EDITORIAL: 10 things we liked this week, 3 we didn’t

EDITORIAL: 10 things we liked this week, 3 we didn’t

We liked this week

Major League Baseball issued a 60-game schedule Tuesday night that will start July 23 or 24 in empty ballparks as the sport tries to push ahead amid the coronavirus. It will be MLB's shortest season since 1878.

Connecticut plans to bring all students back to the classroom in the fall, according to details released on Thursday. Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said the plan is based on the current situation involving COVID-19 cases in the state, but the plan could change if the state's health situation changes. The departments of Education and Public Health will come up with a set of recommendations for school districts as they welcome students back to school.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, funding for nonprofit agencies has been more important than ever. The Meriden-Wallingford Community Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund, spearheaded by the Meriden-Wallingford United Way, has given $137,280 to 20 local nonprofits. 

New York, Connecticut and New Jersey asked travelers from states with high coronavirus infection rates to go into quarantine for 14 days in a bid to preserve hard-fought gains as caseloads rise elsewhere in the country. “We now have to make sure the rates continue to drop,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, joined via video by Govs. Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut.

As part of a pending lawsuit settlement, Meriden’s Planning Commission voted this week to approve a mosque’s application to relocate to a building on Research Parkway. After the Planning Commission initially denied the Omar Islamic Center’s application in March 2019, the mosque appealed the decision in a federal lawsuit, claiming that the reasons for denial were “in bad faith and evidence the discriminatory intent of the commission.”

The Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday partially reopened four of its branches — in Bridgeport, Enfield, Waterbury and New Britain — to begin offering in-person licensing and new vehicle registration services by appointment only, the latest in a series of steps toward resuming operations at one of the state’s busiest agencies. 

As thousands marched in cities across the country to protest police brutality and racial inequality, newly appointed Meriden City Councilor Yvette Cortez is “excited and grateful” to be coming on as the council begins discussions about a number of proposed policing and racial equality reforms introduced following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. She says she wants to give her constituents “the opportunity to bring their voices to the table.”

With a Black Lives Matter flag flying over the state Capitol, Democratic state senators announced their commitment last Friday to a multitude of legislative proposals aimed at addressing systemic racial inequities, including wide-ranging police reforms, and efforts to improve economic, educational and housing opportunities for racial minorities.

Christopher Columbus statues in front of municipal buildings in Meriden and Southington could have different futures. The Columbus monument outside Meriden City Hall appears headed for removal. Southington leaders want to hear residents' opinions on the Columbus statue in front of the John Weichsel Municipal Center at a public hearing next month. The controversy presents an opportunity for public reassessment of the appropriateness of these monuments.

The average Wallingford Electric Division customer will see a savings of roughly $7.81 on power bills for the next six months, thanks to the most recent power cost adjustment. The adjustment is applied equally for residential, commercial, and industrial customers and is included on each monthly electric bill.

We didn’t like this week

The University of Connecticut decided to eliminate four athletic teams as it deals with an expected budget deficit driven by issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. UConn President Thomas Katsouleas told the school’s Board of Trustees Wednesday that the school will eliminate its men’s cross country, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and women’s rowing teams.

This year, fireworks aren’t being saved for Independence Day. They’ve become a nightly nuisance ringing out from Connecticut to California, angering sleep-deprived residents and alarming elected officials. Why the fascination with fireworks? Many traditional fireworks displays have been canceled this year, and one theory is that bored people are blowing off steam following coronavirus lockdowns. 

More demand and a lack of rain have prompted mandatory water restrictions in Southington. Water Department Superintendent William Casarella said voluntary water restrictions didn’t reduce demand as he had hoped, leading him to make the measures mandatory on Monday. The department depends on wells for the majority of its water.

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