George Floyd protest march Darien May 31 2020

Hundreds March in Darien to Protest Death of George Floyd

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A crowd of between several hundred and a thousand people took part in a march Sunday from downtown Darien to downtown Noroton honoring George Floyd, killed after he was arrested by Minneapolis police. Organized by the Rev. Dale Rosenberger, pastor of the First Congregational Church in Darien, along with clergy from St. Luke’s Parish, apparently including Rev. Susan Wyper and perhaps clergy or volunteers from other churches. The event lasted about an hour and included statements from clergy, as well as the 1.8-mile march west along the Post Road. Darien police blocked off street entrances to the Post Road, along with the Interstate 95 Exit 11 ramps.

AccessHealthCT home page website

Lose Your Job? Furloughed? For Many, Time’s Running Out to Get COBRA Health Insurance

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People who have lost a job have a 60-day deadline to get health insurance through COBRA, a period that is soon coming to an end for many of the laid-off, says Access Health CT, the state’s agency set up to help residents get health insurance. Losing health insurance coverage either from a furlough or a layoff is considered a ‘Qualifying Life Event,’ triggering a Special Enrollment Period through the federal COBRA benefits law. Access Health CT recommends comparing options with COBRA coverage. Workers who lose health insurance as a result of job loss may not know they have options, but Access Health CT says it may offer a better, less expensive choice, and is the only place where people can qualify for financial help to lower their costs. Here’s an announcement from the state agency:

Losing insurance either from a furlough or a layoff is considered a ‘Qualifying Life Event,’ triggering a Special Enrollment Period for that individual and possibly their household.

Georgette Harrison wide facebook Thriving Youth Task Force

Georgette Harrison Selected as Next Chair of Darien Thriving Youth Task Force

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The Thriving Youth Task Force (TYTF) is excited to announce that Georgette Harrison will assume the role of executive board co-chair for the 2020/21 school year. — an announcement from the Darien Thriving Youth Task Force, a project of the Community Fund of Darien

She has participated in TYTF since 2016, most recently as subject matter expert.  Harrison will succeed Darien Police Sgt. James Palmieri, who will complete his term as co-chair this year after also serving as a member of the task force for many years and an officer on the executive board since 2019. [see this letter to the editor]  Sgt. Palmieri will remain on the executive board as a liaison to the Darien Police Department.

Dana Goodfellow Aqua Water Art

New Online Art Classes for Adults Offered by Rowayton Arts Center

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The Rowayton Arts Center (RAC) is offering three weekly art classes for adults starting June 4 over Zoom. RAC Instructors Dana Goodfellow, Christy Gallagher and Susan Fehlinger will lead students online to provide an opportunity to learn and grow in their artistic specialties. — an announcement from Rowayton Arts Center
Dana Goodfellow will teach “From Realism to Abstraction” on Thursdays from 2 pm to 5 p.m., beginning June 4 for four weeks. The goal of this class is to use theories of composition, layout, design and perspective to allow for stronger realistic or abstract paintings. This class is a mixture of students whose work is either realistic or abstract or a mixture of both styles.

Police Memorial Day Ceremonies 2017

No Parade, But Memorial Day To Be Observed in Darien

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Although Darien’s Memorial Day Parade has been cancelled due to COVID-19, this year’s Grand Marshall, Vietnam veteran Allan Bixler, and Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, will be placing memorial wreaths in Spring Grove Veterans Cemetery on Monday morning to acknowledge and honor those who gave their lives in service to our country. — an announcement from the Darien Monuments and Ceremonies Commission
DAF Media will live-stream broadcast the placement of the wreaths (see link below.)
The Monuments and Ceremonies Commission encourages all to watch the broadcast from the safety and security of their homes. We ask anyone who may choose to attend, out of consideration for your neighbors’ health, to wear a mask, and ensure they, and any family members they may bring, observe strict social-distancing protocol.

Gov Lamont Reminds CT Residents of June 1 Deadline to Apply for Home Heating Assistance

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Gov. Ned Lamont is reminding Connecticut residents who need help paying last winter’s home heating bills that there is still time to apply to the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). An extended application deadline of Monday, June 1, 2020, gives eligible families and individuals — including those impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency — more time to apply for this vital assistance. — an announcement from the Governor’s Office

“Even though we are well into spring, we want to remind everyone that there’s still time to apply for assistance to pay for your home heating bills for the last winter season,” Lamont said. “I want to thank the Department of Social Services and the dedicated staff of Connecticut’s community action agencies and partners for their work on behalf of so many children, families, older and other adults who need assistance.”

“CEAP is an important public-private partnership that safeguards tens of thousands of vulnerable Connecticut households from the cold each year,” Social Services Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford said. “It also helps residents who are behind on their utility heating bills and may be at risk of a shutoff at some point.”

Connecticut residents are welcome to apply, regardless of whether their home is heated through electricity, natural gas, or a deliverable fuel.

Nancy McTeague-Stock Rowayton Arts Center

Paint and Sip Online Watercolor Class on June 4

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The Rowayton Arts Center is offering another Zoom “Paint and Sip” experience, this time with watercolors! The class will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, 2020. — an announcement from Rowayton Arts Center
— Editor’s note: The original announcement sent by the RAC included an image of a painting by another artist and wrongly attributed to McTague-Stock. The image here is her work. RAC Instructor Nancy McTague-Stock will lead students through a specific landscape painting, but participants are welcome to choose an image of their own.

Face Mask COVID-19 2020 Coronavirus hand made

Town Human Services Council Invites Darienites to Help Local Businesses by Providing Cloth Masks

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Several members of Darien’s Human Services Planning Council, which is convened by The Community Fund of Darien, stepped forward to create the Darien Mask Brigade, where individuals and groups may “adopt” a local business/organization and support their work by providing cloth masks for their employees. — an announcement from the Darien Human Services Planning Council
Due to the coronavirus health crisis, our current reality calls for wearing masks in public places and when not able to appropriately distance ourselves from others. This places a burden on local organizations and businesses, as their employees are required to wear masks at all times in order to operate and serve the community. Masks can be homemade or purchased. Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson applauded the initiative.

Monsignor Tom Powers St. John vicar general

New Pastor Starting September 1 at St. John Roman Catholic Church

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The Rev. Frank Hoffmann announced Monday that, starting Sept. 1, he will be succeeded as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien by Monsignor Tom Powers, the vicar general of the Diocese of Bridgeport. “I am filled with joy to announce to you that the new pastor of St. John Church will be Monsignor Tom Powers,” Hoffman wrote in an announcement emailed to parishioners on Monday.

Stop and Shop logo Stop & Shop logo

Identity Theft Device Found Attached to One Darien Stop and Shop Self-Checkout Scanner

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Darien Stop & Shop customers who used one of the self-checkout scanners may be the victims of identity theft, the grocery company has announced. Someone illegally installed a skimming device (or “skimmer”) at that register at the Stop & Shop in the Goodwives Shopping Center at 25 Old Kings Hwy. North. The skimmer was attached for five days at the end of last month — from April 26 to 30 at the Darien store, according to the company. If you may have opted for self-checkout at the Darien supermarket from April 26 to 30, you may want to check the account of any card you may have used to see if there are suspicious transactions, the Stop & Shop announcement said.

Tom McElroy Darien Christian Science Church speaker

Darien Christian Science Church Sponsors Free Webinar May 28 on How Spiritual Discovery Leads to Healing

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The Darien Christian Science Church is sponsoring a free, online talk via Zoom, given by Tom McElroy, CSB, on Thursday, May 28 at 7 p.m.

The talk, entitled “Spiritual Discovery: How you can better the world,” can be accessed at ID 933 238 675. — an announcement from the Darien Christian Science Church

You can also listen in by phone by dialing 301-715-8592 or 646-876-9923 and using the same webinar ID. The talk will focus on universal healing precepts found in the Holy Bible, especially in Christ Jesus’ life and teachings, and show how they are available for anyone to understand and experience through the lens of Christian Science. “Spiritual discovery is about understanding more of what God is and learning to see our lives and the world through God’s all-good nature,” McElroy says. “It’s about stripping away surface-level appearances in order to discern what actually IS.

Instructor Muffy Pendergast Rowayton Arts Center class 2020

Register Now for Rowayton Arts Center Classes for Kids K to Grade 5

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Rowayton Arts Center is offering two new weekly online art classes for children in Kindergarten through Grade 5. — an announcement from Rowayton Arts Center

Both classes will be taught on Zoom by Muffy Pendergast, the well known “Empress” of New Haven’s annual Giant Puppet and People Making Mayhem Parade. Zoom has now made it possible to share her creative teachings with the students of our community. The classes will be age appropriate and will focus on teaching the various elements of art through engaging and fun-filled projects, using items you already have in your house. Any extra supplies will be delivered to homes on a weekly basis.

Weed Beach

Darien Parks and Beaches Now Open: Here Are the Rules

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Darien Parks, including both beaches, are again open to Darien residents, the Parks and Recreation Department recently announced. They had been closed due to social distancing concerns in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. Here are the rules for visitors, from the town government website:
• Beaches will be open to vehicles starting Thursday, May 7 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

• Beaches will be open to Darien residents only

• Security guards will be checking for vehicle permit. A 2019 permit is valid through May 31, 2020. • Daily passes will not be sold at gate

• Park monitor will be enforcing social distancing rules, general park rules, and making sure large groups are not gathering

• No lifeguards will be on duty until further notice

• All picnic tables have been removed from the beaches • Trash cans have been removed.

Boating Course Students

Boating Safety Videos Now on Darien TV79

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Darien TV79 will be showing videos from America’s Boating Channel to promote safety on the water, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the local government cable channel announced. The first video, “Social Distancing While Boating” is 3 1/2 minutes long and already on Vimeo with six other America’s Boating Channel safety videos. Here’s the full text of the announcement, issued Tuesday morning:
Given that the COVID-19 crisis may be with us for some time, it’s important that everyone maintain the safe “social distancing” when out in public, even on the water. As marinas and boat clubs are allowed to re-open and boaters take to the water, America’s Boating Channel (ABC), which produces boater safety and education videos,  has produced a video segment regarding “social distancing and boating”. Darien TV79 will air the videos on its cable channel and Vimeo on-demand archive after that episode.