Category: Activities (page 1 of 11)

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

Killers of the Flower Moon : the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history         In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.       Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.       In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection.  Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.        In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.

 

Recommended by John Podkowski

Library has it as a BiaB.

Happy Wanderers: City Island, June 22, 2017

This will be the last wandering of the spring season.

We will carpool to City Island, departing from the Darien Community Association on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 9:45 a.m.

Please gather in the back parking area near the Green House. We will set up the carpooling there and leave the empty cars in that same area.

Driving directions will be provided for each car. For GPS users, the address of the location where we will park our cars is 150 Rochelle St., Bronx, NY 10464.

City Island is part of New York City but has a small-town atmosphere. Located at the western end of Long Island Sound, the island is about a mile long, with multiple side streets leading off of City Island Avenue, the island’s main street.

Sites along the way are boatyards, scenic overlooks, yacht clubs and many other interesting neighborhoods with restaurants, gift shops and numerous nautical attractions.

Our tour of the island will take about three or four hours, with time for lunch.

The weather is supposed to be sunny, so everybody should slap on the sunblock and bring a hat. After all, it is the start of summer.

For questions, contact Joe Spain (203) 655-1264 or jhspain@sbcglobal.com.

Golf Outing: Country Club of Darien, Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday, August 17:
9:00 am at the Country Club of Darien. $110 includes cart. Outing contact: Denny Devere at dgdevere@optonline.net. Host: Tom Lom. Further details and a sign-up sheet will be sent to DMA members in late July.

Golf Outing: Woodway Country Club, Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday, July 19:

10:30 am Woodway Country Club. $135 includes cart. Outing contact: Denny Devere at dgdevere@optonline.net. Host: Jim Kelly. Further details and a sign-up sheet for the Woodway Golf Outing will be sent to DMA members after the June 20 Sterling Farms Golf Outing.

Let There Be Water : Israel’s Solution for a Water-starved World by Seth M Siegel

As every day brings urgent reports of growing water shortages around the world, there is no time to lose in the search for solutions. The US government predicts that forty of our fifty states-and sixty percent of the earth’s land surface-will soon face alarming gaps between available water and the growing demand for it. Without action, food prices will rise, economic growth will slow, and political instability is likely to follow.Let There Be Water illustrates how Israel can serve as a model for the US and countries everywhere by showing how to blunt the worst of the coming water calamities.Even with sixty percent of its country a desert, not only doesn’t Israel have a water problem; it has an abundance of water. Israel even supplies water to its neighbors-the Palestinians and the Kingdom of Jordan-every day.Based on meticulous research and hundreds of interviews, Let There Be Water reveals the methods and techniques of the often off-beat inventors who enabled Israel to lead the world in cutting-edge water technology. Let There Be Water also tells unknown stories of how cooperation on water systems can forge diplomatic ties and promote unity. Remarkably, not long ago, now-hostile Iran relied on Israel to manage its water systems, and access to Israel’s water know-how helped to warm China’s frosty relations with Israel. Every town, every country, and every reader can benefit from learning what Israel did in order to transform itself from a parched land into a water superpower.Beautifully written, Let There Be Water is an inspiring account of vision and sacrifice that will long be admired by government officials and engaged citizens facing water shortages and other seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Recommended by Jim Phillips. The Library has a copy.

Golf Outing: Sterling Farms Golf Course in Stamford, Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 10 a.m.

The first outing this year is at Sterling Farms Golf Course in Stamford, Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 10 a.m.

To sign up, email Peter Carnes at picarnes@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.

Link to Sterling Farms: http://www.sterlingfarmsgc.com/

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.

Recommended by Jim Phillips

A Fine Mess : A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System by T. R. Reid

New York Times bestelling author T. R. Reid travels around the world to solve the urgent problem of America’s failing tax code, unravelling a complex topic in plain English – and telling a rollicking story along the way.

The U.S. tax code is a total write-off. Crammed with loopholes and special interest provisions, it works for no one except tax lawyers, accountants, and huge corporations. Not for the first time, we have reached a breaking point. That happened in 1922, and again in 1954, and again in 1986. In other words, every thirty-two years. Which means that the next complete overhaul is due in 2018. But what should be in this new tax code? Can we make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient? Yes, yes, and yes. Can we cut tax rates and still bring in more revenue? Yes.

Other rich countries, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK—advanced, high-tech, free-market democracies—have all devised tax regimes that are equitable, effective, and easy on the taxpayer. But the United States has languished. So byzantine are the current statutes that, by our government’s own estimates, Americans spend six billion hours and $10 billion every year preparing and filing their taxes. In the Netherlands that task takes a mere fifteen minutes! Successful American companies like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google effectively pay no tax at all in some instances because of loopholes that allow them to move profits offshore. Indeed, the dysfunctional tax system has become a major cause of economic inequality.

In A Fine Mess, T. R. Reid crisscrosses the globe in search of the exact solutions to these urgent problems. With an uncanny knack for making a complex subject not just accessible but gripping, he investigates what makes good taxation (no, that’s not an oxymoron) and brings that knowledge home where it is needed most. Never talking down or reflexively siding with either wing of politics, T. R. Reid presses the case for sensible root-and-branch reforms with a companionable ebullience. This affects everyone. Doing our taxes will never be America’s favorite pastime, but it can and should be so much easier and fairer.

Recommended by Gary Banks.

September 21, 2017
Current Affairs Discussion:
Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Comprehensive Immigration Reform: challenges and problems in accomplishing it.

Discussion leader: Charlie Goodyear

A general history immigration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States

On the 1986 Immigration Act: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Reform_and_Control_Act_of_1986

Immigration Reform Act of 2007
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_Immigration_Reform_Act_of_2007\

On illegal immigration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_immigration_to_the_United_States

E-Verify is a government system to verify a workers legal right to work in the US. It seem logical that if illegal immigrants cannot work “above the table” it would discourage immigration. But it is not mandatory: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/make-e-verify-mandatory-when-hiring-and-that-will-help-stop-illegal-immigration-2016-11-02

Also (may want to read the comments following the article): http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/5-things-you-should-know-about-e-verify/

An article from the Economist on the education levels of new immigrants. Also the +/- of a point system. http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21723108-far-being-low-skilled-half-all-legal-migrants-have-college-degrees-immigration?frsc=dg%7Cc

Happy Wanderers – Fort Washington Outpost – Tuesday, June 6, 2017

EPSON scanner Image

We will be walking the Hudson River Greenway from 181st Street to 165th Street and lunch at Coogan’s Restaurant on Broadway and 164th Street. After lunch is the option to return to Grand Central via the west side subway or walk over the Highbridge to the IRT subway in the Bronx. The trip up and down for the Greenway has some steep inclines so some my be too tired after lunch.

Leader: Taylor Strubinger

Hike Babcock Preserve, Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 10:00

HIKING BABCOCK PRESERVE in GREENWICH, CT

Reschedule from FRIDAY MAY 26, 2017 due to weather.

Our last hike of the season will be on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. We will be hiking the Babcock Preserve which is a 300 acre tract of forested land in Greenwich, north of the Merritt. It is the largest park in Greenwich and consists of several hiking trails over a relatively easy terrain. It was acquired by the Town of Greenwich in 1972, partially by gift and partially by purchase from the Babcock Family.
At this time of the year the park is a particularly pretty lush green with its tranquillity interrupted only by the chirping of birds. We plan to hike about 3.5 miles and be done by 12.30pm. Half this trail is relatively flat with the balance consisting of a not too strenuous gentle slope.
As usual wives and significant others are welcome.
After the hike we will have lunch (optional) at the Asiana Bistro, a fusion Asian restaurant located at 844 High Ridge Road in Stamford.

DIRECTIONS

From the south-bound Merritt Parkway take Exit 31 (North St). At the top of the exit ramp make a left turn on to North St-north. About half a mile down the road on the left will be the clearly marked entrance to Babcock Preserve. There is ample parking. Meet there at 10.00am on 5/26/17.

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

A Beautiful Place to Die : a Novel by Malla Nunn

Award-winning screenwriter Malla Nunn delivers a stunning and darkly romantic crime novel set in 1950s apartheid South Africa, featuring Detective Emmanuel Cooper — a man caught up in a time and place where racial tensions and the raw hunger for power make life very dangerous indeed.

In a morally complex tale rich with authenticity, Nunn takes readers to Jacob’s Rest, a tiny town on the border between South Africa and Mozambique. It is 1952, and new apartheid laws have recently gone into effect, dividing a nation into black and white while supposedly healing the political rifts between the Afrikaners and the English. Tensions simmer as the fault line between the oppressed and the oppressors cuts deeper, but it’s not until an Afrikaner police officer is found dead that emotions more dangerous than anyone thought possible boil to the surface.

When Detective Emmanuel Cooper, an Englishman, begins investigating the murder, his mission is preempted by the powerful police Security Branch, who are dedicated to their campaign to flush out black communist radicals. But Detective Cooper isn’t interested in political expediency and has never been one for making friends. He may be modest, but he radiates intelligence and certainly won’t be getting on his knees before those in power. Instead, he strikes out on his own, following a trail of clues that lead him to uncover a shocking forbidden love and the imperfect life of Captain Pretorius, a man whose relationships with the black and coloured residents of the town he ruled were more complicated and more human than anyone could have imagined.

The first in her Detective Emmanuel Cooper series, A Beautiful Place to Die marks the debut of a talented writer who reads like a brilliant combination of Raymond Chandler and Graham Greene. It is a tale of murder, passion, corruption, and the corrosive double standard that defined an apartheid nation.

Recommended by Jan Selkowitz

Older posts