September 25, 2013

TT Celia Zoe Totaro

Celia: “Bad Kitty and I like to read to myself.”
Zoe: “I read to myself, Amelia Bedelia is my favorite.”
—Celia (left) and Zoe Totaro, Flemington

TT Nina Crews Asa Antoine

Aesop in California and Pinocchio and we read out loud together.” —Nina Crews and son Asa Antoine, Brooklyn

TT Barrett Miller

 “I read out loud and to myself. My favorite books are The Grimm Sisters and the Judy Moody books.”
—Barrett Miller, Lawrenceville
TT Andy Ratner Nate Howard
 Andy: “I like nonfiction books mostly about airplanes and vehicles and stuff like that. I like to read to myself.”
Nate: “I like the Septimus Heap series and the Artemis Fowl series. I read to myself.”
—Andy Ratner and Nate Howard, Princeton
TT Sophia Nathan
 “I read to myself. My favorite book is Princess Bess Gets Dressed, which I bought here a few years ago.”
—Sophia Nathan, Princeton
TT Alfred Honore

 “I read to myself and I like the Pokemon series.”
— Alfred Honore, Chapel Hill, N.C. (formerly of Princeton)

TT Deirdre Owen Ristic

Deirdre: ”The Giving Tree and books by Kevin Henkes. I read to myself.”
Owen: “Harry Potter series and I like to read to myself.”
—Deirdre and Owen Ristic, Princeton


GREAT TASTES: “We have Mediterranean food with a focus on kebabs. It’s good, healthy food with very fresh ingredients.” Ekrem (“Frankie”) Bodur, chef/owner/manager of EFES Mediterranean Grill, is pleased to introduce diners to his unique cuisine.

GREAT TASTES: “We have Mediterranean food with a focus on kebabs. It’s good, healthy food with very fresh ingredients.” Ekrem (“Frankie”) Bodur, chef/owner/manager of EFES Mediterranean Grill, is pleased to introduce diners to his unique cuisine.

Lunch, dinner, take-out, and catering are all available at EFES Mediterranean Grill. Opened in February 2012 at 235 B Nassau Street, it has attracted a growing number of customers who enjoy its tasty middle eastern-style cuisine and family-oriented atmosphere.

“Princeton is a good location for us,” says chef/owner/manager Ekrem (“Frankie”) Bodur. “It’s an international community, and many people here have traveled to Turkey, where I am from. We have a great customer base, including lots of families, and lot of kids. Kids love the kebabs, our specialty.”

A native of Turkey, Mr. Bodur came to the U.S. when he was a boy in 1989. After initially settling in Brooklyn, N.Y., the family moved to New Jersey, and eventually Mr. Bodur, his brothers, and cousins, opened a successful restaurant EFES Mediterranean Grill in New Brunswick.

“I love to cook,” he explains. “I have always enjoyed it. It’s creative, and I’m always experimenting.”

Classical City

The New Brunswick restaurant was very successful, with many customers from all over the area, including Princeton. “We had a lot of people from Princeton, who asked us to open here,” says Mr. Bodur. “We have had great word-of-mouth, with people coming from Princeton, Kingston, Lawrenceville, and all over the area. We have also had a lot of Princeton University students come in.”

Customers are enjoying both the food and the atmosphere at EFES Mediterranean Grill. Named for Efes, the ancient classical city in Turkey (once ruled by the Greeks and the Romans), the restaurant can accommodate 15 people for sit-down dining as well as 15 more outside. The decor features attractive mosaic tile from Turkey, and Turkish artwork and artifacts will be added soon.

The menu offers wide-ranging choices, including hot and cold appetizers, soup, salads, side dishes, sandwiches and wraps, entrees, and special dishes.

“The kebabs are the most popular item,” reports Mr. Bodur. “It’s the taste. It’s different. They are charcoal-grilled, with a unique flavor. We bring our own herbs and spices from Turkey, and we have our own special recipes. Oregano and paprika are very important in our dishes.”

Turkish Bread

Popular appetizers include stuffed grape leaves, grilled hummus, baba ghanoush, mixed eggplant, and falafel, among others. Many vegetarian appetizers are available.

Sandwiches and wraps are served on pita bread, with lettuce, tomato, onion, and white and red sauce. “We use our special Turkish bread,” says Mr. Bodur.

Favorite sandwiches are the grilled H-gyro-doner (ground lamb and beef combination), H-Adana kebab (ground lamb flavored with red bell peppers slightly seasoned with paprika and grilled on a skewer), and H-chicken kebab (tender chunks of chicken marinated with the chef’s own blend of herbs and spices).

The entrees are served with bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and rice or French fries. Kebabs are in small or larger sizes, and include the traditional shish kebab (special marinated cubes of baby lamb, grilled on skewers), mixed grill (a combination of shish kebab, gyro, and grilled chicken), and a variety of other kebabs.

In addition, specialties, such as lamb chops and moussaka (chunks of baby eggplant with ground leg of lamb seasoned with herbs, and served with rice), are favorite dishes.

Seafood is also available, as are hamburgers. The popular baklava (freshly homemade and perfectly flavored) is a traditional dessert, and Turkish coffee is a specialty along with Turkish tea. Regular coffee, iced tea, and assorted sodas are also available.

Family Business

Catering has become a big part of EFES’s business, notes Mr. Bodur. “We do every kind and size event. We recently catered a gathering for 500 people!”

He is proud of the restaurant’s success and that it is a thriving family business, offering the freshest ingredients and tastiest dishes for his diners. “Everything we have is so fresh, and with our own unique flavors. Come and see us. You can bring wine or beer, and have a relaxed, leisurely meal in our friendly, down-to-earth restaurant.”

Mr. Bodur has made an effort to keep prices reasonable. Appetizers are $2.95 to $7.95; salads $6.50 and up; sandwiches and wraps $5.95 and $6.95; hamburgers $4.50; small kebabs $8.50, large $11.95; moussaka $12.95, and baklava $3.95.

EFES Mediterranean Grill is open seven days, from 11 a.m. to 9:30/10 p.m. (609) 683-1220. Website:


POPULAR PLANTERS: “There is really no other store like ours in the area. We have special items for special occasions, and all ages will enjoy them. The Lechuza planters from Germany are a specialty for us, and we also have fresh roses and lilys available now at very reasonable prices.” Amy Chereath, owner of Amy’s Home & Garden, and manager Wen Chu are shown by a display of Lechuza planters.

POPULAR PLANTERS: “There is really no other store like ours in the area. We have special items for special occasions, and all ages will enjoy them. The Lechuza planters from Germany are a specialty for us, and we also have fresh roses and lilys available now at very reasonable prices.” Amy Chereath, owner of Amy’s Home & Garden, and manager Wen Chu are shown by a display of Lechuza planters.

Whether they are traditional Hummel figures, Gund bears, Snowbabies, Disney and Sesame Street characters, Dept 56 villages, or garden features and unique plant irrigation systems, the selection at Amy’s Home & Garden is intriguing.

Opened at 195 Nassau Street last November, the shop offers a fascinating combination of items guaranteed to appeal to adults and children.

“Everything has been popular with the customers,” notes Amy Chereath, owner with her husband, Roy Chereath, of the new store. “We had been in the retail business in North Brunswick, and we also had an on-line business. We always liked to come to Princeton, and we thought it would be a good place for our products. We felt we would have a variety of customers here.”

The small shop is certainly a treasure trove of items. Many customers will enjoy seeing the display of Hummel figures from Germany. “We have the traditional figures as well as another line that is a division of Hummel, offering a lower price range,” notes Amy. “For example, we have little Hummel angels at $2. The Hummel Company also makes a line of Beatle figures.”

Charming Collection

The Snowbabies collection, always a Christmas favorite, is available, featuring little snow globes as well as the charming snow babies and cherubs.

“These have a Christmas focus,” says Amy, “but they are offered all year now. There are Snowbabies angels and tiny baby angels in pink or blue, which are a very nice little baby gift.”

Another Christmas favorite is the Dept 56 collection of houses and villages, which are also available year-round now. “They have Halloween decorated villages too, which are more and more popular,” adds Amy. “We also carry a selection of their pretty colored glass Christmas ornaments.

“Dept 56 is a big item for us, including the Jim Shore line of collectible Disney characters, such as Snow White, Mickey Mouse, Tinkerbell, Beauty and the Beast, and others.”

Children also love the Gund plush toys. All the stuffed bears, cats, and dogs and other cuddly animals are on display — even a baby lamb that “speaks”! In addition, Gund now has a line of Sesame Street characters.

Fun “Bead It” ping pong or marshmallow-sized beads can keep children happily occupied putting together the components to create colorful snowmen Christmas ornaments.

A specialty at Amy’s Home & Garden is the line of Lechuza planters, featuring a unique irrigation system. From Germany, Lechuza offers a variety of planters in assorted colors, styles, and sizes, each with its own irrigation system.

“These self-watering planters are very popular for us,” says Amy. “They can be used indoors or outdoors, and are very pretty on terraces. They are weather-proof, and can withstand wind and rain. The color of the planters will not fade when they are outside.”

Optimal Amount

In today’s high tech, increasingly rushed society, plants can be neglected, under-watered — or in contrast, over-watered. The Lechuza sub-irrigation system offers a labor- and time-saving means of plant maintenance. It provides plants with the optimal amount of water and all necessary nutrients. Pre-assembled planters are available with Lechuza-Pon, an alternative to traditional potting soil.

Whether plants require a lot of water or a modest amount, the home owner needs only to fill the water reservoir, and there is no need to water the plant again for up to 12 weeks. The integrated water level indicator registers “minimum” when it is time for a refill.

Lechuza planter kits are available at the shop, as are planters of varied sizes already containing flowers, including orchids.

“Local residents and tourists have all been coming in,” reports Amy. “We see lots of different people, and they all like what we have. We enjoy being here and meeting all the customers. Now we look forward to seeing even more people and introducing them to our great products.”

Amy’s Home & Garden is open Monday through Saturday 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (609) 333-1218.


To the Editor:

With a few other concerned Princeton residents, I attended the Princeton Council’s debate last Monday at the Monument Hall. The three candidates are two incumbents, Jenny Crumiller and Patrick Simon, and challenger Fausta Rodriguez Wertz. More citizens should have attended the debate, because the newly consolidated Princeton faces many of the old challenges and some new ones, and people should judge on a first-hand basis who seems best for the job. There is a lapse in leadership at the level of the Council. I think that patrolmen’s suit against former chief Dudeck was allowed to gain momentum by those on the existing Council. There was insufficient attention to the ever-growing congestion in Princeton. The borrowing for municipal expenses shows an inability to keep municipal salaries and other expenses in check. Somebody has to draw the line, and, in my opinion, the new candidate, Mrs. Rodriguez Wertz, is the right alternative.

Louise Russell Irving

Longview Drive


To the Editor:

Princeton Council has decided, on a trial basis, to “streamline” the way in which sessions are represented in the official minutes (as reported in Town Topics, Sept. 11, “Council Decides to Try Streamlined Minutes”). Minutes will now be limited to a register of Council members’ votes — that’s it. This reduction of the record is most disturbing. I hope the “trial period” does not last long.

Any governmental body must seek accuracy, accountability, and transparency. Council member Pat Simon had it exactly right when he said, “The things we say should be part of the public record, and should be easy to find” (as quoted in the story). Anything less encourages irresponsibility — and has the further negative effect of discouraging citizens from participating in municipal affairs.

Mayor Lempert, unfortunately, bowing to expediency and the acknowledged pressures of consolidation on municipal staff, is quoted as remarking that minutes “should be less of a transcript of what each person has said …. It would be easier to keep them [the minutes] up to date.” She was apparently not alone in her views. But “ease” cannot be the appropriate standard for recording official public sessions.

The idea of using TV30’s videos of each session as a kind of substitute “minutes” beggars the imagination. Anyone who has tried to use those videos in order to learn what a council member actually said (as I have, during the past several years) knows that the sound track is poor, government officials (and municipal staff) don’t speak clearly into the microphone, and a citizen’s labors in transcribing a council member’s statements (let alone a conversation) can take hours. As Mr. Simon rightly notes, the video cannot be searched — by keyword or any other means. TV30 does not provide “the best of both worlds.”

Hopefully, Council will soon devise better and more appropriate means for helping the recording secretaries do their work in a timely manner. The methods proposed for the “trial period” amount to an erasure of language (Council members’ actual views and positions, the nature and context of any given Council discussion, not just the final vote). They court a disaster for democratic transparency.

Let us hope that Mr. Simon and others can persuade his colleagues to return, soon, to acceptable methods that ensure that each elected official can be held accountable for what s/he says.

Daniel A. Harris

Dodds Lane


September 18, 2013

To the Editor:

As we are in full back-to-school mode, I want to thank the school board and PPS district staff for adding a composting collection to their waste contract in all of the public schools in Princeton. I am happy to know that my child can compost at home and now at school. Providing composting in schools also allows for a natural educational component as the next generation learns how to take care of their community and environment. This new composting program will hopefully be rolled out some time this fall.

If you have not already joined the residential curbside organics collection, it’s not too late. Since being part of this program for the past two years, my family and I have significantly reduced our landfill contribution, and we only need to put our trash out once a month. You can still compost on your property, but this program greatly expands the amount of things you can compost like all food scraps, dirty paper and pizza boxes, and yard waste. Additionally this summer, we were also able to use some of the beautiful free compost that was brought back from the curbside program to fill our garden beds. I encourage all of my fellow residents to try this program. It is easy to sign up and participate and you will never look at waste the same way again. Go to:

I also want to thank Sustainable Princeton and the municipality for working together to get recycling bins in Hinds Plaza and on Nassau Street. That is a great step! In the near future, I hope to see additional businesses in Princeton joining in with the residential and school recycling/composting programs so that Princetonians can be responsible stewards of their waste all around!

Stephanie Chorney

Co-Chair Green Schools Coalition/Sustainable Princeton


To the Editor:

On behalf of the residents of Elm Court and Harriet Bryan House, I would like to thank all the wonderful supporters who attended our annual Bake Sale on Friday, September 6. It was a huge success.

Harriet Bryan House and Elm Court provide housing for low income senior citizens and are managed by Princeton Community Housing. Each year our residents raise money for the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad (PFARS), a vital community organization that has been serving Princeton since 1938. This year, our bake sale doubled the amount raised in the previous year and contributed over $1,000 for PFARS.

We’d especially like to thank the following Princeton-based businesses for their generous support of lovely cakes: McCaffrey’s, Chez Alice, and the House of Cup Cakes.

Fay Reiter

Director of Social Services, Elm Court and Harriet Bryan House


To the Editor:

Signs advising that “Dogs must remain on leash” were posted in the Charles Rogers Wildlife Refuge and the Institute for Advanced Study Woods to help protect ground nesting and ground feeding birds in these vital habitats. Ovenbirds, Eastern Towhees, White-throated Sparrows, and other species that forage or nest in the leaf litter or understory, as well as ducks, egrets, and herons that frequent the marsh, are all vulnerable to predation from dogs that stray from the hiking trails. The signs were not posted to prevent dog fights, as a previous letter writer suggested. Public cooperation with this simple requirement (which is consistent with the leash law in Princeton) will help preserve the beauty and diversity of these natural areas, among the most important in Central New Jersey.

Fred Spar

Friends of the Rogers Refuge


CUSTOMER FAVORITE: “This is a busy time for the nursery and the garden needs. Grass seed, fertilizers, and plants are all a specialty, along with all the animal feed and supplies.” Kevin Lyon, manager of the Belle Mead Co-Op on Township Line Road in Hillsborough, is shown with fellow workers.

CUSTOMER FAVORITE: “This is a busy time for the nursery and the garden needs. Grass seed, fertilizers, and plants are all a specialty, along with all the animal feed and supplies.” Kevin Lyon, manager of the Belle Mead Co-Op on Township Line Road in Hillsborough, is shown with fellow workers.

One of the most popular places in the area for outdoor supplies, as well as a vast array of other items, is the Belle Mead Co-Op, located on Township Line Road in Hillsborough.

In addition, the Co-Op provides feed for a variety of animals, notes manager Kevin Lyon. “We have animal food for everything from gerbils to cows! That includes birds, chickens, sheep, goats, horses, and dogs, and cats. We make the feed here, including special mixes for all the animals. We buy the feed ingredients from the local farmers, and then they buy the feed from us.”

The Belle Mead Co-Op is by no means a newcomer to the area. Its history dates back more than 90 years to 1920, when area farmers brought their hay there to be shipped.

As Mr. Lyon explains, “The large barn in front of the store was constructed at the turn of the century, and was operated as a hay press. The press was powered by horses in the cellar, and the farmers would bring loose hay here to be pressed into bales and loaded on railroad cars. That same barn now displays 84 solar panels that supply the business with a good portion of its electricity. The railroad sidings gave the store its unique shape, as they ran behind the store and to the front and rear of the old barn. Rail cars would load up on coal and water here, then pick up hay to take up north to the horse farms.”

Constant Adventure

The retail store opened in 1953, and it is filled with an array of items, bringing to mind the general store of times past combined with an up-to-date hardware store of today. There is so much to see that walking up and down the aisles is a constant adventure.

If you have a pet, it is definitely the place to go. Dog and cat food, leashes, collars, and various supplies and toys are all available.

Many people feed the birds year round, and Belle Mead Co-Op has everything for our feathered friends. Seed of all kinds, every type of feeder, including specialties for hummingbirds and others, are on display.

In addition, customers will find jeans and Carhartt sweat shirts, caps, gardening gloves, as well as flags and fly swatters, and New Jersey honey. A complete supply of tools and outdoor needs, including shovels, brooms, pruners, hoses, and wheelbarrows.

Beneficial Item

An intriguing and very beneficial item is the lady bug! “They eat a lot of insects, including aphids,” notes Mr. Lyon. “We sell 1500 for $11.99. We also have preying mantises, which eat aphids too.”

Plants, including all the annuals and perennials, are in stock, with the exception of New Guinea impatiens. Mulch, fertilizers, grass seed, and top soil are all available, and planters of every kind are also on display.

“We have a complete nursery,” points out Mr. Lyon. “Originally, it was 1.3 acres; now it is 10. We purchased eight acres of property in 1998 in order to expand our landscape and nursery supply offerings.”

A variety of mulch samples is available, as well as landscaping decorative gravel and stones, including River Rock.

Homeowners struggling with the deer who not only eat plants but often devour bird feed as well will appreciate the Hot Pepper Wax product, which can be sprayed on the bird feeders to repel the deer. “It doesn’t harm the birds, but it keeps the deer away,” reports Mr. Lyon.

“Many of our customers are interested in having vegetable gardens,” he continues. “We have vegetables and plants, including tomatoes, potatoes, and onions, among others.”

Families and Farmers

Dog houses and rabbit hutches, benches and bird baths, wind chimes, water garden supplies (including fish), propane gas — all are available at Belle Mead Co-Op.

Customers are of long-standing, says Mr. Lyon, who has been  with Belle Mead Co-Op for 17 years. “Our customers are from all over the area; they’re all ages and backgrounds, and include families and farmers. I enjoy talking with them, and many I’ve known a long time. We have so many regulars, and we get new people all the time too because the area is growing. We are always happy to give advice on the plants or any products if people want help.”

Prices are competitive, he adds, and sales are always ongoing. Special coupons are offered on the company’s website.

“We continue to do well,” says Mr. Lyon. “People like to come here. They appreciate the history, our core products, and our knowledge.”

They also like to visit the warehouse, which features the feed mill, where grain is mixed, and other vintage equipment is housed.

Belle Mead Co-Op is open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday until 5, Sunday 9 to 4. (908) 359-5173. Website:


BEST BARBECUE: “I call my barbecue ‘New Jersey Infusion.’ It’s Texas-style with ‘heat’ from Texas and seasoning and sauce from Kansas City, with mustard and vinegar, and my own way of putting it together.” Jeff McKay, chef and owner of The Hambone Opera at the Trenton Farmers Market, is shown with a batch of his special baby back ribs.

BEST BARBECUE: “I call my barbecue ‘New Jersey Infusion.’ It’s Texas-style with ‘heat’ from Texas and seasoning and sauce from Kansas City, with mustard and vinegar, and my own way of putting it together.” Jeff McKay, chef and owner of The Hambone Opera at the Trenton Farmers Market, is shown with a batch of his special baby back ribs.

The customers are lining up at Hambone Opera in the Trenton Farmers Market. They can’t get enough of “Smoke Chef Jeff” McKay’s barbecue specialties. The tempting smoky aroma (“It’s the cherry wood and the seasoning,” reports Chef Jeff) invites them in, and then they receive a sample. After that, they’re hooked!

Opened in April at the popular Farmers Market at 960 Spruce Street in Trenton, the new Hambone Opera BBQ offers a variety of favorites. Pulled pork, beef brisket, baby back ribs, and Smoke Chef Jeff’s special Smoke House beans and cole slaw are all on the menu. Available in sandwiches or platters, they tempt the taste buds both of seasoned barbecue aficionados and those new to this culinary experience.

Popular Place

Reviews from food critics and the public alike have been showering Chef Jeff with compliments, and he is delighted with the response and with his location. “I liked the idea of being in the Trenton Farmers Market. It’s a very popular place, with lots of people here all the time.”

Smoke Chef Jeff has a history and love of barbecue. Originally from Michigan, he spent 17 years in Texas, perfecting the art. “It was there I learned how to smoke a barbecue,” he explains. “Later, I worked with Billy Bones, the BBQ Legend in Michigan. He was my guru.”

Smoke Chef Jeff came to New Jersey in 2009, and decided he wanted to bring his special brand of barbecue to the Garden State. The decision was clearly the right one. It has been successful beyond his expectations, and he is making new friends and fans all the time.

If they wonder about the unusual name of his establishment, he explains that he and friends used to get together in years past and enjoy making music and cooking up barbecue. “My specialty was playing the spoons!”

“Most customers who come in are familiar with barbecue, while some others are new to it,” he says. “The first-timers are so impressed they always come back for more. They are all ages, including families with children. The other day there were two four-year-old twin girls dipping ribs right into the hot sauce!

“Everything is a specialty,” he continues. “The pulled pork is perhaps the most popular with customers, but they really like everything. They come in and tell me ‘There is no BBQ like mine.’ It’s my ingredients. I use nothing but cherry wood logs in an off-set fire box. Slow cooking is the key. And it’s all the love and care I put into it. The brisket takes 12 to 13 hours to prepare and the pork 12 hours. I really love to do it. Ever since I was a kid, I had my head over the grill. I have even designed grills.”

Tangy Taste

Chef Jeff looks forward to even more customers discovering the tangy taste of his BBQ specialties, and he is available for fund-raisers, block parties, graduations, and as he says, “Any Event, Any Time!”

“I am happy the catering has started to do well. We have already had seven jobs in the very short time I’ve been open, and I look forward to many more. I think barbecue is so popular because it tastes good, and it’s true American cooking. Also, we are very focused here; it’s just barbecue. People say why not have tacos or French fries? But barbecue is what I do, and I want to offer the best barbecue there is. Things are going so well. I am very encouraged.”

Seating is available for 20 at Hambone Opera, as well as additional room for four to stand at the counter. Prices include $7 for a pulled pork sandwich ($9 for a platter), $8 for beef brisket sandwich ($10 for a platter), $10 for baby back ribs. Platters are served with Smoke House beans and cole slaw. All the specialties are also available by the pound.

“I want people to know they will have the best BBQ here. I use real wood logs; seasonings are mild, medium, and hot. I already have so many repeat customers, we must be doing it right!”

Hambone Opera is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (609) 325-7357.

“FABULOUSLY BRITISH”: “Jack Wills was targeted to university people, including undergraduate and graduate students. We offer a casual preppy theme, and Princeton is a good match. We are also in other university towns, including Charlottesville, Virginia, New Haven, Conn., and all around Boston.” Claudia Radley, manager of the new Jack Wills Princeton location, stands in front of the Nassau Street store.

“FABULOUSLY BRITISH”: “Jack Wills was targeted to university people, including undergraduate and graduate students. We offer a casual preppy theme, and Princeton is a good match. We are also in other university towns, including Charlottesville, Virginia, New Haven, Conn., and all around Boston.” Claudia Radley, manager of the new Jack Wills Princeton location, stands in front of the Nassau Street store.

“We want people to incorporate Jack Wills into their life-style,” says Claudia Radley, manager of the new British clothing store at 46 Nassau Street. “It’s clothing for the collegiate life-style, but a variety of people and different ages all enjoy wearing it.”

Opened in April, the Jack Wills University Outfitters Princeton store is one of 14 in the U.S. The company was established in England in 1999, and has locations in Hong Kong and the Middle East as well as the U.K. and U.S.

The owner is Pete Williams, and he named the company for his grandfather Jack Wills. He wanted to offer apparel that focuses on traditional university clothing and the British heritage, as its mission statement notes. “We continue to be influenced by the best of British, from our history and culture to sporting and country pursuits. We take pride in using the finest quality materials, techniques and design to deliver our distinctive connection between the old and new.

“From the iconic British university towns of Oxford and Cambridge, the Ivy League campuses of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, to the bright lights of Hong Kong, Jack Wills is traveling the globe proudly planting the Union Jack at over 60 stores and counting. Come and find us!”

Big Hit

Not only has the concept been a British success, it has become a big hit with Americans, starting with the first store in Boston in 2009. “We have done well with the Ivy League campuses of Harvard, Yale, and now Princeton,” points out Ms. Radley. “We have already had a great influx of Princeton University students and many high school students too. In addition to the students, their parents love our products. We appeal to different ages.”

Customers will find an inviting shop, featuring a British motif, and offering a variety of clothing for men and women, with sizes from extra small to extra large for men, and zero to 10 for women. Sweaters, shirts, swim suits, shorts, pants, dresses, jackets, as well as colorful underwear, socks, shoes and sneakers are on display. Accessories, such as handbags, tote and duffle bags, cell phone, pad, and Kindle cases, and nail polish and cologne for men and women are all available. Many of the items are in the Jack Wills signature color theme of pink and navy stripes.

In addition, a variety of items for the home include bedding, blankets, cushions and pillows, with many featuring the Jack Wills logo: tiny pheasant with top hat and cane, traditional British images.

From the classic British striped blue and white boat blazer to seersucker shirts in fabulous colors to traditional university sweaters to denim jeans and classic chinos, guys will love the Jack Wills collection.

“Our seersucker shirts are very popular with men,” reports Ms. Radley, “and they like bright colors, including sky blue and our beautiful apple green sweaters.”

Bright Colors

Short sun-dresses and long summer dresses are favorites with women, along with the shirts, shorts, and sweaters, she adds. “We have denim jeans in very bright colors, which are big favorites. Classic shirts and the longer ‘Boy Friend’ shirts are in demand, as are our light-weight rain coats with hoods. Women also like our cotton blend jackets which are cut a bit smaller and more fitted.

“Really, everything is popular. And often, the women like the men’s sweaters so much, they will buy a small size for themselves.”

The socks and sneakers are great fun — really irresistible — with all kinds of bright printed designs in colorful combinations. Everyone likes these!

Ms. Radley is delighted with the number of customers who have found their way to the shop in such a short time. Some have known of Jack Wills before, and others are new to this shopping experience, she explains. “We have some people who knew about us in England or elsewhere, and others who are finding us for the first time. There has been great word-of-mouth.”

Events and Promotions

“We liked the idea of being on the corner of Nassau Street and Palmer Square,” she adds. “It seemed the right place for us. We’re going to have events and promotions and run competitions. We want to be a real part of the community. We reach out to as many people as we can. We are building a great relationship with the community and with Princeton University. We also have a data base, and people can register. They will receive our catalogue five times during the year.”

Ms. Radley is very happy to have the opportunity to be in Princeton, and looks forward to sharing the line of Jack Wills products with her new “hometown.” “I love the Jack Wills brand,” she says. “I love it that it’s a life-style, and that people are having fun with it. Of course, it’s always exciting to open a new store.”

The shop offers a wide price range, with totebags from $14.95, socks at $16.50, and T- and polo shirts at $49.50. Some blazers and jackets can be in the $200-$300 range.

Customers will enjoy the pink and navy color motif throughout the shop, which also extends to the complimentary gift wrapping.

Sales are held from time to time, and Jack Wills is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10 to 7, Sunday 11 to 5. (609) 751-5120. Website:\jwprinceton.

TT David & Tiffany Rodriguez

David: “Well, I love contemporary jazz, especially R&B style, people like Will Downing and others, his genre. Will is smooth and contemporary, but it’s jazz.” Tiffany: “My music taste is very eclectic, so I kind of pick from everywhere, and right now, I’m really liking Mumford and Sons, but I really do appreciate jazz. Every once in a while, I put on the “Smooth Jazz” channel on Pandora Internet Radio.”

—David and Tiffany Rodriguez, Princeton

TT Steven Healy

“I guess at heart, I’m a jazz fan, but I have kids, so I have to keep up with hip-hop, as well. As far as jazz goes though, I am a big traditionalist. I love John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Roy Hargrove, and Wynton Marsalis. With hip-hop, I’m all over the map, but right now, Kendrick Lamar is my big guy.

—Steven Healy, Princeton

TT Al Kuehn (l) & Don Greenfield (r)

 Al: “I was one of the original founders of the New Jersey Jazz Society back in 1992, at which point I was 32 years old. And, from that original group, besides Jack Stein and myself, I can’t think of anyone who is still around. I have spent half of my life with this organization and I’m very proud of it. I’m so amazed to see this fantastic crowd and to see these musicians. We have worked for years with guys like Bucky Pizzarelli, who is here, he’s the next act to go on, and the guys is 87 years old. Jerry Bruno, the bass player, is 93! Bucky will always be one of my all-time favorites.”Don: “My favorite period went through the 40s and 50s into what we call modern jazz. Of all the jazz artists who have ever lived, Louis Armstrong would be my favorite. But stick around for the last set today and listen to Bria Skonberg. You will be amazed. She’s in her mid-to-late 20s. She plays like Armstrong. And she is just beautiful.”—Al Kuehn (left) and Don Greenfield, Maplewood, N.J.

TT Janice Stevens

“I think that Bria Skonberg is the next Diana Krall.”

—Janice Stevens, Morris Plains, N.J.

TT Amanda Packer

 “I like pop-rock, with groups like John Mayer, Jack Johnson, and Dave Matthews Band.”—Amanda Packer, Bordentown



September 11, 2013

TT Adrienne Elian Rubin

Adrienne: “I was in a meeting planning reunions for the University, and the security person in the meeting got called out because a plane had hit one of the towers. The University sent everyone home. I was very pregnant at the time. I went to the hospital three days later and there were no rooms because so many woman had gone into labor.”

Elian: “I don’t have any memories because I wasn’t born yet.”

—Adrienne Rubin with son Elian, Princeton

TT Alison Campion

 “I was in third grade. I was in school and the teachers didn’t tell us anything. I remember getting home on the school bus and my mom told me and my sisters what had happened. I didn’t really understand why it was so bad and why it was happening. I remember watching TV all afternoon.”—Alison Campion, Princeton University studentTT Christine Cifelli

 “I remember hearing from my neighbor and I couldn’t really believe her fully. I couldn’t believe we were being attacked. I remember all our neighbors were coming outside and we just couldn’t believe it.”
—Christine Cifelli, Princeton
TT Taylor James Stacey Menjivar
 Taylor: “I was probably in fourth grade. I remember it was a big deal and we got out of school early. My mother was really pretty upset. I remember figuring out about what really happened a day later.”Stacey: “I remember being in class and I remember the principal coming on the intercom and telling us that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. I remember not knowing what that even meant? We weren’t really focusing on the event because the principal was crying and fourth graders thought that was funny. School closed and we were sent home early. I lived near D.C., everything was chaotic.” —Taylor James and Stacey Menjivar, Princeton University students

TT James Schwerin

 “I was in court, I’m a retired lawyer. The first I heard about it was when I was in conference with a judge who said a small plane had crashed into the World Trade Center tower, and I thought it was a plane that had flown off course. It wasn’t until I was on my way home and heard the news on the radio that I realized what had happened.”—James Schwerin, Princeton

TEAM WORK: Upper and Lower School girls at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart collaborate on a social studies research project, using state-of-the-art technology and equipment in the school’s Futures Classroom. This classroom is one of many new 21st century learning spaces, funded by donors and the school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) for Girls initiative. Stuart will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with special events on September 13 and 14.

TEAM WORK: Upper and Lower School girls at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart collaborate on a social studies research project, using state-of-the-art technology and equipment in the school’s Futures Classroom. This classroom is one of many new 21st century learning spaces, funded by donors and the school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) for Girls initiative. Stuart will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with special events on September 13 and 14.

“We want a girl to know that there is nothing more powerful than her voice. Her voice matters,” says Patty L. Fagin, PhD, Head of School at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. “The Sacred Heart has a 200-year history of growing leaders. Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat started the school to educate girls to change the world, with women in the forefront, leading positive change.

“You don’t have to shy away from speaking what you believe to be the truth or what you believe to be important. Girls get their freedom in an all-women’s setting — that sense of ‘I have a voice, and it’s an important voice.’ We want the girls to reach the highest level of their potential and achievement.”

Educating girls to believe in their own voice and their ability to make a difference in the world has been the mission of the school since its founding in 1963. As one of 22 Sacred Heart schools in the United States, Stuart is part of a sisterhood of the Society of the Sacred Heart founded by Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat in France in the aftermath of the French Revolution.

As Stuart’s anniversary book Making History points out, Mother Barat believed “that the education of women would be a key means for rebuilding, renewing, and transforming society — a radical vision for the 1700s. Between 1802 and 1865, she formed and nurtured a community of religious women that would, by the time of her death, number over 3,000, and would be educating students across four continents.”

Native Americans

The Society of the Sacred Heart arrived in the United States in 1818, when Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne established the first school in St. Charles, Missouri — the first outside of France.

Mother Duchesne also worked with native Americans, and years later opened a school in Kansas for the Potawatomi Tribe children. Over time, many more schools were established in the U.S.

Fast forward to 1960, when a group of parents hoped to open a Sacred Heart School in Princeton. They traveled to Washington, D.C. to gain permission from the Mother Superior of the Washington, D.C. Vicariate of the Society of the Sacred Heart, which approved the establishment of a school in Princeton.

A “Founders Fund” was set up to purchase the land and finance the building of the school, which was named for Reverend Mother Janet Erskine Stuart, the sixth Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Her influence extends not only throughout the school, but throughout the world, notes Risa Engel, Stuart’s Director of Communications and project manager of Making History. “Her books, essays, and poetry continue to inspire spiritual growth and educational excellence.”

In 1961, the site of the school was selected, and the late Professor Jean Labatut, Director of Graduate Studies in Architecture at Princeton University, was chosen to design the building.

The land, 55 acres of a wooded area off The Great Road with large trees and boulders, was purchased, and Professor Labatut emphasized the outdoors in his design. “When there is freedom of space and nature, the design must meld into the space and nature of the surroundings,” he said.

Focus on Nature

“Professor Labatut wanted the school to be camouflaged within the landscape,” points out Ms. Engel. “The idea was to bring the outside indoors. There are floor-to-ceiling windows and a great sense of light. He also used hand-cut green bricks inside the building because they were individual like the girls in the school.”

In keeping with the focus on nature, large boulders have also been brought inside and incorporated into the design. Outdoors, Professor Labatut designed a Zen garden to be enjoyed by the nuns. Today, students also spend time there, and in addition, appreciate the natural beauty of Stuart’s setting by exploring its “Friendship Forest” trails in the woods and stopping by the nearby stream.

Stuart opened its doors in September of 1963 with 94 students from Preschool through 10th grade. Joan Kirby, RSCJ (Religious of the Sacred Heart), was the first Headmistress. The first graduating class in 1965 consisted of two students, Gertrude Baker and Sigrid Sittig. Today, student enrollment numbers 460, school extends through 12th grade, and boys are included in Preschool.

“Prominent in our expectations was a high level of academic excellence,” says Sister Kirby in Making History. In addition, she continues, “Our goal in sharing Sacred Heart tradition was to emphasize spirituality with our students. We were very interreligious, and actually, that was my first interfaith experience.”

Adds Dr. Fagin, “The Sacred Heart principles, which evolved into the Goals and Criteria, have remained constant. They are the foundation for everything we do.”

These Sacred Heart Goals include:

(1) A personal and active faith in God

(2) A deep respect for intellectual values

(3) A social awareness which impels to action

(4) The building of community as a Christian value

(5) Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom

Open Dialogue

From its beginning, Stuart has welcomed students of all faiths, and the student body reflects that diversity. Half of the girls are Catholic, while the rest are of many other faiths, including other Christian denominations, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, among others.

“Stuart has an open dialogue and welcomes families from diverse faiths,” points out Dr. Fagin. “The girls become very sensitized to different religions. In addition to monthly Mass, we hold ecumenical prayer services at different times during the school year.”

An atmosphere of spirituality is very important in the school, and the entire building is a sacred space, adds Risa Engel.

“The intellectual rigor and excellence were pivotal from the school’s inception,” notes Sister Kirby. “Our Sacred Heart religious community, however, was and remains key, generating a loving, warm, compatible atmosphere.”

The importance of this sense of community and the all-girls environment in instilling confidence, love of learning, and appreciation of the role of the intellect cannot be over-estimated.

As Sister Kirby says: “I think anyone who has experienced an all-women’s education realizes the importance of the freedom to develop as a woman, the leadership opportunities, the opportunity to excel, to stretch, and to be yourself.”

iPad Program

At Stuart, the older girls often interact with the Lower School, and leadership and core values are embedded into the curriculum in every classroom.

Stuart has fully embraced the world of technology, and the very youngest students are introduced to it in preschool. The school’s iPad program puts an iPad into the hands of every student in grades six through 12, and brings the technology to the lower grade classrooms.

Stuart’s focus on its STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program is designed to engage girls even in the earliest years. Programs range from “Engineering Is Elementary” in the lower grades to programming video games in middle school to robotics and hands-on AP chemistry in the Upper School.

Opportunities for project-based learning extends outside the classroom to numerous clubs, competitions, speakers, and mentor programs.

Stuart believes that key skills, such as problem-solving, analytical thinking, collaboration, and tenacity are all developed in the study of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Teamwork plays a big part in Stuart’s curriculum and in its after school programs. Sparks, the school’s Robotics Team, went from zero experience to fourth place in the NTC NJ State championship — in just five months!

“Most Futuristic City”

The middle school Future City Team was awarded “Most Futuristic City” in state competition, and the middle school math team won an award for the best new team in a Math Counts competition.

Eighth grade math students created math video games for children ages three to eight, and two of the teams were selected as winners of the PBS Ready to Learn Category of the STEM Challenge. Stuart’s five students on the two teams were the only girls out of 28 middle and high school winners.

All of the other disciplines — English, history, social sciences, and languages — are emphasized as well. Spanish and French are included in the preschool level, and Latin is an elective for older girls. With 15 or fewer girls in a class, there is great opportunity for individual attention and focused learning.

Stuart’s strong visual and performing arts program begins in Preschool and extends through 12th grade. The arts are woven into the curriculum at every opportunity, and classes in music, drama, dance, and art encourage self-expression, self-confidence, and creative collaboration.

Students’ artwork is displayed in the school and at community locations; the school’s various choirs are award-winners in many venues, and the girls perform in five major drama and musical productions throughout the year.

Learning about other cultures is encouraged by exchange study programs with other Sacred Heart schools around the world, as well as with other options for international travel, study, and exchange. Currently, six students from China are enrolled at Stuart, and there are also students from many other international backgrounds.

Rock Climbing Wall

Stuart is also noted for its athletic opportunities. Nine sports, including soccer, field hockey, tennis, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse, golf, and cross country, are all available. The teams consistently play in the finals and achieve winning records. In addition, the school’s gym includes a rock climbing wall.

Community service is a major part of life at Stuart. “We know there is a real value in grounding girls in a life of faith, developing a sense of giving back and being an integral part of the community — all critical components of how we prepare young women,” points out Dr. Fagin.

Adds Sister Kirby: “The Goals and Criteria aim at a well-rounded graduate, someone whose whole person has developed in the Sacred Heart School, spiritually and in terms of social service, the awareness that in the world we are responsible for more than just ourselves.”

Upper School students are required to volunteer 50 hours helping others each year, and many average nearly 70 hours. Students at every grade level work with local agencies, such as Loaves and Fishes and Martin House, Habitat for Humanity, and other national and international programs.

Preschool students partner with second graders to make place mats for Meals on Wheels; third graders raise funds for Heifer International; middle school students have started a micro-finance club and a free trade organization; the senior social justice class project focuses on identifying and solving an “invisible” issue of suffering in the world (a problem in the world related to social justice that people are generally not aware of); and each summer, a group of Stuart faculty and students help repair homes in Appalachia.

Since February of 2001, Stuart girls, faculty, and staff and their families have been growing their hair in order to donate pony tails to Locks of Love, an organization that provides hair pieces to children with permanent hair loss.

Cor Unum Cross

In the aftermath of the events at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the girls sent more than 2000 letters, drawings, and candy bars to the emergency workers at the site. Art teacher Cynthia Dayton, trained in reflexology, spent time at the site massaging the feet of many of the workers, who were exhausted from their efforts.

When the final steel beams were extricated, a welder cut out a number of crosses and Stars of David from them, and one cross was sent to Stuart and Ms. Dayton in thanks. That cross was incorporated into the processional Cor Unum (One Heart) cross with the help of Princeton architect T. Jeffrey Clarke AIA.

Stuart has made an effort to diversify the student body, and has reached out to students in Trenton. The school offers enrichment and outreach programs to students within the area.

With the “Summer Stars” initiative, Trenton students attend Stuart for academic, cultural, and social enrichment. With a goal to teach the “Stars” that learning is an enjoyable and life-long endeavor, the program provides an entertaining classroom learning experience, supplemented with music lessons, field trips, guest performers, and more. Many “Stars” have become students at Stuart, and each year several of the Star alumnae return as volunteers or staff for the program.

In its desire to offer the benefits of a Sacred Heart education to those who might not be able to afford it, Stuart provides tuition aid for students demonstrating a financial need.

In keeping with its Social Awareness focus, Stuart honors an alumna with the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Alumna Award. The late Ms. Sigmund, former mayor of Princeton Borough, was a Sacred Heart alumna, and one of the earliest lay teachers at Stuart. The Barbara Boggs Sigmund Alumna Award was established in 1991 to honor her memory by highlighting the relevance of a Sacred Heart education in the contemporary world.

Stuart students, with a 100 percent college matriculation, regularly attend the nation’s finest colleges and universities. Close to home, six members of the 2013 graduating class were accepted at Princeton University.

The enduring value of a Stuart education has been exemplified and eloquently described by a former “Summer Stars” student and 2012 graduate. As Brenaea Flucas, one of five members of that class to attend Princeton University, has written, “My education taught me that women are strong and that women of faith are even stronger. As I continue my education at Princeton University, Stuart is the reason that I hope to major in Public Policy and Religion. I plan to be the senator who redefines America’s public education system while maintaining my Christian values. Contrary to popular belief, I do not think this goal is naive, too ambitious, or impossible to achieve; I think it’s just what a Stuart girl is equipped to do.”


September 4, 2013

Susan Barnada“My all-time favorites are Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi. As far as rooting for someone in the Open, I was just there on Tuesday, and I think Serena Williams is going to take the ladies. And for the men’s, I’d love to see Juan Martin Del Potro or Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.”

—Susan Barnada, West Trenton, Operations Manager, Hopewell Tennis and Swim Center.

Jessica Fisher

“My favorite tennis player is Rafael Nadal. I love the way he plays. I am rooting for him in the Open this year, and I hope his knees are better.”

—Jessica Fisher, Hillsborough, Director of Rackets, Co-Director of Tennis, Bedens Brook Club.

Tom Grant

“The entire Grant family are Roger Federer fans and we’re hoping for him to win this year’s US Open. All-time, I like Federer, Pete Sampras, and if you want to go way back, I also like Björn Borg. These would be my top male players. Currently, for the women’s game it’s kind of tough. I’m not a huge fan of any of the current women players, but way back when, I was a big fan of Chrissie Evert, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf.

—Tom Grant, East Brunswick, Co-Director of Tennis, Bedens Brook Club.

George (L) & Henri (R) Carpeni

George: “Roger Federer is my favorite contemporary player. My favorite player growing up was Pete Sampras. I like Patrick Rafter. They were volley players. Those types of players don’t really exist anymore, and I think the game has really changed. But right now I’m rooting for Federer as long as he’s in the tournament. But since today’s game is so physical, to beat two out of three, in such a short amount of time, especially if the weather stays hot and humid, it’s going to be tough for him.” Henri: “Probably Sampras, because I’m an old-timer. I always liked the old games when you can see someone coming to the net, you know, serve and volley, and then hopefully having someone like Agassi serve and volley against the returner. So, you had a bit of a nice contrast, whereas today’s game has fantastic athletes, but they are base-liners, so they basically are playing the same game.”

—George Carpeni (on left), Skillman, Princeton University Class of 2010, former member Princeton University Men’s Varsity Tennis team, with Tennis Enthusiast Henri Carpeni, Skillman

To the Editor:

The manner in which Princeton University has gained approvals to dismantle the Dinky station and tracks has been shockingly dishonest for an academic institution. I believe it is important to set the record straight.

At the beginning of the rezoning process in 2011, University Vice President Bob Durkee and Director of Community and Regional Affairs Kristin Appleget invited me as a Borough Council member to view and discuss an architect’s model of the development. The buildings appeared to be located away from the path of the existing train tracks and it looked like a bridge for the tracks over the parking garage driveway would allow pedestrian and vehicle access. Mr. Durkee told me that the University had tried to find a solution that saved the Dinky, but that it was not possible. This strained credulity, given the University’s Washington Road overpass and similar architectural solutions to such challenges elsewhere in the world, but it was the University’s official position, and it was an important argument: there was no other way. However, University architects and engineers later stated in Planning Board and Borough Council meetings that none had been asked about preserving the station and no such alternatives were explored. No reasoning has been offered as to why a bridge is not feasible.

The University also claimed its plan would protect the Dinky in light of uncertain state funding. Former President Tilghman stated: “We have been told that if we fail to take advantage of this opportunity to improve the area around the Dinky it will remain vulnerable to further cutbacks.” The implication was that opposition risked losing train service entirely. Again, this was important to decision-makers. Yet NJ Transit officials later informed the Borough Council, on record in a public meeting, that the truth is the opposite. The Dinky is one of its better-performing lines and funding cuts were never being considered.

Most significantly, the University vowed in public and in a May 2011 letter that it would move the Dinky whether rezoning was approved or not. (There was, therefore, no need to explore alternatives, including a claimed request for state approval for a grade crossing, of which there is no record.) Elected and appointed representatives worked to make the best of the situation, given the University’s unequivocal position; it was no use to deny rezoning. Nearly every official who approved rezoning expressed opposition to moving the station. Yet, in testimony to state agencies and in public communications, the University cites rezoning approval as evidence of community-wide support for moving the Dinky.

At every opportunity the University characterizes opposition to moving the Dinky as the complaints of a small group of objectors. It is purposefully deceitful in equating community support for the arts campus with widespread support for moving the Dinky. The truth is that there has been widespread objection in the community and nearly universal opposition among elected and appointed officials to moving the Dinky for a very good reason: it is bad public policy.

Jenny Crumiller

Princeton Council, Library Place


To the Editor:

I don’t understand where the upside potential is for the litigation engaged in by Save the Dinky [“Citizen Group Still Fighting Dinky Move,” Town Topics, August 28). Without a court injunction against further demolition of the Dinky facilities, the situation is hopeless.

If Save the Dinky loses the suits, they’ll have to lick their wounds. If they win, there isn’t much to gain. The University will appeal, and take it to the N.J. Supreme Court if they lose the appeal. If the Supreme Court rules against the University, it will be years from now. The Arts Center will be complete and the old Dinky easement will be a vague memory. All that Save the Dinky could possibly expect is a fine for the University and the remote possibility of reimbursement for their legal expenses.

This is not to say that anyone should endorse the University’s flawed plan. It is reviled by many, including senior members of the University’s own Department of Architecture. It all boils down to a power struggle. The hubris shown by the University in the face of the lawsuits against it demonstrates that the University shouldn’t be exempted from local zoning laws despite the fact that zoning is not the issue here. Community welfare, parking, and traffic circulation are crying out for more enlightened plans, which the University refused to give the slightest consideration.

Alfred W. D’Alessio

Northeastern Communications Concepts, Inc.

Benford Drive

August 28, 2013

TT Adele Batchelder

“I like Bank Street because time has stopped there. It’s still a neighborhood, it’s intimate and close. It’s pre-car. It feels very authentic. It’s not impacted by the community or University: it is just what it is and what it was. I like to walk down it a couple times a year just to remember how things use to be.”

—Adele Batchelder, Rocky Hill

TT Wanda Webster Stansbury
 “Palmer Square — it’s one of my favorites because of the history. And because many people of different cultures intersect there. You have different ages come together, you have children, students, business people and the elderly passing through. It’s an intersection for all different people, for all different reasons and we all share the wonderful experience of Palmer Square.”
—Wanda Webster Stansbury, PenningtonTT Ron Burich

 “Nassau Street — you can sit there all day long and see the world come right in front of you. It’s pretty cool. I think it’s the spot that gives the most energy to this town.”
—Ron Burich, Princeton
TT Philippa Atkinson
 “My favorite area is Palmer Square because of the atmosphere you get during the day and then a different atmosphere in the evening. During the day you have the mixture of shops, you can get ice cream and the children like to play.”
—Philippa Atkinson, Princeton
TT Elliott Dolan
 “My favorite street is Witherspoon because it leads directly into town from my house. I like it because it’s quick and easy to get to town. And a lot of my friends live on Witherspoon so it’s easy to get to each other.”
—Elliott Dolan, Princeton
TT Julia Ditosto
 “Nassau Street, basically because it’s the route to everywhere else.”
—Julia Ditosto, Princeton

To the Editor,

I am a Princeton resident, member of Boy Scout Troop 43, and soon to be a senior at Princeton High School. This year, I received my Eagle Scout Award for a project that involved recycling shipping pallets into compost bins for many of the schools and gardens around Princeton.

What spurred this? I was first introduced to gardening and composting, alongside an excited young group of my peers through the gardening program at Riverside Elementary. With a fresh, variegated array of plants that could easily be picked and eaten on the spot, the garden was one of the most engaging and dynamic parts of the school’s property; there was an endlessly changing mixture of colors and shapes, transitioning with the seasons. Working alongside the garden coordinator, Dorothy Mullen, I learned to value both the healthy self-grown foods and the idea of sustainability that the garden and composting espoused.

Those values are ultimately what drove me, working for Sustainable Princeton, to contact the garden coordinators of the many unique gardens and schools around Princeton, ranging from the elementary level to those of the University’s graduate housing. The construction was completed with the aid of many tireless volunteers. By spreading the ideas of sustainability and renewability at the academic level, we hoped to spur further awareness, and perhaps elicit interest in a similar program called Curbside Composting that Sustainable Princeton was also promoting. Things went farther than I could even have imagined, though probably due more to hard work on Sustainable Princeton’s part than anything I cobbled together.

Fast forward a few months from the time of the project’s completion and the Princeton Regional School system has signed a waste hauling contract involving food pickup, in addition to a sustainability resolution relating to energy efficiency, waste management, composting, recycling, etc. In addition, membership to Curbside Composting has been growing.

I really have to applaud Princeton for leading this overall effort, as it is the first and only municipality in New Jersey with a curbside organic collection/compost program. Seeing as it is only a pilot at this time, however, I would really like to stress that it is still currently short on members. Perhaps this can drum up some more interest? With recognition of the program still quite limited, I can only encourage everyone to take a look for themselves. Most of the information can be found at Sustainable Princeton’s website

I believe that the garden program and the composting have had a great personal impact on myself, and also perhaps the innumerable other individuals who have experienced them, and would like to acknowledge their enormous formative influence in the hopes that both continue to work their magic on residents, adults and children alike. If Princeton can continue to develop in this direction, I couldn’t imagine a better place to be.

Anthony Teng

Riverside Drive


To the Editor:

As an avid reader of the Mailbox for many years, I want to state my general feelings regarding the general theme of the environmental issues that have been discussed in previous letters.

On August 21, a writer suggested Princeton should have an electric bus system like Rome Italy [“Suggesting a Roman Solution for Princeton’s Giant, Gas-Guzzling, Traffic-Snarling Busses”]. The idea makes perfect sense to me. I visited Bordeaux and Nantes France this summer, and they have a wonderful electric tram system that serves large areas of these cities, quietly, without any obvious pollution, and they serve thousands of people daily. They go everywhere. Why can’t Princeton have incorporated a Tram system in it’s planning instead of the ridiculously oversized Dinky fiasco, the B and the Bus? I know people have asked these questions and continue to do so, but I believe the path we are taking simply proves that the Princeton area does not have an urban planning program that is as good and sustainable as it thinks. Certainly, it does not help that State and Federal funding is practically non existent.

Also, in April 3, 17 and 24, 2013 issues, people question, rationally and correctly, why Princetonions have been  subjected to the noise and pollution of leaf blowers, oversized lawnmowers, and piles of woody leafy litter in the streets. Why? Because people do not really understand that sustainability involves a certain amount of human effort. Instead of using fossil fuel and insisting on green and unsustainable lawns, a healthy ecosystem is easily achieved by encouraging organic matter to be recycled (composted) on the property; not hauled off to a big facility.

I think I am trying to say, “Hey Princeton, just how sustainable are we, really?” I believe we should expect a little more sustainability in the planning process than we are receiving, for the good of us all. Finally, as a citizen, I am proud of the people who have questioned these wasteful, annoying, and unsustainable practices. Keep writing letters and maybe something will come of it.

Fred Bowers

Snowden Lane


To the Editor:

The story in the August 21 issue [“Volunteers from Princeton Say They Won’t Abandon Capital City in Crisis”] is very enlightening regarding the problems in Trenton. Giving the children opportunities and activities is one way to help give them a future.

This is in reference to a couple of things in the story, such as Tony Mack shutting down the soccer league. Last year the Trenton City Council eliminated all funding for the Trenton baseball teams. It may be they did this to the soccer also.

About the idea of allowing neighborhood schools instead of sending all the city’s teenagers to Trenton Central High, what about those remaining who cannot go to a charter school? If you use public funds, they are subtracted from the city schools. You are pushing money to the charter schools, while those remaining at Trenton City Schools will suffer even more.

I know where these kids live because I am the girl’s tennis coach at Trenton Catholic Academy. Every day I pick my girls up from their homes, take them to practice and then take them home. Last week the last drop off was the 400 block of Stuyvesant Avenue. It was getting dark and my player said “stop the car, I am getting in the front seat so the people see there is a black person in the car.” She lives between the two gangs. Last month she watched a murder from her porch. Last June was attempted murder, where the victim was shot in the head while talking with her brother.

Yes, crime is out of control in Trenton. We have a murder a week and multiple shootings every week. The police need the support of the people of Trenton to work with them and the city. The block party on Saturday Night violated the rules. Was the correct response to send in a Swat Team along with the State Police and every police officer in Trenton and Hamilton? This sounds more like Egypt or Syria, than the U.S. I cannot even imagine being there. No violence was reported until the police demanded that they shut it down. A non-violent gathering may have been an opportunity. For Christie? For Mack?

Don Swanson

Stanford Place, Princeton Junction


To the Editor:

Princeton’s new yard waste collection policy needs to be changed. An unintended result of consolidation is that the Municipality Formerly Known as the Borough now finds itself subject to a policy originally designed for the Township. The problem is that conditions in the Borough are different from those farther out. Our lots are smaller — in many cases much smaller — so that even people who keep a compost pile and use the weekly Compostable Recycling Program as an additional outlet are left with a huge backup of yard waste between collections.

There’s a further problem. Many of us do our own yard work, so it takes us much longer than professional yard crews to get the weeding and clipping done. That’s why the 12-week interruption in yard waste collection — from May 20 to August 12 — was especially frustrating. (This probably accounts for the widespread ignoring of the ban on yard waste at the curb during June and July.)

Naturally, Princeton is concerned about DPW (Department of Public Works) costs, so here’s a suggestion: schedule brush-only collections for the end of both June and July. If that is considered too costly, here’s a further suggestion: restrict the June and July brush only collections to just the municipality Formerly known as the Borough, where they are so urgently needed.


Harriet Drive


To the Editor:

Last week I experienced kindness from a man in Princeton. I attended a conference and enjoyed being in your city. But a special action on Tuesday, August 13, will not be forgotten. This was the morning of the heavy rain. I was walking without a raincoat or even a cap or jacket, using my cane (I’m 86), on Nassau Street. A man in a car pulled over and walked to me to ask whether I needed an umbrella. I said, yes, so he went back to his car and brought me an umbrella. I scarcely had time to thank him, much less ask his name.

Later at the Nassau Inn, where I was staying, I told the desk clerk about the kind action and left the umbrella there for someone else who might need it.

Thanks, Princeton, for a generous citizen.

Robert G. Collmer

Waco, Texas


August 21, 2013

TT Andrew & Bailey Cook 8-21-13

Andy: “The yummy cookies after lunch.”
Bailey: “My new teacher and gym class.”
—Andy Cook (left), 3rd grader, and Bailey Cook, 1st grader, Eldridge Park School, Lawrenceville.

TT Alexis Garhart & Jake Garhart 8-21-13

Jake: “I’m looking forward to recess and gym class and seeing my friends. And I’m excited about playing sports. Basketball and soccer are a tie for my favorites.”
Alexis: “I’m looking forward to learning new things and meeting some new friends.”
—Jake Garhart (right), 4th grader, St. Paul’s School, and Alexis Garhart, 9th grader, Montgomery High School, Montgomery.

TT Harry Foster & Sam Bezilla 8-21-13

Harry: “I’m excited about getting into new classes and a new grade.”
Sam: “I’m excited to see my friends and to start doing sports again — lacrosse in particular.”
—Harry Foster, Princeton, and Sam Bezilla, Princeton, both 7th graders, Princeton Charter School

TT Jackson Lipsey & Kingston Lipsey 8-21-13

Jackson: “I like that before school when we’re early, we get to play Legos.”
Kingston: “Show and Tell. I want to bring in my seashells that I found at the beach.”
—Jackson Lipsey, Kindergarten, and Kingston Lipsey, Pre-Kindergarten, Bernardsville, N.J.

TT Taylor Hopper & Bennett Alvaro 8-21-13

Layton: “The thing I’m most looking forward to is all of the clubs we have here at Princeton. I think that’s what really sets the college experience apart. I’m on our sailing team and our tryout team. So, a lot of those clubs are really fun to be a part of. I’m really excited to get back together with those teams and start participating in all of those activities.”
Bennett: “I’m looking forward to not being a freshman anymore. Getting to be a member of the community here at Princeton and actually knowing what I’m doing, where I’m going, what I want to do when I get older, and not just trying to find my way anymore as much as kind of figuring out how to get to where I want to be later in life – it’s a great feeling.”
— Layton Hopper, Princeton University Class of 2016, Mount Vernon Ind., and Bennett Alvaro,  Princeton University Class of 2016, Ridgewood, N.J.

To the Editor:

Now that the southern access to the community has been compromised by the “Arts” construction, a critical element of our quality-of-life has been dramatized even more than under normal circumstances. Princeton is a small old town with narrow, winding streets and yet in the last years it has been supplied with giant-sized buses used for public transport, but created for long hauls, open roads, and large human capacity. In Rome, with its even more narrow, winding streets, the problem is moving toward solution with many routes of small buses (capacity about 10 seated and 10 standing) that work their way through medieval alley-ways, paths, piazzas, and main thoroughfares in the complex center of town, and they run on ELECTRICITY. The official “ATAC” electric buses are clean, quiet, and they fill the needs of the citizens and tourists. Princeton buses are a shameful over-kill. I have never seen these gas-guzzling giants with more than a handful of people aboard. Their engines pollute the air; their sheer size snarls traffic. Their use shows no imagination whatsoever on the part of the powers that be.

And while we’re on the subject of over-kill. Has anyone else noticed the exponential enlargement of lawn and gardening equipment trailers around town? I saw one this morning that not only had an enormous truck in front but included a gigantic trailer attached. Parked on Springdale, it turned traffic into one lane for several hours. Moreover, hand-held leaf blowers not only pollute with noise and over-use (seven days a week), but also with their gaseous exhaust from over-powered engines.

How difficult would it be to convert these motors to battery-operated electric power — lighter weight, less polluting and quiet?

Who rules on this subject? To whom can we apply for new guidelines and restrictions?
Marilyn Aronberg Lavin

Maxwell Lane