EDITORIAL: 14 things we liked this week

EDITORIAL: 14 things we liked this week

We liked this week

On Tuesday afternoon, moments before the Spartans varsity girls track team would host a meet against Middletown High School, district officials officially unveiled the Maloney High School track’s dedication in honor of David M. Beall, who died in 2010. Under his leadership, the Meriden teams he coached won three conference championships in track and one cross-country conference championship. Individual members also set school records in various track and field events.

With the finishing touches complete on the Veterans Memorial Park playground in Southington, community groups that raised funds for it are planning a dedication next month. The Rotary Club of Southington committed to raising $100,000 for a new playscape in early 2019. The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain contributed $50,000 to the project. 

The leader of the Meriden Council of Neighborhoods hopes that a citywide cleanup event next month will be her organization’s first step back to normality since the pandemic struck a year ago. “We are still active, but unfortunately we are on the quieter side of active,” said said Holly Willis, leader of the South Meriden Neighborhood Association and president of the council. The Mayor’s Cleanup Day next month, which is co-sponsored by the neighborhood association, might be the first large-scale association activity in more than a year, Willis said.

Local restaurants are preparing to get back to some type of normality after it was announced that starting next month most business restrictions are expected to lift. On Monday, Gov. Ned Lamont said most restrictions will end May 1. The 11 p.m. curfew for restaurants, theaters, entertainment and recreational venues will change to midnight. Alcohol can be served without food and limits on table sizes will end.

Because of the pandemic, the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association is asking volunteers for the Q-River cleanup to “clean independently,” without the benefit of the full group or a QRWA guide on site. Trash bags will be supplied. 

Local towns are marking Earth Day with a number of activities this week. On Sunday there was a  Quinnipiac River Linear Trail cleanup in Wallingford. On Thursday, there was a memorial tree planting at Meriden’s Hubbard Park. Today, a cleanup is scheduled at the Meriden Green; the Southington Rotary Club will be holding a townwide cleanup; and the Southington Land Conservation Trust will be holding its own cleanup along the Farmington Heritage Canal Trail.

Meriden’s Castle Craig Players were set to stream their production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” at 8 p.m. Friday on the community theater group’s YouTube channel. Directors Ian Galligan and Oliver Kochol decided to have the show filmed at the Almira F. Stephan Memorial Playhouse on West Main Street 

Meriden police are participating in the Drug Enforcement Agencies National RX Drug Take Back Day today. There will be a contactless event on Mill Street, near the Meriden Green, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lt. Darrin McKay said in a press release. For anyone who drops off medication, no identification is required and no questions are asked, McKay said.

The Summer Campership Fund for Meriden-Wallingford finished the second week at $12,310 with new donations totaling $7,125. The fund is in its 46th year offering campership awards of $140 to boys and girls in Meriden and Wallingford to attend local camps. Participating camps are Boys & Girls Club of Meriden, Meriden YMCA, Girls Inc., Wallingford YMCA, the Salvation Army, Children First, the Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club and SCOW’s STEM Camp.

A $300 million plan to improve the convoluted traffic triangle at the junction of interstates 691, 91 and Route 15 has been divided into three phases. Construction is scheduled to begin next spring. The project aims to provide a safer drive through the three arteries with two-lane connections between all major roadways, and to separate the weaving connections between I-91, I-691, Route 15 and East Main Street in Meriden. The project has been on the state’s priority list for several years.

The committee behind Southington’s first organized Pride Week is finalizing a schedule of events to be hosted virtually and at local businesses, churches and civic organizations. “There is a need for it and a recognition that as a community this is going to be a wonderful event for people to come together,” said Mitchell Oliva, a member of Southington Pride Inc., the organization planning the events for the last week of May and the first week of June.

As Wallingford considers moving the Police Department to a new location, Town Councilor Chris Shortell had a suggestion Tuesday about what to do with the 101-year-old former armory now used by the police, floating the idea of moving Wallingford Adult Education to the armory, which would make room for commercial use of the town’s historic train station. “It frees up the old train station for development, Shortell said, “… and it still provides Adult Ed with a central location for those students.”

The Southington Fire Department has a full slate of officers following a flurry of career and volunteer promotions. The Board of Fire Commissioners promoted James Paul from assistant fire chief to the department’s leader last month. That kicked off a cascade of vacancies that the commission has filled with promotions and a new hire.

Each Sunday in May, the Meriden Historical Society will be presenting the exhibit, “Vice in Meriden — Smoking Drinking Gambling — Meriden Items for Bad Habits” at the Andrews Homestead. Sherwin Borsuk, president of the society, said the exhibit will display products that Meriden companies produced for smoking, drinking and gambling. Borsuk thinks the exhibit will invoke a sense of pride in the history of Meriden. Some of the items made in Meriden have been used all over the world.

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