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What is social distancing?  Are gloves and masks the best way to protect ourselves from COVID-19?  What are the critical everyday things we can do to stay safe?  Joanne MacInnis, RN, is the founder and president of Aberdeen Home Care and a weekly contributor here.  With 35 years of nursing practice, management and administration experience focused on home care and hospice, Joanne is the perfect person to sit down and talk about COVID-19.

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We received this essay by Jess Yurwitz at a time when many of us feel unsure as to how we can help those on the front lines of the Coronavirus outbreak. This personal account sheds light on the reality for those who are working daily, hands on, to care for those who are sick — and ways we too can act. 

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The situation with the novel coronavirus continues to evolve.  So, too, does the Town’s response.  The developments are very fluid and require daily monitoring and decision making.  Fortunately, we have a good team in place to help us all through this crisis.  

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

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In these weeks of "sheltering at home", what should pet owners do if the need for emergency veterinary care is needed?  It's an important question, one tackled by our own Dr. Larry Lamb of Manchester Animal Hospital.

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Town Hall is closed to the public until further notice. Staff is still available to help you with your business needs. Please email or call the appropriate department directly for assistance.  

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In the context of the great lawn at Coolidge Point, part of the Trustees properties in Manchester, it’s a challenge to see the number of people out for a leisurely walk on Sunday afternoon.  But there they were, peppered across the park, enjoying the spectacular sunny afternoon, the crisp nearly-spring air and the calm water horizon. 

Today the Town of Essex announced it would move to digital "remote participation" format for public participation in weekly board meetings.  Manchester-by-the-Sea is exploring the same strategy for managing regular town business during COVID-19 restrictions and the goal of "social distancing".  

With school closures from the COVID-19 virus in Massachusetts, what steps can families expect for distance learning and enrichment programs?  This March 16th letter from Patricia Puglisi, M-E Regional High School principal answers these questions for familes.

Last Saturday’s weather was predicted to be a doozy, with high winds and clouds rolling in.  Well, the winds sure showed up, but so did the sun.  It was a relatively mild temperature for early March, and with the winds and tides just so, out came surfers in their wetsuits from Good Harbor Beach to Beverly Cove.

Last Thursday over a hundred members of the Manchester Memorial Elementary School (MMES) community celebrated the spoken word at Memorial School's 4th Annual Poetry Cafe Night. Students in grades three, four and five were invited to participate in an open mic format to share original works and favorite poems.  The MMES Parent Teacher Organization transformed the school cafeteria into a twinkly lit, hip cafe and provided free snacks and refreshments.  

With recent local news on speed regulation, both in Manchester (with last month’s surgical clarification of the downtown’s 20 mph speed zones) and in Essex (with the Police Department’s uptick in formal warnings for speeding motorists), it seemed a good time to go into the archives.  In the 1990’s, Joe Garland wrote articles for the Historical Society Newsletter.  One of them addressed Manchester’s role in creating the country’s first speed trap.  That’s right.  Read on … 

On February 29, the MERHS Drama Company performed their preliminary-winning one-act performance, entitled "The Losers Club," by Jonathan Turner Smith at the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guilds’ (METG) 89th DramaFest competition against 7 other schools at Andover High.  The cast, which includes an all student tech crew and is made up of mostly lower classmen, including only one junior and one senior, has been busy tightening and polishing up the roughly 36 minute "drama/comedy" as they prepare for the next round of competition, the semi-finals, hosted at Framingham High School on Saturday, March 14.

In many of our parks, lining our streets, in our school yards and on private lands, Friends of Manchester Trees has planted over 500 Commemorative Trees. For the last 9 years, Mimi McDougal has gracefully and with great care managed this beloved program.  We are grateful to our Board colleague for championing, building awareness for this singular way to honor people and places.  Continuing to guide this initiative in the New Year, we welcome Friend’s Skylar Crofton’s leadership.

Each year voters are asked to review and approve a series of projects that are funded through the Community Preservation Fund.  The dollars for the fund come from a 1.5% surcharge on everyone’s real estate bill as well as matching funds from the state.  The match started out at 100% but has declined significantly as more communities have adopted the Community Preservation Act.  Revamped legislation is hoping to put the match at a minimum of 35%.

M-E Regional High School DECA chapter members earned the organization’s highest honors at DECA State Career Development Conference held at the Hynes Auditorium, February 27 - 29.  Forty-two students qualified to participate at state level and took rigorous exams and solved timed, novel business case role plays, delivered case solutions to industry professionals in a timed format.

Board of Selectmen’s Meeting of March 9, 2020

Report covers from February 22, 2020 to March 6, 2020

Items requiring Board vote or discussion are noted with an asterisk (*)

The Jane Deering Gallery will hold a reception Saturday, March 21 from 4-6 p.m. to celebrate the opening of its newest exhibit, “Formally Taught …. and Not”, which is curated by artist and Manchestser-by-the-Sea resident Juni Van Dyke and includes work by established artists who frequently exhibit in galleries, museums and public institutions, and inspiring work by senior citizens in the art program at The Rose Baker Senior Center — creative people whose important life’s work has circumvented formal art training. 

This years  Manchester Reads will focus on the environment, sustainability and answering the call to embrace and defend the natural world. During the month of March, the library will provide books and events that center around these important themes.  The adult’s non-fiction book will be The Outdoor Citizen: Get Out, Give Back, Get Active by local Manchester resident John Judge.  For kids we have the books, The Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate and Can you Hear the Trees Talking?, by Peter Wohllenben.  For young adults we have, Dry, by Shusterman and no one is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greata Thunberg.