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darien answerbook.08 a special section of the darien times darien, connecticut february 21, 2008

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Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

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6 Corbin Drive, Darien, CT 06820 (203) 655-9761

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Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Incredible local beauty. Always in season. � ��� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���� ���� �� ������ ��� ������� ������� ��� ������ ���� ���������� �� ���������� ��� ������ ��������� �� ���������� � ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ ����� ������ ��� ����������� �������� �������� ��������� ������� ��� ����� ������� ����� ����� ������������� ���� �� ������� � �������������������������������������������� ������ ��� ��������� ��� ���� �������������� ���������� ������������������� ������������ �������� ���� �������������� ����������� ������������������ ������������������ ������������� ����� ������������ ������������� ���� ���� ������������� ����� ������������������ �������� ���������������������� ������

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Table of Contents

Complete index on pages 84-85 History ...................................................................................6-7 Demographics .......................................................................... 8 Government.......................................................................10-19 Town officials .......................................................................... 20 Schools..............................................................................21-27 Public Services ..................................................................28-31 Property Issues .................................................................32-36 Religion................................................................................... 37 Emergency Services ..........................................................38-40 Health ................................................................................41-50 Map of Darien Points of Interest .......................................43-45 Senior Citizens ..................................................................51-52 Children & Teens ...............................................................54-56 Recreation .........................................................................57-61 Entertainment ....................................................................62-64 Clubs & Organizations .......................................................66-68 Business ................................................................................. 69 Utilities .................................................................................... 70 Food & Shopping ..............................................................73-74 Pets & Animals ..................................................................75-76 Transportation ...................................................................77-78 Media...................................................................................... 79 Darien Web Sites .................................................................... 82

Did You Know...

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The

DARIEN

Answer Book

is published annually by Hersam Acorn Newspapers as a special section of The Darien Times • Copies are also available at real estate offices and other locations. For additional copies, call 203-438-6544. Contents are online at http://www.acorn-online.com

• Thomas B. Nash, publisher Jeannette Ross, editor Shelagh Barrett, advertising director Marilyn Locke, production Cover photo by Bryan Haeffele Cover design by Anne Borrell Map by David Raabe • Please send updates, ideas, or corrections to: answerbook@acorn-online.com

©2008 Hersam Acorn Newspapers 16 Bailey Avenue, Ridgefield, Conn., 06877 203-438-6544

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—Fairfield County Magazine

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6 History

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

History When was the town founded and by whom? According to the Darien Historical Society, which helped in preparing this section of the Answer Book, the first residents of this area were the Siwanoy Indians, a generally peaceful people who lived by fishing, hunting, and tending their cornfields. In 1640 they sold a piece of land, where the Rippowam River met Long Island Sound, to New Haven Colony. Settled by 28 families, it became part of Stamford. The propertyʼs eastern boundary was Pine Brook, today called Goodwives River. In only a few years the settlement grew to 59 families, and they began to look for more land. They struck a deal with Piamikin, chief of the Roatons, for a tract of land between Pine Brook and Five Mile River, which includes the Tokeneke section of Darien. The price was four coats and some tobacco. The first roads were cut in 1700 and the first school district was set up in 1703 in Noroton. Small houses began to be built near Gorhamʼs Pond. In 1708 Richard Scofield and Thomas Youngs were granted a permit to erect a gristmill and dam at the mouth of Pine Brook. It was known as Scofieldʼs Mill and later Clockʼs Mill and Landing, after Scofield conveyed the property to his German son-in-law, John Klock. Captain George Gorham bought the mill in 1740, and it remained in the Gorham family for nearly 200 years. The area was still known as Clockʼs Landing well into the 19th Century, when the name Ringʼs End began to appear in the land records. By 1737, this area was known as Middlesex Parish. That was the year the Middlesex Ecclesiastical Society was established, and by 1744 a meetinghouse was built. By 1772 the stagecoach was making regular trips, every two weeks, along the country road, which was the main highway connecting New York and Boston. Its path roughly corresponded to todayʼs Post Road. During the American Revolution, local Tories frequently raided Middlesex Parish, and on July 22, 1781, they disrupted services at the meetinghouse and captured 48 men, including the minister, Dr. Moses Mather, and took them across the Sound. Dr. Mather and 26 of his parishioners spent five months in British prisons in New York City before they were able to return home. After the war, people turned their energies to opening a Turnpike Road (now the Post Road) in 1807, and establishing daily mail service. Schools and shops were built, and by 1820, Middlesex Parish was turned loose from Stamford and renamed Darien. Growth continued as the New Haven Railroad came through in 1848, and commerce began to shift from the harbor to the railroad station at the Post Road crossing. Until the advent of the railroad, Darien was a small, rural community of about 1,000 farmers, shoemakers, fishermen, and merchants engaged in coastal trading. Ensuing

years would see an increase in population with the arrival of immigrants from Ireland and later from Italy. In 1864 during the Civil War, the first home for disabled war veterans and soldiersʼ orphans in the United States was built at Noroton Heights, named after its founder, Benjamin Fitch of Darien. The end of the war brought a building boom, and on what had once been farmland sprouted homes for prosperous businessmen and local merchants. A number of well-to-do New Yorkers discovered Darienʼs picturesque shoreline and built summer homes in Tokeneke, Long Neck Point and Noroton. In 1897, the Stamford Street Railway inaugurated a trolley service through Darien that lasted until 1933. Darien was still a small town of a few thousand people in 1914, even though there were already a few hardy commuters here who taxied by surrey from home to station. After World War II, new streets and developments sprang up. The town center grew steadily along with the population. By the mid-1950ʼs the Connecticut Turnpike came through the town. General prosperity and growth continued until the population leveled off around 20,000 by 1970. Where did the name come from? The history of Darienʼs name, adopted in 1820, is murky. The town was originally to be called Bellville, after Thaddeus Bell, an early founder. Members of the historical society think the town was named after the Isthmus of Darien in Panama. What are some historic points of interest? The Bates-Scofield House Museum on Old Kings Highway North is owned by the Darien Historical Society, which oversaw its restoration in 1964. The house, built around 1736, is a saltbox, featuring a massive central chimney, large fireplace and beehive oven. It is filled with 18th and 19th Century furnishings. An herb garden adjacent to the house is tended by the Darien Garden Club. There are tours of the house from 2 to 4 on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Call 655-9233 for details. Built in 1778 on Brookside Road by Deacon Joseph Mather, the Stephen Mather House is named for one of his descendants who was instrumental in establishing the National Park Service in the early 1920ʼs. It has been home to members of the Mather family ever since. Also of interest are two cemeteries that date from the 18th Century. In the Mather cemetery, which is near the Stephen Mather house, are buried many members of the Mather family. Many members of the Bates family are laid to rest in the Bates Middlesex cemetery behind the Masonic lodge on the Post Road.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Is any place in Darien on the National Register of Historic Places? Yes. On the National Register of Historic Places are the Bates-Scofield House Museum; Meadowlands, home of the Darien Community Association; and the Stephen Mather House. What are the oldest houses in town? The distinction of being the oldest surviving house in town is the Pond Weed House on Post Road, which dates from 1696. The Jonathan Bates house, which dates from 1705, is one of several 18th-century houses throughout town. What is the role of the Darien Historical Society? The historical society collects and preserves materials of local historical value. It also educates the community about its heritage through its art and architecture, oral remembrances, and public programs. The historical society has offices at the Bates-Scofield House Museum and can be reached Tuesday, 9 to 2; Wednesday and Thursday, 9 to 4; and Friday, 9 to 2; at 655-9233. The society maintains a Web site at historical. darien.org.

History 7

Are there any town histories? The Darien Historical Society keeps town histories at the Bates-Scofield House. Are there any historic districts in town? The only historic district in town is along Boston Post Road, which includes the Bates-Scofield House and the old Congregational Church. Does Darien have a town historian? Yes. Marian Castell is town historian. One of her duties is to oversee the placement of plaques on homes of historic significance. She is also involved in examining old homes slated for demolition, to determine whether or not they should be preserved. Do any laws protect old houses? Since the early 1990s, Darien has had a demolition delay ordinance. Before any structure more than 50 years old is demolished, a legal notice must be published to that effect and a 90-day waiting period is imposed to give anyone who might want to save either the building or its contents time to negotiate with the owner. The law, ultimately, does not prevent anyone from tearing down an old building.


8 Demographics

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Demographics How big is Darien? According to town documents, Darien comprises approximately 23 square miles, with some 16.5 miles of shoreline along Long Island Sound. The town sits at an elevation ranging from sea level to 250 feet above sea level. How many people live here? According to the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) 2008 Town Profile, Darienʼs population in 2007 was 20,209. There were 10,197 females and 10,012 males. The population is projected to grow to 20,631 by 2012. What is the median age of people here? The median age in Darien is 39 years old. What is Darien’s racial makeup? According to the 2008 CERC Town Profile, the latest available, Darienʼs racial makeup is as follows: white, 18,927; Asian Pacific, 675; Hispanic, 640; black, 258; other/multi-race, 342; Native American, 7. What is the income level of a family here? According to the most recent information, the 2007

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median household income in Darien was $181,821, compared to $79,326 in Fairfield County. What is the real estate picture in Darien? According to the Darien Board of Realtors, 343 single-family homes were sold in Darien in 2007. That is a significant increase over the 265 homes sold in 2006. The average sale price was $1,856,598, compared to $1,596,225 in 2006. The median sale price was $1,425,000, compared to $1,215,000 the year before. Three homes were listed below $499,999 and 14 homes were listed above $5 million. The most homes — 77 — sold in the range between $1 million and $1,499,999. Houses are still taking longer to sell, spending an average of 94 days on the market, compared to 83 days in 2006, 70 in 2005, and 60 days in 2004. There is not a big condo market in Darien, but there were 10 condo sales in 2007, compared to eight in 2006. The average sale price was $701,375 in 2007, compared to $509,344 in 2006. The median sale price was $677,000 last year compared to $507,500 the previous year. In 2007, condos spent an average of 101 days on the market, compared to 72 days in 2006. How many households are there in town? There are approximately 6,600 households in Darien. What is the town’s ZIP code? The ZIP code is 06820; the telephone area code is 203. What is the town’s unemployment rate? Statistics from Connecticutʼs Department of Labor showed in November 2007, Darien had a work force of 9,511 people. Of those, 9,187 were employed, with 324 unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 3.4%. How far is Darien from major cities? Darien is 36 miles from New York City; 64 miles from Hartford, the capital of Connecticut; 119 miles from Providence; and 155 miles from Boston. How far is Darien from the Indian Point nuclear power plant? Darien is approximately 32 miles southeast of the nuclear power plant in Buchanan, N.Y.

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What weather statistics are available? The weather in Darien ranges from an average high of 83 degrees in July to an average low of 17 degrees in January. The record high is 103 degrees in July 1966. The record low is minus 15 degrees in January 1968. Darien receives an average of 46 inches of precipitation a year. Darien is in Hardiness Zone 6, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

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10 Government

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Town Government Where are town offices? The town hall is at 2 Renshaw Road. Offices are open 8:30 to 4:30 weekdays. They are closed weekends and holidays. For general information, call 656-7300. The town maintains a Web site at darienct.gov. Who is the chief executive of the town? The first selectman is Evonne Klein, a Democrat. Her office, Room 202 in town hall, is open from 8:30 to 4:30. She may be reached at 656-7338 or eklein@darienct. gov. Ms. Klein holds a First Selectwomanʼs Night Out/In once a month to encourage dialogue with the community. For details, check The Darien Times or the town Web site. Ms. Klein is also chairman of the Board of Selectmen, which includes David Bayne (D), Seth Morton (R), Linda Santarella (R), and Callie Anne Sullivan (D). The first selectman and the board members are elected for a two-year term each in odd-numbered years. An administrative officer appointed by the Board of Selectmen handles day-to-day operations. The board is responsible for directing the administration, policy-making, and daily affairs of the town.

Who is the Town Administrative Officer? The town administrative officer is Karl Kilduff. His office, Room 202 in town hall, is open 8:30 to 4:30. He may be reached at 656-7333 or kkilduff@darienct.gov. Is there a directory of town officials? There are several. The town publishes an annual report that describes town departments and lists all officials. Copies are available at town hall. There is also a list on the townʼs Web site, darienct.gov. A list of officials and board members also appears in the Answer Book. What is the Representative Town Meeting? At a traditional Town Meeting, all registered voters may attend and vote on issues. Darien switched to a Representative Town Meeting in 1951. The Representative Town Meeting, also known as an RTM, is composed of 100 members who represent six districts. They are elected to two-year terms, without party affiliation. As a legislative body, members of the RTM pass laws and ordinances and appropriate money. The RTM also approves collective bargaining contracts with town employees.

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

When does the RTM meet? There are six regularly scheduled meetings. All begin at 8:15 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium. The Annual Town Meeting is the second Monday of November, followed four weeks later by the State of the Town Meeting. Additional meetings are the fourth Monday of January, the third Monday of March, the second Monday of May ( budget meeting), and the fourth Monday of September. Special meetings may be called. Who may attend the meetings? All meetings are open to the public. Darien residents may participate in the meetings, but only members may make motions or vote. Is the RTM’s word final? The following actions by the RTM are subject to overrule by referendum: passage of an ordinance, expenditure of $50,000 or more for any purpose, or the issuance of bonds. A referendum may be requested by a petition. Who can become a member of the RTM? Any registered voter in Darien is eligible to be elected to the RTM. Prospective candidates must get at least 25 voters in their district to sign a petition. Nomination petitions must be filed with the town clerk between eight and 12 weeks before the election. Members may run for reelection. Half the membership is elected each year. For complete rules, call the town clerk at 656-7307. What is the town budget? The Board of Selectmenʼs budget for 2007-08 is $36.4 million. The Board of Education budget for 2007-08 is $62.5 million. What is the grand list? A New England term, the grand list is the townʼs tax base and represents all taxable property in town. It is compiled each year on Oct. 1, but is not finalized until Jan. 30. The grand list reflects a 70% assessed value of all included property. The 2007 Gross Taxable Grand List was $6,606,255,385, an increase of nearly $90 million more than the previous year. That breaks down to real estate: $6,310,307,090; motor vehicles: $218,602,845; personal property: $78,793,100. The real estate figures represent 6,993 parcels. What is the town’s bond rating? The townʼs bond rating is Aaa. What is the current tax rate in town? The current Darien tax rate on both assessed property and personal property is 13.87 mills, which represents a real tax of $13.87 on each $1,000 of assessed value. What is the revaluation program? A revaluation involves appraising all real estate in

Government 11

town at current fair market value in order to equalize assessments. The state requires each municipality to undergo a revaluation every four years. Darien completed its latest revaluation in 2003. Those assessments (70% of fair market value) were reflected in tax bills in July 2004. The town is undertaking a new full revaluation this year, to be conducted by an outside firm. It will reflect market value as of Oct. 1, 2008. Assessment notices are scheduled to be mailed no later than Nov. 14, 2008. Who determines how much my house is worth for taxing purposes? The town assessorʼs office is responsible for determining the assessed value of each home. The assessor is Anthony Homicki, CCMA II. His office is in Room 102, town hall, 8:30 to 4:30, 656-7310. An outside firm is brought in to assist the assessor in performing the updating of all taxable and exempt values in the year of revaluation. How do I find the assessed value of my home? You may call the assessor (656-7310) or the tax collector (656-7314), or you may go to the assessorʼs office and look at the field card for your property. The field card lists the particulars in figuring the valuation of your home. Copies of the field card are available for a nominal charge.

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12 Government

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

What if I don’t agree with my assessment? Property owners who disagree with the assessment may appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeal. This three-member board is elected for a three-year term in odd-numbered years. The board meets in March to hear real estate and personal property appeals and September exclusively for motor vehicle appeals. Visit the assessorʼs office the month before to request an appointment and get an application. Call 656-7310. Who is the town treasurer? Joan D. Hendrickson, elected in November 2005, is the town treasurer. Her office is in Room 201 at town hall, 656-7336, jhendrickson@darienct.gov. Who is the tax collector? Robert Locke is Darienʼs tax collector. He is elected to a two-year term. His office is in Room 104 of town hall. Call him at 656-7314, or e-mail blocke@darienct.gov. Where and when do I pay my town taxes? Property and personal property taxes are due in two installments, July 1 and Jan. 1, and may be paid at the tax collectorʼs office in town hall, or mailed to the address on the bill. Taxes may be paid within 30 days of the due date without penalty. Vehicle taxes are due in one installment on July 1.

Feb. 21, 2008

What do my taxes pay for? Taxes support schools, police, road improvements, debt payments, and all other town services. A detailed accounting of how collected taxes are spent is in the annual town report. What happens if I don’t pay my taxes on time? You will be charged a 1.5% interest each month on the installment balance. This works out to 18% annually. Does the town ever foreclose on tax-debtor property? Although the town has the right to foreclose, tax collector Robert Locke said the town tries to work with people finding it difficult to pay their taxes. Who qualifies for a tax break? Elderly residents may apply for tax relief through the assessorʼs office from Feb. 1 through May 15, each year. To qualify for the town program that offers a waiver of up to 95% of the normal tax, applicants must be 65 or permanently and totally disabled. Their income cannot be more than $37,800 if single, $44,300 if married. Darien also has an option for taxpayers over age 65 to defer their taxes as long as their income is under $57,800 for single and $64,300 for a married couple. There is also a state tax credit program. For details, call the assessorʼs office at 656-7310.

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Veterans who have served 90 days during an active period of war, received an honorable discharge, and filed their discharge papers (DD214) with the town clerk are eligible for a tax break within income guidelines: single, $28,800; married, $35,300. One-hundred-percent disabled veterans are eligible for additional benefits as long as their income is under $18,000 single, $21,000 married. How are car taxes figured? Car taxes are levied at the same mill rate of 13.87 used for property taxes. The mill rate is applied to the current assessed value of the car. For example, if the assessed value of your car is $1,000, you will pay $13.87 in personal property taxes for the year. I got a tax bill for a car I don’t own anymore. What should I do? The Department of Motor Vehicles maintains vehicle ownership records, which it forwards to the town assessorʼs office. DMV will continue sending ownership reports to the town until a vehicleʼs license plates are turned in. To remove a car from the tax roll, return the plates to the DMV office on Main Avenue in Norwalk and take the DMV return receipt to the assessorʼs office. Who is the town clerk and what does she do? Donna E. Rajczewski is Darienʼs town clerk. Her

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Government 13

office is in Room 101 in town hall. It is open 8:30 to 4:30 weekdays. Her phone number is 656-7307. The town clerk is responsible for maintaining numerous records and documents including: marriage licenses, birth records, burial and disinterment permits, cremation certificates, dog licenses, and copies or certified copies of land records and maps. She handles the filing of liquor permits and land records, and records deeds and survey maps. She is also responsible for scheduling meetings and recording meetings of RTM and RTM committees and various town boards and commissions. Her office also handles absentee ballot voter registration (from noon to 4:30). The town clerk is elected every two years. She may be e-mailed at drjczewski@darienct.gov. Can I look up old deeds in town hall? Deeds are open to the public and available for review at the town clerkʼs office. Are birth, marriage, and death records public? The general public can look at marriage and death record indexes and get copies. Certified copies of a birth certificate will be issued only to the person in question or, in the case of a minor, their parents. Be prepared to provide photo identification and sign a release affirming you are who you say you are.

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14 Government

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

How do I get a marriage license? A license may be obtained from the town in which the bride or groom lives, or where the wedding will take place. Blood tests are not required. The fee is $30 and the license is good for 65 days. Call the town clerk for details at 656-7307. How do I get a license for a civil union? A civil union is a legal union between two people of the same sex, which grants them the same benefits, rights and protections as are granted to spouses in a marriage. Connecticut recognizes civil unions. Licenses may be obtained in the town clerkʼs office. There is no waiting period and no residency requirement. The fee is $30. The ceremony may be performed by a justice of the peace or a minister. For details, call Ms. Rajczewski at 656-7307. Besides clergy, who can officiate at weddings? A justice of the peace may officiate at a wedding within the state, and federal judges may officiate at weddings anywhere. To find a justice of the peace, call the town clerkʼs office (656-7307). What is a notary public? Where can I find one? A notary public is someone legally empowered to witness signatures, certify documents, and take depositions and affidavits. Every bank has one on staff. Some real

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Feb. 21, 2008

estate agents are notary publics, as are some public officials. There are several at the Darien Library, and there is a notary service at The UPS Store in the Goodwives Shopping Plaza (655-6543). Some may charge a small fee to notarize a document. Where can I apply for a passport? You may obtain a new passport or renew an expired one by filling out an application. Applicants need two copies of a current passport-size photo. To renew a passport, applicants will need to send the old passport along with the application. To obtain a passport for the first time, a birth certificate with a raised seal is necessary. Applications must be signed before the issuing agent. The Darien Post Office processes passport applications, and can also take photos, if needed. The post office also offers the new passport card, good for land and sea crossings to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. It is not valid for air travel. (See below.) Passport hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9 to 2:30 and Saturday from 9 to 11:30. Appointments are required; call Peggy Andral at 655-2595. If you are traveling within two weeks, you may visit the passport agency at 50 Washington Street in Norwalk. Hours are 9 to 4, but an appointment is required by calling 1-877-487-2778. This is where you may obtain visas for foreign travel.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

You may renew your passport by mail if: you have it to submit, you received it within the past 15 years, you were over age 16 when it was issued, and you still have the same name or can legally document your name change. Otherwise, you must renew in person. Renewal applications are available online at travel.state.gov. Donʼt wait to renew. You may have some trouble while traveling if your passport expires in less than six months. Effective Jan. 1, 2007, you must have a valid passport to re-enter the United States when traveling by air or sea to Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, or Bermuda. The same is true of all land border crossings as of Jan. 1, 2008. For complete information, visit the U.S. State Department site at state.gov. What do the registrars of voters do? The registrars keep up to date with current voting laws, maintain the lists of qualified voters, keep the voting machines in working order, and register new voters. They are elected to two-year terms. Darien has two registrars of voters: Thomas R. Dunn, Democrat, 656-7319, and Donald Paul Smith, Republican, 656-7301. Their office, in Room 106 in Town Hall, is open 8:30 to 4:30. The general number is 656-7316. Who can register to vote? To register, you must be 17 years old or older, be a

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Government 15

U.S. citizen, and bona fide resident of Darien. You must be 18 to vote. New residents may register as soon as they move to town. There is no waiting period. How do I register to vote? There are several ways to register. You may register in person by visiting the registrars of votersʼ office in town hall. If the office is closed, you may go to the town clerkʼs office from noon until 4:30. Bring a driverʼs license or some form of identification. A special registration session is held on a Saturday two weeks prior to an election. You may also register by mail. Applications are available at the registrarsʼ office, Darien Library, Department of Motor Vehicles, and other state agencies. A form is also available from the secretary of the stateʼs Web site (ct.gov) or the Darien registrarsʼ site (darienct.gov). Click on Town Officials and follow the links. It may be printed out and mailed to the registrarsʼ office. A person temporarily living in another state, such as a college student, may register to vote by filling out a Connecticut voter registration application and mailing it to the Darien registrars. A voter registration session is always held yearly at Darien High School in the spring prior to graduation. Anyone wishing to vote in a general election must register at least seven days in advance. Mail-in applica-

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16

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

tions must be postmarked 14 days before an election. For primaries, the registration deadline is five days prior. When and where do I vote? Regular elections take place every year on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Voting hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Darien has six polling places: District 1, Ox Ridge School; District 2, Town Hall; District 3, Holmes School; District 4, Hindley School; District 5, Darien High School; District 6, Darien Town Hall. Voters learn their polling place upon registration, or can find out online at the town Web site. Who can vote by absentee ballot? Any registered voter who will be out of town during all voting hours may cast an absentee ballot. Voters prevented from getting to the polls due to illness, disability, or religious beliefs may also cast an absentee ballot. How and where do I get an absentee ballot? Applications for an absentee ballot are available from the town clerkʼs office, the registrars of voters, or online at the town Web site. Ballots will be mailed after applications are received. Students should get an absentee ballot application before they go off to college. Can a non-resident vote here? A non-resident who owns property in Darien may vote in a referendum only, and only if he or she was included in the last published grand list. You must have a tax liability of at least $1,000. Must I renew my voting privileges? While you do not need to formally renew your voting privileges, you must participate in a voter canvass, conducted each year by the registrars to ensure the accuracy of the Voter Registry List. Each voter will receive a form that they must sign and return. Non-compliance will place you on the inactive list. You can get off the inactive list by filling out a restoration form. Remaining on the inactive list for four years will get you taken off the voting list. Should this happen, you will have to reregister. The registrars post the names of people who are considered inactive on the town Web site. Can I lose the right to vote? Anyone convicted of a felony loses the right to vote. A person may be reinstated as a voter after serving a sentence, completing parole, and/or paying a fine. How do you join a political party? A person may choose to join a political party when they register to vote or any time after that. They may also remain unaffiliated. A person who belongs to one political party may leave at any time to join another party. Membership in the new party becomes effective three months from the date of application. Only enrolled members of a political party may par-

Government 17

ticipate in caucuses, conventions, and primaries of that party. Nearly all elected officials and appointed office holders belong to a political party. What are our political parties and enrollments? As of Jan. 30, 2008, there were 11,825 registered voters. Of that number there were 6,092 Republicans; 2,137 Democrats; and 3,596 unaffiliated. What boards and commissions are appointed? The following are all appointed: Advisory Commission on Information Technology, Affordable Housing Advisory Commission, Area Nine Cable Council, Architectural Review Board, Beautification Commission, Building Board of Appeals, Business Development Committee, Coastal Waters Advisory Commission, Charter Revision Commission, Commission on Aging, Darien Housing Authority, Deer Management Committee, Environmental Protection Commission, Five Mile River Commission, Flood Mitigation Committe, High School Building Committee, Monuments and Ceremonies Commission, Operations Planning Committee, Park and Recreation Commission, Police Commission, Resource Conservation Advisory Commission, Sewer Commission, Social Service Commissioners, Tokeneke School Building Committee, Town and Police Pension Committees, Youth Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals.

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18 Government

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

How can I get involved in town government? If you are affiliated with a party, get in touch with your town chairman: Republicans, Jack Orchulli, 6561738; Democrats, John Davis, 356-1641. Who is the town’s judge of probate? The office of probate judge, an elected position with a four-year term, is currently held by Judge John Rearden. His office, in Room 204 of town hall, is open 8:30 to 4:30, weekdays. The phone number is 656-7342. The judge establishes the validity of wills and administers the estates of people who die without wills. He can also terminate parental rights, approve adoptions, act on a minorʼs estate, approve guardians for handicapped people, and grant name changes. Who is in charge of Darien’s coastline? The nine-member Coastal Waters Advisory Commission oversees all town projects affecting Darienʼs five harbors and 16.5 miles of coastline. What does the harbor master do? Harbor Master Robert P. Price oversees Darienʼs harbors and coves, home to more than 300 light craft during the boating season, not including the large numbers of visiting sailboats and power boats. His office also handles applications for mooring spaces in Darien waters. Call 852-8842. The waiting list is posted on the bulletin board at town hall. What does the Housing Authority do? The Darien Housing Authority, in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, oversees the management of Darienʼs two public housing projects. The Allen-OʼNeill Homes is a moderate rental family housing project; Old Town Hall Houses is a low-income project for senior citizens. The Housing Authority also administers the waiting list for Clock Hill Homes on Leroy Avenue, a moderate-income condominium development. The housing authorityʼs office is in Room B1 of town hall. For information, call 655-1078 or e-mail darienhousingit@yahoo.com. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 to 4. What is the Affordable Housing Advisory Commission? Approved by the Board of Selectmen in August 2007, this commission advises the Board of Selectmen on developing an affordable housing plan for the town. The nine-member commission is charged with assessing housing needs, considering zoning issues, researching nonpofit and for-profit developers, and developing a plan that includes targets and a budget. What does the building department do? The building department oversees all building activity in Darien. It issues permits and makes inspections. From the building department you can obtain surveys and plot

Feb. 21, 2008

plans, permits issued by address, certificates of occupancy, certificates of compliance, construction plans for permits issued after 1960, and a list of current construction. Permit fees and details are on the town Web site, darienct.gov. Charles A. Saverine is Darienʼs building official. The departmentʼs office, in Room 212 of town hall, is open from 8:30 to 4:30. Inspectors are in the office from 8:30 to 10, 1 to 2, and 4 to 4:30 to answer questions and take calls. Inspections are conducted from 10 to noon and 2 to 4 on weekdays. Call 656-7347, fax 656-7385. What does the finance department do? Darienʼs finance department is responsible for accounts payable, payroll, pension administration, benefit administration, and debt measurement. The department also works with the town treasurer on cash management and investing town funds. The department is headed by Kathleen Clarke Buch, the finance director. As chief fiscal officer in Darien, the finance director is responsible for accounting for all town funds as well as maintaining the financial records and preparing financial reports. The departmentʼs office, in Room 201 of town hall, is open 8:30 to 4:30. Ms. Clarke can be reached at 6567334 or kbuch@darienct.gov. What are the responsibilities of the planning and zoning department? The planning and zoning department serves the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Environmental Protection Commission and the Architectural Review Board. The office, in Room 211 at town hall, is open 8:30 to 4:30. The phone number is 656-7351. The office is staffed by Jeremy Ginsberg, director; David Keating, assistant director/zoning enforcement officer; Robert (Woody) Woodside, code compliance officer; Richard Jacobson, environmental protection officer; and Andrea M. Sangrey, manager, Community Development Services A zoning map of the town is on the town Web site, darienct.gov. Click on Town Services. What are legal notices? Where can I read them? Legal notices are notifications concerning meetings and actions of local commissions and boards. In addition, other important town government information such as proposed budgets, town ordinances and invitations to bid on projects or sell the town services appear in legal notices. They may be found in the town clerkʼs office at town hall. Many are published in The Darien Times. How do I know if a meeting is scheduled? The Freedom of Information Act requires that all town commission and board meetings be public. The schedule for a boardʼs regular meetings must be filed each year with the town clerk. Special meetings may be called up to 24 hours in advance. Emergency meetings may


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

be held without notice; however, the board must file its minutes - including the reason for the emergency - at the town clerkʼs office within 72 hours of the meeting. Meetings are posted in the town clerkʼs office, town hall. The Times publishes a list of upcoming meetings known at press time. Can a commission or board meet privately? Generally, all meetings involving a quorum of commission or board members (three members of a five-person board, four of a six-member board) must be open to the public. Connecticut statutes allow a commission to close a meeting to the public if it is discussing personnel matters, litigation strategy or contract negotiations. To close a meeting and enter into “executive session,” the board must take a vote and the meetingʼs closure must be supported by two-thirds of those present and voting. The commission cannot take any action while in an executive session. It must return to open session before voting on any items. What can I do if I think a commission held an illegal private meeting? You may file a complaint with the state Freedom of Information office (860-566-5682), 18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, 06106. What state house district are we in? Darien is in the 141st Assembly District. Our state representative is John J. Ryan, Assistant Republican Leader. He can be reached at 32 Cherry Street, Darien, 655-7106. His number in Hartford is 800-842-1423. His Web page is housegop.ct.gov/members/Ryan.asp, and his e-mail address is John.Ryan@housegop.state.ct.us. What state senatorial district are we in? Darien is in two districts, the 25th and 27th. Representing northern Darien in the 25th is Democrat Bob Duff, re-elected to a second term in November 2006. He is the Majority Whip. Write him at Legislative Office Building, Room 2400, Hartford, CT 061061591. Call 800-842-1420 or 860-240-0414. E-mail: Duff@senatedems.ct.gov. Web page: senatedems.ct.gov/ duff.htm. Senator Duff schedules local office hours in Darien. Watch The Darien Times for details. Representing southern Darien in the 27th district is Democrat Andrew McDonald, re-elected to a second term in November 2006. He is the Deputy Majority Leader. He can be reached at Legislative Office Building, Room 2500, Hartford, CT 06106-1591, 800842-1420 or 203-348-7439. His Web page is senatedems.state.ct.us/McDonald.html. His e-mail address is McDonald@senatedems.state.ct.us. Who is our U.S. representative? Christopher Shays, a Republican, represents Darien in Congress. He has offices at 10 Middle Street, 11th Floor, Bridgeport, CT 06604-4223; 579-5870 (Monday Friday, 9 to 5); and Government Center, 888 Washington

Government 19

Blvd., Stamford, 06901-2927;357-8277 (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10 to 4). His staff has office hours in towns throughout his district. Check his Web site (below) for dates and locations. In Washington, he is at 1126 Longworth, Washington, DC 20515; 202-225-5541, fax 202-225-9629; house. gov/shays/. Who are Connecticut’s senators? Senators Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman represent Connecticut in our nationʼs capital. Senator Dodd, a Democrat, may be reached at 30 Lewis Street, Suite 101, Hartford, CT 06103, 800-3345341, or 448 Russell Senate Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20510, 202-224-2823; Senator@dodd.senate.gov. Web site: dodd.senate.gov. Senator Lieberman, an Independent Democrat, may be reached at 706 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20510, 202-224-4041. His Hartford office is at One Constitution Plaza, 7th Floor, Hartford, CT 06103, 800-225-5605, fax: 860-549-8478; senator_ lieberman@lieberman.senate.gov. Web site: lieberman. senate.gov. How can I write the governor? Governor M. Jodi Rell may be reached at State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, 06106, 860-5664840, Governor.Rell@po.state.ct.us.

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20 Town OfďŹ cials

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Town OfďŹ cials

Board of Selectmen First Selectman Evonne Klein (D) Selectman David W. Bayne (D) Selectman Seth W. Morton (R) Selectwoman Linda Santarella (R) Selectwoman Callie Anne Sullivan (D) Board of Finance Martha A. Banks (D) Lorene E. Bora (R) Peter Hovell (R) Thomas F. Volpe (R) Elizabeth Smith Mao (R) Gwen M. Mogenson (D) Murry K. Stegelmann (R) (chair) Planning & Zoning Peter Bigelow (D) Frederick B. Conze (R) (chair) Robert W. Finke (D) Gwynne L. Grimes (R) Reese Hutchison (R) Joseph H. Spain (R) Board of Education John V. Boulton, ch (R) Kimberly Westcott (R) Clara C. Sartori (R) Elizabeth A. Hagerty-Ross (R) James Plutte (D) George Reilly (D) Heather L. Shea (D) Morgan B. Whittier (R) Susan T. Perticone (R) Board of Assessment Appeals Christopher Squire Peters (R) Richard P. Dolcetti (R) Vacant (D) Administrative Officer Karl Kilduff Animal Control Officer Chip Stahl Assessor Anthony Homicki Building Official Charles Saverine Director of Env. Health Vincent D. Proto Finance Director Kathleen Clarke Buch Fire Marshal Robert Buch Harbor Master Robert Price Housing Authority Executive Dir. Jo Tatum Parks & Recreation Director Susan Swiatek Planning & Zoning Director Jeremy Ginsberg Police Chief Duane J. Lovello Probate Court Judge John B. Rearden, Jr. (R) Public Works Director Robert Steeger Registrar of Voters Thomas Dunn (D) Registrar of Voters Donald Smith (R) Senior Center Director Nancy Zengo Social Services Director Judy Morrison Supt. of Schools Donald Fiftal Tax Collector Robert Locke Town Clerk Donna Rajczewski Town Treasurer Joan D. Hendrickson Tree Warden Michael A. Cotta Youth Director Alicia Sillars Zoning Enforcement Officer David Keating

eklein@darienct.gov lindasantarella@yahoo.com

JohnBoultonBOE@aol.com westcott@optonline.net CCSandDJS@aolc.om ehr1226@aol.com Plutte@optonline.net greilly@rucciburnham.com bhshea@optonline.net Mbw3107@optonline.net stperticone@optonline.net

19 Salt Box Lane 5 Windsor Road 20 Denhurst Place 341 West Avenue (Rear) 118 Five Mile River Rd.

655-5076 656-3311 359-4086 656-7476

17 Harbour Road 38 Nearwater Lane 22 Brushy Hill Road 22 Pasture Lane 37 Holly Lane 141 Leroy Avenue 31 Briar Brae Road

655-8561 656-2090 655-2983 655-7502 656-2560 656-1799 324-4962

9 Clock Avenue 24 Royle Road 49 Edgerton Street 55 Allwood Road 70 Hecker Avenue 126 Leroy Avenue

655-5101 655-4818 656-8155 655-9465

214 West Avenue 2 Maywood Road 161 Old Kings Hwy So. 15 Old Parish Road 25 Brushy Hill Road 5 Musket Lane 21 Revere Road 41 Walmsley Road 16 Sunswyck Road

656-4434 655-7447 655-6506 656-4055 662-9463 655-3738 656-0347 655-1877 656-353

655-1264

218 Old Kings Hwy No. 655-4745 24 Marianne Road kkilduff@darienct.gov ahomicki@darienct.gov csaverine@darienct.gov vproto@darienct.gov kbuch@darienct.gov bbuch@darienct.gov darienhousingjt@yahoo.com sswiatek@darienct.gov jginsberg@darienct.gov dlovello@darienct.gov rsteeger@darienct.gov vregistrar@darienct.gov vregistrar@darienct.gov jmorrison@darienct.gov dfiftal@darienps.org blocke@darienct.gov drajczewski@darienct.gov jhendrickson@darienct.gov asillars@darienct.gov dkeating@darienct.gov

656-7333 656-8686 656-7310 656-7347 656-7320 656-7334 656-7345 655-9240 656-0866 656-7325 656-7351 662-5310 656-7342 656-7346 656-7319 656-7301 655-1705 656-7328 656-7412 656-7314 656-7307 656-7336 866-8614 656-7326 656-7351


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Schools 21

Schools

What does the Board of Education do? Darienʼs Board of Education (whose members are listed under Town Officials) proposes a budget to run the schools, oversees spending, sets policies and rules, hires the superintendent, approves administrators, adopts books and courses, negotiates staff contracts, and hears citizen appeals. The board generally meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Board of Ed meeting room in the Board of Ed building, unless otherwise noted. The boardʼs meeting schedule and agendas are posted on the district Web site: darienps.org. Where is the school district office? The Darien School District administrative offices are at Two Renshaw Road, Darien. The offices are open from 8 to 4 each day. The general phone number is 6567400. Donald Fiftal is the superintendent of schools. He may be reached at 656-7412 or dfiftal@darienps.org. Where are Darien’s schools? Darien High School is at 80 High School Lane. Telephone: 655-3981, fax: 656-3631. Dan Haron. He may be reached at dharon@darienps.org. Middlesex Middle School is at 204 Hollow Tree Ridge Road. Telephone: 655-2518, fax: 655-1627.

Debi Bocanfuso is principal. She may be reached at dbocanfuso@darienps.org. Hindley Elementary School is at 10 Nearwater Lane. Telephone: 655-1323, fax: 655-7024. Dr. Anthony Timpanelli is principal. He may be e-mailed at atimpanelli@darienps.org. Holmes Elementary School is at 18 Hoyt Street. Telephone: 353-4371, fax: 359-2533. Geraldine Petrizzi is principal. She may be e-mailed at gpetrizzi@darienps. org. Ox Ridge Elementary School is at 395 Mansfield Avenue. Telephone: 655-2579, fax: 655-9012. John F. Rechi is principal. He may be e-mailed at jrechi@darienps.org. Royle Elementary School is at 133 Mansfield Avenue. Telephone: 655-0044, fax: 655-9920. Neal J. Gallub is principal. He may be reached at ngallub@darienps.org. Tokeneke Elementary School is at 7 Old Farm Road. Telephone: 655-9666, fax: 655-7084. MaryLee Fisher is principal. She may be e-mailed at mfisher@darienps.org.

What are the enrollments in each school? According to the official Oct. 1 enrollment report, enrollments for the 2007-08 school year are: Darien High School, 1,202; Middlesex Middle School, 1,117;

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22 Schools

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Hindley, 508; Holmes, 484; Ox Ridge, 511; Royle, 452; and Tokeneke, 391. The total is 4,665 students. That is an increase of 2.23% or 107 students over the previous school year. According to a report from the Board of Education, elementary enrollment apparently reached its peak last year with the largest classes in the district being kindergarten and second grade, each with 395 students. The middle school is expected to reach peak enrollment in 2009-10, and the high school in 2014-15. The smallest grade in the district is 12th grade with 256 students. Historical data provided by the Board of Education on its Web site shows a fluctuating enrollment over the last 57 years. There were 2,825 students enrolled in the district in 1951 rising steadily to 5,156 in 1967. Enrollment stayed over 5,000 from 1963 to 1974, dropping steadily to 2,643 in 1990 before beginning a steady ascent to the present.

Feb. 21, 2008

Class is in session at Middlesex Middle School from 8 to 2:30, and at Darien High School from 7:40 to 2:20. When there is a delayed opening school will begin: Darien High School at 9:10; Middlesex Middle School at 9:30; Hindley, Royle, and Tokeneke at 10; and Holmes and Ox Ridge at 10:25. Emergency early dismissals are at: 10:30 at Darien High School and Middlesex Middle School; 11 at Hindley, Royle, and Tokeneke; and 11:30 at Holmes and Ox Ridge.

How big are the classes in Darien schools? According to this yearʼs enrollment report, average class sizes in the elementary classes range from 20.8 in K-2 to 21.9 in 3-5.

When are school holidays and vacations? Schools for the 2007/08 year opened Aug. 30. Holidays and vacations are: Labor Day, Sept. 3; Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 13; Columbus Day, Oct. 8; Election Day, Nov. 6; Veterans Day, Nov. 12; Thanksgiving recess, Nov. 22-23; Holiday recess, Dec. 24-Jan. 1; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 21; Presidents Day, Feb. 18; February recess, Feb. 19-22; Good Friday, March 21; Staff Development, March 24; April recess, April 14-18; Staff Development, April 21; Memorial Day, May 26. The last day of school for students planned for June 17.

When is each school in session? Tokeneke, Hindley, and Royle Elementary schools are in session from 8:30 to 3; Ox Ridge and Holmes Elementary schools are in session from 8:55 to 3:25.

What standardized tests to students take? The Connecticut State Mastery Test is a state-mandated, criteria-reference test. It is given to students in third through eighth grade.

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Schools 23

Ninth graders take a series of tests from the Educational Records Bureau. The Connecticut Academic Performance Test is a state-mandated test given to 10th graders.

Did Darien have any National Merit finalists? The Class of 2007 had two finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition and 15 commended scholars.

How did students perform on the Connecticut Mastery Test? The Connecticut Mastery Test was given in March 2007. The percentage of students achieving mastery level or above are as follows: Third grade: math, 81.4%; reading, 81.9%; writing, 80.6%. Fourth grade: math, 86.9%; reading, 87.1%; writing, 89.9%. Fifth grade: math, 85.1%; reading, 88.2%; writing, 85.3%. Sixth grade: math, 89.5%; reading, 89.8%; writing, 87.3%. Seventh grade: math, 90.6%; reading, 89.2%; writing, 89%. Eighth grade: math, 94.9%; reading, 92%; writing, 93%. More in-depth information, including comparisons to other districts, is available online at darienps.org. Click on Board of Education and then “reports.”

What percentage of students go on to college? More than 90% of seniors go on to higher education.

What about the CAPT scores? Tenth graders took the Connecticut Academic Performance Test in March 2007. The percentage of students scoring at or above state goal is as follows: math 79%, science 71.8%, reading 73.9%, and writing 81.1%. The overall composite score for the four tests was 306.4 out of a possible 400. More in-depth information, including comparisons to other districts, is available online at darienps.org. Click on Board of Education and then “reports.” What are the mean SAT scores for seniors? The Class of 2007 was the second to take the expanded SAT, which included a writing portion. The mean scores were 577 reading/verbal, 598 math, 579 writing, for a total of 1757 out of a possible 2400. The reading/ verbal score was fifth highest in the state and the math score was second highest in the state. The total mean score in Fairfield County was 1730. More in-depth information, including comparisons to other districts, is available online at darienps.org. Click on Board of Education and then “reports.” How many students take AP courses? In 2006-07, there were 411 students enrolled in 15 AP courses. The most popular were English Literature/ Composition, U.S. History, U.S. Government, and European History. A total of 356 students took the AP tests, which are scored from 1 to 5. Scores were as follows: 5 - 36%; 4 - 35%; 3 - 22%; 2 - 5%; 1 - 2%.

How do I register a child for school? To attend kindergarten, children must be five years old by Jan. 1. Registration is at the elementary schools on designated days in late January and early February. Parents who do not receive a registration packet in the mail should call the secretary of the school their child will attend. Parents must bring their childʼs birth certificate, immunization record, Social Security number, and proof or residency (parentʼs driverʼs license, for example). Transfer students will need proof of residency, a birth certificate, immunization records, school transcripts, and a physical exam. Call the school they will attend and speak to the secretary. There is also information on the school district Web site. Visit darienps.org and follow the links. What testing is given to preschool children? The school district does not conduct routine testing of preschool children. However, if a child is referred by a

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24 Schools

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

parent or nursery school, they will be tested by a member of the school districtʼs special education department. What sports are offered at the high school? During the 2006/07 school year, Darien will field 63 athletic teams in 32 sports, including 32 at the varsity level, 20 at the JV level, and 11 freshman teams. According to the district, more than 70% of students participate in at least one sport each year. Fall: Boys: football (F, JV, V), soccer (F, JV, V), cross country (JV, V). Girls: cheerleading (V), field hockey (F, JV, V), soccer (F, JV, V), cross country (JV, V), volleyball (F, JV, V), swimming (V). Winter: Boys: basketball (F, JV, V), indoor track (V), swimming (V), wrestling (VJ, V), ice hockey (JV, V). Girls: basketball (F, JV, V), cheerleading (V), indoor track (V), ice hockey (V), gymnastics (V). Coed: squash (V), skiing (V). Spring: Boys: baseball (F, JV, V), track (V), tennis (JV, V), golf (JV, V), lacrosse (F, JV, V), volleyball (JV, V). Girls: softball (F, JV, V), track (F, VJ, V), tennis (JV, V), golf (JV, V), lacrosse (F, JV, V). Coed: sailing (V). The school colors are blue and white and the teams are known as the Blue Wave. What extracurricular activities are offered? High school activities, which are subject to change based on student interest, include: Art Club; Athletic

Feb. 21, 2008

Training Program; A.V. Technicians; Buddy System; Building with Books; China Care Club; Community Council; Composers Club; Crew Club; Culture Club; Current (literary magazine); Dance, Dance, Revolution Club; Darianus (yearbook); Debate Team; DIVE Day Steering Committee; Film Club; Fishing Club; French Club; Future Problem Solvers; Gay Straight Alliance; JETS; Kids Giving Back; Math Team, Magic Club; Model United Nations Club; National Honor Society; NEIRAD (school newspaper); Outdoors Club/Ski and Snowboarding; Student Life; Spanish Club; Technology Club; Theatre 308; Tri-M; Stage Crew; Ultimate Frisbee; Weekend Alternatives; Writing Center. Are there any afterschool programs? For the lower grades, afterschool and vacation programs are offered by the Darien Nature Center (6557459) and Darien YMCA (655-8228, ext. 331). The Y offers transportation from the schools to the Y. How can I learn if school is canceled? The school district says it will make every effort to decide by 5:30 a.m. if school is canceled or delayed. Parents may check the Web site darienps.org or listen to any of the following radio stations for details: WEBE/108FM, STAR/99.9FM, WICC/600 AM, WLAD/ 800AM, WCBS/880AM, WDAQ/98.3FM, WGCH/ 1490AM, WEFX/95.9FM, WSTC/1400AM, WKHL/ 96.7FM, and WTIC/1080/AM and 96.5FM; Cablevision 12; and WTNH/Channel 8. For e-mail notification, register at ctweather.com. If school is delayed, each schoolʼs start time will be pushed back 90 minutes. Early dismissal decisions are made by 9:30 a.m. What is the current school budget? The 2007-08 budget is $62.5 million. How much does Darien spend per pupil? Darienʼs estimated per pupil expenditure is approximately $13,398. What is the salary range for teachers? Salaries for the 2007-08 school year ranged from a low of $40,910 to a high of $97,229 depending on education and years of experience.

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What is the salary range for a school principal? According to the administratorsʼ contract, principal salaries range from $143,453 to $158,580. What is the superintendent’s salary? Donald Fiftal is superintendent of Darien schools. He can be reached at 656-7412 or dfiftal@darienps.org. His salary in 2007 was $209,000. What is special education? Special education offers services for physically handicapped and learning disabled students.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

How can I tell if my child needs special education? Parents of children three to five years old who suspect their child may have a disability should call the district and speak to the preschool coordinator. For children already in school, parents should call the school guidance counselor to discuss whether their child may need special education. Parents who disagree with a schoolʼs determination may speak with Mrs. Robin Lawler Pavia, director of Special Education and Student Services, at 656-7451 or rpavia@darienps.org. Are there other special education resources? SPED*NET is the Special Education Network of New Canaan, a monthly forum for discussing special education and section 504 issues. It is an independent nonprofit organization. Information is on the Web site spednet.org, or by calling Anne Eason at 966-9709. The Connecticut Birth to Three System helps families meet the developmental and health-related needs of their infants and toddlers who have delays or disabilities. For information, call the Child Development Infoline at 1-800-505-7000 or visit online at birth23.org. Is there a program for gifted children? The IDEA (Interesting Dimensions Extend Abilities) Program is offered to intellectually gifted children in first through ninth grade. Elementary-level

Schools 25

students meet for 90 minutes a week in small groups. Middle and high school students participate as their class schedules permit. Students may be referred to the program by school staff or teachers. A selection committee reviews all nominations to identify students who fit the program criteria. What is the Barbara Harrington Fund? Established by Darien Advocates for Education of the Gifted (DAEG), the Barbara Harrington Fund offers grants to Darien teachers for study materials, curriculum development, or projects that enhance classroom learning. For information, visit daeg.org or darienps.org. Is there a PTO? Each of Darienʼs schools has an active ParentTeacher Organization. Call the individual school or visit darienps.org (click on general information) to find out who the officers are. In addition, there is the Council of Darien School Parents, which functions as an umbrella organization for all the school PTOs. Representatives from each PTO meet monthly to share news from each school. Co-chairs through June 2008 are Patty Reis (662-9290) and Lisa Miller (977-8619). What is A Better Chance? A Better Chance, also known as ABC, is a national

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26 Schools

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

program that provides academically talented minority students with access to good schools, both private and public, that they otherwise could not attend. Students live in a house on Brookside Road while attending Darien High School during the week. For information, visit abetterchance.org or call Cokey Concannon at 353-9731. What nursery schools are in town? Darien Nature Centerʼs Natureʼs Playroom, 120 Brookside Avenue, 655-7459, with morning and afternoon sessions children attend one day a week; Holly Pond School on the Darien YMCA campus, 2420 Post Road, 655-8228, offers morning and afternoon programs for members; First Congregational Church Nursery School, 14 Brookside Road, 655-3150/uccdarien.org, with morning programs; Methodist Family Center Preschool, 345 Middlesex Road, 655-7407, with morning and afternoon programs; NPC Nursery School, 2011 Post Road, 655-3223, offers morning programs with an option for an extended day as well as a transitional pre-K program; preference is given to church members; Our Gang Nursery School, 26 East Lane, 655-3810, with programs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., including a regular kindergarten program; St. John Church of Darien Preschool, 1986 Post Road, 656-0548, offers morning programs; St. Lukeʼs Parish School, 1864 Post Road, 655-4067,

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Feb. 21, 2008

offers morning and afternoon programs; St. Thomas More Happiness Preschool, 374 Middlesex Road, 655-6053, offers morning and afternoon programs four days a week, preference given to church members. What private schools are in the area? Pear Tree Point School (655-0030) 90 Pear Tree Point Road, is Darienʼs only private school, serving pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Open houses for prospective students and their parents are held in the fall. Visit ptpschool.org. Other private schools in the area include The Long Ridge School (322-7693/longridgeschool.org) at 478 Erskine Road in Stamford, for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade; New Canaan Country School (972-0771/ countryschool.net), 545 Ponus Ridge, serves beginners through ninth grade; Connecticut Friends School (762986/CTFriendsSchool.org), 317 New Canaan Road in Wilton, serving kindergarten through eighth grade; Our Lady of Fatima (762-8100/olfrs.org), a Catholic school at 225 Danbury Road, Wilton for pre-school through eighth grade; St. Lukeʼs (966-5612/stlukesct.org), 377 North Wilton Road, New Canaan, for fifth through 12th grades; the King & Low-Heywood Thomas School (322-3496/klht.org) at 1450 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, a day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade; The Whitby School (869-8464/whitbyschool.org) 969 Lake Avenue, Greenwich, a Montessori school for boys and girls from preschool through eighth grade; The Brunswick School (625-5800/brusnwickschool.org) a private, college preparatory school for boys in pre-K through 12th grade, 100 Maher Avenue, Greenwich; Convent of the Sacred Heart (531-6500/cshgreenwich. org), 1177 King Street, Greenwich, a Catholic independent prep school for girls pre-K to 12th grade; and Greenwich Academy (625-8900/greenwichacademcy. org), 200 North Maple Avenue, an independent, college preparatory school for girls pre-K to 12th grade. Where can I take college courses nearby? Norwalk Community College (857-7060) offers a degree program. Offering graduate and undergraduate courses are the University of Connecticut in Stamford (251-8400) and the University of Bridgeport (800-3923582) with campuses in Stamford and Bridgeport. Is there an art school nearby? The Visual Arts Studio at the Darien Arts Center (655-8683/arts.darien.org) on Renshaw Road offers classes for children and adults in painting, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media. The Darien Community Association offers courses in drawing and painting. Call 655-9050 or visit dariendca.org. The Silvermine Guild School of Art (966-6668/silvermineart.org) in New Canaan offers many types of classes for all ages.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Are there any dance schools? The Darien Dance Center offers more than 70 dance classes and workshops for all ages, toddlers through adults. Choose from modern, ballet, hip hop, jazz, or tap. Call director Bonnie Gombos at 655-8683 or visit arts. darien.org. The Walter Schalk School of Dance offers jazz, tap, ballet, social ballroom dancing, creative tots, and kinder kids in Darien. Call 762-7508 or visit online at walterschalk.com. The Darien YWCA (655-2535/ywca.darien.org) offers ballet beginning during the school year. Ballroom Magic at 25-13 Old Kings Highway (8319382/ballroommagic.net) offers classes in ballroom dancing — swing, foxtrot, rumba, cha cha, mambo, waltz, etc. — for adults. There are also classes in ballroom dancing and etiquette for children. Is there a continuing education program? Darien Continuing Education (656-7467) offers courses in adult education, arts, business, computers, dance, fitness, education, finance, health, home and garden, music and photography. Senior citizens 62 and older receive a 10% discount on tuition. Access the catalog online at darienps.org.

Schools 27

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28 Public Services

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Public Services Where is the library and when is it open? The Darien Library (655-1234) is at 35 LeRoy Avenue. It is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 to 9, Fridays from 9 to 6, Saturdays from 9 to 5, and Sundays from 1 to 5. The library is closed on major holidays. The library maintains an extensive Web site at darienlibrary.org. The library director is Louise Berry, who may be reached at lberry@darienlibrary.org. (In early 2009, the Darien Library will move into a new building at 1441 Boston Post Road.) How may I get a library card? At the library, Darien residents will be issued a card immediately. You may also apply for a card online at darienlibrary.org. Your library card is accepted for borrowing materials at any of Connecticutʼs 163 libraries, including Darien Library. What holdings does the library offer? Darien Library has more than 155,000 books and 5,000 books-on-CD and downloadable audio books. The library subscribes to more than 340 newspapers, magazines, and periodicals. There are 12,000 DVDs, including many classic films and an extensive foreign film collection, nearly 5,300 CDs, as well as CD-ROMs, download-

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able and pre-loaded audio books, MP3 players, laptop computers, wireless network cards, digital cameras, and video camcorders that may be checked out. How long can I keep a library book? Most items, including adult and childrenʼs books, may be borrowed for 21 days. Express books may be borrowed for seven days. The library also circulates Express DVDs for one night. All other DVDs may be checked out for seven days. Most materials may be renewed at the library, by calling 655-1234, ext. 0, through the online catalog, or by e-mailing circ@darienlibrary.org. What special services does the library offer? The library offers an array of special services that run the gamut from cultural programs for the entire community to individual tutoring sessions on research techniques and technology. Upcoming library events, new services, and new materials are previewed in Connections, the libraryʼs monthly eNewsletter, which consists of several relevant and informative blogs that are updated frequently. Audio podcasts from some of the libraryʼs programs can also be found on the Web site. • IM Reference allows patrons to use instant messaging to ask a reference question in a live online chat session using AIM, Yahoo!, or MSN. Contact IM Reference at Darien Library on AIM or Yahoo! at DeweyDarien, or on MSN at deweydarien@hotmail.com. • The Technology Education Series offers classes for adults on popular software packages such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Photoshop Elements on Web site design. • The library has five staff members who serve as notary publics and are available to notarize documents for library patrons. • By appointment, the libraryʼs technology staff and/or the reference librarians are available for one-on-one sessions to tutor individuals in using the libraryʼs databases and Web site, setting up e-mail accounts, basic Internet searching, or other specialized informational technology needs. • Throughout the year, Darien Library hosts book discussion groups, The Poetʼs Voice, a Friday night film series, a Monday matinee film series, a foreign film series, and booktalking at the Darien Senior Center. • The library also provides special programming in connection with Shakespeare on the Sound, and a holiday concert. What are the library’s special activities for children and teens? The Darien Library offers storytimes for children who are newly born and up to six years old. Music classes and Creative Corner book groups are also available for toddlers. After graduating from storytime, children may participate in either BookMania!, a book discussion


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

group for children 7, 8, and 9 years old, or the Nutmeg Book Group for children in grades 4 through 6. The Childrenʼs Room also offers several technology programs. Children can be introduced to the library catalog in Library Detectives, or move on to using the libraryʼs databases in Online Adventures. Parent Advantage Workshops for parents of elementary and middle school students also display how the libraryʼs databases can aid in homework assignments. Special programs are offered throughout the year and include performances such as puppet shows, live animal visits, storytellers, magicians, and childrenʼs opera. The Childrenʼs Room staff provides reader advisory and reference services to children of all ages, their families, and educators. Both the teen and childrenʼs Web sites have bibliographies on popular topics and genres. Childrenʼs Room staff visits the elementary schools, middle school, and Pear Tree Point School to talk about new materials. Each summer, more than 800 students sign up to participate in the Read-to-Me, Summer Reading Club, and Teen Summer Reading Programs to receive prizes for books read. The library is one of the most active sites in the region for the Nutmeg Book Award program, culminating each January with a “Nutmeg @ Nite” quiz show. A special area is set aside for teens on the libraryʼs lower level. Various volunteer opportunities are available to assist with big childrenʼs events. Programs such

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Public Services 29

as writing galley book reviews for the libraryʼs Web site, book groups, and gaming tournaments also occur throughout the year. Are there employment opportunities for high school students at the library? The Shelver position at the library is for students who are at least 14 years of age. The library hires shelvers to work either in the Childrenʼs Room and Teen Room or in the Main Reading Room. Shelvers sort books alphabetically or numerically. Once books are sorted, they are shelved in the correct section. Students receive paid training in job duties specific to the department in which they work. Hours vary between 3 and 10 hours per week. The starting pay is $8 per hour. What art is displayed at the library? The library exhibits artwork in its Main Reading Room. Exhibits are the province of the Art Committee of the Darien Library. For information on the submission process, call 655-1234, ext. 153. Does the library use volunteers? The library welcomes volunteers. One of the libraryʼs more popular volunteer programs is Adopt-A-Shelf, in which volunteers agree to organize shelves in an area of their choice at least once a month. For information on this or other opportunities, call 655-1234, ext. 114.

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30 Public Services

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Is the library a municipal organization? The library receives tax money from the town for personnel and operating costs. The library is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations to the Annual Campaign fund all books, software, other materials, and programs. For information on making a donation to the Annual Campaign, call 655-1234, ext. 125 or e-mail friends@darienlibrary.org. Does anyone accept used books? Darien Book Aid is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that attempts to build a foundation of peace, understanding and friendship through the free distribution of books donated to them. They send books all over the world to Peace Corps volunteers, teachers, libraries, schools, prisons, and hospitals. The most-requested books are childrenʼs books, classics, English dictionaries, English readers and grammar books, how-to and craft books, health, science and math, agriculture and ecology books, encyclopedias on CD-ROM, and paperback editions of recent novels. Text books not older than 10 years and National Geographics from the last five years are also welcome. Hours are Tuesday 2 to 4, Wednesday and Thursday 9:30 to noon, Wednesday 7 to 9 p.m. , Saturday 10 to noon. For information, call 655-2777. The groupʼs Web site is dba.darien.org. Donʼt make any donations without calling first. What is the Darien Community Matters Blog? The Darien Community Matters Blog is an online, non-partisan forum for discussion of issues of interest to Darienʼs citizens. Citizens may use the blog to communicate with each other about local happenings. Visit the blog at darien.org/communitymatters/blog/. Participating is simple. To comment on one of the topics, click the comment button, fill out the form, and click “post.” Does the town have a social worker? Judith Morrison (656-7328) is the townʼs social services director. Her office can assist people with information on housing, home care and nursing home placement, financial aid for home heating, the loan of convalescent equipment, and rides to doctors and the senior center. Ms. Morrison is also the municipal agent for the elderly. In addition to their office in town hall, staff members are available once a week at the senior center and senior housing. She can be e-mailed at jmorrison@darienct.gov. Is there affordable housing? The Allen-OʼNeill Homes is a moderate rental family housing project that includes 41 homes and 12 apartments on Noroton Avenue. Clock Hill Homes on LeRoy Avenue is a moderate-income condominium development. Old Town Hall Houses is for elderly residents (see the Senior Citizens section). The Housing Authority (655-0866) owns and manages the Allen-OʼNeill Homes

Feb. 21, 2008

and Old Town Hall Houses and manages the waiting list for Clock Hill Homes. In addition, Avalon Darien has 45 or so incomerestricted one- and two-bedroom rental apartments on Hollow Tree Ridge Road as part of its larger complex. Call 655-6800 for information. What is Person-to-Person? Person-to-Person (655-0048/p2pdarien.org) offers emergency services to low-income families in the greater Stamford area in the form of food, clothing, furniture, and financial assistance (loans or grants for rent, utilities or security deposits) as well as eviction mediation. Person-to-Person welcomes cash donations and in-kind giving. Donations of seasonal clothing in good condition are welcome. Bring items on hangers or in small bags. Items always needed include car seats, baby and childrenʼs clothing, large-sized clothing, linens, blankets, towels, dishes, glasses, pots and pans, non-perishable food, silverware, and small appliances. Donations are accepted Monday through Friday from 9 to 4, Thursdays until 6, and most Saturdays during the school year from 9 to noon. Person-to-Person is at St. Lukeʼs Parish, 1864 Post Road. The groupʼs Web site is p2pdarien.org. Is there a food pantry in town? Person-to-Person runs a food pantry at St. Lukeʼs Church. For donation information, see above. To use the food pantry, a referral by a social worker is required. Where are burial plots available? There are two cemeteries in town. Spring Grove (655-0682) is on Hecker Avenue. St. Johnʼs Catholic Cemetery (655-0455) is on Camp Avenue. Families may arrange for burial plots either through a funeral director or by calling the cemetery office directly. There are many cemeteries in neighboring towns. What funeral homes serve Darien? Lawrence Funeral Home (655-6127/lawrencefuneralhome.com) at 2119 Post Road is Darienʼs only funeral home. What is the Community Fund of Darien? The Community Fund of Darien works with about 30 area agencies to help people in need, not only in town but in the greater community, by providing funding, organizational guidance, and volunteer support all year long. The office is at 701 Post Road. Executive Director Kiki Karpen may be reached at 655-8775. The Web site is communityfunddarien.org. The Community Fund of Darien also has a Human Services Council, which has put together the Darien Community Human Services Directory. It contains a list of community organizations and agencies, who they help, and how to get in touch. To find out how to get a copy, call 655-8775.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Public Services 31

What is Infoline 211? Infoline 211 is a free community service that a public/ private partnership between the state of Connecticut and Connecticut United Ways. It is a single source for information about community services, referrals to human services, and crisis intervention, accessible by dialing 211 from anywhere in Connecticut 24/7. Multilingual call specialists and TDD access is available. Specialists help callers with such issues as substance abuse, gambling, domestic violence, suicide prevention, and financial problems. It also offers information on health care, unemployment, child care options, housing, and volunteer opportunities. A searchable database is on the Web site at infoline.org or 211.org.

What is the Beautification Commission? As its name suggests, the Darien Beautification Commission is charged with finding ways to maintain and improve the overall physical appearance of Darien. The commission meets monthly to review current projects and plan new ones. Projects under the commissionʼs purview include 30 islands along town roadways, 24 planters along the Post Road, Adopt-A-Spot, and daffodil plantings.

What is Family & Children’s Agency? Family & Childrenʼs Agency, Inc. in Norwalk is a private, nonprofit, family service agency, which has been serving the community since 1942. It offers a wide range of comprehensive services, including individual, family and addiction counseling; international and domestic adoption; support services for seniors through HomeCare Plus; family support services; youth development and mentoring; and community education programs. For information, call 855-8765 or visit familyandchildrensagency.org.

Where can I get help with my income taxes? The Internal Revenue Service can help. For general information, call 800-829-1040. Seniors and those with moderate incomes can get free help with their taxes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, offered Tuesday afternoons and Saturdays during tax season at the New Cannan Public Library, 151 Main Street. Simple federal or state returns only. Appointments are required; call 594-5003.

What services does the Red Cross provide? The Darien chapter of the American Red Cross, at 39 LeRoy Avenue, merged with the Stamford chapter last year. The new entity is known as the American Red Cross, Darien/Stamford Chapter. The two chapters combined have some 600 volunteers. The local Red Cross provides relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The organization also offers CPR and first aid courses; health courses such as Managing Stress, Back Injury Prevention, and Your Heart Matters; disaster preparedness; works with youth in the Red Cross Action Team; responds to single-family fires; runs blood drives; teaches a teen babysitting program and has a corps of volunteers who drive senior citizens to medical appointments. For information, call 655-2586 or visit dsredcross.org. What is the Center for Hope? The Center for Hope offers individual counseling and support groups for adults and children facing lifethreatening illnesses and bereavement. It also offers community education programs and programs for caregivers. The Center for Hope is a division of Family Centers, a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. The Center for Hope is at 590 Post Road in Darien. For information, call 655-4693 or visit centerforhope.org.

Is there a community calendar of events? The Darien Times publishes upcoming events each week. Events are also posted on the townʼs Web site (darienct.gov), and at darien.org.


32 Property Issues

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Property Issues What kind of work requires a building permit? Most construction work requires a permit from the building department. This includes internal and external remodeling, enlarging, additions, changing the size of windows or adding bay windows, pools, new roofs, erecting a shed, enclosing a porch, erecting a large tent, installing a gas or wood-burning stove or fireplace, and new construction. What you need to get a permit is on the town Web site. Call 656-7347 for information. Do I need an appointment to discuss plans for my property? If you would like to sit down with the zoning enforcement officer, appointment times are from 9 to 9:45 and 1 to 1:45 on most days. Call 656-7351. May I purchase a copy of the Darien zoning regulations? Planning and Zoning has a copious set of regulations that cover every regulated issue. It can be very helpful for any renovation or construction project you may be thinking of from adding a porch, bay windows, swimming pool, fence, barn, etc. It can be downloaded from the office Web page at darienct.gov or you may purchase a copy for $10. A color copy of the zoning map is $25.

You may purchase either in the Planning and Zoning office. Other helpful documents for sale include: Inland Wetland and Watercourses Regulations ($4) and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Map ($5). You may also purchase the 2006 Town Plan of Development ($40), Subdivision Regulations ($6), and a black-and-white zoning map ($5). Do I need a permit for a fence on my property? No permits are necessary; however, the maximum allowable height is four feet in front, six feet on the sides and back of the property. It does not matter which way the “good side” faces, but it is recommended that it be faced “good side out.” Although there are no required setbacks, it is recommended any fence be placed six to 12 inches inside your property. There are specific regulations for corner properties. Eight-foot privacy fences are allowed for special situations. If you are within 50 feet of wetlands, you must submit an application to the Environmental Protection Commission. When must I notify neighbors of my plans? If you have submitted a formal application to the

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Planning and Zoning Commission or the Zoning Board of Appeals, you must notify all owners of property within 100 feet. These notices must be sent by certified mail 10 to 20 days prior to the public hearing.

Property Issues 33

What requirements are there for swimming pools? A pool must meet setback and coverage requirements, and if it is within 50 feet of a wetland or watercourse it must be approved by the Environmental Protection Commission. Health, zoning, and building permits will also be required.

Emergency Management Agency) program that stipulates construction regulations to minimize flood damage to buildings and property. As a result, all property owners in Darien are eligible to buy private flood insurance at a subsidized rate. Past storms have caused significant flooding in town and to that end, Darien created a Flood Mitigation Committee in 2007. The committee, which includes First Selectman Evonne Klein, Public Works director Bob Steeger, EPC chairman Peter Hillman, Planning & Zoning director Jeremy Ginsberg, and environmental protection officer Richard Jacobsen, is working toward a comprehensive flood prevention strategy. It includes topographical mapping to help develop a town-wide drainage plan, and a drainage system specifically for LaForge Road, considered one of the most flood-prone in town. Another project will replace 100-year-old rainage pipes under railroad tracks in the Heights Road business district.

Is it possible I live in a flood zone? Because Darien is right along the coastline with a number of rivers flowing through it, there are a number of flood zones throughout town. Most susceptible to flooding are the areas along the coast, the river corridors, and the low-lying areas through which streams and brooks flow. The town participates in a 25-year-old FEMA (Federal

How do I know if I live in a flood zone? A comprehensive map created by FEMA hangs in the Planning and Zoning office (656-7351) at town hall. Property owners are welcome to come in and look at the map and determine if they are in a flood-prone area. Planning and Zoning staff are not allowed to give that information over the phone since it is up to each individual to make that determination for themselves.

How long does it take to get a zoning permit reviewed? The state allows the town 30 days, although the department tries to work in as timely a manner as possible. The length of time depends primarily on how many applications are submitted.

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34 Property Issues

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Will the town check my well water? No, that is the responsibility of the homeowner. The town recommends using the lab at the Stamford Health Department (977-4399) or a private lab. If you have a private well that is subject to flooding during heavy and/or prolonged rainstorms, you may need to disinfect your well during such events. The townʼs health department can advise you how to do this. Check online at darienct.gov. Is it likely my well water contains fluoride? Fluoride, which is tasteless and odorless, occurs naturally in groundwater. While small amounts are beneficial to dental health, too much fluoride can adversely affect teeth and bone development. According to the national Academy of Sciences, fluoride over 4 milligrams per liter in drinking water is too high, and in fact should be 1ppm or less. Fluoride concentrations in Connecticut water tend to be low, but no extensive surveys have been done and it is possible there are pockets of high fluoride concentrations. If you are concerned, have your water tested. A fact sheet on this issue is on the health departmentʼs Web page at darienct.gov. How do I take care of my septic system? You must call a private septic pumping company; they will advise you how often to have your tank pumped. The Norwalk River Watershed Initiative offers a

Feb. 21, 2008

simple, non-technical brochure for homeowners called Septic Care & Maintenance for the Homeowner. It is available free online at conservect.org/southwest.htm. Click on the septic care link and then click on the link for the downloadable format. Darien Health Department offers a Home Buyerʼs Guide for septic systems on its page at darienct.gov. Whom do I call if my neighbor’s septic system is leaking onto my property? Call Vincent Proto at the health department at 6567320. Is there municipal garbage collection? No. Residents must contract with a private carter for garbage collection. There are many that serve Darien. Can I take care of my garbage myself? The town maintains a Refuse Disposal Area, also known as “the dump,” at 126 Ledge Road. It is open Monday through Saturday from 7 to 2:45. The site is closed on major holidays. A yearly sticker is required to use the dump. The fee is $110 for residents without garbage collection, $34 for residents with garbage collection, $55 for those in the tax abatement program, and $50 for seniors over 65 without garbage collection. Seniors over 65 with garbage collection get one free dump sticker, additional stickers are

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

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36 Property Issues

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

$50. Stickers are valid July 1 to June 30. For details, call 656-7346 or 656-7300. The dump accepts most household waste and construction debris. The following items may not be dropped off: hazardous waste, liquids, paints, asbestos, pathological or medical waste, cylinders, barrels, sealed containers, propane tanks, or items larger than six inches in diameter or four feet long. Refrigeration equipment (anything with Freon in it) may be disposed of for a $15 fee in the form of exact cash or check. For more information, call the Darien Department of Public Works at 656-7346. What and where do I recycle? There is a recycling center at the refuse disposal area. Recycle newspapers, mixed papers (magazines, office paper, mail), corrugated cardboard, glass or metal food and beverage containers, #1 and #2 plastics, and scrap metal. A recycling tank for waste motor oil near the scale house is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 8 to 10. Car batteries may be recycled. Where can I get rid of hazardous waste? Darien participates in a regional household hazardous waste collection program with neighboring towns, including Greenwich, Norwalk and Westport. Darien residents may bring their hazardous waste to any scheduled drop-off day for free. For a schedule, call 656-7346.

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Where can I find free compost or wood chips? Leaf compost and wood chips are available at the dump for residents to take. There are piles of both just beyond the scale house. Does the town pick up leaves? From November through early December, the department of public works collects leaves packed in biodegradable paper bags from every public street. The leaves are then shipped to a composting facility. Loose leaves or bags containing lawn clippings, brush or other materials will not be collected. For information, call 656-7346. The public works department also picks up Christmas trees in January. Watch The Times for details. What is spring cleanup? Each spring the town picks up household debris placed along public roads. Specific weeks, usually in March, are set aside. Watch The Times for information, or call the department of public works (656-7346). Am I allowed to burn anything on my property? No. The town does not allow the burning of leaves, brush, or anything else on a personʼs property. What do I need to know about my fuel oil tank? Due to the heavy clay content of soil in Darien, leaking tanks are fairly common. The fire marshalʼs office suggests you consider replacing your tank if it is more than 15 years old. If oil leaks from your tank, it will likely enter wells, brooks, streams, and/or building foundations and you will have a big environmental mess that can wind up being very costly. To replace your home tank, you will need a permit and inspection from the building department. New tanks can be installed indoors or above ground. New installations will not be approved until the old tank is removed or properly abandoned and accepted by the fire marshal. You will need a permit from his office to do this. Do I need a permit to power wash my home? Because it is dangerous to expose anyone, especially children, to dust created by the disturbance of lead-based paint, all contractors and property owners must get a permit from the health department before doing any sand blasting, power sanding or power washing of buildings or other structures. Of special concern are buildings built before 1978. In addition, you must submit a Lead Safe removal plan to the health department for review and approval. For details, call 656-7320. Who shovels snow from sidewalks? Homeowners and business owners whose property abuts a public sidewalk are required to clear the sidewalk of snow and ice. Anyone unable to do so because of illness or physical restriction should call the first selectmanʼs office at 656-7338.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Religion 37

Religion What houses of worship are in town? Calvary Baptist Church, 988 Post Road, (655-0318/ calvarybaptist.darien.org); Darien United Methodist Church, 345 Middlesex Road, (655-1469/umcdarien.org); First Church of Christ, Scientist, 2331 Post Road, (655-3407); First Congregational Church, 14 Brookside Road, (655-0491/uccdarien.org); New Life Christian Fellowship, 65 Tokeneke Road, (655-7194/nlcf.ws); Noroton Presbyterian Church, 2011 Post Road, (655-1451/norotonchurch.org); St. John R.C. Church, 1986 Post Road, (655-1145); St. Lukeʼs Episcopal Church, 1882 Post Road, (6551456/saintlukesdarien.org); St. Paulʼs Episcopal Church, 471 Mansfield Avenue, (655-8773/stpaulsdarien.org); St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 374 Middlesex Road, (655-3303/stmdarienct.org); Talmadge Hill Community Church, Talmadge Hill Road, (966-2314). What churches and temples are nearby? Those in Rowayton, New Canaan, and Stamford include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 800 Stillwater Road, Stamford, (323-1485); Fellowship for Jewish Learning, 572 Roxbury Road. Stamford, (325-4605); Rowayton United Methodist, 180 Rowayton Avenue, Rowayton, (838-0049); St. Johnʼs Lutheran Church, 884 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, (322-0066); St. Michaelʼs Lutheran Church, 5 Oenoke Ridge Road, New Canaan, (966-3913); Trinity Lutheran Church, 265 Seaside Avenue, Stamford (325-1143); Temple Sinai, 458 Lakeside Drive, Stamford, (3221649); Union Memorial Church, 58 Church Street, Stamford, (324-6715); Unitarian Universalist, 20 Forest Street, Stamford, (348-0708); United Church of Rowayton, 210 Rowayton Avenue, Rowayton, (866-1415); Zion Lutheran Church, 132 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, (327-7751). What are Stephen Ministers? They are trained church members who volunteer to act as a support and mentor to those facing personal challenges. For information, call the First Congregational Church, Noroton Presbyterian Church, St. Lukeʼs Episcopal Church, or St. Thomas More Catholic Church.

What is the Higher Ground Ministry? This is a Christ-centered ministry sponsored by local churches that offers support to anyone affected by addiction, either their own or that of a friend or family member. For information, visit online at highergroundministry.org or call Lucetta and Ted DʼEramo at 203888-9974. Are there any youth programs? Darien United Methodist Church has programs for middle school students. New Life Christian Fellowship has a Soul Focus Youth Night on Fridays at 8:30 for seventh grade through college. St. Paulʼs Episcopal holds two Youth Groups on the first and third Friday evenings from 7 to 9 for junior and senior high school students. St. Lukeʼs Episcopal has youth groups for middle and high school. Noroton Presbyterian offers a number of programs for students and young adults. Young Life is a non-denominational Christian high school outreach ministry. For information, call Noroton Presbyterian at 655-1451.


38 Emergencies

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Emergency Services What kinds of calls should be made to 911? Only emergency calls should be made to 911, such as to report a fire, medical crisis, or police emergency like a home intruder or other life-threatening situation. People should not call for road conditions or routine service such as barking dogs. Direct routine police calls to 662-5300, routine fire calls to the appropriate fire department listed below. Who answers the 911 line? All local 911 calls are answered at the Darien Police Department. A mobile 911 system enables dispatchers to track a cell phone caller始s location anywhere in the state. Where is the nearest emergency room? The nearest emergency rooms are at Stamford Hospital (325-7777), 30 Shelburne Road, and Norwalk Hospital (852-2160) on Maple Street. What ambulance service is available in town? Darien is served by Darien EMS - Post 53 at Ledge Road. The post is manned by 75 state-certified EMTs, including both adult advisers and young adults. With three ambulances, it is on call 24/7. For routine matters, call 655-8980. Where will the ambulance take me? The ambulance will take patients to either Stamford Hospital or Norwalk Hospital. Who responds to a medical crisis? The Darien Police and Darien EMS-Post 53始s fly car and ambulance all respond to medical emergencies. Additionally, the volunteer fire departments in Darien respond to all motor vehicle accidents and whenever rescue extrication equipment is required. Darien EMS rescue personnel provide basic and advanced life support including defibrillation, intravenous therapy, and the application of anti-shock garments. When an emergency call requires a paramedic, one is dispatched from Stamford EMS to augment Darien始s crew. A paramedic can provide advanced cardiac life support, intravenous drug therapy, medication for breathing problems and diabetic reactions, external pacemakers and advanced trauma techniques. How much does an ambulance call cost me? Darien EMS does not charge for its services. When Stamford EMS responds, patients will receive a bill for paramedic service. How can I help the ambulance corps? Darien EMS is funded entirely by donations and relies on the generosity of the community. It runs two fundraisers a year: a food fair on Memorial Day weekend,

and an art show at its headquarters each November. Donations may be sent to: Darien EMS, Box 2066, Darien, CT 06820. The post also welcomes new members, both student and adult. For information, call 655-8980. How many fire departments protect the town? Darien is served by three volunteer fire departments: Darien, Noroton and Noroton Heights. The Darien Fire Department is headquartered at 848 Boston Post Road. For routine matters, call 655-1216, or fax 655-6152. Founded in 1895, the department protects the eastern portion of Darien, covering about 45% of the town. The chief is Douglas Lockhart. The Web site is darienfire.org. The Noroton Fire Department has been putting out fires since 1896. The firehouse is at 1873 Boston Post Road. For routine calls, the number is 655-0653. The fire chief is Michael Vitti. The Web site is norotonfd.org. At 105 years old, Darien始s third and youngest fire department is Noroton Heights Fire Department, 209 Noroton Avenue, covering the Noroton Heights district. The routine phone number is 655-1033; the fax number is 662-0682. The fire chief is Marc McEwan. How many firefighters are there? The Darien Fire Department has about 50 active members, 40 associate members, and two house members. Most of the members have served at least 15 years as active members. The Noroton Fire Department has about 140 members, of which 35 to 40 are active members. Noroton Heights has about 150 active and veteran members. How can I become a volunteer firefighter? All three fire departments welcome new volunteers. The minimum age for membership ranges from 16 to 18 depending on the department. All members must live or work in town. Volunteer firefighters must attend specific training programs and attend fire drills. For complete information, call one of the fire departments or stop by the fire house for an application or visit their Web sites. If I smell smoke and call the fire department, will I get billed for services? No. Whom do I call if I am displaced from my house due to a fire? The American Red Cross Darien/Stamford Chapter helps those who are displaced from their homes due to fires or other disasters. The American Red Cross provides food, shelter and financial assistance for immediate disaster-caused needs. Call 655-2586.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Will I be billed for a false alarm? Yes. Homeowners and business owners will be fined $100 for each and every false fire alarm. The ordinance applies to “any device for the purpose of detecting fires and emergencies and transmits a signal to a monitoring company that relays information to the Darien Emergency Communications Center, or produces a signal to which the police or fire departments are expected to respond.” Excluded are devices such as smoke alarms, which are designed to alert only people on the premises. Automatic telephone dialing alarm systems that send messages directly to the Darien Emergency Communications Center are prohibited. Use of such a system will result in a $100 fine. Do I need to register my automatic alarm? Yes. Forms are available in the fire marshalʼs office, and online at darienct.gov/firemarshal. There is no charge to register, but there is a $25 fine if your system activates without being registered. Who is Darien’s fire marshal? Robert Buch (656-7345) is Darienʼs fire marshal. His office is in town hall. The fire marshal works closely with Darienʼs three fire departments. His office is also responsible for reviewing plans for all new construction, except for oneand two-family homes, and making construction and annual inspections. His duties also include fire investigation; permits for blasting and flammable liquid tanks; certification of hazardous material transport vehicles; certification of nursery schools, day care centers, and convalescent homes; certification of all liquor permit premises; and fire prevention education programs. Where is the police department? Darien Police headquarters are at 25 Hecker Avenue. The non-emergency number is 662-5300. For the records division, call 662-5320; for the detective division, call 662-5330. The chief of police is Duane J. Lovello, who may be e-mailed at dlovello@darienct.gov. The Web site is darienpolice.org. What are the town’s crime statistics? In 2007, the Darien police responded to 22,135 incidents, including 251 criminal arrests, 165 larcenies, 178 burglaries, 2 attempted burglaries, 61 reports of vandalism, 15 assaults, 12 stolen vehicles, and 3 sexual assaults. (There were no homicides, the other type of crime tracked by law enforcement.) There were 1,945 burglar alarm activations. Police also made 99 DUI arrests, and gave out 3,849 traffic tickets (compared to 2,715 the previous year) and 863 traffic warnings. Police also performed 295 child seat installations or inspections. How many guns were registered in town? There were 162 guns registered with the Darien Police in 2007.

Emergencies 39

How big is the department? The department has about 51 officers, supported by civilian employees, special officers, school crossing guards and traffic agents. The department also includes a highly trained emergency response team and dive team. Police patrol in marked and unmarked vehicles, on motorcycle, on foot, and on bicycles. Police also patrol the water in a twin-engine boat. All police cars and the boat have automatic external defibrillators. All patrol officers are trained at the MRT or EMT level. There is also an Emergency Response Team that is specially trained to deal with critical incidents such as high-risk search and arrest warrants, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, sniper activity, riot and crowd control, terrorist activities, and dignitary protection. What is the salary of a beginning police officer? The starting salary as of July 1, 2007 was $51,041. I need to be fingerprinted for an application. Will the police do it for me? Yes. The detective bureau offers this service to Darien residents Monday through Friday from 8 to 4, by appointment only. Call 662-5330. The police do no supply fingerprint cards; they must be obtained from your employer. What happens when a townwide emergency occurs? Darien maintains an Office of Emergency Management at the town hall (656-7345). Deputy Fire Marshal Marc McEwan (mmcewan@darienct.gov) is the townʼs emergency management director. The Emergency Message Line is 656-7493. In the summer of 2007, the town installed a Reverse 911 system that enables the town to initiate a mass calling of the community with information and steps they should take in case of an emergency. The systemʼs database includes only listed phone numbers available from AT&T and other commercial sources. However, residents and businesses that use unlisted phone numbers, cell phones, or VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) service may be included by registering online at darienct.gov or by visiting the fire marshalʼs office in town hall. The system can also notify pagers, fax machines, e-mail addresses, and TTY/TDD devices for the hearing impaired. In fall 2006, the town issued a comprehensive preparedness guide offering information and tips on how to cope with all kinds of emergencies from weather disasters to fire, earthquake, building collapse, chemical spills, carbon monoxide, terrorism, radiation exposure, disease outbreaks, a flu pandemic, and power outages. It is available online at darienct.gov/oem. Local emergency information will be broadcast on radio stations WNLK/1350AM, WSTC/1400AM, WEFX/95.9FM, WKHL/96.7FM; on television stations WTNH/TV8, WFSB/TV3, News 12, and Darien Channel 79.


40 Emergencies

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

The Darien Emergency Management Committee is keeping a list of individuals with special needs who require assistance during an emergency. To be placed on the list, call 656-7328. How can I reach a family member in the military during an emergency? The American Red Cross provides emergency communication for members of the military when family emergencies arise. Call Ronnie Tella at 203-363-1041 or e-mail rtella@dsredcross.org. A hurricane is coming. How should I prepare? Connecticut Light and Power offers the following tips: Check medications that need refrigeration. You may want to keep a small cooler handy for that purpose. Have a supply of canned, non-perishable food and drinking water that will last a couple of days. Get extra ice and put it in plastic bags. This will help maintain the temperature in your refrigerator and freezer. Set aside water. Fill the bathtub with water for toilets; a bucket in the bowl is all thatʼs needed for flushing. You can buy bottled water for drinking. Be prepared to cook outside, but donʼt bring grills into the house.

Feb. 21, 2008

Stock up on batteries for a battery-powered radio and flashlights, and have extra wood for fireplaces or wood stoves. Fill your carʼs gas tank. Stay away from downed power lines. You should avoid talking on the phone or watching TV during a lightning storm. Consider unplugging expensive items such as computers, televisions and refrigerators to avoid power surge damage, which can occur even if they are plugged into surge protectors. If you lose power, call Connecticut Light and Power at 800-286-2000. Have flashlights or candles readily available and donʼt use a gas stove for heat or illumination. How do I reach poison control? Dial 800-222-1222. This national number will connect you with medical experts at a local poison control center. There is also a Web site, www.1-800-222-1222.info. In an emergency, when fast medical assistance is required, dial 911 and tell the dispatcher what the problem is.

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Health 41

Health How can I find a good doctor for my family? Stamford Health Systemʼs Web site (stamhealth.org) provides a complete list of physicians affiliated with The Stamford Hospital, available under the heading Find A Physician. Health Call at 1-877-233-9355 offers referrals and health information services. You may also call Norwalk Hospitalʼs Physician Referral Service at 866-642-9355 or go online to norwalkhosp.org and click on “Physician Directory.” Do any doctors take walk-in patients? The Darien Immediate Medical Care Center (6563900) is at 484 Post Road. It is open from 9 to 5 on weekdays, and 9:30 to 2:30 on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. The Tully Health Center (353-2222) at 32 Strawberry Hill Court in Stamford, is open for nonlife-threatening illness and injury from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. What does the department of health do? The Darien Department of Health office is in Room 109 of Town Hall. Office hours are 8:30 to 4:30. The phone number is 656-7320. The department is dedicated to promoting physical and mental health, preventing disease and injury, guarding against health threats, improving the environment, and enforcing the Connecticut Health Code and all local health ordinances. The department also handles requests for shellfishing permits, measures bacterial levels at the townʼs two beaches, and maintains a beach hotline to let residents know if the beaches are open or closed. (See Recreation section.) The departmentʼs Web page at darienct.gov (click on Town Services & Departments) offers a vast list of information on a variety of health issues from eating fish caught in Connecticut to tick management, radon gas measurements, and disinfecting a private well. Who are the town’s health officers? Dr. David M. Reed is the interim director of health. Director of environmental health is Vincent D. Proto (vproto@darienct.gov), who is responsible for enforcing statutes and regulations on septic systems and wells. The office administrator is Elaine Kilbourn (ekilbourn@darienct.gov). Rick Peterson is the environmental sanitarian and Jeanne Ormond is the health educator. Are there CPR classes in town? The Darien/Stamford Red Cross, 39 LeRoy Avenue, offers many classes in CPR and first aid. For a schedule of classes, call 655-2586 or visit ctredcrossclasses.org. CPR classes are also offered occasionally at the YWCA of Darien/Norwalk, 49 Old Kings Highway

North. Call 655-2535 or visit ywcadariennorwalk.org. CPR classes may be offered periodically around town. Check The Darien Times for announcements. The EMS Institute at The Stamford Hospital offers a variety of courses in CPR and first aid for the general public and healthcare professionals. For more information, refer to stamfordhospital.org and click on “about” and “education” or call 325-7068. Does Darien have a nursing home? Darien Health Care Center (655-7727), 599 Boston Post Road, offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation therapy for long- and short-term residents. The 120-bed, for-profit facility delivers a range of professional services, including: dementia services; wound care; skilled nursing for complex medical conditions; comprehensive physical; occupational and speech therapy, recreational services; social services; and gerispychiatric services. At 146 West Broad Street in Stamford is the William & Sally Tandet Center for Continuing Care, a 130bed, non-profit skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility for individuals who have been disabled by an acute illness or are experiencing health problems associated with aging. For more information, call 323-2323. Waveny Care Center, 3 Farm Road, New Canaan, is a for-profit facility offering short- or long-term skilled nursing care and rehabilitation therapy. There is also a special long-term, skilled nursing care unit for people with Alzheimerʼs and other forms of dementia. For information, call 594-5200 or visit waveny.org. There are a number of other nursing homes in Stamford and Norwalk. For a list and quality-related information, visit online at medicare.gov. Who offers home care? Nursing & Home Care offers skilled nurses; home health aides; physical, occupational and speech therapists; live-in help; shoppers; dietitians; companions; peer counselors; homemakers; medical social workers; a prehospice team; case managers; and caregivers providing respite services. Nursing & Home Care also provides Assisted Living at Home for those who want help maintaining their independence at home. Services include help with cleaning, dressing, shopping, bathing and companionship. In addition, Nursing & Home Care provides wellness programs, such as health screenings, immunization programs and health education programs. For more information, call 762-8958 or 1-800-898HOME or visit visitingnurse.net. Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut offers skilled nursing; occupational, physical, and speech therapy; medical social work and home health aides as well as specialty services. Call 838-8621 or visit vnsct.com. Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Southwestern Connecticut (VNHC), also offers home health services


42 Health

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

including skilled nursing; physical, speech, and occupational therapies; a medical social worker; home health aides; and baby, child care, and homemaking assistance. Call 276-3000. More services can be found online at medicare.gov by clicking on Home Health Compare. Can I get help with household tasks while I’m recuperating from an illness? Many of the visiting nurse associations listed above offer aides to assist with household chores. Family & Childrenʼs Agency offers homemakers and a home chore service. Call 855-8765. Are there any programs for caregivers? The Darien chapter of the American Red Cross (6552586) offers a Family Caregiving Course, which focuses on helping those who care for a loved one. Topics include: assisting with personal care, positioning and helping your loved one move, general caregiving skills, home safety, caring for a loved one with Alzheimerʼs or dementia, among others. The course does not appear on the regular schedule but is offered by request. Both Waveny Care Center and The Village at Waveny Care Center offer respite stays to give caregivers the necessary time they need to rejuvenate, travel, etc. Waveny will help assess the level of care (skilled nursing or assisted living) you need. Call 594-5200 or visit waveny.org. The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program is operated in partnership with the Alzheimerʼs Association Chapters of Connecticut and the Connecticut Area Agencies on Aging. Eligible families may apply for daytime or overnight respite care services including. Call the Area Agencies on Aging at 1-800-994-9422. Are there any support groups for caregivers? The Center for Hope in Darien offers a support group for people caring for patients with Alzheimerʼs or other forms of dementia. Call 655-4693. Catholic Family Services offers a caregivers support group. Call 323-1105. Friendly Connections has a phone group for caregivers on Mondays at 11. Call 656-1128 for details. Who provides hospice services? Hospice is a community-based program that focuses on pain relief, symptom control and comfort for terminally ill patients, allowing them to be cared for where they are most comfortable, usually at home. There are several services to choose from. Mid-Fairfield Hospice, a partner of Nursing & Home Care, helps individuals and their families cope with terminal illnesses in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. Services include managing pain and symptoms to provide comfort; helping with personal care such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation; arranging for medical equipment and nutritional guidance; respite support for caregivers; counseling and companionship; spiri-

Feb. 21, 2008

tual guidance and grief support services. Call 762-8958 or 1-800-898-HOME or visit visitingnurse.net. Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Southwestern Connecticut (VNHC) is available at home, in an assisted living facility, or at the Richard L. Rosenthal Hospice Residence, at the Bennett Medical Center on the Stamford Hospital campus. For more information, call Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care at 276-4000. Waveny Care Center offers hospice care. Call 5945200 or visit waveny.org. VNS of Connecticutʼs Hospice at Home focuses on improving the patientʼs quality of life and addresses the physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of patient and family. Call 838-8621 or visit vnsct.com. . How can I become a hospice volunteer? Volunteers are an integral part of a hospice program. Volunteers may choose to work with patients and families, or may help in many other ways. Mid-Fairfield Hospice offers volunteer training courses at least twice each year. Call 847-7646 for details. Visiting Nurse Service of Connecticut offers training programs at its Norwalk office. Call 838-8621. Does anyone offer wellness programs? The Darien YWCA (655-2535) offers a variety of programs over the year including mammography screenings and bone density screenings. Does anyone help the handicapped? The office of social services can direct people to many resources. Call 656-7328. Who offers physical rehabilitation? The Rehab Center works with children and adults to restore mobility and function depleted by serious injuries and neurological disorders. The Rehab Center also offers the Skill Source Program, a vocational program that provides training and employment opportunities to qualified individuals with disabilities. The Rehab Center (325-1544) is at 26 Palmerʼs Hill Road in Stamford. Is there a pharmacy in town? Griebʼs Pharmacy (655-1000), 1021 Post Road, is open every day. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 to 6 on Saturday, and 9:30 to 3 on Sunday. Area-wide delivery is available. The pharmacy at CVS, 964 Post Road (655-6335), is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends. The store closes at 9 on the weekends. Walgreenʼs, 138 Heights Road (655-8904), is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 to 6 on Saturday, and 9 to 6 on Sunday. The store is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. For 24-hour service there are Walgreenʼs (pharmacy: 845-0457, store: 845-0436) at 55 Westport Avenue in


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Points of Interest 43

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46 Health

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Norwalk; and CVS (pharmacy: 847-2351, store: 8476057) 327 Main Avenue, Norwalk and 593 Newfield Avenue, Stamford (967-4600). Is there a clearinghouse of health services? Darien Social Services (656-7328) offers information and referrals for services available in the community. Infoline of Southwest Connecticut offers information and referrals on adult day care, nutrition, home care, respite care, health services, mental health, social services, legal services, transportation, and other topics. Call 211 or 324-6703 or visit 211.org online. The Connecticut Self-Help Network is a statewide clearinghouse for all support groups across the state. Its Self-Help Directory lists more than 1,450 local and statewide groups dealing with abuse, addictions, bereavement, disabilities, health, mental health, parenting, and many other stressful life situations. It also has contact information for more than 1,000 national networks. For information, call 203-624-6982. Who organizes blood drives? The Darien chapter of the American Red Cross collects blood on a regular basis. A person must be 17 or older and at least 110 pounds to donate blood. Many questions will be asked in order to assure the donated blood will be safe. The entire process takes about an hour, including questions, donation, rest time, and snacks afterward. Call 655-2586 or visit dsredcross.org for the schedule. Is there a flu clinic in town in the fall? The town offers flu clinics for adults with Nursing & Home Care in October and November. For dates, check The Darien Times or call the health departmentʼs flu hotline at 656-7823. Clinic dates are also listed on the townʼs Web site, darienct.gov. Are there any blood pressure screenings? Nursing & Home Care offers free blood pressure screenings the second Monday of each month from 10 to 11, at the Darien Senior Center (655-7105); the third Tuesday of each month from 2 to 3, in the Community Room at Old Town Hall Housing (656-7328); and the first Tuesday of each month, 11:30 to 1:30, at town hall. What type of counseling is available? Darien Social Services (656-7328) offers counseling for families and individuals of all ages. Family Centers Inc. (655-0547/familycenters.org) at 17 Old Kings Highway South offers individual, family, and group counseling as well as services for elderly people and young parents. Family & Childrenʼs Agency (855-8765/familyandchildrensagency.org) offers family counseling. Jewish Family Services (921-4161/stamfordjfs. org) offers non-sectarian services including individual, couple, and group counseling; crisis intervention; and referrals.

Feb. 21, 2008

The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, 975 Post Road (662-9380) is a nonprofit mental health resource for area children and families, receiving referrals from schools, courts, human service agencies, and private physicians. Self-referrals are also encouraged. The center has a clinical staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. Prevention services are also provided through public education and consultation programs. The center also offers an Emergency Mobile Crisis Service, providing immediate mental health assessments and stabilization services for children and adolescents experiencing serious psychiatric symptoms or severe reactions to a recent traumatic event. The service is available 24/7. Call 323-9797 or 888-825-6777. Catholic Family Services (323-1105), offers mental health counseling services for adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Stamford Hospitalʼs Outpatient Behavioral Health Services can be reached at 325-7560. Who offers substance abuse counseling? Liberation Programs (655-8973/liberationprograms. org) offers comprehensive substance abuse prevention and treatment options that address the needs of youth, adults, and seniors at risk for abusing or currently abusing alcohol or drugs. Family and Youth Options, offered through Liberations Programsʼ Prevention Program, offers telephone consultations, assessment and intervention, individual and family counseling, drug testing, peer mentor groups, group therapy and parenting help, anger management, and relapse prevention. The Darien office is at 2 Renshaw Road. Call 655-8973. Family Centers Inc. (655-0547) and Family & Childrenʼs Agency (855-8765) offer substance abuse counseling. The Higher Ground Ministry, for those affected by addiction, meets Tuesday evenings, 7:30, in Memorial Hall at the Calvary Baptist Church. Call 655-0318. What are the closest drug treatment centers? Liberation Programs (see above) offers treatment services, including detoxification and residential programs. Silver Hill Hospital on Valley Road in New Canaan (800-899-4455) has extensive programs for drug and alcohol abuse. You may also call Norwalk Hospital Addiction and Rehabilitation (852-2520). What support groups are available? There are many support groups offered through Stamford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, the Center for Hope (see Public Services), the YWCA, the American Cancer Society and other agencies. The Darien Senior Center offers a diabetes support group. The Darien Web site, darienct.gov, offers an extensive list. Click on Darien Mental Health Services on the home page. You may also call Infoline at 211 or go online to 211.org.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Does anyone focus on autism? Friends of Autistic People, based in Greenwich, offers parent support groups, education, and advocacy. Call Brita Darany at 661-8510 or go online to autisticadults.com. Is anyone focues on spinal cord injuries? The Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation is comprised of community volunteers who want to help people with severe spinal cord injuries. The Darien-based groupʼs focus is to assist people living in Connecticut with non-reimbursable medical expenses. For information, call 888-265-5859 or visit online at ohhf.org. What is the ITP Foundation? The ITP Foundation of Darien is dedicated to battling the bleeding disorder immune thrombocytopenic purpura, also known as ITP. It is a blood disorder that affects the immune sysem and can occur in children and adults. For information, visit online at itpfoundation.org or call 655-6954. What help is available for victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse? The Domestic Violence Crisis Center (853-0418) offers crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy, and education to help people break free from emotional, physical, or sexually abusive situations. The center also maintains a 12-bed shelter. The hotline number is 1-888774-2900. The Web site is dvccct.org. The Sexual Assault Crisis and Education Center (348-9346), offers free crisis counseling for victims of sexual assault and other support services. The center also runs a number of support groups. The 24-hour confidential hotline number is 329-2929. The Web site is sacecct.org. Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut (CGC) at 972 Post Road (662-9380/childguidancect.org) coordinates the Lower Fairfield County Child Sexual Abuse Response Team (SART), an interagency collaboration integrating criminal investigations, child protection and comprehensive services for child sexual abuse victims and non-offending parents. The center also offers 24-hour outreach and mental health services to children exposed to domestic violence or other traumatic events. Where can I get help for an eating disorder? Silver Hill Hospital (800-899-4455) in New Canaan and Hall-Brooke Behavioral Health Services (2771251) in Westport offer treatment programs for anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and other eating disorders. The Darien YWCA offers Overeaters Anonymous, a confidential 12-step support program. Call 655-2535. The Wilkins Center for Eating Disorders (5311909/wilkinscenter.com) is in Greenwich. The Renfrew Center of Southern Connecticut, 436 Danbury Road (834-5020/renfrew.com) offers an intensive outpatient program for young people and adults with eating disorders. The center also offers nutritional coun-

47

seling and support groups for individuals (adults and adolescents), families, and couples. What type of help is available for the mentally ill and their families? The Darien Human Services Planning Council, formed to identify community needs, has put together a list of services accessible online at darienct.gov. Click on Darien Mental Health Services. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill has a Stamford-Greenwich affiliate at 730 Summer Street, Stamford. Call 388-1603. For information about supervised apartments or for consultations, call the Mental Health Association of Connecticutʼs Supported Living Community (7978621 or 798-2527). The association has a list of support groups throughout the state; call 800-842-1501. The Dubois Center, 780 Summer Street, Stamford, is a state-owned outpatient mental health and addiction services center serving adults. Call 388-1600. Laurel House, 1616 Washington Boulevard in Stamford, is a community association for people with mental illness helping them integrate into the general community. Call 324-1816 or visit laurelhouse.net. The Care Network, a group of three area health care agencies, offers treatment, counseling and help in finding community resources; call 800-898-HOME. Other sources of help include Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan

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48 Health

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

(966-3651) and Hall Brooke Behavioral Health Center in Westport (277-1251). Is there a therapeutic riding program? Pegasus Therapeutic Riding (356-9504) is based in Brewster, N.Y. but offers programs at horse farms throughout Fairfield County. Pegasus helps bring the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding to handicapped people of all ages. The Darien chapter offers programs at the Ox Ridge Hunt Club. What is radon gas? Radon gas is a decay product of radioactive uranium that cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. In open air it is harmlessly dispersed, however well water passing through soil with high levels of the gas may be a significant source of radon in a home. High levels of radon occur in Connecticut, particularly in Fairfield County. Exposure to radon increases your risk of developing lung cancer. According to the U.S. E.P.A., radon causes more cancer deaths than any other single air pollutant except tobacco smoke. When exposure is combined with smoking or inhaling someone elseʼs smoke, the risk increases dramatically. Radon gas gets into homes through cracks in foundations, block walls, sump pumps, drains and other openings in cellar floors and walls. It can also be released into the air by running water from faucets and showers if �����������������������������������

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Feb. 21, 2008

the source of water is a well with high levels of radon. The simplest way to find out if your home has high levels of radon is through a carbon filter test. Because radon is known to occur in Darien, the health department has radon-testing kits for free distribution to local residents. Drop by the health department and pick one up. For more information, call 656-7320. Kits are also available commercially or may be purchased inexpensively by calling the National Safety Councilʼs Radon Hotline at 1-800-SOS-RADON. Should I worry about Lyme disease? Lyme disease, spread by ticks, is prevalent. Take precautions when walking in woods and fields. Use insect repellent, wear light-colored clothing, roll pant cuffs into socks, wear long sleeves and a hat. Inspect pets daily. Insect repellents that contain DEET are quite effective against ticks. Products containing 15% or less DEET are recommended for children, but products containing DEET should not be used on infants. If you notice a tick bite or any bite around which a redness forms in the shape of a bullʼs-eye target, or if you have flu-like symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Another tickborne disease in this area is ehrlichiosis. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, malaise, muscle and joint pain, nausea, and vomiting. Acute weight loss, low platelet count, and a low white blood cell count can also occur. The health department has quite a bit of information about Lyme disease, including pictures of deer ticks and a bullʼs eye rash, on its Web site. Go to darienct.gov, click on town services, then health department. Are there any Lyme disease support groups? There are two support groups in Wilton, one for adults and one for teens, that meet once a month at the Comstock Community Center, 180 School road, off Route 7. Call Yvonne at 762-2437 or e-mail kos1@earthlink.net. What is rabies? How prevalent is it in this area? Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that travels through the body to the brain via the nervous system. Once it reaches the brain, it causes encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which results in neurological damage and cannot be treated. In April 1991 the first two cases of rabid raccoons were confirmed in Ridgefield. Since then, every city and town in the state has had confirmed cases of rabies, a total of 5,926 cases through August 7, 2007. Raccoons, skunks, and bats are the most common carriers of the rabies virus. The best way to protect yourself against rabies is to not approach or handle wild animals (dead or alive) or strange pets and to keep your own pets vaccinated (see Animals section). If you suspect you have been exposed to rabies, consult a doctor immediately and report the incident to the local health department (655-7320) and animal control officer (655-8686).


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

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49


50 Health

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

What is West Nile virus? West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause encephalitis. Last year, mosquitoes trapped in Darien tested positive for West Nile virus and one person in Darien was diagnosed with, and survived, the disease. Mosquitoes can reproduce in any stagnant water that lasts more than four days. People can best protect themselves by eliminating pools of water around their home, such as birdbaths, old tires, kiddy pools, and clogged gutters. Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn. Consider the use of mosquito repellent. Viral encephalitis may not have any symptoms at all; mild cases may include a slight fever and/or headache. Severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of high fever, head and body aches, and usually occur five to 15 days after exposure. There is no specific treatment for viral infections, other than to treat symptoms and provide supportive care. Those most susceptible are infants, the elderly and people with damaged immune systems. How can I get information on West Nile virus? For educational materials and general updates, call the Darien Health Department at 656-7320. Where is smoking banned? A state law bans smoking in bars and restaurants, as well as all public buildings, schools, health care institutions, retail stores, elevators, and private businesses.

Feb. 21, 2008

How often does the town inspect restaurants? Restaurants are inspected according to their risk classification, which is based on the type of establishment it is. Low-risk restaurants are inspected one to two times per year. Higher-risk restaurants - those dealing with hot foods and more complex preparation - are inspected more frequently. These restaurants must also have on site a qualified food operator who has passed a state-certification test. Darienʼs health department offers certification classes. Of course, before any new restaurant opens, it must go through a thorough plan review process with the health department and pass pre-operational inspections. Is there an Alcoholics Anonymous chapter? A number of A.A. meetings take place in town throughout the week. For information, call 855-0075 or visit ct-aa.org. Alcoholics Anonymous has two local answering services: 869-5221 in Greenwich and 3233115 in Stamford. An Al-Anon Parents Group meets every Tuesday at St. Thomas More Happiness Pre-school Building, 374 Middlesex Road. The beginnerʼs meeting is from 7 to 8 p.m. The regular meeting is from 8 to 9:30. For meeting information for Al-Anon, which serves families of alcoholics, or Alateen, which helps young people affected by a drinking problem, call 203-2060599 or 888-825-2666, or visit online at ct-al-anon.org.

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Senior Citizens 51

Senior Citizens Who serves the town’s senior population? The Department of Social Services, in Room 109 at town hall, is open from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday. The telephone number is 656-7328, fax 656-7407. In the office are Judith Morrison, director (jmorrison@darienct.gov); Olive Hauser, assistant director (ohauser@darienct.gov); Inta V. Adams (iadams@darienct.gov), Friendly Visitor Coordinator; and Elaine Kilbourn, administrative secretary and a notary public (darienct.gov). The Commission on Aging is concerned with the needs of Darienʼs seniors with regard to health, recreation, transportation, and economics. Judith Morrison is the municipal agent on aging, and serves as liaison with the Commission on Aging and other resources and programs serving the elderly. Is there a senior center? The Darien Senior Activities Center (655-1705/dsac. darien.org) is at 30 Edgerton Street. The center is open Monday through Friday from 9 to 3. The center director is Nancy Zengo. The center offers lunch at noon Monday through Friday. The cost is $4 and reservations are required by 11:15. The center offers a number of programs including pilates and other forms of exercise, arts and crafts, art workshops, bridge and pinochle, computer classes, dance class, discussion groups, quilting, beginning Italian, Italian conversation, pool, Ping-Pong, walking, and writing workshops. There are also Bingo, movies, musical entertainment, and a diabetes support group. Blood pressure screenings are taken the second Monday of each month October through May. What clubs or social groups are for seniors? The 60 Plus Club is a social group for men and women over 60 that meets every Thursday, September through June, 12:30 to 3, at the Darien Community Association, 274 Middlesex Road. Association membership is not required. For information, call Marge Young at 655-0828 or the DCA at 655-9050. The Darien Senior Menʼs Association, for men 55 and older, also meets at DCAʼs Meadowlands, each Wednesday from 10 to noon, September through June. Activities include bowling, bridge, chess, computer, golf, investments, songsters, tennis/paddle, Ping-Pong. The Friendly Connections Book Club is a telephone discussion group for seniors. Call 656-1128. The Darien-New Canaan AARP chapter is very active, offering a number of social events. The group meets the first Friday of each month (except July and August) at 1 p.m., at the Darien Community Association. For information, call Lucille Ackerman at 323-6922. Will anyone run errands for seniors? The Darien Red Cross (655-2586/dsredcross.org)

offers a free Shopping for Seniors service for homebound senior citizens. With 48 business hours notice, volunteers will shop. Seniors must provide a list and the cash needed. Change is returned with the groceries and receipt. Long- or short-term service is available. How can seniors get to doctor appointments? The Darien Red Cross (655-2586/dsredcross.org) offers free rides to seniors who are unable to provide their own transportation to medical appointments in Darien and surrounding communities. The office needs 48 business hours notice. Seniors must be ambulatory. What other transportation is available? Gallivant is a wheelchair-accessible passenger van that provides scheduled door-to-door transportation around the area for the needs and enjoyment of Darien senior citizens and physically handicapped residents of all ages. The van makes trips to the Senior Center, 60Plus Club, and other Darien programs, meetings, and recreational facilities. Service is available from 9 to 4 Monday through Friday. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance by calling 655-2227, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. A donation of $2 per round trip is requested. For information online visit norwalktransit.com/gallivant.htm. Easy Access serves disabled riders (who must be ADA certified) with curb-to-curb service within Norwalk, Darien, Stamford, and Greenwich. Service is available three-fourths of a mile from the Post Road in Greenwich and Darien and to the Riverview mall in Norwalk. It is run by Norwalk Transit. For information, call 299-5180 (voice) or 299-5183 (TDD) or visit online at norwalktransit.com. Does the town have Meals on Wheels? Meals on Wheels of Stamford/Darien is a volunteer, non-profit agency that provides nutritionally balanced meals to members of the community who need this service in order to live independently in their own homes. Each day, volunteers deliver one hot and one cold meal to clients. Fees are charged on a sliding scale. For information on taking advantage of this service or to volunteer, call 323-3294. Senior Nutrition provides meals for seniors unable to prepare their own food. A referral by a hospital, doctor, or social services agency is required. Call 324-6175 or 323-1105. Who checks up on homebound seniors? The Friendly Visitors Program provides volunteer visitors to older Darien residents in need of companionship. For information, call Inta V. Adams at 656-7321 or e-mail iadams@ci.darien.ct.us. Carrier Alert is a program coordinated with the post office to assure the safety of seniors living alone. Call


52 Senior Citizens

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

the department of social services at 656-7328. LifeLine is a 24-hour, emergency response system. Call 853-3116 or visit familyandchildrensagency.org. The Friendly Connection Friendly Caller Program makes daily calls to the elderly and homebound. Call 656-1128 or visit familycenters.org. Is there a flu clinic for seniors? The town offers flu and pneumonia immunizations with Nursing & Home Care in October and November. For details, call 656-7323. What is the Yellow Dot program? This is a program in which senior citizens receive a yellow dot sticker to affix to their car window. They also receive a yellow folder to put in the glove compartment. In the folder should be current medical information and contact numbers to help EMS workers assist elderly accident victims. The same information can be kept in a separate folder at home. For details, call 656-7328. Where can I get a wheelchair or other medical equipment? The Loan Closet, coordinated by the department of social services (656-7328) provides free, short-term loan of convalescent equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, and shower chairs. Griebʼs Pharmacy rents and sells wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches. Call 655-1000. Is there day care for the elderly? The Adult Day Program at Waveny Care Center, 3 Farm Road, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for disabled or frail older adults who are still living at home, but who may require personal assistance throughout the day and/or more social interaction. If offers flexible hours and days. Call 594-5200 or visit waveny.org. Patchworks Adult Day Services (276-4993) is a program of Stamford Hospital at 26 Palmers Hill Road, Stamford. It provides individualized services for adults with physical, social, cognitive or emotional limitations, including memory loss. Transportation, breakfast, and lunch are provided Monday through Saturday. Elderhouse in Norwalk also serves Darien and provides meals and transportation. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8 to 5; Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to 7; and Saturday from 9 to 3. Call 847-1998, e-mail denise@elderhouseadc.com or go online to elderhouseADC.com. In Stamford, there are also Almost Family (969-0101) and St. Camillus Health Center (325-0200). Is there special housing for seniors? Old Town Hall Housing, 719 Post Road, includes 30 units of low-income housing available to seniors. For information, call the Darien Housing Authority at 6550866.

Feb. 21, 2008

New Canaan Inn is a retirement community for independent living at 73 Oenoke Ridge in New Canaan. It is an affiliate of Waveny Care Center. For details, call 9661272 or visit waveny.org. A complete list of senior housing available in a 14town region of southwestern Connecticut is available from the Area Agency on Aging (333-9288/swcaa.org) in Bridgeport. A state agency offers rent rebates to eligible elderly and disabled tenants. Call 656-7328. Is there assisted living housing? Sterling Glen, 50 Ledge Road, offers a variety of housing choices from independent living to assisted living. Call 888-640-1090 or visit sterlingglen.com. The Village at Waveny Care Center, 3 Farm Road, New Canaan, is an assisted living residence with 52 apartments for people with Alzheimerʼs disease or other forms of memory loss. All meals, social, recreational, and spiritual activities are included. Call 594-5200 for more information or visit waveny.org. Edgehill Continuing Care Retirement Community offers independent and assisted living as well as nursing care. Call 203-323-2323. Does anyone specialize in senior healthcare? Waveny Care Centerʼs Brown Geriatric Evaluation Center offers assessment services to review an individualʼs cognitive, psychological, social, medical, functional, and caregiver status. Wavenyʼs Geriatric Care Management team helps family members and friends find solutions to maintain an older adult at their maximum level of independent function while having them remain safely in their home for as long as possible. For information, call 594-5200 or visit waveny.org. Yale-New Haven Hospitalʼs Dorothy Adler Geriatric Assessment Center (688-6361/ynhh.org) evaluates patients with age-related problems that affect daily functioning. The Center for Healthy Aging at Greenwich Hospital (863-4374/greenhosp.org) offers a comprehensive geriatric assessment and other services. The hospital also has an Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit for older patients who need specialized attention during inpatient visits. Stamford Health Center (967-6140/stamhealth.org) offers a Geriatric Assessment Program. There is also Norwalk Hospitalʼs Geriatrics Consultation Service (852-3112/norwalkhosp.org). Does anyone help with insurance forms? The Norwalk Hospital Volunteer Medicare Information Service offers help to anyone interested in Medicare or supplemental insurance assistance. Call 8523325 or 3326 and leave a name, telephone number and the best time for a volunteer to return the call.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

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54 Children

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Children & Teens Who is the town’s youth director? Alicia Sillars is Darienʼs youth director. She may be reached at 656-7326 or asillars@darienct.gov. What does the Youth Commission do? The Youth Commission (656-7326) is made up of seven appointed adults, a full-time youth director, and a Youth Advisory Committee, with at least eight high school students. The commission produces a monthly calendar of childrenʼs programs and activities — Whatʼs Up for Kids — which is distributed through elementary schools and the Darien Library, and is sent to local media. The commission also sponsors activities for young people. How do I find a day care facility for my child? Infoline at 211 maintains current listings of all statelicensed facilities in Connecticut. Counselors will help parents assess programs. The call and service are free. Is there a baby-sitting program? Tot Drop is a licensed daycare/flexible baby-sitting service offered through Noroton Presbyterian Church. Children between the ages of six months and four years can register for the program. Call 655-1451, ext. 15. What is the legal drinking age? In Connecticut, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess alcohol anywhere in the state, including on private property. It is also illegal for anyone to knowingly allow minors to possess alcohol. What is TOPS? An acronym for Teen Options, TOPS offers drug-free and alcohol-free social activities for Darienʼs middle school students. There are organized, chaperoned events for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Registration forms are in the Youth Commission office in town hall or online at darienct.gov. For information, call 656-7326 or go to the town Web site. What is there for teenagers to do in town? The Depot (655-0812), at the Noroton Heights train station, is a drug-free and alcohol-free community center for high school students. It is open Monday for Study Night from 6 to 9, Tuesday through Thursday from 2:30 to 9, Friday and Saturday from 7 to 11:30. The Depot has a large dance floor; full kitchen; recreation room with TV, VCR, Ping-Pong, and pool; and outdoor basketball courts. There are events planned throughout the year. For details, visit dariendepot.org. Is there a Safe Rides Program? The Red Cross runs a Safe Rides program Friday and Saturday nights from 10 to 1:30. Call 655-6551.

Who helps troubled teenagers? Family and Youth Options (655-8973/liberationprograms.org), 2 Renshaw Road, is a counseling program that is part of Liberation Programs Inc. Its goal is to help young people, pre-teen to 18, and their families who are having difficulty coping with the challenges of adolescence. The program offers individual and family counseling, peer leadership groups, and community outreach. Kids in Crisis offers preventive services and immediate intervention for children in crisis. It is a United Way agency, licensed by the Department of Children and Families, that provides both crisis counseling and a short-term residential shelter for children of all ages. Support and counseling is available free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For information, call 327-KIDS or visit kidsincrisis.org. The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, 975 Post Road (662-9380/childguidancect. org) is a nonprofit mental health resource for area children and families, receiving referrals from schools, courts, human service agencies, and private physicians. Self-referrals are also encouraged. The center also offers an Emergency Mobile Crisis Service, providing immediate mental health assessments and stabilization services for children and adolescents experiencing serious psychiatric symptoms or severe reactions to a recent traumatic event. The service is available 24/7. Call 323-9797 or 888-825-6777. The Den for Grieving Kids is a grief support group offered through Family Center Services. Call 655-4693 or visit online at familycenters.org. Is there a children’s theater group? The DAC Kidsʼ Theatre at the Darien Arts Center (655-8683/arts.darien.org) offers improvisation, theater games, scene studies, and short skits. Mini-plays are rehearsed and performed at the end of each semester. The DAC says its goal is to provide “a voice for each student and tools that can be used for a lifetime.” Is there a summer camp? The Youth Commission runs a summer camp for children entering first through ninth grade, with sessions at different locations in town. For details, call 656-7326. The Darien Nature Center offers summer programs for children 3 to 6, 6 to 8, and 8 to 11, with an emphasis on nature and science. For information, call 655-7459/ dnc.darien.org. The Darien YMCA at 2420 Post Road offers summer camping programs for pre-school through school age children. Activities include swimming, sailing and canoeing, arts and crafts, music and drama, sports, games, gymnastics, and group activities. Although Y membership is not required, members get priority registration. For details, call 655-8228 or visit darien-ymca.org.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Methodist Family Center Preschool (655-7407) offers a summer camp program. The Darien Historical Society runs a summer camp. Call 655-9233.

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Who offers children’s sports? Darien Parks and Recreation offers many youth programs including: Future Stars Basketball program for boys and girls, instructional soccer programs for children of all ages, golf lessons, swimming lessons, tennis lessons, paddle tennis lessons, baseball, horsemanship clinics and camps, and Future Stars Cheerleading. Call 656-7325 or check the brochures for classes, programs and camps. The Darien YMCA (655-8228/darien-ymca.org) has a house basketball league for children in third to eighth grade, emphasizing developmental skills. There is also a fourth-grade developmental program, a travel league for fifth through eighth grades, and a high school league. There are also programs for younger children. There is also an extensive gymnastics program, including competitive teams. The YMCA also offers indoor and outdoor soccer programs for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. A youth sailing program offers beginner lessons to seven- to 12-year-olds. The Piranha Swim Team is the Darien YMCAʼs competitive swimming program for children and teens. Darien Little League is open to boys and girls 8 to 11 years old. Registration takes place in mid-winter. Darien Youth Softball is open to boys and girls 8 to 14 years old. There are also Tee Ball, first grade and second grade programs. For details, visit dybs.org. The Challenger Division of Darien Little League is for physically disabled children. Call Charlie SantosBuch at 656-3610 or e-mail buch@ubscapital.com. The Darien Babe Ruth League is for children 13 to 15. E-mail Larry Maul at trek309@aol.com. Future Stars Academy offers a baseball/softball program through the recreation department. Call 656-7325. The Fairfield County Football League offers tackle and flag programs for boys and girls in Darien. For information, call visit online at fairfieldcountyfootball. org. Darien Youth Lacrosse has programs for boys and girls, from beginner to seasoned players. There are spring games and summer camps. Call Tom Seiler at 656-3421, e-mail tseiler@ramtex.com, or visit online at dylax.com. The Darien Youth Hockey Association (dyha.com) program is for boys and girls at the Darien Ice Rink. The season runs from October through mid-March. There are clinics and travel team tryouts in September. Call Steve Baker at 716-8082 or e-mail sbaker7398@aol.com. All Star Ice Cubs Hockey offers a 10-week clinic for three- to five-year-olds. Call 655-7574 or pick up a brochure at the Darien Ice Rink. Darien Hockey Camp, for players 5 to 18 years old, takes place in July and August. Call the ice rink at 6558251.

Children 55

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56 Children

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

The Darien Soccer Association offers programs for eight- to 14-year-olds. Call Doug Rischmann at 2321587 or visit dariensoccer.org. The Darien Junior Sailing Team offers summer programs for beginner to experienced sailors. Four levels of instruction are offered from basic sailing to advanced racing techniques. Young sailors (8 to 14) learn independent decision making, boat handling, and to work as a team. Registration is in mid-February. Brochures are at the parks and recreation department and the Darien Library. Registration forms are online. For complete information, call Peggy OʼHalloran at 6560616 or visit online at sail.darien.org.

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Are there any job opportunities for teenagers? Through the Parks and Recreation Department, there are seasonal positions available including lifeguards, paddle court attendants, swim instructors, sailing instructors, maintenance staff, and program staff. Call 656-7325. The Darien Youth Commission sponsors the JOBS office at Darien High School during the school year and Youth Options (655-8973) during the summer. The office operates like a job bank, matching people looking for help — in retail, as a motherʼs helper, doing yard work, etc. — with young people looking for work. For information, call 655-3113. Additionally, the Youth Commission hires older teenagers as camp counselors during vacation activity programs and summer camp. Are there any youth volunteer programs? The Darien chapter of the American Red Cross has a youth program called RCAT. Its mission is to contribute to the community through volunteer work, and to promote emergency preparedness in both the youth and adults of the community. For information, call 655-2586. High school members of the Kids in Crisis Youth Corps act as child advocates throughout Fairfield County. The group meets the first Thursday of each month at the Darien Depot. Call Jamie Dorman at 327KIDS or e-mail jdorman@kidsincrisis.org. Does anyone offer a . course? The Red Cross in Darien offers a baby-sitting course for boys and girls 11 to 15. Emphasized are responsibilities of a baby-sitter, child developmental stages, child care, activities for young children, accident prevention, and basic first aid. For a schedule, call 655-2586 or go online to dsredcross.org.

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Recreation 57

Recreation What local parks are there? What do they offer? There are 12 park facilities encompassing 205 acres in town that offer passive and active recreational opportunities. The town also enjoys 30 acres of shoreline beaches on Long Island Sound. Open all four seasons, the 22-acre Weed Beach off Nearwater Lane offer views of Long Island Sound. The park includes a bathing area, picnic areas, six tennis courts, five paddle tennis courts, childrenʼs play areas, a bathhouse, a windsurfing area, and a concession stand. The Darien Junior Sailing Program operates at Weed Beach. Summer programs include sailing and windsurfing lessons. Pear Tree Point Beach is off Pear Tree Point Road at the mouth of the Goodwives River. There is a bathing area, handicapped accessible picnic area with picnic tables and grills, a gazebo overlooking Long Island Sound, a bathhouse, concession stand, boat launch ramp, and two beaches. The Darien Boat Club makes Pear Tree Point Beach its home. Anyone interested in a boat slip may write to Commodore of the Darien Club, PO Box 121, Darien, CT 06820. The four-acre McGuane Park is off Noroton Avenue, near the Noroton-Heights Firehouse. The park is handi-

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capped accessible. The parkʼs ballfields are heavily used by Darien Little League. Families with young children enjoy Baker Park on Noroton Avenue, with its playscape and play areas. There is a large grassy area for picnics or an impromptu game of Frisbee. The parkʼs multi-purpose softball/soccer field is frequently used by the menʼs and co-ed softball leagues. Hiking trails skirt the park, offering a walk past a variety of flowers and trees. Cherry Lawn Park on Brookside Road is Darienʼs most used park. It has playing fields, a playground, pond, picnic area, and the Cherry Lawn Garden. It is also the home of the Darien Nature Center. Other parks in town are: Town Hall & Holahan Fields, behind town hall; Tilley Pond Park, with a pond and gazebo, Lakeside and West Avenue; Stony Brook Park, with open green space at Ledge Road; and Frate Park, a triangle at the end of Leroy Avenue and Middlesex Road. Selleckʼs Woods and Woodland Park are two nature preserves with walking trails. Enter Selleckʼs Woods on Parklands Drive or through Littlebrook Road. Enter Woodland Park on Middlesex Road and West Avenue. Do I need a permit to use the parks? The parks and recreation spring and summer brochure

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58 Recreation

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

includes applications for a beach/park permit and boat launch. Stickers are available to Darien residents and taxpayers only. They must be displayed from Memorial Day through Labor Day, or whenever the gatehouse is staffed. Resident permits cost $35, and are free to senior citizen residents. The cost for summer residents is $100; $65 for non-resident taxpayers. A daily beach pass is $40. A boat launching permit is $45 per boat. Who is in charge of Darien’s parks? Susan Swiatek (656-7325) is director of parks and recreation. The office is in Room 110 at town hall. Darien also has a Parks and Recreation Commission that meets the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m., in Room 119 of town hall. Commission members are: Jane Branigan, chair; Vin Burke; Susan Daly; Charles Goodyear; Merrie Hawley; Andrew Hunter; and Robert P. Marchesi. Can I reserve a picnic area for a family party? A special permit is required to reserve a section of the picnic area. Call parks and recreation at 656-7325 for details. Special permits are also available for Darien companies. Is there a summer concert program? Weed Beach is the site of a family concert series put on by the parks and recreation department. Call 6567325. The Youth Commission also puts on a series of concerts for young people at the park. Call (656-7326) for details. What kinds of programs does parks and recreation offer? Parks and recreation offers programs for preschoolers through senior citizens. Adult programs include tennis lessons, paddle tennis lessons, golf lessons, basketball, volleyball, aerobics, and safe boating. (For youth programs, see below.) Programs are described in seasonal brochures mailed to all residents and on the Web at darienct.gov/parkrec. For information, call 656-7325. Is there a community garden? Cherry Lawn Community Gardens, in Cherry Lawn Park, offers gardeners of all levels the opportunity to cultivate and harvest organic herbs, flowers and vegetables from spring through autumn. Membership applications are available at Darien Town Hall and the parks and recreation department. Members pay a $10 town fee and $20 maintenance fee. The application deadline is early March. Call Sonia Smith at 656-1767 for details. Where can I go swimming here? Swimming is available at Weed Beach and Pear Tree Point Beach. Resident stickers are required (see above). The health department maintains a beach hotline at 6567323. During swimming season, the health department collects water samples weekly from each of the beaches

Feb. 21, 2008

and updates the hotline with information as to whether they are open for swimming. The parks and recreation department offers American Red Cross swimming lessons for children of all levels of ability at Pear Tree Point Beach. Are there any swim teams in town? The Piranha Swim Team is the Darien YMCAʼs competitive swimming program for children and teens. For information, call 655-8228, ext. 397 or e-mail Coach Henk Janson at piranha@darien-ymca.org. The team Web site is piranhaswimming.org. Piranha Masters Swimming is for experienced adult swimmers 19 and over. The group has reserved pool time for lap swimming under the guidance of a coach. For details, call Jeremy Howard at 655-8228, ext. 353, e-mail jhoward@darien-ymca.org, or visit darien-ymca.org. Where can I learn safe boating? The Darien Sail & Power Squadron is dedicated to the education of boaters and offers a safe boating course twice a year at the Noroton Yacht Club and Darien Library. It is oriented to both sail and power boating. Graduates receive a diploma that meets the requirements for the Safe Boating Certificate, necessary to operate any recreational vessel in state waters. For information: 6561129 or dps.darien.org or e-mail dsps@optonline.net. Darien Parks and Recreation also offers safe boating courses. Call 656-7325 for details. Is there a boat club? The Noroton Yacht Club in Darien Harbor promotes family participation in sailboat racing and recreational sailing. There is also a junior sailing program. Call 6557686 or visit norotonyc.org. The Darien Boat Club, at Pear Tree Point Beach, is open to member residents of Darien. The club offers slips for 260 boats, social events and a club house for private parties. For information, call 655-1927 or visit darienboatclub.org. Where can I keep a boat? There are mooring spaces for 292 sail and power craft throughout Darien Harbor, Noroton Bay, Zeiglerʼs Cove and Scottʼs Cove. The harbor master (852-8842) handles all mooring applications. There are also dock spaces at the Noroton Yacht Club and Darien Boat Club for members. There is a public launch site for motorized boats at Pear Tree Point Beach. Lightwater craft may be launched at Weed Beach. Both a boat launching sticker and beach sticker are required. Is there an adult softball program? For information on the adult co-ed softball league, call Janet Caswell at 355-5580. Where can I play tennis? There are six tennis courts and five paddle tennis


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

courts at Weed Beach Park, off Nearwater Lane. Tennis courts are also at Cherry Lawn Park. There are youth and adult tennis lesson programs in the spring and summer. Individuals and non-profits can reserve courts for a fee in blocks of time for play. Daily reservations are not accepted, however courts not reserved by block will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 6557325. Where can I go hiking or jogging? The trails at Selleckʼs Woods and Woodland Park are suitable for either pursuit. Is there a running club here? The Waveny Running Club is open to anyone. There is a weekly workout at Waveny Park (meet near the paddle tennis courts) on Tuesday mornings at 9:20 and various runs on other days are conducted informally. For information, call Kathy Kilbride at 966-4299. The Lightfoot Running Club in Norwalk runs various races each year from three-mile courses to halfmarathons. For details, call Don Capone at 434-6746 or e-mail dcapone972@aol.com. The clubʼs Web site is lightfoot.rabk.net. Are there any bicycling clubs in the area? The Tokeneke Road Club, 51 Tokeneke Road, is a

Recreation 59

road-racing team. For details: 655-2600 or tokenekeroadclub.org. Sound Cyclists runs group rides throughout Fairfield County year round. There are social events, a newsletter, and members are entitled to discounts at more than a dozen area bicycle shops. For information, visit soundcyclists.com. Is there a helmet law for bicyclists? Children age 15 and under must wear a helmet when bicycling in Connecticut. Are there any scenic cycling routes? The Connecticut Department of Transportation offers maps of multi-use trails throughout the state as well as a statewide bicycle map. You may download portions of the multi-use trails map from ct.gov/dot or you may purchase the 132-page Pathways through Connecticut for $9.95 online. The Connecticut Bicycle Map is available free from the DOT. Where can I go ice skating? The Darien Ice Rink (655-8251/darienicerink.com) has public sessions as well as skating school, skating parties, and hockey camp. Call for information or visit online. During the winter, ice skating is allowed at Cherry

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60 Recreation

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Lawn and Tilley Pond Park if conditions allow. The ice depth is tested regularly and posted. Check with the police at 662-5300 or parks and recreation at 656-7325. Is there an adult hockey league? The Darien Winter Club is a senior menʼs ice hockey club for ages 30 and over. There is also an over-50 team. For information, e-mail Larry Smith at ljsmith2@sbcglobal.net or visit online at darienwinterclub.org. Are there any public golf courses? There are no public courses in Darien. In Norwalk, the Oak Hills Golf Course (853-8400) is at 165 Fillow Street. Adults may take golf lessons through parks and recreation. What private clubs are here? Country clubs include the Country Club of Darien (655-9726), Wee Burn (656-1724), and Woodway Country Club (322-1661). There are also Tokeneke Beach Club (655-1481), Noroton Yacht Club (655-7686), Darien Boat Club (655-1927), Middlesex Pool and Tennis Club (3253557), and the Ox Ridge Hunt Club (655-2559). Are there any health clubs in town? The Darien YMCA, 2420 Post Road, offers a number

Feb. 21, 2008

of fitness opportunities including swimming, aerobics, spinning, cardiovascular and strength-training equipment, and personal fitness programs. For information, call 6558228 or visit darien-ymca.org. There is also Pedal & Pump (655-2600/pedalandpump.com), 51 Tokeneke Road, with cardio and strength training equipment, and personal training services. A cycle shop is next door. Equinox Fitness (655-2300/equinoxfitness.com) at 72 Heights Road offers spinning, pilates, yoga, group fitness, personal training, nutrition, a spa, and massage. The YWCA of Darien/Norwalk, 49 Old Kings Highway North, offers a regular series of fitness classes. Call 655-2535 for details. Fitness Together (656-2626) at 242 West Avenue offers personalized fitness training for men and women over age 15. What is the Darien Nature Center? The Darien Nature Center, in Cherry Lawn Park, is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the natural world. There are offerings for families and children including seasonal exhibits, live animals, a childrenʼs nature library, childrenʼs nature trail, and spring-fed pond. Hours are 9 to 4 weekdays, and 10 to 2 on Saturday. Admission is free. Donations for animal care are appreciated. For information: 655-7459 or dariennaturecenter.org.

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Where can I go fishing in town? Fishing is available in all public ponds, lakes and rivers, unless otherwise posted. You need a license. A sport fishing license is not required downstream from the stone dam north of Goodwives River Road on the Goodwives River, or on the Tokeneke Brook, downstream from Old Farm Road. Area lakes and ponds include Blanchard Pond and Silvermine Pond in New Canaan (part of the Silvermine River), Mill Pond (Five Mile River) in New Canaan, and Millers Pond (Norwalk River) and Pierrepont Pond (Naraneka Lake) in Ridgefield. Trout streams include the Norwalk River and Silvermine Brook. For privately owned ponds and lakes, permission from the owner must be obtained. What kinds of fish can you catch here? Brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, northern pike, striped bass, white perch, yellow perch, walleye, brown bullhead, channel catfish, whitefish are typical inland species. In Long Island Sound, there are Atlantic bonito, Atlantic mackerel, black sea bass, blackfish, bluefish, cunner, hickory shad, little tunny, oyster toadfish, sandbar shark, cup, sheepshead porgy, striped bass, flounder, weakfish, and skate. Check the Connecticut Anglerʼs Guide for descriptions of these fish. Free copies of the guide may be found in the town clerkʼs office in town hall. Is the fish safe to eat? Most types of fish caught locally may have small amounts of mercury in them. Therefore, women who are pregnant, nursing, planning to be pregnant, and children under six should not eat more than one meal a month of fish caught in Connecticut rivers and lakes. The lone exception is trout, which is safe to eat. The Darien Health Department offers A Guide to Safe Eating of Fish in Connecticut. Visit darienct.gov. When does fishing season start? You may fish year-round in Long Island Sound but for most inland locations, the season begins the third Saturday in April and continues through November. Where do I get a fishing license? Inland fishing licenses are $20 (free to seniors and the disabled) and are required for anyone 16 and older. They are available at the town clerkʼs office and many tackle shops. Fishing licenses are not needed in the marine district unless you are taking lobsters or menhaden. For details, check the Connecticut Anglerʼs Guide, available free at the town clerkʼs office or online at dep.state.ct.us. What do I need to get a hunting license? A firearms hunting license costs $14, $3 for a junior (age 12 to 15) firearms hunting license. A small-game

Recreation 61

and deer archery license is $30, $13 for juniors. Licenses may be purchased at town hall in the town clerkʼs office. Permits for hunting specific animals are extra. No hunting licenses will be issued without proof of a resident license within the last five years or a certificate indicating successful completion of a Connecticut Conservation Education/Firearms course. Bowhunters must show proof of completion of the CE/FS bowhunting course. For details, consult the Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, call DEP at 860-424-3011, or visit the Web site at dep.state.ct.us/burnatr. Who teaches firearms safety courses? Check with the town clerk, local firearms dealers, or call the stateʼs Conservation Education Firearms Safety office in Burlington at 860-675-8130. Where can I go hunting in town? You may not hunt at any of the public parks or property in town. There is no hunting on Sundays. May I bring a hunter on my land? The state allows seasonal deer hunting in Fairfield County from Sept. 15 through Jan. 31 with no restriction on the size of property, except that firearms may not be used within 500 feet of any dwelling. Therefore, most hunting in Darien must be done with bows and arrows. The complete Connecticut Hunting Guide and Darien List of Qualified Bow-hunters are available at the town clerkʼs office. Members of the Darien Deer Committee are ready to help, too. Call 655-7371. Hunters must carry written permission from landowners. They usually sit in high tree-stands in wooded seclusion and they serve without charge. However, you should apprise your neighbors of your intentions. What are the hunting seasons here? Depending on the game, hunting seasons begin and end at different times. Check the latest state Hunting and Trapping Guide, available in the town clerkʼs office, for details, or go online to ct.gov/dep. Bowhunting deer season on state land in bowhunting only areas is from Sept. 15 to Dec. 31. On private property the season is Sept. 15-Jan. 31. Check the above Web site for shotgun dates. The spring turkey season is May 2-26 on state or private land. Fall turkey bowhunting on state and private land runs from Sept. 15 to Nov. 13 and Dec. 19-31. Fall turkey firearms season is Oct. 6-31 on state and private land. Where can a person legally practice shooting? Thereʼs Shooting Sports Limited Indoor Range (847-2767) off New Canaan Avenue (Route 123) in Norwalk, and the Ramapoo Rifle and Revolver Club (438-2095) on South Street in Ridgefield.


62 Entertainment

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Entertainment Is there a movie theater in town? The Darien Playhouse (777-FILM-976) is at 1077 Boston Post Road. There are also theaters in New Canaan, Norwalk, and Stamford. A listing of whatʼs playing at area theaters appears in the Arts & Leisure section of The Darien Times. For the most up-to-date listings, check our Web site: acornonline.com. Are there any film programs? The Darien Library offers a Monday Matinee Film Series, a Foreign Film Series, a Summer Film Series, and a Friday Film Series. There are also films for children during school breaks. For details, call 655-1234 or visit online at darienlibrary.org/connections/events. The Darien Senior Center shows movies each week, including a travel film on Wednesdays. Call 655-1705. Is there a video rental store? The Roxy, 340 Heights Road (655-1757) not only has video rentals but also does video transfers and offers VCR rental and repair. Is there an amateur theatrical company? The Darien Players, based at the Darien Arts Center, presents four major plays each year. On occasion, original plays by local writers are introduced at the Darien Arts Centerʼs Weatherstone Studio through the Actors/ Playwrights Workshops. The Players welcomes those interested, with or without experience, to participate in the many on-stage and off-stage roles available. For information, call the arts center at 655-8683 or Ron Heinbauch at 6550538. You may visit online at arts.darien.org. Click on Entertainment. Is there a theater group? The Darien Community Associationʼs Theater Group attends Broadway show matinees three times a year. The group travels to New York City on luxury buses, stopping at the Metropolitan Museum and Rockefeller Center before lunch and the theater. For information, call 655-9050. Where can I take music lessons? The Darien Music Center (655-8683), 2 Renshsaw Road, offers one-on-one instruction in classical and contemporary guitar, piano, saxophone, flute, clarinet, voice and violin. Group workshops are also offered. Piano and guitar lessons for ages 6 and up are available through Darien Parks and Recreation. Call 6567325. Giulianoʼs Music Center, 351 Boston Post Road, (656-2155/gmusiccenter.com) offers lessons for all instruments and voice, for all ages. There is a summer program for children.

Is there a local singing group? The Choraliers is a show chorus sponsored by the Darien Arts Center. The repertoire, performed under professional direction, includes American standards, show tunes, jazz ballads, and pop songs. Shows are presented cabaret style. For information on joining the group, call the arts center at 655-5414. You may visit online at arts. darien.org and click on Entertainment. The Blue Notes is a womenʼs singing group under the Darien Community Association umbrella. The group sings in four-part harmony with instrumental accompaniment. Call 655-9050. For information about auditioning, call Beth Schwartz at 966-7326 or e-mail blue.notes. darien@gmail.com. The Park Street Singers is a womenʼs choral group. Rehearsals are held every Monday afternoon at the Congregational Church in New Canaan, October to December, and then again January to June. Two programs are prepared each year, a spring-fall program and a holiday program, which are performed at nursing homes, senior centers, etc. No auditions are required. For information, call Alice Schweitzer at 655-7275. The Fairfield County Chorale rehearses Monday evenings at 7:30, in the concert hall at Norwalk City Hall. Auditions are in early September and after any rehearsal; call 254-1333. Visit online at fairfieldcountychorale.org. The Stamford Chorale rehearses every Tuesday, 7:15 p.m., at Sterling Glen in Stamford. Auditions are not required. Visit online at stamfordchorale.com. There are many other singing groups in the area. Check Arts and Leisureʼs Trying Out section for audition or membership notices. Are there any local orchestras? Although there are none in Darien, four orchestras are nearby: Greenwich Symphony Orchestra (869-2664/ greenwichsym.org), Stamford Symphony Orchestra (325-1407/stamfordsymphony.org), Norwalk Symphony (847-8844/norwalksymphony.org), and Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra (438-3889/ridgefieldsymphony. org). There is also the Norwalk Youth Symphony Orchestra (866-4100/norwalkyouthsymphony.org). Concert details appear in The Darien Times Arts and Leisure section. Where can I go to hear jazz? Silvermine Tavern (847-4558), 194 Perry Avenue, Norwalk, serves up Dixieland jazz with its buffet on Thursdays from 6 to 9:30. A program called Inn Late Jazz is offered on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 to 10:30. Where can I go to hear folk music? The Good Folk Coffeehouse is nearby at Rowayton United Methodist Church. For information on monthly performances, visit goodfolkcoffeehouse.com or call


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

63

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64 Entertainment

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

864-4450. The church is at Rowayton Avenue and Pennoyer Street in Rowayton. Where can I go for cabaret-style entertainment? Each season, the Darien Arts Center produces several cabaret evenings at its Weatherstone Studio behind town hall. The events, which feature talent from here and other areas, include popular music, dancing, and comedy shows. For details, call 655-8683 or visit arts.darien.org. Many other clubs are listed in the Arts and Leisure section of The Darien Times each week. Where can I go dancing? The Cranbury Country Dancers participate in contras and English country dancing on the first and third Friday of the month (except July and August), at the Cranbury Community Chapel in Norwalk. All dances are taught and partners are not necessary. For details, call 226-6681 or 373-9320. For American contra dancing, there are the Round Hill Country Dances on the second Saturday of the month (except August) at Round Hill Community House in Greenwich. The basics are taught and there is a live band and caller. For information, call 381-9509. The Palms in Stamford (961-9770/palmsnightclub. com) offers West Coast Swing on Mondays, salsa lessons and dancing on Fridays, and the rumba on Saturdays. Rhythm in Norwalk offers the Hustle — lessons and dance party — on Tuesday evenings and West Coast Swing on Wednesdays. Check swingshoes.net for details. You can also check The Advertiser Arts & Leisure section for new listings. Are there any art or antiques shows in town? The annual Darien Antiques Show, sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Darien, is held each February or March. For information, check online at darienantiqueshow.org or call 655-0491. A fixture for more than 40 years, the Darien Art Show takes place the first week in June at the Weatherstone Studio behind town hall. It opens with a gala reception the first Friday evening. The show features watercolors, oils, mixed media, photography and sculpture with prizes from local merchants. Artists of any age are invited to enter. Call 655-8683. The Darien Historical Society presents its annual Antiques al Fresco show the second Saturday of September at the Bates-Scofield Museum/Library. Call 655-9233. There is a Spring Childrenʼs Art Exhibit presented each May by the Darien Community Association at the Darien Library. You can often find art on exhibit at town hall or the Darien Library throughout the year. Are there any art galleries? A Custom Frame Shop at Noroton Gallery (6559687/acustomframeshop.com), 1977 Post Road, Darien, displays the work of a number of artists.

Feb. 21, 2008

The Geary Gallery (655-6633/gearygallery.com), 576 Boston Post Road, maintains a changing exhibition schedule. Are there any museums in town? The Bates-Scofield House is a restored classic New England saltbox, circa 1736, owned by the Darien Historical Society. The house was built around a massive central chimney, large fireplace, and beehive oven. It features 18th and 19th-century regional furniture. Tours are offered Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 4, although it is a good idea to phone ahead. The house also contains a resource library, art galleries, and gift shop. Outside, the Darien Garden Club maintains an 18th-century style herb garden. The house is at 45 Old Kings Highway North. For information, call 655-9233, or visit historical.darien.org. Where can I get a guide to interesting places to go? The Darien Times publishes a guide called 100 Things to Do, which lists activities and places to visit within about an hour from Darien. Call 438-6544 for information about getting a copy. Visitors or those new to the area may call the Coastal Fairfield County Convention & Visitor Bureau in Norwalk for tourism information or special events. Call 853-7770 or visit online at visitfairfieldcountyct.com. Are there special events in town? There are many including the Darien Antiques Show in March (655-0491), Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Outing in May (655-3600), the Darien Memorial Day Parade (655-4156), the Beach Party & Family Fun Day (655-3600) and Darien Art Show (655-8683) in June, the July Sidewalk Sale Days (655-3600), the Darien Historical Societyʼs Antiques al Fresco the second Saturday of each September (655-9233), and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting the Sunday after Thanksgiving (655-3600). For other events, check The Times or its Web site darientimes.com, or the Darien Community Calendar maintained at darien.org and darienct.gov. Can I rent a hall for a party or reception? Meadowlands, The Darien Community Association House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, may be rented for group meetings, receptions, parties and weddings. Encompassing almost eight acres, Meadowlands includes a bird sanctuary and formal garden. For information, call the rental office at 655-1054. What does the Maritime Aquarium offer? The Maritime Aquarium on North Water Street in South Norwalk has a variety of aquatic exhibits from harbor seals to sharks. Next door to is an IMAX theater. Visitors may buy a ticket to either or both with a combination ticket. Call 852-0700 or visit maritimeaquarium.org.


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Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

65


66 Organizations

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Clubs & Organizations I want to do some volunteer service. Where do I find out what’s available? There are many organizations and community groups in Darien that rely on volunteers. Among them are the Darien News Channel 79 (David Dever, 323-7786), Darien Revitalization Initiative (656-6671/darienmainstreet.org), Friendly Visitor Program (656-7321), Darien Arts Center (655-8683/arts.darien.org), the American Red Cross (655-2586/dsredcross.org), Darien Library (655-1234/darienlibrary.org), Personto-Person (655-0048/p2p.darien.org), Darien Senior Center (655-1705/dsac.darien.org), Meals on Wheels (323-3294/getmealsonwheels.org), Darien EMS-Post 53 (655-8989/post53.org), Darien Fire Department (655-1216/darienfire.org), Noroton Fire Department (655-0653/norotonfd.org), and Noroton Heights Fire Department (655-1033/nhfd.us). The Volunteer Center of Southwestern Fairfield County (ucanhelp.org), with offices in Darien and Stamford, can help match people willing to volunteer with organizations that need them. Call 348-7714. How can I get involved in the Republican or Democratic party here? The Republican Club of Darien is a social and educational organization that provides a forum to dis-

cuss issues of concern, encourages greater participation among Darien Republicans in town affairs and the Republican Party, and encourages Republican voter registration. The Republican Club is independent of the Republican Town Committee. For information, write to the club at P.O. Box 885, Darien, CT 06820 or call club president Gwynne Grimes at 655-9465. The Republican Town Committee consists of 21 members elected by Darien Republicans. The committee members nominate candidates for elected and appointed office in town. There are meetings, special events, and social occasions throughout the year. The committee usually meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at town hall. For information, e-mail darienrtc@ibm.net. The Web site is darien.ctgop4.com. The president is Jack Orchulli (656-1738). The Democratic Town Committee supports Democratic candidates in state and national elections and takes positions on local issues. The committee recommends candidates for open positions on town boards and commissions to the Board of Selectmen. The committee also holds a fund-raising lobster bake each June. Voters who register as Democrats will automatically be contacted by the committee. Prospective members may also call John Davis at 356-1641 or Mimi Griffith at 655-7940. The Web site is dtc.darien.org.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Is there a Lions Club? The Darien Lions Club meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month, 6:30 p.m., at 152 Hecker Avenue. (In November and December the meetings are the first and third Thursday.) The club awards student scholarships and supports many charities, including the Voluntary Services for the Blind. The Lions are currently raising money to find a cure for macular degeneration in addition to supporting organizations close to home including Darien EMS-Post 53 and the 60-Plus Club. For information, call Tom Bauder 655-2521. What does the Kiwanis Club do? Among its good works, the Kiwanis Club of Darien supports the Kiwanis Pediatrics Institute, a service for critically injured children. The club also offers scholarships and assists youth groups, the Red Cross Blood Program, and Gallivant. The club meets Tuesdays at the Country Club of Darien. Visit kiwanis.darien.org or write Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 43, Darien 06820. How do I join the Rotary Club? The Rotary Club of Darien meets every Friday at 12:15 at The Cookhouse, 154 Post Road. The club supports the Darien Beautification Commission, Little League, youth hockey teams, and the Junior Achievement Program at Darien High School; and awards scholarships to high school students. For mem-

Organizations 67

bership information, call Clay Colbath at 341-3500, email ccolbath@sourcegrp.com, or visit rotary.darien.org. Is there a fraternal organization? Darienʼs Masonic Club is Ivanhoe Lodge No. 107 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. The group meets twice a month (except July and August) at the Masonic Temple at 354 Post Road. Call 655-2040. What is the Piedmont Club? The Piedmont Club, 152 Hecker Avenue, is a social club for those of Italian descent and through marriage. For information, call 655-7884. Is there a women’s club? The DCA Womenʼs Group meets for lunch and to hear a speaker the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Darien Community Association. For information, call 655-9050. Is there a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution? Darien has the Good Wives River chapter of the DAR. Meetings take place the first Monday of the month., October through May. The chapter holds a silent auction each year to benefit DAR-maintained schools in Appalachia and Native American schools in the Southwest. Call Vigee Droesch at 655-3753.

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68 Organizations

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

What is the Junior League? The Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk, 748 Post Road, is a nonprofit organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The groupʼs purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Call the leagueʼs office at 655-4662 or visit online at jlsn.org. What is the American Association of University Women? With a chapter in New Canaan, the American Association of University Women is the largest and oldest national organization working for education and economic equity for women. It provides money for study and research to women, seeks to remove economic and cultural barriers faced by women, and broadens the horizons of women and the community. Locally, there are programs to promote education. For membership information, call Vicki LeBris at 972-3145. What does the League of Women Voters do? The league is a nonpartisan organization that helps each citizen have a voice in government. The league publishes information about local government, distributes nonpartisan information on candidates and issues at election time, assists with voter registration, and sponsors candidatesʼ forums. Membership is open to men and women of voting age. Write the league at P.O. Box 103, Darien CT 06820 or check online at lwv.darien.org.

Feb. 21, 2008

Are there any environmental groups? The Darien Environmental Group educates people about ways they can change their consumer and lifestyle habits to benefit the environment. The group meets the first Monday of the month, 9:30 to 11, at the library. For information, visit darienenvironmentalgroup.org or email DEG06820@optonline.net Is there a garden club? The Darien Community Association sponsors The Garden Club. Programs include lectures, panel discussions, trips, hands-on design sessions, and bench shows. All Garden Club members must first be members of the Darien Community Association. For information, call 655-9050. The Garden Club of Darien is part of the Garden Clubs of America. For information, call Joan Barksdale at 655-7507. Cherry Lawn Community Gardens at Cherry Lawn Park offers gardeners of all levels the opportunity to cultivate and harvest organic herbs, flowers, and vegetables. Membership is available through Darien Parks and Recreation. For details, visit online at garden.darien.org or call Sonia Smith at 656-1767. What veterans organizations are in town? The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6933 (655-8552) is at 205 Noroton Avenue, Noroton Heights. There is also a ladies auxiliary.

Is there a men’s club? The Senior Menʼs Association of Darien is dedicated to good fellowship, education, recreation and community service. Its membership is open to men in the Darien area aged 55 or over. Meetings are every Wednesday, September through mid-June, at Meadowlands. Call 655-9050 for information or visit online at dariendca.org and click on Groups.

What is the Darien Arts Center? The Darien Arts Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering education and entertainment through music, dance, theater, and the visual arts. The center offers classes, performances, and special events at its complex at the rear of town hall on Renshaw Road. Programs take place Monday through Saturday. The office is open from 10 to 4 weekdays. Detailed catalogs are available. Call 655-8683 or visit arts.darien.org.

Is there a group for parents? The Parent Awareness Network is a YWCA program geared toward parents with children in kindergarten through fifth grade, although all are welcome. The group offers free educational programs. Call 655-2535. Momʼs Morning In is an activity program for parents/caregivers and preschool children. The group meets Fridays at 10 at the Darien Community Association. Call 655-9050 or visit dariendca.org.

What is the Darien Community Association? The Darien Community Association, 274 Middlesex Road, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to philanthropic, cultural, recreational, and educational activities. Members participate in programs, lectures, trips, and other events. The association makes grants to social service agencies and gives scholarships to students in need. For information, call 655-9050 or visit online at dariendca.org.

What is the Darien Land Trust? The primary goal of the Darien Land Trust is to preserve and protect open space in town. Currently, the land trust owns 161 acres, with conservation easements on another 26. For information, call executive director Shirley Nichols at 655-4148 or e-mail shirleynichols@ darienlandtrust.org.

Can anyone help me look up my family history? The Middlesex Genealogical Society provides guidance to people researching their family history. The society has also established a genealogy section at the Darien Library. There are meetings and talks throughout the year. For details, visit the Web site at mgs.darien.org.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Business 69

Business What are the top 10 taxpayers in town? The top 10 taxpayers and their assessments according to the grand list are: 1. The Wee Burn Country Club, Inc. — $28,429,680 2. The Country Club of Darien, Inc. — $21,790,830 3. Avalonbay Communities, Inc. — $19,845,000 4. Connecticut, Light, And Power — $19,098,950 5. Woodway Country Club — $18,315,690 6. U B Darien, Inc. — $14,002,800 7. Zotos International, Inc. — $11,345,950 8. 9 Old Kings Highway, LLC — $10,353,340 9. William Ziegler, III — $10,208,520 10. Parklands Office Park, LLC — $10,067,330 What does the Chamber of Commerce do? The Chamber of Commerce, at 17 Old Kings Highway South, has office hours from 9 to 2, Monday through Friday. The office may be reached via telephone, 655-3600; fax, 655-2074; or e-mail, darienchamber@optonline.net. The Web site is dcc. darien.org. The chamberʼs mission is to take a leadership role in supporting the business community and quality of life in Darien. With more than 300 members, the chamber is very active. It provides educational forums, notifies members of legislation affecting business, acts as a conduit to local and state government, and creates a regional awareness of Darienʼs business community. The chamber sponsors or coordinates the Community Beach Party Clambake, July Sidewalk Sales Days, Christmas tree lighting, an annual golf outing, and networking events. The chamber participates in an annual regional business expo. Who protects consumers? The local Better Business Bureau is in Wallingford. For information, or to file a complaint, call 203-2692700 or visit online at connecticut.bbb.org. Consumers may also file a complaint about a business by calling the state Department of Consumer Protection hotline at 800-842-2649 or visiting state. ct.us/dep. Written complaints may be mailed to 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford 06106. Who are the town’s largest employers? According to information from the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, the top employers in 2006 were: Town of Darien, Darien YMCA, Colangelo Synergy Marketing, Frontline Marketing, and Zotos International, Inc. Is there a professional group? The Darien Professionals Network holds monthly meetings to provide career development information for executives from all industries and job functions who are underemployed, employed and seeking to stay net-

worked, employed but willing and able to help those who need career guidance, and in a job transition. For information: info@darienprofessionals.com or darienprofessionals.com. What is the Darien Revitalization Initiative? Darien Revitalization Initiative, 762 Post Road, is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization established to guide the revitalization of downtown Darien. Along with the executive and associate directors, four committees oversee Design, Economic Restructuring, Promotion and Organization. Visit darienmainstreet.org. For information, call 6557557 or e-mail darienmainstreet@aol.com. To volunteer, call 656-6671 or e-mail darienmstreet@aol.com. Where is the post office and when is it open? Darien has two post offices. The Darien Post Office, at 30 Corbin Drive (800-275-8777) is open from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday, and 8:30 to 12:30 on Saturday. The Noroton Heights Post Office, at 368 Heights Road (655-0631) is open from 8 to 4:30, Monday through Friday. It is closed on Saturday. Are there any 24-hour mailbox services? The UPS Store has a 24-hour mailbox service. Call 655-6543. Where can I rent meeting space? The Darien Community Associationʼs Meadowlands, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, may be rented for group meetings, receptions, parties and weddings. Encompassing almost eight acres, it includes a bird sanctuary and formal garden. For information, call the rental office at 655-1054 or visit online at dca.darien. org. Office Suites of Darien, 30 Old Kings Highway South, provides executive offices fully furnished with phone and Internet service by the day, week, month, or year. Along with conference rooms and a meeting room with theater seating and videoconferencing services, there is a full-service business center with secretarial service, PowerPoint, copy machines, binding, mailing, etc. Call 655-2601. Who welcomes newcomers? The Town Greeter brings civic and local information to new residents, including brochures and discount offers for local retailers. Call Barbara at 966-4359. New Neighbors brings local information to new residents, including information on the Newcomers Club, and brochures and samples from local retailers. Call Linda Smith at 655-4450, Eleanor Southworth at 6554125, or Janet King at 656-0401. The YWCA Newcomers Club offers social activities, recreational programs, and special events. Call 655-2535.


70 Utilities

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Utilities Where does our water come from? While most Darien households have private wells, about one-third of the town is served by Aquarion (800732-9678), with offices in Greenwich. The Web site is aquarion.com. What is an average water company bill? Residential customers are charged $3.29 per 100 cubic feet (748 gallons) of water. There is also a service charge based on the size of the meter. The most common rates is 30.77 per quarter. How much does sewer service cost? The costs are based on water consumption. The department of public works receives consumption information from the water company. It then takes the two lowest quarters, multiplies by two, and then by the rate of $4 for every 100 cubic feet consumed. The bill covers a year in advance based on the previous yearʼs usage. If someone has a private well for water but is on the sewer system, they are charged $376 (for the year 2007), which is the average of resudential users. A meter can be installed on the well at the homeownerʼs request and then the bill would be adjusted and based on the meter reading. Homeowners with a question about their bill are

encouraged to call the sewer commission at 656-7331. Abnormal charges can indicate a water break. How much would it cost me to hook up to the town’s sewer system? A sewer permit is $150, and is obtained from the sewer commission, which has its office at the Department of Public Works in town hall. If there is work to be done inside the home, that would require a permit from the building department, obtained by the homeownerʼs plumber at the homeownerʼs expense. The final hookup from the main line under the street to the house is at the homeownerʼs expense. Connecting to the sewer system is at the homeownerʼs discretion. Houses are not required to be hooked up unless there is a problem with the septic system. What cable television service is available? Cablevision of Connecticut (847-6666), 28 Cross Street, Norwalk, serves Darien and offers a variety of packages. The Web site is cablevision.com. Who handles trees leaning on power lines? Call the department of public works at 656-7346.

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

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72

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Food & Shopping 73

Food & Shopping Where can I go out to eat? Darien has restaurants of all sorts, including: Backstreet Restaurant, 655-9944; Beijing, 662-0688; Bennyʼs Restaurant, 655-7234; Black Goose Grille, 655-7107; Centro Ristorante & Bar, 655-4772; Coromandel Cuisine of India, 662-1213; COSI, 655-0335; Chuckʼs Steak House, 655-2254; Driftwood Diner, 655-3181; Duchess Family Restaurant, 655-3312; Friendlyʼs, 655-8467; Fuji Oriental Restaurant, 655-4995; Giovanniʼs II, 325-9979; Jakeʼs Place, 655-2305; Little Thai Kitchen, 662-0038 Papa Joeʼs Restaurant, 655-1330; Pizza, Pasta & Brew, 655-5151 Roryʼs Restaurant, 655-9453; Sugar Bowl, 655-1259; Tengda Asian Bistro, 656-1688 The Cookhouse, 655-6663; The Melting Pot, 656-4774. Where can I get a pizza? You may get a pizza at Heights Pizza, 330 Heights Road (656-3200); Post Corner Pizza, 847 Post Road (655-7721); Four Brothers Pizza, 25 Old Kings Highway North/Goodwives Shopping Plaza, (662-9373); Papa Joeʼs, 1973 Post Road (655-1330); Bertucciʼs Brick Oven Pizza, 54 Post Road (655-4299), and Pizza, Pasta & Brew, 23 Tokeneke Road (655-5151). How about deli food? Darien has several different types of delicatessens, including: A Taste of Italy, 72 Tokeneke Road (6558546); Uncleʼs Deli, 1041 Post Road (655-9701); White Bridge Deli, 286 Tokeneke Road (655-9533); Vavalaʼs Deli Pizza & Catering (655-9701); Upper Crust Bagel Company, 980 Post Road (655-7566); ; and Subway, 879 Post Road (656-1034). Where can I get baked goods? For fresh bagels, thereʼs the Upper Crust Bagel Company, 980 Post Road (655-7566). Fresh donuts are at Darien Doughnut Inn (656-2805) 364 Heights Road, and Dunkinʼ Donuts, 967 Post Road (656-3208). Are there any caterers in town? Good Food, Good Things, 865 Post Road (6561920); Michael Josephʼs, 1405 Post Road (656-9616/ michael-josephs.com); and Patricia Blake Catering, 7 Tokeneke Road (655-1221/patriciablake.com) offer catering services. Many delis and some restaurants also offer catering services.

Are there any banquet facilities in town? Waterʼs Edge, 2748 (325-9979/watersedgedarien. com) offers waterfront meeting and banquet rooms and suites for parties as large as 300. The Darien Community Associationʼs Meadowlands, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, may be rented for group meetings, receptions, parties and weddings. Encompassing almost eight acres, it includes a bird sanctuary and formal garden. For details, call the rental office at 655-1054 or visit online at dca.darien.org. What coffee shops are here? The Sugar Bowl is at 1033 Boston Post Road (6551259), and Starbucks is at 805 Post Road (656-6943). How about a tea shop? Afternoon tea and tea tastings are offered at TParty Antiques and Tea Room, 2 Squab Lane (662-9689/ tpartyantiques.com). What about ice cream? Baskin-Robbins is at 25 Old Kings Highway North (655-8833) and Friendlyʼs at 275 Post Road (655-8467). Are there any food markets in town? Thereʼs Palmerʼs Supermarket, 246 Heights Road (655-2077/palmersmarket.com) in Noroton Heights; Stop & Shop, 148 Heights Road (655-8755); Shawʼs in the Goodwives Shopping Plaza (656-2259) and Trader Joeʼs at 436 Post Road (656-1414). Do any grocery stores deliver? Delivery is available through Peapod when you shop online at stopandshop.com. Where can I buy fresh produce? In addition to the above-listed food markets, the Darien Farmersʼ Market takes place on Wednesday afternoons from late June through mid-November, in the parking lot behind the Darien Fire Department. For other farmersʼ markets, check ctfarmfresh.com. Where can I get fresh fish? The Fishermanʼs Net is at 11 Old Kings Highway North (655-0561) and Darien Seafood Market is at 1941 Post Road (655-9124). Is there a health food store in town? Schoolhouse Nutrition is at 21 Tokeneke Road, (6568482). Is there a newsstand in town? The Darien News Store is at 19 Tokeneke Road (655-4853), Darien Station Variety is at 873 Post Road, (655-0483), and Puritan Stationery is at 1985 Post Road (656-6666).


74 Food & Shopping

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Is there a bookstore in town? There is Barrett Bookstore, 314 Heights Road (6552712). Gilann Books offers sales and appraisals of used and rare books by appointment (655-4532).

Who offers laundry service? Darien Cleaners & Laundry, 1086 Post Road (655-2920); and Jem Lee Cleaners & Chinese Hand Laundry, 10 West Avenue (655-2785).

Does the town have a sidewalk sale? The Darien Chamber of Commerce sponsors a sidewalk sale each year, usually the first or second weekend in July. Thursday is preview day in the stores, and then the sale gets underway on Friday and Saturday. There is entertainment and the chamber raffles gift certificates. For information, call 655-3600.

Are there any laundromats in town? There are coin-operated machines at Butlerʼs Laundromat & Cleaners, 11 Old Kings Highway North (655-6590).

What is the Darien Gift Certificate? The Darien Gift Certificate is a program to encourage shopping at local businesses in Darien. Gift certificates are available in varying amounts and may be used at participating chamber members. They may be purchased at the chamber office (655-3600) or at one of the following banks: Darien Bank and Trust, Fairfield County Bank, Darien Rowayton Bank, Patriot National Bank, Peoples Bank, and Webster Bank. For details, visit online at dcc.darien.org and click on Gift Certificate. Where can I get a haircut? Many places, including: A Head of Time Hair Designs, 408 Boston Post Road (655-4638); Elegance Salon of Beauty, 1958 Post Road (655-5171); Frederic & Co., 1060 Post Road (656-6695); John Thomas Hair Studio, 874 Post Road (656-3048); Lanphier Day Spa, 25 Old Kings Highway North (656-4444/lanphierdayspa. com); Making Waves Hair Salon, 37 Tokeneke Road (655-2418); Peartreeʼs Salon of Beauty, 1950 Post Road (655-7444); and Salon Louis, 1979 Post Road (655-3903); TLC Hair Designs, 26 Heights Road (6562093). Where can I rent or buy a tuxedo? For a tuxedo, try Edward Tunick, 340 Heights Road (655-1688). Where can I get something dry cleaned? Thereʼs Belle Cleaners, 165 Noroton Avenue (6558279); Butlerʼs Laundromat & Cleaners, 11 Old Kings Highway North (655-6590 ); Darien Cleaners & Drapery Service, 351 Post Road (655-3901); Darien Cleaners & Laundry, 1086 Post Road (655-2920); Darien Fabricare Cleaners, 312 Heights Road (6553381); Darien Tailors & Cleaners, 1018 Post Road (655-9086); Imperial Cleaners & Launderers, 25 Old Kings Highway North (655-9311); Linden Cleaners & Launderers, 22 Heights Road (655-1333); Sandaʼs Dry Cleaners, 166 Heights Road (656-3539); and Spotless Cleaners, 9 Tokeneke Road (655-5128).

Is there a car wash in town? Darien Car Clinic is at 93 Post Road (655-6430). Splash The Hand Wash of Darien (655-2623) is at 1421 Post Road; Exit 13 Car Wash is at 251 Post Road (655-8778). Are there any garden shops? The Gardenerʼs Center & Florist is at 1396 Post Road (655-2549). There is also Nielsenʼs Florist and Garden Shop (655-2541) at 1405 Post Road. Where can I rent party supplies? There are Darien Party Rentals at 365 Post Road (655-3931); and the Rainbow Shoppe, 800 Post Road (655-7200). Where can I buy toys or children’s clothes? For toys, thereʼs the Learning Express in the Goodwives Shopping Center (656-8697/learningexpress. com). Selling clothes for children are the Darien Sport Shop, 1127 Post Road (655-2575); The Rugged Bear, Goodwives Shopping Plaza (655-0664); and the Yellow Balloon Thrift Shop, 748 Post Road (655-8406). Is there a thrift shop in town? The Darien Community Association Thrift Shop (655-4552) is at 996 Post Road, where it has stood since 1946. (The shop originally opened on West Avenue during the Depression.) The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 4. Donations may be brought in during store hours. Clothing in season and furniture (pickup of small items may be arranged) are accepted. Everything must be in good condition. Proceeds support the associationʼs philanthropic activities and scholarship program. Tax-deduction slips are available. To volunteer, call 655-9050. The Junior League of Stamford/Norwalk runs the Yellow Balloon Thrift Shop (655-8406/jlsn.org) at 748 Post Road. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 5. Donations and consignments of clothing (children and women), accessories, and housewares may be dropped off during business hours. The thrift shop does not accept furniture.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Pets & Animals 75

Pets & Animals Where do I get a dog license? The town clerkʼs office (656-7307) in the Darien Town Hall, 2 Renshaw Road. All dogs must be licensed by the time they are six months old. What do I need to get the license? A valid rabies certificate. The cost is $19 for nonspayed or non-neutered dogs, and $8 if your dogʼs been spayed or neutered. Dogs must by licensed by July 1, and by state law, there is a $1 penalty imposed for each month past July the dog is unlicensed. Cats arenʼt required to be licensed, but cats must be immunized against rabies. My dog is lost. Where can I get help? Call the dog warden, Chip Stahl, at 655-8686. If the dogʼs been missing more than 24 hours itʼs a good idea to call the animal control officers in neighboring towns. May I take my dog to the beach? Dogs are allowed at most town parks, such as Woodlands Park, Selleckʼs Woods, Tilley Pond Park, and Cherry Lawn Park. They are not allowed at any time at either Weed Beach or Pear Tree Point Beach. What is the law regarding roaming dogs? State law prohibits dogs from roaming on someone elseʼs private property or on any portion of a public highway when not attended by an owner and 100% under the ownerʼs control. Allowing your dog to roam could get you a $92 fine. If a loose dog is on your property and causing a problem, call the dog warden at 656-8686. Are cats allowed to roam onto others’ property? Yes. The state considers cats to be feral by nature, and because of that, local and state animal control officers donʼt pick them up. Does anyone offer pet transportation services? World Care Pet Transport, 472 Mansfield Avenue, (662-0672/worldcarepet.com) offers door-to-door service anywhere in the world. Does anyone offer dog obedience classes? Ox Ridge Obedience Training offers a number of evening classes from spring through fall, outdoors, at the First Presbyterian Church in New Canaan. For details, call Jane McLane at 966-3851. All for the Dog, 74 Hoyt Street, offers dog obedience training. Call 327-3157. Does anyone offer a pet first aid course? The Darien/Stamford chapter of the American Red Cross (655-2586) teaches basic first aid and CPR for cats and dogs.

Are there animal hospitals in town? There is the Darien Animal Hospital, 1302 Post Road (655-1449). Where can I take my pet in an emergency? Veterinary Referral and Emergency Clinic (8549960), 134 West Cedar Street, Norwalk, is open 24 hours. If your pet has eaten something poisonous and you canʼt reach your own veterinarian right away, you can call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-4264435. It is staffed 24 hours, but there is a $55 charge for services. Where can I board my dog? You can board your dog at Darien Animal Hospital (655-1449). The Sitting Service, 1031 Post Road, offers pet sitting services in your home. Call 655-9783 or visit thesittingservice.com. Where can I adopt a dog or cat? The dog pounds in towns like Norwalk or Stamford are good places to start. Thereʼs also Strays and Others (966-6556/straysandothers.petfinder.com) in New Canaan, the no-kill Animals in Distress cat shelter (7622006) next door to Wilton Town Hall on Danbury Road, Pet Animal Welfare Society (750-9572/pawsct.org) in Norwalk, the Connecticut Humane Society (227-4137), Save Our Strays (255-0514) in Westport, and Pups Without Partners, a greyhound adoption program in West Haven (933-3607/pupswithoutpartners.org). Many animal rescue groups also list adoptable animals on petfinder.com. Is there any limit to the number of pets I may keep on my property? No, not if they are truly household pets. What about horses? All horses must live in stables or barns. To keep one horse, an owner must provide an enclosed space of not less than 4,000 square feet, including stable area. For a second horse, there must be a minimum additional area of 2,000 square feet. These requirements do not apply to properties in excess of 25 acres. For more complete information about setbacks, etc., call planning and zoning at 656-7351. Where can I get riding lessons or board a horse? The Ox Ridge Hunt Club is at 512 Middlesex Road. Call 655-2559 for information. Are there any animals illegal to have as pets? Generally speaking, people are prohibited from having


76 Pets & Animals

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

animals considered “wildʼʼ by the State Department of Environmental Protection as pets. Call 860-424-3011 for details. Darien does not prohibit any domestic animals otherwise allowed to be kept as pets under state law. What is Friends of Animals? Friends of Animals is a nonprofit, international animal advocacy organization based in Darien. It works to cultivate a respectful view of animals, free-living and domestic. The group has an affordable breeding control program for dogs and cats. For information, visit the Web site friendsofanimals.org. What is the town doing to control deer herds? For the past decade, the Darien Deer Management Committee has been collecting data and proposing ways to deal with the over-abundant deer population. The committee looks at deer from the vantage point of public health, safety, and restoring overforaged woodland. Deer eat approximately 10 pounds of vegetation a day each and have severely damaged the woodland understory. DEP estimates have put the local population at about 40 deer per square mile in Zone 11, which is essentially Fairfield County and thus includes Darien. With Darien encompassing 23 square miles, that would mean the deer population here is around 900. This is double the state average of about 20 per square mile. Viable deer density is around 10 for health, safety, and preservation of woodlands. In the last 10 years, the deer committee has seen the average number of deer taken on private lands go from two per year to 62 per year. The committee thinks the deer population is leveling off but it is still too high, noting deer numbers can double every two years if left unchecked. For more information on the Darien Deer Committee, visit the townʼs Web site at darienct.gov and click on Officials or call the town clerk at 656-7307. For information on deer hunting, see the Recreation section of the Answer Book. What is the Fairfield County Municipal Deer Managment Alliance? Darien is a member of this 15-town alliance that deals with the health, safety, and ecological issues relating to the county deer population. Public health issues include Lyme disease and the preponderance of deer ticks, which spread the disease. Safety relates to the number of car/deer accidents. Deer have also decimated the native wildflower population by overbrowsing, robbing native birds of some of their food sources and habitat. For information, visit deeralliance.com. There appears to be an abandoned fawn in my yard. What should I do? Definitely do not touch it or move it as your scent will scare off the mother, who may be hiding nearby. Nearly all “abandoned” fawns are truly not abandoned. Deer will leave their fawns for periods of time. Often,

Feb. 21, 2008

deer give birth in the middle of the night and leave the fawn during the day, particularly if people are around. The fawnʼs camouflage helps protect it from predators. If there is a dead doe nearby the fawn may be orphaned. Call DEP at 860-424-3011. Are there any wildlife rehabilitators nearby? Yes. Wildlife in Crisis (544-9913), under the aegis of director Dara McDonough-Reid, helps rehabilitate orphaned, sick and injured wildlife. The organization is always looking for volunteers and donations. The mailing address is P.O. Box 1246, Weston 06883. Also in the area is Back to the Wild Rehabilitation Inc. (438-0618) in Ridgefield, a state-certified wildlife custodian and also permitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to rehabilitate migratory birds. The emergency number for the state Department of Environmental Protection, Wildlife Division, is 860424-3333. What should I do if I see a black bear? Black bear sightings have become more common in this area each year. Bears are attracted to garbage, pet food, compost piles, fruit trees, and birdfeeders. To discourage bears from hanging around your home, the state Department of Environmental Protection advises people discontinue use of birdfeeders from late March through November, keep garbage cans inside a garage or shed, clean and store barbecue grills after use, donʼt leave pet food outside overnight, and donʼt add meat or sweets to a compost pile. Above all, donʼt intentionally feed bears. Aggression by bears towards humans is very rare, however, when hiking it is a good idea to keep dogs on a leash. A bear may view a roaming dog as a threat. If you see a bear from a distance, make your presence known by making noise and waving your arms. If you surprise a bear, walk away slowly. To report a bear sighting, call the DEP at 860-675-8130 or go online to dep.state.ct.us. I saw a coyote in my yard. What should I do? Coyotes now live and breed in every town in Connecticut. They are extremely adaptable and comfortable living in close proximity to residential areas. They are usually not a threat to humans; however, coyotes may attack pets, particularly cats. Rarely have there been reports of coyotes attacking small dogs. Coyotes eat a variety of foods including rodents, birds, fruit, and berries and will also eat food provided by people including spilled bird seed, compost piles, pet foods, or unsecured garbage. If you live in an area frequented by coyotes and you have cats or very small dogs, your pets should be supervised while outdoors. Keeping pets indoors or limiting their time outdoors, especially at night when coyotes are most active, is recommended. For more information, call DEP Wildlife Division, Burlington, at 860-675-8130 or the Hartford office at 860-424-3011.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Transportation 77

Transportation How many miles of roads are there in Darien? There are nearly 82 miles of town roads and 11 miles of state roads in Darien.

Amtrak trains can be boarded at Westport, Norwalk, or Stamford. For information, call 800-872-7245 or go online to amtrak.com.

Who maintains and plows our roads? Darienʼs Department of Public Works (656-7346) is responsible for building and maintaining the townʼs roads, streets, bridges, storm sewers, sanitary sewers and other related components. Under the direction of Robert Steeger, the department includes 30 full-time and five part-time employees. State roads are maintained by District 3 of the Connecticut Highway Department (389-3020).

Where can I park in town? There are approximately 1,681 permit, metered, and voucher parking spaces available at municipal lots throughout town, and at the Darien and Noroton Heights train stations.

What’s the fine for speeding here? All fines for motor vehicle infractions and violations are set by the state and published in a booklet available in most public libraries, police departments, and DMV offices. It is also available online at jud.ct.gov/ Publications/Infractions/infractions.pdf. Speeding tickets for cars going over 55 miles per hour range from $123 for going one to nine mph over the posted limit to $211 for 23 mph and over the posted limit. Fines are higher for construction, utility, and school zones. Traveling unreasonably fast pertains to cars going under 56 mph. The fines in this bracket range from $103 for one to nine mph over the posted limit to $191 for 23 or more mph over the limit, again with greater penalties for construction, utility and school zones. What’s the fine for passing a school bus? Passing a standing school bus will cost you a hefty $460, and thatʼs for a first offense. Where are the train stations? The Darien train station is on West Avenue; the Noroton Heights station is on Noroton Avenue. Both serve the New Haven Line of Metro-North. The nearest handicap-accessible stations are in Stamford and South Norwalk. Travel time for the train into Grand Central Terminal is about an hour from Darien, a few minutes less from Noroton Heights. The fare for travel to Grand Central Terminal with tickets bought at the station is the same for either station: one-way peak, $12.25; one-way off-peak, $9.25; senior one-way, $6. Fares are significantly higher if bought on the train. A monthly commutation ticket is $264. The Darien ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 6:10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (itʼs closed from 11 to 11:20). At Noroton Heights, there is no staffed ticket office but the station is open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a concession stand. There are two ticket machines at each station. Train schedules are available at the stations, by calling 800-638-7646 or online at mta.info.

How do I get a permit to park at the station? Even though the town sells more permits than there are parking spaces, there is still a long waiting list for both train stations. When a spot becomes available, the next person on the list moves up. The cost is $288. There are 775 permit and voucher spaces at the Noroton Heights station and 544 spaces available for the Darien station (including municipal lots on Leroy and Grove). For information, call 656-7300. Is there free municipal parking? There is free parking in the train station parking lots on weekends and holidays, as well as in town municipal lots. Weekends are free in the Koonsʼ Lot, also known as the West Avenue lot. How does the parking voucher system work? Parking vouchers are for use in designated spaces at the commuter parking lots and both train stations. They are sold for $3 each or in books of 10 for $30. They may be purchased at either train station, Darien Produce at 27 Tokeneke Road, Station Variety at 873 Post Road, or Learyʼs Liquor Cabinet at 186 Heights Road. If you need more information, leave a message at 975-3125 and someone will get back to you. Where can I park overnight? Parking for up to five days at a time is allowed at the train stations. If using vouchers, you would need to display a voucher for each day. What hours are the municipal parking regulations enforced? Parking at municipal lots is enforced from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. How do I get a handicap parking permit? Apply at the DMV in Stamford or Norwalk. Proof of disability with form B-225 is required. Call 800-8428222 for information, or the department of social services at 656-7328. Where is the closest motor vehicle department? The closest full-service office is in Norwalk at 540 Main Avenue. The office is open from 8 to 4:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 8 to 7 on Thursday; and


78 Transportation

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

8 to 12:30 on Saturday. There is also a satellite office at the Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Boulevard, Stamford, open from 8 to 4:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; and 8 to 7 on Thursday. The office offers limited services including license and registration renewals, replacement of photo licenses and lost plates, name changes, non-driver identification cards, driver test appointment applications, and handicap parking permits. For more information, call 800-842-8222 or go to the DMV Web site at ct.gov/dmv. Is there an emissions testing program? Yes. You will be notified by mail of your test days. Vehicles must be tested every other year. New vehicles less than four years old or more than 25 years old are exempt. If you do not have your vehicle tested, it does not pass, or has not been granter a waiver, DMV will not renew your registration. For information and testing stations, call 1-888-828-8399 or visit online at ctemissions. com. Emissions testing stations in town are Darien Auto Center (655-8203) 1350 Post Road, and Noroton Getty (655-1971) 179 Noroton Avenue. You can find the complete roster of stations online at ctemissions.com or by calling 1-888-828-8399. The test fee is $20. How soon after I move here do I need a Connecticut driver’s license? A new state license is required within 30 days. You do not need to pass a Connecticut driverʼs test if you already possess a valid driverʼs license from another state. You must re-register your car within 60 days. This requires visiting a full-service DMV branch for VIN verification. Call 800-842-8222 for details.

Feb. 21, 2008

Who must wear seat belts? Drivers and front-seat passengers, and all rear-seat passengers 4 to 16 years old, must wear seat belts when riding in a motor vehicle. Car seats are required for children younger than six or less than 60 pounds. Children must travel in rear-facing car seats until they are a year old and weigh 20 pounds. What is the law regarding driving and cell phone use? A state law bans the use of hand-held cell phones by adult drivers. It bans all cell phone use by teen drivers — 16 and 17 years old — except to call 911 or other emergency numbers. What should I do if I see a flashing blue light on a vehicle? Flashing blue lights may only be used by active volunteer firefighters or a member of a civil preparedness auxiliary fire company on their way to an emergency. As with police vehicles, fire trucks, or ambulances, you must yield to these vehicles. What should I do if a horse and rider are on the road? Horseback riders are protected by the rules of the road. They must ride single file near the right edge of the road. When approaching a horse on a public road, you must reduce your speed or stop, if necessary, to avoid striking, endangering, or frightening the horse. When approaching a horse being ridden or led along a road, you must drive at a reasonable speed and stay a reasonable distance. It is illegal to sound your horn when approaching or passing a horse. What rights do bicyclists have on the road? In Connecticut a bicycle has the same rights and responsibilities as a car on the road. A bicyclist may use the left lane when turning, and when a road is too narrow for cars and bikes to ride side by side, the bicyclist may ride near the center of the lane. Drivers must yield to bicyclists in a bicycle lane or on a sidewalk before turning across the bicycle lane or sidewalk. Failure to yield right-of-way to a bicyclist will result in a fine being doubled.

When may a learner start driving? A student must be 16 to take driving lessons. For those under 18 who do not attend a state-licensed driving school or driverʼs education program, a Home Training Certificate must be issued at least one month before the driverʼs exam. There is a mandatory five-hour program covering safe driving practices. Sixteen- and 17-year-old drivers are subject to graduated licensing. For the first three months after receiving a license, the driver may not have more than one passenger, who must be a parent, legal guardian, or driving instructor. The passenger must be at least 20 years old with a license at least four years old. Between three and six months after getting a license, the driver may only have as passengers those mentioned above or members of the immediate family. The teen may always drive alone. For information, visit ct.gov/dmv.

What rights do pedestrians have? Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks. There is a crosswalk at every intersection, even if it is not marked by painted lines. Drivers must slow or stop and grant the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk. If the walkway is regulated with a Walk/Donʼt Walk light, pedestrians must wait for the Walk sign.

Are there any other restrictions on teen drivers? Yes. A state law prohibits teens under the age of 18 from driving between midnight and 5 a.m.

Where can I get a limo? Call Regency Limousine at 655-6369 (regencylimousine.com) or Kerry Limousine at 975-7400.


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Media 79

Media

What newspapers cover the town? The Darien Times and Darien News-Review, both weeklies, cover the news of Darien.

the Darien Answer Book. The Darien Community Information Network (darien.org) offers links to more than 50 community groups.

How can I get an announcement in the papers? The Darien Times (656-4230/acorn-online.com) welcomes letters to the editor, announcements, and press releases. It is best if they are typed, double-spaced. They may be dropped off at the office, 4 Corbin Drive, or emailed to editor@darientimes.com. Send school and arts press releases to pwolf@darientimes.com. The Times has a free guide on doing publicity releases. Go online to acorn-online.com or send a stamped, self-addressed, business envelope to Publicity Guide, P.O. Box 1019, Ridgefield, CT 06877. To get something in the News-Review, call 655-7476.

Are there any local television news programs? Channel 12 on Cablevision (849-1321) is based in Norwalk and covers Darien news. Darien News Channel TV 79 is the townʼs government access channel provided by Cablevision. Two areas of town hall - Room 206 and the auditorium - have been wired for the live telecast of certain meetings; others are aired on a tape delay. The station is run by an all-volunteer crew and receives no taxpayer money. The station will consider airing independently produced programs that concern Darien and are politically neutral. There is a guideline book for submissions. The station is actively recruiting volunteers. Call David Dever at 323-7786 or Jim Cameron at 655-0138 or e-mail channel79@darienct. gov. For the schedule, tune in Channel 79 or visit online at darienct.gov/tv79. Blue Wave TV Educational Access Channel 78 is based at Darien High School. The station airs programming related to the Darien public schools. A video bulletin board carries high school events and announcements.

How do I get an ad in the Times? For a classified ad, call 662-0686. For display advertising, call Elizabeth Cote at 966-3557. How can I voice my opinion about what appears in the newspaper? The editorial staff of The Darien Times invites readers and others to drop by its weekly editorial meeting every Thursday morning, 10 to 11, at the Sugar Bowl. People who prefer to call in their comments to the newspaper — on any subject — may call Dial Darien at 656-0005 any time of the day or night. Can I read The Darien Times online? Those looking for the latest Darien news can find it on The Darien Timesʼ online site, darientimes.com; those looking for stories from previous issues can find them in the same place. Page one stories, and the top sports stories from the current weekʼs issue of The Darien Times are available on the paperʼs home page and remain accessible at no charge for several weeks. The entire content of the newspaper is added to the archive within about two weeks after publication. The Timesʼ archives are searchable by going to darientimes.com and clicking on “Archives” on the left-hand side of the page. Users may then search for information going back as far as June 2003. Pictures from The Times are not available through the archive, but may be ordered by calling 656-4230, or e-mailing editor@darientimes.com. All obituaries going back to September 2005, an up-to-date calendar, useful Web links, and the Darien Answer Book, as well as access to the Hersam Acorn classifieds, real estate listings, and the top stories from the Arts & Leisure section and special monthly supplements are available at no charge on The Timesʼ Web site. How can I find local Web sites? There is a listing of local Web sites right here in

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Feb. 21, 2008

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Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

81

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82 Web Sites

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Web Sites Darien: American Red Cross: dsredcross.org Calvary Baptist Church of Darien: calvarybaptist.darien.org Center for Hope: centerforhope.org Child Guidance Center of southern Connecticut: childguidancect.org Childrenʼs Council of Darien: ccd.darien.org Community Fund of Darien: communityfunddarien.org Darien Advocates for Education of the Gifted: daeg.org Darien Antiques Show: darienantiquesshow.org Darien Arts Center: arts.darien.org Darien Boat Club: darienboatclub.org Darien Book Aid: dba.darien.org Darien Community Association: dca.darien.org Darien Community Information Network: darien.org Darien Continuing Education: darienps.org/dce Darien EMS Post 53: post53.org Darien Environmental Group: darienenvironmentalgroup.org Darien Fathersʼ Forum: fathersforum.darien.org Darien Fire Department: darienfire.org Darien High School Girls Swim Team: girlswim.darien.org Darien Historical Society: historical.darien.org Darien Junior Sailing Team: sail.darien.org Darien Land Trust: dlt.darien.org Darien Library: darienlibrary.org Darien Little League: dybs.org Darien Nature Center: dnc.darien.org Darien Players: playersdarien.org Darien Post 6933 Veterans of Foreign Wars: angelfire.com/ct3/darienvfw Darien Power Squadron: dps.darien.org Darien Professionals Networking Group: darienprofessionals.com Darien Public Schools: darienps.org Darien Republican Town Committee: darien.ctgop4.com Darien Revitalization Initiative: darienmainstreet.org Darien Sail & Power Squadron: dps.darien.org Darien Senior Activities Center: dsac.darien.org Darien Soccer Association: leagueathletics.com Darien Technology Foundation: darientechnologyfoundation.org Darien Times: darientimes.com Darien United Methodist Church: umcdarien.org Darien Winter Club: darienwinterclub.org Darien YMCA: darien-ymca.org Darien Youth Baseball & Softball: dybs.org Darien Youth Hockey Association: dyha.com Darien Youth Lacrosse Association: dylax.com Democratic Town Committee: dtc.darien.org Depot, The: dariendepot.org Fairfield County Football League: fairfieldcountyfootball.org

Family Centers: familycenters.org First Congregational Church of Darien: uccdarien.org ITP Foundation of Darien: itpfoundation.org Kiwanis Club of Darien: kiwanis.darien.org League of Women Voters of Darien: lwv.darien.org Middlesex Club: middlesexclub.org Middlesex Genealogical Society: mgs.darien.org New Life Christian Fellowship: nlcf.ws Noroton Presbyterian Church: norotonchurch.org Noroton Fire Department: norotonfd.org Noroton Heights Fire Department: nhfd.us Noroton Yacht Club: norotonyc.org Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation: ohhf.org Pear Tree Point School: ptpschool.org Person-to-Person: p2p.darien.org Rotary Club of Darien: rotary.darien.org Saint Lukeʼs Episcopal Church: saintlukesdarien.org Saint Paulʼs Episcopal Church: stpaulsdarien.org Saint Thomas More Church: stmdarienct.org Senior Menʼs Association: sma.darien.org Tokeneke Road Club: tokenekeroadclub.com Town of Darien: darienct.gov YMCA Piranha Swim Team: piranhaswimming.org YWCA of Darien-Norwalk: ywcadariennorwalk.org Other: Connecticut General Assembly: cga.ct.gov Connecticut State Government: ct.gov Connecticut Rail Commuter Council: trainweb.org/ct/ Domestic Violence Crisis Center: dvccct.org Fairfield County Chorale: fairfieldcountychorale.org Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk: jlsn.org Family & Childrenʼs Agency: familyandchildrensagency.org Infoline: 211.org or infoline.org Liberation Programs: liberationprograms.org Norwalk Hospital: norwalkhosp.org Norwalk River Rowing Association: norwalkrowing.org Nursing & Home Care: visitingnurse.net Pegasus Therapeutic Riding: pegasustr.org Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE): scorenorwalk.org Sexual Assault Crisis Center: sacec-ct.org Stamford Hospital: stamhealth.org Volunteer Center of Southwestern Fairfield County: ucanhelp.org Norwalk Youth Symphony: norwalkyouthsymphony.org U.S. Congressman Christopher Shays: house.gov/shays U.S. Senator Chris Dodd: dodd.senate.gov U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman: lieberman.senate.gov State Assemblyman John J. Ryan: housegop.state.ct.us/pages/Ryan State Senator Andrew McDonald: senatedems.state.ct.us/McDonald State Senator Robert Duff: senatedems.ct.gov/Duff


Feb. 21, 2008

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

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84 Reader Index 100 Things to Do, 64 211, 31, 46, 54 911, 38 AARP, 51 Administrative officer, 10 Affordable housing, 18, 30 Alcoholism, 50 Ambulance service, 38 American Association of University Women, 68 American Red Cross, 31, 38, 40, 41, 42, 46, 51 Animal hospitals, 75 Antique shows, 64 Appointments, political, 17 Aquarium, 64 Area code, 8 Art shows, 64 Assembly, state, 19 Assessments, 11, 12 Autism, 47 Baby-sitting, 54, 56 Baked goods, 73 Banquet facilities, 73 Baseball, 55 Bears, 76 Beautification Commission, 31 Better Business Bureau, 69 Bicycling, 59, 78 Birth records, 13 Blood drives, 46 Blood pressure, 46 Board of Education, 21 Board of Selectmen, 10 Boat clubs, 58 Boating, 58 Bond rating, town, 11 Bookstores, 74 Budget, school, 11, 24 Budget, town, 11 Building department, 18 Cabarets, 64 Cable television, 70 Camp, summer, 54 CAPTs, 23 Car washes, 74 Caregiver support, 42 Catering, 73 Cats, 75 Cell phones and driving, 78 Cemeteries, 30 Center for Hope, 31, 42 Chamber of Commerce, 69 Cherry Lawn Park, 57, 58, 59, 68 Child Guidance Center, 46, 47, 54 Churches, 37 Cleaners, 74 Clothing stores, 74 Clubs, private, 60 CMTs, 23 Coffee shops, 73 Colleges, 26 Community calendar, 31 Community Fund of Darien, 30 Community Matters, 30 Concerts, summer, 58 Congressional representative, 19 Continuing education, 27 Counseling, 46 Coyotes, 76

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut CPR, 41 Crime statistics, 39 Dancing, 64 DAR, 67 Darien Arts Center, 64, 68 Darien Boat Club, 57, 58, 60 Darien Book Aid, 30 Darien Community Association, 68 Darien Gift Certificate, 74 Darien Historical Society, 6, 7, 55 Darien Land Trust, 68 Darien Library, 28, 29, 30, 62 Darien Nature Center, 24, 54, 60 Darien News-Review, 79 Darien Professionals Network, 69 Darien Revitalization Initiative, 69 Darien Sail & Power Squadron, 58 Darien Times, 79 Darien YMCA, 24, 54, 55 Day care, adult, 52 Day care, children, 54 DCA Womenʼs Group, 67 Deeds, 13 Deer, 76 Delicatessens, 73 Democrats, 18, 66 Depot, The, 54 DMV, 77 Dogs, 75 Domestic violence, 47 Drinking age, 54 Drug treatment, 46 Dump, town, 34 Eating disorders, 47 Emergencies, townwide, 39 Emergency rooms, 38 Emissions testing, 78 Environment, 68 False alarms, 39 Family & Childrenʼs Agency, 31, 46 Farmersʼ market, 73 Finance department, 18 Fire alarms, 39 Fire departments, 38 Fire marshal, 39 First selectman, 10 Fish, retail, 73 Fishing, 61 Flooding, 33 Flu clinics, 46, 52 Folk music, 62 Food markets, 73 Food pantry, 30 Football, 55 Friends of Animals, 76 Funeral homes, 30 Gallivant, 51 Garbage, 34 Garden clubs, 68 Garden shops, 74 Gardens, community, 58 Genealogy, 68 Golf, 60 Governor, 19 Grand list, 11 Guns, 39, 61 Hair salons, 74

Hall rentals, 64 Harbor master, 18 Health clubs, 60 Health department, 41 Health food, 73 Health services, 46 Healthcare, senior, 52 Higher Ground Ministry, 37, 46 Historian, town, 7 Historic districts, 7 Historic points of interest, 6 Hockey, 55, 60 Horses, 75, 78 Hospice, 42 House sales, 8 Houses, old, 6, 7 Housing Authority, 18 Housing, senior, 52 Hunting, 61 Ice cream, 73 Incomes, family, 8 Indian Point, 8 Infoline, 31, 46, 54 ITP Foundation, 47 Jazz, 62 Jobs, 56 Junior League, 68 Kiwanis Club, 67 Lacrosse, 55 Laundry service, 74 Leaf burning, 36 Leaf pickup, 36 League of Women Voters, 68 Legal notices, 18 Liberation Programs, 46, 54 License, civil union, 14 License, dog, 75 License, driverʼs, 78 License, fishing, 61 License, hunting, 61 License, marriage, 14 Limousines, 78 Lions Club, 67 Lyme disease, 48 Marriages, 13, 14 Masons, 67 Meals on Wheels, 51 Medical equipment, 52 Meeting schedules, 18, 19 Meeting space, 69 Mental Illness, 47 Mosquitoes, 50 Movies, 62 Museums, 64 Music lessons, 62 National Register of Historic Places, 7 Newspapers, 79 Newsstands, 73 Noroton Yacht Club, 58, 60 Norwalk Hospital, 38, 41, 46, 52 Notary public, 14, 28 Nursing homes, 41 Officials, town, 10, 20 Oil tanks, 36 Orchestras, 62 Parenting groups, 68 Parking, 77 Parks and Recreation, 55, 57, 58, 62

Feb. 21, 2008 Parks, 57 Party supplies, 74 Passports, 14 Pear Tree Point Beach, 57, 58 Pedestrians, 78 Permit, beach, 57 Permit, boat launching, 58 Permit, building, 32 Permit, power washing, 36 Permit, zoning, 33 Person-to-Person, 30 Pet adoptions, 75 Pharmacies, 42 Physical rehabilitation, 42 Physicians, 41 Piedmont Club, 67 Pizza, 73 Planning and zoning, 18 Poison control, 40 Police, 39 Political parties, 17 Population, 8 Postal service, 69 Probate, 18 PTOs, 25 Rabies, 48 Radon gas, 48 Recycling, 34 Representative Town Meeting, 10, 11 Republicans, 18, 66 Restaurant inspections, 50 Restaurants, 73 Revaluation, 11 Riding, therapeutic, 48 Right of way, driving, 78 Roads, 77 Rotary Club, 67 Running clubs, 59 Safe Rides, 54 Sailing, 56 Salaries, school, 24 Salary, police, 39 SATs, 23 School calendar, 22 School cancellations, 24 School district, 21 School enrollments, 21 School registration, 23 Schools, art, 26 Schools, dance, 27 Schools, nursery, 26 Schools, private, 26 Schools, public, 21 Selleckʼs Woods, 57, 59 Senate, state, 19 Senate, U.S., 19 Senior center, 51, 62 Senior Menʼs Association, 68 Senior services, 51 Septic systems, 34 Sewer service, 70 Sexual abuse, 47 Shooting, 61 Sidewalk sales, 74 Silver Hill Hospital, 46, 47 Singing groups, 62 Skating, ice, 59 Smoking, 50 Snow, 36


Feb. 21, 2008 Soccer, 56 Social groups for seniors, 51 Social services, 51 Social worker, 30 Softball, 58 Special education, 24, 25 Special events in town, 64 Speeding, 77 Spinal cord injuries, 47 Sports, school, 24 Sports, youth, 55 Spring cleanup, 36 Stamford Hospital, 38, 41, 46 Stephen Ministers, 37 Support groups, 46 Swim teams, 58 Swimming pools, 33 Swimming, 58 Synagogues, 37 Tax collector, 12 Tax rate, 11 Taxes, income, 31 Taxes, property, personal, and motor vehicle, 12, 13 Taxpayers, top 10, 69 Tea shops, 73 Teen counseling, 54 Teen Options (TOPS), 54 Television, local, 79 Tennis, 58 Testing, school, 22, 23 Theater company, 62

Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut Theater group, 62 Theater, childrenʼs, 54 Thrift shops, 74 Town clerk, 13 Town hall, 10 Town offices, 10 Trains, 77 Transportation, senior, 51 Treasurer, town, 12 Trees, 70 Unemployment, 8 VFW, 68 Video rentals, 62 Visiting nurses, 41, 42 Volunteers, 29, 56, 66 Voting, 15, 16 Waste, hazardous, 36 Water, drinking, 34, 70 Weather, 8 Web sites, 79, 82 Weed Beach, 57, 58 Welcome services, 69 West Nile virus, 50 Wildlife rehabilitation, 76 Yellow Dot Program, 52 Young Life, 37 Youth commission, 54 Youth director, 54 Youth programs, religious, 37 ZIP code, 8 Zoning regulations, 32

Reader Index 85

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Darien Answer Book, Darien, Connecticut

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