Community news: Two authors to speak in Darien about gratitude, and more

Authors to speak about gratitude

The authors of two different books that each center around being thankful are joining together for a free online event co-hosted by the Darien Library and the Barrett Bookstore.

“An Attitude for Gratitude with Gina Hamadey and A.J. Jacobs” is set for Jan. 20, at 7 p.m.

For her book “I Want to Thank You,” Hamadey spent a year writing daily thank you notes, while Jacobs set out on a global journey to thank every person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee for his book “Thanks a Thousand.”

Both authors will speak about their unique experiences of applying gratitude in their everyday lives.

Jacobs is a contributor to National Public Radio, The New York Times and Esquire magazine. He has written four New York Times-bestsellers and given several TED Talks.

A Brooklyn, N.Y. resident, Hamadey’s work has appeared O, The Oprah Magazine, Food & Wine, Rachel Ray Every Day and Women’s Health.

This event will take place on Zoom. You will receive an email confirming your registration with a link to join the webinar after you register at

Arctic lecture series underway

Every January since 1956, the Darien Community Association’s Academic Lecture Series has brought topical global issues in focus, offering attendees first-hand knowledge of the issues.

The current series, “The Arctic: From Deep Freeze to Hot Spot,” started Jan. 6 with a lecture from Marisol Maddox, a Polar Institute arctic analyst.

The second lecture is at 10 a.m. Thursday, with Paul Andrew Mayewski, director of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute. Mayewski, a glaciologist, climate scientist and polar explorer, will discuss “The Arctic, New England and the First Abrupt Climate Change Event in the Modern Era.”

All the lectures in the series are virtual events and registrants will receive an email with Zoom webinar access information the day before each lecture.

Visit for all ticket options, and pricing for the series. An anonymous donor helped underwrite the cost of the series.

There is also an opportunity to sign up and save $25 off the cost of a series subscription at

DCA updates info on bridge classes

The Darien Community Association canceled its newplicate and duplicate games for this week to protect the health of players and instructors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DCA also changed the dates of its Beginning Bridge card game class. The series of classes will now be held on the following five Thursdays: Feb. 3, Feb. 10, Feb. 17, March 3 and March 10, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The instructor is Meredith Dunne.

The cost of the classes is $150 for members and $175 for nonmembers. They are designed for those who have little or no experience playing the card game.

Topics will include basic bids and play of the hand. Teaching materials will be provided. Attendees can come with or without a partner.

To register, visit or call 203-655-9050, Ext. 10, by Jan. 31.

To see all the bridge options offered, including Bridge Basics Review Mondays, Bridge Basics Review Wednesdays, and Beginning Bridge 3, visit

Students must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to attend the classes at the DCA at 274 Middlesex Road in Darien.

Book Talk set with Erik Larson

Barrett Bookstore and the Darien Community Association will host an in-person Book Talk event with author Erik Larson at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the DCA at 274 Middlesex Road.

The event will celebrate the release of the paperback edition of Larson’s bestselling book, “The Splendid and the Vile.”

The evening will feature a conversation with Larson, including a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Tickets costs $25 for DCA members and $35 for nonmembers. A signed copy of the new paperback book is included in the ticket price. Additional copies will be available at the event.

“The Splendid and the Vile” an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz and paints an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis.

Registration is required by noon Feb. 14 by visiting or calling 203-655-9050, Ext. 10. Seating in the DCA’s Garden Wing will be limited.

Masks are required. Attendees must show proof of vaccination or a same-day negative COVID-19 test.

The DCA is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and changes may be made to the event format. Refunds will not be available.

Recycle your Christmas fir at ‘Trees for Trout’

The Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited will hold its annual “Trees for Trout,” a Christmas tree recycling event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, at Merwin Meadows Park at 52 Lovers Lane in Wilton.

Residents can drop off their trees, which are used to help stabilize stream banks, reduce erosion and create refuge habitat for wildlife. A $10 donation is suggested as well.

Each summer, volunteers with the Mianus Chapter anchor the pine trees in the river, creating a structure called a “conifer revetment.” The structure helps to trap silt in the river, rebuild eroded banks and develop a narrower, deeper and cooler river that is better for the fish and wildlife living along the river, according to the Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Founded in 1975, the Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited, is a grassroots conservation nonprofit conservation organization. For more information, visit

Town urges homeowners to test for radon

The Darien Health Department is advising residents to test their houses for radon, especially with many families spending more time at home due to COVID-19.

A limited numbers of free test kits are available at the Darien Health Department office at 2 Renshaw Road. Residents can call 203-656-7320 to arrange to pick up a test kit.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has designated January as National Radon Action Month. Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that is found throughout the United States.

It is harmlessly dispersed in the outdoors most of the time, but radon can reach harmful levels when it is trapped in buildings.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, according to the EPA. Radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year.

The gas can be drawn into a house through cracks in foundation and openings for sump pumps and plumbing.

If a problem is found, it can be fixed by installing ventilation systems, sealing entry routes and/or installing sub-slab depressurization systems to reduce the levels of the gas in the homes.

Lower levels of homes tend to have the highest levels of radon. Gas levels also vary seasonally, and tend to be higher in the winter.

The best time to test for radon is during the winter when homes are closed up and furnace is running.

Radon test kits can also be purchased through the American Lung Association or at home improvement stores for less than $25.