10 Things we liked this week, 1 we didn’t

10 Things we liked this week, 1 we didn’t

We liked this week

“There was a good energy and vibe in our buildings today,” Meriden School Superintendent Mark Benigni said Wednesday as students and parents arrived after what one parent termed “a long summer.” The first day went smoothly, Benigni said — except that a Maloney High School student riding his bike to school was hit by a car. The ninth-grader was hospitalized but was expected to be released Wednesday. At Washington Middle School, students were greeted with inspirational messages in colorful chalk, intended to cheer and inspire students after principal Ray Southland died in July. 

Southington students who were headed for the first day of school later in the week walked out of Derynoski School Monday with new backpacks full of supplies. The Giving Back Girls, a group of local youth, gathered supplies and filled hundreds of backpacks in preparation for the start of school. Southington Community Services refer families for the backpacks and a $20 gift card.

Unexpected school district savings during the past fiscal year in Southington came from midyear staff vacancies, energy efficiency measures and unspent supply funds. School officials are still totaling the surplus from the 2018-19 fiscal ear, but estimated it at nearly $600,000. Under state law, surpluses can be carried forward into future years.

Also in Southington, town officials credit investments, increased economic activity and more efficient spending with a $1.4 million surplus from the previous fiscal year’s town budget. Town Manager Mark Sciota said the estimated surplus will be finalized with an audit in December.

Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday overruled his public health commissioner, Renee Coleman Mitchell, saying school-by-school vaccination rates should be publicly released. Max Reiss, the governor’s spokesman, said, “The public has the right to know.” The commissioner had only planned to release county-by-county data and not school-by-school vaccination rates.

Twenty-three crosses dot the front lawn of St. Rose of Lima Church in Meriden to honor the victims of the Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, Texas. The crosses, made by St. Rose parishioners, display the victims’ names and ages. There is an extra cross to remind believers to pray for those who have no one to pray for them. Authorities said the gunman drove about 10 hours with the intent to kill Hispanics.

Residents enjoyed sun, free food, and a bit of knowledge at the Wallingford Community Health Alliance’s first annual Community Day, held Saturday afternoon at Community Lake. In addition to the kayak rides and entertainment, town social service agencies were on hand.

The governors of Connecticut and four other East Coast states are urging federal regulators not to put any additional roadblocks in the way of the country’s nascent offshore wind industry. In a letter Tuesday to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the governors said that offshore wind power will help strengthen America’s energy independence while creating thousands of jobs.

Gov. Ned Lamont and state Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, a Meriden resident, outlined education goals during a question and answer forum Tuesday at Wilcox Technical High School. Cardona studied automotive repair at Wilcox and later switched to education. Questions also came from lawmakers and members of the business community. 

The Southington Library recently added a few new items to their lending catalog. Now available for borrowing are almost a dozen musical instruments, including ukuleles, keyboards and trumpets. Children’s Department head Cindy Wall worked with Scott Mulrooney, of The Music Shop on Queen Street, to collect unwanted instruments.

We didn’t like this week

Two Wallingford police recruits will need to wait another three months to begin police academy training after a class was canceled by the state due to a staff shortage. Police Chief William Wright said he was informed that one of the two classes was canceled and the recruits would have to wait until December to start training.