Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021

"NO CHRISTMAS TREE, NO CHRISTMAS TREE ..." For more than 40 years the Eighth Utilities District has been selling trees and they never before sold out this early. But on Tuesday night the last of about 500 trees was carted away, a full 18 days before Christmas. In other arbor news, the town completed its leaf collection last Saturday, wrapping up its work in just 22 days this year, which is about as fast as it can be done. We have more below as well as lots of other news, notes and photos. Want to subscribe to OneManchester? Just click here.
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Trees and Leaves

Don Moore, assistant fire chief, said the Eighth District normally gets about 700 trees shipped from Vermont but this year got approximately 500 (including about a dozen 14 footers, which sold for $125 each compared $45 for the others). Moore said some years a couple dozen might go unsold or maybe just a Charlie Brown tree would be left on the lot but not this year. “Everything’s gone.” As for the leaves, collection usually takes 26 or so days, although an early snowfall can delay things even more. This year Area 1 went especially fast because not all the leaves had fallen and decent weather kept things moving quickly.

But There's Always McKee Street

These are tough times. Not everyone will have a live tree in their home this year, let alone presents beneath it. But there are lots of beautiful holiday lighting displays to enjoy, including this local favorite:
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District PJ Day Is Tomorrow

For the past six years the district has held a PJ Day to benefit the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, with the campaign raising more than $22,000 over that span. This year’s event is Friday, and this flier has the details. The photo at right was taken last year.

In The News

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  • Monday's BoE meeting included a fall data review. You can watch a reply on the district FB page
  • That's MHS student Kyle Zingler (of the Gentle Love Diaper Pantry) and Latasha Easterling-Turnquest (Chief of Family Partnership & Student Engagement of the school district) alongside Holiday Bundles (diapers, wipes, books, toys and more) being given this season to our families in need.
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Classroom Snapshots

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At left, fourth graders at Martin School are figuring out Morse code in the library before moving on to more complicated computer coding; at right, students in Wendy Turek-Hernandez's Science Research class at MHS work on their independent projects.
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Shakir has been with the department for just a short period of time "but is already making a big difference,” says Heather Włochowski, director of the YSB. To learn more visit the gallery on Facebook or Instagram (and we also have a version that's translatable here).

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The Week Ahead

Thursday, Dec. 9

7:30 p.m. -- A Christmas Carol at Cheney Hall.

Friday, Dec. 10

6 p.m. -- Fireside reading of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Cheney Homestead, 106 Hartford Rd.

6 p.m. -- Drop and Shop for children 3 -10 at Lutz Children’s Museum.

6:30 - 7:30 p.m. -- Yoga for Food at the Community Y.

Saturday, Dec. 11

9 - noon -- Christmas Polish food sale at St. John’s Church, 23 Golway St.

9 a.m -- Daycare provider First Aid and Heart Saver CPR Hybrid at 75 Center St.

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. -- Second Saturday open houses at WORK_SPACE, 903 Main St.

Noon - 1 p.m. -- Swim with Santa at the Manchester High IOH pool.

Sunday, Dec. 12
9 a.m. -- Basic Life Support class at Manchester Fire Dept. 75 Center St.

Noon -- Eric Mintel Quartet presents Charlie Brown Jazz at Cheney Hall.

Noon - 4 p.m. -- Mead Workshop at Cheney Homestead, 106 Hartford Rd.

1 - 4 p.m. -- Cheney Homestead open house, 106 Main St.

Monday, Dec. 13
9 a.m. - noon -- Five Senses Friendly Mondays at the Lutz, 247 Main St.

6 - 8 p.m. -- Holiday gift wrapping party at Mary Cheney Library.

4 - 5:30 p.m. -- Home Alone Safety for Kids, at Youth Services Center, 63 Linden St.

Tuesday, Dec. 14

7 p.m -- BoD Meeting at Lincoln Center.

Wednesday, Dec. 15

6 - 8 p.m. -- Middle School Nights at Mary Cheney Library.

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Also of Note

  • The Manchester Little League’s Challenger Division is making plans for the 2022 season, which will run in May and June. Click here for more information
  • The 40th Annual Santa’s Workshop at Wickham Park opens on Friday, Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. and runs through Thursday, Dec.23.

  • The Youth Services Bureau is hosting a Home Alone Safety for Kids interactive workshop at 63 Linden St. on Monday, Dec. 13.

  • Connecticut Concert Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ returns to Manchester High’s Bailey Auditorium for noon and 4 p.m. shows on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11 and 12.
  • The Youth Services Bureau has a variety of fun (and free) Winter Break activities. Click here to find out more.
  • The Elks Club essay contest is back and open to students in grades 5 -8. Click here for more information. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 15.
  • Perspective of Home exhibit at WORK_SPACE runs through Feb. 22, 2022.
  • The town's Leisure, Family and Recreation facilities and services have special holiday hours and schedules coming and it's all explained here.
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ALSO: For the second year, the town's Department of Leisure, Family, and Recreation in partnership with Manchester Early Learning Center has special event set for Northwest Park There's more info here.

OneMan Planner: We use this document to keep track of things coming down the road and you can include yours by contacting Paul Ofria at
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For eight years now Joseph Battaglia (better known as Joey Batts) has run these fundraisers and last night was the fourth of this year's seven such shows (over nine nights), this stop at The Main Pub. An MHS teacher, Joey said the first three shows raised $2,000 (MACC charities will be the beneficiary of Wednesday's show) and they are on their way to breaking last year’s record of $5,000. At top right, holding the mic is MHS colleague Matt Delaney. Read more here.

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OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office; he can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017 and features the photography of Paul Ofria. Want to subscribe? Just click here.