The Day: High Bacteria Counts at New London Beaches

The Ledge Light Health District announced Thursday that bathing water sampling it conducted on Monday showed that L&M Beach on Pequot Avenue had elevated bacterial levels.

The area was posted with an advisory, and swimming or wading in the waters is discouraged until further notice.

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Public Dollars without Public Scrutiny

The legislation that authorized the state to fund this new organization specifically defined it as a non-public body that would be exempt from public access requirements. Dalio, whose foundation required this arrangement as a condition of their donation, sees this as a strength, telling the AP that “people will feel more free to be open about disagreeing, coming to consensus,” in private conversations.

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WSJ: American Suburbs Swell Again as a New Generation Escapes the City

In an echo of the postwar baby boom, many U.S. suburbs are again suffering growing pains: not enough schools, too much traffic for two-lane roads, and scenic farmland plowed under for housing tracts.

After several years of surging urban growth, Apex and suburbs like it now account for 14 of the 15 fastest-growing U.S. cities with populations over 50,000, according to the census.

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NYT: Right meets Left on Housing Regulation

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday creating a commission that will recommend ways to cut regulations that stymie new housing construction, embracing an idea shared by affordable housing advocates on the left, and even by Barack Obama.

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Strong Towns: The High Price of Affordable Housing

[T]he case has been made that plenty of publicly subsidized affordable housing costs considerably more to build that market rate housing.  Private developers are able to build new multi-family housing at far lower cost. One local builder has constructed new one-bedroom apartments in Portland at cost of less than $100,000 a unit, albeit with fewer amenities and in less central locations that most publicly supported projects. 

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CT Mirror: Introspection in Wake of UTC Departure

“We have two economies, Massachusetts and Connecticut, that appear to be so homogenous in many ways,” said Donald Klepper-Smith, an economist. “Why is it that the jobs recovery is 340 percent in Massachusetts, while Connecticut is stuck at 81 percent? You could probably write a doctoral thesis on that.” READ MORE

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News Biz and Social Media

The story says TP experienced a 40% decline in ad revenues in just one year. This has spurred a new flurry of conversation about the financial woes of the news media and the particular claim that the news industry somehow used the platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as crutches or outsourced their traffic and distribution and monetization to the platforms and now have only themselves to blame.  READ MORE

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CGA Approves Wind Expansion

With little debate, the Senate unanimously approved legislation, already passed in the House, that requires 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind – that’s roughly the same size as Millstone – by 2030, about the time the nuclear plant’s recently approved new contract runs out. But the 2,000 level is a maximum, not a minimum – which is how other states structure their mandates.

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With Sewers Exceeding Capacity, Mystic Searches for Solutions

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“We’re doing the study to find out how clean water is getting into the system,” Nettleton said. “Inflow is the flow getting into the system by sump pumps in basements. Infiltration is flow getting in through cracks in the pipes and leaking manholes.” Nettleton noted that sump pumps, which are illegal in the town, are a “big problem” in Mystic. The problem is commonplace in many communities, officials said. Read more here

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Budget Revisits TOD Authority

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Tucked away in the budget bill is a provision to form the Municipal Redevelopment Authority, a quasi-public agency that could bond for city and town development efforts across Connecticut. The projects must be concentrated downtown or within a half-mile of a transit facility.

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A First Look at the Budget

Legislators will open the session’s final week Monday expected to pass a new state budget that keeps income tax rates flat, expands the sales tax and raises levies on prepared foods, e-cigarettes, plastic bags, alcoholic beverages and the sale of expensive houses.

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Phaneuf Outlines Budget Deal

Gov. Ned Lamont and Democratic legislative leaders announced a tentative, two-year $43 billion budget deal Thursday that does not contain the income tax hike on the wealthy sought by progressives in the General Assembly.

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Bucking a Trend on Incentives

“You want to know where the growth comes from? It comes from guys who are already here, thinking about whether to expand here or expand somewhere else,” Lamont said. “So we’re going to get our best leads and initial growth, I think, right here. So rather than shooting that elephant from out of state, hoping to lure them in, let’s start with the folks who are already part of our family.” Read More: Connecticut steps away from big-ticket incentives

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Redefining Rural Success

….About 6 in 10 U.S. adults who consider themselves “rural” live in an area classified as metropolitan by standards similar to those used above, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in 2017. And 3 in 4 of the adults who say they live in a “small town”? They’re also in a metro area. Read more: The real (surprisingly comforting) reason rural America is doomed to decline

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Energy Not Transportation

"Although not a spectacular ranking, Connecticut placed 37 for transportation. But it was its energy infrastructure that drove Connecticut’s ranking into the bottom five."

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A Shift on Housing?

Lisa Tepper Bates, Lamont’s senior coordinator for housing and transit-oriented development, said in an interview that the administration hopes to bring change by adopting a "different philosophy, which is to go to the communities and try and have this discussion and try and see how far we can get."

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Giulietti on TOD

“Putting a [transit-oriented development] next to an active rail yard has never worked successfully because of the constant noise of the trains moving, the horns blowing — all the things that people don’t want to live next to” -- CTDOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti

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iCRV Schedule Highlights

When people ask whether we have a print edition, we say, no, we have radio. And by radio, we mean our partners at iCRV in Ivoryton, CT. In addition to our weekly program, "Big Questions in Small Places," iCRV provides a wealth of local music, voices, and connections. Click here find out what's on the air this week!

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Earth Abides

CT Examiner senior reporter Cate Hewitt is currently reading "Earth Abides," a dystopian novel about the aftermath of a catastrophe that has wiped out almost the U.S. entire population.

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Lessons from Yale’s James C. Scott

Curious how a left-leaning academic could find common ground with self-described Swamp Yankees in rural Rhode Island, Greens, Democrats and Republicans in coastal Connecticut? Read James C. Scott’s Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed.

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