NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

I’ve Written A Children’s Book & It’s Published !

Posted on May 20, 2021

Photo by Jillian Bennett My niece Jillian’ s dog Munch reading my new children’s book “The Dog No One Wanted”


By Jacqueline Bennett


‘I’ve written a children’s book and I published it on Amazon, “The Dog No One Wanted – From Ordinary to Extraordinary”. Many, many thanks to my niece Debbie Landeck who handled the publishing and her son Nathan ( my great nephew) who helped.


I am absolutely thrilled to say my 15-year-old great, great niece, Sofia Landeck, did the illustrations. She is a talented young artist and did a beautiful job. Her dream is to work for Disney Studios in California,


“The Dog No One Wanted” is the true story of Officer Steven Vesco, now retired from the Windsor, Connecticut Police Department and his K-9 partner Jag. Through their devotion to each other and protecting the community they became a successful  and beloved crime fighting team. They also served on the regional SWAT team. 


I feel so fortunate to have covered Officer Vesco & Jag as a reporter for the Windsor Journal for many years.


My book is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle form. I hope you will check it out.

Why Kids Are Stressed Out

Posted on February 19, 2021

By Jacqueline Bennett


I can’t imagine why kids are stressed out?


First the powers-that-be decided after the summer break school should start in August rather than the first Monday after Labor Day which had been the long-standing routine . A tradition which allowed families to make plans through Labor Day Weekend which feels like the end of summer.


Then unpredictable shootings began happening in schools which has left young people uncertain what they might face when they leave home in the morning. And it has left all of fearful of knowing the children we love are headed off to school.


Next parents began insisting on more homework, Then recesses were cut back or eliminated which has contributed to childhood obesity and less self initiated interaction. Then came testing, testing and testing to address an achievement gap.


Now they can’t even enjoy a snow day, instead it’s a “remote  learning day.”


I cannot imagine why kids are stressed out.

Connecticut Victory on Ice Conjures Up UConn Hockey Memory

Posted on January 23, 2021


By Jacqueline Bennett


As a proud University of Connecticut alum I’m always thrilled when our Husky sport’s teams do well. Yesterday our Men’s Hockey Team beat number one in the country, Boston College, in a shoot out winning what had been a tied game, 3-3. Yea ! 


Images from the victory conjured up a great UConn hockey memory for me. When I was attending UConn I also worked at Kathy- John’s, an ice cream and sandwich shop just off campus. One of my co-workers – Mike – played intramural hockey at the UConn rink. At that tine, there were so many intramural teams that they played into the early morning hours.


I worked the 5 to closing shift at KJ’s , the shop closed at 11 P.M., then we had an hour clean-up and didn’t get done until midnight. One night Mike had asked some of us if we would come watch his team play. And so we did.


The UConn ice rink used to be open with bleachers outside ( and a fabulous ole’ warming shed with a huge open wood fireplace). Anyone who has ever been on the Storrs campus in winter knows “UConn” is aptly named, getting virtually as cold as the Yukon territory that borders Alaska. Nonetheless, there we were, watching a hockey game well after midnight in the frigid UConn air.  


A sweet memory that may make me shiver – but warms my heart. Those were the days !! 

Journalism Strong

Posted on January 21, 2021

By Jacqueline Bennett


A free press is at the heart of our democracy. No one goes into journalism expecting to win popularity contests or be cuddled by those whom we cover. Nonetheless, it has been tough to witness the treatment of fellow journalists over the past four years, especially the White House Press Corps as they endured lies being told about their work, being called names and even tossed out for doing their job – asking hard questions.


Through it all, they remained true to the guiding principles of the field – truth and accuracy. They did not back down. They kept asking their questions and reporting the facts. What people might not realize is how powerfully most reporters believe in the history of our nation, the Constitution and , oh yes , that beautiful First Amendment. Every day you do your job you are exercising the rights protected in that amendment.


Some days it is more prevalent than others and often risk is involved. I recall being a young reporter for the Manchester Herald in Connecticut when there was turmoil within the fire department in the town I covered. Those in charge were trying to cover up what was going on. I still remember what it felt like on a cold winter’s night to make a long climb up a stairway to where the department was attempting to hold an illegal closed meeting. I was the only reporter present that night; I opened the door, walked in and stood my ground -feeling a tremendous responsibility to get the truth out to the public. That is just one example of what I have encountered through my career, and one example of what journalists face even on the local level.


Despite the beating the field of journalism took over the last four years, thanks to the fortitude of courageous reporters, the effort to undermine the free press failed. I am so proud to say we in the United States are journalism strong.

Nantucket Blue Bouquet

Posted on January 6, 2021

Story & Photo By Jacqueline Bennett


You had me at ‘Nantucket’.


My affection for Cape Cod and the Islands – Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket runs deep. So this lovely New Year’s gift of a Nantucket Blue Bouquet was quite wonderful.


Truth be told I had never before heard of a Nantucket Blue Bouquet but Nantucket Blue Hydrangeas are very popular. The bouquets come in various designs some are solid blue typically created with blue hydrangeas and blueberry chinoiseue, others are hydrangeas mixed with soft peach and white roses. Mine is a mix of the bright blue Nantucket hydrangeas, with oriental lilies, small white daisies, baby breath and greenery. 


It is absolutely gorgeous having found a home in the center of my dining room table. It feels like the bouquet itself is welcoming in the new year and  new beginnings – flowers can have such an amazing effect.


Nantucket blues are also popular growing flowers/plants which I just might try come summer. Since my flowers are already cut they are best cared for with flower food – which I have , in a spacious vase -which I have and with periodic fresh water – which I will do. 

New Year’s Day Brunch – Perfectly Social

Posted on December 31, 2020

Ideas for New Year’s Day Brunch pastries (Water’s Edge Westbrook CT)

By Jacqueline Bennett


Bloody Mary

I’ve often thought New Year’s Day Brunch is the perfect social event. None of the pressure of New Year’s Eve – no pressure to drink, no pressure to bring a date, you can dress -up in your new Christmas digs or dress -down in those tried and true jean..


And, it’s New Year’s Day so it’s all about fresh starts and new beginnings. A refreshing way to spend a late morning, early afternoon.


About the only booze one can expect is a Bloody Mary or Champagne Mimosa, should you choose to take an honorary New Yea’s Day sip. Nonetheless,  completely optional.




Champagne Mimosa

This is a ideal day to do family pot luck , eventually, members may have a special dish or two to which people look forward like homemade crepe smothered in molasses . Or it’s a fun day to try new recipes. A New Year’s Day Brunch is also  a perfect day to converse – bring back the art of conversation.

Homemade crepe

Formsl brunch ideas


Instead of focusing on late night partying of New Year’s Eve –  start a great new tradition – New Year’s Day Brunch, the perfect holiday..


Pointsettia Says Christmas

Posted on December 15, 2020



Photo & Article by Jacqueline Bennett


Little says Christmas more than a pointsettia plant. With festivally scarlet-colored blossoms that welcome, a pointsetia lights up a spot.


Native to Mexico, the plant’s name is derived from John Poinsett who was the first ambassador from the USA to Mexico in the 19th Century. Pointsett had botantical plantations at his home in South Carolina and sent some of these cherry, red plants back to the states which is how they were introduced in America.


They are thought to bring good luck to both the giver and receiver ” if handled with affection.” Keep your poinsettia in a warm room and mist it daily, experts suggest. With proper care,  pointsettias can live all year.


The shape of the pointsettia’s blossoms is said to resemble the Star of Bethlehem which guided the Wise Men to Jesus.



Christmas Tree Sales Up Amid Pandemic

Posted on December 2, 2020

Photo by Jacqueline Bennett Christmas Trees arrive in Manchester CT for sales.

Story & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett


From the United Kingdom to Wisconsin, USA to local tree lots Christmas Tree sales are reportedly soaring as people seek to raise their spirits amid the COVID -19 pandemic.


“Demand spikes for real Christmas Trees,” reads one headline, with an estimated increase of 25 percent more customers buying trees this season than last season.


Ironically, it was only a few weeks ago that tree growers were worried about about a slow year. Turns out quite the opposite is true.


This first weekend in December is traditionally the busiest time for tree shoppers to visit lots or tree farms, such as the ever popular Dzen’s Christmas Tree Farm in South Windsor, Connecticut. Governors, TV personalities and ordinary folks have made buying a tree at Dzen’s, where you can select and chop down your own, a tradition. Former WFSB anchor Dennis House and his family returned to Dzen’s recently to pick out their tree. Of course the presence of reindeer at Dzen’s is quite the attraction.


In Manchester, the 1st Utilities Volunteer Fire District sells Christmas Trees annually as a fundraiser. Pictured are trees arriving from out-of-state last year for their lot. It was a grand sight.  Meanwhile in Windsor the Jaycees have been selling Christmas Trees also as a fundraiser for years.


For the moment there are ample sites to get a tree. Nonetheless, with people scrambling to put the difficulties of 2020 out of mind , it is hard to say just how long a even large shipment of trees will last this season.

84th Manchester Thanksgiving Road Race Goes Virtual

Posted on November 24, 2020

The 2020 Manchester Road Race has gone virtual so there will not be any shoulder to shoulder runners as in years before.

Write-up and photo by Jacqueline Bennett

This year there won’t be any large crowds running instead runners must register with a new app and then can run the 4.748 miles at any location of their choice, even at home . Virtual registration began October 1 and continues to Nov. 24 at 9 pm. The registration fee is $20 – registration is unlimited, according to the MRR website. Runners must complete the distance between 8 a.m. EST Thursday November 19 and 9 p.m. EST Wednesday Nov 28.


Elite runners, many from out of state, or global contenders have not be invited this year due to concern about the pandemic. Where ever runners are completing in the race, officials ask that they please practice social distancing.


Although most events connected with the race have been cancelled, the Ray Crothers MMR Blood Drive will still be held at Manchester High School Friday November 27th from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Leaving Just Rt. 6 Shop, Shady Glen Closes Parkade Store

Posted on October 21, 2020

For those of us who grew up with Shady Glen as a part of our lives, news that the Manchester Parkade shop closed October 17 was indeed sad. I was so young when I began going to Shay Glen – the Rt 6 shop which remans open – that my father used to carry me in with him. The ice cream counter was always three rows deep with customers and Dad always took the time to let me admire the ice cream mural on the wall. We would bring cones out to the family waiting in the car.

Their menu also includes signature items like fried cheese , cheesefurters, secret recipe cole slaw. Some years later the Parkade shop opened and was aptly described as half of a iconic Manchester restaurant.

Owner Billy Hoch was quoted as saying the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll.

Certainly hope the Rt. 6 shop can be sustained. After all is Manchester even Manchester without Shady Glen?