Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 22
 
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
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McCarter Theatre Thanks Gala Benefit Committee, Sponsors, and Advertisers

CHERYL GOLDMAN
KATHLEEN KUND NOLAN
McCarter Theatre Trustees and Gala Co-Chairs

Has Environmental Commission Voted to Gamble With Health of Children?

SIOBHAN DARROW
Shadybrook Lane

Education Foundation Thanks Sponsors of Successful Event at Drumthwacket

MARGARET MILLER
Princeton Education Foundation
Gala Chair

In Event of Municipal Consolidation, Elect Council Officials by District

MARK R. KILLINGSWORTH
Cedar Lane


McCarter Theatre Thanks Gala Benefit Committee, Sponsors, and Advertisers

To the Editor:

McCarter Theatre’s annual Gala Benefit on May 16, featuring a performance by jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli with cabaret star Jessica Molaskey, was one of the best parties of the year. Not only did everyone have a fabulous time — dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions, champagne dessert — but we raised needed funds for McCarter’s valuable education and artistic programs.

Special thanks go to all of our corporate participants: 6800 Capital, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Domain Associates, Drinker Biddle, Jones Lang LaSalle, Merck, PNC Bank, Prudential, Verizon Wireless, and Wachovia.

We are especially appreciative of the advertisers who supported the Gala with playbill ads for the evening: Acorn Glen, The Framesmith Gallery, Jimmy Duffy’s, Marcille Garden Design, Palmer Square, McBrick Company LP, Mercedes-Benz of Princeton, Miller’s Rentals, Pennswood Village, PSE&G, RiverStone Cabinetry, Sweet Assets, Viburnum, and Woodwinds.

Finally, the event could not have achieved such success without our trustees, the hard-working committee members, and the energetic McCarter development staff. Thanks to everyone for a successful gala benefit.

Save the date for next year’s Gala celebrating Emily Mann’s 20th anniversary at McCarter — Saturday, May 8, 2010 with performer Patti Lupone. See you then!

CHERYL GOLDMAN
KATHLEEN KUND NOLAN
McCarter Theatre Trustees and Gala Co-Chairs

Has Environmental Commission Voted to Gamble With Health of Children?

To the Editor:

I was shocked to learn that the Princeton Environmental Commission voted on May 27 to approve ripping out grass fields in our beautiful multi-use Barbara Smoyer Park and replace them with material made from recycled tires, painted green to look like grass. A group of concerned citizens presented data regarding the environmental and human health concerns at the Environmental Commission meeting that night. We question whether the commission is doing its job in evaluating true concerns about the environment. One member of the commission blatantly bullied and intimidated the commission as well as the citizens group in an effort to silence us. I feel the meeting was compromised by this behavior and that the vote should be rendered invalid. I ask for a reconsideration of the issue and a re-vote.

Consider the facts: The proposed new covering for the soccer fields in Smoyer Park is made from recycled tires. Tires are classified as hazardous waste. You can’t even put them in your garbage. Should it be OK to put them in our park and let our children play on them? We fear that, in the summer, when rubber is known to emit toxic fumes, our children will inhale harmful toxic fumes from the crumb rubber infill. The Centers for Disease Control recommends aggressive washing and removal of all clothes before entering one’s home after playing on these fields. Temperatures on these fields can be 40 to 50 degrees higher than air temperature. We know the Recreation Department is trying to provide more playing venues for our children, but having them play on plastic grass that emits harmful gasses and destroys the surrounding area doesn’t seem like the answer.

In Princeton, the local government and the larger community all approve pursuing a Sustainable Princeton concept, but this decision seems to go against that. The Recreation Department says that there are no known health or environmental concerns, yet the bulk of the data they presented us with was conducted by synthetic turf manufacturers. Why do we want to gamble with our children’s health?

SIOBHAN DARROW
Shadybrook Lane

Education Foundation Thanks Sponsors of Successful Event at Drumthwacket

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the many people responsible for making the Princeton Education Foundation April 25 fund-raiser such a resounding success. We were fortunate to secure historic Drumthwacket as a venue for the occasion, celebrating 150 years of public education in Princeton. PEF is also marking 15 years of providing financial support for programs, training, and equipment that enrich our schools. Our anniversary celebration congratulated both accomplishments. Thanks to the community’s support, PEF will continue its mission of enhancing public education in Princeton.

I would like to thank the organizations that sponsored this event, including Anne Skalka & Associates, CPAs; Ernest and Jeanine Barsamian; G.R. Murray Insurance; Herring Management; Palmer Square Management L.L.C.; Parker McCay, PA; Pellettieri, Rabstein and Altman law firm; and Real World Partners. Particular thanks goes to PNC Bank and Princeton University for their special generosity.

To the Drumthwacket Foundation for granting permission to use the Governor’s Residence, and to the staff of Drumthwacket for their help and co-operation in planning the gala, thank you very much.

To the gala committee who worked so hard, a heartfelt thanks. To the board of PEF, especially co-presidents Holly Holcombe and Shari Powell, thank you for all you do for our schools and keep up the good work!

Finally, thank you to the student musical groups from Princeton High School. Your performances rounded out a lovely evening and made us all proud to be a part of Princeton Regional Schools.

MARGARET MILLER
Princeton Education Foundation
Gala Chair

In Event of Municipal Consolidation, Elect Council Officials by District

To the Editor:

Now that there seems to be growing agreement that the Township and the Borough should consolidate, it is time to start discussing how Princeton’s new council would be elected. Some council members would probably be elected at large. However, for several reasons, election of at least some council members from districts (“wards”) deserves serious consideration.

First, election of some council members from districts may help reassure both Township and Borough residents that their interests will be faithfully represented. Borough residents in particular may be concerned that their views would count for little if all council members were elected at large, since the Township has about twice as many voters as the Borough.

More generally, election from districts will help insure that Princeton’s new council will have, and will clearly represent, a diversity of viewpoints, including the views of both low-income and upper-income residents. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that one district might encompass what realtors like to call the “prestigious Western Section.” Another district might encompass the Witherspoon Street area. Achieving such diversity should be a prime consideration in the design of Princeton’s new council. If all of the council’s members were elected at large, the views of the residents of these areas would be submerged. They deserve to be heard and represented.

Election by district might also result in election of at least one Republican to Princeton’s new council, thus keeping the new Princeton from becoming a one-party town. Genuine representation of Republicans in our government will help keep Democrats honest, prevent them from becoming complacent and inbred, and put a premium on competition based on sound ideas and workable programs. This will be good for Republicans, Democrats, and all of Princeton’s residents.

MARK R. KILLINGSWORTH
Cedar Lane

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