EDITORIAL: 14 things we liked this week, 3 we didn’t

EDITORIAL: 14 things we liked this week, 3 we didn’t


We liked this week

A large crowd gathered at Castle Craig in Meriden’s Hubbard Park on Monday to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse. For the first time in 38 years, the country experienced a total solar eclipse across many states Monday afternoon, though the eclipse was only partial in Connecticut.

The Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust announced that it will open the doors of the historic Franklin Johnson Mansion on South Main Street next month and showcase silver products in its collection as part of a celebration of the silver industry of Wallingford and Meriden. Some of the material on display came from the American Silver Museum in Meriden, which closed in 1995.

The Meriden City Council is establishing a task force to determine the future of East Cemetery. The cemetery, located at the end of Miles Place, off East Main Street, has been owned by the city since 1845. The city budgets $5,000 a year for maintenance. A consulting company conducted a $21,000 study and noted that reopening sales of plots could produce up to $3.75 million in revenue for the city over time, if a $250,000 investment is made to develop the site.

After Wallingford police made staffing adjustments in February to combat a spike in vehicle burglaries, the number of break-ins reported each month has decreased. Police Chief William Wright said he would still like to see them lower. Wright attributed the decrease to more officers on the overnight shift, the targeting of areas where car burglaries frequently occur, and more residents locking their cars at night.

About 40 people encouraged passing cars to “honk against hate” at a rally in downtown Wallingford Tuesday evening, waving handwritten signs at one of the town’s busiest intersections during a rally against racism and other forms of discrimination at the gazebo in Johanna Manfreda Fishbein Park on Route 5. This was a response to the white nationalist rally and counter-protest that erupted into violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12.

Families escorted hundreds of schoolchildren to the amphitheater at the Meriden Green Tuesday to wait in line for a backpack full of school supplies during the 14th annual Back to School Expo, hosted by Meriden Firefighters Local 1148. Children were also able to grab a book at the bookmobile and a bag lunch provided by New Opportunities of Meriden.

New England’s fall foliage forecast is looking fine. For the first time in several years, little has conspired against a truly glorious autumn. There’s no more drought, the summer has been mild and the leaves — largely spared by marauding gypsy moth caterpillars — look healthy.

Two Quinnipiac University students moved into rooms at Masonicare in Wallingford Tuesday as part of a program established last year that aims to bridge the generation gap and give healthcare students real life experience. The “Students in Residence” program promotes intergenerational experiences between students and elderly residents, said Grace Martha, program coordinator. Students live in their own rooms in Masonicare’s Ashlar Village and interact with residents while attending classes at Quinnipiac.

Everything was peachy at Rogers Orchards on Sunday as the fruit farm celebrated the peak of peach season with free peach sundaes at its two Southington locations. This was a relief because the peach crop in much of the Northeast was decimated by sub-zero temperatures in mid-February of 2016 in what one fruit tree expert called the Valentine’s Day massacre of peach blooms. New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts lost 90 percent or more of the peach crop.

Wallingford police dog Tate will receive a protective vest through an anonymous donation to the group Vested Interest in K9s Inc. Officer Lou Brangi and Tate graduated from training in October 2016.

We didn’t like this week

The opening of new rail stations in Meriden and Wallingford has been pushed back to October as the state works out contractual language for property transfers. The station in Berlin, meanwhile, is “likely” to open in January, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said.

With no budget in place, the state is on pace for a $93.9 million deficit for the current fiscal year, according to the Office of Policy and Management. The figure could grow if the state remains without a spending plan. The state has been operating under Gov. Dannel Malloy’s executive order since July 1 because the General Assembly has yet to vote on a budget. The state is projected to face a combined $3.5 billion deficit over two fiscal years. Malloy’s latest revision of his order imposes drastic cuts to school aid for many area towns, including Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire, and eliminates funding entirely to 85 towns. Meanwhile, the Democratic governor and his GOP opponents have continued to exchange jibes, with Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, of North Haven, questioning the legality of Malloy’s plans, and Malloy characterizing Fasano as “a guy who sits in the cheap seats and throws shots, and gets nothing done.” This does not strike us as a formula for progress.

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