We liked this week
Meriden’s Memorial Day parade Monday finished at the Meriden Green, where the public gathered at the amphitheater for a ceremony and speeches by veterans and city officials. Mayor Kevin Scarpati reminded people to remember not only on Memorial Day, but every day, all that was sacrificed so that Americans could enjoy “days like today.”
Hundreds of people gathered for the annual Memorial Day parade and observance ceremony Monday at Wallingford’s Dutton Park. Veteran Services Officer George Messier said the annual remembrance allows people to “draw courage and hope and inspiration from those who have already given us all they had to give.”
During Cheshire’s Memorial Day observances Sunday, American Legion Chaplain Randy Tapp gave a benediction, calling for those present to never forget the sacrifices that have been made for their freedom.
Widespread turnover brought on by Meriden’s retirement incentive program is continuing to unfold as officials work to fill several key positions. Fifty-eight employees took the incentive, including some longtime department heads and supervisors. The city recently hired a new purchasing officer to replace Wilma Petro, who is scheduled to retire after more than 23 years with the city, and is “very close” to hiring a new director of library services to replace Karen Roesler, scheduled to retire after more than 26 years.
Panther Pride was on display Tuesday when members of Sandy Hook Promise presented Meriden’s Platt High School with a national award for its student-led school safety initiatives. Sandy Hook Promise was started by family members of those killed in the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown.
The Main Street Community Foundation in Southington has awarded more than $300,000 to local groups from the Bradley Henry Barnes and Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust. The largest grant was $200,000 to the Southington-Cheshire YMCA’s Save Sloper Pond project, for dredging and other work to keep the pond healthy and useable for Camp Sloper.
At its annual campaign ceremony Wednesday night, the United Way of Meriden and Wallingford gave out around 40 awards. Burns & McDonnell was the largest donor during this year’s campaign, with $126,444 given so far. The second-largest donor was Ulbrich Stainless Steels, which gave $57,611, followed by Webster Bank’s $38,142 donation.
Southington town leaders hope voters will support the purchase of the John Weichsel Municipal Center for just under $3 million, an issue that could be on the ballot in November. The town has leased the former North Center School for the past eight years for town and Board of Education offices.
Connie Sperlazza, a paraeducator at E.C. Stevens Elementary School, was recently named the Wallingford Public Schools Paraeducator of the Year. She’s been at Stevens since 2004, working alongside teachers, often giving students one-on-one support with academics and behavior.
Downtown Meriden residents enjoyed a cookout with members of the Police Department’s Neighborhood Initiative Unit last weekend as part of an ongoing effort to increase relationships between residents and officers.
We didn’t like this week
An automated horn system installed at the Cooper Street rail crossing in Meriden blares so loudly when trains pass at night that nearby residents have complained. However, state transportation officials say they are seeking ways to “tweak” the horns to make them less intrusive.