June 12, 2019

To the Editor:

Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC) recently held its fourth annual Links to Youth Golf Outing at the Fox Hollow Golf Club in Branchburg, NJ. The event raised more than $42,000, which will enable middle and high school students from low-income communities to attend our award-winning, weeklong Summer Bridge Program free of charge. The Summer Bridge Program helps nearly 550 students lessen summer learning loss and build critical 21st Century skills like communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking at our 264-acre campus in Blairstown.

Seventy golfers participated in this year’s event, with more than a dozen additional PBC supporters joining us for the evening’s awards presentation, dinner, and cocktails. The winning foursome included Christopher Campbell of Summit; William Charlton of New Vernon; Robert Jones of Summit and Mark Meyer, both of Summit. In addition, the first Ev Pinneo Award, an award given to a staff or volunteer who has gone above and beyond in their dedication and commitment to the mission of the Princeton-Blairstown Center, was presented to Jim Huffman of Princeton Junction.

PBC empowers young people, primarily from under-resourced communities, to strengthen their social-emotional skills through experiential, environmental, and adventure-based programming. We collaborate with schools, university partners, and community organizations to help develop self-awareness, responsible decision-making, teamwork, and leadership skills in the youth we serve.

Many thanks to our sponsors: Mark Antin; Bank Direct Capital Finance; Brown & Brown/Sobel Affiliates of Garden City, Inc.; Bryn Mawr Trust; Fraser Advanced Information Systems; Gennett, Kallman, Antin, Sweetman & Nichols; Harris Rand Lusk; Inside Edge Consulting Group, Inc.; Yvette Lanneaux & Michael Nissan; Mazza Recycling; NJ CAR; Northfield Bank; Bruce Petersen; Pinneo Construction; PBC Senior Leadership Team; PNC Bank; The Princeton Corridor Rotary Club; Tamara Simpkins Franklin; Suman Rao & Kaushik Arunagiri; Unlimited Silkscreens, Inc.; and Chris Van Buren.

It takes a great team to plan and execute a successful event. Thank you to Co-Chairs Sarah Tantillo and Derek Simpkins; Auction Chair Margaret Johnson; PBC staff members Meredith Murray and Maren Morsch; and the Links to Youth Golf Committee. Because of their efforts students from Trenton, Newark, and Camden will have the opportunity to learn and grow this summer.

Pam Gregory
President & CEO

To the Editor:

I want to thank the person whose name is unknown to me for turning over keys I lost in downtown Princeton almost two weeks ago. That you took the time to turn them in to the Police Station is very, very much appreciated!

Marsha Diamond
Spring Street

June 5, 2019

To the Editor:
As well as being a Life Success Coach, I host and produce Natasha, a half-hour interview show for Princeton Community Television (PCTV), doing interviews on topics ranging from “tattoos to nuclear weapons.”
In the past 18 months I have done numerous shows on the opioid epidemic in New Jersey; interviewing recovering addicts, parents who lost children, a retired judge who started a recovery program in jail, drug counselors, a prosecutor, attorneys challenging the role of big pharma, etc. There was something extraordinarily valuable to learn from each of these guests, including resources available in this area.
I have done interviews with the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, New Jersey’s SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), NJ Coalition for Peace Action, Womanspace, HomeFront, Penn East Pipeline Resistance, and the New Jersey Sierra Club. I interviewed local youth who started nonprofits. It doesn’t get much more local and relevant.
In the past year I did three shows on scleroderma, a devastating disease that is considered incurable. A Princeton physician working with my guest Jane suggested medication that was not available in the U.S. at that time. As a result, Jane is a walking miracle; as of now, the first person we know of who is cured of scleroderma. Partly because of Jane being unstoppable as an advocate for finding a cure, and because of the attention she got from doing the interviews and spreading the word, as of January 2019 the medication she used has now been made available in the U.S.
In response to the interviews, Jane got calls from all over the world. One of the interviews was aired at a scientific conference in Germany. Temple University has also aired several of my interviews. Why is Princeton so willing to dismiss the value provided by PCTV?
I am one producer of many, who create rich and valuable programming. People have talked about how the studio provides training and courses and opportunities to learn how to produce shows. That’s just one side of it. The other side is the extraordinarily diverse and significant programs that are produced at the studio.
Princeton is known world-wide as diverse, intellectually and culturally exciting, a center of creative thinking. Why would the municipality of Princeton not embrace and support the unique offerings of PCTV?
Princeton receives a cable TV franchise fee. Not all, but only a portion of this has been used to keep Princeton Community Television alive. Recently, there was a statement made indicating that the reason Princeton was refusing to continue allocating the monies to sustain PCTV was that they had a commitment to providing taxpayer relief. How does an annual budget of $232,000 provide significant taxpayer relief?

Natasha Sherman
Life Success Coach

To the Editor:
Our next election to choose the president of the United States is on November 3, 2020. President Trump intends to run for re-election. He may face primary challengers, and the Democratic Party currently has 23 contenders for the nomination.
What does this mean to a new voter? How can a person who has just turned 18 make sense of this complex political scene?
The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting and protecting voting rights. In working closely this spring with Lawrence High School student leaders to register new Mercer County voters, we signed up to 50 new voters in one morning. Unfortunately, a significant number of students had little knowledge of what registration and voting are all about, perhaps because civics courses are rarely taught in New Jersey schools.
This letter is a call to action. We encourage school administrators, guidance counselors, teachers, students, and our state legislators to restore comprehensive civics education to the school curriculum and the educational experience.

Margaret Rich
Ewing Township
Marcia Steinberg
Lawrence Township
The League of Women Voters of
Lawrence Township

May 29, 2019

To the Editor:

We write as longtime Princeton residents and experienced professionals in the area of municipal planning and community design. In recent years, we have joined our community in watching with dismay as less-than-optimal decisions have been made that negatively impact the future of our town. We are concerned about the absence of thoughtful, fact-and-design-based decision-making, for aspects and areas of our community in great need of attention — from parking to zoning to affordable housing to infrastructure improvements and many other areas that require appropriate planning.

We believe that Mia Sacks is the candidate most equipped, through background, experience, and proven service to Princeton, to address these deficiencies in municipal leadership. Mia has spent an extraordinary amount of time working to develop a sophisticated working knowledge of our town’s physical character, economic dynamics, political and legal structure. She is well-versed in the fundamental elements of municipal governance — public policy, infrastructure, municipal finance, transportation, education, and land use. more

To the Editor:

We write to support Michelle Pirone Lambros’s candidacy for Princeton Council.

Unlike all other Council members or candidates, Michelle is a business-person, with much experience and proven expertise in negotiating large budgets and contracts (both in the United States and abroad). She has extensive capabilities in communications strategies; her capacities have obviously been acknowledged by executives in Kuwait, Mexico, and elsewhere. These are necessary skills in managing “Princeton” — but also in dealing with Princeton University (whose payment-in-lieu-of-taxes comes up for renegotiation in 2021); the University’s needs for our municipal services (such as fire-fighting) increase as the University expands. Michelle has the important, broad, and long-term experience in the public world where multiple voices must be heard and reconciled — and directed towards the best public good. more

To the Editor:

Frequently we have difficult choices to make for government elections, in this case for Princeton Council. Today we find ourselves in an unusual circumstance. We have a Council with small amount of experience and with lots of energy. Focusing that energy requires experience. Second to the mayor, Tim has the experience to help lead on a number of the issues confronting the town. He has been and can continue to be a positive, knowledgeable force and a consensus builder working with the other Council members. While all members of Council are congenial, they are all opinionated and strong willed. Tim has the management skills to bring different opinions together to reach a common solution.

Institutional memory is also important. While fresh ideas are important, context is also important if not necessary. Tim has served on a number of boards and committees. This experience allows him to provide gravitas to the meetings with the newer Council members. more

To the Editor:

Sitting out back Friday night May 24, I was actually stunned. Around 5:30, there was hardy any noise at all in the Edgerstoune neighborhood. No leaf blowers, stone grinders, or chainsaws.

I was afraid to say anything to Katie for fear of jinxing it. But it actually went on unabated, to my amazement. I said to myself: wouldn’t it be nice if we had local leaders who could make this happen more often?

Michael Moffitt
Russell Road

To the Editor:

As the Community Outreach Coordinator of the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, I want to thank Town Topics for sharing the news of the upcoming Pride Parade [“First Pride Parade in Princeton Planned for Saturday, June 22, pg. one, May 22]. We are eagerly preparing for this event.

As the Center’s resident lesbian feminist and longtime activist in the LGBTQIA community, I am thrilled to have been an integral part in the evolution of this significant moment in Pride history.

I am proud that we are organizing this event, which is historic not only in that it is the first Pride Parade in Princeton but also in its striving to bring together multiple communities following the route through the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood of Princeton.

All are welcome to register, march in the Parade, and/or have a booth at the parade’s after party on the grounds of the Princeton YMCA/YWCA. The registration form and more information can be found at www.rustincenter.org/pride-parade.

Carol Watchler
Community Outreach Coordinator, BRCSJ

To the Editor:

Addressing the Princeton mayor and Council, Princeton Planning Board, and the Ad Hoc Committee, the undersigned residents of Hibben Road and Mercer Street request denial of the request by PTS to redevelop the Tennent-Roberts campus into 105 two-bedroom apartments for student housing.

The redevelopment process is usually driven by a municipality in order to achieve a public purpose that cannot be met by zoning. The study did not start with the exercise of what the town would want to promote on the site in terms of use and scale, but rather the process was initiated in response to a strategic decision by PTS to relocate their students. In essence, this process has tried to legitimize “spot zoning.” The proposed development is simply too large for the site. Currently this would represent a plus-30 percent overage versus current approved zoning. This project is outside any previous redevelopment applications based on the area being declared a redevelopment zone, which is a first for Princeton. While this theoretically allows for greater flexibility for the community, as submitted it clearly contradicts the guidelines in the Princeton Master Plan, which stress institutional compliance with existing zoning. more

To the Editor:

I am writing to give my wholehearted support for Princeton Community TV and to show how important it is to continue funding for our valuable community resource.

I have followed the development of “TV30” for many years, since it started out from a small office in the Arts Council of Princeton to its current facilities with a modern studio, equipment, classes and dozens of talented, dedicated people who create the outstanding programs covering topics important to our community. more

To the Editor:

As the Democratic primary looms, Princetonians are asking themselves: What skills should a Council member have to effectively govern our town during this particularly challenging period?

In our opinion, the primary responsibility of a council member is a fiduciary one. Someone with financial skills is a must. We want our tax dollars spent wisely, and we need someone with experience in business. Michelle brings a wealth of international business experience to the task of managing Princeton’s finances. In the U.S. and abroad, she oversaw multi-million dollar projects, managed six-figure infrastructure contracts, pulled off public-private partnerships with multiple vendors on time and under budget. more

To the Editor:

As current and former members of the Princeton Council, we are pleased to write in enthusiastic support of Tim Quinn’s bid for re-election to the Princeton Council. We served with Tim and know him to be a great leader and thoughtful listener dedicated to improving our community. 

We were continually impressed with his service on Council. He came ready to work, focused on bridging divides and building collegiality, and was not afraid to ask tough questions and make hard choices. He has focused on budget strategy, land use, equity, environmental and transportation matters, and always signs up for difficult assignments with an eye towards improving quality of life in Princeton. For example, he has drawn on his experience on the School Board to develop joint services with the school district, volunteered to be the first Council liaison to the Civil Rights Commission, helping to strengthen its important mission, and serves on the Planning Board and Neighborhood Character Committee, working to preserve our neighborhoods and Princeton’s unique sense of place.

After this year, Tim will be the most senior member of Council and the only member to have served more than two years. Given all the challenging issues facing Princeton, we need Tim and his experience on the Council. We are proud to endorse him and hope you will vote for him in the June 4 Democratic primary.

Jenny Crumiller, Heather Howard, Lance Liverman, Bernie Miller

To the Editor:

Princeton Community TV (PCTV) is another of Princeton’s jewels in jeopardy. It broadcasts on Comcast Channel 30 and Verizon FIOS Channel 45. Many people don’t fully appreciate its importance. When cablevision was set up, in return for the use of the public right-of-way for hanging its cable, it was agreed that cable television would pay a “rental fee,” and that free public and governmental access channels would be supported by this fee.

When cablevision came into its own, I was very aware of all this because my Dad, Bill Cherry, was a physicist at RCA who had worked on the color TV, and he was also a member of Township Committee. He was chosen to become chair of the Cable TV Committee and to negotiate an agreement for free public access, which has been in place ever since. Over the dinner table, my Dad would talk about the importance of public access as a source of freedom of speech and discourse about all kinds of issues. more

To the Editor:

I am writing to enthusiastically support Mia Sacks for Princeton Council.

Mia’s depth of experience in social justice is evident from her remarkably impressive professional resume, but I know Mia in a different context: as a supremely committed, civically-engaged Princeton resident. Mia and I met seven years ago when our children started school at Littlebrook together. As a new Princeton resident, I quickly came to realize that Mia was the person to turn to with any question about local governance. Wondering about the supplier of our public school lunches? Mia was on the committee that worked to identify a more nutritious, environmentally responsible meals provider. Want to learn how to lower the district school buildings’ energy use? Mia was chair of the Princeton Green Schools Coalition and brought state officials to town to present options. Curious about the town’s new sustainability plan? As a Sustainable Princeton board member, Mia has been an integral part of developing the Climate Action Plan for Princeton. Want to learn about the schools’ focus on wellness? Mia helped write the new PPS Wellness Policy and has been working with Wellness Committees in the individual schools to conduct CDC health and wellness evaluations. Unable to stay at the school board meeting/town council meeting/planning board meeting until midnight to hear the outcome of the debate? Text Mia: she undoubtedly stayed to the bitter end, and has an expert’s understanding of all the policy nuances. more

May 22, 2019

To the Editor:

My friend and longtime colleague on the Planning Board, Tim Quinn, is running for a new term on the Princeton Council. He richly deserves to be re-elected. Many in the town are aware of Tim’s years of public service, first in and for the schools; secondly on the Planning Board; and thirdly on both the Planning Board and the municipal Council. Over the years in these roles, he has accumulated a deep understanding of the breadth of issues that face the residents of Princeton. My best knowledge of him comes from his involvement in the sometimes long and sometimes challenging — but always interesting — Planning Board meetings. He always shows up; he has always done his homework and thought seriously about applications; he listens; and when he speaks his calm, quiet voice is very clearly heard. Outside of the public sessions, he has worked with Board members and residents on master plan proposals and zoning initiatives, which have given him a context in which to consider the significant decisions to be made by Council.

Some people lead with strident voices. Others lead more gently, depending on the depth of their knowledge to analyze and persuade. To me, this describes Tim, whose knowledge of our town is wide and valuable to the rest of us. We can depend on his intelligent decision-making. I trust and admire him and urge you all to vote for Tim Quinn in the June 4 Democratic primary.

Gail Ullman
Maple Street

To Mayor Lempert and Members of Council:

For months we have endured the intolerable and dangerous traffic congestion at the intersections of Cherry Hill, Mt. Lucas, Terhune, and Valley Roads. The closure of Terhune Road at Route 206 and the relocation and significant expansion of the fueling station have made already bad traffic conditions far worse. Now that the town Council has relinquished the option of turning left onto Route 206 from Terhune, it is imperative that the town achieve a safe left turn from Valley Road onto Route 206. This would relieve some of the congestion at the intersection of Cherry Hill and Route 206 and also on the section of Mt. Lucas Road leading up to Cherry Hill. more

To the Editor:

The municipality appreciates and understands the concerns raised by neighbors. We have taken a number of steps to help mitigate these concerns including changing the scheduling so municipal and other agency vehicles do not fuel during the morning rush. There have been some violators of this policy, but we have taken steps to rectify the situation and do not expect it to happen again. In terms of the vehicles entering the facility from the wrong side, this is unavoidable as some vehicles have fuel tanks on the passenger side. more

To the Editor:

Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to review and compare the positions and goals of the candidates for Princeton Council in the 2019 elections. Adam Bierman’s heartfelt and optimistic perception of Princeton’s directions and needs, and his willingness to examine the public’s questions and concerns, has, in my mind, elevated him above the other candidates.

So, Adam, I am writing today to express my support for your campaign and to let you know of my intention to vote for you in the upcoming elections and to share my beliefs in the benefits that your policies and abilities will bring to Princeton with my friends and neighbors.

I firmly believe that it will be truly beneficial for Princeton residents and those who work and visit here if you are elected.

Walter J. Krieg
Laurel Road

To the Editor:

The Friends of the Princeton Public Library held another successful Annual Book Sale May 10-12, and we were delighted to welcome booklovers from near and far. All the proceeds raised will help to expand the selection of books and other media in the library collections.

This event depends on the dedication and collaboration of many people. We would like to thank our colleagues and Friends at Princeton Public Library, and our wonderful volunteers who worked for months sorting and pricing thousands of books in preparation for the sale, and worked so tirelessly throughout the weekend.

Lastly, we would like to thank the Princeton community for generously providing us with book donations all year, and supporting our store and sales as loyal customers. To find out more about the book store and donating books, please go to www.princetonlibrary.org/booksales and check the website for details of our next sale.

Claire Bertrand & Jane Nieman
Co-Chairs of the Friends of the Princeton Public Library Annual Book Sale

To the Editor:

I have a question. Is it every American’s birthright to vote?

According to Socrates (translated from Greek) “Only those who had thought about issues rationally and deeply should be let near a vote.” In the mind of one of history’s greatest teachers and thinkers, mob rule threatens democratic society. Socrates knew that it would be easy for people seeking office to appeal to the mob’s desires and give easy answers to complex problems. Does any of this sound familiar?

In our system of government, every citizen is entitled to vote, and education is the only weapon we have against demagoguery. However, in the state of New Jersey, education is one of the most segregated institutions. Affluence, aka District Factor Groups, determine knowledge. Inside each school district, curriculum, teachers’ knowledge, and lesson plans are held captive. more

To the Editor:

Who doesn’t want to save on taxes? We all do. Nevertheless, I urge Princeton Town Council to fund Princeton Community TV for 2019 and beyond. I was dismayed to read in your recent article (Town Topics, April 24, pg. one] that the Council is considering eliminating funding for this invaluable resource.

PCTV, led by its dedicated executive director, George McCullough, does a phenomenal job of producing local programs, training and (perhaps most important) providing average local citizens with a “voice.” Over the years, this TV gem has welcomed female entrepreneurs, new authors, local vets, the unemployed, students, and scores of others who wish to share their knowledge or learn about TV programming. In short, it is a model of how best to educate, inform and motivate community members to make the world a better place.

For a tax of less than $8 per person PER YEAR, given the attack on our media today, is this really where we want to save money? I hope not!

Toby Israel, Ph.D.
Walnut Lane

To the Editor:

Ensuring that Princeton remains a diverse and inclusive community is the central challenge we now face. I am supporting Mia Sacks in the June 4 primary because of her compassionate and proven commitment to this challenge to our community.

Having served on Princeton’s Affordable Housing Board and as chair of Housing Initiatives of Princeton, I am acutely aware of the needs of our most vulnerable community members. Princeton’s varied neighborhoods have long provided homes and shelter to families from many backgrounds. That diversity is a major reason why so many of us were drawn to live here. more

To the Editor:

On May 11, Princeton Community Housing (PCH) hosted our 2019 Home Springs Eternal Gala at The Boathouse at Mercer Lake, in celebration of the work of our honorees who help make Princeton a diverse and vibrant community and in support of our mission to provide additional affordable rental homes in Princeton. I am writing on behalf of the trustees and staff of PCH to extend our sincere thanks to the Princeton community for supporting the Gala and our mission. more

To the Editor:

As a fourth generation African American Princetonian, I’m supporting Michelle Pirone Lambros for Princeton Council. She’s the only candidate with a real grasp of the challenges faced by the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood (where her own mother grew up). Her campaign has been inclusive and sensitive to the needs of the African American community and the undocumented Latinx we call our neighbors. Michelle knows this part of town is underserved, and is campaigning on issues like mixed use zoning that encourages more small businesses, like a grocery store and a laundromat on this side of town. She sees the need for the urgent care clinic we were promised when the hospital left. more