What we’re now learning from this pre-season winter storm — mind you, it wasn’t even November yet — we should have learned from Tropical Storm Irene. And by we, I mean the good folks at Connecticut Light and Power. While they were aware of the trees that are too close to power lines, they didn’t do crap about that situation.
The towns that didn’t take the brunt of Tropical Storm Irene were felled by Winter Storm Alfred. The cause? Trees. Shitloads of trees in our great state. The freak winter storm occurred one weekend ago, on the heels of Halloween. While the leaves were still on the trees, and we’d have a somewhat mild autumn season and too much moisture and precipitation, the storm came crashing in like an uninvited guest we kicked out, telling him to go away. What we need to realize is we’ve pissed off Mother Nature one too many times, and at some point, we’re going to have to face the consequences.
If you can remember back in late August/early September after Irene, you will understand why trees are the problem with the power lines. One sudden impact with the trees can knock out power for hundreds of thousands. If it wasn’t the heavy rains that damage the trees, it was the wind gusts of over 50 miles per hour. That being said, New London was more likely to receive wind damage and Colebrook was more likely to experience heavy downpours.
CL&P President Jeff Butler promised to put 99 percent of its customers back online by tonight at midnight, but like the rest of us in Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy seemed skeptical. With about 100,000 customers still without power and, in some cases, without heat, CL&P is going to have to work extra fast to reach that 99-percent target, and Gov. Malloy will be pushing him to ensure that that happens. So the rule of thumb is, if you still are without power as of 10 a.m. today, hang in there because help is on the way.
Starting this Friday, July 1, the Connecticut state sales tax will increase from 6 percent to 6.35 percent. In addition, clothing and shoes costing under $50, yoga classes, grooming for your pet, and spa visits will no longer be exempted from tax.
Plus the prices are going up for liquor and tobacco. You could end up shelling out an extra 40 cents for a pack of smokes. And the alcohol prices will be increased by 20 percent.
But Gov. Dannel P. Malloy‘s tax package reaches further. Cosmetic medical procedures are also subject to tax. If there is any good news about this taxing deal, it’s this — the state decided not to mess with the Tax-free week which will be held from August 21 to August 27.
If you think us Connecticuters are taxed enough, you may be right. Click here to take survey
The state House of Representatives voted 90 to 57 in favor of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. That’s right, I said decriminalizing — NOT legalizing.
Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the bill after it reaches his desk, making it law.
So much for the war on drugs.
The once-proposed bus rapid transit (or BRT) between Hartford and New Britain could soon become a reality.
The New Britain-Hartford Busway costs $567 million — more than $60 million per mile — and construction is slated for later this spring and could wrap up by the end of 2013. There are 11 stops (with a 12th one coming soon as part of the expansion of Central Connecticut State University) on this particular bus line, which serves the towns of Newington and West Hartford in addition to Hartford and New Britain. It should ease the congestion on Interstate 84.
Gov. Dannel Malloy is also considering the plan for the commuter rail line between Bristol and Waterbury. CT Transit services would be affected, and that’s change for the better, because the ridership of transit services would increase as gasoline prices are on the rise. In Hartford alone, it takes roughly 45 minutes to go to New Britain on the 41–New Britain route. Even with the addition of the new busway that would zip along the I-84 corridor, the Hartford-to-New Britain bus route will still be in use.
Opponents of the new busway include Michael Nicastro, mayor of Bristol, who said it’s ineffective and too costly. “He made sure the can didn’t get kicked down the road,” he said. While he praises Malloy for supporting the rail link from Waterbury to Bristol and then to Hartford, Nicastro is still reluctant to lose it.
I do remember President Obama’s speech on the need for BRT in America. China is whooping our
asses butts when it comes to transporting passengers from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Obama said we need to “out-innovate the world.” This time, he meant it.