DHS musicians

wow audience

To the Editor:

Darien High School musicians rocked the house.

Playing to a full house this past Saturday night, the DHS orchestra and chorus put on an amazing rock performance. Under the direction of internationally known rock violinist Mark Wood and his program "Electrify your Strings," the auditorium came alive and the packed house was in for an unexpected treat. On this magical evening the musicians abandoned their formal attire; instead wearing blue jeans and ripped black T-shirts, sporting dyed hair and headbands.

They played the great works of another generation (Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones) without a single guitar on stage. Imagine only violins, violas, cellos, bassists and a harp playing "Stairway to Heaven" or "Live and Let Die." Talented students were featured on Mark Wood's customized electric violins, violas and even a stand-up cello! The eighth-grade orchestra performed, having an opportunity to taste what's to come at DHS.

The chorus joined the stage to perform the likes of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and the crowd responded. With the entire orchestra as their stage band, the featured soloists took your breath away. This was better than any episodes of "Glee," and it was live! The excitement and pride was on the face of every musician on stage.

Evenings like this are rare and undoubtedly Saturday evening provided a life-changing experience for our children. These musicians should be honored for their exceptional talent, not highlighted or heard often enough. Their teachers deserve recognition for their dedication: Jane Minnis, DHS Orchestra; Christopher Andrade, DHS Choral; and Malcom Karlan, MMS ochestra, to name only a few of those who have touched our children's lives. Thanks also to Mr. Rick Sadlon, Music For Youth, the administration and the Board of Education for supporting arts education in Darien.

Kathleen Finnegan


Thanks to Pumpkin

Carnival supporters

To the Editor:

On behalf of the TPTO at Tokeneke School, we would like to thank everyone who came out to support the Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival last Saturday, Oct. 16. In continuing a tradition that is more than 40 years old, the TPTO planned a wonderful day for children and parents to enjoy a parent-run carnival with spectacular rides provided by Stewart Amusement. We especially like to thank the local businesses that supported this year's event, including Darien Sport Shop, Darien News, Heights Pizza/Tasti D-Lite, David Osherow, DDS, East Coast Irrigation, Itown, The Little Gym, New Canaan Darien Magazine, SP&G / Speed Printing & Graphics, Blue Ocean Worldwide,Vernal's Service Center, LLC, BMW of Darien, Sono Field House, Betterlists, Down Under Kayak, Vineyard Vines, Palmer's Market, Darien Toy Box.

The food vendors this year -- UCBC, Heights Pizza and Burgers, Shakes & Fries -- provided terrific food for hungry carnival attendees.

Parent volunteers made this event a huge success by dedicating their enthusiasm, time and efforts. We would like to thank the co-chairs of games, haunted house, tickets, accounting, candy store/bake sale, face painting, sand art, hairspray, book sale, supporter coordinator, publicity, information, raffle, food, merchandise, operations and staffing.

Lastly, the support of our Principal MaryLee Fisher and Vice Principal Kathy Schultz have enabled us to plan and execute this year's carnival successfully. As they say, it takes a village, and we are especially thankful we are part of the Tokeneke Parent Teacher Organization Village! The Pumpkin Carnival provides proceeds for enrichment programs and vital supplies for the school.

Erika Morris and Sue McLean


Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival

Darien is `fortunate'

to have Terrie Wood

To the Editor:

Our country is approaching an election of historic significance. Many of us look forward to this opportunity to take a stand in favor of limited government and fiscal responsibility in both Washington and Hartford. Today, more than ever, America and Connecticut need strong leadership -- leadership that understands that government must begin to live within its means and minimize the tax and regulatory burdens on our citizens, if our economy is to recover and if opportunity is to be restored for future generations.

In Darien and Rowayton we are fortunate indeed to have Terrie Wood as our elected representative in Hartford. Terrie is strongly committed to these principles and she deserves our strong support.

Terrie went to Hartford as a 35-year resident of our community, where she has made many important contributions over the years, as president of the Darien Land Trust and Darien Environmental Group, as a trustee of the Community Fund and the Darien Library, as a member of the Person-to-Person Advisory Board, and as co-chairwoman of Yes...DHS, the referendum to approve building of the new high school, as well as service on the RTM and RTC. It is hard to imagine someone better qualified to represent this community.

Terrie is highly principled and grounded in common sense. She is responsive to her constituents and respected by her peers in the legislature. She is also effective in the legislative process. She is well prepared to represent us in Hartford in the difficult battles ahead, and we should support her on Nov. 2.

Wendell L. Willkie II


Depot hosting

Family Fun Day

To the Editor:

I am writing to you to discuss an event happening this Saturday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Depot. It is called Depot Family Fun Day, and it is a day for parents and younger children to understand what is going on at the Depot.

The Depot plays host to many clubs and programs all throughout the year. These clubs, including SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), Safe Rides, Kids in Crisis and Global Girls, will all be represented and have small crafts or activities for the kids to do, and also have handouts for the parents discussing what exactly the programs do. The Darien Police Department will also be there, showing off a squad car and motorcycle.

The cost to get in is $20 per family, and $5 per single person (if not with a family). Through Depot Family Fun Day, we hope to raise awareness in our community about what goes on at The Depot. We hope to see you all there. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email depotct@optonline.net, or visit dariendepot.wordpress.com.

Elizabeth Billeter


Vote Republican slate

for fiscal responsibility

in Hartford

To the Editor:

On Nov. 2, three exceptional Republican candidates warrant your support because they are right for our district and right for Connecticut. They are State Senate candidates Artie Kassimis and Bob Kolenberg and Darien's own Terrie Wood who is again running unopposed to retain her State Representative seat.

Artie is running against incumbent Bob Duff for the privilege of representing Darien and Norwalk and would bring needed fiscal responsibility to our state's capital. As an active resident, businessman and pastor in our district for more than 25 years, Artie has experience with balancing budgets and managing large groups of diverse people and will bring those skills to the state legislature. Mr. Duff voted for the State's current budget which has subjected our district and state to egregious fiscal challenges. He talks about creating jobs in Fairfield County but consistently votes for bills that kill jobs in Connecticut. This type of behavior is demonstrated locally and across the country by incumbents who have become complacent, and chronically avoid the responsibilities their constituents have bestowed upon them. This is not the leadership and representation Darien and Norwalk deserve.

Bob Kolenberg is running against incumbent Andrew McDonald for the district covering Darien and Stamford. Bob built a global business, is a Stamford Board of Finance member and has the necessary skills to provide essential leadership to empower others, not inhibit progress. Mr. McDonald on the other hand has ignored various needs affecting the local education system by micro-managing local districts instead of encouraging the legislature to set the bar and let local school boards do their jobs.

State Rep. Terrie Wood is widely respected for her work ethic and focusing on issues and problem solving without allowing the political rhetoric and negative discourse plaguing our current system to hinder progress.

Please join us in supporting all three extraordinary Republican candidates on Nov. 2 and from a broader perspective remember to Re-think Red -- Vote Republican.

The above is signed by all 21 members of the Darien Republican

Town Committee

An open letter to Judy

Sgammato, Darien Library

To the Editor:

There is no way to thank you enough for the help that you gave me last Tuesday. Upon arriving at the library, I was confronted with a copying machine that wanted more from me than I knew how to give. Foolishly, I had allotted only an hour that I assumed would give me enough time to copy the various pages before I needed to deliver them in Westport. You showed me how to tell the copier what I needed, and, when I just couldn't catch on, with the patience of a saint, you stayed with me for more than an hour until the project was completed.

Our new library building is nice, but you are incredible!

Thanks so much!

Myrna Nickel


Seasons Too gives

warm welcome

To the Editor:

A few weekends ago we were walking in downtown Darien and saw an outdoor lounge chair in front of Seasons Too that appealed to all three of us in our family. We proceeded to go into the store where we were greeted cheerfully by the only person in the store.

After looking around we shared that we are very new in town coming from California. As we were speaking we told Phil about a struggle with our moving container and how the company moving it does not know the location of all of our belongings forcing us to repurchase the essentials until the situation which has now grown to be a legal battle, is cleared up. We explained that we were sleeping on blow up beds and using camping chairs in the house that we moved to around Holy Pond. Even though our house is empty we still love it here.

As we were talking, Phil was going on doing what appeared to us as his normal duties. I did notice that his pace of work was swift and thought that to be a good quality. As we were walking toward the door and thanking him for his information about the community, he handed me a great big bag of goods. Plates, utensils, cups and so on. Phil then said "Welcome to Darien!"

We were astonished by his actions and generosity. We would never have expected something like this on the West Coast and felt very lucky to have met Phil. We had already come to the conclusion that we would come back and purchase some items from Phil and Seasons Too once our belongings arrived. He has gained not just a customer but we will also point people towards Seasons Too because it is both a wonderful store with great items and has someone who cares about the community they serve -- even if we are brand new.

Thank you Phil and Seasons Too.

The Realini Family

DCA thanks

Tech Foundation

To the Editor:

Last spring the Darien Community Association was awarded a technology grant from the Darien Technology and Community Foundation. The grant covered several pieces of technology equipment to complement our programming, including a volunteer computer workstation for development and marketing of programs, AV equipment for speaker presentations, and a digital camera, camcorder and related technology to create a virtual library of our programs. The equipment is now in place, and already has made a difference in our ability to deliver programs. The Darien Technology and Community Foundation not only provided the funding, they also lent their expertise to ensure that we identified the most appropriate equipment to meet the needs of the DCA. We are extremely grateful for all their support!

Kate Larson, President

Darien Community Association

Dem's increasing

government's power

To the Editor:

The vast majority of citizens in this country cherish democracy. And why not? It is the only form of government that deliberately gives power to the people. Yet it is very clear the current Democratic Party leadership, starting with our president, is firmly focused on increasing the power of not the people but of the government. There is a clear, undeniable move in Washington toward a greater concentration of power in the hands of a few politicians. If allowed to continue on this current path we will see government become much more intrusive, imposing itself in our daily lives, with pervasive social and economic engineering. Central planning will become a dominant feature of our lives.

Yet history shows that central planning has never worked. It doesn't create economic freedom and deeply infringes on personal freedom. Rather than give power to the people, it sucks it up into a small cabal of Washington politicians. I believe we must stop this dangerous surge towards a domineering government; I believe we must elect a new wave of legislators to return the United States to its core beliefs. If you believe in personal freedom, if you believe in the democracy this country was founded on, I strongly urge you to vote for Linda McMahon for senator and Dan Debicella for the House of Representatives on Election Day this November.

Tom Joyce


Murray has needed

skills, temperament

To the Editor:

This is in support of Michael Murray for Judge of Probate.

In my opinion, Michael has the kind of fair, even-handed and objective temperament that this position requires.

A lawyer with almost 20 years standing at the bar, Michael has the requisite probate, estate and general legal experience needed for this important new position.

Importantly as well, with several years experience setting up and managing the New Canaan branch office of a large Greenwich law firm, Michael also has the administrative experience necessary to set up and manage this new court system consolidating the probate courts of Darien and New Canaan.

Moreover, with his residence in Darien and his office in New Canaan, Michael knows both communities intimately and is in a unique position to bring both communities together.

As a lawyer myself, with 43 years at the bar, I know how important it is to have a person in this position with the experience to manage an extensive case load in more than one geographical location as well as the patience and compassion to deal on a daily basis with the bereaved and others in need of protection under very difficult circumstances.

I believe that Michael Murray is that person.

Richard Allen DiDonna


Editor's note: Richard DiDonna is vice chairman of the Darien Republican Town Committee, but is writing this letter as a private citizen.

Mike Murray has

`strong character'

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter to show my support for Mike Murray as Probate Judge for Darien and New Canaan. Having known Mike and his family for the last seven years, I truly believe he has the right composition of strong character, loyalty and integrity that will help serve our community. Mike has deep connections and friendships in both New Canaan and Darien that can help him get things done effectively.

Mike is a family man that goes out of his way to help friends, family and others in the community.

I am proud to support Mike and look forward to seeing the positive results with him at the helm.

Don McCarthy


Incumbent Himes for Congress

To the Editor:

I am writing to support Jim Himes's reelection to Congress on Nov. 2.

Fiscal Responsibility -- Jim voted in favor of the original stimulus package which has created jobs in our District, but Jim has repeatedly said that he will support budget and spending plans only if they reduce deficit by at least one percent.

Independence -- Jim has repeatedly broken with his party on key issues. Jim voted against a spending package that would have increased the deficit by more than $200 billion.

Wall Street reform -- Jim, as an active member of the House Financial Services Committee, helped to craft legislation which will make our financial system stronger and more transparent and will provide important new protections for consumers.

Jim is an important voice for moderation and consensus building in a time of increasing political polarization. We need Jim to continue to represent actively our interests in Congress.

John Emert

Murray has the right stuff

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my support for Mike Murray who is running for the newly created position of probate judge of Darien and New Canaan. Mike is an especially warm, friendly and compassionate person with a naturally inviting demeanor. As a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years, with much of that time most recently in New Canaan, Mike has both the experience in probate manners and the uniquely strong ties to both communities that will serve us very well as our next probate judge.

We are fortunate to have such a fine person like Mike running for this important position and I encourage you to join me in the coming weeks to support him for probate judge.

Thomas Raymond


Blumenthal has

experience in

political arena

To the Editor:

Linda McMahon wants our vote for the U.S. Senate because she has run a business where wrestlers, both male and female, shout obscenities and throw each other around in a ring and charge admission. She calls this experience managing a "soap opera." Dick Blumenthal has a distinguished career in public service which began when he clerked for a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Linda may know how to fight in the wrestling ring, but Dick knows how to fight in the political arena. His record as Attorney General proves that.

I'm happy to support Richard Blumenthal to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Senate. Our state deserves the best.

Anne-Marie Sutton

New Canaan

Foley for governor

To the Editor:

Now, more than ever, we need to elect someone capable of making tough decisions, who can attract industry and encourage businesses to invest in Connecticut and put people to work.

This isn't the time for exaggerating accomplishments -- using taxpayer's hard earned dollars to pay for slick mailings. Dannel Malloy is trying to parlay a mediocre performance as mayor into the governorship. Now isn't the time for mediocre. Now is the time for leadership.

Tom Foley will bring fiscal discipline, restore our economy, create long-term jobs and balance the budget without raising taxes. We need real leadership. We need to elect Tom Foley.

Emily Baker

New Canaan

Support Murray

for probate judge

To the Editor:

I am pleased to write in support of Michael Murray's candidacy for probate judge. I have known Michael for more than 15 years, and know him to be well experienced in trusts and estate law, with a sharp intellect and even temperament. Michael, like the best judges, has developed a perfectly tuned harmony among the traits of deep knowledge, inquisitive mind and steady disposition.

I can think of no finer and good person with whom to entrust decisions which deal with the most personal issues concerning one's family. I urge all to vote for Michael Murray for Judge of Probate.

Michael P. Sweeney

New Canaan

Re-elect Jim Himes

To the Editor:

New Canaanites should know what Jim Himes has done to get critical federal funding for New Canaan and New Canaan non-profits:

"¢ More than $1 million to prevent New Canaan teacher layoffs and to maintain support for students with special needs;

"¢ $975,000 to the town for infrastructure improvements on roads;

"¢ $41,000 for heating and energy efficiency at the Millport affordable housing complex;

"¢ $30,000 to the New Canaan Housing Authority for public housing;

"¢ $30,000 to improve the safety and security of New Canaan;

"¢ $424,000 to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation;

"¢ $20,000 to the Silvermine Guild of Artists.

Jim is working hard for us. He is a brilliant, compassionate, ethical man, and we should return him to Washington to fight for us.

Toddy Turrentine

New Canaan

How Jim Himes

really won in 2008

To the Editor:

Many voters realize freshman congressman Jim Himes rode Obama's coattails into office in 2008. Yet in New Canaan, Himes won less than a third of the vote vs. nearly 70 percent for Republican Chris Shays.

So how did Himes win? Very simply, Himes was elected by Bridgeport, which also happens to be in Connecticut's 4th Congressional District.

Of Himes' $4 million war chest from PAC's aligned with unions, MoveOn.org and George Soros, well over $1 million was lavished on Bridgeport to "get out the vote." With the help of the State and Municipal Employees Union (whose members have some of the most generous taxpayer-funded benefits and pensions in the country) and the notorious ACORN, Bridgeport was "community organized" like never before to support Obama and Himes.

The dollars worked. While only 20,000 Bridgeport residents voted in 2006, in 2008 a record 38,500 (nearly double) voted, and 31,000 of those voted Democrat. This 23,500 vote margin was enough to overcome all 18 other towns in the district.

If you want Bridgeport Democratic machine politics and union interests to determine our next congressman -- then Jim Himes is definitely your man. But if you want to correct the mistakes made in 2008, on Tuesday, Nov. 2, you can instead vote for State Sen. Dan Debicella. A vote for Dan is a vote for fiscal restraint over runaway spending; for the rights employers and taxpayers over unions and bureaucrats; for freedom of choice over socialized healthcare; for liberty and personal responsibility over a welfare state of disempowerment and dependence; for a foreign policy that aims for peace through strength rather than through appeasement of our enemies. Ronald Reagan would have voted for Dan. Chris Shays is supporting him. So should you.

John Ponterotto

New Canaan