October 30, 2018

To the Editor:

The courageous move on October 9 by the vote of the BoE to scale back the expensive old proposed Referendum and replace it with a new doable Referendum was brilliant. The BOE is asking the public to approve, on December 11, the sale of a $27M bond to pay for the security needs and needed repairs and refurbishments to the school infrastructure. A MUST-do-now undertaking. more

To the Editor:

We are writing to thank everyone who attended the Not in Our Town Princeton Forum for the candidates for the Princeton Board of Education at the Princeton YWCA on October 14. Thank you to the approximately 70 audience members who attended in person and the 617 people who have watched the live-stream of the forum so far for taking the time to make an informed decision. more

To the Editor:

We write to urge our fellow Princetonians to vote for Brian McDonald for a seat on the Board of Education.  Brian is an incredibly talented and dedicated member of our community, and we believe that his service on the Board is particularly needed at this pivotal time. more

To the Editor:

What a terrific time I have had serving the fine residents of Princeton. Serving for 15 years on Princeton Council has been a rewarding and fulfilling job. I want to thank each and every one of you for the respect, positive comments and acts of kindness given to me during my political career.  I love Princeton and will always do what’s best for this beautiful town.  more

To the Editor:

In a recent letter to Town Topics [“Endorsing Two Candidates for Council Who Will Deliver ”Message of Resistance,” Mailbox, Sept. 12], the chair of the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee exhorted voters to vote the “entire Democratic ticket from bottom to top” as a “message of resistance.” Voters should consider exactly what they are being asked to resist. more

To the Editor:

Of five candidates for three seats on the Board of Education, two challengers bring fiscal experience. The two incumbents represent the old Board, which has responded to community distress by dividing the same $130M in two: one part now, and one to be brought up next year.  more

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Dafna Kendal and Betsy Baglio for Board of Education re-election.

With each School Board election, we put our trust into people we believe will have the commitment, energy, thoughtfulness, and experience to make the best decisions for our kids and community.  These two outstanding women have each proven over the past three years that they possess all of these qualities in spades. more

October 25, 2018

To the Editor:

Around October 12, all parking meters were removed in Princeton.  Since that time there has been free parking for everyone every day.  During this period, the amount of money that has been lost to Princeton government coffers is substantial.  Why were the old parking meters removed before the new ones were ready to be installed?

Linda Sipprelle
Victoria Mews

To the Editor:

I write in support of Mary Clurman’s candidacy for the School Board. Mary is patient, thoughtful, and persistent in her ongoing quest to be certain that all voices are heard on the most important issues facing our town. How we pay and support the education of the next generation is now on our minds. How we can afford to pay more in our property tax is also on our minds.  Mary understands that we need to listen to each other very, very carefully. She has been diligent and fair-minded in this debate and is deserving of your vote.

Sheldon Sturges
Cameron Court

To the Editor:

We are writing to urge our neighbors to vote for Brian McDonald for a seat on the Board of Education on November 6 (ballot position #5). We have worked with Brian for 13 years, both professionally and as volunteers, and know him to be a strong collaborator and consensus builder with the analytical acumen and temperament to successfully get things done. He is the only challenger with relevant professional credentials and proven service to our community. His demonstrated commitment to education and youth development is unparalleled.  more

To the Editor:

November 6 is a watershed moment for the Princeton Board of Education (BOE). It is clear that we need people with fresh perspectives and new skill sets to fill the three open seats.

One of many challenges is that the facilities originally planned by the BOE, the $130 million referendum, carried with them operating costs that exceeded our ability to pay. Costs that would have taken us beyond the revenue we are allowed to raise under the 2 percent state cap. In another words — we have just pulled back from the brink.  more

To the Editor:

Eve Niedergang and Dwaine Williamson will fight to contain property taxes. Although local government spending is only 22 percent of the total amount raised by our property taxes, every increase in taxes is a potential threat to the continued economic diversity of the Princeton community.

Eve and Dwaine have pledged to build on the efforts of Princeton Council to reduce the budget in every responsible way possible. They have promised to question every service and program, for its need, scale, and effectiveness. Nothing will be off limits. more

To the Editor:

In the six years that I have served on the Board of Education of Princeton Public Schools, I have never witnessed an election that is as consequential as this one is for our district and our children. Our public school system is in many ways our community’s crown jewel, and in the past six years, the Board has strived to take a great system and make it even better — more inclusive, more equitable, and more sensitive to the natures of all our children, whatever their social and economic background or learning style.

We need to make sure we have good stewards on the Board who understand this, and truly care about kids first. This year, it is particularly important to elect incumbent Board members Betsy Baglio and Dafna Kendal, because they get it, and it’s not clear to me that all the candidates do.  more

October 24, 2018

By Donald Gilpin

First-graders, yoga, connecting with others, and helping them — these have been the core elements in Kirsten Bertone’s life over the past 17 years.

A first-grade teacher at Riverside Elementary since 2001, Bertone had no doubts about the career she wanted to pursue.  She’s following in the footsteps of her mother.  more

CREATIVE DESIGN: “I look forward to sharing my designs with the customers. I believe my designs are a way to connect with people.” Alka Mattoo, designer and founder of Orvana London, the new women’s boutique on Chambers Street, is shown wearing her own designs: a handwoven kimono-inspired caftan and handwoven shawl of yak and sheep-blended wool.

By Jean Stratton

Versatility. Wearability. Sustainability!

These images all describe the special selection at Orvana London, the new women’s boutique at 12 Chambers Street.

Just opened the end of September, it is already attracting scores of customers who appreciate the unique styles and quality handwoven fabrics that are Orvana London’s specialty. more

October 17, 2018

To the Editor:

Mr. Cochrane and the Board of Ed tell us there are 200 more students at the high school than the high school has room for, and so they have included funding for four new classrooms in their latest bond proposal of $27 million. There are, however, 280 students from Cranbury who need not be there, so any overcrowding is the result of the Board’s policy of admitting these students. Despite this, just a few months ago the BoE signed an agreement to continue educating students from Cranbury for another 10 years. They have offered no credible rationale for continuing this policy. The tuition Cranbury pays does not even cover the costs of educating the students it sends, let alone providing surplus funds for new classrooms to house them.  more

To the Editor:

This is to recommend that registered voters (NJ registration ended October 16) consider using Vote by Mail Ballots in advance of this November 6 (and other) elections.  

Advantages include: Your vote will have been cast even If you are away, are sick, disabled, or if bad weather is a problem on Election Day. Also, New Jersey’s lack of verified paper ballots in voting machines may give Mail-In Ballots a greater measure of security. more

To the Editor:

As former elected members of Princeton’s governing body, we enthusiastically support Democratic candidates Eve Niedergang and Dwaine Williamson for Princeton Council. Both have impressive records of service to our community. Both are leaders we can be proud of. The focus of their campaign is “A Princeton for All,” and they will work tirelessly on behalf of our community for a Princeton that is welcoming and inclusive, fiscally responsible, committed to affordability, and dedicated to sustainable growth. more

To the Editor:

I am writing to urge Princeton voters to join me in voting for Brian McDonald for Board of Education, ballot position #5. I’ve known Brian for more than a decade. He is someone I admire and respect immensely for his character, his strong analytical skills, and his deep commitment to this town. more

To the Editor:

I don’t know which I find most disappointing: Judge Jacobson’s decree imposing 750 subsidized housing units upon our little town, or our Council’s submissive acceptance of that decree, or the alacrity with which Princeton Future has endorsed the decree as justification for the group’s long standing vision of an urban core. more

To the Editor:

At Princeton Council’s meeting on 8 October, some of us asked that Council adopt an Indigenous Peoples Day to replace the traditional Columbus Day. We are grateful that our words fell on very receptive ears, and we particularly thank Mayor Lempert for her open embrace of the idea of declaring an Indigenous Peoples Day in Princeton. We also thank the mayor for asking Letitia Fraga, the Princeton Council liaison to the Civil Rights Commission, to initiate such discussions with the Commission, and we hope that the CRC will recommend such a declaration, with Princeton Council action to follow. more

HELPING HANDS: “I am very excited about bringing affordable home ownership to families in Princeton and helping the town meet its affordable housing requirements,” says Annie Fox, development director of the Habitat for Humanity Burlington County & Greater Trenton-Princeton affiliate. Pictured here is the affiliate’s senior management team. From left are Ashley Griffins, director of Family and Volunteer Services; Annie Fox; Lori Leonard, CEO; Tristan Keyser, ReStore director; David Cummings, construction director; and John Garton, chief financial officer.

By Jean Stratton

The first houses were built in Princeton during 1995 and 1996. There are now four houses in the community, with one on Lytle Street, one on Birch Avenue, and two on Leigh Avenue. Two more are scheduled for construction on Lytle after the first of the year.

What all of these residences have in common is that they are part of the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity program, which helps people of low and moderate income own their own home. more

PERFECT STORM: Princeton High field hockey player Isabel Kinney (No. 19) shoots the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, senior forward and co-captain Kinney scored a goal to help second-seeded PHS defeat 15th-seeded Hun 5-0 in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament. A day later, Kinney scored two goals to help the Little Tigers defeat Nottingham 8-1 in a regular season contest and improve to 13-0. PHS is slated to host seventh-seeded Allentown on October 16 in the MCT quarterfinals with the victor advancing to the semis on October 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Isabel Kinney was holding an ice bag to the left side of her face in the waning moments of the contest last Friday as the second-seeded Princeton High field hockey team hosted No. 15 Hun in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament. more

ON THE BALL: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Sophia Lis, left, battles for the ball in recent action. Freshman forward Lis has helped spark the PHS offense this fall and scored a goal in a losing effort as the Little Tigers fell 5-1 to Nottingham last Monday. PHS, now 6-5-2, will start play in the Mercer County Tournament this week where it is seeded eighth and slated to host ninth-seeded Lawrence in an opening round contest on October 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As a grade schooler, Sophia Lis helped out as a ball girl for the Princeton High girls’ soccer team, watching her older sisters Taylor and Devon star on the pitch for the Little Tigers.

Now as a freshman forward on PHS, Lis is following in her sisters’ footsteps.

“They teach me a lot, they are 100 percent my No. 1 role models and they are both so nice,” said Lis of Taylor, a junior midfielder for the Cornell women’s lacrosse program, and Devon, a freshman midfielder on the Georgetown women’s soccer team. “I played with them and tried to to get on their teams.” more

STEPPING IN: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Cailyn Jones sends the ball up the field in recent action. Freshman defender Jones played well in a losing cause as PDS fell 4-0 at Pennington last Saturday. The Panthers, who defeated Lenape 2-1 last Monday to improve to 10-3-1, start play in the Mercer County Tournament this week where they are seeded sixth and host 11th-seeded Hightstown in an opening round contest on October 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Playing at powerhouse Pennington this past Saturday evening, the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team was at a disadvantage before the game even started as it was missing two key players.

With starters Brooke Smukler and Anna Ellwood sidelined for the rest of the fall due to illness and injury, PDS couldn’t afford any lapses if it wanted to upend the Red Raiders. more