Looking back at 2013, Part 1

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Dec. 26, 2013
Diane Nash impressed the crowd at the Martin Luther King Day Celebration, with her talk about 'agapic energy.' File photos by Steve Smith.
Diane Nash impressed the crowd at the Martin Luther King Day Celebration, with her talk about 'agapic energy.' File photos by Steve Smith.

The winter of 2013 contained many events (mostly indoors) in Glastonbury. The annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration centered on Diane Nash – a contemporary of Dr. King, who promotes the idea she termed “agapic energy,” which incorporates non-violent means to resolving conflict. “If you recognize that people are not the enemy, you can love and respect the person at the same time you attack the attitude of that person,” she said.

Glastonbury's senior center again earned national accreditation. Human Services Director Pat Schneider called the honor an accomplishment for the community as a whole. "It's not just the programs and the building people look at,” she said. “It's everything from governance... policies and procedures, staffing and personnel, and how you work with the community.” The 18-month-to-two-year accreditation process, Schneider said, highlights what the center does well, but also provides feedback as to ways in which the center can grow and improve.

Senior Center Coordinator Maryleah Skoronski was, naturally, a big part of both accreditations. Skoroski retired on Feb. 28, and was given a huge send-off celebration at the center. “I didn’t do this alone,” Skoronski told the crowd. “We have a wonderful staff here in Senior Services, and they’ve been supporting me for years, and we have wonderful volunteers. Our families are also very supportive. It’s been a real team effort. I know I’m leaving it in good hands. It’s been my pleasure to work with you.”

Patti White, who was most recently the director of the Colchester Senior Center, has taken the reins of the senior center. “I've been across the spectrum and seen that people at different places in their lives need different supports,” White said. “It's figuring out how all the pieces come together.”

The Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce held its 111th annual meeting and announced that Carolyne Gatesy, owner of Main Street Office, was named the Chamber's Business Person of the Year, as well as the Chamber's Ambassador of the Year for 2012.

“Wow, this is so awesome,” Gatesy said. “Double whammy - I get both awards on the same night. This is a major culmination of my career.”

The Glastonbury Town Council passed a budget for 2013, but not until after some debate about the schools' budget. At a council meeting on March 26, councilwoman Jill Barry, one of three Democrats on the council, strongly opposed sending a budget with $800,000 in cuts to the town meeting.

“Why are we pushing forth the Board of Finance recommended number,” she asked, adding that while town departments and officials have weighed in on the budget numbers, the residents have had a smaller voice since the budget process started in November. “This budget affects the residents,” she said. “We need to hear from them.”

Council Chair Chip Beckett said resident input is certainly welcomed. “We do want to hear from people,” Beckett said. “We've been getting a steady stream of e-mails and letters from a variety of people for the last month, which the council members all have.” But Barry and others were not comfortable. The Town Council voted 5-3 to send the sum of $93.9 million, cuts intact, to the town meeting on March 26, as part of a $145.1 million spending package for the town, which eventually passed

Glastonbury High School's sports teams had great seasons. The hockey team was a tough out in the first round of the Division I bracket. The girls' indoor track team placed second in the Class LL meet, and eighth in the State Open, while their male counterparts finished 11th in Class LL and tied for 13th at the State Open.

The boys' basketball team just missed a conference title, dropping the final game to Windsor, 74-67. The boys then got clipped by New London, 59-58 in the first round of the Class LL tournament.

The girls' basketball team wrapped up its third-straight conference title, and then went all the way to the semi-finals in the Class LL tourney, before falling to Mercy, 46-43, in a hard-fought battle in the semi-finals.

“It's been a good run,” said coach Brian Fleming. “I couldn't be more proud of the heart that they played with. I wanted it for them, that's the hard part. They deserved it, we were ready, and we were right there.”

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