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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

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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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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

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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

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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!

Despite major progress CL-P falls short of self-imposed deadline

CANDLES - group of candles - black and white

Some CL&P customers will have been without power for nine days once power is restored to all of the utility's customers.

CL&P President Jeff Butler, looking haggard and tense at this evening’s press conference, confirmed what Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had announced earlier in the day – that the company was not going to meet its self-imposed deadline to restore power to 99 percent of customers in all 149 Connecticut cities and towns.

As of 6 p.m., 88,000 customers were still without electricity. Immediately following October snowstorm Albert, there were approximately 831,000 utility customers (CL&P, UI and Northeast Utilities) without power.

Butler said the current 88,000 customers awaiting electricity includes 6,800 outages that are not storm-related, but the result of other issues that normally occur.

“We continue to push… but we have not met our expectations or those of all of you,” Butler said, and apologized to the customers still in the dark and without heat.

Earlier in the press conference Gov. Malloy said about 2,001 residents spent last night in shelters across the state.

Malloy also noted that 496 members of the National Guard and 60 State Department of Transportation crews were out helping CL&P today (Nov. 6).

As of today, about 96 percent of customers had power turned back on, Butler said. By 8 a.m. on Monday, that figure should be up to 97 percent, by midnight it should be 99 percent, and finally by midnight on Tuesday, everyone should be back online, Butler said. But that means 9 days of hardship for many people and businesses.

More crews have been brought on board to help with the remaining work. There were 2,482 working today, which is up 170 crews from yesterday, Butler said.

About 16 towns were only about 60 percent restored as of this evening, including towns in Tolland County – Somers, Stafford, Union, Tolland and Willington.

Asked by a reporter why CL&P didn’t focus its restoration efforts on the hardest hit areas, Butler defended his plan saying that sending the majority of crews to one part of the state would leave other cities and towns without power that much longer.

Another reporter asked if it is true that some crews were “standing around” waiting for instructions today. Butler responded that crews sometimes had to stop work for safety reasons as lines were powered up or switching operations were underway.

He also noted that some homes where power had been restored found themselves without electricity again because as lines were reactivated, in some case, it triggered other problems in the system.

Butler also asked customers who notice power has been restored around their home but they are still without electricity to call CL&P customer service to alert them to the outage.

As of the 6 p.m. press conference, Butler said, CL&P’s online map and outage/restoration list was up to date. As this evening’s data is input, outage numbers will drop significantly, he said.

Gov. Malloy had announced this morning that he didn’t expect CL&P to meet its goal because he wanted to alert municipal officials and customers still without power that they might need to find shelter tonight, and to help towns make decisions about schools and other services.

“The closer we got to CL&P’s self-identified goal of 99 percent restoration in each city and town by midnight tonight, the more skeptical I became of their ability to meet that goal,” Gov. Malloy said in a prepared statement.

“I’m releasing this information because towns and cities need to make preparations based on the reality of the situation – not what CL&P hopes to have happen – and residents need to make individual decisions about what to do over the next few days.”

Posted Nov. 6, 2011

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Former FEMA director hired by Gov. Malloy to review response to power outages

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday (Nov. 4) that Witt Associates, a consulting firm led by former FEMA Director under President Bill Clinton, James Lee Witt, will conduct an independent review of both CL&P and UI and their response to the October Storm Alfred.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday (Nov. 4) that Witt Associates, a consulting firm led by former FEMA Director under President Bill Clinton, James Lee Witt, will conduct an independent review of both CL&P and UI and their response to the October Storm Alfred.

James Lee Witt is the Chief Operating Officer of Witt Associates, a consulting firm that focuses on public safety and crisis management from mitigation to preparedness, response and recovery.

What’s been called Winter Storm Alfred – though it arrived during the time of the year when most people are displaying pumpkins and Halloween decorations, and haven’t begun to think about Thanksgiving dinner, yet – dumped as much as 20 inches of snow on some parts of the state and knocked out power to upwards of 830,000 residents at its peak.

As of Friday, according to an update given by CL&P President Jeff Butler, power has now been restored to 585,000 customers, with approximately 283,000 customers coping with their sixth night without heat or lights.

Butler, speaking at the evening press conference held at the state Emergency Operations Center, said that between 8 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, he expects another 100,000 customers to have their power restored.

Butler said CL&P continues to bring in more crews from out-of-state. As of Friday, he said, there were 1,802 line and tree crews at work – this in addition to members of the CT National Guard who are helping clear roads of debris, CT Department of Public Works employees, and towns’ own public works employees.

On Saturday, more than 300 additional crews will be in towns working on trees limbs, clearing roads and reconnecting service, Butler said.

In total, he said, there are approximately 6,000 CL&P employees working on restoring power.

Butler also reaffirmed his promise that 99 percent of customers in all 149 of Connecticut’s towns will have power restored by midnight this Sunday, Nov. 6.

Butler also fielded questions from reporters who challenged his claim that communications between the utility company and towns have been more timely and have been providing accurate information, which he has said is a lesson learned from this August’s Tropical Storm Irene.

One reporter stated that a CL&P employee told him that a CL&P crew that was supposed to work on a specific area in cooperation with Tolland Public Works employees didn’t show up.

Butler said 218 crews were in the Tolland area Friday, and that he was unaware of this snafu, but would investigate.

He also was asked if CL&P has refused help from crews with nonunion workers. Butler replied, “That is absolutely not true.”

Butler also has been repeatedly questioned about CL&P’s reported failure to pay some contractors who were hired to help with recovery after Tropical Storm Irene, which lead to inadequate numbers of crews available to deal with the immediate aftermath of Storm Alfred, which pounded the Northeast on Oct. 29.

Butler responded that invoices need to be reviewed according to a standard procedure and that to his knowledge, all invoices have been paid.

These and many other claims will be examined by Witt Associates, and Gov. Malloy said Friday he expects to have the firm’s report in hand by Dec. 1, 2011 – and at no cost to the state. The company is providing this service pro bono, Gov. Malloy said.

The governor responded to many reporters questions by saying, “As soon as everyone’s lights are back on, we need to have a very timely, thorough review of the power companies’ performances, to identify what went wrong, why it went wrong, and most importantly, identify solutions for the short-term before the next winter storm impacts Connecticut.”

“Witt Associates has a body of experience that is second to none. James and his colleagues have worked on the state and federal level and they understand how critical it is to conduct this review quickly and thoroughly. I appreciate his offer to help us,” Gov. Malloy said.

According to a press release issued Friday by the governor’s office, James Lee Witt has more than 25 years of disaster management experience, culminating in his appointment as the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he served from 1993-2001.

As FEMA Director, Witt coordinated federal disaster relief on behalf of President Clinton, including the response and recovery activities of 28 federal agencies and departments, the American Red Cross, and other voluntary agencies.

He also oversaw the National Flood Insurance Program, the U.S. Fire Administration, and other pro-active mitigation activities that reduce loss of life and property from all types of hazards, the release states.

Prior to his service at FEMA, Witt led the Arkansas Office of Emergency Services, a position he held for four years, the release states.

Posted Nov. 4, 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!

A reminder…

Letters to the Editor concerning candidates for the November 2011 elections can be sent to editor@HTNP.com. Candidates writing on their own behalf are asked to include a JPEG headshot that is at least 500 pixels wide and a resolution of at least 180. The last date to post campaign letters will be Saturday, Nov. 6. Please include your town in the subject line, and provide a phone number where you can be reached by the editor.

Columbia Ford partners with E.O. Smith for Drive One 4 UR School

November 2, 2011 Business, Local News No Comments
To date, Ford dealerships and local communities across the country have helped raised more than $7 million for high schools through partnership with the Drive One 4 UR School program. Photo source: Drive One 4 UR School Facebook page

To date, Ford dealerships and local communities across the country have helped raise more than $7 million for high schools through partnership with the Drive One 4 UR School program. Photo source: Drive One 4 UR School Facebook page

On Saturday, Nov. 5 from 1 to 4 p.m. Columbia Ford and E.O. Smith High School are partnering for Ford’s Drive One 4 UR School event.

At this fun event, members of the local community can support E.O. Smith High School’s students simply by taking a test drive in any brand new Ford vehicle. There’s no obligation attached to the test drive.

The event takes place at the Columbia Ford dealership at 234 Route 6 in Columbia (860-228-2886).

For every test drive taken, Ford Motor Company and Columbia Ford will donate $20, up to $6,000, to the Football Booster Club for much needed equipment.

Every year, more and more arts, music and sports programs are cut due to budgetary constraints. This fundraising event is a unique way to fill some of those financial gaps.

drive-one-4ur-school-logo-11-02-2011To date, Ford dealerships and local communities across the country have helped raised more than $7 million for high schools through partnership with the Drive One 4 UR School program.

For directions to Columbia Ford, click here.

Posted Nov. 2, 2011

Related link: Ford’s Drive One 4 UR school Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/DriveOne4URSchool

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!

A reminder…

Letters to the Editor concerning candidates for the November 2011 elections can be sent to editor@HTNP.com. Candidates writing on their own behalf are asked to include a JPEG head shot that is at least 500 pixels wide and a resolution of at least 180. The last date to post campaign letters will be Saturday, Nov. 6. Please include your town in the subject line, and provide a phone number where you can be reached by the editor.

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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!

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