Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 8
 
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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New Hillier Proposal for Bunn Drive Satisfies Environmentalists’ Concerns

SARAH HOLLISTER
Ridgeview Road

Responders to Elm Court Smoke Alarm Earn Thanks From Evacuated Residents

MARLENE GALIOTO
Director of Property Management
Princeton Community Housing

Scholarship Organization Thanks All Who Supported Successful Fund-Raiser

CAROL GOLDEN
Castle Howard Court
SANDRA TAIT
Fitzrandolph Road
PAT PANNELL
Princeton Avenue
Co-Presidents, 101:

School Gardens Cooperative Grateful for Generosity of Corporate Sponsors

DIANE LANDIS
Coordinator
Princeton School Gardens Cooperative


New Hillier Proposal for Bunn Drive Satisfies Environmentalists’ Concerns

To the Editor:

For those not attending the Planning Board meeting on February 19, the news about Robert Hillier’s proposal for age-restricted housing on Bunn Drive is encouraging. First, Mr. Hillier’s Concept Plan, scaled back from his version of November 2007, is elegant and eco-sensitive. Next, it was happily reported that he is willing to donate all of the Lowe tract (other than what he builds on) to a recognized conservation organization like the New Jersey Conservation Foundation — more than 17.5 acres. Third, Mr. Hillier himself, speaking of the adjacent 14-acre Ricciardi tract, asked the Planning Board to think about how to preserve it as green space. If these combined 30+ acres can be preserved, then Princeton will be the beneficiary of a great swath of “spectacular woods,” to use Mr. Hillier’s term, that will help control stormwater runoff at the same time the Township gains age-restricted housing.

Peter Madison, the Planning Board chair, called Mr. Hillier’s new proposal a “vast improvement” over the previous proposals.

Both the Princeton Environmental Commission and People for Princeton Ridge recommended that certain conditions be imposed before granting the final site-plan approval. All these conditions embody conservation measures based on sound science for habitat preservation and stormwater control. These conditions include eliminating all above-ground parking, strictly adhering to the New Jersey State Residential Site Improvement Standards (to reduce total disturbance footprint), constructing the access road at grade (to reduce tree-root disturbance), and complying with Princeton Township’s new Shade Tree Ordinance. Both groups also recommended eliminating the right-of-way north of Bunn Drive and the Stuart Road Extension to the south, to leave preserved woods intact. Mr. Hillier himself favored eliminating the northerly right-of-way to preserve more woods. Of additional interest is the report that the Fire Marshall doesn’t think an emergency access buffer circumscribing the proposed building is needed because of the building’s sprinkler system.

There’s still work needed to make this development as “green” as possible. Thus, Princetonians who care about environmental sustainability and age-restricted housing should feel that their written comments will be seriously considered by the Planning Board.

SARAH HOLLISTER
Ridgeview Road

Responders to Elm Court Smoke Alarm Earn Thanks From Evacuated Residents

To the Editor:

On behalf of Princeton Community Housing and the residents of Elm Court, I would like to thank the professionals who responded so quickly to a smoke alarm on Saturday morning, February 14. An exhaust fan motor had burned out in the basement of Elm Court, activating a smoke alarm.

Thank you to the Fire Departments from Princeton, Lawrence, and Rocky Hill. Thank you to the Princeton Rescue Squad. Thank you to the Princeton Borough Police. Your rapid response allowed an orderly evacuation of our residents to our neighboring building, Harriet Bryan House, with a minimum of upset, while the problem was identified and corrected. We feel fortunate to live in a community with dedicated, well-trained emergency personnel who are knowledgeable of our building and the needs of our seniors.

I would also like to thank Kerri Philhower, Elm Court Manager, and Pete Batchev, Elm Court Superintendent, for their timely response to the alarm. Their care and concern for the residents of Elm Court was demonstrated over and over again on Saturday.

There is just one point of clarification that I feel is necessary. Elm Court is not an assisted living residence but rather subsidized housing for people over 62 years of age who live independently.

MARLENE GALIOTO
Director of Property Management
Princeton Community Housing

Scholarship Organization Thanks All Who Supported Successful Fund-Raiser

To the Editor:

The 501(c)3 organization 101:, formerly known as the Princeton Regional Scholarship Foundation, held its annual fundraiser, “Get Up & Dance,” on January 30 at the Cloister Inn in Princeton. The organization raises scholarship money for Princeton High School seniors looking to further their education after graduation who are in need of extra financial assistance to realize that dream. This year’s turnout was higher than ever, and we had a fantastic evening of eating, drinking, dancing, and shopping for some wonderful items at our silent auction.

The money raised will go directly toward making college a reality for students here in our own town, and we are grateful to all those who attended and to the local individuals, merchants, and corporations who contributed in so many different ways to make our big night a success.

CAROL GOLDEN
Castle Howard Court
SANDRA TAIT
Fitzrandolph Road
PAT PANNELL
Princeton Avenue
Co-Presidents, 101:

School Gardens Cooperative Grateful for Generosity of Corporate Sponsors

To the Editor:

With the approach of spring, the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the community for supporting our project as we enter our second planting season.

The Princeton Regional Schools now boast an edible garden at every public school and a burgeoning reputation as a model school garden program in New Jersey and beyond.

Our school gardens are used to support every subject from science to math, English to health. Students are learning patience, teamwork, and an appreciation for nature in ways they would never learn from textbooks. To top it off, students are eating the vegetables and herbs they plant. They are making pizza, pesto, salads, and in some cases eating spring peas, strawberries and tomatoes right off the vine.

The project would not be a success without the continued support of the Whole Earth Center, bent spoon ice cream, Terra Momo Restaurant Group, Terhune Orchards, and small world coffee. Each of these local businesses has contributed time, energy, money, and support to help our gardens grow.

Through their ongoing fund-raiser, the Whole Earth Center and bent spoon ice cream have contributed more that $6,500 to expand or enhance the Princeton school gardens. A special flavor of bent spoon ice cream is created with produce from Terhune Orchards, coffee from small world, or other fresh and local ingredients. Bent spoon then sells the ice cream at the Whole Earth Center with all the proceeds from the sale going to one of the six public school garden programs.

Terra Momo has been a key supporter of the gardens; most recently they held an open house for their newest restaurant, Eno Terra, and donated part of the proceeds to the Cooperative. Terra Momo continues to work with the Cooperative to introduce cooking with locally grown, whole foods at the John Witherspoon Middle School.

Thanks also to the tremendous support and encouragement of the teachers, principals, parents, and students, who have helped dig and maintain the gardens, and to Judy Wilson, Superintendent of Princeton Regional Schools, who has been an advocate of the garden program since its inception.

The Princeton School Gardens Cooperative continues to be driven by the energy and enthusiasm of the entire community. As we move into spring, we invite all to come see what this community has helped to nurture and grow for our children.

DIANE LANDIS
Coordinator
Princeton School Gardens Cooperative

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