There was plenty of stories making headlines in Greenwich this year from blackouts to the elections. And perhaps the one story to have the most lasting impact was the arrival two months ago of Hurricane Sandy.
The entire town of Greenwich was plunged into darkness on Aug. 6 when a large black locust tree fell atop major Connecticut Light & Power transmission lines, along the Metro-North Railroad corridor in Riverside, after a series of powerful storms hit the area.
Greenwich Public Schools hired a new superintendent in April. William McKersie became the district's schools chief during the summer after leaving the Archdiocese of Boston where he was an associate superintendent.
There was plenty of warning from state and local officials about the impending fury of Hurricane Sandy that slammed the region on Oct. 29. But those warnings couldn't prepare residents for the damage done throughout town and the 11-day state of emergency that followed.
In November, the state and national elections were definitely highlighted by the incumbents. The Greenwich legislative delegation remained dominated by the Republicans and President Obama swept to victory. Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon lost her second bid to become Connecticut's senator, after spending more than $50 million of her fortune.
And in 2012 we said good-bye to several leaders who had an impact on Greenwich.
- Greenwich Deputy Fire Marshal John Fronio was remembered as a "hard-charging firefighter" following his passing at the age of 58 on April 12. His legacy includes the installation of water cisterns in the backcountry and creation of the Greenwich Arson Task Force.
- Although he didn't live in town, for decades he was the fabric of weather when it came to Greenwich. 'Dr Mel' Goldstein was the venerable weatherman whose forecasts were welcome by most—especially children who tuned into his morning weather reports on WTNH-Channel 8 who wanted to know whether the weather would cancel classes. He was 66 when he passed away Jan. 18 after a long battle with cancer.
- Retired Police Chief Peter Robbins, credited with founding the Greenwich Police Special Response and Honor Guard units, died unexpectedly March 5. He served as chief for five years, retiring in 2002. He was a 32-year veteran of the department. Following his retirement he served as security chief for Greenwich Hospital and, at the time of his death, chief of uniformed services for the state of Delaware Court System.
- Anthony 'Tony' Scarnati was the informal 'Mayor of East Elm Street' and known as 'Mr. Greenwich." The man with the pencil-thin mustache was the business manager of the Laborers Union International and the Ancient Order of Red Men. Like clockwork the staunch Republican would be seen sitting on the bench outside the Red Men's Hall on East Elm Street waving to and chatting up passersby, regardless of the weather. He passed away at 83 on April 20.
- Former First Selectman Ruth Sims was a pioneer of sorts—she was the first woman elected as Greenwich's chief elected official. She passed away June 8. Her victory in 1977 was a long-time in coming—an initial tie meant a second election on Dec. 29, 1977...but for Sims it proved serendipitous. She ultimately won by 3,500 votes.