UI Tree Plan Panned

Mayor Scott Jackson with UI representatives at Wednesday's forum.
Mayor Scott Jackson with UI representatives at Wednesday's forum.

Upset at the prospect of their roads being bared of trees, about 150 residents turned out Wednesday night for a meeting with United Illuminating officials about its plans to remove trees surrounding utility poles.

The utility gained approvals last year to implement the plan to clear within an eight foot diameter around utility poles in an effort to curtail outages during and after storms.

"We had some major events in the past two half years," said Jim Cole, UI's director of operations and maintenance, "and we have been studying and investigated the response" to storm events in other areas.

Research shows that customers want to be communicated with throughout storm events concerning when power would be restored, he said.
"We are working on developing restoration technology," he said. But the core of the problem rests with what causes the majority of outages -- felled trees near power lines.

"We have found out in these past four events that our system vulnerable to extreme weather," he said, including tropical storms and hurricanes. "The systems built as is are good for average weather but when you get to tropical storm force winds and ice storms and snow storms in October, we come find out we are vulnerable out there."

It's virtually impossible to move the system underground, he said. Doing so could double customer's bills, he said, and logistics would make it extremely difficult.

That's why they're implementing the tree removal program, he said.

"This program we believe is the most cost effective means to prevent and reduce the impact significantly enough to be meaningful to customers and not impact their bill too much," he said.

It's not known how many trees will be impacted, he said. Already, homeowners have agreed to allow the removal of 56 trees on private property, he said, and trim 80 more.

"You can rest assured UI cannot just come out and cut your trees," he said.

But Ridge Road resident Don Trella questioned the timing.

"Why now? It seems you have manufactured crisis," he said. "It just so happened that a couple of serious winter storms happened in close succession and it seems as if now the utility companies are grasping the opportunity to say now that we have had these power outages this is the perfect time to pawn off this tree removal plan — now we can get people to buy on to this.

"These storms simply don't happen that often," he said. "It just so happens a couple have happened recently. I think this is an overreaction to start tearing up all the vegetation that might be in any way close to the road just to prevent this again."

He also questioned who would benefit financially from the program in light of the prediction that removing the trees would save UI money in the long run. 

"I'm curious to know how much of that savings will be passed on to the consumers," he said.

J D C January 16, 2014 at 09:38 PM
J D C January 16, 2014 at 10:39 PM
Ann its comical how hypocritical this all of a sudden is. I have dealt with people on NUMEROUS occasion concerning tree's and the UI and CLP and hazards and what they just IGNORED. I'm talking about tree's GROWING into the service! THOSE werent "hazards" but NOW its a race to clear tree's EIGHT FEET from lines? How can they be SURE the tree's they cut down will even FALL towards the wires in a storm? Because they'd BETTER go 40-50-80 feet from the service then! 8 FEET? What is 8 feet gunna do if a 50 ft tree falls down? Gee hmmm, Ummm, duhh. Oh WAIT, then its YOUR tree and YOU'RE responsible! Thats NEXT. Thats the whole point. When they come to "assess" your tree's and the lines you will be THREATENED that if that 60 ft maple thats on the side of your house falls and takes the service out, YOU'RE getting FINED. "But HERE'S the number of a tree company we know, they'll give you a GREAT price". LMAO
J D C January 16, 2014 at 10:46 PM
And I have NO skin in this game because NONE of my tree's apply. I feel bad for the elderly people that are going to get RAVAGED by these cads. Democrats at their FINEST.
Thomas Alegi January 16, 2014 at 11:31 PM
JDC, I’m not arguing with you at all, but I would enjoy reading one of your humorist political comments using the words tree, hens, rooster, cake, elected officials and trash carts. LOL….
J D C January 17, 2014 at 07:51 AM
I dont know about you bro, you scare me sometimes. The elected official who concocted the trash carts also has come up with another distraction regarding tree's and the necessity to trim them. Like the wicked hens who feed their devoted rooster mate cake as a distraction while they take up with another rooster, they should BOTH be stuffed in trash carts and put out at the curb.
J D C January 17, 2014 at 07:56 AM
Mr. Whoopie is that what you meant? LOL................
J D C January 17, 2014 at 07:59 AM
I wonder if the UI tree assessors aka "arborists", wear brown shirts? hehe...
J D C January 17, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Its actually PROFESSOR WHOOPEE double E, I misspelled it. Misspell LOOKS wrong. I think spell check is WRONG!, it should be ONE S! LOL
Mike Devine January 17, 2014 at 09:15 AM
If tears were dollars, Hamdenites would all be millionaires.
J D C January 17, 2014 at 10:46 AM
And blind........
Thomas Alegi January 17, 2014 at 11:38 AM
JDC, the wolf was hiding behind the tree looking at the hen, when the rooster said to the elected official “the wolf has a cake eating smile on his face.” The elected official said not for long we are going to tax smiles to pay for the new RFID trash carts in Hamden. Moral of the story, elected Jackasses will even tax smiles. What’s next? Frowns or taxes on trees!
J D C January 17, 2014 at 02:33 PM
According to that cat taxing TEARS would be profitable.....
Thomas Alegi January 17, 2014 at 05:48 PM
JDC, What is a "Brownshirt" ? Years ago there was a group known as the "Brownshirts" in Germany that did the bidding of the far left party of their day. Sometimes this word is tossed about but not everyone knows what it means, or where it comes from. I have been hearing this term thrown about a lot lately and decided to share. They were a paramilitary detachment of the German political party: National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party). The Brownshirts were a particularly violent arm of the Nazi Party that did not hesitate to employ violence against their political opponents, sometimes going as far as to beat the *speakers* of political rallies. They functioned as bodyguards of Hitler. They frequently taunted Jews and provoked violence on them. They were Socialist bullies blinded by their Cult-of-Personality Leader.
Ann January 17, 2014 at 07:28 PM
You are right, Tom, about the role played by Brownshirts in Nazi Germany. However, National Socialism, abbreviated as Nazism, was not socialism as it is understood today. It was fascism. This is from Wikipedia, "German Nazism subscribed to theories of racial hierarchy and social Darwinism, asserted the superiority of an Aryan master race, and criticised both capitalism and communism for being associated with Jewish materialism. It aimed to overcome social divisions, with all parts of a racially homogenous society cooperating for national unity and regeneration and to secure territorial enlargement at the expense of supposedly inferior neighbouring nations. The use of the name “National Socialism” arose out of earlier attempts by German right-wing figures to create a nationalist redefinition of “socialism”, as a reactionary alternative to both internationalist Marxist socialism and free market capitalism." Socialism is a left-wing ideology, Nazism was a right-wing ideology.
Thomas Alegi January 17, 2014 at 10:35 PM
Ann, left-wing ideology and right-wing ideology have had radical political views throughout history. But today few people think about ideology. Today we have Fox News, CNN News, MSNBC News and others that tell us all about ideology.... Another interest word is propaganda.
J D C January 17, 2014 at 11:25 PM
Tyranny is TYRANNY in WHATEVER form or name you want to use for it kids. I'm not about splitting hairs! I think I made my point.
J D C January 17, 2014 at 11:33 PM
The question is, if one of them there Natzee's come a trespassin on my land and try to tag one a Gods tree's, can I unload some buckshot in his BEEhind? Come awn back.
Thomas Alegi January 18, 2014 at 02:27 PM
Anyone? Anyone?, if a president uses executive orders to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Congress would this president be classified as a one-man ruler, or just an egotist high on Dopamine?
J D C January 18, 2014 at 02:45 PM
Neither, I would call him a criminal. But thats just me. What about a mayor that just decides to go out and buy $2 million worth of RIFD bins with taxpayer money and CLAIMS he is saving money? That was 2 years worth of refuse pickup under the last contract spent on bins alone. Do they even have an abacus in the Town Hall? I suppose we are SO SOLVENT right now that we can just endeavor into new refuse pickups that costs MORE money up FRONT, and only show a savings ( I HOPE) in time!
Ann January 18, 2014 at 05:45 PM
where did you get that number from JDC? I'm not saying it's wrong, I just need a source. There are many additional costs too, that might not have been factored in, such as additional backyard pickup for seniors (I know of one case already, in my neighborhood) and the extra men that will be needed on the narrow streets where the trucks can't do their automatic thing. I'd like to see a spreadsheet of costs and projected savings. But these are the people who brought you Pension Obligation Bonds so there's no doubt in my mind that they aren't experts at predicting the future. Another bunch that will ride off into the sunset, leaving the taxpayers holding the can (pun intended).
Thomas Alegi January 18, 2014 at 11:08 PM
A simple FOIA request would answer all the questions about refuse pickup costs. Let me remove the word simple from the last sentence. Hamden Town Hall (L/C and Mayor's office) has never been good at responding to requests for information by the public, be it D or R in power.... What is the future for these RFID trash carts? Fines for Hamden property owners if they don't play by the trash rules!........ Back to trees for a moment, in some towns in the U.S.A. you have to buy a permit to cut down a tree on your property......"With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities." President Thomas Jefferson
J D C January 18, 2014 at 11:44 PM
Ann I just ADDED! They told us that EACH bin cost around $65 I believe. So if you multiply that by 2=$130 approximately and then going by the 2009 numbers for number of households in Hamden, around 15,000, it comes to around $2 million. Not for anything but they GAVE us the numbers and then dont think we can add I suppose. Maybe they THINK we're as DUMB as they are? LOL And your right, I LOW BALLED it I didnt add ANYTHING else in because I dont have those numbers like Thomas said, try getting them!. I'm just saying right off jump street we are IN THE HOLE for $2 MILLION!
J D C January 19, 2014 at 12:01 AM
Thomas said-in some towns in the U.S.A. you have to buy a permit to cut down a tree on your property.....But in CT, coming soon, fines if you DONT cut tree's down on your property "deemed" hazardous by the ........wait for it...............UI and CLP BLACKSHIRTS! (Now all my Italian brethren can get mad at me too) lol. And YES it will probably ALSO require BUYING a permit under the NEW LAW in CT that will be passed soon I'm SURE!
J D C January 19, 2014 at 12:23 AM
Ann I can look back and see where I got the numbers on households and provide that, but I know it was a legitimate site. According to that site also, approximately 1/4 of the people in Hamden rent or live in condo's and as far as I know condo's dont require recycling because they have private companies, but that may have changed. Does anyone know about that? If that IS true thats 15,000 people NOT recycling. Kind of like forcing people to wear a seatbelt in their own car but SCHOOL CHILDREN dont wear them on BUSES because it would COST about $7500 to retrofit every bus with them. And THAT IS the reason, INANE! Another pet peeve of mine btw.
J D C January 19, 2014 at 12:38 AM
"Households" meaning single family lived in HOMES in Hamden. If I confused anyone, sorry.
Ann January 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Wikipedia: As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 56,913 people, 22,408 households, and 14,027 families residing in the town.
J D C January 19, 2014 at 10:56 AM
http://www.city-data.com/city/Hamden-Connecticut.html The population as of July 2009 58,119 up +2.1% since 2000. Use this site.
J D C January 19, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Ann I know I read about 15,000 OWNED HOMES here somewhere, I can find it just dont have time now or want to to be honest. 22k households also takes into account families in condo's and rentals I think but regardless, if it IS 22k HOUSES owned then the cost of the BINS is even HIGHER! More like closer to $3 MILLION!
J D C January 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Suffice to say the NUMBERS aren't Jaxes ally!
Ann January 19, 2014 at 01:03 PM
Every Hamden mayor's best ally has always been an uninformed and uninterested electorate.


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