To the Editor:
The residents neighboring the proposed night club on Bayard Lane are disappointed that the proposed settlement has been rejected and that we must continue our legal battle. Although there are only eight people named in the suit, there are well over 30 neighbors who are actively involved in our attempt to have the Zoning Board's decision overturned.
As reported in Town Topics of December 29, Stephen Distler can object to our calling his redevelopment of Mike's Tavern a "night club," but the public record supports this description. Mr. Distler has said that he intends to operate seven nights a week, with two shows per night. The second show, he has stated, would get out at 1 a.m. This is no ordinary restaurant or bar featuring jazz; instead, the hours of operation and the two shows every evening describe a "night club."
As for Mr. Distler's defense of "jazz" in this venue, he offered a vague definition of jazz in his application to the Zoning Board so much so that he would be required to come back for reapplication should the type of music change. Our lawsuit alleges that this condition is unenforceable. The reality is that turnovers in the restaurant business are among the highest of any industry sector. If Mr. Distler's night club fails to make money, what's to stop him or some future owner from featuring "punk rock"? Once the doors open, anything goes. In short, Mr. Distler's dream will be our nightmare.
By rejecting an out-of-court settlement, Mr. Distler has left us no choice but to meet him in court. That date is currently set for February 25. It is there and before future meetings of the Zoning Board that we shall express our opposition to having a night club in our neighborhood. The impact of such an operation on this neighborhood cannot be ignored.
To the Editor:
This past week we celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the strongest advocates of freedom and peace this generation has ever seen. We also heard President Bush speak at his inauguration about freedom for peace within this world. On that same day, in Princeton Borough, a group of teens held a "protest" to remind us that we must continue to seek peace and to address the ravages of war and AIDS.
This demonstration consisted of a small handful of students either standing or lying prone on the pavement around Palmer Square in complete silence, acting as if they were dead, with placards around their necks reminding all who walked by that each day people are dying of war and of AIDS.
I was there to witness this, as my son was one participating in the event. I was impressed that these students went to extremes to ensure that no sidewalk was being blocked, no one was stopped, and no one was spoken to; this was a "protest" for peace.
Thirty minutes into their demonstration three police officers broke it up, supposedly telling the students that they could not hold posters or try to hand out leaflets without a permit. The next morning's newspaper quoted Police Capt. Anthony Federico as supporting this decision to disperse the students, since sidewalks were being blocked and that the "demonstration they were putting on was a march, parade type thing." Remember, the students were miming those who are dead, so I find it hard to see how they could have called this a march since they were all standing or lying still.
Perhaps what the students were guilty of was making those around them, and perhaps even the police, uncomfortable. But isn't that what quiet protesting is all about to remind us of something we'd rather not think about? My guess is that Rosa Parks made those on the bus very uncomfortable. Gandhi, in his hunger strikes, made many feel uncomfortable. President Reagan's challenge to tear down the Berlin Wall made many feel uncomfortable. Remember, it is in feeling "uncomfortable" that changes often occur.
Before a final decision is made with regard to selecting a new police chief, I hope that a thorough review is performed regarding the procedures and rationale of shutting the students down so quickly.
So congratulations to my son and all those who were out there on a cold afternoon; and thank you for making us feel uncomfortable, reminding us that we all have much to do in bringing peace and healing to those around us.
To The Editor:
As a senior with his share (or more) of infirmities, making snow shoveling a distant memory, I was pleased and delighted to have Andrew Bergman and his high school friends ring my doorbell and ask if I wanted to have my walks shoveled. He explained that his group was raising money for CompuKids, a non-profit group that helps families who cannot afford them to buy a computer, a printer, and software.
The kids did a prompt and excellent job for a very reasonable price. Knowing of a friend whose driveway service did not show up, I also arranged to have them shovel his driveway too.
It is wonderful to discover that there are kids around whose ideals and efforts are being directed to such good works. Their parents must be very proud of them. Should any reader want to get in touch with Andrew, the e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and the phone is (609) 577-3752.
To the Editor:
On January 13 I had shoulder surgery at the University Medical Center at Princeton, and I would like to express my deep appreciation for the care that I received from every single member of the staff, including admissions, operating room, recovery room, nurses, nursing assistants, and nutritionist, as well as my surgeon, Dr. Leon Costa; attending doctor, Dr. Michael Granis; anesthesiologist, Dr. Seybert; and homecare planner, Carol Grim, R.N. They provided all of the necessary care to make my operation and recovery an absolute success.
I came from Moscow, Russia in 1975, and am very proud to be a Princetonian for 17 years, and to know that the health care services provided at our local hospital are superb.
MARINA SHAYNA MENAKER
To the Editor:
The citizens, organizations, small businesses, and corporations of greater Mercer County have once again demonstrated their incredible capacity for sharing, caring, and doing what matters to help people in our local community who are in need.
Thanks to the generosity of so many, United Way of Greater Mercer County was able to provide traditional Thanksgiving meals to over 350 families and bring winter holiday joy to 560 families. Well over 1,200 low-income children and their parents received beautifully wrapped toys, clothing, and the knowledge that people cared about them.
We take this opportunity to send a most sincere and heartfelt "thank you" to the countless donors and volunteers who brought the joy of the holidays to those in need.
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Eden Family of Services, and the children and adults with autism whom Eden serves, I want to extend heartfelt thanks for the generosity of our community. On January 15, Dreams of Kokopelli, the 17th annual Eden Dreams gala, raised nearly $200,000 in support of Eden's lifespan services for individuals with autism.
A special thanks to the law firm Taylor, Colicchio & Silverman, which served as this year's primary corporate sponsor, and Paul Taylor, managing partner, who helped provide support in numerous ways and is truly a credit to the community. Twenty-nine additional companies and individuals also provided major sponsorship support of the gala, and we thank them as well. We are deeply grateful for the tireless, dedicated and year-round work of the Eden Dreams Steering Committee, led by co-chairs Rob Robinson from Janssen Pharmaceutica and Regina Massad.
We must also recognize the outstanding staff at the Hyatt Regency Princeton and executive chef Anthony Perrotti for his outstanding cuisine; Mike Cerelli, Jen Angelo, and the staff of Big Events, who provided the magnificent décor for the evening; and everyone else who helped make Dreams of Kokopelli come to life in such an elegant, entertaining, and dramatic fashion. Also, special thanks to the many individuals and businesses who generously donated prizes for our silent auction.
Finally, please know how much we appreciate the individual donations of so many of our Princeton area friends and neighbors who attended and supported Dreams of Kokopelli. 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.
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