select CT ID program will allow patrons who are renewing their driver’s license or ID cards to present original identity documents, such as a birth certificate, U.S. passport or other primary documents, in order to establish an historical record of their identity with the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as for federal identification purposes.

Rep. Scribner said, “This enhanced process allows Connecticut residents to comply with elevated , uniform security standards set forth at the Federal level, particularly those who travel through our airports.  Although not mandatory, it is available to eligible Connecticut residents who are renewing or obtaining a driver’s license.”

Customers may choose to decline the verification process and simply receive a regular driver’s license and ID card with no penalty. People who chose to verify will receive a gold star on their license or ID card validating participation in the program.

Connecticut is currently requiring all new applicants for driver’s licenses or ID cards to participate in the verification process. For renewals, the cost of a new license or identification card will remain the same with or without the verification.

This one-time review of identity documents will be available in all DMV and AAA offices in Connecticut starting on October 3rd.