Winners and Losers, 5-10-2014

Winners and Losers, 5-10-2014


We liked this week

Some council members are accusing Wallingford Town Councilor Craig Fishbein of unnecessarily taking an aggressive and accusatory tone while questioning social service agencies funded by the town during a recent budget workshop. While one may or may not embrace his tone or tact, Fishbein is there, doing the people’s work — fulfilling the office to which he was duly elected.

With a few clouds in the sky and the sun shining, hundreds gathered at Hubbard Park last Saturday morning for the second annual Race for Mental Health. The race is sponsored by the Meriden branch of the Community Health Center to “raise awareness for mental health.” The event consists of a kids fun run and a 5K. New this year was the addition of a 10K race, which had runners racing 6.2 miles, to Castle Craig and back. Money raised from the event goes toward the United Way of Meriden and Wallingford.

After local home heating oil distributor Ace Oil Co. suddenly closed its doors last year, hundreds of people were left having paid for oil in advance but with nothing to show for it. The state legislature has since passed a bill that would protect customers if their oil supplier goes bankrupt and provide harsher penalties for those companies.

Next to the existing bridge, construction crews are building a new structure to carry Interstate 84 over Marion Avenue in Southington with plans to wheel the new bridge into place next month. The state Department of Transportation said the new bridge replacement method means fewer delays for drivers although that section of the highway will be entirely closed for a weekend in June while work is completed.

After months of searching for a new home, Southington’s Bread for Life received unanimous approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night for a place on 31 Vermont Ave. Bread for Life has spent months looking for a new location and announced the potential home at this site in March. There are plans for a 3,200-square-foot building to consolidate the nonprofit’s operations.

Kindergarten students at Meriden’s John Barry School are using extra time gained as part of their extended-day program to get hands-on experience with various science topics. On Tuesday, Principal Elsie Torres-Brown and kindergarten teacher Kellie Summa gave the Board of Education a summary of what students are doing with the 100 extra minutes of instructional time they get daily. John Barry School is one of two city schools that provide extended-day enrichment to students. Next year, students at Roger Sherman School will join the longer schedule.

Endowed with the rich mix of Old World ethics and a modern-day charisma that have taken Connecticut to the apex of women’s basketball, UConn coach Geno Auriemma captured the complete attention of about 250 students from three local high schools and their administrators Monday morning as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Excellence and Leadership Conference at Cheshire High School.

With Gaylord Hospital’s sale of 294 acres of property to a developer expected to be finalized at the end of the year, the Wallingford Girls Softball League will have another two years to use the five-field complex on the property. In May 2013, Gaylord announced the sale to Toll Brothers, a luxury home development company. The property includes the field complex used by the Wallingford Girls Softball League, a slow-pitch softball league, for the past 15 years.

We didn’t like this week

Most Americans are already feeling man-made global warming, from heat waves to wild storms to longer allergy seasons. And it is likely to get worse and more expensive, says a new federal report that is heating up political debate along with the temperature. Shortly after the report came out Tuesday, President Barack Obama used several television weathermen to make his point about the bad weather news and a need for action to curb carbon pollution before it is too late.

A public hearing in Wallingford Tuesday night was the only opportunity for residents to ask questions and provide input on the budget. While it was a special Town Council meeting, councilors stayed out of discussions, leaving department heads and officials to field questions. A large part of the meeting was spent discussing the Board of Education budget. One by one, parents approached the microphone to ask questions or share opinions on the 2014-15 proposed budget. Many comments from parents focused on the absence of an all-day kindergarten program in the town. We hope town officials are listening closely.

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