What Energy Projects Will Win in 2017?
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Vol XX,III No.14 December/January 2016, ‘17 How Will We Generate
What Energy Projects Win in 2017
What You See – Depends On What You’re Looking At Study Finds Connecticut A Fine Place To Do Business
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here’s been no shortage of criticism of Connecticut’s business climate in recent years as the state recovers slowly from the Great Recession.
Economist Klepper-Smith: “Some positives that are undeniable.”
“Connecticut is home to several high-output industries, including insurance, financial services and aerospace,” the report states. “Connecticut’s economy generates a large amount of GSP and gross operating surplus per worker, meaning that while Connecticut imposes higher-than-average taxes on a per-worker basis, its business taxes are significantly below the national average when measured per dollar of GSP.”
“Connecticut’s rapidly declining unemployment rate is welcome news,” Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research said earlier this month. “However, recent months of payroll job counts may indicate a significant slowing of the state’s job growth. While there are circumstances, such as demographic shifts, increased self-employment and growing out-of- state commuting, where these two movements can happen at the same time, we do not yet have data to support a definitive trend.” Brennan and Durham economist Don Klepper Smith with DataCore Partners both said Connecticut’s tax burden remains a concern and that an unstable state budget outlook can have a chilling effect on businesses’ willingness to add workers, expand products and services, and to make capital investments.
DECD Commissioner Smith: We’re high value in many ways.”
“We do produce high-quality goods and services,” she said, citing the financial services sector as one example.
“That sense of fiscal discipline (in state and local government) is a key ingredient to business confidence,” said Klepper Smith, who was chief economic adviser under Gov. M. Jodi Rell. “Business confidence is a rather complex entity.” Klepper Smith did add, though, that, “There are some positives that are undeniable” about Connecticut, including a high-quality workforce, proximity to major metro areas such as New York and Boston, and the high per capita wealth of its consumers.
“We’re high value in many ways,” the commissioner said, adding that while business costs here exceed the national average, “you also get very high quality workers in terms of the degrees they have.”
Malloy already has warned legislators that he does not intend to recommend any major tax hikes on Feb. 8 when he delivers his budget proposal for the next two fiscal years.
Smith added that Connecticut under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration has made significant investments in local and higher education, in part because businesses here have identified this as a top priority.
Joseph F. Brennan, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry 4
The state Department of Labor recently reported a 4.7 percent unemployment rate for November, down a full percentage point from November 2015. But it also noted that the state has added just 1,400 jobs overall for the calendar year, an increase of just 0.1 percent.
Only Alaska and North Carolina can also boast a ratio this low, which is well below the national average of 4.6 percent.
The COST report also noted that “these results should not be interpreted to mean that Connecticut is a low-tax environment overall.”
Forbes magazine ranked Connecticut’s business costs as 45th worst among the states this year, and the overall business climate was listed at 43rd.
The news also has been mixed this year when it comes to the job market.
And while the report has its supporters and critics, it shows the task of evaluating Connecticut’s readiness to do business is not simple.
Catherine Smith, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, said the study recognizes some crucial aspects of Connecticut’s business climate.
“Connecticut is a tremendous place to do business, and we have amazing assets here,” Brennan said. “But we are competing in a global environment, and when it comes to taxes, we really have to try this year not to make it any worse.”
CNBC reached a similar conclusion in its rankings, placing Connecticut’s business costs at 47th and its overall ranking at 43rd.
But a new study issued in December by the Council on State Taxation concludes Connecticut actually is tied for the most favorable business climate — if one considers not just the cost of doing business, but the potential for earning big profits here.
The latest study, prepared by the global accounting firm Ernst & Young, says state and local business taxes here represent just 3.5 percent of gross state product, or the value of all goods and services produced annually in Connecticut.
Association, said that last comment is key. While there are many factors that shape a state’s economic climate, business costs in general — and state and local tax policy in particular — are crucial.
The legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates that state finances, unless adjusted, are on pace to run nearly $1.5 billion in deficit in 2017-18 and $1.6 billion in the red in 2018-19. CBIA’s Brennan: “We have amazing assets here.”
Printed with permission of ctmirror.com
Alexion: As A New Year Begins – The Future Is Suddenly Uncertain Internal Investigation, Lawsuits, Management Changes, a Failed Clinical Trial and New Competition, Heighten Speculation About the Future.
By Mitchell Young
EW HAVEN: The Elm City’s new flagship company Alexion Pharmaceuticals [NASDAQ: ALXN] is finding itself under the microscope of lawyers, financial regulators, investment bankers and even bio-scientists as it reacts to significant financial and drug discovery events in the past 30 days. In late November, the company announced an internal investigation into sales practices of its main revenue producing drug, Soliris. To date Soliris, with 2015 revenues of 2.5 billion has been the company’s sole financial driver.
the position of CEO and headhunting firm Spencer Stuart was tapped to find a permanent replacement. Former Honeywell International [NYSE:HON] CFO David Anderson was chosen as the company’s new CFO. Brennan signed the 10Q certifying its statements. Two investor class action lawsuits have already been filed against the company and several law firms across the country are seeking claimants. Building a class of disgruntled stockholders to join in, won’t likely prove a difficult task.
The company’s stock trading was frozen for a short period as it declined to release its 10Q report on time. The company did file in early January stating there was no need for any material changes to its previous filings or restatements. How that plays out with the lawsuits and whether it puts the issue to bed remains to be seen. Company analysts have said that whistleblower claims at big companies have become more common and part of the investment landscape. A 10Q report however, requires senior management to Alexion started 2016 moving in triumph, back to New personally certify, in writing Haven with hundreds of employees. It enters 2017 with and under oath the accuracy a host of major challenges. of a company’s financial information. In early December, Alexion stock tumbled What the company did release very to $113 per share, its lowest level in three quickly,surprising investors and analysts, years. The company’s stock’s price howevwere CEO David Hallal and CFO Vikhas er, had already come down along with many Sinha who would have had to sign the 10Q. bioscience stocks from their 2016 highs, Officially the company said Hallal was leavAlexion’s 52 week high was $193 ing for “personal” reasons and Sinha to purper share. sue “other opportunities.” The investment Two newly approved drugs are expected to news website Seeking Alpha however, fortify the company’s sales pipeline. The inargued that the pair was avoiding the filing tegration of its acquisition for $8.4 billion in responsibility under federal law [Sarbanes June 2015 of Synageva of Lexington, MA, Oxley] to certify the report. It added that, brought the drug Kanuma and a previous “Alexion implied the executives departed acquisition in 2012 of Enobia of Montreal, due to the company having lost confidence Canada for $610 million brought the drug in them.” Strensiq. Both drugs were approved by Hallal took over from Alexion founder the FDA in late 2015 and like Soliris, treat David Bell in April 2015, Bell remained rare diseases where there are no other curas Chairman of the Board. An Alexion rent drug treatments. board member since July 2014 and a former Kanuma treats Lysosomal Acid Lipase Astrazeneca [NYSE: AZN] CEO David Brennan, was chosen to “temporarily” take Deficiency, [LAL Deficiency], a disease DECEMBER 2016 / JANUARY 2017
that prevents the body from adequately disposing of fatty acids. Leading to problems in the liver, spleen, and blood vessels. Stensiq treats Perinatal, Infantile and Juvenile-onset Hypophosphatasia (HPP), an inherited rare metabolic bone disease that disrupts bone mineralization. Symptoms include weakening and softening of the bones that cause skeletal abnormalities. Hypophosphatasia affects an estimated 1 in 100,000 newborns.
The even smaller Akari Therapeutics [NASDAQ:AKTX] based in London with only a $87 million market cap is another competitor with a drug [Coversin] trying to close in on Soliris. Akari’s drug is derived from a protein produced by ticks. Akari claims it targets the same body chemistry as Soliris and that side effects are minimal. Coversin is taken orally, while Soliris is infused weekly. Akari expects to move into Phase 3 trials of Coversin in 2017.
The market for the two acquired drugs is estimated to have a potential of nearly $1.7 billion annually. They are off reportedly off to a slow start however. After a year plus on the market sales of the two are expected to be less than $200 million so far.
For several years Alexion has been rumored to be a target for acquisition from a larger pharmaceutical company. The industry has been driven by consolidation fueled by an expected push back from government over pricing, and the need to obtain more scale to deal with the increasing
With new drugs coming on line, things started out pretty rosy in 2016 with the company moving into a new global corporate headquarters in downtown New Haven. Initially the company considered that 400600 employees would occupy its new tower, 1,000 are said to be already there. The company has told the city to expect as many as 1,700 jobs could come to New Haven. The original allegation about the Soliris sales practices was raised by a former employee of the company. The “listed” price of the drug for an annual treatment is currently approximately $450,000 per year, but the company offers a variety of methods to reduce that cost, including grants where necessary for patients. One explanation floated about the investigation revolved around how the company treated booking grants for the drug. Alexion has been seeking new uses for Soliris and just received some bad news in that arena too. Results from a Phase 2/3 trial of eculizumab (Soliris) showed “the drug failed to reach its primary endpoint for the prevention of delayed graft function in recipients of deceased donor kidneys.” There were no previously available treatments for this condition that can cause the loss of a transplanted kidney. Competitors for Soliris have also begun to rise with their own clinical results coming in the most recent quarter. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals [Nasdaq:ALNY] of Cambridge, MA is a $3.5 billion market cap company that is developing a drug using RNA gene splitting technology, if successful their drug would compete directly against Soliris. The company said results from a Phase 1/2 trial when used with Soliris showed safety and improvements for patients and the need of less Soliris. That drug is still at least a Phase 3 trial success and FDA approvals down the road. A smaller biotech Seattle’s Omeros [NASDAQ: OMER] with less than a half billion dollar market cap just announced the FDA is signing off on the company’s plans for clinical development and manufacturing of another competing drug. The company is seeking accelerated approval, claiming it believes it has demonstrated “clinical advantages over Soliris.” To qualify for accelerated approval, a drug must treat a serious condition and generally provide a ‘meaningful advantage’ over available therapies, the Omeros’ drug has already been tested in Phase 2 studies.
Board member and former Astrazenca CEO, David Brennan was appointed the interim CEO of Alexion after the resignation of David Hallal.
costs of drug development. The acquisition target theory circulated on investment news media goes that most of the big fish are already taken in the “pharma space” or would receive a hostile response from governments in the US and Europe. Alexion is by no means a giant, but with its approximate $30 billion market cap, and a currently captive market, it remains a potentially juicy target. The alternate argument has been that big pharma companies don’t want orphan drugs that treat fewer than a few hundred thousand patients worldwide. Making the case harder, Alexion stock trading at 15 times sales was too overpriced for the “street.” Be that as it may, the Streetinsider.com a reliable investment news source reported in early December that Alexion “was approached by a large U.S.-based drug company interested in a merger, according to a person claiming to have knowledge of the matter. The name of the suitor wasn’t made available.” The site continued with, “a number of large U.S. and foreign players are known to be shopping for drugs large enough to move the needle on revenue, and slightly troubled companies like Alexion probably aren’t being ruled out.” Alexion has not responded to the rumor.
State Joins BMS Settlement Over Marketing Allegations HARTFORD: Connecticut has joined a $19.5-million multi-state settlement with drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb [NYSE: BMY] based in New York to resolve allegations that the company improperly marketed the antipsychotic drug Abilify.
efforts. The remaining settlement funds will be deposited in the state’s general fund. Abilify is the brand name for the prescription drug aripiprazole, which was originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. The FDA has since approved Abilify in various formulations for several
A joint release by Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris announced the Connecticut’s share of the settlement funds is $310,133. Of those settlement funds, $15,000 will be deposited in DCP’s Consumer Protection Fund and $15,000 will be deposited in the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Fund; both funds are used by the respective agencies to support investigations, training and consumer outreach
indications, including the treatment of bipolar disorder in certain children and adults, treatment of major depressive disorder in adults, and treatment of schizophrenia in certain children, among others. The states allege, however, that Bristol-Myers Squibb promoted Ability for use in elderly patients with symptoms consistent with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease despite lack of FDA approval for this use and without establishing the drug’s safety. In 2006, the FDA issued a black-box warning for Abilify stating that elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis who are treated with antipsychotic drugs have an increased risk of death. The states also allege that BristolMyers Squibb marketed Abilify for children suffering from schizophrenia before it was approved by the FDA for children, and that the company minimized and misrepresented the risks associated with taking Abilify.
Attorney General Jepsen got a piece of BMS, albeit a small one from the Abilify lawsuit.
BMS Confirms Complete Exit From Connecticut WALLINGFORD: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has changed direction and will no longer relocate 500 employees to a new location in Connecticut. BMS announced previously its intention to close its 1 million square feet Wallingford research center and to relocate the 500 employees elsewhere in Connecticut. The change in plans is part of a wider move to consolidate operations in Hopewell, New Jersey and Seattle, Washington. BMS will distribute those jobs across other facilities and is adding to its Lawrenceville, New Jersey campus and expand its Devens, Massachusetts facility. None of the jobs will remain in Connecticut.
MORE FLIGHTS MORE BUSINESS
ALMANAC Who’s Your Data?
“More user-friendly navigation, better search functionality, and easy access to the state’s most popular services.” CONNECTICUT 2.0 HARTFORD: The Secretary of State, Denise Merrill isn’t leading the only government effort to get more Web savvy. The state’s official website, CT.gov has been redesigned with a new design and a goal to provide “more user-friendly navigation, better search functionality, and easy access to the state’s most popular services.”
HARTFORD: New search capabilities of the state’s business formation database have been made available through a partnership with the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office and the Connecticut Data Collaborative. Searching is more flexible than the secretary’s official CONCORD System. The new database doesn’t include all the information found on Concord, such as shareholder information but users can search by town or date, and type of formation, [ LLC, Corp., Foreign etc.], sole proprietorships are not currently in the database, in the Concord system the business name or ID is required. A quick search showed more than 424,000 active and inactive business records and 824 new business formations in the city of New Haven in the past year, 38 used New Haven in their name itself. The website can be reached at searchctbusiness.ctdata.org
Ease of use and access to information were important according to Governor Dannel P. Malloy who said. “As the development of our state’s online presence continues, we are keeping an eye toward ensuring that new features continue to be added that improve the experience for our constituents, especially for our most novice users.” On the homepage, users will find several of the most commonly accessed state services organized by topic, such as “Business,” “Driving and Transportation,” “Education,”
and “Health and Human Services,” among others. These sections contain some of the most frequently accessed state services citizens are looking for.
Milford Business Park Sold MILFORD: The Quarry Road Business Park, home to a diverse group of companies, has sold for $5 million. The park at 260284 Quarry Park Road consists of 87,000 square feet of commercial flex space on a 7.7-acre property and is 95% occupied. The tenant mix includes Unicomm, the producers of the Travel and Adventure Show now hosted in eight major cities across the US including Los Angels, Chicago, Washington DC. Also at the location is Caldwell & Walsh Building Construction Inc., headquartered in Sandy Hook and with offices in, Boston, and New York City. Yaletron LLC is another company at the location, it develops and markets electronic products used in automotive, truck, ship, military, and green energy industries and has a manufacturing location in Zhejiang, China. The past two years saw an effort to renovate the buildings and fully lease the property according to Jon Angel, president of Southport-based Angel Commercial, which represented the seller, ECP Quarry Road. The property was purchased by LM Real
Estate Partners, which was represented by the New Haven Group, Steve Ingelese, principal.
Pizza Your Rabbi Could Love NEW HAVEN: Whalley Avenue is getting more pizza and it’s a special edition. According to a report in the New Haven Register, the Edge of the Woods New Haven’s iconic vegetarian and natural food market is expected to be rolling out a lot more dough – pizza dough that is, well make that Kosher pizza dough. Edge of the Woods has long catered to the Kosher market but its owners, including Justin Dodge, who would make the Adam Sandler Hanukkah Song as “not a Jew,” told the Register it was the only kosher pizza being offered in greater New Haven. The company first rolled out the kosher pizza five years ago, then served one day a week, now at three days and likely to go six days a week with delivery as demand has grown in part, as the region’s religious Jewish community has grown as well.
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Energy and Politics Will Flow Together Through New England In 2017? Natural Gas, Fuel Cells, Off-Shore Wind and Solar Projects Are Competiting For Legislative and Regulator Support
Eversource Invests in Massive Wind Project Off Martha’s Vineyard Mass Governor Opens Sea Passage For Off-shore Wind Power
wind power plants, rejecting his party’s long standing opposition to off-shore wind energy power off the Cape. In August, Baker signed a bill requiring Massachusetts to purchase 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power and another 1,200 megawatts of hydropower or other renewable resources, such as land-based wind or solar. The new power purchase requirements, make up just under one half of all electricity consumed in the
Baystate, an amount nearly equal to the output of the Seabrook and Millstone nuclear power plants combined. If history is a guide however, in spite of Baker’s popularity, getting off-shore turbines spinning won’t be easy. Opposition is likely to be widespread, driven by potentially increased electricity costs, environmental
By Mitchell Young BOSTON: Hartford based, Eversource [NYSE: ES, previously Northeast Utilities] has announced a 50-50 partnership with Dong Energy of Fredericia, Denmark, to develop Bay State Wind, a proposed offshore wind power installation. Located approximately 15 to 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard it is estimated to include 100 wind turbines and cost at least $1 billion. Eversource has committed $10 million to get the project rolling. Eversource CEO, Jim Judge hailed the project and positioned it as a regional innovation saying, “New England is setting the pace for a national clean energy future with its proven track record in energy efficiency and bold clean energy goals,” adding, “our partnership with DONG Energy on Bay State Wind represents a significant opportunity to help make those goals a reality and we look forward to delivering this renewable and reliable source of power to customers.” Eversource and Dong are putting this plan forward in spite of widespread opposition in Massachusetts to what some opponents call the “industrialization” of Cape Cod Bay. For more than ten years, Cape Cod residents, some environmentalists, business groups and Republican lawmakers have opposed another huge wind power plant, Cape Wind. The Baystate’s very popular Republican Governor, Charlie Baker however shifted the direction of off-shore 10
Eversource’s partner, Dong Energy of Fredericia, Denmark went public in June. The energy company is 50% owned by the Danish government. The huge windfall of the IPO for one of its largest shareholders, New York based Goldman Sachs [18% ownership], stirred up a whirlwind of controversy among Denmark’s lawmakers and the public at large. WWW.CONNTACT.COM
power was expected to cost ratepayers 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour the first year, with annual increases of 3.5% for 15 years [eventually 32 cents per kilowatt]. The initial cost is almost twice the current average cost of electricity in Massachusetts, the final cost could make it the most expensive electricity in the US.
concerns and a new federal government not expected to be friendly to “alternate” energy projects. Cape Wind Associates, the off-shore developer has been battling cost and environmental issues for more than a decade and in spite of receiving all necessary state and federal approvals, the project appears dead.
The US Energy Information Administration in a report released in June 2016, said that the 2018 costs to develop an off-shore power plant would be 2 times the cost of solar panels, 3 times land based wind and 4.5 times more than a new natural gas power plant.
Cape Wind was to cover 24 square miles, 4.8 miles off Mashbe on Cape Cod, in Nantucket Sound, 16 miles from Nantucket. The Bank of Tokyo was to provide $2 billion of financing and the Siemens company was expected to supply the turbines. Financing delays gave then Northeast Utilities and National Grid [NYSE:NGG based in Warwick, England], the opportunity to pull their power purchase agreements in late 2015 and they did. With no power purchase agreements, the project can’t go forward. Baker’s new law doesn’t seem to have resurrected the plan however, even as power purchase agreements for the wind power are now essentially required by state law. Several new off-shore wind proposals are now being floated, in addition to the Eversource/Dong’s proposal. Unlike any new off-shore power plants, Cape Wind would be able to qualify for federal production tax credits because
Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey received a good chunk of the more than $700,000 dollars of lobbying funds from just one company, Cape Wind Associates. Much of the funds went to Democratic lawmakers for off-shore power support, Markey’s take was $50,000 for his latest reelection bid. some limited construction was begun before the expiration of the credits. The Eversource/Dong and other competing proposed projects do not qualify for existing credits. New Federal win power tax credits will face a Republican Congress that let the existing credits expire. President Elect Donald Trump has said he has a preference for fossil fuel development and though a Republican, Baker did not support Trump’s candidacy.
New Eversource CEO Jim Judge, is a Massachusetts native and the son of a Boston Police Officer. Judge took over in April and quickly put the utility into a large scale and potentially controversial off-shore wind energy development. Another Federal roadblock is an existing law, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is expected to be an impediment to Dong’s efforts to reduce construction costs. Under the act, all boats that service the off-shore wind power plants, have to be built to US standards and won’t necessarily be usable by Dong in their home European market. Cape residents and business opponents to off-shore wind power will likely be citing its high electricity costs. Cape Wind
Off-shore wind power is the predominant power generation in Dong’s home country of Denmark, producing 42% of power for the country’s population of 5.7 million, [Connecticut’s population is 3.6 million, Massachusetts’ 6.75 million]. Denmark has the highest percentage of off-shore wind power of any country in the world. That distinction appears to come with a steep cost to Danish residential consumers who pay among the highest electricity costs in the world of any developed country, 41 cents per kilowatt. Electricity in France and the UK is less than half that cost and the average US price is 12.5 cents per kilowatt. Dong claims that at least in Europe’s North Atlantic, the costs have come down and it has been able to bid out electricity
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at only 8 cents per kilowatt, on a more recent development off the coast of Holland.
Commerce was officially against the Cape Wind project but left the door open to other efforts.
The price Eversource’s Massachusetts’ customers’ currently pay is 10.5 cents per kilowatt.
The chamber said, the power costs were too high and the economic benefits meager, citing the 130 turbines to be built overseas and only 50 post construction jobs on the Cape.
Massachusetts’ along with Rhode Island and New Hampshire legislators recently moved to stop increased Natural Gas into New England, by blocking new gas pipelines. That controversial decision was in opposition to power producers, the region’s utilities and Connecticut officials. The lawmakers and several environmental groups claimed that existing gas supplies were sufficient for power generation and consumer use. Eversource and Dong, haven’t said exactly how big their wind power field will be eventually, but DONG has secured development rights to 300 square miles of ocean off Martha’s Vineyard. Baker’s support is an anomaly for Baystate Republicans, former Republican Governor Mitt Romney and former US Senator Scott Brown both opposed the project, former Senator and Cape Cod resident Ted Kennedy was also opposed at the time of his death. Off-shore wind power is not well supported by businesses on the Cape either, the Cape Cod Chamber of
Massachusetts’ current US Senators, Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, both Democrats and former Democrat Governor Deval Patrick all supported the Cape Wind and off-shore power plants. While the wind energy may be clean, opponents have questioned whether the political machinery supporting the projects could say the same. In 2014 the Boston Herald reported that prominent lobbyists received more than $700,000 from the Cape Wind developers, and $50,000 was funneled into the re-election of Senator Markey alone. The newspaper reported that the project was seeking more than $1.5 billion in loan guarantees. Among the other big cash recipients with ties to energy committees included Democrats; Senator Cory Booker [$69,400] NJ, Senator Al Franken [$21,500] MN, Representative Joe Kennedy III [$14,000] MA, Senator Jack Reed [$16,000] RI.
A New Mexico Senator with no ties to off-shore power was still a big recipient of off-shore energy cash, Democrat Senator Tom Udall, NM, received more than $15,000 – his cousin however is Senator Mark Udall, of Colorado and a big player on the Senate’s Appropriation’s Committee. Under 1990’s deregulation then Northeast Utilities was required to sell off its generation assets to avoid confl ict of interests. Today Eversource is allowed under Connecticut law to build small scale power plants. In Massachusetts, the utility can invest in major power generation through an unregulated subsidiary that does not pass costs on to regulated consumers. Opponents will likely be questioning the nature of any proposed purchase agreements however. Consumer advocates in Massachusetts have called for a third party or the state to bid for Eversource. Dan Dolan president of the New England Power Generators Association told the New Haven Register approving the “Bay State Wind project would give Eversource an unfair advantage.” BNH
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Connecticut Works On A New Energy Strategy As Old One Misses The Mark By Jan Ellen Spiegel A construction crew prepares to bend a section of 36inch diameter pipe to follow the contours of the terrain in Cromwell as part of the expansion of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline. Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy, enacted three years ago, set the state on its first-ever, broadbased approach to energy use and development in the face of climate change. The strategy, generally referred to by its initials CES, put considerable focus on natural gas, then far cheaper than oil, as a cleaner bridge fuel to renewable energy options down the road. It called for conversions from oil to gas for heating, and it stressed the need to expand natural gas pipeline capacities to carry the large amount of fracked gas that was available so that power plants could switch from oil or coal to natural gas and new natural gas plants could be built. That was the plan anyway. Three years later, as state officials update the CES as required by law, they face dramatically changed energy, environmental and political landscapes that raise questions about whether the last three years may have been partly wasted and how to regroup.
THE NEW REALITY Since the first CES, the price of oil has dropped by more than half, making natural gas not much of a better deal. Conversions to gas for heat are far below their original targets. Two of five natural gas pipeline projects and competitive bidding for more were scuttled, leaving gas supplies in New England as constrained as ever. In the meantime the region grew even more reliant on natural gas for power generation after the shutdown of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant and a handful of coal and oil plants. More closures – including the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Massachusetts – are planned. Greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut were found to be increasing as of 2013 after several years of reductions. Many worry the state is now unlikely to meet a key emissions target in 2020. Regionally emissions were up in 2015 after the closure of Vermont Yankee. Legal challenges slowed proposed renewable energy projects in the state and region. The state’s fuel cell industry came up empty-handed in recent clean energy competitive bidding, compounding the impact of a very weak financial report and layoffs at the most prominent of the state’s companies – Fuel Cell Energy [NASDAQ: FCEL]. The state and region’s largest power plant – the Millstone Nuclear Power Station, which does not emit greenhouse gases – threatened closure because it was having trouble competing against low natural gas prices. Then there was an election – giving Republicans a strengthened hand in Connecticut, two more governorships in New England, not to mention a full sweep of the federal elected government. Many expect that DECEMBER 2016 / JANUARY 2017
A construction crew prepares to bend a section of 36-inch diameter pipe to follow the contours of the terrain in Cromwell as part of the expansion of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline.
Donald Trump’s stated dismissal of climate change, general Republican disinclination on the national level to fund clean and renewable energy, and Connecticut’s Democratic, non-Trump-supporting congressional delegation and governor will translate into little or no federal funding for Connecticut projects related to clean and renewable energy and climate change.
determined that relying on natural gas will not get the state to its emissions goals.
And that’s just the short list.
Critics say those things have been too little and too slow to make up for power plant shutdowns and to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“We know that the world has shifted in different places,” said Rob Klee, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner who replaced the commissioner who oversaw development of the first CES – Dan Esty. “The CES is this great tool for looking at what’s working, what needs some adjustment, versus a complete overhaul.” Developing the new strategy, in the works for months, has included an information session in May followed by dozens of comments. In the last couple of months, the process was slowed by the departure of its primary architect, energy chief Katie Dykes, who moved over to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. All this has been going on against a backdrop of at least three parallel state and regional energy planning processes. The most critical is the Governor’s Council on Climate Change. It is working on a long-term climate action plan that ideally needs to dovetail with the shorter-term goals of the CES. Technical sessions for the CES now planned for January leave in doubt whether the plan will be done in time for the five-month legislative session that starts in January or whether some of its three components – covering electricity, buildings and transportation – will wind up before the legislature piecemeal. But even without an actual document, let alone a final one – one thing it is not likely to include is as dominant a natural gas emphasis the first one had. The Governor’s Council, including its members from DEEP, already has
“Pivot” is a word that comes up a lot – especially from environmental groups that argued three years ago that the state was putting too many eggs in the natural gas basket. “I don’t know what I’m pivoting to,” Klee said. “We’ve been doing a lot of the things that are not natural gas.”
“This is a great opportunity to completely shift our focus and move toward the clean energy future that we need,” said John Humphries, founder of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs and one of the few non-governmental members of the Governor’s Council.
T HE NATURAL GAS BOGEYMAN
The “I told you so’s,” are barely contained among the unusual mix of environmentalists and oil industry representatives who opposed the natural gas component of the first CES. Greg Cunningham, vice president and director of clean energy and climate change programs at the Conservation Law Foundation, said there’s a lesson in having relied so heavily on fuels historically subject to market swings. But he sees a silver lining. “Those efforts might have resulted in significant buildout of natural gas infrastructure, to which we would have been wedded for decades.” The Connecticut Energy Marketers Association (CEMA), the industry group for the state’s 600 heating oil dealers, sees itself as a solution with a product that is now inexpensive and cleaner because of dramatically lower sulfur content. That content is expected to drop nearly to zero in a year-and-a-half with an increasing percentage of biodiesel mixed in. 13
of the things we’ve learned is tinkering with the RPS is never easy. It’s a market, so we have to be very cautious about what we do.” Rep. Lonnie Reed, D-Branford and cochair of the energy and technology committee said she thought the RPS should be increased. “But we better know more about it before we do,” she said. “You don’t want to put false goals out there.” Eric Brown of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association said his organization would not support goals for renewable energy significantly more aggressive than those of other states in the region. “We’re generally in favor of regional if not national approaches,” he said. “Anything that keeps us from sticking out like a sore thumb and a big red flag to stay away.” But the RPS is just a goal. You still need policies to acquire that renewable energy. An aerial picture of a solar field in Somers, some call it a “farm” but Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky told the Hartford Courant, “in my view, it’s [solar energy] the greatest threat to agriculture and the land available for farming today,”
“We will put a full-court press on,” said Executive Director Chris Herb. “It will be for a complete repeal of any language in the CES that has to do with gas expansion or conversion.” But natural gas is likely to be a component of the region’s energy mix for a long time – and therefore the CES. Power plants rely on it more than ever, with many having converted to gas and new ones planned – including in Connecticut. The winter heating season puts more strain on the system. Despite a report from the Massachusetts attorney general, also since the last CES, that the region didn’t need more gas pipelines, the Independent System Operator (ISO) that runs the New England power grid pointed out in its recent winter outlook that natural gas accounts for 44 percent, or 14,850 megawatts, of the region’s generating capacity, nearly a quarter of which is at risk on cold winter days. The 1,500- megawatt oil and coal Brayton Point Station in Massachusetts is set to close in May. “We still see the need for additional gas infrastructure, whether it’s pipelines, whether it’s LNG storage, whether its dual fuel capability,” said Anne George, ISO’s vice president of corporate communications and external affairs. “That need is still one of the most acute challenges we have.” But more gas worries many in the environmental community.
EMISSIONS BACKSLIDING Acadia Center, a Northeast-based environmental advocacy group that was among critics of the natural gas emphasis in the 2013 CES, discovered a math error in DEEP’s calculation of greenhouse gas emissions in 2013.
Instead of being at, or even just below, the 2020 emissions cap dictated by the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act – which is where emissions were in 2012 – they were heading back up. DEEP has since revised its calculation. Acadia’s calculation, based on publicly available data, showed more. “We found an increase of 7.5 percent from 2012 to 2015,” said Bill Dornbos, who heads Acadia’s Connecticut office. “Looking at the data that’s out there now for 2016, we’re pretty confident 2016 will be higher than 2015 and maybe even significantly so.” Most believe the cause is not the electricity sector, which has all but eliminated its dirtiest generators in the state and region. Rather the lower price of gasoline has increased the use of vehicles and the purchase of less fuel-efficient ones. Transportation accounts for about 40 percent of emissions. Emissions from buildings and manufacturing account for another 40 percent, and that’s gone up too. “Our current natural gas emission level is higher than the entire carbon budget for 2050 (80 percent below 2001 emissions),” Dornbos said. The solution he and others want incorporated into the CES is a paradigm favored by the environmental community: electrify as much as you can, such as heat and transportation, and then decarbonize the power grid by switching from fossil fuels to clean and renewable power. The theory is it’s easier to control emissions that way. The CES is likely to do that by pushing for greater use of air source heat pumps and electric vehicles – electrification of heat and transportation. But some think it’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul. It may take stress off fossil fuel use and emissions for heat and transportation, but would increase those stresses for electricity.
“That means we can’t even drive when the grid goes down. We can’t heat or cool our homes when the grid goes down,” said Lynn Stoddard, director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University and a member of the Governor’s Council. She says she’s “queasy” about electric vehicles since they’re still individual transportation and a contributor to congestion, wear on roads and worrisome land use. Klee conceded such plans would lead to more electrification, but slowly. “We have what, 3, 4,000 EVs on the road today?” he said. “It’s not going to go to 100,000 this year or next year.” There are strategies being considered that would help, such as cheaper electric rates if you charge an EV overnight. But you still need the cleaner power.
MORE ON THE WISH LIST Clean and renewable energy strategy is rooted in goals set by many states called the renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Connecticut set its standard a number of years ago – to get 20 percent of its power from the cleanest renewables by 2020, one of the toughest goals at the time. Since then many states have enacted stronger standards that extend farther into the future. Connecticut’s environmental community is squarely behind expanded standards, though few offer specific targets. Klee said Connecticut probably will “modify” the standard in the new CES. “The RPS from what we’ve seen is delivering things that we’re not necessarily thrilled it’s delivering,” he said, noting that much of the state’s renewable energy comes from wood-burning plants in Maine – not ideal environmentally. “I think one
Among policies being pushed for the CES is expansion of shared clean energy even before an existing small and much-delayed pilot project ends. It’s a way for those who can’t put solar panels on their own properties to benefit from a project elsewhere. Another is expansion of what’s known as virtual net metering, a method to allow those who make more renewable energy than they can use to sell it to others. An existing program has reached its cap and many argue the cap should be raised or eliminated. There probably will be expanded competitions for so-called grid-scale renewables – major sources of renewable energy that are tied directly into the electric grid, such as large solar fields or wind farms. And utilities are likely to be granted additional opportunities to own generating plants as deregulation rules that prevented them from owning power plants are tweaked. There’s also discussion of whether fuel cells – not quite renewable because they generally need natural gas, but considered clean – should get special treatment. They are the products of a home-grown industry that are still expensive enough to have difficulty competing financially against solar and wind. Many see fuel cells as a critical component for two aspects of an energy strategy. One is that they can help to decentralize the power supply to make it more secure. Another is that, because fuel cells run 24/7, they provide a solution for the inherent drawbacks of some of the most popular renewable power sources – solar and wind — which only work when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. “We can’t run the system on intermittent resources like just solar and just wind,” said James Daly, vice president for energy supply for Eversource [NYSE: ES], adding, “some argue that all you need to do is add batteries to those two resources and then you’ve got a solution. But that’s really a long way off.”
New Haven Biotechs Attract Investor Interest and $80 Million
At around 10 a.m., Millstone II, the Daly would like to see greater support of smaller of the power station’s two reactor hydropower with a commitment to more units, suffered a lightning strike, and the transmission. It’s not a surprise since Eversource is a partner in Northern Pass, ensuing power surge sent two of its four circulating water pumps offline. With the a proposal to bring Canadian hydropower remaining insufficient to keep the unit in through New Hampshire. It has Approach faced A Novel Business and two New Technology working, the plant was shut down, taking opposition, but the new governor of New Bring Funds To Two Companies Hampshire, a Republican, is on record sup- some 870 megawatts of power capacity with it. porting it, unlike his predecessor.
By Mitchell Young
Daly also would like to see a more reliEW HAVEN: Biohaven, a priable gas supply. Eversource, however, is vately held Hew Haven-based re-evaluating its support for the Access “pharmaceutical holding comNortheast natural gas pipeline project pany,” has secured $80 million in after New Hampshire, Rhode Island and new funding. Biohaven has creMassachusetts ruled against recovering ated a diverse portfolio of potential drugs costs for it from ratepayers. Those rulings and drug platforms through investments resulted in several companies pulling their and licensing. support for the pipeline and the rulings The licensing canceled and drug its werecompany also whyhas Connecticut development agreements with Yalestate own natural gas plans, saying the University, Massachusetts General can’t do such projects on its own. Hospital and Rutgers University, among What many consider key to the New others. England grid’s reliability is the 2,100 The company says its role is to apply megawatts of power provided by the two its “expertise in late stage clinical developunits of Millstone. It was barely mentioned ment” to bring drug development forward. in the 2013 CES, but may well be the most The FDA gave the of company Orphan contentious piece the newthe one. Drug status this summer and the authority to begin a clinical trial for a drug to treat Spinocerebellar Ataxia [SCA], a rare, debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that is estimated to affect approximately Last Aug. 11 was of aStates. series of 90+ 150,000 people in the the first United degree days in what would turn out to be Vlad Coric, M.D., CEO of Biohaven, exthe hottest August in Connecticut in 122 plained why the FDA moved forward with years. the designation and trial plan, “our clinical development program in Spinocerebellar
MILLSTONE NOW A KEY PLAYER
Compounding the problem, other generatAtaxia is particularly important because ing units in the region also went down, all there are no currently approved drugs for of which sent ISO scrambling for power on this neurological disorder.” the high-priced spot market. The Orphan Drug designation is granted Power prices that normally average about for drugs that can treat, prevent or diag$40 per megawatt hour spiked at a couple nose diseases for fewer than 200,000 peoof points at nearly $2,700 ple in thethat U.S.day Drugs granted thatper status, if megawatt hour. The highest hourly avereventually approved, receive an extended age that day was nearly $1,450 and the avmarketing exclusivity. erage price for the whole day was $255. The fi nancing was led by the venture “Pricesfiwent absolutelyRA bonkers,” capital rms Venrock, Capital said Kevin Hennessy, director federal, Management, Vivo Capital, of Aisling state and local affairs in New England Capital, Rock Springs Capital, John W. for Dominion, Millstone’s owner, who Childs, Knoll Capital Management, Osage happened to be at meeting in Boston that University Partners, Aperture Venture day with dozens of other regional energy Partners, Connecticut Innovations, Greg officials. Bailey and Litmore Capital, and two undisclosed pharmaceutical compa“Folks “blue came chip” up to me at this meeting,” nies. Biohaven’s announcement said the‘Oh Hennessy recalled. “They kind of said, offering was “oversubscribed.” you waited until we got together in a room andinvestment then you had knock off of your An by to Biohaven in one September units to show how important Millstone in another New Haven biotech is likely is.’” one reason that investors were attracted. It was an expensive, though potentially Biohaven provided an undisclosed helpful incident for Dominion that followed amount of Series A fi nancing toofKleo a contentious drama at the end the last Pharmaceuticals. legislative session over exactly that — the value of Millstone.
Kleo’s CEO and Co-founder, David As has happened with other nuclear plants Spiegel, is Professor of Chemistry and around the country, Dominion had argued Pharmacology at Yale University where it was having difficulty competing against he heads the Spiegel Research Group much cheaper natural gas power – though and has received wide acclaim and awards the company has never opened its books to for his lab’s research. While Spiegel lawmakers – and might be forced to shut co-founded Kleo, he was only appointed down. Similar threats in New York and CEO in September in connection with the more recently in Illinois have resulted in fi nancing. large subsidy packages – nearly $500 milBiohaven’s investment in in Kleo will help lion a year for four plants New York and the company develop its “novel” Antibody $235 million for two plants in Illinois. Recruiting Molecules (ARMs) and Hastily pulled together legislation in the Synthetic Antibody Recruiting Molecules last few days of the last session would (SyAMs). Both drug platforms are considhave allowed Millstone to compete against other large-scale clean-energy providers. The bill never made it through and is now poised to be re-litigated. Commissioner Klee has said the issue of Millstone will appear in more detail in the CES. In what form is unknown.
The company plans to develop ARMs watching what’s going on in New York, and and SyAMs to treat cancer and infectious I’m not thrilled with the deals they made,” diseases. she said. “I would love to do a bilateral Spiegel explained the role he his deal where the state makes thehopes deal with technology will take, saying, “Biologics them.” The state essentially would agree have the gold fortime immuto buybeen the power forstandard a period of at notherapies. With ARMs and SyAMs, we a set rate, though she’s not sure it would have the opportunity to raise that bar. Our stand up to regulatory scrutiny. molecules are hundreds of times lighter The committee’s ranking member, Sen. than their biological counterparts and thus Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, represents may infi ltrate tissue more efficiently than Waterford, home to Millstone and its 1,100 large proteins.” jobs and $1.5 billion annual economic Of the investment byout Biohaven he said, impact. He too ruled New York-style “Combining our expertise in ARMs and of subsidies and said having Millstone part the CES wasn’t essential.
The environmental community is to a large degree officially silent on Millstone, though privately there is little appetite for seeing it shut down before its licenses run out in 2035 and 2045. DEEP estimates that greenhouse gas emissions region-wide would go up 27 percent if that happened. And many see its continued operation as buying time to get more renewables running. Vlad Coric, M.D., CEO of Biohaven Crystal clear is that there is zero appetite is marshalling funds and new drug for a New Yorkor Illinois-style subsidy. candidates to company. We’ve already paid for Millstone twice, said – to build it to and deeredReed by the company bethen ablewhen to create regulation occurred. “I don’t want to pay entirely new drug types. for nuclear a third time, and I’ve been
Hennessy said Dominion would like a recommendation in the CES and some form of last session’s legislation. “It had the bones of legislation that was very simple and thoughtful that had a direct benefit for customers,” he said.
“Whatever works to get us there and get us there with a minimal amount of stress on everybody else is the way to do it,” Formica said. “That’s going to take some open discussions.”
Printed with permission of the ctmirror.com Yale researcher and Kleo CEO found a local partner to help push his “novel” technology forward.
SyAMs with Biohaven’s investment and development expertise represents an ideal collaboration.”
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TECHNOLOGY CT’s Magnificent Seven, Make Deloitte’s 2016 Technology Fast 500
The pilot program sends customers an email each morning with scanned images of the mail. The New PO Debuts
ing, noise and health hazards, animal control issues, missed trash pickups, graffiti, and many other issues.
WILTON: Deloitte released its 2016 Technology Fast 500 rankings of the fastestgrowing tech companies in North America. Seven Connecticut companies have made the list, including: New Haven’s Achillion Pharmaceuticals. The biotechnology/pharmaceutical company came in at no. 43, with 2,436 percent (revenue growth between 2012 and 2015). Achillion’s growth was driven by a joint marketing and development agreement with Johnson and Johnson’s Jannsen Pharmaceuticals, for rights to Achillion’s Hepatitus C drugs. The deal brought more than $225 million to the company and potential payments of $1 billion if regulatory and sales goals are met. Farmington’s Evariant software markets a healthcare Customer Relationships Marketing [CRM] platform that according to the company “combines digital marketing solutions, big data, and analytics to grow patient engagement.” Deloitte placed Evariant at number 239 on their national list with a growth rate of 303%. HPOne, [previously Healthplan One] of Trumbull, came in at 357 in the index with a 199% growth rate. It is the fi fth year in a row that the company made the list. HPOne provides services to health plans that range from staffi ng to digital marketing, sales service and care management programs. At 385 on the index Madison’s Clarity Software was recognized for its 176% growth rate. Clarity also services, health insurance plans, helping them manage their documents across print, mobile, email and web. In October Fallon Health Plans of Worcester, MA, expanded their relationship with the company by having Clarity manage the company “explanation of benefits” documents. Norwalk’s Etouches helps companies manages their events and it has made them one of the fastest growing companies in Connecticut and the US, it hit the list at 461 with a 132% growth rate. Number 469 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 was Core Informatics, a Branford software, company that provides “laboratory data management solutions to leading biopharma, genomics, and other scientific organizations” and created a 130 percent growth rate. New Haven’s recently embattled super company, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, is still growing but it going through a difficult patch with the” resignation” of its CEO and CFO, an internal investigation over its sales practices, a horde of class action lawsuits in the hopper and a recently failed clinical trial. Nevertheless analysts are still positive on the stock and new products will nearly double sales in the next few years. With $2.5 billion in sales it is the largest Connecticut company on the list and its 130% placed it at 473.
NEW YORK: The U.S. Postal Service is testing out a new high-tech service, “Informed Delivery,” in the New York City area that gives people a quick glance at their mail before it’s delivered. The pilot program sends customers an email each morning with scanned images of the mail that will be delivered to their home that day. Your mail isn’t opened -- it’s left fully intact. You’re only going to see a photo of the outside of the envelope. But it gives you an idea what to expect when you get home and check your mailbox.
The app is linked to the city’s website bridgeportct. gov and was customized for Bridgeport by SeeClickFix. Bridgeport 311 replaces a similar effort, B Connected which the city says was underutilized by the public and reported problems were not followed up well.
designed to “create more accountability” and “the new app will be more ‘transparent, efficient, consumer friendly and allows for anyone from city officials to members of the public to track the progress on problems that have been reported.” The CT Post reported the city will pay SeeClickFix $31,402 per year on a three year contract.
According to City offi cials the new approach is
Recruiter.com Partnering Up For New Services
Informed Delivery fi rst launched in the NYC and southern Connecticut area in December 2015 and is picking up steam. It’s expected to expand to other parts of New York, Long Island and New Jersey by summer 2017.
FARMINGTON: Recruiter.com, an online global recruiting service and job market technology platform, launched a travel service and loyalty program in partnership through a partnership with Monaker Group ( OTCQB : MKGI ), an “innovative technology-driven” travel company.
The “Fix” Is In, In Bridgeport: SeeClickFix
Adding, “the demographics of our members suggest they have high demand for both business and leisure travel. We saw the ability to be a first mover by delivering a specialized travel platform that offers value and convenience,” says Miles Jennings, CEO of Recruiter.com.
BRIDGEPORT: Mayor Joe Ganim launched Bridgeport 311, utilizing New Haven’s SeeClickFix website and apps. SeeClickFix located at 770 Chapel Street, New Haven says it, “has official partnerships with hundreds of cities, engaging hundreds of thousands of citizens in the resolution of millions of issues.” Ganim said, Bridgeport 311 is to be used to “report problems ranging from potholes to blight and illegal dump-
The new travel program and platform gives members access to discounted travel and vacation packages. Recruiter.com says it “has a highly engaged membership base, working with hundreds of clients and employers, and managing a social media following of more than 2.8 million people.”
In early November the company announced a partnership with MCW Energy Group Limited (“MCW”) (TSX VENTURE:MCW) (OTCQX:MCWEF), “a clean-tech company with proprietary soil remediation and extraction technologies” and OilPrice.com. The partnership will provide internet based job placement and career services to what the companies say is an “increasingly skilled and specialized energy sector.” The partners say,” the sector has a burgeoning need for specialized talent but does not have the online tools to streamline access to such talent.” A recent survey by the U.S. Department of Energy, showed that more than 70% of employers found it “difficult or very difficult” to hire new employees with required skills,” according to a recruiter.com release. Oilprice.com’s audience is claimed to be 100,000 unique visitors daily and Recruiter.com says it currently provides its 3 million job seekers with more than 6 million job listings from more than 13,000 companies globally.
Helping Create the Campus Safe Zone
New IT Man in Fairfield FAIRFIELD: David Kelley was appointed the town’s Information Technology Director. Kelley held the same position previously at the University of Hartford.
NEW HAVEN: ASSA ABLOY has launched Unlocked, a six-episode podcast series focused on the security issues for colleges and universities. The series is hosted by Brian Adoff, cofounder of the campus card data management company SwiftData Technology, based in Springfield Gardens, New York.
Kelley is a graduate of UofH with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration. Kelly is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional and has a FEMA National Incident Management System certificate. Kelley has been a member of the Academic Strategic Technology Policy Committee and the Northeast Executive Advisory Group and an alternate on the University Situation (Crisis) Management Team.
According to Swiftdata, Adoff talks with “experts, manufacturers and end users to help demystify the world of physical security.”
Tech Flocking To Providence PROVIDENCE: GE, Virgin Pulse and Johnson and Johnson are all the latest tech catches for Rhode Island. State incentives are at play as well as a new tech complex to house technology companies. Former Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, is Rhode Island’s Commerce Secretary and the lead on the state’s tech incentives.
J&J will use space adjacent to the new $150 million tech center that is being proposed. The “innovation complex’ has already attracted two ‘anchor” tenants and
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Wexford is the owner of the 300 George Street and the Alexion Pharmaceuticals building. The one million square foot complex have signed on the Cambridge Innovation Center and Brown University for a School of Professional Studies with 15 year leases of 65,000 and 50,000 square feet respectively. CV is hoping to build a 96,000 square foot Starwood Hotel next to the tech property.
Rhode Island officials had been incentive shy after a big hit from a $75 million bonding, to guarantee loans to move former Boston Red Sox star Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios from Massachusetts. The company moved to Rhode Island and then went bust faster than Schilling’s fastball and filed bankruptcy.
Rhode Island claimed that Schilling had defrauded the state, but has agreed to $2.5 million settlement, because 38 Studios was busted. GE ditched Connecticut for a Boston headquarters and then threw Providence another headquarters’ candidate a bone, after it lost the headquarters hunt. Digital GE is setting up in Providence, with 100 employees. GE execs cited the creativity of the Providence community as the reason for the choice.
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CV Properties LLC, of Boston, MA and Southport, CT and Wexford Science and Technology of Baltimore are looking for as much as $32 million to support the $150 million cost of the development.
Virgin Pulse a health tech is owned by British Billionaire Richard Branson and is seeking $5.4 million to move its Framingham Mass., based company to Providence. VP says its project’s expected cost is $10.5 million. Virgin Pulse told the Providence Journal they expect to hire 300 employees within three years at an average pay of $73,000. Johnson & Johnson the healthcare giant, which recently struck a deal with New Haven’s Achillion with a $225 million up front payment and a billion plus dollars potentially down the road, plans to open a “health technology center” with 75 jobs in 2017.
“Helping our customers navigate the numerous issues involved with campus security is a top priority for us,” says Jim Primovic, a campus national sales manager with, ASSA ABLOY.
$20 million in state tax incentives according to the Providence Journal newspaper.
CONNECTCIUT COMMERCIAL Real Estate and Construction NEWSLETTER Send Your news to: REC@conntact.com 17
REAL ESTATE Realtors Tout Their “Deals of The Year”
Retail Lease Lou Proto of The Proto Group lease 55 Village Green, Litchfield 37,170 square feet at a total cost of $10,215,000. The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company has signed a longterm ground lease to relocate its Litchfield store. The new 38,000 SF store will relocate to 55 Village Green Drive just several hundred yards to the east of their existing store.
The New Haven Middlesex Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID) announced the CID “2016 Deals of the Year”. CID recognized industrial and commercial real estate transactions topping $220 million in the Greater New Haven market during 2016, according to CID Chairman Vance Taylor. “CID, comprised of over 135 commercial real estate agents doing business in the Greater New Haven area, recognized brokers who have distinguished themselves in a variety of notable real estate transactions,” said Taylor. “The $220 million in transactions completed by our brokers represent only the top tier of the countless deals done by our members in 2016 and are, in effect, the tip of the iceberg. For those who think the New Haven economy is showing signs of weakness, we’ve got the numbers to show quite the contrary!”
Business Sale Brokered by Vance Taylor of the, Commercial Real Estate Group a $260,000 sale of a specialty fireproofing contracting company located at 17 Canal Street in Terryville. The CID did not release the name of the company. Passive Protection Inc. is a fire prevention contractor located at that address.
Build to Suit Robert Motley of Cushman & Wakefield and Frank Hird O,R&L Commercial cobrokered 800 Boston Post Road, Guilford a 10,000 square foot medical office build to suit. Frank Hird Represented the tenant, CT Gastroenterology for a new headquarters for the practice.
Multi-Parcel Sale term lease Leased to a church that also has an option to purchase.
Land Lease Lou Proto of The Proto Group was the sole broker on a land lease at 893 North Colony Road, Wallingford, 1.86 acres for a value of $2,900,000 to Centerplan Development. Centerplan has built a 10,730 square foot retail center which will be occupied by Starbucks, Great Clips, an AT&T phone store, Hannoush Jewelers and Panchero’s Mexican Grill. The lessor of the land is Fulton Forbes, Inc, David Leigh, Trustee.
Land Sale Press|Cuozzo Realtors’ Stephen Press brokered the sale of a property at 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden with 15,000 square feet of building on 5.53 acres. The entire property sold for $1,800,000. The former Centerville Lumber property, was on the market for more than five years. The buyer Jordan a number of building set on 5.5 acres. The Press represent the estate of Oscar Roos, and Centerville Lumber, Inc., as well as procuring the buyer, Jordan Properties.
John Bergin of H. Pearce / George J Smith brokered the sale of an industrial property at 430 Sniffens Lane, Stratford. The building and property were purchased by the Coating Design Group, the facility was 35,488 square feet and it sits on 2.1 acres, the purchase prices was $1,950,000. Bergin represented the buyer, Coating Design Group. David Gorbach of Colonial Realty of Fairfield represented the seller, Putney Associates of New York and was formerly occupied by Advanced Graphics.
Mixed Use Sale
Bill Clark, Vice President of the The Geenty Group was recognized for 39 new transactions (sales and new leases). Clark in his early seventies said he had no interest in retirement and had a total of 79 completed lease and sales transactions in the year. Clark responded to a question about the total deal volume said “he wanted to keep the number of transactions above his age.” Clark’s deals filled a variety of businesses from a small screen printer, to small manufacturers, to service companies, repair busi-
Stephen Press, of Press|Cuozzo Realtors leased 335 Putnam Avenue, Hamden. The 45,788 square feet is 3.47 acres. The property value of the lease was $1,150,000 A former industrial building that had been converted to an AT&T call center. Press represented the building ownership, 335 Putnam Avenue, LLC, and procured the tenant, Love Center Deliverance Ministry, on this long18
Eileen Russell & John Bergin of H. Pearce/ George J. Smith sold 300 Soundview Ave Fairfield, The property is a 4,348 square foot three family home and a cell tower on 0.18 The price for the complete property was $755,500. The buyer was 17 Mile LLC and the seller Patricia Boyle.
Most New Transactions
ness and on the Shorelines most popular dance studios. Shoreline Ballet leased 4,474 square feet at 1795 Boston Post Road, Guilford. Kathryn Contessa is the owner and artistic director of the school.
Office Lease Robert Motley and Evan O’Brien, of Cushman and Wakefield lease 108 Leigus Rd, Wallingford. The totlal property is 298,000 square feet offices. The office lease was for 42,136 square feet for seven years to Burns and McDonnell of Kansas City. Motley and O’Brien represented the tenant, Jon Putnam of Cushman and Wakefield represented Gale Development, the owner. The value of the lease was in excess of mid-seven (7) figures.
Office Sale Frank Hird and Rich Lee, of O,R&L Commercial brokered the sale of 1-3 Long Wharf Drive New Haven. The 300,000 Square foot building and 12.57 acres sold for $73,000,000 O,R&L co-listed and sold the property with the Investment Sales Group at Newmark, Grubb Knight Frank in New York City. The 300,000 square foot medical office building was sold to Healthcare Trust of America. The property received serious offers from dozens of investors and REITS (Real Estate Investment Trust).
Retail Sale Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Commercial ‘s Ken Ginsberg, and Robert Cole of Arnold Peck Commercial World, co-brokered 45,59, & 81 North Main St, Bristol A 42,951 SF retail center with 17 units on 3.5 Acres. The property sold for $4,725,000 with Ginsberg representing the seller and Cole represented the buyer the seller was Ettcon & Company Tenants in the building include Subway, Family Dollar and Oak Hill School. The new owner plans to fill a former CVS space, with a use that will complement the new hospital planned for across the street.
This property on Chapel street in one of the best locations in New Haven has been vacant for 24 years. Fred A. Messore of Colonial Properties, Inc in Orange. The property at 1142 Chapel Street, New Haven is a 8,228 square foot commercial building combined with two contiguous parcels. The additional parcels at 166 York St, is a 3,618 square foot mixed use building on .06 acres and a parking lot around the corner at 169 Park Street, of .12 Acres. The total transaction was $2,300,000.
The CID provided their Community Service Award – to Carl Russell of H.Pearce Real Estate. This award recognizes service in a variety of areas such as: charitable and civic organizations, Chamber of Commerce, involvement or leadership with a real estate association or affiliated professional Institute, Society, or Council. The recipient of this award will also be recognized by the National Association of Realtors in the organization’s National Commercial Awards.” Carl has been a senior instructor for the National Association of Realtors’ Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) program since 1980. Carl is a past president of the CT Chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), the CT CCIM Chapter, Connecticut CID chapter, and New Haven Middlesex Association of Realtors, and has been named “Realtor of the Year” by both the Greater New Haven Board of Realtors and Connecticut Association of Realtors. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Orange and was President for 2013-2014. He founded the “Rotary Club of Orange Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race”, which in its 4 years has raised over $40,000 for Rotary and their great causes. He is also President of the Real Estate Educational Foundation since 2011, the charitable affiliate of the New Haven Middlesex Association of REALTORS® .
Kuss sent more than 3.2 million pieces of mail without payment.
Pepsi Responds To Betty’s Suit
New Sales Leader for Digital First Media
NEW YORK: Pepsi’s [NYSE: PEP] legal team of Monique N. Bhargava, Michael S. Elkin and Scott R. Samay of Chicago’s Winston & Strawn LLP, filed a response to Fairfield’s Betty Inc. [Advertising], that the soft drink company used copyrighted material pitched to Pepsi by Betty. Betty claimed the that the beverage company used its ideas for a Super Bowl ad.
NEW HAVEN: Edward L. Woods has been named vice president of sales for Digital First Media in Connecticut, including its web and print publications.
New York federal judge Kenneth Karas will rule on the company’s dismissal request of Betty’s suit. Pepsi contends its “Joy of Dance” Super Bowl halftime ad, was “substantially” different than the ideas presented in Betty’s pitch. The companies agree that Betty did present in November 2015 an “All Kinds/Living Jukebox” ad concept. Pepsi filings however say that Betty presented “generic and unprotectable elements, such as unspecified wardrobe or set changes, that are distinctly different from the final advertisement it ended up producing.” Adding, “as a matter of law, Betty’s complaint is insufficient to support a claim of copyright infringement, and no amount of discovery could remedy the glaring lack of substantial similarity between the two works.” Betty’s original complaint described their Living Jukebox proposal as “the human representation of what a jukebox could be, with seamless music changes and genre variety with the ability to transport the viewer to imagine a scene consistent with a created joyous feeling.” Betty’s suit said that Pepsi told them they were going with a different approach, but after proposing the idea they chose The Marketing Arm, headquartered in Dallas to produce the concept. Betty’s attorney Mark Gregory of Martin LLP of Stamford, said the company went on to “produce a substantially similar ad, of a character dancing along to genre music through 50 years of Pepsi history, from the 1960s to present day.” Pepsi contends the differences between the two ideas are substantial and that Betty’s proposal “included taking the viewer on a walk through a warehouse setting while various renditions of the “Joy of Pepsi” jingle are performed in different music genres, ending with a scene behind the warehouse of a doo-wop group singing around a trash can fire.” Adding, the produced Super Bowl ad “features dancing, not singing, to different songs other than the Pepsi jingle, and takes place inside a “Pepsi Globe.” Betty said it had an “express understanding” it would be paid $5,000 for its work, Pepsi did forward a check once they claimed the infringement. Betty’s attorney said the agency didn’t cash it and filed the suit in June 2016.
Connecticut Gets New Indian, Victory Dealership BROOKFIELD: Indian Motorcycles are among the most storied bikes in America, originally manufactured in Springfield, Mass., home of the Indian motorcycle museum. The Indian brand and its sister brand Victory are both owned by Polaris [NYSE: PII] in Medina, Minnesota. Robert Gaulin and his son Eric have teamed up to launch the Brookfield Indian Motorcycle dealership in 12,000 square feet at 20 Federal Road to sell Indians and Victory bikes. Motorcyle retailing is a change for both. Robert was an area attorney for 40 years, and Eric has an anthropology degree in “motorcycle culture” from Elon University in North Carolina. 20
Eric Gaulin loves Bikes, now he and his lawyer dad are selling Indians in Brookfield.
Woods was president and publisher of DFM’s New England newspaper division and has held three other executivelevel positions for the Denverbased national newspaper chain between 2002 and 2014. He also worked as advertising director for Gannett’s USA Today Network. Kevin Corrado, president and publisher of the New Haven Register, said Woods “is an energetic and experienced multimedia sales leader who will be very engaged in helping businesses succeed.” DFM’s Connecticut cluster includes the New Haven Register, the Middletown Press and the Torrington Register-Citizen, as well as Connecticut Magazine, Connecticut Bride and eight weekly newspapers. DFM is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
Tech Marketer Takes On Co-working Space MANCHESTER: Angelina Capalbo has joined the Axis901 co-working space as its new community manager. The Town of Manchester brought in Capalbo to oversee marketing, promotions, and dayto-day operations of the three-year-old shared workspace and startup incubator. Capalbo is a veteran of the Connecticut entrepreneurial scene having founded two startup networking initiatives — Startup Hartford and CT Startup Trail. Capalbo currently serves as the director of CT Innovation Nights and publishes an online family event guide called MomfordCounty.com for moms in greater Hartford
The co-working space was \ first created in 2013 after First Niagara Bank closed its Main Street location and donated its building to the town. The bank sent along $500,000 to the MCC Foundation as well to transform the space into a downtown destination for art, education, and enterprise. The Savings Bank of Manchester was folded into New Alliance Bank in 2002 and was eventually purchased by First Niagara, now KeyBank.
Delivery Company Puts Connecticut In It’s Circle NEWARK, NJ: The privately held DeliveryCircle is expanding to service Hartford, Stamford, and Windsor, Connecticut and Atlanta Georgia.
“We are thrilled to offer affordable sameday delivery options in four new cities,” said Vijaya Rao, CEO, DeliveryCircle. “ DeliveryCircle’s software and mobile application enabled companies to outsource their logistics. According to the company, “package sizes are matched with a pool of professional and safe drivers, with the appropriate vehicle type,” adding “customers can also track their deliveries in realtime through the mobile app and rate the drivers.” For info deliverycircle.com.
New Name Brings Law Firm Back to its Roots DANBURY: The law firm of Ventura, Ribeiro and Smith has changed its name to Ventura Law. The fifteen attorney firm does real estate, estate planning and personal injury claims and has five offices in Connecticut and New York. Americo Ventura, was the founding partner for the firm started in 1957. With the new name came a new website and address as well www.venturalaw.com.
Exec Guilty of Mail Fraud HARTFORD: Robert Kuss of Cheshire has pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges for scamming the Post Office out of $750,000. Kuss used phony documents to show that he paid for mailings online for his Creative Marketing Group mailing company. Kuss sent more than 3.2 million pieces of mail within a two year period beginning in 2014 without payment. WWW.CONNTACT.COM
WHO’S WHAT WHERE
Polito Robert F. Polito was named chair of the Masonicare Board of Trustees. As Senior Vice President and Commercial Lender with Webster Bank for 23 years, Polito served on the board of the senior living and healthcare non-profit for 10 years. Polito chairs the Investment Committee and IT Steering Committee of Masonicare and has been involved in fundraising for The Masonic Charity Foundation. He earned his B.A. in public policy from Eastern Connecticut State University, an M.B.A. from the University of New Haven and a post-graduate business certificate from UCONN. Quinnipiac University elected Dean of the School of Health Sciences, William C. Kohlhepp as president of the Physician Assistant Education Association board of directors—beginning his term Jan. 1, 2017. Kohlhepp
is a tenured professor in the university’s physician assistant students program and has been on the PAEA board of directors since 2010 where he was treasurer/secretary for several years until the position split into just treasurer. He has gathered various awards for his work and dedication in his field like the National Student Academy President’s Award in 2010 and has played an active role in national organizations of the PA profession since serving as national student secretary in 1978. He graduated from the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey Rutgers physician assistant program in 1979, earned his master’s degree in health administration from Quinnipiac University, and his doctorate
The Navigators Group appointed Meryl D. Hartzband as an independent director to the company, serving on the Compensation and Finance Committees of the Board of Directors. She was a founding partner of Stone Point Capital and served as the firm’s Chief Investment Officer and member of the Investment Committees of the Trident Funds from 1999-2015. Prior to this
Fortino position, she also spent 16 years at J.P Morgan & Co. as Managing Director. Hartzband earned her B.A. from Cornell University and a M.B.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Harzband in health sciences from Nova Southeastern University.
Match Makes A New Match NORWALK: - Match Marketing Group [Match] has acquired Chicago-based creative agency, Trisect. The company says the acquisition “adds capabilities and personnel to further strengthen its position as North America’s leading end-to-end integrated marketing agency.”
Trisect has delivered marketing campaigns for PepsiCo, Kawasaki, Chicago Bears, Slim Jim and Mike’s Hard Lemonade among others. Match President Michael Dill said that Trisect brings new capabilities and capacity to the agency, explaining, “Trisect has tremendous in-house content capabilities and fully equipped studios.” Match’s client roster includes Fortune 100 companies across all major industry categories including Walmart, Molson Coors, PepsiCo, Adidas, Ford, and Progressive. To learn more, visit www.matchmg.com. DECEMBER 2016 / JANUARY 2017
The Westport Arts Center appointed Lillie Fortino as a new director of education, managing and growing all aspects of the Arts Center’s Education programs such as Youth & Teen art classes
and camps, special arts, adult education, continuing education at local schools, the Teen Advisory Council, and community service programs like Connections and WAC Gives Back. She most recently served as an Arts Enrichment Program Coordinator for the Norwalk Housing Authority. Fortino received her Bachelors of Fine Arts and a concentration in Photography from the University of Connecticut. Brandt Wilson joined the firm, Cross Ocean Partners as their Partner and Head of Hard Asset Investment Strategies, focusing mainly on the aviation sector in global aviation opportunities out of their Greenwich office. Wilson has a total of 23 years of financial services experience covering public accounting, leverage finance, bankruptcy advisory and credit and hard asset investing. He was most recently a managing director and co-head of the firm’s North American Illiquid Credit Trading group and before Cross Ocean, was senior managing director at Castlelake, L.P. Webster Bank has elected John Ciulla, president of Webster Financial Corporation and Webster Bank, as chair of CBIA’s board of directors. Ciulla
joined Webster Bank in 2004 and was recently promoted in Jan. 2014 from executive vice president and head of middle market banking to lead commercial banking and president in Oct. 2015. The CBIA board also elected two chairs: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Achillion Pharmaceuticals in New Haven, Mary Kay Fenton and Chris DiPentima, president of Pegasus Manufacturing, based in Middletown. Edible Arrangements International, LLC named Anthony Pavese president of Edible Global, LLC. During his role, Pavese will focus on markets outside of the country, seeking new partnerships throughout the world and supporting the 10 international markets in which the company’s current franchisees operate. Before his time at the company, Pavese served as International Group President for Focus Brands, the franchisor of over 1,500 units in more than 60 centuries, with more than three decades of experience. Fairfield University appointed Lynn M. Babington, current provost and senior vice president of the university, to Interim President, effective Jan. 1 until June 2017. Before her role as provost and senior vice president
of Academic Affairs since 2014, Babington served as Dean of the School of Nursing at Fairfield since 2012 and an appointment as Professor of Nursing. She has extensive experience in hospital, academic and clinical settings. She earned her B.S.N. from the University of Michigan and an M.N. and PhD from the University of Washington. The Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation appointed three new trustees to the FAF board: Susan J. Carter, Anthony J. Dowd, and T. Eloise Foster effective Jan. 1, 2017. These new appointments will fill vacant spots in the Board of Trustees whose terms ended on Dec. 31. The FAF Trustees also appointed Gary H. Bruebaker as vice president also effective on Jan. 1, 2017. Comcast announced the promotion of three new employees for the company’s leadership roles in their Western New England Region in Berlin, CT: Beverly Elliot to Vice President of Project Management, Brian Ferney to Vice President of Marketing and Sales, and Jim Bitzas to Director of Construction.
Second Wind Media Ltd. To Lauch Connecticut Marketing Newsletter and Webzine: MAS Publishing Company’s Move Into Digital Publishing to Include Targeted Content Business New Haven and New Haven magazine publisher Second Wind Media Ltd., is launching MAS: a Connecticut wide, Marketing, Advertising and Sales content channel. According to Editor and Publisher Mitchell Young, the digital effort will include an email newsletter, a webzine and social media. Young explained the why of the new effort, “we see a lot of material and news from companies and the content quality of the work and the professionals in the Connecticut media industry is really exciting. Frankly, I believe the work output, the people and the business stories behind them makes for really good copy, and we believe will interest business people looking for more.”
The intersection of technology and marketing was a factor as well, adds Young. “Keeping up with the techniques, technology and even plain lingo is increasingly difficult especially for business people running everyday businesses. MAS will be fun and accessible and bring Connecticut’s creators to the forefront and that will be fun and informative.” The fi rst newsletters will launch in January and the Webzine which will be hosted on a relaunched website CONNTACT.com and be published later in the quarter. Marketing news should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
200,000 who became eligible under Obamacare.
Hospitals Worry Medicaid, Obamacare Changes Could Bring Pain By, Arielle Levin Becker [This is a significantly edited version, the complete article can be found at ctmirror.com]
ith the potential for major changes in federal health care policy looming, hospital leaders are watching closely, worried especially that cuts to Medicaid could bring a big fi nancial hit and that a repeal of Obamacare could raise the number of uninsured Connecticut residents.
“With all of the uncertainty that is coming out of Washington now, we’re obviously very concerned,” said Dr. Rocco Orlando, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Hartford HealthCare, the parent company of Hartford, Backus and Windham hospitals, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, and MidState Medical Center. In contingency planning, Hartford HealthCare’s worst-case scenario involves Medicaid: the possibility that the federal government will shift from its open-ended funding approach to giving the state a lump-sum of money – and reduce funding by 25 percent. Hospital leaders also worry about the effects of repealing Obamacare – a top agenda item for President-elect Donald J. Trump and Congressional Republicans. “I worry that we’re going to go back to growing the number of people who just come in and don’t have any insurance,” said Yale New Haven Health President and CEO Marna Borgstrom, whose hospital system includes Yale-New Haven, Bridgeport, Greenwich and New London’s Lawrence + Memorial hospitals, as well as Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island. The Affordable Care Act cut billions of dollars from Medicare payments to hospitals, and hospital trade organizations have warned that if the health law is dismantled without repealing the cuts, hospitals could end up with more uninsured patients without the funding to help offset the cost of caring for them. “If the law is repealed and the cuts remain in place, Connecticut hospitals’ fiscal stability and sustainability, as well as patient access to care, will be compromised,” according to Elizabeth Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the Connecticut Barnes: “Hospitals think Hospital that we’ve been underfundAssociation. She ing them for the last few added the assoyears anyways.” ciation is “deeply concerned” about how patients would be affected if the health law is repealed.” But hospital leaders say they haven’t changed their strategy in one key area – planning for a signifi cant shift in how care is paid for and delivered, from one that largely pays for each test, visit or procedure, to one that ties compensation to patient 22
outcomes. The federal government has pushed this change – which also has been embraced by private insurance companies – but hospital officials say they don’t anticipate that to change with the new administration. THE FUTURE OF MEDICAID Hospital leaders say Medicaid is the biggest question on their minds when it comes to potential changes in federal policy.
Connecticut On Santa’s Good List For Once Connecticut companies may want to move down South to save on electricity and wage costs, but according to the 2016 report by the United Health Foundation, communities with low incomes and poor public support have the most unhealthy citizens. According to the survey, the unhealthiest states in the country all are in the southeast US. For the 27th year in a row, UHF has ranked America’s states, incorporating data on factors including smoking, obesity, cardiovascular disease, air pollution, poverty and health outcomes. Perhaps readers wouldn’t find a surprise that Hawaii made the top of the list as America’s healthiest state, but the deep south state of Mississippi was declared the unhealthiest.
Borgstrom: “I worry that we’re going to go back to growing the number of people who just come in and don’t have any insurance.”
Medicaid currently covers nearly 750,000 state residents, including close to 200,000 who became eligible under Obamacare. The federal government currently reimburses the state for 100 percent of the cost of those added under Obamacare (it will drop to 95 percent as of Jan. 1), compared to 50 percent for those who were previously eligible. This fiscal year, federal funding for Medicaid is expected to bring the state $3.5 billion; the state is expected to spend another $2.4 billion, making it the largest line item in the state budget.
Getting out on the ocean in a vacation paradise was not clearly the factors that drove Hawaii to the lead however, the often frozen states of Massachusetts , Connecticut , Minnesota , and Vermont , rounded out the top five healthiest states. Using information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, and the Census bureau, the survey included data on obesity and smoking, child poverty, air pollution, immunizations, and health outcomes for disease like cancer and diabetes. Among the good news across the country was that smoking continues to decline, as were preventable hospitalizations and the percentage of the population without health insurance. Smoking was down 41% since the survey began in 1990 from 29.5% to 17.5% of the population. However, for the first time in 27 years Cardiovascular deaths increased albeit by one death per 100,000 population. Drug deaths increased by 4% and the percentage of the US that is classified as obese rose from 11.6% in 1990 to 29.8% today. The full report can be found at: www.americashealthrankings.org
Currently, the federal government reimburses states for a portion of whatever they spend on Medicaid. Under the models advocated by Trump and House Republicans, the federal government would instead give states a set amount of money to spend on the program. Under one model, block grants, which Trump has advocated, states would get a set total amount to spend on the program. Another model, included in a plan released in June by House Republicans, would give states the option of getting a set amount for each person covered. Benjamin Barnes, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget director, said in a November interview with The Mirror that a major drop in Medicaid funding could lead to cuts for health care providers. “Hospitals think that we’ve been underfunding them for the last few years anyways. I think that would become more acute,” Barnes said. And Barnes said that if the administration had to cut Medicaid spending, he’d prefer to start with payment rates for health care providers. While a block grant-type system could leave the state with less money to spend, Borgstrom raised another concern: Since federal funding wouldn’t be directly tied to what states spent on Medicaid coverage, states could have more leeway to direct the federal dollars toward other purposes. “My concern is that the state’s fi nancial issues are real, but that they, when given block grant money, are not going to be incented to put it in health care. They’re going to use it to stretch to cover other things,” Borgstrom said. “My fear is that over time, that will make all of us less and less viable.”
Hospital Lights Up Cannabis Research HARTFORD: St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center’s medical marijuana research program has been approved by the state. The hospital say’s its research goal is “to compare the effectiveness of medical marijuana versus oxycodone in patients with post traumatic acute, subacute and chronic pain from multiple rib fractures.” Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris released a statement saying, “Our
medical marijuana program has already given nearly 15,000 patients relief from severe debilitating conditions, and these research programs will provide medical professionals the information they need to help their patients make good health care decisions.” A report in the CTmirror.org said that 30 patients would be provided Marijuana and 30 patients “standard opioid therapies.” The study is being funded by the doctors and through donations. Unsanctioned Marijuana research is not allowed under current Federal law. However, Harris said the federal government has taken a hands-off approach toward the state’s program. “We’ve been allowed to function freely.” WWW.CONNTACT.COM
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