Flanagan and Jeff Carstens, moderator of Community Conversations at St. Luke's
December 3, Chip Flanagan, Town Council Member and St. Luke's member, spoke
"Community/Senior Center; Do We Need it?,
and What Is It?"
Chip Flanagan reviewed the history of recent attempts to build a new senior
center, or multi-use facility to incorporate a senior center, in
Glastonbury. After the failures of two initiatives in recent town-wide
referendums, a committee of 8 citizens was formed to make recommendations for
the future. The committee began work in August, and submitted their final
(unanimous) report to the town on November 8, 2000. Chip read from the 9
conclusions of this report, which recommend that "a multi-use facility for
the community including, but not limited to, program space for seniors, teens,
pre-schoolers and the larger community with both dedicated and multi-use space
is the preferred model."
Mr. Ed Richardson, a member of the committee, was among the 20 or so people
attending Chip's talk. In answer to questions about the "mixing" of
young and old people, he noted there would be separate entrances, and the
program spaces would be separate.
Financially, the committee expects the new center to cost more than the
previously-estimated 5.5 million dollars. Their preferred location would
be at the new Smith Middle School site, listing eleven positive attributes for
The discussion was lively and informative, with 6 or 7 non-St. Luke's people
there, all of whom were deeply involved in this issue.
October 22, Duffy Schade, Well-known local photographer
"The Vision of Place"
Duffy made some introductory comments on photography while
circulating some beautiful, large old black-and-white prints of special interest
to the St. Luke's crowd. They included a) a wonderful portrait of Mario
Accornero's father, b) a shot of the Ancient Nayaug Fife and Drum Corps at a
long-ago Grange fair parade, featuring the youthful Dave and Betty Hollister,
and c) a landscape shot of the old Shipman Farm.
In addition to discussing some of her artistic preferences, such as
photographing children outdoors in a familiar situation like their front
yard, Duffy also commented on some new technology in cameras and the
development and storage of prints. For example, she mentioned a new camera that
can take pictures either digitally, or the 'old-fashioned' way.
The session ended with a beautiful slide show of Cotton hollow which Duffy had
produced with the help of Dan Heddon (now deceased). Some scenes were made with
2 superimposed slides which gave an interesting 3-D effect. The slides were
accompanied by lovely background music, and during some segments, Duffy read
poetry. The overall effect was magical.
Our September guest at Community
Conversations was Dr. Alan Bookman, Principal of Glastonbury High School.
September 17, Dr. Alan Bookman, Principal of Glastonbury High School,
"What's New at GHS?"
Dr. Bookman discussed the current status of GHS from several
standpoints before entertaining questions on a variety of topics.
Regarding the size of GHS, there are currently 1700 students enrolled. Although
the size keeps increasing, it is extremely unlikely that a second high school
will be built, as that would involve expenditures on the order
of $113 million. Also, the diversity of the student body is increasing, with
about 9.5% minorities this year, and visiting students from France, Denmark and
Germany. Another change over the last 16 years noted by Dr. Bookman is an
increasing emphasis on students continuing on to college.
Regarding safety issues, Dr. Bookman said the Columbine tragedy has changed
operations at every high school in the country. For example, once school starts
in the morning at GHS, there are only two unlocked entry doors in the whole
school. There is a security person at the front door, and all visitors now
Dr. Bookman also emphasized the importance of the staff being in touch, in a
significant way, with every single student. Thus, he is encouraging more
non-academic clubs, partly to provide the staff more opportunities to know the
students. Also, GHS has taken significant steps to reduce the incidence of
bullying or harassment of students by other students. The Glastonbury Board of
Education has passed an anti-harassment policy, which includes the appropriate
training of teachers.
It was an extremely informative meeting. For more information, Dr. Bookman
referred us to the GHS website: tomahawks.org. (Excellent site!)
Community Conversations at St. Luke's
On Sunday, May 21, Mr. Jim Bennett, the Executive Director of the Historical Society of Glastonbury, was the guest of St. Luke's at our "Community
Conversations " program. Although Mr. Bennett has only been in town since 1998, and admits he is still learning a lot about the town's history, he is somewhat of an expert on the "Village District
Act," a Connecticut law passed in 1998. This law was the subject of his presentation.
The law was passed in response to efforts by the CT Transportation Dept. to widen Rte. 6 in Brooklyn, which was vehemently opposed by the residents
there. The law provides a process to allow a community to preserve its character, which could include things like the landscape, wetlands, or other
features, in addition to buildings and neighborhoods. As Glastonbury is in the midst of developing its next '10 year plan' , due in 2005, the talk was
useful in presenting another tool whereby a community can define and conserve its character.
The photograph shows, from left to right, Jeff Carstens , the moderator of "Community Conversations" and Mr. Bennett.