There Seems to be a Lull in the Action

Frankly, there's not a lot going on in the State House lately.

Since the House finished its version of the budget three weeks ago, little has happened.

The Senate won't take up the budget until next week. So there's no news, good or bad, for people, organizations, cities and towns, school districts and anyone or anything else that relies on state money.

So all those folks are lobbying the Senators. Giving representatives a break after our all day and into the night budget deliberations for two weeks.

As I write, there's been only two formal sessions of the House since we completed budget week. Formal meaning sessions when any action takes place. At one, there was just one vote-a land taking. I can't even tell you where, but it required a vote.

There's been some official duties-graduation at Westfield State. In the soaking rain and freezing temperatures. Bad weather for the first time most anyone could remember. A welcome to the troops from the 104th Army National Guard who returned from the Balkans. Legislative reception at the Carson Center for the brain injury program.

I did get to meet and greet Vice President Cheney when he visited. The woman's caucus met once. And I met with the Noble Hospital board of directors and officers to share the bad news that the House really had done little for hospitals, despite the knowledge that more and more hospitals are in financial trouble in this state.

I've had time to get the carpet cleaned, the fender repaired, even spend time with roto-rooter, things like that.

So I took a vacation. That's right. A week off, with my husband, where nobody knows my name. Or, my job. Sometimes you just need a break.

Now, that meant missing Westfield's Memorial Day parade, one of the highlights of the year and an event I haven't missed in any of my eight years in office. I also had to turn down the offer to speak, once again, at the Montgomery ceremonies.

Although the legislative year is incredibly slow this month, there are a lot of things to look forward to as spring winds down and summer begins. Things in addition to completion of the budget. Which might be fall.

Westfield, for example, will host the first ever Latino Festival, sponsored by the Spanish American Union, in Stanley Park on Fathers Day.

Tomorrow, St. Joseph's Parish is having an interesting fundraiser, for its youth program. It's a new idea-a parcel post auction. Parishioners and others in the city mailed in items, which will be auctioned off just as they arrived in the mail. So, you don't know what you might be buying. It's at noon in the parish hall if you want to attend.

Stanley Park is gearing up for its summer series-cruiser nights, carillon concerts, Sunday might concerts. Get the complete schedule at www.stanleypark.org or just call the office.

Barbara Braem may, officially, be a vice president at Woronoco Savings Bank. Unofficially, she is this city's cheerleader! Right now, she's making sure that everyone shows up for "Magical Moments," a summer series in Amelia's Garden. Remember, 6 p.m. every Tuesday beginning next Tuesday. Except July 3rd, which is a Wednesday. Call her at the bank if you'd like your own copy of the schedule.

Which leads me to July 4th-and two parades in Westfield. At 10 a.m. in Hampton Ponds and 6 p.m. in Wyben. Fireworks in Stanley Park. Hartford Symphony on July 3rd, with the 1812 Overture to accompany the fireworks. But that's next month! And there's a lot more yet to come this month.

For now…just remember that I'll be holding office hours this coming Monday, 9 to 11 a.m. at the Westfield Boys and Girls Club.

Meanwhile, I'll be waiting for Mother Robin who built her nest in the hanging geranium next to my kitchen's sliding door to hatch her eggs (two, I think).

I'll be watching the new 25 by 15-foot flag fly over the green (I've promised to buy my fifth flag for the city when this one wears out). Big thanks to the fire department for hanging it for me.

And I'm retrieving all my keys from Big Y (their Loss Prevention Department wrote to say they found them and tracked me down through my key tag number they gave me in 1991). Nice work!

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