To the Editor:
The University Medical Center at Princeton in searching for an appropriate location must take into account availability, access, convenience, and support from the local community. In "redefining care" the hospital is necessarily guided by changes in public and private medical insurance coverage, as well as medical practice. Health care delivery systems are changing rapidly, and any new facility will be designed to accommodate the new practices.
The Forrestal property, owned by Princeton University, on Route 1 and College Road, has sufficient land available, 50 to 100 acres, to build a full service medical center with room for expansion and with preserved open space. Existing facilities at Forrestal Village complement a medical center, including the Westin Hotel, Windrows Nursing Home, and assisted living facility. The Forrestal Shopping Center is ideally suited for doctors' offices, laboratories, ambulatory surgery centers, physical therapy, and associated services, with ample parking. These facilities would provide substantial economies over the building of new structures for the same purpose.
The hotel is a vital component, for as patients come for treatment and surgery, a hotel provides housing for pre-admission and pre-operative testing and preparation. Current insurance policy does not fund hospital stays for pre-operative procedures. Consequently patients for planned major surgery are often asked to sign in to the hospital at 2 or 3 a.m. for preparation. Access to a hotel on the hospital campus makes this more convenient both for the patient and the attending family.
Eighty percent of the patients of the Princeton Health Care System live east of Route 1. Forrestal is easily accessible to this client base. Automobiles and ambulances can quickly and easily reach this site from the New Jersey Turnpike via Route 522, or Dey Road and Scudders Mill Road. For Princeton residents this location is easier to reach without traffic congestion than any other site suggested near Route 1.
This property is not only available, but offers some of the most beautiful landscape in the region. The mature plantings of the "windrows" create an aesthetic space that has long vistas with a viewscape looking over the village of Kingston to the Sourland mountains. Few properties can provide such a healing environment in combination with space to make possible a great research hospital.
A LEED design for energy efficient building would be a first in New Jersey. Solar and wind power and heat pumps which reduce our dependence on fossil fuel could be a national model for conservation and innovative technology, reduce operating costs, and provide a healthy environment.
Forrestal is an ideal site for a Princeton Health Care System to "provide the finest healthcare facilities in the decades ahead."
To the Editor:
It is my understanding that the proposed transload development in Hillsborough (a rail to truck transfer point to be established on disused V.A. Depot land) has been subject to absolutely no traffic or environmental studies, despite the fact that this facility will forever change the nature of how the road, Route 206, is used. There has been zero public planning for this facility. The developer IRG gave a "courtesy" presentation to the Hillsborough township committee, but what about the rest of us this facility affects?
The depot is located right off Route 206 about two miles south of Dukes Parkway. If we don't stop the transload facility from being created there, we're going to see an exponential increase in trucks on Princeton's roads on a regular basis. Everyone who uses Route 206, or lives on or near it will be affected. We'll have to dodge more trucks as we try to drive to shopping or try to cross Bayard Lane, Stockton Avenue, or State Road. I don't know about you, but I hate hearing those monsters engine brake at 1 a.m. as they come down the hill from Montgomery. And I hate the idea of school kids having to wait for buses as those things go barreling by, or trying to dodge them crossing to Mountain Lake or Community Park.
Not only are our safety and our neighborhoods threatened, but what of the wear and tear to the roads and our homes? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, one 18-wheeler can equal the same road wear and tear as 10,000 passenger cars. That's right, 10,000.
Please join me in giving Princeton Borough and Township our unqualified support to oppose this ill-considered use of taxpayer-owned property. There's a petition available, which has already been signed by more than 1,300 area residents. We have a goal of gathering more than 2,000 signatures in the next few weeks and would appreciate your support. A petition may be obtained by visiting stateroad206.org and downloading the Regional Petition PDF.
To the Editor:
I'm puzzled by the Township's responses to new state regulations.
Residents recently received the quarterly letter from Mayor Marchand outlining schedules for twig and leaf pickup. Apparently there is a change in State regulations that requires storm drains to remain clear of leaves, and therefore pickup services will be reduced. As services are being cut back, we are asked to "hide" our leaves. Residents in the Borough's and Township's most urban pickup service areas do not have space to "hide" our leaves because the yards are relatively small. Nonetheless services are being reduced.
At the same time the Princeton school system was cited by the State for not complying with lower spending limits, in an effort to provide residents some relief from soaring property taxes. Yet the latest budget disingenuously moves this higher spending to a "second" question on the ballot. While this may be legal it certainly circumvents the intent and spirit behind spending caps: tax relief.
So here's where my confusion kicks in. Why does Princeton cut back on leaf and twig pickup services to comply with new State regulations, yet circumvent State spending caps on the school budget?
Basically we residents have the pleasure of higher property taxes with a lower level of services. Perhaps the Township should sell the street sweeper, a service we really need, then take the proceeds and move the personnel to clean up garden debris.
To the Editor:
May is National Scholarship Month. While this event doesn't make it onto the calendar for many people, for those of us at the Princeton Regional Scholarship Foundation (PRSF), May is when we undertake the important work of determining how much we can assist college-bound seniors from Princeton High School in the advancement of their life plans.
For more than 30 years, PRSF has quietly but assiduously worked to raise money towards enabling Princeton High School students to continue on to higher education. PRSF began as a collection of parents, and most of us are still parents of children in the district. The scholarships we award help to bridge the gap for most families, and range from $500 to $4,000 a year. We have now awarded scholarships to hundreds of Princeton High School students, and perhaps most significantly, we have also supported around 30 full scholarships to students attending Mercer County Community College. Many of our awardees are the first in their family to attend college. We hold that education is the best possible investment for an individual and for a community. We are proud that our work builds a critical bridge to the future, from the excellent foundation provided by our public schools.
This month you will see our yellow and purple posters around town, in shops, at the library, and in Borough and Township offices. Please take the time to pick up one of our brochures, check out our website at www2.prs.k12.nj.us/PRSF, or e-mail us at Princetonrsf@gmail.com.
Many thanks to those who have already contributed to PRSF over the years. We cannot continue our educational mission without your involvement!
To the Editor:
Kudos to Polly Burlingham for having the vision and persistence to acquire one of the Writers Block installations and have it erected in Sigmund Park. It looks absolutely fabulous.
I wish someone would start a fund-raising drive to buy the remainder of the structures and have them installed in other Princeton parks.
To the Editor:
Nothing could be more absurd than the way our enlightened leaders run the Academic-industrial Complex known as Princeton. Now these tyrants want to ban smoking in the airy concrete plaza in front of Reed's Folly. These uncivil servants would probably vote to ban slingshots as bombs fell on our heads. They've already moved to level the trees so as not to see the woods. What will they do next, repeal the law of gravity?
It's curious how all this concern for our health comes at a lack of concern for our opinions. Or common sense. Princeton's visionaries bulldoze oxygen generating trees, then try to show environmental consciousness by snuffing out a few butts. Borough Attorney Michael J. Herbert claims that smoking is "justifiably banned" in the publicly owned plaza because it allegedly poses a public health hazard and nuisance. Apparently, Mr. Herbert hasn't spent much time in the vicinity of this drab slab. Let's see, what poses more of a health hazard and nuisance a few people with 5-inch long cigarettes al fresco on a breezy afternoon, or a constant belch of truck, SUV, and car exhaust punctuated every ten minutes by an ear-splitting din of ambulances and fire trucks? To suffer the supposed effects of second-hand smoke outdoors, one would need a nose the size of an ugly parking garage. To shorten one's life by sucking in diesel fumes, one need only walk down Witherspoon Street mid-day.
And if the unwritten but rigorous policy of deforestation weren't enough, there's the annual manure toss along Witherspoon Street. Each spring, Princetonians wince from olfactory assault and battery as they stroll the main drag, since fertilizer is dutifully dumped around the bases of our town's trees. Who would have guessed that the Academic-Industrial Complex would smell like down on the farm?
Members of the Society for Humane Independent Treatment feel that adults should be treated like adults, i.e. allowed to exercise their ability to choose for themselves. So, if I'm outside and someone stokes a malodorous cigar, I can choose to move away. I don't need legislation to make my choice for me. And when I take out my ebony cigarette holder and light up, someone else can move away from me if they so choose. How about that, adults actually using their own brains to make decisions! And the sooner we start treating people like adults, the sooner they'll start acting like adults. Meanwhile, our elected officials thumb their noses at us while we have to hold ours.
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