May 29, 2019

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

May 15, 2019

To the Editor:

Bank Street is the most deplorable street in Princeton.  The sidewalks are busted, uneven, and repaired with asphalt, the pavement is potholed and pitched. The curbs are deteriorated, the trees have been mauled. It has a mass of overhead wiring and cable hanging from wood poles, that primarily served the downtown, with sodium cobra-head riot lighting from the ’60s. It is the most distressed street in Princeton with some of the most deteriorated and unkempt properties at the bottom end. For years, since Mayor Marvin Reed, the borough, and now the town has promised it would repair and upgrade this street. Now for more than 20 years this street has been allowed to deteriorate while millions of dollars were collected in property taxes by the 28 lots on the street. Since we have owned our house we have paid over $340,000 in taxes. more

To the Editor

The first phase of the long-awaited Bank Street improvement project will begin this July. New Jersey American Water Company will be replacing water lines, and the work is anticipated to be completed by Labor Day. New sanitary sewer, curbs, sidewalks, and road pavement work will follow in spring/summer 2020. The project is being funded in part through a grant of $214,937 from the NJ Department of Transportation. The project is also supported via low interest loans from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the Infrastructure Bank. The extra approvals involved in receiving financial support from these agencies can often add time to a project. more

To the Editor:

Princeton will be a ghost town with empty store fronts if we as residents in and around town do not support our local merchants. Shopping locally is not just a slogan, it’s our civic duty if we want to live in a vibrant town with local shops and services that serve our needs.

The next time you start to press “A” for Amazon, ask yourself, “Could I buy this in town from a friendly shop owner who actually might help me make the right choice about a product?” It’s up to us to keep our stores open. If we don’t support them, they cannot survive. The closing of Pins and Needles was a wake-up call. Let’s turn it into a call to support our local merchants.

Kate Denby
Skillman

To the Editor:

I was very impressed with Michelle Pirone Lambros at the recent Princeton Council debate held at the First Baptist Church. On every topic, from Smart Growth to economic development, her statements were clear and direct. One did not need a degree in urban planning to understand what she was saying.

She was the only candidate to point out that the recent parking meter rollout should not have been done until we, the residents of Princeton, had the opportunity to examine the plan and given a forum for comment. It appears that Council had accepted the recommendations of consultants, without critical analysis by those who park in Princeton.  Another example of a recent Council decision that is having unintended consequences is the closing of the Terhune Road-Route 206 intersection and the “in-your-face” placement of the fueling station.

We need Michelle Pirone Lambros on Council for her voice of reason and measured consideration. She’s my kind of Democrat!

Lincoln Hollister
Ridgeview Road

To the Editor:

We residents of Princeton New Jersey pride ourselves that we live in a town that houses an elite university, culture, higher learning, and more. And yet, on one of the busiest roads in town, one where many people, residents and others travel every day, there is a “thing” that is dangerous, ugly, and unbecoming of our community. That “thing” is on Harrison Street. If one comes from Route 1 and goes west on Harrison Street, before crossing the bridge over Lake Carnegie near the MPH sign on the north side or right hand side of the road, there is a large wire trunk, hanging down, swinging in the breeze, with a black plastic bandana wrapped around the wire trunk. The black plastic looks like an ISIS flag. The wire trunk looks ugly and must be dangerous, just swinging there. If someone grabs or touches that trunk, they may be electrocuted. I am surprised that some township engineer, or some official from the electric company, has not corrected the situation. We are better than a “banana republic.” I ask the appropriate municipal engineer will place this wire trunk where it belongs. And correct a situation that is both ugly and dangerous. Thank you.

Howard W. Silbersher
Governors Lane