Throughout history, most food was local. Food was grown right where people lived until the advent of factory food the past century or so. Today’s supermarket food travels an average of 1500 miles from industrial systems dependent on large quantities of cheap fossil fuels and pesticides. But as consumers learn more about the disastrous hidden costs and health effects of big Ag and processed foods, the infrastructure for local food networks is being rebuilt community by community. When folks understand the multiple dynamics of local food, including its connection to climate change, support for it is growing in communities across the US.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” ~ Buddha
For local environmental guru Steve Schappert, the above quote is a mantra of sorts for the many companies he heads up, The Good Word, The BIOS Organization and The Green Marketing Company, all dedicated to doing good and saving the planet. Schappert, a Brookfield native, began his mission of world peace and saving the planet over 2 decades ago and continues to work to “leave this world a better place.” He believes in speaking and thinking positive thoughts and words and doing good for each other and the environment. As if running the three aforementioned companies was not enough, Schappert recently embarked on a new journey of sorts that kicks off this weekend– GreenFest– a 3-day free concert on the Danbury Green at the bandshell.
“The goal of GreenFest and The BIOS World Peace Tour is to create a powerful change in the world capable of bonding all race, creed, color and religion. We will accomplish this by spreading the BIOS Philosophy of green, healthy, holistic, organic, sustainable and energy-efficient living and by teaching others to do well by doing good,” Schappert said.
GreenFest 2012 features 45 bands and 15 green vendors whose primary goal is to work to raise awareness on the benefits of green living. By using art, literature, music, dance and multimedia, Schappert hopes to raise money to complete funding of his Bios Water Car.
The BIOS Water Car is a 1972 Ford Mustang convertible that gets 58% better gas mileage using water for fuel. Throughout the 3-day benefit concert, Schappert will discuss his plans to drive 9,000 miles across North America, visiting 46 cities in 5 weeks. Schappert researched many available hydrogen systems and found what he considered to be the best in class, one unit that produces nearly 3 times as much hydrogen per minute as any other competitor.
The recent launch of The Good Word, a website dedicated to inspirational stories about good people doing good things, has helped get the word out about GreenFest and has been a great resource for local businesses to advertise affordably. The Good Word also has a print publication with a distribution of over 100,000, the largest of its kind, and strives to bring readers positive stories “that will put a smile on your face,” Schappert said.
The Good Word also promotes The Bios Philosophy, the study of green, healthy, holistic, organic, sustainable, energy-efficient living. Schappert said: “Teaching the world to do well by doing good and providing a common bond for all religions, race, creed and color. Together we can create a better life for all by understanding that we are all connected by mind, body spirit and earth.”
Green Fest begins this Friday, from 12:00 p.m. and runs through 10:30p.m. at the bandshell in Danbury on Ives Street. (Park at the Patriot Garage). For a schedule of Friday’s performers click here. Saturday’s events run from 12:00p.m. until 10:30p.m. Click here for a band schedule. Sunday runs from 10:00a.m. until 7:00p.m. Click here for a schedule.
- GreenFest (thegoodword.me)
- BIOS Philosophy (thegoodword.me)
- Introducing THE GOOD WORD: We spread the word about the good things you do to succeed. (thegoodword.me)
- New Date For GreenFest City Center Danbury July 20-22 (thegoodword.me)
- someone like you (thegoodword.me)
- Quite Possibly The Most Powerful Ad You Will Ever Run (thegoodword.me)
- Free Opportunity to Speak on Tips for Green Living at the Renewable Energy Roundup & Green Living Fair (virtual-strategy.com)
Dreadlock Mom Runs For Her Life in NYC Marathon
Thirty-six-year-old Heather Roles has been to hell and back. On Sunday, November 6, the former Bethelite and single mom will run in the New York City Marathon, along with 47,000 runners. Coming back from a life of drug addiction and homelessness, Heather now lives a healthy lifestyle and is prepared to run the 26.2-mile course to reclaim her health and her life.
Heather’s story is intense, and one she will be sharing on live T.V. on Sunday morning on NBC. The media group will interview Heather during Wave 1 of the race, at about 11:30 a.m., just as she runs past the 14-mile marker. She has come a long way from just six years ago when she was living out of her car with a three-year-old son in tow. Running, she said, is the saving grace she needed to get her back on her feet again and headed along the right path.
“I used to set Elijah up in a blanket with a matchbox car at the Immaculate High School track and I could not even make it once around. It took months to run my first mile. I began meeting folks from the running community who continue to show me an amazing amount of support. I then resumed work at the Sesame Seed where I have been on and off for 20 years. They have been another huge source of support; my co-workers as well as the customers,” Heather said Saturday.
“I had a rough road, one that I am very used to. I have battled serious addictions my whole life.”
Regarding her recovery Heather said: “I began to reclaim myself following the Grateful Dead 18 times across the country. I was in every state but North Dakota. It was the beginning of finding the community I needed.”
After quitting a heavy smoking habit Heather found out she has Stage-4 liver disease. She has set up her own website and is currently in the process of raising funds to donate to The Liver Foundation, a charity near and dear to her heart. Click here to donate.
“This is the last marathon I am running for me. I know there are millions of people who need a new liver now, as I will in the near future. That’s why the next, and all the future events, will be for The Liver Foundation. I will need a new liver eventually. My health right now is fantastic, I compete in triathlons all summer and have found distance running to be the peace I need.”
Besides her son, Heather’s motivation, she said, is: “Where I came from and where I want to go!”
For more information about the NYC Marathon, click here.
For more information on The Liver Foundation, click here.
Info from the automated phone message sent today from the First Selectman:
As of this morning CL&P has restored power to more than half of the effected customers in Bethel, including the school complex and other critical facilities. CL&P has deployed 6 line crews and 2 tree cutting crews who are working in Bethel today to restore a circuit supplying power to many customers.
Road Closures: Route 58, Nashville Road and Chestnut are the three top priority roads to be opened. The town is are aware of other road closures and will address them as quickly as possible. If there are any other outages or trees down that need to be reported please call CL&P directly at 800-286-2000.
Town Hall is open to the public from 7am-9pm for showers, use of water and to recharge cell phones and laptops.
The First Selectman stated he understands resident’s frustration and asks the community to be patient while CL&P works to restore power.
Editor’s Note: The secretary at the Board of Education, Barbara Donaghy, advised Bethel Buzz this morning at 10:38am that there will be school tomorrow, Thursday. The bus company confirmed this as well. The Board of Ed also stated that hot lunches and food temperatures will be fine and parents should not worry. The Board of Ed will send out an automated telephone message this evening confirming this.
[UPDATE 2:00 pm] IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE FIRST SELECTMAN: “Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gary Chesley confirmed this afternoon that the first day of school for the Bethel Public School system will be tomorrow, September 1st, with the early dismissal schedule in effect. Any parents who may not have received the automated school announcement voice mail and need additional information are encouraged to call the Board of Education office at 203-794-8601.”
Tonight’s 6pm Sports Buzz Live is Chock Full of Sports Talk!
~By Scott Lewis
Another Thursday, another live SportsBuzz show.
We are looking for more callers today from 6:00-6:30 on channel 23. The hotline to call is (203) 792 – 4101.
The hot topics are UConn Husky football getting ready to defend their Big East title by kicking off their season next Thursday. New coach, Ct native Paul Pasqualoni has yet to name a starting QB with five to choose from.
Danbury pro football team the New England Militia march into first place with their fourth straight shutout victory.
The Giants prepare to face former player Plaxico Burress and the cross-town rival Jets in week three of the pre-season.
The Red Sox have vaulted back into first place ahead of the Yankees.
Defending French Open champion Li Na advances to the quarterfinals of the New Haven Open tennis tournament.
There’s plenty to talk about, so make the call (203) 792 – 4101.
All previous shows can be seen at:
Be Prepared For Hurricane Irene
The National Weather Service predicts that Hurricane Irene will hit the Northeast this weekend with the worst of the storm coming on Sunday. Below are some helpful links to make sure your family is prepared.
The National Hurricane Center suggest families be prepared by developing a plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing your home and your pet. For more details click here.
The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security suggests people should do the following to keep safe before a hurricane:
- Have a plan for your family including children, loved ones with special needs and pets. Ready.gov has information on how to plan for an emergency.
- Have an emergency kit ready at all times. Your kit should include food, water, first aid supplies, battery-powered radio, flashlight, and other emergency supplies. You can learn more about building an emergency supply kit on Ready.gov.
- Learn the evacuation routes and where the designated shelters will be in your area in case you have to evacuate. Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan. This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters.
- Check with your insurance company about the National Flood Insurance Program as homeowners’ insurance does not cover flooding during a hurricane. Take photos of your home and its contents. For more information on preparing your home and making sure you have the right insurance coverage for a disaster, visit the Connecticut Department of Insurance.
- Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8″ marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider building a safe room.
- Make sure your gas tank is full of gas in case you have to evacuate.
The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security suggests people should do the following to keep safe during a hurricane:
- Listen to the radio or TV for information.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Homeowners with private wells should save as much water as possible since their well will not work if the power is out. Fill the bathtub with water to be used for toilet flushing during a loss of power. If your well is flooded or damaged by the hurricane, assume that it is contaminated and do not use it until it has been flushed, disinfected and tested for bacteria.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Be sure your cell phone is charged. Avoid using the phone except for serious emergencies.
- Moor your boat if time permits.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
The glass doors of the veterans’ display cases in the hallway of the Bethel Municipal Center rattled and “the whole building shook” town employees said Tuesday afternoon after they felt the effects of a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Virginia.
The Bethel Municipal Center was evacuated at about 2:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, according to First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker, who was on the other side of town at a construction site.
“I didn’t feel a thing,” Knickerbocker said. “I was out at the construction site at Stony Hill and they were working with loud machinery so I didn’t feel it at all.”
Knickerbocker responded quickly to the call of Wendy Smith when she notified him that the building was being evacuated.
“They evacuated as a precaution. The building inspector and town engineer inspected the building and there was no cracks or anything, so they let everyone back inside in a matter of minutes,” he said.
Right across the street at the Bethel United Methodist Church Director of Christian Education Wendy Mitchell was cleaning out her upper level office and said she did not feel anything.
At The Toy Room, owner Kimberly Ramsey said her stool and the counter rattled and said, “It just felt like a big truck drove by.”
Across town at the Bethel High School the Bethel High School Marching Band drumline said they did not feel anything because they were playing their drums. However they did hear about it after they began receiving text messages.
“ I was playing my drums and I didn’t feel anything,” snare drummer Cullen Mitchell said.
Governor Dannel Malloy released the following statement about the earthquake in CT:
“The movement people in Connecticut felt was associated with the earthquake which originated in Virginia. Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection staff is at the Emergency Operations Center as a precaution, but at this point, there have been no reports of injury or damage.”