Visions, or pipe dreams?   Published Jul 20, 2014
Much of the recent criticism of Mayor Manny Santos cites his alleged lack of a “vision” for downtown Meriden. But wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that he doesn’t buy into the vision some others have, because he simply … more ...
Scourge of the sport bike   Published Jul 18, 2014
I’m tired of being passed on the highway by so-called “supersport” motorcycles at speeds far beyond what common sense or good judgment would ever recommend. Studies show these bikes have considerably higher death rates than any other type of motorcycle, … more ...
WALLINGFORD — The administrators who handle personnel chores for district schools have a monumental task in replacing not one, but both high school athletic directors by the end of August. Amy Labas has taken a similar position in Plainville after … more ...
Be more careful, senator   Published Jul 13, 2014
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, in his own inimitable way, is keeping us up to date on developments in the VA scandal, especially as they affect Connecticut. That’s part of his job, and I’m glad he’s doing it. But first, a … more ...
Mixed-income housing is key   Published Jul 13, 2014
Mayor Manny Santos debated transit-oriented development plans with city councilors last week saying he objected to the creation of more affordable housing downtown fearing it could put a strain on city services. That’s actually a substantive issue with meaning to … more ...
In it for the long haul   Published Jul 11, 2014
Congratulations are in order for Southington High athletic director Eric Swallow. People in his line of work have to wear a lot of hats. The one that needs to fit best is an ability to distinguish a potential coach’s character … more ...
A sport for the planet   Published Jul 11, 2014
I’m beginning to think I was wrong. For a long time, as in pretty much always, I thought soccer didn’t have a chance of ever becoming as popular in the United States as baseball or football or basketball. After all, … more ...
Games of long ago recalled   Published Jul 8, 2014
I sit in an L.L. Bean camp chair, canopy overhead to shield me from the hot south Florida sun, water bottle secure in the pocket of the chair’s left arm, and settle in to watch the Wellington Colts all-star baseball … more ...
More from the smart guy   Published Jul 6, 2014
Mr. Smarty-Pants is back to answer your questions, no matter how foolish they may be. Mr. Smarty-Pants welcomes inquiries from all readers, both real and fictitious, and does not wish to let mere facts stand in the way of a … more ...
Curious contract non-vote   Published Jul 4, 2014
Meriden School Superintendent Mark Benigni received another positive evaluation from the Board of Education last month. Benigni “continues to better himself each year, and continues moving the district in the right direction,” board President Mark Hughes told a Record-Journal reporter. … more ...

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A family in black and white   Published Jul 1, 2014
My cousin Marianne calls our grandfather “Pro.” We cousins crack up when we hear the shortened, hipper version of Prospero, his first name. Marianne has bestowed the modern handle with the utmost respect, however, because just as we cousins fiercely … more ...
Just don’t say ‘Eh, Sonny?’   Published Jun 29, 2014
Mr. Smarty-Pants is back to answer your questions, no matter how foolish, ill-considered or inconsequential they may be. Dear Mr. Smarty-Pants: Why are there 48 stars on our flag? — Puzzled in Plantsville. Dear Puzzled: Where have you been? While … more ...
Strict policy for police   Published Jun 28, 2014
The Meriden Police Department should have created its own anti-nepotism policy by now following the arrest of an officer, the police chief’s son, on brutality charges. Evan Cossette received a slap on the wrist from the deputy chief for the … more ...
Gone are the days when the roots that made baseball our national pastime grew deep and strong through competition between towns. The boys from one town would hop in a hay wagon, or later a jalopy, and venture to another … more ...
Namesakes that built America   Published Jun 27, 2014
Independence Day, which is next Friday, is one of my favorite holidays. I like the holidays, like Thanksgiving as well, that are American holidays. If you live in one of the 13 colonies, there’s a special connection with American history. … more ...
Council sideshow grows tiring   Published Jun 23, 2014
Exciting things are happening in Meriden. Most notably, the Hub project taking shape right outside the doors of this newspaper has been fascinating to watch. Construction crews are unearthing and redirecting three brooks, buried under the site for decades, in … more ...
Here’s the farm report   Published Jun 22, 2014
I don’t know from agriculture, except that Erma Bombeck used to call it the world’s second-oldest profession, but I do like to listen to the farm channel on satellite radio. Actually, it’s called Rural Radio, and they have such programs … more ...
A capital Q worth keeping   Published Jun 17, 2014
Aunt Queena signed her name with a capital Q that resembles the number two. Although to describe Aunt Queena’s capital Q as resembling the number two is not totally accurate. I look closely at, “Lovingly, Aunt Queena,” written at the … more ...
Smoke and fire at the VA   Published Jun 15, 2014
At first it looked like there might be some serious problems at the VA hospital in Phoenix, but it seemed to be an isolated problem and it was being looked into and would be put right in due course, etc. … more ...
Father’s Day memories   Published Jun 13, 2014
Over the years there have been a few occasions when I’ve had the opportunity to write about my father, who belonged to that “greatest generation,” the term coined by Tom Brokaw to describe the generation of Americans who grew up … more ...
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