Month: March 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Hike Pomerance Park
March 30, 2017, 10:00 AM

Hiking Pomerance Park,
Greenwich Connecticut

We will be hiking Pomerance Park, located at 101 Orchard Street, Greenwich on Thursday
March 30, 2017 at 10 am

This 100 acre property is now owned by the Town of Greenwich, but was at one time the estate
of a Mr Wertheim, a New York investment banker. The property is of interest because the
mansion that sits atop a small hill was home to Barbara Tuchman, the noted historian, who was
Mr Wertheim’s daughter and who wrote her Pulitzer prize- winning book “The Guns of August”
while secluded in a small cabin on the property. The mansion itself fell into disrepair and was
demolished by the Town , but its skeleton was preserved for its historical interest.
Except for a couple of gentle slopes, the hiking trails on this property are fairly flat and suitable
for almost anyone who is interested in hiking. Its a very pretty property, rustic and wooded and
you will marvel that so much open space has been preserved in the middle of a residential area.

We expect to hike about 2-21/2 hours followed by lunch, which is optional will be at the Little
Pub at 531 East Putnam Ave Greenwich at about 12.30pm

Directions: On Google Maps mark your destination as Pomerance Park, Greenwich or 101
Orchard Street, Greenwich.

Take I-95 South towards Greenwich and get off at Exit 5. Off the Exit ramp make a left turn
onto Route 1 South ( also called East Putnam Ave).. Proceed just over a mile and then make a
sharp right turn onto Orchard Street(there is a Gulf station at the corner). Drive up Orchard
Street about 0.75 miles and you will see Pomerance Park on your right. Pull into the parking lot
where we will meet at 10.00am

Contact :Sunil Saksena

June 15, 2017
Current Affairs Discussion:
US-Mexico Relations

Discussion leader: Gary Banks

President Trump and Mexican leaders have been disagreeing since the first moments of Trump’s presidential campaign, when Trump accused Mexico of using the United States as a dumping ground for criminals; he went on to campaign on building a wall, imposing a tariff, and revising NAFTA.

But beneath the heated rhetoric is a complex and largely beneficial relationship. Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner, with $531 billion in two-way trade in 2015. More than 35 million Americans have Mexican roots. While U.S. companies’ investments in Mexico get more attention, Mexican companies employ more than 123,000 people in the U.S.

Our discussion will examine this issue from several vantages. What makes this interesting, and challenging, is the fact that every action will have a reaction and, in turn, a counter reaction. As in any complex adaptive system, you can’t do just one thing. There is plenty of news from a US perspective. Here, we’ll also explore how Mexico and its people see the relationship and what actions and reactions they may take.

Summit in Mexico from the Yale School of Management.

Mexico’s Revenge
By antagonizing the U.S.’s neighbor to the south, Donald Trump has made the classic bully’s error: He has underestimated his victim.

Nafta has made Mexico a better place, writes @MaryAnastasiaOG from Harris

Here is an example of how difficult trade negotiation are. One industry, in this case sugar growers in Florida want to restrict imports from Mexico. (The Florida sugar industry in known for sleazy politics and environmental damage.) But the sugar refining industry wants inexpensive raw sugar. But wait! The Iowa corn farmers want to sell high fructose corn syrup to Mexico and that market might be jeopardized. Now the sugar buyers, such as candy makers threaten to move their manufacturing off shore to get access to raw materials. Not simple – everything is connected. Like ecology, you can’t do just one thing.

Not mentioned is both corn and sugar cane can make ethanol. Sugar cane as biomass makes more sense as the stalks are waste, corn is a crop. Brazil is a leader in cane ethanol but there is an import duty to the US to protect domestic growers. But there is no import duty on oil –
even from unsavory countries. The impoverished Caribbean could grow sugar cane and the have refineries but they are blocked.

George Friedman, Stratfor, has some provocative perspectives. Namely, the US-Mexico relationship goes back to their defeat in the Mexican-American war. That the US Southwest is occupied Mexican territory. And with the rapid growth of the Latino population in those states soon to determine their politics,the area could become some sort of semi-autonomous zone between the two countries. This is outlined in his book “The Next 100 years”.

How Mexico’s President Laid the Foundation for a Wall
Enrique Peña Nieto helped put Trump in the White House.

Nearly 5 Million U.S. Jobs Depend on Trade With Mexico
Arguments that policies such as NAFTA have killed American manufacturing jobs often ignore the many other American jobs that such deals create and support.

America Is Already Paying for the Wall With Mexico
How Trump made an enemy.

Now that you have done your reading, there is a test of how much you know about Mexico courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor. How did you do?

May 18, 2017
Current Affairs Discussion:
The Federal Deficit

Discussion leader: John Bartlett

Key questions:
1. Is it a problem that due to deficit spending our national debt has doubled in the past ten years and now stands at 77% of gross domestic product – the highest since World War II?
2. Why do politicians not discuss this issue?
3. Should the deficit be reduced by using the principals of the 2013 Budget Sequestration involving across the board spending cuts?

This discussion is to look at the magnitude of the Federal debt and discuss possible solutions looking at prior plans such as Simpson Bowles and the the 2013 Sequester and see if we can find a way that the government could find a way to accomplish the goal of reducing the ballooning federal debt. The first part of the discussion would be to look at the CBO numbers and the second to see if we can think of a process by which a “top down” approach could be agreed to.

This is a basic, sensible introduction to trade deficits from the Peterson Institute.
Is the US Trade Deficit a Problem?

National Commission of Fical Responsibility

Go to and in the search area enter the following: Financial Audit: Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s Fiscal Years 2016 and 2015 Schedules of Federal Debt.

CBO 2017 Long-Term Budget Outlook
CBO 2017 Long Term Deficits

United_ States_budget_sequestration_in_2013

“The Education of David Stockman” is a classic on how the Federal Budget is actually constructed. It was published in the Atlantic in 1981 and was expanded into his book, “Triumph of Politics.” It isn’t pretty. Recall that Stockman was Reagan’s first term budget director. No one, including Reagan, comes off well. This article was off the record – until it wasn’t. It lead to Stockman’s famous trip to the woodshed. (Full disclosure – I worked for David for 6 years. Gary)

This is the link to Steve Balmer’s new website. He’s done a 10K for the government.
USA Facts

“Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.” Dick Cheney

Deficit as a % of GDP St. Louis Fed

Bill Bradley had a good article in the 4/30/17 NYT’s on the process of writing the Tax Reform Act of 1986. It seems positively enlightened and unimaginable in today’s political environment. Click here:
When Congress Made Taxes Fairer

This is an article about the choices and context of the next budget from the Brookings Institute. It was written Jan 24th, 2017 – unfortunately it’s not the way things turned out.

A Brooking op-ed on Trump’s tax proposal.

There’s a new book “A Fine Mess” by T.R. Reid. It’s in the library. Here is an interview of the author on NPR. It is a comparative look at our tax code.

May 31, 2017
DMA Songsters

At our last meeting of the year on May 31, 2017 the DMA Songsters will send us off into the summer with a medley of familiar songs that will, get your toes tapping.

You can expect to hear them sing “Stout Hearted Men,” “Night and Day,” “Coney Island Baby,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Nothing Like a Dame,” “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby,” “Ride That Chariot” and several others for a total of 15 old-time favorites.

Don’t miss this song-filled sendoff.

Wednesday, 10:00AM at the Darien Community Association



May 24, 2017
Rear Admiral John Weigold – Reserve Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Defense and foreign policy issues in the region

Rear Admiral John Weigold IV, Reserve Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, will talk about Pacific Operations that include the South China Sea and North Korea. Important issues there are freedom of navigation and bilateral and multilateral relations with our allies in the region.

He is a Connecticut native and son of a Navy Underwater Demolition team/Frogman veteran.

John first served on the USS John King (DDG 3) as a gunnery officer and damage control assistant and auxiliaries and electrical officer and then on the USS Caron (DD 970) as navigator and administration/personnel officer.

He has commanded seven Reserve units, as well as the Iceland Defense Force and United States Forces Korea.

As a flag officer, he was assigned to his current role in 2015. Previous flag assignments include service as the deputy commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Yokosuka, Japan, and deputy director, Operations, at U.S. Pacific Command, Honolulu, Hawaii.

John is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (three awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medial (two awards), Army Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal plus other unit and individual service awards.

He is a partner with Korn Ferry International, a global talent management solutions firm.

Wednesday, 10:00AM at the Darien Community Association


May 17, 2017
Sean Connolly – Commissioner CT Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Sean Connolly, commissioner of the State of Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, is responsible for overseeing the Veterans’ Home in Rocky Hill, Conn., and other services for 270,000 veterans residing in the state.

Commissioner Connolly will talk about the Connecticut Wartime Service Ribbon and will pin this award on DMA members who are qualified recipients. He also will touch on the Department of Veterans Affairs and its mission to serve those who have served their country.

A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, Commissioner Connolly is a decorated veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served on active duty for seven years. He also is a lawyer, and prior to being named commissioner in 2015, he was the global ethics and compliance officer for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft.

Commissioner Connolly is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He received his undergraduate degree from Bryant University and his Juris Doctor from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

He and his wife live in Hebron, Conn., and have two boys and a rescue puppy.

Of local interest, the first home for veterans in the United States was established in Darien following the Civil War by Benjamin Fitch, a wealthy Connecticut businessman. Other states adopted this policy, which evolved into a national network of homes and was the forerunner of today’s Department of Veterans Affairs.

Darien also is home to Connecticut’s first cemetery for veterans, located in a section of Spring Grove Cemetery on Heckler Avenue across from the Darien Library.


Wednesday, 10:00AM at the Darien Community Association

Here is the link to the Channel 79 video: Channel 79 2017 DMA Service Awards.


Recipients of the Wartime Service Ribbon are:

John Barston, 95
John Bartlett, 74
William Bellis, 87
Richard Constable, 90
John Davidson, 72
Thomas Dunn, 84
Alexander Garnett, 71
John Geoghegan, 92
Stephen Gravereaux, 75
Kent Haydock, 91
John Hess, 70
Frank Johnson, 85
Gerrit Lydecker, 87
Albert Metayer, 89
Charles Scribner, 93
Edward Spurgeon, 86
Lawrence Story, 78
Howard Thompson, 85
Peter Wells, 78
Thomas Williams, 86
John Wolcott, 73

May 10, 2017
Phil Vitiello – Civil War Historian
The CSS Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship in battle.

Philip Vitiello, well-known Connecticut Civil War historian and re-enactor, will talk about the H.L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat. The night of February 17, 1864, the H.L. Hunley, a vessel of the Confederate States of America, sank the USS Housatonic off the coast of Charleston, S.C. The Hunley then mysteriously vanished with its crew of eight. Questions arose. Why had the underwater craft suddenly disappeared? More than a century later, it was discovered in 1995 by Clive Cussler and raised on August 8, 2000. Today, the Hunley resides at a conservation center where scientists are piecing together clues to solve the mystery of its disappearance. Philip’s presentation will tell the story of the men who designed the Hunley, how and where the submarine was built and how it worked. He will provide a history of the crew and surmise whether a Connecticut soldier was part of the Hunley’s crew. He also will discuss the recent burial of the remains of some of the crew at Arlington National Cemetery. Philip has spent 40 years studying, reading and visiting Civil War eastern theater battlefields. He is a vice president of the Civil War Round Table of South Central Connecticut and a charter member of The Friends of Hunley. As well, Philip is a charter member of The International Group for Historical Aircraft Recovery and the Titanic Historical Society. He teaches a history course at Norwalk Community College Lifetime Learners Institute. A lifelong resident of New Haven, he is a graduate of the University of New Haven and director of marketing for Northeast Food Marketing in Stamford. Philip last spoke to the DMA about the Civil War hero General Joshua Chamberlain.

Wednesday, 10:00AM at the Darien Community Association


May 3, 2017
David Polk – First Tee Foundation of CT

David Polk, executive director, The First Tee of Connecticut, will talk about “It’s More than Just a Game.” His presentation has something for golfers and non-golfers. The First Tee believes its programs help improve the lives of those who embrace the game’s traditions and values. Last year, The First Tee enrolled more than 2,300 young people in certifying programs at golf facilities across the state. It exposes underprivileged youth to golf who otherwise might not have access to the game. The First Tee curriculum includes in-school and national school programs, group lessons, on-course team programs and summer camps. In addition to golf, it teaches nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, courtesy, judgment, confidence, responsibility and perseverance. The curriculum also teaches nine healthy habits – energy, play, safety, vision, mind, family, friends, school and community – that are part of the game of golf. In addition to his work at First Tee, David volunteers as trustee of the New Britain Museum of American Art and is past chair of the Hartford Marathon Foundation, past chair of the Connecticut Sports Management Group and current chair of Church Homes, Inc. He lives in West Hartford with his wife Rennie and enjoys playing golf at the Hartford Golf Club.


April 26, 2017
Dr. Michael Parry MD: Infectious Diseases Called Super Bugs

Michael Parry, M.D., is director of infectious disease and microbiology at Stamford Hospital and is professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University. He will talk
about “Super Bugs.”

Dr. Parry has received numerous teaching and quality awards, has published more than 100 articles, reviews and book chapters and has been recognized for his work in HIV infection, influenza
vaccination, antimicrobial resistance and hospital epidemiology.

He established the Infectious Disease Department at Stamford Hospital, where he has practiced clinical infectious diseases and hospital epidemiology since 1976. He currently occupies the Thomas Jay Bradsell Chair of Infectious Diseases, funded by a donation from a grateful patient.

Dr. Parry is a founding member of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Infection Control Council and has been active on many local, state and national committees on infectious diseases, quality and safety, and public health.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

He was president of the Connecticut Infectious Disease Society from 1990 to 1993 and was that society’s nominee for its Clinician of the Year award in 1995 and 1996.

Dr. Parry received a B.A. degree in English from Yale University in 1966 and an M.D. degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1970. His residency training was completed at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

Arranged by Jack Fitzgibbons

Super Bug Presentation by Dr. Parry


Meeting video:

April 19, 2017
John Rousmaniere – Historian for the New York Yacht Club
History of the America’s Cup yacht races

John Rousmaniere will present “The America’s Cup, Then and Now,” an entertaining review of
the nearly 170-year history of one of the world’s most celebrated and sometimes controversial sports trophies.

John is the author of 30 books covering a wide range of topics, including the America’s Cup, yachting history and seamanship. His books include Fastnet Force 10, After the Storm, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship and three histories of the America’s Cup.

He is a recipient of the Mystic Seaport W.P. Stephens Award for maritime history.

John has sailed more than 40,000 miles in many waters and is a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Cruising Club of America. He headed the media operation for the four most recent Newport-Bermuda races.

Descended from a Frenchman who served on the rebels’ side in the American Revolution, John is an alumnus of Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary.

After many years of residing in Stamford, he now lives in Manhattan with his wife Leah and sails wherever there are good boats.

Arranged by Bob Fiske

April 12, 2017
David Fitzpatrick, CNN Journalist
Cable news coverage of and impact on the 2016 election.

David Fitzpatrick: 40 Years Covering News around the World

David Fitzpatrick will talk about his 40-year career as a network television producer and manager covering major news events around the world.

David recently retired from CNN after serving as a senior investigative producer for more than 15 years.

Previously, he was with CBS News for 25 years. He also was with the ABC News primetime news magazine 20/20 for two years.

At CNN, he covered many of the world’s most riveting events: the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, the tsunami in Indonesia and the missing Malaysian airplane. He also covered the Boston Marathon bombing and the terrorist
attacks in Paris and Brussels.

While at CBS News,he served in bureaus in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and London. He was bureau manager in Chicago and the network’s national editor in New York.

He was lead producer for CBS coverage of the Iran hostage crisis and produced “60 Minutes” for three years, working with Morley Safer’s team.

His friend and colleague Dan Rather once said it’s “easier to list the places around the globe David hasn’t worked than to list the places where he has been.”

David and his wife Adria Bates Fitzpatrick live in Darien and have three adult children.

Arranged by Alex Garnett

April 5, 2017
James Mapes
Author: “Imagine That:Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance”

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