An open letter to the BOF

To the members of the Board of Finance:

In response to your request to hear from us, we are writing to say that we support the Board of Education's proposed budget. We believe that the budget request is justified based on the needs of the schools, and we urge you to approve it. If it is necessary to raise our taxes to pay for this, we support you in that decision.

Vanessa Regalado

Darien

Support BOE budget

To the Editor:

Two important milestones in the Town of Darien budget cycle are impending. Following a public hearing on the proposed Town of Darien budget for the upcoming year on March 8, the Board of Finance/Board of Education work session to review the 2011-2012 Board of Education budget will take place on Tuesday, April 5. And, the Board of Finance final vote on the budget is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12.

We believe the Board of Education budget request is justified based on the needs of the schools and we urge the Board of Finance to approve it. If the Board of Finance does not approve the full Board of Education budget, cuts to essential services will be made.

More Information

Fact box

We encourage all residents who support the Board of Education budget to express their views to the Board of Finance this week.

The Board of Finance members and email addresses are listed below:

Liz Mao lizmao@gmail.com

Martha Banks marthabanks@hotmail.com

Joe Duwan jduwan@bof@gmail.com

Lorene Bora lbora@optonline.net

Gwen Mogensen hmogen@aol.com

Jon Zagrodzky jezagodzky@gmail.com

Murry Stegelmann darienmurry@aol.com

Margot Congdon

Terrie Van de Graaf

Vice Chairmen

Council of Darien School Parents

Land Trust gives thanks for St. Patrick's Day event

To the Editor:

On behalf of the board of the Darien Land Trust, I'd like to thank Nielsen's and the community for the wonderful St. Patrick's Day event held to benefit our organization on March 17.

The beautiful greenhouse filled with friends of open space in Darien created both a festive atmosphere and a unique opportunity for us to celebrate with our supporters the partnership that has protected so much `green' in our community.

The generosity of Nielsen's and the guests in attendance resulted in an extraordinary donation to the Land Trust -- a welcome one as we head into spring and the most active period of stewardship on our properties. Thank you!

Kaye Rabin

President

Darien Land Trust

Allow dogs to run off leash

To the Parks and Recreation Department:

I have lived in Darien for a decade now, and have four children and two dogs. We arrived in town when the kids were ages 4, 3, 2, and a newborn, so our family tapped into Cherry Lawn, big time. Our "brick" is out there somewhere as part of our support and connection to Cherry Lawn.

These days, I love to exercise my dogs, Millie & Pards, at Cherry Lawn. Why? Because they love to run, run, run and because they are social pets that desire time with their own. I see and understand both sides of the leash equation, but I don't think that it's smart public policy to paint this issue in black and white. Do all dogs need to be leashed at all times because of one bad dog?

That is like saying, "No prom" because of one bad prom incident, or "No sports" because of one bad sports incident, or "No driving" because of one DUI report. You would be penalizing the bulk of good people for the one bad apple with that kind of approach. Legislation for the town needs to recognize all of us, not just the unlawful person.

Cherry Lawn Park has 27.5 acres, most of which is empty for the majority of the day, and much of the year. On all those frigid, cold days of November, December, January, February and March, all I ever see are dog owners at Cherry Lawn Park. The place would be empty were it not for our four-legged friends and their owners. Other town parks encourage dog owners year round to keep the parks from becoming desolate, which may invite bad elements.

With one in three households owning dogs in Darien, many dogs need places to exercise and really run. With our limited open space in town, can we all share in the natural resources of this great town? We need to get some open minds that can work together for a smart, balanced solution that recognizes all of us.

Millie and Pards thought that the following sounds fair for all residents of Darien:

Dog hours for off leash:

Cherry Lawn Park: Peak Season: 6 to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to dusk.

Off Season: open hours as currently exists.

Woodland Park and Selleck's Woods: 6 to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to dusk.

Weed Beach : Off Season

Kim Crosby