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Environment

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Colebrook Wind Farm Approved Amidst Protests

Jun 9, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

The Connecticut Siting Council has voted to approve the second of two wind projects in Colebrook. The Council approved turbines that are shorter than the ones the company originally proposed. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports a number of protesters were there for the vote.

House And Senate Approve Huge Energy Bill

Jun 8, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, piitaya

The House and Senate have passed a large energy bill designed to create a new Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the Governor is expected to sign it.

Esty Still Silent On Land Swap

Jun 7, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Connecticut’s environmental Commissioner sent a letter to three lawmakers today who asked him to weigh in on a controversial bill to swap state conservation land with a developer. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports Commissioner Esty says the issue is a legislative matter.

Lawmakers To Esty: Offer An Opinion On Land Swap

Jun 7, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Three lawmakers are asking the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to weigh in on a controversial proposal to swap land in Haddam. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

About two dozen environmental groups are opposing a bill that would swap a state-owned parcel of land in Haddam with another property owned by a group of developers. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports a new amendment was proposed yesterday that would require the state’s environmental agency to review the land swap

Springfield In Shambles After Tornado

Jun 3, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Tornadoes in New England aren’t common, especially ones that leave behind a lot of damage. But yesterday a series of twisters ripped through western Massachusetts, killing three people. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen  reports

Just before four in the afternoon yesterday, forty four year old Marisol Mendez was standing on her porch in the south end of Springfield when she saw a huge black cloud clamp down from above. Her first reaction? Capture it on her cell phone camera. But then she dashed inside into a closet. Her hand clutching the door knob fighting the wind:

Delivering From The Farm To The Kitchen

Jun 3, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

There’s been a growing demand for local food. But getting the food from the farm to consumers can take a lot of time and effort. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports on one business that’s trying to fill that niche.

The restaurant at the Copper Beach Inn in Ivoryton has set a big goal for itself. 90% of the food it serves this summer will be local

“Potatoes, onions, salt, everything!”

Clean Up Crews Get To Work In Springfield

Jun 3, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown say they’ll advocate for federal assistance, after three tornadoes ripped through the state. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports

Clean up crews have been at work, collecting debris cutting up trees and assessing damage. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says the state is doing everything to get people back on their feet.

“As devastating and as disruptive this we will get through it. But folks should know they’re not alone.”

A series of tornadoes ripped through the Springfield, Massachusetts area yesterday afternoon, tearing off roots, uprooting trees, scattering debris and leaving at least four dead.  We talked to WNPR's Nancy Cohen who was live at the scene. 

Lots of Snow Makes For Good Maple Syrup Year

May 27, 2011
Serri Graslie/WNPR

Abnormal snowfall this winter may have made the season a pain for many Connecticut residents, but it's shaping up to be a boon for local maple syrup producers. Area farmers have sap flows they haven't seen in years.

Ron Wenzel's sugar house is a little oasis each winter

"My wife calls this my man cave; I'm up here for 10, 12 days," he says.

Abundant Snow Makes for a Good Maple Syrup Year

May 27, 2011
Serri Graslie/WNPR

Abnormal snowfall this winter may have made the season a pain for many Connecticut residents, but it's shaping up to be a boon for local maple syrup producers. Aea farmers have sap flows they haven't seen in years. Ron Wenzel's sugar house is a little oasis each winter. "My wife calls this my man cave; I'm up here for 10, 12 days," he says.

Serri Graslie/WNPR

Earlier this month, Connecticut received $30 million for the New Haven to Springfield rail project from the federal government. 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 next stop is Enfield, where one neighborhood hopes the momentum of the train will help turn around the city's fractured reputation.

Serri Graslie/WNPR

Earlier this month, Connecticut received $30 million for the New Haven to Springfield rail project from the federal government. 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 next stop is Enfield, where one neighborhood hopes the momentum of the train will help turn around the city's fractured reputation.

A lot of urban planners in Connecticut have this phrase -- "good bones."

These Islands Are For The Birds

May 26, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Beginning this week, residents are being asked to stay off two Connecticut islands. Connecticut’s environmental agency wants to allow the birds to nest, undisturbed. The public will not be allowed on Duck Island in Westbrook or on Charles Island in Milford until the beginning of September.

These Islands Are For The Birds

May 26, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Beginning this week residents are being asked to stay off two Connecticut islands. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports Connecticut’s environmental agency wants to allow the birds to nest, undisturbed

The public will not be allowed on Duck Island in Westbrook or on Charles Island in Milford until the beginning of September.

Flickr Creative Commons, Jeremy Levine Design

Today's show is intended mainly to answer questions about ways you can adapt your own living space to use alternative energy sources.

susteph, creative commons

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.

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