LETTERS: Family leave, Bulky waste pickup, Local Christmas celebrations

Paid family leave needed


My wife and I welcomed our first child, our daughter, in December 2017. As my wife had a long labor followed by a C-section, she was unable to lift our daughter for the first six weeks. During those critical first months of bonding and caretaking, I was the primary caretaker for both my wife and new daughter.

My wife and I were blessed and privileged to have had access to a combination of paid and unpaid leave to cover our expenses during that time. We live in a society today where two incomes are often needed to make ends meet, and so it is critical for both mothers and fathers to have access to paid family leave. I can’t imagine trying to do this without any paid leave, as a single parent or on minimum wage, but that is the unfair reality today for many of Connecticut’s families.

The economic and social life of our state relies heavily on our ability to attract and retain young adults and families. Today, each of our neighboring states — New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey — is leading the way with public Paid Family & Medical Leave programs. It’s time for Connecticut to catch up so all our families can succeed, stay healthy, and remain independent.

Paid family and medical leave is an incredibly important investment toward making sure Connecticut is a great place to live. I urge our legislators to get it done this year.

Scott D. Friedman, North Haven

The real bulky waste?

The City of Meriden is instituting a new bulky waste program whereby one can pay a fee of $10, make an appointment and have 5 items picked up at your curbside. This sounds like a great deal until one considers that many years ago, it was free. Is this another way to nickel and dime taxpayers? Remember, come election time, we taxpayers get to rid City Hall of the real bulky waste.

T. Jenkins, Meriden

A Christmas letdown


What a wonderful 2018 Christmas in Wallingford, starting with our stroll, all our Wallingford merchants chipped in to make it wonderful. Then we had all our community welcoming Santa at the Town Hall. Music, games, free goodies, for the youngsters gathering with their loved ones to greet Jolly St. Nick. Then, a beautiful “Frosty Parade” to the town green for an ole fashion singalong and the lighting of our hometown Christmas tree.

Back uptown all the beautiful lights on Main St., all the houses all aglow. Then we reached good ole “Dutton Park.” Are You Kidding Me, what a letdown, Henry you call that a Christmas Tree, even Charlie Brown’s tree was better than that.

Once again, the Tree man let us down.

Charles Kelman, Wallingford

It takes a village

On behalf of South Meriden Festivals Inc. (SMFI) we would like to thank all those who participated in Christmas in the Village (CITV) in December. As a long-standing volunteer-driven event, we work hard to make this South Meriden gathering one that people, especially families, will enjoy.

SMFI also hosts the annual South Meriden Car Show where the profits ensure that CITV is free to all. We are responsible for the flags, flower pots and wreaths along Main Street throughout the year.

During CITV we collect food, coats, books and even prom dresses that are redistributed within Meriden. Combining food, fun, family and friends with traditional favorite foods and new activities makes for a memorable day. And having good weather helps.

This is truly is a community event and we appreciate all those who are part of this first celebration of the holiday season including nonprofits, faith-based organizations, schools, local businesses and the City of Meriden, that welcomed visitors from Meriden and beyond.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who make this free community holiday event happen, especially the 30+ students of Wilcox Tech, who assisted in almost every activity. From civic groups to residents, we appreciate the energy and enthusiasm!

Also, we are especially grateful to the residents that are personally affected by the traffic during this event. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

We are indebted to our sponsors who contribute funds and in-kind services and product. We'd be hard-pressed to host this event without their generous and continuous support.  Thank you one and all.

Please visit and like our Facebook page: Christmas in the Village in South Meriden or for more info or to get involved with CITV please contact us at southmeridenfestivals@yahoo.com.

JoAnne Grabinski, Ed Haberli, Aprill Ouellette

South Meriden Festivals Inc.


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