Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 16
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
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Princeton Community Best Served By Light-Rail Dinky to Nassau Street

Rodney Fisk
Birch Avenue

Why Force Another Charter School On the Princeton School System?

Dina Lewisohn Shaw
Overbrook Drive

Overflowing of Witherspoon Street’s Trash Containers An Embarrassment

Lou Valente
Hunter Road

Revealing Identities of Dinky Movers Ephraim Di Kahble and Joe Oznot

Herbert W. Hobler ‘44
Skillman

CASA of Mercer County Gala Honors Educational Testing Service, Others

Randall Kirkpatrick
(Director of Community Development, CASA of Mercer County)
Lori Morris
(Executive Director, CASA of Mercer County)

Annual D&R Canal Tow Path Run Celebrates a Gift To Be Protected

Linda Sipprelle
Nassau Street

Princeton Education Foundation Thanks Supporters of Its April 9 Spring Gala

Claire Percarpio and Julie Capozzoli
Co-Chairs, 2011 PEF Spring Gala


Princeton Community Best Served By Light-Rail Dinky to Nassau Street

To the Editor:

Senator Fullbright coined the phrase in a different context, but it sure resonates today: the arrogance of power. No judge or rational entity would support the University’s contorted and self-serving interpretation of its 1984 contract to buy the Dinky station, that it could then move the shuttle’s terminus at will -- no one except NJ Transit, that is. And that seems rather strange indeed.

Every position paper, policy statement and procedural guideline in NJ Transit’s record awards points to a project that best serves a commercial/population concentration and gives demerits to those that don’t. A proposal that saved riders over 30,000 miles in aggregate walking distance to the train each year would be praised; the potentially shorter Dinky achieves just the opposite. The commissioner of transportation and governor, who seem to be under the same power aura the university emits, are being duped into accepting blatantly double standards

I respect the stature of the “smallest of the world’s great universities” but after experiencing for the first time its exercise of power, I am disheartened. The community would gain so much more than the university would “lose” with a Dinky running into town. A good idea would have to achieve the speed of light to overcome the inertia of this immense University presence in Princeton, fixated on its aversion to a “railroad train” through its campus. The magnificent new arts campus, traversed by a super-safe, light-rail Dinky continuing on to Nassau Street. That’s what’s best for the entire Princeton community. If you agree, add your name to our soon-to-be-published list at savethedinky.org.

Rodney Fisk
Birch Avenue

Why Force Another Charter School On the Princeton School System?

To the Editor:

I attended the zoning board meeting last night in South Brunswick to determine if a new Mandarin immersion charter school should be granted a permit to operate in a formerly industrial facility. This Charter School will draw students from the Princeton, South Brunswick, and West Windsor/Plainsboro school districts. This school is a real threat to the parents and taxpayers of Princeton. It will drain more than $300,000 from our school budget just next year, and increasingly larger amounts as its number of grade levels and students increase. These dramatic reductions in revenue will not be offset by any cost savings, as the number of children who will leave will not be sufficient to eliminate any teachers or other expenses.

Despite its significant financial impact on the three school districts, the voters of those districts did not have an opportunity to approve this school because, right now, New Jersey taxpayers have no say in whether a new charter school is approved for their district, even though they must pay the bill for such schools. Princeton taxpayers also will have to pay to transport the children that will attend the charter school in South Brunswick, an amount that will increase as the school’s enrollment grows. And once the school gets our money, there is virtually no oversight as to how it will be spent. I am aghast by this Taxation without Representation.

The research is clear that charter schools do not outperform traditional public schools. We have an amazing school system in Princeton why do we need a sixth elementary school? I personally moved here for local schools, to walk my kids to school, to have a close knit community in which to raise my children versus one divided into special ethnic or other types of enclaves.

Right now, the zoning board is the only way we can have a voice. I urge all Princeton residents to take note of what is happening. If you care about the future of public education in Princeton, please mark your calendars for June 2 and come out for the next South Brunswick zoning board meeting for this school. It’s the only way you can have a voice and stop this exploitation of our public education system.

Dina Lewisohn Shaw
Overbrook Drive

Overflowing of Witherspoon Street’s Trash Containers An Embarrassment

To the Editor:

A few years ago the Borough eliminated a number of trash containers on Witherspoon Street because some of those who live in the area were using the containers to dispose of household trash. Now on Sunday afternoon the remaining trash containers are overflowing even though they’re emptied in the morning, and household trash is piled in a number of places waiting for a Tuesday pick-up. Is there another solution? Witherspoon Street is embarrassing.

It seems to be the time for more local uproar.

Lou Valente
Hunter Road

Revealing Identities of Dinky Movers Ephraim Di Kahble and Joe Oznot

To the Editor:

In the April 13 Town Topics there was a full-page ad listing some 320 names endorsing the University’s proposal to move the Dinky and the buildings of an arts neighborhood.

In examining the names, I was amused two people who never existed — Ephraim Di Kahble (not spelled Ephrahim) and Joe Oznot. Ephraim was created by my late brother-in-law Bud Redpath ‘39 and noted ‘39 class member Freddy Fox. They had Ephraim turn up on campus, running ads the day before the sold out Yale-Princeton football game saying he had four tickets on the 50 yard line. Princeton football fans arrived at the appointed place and hour to find no one there. A book could be written about the exams he took and the reunions he “attended” over the years. A great ‘39 inspiration.

Not to be outdone, the Class of 1968, created Joe Oznot, who also performed similar and different shams as a student. Indeed, “he” took tests and applied to and was accepted by Princeton as a student!

Herbert W. Hobler ‘44
Skillman

CASA of Mercer County Gala Honors Educational Testing Service, Others

To the Editor:

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Mercer County (CASA) commemorated a decade of helping abused and neglected children in Mercer County, with a 10th Anniversary Gala on April 2 at the Chauncey Conference Center. We were delighted to recognize Educational Testing Service (ETS) as our corporate honoree and Sen. Peter Inverso, CEO and President of Roma Bank, as our individual honoree. Just as important, we honored two exceptional volunteers: Lucy Halter, an advocate since “year one” in 2000, and Tracy Shehab, an advocate since 2004.

Educational Testing Service has generously contributed to CASA in volunteers, time, and financially, and is dedicated to improving the lives of children. Under the leadership of Sen. Inverso, Roma Bank, has championed the cause of helping children in difficult circumstances. We also extend our thanks to Ambassador for Roma Bank, Joe Piscopo, our skillful Master of Ceremonies. Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, a long-time CASA supporter, offered eloquent welcoming remarks.

CASA of Mercer County recruits, screens and trains volunteer advocates from the community to speak up in Family Court for the best interests of abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes. Currently there are over 400 children in the county’s foster care system and the organization’s 120 advocates served 211 of them. CASA’s volunteers are commonly referred to as the eyes and ears of Family Court and are committed to helping their ‘kids’ find safe and permanent homes. CASA of Mercer County officially merged with CASA of Burlington County on March 31; CASA Mercer will oversee both programs from its Ewing headquarters, while Burlington will serve as a satellite office from its current Mt. Holly offices.

A number of generous companies sponsored CASA’s Gala, which was ably co-chaired by Tim Losch, president of the First Washington division of The Bank, and Stuart Dember of Fox Rothschild, heading a spirited volunteer planning committee. Signature Sponsors were Educational Testing Service and Roma Bank; CSC, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group and Bloomberg Financial supported at the Protectors level; Diversityinc, Fox Rothschild, Glenmede Trust, NRG, PSE&G, RWJ Hamilton, and the Tuchman Foundation at the Advocates level; and Bracco Diagnostics, TD Bank and The Bank were CASA Kids sponsors. We also deeply thank our individual Gold Patron sponsors Jim and Martha Wickenden, Aldo and Debbi Roldan, and Ed and Tracy Shehab. There is no adequate way to thank our staff, board members, donors, and our incredibly committed advocates, but we thank them all.

Our event was a huge success, raising just over $100,000, which will be used to recruit, screen and train more community volunteers. Although our Spring Volunteer Training sessions finished on Wednesday, April 13, swearing in 19 new advocates, CASA is in a continual recruitment mode. Please contact CASA at (609) 434.0050 or visit www.casamercer.org for the next information sessions at our Ewing offices or for other ways that you can support CASA.

Randall Kirkpatrick
(Director of Community Development, CASA of Mercer County)
Lori Morris
(Executive Director, CASA of Mercer County)

Annual D&R Canal Tow Path Run Celebrates a Gift To Be Protected

To the Editor:

The chilly, gray weather on April 16 couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm or the camaraderie of a large group of Princeton University students and faculty, along with Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed and Lincoln Club of New Jersey members, as they ran/jogged in the 3rd annual 5K to benefit the Watershed Association.

Many thanks to the volunteers for the well-organized event which raised funds for the Watershed Association and promoted environmental awareness. Covering the scenic course along the D&R Canal Tow Path and back to Forbes College was a poignant reminder to all participants that Princeton’s environment is a gift to be treasured and protected.

Linda Sipprelle
Nassau Street

Princeton Education Foundation Thanks Supporters of Its April 9 Spring Gala

To the Editor:

On April 9, PEF held its Spring Gala, “Be True To Your School,” at the Nassau Club in Princeton. The event was a tremendous success--all tickets sold out! Thank you to the many people who joined together with PEF in its mission to support the Princeton Regional Schools. Special thanks to Around Eight, Princeton High School’s a cappella group, and comedian Adam Wade, for providing the entertainment.

We, the co-chairs, would like to sincerely thank the following Sponsors for their support: W. Bryce Thompson Foundation, Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc., PNC Bank, Nassau St. Office, The Bank of Princeton, Georgeanne Moss-The Gould Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Parker McCay, Bogy Construction, Inc., Molly Chrein & Andrew Hyman, Conner Strong, Mason, Griffin, & Pierson, PC, Princeton Shopping Center, Princeton Tour Company, Princeton University Store, Anne Skalka & Associates, American Legion Princeton POST No. 76, John Bolen,- Comfortable Dentistry, Suzanne & Joseph Carroll, Dennigan Cahill, PC, Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP, Fidelity Investments, Issues Management LLC, Mayflower Cleaners, Merrill Lynch-The DiMedio Group, Claire & Edward Percarpio, Shari & Warren Powell, Princeton Automobile Company (Audi, Land Rover, Volkswagen), Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., Dr. J. Craig Tyl & Dr. Michael Fogarty, D.D.S., Terra Momo Restaurant Group, and Wiss & Company.

In addition, we would like to thank the many community members who donated so generously to make our silent auction a spectacular success. We appreciate those who bought tickets and the benefactors who graciously supported this event. Thanks also to the PEF Board and the PEF Advisory Board for their help and guidance.

Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to those in our community and beyond who are committed to ensuring excellence in the Princeton public schools. As President John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”

Claire Percarpio and Julie Capozzoli
Co-Chairs, 2011 PEF Spring Gala

* To restate Town Topics policy: the opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our editors, writers, or staff. This also applies not only to letters from the public but to the content of press releases on controversial topics, whether the subject is a speech in support of the environment, or a meeting of the Coalition for Peace Action, or a talk on “the Global Struggle for Palestinian rights,” which was the subject of a book topic in the April 6 issue that has provoked a recent letter of disagreement. The University is a source of a range of national and international issues outside the context of local news. As previously stated here, we discourage letters on those subjects.

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