PLUM ISLAND LEGISLATION PROPOSED
The U.S. Senate is considering legislation designed to protect the environmental integrity of Plum Island. Senator Richard Blumenthal is sponsoring the bill, which would reverse a federal law mandating the sale of Plum Island to the highest bidder. Blumenthal says the island should be preserved for generations to come. The current law was intended to create a revenue source to help pay for a new bio-lab in Kansas to study livestock diseases. But Blumenthal says the law is outdated because a bill allocating money for the lab has since been approved. He says his legislation enjoys bipartisan support in the Senate. Blumenthal spoke at the New London Maritime Society building today.
SCHOOL BOARD CONCERNS
Norwich school officials Tuesday night voiced the same concerns of many of their counterparts across Connecticut: The uncertainty of state education funding due to the lack of an adopted budget. Superintendent Abby Dolliver met with the city’s school board to review the situation. Dolliver says the Governor’s proposed budget eliminates Priority and Alliance District grant funding for Norwich, which means among other things, no funding for nine Kindergarten teachers. Dolliver plans to meet with the city manager and comptroller Wednesday to discuss how much state education cost-sharing funds Norwich may get, and how much might be available for the schools. School officials have already moved six teachers from the city’s Sixth Grade Academy to the elementary schools, due to low class sizes in the sixth grade. First day of school in Norwich is August 30th.
FREE BUS FOR NORWICH TO OCEAN BEACH
No swimming this summer at Norwich’s Mohegan Park, but how about a free day at Ocean Beach Park in New London?? Norwich Human Services Director Lee Ann Gomes says city residents can take advantage of a free bus ride and free admission to Ocean Beach every Friday in August. Gomes says the bus will leave the city’s recreation department offices on Mohegan Road at 10 AM, and head back home at 2 PM. Gomes says children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. She says an additional bus run during the week may be offered, if there’s enough demand, and there may be a Labor Day trip as well. She says city officials are offering the service, since a lack of lifeguards forced Spaulding Pond Beach to be closed this summer. Funds set aside for the lifeguards are covering the cost of the Ocean Beach trips.
SECOND SANCTUARY SEEKER
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – A native of Ecuador living in Connecticut has become the second person this summer to take sanctuary inside a New Haven church to avoid deportation. Marco Reyes Alverez entered the U.S. illegally in 1997 and has been living in Meriden. The father of three was supposed to board a plane to Ecuador on Tuesday but instead took refuge inside the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church. His supporters say a family member was recently murdered in Ecuador and he fears for his life if he returns. Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials agreed to reconsider the case of a woman who’s been living in Norwalk after she took sanctuary inside New Haven’s Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal church rather than board a plane for Guatemala.
Connecticut First-District Congressman John Larson is proposing a carbon pollution tax, seeking to bring in 1.8-trillion dollars over ten years, to fund infrastructure upgrades nationwide. The proposal also includes tax credits for individuals to offset price spikes from the carbon tax, as well as assistance for workers in carbon-intensive industries like coal. Larson says the package would lay the groundwork for Hartford’s version of the “big dig” to put the i-84/i-91 interchange underground.
GIRL ATTACKED FOR TOKENS
ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) – A Rhode Island man has been accused of knocking a 6-year-old girl out of his way when she tried to help him pick up tokens he dropped at a Chuck E. Cheese’s in Massachusetts. Police say 53-year-old Daniel Lafayette, of North Smithfield, told them the girl was trying to steal his tokens at the Attleboro entertainment center and restaurant. Police say the mother of the girl told them she was trying to help Lafayette pick up the tokens when he kicked her on Saturday. Lafayette pleaded not guilty to an assault and battery charge on Monday. He was freed on $500 cash bail.