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Published weekly since August 2017 and now daily during the Coronavirus school shutdown

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Today's newsletter has a consumer bent, as we spotlight the head of the meat department at Highland Park Market (he called the onslaught of a week ago "insane") and also have photos from our search yesterday for toilet paper (what we're calling 'Priority No. 2') at stores all around town. School-wise, we have more info as the district prepares its 'soft launch' of distance learning today. And, as always, there's this link for those who want to subscribe.
The Latest
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state continues to rise rapidly (875 as of Wednesday evening) and medical professionals are bracing for more despite their concerns about adequate staffing and ample equipment.
From yesterday's Manchester Matters:
  • The pink bag recycling program has been suspended
Of Manchester

In three decades at Highland Park Market Tony Frankovitch has never seen anything like the buying binge that started two weeks ago.
The  'Humans' gallery can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
The Journal Inquirer and Hartford Courant both have regular town news coverage but monthly free-read limits -- although the Courant has removed the paywall from its main daily Coronavirus story. You'll also find stories in Manchester Patch
Here's a fascinating story that popped up on TV yesterday:

Manchester Man Stuck in Peru

Carl Lepack is more than 3,000 miles away -- in Cusco, Peru -- having arrived on March 13 with plans to hike the Inca Trail. 
NBC-Connecticut has the story with a video interview.
School Stuff

About 1200 chromebooks have been distributed to students in grades 3-8 and we have more available for PreK-2 students.
Here's the letter Superintendent Geary sent to the MPS community yesterday. (It's in Spanish, too.) Among topics covered:
  • Grade 9-12 chromebook pickup is today from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at MHS
  • Pickup for PreK-2 will be at Illing 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday
  • There's also directions for accessing Google classroom and much more.
MHS junior Aislinn Gara Grady writes today about her frustrations and fears as the virus continues to spread. Here's her latest piece.
The theme is 'Unexpected' and to learn about the contest just click here.
RESOURCES (starting with two new ones)
eREADING ACCOUNTS : There are special accounts for students in the district, pre-K to grade 12. Click here to see the links.
HIGH SCHOOL: The MHS website has lots of resources and learning opportunities and there's even more on the MHS Media Center page.
  • Manchester Public Library's database page includes a link to hoopla (download books and more for free), Pronunciator (learn another language) and more.
  • Audible is offering free books on tape in multiple languages for kids up through age 18. No subscription or login is necessary.
Meals For Students
  • For more info:  Details are here.
  • Today's lunch: Quesadilla, rice, cooked carrots, fruit, milk    
  • Friday's lunch: Mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, broccoli, fruit, milk    

Food Bag Giveaway Today

  • Starting at noon, it's at Maggie McFly's at the mall with one bag limit per family with no purchase needed. Distributed In a drive through fashion. Read more here.
  • MACC CHARITIES: The Community Kitchen (466 Main Street) is giving out bagged lunches (1 bag per person) from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. No one will be allowed in the dining room to eat. Details here.
  • SENIOR CENTER: Closed indefinitely but meals are being provided using a pick-up/delivery model.
Priority No. 2
Psychologists who study pandemics say people hoard toilet paper for lots of reasons but Paul Ofria wasn't a buyer yesterday, just a curious photographer. Here's what he found as he made the rounds of some local stores:
CVS at Broad and Middle ... Stop & Shop ... Walgreens at Main and Middle... 
BJs ... CVS on Main (near Bennet) ... Big Y .... 

All were wiped out. But Dollar General on Broad (near Center) had some TP in the morning ($1 for six rolls!) although it was gone a few hours later. Said Ofria: "It's all about timing ... that's the bottom line."
OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office and he can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017, is always free, and has not been hacked since Sept. 12, 2019, Want to subscribe? Just click here.