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Winners and Losers

We liked this week

After 14 years as Wallingford’s fire chief and 27 years with the Fire Department, Peter J. Struble is retiring to take a full-time teaching job at the University of New Haven. We thank him for his service to Wallingford and wish him well in his new position.

Dressed in camouflage pants and a green top and hat, Zumba instructor Penny Gagne led a group of 15 people in a dance and slid back and forth across the dance floor Sunday at the Cadillac Ranch Restaurant in Southington. About 30 people were dancing for the “No Soldiers Left Behind” fundraiser organized by Gagne, of Manchester, and her fiance, Tom Delahanty, of Wallingford. The event featured Zumba fitness and country line dancing. All of the proceeds went to the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps support wounded veterans with programs and services.

Wallingford Town Council unanimously agreed to acquire property on Pond Hill Road, which could be used to connect the town’s water system with the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, a nonprofit organization which supplies water in the New Haven area. Purchasing the property and potentially connecting water sources with the authority “adds an important additional layer of protection for our customers,” said Public Utilities Director George Adair.

Teachers, parents, school administrators, business owners, and other members of the community gathered in the Hatton School cafeteria Tuesday night to brainstorm ways to better prepare children for kindergarten and beyond. Nearly 30 people attended the community conversation, called “Southington’s Report Card: How Are Our Families Doing?” It was put on by the Early Childhood Collaboration of Southington. The initiative began after data showed Southington children have not been ready for kindergarten compared to the state average.

Bathing suits and swim fins aren’t needed yet, but plans for covering Cheshire’s Community Pool are moving along since voters approved the $3.25 million tension membrane cover by a vote of 4,298 to 3,247 in last week’s referendum. The Town Council will be moving the matter to the Building Commission for the specifics, like sending the project out to bid, finding contractors for the heating and ventilation systems and electrical work, among other matters, said Kevin Wetmore, co-chairman of the town’s Pool Evaluation Committee.

The 16-day government shutdown didn’t seem to hurt the economy after all. U.S. employers added a surprisingly strong 204,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said Friday. And they added far more jobs in August and September than previously thought. Activity at service companies and factories also accelerated last month in the midst of the shutdown. All of which suggests the U.S. economy may be sturdier than many analysts had assumed.

Workers poured concrete and smoothed out the new base of Meriden’s City Park ice skating rink last Friday. The rink is part of a $500,000-plus project to redevelop the city’s oldest park.

The facial hair of Meriden’s Platt High School teachers and students will become unruly, long and itchy as the month progresses. The school is participating in No Shave November, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Platt’s student senate has received no-shaving commitments from about 50 students and 15 teachers. Last year the effort raised about $500 for prostate cancer.

We didn’t like this week

One of the best runs in Lyman Hall boys soccer history came to a crushing end on the turf of a frigid Falcon Field on Tuesday night. With overtime looming, No. 14 Ellington struck with 1.7 seconds left in the game off the leg of junior James Costanzo to give the Purple Knights a thrilling 1-0 victory over the No. 18 Trojans in the Class M semifinals. “It was a terribly exciting way to end a match for us,” Ellington coach Roy Gurnon said. “It’s tough being on the other side of that. I tip my hat to those guys. They played well and put us under pressure.” Although it was a heart-breaking loss on a last-second goal, the Lyman team has had an excellent season, of which all may be duly proud! We tip our hats to them, too.

In Tacloban, Philippines, wearing face masks or pulling their shirts up over their noses to mask the smell of rotting flesh, a procession of typhoon survivors three miles long walked toward the shattered airport Tuesday to beg for food, water or a flight out of the chaos of what used to be a city of 220,000. This is a horrible, nightmarish situation which few can fathom. Donations to the recovery cause are urged.



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