EDITORIAL: 11 things we liked this week

EDITORIAL: 11 things we liked this week

We liked this week

Meriden and Wallingford public health officials are gearing up to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to the homebound and those in underserved communities via mobile vaccination vans. Gov. Ned Lamont announced this week the availability of vans capable of delivering 160 doses per day to bring vaccine to underserved communities in the state. 

About 80,000 Connecticut residents ages 45 to 54 have made appointments to get COVID-19 vaccinations since their age group became eligible for the shots last Friday, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday. About 22% of people in that age group have received the first of the two-dose vaccines.

Wallingford middle and high school students are scheduled to return to in-person instruction five days a week starting April 5. School Superintendent Salvatore Menzo recommended the return of all students to the classroom, but on a shortened schedule, at the Board of Education meeting Monday. The school district will end the current hybrid learning model, but voluntary distance learning will remain an option.

Southington residents are wearing red, purchasing bracelets and putting out signs to support a local fifth-grader who has been hospitalized since a medical procedure last month. “The community stands ready to help in whatever support the family is willing to take,” Town Councilor Paul Chaplinsky Jr., a friend of the Marek family, said of their son, Ben Marek.

The 2021 Summer Campership Fund for Meriden-Wallingford, now in its 46th year, offers campership awards to local boys and girls in financial need to attend local camps. With your help, these great organizations will play an important role in the lives of many local children in these changing times. This year’s goal is $65,000. One hundred percent of the funds raised are used directly to fund camperships. 

Meriden’s ongoing efforts to improve flood prevention will enter a new phase next month, with the reconstruction of bridges along Cooper Street and Kensington Avenue. According to notices posted to the city’s website late last week, work to reconstruct the Cooper Street Bridge over Harbor Brook and the Kensington Avenue Bridge over Sodom Brook will begin in April. Access would be maintained for all residents and businesses in the areas, including the Eversource facility on Cooper Street, Meriden Mall and MidState Medical Center. 

A biannual blood drive to help two Plainville children in the same family diagnosed with a rare blood condition is on pace to collect its 1,000th donation since it was started in 2013. The drive, sponsored by Grace United Methodist Church in Southington, is scheduled for April 3 at the Aqua Turf. Nicole Ciriello’s two children, Daniela, 8, and Matteo, 4, have both been diagnosed with beta thalassemia, also known as Cooley’s Anemia.

A draft report critical of a utility’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias has Connecticut lawmakers again calling for accountability. The report released last Friday by the state’s Public Utility Regulatory Authority concluded that Eversource’s preparations and response were inadequate and said fines and penalties will be considered under state law, thought it didn’t specify what those might be.

Residents in Miguel Cardona's familial hometown of Aguada, Puerto Rico, find his rise to U.S. Secretary of Education inspiring. Cardona was born and raised in Meriden, but both his parents were born in Aguada. The Puerto Rican community has shown its support for Cardona’s appointment and sees him as an example for future generations.

Maloney High School was turned into a vaccination clinic last Friday as district staff, bus drivers and members of the public rolled up their sleeves for their first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. “This is what public health looks like,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, as he toured the site with Meriden Health and Human Services Director Lea Crown. “It’s amazing what you have done here.”

Wallingford Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr., Police Chief William Wright and about 50 firefighters, police and town workers gathered in the training classroom at the police station last Friday to honor and say goodbye to Capt. Richard Homestead, who is retiring after 24 years to become a sergeant with the Central Connecticut State University Campus Police.

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