October 19, 2016


A few years ago, when Lisa Eckstrom was an English teacher and chair of the English Department at Stuart Country Day School, she received the following advice: “Every day think of all the people you can help.”

That advice has guided her career and her work. She is now assistant head of Princeton Charter School (PCS), directing the fifth through eighth grades, while continuing to teach a fifth grade English class.

“That’s definitely advice that has stayed with me,” she said. “You can make such a difference in somebody’s life by being reasonable and compassionate and making the rules work for the students. How can you help the situation? How can you make it better? At the end of the day, that’s what you think about.”

Sister Frances de la Chapelle, long-time Head of Stuart and the purveyor of the well remembered advice, described Ms. Eckstrom as “a gift to Stuart.” Commenting on the extraordinary respect and admiration that students, administrators, faculty, and parents had for her, Sister de la Chapelle noted, ”As a faculty member, she loved her students and the subject which she taught. She was creative, very demanding, and always wanted her students to learn as much as they could. She wanted the best for them and they responded.”  more

October 12, 2016

To the Editor:

A chief concern of Princeton residents is how quickly massive, expensive houses are replacing viable smaller ones. Princeton has issued permits for 218 tear-downs since 2005, 37 already this year. These new structures both make neighboring houses look small and, with their double garage doors, seem to shut out the community.

This May, the town hired a consultant. Under contract for one year. Mark Keener plans to meet three times with individual neighborhoods. The research links Keener offers at princetonneighborhoods.org make clear the universality of the problem: new houses are simply replacing existing ones that are 1/3 the cost. I urge readers to follow the links for a broad picture of the issues involved.

What can be done? And how long should it take? The links offer examples.

According to the Minneapolis MINNPOST, Minneapolis was able to pass a one-year moratorium directive, or “demolition delay,” giving everyone time to develop “a solution that spares older homes from complete destruction and replacement.” It took effect early in 2014. Before final approvals, staff took the initiative to enact rules of operation to reduce the effect of construction noise, dust, etc., on the neighborhood.

Later the same year, 16 zoning code changes took effect, limiting roof and foundation heights, increasing setbacks, requiring features such as basements and detached garages, and including garage space in the ratio of floor area to lot size.

The city also produced a Toolkit for Neighbors of New Construction “to help neighbors navigate the bureaucracy, explain the construction management agreement, and give advice as to how to exercise their rights,” i.e., an educational outreach both to builders and the residents to help each understand the others.

Minneapolis continues to evolve, but there is now a balance between old and new. The Council member who proposed the moratorium ”got a lot of heat,” but the moratorium itself “got the builders’ attention.”

Could Princeton similarly take action? The 2017 update to Wellesley’s response to gentrification suggests that its government has spent seven years to come up with a plan. Let’s not let that happen here.

Mary Clurman

Harris Road

To the Editor:

Peter Marks is prepared and qualified to be Princeton’s next mayor. It’s time that Princeton has a mayor who understands Princeton’s past, having lived in the town all his life, and has the expertise and knowledge to lead it into a prosperous future. Peter Marks is that person!

Marks, who is a commercial real estate developer, believes that property taxes are a critical issue that must be addressed in order to maintain the quality of life in Princeton. When elected mayor, Marks plans to go over the budget, line-by-line, and eliminate expenses which are unneeded or frivolous.

Marks also believes that the Council has cut the wrong services. For example, cutting back leaf and brush collection and snow removal was a mistake and a promise broken by the Council who promised not to cut these services.

When elected mayor Marks will stop blaming Princeton’s problems on the schools, the county, or the state and take responsibility for solving these problems, instead of spending time piling ordinance on ordinance on ordinance!

Carol N. Wojciechowicz

Herrontown Road

To the Editor:

As a long-time environmentalist, I support the election of Liz Lempert to another term as mayor of Princeton. Liz has an informed and mature understanding of the interaction between our natural environment and the well-being of the community. She sees the big picture in relation to open space preservation, recognizing its connection with curbing flooding, clean air, temperature modulation, and the mental/physical health of the citizens of Princeton.

Liz recognizes that actually preserving land has to be given high priority in the use of our open space tax, because open space is a limited and disappearing resource. (The recent news articles about the University’s plans for Springdale Golf Course, long counted by many when calculating our “preserved” open space, highlight this point.) Liz well understands the tremendous leverage available from state, county, and private sources to preserve land, and has been very successful in bringing money from other sources — particularly the County open space tax fund — to help fund our purchases.

Liz has been a strong supporter of Princeton’s efforts to implement principles of sustainability, resulting in awards and grants to our community. Having served with her on the board of Sustainable Princeton, I found her analysis and appreciation of the issues to be both sophisticated and practical. Under her leadership, the town has made and continues to make strides on sustainability issues such as energy conservation and use of fossil fuel alternatives.

Liz was vigilant regarding the safety and environmental issues related to TRANSCO’s Leidy pipeline project, testifying at DEP hearings and making sure her staff was on top of developments and responsive to community concerns. She also recognized early on that there are serious and troubling issues surrounding the proposed, unnecessary PennEast pipeline that would go through preserved farms and open space and near homeowners’ wells, and supported a resolution opposing this project.

We are fortunate to have Liz’s environmental knowledge and commitment available to help guide our town’s choices, now and in the future.

Wendy Mager

Cherry Hill Road

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Debbie Bronfeld for school board representative in the November 8 election. I met and worked with Debbie as a volunteer at the JWMS book fair years ago and have spoken to her regularly at PTO meetings over the last seven years.

I recently met again with Debbie to discuss some of the challenges facing the Princeton Public Schools over the next few years. Most importantly, how will the school system address the issue of the Town’s continuing expansion and increased school enrollment which is leading to increased class sizes, lack of space classroom space that will require eventual capital investment for new facilities and the corresponding difficulty for all students to obtain classes they want or obtain the individual attention they may need?

Debbie fully understands these challenges and her work experience in program management and budgeting at large and mid-size corporations and, over the last decade, at non-profit organizations, make her uniquely suited to represent parents and students on oversight of the Princeton Public Schools. Her concern and vision that every student in public schools receive an excellent and balanced education will allow for the continuation of the excellent public school system providing outstanding and appropriate education for all children in Princeton for years to come. I hope you will join me in voting for Debbie Bronfeld on November 8.

Robert Dodge

Maple Street

To the Editor:

Greg has a stellar combination of knowledge and experience: he completed his Master’s and PhD degrees in domestic public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He has worked in budget and financing for the New York City Board of Education and for the State of New Jersey; assisted the president of a national foundation focusing on how best to educate disadvantaged youth; and, most recently, served as COO for a nonprofit organization that finances affordable housing and community facilities in low-income neighborhoods throughout our state.

Greg will bring his skills and prior experience to our School Board. His priorities are protecting and nurturing inclusion and equity so that all of our students can thrive; fighting to guarantee that our children are treated as whole human beings, rather than as test scores; and increasing capacity to meet increased enrollment in the most fair and cost-effective manner.

We wholeheartedly endorse Greg because our public schools will be stronger if he is elected.

On November 8, we urge you to vote for Greg Stankiewicz for the Princeton Board of Education.

Ravi Bala 

Valley Road

Martha Land

Westcott Road

Sudha Nagarajan 

Valley Road

Judith Zinis

Jefferson Road

To the Editor:

It is good to see that Princeton is moving forward with deploying solar panels for clean power production [“Municipality Moves Ahead on Solar Energy,” Town Topics, Sept. 28, page one]: every kilowatt hour generated by these panels means one kilowatt hour less is generated from burning fracked natural gas and mountain top removal coal.

However, it is equally important that the municipality capture the maximum revenue from these projects, funds which can in turn be invested in additional equipment that reduces or eliminates fossil fuel consumption, for example, geocoupled heat pumps, EV chargers, or battery-powered cars. While for homeowners, direct ownership rather than leasing or a power purchase agreement (PPA) for a rooftop solar array is overwhelmingly preferred, the municipality may not be willing or able to take this step.

In this case, the approach used by Princeton University should be considered. In 2011 the University signed an eight-year zero-money-down agreement with a private developer to build a 5.2 megawatt solar array on land covered by dredging spoils from Lake Carnegie. The array was paid for by sales of SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, one certificate created for each 1,000 kWh generated by the array) and electricity to the University: all of the risk was assumed by the developer. After eight years the University will take possession of the array and will receive free electricity as well as ownership of the SRECs (which it pledged to retire rather than sell).

The University array used the highest efficiency solar cells available and solar tracking for 80 percent of the panels. This maximized array power output but increased costs, and thus payback time and risk, substantially. A conventional array such as that being built at the Sewer Authority would cost substantially less and would need perhaps a five to six year contract. After this period the benefit to the Sewer Authority would be about four to five times what it will now realize from a conventional PPA.

At the time the contract was signed University spokespeople expressed the hope that their agreement would be used as a model for other risk-averse organizations. Unfortunately this has not happened.

In addition, it should be remembered that SRECs are paid for by a surcharge on all utility customers, including those in cities such as Newark that cannot take advantage of the program. We all have an obligation to see that these incentive payments are as effective as possible in reducing fossil fuel consumption.

Alfred Cavallo

Western Way

To the Editor:

On page one of last week’s Town Topics [“Battlefield Society Continues Opposition to Institute Plans,” Oct. 5 ], there is the following paragraph: “Last week’s statement by PBS claimed that the housing project would “wreak havoc on historic Maxwell’s field, the site where George Washington charged to victory during the January 3, 1777 Battle of Princeton.”

The point of a scholarly pamphlet I have just completed, called The Story of Maxwell Lane, is to show that there is no and never was such place as “Maxwell’s Field.” Mr. Robert C. Maxwell moved with his family to Princeton in 1922. My work presents a history of the vast property called “Mercer Manor” from the days of William Penn to 1956 when the Institute completed its acquisition of land. Copies of this pamphlet are now on sale at the Labyrinth Book Store.

Marilyn Aronberg Lavin

Maxwell Lane

To the Editor:

Recently our daughter, Laura, died. She was a quadriplegic, a condition resulting from a car accident she occurred more than 40 years ago. She was 17 at the time. In the many years that followed, one of her great pleasures was offered by the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped and their books on tape program. Through this program she was able to enjoy “reading” many hundreds of books using their services. When the special tape player, which they provided, faltered, they replaced it, often within two days. This wonderful organization did all it promised with remarkable efficiency. I am writing in the hope that your subscribers may wish to send a small donation to this worthy organization. Their address is:

Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind & Handicapped, PO Box 434, Woodbridge, NJ 07095.

Raymond Burger

Coppermine Road

To the Editor:

This year, New Jersey voters can learn non-partisan information about candidates by going to the League of Women Voters’ new online guide at www.VOTE411.org. By entering their address, voters can find out if they are registered and the location of their polling place, see their ballot, and compare the responses of candidates to League questions. Voters will also find interpretations of ballot questions, including the pros and cons for supporting them.

Launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund in October of 2006 and introduced state by state, VOTE411 is a “one-stop-shop” for election related information. Now that the League of Women Voters of New Jersey has joined, local Leagues hope that voters seeking non-partisan information about local races–such as freeholder, township committee, and school board–will go to the site.

On Thursday, October 20 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., 12th Congressional District candidates Steven Uccio and Bonnie Watson Coleman will meet in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area, East Windsor-Hightstown, Hopewell, Lawrence, and Monroe. The forum is hosted by The College of New Jersey in Ewing at the music building’s Mayo Hall. Questions will be taken from the audience, and a videotape of the forum will be posted on the site given here and on each League’s website.

Chrystal Schivell

Voter Service chair, 

League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area

October 5, 2016

To the Editor:

The person in charge of the traffic lights in Princeton needs to do more homework or at least pay attention to the mess that’s been brewing.

Traffic in Princeton could move much more efficiently than it does, especially at rush hour. The traffic lights and the pedestrian crossing lights are terribly out of coordination. When one wants to turn on to Nassau Street from Witherspoon Street, for example, as the traffic light turns green, the pedestrians are given the go to walk across Nassau Street halting any vehicle from going left or right. Therefore, only 3 cars can get through before the traffic light turns red. This is also the case at Nassau and Vandeventer.

SOLUTION: Why not stop traffic completely at all lights to allow pedestrians to walk in any direction at the same intersection?

Also, the following traffic lights should offer a pause (or left turn light) for the lane that wants to turn left:

1.  Bayard Lane and Paul Robeson/Hodge

2.  Paul Robeson and Chambers/John

3.  Hamilton/Harrison

4.  Franklin/Harrison

5.  Vandeventer/Washington Road and Nassau

Chambers Street to Nassau Street is becoming a nightmare. The sign offering certain times for left hand turns must be changed to NO LEFT EVER!  Drivers are not able to make a left there as they can’t maneuver the task, so traffic sometimes gets backed up to Bank Street. SOLUTION: No left turn allowed on to Nassau from Chambers.

Then you get to the mess on Nassau between the light at University Place and the light at Route 206 where traffic is wanting to turn off and on to Mercer Street and vehicles approaching Nassau from Mercer need to go left or right with and against the traffic already moving in both directions there.

SOLUTION:  close the top of the lane that approaches Nassau from Mercer, sending that lane over to the light at the top of University Place.  From that light, vehicles could then go north or south on to Nassau.

These changes would require a coordination between the County traffic coordinator and Princeton Municipality engineer but the time has come for action.

Martha F Stockton

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Chambers Street

To the Editor:

I was born, raised and educated in Princeton.  I have and will always consider this my home, but for most of my adult life I have never been 100 percent comfortable here, I have never felt like I “fully belonged.”

Sad commentary…right?  It is sad, but it is also true.  The good thing is that when Liz Lempert became our mayor, my feelings began to change.  I am not a clinical psychologist, but I will tell you that Liz hears voices…not just some voices, but all voices.  She is the consummate listener.

As chair of the Princeton Housing Authority’s (PHA) Board of Commissioners I know and have seen firsthand our mayor’s willingness to jump into the fray to help solve problems.  When children of PHA residents had an issue with transportation for afterschool programming at the Little Brook School, she was there.

On numerous occasions during the yearlong discussions of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood becoming the 20th historic district in Princeton, I and others sought the sage advice of Liz and Council members to navigate through the process and bring the ordinance to a successful conclusion. Although the decision seemed like a “slam dunk” to many because it was long overdue and “the right thing to do,” nothing could be further from the truth.

Had it not been for her guidance, balance, compassion, and stewardship along with strong and strategic community based activism in guiding the process we might still have only 19 historic districts in our town. In difficult, daunting and uncertain political times this seminal, momentous, and impactful decision represents no less than a “rebirth” for our town and because of Princeton’s unique place in American history, our nation as well.  For this, she has earned the respect and gratitude of many.  Our mayor is accessible.  She shows up at community based events, communicates effectively, and maintains an open office at the Public Library.  To promote diversity Mayor Lempert made Princeton one of only 80 municipalities in the country to celebrate “Welcoming Week,” an annual series of events where communities bring together immigrants and U.S.-born residents in the spirit of unity to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone, including new Americans.

Under her capable leadership, Princeton is now more inclusionary, more diverse, more open, more fair-minded, more welcoming, more friendly, and yes, more American.

Under a consolidated Princeton our police department led by a capable chief has assembled and can boast the most diverse group of law enforcement officers I believe, anywhere in the state of New Jersey, and quite possibly the entire country! Great things have happened under her watch. “We” are getting things right!!!

In November’s upcoming election I will not be voting for Liz because I’m a Democrat, I will be voting for her because for the first time in my life I feel like I’m not just from Princeton but I belong here, and I am now more proud than ever to call it my home.  My message to my mayor…

“leadership is everything…thanks for everything!”

Leighton Newlin

Birch Avenue

To the Editor:

I am writing to lend my strong support to Liz Lempert as she campaigns for reelection as mayor of Princeton.  I have personally witnessed her commitment to principles of equity and fairness.  She has labored without respite to address the needs of residents while standing at the forefront of farsighted urban development.

Princeton is at a crossroads—to become a gilded cage mostly populated by older, whiter, affluent people or to aggressively pursue a future where people of diverse backgrounds are welcome with open arms.  The first option will turn Princeton into an illustration of all that is wrong with American cities—greater residential segregation, greater concentration of wealth for the benefit of a few, and greater social inequality.  The second option will make of Princeton an example of hospitality, inclusion, and democratic participation consistent with the best American ideals.  Liz Lempert understands this.  She has worked hard on behalf of affordable housing, civil rights, better transportation and multiple measures to improve the quality of life for all residents, including low-income families, racial minorities, and immigrants.

Liz knows Princeton from the bottom up; she has the knowledge and experience to improve our collective life. She also has the temperament to address the needs of our growing population.  Her second term will not be solely about promises but, more significantly, about the fulfillment of  projects she has started and will soon blossom for the benefit of many.

A vote for Liz Lempert is a vote to uphold the best, most constructive sense of who we are as residents of Princeton.

Patricia Fernández-Kelly, Ph.D. 

Mason Drive

To the Editor:

Room to Read’s Central NJ Chapter would like to thank all involved for supporting our benefit concert, A World of Music, to help fund our programs in literacy and gender equity.  We thank our sponsor, Addteq, Inc., and  our audience. We also thank the Princeton Regional School System for the rental of the Trego-Biancosino Auditorium at PHS, and we celebrate and thank our wonderful musicians.  On Sunday, Sept. 11, our audience heard Princeton soprano Jenna Rose Venturi sing the National Anthem, followed by 11 young women from Princeton HS’s own Cloud Nine, Lauren Almstead, Leah Hirschman, Talya Inbar, Annie Kim, Lauren Morelli, Maisie Ryle, Ella Shatzky, Natalia Thomas, Nina Tillmann, Francesca Verge, and Heather Wertenbaker. The program continued with an exploration of Maya literature, music and poetry in Spanish, Maya and English by John Burkhalter III, Carlos Hernandez Peña and Berta Rivas Harvey.  Their Words and Music from the Land of the Jaguar brought an international and historic depth to the afternoon’s program. The quartet, Nadam-Serenity in Sound, played music from the carnatic tradition of South India, and Toronto’s Neeraj Prem, a sitar virtuoso, played music from the northern Indian tradition. Our music came from East and West, and from many of the countries of North America.

The concert helped fund local language publishing in Asia and Africa, scholarships for girls in ten countries, and the construction of schools and school libraries.  For more information about Room to Read’s work, please visitwww.rooomtoread.org, or search for Room to Read’s  You Tube channel.  Please also visit Anne Reeve’s CONNECT show this fall on princetontv.org for a discussion of Room to Read’s activities in Princeton.  Volunteers are welcome through www.roomtoread.org/chapters.

We invite all to a Wed, November 30 evening book launch at Princeton Public Library for Recipes Worth Reading, a community cookbook  that supports Room to Read’s work.

Sarah Branon

Ranjana Rao

Nicole Smith

Central NJ Chapter, Room to Read

To the Editor:

I’m writing to support Debbie Bronfeld for a seat on the Princeton Board of Education. Debbie has been a Princeton Public Schools parent since her son Harrison, PHS ‘15, began elementary school; her son Max is a junior at Princeton High. She knows our schools in and out, volunteering for many school activities as her sons moved through the school system. She has an MBA and a professional background in business, working as a financial analyst, internal auditor, and other similar positions for major companies.

Debbie’s real passion is for helping people in need. She was the founding executive director of Dress for Success Mercer County, helping low-income women return to work. She works now at Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, where she began as a volunteer and is now a program analyst involved with food stamps and Send Hunger Packing, a school program that sends food home with students experiencing food insecurity. Debbie also spent many years volunteering for the Special Olympics.

Debbie is concerned with our schools’ current and future jump in enrollment. And she naturally has a particular focus on the opportunity gap that some of our students face. She and I were both involved with the difficult teachers’ contract negotiations two years ago. We felt then that the quality of our children’s education, the central issue of our schools, was in danger. The teachers’ contract will be up for renegotiation during the term of the Board of Education members we elect now.

With her understanding of our schools, her business background, and her lifelong focus on public service, Debbie is highly qualified for a seat on the Board of Education. I hope you’ll join me in supporting her.

Amy Goldstein

Snowden Lane

September 28, 2016

To the Editor:

Thank you for your article last week about local efforts to resettle refugees victimized by war in their country [“Helping Refugees Is a Way of Life for Local Citizens and Educators,” Sept. 21, page 9]. We should be proud as a community to see how many individuals and groups in Princeton are, by their small gestures, making life-changing differences for others.

I was mentioned as “the ESL teacher” for Nassau Presbyterian Church’s sponsorship of one Syrian family. But in fact our daily English classes — and indeed everything to do with this project — is the result of teams of people, both parishioners and others in the community, who have come together to volunteer their time and talents.

One extremely important arm of volunteers went unmentioned in your article. They are our Muslim and Arab-American neighbors who have quietly stepped up to make a critical difference. They have provided invaluable support, especially serving as Arabic translators at school registrations, doctor appointments, English classes, etc. Their sensitivity to the family’s needs has been a touching reminder of our common humanity and goodness. With a range of customs and traditions, we are richer for our reliance on one another.

Beverly Leach

Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

I appreciate the family of Princeton High School Freshman Owen Gerrard Bardzilowski for their willingness to share the cause of Owen’s death [“Community Responds To Student’s Death With Deep Grief, Support,” Town Topics, Sept. 21, page one]. It’s important for survivors, family, friends, and community to understand the angst we all encounter, whether we’ve had suicidal ideations, acted upon them, or are among those left behind to ask “why?” after loved ones have left us.

It is too reductive for us to suggest this simply is an issue of mental illness, when here in Princeton suicide has become pervasive. Two of my friends killed themselves in 2015, four months apart, both local Princeton residents. We all know of other suicides in our area. The first I heard of just as I moved into town 10 years ago — of the mother of a special needs child — which touched me deeply being father to an autistic teen now at Princeton High School. We know too of suicides before and after this, in our town, 2008, 2011, 2014, among these another Princeton High School and another Princeton University student. And we know that within the last three years 10 students have killed themselves at nearby UPenn, and in nearly all cases no one expected anything was wrong. No danger signs. No red flags. Nothing.

There needs to be a conversation started, and delved into, and there need to be more safe sharing spaces, the type that exist at some area yoga studios, the monthly book club at Gratitude Yoga, the weekly Breaking Bread fellowship in the tiny side chapel of Nassau Presbyterian, among the friendships formed in the Princeton Yurt community, the Men’s Sharing Circles around town, and the classrooms of the Princeton Learning Cooperative. Also of course the open doors at Hi-TOPS, Trinity Church, and Good Grief. These are some of the bridges over our troubled waters. NAMI-Mercer’s annual Harvest of Hope will take place on October 1st, where Princeton High School students from the NAMI Stomp Out Stigma Club have volunteered every single year since the club’s founding — this too is a bridge. Safe spaces exist; we just need to open these doors, and let others in.

Some of us ask “What can we do?” What we should not do is blame ourselves, nor feel despondent that we did not do enough, nor that what we did not do makes it our “fault” — it’s never anyone’s ”fault” — this does not serve those we love dearly.

Instead, how about this? First, don’t wait too long to share your own story — so I openly share that I myself have suffered from severe anxiety most of my life, and periodically from debilitating depression, and yes this can be a struggle, yet I have come through it, and continue to do so. And second, the next time someone asks you “How are you?” respond honestly, so they can too. I’m feeling terribly sad, and my thoughts are with the Bardzilowski family, and the students of Princeton High School.

Adnan Shamsi

Nassau Street

To the Editor,

Electronic Waste, or e-waste, is a growing problem in New Jersey. The State’s Electronic Waste Management Act, enacted in 2010, mandates that manufacturers of electronics recycle a determined amount each year but the legislation has not kept up with the increased volume of e-waste being produced. As a result, municipalities are facing either paying for recycling or stopping collection as has happened recently in Burlington County. Additionally, many free e-waste collections by retailers have shut down or are charging a fee for items, some rather steep, and are not accepting equipment over a certain size.

The New Jersey Senate and Assembly have drafted bills A-2375 and S-981 to fix some of the provisions in the law; however, it is not clear if the provisions will be adopted into the Act. In the meantime, we hope that residents’ recycled computers, televisions, monitors, laptops and other electronics at Princeton’s annual S.H.R.E.D.D.temberfest event last weekend. If you were unable to make that event, the Mercer County Improvement Authority has two remaining electronic recycling events in 2017 on Saturday, October 1 and Saturday, November 19. The Municipality of Princeton’s Convenience Center on River Road is another resource for recycling most e-waste. It is very important to recycle these materials properly because they contain mercury, cadmium, lead and other materials that are toxic in small amounts.

Remember, the best way to reduce waste is to not produce it in the first place. Please consider the impact to the environment and the costs of disposal when making a decision to purchase electronics.

Heidi Fichtenbaum

Board Member of Sustainable Princeton and Chair, Princeton Environmental Commission

Sophie Glovier

Vice Chair, Princeton Environmental Commission

Christine Symington

Energy Director, Sustainable Princeton

To the Editor:

I’m writing to support Liz Lempert’s re-election as mayor because her outstanding leadership and fiscal responsibility provide continuity so necessary for well-being in our community. Though she would be quick to reject individual credit, it is significant that Princeton has won many grants and accolades during her administration. These grants and honors underscore Liz’s commitment to all residents, providing new support or recognition in such critical areas as improving our environment and strengthening our family services.

As a result of Liz’s diligent work with dedicated staff and resident volunteers on clean air and traffic reduction initiatives, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission awarded Princeton a $196,000 grant for a bike-sharing program with the potential to reduce auto use in town. Developed in partnership with Princeton University, this grant provides bikes to share for community members, students, and non-residents, along with covered bike parking areas. To help address street safety and congestion, our town under Liz’s management has also received grants of $65,000 for a parking study and $300,000 for a “safe routes to school grant” for traffic signal improvements.

Extending family services has been another hallmark in Liz’s tenure as mayor. Under her watch The World Health Organization in 2016 presented Princeton with a citation as an “Age Friendly Community,” the first of its kind to be received in New Jersey. Additionally, her diligent staff generated proposals resulting in almost half a million dollars to Corner House and other social agencies in town for reducing youth substance abuse especially, and to lessening addiction and alcoholism at all ages.

An excellent manager, Liz Lempert’s skills of persuasion get residents involved. Community members speak with her and she shares their concerns with staff to transform that input into grant applications. The resulting awards, and not from town coffers, go far to address many urgent projects and services.

I hope you’ll join me on election day to vote for Liz Lempert for mayor for another four years, continuing to bring honors to Princeton, by providing new money, and not at taxpayers’ expense, for many urgent projects and services.

Doreen Blanc Rockstrom

Maidenhead Road

September 21, 2016


CHEERS! “Bourbon is very, very popular today. Really hot! The brown spirits, including Scotch, are generally favored now, but especially bourbon.” Toni Carver, store manager of Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor Outlet in the Mercer Mall, is shown by a display of a variety of bourbon choices.

Whether the event is a cocktail party for 25, dinner for six, or a wedding reception for hundreds, Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor Outlet will provide the necessary advice, professional expertise, and quality products to make it an evening to remember. more

To the Editor:

We strongly support the candidacy of Liz Lempert as mayor of Princeton. We have a general interest in the fiscal health of the town and the quality of its services. Our specific interests are parks and open spaces, and special education; particularly autism education and treatments. Pamela has served on the Town’s Environmental Commission and on its Shade Tree Commission. In addition, she has served as president of the Marquand Park Foundation. Roland has served as investment director of the State for over 20 years and finally as State Treasurer, retiring in 2001. From time to time, we have brought our concerns to Liz, in her capacity as mayor, and she has always been open and attentive, and has always made positive recommendations. She has been directly involved with the care of Marquand Park, and she attended special occasions at The Princeton Child Development Institute, a school for autistic children that our family founded in 1970. She provides intelligence and commitment at the highest level to the citizens of Princeton.

Roland and Pamela Machold

Prospect Avenue

To the Editor:

Princeton’s Democrats might reasonably ask why they should consider voting for an aging, white, often grumpy, Protestant male — i.e. a stereotypical Republican.

Perhaps the beginning of an answer can be found in what I think it means to be Republican.

I am the son of a historian who met his future wife at Princeton Theological Seminary. Both cared deeply about people, language, and religion, both became teachers, and both were lifelong Democrats.

I cast my first presidential vote for George McGovern, a man whose faith in human decency caused him to trust that public sector employees would tend to act in the public interest — with the result that government would tend to be a force for good.

Forty years in banking, finance, and real estate have broadened my perspective, making me much less trusting. I have watched in stunned disbelief as fortunes are
accumulated by people whom my principled banking employers would not have permitted to come through the door; as large organizations thrive despite wasting appallingly large sums of money; and as adventurers earn obscene profits by acquiring and gutting old line businesses — cheapening product lines, discharging legions of employees, and shipping production facilities offshore.

And I have watched with increasing dismay as government divides our nation, impairs our economy, obfuscates causes and effects, flouts our laws, and enriches the officials who claw their way to national prominence. In a pattern that is as old as time, federal, state, and municipal officials extract more and more tribute from the populations they govern. Grand sounding laws are enacted. Regulations are imposed. With each new law and regulation we become a little less free. Problems fester; hiring becomes increasingly impractical and/or unaffordable; favored entities are enriched; out of favor entities are savaged; curtailed access to private sector credit throttles our economy; and our elected officials respond by promising more of the same.

I agree that big business is often predatory, but so is big government. The premise of big government is that people are pirates at heart and that, if left to themselves, the strong and the wily will prey upon the weak and the gullible. That may be so. But why would anyone believe that the solution is to submit to government by the pirates? In the private sector I at least have the freedom to choose which products, if any, I wish to buy. Government decrees, by contrast, are compulsory. They usually benefit few but their sponsors. And, more often than not, despite grand sounding titles, they compound existing problems.

I would greatly prefer to lead my own life, make my own choices, bear the costs of my many mistakes, impose as little as possible on my neighbors, and grant my fellow citizens the freedom to do the same. That, to me, is the essence of what it means to be a Republican.

Peter Marks

Moore Street

To the Editor:

This summer we celebrated The Fresh Air Fund’s 140th summer of serving children from New York City’s low-income communities. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to our extraordinary Fresh Air volunteers, hosts, and supporters in Central and Southern New Jersey for their dedication and commitment.

Fresh Air host families open their hearts and homes, and share the everyday joys of summertime with their Fresh Air friends. I am inspired by the commitment of our local volunteer leaders, many of whom are also hosts. They
volunteer to interview prospective host families, help recruit new families, and plan special activities. I would also like to thank the individuals and local businesses who so generously give their time and resources to make The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program throughout Central and Southern New Jersey a great success each year.

Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities. Each year, nearly 7,000 children enjoy outdoor summer adventures through visits with volunteer host families along the East Coast and Southern Canada and at The Fund’s five overnight camps in Fishkill, N.Y. Fresh Air children also participate in year-round leadership and educational programs.

Contact Colin Reinstedt at (212) 897-8970 or visit www.freshair.org to learn more about hosting a child through The Fresh Air Fund.

Fatima Shama

Executive Director, The Fresh Air Fund

To the Editor:

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is to be commended for advocating the stockpiling of food and other necessities against the day when these might become unavailable. [“Hughes Urges Residents To Prepare for Emergencies,” Town Topics, Aug. 31, page 6]. I hope all who can will respond to his message and set up emergency supplies of their own.

The goal of stockpiling a three-day supply can be attained by nearly everyone. But it is only a token amount of preparation. There are many threats that would cause greater shortages for longer durations.

The British people have been told that they are only nine meals away from chaos. The German government has recently advised its citizens to have a ten-day supply of food and water(!) on hand for emergencies. Our Mormons require each family to stockpile a year’s food, in preparation for the next year that the crops fail. When they formulated this rule, no Federal or State government was able to provide emergency supplies. On a large scale, there still isn’t any government that can (remember Katrina?).

Now a local government official has implicitly admitted as much, and by doing so now has also implied that the likelihood of an emergency has increased, and the time for action has arrived. We need to fully understand that we are individually responsible for our own survival in a large-scale emergency and that we should be personally prepared for it.

Ronald Nielsen

Humbert Street


FAVORITE FELINE: “I’d recommend getting a cat to anyone,” says George Smith, owner of Smith’s Ace Hardware & Housewares in the Princeton Shopping Center. “It’s great having Dusty in the store. He keeps the mice away, and everyone loves him.” Dusty, shown in one of his favorite perches, is the new “star” at the popular store. (Photo by Jean Stratton)

Family-owned and operated, Smith’s Ace Hardware & Housewares has been a favorite with customers since its opening in the Princeton Shopping Center in 2002.

Owner George Smith and his brothers are proprietors of four other hardware stores, including the original Yardville Supply Company opened by the Smith brothers’ grandfather. Yardville Supply is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. more