Town Urges Residents, Especially Those Physically Vulnerable, To Be Prepared for Future Storms

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Darien recently experienced town-wide power outages during Tropical Storm Isaias and a busy hurricane season is predicted for 2020. Darien Human Services is urging all residents to be prepared and is reaching out to seniors and individuals with disabilities or serious medical conditions. — an announcement from the Darien Human Services Department

The staff of Darien Human Services maintains an Emergency Call List with the names of vulnerable seniors and disabled individuals to contact prior to and after a storm or town-wide emergency. The staff will provide reassurance and a wellness check and will also inform residents of resources available in the community such as Emergency Shelters and Cooling or Charging Centers. It is imperative that residents who are vulnerable, or have medical conditions that might make them vulnerable during an emergency, notify Darien Human Services so their name can be added to our list.

Health Department Inspection Ratings Restaurants 11-17-17

Latest Health Inspection Reports of Darien Food-Serving Establishments

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Here’s how Darien restaurants and other food-serving places fared in the latest inspection reports, released Thursday by the Darien Health Department. The department on Thursday released seven reports of inspection visits from July 28 to Aug. 1. Of those, two inspections resulted in a “B” rating and five more received an “A.” No establishment was rated “C.”

Health Department ratings

‘C’ Rating for One Darien Establishment in Latest Health Inspection Reports

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One restaurant in Darien received a “C” rating, the worst grade in town Health Department’s A/B/C ratings system, in the inspection reports released recently by the Darien Health Department. The department released 20 health inspection reports for food-serving establishments for inspections that took place from July 10 to July 29. Darienite.com also found two inspections for Woodway Country Club (one for the pool snack bar). Eight inspections resulted in an “A” rating and nine others received a “B.” Keep in mind that a food-serving establishment with a history of good ratings may occasionally get a poor inspection rating, occasionally the best do, and every restaurant normally gets a few things wrong.

Jim Cameron Darien TV79

Darien TV79 Upgrade Now Allows More Programming Each Day — Got an Idea for a New Show?

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Darien TV79, the town government television station, has expanded its program offerings thanks to a $50,000 grant for new technology from the Darien Foundation. The TV station has also announced that it is looking for programming from the community — so if you’d like to create a show, get in touch. — an announcement from Darien TV79 and the Darien Foundation

The station’s new CASTUS server system will allow scores of programs to run each day, bringing the Darien community a fresh look at all aspects of the town. In addition, the grant allowed TV79 to buy new cameras and video production gear. “Our old system allowed us to only air six shows a week,” said TV79 Program Director Jim Cameron.

Weed Beach Darien Park and Recreation Park & Recreation 03-02-17

Changes in Rules Announced at Darien Parks

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The Darien Parks and Recreation Department has announced various changes related to more reopening of facilities now that the COVID-19 epidemic is spreading slower. Lifeguards will be on duty at both beaches starting July 1. Also, trash cans are being brought back to town parks on Friday. The department also announced that “all trash cans will be reinstated at all parks and beaches tomorrow, June 12, 2020.” In an email, Park & Rec Director Pam Gery said: “[W] had an unfortunate incident of two pictures of garbage left at Weed Beach that turned viral on social media today.

Town Hall 2015

RTM Sets Budget; Cuts Taxes a Bit More for a $16.33 Mill Rate; Finance Board, GOP Ed Board Members Sharply Criticized

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July’s town tax bills will be a bit lower after the Representative Town Meeting on Monday cut the 2020-2021 budget enough to reduce town taxes from 16.47 per $1,000 of assessed value to $16.33, a reduction of 14 cents. The Board of Finance had proposed a budget with a tax rate of $16.36 (11 cents under the present rate), and the final tax rate is 3 cents less than that. The RTM, with the legal ability to to cut budgets but not to raise them, is the final authority on cutting the budget and setting the mill rate. The RTM voted overwhelmingly to cut various, relatively small items from the Board of Finance’s proposed budget, including financing to: repaint the tennis courts at Weed Beach that are nearest the entrance, remove money from Town Hall maintenance and refurbishing project accounts where money hadn’t been spent, kitchen equipment for the Weed Beach snack concession, and money for a ride-on leaf blower. All the cuts came from the Board of Selectmen’s side of town budget.

Theresa Vogt 02-04-20

Theresa Vogt: Here’s How the New Partisan Behavior on the Board of Ed Can Hurt Darien Education

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During a contentious Representative Town Meeting discussion Monday night, RTM Member Theresa Vogt’s comments criticizing partisanship on the Board of Education was ruled out of order by the moderator, Seth Morton, for bringing partisanship into the RTM and for not being close enough to the topic (the budget). Vogt and others, including David Bayne, who is both an RTM member and the chairman of the Democratic Town Committee, didn’t sway Morton, so Vogt didn’t get to read her entire comment, the end of which addressed actions on the Board of Finance. Others in the meeting made much shorter versions of similar comments. Since it appeared that she had prepared her remarks beforehand, and since her arguments competently address an important topic, Darienite.com was able to ask her for it, and here it is:

Theresa Vogt, District 6.  I am the vice chair of the Education Committee.  My comments tonight are not on the behalf of the Education Committee. I would like to discuss partisan behavior, the lack of transparency, and the behind the scenes communications of certain Board of Ed members, as well as public comments that I found condescending toward the school administration and Darien taxpayers made by the chair of the Board of Finance.

PJ protest march June 7 2020

SIDEBAR: Three Speeches from Sunday’s Black Live’s Matter March

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These were three speeches given before or after at Sunday’s Black Lives Matter march through Darien. You can find quotes from them and other speeches in this related article, but these full texts may add to further understanding the event:

Editor’s note: These statements were recorded, although occasionally [as noted within brackets] some of the words couldn’t be heard. PJ’s Speech
One speaker, identified only as “PJ,”:

I moved here 22 years ago with my family. I’m very proud of my children, very proud of their voice, and I want to add something to their voice. I want to add something to this town that I love, this town that I grew up in, this town I live in, this town that I work in, this town where my friends are, and everything.

Marchers protest march black lives matter June 7 2020

Several Hundred March in ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protest Through Downtown on Sunday

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After a brief rally in the Trader Joe’s parking lot on Sunday afternoon, several hundred people decrying racism and police brutality in recent deaths marched to Darien Police Headquarters in a peaceful demonstration. Starting at 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s, the 1.6 mile march lasted until about 2:20 p.m.

“How many more lives have to be lost in order for change to go into effect?” one of the organizers, Max Johns, told the crowd of 300 to 400. He was shaking as he spoke. “How many more times must we wake up and see people of color marginalized, beaten, arrested and killed?

Black Lives Matter protest poster June 7 2020 march wide for Facebook

Another Darien Protest March Planned for Sunday, Starting at 1 PM

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A ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest walk has been planned for Sunday in Darien, starting at 1 p.m. at Trader Joe’s, 436 Post Road and ending at the Darien Police Headquarters, 25 Hecker Ave. The Darien Democratic Town Committee reported on its website: “March co-organizer Steven Gomez, 20 , confirmed the details with the DTC:

Quick rundown, there is a parking lot near Trader Joe’s, we will have people park there and around, we will have a few people who want to speak, a moment of silence for George and the other lives lost, then a walk down post road to DPD, and back to get to our cars. A peaceful protest, masks required, gloves if possible, and we just want to spread awareness and pop the bubble which is Darien.  

“Steven Gomez, 20 and Barak Mustafa, 19, both Middlesex and Darien High graduates, are co-organizers of the event. It was originally advertised under Gomez’s Instagram account.”

Tucker Carlson Ellen Dunn DHS SPLC Racism

DHS Principal’s Recommended Source for Reading About Racism Denounced on National Fox News Show

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Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson on Friday criticized Darien High School Principal Ellen Dunn for recommending a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of the sources of information students and parents could use in learning about racism in light of events surrounding the George Floyd killing. “Now, ironically, the Southern Poverty Law Center is itself a hate group,” Carlson said. “That has been documented extensively. Now their agenda is the school’s agenda. It’s what your kids are learning.”

Capitol

Governor: Towns to Get Everything They Asked For in Reimbursements for March-to-June Spending Related to COVID-19

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The federal funding now made available to the state ($75 million) to reimburse local governments for COVID-19 expenses is nearly twice the amount ($40 million) municipalities recently told the state that they expected to spend through the end of June, according to state officials. “We are reimbursing municipalities for their full cost of their expenses to date,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in an announcement Thursday. The money, from the federal CARES Act, also funds testing for the virus and an even larger amount for school district expenses due to COVID-19 — $111 million in Connecticut. The funds, which must be for additional COVID-19 expenses alone, will be given out in future months as well, according to an announcement from Gov. Ned Lamont’s office. School districts will get a share of $111 million from Connecticut’s portion of the CARES Act funding.