EDITORIAL: 7 things we liked this week, one we didn’t



We liked this week

The state Department of Transportation has opened an express bus line from the Waterbury Green to the Meriden train station. As the Record-Journal reported, it’s the first direct link between the two cities in decades.  Bus route 940 will operate fare-free until Feb. 28. The route operates on weekdays only, providing 30 to 40 minute travel times between the two cities.

Southington’s Town Council has voted to expand the tax relief program for veterans. The tax exemption, started nearly two decades ago, gives members of the military, former military members or their spouses a reduction of property tax assessments by $10,000. The council increased the income limits from $59,600 to $64,400 for single veterans and from $67,200 to $72,600 for married veterans. The town is also linking future income limits with the Social Security Administration’s cost of living increases.

The Ciriello family is organizing a blood drive on Feb. 12 at the Aqua Turf in Southington that will include sweets, a crafts table and Valentine the Clown, who is helping to organize the drive. The blood drives are much needed at this time, and in this case highlight the needs of Daniela Ciriello, 9, and her brother Matteo, 5, who both have beta thalassemia, a condition in which the body can’t produce enough red blood cells.

The annual Martin Luther King/Albert Owens Scholarship Breakfast in Meriden has been moved to April 23, after having been canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The breakfast is usually held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Four students will be presented with $1,000 scholarships. U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, of Meriden,is the planned keynote speaker.

Young people at the Boys and Girls Club of Meriden are benefiting from a program called STEM for All that offers exposures to science and technology skills that can lead to a career. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program is an extracurricular activity and includes a competitive robotics team.

New pilot courses at Meriden’s Platt and Maloney high schools will also emphasize technology skills that can lead to careers. Meriden schools are partnering with Workforce Alliance to start the offering this autumn. The course will introduce students to computer-aided design and drafting, measurement standards and manufacturing methods.

Local consignment shop owners say there’s a new trend developing, that of younger people showing up as customers. “What’s going on in the world today, I think that a lot of people, regardless of what age you are, like to support smaller businesses,” observed Kelly Rumovicz, manager of Uptown Consignment in Southington. “It’s cool,” said Jackie Leathe, managing director of Connecticut Consignment Originals, “they know they are doing something great for the planet and they are doing something great for their wallet.”

We didn’t like this week

Legalized online gambling is proving a concern, as calls to the state’s problem gambling hotline increased by 87% in November 2021, the first full month of legalization, compared to the November the year before. As the Connecticut Mirror reported, the busiest hotline days are Mondays, following Sunday’s NFL games.

 

 



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