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Congressman Joe Courtney on looming budget cuts

COURTNEY - Congressman Joe Courtney headshot 2012

Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney.

Dear Friend,

Last Friday, with sequestration’s across-the-board, indiscriminate cuts looming and a host of outstanding issues still unaddressed, Speaker Boehner called a vote on whether the House should adjourn and return home for the week.

I voted against adjourning and said, “As precious seconds tick away, the House should be in Washington doing its job and finding a compromise to protect our economy. Speaker Boehner should reverse course, and keep the House in session.”

Sequestration was designed to spur bipartisan action in Congress to address our long-term fiscal outlook. When used in the past, that is precisely what happened. In fact, former-Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) said: “It was never the objective of Gramm-Rudman [legislation that used sequestration in 1985] to trigger the sequester; the objective of Gramm-Rudman was to have the threat of the sequester force compromise and action.”

… Continue Reading

SMART plan? – questions, questions, questions

March 25, 2010 Letters to Editor 1 Comment

garbage-truck-landfillTo the Editor:

[Regarding, "Residents invited to talk trash at March 25 meeting"]

The transfer station, right now, is very well run and the people who work there are courteous, helpful and do a good job giving directions to the people of Columbia regarding trash disposal.

Our old open Dumpster served the purpose for that time. Filling them up, and then compacting them by using the bucket on a backhoe. Now we have an automatic compactor allowing the same size Dumpster to take away at least twice as much trash, if not more.

This means fewer trips for the hauling contractor, saving labor costs, and wear on the trucks, and fuel costs.

So what is that purpose of this new charge for trash bags? Whose idea is it? Is this just another tax on the people of Columbia?

Regardless, many people at this time can’t afford this at any price.

Aside from the cost, it was even mentioned in the Chronicle that if people paid for the designated trash bags they would pack them fuller and then make them heavier, so that the elderly and handicapped people would need help lifting them.

  • What would the money generated from the sale of the trash bags be used for? Where would it go?
  • Would this just be another grab bag for officials to use at their own discretion, would it be in a lock box, or is it earmarked for something specific? If so what is it earmarked for?

Furthermore, if I am forced to purchase special trash bags, at specific locations will I then own them and be forced to dispose of property I purchased? Or would I be allowed to reuse the bags after emptying them into the dumpster? Why should I be made to purchase something as my property and then throw it away?

- David R. Lyon , Columbia

Published March 25, 2010

From the HTNP.com Editor, some related links:

How they do it in one New Hampshire community (a PDF document, requires Acrobat) http://www.hopkinton-nh.gov/Pages/HopkintonNH_Selectmen/FAQsPaybyBag2-18-10.pdf

How (and why) they do it in Granby, CT: http://www.granby-ct.gov/Public_Documents/GranbyCT_DPW/recycle_update

The Environmental Protection Agency’s explanation of how the SMART program encourages people to recycle http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/tools/payt/tools/smart-bet/index.htm

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Local day camps made a great summer for cancer patients families

CHILDREN RUNNING from Windham Hosp FB page

In addition, the Town of Coventry Parks and Recreation Camp and Camp Asto Wamah in Columbia, CT each offered free spaces for children of cancer patients.

Connecticut budget ends with $359 million surplus

Ben Barnes CT Budget Director

Personal income tax receipts were up $55.1 million over last month. The corporation tax also was revised upward by $15 million.

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

A forum focused on our water supply – including who decides how it’s used – will be hosted by The League of Women Voters of Northeastern Connecticut (formerly the League of Women Voters of Mansfield) and the Connecticut Institute of Water Resources (CIWR) on Monday, July 29 from 7-9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge (lower level), located at 198 Pleasant St. in Willimantic.

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.

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