LAURIE POWSNER, MSW
To the Editor:
It is with a great deal of interest that I read in the paper a couple of weeks ago that a new parking plan is about to go into effect in Princeton Borough. As a Princeton resident with no driveway, parking in Princeton has been a real nightmare in my life. I think my friends at the Borough can attest to that.
I read where on-street parking will be allowed in residential neighborhoods for the cost of $120, up from $90 per year. The permit is good from 6 p.m. until 9 a.m. I pre- sently subscribe to that particular program. It is a program that I think is blatantly discriminatory. I own two houses in the Borough, neither of which has a driveway, nor room to install one. The rationale that says I should pay to park since I do not own a large enough Princeton property to have such fees absorbed by the property tax I pay is preposterous. I feel this way because I pay taxes in the Borough of Princeton; I vote for elected officials in the Borough of Princeton; I pay for a permit to park on the street in front of my houses in the Borough; my car is the only car on Lytle Street from midnight until dawn; per the permit, I have to move my car from in front of my houses during the day; my tenants are not allowed a permit to park on the street in front of my houses.
On the flip side, each morning before 7:30 a.m., Lytle Street is full of parked cars, sometimes parked right up on my back and front fenders; at least five of the cars are from out of state (Pa.); these folks do not pay taxes in the municipality; these folks do not vote for elected officials in the municipality; these folks do not pay for parking in front of my houses; these people can remain parked all dayfreein front of my houses.
Is it maybe elitism? People who own large properties can park on the street free because it is absorbed by property tax on their large properties with driveways. Except when there is snow, I assume they have carte blanche, 24-7. On the other hand, a tax paying (albeit on a postage stamp property), born and bred Princetonian, faithful voter in local elections, who lacks a driveway, is penalized because I don't own a property large enough for a driveway. To add insult to injury, the law says I may pay and park overnight, but I must move my car each morning to make way for the folks who don't pay taxes here, who don't even live in the municipality, and who don't even vote here, to park free during the day in front of my houses. That is some kind of discrimination.
To the Editor:
I would like to compliment the services of the Princeton Public Library. To all the ladies and Tom in the library, I want to express my thanks and appreciation for their lovely service. They exemplify true customer service, always with recognition, a smile, and patience.
Whenever I'm looking for a book with the wrong information, misspelled titles, wrong pronounciation, and authors, they take time to find it. Darn if they don't find it. They do this with willingness, eagerness, and a smile. Whenever I feel low in spirit, I always go to the library and when I leave I feel good, uplifted, and with an armful of good books recommended by a sweet librarian.
We don't show enough appreciation for our librarians. I do show appreciation. I think we should celebrate a special day "librarian day". Thanks again to all the ladies and Tom in the Princeton Public Library.
To the Editor:
We are writing in response to the article in the Back to School supplement to Town Topics entitled "Homework Love It or Hate It. Parents Love It, Children Hate It." Dr. Jeffrey Graber, assistant superintendent of the Princeton Regional Schools, is quoted as saying about homework, "Parents love it, children hate it. It's how they know that their children are learning." We, however, do not love homework, and there are many, many other ways that we know our children are learning.
There is a large body of evidence suggesting that, with the exception of reading and math, larger amounts of homework do not correlate with higher grades. And, at the elementary school level, there is no conclusive evidence that homework boosts achievement. A recent article in Forbes magazine compared math scores in Japan, Canada, Germany, and the U.S. Scores on national tests indicated that beyond one to two hours of total homework, scores actually decreased in every country except Japan, where they remained flat. More than three hours and the decrease was marked. Yet 24 percent of eighth graders in the U.S. already do more than three hours of homework a night.
Today's families are busy. Parents work and volunteer; children are involved in sports, music and other classes. Most parents agree that conflict over homework is one of the prime sources of parent-child tension. As the parent of a PHS student who has been in the Princeton Regional schools since kindergarten, I can tell you excessive homework has been a persistent source of stress in our household from third grade on. If it had taken the half hour or 45 minutes it was supposed to take, it would have been manageable. But the reality is that it often took hours.
I am concerned that Dr. Graber thinks all parents love homework. Do you love it? Please drop him a note at 25 Valley Road and let him know.