EDITORIAL: 5 things we liked this week, one we didn’t

We liked this week

A vaccine equity grant in the summer of 2021 helped Meriden’s Health and Human Services department partner with the Salvation Army, Casa Boricua de Meriden and New Opportunities of Greater Meriden in administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 80% of the city’s Hispanic population was fully vaccinated as of Nov. 9. Statistics were also encouraging when it came to those identifying as Asian or Pacific Islander, at 76%, and for Blacks, at 66.5%. For whites it was 62%. “We utilized our community partners and provided funding to actually go out and use them as trusted messengers in order to increase the vaccination rates among our Hispanic and African American populations,” said Lea Crown, Meriden health and human services director.

“We had 600 trees this morning, they’ve been selling like crazy.” So was the assessment by Ryan Bleau, a Southington firefighter, after Engine Company 2 opened its Christmas tree sale the day following Thanksgiving. The department uses sales to raise funds for a variety of charitable causes, as the Record-Journal reported.

The Wallingford Land Trust purchased 14 acres on Beseck Mountain that significantly includes a part of the Mattabesett Trail. The trust spent $15,000 out of reserves for the purchase, the R-J reported. The land “going on the market put the trail closure at risk, and we got in touch with the owners who were selling it and we were able to come to terms,” said Dave Ellis, a land trust board member. “It was very important because it is a high priority trail.”

Advocates for veterans in Southington were looking for help from the Town Council to support paying for an update to the memorial on the Town Green. Veterans committee members said plaques commemorating local residents who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam have omissions and misspellings. Upgrades could cost about $30,000. Councilors supported the effort. “I’m all for it, whatever I need to do,” said Councilor Michael DelSanto. “I’ll go out and fundraise for it with you.”

Two-way traffic started on South Grove Street, part of the new pattern in downtown Meriden that will also replace 10 traffic lights and make changes to Butler Street, Hanover Street and Cook Avenue over the next few weeks.

We didn’t like this week

Extra cleaning procedures at Wallingford’s Town Hall, established at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, won’t continue because town leaders can’t agree on how to pay for them. As the R-J reported, the majority on the Town Council was looking for the money to come out of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, but the appropriateness of the procedure to do that was called into question by Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. The mayor said the request for an appropriation from ARPA funding must come from the executive branch.


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