May 15, 2019

To the Editor,

On behalf of McCarter Theatre Center, we want to thank all who helped to make our Gala on Saturday, May 4, such a tremendous success! This year, Grammy and Tony Award-winning vocalist and actor Leslie Odom, Jr. performed for a packed-to-the-rafters theatre as the centerpiece of the evening. Our guests were treated to an extraordinary performance of beautiful songs and personal stories from one of the country’s biggest stars.

We would also like to thank our corporate sponsors: Bloomberg Philanthropies; City National Bank; Cure Auto Insurance; Glenmeade; Drinker Biddle; Mathematica Policy Research; Bryn Mawr Trust; Community Options, Inc.; McCarter & English, Attorneys at Law; Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design; PNC Bank; Stark & Stark, Attorneys at Law; Wells Fargo; and Saul Ewing, Arnstein, & Lehr.We also wish to thank them for their support in reaching our fundraising goal. McCarter is deeply grateful for their support and for that of many other corporate and individual sponsors who helped to make this event such a wonderful success. more

To the Editor:

I’m writing to express my strong support for Mia Sacks, in the June 4 Democratic primary for Princeton Council. Mia’s experience working in civil liberties, public health, and international human rights gives her a valuable perspective and unique set of skills to address the challenges Princeton faces. Her roles as a policy advocate for Human Rights Watch, as a Program Officer at the Soros Foundation, and as part of the senior communications team at the ACLU, have all trained her to think strategically about how to communicate issues and coalesce allies to support common goals. Most importantly: for Mia, human rights begin at home. This means that people, especially those most vulnerable among us, will be her priority — not any one sector of the community. more

To the Editor:

It has been clearly expressed by researchers and writers on the subject that the best thing seniors can do for their health and well-being is regular exercise. Both aerobic and resistance training are recommended. In a new study, reported in the Science section of the May 7 New York Times, it was shown that exercise may even improve brain function. The Princeton Senior Resource Center has a program which fulfills this important need. The class meets at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday. Participants pay $60 per month.

On April 24 we were informed that the Center was cancelling the class as of May 31. We are devastated. We urge those who support the Senior Center to reconsider this unconscionable decision and reverse it.

Ginger Lennon
Pardpe Road

To the Editor:

Sincere thanks to the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association for organizing the excellent Candidates for Council forum at the First Baptist Church on John Street May 4. (Town Topics, May 1).

The questions posed by the moderators were pertinent and the organization of the event was superb! The forum highlighted the differences between the candidates in their solutions (or lack of solutions) to critical issues affecting the community and provided the near capacity crowd with important and needed information!

Linda Sipprelle
Victoria Mews

To the Editor;

Beautiful spring is now upon us. The trees are leafing out, the grass is growing, the flowers are blooming. All is beautiful in that spring-like way!

I am wondering, though, what the legal limit is for noise. Leaf blowers have also become snow blowers, grass blowers. So while the noise from them used to be limited to a certain phase of the year, we now have those sounds most of the year. Trees are cut down and/or trimmed back. More noise and plenty of it. And how about mowers?

Beyond the noise, how about the environmental impact that these gasoline-powered machines use? How about the military interests we have around the world to support the gas and oil we use so that our grass can be short? more

To the Editor:

It was a curiously satisfying and energizing experience to attend the recent meeting on the composting program covered in Town Topics (May 1, pg. one), and observe residents, municipal officials, and staff enthusiastically exchanging ideas and information in order to solve an intractable, difficult problem: how to deal with … our garbage. Such are the times in which we live!

It was encouraging to hear that every effort is being made to restart the composting program. It would be worthwhile to invest extra funds to re-establish this same program, which might be expanded by using a per-bag trash disposal fee to encourage waste minimization and participation in the organics collection program. more

To the Editor:

We write as Princetonians, Democrats, and former mayors to endorse Michelle Pirone Lambros for Princeton Council. The last quarter century has brought Princeton to a crossroads. Transformations in infrastructure, public services, and housing challenge us to match our unique history with 21st century realities. We need to make the best decisions for all Princetonians, whether they descend from six generations or have recently arrived without official papers. To succeed, we need a Council with a breadth of experiences and talents. more

To the Editor:

Princeton has been our home for nearly five years. We feel fortunate to be represented by a mayor and Council that actively engages with all residents — even relative newcomers such as ourselves. Councilperson Tim Quinn was one of the first people in local government that we met after he was first elected in 2016. We could tell that Tim was no ordinary candidate. He treated us like he was our neighbor. He took the time to follow up with us, and invited us to upcoming town hall meetings. His outreach is what made Princeton feel like home. Tim is a genuine candidate who listens to all members of the Princeton community, whether they have lived in Princeton their entire lives, moved here recently to raise a family, or are calling it home for a short time in pursuit of a higher degree. more

To the Editor:

The Friends of Herrontown Woods (FOHW) would like to thank the eighth-grade girl scouts of Cadette Troop 72905 for the work they have been doing at Princeton’s first nature preserve, Herrontown Woods. Their initial contribution was a workday, when they helped weed the botanical garden we are creating next to the parking lot, and conducted a “seed bombing” to add native species of wildflowers to the detention basin rain garden that FOHW takes care of at Smoyer Park. More recently, with guidance from troop leader Pallavi Nuka and other FOHW volunteers, three members of the troop — Anika Simons, Lucy Kreipke, and Katherine Monroe — have developed and carried out a work plan for their Girl Scout Silver Award project. They created brochures, recorded podcasts, designed a logo, and built and installed signage in front of the Veblen House and Cottage, describing the buildings’ remarkable history, the Veblens’ generous donation of Herrontown Woods and buildings to the public trust, and the work of FOHW to give these public assets the care and repair they deserve. more

To the Editor:

Princeton Special Sports and the Princeton Recreation Department welcomed close to 100 attendees at the 11th Annual Spring Formal in “Casablanca” for adults and teens with special needs on May 3.

Our DJ Steven Knox aka DJ Redline, and our photographer Jaime Escarpeta, were awesome! McCaffrey’s menu was fantastic as always, and PSS parent Ashley Oppenheimer-Fink’s desserts were the perfect ending to an already sweet evening! more

To the Editor:

The sun was shining on Princeton’s GreenFest on Saturday, May 11 at the Princeton Shopping Center. With more than 700 people in attendance, the enthusiasm for sustainable living and learning was palpable! We are so thankful to so many for making this event a tremendous success! We thank our major sponsors, without whom the GreenFest would not be possible: Princeton Shopping Center/EDENS, Bryn Mawr Trust, Church & Dwight, Electric Bike Co., Metropolis, NRG Energy, Inc. and Surf Taco and to the long list of in-kind sponsors including The Bent Spoon, JaZams, Jules Thin Crust, KOPPS Cycle, Labyrinth Books, LiLLiPiES, McCaffrey’s Food Markets, Princeton Health Dep, Princeton Online, R & K Toys, Smith’s Ace Hardware of Princeton, and Zagster. more

May 8, 2019

To the Editor:

On April 26, Enable, Inc. held its 30th Anniversary Masquerade Casino gala at Mercer Oaks in West Windsor. The evening celebrated Enable’s achievements over the past three decades, as well as our aspirations for the future. A great time was had by all as guests enjoyed the excitement of Masquerade and the thrill of casino gaming.

For the past 30 years, Enable has been committed to providing exceptional services to individuals with disabilities. Today, we are serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have 21 group homes, four day programs, and in-home support services throughout Central New Jersey. more

To the Editor,

We are happy to support Tim Quinn’s re-election campaign for Princeton Council. We met Tim in 2008, when he was new on the Board of Education and volunteered to be liaison to the Minority Education Committee, a group of residents who were concerned with equity in the schools. Tim didn’t talk much at first. He spent most of his time listening as the members of the committee shared their experiences with discrimination in Princeton. He answered questions when asked, but took the time to learn more about the African American and Latino experience in Princeton. more

To the Editor:

The Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee would like to thank Sustainable Princeton for co-sponsoring the Bike Valet parking at Communiversity, and to everyone who helped make it a success. We expanded to two locations this year, serving a total of 85 bike and scooter riders of all ages!

Special thanks to David Cohen, PBAC’s Council liaison, who was instrumental in arranging for the event bike racks and for securing a second location for this year, and who devoted more hours than any of us on the Bike Valet. more

To the Editor:

I was distressed to learn in your recent article [pg. one, April 24] that Princeton Community TV has not had its funding, derived from Princeton municipal government’s revenues from cable TV companies, renewed for 2019. The same article said that as a result, the station may deplete its reserves and close at the end of this year. more

To the Editor:

I want to express my gratitude for the professional and timely response of our local Police officers. I reported what I thought was a stolen iPad at 8 the morning after it was lost. Although I later discovered that a friend had picked it up to keep it safe, within an hour of my call to the department, officers showed up and conducted a thorough and helpful interview. One of the officers left his card, which I called when I discovered that the iPad was safe with a friend. I regret that they went through so much trouble, but it was a revelation to see how wonderful our local officers are. Thank you for all you do.

Chris Coucill
Constitution Hill West

To the Editor:

As we lose yet another small business, Pins and Needles, in our downtown, it’s time to ask: Why isn’t Princeton Council doing more to support local merchants? Small businesses create more than 60 percent of all new jobs in the U.S. economy, and a vital business community is the backbone of any local economy. The unique flavor of our town has always been marked by the small businesses that give Princeton character. They provide that live-shop-work-play lifestyle that sets Princeton apart from so many towns. They attract out-of-town shoppers. And they employ residents.

Municipal government works best when it works together with business: to set goals, solve problems, and work to attract, keep, and grow the local economy. Princeton is no different from other towns. It needs this same type of support, yet over the past decade or so this connectivity has been eroding. more

To the Editor:

On behalf of Sustainable Princeton’s trustees, staff, volunteers, and supporters, we thank the Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton University’s Office of Sustainability and Office of Community and Regional Affairs, the Municipality of Princeton’s Public Works Department, and event attendees for their support of our sustainable initiatives at Communiversity ArtsFest 2019. more

To the Editor:

After reading recent published articles, transcripts, and editorials regarding the Princeton municipal gas station, the right course of action is for the municipality to admit its error, make amends to its residents and remove the above-ground canopy. The municipal administration admits that their communication about the project was flawed and “re-wrapping the top of the canopy from black to red” will make no difference — it’s just plain UGLY and detracts from Princeton’s beauty. For decades municipal employees fueled their vehicles without a canopy and can continue to do so — being outside is simply part of most of their jobs anyway. Where is Ronald Reagan when we need him? “Mayor Lempert—tear down this canopy!”

Barry Goldblatt
Andrews Lane

To the Editor:

We were enormously gratified to welcome the largest crowd ever to the Princeton Festival’s 15th Anniversary Gala, dubbed “A Crystal Celebration,” on April 27. We want to thank everyone who helped put the event together, and everyone who participated in the fun, for supporting our 2019 season of opera, jazz, musical theater, concerts, and free community programs. This landmark season runs from June 9 to June 30. Performance and ticketing information is available at www.princetonfestival.com.

Guests make a party, and members of the Princeton community and beyond came to celebrate. The pre-dinner cocktail hour was lively, the bidding on the silent and live auctions was competitive, and the dance floor was packed until curfew. In the process our guests set a new Gala record for the amount of money raised. Thank you to all of them. more

To the Editor:

I believe, along with many of our longtime residents, that decisions made over the next five years in Princeton, will set the foundation for life here in the next 50 years. This was the impetus for my decision to run for Princeton Council, and my focus as a councilperson will be proactive planning for Princeton. Successful planning requires maximum public participation; conversely, an inability to achieve public consensus about the future of a community is a fundamental reason why planning fails. The central challenge we face is how, in collaboration with our key institutional stakeholders, we can retain the cultural and economic diversity that has long defined our community. more

May 1, 2019

To the Editor:

Princeton Community TV has put the Public into Public broadcasting for 20 years. It needs renewed public understanding and reasonable municipal support to continue operating. The April 24 PCTV page one story [“Contract Negotiations at an Impasse Between Town and Local TV Station”] left much unexplained.

PCTV has developed a robust, vibrant Public Access Channel on Comcast 30 and FIOS 45. It airs 24/7, produces an estimated annual 600 hours of original programming, at least 8,000 hours of curated programs, 2,400 hours of volunteer time and talent, a board, and small paid staff. Programs may be posted on national internet sites for non-cable viewers. It pays the town $18,000 in rent for its basement offices in the Old Borough Hall, which are open to the public 9-9 most weekdays. PCTV welcomes diverse volunteers regardless of their financial means. Together they learn new digital media and broadcast skills, and access studio time to create television shows. They watch their shows air in Princeton and Central New Jersey and potentially the world. How exciting! How empowering! How beneficial to viewers! How proud the municipality should be! The municipality has limited PCTV’s Municipal Channel Comcast 29 and FIOS 44 operations to broadcast and troubleshoot municipal meetings. more

To the Editor:

The Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association (WJNA) will hold a Candidates Forum with the four registered candidates for Princeton Council this Saturday, May 4, at 9:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church on John Street. All candidates have confirmed their participation.

WJNA has held several forums prior to local elections. The organization holds events that focus on issues specific to the needs of the neighborhood’s residents; however, the topics, questions, and answers always span the interests of the entire community. As always, WJNA welcomes broad participation and attendance for this Saturday’s forum prior to the Primary Election on Tuesday, June 4.

The WJNA forum will offer an opportunity for candidates to address issues, identify their priorities, stake their positions, and propose solutions. more

To the Editor:

I strongly support Michelle Pirone Lambros for Princeton Council, and know you will too, when you learn more about the skills, experience, and vision she will bring to the position. Our Council needs members with proven finance and leadership skills to make enlightened decisions for our town. Michelle’s background in public/private partnerships and finance, and her experience developing multiple businesses, mean she’s a creative doer with the know-how to innovate new solutions to old problems.

Michelle’s international experience in building public/private partnerships is exactly the professional background we want on Council. While living overseas, she developed the concept for a national festival in Kuwait that brought the government, private enterprise, hundreds of vendors, and diverse communities together to showcase cultural heritage. She managed the six-figure budget on time and at cost. more

To the Editor:

According to the IPCC special report, the planet will reach 1.5 °C global warming by 2030. To stay below this level, we must increase our use of renewable energy sources, balance land-use and create green jobs.

You may have heard that “green is the new black.” At the state and national level, Democratic leaders are calling for a Green New Deal: a transformative program of investments in clean-energy infrastructure and jobs. Our elected officials at the municipal level must also do their part.

We must find ways to address climate change, protect water quality, reduce waste, expand access to sustainable transit options, and build resiliency to climate-related impacts for the vulnerable among us — all in a way that is equitable and economically sound. more