July 20, 2016

To the Editor:

Streets are the great connectors of any community. They don’t just take us from one place to another in our cars, they bring us together on bike rides, jogs, and walks. At least, that’s what they’re supposed to do. But the opposite is true in many New Jersey neighborhoods: streets are unsafe for people who walk, bike, or run because there are so few bike lanes, sidewalks, or crosswalks. This not only limits our choices for how to travel, but also discourages exercise.

According to the American Heart Association, physical inactivity is a leading risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases. And in today’s world, it can be difficult to lead an active lifestyle. Sedentary jobs have increased 83 percent since 1950 while physically active jobs now make up less than 20 percent of our workforce. Nearly 70 percent of American adults and one in three children are considered overweight or obese. That’s why we must work together to make it easy and safe to go out and get active.

Complete Streets policies ensure that future road construction build an environment meant to be shared by all travelers — whether it’s bikers, walkers, or drivers. Unfortunately for the Garden State, only seven out of 21 counties and 130 out of more than 500 municipalities have Complete Streets policies.

The American Heart Association is seeking individuals, community groups, and organizations who are interested in serving on a volunteer committee to raise awareness and urge action around this issue.

Please contact courtney.nelson@heart.org or at (609) 223-3734 if you are interested in making New Jersey a healthier and safer place to live.

Courtney Nelson

Senior Director of Community Health, 

American Heart Association 

American Stroke Association, Robbinsville

To the Editor:

Both presidential candidates will take the stage in the next two weeks to try to sell us on the idea they can lead our nation. One way to demonstrate they have what it takes to be president is to tell voters how they’ll keep Social Security strong for our kids and grandkids.

Millions of Garden State residents are paying into Social Security, but the program is out of date. If our nation’s leaders don’t act, future retirees could lose up to $10,000 a year in benefits.

With a volatile stock market and fewer jobs offering pensions, today’s workers and future generations will likely have an even greater need for Social Security.

Before we decide who to vote for, we deserve to know if the presidential candidates will commit to taking action to update Social Security for us, our kids and grandkids.

Douglas Johnston

Manager of Governmental Affairs & Advocacy, 

AARP State Office, New Jersey

July 6, 2016

To the Editor:

Constantly rising school taxes are a problem across Somerset County and the entire state. Surprisingly, though, few people know much about the biggest factor driving those taxes up – our states’ deeply flawed school aid funding formula.

Under the current system, the state spends $9.1 billion each year on aid to K-12 schools, with $5.1 billion of it going to just 31 mostly urban school districts (formerly designated as Abbott districts), while the remaining $4 billion is split between the remaining 546 districts, including Montgomery. Yes, you read that correctly. Under the current system, 5 percent of districts get 58 percent of the aid. To put that in even starker terms, towns like Asbury Park receive $28,884.76 per pupil in state aid, while Montgomery students receive just $857.81.

During his campaign last year, newly-elected State Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker ran on a campaign where he pledged to address problems based on facts and evidence, and then offer solutions. If this ridiculously unequal distribution of aid isn’t bad enough, taxpayers have spent $97 billion over 30 years on just these 31 districts and no consistent educational improvements have been achieved. Based on the evidence, isn’t it time to try something different?

That’s why I am curious to hear Assemblyman Zwicker’s thoughts on a new proposal in Trenton that would see each student in the state receive the same amount in per pupil state aid. Under that new proposal Montgomery students would see a roughly $4,800 increase in aid per pupil (with additional funding built-in for special education students), and most importantly, local taxpayers would have their property taxes reduced by thousands of dollars.

Assemblyman Zwicker does not represent any urban or Abbott school districts. He decided to run for election to represent suburban towns like Montgomery, Hillsborough, Raritan, Readington, and South Brunswick. All of which are in desperate need of school aid reform. Now is his moment of truth. Does he side with his constituents or does he become beholden to Speaker Vincent Prieto and the special interests that dominate the Democratic Assembly caucus and funded his campaign?

Montgomery taxpayers are watching and look forward to hearing soon whether he supports or opposes this new plan, and why.

Ed Trzaska

Deputy Mayor, Montgomery Township

To the Editor:

On Sunday afternoon we again heard the noise of horns and brakes at the intersection of Jefferson and Mount Lucas Streets but this time with the additional sound of crashing vehicles. Many vehicles travelling up Mount Lucas do not stop at the intersection nor apparently look to see cars rounding the curve on Jefferson from Route 206.

May I suggest the town consider as a minimum making the intersection a four-way stop? A further improvement would be the flashing lights which have been appearing on Washington, or perhaps even a full traffic light. Now that Mount Lucas is so beautifully completed, speed humps would also help slow the flow and make the corner safer for everyone.

Stephen Bishop

Mount Lucas Road

June 29, 2016

To the Editor:

An Ode to Bob Kiser, Princeton

Engineer And Person Par Excellence

Bob, Princeton will miss you so much,

For you have that special touch,

Help and graciousness to all,

Beyond the professional call.

All best in your retirement mañanas and

Thank you for leaving us Deanna.

Grace Sinden

Ridgeview Circle

June 22, 2016

To the Editor:

It was very nice to see Larry Ivan on the front page of Town Topics [“A Force, Always.” June 15]. He was a great teacher and coach who loved his job. Those of us who love Princeton do not seek recognition nor fame nor wealth. Mysterious forces compel us to act.

I taught briefly at the high school, 1958-1988, and for 15 years conducted two-hour walking tours of town and gown for visitors. From 1990 to 1993 I taught and mentored staff at the Princeton Charter School. Then I became a lecturer at Rutgers’ RU-All Institute, where one of my two classes is the History of Princeton.

Call it a habit, a custom, an edge; I am 90 years old and awaiting September classes.

William Roufberg

Campbell Road, Kendall Park

Editor’s Note: This was submitted as an open letter to Bob Kiser and Deanna Stockton.

Dear Bob and Dear Deanna:

We learned with great regret that you, Bob, will be leaving us at the end of this month. Deanna being nominated as your successor was some consolation.

I personally learned in the course of some projects what an excellent municipal engineer you were. Your professional knowledge, your intelligence, your innovative mind, and, most importantly, your dedication to service to our community made you a sample public servant!

Thank you!

Specifically, from my memory of working with you, you were helpful in quickly connecting the two newly built Habitat for Humanity houses on Leigh to the public infrastructure, without which they could have remained uninhabitable. That was not bureaucratic at all, just practical, swift, and helpful to all of us, mainly the new occupants of those houses.

Later, when establishing a circular trail around Princeton with Friends of Princeton Open Space, you (and Deanna) assisted in obtaining permits and funding for closing the remaining gap — with a bridge over the Stony Brook behind the Hun School. Then, suddenly a bigger problem occurred, when a contribution of federal funding required handicapped access. We had overlooked the short steep slope leading down to the bridge when approaching it from Washington Oaks. Handicapped access demanded only 5 percent maximum slope (or short 8 percent stretches with level stops in between). The two of you miraculously solved this by obtaining an additional piece of land from a most generous private donor and you designed a most beautifully wide and swinging trail with a view down to not one, but to two bridges.

But bad luck is part of life. A big storm with enormous flooding knocked the bridge off its foundation due to a single spot of poor workmanship in anchoring the bridge. You guided us in holding the builders responsible and in supervising new anchoring — hopefully good enough for all future storms (beware global warming, though!).

There must be innumerably more projects to thank you for not known to me.

We now wish you all the best for your next phase of life! As I found myself, this can bring you new opportunities, a widening of the horizon, and, possibly, new friends. May it become a happy period of life for you.

And Deanna, welcome to your new position!

We count on you, Deanna, to continue the good service from our engineering department with your professional excellence and friendly cooperation with us, the citizens of Princeton!

Helmut Schwab,

Westcott Road

To the Editor:

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are being inconvenienced by the rebuilding of the Carter Road bridge in Lawrence. You should publish a picture weekly to show how slowly the work is going. I think most of us who are having to detour around this mess would appreciate knowing what is … or is not … happening. And maybe the publicity would give the county some incentive to move faster.

John Wood 

Foxcroft Drive

To the Editor:

Wouldn’t it solve a lot of the litter problem if smoking was banned in Princeton? Smokers do not seem to realize butts are not biodegradable and are not acceptably disposed of in tree wells, sidewalks, etc.

A friend of mine in front of CVS on Nassau Street got a very expensive ticket for tossing a gum wrapper. I only wish someone was at the library to ticket the smokers in the “breathe free non-smoking” areas. I think they have misinterpreted the sign as a better place to smoke.

Elaine Staats 

Moore Street

Editor’s Note: Photos were enclosed showing cigarette butts on sidewalk on top of Moore Street across from St Paul’s Church.

To the Editor:

How interesting it would be to have Peter Marks as mayor of Princeton, since he was born here and knows the issues well. Peter graduated from Hamilton College as a Latin major and then received his MBA in finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He has worked for several New York banks and is trained in public and real estate finance. He is also a developer and has served as a consultant to many businesses where he solves complicated problems.

Peter is not a politician but a student of government and his knowledge and approach would greatly enhance the work of the Princeton Council as it coordinates projects with Princeton University.

I urge all Princeton residents to carefully consider a new approach to governing this unique town and elect an individual who is not interested in power but rather exemplifies excellence in civic affairs.

Louise Russell Irving

Longview Drive

To the Editor:

Many of us have been, are, or will be a family caregiver, or are likely to need the help of one some day. Family caregivers are the backbone of services and supports in this country, the first line of assistance for people with chronic or other health conditions, disabilities, or functional limitations. Family caregivers make it possible for loved ones to live independently in their homes and communities. If not for them, the economic cost to the U.S. healthcare and long-term care systems would increase astronomically. In 2013, about 40 million family caregivers provided unpaid care at about $470 billion.

Our country relies on the contributions family caregivers make and should support them. Supporting caregivers also helps those they care for, as well as the economy and workplaces that benefit from the contributions. AARP urges Congress to enact the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S.1719/H.R. 3099). This bill would implement the bipartisan recommendation of the federal Commission on Long-Term Care that Congress require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers.

AARP thanks Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Tom MacArthur, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Donald Payne, Jr. and Chris Smith for co-sponsoring this important legislation, and urges other members of NJ’s congressional delegation to do the same.

Stephanie Hunsinger

AARP New Jersey State Director, Princeton

June 15, 2016

To the Editor:

Having reviewed the recently released draft plan of the bicycle network, the members of the Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee urge the Master Plan Subcommittee of the Planning Board to support the proposed Bicycle Master Plan. We endorse the intention of the plan, which is to “create a bicycle network that is continuous, connected, convenient, complete, and comfortable for cyclists of all ages and abilities.”

The proposed plan is measured, comprehensive, and respectful of the needs and concerns of all Princeton residents. It is designed to be implemented incrementally over time. When this plan is implemented, Princeton streets will be safer and less congested for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. In keeping with our community values of equity and social justice, the plan takes into account the needs of residents who rely on bicycling as a primary form of transportation.

As members of the Planning Board deliberate, we ask that they keep in mind the fact that making biking safer and easier, as this plan outlines, would be a tremendous benefit for our community, especially our children and grandchildren. The plan they have been given is a solid start and would be a huge step forward for Princeton. We trust that our decision-makers will embrace this opportunity.

Janet Heroux

Chairwoman

Laurie Harmon

Vice Chairwoman 

Martin Kahn

The Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee

To the Editor:

I want to congratulate Jenny and Tim on their win. Their campaign teams and supporters also deserve congratulations. And to Anne and her team, I commend them for running a positive and issues oriented campaign as well.

There are many wonderful people I want to thank: I need to say a personal thank you to my husband, Steven, and our children, Sofia and Benjamin. They have been the awesome home support necessary when running a campaign.

Thank you to Stacy Mann and Tommy Parker, who managed my campaign with enthusiasm and skill. We were all new to the process, yet their expert advice was always right on point and kept me motivated and inspired. Thank you to Chris Johnson, my campaign treasurer and long time friend, who worked diligently in this new role, and who also helped keep us on message. Thank you to Michael Soto, who brought his technology wizardry to the campaign and added immeasurably to our social media presence. Words alone cannot express how grateful I am that our stars aligned, and that we all came together as a team.

I want to personally thank all the people that helped with my campaign efforts, simply too many to list in this writing, but nonetheless so many people worked very hard on my behalf, from hosting events, writing letters, canvassing, forwarding emails, and contributing money or time, they continually motivated, and energized me to the end. I can’t express how much it means that so many believed in me and worked so hard for me — thank you. This campaign has truly enriched my life, widened my circle of friends, and given me renewed hope for the future.

Our campaign was successful in that it energized, and engaged individuals in our community from all ages, and all walks of life. From high school students who were voting for the first time, to new citizens who were excited to have this newly acquired right and exercised it with pride. I too, was excited for them.

Although we did not win the council race, our team did an amazing job and we can all be proud of what we accomplished. Yes, we were going for a win, but the fact that it ended up being such a close race, I believe is an affirmation that we were on the right path. It is evident that our message resonated with the voters. Our community still has hopes and needs that need fulfilling. No, our work is not done. I will continue to fight for the basic rights of all of our citizens, and when another opportunity arises, my team and I will work hard to ensure that everyone has a voice.

We will be back.

Leticia Fraga

Houghton Road

To the Editor:

The Senate of the State of New Jersey, in recognition of the harm caused by global climate change and the need for greater reliance on Class I renewable energy sources, has voted overwhelmingly to enact Senate, No. 1707, which is commonly known as the Renewable Energy Transition Act. The Renewable Energy Transition Act sets up a schedule where 80 percent of all electricity sold in the State of New Jersey by the year 2050 shall be from Class I renewable energy sources.

As members of the Princeton Environmental Commission, we are concerned about climate change, the energy future of our state, and the air quality for the citizens of Princeton. We recognize the great harm caused by climate change, the continued use of fossil fuels, the increasing use of natural gas derived from fracking, and the expansion of pipelines in the State of New Jersey and Municipality of Princeton, and similarly recognize the need to increase our reliance on Class I renewable energy sources.

The Princeton Environmental Commission passed a resolution calling for the endorsement of Senate Bill 1707, passage of Assembly Bill 2203, and for the governor to sign the legislation into law. We encourage the Princeton Council to add their voice to ours by passing a similar resolution, and we urge citizens to support our efforts by contacting the office of Governor Christie at www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/.

Heidi Fichtenbaum

Chair, Princeton Environmental Commission, 

Carnahan Place

Sophie Glovier

Vice Chair, Princeton Environmental Commission, Drakes Corner Road

To the Editor:

On June 5, Rock Brook School held its 2nd Annual Rock Brook Celebration, “An Evening of Creative Expression,” at the Lodge at Montgomery. The evening celebrated the arts by incorporating a painting party, led by Wine & Design Princeton as well as highlighting the creative talents of Rock Brook students by displaying various pieces of their artwork. A musical performance by a former Rock Brook student made the evening all the more special. For more than 40 years, Rock Brook has provided exceptional special education services to children, as well as support for families and professionals. We are so proud of our students and the hard work of our dedicated staff.

Several months were spent planning the event and I would like to acknowledge those who helped bring it to fruition. Special thanks to Rock Brook parents Mitch and Ann Bloch for providing the musical entertainment; as well as Lisa Huguenin, Michele Mammone and Ada Robayo, who served on the auction committee. Thanks to all the families and businesses that contributed prizes. Thanks to the Rock Brook students and staff who created the lovely centerpieces; and thanks to the Lodge at Montgomery, Blawenburg Café/The Catering Company, and Wine & Design Princeton for their generous support.

And finally, I’d like to thank our guests, sponsors, and donors. Your generosity will help Rock Brook School continue its legacy of quality education, providing support and ensuring success for children with communication and learning difficulties.

Mary Caterson

Executive Director, Rock Brook School, Skillman

To the Editor:

To the thief who stole the wheelbarrow from our patio in the middle of the night on June 11: the bright orange one with the thick wooden handles and base and a crack down the middle of the barrow, we want it back.

The wheelbarrow was on our patio and in our yard for the last three weeks after our neighbors tossed it out during their moving sale. It was old and well used, but still in good shape to be used for our gardening and yard chores. It was lightweight enough for our two little grandsons to play with and push around the yard during their recent visit. It was a pretty cool wheelbarrow, and we want it back.

Whoever you are, you should know that we filed a police report to document your offensive act of taking it from our property so you’ll know that you are officially declared a thief.

Please return it. We’ll leave the light on for you.

Alyce Bush

Loomis Court

To the Editor:

I write to thank the Democratic voters of Princeton for nominating me for Princeton Council in the November general election. I’m deeply honored. Congratulations to the other Democratic candidates, Jenny Crumiller, Leticia Fraga, and Anne Neumann, for campaigns that were well-run and focused on issues and experience.

I look forward to working with Ms. Crumiller and the rest of Princeton Council to advance the greater good. I pledge to work hard to represent everyone in our great town.

I want to thank my team. None of us had ever been involved in a municipal campaign and I’m so pleased that their efforts were rewarded with a win in the primary. Finally, I want to thank my wife Mary and my son George for their support. Working full time while running a shoestring campaign obviously left me less time to spend with them. Their patience and encouragement have always been the key to any success.

Tim Quinn

Wilton Street

To the Editor:

Bob Kiser, our Municipal Engineer, will soon retire from his post. He deserves thanks for the extraordinary work that he has done for our community. The grace, decency, and professional skill that he has brought to his job have allowed him to stand in the thick of controversy and calmly find the route to a fair and reasonable resolution. The results of Bob’s good judgment appear in the physical reality of Princeton, in projects large and small — from the beautiful stonework of the dams and retaining walls at Mountain Lakes, to the modest Guyot stream path that preserves a sinuous swath of nature running through my own neighborhood. Bob has always listened to the concerns of all parties with open-minded respect, and his attention to the people of the community he served has made our town a better place.

Ronald Berlin, A.I.A.

Jefferson Road

June 9, 2016

To the Editor:

The Princeton Council has launched an initiative to address the spate of teardowns and out-of-scale, out-of-place new construction occurring in many neighborhoods throughout town. As members of the Planning Board subcommittee tasked with spearheading this comprehensive review and revision of our residential zoning, we would like to update the community on the effort and provide an overview of the process. The initiative will depend on robust public engagement and citizen input, and as we move deeper into the process we will be setting up a website to keep the community informed and engaged. We will also be seeking input from residents through neighborhood meetings and town-wide meetings.

In May we retained the consulting firm RBA Group to help guide us through the process, and on May 18th we held our first organizing meeting to set the schedule and next steps. The Council decided to hire an outside consultant because the option of having our planning staff overhaul the zoning regulations was not feasible except as a long term project, and the growing pace of change in our neighborhoods requires an expedited response. After interviewing several consultants, we chose the RBA Group because they will be able to bring perspective and sensitivity to our challenges through their experience in working with other communities, as well as their depth of expertise in analyzing the economic and environmental impact of changing regulations that will help to inform our deliberations.

The consultants will be documenting neighborhood characteristics and outcomes of recent residential development and identifying areas of Princeton’s neighborhoods that share common characteristics and attributes. Based on the analysis they will recommend short term and long-term policy and regulatory actions. The recommendations may include additions or changes to zoning ordinances, site plan review ordinances, enforcement standards, and the master plan.

We are striving for as much public input as possible from residents, our most important stakeholders. We will also be seeking input from developers, real estate agents, and others with a stake in the process. We feel including everyone will result in the best outcome.

In addition to the more structured avenues for communication, we welcome residents to contact us directly with questions and concerns by email at llempert@princetonnj.gov and jcrumiller@princetonnj.gov.

We are hopeful that this initiative will result in land use controls that contribute to the enhancement of our tree-lined, walkable streets, and developments that honors existing neighborhood contexts, and we look forward to the work ahead.

Liz Lempert

Mayor

Jenny Crumiller

Councilwoman

To the Editor:

With the arrival of summer 2016, I must comment that last summer, some of Princeton’s downtown retail shops seemed to be trying to air-condition the universe. Walking along our town’s streets on hot days, too often one felt chilled air blasting from storefront doors propped wide open. This seemed to be an attempt to lure in those shoppers who might never otherwise have guessed that a modern emporium would have a temperature-controlled interior.

Even if an individual business can afford this incredible waste of energy, our warming planet cannot. (A law against this practice was recently passed in New York City.) Let us appreciate the fine local stores that show respect for both our intelligence and our environment, by keeping their doors closed when their air-conditioning is running. Those are the doors that we will be happy to enter.

Caroline Hancock

Laurel Road

To the Editor:

I came across a pro-Trump message that a supporter had fingered in the wet cement at the Princeton Shopping Center. Being an avowed Democrat and a Trump critic, my first inclination was to walk over to Ace Hardware, purchase some paint and a brush and add a preceding epithet to the Trump logo. I refrained knowing that I’d sully my brand or the brand of the candidate I support by doing so.

And ironically, letting the name stand or rather sit in the cement actually speaks more to why voters should not vote for Trump than anything I could add to his name. Whoever chose to finger his name in the cement was hewing to the Trump mindset of contempt and disdain for legal and social norms. Norms that are already perilously weakened as showcased daily in the media — social and otherwise.

All mock seriousness and snark aside, I’m really frightened by the current political state of affairs in our country as well as globally. I hope that the inherent sanity and goodness I believe exists in most people in America will prevail in November.

Andy Epstein 

Longview Drive

To the Editor:

Last month Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC) held its first annual Links to Youth Golf Outing at Fox Hollow Golf Club in Branchburg, N.J. The event raised more than $20,000 for PBC, and more specifically our Summer Bridge Program, which addresses the “summer learning gap” for at-risk youth.

More than 40 golfers participated in the event with several others joining for dinner and cocktails. The winning foursome included Mike Dawson, from New Brunswick; Varnell Johnson, from East Brunswick; Antoine Johnson, from New Brunswick; and Derek Simpkins, from Ringoes. Our longest drive winner was Scott Stogner, from Westfield and the closest to the pin competition winner was Al Gomez from Somerset.

PBC seeks to transform the lives of vulnerable young people through integrated experiential and adventure-based programming in schools and at our outdoor campus. We collaborate with schools, university partners, and community-based agencies to develop in youth, a deepened self-awareness, responsible decision-making, teamwork, and leadership skills. Our volunteers strive for a future in which young people exhibit personal resilience and compassion, embrace expanded possibilities for their lives, and enact positive change within their communities and the world.

We received all positive feedback from the day of the event. It was great to have so many generous new people come out in support of the work we do for vulnerable youth.

Thanks to our sponsors: Agricola Eatery; Christina Bailey; Brother’s Pizza; Brown & Brown/Sobel Affiliates; Susan Danielson; Dick’s Sporting Goods; Tim Downs; ESPN; Fox Hollow Golf Club; Gennett, Kallman, Antin & Robinson; Irish American Trading Company; McCarter Theatre; Metro North; Bruce Petersen; Pinneo Construction; Princeton Corkscrew; Princeton University Dining Services; Don Seitz; Trenton Country Club; Trenton Thunder; Triumph Brewing Co.; and Chris Van Buren.

Also thanks to PBC’s Board Chair, Sarah Tantillo and Board Treasurer, Tim Downs, who were our golf co-chairs, and Meredith Murray, director of development, for all their hard work and leadership surrounding the very successful event.

Pam Gregory

President and CEO

To the Editor:

April was Parkinson’s Awareness Month and the Princeton community displayed their strong support with donations and efforts to raise awareness of this disease. The Parkinson Alliance is grateful to area merchants for two events that raised awareness of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and funds for much needed research.

For the seventh straight year, McCaffrey’s offered their customers the option of donating to The Parkinson Alliance when they checked out at all four of their stores. As a result, over $5,500 was raised for research.

The following restaurants participated in the 7th Annual Princeton Dines Out for Parkinson’s Disease Research, Blue Point Grill, Despana, Eno Terra, Gennaroís, Mediterra, PJ’s Pancake House, Teresa Caffe, The Peacock Inn, Trattoria Procaccini, and Witherspoon Grill. When diners enjoyed a meal at any of these restaurants from April 22 through April 28, a percentage of the proceeds were donated to The Parkinson Alliance.

Our organization raises funds for the most promising PD research that will improve the quality of life for those living with PD and ultimately, help find a cure. While we fund research nationally, The Parkinson Alliance is a resource in our local area for those living with PD. We thank the community for its generous support.

Carol Walton

Chief Executive Officer

Helaine Isaacs

Event Director, The Parkinson Alliance

To the Editor:

Housing Initiatives of Princeton (HIP) hosted a fundraiser reception for Matthew Desmond, author of the best-selling book Evicted, immediately following his talk at Labyrinth Books last month. Desmond’s heartbreaking book is considered a landmark work of scholarship that looks closely at the issue of poverty in our country by telling compelling stories of real people (mostly women) trying to find a decent place to live for themselves and their children.

The event was a wonderful success. Thank you to all who attended. We also want to thank those in the community who came together to help make it happen: Chambers Properties allowed us to use the vacant storefront at 20 Nassau as our venue, Jammin’ Crepes provided the delicious hors d’oeuvres, and Kelly Mitchell curated the wines provided by Cool Vines.

Partnering with Labyrinth Books was a sheer pleasure, and I hope HIP can work with them again to bring to Princeton important writers who can help inform all of us about the issues that our clients at HIP, and too many others, face.

And a huge thank-you to Matthew Desmond for making the journey from Boston and sharing his thoughts and, importantly, his feelings about the people he writes about. We all learned a great deal.

Carol Golden

Interim Chair,  Housing Initiatives of Princeton, 

Mercer Street

June 1, 2016

To the Editor:

Since being elected mayor in 2012, I have worked together with the Princeton Council, staff, and community to make consolidation a success, and to focus our newly unified government around the progressive values of openness, sustainability, and inclusion. I am writing to ask voters for your support in next week’s Democratic primary to continue these efforts.

Princeton’s historic consolidation has been a massive undertaking. We achieved the financial savings targets set by the Consolidation Commission and Transition Task Force, significantly reduced the size of the staff while enhancing services, and obtained a AAA bond rating.

We have focused on issues that impact the quality of daily life within our community. This has included working to tighten restrictions on home sizes and starting a comprehensive rezoning effort aimed at preserving neighborhood character. I have supported other quality of life initiatives such as tour bus controls and limits on overnight operating hours of businesses next to homes in residential districts.

Environmental sustainability has been another top priority during my term in office.  We developed a stewardship plan for the Princeton Ridge, and were successful in permanently preserving 40 acres of land purchased largely through outside funding. Last year work began on developing a solar farm on top of the old landfill. The town is creating a comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan and is launching a joint bike share program with Princeton University, paid for through a grant.

I have been honored to serve as your mayor, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together. I recognize that there is still much to do, and I look forward to meeting that challenge together. Please remember to vote on Tuesday, June 7.

Liz Lempert

Meadowbrook Drive