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EDITORIAL: 11 things we liked this week, one we didn’t

EDITORIAL: 11 things we liked this week, one we didn’t

We liked this week

Repairs are underway on a historic Wallingford church’s roof and spire, which were damaged during last year’s microburst. First Congregational Church, 23 S. Main St., was wrapped in scaffolding Wednesday as workers began replacing roof shingles. The project is estimated to take eight to 10 weeks. First Congregational Church was was founded in the 1670s. The current brick structure was built around 1849.

The state is planning to pave a four-mile stretch of Route 5 in Meriden this summer. The paving will be done from the Wallingford town line on South Broad Street to where North Broad Street meets Route 15, according to Kevin Nursick, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. The work is expected to begin in July or August and will “probably take around three weeks,” Nursick said.

Meriden has set a date for its annual Fourth of July fireworks show. The event will take place July 3, with a rain date of July 5. The fireworks will be shot off from East Peak in Hubbard Park beginning around 9:30 p.m. Live entertainment will begin at the park bandshell at 5 p.m. 

If you thought this April was one of the rainiest ever, you were right. The greater Hartford area set a record last month for the number of days with measurable rainfall — 21 days, beating the previous high of 18 days in 1929, according to Gary Lessor, assistant director of the Connecticut Weather Center. And in total inches of rain, it was the wettest April since 1983 when 9.9 inches of rain fell, topping the 8.06 inches that fell last month.

The rainy weather Sunday didn’t stop more than 1,000 people who helped raise money for multiple sclerosis at the annual Walk MS: Cheshire. The walk is typically the largest of nine held across Connecticut by the state chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said chapter President Lisa Gerol. Over 90 teams participated.

The Wallingford Rotary Club will honor a longtime member who founded a middle school essay and speaking contest 25 years ago. The Rotary Club Grade 8 Essay and Speaking Contest will be named after founder Tom Collette. Rotary Club President Daryll Porto said the board wanted to honor Collette because he had dedicated so many years to the students of the community.

Connecticut officials planned to pay tribute to the late Ella Grasso, the first woman elected in her own right as governor of a U.S. state. A ceremony marking the late Connecticut governor’s 100th birthday was set for Friday at the state Capitol. Grasso was born in 1919 and died in 1981. The first woman to be elected governor without being the wife or widow of a past governor, Grasso served from 1975 until 1980. 

Local children participated in the annual Meriden Soap Box Derby last weekend, most racing for the first time. Around 20 drivers learned to set up, test and race soap box cars at Hubbard Park with the help of parents and volunteers. The event is a partnership with the Meriden Rotary, the Beat the Street Community Center and the Meriden Raiders Football League.

Restoration work will begin this spring on the main door, sign and front windows of the former Ball & Socket factory on West Main Street in Cheshire. The Ball & Socket Arts group received $5,000 from the 1772 Foundation for historic preservation of the large wooden door and accompanying architectural features at the factory.

Dozens of volunteers fanned out across the city last weekend for the Mayor’s Community Cleanup Day. “This is not only about bringing people together today, but is about improving the vision and the look of the city,” said Mayor Kevin Scarpati. After a brief welcome by the mayor on the Meriden Green, volunteers were free to either work on locations identified by city officials as being problematic or to spruce up their own neighborhoods.

Connecticut’s Lemon Law Program is being credited with providing consumers more than $2.6 million in refunds or returns last year for purchases and leases of problematic new vehicles. Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull says that’s an increase of more than $300,000, compared with 2017. The agency processed 81 cases in 2018, compared with 64 in 2017.

We didn’t like this week

State data released on vaccination rates among kindergartners shows one local school falls below 95 percent, the threshold deemed crucial by public health officials. According to the 2017-18 school year data released by the Department of Public Health, only 93.4 percent of kindergartners at Hatton School were vaccinated for a range of viruses, including measles, polio, hepatitis A and B, and other communicable diseases. The 2017-18 data is the latest available.

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