11 Thing we liked this week, 4 we didn’t

11 Thing we liked this week, 4 we didn’t

We liked this week

A plan to use a $2 million grant and a $2 million loan to clean up the abandoned Meriden-Wallingford Hospital on Cook Avenue received preliminary approval this week and is headed to the City Council. The city is negotiating with MidState Medical Center to fund part of the clean up, which could begin early next year.

Wallingford has been awarded a $175,000 state grant to pay the costs of planning and designing walking improvements along North Colony Road and Hall Avenue. The project is part of $15 million in competitive grants awarded to 11 towns to support transit-oriented development. 

The cardiac rehabilitation program at the Bradley Memorial campus of the Hospital of Central Connecticut, in Southington, has been re-accredited by the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. The certification program provides guidelines hospitals must follow, such as individualized treatment plans.

Inside the Quinnipiac Street shelter in Wallingford on Christmas Day, over a dozen people sat around a long table enjoying a home-cooked breakfast. Volunteers entered, gifts in hand, and began to give them out. For those staying at the shelter, it was an extra dose of holiday cheer.

Gov. DannelP. Malloy wants a review of sexual harassment policies in the state’s executive branch agencies in light of the spate of complaints that have been made across the country. Malloy signed an order directing the Department of Administrative Services to determine which agencies are in compliance with mandated state training. 

Meriden and Cheshire are hoping residents will be skating soon. Cheshire Parks and Recreation Director Joshua Medeiros said he thinks the town’s rink at Bartlem Park will probably open next month. Meriden Park and Recreation Director Chris Bourdon hopes to have the rink at City Park open in the coming weeks. Both rinks will be free to the public.

The state of Connecticut is awarding more than $31 million to 10 communities across the state, including Wallingford, to help with affordable housing projects. The money comes from several grant programs started under Gov. DannelP. Malloy’s administration.

The Town Council and state Rep. William Petit recently honored a Plainville woman for her donation to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Erica Donovan, executive director of the nonprofit PARC, declined a trip she won to Disney World and instead took a $3,000 Disney Store gift card to benefit Toys for Tots.

The Wallingford Flower and Gift Shoppe won best overall display in the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce's second annual Window Display Contest. Design House Interiors won the “most creative” category and Anna V’s Salon was the “people’s choice.” Stacy T’s Treasure received an honorable mention.

The director of a Birchcrest Drive group home in Southington said police calls from the home are on the decline and added that “great efforts” have been made to reduce disruption to the town and neighbors. The group home has spent “tens of thousands of dollars” adding security and privacy measures, said Margaret Hann, executive director.

Gov. DannelP. Malloy has activated Connecticut’s severe cold weather protocol, which requires various agencies to work with United Way 2-1-1 and the state’s network of homeless shelters to make sure vulnerable people are protected from the cold. Malloy said the protocol will continue through Tuesday. 

We didn’t like this week

“Frostbite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken,” the National Weather Service said Wednesday in a statement. “Make sure you wear a hat and gloves.” Below-freezing temperatures are expected through next week.

Nonprofits in Connecticut and around the nation are worried that new tax reforms could harm charities, hospitals, foundations, and universities. The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the standard deduction to $24,000 for couples and $12,000 for individuals. It is estimated the change could reduce annual giving by $13 billion.

Thursday’s monthly Department of Labor employment report shows Connecticut’s unemployment rate is now 4.6 percent, up from 4.5 percent in October. Andy Condon, director of the agency’s Office of Research, acknowledges job growth in 2017 “has slowed significantly since peaking in the second quarter.” Connecticut has now recovered 69.9 percent (or 83,000) of the 119,100 jobs lost in the Great Recession. 

The overhaul of the federal tax system cuts multiple deductions for many Connecticut residents, including for home equity loans and crumbling foundations, and eliminates municipalities’ ability to refinance bonded debt. The new law narrows the deduction that people can claim after January to losses that are a result of a declared disaster.

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