We liked this week
Gov. Ned Lamont called for an investigation of the state’s two largest electric utility companies Wednesday as hundreds of thousands of residents remained without power a day after Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through the state. Lamont asked the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to look into Eversource and United Illuminating and find out why they were not prepared for a quicker response, calling their power restoration efforts “wholly inadequate.”
For the second day in a row, there have been no new COVID-19-associated deaths in Connecticut, according to data released on Wednesday. It also marked the sixth day in the past month that no new deaths were reported. Meanwhile, the state’s infection rate continues to hover just below 1 percent. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Monday that Connecticut is currently “in a good place” because the state’s baseline rate of infections continues to remain very low.
The federal government’s investment of up to $4 billion in two Connecticut companies to test and manufacture vaccine is part of a national race to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority announced up to $2.1 billion in funding for Sanofi and GSK to develop, test and manufacture up to a million doses of vaccine. Product development comes from a collaboration of Sanofi sites, including Protein Sciences in Meriden.
State legislators learned that Connecticut’s coffers have swelled, not shrunk, since the pandemic began. And Tuesday, they learned things have gotten even rosier — they’re just not sure by how much. Receipts from a key subset of the state income tax were running $175 million ahead of expectations Tuesday based on an ongoing review of filings since the July 15 deadline.
Wallingford Public Works crews installed two absentee ballot drop boxes outside Town Hall Monday, after a back-and-forth between the mayor and the state about drop box accessibility for next Tuesday ’s primary election. One drop box was installed near the front steps of Town Hall and the other by the carriage house, which is the brown brick building behind Town Hall on Prince Street.
The Meriden City Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday night expressing support and gratitude for the police department while making clear that reforms under consideration are not meant as an indictment of the department. In response to the death of George Floyd and the protests locally and nationwide that followed, the council’s Democratic caucus in June introduced a resolution with nine wide-ranging initiatives designed to improve racial equity in city government. The resolution, which is still pending final approval, had three items specific to the police department.
As the pandemic continues, more people are participating in outdoor activities, including hiking. As a way to make the hiking experience at Hubbard Park more enjoyable, the Parks and Recreation Department, along with the Meriden Police Department and the Meriden Police Cadets, marked some of the trails. The effort was partly prompted by feedback from the public about the lack of trail markings.
After working in committees for the last few months, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference put out an 11-page plan that allows schools to return to action in all sports. All teams will play fewer games, closer to home, under the plan. Football teams will be limited to six games, with no Thanksgiving contests. The CIAC also wants schools to come up with a COVID-19 Advisory Committee to address health and safety issues.We didn’t like this week
Connecticut, a state with no significant history of voting by mail, has temporarily loosened its restrictive absentee ballot rules for the Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 3 general election, a measure designed to allow voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, voters are complaining of unexplained delays in receiving their ballots from a bulk mail company hired by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s office, and candidates have been hearing from anxious supporters.