Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 7
 
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors



Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors


Advertise in Town Topics

Weather Forecast


Mailbox

Governor Is Called Upon to Replace Voting Machines With Paper Ballots

THE REV. ROBERT MOORE
Executive Director
Coalition for Peace Action
Witherspoon Street

Candidate Lambert Would Seek Consensus by Approaching Issues With an Open Mind

THOMAS E. WHITE
Mount Lucas Road

Municipal Land Use Law Should Bar Discriminatory Zoning in Ridge Area

R. WILLIAM POTTER
Potter and Dickson
Nassau Street

Environmental Sustainability Sought by Opponents of Ridge Development

DANIEL A. HARRIS
Dodds Lane

Health Department Is Congratulated on Health Needs Study by HiTOPS

LORI HENINGER, Ph.D.
Executive Director, HiTOPS

Solution to Unwanted Ad Circulars? Law Requiring Permission to Deliver

ROBERT J. LEVINE
Linwood Circle

Eden Family of Services Thanks All Who Contributed to Its Annual Gala

THOMAS P. McCOOL, Ed.D.
President & CEO
Eden Family of Services


Governor Is Called Upon to Replace Voting Machines With Paper Ballots

Editor’s Note: The following is a copy of an Open Letter to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine

Dear Gov. Corzine:

The difficulty which you recently experienced voting in the February 5 election should not be a surprise. New Jersey has privatized the election process, so that a private corporation sells, services, and programs the voting machines. When there is a problem, the election shuts down and waits for a service representative to come fix it. Government technicians or voting officials can do nothing.

The Sequoia Advantage machines, on which 18 of the 21 counties in New Jersey vote, were approved without inspection in 1987, and have not been certified since — despite a significant change in the software (which mandates a recertification). If New Jersey opts to buy add-on printers, which eventually will be certified, attaching this to an uncertified touch screen machine will result in not only broken touch-screen machines delaying the vote, but also jammed printers.

There is another way to achieve a voter verified paper ballot, in accordance with state law. Paper ballots counted by precinct-based optical scan machines and random audits (a mandate you recently signed into law) would be far cheaper and more secure. Even if the optical scanner breaks down, the election can continue, and the ballots can ultimately be counted by hand if need be.

If the optical scan has an open source code, the election achieves a level of transparency which lends integrity to the process. Choosing paper ballots rather than add-on printers to meet the mandate of the law would mean no more escalating costs of service contracts, far less storage space, and fewer machines, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars for New Jersey taxpayers.

We are seeing rejection of touch-screen machines, and a switch to paper ballots, going on around the country. Many states report making the transition in four to seven months. Twenty states switched to paper ballots plus optical scan, and studies have shown increased satisfaction of poll workers and voters.

Because the deadline of June 3, 2008 is quickly approaching, bold leadership is required on your part to implement such a change. Governors in New Mexico, Florida, and Maryland have all determined that voting in their states will only be done on paper ballots. You have the executive authority to do the same. Should you fail to act, voters on June 3 will again be faced with insecure, unreliable machines which cause vote-flipping (as evidenced on February 5), and whose breakdown causes a disruption in the voting process. There is convincing scientific evidence that the machines used in New Jersey are subject to breakdowns and tampering. The voters of New Jersey are losing confidence in the system, and losing patience with your intransigence. Please act now to strengthen the bedrock of our democracy: the right to vote.

THE REV. ROBERT MOORE
Executive Director
Coalition for Peace Action
Witherspoon Street

Candidate Lambert Would Seek Consensus by Approaching Issues With an Open Mind

To the Editor:

I heard some wonderful news over the weekend that I want to share with neighbors and the wider Princeton community. Former Township Committee member Casey Lambert has decided to run for the Committee position that will be contested in the general election come Fall.

As another round of acrimonious Committee meetings comes to a close, with a questionable revision to the zoning ordinance facing a challenge in court, I look forward to the opportunity to vote for someone who has a track record of consensus-building. Having worked with Ms. Lambert on a Township commission during her earlier incumbency, I know how hard she works on issues that affect us all. She approaches each issue with an open mind, and does her homework, and listens to opinions before she reaches a conclusion. What a breath of fresh air she will be on a Committee that all too often goes through the motions of listening to public input, but doesn’t bother to hear. She listens to the opinions of others, and considers what they say. This consensus-based approach is in short supply in the makeup of the current Committee.

Ms. Lambert offers a wealth of talent to go along with her hard work; she created and ran a successful small business, and the Township taxpayers can count on her bringing the strategies learned in that venue to control spending and manage the tax base. She thinks creatively, which will be a significant benefit in the near term when we struggle not only with senior housing, but with affordable housing issues, storm water and flood controls, sustainability initiatives, relations with our neighbors in the Borough, and a host of other issues.

I will find it a true and rare pleasure to be able to vote for a candidate rather than against one, yet again.

THOMAS E. WHITE
Mount Lucas Road

Municipal Land Use Law Should Bar Discriminatory Zoning in Ridge Area

To the Editor:

While it is not easy to pick the most legally vulnerable aspects of the recent Township Committee ordinance revising the “senior only” housing planned for the Hillier hilltop development on the ecologically fragile Princeton ridge, I believe that dubious honor goes to the lengthy “Princeton preference” clause. As reported in Town Topics, it requires that a “marketing preference” to buy Hillier condo units must go to the following favored classes of current or former local Princetonians: current Borough and Township residents; parents and children of current residents; individuals who were Princeton residents within the past five years; current, active emergency squad volunteers of the Princeton Fire Department and the First Aid & Rescue Squad; and current employees of the Borough and Township, Princeton Public Library, Princeton Regional Board of Education, or employees of any of the joint municipal agencies.

Among my first cases as an attorney in the Department of the Public Advocate in the 1970s was to overturn “residents only” laws on access to “Jersey shore” beaches. In a series of seminal cases, the New Jersey Supreme Court struck down these ordinances, citing both the lack of any statutory basis and the “public trust doctrine” which assures equality of access for all New Jerseyans regardless of residence. In the same spirit of equality of access, the Mount Laurel cases prohibit municipal zoning that excludes those too poor to move into a community. The Municipal Land Use Law, the statutory source of all zoning, has been amended dozens of times over the past 30 years, but never to authorize what Princeton has done: enact a “Princetonians only” zoning district replete with examples of raw favoritism for certain local beneficiaries.

R. WILLIAM POTTER
Potter and Dickson
Nassau Street

Environmental Sustainability Sought by Opponents of Ridge Development

To the Editor:

We want to thank everyone who has contributed so generously to the extraordinary Campaign to Save Princeton Ridge. You have worked tirelessly for the past several months—donating your time, efforts, and resources for strategies to create a sustainable Princeton, gathering signatures on our petition, doing all the necessary work required for a coordinated effort. We thank the Princeton community for your attentive support as we try to save a portion of the extended Princeton Ridge. We should all take modest pride in our eagerness to teach and learn about the economically invisible but huge value (to the community) of sensible land management.

Although Township Committee voted unanimously to enact what we feel is an illegal and flawed ordinance amendment to permit 55-and-over housing on a portion of Bunn Drive, the signatures on the petition to jettison the amendment and down-zone the Ridge have continued to mount. As of February 1, the number of signers from Princeton alone was 1490 (2099 overall)—three-quarters of the votes needed to elect someone to Township Committee: no mean achievement. We thank everyone for this great outpouring of support.

Do not be disheartened by the vote: it was but one moment in an ongoing tussle. The Campaign, as announced at the Township Committee meeting on January 28, will not surrender its intent to fight this dangerous ordinance, which we feel peremptorily contravenes all the Princeton Master Plans of half a century in their explicit aim to protect the Ridge and other environmentally fragile areas. None among us opposes legitimate senior housing; all of us oppose high-density building on any site environmentally unsuited to development. Documents submitted for the public record may be found at www.saveprincetonridge.com (“Princeton Ridge Facts”), including the Memorandum of Law drawn up by our attorney.

We also thank our supporters in advance for voicing their concerns about the site plans (from Robert Hillier or any developer) that the Regional Planning Board might review. Our goals in that review will be to stipulate a LEED Silver certification for the construction, a deed restriction on not less than 8.5 “undisturbed” acres (so that no developer can ever destroy that remaining forest), and protections for the fragile wetland parcel on the south side of Bunn Drive.

The Campaign will continue to work to achieve reasonable and environmentally sustainable land-use throughout the Ridge area. We hope our supporters will join us again as we enlarge our numbers to make Sustainable Princeton not a phrase to be trashed but a genuine reality.

DANIEL A. HARRIS
Dodds Lane

Health Department Is Congratulated on Health Needs Study by HiTOPS

To the Editor:

Regarding your article, “UMDNJ Report Identifies Health Needs in Preparation for Town-Wide Survey” (Town Topics, January 30), I would like to congratulate the Princeton Regional Health Department for its Community Health Needs Assessment Key Informant Study, and your newspaper for reporting on it. The survey provided an important picture of health care in the Borough and Township.

I would like to note that in both the report and the article, the suggestion was made to establish a teen health center in the area. Fortunately for Princeton area youth and parents, the Borough and the Township have HiTOPS, the only free-standing teen health center in the state of New Jersey. HiTOPS provides school physicals, smoking cessation intervention, stress management, and reproductive health and nutritional counseling. Last year more than 3600 young people aged 13 to 27 walked into the HiTOPS Health Center. We would very much like to provide mental health services, but our budget prohibits us; when substance abuse issues arise with our patients, we refer to a wonderful community resource, Corner House. HiTOPS also has nutrition and fitness programs in conjunction with the Princeton Public Library.

Again, congratulations to the Health Department for this valuable piece of work.

LORI HENINGER, Ph.D.
Executive Director, HiTOPS

Solution to Unwanted Ad Circulars? Law Requiring Permission to Deliver

To the Editor:

Most mornings as I go out to pick up my morning paper I am struck by something else on my driveway generally wrapped in colored plastic. It is of course a bundle of newspaper ads from either one of the local papers or someone else. A walk around my neighborhood or a drive along many Township streets shows these same plastic wrapped missives, sometimes two or three together unpicked up, littering other driveways.

I am all for free speech but this is not speech, it is advertising. Since I would not want to stop legitimate companies from driveway paper deliveries I would like to suggest a town ordinance which requires all delivery companies to get the permission of a resident to deliver papers to their driveway. This is generally known as “opt-in” and works quite well on the internet. Anyone who want to receive these ads would then be able to continue to do so.

We already have more paper than we need for recycling so this would relieve that problem somewhat and improve the aesthetics of our driveways.

ROBERT J. LEVINE
Linwood Circle

Eden Family of Services Thanks All Who Contributed to Its Annual Gala

To the Editor:

On January 19 The Eden Family of Services celebrated its 20th annual Eden Dreams gala, Dreams of La Masquerade, at the Hyatt Regency Princeton. I would like to thank our very generous community for its continued support in making Eden Dreams our most successful fund-raiser. To date, this event has raised more than $2.6 million for children and adults with autism.

I want to thank our 23 individual and corporate sponsors as well as our dedicated Eden Dreams steering committee, led by co-chairs Stacy Mattia and Janet Quartarone. We must also recognize the outstanding Hyatt Regency Princeton staff for their excellent service; the staff of Jennifer Angelo Design, who provided the beautiful décor; Howard Design Group and Ancraft Press for donating the design and printing of all printed materials; and everyone else who helped to bring our event to life. Also, special thanks go to the many individuals and businesses that generously donated silent auction prizes.

Finally, please know how much we appreciate the individual donations of so many of our friends and neighbors who attended and supported Dreams of La Masquerade. Their generosity is making it possible for Eden to realize its dream, of individuals with autism learning, growing, working and leading productive lives in their communities.

THOMAS P. McCOOL, Ed.D.
President & CEO
Eden Family of Services

For information on how to submit Letters to the Editor, click here.

Return to Top | Go to Obituaries


Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton — McCaffrey’s, Cox’s, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszer’s (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell — Village Express; Rocky Hill — Wawa (Route 518); Pennington — Pennington Market.
Copyright© Town Topics®, Inc. 2011.