Metro-North New Haven Line MTA Metropolitan Transit Authority An M8 car on the tracks

Commuter Advocates to the Governor: Metro-North Needs to Enforce Mask Rules

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The lives of thousands of daily passengers on Metro-North are being jeopardized by the railroad’s refusal to enforce federal and state safety rules requiring face masks, according to the Connecticut Commuter Action Group and the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council in a joint announcement. Here’s most of the news release from the two groups:
Writing to Governor Lamont, the leaders of the independent CT Commuter Action Group and state-created CT Commuter Rail Council appealed to the Governor to safeguard passenger safety by having authorities issue citations to those refusing to wear masks. “Metro-North says it wants passengers to come back to the trains but their refusal to issue a single ticket to mask scofflaws says the opposite,” said Jim Cameron of the CT Commuter Action Group. [Cameron is a Darien resident.]
“Metro North clearly needs to do a better job with mask enforcement if they wish to motivate and convince riders that rail transportation is safe to use.  The Commuter Council continues to make that request however nothing seems to change.” noted Jim Gildea, chairman of the state-created CT Commuter Council. Both advocates called on the Connecticut Department of Transportation to require Metro-North, the state’s vendor, to enforce the  masking rules.  To date, not a single citation has been issued to offenders by MTA Police, despite the rise in cases of the COVID  Delta Variant.

Darien Public Schools

Superintendent: Board of Ed to Discuss COVID Regulations Tuesday — What the Plan Says

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The Board of Education, at its meeting Tuesday night, will discuss a proposed plan for COVID-19 regulations in Darien schools when they reopen for the upcoming school year, and members of the public can tell the board what they think about the plan. In a message to parents on Friday, Schools Superintendent Alan Addley described highlights of the district’s plan, called the “Safe Return Plan” or “SRP.” The plan follows mandates and guidelines already sent out by the state government, along with recommendations from the federal government, Addley said. Those mandates and guidelines often change, he said, especially now in response to the Delta variant. “Preparations are well underway to welcome all of our students back to school in the fall,” the superintendent said. Remote learning will only take place with students in quarantine, he said.

Metro-North New Haven Line MTA Metropolitan Transit Authority An M8 car on the tracks

Cameron: Metro-North Doesn’t Give Citations to Riders Violating Masking Rules

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Despite promises to keep their passengers safe during the pandemic, data from Metro-North Police shows that not a single citation was issued to violators of the facemask rule on the commuter railroad in the last nine months. — an announcement from The Commuter Action Group

“Kudos to reporter Brendan Crowley for his FOI request for this
data, filed in late May,” said Jim Cameron of The Commuter Action Group. “As an advocate for riders’ interest I’ve heard almost daily reports of unmasked riders on trains… reported details to the railroad and seen no action taken. This data confirms their ‘safety measures’ were a sham.”

As the CTExaminer reported today:

Transit workers have issued 38 summons for refusing to wear a mask on
public transit since MTA instituted fines on Sept. 14, 2020 — that number
includes riders on New York City subways and buses, and the Long Island
Railroad Since the beginning of 2020, MTA reported that it had issued 772
citations on Metro-North trains, but none for failing to wear masks.

Charlie Sherman Charles Sherman

How Four Area People with Disabilities Work and Live on Their Own, With Help

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How many of us have dreamed of having our own home? How many want that home located in our home town, where we know people, we know the shopkeepers and the street signs, and where people know our name? — an announcement from STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way

For many adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), that’s not only their dream, it’s their reality, thanks to a program from the state Department of Developmental Disabilities called Individualized Home Supports. Here’s how several people in Darien and nearby communities were helped by the program:
Charlie, at Whole Foods in Darien
There is hardly a customer at Whole Foods in Darien who is an unfamiliar face to Charlie, who has worked there for over six years. In a job that makes him beam with pride, he says: “Everybody knows me […] I get to be outside on my own helping and greeting people, not a lot of bosses, and I just do what I gotta do!”

To get to work each day, Charlie walks from his apartment in his hometown of Norwalk to the East Norwalk Metro North station, where he boards the local train to Darien.

Abilis Expands Special Needs Services in Darien With Four Programs This Year, More Expected

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Abilis, a nonprofit that serves people with special needs and their families, will be expanding programs and services in Darien, starting with four programs in the areas of job training, life skills, employment and housing. — an announcement from Abilis

Abilis is now accepting applications for two programs: Abilis LEAP Transitions Program, which helps people acquire life skills, as well as Project SEARCH, a 10-month internship at the Darien YMCA to provide job training. Two other programs are still in the works: Sometime later this year Abilis will open Darien Library Café. Later this summer and early fall, the organization will run the supportive living program for 12 new, large studio apartments on East Lane, as part of the Corbin District project. “Having these four initial Abilis programs, and more to come, in the Darien community, will only strengthen our ability to help more individuals with disabilities or special needs,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis.

COVID-19 Coronavirus purple from CDC tweet

First Selectman: With Pandemic in Retreat, Town Pulls Back on Various COVID-19 Measures

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Darien’s regular vaccine clinic is closing on June 3. If you’re vaccinated, you don’t need a mask when you’re in Town Hall. Town boards and commissions will shift to in-person meetings in June. First Selectman Jayme Stevenson made these points — each of them reflecting a pandemic threat that’s shrunk in this town — in her regular Code Red message Thursday night. As if to underline the theme, she said this will be her last regular update.

Rid Your Home of Toxic Waste: Darien Household Hazardous Waste Day Comes on June 5

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The Darien Department of Public Works is organizing the town’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Day to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 5 at the Noroton Heights Train Station. — This article is based on an announcement from the Darien Department of Public Works

The event gives you an opportunity to get rid of toxic, sometimes poisonous household items you don’t want that could be a hazard to you and your family members, especially children. And it lets you do it in a safe way that doesn’t hurt the environment, making it a better alternative to putting it in the trash, which would go to an incinerator that puts it into the air; flushing it down the toilet, which sends it to Long Island Sound; or pouring into the soil on your property. If you’re going to the drop-off site on the train station’s south parking lot (nearest the tracks leading away from New York City), you need to use the entrance at Hollow Tree Ridge Road. After driving through and dropping off your items, you leave the station using Ledge Road, near Post 53.