Bethel Public Schools Security Update

Bethel Public Schools Security Update

On January 2, 2013, the Bethel Public Schools have issued a new security update.

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Click here to view—>1PDF Security Update 12-2-12


Bethel Artist Memorializes Sandy Hook Children Through Drawings

Bethel Artist Memorializes Sandy Hook Children Through Drawings


Benjamin Wheeler, drawn by Dana Benz

Dana Benz, a 23-year-old Bethel artist is on a mission to draw all of the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy and give the drawings to their families. Last week Dana drew Emilie Parker and Olivia Engel (click here for pictures and article).

Jessica Rekos, drawn by Dana Benz

Jessica Rekos, drawn by Dana Benz

This week Dana has drawn four more of the children and has written the following letter to the families. This is Dana’s personal letter and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Bethel Buzz News or its editor.–

Daniel Barden, drawn by Dana Benz

Daniel Barden, drawn by Dana Benz

Beloved Families,

Words cannot express how incredibly loved you all are. You are precious and amazing. My heart weeps for the unimaginable heartache you are feeling. My hope is to bring some small amount of peace to you. May God comfort every heart that is crushed in this tragedy, including yours.

You all had gorgeous children. They seemed full of life and joy. They will always be remembered by their shining deep eyes, infectious smiles and loving hearts.

I know that no child on this earth could ever take the place of your lost ones. No matter if you have other children or even plan on having more, they will never ever be replaced. Their beautiful souls were carefully put together by the hands of God. Their lives matter regardless of what any other misguided person may say to you. It’s okay to be angry. This tragedy is not okay.

I believe this is all happening for a reason. You may ask what the reason is but honestly I have no idea. I’m wondering the same thing. I am not sure we ever will until we can ask God Himself. All I know is this: God did not choose this or want this. He wanted them to live a full life with all of you by their side. God loves everyone too much to cause such evil. A struggling, disturbed young man did this. He is being held accountable for those actions. We all have our own free will and God’s heart is weeping over this situation.

God knows your pain. He is with us always and constantly helping us, especially in times of trouble. I believe that He can turn even the worst things into something beautiful. Nothing is ever wasted. “The white keys on a piano represent happiness and the black keys represent sadness. Just know the black ones create music too.”

May you take the time to heal and see goodness arise from this horrible time. May your sorrow grow into joy…That the insurmountable pain would be relieved, day after day, with some laughter and good memories. I know this won’t be easy, I know our community will never be the same. I cannot even to begin to grasp the horrific and gut-wrenching pain you are feeling. I am here to support you in whatever way feels best. I’m praying for your hearts. You will always have my love.

“So take heart…Let His love lead us through the night. Hold on to hope and take courage again.” Among the sadness, the burdens and the loneliness I see beauty slowly emerging. There is still light in this world. It is shared in a hug, in an act of kindness, a prayer and many other forms that I cannot even name.

I feel like we are a tulip wrestling to get through a snowy ground. It feels cold, hard and nearly impossible but I think as we nourish one another with care we will be able to arise. There is hope, even in a time like this. You are loved and that love will get us through.

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him! Because He was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When He wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of this victory. “

May our Heavenly Father pour out His best blessings upon you, always. May goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your lives. I hope with every fiber of my being that when you feel the void taking hold that you will heavily feel God’s love and arms around you.

Dana Benz

Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, drawn by Dana Benz

Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, drawn by Dana Benz

Bethel Fire Marshal Reminds Residents to “Adopt A Hydrant”

Bethel Fire Marshal Reminds Residents to “Adopt A Hydrant”


From Bethel Fire Marshal Thomas Galliford–

“Reminder to “Adopt a Fire Hydrant” this winter.  As the snow piles up outside, please locate the closest fire hydrant to your property and shovel the snow from around it.  Most hydrants do have marker flags, but valuable time can be lost in digging out the snow from it during a fire.”

Editor’s note: According to Fire Engineering‘s website:

“The public thinks the fire department is responsible for the clearing fire hydrants. On average, it takes 20 minutes to dig out a hydrant. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards require hydrants every 1,000 feet for a building smaller than 3,600 square feet, and the duration of the water flow must be two hours or more. The first-arriving fire engine must establish fire flow water within four minutes.” ~ Scott Freeman
The National Fire Protection Association also recommends the following tips for winter fire safety:

Be safe and warm this winter

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable sapce heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.

For more information about how to keep your family and community safe this winter please click here.



Newtown Resident’s 9/11/01 Memorial Offers Solace for 12/14/12 Mourners

Newtown Resident’s 9/11/01 Memorial Offers Solace for 12/14/12 Mourners


For Newtown resident Howard Lasher, the wounds of the tragedy  of 9/11 are still fresh in his mind and heart more than a decade later. Experiencing another horrific tragedy in his lifetime, he said, is almost too much to bear.

“My heart has been shattered by this senseless evil of the massacre of those innocent children and educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.”

Mr. Lasher lives with his wife on Dodgingtown Road (Route 302) in Newtown and is the owner of the “Flag Trees” memorial.

In September of 2001 Mr. Lasher commissioned artist David Merrill to paint a tribute to his 10 dear friends that he lost that day.

Mr. Lasher said: “The American Flag Memorial is about the people who tragically lost their lives on 9/11 and also for all those men and women who have given their lives in defense of our great nation. Whether it is Iraq, Afghanistan and all the wars, The American Flag Memorial represents what they died for.”

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy of 12/14/12, Mr. Lasher has seen a steady stream of mourners come to his flag trees to light candles, leave cards, flowers and pictures and pray for the families who lost loved ones way too soon due to the horrific events of that day.

“The pain and anguish shall be a part of me forever and ever,” Mr. Lasher said. He hopes that after the Town of Newtown takes down the memorials around town after the New Year that people will still come to his memorial to pray and grieve.

For more information about Mr. Lasher’s flag trees memorial, please click here.



Town of Newtown Grateful for Help, Asks for Temporary Halt of Donations

Town of Newtown Grateful for Help, Asks for Temporary Halt of Donations


First Selectman Pat Llodra told Newtown Bee managing editor John Voket to

ask the public to cease sending gifts to the community following the deadly school shooting, saying they’re very grateful but can’t handle the massive amount of donations coming in from around the country.

Voket told Bethel Buzz that in addition to the deluge of donations the town is dealing with,  there is a strong concern for the many benefit concerts, private fundraising efforts and fundraising events taking place locally. “To avoid duplicate efforts the Town of Newtown has set up 3 committees to handle the many offers of help they are receiving,”Voket said. In addition to sifting through and channeling the hundreds  of offers of help to the appropriate parties, the Town will also be investigating and vetting private venues and organizations to ensure all donations go to directly benefit the families.

Please email for questions and/or concerns.

Please see more information below, published on 12/22/12 in the Newtown Bee, click here for more information.

Officials and community leaders working closely with residents and the survivors of the December 14 Sandy Hook School shooting wish to thank the people all over the world who have donated or are considering donating goods, services, or cash to help those affected.

The town issued a release December 22 to provide guidance and ensure donations go to good use and the purposes intended. Officials also want to inform the world about the status of the funds currently being collected by the United Way and Newtown Savings Bank in the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, which is one of many of funds collecting money.

According to Selectman Will Rodgers, a transition team has been formed to design an entity to receive that fund, as detailed below. This statement emanates from the Town of Newtown but is issued after consultation with various collecting entities including the United Way, Newtown Board of Education, other local charities and places of worship, and appropriate state officials.

Mr Rodgers said officials do not favor or discourage donations in general, or to any particular charitable entity or fund.

“Certainly it is not the intent to disparage any individual fund. And it is not an intent to speak for the entire charitable community,” he said, “and it is expressly not intended to speak for any of the families directly affected by this tragedy.”

The town, however, is offering this general guidance regarding donations of any type:

*Select a recipient fund that matches your intent in giving. There are any number of charities and funds that have arisen: individual or group victim family funds, scholarship funds, funds to construct physical memorials, funds for specific purposes or activities such as the arts, pets, therapy, etc. If you have a specific purpose, you will no doubt find a fund that addresses your desire.

*Engage in some level of verification or examination of the entity you are considering. Make sure you believe the entity is reliable because in these early days after the tragedy no general “vetting” or examinations may have been conducted of most funds, particularly smaller ones that have arisen to address this specific tragedy.

*Beware of groups that insist on immediate donations as most immediate needs are being met.

*If donating to a fund for a particular victim’s family, a key factor is whether the victim’s family itself knows and approves of the fund.

*Be patient and hold donations if possible to allow for processing, infrastructures, and safeguards to develop. Within a matter of a few days to a few weeks, structures will be developed to bring better organization to the charitable community. Right now many organizations are overwhelmed by the volume of giving. If, therefore, you are willing to wait a short time before donating, that may be helpful.

* Monetary (cash, checks, and credit card) and undesignated donations are often best. At this early stage all the costs, needs, and consequences of the tragedy are not yet known, indeed some have not yet unfolded. Monetary donations allow the receiving entity to match resources to needs. This applies particularly to corporate and other large donors.

In regard to the donations of goods or physical items such as perishable food, teddy bears, school supplies, etc. Many such offerings have been pouring into the Town, local places of worship, relief organizations, and others.

Officials are asking anyone organizing donations of goods and/or services to note the following guidance:

* Contact the receiving organization first to determine whether it wishes the donation, and is prepared to receive it. Certain groups, including town and Board of Education offices, may wish to have you hold or send your donation elsewhere, to a central processing point, for instance.

* Please do not send perishable goods any longer, except at specific request. There is no way to distribute them in a timely fashion.

* Again, patience would be appreciated. Physical goods require resources for handling and those resources are strained. In most cases each item requires some level of inspection by law enforcement by protocol as a precaution.

Donations of services and volunteerism may range from staffing phones to painting walls to visits or performances from those in the sports and entertainment fields. Many such efforts are already underway or in planning stages.

* Grass roots volunteers should contact those entities they wish to serve directly.

* Sports, entertainment, and other national organizations are asked to register and coordinate with a point of contact soon to be established and publicized. In the interim, if such groups need information regarding where to place proceeds, contact specific funds of your choice.

The Sandy Hook School Support Fund at Newtown Savings Bank, established in partnership with the Untied Way, has been and will be receiving funds from those wishing to help with needs connected to the tragedy. Because there has been some misinformation circulating as the this Fund, the following points of information are offered:

*Neither the United Way nor Newtown Savings Bank has been taking any portion of the Fund whatsoever for administrative or other purposes. The funds collected remain 100 percent intact.

*Neither the United Way nor Newtown Savings Bank will be determining how the moneys in the fund will be distributed. Instead, the fund will be turned over to a charitable entity to be formed by local officials with the input or assistance of state officials and disaster fund experts from the public and private sectors.

The transition team working on that process and entity consists of Attorney Will Rodgers, selectman; Attorney Andrew Buzzi, Newtown resident; Debbie Leidlein, chairman, Board of Education; Kim Morgan, chief executive officer, United Way of Western CT; Elizabeth Goering, United Way of Western CT; Attorney Andrew Zeitlin, United Way Board of Trustees; John F. Trentacosta, President & CEO Newtown Savings Bank; Attorney David Grogins, Town Counsel, Cohen & Wolf; Attorney Floyd Dugas, Board of Education Counsel, Bercham, Moses & Devlin.

One of the key elements of such an entity will be that both the scope of the assistance it provides, as well as each case by case decision to render assistance, will be determined with community input or by a community based board. This fund is designed to receive only general, undesignated donations.

Local Chiropractors Partner to Raise Funds for Newtown

Local Chiropractors Partner to Raise Funds for Newtown

Dr. Russell Caram

Dr. Russell Caram

The following is an announcement from Dr. Russell D. Caram & his colleague, Dr. Michael Murphy, two Bethel chiropractors who teamed up to help raise funds for Newtown-
The chiropractors of Bethel are looking to help out our neighbors in our sister-town of Newtown/Sandy Hook with a fund-raiser.

On December 27, 2012, Bethel’s chiropractors we will be asking that you stop by the GENERAL PURPOSE ROOM of the Bethel Municipal Center (1 School St.) between 12PM and 5PM to GET ADJUSTED in exchange for a donation specifically designated to build a memorial when time permits.


Dr. Michael Murphy, photo contributed.

Dr. Michael Murphy, photo contributed.

Don’t worry if you’ve never been adjusted before, or haven’t been adjusted in a long time! Or…if you were curious about chiropractic care and what it can do for you, there’s no better time to find out and help out with only a donation. (If you don’t wish to get adjusted but want to make a donation anyway, that too is welcome).


Help Sandy Hook and Newtown by getting adjusted and making a donation on December 27th between 12PM and 5PM!!