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CUTS: Impact likely to be felt in April
Continued from Page One administrative, maintenance, training and operations work. Hundreds of active Guard reservists would not be affected, he said. A furlough could be the loss of a work day in each two-week period. The impact could be felt most in April, Whitford said. “The longer this goes, the greater the impact,” he said. More details are needed before state officials know precisely what the impact of budget cuts are, he said. For example, spending cuts would eliminate out-of-state training, forcing the National Guard to look for facilities in Connecticut and rework plans, he said. The $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect Friday. It would lead to furloughs for hundreds of thousands of workers at the Transportation Department, Defense Department and elsewhere. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the cuts would harm the readiness of U.S. fighting forces. He said the majority of the Defense Department’s 800,000 civilian workers would lose one day of work a week for up to 22 weeks, probably starting in late April. And Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said travelers could face delays because the Federal Aviation Administration is in line for $600 million in spending cuts.
Everybody is to blame for potential budget cuts
BIGGEST POTENTIAL HITS TO CONNECTICUT
Education and the military would take among the biggest hits in Connecticut from automatic cuts to the federal budget set to take hold this week, according to a report the White House issued Sunday as it seeks to avoid the impending economic fallout. The White House compiled numbers from federal agencies and its budget office. Numbers are based only on the $85 billion in cuts for this fiscal year, from March to September, that were set to start Friday. As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House did not have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.
AMONG FUNDING CONNECTICUT STANDS TO LOSE:
EDUCATION: >> About $8.7 million for primary and secondary education, putting about 120 teacher and aide jobs at risk. >> About $6.3 million for about 80 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities. >> Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 500 children. DEFENSE: >> About 3,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $15 million. >> Army base operation funding would be cut by about $1.6 million. >> Maintenance and repair of USS Providence and $13 million in funding for two demolition projects at New London could be canceled. LAW ENFORCEMENT: >> About $153,000 in grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives. PUBLIC HEALTH: >> About $341,000 to help upgrade response to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters and biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological events. >> About $840,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse. >> About $107,000 for vaccinations, meaning about 1,570 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B. SENIORS: >> About $201,000 for meals for seniors.
WASHINGTON — The White House and Republicans kept up the unrelenting mudslinging Sunday over who’s to blame for roundly condemned budget cuts set to take effect at week’s end, with the administration detailing the potential fallout in each state and governors worrying about the mess. But as leaders rushed past each other to decry the potentially devastating and seemingly inevitable cuts, they also criticized their counterparts for their roles in introducing, implementing and obstructing the $85 billion budget mechanism that could affect everything from commercial flights to classrooms to meat inspections. The GOP’s leading line of criticism hinged on blaming Obama’s aides for introducing the budget trigger in the first place, while the administra-
tion’s allies were determined to blame GOP stubbornness. Sen. Claire McCaskill, DMo., said there was little hope to dodge the cuts “unless the Republicans are willing to compromise and do a balanced approach.” No so fast, Republicans interjected. “I think the American people are tired of the blame game,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. Yet just a moment before, she was blaming Obama for putting the country on the brink of massive spending cuts. Obama nodded to the squabble during his weekly radio and Internet address. “Unfortunately, it appears that Republicans in Congress have decided that instead of compromising — instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans — they would rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class,” he said Saturday.
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PLANT: Ansonia could be hub for green companies
Continued from Page One “It’s hard to think of a project or technology that’s more green than this,” Timbrell said. “If this project actually goes ahead, it will hopefully lead to other green companies being attracted to Ansonia.” The plant would be located on city land on North Division Street, near the wastewater treatment plant and transfer station — just alongside the Naugatuck River Greenway used by pedestrians and cyclists. The city signed an agreement in 2011 to buy its power from the company if the plant is built, Timbrell said. The company must also obtain approvals from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Siting Council. Greenpoint and the city held an “environmental justice” hearing last month, as required by the state when a polluting facility is proposed in a lowincome community. Residents mainly expressed concerns about getting the city the best possible energy deal, Timbrell said. Kevin Zak, president of the Naugatuck River Revival Group, said he attended the hearing and came away with the same concerns he had regarding the Waterbury proposal, which was sponsored by a different company, Chestnut Hill Bioenergy based in Massachusetts. “There may be dump trucks with 15 tons of food waste that access the facility along North Division Street parked outside in summer, within a few feet from Ansonia’s beautiful river greenway, waiting to be processed,” Zak wrote in an email to the Republican-American. “For those old enough to remember, will this be a return to the days when you rolled up ... the car windows quickly, put your hand over your mouth and held your breath as long as you could while Dad drove along Route 8 in Naugatuck? This time you may be walking with your kids or riding your bike.” CONCERNS ABOUT SMELLS helped derail Chestnut Hill’s plans for a larger plant in
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The proposed food-waste-to-energy plant would be on Ansonia municipal land on North Division Street, alongside the Naugatuck River Greenway used by pedestrians and cyclists.
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Waterbury, despite the company’s insistence that odors would be controlled. The proposal was abandoned in the face of strong opposition from local activists and officials. The facility in Ansonia, spread over 2.5 acres, will contain several buildings, including one where the food will be dumped in a negative-pressure setting, meaning air flows in but not out, Timbrell said. The food is sorted, ground up and fermented in a tank before being piped into a second tank, where bacteria will compost it at a faster rate due to the lack of oxygen, Timbrell said. The composting process releases methane gas that can power an engine that produces electricity, Timbrell said. The waste then leaves the facility on compost trucks, Timbrell said. The tanks are airtight, and any air that is released from the facility will pass through biological filters to control the odor,
Timbrell said. Timbrell said six trucks would bring food waste into the facility every day and four trucks would leave to deliver compost. Greenpoint would abide by state requirements controlling odors and would work to make sure residents are happy, Timbrell said. “We’re working very hard with the city to make sure that everything that’s done there won’t create problems,” Timbrell said. No large-scale anaerobic digestion plants exist yet in the country, Timbrell said, although Sacramento, Calif., is building one that will not process as much waste as Greenpoint proposes. The technology is more common in Europe, where Timbrell said Greenpoint’s other partner, Tom Brayman, has visited plants in Germany and Austria. Timbrell said Greenpoint has received the support of the city so far. DEEP ENDORSES THE TECHNOLOGY behind the proposal, but has not received an application yet for the necessary permits, spokesman Dennis Schain said. “It’s a better way of disposing of food and generating power than having it mixed in with all the other trash,” Schain said. The company would need a
permit to discharge water to the adjacent treatment plant and a permit to open a recycling facility, said Diane Duva, assistant division director of the bureau of materials management. The recycling permit application must contain a procedure for the company to field and resolve odor complaints, Duva said. The garbage trucks entering and leaving the facility will likely haul sealed containers, she said. Timbrell estimated it would take six months to obtain state permits, then another year to build the plant. If everything goes well, it could be open by the end of 2014, although delays could push it into 2015. Once the plant is operational, supermarkets and other places that produce large quantities of food waste within 20 miles will have to truck their trash there, under a state law passed last year to encourage food recycling, Duva said. Zak said the technology sounds promising, but he would like Ansonia to send some unbiased people to plants in Europe to research how they affect quality of life. “When there’s that much money to be made, you can’t take people’s word for it,” Zak said. Visit rep-am.com to comment on this story.
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LETTERS: Volunteers archive world’s letters of hope
Continued from Page One The letters were boxed this week and taken to a storage unit, where Moreno and her team will continue to have access to them. Once they are archived, the plan is to incinerate the items and use the ashes to help create concrete for whatever memorial to the shooting victims is built, she said. Moreno said it’s not clear what will be done with the digital photographs. She would like to create a website where the public could view them. “The victims’ families, I know, many of them are not ready to see all this stuff yet,” she said. “A lot of people aren’t ready. But maybe later down the road, maybe they will want to see it. And the only way they would be able to is if somebody documented it.” One side benefit, she said, is the group has found checks or other gifts in the mail that were overlooked earlier. Those were given to the town or charities to which they are addressed. Meanwhile, another group, the Newtown Volunteer Task Force, has begun answering some of that mail. The organization, which is coordinating all the volunteer work being done for Newtown, created thank-you cards that read in part, “Your voice has been heard and your caring is deeply appreciated.” Under that message, a volunteer includes one or two handwritten lines to let the recipient know the letter was read. Volunteers are going through letters and picking out ones that touch them personally, said Robin Fitzgerald, a task force organizer. Because the task force has no budget, volunteers are asked to bring stamps. “It’s another exercise in healing for our town, to recognize all the love that was sent from literally everywhere,” she said. Renee Berger, 60, of Monroe, says she’s answered letters from parents and grandparents who have lost children to cancer or some other tragedy, and many church groups. She said one of the most touching and emotional was from a police officer in Oklahoma City, who talked about responding to the bombing at the federal building there in 1995, and wanted to send his love to Newtown’s first responders. “We have a box of tissues on the table because you can’t read these letters without reacting,” she said. Fitzgerald acknowledged the group likely will only be able to respond to a fraction of the correspondence but said the project is open-ended, and the more volunteers the group gets, the more thank-you notes it will be able to write.
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