Currey-ently Seeing the Sun, But More is Rain is Coming, Prepare Yourself

September 21, 2023

Staying Current with Currey
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Friends and Neighbors, 

You put some sunshine in, you take some sunshine out, you put some sheets of rain in, and you shake it all about ... sorry for my flippancy but it is tough to keep up with the weather forecast these days (i.e., meteorologists do not have easy jobs). What we can keep up with, though, is always being ready for what Mama Nature is going to throw our way. September is National Preparedness Month. It doesn't hurt to be prepared for any emergency event (especially weather!) on the horizon or that appears out of nowhere and unbeknownst to any app on your phone.

Visit East Hartford’s Plan 9 webpage for a list of essential items in case of a natural disaster. The Plan 9 program is designed to promote community resilience and increase preparation in case of natural disaster or another civic emergency. The program also seeks provide residents with resources they can rely on in the event of personal emergencies, power or heat disruptions, fires or other circumstances that may temporarily or permanently require them to evacuate their homes.

The Manchester Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has additional resources so residents can BE PREPARED, including:

Emergencies can and do happen. The best strategy is to plan ahead. FYI, rain is in the forecast for Saturday. And maybe Sunday. And maybe Monday. Stay dry, y’all.

Take a read below for news, notes and resources, which I hope you find useful in any preparation you do.

Have an easy week.

To stay up-to-date with everything happening in Hartford, click the "At the Capitol, In District, & Beyond" link below, but also please check out the other subject links in this intro to go right to the topic in the body of this email.

You can find additional resources and information on my website. If there's something you need help with that isn't included in this email, please check my website. If you can't find what you're looking for there, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.



The second round of applications for $244 million of grant funding dedicated to supporting upgrades for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in Connecticut public schools is now open. Reach out to your local or regional board of education to see if they are taking advantage of this opportunity to better provide safe and healthy learning environments for our children. If not, or if they have questions/concerns, please reach out so that we may assist them.

The Connecticut HVAC Indoor Air Quality Grant Program for Public Schools is administered by the Office of Grants Administration, a unit within the Department of Administrative Services. Since the program’s enactment in 2022, the legislature has authorized a total of $375 million in state funding and $75 million in federal funding for this grant program. In fiscal year 2023, DAS committed $56 million to projects across the state to address indoor air quality in school buildings.

Examples of eligible projects include: 

  • Replacing, upgrading, or repairing boilers and other heating and ventilation components 
  • Replacing controls and technology systems related to HVAC operations
  • Installing or upgrading air conditioning or ventilation systems
  • Other improvements to indoor air quality in school buildings

DAS has released a detailed program guidance document with information for districts to successfully apply for the program. DAS encourages all applications that address the installation, replacement or upgrading of HVAC systems or other improvements to indoor air quality in school buildings.

The Office of Grants Administration has provided both local and regional boards of education with the necessary materials for applicants to be successful. Along with written materials, staff will host an upcoming webinar. The webinar will provide leaders with a review of the program application, evaluation, and awards processes. Additionally, recipients of this grant are expected to contribute part of the cost. Cities and towns may use ARPA funds to do this. The legislature passed this change earlier this year as part of HB 6942. Federal funds may be used to cover part or all of the local share of this project.

Well-ventilated spaces create healthier learning environments for the students, teachers and staff but many school districts do not have designated grant managers to oversee the process to apply for this funding to make much-needed and beneficial upgrades to their HVAC systems. I want to thank DAS for listening to concerns from the first round of funding and making assurances that IT will support these districts through the next phase of the process. I am proud to partner with legislative colleagues, DAS and other agencies, municipal leaders and other advocates to ensure healthy air quality is an integral part of everyone’s learning experience.

The deadline to apply is December 31.


Some say knowledge is power. Others say power is the ability to act on knowledge to influence and work with people and organizations. Either way, having this knowledge, or information, is key in the work Connecticut is doing throughout our schools.

During the past year, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) has released numerous interactive and visual dashboards on its public data portal, EdSight. These dashboards provide clear and transparent data to educators, policymakers, and community members about the state as a whole, as well as every public school district. 

Through these dashboards, users can explore: 

In addition to these dashboards, EdSight offers other reports on a range of topics. A good starting point for many users is the Connecticut Report Cards, which provide high-level information on essential indicators for every school and district in the state. Remember to check for links to “Additional Reports” that may be available. Many EdSight reports also contain "Related Links” that include “Report Notes” with detailed documentation and other resources.  

As most dashboard visualizations and reports are detailed and extensive, larger screens such as laptops, desktops, or tablets are recommended for the best viewing experience.


The application period for the 2023-2024 winter season of the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is open. CEAP provides vulnerable state homeowners and renters with crucial support for the associated costs with heating their homes.

Applications for the 2023-2024 winter season must be received by May 31, 2024. If you are interested, there are several ways to apply:

Additional information on the application process can be obtained by visiting or calling 2-1-1.

Basic benefits toward heating bills range from $180 to $530 depending on income, size of household, and need. Benefits are available for households with incomes up to 60% of the state median income, which equates to roughly $79,910 for a family of four. These benefits are usually paid directly to the utility company or fuel supplier. Households that heat with deliverable fuels like oil or propane may be eligible for multiple free tank refills.

A new Low-Income Discount Rate will be available for Eversource financial hardship customers in Connecticut beginning December 1. Depending on their household income, eligible customers will receive 10% or 50% off their electric bills per month. For example, if a customer has a $100 monthly bill, it would be $10 less if they receive a 10% discount or $50 less if they receive the 50% discount. Customers must have a financial hardship status on their electric account to receive the discount on their bill.

Verified financial hardship customers are eligible for a 10% discount on their total monthly electric bill. Customers with an annual household income at or below 160% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines can qualify for the 50% discount rate. 

Customers can check if their income meets that criteria on our bill help page, or they may call us at 800-286-2828. To verify eligibility, customers must submit receipt of a public assistance benefit for at least one household member or proof of income for all household members over 18, such as an Unemployment or Social Security benefit letter, current pay stubs or if self-employed, the most recent 1099 Form. Customers can visit or call the energy company at 800-286-2828 to submit the necessary documents.   

Eversource customers enrolled in the Low-Income Discount Rate can still take advantage of other assistance programs like CEAP or these below, including:

  • The Matching Payment Program can lower the amount customers owe on energy bills. For every dollar they pay and every dollar they receive from the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, we will subtract a dollar from the amount owed.
  • The New Start Program forgives overdue balances if monthly budget payments are made on time.
  • Medical Protection Plan protects from disconnections for residential customers who have a household member with a certified serious or life-threatening illness.
  • Operation Fuel offers emergency energy assistance for heating expenses for qualified households. 

The energy company also encourages all customers, regardless of income, to take advantage of its other payment options and energy efficiency solutions that can help them manage their year-round energy usage. For more information about the new Low-Income Discount Rate as well as other assistance or energy efficiency programs available to support customers, customers can visit our bill help page or call (800) 286-2828.


Please be advised the Town of East Hartford is looking for East Hartford residents to serve on the newly established Fair Rent and Quality Housing Commission.

During the past year, residential rents have dramatically increased across the state. For more than 50 years, Connecticut towns have been authorized by state law to create fair rent commissions to address these very issues. Such commissions are empowered to stop or delay an unconscionable rent increase and also to limit rent to a fair level when there are health or safety violations. Fair rent commissions have been proven to be an important municipal tool to prevent unreasonable rent increases and to buttress housing code enforcement.

In 2022, the Connecticut legislature passed Public Act 22-30, which requires each town with a population greater than 25,000 to adopt a fair rent commission ordinance in accordance with the Fair Rent Commission Act (C.G.S. 7-148b through 7-148f).

East Hartford will be enacting a Fair Rent Commission in the next couple of months and has begun recruiting residents to the commission. The Town will take in applications and prioritize them in the order in which they come in.
Commissioners will receive training from CT Fair Housing and training related to procedural operations of the commission before the Town starts to accept complaints for the commission’s consideration.
If you are interested in serving on the Fair Rent Commission, please fill out this application form and email it to or deliver to the Mayor’s Office in the Community Cultural Center at 50 Chapman Place.
For more information, visit


Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) 27th annual Source to Sea Cleanup is back this Friday and Saturday, with opportunities for individual groups to set their own specific cleanup days around this time. The objective is clear: safely collect as much trash as possible to reduce the impact of pollution across all four states of the 410-mile Connecticut River basin, including the tributaries that feed the main river in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. 

Volunteers are organized into groups with Group Leaders coordinating details at different trash sites. Trash tallies are also gathered after each cleanup, contributing to CRC’s long-standing database which is used to inform the nonprofit’s work in advocacy to reduce future pollution, support river restoration, and inform the public and policymakers of issues affecting the environment.  

In last year’s cleanup, more than 1,300 volunteers reported hauling 37 tons of trash from riverbanks and waterways across the four watershed states. Volunteers removed everything from recyclable bottles and cans to fishing equipment, food packaging, tires, televisions, and refrigerators. Over 12K beverage containers were tallied in 2022 alone! 

Registration is now open for both group leaders and volunteers to participate. Businesses and community groups are also encouraged to register, and entities able to support cleanup efforts through in-kind or monetary donations are greatly appreciated.

CRC promotes #RiverWitness to help people connect with each other online through their shared concern for and appreciation of our rivers. Take a photo or video when you are at the river, participating in the Source to Sea Cleanup, or enjoying time outside. Or make art inspired by river beauty or river pollution. Share on Instagram, include #RiverWitness and tag @ctriverconservancy. 

Group leaders who need help finding a cleanup site can check out CRC's map of reported trash sites in need of adoption. Or they can choose a site of their own. Removing litter from parks, city streets, and neighborhoods all contribute to cleaner rivers. Leaders are encouraged to scout the site out beforehand to determine if it’s suitable for their group.  

For more information, visit CRC’s cleanup info page


The Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) was made aware of a new and unique phishing scheme, criminals posing as CTDOL staff to obtain detailed information from employers who participate in the state's Registered Apprenticeship Programs. 

Please see the graphic above for some useful information on how to deal with this brazen scam.


Effective January 1, 2024, the state's minimum wage of $15 will increase to $15.69 as part of its first-ever economic indicator adjustment. 

This increase was made possible thanks to legislation passed in 2019, which implemented five incremental increases in the minimum wage between 2019 and 2023, followed by future adjustments that are tied to the percentage change in the federal employment cost index.

Occurring annually each January 1, the state’s minimum wage will be adjusted according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s calculation of the employment cost index for the 12-month period ending on June 30 of the preceding year. The law requires the Connecticut Department of Labor to review this percentage change and then announce any adjustments by October 15 of each year. The minimum wage adjustments become effective on the next January 1.

Providing livable wages to the lowest-earning workers is a step in the right direction to help them make ends meet and provide for their families. This increase not only assists hard-working Connecticut families, but it can spur local economies by putting more money in people's pockets, which drives up spending power and makes it easier to pay household bills. Approximately 60% of minimum-wage earners in Connecticut are women, according to the Current Population Survey, calculated by the US. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

No one should be forced to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. I stand in strong support of this pay adjustment and the workers who will benefit from it. is the new official website for Connecticut State Parks. The website offers visitors an innovative online platform showcasing Connecticut State Parks in a more exciting, user-friendly way to help them engage with, learn about, and access state parks and the areas around them.

Connecticut has enjoyed a remarkable surge in outdoor recreation in recent years, initially spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing in line with a nationwide shift toward healthier lifestyles, increased environmental awareness, and a desire for outdoor experiences. From hiking and camping to biking and fishing, Americans increasingly are investing their time and money in outdoor activities and creating substantial economic benefits. This new website was funded through an American Rescue Plan Act grant via the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Connecticut is home to a magnificent array of state parks, cherished for their natural beauty and diverse recreational offerings. With 142 state parks and forests, and a network of more than 2,500 miles of scenic trails, these stunning natural landscapes offer something for everyone. Connecticut State Parks continue to rank among the top regional tourist destinations and play a significant role in the state’s tourism sector and local economy. Last year, the state welcomed a staggering 17 million visitors to Connecticut State Parks. People outside of Connecticut are taking notice too – earlier this year, a travel blog designated Connecticut the best state in the country for hiking.

The Connecticut State Parks system is administered and maintained by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

DEEP worked closely with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to develop the website, recognizing the value of Connecticut State Parks as an important tourism asset. offers several exciting features and advancements to enhance visitor experiences and spotlight the splendor and diversity of our state parks system. Among the highlights of this dynamic website are:

  • ParkFinder Tool: Equipped with a user-friendly ParkFinder Tool, visitors can effortlessly discover the perfect state park based on their interests or location. Geo-location technology is seamlessly integrated, enabling users to identify nearby parks based on their current location and filter their search to parks based on their plans for the day or what they are looking to do.
  • Dynamic Park Listings: Each state park enjoys a dedicated dynamic listing page that extensively promotes available activities, events, photography, social media content, and more. These listings provide comprehensive insights into the unique offerings of each park.
  • “While You’re Here” Functionality: Visitors are offered an array of options to extend their stay by exploring nearby restaurants, shops, hotels, and attractions. This feature seamlessly integrates information from, the state’s official tourism website, providing a comprehensive and constantly updated guide for a trip beyond the park.
  • Event Awareness: The new website features an advanced event management system that not only highlights ongoing activities within the parks but also showcases upcoming events, further encouraging visitation and park engagement.
  • User-Generated Content: The website harnesses Instagram content, shared by actual visitors to Connecticut State Parks. This user-generated content authentically represents our parks and the unique experiences they offer.
  • Content Organization: The website is thoughtfully structured around core activities and interests, illuminating facets of state parks of which visitors may not have been aware. This intuitive design provides streamlined access to parks that cater to specific activities, simplifying the process of finding the ideal park to match individual interests.
  • Video-Rich Experience: Site visitors can enjoy a video-rich environment that showcases a curated selection of more than 20 state park feature videos. These immersive visuals provide a captivating introduction to the natural wonders and recreational opportunities found within Connecticut State Parks and offer a glimpse to visitors of what to expect before they get there.
  • Multi-Language Support: In line with the state’s focus on inclusivity, the website offers multi-language support to ensure that Spanish-speaking visitors can enjoy a translated experience.
  • ADA Compliance: Ensuring accessibility for all, the website is ADA compliant, featuring essential tools, readers, and navigational support to assist visitors with unique accessibility needs, ensuring that everyone can access information.

For more information and to explore the new Connecticut State Parks website, visit


Connecticut is about to take a transformative step toward making prescription drugs more affordable for all.

On October 2, all Connecticut residents will be eligible to sign up for ArrayRx, a prescription drug discount card program that provides up to 80% off certain prescriptions at nearly all pharmacies in the state.

Valid physical Connecticut addresses and email addresses are required to enroll, and a digital card will be provided after registering.

The program is part of Public Act 23-71, An Act Protecting Patients and Prohibiting Unnecessary Health Care Costs, which I proudly supported.

I highly encourage you to not miss out on this great opportunity. Residents should never have to worry about accessing the lifesaving care they need, and this free program is a massive leap forward. I'm thrilled ArrayRx is coming to Connecticut, and I will continue the fight to lower healthcare costs for all.

For more information on ArrayRx, including a drug price lookup tool, visit

For local and state resources, click the links below:


The Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is preparing for its annual STAND DOWN event, which will be held Friday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at five regional locations:

Bridgeport: University of Bridgeport, Wheeler Recreational Center, 400 University Avenue
Bristol: St. Gregory CCD Center, 1043 Stafford Avenue
Danbury: Danbury War Memorial 1 Memorial Drive 
Norwich: Easter Seals Veterans Rally Point, 24 Stott Avenue
Rocky Hill: CTDVA main campus 287 West Street

The DVA continues its commitment to serving Connecticut’s Veterans, Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve military personnel, and their immediate families by providing this one-stop access to a range of programs and services offered by state and federal agencies, Veterans organizations, and community-based nonprofits at these regional sites across the state.

To view the list of confirmed service providers by location please click here.

For any additional information please call (860) 616-3772 or email


Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Join me all month long in celebrating the rich culture and contributions this community brings to Connecticut.


The Town of East Hartford in collaboration with East Hartford Parks and Recreation, invites all to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the Latin Festival.
Due to anticipated rainy forecast, the event has been moved inside the Community Cultural Center at 50 Chapman Place. 
The celebration will take place Saturday from 12-6 p.m. Admission is FREE. 
We expect this event to be one of our biggest family events of the season for everyone as we celebrate our Hispanic Community and embrace our uniqueness and enrichment with local vendors and crafters, cultural activities and live performances.
The Latin Festival is the perfect family-friendly, community event filled with fun activities for children and adults alike. Bring your family and friends to enjoys games, dominos, inflatables, food trucks, and live music performances! There will be a variety of cultural live performances by local artists.
For more information, please call Parks and Recreation at (860) 291-7160 or visit


The 10th annual Believe 208 5K Run for the Brave and Finest, in memory of East Hartford Police Officer Paul Buchanan, is Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and supports "Believe 208," an initiative in collaboration with the Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE).

Believe 208 works with CABLE to provide resources, training and information on all aspects of first responder well-being. The Believe 208 mission is to increase awareness of the unique challenges facing first responders and to be a trusted, influential source for first responders, their families, agencies and community stakeholders. Proceeds from the race help to fund education and training efforts and provide resources to first responders and families in need.


To celebrate the upcoming fall season, East Hartford Parks and Recreation will hold its Annual Fall Festival Event. The event will take place on Saturday, October 7 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the East Hartford Town Green. Fall Fest is one of the town’s largest events, averaging over 2,000 participants the past few years and there are always loads of fun activities for the entire family. There is a $5 fee for visitors that provides an unlimited access to attractions, games and a pumpkin decorating activity that participants will get to take home.

The Fall Festival is the perfect family-friendly, community event that offers fun activities for children and adults alike. 

Among many activities, this year there will be a variety of vendors, food, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow decorating, pumpkin bounce house, inflatable corn maze, face painter, glitter tattoos and more. Crafters, vendors and non-profit organizations are welcome to participate in this event.

If you are a food or craft vendor interested in participating in the event, please fill out an application form on the town website at or call Parks and Recreation at (860) 291-7160. There are also links below:

The deadline for vendors to apply is October 2. In case of inclement weather, the event will be Sunday, October 8 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


The Town of Manchester has two grant programs for small business owners that I wanted to share with you.

The Business Investment Fund Grant Program offers reimbursable matching grants to eligible Manchester small business owners for projects that address code, access, energy efficiency, or sustainability improvements and promote enhanced use of underutilized space to add jobs, value, and economic vitality.

The Business Façade and Signage Improvement Fund Grant Program offers reimbursement grants to eligible Manchester small business owners to improve the exterior appearance of commercial and mixed-use buildings and signage.

The application deadline for both grant programs is October 1, 2024 or until funds are exhausted. For more information, contact the Planning & Economic Development Department at or (860) 647-3044.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has created Greater Together Community Funds in each of the 29 towns it serves. Manchester's Greater Together Community Fund Advisory Committee is pleased to announce that the 2023-2024 grant cycle is now open for applications for projects and programs serving the town.
Any registered 501(c)(3) organization serving residents of Manchester is eligible to apply. Additionally, groups of town residents can also submit an application as long as they secure a fiscal sponsor (non-profit or municipality). Grant requests can range from $250 to $5,000 per application, and each submitting organization/group can submit one application. The full RFP and application materials are available at along with a list of 2022-2023 grantees. Applications will be accepted until October 15 with grant awards announced in December. A final report will be required of all grantees.
The 2023 East Hartford Farmers Market will be held Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. through October 24 at Raymond Library on 840 Main Street. Celebrate Connecticut-grown fruits, vegetables and locally produced foods, as well as connect with others in our community.

Farmers and vendors that produce eligible foods sold at the East Hartford market are able to accept Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as well as Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) benefits. Residents interested in applying for the SFMNP program can contact East Hartford Social Services at (860) 291-7248. WIC clients will be receiving electronic benefits cards by mail with instructions for using the funds at participating markets.

East Hartford market organizers are in the process of applying to accept supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. Updates will be announced as we obtain SNAP market approval and establish how residents can utilize SNAP benefits to purchase eligible foods at our farmers’ market.

The East Hartford Farmers’ Market is asking for residents and organizations to help fight hunger and food insecurity experienced by residents of our community. Donations will help residents that rely on food pantry assistance to purchase fresh produce. Available funds will also be used to provide additional support for SNAP, WIC and senior market nutrition program recipients.

Sponsors will be recognized at the market and through the Town's communication channels. Show your shared commitment to health programs that support East Hartford quality of life. For more information, view the EH Market Partner Information.        

The market is interested in adding more vendors to serve the community. If you are a farmer or market vendor that produces honey, milk, eggs, or other foods, or locally produced crafts, please complete the vendor application using the links listed below. Market organizers will review completed applications and notify vendors whether your application is accepted. Vendors are advised to review the East Hartford market guidelines. Click the links below for further information:


The outdoor Northwest Park Farmers Market season will run Wednesdays through October 25 from 4-7 p.m. at Northwest Park on 448 Tolland Turnpike.

Vendor selections are thoughtfully curated to include diverse Connecticut business owners and products, including: fresh fruits & vegetables, meats & eggs, baked goods, a featured food truck, vegan offerings, honey, maple syrup, and artisans. See the weekly vendor line up and market theme at

In addition to serving as a source for local foods, the market accepts SNAP/EBT and WIC payments, and will double the value of SNAP purchases up to $20 (spend $20 using your EBT card to receive an additional $20 to spend on SNAP eligible items). Bring the kids for the Power of Produce program (POP)! Every child who visits the Welcome Pavillion will receive a $2 voucher to spend on produce. This program is sponsored by MELC.

Questions? Email or call (860) 647-3089.

For local resources, click the links below:

Through the state's Department of Labor, the American Job Center offers resources, information, and support for individuals throughout the state searching for a job. You can receive help writing a resume and attend interview technique workshops for those currently on the job hunt. For more information, click here.
The State of Connecticut is hiring! You can find a variety of seasonal, part-time, and full-time positions. There are jobs open to members of the public as well as those already employed at a state agency or organization. You can find a full list of openings here.

Click here for the Town Meetings calendar.

Click here for the Community Events calendar.

Click here for information on the East Hartford Public Library. 

Click here for East Hartford Community Television. 


Click here for the Town Meetings and Community Events Calendar.

Click here for information on the Manchester Public Library. 

Click here for Manchester Public Television. 

Upcoming Meetings and Events

A full calendar of upcoming events and meetings happening at the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building is available on the General Assembly website.

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