EDITORIAL: 9 things we liked this week

EDITORIAL: 9 things we liked this week

We liked this week

No final decision has been made but school leaders hope students can return to Southington High School Tuesday after a week of remote learning. Several coronavirus cases led to more than two dozen teachers quarantined, and there weren’t enough substitutes to continue in-person classes.

Connecticut’s third reopening phase began Thursday, a milestone during the coronavirus pandemic. However, a number of restaurant owners say they won’t be able to reach the new 75% capacity limit for indoor dining because they don’t have the space. Indoor performing arts venues will be allowed to open at 50% capacity, while outdoor event venues will be allowed to increase their capacity from 25% to 50%, with required masks and social distancing at all locations. 

Meriden police and fire departments and community members gathered Tuesday during National Night Out held in front of the Meriden Police Department on West Main Street. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.

Gov. Ned Lamont and state Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said Tuesday they remain pleased with the reopening of public schools, despite coronavirus-related concerns raised by the state’s largest teachers’ union regarding needier districts lacking proper air ventilation, personal protective equipment and deep cleaning. 

Southington planners approved a zone change for the former Lincoln College property Tuesday, taking a first step toward an age-restricted housing development proposed by the campus owners. Planning and Zoning Commission members said Dennis Terwilliger, an owner of the property, has been honest about his plans and attempts to sell or use the land on Mount Vernon Road.

A recent incident where an officer fired a bean bag round fire from a shotgun to subdue a man that had threatened officers with a knife is an example of how Southington police try to resolve a situation with the least force possible. Chief Jack Daly said the most important non-lethal method is verbal communication. Officers responding to calls have to be ready for any situation. A neighbor dispute over leaves can quickly escalate, and officers never know what is going to set a person off.

Gov. Ned Lamont has signed legislation that will give local election officials more time to begin processing the deluge of absentee ballots expected in this year’s presidential election, in light of concerns about the pandemic. The bill provides cities and towns the option of opening the outer envelope of the absentee ballots and verifying the voter signed the inner envelope, beginning on Oct. 30. The inner envelope that contains the ballot may not be opened, however, until Election Day.

A permit application for a new proposed use of the former Bristol- Myers Squibb property in Wallingford has been submitted to the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission. The proposed development at 5 Research Parkway would be a 219,000-square-foot “delivery station” building and 715-space parking lot, according to the application. A delivery station is one of six types of Amazon warehouses. However, Amazon is not mentioned by name and the company’s potential involvement has not been confirmed.

After publicly airing concerns and frustration in July about a developer’s lack of progress in the rehabilitation of the blighted former Meriden-Wallingford Hospital, the City Council voted this week to continue its partnership with the developer for another year, designating One King LLC as the “preferred developer” for the old hospital as well as for the redevelopment of the blighted former medical building at 116 Cook Ave. and the nearby former Factory H site.

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