3.358253145797 (1351)
Posted by sonny 03/22/2009 @ 03:11

Tags : connecticut, states, us

News headlines
New Connecticut law demands schools use green cleaning products - Danbury News Times
M. Jodi Rell signs Bill 6496, Connecticut will join New York and Illinois in requiring its school districts to use using "environmentally preferable cleaning products." The products, which must be certified by Green Seal or EcoLogo, include general...
Connecticut fans on deck for Yankee Stadium trains this weekend - Norwalk Advocate
On weekends, Metro-North has established timetables designed for Connecticut fans attending 1:05 and 4:10 pm games. Departure times for return trains will be adjusted according to when the game ends, according to Anders. Under an approved pricing plan,...
Connecticut border town is same-sex marriage haven - Newsday
A Connecticut border town that has been a destination for Powerball tickets when jackpots reach record highs is seeing a similar boom for same-sex marriages. Greenwich has been a popular place for gay weddings since Nov. 12, when the first licenses...
Connecticut Broadcasters Testing Signals For Digital Switch Thursday - Hartford Courant
All broadcast television stations in Connecticut that have not yet fully made the digital switch will join the Federal Communications Commission in a nationwide test Thursday. The stations will turn off regular analog programming at 7:25 am,...
Jerry Springer wraps up his tenure in Chicago before leaving for ... - Chicago Tribune
Beating us at our game is Connecticut, dangling millions of dollars in tax breaks, but not a red carpet. His new studio is near a Stamford church, and the pastor and parishioners there are none too happy about the neighbors. Daytime talk show guests...
Founder Buys Back Connecticut School of Broadcasting - Television Broadcast
The Connecticut School of Broadcasting is back in the hands of its founder. Dick Robinson is once again in possession of the institution he started 45 years ago, and sold in 2006. The school closed abruptly in early March when lenders seized the bank...
Connecticut at 2 p.m. - Hartford Courant
HARTFORD -- Environmentally friendly maintenance products and "green cleaning" practices will soon be mandatory in all Connecticut public schools. The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday requiring school districts to adopt "green cleaning"...
Mark Heisler's mock NBA draft - Los Angeles Times
Paul Sancya / AP Connecticut's Hasheem Thabeet could fill the Grizzlies' need for a big man as the No. 2 overall pick. The Clippers have won the lottery and probably Oklahoma's Blake Griffin. How the rest of the lottery teams might pick. 1....
WNBA: Black starts her second 'summer job' in Connecticut - Norwich Bulletin
Black is back working in Connecticut now. And that height is somewhat of a pre-requisite. Drafted by the Sun with the 10th overall pick in this year's draft, the Duke product is expected to bring some much-needed size to what was one of the league's...
Connecticut's TOD Grants Nowhere to be Found - Mobilizing the Region
According to the FTA, both Hartford and New Britain have applied to Connecticut's TOD grant program. While Tri-State is making progress administering our One Region Funders' Group supported transit-oriented development (TOD) grants,...


Map of the United States with Connecticut highlighted

Connecticut ( /kəˈnɛtɪkət/ (help·info)) is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. The state borders New York to the west and south (Long Island by sea), Massachusetts to the north, and Rhode Island to the east.

Southwestern Connecticut is considered part of the immediate New York metropolitan area, and three of Connecticut's eight counties—including the majority of the state's population—are in the New York City combined statistical area, commonly referred to as the Tri-State Region. The center of population of the state is in Cheshire, New Haven County, also within the Tri-State Region.

Connecticut is the 29th most populous state, with 3.4 million residents, and is ranked 48th in size by area, making it the 4th most densely populated state. Called the "Constitution State," Connecticut has a long history dating from early colonial times and was influential in the development of the federal government.

Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch and established a small settlement in present-day Hartford at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut Rivers called Huys de Goede Hoop. Initially, Connecticut was a part of their North American colony, New Netherland, which included much of the land between the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers. Today, much of the former colony lies in what is now known as the Tri-State Region.

The first major settlements were established in the 1630s by the English. Thomas Hooker led a band of followers overland from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded what would become the Connecticut Colony; other settlers from Massachusetts founded the Saybrook Colony and the New Haven Colony. Both the Connecticut and New Haven Colonies established documents of Fundamental Orders, considered the first constitutions in North America. In 1662, the disparate colonies merged under a royal charter, making Connecticut a crown colony. This colony was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.

Connecticut enjoys a temperate climate owed to its long coastline on Long Island Sound. This has given the state a strong maritime tradition. Modern Connecticut is also known for its wealth. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Connecticut had ready access to raw materials which helped to develop a strong manufacturing industry, and financial organizations flourished: first insurance companies in Hartford, then hedge funds along the Gold Coast. This prosperity has helped give Connecticut the highest per capita income, Human Development Index, and median household income in the country.

Connecticut is bordered on the south by Long Island Sound, on the west by New York State, on the north by Massachusetts, and on the east by Rhode Island. The state capital is Hartford, and the other major cities include New Haven, New London, New Britain, Norwich, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury, Danbury and Bridgeport. There are 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut.

The highest peak in Connecticut is Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state. The highest point is just east of where Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York meet (42° 3' N; 73° 29' W), on the southern slope of Mount Frissell, whose peak lies nearby in Massachusetts.

The Connecticut River cuts through the center of the state, flowing into Long Island Sound, Connecticut's outlet to the Atlantic Ocean.

Despite its size, the state has regional variations in its landscape and culture from the wealthy estates of Fairfield County's "Gold Coast" to the rolling mountains and horse-farms of the Litchfield Hills of northwestern Connecticut. Connecticut's rural areas and small towns in the northeast and northwest corners of the state contrast sharply with its industrial cities, located along the coastal highways from the New York border to New Haven, then northward to Hartford, as well as further up the coast near New London. Many towns center around a "green," (such as the New Haven Green), Litchfield Green, Simsbury Green, Lebanon Green (the largest in the state), and Wethersfield Green (the oldest in the state). Near the green typically stand historical visual symbols of New England towns, such as a small white church, a colonial meeting house, a colonial tavern or "inne," several colonial houses, etc., establishing a scenic historicity maintained for both historic preservation and the tourism trade.

Due to the climate, degree of urbanization, and economic status of the state, it offers easily accessed forests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and a coastline, all developed for recreation.

The northern boundary of the state with Massachusetts is marked by the distinctive Southwick Jog or Granby Notch, an approximately 2.5 mile (4.0 km) square detour into Connecticut slightly west of the center of the border. The actual origin of this anomaly is uncertain, with stories ranging from the original surveyors having been drunk, having attempted to avoid hostile Native Americans, or having taken a shortcut up the Connecticut River; Massachusetts residents having attempted to avoid Massachusetts' higher taxes for the lower taxes of Connecticut; Massachusetts' interest in the resources represented by the Congamond Lakes which lie on the border of the jog; and the need to compensate Massachusetts for an amount of land given to Connecticut due to inaccurate survey work.

The southwestern border of Connecticut, where it abuts New York State, is marked by a panhandle in Fairfield County, containing the towns of Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien and part of Norwalk. This irregularity in the boundary is the result of territorial disputes in the late 1600s, culminating with New York giving up its claim to the area, whose residents considered themselves part of Connecticut, in exchange for an equivalent area extending northwards from Ridgefield to the Massachusetts border as well as undisputed claim to Rye, New York.

Areas maintained by the National Park Service include: Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor; and Weir Farm National Historic Site.

Parts of Connecticut, including northwestern Connecticut, have a Humid continental climate, while other parts, especially southwestern Connecticut, have a Humid subtropical climate, with seasonal extremes tempered by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are cold, with average temperatures ranging from 31°F (−1°C) in the southeast to 23°F (−5°C) in the northwest in January. The average yearly snowfall is about 25–100" (64–254 cm) across the state, with higher totals in the northwest. Spring has variable temperatures with frequent rainfall. Summer is hot and humid throughout the state, with average highs in New London of 81°F (27°C) and 87°F (31°C) in Windsor Locks. Fall months are mild and bring colorful foliage across the state in October and November. During hurricane season, tropical cyclones occasionally affect the region. Thunderstorms are most frequent during the summer, occurring on average 30 times annually. These storms can be severe, though tornadoes are rare.

The Connecticut region was inhabited by the Mohegan tribe prior to European colonization. The first European explorer in Connecticut was the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. After he explored this region in 1614, Dutch fur traders sailed up the Connecticut River (then known by the Dutch as Versche Rivier - " Fresh River") and built a fort at Dutch Point near present-day Hartford, which they called "House of Hope" (Dutch: Huis van Hoop).

John Winthrop, then of Massachusetts, received permission to create a new colony at Old Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut River in 1635. This was the first of three distinct colonies that later would be combined to make up Connecticut. Saybrook Colony was a direct challenge to Dutch claims. The colony was not more than a small outpost and never matured. In 1644, the Saybrook Colony merged itself into the Connecticut Colony.

The first English settlers came in 1633 and settled at Windsor and then Wethersfield in 1634. However, the main body of settlers came in one large group in 1636. The settlers were Puritans from Massachusetts, led by Thomas Hooker. Hooker had been prominent in England and was a professor of theology at Cambridge. He was also an important political writer and made a significant contribution to Constitutional theory. He broke with the political leadership in Massachusetts, and, just as Roger Williams created a new polity in Rhode Island, Hooker and his cohort did the same and established the Connecticut Colony at Hartford in 1636. This was the second of the three colonies.

The third colony was founded in March 1638. New Haven Colony (originally known as the Quinnipiack Colony) was established by John Davenport, Theophilus Eaton and others at New Haven. The New Haven Colony had its own constitution, 'The Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony,' which was signed on 4 June 1639.

Because the Dutch were outnumbered by the flood of English settlers from Massachusetts, they left their fort in 1654.

Neither the establishment of the Connecticut Colony or the Quinnipiack Colony was done with the sanction of British imperial authorities, and they were independent political entities. They naturally were presumptively English, but in a legal sense, they were only secessionist outposts of Massachusetts Bay. In 1662, Winthrop took advantage of this void in political affairs and obtained in England the charter by which the colonies of Connecticut and Quinnipiack were united. Although Winthrop's charter favored the Connecticut colony, New Haven remained a seat of government with Hartford until after the American Revolution.

Winthrop was very politically astute and secured the charter from the newly restored Charles II, who granted the most liberal political terms.

Its first constitution, the "Fundamental Orders," was adopted on January 14, 1639, while its current constitution, the third for Connecticut, was adopted in 1965. Connecticut is the fifth of the original thirteen states. The original constitutions influenced the US Constitution as one of the leading authors was Roger Sherman of New Haven.

The western boundaries of Connecticut have been subject to change over time. According to the Hartford Treaty with the Dutch, signed on September 19, 1650, but never ratified by the British, the western boundary of Connecticut ran north from Greenwich Bay for a distance of 20 Miles "provided the said line come not within 10 miles (16 km) of Hudson River. This agreement was observed by both sides until war erupted between England and The Netherlands in 1652. No other limits were found. Conflict over uncertain colonial limits continued until the Duke of York captured New Netherland in 1664. "... On the other hand, Connecticut's original Charter in 1662 granted it all the land to the "South Sea," i.e. the Pacific Ocean. Most colonial royal grants were for long east-west strips. Connecticut took its grant seriously, and established a ninth county between the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers, named Westmoreland County. This resulted in the brief Pennamite Wars with Pennsylvania.

Connecticut's lands also extended across northern Ohio, called the Western Reserve lands. The Western Reserve section was settled largely by people from Connecticut, and they brought Connecticut place names to Ohio. Agreements with Pennsylvania and New York extinguished the land claims by Connecticut within its neighbors, and the Western Reserve lands were relinquished to the federal government, which brought the state to its present boundaries.

The name "Connecticut" originates from the Mohegan word quinnitukqut, meaning "place of long tidal river". In fact, the exact spelling "connect i cut", was rendered by John Dixwell, Edward Whalley, and William Goffe, three regicides who came to New Haven in the 17th century, fleeing prosecution by Charles II of England.

Connecticut's official nickname, adopted in 1959, is "The Constitution State," based on its colonial constitution of 1638–39. Unofficially (but popularly) Connecticut is also known as "The Nutmeg State". The origins of the nutmeg connection to Connecticut are unknown. It may have come from its sailors returning from voyages with nutmeg (which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a very valuable spice). It may have originated in the early machined sheet tin nutmeg grinders sold by early Connecticut peddlers. It is also facetiously said to come from Yankee peddlers from Connecticut who would sell small carved nobs of wood shaped to look like nutmeg to unsuspecting customers. George Washington gave Connecticut the title of "The Provisions State" because of the material aid the state rendered to the Revolutionary War effort. Connecticut is also known as "The Land of Steady Habits".

According to Webster's New International Dictionary, 1993, a person who is a native or resident of Connecticut is a "Connecticuter". There are numerous other terms coined in print, but not in use, such as: "Connecticotian" - Cotton Mather in 1702. "Connecticutensian" - Samuel Peters in 1781. "Nutmegger" is sometimes used, as is "Yankee" (the official State Song is "Yankee Doodle"), though this usually refers someone from the wider New England region. Linguist Allen Walker Read reports a more playful term, 'connecticutie.' The traditional abbreviation of the state's name is "Conn."; the official postal abbreviation is CT.

Commemorative stamps issued by the United States Postal Service with Connecticut themes include Nathan Hale, Eugene O'Neill, Josiah Willard Gibbs, Noah Webster, Eli Whitney, the whaling ship the Charles W. Morgan which is docked in Mystic Seaport, and a decoy of a broadbill duck.

As of 2005, Connecticut has an estimated population of 3,510,297, which is an increase of 11,331, or 0.3%, from the prior year and an increase of 104,695, or 3.1%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 67,427 people (that is 222,222 births minus 154,795 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 41,718 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 75,991 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 34,273 people. Based on the 2005 estimates, Connecticut moves from the 29th most populous state to 30th.

6.6% of its population was reported as being under 5 years old, 24.7% under 18 years old, and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. Females made up approximately 51.6% of the population, with 48.4% male.

In 1790, 97% of the population in Connecticut were classified as "rural". The first census in which less than half the population was classified as rural was 1890. In the 2000 census, it was only 12.3%. Most of western and southern Connecticut is strongly associated with New York City; this area is the most affluent and populous region of the state. Eastern Connecticut is more culturally influenced by the greater New England area, including the cities of Boston and Providence. Some cite this cultural split when noting the state's lack of professional sports teams, ie., NHL hockey since the mid 1990s, NFL football, MLS soccer and men's basketball.

The center of population of Connecticut is located in the town of Cheshire.

As of 2004, 11.4% of the population (400,000) was foreign-born, and 10% of the foreign-born in the state were illegal aliens (about 1.1% of the population). In 1870, native-born Americans had accounted for 75% of the state's population, but that had dropped to 35% by 1918.

As of 2000, 81.69% of Connecticut residents age 5 and older spoke English at home and 8.42% spoke Spanish, followed by Italian at 1.59%, French at 1.31% and Polish at 1.20%.

The five largest reported ancestries in the state are: Italian (18.6%), Irish (16.6%), English (10.3%), German (9.9%), and French/French Canadian (9.9%).

Connecticut has large Italian American, Irish American and English American populations, as well as German American and Portuguese American populations, second highest percentage of any state behind Rhode Island (19.3%). Italian is the largest ancestry group in five of the state's counties, while the Irish are the largest group in Tolland county, French Canadians the largest group in Windham county, and old stock New England Yankees are present throughout. African Americans and Hispanics (mostly Puerto Ricans) are numerous in the urban areas of the state. Like Ohio and New York, Connecticut is also known for its relatively large Hungarian American population, the majority of which live in and around Fairfield, Stamford, Naugatuck and Bridgeport. Connecticut also has a sizable Polish American population, with New Britain containing the largest Polish American population in the state.

More recent immigrant populations include those from Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Panama, Jamaica and former Soviet countries.

Jewish congregations had 108,280 members in 2000; The Jewish population is concentrated in the towns near Long Island Sound between Greenwich and New Haven, in Greater New Haven and in Greater Hartford, especially the suburb of West Hartford. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives the largest Christian denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Catholic Church with 1,372,562; the United Church of Christ with 124,770; and the Episcopal Church with 73,550.

Recent immigration has brought other non-Christian religions to the state, but the numbers of adherents of other religions are still low.

Connecticut is also home to New England's largest Protestant Church The First Cathedral in Bloomfield, Connecticut located in Hartford County.

The total gross state product for 2006 was $204 billion. The per capita income for 2007 was $54,117, ranking first among the states. There is, however, a great disparity in incomes through the state; although New Canaan has one of the highest per capita incomes in America, Hartford is one of the ten cities with the lowest per capita incomes in America. As with Bridgeport, New Haven and other cities in the state, Hartford is surrounded by wealthier suburbs.

New Canaan is the wealthiest town in Connecticut, with a per capita income of $85,459. Darien, Greenwich, Weston, Westport and Wilton also have per capita incomes over $65,000. Hartford is the poorest municipality in Connecticut, with a per capita income of $13,428 in 2000. There are other lower-income and blue-collar towns, mostly parts of towns, in the eastern part of the State.

Prior to 1991, Connecticut had a highly populist income tax system. Income from employment was untaxed, but income from investments was taxed at the highest rate in the United States: 13%. And this burden was further increased by the method of calculation: no deductions were allowed for the cost (for example, interest on borrowing) of producing the investment income. Under Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., an Independent, this was reformed to the present system.

This system prior to 1991 made it an attractive haven for high-salaried earners fleeing the heavy taxes of New York State, but highly unattractive for members of Wall Street partnerships. It put an enormous burden on Connecticut property tax payers, particularly in the cities with their more extensive municipal services.

With Weicker's 1991 tax reform, the tax on employment and investment income was equalized at a then-maximum of 4%. Since then, Greenwich, Connecticut, has become the headquarters of choice for a large number of America's largest hedge funds, and Connecticut income from that industry has soared. Today the income tax rate on Connecticut individuals is divided into two tax brackets of 3% and 5%. All wages of a Connecticut resident are subject to the state's income tax, even when the resident works outside of the state. However, in those cases, Connecticut income tax must be withheld only to the extent the Connecticut tax exceeds the amount withheld by the other jurisdiction. Since New York state has higher tax rates than Connecticut, this effectively means that Connecticut residents that work in New York state pay no income tax to Connecticut.

Connecticut levies a 6% state sales tax on the retail sale, lease, or rental of most goods. Some items and services in general are not subject to sales and use taxes unless specifically enumerated as taxable by statute. There are no additional sales taxes imposed by local jurisdictions. During the summer there is one week during which sales tax on certain items and quantities of clothing is not imposed in order to assist those with children returning to school.

All real and personal property located within the state of Connecticut is taxable unless specifically exempted by statute. All assessments are at 70% of fair market value. Another 20% of the value may be taxed by the local government though. The maximum property tax credit is $500 per return and any excess may not be refunded or carried forward. Connecticut does not levy an intangible personal property tax.

Homes in southwestern Connecticut on the fringes of the New York City metropolitan area are quite expensive. Many towns have median home prices over $500,000, with a good percentage of towns exceeding $1 million. By contrast, other counties have lower medians. The median value for a home in New London County, for example, is about $275,000. Fairfield County has the most expensive real estate market in Connecticut, with most houses selling at over $1.5 million and many costing several million. Connecticut has the most multi-million dollar homes in the Northeast, and the second most in the nation after California, with 3.3% of homes in Connecticut priced over $1 million in 2003. In 2007, the median price for a house in Connecticut passed $300,000 for the first time, even though most of the country was mired in a real estate slump.

The agricultural produce of the state includes nursery stock; eggs; clams and lobster (shellfish); dairy products; cattle; and tobacco. Its industrial output includes transportation equipment, especially helicopters, aircraft parts, and nuclear submarines; heavy industrial machinery and electrical equipment; military weaponry; fabricated metal products; chemical and pharmaceutical products; and scientific instruments.

Due to the prominence of the aircraft industry in the state, Connecticut has an official state aircraft, the F4U Corsair, and an official Connecticut Aviation Pioneer, Igor Sikorsky. The state officially recognizes aircraft designer Gustav Whitehead as "Father of Connecticut Aviation" for his research into powered flight in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1901, two years before the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Governor John Dempsey also declared August 15 to be "Gustave Whitehead Day".

A report issued by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism on December 7, 2006, demonstrated that the economic impact of the arts, film, history and tourism generated more than $14 billion in economic activity and 170,000 jobs annually. This provides $9 billion in personal income for Connecticut residents and $1.7 billion in state and local revenue.

The Interstate highways in the state are I-95 (the Connecticut Turnpike) running southwest to northeast along the coast, I-84 running southwest to northeast in the center of the state, I-91 running north to south in the center of the state, and I-395 running north to south near the eastern border of the state. The other major highways in Connecticut are the Merritt Parkway and Wilbur Cross Parkway, which together form State Route 15, running from the Hutchinson River Parkway in New York State parallel to I-95 before turning north of New Haven and running parallel to I-91, finally becoming a surface road in Berlin, Connecticut. Route 15 and I-95 were originally toll roads; they relied on a system of toll plazas at which all traffic stopped and paid fixed tolls. A series of terrible crashes at these plazas eventually contributed to the decision to remove the tolls in 1988. Other major arteries in the state include U.S. Route 7 in the west running parallel to the NY border, State Route 8 farther east near the industrial city of Waterbury and running north-south along the Naugatuck River Valley nearly parallel with U.S. 7, and State Route 9 in the east. See List of State Routes in Connecticut for an overview of the state's highway system.

Between New Haven and the New York City, I-95 is one of the most congested highways in the United States. Many people now drive longer distances to work in the New York City area. This strains the three lanes of traffic capacity, resulting in lengthy rush hour delays. Frequently, the congestion spills over to clog the parallel Merritt Parkway. The state has encouraged traffic reduction schemes, including rail use and ride-sharing.

Connecticut also has a very active bicycling community, with one of the highest rates of bicycling ownership and use in the United States. New Haven's cycling community, organized in a local advocacy group called ElmCityCycling, is particularly active. According to the U.S. Census 2006 American Community Survey, New Haven has the highest percentage of commuters who bicycle to work of any major metropolitan center on the East Coast.

Southwestern Connecticut is served by MTA's Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line, providing commuter service to New York City and New Haven, with branches servicing New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury. Connecticut lies along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor which features frequent Northeast Regional and Acela Express service. Towns between New Haven and New London are also served by the Shore Line East commuter line. Operation of commuter trains from New Haven to Springfield on Amtrak's New Haven-Springfield Line is under consideration.

Statewide bus service is supplied by Connecticut Transit, owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, with smaller municipal authorities providing local service. Bus networks are an important part of the transportation system in Connecticut, especially in urban areas like Hartford, Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and New Haven. A three-year construction project to build a busway from New Britain to Hartford will begin in August 2009.

Bradley International Airport, which became truly 'International' in the summer of 2007 beginning service to Europe (which ceased to exist shortly after due to financial issues), is located in Windsor Locks, 15 miles (24 km) north of Hartford. Regional air service is provided at Tweed-New Haven Airport. Larger civil airports include Danbury Municipal Airport and Waterbury-Oxford Airport in western Connecticut. The Westchester County Airport in Harrison, New York serves part of southwestern Connecticut.

Hartford has been the sole capital of Connecticut since 1875. Before then, New Haven and Hartford alternated as capitals.

Connecticut is known as the "Constitution State". While the origin on this title is uncertain, the nickname is assumed to refer to the Fundamental Orders of 1638–39. These Fundamental Orders represent the framework for the first formal government written by a representative body in Connecticut. The government has operated under the direction of four separate documents in the course of Connecticut Constitutional History. After the Fundamental Orders, Connecticut was granted governmental authority by King Charles II of England through the Connecticut Charter of 1662. While these two documents acted to lay the ground work for the state’s government, either document could be altered simply by a majority vote of the General Assembly. Separate branches of government did not exist during this period, and the General Assembly acted as the supreme authority. A constitution similar to the modern U.S. Constitution was not adopted in Connecticut until 1818. Finally, the current state constitution was implemented in 1965. The 1965 constitution absorbed a majority of its 1818 predecessor, but incorporated a handful of important modifications. Another possible source of the nickname "constitution state" comes from Connecticut's pivotal role in the federal constitutional convention of 1787, during which Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth helped to orchestrate what became known as the Connecticut Compromise, or the Great Compromise. This plan combined the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan to form a bicameral legislature, a form copied by almost every state constitution since the adoption of the federal constitution.

The governor heads the executive branch. The current Governor of Connecticut is M. Jodi Rell (Republican). The current Lieutenant Governor is Michael Fedele. From 1639 until the adoption of the 1818 constitution, the governor presided over the General Assembly. Connecticut was the first state in the United States to elect a woman as governor without electing her husband first, Ella Grasso in 1974.

There are several executive departments: Administrative Services, Agriculture, Banking, Children and Families, Consumer Protection, Correction, Economic and Community Development, Developmental Services, Education, Environmental Protection, Higher Education, Information Technology, Insurance, Labor, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Military, Motor Vehicles, Public Health, Public Safety, Public Utility Control, Public Works, Revenue Services, Social Services, Transportation, Veterans Affairs. In addition to these departments, there are other independent bureaus, offices and commissions.

In addition to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, there are four other executive officers named in the state constitution that are elected directly by voters: Secretary of the State, Treasurer, Comptroller and Attorney General. All executive officers are elected to four year terms.

The legislature is the General Assembly. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of an upper body, the State Senate (36 senators); and a lower body, the House of Representatives (151 representatives). Bills must pass each house in order to become law. The governor can veto the bill, but this veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority in each house. Senators and representatives, all of whom must be at least eighteen years of age, are elected to two-year terms in November on even-numbered years. The Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate, except when absent from the chamber, when the President Pro Tempore presides. The Speaker of the House presides over the House; Chris Donovan is the current Speaker of the House of Connecticut. The Democrats currently hold a two-thirds super-majority in both houses of the General Assembly.

Connecticut's U.S. senators are Christopher J. Dodd (Democrat) and Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut for Lieberman, Independent Democrat) who is part of the Democratic Caucus. Connecticut currently has five representatives in the U.S. House, all of whom are Democrats. Connecticut and Vermont remain the only two states with Independent Senators.

The highest court of Connecticut's judicial branch is the Connecticut Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of Connecticut. The Supreme Court is responsible for deciding on the constitutionality of the law or cases as they relate to the law. Its proceedings are similar to those of the United States Supreme Court, with no testimony given by witnesses, and the lawyers of the two sides each present oral arguments no longer than thirty minutes. Following a court proceeding, the court may take several months to arrive at a judgment. The current Chief Justice is Chase T. Rogers.

In 1818, the court became a separate entity, independent of the legislative and executive branches. The Appellate Court is a lesser state-wide court and the Superior Courts are lower courts that resemble county courts of other states.

Connecticut has 169 towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state; the entire state is divided into towns. Connecticut shares a local form of government with the rest of New England called the New England town. There are also 21 cities, most of which are coterminous with their namesake towns and have a merged city-town government. There are two exceptions: City of Groton, which is a subsection of the Town of Groton and the City of Winsted in the Town of Winchester. There are also nine incorporated boroughs which may provide additional services to a section of town. One, Naugatuck, is a consolidated town and borough.

Unlike most other states, Connecticut does not have county government. Connecticut county governments were mostly eliminated in 1960, with the exception of the sheriff system. In 2000, the county sheriff was abolished and replaced with the state marshal system, which has districts that follow the old county territories. The judicial system is divided, at the trial court level, into judicial districts which largely follow the old county lines. The eight counties are still widely used for purely geographical and statistical purposes, such as weather reports, and census reporting.

Connecticut recently leans strongly towards the Democratic Party. However, Connecticut has a high number of voters who are not registered with a major party. As of 2004, 33.7% of registered voters were registered Democratic, 22.0% were registered Republican, and 44.0% were unaffiliated with any party, with 0.2% registered with a minor party.

Many Connecticut towns show a marked preference for moderate candidates of either party. Democrats hold a registration edge especially in the cities of Hartford; New Haven; and Bridgeport, where Democratic machines have held power since the great immigration waves of the 1800s. The state's Republican-leaning areas are the rural Litchfield County and adjoining towns in the west of Hartford County, the industrial towns of the Naugatuck River Valley, and some of the affluent Fairfield County towns near the New York border. The suburban towns of New Canaan and Darien in Fairfield County are considered the most Republican areas in the state. Westport, a wealthy town a few miles to the east, is often considered one of the most loyally-Democratic, liberal towns in Fairfield County. The historically Republican-leaning wealthy town of Wilton voted in the majority for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election. Norwalk and Stamford, two larger, affluent communities in Fairfield County, have in many elections favored moderate Republicans including former Governor John G. Rowland and former Congressman Chris Shays, however they have favored Democrats in recent US presidential candidates, the latter being defeated by Democrat Jim Himes in the 2008 election year. Waterbury has a Democratic registration edge, but usually favors conservative candidates in both parties. In Danbury unaffiliated voters outnumber voters registered with either major party. Other smaller cities including Meriden, New Britain, and Middletown favor Democratic candidates.

Democrats hold veto-proof majorities in both houses of the Connecticut General Assembly. In 2008, Democrats controlled all five federal congressional seats. The remaining Republican, Chris Shays, lost his seat to Democrat Jim Hines in the Congressional Election of that year. Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman are Connecticut's U.S. senators. The senior Dodd is a Democrat while the junior Lieberman serves as an Independent Democrat caucusing with Senate Democrats after his victory on the Connecticut for Lieberman ballot line in the 2006 general election. Lieberman's predecessor, Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., was the last Connecticut Republican to serve as Senator. Weicker was known as a liberal Republican. He broke with President Richard Nixon during Watergate and successfully ran for governor in 1990 as an independent, creating A Connecticut Party as his election vehicle. Before Weicker, the last Republican to represent Connecticut in the Senate was Prescott Bush, the father of former President George H.W. Bush and the grandfather of former President George W. Bush. He served from 1953–1963.

Several mayors, state legislators, and government employees have been convicted and imprisoned for crimes ranging from bribery to racketeering. In 2004, Governor John G. Rowland, was forced to resign when it was discovered he helped steer state contracts to firms that offered him gifts and free vacations. Following his resignation, he pled guilty to corruption charges and served ten months in federal prison. Former Waterbury Mayor and 2000 GOP Senate candidate Philip Giordano was stripped of power in 2001 after a corruption investigation had to be cut short when phone taps unexpectedly revealed alleged sexual acts with 8- and 10-year-old minor girls and other possible child sex offenses. In 2003, he was convicted and sentenced to 37 years in federal prison. Democrats have been convicted of corruption as well, most notably former Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. The current Mayor of Bridgeport, John Fabrizi admitted to using cocaine while in office, but has stayed on while not running for re-election. In August 2007 Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez announced he had been investigated for ties to a city contractor. In February 2009 Perez turned himself into police on a warrant for corruption charges, and pleaded not guilty. In December 2007 in Enfield, former Mayor Patrick L. Tallarita (D) has been named in a lawsuit over an alleged threatening confrontation with a man at a grocery store.

Several state agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and Department of Children and Families (DCF) have been rocked by scandals over the past decade.

A more recent scandal involved a botched construction project on Interstate 84 near Waterbury. On the incomplete construction project an independent audit of the project in late 2006 revealed that over 280 storm drains installed by the now-defunct L.G. DeFelice Construction Company, were either filled with sand, were improperly installed, or were connected with pipes that led to nowhere. In addition to the faulty storm drains, officials discovered light fixtures with defective mounting brackets when one of the fixtures fell off of its support pole and onto the highway. Inspectors also discovered the structural steel for an overpass was not properly installed, raising serious questions about the bridge's structural integrity. Following the uncovering of this scandal, Attorney-General Richard Blumenthal filed suit against L.G. DeFelice, its bonding company USF&G, and the consultants (the Maguire Group) hired by CONNDOT to oversee the project, resulting in a $17.5 million settlement with USF&G to fix the problems. A federal grand jury and FBI investigation were also launched into the operations of L.G. DeFelice which ceased operations in May 2006. Several CONNDOT employees were allegedly fired or retired after being implicated in the scandal, and are also subjects of state and federal investigations. Finally, the scandal prompted the Connecticut General Assembly to consider contract reform legislation and Governor M. Jodi Rell to order a complete reorganization of CONNDOT.

In the fall of 2005, the public’s trust was betrayed again. This time State Senator Ernie Newton (D-Bridgeport) was forced to resign after a number of abuses, including accepting bribes in exchange for state bonding. In April 2006, former State Senator Ernest Newton reported to a federal prison camp in Fort Dix, New Jersey, to begin serving his five-year sentence for taking a bribe.

On June 1, 2007 Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Louis DeLuca (R-Woodbury) was arrested on conspiracy charges after it was discovered he was dealing with a local Mafia boss who is currently facing federal charges stemming from his trash-hauling operations, and allegations that he tried to use these same ties to intimidate the husband of his granddaughter, whom he claimed was abusing her.

Democratic State Senator Thomas Gaffey has frequently been charged with misconduct involving use of reimbursements from his state expense account and campaign funds, as well as charges related to steering state bonding funds to a university lobbyist whom he was dating.

Following Rowland's resignation, the state legislature passed a campaign finance reform bill that bans contributions from lobbyists and state contractors in future campaigns.

Several lawmakers in Connecticut's General Assembly have been working toward universal health care. In 2008, both the House and Senate chambers passed legislation that would have allowed small businesses, municipalities, and nonprofits to join a statewide insurance pool that would be an expansion of the state's insurance plan. In May, 2008, the bill passed the Senate by a 22-12 vote and the House with a 102-43 vote. Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz spoke out in favor of the legislation. Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut aired radio ads encouraging Governor Rell to sign the bill. But, after several days wait, Gov. Rell vetoed the bill citing technical problems with the legislation.

Since 2005, the foundation has developed relationships with several key groups that would be instrumental in creating broad change in the health system, including medical societies, hospitals, businesses, labor and clergy.

In January 2009 the foundation unveiled SustiNet, a proposal for a statewide health care plan for Connecticut that would provide residents with their choice of health coverage and care regardless of their employment status, age, or pre-existing conditions. An estimated 1,000 people attended a rally at Union Station (Hartford) for the release of the plan.

In February, the 18,500-member Connecticut Association of REALTORS announced its support for the SustiNet health care plan. REALTORS are independent contractors and are representative of the plight of many independent contractors and small business employees in Connecticut in that they do not have access to group health insurance.

Also in that month, the independent statewide organization "Small Businesses for Health Care Reform" endorsed the SustiNet health care reform proposal and encouraged other business owners to review and support it.

In March, the foundation's SustiNet plan was formally endorsed the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care, a group devoted to health reform, as well as by dozens of other religious leaders representing a wide range of faiths in Connecticut. Fellowship members include Rabbi Stephen Fuchs of Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, a co-chairman of the Interfaith Fellowship, and Bilal Ansari, a Muslim chaplain at Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center in Hartford, where much of his counseling involves helping families cope with not just the stress of a relative's illness, but the worries about how they will pay for it.

Connecticut is well known as the home of Yale University (1701), which maintains a consistent ranking as one of the world's most renowned universities and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs of any university in the United States (an 8.6% acceptance rate in 2006). Yale is one of the largest employers in the state, and its research activity has recently spun off dozens of growing biotechnology companies.

Connecticut is also the host of many other academic institutions, including Trinity College (1823), Wesleyan University (1832), University of Hartford (1877), University of Bridgeport (1927), Post University (1890), Connecticut College (1911), Quinnipiac University (1929), Fairfield University (1942), Sacred Heart University (1964), the United States Coast Guard Academy (1915) and the Connecticut State University System. The University of Connecticut (1881) has been the highest ranked public university in New England for eight years running, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Additionally, the State has many noted boarding schools, including Avon Old Farms (1927), Cheshire Academy (1794), Choate Rosemary Hall (1890), Ethel Walker School (1911), The Gunnery (1850), Hotchkiss (1891), Kent School (1906), Loomis Chaffee (1874), Miss Porter's School (1843),Pomfret School (1894), Salisbury School (1901), Suffield Academy (1833), Taft (1890), and the Westminster School (1888), which draw students from all over the world.

Connecticut has many noted private day schools such as the Hopkins School (1660) in New Haven, Brunswick School (1902) in Greenwich, Hamden Hall Country Day School (1912) in Hamden, Holy Cross High School (1968) in Waterbury, Kingswood-Oxford School (1909) in West Hartford, Notre Dame High School (1955) in Fairfield, King and Low-Heywood Thomas School (1865) in Stamford, the Norwich Free Academy (1854) in Norwich, St. Lukes School (1928) in New Canaan, St. Joseph High School (1962) in Trumbull, and the Williams School (1891) in New London, among others.

Connecticut was also home to the nation's first law school, Litchfield Law School, which operated from 1773 to 1833 in Litchfield. Hartford Public High School (1638) is the third-oldest secondary school in the nation after the Collegiate School (1628) in Manhattan and the Boston Latin School (1635). The Hopkins School (1660) is the fifth-oldest after the three previously mentioned and the Roxbury Latin School (1645) in Boston.

The Connecticut State Department of Education manages public schools in Connecticut. Farmington High School, Avon High School, Simsbury High School, Conard High School, and Greenwich High School have been nationally recognized for their excellence.

George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, was born in Connecticut. He is a member of the Bush political family, with roots in the state extending three generations. Other notable figures from the state span American political and cultural history, including Ralph Nader, Eli Whitney, Benedict Arnold, Nathan Hale, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown, Eugene O'Neill, Charles Ives, Katharine Hepburn, Vince McMahon, Patti LuPone, Meryl Streep, Wallace Stevens, Florence Griswold, Prudence Crandall, Michael Bolton, Chloe Sevigny, Leroy Anderson, Jane Curtin, Mia Farrow, Joanne Woodward, Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas, Jacques Pepin, Jane and Michael Stern, and Roger Sherman. The state is often associated with American author Mark Twain, who resided in his innovative Hartford home (now a museum) from 1871 - 1891, during which time he published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He lived in Redding from 1908 until his death in 1910. Meg Ryan lived in Bethel, Connecticut while growing up. Paul Newman, before his death in 2008, lived in Connecticut for most of his life and it is often referred to as his 'adopted state'. Many music stars, radio and television personalities, and athletes have made temporary homes in the wealthy suburbs of Fairfield County. Also, Noah Webster was born in Hartford (in an area that is now part of West Hartford), and was the author of the "Blue Backed Speller," now known as Webster's Dictionary. The Speller was used to teach spelling to five generations of Americans. Late Night Show Host Conan O'Brien owns a house in Washington, CT. Actor Dylan McDermott was born and raised in Waterbury.

To the top

List of United States Senators from Connecticut


This is a chronological listing of the United States Senators from Connecticut.

United States Senators are popularly elected, for a six year term, beginning January 3. Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1st. Before 1914, they were chosen by the Connecticut General Assembly, and before 1935, their terms began March 4.

Class 1 U.S. Senators belong to the electoral cycle that were elected for one session of the U.S. Congress in the first election of 1788 and whose seats in recent years are contested in 1994, 2000, 2006, and 2012.

Class 3 U.S. Senators belong to the electoral cycle that were elected for three sessions of the U.S. Congress in the first election of 1788 and whose seats in recent years are contested in 1998, 2004, 2010, and 2016.

To the top

United States congressional delegations from Connecticut

These are tables of congressional delegations from Connecticut to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives.

Starting in 1837, Connecticut abandoned general tickets and adopted districts instead.

To the top

Stamford, Connecticut

Official seal of Stamford, Connecticut

Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to 2007 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 118,475, making it the fourth largest city in the state. Stamford is part of the New York metropolitan area.

Stamford was the ninth-safest city in the United States in 2006 and for the past six years has ranked in the top 11 safest cities with populations of 100,000 or more, according to the FBI. It is considerably more affluent than national average and strongly politically Democratic. In 2006, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Stamford 46th on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States.

The city recently received nationwide publicity in several ways: It was the opening setting for the Civil War comics series by Marvel and is becoming an increasingly frequent filming location after the state passed a tax-incentive program for the movie industry. Also, on February, 16, 2009, Stamford made international news when an out-of-control chimpanzee mauled a woman severely and then attacked Stamford Police officers.

Stamford is a sister city of Minturno, Italy; Sparti, Greece; Jiangdu, China; Settefrati, Italy; and Afula, Israel.

Stamford was known as Rippowam by the Native American inhabitants to the region, and the very first European settlers to the area also referred to it as such. The name was later changed to Stamford after a town in Lincolnshire, England. The deed to Stamford was signed on 1 July 1640 between Captain Turner of the New Haven Colony and Chief Ponus. By the Eighteenth century, one of the primary industries of the town was merchandising by water, which was possible due to Stamford's proximity to New York.

In 1692, Stamford was home to a less famous witch trial than the well-known Salem witch trial, which also occurred in 1692. The accusations were less fanatical and smaller-scale but also grew to prominence through gossip and hysterics.

Starting in the late 19th century, New York residents built summer homes on the shoreline, and even back then there were some who moved to Stamford permanently and started commuting to Manhattan by train, although the practice became more popular later. Stamford incorporated as a city in 1893.

A massive urban redevelopment campaign (starting in the 1960s and gaining steam in the 1970s) resulted in a downtown with many tall office buildings. The F.D. Rich Co. was the city-designated urban renewal developer of the downtown in an ongoing redevelopment project that was contentious, beginning in the 1960s and continuing through the 1970s. The company put up the city's tallest structure, Landmark Building, and the GTE building (now One Stamford Forum) along with the Marriott Hotel, the Stamford Town Center and many of the other downtown office buildings. The Landmark Building will soon be dwarfed by two new downtown projects by the Rich Company in partnership with Cappelli Enterprises by the imminent start of construction of the 34 story Trump Parc condominium project and the 400-foot 39 story Ritz Carlton Hotel and Residences development. Over the years, other developers have joined in building up the downtown, a process that continued, with breaks during downturns in the economy, through the 1980s, 1990s and into the new century.

Stamford is situated near the southwestern point of Connecticut. It is bordered on the north by Pound Ridge, NY, to the south by Long Island Sound, by Greenwich to the west, and both Darien and New Canaan to the east.

The average high temperature annually is 62.4 °F (16.9 °C). The average low temperature annually is 40.6 °F (4.8 °C). The highest recorded temperature was 104 °F (40 °C) in 2001. The lowest recorded temperature was −18 °F (−27.8 °C) in 1982. The average warmest month is July. January is the average coolest month. The maximum average precipitation occurs in May. The average precipitation from November to March is 21.39 inches (543 mm). During the winter months, it is not uncommon for snowfall to occur in the northern part of the city where the elevation is higher, yet not occur in the downtown and coastal areas of the city, where the elevation is closer to or at sea level.

Stamford has one of the highest educated populations in the US. Nine out of ten are high school graduates. Those possessing a bachelor's degree or higher is estimated at 45.9% of the population.

The population density is 3,101.9 people per square mile (1,197.5/km²). There are 47,317 housing units at an average density of 1,253.6/sq mi (484.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.79% White., 15.39% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 5.00% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 6.50% from other races, and 3.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.77% of the population.

There are 45,399 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.13.

The proportion of the population under the age of 18 was 22.1%, from 18 to 24 was 7.4%, from 25 to 44 was 35.0%, from 45 to 64 was 21.7%, and 65 years of age or older were 13.8%. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $72,315, and the median income for a family was $88,205. Males had a median income of $48,386 versus $36,958 for females. The per capita income for the city was $34,987. About 5.4% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.

Italians form the largest ethnic group in Stamford. Irish, Polish, Jewish, Puerto Rican, African-American, and Caribbean people also make up a significant portion of the population.

Stamford is tied with Iowa City, Iowa for the US metropolitan area with the highest percentage of the adult population holding a bachelor's degree or higher; 44 percent of adults hold a degree.

Located in a fairly liberal state, Stamford is mostly Democratic, home to about 21,500 active registered Democrats and 14,000 Republicans in October 2005. The partisan ration was 1.5 Democrats per Republican. 100 individuals were registered with minor parties, while roughly 20,000 did not have any party affiliation.

Stamford is located on the main branch of the New Haven Line on the Metro-North Railroad, the commuter rail system for northern metropolitan New York City. Stamford is the third busiest station on the Metro North system and serves as a major transfer point for local trains. Stamford Station is also the terminus of a Metro-North branch that ends in New Canaan, about 15 miles (24 km) away, and a part time terminal of Shore Line East trains. Two smaller train stations in Stamford are Glenbrook and Springdale, both a part of the New Canaan branch. With a recent spike in development in the East Side neighborhood, the city is considering putting in a proposal to construct a new stop to service the East Main Street area close to the New Canaan branch overpass.

Commuter trains come into Stamford from all points between New London to the east and New York (Grand Central Terminal) to the south. Several express (non-stop) trains leave Stamford each morning and evening for Grand Central. The average non-stop commute is forty-five minutes. Stamford has seen a significant increase in ridership. Much of this increase is a result of reverse commuting, individuals commuting from New York City to Stamford for work. Trains operate from the Stamford station between 4:43 AM (first departure to Grand Central) until 12:25 AM (last departure to Grand Central). On the weekends the first departure for Grand Central occurs at 5:03 AM. Fares during rush hour (on peak) are higher than during non-rush hour (off peak). On peak fares are charged between 4:43 AM - 9:10 AM for trains originating to Grand Central. Trains in transit to Stamford are charged on peak fares from 5:35 AM - 8:37 AM and from 4:02 PM - 7:40 PM. On peak fares do not apply on weekends and/or holidays. Tickets can be bought on board, yet the surcharge can make the price steep.

Stamford also serves as a station along the Amtrak route. Acela, the high speed train service between Boston and Washington, makes several daily stops in Stamford. Amtrak's Regional (Springfield, MA to Washington, DC) and Vermonter (Saint Albans, VT to Washington, DC) also make daily stops in Stamford. Amtrak tickets can be purchased on the upper level of the Stamford station.

Late in 2007 the city contracted a private San Francisco company to conduct a 6 month feasibility study to look at the possibility of creating an inner-city light rail line. With the proposed Harbor Point development set to break ground in the South End neighborhood sometime in 2008, the idea is to create a line that would connect the new developments to points north, such as the transportation center, Landmark Square in downtown and other various points up to the Bulls Head area.

Stamford is within forty-five minutes of four major airports. The closest is Westchester County (White Plains) Airport (HPN) which borders the town of Greenwich (a 20 minute trip by car). The airport offers non-stop flights to eighteen cities, including the major hubs of Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. While a mid-size airport, tickets at Westchester County Airport can be competitive and/or even less than the surrounding major airports due to low fare carriers Air Tran and Jet Blue. If you lack vehicle transportation, New York LaGuardia Airport is accessible via Metro North (disembark at 125th-Harlem station and take the M60 bus to Queens, a direct trip to the airport). John F. Kennedy International Airport is the closest airport for international flights. The fourth airport is Tweed-New Haven Airport, yet it only offers one flight to Philadelphia, a trip which can be taken more conveniently and cheaper via Amtrak from the Metro North station. Other airports in proximity are Newark Liberty International Airport (1 hr. 10 min.), Long Island MacArthur Airport (1.5 hrs.), Dutchess County (Poughkeepsie) Airport (1.5 hrs.), Stewart (Newburgh) International Airport (1.5 hrs.), and Bradley (Hartford) International Airport (1 hr. 45 min.).

City bus transportation is provided by CT Transit, which is run and financed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The main terminal is adjacent to the train station on State Street, under the I-95 highway. Bus service runs along major arterial roads through the towns of Darien, Norwalk, Greenwich and Port Chester, New York. A non-stop direct route is also offered to White Plains, New York. Commuters can connect in Norwalk to points as far east as Milford and as far north as Danbury. Additional connections can be made in Port Chester and White Plains to all points covered by the Bee-Line bus system in Westchester County.

Greyhound provides same bus service from the lower level of the Stamford train station. Locals rarely utilize Greyhound due to the more convenient options available via Metro North and Amtrak. Same bus service is provided to New Haven (Union Station), Boston (South Station), and New York (Port Authority).

Two limited-access highways run through the city. Interstate 95 serves as the main route through downtown Stamford with four exits (6-9). The Merritt Parkway runs through the northern part of the city. This road is designated for passenger vehicles only. Any congestion on the Merritt Parkway is mostly likely to occur on the southbound lane in the morning and the northbound in the evening (route to and from New York). At night, due to the absence of lighting visibility on the Merritt Parkway is relatively poor. Stamford exits on the Merritt Parkway are 33-35, and exit 36 is just over the border in New Canaan.

Stamford is also served by four other state highways. Route 1, also known as Main Street in Stamford, is also used as a major artery during the morning and evening commute. Most traffic via Route 1 is short distance or fairly local, yet vehicles have utilized Route 1 during times of heavy congestion on I-95 as a re-route. Route 137 (Washington Boulevard and High Ridge Road) is the main north-south road of the city and runs from the Stamford Transportation Center and serves the Turn of River, North Stamford, and High Ridge sections of the city. Route 104 (Long Ridge Road) branches off from Route 137 to serve the Long Ridge section. Route 106 (Courtland Avenue) serves the Glenbrook neighborhood and continues towards the town of Darien.

Stamford's cluster of corporate headquarters includes a number of Fortune 500, Fortune 1000 and Courant 100 companies.

Among the larger companies with headquarters in Stamford are Thomson Corporation, World Wrestling Entertainment, Time Warner Cable and Pitney Bowes. UBS also has its North American headquarters here and its trading floor holds the Guinness World Record as the largest column-less trading floor in the world. Royal Bank of Scotland is also moving its North American head office into Stamford, a move that is projected to be finished by the end of 2009.

In recent years, many large corporations have moved offices outside of the city due to the high rental cost, including Xerox, MeadWestvaco, International Paper, GE Capital, NBC and Clairol.

Stamford was the ninth-safest city in the United States in 2006 (among cities with populations of 100,000 or more), up from the 11th safest in 2005, according to the FBI. The 2006 ranking represented the sixth consecutive year the city ranked in the top 11. FBI crime statistics for the city showed crime went down 1.7 percent in 2006 because of a plunge in property crimes. But the rate of violent crime went up by a total of 29 percent in the two years 2005 and 2006 combined. The increase was due in part due to violent gang battles, often on the West Side.

The violent crime rate climbed five years in a row up through 2006, and the 2005 increase was also in the double digits. The city's 300-officer police force responded to 393 reports of violent crimes in 2006, up from 353 in 2005 and 305 in 2004. The total number of serious assaults dropped from 183 in 2005 to 172 in 2006, according to city records. Robberies rose from 150 to 197 in 2006. Serious assaults dropped 6 percent.

Stamford's Mayor, Dannel Malloy, is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.

Stamford has branches of the University of Connecticut, University of Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University. The University of Connecticut's campus is located in a large modern building in downtown that opened in 1998 after extensive renovations to an abandoned former Bloomingdales store that closed in 1990. The branches of the University of Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University are located in the River Bend Executive Center, Fairfield County's premier communication and information high tech park. All are commuter campuses.

As no study has been conducted to assess the cost of education in Stamford, it is difficult to tell whether or not Stamford has a well-funded public education system. Although providing a public education is a state responsibility, Connecticut ranks near the bottom in state share of public education expenditures. Thus, the majority of education funding must come from local governments like that of Stamford. According to the State Department of Education, in the 2004-05 academic year, 42.7% of Stamford's public school students were economically disadvantaged, 34.8% did not have English as a home language and 11.6% were students with disabilities. Research has shown that these populations need additional resources to meet state academic standards. Owing to the state school finance system, the burden of these extra necessary costs of education falls primarily on Stamford's local government. The public school system is an integrated district with racial balance requirements exceeding those of the state of Connecticut. State standards require that a school's racial makeup be within 25% of the community's racial makeup. Stamford's standard is a more strict 10%. Over the years, schools have become unbalanced.

Stamford's public library, the Ferguson Library, is one of the largest in Connecticut. The main library downtown is the second in the country to rent space to a Starbucks (since September 1999). The store has its own doors to the street and to the library, and is open earlier and later than the library. The library also shows movies and has a used-book store run by Friends of Ferguson Library.

The library has branches in South End, Springdale, and the Turn of River sections of the city, it also has a bookmobile that runs daily to different neighborhoods. The Turn of River branch, officially called the Harry Bennett Branch, is the largest library branch in the state. That branch also has a used book store run by Friends of Ferguson Library.

The NHL on Versus airs its studio show from Stamford. The Yes Network headquarters is in Stamford. World Wrestling Entertainment has its international headquarters in Stamford.

Stamford, Connecticut served as a location for one of five branches of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company from the US television series, The Office, until the Branch was closed in the Season 3 episode Branch Closing.

In the Marvel Comics Civil War crossover, a fight between super-powered beings leads to a large explosion in the middle of Stamford, leaving approximately six hundred dead. The epicenter is an elementary school. This leads to the Superhuman Registration Act and the subsequent schism between superheroes in America. In the fictional context of the Marvel superhero universe, what was once Stamford is turned into a training ground for super-powered beings that the government has drafted.

Stamford has been home to many famous people, among them band leader Benny Goodman, actor Christopher Lloyd, who was born in the city, and actor Bob Crane, star of Hogan's Heroes. Actor and comedian Gene Wilder and singer Cyndi Lauper are current residents.

Baseball star Jackie Robinson made Stamford his home, and football Hall of Famer Andy Robustelli was born in the city, as was baseball manager Bobby Valentine. Valentine also owns a popular restaurant in downtown Stamford that bears his name. Boxing champion Gene Tunney is buried in town. Cooking author Ina Garten and physicist Robert Jaffe grew up in Stamford. Singer Willy DeVille was born in Stamford in 1950.

Former NBA Commissioner J. Walter Kennedy was born at Stamford Hospital lived most of his life in the City. He taught at St Basil's Preparatory School before being elected to two terms as Mayor of Stamford.

Georges Clemenceau, the French premier during World War I taught at a girl's school in Stamford in the 1860s. U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman was born here in 1942. U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays is a former resident. John J. McCloy, a prominent advisor to presidents, died in Stamford. William F. Buckley Jr., founder of National Review magazine, also died in Stamford.

Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmore, lived in the city for 10 years. The artist John A. Ten Eyck died in the city. Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Major-Archdiocese of Lviv, and one of the cardinals considered a possible successor to Pope John Paul II in 2005, was educated at St. Basil's College in Stamford.

Robert Jarvik, inventor of the first artificial heart, grew up in the city. Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times, is current resident and organized national crossword puzzle championships held in Stamford until 2006, when it was announced the contest was to be moved to New York City.

Many professional wrestlers and executives associated with World Wrestling Entertainment reside in Stamford or in neighboring towns, as the city is home to WWE's corporate headquarters. Rihanna, pop/R&B singer, currently resides in Stamford.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia