Kim Healy – Let them Play!

by Kim Healy

Connecticut legislators need to intervene and ensure that our state’s high school football players are permitted to play this season with full teams. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) announced that it would follow the state’s Department of Public Health order, which would prevent these young athletes from playing this season. This is not fair, nor reasonable, and it is parents who should decide what is best for their children, not the state.

Please read the entire editorial at the Patch link below.

https://patch.com/connecticut/ridgefield/letter-editor-let-them-play-kim-healy

Left Powerless by Toni Boucher

The cost of delivering electricity is exorbitant and increasingly unreliable in Connecticut. On August 4th Hurricane Isaias made landfall, leaving over 800,000 customers powerless for ten days. Utilities’ failure to respond, poor planning and lack of information to customers and municipalities, and crews standing idle without direction enraged ratepayers.

Deplorable storm responses and a vacuum of leadership could be somewhat understandable if it were a one- time event. But no. Extreme weather events occurred with Hurricane Irene in 2011 (767,000 customers powerless) and in 2012 with Sandy (600,000 outages).

Outrage over woefully inadequate response to these weather events led to 2012 legislation that addressed much of what legislators are proposing today: additional performance and customer service standards, grid upgrade, tree maintenance, and reform of the state’s Public Utility Regulatory Agency (PURA). Other elected officials are now demanding the complete state takeover of electric companies.

But do we really need another state agency like the DOT or DMV?

Electric companies are not just responsible for keeping the lights on, but also tracking weather events and preparing for rapid response.

Can the electric company handle the next weather crisis?

They could certainly improve if funds were redirected to tree trimming, upgrade of power lines and augmentation of infrastructure. Instead, Eversource cut critical response staff by 20% and paid excessive bonuses of up to $40 million. At the same time, a startlingly PURA approved rate hike shot up three-fold!

The questionable relationship between the Connecticut Energy Regulatory Authority and the public utility companies is over 100 years old. Throughout that time, there have been a significant number of patches and reworkings of the processes and procedures for delivery of power to the public: all a smoke screen that reliability had been improved. In fact, their bureaucracy has grown exponentially and continues to do so. Currently it is a regulatory, delivery and pricing nightmare.

Connecticut charges the highest rates in the US. What is driving up the cost? It is not only utility costs and administrative overhead, but layers of mandated regulations imposed by the state. There are also pass through fees to cover the state’s own shortfalls. This has made electric rate making so complex people feel they need a CPA to decipher their monthly bills.
You would think by 2020 our aging transmission infrastructure would have improved, and reliability of the region’s bulk power system would be dependable. These multiple power outages however have exposed its weaknesses. It is time to design a new, streamlined, focused public utility industry for Connecticut.

A top down strategic plan should be developed to reduce the risk of future power outages that includes continual tree trimming and burying power lines; thus, eliminating special interests and state budget charges. But top down energy delivery is inherently inefficient and will worsen with congestion. Systems today that generate 650 MKW of power through largely centralized plants require moving that power down to 25 KV for residential power. Development of user level generation could take pressure off the grid. Putting power in the hands of the customer is gaining ground. More people are installing backup generators. Investment in making these generators more efficient is a wise use of capital. Conservation will help, but we must also develop new technologies for homes and businesses.

There are a lot of smart, experienced, talented, and committed people in our state. They need to get in a room, leave their egos and personal biases at the door, and help bring Connecticut into a new era of power delivery.
While we work to develop decentralized solutions, we must address today’s critical problems of an aging and increasingly ineffective and unreliable system for electricity delivery.

Although legislators enacted a myriad of rules in 2012 that once again being proposed, none of them helped to improve response time in 2020. Trees keep falling across power lines. Mother Nature does not care about our power needs. She is relentless and unstoppable. We must go around her. Connecticut placed 69 miles of high voltage transmission lines underground from 2006 to 2009. A continuous program of moving lines underground that is more impervious to damage is imperative.

It has been nine years since Irene as we wring our hands about the cost of burying the power lines. But how much did the last storm cost us?
They say that repeating the same thing over and over while expecting different results is the definition of insanity. It is time for a change before the next storm once again leaves us powerless. Toni Boucher, CT businesswoman and previous State Senator and State Representative

P.S
These are some of the 2012 power outage legislation ( deja vu)
· Requires PURA to review utility emergency preparation and restoration practices.
· Requires PURA to establish industry standards for acceptable performance by utilities following emergencies.
· Requires PURA to identify most cost effective levels of electric company tree trimming and system upgrades.
· Requires PURA to review utility performance following emergencies.
· Requires all state agencies to participate in civil preparedness planning, training and exercises.
· Utilities must file emergency restoration plans more frequently.
· Certain telecommunications companies must provide liaisons to response centers under certain circumstances.
· Requires cell phone service providers to report on the backup power generation capabilities of cell towers.
· Requires state agencies to develop a procedure for expedited road clearing.
· Creates a pilot program to fund infrastructure for onsite electricity generation for critical facilities.
· Increases communication between DOT, PURA, municipalities and utilities.
Requires PURA to study the feasibility of reimbursing residential customers for lost food and medication

With warm personal regards,
Toni

SEN. HWANG KEEPS THE HEAT ON STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IN SUPPORTING CT SCHOOLS AS THEY REOPEN NEXT WEEK

HARTFORD – Thursday, August 27, 2020 –  Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) met with 

CT State Department of Education (SDE) Commissioner Dr. Miguel Cardona and staff to gain clarifications ahead of school’s reopening. Some districts are looking to begin as early as next week. Senator Tony Hwang offers the following statement:

Former Green Party Candidate Endorses Dunsby by Gabriel B. Rossi

Adam Dunsby, Candidate for CT State Rep. Dist 135
Adam Dunsby, Candidate for CT State Rep. Dist 135

Let’s face it, it’s a tough year for down-ballot candidates. With historic levels of distaste for our presidential nominees and a sincere lack of split-ticket voters, state politicians are left scratching their heads. An increasing unwillingness to differentiate local campaigns from national discourse is an understated causality of a political system in crisis and a terrible precedent for American democracy.

Six years ago, I ran for state representative in the 135 th district on the Green party ticket, so it may come as a surprise to learn that I am not endorsing the Green party candidate for that office today. And I’ll admit that I am tempted to punish republican nominees for their party’s front-runner, but when I reflect on Dr. Dunsby’s excellent performance as Easton’s first selectman, his incredible family, and all I know of him as a community leader and neighbor, I am confident in my decision to split the ticket this November and vote Dunsby for Connecticut Legislature.

Here are three reasons why other liberals should consider the same—even if you have to close one eye to cast your vote: First off, Dunsby is an environmentalist. He was the first person I know to drive an electric car; he is a strong supporter of alternative energy; and he is endorsed by the CT League of Conservation Voters in this election.

Secondly, Dunsby has skin in the game. All of his kids have attended public schools and he is a supporter of public education, serving (formerly) as chair of Easton’s Board of Education and on the representative council of our regional, educational service agency.

Lastly, Dunsby is prepared to serve. His background as a local politician and successful businessperson gives him the right balance of temperament and know-how to address the big challenges facing our state and communities.

So, as you stumble into the voting booth this November, red in the face at the top of the ticket, consider giving Dunsby a chance before blindly swiping across the party line; in my opinion, he has earned it.

Adam Dunsby debates Bonnie Troy for State House of Representative seat

Adam Dunsby and Bonnie Troy are running for the state house of representatives.
Adam Dunsby and Bonnie Troy are running for the state house of representatives.

Our Candidate for State Representative, Adam Dunsby offered serious, positive solutions for the economic challenges facing Connecticut. His opponent Green Party candidate confessed she didn’t know much about how the state’s finances work, and stated multiple times that the best way to grow Connecticut’s economy was to grow marijuana and make it legal in our state.

“For anyone that saw the debate on Saturday for the 135th State Representative seat, it is clear that there is only one serious candidate for the job! Adam Dunsby proposed specific ideas on taxes, spending cuts, and regulatory reform to keep Connecticut business from leaving the state. His opponent, Bonnie Troy admitted that “having not been in Hartford, I really don’t understand how the spending works.” Her only specific proposal throughout the debate was to push for the legalization of recreational use of marijuana. As the current First Selectman of Easton, Adam has the executive experience and the knowledge of the state budget process necessary to address the current problems facing Connecticut. Be sure to VOTE on Nov. 8th for ADAM DUNSBY!!!” – Bob Ferguson, Weston RTC Chairman

Read more here http://www.thewestonforum.com/70205/election-2016-dunsby-troy-share-similar-goals-but-different-paths/

TONY HWANG FOR STATE SENATE – WESTON RTC DONATION & VOLUNTEE

Tony Hwang
Tony Hwang

TONY HWANG FOR STATE SENATE – WESTON RTC DONATION & VOLUNTEER

Be Part of the Change We Need to See in Connecticut

Good afternoon friends, neighbors and family,

First, let me say thank you. These past 2 legislative sessions have been some of the toughest in Connecticut’s history. Your words of encouragement, insight, ideas and yes even your frustrations, made me stronger for both you and our state, every single day. Like you, I believe our state is worth fighting for and I hope to be the person in Hartford that continues to do so for us all. Hand in hand, we can make the changes our state needs. But we must be “in it to win it”.

With that in mind, I am asking for your support in raising the funds needed to assist in making that a reality this Nov. 8th, 2016, as we kick off this re-election campaign.

In order to qualify for state campaign funds, I must obtain donations from Fairfield, Southport, Westport, Weston, Easton and Newtown/Sandy Hook residents/constituents of $100 or less.  Each individual donation counts toward my goal of 500 total contributions and $15,000.

If I reach that goal I will qualify for state campaign funds; a uniquely CT campaign finance reform program that focuses on grass-root fundraising instead of special interest/corporate money/influence.  Your personal contributions matter to me. Your contributions say you believe in me and the work I do on your behalf.  You believe in a better vision for Connecticut.  I invite you to be part of the change we need to see in Connecticut. We can do much better, we have to do better and we all deserve better.

Each individual can go online or fill out the attached form via www.Hwang4Senate.com/Donate.  I also invite you to share this with your friends and neighbors and because so much of what we do affects the future of our youth, kids over the age of 12 can now also show support with a donation. My suggestion is $5.

Many thanks again for your help, friendship along with your DONATION and support!