Minutes November 2, 2016


Minutes of Meeting November 2, 2016

The Depot, 25 Heights Road

In Attendance:  Gwen Mogenson, Carolyn Bayne, Nancy Cahoon, Mary Genco, Sue Okie, Kate Larson, Molly Myers, Susan Spain, Enid Oresman, Taylor Carter, Laurie Williamson, Martha Banks, Arlene Tulacro, Mary Ellen Moore, Joan Davis, Jim Cameron, Laura Mosher, and Christa McNamara.

Call to order:  Co-President Gwen Mogenson called the meeting to order at 9:35 am. More volunteers are needed to help record the monthly meeting minutes.  Gwen will be calling on Directors at Large to fill in as secretary at various meetings.

Approval of the October minutes was postponed until the next monthly meeting.

Treasurer’s Report:  Anstiss Agnew, treasurer, is moving to Stamford so Gwen Mogenson gave a brief report. The league has approximately $8,000 in a money market account and a balance of $10,000 in the checking account (before state dues clear).

Membership:  Molly Myers reported that 36 members have renewed and that 7 new members have joined.

The recruiting solicitation, which was merged with the Finance drive, was mailed in October.  The solicitation now suggests “named” contribution levels.  There was I slight glitch in the mailing and a few of last year’s letters were mailed instead (finance contribution levels were not named), but it’s not expected that this is a significant problem.

Molly Myers attended a recent CDSP meeting and outlined the League’s various activities. The presentation generated some interest in League membership and it is anticipated that the Attorney General’s presentation on school funding and other education issues will generate further interest.

New Program:  Karla Coe, head of programming, was not able to attend so Gwen Mogenson introduced the upcoming program.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen will speak to the League on Wednesday, November 16th about the recent lower court ruling, “CT Coalition for Justice in education Funding vs Rell” and the appeal he recently filed on behalf of the state.  The ruling, which held that that CT’s current method of allocating education funding throughout the state was unconstitutional, addresses not only state distribution of education funds but also teacher evaluations, special education and high school graduation requirements.

The event, which will be in the Community Room at 35 Leroy, is free and open to the public.  The meeting begins at 9:30AM with coffee and the hour long presentation will begin promptly at 10 AM.

Program information was shared with the Council of Darien School Parents for distribution to the parent community and will be shared with local print/on-line media.

Observer Corps Light: Featured Speaker, Lucia Zachowski, President “Friends of Gorham’s Pond”

Lucia Zachowski outlined the dredging and restoration of Upper Pond of the Goodwives River. This has been a multiyear project coordinating private action and non-profit contributions with local and state government oversight and funding.  Money for the restoration came from a state STEAP (small town economic assistance program) grant ($450,000), from Darien ($150,000) and from private contributions ($50,000).  The project involved removal of 880 tons of sediment, reconstruction of an existing dam and installation of a fish ladder.

The Connecticut DEEP (Department of Environmental Protection) stipulates that a watershed approach (top down) be employed in any restoration projects. As a result, Lucia indicated that the Upper Pond was the first area tackled in restoration of the Gorham’s Pond.  The next project will be the area beneath the dam.

Some other interesting facts:

-Sixty-five percent of Darien’s land mass drains through this watershed

-Both Stoney Brook River and Goodwives River drain into Gorham’s Pond

-Gorham’s Pond is so filled with sediment that it is only inches deep in many places – making it very inhabitable to fish in the summer particularly

-Eighty-seven percent of the sediment “clogging” the watershed is from sand that the State Department of Transportation previously spread on Route 95 during storms. Note: The state no longer uses sand during storms

-Increased flooding in North Darien is thought to be occurring because of the sediment build-up in Gorham’s Pond

-Go to friendsofgorhamspond.org for additional information about the watershed and the project

Candidates Night Recap:

Nancy Cahoon thanked all league members involved in Candidates Night for their services. She also thanked Channel 79 for the on-line broadcast and multiple repeat showings, including on-line video streaming.

Christa McNamara asked how the order of listing of candidates on the program was determined.  Mary Genco and Nancy Cahoon indicated that the names are listed in the order in which they appear on the ballot and that this has been standard practice for League Candidates Nights. Further, the names are listed exactly the way they appear on the ballot.

Voters Guide:

Mary Genco said that a hard copy of the Voters Guide will appear in the 11/4 publication of the Darien Times.  There will be no on-line publication of the Guide except for lwv.org due to concerns about associated ad placement.

Candidate response to Voters Guide questions was good. It was due in large part to Mary Genco’s significant follow-up efforts.

General Voters Service Outreach:

Mary Genco said that the Darien Library has expressed an interest in co-sponsoring and publicizing events to foster civic engagement. Mary is enthusiastic about this possibility, as it would significantly increase the League’s contact range.

She stressed that both organizations will adhere to non-partisan policies. Discussions are at the early stages.  She asked anyone interested in volunteering to pursue this topic to contact one of the Darien LWV co-Presidents.

Darien High School Video Competition Results:

For the first time, the Darien League challenged students to submit a 30 second public service announcement video about the importance of voting.

Professional Judges, Jim Cameron (TV 79 and Cameron Communication), Shannon Silsby (Perpetual Insights Inc. and former Unilever brand manager) and Matt Shea (videographer) judged the eight submissions.  Tyler Stimson and Forrest Lazzara tied for first place and each received $125. Kody Schutzman came in third and received a $50 cash prize.

Winning videos are posted to the main page of lwv.darien.org and also are being run on TV 79.

Food for Thought-Karla Coe Discussion Leader:

The October discussion was recapped.  It dealt with on-line privacy or the lack thereof.  Through our actions on the internet, we are essentially agreeing to lose our privacy.

The next FFT is Thursday, November 17th, 12:30-2: PM, at the home of Ann Ferris, 30 Hale Lane.

Join a freewheeling discussion of a topical news subject.  The topic is not announced in advance so no preparation is required.

Save the Date: Holiday Party December 9th, hosted by Callie Sullivan

Gwen Mogenson called it the best party in town!  It’s live “Capitol Steps like” political satire entertainment presented by our “fabulous member group.”  If you’re interested in writing lyrics or singing along contact Gwen Mogenson-no experience or talent required!

Rehearsals are Sunday afternoons at the home of Sue Okie.

Arlene Tulacro is heading planning and organization of the hospitality. Sandy McDonnell will assist her.  She has engaged help to clean up after the party.

Arlene suggests that all League Board members consider providing a main course for the event.

Other Information:

Gwen Mogenson suggested that members visit the CT State League website source VOTE 2016 for everything you need to know about the November 8th election day voting.

The meeting was adjourned at 11AM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Martha Banks

Acting Secretary to the November 2, 2016 Board meeting casino free games slots no downloads