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Bethlehem, Litchfield, Morris, Warren, Woodbury


Wilson Prepares for 2019 Legislative Session

Posted on January 7, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon


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HARTFORD – State Representative David T. Wilson (R-66) is joining his fellow colleagues in the Connecticut General Assembly in preparing for the start of the 2019 Legislative Session which convenes Wednesday, January 9. Wilson will then take the oath of office and begin serving his second term as a lawmaker.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work on behalf of the people of the 66th district and the state of Connecticut,” Rep. Wilson said. “I’m looking forward to a busy session and I’m ready to get moving. I encourage anyone who has questions or concerns regarding state government, as well as ideas for bill proposals, to contact me.”

Rep. Wilson has also announced his committee assignments for the 2019-2020 legislative sessions. He has been appointed by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides as Ranking Member of the legislature’s Aging Committee, serving as the House Republican Caucus’ senior leader of the committee.

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New Year, New Laws

Posted on January 1, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon


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New legislation effective dates are typically January 1st, July 1st, and October 1st throughout the calendar year. With 2018 coming to an end, a number of new laws took effect January 1, 2019.

These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. I have highlighted some noteworthy new laws below and encourage you to take a look at the full list, which can be accessed by clicking here. Please contact me with any questions or clarifications regarding the implementation of these new laws.

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Home Heating Assistance Applications Now Being Accepted

Posted on December 14, 2018 by admin


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Connecticut currently ranks in the top five highest energy costs in the nation. With the cold weather upon us, many residents may struggle to pay their heating bills. However, fuel assistance is available to those in need.

Operation Fuel is now accepting applications for one-time grants of up to $500 per household for deliverable fuel, gas and electric utilities. Qualified individuals are those who have received a shut-off notice, have no utility service, or need assistance to maintain payment arrangements or have a past due balance of 30 days or more.

In order to apply for an Operation Fuel utility or deliverable fuel grant, you must submit an application through a fuel bank. To find the fuel bank that serves your town, please either use the Fuel Bank Finder or call 2-1-1.

You will need to provide proof of the last 4 weeks of income for all household members, the name of your fuel vendor (for deliverable fuel customers only), or your utility bill and payment history (for electric and gas utility customers only).

Operation Fuel is a non-profit organization that partners with local government and community-based organizations at more than 100 sites throughout Connecticut to ensure that families in need have access to year-round energy assistance. Their partner agencies may also be able to connect residents with programs that provide assistance for food, clothing, health services, childcare, and more.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: Saturday, 10/27

Posted on October 23, 2018 by admin


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On Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will provide the public its 16th opportunity in eight years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Held on the last Saturday of April and October of every year, this national event addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue.

The DEA is again calling on Americans to empty their medicine cabinets of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medication and bring them to collection sites for proper disposal. This includes pet medication as well.

DEA Collection Sites closest to our area include:

TROOP L RESIDENT TROOPERS OFFICE   
452 Bantam Rd. – Litchfield, CT

WOODBURY RESIDENT TROOPER’S OFFICE   
281 Main St. South – Woodbury, CT

THOMASTON POLICE DEPARTMENT   
158 Main St. – Thomaston, CT

The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

In April, Americans turned in 474.5 tons (over 949,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,600 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take-Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 9.9 million pounds — nearly 5,000 tons of pills, with Connecticut accounting for over 94,000 pounds.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 27 Take Back Initiative, visit:  www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

DEEP and DCP Urge Tree Health Assessments

Posted on October 12, 2018 by admin


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The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Department of Consumer Protection have recently released a notice urging homeowners to ‘make an assessment of risky dead trees’ while they still have leaves.

DEEP and DCP advise homeowners to look for the following:

Signs you have a risky dead tree

Most healthy hardwood trees would have retained their leaves until the end of September, while unhealthy or dead trees would have already shed or may have never produced leaves this growing season.  The lack of greenery during the growing season is clear indication a tree is dead and should be removed if it is a threat to property.

What you should do before hiring a contractor

  • Shop around: Get multiple quotes to ensure you are hiring the best person to work on your property.
  • Verify a contractor has the proper credential: Anyone making changes to your property, including removing trees, must have a home improvement contractor registration. If someone is doing more detailed work such as correctively pruning a tree, or doing other work associated with prolonging a tree’s life, they must have an Arborist’s license from DEEP.
  • Have a contract: Home improvement contractors are required to have a written contract with you before work may begin.

** It will be helpful to know how long the work is anticipated to take, the costs, the final outcome and what responsibilities you may have in the process**

  • Ask for references: Ask your potential contractor for references from homeowners who have had that contractor do tree removal work on their property.
  • Be aware of scams: Avoid contractors who display signs of being a scammer.

**If you have a complaint regarding a home improvement contractor that you haven’t been able to resolve by contacting that individual or business, you are encouraged to file a complaint with DCP by emailing dcp.complaints@ct.gov**

According to DEEP and DCP, starting in 2015, Connecticut experienced three consecutive years of expanding Gypsy moth caterpillar defoliation caused by dry springs.  This drought inhibited a moisture dependent soil fungus that solely impacts gypsy moth caterpillar from emerging. In addition, the statewide establishment of Emerald ash borer is causing extensive ash mortality.

Connecticut has been long recognized as having the highest WUI indices in the United States. WUI otherwise known as the Wildland-Urban Interface, is a term that recognizes the proximity of peoples’ homes to forests, wetlands and grasslands. A common term used in fire prone areas of the US, many are surprised at Connecticut’s WUI ranking which is caused by a high percentage of tree canopy cover over a densely populated area. WUI helps explain why so many Connecticut residents are impacted by forest pest outbreaks and severe storms.