We liked this week
City and state officials are gearing up to make sure every resident is counted when the 2020 U.S. Census begins next month, including the very young and the undocumented. The 10-year survey, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, requires every household to fill out a questionnaire. The census results help determine federal aid, valued at about $2,900 for every city resident, and each state’s representation in Congress.
Southington residents came to the aid of the family whose home at 960 Johnson Ave. was heavily damaged in a Sunday fire. Piles of clothes, for both people and Barbie dolls, were donated. While the family and their dog got out safely, nearly all their belongings were lost, as well as the family’s cat.
The Meriden Public Library had some valentines of its own at the third annual “I Love My Library” fundraiser dinner. “If you look at everything the library does for our community, it’s the least we can do to give back to the library,” said Mayor Kevin Scarpati. About 100 people attended the Sunday event at Il Monticello restaurant.
Officer Garret Ficara is partnered with the newest addition to the Meriden Police Department’s K9 Unit, a black Labrador named Rex. Ficara, who has been with the police department for almost four years, said Rex replaced retired police dog Vader, a narcotics detection dog. Ficara said having Rex — also a narcotics detection dog — has been an asset. In his first week on the job, Rex had three successful finds.
Edison Middle School in Meriden showed improvement on the state Department of Education’s next generation accountability index, according to the latest round of results. “The accountability data tells us many things using the Smarter Balanced Assessment as a snapshot in time,” said William Rice, assistant executive director of schools and curriculum for ACES, which operates Edison. “It tells us some great things that validate the great work of the staff.”
Southington’s Barnes Museum feels like a second home to Marie Secondo, who for the past 16 years has transcribed letters, read diaries and catalogued personal belongings of the family that once lived in the house. Secondo, the museum’s curator, plans to retire on Feb. 25 “There’s a lot of history here,” she said. “You just have to open up a drawer.”
Area municipalities have all seen increases in their grand lists: Meriden, 1.27 percent, Wallingford, 1.01 percent; Southington, 2.28 percent; and Cheshire, 1.52 percent. Finalizing the list is one of the first steps in formulating a budget for the next fiscal year. It is used to set the mill rate. These increases may be small, but they are all positive.
Southington Community Cultural Arts invited students and faculty to submit pieces of art for the 2020 Student & Faculty Exhibit on display throughout this month. The annual exhibit includes drawings, paintings, prints, photography, ceramics, jewelry and mixed media. Since opening in 2011, the nonprofit arts center has provided programs for all ages and a venue for local artists to exhibit their work.