This is not an official document, and only expresses the thoughts of this webpage - begun November 13, 2012.

NEW online book here;


What new standards might mean for C.B.I.A.?  De or Re regulation related I-BBC on NYCman-made land, and some other reportshow to   inspire organizational change;  how to just inspire?  Mixed messages?

P L A N N I N G   A L T E R N A T I V E   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   W E S T O N   I N   O R D E R   T O   L I V E   I N    A   S U S T A I N A B L E   W A Y : 
Standards for Municipal and Individual Security in Weston and a Timeline for Action, a Study by "About Town" inspired by the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

CONTENTS:  The Chapters

NEWS U.N. reviews individual plans prior to Paris:
E.P.A. rules to increase powers of the Federal Government halted for now:
E.P.A. promulgates new rules;  Climate Change in CT;  shoring up sewage treatment plants against flooding:

CT Legislature 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE IN CTLegislative double-speak?  Budget Implementer includes this G.M.O. setback:

The introduction
Philosophical underpinnings

Chapter One:  How could this, adapting "sustainability" as a measure for all municipal actions, work in Weston?

Chapter Two:  Government and other man-made entities.  How do we build consensus?

Chapter Three: 
What is our existing infrastructure model for municipal and individual security?  How has it been tested in the last two years?  What should we do next?

Chapter Four:  Foundations for the Plan.  Implementation by consensus.

BACKGROUND:  Weston EMS, WVFD activities previously, as recorded on this website
And the story of Lachat homestead and farm and how it came to pass that the Town of Weston creatively used legal techniques to preserve open space and encourage sustainability.


News and other reports:

Signs of Liquid Water Found on Surface of Mars, Study Says
SEPT. 28, 2015

"Blood moon" above, original graphic (Sunday September 27, 2015 at night) and then some Red Planet news:

The encyclical and a story from The DAY:

Former Commissioner of D.E.E.P. Professor Dan Esty
addressed the issue of sustainability at Yale in April of his presentation here:

From the LWV of Weston video...

Prof. Esty now believes that the people themselves, from the bottom up, should control the argument.

Not until we all believe the same thing will we be able to vanquish the climate change threat.

He described his efforts on the 1992 Rio agreement which President Bush (HW) signed, and how he thought it was all taken care of! 

So he went into teaching.  And now he knows this "top down" approach doesn't work.


Senate Democrats to Unveil Climate Change Bill
SEPT. 22, 2015

WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic leaders on Tuesday plan to unveil a measure intended to signal their full-throated support of President Obama’s aggressive climate change agenda to 2016 voters and to the rest of the world.

The Democrats hope that the bill, sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell, of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee, will demonstrate a new unity for the party on energy and climate change, and define Democrats’ approach to global warming policy in the coming years...

The Cantwell bill would direct the United States to use its leadership to secure commitments from other countries to cut emissions. The measure would require electric utilities to increase energy efficiency by 20 percent from current levels by 2030. It would also extend tax credits for electric utilities that use wind and solar power, increase spending on research into energy-efficient trucks and factories, and enact policies that would make it cheaper for consumers to invest in their own solar power.

At least two Democrats from states dependent on fossil fuels — Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — will not sign on to the bill, their offices said.

“This is about what we can get done here, now,” Ms. Cantwell said. “There is more coalescence around this, for sure. This is about getting people from Middle America to support some of these concepts.”

Story in full at NYTIMES:

If NYC is an example of the urban - Weston, in these terms, is rural.  What is it about Weston that makes living here like Feng shui In an official-studded announcement that is turning out to be one of the worst kept environmental program secrets in the state, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Friday will unveil plans for a new Institute for Community Resilience and Climate Adaptation at the Avery Point Campus of the University of Connecticut....

HURRICANE SANDY:  Evergreen trees were hit hardest here - our Kousa Dogwood held its own.  "Depth to bedrock"map from D-O - lighter shade of grey, closer to bedrock - shallower root system?  Speaking of Sandy, New Haven tree story at PURA.

What is so special about Weston, Connecticut?  We're #1 for being the least non-residentially zoned community of all 169 in CT!

Bridgeport Hydraulic Company had owned what became the Lucius Pond Ordway Preserve ("Devil's Den"), having flooded a good part of the original town of Weston in order to build the Saugatuck Reservoir in the 1930's.  City-centric development patterns held until the 1950's and 1960's.

We were ahead of the game.  Weston was so remote in the mid 1960's that it showed as a blank spot on the map developed by SWRPA, putting together all 8 towns and their own plans of development.  Before we talked about sustainability, shortly after the first "Earth Day," Weston, CT did it's own "Weston Environmental Resources Manual"  in 1976.  If we use the new Google tool to check the origin of the word "sustainability" we find that it came into the 1970's!

Since no one really knows how much water is below the surface, and no one can guarantee how much rainfall there will be, Weston has always tried not to overtax its natural resources by giving into arguments about increasing ratables by permitting industrial and business development.  Neither have town boards and commissions weakened under the threat of lawsuits for other changes to the all-residential (special permits for apartments and home occupations;  farming permitted as of right) nature of the town..

Sounds like a plan to be sustainable to me!

The Wikipedia definition of "sustainability."
Sustainability in a general sense is the capacity to support, maintain or endure. Since the 1980s human sustainability has been related to the integration of environmental, economic, and social dimensions towards global stewardship and responsible management of resources

What is the E.P.A. definition of "sustainability?"

"Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations."  So says E.P.A.

What is the "triple bottom line?"
"The TBL is an accounting framework that incorporates three dimensions of performance: social, environmental and financial. This differs from traditional reporting frameworks as it includes ecological (or environmental) and social measures that can be difficult to assign appropriate means of measurement. The TBL dimensions are also commonly called the three Ps: people, planet and profits. We will refer to these as the 3Ps."  From a research study at Indiana University.

CHAPTER ONE:  Sustainability as a guiding principle is something the Planet needs.  But what is it?

Google "sustainability" and guess what?  After a few clicks of the mouse, you get to one community's sustainability plan:

While Weston is a small town with volunteer Fire Department and EMS, few employees and volunteer government, and it does not have a written plan for sustainability, it has lived by sustainable principals for as long as I can recall.  In fact, it is and has been at the cutting edge

Why do we say this?  It adopted sustainability goals - the environmental kind.  At this point in the 21st century, some are questioning if the entrenched focus on protecting the natural environment goes against future financial "sustainability."

We are now into more of the "triple bottom line" theory - exchange "minimizing increases in property tax" for "profits."

It is true that you pay better attention to societal problems if they fall close to home.  Example of this in the introduction above, out my front door.   Obvious to me is that this is a global problem as the weather patterns change and as water increases in temperature, hurricanes become more powerful.

In Weston, we have effectively lived "sustainability" since 1976 (Other ideas from "Weston Environmental Resolurces Manual" - Dominski-Oakrock Study).  In 1993, the Weston Water Study investigated water quality in our private wells (a rigorous investigation by Dr. Jan Dunn).  There was no way to accurately assess water quantity - but the concept of maintaining a balanced water cycle was suggested as good policy, in principle.

All the participants in decision making about the Weston environment must be on the same page - coordinated.  For example:

CHAPTER TWO:  Beyond local government.  Federal, State and Voluntary Regional Planning :  OTHER ACTORS - REGULATED PRIVATE ENERGY SUPPLIERS

Those of us inland and upland, on shallow soil areas suffered from Sandy, too!

Federal Role:  Nature Conservancy's work on "sustainability" here.
Will the latest stress on FEMA produce a change in standards for flood insurance, etc.?  Will we change the way we build in flood plains?  How about Climate Change re:  coastal communities?  How about the Army Corps of Engineers role in future policy on these matters?

Connecticut Role:
The immediate questions will be answered;  how does the new State Plan of C&D address this?  Where in the Plan is sustainibility mentioned?  Make that "Three Storm" panel, now.   Read of State Senator e-mail on relief $$.  "Micro-Grid" idea from 2011 here.  What is the role of regulatory agencies (i.e. PURA)?

DEEP to hold hearing on proposed stormwater rule changes

Publication: The Day
By Judy Benson
Published November 29. 2014 4:00AM

Towns will be required to clean catch basins more frequently, sweep roads twice a year to remove sand, salt and leaves, inspect storm drains regularly to check for illegal discharges and sample to find and address the most highly polluted stormwater, under changes proposed by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection...story in full:

Regional Planning role
"Sustainable Communities" for Tri-State Region;  amend the current SWRPA Regional Plan of C&D to make sure "sustainability" is explained and introduced into EVERY PART of the document.
  In 2014, SWRPA holds Hazard and Resiliency Workshops - with the Nature Conservancy...and speaking of regions,SWRPA and HVCEO to its north have been merged as of January 1, 2015.


PURA delays decision on Connecticut utilities’ tree-cutting program
Luther Turmelle,
New Haven Register

NEW BRITAIN >> State regulators will wait a week before issuing a final decision on their review of plans by the state’s electric and telecommunications companies to trim trees near utility poles.

The outcome of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s investigation into the tree-trimming practices of the utilities is being watched closely by customers of the United Illuminating Co., where opposition to the company’s plan has been significant. PURA was to issue its draft decision in the case Wednesday, but the ruling was postponed until Jan. 29 because of what agency spokesman Dennis Schain termed “technical and legal revisions that will require more time than allowed for under the original deadline.”

UI isn’t the only utility whose customers would be affected by PURA decision. But public opposition to its tree-trimming plans has been high profile, with more than 100 people turning out at Hamden Middle School Jan. 15 to protest the plans.

From the perspective of Joe Thomas, UI’s vice president of electric system operations, the utility got the approval it needed to begin implementing the first phase of its eight-year, $100 million tree-trimming program from PURA last year as part of a rate case that was before the regulatory agency.

“What we’re looking for in this latest case with PURA is confirmation of our plan,” Thomas said. “But if PURA decides it wants to make changes, then we’ll make them.”

Right now, UI is in the pilot phase of its tree-trimming program, with work being done in selected areas of Hamden, Orange, Shelton and Bridgeport. The utility’s full-scale rollout of the trimming won’t begin until June.

Nancy Alderman of North Haven was among those who attended the presentation of UI’s tree trimming plans in Hamden. She urged the company and PURA officials to consider some sort of compromise.

“There’s no question there have been problems in the past with trees knocking down electrical wires,” Alderman said. “In areas like schools, hospitals and convalescent homes, the wires should be buried underground. Elsewhere, there should be a respectful pruning of trees, not a wholesale cutting down of them.”

A number of UI customers have sent letters to PURA that are included as part of the agency’s review, saying that the utility’s plan is overly aggressive and would reduce the value of their property if implemented.

Not everyone is opposed to increased tree-trimming efforts. In a letter submitted to PURA last August, Manchester Director of Public Works Mark Carlino voiced his support for Connecticut Light & Power’s enhanced tree trimming program.

“More focused investigation of trees along utility lines and a more comprehensive tree trimming and removal program will lessen the impact that trees will have on overhead utility lines,” Carlino wrote in his letter.

Utility Companies, Insurance Industry Role and other utilities like public transit's Role
PURA scheduling hearings soon, according to sources.  And as creatures of the state, in a manner of speaking, since utility companies are give more freedom to operate than other private businesses, what is the Legislature going to do to deal with them in the next session?  (In terms of rates and other matters.)  NOTE:  Co-Chair. of Energy & Technology Committee defeated for re-election by  candidate with relations to wind energy firm...

First there was Aquarion, the former Bridgeport Hydraulic, years ago now...then there is telecom, with Cablevision to French company...
New Haven’s English Station to be cleaned up under new UIL, Iberdrola deal
By Luther Turmelle, New Haven Register
Posted: 09/17/15, 9:04 AM EDT | Updated: 12 hrs ago

NEW HAVEN >> Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced Thursday they have reached a deal in which UIL Holdings and Spanish energy giant Iberdrola would pay for the full cost of cleaning up the former English Station power plant site...The English Station site is zoned for commercial or industrial use, Massicotte said, which means that the cleanup must meet standards that would allow for such activities to resume. But the threshold for cleanup of a polluted industrial or commercial site is not as stringent...

Story in full:

No vortex, but power use again in polar spike
By: Jan Ellen Spiegel | January 22, 2014

It may not be a true polar vortex, but as far as the independent system operator that runs the New England power grid is concerned – it might as well be.

ISO New England, as it did during the true polar vortex two weeks ago, has posted power alerts system-wide since last night. It essentially means all-hands-on-deck. Power generators that feed the grid must be available – no routine maintenance or testing allowed.

And as happened two weeks ago, natural gas prices are running high as some of the natural gas is being diverted for heat. And once again the region’s plants are burning a whole lot of oil and coal.

Oil is accounting for more than 20 percent of the generation Wednesday. Normally it averages less than one percent. Coal has been running about seven percent of the fuel mix. Normally it averages about three percent.

And as of early afternoon, power demand was running above the predicted demand for the day, with peak power period still several hours away.

CHAPTER THREE:  In the neighborhood (s) many people equals a neighborhood in Weston?

Density map - click for enlargement of SWRPA map.

How does the political system work for or against Weston?  Can we rally other small towns to get action for change?

Should there be an over-arching concept behind what the Town does? 

Can more be done by WCSC than it has done already?

Beyond the "shelter in place" doctrine?

Individual sustainability plans?

What more is left to do?

CHAPTER FOUR:  "Foundations for the Planet Weston" under development..."PPP" stands for people, planet, profits.  "Profits" on a local government scale, in our case.

Depths legend and map,
Weston Environmental Resources Manual 1976, a.k.a."Dominski-Oakrock".

Which is the correct map to use to discuss PPP - one that shows natural resources or one that shows population density - or one that shows centers of community activity?  How about overlaying all of them and seeing what we've got?

Speaking of the map - we are reminded of depth to bedrock map from 1976 Dominski-Oakrock report.  We are reminded of this by comments in this story - Weston already has an idea about depth to bedrock!  Of course, it was presented a long time ago, and it was in reference to septic systems...but bedrock doesn't change unless there earthquake.

WHAT'S NEEDED:  A map or series of maps showing "neighborhoods" and  major communication linkages coordinated with the emergency relief  and services centers and the command center.  Explanation of types of storms/threats and scenarios


GOAL:  Safety and security
POLICIES:  Coordination of  town and private actions
PROGRAMS:  "Shelter in place" requirements planning for short/medium and longer periods; comfort station organization;  provide power to town buildings;  private planning ahead to find alternative solutions

& IMPLEMENTATION: Estimates of needs by type and scale of events, cross-tabulated.  Communication strategy.



Using two issues of interest in CT through the years - the importance of environmental conditions and the value and use of the land - "Eightmile River" and "Re-Evaluation"
pages included here.  Also from among others, SAVE THE SOUND - LONG ISLAND SOUND STUDIES:


Story June 3, 2015 New York TIMES about Knoxville (one of our ten mall cities):

LINK TO WestCOG:  For hazard mitigation study working meeting in 2014 and report now complete.  Not a Weston-centric study.
Study: Shorefront development imperils communities as sea levels rise

By Frank Juliano, Greenwich TIME
Published 8:28 am, Friday, October 23, 2015

Rising sea levels will “drown’’ the salt marshes that protect coastal communities by 2080, causing marsh areas to advance inland and flood existing roads, homes and businesses, a study out Friday says...see story in full:


Everything urban is rural again...sustainability.

C L I M A T E    C H A N G E    I N    C O N N E C T I C U T

LEGEND:  Wetlands/cluster zoning yellow & green, high density mixed use urban development/commercial red and orange.

Connecticut Land Use map after another century of global warming, if NYTIMES report is true:



Public Information meeting.

Conference held in...WATERbury
Continuity of CT as numero uno in environmental leadership:  Gina McCarthy, Dan Esty and now Robert Klee..."e2" new logo for C.B.I.A. committee.

Economic growth not inconsistent with meeting regional air quality standards.
  C.B.I.A. all-day conference; video here:

With New England administrator of EPA leading off, then CT Commissioner of D.E.E.P. and then Deputy Commissioner who just returned after a very long time away from CT DEP, this was a very,very long, all day Q&A with business community who were checking out their bottom line...

Newspaper reports:

Connecticut has a lead in meeting new EPA carbon emissions rule, Malloy says
By Judy Benson, The Day
Published August 03. 2015 4:00PM
Updated August 03. 2015 7:01PM

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee applauded the Clean Power Plan released Monday by President Obama and Environmental Protection Administrator Gina McCarthy, saying the measure is a much-needed step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change.

Story in full:


How to discourage development in vulnerable areas - or will it end up being the reverse?  Read more about use of voluntary program's end in Stonington:

And comments in part from readers of The DAY:  "It seems entirely appropriate that the town not reimburse property holders for the lack of a discount on flood insurance in a flood plain. There are consequences to elections. If the elected officials do not administrate many decisions properly it will negatively effect all of the constituents..."  As well as another remark noting the voluntary nature of the program as well as the financial condition of FEMA itself.

CT MIRROR series on climate change with  focus on shoreline railroad and AMTRAK - how do inland areas relate?  PART ONE and PART TWO.

FIRST MEETING: Governor's Climate Change "GC3":




Reorganization in CT that sounds interesting;  link to CT Transportation Panel regular meetings;  
Governor's CT Transportation Panel PUBLIC HEARING:   

FROM IMPLEMENTER:  Former CT Siting Council called "PURA," one of entities under "DEEP" (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection)
- there is a new quasi public entity, we think, to deal with ports, as we read 1502, the IMPLEMENTER from 2015 Special Session:

Sec 1 - CONNECTICUT PORT AUTHORITY:  There is hereby established and created a body politic and corporate, constituting a public instrumentality and political subdivision of the state of Connecticut established and created for the performance of an essential public and governmental function, to be known as the Connecticut Port Authority. The authority shall not be construed to be a department, institution or agency of the state...


Our running notes are taken as the event played out on my computer
Video is archived at CT-N:
Please read our notesof highlights - or watch the vidoe for
identifying the speakers reported on below.

"Public-Private Partnership" first speaker.  She talks of risks for private sector in "P3" v. government design-build ("sniff-test").  Create "business case" analysis early.  Federal funds for financing PPP.  ("Big Dig" example of not-PPP project.)  "TIFIA" bonds brought up first.

Finance guy second.  Capital planning statewide - some are PPP possibilities or not in re transportation.  Cross-subsidizing regions.  Not just PPP for TIFIA bonds.  How to innovate in cash-strapped environment - next 5 yrs. will determine what the infrastructure will look like in the future - long view v. immediate needs.

Pedestrian and bicycle $$ and using Greater New Haven as a pilot, Senator Looney.  Bus transportation needed for cities.  Also traffic E-W too unpredictable, CTDOT not staffed enough to manage projects.

Transfer of risk = PPP.  Not free money.

Cost of collecting revenue:  DOT funded by sales tax, generally.  Or tolling - not in CT yet!  45% of tolls in London go to collecting tolls.  Check Spain for model.  Europeans keep time shorter to PPP.  Who gets priced off the road?  What did About Town get charged on the trip to NYC for the wedding?

Last speaker reads his stuff. JMO:  Such a bad idea to to talk about Puerto Rico project/transaction when the Governor of Puerto Rico just announced they are going bust...


Public comment: 
Questions & Answers:  How does the government control bad toll projections?

Shoreline infrastructure upgrades unlikely even after second storm in 14 months

Jan Ellen Spiegel, CT MIRROR
November 19, 2012

Guilford -- On a damp, dreary post-Sandy, post-add-insult-to-injury snowstorm afternoon, Guilford Town Planner George Kral surveyed the intersection of state road 146, also called Leetes Island Road, and Sachem's Head Road.

"It floods at extreme high tides under normal conditions and it floods even more significantly during storms," he said, pointing to where 146 runs under a railroad bridge adjacent to a salt marsh. "During the recent Sandy, that road was closed under that bridge for several days because of the high water..."  Series at CT MIRROR.

As Coasts Rebuild and U.S. Pays, Repeatedly, the Critics Ask Why

November 18, 2012

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. — Even in the off season, the pastel beach houses lining a skinny strip of sand here are a testament to the good life.  They are also a monument to the generosity of the federal government.

The western end of this Gulf Coast island has proved to be one of the most hazardous places in the country for waterfront property. Since 1979, nearly a dozen hurricanes and large storms have rolled in and knocked down houses, chewed up sewers and water pipes and hurled sand onto the roads.  Yet time and again, checks from Washington have allowed the town to put itself back together.

Across the nation, tens of billions of tax dollars have been spent on subsidizing coastal reconstruction in the aftermath of storms, usually with little consideration of whether it actually makes sense to keep rebuilding in disaster-prone areas. If history is any guide, a large fraction of the federal money allotted to New York, New Jersey and other states recovering from Hurricane Sandy — an amount that could exceed $30 billion — will be used the same way.

Tax money will go toward putting things back as they were, essentially duplicating the vulnerability that existed before the hurricane...

Please go to the NYTIMES archives for the story in full.



Powerlines in Weston CT (underground in all subdivisions [with very few exceptions] since the 1980's);

Underground v. overhead:  An easy reference source...

Insights on the future of fuel and power (Oct. 2012):  Christian Science Monitor

Local "power brokers" discuss power:  From e-paper, 2011

ENTERGY discusses the issue in 2008:  PROS AND CONS

Remember this story of citizen outcry winning (at least in Weston)?  Power became a political issue locally in 2004 and power supply came to our attention in August of 2001.

6 December 2012 Last updated at 00:37 ET (excerpt)
Suomi satellite pictures Earth in black
By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News, San Francisco

This spectacular night-time view of Earth is called Black Marble.

It has been assembled from a series of cloud-free images acquired by one of the most capable satellites in the sky today - the Suomi spacecraft.

The platform was launched by the US last year, principally to deliver critical meteorological data.  The Black Marble dataset shows off one of Suomi's key innovations: the low-light sensitivity of its VIIRS instrument.VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) can discern a range of phenomena of interest to weather forecasters - cloud, snow, fog, etc - even when the satellite is on the dark side of the Earth.

Most of the time, all VIIRS needs to do its work is some illumination from the Moon. But if that is not available, the instrument can still detect features down below just from the nocturnal glow of the atmosphere itself.

And, of course, just as this Black Marble rendition demonstrates, VIIRS is also very good at capturing the lights of our cities.  The new imagery was unveiled here at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, the largest annual gathering of Earth scientists.  Data from Suomi - a joint Nasa and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite - is certain to become a mainstay of future presentations at this conference...

Root cause: Tree Board aims to revive role, programs
Jarret Liotta, Westport News
Updated 9:05 am, Saturday, February 16, 2013

Westport's Tree Board, hoping to plant the seeds of renewal for its role in town government, is looking for help...story in full at Westport NEWS.


Redding PILOT
By Susan Wolf on November 15, 2012 - adapted for Weston FORUM

New England would not be New England without its trees, nor would Weston be the town it is today if its landscape were only sparsely dotted by trees.

Trees are not the villains in the latest round of power outages besieging the area — blame Mother Nature for that. They do, however, need to be managed better...story in full at Redding PILOT.

Tree debris: Weston deals with familiar post-storm dilemma

Weston FORUM
By Kimberly Donnelly on November 15, 2012

A freak warm-weather storm with hurricane-force winds followed by an early fall snowstorm; blocked roads and extended power outages; comfort stations, charging stations, and more than a week of school cancellations. As Yogi Berra said, it’s déjà vu all over again...story in full at Weston FORUM.


Coastal management legislation balances environmental concerns with property rights
Jan Ellen Spiegel, CT MIRROR
May 9, 2012

In Connecticut's post-storms legislative world, most of the focus has been on how to make sure power outages like the ones the state suffered in August and October never happen again...story in full:  CT MIRROR.