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Winners and Losers , 10-12-2013

We liked this week

Wallingford officials were happy to see vehicles parked on the Wooding-Caplan property over the weekend, meaning Public Works met the deadline set by town councilors over the summer to make parking available at the temporary lot in time for Celebrate Wallingford. It was a wonderful occasion — one enhanced by the additional available parking. It’s rewarding to see this town-owned property used to public advantage. Continued investment in bringing Wooding-Caplan to full completion and to highest and best use for all should reap long-term rewards.

Five years after it was first considered, the town is a step closer to moving ahead with an Incentive Housing Zone. The Town Council unanimously approved special regulations Tuesday night that are meant to reinvigorate downtown and increase the availability of affordable housing in Wallingford. The regulations would apply to developments on Hall Avenue and Quinnipiac, North Cherry, Meadow, Center and North Colony streets. The town would keep control of the design of the developments.

Southington Fire Department’s Engine Co. 3 is getting a new roof, and it will cost much less than projected. Town Manager Garry Brumback said the engineering department originally estimated costs of about $135,000 for the roof replacement, but one of three firms, Pawcatuck Roofing Company, submitted a bid of $69,570. Two other companies submitted bids of $90,000 and $147,000, he said. Good luck is raining down!

Cheers! The 13th annual Silver City Brewfest took place last Friday night in Meriden’s police station courtyard, with people turning out for the beer and food. Almost 600 people attended Thursday’s Main and Vine, the first evening of the city’s two-day Nites in the City celebration. City Councilor Dan Brunet said Nites in the City had modest beginnings, but has now grown into a “city mainstay.” The crowd came out in force for the Brewfest, which offered 35 different micro-brews, according to volunteer Sue Waterbury.

A local resident has donated more than $8,000 to the police department so that officers can be equipped with body cameras as a way to help keep officers and civilians safe. Curtis Robinson, of Southington, said he donates to many causes and funds in town, and when the idea came up for the body cameras for the officers of the Southington Police Department, he was only too happy to be able to help. “They do such a wonderful job keeping our families safe,” Robinson said. “It is a win-win. God has been good to me and I want to try to give back.” A nod of gratitude is extended to Mr. Robinson.

With nearly 3,500 cars and 350 walk-ins, Southington’s drive-in theater had a successful season. About $2,000 more was distributed to the nonprofit civic groups that host the movie nights, according to Mike Fasulo, a member of Southington Drive-In Committee. At a recent Town Council meeting, committee chairman Michael Riccio said the drive-in had a good fourth season and that since 2010 about $48,000 has been given to local nonprofits. That same night the drive-in committee members presented the 13 groups with checks for $1,250 each, totaling $16,250. The main attraction is: Generosity!

We didn’t like this week

No matter how necessary, it was sad to witness: Meriden’s skate park on Coe Avenue has been taken down and put into storage. The property will serve as the staging area for the $111.8 million renovation project at Platt High School. The ramps and jumps will be replaced by machinery and equipment for the project. Over the summer there was talk about moving the skate park to the Meriden YMCA Mountain Mist Outdoor Center, but the public reacted negatively to the idea. So city officials decided to consider an alternate, more accessible place for the park. But with no decision made, and the YMCA deal off the table, the park is going into storage. Its dedicated users will welcome the facility’s eventual return.

Even when they play well, the New York Giants still find a way to lose. On Thursday Night Football, they bowed out 21-27 against the Chicago Bears, who picked off Eli Manning three times. (Eli now has 15 interceptions in six games(!)) Problems with this Giants team are manifold: the offense line cannot block a breeze, the running attack is meager at best, Reuben Randle while athletic has not run accurate routes, and the defense has more holes than a colander. Fortunately for the Gmen, the NFC East is so weak this year that a mid-season win streak could conceivably propel New York back into contention. Let’s hope so!



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