and BARBARA TERRITO
To the Editor:
The Princeton High School Choir is gearing up for a trip to Prague and Dresden this coming February. In Dresden, our "singing ambassadors" will visit the Frauenkirche, the city's recently reconstructed historic cathedral. They will also visit the Zwinger Palace, where they will have the opportunity to attend a performance of Die Fledermaus. In Prague, the choir will explore the Old City with its Jewish quarter and cemetery. They will also visit Hradcany Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral, which was started at the end of the 9th century.
Immersed in the history, culture, and music of these two great cities, the choir will perform a number of concerts including a joint concert with the Primaner Choir from Berlin and the Jan Neruda School Choir. Judging from past trips the educational and cultural experience will be unforgettable. Ruth Quiles, class of '05, summed up the choir's previous trip in an article for the school newspaper. "I'm glad my first experience of international travel had a purpose other than sightseeing," she wrote. "There was something very satisfying in the balance between rehearsal, performance, and recreation. Sharing our music with the audience and hearing their applause was perhaps the most rewarding of all."
The PHS Choir is a jewel in the crown of the Princeton Public Schools and would not be possible without the talent, dedication, and enthusiasm of choir director Charles Sundquist. Andres Reinero '05 has participated in choir since middle school and expressed the value of this program: "The music and camaraderie has made choir an incredible experience. Music is an inseparable part of who I am."
The choir steering committee looks forward to the realization of this excellent educational opportunity and is actively seeking funds to help support the trip. Any donations would be most appreciated. They should be made payable to PHS Choir Tour and sent to Charles Sundquist, Princeton High School, 151 Moore Street, Princeton 08540.
To the Editor:
We, the members of Not In Our Town, are deeply troubled by news of the pre-dawn raids by immigration officials, with the cooperation but not the direct assistance of the local police on the households of some Latino members of our community. We have learned that although there were only three federal arrest warrants, a total of eight men were taken to the Elizabeth detention center to await deportation. None was accused of anything other than their immigration violations. It is our understanding that in some cases there was pretty rough treatment, along with abusive name calling, of those being detained, and that the conditions at the Elizabeth detention center are deplorable.
Surely none of us wants any of our fellow Princetonians treated so badly. We know that fear is now pervasive in the Latino community. Although we may have no control over the actions of immigration agents, we can ask our local police to refuse to be involved. Up to now, our police force has had pretty good relations with the Latino community. This good relationship makes us all safer as well as more comfortable. We want to preserve that and we believe that the police do too. What is the best way to do that?
One thing we can all do is become better informed about existing immigration law and proposals for reform. We can make an effort to learn about and care about how the current practices affect individuals and their families. We can participate in events sponsored by local groups whose focus is on these issues. For example, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund will sponsor a march on November 6 at 4 p.m., starting at Tiger Park and ending at Borough Hall.
The Latinos of Princeton have worked hard and lived peacefully among us for a number of years. Their hard work and decency contribute a great deal to the well being of Princeton. Many of us are happy to have Latino friends and acquaintances. Their presence increases the richness of all of our lives. We hope others in the Princeton community will join Not In Our Town in saying that we do not want this kind of treatment of any of our friends and neighbors. As our mission statement says, "Our hope is that Princeton will become a town in which the ideals of friendship, community, and pride in diversity will prevail."
To the Editor:
I sympathize to a certain extent with the letter from Robert Raphael (Town Topics, October 6) concerning the proposal for sidewalks on Snowden Lane. It is a beautiful rural street, but a sidewalk does not have to detract from that beauty and would considerably increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists. A simple asphalt path was recently completed on Mt. Lucas Road and it is already delightfully covered with leaves. Joggers and squirrels are interacting nicely.
We all pay taxes as a community, not to protect our own turf, but to do what is best for everyone who would like to pass your way.
To the Editor:
Thanks to area book lovers, the Friends of the Princeton Public Library Annual Book Sale was a record-breaker. You donated the books we offered for sale; then you came to our exciting new Library and bought out our stock. We thank you.
The Friends give all book sale income to the Library for the purchase of new books and audio and visual materials; to fund staff development; and for programs for all ages, from babies to seniors.
Our daily ongoing book sale, located on the Library's main floor near the welcome desk, continues throughout the year during Library hours. The shelves are restocked frequently.
Princeton, we thank you! Let's do it again in October 2005.
To the Editor:
The Writers Block project is a beautiful example of what a community can accomplish with creativity and helping hands. The landscaped area and its clever follies were more than just lovely and entertaining; they were truly community-building. More than one friend has commented on unexpected encounters when visiting the Writers Block friendly conversations with strangers, running into acquaintances, seeing Sunday school classes enjoying the little park.
It is amazing what a little landscaping and a big idea can accomplish. The members of the Garden Club of Princeton wish to commend all the creators of Writers Block, especially Peter Soderman and Kevin Wilkes. We value this project for reminding us of the importance of our public spaces, of the transforming uses of plants in creative and entertaining designs, and of the power of volunteers. Recognizing that any project like this, even when so much time, material and labor is donated, requires some financing, the Garden Club of Princeton has voted to make a contribution to the organizers to defray out of pocket costs.
Thanks to all who contributed to this wonderful gift to the community and congratulations on the huge success of Writers Block.
To the Editor:
I am writing with regard to the proposed sidewalk for Snowden Lane.
I am a newcomer to Princeton, having moved here one year ago from New York City, where I spent most of my life. I decided to relocate here because I had been told that this was a good town for walking. I am legally blind and cannot drive.
It offends me to have the Police Department cite the need for sidewalks as a "safety concern." There are no data supporting this claim. As a legally blind mother of a two-year-old son, I feel perfectly safe strolling my son up and down Snowden Lane. Cars slow down around us. I've never felt that we lived on a dangerous or hazardous street.
Whatever the real reasons are for pursuing the proposed sidewalk on Snowden Lane, they should be made known to Township residents. Safety is not an issue, either for school age children or for the legally blind. Reconstruction, the way the Township plans it, will result in higher vehicular speeds; this will result in less safety, not more. There is no reason to issue an ordinance or assessment to the taxpayers.
To the Editor:
The best way to find out what's on people's minds is to walk their neighborhoods, knock on their doors, and ask them. That's what I've done as a candidate for Council. And I think a Linden Lane resident I met put it best. She said, "Another property tax increase like this year's, and I'm out of here." Rising property taxes will force her to leave a community she loves.
In my campaign, I have called upon Council to do what it can within the budget it controls to ease our residents' tax burden. I strongly support a smaller, more efficient local government. I do not believe that we need to make draconian cuts. But we do need to find sensible expense reductions.
I have advocated reducing our local police force through attrition, and, in fact, over the past few months we have seen the force reduce from 34 to 32 total officers. We need a sensible road reconstruction program that does not add to our debt. And we need to consolidate services with other municipalities beginning with a combined police dispatch service with Princeton Township.
Of course, we must continue efforts to get non-profit institutions like Princeton University to pay their fair share. But that does not excuse local government from its responsibility to keep property taxes low.
We need to act because rising property taxes threaten the diversity of this community and I want my friend on Linden Lane to stay in town.
To the Editor:
When we moved to Princeton a few decades ago, there was an unwritten rule in both municipalities that neither political party placed lawn signs.
This was in sharp contrast to West Windsor, where neighbors seem to compete to see whose lawn can hold the most signs.
Then Rush Holt began running for something and the unwritten rule was forgotten. Lawn signs sprouted like dandelions and are about as welcome. And the clutter continues.
Nice going, Princeton. We're catching up with West Windsor.
To the Editor:
With regard to the article "Bow Hunting Provision In Deer Management Program Criticized" (Town Topics, October 13), it should be pointed out that Mayor Phyllis Marchand made a deal with the New Jersey Fish and Game Council four years ago. The deal was to open Princeton's parks to hunters in exchange for Fish and Game's permission to hire White Buffalo to kill deer with high-powered rifles and captive-bolt pistols. Residents were never told of this deal.
Township Committee members have known all along that this is the deal that was made with the Fish and Game Council. It's possible some of the Committee members have been duped, just as the Mayor tried to dupe Township residents by keeping secret her net-and-bolt plan during the time she was running for re-election.
The Committee protests too much when it says that it is being blackmailed into allowing bow hunting of human-acclimated deer in our parks. Bow hunting results in many nonlethal shots, causing the wounded animals to die slowly in hiding. No deal requiring this practice in our parks should be acceptable.
Many people think of Princeton as an intellectual, progressive community. The Township does deserve credit for conducting an experiment with immunocontraception to reduce the deer population. However, throughout most of the town the Dark Age gun-'em-down mentality prevails.
JOHN and BARBARA TERRITO
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