CABLEVISION story above (c) on the AFTER THE STORM program.  The Witt Associates' report HERE.
Moderator of first Forum on Demand.  Weston FORUM article here.  TWO STORM PANEL RECOMMENDATIONS


Forum on Demand:  An idea whose time has come.
In 1992, the League of Women Voters of Weston envisioned the day when the people would need a platform to express themselves "on demand" and not wait for "Speak Up" to fill in their political leaders...on what actions are needed NOW. 

Used only once before, to discuss the Lachat Property and its future, this year's "After the Storm" program proved to be of broad interest - even Cablevision sent a cameraman and a reporter!



After the Storm: November 19, 2011, 10:30am to 12 noon.  Who knew what to expect?

THE PANEL
L-r:  Charlene Chaing-Hillman, Director of Social Services;  Dr. Colleen Palmer and Chairman of the Board of Education Phil Schaefer; First Selectman Gayle Weinstein; 

Police Chief John Troxell;   Fire Department representative and P&Z Chair. Stephan Grozinger.  Paula Savignol of the Weston LWV Steering Committee moderated...

THE AUDIENCE

Moderated by Paula Savignol of the LWV of Weston (above right), everyone got their turn...

------------

A Picture Story from Saturday morning November 19, 2011 "Forum on Demand..."
And so it began, on time, and ran over a bit because, as we expected, people had a lot to say!


ON TV TONIGHT?  YES!  And shown live on Town TV plus reruns...
Cablevision sent a reporter and a cameraman.  Some well thought out observations, some fear for the winter to come with no solutions at hand, and clear, cold anger.



Recommendations flowed
From audience to panel and back again on how exactly the power lines related to one another and to...generators & cable towers...what did the Governor's TWO STORM PANEL come up with?
Storm panel adopts 82 recommendations
Ken Dixon, Staff Writer, CT POST
Updated 10:44 a.m., Monday, January 9, 2012

HARTFORD -- The governor's Two Storm Panel adopted a list of 82 recommendations Monday morning aimed at preparing the state for the next big storm.   The top suggestion calls for "reasonable performance standards" for utility recovery and restoration.  The recommendations, in eight chapters, also call for revisions to state engineering standards to anticipate higher sea levels due to climate changes.
It took the eight-member panel less than 10 minutes to adopt the recommendations prior to a news conference held by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.  The report "strongly" recommends better communications between utility workers and management.  Also suggested: Better standards for backup power requirements and communication infrastructure.  The report was prepared after eight meetings that began in September.

"It really moved the state forward in preparing for the next storm," said Joseph McGee, co-chairman of the panel, which disbanded after the session.

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT POST website]


BUDGET IMPLICATIONS
Dr. Palmer was spectacularly clear and leaderly.  No nonsense.  She explained exactly WHY decisions are made the way they are about school closings.  The high school will be the Town's emergency location in future storms at her suggestion.  She noted that its capacity to service the 21st century Westonites' needs was up to date!   There are boys and girls showers there, the auditorium can seat @600 and she said that some home businesses had to operate out of its Library (we know some folks used the Town Hall and the Town Library in addition).  Stephan Grozinger pointed out that since August there have been about 70 applications for large generators.  In his official capacity as Fire Department representative on this panel he pointed out the fire hazards that exist when operating small generators not "licensed" by P&Z - or maybe they are and no one comes in for a permit?  First Selectman Weinstein, about to start the Town budget process, seems to be calculating the increases in next year's budget (FY'13)...


PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
All in all, it was a good first step to gaining the trust of the people of Weston, who will have to endure the winter and pay for a great deal out of pocket.  One Westonite who actually saw "arcing" shares that chilling experience.  Another Westonite has a raft of suggestions for organizational change.  This is just the beginning of finding a way forward - "deregulation" may need some adjustment, as one or more participants suggested.  Vice Chair. of the Board of Education ponders the whole scope of what she heard in this League meeting which was live on Channel 79 and on a re-run schedule of 2pm every day...


Lessons learned in Weston 'After the Storm'
Weston FORUM
Written by Kimberly Donnelly
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 11:46

There could have been a lot of whining and complaining and finger-pointing at the League of Women Voters of Weston’s After the Storm forum last Saturday. But there wasn’t.

Instead, residents shared ideas and information, and tried to focus on how things might be made better in the future if — and most agreed it was more a matter of when — another weather event hits town.

The league asked a panel of town officials to address residents’ comments and questions, but the mood was informal, convivial, and information passed back and forth between the panel and those in the audience.

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said what she took away from the forum more than anything was that “anyone with a dog in the fight” — CL&P, the phone companies, cable, the town, schools and residents — “needs to coordinate their efforts a little better.”

She suggested that some of the emergency tabletop exercises done on a regional basis should include more players, such as the utilities, phone companies (including wireless providers) and state agencies.

In addition, it’s clear that maintenance of power lines and the trees that surround them need more attention, she said.

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Weston FORUM website]


Forum on Demand #1
Lachat property:  Public sends message to revive the building committee
Weston FORUM
by PATRICIA GAY
 Jun 21, 2006

Selectman Glenn Major heard loud and clear that people want an idle building committee to be revitalized so it can come up with a new plan for the Lachat property.    

On Wednesday, June 14, a public forum called Lachat: What Now? sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Weston was attended by about 50 people at the Weston Public Library to discuss the next steps to take in the development of the Lachat property off Godfrey Road.

Several members of the audience asked if the building committee for the project, which was orignally made up of representatives from the Nature Conservancy and representatives from the town, could be reactivated with additional members appointed to provide more diversity.

Mr. Major took that request to the selectmen the next day. He recommended a review of the present makeup of the Lachat building committee and proposed expanding it to include members of the public and certain interest groups.

At the forum, different sides of the Lachat issue were presented by a panel of speakers, followed by a question and answer session with the audience. It was moderated by Richard Troxell.

The panel included Mr. Major, George Guidera, former first selectman, Carolyn Mulcahey of the Lachat Preservation Alliance, a group opposed to the town’s plan of development for the property, and Steve Patton, the director of The Nature Conservancy’s Devil’s Den Preserve.

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the Weston FORUM website]