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The Armoring of Long Island Sound
As a result of the damage to shoreline homes and other buildings by Tropical Storm Irene, two distinctly different legislative remedies have been presented to the General Assembly.
The first would permit the construction of large seawalls without regulation by town or state. The current permitting process of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection would be eliminated as shoreline residents sought to preserve their property.
The second proposed remedy allows our towns and/or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to permit construction and reconstruction after extreme weather events by taking into account rises in sea level and the preferred location of homes or other buildings farther back from the water or the raising of structures above the water. In this bill, the movement of sand to act as a barrier to erosion is also presented.
Welcoming Grants for Guilford
I’m pleased to report that the state has awarded grants to two local nonprofit organizations that support the arts in Guilford.
The state Department of Economic and Community Development—through its Office of the Arts and State Historic Preservation Office—has awarded The Shoreline Arts Alliance $4,899 and the Guilford Art Center, Inc. $1,016.
The Arts Alliance gives us Shakespeare in the Park, and the Art Center gives us superb exhibitions. Local arts organizations such as these are as much a part of the fabric of our society as any church or business or public park, and sustaining and growing them is a worthwhile investment in our communities and ourselves.
These new awards come on the heels of the more than $44,000 in state grants handed out by the DECD to Guilford nonprofit organizations in December and January, grants which included $33,150 to The Shoreline Arts Alliance, $8,261 to the Guilford Art Center, and $2,956 to Chestnut Hill Concerts.
Connecticut Near the Top in Government Accountability
A new, national report on the integrity of state governments ranks Connecticut as one of the most open and accountable legislatures in the country, with top marks for transparency and ethics laws.
The State Integrity Investigation report, a project of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International, ranked Connecticut second in the nation for making public spending and campaign money easier to track and for having a Citizens Elections Program that enables publicly financed election campaigns.
The report touts Connecticut’s creation of an online searchable database of state spending, where taxpayers can look up how public money is being spent. It also cites Connecticut’s strict campaign contribution limits and restrictions on contributions by state contractors and lobbyists.
Connecticut has had its share of ethical problems, and so this new report is encouraging.