The Holiday for Giving Committee would like to thank the over 40 businesses that have generously set up toy, food, hygiene collection boxes or Magic Hats for monetary donations. We applaud the students and staff of Wallingford for working hard on the food drives at every school. We are anticipating a 20 percent increase in the number of Wallingford families that need our help this Christmas; over 500 of our neighbors facing terrible hardships. We look to you for help in filling our boxes with food, toys, hygiene and the monetary donations we desperately need. As Holiday for Giving celebrates its 45th year of serving Wallingford residents; we thank you all for your continued support. Your little acts of kindness will go a long way in helping our neighbors have a little “magic” in their holiday. Please visit our website www.holidayforgiving.com for more info on how you can help. Like us on FB – Holiday for Giving – Wallingford. Thank you.
The night before the international climate negotiations of the United Nations began in Warsaw, Poland, Typhoon Haiyan, a superstorm that many are calling the most powerful typhoon ever to hit land, smashed into the Philippines, destroying communities and killing thousands. This week, extremely powerful and early tornadoes tore across the Midwest United States, leaving behind death and devastation.
The connection between our fundamentally altered climate and the increase in the severity and number of extreme weather events is abundantly clear to delegate Nadarev Saño, who is representing the Philippines at this year’s climate negotiations. Calling the climate crisis “madness,” Saño has pledged to fast until the conference delivers concrete action to address climate disruption. In an effort to show solidarity with Saño and those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, thousands of youth, including members of the Sierra Student Coalition, are also fasting until the end of the conference this week.
It’s time to acknowledge the “madness” of the climate crisis affecting not only the Philippines, but right here in Connecticut residents’ backyards. Secretary of State John Kerry should show that the U.S. is ready to lead so that superstorms don’t become the new normal in Wallingford, or anywhere else. (The writer adds: “Choate Rosemary Hall 2010, Executive Committee Chair, Sierra Student Coalition.”)
Bo Ra Kim, Wallingford
On behalf of the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association, I’d like to thank all of the volunteers who participated in this year’s River bioassessment. In October, under the guidance of DEEP protocol, participants from Wallingford, Southington and Meriden met at QRWA headquarters and set out in teams to monitor site specific streams by collecting, sorting, and identifying bentho macroinvertebrate. Macroinvertebrate are preliminary indicators of water quality. Equipment and educational material for this annual program was made possible by the generosity of the 3M Corporation.
In addition, I’d like to thank Maloney High School science teachers, Mark Britton and Brenda Cooper, for engaging their students in the training and monitoring process of RBV. QRWA provided training for five classes, and assisted with two field trips. The students were absolutely wonderful to work with as they collected specimen from Spoonshop Brook on Bee Street and Harbor Brook in Brookside Park. Back in the classroom they sorted and identified the invertebrate, and based on their findings were able to make a preliminary assessment of water quality.
We are encouraged by the increasing number of students who participated in this year’s program and look forward to expanding into other area high schools in the near future. Thank you all for making this another successful year! Anyone wishing to participate in future monitoring events can obtain more information about the program on our website www.qrwa.org
Rebecca Martorelli, Meriden
I write in response to the baseless, reckless letter by Joe Gorley (“Explanation owed,” R-J, 11-17). He states his belief that I was somehow negligent as mayor by not attending the Veterans Day ceremony or offering a proclamation to be read. First of all, I was on an extended, planned vacation out of the country. This vacation was booked months ago, not decided “on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month,” as Gorley suggests. This was the first time in our 44 years of marriage that my wife and I had this chance to get away together. Whenever I am away from the city, I inform the deputy mayor and other elected officials of my absence. The deputy mayor usually stands in for me for ceremonies and also states why I was not at the event. He did just this at the ceremony. I also notified Rich Couture, the event organizer, that I would be away on vacation. The mayor’s office has never issued a formal proclamation at this event as individual elected officials make their own remarks.
I resent his accusation that I dishonored our veterans. As a city councilor and mayor, I have attended countless Veterans Day ceremonies, marched in Memorial Day parades, and attended numerous functions at the American Legion, PLAV, and the Marine Corps League. My father was a proud Lieutenant in the Air Force and I was born at Wright Patterson Air Force Base at the end of World War II in Dayton, Ohio. My respect and honor for veterans runs deep, and to suggest otherwise is a slap in the face.
Meriden veterans know my years of faithful support and respect. I call upon Gorley to make a public apology for his baseless attack. Let’s see if I get one.
Michael S. Rohde, Mayor of Meriden
Meriden Superintendent of Schools Mark Benigni likes to use the word “enrichment” when pitching his contorted view of the extended day program for elementary school children. I do not want the Board of Education raising my children. Their mission should be to provide a quality education with the taxes we pay, not a medial child care program.
The additional and grueling hours they demand from these young children mirrors that of a day care facility, not of a school. It presents the children with breakfast and activities of exercise and crafts. It burns out the kids, destroys their innocence, and prevents them from experiencing their own personal interest after school. It dismantles family time and the values parents want for their children.
I cannot express how dissatisfied I am with this convoluted notion of closing the achievement gap with this pitch. There are articles refuting this proposal and Benigni’s convictions on this subject.
I know what is best for my children, and I am offended by the BOE’s judgments on this topic. In a time where we are so thankful for our freedoms and liberties, I will not put up with a government department dictating what is best for my children’s time. All Meriden residents should be utterly appalled as I am. I believe that the only enrichment that is occurring here is in the pockets of those paid to lead.