Keep political

signage under control

John Davis, Chairman, Democratic Town Committee

Harry Artinian, Chairman Republican Town Committee

All indications point to a vigorous campaign this fall for state and national offices, and the Beautification Commission looks forward to witnessing spirited debates on the issues. However, we hope the contests do not devolve into competition on which candidate can erect the most signs along our streets and parks. Accordingly, we urge you to inform the campaign groups that any signs should be placed on private properties with the permission of the property owners.

Our roadways are not limited to the paved areas, as the public right-of-ways extend some 4 to 6 feet from the pavement. This band in front of homes should not be construed as "private." Many homes have walls or hedges as shields from the street. Signs placed in front of these barriers may be more visible, but are probably (and improperly) resting on the public domain. We can have well-run campaigns, and still maintain the attractive character of Darien.

Here is our vote for a campaign on issues, and with minimal signs.

Bob Baker

Darien Beautification Commission

DOMUS addresses

importance of education

To the Editor:

New US census figures show poverty rates have risen dramatically, and none feel the short- and long-term effects of poverty more than low-income children. UNESCO's International Institute for Educational Planning summarizes that "education can reduce poverty in a number of ways." They find that more educated people are more likely to get jobs, are more productive, and earn more, ensuring a strong economic base.

The stories of the kids Domus cares for back up those findings. When we put a 19-year-old young father to work in a job skills program teaching hard and soft skills, he's better equipped to feed his young family. When a middle-schooler arrives at our Trailblazers Academy reading four grades behind but graduates on par with her economically-advantaged peers, she's much more likely to be successful in high school and transition to post-secondary education or meaningful employment. Each year, we help more than 800 youth make those key life transitions through our educational, residential, and community programs.

We have many partners in this work and gratefully count among them the Community Fund of Darien. TCF volunteers and staff provide invaluable advice and support about resources and trends. They connect us with potential donors seeking to improve the region and have a real eye for a good fit between investors and nonprofit partners. We walk away from every discussion so impressed by the caring, intelligent people who take the time to truly understand the region's needs and the organizations trying to meet those needs. The financial support TCF has provided over the years to our charter middle school, Trailblazers Academy, has helped the school grow and improve, ensuring we help the area's most struggling students as they work hard to regain academic ground.

The Darien community as a whole has provided hundreds of volunteer hours and many thousands of dollars to transform the lives of our region's most vulnerable and troubled young people. We're honored to partner with top-notch organizations like the Community Fund of Darien to make lower Fairfield County the best possible place to live, work, and raise a family. I hope every Darien resident considers supporting their exciting important work.

Mike Duggan

Executive Director, Domus