To the Editor:
A sincere "Thank You" to the generous people of Princeton, Cranbury, West Windsor, Hamilton, Montgomery, Pennington, and Ewing for the success of the April 7 Great Strides Walk to Cure Cystic Fibrosis at the Princeton Battlefield. The generosity of our community is demonstrated by the prayers, the concern, and the $115,000 raised by the participants. The entire amount will be used to fund research efforts to treat and cure this fatal disease. Thank you! Thank you!
The newspaper is not large enough to list everyone who contributed but we will try: the Distler family, the Braun family, the Caricato family, the McQuaid family, Dow Jones, Futures and Options for Kids, the Huber family, the Hartman family, the Vacarro family, the Wislar family, the Wishnick family, and the student jazz musicians from PHS.
The public and private school students set the course, distributed sandwiches, cookies, and t-shirts, and cleaned up the park. They organized dress down days and managed the publicity by posting signs everywhere: Princeton High School baseball teams, St. Paul's School, St. Ann's School, John Witherspoon Middle School, Notre Dame High School, Hun School, Caldwell College, Princeton Montessori School, Princeton Youth Baseball Teams, Princeton Cranbury Babe Ruth Baseball Teams.
Whole Foods Markets donated sandwiches, and water was donated by Wegmans Market.
The course was marked in colorful signs sponsored by Louis Russo, DDS, Natalie Caricato-Photographer, The Pediatric Group, Joanne Reiffe Fishbane DMD, Kenneth Goldblatt MD, Medical Center at Princeton, Nassau Street Seafood, Mark's Trackside Auto Repair, Omni Environmental Corporation, Cranbury Design Group, Antonia's Restaurant, Potters Alley, The Daughters of Penelope, Bear Sterns, Princeton Eyecare, Princeton Real Estate Group, Jersey Shore Radiology, Styling Station, Sports Medicine of Princeton, the First Washington State Bank, the Princeton Group, the Gallup Road neighborhood.
For his Bar Mitzvah project, Aaron Wishnick designed and distributed "Breath of Life" wristbands for $2 each. His idea spread rapidly. He supplied them to his friends at John Witherspoon Middle School, Jill Vacarro covered Notre Dame High School, Griffin Zucosky covered the Hun School, Annie Britschge supplied St. Paul's School, Matthew Gerard supplied Princeton High School, the Boutot family supplied the wristbands to the Hillsborough Public School System, Alex Ferrara and Mackenzie Wislar covered Stuart, John Edwards marketed them at Princeton University. These young people not only raised money for research, but also taught their friends about Cystic Fibrosis and sowed the seeds for the research which may some day cure this fatal disease. The wristbands will be available through the rest of the year.
We are hopeful that the awareness and money raised by this event nationwide will change the meaning of the initials CF from Cystic Fibrosis to Cure Found. Those of us with children with Cystic Fibrosis are deeply touched by the warmth and generosity of the community. Thank you again!
To the Editor:
Over the last year meetings have been held first to decide if the hospital should/would stay and then to decide what to do with the hospital site after they moved. Town meetings, community workshops, and neighborhood gatherings have all been held to discuss the character of the redevelopment that will take place once the hospital leaves.
Princeton Future and the Hospital have both proposed their vision of the future. Both have presented proposals that have tall buildings and high density. Princeton Future has given alternate proposals that would lower the density and the height of the buildings. However, all plans have between 200 and 300 "units" on the site. In addition, both propose some light commercial use and some open space.
At the same time the discussions concerning the hospital sites have been taking place there have been articles in the paper detailing how citizens of Princeton no longer want to live with McMansions popping up in their neighborhoods. Neighbors complain that these oversize homes are ruining the character and charm of their neighborhoods. There is an ordinance being considered that would ban the construction of these very large, imposing homes.
What about the character and charm of the Witherspoon neighborhoods? No one wants McMansions as their neighbors but mega-buildings are fine for our neighborhood? No one wants to live with structures that dwarf the size of the surrounding homes, but we are being asked to accept 200 to 300 new neighbors in buildings that are 4 to 8 stories high. The question is: why is this being asked of the Witherspoon neighbors? Why are we different from the rest of Princeton?
I can not speak for all the neighbors. We are a diverse group with diverse opinions. In addition, neither Princeton Future nor the Hospital speak for the neighbors. However, I believe I can say that most of us do not want mega-buildings on a mega-block creating mega-density with mega-traffic.
I ask the elected and appointed members of the boards hearing and deciding this very critical situation to be creative, caring, and careful about their decisions. These decisions will shape the future of all the surrounding neighborhoods for years to come and leave people saying either with pride, "I helped make that decision," or with relief, "That was before my time."
To the Editor:
To supplement the article "District Approves Personnel, Discusses Upcoming Concerns" (Town Topics, June 1), I wish to inform readers that at the same May 24 school board meeting I asked board members to make it their priority this summer to address a hidden problem, dyslexia. Translated literally as "reading blindness," dyslexia is having tragic results for up to one in five school children, according to Dr. Sally Shaywitz in Overcoming Dyslexia, based on a 20-year study of Connecticut children.
As Dr. Shaywitz writes, dyslexia is as "virulent as any virus that courses through tissues and organs. It can infiltrate every aspect of a person's life. It is often described as a hidden disability because it lacks visible signs, but dyslexia is hidden only from those who do not have to live with it and suffer its effects." As a child grows, "neural wiring" becomes hard wired; hence, early detection and intervention are important to success.
Prior to this board meeting, I had found the district's response to dyslexia to be one of denial denial that dyslexia is a specific learning disability in the state code, denial of test results that my son's reading scores were plummeting, and denial that special ed had not worked and would not work. Simply put, the district has no central or written policy on dyslexia, leaving the matter largely to the discretion of local special ed counselors.
Yet as national experts have found, special ed programs for dyslexic children are generally failures. At best, they "tend to stabilize the degree of reading failure," writes Dr. Shaywitz. "The evidence is overwhelming."
In New York City special ed students are failing to earn diplomas. "The graduation rates are grim, and mean that most of the city's students receiving special education services are leaving school with no options for college, employment, or independence," reported The New York Times on June 3.
What is to become of so many teens who emerge from public schools unable to read or write fluently? As Lois Young and Marcia Van Dyck point out in their letter (Town Topics, June 1), there is a "well-understood link between illiteracy and crime; over 75 percent of those imprisoned at New Jersey State Prison read at or below a fifth grade level....and over a quarter of these have learning differences." How many of these illiterate prisoners were undiagnosed as dyslexics in their public school years?
For these reasons, I asked the school board on May 24 to make this the "dyslexia summer" to devise a dyslexia policy to address this problem that may affect 20 percent of children, and may account for much of the "achievement gap" among disadvantaged students as well. I asked the board and its new superintendent to investigate these issues, and to devise a plan for the fall. To borrow a phrase, failure is not an option.
To the Editor:
A bill now before the New Jersey Senate (S204) would revise the 1999 Charitable Registration and Investigation Act. All small charities in Princeton, and those who support them, should take note.
To ensure good stewardship, the old law set an annual revenue level, $100,000, over which charities must file audited annual financial statements. (Below $100,000, charity accounts required certification of their board presidents.) This law came in response to scandals in certain charities.
But there has arisen an unintended effect. Accounting firms today, after Exxon, Tyco, and other scandals, are chary about rendering audited statements. They now worry about the high risk of vouching for charities' statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Thus for such audits they are charging far more. Such high costs are anathema to Princeton's small charities.
Full-blown audits can cost more than $5,000. Small charities earning $100,000 would thus have to pay five percent of gross revenues for auditing! Most small charities earnestly support the spirit behind the current law. But the $100,000 threshold is too low. It imposes an undue burden on the charities without commensurate benefit for the State or the public.
S204 will raise the revenue limit to $250,000. That is more practical, ensuring both requisite oversight and the charities' viability. The bill is now in its second reading. Let's urge our State Senator, Shirley Turner, to support this bill, and quickly.
To the Editor:
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Princeton and Cranbury communities for helping to make this year's Princeton High School Post Prom Party a huge success. More than 400 students attended the "Carnival in Venice" festivities on Friday, May 20 after the Junior-Senior prom, and a great time was had by all. Because of the generosity of the parents and community at large we raised over $10,000 and were able to attain our goal of providing a safe and fun party for the students.
In particular we would like to thank the following local businesses, corporations, and organizations for their contributions of money or gifts in kind to the 2005 Post Prom Party: Abel Bagel, Alchemist & Barrister, Alliance Homes, AMC Theaters, Annex Restaurant, ARI Products, Inc., Blue Point Grill, Bowhe and Pear, Bucks County Coffee, Chazzmatazz Formal Wear, Chuck's Spring Street Cafe, Conte's Pizza, Corner House Foundation, A.S. Cole Son & Co., Cranbury Arts Council, Cranbury Boy Scouts, Cranbury F.O.P Lodge, Cranbury Inn, Cranbury Lions Club, Cranbury Municipal Drug and Alcohol Alliance, Cranbury Paint and Hardware, Cranbury Pizza, Cranbury PTO, Cranbury Township, Ferry House Restaurant, Foodarama Super Markets, Forest Jewelers, Fowler's Gulf, Garden Theaters, George's Roasters and Ribs, Halo Farms, Hinkson's, Hoagie Haven, lano's Restaurant, Image Photo, Ivy Garden, Jay's Cycles, Jordan's, Junction Barber Shop, Kopp's Cycle Shop, La Jolie Salon, Landau's, McCaffrey's, McCarter Theatre, Momentum Fitness, N.Y. Sports Club, Olive's, P.A.B. Local No. 130, Panera, The Papery of Princeton, P.J.'s Pancake House, Piccadilly, Pizza Star, A Place to Bead, Premier Video, Princeton Alcohol and Drug Alliance, Princeton Record Exchange, Princeton University Store, Princeton Video, Salty Dog, Sam's Club, Small World Coffee, E.Y. Staats and Co. Haircutters, Teresa's, Thomas Sweet, Tiger Noodles, Township of Cranbury, Village Haircutters, Volvo of Princeton, Wegmans, White Lotus Home, Winged Pig, and Zoe.
The success of this evening is due to the hard work and generosity of many people and we apologize for inadvertently omitting any names. Many thanks for all the support and hard work that went into making the Party a special night for everyone.
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Spirit of Princeton and myself, I would like to thank all the Princeton residents and their guests who came out to see the Memorial Day Parade.
If only our service men and women who are now serving overseas could have seen all the support that you showed for them protecting our country, they would have been really proud. Thank you.
This year's special thanks go to the following for making the parade a success: The Spirit of Princeton Committee for the long dedicated hours organizing the parade, Princeton Borough and Township Police Departments, Princeton Borough Public Works Department and Borough Clerk's Office, WAWA of Princeton and John Golias who donated all the drinks and snacks for the parade participants, The Flower Marker for the memorial wreath, Audi of Princeton, Princeton University, and all the parade participants.
Other Spirit of Princeton events will include fireworks on June 30 at dusk, on the Clark Field next to the Princeton University football stadium; and the Veterans Day celebration on November 11 at 11 a.m. at the Mercer Street Monument.
RAYMOND R. WADSWORTH
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