EDITORIAL: 10 Things we liked this week, 1 we didn’t

EDITORIAL: 10 Things we liked this week, 1 we didn’t

We liked this week

No matter whom they voted for, voters who turned out for Tuesday’s primary election can give themselves a pat on the back for participating. No one expects big turnout for a primary held in the dog days of August, so an average turnout of around 30 percent overall — 28.64 among Democrats and 31.57 for Republicans, according to the Secretary of the State’s office — was not bad.

Meriden’s newly hired city manager, Tim Coon, has roots in the Silver City, having been a curriculum manager at the Connecticut Police Academy. Coon told the Record-Journal recently he always wanted to lead a municipality one day after graduating with a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hartford, in 2000. The 58-year-old Coon also has a military background, and is arriving at the helm of Meriden with a can-do attitude. The City Hall discord that was so troubling it led to the firing of Guy Scaife is now in the rear-view mirror, and Coon has the potential to make it a distant memory.

An unmarked, centuries-old African American burial ground in Greenwich will be memorialized with a plaque and landscaping, finally giving deserved recognition. The memorial is part of a settlement that took nearly a year between the town and home owners who have land next to the cemetery. The small plot is believed to contain remains of black and Native American people, some of whom were slaves owned by the first settlers of the town in the 17th century.

The state Department of Transportation has started construction on the Sodom Brook bridge replacement project, on West Main Street in Meriden, which will take roughly two years to complete. The project began in early July and is set to be completed in June 2020.

Officials from the five New England states and the five eastern Canadian provinces meet recently in Vermont for the 42nd Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers to discuss regional issues. This year’s meeting held special significance because of the renegotiating of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trump administration’s differences with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Anything that can be done to help get along with our neighbors to the north is a positive step.

It might seem odd to like a story of defeat, but there was a lot to like in the performance of Southington’s defending champs in the Connecticut American Legion state Northeast Regional. Southington lost by a 10-3 score to Braintree, Mass. Rainy conditions didn’t help, neither did the burnout pace of the schedule, in which Post 72 had to send most of its pitching to the mound the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before the Saturday defeat. You don’t always have to go all the way to be winners, which Post 72 just proved.

South Meriden’s iconic red bridge is beaming red again thanks to the Meriden Lions Club. The community service club recently finished repainting the 127-year-old bridge, which had begun to deteriorate following earlier restoration projects. The bridge, which spans the Quinnipiac River and is located next to the intersection of River and Oregon roads, was built in 1891 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

School security grants from the Schaller Auto World Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, will fund cameras, radios and other security equipment in the New Britain, Southington, Plainville and Berlin. Such equipment is likely to prove useful in a large school like Southington High. “Those really extend our ability to communicate in that building,” said Southington School Superintendent Tim Connellan.

The Wallingford Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved new zoning regulations on Monday establishing a town center zone after a public hearing. The new regulations are aimed at promoting economic growth and attracting developers now that the new train station on North Cherry Street is open.

Southington officials appear ready to reject an offer from Tilcon to donate land in exchange for an expanded quarry operation. The center of the problem from Southington’s viewpoint is worries about Crescent Lake. The water from the lake is used when the flow of the Quinnipiac River drops. Southington releases water from the lake to make up the difference. Town Water Department officials say the there would be less runoff into the lake because quarrying would alter the watershed. With the lake considered a vital source of water supply, town officials are likely to pass on the exchange, and pass on that opinion to state lawmakers, who must approve the deal.

Hartford Line rail commuters got some relief Monday after the Federal Railroad Administration reversed its mandate to close the restrooms on the trains. The FRA had ordered the bathrooms closed in June after receiving an American with Disabilities Act complaint that the bathrooms on the CTrail cars were not handicapped-accessible. The state Department of Transportation installed portable toilets at stations in Meriden, Berlin and Wallingford, while the restrooms on the trains are being modified to accommodate disabled customers. Amtrak trains have ADA-compliant restrooms.

Connecticut is receiving a $10 million grant that will be used to increase access to care for individuals with substance abuse and mental health disorders. Gov. Dannel Malloy said the funding will also be used to address the opioid crisis by improving access to medication-assisted treatment. 

We didn’t like this week

Dozens of people overdosed Wednesday from a suspected bad batch of “K2” synthetic marijuana at or near the downtown New Haven Green. No deaths were reported, but officials said two people had life-threatening symptoms. Police said they arrested a man believed to be connected to at least some of the overdoses. Paramedics and police officers were stationed at the park all day as more people fell ill. 


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