CT Green Energy News

Brought to you by People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) and Eastern CT Green Action (ECGA).

At PURA hearing, customers got their turn to criticize Eversource and UI over outages caused by Isaias; power companies face fines. “Melvin Garelick of Trumbull said in written comments that he and his wife, who are both 75 and have chronic medical conditions, discarded food valued at $500 and were “living on bread, peanuts, peanut butter and cereal” during the outage that lasted more than three days.” Hartford Courant.

City unveils statue of William Lanson, Black engineer and activist

This weekend, the Elm City dedicated a new statue on Farmington Canal to William Lanson –– a prominent 19th-century Black engineer, entrepreneur and civil rights activist from New Haven.

On Saturday morning, city leaders and community members gathered at the Farmington Canal Trail to unveil a 7-foot bronze statue commemorating the life and legacy of Lanson. Oakland-based sculptor Dana King created the statue as part of an effort — coordinated by the New Haven City Plan Department and Amistad Committee, a Connecticut based non-profit that educates the public about African American history — to celebrate oft-overlooked accomplishments by the city’s Black residents.

Source: City unveils statue of William Lanson, Black engineer and activist

New Haven residents protest for environmental justice | Yale Daily News

Over 100 protestors gathered at the corner of Church and Chapel Streets Friday afternoon to demand greater city cooperation on environmental justice issues and a Connecticut Green New Deal.

The demonstrators circled New Haven Green along College and Elm Streets before stopping on the steps of City Hall for speeches from local organizers. The march was led by the New Haven Climate Movement (NHCM), in collaboration with the Yale Endowment Justice Coalition (EJC), Sunrise New Haven and the Connecticut Youth Climate Collective. NHCM organizer Adrian Huq kicked off the event by highlighting that the ongoing climate crisis needed to be met with a greater response from city officials.

Source: New Haven residents protest for environmental justice

Vote “YES” This Fall

by New Haven Peace Commission

The following non-binding referendum question will be on the November 3 ballot in New Haven:

“Shall Congress prepare for health and climate crises by transferring funds from the military budget to cities for human needs, jobs and an environmentally sustainable economy?”

To learn more about this resolution or to get involved, email the New Haven Peace Commission at nhpeacecommission@gmail.com.

Statement from Green Party of Connecticut Candidate Justin Paglino

by Ronna Stuller, Secretary, Green Party of CT

A unity of local Green Party chapters, the Green Party of Connecticut is committed to grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom. These are the Four Pillars of all Green parties worldwide.

Green Party candidates accept no PAC contributions, only donations from individuals. In this year’s election we are running over a dozen candidates in municipal, state, and federal elections all across Connecticut.

In this PAR article we feature a statement by Justin Paglino MD, PhD, of Guilford, who is our nominee for US House of Representatives in the Third Congressional District, the seat currently held by Rep. Rosa DeLauro. We invite readers to visit our website https://www.ctgreenparty.org to learn more about our positions and our candidates. We also invite readers to consider changing their voter registration to Green Party, and/or to consider visiting your local Green Party of Connecticut chapter to learn more and get involved. You will be most welcome.

Statement by Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D., Green Party of CT candidate for US House of Representatives, CT-3:

This year I decided to run for US House of Representatives so that voters in my congressional district would have the option of voting for a representative who supports Medicare for All, Ranked Choice Voting, Reduced Military Spending, a bold Green New Deal with Carbon Pricing, Fracking Ban and Federal Jobs Guarantee, and other policies that my opponents in this race do not support. Many voters do, however, support these policies, and these issues need at least one candidate on the ballot who supports them, so that voters can show where they stand on these issues.

Unlike my opponents, but like most Americans, I support Medicare for All.   Single-payer healthcare will not only provide comprehensive healthcare without charge to all Americans, but will also save up to $500 billion a year thanks to efficiencies of scale and removing the profit motive from healthcare insurance.

Unlike my opponents, I am a strong advocate for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), an electoral reform that ends two-party dominance by eliminating the spoiler effect.  RCV accomplishes this by allowing voters to rank their candidates in order of preference on the ballot. This reform exists now in Maine, where Lisa Savage is running as a Green Party candidate for US Senate; because of RCV, she will not act as a spoiler.

Unlike my opponents, I seek to rein in overblown Pentagon spending and redirect these funds towards the needs of Americans, including a Federal Jobs Guarantee. Rep. DeLauro, in contrast, this year voted YES for the $740 billion dollar Pentagon budget, and voted AGAINST a modest 10% cut (the Pocan amendment).

Unlike my opponents, I am willing to support bills that would enact the bold greenhouse gas-reducing policies that science calls for, such as HR763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (Carbon Tax and Dividend), or such as HR5857, the Ban Fracking Act. Neither bill is supported by our current representative.

I encourage PAR readers: always vote for what you want, not only against what you fear. If you want something, you have to vote for it, or you’ll never get it. There is a way out of the two-party system – it’s Ranked Choice Voting – but first you have to show you are willing to vote for it.

Please visit me at justin4all.org, e-mail me at justin@justin4all.org. Follow me on facebook/justin4all, twitter/justin4all2, insta/justinpaglino, youtube/justin4all.

And thank you to all you progressive activists!

– Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D.

New Haven residents paint Black Lives Matter mural on Bassett Street | New Haven Register

Residents came together to emblazon the words on the street Saturday, painting them brightly and boldly so the world could see: Black Lives Matter.

The community mural, the first planned in New Haven, was welcomed by the city of New Haven Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs, in conjunction with Black Lives Matter New Haven, community organizers, and local artist Kwadwo Adae, according to a release from city spokesman Gage Frank.

Ala Ochumare and Sun Queen, co-founders of Black Lives Matter New Haven, said they wanted to help organize the project to help residents be in community with one another, share art and affirm the idea that the lives of Black people are valuable, with an equal claim to dignity and respect.

Read the article at The New Haven Register: New Haven residents paint Black Lives Matter mural on Bassett Street – New Haven Register

In Altered Season, A Garden Grows | New Haven Independent

Covid killed Demelle Turner’s and Marquel Caesar’s chances of throwing touchdown passes this fall. Instead they found themselves throwing soil into garden beds — with a team devoted to preventing violence.

Turner and Ceasar (pictured above) are quarterbacks for the Hillhouse and Wilbur Cross high school football teams, respectively. They grew up together. They played Pop Warner football together. This was supposed to be their big athletic year as seniors; then the pandemic canceled the football season.

Thursday they grabbed shovels as part of a group of young people brought together by New Haven’s street outreach worker program, the Connecticut Violence Intervention Program (CVIP).

The outreach workers have been keeping teens busy, and out of trouble, with an in-person daily program at the program’s Ashmun Street headquarters.

Read the whole story here in the New Haven Independent: In Altered Season, A Garden Grows | New Haven Independent

Details on Legislative Bill Regarding Electricity Concerns

by Paula Panzarella, New Haven Energy Task Force

In the course of the August storm Isaias, almost 800,000 Connecticut households and businesses lost electricity, some for over ten days. This prompted the Energy and Technology Committee of the State Legislature to take on a number of issues as the failures of United Illuminating and Eversource’s understaffing, unpreparedness and non-coordination with other companies and resources were exposed, causing great hardship and expense to many customers.

The Energy and Technology Committee is reviewing a bill, LCO 3920 (pdf) (An Act Concerning Emergency Response by Electric Distribution Companies and Revising the Regulation of Other Public Utilities), that can right a lot of wrongs of United Illuminating and Eversource. It is comprehensive and includes:

  • More oversight and consumer protection regarding the business practices of 3rd party electricity suppliers;
  • Attention to microgrid development and offer a resilience grant and loan pilot programs;
    Consideration for implementation of low-income rates;
  • Reimbursement for customers who have to throw out food due to extended power outages;
  • More transparency and a review of gas and electrical companies’ financial and operating funds;
  • Calls for public hearings for rate increases; and
  • “An Independent Consumer Advocate to act as an independent advocate for ratepayer interests in all matters that may affect the rate-payers of each electric distribution company… Independent Consumer Advocate shall be instituted on the board of directors for each electric distribution company.”

    How the bill can be improved:

  1. The Legislature needs to restore the $155 million that was taken from the Clean Energy Fund in 2018 and put back into the General Fund. Safeguards must be in place so such a seizure can never happen again.
  2. Not allow the continued blackmail of Dominion regard-ing Millstone nuclear power plant. CT ratepayers should not have to pay the entire cost of keeping Millstone open.
  3. Stop the construction of the Killingly gas plant. Creation of this plant runs totally counter to the State’s moves to deal with mitigating the effects of climate change.

Save the Sound (www.savethesound.org) has also alerted people to other issues that need to be addressed in this bill:

Expand energy storage. The only way Connecticut can increase renewable energy procurement, including offshore wind, solar, hydropower, etc. is to expand storage. Otherwise, we will lack the necessary infrastructure to expand renewable energy to meet the state’s goals.

Expand the Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP) to provide more economical solar options to homeowners and lower the burden on the grid.

Keep solar net metering until 2022. This will allow PURA to focus on other grid modification efforts instead of a rushed new net metering program.

More information can be accessed at this website: https://www.cga.ct.gov/et

Contact the Energy and Technology with your suggestions for what should be included.
Energy and Technology Committee, Legislative Office Building, Room 3900, Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240‑0430 ettestimony@cga.ct.gov.

And let your own State Senator and Representative know too!

From the New Haven Sunday Vigil: Resist this Endless War – Why We’re Still Standing Out Here in the Middle of a Pandemic

This vigil for peace and justice has been observed every Sunday from 12 until 1 p.m. since May of 1999. Twenty years and four U.S. presidential administrations later, we are still here.

Often people ask us what we mean when we say “Resist this Endless War.” What we mean is that the serial wars fought by the U.S. and its allies are one war being waged on many fronts. Men, women, and children are being slaughtered, maimed, traumatized and driven from their homes all over the world so that immense wealth and power can be concentrated in the hands of a very few people.

As we approach this crucial election, we ask you to think about the issues this vigil has been trying to address in a very modest way over the past 20 years. The war we now face on all fronts transcends partisan politics, as we didn’t get here merely as the result of one terrible election in 2016. Vote in 2020 as if you life depends on it – it does! But remember that simply voting, while important, will not resolve this existential crisis or lead us to a just, peaceful and healthy world. Only a truly engaged citizenry, able and willing to think critically and to use every nonviolent tactic we can muster, will be able to make the serious, deep, systemic changes that are so very long overdue, changes upon which our very survival depends.

We invite you to join the conversation any Sunday, here at Broadway, Park and Elm streets in New Haven, 12 to 1 p.m.

http://newhavensundayvigil.wordpress.com

Oct. 7, 2020, marks the 19th year since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East began

Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice will return to remembering the cost of the continuing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East by placing the September stone on the Memorial Cairn at the intersection of Broadway, Elm and Park streets in New Haven on Wednesday evening, October 7, at 6 p.m. That date will mark the 19th year since these wars began. We will practice social distancing and expect all participants to wear masks.

Don’t Move to South Dakota!

by Joseph A. Luciano Sr., Rapid City SD

[Joe Luciano, currently of Rapid City, lived in Seymour and was a fierce advocate for disability access and disability rights. He would often contribute articles to PAR. We are glad he sent us his musings about disability access (and non-access) in his new home town.]

Last year I moved west from downtown Seymour after realizing it would never become a Livable Community in my lifetime. (By “livable community” I mean ADA compliant, ready to support independent living and Aging in Place.)

The New Haven Register’s senior editor, James Walker, did a story about me going westward: “A senior with disabilities heads west.” (www.nhregister.com/news/article/James-Walker-Bound-A-senior-with-disabilities-13772366.php)

While the town demolished pot-holed downtown streets and broken sidewalks and replaced them with crosswalks and curb ramps, the work was botched. Some crosswalks led to sidewalks not provided with ADA-required curb ramps; some curb ramps did not lead to ADA-required level landings. In winters, law enforcement continued its policy of not enforcing the snow-removal ordinance. Because of that, disabled residents using wheelchairs (myself included) encountered barriers of snow, denying us accessible routes to groceries, pharmacy, banking, and other common needs. Most appalling, the police department held a “Coffee with Cops” good-will event . . . at an inaccessible downtown restaurant. They just didn’t get it.

Quality of life in downtown Seymour became so intolerable I decided to move. I chose the “Fifth-Best Place in America to Successfully Age in Place.” Rapid City, South Dakota.

Actually there were other reasons that were the deciding factor: both my sons lived there—also my grandchildren. And my home church was there too. And a world-class cancer care institute. I needed all of those.

To anyone thinking of following in my wheel tracks: Don’t! South Dakota has the worst reputation in social and human services. (Teacher salaries are the lowest in South Dakota.) Elders with disabilities who chose to live independently (like me) are struggling to make ends meet. That’s because the bar to qualify for support services, personal care aides, companion/homemaker aides, and South Dakota’s version of Medicaid is set so high it’s beyond reach of most who need it. And if you need healthcare you will drown in co-pays. What’s more, accessible housing costs are unreasonably high; I’m paying more for less space. As for the para-transit system (Dial-A-Ride), it’s the worst. (I suffered in-juries on my very first ride; I tipped over backwards be-cause drivers do not practice safe standards for boarding wheelchair passengers like in Connecticut. As for pizza, no place here in “prairie land” makes pizza like Pepe’s Pizza or Modern Apizza. (But I get equal or better pizza; my sons built a backyard brick, wood-fired pizza oven.)

Nevertheless, I’m staying here. The reason is simple: I’m living near family. My sons are just a few minutes away by car. They are my rides to church and Sunday dining out, some medical treatments, road trips, and family gatherings at their homes. Views of the Black Hills from my apartment are spectacular.

Stay where you are!

Neighborhood Housing Services Will Help You Make Energy Upgrades to Your Home

by Kathy Fay, Neighborhood Housing Services

I ♥ My Home provides personalized, one-on-one coaching at no cost for people seeking to make energy upgrades to their homes. Mike Uhl, of System Smart, LLC, is working as an Energy Consultant with Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven staff to guide people, step by step, through the process of identifying their individual needs, accessing appropriate resources (financing, referrals, etc.) to meet those needs, completing the upgrade(s), and verifying the energy savings gained.

If you would like to increase home comfort, reduce utility bills and decrease carbon emissions, I ♥ My Home is available – at no cost – to renters, homeowners, landlords, even people who are just getting ready to purchase a house.

To find out more, or to register for the program, contact me at Neighborhood Housing Services at (203) 562-0598 ext. 225 or e-mail kfay@nhsofnewhaven.org.

Two Green Party candidates qualify for November ballot; one to challenge DeLauro | New Haven Register

Two candidates for public office from the Green Party have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the Nov. 3 ballot.

Dr. Justin Paglino of Guilford is challenging 30-year Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro for the 3rd District congressional seat, while attorney Paul Garlinghouse will be on the ballot with Democrat Shannel Evans and Republican Marlene Napolitano for registrar of voters in New Haven.

Paglino is running on a platform that supports Medicare for All; ranked choice voting; the Green New Deal, which includes a ban on fracking; and reduced military spending.

Read the rest of the story in The New Haven Register: 2 Green Party candidates qualify for November ballot; one to challenge DeLauro – New Haven Register

Vigil Honors RBG’s Legacy, Looks To Future | New Haven Independent

Joining thousands of fellow mourners across the country this weekend, two dozen New Haveners and suburbanites gathered downtown for a candlelight vigil Sunday evening in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

They held that local vigil by the flagpole on the Green.

Thomas Breen photoThe event was one of many that took place across the United States in the 48 hours since Ginsburg, a pioneering women’s rights lawyer who served on the U.S. Supreme Court for nearly three decades, died from complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer Friday at the age of 87.

Read the whole story and see all the pictuers here: Vigil Honors RBG’s Legacy, Looks To Future | New Haven Independent

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