Editorial (opinion): Thumbs up to new hope for UConn football

UConn hired former UCLA coach Jim Mora, who also coached two NFL teams, to lead the Huskies.

UConn hired former UCLA coach Jim Mora, who also coached two NFL teams, to lead the Huskies.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Thumbs up to a fresh start for University of Connecticut football. The school hired former NFL coach Jim Mora to lead its beleaguered football team, which was predictably demolished by perennial power Clemson over the weekend as part of yet another desultory season. UConn doesn’t need to be great, but something other than a national laughingstock would be a big step up and help justify the state’s investment in big-time college football. By hiring a proven winner, albeit one who has been out of the game for a few years, UConn at least has a chance to reinject some fan interest into the program, which has been lacking in recent years.

Thumbs up to a win in court against Alex Jones. The conspiracy theorist who claimed for years that the Sandy Hook massacre was fake was found to have defamed the families of victims in a default ruling announced by a Superior Court judge on Monday. Combined with three previous rulings in Texas, the families of 10 Sandy Hook victims have now won victories in four defamation lawsuits against the host of the show “Infowars.” It’s incalculable the pain that Jones and his followers have added to that already suffered by the victims’ families for an unimaginable loss, but the best hope is that the rulings will stop others from acting in a similarly harmful manner in the future.

Thumbs down to another example of an outdated election rule. Darien Democrat Tara Ochman lost her race against Republican First Selectman-elect Monica McNally, but collected enough votes to earn the consolation prize — a seat on the board. She is now “resigning” from the position, which four other people ran for. Board members will now go through a process to appoint a replacement. Longtime town Counsel John Fox said he could not recall this happening in Darien in the past, but it has occurred in other towns, including Greenwich. Municipalities like to stick to traditions, but this was a bad one to begin with.

Thumbs down to thefts at grocery stores. After a video of thieves blatantly filling their vehicles with stolen goods at an Oxford grocery store last week, officials are saying such incidents are becoming more common. With the price of consumer goods rising in the post-pandemic economy, staples such as laundry detergent, which featured prominently in the Oxford video, are among the commonly stolen items because they’re easy to sell on the black market at prices cheaper than they can be found in a store. Onlookers who witness thefts are urged not to interfere, but to alert authorities.

Thumbs down to the planned dissolution of GE. The conglomerate’s departure from Connecticut in 2016 continues to reverberate five years later, but now the company itself is due for a major change. GE announced recently it would split into three separate publicly traded companies, ending an era in which it first dominated various businesses and then struggled to keep its many parts moving in the same direction. GE’s move to Boston was taken as a sign by some that Connecticut can’t compete for big companies’ interest, but the intervening years have shown plenty of businesses still want to make a home here.

Thumbs down to Connecticut’s failure to keep pace with cybersecurity needs. The workforce in the field grew by just 1 percent between 2015 and 2020. Not only is that the seventh slowest rate in the nation, but new data suggests the state’s cybersecurity workforce got even smaller in the past year. It’s not a problem anyone should dismiss, as the consequences put private information at risk. For students considering fields of interest for their careers, it’s worth noting that the mean wage for information security experts in Connecticut in 2020 was $103,000.