Bethel Buzz

First Selectman Reminds Drivers to Share the Road

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First Selectman Reminds Drivers to Share the Road



December 11, 2012

Bethel Cycle and Bethel PD Announce New “Share the Road” Program

Bethel, Conn. –  The Town of Bethel and Bethel Cycle Sport LLC today announced a  partnership designed to help improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists using Bethel roadways.  The program involves placing unique new safety message signs designed to increase driver attentiveness to other modes of transportation being used on heavily traveled roads.  The cost of the new signage was paid entirely through a donation by Bethel Cycle Sport.

The new signs carry the proclamation “Share the Road – Live and Let Live” and depict images of a car, a pedestrian and a cyclist.  The program’s theme and the design and locations of the signs were developed jointly by Lt. Richard Dickinson, Bethel Police Departments’ Traffic Safety Officer and Mr. Norman Semchyshen of Bethel Cycle.

Lt. Dickinson explained that New England roadways have traditionally been designed almost exclusively for automobiles, and rarely take other uses into consideration.  Because of that, he said, there is insufficient room, leading some drivers to express their annoyance through unsafe driving.  The placement of the new signs on key roads will serve as a reminder that drivers should expect to expect to see walkers, joggers and cyclists.  In total, 14 signs were placed in highly visible locations on several of Bethel’s busiest roadways.

Future Children’s Program Room Almost Complete, Library Modifies Hours During Construction

DEC 4, 2012

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Future Children’s Program Room Almost Complete, Library Modifies Hours During Construction

Photo contributed.

From Lynn Rosato, Library Director–

The Bethel Public Library Renovation Project – Construction of the future Children’s Program Room is almost finished and we are getting ready to relocate staff from the Seelye House to this space and to other areas on the first floor.  During this move, the Library’s hours will be modified as follows:

Friday, December 7: CLOSED 10 a.m.-1 p.m.  OPEN 1-5 p.m.

Monday, December 10: CLOSED 10 a.m.-2 p.m. OPEN 2-8 p.m.

The Library will be open regular hours on Saturday, December 8 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Sunday, December 9 from 1-5 p.m.

Please note dates are approximate:

  • Construction of Children’s Library program room–start 11/26/12
  • Staff moving into temporary offices–start 12/7/12
  • Work begins in Seelye House and on 2nd floor–start 12/17

In 2005, we moved into a partially finished new library addition. Now, in 2012, after many years of planning and fundraising, the final stage of the Bethel Public Library renovation project has begun!

From time to time, some materials and areas may be temporarily unavailable during construction.  We’ll do our best to minimize disruption to service and to keep you informed of any changes in the Library’s schedule.  As always, please ask staff for assistance.

We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank you for your support and patience!


Lynn Rosato

Library Director

Matt Knickerbocker’s Storm Sandy Message

OCT 26, 2012

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Matt Knickerbocker’s Storm Sandy Message:

The following is a message from First Selectman Matt Knickerbockers Robo-Call earlier this evening. Bethel Buzz did not receive the call until 7:00 p.m. this evening. Hopefully everyone received their call, if not here it is–

“Good afternoon everyone, this is First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker with an important message concerning Hurricane Sandy.

While the exact track is still a little bit unclear it is increasingly likely that we’re going to see heavy rains sometime early next week and I’d like to pass along a few safety tips. First of all, residents should prepare for several days without power in case the storm hits us full force. That means having flashlights, fresh batteries, food and water for at least 3 days. We also advise that you clear your gutters and please clear the storm drains in front of your house. So you can help your neighbors and help yourself by clearing the storm drains in front of your house. With the small highway crew, it’s impossible for 12 guys we have on for 3,000 drains in town. Never touch downed wires when they come down. Assume they are live until you see a crew clean them and never touch them under any condition.We will keep updates on storms progress when we have more information. Thank you very much. Have a good weekend.”

Happy Birthday Bethel Buzz!

JUN 6, 2012

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Happy Birthday Bethel Buzz!

Break out the piñata and party hats, Bethel Buzz is one year old today and we are celebrating! On June 6, 2011 Bethel Buzz was launched and in just one year we have had over 93,000 views on our website, roughly 8,000-10,000/month. The most we had views on a  single day was 1,175 on November 6, 2011 during the power outages of Storm Alfred. Readers checked Bethel Buzz from their smart phones and stayed up to date with regular postings on our Facebook fan page.

Speaking of our Facebook fan page, it keeps growing with 1,029 fans at last count. (To become a fan click here) More importantly, Bethel Buzz has been able to get the word out quickly when breaking news and emergencies happen. With fires, hurricanes, snowstorms, elections and other important events, Bethel Buzz has been there to report. We realize we can not cover every story in a  town on 18,000+, and welcome our readers to send in their news, information, photos to

When people ask  how Bethel Buzz has been able to continue to grow with so many news and information sites out there we simply respond,  ”You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” Each of the other news sources in our area have a unique niche they fill, and there is power in positivity.

While we hope for continued growth during the next year, we will keep our mission the same–to serve as a news and information source for the Town of Bethel and to give small business, non-profits and charities a voice and a web presence.

Thank you to our loyal readers for continuing to “Spread the Buzz!”

~Wendy Mitchell, Owner/Editor, Bethel Buzz

Here’s What Bethel Buzz’s Loyal Readers Are Saying—

Dan Carter, State Representative, 2nd Assembly District

“The Bethel Buzz is more than an online news source. The Buzz is the link to the events and stories that bring our community together!”

Kathleen O’Connor Aiello, Bethel Women’s Club

“I really enjoy the Bethel Buzz. During Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm with no power and no phone service at my house, I depended on taking my iPhone a few miles down the road and being able to find out through the postings on Bethel Buzz what was happening in Bethel. I really felt like it was a lifeline keeping me updated with what I needed to know regarding road closures and all other pertinent information relevant to Bethel.”

Kevin Cleary, Former Bethel Selectman

“The Buzz always gives an unbiased account on a local event. I enjoy knowing that when I read an article in The Buzz, I get the whole story. Thank You Buzz for giving me a venue to keep it touch with what is going on in town.”

Wendy Cahill, Owner, Molten Java

“I rely on Bethel Buzz for up to date events postings and to provide event info for my business!”

Dan Gaita, Owner, Private Studio Fitness ‎

Wendy Mitchell, I want to thank you for all of the efforts you put into improving our community. From providing the fantastic and free shows for the kids this summer to providing Bethel with another unbiased outlet for information online, to your endless and optimistic enthusiasm with your latest venture. Keep up the good work and thanks again for all of your volunteer contributions to our community.”

Terry Curry Laslo, Wingcat Web Design

“I’m on the Newtown / Bethel line and got connected to the Bethel Buzz through the Stony Hill Four Corners Association. I love it for the articles on what’s happening and local events… including keeping me out of a major traffic jam on 84 the other day! I avoided it and got to my important meeting on time!

Irene Haynes Sondern Dailey

“Bethel Buzz is a great service to the Bethel resident. It helps keep people informed of not only what events that are going on in town but also any accidents, traffic, weather reports for inclement weather. As a former resident of 25+ years Ii still read Bethel Buzz daily and actually every time I am online.  I still love to know what’s going on and Wendy does a darn good job at it!

Heidi Granacker Haick

“Bethel Buzz gives accurate information, understands problems and is committed to the people of Bethel and their well-being. I love the Bethel Buzz and thank you for being so on top of everything in Bethel. Thanks for all of your help during the storm, you were a lifesaver!”

Stacey Dahill Connors

“I love this town and love that Bethel Buzz does, too. With just a glance at the Bethel Buzz website, you can see that this is run by someone who truly cares about Bethel and wants to help its businesses and community grow.

Weather it’s on, Facebook or Twitter, it’s the first place I look for the happenings and news in Bethel. I am so glad that Wendy has taken the time and put the effort and heart into making Bethel Buzz a wonderful resource for our community.

Kathleen Burgess

“My first real exposure and appreciation for the Bethel Buzz came during the October snowstorm. Frequent updates on the power restoration, school open/close status and use of the Municipal Center were really helpful. I found myself checking my phone daily for what the Bethel Buzz had to say!

I still like to read what The Bethel Buzz has to report on a daily basis from community events to school activities. Thank you for keeping me informed!!”

Lisa Basso

“Bethel Buzz is my eyes and ears into Bethel. I find their Facebook posts to be very helpful and informative from posting information about fun events happening in the area to important news updates from and about the town of Bethel and area towns. If you are not a fan of “Bethel Buzz’s”FB Page yet, I recommend you check it out!”

Lindsay Kaye

I adore reading Bethel Buzz to see what’s actually going on in Bethel. The website really goes out of its way to stay current with what events are going on in the area both large and small. Typically, I’ve only heard about the really small and interesting events via word of mouth, which is always hit or miss, so I appreciate the time that’s taken to get the word out.

Bethel Relay for Life Announces Schedule of Events

MAY 30, 2012

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Bethel Relay for Life Announces Schedule of Events

Children from Team Pink Ladies hold their banner as they get ready for their first lap at 2011′s Bethel Relay for Life.         Photo credit: Wendy Mitchell

The Bethel Relay for Life committee recently announced their schedule of events. For more information or to make a donation please click here. As of this posting there are currently 272 participants on 39 teams who raised over $47,257.00.
Bethel Relay for Life

Date: June 9, 2012

Time: 2:00 p.m. 

Location: Bethel High School

Schedule of Events:

2-3 – PM Band (stage)

4 PM – Opening Ceremonies

4:20 PM Survivor Lap

4:45 PM – Parade of Teams

5 PM – Martha Kenny/Emily Johnson-singers (stage)

5:15 PM – Irish Dance Performance (stage)

5:30 PM – Frozen T Shirt Contest (stage)

6 PM – Sha’Bam! Purple Glove Dance – Like Zumba? Don’t miss this opportunity to dance! Grab a purple glove and join in the fun!!! (Center Field)

7 PM – Join Sportsplex of Bethel instructor for a Body Pump class! (Center Field)

7:30 PM – Lb Auction – Bring your quarters and start the bidding! Paper bags each weighing 1 lb are being auctioned off at the stage. Will you be the winner of a lb of bubble gum? A lb of lottery tickets? You can’t win if you don’t play…..

8 PM – Road to Recover Drag Races! click here for more info

9 PM – Luminaria Ceremony

10 PM – Kid’s Contest Hour

10:30 PM – Hula Hoop Contest, Water Balloon Toss, Three Legged Races and more (Kid’s activities)

11 PM – Fight Back Ceremony

12 AM – Late Night Punk Rope Class (center Field)

12 AM – Pajama Lap

12 AM – Movie-Finding Nemo (Kid’s activity)

1 AM – Disco Lap

1:15 AM – Adult Spelling Bee ($5 entry fee – spelling champion receives all entry fees to their team! (stage)

2 AM – 50′s Lap

2 AM – Movie: Knomeo and Juliette (Kid’s cctivity)

2:30 AM – Decades Fashion Show – Prizes for the top three contestants (stage)

3 AM – 80”s Lap

3:30 AM – Decades Trivia (stage)

4 AM – Three Legged Hat Lap: Done a hat from your favorite decade while doing a three legged lap!

4 AM – The Lion King (Kid’s activities)

5 AM – Bed Head Lap: Be the walker with the craziest hairstyle!

6 AM – Closing Ceremonies

6 AM – Sunshine Club Book Signing (stage)

6 AM – Team Lap: Finish Relay with your whole team on the track for one final lap!

Stony Hill Four Corners Association Hosts 4th Annual Amber Alert & Family Fun Day

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Stony Hill Four Corners Association Hosts 4th Annual Amber Alert & Family Fun Day

For the past three years the Stony Hill Four Corners Association (SH4CA) has hosted a free Amber Alert registration and family fun day. This year the event will be held on Saturday, May 19 from 10:00a.m. until 2:00p.m. at the University of CT Fairfield County Extension Center (4H grounds) in Bethel located at 69 Stony Hill Road.

The Stony Hill Four Corners Association is a business association whose aim is to showcase the businesses between what they call “The Golden Mile” between exit 8 in Bethel and exit 9 in Newtown, including the Hawleyville section of Newtown and the Stony Hill section of Bethel. Their mission is “to create a greater awareness of what the businesses in the area have to offer, while also creating ways for those businesses to give back to the community.”

Madeline Bunt is the Secretary for SH4C and said the association came up with the idea to host the Amber Alert as one of the many ways the businesses can help the community.

“We always knew we wanted to give back and did not want to be exclusively self-promoting,” Bunt said, adding that by offering this free service to the public, “Heaven forbid it will be needed to help save a child. Last year we registered 370 children.”

The Amber Alert is a child abduction alert bulletin that is used throughout the country to notify the public when a child goes missing. AMBER stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response” and was originally named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old child who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996.

Dennis Janofsky, owner of Quality Gem, promotes and sponsors this event every year. “My wife and I both grew up in Bethel and raised a family here, my wife teaches in town and I own Quality Gem, a Bethel business. I have deep roots here. Sponsoring the Free Amber Alert Registration every year is a great way to give back to Bethel and this community.”

Bryan Roth of Big Buddha Cigar Lounge in Hawleyville said, “I take both of my kids to get their Amber Alert cards every other year.  It’s piece of mind I’d definitely pay for but SH4C (Quality Gem and Union Savings Bank) does a great service to bring it to the public for no charge.”

SH4C Board Member Laura Shortt (Marketing Director of Maplewood at Newtown) said, “I enjoy being on the board of such a wonderful organization and am proud of all we accomplish for the community. I am also looking forward to incorporating a Silver Alert into our events. More information to come.”

The “giving back” to the community sentiment is apparent in all the events the SH4C Association sponsors, from food drives to fundraisers for the Stony Hill Fire Department Ambulance Fund and much more.

“The generosity of people who give of their time and resources in this association is like no other, an esprit de corps of benevolence, unselfishness equals a true collaborative effort from our members,” Bunt said.

This year’s Amber Alert registration includes free registration for children and one free wallet sized card for parents and caregivers.  Additional cards can be purchased for $2.00. There will also be a bouncy house for children, a free puppet show presented by Ultra Violet Puppets at 11:30a.m. , face painting and a Draft Horse Demonstration.

For more information about this event or the Stony Hill Four Corners Association please visit

For more information about the Amber Alert please visit

Historic Masonic Temple Slated For Demolition

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Historic Masonic Temple Slated For Demolition

Unless the Bethel Building Department receives a written letter of opposition before January 14, 2012, the historic 100-year-old Masonic Temple located at 84 Greenwood Ave. will be destroyed. Originally built in 1912 as the Congregational Church’s Parish Hall, in 1919 it became too expensive to operate and was sold to I.F. Terry who owned and operated Terry Lumber on Elizabeth Street, according to records from Patrick Wild, Bethel Town Historian. After the Terry family turned it over it was operated by The Community Association until the structure was sold in 1927 to the Masons.

In 1921 the building housed a Silent Movie Theater, according to Bethel Historical Society president Patricia Rist who said of the demolition: “It’s a shame and it is difficult to see it go, but the fact it that it has no parking and the way zoning laws are now, nothing really can be built there.”

Rist said the Masons approached the Historical Society to give them the building free of charge, however, it would be too expensive to renovate and maintain, Rist said. She also said if they held any events at the building there would not be enough parking. The Historical Society, located on Main Street, has received approval to photograph the interior of the historic building and will maintain archives of the photographs for their records.

Up until a 2004, the building has been used as a party hall until a 21-year-old Stamford man, Darnell Merritt, was shot dead after a party. According to police reports, Merritt was shot at least 5 times in the back at 1:54 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2004. (Click here to read the full News-Times article.)

In 2010 the victim’s mother, Patricia Merritt sued the Bethel Police Department for negligence, alleging the B.P.D. knew of prior gang activity at the building, according to court records.

According to public records  the trial court struck the plaintiff’s negligence claims based on governmental immunity and the Appellate Court affirmed:

– Court found the decision of the Police Department to be discretionary, and further found that plaintiff was never identified to the Bethel Police Department as being at imminent risk of harm.

– Court noted that the foreseeable class of victims exception has only been extended to schoolchildren, statutorily mandated to attend school, injured during school hours.

The Masonic Temple Association owed more than $25,000 in back taxes, however according to pubic records the bill has recently been paid.

The following public notice was posted in The News-Times on Dec. 14, 2011 and on the Town of Bethel website:

LEGAL NOTICE On December 14, 2011, the Town of Bethel Building Department, 1 School Street, Bethel, Connecticut 06801 received an application for a Demolition Permit. The proposal is to demolish the Masonic Temple building located at 84 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, Connecticut 06801 and listed on the Town of Bethel Assessor’s records as on Map 22, Block 31, Lot 09. This building was constructed in 1912. The property is owned by Masonic Temple Association, P. O. Box 11, Bethel, Connecticut 06801, who will notify property owners within 100 feet of their intent to demolish by certified and registered letters, and provide proof to the Building Department of the successful delivery of said letters or the owner’s attempt to deliver said letters. Due to the age of this building, a ninety- (90) day waiting period is in effect beginning on the date of first publication of this legal notice. If no written objections are received by the Building Department within thirty (30) days of the first publication of this notice, the Building Official has the option of waiving the last sixty (60) days of this waiting period, and granting this permit at that time. Dated this 14th day of December, 2011. Gary Boughton Building Official.

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Town Announces Area Pickup Schedule For Tree Debris

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Town Announces Area Pickup Schedule For Tree Debris

The Town of Bethel has released the map of the tree limb and debris pickup and has broken it up into 5 areas. Tree branch pickup will begin this week and will continue through Dec. 16th, weather permitting.

The map was given to Bethel Buzz by Tracy Rogalski in Public Works and is color-coded by area. The 5 areas are not listed by street address because Rogalski said: “It would take too much time to list them that way.”  The areas are as follows:

Area 5 will be picked up 11/14-11/16:

All roads North of Route 6

Area 1 will be picked up 11/17-11/23:

All roads West of Route 53, Nashville Road, Greenwood AVe. to Danbury town line. Areas North and West of Greenwood Ave. to intersection of Plumtrees and Whittlesey Drive to Danbury Town line.

Area 2 will be picked up 11/28-12/1:

All roads East of Nashville, South of Greenwood to Route 58 and the Redding town line.

Area 3 will be picked up 12/2-12/7:

All roads West of Route 58, Redding town line up to Plumtrees Road.

Area 4 will be picked up 12/8-12/13:

All roads North of Plumtrees between Walnut Hill/Payne Rd., Newtown line and North of Rt. 6

The crews will then go back to Area 5 between 12/14 – 12/16 for 2 days all roads North of Rt. 6

At the bottom of the map it reads:

“Due to the scope of this debris removal project and being very close to our winter snow removal operations, completion of this project in a timely manner is important. We may leave a few small branches or limbs on your lawn during our clean-up, as we use large machinery to pick-up the piles. We ask that all property owners dispose of left over material in a proper manner.”

Bethel residents may also dispose of brush and debris, free of charge, by bringing it to the transfer station during normal business hours. For more information call Bethel Public Works at 203-794-8549.

Bethel Honors Veterans at 11-11-11 Service

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Bethel Honors Veterans at 11-11-11 Service

A large crowd gathered on the lawn of the Bethel Municipal Center on a blustery Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. on 11/11/11 to honor Veterans.   Wreaths were placed at the Veteran’s Monument to honor fallen soldiers and Veterans. The service was led by Skipp Clapp Adjutant, American Legion Post 100 who thanked Veterans for their service and said: “This is what we do; we watch out for each other. That’s why we are how we are. You have to have been there in order to understand how we feel. For those of us who have been there you know what I’m talking about. For those of us who haven’t I hope you are envious because we are very proud.”

First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker spoke of the freedoms Veterans fought for that some may take for granted such as voting by saying: “Just a few days ago we had an election and what’s remarkable about that is that it’s unremarkable. Nobody had to fear that they would take their life in their hands by going to the polls. They did not have to fear suicide bombers, IEDs, car bombs and any of these horrible things that we unfortunately read about in our newspapers.”

“We have this way of life because of the sacrifice of so many Veterans who have given their lives for our country,” Knickerbocker said.

“On behalf of all of us, the Town of Bethel and our society, I thank you Veterans for what you do and thank you everyone for coming to honor them. Thank you again and God bless you all.”

Following the gun salute, Veteran Tulio Belardinelli played “Taps” on the trumpet while Veterans of Foreign wars stood at attention. Children and staff of St. Mary’s School closed the services by leading the crowd in singing God Bless America.

Click here to watch video of today’s services with St. Mary’s students singing at the end.

This Week & Weekend’s Spooktacular Events!

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This Weekend’s Spooktacular Events!

So much to do, so little weekend!


~Halloween Party at The Putnam House! “DJ Big Daddy” will be playing your favorite party music beginning at 8:00p.m. at The Putnam House, 12 Depot Street. $100 for best costume.


~Aqua Dog & Spa Pet Halloween Costume Contest, 10am-5pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 32 Stony Hill Road, Bethel. Dress up your dog and bring him or her to the spa wearing the costume. Photos will be posted on Facebook and readers will decide which costume is best. The winner will win a free self-service wash and gift basket!

~The Spot’s 7th Annual Halloween Party beginning at 9:00p.m. Prizes will be awarded for best costume. There is $5 cover charge for those not wearing a costume. If you wear a costume there is NO cover charge. Cash prizes are $500 for first place, $200 for second place. “DJ Paul” will be playing all your favorites! The Spot is locates on Front Street, right neat the old train station (Bethel Cycle).


~Trick-or-Treat Street! 2-4:00 p.m., downtown Bethel, Greenwood Ave. & P.T. Barnum Square. Local merchants will hand out free candy, hot chocolate, pizza slices & more!

~Aqua Dog & Spa Pet Halloween Costume Contest, 10am-5pm, 32 Stony Hill Road.

~Bethel Police prescription drug take-back program, 10am-2pm, 49 Plumtrees Road.

~DAWS Puppy Open House, 1-4:00 p.m. at DAWS, 147 Grassy Plain Street, Bethel. The puppies were born August 17. The mother is a Spaniel mix and the father is an unknown mixed breed.   Fill out an application online by visiting or fill one out the day of the event.  You may also email a completed application to

~Halloween Party at Greenwood’s Grille, Greenwood Ave. with Billy Michael beginning at 9:00 p.m. There will be prizes for costumes including scariest, most original, best beer costume & much more! Prizes include cash, gift certificates, bottles wine & more! NO cover charge.


~Stony Hill Four Corners Pancake Breakfast to benefit the Stony Hill Fire Department Ambulance Fund, 9am-12pm at the fire house, 59 Stony Hill Road, Bethel. Kids who come in costume will receive a goody bag. There will also be gift basket raffles donated by Bethel & Newtown businesses. $7 per adult, $5 per child and seniors, $20 per family. All proceeds go toward the Ambulance Fund.

~Sunday October 30 at 6:30 p.m., beginning at the 1842 Second Meeting House, 40 Main Street Bethel, a Halloween Ghost Tour will be presented by the Bethel Historical Society. The candlelight ghost tour through the streets of Bethel will be led by local storyteller Marty Bishop who will be dressed in costume.  The tour will last approximately one hour and will be followed by hot apple cider and donuts at the Bethel Historical Society on Main Street. Reservations are required by 10/27 by calling Mary Ferri at 203-730-2726. Adults $10.00, Children 5-12 $5.00.


~Happy Halloween! Stop by the Bethel Police Department for some safe Halloween candy from 6-8pm. Make sure to check out Billy Michael’s “Enchanted Halloween” on Fleetwood Ave. after dark. HUNDREDS of Jack-o-Lanterns are carved into creepy, funny and spooky faces, there’s a haunted graveyard, zombies, witches and much more!


~The Bethel Navy JROTC & Bethel Gentle Dental are hosting “Operation Sweet Tooth.“ The candy buy-back program will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 1st from 3:30 – 5:30 PM at the Bethel Gentle Dental office on 27 Grassy Plain Street. Children will be eligible to receive prizes and gift certificates from local merchants. In addition, the children will receive $1.00 for every pound of candy ($5.00 max) donated. The candy will be sent to troops from Bethel who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as our “Ambassadors of Bethel.” The troops share the candy with children in the war zone, creating good will. If there are any residents who know of someone serving overseas, please send their name and mailing address to LCDR Dwinells at BHS (

Bethel Library Thanks Community For Helping Reach Goal

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The Bethel Public Library Meets Its Capital Campaign Goal

Bethel Public Library Director Lynn Rosato, with Administrative Assistant Barbara Wertel, recently placed the final goal marker on the Library’s Capital Campaign progress sign.  The Library staff, Board of Directors, and Friends extend their sincere gratitude to Campaign contributors and to the entire community for supporting the Library’s Capital Campaign to finish the second floor. For more information, please call 203-794-8756 ext. 6, or

The Bethel Public Library is located at 189 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, CT.


Bethel Fall Leaf Pickup Schedule 2011

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Bethel Fall Leaf Pickup Schedule 2011

The following is information from the Town of Bethel Highway Department-

Editor’s Note: Leaf bags may be picked up at Bethel True Value. Click here for a coupon and tell Ryan and Shawn that Bethel Buzz sent you!


The Town of Bethel will begin curbside pick up of leaf bags according to the following schedule. It will commence on Monday, October 17, 2011 and end on Friday, December 16, 2011. Please look for your road and the scheduled dates for leaves to be picked up. Residents are asked not to rake leaves into the streets, as this will cause storm drain clogging and localized flooding.

In addition to the curbside pick up, Town of Bethel Residents are encouraged to bring their bagged leaves to the transfer station at no extra cost while this program is in effect. Please bring a picture ID confirming Bethel residency when you drop off your leaves. Household garbage will not be accepted with the leaves.

Remember: All leaves must be neatly bagged in paper bags. No plastic bags will be picked up nor will bags filled with rocks and sticks be accepted at the transfer station. Please do not use tape (duct/shipping, etc) to close and seal the leaf bags. All leaf bags should be placed on the curbside the night before, unless inclement weather is expected. Leaves placed after the scheduled pick-up date will be collected on the next rotation. There will be NO special pick up bags on demand.

The schedule is as follows:

Week of October 17th, October 31, November 14th, November 28th:
Almar Dr., Ann Terrace, Apollo Road, Ballfield Rd., Blue Spruce Ct., Brookwood Dr., Cawley Av., Chelsea Rd. Cindy Lane, Durant Av. Farm Ct., Gemini Rd., Golden Hill Rd., Grandview Av., Greenwood Ave., Hickok Av., Judd Av., Juniper Rd., Kayview Av., Keeler Av., Library Pl., Main St., Maple Av., Maple Av. Extn., McKay Rd., Milwaukee Av., Oxford St., Plumtrees Rd. (Maple Av. Ext. to Whit), Prospect St., P. T. Barnum Sq./Fountain Pl., School St., Seeley St., Simeon Rd., Whittlesey Dr., Wooster St.

Bethpage Dr., Cherry La., Church Camp Grounds, F.J. Clarke Circle, Fairchild Dr., Granite Dr., Knollwood Dr., Laura Lane, Melillo Dr., Oaktree Court, Oven Rock Rd., Plantation Ct., Pleasant Rise, Rotella Dr., Second La., Sharon Ct., Tremont Av., Trowbridge Dr., Turnage La., Vera Dr., Whitlock Av.

Beach St, Benson Rd., Blackman Av., Bonnette Dr., Bonnette Dr. Ext., Depot Pl., Diamond Av., Division St. Drummers La., Elgin Av., Elizabeth St., Farnum Hill, Fleetwood Av., Fleetwood Park, Front St., Glenwood Dr., Grace Ct., Grand St., Grandview Terrace, Grassy Plain Street (Route 53), Grassy Plain Terrace, Griswold St., Henry St., High St., Highview Terrace, Hudson St., Lindberg St., Mansfield St., Maple Lane, Martino Lane, Oakland Heights, Paul St., Pleasant St., Pleasant View Terrace, Rector St., Reservoir St., Saxon Rd., Second

Lane, South St., Sycamore Ct., Winding Brook Drive, Whitney Rd., Willow St. Aunt Pattys Lane W., Buckboard Ridge Road, Carriage Dr., Codfish Hill Road, Codfish Hill Road Ext., Cross Hill Rd., Eastbrook Ct., Falls La., Hillside Ct., Ichabod La., Jacklin La., Katrina Circle, Legend Dr., Old Dodgingtown Rd., Phillip Dr., Ravencrest Dr., Settlers La., Twin Maples Dr., Valley Ct., Wagon Rd., Windaway Rd., Wolfpits Rd. (Codfish to 302).

Aunt Pattys Lane E, Birnam Woods Rd., Briarcliff Manor, Canaan Dr., Chestnut St., Chestnut Ridge Rd., Crestview Dr., Daniska Dr., Dittmar Rd., Four Gables Rd., Jacobs Lane, Judy Dr., Long Meadow La., Mt Orchard Rd., Nashville Rd., Nashville Rd. Ext., Putnam Park Road, Sunset Hill Rd., Taylor Ave., Van Campen La., Webb Rd., Williams Rd., Wolfpits Rd. (Codfish to S.S.).

Week of October 24th, November 7th, November 21st, December 5th:

Adams Dr., Benedict Rd. (Ridgedale to Rte. 6), Brookview Ct., Budd Dr., Buff La., Castle Hill Rd., Chimney Dr., Dodgingtown Rd/Rte. 302, Far Horizon Dr., Fox Den Rd., Green Pasture Road, Hearthstone Dr., Hollyberry Dr., Meckauer Circle, No, Hearthstone Dr., Old Field Dr., Old Turnpike Rd., Patridge Dr., Payne Rd., Quaker Ridge Rd., Ridgedale Rd. (Benedict Rd. to Sky Edge), Sand Hill Rd., Shelter Rock Rd., Sky Edge Dr., Sky Edge Lane. Walnut Hill Rd. (Plumtrees to Shelter Rock Rd.), Westview Dr., Woodlawn Dr.

Autumn Dr., Birch Dr., Cedar Dr., Clearview Dr., Devine Terrace, East Lane, Evergreen Dr., Farmview Dr., Garella Rd., Hawleyville Rd., Hilldale Rd., Laughlin Rd., Long Hill Rd., Maple Row, McDonnell Dr., McNeil Rd., McNerny Rd., Meadow Lane, North Rd., Oakridge Rd. Old Hawleyville Rd (Walnut Hill to Brookfield), Redwood Dr., Ridge Rd., Terrace Dr., Vail Rd., Weed Rd.

Appletree Rd., Benedict Rd. (Walnut to Ridgedale), Colonial Dr., Cortland Dr., Empire Lane, Grove Place, Hillcrest Dr., Hoyt Rd., Karen Dr., Kristy Dr., Northern Spy Court, Old Hawleyville Rd. (Walnut to Plumtrees), Old Shelter Rock Rd., Pound Sweet Hill, Pondview Dr., Ridgedale Rd. (Walnut to Benedict), Rita Dr., Rockwell Rd (Walnut to Plumtrees), Sunny Acres Rd., Taylor Rd. (Walnut to Plumtrees), Walnut Hill Rd. (Shelter Rock to Line), Wine Sap Run.

Allan Way, Bayberry Hill Rd., Dodgingtown Road (Route 302), Edmond Dr., Honey Hollow Dr., Kellogg St., Limekiln Ct., Linda La., Marvin Pl., Old Lantern No., Old Lantern So., Old Hawleyville Rd. ( Plumtrees to Rte. 302), Old Town Lane, Pell Mell Dr., Plumtrees Rd. (Whittlesey to New), Racebrook Ct., Roberts Rd., Rockwell Rd. (Plumtrees to Rte. 302), Rocky Lane, Shelly Rd., Taylor Rd. (Plumtrees to Rte. 302), Terry Dr., Vining Rd.

Andrew St., Country Way, Fawn Rd., Gale Ct., Governors La., Gretchen La., High Lake Dr., Highland Ave., Hoyts Hill Rd., Jacobs La., Midway Dr., Sara’s Way, Short Dr., Spring Hill La., Starr La., Stone Dam Rd., Topstone Dr., Waterhorse Brook Dr., Whipporwill Dr., Winthrop Rd.

Hollandia Celebrates 20th Fall Fest This Weekend

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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

Bethel Residents Remember 10th Anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday


Bethel Residents Remember 10th Anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday ~ By Wendy Mitchell

This Sunday, September 11th will mark the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The town of Bethel is planning an all-clergy remembrance ceremony with Rev. Pople of St. Thomas Church officiating. Rev. Pople recently retired from St. Thomas church after 30 years of service. He is the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department  Chaplain.

Like when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, many remember exactly where they were when they found out the news that our nation was attacked. Richard Godfrey, owner of American Pride, remembers he was on his way to a training seminar at work.

“It really hits home, especially when you’ve been through a war,” Godfrey said. He served in Vietnam and said his immediate thought turned to his niece who was working in one of the twin towers. Despite having to walk through the soot and debris, she was fine.

Dan Gatia, owner of Private Studio Fitness and also a veteran, served in Somalia, Bosnia and Haiti in the Marine Corps from 1992-1996.

“I was sitting behind my computer at my apartment and overheard the news reporter on TV say a bomb had went off in one of the World Trade Towers. While watching the smoke billow from the first tower I watched as the second plane hit the next tower,” Gaita said.

“At that moment, life changed for all of us. I called my good friend and fellow Marine Tim. We met up at his place and watched, in a state of disbelief, as the first tower and then second tower collapsed,” he continued.

Kevin Cleary, Republican candidate for First Selectman, said he was working in Wilton when he received a call from his wife that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center.

“I had a portable radio in my office that I listen to along with my staff.  It was so surreal and unbelievable,” he said.

“Dale Wyatt, who became a friend of mine a few years after the dreadful day, lost her fiancee Michael Jacobs worked on the 90th floor of the south tower for Fiduciary Trust Company International.”

Cleary said he feels homeland security is still struggling with how to respect a person’s rights, “while trying to protect his well-being.”

First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker said the day of the attack he was attending at a management meeting in Tarrytown, NY.

“At that time I was working for Fujifilm USA in Elmsford, NY, and we were just getting ready to conduct a planning meeting at a meeting room at the Tarrytown Hilton.  As I was arriving for the meeting at the hotel, which is located on the Hudson River hear the Tappan Zee bridge, I actually remember hearing a jetliner pass overhead that seemed unusually low.  It may have been the American Airlines jet that hit the first tower, but I did not look up at it. A few minutes after that, one of the department admins called from the company offices to tell everyone from out of town to call home immediately to inform their families they were safe and nowhere near the World Trade Center.  After that we all went to the main lobby of the hotel where there was a big screen TV, where we watched the first tower collapse in real time.”

Knickerbocker said: “The event did significantly change my view of our nation’s security, leaving me with a feeling of vulnerability that I don’t think anyone in our nation had experienced since Pearl Harbor.”

“The attacks have caused some of us to lose sight of the very freedoms upon which our nation was founded.  The official justifications given by our own government for torture and extraordinary rendition is truly frightening.”

While so many lost their lives that say Dan Gita said never has he felt such a strong sense of patriotism.

“In light of the tragedy, I also never recall our nation as united as the days following the horrible events. Flags appeared on every home, business, and office. That tragedy welded the American People together in ways our generation never experienced. America, on Sept 12th, 2001 stood as one. Thousands died that day and thousands more have died due to what happened that day.Never forget!”

The September 11th ceremony on Sunday will begin with a march from the South Street Fire Department at 4:45 p.m. to the Municipal Center where Rev. Pople will lead the service. First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker and the Bethel High School ROTC, as well as clergy and members of the Bethel Police Department, Bethel Volunteer Fire Company and Stony Hill Fire Company will all participate.

Governor Malloy Signs Bill Co-Sponsored By State Rep. Dan Carter


Governor Signs Carter Co-Sponsored Bill Giving Municipalities Immunity in Rec Land Lawsuits

The following is a press release from State Re. Dan Carter–

HARTFORD—State Rep. Dan Carter  welcomed the governor’s approval of a bill that would give cities and towns immunity in suits spurred by injuries suffered on recreational land.

Gov. Dannel Malloy recently signed H.B. 6557, An Act Concerning Liability for the Recreational Use of Land. It protects municipalities, political subdivisions of the state and special districts as owners of land entitled to immunity under the Recreational Land Use Act—which offers the same protection to individuals, corporations, nonprofits, and private utilities.

The new law (P.A. 11-211) focuses on passive reaction areas, such as hiking trails. Recreation facilities such as basketball courts and swimming pools—things that require maintenance—are not included.

“A lot of cities and towns decided to restrict access to popular hiking or walking trails, for example, because they worried about costs tied to legal liability issues,” Carter said.

The bill co-sponsored by Carter was spurred by an issue that grabbed headlines last year—a nearly $3 million jury verdict awarded to a Rocky Hill resident who crashed her bicycle on a trail at a Metropolitan District Commission reservoir. Consequently, MDC officials, fearing a similar lawsuit in the future, threatened to padlock its various properties used by thousands of people throughout Connecticut. Municipal leaders, fearing similar lawsuits, considered making the same move.


American Red Cross Needs Blood! Donate in Danbury Thursday

POSTED BY  ⋅ AUGUST 30, 2011

American Red Cross Needs Blood! Donate in Danbury Thursday

The American Red Cross is in need of blood donations due to the impact of Hurricane Irene on the blood supply. The Red Cross is urging blood and platelet donations because platelets have a shelf-life of just five days, according to their website.

The Red Cross had to cancel over 60 blood drives along the East Coast due to Hurricane Irene, causing a shortage of over 1,500 units of blood.  They estimate many more in the upcoming days may also be canceled due to the storm damage. Nationwide, 44,000 blood donations are needed every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, and children with blood disorders. If the Red Cross does not get the blood they need, it could negatively impact the long-term care needs of those patients.

The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive on Thursday from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Newtown Road across from Wal-Mart. Online appointments are closed at this time, however donors may all 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment.

If you can’t make it Thursday in Danbury, the American Red Cross is holding another blood drive in Monroe on Saturday, Sept. 3 from 8:00am until 1:00pm at the Monroe Senior Center, 235 Cutler’s Farm Road, Monroe.

For more information on the American Red Cross and to view upcoming blood drive dates click here.

Burke Forms Connecticut Tea Party, Announces Slate


Burke Forms Connecticut Tea Party, Announces Slate

Former Bethel First Selectman Robert Burke announced Monday that he filed papers with the Secretary of the State to form the Connecticut Tea Party. Tuesday Burke filed papers with the Bethel Town Clerk so that he, along with a slate of Bethel candidates, will have a line on the ballot in November.

Burke said Monday he decided to form the party because “The Republican party is providing no option for the conservative side of the town of Bethel.”

The Chairman of the Connecticut Tea Party is Robert Burke. The Treasurer is Robert Crnic.

Burke said, “Moving forward we will form a town committee and they will elect a permanent chair, treasurer, secretary and a permanent vice chairman.”

“We are running an entire slate which will establish a CT Tea Party in order to perform the best government that can be performed.”

In order for Burke to petition to run as a candidate for First Selectman he had to get 49 signatures on his petition. This number was based upon 1% of the previous election. As of Monday evening Burke had 60 signatures.

Burke is running against the current First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker (D) and former selectman Kevin Cleary (R).

“People can vote for a conservative, responsible government,” Burke said Monday.

Bob Crnic will be Burke’s running mate and said he is running because, “I’ve studied, analyzed and familiarized myself with all aspects of the town’s budgets and day to day operations for close to twenty years.  Bob and I are fiscally conservative, but very mindful that each issue needs to be judged on its own merits and resolved objectively, without a pre-ordained ideology.”

Crnic praised Burke for what he accomplished when he served: “From renovating the high school, to successfully enacting the largest Town Charter revision in Bethel’s history that resulted in splitting the budget referendum process, Bob has a proven track record.”

Eight candidates will run under the Connecticut Tea Party: Robert Burke will run for First Selectman, Robert Crnic will be his running mate, Kevin Gallagher is running for Board of Education, Jack Moody is running for treasurer, George Gaylord, Jr. and Salvatore Maniscalo will run for board of Finance, Clinton Monroe Jr. will run for Board of Assessment Appeals and Tulio Belardinelli will run for police Commission.

Board of Finance candidate Salvatore Maniscalco owns and operates The Spot, along with his son Tony, and said he is qualified to run for Board of Finance because, “I have run a successful business for seven-and-a-half years, I’ve lived in Bethel for 35 years, I worked at Metropolitan Life for 25 years.”

Maniscalo said the top priority for the town should be getting roads fixed.

“There’s a lot of town roads in the Stony Hill area that were torn up 4 or 5 years ago and they’re still not replaced. Why? Something’s wrong.”

Burke said Monday evening, “When good people fail to act tyranny will succeed.  When determined people work together they can accomplish anything and that is what we intend to do.”

Bethel Social Services Needs Back-to-School Donations


Bethel Social Services Needs Back-to-School Donations ~ By Wendy Mitchell

About 15 Bethel families will not receive new sneakers and backpacks if the Bethel Social Services does not receive donations soon, said Kathleen Gillen, Director of Bethel Social Services. With less than 3 weeks until school starts, Gillen is hopeful that Bethel families will consider purchasing gift cards in denominations of $25 and up to donate to needy families.

The Social Services Department uses funds they receive from their Christmas bell ringing campaign through the Salvation Army to purchase gift cards to Target and Payless for Bethel’s needy families for back-to-school items. This year, however, they only received enough money to cover about half of that need.

“We have about 30 families we regularly serve but this year we only got about half as many donations as last year.” Gillen said it could be due to the economy and also lack of volunteers for bell ringing.

“I get Target gift cards and usually try to give every kid a Payless gift card for sneakers so they can get what they need,” Gillen said Monday.

Gillen urges residents to consider donating gift cards to Target and Payless so that the Bethel school children they serve will be able to go back to school with the supplies and clothing they need.

Donations can be dropped off in the office of Social Services during normal town hall hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. If Gillen is not in her office during those times, gift cards and donations may be dropped off in the First Selectman’s office or mailed in to:

Bethel Social Services

1 School Street

Bethel, CT. 06801

About 30 families per month use the food pantry at the Social Services office at the Municipal Center which also is running low on supplies. Gillen said donations are scarce during the summer months when donating food is not on everyone’s minds like during the holiday season. Specific needs include non-perishable food items, diapers and laundry supplies, which Gillen said, “seems to fly off the shelf.”

Bethel families in need can sign up for assistance by contacting Bethel Social Services at 203-794-8536. Proof of residency and income is required.

Local Fireworks Displays


Local Fireworks Displays


Saturday, June 25 at dark at Candlewood Lake/Danbury Town Park, rain date Sunday, June 26, roads get blocked off on either end of Hayestown, shuttle busses are available at St. Gregory’s Church on Great Plain Road. Click here for a map.

Friday, July 1 at Danbury Fair Mall, 7 Backus Ave, Danbury, rain date Tuesday, July 5. 

Fireworks take place over mall parking lot. Watch from car or bring a lawn chair.

New Milford:

Saturday, July 2 at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Fort Hill Still Meadow, behind Starbucks, ending at approximately 10:15 pm. Rain date for the fireworks is Sunday, July 3rd.


Saturday, July 2, rain date Sunday, July 3, at Ridgefield High School’s athletic field, 700 North Salem Road. $15 parking fee, passes must be purchased in advance at Fairfield County Bank, 374 Main Street, Ancona’s Market, 150 Danbury Road, town hall, and the Chamber of Commerce, 9 Bailey Avenue. Gates open at 6 p.m. for picnicking and the sounds of patriotic music, with the fireworks at dusk. Parking at the high school, Scotts Ridge Middle School and Barlow Mountain/Scotland School where shuttle buses will be available.


Friday, July 1 at Compo Beach, 64 Compo Beach Road, tickets now on sale at Westport Police Station and Parks & Rec Office, tickets are limited and on sale for $30 per car.  Rain date is Tuesday, July 5.

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