Category: Past Activites (page 1 of 9)

Saxon Woods Hike Friday, Nov 17, 2017 10.00am

We will be hiking at Saxon Woods Park in Scarsdale, NY on Friday Nov 17 at 10 am. This is a 700 acre county park and contains an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, a huge swimming pool, soccer fields and several miles of hiking trails in the woods. We will be hiking the part of the
park that is south of the Hutchinson Parkway off exit 22. The trails here are wide, well maintained and well marked and largely devoid of treacherous roots and rocks. We will hike a loop of about 3.5 miles which will take us 2-2.5 hours. This promises to be a most enjoyable
hike and we welcome our regular hikers as well as newcomers. Spouses and significant others will find this hike fun.

After the hike, at around 12.30pm we will have lunch(optional) at the nearby Red Plum Restaurant, a highly regarded and popular place serving mouth-watering Asian dishes at reasonable luncheon prices. ( Located at 251 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck).

Directions
Head South on the Merritt Parkway into Westchester. Take Exit 22 off the Hutch and make a left turn at the top of exit ramp onto Mamaroneck Road. Proceed about 200 yards and then make a left into the parking lot of the Weinberg Nature Center, marked by an easy to miss sign.

Address: 455 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale.
Meeting Time at parking lot: 10.00am
Contact: Sunil Saksena, 203-561- 8601, ssaksena44@gmail.com

Happy Wanderers: Central Park, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Taylor Strubinger reports that the Happy Wanderers will explore Central Park on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

We will be taking the 8:36 a.m. train from Darien and the same train from Noroton Heights at 8:39 a.m. We usually board at the front end of the train.

Everyone will gather briefly at the Information Booth underneath the clock in Grand Central Station before starting off.

The wandering will begin at West 72nd Street and Central Park West. Entering the park, we will pass the Strawberry Fields and the Sheep Meadow.

We also will see the Bethesda Fountain and the Bow Bridge. Other stops will include the puppet theater, the Shakespeare garden and the Great Lawn.

Lunch will be at a chosen location on Amsterdam Avenue or Columbus Avenue.

For questions, text, phone or email Taylor Strubinger (203) 952-6423, tstrubinger@snet.net.

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

November 16, 2017
Current Affairs Discussion
Corporate Tax Reform Policy

Leader: Harvey Mogenson

 

Discussion outline:

Part I – Brief example/ discussion of the current corporate tax system as a basis to compare the Tax Reform Proposals.  This would include the concepts of a) tax rules applicable to a US corporation vs a foreign corporation/subsidiary; b) what does “effective tax rate” mean; c) the historical trend away from corporations to pass-throughs.  (We only need this last item if we want to touch upon why there are proposals for special business rates for individuals.)
Part II – Discuss the proposals for a lower corporate tax rate and the major “offsets”.  (We could even compare the “offsets” with the current list of tax expenditures to see where the offsets came from.)
Part III – Discuss the proposals for a “territorial system” applicable to dividends from foreign subsidiaries.  This would focus on “deferral” vs “exemption” and probably some discussion of global competition.

ESTIMATES OF FEDERAL TAX EXPENDITURES FOR FISCAL YEARS 2016-2020
http://sma.darien.org/wp-content/uploads/Tax-1.pdf

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act H.R. 1 Section-by-Section Summary
http://sma.darien.org/wp-content/uploads/Tax-2.pdf

Corporate Income Tax Rates around the World, 2017
http://sma.darien.org/wp-content/uploads/Tax-3.pdf

Labor Bears Much of the Cost of the Corporate Tax
http://sma.darien.org/wp-content/uploads/Tax-4.pdf

An Overview of Pass-through Businesses in the United States
http://sma.darien.org/wp-content/uploads/Tax-5.pdf

International Comparision of Effective Corporate Tax Rates
http://sma.darien.org/wp-content/uploads/Tax-6.pdf

Policy Perspectives
Ernst & Young LLP’s rapid response to the House Ways and Means Committee’s tax reform
draft bill, “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”
http://sma.darien.org/wp-content/uploads/Tax-7.pdf

A Turnabout on Corporate Taxes
https://www.wsj.com/article_email/a-turnabout-on-corporate-taxes-1508883600-lMyQjAxMTE3MzA1NjgwNTY4Wj/

Republican Plan: Tax People, Not Companies
https://www.wsj.com/article_email/gop-goes-with-the-global-flow-tax-people-not-companies-1509554364-lMyQjAxMTI3MzA2NjIwNjY0Wj/

Historical background and European VAT taxes.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-11-09/how-to-break-out-of-our-long-national-tax-nightmare

Senate Tax Reform Bill
http://sma.darien.org/wp-content/uploads/11.9.17-Chairmans-Mark.pdf

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: Nov 8, 2017
Midnight in Broad Daylight
A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds

Pamela Rotner Sakamoto

midnightMeticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II—an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption—this is a riveting chronicle of U.S.–Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America.

After their father’s death, Harry, Frank, and Pierce Fukuhara—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved to Hiroshima, their mother’s ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry returned in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry was sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators and he dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, his brothers Frank and Pierce became soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army.

As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face each other in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of their family.

Alternating between the American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylightcaptures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—as never told before in English—and provides a fresh look at the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, it is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.

Side read: Hiroshima by John Hersey

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

From Paul Williams: http://brook.gs/2fAZBmc

On the rapidly emerging technologies to improve electric storage: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2015/09/15/five-emerging-battery-technologies-for-electric-vehicles/

Book Discussion, October 11, 2017
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.

Charlie Rose interviews the author:
https://charlierose.com/videos/30603

September 13, 2017
Book Discussion:
The Things They Carried
Tim O’Brien

A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carriedis a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The Things They Carrieddepicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. Taught everywhere from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing. The Things They Carried won France’s prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award., A classic, life-changing meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling, with more than two-million copies in print Depicting the men of Alpha Company-Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three-the stories in The Things They Carried opened our eyes to the nature of war in a way we will never forget. It is taught everywhere, from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing, and in the decades since its publication it has never failed to challenge our perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, and courage, longing, and fear., Tim O’Brien’s modern classic that reset our understanding of fiction, nonfiction, and the way they can work together, as well as our understanding of the Vietnam war and its consequences.

 

Side reads:

“Dispatches” by Michael Herr.  According to John Wolcott, who served in Viet Nam, this accurately captures the life of a grunt.  One of the greatest examples of war journalism ever written, Michael Herr’s clearheaded yet unsparing retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, finding clarity in one of the most incomprehensible events in our modern era. A National Book Critics Circle finalist and highly acclaimed upon its publication, Dispatches still retains its resonance as America finds itself amidst another military quagmire.  

 

 

 

“Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad.  Charles Marlow is a steamboat captain on the River Thames near Gravesend England. He and his crew work for an ivory trading company. One day he recounts to his fellow crew the story of his life and how he became a captain for the steam boat company. The focus of his story involves the journey Marlow undertook to the outer reaches of the company’s operations. Here he tells of his wild encounters with Mr. Kurtz, a man with a great reputation for bringing in the most ivory for the company. Kurtz is widely respected by the natives, yet Marlow has some differing opinions as he struggles to understand Kurtz’s way of life, while uncovering secrets about the strange way Kurtz conducts his business.

This book inspired the movie “Apocalypse Now”.

 

 

Golf

Do you enjoy a round of golf with friends? The DMA golf club is open to players of all handicaps. See the posts below for upcoming events.

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