EDITORIAL: 11 things we liked this week, two we didn’t

We liked this week

Wallingford’s Town Council has unanimously approved an agreement to purchase a wooded parcel of land at 79 Tyler Mill Road for $150,000. For several years the town has wanted to purchase the 2.84-acre property, which was the last privately owned property in the 1,000-acre Tyler Mill Preserve. As the Record-Journal reported, Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said the town wants the entire area to be open space.

Local libraries participated in Banned Books Week, which brings attention to censorship of literature and celebrates the freedom to read. This year’s theme was “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

Cheshire’s Town Council, in an effort to enhance transparency, is considering a plan to make every local government meeting accessible via audio or video recordings.  “We have been talking about doing everything we can to make sure we are as transparent as possible as a local government,” said Council Chair Rob Oris, at a recent meeting. 

Meriden has hired Josephine Agnello-Veley of Kensington as its new human resources director. The hire fills a spot left vacant when Robert Scalise resigned in July. Agnello-Veley has more than 30 years’ experience in human resources in both private companies and public sector jobs, including the state of Connecticut. She was selected from 54 applicants and nine semi-finalists, according to City Manager Timothy Coon. The job pays $119,000 annually.

A single-day version of the annual Celebrate Wallingford, called Celebrate on Center, took place along a stretch of Center Street east of Route 5 last Saturday. The event drew thousands, as the Record-Journal reported, with craft vendors, live bands and fair food. “Everything’s great,” said Liz Davis, executive director of Wallingford Center Inc. “Good turnout, lots of people.”

Vertical Horizon, a popular band with hits from the early 2000s, is one of the highlights of Southington’s Apple Harvest Festival. The band had been scheduled for last year’s festival, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and rolled over its contract to this year.

An event at Meriden’s Platt High School was one of many recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Students entering the school lobby were welcomed by a DJ playing upbeat Spanish music. There was also a colorful mural spotlighting Hispanic culture.

After a pedestrian was struck crossing West Main Street along the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, Southington officials will be taking a look at pedestrian safety. A new state law is intended to increase pedestrian safety by broadening where foot traffic has a right of way. Drivers must now yield to pedestrians who are within any part of the crosswalk or who show that they intend to cross the road.

Volunteers recently renovated the Southington home of a former Marine, who has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, thanks to the efforts of the nonprofit House of Heroes. The state chapter of the organization has worked on 152 homes, raises money for supplies, and organizes volunteers.

The Academy of Dance and Music, in Wallingford, recently celebrated its 65th anniversary, and a tradition of seeing many generations of the same family attend the school. Along with dance, the school offers private music lessons focusing on voice and piano.

A drive-thru birthday celebration in Southington brought recognition to Walter Hushak, who served as a bomber pilot in the Second World War and remained in the service for 27 years. He also served on the Southington Town Council from 1977 to 1981, and was a coordinator for Wings of Freedom, in which military aircraft are taken on tours around the country.

We didn’t like this week

Rising food prices are frustrating restaurant customers, but local owners say they’re faced increasing costs across the board as well as fewer customers than before the onset of the pandemic. “It’s brutal right now,”  said Jose Delgado, who with his father owns Flair Restaurant & Bar on Main Street in Southington. “For the last year, it’s been going higher.”

Though the region has the highest vaccination rates in the nation, New England is still experiencing the impact of the delta variant of COVID-19. As the Associated Press reported, parts of New England are experiencing record case counts, hospitalizations and deaths, mostly among the unvaccinated.


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