EDITORIAL: 6 things we liked this week, one we didn’t

EDITORIAL: 6 things we liked this week, one we didn’t

We liked this week

With the weather forecast calling for a sunny Wednesday in the 40s, residents were able to enjoy one of several area first day hikes to celebrate the new year. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection scheduled 15 hikes as part of the national America’s State Parks’ First Day Hikes initiative to promote outdoor recreation.

Dressed in party hats and with bells in hand, children visited the Wallingford Public Library Tuesday to ring in the new year. The library hosted a New Year’s Noon party for children and families to count down 2020 in the daytime. The library has run the activity for the past five years as a way for parents to celebrate the holiday with children who are asleep at midnight.

A Texas judge ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $100,000 in legal fees and refused to dismiss a lawsuit that targets the Infowars host for using his show to promote falsehoods that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Jones is being sued for defamation by the parents of a 6-year-old who was among the 26 people killed in the 2012 Connecticut school attack.

St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center’s Greater Hartford Family Advocacy Center recently received a $750,000 federal grant to support efforts aimed at reducing child fatalities from abuse or neglect. The hospital is one of five agencies in the nation to receive the grant from the U.S. Justice Department’s office for victims of crime.

Connecticut’s highest court will convene a special task force to study racial discrimination during jury selection in criminal trials. Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Robinson announced the creation of the Jury Selection Task Force in a recent appeal decision regarding the 2013 murder conviction of Evan Holmes. Holmes’ arguments raised “extremely serious concerns with respect to the public perception and fairness of the criminal justice system,” Robinson wrote.

Lifelong Meriden resident Peter Polack has been picking up trash along the trails at Hubbard Park as a volunteer since 1998. At the start of 2019, he purchased a luggage scale and weighed his weekly assortments of empty bottles, cups, food wrappers and other trash throughout the year. Polack expected to end 2019 with about 200 to 300 pounds, because he was only collecting from the trails and not the park itself. On Sunday, Polack finished his last cleanup of the year with a total of 600.5 pounds of garbage, which he collected while hiking 205.4 miles at the park, he wrote on his blog.

We didn’t like this week

The trash that Peter Polack picked up in Hubbard Park was “on trails where you really would think people would be environmentally sensitive, but yet you’re finding all this garbage,” he said. “It’s just amazing that the people would be that inconsiderate and just drop things wherever,” said Maryellen Mordarski, chairwoman of the city’s Conservation Commission.