Category: Past Activites (page 1 of 8)

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/

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

Chess Club

Looking for a challenging game of chess?

The DMA Chess Club welcomes players of all levels.

We meet Mondays, 12:30-3:00 at the Mather Center.


For more information contact Tony Kwedar

 

Mianus River Park Hike
April 28, 2017, 10AM

Mianus River Park Hike
scheduled for Friday April 28, 2017 at 10am
Merriebrook Lane, Stamford
The 400 acre Mianus River Park straddles the towns of Stamford and Greenwich and is owned jointly by them. Its dramatic landscape includes the Mianus River and its tributary streams, a hilly terrain, hiking trails, rock formations and plentiful widflowers. We have hiked here before but this time we will be trying a new, more interesting trail.This trail starts with climbing a hill followed by the slope easing off into a comfortable hike.

More about the park can be found at:
Mianus River Park

We will hike approximately 3.5 miles and, starting at 10am, be done by about 12.30 pm.

As usual, participation from spouses, significant others and friends is welcome.

The hike will be followed by lunch(optional) at the Mackenzie Bar and Grill located at 970 High Ridge Road, Stamford.
Date & Time : Friday, April 28, 2017 at 10 am

Meeting Point: Parking lot at the Stamford entrance of the Mianus River Park on Merriebrook Lane, off Westover Road
Parking. : lower level, just below the large red cabin on the right side of Merriebrook

Directions: . Search for Merriebrook Lane in Stamford on google maps or follow these
directions:
Heading south towards NYC on the Merritt take exit 33 on to Den Road . Then take the first left on to Bangall Road and a left again on to Riverbank Rd. This turns slightly right and becomes Westover Road. After 1.2 miles, make a right on to Merriebrook Lane( careful, it’s easy to miss this turn). The park entrance and parking lot is ¼ mile down the hill on Merriebrook.

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

Cheese Boards

Sometimes there is a scrap of lumber laying around that you are sure there MUST be a good use for.   Here the Woodworkers took scraps of contrasting wood, joined, glued, planed, sanded and finished them to make attractive cheese boards.

 

 

Boy Scout Tag Sale 2017

Several pieces of furniture donated to the Boy Scout Tag Sale were in need of repair.  The problems included broken legs and a split top.  In the condition they were in, they would bring only a low price – or possibly have to be junked.

The DMA Woodworkers were able to repair a doll’s barn, table, secretary and hope chest to usable condition.  They should bring a good price for a good cause.

 

June 14, 2017
Book Discussion:
The Undoing Project
Michael Lewis

How a Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality. Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.

The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield—both had important careers in the Israeli military—and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter. This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.

 

Discussion Leader: Harris Hester

The Library has 4 copies of a shorter book, Think Twice by Michael Mauboussin, that addresses the subject. He lives in the area and has spoken at the Library. He’s Managing Director, Global Strategies, Credit Suisse. Gary Banks

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 ssaksena44@gmail.com
203-561-8601

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.
http://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/what-s-the-future-of-us-mexico-relations

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. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/05/mexicos-revenge/521451/

Nafta has made Mexico a better place, writes @MaryAnastasiaOG from Harris
https://www.wsj.com/articles/nafta-has-made-mexico-a-better-place-1489957421

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. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/04/world/americas/mexico-nafta-north-american-free-trade-agreement-sugar-subsidies.html?ref=business&_r=0

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”.
http://www.mauldineconomics.com/this-week-in-geopolitics/mexico-as-a-major-power#

How Mexico’s President Laid the Foundation for a Wall
Enrique Peña Nieto helped put Trump in the White House. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/01/trumps-accomplice-in-mexico/514430/

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. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/12/mexico-nafta-trade/510008/

America Is Already Paying for the Wall With Mexico
How Trump made an enemy. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/01/america-is-already-paying-for-the-wall-with-mexico/514658/

Now that you have done your reading, there is a test of how much you know about Mexico courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2012/0701/How-much-do-you-know-about-Mexico-Take-our-quiz/What-does-the-5th-of-May-commemorate-in-Mexico 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 GAO.gov 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)

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1981/12/the-education-of-david-stockman/305760/

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

www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/opinion/trumps-tax-cuts-may-be-more-damaging-than-reagans.html?emc=eta1

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.
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2017/01/24/trump-mulvaney-and-managing-federal-government/

A Brooking op-ed on Trump’s tax proposal. https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/trumps-tax-plan-amateur-hour-at-the-treasury-department/

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.
http://www.npr.org/2017/04/03/522424621/fine-mess-you-can-learn-a-lot-about-a-country-by-its-taxes It is a comparative look at our tax code.

May 10, 2017
Book Discussion:
Hero of the Empire
Candice Millard

From New York Times bestselling author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt, a thrilling narrative of Winston Churchill’s extraordinary and little-known exploits during the Boer War.

At age twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England one day, despite the fact he had just lost his first election campaign for Parliament. He believed that to achieve his goal he must do something spectacular on the battlefield. Despite deliberately putting himself in extreme danger as a British Army officer in colonial wars in India and Sudan, and as a journalist covering a Cuban uprising against the Spanish, glory and fame had eluded him.

Churchill arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, there to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels. But just two weeks after his arrival, the soldiers he was accompanying on an armored train were ambushed, and Churchill was taken prisoner. Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape–but then had to traverse hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits to guide him.

The story of his escape is incredible enough, but then Churchill enlisted, returned to South Africa, fought in several battles, and ultimately liberated the men with whom he had been imprisoned. Churchill would later remark that this period, “could I have seen my future, was to lay the foundations of my later life.”

Millard spins an epic story of bravery, savagery, and chance encounters with a cast of historical characters—including Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener, and Mohandas Gandhi—with whom he would later share the world stage. But Hero of the Empire is more than an adventure story, for the lessons Churchill took from the Boer War would profoundly affect 20th century history.

Discussion leader: Chris Filmer

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