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    Office Of The Mayor
    Mayor's Monday Message

    Dear Friends,

    Today, I joined State Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, Representative Roland Lemar, Alderman Doug Hausladen, Alderman Justin Elicker, Alderman Sal DaCola and a large group of advocates at the corner of York and Frontage in support of a state bill that would enable the use of life-saving red light camera technology in the enforcement of traffic laws. These cameras would be installed at high volume intersections, like York and Frontage where medical student Mila Rainof was killed in 2008, and would capture images of the rear license plates of vehicles violating traffic laws. Violators would be issued tickets and would be subject to fines. Currently 25 states permit the use of this technology, and nearly 500 cities and towns nationwide employ red light cameras as a component of their traffic enforcement system. Recent studies have shown that the use of red light cameras has resulted in significant decreases in fatal accidents.

    We know that increased traffic enforcement leads to safer streets. This technology would enable municipalities like New Haven to improve traffic enforcement, without diverting resources and officers from other life-saving work throughout the city. I’m pleased to see support for this from our New Haven delegation, and I hope you too can lend your support for this important bill.

    Energy Savings and Biodiesel for City Trucks and School Buses

    The City recently entered into two cost-savings agreements for the purchase of electric power and natural gas that will save the City a combined total of $2 million over the two-year life of the agreements. In addition to the substantial savings from these agreements, the new gas contract enables the City to switch our public works trucks and school buses to biodiesel fuel during the warmer months of the year. Biodiesel is a domestically produced renewable fuel that reduces particulate matter emissions and improves engine performance. This purchase is a win-win for taxpayers and our environment, and complements our ongoing efforts to conserve energy and pursue use of renewable technologies wherever feasible.

    New Haven Leads the Nation Again in Low Rental Vacancies

    For the second year in a row, real estate researchers have found apartment vacancy rates in New Haven to be the lowest of any city nationwide, followed closely by New York City. The report by Reis Inc. found that New Haven has an apartment vacancy rate of only 2.1 percent, followed by New York City at 2.4 percent. This is good news in that lower apartment vacancy rates translate into a stronger tax base and customer base for growing businesses and employers. At the same time, this also challenges the City to develop more housing, especially worker housing to keep rents from rising disproportionately.

    Green Tip of the Week: Home Energy Solutions Program

    As the temperature drops, I’m sure you all are noticing an increase in your utility bills. Now is a great time to consider signing up for a Home Energy Solutions (HES) visit. The program offers an energy assessment and implementation of efficiency and conservation measures, all in one visit. A typical household experiences $500 in utility savings the first two years after an HES visit. Funding for this program is limited, so I urge you to sign up this month. All New Haven residents can receive this benefit, in any type of housing, regardless of whether they rent or own. If you reside in New Haven, you can sign up on our website and get this benefit at no cost. http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Sustainability/GHHI/Preview/GHHIsignpre.asp

    HES is completed by an approved contractor of the CT Energy Efficiency Fund.

    The following is a list of measures implemented:

    • A home energy assessment including a blower-door test which pinpoints critical drafts and air leaks. After they are found, the technician will professionally seal them during the visit.

    • A duct test to assess air leaks within the ductwork system. The technician will seal those significant leaks.

    • Hot water-saving measures including low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators will be installed.

    • Rebates up to $500 for qualifying central air conditioning systems and up to $300 for replacement of certain inefficient appliances with qualifying energy-efficient models.

    • Installation of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

    • Incentives for insulation upgrades (gas, oil, propane and electric heated homes only)

    • A “kitchen table wrap-up” where the technician will review the work that was done in your home and tell you about additional resources that can help you save energy and money.

    Health Matters!

    While we’ve had a relatively mild winter thus far, we’ve got some cold months ahead. Taking preventative action is your best defense against cold weather conditions. By preparing your home and car in advance for winter emergencies, and by observing safety precautions during times of extremely cold weather, you can reduce the risk of weather-related health problems. Check out these tips from the Health Department on cold weather preparation: http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Health/pdfs/Extreme%20Weather%20Prevention%20Guide.pdf

    Here’s what else is going on in the Elm City…

    Tuesday, Jan. 10, noon. Have a great time learning to draw cartoons from a real artist. For ages 8-16 years old. Stetson Library.

    Tuesday, Jan. 10, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Barnard Nature Center Pinecone Bird Feeder Making Workshop: Make a birdhouse with Ranger Harry Coyle

    Tuesday, Jan. 10 8 p.m. Tokyo String Quartet. Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall. $25-$35; $15 Student. http://music.yale.edu/concerts

    Wednesday, Jan. 11, 10-11 a.m. Climb the Lighthouse $3.00 per person Lighthouse Point Park

    Wednesday, Jan. 11, 6 p.m. Main Library Wii Wednesdays with XBOX Kinect challenges and skills! Also board and card games to keep cool!

    Wednesday, Jan. 11, 6 p.m. Embracing Justice in a Land Divided: Melinda Tuhus and Allie Perry discuss their recent travel to Israel and Palestine. Main Library. 203-946-8835.

    Thursday, Jan. 12, 2 p.m. New Haven Symphony Orchestra String Quartet performs What if Mozart Played Guitar Hero? Omni New Haven Hotel $15/adult, $12/senior citizen, $5/child. www.NewHavenSymphony.org

    Thursday, Jan. 12, 5:30 p.m. Exhibition Reception: New Haven’s Sentinels: The Art and Science of East and West Rock. New Haven Museum. www.newhavenmuseum.org

    Thursday, Jan. 12, 8 p.m. Wen-Yin Chan, piano.Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall. http://music.yale.edu/concerts

    Friday-Sunday, Jan. 13-15. The Color Purple. Shubert Theater. Various times. www.shubert.com

    Saturday, Jan. 14, 1 p.m. ACES Educational Center for the Arts Improv Touring Troup will perform to the delight of kids and adults alike. Actors will transform audience suggestions into skits, scenes and games that will leave them laughing. New Haven Free Public Library, Main Branch.

    Saturday, Jan. 14, 2 p.m. PACK program features fun and exploration with stories and songs for children and parents and/or caregivers! Fair Haven Library.

    Sunday-Monday, Jan. 15-16. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice. Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. http://peabody.yale.edu/events/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-s-legacy-environmental-and-social-justice

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.


    Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton

    Contact Email: ebenton@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: (203) 946-8200


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