Thursday, March 9, 2023

YOUR MOVE. Chess improves concentration while helping develop logical thinking, abstract reasoning and spatial intelligence skills. Plus it’s fun, which is why Room 210 at Bennet fills up on Tuesday afternoons for Mr. Green’s chess club. We joined them this week and have photos below, as well as a report from a statewide high school chess team tournament that was held at MHS last weekend.

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Budget season is in full swing, as last night the Board of Directors held the first in a series of workshops as they evaluate a proposed $233.2 million town spending plan for fiscal year 2023-24 that is $12.1 million -- or 5.49% more -- than the current year.

Last night's workshop focused on the BoE, which is seeking a 4.81% increase for next year. To watch a replay click here.

There's a public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. next Tuesday in Lincoln Center and the BoD is expected to adopt a final budget on April 11. For more on the budget development process and timelines click here.

More BoE news:

  • The next BoE meeting is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. in Lincoln Center and the agenda will include a winter data update.
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International Women's Day

Yesterday was International Women's Day. Celebrated in many countries around the world, it's a day when women "are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political."

Mind Games

The Bennet Chess Club is in its second year and has become a hotbed for competition, camaraderie and thinking.
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Over 20 Bennet Academy students competed on a dozen boards Tuesday in Mr. Green's room.
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Music Matters

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More School Notes


  • The MHS Class of '23 is selling fun novelty socks to help keep the costs down for students to attend the prom and Senior Class picnic; the details are here.
  • Project Graduation has a Munson's Chocolates fundraiser. Here's the link to order and to see the flier with more information click here.
  • Purchase your lawn sign to honor an MHS senior by April 30 by clicking here.
  • You can help the MHS Class of '23 by purchasing Red Hawk merch by March 17. Here's how.


  • Manchester High's Sock 'n Buskin Drama Club's production of Footloose will hit the Bailey Auditorium stage March 23, 24 and 25 and you can help by clicking this link and purchasing an advertisement in the program.

The Week Ahead

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Thursday, March 9

8:30 - 10:30 a.m. -- ESS hiring event for support staff in Manchester Public Schools at Bennet Academy.
2:30 - 6 p.m. -- Manchester Teen Center is open, 63 Linden St.

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. -- FY24 Budget Workshop #2, at Lincoln Center

Friday, March 10

10 a.m. - noon -- PreSchool playgroup at Mary Cheney Library.
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. -- Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery opening reception at Manchester Community College.
6 - 8 p.m. -- Family Game Show at Nathan Hale Activity Center, 160 Spruce St.

Saturday, March 11
10 - 2 p.m. -- 2nd Saturday open house at WORK_SPACE, 901 Main St.
10 a.m. - noon -- Polish food sale at St. John’s Polish National Church, 23 Golway St.
2 p.m. -- Puzzle Off (registration required) at Whiton library.

Sunday, March 12
2 a.m. --
Daylight Savings Time begins.
1 - 4 p.m. -- Cheney Homestead open house, 106 Hartford Rd.

Monday, March 13
9:30 - 10:15 a.m. --
Early Spring Storytime at Mary Cheney Library.

10:30 - 11:15 a.m. -- Storytime at Whiton Library.
6 - 8 p.m. -- Songwriters Group meeting at WORK_SPACE, 901 Main St.
7 p.m. -- BOE meeting at Lincoln Center.
7 p.m. -- Manchester Garden Club hosts “Stone in the Garden” speaker Andrew Pighills at Assumption Church, 27 Adams St.

Tuesday, March 14
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. --
FY24 Public Hearing at Lincoln Center.
7 p.m. -- BoD meeting, at Lincoln Center.

Wednesday, March 15
9:30 - 10:15 a.m. --
Early Spring Storytime at Mary Cheney Library.
12:30 - 6 p.m. -- Manchester Teen Center is open, 63 Linden St.
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. -- FY24 Budget Workshop #3, at Lincoln Center.
6 p.m. -- Calligraphy class with Calligrapher Debby Reelitz at Whiton Library.

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  • The musical play 'Moments with Paul’ honoring the life of Paul Robeson is at Cheney Hall March 10 and 11.

  • March 15 is the last day to submit feedback on Manchester NEXT.

  • LTM is introducing the first-ever Manchester Playwright Festival. Submissions are due March 15.

  • The Youth Services Bureau has a bunch of programs for kids of all ages. Click here to find out what, where and when.

  • The 2023 Household Hazardous Waste collection schedule is out and it includes a special Wednesday afternoon session this year. Click here to see the full schedule.

  • Spring thoughts: Yard waste collection resumes March 20.

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Local Author Has New Book Out

Susan Vanriel-Smith, who was featured in our ‘Humans of Manchester’ gallery two years ago, has another book out. “Different but Special’ is about a young boy on the autism spectrum and you can learn more about it here.

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News and Newsletters

Manchester Historical Society: Learn about MIT’s first female graduate and her student Margaret Swan Cheney; The Cheney Homestead will be open on Sunday Bettylou Sandy and Dennis Gleeson will present a program of history about the Cheney family and silk empire on March 19; the sixth of 23 history hikes will take place on March 18 and will focus on the Hollywood section of town.

The MACC Minute: Help MACC reach its goal of 50 meals during MACC’s 50th Anniversary throughout 2023; check in with Chef Ferdinand and volunteer Ethan; the pantry is in need of toiletries, cleaning items, paper products, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc; and community service hours for school (or just to help others) is available.

Manchester Matters: Board meetings and budget workshop schedule; no-cost income tax assistance is available; there will be a newcomer’s meeting open to Manchester residents 60+ in the Senior Center Library on March 15; Manchester’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is looking for more volunteers to join their ongoing efforts to keep the community safe - and more in this week’s edition. Click here for a free subscription.


  • The Manchester Brotherhood in Action (BIA) is fundraising to help two local families with medical bills for children who have serious health issues. Click here to learn more.
  • Manchester NEXT, the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, is now available for review there's more info here.
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Manchester High freshman Samiya Eady (pictured at the LL meet in February) placed 13th in the 300m event last Saturday at the New England Indoor Track & Field championship in Boston. Samiya's time of 41.22 was a personal best, which allowed her to qualify for this Saturday's national meet at the Armory in New York City.
  • Signs of spring: a little more daylight each day, temperatures (slowly) rising and Manchester High baseball and softball pitchers and catchers reporting this Saturday and Monday respectively..
  • The Jr. Shockers Basketball Academy for players age 5 through high school starts March 13. Training days are Monday and Wednesday at East Catholic High School and you can sign up by clicking this link
MHS was the site of last weekend's Connecticut State Chess Association statewide tournament and you can read all about it here.
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Members of the MHS Chess club are (clockwise from bottom left) Brody Roberts (grade 9), Tai Phillipe-Harris (12), Rashad Watt (11), Brian Truong (9), Ronald Clayton (12), Parag Joshi (MHS Chess Club Advisor), Tony Sengchanthong (11), Matt Baumberger (10), Ann Sengchanthong (9), Isaac Cooke (11) and Chris Sta Cruz (9). Not pictured are other tourney players Azan Dalal (9) and Khileoh Wolcott (11).

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