Tax facts

To the Editor:

Congratulations to everyone who has completed their tax filings. However, even if you have already turned in your taxes, you have not finished paying taxes. Connecticut taxpayers will work 117 days in order to earn the money to pay their taxes this year. That means that we will not be done working for the government until April 27th. In fact, our state ranks No. 1 on days spent working to pay taxes. This is a big expense -- larger than shelter, food and clothing combined.

It is also a bad deal for Connecticut: The state receives less than $0.70 back from the federal government for each $1 that is taxed. The imbalance is more extreme locally. Households in the Fourth District of Connecticut carry the heaviest tax burden in the U.S. in terms of the number of days that are worked just to pay taxes. In return, we get back less than 50 cents of our tax dollar in federal spending.

We need leadership to help bring Washington back into balance. Instead, our Congressional representative, Jim Himes, has voted repeatedly for spending that we cannot afford. In order to pay for Himes' European-style welfare state spending, he will need to roll out European-style welfare state taxes. So the most likely next step will be a new tax, a value added tax. This tax will be in addition to our taxes on individual income, payrolls, corporations, excises, estates and gifts. Our politicians measure their virtue in terms of the pace at which they spend your money. They hope that you will focus on their best of intentions, enjoy the benefits, and ignore the costs. They know that if you add up the cost, you would see that you are not getting a good deal when Jim robs Peter to pay for Paul (and Paul's vote). Especially if you are Peter.

Chris DeMuth Jr.

New Canaan

Design District returns

To the Editor:

We are writing to urge everyone to turn out for the second annual Design District New Canaan on April 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. If you came out last year, we're sure you've already marked your calendar and told all your friends.

Billed as the ultimate block party, 17 New Canaan stores and businesses are planning an evening of designer presentation, trunk shows, book signings, cooking demonstrations, charity auctions, special discounts, prize drawings, goody bags, hors d'oeuvres, fun cocktails and more.

This evening will benefit the New Canaan Community Foundation. This is a great opportunity to celebrate spring with a group of friends, support the New Canaan Community Foundation and our downtown all at the same time.

Be sure to visit the Ib.l.a.s.t. merchants participating in this event: sponsors Cobble Court Interiors, Kitchens by Deane and Pimlico, and participants Comina, Country Design, Littlejohn's, Rockwell Art and Framing and WAVE. Last year's party of the night was a tie between the Pimlico Girls and the Cobble Court Boys. Be sure not to miss this year as they duke it out for party of the night.

Pick up your passport from participating stores and have it punched by each merchant you visit. Turn in your passport to enter to win a three-night stay with spa or golf options at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, R.I.

For a complete list of events or for more information about Design District see or call Laurinda at 203-571-1614.

Grab some friends and see you there.

Barbara Davis and Carolyn Williams

Ib.l.a.s.t. ("I Buy Local and

Shop in Town")

2010 Scholarship Drive

To the Editor:

On behalf of the 2010 Scholarship Committee, we would like to thank the New Canaan community for helping us to make Scholarship Sunday on March 28 one of the most successful in our history. From the donations of private citizens, as well as the many merchants and businesses who were sponsors of the drive, we thank you for your generosity. Without your continued financial support, we would not be able to help so many deserving graduates of New Canaan High School.

This year, more than 150 students participated in knocking on the doors of New Canaan's homes on Scholarship Sunday. Without the willingness of these young men and women to donate their time to this important cause, the Scholarship Drive would never be so successful. They are to be congratulated on raising more than $28,000 so that NCHS graduating seniors and other recent graduates will be able to enjoy the college education they have worked so hard to prepare for.

We are also appreciative of the support given by the NCHS administration, who give many hours of their time to make the Scholarship Drive a success. Every year, Principal Tony Pavia and his administrative team ensure the drive committee members have the support needed from the school to make the Scholarship Drive happen. In addition, they attend Scholarship Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. to encourage the students heading out to, and as they return from walking door-to-door in the community.

No fund-raising effort would be possible without dedicated volunteers. We would like to extend our thanks to the many parents who served on the Scholarship Committee and made the day run smoothly; this includes the countless hours of preparation to get the town-wide mailing ready and information and route packets updated, talking with merchants about ways to sponsor the drive, order and deliver food for day of, recruiting students during lunch -- all that is before Scholarship Sunday itself. To all who gave of their energy, enthusiasm and expertise, we owe you a debt of gratitude.

The success of the Scholarship Drive is a community effort and we are grateful that New Canaan has always been generous in supporting the many charities our small town sponsors. Thank you again to the merchants and businesses who generously sponsored the 2010 Scholarship Drive, to the citizens who reached into their pockets to support our graduates, and to the NCHS students and administration who are the reason we find the Scholarship Drive so worthwhile to be a part of.

Allison Freeman, Francesca Lacerenza, Liz Mallozzi, Annette Terry

NCHS Scholarship Drive 2010 Co-Chairwomen

Fresh Air Fund

thanks volunteers

To the Editor:

It is with sincere gratitude that I recognize the tireless efforts of Fresh Air Fund volunteers in the Southwest Coast area as the country celebrates National Volunteer Week. Their commitment to helping New York City children is exemplary for all community members and truly embodies the spirit of the 2010 National Volunteer Week theme, "Celebrating People in Action."

Fresh Air volunteers work in several capacities throughout the year in 13 Northeastern states and Canada to help make the fund's programs possible. Caring Fresh Air host families open their homes and share the everyday joys of summertime with their Fresh Air guests. Our local volunteer leaders -- many of whom are also hosts -- serve on our local committees, plan summer activities, publicize the program and interview prospective host families. Additionally, individuals and businesses give generously of their time and resources to make the Friendly Town host family program throughout this area a great success each and every summer.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children since 1877. For more information on how you can help to continue this wonderful tradition of volunteering, please call The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003 or visit

Jenny Morgenthau

Executive Director

Hospital's Circle of Caring a Fundraiser sold out

To the Editor:

There is nothing like watching a transformation in progress. Time and again I see guests arrive for my Exceptional Women's Series events after a long day at work -- they're looking to unwind and optimistic they'll find new inspiration for tomorrow.

Such was the case at our last event, Using Your Inner Resiliency to Overcome Turbulent Times, run by Neerja Arora Bhatia, founder of Stamford-based Rhythm of Success, author of Art of Resilience and life coach. Ms. Bhatia is known for creating life altering experiences by showing people how to see simplified and experimental approaches to problem solving. The participating women took with them new excitement and fresh motivation that a new idea brings.

The Exceptional Women's Series has multiple purposes: to showcase women who have done exceptional things, to allow women to network and to raise funds for Norwalk Hospital's Circle of Caring.

Circle of Caring was created to provide a "way to give back" for excellent medical and emotional care provided by Norwalk Hospital. It is designed to encourage former patients and their families to become more involved with the hospital and to express their gratitude for the care they or a loved one received. It was in the spirit of giving back that Amy Schafrann, mother of a former patient of Norwalk Hospital, pioneered the program. This support helps the hospital attract and retain outstanding medical staff and keep pace with the rapidly changing advances in medical technology. In recognition of the benefit Circle of Caring encourages, Ms. Bhatia made a contribution.

Thanks to all who attended and special thanks to Ms Bhatia. It was truly a memorable evening and I am looking forward to seeing more exceptional women at my next event!

Kathy McShane

Co-Chairwoman, Norwalk Hospital

Circle of Caring

Founder, Exceptional Women's Series