The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Thumbs up, thumbs down
3Thumbs up to a poll of Connecticut residents who favored boosting affordable housing options in the state. Though several towns have grabbed a lot of attention for demanding affordable housing decisions remain local, only 39 percent of the people surveyed took that position. Additionally, 73 percent of registered voters who were surveyed agreed there should be affordable housing options in every municipality. The issue is more nuanced than any survey could cover, and this one was conducted by housing advocates, but it’s a reminder that the issue isn’t going away just because some state residents don’t want affordable housing in their neighborhoods.
4Thumbs down to an unacceptable rise in the number of students in Connecticut experiencing homelessness. That number should be zero, and anything higher than that should be too high, but unfortunately that’s not the world we live in. The Connecticut Department of Education said it is expecting a 25 percent increase of students experiencing homelessness this school year, which could mark the highest number of students without stable housing since 2017. That could mean up to 5,000 students in the state who are seeing instability in their housing situation, which is detrimental for all kinds of reasons. Children can’t control where they live, but they do pay the price. It’s up to everyone to see this problem is solved.
3Thumbs up to a streak like no other. For three decades, the UConn women’s basketball team went without back-to-back losses. That’s 30 years of consistency, a run of excellence that is unheard of in today’s world. For reference, it’s not uncommon for great teams to lose back-to-back games, even a few times a season. With the increasing competition of women’s basketball, there are more teams than ever that can win on a given day. Still, through all those players and all those years, UConn always followed a (rare) loss with a win. That streak ended this year with losses to No. 1 South Carolina and then on the road to Marquette. Its like may never be seen again.
3Thumbs up to the legacy of Giving Day, which is take place for the last time on Feb. 23. The 24-hour event, hosted by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, has raised $13.75 million for nonprofits since it kicked off in 2014. The foundation is transitioning to new methods to “building authentic relationships with community organizations.” There were aspects of the campaign that didn’t suit every cause, but we appreciated that it spotlighted a day to consider the breadth of needs and services throughout the area.
4Thumbs down to guns found during security screenings at regional airports. The five guns found at Bradley International Airport in 2022 were four fewer then showed up in security checks the previous year, but no passengers should be packing guns and expecting to fly. Burlington International in Vermont reported no firearms last year, proving it is possible. A regional increase over the COVID peaks of 2020-21 would not be significant, but a record total of 46 guns were found at the New England airports in 2022, three more than the previous high from 2018. The good news is that the weapons were found. The bad news is that people still don’t get the message not to pack guns for a flight.