Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday, March 27

A plan proposed by Governor Malloy would require the state’s two wholesale electricity providers, CL&P and UI to stop dealing with end users. The State would auction off the customer lists and accounts to the highest bidders. It is hoped the auction would net the state some $80 Million.
Opponents of the Governor’s plan believe that the 400,000 customers currently billed directly by CL&P and UI, will be acquired by alternate vendors who will seek to recoup their auction bids by charging higher rates. The alternate vendors will be free of State regulation, and that prospect has resulted in spirited opposition from AARP and other consumer groups. Allegations of misleading advertising and bait-and-switch practices abound, and the prospect of customers having to pay penalties to switch companies, rankles many voters.

Cellular telephone subscribers who have been “locked in” to a particular cellphone company, and find a lower rate from another vendor for the same service, may recognize these issues.

DEEP Spokesman Dennis Schain said the unique proposal is intended to create real competition and thereby force prices lower. But each vendor could adjust its rates, on a monthly basis anytime after the first year. Further, the accounts to be auctioned would be without the consent of the customers and any change could invoke a cancellation fee.

But the DEEP believes it can tailor Malloy’s proposal to meet those objections.
The Connecticut Regulations Review Committee postponed action Tuesday on changing marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug as it prepares to legalize the drug for medical purposes.

Approving the regulation is one step toward legalization, but some members of the committee felt they didn’t have enough information to take a vote so it was postponed until next month.

Representative Vincent Candelora, of North Branford, said he’s concerned about approving a regulation that would put Connecticut at odds with federal laws and regulations regarding marijuana.

Legislators have gotten conflicting rulings on that issue. In addition to changing the classification of marijuana, the Department of Consumer Protection is getting ready to open up public comment on regulations for the licensing, growing, and distribution of the drug.

The Southampton Town Board and the Southampton Town Trustees have authorized a $434,000 project for the remediation of Water Mill's Mill Pond.

The pond was the site of a massive fish kill in 2008.

The pond will be given an application of Phoslock, a clay based proprietary substance to prevent harmful algal blooms. The algae can be potentially dangerous for humans and were responsible for the fish kill,

Phoslock is designed to capture phosphorus from septic systems and fertilizer. Phosphorus gets to water bodies through groundwater and storm water runoff, and can produce algal blooms.

The trustees previously cordoned off a channel of Mill Pond last year to test the procedure. After the successful trial run, they are ready to try it on the whole pond starting the first week of April.

Over the course of the next year, tests will be taken to monitor the water quality and efforts will also be taken to reduce any future runoff into the pond.

The Southold Town Board held a public hearing Tuesday night to discuss a proposed dog leash law.

Town Supervisor Scott Russell began the hearing by saying the resolution to vote on amendments to the town code -- which would have required that dogs on town beaches be leashed -- would be tabled.

The town code as it currently stands does not allow for dogs on public beaches at all.

Russell said he believed the town needed to act soon -- but that compromise should be key.

Last year a Mattituck resident was attacked by a dog on the beach.

Russell said that the discussion did not arise out of that incident but by a growing number of concerns expressed by residents in theTown

After comments from the public on various sides of the issue the board closed the hearing and agreed to set a date for a public forum.

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