NCFD helps food pantry

To the Editor:

Once again the New Canaan Fire Department has quietly served our community. On Saturday they were notified that the food camp at Sherwood Island, that had been set up to feed the crews of utilities workers during last week's storm, was being dismantled. Chief Karl immediately headed up to get supplies that they were giving away.

He returned to New Canaan with a truckload of goods to help out the New Canaan Food Pantry. There was more frozen food than we had space to handle.

As we were sorting this all out, someone called Steve Benko at home, and he, without any hesitation, met us at Waveny and made freezer space available to us until Monday, when we could get access to more space. This feeling of cooperation is what makes New Canaan, New Canaan. A huge thank you to Steve Benko, Ed Karl, Larry Pitts and the many members of the NCFD that helped us achieve our mission in helping our neighbors.

Carol Harvey

New Canaan Food Pantry

NCCF luncheon

raises nearly $20K

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, the Women's Initiative of the New Canaan Community Foundation hosted the fourth annual Touch A Life Fund Luncheon at the Roger Sherman Inn. More than 100 women attended the luncheon and more than $19,500 was raised to provide financial emergency assistance to New Canaan residents through the foundation's Touch A Life Fund. This fund was established in 1998 and to date, more than $80,000 has been distributed from the fund to assist residents in need with fuel, rent and medical bills, tuition for camperships and summer school, clothing and school supplies expenses and many other essential items.

It was announced at the luncheon that the Touch A Life Fund had recently made a $500 grant to the New Canaan Food Pantry to purchase feminine care products. Additionally, it was announced that Paula Ryan's fifth-grade class at St. Aloysius School made a donation to the Touch A Life Fund and collected cereal and snacks to donate to the New Canaan Food Pantry.

Luncheon guests were educated and inspired by a moving and insightful speech by Elaine Zimmerman, executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Children, about the short- and long-term impact of the recession on children.

The Community Foundation would like to acknowledge the generous support of HTG Investment Advisors, Inc., for its corporate sponsorship of the luncheon. Additional thanks are extended to Tom Doyle of Springdale Florists and to the Roger Sherman Inn for its support. We would also like to thank the members of the Women's Initiative, Dorcas Hills, Liza Pohle, Paula Addeo, Cindy Charas, Jeanne Gnuse, Diane Hanauer, Kim Healey, Hope Hetherington, Sara Hunt, Cathy Irwin, Kristen Leopold, Deb Perron, Susie Repko and Patricia Russo for their invaluable help on the luncheon committee.

Residents with financial need who wish to be considered for an emergency funding grant from the Touch A Life Fund should contact either the New Canaan Department of Human Services in Vine Cottage (203-594-3076) or any caseworker at Person-to-Person in Darien (203-655-0048) for evaluation and referral. In addition, staff at the New Canaan Public Schools or local houses of worship may contact the Community Foundation directly on behalf of a student or member of their congregation. All requests for assistance are kept strictly confidential.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge all the individuals who made generous contributions to the Fund the day of the luncheon. The Touch A Life Fund allows residents to reach out and help their neighbors in need.

Julianne Grace, President

Board of Directors

Questioning the

`Crow's Nest'

To the Editor:

I find it amusing and disappointing that Mr. Ed Chrostowski opens his column ("From the Crow's Nest," March 25, 2010) by calling an individual an "airhead" and closes it by belittling the "discriminating tastes" of a portion of the American public. I will save this kind of remark for the end.

"Social and economic justice" are socialist/progressive/communist code words for "redistribution of wealth" which is code for taking from some and giving to others. Most religious groups (Reverend Wright's Church exempted) do not advocate the taking part, but emphasize the giving part. Socialists/progressives/communists demand the taking part. The taking is political, the giving is religious, and we do have a separation of church and state -- don't we?

I did not make the connection between Mr. Glenn Beck's "earnings listed in millions of dollars annually" and his opinions. Perhaps Mr. Chrostowski would reveal his annual income so we could better judge his opinions.

Does the column title, "From the Crow's Nest" indicate the occupant has a better view of the world than those of us down on the deck, or is it simply a nest occupied by a bird brain?

William S. Pedersen III

New Canaan

Grateful to Staying Put

To the Editor:

As the son of an elderly New Canaan resident, I am in Staying Put's debt for their effective and rapid response during the recent storm.

They checked on my mother, answering her questions and making sure that her welfare was intact during the crisis. This was cause for great relief, as I live out of state.

Thank you, Staying Put.

Michael Ramseur

Support for Debicella

To the Editor:

This past week, our incumbent Congressman, Jim Himes, clarified where he stands -- with us when he visits Fairfield County and with Nancy Pelosi when she needs him in Washington. Building a new majority in the House of Representatives is the most direct route to bringing balance to a government that is spinning out-of-control on spending, taxes and regulation.

To restore balance, I support my friend Dan Debicella for congress. In his own words, Dan is running for Congress "to restore the values of free enterprise and individual liberty to Washington. Fairfield County families want practical solutions on the economy, healthcare, and transportation. I will use my background as a businessman and a State Senator to implement new ideas to get our economy growing again and create jobs for our families."

All the answers coming out of Washington are for "more government" -- whether bailing out banks, taking over auto companies, building record deficits for pork-barrel stimulus or having government take-over our health-care system. Our current Congressman, Jim Himes, has been a rubber-stamp for this big government agenda. I believe there is a better way. Through solutions that support small businesses and empower middle class families, I believe that we can get our country back on the right track."

Our government is pushing measures that will make our country poorer, more vulnerable and less free. It is time to push back.

Chris DeMuth Jr.

New Canaan

Arms reduction treaty should be ratified

To the Editor:

The new nuclear arms reduction treaty that will be signed by President Obama and Russian President Medvedev in Prague on April 8 may lead to increased cooperation between the two superpowers on other matters vital to United States security. It also improves the chances of success as the Obama Administration moves ahead with its ambitious plan to reduce the danger of nuclear weapons.

The new treaty has the endorsement of our military establishment who believes that it strengthens nuclear stability. Both Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have spoken out strongly in support. At the briefing announcing the agreement Mullen said, "I would only like to add that I, the vice chairman and the Joint Chiefs, as well as our combatant commanders around the world stand solidly behind this new treaty having had the opportunity to provide our counsel, to make our recommendations and to help shape the final agreements."

The treaty faces a tough uphill fight in the U.S. Senate to achieve ratification by the necessary two-thirds vote. Republican support is crucial but may be unlikely given the bitter partisanship displayed over the health-care bill and the determined opposition to new nuclear arms agreements expressed by some Republican leaders.

Republican Senators should remember that previous nuclear treaties were ratified with almost universal Republican support. The 1991 START treaty that expired in December 2009 passed the Senate by an overwhelming majority vote of 93-6. The recent "Moscow" offensive arms reduction treaty negotiated by former President George W. Bush was ratified in 2003 by a remarkable 95-0 vote.

It will be a terrible setback that would undermine U.S. security if the Senate fails to ratify this new nuclear arms control agreement.

Stephen A. Myers

Riverside

Editor's note: Myers is a physicist who has previously published letters and given talks on nuclear issues.