Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 47
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

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Weichert, Realtors

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Euthanize the German Shepherd, or Not? The Issue Continues to Rive Community

(2 Letters)

Statements of Gratitude, Appreciation Voiced by Re-elected Office Holders

(3 Letters)

Resident Poses Questions to Township Regarding Development on the Ridge

Dodds Lane

Euthanize the German Shepherd, or Not? The Issue Continues to Rive Community

To the Editor:

Mahatma Gandhi said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” By that measure, we surely have fallen short in the case of Congo, the German shepherd that severely bit a landscaper on his owner’s property in Princeton.

As unfortunate as it is that this person was injured, a human who caused the same injury would not be sentenced to death. How much more should that be the case with a mute animal, which is unable to advance in its defense motivations such as preventing harm to others that would be held to mitigate or exculpate a human’s conduct? Since the injured person apparently took hold of the dog’s owner in an attempt to use her as a shield, there is strong evidence that such a factor was at work here.

If, as reported, a “plea deal” was offered that would have spared the dog, how can the necessity of executing it possibly be justified? Should a living creature be destroyed because of some error of judgment or perceived deficiency of attitude by the humans negotiating its fate? I urge others who share my sorrow at the outcome of this incident to send a check to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in memory of Congo.

Cherry Hill Road

To the Editor:

How is Mr. Rivera? What severe injuries and what terror did he suffer? Is he getting better? How is his family holding up?

What’s going on here? There’s nothing about the man; it’s all about the dog.

Jefferson Road

Statements of Gratitude, Appreciation Voiced by Re-elected Office Holders

To the Editor:

I want to thank the voters of the 15th Legislative District for showing their confidence in me by reelecting me to the State Senate for another four years. I am honored and grateful for their continuing support. I will continue to work hard to reduce property taxes and combat crime and gang violence in our district and throughout the state. I will also be fighting to establish a new, fair school funding formula.

I would also like to commend my Republican opponent, Bob Martin, for his energetic campaign and for helping to raise the important issues on the minds of the residents of the district. As always, I welcome my constituents to contact me regarding any issue or concern.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve as the State Senator of the 15th Legislative District.

New Jersey State Senator

To the Editor:

There are no words in the world that could express my appreciation to the residents of Princeton Township for giving me three more years on Township Committee. I am truly humble and blessed that the majority of Township residents cast their votes for the team of Marchand and Liverman. I want to thank my running mate, Mayor Phyllis Marchand, for being a mentor and friend.

I also want to thank our campaign manager, Terri McIntire, our treasurer, Scott Carver, and our entire campaign committee. I want to thank Charlie and Shelly Yedlin for hosting our major fund-raiser dinner. Special thanks to E.M. and S.D. for a terrific coffee hour.

Last but not least I want to thank my lovely wife, LaTonya, and our three beautiful girls, Kelsey, Ashlyn, and Savanna for supporting hubby and daddy all the way.

Please know that I will continue to serve with honesty, integrity, and pride.

Township Committeeman

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the voters of Princeton Borough for their support of my candidacy, and I am grateful for the continued opportunity to serve as a Councilman in this great town.

We will certainly face a great number of challenges in the years to come, and there will certainly be a great deal of healthy debate regarding those issues. But in speaking with residents on the campaign trail, I heard a well-established consensus in what Princetonians want their town to be:  a safe, diverse, affordable, walkable town, with excellent services, a vibrant downtown, and reasonable taxes. Working to help preserve such a community is clearly the top priority of my coming term on Council, and I pledge to work hard to earn the confidence that the voters have placed in me.

I want to thank my opponent, Linda Sipprelle, for running an excellent campaign focused on the issues. And I would like to congratulate my running mates, Mayor Mildred Trotman and Councilman Roger Martindell, for their successful campaigns. I look forward to continuing to work with them.

Borough Councilman

Resident Poses Questions to Township Regarding Development on the Ridge

Editor’s Note: A copy of this letter was sent to Princeton Township Committee

To the Editor:

Princeton Township citizens concerned about the future of the northeast Princeton Ridge have asked me to put to Township Committee questions about environmental issues raised at the Township Committee on 12 November 2007 but not answered. Citizens would like written or recorded responses.

Water, hydrology, and geology:

1. Why will Township Committee allow an ordinance to be formulated before it has conducted necessary hydro-geological studies to determine the effect of the development on streams and houses in the floodplain below?

2. What are the specific reasons why Township engineer Robert Kiser is so confident that the detention basin, as reconstructed to meet current standards, will safeguard territory and populations downstream?

3. Since the northeast quadrant of Princeton is already at a potentially high risk of water pollution, why is Township Committee risking further degradation of water quality?

4. Although Mr. Hillier states that sod roofs would “sponge” up 50 percent of rainwater and that stormwater cisterns would absorb the other 50 percent, he spoke of buildings, not of impervious surfaces (of which he said he was “allowed 100 percent coverage”): what will happen to water running off impervious surfaces? Can he use, instead, pervious material to mitigate runoff problems?

Trees, land, and creatures

1. Since the 1996 Master Plan (as amended) states that “suitable areas” can support “up to 75 residential units” for seniors, and since 49 are approved (Princeton Senior Townhomes), why must Township Committee contemplate adding 146 more units to explicitly stated needs? What genuine demographic understanding of senior housing needs can Township Committee produce to justify its negotiations with Mr. Hillier?

2. Trees: for valued trees of large caliper whose root systems lie close to Mr. Hillier’s development, will he be asked to post bond for the long life of designated trees (see Mr. Kiser’s stipulations for Hovnanian, “Findings of Fact,” p. 21)?

3. Since bedrock will be ground up on-site, what provisions will Mr. Hillier make for noise-reduction and toxic dust?

4. Since no Natural Resources Inventory of species known to be threatened or endangered on the NE Princeton Ridge has recently been conducted, why is Township Committee not ordering and studying such an inventory before directing Township attorney to draft an ordinance?

5. Since scientists have indicated that the NE Ridge has many vernal pools, why does Township Committee not order an inventory of such pools—critical habitat—before proceeding?

Leadership in environmental, energy design

1. Since Mr. Hillier’s development site disqualifies him from the highest levels of LEED certification, what remaining standard of LEED certification will Township Committee mandate for Mr. Hillier’s project?

2. Since environmental stewardship demands low energy and low emissions internal appliances and fixtures, will Township Committee mandate Mr. Hillier’s installation of low-flush toilets, low-water showers, low-energy washing machines, fluorescent lighting, body-sensitive on-off light switches, and all other applicable “green” materials?

Thank you very much for considering and responding to these questions.

Dodds Lane

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