August 26, 2016

Lyme DTC Invites Readers to ‘Meet the Candidates’ at Gelston House, Sept. 19

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

US Senator Joe Courtney

US Senator Joe Courtney

The Democratic Town Committees of Lyme, Haddam and East Haddam are jointly sponsoring a “Meet the Candidates” event with Norm Needleman and Joe Courtney at the Gelston House in East Haddam on Monday, Sept. 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  All are welcome.

Needleman (D) is challenging two-term incumbent Art Linares (R) for the position of 33rd District State Representative. Courtney is running for another term as US Representative for Connecticut’s Second Congressional District, a position he has held since 2007..

Light refreshments will be served.  A cash bar will be available.

A $10 donation is suggested.

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Carney Achieves 100 Percent Voting Record in 2016 Legislative Session

State Representative Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney

State Rep. Devin Carney registered a 100 percent voting record during the 2016 legislative session and was present for all 313 votes taken on the House floor, according to recently released data from the House Clerk’s office. Perfect attendance is very difficult to achieve, with only 32% of legislators able to do so this year.

Carney, serving his first term representing the 23rd General Assembly District, is among just 49 members of the 151-member House of Representatives to achieve the 100 percent score and has maintained a100 percent voting record since being elected into office.

“It is simply my duty as the representative for the people of the 23rd District,” said Carney, whose district covers Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook. “I take this responsibility very seriously and I wouldn’t be able to accurately represent the district without being present for every vote; the people count on me to ensure our district’s voice is heard. It has been an honor and a privilege representing the people of the 23rd and I look forward to continue advocating on their behalf.”

Carney, who is the House Republican Chair of the Young Legislators Caucus, serves on the Environment Committee, and also on the Transportation, and Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committees in the General Assembly.

For an overview of legislation passed this year, visit the Office of Legislative Research website: https://www.cga.ct.gov/olr/Documents/year/MA/2016MA-20160610_Major%20Acts%20for%202016.pdf

The next regular session of the legislature will convene in early February 2017.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 800-842-1423.

Carney represents the 23rd District communities of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

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Carney Receives Unanimous Endorsement for Second Term from Republicans

State Representative Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney

State Rep. Devin Carney received a unanimous endorsement from delegates representing the Republican Town Committees of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook at the 23rd District Convention on Monday.

“I am incredibly honored for this endorsement to serve a second term at the State Capitol. Serving my constituents in Hartford has been the greatest honor of my life, but there is so much more work left to do,” Carney said, noting, “Our state faces substantial financial problems in the coming months and years, which are exacerbated by the hostile attitude state government has toward businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Carney added, “I want to continue my efforts in fostering an economic environment where employers can start and grow businesses, where young people can find work, buy homes, and start families, and where seniors can afford to retire.”

He also noted, “In addition, I will keep fighting to strengthen the quality of life in our communities, to fix our broken transportation infrastructure, to get a handle on our state’s unfunded pension liabilities, and to improve our environment. As always, I pledge to continue to be a strong and independent voice in Hartford for all the people of the district.”

A delighted Carney reported that he has already reached his fundraising goals for re-election. “The outpouring of support I’ve received from my constituents across the district has been overwhelming,” said Carney, a member of the legislature’s Environment, Transportation and Higher Education and Employment Advancement committees.

He concluded, “I am truly humbled that so many have put their trust in me to continue representing them.”

During his first term Carney has made constituent service a priority. He has been a fixture in the district where he routinely holds office hours to brief residents about a wide range of legislative issues.

He voted against a state budget that included the second largest tax increase in state history including job-stifling taxes on employers.

He has introduced and/or co-sponsored legislation to reduce taxes in areas he feels are stifling growth such as the estate tax and the business entity tax and legislation that helps our hospitals, seniors, and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Along with Senator Paul Formica, he helped eliminate the burdensome tax on residential propane deliveries and has battled against a destructive federal rail proposal that would negatively impact his shoreline constituents, especially in Old Lyme.

This past session he co-sponsored and actively supported the successful passage of comprehensive legislation to help combat our state’s current opioid crisis. He was named an “Environmental Champion” by the Friends of Westbrook Barrier Islands and he is a co-founder of the bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus, where he serves as House Republican Chair.

The election for 23rd District State Representative will be held on Tuesday, Nov.8.

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Republicans Nominate Art Linares for Third Term in 33rd Senate District

Art Linares (file photo)

Art Linares (file photo)

Republicans Tuesday nominated incumbent State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook for a third term in the 12-town 33rd Senate District. Linares was the unanimous choice of about 45 delegates and alternates gathered for the nominating convention at the Old Town Hall in East Haddam.

Linares is facing a challenge in the Nov. 8 vote from Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman of Essex, who is expected to be nominated for the seat at the Democratic convention on May 23 in East Hampton. Needleman, 64, has served as first selectman of Essex since 2011. As well as the Town of Lyme, the district includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Portland, Westbrook, and portions of Old Saybrook.

Linares was nominated by State Rep. Melissa Ziobron of East Hampton, who described the incumbent as a “great advocate for all of the towns,” in the district. The nomination was seconded by Edward Marcolini of Old Saybrook, who described Linares as, “young, vibrant and personable.”

In brief remarks, Linares said he has worked for spending reform and fiscal responsibility at the capitol, contending that overly optimistic budget planning by legislative Democrats had led to first ever cuts in the state ECS (Education Cost Sharing) grants for cities and towns. Linares, 27, said he is ready for the election challenge. “I stand before you a four-year-veteran, a little more seasoned, but just as ready to knock on thousands of doors and wear out shoes as that 23-year-old kid was four years ago,” he said.

Linares declined to comment on Needleman’s candidacy, but confirmed he is ready to debate his opponent on more than one occasion during the fall campaign.

Linares, a co-founder of the Middletown-based Greenskies solar energy company, was elected in 2012 in a district that has been represented for 20 years by the late former Democratic State Senator Eileen Daily of Westbrook. He won a second term in 2014, defeating democrat Emily Bjornberg of Lyme on a 22,672-17,326 vote in a race where Bjornberg also had the Working Families Party ballot line and Linares had the ballot line of the Connecticut Independent Party.

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Essex First Selectman Needleman to Declare State Senate Candidacy Today, Challenging Linares

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (D) will announce his candidacy for the 33rd State Senate District at a press conference to be held Tuesday, May 3, at 5 p.m. in the Gelston House in East Haddam.

Needleman, a Democrat who is currently serving his second two-year term as Essex First Selectman, will challenge incumbent Art Linares (R), who is completing his second two-year term as 33rd District State Senator and is running for a third term. Linares is Assistant Minority Leader of the state senate.

Apart from Lyme, the 33rd senate district includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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Clinton, Trump Win in Both Lyme, Old Lyme

Poll workers tally totals at the Cross Lane FireHouse after voting closed in Tuesday's presidential primary election.

Poll workers tally totals at the Cross Lane FireHouse after voting closed in Tuesday’s presidential primary election.

Reflecting statewide results, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were the winners in both the Lyme and Old Lyme primaries. Republican Trump’s margin of victory over runner-up John Kasich in Lyme was only seven votes but in Old Lyme, Trump garnered 470 votes to Kasich’s 326. Third-placed Ted Cruz secured 89 votes in Old Lyme and 36 votes in Lyme.

Interestingly, on the Democratic side, using the totals for just Clinton and Bernie Sanders, in a close race again reflecting the state’s position, Clinton secured exactly the same percentage of the vote (52.3 percent) in both towns., defeating Sanders by 18 votes in Old Lyme and seven in Lyme.

The unofficial results in detail were as follows:

Lyme Democrats:

Rocky De La Fuente: 0
Hilary Clinton: 206
Bernie Sanders: 188
Uncommitted: 1

Old Lyme Democrats:

Rocky De La Fuente: 0
Hilary Clinton: 476
Bernie Sanders: 434
Uncommitted: 14

Lyme Republicans:

Ted Cruz: 36
Ben Carson: 4
Donald Trump: 137
John Kasich: 124
Uncommitted: 7

Old Lyme Republicans:

Ted Cruz: 89
Ben Carson: 5
Donald Trump: 470
John Kasich: 326
Uncommitted: 13

 

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Op-Ed: Carney Says Proposed State Education Budget Cuts Will Seriously Impact Region 18

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

Does Governor Malloy have a problem with communities that succeed? This is a question we need to ask ourselves. Year after year, the schools of the 23rd District work diligently to provide quality education to our youth. Our teachers and administrators add to the success of our state by instilling the proper foundation to produce the industrial, business, and community leaders of tomorrow. Many of our best and the brightest students chose to continue their education in Connecticut – something of which the governor should be incredibly proud. Just last year the valedictorians from Region 18 (Lyme and Old Lyme) and Westbrook as well as the salutatorian from Old Saybrook chose UConn.

We have seen two budget proposals over the past two weeks that would do damage to the schools in the 23rd District. The Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee released an incomplete budget that would cut Education Cost Sharing (“ECS”) funding to the towns in our district by 33 – 56%. This was bad enough. But, under the governor’s updated proposal, the four towns in the 23rd went from receiving a recommended amount of $1,831,496 in ECS funding to $0 for FY 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017). A total of 28 towns were zeroed-out, while many cities, like the governor’s hometown of Stamford, were held harmless. Talk about a shared sacrifice.

These proposed cuts – made at a time when most local Boards of Finance are crafting their own fiscal year budgets – are unfair. The clear lack of respect and care on the governor’s part is alarming. All four towns in the 23rd District will now have funding gaps and may require local property tax increases to offset them. This would add an even greater burden to Connecticut’s taxpayers and Connecticut simply cannot afford to lose additional wealth at this time. However, that’s where these indirect tax hikes would be directed – all 28 communities being zeroed-out are considered ‘wealthy’.

Although these cuts are debilitating to small towns like ours – which already receive far less back from the state than we put in – we must keep in mind that this is only a proposal.

I remain committed to finding a solution with other members of the legislature to address this inequitable cut to our towns and to solving our $930 million deficit. The state wants people to move to Connecticut and one of our best selling points is our top-tier education. While we are faced with many serious and pressing economic issues, predominantly the ongoing budget crisis, great public education is one area on which we can pride ourselves.

I have written a letter to the governor urging him not to turn his back on the children and the taxpayers of the 23rd District and to request that he amend his updated budget and eliminate these cuts. The taxpayers of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook provide a great deal to this state and the deficits would be much, much higher without us. If either the legislature’s or the governor’s cuts are enacted, then it would be only fair that some of the approximately 380 unfunded state educational mandates be eliminated.

Instead of education, the governor and the legislature must look to balance the budget through real structural changes in the way state government is run. Changes could include pension and benefit reform, re-negotiating of union contracts, a moratorium on unnecessary government projects, serious spending and bonding caps, and tighter controls on overtime. When I last checked, many don’t live in Connecticut for bloated government overtime, but they do for our great schools. In fact, it may just be the only thing keeping them here.

To read my letter to Governor Malloy: click here

To see how Connecticut towns fare under the Appropriations budget: click here

To see how Connecticut towns fare under the governor’s budget: click here

To read the governor’s budget proposal: click here

To see the approximately 380 unfunded educational mandates: click here

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Lyme DTC Announces New Officer Slate; Mails Newsletter with New Look, Mission to all Residents

Lyme Town Hall

Lyme Town Hall

The Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) held an election Thursday, March 24, and elected the following officers:  Steven Mattson was re-elected chair, Sue Hessel was elected vice chair, Jarrod Leonardo was re-elected treasurer and Mary Ann Kistner was re-elected secretary.  All serving a two year term.

The Lyme DTC also announced that the April issue of its official newsletter – “Lyme Matters” – was published recently and mailed free of charge to all local residents.  Lyme residents who did not receive the newsletter and would like to receive a copy are invited to send their mailing address to the Lyme DTC at LymeCtDems@gmail.com.

According to Lyme DTC Chairman Steven Mattson, the organization’s newsletter has a brand new look and a new public service mission.  In addition to promoting Democratic candidates for office, announcing special events, and providing election news and information, the publication now features stories that help citizens better understand Lyme’s town government.

The April issue contains the following articles among others:

  • “Government by Town Meeting” 
  • “The Benefits of Registering To Vote”
  • “Values and a Vineyard”
  • “Lyme Land Conservation Trust Featured in PBS Documentary Series”
  • “Become an Official Part of the Democratic Process”
  • “How Unaffiliated Voters Can Vote in the April 26 Primary”

Mattson said, “We are excited to share the newsletter with everyone in Lyme and encourage all residents to become more involved in our local government.”

The Lyme DTC will be featuring excerpts from its April newsletter on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LymeCTDems.  The Twitter account for the Lyme DTC is @LymeCtDems.

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Senators Fight to Preserve Crucial Hospital Services

(L-R): Yale-New Haven Health System Senior Vice President of External Affairs Vin Petrini, Yale-New Haven Health System CEO Marna Borgstrom, Sen. Paul Formica, Yale-New Haven Health System Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Gayle Capozzalo, and Sen. Art Linares.

(L-R): Yale-New Haven Health System Senior Vice President of External Affairs Vin Petrini, Yale-New Haven Health System CEO Marna Borgstrom, Sen. Paul Formica, Yale-New Haven Health System Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Gayle Capozzalo, and Sen. Art Linares.

Sen. Paul Formica and Sen. Art Linares met with area hospital officials at the Legislative Office Building on March 23 to discuss ways to protect vital health care services for vulnerable populations like the disabled, children and seniors.

To protect those most in need, Formica and Linares, along with Senate and House Republicans, are proposing a plan to restore the governor’s funding cuts to Connecticut hospitals. The 2016 session of the Connecticut General Assembly ends in May.

Sen. Formica (R-20th, www.senatorformica.com) represents Bozrah, East Lyme, a portion of Montville, New London, Old Lyme, a portion of Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford.

Sen. Linares (R-33rd, www.senatorlinares.com) represents Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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Courtney, Blumenthal, Murphy Call on FRA to Work With CT Stakeholders on Rail Upgrades

Request follows concerns from local town leaders and constituents that rail upgrades could negatively impact their communities

US Senator Joe Courtney

US Senator Joe Courtney

Last Friday, Feb. 5, U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (CT-2), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called on the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to host listening sessions along the Connecticut shoreline to hear local concerns about how early proposals for rail upgrades may impact their communities.

In a letter to FRA Administrator Feinberg, Courtney, Blumenthal, and Murphy raise specific concerns they have heard from constituents regarding the proposed rail line realignment outlined in Alternative 1 of the NEC FUTURE Plan. This proposed new segment would shift the main rail line northward ahead of the Old Saybrook Station and run through several Connecticut and Rhode Island shoreline communities before reconnecting to the existing segment in Kenyon, RI. 

“While we understand that the FRA is still in the project planning stages of NEC FUTURE and many more steps remain ahead in this process, we believe consistent community involvement will serve as the most important tool for finding agreeable alternatives, increasing local buy-in, and instilling a sense of trust among affected residents,” wrote Courtney, Blumenthal, and Murphy. “As the planning process moves forward, we request that the FRA host listening sessions along the Connecticut shoreline where the proposed Alternative 1 new track segment will be constructed in order to hear the views and concerns of the communities in this area.”

The proposals for rail upgrades, including the Alternative 1 realignment, were contained in the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is currently in a public comment period. This initial report will be followed by a Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) which will be completed in 2016. The next stage of the process would be the Service Development Plan (SDP) in 2017 which will make the business case for why projects proposed in the EIS were selected for implementation. 

The full text of the letter is available online and below:

February 5, 2016

Administrator Sarah Feinberg
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590

RE: NEC FUTURE Tier 1 Draft EIS

Dear Administrator Feinberg:

As the Federal Railroad Administration continues the NEC FUTURE planning process, we write to underscore the importance of creating and maintaining a sense of open communication with communities who may be affected by new track segments constructed under the proposed Action Alternatives. Furthermore, we believe that it would be prudent for the FRA to consider hosting additional meetings and listening sessions in southeastern Connecticut. 

As representatives for the southeastern shore of Connecticut, we have seen firsthand the major need for improvement along the rail line. In fact, the vast majority of our constituents support upgrading our rail infrastructure to benefit our local economy and boost tourism. Unfortunately, these same constituents believe that the FRA has not done its due diligence in providing proper community outreach in towns that will be the most impacted by new track construction.

Specifically, we write to raise concerns we have heard from our constituents regarding the proposed new segment construction outlined in Alternative 1. As you know, the new segment in Alternative 1 will shift northward east of the Old Saybrook Station and run through several Connecticut and Rhode Island shoreline communities before reconnecting to the existing segment in Kenyon, RI. Connecticut’s shoreline boasts a rich, vibrant history and is home to quiet villages and historic port cities. Importantly, according to the assessment of cultural resources and historic properties in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Connecticut is home to the greatest amount of properties on the National Register of Historic Places that may be affected by new rail construction.

To that end, it is understandable that the NEC FUTURE Draft EIS has raised alarm among many Connecticut residents. Many in the region were surprised to learn about the potential placement of a new rail line in the towns. For example, as currently proposed Alternative 1 would run straight through the center of Old Lyme, impacting the cultural, historical and geographic integrity of the town – which is concerning to town leaders and community stakeholders.  We recognize that FRA held listening sessions and public meetings in several Connecticut cities, and we understand that the proposals in the EIS are just the beginning of any analysis—a more thorough vetting with local stakeholders consistent with federal law would happen before any project moves forward. Still, it appears that little engagement was done in these communities to assess even the preliminary views and concerns of those potentially impacted by the proposed new segment in Alternative 1 prior to inclusion in the report.  

While we understand that the FRA is still in the project planning stages of NEC FUTURE and many more steps remain ahead in this process, we believe consistent community involvement will serve as the most important tool for finding agreeable alternatives, increasing local buy-in, and instilling a sense of trust among affected residents. As the planning process moves forward, we request that the FRA host listening sessions along the Connecticut shoreline where the proposed Alternative 1 new track segment will be constructed in order to hear the views and concerns of the communities in this area.

Thank you for your consideration of our request, and we look forward to your response. 

Sincerely, 

Richard Blumenthal
Christopher S. Murphy
Joe Courtney

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Carney, Linares to Hold Office Hours in Westbrook, Feb. 9

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State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) will hold pre-session office hours in Westbrook at the Westbrook Town Hall on Feb. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m. State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) and State Representative Jesse MacLachlan (R-35th) will join Carney at the Westbrook event.

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares (R-20th)

This session will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government. Anyone with questions about the event can contact Carney’s office at 800-842-1423 or devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov.

Carney represents the 23rd General Assembly District that includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.

Linares represents the 33rd District comprising Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook

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Carney, Formica Oppose NE Corridor Future Rail Study Affecting Old Lyme

Area Legislators are requesting the proposal be removed or a public hearing be held

Sen. Paul Formica (left) stands with State Rep. Devin Carney.

Sen. Paul Formica (left) stands with State Rep. Devin Carney.

State Rep. Devin Carney and State Sen. Paul Formica are calling for action in response to a number of constituent concerns regarding the Northeast Corridor (NEC) Future Tier 1 Draft EIS “Alternative 1” that includes a study to improve rail service and travel time between major cities at the expense of the Old Lyme community.

NEC Future maintains that “Alternative 1” would increase service to keep pace with growth in population and employment. This is accomplished by expanding capacity, adding tracks, and relieving key chokepoints. However, this new track would dramatically change the path of the railroad, moving the tracks inland, cutting right through the heart of Old Lyme.

Carney stated that “this will negatively affect homeowners, the Old Lyme Historic District (including many shops, historic art galleries, the Florence Griswold Museum, and the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts), businesses, and the character within this quiet, beautiful community. Not to mention, the environmental impacts including additional pollution and the demolition of wetlands, open space and our natural resources.”

“This proposal would have negative social and environmental impacts on Old Lyme, and these consequences have not been properly taken into consideration,” Formica said.  “There are severely worrisome eminent domain implications regarding this proposal that would destroy Old Lyme’s infrastructure, community, and overall way of life.”

Carney and Formica said that along with their constituents, they too were not given any official notice about this study by the federal government.  The legislators said they found out via word-of-mouth, which is unacceptable. Furthermore, both legislators feel that before this process moves any further, this proposal must be removed from any current and future studies. In the event that this proposal is not removed, they have requested that there be a public hearing in Old Lyme before the comment period for this project ends on February 15; they have yet to receive a reply.

“The people of Old Lyme and the region deserve to have their voices heard on a proposal that would drastically alter their lives,” added Carney.

Residents that have concerns or would like to testify are urged to do so by February 15th, which is the comment period deadline. Residents can comment online at http://www.necfuture.com/get_involved/, via e-mail comment@necfuture.com, or by mail U.S. DOT Federal Railroad Administration, One Bowling Green, Suite 429, New York, NY 10004.

Carney and Formica also believe people should contact Congressman Joe Courtney, Senator Chris Murphy and Senator Richard Blumenthal urging them to take action. Courtney’s Norwich office number is (860) 886-0139, Murphy’s Hartford office number is (860) 549-8463, and Blumenthal’s Hartford office number is (860) 258-6940.

NEC FUTURE is a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate, and prioritize future investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), from Washington, D.C. to Boston. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) launched NEC FUTURE in February 2012 to consider the role of rail passenger service in the context of current and future transportation demands. Through the NEC FUTURE program, the FRA will determine a long-term vision and investment program for the NEC, and provide a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Service Development Plan (SDP) in 2016 in support of that vision.

For more information, visit http://www.necfuture.com/alternatives/alternatives_comparison.aspx

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Carney, Linares to Hold Office Hours in Westbrook, Feb. 9

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) will hold pre-session office hours in Old Saybrook at the Saybrook Point Pavilion on Monday, Jan. 25, starting at 6 p.m., in Old Lyme at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on Wednesday, Jan. 27, starting at 6 p.m., and in Westbrook at the Westbrook Town Hall on Feb. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Carney will be joined in Old Saybrook on Jan. 25 by State Senators Art Linares (R-33rd) and Paul Formica (R-20th).

At the Old Lyme event, Carney will be joined by State Senator Paul Formica: State Representative Jesse MacLachlan (R-35th) and Linares will join Carney at the Westbrook event.

State Senator Paul Formica (R-33rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-33rd)

These sessions will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government. Anyone with questions about the event can contact Carney’s office at 800-842-1423 or devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov.

Carney represents the 23rd General Assembly District that includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares (R-20th)

Formica represents the 20th District comprising  Old Lyme, along with Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London,Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford.

Linares represents the 33rd District comprising Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam,  Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook

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Formica, Linares Joins Fellow Senators to Announce Amendment to Improve Protection of CT Open Space

From left to right, Senators Formica, Linares and Witkos announce a new constitutional amendment.

From left to right, Senators Formica, Linares and Witkos announce a new constitutional amendment.

Sen. Paul Formica, Sen. Art Linares and Sen. Kevin Witkos joined with environmental advocates on Jan. 13 to unveil a constitutional amendment proposal to improve the protection of forest land, parks, wildlife areas and other open space in Connecticut.

The legislators’ proposal would implement strengthened restrictions on the sale of preserved land.

The next legislative session begins in February.

Sen. Art Linares represents Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

Sen. Paul Formica represents Old Lyme along with Bozrah, East Lyme, a portion of Montville, New London, a portion of Old Saybrook, Salem, and Waterford.

Sen. Kevin Witkos represents Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, and Torrington.

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Old Lyme Board of Selectmen Unchanged; Griswold In As Treasurer, Fuchs Fails in BOE Re-election Bid

First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (left) and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal celebrate their respective re-elections to the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen.

First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (left) and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal celebrate their respective re-elections to the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen.

UPDATED 10:17pm: In a tight race with an above average total of 2,321 voters, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (D) was reelected over her Republican opponent Cathy Carter by 269 votes – Reemsnyder garnered 1,278 votes to Carter’s 1,009.   Selectmen Arthur “Skip” Sibley and Mary Jo Nosal also both outpolled Carter with 1,150 and 1,120 votes respectively, leaving them both as selectmen, but reversed in roles with Sibley now as Second Selectman and Nosal as Third.

A beaming Reemsnyder told LymeLine after the results had been announced, “I’m delighted,” saying she was not surprised by them, but that she “did not take it [her re-election] for granted.”  She commented that “when people run against each other … it’s good for the community” because people “get to talk about things.”  She reiterated her delight at being re-elected concluding, “We’ve got to finish the work.”

Nosal added, “I’m pleased so many people came out to vote and I look forward to continuing working with Bonnie and Skip.  I thank all the candidates who ran a good, fair campaign.”

Former First Selectman Tim Griswold is all smiles after his convincing win as Old Lyme Town Treasurer.

Former First Selectman Tim Griswold is all smiles after his convincing win as Old Lyme Town Treasurer.

Former First Selectman Timothy Griswold (R) handily defeated Democrat Gil Soucie for the position of Town Treasurer with 1,267 votes over 982.  He commented, “I’m very pleased that the town has shown confidence in my abilities … I’m honored to be elected and following in the footsteps of (incumbent) John Bysko, who has done a superb job.”

In the Tax Collector race, Judy Tooker defeated Ruth Roach by an even greater margin with 1,385 votes over 876.

Perhaps the greatest surprise in view of the Democrat success on the board of selectmen was the Region 18 Board of Education result in which two of the three Democrats failed in their election bids, including incumbent Paul Fuchs.  Republicans Stacy Winchell and Erick Cushman were both elected with 1,184 and 1,138 votes respectively along with incumbent Michelle “Mimi” Roche, who polled the highest number of votes of all the board of education candidates at 1,255.  Fuchs and newcomer Peter Hunt, neither of whom was elected, garnered 1,088 and 1,059 votes respectively.

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Rep. Carney Achieves 100 Percent Voting Record

State Representative Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) achieved a 100 percent voting record during the regular 2015 Legislative Session according to statistics compiled by the House Clerk’s Office.

This year, Rep. Carney cast his vote on all 379 separate pieces of legislation that made it to the floor of the House of Representatives. Only about 20 percent of legislators achieve perfect attendance each year. In addition, Carney attended every committee meeting and public hearing during the 2015 session.

“Throughout my first term representing the citizens of the 23rd district, I have made it a priority to be present for every debate and every vote,” said Carney. “The people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook put their faith in me to serve as their representative and they deserve a voice on every piece of legislation that comes before the legislature. While I am proud to receive a perfect score, this is simply my duty to my constituents and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Carney, who represents the 23rd district in the General Assembly, is a House Republican Chair and Founding Member of Young Legislators Caucus and serves on the legislature’s committees on Environment, Transportation, and Higher Education & Employment Advancement.

The next regular session of the legislature will convene in February 2016.

Carney represents the 23rd district communities of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern section of Westbrook.

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Lottery Places Old Lyme Candidates in Order on Nov. 3 Ballot

Old Lyme Republican Registrar Don Tapper reads the name of the candidate drawn in the lottery for placement on the ballot. Old Lyme Democratic Registrar Sylvia Peterson to his left notes the candidate's name.

Old Lyme Republican Registrar Don Tapper reads the name of the candidate drawn in the lottery for placement on the Nov. 3 ballot. Old Lyme Democratic Registrar Sylvia Peterson seated to his left notes the candidate’s name.

Old Lyme Town Clerk Eileen Coffee and Assistant Town Clerk Vicki Urbowicz presided over a lottery yesterday morning in the second floor Conference Room of Memorial Town Hall on Lyme St. to determine the horizontal order of candidates’ names for any office with a number of openings in the Nov. 3 municipal election.

Old Lyme Registrars Sylvia Peterson (D) and Don Tapper (R) drew names from a small tub, which were then carefully numbered. The names will appear in the order drawn (as shown below) on the appropriate row going from left to right on the Nov. 3 election ballot.

There were three positions for which candidate’s names were drawn and the results were as follows:

Board of Finance Alternate (Republicans)

  1. David Kelsey
  2. Robert Jose

Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate (Petitioning candidates)

  1. Nancy Hutchinson
  2. Harry S. Plaut

Region 18 Board of Education (Democrats)

  1. Peter Hunt
  2. Paul Fuchs
  3. Michelle Roche

 

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State Awards Old Lyme $2.05 Million to Rehab Rye Field Manor

On Wednesday, Aug. 26, the Department of Housing (DOH) announced that approximately $2.05 million will be awarded to the Town of Old Lyme in the form of a grant, and will be used to rehabilitate Rye Field Manor.

Rye Field Manor, which is located on Boston Post Rd., is a 39-unit development consisting of 13 buildings, plus a community building and is home to affordable elderly housing.

The funds come as part of the state’s efforts to expand access to affordable housing for low-income residents. Rehabilitation includes the replacement of the well water system, windows, insulation in crawl space and attic to minimize air infiltration, and the replacement of existing furnaces with energy-efficient units.

Devin_Carney-cropped_179

State Representative Devin Carney

These grants focus on the revitalization and expansion of affordable housing across the state said State Representative Devin Carney, who represents Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. He noted, “I am pleased to see the state’s dedication to providing more housing options for seniors in the 23rd district.”

Carney continued, “As many seniors struggle to make ends meet, and there are fewer opportunities for new developments, rehabilitation efforts are key to ensuring that our senior population is taken care of. All seniors, regardless of income, deserve the opportunity to age-in-place and Rye Field Manor, with assistance from the state, is providing that opportunity.”

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Local Republican Legislators to Propose Elimination of Propane Tax

Rep. Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney

State Senator Paul Formica

State Senator Paul Formica

Local Republican state legislators Representative Devin Carney (R-23) and Senator Paul Formica (R-20) have announced that they will propose legislation to eliminate Connecticut’s gross receipts tax on propane.

“After the crazy weather we have experienced in recent years, many people bought generators.  They were trying to be proactive in case of another catastrophic event. Now, they are finding out that they are getting taxed for thinking ahead,” said Formica.

“This tax is unconscionable,” Carney said. “The government recommends smart storm preparedness, yet taxes home owners for doing just that. When the legislature meets next session, I intend to propose a bill to create a tax exemption for those using propane for all home and generator use, not just exclusively for heating. I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will do what’s right for the people of Connecticut and support this proposal.”

The State of Connecticut assesses a tax on fuel delivered to a customer who uses a propane tank connected to a generator. This 8.81% tax is assessed on the delivery ticket, even if the propane also supplies an exempt heating use (such as home, pool, hot water, cooking, etc.).

Connecticut law says that in order to be exempt from this tax, the propane “must be used exclusively for heating purposes”. Because the propane to a generator produces electricity and not heat, this tax is assessed on deliveries to tanks which solely supply generators.

“People are frustrated and want some action.  I intend to bring this up in my capacity as the ranking member of the Energy and Technology Committee,” added Formica.

The 2016 session of the Connecticut General Assembly begins in February. The legislators said they would be pressing for a public hearing on the issue so that propane users can speak out about the tax.

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Democrats Stick With Reemsnyder, Nosal to Lead November Slate

Incumbents First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (right) and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal have been endorsed by the Old Lyme Democrats to run again in November.

Incumbents First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (right) and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal have been endorsed by the Old Lyme Democrats to run again in November.

Indicating that they are clearly comfortable with their current leadership, the Old Lyme Democratic town Committee (DTC)  last night endorsed incumbents Bonnie Reemsnyder and Mary Jo Nosal for First Selectwoman and Selectwoman respectively in the upcoming November election. The full slate of candidates, in fact, reflected a high level of satisfaction in the performance of those currently serving since the vast majority of endorsed positions were incumbents.

The only newcomers to the slate were Peter Hunt for the Region 18 Board of Education (incumbent Sarah Smalley is not running again) and Marissa Hartmann as an alternate for the zoning board of appeals.  Additionally, Ruth Dillon Roach is challenging Judith Tooker for the position of tax collector.

The remaining slate of incumbents includes David Woolley and Bennett Bernblum for the board of finance with Adam Burrows as an alternate.  Joseph Soucie was endorsed for Treasurer, Paul Fuchs and Michelle Roche for the board of education and Jane Cable for the zoning commission.  Finally, Karen Conniff and Kip Kotzan were endorsed for the zoning board of appeals.

In her endorsement acceptance speech, Nosal commented on the, “outstanding team of candidates,” noting its strength would enable the Democrats to, “continue to assert our message of collaboration, communication and community.”

She also noted that Reemsnyder, “is the right person, at the right time to continue as the CEO of our town … She has brought fair and balanced leadership to the office … She is respected in Hartford and the [Lower Connecticut] River Council of Governments.” Mentioning Reemsnyder’s ability to “get things done,” Nosal cited examples of Reemsnyder mending the “broken relationships” she inherited with the Town of Lyme and Region 18, and also Reemsnyder’s focus on customer service, which has been felt throughout Town Hall.

Nosal ended with a promise “to try and keep up with her as Selectwoman,” which sparked enthusiastic applause.

After the unanimous vote to endorse the full slate of candidates had been taken, Reemsnyder thanked the DTC for placing their confidence in her and said she found the endorsement, “humbling,” adding to rippled laughter, “Since taking office in 2011, we’ve been through a lot together.”  She mentioned Superstorm Sandy, the Sandy Hook tragedy, the Blizzard of 2013 and Winter Storm of 2015, but stressed that she does not spend much time looking back at her accomplishments because “I’m so embedded in what I’m doing.”

On her current “To Do” are completion of the boathouse/Hains Park project, implementing the Rte. 156/Hartford Ave. bikeway and improvements, and sorting out the Water Pollution Control Authority/sewer situation.  Reemsnyder commented that others may talk about fiscal conservatism but she prefers, “fiscal responsibility,” which requires planning ahead  for future needs and maintenance of current assets. She noted, “That’s what we’ve spent a lot of time doing.”

Finally Reemsnyder committed to “maintain my style,” of an open door policy, responsiveness, collaboration, and a willingness, “to continue to learn and listen.”

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