EDITORIAL: 7 things we liked this week, one we didn’t

EDITORIAL: 7 things we liked this week, one we didn’t

We liked this week

The Meriden City Council’s Finance Committee approved bonding an additional $124,999 for a banquet facility at the city-owned Hunter Golf Course. The committee voted 3-2 to raise the project’s total bond authorization from the $875,000 the council approved earlier this year to just under $1 million. The additional money needs approval from the full City Council. The decision to increase the project’s budget came after seeing the facility that would result from the original budget, which some described as a “metal shed” that wouldn’t complement Violi’s Restaurant at the golf course or reflect well on the city.

The construction of a new concrete water tower on Mill Street in Southington reached another milestone this week when crews poured what will be the 65-foot-tall structure’s roof. Bill Casarella, superintendent of the Southington Water Department, expects the tower will be substantially completed this fall, but said it most likely will not be turned on to the town’s water system until the spring. The tank will be large enough to hold two million gallons of water, replacing the two one-million gallon steel tanks that have long supplied the area with water.

Police got some unexpected help in the search for a motorcyclist who fled the scene of a crash Monday afternoon, with three sketches given to officers by local children. After a motorcycle crashed into a guardrail in the area of 501 Berlin Turnpike, the motorcycle driver ran into the woods and evaded a police search that included the use of police dogs. While officers were searching the area, three children approached and handed them the drawings. “We just thought it was great these kids felt comfortable to come up to the officers ... it reinforces all the work we’re doing in the community is paying off,” said Berlin Deputy Police Chief Christopher Ciuci.

A pilot program in Connecticut aims to give treatment to people accused of low-level offenses and who are homeless or have mental illness. The goal is to reduce the burden on the courts and find more appropriate outcomes for those struggling with addiction or other mental health issues. “If you ask most prosecutors the most difficult part of their job is the criminal justice system is the last stop on the mental health track,” Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor told the Associated Press..

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights plans to investigate a state policy that allows high school transgender athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify. A complaint filed in June contends that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference policy on transgender athlete participation violates Title IX. This is an issue of fairness that needs to be more fully explored.

Nine-year-old Lorenzo Pragan, of Meriden, spent more than three weeks honing his craft of taekwondo in South Korea. Pragano, who took the trip with his mother, Renata, placed third in the black belt division at the KimunYong Cup International Open in Seoul, then visited different schools in the country to work with different taekwondo masters. “He would train eight to 10 hours a day and every few days he would go to a different city. It was a great experience for him,” Pragano’s father, Anthony, said.

South Meriden is the champion after routing Ed Walsh 20-1 in a winner-take-all finale on Thursday evening at Habershon Park to take the Meriden City Series in Little League baseball.

We didn’t like this week

It’s certainly worth supporting that raising the University of Connecticut’s status as a top research institution is among the priorities for Thomas Katsouleas. UConn’s new president has a plan to double research spending in the next decade. But Katsouleas has warned that unfunded pension liability could work against attracting and keeping top researchers — and that’s a significant worry.