We liked this week T.J. Maxx recently signed a lease to occupy 23,000 square feet in the former Borders bookstore at Westfield Meriden, said representatives from TJX Cos. Inc., owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. Company representatives said Tuesday the discount retailer of name-brand clothing, jewelry and housewares is planning a spring opening. It’s encouraging to see signs of life and economic health. Family, friends, public officials and emergency services personnel provided an outpouring of support for the Cruz-Schroder family at a fundraiser held at Meriden’s Israel Putnam School last Friday evening. The family lost Tatiana Cruz, 5, and Lorenzo Cruz, 8, in early November when their family’s vehicle was slammed in the rear by another car driven by a motorist who has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Thanks to everyone for their generosity and participation. Plans for a Wallingford town dog park on Quinnipiac Street are moving forward. Members of the Wallingford Dog Lovers Association are working with town departments to prepare a presentation to the Town Council as early as next month. If the council and other boards approve, work could begin in spring. “It’s very exciting. It took so long to get here,” said Tanya Bachand, a member of the Wallingford Dog Lovers Association. But first the association needs to raise money for the work. The dog park will join a list of other projects planned for next year. Priorities will certainly have to be set. Nevertheless, we have no bone to pick with getting the dog park up and running as soon as possible. Visitors to downtown Southington received a warm and friendly welcome in the 28th annual Hospitality Night, an evening celebrating the holiday season. Many merchants and businesses were open later than usual, offering patrons cookies and other treats. “I like it. It’s nice seeing the restaurants and businesses open. You go to places you wouldn’t normally walk into,” said Southington resident Stephanie Harriot. Eryen LaLonde, owner of the Auracle gift shop and pottery studio at 1 N. Main St., has been organizing the event for the past 10 years. She sends invitations to all the local merchants asking them to participate. Residents of South Meriden greeted each other with handshakes, hugs and kisses on the cheek last Saturday afternoon at the annual Christmas in the Village. The festival featured a parade with Santa, horse-drawn-carriage rides, a petting zoo, crafts for kids, music, and lots of free food. It was a spirited event! People huddled together on Cheshire’s Town Green Sunday night to watch the annual tree-lighting ceremony. They were chilly but full of holiday spirit as members of the Cheshire Junior Women’s Club gave out hot cocoa and cookies to keep them warm. Many sang carols along with the Cheshire Community Chorus. Residents gathered on the Green about 20 minutes before the 6 p.m. ceremony. Many were there to see Santa Claus, who hitched a ride on a firetruck. Southington Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday that will reimburse residents up to $75 for mailboxes damaged by town plows. The plan was debated and put on hold at last month’s council meeting, with Democratic Councilor John Barry saying the reimbursement might not cover those with more ornate mailboxes. No snow-job here! We didn’t like this week A man who authorities say killed three women and himself at a Connecticut apartment complex had a child support dispute with one victim, and both were arrested during a domestic argument this year, according to court records obtained Monday by The Associated Press. Police identified the gunman Monday as John Lynn, 41, of no certain address, and the victims as Brittany Mills, 28, and Kameisha Mills, 23, both of Manchester; and Artara Benson, 46, of Union Township in Union County, N.J. Lynn was the father of Brittany Mills’ 13-month-old son, relatives said, and the three women were cousins. Lynn shot the three women to death on Oct. 7 in Brittany Mills’ home at the Dye House Apartments in Manchester, He then left the converted mill carrying a 13-month-old, whom he let go unharmed shortly before shooting himself to death in the head in front of police officers. Sad, indeed. Area residents awoke to slippery conditions Monday morning due to snow that began falling about midnight and accumulated two-tenths of an inch before changing to freezing rain. Temperatures remained near freezing all day, and road conditions stayed slick and wet. Police and fire departments in Southington, Meriden and Wallingford reported multiple motor vehicle accidents, as drivers attempted to negotiate the inclement conditions.