JOHANNA H. HUNSBEDT
To the Editor:
Thank you to the voters who came out for the Primary Election on June 7. My running mate, Bernie Miller, and I thank you for your votes and look forward to the campaign for Princeton Township Committee.
I want also to express my appreciation to the poll workers of both parties at the District polling places. Their dedication honors our democratic system and the candidacies of all of us who are running for office.
To the Editor:
Last Friday the superintendent announced that all Princeton Regional Schools would close at 1 p.m. for the remainder of the school year because of excessive heat. The schools do not have air conditioning and it is too hot to function.
I wonder if this emergency measure has caused the superintendent or the board to have second thoughts about their radical revision to next year's school calendar. In choosing, despite significant parental protest, to create a full week of vacation in early November prime learning time the school district has had to extend next year's school year even further into June. Given that hot and humid weather is the norm rather than the exception at this time of year, it seems all too likely that students and teachers will be uncomfortable and unproductive for an even longer period next summer. Does the school district have a plan to ensure that our schools will be able to function properly until the end of the newly extended school year?
To the Editor:
The community has had a preview of what the Medical Center would like to do with its property, when it moves away from its Witherspoon Street site.
It is now up to us, the neighborhoods and the community at large, to be responsive and responsible. What should we do?
We should learn from our experience, as a community, when we debated the public policies and concept plans for the redevelopment of Witherspoon Street in the downtown. Admittedly, the Medical Center case is different. It is not public property. But we, as citizens, do have public powers over the land, its uses, its buildings and open spaces specifically, the streets and sidewalks, plazas and greenparks.
A new street and block plan is needed. As the strategic framework for the re-do of the existing superblock, it would deal with the character, scale and density, multiple uses and parcels, preservation of the old and development of the new, diversity and balance of people in the future neighborhood.
In this way, it would be possible to achieve both the development goals of the Medical Center and the hopes of the community a Unity Park along Witherspoon Street, and in the old superblock, new streets, new neighborhood.
To the Editor:
As a Princeton native, I grew up receiving Town Topics at our house each Wednesday. Town Topics has always been a symbol of Princeton's families and businesses a place to turn for information about local goings-on. Now a mother of two young children, I often thumb through the pages in search of new activities to incorporate into our days.
For this reason, I was astonished to find a picture of Paul Matthews' "Red Room" in the June 1 edition. Each has his own taste in art; however, nudity is, well, nudity, and in my opinion totally at odds with the character of Town Topics. I hope that in the future your staff will take into consideration the family nature of the paper before opting to publish another such picture that is accessible to the eye of both the discerning adult and the unwitting youth.
To the Editor:
On June 8, the Arts Council of Princeton celebrated the publication of the 17th edition of Under Age, an annual anthology of poetry, prose, and artwork by students in grades K through 12. The students whose works were chosen for publication, along with their parents and teachers, gathered for a reading and exhibition of their art. The publication party was a joyous occasion that commemorated both the creativity of the thousands of students who submit their work each year and the inspiration and encouragement provided by their parents and teachers.
The Arts Council would like to thank all those who made Under Age possible: our literary editor, Debra Liese; our art editor and coordinator, Bianca Bosker; our designers, Mary Kondo and John Hubbard; Sue Roth and Princeton Public Library for providing us the room to celebrate this special occasion; Micawber Books for decorating their store window with the artwork from Under Age and selling copies of the publication; Verizon Foundation for its grand sponsorship; Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission; the J. Seward Johnson Sr. 1963 Charitable Trust; and all the following sponsors who recognize the profound importance of cultivating self-expression in the young and who support Under Age year after year: Peter and Wendy Benchley, Peter and Helena Bienstock, Freeman and Imme Dyson, Peter and Lilian Grosz, Edmund and Mary Keeley, Linda R. Levy, Wendy L. Mager, Charles and Dorothy Plohn, Ingrid and Marvin Reed, Raymond J. Stratmeyer, and Daniel and Dianne Tully.
To the Editor:
Long a valuable community resource, the Princeton Family YMCA has recently shown lapses of judgment and responsibility in its swimming program that raise question about its competence. Within the past year it has persisted in conducting classes for nonswimmers with child-to-teacher ratios in excess of its stated limit of 6:1 and also frequently has failed to maintain a lifeguard on duty during the classes. The result is a half-hour swim lesson in which each child receives an average of under four minutes of water time, and the children left at the pool side have no one watching them when the teacher is busy with the child in the water.
The following episodes illustrate the disarray into which the program has descended. In late April, when I took my 4-year-old twins for one of their swim lessons, a man who turned out to be the acting aquatic director abruptly asked me to teach one group of children waiting by the side of the pool because the program was short-staffed that day, and one teacher would have had to instruct 16 children, all nonswimmers. The criterion on the basis of which the man, who never identified himself to me, approached me was the fact that I was wearing a bathing suit. After I complained about this episode to the CEO and received assurances that the program would place safety before expediency, and hence cancel classes when the program was short-staffed and ensure that life guards were always present during classes, my children's class crept up again to eight children and one teacher, and some classes ran with no life guard present. In a recent episode that was more insulting than dangerous, the acting director attempted to expel my children from the pool because their names did not appear on the registration list for their class, which they had been attending for six weeks. In my earlier meeting with him, the CEO had observed that a computer error had resulted in a mistaken listing of the children's class, and he indicated the error would be corrected.
Events like these make a joke of the Y's banner values of Caring (to be sensitive to others' well-being), Honesty (to tell the truth, to act in such a way that you are worthy of trust), Respect (to treat others as you would have them treat you), and Responsibility (to do what is right; to be accountable for your behavior and obligations). They leave me, a parent, hesitant to entrust my children to the Y's care and anxious to seek alternatives for their instruction.
To the Editor:
The YWCA Princeton and the Princeton Family YMCA wish to thank Marvin Reed and the Master Plan Subcommittee of the Planning Board for their June 7 meeting to discuss the YMCA/YWCA, Merwick, and Stanworth zoning needs, along with the thoughtful participation from the University Medical Center at Princeton.
Both YWCA and YMCA boards of directors have stated publicly that each organization plans to remain in the current Paul Robeson location where they believe each can best deliver mission-based programming to the community. Both organizations currently are working together to formalize plans to renovate the athletic facility. Next, attention will be turned to the Program building, which is nearly 60 years old and no longer serves the needs of either organization.
The YWCA and the YMCA look forward to an open dialogue with the community, to discuss future building and programming needs. At that time, we will reach out to all local residents, an important part of the membership of both organizations.
Following that dialogue, we expect to be able to share with the community our vision for the future of the YWCA and YMCA on Paul Robeson Place.
For information on how to submit Letters to the Editor, click here.