Defenders of Undocumented Immigrants Hear From Those With Other Viewpoints
To the Editor:
It is a pleasure to write this note to you concerning your front page article "A New Chapter for Town Topics" (Town Topics, November 24).
This is a brief history of the property at 305-307 Witherspoon Street that Town Topics will soon occupy. It was originally the home of the Robert W. Sinkler family, constructed by him in 1949. As a returning Negro World War II veteran, owner of the land, and graduate of Rutgers University in economics, he was unable to obtain a mortgage from a bank. He decided to build the house even though he had never constructed anything in his life. His wife, Phyllis, drew the architectural design on a piece of cardboard for the first floor. After completing it, she told Robert to "go up another floor," to his dismay. Since my father was then a physical therapist and trainer for the Princeton University football, basketball, and hockey teams, he requested that the 1949-50 football team aid in the completion of the roof. He gave them a case of beer for their trouble.
As his daughter, I just wish to tell you how pleased Daddy would be to have the house occupied by Town Topics. He ran with Dan Coyle as councilman during Mr. Coyle's tenure at the paper.
I have taught in the schools for more than 30 years, and am now teaching the third grade at Community Park School. It would be wonderful to have the opportunity to observe the great unfolding of this new building.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
To the Editor:
The statute that gives the New Jersey Fish and Game Council its authority should be invalidated because it doesn't provide for a system of checks and balances.
The current bear hunt debate is about our state government making public policy decisions based on well-researched facts rather than the whims of special interest groups. A majority of New Jersey residents are hoping that the New Jersey Supreme Court will support Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley Campbell's decision to withhold black bear hunting permits.
Fish and Game Council members, all hunters and farmers, aren't elected by the public; and public review of the Council's plans is a formality where requests for reversal of killing agendas are perfunctorily denied.
While the Supreme Court is deciding this case, it should also expose wildlife killing as the moral issue it has become. Slaughtering wildlife by shooting them down is hardly a badge of honor to be worn by hunters, whose idea of being sportsmen is morally flawed.
BETH R. EVANS
To the Editor:
On November 11, the Princeton Health Care Task Force held a public meeting at the Township Municipal Complex to discuss the possible expansion of the hospital into the surrounding neighborhood. The neighborhood was characterized by Carlos Rodrigues, a member of the Task Force, as "unsightly" and in need of renewal. Many of us who live in this neighborhood were insulted. We recall the efforts of the 1950s and 1960s when "urban renewal" were code words for the removal of communities of color and modest means. Contrary to Mr. Rodrigues' statement, we are a vibrant neighborhood that celebrates its diversity. Along Witherspoon Street are Princeton University, the library, the Presbyterian and AME churches, the Arts Council, Community Park School, and the Township Municipal Complex. Interspersed are residences and small neighborhood businesses. Together they represent the values of knowledge, justice, democracy, spirit, and community. Witherspoon Street is recognized as our town's "spine" because it represents the core values of the town. We seek to preserve and strengthen those values and connections.
The fact that the hospital, which currently has 500,000 square feet, projects a need for an additional 250,000 square feet to modernize and potentially another 250,000 square feet for future expansion, would certainly mean increased traffic and the destruction of the neighborhood. During the November 11 meeting neighborhood members made it very clear this was unacceptable and indicated, given the need for the hospital to expand, that another site would be appropriate. At the conclusion of the meeting, the chair of the Task Force therefore indicated that the next public meeting would focus on alternative uses for the hospital site.
On November 12, the Princeton Health Care Task Force sent a letter to the neighbors of the hospital asking if the hospital should remain or relocate. This letter, sent out subsequent to the public meeting where neighbors clearly voiced their opinions against expansion on the current site, appears to indicate that the Task Force does not wish to represent the views of those who would be most affected by the expansion. We expect our voice to be heard and respected. We expect our neighborhood to be preserved and strengthened. We expect the Task Force and our elected officials to uphold Princeton's core values.
To the Editor:
Reading many of the recent letters in Town Topics, you would think that illegal immigration is not a problem in the U.S. It is a huge problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. In recent years, 34 million immigrants have come to the U.S., 24 million legally and 10 million illegally, the greatest influx of immigration in 80 years.
The problem needs to be treated not with compassion, but with dispatch, to get the undocumented and illegal immigrants fast tracked through INS, to deport those not eligible, and to approve those who qualify under U.S. immigration laws. Illegal immigrants should not have any rights under the U.S. Constitution because they are here illegally. American immigrants historically have, in the overwhelming majority of cases, come here fully documented and as legal immigrants. I don't know who started the idea that illegals can come here and get a free ride and start living the American dream, when many millions of other immigrants bothered to come here legally.
We will welcome them with open arms when they are fully documented and legal. Otherwise, they really don't belong here. Robust border security and expeditious documentation of legal immigrants and deportation of illegal immigrants should be a top priority in the U.S. It is also a national security concern, as any ne'er-do-well can cross our porous borders, leaving us all exposed.
The misplaced hue and cry over the recent rousting of nine illegal aliens living in the Borough reveals the double standard that exists when it comes to crime and punishment in Princeton. There has been a flurry of anguished letters to the editor in local papers, a demonstration uptown, and much political hand-wringing over the legitimate raid. Apparently, a good way to elicit sympathy and support in Princeton is to violate federal laws.
In contrast, where was the public outcry over the mistreatment received by roughly the same number of victims, all of whom are legal, law-abiding citizens, who did nothing more than exercise their constitutionally protected right to protest the Township's barbaric deer extermination program, now in its fifth year? These people have been persecuted and harassed while driving, at home, and at work by Township Police, and many were issued trumped-up summonses to silence their dissent. Some have even had to fight spurious charges in court, in what were ridiculously protracted and costly sham trials.
And where was the clamor for an investigation when the misconduct of Mayor Phyllis Marchand and Chief Anthony Gaylord led to a federal civil rights action against the Township?
No doubt, if these citizens had all been undocumented immigrants who flaunted the law, they would have received far better treatment from police, and the community would have rallied behind them.
To the Editor:
Misting and later raining, this past Thanksgiving did not have an auspicious beginning, but our inside and outside guests made it unforgettable.
Outside, the first to join us were Deer No. 124 and her triplets, who were nibbling away at some native plants in our backyard, their radio collars broadcasting their location to the graduate students who are tracking them. Next, five or six Canada geese heaved themselves up out of Lake Carnegie to sit on our dock.
Inside, friends and family were arriving. Our oldest son was coming in from Europe for both Thanksgiving and his Princeton High School 20th reunion; his sister and her family would pick him up at Newark. We planned to serve dinner no later than 4 p.m., as we expected him to collapse around 6 p.m. At precisely 4 p.m., our final guests dropped in an American bald eagle parked herself on the branch of a tree by the water's edge; a minute later her mate joined the party. There they stayed for the next two hours, through the hors d'oeuvres, entrée and dessert. We were speechless, as you can imagine!
To the Editor:
The Princeton Hub, a non-profit organization established 25 years ago by diverse Princeton faith groups as a community service, would like to thank The Princeton Elks for their charitable contribution to the Hub's Thanksgiving celebration this past Saturday. Their generous donation, including, turkey, gravy, and stuffing, allowed approximately 20 members to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner this year. The three-hour feast was a blessing to the Hub community. We are greatly appreciative of this kind contribution from The Princeton Elks.
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