• Some Purchased Plants Are Toxic To Bees and Butterflies

    To the Editor:

       Question: When would buying plants specifically to attract bees and butterflies to your yard result in a toxic environment to those very same bees and butterflies? Answer: It is when the seeds from which the plants were grown had been soaked in a neuro-toxin called neo-nicotinoid (neonics for short). This process makes the plants less susceptible to aphids, white flies, etc. but it also renders plants deadly to bees and other pollinators.

  • Something Scary In Botsford

    It looks like the setting for a post-apocalyptic summer thriller, though Newtown has been less than thrilled about having this blighted property sitting unused for decades in the heart of Botsford. The 30-acre former Batchelder site at 44 and 46a Swamp Road is a scary place, and not just because of its aspect of desolation and abandonment. It is environmentally scary.

  • An Unsound Unfunded Mandate

    If we can believe the lore, there once was a time when one could stand atop Holcombe Hill and see Long Island Sound. These days woodlands block the view, and there are only the seagulls in grocery store parking lots to remind us that we live in a coastal state. And that may be part of the problem, according state environmental officials. When Long Island Sound is out of sight, it is also out of mind in a state bent on robust economic development.

  • Keeping It Clean

    To the Editor:

    I’d like to extend a warm thank you to The Eco Cleaners: Claire Dubois, Elizabeth Salley, Alexia Tavar, Alisa Redzepi, and Brianna Lovely.

  • A Shift In Newtown’s Bureaucracy

    There is a strip of open space that runs from the south to the north and east, skirting behind the ball fields at Reed Intermediate School, along Old Farm Road by open fields toward the point near Commerce Road where the Pootatuck River joins Deep Brook. Conservation Commission Chair Ann Astarita told The Bee last week that she is particularly concerned about this tract, known as the Deep Brook Open Space. It is supposed to protect Deep Brook, one of just nine Class I trout streams in the state.

  • Health, Environmental Groups Petition DEEP For Wood Smoke Air Standards

    Residential wood-burning devices, including outdoor wood furnaces and indoor wood stoves, are emitting hazardous air pollutants that pose well-documented health risks to those that are exposed to their emissions. Several state environmental and health organizations are petitioning the Connecticut DEEP to begin setting emission standards for the devices.