September 11, 2019

To the Editor:

Princeton Council has just taken a major step forward to truth-telling and social justice, voting unanimously on Monday night in favor of the “Resolution Declaring that the Second Monday in October Shall Be Known as Indigenous Peoples Day” in Princeton. The Resolution is the result of months-long work by an ad hoc committee of the Civil Rights Commission, to whom much thanks should be given.

Here are some major points:

The Municipality of Princeton “offer[s] respect” to the regional indigenous peoples in our area, the Lenni-Lenape, around Ewing and Bridgeton (to the south), who once occupied a huge territory stretching from Albany to the Delmarva Peninsula before their forced removal to Ohio and elsewhere by Euro-Americans. The Resolution also “honors” them for their “practices of environmental sustainability,” their holistic understanding of the world, and “their cultural resilience throughout this nation’s troubled history.” And it acknowledges that European colonists built Princeton itself on this small portion of the vast ancestral lands known as Lenapihoking. more

August 28, 2019

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Princeton Recreation Commission, I would like to thank our sponsors, volunteers, participants and Recreation staffers who made the 2019 Kids ‘Splash N Dash’ Aquathon a great success on August 18. Nearly 50 children, ages 7-14, participated in the Aquathon this year.

The support of our community sponsors allows us to run the Aquathon at a very affordable price to all interested children.  Special thanks to Princeton University, The Bank of Princeton, Ace Hardware, Princeton Supply, SpeedPro Imaging of Mercer County, and Baldino Brothers for their financial support, and to both The Princeton Police Department and Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad for their in-kind support and services.

I would like to acknowledge the huge volunteer effort that helped make the event a success!  Led by Princeton Recreation Team Member Vikki Caines, more than 50 volunteers marshaled the events alongside a host of Recreation staffers.  In addition, Princeton Recreation Commission Chair, Darius Young volunteered his DJ services to provide music for the event.

We look forward to the Kids ‘Splash N Dash’ Aquathon again in 2020!

Ben Stentz
Executive Director 

August 21, 2019

To the Editor:

I own a small nutrition business in Princeton, and I am the producer and director of a health promoting show on Princeton Community TV (PCTV) called The CogniDiet Healthy Lifestyle Show with Veronique. I have been doing this since September 2018. My show is aired twice a month.

I am passionate about health education and host medical and wellness experts, often local, to talk about issues ranging from how to prevent type 2 diabetes, to fatty liver, to the power of meditation. I had cognitive behavioral therapists, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, Reiki experts, healthy cooks, and cancer survivors on my show. They are an inspiration to the community. more

To the Editor:

Our society has been trained to believe that obtaining a high SAT score, getting into a great college, and, of course, making as much money as possible (greed), are the true signs of success. What society fails to recognize and more importantly teach, is empathy and compassion.

My daughter’s boyfriend, who is serving in the military, was eating in a Mexican restaurant on the West Coast. He is Puerto Rican and Guatemalan. He purchased his meal and sat down to eat it when two white people, a man and a woman, approached him saying “you need to go back to Mexico and die, you rapist drug dealer,” took his food, threw it on the floor, and left the restaurant.

What is happening at the border is a clearly reminiscent of what occurred in Europe in 1939. In the United States today if you have brown or black skin you are a target for hatred. History is clearly repeating itself here in the United States. more

To the Editor:

As a devoted reader of Stuart Mitchner’s weekly essays, I marveled at his “Celebrating Herman Melville’s 200th Birthday: The Word is Love” [Book Review, August 7]. Not only did he explain his happy obsession with Moby-Dick, he challenged Jill Lepore’s piece in the July 29 New Yorker by documenting Melville’s enduring marriage to Elizabeth Shaw. Further, Stuart cited the ultimate salute to Melville and the whale in Philip Hoare’s Moby-Dick Big Read of all chapters of the great work with gorgeous art and music which has received 10 million hits to date. This masterful essay was written by the only one of us among nine million residents of the Garden State to sport a MOBY license plate. Hats off to Stuart, long may he wave!

Scott McVay
Province Line Road

The writer, author of “The Last of the Great Whales” (Scientific American), formerly served on the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission.

August 14, 2019

To the Editor:

The Sourland Conservancy recently held its 16th Annual Sourland Mountain Festival and will hold its 8th annual Sourland Spectacular bicycle rally on September 7. Through these events, plus free guided trail hikes and the popular Hopewell Borough Train Station Series of Sourland-centric talks and presentations, the Conservancy advances its mission of advocating for the protection of the region, educating the public on its nature and history, and providing resources to encourage stewardship of our natural world. I encourage residents of the Sourland region and those who live nearby to visit the Conservancy’s website (www.sourland.org) and Facebook page to learn more about the valuable work being done, how you can help, or simply enjoy what the Conservancy has to offer!

Daniel Pace, Trustee
Sourland Conservancy

To the Editor:

Pedestrians are becoming bold, and they should be. They are boldly speaking out at Council meetings and planning board sessions, demanding more and safer pedestrian crossings. They are, in some cases, joining forces with bicyclists to advocate for bike lanes that will give cyclists a safe alternative to sidewalks.

Bold is good. But there is one place where being bold is not good for pedestrians. That’s inside those zebra-striped walkways that mark designated pedestrian crossings. Inside those crossings, the ones often marked by signs proclaiming that motorists must yield to pedestrians, bold is not good. As they approach and enter those crossings pedestrians should be tentative, defensive, and wary. The law says motorists must yield, but it doesn’t say they will yield. more

To the Editor:

As the producer of Positive Energy, a local program produced through Princeton TV, I recently interviewed and covered the Princeton Pride Parade on Saturday, June 22, 2019. This event was historic as the first of its kind held in the heart of Princeton. As far as I know, I was the only television media to cover this event. The show is currently airing and the archived version will be housed on Vimeo and YouTube forever for all to enjoy.

The Princeton Pride Parade brought together local nonprofits, organizations, vendors, government officials, and other influencers to celebrate diversity and inclusion. This type of event needs and deserves as much publicity as it can get. more

August 7, 2019

To the Editor:

On Monday night the Mayor and Council (with the exception of Eve Niedergang) voted to spend 20K of hard earned taxpayer money to acquire a “donated” digester. The idea behind the initial investment is that it will allow the town to resurrect its curbside composting program. The initial program, unlike the current one being proposed, was designed as a pilot. The goals of the program were to reduce food waste and, more importantly, to serve as a model of a successful program that would eventually scale to composting for all residents and be duplicated by other towns in New Jersey. That program had the public support of the PEC, Sustainable Princeton, all of Council, the Mayor, local green activists, many residents, and myself. more

To the Editor:

Multiple studies have found that automobile-to-pedestrian injuries, and fatalities, occur most frequently within the crosswalk: not mid-block but within the crosswalk — those white-striped paths marking all traffic corners nationwide. We walkers assume this circumscribed passageway is not only a pedestrian privilege but also a pedestrian sanctuary. It is not. We drivers assume pedestrians are vigilant, deliberative, and judicious. They are not. Tragedies occur at intersections each year even within the greater Princeton area. more

July 31, 2019

To the Editor:

Air pollution threatens the sustainability of the environment and harms human health by causing multiple respiratory diseases. Transportation is the leading cause of air pollution, and as such, I was proud to see that Princeton passed a municipal resolution supporting increased electric vehicle usage. Electric vehicles are cleaner than petroleum fueled vehicles, resulting in fewer environmental impacts and health problems. The actions of the Princeton Council members result in better air quality in Princeton as well as throughout New Jersey. Environment New Jersey commends the Princeton Council members for their commitment to reducing air pollution and protecting human health. more

To the Editor:

I write to celebrate the Princeton Council’s recognition of the work of Shirley A. Satterfield in honoring her recently. No recognition is excessive in noting Ms. Satterfield’s history-minding and history-making efforts. She reminds everyone, with robust and consistent attention to the facts, of the history and culture of black people in Princeton.

Her additional contributions are to family, church, the full community, academia, youth, and social justice. I urge all of us, everyone, to renew attention to these concerns, especially in these combative times. Shirley, we say of you (according to Maya Angelou):

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.

Cecelia B. Hodges
Glenview Drive

To the Editor:

Thank you for capturing the tone of the room in your  report on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education’s proclamation honoring Dorothy Mullen [Princeton Suppers Program Faces a Sobering Future,” pg. 10, July 17]. It was an amazing tribute as the room was filled to capacity with people who have been touched by Dorothy. For more than two decades, our friend and leader “Dor” has climbed out on a limb, espousing once-edgy ideas about school gardening, healthy, unprocessed food and non-toxic environments as drivers of wellness and mental health — ideas that are now the subject of headlines in the mainstream press. more

To the Editor:

I am writing from London, England in support of Princeton Community TV. The station provides a valuable service and deserves to be supported. Here is why someone from England cares about Princeton Community TV.

I grew up in Princeton and attended Princeton High School, so have an affinity to the town. In 2017, I launched a book, which I co-authored, about the life-and-death decisions made by the early Antarctic explorers, called When Your Life Depends on It.

In the process of launching the book, through local connections, I met Dr. Joan Goldstein who runs a Princeton Community TV talk show where she interviews interesting people. I was immediately impressed by Dr. Goldstein and the Princeton Community TV staff that I met. I was thrilled that Dr. Goldstein invited me to appear on her show. more

July 24, 2019

To the Editor:

As a Princeton resident and taxpayer, I am writing in regards to the large building project that is currently underway on Route 206 between Terhune and Valley Road.

Currently, many roads or sections of road are badly in need of being repaved. To name a few: Witherspoon, Wiggins, Route 206 north of Cherry Hill Road, and Rosedale Road, among others. Typically our roads in Princeton are patched badly two or three times before they are finally repaved.

In my opinion, the new buildings and municipal gas station on Route 206 are a very unwise expenditure of our taxpayer dollars, especially considering how much infrastructure work is needed.

Debbi Roldan
Rosedale Road

To the Editor:

As many know, the Princeton Board of Education issued a proclamation last week honoring Dorothy Mullen, the founder of the Suppers Program. Dor, as we all know her, has recently been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and has elected to forgo any treatment. The proclamation was issued as a way to honor her extraordinary work with young elementary school students, helping them build and maintain a huge garden at the Riverside School and, in the process, learn about nutritious eating. But Dor’s reach extends far beyond those young people. By founding Suppers in 2001, she invited hundreds into her home to learn about whole foods, prepare nutritious meals, and build a non-judgmental community of followers all eager to improve their health through nutritious meals. more

To the Editor:

The article about toxic algae blooms closing Rosedale Lake to swimming and boating [pg. one, July 17] should be a wakeup call. While the experts quoted correctly identify storm water runoff and overdevelopment as causes, only an oblique mention of “lawn and garden fertilizer” pointed to a major source of the problem: us. By that I mean we homeowners with large areas of lawn: lawn is the largest “crop” in America by acreage. Homeowners and the lawn maintenance companies we hire apply ten times as much pesticide/herbicide per acre as farmers, and are constantly applying fertilizer to achieve that perfect green look. And unlike commercial sources, the tainted discharges (via storm water) from individual homeowners’ lawns are unregulated. In my household, I’ve declared the backyard fertilizer and herbicide-free, but am still working to get the same regime in the front. more

July 17, 2019

To the Editor:

As a Princeton resident, and vice chair of the board of directors for the Princeton YMCA, I was pleased to read the article on the ACE (Accept. Complete. Excel.) program [“ACE Program Seeks to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism at PHS,” July 10, p. 8]. We were incredibly honored to have received a grant from Princeton Area Community Foundation, so that we could create ACE and help kids in our community overcome chronic absenteeism, and thrive in school. I had the pleasure of meeting our first and second cohort of students, and their mentors, a few weeks ago at an ACE kickoff event. The students were enthusiastic to meet their mentors, and one could see that they appreciated that so many community leaders, including Princeton Superintendent Steve Cochrane, were present to show their support. We look forward to growing the program, with the help of mentors and volunteers from throughout the Princeton community. more

To the Editor:

The Planning Board should vote against the Lanwin development. It is environmentally unsustainable; it pulls Princeton into economic discrimination against those who can only afford “affordable housing,” not the estimated $1.5M for a stand-alone house in what was once woodlands.

The plan’s disregard for environmental sustainability is dangerous and contrary to the goals of Princeton municipality. It destroys trees, which store carbon monoxide, eliminates root systems that filter water and lessen the impact of global warming and the increased frequency of Hundred-Year Floods evident to all. Lanwin’s plan foolishly builds outward, not up, contrary to all best building practices to lessen environmental hazards. It disregards the model set by Bob Hillier [a Town Topics shareholder] when he chose to develop the Copperwood site on 4.5 acres, not the 18.5 acres allowed him by earlier site plan approvals. Both the ruin of diabase and the need for retaining wall infrastructure to keep this sprawling cluster intact will further damage this wooded acreage. No plans for geothermal heating have been announced. more

To the Editor:

Many of us welcome the good weather, more relaxed attitudes, and less crowded commutes that summer in the tri-state area brings. However, for those of us who are educators, it is hard to enjoy the benefits of summer without feeling uneasy about its other implications, especially for our community’s most vulnerable children.

With the months-long summer breaks that many students in the United States enjoy, the summer months are a long stretch of time where children can either be actively engaging in learning, or not. This is different than the school year, when all children are expected to be learning both in school and through school-based extracurricular activities.  more

To the Editor:

The numbers are in! This year, Morven Museum & Garden experienced record-setting attendance. Thanks to your support over the past fiscal year, Morven welcomed 18,288 attendees and 2,400 guests to this year’s 4th of July Jubilee.

This year has been full of changes and growth. Last June, we opened the Stockton Education Center, hosting many classes and events in this large open space. In August, we opened our new permanent collection, the reimagining of our first floor exhibition, Historic Morven: A Window into America’s Past. Pairing with it, we hosted New Jersey’s first ever Slave Dwelling Project, bringing together historians and the public to discuss the history of enslaved peoples at historic sites like Morven. Our winter show, Masters of Illusion: The Legacy of John F. Peto, presented a new look at trompe l’oeil art in New Jersey and welcomed many school and art groups. Our current special exhibit, New Jersey Baseball: From the Cradle to the Major Leagues, 1855-1915 looks at New Jersey’s place in the early history of baseball. more

To the Editor:

I am writing on behalf of Princeton Community TV as a former intern. Without my experiences at PCTV, I wouldn’t have made it to my current position as a producer for CBS News in the top media market of New York City.

Working at PCTV not only introduced me to what it takes to produce high-quality television programming, but also taught he how vital the service is to the growing and diverse Princeton community. I’ve met and worked with several passionate and hardworking staff members at the station. Their dedication to telling stories and producing quality content with limited resources showed me the power of how the television medium can greatly benefit the community. These members come in on their own accord and share their knowledge for the benefit of others. Cutting resources to an effort like this is antithetical to the Princeton I know. more

July 10, 2019

To the Editor:

Princeton’s Witherspoon-Jackson Development Corporation (WJDC) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt corporation. Its mission is to preserve, restore, and sustain the historic character, diversity, and quality of life of the Witherspoon-Jackson (WJ) neighborhood.

WJDC received funds from a settlement with Princeton University to help economically disadvantaged residents in and from the WJ neighborhood with their housing and related needs.

The WJDC Board currently has 12 directors. A majority are required by WJDC bylaws to be from the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. WJDC is a public purpose organization that, by virtue of its tax-exempt status, does not endorse political candidates and does not represent the neighborhood. more

To the Editor,

We’re Princeton Community Television veterans of long-standing who have a few words to say about the disturbing news that the lights may go out in the studio.

Let’s be frank: Princeton Community Television is not necessary. It’s not a school, or a bridge, or a municipal building. If it didn’t exist tomorrow, Princeton Township would not dry up and blow away. But as we’ve come to realize during the 21 years we’ve been producing and hosting A Fistful of Popcorn, our movie-discussion show, this small station has been a large part of the cultural mélange that makes Princeton unique.

Our main focus has been the small-budget independent features that are the bread and butter of the Princeton Garden Theatre and other local art cinemas. But we’ve also featured guests: local and international filmmakers have sat with us to talk about their work, discussions that had no other platform. We’ve promoted film festivals on the Princeton campus and in town, as well as the Trenton Film Festival, which has a growing worldwide reputation. In addition, we’ve been excited to promote each year several of Princeton Public Library’s film festivals, including its acclaimed Environmental Film Festival and its Student Film Festival. more

To the Editor:

The Princeton Theological Seminary proposal for expansion at its in-town campus has been pulled back for reconsideration in the face of considerable distress from citizens. I would urge that the Seminary use the summer period back at the drawing board to consider a solution which would satisfy a major concern of unhappy neighbors and of lovers of Princeton open space. It is a solution which in the long run could greatly benefit the Seminary by freeing up considerable land for other appropriate uses.

The beautiful, historic Green on the Tennant Campus has been targeted by the Seminary’s architects for construction of a four story dormitory. I would urge everyone to drive past the Township’s two-story building under construction at Terhune and Route 206 before endorsing the Seminary’s plan for the Green. The monstrosity being built is like some vulture hanging over 206. It is much lower than the Seminary’s proposed edifice on the Green. Its clone on the Green would destroy a splendid streetscape. See the HPC Subcommittee report to the Planning Board of February 4. more