Meriden’s gem, Castle Craig, was in its glory Thursday Night, 9-19. Close to 200 people took the ride to Castle Craig for the night viewing (from 7 - 8:30 pm). The night was perfect: full “harvest moon” and not a single cloud in the sky. As I arrived at the top, we were treated with the sun setting in the west and the moon rising in the east. The skies were growing darker and the moon as it rose higher in the sky was getting brighter every second. I, for an hour and a half, was taken back to my youth in the 60s when I would visit Castle Craig on many-a-night throughout the year. The top of the castle was shoulder to shoulder as people took pictures, talked with family, friends and strangers. This was a perfect night. This is what Meriden was like when I was growing up. Thank you to Walter Hubbard, Jane Dubuc Earnest, the staff of the Park Department and thank you to my fellow Meridenites and those from surrounding towns who shared this special night with me.
For the ostriches in Wallingford with their heads in the ground: Your taxes have gone up a lot with no added services; snow removal this year was a debacle; the application for the parking lot funding was put in inappropriately; the public works department has been cited by DEEP more than once; OSHA has cited the town; citizens were not listened to regarding the medication drop box; fireworks funding for the 4th year was withheld.
These, dear citizens, have all happened and are ongoing since January 1st — and still some of you think changes are not needed? How is the sand?
Bobbi Doolittle-Cislo, Yalesville
Hub vs. eateries
I feel the plans for Meriden’s Hub plans will result in a waste of money for this city. We are always debating the cost of everything, but never do anything to bring in more city revenue (commercial/corporate taxes). How about having the city simply fix its water basin problem downtown and use the Hub property as a food center for restaurants — eateries of various ethnic backgrounds — with different food groups represented in this city. This way, we would have something useful downtown instead of a park that has no parking area for people to use. Even though it may look nice, what about the city’s money problems? Let’s make some money for this city and give people a reason to come downtown.
Peter Reynolds, Meriden
Selfish in Southington
I couldn’t believe the article (R-J, 9-18) paper regarding the opposition to having a Bread For Life building next door to Southington’s Derynoski School. This is the real world, mothers, where people go hungry and we feed them. This society is not the same as your generation, my generation or my parents’ generation. The sooner your kids are aware of everything that surrounds them, the better off they will be. The people that eat there will be at noon when your kids are in session. They do not “hang out there.” They hang around the green.
Statistics state that 1 in 5 Americans goes hungry every single day. Think about this when you sit down at your own dinner tables and watch your kids eat. Selfishness is a sad thing. I have volunteered at Bread For Life, and the people that eat there are harmless. Why don’t objecting mothers try volunteering there and see first hand? They now eat at the Masonic Lodge. Open your hearts and let your goodness in. Your kids will respect you more for being realistic.
Rose Marie Calvo, Plantsville
I was stunned when I read the R-J, 9-18 article concerning the Wallingford employee who admitted to knowingly violating environmental laws by dumping contaminated dirt into the Wallingford aquifer protection zone. This has resulted in the town being required to pay $36,810 of taxpayer money to move the dirt by state regulators who cited the town.
The article further explained what I interpreted as the complete and utter obfuscation by the mayor who, when asked about 2009 concerns expressed by state officials about material storage at that site, could only respond with “It’s possible I don’t remember.”
This is not an acceptable response. The council must hold this administration and mayor accountable for this matter. Failure to do so only broadens and deepens the cloud first cast over this administration and town council by “Woodgate.”
Paul Ciardullo Sr., Wallingford
DOT Spokesman Kevin Nursick got the odds wrong: I did not win the lotto, get struck by lightning or attacked by a shark (R-J, 9-16). But a Connecticut bridge did put me at risk. The Record-Journal published a story on September 11, 2013, that I had the unfortunate pleasure of being the subject of, along with at least 15 other motorists on I-91 South. A structurally unnecessary piece of concrete from the Murdock Ave overpass struck my vehicle’s windshield and roof. The DOT later reported that the bridge is structurally safe. I didn’t necessarily doubt that, but further investigation into state overpasses and bridges points to the fact that literally hundreds of similar structures are deemed “structurally deficient (R-J, 9-15).”
This incident seems to be a metaphor for the condition of our state. Connecticut is one of the top 5 wealthiest states in the nation, and we have the highest national per-capita income. Connecticut is also one of the top 5 states with the highest tax burden. One would assume our infrastructure would be impeccable. This poses a question: What exactly is our state legislature and governor spending our tax money on? We have recently seen an increase in income taxes, an increase in a completely regressive sales tax, and the mention of the need of tolls on the highways to generate even more money. With a decreasing state population, what we need is spending restraint, and a focus on priorities that benefit all citizens. We need the government to maintain their property instead of more government waste, more promises to unions, more unfunded mandates in education, and more failing social programs. Connecticut needs to concentrate on its infrastructure or more resident drivers will receive a similar present to the one I received on Sept 9: a $2,000 repair bill.
Melinda Marrone, Wallingford
The perfect time
The City of Meriden is currently in the planning stages of implementing two-way traffic in the downtown area. Now would be the perfect time to plan a memorial dedicated to the victims of domestic and foreign terrorism acts, such as (to name a few): Sept. 11, 2001, Sandy Hook, Columbine and the recent event at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. To support the cost of these projects, a fundraiser could be initiated and family-name memorial bricks at various prices (depending upon size) could be offered to the public. The memorial and the named bricks could be placed in the courtyard area of Meriden Superior Court.
Ralph J. Esposito, Meriden
In Southington, we have had 4 years of progress lead by people of strong conviction and strong integrity. We have seen improvements to our infrastructure, schools, senior center and much more, all while lowering our taxes. Please do not fall victim to a character assassination campaign with false innuendo and rhetoric. Examples of this have already begun with people making accusations but not including all of the facts. This is the worst form of negative politics for it tries to unfairly and untruthfully affect a person’s reputation. Let’s have a campaign based on issues and each party’s plans for the next two years! Let’s keep Southington moving forward.
Deborah Leonard, Southington
(100 words maximum)
In November, you will be faced with important choices again for Meriden City Council; one of my choices will be David Lowell. He is a well-versed public safety and business-savvy professional. David is running for Council at Large. I have worked with David for years on committees and projects. He is tireless and committed to doing the best things for the City of Meriden. He will support the things that will continue to make Meriden the best mid-sized city in the state: public safety, education, economic development and quality-of-life issues. Vote row B! Keep Meriden strong.
Keith Gordon, S. Meriden
I am writing in support of Luke J. Ford Democratic for City Council of Meriden. He is a hard worker dedicated to the concerns of the people and a good listener. He will listen to the concerns of the people in Meriden. Luke and his wife Kathy have three children and is a family man — loyal and trustworthy. He is a man of faith as well, and attends church on a weekly basis. He is one of nine coming from a large family. Please consider him when you vote this November.
Eileen Honious, Meriden
Luke Ford is a true leader. He strives to make the world a better place to live. He believes in working hard and giving back to his community. He will fight for the under dog and teach them to stand on their own as well. He will find the best in others and forgives you for your faults. He is an advocate for the citizens of Meriden. The city of Meriden would gain a true leader by electing Luke J. Ford as their city councilman. How do I know all these things? I am proud to say, Luke is my brother.
Denise H. Kelliher, Colchester, Vermont
I am proud to say I’ll will be voting for Republican Manny Santos to be Meriden’s new mayor. Mayor Rohde and his buddies are career politicians with some having been around 20 to 30 years, and they all have voted for tax increases every year. There is no leadership, just tax and spend. Too many closed-door meetings; public comment is limited to basically nothing since Mayor Rohde changed that several years ago when he likes the truth spoken. Meriden doesn’t need this from elected leaders. How much of a tax increase next year? Join me and don’t vote for any Democrat.
Brian Welskopp, Meriden
Luke Ford is a man of his word. He is running for Meriden City Council Area 3, and he has my full support. He has worked hard to create local jobs for unemployed Meriden residents. He lives in the middle of the upcoming Gravel Street reconstruction project and will be a voice on the City Council for that entire neighborhood from East Main Street to Baldwin Avenue. His oversight also will benefit all of the families in Meriden whose children attend Maloney High School. Jobs and quality of life: Two things Luke and I feel are important in Meriden.
Michael F. Cassidy Jr., Meriden
All one needs to do is meet David Lowell to recognize that he truly cares about the future of Meriden and has the talent to make a meaningful contribution in governing the City of Meriden. Please join me in voting for Democrat David Lowell on November 5.
Rowena McGoldrick, Meriden
Best for city
I support Democrat Luke Ford for City Council. He and his family have lived in Meriden for nearly three decades. Luke clearly understands what is best for the City. He opposes closing Engine 3 and does not agree that an auto auction should be located on Murdock Avenue. Most importantly, Luke and his wife Kathy live on Sunbright Drive South, smack dab in the middle of the Gravel Street reconstruction project slated to begin early next year. We know Luke will be looking out for all his neighbors and local businesses during that construction. Vote Luke Ford for City Council.
Steve Cassidy, Meriden
In November, one of my choices for City Council will be David Salafia, he had been a City Councilor over four years ago. David went to neighborhood meetings, returned calls and emails from day one. He got results and he had the support of the other councilors when he lobbied for things that directly help you and your family’s quality of life. David will be your voice; he will hear and respond to your concerns and ideas. He is honest and will work hard for you; please support David on Election Day.
Ruth Gordon, S. Meriden
The recent backroom deals Republican Dan Brunet made with the Westside Tea Party (WTP) confirms Brunet doesn’t care about the East Side of Meriden, but only about keeping his title of City Councilor. Brunet wants Joe Luca (a semi-retired hairdresser who had an emotional outburst during the WTP nominating convention) elected to help Brunet make decisions on Meriden’s future. Brunet also endorsed Josh Broekstra (a candidate even WTP wouldn’t cross-endorse) to run on his Republican ticket. Brunet’s judgment and personal interests are skewed and don’t comport with the interests of East Side Area III residents. Time for Brunet to go!
Paul Daniels, Meriden
I am excited that Democrat Luke Ford is running for Meriden City Council, Area 3. He and his wife Kathy are good people, as are his sons Michael, Kenneth and Tyler. Luke is not a politician, but a hardworking tradesman who regularly assists working families meet the challenge of retaining quality health insurance and earning a secure retirement. We can count on Luke to protect the interests of Meriden’s middle class, because he already has done so for years. Please join me in voting for Luke Ford for City Council this fall.
Michael Bowes, Meriden
Day of choice
Election Day is a day of choice. Choose candidates who value efficiency/accountability which are clearly missing under the present administration. “Wallingford Tree Massacre” (in-town trees which were never pruned, and healthy park trees cut down for private profit), drug drop box, $500,000 uptown private property renovations, dumping oil by PW in aquifer protected area, economic losses of WHA, no technology updates, not engaging private contractors for excessive snow removal, destruction of $100,000 decorative lighting, use of ethics as a political tool, and denying veterans use of viewing stand on Memorial Day. November 5th — choose Jason Zandri and the Democratic Team!
Nick Economopoulos, Wallingford
Makes things happen!
I want to recommend Mayor Mike Rohde for reelection in Meriden. I have worked with him for three years on the Meriden Farmers Market — a project to bring more healthy foods to Meriden and create a community space where people meet old friends and make new ones. This year we opened a second market and arranged for a bus to bring seniors to the market every Saturday. We were able to do this because the mayor knows who to call to make things happen!
Dennis Barry, Meriden
Wallingford voters should read letters to the editor with caution. Candidates’ supporters try to sway voters with sound-bite quality quips that are often misleading. Simply calling someone “clueless” or one’s analyses “unsophisticated” does little good when fueling the argument with incorrect information. Jason Zandri cares about your tax dollars and wishes to invest them in the most prudent and efficient ways possible — with the greatest return. If you ask him directly, he’ll be happy to tell you how. Don’t be fooled or be bowled over by heavy-handed letters to the editor designed to tell only part of the story.