By CHRIS POWELL MANCHESTER, Conn. With snowstorms seeming to arrive every few days, little room left for stacking the snow, road-salt supplies nearly exhausted, state and municipal snow-removal budgets in deficit, and the Connecticut General Assembly reconvening, many people in Connecticut feel that they have had enough of the state. It's little consolation to them that Connecticut may have the best snowplowing operation in the country, with the state's major roads almost always kept passable throughout even the heaviest snowstorms. For besides the extra snow, Connecticut's economy and standard of living are still declining, which may be the cause of most of the surliness here; the snow just makes people feel their resentments more keenly. As a result many of them look south enviously, especially to subtropical Florida, to which many Connecticut residents already have fled, either permanently or just for the winter. Indeed, when the University of Connecticut's basketball teams play colleges in Florida, the crowd often seems to favor the visitors. But while it may be harder to appreciate Connecticut after shoveling snow or falling on ice, Florida has its own climate disadvantages. In the late summer and early fall Florida can be crossed by as many hurricanes as Connecticut suffers snowstorms in the winter, and the resulting property damage in Florida is far greater than that inflicted by snowstorms in Connecticut, just as weather-related electricity outages in Florida can last longer. Because of bad weather a few weeks ago it took three days and several flight reschedulings for a recently retired couple from Connecticut to escape the state by air for their new winter home in South Florida, one of those tightly regulated condominium complexes that forbid admission to anyone under 55. The couple had hardly begun breathing the state-income-tax-free air when a line of thunderstorms stalled overhead for 24 hours and dumped 14 inches of rain on them, flooding their new neighborhood, closing its roads, and incapacitating sewer lines and toilets for a couple of days. It wasn't a snowstorm; it was worse. Not long after the couple got dried out and settled, some university researchers reported that alligators, which which infest South Florida, not only swim stealthily but also climb trees, in part for better surveillance of their prey. Told of the study, the new arrivals from Connecticut refused to be concerned. While they had not yet read their condo association's many rules, they figured that, in addition to excluding people younger than 55, there was probably one against alligators climbing trees on the property and eating the residents. They shouldn't count on it. Annoying as Connecticut's snow has been, at least it also has gotten in the way of the state's own many predators, both those with four legs and those with two. There's never much crime in bad weather. * * * Two executives of the Metropolitan Transit Authority came to Hartford last week so Gov Dan Malloy could reprimand them in front of the television cameras about the MTA's mismanagement of the Metro-North Commuter Railroad, whose many recent disasters have impaired service from New Haven to Grand Central Station in New York. The MTA executives duly promised improvements soon. But while the governor got to look tough, he really didn't increase Connecticut's leverage with the MTA, a New York state agency paid by Connecticut to operate the state's rail lines into New York. To gain such leverage Connecticut needs a plan, just as Metro-North needs a plan to improve rail service. Connecticut's plan might include demanding representation on the MTA's board, the renegotiation of Connecticut's contract with the MTA, and a study of how Connecticut could take over the management of its rail lines into New York. Until Connecticut has a rail-service-improvement plan that goes beyond scolding MTA officials on television, the MTA may assume that it can take its time about improving service here. Chris Powell is managing editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Conn. Please respond to www.newenglanddiary.com via email@example.com.