Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 39
 
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
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Performers Thanked by Arts Council for Making Its Open House a Success

JEFF NATHANSON
Executive Director, Arts Council of Princeton

Back-to-School Program at HomeFront Served Hundreds of Homeless Families

CONNIE MERCER
Executive Director HomeFront, Lawrenceville

Smiling Faces Are Deemed Inappropriate at September 11 Remembrance Ceremony

HERBERT W. HOBLER
Skillman

Princeton Seen as Fortunate to Have Community Park Pool and Its Staff

JANET TOWNSEND
Hickory Court


Performers Thanked by Arts Council for Making Its Open House a Success

To the Editor:

The officials of the Princeton Township Public Works Department need to get out and smell the flowers. Literally! If they did, they might notice that one of the pleasant consequences of the region’s current warming trend is that the gardening season lasts longer than it did in the past. Flowers, ornamental grasses, shrubs and the like, which had as recently as a decade ago, been relegated to the compost heap by late October now thrive well into November. Unfortunately, the Public Works Department still schedules its last collection of brush for the first full week in October when many gardens still flourish. Perhaps it’s time to rethink the current policy.

Those of us who do our own gardening — and there are more than a few of us left — are forced to hire crews to cart away brush at considerable expense because the Township suspends its pick-up earlier than necessary. Is it fair that those who pay taxes in the Township are effectively forced to pay for the same service twice? The Public Works Department should take its cue from Mother Nature and move the final brush removal date back a month. As it is, in September and October when the trucks roll through the neighborhoods to remove brush, they often find very little to remove.

To be sure, this is not the most important decision Princeton Township has to face, but unlike the inexplicable decision to close Rosedale Road for 135 days to replace a bridge that could have been replaced in half the time, it is one that is guaranteed to please. In many cases change is a good thing. In this instance, taking a cue from our changing climate and letting gardeners enjoy their gardens a bit longer, without incurring extra expense for doing so, is change that can be enjoyed by all.

JEFF NATHANSON
Executive Director, Arts Council of Princeton

Back-to-School Program at HomeFront Served Hundreds of Homeless Families

To the Editor:

For the past 15 years, the kind and caring people of Mercer County have enabled homeless and formerly homeless children to go back to school in September with their heads held high, proudly wearing new clothes and shoes and carrying a new backpack filled with supplies. Individuals, corporations, congregations, and organizations make this possible through HomeFront’s Back-to-School drive.

I wish that the hundreds of people who help our homeless children could be there when the families pick up their backpacks and bags of clothing.

A case in point is the J. family. Like so many of our local families, they have been devastated by the recession and lost their home when both mom and dad lost their jobs this spring. HomeFront has provided temporary shelter while helping Mr. and Mrs. J. secure employment and permanent housing.

Both parents have been working hard to rebuild what they lost. When school was about to start, Jonathan, age 9, and Carla, age 7, were dreading the day, dressed in second-hand clothing and not looking like the other kids. However, we signed them up for the Back-to-School drive, and I wish we had a video of the family when they picked up the children’s new clothes. Mom was practically in tears, while the kids were grinning from ear to ear while they saw their new clothes. It was a very special moment, which was repeated by hundreds of other families this September.

On behalf of all the homeless children who went back to school eagerly and ready to learn, I send my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the donors who have made such a difference in these young lives.

CONNIE MERCER
Executive Director HomeFront, Lawrenceville

Smiling Faces Are Deemed Inappropriate at September 11 Remembrance Ceremony

To the Editor:

The September 16 issue of Town Topics included a photograph of Mercer County Community College’s remembrance ceremonies of 9-11. With flowers in the middle, there was a very somber man of the New Jersey State Police, a somber woman from the Pennington First Aid Squad who was dispatched to the scene in 2001, and then two happy, smiling people — MCCC president Patricia C. Donohue and County Executive Brian Hughes.

The demeanor of Ms. Donohue and Mr. Hughes was out of character for the event they were attending.

HERBERT W. HOBLER
Skillman

Princeton Seen as Fortunate to Have Community Park Pool and Its Staff

To the Editor:

As the summer ends I would like to commend Larry Ivan and his fine staff for a well-run and delightful season at our Community Park Pool. I have used it myself often and have taken grandchildren there as well.

Princeton is fortunate to have such a facility.

JANET TOWNSEND
Hickory Court

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