Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 10
 
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
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Environmental Commission Commended for Its Princeton Ridge Recommendation

JANE BUTTARS
Dodds Lane

Affordable Housing Deemed a Requisite for Social, Cultural, Economic Diversity

JOHN BORDEN
NANCY STRONG
ANN YASUHARA
Princeton Friends Meeting
Quaker Road

A Decade Later, Merwick Rehabilitation Applauded Again for Exemplary Service

CAROLYN E.B. LEEUWENBURGH
Jefferson Road


Environmental Commission Commended for Its Princeton Ridge Recommendation

To the Editor:

The Princeton Environmental Commission (PEC) has again taken the lead in preserving Princeton’s valuable natural assets from inappropriate development or destruction.

PEC voted unanimously at its meeting of February 24 to recommend that environmentally sensitive areas of the entire Princeton Ridge be removed from a Sewer Service Area designation (SSA) as shown in local municipal maps and given a designation of Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). This recommendation is comprehensive, for it includes large swaths of forest in the western areas of the Princeton Ridge towards the Great Road.

From the perspective of development, a tract without access to sewer service must rely on septic systems, which can accommodate some building but only on a reduced scale; the ESA designation will thus act as a deterrent to irresponsible building. From the perspective of strategy to preserve natural resources, the PEC vote again affirms the official characterization of the Princeton Ridge as “environmentally sensitive” given five or six decades ago by state, regional, and municipal bodies. (Nothing about the terrain has changed since then except its constant degradation.)

The vote is also entirely consistent with the leading vision of Princeton Township Committee in its Resolution of August 17, 2009, to endorse the creation of the Princeton Ridge Preserve — a resolution that respects the environmental sensitivity of the area and explicitly states that the area should remain undisturbed so that it may continue to “provide for unique education and recreational opportunities for the Princeton community.”

The PEC vote is founded on important official sources: the updated maps and Water Quality Management Rules set forth by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Princeton Regional Master Plan, and the Environmental Resource Inventory recently completed for Princeton. These authorities take precedence over all others.

Princetonians must all trust that Township Committee will honor its commitment to the Princeton Ridge Preserve and thus adopt in their entirety the recommendations of PEC. The Commission is again to be commended for protecting the best interests of the community.

JANE BUTTARS
Dodds Lane

Affordable Housing Deemed a Requisite for Social, Cultural, Economic Diversity

To the Editor:

Like other committed communities of faith, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) believes that our society is best served by housing rules and laws that support the well-being of all citizens of the State. Housing takes a substantial share of most household budgets and is important to the lives of all of us.

We urge members of the State Senate and Assembly to require that all municipalities develop a fair share goal, so that housing stock within their boundaries will be affordable to people of low and moderate income. A stronger State planning system will guide housing choices to maximize growth near jobs and transit, and preserve open space.

Affordable housing options have proven to be the most effective tool for giving workers access to jobs in their community, for enabling seniors to make ends meet, and for promoting socially, economically, and culturally diverse communities.

JOHN BORDEN
NANCY STRONG
ANN YASUHARA
Princeton Friends Meeting
Quaker Road

A Decade Later, Merwick Rehabilitation Applauded Again for Exemplary Service

To the Editor:

Ten years ago, I wrote to you to tell you of a “diamond in the rough” in Princeton: Merwick House on Route 206. I had spent two weeks there recovering from a hip replacement and was highly impressed by the treatment. A few weeks ago my husband had a knee replacement and needed physical therapy to assist his recovery. He chose Merwick because of the successful treatment I had experienced.

How amazed we were to see that Merwick was even better than ten years ago. The equipment was up to date and effective. But the crowning glory was the care of the staff. Not only did they know what they were doing, as one would expect, but their caring attitude was exemplary. They encouraged, praised, and paid attention to personal details. They accomplished amazing rehabilitation in a rather short time. They investigated our home environment in order to execute treatment that would work at home, such as immediate use of the stairs.

Merwick has been criticized as being too old. Well, it’s not too old for successful treatment. I applaud the dedication and kindness of the doctors, nurses, and physical therapists who care so much at Merwick.

CAROLYN E.B. LEEUWENBURGH
Jefferson Road

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