Bethel's HamletHub Tue, 13 Apr 2021 15:56:30 -0400 Ray Blue JazZ Trio Presented By Bethel Jazz at La Zingara Restaurant

Click For Tickets Through Eventbrite

“Ray Blue has a majestic presence when playing, his sense of purpose is obvious - Jean Szlamowicz, Jazz Hot, Down Beat Magazine

Safe Social Distancing Seating With Very Limited Ticket Availability. Tickets Are Sold By The Table ONLY. Tables seating 2 - 4 guests, with tables for 6 -8 available upon request. See The Attached Seating Chart. Five Indoor Tables With Open French Doors Facing The Performance And Eight Outdoor Tables Are Available.

Rain date will be announced for a Sunday in October. Admission Is Still Only $15.00 Per Person But Must Be Purchased As A Table For Safety Table Of Two = $30., Four = $60., Six = $90., and Eight = $120

Ray Blue - Sax Over the years Ray has shared the stage and studio as a leader, a sideman, and a band member with Alicia Keys, The Sun Ra Arkestra, the Cotton Club All-Stars, John Gilmore, Dr. Art Davis, Benny Powell, Eddie Henderson, Kirk Lightsey, Charlie Persia Super Band, Clifford Adams, Wycliffe Gordon, Bernard Purdie, Steve Turre, Ted Curson, Joe Lee Wilson, and many others.

He was also a cast member of “The Ray Charles Show” which toured in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy 2008-2010.

“Ray Blue has a majestic presence when playing, his sense of purpose is obvious. It’s one thing to be a good composer, its another to be a great performer. Ray Blue’s got the whole package.” — Jean Szlamowicz, Jazz Hot, Down Beat

Ray Blue’s music can be described as a fusion of straight-ahead jazz and rhythmic groove. Ray is a New York-bred saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator who performs internationally. Over the years he has shared the stage and studio as a leader, a sideman, and a band member with John Gilmore, Dr. Art Davis, Benny Powell, Eddie Henderson, Kirk Lightsey, Charlie Persip Super Band, Clifford Adams, Wycliff Gordon, Bernard Purdie, Steve Turre, Ted Curson, Joe Lee Wilson, Alicia Keys, The Sun Ra Arkestra, Cotton Club All-Stars and many others. He was also a cast member of the “Ray Charles Show” which toured in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy from 2008 to 2010.

His festival performances as a leader and featured artist include Hartford Jazz Festival, Hartford, Connecticut; Zanzibar International Film Festival, Zanzibar, Tanzania; North Sea Jazz Festival-Cape Town, South Africa; Macufe Festival- Bloemfontain, South Africa; European Union Annex Festival-Dublin, Ireland; Audi Jazz Festival, Brussels, Belgium; Macao Jazz Festival, China; Midi Music Festival-Beijing, China; Pori Jazz Festival, Finland and others.

After receiving a graduate degree from the University of Iowa, Ray returned to New York, got re-connected on the scene, and studied at the Jazz Mobile with Charles Davis, Stanton Davis, and later with Paul Jeffrey, Charlie Lagond, Sonny Sharrock and Barry Harris. Some of his mentors include Arthur Blythe, Houston Person, Ornette Coleman, and Benny Powell.

Ray Blue is also a graduate of Wm. Penn University, which annually presents “The Ray Blue Jazz Award” since 2004 to a graduating senior. In addition, Wm. Penn University hosted its inaugural “Jazz Education Festival” in 2007 for High School and College musicians in Ray Blue’s name. They also presented Ray the “Distinguished Career Award“ in 2010. Ray is a 2013 “New York Blues Hall of Fame” inductee - Master Blues and Jazz Artist. His awards include: 2015 Iowa Juneteenth “Jazz Legacy Award”, 2016 “Arts Education Award”, 2017 “Living Legacy Award”.

​Ray released his first CD as a leader, Always with a Purpose, in 2001. Then came Ray Blue Live at Liars Theater in 2004 and “Ray Blue Live at Liars Theater 2 in 2005. In 2006 Ray released ‘Transvision’ on the Neu Klang label and Berries and Blues in 2010.

Ray Blue consults and presents at schools, colleges, universities, and community institutions around the world. He is the founder of Cross-Cultural Connection, Inc. a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that promotes jazz culture, performance, and education. He endorses GB Saxophones and Vandoren mouthpieces, reeds and accessories.

“a prodigious talent that was unmistakable" - Irwin Hall, Grammy-nominated saxophonist

Will Gorman is a pianist, organist, singer and composer from Syracuse, NY. Starting classical lessons at a young age, he was dragged to jazz band in high school and never turned back. He attended William Paterson University, working with Bill Charlap and Harold Mabern, among others, and completed his B.M. in piano in 2019 and M.M. in Composition and Arranging in 2020. Throughout this time, he’s performed extensively with jazz notables such as Vincent Herring, Claudio Roditi, Winard Harper, and Sheila Jordan among others. An up-and-coming arranger, contributing two arrangements for big band to be featured on veteran organist Radam Schwartz’s next release. Most recently, he has been playing with Grammy-nominated saxophonist Irwin Hall and his new organ trio, featuring Jerome Jennings on drums, with an album to be released in 2020.

At age 19, he joined the band of Grammy award-winning blues master Joe Louis Walker, balancing time on the road and school. He’s played extensively with rising blues stars “King” Solomon Hicks and Vanessa Collier, including work on Collier’s last two albums.

Will has performed at clubs and festivals all over the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia, including Jazz in Marciac, Blue Note Beijing, Jazz Madrid, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Smoke Jazz and Supper Club, The Black Cat, and many more. In 2018, Will was a fellow in the Program for Jazz at Ravinia's Steans Music Institute, studying composition with Rufus Reid and Billy Childs.

Growing up in Syracuse, he had the opportunity to serve as musical director at Southern Baptist Church, playing organ and directing the choir, as well as tour extensively with the Stella Award-winning gospel group, Charles Cannon and the Bells of Harmony.

Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax - Drums Philadelphia born, Dwayne now lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches Trap Drum set Concepts at Long Island University (LIU), Brooklyn Branch. He attended Berklee College of Music where he received his B.A. in Jazz Performance. “Cook” was the drummer for the late great Jazz vocalist Little Jimmy Scott for 14 years until Mr. Scott's death in 2014. He's performed with such artists as Kevin Eubanks, Johnny Copeland, Savion Glover, Eartha Kitt, Rachell Ferrell & saxophonist Illinois Jacket to name a few. Dwayne has recorded with actress/model & singer Vanessa Williams, Jimmy Scott, Vanessa Rubin, and Grammy Award winner Johnny Copeland. He performed in the blockbuster hit movie Malcolm X by Spike Lee and recently appeared on the hit television show Madame Secretary. “Cook” has recently toured Japan with Guitarist Tsutomu Nakai, and Europe with vocalist Dee Daniels, trumpet Warren Vache, and Russia with pianist Eli Yamin.

We're sorry, there are no refunds after tickets have been purchased. In the event of rain or other forms of weather which prohibits an outdoor performance, the rain date performance will be held on the Sunday of that week. If the rain date becomes postponed because of weather, a future alternate weather date will be picked.

Click For Tickets Through Eventbrite


]]> (BethelJazz) Events Tue, 13 Apr 2021 04:32:58 -0400
Town of Bethel Announces Upcoming COVID Vaccine Clinics for Veterans and Caregivers

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics - open to anyone who served in the military, veteran spouses and veteran caregivers

April 13 from 8am-3:30pm
Newington campus, 555 Willard Avenue, Bldg. 2E basement (Johnson and Johnson)
April 14-16 from 8am-3:30pm
West Haven campus, 950 Campbell Avenue, Donaldson Center, Bldg. 2, 2nd floor (Pfizer)
April 15 from 8am-3:30pm
Newington campus, 555 Willard Avenue, Bldg. 2E basement (Moderna)
Visit Connecticut VA Healthcare on Facebook here for more information.
April 17 from 8am-4pm
Harding High School, 379 Bond Street, Bridgeport (Johnson and Johnson)
]]> (Town of Bethel) Neighbors Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:12:23 -0400
Volunteers needed for Bethel's new Fire Commission

Earlier this year the Town passed a new ordinance that created a Fire Commission to oversee the operations of Bethel's two volunteer fire companies.

Duties will include long-term planning with regard to major equipment purchases, planning for facility needs or upgrades, operational coordination between the independent volunteer departments and planning and review of operational budgets. The Board of Selectmen expect to begin making appointments to the Fire Commission in May, with the first meeting of the commission no later than the first week of June.

If you are interested in serving on the new Fire Commission, please write or email your request to the Board of Selectmen no later than the close of business (4:30pm) on Monday, April 26th.

Applicants must be Bethel residents and registered electors in order to serve. Please include the following information:

Full name, address and contact information, including email address.

Background or experience you believe is pertinent to serving on a public safety commission (note: previous experience is not required, but may be helpful in making selections).

Your political party affiliation, if applicable.

Please note: party affiliation is not a factor in determining a person's fitness to serve on this commission. This information is required only to allow the Town to comply with the state's Minority Party Representation law, which prohibits any party from holding more than a two-thirds majority on any local or state board or commission. Also, you do not need to belong to any party to be considered; you may list "unaffiliated" if you have not registered with any political party.

Please contact the First Selectman's office if you have questions.

]]> (Town of Bethel) Neighbors Mon, 12 Apr 2021 11:17:05 -0400
Lamont Announces $49M in State Funding To Build More Units of Affordable Housing In Connecticut

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that more than $49 million in state funding that will support the development of hundreds of units of affordable housing in towns throughout Connecticut is anticipated to be approved when the State Bond Commission meets later this week.

The governor, who serves as chair of the commission, said the funding supplements his administration’s ongoing efforts to expand access to mixed-income housing options in a wide range of Connecticut communities while also building on initiatives to prevent and end homelessness.

“Helping all Connecticut residents afford high-quality housing in the community of their choice supports families, kickstarts the economy, and makes neighborhoods vibrant places to live and work,” Governor Lamont said. “As more and more families decide to build their future in Connecticut, it’s vital we invest in housing. An investment in housing is an investment in family stability, children’s success, and the economic health of our entire state.”

The funding will be used to support the following projects:

  • Branford: Parkside Phase 1, 67 Units, $3,795,000
  • Farmington: New Horizons Expansion, 22 Units, $2,200,000
  • Hartford: Martin Luther King Apartments, 155 Units, $4,000,000
  • Hartford: Northeast Hartford Affordable Housing II, 78 Units, $2,700,000
  • Hartford: Westbrook Village Phase IV, 60 Units, $3,900,000
  • New Haven: 340+ Dixwell, 69 Units, $3,358,000
  • New Haven: Hill Central Phase I, 64 Units, $2,831,200
  • New Haven: MLK/Tyler, 56 Units, $3,320,000
  • New Haven: Richard Street Apartments, 23 Units, $2,000,000
  • Newington: Cedar Pointe, 72 Units, $4,000,000
  • Orange: Lascana Homes, 46 Units, $3,600,000
  • Salisbury: Sarum Village Phase III, 10 Units, $1,500,000
  • Stafford: Woodland Springs II, 79 Units, $4,000,000
  • Stamford: Lawnhill Terrace 4, 34 Units, $1,625,000
  • Waterbury: Linden, 44 Units, $3,775,000
  • Willimantic: Hevrin Terrace, 90 Units, $2,664,000

The State Bond Commission will vote on the allocation during its meeting that will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 16. The meeting will be held virtually and will stream live online via the Connecticut Network (CT-N) at

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Mon, 12 Apr 2021 09:55:35 -0400
Bethel Police Department Thanks Dispatchers During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week!

The Bethel Police Department would like to thank all of our Dispatchers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week!

Police Dispatchers are a crucial and integral part of our Department, as they are the first voice a caller hears on the phone and the first face that greets them at Police Headquarters.
Our Dispatchers oftentimes are the first point of contact during an emergency; their ability to handle the situation is a credit to both their character and professionalism.
Thank you Dispatchers for all that you do!
Visit Bethel Police on Facebook for additional information.
]]> (Bethel Police ) Public safety Mon, 12 Apr 2021 08:42:47 -0400
Annual Town of Bethel Referendum on the school and town budgets is April 20

The Annual Town of Bethel Referendum (vote) on the school and town budgets is Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

Polling centers are open from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

All Voter Registration must be completed before Monday, April 19th at noon in order to vote in the Budget Referendum to be held on Tuesday April 20, 2021. U.S. Citizens who are residents of Bethel and hold a CT DMV driver’s licenses, learner’s permit or DMV ID may register online at   This link can also be used to check on your voter registration status and to confirm where you vote. Anyone who has used Online Voter Registration and used the last 4 digits of their Social Security number instead of their DMV ID # to verify identity must print, sign and mail  the application to the Registrars at 1 School Street in Bethel or may deposit it in the yellow Dropbox at the Municipal Center, 1 School Street in Bethel.

Alternatively, residents may register to vote by completing a voter registration application which are available in the front entry of the Municipal Center. You can deposit your completed and signed voter registration application in the yellow Drop Box in front of the Municipal Center.

Bethel property owners who are U.S. citizens and not registered to vote in Bethel may vote in the referendum as a Taxpayer provided that they appear on the October 2020 Grand List as an individual property owner with an assessed value of at least $1,000.

Please bring identification to the polling place when you come to vote.

All Bethel Polling Locations will be open for in-person voting on April 20th from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm 
Districts 1 & 4 vote at the Municipal Center. District 2 votes at the Stony Hill Fire Station. Districts 3 & 5 vote at Berry School.

Sample ballots for the Election can be found here – Bethel Budget Sample Ballot

If you are not sure where to go to vote, use the voter look up tool here -

The Town Clerk administers absentee ballots and any questions about absentee ballots can be directed to their office.

For information regarding absentee ballots, click here.

For additional information regarding the Referendum, click here.

]]> (Town of Bethel) Politics Fri, 09 Apr 2021 09:27:26 -0400
Kindness Coffee To Support Molten Java, Show Your Rainbow Flag Love!

Kindness Coffee To Support Molten Java Friday, April 9 through Sunday, April 11

Our friends at Molten Java need some love! Action Together Connecticut and Bethel CT Pride have organized a weekend "Kindness Coffee" event beginning tomorrow, April 9 through Sunday. 

Molten Java is posting local rainbow flag sightings on their Facebook page! Join in the colorful fun and show the community some love! 

Molten Java is located at 213 Greenwood Ave in Bethel.

Learn more here.

]]> (submitted) Events Thu, 08 Apr 2021 12:05:33 -0400
Bethel Resident Reeya Bhavsar Named to Dean's List at University of the Sciences

Reeya Bhavsar of Bethel, a Doctor of Pharmacy student, has been named to the Fall 2020 Dean's List at University of the Sciences. Selection for this award is based on completing and passing all assigned courses with no grade below a "C" and attaining an academic average of at least 3.4 for courses taken in the Fall of 2020.

University of the Sciences has prepared students to be leaders and practitioners in the healthcare and science fields for 200 years. Key to its distinctive education is a tradition of hands-on research and experiential learning that is evident in every graduate who has walked its campus. Since its founding in 1821 as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the first college of pharmacy in North America, USciences has grown to more than 30 degree-granting programs from bachelor's through doctoral degrees in the health sciences, bench sciences, and healthcare business and policy fields. Discover how USciences students are proven everywhere they go at

]]> (University of the Sciences) Neighbors Wed, 07 Apr 2021 13:55:27 -0400
Taproot in Bethel Introduces New Southeast Asian Menu

Jeff Taibe, the acclaimed, versatile chef behind Taproot - next to the old Bethel Cinema - can do it all, or so it seems. However, a month ago he returned to his roots when he unveiled the restaurant’s new Southeast Asian menu. He’s had a passion for that cuisine ever since he spent 18 months in Singapore after studying at the French Culinary Institute. “I love its brightness,” said Taibe. “It is clean, healthy and has so much flavor.”                                                                                   

The new menu takes diners on a tour of India, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malayasia and Vietnam. According to Taproot co-owner Steph Sweeney, “Diners will find the menu more descriptive than the old one. It helps people - especially those unfamiliar with Asian cuisine - understand what they are ordering. It is also more takeout friendly.”                                                                                               

Many of the dishes are not so very unfamiliar – like chicken satay, Vietnamese chicken wings and dumplings. Then, under “Bites & Small Plates,” there is Laab Nua Dib. Read the description, and you’ll see that it is basically beef tartare with Taibe’s special Southeast Asian treatment.                                                                   

Some of the unfamiliar names have a musical ring to them. Like Gado Gado, under “Veggies & Sides”. Taproot’s version of this Indonesian salad – the name literally means “mix-mix” – is a combination of charred cabbage, bean sprouts, cucumbers, radish, fried tofu and egg with a peanut sauce. When asked about the use of tofu in this and other dishes, Taibe explained that it is an essential Asian ingredient, and he believes his vegetarian dishes have universal appeal.  Talk about universal appeal: Check out the Shiok Burger, a Singaporean “fast-food” burger, complete with sesame bun, American cheese, special sauce, onion, lettuce and served with fries (bacon is extra).                         

What are the most popular items on the new menu? “Definitely Smoked Mushroom Spring Rolls and the Lamb Murtabak, an Indian-style flatbread,” said Sweeney. “The latter, ground lamb with egg, cheddar cheese and a curry dipping sauce, is a Southeast Asian version of the lamb patty melt so popular on the old menu.”                                                       

The menu has three dessert choices: two Asian puddings and Iced Kachang, a classic Singaporean dessert. The menu also includes cocktails with an Asian flair and an impressive list of craft beers from Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan and Connecticut. The beers are on the light, crisp lager side, which pair well with the new menu.               

“One of our goals with the new menu is to appeal to different pallets and to offer true Asian food,” said Taibe. “To maintain authenticity, the sauces, the pastes, etc. - everything is made in house. I just bought a greenhouse and plan to grow some of hard-to-get traditional ingredients. And as the growing season heats up, I will continue to turn to local farms, like the Hickories in Ridgefield.”        

]]> (Linda Berry) Places Wed, 07 Apr 2021 08:38:54 -0400
Just added to The Ridgefield Playhouse lineup: Echoes of Sinatra outside under the tent on May 23

Echoes of Sinatra outside under the tent at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, May 23 at 4pm.

Member presale happening now and public sale begins this Friday, April 9 at 10am. 

Learn more and purchase tickets here.

Take a trip down memory lane with “Echoes of Sinatra” outdoors under The Playhouse tent!  This fantastic show presents the vocal stylings of Steven Kazlauskas paying homage to the legendary Sinatra with all of your favorite songs –  “Come Fly with Me,” “Witchcraft,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Strangers in the Night,” “It Was a Very Good Year,” “That’s Life,” “Summer Wind,” “The Lady is A Tramp” and “New York, New York.”   

“Echoes of Sinatra,” includes insider stories, while tracing Sinatra’s life and career through classic songs that are now considered part of the Great American Songbook.  Steve Kazlauskas was inspired to become a singer by corresponding directly with Sinatra by mail and has performed throughout the country, capturing the sound, feel and expression of Sinatra while bringing his own interpretation to the music.

Ticket price $39.50. Purchase here.

]]> (The Ridgefield Playhouse) Events Wed, 07 Apr 2021 05:23:38 -0400
Flag Burned Outside of Molten Java, Bethel Police Investigate and Seek Public's Help to ID Suspects

Bethel Police report that on Sunday, April 4, they were dispatched to 213 Greenwood Ave, Molten Java, for a report of a flag being burned during the night.

Officers responded and determined that a rainbow flag that had been hanging at the business on the outside porch had been removed and damaged during the overnight hours.

Video surveillance of the inside was obtained and shows two individuals removing the flag from the business and leaving the area. One of the individuals is later seen returning the damaged flag, police say.

Officers are actively investigating the incident and request that anyone with information contact Det. DiRago at or call 203-744--7900 x 115.

]]> (HH) Public safety Tue, 06 Apr 2021 10:56:31 -0400
WCSU Master of Fine Arts student from Bethel presents virtual exhibition

Online show features 2021 M.F.A. candidates’ works in painting, illustration & mixed media      

Six Western Connecticut State University graduate student candidates for the Master of Fine Arts degree in 2021 are presenting their works in the M.F.A. Thesis Virtual Exhibition featured on the web page of the Gallery at the WCSU Visual and Performing Arts Center in Danbury.

Sponsored by the university’s Department of Art, the virtual exhibition that opened on April 5 offers the public an opportunity to experience the diverse works in painting, illustration and mixed media created by this year’s M.F.A. candidates. Closure of the VPAC Gallery to the public during the pandemic has made in-person viewing of the exhibition impossible. By accessing the web page link, here the online guest is invited to take a virtual tour of the Gallery to view the exhibition installation as it appears on site as well as close-up images of individual works in the show. On the same web page, the visitor is invited to access links to each participant’s artist statement, biographical notes and exhibition portfolio.

The Department of Art organizes the M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition each spring as a capstone experience demonstrating the personal artistic direction and mastery of candidates for the M.F.A. in Visual Arts, expressed in the works they present for viewing. The M.F.A. is the terminal degree for practicing professional artists. The following M.F.A. students are showing their works in this year’s exhibition:

  • Ryan Ames, of Newtown. Ames’ artistic passion is editorial illustration, mixing conceptual design and symbolic language to encapsulate a story and educate the viewer in both familiar and new subjects. Recent works such as his “Hindsight” series, depicting the heartbreak of children lost to gun violence around the world, break from the digital mold of his previous works, using an unconventional painting process with stenciling and acrylics. Ames received a B.A. in Media Studies and Studio Art from WCSU in 2014, and worked for a Silicon Valley firm for several years as a project manager for development of educational applications for children before returning to Connecticut to pursue M.F.A. studies.
  • Alison Booth, of Sherman. The foundation of Booth’s M.F.A. thesis work at WCSU has been the search for her unique narrative and storytelling vision, realized in many of her works through self-portraits. She finds inspiration to create her narrative in nature and in her personal relationships to people, places and objects often overlooked, ignored or forgotten. Nostalgia, play and careful observation assume important roles in her artistic work. A student of the visual arts since her childhood in New York City, she took an early interest in drawing and majored in art at Fiorello H. Laguardia High School in Manhattan. She attended Alfred University and completed her B.F.A. at WCSU in 2016.
  • David Flook, of Bridgewater. Flook’s body of work as an M.F.A. in Painting candidate has been dramatically influenced and reshaped by the personal and social impact of the pandemic over the past year. His paintings depict memories and moments that reflect the people and places holding special importance in motivating him through challenging times. A native of the United Kingdom, Flook attributes the origins of his education in color theory and elements of art and design to his apprenticeship creating original works for clients at a cutting-edge U.K. tattoo studio. Following his move to the United States, he embarked on art studies to prepare for a career in the visual arts, earning a bachelor’s degree at WCSU with dual concentrations in painting and illustration.
  • Rachel Rossier, of Bethel. A painter and art educator, Rossier primarily works with acryla gouache and acrylics to create her works on illustration board and canvas. Her portraits address the intrinsic value, beauty and dignity of the human person at rest, while her most recent paintings document her journey as a joyful convert to the Catholic faith. The geometric shapes, intense colors and floral images that fill these narrative and psychological landscapes, influenced by her childhood experiences in both the United States and Mexico, evoke senses of whimsy and urgency. She earned her bachelor’s degree in art at WCSU with dual concentrations in illustration and painting.
  • Kathleen Spezzano, of Woodbury. Spezzano seeks to express through art the thoughts, emotions and imagery inspired by her personal spirituality and her keen interest in Wiccan/Pagan beliefs that magic lives in nature, the elements and forces of energy in the world. Her works use a wide variety of materials including acrylics, inks and iridescent mediums to depict imagery drawn from holidays, deities, mythical creatures and other themes found in Wiccan/Pagan tradition. Her M.F.A. thesis work focuses on the creation of her personal oracle card deck, “The Oracle of Shadows.” A native of Greenwich, Spezzano studied illustration and creative writing at Montserrat College of Art and completed a B.S. in Equine Studies at Post University.
  • Jennifer Sullivan, of Avon. Recipient of a B.A. in Art History from the University of Saint Joseph, Sullivan draws upon her knowledge of art history to inspire and challenge her artistic creation. Her diverse professional studio practice includes painting, collage, mixed media and printmaking. For her M.F.A. thesis, she used her continuing observations of change over time in floral arrangements on her dinner table to create a body of work depicting larger-than-life flowers within interior spaces. Unlike traditional still-life images, she notes that she painted her works through the lens of her feminism, revealing the flowers’ anthropomorphic qualities and offering a glimpse into the artist’s life.

For more information, contact Lori Robeau of the Department of Art at or Sherri Hill of the Office of University Relations at

]]> (WCSU) Neighbors Mon, 05 Apr 2021 11:02:00 -0400
Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut Recognizes Generous Support of United Way During Pandemic

After a challenging year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Greater Danbury community, the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut recognizes the generous support of United Way of Western Connecticut, which provided critical funding for Early Education and After School Programs at the YMCA Children’s Center in Bethel, CT.

This funding provided financial assistance for children to be able to continue to attend education programs despite the economic hardships caused by the pandemic. The Regional Y’s education programs work to support children and their families through full day distance learning programs, before and after school care, preschool education, and summer camps. This financial assistance enabled children and teens to continue to learn, grow, and thrive with the support of Y staff.

“Our community has such a generous giving spirit, especially in times of great need,” said Marie Miszweski, CEO of the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut. “With partners like the United Way, the Y is ready to work with educators to meet the academic, social-emotional, physical and nutritional needs of children in our community.”

For more information and to sign up for YMCA Camp Greenknoll in Brookfield, contact Sean Turner,, call 203-775-4444 x103. To sign up for the YMCA Children’s Center’s Summer Club program in Bethel, contact Debbie D’Ostilio,, call 203-744-4890 or visit



]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Charities Thu, 01 Apr 2021 12:56:12 -0400
Bethel Police Participate in Torch Run to Support Special Olympics on June 18!

Law Enforcement Torch Run 2021 on Friday, June 18, arriving in Bethel at 10:50 AM!

The Bethel Police Department is seeking local businesses to help support Special Olympics by sponsoring our leg of the torch run. Each year officers run to support the Special Olympics in Connecticut with amazing athletes. 
Businesses can “adopt 1 mile” markers for $100 or 6 markers for $500. By adopting a mile, your business will be printed as a thank you at each mile marker that is purchased. 
Additionally, 2021 torch run t-shirts are on sale for $20.00 each. Please fill out the order form with a phone number and return the police department: Attn: Ofc. Broad.
Please contact Ofc. Jason Broad at for any questions.
Visit Bethel Police on Facebook for additional information.
]]> (Bethel Police) Charities Thu, 01 Apr 2021 07:11:21 -0400
Bethel JaZz & World Music Kicks Off Its Live Outdoor Performances April 21

Swing du Jour Performs the irrepressible music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli on Tuesday, April 21 from 7 to 9:30 pm.

C19 Safe Distancing Seating - Table Tickets Only. Purchase tickets here.

Safe Social Distancing Seating With Very Limited Ticket Availability. Tickets Are Sold By The Table ONLY. Tables seating 2 - 4 guests, with tables for 6 -8 available upon request. See The Attached Seating Chart. Five Indoor Tables With Open French Doors Facing The Performance And Eight Outdoor Tables Are Available. Rain date will be announced for a Sunday in October.

Admission is $15.00 per person, must be purchased as a table for safety. Table Of Two = $30., Four = $60., Six = $90., and Eight = $120.

Purchase tickets here.

Fronted by Bethel violin star Howie Bujese, Swing du Jour plays the irrepressible music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Norman Plankey and Luke Hendon on guitar and Erik Van Laer on stand-up bass provide "la pompe" ("the pump") -- that essential rhythmic pulse that never fails to get toes tapping. Also known as "jazz manouche," this joyful music has its roots in 1920s French Gypsy (Romani) traditions. Howie describes it as "the supreme of oral traditions." With an ever-expanding repertoire of interesting lesser-known Gypsy tunes interspersed with more familiar melodies like "Nuage" and "Minor Swing," this group will leave you breathless! Taken from Bethel Patch in 2014

Howie Bujese: A native of Bergen County, New Jersey, Howie first became interested in the violin in the late ’60 when watching a PBS special he heard American Traditional fiddling for the first time. Over the years Howie studied and learned the traditional fiddling styles of the Southern Appalachians, Ireland, and Scotland and his curiosity eventually led him to Gypsy Jazz. Having no formal training he learned by way of the aural tradition, listening, watching, and playing. Howie performs internationally and has played with a broad range of artists from Jonathan Edwards to David Amram to Noel Redding to name a few. Along with Swing du Jour, Howie and his wife Pam Bujese are members of Cool Struttin’, a quartet playing the Great American Songbook, and also for over thirty years with the NYC area acoustic swing band Out to Lunch.

Eric Van Laer: Bassist, studied music at St Lawrence University and privately with Dr. Lyn Christie, Linc Chamberland, and Michael Moore. Have played with the Norwalk Symphony, the RPM Band, The Waistcoat Rouge Jazz Band, The Bearcats, The Al DiMarco Duo, The Brian Butler Quartet, Cafe Musette, Vardology, and Swing du Jour in addition to freelancing extensively throughout Fairfield, Westchester & New Haven Counties. Was the house bassist for 15 years at Ginny Avery's monthly jam sessions.

Norman Plankey: Rhythm Guitar. from his earliest high school bands, with drummer Kenny Aronoff and guitarist Joe Finn, Norman has been playing for over 50 years; all over the stylistic musical map from Motown covers, jug-band/homemade string band, Bluegrass/Old-Time, to working with Pete Seeger in the mid-80s. As a bandleader, he has founded/organized several bands in the swing realm - The Swingaholics (Western Swing), Norman and the Rockwellians (little big band), and Vardo Swing (electric mandolin-driven small group swing). With Swing du Jour, Norman is tackling the devilishly arduous task of rhythm guitar and providing La Pompe (the driving rhythmic pulse).

Luke Hendon: Guitar. Luke has had success in the world of Django music, performing with top players from around the world. In other areas of his career (his spare time) he has opened for legendary acts such as Al Green, Sun Ra, and Los Lobos, performed on Broadway, composed and recorded for television and film, worked with dance ensembles, cruise ships, theatre companies, and many, many bands. In his latest project, Luke Hendon draws from the tradition of the legendary gypsy guitar of Django Reinhardt and comes out swinging, soulful, funky, fresh, and innovative with his own project. In this stripped-down acoustic setting, Luke's guitar takes center stage. "I sort of got obsessed with learning a bunch of Django Reinhardt solos note for note-which took me several years-Now I try to take the technique I gained into creating my own music!"

We're sorry, there are no refunds after tickets have been purchased. In the event of rain or other forms of weather which prohibits an outdoor performance, the rain date performance will be held on the Sunday of that week. If the rain date becomes postponed because of weather, a future alternate weather date will be picked.

Learn more and purchase tickets here.

]]> (Bethel Jazz) Events Thu, 01 Apr 2021 05:13:14 -0400