May 15, 2019

COMPASSIONATE CARE: “Our focus is non-surgical orthopedics. and interventional pain management. The first step is the treatment of any problem is an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis. This begins with a full history of the problem, and extends to physical examination and sometimes imaging and other studies. An important point is that pain is not an inevitable bi-product of a chronic condition, injury, or aging.” Grant Cooper, MD, fourth from left, co-director of Princeton Spine & Joint Center, is shown with fellow physicians, from left, Marco Funiciello, DO; Jason Kirkbride, MD; Zinovy Meyler, DO; Ana Bracilovic, MD; Zachary Perlman, DO; and Scott Curtis, DO. In the background are the Center’s staff members.

By Jean Stratton

Oh, my aching back!”

As well as knees, shoulders, necks, hip, hands, and feet — and all those other parts that can hurt. Whether the result of injuries, over-exertion on the tennis or basketball court, soccer field, ski trails, or chronic conditions, pain, especially constant pain, can be disruptive to one’s daily life. In worst cases, it is all-consuming, interfering with attention to work, family, and overall lifestyle.

Alleviating musculoskeletal pain through non-surgical treatment is the specialty of Princeton Spine & Joint Center. Established in 2008 by Dr. Grant Cooper and his wife and colleague, Dr. Ana Bracilovic, the Center now has two offices, located at 601 Ewing Street and 256 Bunn Drive.

A summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, Dr. Cooper attended UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and completed his residency in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell in New York. He completed a fellowship in spine and musculoskeletal rehabilitation medicine at the Spine Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. more

May 8, 2019

To the Editor:

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

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

To the Editor,

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

To the Editor:

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

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

To the Editor:

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

To the Editor:

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

Chris Coucill
Constitution Hill West

To the Editor:

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

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

To the Editor:

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

To the Editor:

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

Barry Goldblatt
Andrews Lane

To the Editor:

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

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

To the Editor:

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

May 1, 2019

To the Editor:

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

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

To the Editor:

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

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

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

To the Editor:

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

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

To the Editor:

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

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

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

To the Editor:

The Arts Council of Princeton staff and its board of trustees thank everyone who helped make the 49th Communiversity ArtsFest such a great success. As a nonprofit that relies on community support, we are so grateful for the collaboration that enabled us to produce another incredibly inspiring event.

The students of Princeton University, Mayor Liz Lempert, and our municipality’s incredible police, fire, and facilities departments worked tirelessly to ensure that the day ran smoothly.  We couldn’t do it without their continued support.

We extend a huge thanks to event coordinator Ann Marciano, who did a superb job handling all the moving parts and addressed issues both big and small with a smile and unending grace. We also thank Arts Council staff and volunteers, whose time and energy helped to pull off Central Jersey’s largest and longest-running cultural event. more

To the Editor:

Small-business owners are the backbone of Mercer County’s economy. In fact, Mercer County is home to more than 15,000 small-business firms, according to the County Office of Economic Development. Last summer, the Board of Chosen Freeholders passed Ordinance No. 2018-5 establishing a Set-Aside Program for qualified Mercer County minority-, women-, veteran-owned businesses or small businesses.  The ordinance makes it easier for qualified businesses to contract with the County. In recognition of National Small Business Week, May 5-11, 2019, I want to ensure that businesses that may be eligible to participate take full advantage of Mercer County’s Set-Aside Program.

The Set-Aside Program reserves 10 percent of the dollar value of all the County’s goods, which total more than $70 million in professional services and construction contracts each year. The program allocates 30 percent for qualified minority-owned businesses; 30 percent for qualified women-owned businesses; 30 percent for qualifed veteran-owned businesses; and 10 percent for small businesses, with an estimated $7 million worth of contracts made available to eligible businesses as part of the program. more

April 24, 2019

To the Editor:

I have a good deal of sympathy for our merchants’ concerns re: parking and agree with much of what they propose. However, to suggest that giving over some sections of our roads to bike lanes, “would not change the nature of the bike ride into town” has no merit at all and could only be asserted by those with very little experience on a bicycle. As an avid bicyclist, I talk biking a lot and have found that people who once happily biked around town no longer do so. The reason? “It’s not safe on our streets.”

I can surely assert that in the brief period last year when bike lanes were temporarily opened on Hamilton, it made the world of difference to one’s ride. One felt, and indeed was, safe. Indeed, in the past year, I have experienced many close shaves with drivers barging their way into my tiny space on the road. And it is getting worse. Bicyclists seem to be regarded as a nuisance rather than fellow drivers.

For everybody’s sake, bike riding and walking should be encouraged. It is cheap and healthy, has no carbon footprint and can be counted as one less 3000lb vehicle on our already busy streets. If you live within a ten minute drive of town, as I do, you can be at your mid-town destination in less time on a bike. And you can arrive right at your destination without wasting fuel driving about looking for parking

We need bike lanes and we need a commitment to opening more. We need more people feeling confident that they can ride their bikes safely into town.

Robert Hebditch
Hickory Court

To the Editor:

We are in the midst of an environmental and wildlife crisis. Earth’s conditions are rapidly changing and extinctions are occurring at expedited rates, with many animals being overtaken by human activity. Since we have caused much of this decimation, it is our responsibility to fix it. Although it seems overwhelming, there are steps we as a community can take to help ensure a future for our local wildlife. So what can you do?

On an individual scale, you can help through responsible pet ownership. Domestic cats kill billions of wild birds, mammals, and reptiles every year, driving many to extinction. If you have pet cats, please keep them inside. Watch your dogs when they’re outside to prevent them from catching wildlife. When getting a new pet, consider if you will be able to care for them at their adult size and for their entire life. If not, choose a different pet. If you can no longer care for your pet, don’t release it. Releasing pets can cause environmental catastrophe, as they can establish invasive wild populations that take over and harm local ecosystems. An example of this destruction is in Florida, where Burmese pythons are taking over the Everglades. Instead, find a place that will take your pet, such as a shelter. more

To the Editor:

The Princeton Council and Engineering Department, while they are concerned about safety on Nassau Street, seem totally oblivious to safety, traffic congestion, and pure ugliness for the Mt. Lucas Road, Terhune, Laurel and Valley Roads neighborhood, in their poorly chosen site for the town refueling station — in a residential, already traffic-challenged, safety-concerned area. They ignored the town’s own Site Plan Review Advisory Board’s (SPRAB) recommendation to place it elsewhere.

The town’s objections to other sites were lame. I went with a neighbor to look at both the Witherspoon Fire Station and Valley Road School site and the John Street Public Works parking lot. Both have the space to install the re-fueling facility, allowing trucks and buses to drive in and exit head-first. SPRAB saw the potential for those sites, and possibly one at the Harrison Street Fire Station. more

To the Editor:

It is clear: Princeton is at a crossroad. Together we either succeed or fail in preserving what makes Princeton one of the most desirable municipalities in the United States.

I have known Mia Sacks since she was a young girl growing up in Princeton. I have watched her mature into an amazing woman — intelligent, committed to making life better for others, collaborative — always working hard behind the scene helping others achieve great things.  She understands the importance of the Master Plan and its long-reaching effects on the future of Princeton. Her hands-on approach in working toward consensus building using her incredible skills to organize and synthesize a complexity of issues proves she is more than competent to take a place at the dais.

I enthusiastically support her candidacy and strongly believe it is time for Mia to come to the forefront and be recognized as the leader she is, working for the betterment of Princeton as a member of council at this critical time in our history. Her actions speak far better than any words in proving her integrity, commitment, and sense of community. Please join me in voting for Mia Sacks on June 4th.

Kate Warren
Jefferson Road

To the Editor:

Today’s Town Topics headline is “Council Considers Some Parking Revisions” (pg. one, April 17).

Great.

Here’s one for consideration — Take out the whole new system and go back to what we had.

We moved back to Princeton 30 or so years ago. We love it. We love all the stores and all the merchants in them.
I personally have been one of the biggest advocates of shopping locally and helping out our hard working friends here. But now I can’t go into town because the parking system is just dysfunctional. Thank God for the Spring Street and Hulfish garages. more

To the Editor:

As former Board of Education members, we can attest that experience matters when it comes to serving this community as an elected official and making hard decisions. Of the Democratic candidates running for Council, only incumbent Councilman Tim Quinn has a track record of successful, responsive leadership in a publicly accountable fiduciary role. Having served with Tim, we know him as a principled, diligent, consensus-driven leader. Given the competing priorities and collective aspirations of our community and the challenges we face, our town needs Tim Quinn on Council.

Tim takes a thoughtful, deliberately collaborative approach to decision-making. He actively seeks stakeholders with varied perspectives, and embraces, rather than avoids, difficult, honest discussions. Tim’s approach is rooted in his deep commitment to transparency, and his understanding that representative leadership begins and ends with intentional listening to those perspectives. As president of the school board during the search for a new superintendent, Tim was adamant that the community be involved to the greatest extent possible. He listened to over a dozen small stakeholder group discussions over several weeks, to ensure that the board’s search criteria and objectives were informed by and responsive to broad community input. more

To the Editor:

One of the reasons I have found living in Princeton to be different from living elsewhere is the variety and depth of contacts I have found possible here. Conversation is lively and intelligent, and people seek earnestly for answers to real problems, both personal and national.

But I think the most remarkable person I have met is Michelle Pirone Lambros. As a member of her campaign’s kitchen cabinet, I’ve seen how she receives the suggestions of a lively group of committed volunteers, all typical of the personalities I’ve encountered in 10 years here. She says little. She listens, she rejects ideas that might offend and explores ideas that make good sense. She takes notes, asks questions. She assigns to herself the task of getting answers, and to reaching out for help from further knowledgeable contacts. When offered help, she has specific assignments and responds freely. “Can you find this out?” “Can you research that?” more

PLEASURE FOR THE PALATE: “Our products are unique because of the quality of our ingredients and our attention to detail. As soon as customers taste them, they like our products right away. They taste great!” Naomi Mobed, owner of Le Bon Magot, is shown with an array of her company’s special preserves, spice blends, condiments, pickled items, and chutneys.

By Jean Stratton

Ready to take a culinary tour through the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia?

You can tempt your taste buds with Le Bon Magot’s preserves, chutneys, condiments, spice blends, and more, all filled with the unique flavors and spice blends from these faraway places.

Established in 2015, Le Bon Magot is the Lawrenceville-based culinary endeavor of Naomi Mobed. Her unusual background has given her a singular insight into the development of this special company.

Born in Karachi, reared in Tehran, she lived in Hong Kong, and was educated in Princeton, Boston, and London. Working in New York, Paris, Dubai, Muscat, and Johannesburg, she wanted to share the myriad tastes and cultures of these diverse regions. more