Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 47
 
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors



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Iris Interiors


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League of Women Voters Will Collect Holiday Gifts for Womanspace Agency

FRIEDA GILVARG
Princeton Area League of Women Voters
Hartley Avenue

Princeton Health Department Praised for Administration of H1N1 Vaccine

JUDITH A. WILSON
Superintendent of Schools
Princeton Regional Schools

Park Consultant Defends His Criticism of Costly Harrison Street Park Work

DIANE SANDAHL
President, Board of Trustees
Princeton Nursery School


League of Women Voters Will Collect Holiday Gifts for Womanspace Agency

To the Editor:

As in past years, the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area will be collecting holiday gifts for Womanspace, a nonprofit agency providing services to victims of domestic violence. Marjory White of Coldwell Banker Realtors has offered to provide a drop-off site at their office at 10 Nassau Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. between December 1 and December 14.

For help in choosing gifts, Womanspace has posted a list of needed items on its website at www.womanspace.org. A link to the list may also be found on the League’s site at www.princetonol.com/groups/lwv.

Please do not wrap your gifts. Monetary gifts are also welcome if one’s time is short.

We thank all donors for helping us make sure that this part of the community isn’t forgotten in these difficult times. For more information, you may call (609) 924-7018.

FRIEDA GILVARG
Princeton Area League of Women Voters
Hartley Avenue

Princeton Health Department Praised for Administration of H1N1 Vaccine

To the Editor:

While many communities and school districts are still struggling to obtain doses of the H1N1 vaccination and to organize for the administration of vaccines, more than 1500 school aged children and pregnant women in Princeton have already received their vaccinations.

There is one clear reason for this successful effort: the Princeton Health Department. With Dave Henry at the helm and a dedicated corps of volunteers, the Princeton community was well served by our local health department. Indeed, the Health Department’s process has been a model for school districts and communities across the state.

JUDITH A. WILSON
Superintendent of Schools
Princeton Regional Schools

Park Consultant Defends His Criticism of Costly Harrison Street Park Work

To the Editor:

A letter last week by Donald J. Cox Jr. (Town Topics, November 18) criticizing me was unfortunately so fraught with error that it requires a response.

For four months in 2006, after no one else came forward to do the work, I agreed to prepare for a modest consulting fee a detailed ecological assessment and stewardship plan for Harrison Street Park. In the years prior to that time, and the years after, I have been a volunteer advocate for Harrison Street Park. In that volunteer role, and responding to frequent complaints by neighbors about the park design process overseen by Edgewater Design, LLC, I wrote a letter contrasting park renovations that tap local resources with those that depend on expensive outside designers and contractors (Town Topics, October 14, 2009).

Mr. Cox’s letter was packed with misinformation about “nature museums,” plastic play equipment, the recommended size of the play field, the source of problematic runoff, and the reason a landscape architect was hired. But most misleading was a claim that “half or more” of the park renovation budget is being used to deal with storm drain problems. In fact, the contractor’s bid of $510,000 shows only $30,000 being directed to storm drains.

Much has been made of the flooding problems in Harrison Street Park, but those problems are replicated in many places in Princeton Borough. Many houses are built where, historically, ephemeral streams once flowed. Even Princeton High School, which is situated on a ridge between the Mountain Brook and Harry’s Brook watersheds, had flooding problems when Hurricane Bill came through this past August. When storm drains become overwhelmed, it is surface flow, not engineer’s pipes, that determines who gets flooded and who is spared. Anyone willing to venture out in a heavy rain can see where the water wants to go, and can identify the often inexpensive ways to divert surface flow away from upland buildings. Oftentimes, this runoff can be directed to areas where it can drive attractive plantings of native species.

Over the past two years, as the Edgewater landscape architects slowly adapted their design to the realities of the park’s topography and neighbors’ wishes, it was gratifying to see them adopting most of the elements of my stewardship plan. Looking back on my brief role as consultant, I feel some pride. But viewing the project in my primary role as park advocate and taxpayer, I saw many lost opportunities for achieving similar results at much lower cost.

STEVE HILTNER
North Harrison Street

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