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Editorial: Seven things we liked this week, four we didn’t

We liked this week

Wallingford’s Trail of Terror returns for an impressive 29th season, and founder Wayne Barneschi is saying that this year’s haunt is even bigger and better. One of the premiere Halloween events in the state opens on Sept. 30 and features over 30 scenes — most new.  The theme — “Harvest: Tale of the Harvester ” — is a chilling narrative that chronicles the origins of the Harvester, which is birthed from cursed embalming fluid made from the pumpkins on a farm. Tickets can be purchased on the Trail of Terror website at www.trailofterror.com. 

The Meriden Board of Education introduced Laurie Labato-DiTomasso as the district’s new supervisor of special education. Labato-DiTomasso, who recently worked in the Colchster school district, previously worked at Nathan Hale, Benjamin Franklin and Hanover elementary schools. “I’m excited to be back in Meriden,” Labato-DiTomasso said when she introduced herself before the board. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to this community and to work with such dedicated and talented educators.”

The consul general of Mexico in Boston was among those who addressed the crowd that gathered outside of the state Capitol last Friday to celebrate the 213th anniversary of Mexican independence. Alberto Fierro Garza shared the importance of commemorating Mexican independence during his speech. “This is a time to remember our history with pride and a time to feel proud about what we have accomplished as a nation with the values our forefathers fought for two centuries ago,” he said.

The fall lineup at Wallingford’s Oakdale Theatre reflects a rapidly growing Latin music industry that includes artists Eladio Carrión, Kany García and Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers. Latin music is becoming more mainstream, the R-J reported “as the share of overall U.S. recorded music revenues from Latin music reached an all-time high of 6.9%, up from 5.9% in 2021.”

Longview Cider House at Roger's Orchards in Southington is aiming to lure customers with hard ciders and great views. Guests can check out the tap truck next to the deck where they can order from a variety of 10 different hard cider flavors. The Long Bottom Road property opened earlier this month. “The grand opening was exciting and was a hit, but it was kind of surreal,” said Jeff Rogers, head cider maker and a member of the eight-generation farm family.

The state Department of Transportation and Operation Lifesaver, a railroad education nonprofit, visited the Wallingford Railroad station to kick off Rail Safety Week, a series of events bringing attention to the dangers of railroad tracks. “That’s why we’re here today. To help raise awareness about rail safety and stop track tragedies before they happen,” said Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Laoise King.

Award-winning artist Ellie Bender will be honored with a 95th birthday celebration at Meriden’s Gallery 53 next month. Bender was named to the city’s Hall of Fame last November for her long career as an artist and for efforts to promote the local arts community and Gallery 53. The event, by invitation only, will be at Gallery 53 on Oct. 14 from 2-5 p.m.

We didn’t like this week

Wallingford’s “antiquated” payroll process was the focus during a recent Town Council discussion. The administration is proposing hiring a second payroll clerk and councilors again raised the issue of a system of direct deposit. The town is one of few municipalities, and employers in general, that don’t offer direct deposit. Councilor Jason Zandri pointed out that clerks still have to manually input information from time cards into a computer system.    

Democrats won’t be attending the Southington Chamber of Commerce Town Council Candidate Forum next month because they say the forum is slanted against their party. Republicans said they’ll be at the Oct. 19 event and are eager to take questions from the public. Edward Pocock III, a Democrat running for Town Council, described Southington Chamber of Commerce CEO Barbara Hekeler as “clearly partisan.” Hekeler did not return calls for comment this week.  

An exhaust pipe on a smoker started a fire that damaged the roof and walls at Filipek’s meat company in Meriden. The owners of the longtime business could not be reached for comment. No one was injured. The fire was ruled accidental. 

The Wallingford fire marshal’s office continued to investigate the cause of a fire at a trash facility that sent foul-smelling smoke over several towns over the weekend. The smell was also reported in Meriden and Berlin. No one was injured, but the South Cherry Street facility suffered extensive damage. It’s operated by Country Disposal Systems and was the site of a trash to energy plant operated by Covanta. 


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