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In Willington: Rep. Hurlburt says utilities need to be fined when they fail

November 14, 2011 Areawide, Business, Local News Comments Off

State Rep. Bryan Hurlburt said a Massachusetts law that levies stiff fines on utility companies for not meeting established benchmarks for restoration has been very successful and he wants Connecticut to follow suit.

State Rep. Bryan Hurlburt, who represents Ashford, Tolland and Willington, CT in the General Assembly, is backing a number of measures designed to force utilities such as CL&P to drastically improve their restoration performance following outages.

His recommendations come on the heels of Storm Alfred, which left hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents, businesses, health care centers, schools and other critical services without power, in some cases for as much as nine days.

Power outages affected health care facilities’ access to records, knocked out cell phone towers, caused untold dollars to be lost by businesses, and put pressure on cities and towns to provide food, showers, warmth and sleeping quarters for large numbers of their residents.

Rep. Hurlburt, and others, have said that there should be a special session of the Legislature to get new laws in place as soon as possible.

Hurlburt’s district – Willington, in particular – was one of the hardest hit by the historic nor’easter of October 29-30, 2011.

In a statement released today (Nov. 14), Hurlburt said a Massachusetts law that levies stiff fines on utility companies for not meeting established benchmarks for restoration has been very successful and he wants Connecticut to follow suit.

He also wants rebates to be credited to customer bills if a utility remains out for over five days.

“They only way we are going to see improvement from the utility companies is by threatening their bottom line,” Rep. Hurlburt said.

“Many people who had to wait the longest to get their power back also depend on electricity to run their well pump for water and that quickly becomes a health issue. Status quo is unacceptable,” he added.

Rep. Hurlburt also supports requiring emergency generators at certain critical sites such as senior housing and gasoline stations.

He also wants to see utilities be required to file annual emergency response plans with the state and set up standardized communication systems with all municipalities.

“Hurricane Irene in August turned out to be pre-season practice,” Rep. Hurlburt said. “The freak October nor’easter was game time and frankly, CL&P dropped the ball.”

Among the criticisms of CL&P’s handling of power restoration Rep. Hurlburt cites:

  • Not arranging for outside crew help until after the storm hit
  • Crews sitting idle for hours waiting to be dispatched
  • Investing in billing and call systems upgrades, but not in frontline resources
  • Failing to pay contractors for Hurricane Irene work in a timely fashion
  • Reduced power line-tree trimming efforts over the past decade

Posted Nov. 14, 2011

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

Homeowner Mortgage Assistance Workshop is Tuesday Nov 15

November 14, 2011 Areawide, Business, Local News No Comments
Learn about foreclosure prevention, loan modifications, debt management, state and federal assistance programs, foreclosure rescue scams and other resources at a free workshop Nov. 15 sponsored by Gov. Malloy, Atty Gen George Jepsen and the Connecticut Department of Banking.

Learn about foreclosure prevention, loan modifications, debt management, state and federal assistance programs, foreclosure rescue scams and other resources at a free workshop Nov. 15 sponsored by Gov. Malloy, Atty Gen George Jepsen and the Connecticut Department of Banking.

If you’d like to know more about preventing foreclosure on your home during these difficult economic times, you can attend a free “Homeowner Mortgage Assistance Workshop” on Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Boulevard in Hartford.

Free parking will be available at the Convention Center garage.

The workshop is sponsored by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, CT Attorney General George C. Jepsen and the Connecticut Department of Banking.

Learn about foreclosure prevention, loan modifications, debt management, state and federal assistance programs, foreclosure rescue scams and other resources.

To print a copy of the flyer in PDF format, click here.

At this workshop, you will meet one-on-one with your mortgage lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor.

Participating lenders will include:

Bank of America

Citibank, NA

GMAC Mortgage, LLC

HSBC National Bank USA

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

First Niagara Bank

McCue Mortgage

Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC

People’s United Bank

Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc.

Webster Bank, NA

Wells Fargo Bank, NA

HUD-Approved Housing Counselors will include:

Affordable Housing Centers of America

Catholic Charities

Community Renewal Team

Consumer Credit Counseling Services

Co-opportunity

Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund

Housing Development Fund, Bridgeport, Danbury and Stamford

Housing Education Resource Center

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven

Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury

NID – Housing Counseling Agency

Urban League of Greater Hartford

Urban League of Southern Connecticut, Stamford

Other participating agencies will include:

Capital Workforce Partners, Connecticut Association for Community Action Agencies; Connecticut Bar Association; Connecticut Fair Housing Center; Connecticut Housing Finance Authority; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund; Infoline 2-1-1; Judicial Branch Mediation; Statewide Legal Services; The Workplace, Inc.; United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

Please note that there are a number of documents the workshop sponsors recommend you bring. These are:

  • Most recently filed and signed federal tax return with all schedules and attachments including W2s
  • Three most recent statements (all pages) for all of your bank, investment and retirement accounts
  • Most recent statement for all of your department store/credit card, auto/student loan, and other mortgages/liens
  • A form of state-issued identification, such as a driver’s license
  • A recent utility bill with your name and property address to show proof of residency
  • Signed and dated hardship letter that explains in detail why it is difficult for you to make your mortgage payments
  • A list of all household monthly income and expenses (actual expense monthly statement)
  • A copy of your Homeowners Insurance Declaration Page and Real Estate Property Tax Certification (tax bill)
  • For each salaried borrower, you need to bring a month’s worth of the most recent pay stubs (within 30 days of the event)
  • For each self-employed borrower, you need to bring the most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit/loss statement stating three months of business bank statements
  • For each borrower with income such as Social Security, disability or death benefits, pension, adoption assistance, public assistance, food stamps, or unemployment you need to bring a benefits statement or award letter from provider, proof that you receive unemployment wages for a minimum of 12 months
  • For each borrower relying on alimony or child support as qualifying income you need to bring the divorce or other court decree, or separation agreement or other written agreement filed with the court stating amount and period of time it will be received, and three most recent bank statements showing receipt of such payment
  • For borrowers relying on rental income, you need to bring a complete schedule of real estate that you own, including the monthly payment amount for principle and interest, the amount of taxes and insurance/escrowed), and any homeowner association dues, current Lease Agreement(s) in its entirety, signed and dated, and three months of bank statements showing deposit of payment or cancelled checks showing receipt of payment
  • For borrowers with income from other source(s) that amount to more than 20 percent of your total yearly income (this could include bonuses, tips or investment income, and letters regarding contribution to mortgage payments), you need to bring copy of documentation describing the nature of the income (employment contract or tip income)

Posted Nov. 14, 2011

Related resource: Foreclosure Assistance Hotline: 1-877-472-8313

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Heads up – Click it or Ticket police enforcement begins Monday, Nov 14

November 13, 2011 Areawide, Local News No Comments
High-visibility enforcement such as the Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with increasing the national seat belt usage rate from 58 percent in 1994 to an observed usage rate of 85 percent in 2010.

High-visibility enforcement such as the Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with increasing the national seat belt usage rate from 58 percent in 1994 to an observed usage rate of 85 percent in 2010.

Law enforcement across the country will be out in force for the 2011 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization from Nov. 14 to 27, 2011.

During this mobilization, officers will be cracking down on motorists who fail to wear their seat belts, both day and night.

You also may find yourself with a ticket for any of the usual infractions, whether it’s exceeding the speed limit or driving with a broken tail light, so be aware. Police may choose to pull drivers over at random, as well.

High-visibility enforcement such as the Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with increasing the national seat belt usage rate from 58 percent in 1994 to an observed usage rate of 85 percent in 2010.

Seat belt use reportedly saves thousands of lives each year. In 2009 alone, seat belts saved 12,713 lives nationwide.

The Highway Safety Office of the CT Department of Transportation provides funding to assist local agencies in this effort.

Remember this Nov. 14 to 27, it’s Click It or get a Ticket. Buckle up and encourage your loved ones to do the same. You’ll save the cost of a ticket and may even save a life.

Posted Nov. 13, 2011

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

Check out the new and the leading edge at the Connecticut International Auto Show this weekend

A Toyota FJ Cruiser was among the impressive variety of vehicles on display at the 2010 Connecticut International Car Show. Photo copyright 2010 by Brenda Sullivan

A Toyota FJ Cruiser was among the impressive variety of vehicles on display at the 2010 Connecticut International Auto Show. Photo copyright 2010 by Brenda Sullivan

State automotive leaders are celebrating a re-energized industry this weekend at the Connecticut International Auto Show, set for Friday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

The show features some of the newest models of hybrid, luxury, family and specialty vehicles.

While cars are not for sale at the show, one of the benefits of attending is that consumers can view and compare different brands of cars in one place.

New car sales in the state are revving up again, with figures inching toward pre-recession levels.

Prior to the 2008 economic crash, Connecticut’s annual automobile sales averaged $9 billion a year, but that figure plummeted to $6.3 billion in 2008. Total sales now are back up to $8 billion and climbing.

New dealerships also have opened to replace the ones forced to close during the height of the recession.

One of the educational displays at the 2010 Connecticut International Car Show. Photo copyright 2010 by Brenda Sullivan

One of the educational displays at the 2010 Connecticut International Car Show. Photo copyright 2010 by Brenda Sullivan

Between 2008 and 2009, 30 percent of the state’s new car dealers went out of business.

The newest dealers are helping fuel the economy with jobs and money; revenue from automobile sales accounts for 14 percent of sales tax collected annually in Connecticut, on top of the payroll and property taxes paid by the state’s car dealers. according to Jim Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association.

The association represents more than 250 new car dealerships in the state that employ more than 12,000 people.

Fleming also noted that dealer interest in this weekend’s show was so high that floor space sold out for the first time in three years.

Consumer confidence has rebounded since the depths of the recession, noted Barbara Putney, vice president of the Paragon Group, the show’s producer. “People no longer are feeling like if they buy a GM car, they might go out of business,” she said.

The shortage of newer used cars on the market also is prompting many people to consider buying new, she added.

The return of credit also is boosting sales, according to Fleming.

Two or three years ago, dealers were unable to get credit to finance their inventory and consumers struggled to get loans.

While Connecticut consumers are particularly environmentally-conscious and many are drawn to hybrids, large cars such as sport utility vehicles (SUVS) remain popular, Fleming said.

Overall, consumers are showing particular interest in hybrid cars and those that boast high gas mileage, Putney said.

One of the hybrid vehicles at the 2010 Connecticut International Auto Show. Photo copyright 2010 by Brenda Sullivan

One of the hybrid vehicles at the 2010 Connecticut International Auto Show. Photo copyright 2010 by Brenda Sullivan

“Virtually every brand has a hybrid car in its line. People want to know how the car lines are making engines perform better so they use less fuel. It has to do with the cost of gas, the idea of helping the environment and getting away from the dependence on foreign oil. For nearly 100 years, the car technology barely changed. Now there are different ways of looking at things,” Putney said.

Other attractions at this year’s Connecticut International Auto Show include an appearance by Sean Casey and the Tornado Intercept Vehicle from the Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” program, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Comic Bot, the eight-foot-tall robot from “America’s Got Talent” is scheduled to perform Saturday at noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Some vintage cars from the 1900s, 1920s and 1930s also will be on display, courtesy of the Klingberg Foundation.

Car show hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under age 6 are free.

This story brought to you by the Independent Media Network, http://imnct.com

Posted Nov. 12, 2011, as edited by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

CT Atty Gen asks cable companies to reduce bills due to Storm Alfred

November 11, 2011 Areawide, Business, Local News No Comments
“I encourage you to ensure that all your Connecticut customers, whose services were interrupted by this storm, are given full, pro-rata credit for the time they were unable to access your services, without the need for individual requests." CT Atty Gen George Jepsen

"I encourage you to ensure that all your Connecticut customers, whose services were interrupted by this storm, are given full, pro-rata credit for the time they were unable to access your services, without the need for individual requests." CT Atty Gen George Jepsen

Connecticut Atty General George Jepsen is asking all providers of telecommunications, cable and satellite television and Internet services in Connecticut to waive charges for the period Connecticut customers were without service following the Oct. 29 Storm Alfred.

At its peak, the snowstorm knocked out power to about 831,000 CL&P customer, some of them for more than 9 days. Even in cases where power was restored, many cable providers were off air or did not provide all services immediately.

Attorney Gen. Jepsen announced in a press release that he sent letters Thursday (Nov. 10) to executives of 15 companies, asking them to consider his request and to respond in writing with their decision.

“The early winter storm on October 29-30 has created unprecedented hardships – physical, emotional, and financial – for hundreds of thousands of Connecticut citizens,” Atty Gen. Jepsen writes. “It is a matter of fundamental fairness that residents not have to pay for services that were unavailable for lack of electricity or other storm-related reasons.”

“I encourage you to ensure that all your Connecticut customers, whose services were interrupted by this storm, are given full, pro-rata credit for the time they were unable to access your services, without the need for individual requests,” he writes.

The letter was a response to questions and complaints by Connecticut consumers across the state, he said, about being charged for services they were unable to use for an extended period because they had no electricity or their service was interrupted even after power was restored to their home.

On another storm-related issue, the Attorney General also wrote to the Propane Gas Association of New England this week, raising antitrust concerns about correspondence the association sent to its members that discouraged them from filling tanks from competitors, despite Executive Order 15, which authorized them to do so.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy issued the Executive Order on Nov. 3 in response to emergency conditions in the state and the potential inability of propane gas customers to have their tanks refilled by the same company that owns the tank. The order remains in effect for 30 days, unless revoked sooner.

“This Office has concerns that your communication may have been designed to encourage or facilitate a group boycott or concerted refusal to deal among horizontal competitors in violation of the Connecticut Antitrust Act,” Atty Gen. Jepsen wrote to the Association office in Epsom, N.H. He asked association officials to distribute his letter to its membership.

Posted Nov. 11, 2011

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

Do you know about these projects that benefit our troops and veterans?

November 11, 2011 Areawide, Local News No Comments
The Troopons® program sends coupons - including expired coupons - overseas and to U.S. military bases where they help troops and their families stretch their food dollars.

The Troopons® program sends coupons - including expired coupons - overseas and to U.S. military bases where they help troops and their families stretch their food dollars.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, earlier today, I shared a number of web sites on the HTNP News Facebook page for projects that support our troops and honor our veterans. I decided to compile a few of them in one place and post them on our town news sites for those of you who don’t use Facebook, and to make it easier to find them in our news archives, if you would like to share this information with others. - Brenda Sullivan, HTNP.com Editor

About Troopons®

The Support Our Troops® Troopons® program enhances the well-being of overseas and domestic military families by sending them food and non-food manufacturer coupons to make their hard-earned dollars go farther.

Troopons® are a great way to get value out of coupons you don’t use and it’s an easy way to make a difference in the lives of others.

And did you know, many military bases allow the use of coupons up to six months past their expiration date?

Troopons is operated for SupportOurTroops.Org by its Patriotic Partner® CouponCabin.com. As of Nov. 8, 2011 CouponCabin.com has generously stepped up to handle the processing and shipping of coupons, both active and expired, to military families on bases overseas and across the U.S.

About Goodyear Support Our Troops

The Goodyear Support Our Troops initiative is an 11-week awareness and fundraising effort (Sept 17 – Dec 3, 2011) that includes donating tires to help military families, a special Goodyear tire rebate that will be offered for the duration of the program, and a marketing campaign to raise awareness and trigger consumer involvement.

Goodyear is providing a chance for NASCAR fans to show support through bidding on the authentic, race-used Goodyear Support Our Troops NASCAR and NHRA tires from the September 18, 2011 NASCAR Geico 400 and O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA National Top Fuel and Funny Car races – autographed by the drivers who used them – as well as great experiences and items donated by many NASCAR and NHRA teams and other sponsors.

Goodyear is providing a chance for NASCAR fans to show support through bidding on the authentic, race-used Goodyear Support Our Troops NASCAR and NHRA tires from the September 18, 2011 NASCAR Geico 400 and O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA National Top Fuel and Funny Car races – autographed by the drivers who used them – as well as great experiences and items donated by many NASCAR and NHRA teams and other sponsors.

Goodyear is providing a chance for NASCAR fans to show support through bidding on the authentic, race-used Goodyear Support Our Troops NASCAR and NHRA tires from the September 18, 2011 NASCAR Geico 400 and O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA National Top Fuel and Funny Car races – autographed by the drivers who used them – as well as great experiences and items donated by many NASCAR and NHRA teams and other sponsors.

And by visiting http://www.goodyear.com/supportourtroops you can be part of the Goodyear Bootcamp Challenge, a first of its kind competition between NASCAR and NHRA drivers in a battle to see who really is the fastest off the track.

The Challenge will pit drivers from both, such as Joey Logano and Tony Schumacher, in a series of physical events that use Goodyear Racing Eagles during a test of strength, speed and agility.

Drivers not participating in the actual competition will join in through a series of videos that will be posted throughout the program on Goodyear’s web site.

All funds raised will be donated to Support Our Troops, a nonprofit nationwide organization that bolsters the morale and well-being of America’s troops and their families.

The funds raised through the Goodyear effort will benefit the organization’s highly effective programs, which deliver more than $10 million per year in care packs and requested items to the front lines, positive support at home, kids’ camp assistance and more.

About the Veterans History Project

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center – part of the Library of Congress – collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

The Project collects first-hand accounts of U.S. Veterans from the following wars:

  • World War I (1914-1920)
  • World War II (1939-1946)
  • Korean War (1950-1955)
  • Vietnam War (1961-1975)
  • Persian Gulf War (1990-1995)
  • Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present)
The VHP relies on volunteers, both individuals and organizations, throughout the nation to contribute veterans’ stories to VHP. This could be a great Eagle Scout or High School Senior project.

The VHP relies on volunteers, both individuals and organizations, throughout the nation to contribute veterans’ stories to VHP. This could be a great Eagle Scout or High School Senior project.

In addition, those U.S. citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also invited to share their valuable stories.

The VHP relies on volunteers, both individuals and organizations, throughout the nation to contribute veterans’ stories. This could be a great Eagle Scout or High School Senior project.

In addition to audio- and video-recorded interviews, The VHP accepts memoirs, collections of original photographs and letters, diaries, maps and other historical documents from World War I through current conflicts.

The VHP Field Kit contains all the tips, guidelines, and tools you need to conduct an interview of a veteran. Memoir Guidelines are also on this page. To download the project’s brochure in PDF format, click here http://www.loc.gov/vets/pdf/brochure-august2008.pdf

UConn’s Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial & Roll of Honor

Honoring the memory of all of UConn’s fallen, the Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial was dedicated at the 2008 Veteran’s Day observance at the university.

Funded through support from the UConn Alumni Association, the memorial is a 10-foot by 5-foot brick wall with a cutout in which hangs an enlarged version of the headstones at Arlington National Cemetery and stands on a granite base. The Memorial is adjacent to the Wilbur Cross Building on the university’s Storrs campus.

Honoring the memory of all of UConn's fallen, the Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial was dedicated during the 2008 Veteran's Day observance at the university.

Honoring the memory of all of UConn's fallen, the Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial was dedicated during the 2008 Veteran's Day observance at the university.

The Roll of Honor was prepared in conjunction with the Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial. Betsy Pittman, UConn archivist and interim director of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, coordinated research to identify and verify the names of those UConn alumni who died of wounds or injuries sustained while serving in the armed forces of the United States.

The supporting Website includes a form for submitting names which may be missing from the Roll of Honor.

Also, donations to support ongoing maintenance of the memorial and the research effort may be made to The Veterans Memorial Fund c/o UConn Foundation, 2390 Alumni Drive, Storrs, CT 06269-3206.

Posted Nov. 11, 2011

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

This is only a test – Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System on Nov 9

November 8, 2011 Areawide, Local News No Comments

FEMA and other federal agencies will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System at 2 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 9 2011.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

The EAS test plays a key role in ensuring that the American public can receive critical information during a major emergency.

Over the past year, the agencies have worked with the broadcast community, cable operators and programmers, and other communications service providers that participate in the Emergency Alert System to help inform all members of the public about this test but there are concerns that some might mistake the test for the real thing. Here’s why.

The code that will be used to transmit the signal is not compatible with some cable systems and so, it’s possible the phrase, “This is just a test” will not appear on those screens. (See videos for more complete explanation.)

Video – Administrator Fugate and FEMA’s Neil McDevitt explain the test (includes interpretation in American Sign Language)

Video – FEMA’s Dawn Hart provides key information about the EAS test in Spanish

(Note: If you have trouble viewing these videos, try viewing on the FEMA page at http://www.fema.gov/eastest/index.shtm)

What you need to know about the test

  • It will be conducted Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 2 PM Eastern Standard Time.
  • It will be transmitted via television and radio stations within the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii, the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
  • Similar to local emergency alert system tests, an audio message will interrupt television and radio programming indicating: “This is a test.”
  • When the test is over (approximately 3 minutes), regular programming will resume.

FEMA and the FCC ask that everyone to spread the word to neighbors, co-workers, friends and family – including posting a message on your social media site.

For additional questions, visit the FEMA FAQ’s page and the FCC EAS Test page.

On Nov. 9, don’t stress, it’s only a test.

Posted Nov. 8, 2011

Related link: Neighborhood Watch Alerts http://www.neighborhoodwatchalerts.com/help/eastest/#howcan

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

Outages continue with 41,000 residents in the dark tonight

Butler also said that given the short interval between Storm Irene and Storm Alfred, there wasn’t time to complete the review of procedures in response to the August storm and implement them when hit by a snowstorm in October.

CL&P President Jeff Butler also said that given the short interval between Storm Irene and Storm Alfred, there wasn’t time to complete the review of procedures in response to the August storm and implement them when hit by a snowstorm in October.

As of 6 p.m., which is when CL&P President Jeff Butler briefed reporters from the state’s Emergency Operations Center at O’Neill Armory, there were approximately 41,000 customers still without power, now nine days after Storm Alfred made its unwelcome visit to the Northeast.

Dozens of schools will still be closed tomorrow, Election Day, and some polling places had to be relocated. That’s just a couple of examples of the toll prolonged outages are having on the state.

Butler attempted to address the situation by explaining that compared to Tropical Storm Irene, which hit the East Coast less than two months ago, the freak snowstorm on Oct. 29 has created vastly more damage.

At its peak, there were approximately 831,000 customers of CL&P, UI and NU without electricity. Storm Irene knocked out power to 671,000 customers at its peak, Butler said.

Responding to questions about poor communication with some cities and towns, Butler said CL&P is currently trying to coordinate a workforce that is 10 times the size of normal operations.

He added that he welcomes the independent review to be conduced by Witt Associates, a firm brought in by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, that is headed by James Lee Witt, former FEMA Director under President Bill Clinton.

Butler stood his ground in saying that while there were communication and coordination problems that will need to be addressed as storm response activities are examined, “there were many things we did right.”

He added that he is proud of all the workers, the “thousands of people who left their homes, across the United States and from Canada, to restore power.”

CL&P President Jeff Butler faces severe criticism for nine-day power outages resulting from October Storm Alfred that hit the Northeast on Oct. 29, 2011.

CL&P President Jeff Butler faces severe criticism for nine-day power outages resulting from October Storm Alfred that hit the Northeast on Oct. 29, 2011.

As the review process gets underway, “I think they (findings) will show in many areas we have strengths and in many areas there is room for improvement,” Butler said.

Butler also said that given the short interval between Storm Irene and Storm Alfred, there wasn’t time to complete the review of procedures in response to the August storm and implement them when hit by a snowstorm in October.

At a press conference held at 5 p.m., Gov. Malloy called the prolonged outages “unacceptable” and said that CL&P had not only failed its own standards, but likely falls far short of industry standards.

Asked about that comment, Butler said that he prefers to wait until both internal and independent reviews are complete “before we pass judgment.”

Butler also stuck to the revised deadline for restoring power to all of the state, which is midnight on Wednesday but noted that there may still be some scattered outages that won’t be addressed unless the customer calls CL&P to alert them to the problem.

One reporter stated that he was told by a woman whose neighbors had electricity that she couldn’t get through on the CL&P service line to report her outage and so, had to drive to her town hall to report her outage.

Butler said he would investigate that report and again stated that this kind of issue will be among many that will be examined during the review process.

Posted Nov. 7, 2011

Related link: Former FEMA director hired by Gov. Malloy to review response to power outages http://windham.htnp.com/2011/11/04/former-fema-director-hired-by-gov-malloy-to-review-response-to-power-outages/

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

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Connecticut Water refutes criticisms of UConn water plan

Connecticut Water Eric Thornburg from Town Talk

Connecticut Water is well positioned to provide the water necessary to meet the needs identified for the University and the community over the 50 year planning horizon. The EIE considered the projected demands for the University’s Tech Park and the Next Generation initiative, as well as the Town of Mansfield’s plans for redevelopment of the Four Corners, the proposed managed care facility, and other potential development in the community consistent with their local plans.

Future of local water supply is topic of public forum July 29

water - drinking water - water faucet

Questions about water sources, usage and quality have come into focus recently in light of the Storrs Center development, UConn’s plans to bring in water to support a new Tech Park and the concurrent needs of the towns in this region, particularly in terms of their own development plans.

Coventry Farmers Market invites you to a ‘wellness’ swap

SWAPPERS logo Coventry Farmers Market 2013

As always, anything handmade, handcrafted or homegrown is swappable. But remember – you must sign up and bring something to get something in return!

September  2014
   
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