EDITORIAL: 5 things we liked this week, 2 we didn’t

We liked this week

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Monday featured the return of a breakfast founded 38 years ago by Rhudean Ray. The Martin Luther King Jr./Albert Owens scholarship breakfast in Meriden has become one of the largest area events commemorating the civil rights leader, with scholarships awarded to Meriden students. The breakfast had been canceled in 2021 and rescheduled to April last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Daffodil Festival will keep its traditional dates on the calendar, which means April 29-30 this year, after the public pushed back on the idea of changing them online. The Daffodil Festival Committee had voted to push the event back by a week, but that would be in conflict with junior proms at Platt and Maloney high schools, as well as graduation weekend for the University of Connecticut and the photo opportunities provided by Hubbard Park.  “We can't not allow access to the park for pictures on junior prom,” said Ric Suzio, Daffodil Festival Committee co-chair.

In an effort to provide more in-depth learning opportunities and allow students to take more courses with a more even workload, Southington’s school board has approved a plan to change the high school to block scheduling next school year. “There’s no question that it’s the best thing for the students,” said Terri Carmody, a school board member, “Eighty-eight minutes, think of all that can go on in the classroom. All of these new curriculum things we’ve had introduced, it’s how it should have been many years ago.”

Two area students were big winners in the Connecticut Higher Education Trust Dream Big! Competition. Maya DelGreaco, of Wallingford, who now attends Mercy High School in Middletown, was the grand prize winner, winning $25,000, for grades 9-12 for an essay about mental health. Sofia Valentina Ruiz, an eighth grader at Middle School of Plainville, won the grand prize for grades five through eight, also $25,000, for writing about improving her community by getting more attention for Hispanic voices.

Meriden’s school district is expanding its Succcess Academy to satellite locations at Platt and Maloney high schools. The program started in 2015 as an alternative high school and had gone on hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic. The program focuses on helping students graduate and helping them form a plan for after graduation.

We didn’t like this week

Wallingford town councilors are concerned about the rising cost of the new police station, with a committee set to ask for approval to bond $34,357,000 to convert  the former 3M building on Barnes Road into a new station. That figure is also expected to be higher. “It’s concerning, but it’s reflective of the economy we’re in,” said Vincent Cervoni, council chairman. “Times were different when we originally looked at this project. The economy has changed — the availability of equipment is different, building products and all the things that go into a project like this.”

Minority representation became an issue again in Southington following the rejection of two Democratic nominees to fill a vacancy on the Board of Fire Commissioners by the Republican majority on the Town Council. “What you’re saying is that the people we’ve nominated will not work in a collaborative manner?” asked Val DePaolo, a Democratic councilor. “We’re nominating qualified people to these positions... We do believe they’ll work in a collaborative manner.”


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