Carl Sandburg wrote a poem about “grass” that covered soldiers’ graves following the First World War. In May, when I see the empty lots that dot downtown Meriden, now beautiful and green, I think of the grass. Acres of grass give testimony to the demise of a once-great city and to the accumulation of many wrong decisions made at city hall. And now, a park where once stood buildings of the International Silver Company. Has our city council lost all hope?
Myrna Long, Meriden
I have a serious question/complaint: Why is it that if you own a private residence, you are required to recycle your trash — but, if you live in an apartment complex, you don’t have the facilities to do so?
I have owned private residences and was top-of-the-line with recycling. I’ve also worked for several companies that have apartments that I maintained, including several in Meriden. None had any way for tenants to voluntarily recycle. Where I live now has only six units.
However, there are businesses below that produce recyclable material. There are no facilities to disperse these items properly for recycling. Why?
I am handicapped and have breathing problems. I use machines that use bottled water to help clear my lungs. I go through numerous plastic bottles every week. I cringe at throwing them into the dumpster (as well as fliers and news ads that come in the mail). Most towns are fining you now if you don’t recycle. Are apartments exempt?
Joseph Zurowski, S. Meriden
The Birney and Gagliardi families wish to thank everyone for the success of our wine – and beer-tasting event held at Gaylord Hospital on May 16th. This event provides funds to help Gaylord fulfill the mission of preserving and enhancing a future for those afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis.
Each year we are overwhelmed by the generosity of so many residents in our caring community of Wallingford (and beyond).
We are fortunate, honored and proud to live here. We deeply appreciate the kindness, participation, and loyalty to all who have supported this cause throughout the years and to the Gaylord Hospital staff for their concern and dedication to the many patients seeking their care.
Without hesitation, there is always an individual or group that will step up and lend their hand to whatever cause serves the greater good of all and we continue to be humbled by the generosity of all those who have done so for our event, Gaylord and those afflicted with MS.
Sent to the R-J on behalf of the Birney and Gagliardi families by:
Kathy Birney, Wallingford
I am proud that Meriden’s new mayor, Manny Santos, will not tolerate what he may consider to be forms of insubordination or intimidation by city councilors or City Manager Lawrence J. Kendzior. I believe that Santos was elected to fix Meriden’s problems, to clean up city hall, and to make our city better. Santos was not elected to win a popularity contest. Santos is honest, brave and has the guts to take on anyone when he is challenged by a group of politicians at city hall. I believe that these problems are ex-mayor Rohde’s legacy (and he is still wondering why he lost the election). My personal advice to city councilors is: If they can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen and resign at once.
Manuel A. Torres, Meriden
There may be gridlock in Congress, but 2014 was a year of meaningful accomplishments for the Connecticut legislature. Our outstanding Meriden delegation – Senator Danté Bartolomeo and Representatives Buddy Altobello, Cathy Abercrombie and Hilda Santiago — have done us proud. Look at the record. Our children will have greatly expanded access to pre-kindergarten opportunities combined with stronger licensing and quality assurance standards. “Erin’s Law” builds new safeguards against child abuse.
Other laws will better protect our youth from sports injuries and e-cigarettes.
Our economy will be strengthened by the increase in the minimum wage, giving a boost to hard-working people who hold down multiple jobs but still struggle to support their families, while their greater purchasing power spurs further economic growth. Expansion of the “STEP-UP” program will allow more small businesses to hire previously unemployed workers. Veterans will have greater job opportunities because now their military training and experience will count toward occupational certifications.
As consumers, we will have added protections against fraudulent, pre-paid heating oil plans and against phony promises of lower rates for switching electric service, and tougher restrictions on those annoying, unwanted telemarketing calls. Internet sweepstakes cafes that prey on vulnerable seniors will be closed down.
Prudent new investments are being made in transportation infrastructure, school security, manufacturing innovation, biomedical research, shoreline protection, and other initiatives that grow the economy and enhance our quality of life. Our lawmakers achieved all this and more with a balanced budget and not a penny in additional taxes. It may be fashionable to complain about government. But our state legislators have proven that they listen to our concerns, work the long hours necessary, and get the job done.
We are grateful for their service.
Jeffrey Freiser, Meriden