1. You’ll need your umbrella today! Weather.com is predicting heavy rain and wind and the afternoon promises to be particularly drenching with an inch or more of rain expected. It’s going to be cool too, with a high of just 62 degrees and an overnight low of 60 degrees. Rain may taper off later in the evening but showers are likely overnight.
2. If it’s fall it must be football--but though new multipurpose field is looking good, with new stands and freshly painted lines on the brand new artificial turf, the Lancers won’t be playing on it anytime soon. Though the team is no doubt eager to test drive the newly laid FieldTurf, school officials have reluctantly decided that both the Homecoming game and the Thanksgiving game will have to be played away.
After a long meeting with Waterford’s Chief of Police, School Superintendent Jerome Belair said that safety concerns drove the decision. Although the field will be ready, the construction site poses a number of potential hazards and, at the moment, only two roads are open for traffic to and from the athletic field.
To organize the event would require at least 100 volunteers and a number of Waterford police officers and the chief worried that they would not be able to set up an effective communication system in time for the event, Belair said. The big games often draw anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 people but not knowing exactly how many people will show up on game day makes it difficult to plan for security and parking, he added.
“I don’t see any benefit to rush with this,” said Belair. “Although it’s disappointing, I think we need to err on the side of caution.”
If you want to cheer for the Lancers, however, you won’t have to travel far. The Homecoming Game against rival Killingly High School will be played at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London at 7:30 p.m. on October 28, which is Homecoming Weekend.
The Thanksgiving game will be hosted by East Lyme High School, which means the Lancers will be going back into enemy territory for the second year in a row. Belair said they had considered the possibility of playing that game at the Coast Guard Academy, but it was cost prohibitive.
“I’m disappointed,” said Board of Education member Jody-Marie Nazarchyk. “But I understand.”
3. The Ethics Commission meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. to discuss possible changes to Waterford’s Code of Ethics. After reviewing ethics codes from other municipalities, the Commission decided that Waterford’s could be stronger and set out to rewrite the introduction. The goal was to strengthen the language but at the last Representative Town Meeting, members sent the draft back with concerns that the new wording left too much room for interpretation.
The original document, which was written in 1993, states that the code of ethics applies to “public officials” and “town officials.” The revised version, however, refers more vaguely to “representatives.” “I would suggest that representatives be defined,” advised Town Attorney Robert Avena.
Many members of the RTM, meanwhile, wondered why the changes were necessary in the first place. “We were ethical but now we need to be more ethical? I didn’t think there were degrees of ethics,” said RTM member Teresa Wilensky.
Although it hasn’t been used often, the current document has passed legal muster in past ethics cases. “We do have a working ordinance,” Avena said, adding that the proposed changes were really “gloss on the lily.”
John Sheehan, who helped write the, suggested that Waterford’s Ethics Commission may be struggling with the fact that, unlike some other municipalities, the commission doesn’t have any punitive powers. It is only empowered to investigate, report, and recommend a course of action, “hence it’s considered weak,” Sheehan said.
4. Feeling fit? Want to? This is the week for seniors to register for fitness classes at Waterford Community Center. The classes, which run for 16 weeks starting on October 31, include yoga, flexibility and balance, hearty moves, strength training chair yoga, P.A.C.E., and Get Up & Go. Tai Chi is offered for six week sessions.
If you register today, you might consider doing it around lunchtime. A special Oktoberfest Luncheon is being held at noon, including traditional German food and entertainment, all for $6. To find out more about senior services, call (860) 444-5839.
5. On this day in 1781, British General Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, ending the final major battle of the American Revolution.
Quote of the Day
“In law a man is guilty if he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.”
Trivia of the Day
Who is the only head coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowl championships within four years?
Yesterday’s Answer: Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden