August 9, 2017

WEEKEND GETAWAY: “We want people to have an experience here, and think of us on many levels. They can stay overnight at the Inn, dine in Royal T’s restaurant, or come for a special event. This is a great place for rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, family reunions, and retreats.” Owners Kris Tomasulo, left, and Joseph Grande look forward to introducing many more visitors to The Mansion Inn and Royal T’s at The Mansion restaurant in New Hope.

If you’re looking forward to a break in your routine, a visit to New Hope, Pa., is always an inviting change of scene. Located right on the river, it offers a variety of dining, shopping, and theater opportunities in a very scenic and historic setting. more

August 2, 2017

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Princeton Recreation Commission, I would like to thank Steve Allen and Curtis Webster of Blue Curtain Productions for their tireless efforts in bringing world class musicians to Princeton for free concerts at the Pettoranello Gardens (Community Park North) Amphitheater. This summer the crowd filled the venue to see two artists, Mystic Bowie and Sasha Masakowski on July 15, and for July 22 the concert featured Betsyada and Sammy Figueroa. Unfortunately rain forced the cancellation of the July 22 show but many people turned out anyway just for a chance to meet the artists.

The partnership between the Recreation Commission and Blue Curtain continues to be a fruitful one for the community. Blue Curtain concerts have become a staple of summer entertainment and as always the concerts remain free to all to enjoy.

Blue Curtain has consistently attracted world-class artists to our tiny amphitheater year after year, with little or no fanfare for their efforts. On behalf of the Recreation Commission and my colleagues, I sincerely thank Steve, Curtis, and the entire Blue Curtain Productions team.

Ben Stentz

Executive Director of Recreation

To the Editor:

As the pastor of Christ Congregation, an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ and American Baptist Church — and as a friend and family member to many who have served in the military — I emphatically denounce the White House’s most recent policy denying transgender people the privilege and right to serve in our nation’s military.

Scripture says this: “So God created humankind in God’s image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female, God created them.”

If, like me, you believe all humans were created in the image of God, then we can assume that God’s existence does not conform to binary definitions of gender. Either God has no gender or God is all genders at once, meaning God is above-gender. In other words, God is transgender.

Indeed, I would stake the claim that our transgender family and our gender-fluid neighbors bear a particularly strong expression of God here on earth.

So, Beloved Bearers of God’s Image, while the U.S. military might deny you the privilege to serve, we offer you our congregation as a community where you can serve the world. If you are feeling unsafe, we offer our church as a sanctuary. If you are overwhelmed by ignorant bigotry, we offer our faith that you are eternally and unconditionally loved just as you are, because we believe God made you to be you.

God’s Peace,

Rev. Alexis Fuller-Wright

Minister, Christ Congregation, Princeton

TEAM WORK: “The issue in aging is that everyone is an individual, and the issues are different for every family. The family dynamics are different, and the fragmented healthcare system is very challenging. We are the single point of contact, the quarterback who can help people find what they need.” Joanna Gordon Martin, founder and CEO of Theia Senior Solutions (back row, far right), is shown with the company’s team of experts.

If indeed, as studies indicate, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and will continue to do so for at least the next decade, the implications for the health care system, for seniors and spouses with health problems, and for adult children of aging parents are very challenging. more

July 26, 2017

To the Editor:

I attended both the W. Windsor meeting and the Princeton Town Council meeting that dealt with Rt. 1 construction. No one at either meeting said anything about Alexander Road. The recent Town Topics [“Council Casts Votes In Favor of Measures on Group Home and More,” pg. one, July 12) reports “… and the extension of the queue before entering the jughandle turn at Alexander Road.”  The jughandle on Alexander is at Canal Point Blvd. The circumference of the jughandle appears to be adequate to me at the present time. Why does more land have to be purchased, at taxpayer expense, to do something that appears to be unnecessary? If Canal Point Blvd. were to be extended, that is an entirely different question.

There is a jughandle by the turn to the Hyatt but that seems to be for Black Rock, etc. traffic only.

I believe what Anne Levin meant to say was that the jughandle at Rt. 1 and Fisher Place is proposed to be extended.

I do not feel the Town Council is aware of what they have approved, by approving the resolution on July 10. They have approved a “cross-over jughandle” from Harrison St. to Rt. 1 North. This will create more congestion because vehicles will have to stop twice, not once! Once to cross Rt. 1 and then, again, to cross Harrison St. At the WW Town Council meeting it was incorrectly stated that this new jughandle would be like the one at Menlo Park.  That jughandle is tilted to the left (northward), so there is no recrossing involved.  This jughandle would be tilted to the right (southward).

Furthermore, cars exiting going south would be directed to Fairview Rd. and Washington Rd.

Vehicles going north on Rt. 1 who want to use the Sunoco station or make a U Turn would have to go to Scudders Mill Rd. to make a U Turn. Didn’t the DOT try eliminating left turns before and the results were negative? Is that what DOT wants to experience this time, also?

I have received assurance from Heather Howard that she would look into this problem and report back to me.

I am sorry that I did not receive any notice about any public hearing in Princeton about the Rt. 1 proposal and am grateful that the West Windsor Bicycle  & Pedestrian Alliance notified me.  I came to the  Princeton Town Council meeting to hear and discuss the elimination of the contract with ARC for maintenance services and Anne Levin didn’t even report on that part of the meeting, despite the fact the meeting ended extremely early!

Dan Rappoport

Copperwood

Editor’s Note: The part of the meeting referred to in the last sentence can be found on the Town Topics website www.towntopics.com.

“MOZART OF TEACHING”: Hun School teacher Ryan Brown, dressed in his signature sweater vest, loves conducting, teaching, and doing math.  He uses his musical abilities in the math classroom and his mathematical abilities in the music classroom.  

As a teacher of math and music at The Hun School, Ryan Brown described every day as “a beautiful mix of left brain and right brain.  The music makes my math teaching more creative, and the math makes my music classes more structured, logical, organized.” more

July 19, 2017

To the Editor:

AARP New Jersey calls on U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez to maintain their strong and public opposition to the Senate’s health care legislation. It provides tens of billions in tax breaks for drug and insurance companies, while dramatically increasing costs and reducing coverage for Americans age 50-plus.

Specifically, the legislation:

• Would allow insurance companies to charge older people an age tax or five times — or even more — than everyone else. On top of that, it reduces tax credits. Together, these changes could cost you tens of thousands of dollars more a year.

• Would strip away Medicaid coverage from more than half a million New Jerseyans and leave our seniors at risk of not getting the care they need.

• Would let states waive protections for those with a pre-existing condition like cancer, diabetes or asthma.

• Would cut funding for Medicare — leaving the door open to benefit cuts and Medicare vouchers.

AARP will hold all 100 United States Senators accountable to our members. In New Jersey, we urge Senators Menendez and Booker to continue to oppose the Senate bill and stand with Garden State residents.

Stephanie Hunsinger

State Director AARP New Jersey

To the Editor:

Ninety percent of all flowering plants in our gardens and farms are dependent on pollinators such as honeybees and butterflies. Unfortunately, recent years have seen a 60 percent global decline of our bumblebees and 80 percent of migratory monarch butterflies. Thousands of gardens have been planted around the country to support our bee and butterfly populations in observance of this dangerous phenomenon. Without bees and other pollinating insects, entire ecosystems are imperiled.

The Princeton Battlefield Monument at Monument Hall is part of the global pollinator project, a nationwide initiative to combat the enigmatic disappearance of critical insects from our fields and gardens. At the Monument, volunteers from Friends of Princeton Open Space, the Contemporary Garden Club of Princeton, Isles, Inc., Corner House, Princeton Public Works and Morven Museum and Gardens have planted and watered pollinator plants donated from the Contemporary Garden Club of Princeton, Princeton Day School, D & R Greenway, Littlebrook School, and Morven Museum and Gardens.

We would like to thank Mayor Lempert for supporting the Monument project and we encourage you, like so many have done, to use your gardens to save the bees so that the bees can save us. For more information go to AdkAction.org/pollinatorsmonarchlab.org and bees-decline.org.

Jody Erdman

Mountain Avenue 

July 12, 2017

To the Editor:

I’m just writing to recognize McCaffrey’s for their ongoing support of the DOORS Golf Challenge, a charity golf event that was held at Cherry Valley Country club on July 10. For the third year, McCaffrey’s signed on as a sponsor to this event. Jay’s Cycles also contributed with a donation for our silent auction. These gifts will help this parent-run organization provide after school and summer services to children and adults with autism. DOORS supports the programs of the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center in New Brunswick (www.doorsnj.org).

As a parent of a child with autism in Princeton, it means so much for local businesses to support our causes. Many thanks to McCaffrey’s and Jay’s.

Jim Christy

Leigh Avenue

To the Editor:

The state budget battle took many twists and turns this year, but we would be remiss not to acknowledge the final funding bill and the members of the legislature who fought tirelessly on behalf of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Specifically, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Senate President Steve Sweeney, who fought to increase wages for direct support professionals (DSPs) in the FY18 Budget. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on DSPs for the hands-on supports and services in the community, but without a wage increase for the last ten years, it has become increasingly difficult to find and retain employees. This, compounded with starting wages of only $10.50 an hour, makes staffing programs a real challenge and starts to jeopardize the availability of services. Senate President Sweeney made this matter a priority and fought to ensure $20 million remained when the dust settled and the final budget document was signed. On behalf of individuals with I/DD and their families in the state, we would like to thank the Senate president and the members of the New Jersey Legislature who helped make this increase a reality.

Thomas Baffuto

Executive Director of The Arc of New Jersey 

and Chair of the Coalition for a DSP Living Wage.

To the Editor:

July 13 is National Summer Learning Day, sponsored by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) to raise awareness about the importance of summer learning experiences. The NSLA notes that summer learning loss, the phenomenon where young people lose academic skills over the summer, is “one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to the high school dropout rate.”

Many of us with sufficient means prevent summer learning loss in various ways: we enroll our children in summer enrichment programs or camps; take them on trips to new places where they learn history, geography, and civics; and supervise their school-assigned summer reading. Unfortunately, many young people lack these options. Economic inequality, communities with limited resources, parents who work multiple jobs to make ends meet with little free time — these are just a few of the reasons that low-income young people do not enjoy the same opportunities.

At the Princeton-Blairstown Center, we are working with young people to combat summer learning loss. Each summer, 500 students — primarily from Trenton and Newark — come to our 264-acre campus in Blairstown, New Jersey for our week-long Summer Bridge Program, free of charge. They spend three hours a day engaged in hands-on literacy; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and project-based learning; an hour and a half in waterfront activities (swimming/canoeing/kayaking); and three hours a day working on their social-emotional skills through ropes and challenge course activities that focus on leadership, team-building, communication, and problem-solving skills.

To ensure that the learning continues back home, each student is sent home with a book of his or her choice from titles such as The Boy in the Black Suit, Bird, Seedfolks, The Lion Who Stole My Arm, The Color of My Words, Return to Sender, Thaw, Do Not Pass Go, Tall Story, and many more. Research indicates that the best predictor of summer loss or gain is if a child reads during the summer. Additionally, public library use among low-income children drops off when a library is more than six blocks from their home, compared with more than two miles for middle-class children. Most of the young people we serve in Trenton and Newark live more than six blocks from a library.

All young people deserve opportunities for enriching and stimulating summer experiences so that they start the school year ready to learn and compete on an even playing field. In honor of National Summer Learning Day, I urge everyone in our community to support evidenced-based, high-quality summer programs like ours that help to reduce summer learning loss. Our children’s futures depend on it, and so do ours.

Sarah Tantillo, EdD

Board Chair Princeton-Blairstown Center

July 5, 2017

To the Editor:

We, members of the Princeton Progressive Action Group, in common with many other local residents, are alarmed at the increasingly pressing lack of housing that is available at middle income levels at Princeton. The municipality has begun taking steps to change zoning to reduce the size and control the look of new houses/additions. Making more stringent setbacks, height and coverage requirements could possibly make houses smaller and better-fitting into the streetscape, but these changes alone have not and will not make them more affordable.

We encourage the municipality to concentrate the next round of zoning changes on allowing and encouraging the “missing middle homes” described in the Progress Report of the Neighborhood Character Initiative and thus fulfilling the goal of our Master Plan to encourage diversity in our housing stock. Below are three specific suggestions for short-term actions that are easy to implement, have low or no impact, and will make a substantial difference:

1. Allow “flats” or secondary units that could be rented out by the primary homeowner in the former Borough, similarly to the former Township. The income from these flats can help residents stay in their homes longer by offsetting rising taxes or providing money for property maintenance and improvement.

2. Allow residents to convert existing houses with “flats” to two-family dwellings/duplexes or to build new duplexes. This will not increase the size of houses over what is currently allowed, or increase density since two families are already allowed to occupy these properties. The only difference is that instead of a $1.3 million house with a potential rental unit, there could be two separate units. Since the flat ordinance for larger lots requires one unit to be larger and one to be smaller, there will likely be a unit for sale at $950k and a smaller unit for $350k. We could finally get our desperately-needed homes for middle-income families and empty-nesters.

3. Reduce parking requirements: Current zoning requires 1.5 cars per dwelling unit. This means 2 cars for a single-family residence and 3 cars for a house with a flat. Often flats are not feasible because the property cannot accommodate the additional parking. Eliminating the parking requirement for a unit that is designed to accommodate aging-in-place could be a win-win for all.

In summary, we affirm that the neighborhood character we should protect comprises not just the buildings but the people who live in those buildings. We can start with these simple changes in the short term, while working on the long-term items of form-based zoning and neighborhood character guidelines.

Sent on behalf of the Princeton Progressive Action Group, co-signed by these group members:

Samuel F Bunting, Tineke Thio

Dempsey Ave

Jane Manners, 

Wheatsheaf Lane

Omar Wasow, 

Cherry Hill Road

Valerie Haynes, 

Mt Lucas Road

Jenny Ludmer, 

Caldwell Drive

Yael Niv, Suzanne Lehrer,

Franklin Avenue

Andras Ferencz, 

Green Street

Marina Rubina, 

Quarry Street

Melissa Lane, 

Princeton Avenue

Jeffrey Oakman, 

Valley Road

Carolyn Jones, 

Western Way

Andrew Thomas, 

Edgerstoune Road

Nat Bottigheimer, 

White Pine Lane

Kirsten Thoft, Ted Nadeau,

Linden Lane

Abel Smith, 

Leigh Avenue

Mia Sacks, 

Terhune Road 

Leah Boustan, 

Broadmead 

To the Editor:

The Friends of the Princeton Public Library held their Annual Book Sale June 23-24 and we were delighted to have so many book lovers from near and far join us on the first weekend of summer. The Book Sale is the culmination of months of work by dedicated volunteers, and depends on the generous donations of books from library supporters throughout the year.

We would like to thank the wonderful staff at Princeton Public Library, who guided and supported us at every turn with knowledge, commitment, and enthusiasm. We are especially grateful to our friends in the buildings, publicity, and development departments. In addition, the Library Summer Teen Volunteers were a tremendous asset and helped us set up for the sale in record time. We would also like to acknowledge the generous support of our friends at Witherspoon Grill.

The many volunteers who so graciously gave their time and shared their love of books made this event a pleasure for all, and we enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside such a devoted team. And last but not least, we are deeply appreciative of our generous Princeton community who once again came out to support our library.

Jane Nieman and Christa Smith

Co-Chairs of the Friends of the Princeton Public Library Annual Book Sale

ALL-SEASON TRACTORS: Belle Mead Garage owners Christopher “Kip” Higgins (right) and Roy “Murph” Higgins (seated), and new partner Chris Carnevale are proud of their new selection of Massey Ferguson tractors. They are shown with their popular and versatile Model 1739E, which offers a front loader for digging and features on the rear for a mower, rake, scraper, rotary tiller, post hole digger, and so on.

Summer is here for sure, and what better time to zip down the open road in a new convertible, mini van, SUV, or special sedan? Whether it’s a brand new model just off the assembly line or a carefully-tended, pre-owned choice, area dealers have a full range of vehicles in all styles, sizes, colors, and price ranges.

Perhaps a Mercedes-Benz is in your future. Have you always wished to have one of these high-end expertly designed and manufactured automobiles in your driveway? Now you can! more

HEALTHY CHOICES: “We spent a lot of time looking for the right place, and we felt at home in Princeton. There is diversity here, and well-educated people, who are intelligent about self-care. We felt they would understand our pharmacy.” JoAnn Issenman (right), Barry Perzow (center), and Chris Castagna (left) are owners of the new Santé Integrative Pharmacy. They look forward to introducing customers to their unique integrative concept.

The new Santé Integrative Pharmacy at 200 Nassau Street has created a stir of interest among increasing numbers of curious customers. While many people are familiar with the integrative concept, it is a new idea for many others.

“The idea of an integrative pharmacy began about 10 years ago,” explains JoAnn Issenman, owner with Barry Perzow and pharmacist Chris Castagna. “It offers choices of different modalities, including traditional, homeopathic, and herbal solutions. We are a full-service prescription and compounding pharmacy, offering traditional and natural healthy living solutions.” more

By Doug Wallack

Three months after its opening in downtown Hopewell, Basilico Trattoria is going strong. In an area rich with Italian restaurants of all stripes, co-owners Kari LaSpisa and Joe Trani have aimed to carve out a niche for themselves as purveyors of authentic Neapolitan cuisine. “The concept we have here is fresh food, made to order, by an Italian chef,” Ms. LaSpisa explains, “not several people in the kitchen — like a line cook set-up — it’s one chef cooking your food for you, to order.”  more

June 28, 2017

To the Editor:

Having just completed ArtJam 2017, I would like to take a moment to recognize the generous support of the entire Princeton community for helping us to make this year, our seventh, a tremendous success. The proceeds from our pop-up Art Gallery, which featured unique creations by over 130 artists, allows us to continue to maintain and expand the Therapeutic Arts program offered at HomeFront, empowering our clients to break the cycle of poverty.

We are deeply indebted to Palmer Square for once again graciously donating the space at 19 Hulfish to host our gallery. A special thanks to all the participating artists and donors who generously gave of their time, creativity, and support enabling us to create a truly outstanding visual and tactile display of unique creations. And we are grateful for the many volunteers whose immeasurable hours of effort made the event possible.

I would also like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the entire Princeton community and Princeton University alumnae for visiting and supporting ArtJam.

It is only through the continued support of our philanthropic community that we are able to achieve our goals and continue our mission. I look forward to welcoming you once again at ArtJam 2018.

Ruthann Traylor

Director, ArtSpace, HomeFront

To the Editor:

Given the recent exit of the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, it is up to all of us to continue direct action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our own community. This is why I have joined the Keep It Cool campaign to reduce energy waste in Princeton this summer.

Retailers that run the air conditioning during hot summer months and open their doors to attract customers drive up costs, waste energy, increase local pollution, and stress the power grid. Keep It Cool (from generation180.org) gives consumers an easy way to encourage retail stores around the country to close their doors and stop wasting energy.

According to utilities experts, the average store with a door open over the summer wastes about 4,200 kWh of electricity, releasing about 2.2 tons of carbon dioxide and other substances — the same amount of pollution emitted by a diesel semi-truck driving from New York to Miami. Some cities have already enacted laws requiring retailers to close their doors when the air conditioning is running. In 2015, New York City passed a law requiring closed doors as part of a sweeping sustainability plan geared towards reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Informed consumers want retailers to be good citizens. As a dedicated downtown shopper, I avoid stores that choose to prop their doors open while their AC is running, because I feel that their owners are showing lack of care for the climate. The Princeton community should support retail businesses, but also be dedicated to reducing waste and pollution. I encourage retailers to keep their doors closed to conserve energy, starting now.

Caroline Hancock

Laurel Road

To the Editor:

I am a proud alumna of Princeton High School, Class of 1983. I was saddened and concerned to hear of the suspension of an African American student at PHS on the basis of a work of art that appeared in the background of a photograph in the yearbook [“PHS Senior Suspended for One Day Over ’Offensive’ Yearbook Collage,” June 14, page 7]. Years ago, my own efforts to speak out about racial issues at PHS often earned me trips to the principal’s office, but no violation of my First Amendment rights. I am sorry to hear that PHS has chosen to punish rather than to support this courageous young woman. I hope that students of color at PHS will receive the support and education they deserve. Princeton can do better!

Ariela Gross

John B. & Alice Sharp Professor of Law & History

University of Southern California

To the Editor:

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was recently passed by the House and will be voted on soon by the Senate, will have painful and irreversible impacts on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who rely on the Medicaid program. Although many people know that Medicaid covers the cost of medical expenses for low-income individuals, they are less aware that it pays for the long-term supports and services that people with I/DD depend on. Medicaid provides more services than I can possibly list, but to name a few, it’s what allows people in New Jersey to live in group homes, attend day programs, and receive behavioral supports. The AHCA would lead to $834 billion in cuts over the next ten years and I can assure you that people with I/DD and their families living in New Jersey will feel the pain of those cuts. They will definitively see a reduced level of services, and in all likelihood, the elimination of other services entirely. Legislators in Washington need to understand that Medicaid’s home and community based services are “optional” for states and therefore are likely to be the first things that are cut. I urge New Jersey’s Congressional delegation to fight back against these proposals as the implementation of these cuts will decimate the services people with I/DD require throughout their lifetime.

Joanne Bergin

Incoming Board President for The Arc of New Jersey

June 21, 2017

To the Editor:

I would like to thank all the voters of Princeton who took the time to turn out and cast a ballot last Tuesday, exercising one of our most important rights and responsibilities in a democracy. I and my co-candidate Leticia are proud to be part of a strong Democratic Party ticket headed into the fall, and many of the races in November will be hotly contested, providing an opportunity for voters throughout Princeton, Mercer County, Legislative District 16, and all of New Jersey to express their commitment to each other and to the cause of responsible, caring, effective government for our community.

We will not take your support for granted, and intend to be active throughout the summer and fall, getting to know as many voters as we can, and making ourselves available to hear what issues are of greatest concern to the people of Princeton. We will continue to regularly show up at Bon Appetit on Wednesday mornings from 8-9 a.m., and McCaffrey’s on Monday afternoons from 5-6 p.m. in the upstairs seating area. Please do stop by and introduce yourselves, and/or share your views. Also look for us at the farmers market in Hinds Plaza on Thursday afternoons, and keep your ears open about house parties coming to your neighborhood, where we hope to engage with neighbors in every voting district in town.

To learn more about my priorities as a candidate, and to learn about upcoming house parties, please visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DECPrinceton. Princeton faces many challenges in the coming years, planning for change and preserving the wonderful character of our community, as we experience constant pressure for growth and development. We are blessed to reside in a highly desirable place to live, but in the wise words of the Jewish folk hero Nasrudin, “sometimes what seems like a blessing may be a curse, and what seems like a curse may be a blessing.” Let’s all pitch in together to make sure our blessings stay blessings.

David E. Cohen, AIA

Democratic Candidate for Princeton Council, 

Terhune Road

To the Editor:

I applaud Princeton Council’s initiative in taking the first step to improve how our town handles stormwater. On June 12, the Council adopted a new ordinance that requires at least some degree of modern stormwater management for any new development and for any increase in impervious cover to existing developments.

As the demand for larger homes continues to impact many Princeton neighborhoods, we have seen developers bulldoze away smaller homes to make way for larger homes. The upshot is greater flooding and pollution, not to mention wet basements and soggy yards for the neighbors.

The Council’s unanimous approval of the ordinance is a step in the right direction, but it only addresses new or expanded development. Unfortunately, most of our excessive runoff is from older developments that were constructed before we fully appreciated the consequences to downstream communities, to water quality, and to aquatic wildlife. We need to better control stormwater runoff from our existing commercial and residential developments by requiring that any redevelopment incorporate modern stormwater management measures. Based on the public testimony, the town is eager to start soon on a second-phase strategy.

We must be mindful of finding ways to allow water to soak into the ground, recharge the aquifer, and prevent flooding downstream.

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association should also be commended for its research and advocacy on this important issue. The association and council are both to be commended for forward-thinking action on the recently approved stormwater ordinance.

Scott Sillars

Patton Avenue, Member Board of Trustees for the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

To the Editor:

The June 7 community conversation on race and equity was a much-needed step toward improving race relations in Princeton Public Schools. Thanks are owed to the event organizers as well as to the panelists who shared their time and points of view. And to the Princeton High School students who spoke: your comments deeply affected us. Thank you for your courage and for speaking truth to power; and please know that there are many parents and community members who want to work together to make Princeton Public Schools more equitable and just for all.

Jennifer Jang

Russell Road

To the Editor:

Every day, the United States alone uses or imports about 42 million pounds of synthetic chemicals. There are more than 84,000 compounds approved for commercial use in the U.S., most of which have never been tested for toxicity. A 2011 Policy Statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledges that the large quantities of chemicals that enter commerce could be harmful to children’s health and development. The contribution of many of these chemicals to human illnesses, such as cancer and asthma, as well as in breast cancer, obesity, and hormone disruption, is now being studied in the scientific community with great interest and concern. Many studies now show increasing levels of common household chemicals in blood samples (bio-monitoring) collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as in breast milk and other bodily fluids. According to umbilical cord blood samples tested, nearly all babies in the U.S. are born with synthetic chemicals already in their blood streams.

Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are an intensely studied area in the scientific community. Some have been strongly linked to effects on hormone signaling and adverse developmental outcomes in children. Many of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals surround us every day in the air we breathe, food we eat, and cosmetics we apply to our skin. Pre-teen and teenagers are among the largest groups of consumers of cosmetics and personal care products in the U.S. This raises concern due to rapid development during puberty and risk for future health issues. Cell phone and radiation exposure is also an area of growing concern for young people. Education in the area of environmental health is a needed tool in the ongoing efforts to grow healthy children in the U.S.

Over the past six weeks, I have had the pleasure of speaking with hundreds of students at Princeton High School about the potential health effects of various environmental exposures, and sharing with them vetted, practical, and highly relevant information and resources to reduce environmental exposures. These students were bright, inquisitive, and self-aware, and I have no doubt that they will make us all very proud as they mature into healthy young adults.

I would like to thank Ed Cohen EdD (no relation!), Supervisor of Science preK-12 for Princeton Public Schools, for his ongoing support of this program, and Whole Earth Center for their generous financial backing. Community support is essential for making positive changes, and I am grateful to the Princeton community for embracing this important work. Knowledge is power!

Aly Cohen, MD, FACR, FABoIM

Applegarth Road, Monroe Township

QUALITY AND SERVICE: “We are the only ones in the area who sell high-end previously-owned cars and also service them.” Tom Foster (right), owner of Hopewell Motors, and service manager Dave Leary are proud of their outstanding selection of high-quality automobiles and their expert service. They are shown next to a top quality Mercedes-Benz, one of their specialties.

Tom Foster loves his job!

“I like this so much that it’s easy to come to work every day. I enjoy every aspect of the business. I’m proud of our cars, and I like getting to know the customers. Many have become good friends.”

When the boss enjoys coming to work this much, it sets the tone for all the employees and the customers as well.

This is an important reason why so many people are certain that Hopewell Motors will provide them with the best car for their needs, along with the proper maintenance service. In addition, the friendly atmosphere is a big attraction for many customers. more