October 3, 2012

“We really like to go to Williamsburg, Virginia, and see the sites around there.” —Jennifer Parry with son, Jacob and daughter, Madelyn, Helmetta, N.J.

Linda: “Old Town in Philadelphia, there is so much history there.”
David: “Virginia has some of our favorite sites. We like to go to Williamsburg, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Richmond, and any of the sites along the way.”
—Linda Rose and David Rogers, Hatboro, Pa.

“The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.” —Kevin O’Donnell, Forked River

“Princeton Battlefield is certainly one of my favorites. My ancestors survived because of the counterattack. All the major New Jersey battles are personal and important sites to me.” —Jean Hultgren, Lawrenceville

“Some of my favorites are the Revolutionary War sites here in New Jersey, to name a few: the Princeton Battlefield, The Barracks in Trenton, Monmouth Battlefield State Park. New Jersey is filled with historical sites.” —Ray Helge, Monroe

“Washington’s Crossing Park, Morven, the Quaker Meeting House and the Princeton Battlefield.”
—Gage and Susan Honore with son, Alfred, Princeton

To the Editor:

Princeton is fortunate to have a competitive race to elect the first mayor of a united Princeton. Both candidates were public supporters of consolidation and generally perceived as dedicated to its success. Our good fortune is having a choice between two candidates with very different backgrounds skill sets and visions of Princeton’s future.

In my view, on January 1, 2013 we need to move well beyond the Consolidation Commission’s baseline of limited, favorable outcomes. Now is the time to aggressively pursue our once in a lifetime opportunity to set a high standard and road map for New Jersey in achieving consolidation’s synergistic benefits through politically bi-partisan collaboration, especially in the near term.

To make the right choice for Princeton’s future, we must elect the mayoral candidate best qualified by experience and on the job performance as a community Leader, hands on in local government.

Candidate Liz Lempert is intelligent, personable, and very politically active locally, state, and nation-wide. In a heavily Democratic town and with solid liberal progressive credentials, she was clearly a safe choice for maintaining Democratic Party control in Princeton. Her profile, however, with the exception of her current position as deputy mayor of Princeton Township, cites virtually no qualifications or experience, in either public or private life, which would prepare her to lead or govern a large, multi-faceted organization in the immediate future.

Dick Woodbridge’s profile is in stark contrast to that of Liz Lempert. His qualifications and experience in both public and private life reflect leadership roles together with broad professional skills, unmatched knowledge of the local community based on a lifetime in Princeton, and a consummate hands-on record of public service in highly responsible positions. His local public service, both as volunteer and elected official, included Princeton Borough Council President, Princeton Township Mayor, Police Commissioner and much more. He is a Princeton University graduate, an attorney and engineer. After a lifetime spent here, he understands the needs and motivations of the diverse groups in Princeton and will find pragmatic ways to get things done in a politically bipartisan, collaborative way for the betterment of his beloved town.

Princeton requires experienced and proven leadership to take the helm on January 1, 2013. The clear choice is Dick Woodbridge.

John Clearwater

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

After 22 years, Springboard, the after school tutoring and homework help center, has been asked to leave the Princeton Public Library. The library director stated that “we (PPL) are no longer able to provide funding or a place in the library for a formal Springboard program”.

We are delighted to inform everyone that we have a new location in room C-104 at the John Witherspoon Middle School at the Walnut Lane entrance. The quality program that you have come to expect and rely on will be the same! The program will still be available every Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. when the Princeton Public Schools are open.

We provide certified Princeton Public School teachers and former teachers who are familiar with the curriculum of the schools K-12. Springboard continues to have relationships with Princeton Public School staff that enable our tutors to work cooperatively with teachers to meet the specific needs of our individual students.

Our staff includes a bi-lingual teacher and many others (including volunteers from the community and the University) who are proficient in higher level math and science.

Springboard remains a free, drop-in program with no appointments necessary.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous donors who have made this transition possible. We would especially like to thank the F.I.S.H. Foundation Inc. for their continued support of this program. Please know that further donations will be needed to keep this program going. Springboard is a 501(C3) non-profit organization.

Joyce Turner

Woods Way

To the Editor:

To read the letters opposing the University’s proposal to move the Dinky Station 460 feet south of its current location causes one to wonder if its opponents are utterly unfamiliar with basic Anglo-Saxon property law, off their meds, have nothing else to do or some combination of the three.

Here’s the basic rule: unless you’re breaking some law, you pretty much get to do what you want with your property. Why? Because we’re Americans. Despite endless howling, no one has adduced a single fact that says the land isn’t the University’s or that it is breaking the law.

Reality check: 460 feet is about 153 paces of an ordinary biped and can be covered even at the profoundly slow rate of speed at which I, a gimpy biped with one good leg, moves in under five minutes. No doubt, many of the opponents of 153 paces would also be the first people to urge our chronically obese population to take extra steps — except to a moved Dinky station.

So, all of you, please, try worrying about something important: world peace, the inevitably bungled consolidation, or those noisy leaf blowers.

Mark Herr

Great Road

To the Editor:

October 1 is a day I can never forget. On that day in 1994, my daughter was killed in an automobile accident. In her case, the cause was a drunk driver. Any death in a car accident, however, brings horror, disbelief, pain, never-ending grief, and a loss that cannot be recovered.

I hope that I can make those feelings understood to people who drive our overcrowded roads, often too fast, and with not enough regard for their surroundings. I hope that those feelings are especially important to our traffic engineers, administrators, mayors, legislators, governors, and departments of transportation. They, of all people have our lives in their hands, when they plan with disregard for consequences.

A direct example is the lack of thought for safety in the New Jersey Department of Transportation experiment involving the loss of jug handles at Washington Rd. and the traffic snarl at Harrison Street and Route 1. I imagine you have been reading about drivers making U and K turns in Penns Neck to get back on a straight road into Princeton; about huge trucks driving through narrow suburban streets to avoid a longer trip; about drivers spending extra time getting to work and coming home; about racing automobiles tearing down streets not made for speed. Can you imagine what this is like for the parents and children who live on those streets? The DOT wants to make traffic move faster on Route 1, but at the expense of our neighborhoods. I am outraged by this disregard for life, whether caused by lack of caring, incompetence, or politics. The experiment that has some weeks to go must be stopped NOW before a tragedy occurs.

Are you listening Governor Christie? Are you listening DOT Commissioner Simpson? Can you help us Senators Menendez and Lautenberg? And Representative Holt? This is a cry for help, and we need you as soon as possible. Please listen to someone who has been through the unimaginable.

Paula McGuire

Washington Road

September 26, 2012

“I live in Penns Neck — the traffic is backed up from the train station on Washington Road. It is a wall of traffic, constantly backed up. Nobody can get out of their driveways. People are constantly doing dangerous U turns and it’s not safe. Having all this traffic in a small area is detrimental. It seems that it’s top down problem solving from the DOT and they are too inflexible to revoke the plan that is obviously not working.” —Alastair Stokes, Penns Neck

“Yes, because I only have one option into Princeton, so it impacts my time to get in. I have to leave earlier in the morning every day.” —Cynthia Miller, Lawrenceville

“It’s not affecting me too bad but it’s a change and more traffic and that takes getting used to.”  —Marcel Lemar,  Princeton

“I now need to go out of my way — you can’t make a turn left onto Harrison Street past the hospital. You now need to plan your route and that can be annoying.”  —Paul Lazovick, Lawrenceville

“The first time I missed the turn on to Harrison Street. You have to go considerably north and then turn around to get in to Princeton. It’s confusing and you have to remember. There was quite a back up.” —Cathy Quinlan, Princeton

“I travel from Trenton to Kingston. Coming from Trenton you’re very disadvantaged. We had three alternatives to enter Princeton and now only one and this is wrong. If you miss Alexander Road, you have to go up and turn around.”
—Jim Harford, Princeton

To the Editor:

After sitting through the SPRAB meeting last night I have the same question that I had six years ago: why is the Dinky station being moved???

1. All of the Arts buildings can be built and be even more beautiful, if the Dinky is not moved,

2. All of the environmental attributes of the plan can be realized and many of its detriments diminished, if the Dinky is not moved,

3. The grandeur of the current Dinky station as a gateway to Princeton, McCarter, the Seminary and the University can be retained, if the Dinky is not moved,

4. The Lot 7 garage can be accessed either below grade at its south end (only a 9 foot clearance is necessary because the garage’s clearance is less than 9 feet), or at grade at its north end (all cars accessing the garage from Alexander currently cross the Dinky at-grade), if the Dinky is not moved,

5. The service tunnel can readily pass under the Dinky tracks, if the Dinky is not moved,

6. The public’s transportation deed easement on all of the 3.5 acres can be set aside on the portion of the land occupied by the Arts buildings, if the Dinky is not moved,

7. The freight building can be expanded (while preserving its historic features) to create a convenience store for the Forbes and Arts students, if the Dinky is not moved,

8.The Wawa could be relocated to the gas station on the corner of Alexander and Faculty to provide convenience items in close proximity to the new Hibben&Magee, Lawrence and other nearby housing as well as fueling services to those driving on Alexander, if the Dinky is not moved,

9. A lot of money would be saved, if the Dinky is not moved, and

10. Much goodwill will be restored, if the Dinky is not moved.

Alain L. Kornhauser

Montadale Circle

To the Editor:

In her 11 years as the president of Princeton University, Shirley Tilghman has helped make the best even better.

Richard Trenner

Province Line Road

To the Editor:

It’s important that the food-composting program be kept alive. Princetonians have put 18 months of work into the separated compostable waste program to cut down on trash going into the landfill, and have proven that it is entirely workable and environmentally sound. We understand that we are diverting about 20 tons a month from the landfill to a sustainable composting site. Four hundred sixty families already participate and many more want to sign up but must now wait until we hear if this program is to continue in 2013.

The program is straightforward: Food and everything compostable goes into our separate green wheelie bins. The big trash bins are almost empty.

This program is also compelling for economic reasons because if our curbside food collection stops, we will actually pay higher taxes since the weight of our garbage going into the landfill will be heavier. As local landfills fill up, solid waste will have to be trucked to the midwest, increasing our costs even more, whereas food waste can continue to be processed locally.

Other communities are watching us to see if they too can save money by implementing the program that Princeton is testing. Why not ask the contractor who wins the bid to take our separated trash or amend Princeton’s bid request immediately to include a food-composting pickup for all contractors?

New administration in 2013: please continue to provide this separate pickup. We will be Princeton New Jersey, and we can make this important pioneering program successful.

Lindy and Zvi Eiref

Dodds Lane

To the Editor:

We are hearing/reading multiple complaints about the negative impacts and the ineffectiveness of the NJDOT experiment of closing left turns onto and from Route 1 at its intersections with Washington Road and Harrison Street. A decade ago it was recognized that the main problem for traffic in the Penns Neck area was the east-west flow to and from central NJ’s largest employer, Princeton University. A solution that solved the east-west traffic flow and the Route 1 north-south flow was agreed to by almost everyone in the affected areas. The main feature of the solution was to put Route 1 in a cut that would pass under Washington Road.

This solution came about as a result of scores of meetings and negotiations among residents, towns, environmental organizations, and governmental agencies. The group [in which I was a participant] was called the Penns Neck Area EIS Roundtable. Among all of the possible changes to Route 1 intersections that were considered by the Roundtable, one solution, which became known as the “Preferred Alignment,” respects the environment, gives relief to West Windsor and Princeton residents, businesses and visitors, and improves NS flow of traffic on Rt 1.

Most people who have studied the traffic on Route 1 think the current experiment just postpones the inevitable long-term solution. Had plans for the Preferred Alignment moved forward when it was approved it would have been shovel ready for the stimulus money, and we could be driving on it now. This latest experiment by NJDOT demonstrates the need for the Preferred Alignment.

Lincoln Hollister

Ridgeview Road

To the Editor:

I write regarding the award-winning curbside pickup composting program that Princeton has successfully pioneered for well over a year. By signing up for this convenient service, hundreds of families here have effortlessly sent tons of organic waste to a commercial composting facility, instead of to landfills. This program includes many more materials than even the most dedicated backyard composter could handle: bones from meat/poultry/fish; table scraps and dairy products, soiled paper plates, towels and napkins, anything labeled “for commercial composting,” and — best of all — pizza boxes.

And of course this program also benefits those who cannot or do not wish to do backyard composting.

Like other curbside compost customers, my household has taken pride in reducing the amount of “plain old trash” left to throw out. So we’re disappointed to learn that this valuable service has not been included as a requirement in the waste collection bids for consolidated Princeton. This omission seems puzzling, because our municipality has to pay for trash disposal by weight, and wet organic material is the heaviest component of regular trash. Continuing this popular program could actually save money; but if it is not in every bidder’s response, how will the bids be comparable?

I hope that residents will continue to have the option of compost collection. Our town has shown itself to be a leader by achieving consolidation. What a pity if this progress is accompanied by a step backward in our “green” leadership.

Caroline Hancock

Laurel Road

To the Editor:

A huge thank you to Princeton-Area businesses and individuals for the generous donation of 102 backpacks filled with school supplies and fun lunchboxes for less-fortunate Princeton Public School students. What an amazing feeling for these Princeton kids to start the school year with a cool lunchbox and a great backpack filled with brand new school supplies. These kids got to walk into school feeling good about themselves and the new school year.

Special thanks to community partners Walmart and Target in Nassau Park, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports and PNC Bank in the Princeton Shopping Center, Princeton University Women’s Soccer Team, Princeton Health Department, and the Princeton Rotary Club. Additionally, we received donations from over 20 Princetonians!

Again, the Princeton-Area community business and individuals made a difference for these young Princeton Public Schools students.

Ciara Celestin

Ambassador Girl Scout Princeton Troop 71204

Cynthia Mendez,

Director, Princeton Human Services

To the Editor:

Princeton residents will want to know of the upcoming public talk about AvalonBay and its environmental impacts. Save the date: October 7, 2012, 3 p.m.

Aaron Kleinbaum, Esq., legal director of the Eastern Environmental Law Center, will discuss “Sustainable Redevelopment in Princeton: The Legal and Environmental Perspective on AvalonBay.” The talk will be given at Princeton Engine Co #1 (the firehouse), 13 Chestnut Street, Princeton (light refreshments will be served).

Mr. Kleinbaum will speak about AvalonBay’s lack of transparency about potential contamination at the old hospital site; resistance to LEED construction, and, refusal to consider public open space. He will situate these local issues in the regional and national contexts of sustainability, environmental protections, and climate change. He will also discuss the mission of the Eastern Environmental Law Center, with particular attention to environmental justice.

The talk is sponsored by Princeton Citizens for Sustainable Neighborhoods (PCSN), for whom the event is also a fundraiser, with donations to be shared with EELC.

Mr. Kleinbaum, who has been retained by PCSN along with land-use counsel and an urban planner to represent PCSN at Planning Board hearings on AvalonBay, authored the letter to the Planning Board and municipal engineers insisting that AvalonBay make public the EcolSciences report commissioned by AB through Maser Consulting LLC. That report had not been released until Mr. Kleinbaum’s letter exerted sufficient pressure to gain its availability for public scrutiny for this central matter of public health.

Mr. Kleinbaum has previously served as vice president for environmental affairs at Ingersoll Rand and as external environmental counsel to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, among other environmentalist positions. A civil engineer, he received his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law in 1990.

All are welcome. For further information, contact Daniel A. Harris, dah43@comcast.net, (609) 683-0198.

Jane Buttars

Dodds Lane

To the Editor:

Princeton citizens should know that the AvalonBay Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), prepared by Maser Consulting, fundamentally misrepresents the Phase I environmental investigation on the old hospital site, performed by EcolSciences in September of 2011.

The “Conclusions and Recommendations” of the EcolSciences report states that “a soil boring investigation should be performed to assess the integrity of the four active underground tank systems.” This recommendation contradicts the AvalonBay EIS, which states that “no underground tanks or contamination were found on the property” (EIS, p. 10). Whether or not these underground tanks indeed pose a public health concern, the complete misrepresentation of the Ecolsciences report in Avalon’s site plan submission to the Planning Board is scary. It breaks the public trust by bringing into question the motives for such a blatant misrepresentation. Maser, on behalf of AvalonBay, did not provide the EcolSciences report to the Planning Board staff.

The AvalonBay EIS glosses over the fundamental issue of site contamination. The EcolSciences Report was made available this month only after environmental attorney Aaron Kleinbaum, retained by Princeton Citizens for Sustainable Neighborhoods, insisted that the undated environmental investigations cited, but not properly referenced, in the Maser EIS for AvalonBay, be made available to the public (letter to Planning Board and municipal staff, 8/22/12).

The old hospital site is listed on the Environmental Inventory (DVRPC 2010) as a “known contaminated site.”

In addition to the issue of storage tanks, the Ecolsciences report calls for “subsurface investigations to determine if the underlying soils and ground water have been impacted by the sewer lines and/or historic septic system discharges.” No such reports on subsurface investigations have been submitted by AvalonBay. But Mr. Kleinbaum has properly called for such Phase II studies; he is particularly concerned with the subgrade laboratory at the hospital, which predated strict environmental regulations. The Ecolsciences Report recommends remedial measures to close out the spill cases at 6 and 10 Harris Road. And on the decommissioning of the hospital, it states: “residual maintenance feed stocks, hazardous waste streams, and other hazardous constituents and chemicals should be transferred offsite to another medical facility or be disposed of prior to manifest. All lead-lined doors … should be appropriately disposed as part of future demolition activities. Documentation verifying proper clearance from the NRC [National Regulatory Commission] should be provided relative to decommissioning of X-ray equipment and the linear radiation therapy unit with the cancer treatment ward.”

I know the public cares about environmental contamination and the decommissioning of the hospital. I want to make sure that the EcolSciences “Conclusions and Recommendations” (previously unavailable) are made public for professional scrutiny and appropriate municipal action. I am distressed, as I think other Princeton citizens are also, that the AvalonBay EIS document misrepresents the scientific conclusions of the organization to which it contracted an important job concerning Princeton’s public health.

Alexi Assmus, PhD

Maple Street

To the Editor:

Last Saturday, a few friends (all Princeton students) and I attended a community barbecue. As we mingled with the other guests, we had the opportunity to speak with one of the candidates for mayor of the newly consolidated town of Princeton, who happened to be a Princeton alum as well (class of 1965).

Dick Woodbridge was knowledgeable and friendly, and he didn’t talk down to us just because we were students. He told us about his time studying electrical engineering at Princeton University, about having served in the volunteer fire department and about his experience as Mayor of Princeton Township and Council President in the Borough. He impressed us, and we left the event confident that he was the right man to make consolidation a success for Princeton.

When we graduate, we hope to make contributions to our communities as valuable as those made by Mr. Woodbridge to his.

Jacob Reses ‘13

To the Editor:

Responding to one of the “Frequently Asked Questions” posted on the Princeton Healthcare System website www.princetonhcs.org “What will happen to the site of the original hospital?” Barry Rabner, President and CEO responds: “After a careful process, during which approximately 125 potential purchasers expressed interest in the Witherspoon Street property, we have reached an agreement with AvalonBay Communities Inc. to buy the current hospital along with nine homes that Princeton HealthCare System owns along Harris Road. We selected AvalonBay because it was important for us to find a buyer that would be an excellent community partner. The company has extensive experience in developing sites like ours, and their representatives demonstrated sensitivity to the interests of the community and the neighbors who live near projects they have developed in the past.”

It would be interesting to know the scope of the “careful process” and due diligence performed by the UHCS that supports Mr. Rabner’s confidence in making that bold assertion — what other “community and neighbors who live near projects” developed by AvalonBay support that claim? One is hard pressed to find any such evidence when searching the web.

One wonders if Mr. Rabner still stands by his assertion that AvalonBay is ‘an excellent community partner…” and whether he still believes AvalonBay has “…demonstrated sensitivity to the interests of the community and the neighbors…” The residents of Princeton can attest to the fact that AvalonBay has not been sensitive to the interests of our community as expressed in our Master Plan and Borough Code.

Instead of a development that incorporates linked public open space and green construction (requirements of Borough Code), Avalon’s site plan calls for a single 280-apartment monolith, an over 360,000 square foot wood-framed building on less than 6 acres of land (50 units per acre). This is a development for which AvalonBay promises “zero” LEED construction. This private “Community” is diametrically opposed to and destroys Princeton’s vision for a rejuvenated Witherspoon Street created as a result of more than two years of community-wide meetings. A mixed-use redevelopment with public parks and playgrounds, walkways, and neighborhood-friendly retail was envisioned when the MRRO zone was created in consultation with hospital officials. The MRRO zone was designed specifically for the old hospital building site on Witherspoon Street in 2006. The community knows what it wants and the developer refuses to listen. Princeton can and must do better.

“Excellent community partner” sensitive “to the interests of the community”? AvalonBay is not.

Kate Warren

Jefferson Road

September 19, 2012

To the Editor:

We urge Princeton residents to vote YES on Monday, September 24, on the public schools’ bond referendum. If approved, the funds will pay for many necessary and extremely important facilities improvements that will benefit all the children in our town’s schools each day.

As parents of baseball and soccer players, we are particularly pleased that the school district’s plans include the essential, long-needed refurbishment of the Valley Road playing fields. Despite diligent maintenance, time, weather and heavy use have taken their toll. Drainage improvements and re-grading are absolutely necessary to allow children to continue using the fields safely for years to come. Without immediate refurbishment, the fields will soon become unsafe, and further deteriorate to the point that future repair will be more expensive, perhaps even cost-prohibitive. Our current student athletes need safe playing fields. And the many Princeton Little League and youth soccer players who aspire to future glory deserve to have safe facilities when their turns come.

This project, and the other necessary, cost-effective projects designed to keep our schools safe and strong, are why we enthusiastically support the referendum. Please remember to vote YES on Monday, September 24. Polls open from noon to 9 pm.

Jean & Jon Durbin, Mt. Lucas Road

Beatrice & Michael Bloom, White Pine Lane

Bonnie & Lance Itkoff, Elm Road

Karen & Archibald Reid, Westcott Road

Cindi & Bill Venizelos, Rosedale Lane

———

To the Editor:

We are pleased to support the Princeton Public Schools’ referendum on September 24. We are enthusiastic about the projects that will improve energy efficiency in schools throughout the district; we are pleased to note the expansion and improvement of classroom spaces; and, we are supportive of the efforts to improve the safety and security of the schools for our students, faculty and staff.

We are especially pleased to support the improvements in the playgrounds and athletic facilities throughout the district. While priority use of the high school fields is given to the high school and middle school teams and the fields are sometimes leased to community club sports activities, the high school track, the artificial turf field, the tennis courts and other outdoor facilities are available for pick-up games, work outs, and family fun. The playgrounds at the elementary schools are available for community use on weekends, after school and evenings, and throughout the summer.

Many school districts lock down their athletic facilities. PPS opens the gates to the community and it is common to see adults walking and running on the track in the early morning or evening, to see kids engaged in informal soccer, lacrosse and football games, to see families playing together on the fields, and to see children playing in the school playgrounds.

As parents of a high school athlete, we know firsthand that the improvements in the track, fields and bleachers represent overdue maintenance that must be completed to ensure the safety of student athletes and fans. As members of the community we look forward to enjoying these investments long into the future.

Karen A. Jezierny

Gregg R. Smith

Mt. Lucas Rd

———

To the Editor:

As parents of a student-athlete at Princeton High School, we urge Princeton residents to vote YES on Monday, September 24 on the public schools’ referendum. Athletics are an integral and indispensable component of the large majority of our middle and high school students’ educational and social lives. We know from watching our child learn and grow that his participation in school sports is not merely fun, or social, or physically healthful. More significantly, athletics are key to his engagement in academic studies and to his connection with the larger community. Participating in PHS sports instills discipline and promotes his burgeoning senses of purpose, responsibility and citizenship, on and off the fields.

Research demonstrates that athletics participation raises academic achievement, and our experience bears this out. Look at the numbers: more PHS students are participating in sports than ever — almost 90 percent this year. The school’s academic achievement is the envy of the state. There IS a connection. Our much-used athletic facilities for the track, cross-country, soccer, lacrosse, football, field hockey, and baseball teams have long passed their useful life expectancies; replacement and refurbishing are immediately necessary. Support our student-athletes, now and for years to come. Vote YES on Monday, September 24.

Michael and Julie Harrison

Jefferson Rd

To the Editor:

In reviewing the steps taken during the initial stages of consolidation, we can only hope that our elected leadership keeps local resident, Commodore Robert Stockton in mind. Stockton California was named for Commodore Stockton. At one time, Stockton, like San Bernardino, and Scranton were all thriving municipalities, about the size of Princeton. Now all three are bankrupt.

Now is the time for our elected officials to protect our financial future, while considering consolidation. For example, we now have two municipal buildings. Totally, there is about twice the square footage of office space compared with surrounding municipalities.

An article in Town Topics (“A Two-Person Solution for the New Princeton,” July 18) states that “…in the interest of doing away with old perceptions for the two buildings, the committee has been referring to them, for example, as the ‘Witherspoon Building’ and the ‘Monument Building’ respectively.”

This is our one chance to do this right. Instead of kidding ourselves that changing reference names will accomplish anything, it might be good to think what happens when a bureaucracy has too much office space. Assistants get hired, more staff is added, taxes go up etc.

Why not lease out one building, and tell the administrators that they have to utilize the space available in the remaining municipal building? It isn’t the total answer, but it’s a start. Somehow we need to get past the mindset that renaming buildings is a meaningful step to achieving the savings possible through consolidation.

William Stephenson

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

The Mayors and Governing Bodies of the Borough and Township of Princeton are opposed to legislation which would exempt private colleges and universities from municipal zoning.

S-1534 was approved by the State Senate at the end of June. And now, the Assembly companion, A-2586, is projected to be put forth by the Higher Education Committee for a vote by the full Assembly this fall. This legislation passed in the Senate despite the efforts of the League of Municipalities, most of the mayors and elected officials of the impacted municipalities, and the American Planning Association, all of whom strongly oppose the legislation.

If this legislation were to become law, all private colleges and universities would be exempt from municipal zoning. Proponents of the legislation argue that colleges and universities serve a unique public interest and should not be subject to the additional expense of meeting the requirements of the local zoning and planning boards.

On the contrary, there is no justifiable reason why these institutions should be treated differently than other non-profits, such as hospitals, care centers, and prep schools. There is no justifiable reason to exempt private colleges and universities from the same requirements for businesses and our own residents.

A bigger concern with this legislation is that the public, in particular, the residents impacted by the expansion of private colleges and universities, will not have the opportunity to comment on or object to the increased demand for parking, traffic, police protection, fire protection, and the like. As a result of such expansion, the demand on municipal services would increase, perhaps dramatically with little or no input from taxpayers, all of whom will bear the expense of such demands.

Furthermore, the new legislation extends to any property which the private college or university owns or acquires, even if that property is not on its main campus. That situation has an enormous adverse impact on our downtown residential neighborhoods and central business districts. That situation, without proper planning and consideration of infrastructure impacts, allows for the degradation of the fabric of our diverse community and a reduction of the tax base of the municipality, as these institutions are exempt from property taxation.

This misguided legislation is very troublesome. We encourage citizens to contact (via the N.J. Legislature switchboard, 609-847-3905) Jack Ciattarelli and Donna Simon, our State Assembly representatives from the 16th District, as well as our former District 15 representatives, Reed Gusciora and Bonnie Watson-Coleman, to ask them to oppose A-2586. If you haven’t already done so, sign the petition that generates a letter to the governor and Assemblywoman Riley, chair of the Higher Education Committee, by visiting the www.princetonboro.org mayor’s page.

Yina Moore, Mayor

Princeton Borough

Chad Goerner, Mayor

Princeton Township

To the Editor:

I am deeply troubled to learn that our municipality has solicited bids for new contractors to haul Princeton’s waste without requiring that all the bids provide for a composting pick up. Moreover, the Princeton Curbside Food Waste Program is no longer accepting participants and may be discontinued.

The Princeton Curbside Food Waste Program was launched in June 2011. In only one short month, ten (10) tons of organic waste was saved from landfills. The Township received an Innovation Award from Sustainable Princeton for the program.

Why would Princeton consider any bids that would result in abandoning a successful program that leads us toward creating a more sustainable and conscious community? Four hundred and sixty Princeton residents are already participating and paying for this program, demonstrating that we are a community that cares about composting!

Bids are due back on October 3, 2012. I urge residents and participants to vocalize their support for the program during the review period. In this election year, I reach out to all local candidates to make known their position on the program.

Abandoning the Curbside Food Waste Program would be huge step backwards for our community. With this program, Princeton has the opportunity to lead by example and show other towns how to act socially, ethically and economically responsible with the waste we generate.

Bainy Suri

Chestnut Street

To the Editor:

On behalf of myself, and the over 200 Republican, Democrat, and Independent affiliated attendees at the “Community Barbecue” on September 15, I would like to sincerely thank “The Friends of the Princeton Republicans” for hosting this spectacular event.

The venue was the beautiful Johnson Education Center, the food was delicious, and the lively music got everyone dancing. Above all, the thoughtful and insightful conversations among the guests made the occasion particularly memorable.

Beverly T. Elston

Quarry Street

To the Editor:

1. The streets in the older sections of Penn’s Neck are not wide enough to handle large volumes of traffic. In addition, there are no curbs and many streets do not have sidewalks. Especially as winter approaches, it is vital to ensure the safety of residents and children walking on the roadways.

2. Many of the people we have spoken to have followed their GPS when it tells them to turn right at Washington Road. In fact, some of these people make multiple passes through the neighborhood because they are following directions. How does this reflect on West Windsor when visitors come to Princeton?

3. The signs on Route 1 are too small and too far from the Washington Road intersection. A drastic improvement is needed. The signs that are posted on Route 1 now do not have any relevance to visitors (drivers unfamiliar with road names). The sign on Route 95 tells of the road closures, but does not suggest an alternative to access Princeton (i.e. Route 206). The white sign with small black print in front of the Hyatt, for instance, does not catch the eye, and does not give mileage information. A sign needs to be placed between Alexander Road and Washington Road on Route 1 leading Princeton-bound traffic north and giving mileage of the new route.

4. What is the solution for people who turn right onto Washington Road in error? There are currently no directions leading them to an alternate route. Signs need to be placed on Washington Road telling people how to get to Princeton. Also Alexander Road is too small for large trucks or tour buses and often extremely congested.

5. The wait time on Washington Road should be made clear to those people coming to or leaving the train station. Currently the line to Route 1 on Washington Road stretches for over a mile for many hours during the day. What can be done to help people find other routes and to access the train station in a timely manner?

6. Timing of the traffic light at Route 1 and Washington Road is not acceptable. The DOT indicated that any change in the traffic light must be requested by the Township. Please fight for us and for the commuters who use the Princeton Junction train station.

7. West-Bound turns for residents out of Penn’s Neck during times of heavy traffic: we are unable to leave our homes and side streets from 7:30-10:00 a.m. and 3:30-7:30 p.m. Commuters are not always willing to allow residents access to the roads. What will be done to make Washington Road accessible to West Windsor Residents and commuters to/from the Princeton Junction Train station?

8. Repeat U-turners are a big issue. We have noticed the same vehicles using our neighborhood as their new traffic route. Commuters are actually upset that we don’t want them to use the neighborhood. What is the solution? How can we stress that Penn’s Neck is a neighborhood and not a de-facto jug handle?

For more information and to join us in working to a solution: Contact the DOT: www.state.nj.us/transportation/contact/Join the NoUTurns Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/noUturns

Sharon Sibilia and Sanja Dimic

Washington Road

West Windsor Township

To the Editor:

I have attended several Woodbridge for Mayor events recently, including the inspiring Princeton Community Barbecue on Saturday. The absence of party labels and the bipartisan tenor of the community gathering were remarkable and heartening. The barbecue was about a United Princeton and a bright vision of the future for our Town absent wider agenda state or national.

I was born in Princeton, attended elementary school on Nassau Street as did Dick Woodbridge. I ran a family-owned hardware store on Witherspoon Street that served the Princeton community for over 65 years. Dick and I served on the Borough Council together, each of us serving as council president in different years. As a Princeton local, I love this town, know its history from the ground up. Be assured Dick Woodbridge knows Princeton inside and out, has put heart and soul together with the better part of his life into serving his beloved hometown. He is a community leader with unmatched experience as a locally elected office holder and volunteer, both in the Borough and the Township.

It is with a strong sense of Community, personal knowledge, and trust in the experienced leadership and sterling character of a longtime friend and associate that this Democrat supports Dick Woodbridge to become the newly formed united town of Princeton’s first Mayor.

Irv Urken

Kennedy Court

To the Editor:

I will be voting for the Princeton Public Schools bond referendum on September 24. I am a parent of children at both the middle school and high school. I am also a former PTO President of the middle school and have seen the issues that the referendum is trying to solve. A majority of the monies being spent will be for things such as rotten windows, reconditioning of pavement and refurbishing of roofs that the community will not necessarily notice from the outside but are imperative for the safety of the students and the functioning of the building. However, part of the monies will also go towards improving areas that will directly be used by the students such as the media center which has needed updating for more than a couple of decades. Currently, the media center cannot accommodate the amount of children it should be attracting to this part of the school. The challenge of keeping a middle school age student engaged in reading and research is even more of a challenge when the school’s media center is not up to the task. The above are not all of the improvements that the District is planning. For more information, please go to: www.princeton1k2.org. It is crucial to do these projects now while the interest rates and construction costs are at a historical low as well as to halt the deterioration any further to the infrastructures. Please vote yes on September 24.

Tamera Matteo

Snowden Lane

Dear Editor:

I have had the privilege of working with Liz Lempert on Democratic Party matters and have seen first-hand the strong leadership skills she will bring as mayor of the new Princeton. Liz is an excellent choice to be our first mayor because she will listen to the concerns of ALL Princetonians and work hard for us.

Liz is a levelheaded, poised, and solution-oriented person who uses collaboration and good organization as the tools for success. As deputy mayor and township committeewoman she is well-versed in the issues facing our community and will bring a unique combination of fiscal discipline, commitment to diversity, and a focus on environmental sustainability to the job. I enthusiastically urge my fellow citizens to vote Liz Lempert for mayor on November 6.

Margaret Griffin

Battle Road