EDITORIAL: 7 things we liked this week, 2 we didn’t

We liked this week

A Record-Journal feature focused on Cristina Schoeck, the first Latina and first woman to hold the position of deputy fire chief since the Meriden Fire Department started in 1851. “It’s really good for young women to be able to see that there are females in the fire service, and that we can move up the ranks,” said Schoeck. “Same thing with the Hispanic community, they can see that, especially here in America where we have a large population of Latinos, that the fire service is a good career and this is something that they should consider coming into.”

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, area food pantries are preparing to serve a large number of families. Inflation has made it difficult for many. “Due to inflation, we’ve found that seniors are struggling to buy groceries,” said Sarah Santora, director of community programs at Connecticut Foodshare. “They have a fixed income and the cost of living is expensive.”

Miss Connecticut Sylvana Maria González is the first Latina in 21 years to represent the state in the Miss America competition. Meriden’s Marissa Cardona, wife of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, earned the Miss Connecticut title in 2001. González, who is from New Britain, was at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington recently participating in the 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards held by the Record-Journal.

Ron and Nancy Serafino were to be honored Friday night for their community involvement during the YMCA’s  Forever in Blue Jeans fundraiser at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. The Serafinos received earlier this year the YMCA’s Compass Award, which recognizes giving back to the community. Serafino Pharmacy ran on North Main Street from 1974 until it closed last year.

A recount following a six-vote lead by Democrat Chris Poulos over Republican Tony Morrison in the 81st House district race ended with a win for Poulos by a single vote. Poulos praised election workers for an “absolutely professional” handling of ballots.

Fourth graders in Amie Alfano’s class at Mary G. Fritz School in Wallingford participated in the Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day, which honors the civil rights activist who was the first Black child to desegregate William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960. “I have been a member of the diversity, equity and inclusion committee in Wallingford for a couple years and I got an email from the Ruby Bridges Foundation and I figured it would be a great opportunity to have the kids be accountable, to feel like they are a part of something larger,” said Alfano.

Tony Terzi, a veteran television journalist, is Meriden’s new strategic communications director. A Meriden native, Terzi went to Nathan Hall Elementary School before his family moved to Southington. “… there are going to be different ways we’re going to try to simplify things for the public, to make sure that things they need to know about and want to know about are easily understood,” said Terzi, who now lives in Wallingford. 

We didn’t like this week

Wallingford Town Councilor Jazon Zandri, his wife and one other family are suing the administration of Wilcox Technical High School in Meriden, saying the rights of his daughter and other students have been violated by not having a certified math teacher in their geometry class. Frances Rabinowitz, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, told the Record-Journal shortages “are more acute this year than ever before. Math teachers are particularly in short supply.”

A project to repave West Main Street has had its issues. John Benigni, executive director of the Meriden YMCA, told the Record-Journal people are avoiding downtown. “Our numbers are dropping because people are skipping their workouts because it’s too congested. And parking (on Butler Street) is a nightmare.” Public Information Officer Darrin McKay said, “obviously, it’s congested like any pavement project. We were having issues with people stopping on the railroad tracks.” Mayor Kevin Scarpati expressed concern about the two-way traffic plan that follows repaving. “We’re going to have to do a lot more educating on what it’s going to look like and what the final result will be,” he said. “It’s more confusing to explain it than to drive it. It’s certainly going to be a learning curve for people getting downtown.”


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