This is in response to last Friday’s letter (R-J, 4-25) written by Edward Gagliola, where he characterizes the residents of Meriden as “sheep,” utilizing numerous erroneous facts regarding the WPCF (sewer plant). The equipment, referred to by Gagliola as “faulty,” is actually some of the most technologically advanced equipment in the country. The so-called polluting release of nitrogen into the environment is incorrect. It is a matter of public record (for those who bother to check) that Meriden actually releases less nitrogen than any other comparable plant in almost all of New England. In regard to phosphorous, which is released into the water (as opposed to the air), Meriden was a leader in Connecticut in meeting and exceeding the state guidelines for removal. The plant’s upgrades were required in order to meet stringent Federal EPA and CT DEEP mandates, and were the result of a transparent, publicly visible process.
Gagliola’s assertion that the city has been fined by the EPA is an irresponsible mistruth. Had Gagliola fact-checked his “beliefs,” he would have learned that the plant was a recipient of the 2011 Operational Excellence Award given by the Atlantic States Rural Water & Wastewater Association, and that, in 2012, the plant manager was a recipient of an Operational Excellence Award by the New England Water Environment Association.
Michael Cerreta, East Hampton
On the bench
I appreciate the fact that the bench was put on the ground where the bus picks up buyers from the big-box store on Route 5 in Wallingford. I don’t understand why they couldn’t put a cover over it. We certainly get enough rain. Customers spend a lot of money in this store. They deserve the courtesy of being kept dry. There are other “big-box” stores on Route 5 — ones which are much nicer, and which even have benches inside where one can sit and wait for the bus.
Barbara Pastore, Wallingford
Regarding the Antique Veterans as grand marshals of the Daffodil Festival parade (see Record-Journal news story, with photo, 4-22, pg. C-1): Much preparation went into preparing the float (with my husband, sons and grandson building the railings, painting them and, along with others, decorating it). Of course the rain caused many to ride inside their van, but a dedicated group marched and stood in the open float. These gentlemen give up a great deal of their time to show honor to deceased veterans. With all the bad things we read these days, it would be nice to have even more positive news stories about the Antique Veterans.
Marilyn Hoff, Middletown
In recognition of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, I would like to reach out to Connecticut motorists, motorcyclists and scooter-riders alike, encouraging them to “share the road” in order to reduce motorcycle deaths and injuries. Motorcycles and scooters are among the smallest and most vulnerable vehicles on the road, putting riders at greater risk of death and serious injury in a crash. In fact, according to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 30 times more likely than occupants of cars to die in a crash, and 5 times more likely to be injured.
One way we can decrease the number of fatalities and injuries, and make the roads safer, is if we work together — motorists and motorcyclists alike. Adhering to the following rules will improve highway safety for everyone. Drivers should: be on the lookout for motorcyclists and scooter-riders at all times; signal all lane-changes and turns and constantly check mirrors and blind spots before proceeding; be fully focused on the task of driving, and in control of vehicles at all times; never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Riders should obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed; wear a DOT-compliant helmet and use reflective tape and gear to be more visible. (NHTSA estimates helmets saved the lives of 1,617 motorcyclists in 2011. This is, and should be, the rider’s choice — I can only say that it saved mine.) Also, never ride while impaired or distracted. Additional information about motorcycle safety can be found at www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles. Please join me in reaching out to other motorists and motorcyclists this month to encourage safe driving every day of the year.
John “Jack” Liversidge, Wallingford
I respond to Edward DeRosa’s letter (R-J, 5-1), in the order of his letter:
First, about Sean Hannity’s “impartial analysis” of the news. Anyone that watches Sean Hannity knows that he states himself that he is a conservative and is biased in his commentary. His show is his analysis much like Chris Matthews of MSNBC, and not the news. As a Fox viewer, I am offended by his attack that viewers are incapable of independent thoughts. I believe that there is no better “fair and balanced” news station than Fox. I will assume here that he has not watched Fox News. Most all other news outlets lean left consistently. These are what I consider to be facts, as my independent thought sees them. About the United States being one of the last developed countries to adopt affordable health care for its citizens: how did that work out for Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and any other number of countries going broke? Everyone wants health care for everyone, but at what cost, and how to do it? That is a story for another day. I hope DeRosa enjoys the Kool-Aid.
Ron Watson, Wallingford
Hundreds, if not thousands, of students from Meriden’s former Jefferson Middle School remember the recently deceased Miss Regina Okleyewicz with affection. She was a firm, kind, and gifted teacher who dedicated decades of her life to her pupils. She was the true embodiment of what a teacher should be. I was one of those students fifty (gasp!) years ago, and I remember her class in American History to this day. This is a tribute to a great educator.