Of lights and tracks
I’d like to address Wallingford traffic’s “wait time” at the railroad station when the gates come down. When discussion began regarding the need to move the railroad station further north, the reason given was that while a train stops at the station with the gates down, waiting traffic accumulates all the way up Center Street. Baloney! As a Wallingford Realtor for over 47 years, the longest I ever waited was fewer than 4 minutes — never was traffic backed up, as alleged.
Now, let’s address the totally unacceptable lack of light synchronization on various state roads passing through town. Re: Route 150 east and west, between River Road to Main Street. That I’ve also timed. Total time: over 7 minutes. Why? Get one green, the next one red, and so on. State Route 5 north and south, same story — not synchronized. Also, Northbound on Route 5 at Parker Street — the left-turn green arrow allows 2-1/2 cars to turn. This is a major route for traffic turning here, proceeding to Washington Street then making a right turn that becomes North Plains Industrial Highway (a much-traveled roadway to Route 68). Perhaps someone in the Wallingford’s town administration could contact the state with this information. I found out traffic lights at intersections can be timed, allowing synchronization at troublesome locations.
John O. Roy, Wallingford
For the seniors
I have known State Senator Danté Bartolomeo for many years, and as a senior citizen I feel good knowing that she is looking out for me, my wife and our friends. When she was on the Meriden City Council she supported the Senior Center year after year when some wanted to cut staff and budgets. Now that she is in the State Senate I like that she is continuing to fight for seniors by trying to shut down the illegal businesses called “Internet Sweepstakes Cafes.” I have heard that the cafes are filled with seniors who play the computer slot machines and lose hundreds of dollars daily. Most senior citizens live on fixed budgets and these places take advantage of them. I appreciate that Danté cares enough to work hard and fight to protect all of us. It is very comforting to know that she is my State Senator.
Nicholas Buonanni, Meriden
Not so impartial
As Chair of Meriden’s Democratic Party, I have recommended Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated residents to local boards and commissions. The same cannot be said of the Republican Party. Some of these recommendations have been chosen by Democratic mayors for appointments and others have not.
When they have not been chosen, it’s because there is another interested individual who is just as qualified. How either name was brought forward to the mayor is irrelevant. We should be looking for the most qualified people to serve on these local boards, but with that being said, it is still a voluntary position and some of these positions are hard to fill. On several occasions, the Republican town chair and I have agreed on a name to fill a vacancy.
Mayor Santos’ remarks about taking the partisanship out of the process might sound good but his actions speak louder than words. Volunteers were undoubtedly removed based on party affiliation, which after all is his prerogative, but please do not pretend that’s not the case. It’s unfair to the people who have served on these boards for years only now to be taken off like they’ve done something wrong. His last attempt to remove someone from a position in order to “avoid any allegiance” and “keep them a little more impartial” was to remove Corporation Counsel Mike Quinn and replace with gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley’s former campaign manager. I didn’t buy it then, and I’m not buying it now.
Millie Torres-Ferguson, Meriden
British rock invasion
Moving from now to much happier times in early 1964. The Beatles celebrated their Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, 50th anniversary on Ed Sullivan Feb. 9, 1964. The people needed escapism following the assassination of President Kennedy. Nearly 100 million people were tuned into that show. The Beatles had already conquered the rest of the world in 1963. Their two albums “Please please me” in February 1963, and “With the Beatles”, in October of 1963 and 1962 respectively with their first recording in the U.S.A., though they all shot to number one in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
Ed Sullivan had already showed the public film clips of the Fab Four in October 1963 from the London Palladium. Their success on that early 1964 show led to a multitude of British acts to this country. The Swinging Bluejeans, The Dave Clark Five, Peter and Gordon, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers hit the top ten in the spring of 1964, followed later by Herman’s Hermits, the Zombies, the Honeycombs, the Tornadoes who actually was the first British band to have a number one in the U.S. with “Telstar” in 1962, The Kinks, the Yard Birds, Rolling Stones, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, The Moody Blues, Hedge Hoppers Anonymous, the Fortunes, them and countless others took over the Top 40 charts in 1964 and 1965.
Still some British bands never had hits here. The Shadows, The Four Pennies and even The Who failed in 1964. After the early 1965 release of “I Can’t Explain,” The Who showed signs of life becoming a super group along with Cream, Jimi Hendrix experience later on in 1967. We owe a lot to the 1964 show on Ed Sullivan. Even future Monkee David Jones was on the show that night.
Nick Piccolo, Southington
Let’s move ahead
I am a first-time letter writer who is very concerned about the direction that the city which I was born, raised, and still reside in, is headed. The only way to move Meriden forward is to end the infighting on City Council. I’ve never witnessed so much bickering back and forth on the council. It just might be because of a subtle change in the power structure.
The majority party, Democrat, which I am registered, as well, must accept that change is inevitable. I’m tired of the naysayers. Regardless of party affiliation, just get along! Accept the new members and leaders, debate their ideas, some are good, others not so good. The results are going to decide where this city is moving. We have a lot of positive projects already started because of people that worked hard to secure them. If the council members keep acting like children who want the biggest piece of cheese, it makes Meriden look bad.
We need private companies to invest in our downtown. We need competent people to serve on boards and commissions, regardless of party affiliation. Meriden will never be what it was in the 40s, 50s and 60s, but maybe if the council and management at City Hall can get it together, this new vision can be successful. We can tell our kids and grandkids how Meriden was in the teens, 20s, 30s and beyond. We can say what we want about this city, but the end result is we live here, and those of us who choose to stay really want Meriden to succeed. The Hub project, two-way traffic, TOD construction, flood control, R-J building, Colony Street construction — it’s here, people! Democrat, Republican, WTP, Independent, does it really matter? Let’s get it together for a new and better Meriden.
Michael Tiezzi, Meriden
We need benches
I’m writing about the enclosed benches that should be placed at the end of the big-box chain store on Route 5. The people that purchase their merchandise there have to sit in snow or rain, and we all know how cold or wet that is. I don’t drive, and I have a problem with my legs. I have a friend that picks me up things when I need them. Everyone isn’t so fortunate.
What is the big deal? The store could afford to place the benches and pay for them. The people that stand in all kinds of weather to spend the money there would appreciate it.
Barbara Pastore, Wallingford