June 13, 2018

To the Editor:

As residents of Hamilton Avenue, we would like to express our gratitude to our elected officials and volunteers who worked on the implementation of the Beta Bike Lane study. The Wiggins-Hamilton corridor is the preferred approach to downtown and Princeton University for many commuters and residents of Princeton, as well as the main artery between downtown and PHS, JWMS, and Westminster.

For years, cyclists of all ages have chosen to ride on the Wiggins-Hamilton corridor; however, because of the traffic volume and lack of space for them to ride, cyclists frequently ride on the sidewalk. The sidewalks are not designed to accommodate traffic for both cyclists and pedestrians, creating an unsafe condition for the near-constant flow of pedestrian traffic which includes people walking with dogs and young children walking to and from school.

Cyclists that choose to ride in the street slow down traffic and are forced to deal with hostile drivers and unsafe conditions as a result of parked cars.

Cycling and walking are increasingly popular forms of transport. As such, we are encouraged to see that Princeton is studying ways to embrace and support them to confront traffic, pollution, and obesity-related health issues. Creating bike lanes on the Wiggins-Hamilton corridor is a logical step toward the goal of having “complete streets” in town, and acknowledges and supports already-existing laws that give cyclists equal rights and access to the road.

We realize that some residents are concerned about losing the (free) parking spaces in the Wiggins-Hamilton corridor (the loss of parking spaces in front of our home would inconvenience us personally as well). However, it is clear to us that, after having lived with the Beta Bike Lane, the benefits of having bike lanes far outweigh the negatives. One big improvement that we immediately noticed was the improved visibility which resulted from the elimination of on-street parking, making both biking and driving significantly safer.

We strongly support the creation of a permanent bike lane in the Wiggins-Hamilton corridor and ask our elected officials to take action to make the bike lanes permanent.

Lauren and Nick Valvanis

Hamilton Avenue

To the Editor:

I am a bike rider. When we lived in New York City, I rode my bike to work in midtown and pedaled my two-year-old to playgroups on the back of my bike. There were no bike lanes then; bicyclists had to be careful. I am also a homeowner on Wiggins Street. I have created parking for four cars behind the building for the renters. I was unpleasantly surprised when I drove to the house to meet a workman on May 23 to find that all the parking places had been removed and replaced by a temporary bike lane. Where did the town expect the workman and me to park? Where are my tenants’ visitors supposed to park? Why are residents of the street not to be treated in the same way as residents on all other town streets? Obviously, Wiggins was chosen for the experiment as it is a through street and parallel to Nassau Street. However, it is certainly unfair to the residents of Wiggins and Hamilton Avenue to be penalized so that others may bicycle in “relative” safety. While I was at Wiggins between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., I saw exactly one bicyclist, and she was in the road. When I tried to fill out the survey posted on the municipal website, I found that it is geared completely to the bicyclist, with no questions to elicit any answer but those pertaining to biking. Please consider this my strong objection to the bike lane on Wiggins and Hamilton.

Cecilia Mathews

Wiggins Street

To the Editor:

For the past five weeks, I’ve participated in the NJ Poor People’s Campaign. Every Monday afternoon, I’ve marched through downtown Trenton with a group of fellow citizens demanding government policies that will ensure a decent life for all Americans. By necessity, our list of demands is broad, including a living wage, clean air and water, and adequate healthcare for everyone. Our march takes us to the Statehouse Annex at 2 p.m., where we listen to the stories of people personally affected by the problems we’re targeting, such as a Newark mother whose family suffers medical problems resulting from polluted air and water. After the speeches, volunteer protesters engage in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience (such as lining up in the street, blocking traffic), resulting in arrest.

That’s only what’s happening in New Jersey. Simultaneously, at statehouses in about 35 states across the country, protesters are being arrested at parallel demonstrations.

But when I mention the Poor People’s Campaign to friends in Princeton, most have not heard about it.

When Martin Luther King was assassinated, he was
organizing the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968. This movement is often remembered through images of Resurrection City, a temporary tent community of the poor, erected on the Washington Mall for about six weeks in May and June of that year. Sadly, the movement lost momentum after King’s assassination.

Now it is being revived as the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. The co-chair, Rev. Dr. William Barber, became prominent when, as head of the North Carolina NAACP, he organized “Moral Mondays,” a series of weekly protests and acts of nonviolent civil disobedience aimed at opposing voter suppression and gerrymandering. After leaving the NAACP, Rev. Barber founded a social justice organization called Repairers of the Breach. Now, in collaboration with Rev. Liz Theoharis, founder of the Kairos Center for Religion, Rights, and Social Justice (at Union Theological Seminary), Dr. Barber is reviving the Poor People’s Campaign. The first phase of the new Poor People’s Campaign is almost complete. The final Monday rally will take place at 2 p.m. on Monday, June 18, on the plaza of the State House Annex, 131 W. State Street in Trenton. I urge those who can do so to show your support for poor people by joining us on the plaza. At this time, especially, it’s vital to demonstrate, by your presence that the status quo is not acceptable.

For more about the NJ Poor People’s Campaign,

see the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyPPC/.

Kathy O’Leary Wilcox

Old Georgetown Road

To the Editor:

A colleague called me last night, jolted, after seeing the media coverage about Kate Spade’s suicide. She babysat years ago for people who lived in the building where Kate Spade lived, and she used to pass Kate and her husband in the lobby on occasion. “She always seemed so happy and vibrant,” she said to me. She probably was.

This latest tragic suicide, leaving another adolescent without a mother, and scores of people reeling, is a reminder that no one is immune to tragedy and that the results can have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences.

At a time of year when many of us are posting festive pictures of weddings, graduations, sports events, etc. showcasing happy moments in our lives and those of the lives of our children and families, it’s important to remember that those moments should be enjoyed and cherished. But it’s also important to recognize that there are moments (many of them) in our lives that are less happy and not Facebook or Instagram-worthy.

We all have moments when we feel discouraged, embarrassed, lonely, and overwhelmed. We don’t share these moments with people on social media, but I wonder what it would look like if we did talk about them more openly. I wonder what it would take for that to happen.

I don’t know that we’ll ever know much about Kate Spade’s tragic circumstances, but my hope is that her death will encourage others to seek help. For someone who has been in and out of therapy my entire life, it seems like a no-brainer to seek counseling whenever you’re feeling particularly stuck or overwhelmed. I believe in therapy and I love therapy. Making sure there is a support system in place and that there is someone to whom you can turn when you need help works. After all, Freud did call therapy the “talking cure.”

Whitney B. Ross, PhD

Executive Director, Trinity Counseling Service

To the Editor:

We are encouraged by the good news that Princeton Public Schools (PPS) is pursuing an ESIP, an Energy Savings Improvement Plan. The ESIP will allow the district to take advantage of state funding available through New Jersey’s Clean Energy programs such as Direct Install, SmartStart, and Pay for Performance. ESIPs can also include solar PV and geothermal installations.

The district’s architect estimates that an ESIP for PPS could include $19 million in energy efficiency upgrades. This is $19 million that the community would not otherwise need to borrow, and these upgrades will reduce future operating costs.

New Jersey’s Clean Energy programs are among the most effective ways for public and private institutions to save on annual operating costs. For schools, such programs save taxpayer funds, reduce their carbon footprint, and demonstrate responsible facilities stewardship.

Utilization of these programs along with facilities personnel proficient in project and building systems management, and the current maintenance technology, is crucial for ensuring healthy and safe learning environments for our children.

Sustainable Princeton strongly encourages other Princeton schools, nonprofits, and businesses to take advantage of these programs. We serve as a resource in helping organizations to embark on this process.

Buildings account for 45 percent of our community’s greenhouse gas emissions. Making them energy efficient is a critical step toward reducing our emissions and combating climate change. We commend the Princeton Public Library for recently conducting an energy audit. The audit identified the New Jersey Clean Energy program that will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating expenses while reducing the Library’s environmental impact.

Again, we applaud Princeton Public Schools’ decision to take the first step in a process that is both fiscally prudent and environmentally responsible.

Mia Sacks

Board Secretary, Sustainable Princeton

Molly Jones

Executive Director, Sustainable Princeton

Christine Symington

Program Director, Sustainable Princeton

To the Editor:

Princeton prides itself on a fair and open process during the primary election so that it is the voters who choose.

In the months leading up to the June 5 primary election, all Democratic candidates for Princeton Municipal Council received identical support for their campaigns from the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee and the PCDO. All candidates who declared their intention to run for the two open seats were given the same detailed information about how to run, and received the same reminders and updates throughout the process. All were given the same instructions for filing petitions with the municipal clerk, and all received the same lists of registered voters in Princeton and address labels of PCDO members. All were instructed about the PCDO endorsement process and the Municipal Committee ballot-placement process. All were given the same opportunity to present their platforms to the Municipal Committee and to participate in the PCDO debate. 

The community should know that neither Jean Durbin, the president of the PCDO, nor Scotia MacRae, the chair of the Municipal Committee (PDMC), publically endorsed any primary candidate and no primary candidate received funds from either of the two Democratic organizations in Princeton. 

The two candidates who received the first and second places on the primary ballot, along with the official Democratic slogan, have been active in both the PCDO and the Municipal Committee, but so were two of the other candidates. Ballot placement was determined by a vote of the elected members of the Municipal Committee who represent every one of the 22 voting districts in Princeton.

It is true that the candidates listed at the top of the Democratic column on the ballot have an advantage, but it is also true, both in Princeton and in Mercer County, that winners of past primary elections have included candidates who did not receive the top slots in the Democratic column.

In short, the two Democratic organizations in Princeton worked assiduously at every stage of the campaign to make sure that all the candidates had the same access to all the information needed to compete for Democratic Party support for the two open seats on Council. The final decision was made by the voters of Princeton. Only now will the two winning candidates receive “the support of the party apparatus” as we head toward the general election on November 6.

We thank all of those passionate Democrats who had the courage to run for office, and we congratulate Dwaine Williamson and Eve Niedergang on becoming the Democratic Party nominees for Princeton Council.

Scotia W. MacRae

Chair, Princeton Municipal Democratic Committee,
Evelyn Place

June 6, 2018

One-OF-A-Kind: “Village Silver has a long-standing reputation in the community. People know we have the finest one-of-a-kind merchandise that is truly unique. In addition, we offer the most attentive and helpful customer service.” Valerie White, manager of Village Silver on Witherspoon Street, is shown by a display of the store’s selection of sterling silver.

By Jean Stratton

“We have one of the largest selections of handcrafted sterling silver on the East Coast, and we have survived in the Princeton downtown for 42 years! This has been such a good location with lots of traffic and activity.”

Maria Laraia, owner of Village Silver at 39 Witherspoon Street, is justly proud of her store’s longevity. A mainstay on the Princeton shopping scene, it is known for its outstanding sterling silver and its array of jewelry created by the finest artisans. more

May 31, 2018

To the Editor:

When deciding to vote for a candidate for any office, I make an assessment of their demonstrated values, the positions that they have actively taken over time, and their accomplishments. I am not impressed by the freshness of faces that ascend to simply present change or a symbolic gesture. I am leery of those who want to use local office as a stepping stone to higher office. I tend to go on what is a known quantity based on a candidate’s engagement, knowledge, substance, consistency, and effectiveness. Dr. Surinder Sharma is that candidate.

Surinder Sharma’s candidacy is borne out of his extensive understanding of and longtime contributions to a broad range of community-wide issues. I admire his persistence in probing issues to understand how to offer solutions. His observations and recommendations during this campaign season alone exhibit the same can-do approach he has applied to extremely complicated problems that he has solved. In our interest as taxpayers, he challenges the status quo on how to think broadly about budgeting and where to find opportunities for cost reductions. I want a Council person who delves deeply and takes a stand that we can do better on many levels.

Surinder exhibits a real intelligence and vigor, does his homework, and can convey his thoughts and suggestions with clarity, just as we would expect him to as a rocket scientist! He researches issues beyond the limits of tradition and local experiences. He looks for the obvious and outside the box to identify the best practices or non-traditional approaches. For example, when in a casual conversation with a friend about her desire to access a favorite local radio station while traveling outside of the signal area, he, along with two colleagues, set out to use their satellite communications experience to develop what is now Sirius radio! By example, he consulted stakeholders and professionals to fully understand the problem. His approach to civic engagement is much the same in that, he considers greater community and neighborhood perspectives for the greater good of our environment, economy, and all of humanity.

Surinder is independent-minded and recognizes through testing and analysis, one must be open to options, opportunities, and the unexpected. He is learned, having recently earned his PhD in business management of engineering and technology. He is pragmatic, able to address issues by making the most of simple to complex solutions. He has been particularly engaged at the municipal level in TV30 and the Complete Streets Committee, but on a broader level, he has also volunteered to positively impact our immigrant populations. He is adamant about the municipality doing more with its own assets to maximize the production of affordable housing, a suggestion that could also reduce population forecasts that are influencing the expansion of our school system.

Surinder’s background and experience exhibits the traits of a highly effective person. He has engaged many citizens in understanding the details of issues beyond the superficial. He is a multilateral thinker, rather than one who stays on a single track. Therefore, I will be going to the polls on June 5 to vote for Surinder Sharma as the best candidate for Princeton Council in the best interest of our community. I ask that you do the same.

Yina Moore

Former Mayor, Princeton Borough, Green Street

To the Editor:

I hope all Princetonians and New Jersey residents will join me in voting in the upcoming primary election, June 5.

No matter whom you vote for, please remember that our right to vote is an essential civic and Constitutional responsibility so long as we seek to remain a democratic nation. We know the delusions of the founding fathers: only white men who owned property or paid taxes were permitted to vote. Women had no franchise. Nor did native Americans, male or female. “People of color” (as if “white people” were “white”) were not recognized as persons, simply bodies to be tallied. A major character in E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India thinks of “whites” as “pinko-grey.”

We can’t forget that our gradually expanded (conceded?) rights to vote stand in sharpest contrast with the all-but-universal deprivation of voting rights from women and men who are incarcerated. Maine and Vermont are the only states that do not deny voting rights to convicted felons while they are in prison; all other states, including New Jersey, suspend a prisoner’s right to vote until (variously) release from prison or the end of parole. According to Wikipedia, “In the national elections in 2012, the various state felony disenfranchisement laws together blocked an estimated 5.85 million felons from voting, up from 1.2 million in 1976. This comprised 2.5 percent of the potential voters in general.”

We are all obliged to vote now for candidates for Princeton Council who may be duly elected in the November elections. Let’s take to the polling booths not only our knowledge of legal entitlement but our awareness of those whose franchise has been stripped from them: the Constitution proper (with its original amendments) nowhere denies voting rights to citizens convicted of felonies.

Daniel A. Harris

Dodds Lane

To the Editor:

I am writing to endorse Michelle Pirone Lambros for Princeton Council. I have known Michelle all her life and know her to be someone who has the ability to execute on her goals and get things done. When Michelle pursued her master’s degree program, she found the means to put herself through graduate school, and landed a job on Capitol Hill. She worked her way through school with a full course load and full-time job. Later, she started the first of many of her business ventures through contacts she made while working on political campaigns in California. In following her husband’s career, she moved to Mexico, where she learned the language and soon was working in a Mexican company running operations and overseeing online services. In her next move to Florida, Michelle started a retail wine store from the ground up, as well as created a Food & Wine festival, both of which she ran successfully for many years.

Later, when she and her family moved to Kuwait, she started another food festival, the Taste of Q8, and quickly distinguished that festival as the signature festival for the nation of Kuwait.

Michelle gets things done. I believe her background illustrates her leadership skills and I think these skills and vision are what Princeton needs as we move into a phase of development and change that calls for creative thinking and vision. 

I applaud Michelle for running a well-organized campaign and encouraging all to be involved in our government at the local level and to voice their concerns. She has the desire to give back to our historic community and she has the ability to make a difference. 

I endorse Michelle and hope you will join me in voting for her on June 5.

Ellie Pinelli

Mountain Avenue

To the Editor:

I wish to congratulate Princeton for clearing away all those pesky parking spaces on Wiggins in order to make bike lanes. The street will be much easier to drive now, with no concern about parked cars, and hardly any bicyclists in sight. And as for the people who desperately depended on those parking spaces: we don’t care about them, do we?

Tobias D. Robison

Jefferson Road

To the Editor,

I would like to express my thanks to the mayor, Princeton Council members, Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee, and the volunteers who have all been instrumental in the installation of the temporary bike lanes on Wiggins Street.

I love to frequent the shops, restaurants, and nightlife that downtown Princeton has to offer, yet I also want to do my part toward mitigating climate change, so would like to reduce my car usage. As a mother of two small children I am somewhat risk-averse, however, and I have to confess am normally a little scared of cycling on Wiggins, due to the narrow lanes and busy traffic. The cycle lanes were a fantastic addition that gave me a little extra confidence to tackle the busy roads and helped me to reduce my carbon footprint. In addition, given the glorious weather we have been experiencing, it was a delight to have an extra excuse to get outside and enjoy life!

Nina Peel

Dempsey Avenue

To the Editor:

On Sunday May 20, a team of volunteers of all ages came out to create temporary, dedicated bike lanes on Wiggins Street from Sylvia Beach Way (where the Spring Street garage driveway exits) along Hamilton Avenue to Walnut Lane and Chestnut Street.

Members of the Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee would like to say a big “Thank You!” to everyone who has made the so-called Beta Bike Lane along Wiggins and Hamilton a reality.

This stretch of public road is a key crosstown link that connects many neighborhoods, the high school, and the middle school with the public library and the central business district. Heavy traffic along this route makes it difficult for cyclists to use (in its usual configuration), and there are no good alternatives, especially to the central business district.

These temporary bike lanes will test how all users — pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists — experience sharing this roadway. The municipality especially wants to know whether cyclists feel safe and comfortable riding this route now that there is dedicated space for them, whether drivers feel less stress with bicycles out of the traffic lanes, what the neighbors think, what the students think, and if pedestrians feel better about walking on the sidewalks, with fewer cyclists opting to use them.

We encourage everyone to put on a bike helmet and come out and try the bike lanes — and tell us how it feels to ride on a space of your own on the public roadway! An online survey is available at princetonnj.gov.

Thank you.

The Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee

To the Editor:

Next Tuesday, June 5, registered Democrats will vote in the primary election to select the two Democrats who will stand for election to Princeton Council. The six candidates vying for these two seats on Council have participated in two debates that were moderated by the League of Women Voters (League), and two forums hosted by the Witherspoon Jackson Neighborhood Association. They have also had an opportunity to state their positions and respond to questions from the League, the members of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO), and the Princeton Municipal Democratic Committee (PDMC).

This process has brought to the fore some clear differences between the candidates. I believe that Eve Niedergang has emerged as the best Democratic candidate to represent the people of Princeton on Princeton Council. Eve earned 77 percent of the vote at the PCDO Endorsement Meeting and therefore the endorsement of the Democratic Party Club. After meeting with all of the candidates, the PDMC selected Eve for a preferred position on the Primary Election ballot. Eve has shown a thorough understanding of the issues facing our community as can be seen in the May 1 League of Women Voters debate (go to Vote 411 and enter your address to see a video of the debate and Eve’s answers to questions from the League). She has shown an ability to listen, weigh the facts, and articulate a position that will benefit the residents of Princeton. Drawing upon her more than 25 years as a resident of and dedicated volunteer for Princeton, coupled with her extensive business experience in educational testing and consulting, Eve has the background knowledge to enable her to bring wise and balanced perspectives to Council’s decision-making.

Issues such as affordable housing, middle income housing, traffic, development and redevelopment, maintaining a vital downtown, budgets, property tax, and planning for sustainability and mitigation of the effects of our changing climate will all command the attention of Council. Throughout her campaign, Eve has maintained a focus on the challenges that face our town. She has shown that she gathers and evaluates the facts and seeks a path to a solution. Eve has shown that she values input from all Princeton residents and is committed to building our community together. Eve has demonstrated that she will bring a decisive voice to Council’s deliberation on these and other challenging issues.

For these reasons I believe that Eve Niedergang is the best candidate to represent the Democratic Party in this primary election and the best candidate to represent all of the people of Princeton on Princeton Council.

I ask you to join me in voting for Eve Niedergang, in the Democratic Party primary election on the 5th of June.

Bernie Miller

Former Council President, Municipality of Princeton, Former Mayor, Princeton Township

May 23, 2018

To the Editor:

The following is a letter I sent to the Princeton Zoning Board. Since I cannot attend the Zoning Board hearing this Wednesday (May 23 at 7:30 p.m.), I had hoped to communicate my views in writing but was informed that written communications cannot be entered into the record unless the author is present at the meeting. I hope that other neighbors will be able to attend the meeting and echo my concerns, as well as their own.

In April 2017, Sunrise presented their plans for the facility at a meeting with neighborhood residents. They explained their justification for building on that site, and discussed a number of reasons why an assisted living/memory care facility would be more desirable for the neighborhood than traditional senior housing. They proposed a facility that would face Terhune, standing two stories at the end near Harrison, and one story at the end toward Grover. With parking in front, the building itself was set back so it would not loom over Terhune, and there was plenty of space for plantings and trees that would soften the facade. Although any development of the site would require the elimination of the white pines that currently front Terhune, those old, fragile trees are already becoming less attractive than they used to be (with constant loss of limbs in storms), and Sunrise would replace them with native species that would be hardier.

Earlier this month, Sunrise presented to the Zoning Board a plan for a very different three-story building that would be set close to both Harrison and Terhune. The building is similar to buildings in the center of Princeton, but not at all in the character of the single-family homes on Terhune and Grover. Like many of my neighbors, I was dismayed by the changed design. Sunrise representatives explained the new design reflected the wishes of some Princeton officials, who apparently believe that residents of the proposed facility would have more interaction with us if the building looms over the sidewalks beside the roads. As a resident who constantly walks in the neighborhood, I can assure you that I would be more likely to cross to the opposite side of Terhune, where I will still be able to see the sky!

In response to the neighbors’ opposition to the three-story building, Sunrise has assured us that they intend to revert to the April 2017 design, which fits into our neighborhood and will not require variances to the setback requirements along Harrison and Terhune, or to the building height requirements. I urge you to accept their one/two-story design, and not insist on turning a pleasant, landscaped residential facility into an assisted-living McMansion.

Beverly Wilson

Terhune Road

To the Editor:

According to the data issued on 4/16/2018 by the Board of Education of the Princeton Schools the tax impact over the FY2018-19 tax level on the average assessed residential home in Princeton ($837,074) will be as follows: an increase of $295.15 in FY2020, a further increase of $294.15 in FY2021, a further increase of $692.51 in FY2022, and a final increase of $220.48 in FY2023. That is a total increase of $1502.29 over the current (2018) school tax, i.e., 16.3 percent.

This increase DOES NOT include any of the other regular annual increases due to rising maintenance costs, salaries, medical, and pension expenses. Nor do these numbers include the yet to be estimated increases in all the above for the newly built 5/6 grade school and changes in the high school.

The first unintended consequence is that the tax growth pattern will adversely change.

That is, between 1968 and 1998 the residential (Township) taxes DOUBLED every 10 years: it slowed down in 1999-2018, mostly after consolidation, doubling every 12 years. The 16.3 percent bond tax increase probably will accelerate the DOUBLING pattern back to every 10 years if not worse.

The second and most damaging unintended consequence is that the demise of the Princeton middle class will accelerate. The greatest effect will be on retired people and in particular on the senior citizens who have a fixed pension income and social security income. They will vote with their feet, sell their houses, and move out of Princeton. Their houses will be taken down and replaced by mega mansions. Yes this will increase the rateables, but also increase the number of new students in school.

The seniors leaving have no children attending the schools and are replaced by newcomers with 2 or 3 young children. Of the 7072 residential properties on the Princeton tax roll, 4606, or 65.13 percent are assessed below the $837,074 average. If even only one percent of the properties will change hands each year, it could increase the number of new students in the system by 92-138 each coming year.

Will the School Board come back for another huge bond in 5-10 years?

Moreover, will owners of the mega mansions who pay now more than $35,000 in local taxes stay in town and watch their tax double once their children graduate?

Princeton School Board should postpone the bond issue for one year and restudy ALL alternatives. At stake is not only the quality of education in Princeton but more so the quality of life in Princeton.

Ralph Perry

Random Road

To the Editor:

I was disappointed that Princeton’s Communiversity rejected the application of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey (CMMNJ) for an information booth at its annual event.

CMMNJ, based in Mercer County, was founded in 2003 and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. There is a desperate need for honest education about marijuana in our community. For decades, the federal government has been exaggerating the dangers associated with marijuana and denying its medical benefits. Now New Jersey is in the process of greatly expanding its Medicinal Marijuana Program, and the state even plans to legalize marijuana for adult use.

It is uncharacteristically unbecoming of the Princeton community and university to reject educational information about an issue—even one as controversial as marijuana. This is especially true since the recent discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), the emerging field of bioscience that explains how marijuana actually works in the human body. Researcher Pal Pacher, MD, PhD says, “ECS activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans.” Jahan Marcu, PhD adds, “The future of therapeutics depends heavily on understanding this system.”

Ignoring this issue will not make it go away. It only perpetuates ignorance and needless suffering.

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA

Executive Director

Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey

To the Editor:

The Friends of the Princeton Public Library held another successful Annual Book Sale May 4-6. All the proceeds will help to expand the selection of books and other library materials, and support the library’s special programming.

This event depends on the collaboration of many people, and I would like to thank my colleagues at Princeton Public Library for their constant support and expertise.

The coordination of the sale was thanks to the hard work of our dedicated Friends who served on the Annual Sale Committee: Jane Nieman, Helen Heintz, Christa Smith, and Beth Heaney. It was a pleasure to work alongside such a devoted team.

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers who worked for months preparing for the sale, sorting and pricing thousands of books. Thanks also to those who cheerfully set up and dismantled the sale, and those who worked so tirelessly throughout the weekend, greeting and assisting customers with their purchases.

The Friends also operate a gently used bookstore that is open during library hours. The store is packed with books covering a wide range of topics at bargain prices, and is restocked daily. We are very grateful for the generous donations of books that we receive throughout the year from the Princeton community. To find out more about the bookstore and donating books, please go to www.princetonlibrary.org/booksales.

And last but not least, we truly appreciate all the booklovers in Princeton who once again came out to support our Library. Please check our website regularly for details of the next big sale!

Claire Bertrand

Friends Book Sale Manager

To the Editor:

The Princeton Bicycle Advisory committee and councilman Tim Quinn have decided we need to experiment with bicycle lanes on a half-mile stretch of Wiggins Street/Hamilton Avenue between May 19-29. The committee thinks five-foot wide lanes for bicyclists in each direction would be a good idea leaving “about 10-foot wide lanes for vehicular traffic,” according to the May 4 Princeton Packet. The experimental phase will end only two days before Princeton reunions and would necessitate police duty time, volunteers and the elimination of 35 parking spaces on Wiggins and Hamilton.

I would recommend the committee consider the the lane width actually needed for trucks and cars. The average truck needs approximately a 10-foot wide lane. The average SUV is 6’7” wide. This leaves no room on either side for trucks (Princeton does have garbage trucks, etc.) and very little space on either side of an automobile. What will drivers do? Use the bike lanes to avoid colliding with oncoming traffic?

This narrow two-lane street is the only other east/west thoroughfare in Princeton besides Nassau Street for business and resident traffic accessing the downtown area. Pedestrian use is high. As a New Yorker familiar with the pedestrian/cyclist right-of-way conundrum, I know cyclists run red lights, cycle in the wrong direction, travel at high speeds, and do not stop for pedestrians. Cyclists are hit by cars, hit cars, and pedestrians are hit by cyclists. Cyclists are not accountable or liable for their recklessness.

Disasters are just waiting to happen with installation of bicycle lanes in Princeton. And policing at the taxpayers’ expense is another issue. I believe taxpayer dollars would be more appropriately used to fix our potholes/roads/sidewalks and replace downed trees before spending time and money on “experimental” ideas.

Finally, why would students need these bicycle lanes to get to school in a very small section of Princeton? How many cyclists were seen on the salted roads last winter and early spring? And what lanes would be available to students and others in the other 18 plus-square miles of Princeton?

Nancy Woelk, Maybury Hill

Snowden Lane

To the Editor:

On Friday, May 4th, the Princeton-Blairstown Center held its third annual Links to Youth Golf Outing at Fox Hollow Golf Club in Branchburg, N.J. The event raised more than $38,000, enough to send nearly 100 students from Trenton to the Center’s Summer Bridge Program, which addresses the “summer learning gap” for at-risk youth. The program is a week-long academic enrichment and leadership development program that is provided free of charge to young people from low-income communities at our 264-acre Blairstown Campus near the Delaware Water Gap.

Seventy-five golfers and dinner guests participated in the event which included lunch followed by 18 holes of golf, a cocktail hour, a silent auction, and dinner. The winning team included William Birch, John Cook, and Jotham Johnson. The second place team included Michael Chen, Carey Flaherty, Don Seitz, and Michael Seitz, and third place team included Lisa Balder, Evan Calvert, Tong Song, and Alan Wisk, all of whom work for NRG in Princeton.

Thanks to our sponsors: Cocktail Sponsor: Harris Rand Lusk; Lunch Sponsor: Brown & Brown/Sobel Affiliates; Beverage Cart Sponsors: Chris Van Buren and Michael Nissan & Yvette Lanneaux; Golf Ball Sponsor: Mark Antin; and our Tee Sign Sponsors: Gennett, Kallman, Antin, Sweetman & Nichols, Inside Edge Consulting Group, Inc., Kaduson, Strauss & Co., CPAs, Anne Nosnitsky – Gloria Nilson Realtors, Bruce Petersen, Pinneo Construction, Princeton-Blairstown Center Senior Leadership Team; Suman Rao & Kaushik Arunagiri, Small World Coffee Roasters, and Yorktel. Additional sponsors included: McCaffrey’s Food Markets, Northfield Bank, and Unlimited Silkscreens, Inc.

Without leaders and volunteers there would be no event. I extend a sincere thank you to our 2018 Links to Youth Golf Outing Co-Chairs: Don Seitz and Derek Simpkins, and our entire Golf Committee: Tyler Anthony, Mark Antin, Don Heilman, Travis Heilman, Margaret Johnson, Al Kaemmerlen, Bruce Petersen, Tim Stauning, Sarah Tantillo, Chris Van Buren, Meredith Murray, and Brynn Mosello for all their hard work and leadership surrounding the very successful event. Because of each of you and our sponsors, deserving young people will have a transformative experience this summer.

Pam Gregory

President and CEO

Princeton-Blairstown Center

To the Editor:

While the Board of Education finally started a serious discussion about the Cranbury send-receive agreement at the April 24 board meeting, the argument for extending this relationship remains weak at best. 

The Board estimated that terminating the Cranbury agreement will result in a net revenue loss of $2.8 million and claimed that such amount would be difficult to manage due to the two percent cap on annual budget increase imposed by the state. It is important to highlight that once the Cranbury agreement is terminated, the district will continue to receive revenue from Cranbury students who are already enrolled in the high school. That means the net revenue loss won’t reach $2.8 million until Year 4. Even if we ignore the fact that school district budget has routinely exceeded the two percent cap in the past, a two percent annual increase would put the district budget more than 8 percent or $7.4 million higher in Year 4. In fact, using the district’s enrollment projection and excluding Cranbury students, the district will have fewer students than it has now and an operating budget that is at least 10 percent higher by 2023.

The legal path to terminate the Cranbury send-receive relationship is straightforward and the associated legal costs are more than reasonable considering the huge investment bill the school district is asking the town resident to foot. A genuine effort is need to explore this option.

If that effort proves unsuccessful and the Cranbury send-receive agreement is here to stay permanently, then Cranbury effectively has a partial ownership in our high school facilities and needs to pay its fair share of all capital investments, starting with the $62 million high school renovation. At an average 15 percent of high school enrollment, Cranbury’s share amounts to $9.3 million upfront or $20 million over a 30-year period. We need our school board to negotiate a fair deal for our town.

Jian Chen

Ettl Farm

To the Editor: 

It’s a crowded field this year given the latest crop of would-be candidates who are flexing their citizenship muscles as they try to position themselves as “the best one” for the job of “running things.”

Anyone can run things (and sometimes into the ground) … look around and shake his head at all the “things” that are “run” by the people we entrust to run things. 

Is it any wonder why we are always disappointed in the people we have elected because their campaign promises are only empty words and they just can’t and don’t deliver.

There are two kinds of political people (and maybe it’s true of all people). 

Those who over-promise and under-deliver (too many of those to count) and those who under-promise and over-deliver (usually hard to find). 

Generally I prefer the latter, don’t you? Of course you do, and so I’m going to support the one candidate who has the courage, honesty, and integrity to be among the under-promisers and over deliverers, Adam Bierman. 

You might want him in City Hall too because he is actually a leader and not just a repainted follower.

G. Moore

Alexander Street, Princeton

To the Editor:

What fun we had at our May 4 Roaring Twenties Formal Dinner Dance for adults and teens with special needs!

We’re proud of our long-standing partnership with the Princeton Recreation Department, a collaboration that has kept this event going and growing! John Groeger, Nicole Paulucci, Stacie Ryan—and PRD alum Joe Marrolli—you’re the best! This year also brought a new partnership with the Princeton Senior Resource Center, as we pooled our efforts to run back-to-back events with common themes for our respective constituencies. Thank you to Barbara Prince, Cheryl Gomes, Donna Cosgrove, and all of their colleagues at the PSRC for helping to make both events so successful.

Our DJ Steven Knox and his “Roadie Dad” Dan, and our photographers Jaime Escarpeta and Ken Colbert, were awesome! Dinner was fantastic thanks to McCaffrey’s and PSS parent and baker extraordinaire Ashley Oppenheimer-Fink. And PSS Junior Coach Olivia Browndorf and her family surprised everyone with glow gifts that really made the evening!

This year’s formal would not have been possible without the dedicated adult volunteers who worked on the décor and who helped set up, chaperone, and clean up after. Thank you Abitha Ravichander, Ariel Eighmey, Beverly O’Connor, Chiemi York, Eileen Donahue, Hana Oresky, Joan Morelli, Katerina Bubnovsky, Liz Cutler, Nora Hassainzadeh, Pushpa Kulkarni, Tom Kreutz, Trudy Borenstein-Sugiura, Suzy Yang, Valerie Walker, Wendy Vasquez, and Yasuo Sugiura.

Our most heartfelt thanks go, as always, to our student volunteer “buddies.” We hope these young people know what a long-lasting contribution they have made to an often under-appreciated segment of the Princeton-area community. Thank you to Charlotte Walker, Colleen Niko, Declan Rourke, Emerson Marsh, Emilia Santiana, Emilyanne Shelley, Gracie Poston, Jackie Patterson, Jane Lillard, Lauren Morelli, Leah Bakoulis, Marli Siciliano, Matt Ams, Niklas Wegmann, Rhea Ravichander, Yannick Ibrahim, and Zach Klein.

Our last dance of the season will be our annual pool party and dance at the Princeton Community Pool on June 1. Swimming will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (weather permitting), followed by pizza (and other goodies!) and dancing until 9 p.m. For more information or to register, go to princetonrecreation.com or princetonspecialsports.com. Buddies, if you would like to volunteer for the pool party, please email Valerie Walker at pssbuddies@outlook.com.

Deborah Martin Norcross,


Princeton Special Sports and Programs

To the Editor;

I am writing to endorse Adam Bierman for the June 5 Democratic primary for a seat on the Princeton Council. A Princeton native, Adam has acquired a great deal of experience working with local politics. Also, as a member of the PCDO, Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee, and working with Princeton TV.

After evaluating the other candidates, I decided to vote for Adam Bierman. I urge others in town to do the same. He has pragmatic and honest insights into Princeton’s issues and future. He has an outstanding reputation and is known for his generosity, intelligence, and dedication in doing his utmost in the challenges for Princeton.

Mary Anne Haas

Founder of the Mary Anne Haas Women’s Symposiun, Former Executive Assistant to the

President of International Schools Services, Princeton

To the Editor:

When Jim Floyd passed away on May 14, Princeton lost a unique link to our communal past and a valuable voice for our future. On behalf of Princeton Community Housing (PCH), I am writing to express our condolences to Jim’s family and friends and to let others know how much Jim meant to our organization and to Princeton.

Jim’s formative years were the late 1940s and 1950s, a time of unprecedented opportunity for many in the United States, but also a time of overt and covert segregation for African American citizens. Jim never forgot the indignities and unfairness of these times, and throughout his long years of dedicated public service, he never wavered in his determination to assure an open and welcoming environment for all Princeton citizens.

Jim eagerly joined the small group of church members and other organizations who formed Princeton Community Housing in 1967 and who went on to open Princeton Community Village in 1975. From the beginning, a resident’s eligibility was based only on income criteria, and the result was a diverse community of all ages and races. Jim and his wife, Fannie, were instrumental in helping PCH obtain land along Route 206 at the border of Montgomery Township and the former Princeton Township in order to initiate the development of an inclusive community of 280 town houses, condominiums, and rentals, split evenly between market-rate and affordable units. Princeton Township became a partner in this endeavor, which today is called Griggs Farm and includes 70 rental homes owned and managed by PCH.

Long past the age when most of us retreat to full-time leisure, Jim continued as an active PCH trustee. He was the driving force behind our public meetings and outreach, encouraging us to maintain public awareness and support for providing affordable homes in our increasingly expensive town. He championed those who struggled to make ends meet, and advocated for PCH to offer credit counseling sessions to help affordable housing applicants achieve eligibility. Jim will be greatly missed at PCH and in the community he cared for so greatly, but his legacy of service, thoughtfulness, leadership, and accomplishment will remain forever.

Edward Truscelli

Executive Director, Princeton Community Housing

On behalf of the trustees and staff of the PCH entities