Connecticut Law Firm Files Suit Against VW Carmody Rolls In For a Potential Win Years Down the Road By Mitchell Young Waterbury: Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP has brought a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and Volkswagen AG for the alleged misrepresentation in the marketing and sales of what the company called “clean diesel” vehicles.
Is Waterbury Getting Its “Brass” Back?
Carmody attorneys Ann Rubin and Lauren Taylor are lead counsel in the suit for the Connecticut regional firm, which has offices in Waterbury, New Haven, Southbury and Stamford. Rubin had been Carmody’s managing partner from 2005-2011 the first female managing partner of a major law firm in Connecticut. Taking on major class action suits is not simple business, but Carmody has had some recent successes including an antitrust and intellectual property case in which the firm won $47.3 million in 2014, one of the biggest verdicts in the country.
Continued on page 9
Once an industrial powerhouse – Waterbury has struggled to make a comeback. In this first in a three part series, reporter Derek Torrellas discovers how community is the new power in economic development Page 14
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ON THE RECORD Taking The Tough Assignments Regional Education Group Grows Through Innovation and Employer Outreach
How does your client student base break down and what is the goal with Special Education students?
ACES is greater New Haven’s Regional Educational Service Center (RESC) serving twenty-five school districts in south central Connecticut. ACES operates magnet schools, such as New Haven’s Educational Center for the Arts on Audubon Street, provides special education for students, places students and adults with disabilities at workplaces, and provides professional development for teachers, among other services. In April of 2014, Dr. Thomas Danehy was appointed Executive Director.
Our magnet school population is 1570, special education is about 600. The goal of the districts, the state and our goal is to create the least restrictive environment [for special education students], the child [should] go to the classroom that is most appropriate for their needs. Our goal is to get them [student] to a level where they can go back into a regular classroom and be successful.
Danehy has extensive educational management experience, he was Superintendent of the Winchester Public Schools, Executive Director of Human Capital Development for the Stamford Public Schools, Principal of the Capital Region Education Council (CREC), Great Pathway Academy and Director of Human Resources for the East Hartford Public Schools. He was also an elementary school teacher.
Is being in a regular classroom always the best choice? There isn’t really a right or wrong answer. When you look at some of the student needs, and the severity of the challenges, sometimes they are better off in a special education school environment because we have specialists that can provide the support they need.
Dr. Danehy’s wealth of experience includes the position of Principal at Portland Middle School, Elementary School Principal at West Middle School and Assistant Principal at Weaver High School, Hartford Public Schools. His teaching experience encompasses grades 4–6 in both public and parochial school settings. Apparently a believer in higher ed as well, Danehy earned a Doctor of Educational Leadership from the University of Hartford, Sixth Year Certificate from Fordham University, Juris Doctor from the Quinnipiac University School of Law, a Master of Science in Reading from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Master of Arts in Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Fairfield University. Dr. Danehy is the son of two retired West Haven school teachers. OCTOBER 2015
What are the types of disabilities the students have? It could be medically fragile or intellectual or emotional disability. How many employees does ACES have, what areas are growing and where do the revenues originate?
What is the scale and core programming of ACES? ACES started in 1969 and we’ve evolved from a very small organization that now has revenues of about $87 million a year. We have lines of work that include [areas where] local [education] districts couldn’t or wouldn’t go into, either because of a lack of expertise or they didn’t have
the number of students to do things as they should be done. One part of our work is to create economies of scale. For example, one student with a very specialized need in one district and then there’s twelve in twelve other [districts]. They can work with us and we can provide the high level for those needs.
950 employees overall, students in our special-ed schools are paid for by the local district that is sending them to us. The magnet schools are a combination of funding, about sixty percent comes from the state and the other comes from the local school district. In the New Haven area, unlike the [Greater Hartford] “Scheff region,” [result of an integration lawsuit, Scheff Vs. O’Neill]; we’re underfunded relative to the “Scheff” region. In the Scheff Continued on page 6
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More Deflating Than Footballs...
Bridging The Soft Skills Gap
Senators Blumenthal, McCain press ‘paid patriotism’ban at sports games By Ana Radelat Washington – Tributes to U.S. troops at New England Patriot games and other professional sporting events are wasteful “paid patriotism,” costing taxpayers millions of dollars, say several U.S. senators, including Richard Blumenthal, who have pressured the Pentagon to stop the practice. A recently released Senate report said that, since the end of 2011, the military has spent $6.8 million on sports marketing contracts that pay for tributes and other events, including the honoring of American soldiers as a recruitment strategy. Blumenthal, in partnership with Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has been working for months to end the practice. “Honoring our hometown heroes should definitely have been done, but without fattening the bottom line of our sports franchises,” Blumenthal said. Blumenthal and McCain included a provision in the defense authorization bill the Senate is expected to approve this week that would bar the Pentagon from spending money on tributes. Under pressure from the senators, the Pentagon has said it will end this type of marketing. But McCain said he’s not convinced the Pentagon has disclosed all of its business dealings with sports teams and believes the cost to taxpayers may be much higher than reported. The Senate report said paid tributes included on-field color guards, enlistment and reenlistment ceremonies, performances of the national anthem, full-field flag details, ceremonial first pitches and puck drops. The National Guard paid teams for the “opportunity” to sponsor military appreciation nights and to recognize its birthday, the report said. “Most fans had no idea they were viewing a paid marketing campaign,” Blumenthal said. Most of the money for tributes went to NFL teams On Monday NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a letter to McCain and Flake that said the NFL is conducting an audit of all payments to professional foot-
ball teams from all the military branches and the National Guard. “We embrace our opportunity to honor their service, and we are committed to the principle that this honor should never be a commercial transaction,” Goodell wrote. Goodell also said the military had contracted with individual NFL teams to promote recruitment efforts, using multiple platforms to maximize the reach of their message, such as ads placed in game programs and on scoreboards or recruitment kiosks in our stadiums.”
Patriots big on ‘paid patriotism’ The senators’ report said that wasn’t always the case, and that contracts with teams often included items the senators considered “paid patriotism,” including on-field tributes and perks for military personnel. The New England Patriots were paid $700,000 for such activities over three years, second only to the Atlanta Falcons, who receive $879,000 from the Pentagon over four years, the report said. The New York Jets were paid $327,500 over three years. Major League Baseball, and professional basketball, hockey and basketball also participated in “paid patriotism,” the report said, with the Boston Red Sox receiving $100,000 over two years and the New York Mets $51,000 in one year. The New York Football Giants and the New York Yankees were not included in the report. Red Sox spokesman Zineb Curran said pre-game ceremonies and in-game tributes at Fenway Park were not part of a military sponsored program. “The Red Sox’ longstanding sponsorship agreement with the Massachusetts National Guard, which is highlighted in the report, is for marketing and advertising of the guard – specifically LED advertising and in-park tabling – not for pregame ceremonies or military honors during the game,” Curran said. The money paid the New England Patriots went to recognize a Massachusetts Army National Guard soldier at each home game as part of a “true patriot” promotion. respond to a request for comment. Reprinted and edited for space with permission of ctmirror.com
By Bruce Tulgan
hat is the number one challenge with managing today’s newest new young workforce? According to their managers it is an ever-widening “Soft Skills Gap.” The overwhelming data points to a steady diminution in the soft skills of new young workers over the last twenty years. “Soft skills,” in contrast to “hard” or “technical” skills, encompass a wide range of non-technical skills ranging from “self-awareness” to “people skills” to “problem-solving” to “teamwork.” There is a growing gap between the expectations of employers and the reality of how today’s new young talent is showing up in the workplace. Today’s young stars may well show up with the latest and greatest tools and tricks. Indeed, many of them seem to have developed almost “super-powers” in their chosen areas of interest and focus. They are often masters of the newfangled. What they are missing –way too often and more and more--- is the oldfashioned basics. As New Haveners, you may have noticed an aggressive public service campaign supported in part by Yale, in which signs have been placed all over downtown, as well as other public education
resources, spelling out the basics of safe pedestrian behavior. This was in part a response to the ubiquitous traffic hazard of Yale students jaywalking while staring down at their hand-held devices. In other words, some of the smartest kids in the world today --- the cream of the crop, the future doctors, scientists, accountants, engineers, Professors and leaders in every industry --- needed an aggressive public education program in order to learn how to cross the street.
Here’s what I tell my clients: If you employ young people nowadays, then the soft-skills gap is your problem. That’s the bad news. The good news: You can bridge the soft skills gap and doing so will give you a huge strategic advantage when it comes to hiring the best young talent, getting them on-board and up-tospeed faster, better performance management, improved relationships, and greater retention rates among the best young talent. For years, I’ve used the military as my ‘ace in the hole’ when making the business case that organizations can and should invest in bridging the soft-skills gap. I would typically point to the Marines’ Boot Camp, for example, and say, “The Marines can take an ordinary young person and turn him or her into a United States Marine in just thirteen weeks and together these young Marines make up the most effective fighting force in the history of the world.” Or course, most organizations don’t have the resources (or the inclination) to run the equivalent of their own Boot Camp. (Some do, by the way, and it works like a charm. But those organizations are few and far between.) The really good news is that you don’t have to put your young
employees through the equivalent of a Boot Camp in order to have a huge impact on their soft skills. Here’s what we tell our clients: First, identify the high priority soft skill behaviors for each position, name them, describe them in detail, and build them into your basic job requirements in no uncertain terms from the very outset. Second, plan to dedicate about half of your on-boarding and up-to-speed training to spelling out performance standards and expectations for those high priority soft skill behaviors. Third, make sure your employees know that their performance on high priority soft skills behaviors will be measured and that the score will have real consequences for failure and real rewards for success. Fourth, get your young employees to spend lots of time on self-directed learning outside of work and provide them with as many easy-to-use targeted learning resources as you possibly can to support their selfdirected learning. Fifth, build soft skills development into your team communications and talk about it on a regular basis in your one-on-one dialogues. Bruce Tulgan is an adviser and founder and CEO of RainmakerThinking, Inc., a management research and training firm, as well as RainmakerThinking. Training, an on-line training company based in New Haven. Bruce is the best-selling author of numerous books including The 27 Challenges Managers Face (2014), Not Everyone Gets a Trophy (2009), and It’s Okay to be the Boss (2007). His latest book, Bridging The Soft Skills Gap, is available now.
Continued from page 3
schools, the state pays $11,300 or so, here they pay $8,400.
abled adults over the age of twenty-one, who we find jobs for.
What’s the rationale for that?
What do you do to recruit employers?
The Scheff suit was filed for the Hartford area, not the entire state, but the issues are the same. The issues of the Scheff case are about racial, ethnic, and demographic isolation. When you look in our larger urban cities throughout the state, they’re all the same. Wintergreen, Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Thomas Edison in Meriden [are the Magnet schools], and our service area runs [defined by the state] from Branford to Milford on the Shore, and then up to Waterbury and Wolcott and over to Middletown, Middlefield and Durham, and the twenty-five towns in between. Special needs kids come from all over the state. We attended your event honoring more than sixty employers for their participation with workers with disabilities. What is the derivation of that? Two of our schools, Whitney East and Whitney North, have students that are working [at employers]. As part of their transition to the adult world, we get them jobs. We also have a program called ACCESS for intellectually dis-
We have great people like Evelyn Rossetti Ryan and Gene Ruocco who are out there in the public eye of the commercial places and are always trying to align some sort of opportunity between the employers and the needs of our students. Between Whitney East and North and the ACCESS, we have about 72 businesses with about 180 workers [from Aces programs]. The adults come from DDS and when students graduated [from the special ed schools] we didn’t want them to be in a situation where their quality of life would be marginalized. Finding them jobs gives them a mission and an opportunity and builds their skills. What are some of the obstacles to getting employer participation and what types of jobs do your clients do? We’ve grown the relationships over time, it’s word of mouth and outreach on our part. Some sample workplaces include jobs where they’ll reshelf the maga-
zines at Hudson News, they’ll work at packaging at L’Oreal, they’ll change tires at Town Fair Tire, they’ll work in places like Bagelicious in the culinary field, they work in local gyms, like Powerhouse, cleaning machines.
teacher that wants to learn more about China.
We also have a contract where they package diaper bags for new moms for Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York, they label batteries for a firm in Minnesota, they do gas keys for gas meters.
One of the obstacles is competition from other fields. Often the education arena isn’t always the first choice. We have had an initiative to help with minority recruiting for many years.
We develop these long-standing relationships and they grow. One of the issues we hear about is the training of teachers. What is ACES’ role? We provide a lot of processional development, about 60,000 teachers [multiple courses] come in and out of our building in any year. Our goal is to be responsive to district needs. Let’s say there is new work around early childhood education, part of our work is to get things going with different initiatives. We’ll do everything from evaluations for certified staffs, and we have alternate routes to certification for English language learners. We’re kicking off a program geared to any Social Studies
There has been some news and controversy about the low number of minority teachers in Connecticut, what is the obstacle?
I wish we had [Connecticut] more numbers, but it’s a nationwide issue. Where will ACES be in a few years? I think in the near future we’ll probably be in the same place. Some of our internal initiatives have to do with facility improvements, so we can be smarter. We put on photovoltaic cells to reduce our costs for electricity going into the future. We’re working on a program at Trumbull Street [New Haven] to renovate a building there to help The Education Center for the Arts, we’ll also be looking to either sell property at Skiff Street [Hamden] or to reinvent some new lines of work.
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Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey is proud of its track record in high-stakes, make-or-break litigation. Our recent accomplishments include securing the largest punitive award in Connecticut history, at more than $27.5 million, and obtaining a defense verdict in a multi-million dollar medical malpractice case. We have years of experience handling sophisticated cases with our talented teams of commercial and personal injury litigators and are proud to have been selected by the Connecticut Law Tribune as one of Connecticut’s “Litigation Departments of the Year.” For more information about our firm, please call Managing Partner Brian T. Henebry at 203-575-2601.
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Next Steps In Coliseum Site Redevelopment Local Architect Signs On For Coliseum Project By Paul Bass
The $400 million development planned for the old New Haven Coliseum site doesn’t yet have a name, but it does now have a first-phase architect: New Haven’s Herb Newman. Newman joined a group of city and state officials and developer Max Reim recently to announce his role and a few other milestones for the project. The project aims eventually to bring 1,000 mixed-income apartments, 30-40 new businesses, a four-and-a-half-star hotel with 160-190 rooms, 30,000 square feet of stores, and a public square to the property bounded by Orange, George, State streets and MLK Boulevard. The announcement took place by the alley behind Toad’s and Broadway, inside Newman’s exposed-brick openspace office filled with cubicles and cardboard models of other projects the firm has designed, such as New Haven’s City Hall and Union Station renovations. Reim, of a Montreal firm called LiveWorkLearnPlay, has reached agreements with the city and state to construct his project a block away from that George and Orange building, on land where the New Haven Coliseum used to tower. Newman noted that the project doesn’t have a name yet. He suggested “Tenth Square” or “The Place.” OCTOBER 2015
In addition to the Newman announcement, state deputy economic development commissioner Tim Sullivan disclosed that the Malloy administration has now signed a contract authorizing the release of a promised $21.5 million to the city to reconfigure the intersection of Orange and MLK as part of a broader removal of the Route 34 Connector. Sullivan said some of the money will be released immediately to start design work, and the bulk of it when Reim has his financing all in place and construction starts. Reim said he expects to submit site plans for phase one of the project to the city this coming spring and to break ground in the summer. City Economic Development Administrator Matthew Nemerson said another crucial step has been completed this week on the project—an agreement by all parties that utilities can be relocated from the intersection. That means Reim can now present a configuration of the streetscape to potential hotel operators. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had made inclusion of the hotel in the project’s first phase a precondition of the state’s $21.5 million contribution for the roadwork (which comes on top of $12 million from the city). Reim has not yet signed a deal with a hotel operator. The project will “reconnect a city that has been artificially separated” for decades, Mayor Toni Harp remarked at Thursday’s announcement. Board of Alders President Tyisha Walker (at right in photo with Harp) called the deal “a model for how the city and a developer and the residents can work together on a good project.” Reprinted with permission from The New Haven Independent
} VW CLASS ACTION The Connecticut Law Tribune cited the firm’s litigation successes in May, when it gave them its “2015 Litigation Department of the Year general litigation winner in the midsized firm category.” Business New Haven cited one of the attorneys in the intellectual property case, Fatima Lahnin, in 2010 as a Rising Star in greater New Haven. Carmody filed their case in Connecticut Superior Court but Rubin explained it is likely that at some point, most of the VW suits will be consolidated in Federal Court. Rubin told Business New Haven that “over three hundred cases had been filed by early October,” and that she expected many more. Like all the others, Carmody’s suit will have to be certified by the court as a class action. Forty-five states, including Connecticut and the District of Columbia, have already joined together for a multi-state “inquiry,” which is expected to lead to a lawsuit, and some states have already served subpoenas. Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts are among seven states that are expected to lead the investigations. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and former Connecticut Attorney General who made his “bones” by suing large corporations, including a leading role in the $246 billion landmark tobacco industry settlement, expressed his feelings about the case as “astonishment bordering on disbelief that a company could be so absurdly arrogant and lawless that it would knowingly engage in this type of conduct.” Carmody’s case was filed in Connecticut court in part, according to Rubin, because Connecticut consumer law offers some protections and remedies not available under Federal law. The class action currently represents six consumers, five residents of Connecticut and one living in Massachusetts. Rubin explained that eventually the class will be expanded, “we haven’t decided what would be the appropriate way to make sure that Connecticut residents know about the remedies that are available to them.” It is typical that once the court has certified class action status, and after some consolidation and clarification as to where the cases will be heard, the court will determine how to contact potential candidates in the “class.” Rubin added, “everyone that has purchased one of these vehicles will have notice of the remedies available through the class action process.” VW diesel owners shouldn’t expect a check or a new vehicle anytime soon, according to Rubin, who commented on the length the process may take
to play out. “If you mean to conclude and provide redress to Connecticut residents, I think it will be years rather than months for a variety of reasons,” she posited. Rubin further offered that the potential for criminal charges will be a factor in settling and litigating the case, “the US Department of Justice is investigating Volkswagen to determine whether any criminal charges are appropriate. It will be necessary that any criminal investigation and resulting charges would be resolved before a defendant would be interested in trying to resolve civil claims.” The lawsuit alleges that rather than “selling high performance and eco-friendly vehicles” as promoted through the company’s marketing and advertising efforts, the company misrepresented the vehicles emissions by using what the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] called a “defeat device” to trick the government’s emissions testing equipment. The “device” is a software program that allegedly ran the vehicle differently during emissions testing. The company has admitted that during typical driving, the emissions controls are disabled. The EPA and the Carmody suit alleges that as much as 40 times the legal limit to emissions of nitrous oxide are produced by the vehicles. Carmody’s suit points to some previously unreported information that Rubin says the firm “wanted to make sure that the court was aware of.” In July of 2014, a notice was issued to some of the plaintiffs giving them notice that there was a potential malfunction with the turbo charger of the vehicle, which could affect their ability to pass emissions inspection. This was a year before the EPA brought the violation regarding the defeat device. Rubin said a different malfunction in the emissions-controlled system was “pretty curious, and perhaps an indication of Volkswagen’s knowledge of many problems.” The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and Volkswagen AG, marketed and advertised “Clean Diesel” Vehicles as high-performance vehicles that were also eco-friendly and made statements about the benefits of the vehicles that were false or misleading, charged a premium for the vehicles, and intentionally concealed the presence of “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests. The lawsuit alleges that Volkswagen’s conduct violates a number of laws, including the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Vol XX,II No.2 October 2015
Is Waterbury Getting It’s “Brass” Back?
Connecticut Law Firm Files Suit Against VW
Carmody Rolls In For a Potential Win Years Down the Road By Mitchell Young Torrance WATERBURY: The law firm of Carmody brought a class Sandak & Hennessey LLP has Group of action lawsuit against, Volkswagen AG for the alleged America, Inc. and Volkswagen and sales of misrepresentation in the marketing vehicles. what the company called “clean diesel”
Lauren Taylor Carmody attorneys Ann Rubin and Connecticut are lead counsels in the suit for the Waterbury, New regional firm which has offices in Rubin had been Haven, Southbury and Stamford. 2005-2011 the Carmody’s managing partner from a major law firm in first female managing partner of Connecticut.
is not simple busiTaking on major class action suits recent successes ness, but Carmody has had some property case including an antitrust and intellectual in 2014, one of in which the firm won $47.3 million the biggest verdicts in the country.
Continued on page 9
has Once an industrial powerhouse Waterbury In this first in a struggled to make it’s comeback. Torrellas three part series, reporter Derek new power discovers how community is the in economic development Page 14
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“Giving Back” Part of CT Business Culture
Durham Meadows Superfund Site Gets New Water Supply EPA SETS ASIDE NEW FUNDING FOR CLEAN-UP
he EPA has allocated $9 million to jump start cleanup activities at the Durham Meadows Superfund site in Durham. The funding will support the installation of an alternative water supply to the Superfund site area, serving over 100 residential and commercial structures, including Regional School District 13. Many of the homes and businesses to be connected have treatment systems or are being provided bottled water as a result of widespread groundwater contamination. “This EPA funding will initiate the work to install the alternative water supply for the residents and businesses of Durham. We are excited that this means the important work to address groundwater contamination and ensure clean drinking water will begin next year,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “EPA appreciates the hard work and partnership of the Town of Durham, the City of Middletown, the Conn. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the Conn. Dept. of Public Health to help EPA make this happen.”
soil and groundwater with TCE and other chlorinated solvents in the area of Main Street in Durham. As a result, water in many private potable wells in Durham is unsafe to drink. EPA, DEEP, DPH, the Town of Durham, and the City of Middletown have been working together for many years to provide temporary and permanent remedies for the homes with polluted wells. A public water main from Middletown to Durham will be the permanent remedy. EPA received $9 million for the federal fiscal year of 2015 to start construction of the water main. DEEP has received $3 million from the Bond Commission for the state’s cost share, as required by Superfund, to support construction of the water main and other remedial actions at the site.
“Moving this project forward brings us closer to a positive ending to a long and troubling saga for residents and businesses in this area,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “With federal and state funding now in place we are moving forward to provide safe drinking water to families and to clean chemical contamination that has remained in the ground for far too long.”
Under a state order, the companies installed granular activated carbon filtration units on impacted residential wells. To date, 50 private wells serving 54 locations have found to be contaminated. These homes have water treatment systems to remove contamination. In 2005, EPA issued a Record of Decision outlining the cleanup action for the Site, including the extension of an alternate water supply from the City of Middletown Water Distribution System to address the overall area of Site-wide groundwater contamination. Since 2005, EPA has been developing the design for the water line with support from the Town of Durham, City of Middletown, CTDEEP, and CTDPH. EPA also completed the cleanup of the former Merriam Manufacturing Company property in 2012 and is working on the design to perform a cleanup at the Durham Manufacturing Company.
In the past, the Durham Manufacturing Company (operating) and the former Merriam Manufacturing Company polluted
Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.
Charitable Giving Survey Shows Business Support is Wide Spread Big company donations typically make headlines and generate community pictures of large checks going to non-profits. But Connecticut’s small businesses are ponying up for good causes as well, according to a survey by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association [CBIA] with the support of Liberty Bank.
The organization sent surveys to 3000 member companies and 191 responded. Most of the companies responding represent small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Of those, 63% donate at least $10,000 a year to area charities. Forty percent offer matching gifts when employees donate or volunteer. Connecticut businesses provide support to a wide range of nonprofits, including global charities like United Way and Habitat for Humanity, and local schools, youth groups, food pantries, health and social services, emergency services, and arts, sports, and religious organizations. Tough times have affected giving according to the respondents, explains, Bonnie Stewart, CBIA’s vice president of government affairs and public policy and general counsel, “Connecticut businesses have continued their tradition of charitable giving during a slow recovery” she added, “nearly two-thirds say they do more when their business is thriving.” The 2015 Corporate Giving Survey found that 85% of surveyed companies contribute time and/or money to local charities, while 59% donate company products and services. Forty-two percent coordinate community events and 22% offer their employees incentives for participating in activities. The survey also found that businesses (53%), offer employees paid time off for volunteer work (26%) as well as special recognition and rewards (31%). Forty percent offer matching gifts when employees donate or volunteer. Liberty Bank CEO Chandler Howard, promoting the role of business giving, said “The majority of Connecticut businesses are giving back to their communities in terms of both dollars and time. He added “that investment has a significant impact on the quality of life in our state, but businesses don’t necessarily understand the impact of that generosity to their own bottom line.” WWW.CONNTACT.COM
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Certain Speech Equals The Detection Of Lying?
Skipping Work For A Movie Day?
West Haven: A technique known as “modified cognitive interviewing” (MCI), relying on speech content analysis, can be a highly effective interviewing method to detect whether a person is lying, new experiments show.
Job and career development website CareerBuilder surveyed users recently about sick day behavior. Results revealed that 38 perceant of respondents have called in sick from their jobs, even when they felt perfectly fine, which is 10 percent more than the previous year’s results.
“The cognitive interview is widely used by police groups, probably more widely in the U.K., France and countries other than the U.S.,” said Charles A. Morgan III, former CIA official and associate professor of national security at the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences at The University of New Haven. “But it has been gaining ground within the U.S. as more professionals learn about it. Cognitive interviewing was originally developed to help police obtain the best eyewitness recall from eyewitnesses. It was not created to detect deception.” Morgan, with the help of an associate, developed this technique 13 years ago for use by soldiers and intelligence officials and the technique has produced 82 percent deception detection success. The accuracy rate for polygraphs, for instance, is in the 48-56 percent range.
UI Employees Help Power Up Local Non-Profits UIL Holdings Corporation is an example of the employee giving experience. The corporation recently announced that the 2015 Employee Giving Campaign raised $397,117. This is the most ever raised by this campaign, and will help hundreds of nonprofit organizations to serve their communities and clients. The donors from this campaign came from all over UIL operating companies such as, The United Illuminating Company, The Southern Connecticut Gas Company, Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation and The Berkshire Gas Company. Including the 332 nonprofit organizations that received these funds, employees were able to decide which charity they were most passionate about and donate their money to the organization of their choosing.
Many of the employees that would call out used excuses like having a doctor’s appointment, needing to relax, blaming the bad weather, or just needing to catch up on some zzzz’s. It was also reported that those who have a paid time off program, 27 percent of the 52 percent feel they still need to make an excuse up for their day off. Employers shared the most memorable and creative excuses, including “Employee claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham,” “Employee was stuck under the bed,” “Employee broke his arm reaching to grab a falling sandwich,” “ Employee said her cat was stuck inside the dashboard of her car,” and many others.
ATTENTION SMALLER EMPLOYERS The 2015 change in state law that would redefine a small employer as 100 or fewer employees from 50 or fewer employees
for the purposes of health coverage has been postponed. This means that for now, the definition holds at 50 or fewer employees is considered a small employer. A reminder for employers would be to count all of the full-time and part-time to see whether the business would count as a small or larger one for the purpose of the health coverage requirements.
New Haven Efficiently Lighting up the City The city of New Haven was honored as a Silver recipient for their participation in the “nationally-recognized” Clean Energy Communities program recently. This program is an “Energize Connecticut” initiative that gives people of cities and towns a chance to support renewable energy and energy efficiency. New Haven’s honorable mention was earned due to 240 light bulbs being swapped out with LEDs at the Great Light Bulb Exchange, the benchmark of all municipal and Board of Education buildings, 7,771 homes participating in residential programs, 796 municipal energy-saving and business projects were completed, and the city earned nine rewards on the “renewable track,” such as installing solar PV systems at a high school, the Fair Haven Library and Light House Point.
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Getting Down To Brass Tacks In Waterbury Once a world renowned manufacturing center with a thriving center city – Waterbury’s leaders seek revival by making it personal By Derek Torrellas
First in a series to revitalize Waterbury
Every day, Adrian Sanchez hopped over the fence into Waterbury’s Rivera-Hughes Park to play basketball. One evening in 1997 – Sanchez was ten – police officer Willie Ramos Sr. strolled into the park in uniform. Sanchez remembers it being intimidating, initially, until Ramos shot a couple baskets with the kids. There was a basketball league they could play in, Ramos told them, if they joined the Police Activity League, known as PAL. Sanchez signed up the next day.
full of blighted property and roaming dogs underwent something of a transformation, beginning when PAL moved in and called the area home.
The effort was one of time, money, and involvement from the city and community. PAL, in the meantime, has been steadily growing in enrollment and activities while the Division Street neighborhood changes around it. The two stories have been intertwined since 2004.
A few years later, over a mile away in the Division Street neighborhood of Waterbury, Fernando Spagnolo, a vice squad detective at the time, raided a house on St. Paul Street. “We retrieved 4 assault rifles, and a kilo of heroine,” Spagnolo, currently PAL President, says, sitting in the Division Street office of what is now PAL’s main building. The house raided almost 15 years ago, coincidentally, now faces the parking lot of PAL. Sanchez, after years of playing basketball in PAL’s league, became a city police officer. He came full circle with PAL when he was recently assigned there as a coordinator. Division Street, 14
Officer Adrian Sanchez, assigned to PAL as a coordinator, at the basketball courts in the PAL Park, as several games go on behind him. The Waterbury native was involved with the Police Activity League as a boy, but long before the new complex at Division Street was completed.
The Waterbury PAL, called Police Athletic League at the time, was formed in 1966 by four policemen and a $1,500 donation. The organization gradually became one of competitive athletic programs, though it was essentially just basketball, baseball, and boxing, Spagnolo says. While usually numbering in the hundreds, youth membership dwindled to 70 by 2000. Officer Ramos, who recruited Sanchez, led PAL before the reorganization in 2004. According to Spagnolo, Ramos did the best he could with the resources provided to him by the city, but the funds didn’t amount to much. Financial mismanagement of city funds in the 1980s and 1990s led to the inevitable; Waterbury was bankrupt in 2001. It wasn’t an ideal situation for the PAL, reliant upon money from the city budget. “When Chief (Neil) O’Leary, now Mayor O’Leary, took over as police WWW.CONNTACT.COM
chief in 2004,” Spagnolo says, “the first thing we did was take a look at the Police Activity League as a component to help engage ourselves deeper into the community.” O’Leary wanted to make PAL “An arm of community relations,” of the police. Focus would also be broadened beyond athletics to include academic programs. The target demographic for the reorganized PAL was the at-risk youth. The young athletes who play sports year round already have an outlet, so it is the kids who return home from school with little to no parental supervision that the program wants. “What about the kid that gets home, and grandma is 78 and in a wheelchair?” Spagnolo says. With PAL as a tool of community-oriented policing, the focus is building a relationship with the kids as they grow into adults. The adults may have lost faith in police, but officers can start fresh with the children.
One of the most important steps to take was divorcing PAL from ownership by the police department. No longer subject to the whims of the city’s budget, Waterbury PAL was quickly incorporated as a 501(c)3 – a charitable organization – and embarked on a quest for funding. The Waterbury Police Department and PAL still maintain a de facto association, of course. Five officers are assigned to PAL as their full-time duty. They trade dark blue uniforms for khaki pants and athletic shirts adorned with the PAL logo, but the pistol belt and badge remain on their hip. They are still police officers, after all. Officer Chris Amatruda is the current PAL officer in charge. “Back in 2006, I started coaching (at PAL). I was a patrolman back then,” says Amatruda. When the revival of PAL was still underway, he put in a request to transfer to the organization full-time. Being able to positively influence kids is what motivated Amatruda
to work at PAL as an officer, and he says the passion for the role that has kept him there for eight years. “Just seeing the whole change, and seeing what we’ve done over the last eight years, I wouldn’t want any other position in the Police Department right now.” PAL’s primary sources of funds are grants and corporate sponsorships. In January 2007, the police officers started contributions by way of deductions from their weekly paychecks. It was the idea of then-Chief O’Leary, Spagnolo says, and according to him, nearly 95 percent of Waterbury police donate, whether it’s $1 or $20 a week. Waterbury’s educators soon got on board with similar paycheck contributions to PAL. Spagnolo estimates that 30 to 40 percent of the city’s teachers participate. The teachers are more than just income for PAL, though. They form the third part of a link between themselves, the police, and the youth. Chrissy LaVallee sees the impact that PAL can have on the children that enter into her classroom at Walsh
An updated aerial photo from several years later with the completed PAL Park in the center, taking the place of the motorcycle hangout. The newly-completed Jonathan Walsh Elementary School can be seen at the upper right.
An aerial photo of the Division Street neighborhood from around 2009 showing PAL’s already acquired property (in green) and proposed acquisitions (in yellow). The area in yellow belonged to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club at the time. OCTOBER 2015
Photos courtesy Waterbury PAL
ing in flag football, which he chose over the basketball league, Xyshawn goes to one of PAL’s homework help programs. Though he’s more of an assistant there, really. “I already did my homework,” Xyshawn says. “I was helping the other kids.”
The trio of teacher Chrissy LaVallee, Deputy Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo, PAL President, and Officer Chris Amatruda, PAL officer in charge, discuss introducing a new empowerment program into the existing Homework Haven.
Sanchez reflected on his own time as a young member of PAL and a basketball player. “PAL would just extend me staying out of trouble in any type of way. We’d have our games, we’d have our practices; those were always pretty late. That’s pretty much how I grew up to be straightforward,” he says. As a Hispanic boy growing up in a neighborhood that he says had gang violence, Sanchez looked up to Officer Ramos as a role model. It was Ramos’ son, also named Willie, who influenced Sanchez to become a police officer himself.
Elementary School. The Social Studies and Writing teacher is involved in the Homework Haven program, geared toward students with chronic difficulty in completing their homework. “It’s easier when you’re sitting right there with them,” LaVallee says, “they don’t feel like they’re in it alone. They know that if they come across something they can’t do, you’re right there to help them.” Teachers also assist PAL by identifying who the at-risk youth might be. “It was a good marriage -- the Police Activity League and the education department,” Spagnolo says. “Because our commitment to them was almost immediate intervention. So, if they had a problem with a troubled youth and there was no other avenue for them to go to with this kid, we vowed and promised them that within 24 hours we’d have a PAL coordinator in the classroom or at the kid’s home. And we would do the best we could to try to intervene and get services for the family and that youth.” PAL’s move to Division Street was prompted by a swelling number of young members. “We grew rapidly,” Spagnolo says. “We had 83 kids when we took the program over. Within the first year, we went to 1,800.” A larger place was needed for not only the number of kids they now had, but for future growth as well. “Chief O’Leary, at that time, calls me up one day and says ‘We’re going to take a ride.’” A local businessman, Fritz Blasius of Blasius Chevrolet Cadillac, had been in communication with O’Leary about where to house PAL. Spagnolo and Chief O’Leary went to look at a Catholic school and a recreation center on Division Street, based on a sugges16
tion from Blasius. The school and recreation center belonged to nearby St. Lucy’s Church, but had been shuttered for about five years. Blasius helped broker the deal for PAL to purchase the property from the Archdiocese of Hartford. The Outlaws Motorcycle Club, which the State of Connecticut identifies as an outlaw motorcycle gang, leased a large plot of land adjacent to the new PAL property for many years. It was a strange relationship, then, when the Police Activity League became their landlords after expanding and buying the Outlaw’s lot. Stranger still, Spagnolo says, the bikers asked PAL to renew their lease. Inevitably, the motorcycle club was kicked out, but not after a month of paying rent to the organization spun off from the Police Department. The old Outlaw’s land is now the PAL Park, complete with a baseball field and no fewer than four basketball courts, conspicuous in the bright blue and yellow paint of PAL’s colors. In the past, Division Street was notable for a negative image. “This zip code would be the location of the most violent crime in the city,” says Spagnolo, citing two homicides at the Outlaws Motorcycle Club hangout, and the raid mentioned earlier in the story. “This was an area, that, as a young patrolman in the early ‘90s, I worked quite frequently. It was a tough neighborhood. There was a lot of gun play, a lot of drug activity, and a lot of blighted property.” Homeless took to the vacant homes for shelter, dice-throwing games could be found on almost any corner. Spagnolo also recalls a 1992 foot pursuit after a murder that ended right in what is now PAL’s backyard.
The most important trigger for the neighborhood’s change, was money. It wasn’t a slow trickle, either, more like the opening of a floodgate. “We infused a million bucks into this neighborhood in about 18 months,” Spagnolo says. He calls it the “catalyst,” because once PAL starting buying the properties and cleaning them up, landlords and homeowners reacted. Vacant and blighted properties began to sell or were improved. “The inordinate amount of police presence helps too,” he says. A recent addition to the neighborhood was the construction of Jonathan Reed Elementary School in 2013. Bill Slowinski, who works at the school and lives not far from Division Street, says the area used to be “dumpy and run down,” littered with trash and tires. In particular, he notes that the lot where people threw their junk was cleaned up and turned into basketball courts during the process. Down the street, a man in his early 20s was more careful to give any praise. The man, who preferred not to be named, says it is both good and bad for the neighborhood to have the PAL park. It boiled down to the simple equation that more people equals more problems, when dozens of teens and young adults flock to the park. It is especially true for close-knit communities in Waterbury. “You see someone not from here,” he says, “it’s going to bring some kind of suspicion.” On a quiet weekday afternoon, Xyshawn Punter was shooting a basketball in the empty indoor PAL gymnasium. The 11-year-old lives in the neighborhood, so he often goes there after school as a way to stay active outside the house. Aside from participat-
Sanchez remembers a day when Willie Ramos Jr. and his partner parked their car near where Sanchez and his friends were playing a game of basketball. Ramos’ first words were, “Hey listen, we have next,” Sanchez says, and an impromptu game of 3-on-3 began with the two cops. “I just remember saying to myself after that game, ‘Wow this is cool, a young Hispanic cop finds time to actually park while on duty and come play ball with us and interact with us.’” Today, the Waterbury PAL boasts an enrollment of 4,327 total youths, roughly divided as 80 percent males and 20 percent females. Research backs up a lot of what Spagnolo and Amatruda say about PAL’s influence. In 2009, the Institute for the Study of Crime and Justice at Central Connecticut State University conducted a study comparing students enrolled in the Waterbury PAL with a similar number of students from Waterbury who are not part of the program. The conclusion was that PAL decreases instances of trouble at home, trouble at school, trouble with other youths, and trouble with the police. Not long after Sanchez reflected on his memory of playing a spontaneous basketball game with Officer Ramos Junior, he walked over to the courts on PAL’s park. Ostensibly just for a photograph on the court, Sanchez soon found himself immersed in a 2-on-2 game with a few teenagers. On the short walk back to the PAL building, still sweating from the game, he managed to mediate a dispute between several pre-teens involving a possible fight and found out who broke a window on a PAL school bus. It’s possible, then, that a few decades from now, someone might talk about the time they met Officer Sanchez on the PAL basketball court on Division Street and how it influenced them to do something in the community.
REAL ESTATE People New Haven Middlesex Realtors Association (NHMR) honored local realtors for the third quarter 2015. NHMR honors those who have successfully listed or closed nine properties during a quarter’s three-month period. Agents with Pearce Real Estate include: Sue Walton of the Wallingford Regional Office, Gerri Sutfin of New Haven, Jamie Cuzzocreo of New Haven (first time honoree), Kim Fenlon of the Wallingford Regional Office, Vin Masotta of the Wallingford Regional Office, Eileen Smith of the Wallingford Regional Office and Linda Teixeira-Ohr of the Wallingford Regional Office. The Edgehill Realtors of the New Haven Office were Wojtek Borowski, Ray Baldelli, Fran DeToro, Jorge Gil, Liisa Lindholm, Judith Normandin, Gil Marshak and David H. Tran. Sherri Lepper has joined Weichert Realtors - Regional Properties, Orange office. She is serving property buyers and sellers in New Haven and Fairfield counties. Lepper is a member of the Valley Association of REALTORS and in addition to real estate, she has worked in the food distribution industry for over 18 years.
Leased Frank Greco, Commercial Associate in Pearce Real Estate’s Milford office, successfully negotiated a 1,100 SQFT lease at 49-53 River
St., Unit 51, Milford. Greco represented both the owner of the property, YPB, 1928, LLC., and the lessee, Home Care Assistance, which will use the space as their professional office location for New Haven County. O,R&L Commercial, LLC’s Richard Guralnick, CCIM has participated in a lease transaction at 105 Hamilton St. (aka Tile America Building) in New Haven. The tenant, Ducci Electrical Contractors and the building owner 105 Hamilton, LLC have signed a lease for 10,640 SF to accommodate the company’s warehousing and storage requirements for several new large multi-year projects in and around New Haven. Richard Guralnick was the sole broker in the transaction and represented both the landlord and tenant. Jon Angel, President of Southport-based Angel Commercial LLC, announced the long term lease of 6,561 SF of office space at 480 Lordship Boulevard in Stratford. American Institute of Healthcare and Technology (AIHT) has leased the remaining space bringing the building to 100% occupancy. The Geenty Group, Realtors, reports the lease of a 1,024 SF industrial unit in a multi-tenant facility at 11 Sycamore Way, Branford. The Tenant is Bipin S. Patel and his son, Jetal Patel who own a custom furniture manufacturing business. The Landlord is Gray Eagle Corporation. Kevin Geenty SIOR was the agent for the Tenant, and Bill Clark, also
Boston Granite Exchange has leased 28,808 on five acres in East Haven to accommodate expansion into Connecticut. OCTOBER 2015
Master Electric Supply has relocated to 12,000 square feet on Grove Street in Bridgeport
Home Care Assistance moved in a unit at 49-53 River Street in Milford
Ducci Electrical Contractors is leasing 10,654 square feet at 105 Hamilton street in New Haven, for warehouse space.
at The Geenty Group, was the agent for the Landlord. Angel Commercial LLC announces the lease of the former Master Electric Supply property, an 18,200 SF building located on 1.27 acres at 201 Commerce Dr., Fairfield, to Mercedes-Benz of Fairfield. Mercedes-Benz of Fairfield will use the property primarily for administration offices and new vehicle preparation. The building will be retrofitted to suit their needs. Angel represented all parties in the transactions. Frank Greco, Commercial Associate in the Pearce Real Estate Milford office, negotiated a 1,650 SQFT lease at 97 West Ave., Stratford. Greco represented both the owner of the property, 97 West Avenue, LLC and the tenant, Anatolia Group, who will use the light industrial space for office and distribution purposes. The Anatolia Group, headquartered in Cambridge, MA., is a contracting company that manufactures and ships machinery parts internationally.
Sold Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate sold 297 George St., New Haven. Vin Torrens of Wareck D’Ostilio represented the seller The Jack and Mary DisCalla Limited Partnership and Frank D’Ostilio represented the buyer, an adjoining property owner. Boston Granite Exchange, Inc. has leased 28,808 SF on over 5 acres at 80 Commerce St., East Haven. The Tenant is a distributor of high quality granite with locations in the Boston area, and they are planning on expanding their territory in Connecticut. Patrick Byrne is the company Vice President. Kevin Geenty SIOR along with Bill Clark at The Geenty Group, were the agents for the Landlord, New Haven Realty Corporation. Seth Boynick of Boynick Realty Company was the agent for the Tenant. Attorney Al Ippolitto of New Haven was the attorney for the Landlord, and Attorney Christopher Agostino was the attorney for the Tenant.
189-191, 201 Orange St. and 115 Court St. in New Haven sold for $2,600,000. The investment sale included a 23,558± SF office building and the adjacent parking lot. Frank Hird, SIOR of O,R&L Commercial represented the seller, O’Keefe Associates, Manhatten Associates, & Euclid/O’Connor Associates and Charlotte Goldblatt of Goldblatt Associates represented the buyer, Buckhead Investments LLC. Attorney Henry Silverman of Silverman Law Offices represented the sellers and the buyer was self-represented. F&M Electrical Supply Company, a family-owned and operated business based in Danbury has acquired Master Electric Supply and has relocated the company to a 12,000 SF space at 386 Mountain Grove St., Bridgeport. F&M will continue to supply electrical products and maintain the continuity of the business relationships built by Master Electric Supply. Angel Commercial LLC represented all parties in the transactions. Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services has brokered the sale of an office condominium located at 2832 Whitney Avenue. The 1,155 square foot unit had been occupied by a law firm and will be renovated into an orthodontist office. Stephen Press, SIOR, represented the Seller, R&R Associates, and procured the buyer, Dr. Uttampal Singh. The transaction closed recently at $159,000.
Condo at 2832 Whitney Avenue in Hamden sold for $159.000 .
Solar panels would require over 231 acres to generate the same amount of power Two Connecticut Companies “Young Adult Employer Champions”
Connecticut Fuel Cell Companies Power Up – Again New Business and Federal Research Grants Won By Fuel Cell Energy and Doosanfuel Cells By Mitchel Young
Danbury: the U.S. Department of Energy announced definitve agreements for research awards to Fuel Cell Energy (Nasdaq:FCEL) totaling $24 million. The projects supported by the grants will include carbon capture using a carbonate fuel cell and three power projects designed to commercialize solid oxide fuel cell technology. The carbon capture project will include a “pilot” 2.3 megawatt fuel cell power plant running next to a coal-fired power plant. Flue gas from the coal plant will be routed into the fuel cell which sequesters the carbon before it can be released into the atmosphere. Additionally the process will “destroy” a portion the nitrogen oxide [NOx] released from the plant. NOx gases react to form smog, acid-rain and ozone pollution. Chip Bottone CEO of Fuel Cell Energy say’s that the company’s “robust research is a competitive advantage”, adding “carbon capture utilizes our commercial fuel cell plant in an alternate configuration to pursue a sizable market”. Phase II of the DOE project will be to expand the pilot plant to eleven fuel cells, generating 27.6 megawatts of energy and to capture 700 tons of carbon a day, the output of approximately 700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. The 27.6 megawatt fuel cell power plant will also produce 648,000 kilowatt hours itself of carbon and pollution free energy. FCE say’s it is in discussions with several coal power plant operators for the site.
Fuel Cell Energy A coal plant creates approximately two pounds of carbon for every kilowatt hour produced, a natural gas plant half that amount. The fuel CEO Bottone cells can capture carbon from either fossil fuel power plant type.
The DOE grant will also help the company develop Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology for commercialization. The DOE pilot will be a 400 kilowatt will be connected to the electric grid and will constructed of 8 50 kilowatt systems. The DOE grant will help the company advance manufacturing technology for the SOFC fuel cells, which do not use an expensive Platinum catalyst, common in most power plant fuel cell technology. South Windsor based Doosan Fuel Cells [owned by South Korean conglomerate the Doosan Group] is also on a new business roll as it signs deals to manufacture seventy power plants with Samsung C&T Corp., based in Seoul, and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP, Korea’s largest electric utility and Korea Western Power. The Doosan plants will provide 30.8 megawatts of electricity enough to power up to 71,500 homes in anew residential complex in Busan. The city and the utility will share ownership of the fuel cells. Doosan President and CEO Jeff Chung, said of the new project. “we’ve developed the largest urban fuel cell site in Korea and the largest PAFC (phosphoric acid fuel cell) generation project in the world, reinforcing the fact that fuel cells are the premier clean energy alternative in large cities.” Doosan CEO Chung
South Korean utilities must meet a renewable portfolio standard for clean energy. The regulations and ownership involvement in both Danbury’s Fuel Cell energy and Doosan is driving the roll out of fuel cells in Korea. Both Connecticut based companies have major projects in Korea.
Doosan will begin shipping its PureCell® Model 400 power plants this year and complete the delivery of 70 units by August 2016. “This project is a landmark agreement for Doosan in terms of size, power output and partnership,” says Chung, who has led Doosan Fuel Cell since the company opened its doors in July 2014. Doosan bought the bankrupt offspring ClearEdge Power of what was once Untied Technolgoies fuel cell company. Chung added, “for the past 15 months, we’ve been investing in our production facility to expand capacity, which allows us to manufacture power plants in a short timeframe” Chung explained one major advantage of fuel cells, “The power plants will be installed on a multi-story structure that will occupy less than one acre in Busan – compared to solar panels requiring over 231 acres to generate the same amount of power.” The Korea Western Power and Serveone, project, will be for 11 fuel cells (five megawatts) also manufactured in South Windsor and will power 3,000 homes in the Seoul suburb of Incheon.
Tech School Gets New Manufacturing Technology The Bullard Havens Technical High School has received $1 million worth of new, state-funded milling machines, lathes, and computer numerical control milling equipment and software during Manufacturing Month. Bullard Havens has 850 students from Bridgeport, Shelton, Trumbull, Stratford, and Fairfield. Statewide, the technical high school system enrolls nearly 10,500 high school students and another 500 adult education students. “We are truly committed to be responsive to what manufacturers need,” Nivea Torres, superintendent for the state’s technical high school system said. “Everything is new. Everything is state of the art.”
Two of the state’s manufacturing companies have been named “Young Adult Employer Champions” by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. Carey Manufacturing Inc./Floyd Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Cromwell and Mallory Industries Inc. of Farmington were recognized for the award, two of eleven U.S. companies honored. Supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the National Fund’s Young Adult Employer Champion program honors employers who have made a lasting investment in young adult workers by promoting effective hiring techniques and providing access to onsite training and skills development. Executive director of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Fred Dedrick, said that these two companies “exemplify how investment in young adults can both transform individual lives and collectively change the landscape of our national workforce.”
Local Universities Collaborate To Create Biofuels UNH and Yale Team Develop New Process For Converting Biomass Researchers from the University of New Haven and Yale working in the Laboratory for Integrative Materials Discovery (the IMD Lab) at UNH founded by Xiao Dequan in 2013, one of the researchers on the project, reportedly discovered a high-quality catalytic process for converting biomass to high value chemicals including biofuel, that is economical and green.
UNH Professor Xiao Dequan and Yale Professor Paul Anastas led research collaboration
Biomass, considered a renewable resource, is biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms. In the context of biomass for energy, this is often used to mean plant based material, but biomass can equally apply to both animal and vegetable derived material. There is a wide range of biomass materials that are produced as byproducts, residues or wastes from some other process, operation or industry. Many of these compounds have a valuable energy content that can usefully be exploited. In many cases, this may have the added benefit of diverting the material from a landfill. The research at UNH focused on non-food biomass, the material derived from green plants and other living organisms, and biorefining, the process of converting biomass into useable chemical products. The research team consists of Xiao Dequan, an assistant professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at UNH, Paul T. Anastas, professor and director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale; Raphael Gagne a UNH undergraduate student; Laurene Petitjean, a Yale graduate student; and Evan Beach, a postdoctoral student at Yale. Underwriting for the research was provided by UNH and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
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She would toughen antitrust regulation and appoint “aggressive regulators”
Will Presidential Campaign Derail Anthem, Cigna, Aetna Mergers? Clinton has ‘serious concerns’ about Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna deals
By Ana Radelat
ashington – Planned consolidations by some of the nation’s largest health insurers were propelled into the 2016 race for the White House as Hillary Clinton said she has “serious concerns” about Aetna’s plan to acquire Humana and Anthem’s proposal to buy Cigna.
passing savings to consumers,” Clinton said. In a statement, Anthem spokeswoman Sarah Yeager said a “commitment to ensuring consumers have expanded access to affordable health coverage is the foundation of our combination with Cigna and will remain Anthem’s top priority.”
the insurer said. “We expect the DOJ and the states to do a full and thorough review of this transaction, and we will work collaboratively with the department and the states during this process.” Clinton’s comments come two days after Aetna shareholders quickly approved the company’s $37 billion plan to merge with Humana at a meeting in Glastonbury. The merger would make Aetna the largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans. Anthem, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurer, wants to buy all of Cigna’s shares in a $54 billion cash and stock transaction that would cover
Clinton also said that, as president, she would toughen antitrust regulation at the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and appoint “aggressive regulators” to take on industry concentration. The Justice Department’s antitrust division is scrutinizing the Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna mergers. Clinton said she had “serious concerns” the mergers would result in serious market concentration. “I am very skeptical of the claim that consumers will benefit from them because the evidence from careful studies shows that too often the companies end up pocketing profits rather than 20
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, said Wednesday she agreed with Clinton. “Competition in the insurance market is crucial to ensuring customers are charged a fair price when they see a doctor or undergo procedures,” DeLauro said. “I share Secretary Clinton’s serious concerns, and fear that the Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna mergers will be bad deals for everybody but the shareholders.” But Samaia Hernandez, spokeswoman for Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, was more measured in her reaction.
Candidate Clinton, Senator Blumenthal, and Congresswoman Delauro are lining up against Connecticut’s health company mergers
“As we see more consolidation in health care, among both providers and insurers, I’m worried that the balance of power is moving too far away from consumers,” Clinton said in a statement.
he is “deeply concerned about these mergers because of their potential effect on competition and the consolidation of power in fewer hands.”
“We are engaged in a constructive and transparent dialogue with federal and state antitrust authorities about the benefits of this merger and the robust competition we see across geographies and market segments in the healthcare marketplace,” Yeager said. She also said a marriage between Anthem and Cigna would result in “complementary capabilities” that would enhance patient access to hospitals and doctors. Aetna also released a statement in response to Clinton’s comments. It said its merger with Humana “is about creating positive change in the health care marketplace.” “Aetna is focused on evolving the health care industry to a new model – one in which insurers, doctors and hospitals work together to lower costs and coordinate care to give people as many healthy days as possible,”
53 million members. But Clinton said the mergers “should be scrutinized very closely with an eye to preventing the undue concentration that they appear to create.” The front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Clinton has recently taken on the issue of health care costs. She has lambasted the pharmaceutical industry for what she calls “price gouging,” and said she would cap out-of-pocket prescription costs at $250 per month. Congress has held recent hearings on the megamergers where lawmakers heard testimony from representatives of the American Medical Association and American Hospital Association, two powerful medical groups that oppose the mergers. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the mergers, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said
“Congresswoman Esty has heard from constituents who have concerns about the Aetna-Humana, AnthemCigna mergers,” Hernandez said. “She agrees that both mergers should be closely monitored to ensure access to affordable, high-quality care for all consumers.” On Wednesday, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade group for the nation’s health insurance industry, defended the mergers. “Contrary to the political claims, the reality is that health plans are operating in one of the most competitive and highly regulated environments in the country with every premium dollar accounted for under the medical loss ratio and an arbitrary cap on profits,” AHIP spokeswoman Clare Krusing said. She said if politicians want to make health care more affordable, “then policymakers should focus on addressing the real cost challenges facing patients — the soaring prices of prescription drugs and medical services — that drive up the cost of coverage and out-of-pocket costs for millions across the country.” By permission ctmirror.org
New Surgery Center Opens in Guilford Merritt Healthcare a Westchester County, New York–based healthcare company will either develop or relocate three outpatient surgery centers, including one in Guilford. Merrit is purchasing and relocating ambulatory surgical centers in Bloomfield, Guilford and Bridgeport, as well as purchase their medical equipment. Merritt Healthcare is a developer and manager of outpatient surgical and endoscopy facilities and also provides advisory services in the sale and acquisition of facilities. The Guilford location is at 246 Goose Lane in what is known as Innovation Park.
Yale named by U.S. News & World Report as Most “Connected” Hospital Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a Most Connected Hospital for 2015. The magazine’s feature examines “the importance of information exchange in the healthcare industry as hospitals move from paper to electronic medical records to make patient care better and more efficient.“ “Despite spending billions on digitizing clinical data, our health systems have yet to realize the full promise of electronic medical records. The hospitals on this list have taken important strides toward health care’s digital future,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “These hospitals have made significant advancements in clinical connectedness, patient engagement and patient safety. U.S. News said it analyzed dozens of variables spanning three domains of medicine where electronic connectedness came to make a difference to patients. U.S. News assigned domainspecific scores and an overall score to each hospital for which it could obtain data from the most recent AHA Annual Survey Information Technology Supplement, an IT survey that the American Hospital Association administers to hospitals nationwide.
WHO’S WHAT WHERE
Ciulla John R. Ciulla was promoted to president and board of directors of Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS), the holding company for Webster Bank, N.A. Joseph J. Savage was also appointed to executive vice chairman of the bank and the bank holding company. Ciulla earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Williams College, his MBA from the Columbia Business School, and his law degree from Fordham University School of Law. Savage, formerly president, will also continue to serve as a member of the bank’s board. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College and his MBA from Seton Hall University.
Attorney John M. Parese from the New Havenbased law firm Buckley & Wynne has been named President of the New Haven County Bar Association (NHCBA). Previously, Parese served as an Executive Committee Officer and, earlier, chaired its Lawyer Referral Service. Parese received his Juris Doctorate from Quinnipiac University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from University of Connecticut.
Michele Gerard Ackerman, RN, RACCT, has been named Director of Nursing at Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford. Ackerman received an A.S. in Nursing at Wilcox College of Nursing and her B.A. in Science from Manhattanville College. She has been with Masonicare for over 16 years, beginning as a staff nurse and Clinical Nurse Manager, and most recently was Assistant Director of Nursing.
Ackerman TD Bank has named Martha Papachristou as Assistant Vice President, Store Manager of the location in Plantsville. She is responsible for new business development, consumer and business lending, managing personnel and overseeing the day-to-day operations at the store serving customers throughout the area. Prior to joining TD Bank, Papachristou served as a Financial Center Manager at Bank of America in West Hartford. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in Storrs. The firm of Bailey Murphy + Scarano, LLC promoted Christine Gromala, to partner. Prior to being named partner, Gromala was the firm’s director and has been with Bailey Murphy + Scarano, LLC for 19 years. Gromala received her Bachelor of Science degree from Queens College.
at the University of New Haven. Claire Puzarne has been promoted to manager of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University. Puzarne will be responsible for processing the museum’s collection, managing all fiscal operations, and serving as a point of contact for all internal and external clients and supporters. Puzarne was most recently the assistant to the executive director. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Boston University. She has also a master’s degree in public history from California State University, Sacramento. She is currently enrolled in the MBA program at Quinnipiac. Three new physicians have joined the patient care team at Masonicare Health Center. Alison Grover, MD, will care for both short-term rehabilitation patients and long-term care residents. Dr. Grover received her doctorate from Temple University and previously worked for UConn Health Center Division of Aging. Nailia Vodovskaia, MD, will be focused on conducting comprehensive evaluations of the cognitive, emotional, and physical functions of older adults through Masonicare’s Outpatient Geriatric Assessment Center. Carolyn Kolb, PA, joins Masonicare Health Center’s long-term care team. Dr. Kolb received her Master’s Degree at Quinnipiac University. Ralph L. Ricciardelli, CPA, received the Service Provider of the Year award from the Associated General Contractors of Connecticut (AGCCT). Ricciardelli is the managing partner of Burzenski & Company, P.C. and
Bailey Murphy + Scarano, LLC promoted Steven Moalli to Director of Auditing & Accounting. Moalli joined the firm in 2007 and previously held the position of manager. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Connecticut State University and is completing his Masters of Taxation Kern
serves as director of construction services. Award recipients are nominated by their peers. Judging criteria included: a high level of leadership; a record of professional and personal accomplishment; and an adherence to fair and responsible business practices. Operation Fuel, a private, nonprofit program that provides emergency energy assistance elected four new board members and two new officers. The new board members are Arianna Baret Peralta, an engineer for Eversource Energy; Allan Smith, an account executive for the Hartford Courant; Susan T. Wakefield, who is retired from Energizer Personal Care; and Richard Schauster, who is retired from Empire Industries and previously served on Operation Fuel’s board. Lynn Vasquez, a community relations specialist at Eversource Energy, was elected secretary. Nancy Bulkeley, senior community affairs representative for Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, was re-elected chairperson of Operation Fuel’s board of directors. Matt Service, vice president of special products, Environmental Office Solutions, was re-elected vice chair and Reverend Hopeton Scott, was re-elected treasurer.
Donofrio Lisa M. Donofrio, M.D., of New Haven, recently began her term as vice president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association. Donofrio will help guide the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons. She is a partner at the Savin Center PC in New Haven, an
associate clinical professor in the Department of Dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine and assistant clinical professor in the Department of Dermatology at the Tulane University School of Medicine. Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) pediatrician Dr. Robert Dudley has been named Vice President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (CTAAP) Board of Directors. As Vice President, Dudley will work closely with the organization’s leadership on one of their major initiatives –improving screening and referral rates for adolescents with substance abuse issues. Paul Gulbin has been appointed Managing Director of CohnReznick LLP’s Advisory practice. Gublin will lead the Firm’s digital services platform as part of the Technology and Digital Advisory Practice. Gublin was previously a North America Digital Practice Leader at Capgemini, where he had responsibility for top-line growth, digital capability enhancement, and digital solution platform offerings. William Fields has joined NXT-ID, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: NXTD) (“NXT-ID” or the “Company”), a biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce market, Advisory Board. Fields has held senior executive positions, including Assistant to Wal-Mart Founder, Sam Walton; Senior Vice President of Distribution and Transportation; and Executive Vice President of Wal-Mart, Inc. culminating in the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wal-Mart Retail Stores Division. Philip C. Pires of Cohen and Wolf, P.C., has been recognized by the Connecticut Law Tribune as a “New Leader in the Law” for 2015. Pires is among 50 attorneys selected for this prestigious award by a five judge panel, who gave scores for each nominee in catego-
ries ranging from ‘contributions to the law’ to bar association efforts, pro bono work, and peer recognition. Pires practices in the firm’s Litigation, Municipal, and Land Use & Zoning groups. TD Bank named Amisha N. Tailor to Assistant Vice President, Store Manager of the Meriden location. Tailor joined TD Bank in 2001 as a Teller and later served as a Customer Service Representative and a Financial Services Representative before her most recent position as Assistant Store Manager.
Ives David Ives, executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University, has been appointed to the board of directors of the World Centers of Compassion for Children International. The World Centers of Compassion for Children International is a nonprofit organization engaged in advocacy and support for children that are victims of stress because of war, hunger, social, economic or political upheaval. Ives has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in student personnel and counseling fro m Ohio State University. Webster Bank has named Ray Franz as senior vice president and director of enterprise analytics. Franz joins Webster from Subway Restaurants in Milford. Franz earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in marketing and a master’s degree in measurement and quantitative analysis from Southern Connecticut State University.
She took the top honors along with $50,000 worth of scholarship funds.
Google Gives Top Science Award To CT Teen Affordable Tool For Detecting Ebola Developed By High School Junior
UConn’s Technology Park in Storrs Finally Breaks Ground While the Ebola virus has yet to have a commercially available cure, there is new innovation to help detect Ebola inexpensively. The inventor, Olivia Hallisey, is a junior attending Greenwich High School. For the 2015 Google Science Fair, Hallisey submitted the “Ebola Assay Card,” made from photo paper to detect antigens of the virus, and she describes the card as an ostensible “pregnancy test for Ebola.” An invention costing only $25 per test, the Ebola Assay Card is purportedly capable of detecting Ebola quickly and can be transported with no refrigeration needed. For her efforts, she took the top honors along with $50,000 worth of scholarship funds. Hallisey has said that her dream is to aid groups like Doctors Without Borders, and the recent Ebola epidemic that took many lives in West Africa was her inspiration to tackle the global health issue. She hopes her success will inspire other girls with interests in science and computers. According to the project summary, “In this new device, that is stable and stored at room temperature, 30µl drops of water were used to dissolve silkembedded reagents, initiating a timed-flow towards a center detection zone, where a positive (colored) result confirmed the presence of 500pg/ml Ebola(+) control antigens in 30min, at a cost of $25.”
SCSU and PerkinElmer Team Up For STEM Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) announced a new partnership with environmental and biotechnology firm PerkinElmer, in an effort to boost training for students looking to enter STEM fields. The Massachusetts-based PerkinElmer, which maintains a facility in Shelton, installed high-tech scientific laboratory instrumentation in the new Academic Science and Laboratory building recently constructed on the SCSU campus that opened for the Fall 2015 semester. The new technologies are said to benefit academic disciplines including nanotechnology, optics, biology, chemistry, environmental science and earth science. The “state-of-the-art solutions include several analytical instruments that will improve faculty research capabilities and provide students with opportunities to conduct cutting-edge research.” SCSU director of STEM initiatives, Christine Broadbridge, said the collabora22
tion is “emblematic of the multi-dimensional relationships that are bubbling up between our campus community and industry thought leaders. Paramount in our collaboration with PerkinElmer is an interest in enhancing Connecticut’s scientific industry by addressing real world challenges..” SCSU plans to name a model carbon nanotube that is placed in the middle of the building in honor of PerkinElmer. The device – a long tube that rises from the lower level to the second floor -- will light up and be an attraction for visitors to the campus and the building.
After several delays that include a building redesign, construction on the Innovation Partnership Building has begun. Over $180 million in state and federal funds was put towards the project that will house cutting-edge laboratories and highly specialized equipment within its inaugural structure, a 113,000-square-foot multi-level facility known as the Innovation Partnership Building or IPB. In May, $131.5 million of the funds were
approved by the state’s Bond Commission. This anchor building will offer large, flexible laboratories and highlyspecialized equipment not readily available to industry. Teams of world-class academic researchers, private industry scientists, and business entrepreneurs will work collaboratively within the facility to develop innovative new technologies in energy, electronics, materials science, additive manufacturing, microscopy, cybersecurity, and other fields. “The hopes for the building are to grow high-paying jobs and develop a culture of
innovation in northeastern Connecticut that will serve all of Connecticut,” UConn Provost Mun Choi said the day before the breaking ground event. “The transmission, scanning, and ion beam instruments will enable our faculty and students to manipulate and analyze materials at atomic scales. Their ability to create new applications for energy, electronics, and bio molecular sectors will be unparalleled.” Corporate partners who have already committed to operations in the building include United Technologies Corp., Comcast, General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Fraunhofer Inc. The Tech Park is being constructed on land adjacent to the newly constructed North Hillside Road extension as part of UConn’s North Campus. The area is bounded by Route 44, Route 195, and North Eagleville Road. The Innovation Partnership Building is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2017
Speeding Things Up New Haven apartment complexes are going up all over the city really fast. The cable and Internet company Comcast has decided that they want to play a little faster themselves. Elm City officials have been working to obtain gigabit level speed service in New Haven and now at least at one new apartment complex is getting it. Comcast Internet installed Connecticut’s first “Fiber to the Unit” project in New Haven at the newly opened College and Crown Development apartment complex. The 160-unit apartment development is just a few feet away from 300 George Street and it’s now growing biotech tenants. Comcast is touting its Advanced Communities Network and is promising to roll out the option for Fiber Optic service to businesses throughout their 83 city and town state footprint. Comcast says it’s focused on providing apartment/condo complexes, communities with single family homes, healthcare facilities and student housing units. Comcast senior VP of the Western New England Region, Michael Parker, said for large properties we can customize delivery using the infrastructure technology that best suits the owners’ and tenants’ needs. For tenants at College and Crown, that means access to gigabit level speeds, digital voice and home security automation, but perhaps most importantly a dedicated Comcast representative to deal with problems. WWW.CONNTACT.COM
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