Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 9
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
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Bill Being Considered by Legislature Only Encumbers Education Reform

The Rev. Marguerite Dykstra
Patton Avenue

University Students “Free” Access To Library Included in Tuition, Fees

Anne Witt
Lake Lane

Rejection of New Arts/Transit Plan Threatens Town-Gown Relations

Pamela Machold
Prospect Avenue

Princeton Township Police Department Must Rethink Decision On Openings

Ethan C. Finley
Princeton Community Village

101’s Valentine’s Weekend Benefit Raises Money for PHS Scholarships

Pat Pannel & Riva Levy
co-presidents
The 101: Board and Benefit Committee


Bill Being Considered by Legislature Only Encumbers Education Reform

To the Editor:

We New Jerseyans can and must do better by the children and parents of our state than the bill being considered by our state legislature, A2810/S1872. I believe it amounts to an abdication of our responsibility to ensure the adequate education of every child in our state. It communicates, “Every man/woman/child for him/herself. Take this ‘voucher’ and do the best you can.” That this “voucher” ensures the recipient nothing--no spot in any school other than their existing public one, no special services for any child in any school other than their existing public one (except transportation to the school of “choice” at taxpayers’ expense through the public school transportation system) speaks to the heart of this issue. Further, the funds used for this purpose will be taken from the current public education system, already eviscerated by last year’s budget, further crippling the only institution able to deliver on the promise of educating every child. Thankfully, in some parts of our state public education still does its task; to destroy the ability of these schools to continue this important work by once again redirecting funds elsewhere makes no sense.

That to some this should seem a solution to our educational problems speaks clearly to the need for public education reform, which all acknowledge must be accomplished. But this bill only delays and encumbers that reform; it will not help to raise New Jersey children’s prospects by abdicating proper oversight, transparency and accountability by our governmental officials, who cannot even oversee existing charter schools sufficiently. A decent public education must be the right of every child in our state; to use our best thinking and the wise allocation of our limited resources to ensure this must be our goal, not the passage of A2810/S1872.

The Rev. Marguerite Dykstra
Patton Avenue

University Students “Free” Access To Library Included in Tuition, Fees

To the Editor:

A letter published Feb. 23 (“‘Free Access’ to University Library”) said that the Princeton public should have free access to the Princeton University Library because University students have free access to the Princeton Public Library. The letter writer is missing a big point. University students pay tuition and fees to have access to the University library. It is not “free” to them. Moreover, students need the library for their coursework. I think it would be wrong for the public to borrow books that students might need.

Also, the letter writer doesn’t say whether any University students actually use the Public Library.

Anne Witt
Lake Lane

Rejection of New Arts/Transit Plan Threatens Town-Gown Relations

To the Editor:

I have attended the public meeting to discuss the University’s plan for an arts center, and I have paced off the additional 460 feet that the Dinky station would be moved. I think that on balance the University has presented highly professional plans, with great sensitivity to the environment. I too enthusiastically support the Dinky, but if the town chooses to deny the new arts plan, the chances are high that we will lose the Dinky altogether, as well as the arts center itself, which undeniably would be a great addition to the area. Any idea of extending the Dinky into the town is fanciful and unrealistically expensive, and would present new environmental problems in terms of parking and traffic flow. A relocation of the proposed arts center would likely infringe on current open space. The current situation is untenable, with a derelict station and limited parking. The University’s proposal to create a new station with useful amenities is a great improvement and will serve to preserve and enhance the utility of the Dinky. Failure to proceed with the arts and transit project would adversely affect town/gown relations in ways that we cannot now anticipate. A harmonious relationship between the town and the University is of paramount importance for the future of Princeton.

Pamela Machold
Prospect Avenue

Princeton Township Police Department Must Rethink Decision On Openings

To the Editor:

I am sure everyone knows by now that the Princeton Township Police Department has three openings. I think the Township government has a profound moral obligation to fill the open positions as quickly as possible. Very recently I received a letter from a reliable source to the effect that the Township government has no current plans to replace the three officers. If anyone reading my letter agrees with what I am saying, I would urge them to contact Township Mayor Chad Goerner or the other members of Township Committee.

Ethan C. Finley
Princeton Community Village

101’s Valentine’s Weekend Benefit Raises Money for PHS Scholarships

To the Editor:

On Friday, February 11, 101: (formerly known as The Princeton Regional Scholarship Foundation) hosted its sixth annual “Get Up And Dance” benefit and silent auction to raise money for Princeton High graduates in need of college tuition assistance. Our guests kicked off their Valentine’s Weekend celebrations by dining, drinking, and dancing on the beautiful grounds of Jasna Polana, and bid on silent auction items all in support of the Princeton High School students we serve. We would like to take this opportunity to once again express our appreciation to all who attended and contributed, including our many generous individual and corporate sponsors, as well as local merchants and businesses who donated a wide array of wonderful goods and services. Despite the ongoing challenges presented by a difficult economic climate, you enabled us to raise more money than ever to put towards scholarships for young men and women in our community, who will now have a better chance to continue their education and realize the dream of attaining a college degree. On their behalf, we thank you, and look forward to your continued support.

Pat Pannel & Riva Levy
co-presidents
The 101: Board and Benefit Committee

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