Antique show

this weekend

To the Editor:

On behalf of the First Congregational Church of Darien, we would like to thank the entire community for its overwhelming support of the upcoming 444th annual Darien Antiques Show and Preview Party, kicking off Friday night, March 4, and running all weekend.

The contributions of local merchants and townspeople of their time and talent, as well as goods and services, have been spectacular. This year's Preview Party will be elegantly staged by ReDesign Your Space; will include a live auction by C. Downing Auctions (who will also be at the show for complimentary appraisals); and a scrumptious pastry display by Whole Foods Markets. Church and community members have contributed a fabulous array of prizes for the silent auction: jewelry; vacations; sports tickets and memorabilia; and numerous incredible surprises.

Proceeds resulting from all the donations will benefit St. Luke's LifeWorks and 16 other local charities.

Our February kick-off party, New Collector's Night, was made possible with donations by White Bridge Wines and Spirits, Palmer's Market, Last Detail Interior Design's own Carey Karlan, and Kim McKessey Floral Design.

A special thank you to our 2011 sponsors: William Pitt Sotheby's International; People's United Bank; and Moffly Media.

We are proud to be part of a long-standing Darien tradition where so many come together to support the needy in our community.

More Information

Fact box

Jeanne Koren and Annette Madden-Kline

2011 Darien Antiques Show Co-Chairs

Attend public

hearing on BOE budget

To the Editor:

We are writing to encourage our fellow Darien citizens to attend the Board of Finance public hearing on Tuesday evening, March 8, at Town Hall. It is our opportunity to comment on the 2011-2012 Town Budget. We urge you to help us sustain excellent education by supporting the Board of Education's proposed budget. This budget reflects the Board of Education's efforts to maintain the existing education in our schools. There are no new programs included in this budget.

The main drivers of the 6.38 percent increase in the education budget are the projected increase in enrollment, the growth of state mandated special education spending and the contractual obligations for our teacher's salaries and benefits. This budget has been carefully prepared and scrutinized and there is no room for further reductions without adversely impacting the education of our children.

We know the Board of Finance must balance the needs of the public school system with the general needs of the community, but the excellent school system is one of the main reasons people move to this town and we must take the steps to maintain that excellence. Please help us sustain excellent education in Darien by attending this important meeting.

Laurie Orem and Tammy Sload

Council of Darien School

Parents Co-Chairwomen

Thanks for not voting

To the Editor:

To the 83 percent of registered in voters in Darien who did not vote in the special election Feb. 22, thank you. Your lack of participation in choosing our next state senator just made my vote count that much more.

Please stop with the moaning and excuses that the election coinciding with school vacations hurt the turnout. Apathy, not the calendar, is what brought so few people to the polls.

The League of Women voters did its part, holding a debate between two of the candidates. TV79 aired that debate live and replayed in six times a day for 10 days. The Town Clerk was ready to process absentee ballots and quite a few were cast. It was easy to vote in this election, if you cared.

But of 4,141 eligible voters, only 704 cast a ballot, absentee or otherwise. For shame!

Jim Cameron


Darien needs leash law

To the Editor:

As spring is just around the corner, a vote on a dog leash law is, too. A leash law should be implemented as soon as possible in Darien. And Cherry Lawn Park is not appropriate for off-leash dogs.

My daughter was brutally attacked in the face by an unleashed dog in Cherry Lawn Park when she was 2. This mauling was horrifying and could have been a real tragedy that day. This took place only a few feet from a children's play area. A mandatory leash law is needed to prevent horrible incidences and "close calls." Many people have told me stories of anxiety with unleashed dogs. If it's not a dog bite, maybe it's a large dog jumping on someone, knocking them to the ground or chasing them. This can be traumatic to young children, the elderly -- everyone for that matter.

Many incidences go unreported, but that does not mean that we can pretend frightening situations aren't happening.

Darien Dog Owners Group has been researching and surveying to support its hopes for off-leash areas. But its findings don't include unreported incidences.

I recently watched a meeting between Parks & Rec and DDOG, and I was shocked, hurt and angered by a member's comments referring to my daughter's horrific incident. Her tone of speech tried to diminish the attack, and I believe this misleads the community. This was an unprovoked vicious attack by an unleashed dog who had previously attacked another child in the same park. To infer that a 2-year-old little girl was somehow partly at fault by approaching an unleashed, "cute" cocker spaniel a few feet from a toddlers' play area is infuriating. The dog people can socialize in many locations, but with their dogs on leashes.

We need a leash law immediately.

To the Parks & Rec commissions and RTM Members: Please: safety should always be the top concern. Cherry Lawn Park is not the appropriate park for off-leash dog areas. Please be realistic when thinking about this. How can you keep rambunctious dogs away from kids' play areas 100 percent of the time, and rambunctious children from wandering and playing in a park where dogs may be off leash? The park is already extremely busy. In the meantime, as the town decides what is appropriate, please don't hesitate to vote yes for a mandatory leash law. And yes, we are a family who loves and owns dogs.

Anne Finn