Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 49
 
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
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Witherspoon Affordable Housing Units Are Physically Apart From Dry Cleaner

ELLEN FOOS
Griggs Drive

Curbside Leaf Collection Is Defended as a Recycling, Composting Program

CHRIS MARIO
Greenhouse Drive

HomeFront Thanks Volunteers, Donors After Serving 4,000 at Thanksgiving

CONNIE MERCER
Executive Director
HomeFront
Lawrenceville

HiTOPS Thanks Health Department for Flu Vaccine Distribution Efforts

ELIZABETH M. CASPARIAN, Ph.D.
Executive Director, HiTOPS
Wiggins Street

Historical Society Thanks Community for Its Three Successful Fall Events

JOHN H. DUMONT
President, Board of Trustees
ERIN DOUGHERTY
Executive Director
Historical Society of Princeton

Recipient of Community Spirit Award Salutes Co-winner, Thanks Colleagues

WALTER BLISS
Moore Street


Witherspoon Affordable Housing Units Are Physically Apart From Dry Cleaner

To the Editor:

The front page article describing Robert Hillier’s plans to develop his Witherspoon Street property (Town Topics, November 25) was well and good until it skimmed over the likely prospect of two affordable housing units being built above Jay’s Dry Cleaners.

I doubt anyone would actively seek to live above a dry cleaner, given the history of cancer and neurological problems associated with the business. If the cleaning is done off-premises or in a green fashion, please give readers this information. Otherwise it is assumed that people in affordable units deserve substandard housing.

ELLEN FOOS
Griggs Drive

Editor’s Note: No dry cleaning is done on site at Jay’s Dry Cleaners. The facility is strictly a pick up and drop off site. According to the property owner, there is a complete physical separation between Jay’s Cleaners and the apartments above for fire protection purposes, with the heating and air conditioning systems independent of each other.

Curbside Leaf Collection Is Defended as a Recycling, Composting Program

To the Editor:

According to the Princeton Environmental Commission, your autumn leaves are destroying the planet. Solution? End curbside leaf collection in the Princetons, or make it really, really difficult.

You shall compost your own leaves in on your own property, they command, and besides, collecting leaves costs lots of money. So if you have nowhere to put a compost pile or just don’t want one, be ready to shove those leaves into about 10,000 little bags or hire a landscaper to haul them away. It’s “for the planet,” says the commission, so it must be better than what we’re doing now, right?

Well guess what: when your leaves are collected at the curb, they are not burned or sent to landfills or demonically transformed into nuclear waste. They go to the Joseph Maher Ecological Facility on Princeton Pike in Lawrenceville, where they are shredded and composted. Curbside leaf collection is a recycling and composting program.

Of course, there are other options for us if the Princetons quit curbside leaf collection, one of the few services that benefits pretty much every homeowner and keeps our yards tidy. You could buy a goat to eat the leaves — and all your other plants, too, of course, further reducing your yard waste. You could cut down all your trees. No trees, no leaves! Or you could move to a town where municipal officials continue to recognize that in a primarily suburban setting like ours, collection of yard waste is a basic and necessary service that benefits everyone and keeps our towns beautiful.

CHRIS MARIO
Greenhouse Drive

HomeFront Thanks Volunteers, Donors After Serving 4,000 at Thanksgiving

To the Editor:

In 2009, HomeFront received 13,928 pleas for help from families facing homelessness, hunger, and all the other economic, social, and personal problems that go with poverty. This represents a 34 percent increase over 2008.

The State of New Jersey is, in a way, at the center of the current crisis in the economy. Unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness, and hunger are at record levels, and it is particularly painful during Thanksgiving, a time for families to celebrate the good fortune of their lives. There are so many hardworking American families with no table, no home, and no festive dinner.

I want to take this opportunity to give thanks to and for all of the dedicated staff, volunteers, and donors who have made it possible for HomeFront to reach out to 4,000 parents and children and provide them with a holiday meal — and ongoing support through the holiday season and beyond. I want to thank the other organizations collaborating with us to fulfill this important mission.

I know that many of our supporters have been impacted by the current crisis. That they would still give time and money to help their fellow citizens through these hard times tells me that there is still something to give thanks for as a member of this community, a resident of this state, and a citizen of this country. There are still Americans who care about and care for their neighbors, a concept at the core of all major religions and fundamental to our traditions.

Let me give my thanks to all of you for all of this.

CONNIE MERCER
Executive Director
HomeFront
Lawrenceville

HiTOPS Thanks Health Department for Flu Vaccine Distribution Efforts

To the Editor:

In response to Princeton Regional School Superintendent Judith Wilson’s letter to Town Topics, (November 25), I could not agree more that David Henry and the Princeton Health Department have done an excellent job getting the H1N1 vaccine to the populations that need it in our community. Judy Wilson also deserves recognition for coordinating efforts within the school district to provide space for the larger public clinics and for notifying the community about all the available vaccine clinics, including the ones we held at the J. Seward Johnson Center for Adolescent Health at HiTOPS.

I also want to thank HiTOPS Health Center Director Sandra Zordan Friedman for her extraordinary efforts in coordinating and organizing the HiTOPS clinical staff and other nurses within the community to provide personnel for both the public flu vaccine clinics and our in-house HiTOPS flu clinics.

All members of the HiTOPS staff participated in the effort to get young people vaccinated, by responding to phone calls, managing crowds during our clinics, clearing our parking lot to make our clinic accessible, and administering hundreds of vaccinations. Since HiTOPS operates with a public health model for serving adolescents, it only made sense to meet the challenge by offering to participate, and we know it was the right thing to do. I am proud to work for a health care organization that recognizes a public health need and steps up to address it, and thankful as a parent who was able to easily have my three teenaged children vaccinated.

ELIZABETH M. CASPARIAN, Ph.D.
Executive Director, HiTOPS
Wiggins Street

Historical Society Thanks Community for Its Three Successful Fall Events

To the Editor:

It has been quite a fall season for the Historical Society of Princeton. We presented three enormously successful events, all of which were made possible by generous corporate support and a spirit of dedicated volunteerism in our community.

During the last weekend of September, the 5th Annual Princeton Fall Antiques Show saw over 1,000 visitors during the three-day event at the Princeton Airport, which would not have been possible without the hard work of our wonderful committee and sponsors. This year our steering committee was led by Kary Clancy, Jody Erdman, Midge Fleming, Jane Gore, Milly King, Jennifer McGuirk, Dorothy Plohn and Anita Trullinger. Our corporate sponsors included Baxter Construction, Masterminds Advertising, Community Liquors/Bovenizer Family, Honda of Princeton, Jack Morton Exhibits, Glenmede, Henderson Sotheby’s Realty, PNC Bank & PNC Wealth Management, Rago Arts and Auction Center, The Mercadien Group, US Trust/BOA, Wilmington Trust, Dumont & Watson Attorneys, Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects, Lear & Pannepacker, Mastergraphx, Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, Sun National Bank, Antiques and Fine Art Magazine, Design NJ Magazine, Bucks Magazine, Packet Publications, and Princeton Magazine.

We also offer our heartfelt thanks to the eight Princeton homeowners who graciously opened their doors for House Tour 2009 on November 7. Their gift to HSP is immeasurable. This year’s hardworking committee and 100 volunteer docents were led for the second year by our brilliant chair, Merlene Tucker. N.T. Callaway was this year’s lead sponsor, along with support from US Trust/Bank of America, Knight Architects, Lasley Brahaney Architecture & Construction, Maximillian Hayden Architect, Viburnum Flowers & Design, Mediterra, Christopher B. Mario, SavATree, Van Note-Harvey Associates, Woodwinds Associates, Julius Gross Decorators, McDonald Construction, Robin McCarthy Froehlich, Candice Walsh, and Merlene Tucker.

On November 30 we celebrated at the Updike Farmstead, our future education center, with a ceremonial groundbreaking event that included more than 100 of our friends and supporters, including Representative Rush Holt, Princeton Mayors Miller and Trotman, and a group of fourth graders from Community Park School.

We are honored to have been able to bring these exciting events to Princeton and are grateful to the entire Princeton community for all the ways in which they embraced them.

JOHN H. DUMONT
President, Board of Trustees
ERIN DOUGHERTY
Executive Director
Historical Society of Princeton

Recipient of Community Spirit Award Salutes Co-winner, Thanks Colleagues

To the Editor:

I am honored to be one of the recipients of the Princeton Human Services Commission’s Community Spirit Award for 2009. This award was referred to exuberantly at a recent School Board meeting as the “humanitarian of the year award.”

Please note that the other 2009 recipient of this award is Polly Burlingham, in recognition of her contributions as a volunteer in the greening of Princeton. She is responsible for the plantings in Barbara Sigmund Park and the Library Plaza, and for starting the hanging baskets in downtown Princeton. She is also the chair of the Princeton Borough Shade Tree Commission and vice president of the Princeton Parks Alliance.

Equally fervent thanks are owed to the innumerable volunteers whose efforts define the Princeton Community, beginning with the Human Services Commission and my colleagues on the School Board. Thank you all.

WALTER BLISS
Moore Street

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