Thursday, April 24, 2008

Open forum 4/24

I haven't done an open forum in a while. Feel free to bring up anything on your mind... and don't be shy about writing a front page guest post either.

The Cheshire Republican Town Committee met tonight. State GOP Chair Chris Healy stopped by unexpectedly. He had two things on his mind:

1) President Bush visiting a Dave Cappiello fundraiser at Henry Kissinger's house and
2) They're really recruiting people to run for each of the 187 legislative seats this year. (I added my two cents and encouraged David Schrumm to run against Tom Gaffey. Frankly, with public funding I wouldn't be surprised to see him jump in and go for it.)
On the way home from Town Hall tonight, I noticed that the Mobil station ultra was $4.14/gallon. The mid-range was $3.99 and the cheap stuff that I use was $3.89. Hello $4 gas!

According to Capitol Watch (by Christopher Keating), the state Senate passed a crime bill sans "3 strikes." It passed 32-3 with Sam Caligiuri opposed. "You will be lying to the people of Connecticut if you tell them'' that the bill includes tough, mandatory minimum sentences, he said. "It's nothing close to what the people of Connecticut'' want.

According to the MRJs Andrew Perlot, state funding for the linear park is moving forward.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Why is that the gas prices at the Mobil & Citgo in the south end of town are always $0.15 to $0.20 or more higher than the the Citgo near Maple Ave.?
It may be worth the 2 mile trip to save that much.

tim white said...

not sure, but even the citgo and mobil in the south end are usually significantly different.

For me though, I try to avoid Citgo. As much distaste as I have for the oil companies making their record profits right now... Hugo Chavez and the stories I've heard of his nationalization of the media is truly despicable.

Anonymous said...

By Peter DeMarco
April 24, 2008
Tuesday was Earth Day, but this year I'm not thinking green; I'm thinking brown, as in Big Brown, United Parcel Service.
Why UPS? Because I just found out a fairly crazy fact about UPS drivers: They make a conscious effort not to make left-hand turns.
Company leaders figured out that sitting in traffic, waiting to make a left, burns way too much fuel. So they zapped as many left turns as they could from 100,000 truck routes a day.
Instead, drivers are handed computer-generated delivery routes that have them going in efficiently calculated loops, calling for left turns only when necessary.
"You start on the right-hand side of the street and you stay on the right-hand side of the street almost all of the day," said Dan McMackin, a former UPS driver who is now a company spokesman. "The only left turn you make is to come home."
According to the company, this simple technique saves an eye-popping amount of gasoline. "In the last year alone," a UPS release stated, "this system has shaved nearly 30 million miles off UPS's delivery routes, saved 3 million gallons of gas, and reduced emissions by 32,000 metric tons of CO2 - the equivalent of removing 5,300 passenger cars off the road for an entire year."
I doubt any of us can make it through the day without left-hand turns. (Even UPS drivers can't avoid making them in a city as congested as Boston, says Jimmy, my local delivery guy.) But I like what UPS does because it proves you don't have to own a hybrid to save gasoline; you just need to tweak the way you drive. And you might be shocked at how much gas you can potentially save.
Still skeptical? Let me direct you to, a terrific government website that breaks down in dollars and cents just how much fuel you waste when you drive over 60 miles per hour, have low air pressure in your tires, or fail to replace a clogged air filter.
How much gas could you be wasting on just these three items? Let's add it up.
Most engines don't run efficiently past 60 miles per hour. For every 5 miles per hour you drive over 60, you're probably wasting 20 cents' worth of gasoline per gallon, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy, which cosponsor (The 20 cents is based on a cost of $3.23 a gallon.)
The amount of waste is smaller for economy cars and higher on big SUVs. But on average, if you drive 70 on the highway, you're essentially wasting 40 cents of gas per gallon.
If your tire pressure is too low, you're burning an extra 10 cents of gas per gallon.
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, the EPA states. A dirty air filter, which keeps impurities out of your engine, translates to a waste of about 32 cents of gasoline per gallon, based on current prices.
All told, that's 82 cents of gasoline you're wasting per gallon. Worried about paying more than $4 a gallon for fuel this summer? Guess what: If you're wasting this much gas, you already are.
David Greene,'s senior researcher, said, however, that most drivers aren't wasting that much fuel. Most people do replace their air filters, he said. Most people spend only a half or third of their driving time on a highway, and even then, they're not always going faster than 60, he said.
Still, your driving attitude absolutely can affect your car's mileage. If you're serious about saving gas, then no more speeding, no more tailgating and slamming on the brakes, no more leaving your weighty golf clubs in the back seat all year long, no more warming up your car for 10 minutes in the winter, no more gunning your engine at a green light, no more skipping your regular tune-up, and no more - dare I say it - beating everyone else on the road so you get there first.
Indeed, perhaps the most important gas-saving tip, aside from keeping your car in good shape, is simply to stop driving so aggressively, Greene says.
"That's the thing you have the most control over, and has the biggest impact."
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, braking) can lower gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. If you split your driving time between the two, you're wasting about 45 cents per gallon, all because you're in a rush.
Of course, it's a tall order to ask Boston drivers to drive less aggressively. But at least one group of drivers I found proves it can be done. Toyota's uber-efficient Prius hybrid gets great mileage not only because it uses electricity, but because Prius owners make a game out of saving gas.
Each car has what's called an "instantaneous fuel economy gauge" that shows your miles per gallon for each moment you're driving. If you floor it at a yellow light, your gauge will drop to 10 or 12 miles to the gallon because your engine's working too hard, says Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong. If you're coasting down a big hill, your gauge will soar to something like 90 miles to the gallon because you're letting gravity do the work.
"It's no different than the old days [the 1970s] when people used vacuum gauges to monitor their engine efficiency," Kwong said. To maintain a high trip miles per gallon, drivers learn to ease into stops, coast downhill, maintain steady speeds on highways, and avoid idling.
Kwong, who owns a Prius, said he's learned to increase his average trip miles per gallon by 5 or 6 miles by driving "conservatively." Were you to start driving like Kwong, the same gains would apply for your nonhybrid as well.
You can find a horde of fuel saving tips at, on AAA's website, or at another automotive site,
© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.
Mike Rocci

Anonymous said...

Getty is owned now by Lukoil, a Russian firm controlled by one of Putin's buddies.

BP hired Rosa DeLauro's husband (Stan Greenberg) to run a PR cmapaign "greenwashing" their environmental record.

Lots of folks are busy gouging us. I try and make sure they cash they absond with when I buy gas from me goes into the Neiman-Marcus catalog if I can. It has less chance of being used against me in other forms

Anonymous said...

We are receiving an extra ONE million in "PILOT" money. Will this go into our huge rainy day fund? Why do my taxes keep going up and we get more from the State?

Anonymous said...

"We are receiving an extra ONE million in "PILOT" money"

State tax receipts are already off $150M for the year. Don't count on any money from Hartford until the check clears. And if it does, act as if the check won't be cut next year as we peer into the fiscal abyss. Speaker Donovan will make sure labor unions and big cities will be well taken of from the the nickels left in the piggy bank in '09. "Rich" towns like Cheshire, not so much.

Anonymous said...

I read on another blog about the salaries of Cheshire Town employees and Boe. Now I know why the Police Chief needs a raise. Four of his Subordinates make more??? Dr. Florio is the 3rd highest paid Supt.(he never mentions this with all his other regional comparisons during the budget process). It's not that important I guess? What an eye opener. They might deserve the money but are we (the public) getting our tax monies worth??

tim white said...

Comparing salaries can be misleading. I find "total compensation" to be more useful.

Anonymous said...

If I did that it would make me sick.