Seven things we liked this week, one we didn’t

We liked this week

Members of the Masjid Al-Rawdah Mosque and the Baitul Aman Mosque of Meriden gathered at the Meriden Green on April 21 to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Weather and Covid restrictions had interrupted recent celebrations. “It’s good to get back to normal and be able to give each other hugs,” said Mohamed Chaouki, president of the board of Masjid Al-Rawdah. 

The Platt High School baseball field in Meriden will be named for retiring Platt Athletic Director Rich Katz, who graduated from the school in 1970. “You can’t think of someone better to name the field for other than Rich Katz,” said current baseball coach Bryan McCarty. “He put his all into the program. He won a state title here and some conference titles. He’s also one of the better ball players to come through this program. This is something for the kids to look up to and to know the history of the program.” A dedication ceremony is scheduled for June 1.

Cava Restaurant, a Southington establishment noted for elaborate decorations, will be able to expand following town approval that will allow changing temporary space for the Covid pandemic into permanent dining and storage areas. Tony Papahristou, the restaurant manager and son of owner Stavros Papahristou, described the permanent addition as “a blank slate that we’re able to decorate and keep the things up that people seem to like.”

The state Department of Transportation has started to renumber the exits on Interstate 691 as part of an effort across the state to make exit numbers align with highway mile markers. “This makes it easier for first responders,” said state Rep. Michael Quinn, a Meriden Democrat. “We have a challenge in Meriden with our many highways to get an exact location based on exit information. In theory this should help.”

Bilingual Educator Alicia Lorenzo will be honored with an exceptional teacher award by the Connecticut Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents during an annual gala event on May 6. Lorenzo has worked in Meriden Public Schools for 18 years. Evelyn Robles-Rivas, supervisor of language and community partnerships at Meriden Public Schools and a former CALAS president, said Lorenzo “has a great rapport with the students, parents, and families.”

A performance by Stephen Peter Rodgers is scheduled to open this weekend’s Daffodil Festival music lineup at noon on Saturday, at the Hubbard Park Bandshell. As the R-J reported, 30 bands are expected to perform during the annual event.

After some discussion, Wallingford’s Town Council voted to approve asking members of the American Rescue Plan Act Applications Review Committee to start meeting again. The committee has been tasked with reviewing applications for federal funding from nonprofit organizations and small businesses. The committee had voted to stop meeting and stop its work after tensions arose over, as the R-J reported, “questions of conflicts of interest, the fairness of the scoring system and council objections over some denied applications.”

We didn’t like this week

Meriden officials agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a 2019 federal lawsuit filed by a Middletown mosque that alleged religious discrimination when the city’s Planning Commission denied its application to relocate into an empty building on Research parkway. The settlement, as the Record-Journal reported, ends four years of litigation.


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