November 28, 2012

To the Editor:

I write in anger. Driving home today along Faculty Road, I approached two deer standing right in the middle of the road. Fortunately, there was plenty of time to slow to a halt, but the car coming in the opposite direction didn’t slow down for a second, struck and hurled one of the deer to the side of the road, and sped on undeterred. On its back, the deer’s legs spasmed as if it were dying. I turned around and parked and was surprised to find the animal, a big handsome two-pronged buck, back on his feet, but badly injured and severely hobbled. There was nothing to do but watch it suffer and wonder whether it can survive and recover. I am tired of hearing that these beautiful creatures are pests. It is we who are the pests, especially ones who would cause such needless, cruel, and sickening suffering. I can only hope that others who saw or who will read of this will pay closer attention to our much-ignored speed laws, which are there for good reason, and will show deeper respect to the other creatures that live in our small community.

Jerome Silbergeld

Philip Drive

To the Editor:

As time has passed since the impact of Hurricane Sandy, we have been able to contemplate how very fortunate the residents of Elm Court and Harriet Bryan House are to live in Princeton. Elm Court (EC) and Harriet Bryan House (HBH) are affordable apartment buildings managed by Princeton Community Housing.

We would like to express our gratitude for the kind and patient response of the Princeton Borough and Township Police to our senior citizens in the midst of a very trying time for our community during our weeklong power outage.

This past Sunday, we celebrated Thanksgiving with our annual “Thanksgiving Sunday Dinner.” In keeping with tradition, police from both municipalities, along with members of their families, were here to serve the meal to our residents. This unique celebration is the highlight of the year and also serves as a warm hearted kick-off to the holiday season.

On behalf of all EC and HBH staff, we sincerely thank the members of the soon to be united Princeton Police for their outstanding service. Their dedication and commitment to ensuring the safety of our residents is truly commendable.

Kerri Philhower

Fay Reiter

Ed Truscelli

To the Editor:

A letter writer (“Future Taxes Will Go Up,” Mailbox, Nov. 7) is concerned that due to high property taxes the “middle class in Princeton will be forced to either reduce their standard of living or sell their houses and move to another town.” Perhaps he doesn’t realize that many towns in New Jersey have similar property taxes. One reason is the high cost of our public schools. The New York Times reported on 5/26/11 that New Jersey ranked third in the nation in spending per student, behind New York State and Washington, D.C. In 2011 Princeton’s school taxes increased 5.46 percent. Our town may well rank in the upper reaches of state spending per pupil.

Each Sunday the New York Times lists properties in New Jersey that are for sale and their property taxes. Here are three nearby: a house in Hillsborough (9/23/12) for $367,000 with taxes of $8,085; a house in Hopewell Township (9/30/12) for $560,000 with taxes of $11,415; a house in East Brunswick (9/23/12) for $590,000 with taxes of $17,460. By the way, these towns don’t have a university to make contributions.

Princeton University is not the cause of and shouldn’t have to be the solution to our increasing tax rate. But it is right that the University makes a payment for tax-exempt rental properties where there are children who attend public school. Princeton’s newly elected officials need to better inform the public of the reason for our high taxes, namely, the high cost of our public schools.

Anne Witt

Lake Lane

To the Editor:

At the November 15 Planning Board meeting that focused on AvalonBay, I was deeply shocked by the behavior of Mr. Ron Ladell, a vice president and attorney for AvalonBay. He comported himself with a serious lack of respect for the Board and repeatedly spoke to it in a hostile manner. He tried to take control of the meeting and instructed the Board on how they should proceed. He, a corporate official of the applicant, interrupted the Board in what I can only describe as a bullying manner, attempting to intimidate it. After a premature adjournment, he stormed out of the meeting with his retinue while the Board was debating whether to re-open the meeting. Members of the Board showed remarkable calmness in the face of this unacceptable behavior.

The planning process requires a careful consideration of proposed developments. An applicant should at a minimum accede to the discipline of the Planning Board. If unwilling or unable to show proper respect, an applicant should be notified that their proposal will be dismissed with prejudice. A municipality must not allow itself to be bullied or intimidated. The Planning Board must not be afraid to require civility and cooperation of applicants merely for fear of providing reasons for an applicant to file a lawsuit.

The municipality, its boards, and this community must consider the consequences of having a hostile and litigious developer construct and operate one of the most important building projects in our town.

Anthony Lunn

Hawthorne Avenue

November 21, 2012

To the Editor:

Is lack of respect for appropriate procedure part of Avalon’s method? People I know who attended the November 15 AvalonBay hearing at the Planning Board (PB) were distressed by Mr. [Ron] Ladell’s bullying, disrespectful manner. When Gail Ullman requested him to cede a possible hearing date to the long-postponed Arts and Transit application, he bluntly refused. Ms. Ullman had to remind him to show more respect for the Planning Board process. Mr. Ladell is pushy: he hoards the microphone, as main presenter for AvalonBay and one of its attorneys, and gets double exposure.

At the Princeton Environmental Commission meeting on October 24, Anne Studholme, attorney for AvalonBay, almost shouted at Aaron Kleinbaum, legal director for the Eastern Environmental Law Center, “You’re lying!” — an intemperate, unprofessional charge. Later, she physically pushed Mr. Kleinbaum; he was forced to respond, “Take your hand off me.” One PEC member felt compelled to ask Ms. Studholme, “Have you no respect?” Another member asked that the record show that “the Attorney for Avalon Bay exhibited extremely rude behavior during this meeting” (PEC minutes).

The PB meeting heated up again when site contamination issues arose. Mr. Ladell seemed strident when he told the Board to reverse its decision on November 12 asking Borough Council and Township Committee to pass resolutions requesting a review of existing documents concerning possible contamination by an independent party (as the PEC had recommended). Mr. Ladell offered to bring his own environmental consultant — but Maser Consulting has already been exposed for concealing information, and AvalonBay is not unbiased. To its credit, the Board denied Mr. Ladell’s demand; Ms. Trotman and Mr. Liverman vocally supported Ms. Ullman’s determination to retain an independent party.

AvalonBay has consistently dismissed the public health concerns of Princeton Citizens for Sustainable Neighborhoods (PCSN) as “allegations.” The people I know in PCSN are interested in public health, not the so-called “scare tactics” Mr. Ladell accused them of at the Board hearing. Someone must ask: why do the hospital and AvalonBay oppose an independent investigation? Mr. Ladell later berated PB attorney Gerald Muller when, at the end the hearing, he inadvertently closed before announcing legal notice for the December 6 hearing. He actually stamped out (“We’re leaving!”) — and then snuck back to grab two private talks with Mr. Muller — at the dais and in the hallway

We should be concerned that rules of impartial adjudication are observed and that Robert Simon, representing PCSN, gets equal time. “These hearings are meant to be non-adversarial,” Mr. Simon said. Given Mr. Ladell’s contentious habit of filing lawsuits (as in Highland Park), we should remember one of PCSN’s axioms: a municipal body that fears lawsuits will never get the buildings and the zoning that it wants and deserves. Let’s hope Mr. Ladell can civilize his manner.

Robert Dodge

Maple Street

To the Editor:

The Princeton Environmental Commission (PEC) would like to clarify a point made in a letter from Jane Buttars (“Planning Board Should Deny AB Application,” Mailbox, Nov. 14) that ran on November 15, in which she noted the PEC’s recommendation to the Planning Board regarding Avalon Bay’s proposed development on the former hospital site. We recommended that the board consider requesting an independent environmental review of the proposal, given the concerns raised about potential soil and water contamination on the site, and, if the review deemed the testing inadequate, that the Board request adequate testing from the developer. Ms. Buttars pointed out that asking for such testing “from the developer” would not constitute an independent review. We agree. We understand her interpretation of that phrase, but we’d like to clarify that our intention was not to ask the developer to provide the testing, but to have testing performed by an independent party.

Matt Wasserman

Chair, Princeton Environmental Commission

To the Editor:

I could never find the correct words to express my sincere gratitude. There were so many Princeton residents who decided to trust me. I do not take this vote for granted. I will continue to work for a united, diverse, safe, welcoming, and lovable Princeton.

This could not have happened if it was not for a great support staff that really did most of the work. Special thanks go to Walter, Peter, Doreen, Helen, Sue, Dan, and Jon. Every campaign has it’s ups and downs. We were lucky that we were all able to get along and to understand the big picture. Princeton is truly lucky to have Liz Lempert as the next mayor. The council members: Jo Butler, Jenny Crumiller, Heather Howard, Bernie Miller, and Patrick Simon will work for the interest of good local government. I wanted to thank my family for always supporting me. I wanted to thank Dick Woodbridge and Geoff Aton for running a positive campaign. I am hoping they will stay involved and help the new government.

Now there is work to be done. We cannot do all of the work alone. We need support. Please consider joining one of the Boards and Commissions in the new Princeton. I have always believed that Princeton is a melting pot of gifted talent, please share this gift with all of us. By all of us working together we can continue to make a difference.

Lance Liverman

Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

I want to thank all those Princetonians who voted for me in the election on November 6. I have worked for consolidation for my entire political career, so it is very rewarding to have been elected to serve on the new Princeton Council to help make what I have long advocated a reality. I will work for a better Princeton for all of our residents, and to maintain the high standards set by our municipal government.

During my ten years of service on Princeton Township Committee I have learned that it is the many volunteers that serve on our boards and commissions that do much of the hard work that prepares those of us that represent you as elected officials to have the background and insight to deal with the issues that affect our community. Our new Princeton will need the expertise and enthusiasm that our volunteers have shown in the past. I urge you to take an active role in guiding our new community by applying to serve on a board, committee or commission.

It has been an honor for me to serve you and I look forward to a bright future working together with my fellow Council members. Thank you for the confidence you have placed in me. I give my word that I will work hard to repay that confidence.

Bernie Miller

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

I would like to warmly congratulate Mayor-elect Liz Lempert for a well-earned victory on November 6 and for running a clean, spirited and issues oriented campaign. Congratulations also to Heather, Jenny, Jo, Patrick, Bernie and Lance for a great race. In the spirit of cooperation, I pledge to do whatever needs to be done to make consolidation work.

I also would like to thank the many supporters and contributors who came from across the entire spectrum of the community to help our non-partisan effort. We received roughly 40 percent of the vote and I believe we added some much needed diversity to the local conversation.

Geoff Aton deserves special credit for running a fantastic race as our only candidate for the six person Council. It’s like being the Maytag repairman in a town where everyone owns a Kenmore.

It is always a privilege to run for public office. The campaign was hard fought, the choices were clear, and we did our best.

Now it’s time to transform the promise of the Consolidation Study Commission into reality and make the Town of Princeton a better place for future generations.

Richard C. Woodbridge

Prospect Avenue

To the Editor:

While Hurricane Sandy caused considerable disruption to our community when it struck several weeks ago, the soon-to-be consolidated Princeton stood tall and responded efficiently and effectively. While emergency response may not be one of the key reasons why residents voted for consolidation, having a consolidated emergency response was a clear benefit to the Princeton community in the wake of hurricane Sandy.

I want to thank our Emergency Operations Center team: Bob Gregory, the town administrators, police forces, public works, engineering, and fire departments for coming together and working as one during the hurricane response. The Princeton First Aid Squad, the school district and Princeton University were also critical members of our emergency response team. With a single operations center, we dramatically improved our communications and thus our ability to respond to clearing roads, marshalling our resources and communicating to our residents. One communication component was our periodic reverse 9-11 message delivered by our IT Director, Bob McQueen, who did a great job in keeping our residents updated.

I want to extend a special thanks to our clerks office led by Linda McDermott and Kathy Brzezynski. It was this office (with Recycling Coordinator Janet Pellichero assisting) that was on the front lines through calls and emails from residents and they met the challenge with poise and empathy and assisted wherever they could. It was also the clerks office that responded quickly in establishing emergency voting locations due to power outages and helping the election take place with minimal disruption.

Princeton University and the school district helped our community immensely during the storm. The University provided food to our staff and provided a rest and recharge location on campus for residents. They also were vitally important in establishing Jadwin Gym as an emergency voting location. The school district worked closely with the community to establish the temporary reception center at the John Witherspoon Middle School as power outages continued.

While we certainly have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week, there will always be areas to improve and work to be done. It is with great sadness that we lost an important member of the Princeton community in Bill Sword during hurricane Sandy. Many residents were without power as we approached 10 days after the hurricane. We will be holding a de-briefing this week with the goal of continually improving our response in the next storm and communicating our concerns to our partners (read: PSE&G) about improving communications with the community when the next storm arrives. Until then, be safe and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Chad Goerner

Mayor, Princeton Township

To the Editor:

Thank you to the voters of Princeton for electing me to the new municipal council, and thank you to our local campaign team, supporters, and canvassers. In particular, while many people helped to make the campaign a robust effort, I would like to particularly note my personal appreciation to Walter Bliss, Helen Heintz, Dan Preston, Peter Wolanin, Jon Durbin, Doreen Blanc Rockstrom, Sue Nemeth, Caroline Hancock, Owen O’Donnell, Margaret Griffin, James and Connie Camner, Valerie Haynes, Liz and David Cohen, Peter Lindenfeld, Mary Clurman, Elizabeth Bates, Claire and David Jacobus, Pamela Hughes, Andrew Koontz, and Bill Scholfield. I especially appreciate the wonderful support and education I received from my running mates, Liz Lempert, Bernie Miller, Heather Howard, Lance Liverman, Jenny Crumiller, and Jo Butler. I would also like to thank the Republican candidates Dick Woodbridge and Geoff Aton, who waged an engaged effort and furthered the spirit of electoral contest in Princeton. And a special thanks to my spouse, Marc Weiner, as well as to our family and friends for their support.

I appreciate the trust placed in me by the people of Princeton, and I look forward to serving on the new council. As we unite to form one Princeton, I will work with the new mayor and council and with the community to realize savings for the taxpayers while sustaining and improving current services. I look forward to being part of a more responsive and open and transparent consolidated municipal government, to working to improve municipal emergency management, and to developing more collaborative relationships with our key institutional stakeholders.

Our new local government is a collaboration open to all members of the community, and we will especially need to hear from diverse points of view as we come together to form one town. We are still taking applications to serve on our local boards, commissions, and committees, and I encourage all interested citizens to apply. You can find the application online at www.princetonnj.gov. I look forward to working with you, and appreciate your support.

Patrick Simon

Harriet Drive

To the Editor:

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and in all of Princeton’s all-too-frequent power outages, communication was key. I’d like to commend the almost-merged Township and Borough officials for frequent updates from their reverse 911 notification system. And special kudos to Krystal Knapp of Planet Princeton and Greta Cuyler of Princeton Patch, whose constant stream of wide-ranging critical information, provided online at all hours of the day and night, was absolutely invaluable — a real community service.

It can be tricky to receive these communications when power is out. The reverse 911 messages are by phone. If you can’t rely on a hardwired landline when power is out, I recommend registering a cell phone number online at princetontwp.org (link to Register for Emergency Telephone Notifications from the homepage).

If you’ve been thinking about getting a smartphone, I highly recommend it, as mine was an essential lifeline for my family in this crisis. Through the good graces of the always-reliable Verizon Wireless and a generous friend with a generator, for constant recharging, I could always get the news and be in touch with friends and family. I had never before understood why anyone would want to use Twitter, but became an instant convert in this emergency. With a Twitter feed from Planet Princeton and Princeton Patch, I knew pretty much everything I needed to know. I cannot thank them enough.

Amy Goldstein

Snowden Lane

November 14, 2012

To the Editor:

As I write, the Planning Board has just voted to ask Borough Council’s agreement to retain Sovereign Consulting to review the AvalonBay (AB) Environmental Impact Statement and related documents. That EIS contains serious misrepresentations, as indicated by Aaron Kleinbaum, legal director of the Eastern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of Princeton Citizens for Sustainable Neighborhoods, in a series of letters to the Planning Board and the Princeton Environmental Commission.

To its credit, the Planning Board understands the public health issues at stake. But if the review does no more than evaluate the documents thus far submitted, it will be inadequate. Mr. Kleinbaum has called for an independent investigation of the MRRO site, including soil samples that test for contaminant leakage and sewer overflows, before construction — not simply a review of documents to date. Mr. Kleinbaum has recommended sampling throughout the site, including testing underneath the garage. Steve Miller of the Princeton Environmental Commission has noted that the technology exists to test soils underneath concrete, and he supported such testing of the garage at its meeting on October 24 2012. The shortcoming of the Princeton Environmental Commission’s recommendation to the Planning Board is that it recommends “independent testimony … regarding whether the testing was adequate” (not new testing), and “To the extent that it is concluded that the testing was inadequate, we recommend that you request adequate testing from the developer.” The developer? — AvalonBay? hardly an independent party.

Indeed, Avalon is so lax in its environmental practices, and so glib on its website about supposedly sustainable measures (13 pages of fluff) — that AB’s corporate leadership has been called to task. On April 11, 2012, the Office of the Comptroller for New York City, which manages pension funds for its employees, issued a memorandum to AvalonBay shareholders setting forth substantive reasons why AB has “lagged behind” its peers in the commercial rental market: inadequate reporting on greenhouse emissions, water conservation, waste minimization, energy efficiency, and other environmental and social impacts (full text available from Daniel A. Harris).

We don’t know the scope of work the Planning Board requests, nor what Sovereign Consulting will recommend. We must hope that its proposals insist on an absolutely clean building site and that any further consideration of AvalonBay’s application by the Planning Board be postponed until such a clearance is given. Indeed, Sovereign will not be able to complete its work prior to November 15, when AB will demand that the Planning Board approve their site plan for the garage. But the Planning Board has ample legal grounds to deny this minor site application on the basis of insufficient evidence (as well as New Jersey case law upholding the rights of municipalities to deny developer’s applications on the basis of concerns about public health). Next step: if Sovereign cannot responsibly complete its report until after December 15, when the supposed “clock” for a Planning Board decision runs out, then the Planning Board will be absolutely within its legal rights to deny AvalonBay’s application on the grounds of inadequate and insufficient information.

Jane Buttars

Dodds Lane

To the Editor:

I want to thank the people of Princeton for electing me as your mayor. And I especially want to thank my amazing campaign team, including Walter Bliss, Sue Nemeth, Chad Goerner, Doreen Blanc Rockstrom, Helen Heintz, Bob and Betty Fleming, Peter Wolanin, Dan Preston, Jon Durbin, Anne Burns, Sarah Lewis Smith, John Cashman, and the newly elected members of council: Jo Butler, Jenny Crumiller, Heather Howard, Lance Liverman, Bernie Miller, and Patrick Simon. I also want to thank my opponent, Dick Woodbridge, who has a long record of service to the community and who ran a strong campaign. Now that the election is over, it is time for us to come together for the benefit of the community. As mayor I will listen to everyone and represent everyone.

Consolidation presents us with a tremendous opportunity to both save money and improve the job we do. I look forward to working with the new council and the community to seize upon these opportunities and to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

We are still collecting applications for our volunteer boards and commissions. Volunteering as a commissioner or board member is a great way to give back to our town, and the work will be especially interesting and rewarding in the coming years in light of consolidation. For an application and more information, go to: www.princetonnj.gov.

Liz Lempert

Meadowbrook Drive

To the Editor,

I am writing to thank the voters of Princeton for voting in the recent election. Despite the difficulties caused by the storm, Princeton once again proved itself an engaged and involved community by still making it out to the polls. I appreciate the support I received and will be honored to serve on the new Princeton Council. I look forward to working with the community to achieve the promise of consolidation: fiscal savings, enhanced services, and a more efficient government.

To that end, I encourage all those interested in participating in the consolidated government to apply to serve on one of the municipal boards, committees, and commissions, all of which will be reconstituted in the New Year; applications can be found at www.princetonnj.gov.

Heather Howard

Aiken Avenue

To the Editor,

I want to thank Princetonians for electing me to the new Princeton Council. It is an honor to serve you. Our new beginning presents a golden opportunity for positive change. With our new mayor and fellow council members, I will work diligently to fulfill the promises of our united Princeton.

Jenny Crumiller

Library Place

To the Editor:

On behalf of Friends of Princeton Open Space, I want to thank the citizens of Princeton for their support of the open space tax ballot question in our recent election. The outcome was compelling: almost 77 percent voted “yes” for a blended open space tax of 1.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which will continue to raise the same amount of annual funding, post-consolidation, as the two municipalities together raised before.

The open space tax has already helped us to preserve almost 290 acres of land, as well as to develop athletic fields at Smoyer Park. Friends of Princeton Open Space looks forward to working with the town of Princeton, the state Green Acres fund, our non-profit partners, and generous individual donors to put the open space tax funds to good use protecting land in the future.

We are grateful to live in a community that is so supportive of open space preservation.

Wendy L. Mager, President

Friends of Princeton Open Space, Inc.

To the Editor:

On behalf of the district election workers whose districts were moved to Jadwin Gym on Nov. 6, I would like to express sincere appreciation to Princeton University and, in particular, to Kristen Appelget and her staff for their very generous assistance and hospitality.

They helped in a number of important ways. They set aside plenty of parking for workers and voters, and had people there in the wee hours of the morning to guide us. They arranged all of the voting machines and furniture into a well-organized set-up for the seven districts. And, most importantly because of this year’s redrawn districts and because of the storm, they had complete lists of registered voters and guided them to the correct voting places. They even supplied generous nourishment for the tired election workers.

Our heartfelt thanks!

John Schivell

District Election Judge, Princeton District 20

To the Editor:

I was very interested to read both Anne Levin’s piece (“Five Year Strategic Plan Outlined at Sexuality Education Fundraiser,” p. 7, Oct. 17) and the co-authored reply proposing a public debate on sex education (“Supporters of Abstinence Education Dispute Claims in Recent Article. Ask For Public Debate,” Mailbox, Oct. 24). While a student at Princeton University several years ago, my classmates and I founded a student group that aimed to enrich the University’s sexual health programming by providing additional resources on building healthy relationships and on the benefits of sexual abstinence. The students we represented and served came from a variety of educational, ethnic, socio-economic, and religious backgrounds, and some did not practice any faith at all. But all shared the same frustration. The sex education they had received prior to college and continued to receive while at Princeton was failing them. My peers found that they struggled to understand the role of sex within the greater context of human intimacy, and that their education – and the habits and attitudes that spawned from it — left them ill-equipped when pursuing more significant romantic relationships.

From my undergraduate and professional experience, I know the importance of educating young men and women to be confident in and responsible with their sexuality. And I have seen the effect their sexual education can have on their ability to relate to others in a meaningful and deeply personal way. I enthusiastically support the proposal for a public debate on sex education, because it is essential that we — as parents and as a community — honestly evaluate our programs and how it prepares our youth to be confident men and women who are able to develop successful and stable relationships down the road.

Cassandra Hough

Loetscher Place

To the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Emergency Management Team, the Police and Fire Departments, Rescue Squads, and all of the municipal employees for their tireless work on behalf of the residents of the Borough and Township. Not only did they do yeoman’s service in preparing us all for the devastating storm that was predicted to hit our town, but they were on the job during and in the immediate aftermath of the storm. In more than one instance, these folks had personal situations related to the storm that were set aside in order that they could do their jobs bringing our town back to life as quickly as possible.

I have worked with many of our municipal employees over the past few years and I know that they are dedicated and hardworking and have the interests of the residents at heart. But their dedication to duty during the storm and in its aftermath far surpasses anything written in their job descriptions. Thank you one and all!

Barbara Trelstad

President, Princeton Borough Council

To the Editor:

At this year’s UFAR 5K to Combat Riverblindness, more than 100 runners helped to keep people from going blind in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We are grateful to the Princeton Theological Seminary for hosting the start and finish of this race, which goes through some of Princeton’s loveliest scenery. Our sponsors also included Merck, Princeton United Methodist Church, Princeton Eye Group, Sight Savers International, Road ID, Rocky Hill Inn, Songbird Capital, Trader Joe’s, and Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center.

All runners received T-shirts, and we were able to give nine prizes, thanks to the generosity of these donors: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Anthony Rabara Pilates Studio, Rocky Hill Yoga, Forest Jewelers, Princeton Running Company, Landau of Princeton, and the Optical Gallery of Princeton. Race results and photos are posted at www.riverblindness.org.

UFAR is the African-inspired, Lawrenceville-based nonprofit charitable organization that aims — in partnership with other organizations — to eradicate onchocerciasis, known as riverblindness. This is a horrific disease that causes severe itching and, eventually, leads to blindness by the age of 40. It afflicts more than 13 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). According to the World Health Organization, the disease can be eradicated by 2020. The medicine for riverblindness is provided free by Merck & Co., but distributing it to remote villages is difficult yet only costs 58 cents per person per year for 10 years.

Daniel Shungu,

Founder, UFAR

Charles Phillips and Liz Meggitt,

Race co-chairs

To the Editor:

We need to have a community discussion about our unreliable utility system and the possibility of putting utility wires underground over a 5 or 10 year period. I’ve been told it’s too costly. The threat to public health and life, the economic loss to our businesses and to residents who cannot get to work, is also very costly. With climate change and increasing numbers and severity of destructive weather events likely in the future, we should get ahead of the situation rather than being in reaction mode with each event. That is also very costly in staff use, and time and equipment.

New developments here and elsewhere have underground wires. We can start the process in currently developed areas of Princeton and move gradually over a period of years as necessary. But we need to get started in early 2013 in discussing this issue and see what can be done and not allow it to fade as this latest emergency gets dimmer in our memories.

We need local leadership in getting this discussion started soon with our engineering and other technical staff as well as with PSE&G and knowledgeable and interested residents.

In the larger context, such infrastructure improvements will also create much needed jobs and help our overall economy.

Grace Sinden

Ridgeview Circle

November 7, 2012

To the Editor:

In the words of Bill Sword, Jr., thank you for all of your tender mercies.

In the midst of the chaos and devastation that our community experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, our family was embraced with extraordinary love, care and thoughtfulness.

On behalf of our entire family, we want to thank the Princeton Police and the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, who risked their lives in the storm to come to Bill’s aid, our incredible Princeton community of friends, and especially our Nassau Presbyterian Church family for the warmth that you brought to all of us during this very difficult time.

With our deepest gratitude,

The Sword Family

To the Editor:

The residents of the Bouvant/White Oak/Stuart neighborhood would like to thank PSE&G for all they have done to restore our power. We realize that this was the worst storm in their history and their task was monumental. Yet under these extreme circumstances, they quickly prioritized what needed to be done and then carefully, safely, and expeditiously started bringing power back. Everyone that we dealt with at PSE&G, from the people working in the streets to those manning the phones, to management, were nothing but helpful and professional during this catastrophe. We also appreciated the status reports, even when we weren’t happy with what we heard. Job well done.

Faye and Hamed Abdou, Amy Borovoy, Jonathan Morduch, Sherri and Vic Garber, Ruth and Rob Goldston, Mary Anne and

Don Greenberg, Adam and Irina Irgon,

Susan and Ashok Kapoor, Sheila and Suresh Kumar, Indrani and Rajiv Malhotra, Carol and Myron Mehlman, Jill Morrison, Greg Peel, Karen Ohringer,

Henry Echeverria, Reba Orszag,

Candace and Marvin Preston,

Carol Rosenthal, Helene and

Paul Shapiro, Sheila Siderman, Jerry Palin, Ann and Rudy Skalka, Naomi Vilko,

Sid Goldfarb, Hui and John Weihe.

The Bouvant/White Oak/Stuart neighborhood

To the Editors:

My children and I were among the lucky beneficiaries of the Princeton Public Library’s generosity in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. I am writing to extend my deepest thanks to every one of the staff who worked tirelessly and selflessly (long hours without breaks and food) to provide a comfortable, fun, clean, and supportive environment for all of us camped out there. You were no doubt personally affected by the storm yet you managed to not only get to work but to show those of us gathered there remarkable compassion, patience, and kindness. I will never forget — and will always be inspired by — you.

Liz Erickson

Howe Circle

To the Editors:

I am writing to thank the Princeton Public Library for its generosity in the days following the storm. I imagine that in many other communities there was really no place to go, but in Princeton we could come down to the library, recharge our cell phones, check email, warm up, read in the light, and even have a cup of coffee. In fact, I’m still here at the library writing this letter a week after the storm. Thank you to the library staff for your patience and kindness amidst the hordes of people and to the administration for making the generous decision to open your doors wide, not just to Princeton residents, but to the greater community as well.

Susan Danoff

Clover Lane

To the Editor:

Princeton has survived yet another storm, and this was one for the record books. We’re grateful for the tireless efforts of our first responders and utility crews, who had their hands full. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the special contributions made by a few local institutions and businesses that went beyond the call of duty to make this ordeal more manageable: the Princeton Public Library, whose staff graciously accommodated the multitudes that descended on the library to study, to commune with their fellow townspeople, to recharge their batteries and to seek that elusive wi-fi; McCaffrey’s, whose giant generator allowed them to keep us supplied with food and ice, as well as another refuge for charging batteries and staying warm; Smith’s Ace Hardware, whose flashlight-wielding sales personnel led us through the darkened shelves to find needed supplies; and WWFM whose staff managed to keep the station on the air, providing beautiful music to accompany our candlelight dinners. Thank you.

Bill and Joanne Dix

Snowden Lane