The Bethel Community Gazette
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May. 19, 2019
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Unofficial Referendum Results
The unofficial tally for the May 7th referendum has the budget passing 1,286 votes Yes versus 1,097 votes No, 54% versus 46%.
The advisory question had 1,430 votes that the Town Budget is Too High versus 635 voting that the Town Budget is Too Low, 69% versus 31%.
The referendum turnout was approximately 20% of the registered voters.
Read more... - Published on 05 / 07 / 2019
Budget Referendum Set For May 7th
Town Meeting Results Are Deemed Valid
First Selectman Assures Town That Rules Were Properly Followed
At this week's Town Meeting that resulted in approval of the revised budget and set May 7th as the referendum date, a controversial "maneuver" was used to end discussion and move the meeting to a vote, even while voters were queued in line to speak to the assembled officials and voters about the budget. The Town Meeting operates under Roberts Rules, a set of specific rules that govern how issues may be raised, voted on or debated. One such rule allows a motion to end discussion and move to a vote, but it requires a 2/3rds vote in order to end the discussion. Voters present raised the issue of whether a 2/3rds vote could be recorded as the vote was taken by a voice vote - essentially attendees shouting their approval or disapproval of the motion, rather than a specific count of voters holding placards. A second complaint surfaced that the audience consisted of registered and non-registered voters and that a simple voice vote allowed non-registered voters to "count" by yelling their vote.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Kitty Rescued
Friday Bethel Fire received a call at their station to rescue a resident's cat that had gotten itself into a precarious situation. Although this is actually an abnormal call for them, they are always excited to help someone's pet. Firefighter and kitty are reported to be fine.
Bethel Firefighters answer the call to save a treed cat.

Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Please Stay Alert
The Bethel Police Department remind our readers that Spring Break is officially over, which means that school buses and students have returned to their bus stops.
They ask you to help keep our Bethel students safe and save the calls and texts for later.The life you save could be a young child.

Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Blood Drive
The Bethel Historical Society is sponsoring a blood drive for the American Red Cross on Monday, April 29th from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The event will be held at the Bethel Historical Society, 40 Main St., Bethel, CT 06801. Walk ins are welcome, or people may call in advance to schedule an appointment at 1 800 733-2767.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Adopt Dakota
Dakota is a medium sized mixed breed that was surrendered to a high kill shelter because he has heartworm. He is being treated and will be clear after a full course of medications. A foster home for him to convelesce in during the process is needed. He will be available for adoption as well or foster-to-adopt as well. He is sweet, good with dogs, kids and people. He loves to play and is always looking to be with his people. He will make an excellent family pet and is patiently waiting for someone to give him the chance he deserves.
Looking Glass Animal Rescue
Ridgefield, CT 06877
(914) 912-9027
adopt@lgarinc.org
http://www.lgarinc.org

Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Memorial Day
Skip Clapp reminds our readers that those interested in participating in the Bethel Memorial Day Parade should please contact him at the Bethel American Legion Post 100 at 203-748-9400.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Holbrook Farms Is Open
Holbrook Farms, under new management, at 45 Turkey Plain Road opened Easter weekend and thanks everyone who came out. "It was so great to see all the happy faces this past weekend!" they said.
They are open this Thursday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then Tuesdays through Fridays 9 am to 6 p.m. And Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. after that.

Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Sip, Snack & Shop For A Cause
Patricia's Presents is hosting Sip, Snack, Shop For A Cause on Friday, May 3rd from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to support Looking Glass Animal Rescue. Stop in at 164 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Election Complaint Filed
On Friday, April 26, the Bethel Schools weekly emailed newsletter contained what some in Town have interpreted as a call to support passage of the referendum, which Schools Superintendent Dr. Carver, identified as the message author, strongly denies.
The emailed newsletter from the Bethel Schools began "Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff, At the Town Meeting on April 24th, the revised Town budget was moved to a referendum vote on May 7th. The Town budget contains our maintenance account, school debt for renovations and capital non-reoccurring (band uniforms and resurfacing of track). It is important to remember that the town budget in many ways also supports the schools."
The Bethel Community Gazette has learned that the taxpayer advocacy group Bethel Action Committee has filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Bethel Town and Capital Budget Vote
On April 11, Bethel voters passed the School budget but voted down the Town and Capital budgets, resulting in those budgets going back to the Board of Finance for revision, which was reviewed and approved at Town Meeting on April 24. The next step is that the revised budget goes before the Town in a referendum on May 7th. Please see the accompanying graphic to determine where you should vote, and the spreadsheet to review the budget by department, sorted by largest increases over last year.
The summary at the bottom shows the operating budget total both with and without the allocation of an anticipated refund from the state for work done on the high school. During the Town Meeting, the Board of Finance Chair Robert Manfreda and the Town Comptroller Robert Kozlowski were questioned about the nature of the $285,000 debt service reduction re-worked into the proposed budget. It came to light that there is no written documentation about the amount, timing or promise to return the funds. The decision to include the $285,000 refund was based on a phone conversation with a state official and was characterized as "likely" to happen. This caused Board of Finance member Cynthia McCorkindale to state her opposition to including the amount in the budget. "I'm not on the board of hope" she quipped. Mr. Manfreda also conceded that the Town would be liable for the $285,000 portion of the debt service until the funds were made available to the Town.
A proposal by Mr. William Hillman to reduce the unallocated funds account by $120,000 failed. The budget them moved to a vote after a motion to end discussion with members of the audience still queued up to speak. The motion was passed and then the budget was adopted for referendum.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Library News
By Susan Anderson
Spring has entered in and summer is peeking around the corner. Let the Bethel Public Library help you plan a season of fun and adventure, near and far.
If you are getting ready for a trip, it's time to check the travel section of the Library for a wealth of information about your favorite destination. Traveling to a non-English speaking country?
Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Real Estate News
By Jim DiLillo, Broker / Owner, DiLillo Real Estate
There are several positive signs emerging this spring that could sow the seeds for a positive uptick in Bethel's real estate market in the months ahead.
While some other parts of Connecticut have experienced a population decline, the Bethel area has continued to thrive. The downtown area alone has several new restaurants and other amenities that have opened in recent months contributing to the quality of life and the desirability of the community.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Lunch Spotlight: Sycamore Drive-In
One of our not-so-guilty pleasures is a chicken salad sandwich at the Sycamore Drive-In. My fiance Alicia and I split a sandwich and enjoy an order of half curly fries and half regular fries. And then she tries to pull me away from the classic cars as one is almost always on display. The Saturday Summer Cruise Nights start May 5th, 6 to 9 p.m. – B.K.
Resources:Sycamore Drive-In, 282 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel203-748-2716, www.sycamoredrivein.comwww.stonyhilldiner.com
The food is great, too!
Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Bethel Board of Finance Trims $385,000 From Proposed Town Budget
Town Meeting Set For April 24
The Bethel Board of Finance met on Tuesday, April 16th to work on a new version of the Town Budget after the Town referendum failed to pass by 23 votes.
Board of Finance Chair Robert Manfreda said after Tuesday's meeting "This was incredibly hard, and we're gonna get yelled at by everybody."
Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
High School Helpers
Courtesy Photo: Bethel High School student volunteers recently worked at the Stony Hill Fire Department. Above, some helped clean up the fire station.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Sprint Flower Sale
Courtesy Photo: The Stony Hill Fire Department annual Flower Sale is going on this weekend. The funds help pay for emergency services.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Distracted Tickets
Courtesy Photo: The Bethel and Newtown Police Departments are coordinating Distracted Driving Awareness Month enforcement efforts. Drive safely.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Blood Drive
The second blood drive in honor of Detective O'Farrell's daughter Maddie will take place on Monday, May 6th at the Judd St. Police Station from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Call 800-733-2767 and use code BethelPD to sign up.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Holbrook Farms Opening
Holbrook Farm on Turkey Plain Road is opening this weekend. Stop by and check out the offering from the new farm operators.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Night At The Races
The Bethel Education Foundation is hosting a Kentucky Derby Party fundraiser on May 4th. They provide essential resources that encourage innovation and creativity in the classroom. Visit betheledfoundation.org for details and tickets.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Car Seat Clinic
The Bethel Police Department will hold a by appointment Car Seat Clinic on Sunday, April 28, at the Stony Hill Fire Department, where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will work with parents and caregivers to ensure that their car seat is installed and used properly in their car. Call 203-744-7900 ext. 693 to register.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Thank A Dispatcher
The Bethel Police Department asks you to join them in saluting our dispatchers this week. Our dispatchers answer 911 calls, routine phone lines, and dispatch radio calls for Police, Fire, and EMS services no matter what time of day or night.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Redcoats Are Coming!
The Bethel Historical Society will be holding a day-long event on June 8th with several groups of American Revolutionary War reenactors, to bring history to life. There will be military encampments, tactical exercises, firelock shooting including a canon, competitions, camp life demonstrations, horses, a blacksmith, and social activities. There will be music and dancing, marching, and a presentation by Patrick T. Wild, Bethel's Town Historian. Visit their website at www.bethelhistoricalsociety.com for details.


Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Library News
"You Got to Have Friends," as Bette Midler sang in the 1973 hit single. There are dozens more
songs about friends—so please choose your favorite and hum that tune!
At the Bethel Public Library, we've got our own special group of friends, and we'd like to tell you
Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
School News
Champions
All three Bethel Winter Guard teams received first place at the MAC championship and Bethel AA was voted Fan Favorite. Two of our varsity members also received scholarships. Our Senior Guard is competing in the World Finals in Dayton, Ohio.
Congratulations to MAC Jeffrey Smith 2019 scholarship award recipients: Madelyn Wachnuik, BHS and Jillian Ramey, BHS
Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Spotlight: Jesse Raymond - Branch Manager, People's United Bank
Brad: When did you join People's Bank?
Jesse: I joined People's United Bank in 2012 as a member of one of the Long Island branches in East Meadow, NY.
Brad: What did you do before banking?
Read more... - Published on 04 / 20 / 2019
Recently Retired School Board President and Civic Leader Passes
We are saddened by the news that recently retired School Board President and dynamic community leader Lawrence "Larry" Craybas, 77, passed away on Saturday, April 6th after a recent illness. He was the husband of Joan A. Craybas.

The family will receive friends at St. Mary's Church, Bethel, Monday (April 15) from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 13 / 2019
School, Capital Budgets Pass, Town Fails
On Thursday, April 11th, Bethel voters went to the polls to vote on the Town Budget, the School Budget and a capital expenditure for repairs to the school heating and cooling system.
The $46.4 million School budget and $1 million Capital expense both passed, but the $32 million Town budget failed by a margin of 23 votes, 1,337 to 1,314 according to unofficial results released by Tim Beeble, registrar of voters. Voters approved the $46.4 million school budget by 143 votes, 1,396 to 1,252 and the $1 million capital budget by 523 votes, 1,580 to 1,057. 2,651 votes were cast, according to unofficial results, representing roughly 22% of registered voters in Town. Looked at another way, 23 voters, or 2 tenths of a percent of the register voters in Town determined the Town budget vote outcome.
First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said "I'm deeply, deeply disappointed that the town side is going to be victimized."
Read more... - Published on 04 / 13 / 2019
First Selectman Race Update
Steve Deuschle Withdraws From Race and Matt Knickerbocker Announces Bid For Re-election
Selectmen Straiton and Szatkowski also announce re-election bids

Steve Deuschle, who had received the endorsement of the Republican Town Committee to run in the November election for Bethel First Selectman, has announced this week that he will be withdrawing from the race due to family reasons. Republican Town Committee Chair Bryan Terzian said "I said from the beginning Steve has got incredible moral fiber and character, and he is not running due to family reasons. I totally support his decision. Family comes first and that's the type of guy Steve is. He's dedicated to his family. I understand his reasoning and support his decision. That's Steve. Anyone who knows Steve knows he's a very dedicated family man."
Read more... - Published on 04 / 13 / 2019
Two Prominent Local Democrats Honored
The Bethel Democratic Town Committee honored Alice Hutchinson and Cyndie McGuire at the annual fundraiser banquet.
Ms. Hutchinson was presented with the Bill and Jane Shannon Community Service Award. The award is presented annually to a Bethel resident who has contributed to the growth and improvement of the Town of Bethel through involvement in various civic and public activities and committees.
The award was presented by Matt Knickerbocker, First Selectman, Town of Bethel, and Nicholas Vitti Jr., Chairman, Bethel Democratic Town Committee, before an audience of over 130 local and state dignitaries, including Senator Richard Blumenthal and LT. Governor Susan Bysiewicz.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 13 / 2019
Historical Society Receives $2,500 Grant
The Bethel Historical Society received a grant from the Elizabeth Raymond Ambler Trust of Wilton. The $2,500.00 grant supports the Society's Living History Day event on June 8th.
The Bethel Historical Society is planning a day-long event with several groups of American Revolutionary War re-enactors to bring history to life on June 8th.
There will be military encampments, tactical exercises, firelock shooting, a firing canon, competitions, camp life demonstrations, horses and social activities, as well as music, dancing, marching and a presentation by Bethel Town Historian Patrick T. Wild.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 13 / 2019
First Annual Family Fair And Camp Expo
At Municipal Center
On Sunday, April 7, The Bethel Chamber of Commerce, Macaroni Kid and Sunflower Studio hosted the first Bethel Family Fair and Camp Expo.
Several hundred attendees came to see performances by Pete & Chris, The Bethel High School Theater performing scenes from Footloose, Petri Doherty Irish Dancers, acts from Wade's Music, with face painting, caricatures and information from 22 local schools, camps and businesses.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 13 / 2019
YEA Graduation
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy graduated the 2019 class on Wednesday, April 10. The Connecticut program, supported in part by the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, has been run by Bobbi Jo Beers, who is stepping down at the end of the current year.
The program is housed at the WestConn campus in the Entrepreneur, Research, Innovation and Creativity facility provides instruction, support, mentoring and funding sources for students in middle and high school. Enrolled students develop business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch investors, and eventually launch their very own companies.
Projects ranged from an advertising agency to a vest for relieving anxiety.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 13 / 2019
Library News
May 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of Mental Health Month. How does that matter to you?
Well, if you consider that it's been estimated that one in five adults and teens experiences some form of mental illness, it really does matter to everyone.
Of course, there are local agencies, organizations, and support groups that can help individuals and their families, and everyone who has concerns about themselves or someone else should reach out to those experts right away. But did you know that your hometown Library has some helpful resources, too? In addition to books for loan with a library card, the Bethel Public Library has a large offering of informational pamphlets and booklets, which are free to take at any time.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 13 / 2019
School News
Groundbreaking
The Rockwell & Johnson School Renovation Projects Groundbreaking took place Thursday, April 11 at 11 a.m.
Celebrating 20 years of BEST Summer Programs
Read more... - Published on 04 / 13 / 2019
Referendum Vote 2019 – 2020
We provide readers with the updated proposed budget, ballet questions, where to vote and when to vote.
On Thursday, April 11 Bethel voters go to the polls to vote on the Town and School budget referendum. This section explains where to vote and reviews the proposed budget that was sent to the referendum vote at the Annual Town Meeting last week.

Click here to read First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker's Letter To The Editor about the budget vote
Polls are open from 6 a.m. To 8 p.m.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
In Bethel, If U Text – U Pay
According to NHTSA, there were 3,166 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017 alone, and young drivers 16 to 24-years-old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.
We all have cell phones, and we're all on them all the time. But when you drive, you have one responsibility: Drive safely and responsibly. Do the right thing—put your phone away when you get behind the wheel. If your attention is anywhere other than on the road, you're driving distracted, and you're driving dangerous.
This month, in an effort to combat this danger on the roadway, Bethel Police will be working diligently to specifically identify distracted drivers; especially those near areas where bus stops are located. Save yourself the costly infraction and keep the screen time for later.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
On To The Semi-Finals!
Guards from over 140 schools competed in the preliminaries on Wednesday, April 3rd.
Bethel is moving on to Semi Finals in the top 15.

Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
Greenwood Ave. Fire
On Thursday, April 4th. Stony Hill Engine 3 assisted Bethel Fire and EMS at a chimney fire on Greenwood Avenue.
Upon arrival, flames were shooting from the chimney opening. Crews quickly knocked down the bulk of the flames but remained on scene for an extensive time as the chimney was severely clogged with creosote.
The Bethel Fire Departments remind our readers that chimneys should be cleaned and inspected professionally at least once a year to prevent these types of fires.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
Congratulations Ann Scacco!
Congratulations to Bethel Tax Collector, Ann Scacco for receiving the Connecticut Tax Collectors Association 2019 Presidents Award.
The Town thanks her for her hard work and dedication.

Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
First Annual Family Fair And Camp Expo At Municipal Center
On Sunday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bethel Municipal Center General Purpose Room, The Bethel Chamber of Commerce, along with Macaroni Kid and Sunflower Studio will host the first annual Family Fair and Camp Expo.
The event is $5 at the door or free if registered in advance online at bethelfamilyfair.com.
The event features more than 20 local organizations, dance performances. live music, comedy and magicians, revolutionary period re-enactors, a Bethel fire truck and firefighters, face painting, games with The Toy Room and much more.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
The Redcoats Are Coming!
The Bethel Historical Society is planning a day-long event with several groups of American Revolutionary War re-enactors to bring history to life on June 8th.
There will be military encampments, tactical exercises, firelock shooting, a firing canon, competitions, camp life demonstrations, horses and social activities, as well as music, dancing, marching and a presentation by Bethel Town Historian Patrick T. Wild. The Boy Scouts will present Passport To Bethel which will provide an opportunity to talk with scouts and learn about Bethel's unique historic structures.

Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
Library News
Now that you've put away your winter coat, you are ready to spring into action! There are plenty of places to explore, and the Bethel Public Library should be your first stop before you set out.
Thanks to the Friends of the Library, your Bethel Library card is your passport to free or reduced admission at almost two dozen venues, from art and children's museums, to nature centers, zoos, and cultural sites.
Families with young children who visit The Children's Museum in West Hartford can get one free admission with each paid admission (up to four per day). A bit closer to home is EverWonder Children's Museum in Newtown, where two adults and up to four children get 50% off admission.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
New Boutique Opens Downtown
Gather Boutique founder and owner Sue Tully has done home renovations and design in the area, and has had an online shop reflecting her love of helping clients create the perfect space to gather since 2016. Opening a space to showcase her carefully curated offerings seemed a natural extension, and so Sue opened her new store, Gather Boutique, in March.
"Our collection is thoughtfully curated from artisans who are as passionate about their products as we are about the interiors they create," Sue explained.
The boutique appeals to multiple facets, with shoppers finding gifts for home warming, hostess and baby shower occasions, as well as items for themselves. One of the shop specialties is customization, where items can be brought together in an inspired presentation that matches the interest and character of the recipient. For example, if you are looking for an inspired gift for Mothers Day, Sue can help design the perfect gift box. But the customization and offerings go far beyond gifting. Besides individuals, clients include realty professionals, corporate gift giving and bridal and wedding planners.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 23 / 2019
Ireland Comes To Bethel
Photoworks held a reception St. Patrick's Day weekend showcasing the work of local photographer Marion Lynott on Saturday, March 16th.
The show, titled Memories of Home, features photos taken of picturesque County Moyo, Ireland and opened March 1.
Dozens of well wishers, Emerald Isle lovers and art lovers attended, enjoying the photos, conversation and wine and cheese.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 23 / 2019
Board Reacts To Input
Roughly 70 Bethel residents attended the public hearing on the proposed 2019-2020 budget on Tuesday, March 19, where they had the opportunity to address members of the Board of Finance, the Board of Selectmen and The School Board.
Several speakers asked to add funding for the turf track, and the need for repaired band uniforms was also discussed.
Several speakers also asked that the overall budget be reduced rather than increased, and one speaker raised the issue of out-of-district students illegally attending Bethel schools with no reimbursement.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 23 / 2019
New Lower Speed Limit
At the December 19, 2018 Police Commission meeting, local resident Anthony Orrico requested that the speed limit on Grand View Avenue be lowered from the current 25 mph to 20 mph.
Bethel Police reviewed traffic and road conditions and agreed public safety might be improved by a lower limit.
The Police Commission voted unanimously at the March 20 meeting to adopt a 20 mile per hour speed limit. New signs will be posted in the next few weeks.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 23 / 2019
Ongoing Water Main Work
Residents near Cherry Lane and Pleasant Rise woke this past Wednesday to construction workers breaking through the street as part of ongoing work replacing water mains in that part of town. Work was ongoing as of press time.


Read more... - Published on 03 / 23 / 2019
Commission Seeks Support
The Bethel Police Commission unanimously reaffirmed their support of proposed state bill 5149 that seeks "To prohibit nonstatutory restrictions on meetings of boards of police commissioners."
Current Bethel rules force the Police Commission to meet at Town Hall rather than at Police Headquarters. This bill would restore the Commission's ability to meet at the Police Headquarters.
They also expressed the hope that the public would contact their state representatives in support of the bill.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 23 / 2019
Open House
The Sunflower Studio Open House took place on Thursday, March 21, with activities, snacks, live music and visiting dignitaries for an official ribbon cutting.
Bethel First selectman Matt Knickerbocker and Bethel Chamber of Commerce President Brad Koltz came to the event and welcomed the studio to Bethel during the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The Toy Room had activities and games and Macaroni Kid had crafts.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 23 / 2019
Spotlight: Maggie Wong - Kowloon Chinese Restaurant
I recently had a conversation with Maggie Wong, owner of Kowloon Chinese Restaurant on Greenwood Avenue.
Brad: When did you open Kowloon?
Maggie: We opened in 2015.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 23 / 2019
Budget 2019-2020
A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Bethel Middle School to review the proposed 2019-2020 Town and School budgets.
Bethel votes for the School and Town Budgets separately, and has on several occasions passed only one of the two. Bethel First Selectmen Matt Knickerbocker said that this causes tremendous issues as the two budgets are intertwined. "Please vote yes/yes or no/no" he requested during a recent talk with local business people at The Bethel Chamber of Commerce.
The school budget accounts for 63% of the combined budget and 46% of the proposed increase, excluding the increase required to pay the obligated debt.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
Holbrook Farm Under New Management
Local restaurateurs Jeff Taibe and Stephanie Sweeney of Bethel's Taproot Restaurant and Shawn and Erin Reilly of The Redding Roadhouse have teamed up to lease and run Holbrook Farm and Farm Store. The farm's future was uncertain after the previous occupant closed after the end of the 2018 season.
The new proprietors plan to offer the staples that Holbrook Farm customers have come to expect, as well as showcasing more local artisans, farms and businesses, and hosting special events such as farm dinners, cooking classes, flower arranging and yoga.
They plan to open Easter weekend, and to also continue operating the farm and supplying local restaurants with locally sustainable produce.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
Keeping Stony Hill Safe
Bethel Police Detective Jonathan McClintock met with twenty Stony Hill business community members at the recent Stony Hill Four Corners Association meeting to discuss concerns about area crime. Detective McClintock discussed police efforts to increase visible patrols as well as other measures. He also recommended that businesses consider upgrading surveillance cameras and alarms, and circulated a sheet for business owners to update their emergency contact information in the event an alarm is triggered in their area.
Bethel is consistently rated as one of the safest communities in Connecticut, and none of the activity discussed involved residential property.
Specific recommendations to improve business security include:
Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
Chamber Group Growing
The Bethel Chamber of Commerce Connect For Success group has been growing rapidly since the group began meeting each Tuesday at 8 a.m. at the Chamber office at 184 Greenwood Avenue.
The group is open to Chamber members and guests and features networking, referrals, coffee and conversation.
"It's gratifying to see so many local business people come together to help each other grow their businesses," said Chamber President Brad Koltz. "Non members are welcome to drop in and see how it works," he added. Visit bethelchamber.com to learn more.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
Education Board Chair Resigns
Bethel Board of Education Chairman Larry Craybas has resigned from the Board.
Mr. Craybas has recently begun treatment for leukemia.
Bethel Superintendent of Schools Christine Carver, Ed.D. said "Larry's dedication, commitment, patience, hard work, and professionalism as Chairman have significantly helped to improve the educational experience for the children of Bethel and have taught many the meaning of being a responsible member of this community."
Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
Mini Golf Fundraiser
The Bethel Public Library will be hosting a fun fundraiser this coming weekend, Mini Golf "fore" the Library. On Friday, March 22nd from 6:30 to 9 p.m., enjoy food and drink while playing 18 holes of mini golf and enjoying samplings from La Zingara, Broken Symmetry, Central Package and The Daily Fare. Tickets are $40 per person and this event is for ages 21 and up. On Saturday, March 23rd enjoy Mini Golf "Fore" Everyone from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. $10 per person with a $40 per family maximum. For more information or to sign up, go to www.bethellibrary.org/mini-golf-fore-the-library.


Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
Workspace Kitchen Grand Opening
Dozens of parents, students, friends and guests came out to hear local dignitaries, taste samples and cheer the ribbon cutting for Workspace's new commercial-grade kitchen, 2 and a half years in the making and the center-piece of their new Kitchen Learning Lab.
"This is phase two of a four phase program to create a self sustained city that feeds itself here at Workspace" said Executive Director Cath Fraise.
Facilities Director Paul Merchant also served as Chef de Cuisine, with Michelle Brigante as his Sous Chef and a half dozen student ambassadors serving guests.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
National Scholastic Art Awards Medals
12th grader Thomas Conkin won a Gold Medal for his ceramic "New York Bakery" and 8th grader Louis Bretti won a Silver Medal for his jewelry piece "The Fall of the Smoking Black Heart" at the National Scholastic ART Awards this year. The Gold award winner work will be displayed in New York City, and students will be honored at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 7th.


Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
Famous Field Trip
Bethel's Famous Pizza recently hosted the Bethel First Grade. Students learned how pizza is made, and a great time was reported to have been had all around. Famous Pizza has hosted the Bethel First Grade every year since 2005. They're located at 1 P.T. Barnum Square.


Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
CT State Science & Engineering Fair
Congratulations to those students who were selected to advance to the CT State Science and Engineering Fair at Quinnipiac University this week:
In Grade 8:
Charlotte Bruce, Anna Kopec, Kayla O'Marra, Kerry Tuccinardi;
Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
Post Prom Party Volunteers Still Needed
The Post Prom party is a long standing Bethel tradition that celebrates our seniors and keeps them safe on Prom night. This is not a school sponsored event. It is entirely put on with volunteers and community donations.
The organizers are "desperate" to fill key positions so that they don't have to cancel this event. Those considering volunteering are asked not to wait until you have a senior to get involved.
Those interested in learning more, or to sign up, are asked to visit http://signup.com/go/qkwJsRE.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
Spring Comes To Stony Hill
The snow outside is still melting, but Spring has already come to Stony Hill at Hollandia Nurseries. The newly decorated showroom features plants, pottery, garden accessories and lots of delightful surprises. Visit the showroom at 95 Stony Hill Road to explore and enjoy this early indoor Spring display.
Resources:
Hollandia Nurseries
95 Stony Hill Road, Bethel
203-792-0268
Read more... - Published on 03 / 16 / 2019
A Berry Good Visit
Bethel's Berry School kindergartners visited the Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Department on Wednesday.
The students learned about fire safety at home, as well as how fire engines work, and the tools and gear that the firefighters use.

Read more... - Published on 03 / 09 / 2019
Barlow/Bethel Take 3rd at SWC Championships
Barlow/Bethel tied with Brookfield for third place at the South West Conference boys swimming championships on Wednesday. Pomperaug amassed 533 team points to take first place, followed by Masuk in second in the team standings with 369 points. Barlow/Bethel and Brookfield tied for third place with 298 points each.
Highlights included placing 4th in the Medley Relay, Timmy Joyce placing 2nd and breaking the school record of the 200 Freestyle, Michael Renda placed 4th in the 50 free, 200 Freestyle Relay placing 4th, Timmy Joyce placing 1st in the 500 Freestyle and braking the school record, Matt Canfield placing 5th in the 100 backstroke, and 400 Freestyle Relay placing 2nd.
Barlow/Bethel edged out Newtown by one point, allowing the Barlow/Bethel team to tie Brookfield for third place.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 09 / 2019
Police Blood Drive A Huge Success
The Bethel Police Blood Drive in support of Detective O'Farrell's 12 year old daughter Maddie on Wednesday was well attended despite the heavy snowfall, 44 people came out and donated platelets, plasma and red cells, enough for 132 patients.
Online registrations were so large that a second drive will be held on May 6. Anyone looking to donate should visit redcrossblood.org and use code BethelPD.

Read more... - Published on 03 / 09 / 2019
Community Quilt Drive
Bethel Police Officer Brown stopped by Studio Q on Sunday to meet the volunteers making quilts for the Bethel Police Department to use as needed within our community. He was rewarded with the first quilt that was purchased by Studio Q and donated to the cause. Find out more by visiting www.quiltstudioq.com.


Read more... - Published on 03 / 09 / 2019
Home Buying Seminar
A panel of realtors, lawyers and bankers presented information about first time home buying to over a dozen attendees at DiLillo Real Estate on February 24th. The People's Bank event explained about loan programs and other aspects of first time home buying.


Read more... - Published on 03 / 09 / 2019
New Library Charging Stations
The Bethel Library has added two new phone charging stations. One is on the first floor near the Circulation Desk and the other is in the Teen Room.


Read more... - Published on 03 / 09 / 2019
Spotlight: Pam Karpen Running Against Cancer
Bethel Cinema owner Pam Karpen is running in the Boston Marathon to raise funds for Dana-Farber cancer research.
As of press time, she has raised over $18,000 from 114 donors as she tries to raise $20,000.
Here's an excerpt from Pam's web page describing why she is raising money and running against cancer.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 09 / 2019
Board Chair Treated For Leukemia
Larry Craybas, chair of the Bethel Board of Education, has moved to Sloan Kettering in New York for treatment of leukemia. His wife Joan will be staying in New York with Larry during treatment, with Terri and Bob minding the family shop, The Gift Cottage, on Greenwood Avenue. "It's been rough and it's going to be hard, but we're blessed by the support of so many wonderful people in town" said Joan.
The Bethel Chamber has put a get well card at The Gift Cottage and encourages friends, family, neighbors and business associates to stop by and sign the card. "It really cheers him up to get cards and well wishes," said Joan.
Larry was being moved to Sloan Kettering at press deadline. We will publish where well wishes can be sent directly to Larry once he's settled in at Sloan Kettering.
Read more... - Published on 02 / 16 / 2019
Budget Meetings
The Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance met on Wednesday, February 13th to review department requests for the 2019-2020 budget that will be presented at Town Meeting in April. 14 of 35 department budgets were reviewed and unanimously approved.
The Board of Education budget will be reviewed on February 22nd.

Read more... - Published on 02 / 16 / 2019
Ambulance Loaned From Brookfield
The Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department has loaned an ambulance to Stony Hill as a stand-in while the Stony Hill Fire Department ambulance is being repaired.
Bethel and Brookfield have a mutual aid agreement.

Read more... - Published on 02 / 16 / 2019
Don't Do This
State Police remind the public that driving without clearing off your car carries a $120 fine.


Read more... - Published on 02 / 16 / 2019

Broadway in Bethel
The Bethel High School Theater Booster Club is coordinating Broadway in Bethel on March 22, 23 and 24, with the play Footloose.
Local businesses and restaurants are encouraged to offer specials in cooperation with the booster club.

Read more... - Published on 02 / 16 / 2019


Funds Raised
The All Sports Booster Club raised $850 at the bake sale in memory of Emily Todd on February 6th at the High School boys basketball game.


Read more... - Published on 02 / 16 / 2019
Library News
By Thomas Borysiewicz
Library Correspondent
How can you boost your brain and your mood? Enjoy creativity with friends! Countless studies have shown the benefits of gathering with others in a creative activity. By focusing on a pleasant task in a social setting, you develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity as well build new friendships.
The Bethel Public Library has always been the place to be curious, enlightened, and inspired through a wide range of services and programs. Our weekly Knitting and Crocheting Group and monthly Crafts for Adults are two of the many opportunities we offer.
Read more... - Published on 02 / 16 / 2019
Parents University
On Thursday, February 28th, the Bethel Public Schools will be hosting Parent University beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Bethel Middle School at 600 Whittlesey Drive.
Parent University is an evening of free educational workshops designed for parents of children entering kindergarten through Grade 12 to help them understand what programs are available in the Bethel Public Schools and provide ways to support children at home.
All workshops are held at Bethel Middle School.
Read more... - Published on 02 / 16 / 2019
Spotlight: Mohammad Shilleh, Royal Choice Global Transportation
Brad: When did you start Royal Choice Global Transportation?
Mohammad: We started in 1998 in White Plains, New York.
Brad: What brought you to Bethel?
Read more... - Published on 02 / 16 / 2019
School Consolidation Proposed
Would Eliminate Local School Districts Statewide
Bethel Would Be Combined With Newtown, Redding and Ridgefield
State Senator Martin Looney, (D) New Haven, the President pro tempore of the Connecticut Senate, has introduced a bill, S.B. 454, that proposes a massive change in how Connecticut schools are organized that would effectively strip communities like Bethel of local control over their school systems.
Read more... - Published on 02 / 09 / 2019
Spotlight: Diana Brady, DiLillo Real Estate
I recently had the chance to interview Bethel Real Estate Professional Diana Brady.

Brad: When did you begin selling real estate?
Read more... - Published on 02 / 09 / 2019
Legislative Breakfast Date Set
The 2019 Bethel Legislative Breakfast, sponsored by the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, is set for Monday, February 25th at 8 a.m.
The breakfast will feature a local issues focus and an introduction by Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker, followed by presentations by Connecticut State Senators Julie Kushner and Will Haskell and State Representatives Stephen Harding and Raghib Allie-Brennan.
For more details, visit the Bethel Chamber website at bethelchamber.com.
Read more... - Published on 02 / 02 / 2019
Bethel Police Share Scam Alert
Bethel Police and Eversource shared an alert about scams focused on utility customers.
"The scammers, often sounding legitimate and quite convincing, threaten to shut off electric service immediately unless instant payment is made," said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. "These scammers can be relentless but they're only successful if they catch our customers off-guard and scare them into making a payment. We remind customers, if something doesn't sound right or feel right, trust your gut, and don't pay."
"One similarity in many scams, including utility scams, is a sense of urgency. Scammers often convince consumers that payment must be made immediately and that is always a red flag," says Better Business Bureau Spokesperson for Connecticut Luke Frey. "The more we educate consumers on the basic red flags of a scam, the least likely they are to become victims."
Read more... - Published on 02 / 02 / 2019
New Indian Restaurant Opens In Bethel
Spice Indian Cuisine & Bar opened on Thursday, January 31st at their location at 25 Grassy Plain Street in Bethel.
They're open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
They feature take out and offer catering and offer a weekday lunch buffet at $10.95 and weekend brunch buffet at $15.95.
Read more... - Published on 02 / 02 / 2019
Missing Cat Found
Striper was lost last week while being foster cared for in Bethel while his owner was moving, but wandered away.
An as yet unidentified samaritan found Striper in Danbury, close to 4 miles away from where he wandered off, when he came to her yard to investigate food that she puts out for local strays.
Striper, who was confirmed by a scan chip, was reported to be in good health and was returned to Bethel.
Read more... - Published on 02 / 02 / 2019
Spotlight: Wade's Music Studio
I recently had the chance to speak with Damon Wade of Wade's Music Studio about music, Bethel and his studio.
Brad: When did you start giving music lessons?
Damon: I started giving lessons right after college. I landed a job teaching guitar at Astoria Music in Astoria, Queens. I loved that job. I was there about six months and then I hit the road with a top 40 cover band.
Read more... - Published on 02 / 02 / 2019
Fundraising for Officer's Family
The 12 year old daughter of Bethel Detective Frank O'Farrell has been diagnosed with bone cancer. In an effort to raise funds and awareness for Detective O'Farrell's daughter, the Bethel Police Department has partnered with the Scotty Fund and the veteran owned firm Grunt Style to sell t-shirts. A portion of every shirt sold will go to the O'Farrell family to help pay for 12 year old Maddie O'Farrell's medical and other expenses.
Officer O'Farrell has served the Bethel Police Department for over eleven years and the U.S. Army Reserves for 25 years. He received the Bronze Star as a result of his honorable actions during the U.N. Embassy bombings in 2003, and has been deployed 3 times, just returning from a year-long deployment in Somolia.

Read more... - Published on 01 / 26 / 2019
$450,000 School Repair Approved
About a dozen residents attended the Special Town Meeting on Tuesday, January 22nd at the Town Municipal Center and unanimously approved the plan to repair the chiller system at the Middle School from the fund balance for the project.
"We're pleased it was approved," said Director of Fiscal Services Teri Yonsky.
Plans call for putting the work to bid for the repair to be done in May.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 26 / 2019
Plow Truck Fire During Weekend Storm
A plow truck was engulfed in flames in Bethel on Route 84 during the clean up after this weekend's snow and ice storms.
A cause for the fire has not been determined as of press time.
The Danbury Fire Department responded to the fire on Route 84 by Garella Road and exit 8.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 26 / 2019
Matt Meets Matt
Bethel's First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker posed with Red Sox pitcher, World Series Champion and Bethel native Matt Barnes at the Bethel All Sports Booster Club Fundraiser event last week honoring Barnes.


Read more... - Published on 01 / 26 / 2019
Bethel Police Seek Town's Help
The Bethel Police Department is looking for help in identifying the individual in the photograph at left in relation to an ongoing identity theft investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to please contact Bethel Officer Emerson at 203-744-7900 ext 688.

Read more... - Published on 01 / 26 / 2019
Spotlight: Noteworthy Chocolates
I recently sat down with Jennifer and Michael Sauvageau, owners of Noteworthy Chocolate, a unique business in Bethel that offers customized, laser engraved, delicious chocolate. They're located on the second floor above Molten Java at Dolan Plaza.
Brad: So, when did you found Noteworthy Chocolates?
Michael: We were officially launched just over two years ago.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 26 / 2019
School Budget Proposal Presented
Bethel Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Carver, Ed. D., presented the Proposed 2019-2020 Education Budget to the Bethel Board of Education on Thursday, January 24th.
The proposed budget represents a 3.43% increase over the current year and can be viewed online at click here.
The Bethel Strategic Plan, which helps guide the budgeting process, can be accessed online at click here and covers the period from 2015 through 2020.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 26 / 2019
Guestperts: Ocassional columns by local experts
Understanding Creativity

With the rise in open world video games, creativity kits pre-packaged on craft store shelves, and big companies like LinkedIn promoting creativity as the most needed skill in the 21st century, creativity seems to be the new buzzword in education, business, and even at home.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 26 / 2019
Town Mourns Firefighter's Passing
Ira B. Pollack, a long time Bethel firefighter and Town DPW employee passed on Wednesday, January 16th.
A driving force behind the Danbury Railroad Museum and a local musician, Mr. Pollack, 67 and originally from Brooklyn, New York, has been described as one of Bethel's kindest and hardest working residents.
The Bethel Fire and EMS website said "The members of The Bethel Fire & EMS family are deeply saddened by the loss of Firefighter Ira Pollack. Ira served the Town of Bethel for many years between the Fire Department and Town Highway Department. He will be dearly missed by many. Information on arrangements will be made available."
Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Special Meeting Seeks $450,000
A Special Town Meeting has been called for January 22, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Bethel Municipal Center, 1 School Street in Meeting Room A.
The Meeting will consider a resolution to appropriate $450,000 to purchase and install a replacement chiller and water treatment equipment for the Bethel Middle School. The funds will come from the current Town Fund Balance.
The resolution has been recommended by the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Passersby Put Out Car Fire
Fire Control Service employees Ryan Delaney and Brandon Conn, along with Bethel firefighter Zach Britton, came upon a car accident on Route 6 early Wednesday, January 16 and discovered one of the vehicles had caught fire. Their quick action put out the fire as Bethel Fire Department volunteers and equipment were en route to the scene.
Engine 3, Ambulance 3 and Medic 645 and Ambulance 1 responded to the accident. Two patients were transported to Danbury Hospital.
A number of the public have called for changes to the location of the accident, including calls for a traffic light.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Todd Fundraiser
The Bethel High School All Sports Booster Club will host a bake sale in memory of Emily Todd, BHS 2011 graduate on Wednesday, February 6 during the boys basketball game against Immaculate.
BAKERS ARE NEEDED!! Contact Melissa Andros via email at melissa.andros@yahoo.com if you can help out and bake some goodies for this event.

Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Shutdown Assistance Offered
Brotherhood In Action is available to help support those who have missed paychecks as a result of the federal shutdown with their nutritional needs. For assistance, contact Bethel Social Services at 203-794-8537.


Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Coffee with a cop
The Bethel Police Department announced their newest Coffee with a Cop event for February 9th from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. This event gives the community a second chance at seeing the new Police building at 12 Judd Avenue.
The public are invited to chat with an officer, see the new building, have a cup of coffee and maybe have a donut or two as well.

Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Spotlight - Robin Grubard at Daily Fare
Ten years ago, Bethel's Robin Grubard opened Daily Fare at the Bethel Train Station. I had the opportunity to chat with Robin about why she does what she does, the secret behind those amazing granola bars, and the extended lunch offerings at one of Bethel's landmark eateries.
Brad: So, you just had your 10th anniversary. How was that?
Robin: It was lots of fun,
Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Icecats win 4 to 1
By Bryce Wallace, Correspondent
Coming off a 2-1 loss the past weekend, the Bethel Brookfield Danbury Icecats came to Monday's game against the Shepaug Spartans with a sense of urgency. Despite early struggles to score by the Icecats, they pulled ahead by two goals late in the second period. The game concluded with a score of 4-1 in BBD's favor.
The final goal of the game was scored by Bethel's Eryk Fancher (#88) assisted by his brother Patrick Fancher (#25). BBD Icecats home games are played on Fridays at 7:50 and Mondays at 2:10 at the Danbury Arena.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Workspace Open House
Have you been following our page with interest? Do you think that Workspace might be a perfect fit for your family, based on our posts? Do you know anyone who is looking to create a personalized learning track for their child? If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, please join us for one of our Open House events this month. We'd love to meet you! RSVP to 203-409-2028 or register to attend at www.workspaceeducation.org
January 21, 11 am to 1 pm
January 28, 10 am to 12 pm
Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
St. Mary School Open House
Discover why St. Mary School, Bethel, could be the right fit for your family.
Visit their Open House on Tuesday, January 22, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 24 Dodgingtown Road, Bethel.

Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Adopt A Pet - Stormy
Meet Stormy, an energetic 1-year-old, 45 lb. collie mix. He loves romping around the yard and playing with his favorite toys. Stormy loves working for treats, which makes him a wonderful student for an experienced dog owner, committed to developing Stormy into a well-trained dog. Stormy needs a large fenced-in yard at his forever home and will be best to live with adults only. Visit daws.org to learn more.


Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Snow, Ice Overnight
Bethel woke on Sunday to 1.9 inches of ice-crusted snow and light winds.
Eversource reports 59 homes without power as temperatures slowly drop throughout the day.
The forecast for Sunday night is a low of 3 degrees with windchills below zero. Monday's forecast is for mostly clear skies and a high of 10 degrees.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 19 / 2019
Kia Comes To Family's Rescue
The Bethel family of murder victim Emily Todd received an unexpected gift when the local Danbury Kia dealership this week paid off the remaining two year lease on the vehicle Ms. Todd drove to Bridgeport on the night of her murder and that the suspect then allegely stole.
According to published reports, a family member approached the Kia dealership to explain the situation. Upon hearing of their plight, General Sales Manager Sal Sinardi canceled the lease on the spot.
"It just felt like the right thing to do," said Mr. Sinardi. "I was heartbroken," he said. "I could see the pain on their faces."
Read more... - Published on 01 / 12 / 2019
Stony Hill Officers Sworn In
The 2019 Officers of Stony Hill Fire Department were sworn in by Bethel First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker on January 7th.
From left to right: Chief Tom Galliford, Assistant Chief John Baker, Chief Engineer David Evanuska Jr., Captain Shawn Amero, EMS Captain John Giambruno, Lt. Matthew Gunter, Lt John Cole, EMS Lt. Susan Mcclain-Evanuska, and Fire Police Lt James L'hernault. (missing is Lt. Patrick Magyar).

Read more... - Published on 01 / 12 / 2019
Kindness Day
The High School Activity Fund is coordinating a community-wide event on Feb. 12 to support four local families and the Scotty Fund by selling Bethel Runs on Kindness shirts.
The $10 shirts should be ordered by Jan. 29 to have in time for the event. Contact Konnie Davis at 203-948-5663 or konniedavis8@gmail.com.

Read more... - Published on 01 / 12 / 2019
Hat trick helps Icecats 4 to 2
Icecats senior captain Tommy Schiesser's first career hat trick helped skate to a tie with Daniel Hand, 6-6, in the conference opener for the Icecats on January 6th.


Read more... - Published on 01 / 12 / 2019
Spotlight - Transfer Station
Bethel's Transfer Station is a friendly place to trade some recycling for some friendly banter
The Bethel Transfer Station just might be the friendliest spot in Town - and in Bethel that is truly saying something.
Located at the end of Sympaug Park Road, the Transfer Station collects residents' recycling and trash as well as brush and donations. But the staff there take what in other places is a dull, or just awful task, and make it a place that many in Bethel wouldn't miss going to.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 12 / 2019
School News
School Budget Preview
Bethel Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Carver, Ed. D., will be presenting the Proposed 2019-2020 Education Budget to the Bethel Board of Education on Thursday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. in the Board of Education Conference Room at the Municipal Center.
The public is encouraged to attend the presentation.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 12 / 2019
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
January 9th is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. The Bethel Community Gazette encourages our readers to thank an officer for all they do, not just today, but every day, keeping our community safe and being just a call away whenever help is needed.


Read more... - Published on 01 / 12 / 2019
Police Alert Community About Fraudulent Postcards
The Bethel Police are investigating several instances in Town where residents have received postcards alleging to be from a "Neighborhood Watch" organization.
The cards contain false accusations and information about various Bethel residents, claiming they have been arrested for various crimes.
The police note that the claims are completely false, and have issued a warning to local residents not to be taken in by a fake postcard claiming to be from a Neighborhood Watch organization.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 05 / 2019
Classes Resume At High School After Gas Leak
Updated 1/3/2019
Classes resumed on Thursday, January 3rd after the Bethel High School was evacuated at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, the first day back from winter break, when staff discovered a gas leak, later determined to be from a valve, that was spread into the building by the HVAC system.
The Bethel Fire Department and gas company responded.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 05 / 2019
School Budget Preview
Bethel Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Carver, Ed. D., will be presenting the Proposed 2019-2020 Education Budget to the Bethel Board of Education on Thursday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. in the Board of Education Conference Room at the Municipal Center.
The public is encouraged to attend the presentation.
Dr. Christine Carver, Ed. D.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 05 / 2019
Help Sought For Local Family
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family of Emily Todd, the young Bethel woman murdered in Bridgeport last month. The Lawlor family has been under increasing financial pressure as they cope with not just the loss of Emily but dealing with the financial impact as well.
As of deadline, the community has committed to over $7,400 of the $20,000 target from 118 donations. Readers wishing to learn more, or make a contribution, can visit the GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/support-the-lawlor-family.

Read more... - Published on 01 / 05 / 2019
Be The Change - 10 Year Plan
A workshop seeking public input on Bethel's 10 year plan for conservation and development will be held on Tuesday, January 8 at 7 p.m. In the general purpose room at the Municipal Center.
The theme is How To Make Bethel Better. Call 203-794-8578 for more information.

Read more... - Published on 01 / 05 / 2019
Spotlight: The Toy Room
A new regular feature, Spotlight will focus on an interesting person, business or organization in town. This week's focus is on The Toy Room and owner Kim Ramsey.

When did you decide to start The Toy Room?
Read more... - Published on 01 / 05 / 2019
Real Estate Transactions - Oct. & Nov. 2018
Sold Nov. 30, 2018
Single Family Home
$330,000
Read more... - Published on 01 / 05 / 2019
Icecats win 4-2
The Bethel, Brookfield and Danbury Icecats skated to a 4 to 2 win against Eastchester on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at the Danbury Ice Arena.
The score was 0-0 going into the second period. Kyle Boller scored for the Icecats, answered by Eastchester to tie the game at 1 all. Eastchester then pulled ahead with a goal.
The Icecats hit the ice after the second period with precision and energy and the duel turned into a rout as the Icecats scored three more goals to cement their 4 to 2 win.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 05 / 2019
Celebrate Bethel's World Champion
The Bethel All Sports Booster Club will be hosting a dinner to celebrate hometown pitcher Matt Barnes' World Series win.
A Bethel High School graduate, Barnes played on local teams before being drafted in 2011 by the Boston Red Sox.
The dinner will be from 5 to 9 p.m. on January 21st at the Amber Room at the Colonnade in Danbury.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Tree Collection Set For Saturday, January 12th
Residents's can support the Bethel High School Navy JROTC program and let them pick up their Christmas tree, mulch it and bring the mulch to a local farm. Participants should have trees out by 9 a.m. Trucks will be out picking up trees between 9 a.m. To 12 noon. (Snow date is Sunday, 12 to 3 p.m.)
A $10 donation is suggested and goes toward educational programs for the cadets.
Checks should be made to "Bethel NJROTC Boosters" and left in an envelope in an accessible area.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Hero In Training
Bethel EMT James Chiravelli spent some time recently reviewing the department's 3M Scott Fire & Safety AirPaks with other senior members. He will begin the Firefighter 1 course at Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company next month.
James joined the department at the beginning of the year and has successfully passed his EMT course and has been cleared to operate on his own. Now he's making the jump to the fire side.

Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Heroes Hired
The Bethel Police Department welcomes its two newest Officers, Danilo DeOliveira (pictured left of Chief Finch) and Gregory Ammon (pictured right) who were sworn in on Dec. 20, 2018. Ofc. DeOliveira will begin the Police Academy in the coming weeks and Ofc. Ammon, a certified Police Officer, will complete a brief field training in Bethel. Welcome Officer DeOliveira and Officer Ammon!


Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Fire Safety Reminder
Bethel & Stony Hill Fire Departments recently responded to and quickly extinguished a chimney fire on Dodgingtown Road. The chimney had excessive amounts of creosote build up in the chimney.
The Bethel Fire Department reminds residents that it is very important to have your chimney cleaned by a professional a minimum of once a season, more often if you use it daily for heating your home. The buildup of creosote can ignite easily and cause a fire.
Also keep any combustibles a minimum of 3 feet away from any portion of the fireplace or wood stove.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Students Serenade Seniors
Third graders from Bethel's St. Mary School cheered up the residents of Maplewood at Stony Hill in Bethel recently with a rousing chorus of Christmas carols and Jan Brett's "Home for Christmas", read aloud by Mrs. Zachos.


Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Trademark Awarded
Bethel's Workspace Education has been developing their project based learning model that incorporates social and emotional learning as well as tech skills and academics, where everything is done collaboratively, stressing creativity, critical thinking communication and compassion. They call their learning model 21CI and have recently received their U.S. Trademark certificate.
Readers can learn more online at workspaceeducation.org.

Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
CERT Tours New Police Facility
Members of Bethel's Community Emergency Response Team received an inside look at the operations of the new Bethel Police Department by Sergeant Durkin.


Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Nativity Performance
St. Mary School's Mrs. Johnson's pre-kindergarten class gave a Nativity performance on December 17th. Video is posted on the school Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/StMaryBethel.


Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Ugly Sweater Contest Online
Bethel High School held their ugly sweater contest on December 21st. Readers wishing to see all 95 photos can visit their flickr album website at www.flickr.com/photos/bethelpublicschools/albums/72157704908064604/with/46421406731.


Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Youth Sports and Parks & Rec. Department Meet & Greet
Bethel's Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting their annual Meet and Greet event on January 9 at the Municipal Center Gym from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be raffles and games, and the opportunity to meet and greet the town's youth sports organizations and clubs, including: Baseball, Basketball, Cheer, Dance, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Irish Step Dancing, Lacrosse, Martial Arts, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Wrestling.


Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Pre-school Openings
Circle of Friends Preschool program, an integrated early childhood program for three and four year olds, has openings for the 2019-2020 school year. This integrated early childhood program provides a developmentally appropriate curriculum that focuses on the appreciation of individual differences, building self-esteem and fostering independence. Additionally, the staff works to develop the skills necessary for successful participation within the Kindergarten program.
The open house will take place on Wednesday, January 9 in the Berry School Media Center from 7:00-8:00 p.m. The snow date is January 16th. Program information, brochures and applications will be available. This will also provide an opportunity to meet the program staff.

Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Pre-school Screening
Parents concerned that their 3 to 5 year old might be experiencing difficulties or delays with talking, play skills, problem solving or making their needs known are encouraged to participate in a Circle of Friends screening. While meeting the staff to discuss concerns or ask questions regarding your child's development, your child will take part in informal play activities that include songs and motor activities. The preschool team includes the Supervisor of Special Education, Preschool Special Education Teachers, Speech Language Pathologist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist and School Social Worker.
Screening dates for the 2018-2019 school year are Wednesdays from 10:00-10:45: January 16, February 27, March 27, April 24 and May 29.
If school is closed because of inclement weather, the pre-school screen will be canceled. If there is a 3-hour delay the screen will be held at 11:00 a.m. If there is a 2-hour delay the screen will continue as planned. Pre-registration is much appreciated but drop-ins are welcomed. For more information, contact Kate Coffey at 203-794-8679.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Wildcats Lacrosse Signups
With the start of lacrosse season this coming April, the player registration deadline is January 15th.
A general information & registration help session will be held on Monday, January 7th at the Municipal Center at 7 p.m. to answer any questions regarding the Bethel Youth Lacrosse Program, or help with the player registration process. To learn more, visit them online at http://bethellacrosse.com/Registration/Default.asp?n=98935&org=BETHELLACROSSE.COM&cat=ALL.

Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
Holiday Last Minute Sales

Arthur Murray of Danbury
Dance into the Holidays with Arthur Murray Dance Studio!
Read more... - Published on 12 / 22 / 2018
Atheist Banner Dedication At P.T. Barnum Square
In a light rain at 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 16, about two dozen supports attended the unveiling of the atheist banner at P.T. Barnum Square.
Town resident James Naddeo oversaw the setup prior to the unveiling earlier in the morning and introduced the speakers.
Just before 10 a.m., the crowd of supporters began to assemble at the square.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 22 / 2018
6 St. Mary's Alums Inducted
Congratulations to the six St. Mary's School alumni who were inducted into the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapter of the National Honor Society, an affiliated chartered chapter of the National Honor Society. They are Olivia Kent, Abbey Gleissner, Emma Mortara, Elisa Lefrieri, Kate Banks and Madeline Suarez.
Students who are inducted into the National Honor Society must have at least a 3.5 GPA.
They must also have leadership roles in both school and community, inspire positive behavior in others, serve at least 75 hours (juniors) or 100 hours (seniors) of community service and consistently demonstrate respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring and good citizenship.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 22 / 2018
Thousands raised in memory of shooting victim

Suspect arrested in Ohio, to be extradited to Connecticut


25 year old Bethel resident Emily Elizabeth Todd was shot and killed on Sunday, December 9 in Bridgeport. In response to the shooting, her family has asked that donations be made to either Island Commons or the Connecticut chapter of Moms Demand Action, a national anti-gun-violence organization.
Bethel continues to respond. In the first week since the request, over $3,100 has been donated by over 40 individuals and families.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 22 / 2018
School Board Officers Elected
At the Board of Education meeting on December 13th, the Board unanimously re-elected Lary Craybas as Chair, Melanie O'Brien as Vice-Chair and Nick Hoffman as Secretary. The nine-member board includes Jennifer Ackerman, Scott Clayton, Lawrence Craybas, Jen Larsen, Nicholas Hoffman, Kristen Lacey, Courtney Martin, Melanie O'Brien and Cathy Schaefer.

2019 meeting schedule set


Board of Education Regular Meetings
Read more... - Published on 12 / 22 / 2018
Toy Stuffed Cruiser
The Bethel Police collected toys and books in partnership with The Toy Room and Byrd's Books in the Stuff A Cruiser event last week.


Read more... - Published on 12 / 22 / 2018
Notebooks Sold Out
On Tuesday, December 18, the Bethel Schools planned to hold a sale of 90 surplus iMacs and 150 surplus Chromebooks at the High School. The event was organized by NJROTC cadets, and advertised to the public through posters.
Because of the holiday break, The Bethel Community Gazette has been unable to get official statements from school officials, but we have pieced together what we believe ocurred from published materials. We will follow-up with any further information once the key sources are available.
Per school policy, the equipment was first made available to staff and students. The expectation appears to have been that there would be many items left after the staff and students had their choice, and that the surplus equipment would be of most benefit to the public before Christmas, so the public event was scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on December 18.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 22 / 2018
Adopt A Pet
Mrs. Claus
Hey - it's not all about Santa this season - take a look at Mrs. Claus!
This one year old black and white girl loves to play and has the cutest pink nose to offset her markings. She was found and surrendered to DAWS by a good Samaritan and is now ready to find her forever home where she can frolic around for many Christmas's to come!
Read more... - Published on 12 / 22 / 2018
Atheist banner unveiled at PT Barnum Square
By Bradley Koltz, Published Dec. 16, 2018 11:20 a.m.
In a light rain at 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 16, about two dozen supports attended the unveiling of the atheist banner at P.T. Barnum Square.
Town resident James Naddeo oversaw the setup prior to the unveiling earlier in the morning.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Town responds to shooting
Emily Elizabeth Todd was found shot and killed on Sunday morning, December 9, in Bridgeport. The Bethel resident was 25 years old and worked at Saint John Paul II Center as a dedicated therapeutic recreation assistant.
In response to the shooting, her family has asked that donations be made to either Island Commons or the Connecticut chapter of Moms Demand Action, a national anti-gun-violence organization.
And Bethel has responded. In the first 2 days since the request, over $2,000 has been donated by over 40 individuals and families.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Byrd's Books Turns Seven
Dozens of well-wishers and baking enthusiasts came to Byrd's Books on December 9 to share baked treats and hear authors Rose Levy Beranbaum and Woody Wolston discuss Baking Basics while celebrating Byrd's Books' seventh birthday.
Byrd's Books is at 178 Greenwood Ave.

Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Lions Club Tree Raffle Extended
The Bethel Lions Club has extended their raffle for a decorated, 7 ˝ foot tall Christmas Tree, currently on display in the Bethel Chamber of Commerce window at 184 Greenwood Avenue, to Wed., December 19.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by contacting Lions Club President Kristin Peterson at 203-482-3778.

Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Running Against Cancer
Bethel Cinema owner Pam Karpen will once again be running in the Boston Marathon and raising money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute this coming April 15. So far, Pam has raised over $7,100 toward her goal of $15,000.
Those interested in supporting Pam can find links to sponsor her run and also buy movie posters, with all proceeds going to Dana-Farber, at the Cinema website at: bethelcinema.com

Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Booster Club Formed
A new booster club is being formed to support the Bethel High School Theater.
The Theater booster club will be offering special theater promotions in a partnership with The Bethel Chamber of Commerce.
"We are delighted to be able to work with this terrific new group to promote high quality theatrical presentations at the High School," said Chamber President Brad Koltz.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Free Lunch and Learn Event
Bethel Chamber members and guests will be treated to a free lunch and presentations about How Money Works, Personal Wealth Building and Preparing for 2019 at A New Beginning Salon and Spa, 68 Stony Hill Road on Tuesday, December 18 at 12 noon. Visit www.lunchandlearnbethel.com for details and registration information.


Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Town Bond Rating Update
The Town of Bethel has once again had it's bond rating set at AAA by Standard & Poors.
Maintaining the best possible bond rating reduces the Town's borrowing costs and improves its ability to raise money for projects.

Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
12 Days of Christmas Deals
Hollandia Nurseries, located at 95 Stony Hill Road is holding their annual 12 Days of Christmas Deals event.
Day 5, set for Fri., 12/14 through Sun., 12/16 features 25% off most ornaments. The deals are updated each day at the store.
They also have horse drawn carriage rides on Sun., 12/16 and Santa, live jazz music and refreshments every weekend from 12 noon to 3 p.m.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Songs of the Season
St Thomas' Episcopal Church will be hosting a free Songs of the Season concert on December 22 at 4 p.m. Featuring student singers. St. Thomas' Episcopal Church is located at 95 Greenwood Ave in Bethel.


Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Hoax bomb threats
The Bethel Police released the following announcement about recent threatening emails that may have been received by some area residents:
The Bethel Police Department is aware of the email style "bomb threat" that has been sent out across the country this afternoon to residents, private businesses, and other agencies. This has been determined to be a hoax and does not appear to be a credible threat. Residents and business owners are advised to use all normal precautions and to contact the Bethel Police Department should you receive some type of "threat." Today's email "threat" involved the sender demanding Bitcoin payment in order to prevent detonation of the alleged "bomb." DO NOT arrange for Bitcoin or any other form of payment in response to receiving this "threat." Any questions should be directed to the Bethel Police Department at 203-744-7900.

Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Local lottery winners
For the second time in a week, a Bethel convenience store has sold a winning lottery ticket.
Amanda Ambrose of Bethel bought a winning scratch ticket worth $10,000 from the Sam's Food convenience store at the Citgo gas station located at the corner of Grassy Plain Street and Greenwood Avenue. The winning ticket was purchased on Thursday, December 13.
On Monday, December 10, the Wheels convenience store at Stony Hill Road sold a $10,000 winning scratch ticket to Marcos Pittol of Danbury.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Get To Work
The Bethel Public School System offers excellent opportunities for both new and experienced teachers. It is a system that fosters growth in its professionals and empowers them to challenge themselves and to take risks in the classroom. Bethel hosts a young, energetic staff committed to providing students with a rigorous and comprehensive education.

Director of Instructional Technologies (Full time, year round position)
Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
Ingersoll helps Bethel children afford lunch
Bethel Schools gave a big thank you to Todd Ingersoll and Ingersoll Auto for their recent $1,241.48 donation as part of their Kindness Campaign and continued generosity to the Bethel Public Schools.
Bethel School Food Service Employee Cindy Rizzo recently wrote to Ingersoll about students who had a negative balance in their lunch accounts and asked if they could be cleared.
Her wish was granted when Todd Ingersoll came to the school and presented the Food Service Program with a check for $1,241.48 to clear all of the lunch balances.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Signs of The Season

Songs Of The Season


St Thomas' Episcopal Church will be hosting a free Songs of the Season concert on December 22 at 4 p.m. Featuring student singers. St. Thomas' Episcopal Church is located at 95 Greenwood Ave in Bethel.

Scotty Fund Gala


Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Giving Trees
Hair By Jen & Kids Kuts, located at 268 Greenwood Avenue, has set up a giving tree for local community families in need.
Every $15 gift card goes to a family for the holidays. Readers who can't make it to the salon but want to participate can call Jen at 203-778-5437.
Other Trees can be found at Town Hall and The Toy Room, located at 180 Greenwood Avenue.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Lions Club Tree Raffle
The Bethel Lions Club is once again raffling a decorated, 7 ˝ foot tall Christmas Tree, currently on display in the Bethel Chamber of Commerce window at 184 Greenwood Avenue.
"We we're lucky enough to be asked again this year to help promote the Lion's Club Tree Raffle." said Bethel Chamber President Brad Koltz. "They raise funds for vision health, disaster relief, scholarships and so many other local causes," Koltz said. "We're honored to have such a community-focused organization as a Chamber member," he added.
The tree will be raffled on December 15 at 4 p.m. at RE Lawlor Printing, 233 Greenwood Avenue.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Selectmen allow banner
In a 2-1 vote along party lines, the Bethel Selectmen voted on Tuesday, December 4 to allow the atheist banner requested by Bethel resident James Naddeo to be displayed on P.T. Barnum Square.
In anticipation of a large audience, the meeting was moved to the MultiPurpose Room in the Municipal Center.
After hearing a number of public comments on both sides of the issue, the Selectmen voted to allow the 4 foot tall by 8 foot wide banner to be displayed at the side of the Square.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Donations sought
The Bethel and Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Companies responded to and knocked down a condo fire at Plumtree Heights on November 24th that left the resident homeless and without clothing or other essentials.
"He needs everything from scratch," said Town Social Services Director Megan Alworth-Khazadian.
Donations can be sent to the Community Council at Town Hall, attention "Fire Victim".
Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Bethel Charter Revision Commission Meets
The Bethel Charter Committee was formed earlier this year to make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen, to then be forwarded to a Town referendum, to make changes to the Town Charter, the set of bylaws that function as the basis for the Town of Bethel to operate and be governed under.
The Town charter by law must be reviewed every 5 years, and this was last done in Bethel in 2013.
Joyce Hess, Nicholas Hoffman, the committee chair, John Lennon, Theresa Letellier, Melanie O'Brien, Patrick Perrefort and Sharon Straiton have been appointed to the 2018 Charter Commission.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Running Against Cancer - Update
Bethel Cinema owner Pam Karpen will once again be running in the Boston Marathon and raising money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute this coming April 15. So far, Pam has raised over $6,200 toward her goal of $15,000.
Those interested in supporting Pam can find links to sponsor her run and also buy movie posters, with all proceeds going to Dana-Farber, at the Cinema website at: bethelcinema.com
Updated December 8, 2018
Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Things To Do - December
Books
Thu, Nov 29, 7:30 PM, Interactive evening of cards, Author Melanie Barnum will teach how to interpret and discover the messages that cards can bring, Free, Byrd's Books, 178 Greenwood Ave, Bethel
Fri, Nov 30, 7:00 PM, Author David Leff, Author of Terranexus reads from and discusses his latest book, Free, Byrd's Books, 178 Greenwood Ave, Bethel
Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Nativity Dedicated
Bethel dedicated it's new Nativity at the P.T. Barnum Square on Friday, November 16 in a ceremony attended by local religious and civic leaders.
A group, organized by Bethel resident Timothy Martin, raised $5,000 to pay for the replacement of the Nativity, which has been housed at the Methodist Church.
There was some controversy over the ownership of the previous display, which the Bethel Chamber of Commerce had taken over about 8 years ago when the Town determined that it could no longer own or organize the Nativity due to Constitutional challenges in other communities that established essentially a ban on government display of specific religious symbols.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
Atheists Challenge Nativity Display
After Bethel's new Nativity was dedicated on November 16, the Washington-based American Atheists Legal Center sent a letter to the Board of Selectmen objecting to the display, claiming that their alternate display request had been unfairly denied and demanding that the Nativity display be removed from Town property.
Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker has been quoted as saying that other displays were welcome, but that the atheist group had not provided the required insurance documentation and other elements.
A Board of Selectmen meeting has been called for Monday, November 26 at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Center to discuss creation of updated guidelines for such displays.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
The Daily Fare Turns 10
The Daily Fare, located at the Train Station at 13 Durant Avenue celebrated their 10th anniversary with an event tied to the Chamber of Commerce annual WinterFest event on November 23rd. Children of all ages took kiddie train rides through a holiday village, and then came inside to decorate and enjoy holiday cookies as well as other treats, hot cocoa, coffee and cider.
The Lions Club of Bethel and crafter Wendy Smith had vendor tables in the foyer.
Guests were ferried to the Daily Fare on the Chamber's WinterFest horse drawn wagon and back again to downtown.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
New Hauser Chocolates at Gift Cottage
The Gift Cottage has a number of new Hauser Chocolates for the holidays. You can find out by stopping by at 154 Greenwood Avenue.


Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
Holiday Fire Safety
Bethel Fire Chief Scott Murphy joined First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker at the annual Tree Lighting ceremony to remind residents that fire safety starts at home. Residents should make sure their live trees are watered and to avoid using frayed wires. A dry Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in 15 seconds.


Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
Stony Hill Food Drive, Tree Lighting and Santa Visit
The Stony Hill 4 Corners Association held their annual food drive, tree lighting and Santa visit on Saturday, November 17 with a truck load of donations for local food pantries being collected by volunteers at the Big Y parking lot.
The tree, situated at the corner of Stony Hill Road and Old Hawleyville Road was lit, and then the Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Department brought Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus to meet local children at the Big Y parking lot.
Dozens of children patiently waited their turn to speak with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
WinterFest Santa Moves Inside
This year, because of the 20 degree weather, Santa went inside the Municipal Center after arriving at the WinterFest Tree Lighting at P.T. Barnum Square on Friday, November 23rd.
Children and parents lined up in the hall outside the Multi Purpose Room in Municipal Hall for the chance to meet Santa.
"We are very grateful to the Town Parks and Recreation Department for allowing us to use the Multi Purpose Room," said Bethel Chamber of Commerce President Brad Koltz. "We had so many parents thank us. We appreciate Eileen Earle and the Parks and Recreation Department for arranging for Santa to have access to the room. We also thank the Bethel Volunter Fire Department for bringing Santa and Autumn Waggoneer for decorating and donating the new chair for Santa, and Macaroni Kids for donating the candy canes and of course all the volunteers and sponsors who make this event possible."
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
Pet Santa Photos
Bethel's Agway held their photos with Santa this Saturday, November 24th. They'll hold the event again on Saturday, December 1st from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sierra visits Santa at Agway's Pet Photo event

Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
A Hollandia Spectacular
Hollandia Nurseries held their Christmas Spectacular on Friday, November 16 through November 18th. The event featured Santa and Mrs. Claus, live jazz, children's movies, a wine bar, coffee and treats and rooms full of Christmas decorations and related accessories. The displays can be seen at their store at 95 Stony Hill Road.
The Christmas Spectacular at Hollandia Nurseries

Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
Race Against Cancer
Pam Karpen, owner of Bethel Cinema, is once again running against cancer in the Boston Marathon on April 15. Pam is running to raise awareness and funds for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in support of their cancer research program.
Pam has so far raised over $3,250 toward her goal of $15,000 this year.
Visit www.bethelcinema.com to read more about why Pam has been doing this for the past 15 years and how you can donate to support Pam in this effort.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
49th Annual Country Bazaar
The Bethel Methodist Church held their 49 Annual Country Bazaar on November 17.
Dozens of people attended for the silent auction, cafe, music, raffle and craft making.
The silent auction at the 49th Annual Country Bazaar
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
New WinterFest Event
This year the Chamber of Commerce added a new Holiday Village and kiddie train ride at the Train Station as part of the 10th anniversary celebration for the Daily Fare.
The kiddie train ride went through a holiday village setup in the train station parking lot outside The Daily Fare.
Guests were ferried to The Daily Fare on the Chamber's WinterFest horse drawn wagon and back again to downtown.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
Tiny Tim
Tiny Tim is a sweet 12 lb one-year-old papillon mix looking for his forever home. He is a bit sensitive and would do best in a home with teens and up. He likes to play and snuggle.
Come meet this adorable small dog and see if he is the one for you!
Visit daws.org to meet Tiny Tim.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
Veterans Day Commemorated

Editor's Note: A number of spectators joined Veterans on Veterans Day to commemorate the day this past Sunday. What follows are the remarks shared by Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker.

Read more... - Published on 11 / 17 / 2018
Winterfest Carriage Ride Once Again Free
By Gazette Staff
The WinterFest Tree Lighting celebration will be held at PT Barnum Square on Friday, November 23 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The horse drawn carriage, which has been fee for the roughly 3 decades it has been part of the Chamber's WinterFest celebration, was thought to be headed for it's first fee of $3 as the Chamber could not carry the cost this year.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 17 / 2018
Record setting storm slams Bethel
By Jack Drake
A Snovember to Remember:
The stories of horrifying commutes, stranded commuters, and lots of SNOW drifted through Bethel today as if blown by a fierce northeasterly wind.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 17 / 2018
15 years running against cancer
By Bradley Koltz
Bethel Cinema owner Pam Karpen has been running in the Boston Marathon and raising money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for 14 years. This coming April 15 will mark her 15th year doing the fund-raising run.
She began running with her sister Deborah as a way to process the loss of their sister Jennifer 15 years ago.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 10 / 2018
New Police Headquarters Open House
By Bradley Koltz
Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker and Police Chief Jeffrey Finch were joined by Selectman Richard Straiton, previous First Selectman Alice Hutchinson, State Representative-elect Raghib Ailee-Brennan and an overflow crowd at the new Police Headquarters for the opening ceremony and Open House on Saturday, Nov. 10.
First Selectman Knickerbocker noted that the open house was almost 20 years from the initial discussions by his predecessors on the need for a new police headquarters.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 10 / 2018
Harvest Festival
By Bradley Koltz
St. Thomas held their fall Harvest Fair and Farmers Market on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The next event, the Chicken (and also eggplant) Parmesan Supper will be at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 17.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 10 / 2018
Health Department Fees Update
Last week The Bethel Community Gazette reported that the Board of Selectmen had adopted a new, 2 part phase in of updated fees for inspections by the Health Department. Here is the official rate schedule with changes for 2019 and 2020.




Read more... - Published on 11 / 10 / 2018


Special 2018 Election Section
We asked the eight candidates for State Senate and State Representative who would like represent Bethel to share their views on a number of topics of interest to local voters, including the Economy, Education, Infrastructure, Municipal Efficiency, Public Safety, Seniors and Taxes, as well as additional legislative issues they're concerned about and any additional thoughts they'd like to share with our readers. Six campaigns responded. What follows is each candidate's answers as they provided them to us, organized by question, district and candidate.
How will you improve education?
Toni Boucher (R), Incumbant, State Senate
Read more... - Published on 10 / 27 / 2018
Where to vote on Nov. 6
By Bradley Koltz
Voters will head to the polls Tuesday Nov. 6 to vote for U.S. Senate and congressional races as well as Connecticut's statewide election for governor, lt. governor, state treasurer, state comptroller, attorney general and secretary of the state, state senate, state house of representative and judge of probate races.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters who are in line before 8 p.m. will be able to vote even after the deadline passes. You can find your poll location at the Secretary of the State website by inputting your information at this website, or by using the map of voting districts published with this article and referencing the locations list provided by the Town of Bethel website.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 27 / 2018
Trick or Treat Street not washed out
By Bradley Koltz
Hundreds of Trick or Treaters turned out on Saturday, October 27 for the Bethel Chamber of Commerce Trick or Treat Street event that was moved indoors due to the nor'easter that came through that day.
Besides the costume contest, attendees were treated to cider and donuts from Blue Jay Orchards, games, selfie photo stations, a haunted house, a disc jockey playing haunted holiday tunes and a dozen local vendor tables.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 27 / 2018
Holiday spirits
By Bradley Koltz
Some of the local displays for the holiday include the Greenwood Street windows at Famous Pizza (left), where a spectre can be seen and the bakery case at Caraluzzi's Market, where assorted ghosts, pumpkins and other scary treats can be found.

Read more... - Published on 10 / 27 / 2018
Historical Society Ghost Tour Sold Out
By Bradley Koltz
Over a dozen brave souls congregated at the Bethel Historical Society on Friday, October 26 for hot cider, cider donuts and a two hour walk through some of Bethel's haunted history.
Guide Marty Bishop took the group through downtown, by the Putnam House, along South Street and then back through to the cemetery next to the Historical Society building on Main Street.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 27 / 2018
Welcome Kids Kuts & Hair By Jen
By Bradley Koltz
Friends, family and well-wishers from as far away as Minnesota and Florida came out for the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting at Hair By Jen and Kids Kuts on Saturday, October 20th.
New owner Jennifer Fuller took over the business after former owner Mike Perrone retired earlier this year.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 20 / 2018
New Mystery Movie planned for October 27th
By Bradley Koltz
A new addition to Trick or Treat Street this year, besides the haunted maze and carnival at the Municipal Lawn will be the new Mystery Movie being held at the Bethel Cinema at 7 p.m. on October 27.
Participants are asked to vote on 1 of 5 movie choices with the winning choice being screened at 7 p.m.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 20 / 2018
Stony Hill Halloween Pancake Breakfast To Support Fire Dept.
By Bradley Koltz
The Stony Hill 4 Corners Association is hosting their annual Halloween Pancake Breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, October 28 at the Stony Hill Fire Department at 59 Stony Hill Road, Bethel.
All proceeds benefit the Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Department.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 20 / 2018
Police move into new building
By Bradley Koltz
We couldn't wait for an official invitation and stopped in to the new police station at 12 Judd Avenue in Bethel last week.
The station is now open and was a dramatic contrast to the former aging station – the new station is light, airy and welcoming.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 20 / 2018
Toy Room hosts free Game Night
By Bradley Koltz
The Toy Room recently held their first Game Night event at their new location on October 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. for ages 10 and up.
"It was a lot of fun!" explained shop owner Kim Ramsey. The event was free and open to the public, and featured Lexicon-Go & Top Trumps Card Game. Ligt snacks were served and everyone who attended got special discounts and a chance to win the games that were played.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 20 / 2018
2018 Leaf Pickup Schedule
The Town of Bethel has begun curbside pick up of leaf bags, and will continue into December.
There are two alternating pickup schedules, published here and also on the Town DPW web page at www.bethel-ct.gov/ filestorage/1190/136/394/Leaf_Pickup_2018.pdf
Readers should look for your road and the scheduled dates for leaves to be picked up.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 20 / 2018
First annual OctoberFeast a huge hit
By Bradley Koltz
The Bethel Chamber of Commerce held its first annual OctoberFeast on Friday evening at the Stony Hill Preserve on Friday, October 12th.
The event drew hundreds of attendees to the beautiful, "hidden gem" at the Preserve, for an evening of food, beer, wine, spirits, live music, dessert and coffee.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 13 / 2018
Trick or Treat Street planned for October 27th
By Bradley Koltz
The Bethel Chamber of Commerce has announced the 2018 Trick or Treat Street event will be held on October 27, beginning at 11 am with an event at 268 Greenwood Avenue.
Activities then move to the Municipal Lawn at 12 noon, with games, a haunted maze, selfie photo stations and a costume contest.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 13 / 2018
School building renovations on track
By Bradley Koltz
The $65.8 million renovation project for the Johnson and Rockwell Schools, for which the Town has secured state funding of 45%, or $29.61 million, has moved a step further last week when the building committee, on Tuesday night, October 8th, approved the final plans and cost estimates for the renovations to Rockwell and Johnson elementary schools.
School Committee members then met with State officials on Wednesday, October 10th and received approval for contractor Rizzo Construction to seek bids on the work.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 13 / 2018
Fracking meeting rescheduled to Oct. 16
By Bradley Koltz
The Town of Bethel will hold a public hearing to discuss a proposed ban on the transport and storage of fracking waste in the town of Bethel. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. in meeting room A at the Municipal Center at 1 School Street.
Fracking is the process of extracting oil and gas from hard to reach locations or from deposits of material such as shale.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 13 / 2018
Election 2018
By Bradley Koltz
The Bethel Community Gazette has reached out to the candidates from major parties for State Representative and State Senate.
In 2018, more than ever, it's vital that our readers vote, and that our readers are fully aware of where the state office candidates stand on a range of local issues.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 13 / 2018
Town Appreciation Day
By Bradley Koltz
Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker and officials at Town Hall recently hosted the first Appreciation Day for Town Employees.
Employees were recognized for various levels of service in a ceremony officiated by First Selectman Knickerbocker, and then treated to a picnic lunch at Town Hall.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 05 / 2018
State Senate candidate endorsements
By Bradley Koltz
State Senator Toni Boucher recently received the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Businesses for her re-election bid this November.
In a formal statement, Senetor Boucher said, "I'm very pleased to be able to inform you that my campaign for re-election to the State Senate has just been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. It is extremely gratifying to be recognized, once again, by the nation's largest association of independent business. These businesses represent the backbone of our economy, and one of my highest priorities in the legislature is to advocate for them."
Read more... - Published on 10 / 05 / 2018
DAWS recognizes Representative Urban
By Bradley Koltz
At the DAWS Animal Ball, their leading fundraising gala with over 200 attendees, State Representative Diana S. Urban of North Stonington was recognized for her decades-long efforts on behalf of animal welfare.
During nearly twenty years of public service in the General Assembly, State Representative Urban has been recognized as a forceful advocate for the welfare of animals, children, and the environment. Currently serving her ninth term in the state house, Rep. Urban has been named Legislator of the Year four times by the Humane Society of the United States, the country's largest animal welfare organization. She has also been named one of the country's top 10 defenders of animals by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a national organization which protects the lives and advances the interests of animals through the legal system.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 05 / 2018
EMT Cywin Honored
By Bradley Koltz
The Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Department's EMS Captain John Giambruno recently presented a Service Award to EMT Chuck Cywin for his dedication to EMS in the Town of Bethel from both fire departments and the Town of Bethel. This award was presented at the Annual Dinner a few months back by both Fire Chiefs and the First Selectman, but unfortunately Chuck was unable to attend. Chuck continues to be a top responder although he works in the DC area and comes home on weekends. The Department, Town and our community expressed thanks to EMT Cywin for his continued and extraordinary service.

Read more... - Published on 10 / 05 / 2018
Fire Department drills for safety
By Bradley Koltz
At a drill recently held at the Bethel Fire department, firefighters used a simple game of catch with a football to show how stable they can be when on a ladder using leg locks. Leg locks is a skill that when mastered makes a firefighter very stable and able to work safely while on a ladder.
The exercise was after they went about raising different size ladders, ranging from small roof ladders all the way up to the 40 foot "beast" with tormentor poles.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 05 / 2018
Rocktoberfest rocks Bethel
By Bradley Koltz

A large crowd turned out for the Rocktoberfest weekend at Note on Greenwood Avenue this past Saturday and Sunday.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 27 / 2018
Founder's Day
The Bethel Public Library celebrated Founders Day on Sunday, September 23rd with outdoor games, crafts and parlor games from the Victorian era.
The story of library founder, Maria Parloa, was told by storytelling musician Lenny Levinstory.
In 1910 the library opened in one room over what was then A.J. Lynch's store on Greenwood Avenue. The new building opened in 2005.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 27 / 2018
Blackman landmark demolished
By Bradley Koltz
Workers have begun demolishing a Bethel landmark on Blackman Avenue.
The Daniel Hickok House was badly damaged during a fire in December of 2014. After reviewing the options, the current owners determined that the best course was to raze the historic building and rebuild.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 27 / 2018
Golf tournament to benefit local school
By Bradley Koltz
The Doherty Petri School of Irish Dance invites Bethel supporters to participate in a fundraiser that will be held in Stamford next month. The Petri Foundation is hosting a Golf Outing on October 15 at Sterling Farms Golf Course. The event will be a fundraiser to support the teams from the Doherty Petri School of Irish Dance who are preparing to compete at the World Irish Dancing Championships next spring in Greensboro, NC. They are expecting a great day that will start with registration and a buffet lunch at 11:30, tee off at 12:30 in a shotgun start, and dinner to follow, complete with raffles, auction items, and entertainment.
The Doherty Petri School trains Irish dancers in their studios in Bethel, as well as Garden City and Northport, NY, and even Belfast, Ireland. Their dancers range in age from pre-schoolers to adults. Many of their dancers have attained regional, national and world titles.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 27 / 2018
Crowds enjoy autumn at Blue Jay Orchards
By Bradley Koltz
Hundreds of locals turned out at Blue Jay Orchards last weekend to enjoy the crisp early autumn weather, explore the orchards or enjoy the cider, donuts, produce and baked goods.

Read more... - Published on 09 / 27 / 2018
Oktoberfest draws hundreds to former train depot parking lot
By Bradley Koltz
J Lawrence and Taproot restaurants joined Broken Symmetry and ECCO to hold a privately managed event at the town parking lot at Depot Place.
The event featured live music and food from the participating restaurants while attendees could purchase beer and other beverages.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 27 / 2018
Dinner and a Movie
Bethel restaurant Taproot has partnered with the Bethel Cinema and is now offering a special 3 course dinner menu and movie ticket at The Bethel Cinema for $30 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays.
Visit them online at www.taprootct.com to learn more.
They're located at 269 Greenwood Ave., Bethel.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 20 / 2018
5 business ribbon cutting celebration
State Senator Boucher, State Representative Harding, First Selectman Knickerbocker and Selectman Straiton joined owners of 5 local businesses and Bethel Chamber of Commerce President Bradley Koltz in Grand Opening / Re-Opening and Recognition event
By Gazette Staff
Community leaders, state politicians and business leaders came together with the owners of five local businesses and dozens of friends, well wishers and shoppers to celebrate the Grand Opening of Patricia's Presents, the Grand Re-Opening of the newly relocated Byrd's Books and The Toy Room, the return of the Doherty Petri School of Dance and the re-dedication of DiLillo Real Estate.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 20 / 2018
Author Talks at Byrd's Books
By Bradley Koltz
Authors Stephanie Dray, Author of Historical Fiction and Laura Kamoie were full of interesting details of Eliza Hamilton's life and their process in writing the book, My Dear Hamilton, as they spoke to the first author event audience at the new location of Byrd's Books at 178 Greenwood Avenue on Sept. 6th.

Read more... - Published on 09 / 13 / 2018
Changes coming to Holbrook Farm
By Bradley Koltz
Holbrook Farm will be changing hands at the end of this season, according to a posting by farm manager/operator Jessica Wong.
Owners John and Lynne Holbrook are believed to plan to retain ownership, but have not as of press time made a statement about their future plans.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 13 / 2018
Ribbon cutting / block party
By Bradley Koltz
Five businesses will be celebrating their opening or reopening this Saturday, September 15 beginning at 11 a.m.
The businesses all occupy the street level storefronts in the downtown Bethel building reborn after the fire last fall that displaced most of the building's occupants. Only Di Lillo Real Estate was able to remain.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 13 / 2018
OctoberFeast location changed
The Bethel Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its first annual OctoberFeast event at the Stony Hill Preserve, 67 Stony Hill Road from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 12th instead of at the Town's Municipal Lawn.
The location may be best known for the weekly Farmers' Market that's held there Saturdays until 1 p.m.
The October Feast was originally planned for the Municipal Lawn, and the October 12th date was set after staff at the Town's Parks and Recreation department initially indicated the date was available for the event.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 13 / 2018
New police station update
By Bradley Koltz
The new Bethel Police station is nearing completion, with the department expected to move into the new space in September.
Captain Pugner recently told the News-Times "We're excited, but at the same time we're not in a rush because we want to make sure it's finished," he said. "We don't want to move in, rush it and miss things."
Read more... - Published on 09 / 06 / 2018
FEMA asked to reconsider aid denial
By Bradley Koltz
Connecticut State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24) sent a letter to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently asking the agency to reconsider its denial of financial assistance to individual victims of the storms on May 15th.
The letter to FEMA Administrator William Brock Long cited 110 mile per hour wind speeds that toppled nearly 1,500 trees and resulted in two deaths.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 06 / 2018
Home

opinion
Bethel Deserves Better
On April 1st, several hundred Town citizens came together for the Town Meeting to review the Town and School budgets. Given the topic, how best to tax Bethel's citizens and spend that revenue, it was a reasonably orderly meeting. Everyone had a chance to speak on topics from the cost of sand to the need for new band uniforms. Our editorial that week praised our moderator for such a well run meeting. And at the following referendum, the School budget passed while the Town and Capital budgets did not. Which led to the Town Meeting on April 24th. At that meeting, held to consider the updated Town budget and Capital budget presented by the Board of Finance, only a small fraction of the first meeting turned out. Yet discussion was abruptly cut short, with many in the audience indicating that they wished to speak being denied the opportunity to do so. Tempers flared. People stormed out.
To some extent, whether the required 2/3rds of present registered voters approved the motion for an early end of discussion is not the point. Whether non-registered voters were allowed to participate is not the point, either. Bethel is a wonderful, small town made up of neighbors who came together to consider what to do in order to get to a viable Town budget. Silencing the voices of registered voters is a terrible, wrenching thing, whether the technicalities allow it or not. We expect better, and fear that the Town will be dragged through the need for a third Town meeting in large part due to the growing backlash from this maneuver. That would be a heavy price to pay for whatever gain came from cutting off 15 or 20 minutes of additional discussion.
Whenever we are called to meet again, we hope that all voters will have the chance to ask their questions, voice their proposals and concerns, and that we never again see such a terrible deprivation of basic inclusion. Because Bethel deserves much better.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Letter To The Editor - In Bethel, No, Too High Again
The majority on Bethel's board of finance is on a maniacal mission to eliminate the town's short term debt, aggressively funded by us, the taxpayers. No one disputes the need to pay the town's credit more than a minimum payment, but $650,000 is just too much, and too fast because it has a direct and adverse impact on spending.
After the first referendum was rejected, and the Too High was three times higher than the too low, the majority on the board of finance chose to play a shell game, lowering that $650k to $385k after learning that the results of a State Audit "might" result in a one-time benefit of $285k. At the town meeting, it was disclosed by the Town Comptroller that no one really knows when the State will send the payment, or even if it's 100% guaranteed!
The BOF made a choice to take $100,000 out of several departments, overtime, contracted services; when they could have reduced both their capital wish-list or reduce their artificially high pace of paying off debt.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 27 / 2019
Letters
Dear Editor,
As residents and taxpayers of Bethel for over 40 years, my wife and I have personally invested handsomely in our town. We have done all we could do to help improve the quality of our schools and over the years we have supported reasonable increases in our town budgets to improve our roads, fix neglected bridges and buildings and improve our quality of life.
These efforts have paid off. Today Bethel schools are recognized as one of the finest systems in New England. Many of our programs have been ranked among best in the nation. This has made Bethel one of the most desirable towns in this state. And unlike the rest of Connecticut, Bethel is growing and providing new opportunities to raise families in a beautiful and friendly community.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
Kudos
At the Annual Town Meeting, we were deeply impressed with the focus and speed of the meeting, having spent what seemed like entire lifetimes in town meetings in other New England towns in years past.
The credit goes in large part to Alice Hutchinson, who the town Democratic Committee will be honoring this month. The discussion was focused, it was balanced, it was clear and it was lighting fast by other town meeting measures. Bethel is deeply fortunate to have such a competent Moderator.

Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
Please Vote – And Be Consistent
The Town referendum is to be held on April 11, and it is important, no matter which side of the budget discussions you fall on, to come out and vote.
Our First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker makes a very strong case for voting in a consistent way for both the Town and School budgets as our charter locks in the School budget once it passes regardless of the status of the Town budget - up to roughly 20% of which is also tied to the schools.
We wish less was being made of the debt service as it is essentially a return to prior year levels, and the argument that it is a huge increase, while true when put against a recent one year drop, runs counter to past trends and amounts.
Read more... - Published on 04 / 06 / 2019
Bethel Meets The Challenge
Once again Bethel is rising to the occasion. In this case, supporting Bethel Cinema owner Pam Karpen in her upcoming run against cancer.
So far 114 donations have totaled over $18,000 to support Pam in her effort to help Dana-Farber conquer cancer.
The race is in early April, so there is still time to support Pam and her efforts on behalf of all of us and our loved ones here and loved once lost, and make this awful disease a memory once and for all.
Read more... - Published on 03 / 09 / 2019
Unseen Heroes
While most of us were warm in our beds on Sunday night, when the temperatures had fallen to 2 degrees before factoring in the below zero wind chill, crews of men and women were busy throughout our town, often 20 feet in the air in a bucket truck, repairing storm damaged power lines, transformers and whatever else needed to be mended to restore power to the roughly 80 homes in Bethel that lost power in the snow and ice storm on Sunday. By Monday morning, just 6 homes remained without power.
Sadly, one of their coworkers in Middletown recently died while working to restore power there, when a tree fell.
Take a moment, the next time you turn on a light or hear your furnace kick in to thank these brave unseen heroes. We would literally be cold and in the dark without them.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 26 / 2019
The Power of Kindness
Every now and again, we come across a story that literally takes our breath away. That was the case with the story in this week's edition about the incredibly kind-hearted decision taken by the management at Danbury Kia to forgive the remaining lease on the car that Emily Todd drove to her brutal, senseless execution in Bridgeport last Month, and that her family were having to deal with on top of their tragic loss.
Bethel is deeply fortunate to have so many generous businesses and citizens in Town and in our neighboring towns. Acts of sincere kindness such as these must never be taken for granted. They are part of the glue that holds our community together, that gives our neighbors hope and strength regardless of whatever they face.
Our community will be coming together on February 15th for Bethel Kindness Day. We urge our readers to buy a shirt and to proudly wear it, but we also urge our readers to keep in mind that with acts of kindness like Danbury Kia's it seems to us that in our community, every day can be Kindness Day.
Read more... - Published on 01 / 12 / 2019
Here Comes 2019
2019 promises to have as many challenges as we've seen in many years. Starting the new year with a federal government shut down that has so far remained largely just that, a federal issue sets the stage for more local challenges. As more workers are idled and more areas of the government slow or shut down, it could spill over into more local issues, such as grants, federal and state aid and even exports by local firms.
We have two new state senators and one new state representative seating in January in Hartford, as well as a new governor - all facing some persistent and difficult tasks such as budget deficits, tax relief, infrastructure repair to name but a few.
But we are confident that Bethel and Connecticut are up to these challenges.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 29 / 2018
An Open Letter To Our Readers
The Bethel Community Gazette was founded as a place to go to get "old-fashioned" journalism focused on presenting the facts to the reader and letting the reader make informed decisions. This ranges from reporting on activities of our local government, the schools and the community at large.
If ever we doubted the need for our little newspaper and our mission, the events associated with the recent school sale of surplus computer equipment couldn't have made a better case for the need and our mission.
The facts are simple enough. Our schools had 240 out of date, surplus notebooks. The School Department followed published procedures that have been in place since 1992 and offered the equipment to the Town. At a Board of Selectmen meeting, it was unanimously voted to let the Schools dispose of the equipment. Still following published procedure, it was arranged to offer the equipment, first to staff and students as is required by School Board policy, and then to the public. The ROTC volunteered to assist with the disposal - continuing a proud tradition of extensive public service and leadership by some of our community's finest youth. They underestimated the demand by the staff and students, and some public did arrive early, so by the time the public en masse arrived at 6 p.m. on the 18th, the 240 notebooks had been sold off - deeply and understandably disappointing to the prospective buyers.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 22 / 2018
How A Community Responds
The tragic loss of Emily Todd, just 25 years old and just beginning her life, and under such horrible circumstances is heart-breaking for her family, her friends and her community. The Community Gazette extends our deepest sympathy to Miss Todd's family and friends.
Bethel has responded with an enormous outpouring of support, at the funeral service, the church service, vigils, remembrances posted on social media and in giving to a cause the family has asked be done instead of sending flowers, Moms Demand Action.
We hope that this response extends beyond donations against gun violence, something that we hope all sides on the gun ownership debate can unite behind, and expands to the work needed so desperately to treat the sources of such violence.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 15 / 2018
A Few Of Our Favorite Things
It's hard not to be deeply heartened by the spirit and generosity of our community, not just at this time of year but all year long.
In this issue we try to highlight as many of the good works in Town as we have space to allow, but the truth is that we could fill a dozen pages or more with the good works being done in Bethel, from the food donation at Town Hall and local businesses to the Giving Trees at The Toy Room, Kids Kuts and Town Hall, to the donations for fire victims, collections for Veterans and toys, gifts of lunch to our neediest children, free concerts, seasonal decorations, the list goes on and so does our faith in our neighbors.
Some in our Town have tried, and of course miserably failed, to pull us apart as we come together to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Dhanu Sankranti and other holidays of other faiths. Even the mock-holiday of Festivus has found it's place, even if only on a pole on a lawn on Grassy Plain Street.
Read more... - Published on 12 / 08 / 2018
Shop Local
This Saturday local retailers across the U.S. took part in the annual Shop Local / Shop Small event. Started as an answer to big box store Black Friday sales, and expanded to combat Cyber Monday, the event showcases sales at local retailers and other businesses.
We think this is an odd campaign because, to be blunt, ever day should be a shop local day. Our community is as vibrant and thriving as it is because of the dozens of local small businesses ranging from gift shops, book stores, cafes, pharmacies, hardware stores, grocers, consignment shops, ice cream parlors, nurseries, specialty good shops, restaurants, coffee shops, pet groomers, nail and beauty salons, barbershops, bakeries, banks, a toy store, a cinema, cleaners, a paint store, a music store, with our debut the return of a local newspaper and dozens more.
These local businesses have outstanding service, local expertise and often carefully curated inventories tailored to our community.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 24 / 2018
Local heroes
We were reminded this week of the contribution, often unseen by many but always appreciated, of our Department of Public Works.
Our town was surprised by a fiercer than expected nor'easter that dropped eight inches of snow and ice on Bethel and nearby towns.
Our DPW crews got to work before the storm, laying down brine, clearing drains and in general getting Bethel ready to cope with this winter weather come before Thanksgiving.
Read more... - Published on 11 / 17 / 2018
Thank you! Now Vote!
These candidates have done their job, either here or on their websites, to provide us with their views on a series of important local issues. We are grateful to them for taking time during extremely busy election schedules to share their positions with us on these topics. Now it's up to you to make sure you get out and vote on Election Day, November 6th.We are deeply grateful to the candidates who were able to take time from extremely demanding election schedules to share their positions on these important local issues. Please use this as a starting point, and research each candidates position and record to make the best decision come election day, November 6th. Please vote!


Read more... - Published on 10 / 27 / 2018
Support our police
With the opening of the new police station at 12 Judd Avenue, we are reminded that supporting our police entails more than providing them with a new, and much needed state of the art station.

Our police officers, like our fire fighters, put their lives on the line every day, providing essential services that make Bethel safe and such an inviting place to live, work, visit, shop and dine.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 20 / 2018
Banishing the book banners

It's hard to believe in 2018 that we're still having to push back against the impulse to ban ideas that make us uncomfortable. More than 2,400 years ago, Socrates was executed for "refusing to recognize the gods recognized by the state" and thereby "corrupting the youth."
If that sounds vaguely familiar, it's because those intolerances of differing religious views that challenge the current orthodoxy and expand the minds of youth are reasons given for banning Huckleberry Finn, To Kill A Mockingbird and dozens more.
Read more... - Published on 10 / 05 / 2018
Readers may find that this week's issue is the start of our efforts this holiday season to share information about ways to help our neighbors.
Bethel is particularly blessed with a strong sense of community, and this extends to the ways we help those in need of a helping hand.
We will dedicate as much space as possible to help get the word out about how we can be of help in upcoming issues. Not so much because we think our readers need to be nagged - it's clear that Bethel is a deeply committed community - but more to remind readers of opportunities that might have been overshadowed by other causes.
When we help each other in need we also build a stronger and better community for us all.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 27 / 2018
It takes a village to keep a farm
We were deeply saddened to learn that the current management of Holbrook Farm is calling it quits at the end of this season.
It's clear from the note sent by Farm Manager Jess Wong how heart breaking this is. And anyone who has grown to love the fresh produce, or the delicious scones, can't help but feel a serious twinge of loss.
We as a community have one last opportunity to come together and help. There are still lots of fresh produce, baked goods, specialty items and much, much more that are and will be for sale through the end of the season this November.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 20 / 2018
Celebrating faith in our community's future
Five downtown businesses reaffirmed their faith in Bethel's future on Saturday, September 15th when they celebrated the rebirth of a landmark building and the businesses it houses.
These five businesses, a realtor, a gift shop, a dance studio, a book store and a toy store, all have made a tremendous investment in our downtown as they make an investment in their livelihoods.
The building renovation itself is also a cause for celebration. A historic landmark all but destroyed has been restored and these businesses, as all of our town, have benefited greatly from the effort.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 13 / 2018
A new voice comes to town
With today's edition, a new voice comes to Bethel.
In an age when the common wisdom holds that print's age has ended, it may seem a bit of an anachronism to begin publishing a print newspaper. Yet, we believe that a community needs a printed voice. It helps bind the community together, and it creates a common discussion for that community.
There are so many diverse perspectives in our town, and we hope to help bring those voices together in an effort to encourage harmony and prosperity.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 06 / 2018
Home

business
Welcome to Bethel!
By Bradley Koltz
Brittany Shears celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, September 15th.
The new hair salon is located at 233 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel.
Read more... - Published on 20 / 01 / 2018
Welcome to Bethel!
By Bradley Koltz
Bethel will be welcoming Patricia's Presents when the new store opens on Saturday, September 15th at 164 Greenwood Avenue.
Store owner Patti Polk relocated her shop to Bethel from Ridgefield, and hopes to establish a local following here.
Read more... - Published on 13 / 01 / 2018
Bethel Chamber News
As space allows, we will report on Bethel Chamber of Commerce news in this column.
Happy Labor Day everyone! We have lots of great things happening in Bethel and at The Bethel Chamber.
Congratulations to Byrd's Books and The Toy Room for completing their moves. The Toy Room is now open and Byrd's Books will be open this Saturday. If you haven't stopped by to check out the new space, you really should. They're at 180 Greenwood Avenue and next door at 178 Greenwood Avenue.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 02 / 2018
New home for local shops
By Bradley Koltz
With work completed on the historic building near the corner of Greenwood Ave and Depot Place, two Bethel businesses have relocated into the renovated shops.
The Toy Room opened last Wednesday at 180 Greenwood Avenue, and owner Kim Ramsey reports they have been very busy. Next door, Byrd's Books opened last Saturday at 178 Greenwood Avenue. Alice Byrd Hutchinson described the opening as a soft opening, allowing the store and customers to get settled into the new space.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 01 / 2018
Business Directory
Accountants & Bookkeepers
Bethel Tax Services, LLC - .Matthew T Close, EA .
(203) 470-7866 .
Read more... - Published on 00 / 01 / 0000
Home

arts
At Bethel Cinema
269 Greenwood Avenue • 203-778-2100
Please call the Cinema to confirm show times.
Saturday, Nov. 10
Read more... - Published on 11 / 11 / 2018
At Bethel Cinema
Thu., Oct 4
A SIMPLE FAVOR
(R) 4:15p 7:15p
Read more... - Published on 09 / 27 / 2018
Art at the Library
By Bradley Koltz
Visitors to the Bethel Library can view "Watercolours" on the second floor in the Morris Gallery (Accessible Art Project). This features a collection of captivating photographic images by Colin Harrison.
In the display cabinet, look closely at the assortment of old bottles and glass transformers collected by Tom Borysiewicz, the Bethel Library's Adult Services Librarian. Then visit Tom at the Reference Desk and he will tell you more about them.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 20 / 2018
Film Festival at Bethel Cinema
By Bradley Koltz
The Bethel Cinema will be hosting a reception and film on Wednesday, September 12. The reception begins at 6 p.m. And is open to ticket holders for the film.
The file is A Sniper's War, and will be followed by a question and answer session with NYC Filmmaker Olya Schechter.
Read more... - Published on 09 / 01 / 2018
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Doing Good
Local reps' diaper drive
State Representatives Stephen Harding (R-107) and Will Duff (R-2) along with State Senators Toni Boucher (R-26) and Michael McLachlan (R-24) in cooperation with the Hopeline of Danbury will be hosting a town-wide Diaper Drive from Sept. 13th to Oct. 11th.
The legislative delegations from Bethel and Danbury organized this month-long diaper drive with Hopeline for in-need families after learning they are not covered by Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
According to state statistics, a month's supply of diapers can cost over $100. Unfortunately, the vast majorities of licensed day care centers do not accept cloth diapers, and require parents and caregivers to provide a steady supply of disposable diapers.
Read more... - Published on 13 / 01 / 2018
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At Home
Real Estate Transactions - Oct. & Nov. 2018
Sold Nov. 30, 2018
Single Family Home
$330,000
Read more... - Published on 01 / 05 / 2019
Recent Real Estate Transactions
Each month, we'll publish a listing of recent real estate sales. In future, we'll also feature explanation of the recent trends and other relevant information.
Sold for $460,000
Price/sqft: $143, 4 bds, 3 ba, 3,200 sqft
Read more... - Published on 20 / 01 / 2018
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Things To Do
Things To Do Around Town
Books
Thu, Sep 13, 7:30 PM, History Book Group, Free, Byrd's Books, 178 Greenwood Ave, Bethel, 203-730-2973
Fri, Sep 14, 5:00 PM, Harry Potter Open House, Free, Byrd's Books, 178 Greenwood Ave, Bethel, 203-730-2973
Read more... - Published on 00 / 01 / 0000
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