Emergency Meeting Cancellations

If the Darien schools are closed because of weather conditions, there will be no DMA meeting on that day.

If the Darien schools either open on a delayed schedule, or close on an early schedule, the DMA meeting will be held at the usual time on that day.

School closings are announced text crawls on Optimum News12 television, and on Optimum Channel 6, they are also announced on local radio stations WSTC(1400AM) and WLNK(1350AM).

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Murder Mystery Dinner Photo Gallery

This gallery contains 28 photos.

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March 25, 2015
Stuart Waack, Silvermine’s Head Golf Professional since 1998, will talk about his process of obtaining his PGA membership, his journey to be a Head Professional and the state of the game today.

Stuart Waack

Stuart is a PGA Professional The PGA of America that comprises 27,000 men and women professionals with one singular goal in mind – to make the game of golf more enjoyable for you.

Stuart was born in Nyack, New York and raised in New City, NY where he graduated from Clarkstown School district. Played high school and college golf and was Captain of University of Rhode Island Golf Team and graduated in 1987 with a B.S. in Finance.

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March 18, 2015
Jim Lewis will speak about the challenges and current hot topics in the franchise world and specifically McDonalds’ Franchising.

Jim Lewis McDonaldsThe issues facing franchisees today include the sharing of rising costs, profit split, lifespan of franchise concepts, chasing trends and who carries the risk. Current regulatory environment affects franchise on several levels. Managing real estate cost and franchising business models.

McDonald’s Specific Issues include product perception, profit split due to unique real estate partnership, labor force challenges, doing business in NYC, and advertising–structure.

Jim Lewis has been in the McDonald’s system since 1986 and as an Owner/Operator since 1993. He currently owns 17 Restaurants in Manhattan and Queens including the famous Times Square and 42nd St McDonald’s. Prior to his involvement in McDonald’s he worked as a Sales Manager for AT&T in Southfield, Michigan. Jim began his career as an Account Executive with Michigan Bell Telephone in 1981.

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March 11, 2015
Tara Contractor, a staff member of the Bruce Museum, will speak about the Story Behind the Story of the Northern Baroque Splendor Exhibition at the Bruce Museum.

Tara ContractorTara Contractor, the Kress Interpretive Fellow at the Bruce Museum, will present the highlights of the current exhibition, Northern Baroque Splendor: The HOHENBUCHAU COLLECTION From LIECHTENSTEIN. This collection consists of 64 paintings and displays the Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish art between the late 16th and early 18th centuries.

The paintings cover a wide range of subjects to illustrate everyday life of that time. The show, the Bruce’s largest ever, is roughly arranged chronologically and exhibits beautiful and alluring still-life pictures of fruits, intricate goblets and detailed tapestries; landscapes of rural scenes, turbulent seas and tranquil rivers, and portraits of an assortment of characters and emotions. The artists are also numerous and include such well-known names Gerard Dou and Peter Paul Rubens.

Contractor is a graduate of Scripps College and Courtauld Institute of Art, U. of London and has worked directly with the museum’s director in organizing this outstanding exhibit.

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March 4, 2015 — Music Program
Acabella, all-female a cappella vocal group

This gifted and committed auditioned group, known for its talent and wide-ranging repertoire, is a crowd-pleasing favorite in the area.

Acabella was originally founded in 2001 by Kathy Knapp and Heather Raker, who both loved to sing and were looking for an opportunity to sing again as part of a group. Thus, they formed Acabella, which combines the musical term, a cappella meaning unaccompanied by musical instruments, and bella, the Italian word for beautiful. The group is currently directed by Heather Raker and Carolyn Woodberry with Caroline LaMorte as a creative director.

Acabella is presently comprised of 14 women from the Lower Fairfield County area. Membership in the group is by audition, including musical exercises and a solo performance. Members’ musical backgrounds include singing in undergraduate and graduate a cappella groups and various choirs, as well as performing in musical theater, bands, and coffeehouses.

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Jan-Feb 2015 Newsletter flipbook

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February 25, 2015
Art Gottlieb, local historian on military history, will talk about the “Battle of the Bulge”.

Art GottliebThe Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France and Luxembourg on the Western Front toward the end of World War II in Europe. Hitler planned the offensive with the primary goal to recapture the important harbor of Antwerp. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard. United States forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred the highest casualties for any operation during the war. The battle also severely depleted Germany’s war-making resources.

The battle was known by different names. The Germans referred to it as Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (“Operation Watch on the Rhine”), while the French named it the Bataille des Ardennes (“Battle of the Ardennes”). The Allies called it the Ardennes Counteroffensive. The phrase “Battle of the Bulge” was coined by contemporary press to describe the way the Allied front line bulged inward on wartime news maps and became the best known name for the battle.

The German offensive was supported by several subordinate operations known as Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Greif, and Währung. As well as stopping Allied transport over the channel to the harbor of Antwerp, these operations were intended to split the British and American Allied line in half, so the Germans could then proceed to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers’ favor. Once that was accomplished, Hitler could fully concentrate on the eastern theatre of war.

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February 18, 2015
Speaker Eric Chandler will speak about Sheldon’s Horse, 2nd Regiment Light Dragoons “Washington’s Eyes” & “Watchdogs of the Highlands”

Sheldon's HorseMany people are unaware that the first commissioned cavalry in the history of the United States, one of four congressionally commissioned dragoon regiments, was formed in and consisted largely of men from Connecticut.

In addition to being the first commissioned cavalry, Sheldon’s Horse formed the first pony express; constituted part of the first organized spy ring under General Washington; executed the first cavalry charge by US forces on American soil; counted twenty of its members as part of Washington’s official entourage and who were with him at the Siege of Yorktown; was the only force to achieve victories on foot, on horse, and at sea; included one of the first recipients of the Order of Merit – the Purple Heart – for bravery in action against the enemy.

Commissioned December 12, 1776, the regiment operated extensively in the Hudson River Valley, the Mohawk Valley, lower New England and across Long Island Sound until its return to state control in 1783.

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February 11, 2015
Speaker David Shafer will talk about the Salk Polio Vaccine and the Story Behind the Story

aot20120068.inddIt was a scary time in America – commies under your bed and the McCarthy hearings, UFO sightings, the Cold War nuclear threat, and worst of all – the polio epidemic sweeping the country. Parents were terrified their kids would get it and end up in an Iron Lung. When Jonas Salk and his polio vaccine saved the day he was treated by a euphoric country almost like a god. But there is a largely unknown story behind this story that spoils this stirring narrative.   In the intense rivalry between Salk and Sabin, with different vaccines, Salk failed to properly credit his co-workers who did much of the work, a no-no in science.   Very few people ever got polio, despite the extreme media frenzy about it, and by the time the Salk vaccine was introduced the polio “epidemic” was largely over. Screw-ups like the Cutter Labs vaccine disaster actually gave people polio. 90 million Americans were given vaccine shots that contained a monkey virus that causes various cancers. And so on. This talk will explore this complex and messy picture and also address today’s vaccination controversies.

Dave Shafer has spent the last 49 years designing camera lenses, telescopes and microscopes and has had a one-man optical design and consulting company since 1980. The Cassini spacecraft took one of his unusual telescopes to Saturn a few years ago. Later a separate spacecraft took close-up photos of the asteroid Vesta and now a third spacecraft is using his telescope to help land on a comet. All of today’s state of the art computer chips for cell phones, tablets, and computers are made using a unique optical system that Dave invented about 10 years ago. He has over 125 patents for optical designs.   Dave once designed an unusual stereo viewing device for Salvador Dali.

Arranged by Andre Guilbert

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February 4, 2015
Art Gottlieb, local historian on military history, will speak about the “Invasion of Normandy”

Art GottliebThe Invasion of Normandy was the invasion by and establishment of Western Allied forces in Normandy, during Operation Overlord in 1944 during World War II; the largest amphibious invasion to ever take place.

D-Day, the day of the initial assaults, was Tuesday 6 June 1944. Allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on that day came from Canada, the Free French forces, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the weeks following the invasion, Polish forces also participated, as well as contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and the Netherlands. Most of the above countries also provided air and naval support, as did the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Navy.

The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks and naval bombardments. In the early morning, amphibious landings on five beaches codenamed Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah, and Sword began and during the evening the remaining elements of the parachute divisions landed. Land forces used on D-Day deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth.

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