Last dry town in Conn. reconsiders Prohibition


By MICHAEL MELIA

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The last dry town in Connecticut is considering whether to give up on Prohibition.
Bridgewater, an affluent bedroom community of 1,700 people tucked into the hills of western Connecticut, may have more at stake in a referendum than bragging rights: The town's average age has risen above 50 and the state is threatening to close the only school.
First Selectman Curtis Read says restaurants that serve alcohol could provide a much-needed boost.
"It would tend to enliven the town," Read said.
Repeal has become the hottest issue in Bridgewater, with dozens attending a November town meeting on the issue. Read said it was clear people were reluctant to "show their cards" and a referendum was chosen in part for privacy, so that voters do not have to reveal opinions to neighbors. The timing of the vote, originally scheduled for Tuesday, now remains to be determined after it was postponed to make sure it complies with decades-old blue laws.
Cynthia Bennett, whose grandmother led an effort to keep Bridgewater dry after Prohibition ended in 1933, said she believes many fellow longtime residents will join her in voting against alcohol sales.
"I feel people moved here because Bridgewater is the way it is and I'd like to keep it that way," said Bennett, 55. "I'm not saying you don't, say, have a game of horseshoes and have a beer. There's plenty of it in Bridgewater."
Bridgewater has taken up the issue for the first time since 1930s because two developers proposed opening restaurants, as long as they could serve alcohol. Some residents have bars in their garages but the town, which is home to actress Mia Farrow and a large weekend population of people from New York City, currently does not have a restaurant aside from a village store with a delicatessen.
Read won the top job in November after his predecessor, William Stuart, declined to run for re-election to a position he held for 30 years. A leader of a local fox-hunting club, Stuart championed land preservation and kept development at bay. The FBI raided the town hall in 2012, and Stuart said he assumed was the target, but the FBI has since declined to comment on the status of any investigation.
Today, the town 60 miles north of New York has a median household income of about $100,000, but it has a glut of homes on the market and the last census showed the median age is 51. Farms dot the town that is full of picturesque, winding rural roads but has little downtown beyond the town hall and a post office.
A plan for a consolidated regional elementary school, subject to a vote in April, could lead to the closing of the town's only grade school.
"The town definitely needs a boost," said Read, who said the restaurants could provide a bit of local employment and a place to socialize.
One of the restaurant proposals came from Peter and Leni May, part-time residents from New York City who own the century-old building in downtown Bridgewater that hosts the village store. They suggested opening a pub-style restaurant in an adjacent space left vacant by the closing of a bank last June. Their local agent, Greg Bollard, said he was disappointed by the referendum's postponement, and it could even take the restaurant proposal off the table, but the family is committed to finding a business that will benefit the town center.
"We all want see to some positive growth for the town," Bollard said.




CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST AND NIECE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, DR. ALVEDA KING, COMING TO SPEAK IN CONNECTICUT


March 1st Will Speak At Yale, Keynote 1st Annual ‘Woman of Fire’ Awards Dinner
Hartford, CT, February 17, 2014: Regina Roundtree, the Founder of CT Black Republicans & Conservatives, announced today that Dr. Alveda King, the niece of famed civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, will be spending the day speaking in New Haven on March 1st at both Yale University and will be the Keynote speaker at the 1st Annual “Women Of Fire” Awards Dinner at Anthony’s Ocean View.

 A former college professor who served in the Georgia State House of Representatives, and a strong conservative voice, and a staunch defender of unborn children, Dr. Alveda King is a recipient in 2011 of the Life Prize Award, the Cardinal John O’Connor Pro-Life Hall of Fame Award from the Legatus organization and the Civil Rights Award from Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), both in 2011. Dr. King is the full-time Pastoral Associate of African-American Outreach for the Roman Catholic pro-life group, Priests for Life and once served as a Senior Fellow at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, a conservative Washington, D.C. think-tank. She is the founder of, “King for America,” and the author of five books on a variety of issues.

 “Dr. King is a black Republican and a Civil Rights Activist.” said Regina Roundtree, the Founder of CT Black Republicans & Conservatives, “Her presence in CT as, “Black History Month” ends and, “Women’s Month” begins is a statement by the CT Republican Party that it’s serious about rebranding its image.”

 “On Saturday morning March 1st, there will be a ‘Conversation on Civil Rights…Then and Now’ on the campus of Yale which is free and open to the public.  That evening, Dr. King will keynote our 1st Annual ‘Woman of Fire’ Awards Dinner at Anthony’s Ocean View.” Ms. Roundtree said.

 Those to be honored at the, “Woman of Fire” event include, Crystal Wright, editor and publisher of the blog “Conservative Black Chick,” and Pat Longo, who served as Vice-Chair of the CT Republican Party for 14 years, is the CT National Committeeman to the Republican National Committee (RNC) and a delegate coordinator to the RNC for Connecticut.

Further Information and tickets for both events can be found at www.ctbrac.org.

For more information contact CT-BRAC Pres., Regina Roundtree at cogent.consultant@gmail.com or 860-593-8483


Regina V. Roundtree
CT Black  Republicans & Conservatives
www.ctbrac.org
www.facebook.com/ctbrac
@HtfdRepRising (twitter)



"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."   -Margaret Mead