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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

After a year-long negotiation, Meriden agreed to a settlement with Hartford HealthCare this week that ensures the healthcare network will pay $300,000 toward cleanup costs at the blighted former Meriden-Wallingford Hospital. HHC is the parent company of MidState Medical Center, which sold the Cook Avenue building more than 20 years ago. The city has spent more than $4 million to remediate the 325,000-square-foot building.

The state of Connecticut has so far built up a stockpile of personal protective equipment that can last about 60 or 70 days, with plans to eventually have enough for 90 days in case there is a second wave of the coronavirus, Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday.

Wallingford seniors graduated in unusual drive-through ceremonies in the Oakdale Theatre parking lot this week  — 157 from Sheehan High School on Monday night and 181 from Lyman Hall High School on Tuesday. School Superintendent Salvatore Menzo said the class of 2020 showed him how to overcome adversity and that there is a lot to learn from students.

Terrence Bogan, a newly graduated Sheehan High School senior, went home after the ceremony Monday to learn that he had also won a national singing competition sponsored by Broadway Records online. He was chosen out of 1,600 contestants nationwide.

Many municipal swimming pools have opened for the season, with restrictions. The pool in Meriden’s Hubbard Park opened last weekend. Town-run pools in Southington opened on June 27 and Cheshire recreation staff said they intend to open Cheshire’s Community Pool later this summer. However, Wallingford’s Community Pool will not open this summer.

Berlin’s Timberlin Golf Course is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The course opened on July 1, 1970, and has been under the watch of three head golf professionals over the half century. “I look forward to continuing the many traditions that have made Timberlin such a special place for 50 years,” said current pro Marc Bayram, who has held the post since 2011.

The Summer Campership Fund for Meriden-Wallingford finished its ninth week at $53,002, with new donations totaling $2,665. The fund is in its 45th year offering campership awards to boys and girls in Meriden and Wallingford to attend local camps. This year’s goal is $65,000 with 100% of the funds raised used directly to fund camperships.

Park work underway or planned for this summer in Southington includes new tennis courts, new basketball courts and a renovated concession stand at Veterans Memorial Park. Highway and Parks Department Superintendent Annette Turnquist said the town is also considering fountains for the Recreation and Memorial park ponds to help prevent algae.

The bells were tolling for two minutes last Saturday afternoon, marking an Independence Day tradition at the Wallingford Historical Society. The organization hosted its 47th annual July 4th bell ringing at the Samuel Parsons House to celebrate the 244th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Lake Compounce was open for the July Fourth weekend, one of the many businesses throughout Connecticut that opened its doors again after the state started Phase 2 of its reopening plan in late June, allowing outdoor amusement parks, gyms, movie theaters, restaurants and museums to welcome customers — with ample coronavirus safety guidelines in place.

We didn’t like this week

The Making Meriden Business Center on Colony Street will close next month following cuts by one of its funders, but could reopen soon. CTNext, which provides a $75,000 grant to the Meriden Economic Development Corp. to help operate the business support center, has suffered a cutback. The funding expired June 30.

The numbers of people seeking rental assistance at the Salvation Army Corps on St. Casimir Drive in Meriden has risen from two to three calls a week to 12 to 15 calls since the start of the public health emergency, said Salvation Army Corps Officer Lt. Kate Borrero. In Meriden alone, Connecticut’s 211 Infoline system tracked 633 calls seeking information about housing from March to June.

Gov. Ned Lamont had planned to allow bars to reopen on July 18, but announced Monday that he is postponing the state’s third phase of reopening “for the foreseeable future” due to a spike in coronavirus cases in other states. Bar owners say they’re going to try to hang on until they receive approval to reopen.

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