June 20, 2012

To the Editor:

In its lawsuit with Save the Dinky, Inc., Princeton University has demanded copies of all written communications between all representatives of Save the Dinky, Inc. and all Princeton Borough employees, including elected office holders, since January 2006, regarding the proposed movement of the Dinky terminus 460 feet south.

The University’s legal counsel admitted that the demand is a litigation strategy to discover potentially embarrassing communications between Borough residents and their elected representatives. While that strategy may possibly advance the University’s private litigation goals, it imposes substantial cost on taxpayers and infringes on the constitutional right of the public to petition its elected representatives. This letter is to publicly request that the University withdraw its demand.

Aside from its unconstitutional dimension, the University’s demand over-reaches: it will require potentially dozens of persons employed by the Borough to search their records for communications for more than six years, comprising thousands of emails and other documents. Such a broad request will adversely impact the functioning of Borough government and cost thousands of dollars, simply to advance the University’s private litigation interest.

But the University’s demand also violates the federal and state constitutional guarantees of the right-of-petition government. If every communication between a Borough resident and an elected representative is subject to University inspection and attack simply because it references the Dinky, will Borough residents have confidence that they can freely communicate (petition) their elected representatives?

No. And that’s why the University’s demand is unconstitutional; it cannot but chill Borough residents’ First Amendment rights.

The University’s demand for documents is disguised as a request under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act, a progressive statutory program that protects openness in government. But the demand is not for disclosure of documents pertaining to any governmental action; instead, it is for the disclosure of private communication between elected office holders and their constituents. Thus, the OPRA policy of open government is not advanced by the University’s demand. The only goal advanced by the demand is the University’s own private interest in defeating Save the Dinky in litigation.

If every constituent private communication with his or her elected representative is subject to inspection by private litigants simply because the communication may touch on a public issue, constituents would be reluctant to be free and frank in their communications with their elected representatives. Thus, the University’s demand is an unconstitutional exercise of its OPRA rights and a chilling exercise of legal power that the community should resist.

Roger Martindell,

Member, Princeton Borough Council

Patton Avenue

To the Editor:

Many thanks to the Princeton Athletic Club (PAC) for Wednesday night’s wonderfully run — in every sense of the word — Community Mile at Princeton High School. On a glorious June evening dozens of runners, ranging in age from grade-schoolers to senior citizens, turned out to test themselves with a four-lap effort around the PHS track. There were fast times, close finishes, plenty of cheering from friends, family, and fellow runners, and — when everyone had caught their breath — smiles on a lot of faces.

The meet was accessible, affordable, and very smoothly run. At a time when the promotion of healthy physical activity is more important than ever, events like this are an inspiration and a huge boon to the community. We should all — runners and spectators alike — salute the PAC. And turn out for their next event with running shoes laced tight!

Richard O’Brien

Linden Lane

To the Editor:

I want to say “thank you” to the registered Democrats in Princeton Borough and Princeton Township who voted to endorse my candidacy for the new Princeton Council in the primary election on June 8.

To Tamera Matteo and Scott Sillars, the two new candidates for municipal office who were not successful, I offer my thanks for making this a most interesting primary race. As the campaign showed, you have much to offer our community and I hope that you will continue to remain involved in both the political and municipal life of Princeton.

I have been an advocate for consolidation since I first worked on the consolidation study commission in the 1970s, and I firmly believe that the new Princeton can be better than the sum of its two individual parts. With your continued support in the general election in November, I pledge to work to make the merger of our two Princetons a success and to bring the benefits of consolidation to all of the residents of our community.

Bernie Miller

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

Congratulations to Liz Lempert for winning a hard fought primary. Congratulations also to Heather, Lance, Patrick, Bernie, Jenny and Jo for their strong finishes. Scott and Tamera are to be thanked for their spirited campaign. For relative newcomers, they ran good races and we sincerely hope they run again.

Special thanks to Kevin Wilkes and Roger Martindell. Kevin did a yeoman’s job as Council president. It isn’t widely known but we appointed Kevin assistant building inspector in the Township when Phyllis Marchand and I were members of the Township Committee in the early 1990s. Kevin was hugely helpful to Betty Jablonski, our late building inspector.

Finally, heartfelt thanks to Roger for an incredible 23 years of unbroken and unblemished service on the Borough Council. I had the pleasure of overlapping with Roger, and his institutional knowledge and willingness to speak up – even when it was unpopular to do so – will be sorely missed.

Potholes don’t belong to any known political party. National and state political agendas should have no place in local government. For that reason, our campaign this year will be a complete departure from the past — a strictly nonpartisan campaign, a tent big enough to comfortably hold all Princetonians who want real change, Democrats, Independents, Republicans and every party in between. The campaign will emphasize that we are one Princeton moving forward with one spirit in mind – a brighter future.

January 1, 2013, marks the beginning of a challenging and important era in Princeton’s history. If we don’t deliver on the ambitious promises of the Consolidation Study Commission it will be at least another 50 years before a New Jersey town seriously considers merging with a neighboring municipality. We cannot afford to let the voters down. There is a lot more riding on consolidation than the reputations of the governor and the Consolidation Study Commission.

In that spirit, I encourage all candidates and their supporters to keep the rhetoric cool and focus on the only things that really matter, namely, cooperation and getting dedicated, competent and experienced leaders elected for what promises to be a tough couple of years.

Geoff Aton and I look forward to a vigorous campaign this fall filled with debates, passion and maybe a little humor and excitement — “One Princeton – One Spirit”

Richard C. Woodbridge

Candidate for Mayor, Prospect Avenue

June 13, 2012

To the Editor:

Thank you to everyone in the Princeton community who supported me in the primary campaign. Whenever I asked for your help or came to your door, you encouraged me and you made me feel welcome in your homes, regardless of whether we agreed on all of the issues.

Thank you also to my fellow candidates. I recognize the contributions that each of you has made and continue to make to the Princeton community. Together we shared a common goal to work for the betterment of our community, and that shared sense of purpose surpassed the competitive aspect of the campaign.

This was an unprecedented and historic vote, the first time we voted as one Princeton, and I am proud to be part of that. I am honored to have been chosen as a Democratic candidate for Council, and I remain committed to delivering on the promise of consolidation for our community, focusing on the safety and security of Princeton during weather and other emergencies, and nurturing more collaborative and productive relationships between our town and its key institutional stakeholders.

Finally, thank you to all who voted in the primary on Tuesday June 5. Through our collective participation, we recognized and expressed our differences while at the same time helping to set Princeton more firmly on its path to a promising future as one united town.

Patrick Simon

Harriet Drive

To the Editor:

The Nearly New Shop (located above Redding’s, at the corner of Nassau and Chestnut Streets, and open since 1947) is scheduled to close at the end of July, by directive of the Head of Princeton Day School, which oversees the second-hand clothing shop. We and our friends deeply value the Nearly New Shop, and are distressed about the announced closing. We appreciate the shop as a way to recycle goods within the local community and often come there for economical clothing for both ourselves and our children. We love the cheerful ladies who manage the shop so wonderfully and have kept it going all these years. We especially appreciate the store as a pleasant and convenient center-of-town donation location for both clothing and other household goods — in fact, this is the only such donation location in central Princeton that is an actual store rather than a faceless “drop-box” for charity operations. Most important of all, we appreciate all the good the shop does in the community by providing truly affordable quality clothing and other goods to local people in need.

We ask the Princeton Day School to reconsider their decision to close the store. If it is simply no longer possible for the Princeton Day School to support the Nearly New Shop, then we hope this letter might inspire another institution, perhaps another local private school, to take over the shop and keep it going, rather than close it altogether.

Julie Landweber, Tom Hagedorn

Chestnut Street

To the Editor:

New Jersey’s State Senate is considering a bill freeing private universities like Princeton from needing planning-board approval for expansion — like Princeton’s $300-million performing-arts classrooms. This means that any land the University can buy, it can exempt from property tax.

Since public colleges can already develop without municipal approval, private colleges shouldn’t need approval either, according to the bill. The approval process is often “quite time consuming and expensive,” the bill says. It can delay “important educational programs and facilities for students” and divert “critical funding away from educational purposes.” A university’s “vital public mission should not be unduly limited or restricted” by the municipality that hosts it.

But if the bill passes, couldn’t universities limit or restrict their municipalities? The new legislation tries to correct this new imbalance: exemption from planning approval “must be exercised in a reasonable fashion.” Private universities contemplating development must still “allow for input in order to minimize potential conflicts with local governmental interests.”

I no longer expect Princeton University to act in “a reasonable fashion,” however. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard Vice President Durkee “allow for input” by saying “We’d be happy to look at that,” I’d be happy too.

Everyone in Princeton supports the arts. But the University’s proposed Arts “and” Transit “Neighborhood” still needs planning approval:

Would a new 75-seat dance studio, 75-seat black box theater, and 80-seat “orchestra rehearsal room” benefit us substantially?

Would bulldozing every inch of land between Alexander Street and the Dinky tracks, from University Place halfway to Faculty Road, improve our environment?

Would moving the Dinky station out of light traffic into horrendous traffic lessen our carbon footprint?

Could the University build its performing-arts classrooms somewhere else?

Even on Alexander, could it build those classrooms without moving the Dinky?

Would off-street parking much farther downhill benefit McCarter Theater?

Would a restaurant four blocks from Nassau Street help downtown merchants?

Suppose you answered every question in the University’s favor. Should the University’s expansion always be unrestricted?

To read the bill, visit www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/S2000/1534_I1.PDF. And, for the names and phone numbers of our new District 16 legislators, see www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/districtnumbers.asp#16. Then you can really have input.

Anne Waldron Neumann

Alexander Street

To the Editor:

On behalf of The Spirit of Princeton Committee and the entire Princeton community, I would like to offer a most appreciative thank you to the dozens of committed volunteers who made the Memorial Day Parade festivities such a success. Through their efforts, the Princeton community was able to honor the nation’s veterans in a festive and dignified manner.

Kam Amirzafari, as chairperson of the parade, and Mark Freda, as vice-chair of the Spirit of Princeton, were the quarterbacks of the event. A special community service honor (Bud Vivian Community Service Award administered by the Princeton Area Community Foundation) was presented to The Spirit of Princeton founders Herb Hobler and Ray Wadsworth, who still serve as chairpersons of the group. They donated the award money to The Spirit of Princeton, a charitable non-profit organization producing the Memorial Day Parade, Flag Day Ceremony, Independence Day Fireworks, and Veterans Day Ceremony.

The following groups and individuals gave their invaluable support to the parade (please forgive any omissions — everyone’s role was noteworthy): the sailors, marines, and airmen from Ft. Dix, McGuire, Lakehurst, and Weapon Station EARLE, Princeton Borough Administration, Princeton Township Administration, Princeton Borough Police Department, Princeton University, Princeton Borough Public Works, Princeton Recreation Department, Princeton Area Community Foundation, Operation Shoe Box NJ, bai Drinks, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Princeton Fire Department, Princeton Avenue Neighborhood, Princeton Rotary, Jackie Wadsworth, Commander Frank Sequin, Lorraine Simbala, Lee Wofford, Brad Ackerman, Nancy Kieling, Rod Hirsch, Bill Spadea, Teena Cahill, Linda Twining, Michael Marino, Eric Payne, Sherry Maclean Maurer, Jerry Maclean, Doug Dreger, Emma Dreger, Jack Dreger, Caitlyn Harms, Trevor Harms, and Karen Woodbridge.

We look forward to seeing the community at the Flag Day celebration on June 14, 2012, noon, at Princeton Township Municipal Building Plaza and then again on July 2 for the Independence Day Fireworks on the fields next to Princeton University stadium below Western Way.

Pam Hersh

On behalf of The Spirit of Princeton Committee

To the Editor:

Picture this: You’re driving down Route 1 south toward South Harrison Street. The light turns red, changed by an approaching ambulance. You’re first in line at the light and you turn right onto South Harrison, right into the path of an approaching ambulance. There is no “No Right Turn on Red” sign at the corner of Route 1 south and South Harrison Street. An unsuspecting motorist, not knowing that an ambulance driver has changed the traffic light, makes a right turn. An ambulance could be in the lane of the unsuspecting driver because the two right turn lanes on South Harrison, approaching Route 1 are jammed with traffic, so the ambulance swings around them into the lane for the traffic that heads north on Harrison Street from Route 1. Due to thick shrubs on that corner, a motorist would not see the approaching ambulance until actually turning the corner.

I wonder why the “powers that be” never thought of this potential for disaster? I’ve traveled that route twice now and it occurred to me each time that there was a major slip-up in the planning. This situation can be fixed by simply adding a “No Turn On Red Sign” at the Route 1 south corner at South Harrison Street. I find it impossible to believe that engineers who design the roads and install signs never saw this potential hazard.

There is a problem, a fixable problem. A sign could save lives.

Claudette Ramsey

Linden Lane

To the Editor:

On behalf of all of us at the YWCA Princeton, I would like to thank Amy and Barry Rabner for their generosity in hosting the “Tantalizing Tastes of Tuscany” benefit on May 19. Due to their generosity and hospitality, more than $5,000 was raised for the YWCA’s Bates Scholarship Fund. This important program enables women and their families throughout Mercer County to take advantage of programs and services they would otherwise be unable to afford. In addition to Amy and Barry, I want to thank the many YWCA supporters who attended the event; evening chef Fred Mechini; and the numerous volunteers who worked to make this evening a success, including Margaret Coppola, Beth Crutcher, Ilyndove Healy, Karen Klein, Kyle Mechini, Lorine Murray-Mechini, Doodie Meyer, Maria Sypek, and Arthur Sypek.

Judy Hutton

Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Princeton

To the Editor:

I want to thank the voters for choosing me as the Democratic nominee for mayor in last Tuesday’s primary. Special thanks to my campaign team, including Wendy Kaczerski, Bob and Betty Fleming, Claire Jacobus, Anne Burns, Sarah Smith, John Cashman, and Chad Goerner, and to all the volunteers who hosted parties, walked door-to-door, made phone calls, wrote letters, stuffed envelopes and waved signs. I’m proud we ran a positive, grassroots campaign that aimed to unify our community — it’s exactly the kind of campaign I plan to run for November.

I want to congratulate Kevin Wilkes on a hard-fought and well-run campaign, and thank him for his continuing service to the community. I also want to acknowledge Roger Martindell for his decades of service, and council candidates Tamera Matteo and Scott Sillars. Tamera offered fresh ideas and through her campaign gave voice to groups who have felt unheard. Scott continues to help make our government stronger by lending his financial skills to the Township’s Citizens Finance Advisory Committee and the Transition Task Force.

Congratulations to all of the nominees for Council. I look forward to working with you to make consolidation a success.

Liz Lempert

Meadowbrook Drive

To the Editor:

I would like to thank everyone who came out in the Democratic Primary to support my efforts to become a member of the new Princeton Council. Although I was not successful in my bid for the nomination, I take great pride in the fact that we ran a positive and inclusive campaign. We were able to motivate many Democrats to get excited about local politics for the first time while also engaging longtime party supporters. The experience was very rewarding.

I would like to congratulate the six candidates who won the primary and congratulate Liz Lempert on becoming the Democratic candidate for mayor of the new consolidated Princeton. I pledge my support to the Democratic slate for the November election.

On a personal note, I would like to thank “Team Tamera,” which grew to include too many wonderful friends to name individually, but who all know how much I appreciate them! I would especially like to thank my family, Joe, Lucia, and Luke, for their unwavering support of my efforts.

Public service is a fundamental aspect of who I am, so I promise to stay actively involved in our community and to do the best I can to advance the community values that we all cherish.

Tamera Matteo

Snowden Lane

To the Editor:

I have always been extremely proud to be a resident of Princeton. This is a community that values its uniqueness of accepting and respecting others of different view points. These recent primary elections of June 5 clearly exemplified the caring and trust this community has placed in their elected officials. I am humble and honored to be one of the chosen elected officials.

I pledge to continue to be respectful, thoughtful, honest, caring, and available to all members of our community. I pledge to work with any candidate chosen to represent you on the new Princeton Council. My dream is that the days of bickering and non-agreements simply to prove a point are over. My dream is that days of inefficient local government are over. My dream is the days of poor customer service from our municipal or elected officials are over. Your vote on June 5, should have sent a clear message that you want the new Princeton council to work. If you want these dreams to be a reality, we must keep fighting and vote on November 6, 2012, for the council members that are also dreaming of a terrific working Princeton Council. I would like to especially thank my lovely wife, Latonya Kilpatrick-Liverman, and my children Kelsey, Ashlyn, Savanna, and my mother Minnie Rhodes for sharing me with the Princeton community. A special thank you to Elizabeth Bates and Ross and Leslie Wishnick for hosting events leading up the election. I must also thank Walter Bliss, John Durbin, and Peter Wolanin for tons of logistic help. Last but not least, my thanks go to two treasurers who worked to keep all finances under control, Jacqueline Tillman and Adele Agin.

“Ready to Serve.”

Lance Liverman

Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

Princeton approaches an historic moment as our two municipalities combine to create one town – one Princeton.

When I embarked on my journey to become the Democratic nominee for mayor this fall, my focus was to lead the Princeton residents toward the realization of the goals of consolidation: a leaner and more efficient government.

Obviously, losing the primary last week was not part of my plan. But in order to realize the full potential of municipal consolidation, I firmly believe that Princetonians must unite behind the Democratic mayoral nominee Liz Lempert and the entire Democratic slate in November’s general election.

I want to offer my congratulations and support to Liz and the rest of the Democrats who will be on the ballot in November. I will continue to devote my energies to ensure that consolidation and our future in Princeton respond to the hopes and promises for which we have campaigned.

I will continue to serve the residents of the Borough as their elected Councilman building the foundation for a strong and stable Princeton until my term ends in December. I will also focus on the restoration of Paul Robeson’s boyhood home on the corner of Green and Witherspoon Streets as a community resource center that will honor Robeson’s legacy while promoting public good throughout and beyond the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. This is a commitment I have made to the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church and I am excited to dig into the hard work of fundraising and construction.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of my friends, supporters, staff, and volunteers who have given me so much of their time and energy over these past couple of months. I am forever grateful.

Onward toward a united Princeton!

Kevin Wilkes

Prospect Avenue

To the Editor:

Princeton Borough and Township voters took the opportunity to retire me from local government at the end of this year by voting in greater numbers for other candidates in the Democratic primary election June 5. The vote occurred as I completed 23 years on Borough Council.

I have mixed emotions about the election outcome, as I wanted to pursue the promise of consolidation, which I have supported since the 1990s. But I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve all Princeton residents, taxpayers, and voters during three decades, continuing a family tradition.

In the time remaining, I intend to continue working to:

• Aggressively pursue property tax restraint

• Use consolidation to enhance municipal services at no cost increase

• Refuse to enter into consolidation with a “Township” or “Borough” bias

• Seek greater contributions in lieu of taxation from non-profits

• Improve the quality of municipal negotiations with community stakeholders

• Articulate middle ground — e.g., we can support the arts district AND the Dinky right of way; they are not mutually exclusive

• Insist on comprehensive, vigorous land use planning

• Analyze issues carefully, not relying on slogans or group-think

• Set the highest standards for local police, and hold them to it

• Advance the liberal ideals of the Democratic Party, with a libertarian bent

With thanks to all!

Roger Martindell

Patton Avenue

June 6, 2012

To the Editor:

Throughout the spring, the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative brought New Jersey chefs and farmers into two of the Princeton Young Achievers after-school programs to introduce children to flavors of local produce and to trace that produce back to the farm. The program was an extension of our Garden State on Your Plate program that provided school-wide tastings at Community Park and Littlebrook elementary schools last year.

We want to thank the chefs — Christopher Albrecht of Eno Terra, Gab Carbone of bent spoon, Craig Shelton of American Hospitality Group, Scott Anderson of elements, Linda Twining of TwinHens, and Stu Orefice and Rick Piancone of Princeton University — and farmers — Chris Turse of Double Brook Farm, Mike Rassweiler of North Slope Farm, Jess Niederer of Chickadee Creek Farm, Fred Bowers of Princeton Soil Institute, David Zaback of ZFood Farm, and Pier Guidi of Bamboo Hollow Apiaries — who made the program a success. With their help the children learned why eggs from pasture-raised chickens make the best ice cream, examined seeds and soils, learned about beekeeping and tasted the differences amongst honeys from different flowers. They also prepared a kale salad, seasoned a spring Garden State vichyssoise, and shook ice-filled balls to make ice cream — all of which they ate enthusiastically.

The students glimpsed the quality of New Jersey farm products while learning about the workday life of farmers and chefs. Amidst their experimenting, exploring, and exclaiming, we were heartened to see that some children showed a deep interest in food, agriculture, and the culinary arts. We ask that the Princeton community nurture that interest, as well as a love and appreciation amongst all of our students for the delicious and diverse bounty of the Garden State.

Fran McManus, Karla Cook

Princeton School Gardens Cooperative

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the winners of the Democratic Primary who will now proceed to the November ballot as candidates for Council in the newly consolidated Princeton. This is both an historic and a critical turning point in the history of our special community. Perhaps it is also time to change the tradition of our election decisions terminating in June as opposed to November. The one-party rule that has existed in Princeton for far too long has not served our community well. The result has been bickering and political infighting as opposed to problem solving. We are now faced with many challenges ahead: The implementation of consolidation, improving the relationship between town and University, rising taxes, and difficult business conditions for local merchants. Princeton deserves a government that reflects the best of its residents. This is one of the many reasons I am seeking a seat on Princeton Council.

As the only candidate outside the Democratic Primary winners, I have a very simple message for voters: Please consider using one of your six votes this November to support diversity, independence, and transparency. Give me a chance to work for good government by helping to make the five Democrats in the super-majority more effective, more responsible, and more focused on results.

I am a Progressive Republican who is married to a Democrat. I was honored to be appointed by Mayor Chad Goerner in 2011 to serve on the Princeton Township Zoning Board. The motivation for my candidacy is simple: To continue to serve and support a community I love. Nothing more. And nothing less.

Put Princeton before politics. It is time.

Geoff Aton

Cedar Lane

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Princeton Education Foundation, I would like to thank everyone in the Princeton community who supported our “Be True to Your School” spring gala and silent auction. We raised approximately $60,000 net that will directly benefit our public schools’ teachers and students and will further our goal of supporting excellence in education in the Princeton Regional Schools. Since its inception, the Princeton Education Foundation has contributed over $1,100,000 to the Princeton regional schools for capital improvements, educational programs and teacher support.

We are especially grateful to our lead sponsors, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, the W. Bryce Thompson Foundation, PNC Bank, Nassau Street Office and Georgeanne Moss, The Gould Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, and to our other major sponsors, The Bank of Princeton, Becker Nose & Sinus Center, LLC, and Parker McCay. Thanks also go to sponsors Anne Skalka & Associates, CPAs, Conner Strong & Buckelew, Dental Healthcare Associates – Dr. J. Craig Tyl, DMD, FAGD, & Dr. Michael Fogarty, DDS, Ellen T. Nita, State Farm Insurance, Issues Management, LLC, Princeton Shopping Center, Princeton University Store, Spiezle Architectural Group and The Pediatric Group. We were also supported by Charan Bawja (Broker/Owner), RE/MAX ONE, Princeton Orthodontics – Lewis J. Russo, Jr., DDS, PA, & Jonathan L. Nicozisis, DMD, MS, Fidelity Investments, Glamorous Eyebrows, Quakerbridge Mall, Gold Buyers at the Mall, Smith + Manning, McCaffrey’s Market, Mike’s Barber Shop Princeton, Palace of India Princeton, Peter LaBriola, Keller William Princeton Realty, Princeton Automobile Company, Robert J. Lopez, The Geller Real Estate Group of Gloria Nilson Realtors, Wiss & Company. Our silent auction was a big success thanks to donations from over 100 people and businesses. We are also grateful to have the support of many benefactors and patrons, who are also listed there.

We would like to recognize the hard work of our gala committee, which planned and executed this year’s event. Led by co-chairs Shazia Manekia and Aman Shergill and board of trustees event committee chair Claire Percarpio, the committee included Dorothy Bedford, Lakshmi Bhamidipati, Julie Capozzoli, Marie Elainea Carusone, Pooja Datt, Lindsey Forden, Victoria Hamilton, Lauren Kaltman, Heather Kisilywicz, Jean-Anne Madden, Carol Mills, Tracy Morgan, Jan Pierce, Shari Powell, Archie Reid, Sara Schaeffer, Jill Schwartz, Karin Siciliano, and Andrea Spalla.

Finally, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone in the community who participated in this important fundraiser by volunteering time, purchasing tickets, or bidding on items in our auction. Thank you for joining with us to say that public education matters!

Adrienne Rubin

Executive Director, Princeton Education Foundation

To the Editor:

Memorial Day has come and gone. The Princeton Battlefield Society held the largest re-enactment in a decade on the battlefield. Our veterans were remembered. Hundreds upon hundreds came from as far as Michigan, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and all over New Jersey. They all wanted to know what was happening with the IAS (Institute for Advanced Study) and the battlefield. So, I explained the society has gone to court to protect the battlefield from the IAS development. I further relayed that the society has contacted the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) to review the application, since it appears the IAS wants to build on wetlands.

I am glad so many people came to the Memorial Day event. They learned something about history, about the American Revolution and also about modern government. They took our brochures and made donations for the legal defense of the battlefield. They will write letters to the governor, their representatives, the vice president and whoever else is necessary to protect the Princeton Battlefield. I think that may be the highest compliment to those who served, that the American people follow the process fought for on this very battlefield.

Joe Carney

Glenwood N.J.

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to the apparently heartfelt message about HiTOPS in the May 16 mailbox. Although I can empathize with the feelings of the four people who signed the letter about what is happening in our society, I must respectfully disagree with their opinions about HiTOPS “moral neutrality.”

As the father of three, stepfather to five, and grandfather of four, I am only too aware of the challenges of rearing children in a society where explicit sexual messages are in the media, in our movie theaters, in popular song lyrics, on the web and even in the news. It would be naive to believe that we can insulate and isolate our children from all of that. HiTOPS is not to blame.

HiTOPS does not “promote” or “encourage” sexual activity between teens as the letter-writers assert. The mission of HiTOPS is not to teach or preach morality, as the letter-writers would obviously like to see. That, in my opinion, is the responsibility of parents and religious institutions. What HiTOPS does do is to inform teens, who have already made the decision to become sexually active or who may become sexually active, how to avoid STD transmission and pregnancy. HiTOPS also provides contraception, pap smears, and Gardasil vaccines for young men and women against the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer. Their other valuable services include emotional and psychological support services to fragile adolescent populations, including survivors of sexual assault and gay and lesbian youth.

If HiTOPS were to begin preaching and moralizing to the teen population that they hope to serve, the organization would come across as judgmental and sanctimonious. Doing that would cause its message to be lost on much of their target group and reduce the organization’s effectiveness. Rather than hand-wringing and sermonizing over the state of our society, HiTOPS is performing a valuable service to our community’s young men and women and their parents and has earned their respect. I also believe that HiTOPS deserves our community’s support.

Lewis A. Edge, Jr.

Cleveland Road West

To the Editor:

Newly retired in Princeton after years of teaching gifted children, I was in search of a way to keep intellectually active within my local community. This, of course, is not hard to do around here. But I wanted the intellectual rigor of a University-level experience without the requisite reading load which an audited course would entail. I found just what I was looking for at the Evergreen Forum. First, I took a course entitled Exploring Princeton Architecture. The course description read: “We will focus on the social, communal, and cultural settings in which Princeton’s buildings were commissioned, designed, used, preserved, viewed, and assigned meaning.” I was hooked. Armed with this new knowledge, I was able to bring an additional depth of understanding to my walks through the town and on campus. This course was taught by both a Princeton Museum Docent/Historical-Society guide and a recently retired Princeton University architect and director of that institution’s physical planning department.

This spring I took “More Shakespeare off the Page: As You Like It.” Again, I was drawn in not only by the teacher’s love of the play and knowledge of the theater as well as the Bard, but also by the interactive part of the class. We read and dramatized as we were learning the ins-and-outs of Shakespearean language, as well as seeing in depth the meaning of the play within the context of its time. All of this, while role-playing and learning to read the lines in an effort to express all their inherent meaning and emotion. The teachers in both courses asked us to do some additional reading, which was well within my expectations. Overall, I was impressed with the wealth of talent and knowledge that is part of the fabric of our community. So for all new retirees out there looking for additional opportunities to learn while enjoying themselves, I highly recommend The Evergreen Forum.

Nancee Goldstein

Vandeventer Avenue

To the Editor:

We recently opened our front door and came face to face with a white-tailed hawk. The hawk stood immobile and appeared injured. It certainly could not fly and after some time hobbled off into our yard.

Tremendous thanks to Princeton Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson who arrived today and handled the situation with tremendous care and experience. By listening to her cries from the rear of our house, Mark quickly located the very young hawk in the woods. The hawk had fallen from a nest on our property and had not yet learned to fly.

We were so impressed by and thankful for Mark’s ability to locate and gently control the pet by its feet. The plan is to nurture the hawk at the Mercer County Wildlife Center until she can fly and be released back to the wild of our woods.

Peter and Janet Brav

Highland Terrace

To the Editor:

I was delighted to learn about New Jersey Transit’s new bus service from Princeton to our new hospital in Plainsboro. As a 13-year former member of the Princeton Regional Health Commission during the planning period for the new hospital, I recall that the Commission gave input to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services on issues the Commission considered important in this move. Two issues were paramount:

1. That Witherspoon neighborhood residents (who have walked to the old hospital) and others have easy access to the clinic and other new hospital services;

2. That there be improved access via Harrison Street to the new hospital.

Congratulations to hospital officials for their persistent efforts in both of these goals and to Princeton University for sharing the transit costs with the hospital.

I noted with concern, however, that five diesel buses are scheduled to be used. Diesel is not as clean burning as natural gas with which some New Jersey Transit and other buses are already equipped. Knowing that service will run every 40 to 75 minutes daily (and with air pollution from existing heavy traffic), I urge that, as soon as possible, the switch be made to cleaner fuel technology such as currently available natural gas (or hybrid) — or electric vehicles — which are well suited for relatively short run repeat routes. This is especially important since we are transporting people to a facility for the promotion of health.

Grace Sinden

Ridgeview Circle

To the Editor:

AvalonBay (AB) wants to build a closed compound of 280 units on the old hospital site: the hugest building in Princeton, with a private swimming pool in the main courtyard. Why should this development be allowed in our community? The 2006 Master Plan explicitly prohibits gated communities. AB prides itself on creating closed “communities.” Other municipalities have thwarted AB developments: Highland Park, N.J.; Greater Huntington, N.Y.; Scripps Ranch, Calif. We ought to reject AB in Princeton.

A closed compound is out of sync with Princeton values of diversity and openness. The proposed development would physically impede connectivity between our neighborhoods (Witherspoon/Jackson and Harris/Jefferson) — a goal of relatedness that the Witherspoon Corridor Study Group spent much time promoting. The Task Force for rezoning the hospital (now the MRRO zone) was adamant that any development should, as a matter of public policy, permit public plazas and pedestrian access routes “crossing the site” (Borough Code 17A-193B.d.1). It called the hospital’s departure a “unique opportunity” for area renewal and re-connection. Hospital leadership (including Barry Rabner, CEO and President of UMCP) signed on for this smart urban design (in exchange for a zoning for “up to 280 units”), and even suggested the obvious value of limited retail stores to assist with people-flow and economic vitality. (Who wants to waste gas driving to the shopping center for toothpaste?).

As far as is now known, AB has refused public access “crossing the site.” Talks about a pedestrian passageway that would connect a public plaza on Witherspoon to Harris Road have yielded little. The pedestrian thoroughfare proposed in the 2005 concept drawings (commissioned by the hospital), running between the garage and any building on the east (now perhaps to be AB’s big cube) has not been incorporated into new plans.

This is an outrage, an affront to civic values. The Master Plan and Borough Code both call for public access across the 5.6 acres. Who can imagine an enclosed four-story high wall of enclosed bridges between the garage and the AB cube so that residents don’t have to get wet, climb or descend stairs, or use elevators, and can remain on “their same floor” in order to reach apartments. No other garage I know of has “same-floor transition” to housing units. Princeton does not need a Berlin Wall.

Not all of the fault belongs to AB; their people are simply taking advantage of weak zoning regulations that should have been strengthened as soon as AB came poking around in the fall of 2011. Planning Board staff had ample time to advise Borough Council that potential dangers of a blockbuster development lurked (AB did not submit concept renderings until March 12, 2012). Proper guidance from Planning Board municipal leadership has been missing.

Princeton needs both market-rate and “affordable” rental units, but not at any price. All municipal bodies must ponder well the price-tag AB brings.

Jill Stein

Gulick Road

To the Editor:

This is an open letter to Barry Rabner.

To achieve “evidence-based design … guided by experience [and] instinct.’ your “design team articulated a set of guiding principles … based on the understanding that a building is more than a container.” The design had to “achieve very important … goals,” and thus “used focus groups with patients,” at one point making “more than 300 changes to the existing design.”

A similar process resulted in the design standards for the structure to replace the hospital on its old site, in the Witherspoon neighborhood of Princeton. The goals here were of course not patient-based but neighborhood-based: low rooflines, open and inviting public space, walkways, a mix of commercial and residential uses. Like you, we wanted to be “up-to-date,” urging ‘green’ design because, also like you, we knew that “lowering operating costs” would help both the developer and the community.

Like your goals, ours were specific — but they bear no fruit in the design offered by the company to which you are selling this part of our neighborhood. Merely the highest bidder, this developer specializes in standardized plans for gated communities — not in neighborhoods. Plaudits for 20 percent affordable housing, we need all we can get. But must it be in a backward-looking monolith that cuts corners, as testified to by its tenants in other U.S. cities? (See tenant reviews posted at www.simplesite.com/princetonview.)

It may be too late to reject this particular bid, but it is not too late to expect the bidder to honor standards known at the time of bidding. Ron Ladell offers to negotiate. Great, but his company has already received all that Princeton needs to give: the high density needed for high profits. It is his turn to give open access, not a closed enclave. There is no reason why there cannot be a public walkway through the development: in one side and out the other.

We beg you to support community efforts to enforce the kind of design standards you yourself advocate. To quote N.Y. Times architecture critic Richard Kimmelman, writing recently, “Architecture … acts as part of a larger social and economic ecology, or else it elects to be a luxury, meaningless except to itself” — and to those who profit from it.

Let us have development that is sensitive to the needs of the community it serves.

Mary Clurman

Harris Road