Friday, July 12, 2013


Letter to the editor as published in the Record Journal Friday July 12, 2013

Editor: It was Saturday, July 6th. A hot summer night, clear with no rain in sight. And then they began. The town of Wallingford’s sky was lit up with a super spectacular fireworks display. Seeing the colors paint the sky, feeling that boom inside you, seeing the smiles and glee on the children’s faces, feeling patriotic for the love of our country — that’s what it is all about. All this made possible for the Town of Wallingford by the tireless efforts of Jason Zandri, all the wonderful people involved in helping through the Wallingford Fireworks Fund and all the generous contributions from caring people and organizations.

This was the 4th year that this effort to give the town of Wallingford an awesome fireworks display was successful to keep an ageless joy and tradition alive. No money was allocated for fireworks in the Wallingford town budget, not for the fireworks, the police overtime, the fire department overtime or any of the other town services; the entire burden was on the fund to come through with the money and they did in spades as they were able to restore the R Band performance and add to the show’s grand finale. Jason and his effort through the fund saw to it that the children and adults of Wallingford had the thrill of watching the sky sing “happy birthday” to America. It was all grand and the grand finale was second to none. Blasting away on a hot summer’s night, beautiful fireworks, colorful and bright.

Many thanks.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

See you on the grounds of Sheehan High School and at your Wallingford Fireworks celebration; 237 years of independence. Happy Birthday America.




Campus at Greenhill 2013 Wallingford Fireworks Independence Day Celebration; gathering on the west side of town at Sheehan High School after 6PM, Saturday July 6.

I probably will not have a whole bunch of posts or updates today as we did last year when the weather looked a little iffy there for a while.

According to the latest updates there’s barely a threat of any rain.

The show starts around 9:20PM or so but I recommend getting there around 8PM for a good parking spot as well as a good place on Sheehan’s Front Lawn if you’re looking to take in the sounds of the R Band which should start playing a little after 8PM.

We will make a few quick announcements from the Wallingford ShowMobile and then go around the grounds passing out the 2013 program books as well as collecting donations for the 2014 show.

See you there.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
July 4, 2013

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

From the Editor of the Record Journal - Festive fireworks

As published in the Record Journal Wednesday July 3, 2013

Do you get fired-up over fireworks? What is it worth to you to light-up your town’s night sky to celebrate our nation’s annual Independence Day?

These questions were, in part, explored as part of yesterday’s news story focusing on whether public fireworks displays should be expendable during constricted economic times.

While some aver that “everyone” loves robust public fireworks, the reality is that such events are not each citizen’s cup of celebratory tea.

On one hand, significant crowds gather en mas se to behold the spectacle and, hopefully, renew the solemn covenant between America and her citizens. On the other, there are those who grouse vociferously that after all the sturm und dr ang of ofttimes painful municipal budget-cutting, taxpayer dollars are going up in smoke (literally) for a misguided interval of fleeting

High-end fireworks displays can be dazzling — perhaps triumphant. Less ambitious presentations may prove a tad lackluster. Quite understandably, then, if a municipality embarks upon spending, say, $25,000 to illuminate the July 4 th evening sky, it had better thrill event-goers (i.e. provide plenty of bang for the buck).

Whether publically funded by taxpayers through town budgets or paid for by dedicated efforts of private fundraising, the “show must go on” mindset is prevalent.

Fighting political wars over expenditures pales in comparison to historic wars fought for freedom. If it helps uplift spirits during difficult times while stroking passions of national pride and unity, all should avail themselves of
patriotism’s fervor.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Fourth fireworks: expendable in tough times?

As published in the Record Journal Tuesday July 2, 2013
By Kimberly Primicerio
Record-Journal staff

(203) 317-2279

WALLINGFORD - Fireworks are a Fourth of July fixture in many communities across the state. People look forward to seeing and hearing the colorful explosions in the sky on a warm summer night while with relatives and friends.

But with some municipalities dealing with difficult budgetary issues, there are often conversations about whether the fireworks shows should be publicly funded.
The city of Meriden faced a tough budget season, but it is still paying $25,000 for a July 7 fireworks show. In Wallingford, budget issues are the reason Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. doesn’t include money for fireworks in his fiscal plan. Instead Wallingford residents and private companies fund the event like they have in the past. Town officials and residents have mixed feelings on municipalities spending money on fireworks. Some say it’s a feel-good summer activity, while others think the money could be spent on more important things.
“We did it to benefit all our families that go out and see the fireworks,” Meriden City Councilor Kevin Scarpati said about the council approving $25,000 for the firework show. “We’re still being conscientious.”
Scarpati said in years past, $40,000 had been spent on fireworks, but such an amount is no longer feasible.
“We still want to have this for the residents,” he said. “We had a difficult budget year, we had to cut back, but we can still put on the fireworks for the taxpayers. It’s something they can be proud of. We didn’t want to let it go.”
More than 40 people, many Meriden residents, left comments on the Record-Journal’s Facebook page about the city paying $25,000 for a firework display. Some were in favor, but others thought spending money on fireworks wasn’t a good idea, considering the programs and jobs that were cut from the city’s budget.
Ashley Ramos said: “Priorities are all messed up. Education & kids need to come first.”
Christina Sanderson Taylor said: “The money could have gone to better use in the city. Summer program for the kids, saving Engine 3 and the schools in town just for a few examples.”
Kimberly Howe Tighe said: “Sadly I think it’s better spent elsewhere.”
And Andrew Marinelli said: “We should celebrate our nation’s independence.” Peter Verselli said: “Spend the money for the fireworks because it is for ALL the residents and not just a few.”
The city has a $185 million budget, Scarpati said. Residents pay their taxes, but don’t always see the benefits. A fireworks display shows taxpayers that they’re still cared about and that the city still does something for them.
In 2009, after Dickinson stopped allocating money for a fireworks display, Town Councilor Jason Zandri and a few others started raising money.
“When there are bad times, it’s more of a reason to have social events that are free,” Zandri said.
Fireworks and other types of free community events are the kind of things that make a town a community, Zandri said. He said if a town is in a good place financially, it should do it. “It gives off a sense of coming together,” Zandri said about the Wallingford fireworks. “It draws 10,000 people together.”
Zandri said he thought Meriden did the right thing by continuing fireworks in the city, but if the city is serious about cutting funding for the event next year, it should find a dedicated group of people willing to collect donations. The process of collecting money for such an event takes time, he said. He also pointed out that $25,000 isn’t enough money to save jobs, or even pay for the schools’ textbooks.
Privatization of the fireworks is an option that can be explored in the future, Scarpati said.
Rachel Ranis, a professor emeritus of sociology at Quinnipiac University, said Fourth of July fireworks bring people together.
“People love fireworks,” she said. “It gives them a sense of nation. They’re sharing an experience together.”
Old people and young people enjoy the event that provides everyone with joy, Ranis said. A whole community benefits from the fireworks, not just a small portion, she said.
“More people notice this,” Ranis said.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fireworks Display - from the Town of Wallingford website

As originally posted at

"In the event of inclement weather, the decision to cancel the display will be made by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Local television and radio stations will be notified of the cancellation."

We will also post it on the blog here as well.

Fireworks Display


Saturday, July 6, 2013
9:00 PM

Sheehan High School
142 Hope Hill Road
Wallingford, CT 06492

The Town of Wallingford will be hosting the Annual Fireworks Display near the grounds of Mark T. Sheehan High School on Saturday, July 6, 2013. The display is scheduled to start after 9:00 p.m. There is no rain date. In the event of inclement weather, the decision to cancel the display will be made by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Local television and radio stations will be notified of the cancellation.

Public parking will be available at Moran Middle School, Sheehan High School, Highland Elementary School, and in the paved parking lot of Our Lady of Fatima Church. Parking in fire lanes, on sidewalks, or on the grass is prohibited.

There will be no parking along Hope Hill Road and some of the side streets where posted. Through traffic on Hope Hill Road will be prohibited when all of the parking lots at the schools are full, or at 8:30 p.m., whichever comes first.

The fireworks will be visible from the grounds of any of the schools where public parking is available. Spectators should plan to arrive early; well in advance of dusk is strongly recommended.

Given the size of the crowd and the close proximity of spectators, the use of any type of fireworks, including the use of sparklers, is prohibited on any Town property. Please note that alcoholic beverages are also prohibited. In addition, the Police Department routinely receives complaints about the use of silly string and snappers by children in the crowd. Accordingly, we are requesting that parents supervise their children's activities so that the fireworks display remains an enjoyable family event.

At the conclusion of the event, there will be two NORTHBOUND lanes of traffic on Hope Hill Road from the northern most driveways of Sheehan High School and Moran Middle School to ROUTE 68. There will be two SOUTHBOUND lanes on Hope Hill Road from the southern most driveways of Sheehan High School and Moran Middle School to the intersection of PARKER FARMS ROAD. Officers will be on site directing traffic throughout the event.