Month: April 2014

Speaker — May 14, 2014
Bryan Garcia president of the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority* (CEFIA)

Bryan will talk about Connecticut’s clean energy goals and how the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority plays a role in financing them. As the country’s first green bank, CEFIA is attracting national attention as it provides a model for leveraging public funds to drive private investment in clean energy. By moving away from grants and subsidies and towards financing, CEFIA is earning returns for Connecticut ratepayers and creating public-private partnerships that leverage our funds at a 10 to 1 ratio to deploy clean energy at scale.

Bryan was named president of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority* (CEFIA) in 2011. As the nation’s first state-level clean energy finance authority – or “green bank” – Bryan oversees efforts to attract and deploy capital to finance the clean energy goals for Connecticut.

Prior to rejoining CEFIA in 2011, Bryan was program director for the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. At Yale, Bryan led efforts to develop a leading global program responsible for preparing environmental leaders for business and society. He also served as co-editor of Carbon Finance: Environmental Market Solutions to Climate Change and Carbon Finance II: Investing in Forests for Climate Protection, publications that present the opinions and experiences of leading practitioners in finance, global carbon markets, and the business of climate change.

Bryan also co-founded Earth Markets, a Connecticut company that helps to accelerate the deployment of clean energy technology in homes and businesses. Earth Markets led the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge, a DOE-supported initiative through the Better Buildings Program. Previously he was director of energy market initiatives at CEFIA, where he created the Connecticut Clean Energy Communities Program and served as the climate change coordinator for the Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change.

Additionally, Bryan served as chairman of the Connecticut Green Building Council, and as a board member of SmartPower, the Clean Energy Finance Center, The Climate Group and the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Clean Energy States Alliance and Co-Chair of the Finance Working Group for the State Energy Efficiency Action Network – an EPA and DOE initiative.

Early in his career, Bryan was a Peace Corps Volunteer specializing in NGO capacity building and environmental education in the Republic of Kazakhstan. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political economy of natural resources from U.C. Berkeley, masters degrees in public administration and business administration from New York University, and a Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale University.

Arranged by Martin Skala

Speaker — May 7, 2014
Jack Fitzgibbons
Presidential Health, Confidentiality vs the public’s right to know

John P. Fitzgibbons, M.D., M.A.C.P. is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is a Senior Advisor on Graduate Medical Education at the Stamford Hospital. He will talk about Presidential Health — Maladies, Myths, and Mistakes. This subject combines both medicine and history, and engages Dr. Fitzgibbons’s long-term interest in the subject of presidential health.

Dr. Fitzgibbons was born in Boston, MA and grew up in Syracuse, NY. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1960 and went on to medical school at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center.  He did his first two years of postgraduate training in medicine at Boston City Hospital. He then spent two years in the US Public Health Service in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic. From there he moved to San Francisco where he did two more years of medicine training at the University of California at San Francisco. He returned to Boston to do a clinical and research fellowship in Nephrology at Tufts, New England Medical Center.  In 1973 he went to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts to run the medical student program, in 1977 he became the Chief of the Nephrology.

In 1988 Dr. Fitzgibbons was appointed Chair of the Department of Medicine at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a position he held until June 2008.  He was a Professor of Medicine at Penn State University School of Medicine and held the Leonard Parker Pool Chair of Medicine.

He is a former President of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) and was also the Co-Chair of the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine.

He was the Governor of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Physicians and President of the Pennsylvania Chapters.  In 2008 he received a Mastership in the American College of Physicians (MACP).

From 2006 to 2012 he has been a member of the Accreditation Council in Graduate Medical Education’s Residency Review Committee (RRC) for Internal Medicine and in 2010 became a member of the Executive Committee.  In April 2014 he received the Daley Founders Award from the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine in recognition of his national accomplishments in medical education. He is presently a Senior Advisor in the Department of Medicine at the Stamford Hospital and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Arranged Bob Smith

Speaker — April 30, 2014
Jennifer Herring, President and CEO of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Jennifer-HerringJennifer Herring, president and chief executive officer of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk for more than 10 years, longer than any CEO in the Aquarium’s 25-year history. She will talk about history and plans for the Aquarium. Herring has announced plans to retire from her position in 2014 but will continue to serve in her present role, leading the Aquarium through a new animal-touch exhibit experience to be announced in January, the institution’s primary gala fund-raiser for education in April and the launch of a new boat – the only research vessel in the world with hybrid-electric propulsion – in June.

Herring joined The Maritime Aquarium in fall 2004. She retires from a career spanning 35 years and fulfilling her passions for arts, culture, outdoor adventure, travel, birding, wildlife and environmental conservation.

Starting as an opera singer in San Francisco, she found her talent for fund-raising, leading major development efforts for the New York Public Library and the New York City Opera. She honed her administrative abilities at the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the New York Aquarium and Bronx Zoo, among others.

Despite challenging economic times, Herring and her team accomplished an $18 million campaign of capital and exhibit improvements and established the Aquarium’s first endowment. She introduced new strategic planning processes and a master plan. New permanent exhibits added during her administration include “Frogs,” “Go Fish” and a complete renovation of the facility including the very popular touch-a-shark experience.

Herring deepened the Aquarium’s educational programs with Whole School Partnerships, now numbering seven, which incorporate Aquarium programming in the schools’ curricula and show evidence of closing the achievement gap for thousands of students. She oversaw creation of TeMPEST, an after-school program for teens in Norwalk, and the Long Island Sound Biodiversity Index, which leverages citizen-scientist and school student trips on the Aquarium’s research vessel Oceanic. That data collection will continue on the Aquarium’s new hybrid-electric boat starting this summer.

Arranged by Bob Smith

Darien Town Clean Up
Saturday April 26, 2014 (Rain date: Sunday April 27th)

Meet in the CVS parking lot by the UCBC bagel shop.

Be there between 8 and 9 am to pick up supplies. Garbage bags, pickup sticks and gloves are supplied .

Early birds, come before 8 am, and you can get a free bagel, coffee, tea and/or juice.

Darien Men’s Association is assigned to clean up the Darien train station parking lot, Mechanic Street and the berm on the New Haven side of the tracks.

It usually takes only about 2 hours to complete our part.

Please come to participate as part of DMA’s community service.

Good cause, good fellowship, and free bagels!

Hiking Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
Friday, April 25, 2014 at 10.00 am

Pound Ridge ReservationOur first hike of 2014  is scheduled for  Friday, April 25  at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Located in Pound Ridge, NY, this is a 4000 acre park with 42 miles of trails over varied terrain. We will select a trail approximately 4 to 5 miles in length and the hike should take  about 2 ½ to 3 hours.

The trails are well maintained and somewhat less difficult than those at  Mianus River Gorge, which we hiked last October. The hike will be followed by lunch (optional). Spouses, significant others, friends and guests are welcome to join the hike.

No entrance fee is charged of seniors during the week in the off-season and there is plenty of parking available. We plan to assemble at 10.00 am at the parking lot near the entrance of the park (where the ticket booth is located). There are restrooms here. At 10.10 am we will  proceed as a group by car to the trailhead which is a short distance past the ticket booth on Michigan Road.

This hike is led by Sunil Saksena who can be reached at  203-561-8601(cell) or


  • Take exit 35 off the Merritt Parkway and proceed north on High Ridge Road( Rt 137 N).
  • Continue on Rt 137 North for approx 8.5 miles and bear left at the fork towards Pound Ridge onto Stone Hill Road which is still Rt 137N.
  • Continue till the T-junction at the  end of Rt 137 N and then make a right turn towards Cross River onto Old Post Road (Rt 121 N) . After about 2.9 miles make a right turn just past the Baptist Church located at 1789 Old Post Road.. This right turn is clearly marked as the entrance to the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
  • Proceed on this road (Reservation Road) till you reach the ticket booth.

( The distance from Exit 35 on the Merritt to the ticket booth is just under 14 miles and  will take about 30 min depending on traffic).

Official address of the Park is 4 Reservation Road, Cross River, NY 10518

Speaker — April 23, 2014
Dr. Sylvanie Wallington

SylvanieWallington2Dr. Sylvanie Wallington, Harvard Educated Astronomer, will speak about Dark Matter. Over the last 80 years astronomers have observed that the motion of some stars in galaxies and other celestial behavior cannot be explained without there being much more total mass in the universe than we detect from observations. Things don’t “add up” unless there is some mysterious “dark matter” that cannot be directly observed since it neither emits nor absorbs light. And this “missing mass” is not insignificant: it makes up about 85% of all the mass in the universe! As such, it plays a crucial role in our understanding of the structure and evolution of the universe. Dr. Wallington presents the evidence for this dark matter in simple layman’s terms. We follow the scientific trail that led to our understanding of dark matter in the universe by examining how astronomers gather light from celestial objects, how they use that light to understand the motions of stars and galaxies, and how they calculate the gravity needed to explain those motions. Step by step, we build the case for this mysterious substance, whose existence is widely accepted by the scientific community. Dr. Wallington is a graduate of Princeton University, and has a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard, where she specialized in the theoretical modeling of gravitational lenses. After a number of years of teaching she left the field and currently works as a web designer and programmer. She has lived in Old Greenwich with her husband and two children for more than a decade, during which time she has given a number of astronomy talks in the public schools. Arranged by Bob Smith