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

Meriden’s Miguel Cardona took the oath of office Wednesday morning as Commissioner of the state Department of Education. He left his job as Assistant Superintendent of Meriden Public Schools to take the post. Cardona is the first Hispanic to head the state office. 

Southington’s library board on Monday night unanimously chose a Farmington architectural firm to draw up plans for a new or renovated library. The hire must be approved by the Town Council, which is scheduled to meet next week.

Documents held by elected officials related to a new education-related nonprofit, called Partnership for Connecticut, are not exempt from Connecticut’s open records laws, the state Attorney General William Tong ruled Wednesday. That’s despite the fact that the General Assembly agreed to exempt the nonprofit from the Freedom of Information Act and state ethics laws at the request of the foundation that provided a significant portion of the funding.

During large power outages, calls from customers to the Wallingford Electric Division can really pile up. To help operators manage multiple incoming calls, the Public Utilities department is installing an enhanced interactive voice response within the existing outage management system.

Thousands of residents came together Tuesday at Meriden’s Hubbard Park for the 15th annual National Night Out. The free event is organized each year by the Police Department and the city’s Council of Neighborhoods, with sponsorship from local several businesses and organizations. 

Connecticut politicians and gun control advocates on Monday urged the U.S. Senate to return immediately to Washington, D.C., and follow the state’s lead in passing stricter gun laws, including an expanded ban on assault rifles and large-capacity magazines and enhanced background checks.

Puerto Rican pride was on display at the city’s 52nd annual Puerto Rican Festival, held last Sunday at Hubbard Park. “I want to embrace this culture and this community,” Mayor Kevin Scarpati told the crowd assembled at the park’s Barry Bandshell. “(Meriden’s) Puerto Rican heritage is something we can all be proud of.”

Visitors to the Meriden Green today are set to have the Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience complete with video screen backdrop, new costumes, new songs, new dancers and a dance-off. “It’s an incredible show,” said Joby Rogers, the city native who is considered one of the top-performing Michael Jackson impersonators.

After the Meriden City Council failed to pass a $9.3 million expansion and renovation of the public library last month, some are still holding out hope the project could ultimately happen. City officials and library supporters say it’s possible enough money could be raised through grants, donations, or state aid to cover the difference in cost between the expansion and the $7.8 million in renovations approved by the council.

Construction has started on the new Tops Market in Southington, five months after a fire destroyed the former building. Builders poured concrete footings on the first day of construction. Co-owner John Salerno said it was good to see work starting, although the insurance payout doesn’t fully cover the cost of replacing the building and its contents. Salerno hopes to open the store in February.

After two years on the market, Meriden’s St. Mary Church and school sold last week to a local church, while the rectory went to a separate buyer in late May. The Pentecostal Church of God I.M. of Meriden bought the church at 55 Church St. and the school at 97 Grove St. for $275,000 from the Our Lady Queen of Angels parish. Dockside Construction Services bought the rectory for $85,000. 

We didn’t like this week

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is dismayed that Congress will break for summer recess without doing more to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections. “We were quite shocked when we heard Congress would not go forward with any assistance,” she said.