Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 7
 
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
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

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Persons With Disabilities Benefited From Enable, Inc.’s Holiday Gift Drive

SHARON J.B. COPELAND
Executive Director
Enable, Inc.
Roszel Road

Equitable Payments in Lieu of Taxes Should Be Negotiated With University

ANNE WALDRON NEUMANN
Alexander Street

Young Achievers’ Christmas Book Drive Supported Its Literacy for Life Program

Princeton Young Achievers Board Members
ROSLYN CHAO
Turner Court
JIM CRYAN
Springdale Road
JOANNE GERE
Mountain Avenue
ROSALIND HANSEN
Rosedale Road


Persons With Disabilities Benefited From Enable, Inc.’s Holiday Gift Drive

To the Editor:

The 2009 holidays were made brighter for persons with disabilities in our area, thanks to many individuals, groups, businesses, congregations, and schools who donated gifts and food. A larger number of persons than ever — 210 — requested assistance. On behalf of all who benefited, we at Enable, Inc. extend our thanks. Enable, a non-profit organization headquartered in the Princeton area, annually hosts the Holiday Gift Drive.

Although we cannot list all of the groups and many individuals involved, we want to mention and thank members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton, St. David’s Episcopal Church, and St. Bartholomew’s youth group; the employees of Pepper Hamilton, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the New Jersey Hospital Association, and PETCO of Monroe; and the staff and students at The Hun School. Management Consulting, Inc, of Princeton collected toiletries, hats, gloves, and coloring books for children. We also thank those who shopped for and delivered gifts, and those who made financial donations. Gifts were wrapped by Boy Scout Troop 5700 and several other volunteers.

We are grateful to this year’s Holiday Gift Drive chairperson, Audrey Wisotsky of West Windsor, for coordinating the drive. She has done a remarkable job of enlisting friends, neighbors, and colleagues in this effort through the years.

Our sincere appreciation and gratitude to all!

SHARON J.B. COPELAND
Executive Director
Enable, Inc.
Roszel Road

Equitable Payments in Lieu of Taxes Should Be Negotiated With University

To the Editor:

On January 19, the School Board became Princeton’s third elected body seeking to meet jointly with Princeton University’s President. Representatives from Borough, Township, and School Board should ask the University to abjure its property-tax-exempt privilege. Such an agreement would have saved Princetonians $28 million in 2006.

Higher and higher property taxes threaten our community’s cultural and economic diversity. But our diversity helps the University attract the diverse faculty and students it seeks. A diverse undergraduate body is possible because financial aid comes from dedicated streams within the University’s endowment. When these funds swelled with endowment, the University was able to replace all student loans by grants, a practice it continues despite recent downturns.

In fact, the University has substantial non-endowment income. We Princetonians seek University financial help, as do many undergraduates, from need, not because the University’s wealth exceeds our municipal resources almost beyond comparison.

Nevertheless, financial comparisons are instructive. In 2005, the University’s income from all sources exceeded expenditures by $885 million. And what is the University’s real property worth? Re-assessment will soon make this clearer. Princeton’s main campus alone covers some 600 acres. The book value of all University land, as reported to the IRS in 2005, was just $67 million; let’s say $100,000 an acre. A 0.97-acre lot at Library and Hodge is on sale for $1,950,000. Also in 2005, University construction-in-progress totaled $160 million, one-eighth the book value ($1.273 billion) of its then existing buildings. In contrast, Princeton Borough’s 2009 municipal budget (including “pass-alongs” like sewer fees) was just $25 million. Our per-capita cost of government is in New Jersey’s 51st percentile. But, due largely to the University’s presence, we’re in the 94th percentile for costs, and therefore taxes per homeowner.

Must $28 million stand between neighbors?

ANNE WALDRON NEUMANN
Alexander Street

Young Achievers’ Christmas Book Drive Supported Its Literacy for Life Program

To the Editor:

Well over a month past the holiday season, the generosity from the Princeton community has now been realized and is so greatly appreciated by the students of Princeton Young Achievers in this New Year. PYA is a unique after school program that provides academic support and literacy enrichment activities designed to engage underserved students more deeply in the love of reading and learning. The teachers of PYA have been receiving rave reviews from students about the books they have received and read from the Book Angel Tree Drive during the Christmas season.

In collaboration with PYA, Chicklet Books and Labyrinth Books each hosted a Book Angel Tree during the holidays, decorated with our students’ book requests. Nearly a hundred books were purchased and kindly donated by the Princeton area community to PYA students in time for the holidays. In the true spirit of giving, every request was granted, each book was wrapped, and all children received their book wish. The “gift of reading” is in support of our organization’s mission to foster a love of reading and the Literacy for Life curriculum. We match volunteer readers to students one on one, once a week for the academic year.

The book drive would also not have been possible without the additional support and hard work provided by Ace Hardware, Jordan’s Gifts, Princeton Township Affordable Housing, Princeton Community Housing, Princeton Human Services, Princeton University Office of the Alumni Association (thank you for wrapping!), the Greater Junior League of Princeton, AmeriCorps/Bonner Foundation, Randi Katzman, Nancy Rubenstein, and Pamela Elmi. This book drive is a heart-warming example of a community effort to meet the greatest unmet needs of our community, exemplifying the fact that children and literacy are priorities in Princeton. We hope everyone has an opportunity to come visit one of our community learning centers to see the promise that has resulted from your generosity. Thanks so much.

Princeton Young Achievers Board Members
ROSLYN CHAO
Turner Court
JIM CRYAN
Springdale Road
JOANNE GERE
Mountain Avenue
ROSALIND HANSEN
Rosedale Road

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