EDITORIAL: 12 things we liked this week, 3 we didn’t

EDITORIAL: 12 things we liked this week, 3 we didn’t



We liked this week

New Meriden City Manager Tim Coon officially started his tenure Tuesday, replacing the interim manager, Fire Chief Ken Morgan. Coon, hired by the City Council on Aug. 6, was sworn in Tuesday morning and spent much of his first day meeting with city staff. “I’m excited to be here,” Coon said. “Like I’ve been saying all along, Meriden has a lot to offer, and I’m really excited to be a part of that.”

Former employees of MidState Medical Center in Meriden are planning a reunion of former and present employees to share their memories, reignite old friendships, and make new ones. The informal event, which is not sponsored by MidState or its parent, Hartford HealthCare, will take place on Sept. 23. MidState and Hartford Health-Care are planning their own celebration.

State Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo concluded in his monthly budget assessment that state finances for this fiscal year are on track to end “approximately in balance.” However, this contradicts Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget office’s recent prediction of a $138 million surplus.

Wallingford police officers Megan Baur and Henry Cadett officially began their new roles as school resource officers on Aug. 27, the first day of school. They are not full-time school resource officers, but will work up to three hours at the schools per day, primarily at Lyman Hall and Sheehan high schools. They will occasionally visit Moran and Dag Hammarskjold middle schools.

Meriden residents on Tuesday night continued to complain to city officials about planned cuts to the police department’s neighborhood initiative and school resource officer programs, expressing concerns about the possible impact on the safety of neighborhoods and schools.

The state Department of Labor announced it will provide employment and job training guidance to veterans at an upcoming event to help Connecticut ’s 200,000 veterans. Stand Down 2018 will take place on Sept. 21 at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs main campus in Rocky Hill.

The Meriden Lions Club Water Park in City Park is offering extended hours to residents hoping to find refuge from the late-summer heat. “I opened up for the heat wave,” said water park superintendent Eva Kim Marquez on Monday. The usual closing date is August 26. Marquez said she’ll try to keep the park open for limited hours each day after school as long as the heat continues.

Twenty volunteers trained by a water quality specialist with the Regional Water Authority are helping assess the health of the Mill River, which starts in Cheshire and flows 17 miles to New Haven Harbor. Save the Sound, a nonprofit, is funding the study to determine which areas of the river need improvement or protection from pollutants.

Families were able to give rescue dogs new homes during Companion Pet Rescue’s weekend adoption drive last weekend in Southington. “We had a very successful weekend,” said Kat Bivona, Companion Pet Rescue’s foster coordinator. The group effort placed 30 dogs.

The state Department of Labor announced that it recovered more than $4.9 million in unpaid wages owed to Connecticut workers in the last fiscal year.

Patrons at the Southington Drive-in were treated to a doubleheader of sorts last Saturday as a dozen members of the Blue Knights high school baseball team organized a Wiffle ball game prior to the showing of the movie, “Rio.” The movie was sponsored by Bread for Life, which is Southington’s soup kitchen.

Students and staff of Mary G. Fritz School were greeted with a new memorial honoring their school’s namesake. Members of Boy Scout Troop 5 have installed an acrylic plaque featuring a photo and biography of Fritz, who represented the 90th House District for 32 years, served as chairwoman of the Wallingford Board of Education and worked as a teacher. She died in July 2016 at age 78. The former Yalesville School was renamed in her honor last year.

A recent grant from the Barnes trust will continue a growing arts program for disabled adults at Southington Community Cultural Arts. The arts group, headquartered on Main Street, received $105,900 from the Henry H. Barnes and Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust for its All Access arts program. Similar funding helped start the program in 2015.

We didn’t like this week

In Connecticut, 538,529 households — 40 percent — could not afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and technology in 2016, according to a new report released by The United Way of Connecticut. Of that 40 percent, 10 percent lived in poverty and 30 percent were above the poverty line but still not earning enough to cover the state’s high cost of living.

West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes were found in the area of Lock 12 historical park in Cheshire recently, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. The Chesprocott Health District is urging residents to take safety precautions to reduce the risk of being bitten.

Meriden Police Chief Jeffry Cossette and city councilors were blaming each other over the planned elimination of three school resource officers and the department’s neighborhood initiative unit as residents and city officials continued to raise concerns about the impact of the changes.


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