July 28, 2021

To the Editor:

First, at a time when the business model for community-based journalism has been crushed by society’s lamentable disinterest, I offer sincere gratitude for the dogged persistence of Town Topics and its local reporting. Publishing weekly in ink, on paper, you invite the news of the moment to be held with respectful hands for consideration and close attention. We are all better for your efforts. Don’t give up.

Second, I am following your coverage of a redevelopment proposal for Prospect Avenue and the rising hue and cry from dissentient voices of historic preservation (“HPC Considers Club Row Historic District,” page 1, July 21). It’s a veritable planning and zoning “whodunnit?” decades in the making.

Literally, a page turner. It was fascinating to learn that Prospect Avenue redevelopment vulnerability was identified as early as 1992, that strategies were available to give the community a seat at the planning table for this historically and aesthetically important part of the town, but that nothing was done for 26 years. This is a real head-scratcher, wouldn’t you agree? It’s there that I began flipping the pages back and forward. Did I miss the big reveal? What explains this gap between situational awareness and action? Would you consider following up? more

July 21, 2021

DEFINITIVE DELI: “I enjoy creating experiences for people, and I like to see people eat and enjoy themselves. In addition to being chef, I oversee the operations, and we are tweaking things every day to be sure we get it right.” Nick Liberato, owner with Mike Dalewitz and Steve Lau, of Borscht Belt Delicatessen in Stockton, is shown with one of the deli’s signature sandwiches: chopped cheese, with ground beef blend, cheddar, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. (Photo by Gab Bonghi)

By Jean Stratton

Comfort and conversation, connection and culture, flavor and atmosphere; over-stuffed, piled-high delicious deli sandwiches; expertly-made egg creams; 1950s sound track vibrating in the background. Where can you find such an energizing experience?

It’s not far away!

The new Borscht Belt Delicatessen is located in the Stockton Market at 19 Bridge Street in Stockton. Just opened on June 19, it is already attracting hungry visitors who are lining up around the block to sample both its New York City-style Jewish deli atmosphere and its variety of classic deli culinary treats.

Owners Nick Liberato, Mike Dalewitz, and Steve Lau wanted to bring something unique to Stockton.

Family and Friends

“We thought there was a need for something like this in Stockton,” says Chef Liberato, who also oversees the operations. His longtime background in the food and restaurant business includes serving as “Chef to the Stars” when he opened a catering company in Los Angeles, and then as host of the popular Bar Rescue and Restaurants on Edge TV shows. The latter experiences included helping at risk bars and restaurants to regain both popularity and profits. more

To the Editor:

At the entrance of most parks in Princeton there is a sign stating that dogs are permitted, but must be on leads, and that to clean up after them is essential. This is so at Johnson, at the University, at IAS, at Mountain Lakes. In addition, there are many narrow trails where this is difficult, particularly when one is older, and rather unsteady (I’m 87).

One place where there is NO sign, none at all, is at the Princeton Shopping Center. Perhaps they do not want dogs there at all and don’t want to be too obvious about it. In any case, because it is the only place in town which is covered, it is the one that I have utilized when it rains, usually with leads in place, but if there are no other dogs around, and few people, I dispense with the leads and permit them to run. At least, not until I was given a summons, for which I am to go to court next month.  more

To the Editor:

There have been many articles and letters on Princeton’s plans and application to the Planning Board for approval of the ES-SEAS project, a 15-acre engineering campus to be constructed between the Eating Clubs and Princeton Stadium. The plans include building a modern engineering pavilion spanning two lots on Prospect Avenue which is a historic district on the NJ State and National Register. To do this, the architects want to pick up the former Court Club, a massive brick and stone mansion, and move it across the street, demolishing three Victorian houses on the site where they propose to relocate Court Club. I’m an alum who lives in the area and am on the board of the Cap and Gown Club, so I drove down Prospect Avenue to try to envision this plan, and it’s shocking to think of the disruption and destruction it will cause to a residential neighborhood and to one of the most historic streetscapes in America.  more

July 14, 2021

To the Editor:

Last Tuesday evening, rounding the corner at Moore and Spruce, I was nearly run down by yet another full grown adult riding a bicycle at full speed on the sidewalk in the dark with no lights. Frankly, the only thing that saved me (and likely the rider) from serious injury was the fact that my dog yanked me back to sniff something as I was stepping around the corner. All I could utter in alarm was “Jesus!” The rider continued without a word.

Princeton wants to be bike friendly. I get it, but teens and adults are riding wheeled vehicles capable of significant speed on pedestrian walkways. That’s not only not friendly, it’s inconsiderate of people with mobility issues and downright dangerous for children and pets.

I’ve even seen bike riders ride on the sidewalk, dismount at a pedestrian crossing, walk their bike across that pedestrian crossing, then remount and continue riding on the sidewalk. In what world does that make sense?  What’s next? Twenty-mile-per-hour electric bikes on the sidewalk? These aren’t broad city avenues. Most sidewalks are only three to four feet wide, forcing walkers to step on the grass so a bike can fly by. Surely there could be an ordinance and some enforcement to get bikes onto the street where they belong … before someone gets hurt?

Ralph Thayer
Chestnut Street

To the Editor:

I have lived in Princeton since my family moved here in 1955. That’s 66 years.

It became obvious very soon that there were two very special streets in Princeton. One was, of course, Nassau Street, and I include Palmer Square in that description. And the other was Prospect Avenue. Any time we had friends come to Princeton for the first time, those were the two “must see” places on our tour of the town. Nothing defines Princeton the way those two streets define the community in terms of its character and beauty.

Week after week, Town Topics has been filled with letters to the editor that eloquently describe why the University’s variance request relating to Prospect Avenue plan should not be approved, as does the report of the Historical Commission. There is no need to repeat those reasons at this point. (And in terms of the letters, I thank the authors for writing them.)

What concerns me more than anything else at this point is the attitude of our proverbial 800-pound gorilla, Princeton University (a university, I might add, that is not overly generous in terms of its payment in lieu of taxes). Please don’t get me wrong. I have had some great associations with the University over the years, most recently as the head coach of the Princeton University Mock Trial team. But in this case, not only is the University our 800-pound gorilla, it is also a bully. more

To the Editor:

The Cannabis Task Force (CTF), appointed by the Municipality of Princeton, has been hard at work. We would like to update Princeton residents on the status of the development of ordinances for licenses to grow, process, and sell cannabis for adult recreational use in Princeton. As cannabis delivery will be available throughout the state, the CTF recommends that Princeton set optimal parameters around local ordinances for our community as soon as possible. The Princeton community voted overwhelmingly in support of legalization in the 2020 election, and a public forum held by the CTF confirmed our community’s support of adult recreational use of cannabis, so long as our policies and educational materials promote safety and social justice. The CTF is working on an initial ordinance to allow the retail sale of recreational and medical cannabis, with plans to consider other cannabis licenses at a later date.

The state set an early deadline of August 21 for municipalities to pass ordinances for opting in or opting out of licenses. However, the legal consensus in the state is that municipalities that opt in cannot then opt out for a period of five years, while municipalities that initially opt out may opt in at any time. When a municipality opts in, it sets an ordinance for their community’s licenses that establishes guidelines and restrictions in addition to the state’s licensing legislation. Municipal ordinances determine where dispensaries can be located and establish community requirements for dispensary owners. Given that our community needs more time to develop requirements that fit Princeton’s values and needs, Princeton will temporarily opt out, with the goal of developing an ordinance by early fall to opt in. This will allow the CTF time to solicit community input and examine legislation in states where cannabis is legalized to inform its recommendations. more

To the Editor:

The Sustainable Landscaping Steering Committee, which includes community partners such as the Princeton Environmental Commission, Quiet Princeton, Sustainable Princeton, Unidad Latina en Acción, the Civil Rights Commission and others, has been considering steps to reduce harm to human and environmental health and enhance the well-being of landscapers. As an important part of this process, Princeton’s Environmental Commission is recommending limiting the hours and seasons that certain lawn maintenance equipment can be used in order to reduce exposure to harmful air, noise, soil and water pollution, and to promote sustainable landscaping practices. The proposed changes would also strengthen the current landscaper registration requirements. 

As the Council liaison to this effort and the chair of the Princeton Environmental Commission, we would like to invite the public to a meeting tonight, July 14 (sorry for the short notice!) at 7 p.m. The link can be found on the municipal website at princetonnj.gov. Members of the Sustainable Landscaping Steering Committee will give a brief update about this project, including its use of the Civil Rights Commission’s Racial Equity Assessment Toolkit and engagement of Princeton’s landscaping community. The meeting is an opportunity for residents to learn about and discuss these proposed changes and to get answers to their questions.

If you are unable to attend tonight (again, sorry for the short notice) please feel free to contact us with your comments at eniedergang@princetonnj.gov or princetonnj.gov/535/Environmental-Commission.

Eve Niedergang
Princeton Council Member 

Tammy L. Sands
Chair, Princeton Environmental Commission

July 7, 2021

Thursday, July 8, 2021 is cause for celebration as my parents, the doctors Van Horn, Helen Margaret Ross and Paul Emerson, have achieved an incredible milestone! Sixty years of marriage!

Not an easy task, as their wedded bliss was delayed with their pursuits in their respective medical fields in different cities across the country. It wasn’t until they were both in residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, that their paths finally crossed in the fall of 1959. Peggy was not only smart and one of only a few women in medical school at the time, but she was also a personable and beautiful redhead who was quick to smile and laugh. Paul, who was more quiet in nature, yet dashingly handsome and smart, waited patiently for his opportunity to sweep Peggy off her feet and away from her beau.

July of 1961 in Rochester, they exchanged vows and have been honeymooning ever since. Along the way, Paul set up his own orthopedic group/business specializing in knees and hips while also managing Physical Therapy of Princeton which lasted for a span of 35+ years. Peggy had worked one year as a staff psychiatrist at the Rochester State hospital before staying home for 15 years to raise four children before returning to work as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a staff psychiatrist at the Mental Health Center in New Brunswick for 15+ years.

Together they nurtured four children: twins Barb Van Horn Yocum (Snowmass Village, CO) and Val Van Horn Pate (Richmond, VA), Alison Van Horn (Washington, DC) and Paul Van Horn III (Brooklyn, NY). Upon retirement, they chose to travel extensively to Peru, India, Italy, Europe, Brazil, Alaska, Hawaii, British Virgin Islands, and more.  more

AMAZING ARTWORK: “Bring on the Joy” is the theme of this colorful mural at the Princeton Shopping Center. Commissioned by EDENS, the owner of the Shopping Center, it was painted by a team of Arts Council of Princeton artists. “We believe that public art provides an opportunity to build community around creative expression,” explains Melissa Kuscin, Arts Council program/marketing manager. “The impact of a mural is impressive: it brightens and lifts the spirits of those who encounter it, and has the potential to deliver key themes and messages.”

By Jean Stratton

It’s party time at the Princeton Shopping Center!

Friday, July 9 (rescheduled to July 29) will be the launch date of its “Summer Nights Series” of concerts, movies, and DJ parties. It will also dedicate its striking new mural, Bring on the Joy, located on the interior courtyard wall between the Smith’s Ace Hardware and Princeton Mattress establishments.

It couldn’t be a better time to celebrate, as everyone is ready to get out and about after a year and a half of semi-confinement.

We are fortunate in Princeton not only to have a downtown that is alive and lively, but a “village” shopping center, with friendly service and personal attention. And Princeton strives to be a town where the independently-owned establishment can still thrive. The independent entrepreneur is a presence here, appreciated and respected by knowledgeable and interested customers. more

To the Editor:

The Princeton Coalition for Responsible Development, or PCRD, is a nonprofit organization formed recently to advocate for and enable a more effective and collaborative approach to land use development in Princeton.  We are not opposed to new development in our town; that said, we do believe in smart, eco-friendly development that will respect and build upon Princeton’s unique character and reflect the voices of its residents. Such development is best accomplished through transparent and inclusive deliberations that heed the input of developers, elected officials, and, importantly, those who live in town.

Princeton University has announced its intention to destroy three buildings that form part of the historic Prospect Avenue streetscape. PCRD supports the effort to protect the former Court Club in its current location and to protect the homes on Prospect Avenue from demolition by Princeton University. More broadly, PCRD is concerned about the disregard for the Princeton Master Plan and the diminished prospect for the evaluation of Club Row as a local historic district that Princeton University’s plan represents. Each degradation of this part of town becomes yet another step toward further undesirable changes throughout Princeton, thus diminishing, building by building and lot by lot, what makes Princeton so attractive to its residents.

Recently, Princeton has witnessed financially capable property owners neglect their facilities, only to turn to the municipality for relief by pointing to the poor state of buildings they have let deteriorate. Rewarding such bad behavior isn’t good for the town in the short run or the long run. Additionally, the environmental impact of demolition and its associated release of embodied carbon, isn’t consistent with sustainable development. more

To the Editor:

Princeton University’s massive (666,000 square feet in four new buildings) expansion of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is exciting for the future of teaching, research, and studying at Princeton. This project has been in the works for more than a decade and finally has emerged into public view as a packaged deal, much like the Lewis Center across campus.

The process now moves to the town of Princeton’s Planning Board to review and approve or reject the Plan. While the concept and plan are admirable, there should be room to improve the Plan with comments from the neighbors, alumni, and other interested parties.

I would like to suggest a Plan B.

First, moving (or tearing down if Plan is not approved) Court Club, which is located within a National Registered Landmark District, seems an offense to the town of Princeton. We should respect our National Landmarks and make an effort to preserve our fortunate heritage. Environmental studies teach us to recycle, reuse, or repurpose objects whenever possible so as not to waste resources. Court Club would make an ideal setting for small conferences, intimate dining opportunities, or prime seminar space for focused group conversation. Think a second “Faculty Club,” an annex to Prospect House. more

June 30, 2021

ROOF AND CHIMNEY EXPERTISE: “We work hard to make sure that our customers have the safest and best quality roofs and chimneys.” Eri Iseberi, owner of Expert Chimney & Roofing LLC, is proud of the excellent workmanship of his crews. Shown are photos of recent projects, including roofs and chimneys.

By Jean Stratton

A roof over your head, a fire in the fireplace  — even in the midst of summer, it is not too soon to think about any needed repairs for the chimney and fireplace, so they will be ready to provide a cozy setting for those chilly December days and nights.

Making sure the roof is free of hidden leaks or other damage is important for year-round comfort.

Indeed, care and attention to the roof is crucial at any time. Depending on its age, unseen problems underneath the shingles can cause serious damage.

Opened in 2006, Expert Chimney & Roofing LLC in Fair Lawn has established an excellent reputation for its skill with new roofs, chimneys, gutters, and repair work in all areas. more

To the Editor:

Last week’s lead article “PU Prospect Ave. Plans Remain Unresolved” [Page 1, June 23] comprehensively covered the Planning Board (PB) meeting on June 17 and the current public controversy over the University’s intentions to remove the former Court Clubhouse from the Princeton Historic District and to demolish three historically-significant Victorian-era houses as part of its planned ES+SEAS complex to be located adjacent to the University’s iconic eating clubs. However, as board chair of the nonprofit charitable organization Princeton Prospect Foundation (PPF), which for months has objected to this small aspect of the project, I would like to clarify a misstatement in the article. The community petition opposing the plan, which has garnered over 1,100 signatures, is not sponsored by PPF, as the article states. Rather, town residents created the petition without any prior interactions with PPF, although PPF now strongly supports it, and a Save Prospect Coalition comprised of town residents, University alumni, and PPF has since emerged.  more

To the Editor:

If people in Princeton think that parking, truck traffic, and noise are a problem in town now, they should be very concerned about Princeton University’s plans for Prospect Avenue. The University intends to insert a truck access to the 666,000-square-foot complex into the otherwise residential street where the eating clubs are located, moving one of them and destroying three Victorian homes for good measure. This ES+SEAS complex replaces dozens of residences, including the Ferris Thompson Apts, with a sprawling structure that will be home to hundreds of employees, displacing many families who will need to commute from further afield. The labs will need to be supplied with chemical and biological engineering equipment and supplies, bringing more truck traffic to the neighborhood. All of this is part of the University’s long-term plan to “evolve” the town into a “city” in the words of Ron McCoy, University architect. In the past 13 years, the University has pushed a plan that expands the campus out at its residential edges; displacing the Dinky, destroying 19th-century homes on Alexander, destroying the Victorians at Olden and Williams, destroying historic 86 Olden Street, and soon demolishing the remaining Gothic Revival portion of Princeton Museum. more

To the Editor:

I’m writing as a member of the Permit Parking Task Force who grew up on Jefferson Road and, on semi-retirement, returned to the same neighborhood. Princeton’s Council recently heard the Task Force’s initial recommendations for improving the town’s permit parking regime. The Task Force has recently posted on its website answers to FAQ and a comparison of how the proposed changes would affect each of Princeton’s inner neighborhoods. These documents incorporate modifications of the Task Force’s proposals in response to resident feedback received at that Council meeting. Hopefully, a perusal of the website will help to clear-up the misconceptions on which much of the voiced opposition to the proposals has been premised. Some further refinements of the plan remain under active discussion. (See princetonnj.gov/329/Permit-Parking-Task-Force)

This letter focuses on how the Task Force’s proposal will affect my neighbors in the High School Permit zone. This zone was established to prohibit PHS students from parking on residential streets. However, unlike other central neighborhoods, current regulation also excludes all daytime parking for employees and customers during the academic year. Moreover, unlike those other neighborhoods, High School zone residents receive as many as four daytime permits. more

To the Editor:

I was pleased to read about the youth advisory groups that have been making an impact on Princeton government and nonprofits [Youth Advisory Groups Help Set Policies for Government and Nonprofits,” page 1, June 23]. There was no mention, however, of the very active and well-established youth advisory group at the Princeton Public Library. Made up of teens from several of the local schools and known by one and all as TAB (Teen Advisory Board), they meet regularly and are represented at the library’s Board of Trustees monthly meetings by three of their number.

This past year, the representatives were Elizabeth Leonard, Chiara Goldenstern, and Eleni Staikos. Each of them spoke at every meeting, and were articulate, thoughtful, and creative, whether it was letting us know about the latest edition of their podcast or about library-wide programs initiated and organized by them, such as I Read This Book, and many others. more

June 23, 2021

By Donald Gilpin

Cecilia Jimenez-Weeast

Cecilia Jimenez-Weeast, executive director of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund for just over two months, has deep roots in serving the Latino community and an enduring commitment to the thousands of immigrants she has worked with.

“I’m passionate about working with the community,” she said in an interview earlier this month. “Coming from El Salvador I’ve seen the reason why people want to come to the United States. They just want to come here and they want the American dream. They want to be able to sustain a family, to provide for their kids, because those opportunities are not available in their country.”

She added, “That’s what keeps me going and that’s how I ended up with LALDEF.” The director of Latinas Unidas for about 20 years, Jimenez-Weeast sees her new position as carrying on in pursuit of her passion. “Becoming executive director of LALDEF is continuing what is so close to my heart,” she said.

Her early years in El Salvador, her work with her father in the cause of social justice, and his subsequent death in the civil war in the early 1980s were formative experiences for her, establishing the path that Jimenez-Weeast would take in her career and her life.

“My father has been my inspiration to continue working for people’s rights,” she said, explaining, “I come from a family that has always been very involved in social justice. He was a well-known community activist in El Salvador. All his life he fought for the rights of workers.”

Her father was a member of the International Labor Organization, a U.N. agency headquartered in Switzerland with a mandate to advance social and economic justice. “I used to go help my father at union rallies, basically fighting for workers’ rights in El Salvador,” said Jimenez-Weeast, “and at the same time I would go volunteer in the schools in small towns. I continue to do that. Every time I go to El Salvador I visit the little schools in some of the villages and spend time with the kids. They are humble schools where having a computer is not even in their dreams.”

Her father paid a high price for his involvement in politics, she explained. “I lost my father as a result of the chaos that El Salvador went through. He was murdered, but he left a legacy in that country.” more

TEST OF TIME: “We really specialize in hospitality. We want people to feel better when they come in, and especially now, enjoy being out together again. We look forward to welcoming everyone. We love working with our staff and serving our guests. It’s the people — the Momos love people!” Shown from left in the recently reopened and longtime favorite Teresa Caffe are the Momos: Carlo (co-owner), Alessandra, Gianni, and Raoul (co-owner). Above is an enlarged photo of a young Teresa — Carlo and Raoul’s mother and the inspiration for the restaurant.

By Jean Stratton

It has a new look, but the same warm hospitality and delicious dining that have always been its hallmark.

Teresa Caffe, at 23 Palmer Square East, is open again after having been closed for 14 months due to COVID-19 and an extensive renovation. Reopening in May, this popular mainstay on the Princeton dining scene is up and running, offering its neighborhood trattoria-style atmosphere and tempting Italian pizza, pasta, and a variety of other specialties.

Originally opened in 1991, Teresa’s is one of five restaurants owned by the Momo brothers, Carlo, Raoul, and Anthony. Part of the Momo Restaurant Group, they also include Mediterra, Eno Terra, Momo Bread Company, and the new Albariño tapas and wine bar in Red Bank. The Bread Company also has a branch in the Trenton Farmers Market.

“It really all started with our mother, Teresa Azario Momo, who was born in Italy, and our father Raul Momo Marmonti, who was born in Chile,” explains Carlo. “They came to the United States in 1960, and by the mid-1970s, Teresa and Raul opened the very first ‘Teresa,’ an Italian specialty food store.

Fresh Food

“We worked alongside our parents when not in school, learning how to cook in the tradition of our ancestors. That’s where we acquired our passion for fresh food and a dedication to provide warm and welcoming service. more

To the Editor:

Princeton University’s plan to relocate 91 Prospect to create a gateway to its Schools of Environmental Studies and Engineering and Applied Science is in the Municipality of Princeton’s interest. The Municipal Planning Board should approve the minor site variance needed to accomplish it without further delay. 

The post-pandemic shift toward hybrid work will exacerbate future regional growth pressures on Princeton’s infrastructure. We need to meet that challenge as a community, among other things, by taking steps to improve circulation and alleviate congestion. Fostering multi-modal means for transportation throughout town, including bike mobility, pedestrian mobility, and pathways friendly to all types of wheels, including carriages, strollers, wheelchairs and walkers is a key component of that effort. The University’s proposed plan to link Prospect to the south and north is consistent with the Municipality’s Master Plan and should be lauded as a welcome contribution to furthering these objectives.

The University’s Prospect plan also perfectly reflects the municipality’s sustainability goals. The green infrastructure, native plantings, stormwater management, and landscape architectural elements of the University plan will enhance the climate resilience of the Prospect Avenue streetscape.

In an era of hybrid work, we will also want and need more shared spaces for meaningful personal connections in our neighborhoods. The University’s plan serves this public interest with its proposed tree-lined plaza on Prospect. more

To the Editor:

I live on Maple Street and believe it exemplifies the best of Princeton, where tree-lined neighborhoods nurture a safe, friendly, and diverse community that cultivates spontaneous interactions, and where one can walk within minutes to locally owned restaurants, cafes, and food shops, as well as a huge variety of University activities. However, as Princeton returns to pre-pandemic days, Tree Street residents return to the difficult task of finding daytime on-street parking. The fundamental problem is that some Tree Streets have unregulated daytime parking and are thus home to free parking for University employees and students, business employees and customers, in addition to residents and visitors.

The Princeton Permit Parking Task Force (TF) has studied town parking since June 2019 and it has incorporated data from the 2017 Nelson/Nygard report. TF deliberations have been extensive, with views and needs examined across a broad spectrum of town interests. It is unlikely that any proposed solution will perfectly satisfy every scenario and constituent, nor will a single solution work for every neighborhood. With these points in mind, the proposal (available at princetonnj.gov/329/Permit-Parking-Task-Force) aims for equity across the concerns of residents and merchants. I am particularly hopeful that the proposal’s recommendations will relieve the excessive daytime parking burden now carried by the Tree Streets as well as the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhoods. more

To the Editor:

Part 1:

The Permit Parking proposal (sensiblestreets.org) is a show-stopper. Let’s check the details.

The first “Guiding Principle” asks residents to “Share available on-street parking resources equitably between residents, customers of neighborhood businesses, visitors, and employees (italics mine).

Analysis: 1)There are no “neighborhood businesses” beyond the streets of what’s now “downtown.” Businesses are not permitted on residential streets, which are residential: R-1, R-2, etc. 2) The only possible purpose for euphemisms is to confuse opposition to commuter-clogging, accident-inducing, bicycle-and-tree-unfriendly cars. Why have residential streets at all?

Next: Princeton will “Adapt (sic: “adopt”?) general rules to meet the needs of individual streets without overcomplicating the system.” It’s too complicated now. Separate the needs of streets from those of retail. These are different questions (see Part 2, below).

The final Guiding Principle: “Use latest technology to benefit all users of parking as well as simplify municipal paperwork, and enforcement.” Here I had to parse even the punctuation: it says the Plan will “simplify … enforcement.” How? Municipal records of license plates? Street corner cameras? Don’t we deride such “enforcement” tech in China? Would you put it in Princeton? more

To the Editor:

I have been disappointed to see the pushback on the proposal put forth by the Princeton Parking Task Force, much of which ignores the fact that employees and customers are already parking on many residential streets. Because most of this on-street parking is in neighborhoods where many residents lack off-street parking — the Tree Streets and Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhoods — this “commercial” parking crowds out the residents of these neighborhoods from being able to park near their homes. Allowing limited on-street parking in other in-town neighborhoods will help alleviate the overcrowding on these streets.

It’s important to note that this proposal addresses serious inequities in resident parking access that have long existed. Living on Leigh Avenue without a driveway, I have access to two free 24-hour parking permits for my family. Throughout the former-borough portions of Witherspoon-Jackson, residents without a driveway haven’t been allowed to park overnight on the street at all. Those on Green and Quarry can’t even park on the street during the day for more than two hours. Overnight parking is available only in the McLean lot for a fee that is more than double what is proposed for on-street permits. And, there is a waiting list for those spots.

Even low-income residents living in affordable housing have had to pay for parking permits to enable them to access their jobs and other necessities. The Task Force’s proposal would reduce on-street parking fees for these residents, something I hope we can all support. more

To the Editor:

I completely understand why the BOE felt compelled to change the name of the middle school to something other than John Witherspoon. I count myself among those who thought it should be renamed after Shirley Satterfield as an acknowledgment of her accomplishments and contributions to racial equity in the Princeton community.

However, once the decision was made to go with a generic “non-person” name, why did they have to change it from Princeton Unified Middle School at all? That name is equally as generic as Princeton Middle School and arguably better. Am I the only one who feels renaming a school to something that shortens to “PMS” has sexist undertones, especially considering the students who attend there are at an age when these issues start to emerge?

In my view, all the BOE succeeded in doing was creating whole new micro-aggression problem, not to mention once again demonstrating a lack of creativity. Complete waste of time, money, and energy!

Margaret Johnson
Burr Drive

To the Editor:

After reading last week’s page one story on cicadas [“Cicadas Peak Before Disappearing Until 2038,” June 16] I was inspired to compose the following poem, which begins with a reference to the Nobel Prize-winning Greek poet Odysseus Elytis:


Elytis celebrates the cicadas he hears
Singing constantly in the ears of the trees
As though they belong in his country
As naturally as the squid and octopus
That regularly define his wine-dark waters.
But how much time does our belated cicada
Have to know the wonders of our world
After seventeen years of silence underground
And no way to see what might lie ahead?
They say it has a week or two
But surely that isn’t enough time
To fathom the mystery of their coming and going
Along with the green world and its flowering
Of love and its sorrow and all the rest
We alone have time to discover.
Yet does our own devotion to silence
Allow us what we need to sing
So long and loud and tirelessly
Of the sometimes wonder given us
Before our week or two is over
And our song left for others to sing?

Edmund Keeley
Windrow Drive

The writer is a novelist, translator, poet, and professor of English emeritus at Princeton University.