EDITORIAL: 6 things we liked this week, one we didn’t

We liked this week

After sitting out the last two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, parades returned to the local area for Memorial Day, helping people remember the importance of those who paid the ultimate price for their country. “Walk to a tombstone that has a flag in front of it, and stop and look at the name on that site,” said City Manager Timothy Coon, during Meriden’s observance. “Recognize the name. Even though you never met them, take that time to bow and remember them. That’s all that they ask — for us to remember them.” 

Meriden is looking to expand a program that diverts food waste from state landfills, following a four-month pilot program that had the participation of 1,000 city households. Meriden was the first in the state to participate in the program, which converts food scraps into energy. The city is now looking to expand the program to 2,300 households.

Two students each from Platt and Maloney high schools in Meriden were named Dual Language Scholars by Project Excel, a recognition of the challenges involved in performing well in school while learning English. “This isn’t just an award,” said Vianna Alcantara, a Platt senior who will graduate June 15. “It shows appreciation for those whose first language isn’t English. We didn’t have it easy and this is a win for everyone who is in the bilingual program.”

The Meriden Fire Department is using a new smartphone program, called RapidSOS, which helps locate distressed 911 callers. The program was used recently when a hiker became lost in the woods of Giuffrida Park off Westfield Road. Firefighters were able to locate the hiker within 20 minutes. Similar searches would have taken more than two hours. Plans are to install the program in more department vehicles, said Fire Chief Ken Morgan.

In an election year in which several incumbents appeared to be running unchallenged, Republican Kerry Lentz has decided to seek election in the 85th House District, which means she will be facing longtime Democratic incumbent Mary Mushinsky. Jerry Farrell Jr. had announced he would challenge Mushinsky earlier this year, but dropped out to run for judge of probate.

A crosswalk with stop signs for drivers and pedestrians on Mill Street in Southington aims to increase safety for people using the Linear Trail. “It’s important to make sure people crossing the trail are able to do it safely,” said police Lt. Keith Egan.

We didn’t like this week

Southington’s Board of Education approved a $104.4 million budget, a 3.6%  increase over the current fiscal year, that is $500,000 less than what it wanted following a vote by the Town Council. Jennifer Mellitt, school district business and finance director, said no jobs will be lost by the adjustment. The school board’s vice chairman, Joe Baczewski, however, said it was “frustrating as hell” to have to adjust the budget downward. “Coming out of COVID we had an opportunity to come out swinging, to provide, to do options for students,” he said. “Man, we fell short.”


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