Author: GaryMark (page 1 of 2)

Hiking Devil’s Den Preserve Friday, Oct 13, 2017 10:00am

Devil’s Den Hike Postponed to Friday, October 13, at 10 a.m.
Rain is expected tonight.
Even though tomorrow may be a clear day, the trails at Devil’s Den will still be wet and slippery.
Therefore, the hike is postponed to Friday, October 13, which will be beautiful and sunny. A perfect fall day for hiking.
For questions, contact Sunil Saksena (293) 561-8601, ssaksena44@gmail.com

We will be hiking the trails at Devil’s Den Preserve in Weston on Thursday, October 12, with a 10 am start. This is the largest nature preserve in SW Connecticut and extremely popular with hikers. Owned by the Nature Conservancy, its has 1700 acres of woodlands, wetlands, ponds and streams, and 20 miles of picturesque trails. It is home to 145 species of birds, 20 species of mammals, and over 400 varieties of trees and wildflowers.

We will be hiking a loop of about 3.5 miles.This trail has a moderate level of difficulty in that there are places of gradual uphill, but these are usually followed by long stretches of flat trail.  You do need sturdy shoes as the trail is rocky in places.

The hike will last about 2-2 ½ hours and will give us ample opportunity to bathe in the forest air.  I mention this because the Japanese believe hiking is good for one’s health, not just because of the exercise involved, but also because it gives one the opportunity to breathe the forest air which is swirling with healthful compounds released by the trees.

After the hike, at about 12.30pm,we will have lunch at a nearby restaurant, Wiremill Saloon and Barbeque, which is a local favorite and a short drive away.  It is located at 12 Old Mill Road,
Redding.

A usual, we welcome spouses and significant others on our hikes.

Directions
Take Exit 42 off the Merritt Parkway and at the bottom of exit ramp make a right turn onto Route 57 North towards Weston. After 3.8 miles, at the flashing light bear right to follow CT-53 for 1.7 miles. Turn left on Godfrey Road West and drive half a mile. Make right on to Pent Road which ends in the parking lot for Devil’s Den.

On Google Maps use this destination address : 33 Pent Road, Weston

Contact : Sunil Saksena 203-561-8601 (cell) ssaksena44@gmail.com

December 21, 2017
Current Affairs Discussion
Global Warming

November 16, 2017
Current Affairs Discussion
Tax Policy

DMA Christmas Party – December 13, 2017

Happy Wanderers — Walkway Over the Hudson River – 21 September, 2017

Happy Wanderers — Walkway Over the Hudson River – 21 September, 2017

This will be the first Wandering of our fall semester.

The Walkway, now a New York State Park, was opened by the New Haven Railroad in 1889 as a rail bridge from Poughkeepsie to Highland, NY, where it connected New England with other rail lines to the West and South. In 1974 a fire made the bridge unusable; and, until it was reconfigured in 2009 as the world’s longest pedestrian walkway, it went unused.

 

As you can see from the pictures, the views are spectacular.

We will carpool from the DCA to the Walkway parking area in Poughkeepsie, on Tuesday, September 19, departing at 8:45 a.m. Please gather in the back parking area, near the Greenhouse. We will set up the car pooling there, and the remaining cars will be parked there.

Driving directions will be provided for each car. For GPS users, the address of the parking area for the Walkway is 61 Parker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601.

We expect that the driving time to the Parking Area in Poughkeepsie will be about an hour and a half. Our walk itself, including pit stops and a pause for a libation should take about two to three hours.

We then plan to go to lunch at the nearby Culinary Institute, at one of the dining places on its campus that does not require reservations. After lunch, we shall go directly home, and expect to be back at the DCA at about 4:30.

The weather is expected to be sunny, so bring a hat and some sun-block.

For questions, please call Joe Spain – 203-655-1264 or jhspain@sbcglobal.net.

Group picture of the Wandering:

Hiking in New Canaan
Friday, September 15, 2017
10:00 am  

We will be hiking two properties in New Canaan on Septembr 15. Both are easily accessible and are a short drive from Darien. Both are rated C+ on the level of difficulty scale used to grade hikes (for a fuller description of this rating click on the Hiking tab   on the DMA website). This means that the terrain is relatively flat, but the trails may occasionally be strewn with rocks and roots. So one  has to exercise some care in traversing these trails, but other than that, they are relatively easy and should appeal even to the novice hiker.

The first property we will be hiking is the Hicks Kelley Audubon property owned by the New Canaan Land Trust. This T-shaped property is approximately 40 acres with just under two miles of interesting trails.

Following this hike we will take a short drive to the second property,the 80 acre Waveney Park, which is owned by the Town of New Canaan. Here the trail loop is about 1.5 miles and serenely beautiful.

 

 

 

 
After completing both trails we will head downtown for lunch at Restaurant  Chef Luis (129 Elm St., New Canaan)

We meet at 10 am on Friday, Septemeber 15 at the Hicks Kelley property, the entrance to which is adjacent to mailbox of house no. 161 on  Cedar Lane.

Driving instructions: Off the north-bound Merritt Parkway take exit 38. At bottom of the exit ramp make a right turn and after 0.3 miles( that is, at the second light) turn right onto Carter Road. Proceed 1.3 miles on Carter, then make a right turn on to Dabney Road ( this turn is at 409 Carter Rd).  Bear left at the fork and Dabney becomes Cedar Lane . Park along the road near 161 Cedar. It shouldnt take more than 5-6 minutes once you get off the Merritt.

Direction from Hicks Kelley to Waveney Park (which is off Exit 37) will be handed out on site.

These two hikes are relatively easy and have have been selected to encourage maximum particpation and to provide a warm up to the more challenging hikes to come. In addition to our regulars, we are hoping to entice some newcomers to give hiking a try.

Contact: Sunil Saksena, 203-561-8601, ssaksena44@gmail.com

Golf Outing: Sterling Farms, Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 10 a.m.

The last outing this year is at Sterling Farms Golf Course in Stamford, Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 10 a.m.

To sign up, email Peter Carnes atpicarnes@gmail.com.

Provide your handicap to facilitate pairings.

Fee is $46. Includes cart.

Confirmation and coordination will be via email during the week prior to play.

For directions to Sterling Farms, go here.

Book Discussion: Jan 10, 2018
A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles

A New York Times bestseller “The same gorgeous, layered richness that marked Towles’ debut, Rules of Civility, shapes [A Gentleman in Moscow]” – Entertainment Weekly   “Elegant… as lavishly filigreed as a Fabergé egg” – O, the Oprah Magazine   He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.   From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel  In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose. “And the intrigue! … [A Gentleman in Moscow] is laced with sparkling threads (they will tie up) and tokens (they will matter): special keys, secret compartments, gold coins, vials of coveted liquid, old-fashioned pistols, duels and scars, hidden assignations (discreet and smoky), stolen passports, a ruby necklace, mysterious letters on elegant hotel stationery… a luscious stage set, backdrop for a downright Casablanca-like drama.” – The San Francisco Chronicle From the Hardcover edition

Book Discussion: December 13, 2017
Dereliction of Duty
by H.R. McMaster

From respected Lieutenant General and Trump Administration National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, an authoritative, highly critical analysis of the arrogance, deception, and controversial decisions at the highest level of government that led to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. “The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C.” —H. R. McMaster (from the Conclusion) Dereliction Of Duty is a stunning analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out and disastrous war in Southeast Asia. Fully and convincingly researched, based on transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why. McMaster pinpoints the policies and decisions that got the United States into the morass and reveals who made these decisions and the motives behind them, disproving the published theories of other historians and excuses of the participants. A page-turning narrative, Dereliction Of Duty focuses on a fascinating cast of characters: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Congress and the American public. McMaster’s only book, Dereliction of Duty is an explosive and authoritative new look at the controversy concerning the United States involvement in Vietnam

September 6, 2017
Lennie Grimaldi
The CT Political Landscape

Lennie Grimaldi is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, TV Guide, Yankee Magazine and Connecticut Magazine.
He is the author of Connecticut Characters: Personalities Spicing Up The Nutmeg State, Bow Tie Banker , a biography of David Carson, the retired CEO of People’s Bank, and Chased, the life of mob infiltrator Billy Chase. He is also the author of Connecticut Whistle Stops: Greenwich to New Haven and Only In Bridgeport, An Illustrated History of the Park City.

He has won awards for journalistic excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists, Connecticut Chapter and United Press International.

Grimaldi has also written dozens of radio campaigns and corporate-crafted history programs for companies such as Louis Rich, HBO, Tropicana, Excedrin, Nivea, SNET, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Campbell Soup and Apple.

 

Grimaldi also brings a wide array of corporate communications and public relations experience. His clients have included Wal-Mart Stores and Donald Trump. For Wal-Mart Grimaldi directed a community and media relations campaign for the conversion of an EPA cleanup site in Stratford, CT into a new Wal-Mart retail outlet. For Trump, he handled communications during the hotly debated casino expansion issue before the Connecticut Legislature.

 

Keeping roots close to home he is the founder and host of the webzine Only In Bridgeport, devoted to government and politics in Connecticut’s largest city.

 

 

 

Contact Lennie Grimaldi, 203-913-2368

lenniegrimaldi@onlyinbridgeport.com

Connecticut Characters: Personalities Spicing Up The Nutmeg State

Lennie Grimaldi’s new book chronicles 40 years of spicy personalities from political chili peppers such as John Rowland and Joe Ganim, to pop culture cloves Linda Blair and Ed and Lorraine Warren to habanero Hells Angels and mobsters; a journey into the underbelly of cities to the wooded terrain of wilderness warriors. The FBI and Donald Trump too.

When 19-year-old Lennie Grimaldi tried to land an exclusive interview with 18-year-old actress Linda Blair following her arrest on drug charges he camped out near the women’s bathroom at a Westport bar. The Exorcist star gave him the interview. When Grimaldi needed color for a Connecticut Magazine profile of mobster Frank Piccolo, he crashed his wake. When Bridgeport’s sweet-and-sour Police Chief Joe Walsh refused an interview request, Grimaldi sent him a singing telegram. He got the interview.

These stories and more are chronicled in Grimaldi’s new book that captures a 40-year writing career covering some of Connecticut’s intriguing characters.

Grimaldi is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, TV Guide, Yankee Magazine and Connecticut Magazine. He also served as a media consultant to Donald Trump in the mid-/late 1990s. He is the founder and host of the webzine Only In Bridgeport, devoted to government and politics in Connecticut’s most populous city.

Link for consumers to order book http://www.lulu.com/shop/lennie-grimaldi/connecticut-characters/paperback/product-23109864.html

George Blackwell Cammann passes away August 15, 2017

George Blackwell Cammann, son of Katharine Blackwell and Frederic Almy Cammann, died peacefully on Tuesday, August 15th at home.

George was born on January 27, 1926 in New York City. After attending St. Marks School, he served as a Navy corpsman during WWII, and graduated from Cornell University (BMA’50). George spent the majority of his career at Pan American World Airways and a decade at Northwest Airlines. Upon retirement, he volunteered at IESC and Norwalk Hospital.

He actively served in the life of Noroton Presbyterian Church, including singing with his strong tenor voice in the choir in his later years. A member of the Tokeneke Club in Darien for 55 years, George was an enthusiastic competitor in his Sunfish on Long Island Sound or on the tennis courts. Equally at ease on alpine or nordic skis, George was noted for his skilled horsemanship at Elkhorn Ranch South in Arizona and Elkhorn Ranch Montana. His greatest pleasure came with good friends and tight lines fly fishing at Megantic, Potatuck, and on the Gallatin, Madison and Yellowstone Rivers.

George is survived by his wife of 64 years, Nancy Colway Cammann; his daughter Amy Cammann Cholnoky and her husband John of Darien, CT and Big Sky, MT; son Thomas Rhody Cammann and his wife Bonnie of Huntington Beach, CA; grandchildren JB, Kari, and Robbie Cholnoky, and Matthew (Andrea) and Sarah Cammann; and his brother Frederic Gallatin Cammann.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 1 at 11am, Noroton Presbyterian Church, Darien, CT. Contributions in George’s memory may be sent to Bennett Cancer Center, Stamford, CT or The Open Door Shelter, Norwalk, CT.
To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of George Cammann, please visit our Tribute Store.

October 19, 2017
Current Affairs Discussion:
Clean Disruption

In our first article Tony Seba makes the case that multiple technologies are converging that will massively disrupt the auto industry, use of space, transportation, energy, climate, … – all a big part of how we now live and work.   He calls it “Clean Disruption”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0&feature=youtu.be

Our  discussion will review his model.  Are the assumptions valid?  Is the logic consistent and complete?  What other scenarios are possible?  Timing?  US vs ROW?  Politics and regulation? Business threats and opportunities?

 

McKinsey Studies:

An-integrated-perspective-on-the-future-of-mobility

Battery-storage-The-next-disruptive-technology-in-the-power-sector

The-new-economics-of-energy-storage

SRP_2014_Disruptive_Solar

WEF_Game_Changers_in_the_Energy_System

 

UK and France will ban ICE (internal combustion engine) autos by 2040:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/world/europe/uk-diesel-petrol-emissions.html?mcubz=0&_r=0

Forbes: Volvo will stop designing ICE only cars by 2019. (They are not going all electric as some reported.)
https://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2017/07/05/volvo-says-it-will-stop-designing-combustion-engine-only-cars-by-2019/

Forbes: What if everyone installed solar?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/01/16/what-would-the-economic-impact-be-if-everyone-installed-solar-panels/#7d8b38e734cc

When you reduce the number of moving parts in an engine from 2000 to 20, increase the efficiency and useful life of each auto, and eliminate truck drivers, then that is going to result in unemployment on a massive scale in the socio-economic classes that have already suffered from the widening income gap experienced over the past 30 years, and contributed to the election of Trump. Are our politicians capable of recognizing the consequences and bold enough to take action to offset the disappearing jobs? Given our current ineptitude in gaining consensus in Congress and the absence of forward vision from the White House I do not feel confident of the corrective means being devised and applied. Add to that the possible turmoil created by falling demand for oil from the Middle East, and we begin to approach the conditions for a perfect storm. Bryan Hooper.

What should the price be to sell electrons back price to the utility? It can’t be the retail cost of electricity because all the fixed costs remain. Fixed costs include the power station and transmission lines. The variable cost is just the cost of fuel. But for nuclear that variable fuel cost is zero.

So with residential roof top solar, a battery and a maybe back up generator – do you need to be on the power grid at all? If you are off the grid you can’t sell excess power, but do you owe the utility anything? (Note that you pay for sewers whether you are hooked up to them or not.) Do people dropping off lead to a death spiral as fixed costs of a universal power grid are spread over a shrinking customer base?
https://www.brookings.edu/research/rooftop-solar-net-metering-is-a-net-benefit/

Will electric cars break the grid?
https://cleantechnica.com/2016/05/11/will-electric-cars-break-grid/

From Bloomberg Businessweek:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-21/how-electric-cars-can-create-the-biggest-disruption-since-iphone

https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2017/09/18/the-future-of-electric-vehicles-in-the-u-s-part-2-ev-price-oil-cost-fuel-economy-drive-adoption/#56379bd4345c

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/are-electric-cars-cheaper-to-run.htm

Solar shingles: https://www.consumerreports.org/solar-panels/doing-the-math-on-teslas-solar-roof/

Dyson plans to build an electric car (or at least a street legal riding vacuum):

 https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilwinton/2017/09/26/dyson-british-vacuum-cleaner-plans-electric-car-assault-with-2-7-billion-plan/#7bd2e0c456a5

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