Click above to get to picture story of Speak Up 2005...
SPEAK UP 2004 now history...begins with report of Legislative award to Weston League!
February 7. 2004 brought @60 members of the public (by the end it seemed like more people), 30 town officials ask and answer questions:

SPEAK-UP 2003...Moderator Helen DeKeijzer closes the meeting held at Norfield Parish Hall...

"SPEAK-UP 2003"...the signature LWV of Weston event...broadcast on March 8, 2003 at 2pm, 5pm and 8pm on Channel 79;  available at Weston Library:
"The Town's Business Is Your Business:  Direction From The People To Their Government" talked money and affordability in 2003.

"Speak Up 2002"
Parts One and Two appeared on-air...Ch.71--which is Regular Cablevision Public Access (not Town Channel [#73]) ...this version had been shortened to fit the Cablevision schedule--but when the Town Channel (#73) showed it, you saw theoriginal two-hour-plus version!!!

On Saturday, February 23, 2002, from 10:30am to 12:30pm, at Norfield Church Parish Hall cameras rolled, questions, answers and dialogue flew and civility reigned!
"Speak Up forum lets voters grill politicians" read the lead story in the Norwalk HOUR Sunday, Feb. 24.  "At the League of Women Voter's annual Speak Up 2002 forum, politicians answered questions on topics ranging from litter removal to Northeast Utilities' proposal to build 345,000-volt towers from Bethel to Norwalk."  In the second paragraph, League Co-President and moderator Helen deKeijzer was quoted saying "We want you to ask any question that is on your mind...This is a free flow of ideas."

And indeed it was--from the first question (on making the School Campus bike-friendly) to discussion of a Town Cemetery, to external terror threats to zoning violations to greater attention to community artistic needs.  No mention of education issues other than the previously mentioned bike question.  No mention of taxes or spending.  School program on "civility" promoted (perhaps more school-centered Westonites should follow how the League manages to be civil)...and the biggest input came from State Representative John Stripp and Senator Judith Freedman on some of their ideas on power line issue (Public Hearing Tuesday in Hartford on Bill 307)...and then, to everyone's surprise, Congressman Christopher Shays arrived at this Weston League event (Weston will now [2002] be returned to the new 4th District--represented at this time by Congressman Shays), to great applause, as he is the modern leader of campaign finance reform (League's first and foremost issue to pursue)...

League Observer Corps (it even observes our own meetings!) recorded 19 different questions asked in the two hour "Speak Up 2002" session:  for clarity, these questions are color-coded--most in more than one color:

  1. BICYCLING ISSUE--how will school plans blend in this kind of recreation (for the community as a whole)?  How about updating the Town WEBsite for more useful notice of meetings?
  2. Who owns the C,L&P Right of Ways?
  3. WOODLANDS COALITION announcement (NOTE:  Since "Speak Up" WOODLANDS COALITION has made headway--gaining moratorium on power lines upgrade)
  4. Who is responsible for preventing visual blight, zoning violations?
  5. Is there an appeals process from zoning enforcement (if it isn't effective)?
  6. What is the latest on the Midtown former Service Station?
  7. Whose is the ultimate decision on the C,L&P issue?
  8. What can be done about noise and neighborhood intrusion of development at Morehouse Farm Park?
  9. Water supply endangerment--drought--to the amount available for residential use--what is the situation today?
  10. Is there hope to ever see a Town Cemetery?  (Later information supplied by Dick Bochinski, from the audience)
  11. What if there were a "dirty bomb" incident in N.Y.C.--how would Weston cope?
  12. Will there ever be an arts center in town?  Perhaps at the Jarvis Military Academy?
  13. Announcement of March 5 "Civility" presentation by consultant to schools...
  14. Traffic...what can be done about it--especially at high volume intersections?
  15. What can be done about Georgetown Road ("H") intersection?
  16. Announcement of S.B. lines bill
  17. Will a large facility at Morehouse Farm Park be open to all (eg. like Greenwich Point Park case)?
  18. How are things progressing on the septic-sewer front?
  19. Can't getting a driver's licence be made more difficult?


SPEAK UP 2001 highlights in low light...for portraits, and photos from Bob Rowland, see below.

"SPEAK UP 2001" Is Big Success...a photo essay:
Co-President and Moderator welcomes crowd and panel;  next photo...take our word for it--the Facilitator for the Select Team (on school construction) reponds to a question and plugs the upcoming March 3, all morning (9am to 12:30pm) session at the Weston Middle School cafeteria. Next is the  representative of KELDA explaining the offer agreed to by the Governor and his company to preserve lands.  Questions came from the audience on many subjects, and the next photo shows the pitch from the audience for help for video production funding (just the last few dollars) to get a Public Access TV studio up and running.  On the right is State Senator Judith Freedman beginning to answer the question by offering to check with staff--"How many Towns are exempt from their own zoning laws in Connecticut?" (Answered by the questioner:  two others besides Weston.)  Below are more photographs, these by Bob Rowland...

First Selectman Hal Shupack (top) addresses budget question;  Selectman Emil Frankel answers question on Route Seven (center), and Selectman Woody Bliss bottom) speaks about Fromson-Strassler AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

Crowd thoughtful as ethics concerns voiced...and Moderator pleased that event ends peacefully!  For non-League commentary, clickHERE.