Category: Activities (page 1 of 15)

Activities are gatherings that occur on a regular schedule, usually weekly, to enjoy a specific pastime.

Gold Outing, Wee Burn, Thursday, Sep 13, 2018

Thursday, September 13: 8:00 Shotgun at the Wee Burn Country Club. $160 fee includes cart and forecaddie. Lunch to follow. Denny Devere is coordinating.

Gold Outing, Country Club of Darien, Aug, 9th, 2018

Thursday, August 9: 9:00 golf outing at the Country Club of Darien. $115 fee includes cart. Lunch to follow. Denny Devere is coordinating.

July Outing: TBD. Peter Carnes is coordinating.

MCNC (Men’s Club of New Canaan) Golf Tournament, Wed, June 20th, 2018

Wednesday, June 20: DMA – MCNC (Men’s Club of New Canaan) Golf Tournament at the Silvermine Golf Club. DMA team will be selected by lowest handicaps. 8:30 Shotgun. $60 cash includes cart and Buffet Lunch. Trophy presentation to the winning team after lunch. Denny Devere (dgdevere@optonline.net) is coordinating.

Current Affairs Discussion: Genetic Privacy, TBD

From the National Human Genome Research Institute:
Each person’s DNA sequence includes health and other information about them and their families. Technological advances mean that it is now cheaper and easier than ever to sequence and interpret genomic information. Whether genomic information is being used for research, clinical or other uses, it is important to consider how best to ensure that individuals’ privacy is respected. There are laws and policies that serve to protect the privacy of individuals’ genomic information, and there is ongoing debate as to whether further measures are needed.
https://www.genome.gov/27561246/privacy-in-genomics/

Genetic privacy involves the right or mandate of personal privacy concerning the storing, repurposing, provision to third parties, and displaying of information pertaining to one’s genetic information. The advent of new technologies streamline high-throughput, low-cost sequencing of human genomes that raises important ethical concerns about the future of healthcare.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_privacy

Think how many times you’ve had blood drawn. You have no idea if your DNA is in some database.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-biobank-dna-babies-who-has-access/?ftag=CNM-00-10aac3a

I joined this study sponsored by the NIH.  I’ll be giving away my DNA.  More to gain than lose.  I hope it is used for good.  Gary
https://www.joinallofus.org/en

Golf Outing: Sterling Farms, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 10AM


The first outing this year is at Sterling Farms Golf Course in Stamford, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 10 a.m.

To sign up, email Peter Carnes at picarnes@gmail.com.

Provide your handicap to facilitate pairings.

Fee is $47. Includes cart.

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

For news about other events and activities, go to the DMA website.

Save the Grass. Park on paved areas of the parking lot only.

Wander Jackson Heights, May 15, 2018

John Barston reports that David Mace will lead a wandering in Jackson Heights on Tuesday, May 15, that begins at 52nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue and ends at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The walk is approximately 4½ miles.

For a shorter walk, there are subway stops along the way to go back to Grand Central Station.

There are 138 languages spoken here. We will start in an Irish neighborhood. Then we will pass through Korean, Thai, Tibetan, Indian, Ecuadorean and Colombian neighborhoods.

The shops are all family owned – no Gap or Polo stores. The sights, sounds and smells are what will make this wandering exciting.

Join us on the 8:36 a.m. train out of Darien or the 8:39 a.m. out of Noroton Heights.

We will gather at the Information Booth in Grand Central Station before taking the subway to Jackson Heights.

Contact: David Mace (203) 655-7555, davidmace@optonline.net

To learn more about DMA events and activities, go here. To post news and photos on the website, email gary.m.banks@gmail.com. For the newsletter and email distributions, send news and photos to raymeurer9@gmail.com.

No Turning Back : Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria by Rania Abouzeid. Sep 12, 2018

This astonishing book by the prize-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid tells the tragedy of the Syrian War through the dramatic stories of four young people seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country. Extending back to the first demonstrations of 2011, No Turning Back dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict. As protests ignited in Daraa, some citizens were brimming with a sense of possibility. A privileged young man named Suleiman posted videos of the protests online, full of hope for justice and democracy. A father of two named Mohammad, secretly radicalized and newly released from prison, saw a darker opportunity in the unrest. When violence broke out in Homs, a poet named Abu Azzam became an unlikely commander in a Free Syrian Army militia. The regime’s brutal response disrupted a family in Idlib province, where a nine-year-old girl opened the door to a military raid that caused her father to flee. As the bombings increased and roads grew more dangerous, these people’s lives intertwined in unexpected ways. Rania Abouzeid brings readers deep inside Assad’s prisons, to covert meetings where foreign states and organizations manipulated the rebels, and to the highest levels of Islamic militancy and the formation of ISIS. Based on more than five years of clandestine reporting on the front lines, No Turning Back is an utterly engrossing human drama full of vivid, indelible characters that shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century’s greatest humanitarian disasters

God Save Texas : A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright, Aug 8, 2018

Explores the history, culture, and politics of Texas, while holding the stereotypes up for rigorous scrutiny. God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslim adherents). The cities are blue and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports. The Texas economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation has produced extraordinary growth but also striking income disparities. Texas looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. And Wright’s profound portrait of the state not only reflects our country back as it is, but as it was and as it might be

Current Affairs: Gun Control, June 21, 2018

Discussion Leader: Charles Salmans

Gun Control

Interpreting The Second Amendment – The Right to Bear Arms

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The historical debate over the language of this amendment, as to whether this is an individual right or a right in conjunction with service in “a well regulated militia”, has antecedents before the amendment was drafted. John Adams wrote that Congress should not prevent peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. James Madison, in Federalist Paper 46, wrote about the right to bear arms within state militias as a means to keep in check a federal army.

In a 2008 Supreme Court ruling, District of Columbia vs. Heller, Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, argued that the right to bear arms was a “right of the whole people, an individual right.” Justice Stevens disagreed in a minority opinion, arguing that this was a right in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia.

The following Wikipedia entry summarizes interpretations and rulings over the years:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Legal restrictions on weapons ownership that comply with the Second Amendment

The right to bear arms does not guarantee the right to buy or possess any weapon. Wikipedia on Federal Gun Control Laws

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_law_in_the_United_States

In 1939, in US vs. Miller, the Supreme Court upheld the law banning the right to buy, sell or possess a sawed-off shotgun.

From 1994-2004, there was a Federal ban on assault weapons, but that lapsed when Congress refused to renew it under pressure from the NRA. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban for definition of “assault weapons” under the law.

In the 2008 Heller decision, Justice Scalia wrote that the right to bear arms had boundaries. “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” For example he cited laws that prohibit the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or that forbid them in places such as schools and government buildings, or impose conditions on their sale. In other words, gun enthusiasts are wrong when they claim that any limitation on firearms is unconstitutional.

President Trump has called for a ban on “bump stocks” that effectively turn a semi-automatic weapon into a full automatic weapon, but although this has been filed as a proposed rule change by the Justice Department, it has not yet been implemented by the Justice Department and will be challenged.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bump-stock-ban-trump_us_5ab92cf5e4b0decad04cb02a
There are also concerns that it will be hard to enforce, as some 500,000 are in circulation.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/proposed-bump-stock-ban-would-be-tough-to-enforce-1523185201

The President has also called for the age limit for purchase of a firearm be raised to 21. That proposal is opposed by the NRA and has not been implemented as yet. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-vows-care-bump-stocks-executive-action/story?id=53421961

CDC and other Data on Gun Deaths

Gun death statistics kept by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) counted 38,658 deaths in 2016 (including suicides). Data collected by Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that tracks media and law enforcement reports of shootings estimated that

3,964 children and teenagers were shot in 2017 including fatal and nonfatal shootings (CDC: 6,400 children and teens have been shot each year)
Incidents of defensive gun use were 2,030 in 2017 (the majority of gun owners cite self defense as their primary reason for owning a gun.
Unintentional shootings dropped by 9%. Only four states have some form of law requiring gun owners to safely store their guns when not in use, a practice linked to lower rates of accidental shootings.

The First Estimate of 2017 Gun Deaths Is In

A trauma surgeon describes high velocity wounds, such as from an AR-15 or an AK-47, that are much more destructive than those from a low velocity weapon. The bullet destroys whole areas of the body and shatters bone into hundreds of microscopic pieces.

When a Bullet Enters a Body: Gun Violence as Seen by a Trauma Surgeon

Correlation between rate of gun ownership and gun violence, effect of Background Checks on gun deaths and suicide rates

Among US states and among countries, there is a correlation between the rate of gun ownership and gun violence.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts

Gun ownership correlates with gun deaths. Connecticut and other New England states rank low in gun ownership and gun deaths.

Developed countries with more guns have more gun deaths.

America has six times as many firearm homicides as Canada, 16 times as many as Germany.

The US has 4.4% of the world’s population, but nearly half of all civilian-owed guns around the world.

There have been more than 1,600 mass shootings since Sandy Hook (defined as four or more people shot in an incident) but these are a tiny percentage of firearm deaths.

States with Universal Background Checks had fewer gun deaths and those with stricter gun provisions had fewer suicide deaths.

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21739193-washington-dithers-and-argues-some-states-show-way-what-works-reduce-gun-deaths?fsrc=scn/fb/te/bl/ed/whatworkstoreducegundeathsfirearmsandthelaw

Federal law requires background checks for anyone purchasing a firearm through a licensed dealer, but says nothing about private sales or transactions at gun shows. Many buyers slip through this loophole. A survey of 1,613 gun-owners published in 2017 found that 42% had acquired their most recent weapon without a background check. The internet has made sales even harder to police. A probe by private investigators hired by New York City in 2011 found that 62% of online private sellers agreed to sell guns to people who stated they “probably could not pass a background check”.

Proposals to further restrict gun ownership

Constitutional Amendment or Supreme Court ruling that departs from the 2008 District of Columbia vs. Heller ruling and links the “right to bear arms” to militia (National Guard?) membership.

Both these seem unlikely.
Proposals by the Parkland Students.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2018/mar/23/parkland-students-manifesto-americas-gun-laws?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=268684&subid=13072209&CMP=GT_US_collection
Ban semi-automatic weapons that fire high velocity rounds.

Ban accessories that simulate automatic weapons such as bump stocks.

Establish a database of gun sales and universal background checks paired with data on individuals’ infringement of gun laws, criminal offenses, and mental records.

Change privacy laws to allow healthcare providers to communicate with law enforcement.

Close gun show and secondhand sales loopholes.

Allow the CDC to make recommendations for gun reform.

Raise the firearm purchase age to 21.

Dedicate more funds to mental health.

Increase funding for school security.
Other proposals:

“Red Flag Laws” – Extreme risk protection orders allowing the police to take away guns from people deemed by a judge to be dangerous, often after a family member or acquaintance raises concerns. Connecticut was the first state, in 1999, to pass such a law.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/23/us/red-flag-laws-guns.html

Require gun-buyers to apply for permits or licenses and to pass safety training. Twelve states and Washington, DC have such laws, several of which require would-be handgun-buyers to pass safety training. Canada has such a requirement. Some require people to turn up at their local sheriff’s office or police department. This may deter so-called “straw purchases”, in which someone stands in for a debarred buyer.

The Australian Solution. Make it illegal to own an unregistered firearm and then have periodic amnesties to allow people to turn over firearms without prosecution. To date, some 700,000 firearms have been surrendered to authorities in Australia.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-43236421
“The good guy with a gun” proposal.

Allow teachers and officials to carry guns in K-12 schools. Case history of an Ohio school where unnamed teachers have received training and have secured access to firearms.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/01/us/armed-teachers-guns-schools.html

Allow concealed carry without a permit and in more places. Concealed carry reciprocity would allow citizens who live in a state that allows concealed carry to legally carry in states that do not have concealed carry.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concealed_carry_in_the_United_States

Problem of Overhang of Guns already in Private Possession

If new controls were imposed upon the sale and/or possession of firearms of various types, there still would be the problem of the weapons already in circulation. Presuming that the US attitude toward guns is different than in Australia, it’s unlikely that a high percentage of guns in private ownership would be turned in. Arguably, those that remained would command a high price on the black market (and bid on by those with nefarious purposes).

Of the roughly 300 million firearms owned by Americans, an estimated 8.5 million to 15 million are AR-15 and similar assault style rifles according to the NRA
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article201882739.html

Even if the ban on “bump stocks” was imposed today, there are some 500,000 in circulation.

I was unable to find an estimate of the number of high capacity magazines in circulation.

American Gun Violence and Culture

It is not more difficult to buy guns or ammunition in Canada than the US, but the rate of homicide by guns is much less. Homicides in Canada are 5.1 per 100,000 vs 29.7 in the US. Virtually every gun used in an American mass shooting is legally available for purchase in Canada.

One difference: nobody legally buys a gun in Canada without first taking the Canadian Firearms Safety Course. Then they have to submit an application for a license where they are screened for risk factors such as criminal history and mental health. Unlike the US, where gun ownership is closely correlated with self defense, according to surveys most Canadians believe the only reason for owning a gun is to kill animals or to shoot at paper targets.

Most guns in school shootings come from home.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-school-shootings-most-guns-come-from-home-1522920600?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1

 

NYT’s Opinion – How to Reduce Shootings
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/06/opinion/how-to-reduce-shootings.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region 

Harlem Wandering, Tuesday April 17, 2018

Harlem Wandering, Tuesday April 17, 2018

 

Board the 8.58am train from Darien or the 9.02 am train from Noroton. Get off at the Harlem/125 th St Station and remain on the platform where we will congregate before we head down to street level to begin our wandering. ( Do not  head to Grand Central station).

 

No rain is presently forecast for Tuesday. Should this change, necessitating a postponement of our wandering, an email will go out Monday night/Tuesday morning.

 

Our wandering will cover the following areas:

 

 

–Mt Morris Park Historic Residential district, 120th St  environs.

— A loop from 120th St to 140 th St, Between Lenox Ave and Frederick Douglas Blvd

–Libation stop at Corner Social on Lenox around 11am

–135 th St –the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to the 1930s. This period saw a burst of creative energy in Black literature, art, dance and music (Jazz)

–Visiting Harlem Hospital’s Famous WPA murals, Cotton Club and site of Savoy Ballroom

–Abyssianian Baptist Church

 

–Townhouses on Strivers Row

 

— Bill’s Place where Billie Holliday was “discovered”

–Shriner’s Music Venue, hippest music spot in Harlem today

–Lafayette Theater where the first Shakespeare play with an all black cast was performed

–Theresa Hotel

–Apollo Theater

Lunch around 1 pm at Sylvia’s “Queen of Soul Food” Restaurant at Lenox Ave  Menu:  http://sylviasrestaurant.com/menus/

 

Train back to Darien around 3 pm

 

 

Photo courtesy of Harvey Mogensen

Hike Pomerance Park, Thursday April 12, 2018 , Greenwich 10.00 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 2-2 1/2 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 ssaksena44@gmail.com
203-561-8601

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