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The Winsted Journal Editorial

Higher education in danger

On April 27, after several months of discussion and debate, trustees for The University of Connecticut voted to shut down its Torrington campus.

UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz cited declining enrollment as one of the reasons.

In a press release, Reitz wrote that over the past five years, fall enrollment has ranged from 177 to 249 full- and part-time students.

Reitz added that the campus “competes with other regional campuses in the area.”

Shape up or ship out

Board of Education, Watson

To say that this has not been a good week for the Winsted Board of Education, the school district, taxpayers of Winsted or the parents and students of the town’s school system is an understatement.

On May 27, a written evaluation for Superintendent of Schools Anne Watson was completed by Board of Education Chairman Susan Hoffnagle and member Douglas Pfenninger.

Gilbert School community should be proud

Board of Education Chairman Susan Hoffnagle issued a proposal for the Winchester school district to send high school students out of town during a special meeting on March 2.

Word about this plan quickly got around to parents, administrators and students of The Gilbert School. Many members of the Gilbert community — more than 200 people — attended the Board of Education’s regular meeting on March 9.

Town has more pressing needs than decorations

For many years, Christmas decorations have adorned Main Street during the holiday season.

Christmas wreaths and lights would hang from light posts, along with some Christmas flags, bringing holiday spirits to everyone.

This year, however, the town will not be participating in any merry festivities.

Rescue craft needs to be priority

In a few weeks, the town will start developing the proposed budget for fiscal 2015-2016.

As part of the process, town departments will put together a list of capital requests and purchases. The requests will be reviewed by the town’s Capital Improvement Committee and Planning and Zoning Commission before they are sent to the Board of Selectmen for consideration.

In praise of pets and the people who love them

This year’s Pet Parade will be held on Saturday, May 17, starting at 2 p.m.

The town tradition, which goes back 78 years, will include dogs, cats, birds, horses, rabbits, chickens and other pets.

Whether the pet is big or small, hairy or hairless, kept in a stall or walked with a leash, whenever a pet parade is held owners are more than proud to show off their pets.

And indeed, residents should be proud of their pets.

When you let an animal into your home, whether it is adopted or through a pet store, they all bring joy and love into your home.

You get what you (don’t) pay for

This week, the long-troubled bridge on Holabird Avenue continued to be the symbol of the town’s decaying infrastructure.

The bridge was closed to traffic on Sunday, Feb. 23, due to numerous deep potholes and rebar sticking out of some of them.

According to a Department of Transportation study, more than 3,000 vehicles travel over the bridge every day.

A project to repair the bridge is scheduled to start in 2015. While that may be something residents can look forward to next year, it is of little consolation to commuters who now have to find detours around the bridge.

Endorsements 2013: Stick with experience

The town of Winchester has had a tough year amid revelations that the municipality’s former Finance Director, Henry Centrella Jr., allegedly stole nearly $2.5 million in cash from the town, leaving the fund balance empty and the town ill-equipped to pay its bills.

Loud minority, vague message

While a solid majority of voters gave their approval to a proposed $33.7 million budget at Monday night’s annual town budget meeting, the usual small but vocal minority spoke out against the proposal. While the voices of the budget opponents were loud, their message was unclear.

Abuse of public comment period is a waste of time

After a combined 80 minutes of public comment periods in which some members of the public spent time arguing back about issues unrelated to the agenda, members of the Winchester Board of Selectmen may finally be fed up enough to lay some ground rules for audience members during their regular meetings.