EDITORIAL: 8 things we liked this week

EDITORIAL: 8 things we liked this week

We liked this week

A New Haven-based partnership, interested in expanding its holdings in Meriden, recently bought two downtown buildings on West Main Street for a combined $1.6 million. “We feel Meriden is a diamond in the rough,” investor Johnny Grunblatt said. “It feels like a good old American town.”

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday for legislation that would expand Connecticut’s “risk warrant” or “red flag” law, a first-in-the-nation statute that became a model for seizing firearms from at-risk individuals before violence occurs. A pacesetting concept when adopted in 1999 in response to a mass killing at the Connecticut Lottery, the new legislation passed 93-55 on party lines. It now goes to the Senate.

Hoping for a thaw in the pandemic that will allow businesses to enjoy a prosperous summer, the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce has announced it will be holding its annual awards dinner in person with a theme of “Spring Forward.” The event, at the Farms Country Club in Wallingford on June 10, will recognize six local businesses for their contributions to the North Haven and Wallingford communities over the past year.

With an anticipated tsunami of evictions when the pandemic- inspired moratoriums are lifted, the state House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to provide attorneys for low-income tenants facing displacement. If passed in the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont, Connecticut will become one of the first states to provide those facing eviction with the right to counsel. 

Help is on its way for tenants and landlords that have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Department of Housing, the state of Connecticut has developed the UniteCT program which will provide rental and utility payment assistance to those who qualify.

Memorial Day parades in Meriden and Wallingford are canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but alternate plans are in the works including a marquee performance by the U.S. Coast Guard Band at the Meriden Green Amphitheater on Sunday, May 30. Chris Bourdon, Meriden’s director of Parks & Recreation said “It’s a pretty big honor,” and credited the Meriden Lions Club for its efforts to bring the Coast Guard Band to the Silver City.

Meriden health officials plan to use new state funding for opioid overdose prevention on additional education and training for health care providers. While health officials’ focus during the past year has been on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 there were 1,372 drug overdose deaths statewide. The number represents around a 14% increase over the previous year. 

The sounds of rides and excited park-goers could be heard at Lake Compounce as the park opened for its 175th year last weekend. Saturday’s guests were the first to see the many changes the park underwent in preparation for the milestone birthday.

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