Here’s a quick update on some recent events and projects currently underway.
Campaign to Curb Distracted Driving Deemed Successful
‘Dnt txt n drv!’ is not only a useful public safety suggestion for Connecticut drivers, it is also state law. Texting while driving is on a growing list of dangerous, all-too-frequent 'distracted driving' practices. Prohibiting it is comparable to the ban on driving under the influence of alcohol because distracted driving is said to delay a driver’s reaction time as much as a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent—the legal limit in Connecticut.
Connecticut took a step beyond just passing a law. A campaign to raise public safety awareness was launched to discourage distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released data that suggests the campaign was a success; there was a 57 percent drop in handheld cell phone use, and texting behind the wheel dropped by nearly three-quarters.
For more information visit the NHTSA Web site.
State Funds Allocated for
Lyman Allyn Flood Repair
Earlier this month the State Bond Commission gave final approval for state funding for flood damage and other repairs at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London. A spring storm a year ago caused damage to the museum’s auditorium; a grant for just over $100,000 will underwrite auditorium repairs, a new boiler and associated mechanical improvements.
As an integral part of Southeastern Connecticut's cultural landscape, it's important for the Lyman Allyn Art Museum to make necessary repairs and move past last year's episode. I know it was frustrating for board members and administrators to be denied insurance reimbursement and FEMA funding, so it’s gratifying to know the state could step in and help to this extent.
The Lyman Allyn Art museum is funded privately for the most part. Its current exhibition, Face Off: Portraits by Contemporary Artists is on view through September 18, 2011, and features portraits by a broad range of artists.
Residents Urged to Comment on
New District Borders
Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, each state is required to examine population shifts and redraw their congressional and state legislative district lines accordingly. In Connecticut, the responsibility for redistricting rests with the General Assembly and begins with an eight-member, bi-partisan legislative Reapportionment Committee.
Each congressional, state senate and state house district must include approximately the same number of people so that everyone's vote, for each election, has equal importance. Each district must also share what's described as a community of interest.
The Reapportionment Committee is currently analyzing the census data from the 2010 census and holding public hearings throughout the state to receive public input and suggestions. Area residents can contact the General Assembly's Reapportionment Committee and register their comments and opinions through its official Web site, or attend one of the committee's public hearings.
For more information please visit the Reapportionment Committee Web site.