Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 7
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
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PHS Teacher and Teachers Union, PPL Make Crunch Time a Success

Jan Johnson
Director of Youth Services, Princeton Public Library

Joyce Turner
Coordinator of Springboard at the Princeton Public Library

Addressed to Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman

Norman Denard
Jefferson Road

University Graduated An Entire Class Waiting for Decision On Arts Center

David W. Blair
Princeton-Kingston Road

The Pool and The Princeton Community: An Open Letter to Borough Council

Barbara Fox
Wilma Solomon
Fern and Larry Spruill
Marietta Taylor
Ann Yasuhara

Protesting Bill Diverting Tax Dollars To Private and Religious Schools

Bonnie Schultz
Longview Drive

Art Museum’s “Nobody’s Property” Spurs Discussion of Crucial Topics

Micaela de Lignerolles, Ebet Dudley,
Hella McVay, Marianne Famn,
John Frederick, Anne Reeves,
Samia Saigh, Letitia Ufford,
Hope Cobb, Noelle Partridge
Princeton Middle East Society

A Word of Thanks to Teachers and Parents For Supporting Our Most Valuable Resource

Lucylle Walter
Ewing Mercer County Freeholder

Making Heather Lane a Short Cut Is Inconsiderate and Dangerous

Len Charlap
140 Heather Lane

Princeton Community Commended For Supporting Eden Dreams Galae

Thomas P. McCool
President & CEO, Eden Autism Services


PHS Teacher and Teachers Union, PPL Make Crunch Time a Success

To the Editor:

We would like to thank all who helped to make a success of Crunch Time, the special period that the Princeton Public Library sets aside for the Princeton High School students to do some last minute cramming before mid-year and final exams. We thank the library staff for creating the posters, and supplying the staff that help to make the evenings run smoothly. We further thank the Princeton Regional Education Association (the Teacher’s Union) for supplying the pizza and beverages and, more especially, we thank the 15 PHS teachers who volunteered their time and helped the over 100 students study for their exams!

Jan Johnson
Director of Youth Services, Princeton Public Library

Joyce Turner
Coordinator of Springboard at the Princeton Public Library

Editor’s note: Edited according to mailbox policy, the following letter was addressed to Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman.

To the Editor:

I’m not sure the following plan has been considered among the outpouring of opinions about the University’s plans for the new art and culture area. It seems to me that most of the resistance has been based on the necessity of moving the Dinky station. True, it will be further from our c.b.d. (central business district) but we have lost sight of the University’s transit strengths. I would think that if University shuttle buses could be coordinated to the Dinky’s arrivals and departures, train riders would be able to ride to and from the center of town at no charge. Some shuttle bus routes now pass both Palmer Square and the train station, other routes could perhaps add such stops, and the B bus could run longer hours (perhaps with a smaller vehicle). This may seem very expensive, but considering the possible growth of the shuttle bus system, it may not be a major increase. The scale of the new art and culture center will certainly be a major financial plus for both the University and our town.

I would be grateful if this suggestion is fully explored by all parties to the decision.

Norman Denard
Jefferson Road

University Graduated An Entire Class Waiting for Decision On Arts Center

To the Editor:

It is quite understandable that the University finally threw down the gauntlet on their proposal for a new arts center. They have been able to admit and graduate an entire class in the time the governing bodies have taken to come up with a suggestion for more discussions. It was time for a decision, and the University has apparently made one, by necessity, on its own.

David W. Blair
Princeton-Kingston Road

The Pool and The Princeton Community: An Open Letter to Borough Council

To the Editor:

In considering your vote on whether or not to keep the community pool continuously up and running and available for the present and long term, please give heavy weight to its role as a place that serves three important interrelated community functions.

• It is a place where those in that fairly densely populated neighborhood can go easily.

• It is a place where those who do not have their own pools or affordable access to a private pool can go.

• It is a place where all segments of our community are welcome and comfortable and thus is a place for us to enjoy together — to get to know each other at least a little more than we otherwise do.

There are very few places in Princeton where we can all gather together comfortably. The Princeton Public Library, the most vibrant and beloved place in our town, is a notable exception; the community pool is another. 

At the 2007 Not In Our Town youth forum, “Through Our Eyes,” the high school students spoke repeatedly about Princeton’s fractured communities and how difficult it is, other than in a school, for young people to get together in natural, comfortable settings. The closing of the community pool would be a great loss to our town.

Not In Our Town is an organization that cares about the wellbeing of the community, especially regarding matters pertaining to privilege and race. Thus we support policies that promote and enhance comfortable participation by all members of our community. Real community occurs when each of us is happy to support, in whatever ways we can, those places and events where all of us can be together and get to know each other.

We thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Barbara Fox
Wilma Solomon
Fern and Larry Spruill
Marietta Taylor
Ann Yasuhara

Protesting Bill Diverting Tax Dollars To Private and Religious Schools

To The Editor

I am writing to protest over A2810/S1872 legislation. If this bill passes, it will decimate New Jersey public schools, diverting more than $1 billion tax dollars to private and religious schools at a time when the public schools are struggling after Governor Christie’s massive cuts. This bill is a thinly-veiled attempt to privatize our public school system. The voucher program is also not based on need, providing vouchers regardless of income and essentially paying for private school with public money. It opens the door to cronyism and discrimination, with no requirement for these schools to accept any student who applies.

Keep democracy and the “public” in our public education by protesting this bill. Go to www.saveourschools.org for more information.

Bonnie Schultz
Longview Drive

Art Museum’s “Nobody’s Property” Spurs Discussion of Crucial Topics

To The Editor

We applaud the acclaimed current exhibit, “Nobody’s Property: Art, Land, Space 2000-2010,” showcasing various artists’ perspectives on political borders and their histories. Princeton is fortunate to have a University Museum director, James Steward, with the courage and concern to mount such a provocative and controversial exhibition. We hope the community will attend it before it closes February 20, and that it spurs sorely needed discussion on these crucial topics.

Micaela de Lignerolles, Ebet Dudley,
Hella McVay, Marianne Famn,
John Frederick, Anne Reeves,
Samia Saigh, Letitia Ufford,
Hope Cobb, Noelle Partridge
Princeton Middle East Society

A Word of Thanks to Teachers and Parents For Supporting Our Most Valuable Resource

To The Editor

A few weeks ago I attended a play at my daughters’ school. Looking around the room, I felt a great sense of admiration for the parents present who were taking time out of their busy schedules to come out and show their support for the students as well as the faculty. Time goes by too fast, and before we know it, our children are grown. It is so important to recognize their many talents and skills. It helps help them to be more confident, try new activities, and can unlock doors they might not have even recognized existed. As a parent, and a full time teacher, I strongly believe in taking an active role in my children’s education and extra curricular activities. By supporting my children’s talents in the arts, sports, and academics it helps me to stay in touch with their lives, and to be knowledgeable about those individuals who influence their education. To all the teachers and parents who come out in all types of weather to see their children participate in competitions, plays and more, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for taking such an interest in our most valuable resource, our kids.

Lucylle Walter
Ewing Mercer County Freeholder

Making Heather Lane a Short Cut Is Inconsiderate and Dangerous

To The Editor

I moved to Heather Lane about 25 years ago. During this entire period we have had problems with commuters cutting through Heather Lane to avoid the intersection of Cherry Valley Road and the Great Road. The problem exists both in the morning and the evening, but it is more severe in the morning because of the pickup of children by school buses. For ten years I stood out with my children at 7 a.m. to wait for the bus. Three times I pulled them out of the path of cars going past the stopped bus, one time receiving a glancing blow from a side mirror.

Here is a brief history of what we tried to do. We asked that the road be closed at the Cherry Valley end. We were refused. We then asked that Heather Lane be marked as “no through traffic.” We were refused. We then presented a petition signed by people from all the houses on Heather Lane asking that right hand turns be forbidden from Cherry Valley Road from 6 to 9 a.m. This was approved, and a sign was posted, but after it was repeatedly vandalized, the police department said this was more trouble than it was worth, and the Township board voted to remove the sign and “take the matter under advisement.” This was about ten years ago.

Now I want to make it clear that it is not presently illegal to cut through Heather Lane; it is a public road. It is simply inconsiderate, dangerous, and stupid. It is inconsiderate because Heather Lane is a residential street. When Phyllis Marchand was mayor, she once said to me, “There is no reason for anyone to drive on Heather Lane unless they live there or have business with someone who does.”

It is dangerous because it has many curves and a slight hill as well as slopes at the ends. At least three cats have been killed. I have a small patch of lawn at the street, and several times it has been torn up by cars sliding down the hill across it. I walk my dog between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m. I constantly have to be alert to pull him back when a car comes racing through.

It is stupid because it saves very little time. When there is less snow I frequently go to Hobler Park to walk my dog, and thus I cross the dreaded intersection. The traffic light there is superb. I have never waited for more than three or four minutes. When one cuts through Heather Lane, one can get caught behind a school bus or be forced to slow for a dog walker, and one has to make an unprotected turn at the end. I am sure that the average time saved by cutting through is under two minutes.

I urge those who cut through to be considerate, safe, and sensible and use caution through the intersection.

Len Charlap
140 Heather Lane

Princeton Community Commended For Supporting Eden Dreams Galae

To The Editor

On January 15 Eden Autism Services celebrated its 23rd Annual Eden Dreams gala, “Dreams of Petrovskaya,” at the Hyatt Regency Princeton. I would like to thank the Dreams committee, led by Peter Franco and Mark Berkowsky, and the many generous individuals, corporate sponsors, and in-kind donors who contributed toward this outstanding event which raised more than $100,000. Considering these economic times, this is quite a feat. I commend the greater Princeton community for its continued support in helping us to improve the lives of individuals with autism. The funds raised at this event will help Eden to continue providing the highest quality of services and support opportunities for students and adults to be contributing members of our community. Fundraising is especially critical to Eden’s adult programs where government funding falls short of the true cost of operations. Events like Eden Dreams allow us to sustain our first-rate residential and employment programs and celebrate the essential support of Eden’s friends and families. Again, thanks to all those who help keep Eden’s dream alive by making it possible for children and adults with autism to learn, grow, work and lead productive lives.

Thomas P. McCool
President & CEO, Eden Autism Services

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