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Klarides joins Woodbridge citizens in questioning DOT’s plans to change the intersection of Routes 67 & 63

State Representative Themis Klarides (R-114) is raising concerns about the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed changes to the intersection of Routes 67 and 63 in Woodbridge following public outcry that the project will diminish road safety.

Earlier this month Rep. Klarides met with DOT Commissioner James Redeker for an update on the project, which was conceived of almost a decade ago following only one traffic study performed in January 2004.

Rep Klarides’ concerns were heightened by the issuance of a report created by a group of concerned community representatives, titled Analysis, Facts and The Truth Behind the 63/67 Intersection Construction, in which the decade-old study performed by the DOT for a 24 hour period in January of 2004 was analyzed.

The report raised questions about the construction project, including the use of outdated data. Many residents believe the traffic signal will increase congestion and pollution, reduce the accessibility of driveways and side streets and increase the number of accidents. They also anticipate that leveling of the road will encourage speeding, and believe the walk signal is unneeded given there are no sidewalks at the location.

A recent traffic count announced by the DOT and performed during the ongoing construction, indicates there has been a 10% increase in traffic in the area, but the public is still waiting for a new report to be released by DOT that would justify and explain the need for overhauling the intersection.

“The community has not been adequately informed or given the opportunity for feedback by the DOT, and people are understandably upset,” Rep. Klarides said. “Many residents are telling me their concerns are not being addressed by the DOT and the project is moving forward in spite of significant community opposition. Safety is paramount, and I am alarmed that folks believe so strongly that these changes will in fact compromise road safety; I think now that the plan must be reevaluated.”

Longtime Woodbridge resident Peter Aaronson, who has been a vocal advocate for a group of concerned citizens, states “The community feels strongly that the State did not communicate nor include our community in a decision that has adversely affected our homes and wellbeing.”

Rep. Klarides added “Given the public outcry and questions, the DOT should pause and reassess the project before moving forward.”

To obtain a copy of Analysis, Fact and The Truth Behind the 63/67 Intersection Construction detailing the information on the complaints of Woodbridge residents, send a request to phaaronson@hotmail.com. There is currently a petition being circulated in an effort to stop the plans from moving forward.

If the project moves forward as scheduled, it will be completed by October 2015.

Helpful summer safety tips

Helpful Summer Safety Tips

By State Representative Themis Klarides (R-114)

With the hot summer months upon us, and in light of recent high profile tragedies, I want to take a moment to offer some helpful summer safety tips.

As temperatures rise we continue to hear of heat-related auto deaths involving children and pets. As a reminder, you can be charged with a felony for leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle, and it only takes a matter of minutes before temperatures can rise into the triple digits. Authorities also recommend that caregivers keep children from playing in unlocked vehicles or trunks, especially in hot weather.

When it comes to summer grilling, remember to never grill indoors, and to keep grills out in the open and away from your house, your deck, tree branches, tents or anything that can catch fire. Always supervise your grill when it is in use, and never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

If you are headed to the beach, keep informed about local weather conditions and always swim sober and with a buddy. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current and can swim toward the shore. Be aware of permanent rip currents that often occur within 100 feet of jetties, piers and other structures.

During hot weather watch for signs of heat stroke, including hot and red skin, labored or shallow breathing, changes in consciousness and rapid or weak pulse. Check in on the elderly and folks with disabilities – particularly if they live alone and do not have air conditioning. If someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1, keep them laying down, cool the body by applying wet towels, mist them with cool water and fan them.

If you are building a campfire, please do so away from dry grass and leaves, and in an area where it will not spread. Never leave campfires unattended and keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby to douse the fire when you are done.

Please take precautions to keep you, your family and your pets safe this summer.

If you would like to discuss any issues related to state government, please contact me at 860-240-8700 or themis.klarides@housegop.ct.gov.

*Sources: American Red Cross and the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Derby legislators applaud funds for schools

State Representatives Linda M. Gentile (D-104), Theresa Conroy (D-105), Themis Klarides (R-114) and State Senator Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17) welcomed the State Bond Commission’s expected approval of a grant in aid for alterations, repairs, improvements, technology and equipment for the city of Derby.

Derby High School will receive $496,040 to help address building and site deficiencies, and promote the health, safety, and learning of the students.

“I want to thank Governor Malloy and the members of the Bond Commission for their support to upgrade Derby High School,” said Rep. Gentile.  “As the grandmother of 5 young school aged children I understand that parents and grandparents need to know that when their children leave their house in the morning to go to school they will be entering a building that has been upgraded to provide as much safety and security as is possible.”

“Derby High School is truly in need of these infrastructure and technology upgrades, which will go a long way toward helping our young folks learn and compete,” Rep. Klarides said. “The success of our students and educators is critical, and these improvements are money well spent.”

“Improving our schools is an important investment,” Rep. Conroy said. “This state funding will benefit students in Derby and the entire community that uses the school.”

“There are several hundred students and parents at Derby High who are going to benefit from this infusion of state aid, which I am proud to say I voted for,” said state Senator Joe Crisco (D-Woodbridge).  “Half a million dollars will pay for a lot of repairs or new equipment, and it’s funding that local taxpayers don’t have to raise through their local property taxes.”

“Investing in our educational infrastructure is an essential step in our effort to ensure that children have the skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “I am proud that the State of Connecticut is able to support these projects at Derby High School. As Governor, I will ensure that we continue to make critical investments in our schools.”

Rep. Klarides, Gov. Malloy tour Numet in Orange

On October 2, State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy toured Orange manufacturer Numet to learn more about the company’s hiring and expansion made possible in part by the Insurance Reinvestment Fund (IRF). The fund is a public-private partnership that incentivizes insurance companies to invest in Connecticut small businesses, giving them the assistance needed to create jobs and grow within the community. The tour was coordinated through Advantage Capital Partners, a national firm that seeks to invest in entrepreneurial small businesses and has worked with Numet to help them expand.

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) tours Orange Manufacturer Numet on October 2 to learn more about how the company will be hiring more employees – a decision made possible, in part, by the state’s Insurance Reinvestment Fund.

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) tours Orange Manufacturer Numet on October 2 to learn more about how the company will be hiring more employees – a decision made possible, in part, by the state’s Insurance Reinvestment Fund.

(L to R) State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114), Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, State Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D-14), Numet President Andrew Gale and State Rep. James Maroney (D-119) toured Orange manufacturer Numet on Oct. 2 to learn about their planned expansion.

(L to R) State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114), Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, State Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D-14), Numet President Andrew Gale and State Rep. James Maroney (D-119) toured Orange manufacturer Numet on Oct. 2 to learn about their planned expansion.

Klarides honors “Valley Women Making a Difference”

Today State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) participated in the thirteenth annual Valley Women Making a Difference Luncheon at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby, where she joined more than 200 people in recognizing local women who have made positive contributions to the community. Rep. Klarides and Sen. Joseph Crisco presented the following eight women with legislative citations in honor of their accomplishments and contributions to the Naugatuck Valley: Celeste Beattie, Susan DeLeon, Linda Gorel, Maureen Helgren, Joan McTaggart Kayser, Barbara O’Neil, Michelle Pagliaro-Haywood and Donna Skurat.

Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit Griffin Hospital’s Valley Breast Care Fund which helps provide uninsured women with mammograms and diagnostic testing for breast cancer. Contributions to the fund can be sent to Hewitt Breast Wellness Center at Griffin Hospital, c/o M. Vallillo, 350 Seymour Avenue, Derby, CT 06418.

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) presents Joan McTaggart Kayser with a legislative citation in honor of her contributions to the Valley community.

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) presents Joan McTaggart Kayser with a legislative citation in honor of her contributions to the Valley community.

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State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) – far right – and State Sen. Joseph Crisco (D-Woodbridge) – second from right – congratulate the “2013 Valley Women Making a Difference” honorees at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby.

Klarides: new laws effective October 1

To keep you informed about new legislation affecting our state, I would like to bring your attention to the list of soon-to-be state laws and regulations taking effect this Tuesday, October 1, 2013.

Some of the measures include new penalties for failing to report child abuse, the implementation of labels for genetically engineered food, increasing the safety of workers in work zones and addressing the medical needs of children.

Below is a link to the Public Acts with the sections that will take effect, along with links to summaries for each Act:

http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/Content/AEArchives/ActsEffective1013.asp

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