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Environment

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May is “Preservation Month” in Connecticut - and preservationists just celebrated a six-year milestone.

The wide-ranging Community Investment Act was signed into state law in 2005.  It increases investment in the areas that preservationists have shown the most concern about - open space, farmland preservation, historic preservation and affordable housing.

Route 11 Study Begins... Again

May 23, 2011
Polaron, Wikipedia

Governor Malloy announced today the state will re-start the planning process for the completion of Route 11. The highway now stops in Salem, but the original plan was to extend it to I - 95 in Waterford. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports Malloy is open to putting tolls on the road.

Congressman Joe Courtney says when President Obama attended the Coast Guard Academy graduation in New London last week, he was a little late.

On the Lookout for a Tree-Eating Invasive

May 19, 2011
takomabibelot, Flickr Creative Commons

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect from Asia that has killed more than 50 million ash trees in the U.S. in the past decade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is setting more than 60,000 traps in 48 states, including Connecticut, to look for the beetle. 

Mark Fischer / Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut has secured $40 million for its high speed rail project from New Haven to Springfield from the federal government. The money will be used to lay additional tracks.

When it comes to getting federal money, Judd Everhart with Connecticut's Department of Transportation says red tape can really slow things down.

"This grant was originally announced last year by then-governor Rell and that just gives you a sense of how long these kinds of things can take," Everhart says.

Flickr user Payton Chung

Despite less than six months in office, Governor Dannel Malloy was a crowd favorite at Tuesday's transit forum in Hartford.

One of his fans was Floyd Lapp, director of the Southwestern Regional Planning Agency.

"Here comes another bouquet for former mayor Malloy," Lapp said.

Lapp was one of many at Tuesday's forum who said Governor Malloy’s experience rebuilding the area around Stamford's train station while mayor should serve the state well.

A Million Dollar Fish

May 17, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

The state Department of Environmental Protection has partnered with the store, Cabelas, to sponsor a fishing contest . WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the agency’s goal is to encourage more people to fish.

A Million Dollar Fish

May 17, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

The state Department of Environmental Protection has partnered with the store, Cabela's, to sponsor a fishing contest. The agency’s goal is to encourage more people to fish.

Chemistry Students Get Clean Energy Grant

May 16, 2011
Horia Varian, Flickr Creative Commons

Students and teachers at West Haven High School are celebrating a small grant to research renewable energy. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports

WNPR/Nancy Cohen

The New Haven to Springfield high speed rail line snagged $30 million in federal funding today. But that's far less than the $227 million Connecticut was hoping for.

Governor Dannel Malloy says he's not disappointed with the pay-out.

"You ask for a lot money in the hopes that you're going to get it. Amtrak asked for a lot more than they're getting. Everybody asked for more than they're getting," Malloy says. "No, I'm feeling great. We're going to compete time and time again. We're going to be in those fights. And we're not going to take passes."

Chion Wolf

A new report says almost all low-income residents in Connecticut's biggest cities have access to public transportation. But those buses, shuttles and trains are often too infrequent to get them to work.

After two years of crunching data, Alan Berube was surprised to find that nearly 70 percent of people in America's metropolitan areas have access to public transit.

That's true in Connecticut too. But "access" here could just mean a bus runs down your street every half hour.

flicker user smaedli

Earlier this week, Connecticut received $30 million federal dollars for the New Haven to Springfield rail project. As the money starts to trickle in, WNPR is checking in with a few towns along the line to see how they're preparing. The first stop is Meriden, a city well on its way to welcoming the train.

Meriden's downtown isn't that different from those in other industrial towns in Connecticut. After manufacturing dried up, retail fled to the malls and slowly, all that was left behind started to crumble.

Environmental Groups Attack Governor’s 'Plan B'

May 12, 2011

While Governor Malloy continues to negotiate with state employee 
unions for $2 billion in concessions, his budget chief has come up
with a contingency plan to balance the budget. It’s known as “Plan B”.

As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports, Plan B proposes cutting more than 20% 
of the new Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the 
entire staff at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

Photo Courtesy Cricket Hill Garden

Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, Connecticut is one of the only farms in the country cultivating a rare perennial variety ... the Chinese tree peony. As part of WNPR's Small Business Project, Andrew Huston spoke with members of the family who run the garden about their plans to improve the business.

In the coming weeks, the woody shrubs lining Cricket Hill Garden’s woodland terraced garden will burst with large, fragrant, colorful blossoms.

East Haddam Selectboard Votes No On Land Swap

May 9, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would swap a piece of preserved land in Haddam with a developer for a much larger property. But officials in East Haddam have voted against the deal and are sending a letter to lawmakers and the state’s environmental Commissioner arguing against the swap. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Keney Park in Hartford Receives $96,000 For Trails

May 6, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Keney Park in Hartford has received a $96,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The money will be spent to improve hiking  trails. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

A crowd gathered in front of a windswept pond to celebrate the grant. The pond is part of the park’s 693 acres which includes trails for hiking, biking, and even a golf course. Henry Hester, of the Friends of Keney Park, says the money will pay for enhancing trails and creating a web-based trail guide

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