Stories

Dan Carter's Bethel Update: Shop & Stroll, Cornhole, SCOTTY Fund, and More!

<h3>Road and Infrastructure Updates</h3><p>Paving on Ridge Rd. and Vail Rd. is now complete and slightly under budget. Crews will return at the end of next week to work on driveway aprons. Residents should also be aware of crews working on catch basins and potholes around town next week. Additionally, the water main break on Midway Dr. has been repaired, with a more permanent fix to the road scheduled for later in the summer.</p><h3>Bethel High School HVAC Improvements</h3><p>Improvements to Bethel High School's HVAC system are underway. The town's Charter allows for two additional appointments to the Public Site and Building Commission to represent the “user’s interest” in the project. The commission meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 7 pm in Town Hall, with remote participation available. The project is expected to be completed by December 2025, although this could be extended. Parents of Bethel students with HVAC or construction experience interested in learning more are encouraged to email firstselectman@bethel-ct.gov or call 203-794-8540.</p><h3>New Outdoor Irrigation Policy</h3><p>The Bethel Public Utilities Commission has approved an Outdoor Irrigation Policy for Bethel Water Customers. Following the drought of 2016, a schedule of twice-weekly irrigation has proven effective in conserving water for essential services while maintaining the health of lawns and landscapes. Customers with even-numbered addresses are asked to water on Sundays and Wednesdays, while those with odd-numbered addresses or no address should water on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Watering should be done outside the hours of 9 am to 6 pm to minimize evaporation loss. For more information on water conservation, visit <a href="https://bethel-ct.gov/water-conservation" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bethel Water Conservation</a>.</p><h3>Community Workshop Outcomes</h3><p>In March, a diverse group of citizens participated in a workshop to help town leadership define priorities. The top need identified was a community center with activities for all ages, including a pool, exercise center, teen center, theater, and a rain garden. Other priorities included affordable senior housing, purchasing Blue Jay Orchard, sustainability initiatives, park improvements, a new tax structure, uses for the Old PD, more handicapped parking, welcoming new residents, and linguistic diversity. Residents are encouraged to share their thoughts by emailing firstselectman@bethel-ct.gov. Stay tuned next week for feedback from the workshop's five questions.</p><h3>Bethel Winter Guard Fundraiser Cancelled</h3><p>The Bethel Winter Guard’s Annual Car Wash and Bake Sale scheduled for tomorrow, July 13, has been cancelled due to the weather. However, support for this organization can still be given through contributions. Learn more or donate at <a href="https://bethelwinterguardct.com/about-us" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bethel Winter Guard</a>.</p><h3>Weekend Events</h3><p>Check out the events this weekend at <a href="https://events.bethel-ct.gov/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bethel Events</a>.</p><h3>Town Hall Closure</h3><p>The Town Hall will close at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, July 16, for maintenance on the internet. The afternoon will be used for employee training. Emergency services will not be affected.</p><h3>Upcoming Events</h3><ul><li><strong>Footloose the Musical</strong>: Friday, July 19 at 7 pm, and Saturday, July 20 at 2 pm and 7 pm at Bethel High School. Tickets are available at <a href="https://ticketpeak.co/bethelparkandrec/events" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bethel Park and Rec Events</a>.</li><li><strong>Food Truck Friday</strong>: Friday, July 19 from 5 pm to 8 pm. Enjoy food from various trucks and live music by Grooved Pavement.</li><li><strong>Summer Shop &amp; Stroll</strong>: Saturday, July 20 from 11 am to 4 pm, sponsored by the Bethel Chamber of Commerce. Enjoy shopping, live music, and family-friendly activities.</li><li><strong>Pet CPR and First Aid Class</strong>: Saturday, July 20 at 10 am at the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department. The cost is $60. Register at <a href="https://www.pawsnclaws911.com/register-online" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Paws N Claws 911</a>.</li><li><strong>Ben’s Bells Cornhole Tournament</strong>: Sunday, July 21 from 12 pm to 4 pm at Michael’s Tap Room. Visit <a href="https://bensbells.org/cornhole/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ben's Bells Cornhole</a> for more info and registration.</li></ul><h3>Town Political Committee Picnics</h3><ul><li><strong>Bethel Republican Town Committee Lobsterfest</strong>: Saturday, July 27 from 3 pm to 7 pm at Bennett Park. Tickets are available at <a href="https://events.bethel-ct.gov/events/bethel-rtc-lobsterfest-2024" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bethel RTC Lobsterfest 2024</a>.</li><li><strong>Bethel Democrat Town Committee Picnic</strong>: Sunday, July 28 from 12 pm to 4 pm at Bennett Park. Tickets are available at <a href="https://events.bethel-ct.gov/events/bethel-democratic-town-committee-picnic" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bethel Democratic Town Committee Picnic</a>.</li></ul><h3>SCOTTY Fund Achievements</h3><p>Over the past 28 years, the SCOTTY Fund has raised over $2.5 million to support children in the local area with life-threatening and critical illnesses. The fund assists with medical expenses, transportation, and other related costs. Save the date for the SCOTTY Fund Winter's Eve Gala on Saturday, December 7. Learn more at <a href="https://www.scottyfund.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">SCOTTY Fund</a>.</p><h3>Congratulations Bethel Baseball Association</h3><p>Congratulations to Bethel Baseball Association’s 11U team for winning 2nd place in the state tournament! Good luck in the New England regionals this weekend in Oxford.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

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Lady Danbury Fair Shop, Sip & Stroll Benefitting the Center on July 18

<p><strong>Lady Danbury Fair Shop, Sip &amp; Stroll Benefitting the Center for Empowerment &amp; Education</strong></p><p>Danbury, CT – The Danbury Fair Mall will host a special Shop, Sip &amp; Stroll event on Thursday, July 18, 2024, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., benefitting the Center for Empowerment and Education (CEE).</p><p>Prepare for an evening filled with royal brewed tea, sweet wine, enchanting music, divine discounts, regal raffles, and stunning photo ops, all in support of an amazing cause.</p><p>Starting at the Center Court and throughout the lower level of Danbury Fair, shoppers are invited to enjoy light bites, wine, raffles, and discounts throughout the mall. A versatile trio of musicians, Hafez Taghavi, Emily Garrison, and Mike Godette, will play invigorating instrumental pop covers, setting the tone for the Lady Danbury Fair event.</p><p>Danbury Fair’s charitable partner, the Center for Empowerment and Education (CEE), has been a safe haven and the sole provider of services to victims of domestic and sexual violence in the Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield County areas. Each year, CEE serves over 20,000 individuals from area communities with confidential services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and provided at no cost. CEE provides support services in the form of counseling and advocacy, crisis intervention, and emergency shelter. Their advocates empower individuals to find their voice and choose their path toward healing as they rebuild their lives. CEE believes that everyone deserves to live a life free from violence.</p><p>Join us for this wonderful event and support a great cause.</p><p><strong>When:</strong> 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., July 18</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Danbury Fair, 7 Backus Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810</p><p>For more information, please visit <a href="http://www.danburyfairmall.com/Events" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">www.danburyfairmall.com/Events</a>.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

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Ability Beyond receives $30,000 Grant from Fairfield County Community Foundation

<p>Ability Beyond, one of the largest providers of disability services in the state, is thrilled to announce a $30,000 grant from Fairfield County Community Foundation.</p><p>This significant grant directly benefits our community by funding our innovative Pathways to Excellence employee training program.</p><p>Through the Pathways program, Ability Beyond direct care employees can train to become certified Direct Support Professionals and go on to earn advanced certifications in specialty areas, including clinical care and wellness, behavior support, and mentoring and supervision. Upon completion of each certification, graduates earn a stipend while gaining knowledge and skills to support them in advancing into new specialty or management roles. The curriculum was developed in partnership with the University of Minnesota.</p><p>“We are excited that the Fairfield County Community Foundation recognizes the value of this critical professional development and, through this grant, is helping us offer advancement opportunities for our front-line caregivers,” said Jane Davis, Ability Beyond’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to offering opportunities for our team members to grow their careers while also having a direct and positive impact on others.”</p><p>The program not only improves the care for those served but has also positively impacted employee retention at a time when the direct care service industry is facing staffing shortages year after year. This allows Ability Beyond to have knowledgeable, engaged, and highly skilled long-term direct support team members.&nbsp;Since the program's implementation, Ability Beyond’s turnover rate has been reduced dramatically to less than 18 percent—far less than the 50 percent industry national average.</p><p>Learn more <a href="https://abilitybeyond.org" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://abilitybeyond.org/</a></p>

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Dan Carter's Updates: St. Thomas' Church Tag Sale, Shop & Stroll and More!

<h3>Bethel Community Updates</h3><h4>Coffee with a Cop</h4><p>Bethel Police officers hosted a “Coffee with a Cop” at the Senior Center this week, where they reminded everyone to be on the lookout for the latest gift card scam. Bethel residents have received emails that appear to be from someone they know, asking them to purchase gift cards and send photos of the cards. Additionally, checks are being taken out of the mail and doctored to change the recipient's name. Please be vigilant about these scams and help protect those who might be vulnerable!</p><h4>Community Workshop on Communication</h4><p>Last March, a small group of citizens from across the community gathered for a workshop with the goal of helping town leadership define our priorities. The group explored five questions. The fourth question was, “What are opportunities for/barriers to effective communication in Bethel?” Participants identified concerns about the lack of a Bethel newspaper, lack of printed newsletters for seniors, lack of a town-funded Chamber of Commerce director, and difficulty finding information/resources. Suggestions included improving information online/social media, centralizing communication from area churches, and monitoring online forums. What do you think are opportunities for/barriers to effective communication in Bethel? Email your thoughts to firstselectman@bethel-ct.gov. Stay tuned next week for question five.</p><h4>Planning &amp; Zoning Commission Public Hearings</h4><p>On Tuesday, July 9th at 7:00 pm at Town Hall in Conference Room D, the Planning &amp; Zoning Commission will continue public hearings for 22 Stony Hill Rd. (construction of a new gas station/convenience store) and 25A Turkey Plain Rd. (an addition to the Animal Center). They will also begin a new hearing for 165 Grassy Plain St. (an addition to the existing manufacturing warehouse). Learn more at <a href="https://bethel-ct.gov/2024-public-hearing" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Public Hearing Info</a> and <a href="https://bethel-ct.gov/2024-zoning" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Zoning Info</a>.</p><h4>Office Hours</h4><p>The next Office Hours session is Wednesday, July 10th from 7:30 am to 8:30 am. It’s a great time to stop by the First Selectman's office in Town Hall with questions or concerns. Otherwise, call the office at 203-794-8540 or email firstselectman@bethel-ct.gov to make an appointment.</p><h4>Summer Reading Challenge</h4><p>Kids, teens, and adults: the 2024 Summer Reading Challenge is underway and your adventure begins at the Bethel Public Library! Log your reading through August 31st and earn raffle tickets for great prizes, including gift certificates to local businesses for the adults! <a href="https://www.bethellibrary.org/summerreading/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Summer Reading Info</a></p><h4>Where’s Waldo?</h4><p>Where’s Waldo? He is hiding in 25 businesses around Bethel! Drop by Byrd’s Books or visit their website for your passport to fun and prizes. Find Waldo and stamp your passport at 20 of the 25 businesses to enter the grand prize drawing at the Where’s Waldo party on Saturday, July 27th! Visit Byrd’s Books for more information and school summer reading lists: <a href="https://www.byrdsbooks.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Byrd’s Books Info</a></p><h4>Bethel Police Department Car Show</h4><p>Don’t miss the PD Car Show this Sunday, July 7th on the Town Hall lawn from 4 pm to 8 pm. Enjoy cars, music, and great food! Donations support the Scotty Fund and the Bethel Police Benevolent Association.</p><h4>St. Thomas' Church Tag Sale</h4><p>St. Thomas' Church is hosting a Giant Tag Sale on July 12th &amp; 13th and July 19th &amp; 20th. Find lots of treasures, including household items, jewelry, framed art, toys, crafts, vintage, and Christmas items. They could use a few volunteers to help set up the week prior and the days of the tag sale. Please email Dawnfaw@aol.com to volunteer.</p><h4>Summer Shop &amp; Stroll</h4><p>Friday, July 12th is the deadline for vendors and groups to register to participate in the 2024 Summer Shop &amp; Stroll! Residents and visitors can enjoy a day in Downtown Bethel filled with shopping, live music, and family fun! For a list of 2024 vendors or to register, visit <a href="https://bethelchamberofcommerce.com/shop-stroll" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Shop &amp; Stroll Info</a>.</p><h4>Little Mermaid Jr. and Footloose</h4><p>ERA Productions and Park &amp; Rec present <em>Little Mermaid Jr.</em> with a cast of 6th to 8th graders on Friday, July 12th at 7 pm and Saturday, July 13th at 2 pm and 7 pm. Don’t miss the high schoolers from the greater Bethel area performing <em>Footloose the Musical</em> on Friday, July 19th at 7 pm and Saturday, July 20th at 2 pm and 7 pm. Shows are at Bethel High School. For tickets, visit <a href="https://ticketpeak.co/bethelparkandrec/events" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bethel Park and Rec Events</a>.</p><h4>Free Workshop on Self-Advocacy</h4><p>OLIDA Learning, a Bethel-based business, is offering a free workshop beginning on July 16th, “Your Guide to Self-Advocacy,” for teens and young adults with disabilities. If you are a parent, family member, or friend of a teen or young adult with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan, this workshop is designed to help the student become a strong self-advocate. Learn more or register at <a href="https://learningstreams.corsizio.com/event/649a142e30b63889b2e0e761" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Learning Streams</a>.</p><h4>Big Band Swing Dance Party</h4><p>Bethel’s own Phil LoPresti and Cynthia McCorkindale will be joining the Clark Eno Orchestra for a Big Band Swing Dance Party on Thursday, July 18th from 7 pm to 9:30 pm at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury. For details, call 203-748-4119, email ceno@comcast.net, or visit <a href="https://clarkenoorchestra.com/swing-dance-party" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Clark Eno Orchestra</a>.</p><h4>Firecracker 8k Shoutout</h4><p>Shoutout to the Bethel Park &amp; Rec staff, Town Employees, First Responders, and all who made the 58th Annual Firecracker 8k an amazing event! 287 runners, including members of the Bethel Running Club, took on the challenge, and our own Evan Bureau finished first! Congrats to Evan and all those who finished! See your results at <a href="https://runsignup.com/Race/Events/CT/Bethel/JohnDemilleFirecracker8KRoadRace" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Firecracker 8K Results</a>.</p><h4>Bygone Bethel</h4><p>Shoutout to Patrick Wild, our own Bethel Historian. Bethel turned 169 years old on June 29th. A lot has happened since 1855, so if you want to learn more about Bethel's history, check out Patrick's column, Bygone Bethel, at <a href="https://www.bethelgrapevine.com/bygone-bethel" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bethel Grapevine</a>.</p>

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2nd Annual Bethel Police Department Car Show on Sunday, July 7

<p>Bethel, CT – The Bethel Police Department is thrilled to host its 2nd Annual Car Show on Sunday, July 7, from 4 to 8 PM. This exciting event will take place on the Bethel Town Hall lawn and promises a fun-filled evening of cars, music, and great food for the whole family.</p><p>The Car Show will feature a wide array of classic, vintage, and modern cars on display. Car enthusiasts and families alike will enjoy the diverse range of vehicles showcased. In addition to the impressive car exhibits, attendees can savor delicious food from local vendors, including Dash and Dine and J&amp;E Ice Cream and More.</p><p>The event is not just about cars and food; it's also about giving back to the community. Donations collected during the Car Show will benefit The Scotty Fund and the Bethel Police Benevolent Association. The Scotty Fund is a local charity dedicated to providing financial and supportive assistance to families with children in medical crisis, while the Bethel Police Benevolent Association supports various community programs and initiatives.</p><p>Event highlights include:</p><ul><li><strong>Car Exhibits:</strong> A diverse range of classic, vintage, and modern cars on display.</li><li><strong>Food and Beverages:</strong> Enjoy delicious offerings from Dash and Dine and J&amp;E Ice Cream and More.</li><li><strong>Community Support:</strong> Donations will benefit The Scotty Fund and the Bethel Police Benevolent Association.</li><li><strong>Family Fun:</strong> Activities and entertainment for all ages, making it a perfect outing for families.</li></ul><p>Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy a wonderful summer evening filled with cars, music, and community spirit while supporting two great causes. Mark your calendars for Sunday, July 7, from 4 to 8 PM, and join us on the Bethel Town Hall lawn for the 2nd Annual Bethel Police Department Car Show!</p><p>For more information, please contact the Bethel Police Department <a href="https://www.facebook.com/bethelpolice" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.facebook.com/bethelpolice</a></p><p>Learn more about the Scotty Fund: <a href="https://www.scottyfund.org" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.scottyfund.org/</a></p>

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Bethel’s Byrd’s Books  Hosts Book Signing of  Debut Mystery Crime Novel

<p class="ql-align-center"><br></p><p>On Saturday, July 20th, 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, join Bethel’s Byrd’s Books for a book signing of author Brendan Flaherty‘s debut mystery crime novel,&nbsp;<em>The Dredge.&nbsp;</em>The event is a special highlight of downtown Bethel’s Summer Shop &amp; Stroll, an opportunity to discover the town’s hidden gems, indulge in sidewalk sales, and walk charming streetscapes.In&nbsp;<em>The Dredge,&nbsp;</em>two estranged brothers must confront the violence of the past when they find out a pond where they played as children will be dredged, threatening to reveal a long-hidden secret.&nbsp;"Flaherty writes with stealthy acuity, his prose seemingly simple yet full of coiled power,” writes Sarah Weinman in&nbsp;<em>The New York Times.&nbsp;</em>“Multiple hauntings emerge in&nbsp;<em>The Dredge,</em>&nbsp;and you'll be contemplating them after the last page."&nbsp;Brendan Flaherty&nbsp;is from outside Hartford. He went to Washington University in St. Louis, and received his MFA from Boston University.</p><p>Byrd’s Books is located at&nbsp;178 Greenwood Avenue&nbsp;across from the Bethel Public Library. Author discussions and Book Group gatherings are regularly added to Byrd’s Books’ calendar of events at&nbsp;<a href="ByrdsBooks.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">ByrdsBooks.com</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Hours are&nbsp;Tuesdays to Saturdays10:00am to 6:00pm,&nbsp;Sundays&nbsp;12:00 noon&nbsp;to 4;00pm, Closed Mondays.&nbsp;For directions to the store or more information, call Byrd’s Books at&nbsp;203-730-2973.&nbsp;To review the shop’s expanded catalog of new titles, go to&nbsp;<a href="ByrdsBooks.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">ByrdsBooks.com</a></p>

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Bethel Summer Shop & Stroll on July 20 - Calling All Artists!

<h2>Discover the Magic of Downtown Bethel: Shop, Stroll, and Delight on July 20 from 11am to 4pm.</h2><p><em>Are you interested in selling your art at the upcoming Bethel Shop &amp; Stroll on Saturday July 20? Please email </em><a href="mailto:info@bethelartsct.org" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"><em>info@bethelartsct.org</em></a><em> for more info.</em></p><p>Step into a world of enchantment as we invite you to join us for an extraordinary experience in Downtown Bethel. Prepare for an unforgettable day of shopping, dining, live music, and engaging activities for all ages.</p><p>Immerse yourself in a shopper's paradise as you explore the charming streets of Downtown Bethel. Discover hidden gems, browse through unique stores, and indulge in sidewalk sales where you'll find incredible deals and irresistible finds. From trendy fashion to one-of-a-kind treasures, there's something to suit every taste and style.</p><p>Let the delightful melodies guide your steps as you enjoy live music performances that will create a pleasant backdrop to your shopping and strolling experience.</p><p>Fun knows no bounds at this annual event, as we have activities tailored for the whole family! Kids will be thrilled with our dedicated Kids Area, where they can engage in exciting games, crafts, and entertainment. From face painting to interactive play zones, there's no shortage of smiles and laughter.</p><p>Don't miss out on this magical day in Downtown Bethel!</p>

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