Archive for October, 2007

CT Dept Public Utility Control Denies AT&T’s IPTV

October 24, 2007

In a surprising anti-consumer action the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control has denied the application of AT&T to continue with it’s roll out of IPTV fiber optical services in  Connecticut. This can affect some 7000 customers already enrolled in the program which represents a major advance in television technology and utilization. Also hundreds of jobs for technicians trained in the new application may be in jeopardy. The new application named AT&T U-verse was the subject of the following news release from the company (10/01/07):

Beginning today, Connecticut consumers will benefit from a new law that enables more choices for video entertainment. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today submitted an application to the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control to become a Certified Competitive Video Provider. Further demonstrating its commitment to bringing the benefits of video choice to more consumers in the state, the company also announced that AT&T U-verseSM TV and Internet services are now available to more than 135,000 homes in Connecticut in parts of 40 cities and towns.

However, now various sources including TVovernet and FreedomWorks, have announced the CT DPUC denial of the franchise:

In a surprising anti-consumer decision, the Connecticut Department of Public Utility rejected AT&T’s application to expand its U-verse IPTV service further across Connecticut. This is surprising because AT&T was granted a statewide video franchise, but the CDPU shockingly classified IPTV as a cable offering. By forcing IPTV to conform to 1970’s era regulatory standards designed for cable monopolies, the CDPU and state attorney general have sided against competition and the free market.

Connecticut is the only state to consider IPTV a cable system, and therefore it is not covered under video franchise law. Unfortunately for Connecticut’s consumers, this decision will prompt AT&T to stop investing in Connecticut’s telecom sector, terminating 1300 jobs and ending service to over 7000 consumers rather than attempt to comply with recalcitrant bureaucratic regulators.

Complaints to the CT DPUC may be addressed here.

An interesting video about this emerging technology from Tellabs is here.

Open Space on Nov 6 Ballot

October 18, 2007

      Help Preserve Middletown’s

      Farms and Open Space

    On the Nov. 6 ballot, there will be a question asking voters if the city should borrow up to $2 million for acquisition and preservation of farmland and open spaces.  This could preserve hundreds of acres.

    These City funds may be matched by up to $4 million in State or Federal funding.

    Vote ‘YES’ on Question # 2 November 6

    • To help preserve the scenic and rural character of our city.
    • To help protect wildlife habitat and the health of Middletown’s environment.
    • To help save the city money.  Residential development actually costs much more in city services than it generates in taxes.
    • To help preserve working farms and local agricultural products and jobs. Over 4,000 acres of Middletown farmland have been lost in the past.
    • To help provide outdoor recreational opportunities for Middletown residents.

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More Information:

Tags: open space,nov 6 election,ballot question,farmland preservation,middletown ct,sample ballot,jonah center

O’Rourke’s Diner News….

October 15, 2007

MIDDLETOWN – With a new roof and floor foundation installed, construction is underway at O’Rourke’s Diner.
Work on the burned building began three weeks ago, said Larry Marino of Marino Crane. Marino estimates the diner will be rebuilt in three or four mouths.
The diner suffered a fire in August of last year, was closed due to damage and was not covered by insurance. Marino is one of many in the community who rallied in support of the historic eatery, raising about $200,000 to go toward the building’s restoration.
In August, the Common Council unanimously approved a $25,000 grant toward the restoration project and acknowledged O’Rourke’s place in the history of Middletown. In business for more than 60 years, O’Rourke’s fed masses from Middletown and beyond.

Middletown Press (10/08/07)

Meanwhile star chef Brian O’Rourke is guest chef at It’s Only Natural Restaurant (ION) where he presides over Sunday brunch.
More info: O’Rourke’s Diner

Wesleyan Connection

Also , Wesleyan’s Center for Film Studies will present a benfit screening of the film “Diner” on Sunday October 21 at 7:30 PM in the Goldsmith Family Cinema on campus. Tickest are $10.00 for students and $15.00 for the general public including seniors. All proceeds go to help rebuild O’Rourke’s Diner. The 1982 film was written and directed by Barry Levinson. Box Office: 860.685.3355 for tickets.

The You Tube video below is the hilarious “Popcorn” scene from the film.

Save the date: The next meeting of the Jonah Center will be on Tuesday, October 16, at 7 p.m. at First Church, 190 Court Street

Tags: o’rourke’s diner,wesleyan,ion,it’s only natural,brian levinson,diner,film benefit,jonah center

It’s the Humidity Stupid!

October 11, 2007

For as long as I can remember we denizens of the East Coast U.S. have sweated out many a summer hearing reports of much higher temps in our Southwest and thinking how much worse that must be; but, friends would always retort, “it’s not the heat but the humidity that causes discomfort; it’s much drier out there”. Now there’s a report claiming humidity is rising due to human presence and activity. Increasing humidity is the latest component in the “human activity=global warming” alarmism scam. Yahoo News reports (10/10/07):

Study: Rise in humidity caused by humans

WASHINGTON – With global warming, the world isn’t just getting hotter — it’s getting stickier, due to humidity. And people are to blame, according to a study based on computer models published Thursday. The amount of moisture in the air near Earth’s surface rose 2.2 percent in less than three decades, the researchers report in a study appearing in the journal Nature.

This report seems to be yet another example of scientists’ scrambling to make data fit their “consensus” agenda. One portion of the study showed that, indeed, humidity in the U.S. East had increased but the U.S West, South Africa, and parts of Australia were drier. I, and many others, are skeptical that experts with their precious computer models can make such firm predictions about so complex a system as the earth’s weather and climate.

“This story does now fit together; there are now no loose ends,” said Ben Santer, a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and author of the September study on moisture above the oceans. “The message is pretty compelling that natural causes alone just can’t cut it.”

The studies make sense, said University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver, who was not part of either team’s research.

No loose ends, compelling messages, sensible studies indeed.

Tags: climate crisis,global warming hoax,humidity,scientific climate studies,computer models,rising humidity

Farmland Preservation News

October 8, 2007

A combination of federal, state, and town monies enabled the forever preservation of the Crooke Orchards farm in Ashford. Owing to an overwhelming local attitude of approval towards saving this 148 acre parcel from deveopment owner Elaine Crooke received over $500 thousand for the development rights. The contribution was divided 37.5% each from federal and state, and 25% from the town of Ashford. The Hartford Courant reports today:

Two years ago, the legislature instituted a $30 real estate conveyance fee for the towns, and about a fifth of an estimated $25 million in revenue from that goes to farmland preservation and other state Department of Agriculture programs, said J. Joseph Dippel, director of the preservation program.

“The Crooke farm was the first closing that occurred with this program,” Dippel said, adding that the new process is much faster than awaiting state bonding. About 10 other towns, including Suffield, Woodstock, Pomfret, Hebron, Shelton and Simsbury, are among the most active in protecting farmland.

317 Bebbington Road (1 mi from Jct Rt 44 & 89)
Ashford, CT 06278
(860) 429-5336

The beautiful farm pictured at the top of the page is one in Killington PA. Pennsylvania is another state very active in farmland preservation.

Farmland preservation is becoming a necessity in the United States, which produces the majority of the world’s farmland crops. However, each year America loses more than one million acres of farmland that had been dedicated to growing the world’s food supply.

“In addition to providing a source of fresh food, farmland supplies habitat for wildlife, green open space, and filters for clean air and water,” said Ralph Grossi, president of American Farmland Trust, a nationwide farmland conservation group. “By identifying and protecting our best agricultural land, we can safeguard the family farms and farm businesses that drive local economies.”

Source of above

See important Jonah Center news on our Jonah Center page; new posting today.