August 7, 2013
ROAD TO RECYCLING: “When small businesses and home owners make an effort to recover scrap metals and old appliances, machinery and equipment, it reduces the need for mining, refining, and producing new metals, an extremely polluting process,” says Dan Brown, owner of Metal Recovery Systems LLC. He is shown in front of one of his collection/delivery trucks.

ROAD TO RECYCLING: “When small businesses and home owners make an effort to recover scrap metals and old appliances, machinery and equipment, it reduces the need for mining, refining, and producing new metals, an extremely polluting process,” says Dan Brown, owner of Metal Recovery Systems LLC. He is shown in front of one of his collection/delivery trucks.

Dan Brown is helping to save the planet.

As owner of Metal Recovery Systems LLC, he collects metal products, including scrap metal, appliances, machinery, and equipment, and delivers it to a junk yard, where it is targeted for recycling. Preventing these items from adding to the mass of debris in overflowing landfills is an enormous contribution to a healthier, safer, and more sustainable environment.

Born and brought up in Princeton, Mr. Brown has worked as a superintendent in several buildings, and as he says, “I saw a lot of stuff lying around that people didn’t know what to do with. I realized that there could be a business in collecting it, especially with builders and plumbers. They often have to get rid of water heaters, cast iron tubs, and other metal objects and appliances.”

In January 2012, he opened Metal Recovery Systems LLC, which is headquartered in Princeton.


It’s a simple plan, with significant and far-reaching consequences. “The way it works is that individual homeowners or business people call ahead — 24 hours notice is helpful — to let me know they have items to be picked up,” explains Mr. Brown. “I go to their location, collect what they have, and when I have filled up my truck, I take everything to an area junk yard. They weigh the truck with the contents on a giant scale, and I am paid according to the weight. Cast iron items are separated, also copper and brass, because these bring higher prices.”

The collection is free of charge to Princeton residents and businesses who provide the discarded items. There is a nominal charge to cover gas for clients in the surrounding area, says Mr. Brown. A typical job takes a half hour to pick up the items. It is a year-round business. “As long as I can get the truck on the road, we’re good to go,” he adds, with a smile.

Items include a wide array of metal objects. Appliances of all kinds — stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, and toasters; also floor and table lamps, outdoor products, such as lawnmowers, wheelbarrows, and yard tools, including power tools, are all collected.

“We will even take junked cars, also steel shelving and cabinets, as well as electronics and IT equipment containing both metal and plastic, such as computers, TVs, cell phones, iPods and gaming consoles,” points out Mr. Brown. “Large metal-based items, including furnaces and old farm equipment are other products, and we also collect copper wires and pipes, brass pipes, and plumbing fixtures.

“I find unusual things too: for example, a golf cart,” he continues. “People accumulate many things over the years, and some of the customers are people who are moving and cleaning out. They have been really receptive. They get to clean out their house, I take it away free of charge, and it’s getting recycled.”

A win-win prospect, for sure.

Repeat Customers

Mr. Brown’s focus is Princeton and Mercer County, but he has also collected items in other areas of central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. The business has grown steadily, he reports, and he has many repeat customers and lots of referrals.

“Businesses, especially plumbers and builders, are my primary source, and I have also worked with restaurants as well as lots of homeowners.”

Occasionally, Mr. Brown finds items that he likes and decides to keep, such as a vintage, handsomely crafted metal bucket and a brass mortar and pestle from a pharmacy of long ago. “When it can be salvaged, sometimes I can give an item a second life myself.”

Mr. Brown is proud of the work his company is doing to help the environment. “Our primary goal is to work with corporations, small business owners, and our fellow American citizens to continually push the percentages of metals that are recycled higher with each passing year, hoping one day to reach a level of 95 percent of all metals being recycled.”

He also wants clients to know that they will receive an Accredited Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emmission Reduction Certification when he picks up their material.

“Whether we remove a washing machine from your house, or many thousands of pounds of scrap from your factory each month, Metal Recovery Systems issues you a signed and sealed certificate that legally accredits the GHG Emission Reduction Credit to your business or family.

Smart Sustainability

“When you work with Metal Recovery Systems to have your metal recovered by us directly from your business location, residence, school, or your company worksite, this planet-friendly greenhouse gas reducing efficiency allows for tremendous reductions in carbon emissions when compared to recovering metals further down the waste stream. It’s just one more example of Smart Sustainability in action.

“As the owner/operator of this business, I work hand-in-hand with the community to build relationships. It’s been a challenge and an adventure. I’m having fun and the satisfaction that I’m helping to dispose of metal garbage in a responsible fashion and avoid having the material sit in landfills indefinitely.

“I hope to see the company grow and to have an even bigger customer base. I have two trucks now, and eventually, I’d like a fleet of trucks!

“It’s important to build trust,” he continues. “I’m a member of the community. This is my town. I’ve been a volunteer fireman for 12 years. What I hope for is to develop the reputation in town that when someone needs to have metal products removed, they call Dan. They will know that he gets the job done well, and is courteous and responsible.”

Metal Recovery Systems is available Monday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (609) 577-2396. Website:

COMPASSIONATE CARE: “We want our residents to be as independent as they can be and reach their potential. It is so important to get to know them, and we want it to be as if we are helping them in their own home.” Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center Director of Admissions and Marketing Rowena DeCicco is proud of Merwick’s personal attention and compassion for residents. Shown in the photo are assistant administrator Barry Fliegelman (right) and assistant activities director Susan Grollman wishing a happy birthday to one of the long-term residents.

COMPASSIONATE CARE: “We want our residents to be as independent as they can be and reach their potential. It is so important to get to know them, and we want it to be as if we are helping them in their own home.” Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center Director of Admissions and Marketing Rowena DeCicco is proud of Merwick’s personal attention and compassion for residents. Shown in the photo are assistant administrator Barry Fliegelman (right) and assistant activities director Susan Grollman wishing a happy birthday to one of the long-term residents.

Individual, personalized care and assistance are the priority of Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center. As its mission statement points out: “Our compassionate, caring, and friendly staff provide long-term skilled nursing services addressing the medical, social, and emotional needs of each individual. We promote autonomy while at the same time providing individual support services, guided by the principle that aging should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline.

“We are dedicated to supporting and nurturing the individual by embracing a person-centered care approach. We strive to consistently deliver the highest level of services in a comfortable setting that respects personal dignity, achieves positive outcomes, and enhances the quality of life. Our positive approach to long-term care transforms conventional institutions into diverse environments where residents participate in a rich daily life.”

Merwick’s new facility, opened in 2010 at 100 Plainsboro Road, is directly across from the recently-opened University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.

With its 200 beds, including 80 for short-term rehabilitation, it is substantially larger than its former setting at 79 Bayard Lane, with 88 beds, notes Director of Admissions and Marketing Rowena DeCicco. The new facility is owned by Windsor Healthcare Communities, a long-time company in the healthcare industry.

Princeton History

Merwick has a long Princeton history. Opened in 1957, it was for many years the care and rehabilitation unit of Princeton Hospital. Its location at 79 Bayard Lane was the long-time home of the late Paul Matthews, Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey. His home where he lived for 42 years, contained a small chapel or “oratory” built by the Bishop.

The current facility is notable for its configuration and numerous and spacious windows, allowing light to stream in throughout the area. Patients’ rooms all have large windows, creating a view of the Millstone River and Park.

“There are more amenities in the new building,” says Ms. DeCicco, who has been involved in healthcare for 10 years. “We also have a big focus on stimulation and socializing. We have stimulation rooms and solarium rooms, as well as sitting areas and four small libraries situated at various places throughout the building. Aides and activities specialists are always there to lend assistance and guidance.

“Exercise is important too,” she adds. “We have a 3500 square-foot fitness center both for the rehab patients and long-term residents. Weight training and strength equipment and treadmills are all available. There are also physical, occupational, and speech therapists on hand.”

Therapy Dogs

Activities include arts and crafts, trivia games, Bingo, music, live entertainment with singers and DJs, a Netflix movie night every week, as well as wine and cheese gatherings. Every other week, films are shown on the big screen in the facility’s movie theater. Daily events are posted as well as televised on Merwick’s in-house channel. In addition, therapy dogs visit patients, and this is becoming more and more popular for those in long-term care. Family members may also bring a pet dog to visit, if it has up-to-date vaccinations.

Of the 120 long-term residents’ rooms, 50 are private. The spacious semi-private rooms are outfitted with wall room dividers, offering a distinct sense of privacy. All rooms have complimentary flat screen TVs, telephones, call buttons, touch light lamps, and in-wall oxygen. There is also an area set aside for patients suffering from dementia and related conditions. Hospice services are also available, when needed.

Doctors and nurses are always available, reports Ms. DeCicco. “Either the medical director or associate medical director is always here, and nurses are here 24/7. There are three social workers, as well as our physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Aides are available to help patients with medications and personal care, such as bathing, grooming, etc. We also have a dietician on staff, a beauty salon, spa therapy, yoga, and geriatric massage.”

Two dining rooms, where meals are served to patients at tables with fresh linens, are attractively designed, and patients can also be served meals in their rooms, if preferable. Outdoor areas for relaxing, reading, or socialization are another way for people to be together.

“Windsor Care has really thought of everything,” points out Ms. DeCicco. “They have added iPad services and Wi-Fi internet throughout the building. We also have a Merwick van to transport residents to outings, including shopping, restaurants, and other recreational activities.”

The sub-acute rehabilitation center, located in the Luxor Pavilion, is directed by Kessler.Core, a division of the famous Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. Short-term medical and rehab services are provided for those who are recovering from surgery, injuries, strokes, etc.

Strength and Stamina

“This is a bridge between hospital and home,” points out Ms. DeCicco. “We have 80 sub-acute rehab beds, and rehab is very individual, depending on the needs of the patient. Some stay for a few days, others for a 100 days. People are helped in so many areas, such as improving their strength and stamina, balance, walking up and down stairs, getting in and out of bed, and also going outside. We have a therapy garden with a gazebo, which will open in June. This includes all different surfaces — brick, pavement, sand, and a putting green — that people can encounter when they leave rehab.”

The rehab unit also includes Nintendo Wii, where patients can interactively play a variety of games, helping them improve balance, coordination, standing tolerance, etc.

Ms. DeCicco is proud of the experience and skill of the Merwick staff. “They exhibit the qualities of compassion, kindness, and patience so important in healthcare work. We also have volunteers, including some from Princeton University, who help in a number of ways, such as assisting with activities, visiting with patients, transporting them, and helping in administrative work.

“On May 29, we will have an event, ‘Spring Into Shape’. It’s a Senior Health and Fitness day open to the public. We will have information on health, balance, and blood pressure screenings, healthy eating tips, entertainment, and food,” adds Ms. DeCicco.

Merwick has enjoyed a fine reputation over the years, she adds. It has registered in the 97th, 98th, and 99th percentile for cleanliness, quality of medical care, admission process, and choices/preferences according to the National Research Corporation Survey Data of New Jersey Skilled Nursing Facilities.

“I really enjoy our long-term residents, says Ms. DeCicco. “I love hearing their histories and stories, and I am happy when rehab patients are able to return to their homes and resume their lives. Merwick has a long history, and the residents are really the history at Merwick.”

For more information, call (609)-759-6000, or consult the website: www.windsorhealth\merwick.

 TT Debbie Steen & A.J. Steen

Debbie: “I’m not very outdoorsy.” A.J.: “I get her out as much as I can.  We’ve both been on the Appalachian Trail a couple of times backpacking. We like the Lake Lenape area down on Mays landing.  We go kayaking there often.  We are up here from the Philadelphia area for the weekend.  We spent last night in Lambertville.  We did the canal path about 12 miles with our bikes.  And today our plan was to just head down here.  We parked our bikes near Alexander Road and we’re going to put our kayak’s in here near Kingston and just meander down the canal, then hop on our bikes and check out Princeton for a little bit.”

— Debbie and A.J. Steen, Glendora, N.J.

TT Gavin Skinner & Meghan Flynn Zajac with Tucker

Gavin: “I like Washington’s Crossing, too.  It’s got extensive trails. Also, I really like hiking the Sourland Mountains in Hopewell.” Meghan: “I like Washington’s Crossing.  Bald Pate Mountain is a great place to hike because you get a really good workout.  And also you feel like you are away.”

— Gavin Skinner and Meghan Flynn Zajac, Hopewell


TT Tim Martell

“We love walking along the tow path.  Either down to Kingston, or up to Harrison Street, or even as far as Alexander Road.  And then just strolling through the streets of Princeton, Nassau Street and the Princeton Campus, as well as the area behind the Battlefield are more of our favorites.”

   — Tim Martell and friend, Plainsboro

TT Ralf Ruedenburg

“In this area, my favorite places are along the D&R canal.  I love riding the path with my bike.  Going south, I have made it as far as Trenton, and in the other direction, I have gone very far past Kingston.”

— Ralf Ruedenburg, Plainsboro


July 31, 2013

TT James Judy Lynch

James: “I shop at farmer’s markets for non GMO (genetically modified) foods. I like to go to Terhune Orchards, the Trenton Farmers Market, a farm market on Route 33 near our home and a farm market in Morrisville.”

—James and Judy Lynch, Trenton

TT Dick Blofson

 “Over the years I’ve shopped at Trenton Farmers Market because I like the fresh Italian mozzarella. Mostly we shop at the West Windsor Farmers Market. I cook a lot and I like to shop for fresh food. I’ve shopped at the Princeton Market on Thursdays and I go to Terhune a great deal.”—Dick Blofson, Princeton

TT Milo Dana Catalina Molina

 Catalina: “Honey Brook Farm, Terhune Orchards, and the Princeton Farmer’s Market, and the reason I go is to get vegetables for dinner. Sometimes I get crepes with vegetables and pickles, which I love, at the Princeton Farmers Market.”Milo: “I go to the same farmer’s markets. I like to go because I can have fun with my sister.”

Dana: “I go to all the same farmer’s markets as my children. I also like Brick Farm Market because we can get meat directly from Double Brook Farm in Hopewell. I also like to go to Cherry Grove farm for their cheeses. Honey Brook Organic Farm is nice because we can pick our own vegetables and the children can see where our vegetables come from.”

—Dana Molina with Milo (left) and Catalina, Princeton

TT Jake Zuckerman

 “We go to the Princeton Farmer’s Market because the fruits and vegetables are very fresh.”—Jake Zuckerman, Princeton

TT Shona Zoe Selkow

 “I’m a vegetarian so I try to buy fresh, good vegetables. I shop at Terhune Orchards and I like Cherry Grove Farm for the fresh cheeses and apple butter.”—Shona Selkow, with Zoe, Ewing

TT Ayan Parag Pooja Arora

Parag: “We shop at the New Brunswick Farmer’s Market because I use to commute to New York City and the market was close to the station. We still shop there; we like to support our local farmers and the food is delicious. It gives us a chance to meet our friends on Friday afternoons.”Pooja: “The experience is different and very fun. The food is better and sweeter. It’s very good.”

—Parag Mukhopadhyay and Pooja Arora, with Ayan, Plainsboro

LANGUAGE OF LAUGHTER: “I hope I have created a universal platform. Laughter is a bond for everyone. It’s a bridge to others.” Actress, comedienne, and teacher Susanna Spies, president and founder of Comedy Playground, is offering a week-long Comedy Camp for kids in August.

LANGUAGE OF LAUGHTER: “I hope I have created a universal platform. Laughter is a bond for everyone. It’s a bridge to others.” Actress, comedienne, and teacher Susanna Spies, president and founder of Comedy Playground, is offering a week-long Comedy Camp for kids in August.

Helping kids find their voice through stand-up comedy is the goal of comedienne, actress, and drama teacher Susanna Spies.

The Princeton native, graduate of Littlebrook School and Princeton High School, will be back in her home town the week of August 19-23 to launch her Comedy Playground Summer Camp for kids and interested adults.

“With stand-up, I think you can show your own view of the world,” says Ms. Spies, president and founder of Comedy Playground. “I try to help students be comfortable with their own voice. They get to use real experiences, personal material, whatever is on their mind.”

An actress and stand-up comedienne, Ms. Spies has performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, among other locations.

Character Work

Best known for her character work, she has introduced her “faces” on stages throughout the U.S., in “The Dryer”, featuring more than 30 characters in her one-woman show. She recently filmed Nuvo TV’s hit stand-up show, Stand Up and Deliver, and has performed at the most well-known comedy venues in Los Angeles, including The Improv, Comedy Store, Laugh Factory, Comedy Union, and many other venues throughout the U.S.

Always interested in working with young people, she was a drama instructor for middle school students in Los Angeles, and developed her own curriculum.

Eventually, this led to her establishment of Comedy Playground, a program for youth, headquartered out of the Hollywood Improv. The program started with three students, and now has reached thousands since its beginning in 2002.

Ms. Spies works with students ages eight to 19, as well as with adults, 19 to 45 in “Finding Your Funny” workshops, and for seniors 55-103 in “Senior Stand-up” workshops.

“Laughter is ageless, a universal longing, a tool helpful to all,” she points out. “One of my students was a 103-year-old woman who used a walker. She could focus on her own issues with humor. It’s never too late to laugh!”

People come to Comedy Playground classes for a variety of reasons, she adds. For many, it’s simply a chance to have fun, while others may be hoping for a career in comedy.

Point of View

“Some of the kids who have come to my classes have been successful in getting work in comedy,” says Ms. Spies. In fact, after eight weeks of classes in improvisation and stand-up comedy under her tutelage, all the students have an opportunity to perform at Hollywood Improv.???

The training process involves activities that not only examine the structure and delivery of jokes, but also encourages participants to express their point of view. “I’m encouraging them to share who they are through comedy,” explains Ms. Spies.

The three hour classes include improvisation and warm-up exercises, then developing stand-up routines. “It’s heart to head to hand,” she continues. “They feel it, think about it, and then write it. Stand-up takes discipline and focus. It’s very concentrated. You start with ‘What I feel’ and then think about it. That’s the premise, and then we develop a joke.”

The kids are free to have fun, without worrying that they may be wrong or making a mistake, she adds. “I like them to understand that there are no wrong answers. The hardest thing is to get them to believe that whatever they do is okay and won’t be wrong. They can feel free to be themselves.”

Students benefit from the classes in many ways, she believes. “It increases self-confidence and self-esteem, and also helps develop time management skills, presentational skills, critical thinking, and expository skills. It’s wonderful to see a very timid kid come of his or her shyness. They can blossom and become passionate about doing stand-up. I love bonding with the kids and giving them this opportunity. I’m really passionate about this.”

Ms. Spies is equally passionate about her own performances. As she says, “When I’m performing, I’m at home; I’m in my element, and am very free and liberated.

Comedy Boot Camp

Offering the Comedy Camp Workshop for kids and young people, aged 8 to 13 and 14 to 19, as well as for interested adults, is Ms. Spies way of sharing her skills with the residents of her home town. The camp will be held August 19 through 23, for one week. Cost for the camp is $375, with classes Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is week-long comedy ‘boot camp’, with an ending show,” explains Ms. Spies. And no previous experience needed. As she says, “You don’t have to have any performing experience, as long as you have opinions, like to laugh, and have something to say. You learn your own stand-up comedy routine, develop it from ideas, and share it with the community.”

She adds that programs in the arts can always benefit from the generosity of individuals and organizations. “We will be grateful to anyone who supports us at any level.”

Energy and a sense of excitement accompany the Comedy Camp, and as she points out, “My motto is ‘Why sit … when you can stand up!’ and ‘We each have our own story … now is the time to share it!’”

Register as soon as possible. Places are limited. For more information call (323) 397-2709, email Susanna at or visit the website:

FINANCIAL FUTURE: “A boutique investment advisory organization is small and focused. We do investment management only. Our career portfolio managers carefully research and analyze companies for sound investment ideas.” R. Todd Lincoln, partner and co-founder of Princeton Portfolio Strategies Group LLC, is shown second from left in the back with the firm’s team, including back row: Rob Hoffman, Bill Hamill, Ned Grassi. Front row: Lindsey Amery, Carlton Savoye, Suzanne Twitchell. New partner Alan Moucha is missing from the photo.

FINANCIAL FUTURE: “A boutique investment advisory organization is small and focused. We do investment management only. Our career portfolio managers carefully research and analyze companies for sound investment ideas.” R. Todd Lincoln, partner and co-founder of Princeton Portfolio Strategies Group LLC, is shown second from left in the back with the firm’s team, including back row: Rob Hoffman, Bill Hamill, Ned Grassi. Front row: Lindsey Amery, Carlton Savoye, Suzanne Twitchell. New partner Alan Moucha is missing from the photo.

How best to plan for retirement? What about rising college costs? How to establish a legacy plan?

Whether they are on the verge of retirement, a family with young children, or individuals deciding how best to disperse their assets when their own lives are over, many people are concerned about all of these issues.

Helping individuals, families, small endowments, and non-profit organizations to identify their financial objectives and manage and grow their assets is the mission of Princeton Portfolio Strategies Group LLC.

Established in 2011, it is a small (seven partners), independently-owned SEC-registered investment advisory firm, located at 212 Carnegie Center, Roszel Road.

Highly Focused

“We manage portfolios of publicly-traded securities for private clients and non-profit institutions who seek objectives-based investment strategies and a partnership approach to wealth management and client service,” explains R. Todd Lincoln, co-founder and partner.

In the wealth management business since 1984, Mr. Lincoln began his career with Merrill Lynch in San Francisco. He came to Princeton 27 years ago, and in 1999 joined the Princeton firm Glenmede Trust. When the opportunity to create a boutique, highly focused investment management firm arose, he and like-minded colleagues decided to take on this new adventure two years ago.

“Our clients are high net worth individuals and institutions, including libraries and foundations, who are looking for something different from what most financial services firms offer,” says Mr. Lincoln. “We can deliver proprietary, value-added advice, and portfolio management strategies not typically found at ‘platform-based’ financial services firms, such as brokerages, banks, and trust companies. We find opportunities for individuals and institutions who think out of the box.

“We invest primarily in publicly traded securities with strategies ranging from balanced portfolios of carefully selected stocks and bonds to concentrated all-capitalization equity portfolios.

“I’m on the advisory side,” he adds. “I help clients and institutions understand the options, and that this is an opportunity for a long-standing relationship with us. We help them identify their objectives and explain about risk tolerance.”

Mr. Lincoln points out that the portfolio managers spend many hours researching and analyzing companies. They visit companies and management teams, and deliberate among themselves before buying or selling a security for client portfolios.

Investment Ideas

“Investment ideas arise both through top-down and bottom-up channels,” continues Mr. Lincoln. “Many of our investment ideas are generated through research of economic and industry trends, and the companies fulfilling the needs implied by such trends. All investment opportunities are evaluated from three analytical perspectives that together help us identify individual portfolio candidates with sound risk/return profiles.

“(1) Economic or industry trends. We look for companies that will be the beneficiaries of powerful and long-lasting industry or economic growth trends. (2) Business model. We must be able to understand how a company makes money and the quality and sustainability of its competitive advantages. (3) Valuation. We look for a current stock price or company ‘valuation’ that allows us to see proper growth patterns and eventual prosperity.

“Once a stock becomes a portfolio holding, we critically and continuously monitor the company’s industry prospects, its operations, and its stock valuation to measure how these factors are evolving vis-a-vis our investment thesis.

“Diversification is always important, such as including 20 to 30 companies that are all different, but it is also important to be opportunistic and find companies that will fit our disciplined approach and investment process.

“We have a lot of client engagement,” adds Mr. Lincoln. “Many are very involved in their portfolio. We try to be as transparent as possible. We want clients to be engaged and know what we are doing and why.”

Clients are from all over — from Princeton to San Francisco — and they are all ages. “We have 20-year-olds and 80-year-olds. We want to start the 20-year-olds out on the right track. The key is trust. We find that people go to professionals who want to build trust, and then continue to build on that trust to form a long-term relationship.”

Financial Future

The economic turmoil beginning in 2008 brought with it an icy wind of worry for many who feared for their financial future. Some called it the Great Recession, almost rivaling the Great Depression of the 1930s.

“We call it the ‘Great Re-setting’,” reports Mr. Lincoln. “People began to reset priorities and values. I hope we will have a smarter planet, and I think we have smarter consumers going forward. They are paying off debts, and investing more. The internet allows the individual consumer to be more informed, to learn, and get background. It’s important to educate yourself upfront.”

People still have concerns about the U.S. economy and the uncertainty in the world situation today, he notes, “but public corporations are delivering share holder value in spite of the government’s dysfunction.

“We look forward to growing our firm over time, and getting our story and business points out to people. In the competitive landscape today, we want to explain our story and our differences, and give like-minded investors an opportunity to work with us. We have an eye towards long-term investing: that is, three to five years of holding a stock on average. Our own money is managed along with that of our clients. Princeton Portfolio Strategies Group are investors, not traders — a very important distinction.”

For more information, call (609) 436-5680. Website:


To the Editor:

The governor has set a special election for August 13 and at this time I will proudly vote for Rush Holt. He has a 100 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters for protecting our environment. I remember when Congressman Holt came to my church to talk with our youth about protecting our environment and as a result, the youth educated our congregation on the importance of conservation. As a former teacher and high school guidance counselor, I know the importance of continued education and Congressman Holt is in the forefront of promoting the value of higher education. New Jersey needs a teacher-scientist progressive in the U.S. Senate. Rush Holt will fulfill our needs!

Shirley A. Satterfield

Quarry Street


To the Editor:

As someone who has lived in Princeton primarily since 1968, one of my key privileges in recent years is being represented by Congressman Rush Holt. How rare to be able to say, as we can, “My politician is doing the right thing on the right issues and in a timely manner.”

I particularly appreciate Rush’s willingness to discover, face, and resolve issues.

I am refreshed by the sense that he is one of us, at the barricades with us.

Rush’s championing of the environment and his clarity and commitment to reversing catastrophic climate change are at the top of my gratitude tally.

But the list goes on, from his courageous stands on Social Security and other issues of the ageing through veterans’ needs to his new vigilance concerning the increasing surveillance of citizens by our own government.

I salute Rush’s fortitude on all fronts, especially in his Senate campaign. How urgently that body requires his brilliance, thoroughness, and integrity.

“Pay any price, bear any burden” to assure Rush’s success in his Senate campaign.

Carolyn Foote Edelmann

Canal Road


To the Editor:

I want to thank the nearly 2,100 people who signed our petition regarding putting saving Valley Road School (VRS) on the ballot. The petition was carefully worded to pertain specifically to the actions of the Municipality of Princeton in its negotiations with the School Board with regards to the Valley Road School property. We continue to be advised that it is well within the purview of the Princeton Municipal Council to put such a question on the ballot under Section 19:37-1 of the State Code. After all, town officials have now indicated to the media that they hope to put a plan involving the VRS property in front of the School Board this fall.

The statute reads: “When the governing body of any municipality … desires to ascertain the sentiment of the legal voters of the municipality …. upon any question or policy pertaining to the government or internal affairs thereof, …. the governing body may adopt at any regular meeting … a resolution requesting the clerk of the county to print upon the official ballots to be used at the next ensuing general election a certain proposition to be formulated and expressed in the … resolution in concise form. Such request shall be filed with the clerk of the county ….”

There is still plenty of time for the Council to accede to the public’s request to get a question onto the ballot. The request must be sent as a resolution to the County Clerk by August 30th.

Kip Cherry,

President, Valley Road School Community Center, Inc.


To the Editor:

The hypocrisy of School Board president Tim Quinn’s justification for rejecting a citizen group’s proposal to save the older part of the Valley Road School (VRS) building, as expressed at last week’s Princeton Council meeting (“Fate of Valley Road School Building Is Debated at Council Meeting,” Town Topics, July 24), was breathtaking. In his words, “The Board arguably would have been in breach of its fiduciary responsibility to this community if it had given the property to VRS-ARC (Valley Road School-Adaptive Reuse Committee) on the terms proposed.” One has to ask: As opposed to the Board’s ongoing irresponsibility in allowing the building to fall apart for lack of maintenance? Clearly, fiduciary responsibility includes the stewardship obligation to protect the taxpayers’ prior investment in existing structures — something that has not been properly done in the case of VRS for decades.

My first exposure to this issue occurred soon after Princeton Community Television took up residence there, following the Township government’s move to its new quarters across Witherspoon Street. When the roof began leaking above the room being used as TV-30’s studio, the school’s response was not to repair the leak but to hang a tarp below the ceiling and drain the water through a hose out the window. Deterioration of the building has accelerated in recent years and, unless preventive measures are taken soon, the damage this winter to the now vacated and unheated portion could well be irreversible. It appears the object of the School Board is to ensure that the building falls down, without an official decision actually being made. Fiduciary responsibility indeed.

Mr. Quinn defended the Board’s decision by citing “the total absence of any evidence of the group’s ability to fund its proposal.” In fact, the group has laid out its fundraising plans to the Board in considerable detail over many months. The question is how, mindful of its fiduciary responsibility to potential donors, could its members go out and begin soliciting contributions while lacking any expressed control over the future of the building? As evidence of its bona fides, the committee has acquired 501(c)(3) tax-exempt certification from the IRS, held successful fund-raising events to support its operations, and developed relations with a number of local nonprofit organizations that are strongly interested in participating (and paying rent to help maintain the building).

What we need to see from the School Board, at long last, is a responsible response. Time is running out.

Charles Creesy

Valley Road School Adaptive Reuse Committee


To the Editor,

During the last few weeks we’ve all suffered from the effects of two extreme heat waves. Ordinarily the library serves as a “cooling center” for the community, providing respite for those who are without cooling in their homes or places of work.

Unfortunately, a much-needed repair to our air conditioning unit prevented us from fulfilling that role earlier this month and again, this past weekend, just as temperatures soared to record levels. We apologize for causing any inconvenience to the community we are so eager to serve.

On June 26 we began planned repairs to a failing compressor unit. Despite our best planning to get this work done in advance of the cooling season, everything finally came together for what promised to be a three-day installation on June 26. Of course, the one thing we were unable to control was the weather as our installation coincided with what was the first heat wave. The installation was more complicated than anticipated, requiring additional days of work. We were determined to keep the library open at least part of the day but in the afternoon as temperatures soared to 90-plus degrees it was unbearable inside for both our staff and customers. We closed early for several days and entirely on Sunday, June 30. Temporary air conditioning units provided some relief on July 2 and 3. The AC was fully operational on July 3 when we resumed normal hours.

All was blissfully cool inside the library until Friday, July 19, when a switch on our cooling tower failed causing the AC unit to go into alarm mode and shut down. With temperatures of 104-plus on our roof, where the tower is located, and all available AC technicians out on service calls to other customers we had no choice but to close early on Friday and Saturday and close on Sunday until we could get the needed part on Monday morning and make the repair.

I am happy to report that all is again cool and invite everyone to come back to the library where we are most happy to greet you.

Leslie Burger

Executive Director, Princeton Public Library


July 24, 2013

TT Sasha and Sveta Elmoudden

Sveta: “I like to stay inside, close to the air conditioning.”
Sasha: “I stay cool by drinking lots of water and if I’m not inside, near the air conditioning, I like to play in the sprinklers.” —Sasha (left) and Sveta Elmoudden, Dayton

TT Kyle Angelucci Tyler Williamson Nicolas Jin

Kyle: “Well, since it’s been pretty hot I’ve been coming to the pool almost every day.  And if not, I pretty much hide in my basement and try to stay inside as much as possible.  A few of the days, there has been a lot of cloud cover so that’s helped a bunch.”

Tyler: “Well, it’s really hot and it really affects me because I have soccer three or four times a week.  It’s been over 95 degrees every day and it’s hard to keep up even if you’re getting water all the time, it’s really hard to play soccer and do other activities.”

Nicolas: “I have summer camp in the morning until about 2.  That’s inside, so I can stay cool. And then after that I pretty much stay inside until I come to the pool pretty much every day to really cool off.”

—Kyle Angelucci, Tyler Williamson, Nicolas Jin, Princeton

TT Coleman Preziosi

“As lifeguards, we’ve kind of switched the attitude of trying to stay dry to trying to be wet as much as possible. The bottom of the slide has become the favorite spot for all of us because we get to stay in the water. We’ve just been trying to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. All of our advisors have been really good about making sure we drink enough. And we try to stay in the shade by using the umbrellas on the lifeguard chairs. But, it’s definitely been a big change from all of the rain Princeton had been getting.”

—Coleman Preziosi, lifeguard, Princeton

TT Eric Zhang

“Well, as a lifeguard, your job is to watch other people having fun in the water, while on shore, so always stay hydrated.”

—Eric Zhang, lifeguard, Princeton

TT Serena Sharpless

“I have been trying to stay inside and do some of my summer reading.  I love coming to swim at the (Community Park) pool.” —Serena Sharpless, Montgomery

 TT Rachelle and Tomer Yabrov, with baby Rylee

Rachelle: “I go shopping at the mall.”
Tomer: “Just you know, surviving, and trying to drink plenty of liquids, because it’s really, really hot!”

—Rachelle and Tomer Yabrov with baby Rylee, Princeton


To the Editor:

Princeton is a great place to live and work. One has only to note all the businesses beyond its boundaries that use the Princeton name. Clearly there is prestige attached to being in Princeton. This is both a good and a bad thing. The desirability of business space in Princeton has made it impossible for most non-profit organizations to find a home at a reasonable rent. A case in point is our organization, Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Books, Inc. We are a 501c3 organization that serves the community in many ways. Most obvious to many residents is that we provide a place for them to recycle their books. But in addition to this valuable service, we provide scholarship money for Central New Jersey Students and we donate books to programs that benefit the less fortunate.

Like so many other non-profits we need a permanent home. Although we occupy space behind 32 Vandeventer Avenue, this is only due to the continuing generosity of our landlord. This situation could change at any time. For three years we have been seriously looking for affordable space in Princeton without success. Were we to pay the typical rental costs in Princeton we could not continue to operate. Thus it was with a great deal of joy that we first learned of the plan to renovate the Valley Road School. The opportunity to have space at a rent we could afford sounded like the answer to our prayers. Alas almost two years have elapsed since we heard that good news. In the interim, competing claims have been made on the space and the School Board has deferred and deferred its decision while the building has suffered needless damage from the lack of some timely repairs. From all I have observed since coming here, the citizens of Princeton are keenly aware of the value of recycling. Surely it would not be in the character of a community like this one to destroy rather than repair and re-use the Valley Road School building when it has the potential to serve such a useful community function.

Frances Reichl

Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Books


To the Editor:

I am writing in support of the proposed AvalonBay development on Witherspoon Street.

When the Princeton hospital that had been built in 1919 was not allowed to modernize by either vertical or horizontal construction, it was necessary to build the new hospital in a new location. Though the move to the new hospital was very complicated, it went smoothly. The final step of the process, however, involves the sale of the old hospital.

Standards were set for a different usage of the old hospital site and variances were approved by our elected and appointed community Boards and Commissions. When AvalonBay was selected to develop the site, it presented plans to the Planning Board that were then revised as a result of listening to the Planning Board and organizations of the community.

The Planning Board now has the revised development plan, which will provide affordable rental housing that is convenient to town. The housing will also provide tax revenue to the community of Princeton.

A responsible commitment was made to the hospital and to AvalonBay, and it now needs to be honored. Not doing so affects our community’s health care and discourages others from investing in our community in the future, because smart growth occurs only where it can happen without extensive delays.

For the betterment of our community, let’s move forward.

Rachel Gray

Member, Princeton HealthCare System Foundation


To the Editor,

I believe that AvalonBay’s application before the planning board should be approved. And I want to address comments made by many who oppose the development in the name of “protecting the character of the neighborhood.” I submit that if we do not allow additional housing to be built in the core of town, we will be further destroying the true character of Princeton.

The actual consequence of opposing town infill development such as this is the further calcification of our town into an elite, over-expensive country club. Simple economics demonstrate the overwhelming desire for housing in town — prices are so high simply because there’s enough demand to support these high market rates. By wielding the zoning power to artificially limit the number of units in town, those who oppose development make housing more expensive, and more and more out of reach of those with even upper middle-class incomes — to say nothing of the younger generation of workers, like myself, who are saddled with educational debt. And to say even less of the working class workers who drive into Princeton every day to serve its wealthy residents.

Approving AvalonBay’s application will be a vital step in alleviating the upward pressure on prices and begin to address the housing needs of the tens of thousands of people who are already in Princeton, driving in every day to their offices, restaurants, shops, libraries, and theaters. The addition of housing in the walkable core of town will undoubtedly reduce the number of cars on our streets. It’s notable that most residents of the former Borough actually work in town and walk to work. This development would take more cars off the street than it would add — just as is the case in other college towns similar to ours.

Many of the opponents of this development don’t seem to understand that apartment living actively discourages the use of cars for in-town trips. It’s not like in a single-family home, where you step out your door and right into one of the cars parked in your driveway. A resident of the proposed AvalonBay complex would have to walk out of the apartment, down flights of stairs, go up more stairs in the parking garage, find the car, drive a few blocks to another garage, pay for parking, and then walk a few blocks to their destination. It would be faster and so much easier just to walk the few blocks to the office, restaurant, or shop. Either we allow more housing to be built in town, or we draw a big red line around Princeton saying “only upper-upper middle class allowed; everyone else has to drive in.” Whether or not the opponents of this application realize it, this is the outcome that will result if we continue, in a knee-jerk fashion, standing against all new housing. So I urge the board instead to approve this application.

Christina Keddie

Walkable Princeton


To the Editor:

I have been quite vocal about my concern over raising the salaries of the mayor and members of the Princeton Council at this time. Therefore I agree with Mayor Liz Lempert that now is not the time to consider raises; instead, the proposal could be reintroduced next year.

It is obvious to me that the mayor and Council have faced major issues and challenges that have demanded extraordinary amounts of time, thought and energy — perhaps more than many of us anticipated. However, Council’s having been seated for only six months makes the pay raise proposal premature. Waiting until next year provides the opportunity for council to use their precious time now to deal with matters that are critical to the success of a newly consolidated Princeton and as Councilman Liverman has said, “It’s about moving ahead with things.”

The recommendation adopted by the Consolidation Study Commission was very clear. We said, “The elected positions in a consolidated Princeton be compensated at the level currently paid in the Borough for its mayor and governing body.” Of course, recommendations deserve to be reviewed in the light of new realities. That said, I believe the governing body should give itself at least one full year and then revisit the proposal in 2014 when I trust the tremendous demands of governing the transition to consolidation are indeed “less distracting” and the community has a deeper understanding of the savings from consolidation.

In March or April of 2014 the council should again consider the proposal to adjust salaries and I anticipate that at that time an increase would be appropriate given the current diligence of the council and mayor. I would support a proposal to invest in our elected officials, to encourage new candidates to seek office, and to raise salaries at that time — one year ahead of the three years anticipated by the Consolidation Study Commission.

Anton Lahnston

Elm Road, Former Chairman

The Princeton Consolidation and

Shared Services Study Commission

To the Editor:

“Gary Player’s inspiring golf course is the centerpiece of a unique private club boasting a variety of golf, dining, and hospitality amenities in a pristine natural setting.” So says the Jasna Polana website. Yet “in a pristine natural setting” struck me as wonderfully inappropriate this past week as I was searching for the club’s phone number in order to tell a manager there about a problem in the neighborhood.

The quarter-mile stretch of Jasna Polana property on Province Line Road off of Rosedale Road is neither pristine nor natural. Until a few weeks ago, it was a jungle of drying trees, invasive vines, and ambitious weeds. One day in June, a wide strip of the roadside jungle was reduced to smashed branches, pulverized weeds, and deep tire tracks by a Princeton crew driving a one-armed blast-it: a truck with whirling blades at the end of a giant hydraulic arm.

The jungle was ugly enough every year from October to March, and I had asked the management of Jasna Polana several times to remove some of the dead trees and pick up the trash there. But no luck.

Last Monday, July 15, as I came out of our drive opposite this stretch of Jasna Polana, I saw lots of trash — bottles, cans, magazines, even food — strewn along the far side of the road and over the hacked-up strip. I looked closely and saw that the garbage had not come from our house. I speculated that trash collectors had accidentally spilled it and, in their haste, left it, or that vandals had spilled it.

Returning home several hours later, I saw a street-sweeper truck coming down the road. As I had never seen a street-sweeper on this road, I assumed that someone had requested it. The truck went down the golf course side of Province Line and swept nearly all the trash onto the denuded strip.

I called Jasna Polana, told the person who answered what had happened, and asked him to inform the grounds crew. For a couple of days, the trash remained there, so I called again and left a message directly with the head of grounds maintenance. If the club did not want to pick up the trash, I said, I would be willing to call the Princeton and Lawrence town halls and, if need be, Mercer county to see what I could arrange. I also asked for a call-back. Now, a week after the mess was made — no call-back and no clean-up.

Every few weeks, I pick up trash on our side and Jasna Polana’s side of the road. Several years ago, I even organized a neighborhood trash pick-up day along Province Line between Rosedale and Carson roads. But I have not wanted to pick up garbage in the awful heat of the past week.

Question: Assuming that trash-collectors (and recycling-collectors) are not required to pick up what they spill, who is supposed to do it? This privileged part of the Garden State is looking a lot less “pristine and natural” than it did not so long ago.

Richard Trenner

Province Line Road


To the Editor:

On behalf of Eden Autism Services, and the children, adults, and their families whom we serve, once again I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for the generosity of our community.

On July 14, Eden held its 10th annual Eden Autism 5K Race and one-mile Fun Run in the Princeton Forrestal Village. I am thrilled to announce that we exceeded our previous fundraising record for this event with $165,000 in net proceeds.

Special thanks to Tony Kuczinski, president and CEO of Munich Reinsurance America, and the Munich Reinsurance America staff and interns, for their leadership role as title sponsor of the race; Curt Emmich of Princeton Forrestal Center, who served as race director; the numerous volunteers, sponsors, and the many other individuals and businesses who provided monetary or in-kind support for our event.

We are deeply grateful to the dedicated Eden Autism 5K steering committee that helped plan this remarkable event and to the walkers, runners, and spectators who participated in the race and Fun Run. The funds raised will help Eden continue its mission of improving the lives of individuals with autism and their families.

Thomas P. McCool, EdD

President and CEO, Eden Autism Services


VIOLIN VIRTUOSITY: "This is a full-service violin shop, including restoration, appraisals, acquisitions, new violins, and rentals. I make and restore violins and also continue to perform." Jarek Powichrowski, owner of Princeton Violins, LLC in Kingston, looks forward to sharing information about violins with his customers.

VIOLIN VIRTUOSITY: “This is a full-service violin shop, including restoration, appraisals, acquisitions, new violins, and rentals. I make and restore violins and also continue to perform.” Jarek Powichrowski, owner of Princeton Violins, LLC in Kingston, looks forward to sharing information about violins with his customers.

Not only can Jarek Powichrowski produce beautiful music on the violin, he also restores, repairs, and makes the instrument.

Owner of Princeton Violins LLC at 4444 Main Street (Route 27) in Kingston, Mr. Powichrowski is eager to share his expertise with area musicians and music lovers.

“This is an upscale violin shop. I specialize in and carry fine instruments from contemporary violin makers, also Italian and French violins from the 18th and 19th centuries.”

Mr. Powichrowski, who was born and grew up in Poland, began studying the violin before he was 10. He loved it right away. “I wanted to play very much. I had been fascinated by a little violin in the display window. And I was also very interested in how the violin worked.”

Master of Music

Jarek studied at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, earning a Master of Music degree. During this time, he was also chosen to perform with Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra in New Orleans.

After studying at the Summer Academy Mozarteum in Salzburg, he later auditioned for noted violinist Professor Lewis Kaplan of the Julliard School of Music in New York. Jarek was given a full scholarship, arranged by Professor Kaplan, to study with him at the Mannes School of Music at the New School in New York, where he earned his second Master of Music degree.

Jarek then went on to study with Professor Kaplan at the Julliard School in the Advanced Certificate in Performance program. He performed two seasons with the Bowdin Musical Festival in Brunswick, Maine, and he also participated in master classes with some of the world’s finest violinists.

In 1991, Mr. Powichrowski toured the Far East with recitals and master classes in Malaysia and Japan. He also gave concerts in New York City.

Mr. Powichrowski has not only played major violin concerts with orchestra, but he also enjoys playing smaller works, especially by Polish composers.

As time went on, his interest began to focus on restoring and making violins. As he says, “I wanted to know everything about the violin. In 2003, in New York, I worked with a French violin maker focusing on restoration. Then, I began to think I could also make quality violins. I went to Cremona, Italy to work with a private tutor, and I made violins under his guidance. Sometimes, people think the greatest violins were made long ago, but I say the ‘Golden Age’ of violin-making is today!

Many Secrets

“I learned many secrets during my studies in Cremona, and have been a luthier (one who makes stringed instruments) for over 10 years. I encourage people to come in and try these beautiful Italian violins and see how they are made. I will happily divulge these secrets to passionate musicians!”

Mr. Powichrowski came to Lawrenceville in 2005, where he has given concerts. “I wanted to be near Princeton. I believed this would be a good place for my business, and I have learned that many people have very fine violins here. Some need restoration and repair, and now people do not have to go to New York or Philadelphia for this work.”

Mr. Powichrowski’s workshop is at the back of the store, where he does his restoration work and where he makes new violins. He uses spruce, willow, and maple for his violins. As he explains, “Spruce is used for the top of the violin, and maple for the back and the scroll. The characteristics of maple is that it is very hard wood. Spruce is closer to soft wood, but is incredibly durable. I use willow for the block and lining.  It is very strong and light.”

Mr. Powichrowski points out that very few tools are used to make a violin. “The tools are the same as those used 500 years ago: files, gougers, scrapers, planes and the most important tool is the square.”

It is incredibly painstaking work, and he says it can take more than 200 hours just for the gouging and carving. Completing the work from start to finish may take up to six months.

Of course, strings are essential, and Mr. Powichrowski notes that string-making has evolved. “Originally, it was gut, but now it’s synthetic material. I especially like the strings from Evah Pirazzi.”

Small Violins

Violas and cellos are also available at the shop as well as small violins for children. “Children can start as young as three, although five or six is more typical. There are a lot of talented kids. I enjoy setting up instruments for children. They need a good violin to start with.

“Also, if someone says they can’t have a good sound from a small violin, it’s a lie. Sound adjustment is very important, and it’s my specialty. Sometimes, musicians come in with a violin and they’re looking for a better one, but often it just needs a sound adjustment.”

A variety of accessories, including strings, chin rests, bows, and more, is also available at the store. A rental program is offered, with violins at $20 or $30 per month. “You will find my sales prices lower than those in New York or Philadelphia,” says Mr. Powichrowski.

“I very much enjoy making violins and talking with musicians and people who love music,” he continues. “Because I am a musician, I enjoy working with musicians and talking with them about the instrument. I do very dedicated work for musicians of all ages. And I enjoy advising people. The client receives very personalized attention and service here.

“I am also very encouraged. I have clients from all over — even Australia! I look forward to having even more customers — both professional musicians and others who just love music and want to play the violin. While I don’t provide lessons, I gladly help with instrument selection and advise about what may work best for the client. I also have a bulletin board where teachers can leave class and concert information. I want to become part of the local music community.”

Princeton Violins is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (609) 683-0005. Website:



CREATIVE COLOR: “Color, cut, and style all work together. We think of it as totally wearable fashion.” Tim and Kate Bricker, owners of B+B Hair Color Studio, are shown with stylist Jill ­Harer at their new Witherspoon Street location.

CREATIVE COLOR: “Color, cut, and style all work together. We think of it as totally wearable fashion.” Tim and Kate Bricker, owners of B+B Hair Color Studio, are shown with stylist Jill ­Harer at their new Witherspoon Street location.

Color is the key. In the hair industry today, it’s all about color. It is the major focus of nearly all salons.

“Hair color is a total fashion statement today,” says Tim Bricker owner, with his wife Kate, of B+B Hair Color Studio at 190 Witherspoon Street, Suite 4. “It’s just amazing how much color has evolved. The quality of color hair products has improved tremendously. It’s completely safe now. We have a super-nurturing hair color Nectayar from Europe that consists of all natural ingredients. Hair color actually improves the condition of the hair, and increases the shine.

“It can also add the perception of depth to fine hair. In addition, color can change and enhance the skin tone, and it can even appear to change the shape of the face.”

Mr. Bricker says B+B Hair Color Studio clients are all ages, “from 16 to 96!”, and  are both men and women. “Men often like to have gray blending, and they can look 10 years younger with this!”


For girls and women, the variety of choices is extensive. Blond highlights are always popular, but darker “chocolate” shades are also favorites. And, of course, color is still used to cover gray.

“What is really big now is tonal, tone-on-tone color,” report the Brickers. “It’s multi-dimensional, and gives a very natural look. We are definitely natural hair people here. Our focus is natural.

“Ombre is a popular look,” continues Mr. Bricker. “It can be achieved with hair painting or foils, and it is most often done on longer hair. The color is applied part way down, not at the top. Also, we specialize in cool color tones, and they are very popular. It can be light or dark, and it is basically the absence of red tones, so there is no brassiness. If it’s light, we think of it as ‘Fifth Avenue Blond!’”

For those unfortunate do-it-yourselfers who have had an unhappy color experience, the Brickers have corrective color treatments that can undo the damage.

Cutting and color go hand-in-hand, and Mr. Bricker was recently one of five top stylists from across the country, who trained with celebrity stylist Nick Arrojo (seen on the TV show What Not to Wear) in precision razor cutting.

“Precision razor cutting is good for all hair styles,” he explains. “It gives texture, movement, and lift to the hair. The way hair cutting is approached changes, with new techniques constantly coming along. We are always training and participating in continuing education.”

Ambassador Salon

“Also, we have recently partnered wth the Arrojo Studio in Manhattan, and we are an Ambassador salon for Arrojo. Only a select number of salons are chosen as Ambassador salons. We can send our stylists to be trained by his staff, and we carry the Arrojo products.”

The Brickers have trained other stylists throughout the northeastern U.S. As platform artists and master hair color specialists, they also style models’ hair at shows and events in New York City and elsewhere.

In business for 15 years in Princeton, they have always specialized in color and cutting. “I always loved the creativity of it, and I especially liked all the differences involved in hair color. I could see how complex it was,” explains Mr. Bricker.

While the majority of their clients have mid to long hair, the Brickers enjoy working on all lengths and types of hair. Curly hair provides its own challenges, and Mr. Bricker points out that color can enhance the curl, as it reflects the light.

Styling Products

For those with straight hair, he notes the current popularity of the curling wand, and also the variety of styling products that keep the style in place. “We believe the Arrojo products are the best because they are created and tested by hair dressers in the Arrojo studio in New York. This translates into a premium product that is completely user-friendly.”

Their recent move from their former State Road location has provided the studio with much more space, and it offers a very contemporary, sleek, and sophisticated look. “We wanted to be ‘Soho Sleek’! We feel like the Soho of Princeton,” point out the Brickers, smiling. “We are very specialized, and we’re all about being a boutique. We also wanted to be in downtown Princeton, and Witherspoon Street is great. It has lots of energy, and it’s where it’s happening.”

Their many long-time clients agree, and they are also intrigued by the studio’s high tech TV and iPad connection. “We have a big TV screen and can transfer the images to an iPad we give the clients’ says Ms. Bricker. “We can show them whatever style they are interested in. Even styles from celebrities at the Grammy’s and other events.”

“We pride ourselves on offering our clients the best service we can,” adds Mr. Bricker. “We enjoy making people look and feel better. They’re happier, and it makes a difference for them. We look forward to continuing to help our clients have the very best cuts and color.”

Studio hours are by appointment Tuesday through Saturday. (609) 683-4455. Website:

July 17, 2013

TT Stephen Charlie Allen

Stephen: “I’m not happy with the current plan that I saw on the website. It looks like Princeton is in transition to a small city instead of a nice town.”

Charlie: “There are a lot of kids and dogs in my neighborhood now. I think they should include a playground which would benefit kids and dogs.”

—Stephen Allen with son Charlie, Princeton (current hospital site neighbor)

TT Thika Okeke-Agule

“I think it’s a good idea. I think Princeton could use more housing, especially low cost. And if the new development can guarantee (this is the key thing) that Princeton residents will have priority for the lower cost housing. If this is not the case, and it is more housing for affluent residents, it is probably not a good idea.” —Thika Okeke-Agule, Princeton

 TT Debbie Benjamin Peikes

“It’s a good idea, if they can get the right boundaries with AvalonBay. It could be a nice place for people to live in the neighborhood as long as they get the right density and it has low income housing.”

—Debbie Peikes with Benjamin, Princeton (current hospital site neighbor)

TT Carey Gates

“I think it’s a good idea because we need more affordable housing in town. I am a little concerned with the scope and the size and scale in its current form.”

—Carey Gates, Princeton

TT Cynthia Fite

“I think it really could be great, if they could just come to some resolution that meets the community’s needs. It’s a great location in town and we need more housing.”

—Cynthia Fite, Princeton

TT Nicole Sichet

“I think it’s a good idea because they’ll be giving people the opportunity to live in Princeton at an affordable rate.”

—Nicole Sichet, Ewing Township


To the Editor:

Once again the Planning Board has an important decision to make that will greatly affect our town. AvalonBay proposes to replace the empty hospital site with residences. It will cost them a tremendous amount to take down the old buildings. Few developers would be willing to consider it. The plan they propose conforms with the zoning for the site. It will include 56 affordable units. The people lucky enough to get one of these will pay 30 percent of their income in rent. This is a tremendous help to these people, and a help to the town, which needs this type of housing badly.

Princeton Community Housing operates 465 affordable rentals in town. Sounds like a lot? The waiting list has 900 names! Many do not even apply as they know it would take too long to get in. They are the people who are commuting to town, adding to our traffic every day, and using too much of their already low income for transportation. New Jersey has a huge shortage of affordable housing. We should be thrilled to have these 56 units available to us!

The neighbors would like to see just some two-story row houses, with a park which they could enjoy. We can all understand that, but one has to be realistic. The old hospital is a menace and a hazard, standing there gradually deteriorating. It needs to be gone. AvalonBay should be supported as they plan to do exactly that.

Harriet Bryan



To the Editor:

The AvalonBay development of 280 units will undoubtedly have a major impact on the surrounding neighborhood in all sorts of ways, many of which we can’t yet calculate. One issue that we could attempt to ascertain is the financial impact of AvalonBay’s proposed development on the average Princeton taxpayer. But nobody knows what this impact will be. Why? Because no such analysis was ever performed by our elected officials before allowing up to 280 units. The potential impact on our schools in particular may not have been considered important since the Hillier scheme, which formed the basis of the 2006 MRRO Zoning Ordinance, was originally designed as a 55-plus community. The AvalonBay development is not restricted to this age group.

If we look to the other major developments in Princeton we learn that Griggs Farm, with 140 units, sends 138 children to the public schools; Princeton Community Village, with 238 units sends 101 students; the Princeton Housing Authority, with 176 units dedicated to families, sends 87 students. So what can we expect from the AvalonBay development of 280 units? Without a professional analysis, the average taxpayer is left with his/her own analysis relying on multipliers used by housing professionals and municipalities in determining the impact of development on local schools.

Based on bedroom size alone, statistics according to recognized multipliers developed by Rutgers University tell us to expect 37 school-age children. But Princeton’s other developments far exceed these recognized multipliers. Is there reason to believe the AvalonBay development will not produce more than the statistical average of students?

At the April 8, 2013, Council meeting, Superintendent Judith Wilson warned Council: “We are facing continued growth. We’re in an all-time high at Princeton High School, standing room only, almost. We’ve not prepared for any exchange students next year or for any tuition students next year. We’re not able to take them. We are full beyond capacity and we will continue to be so. We have a very large seventh grade class, so in two years we’ll see another bump in the high school enrollment.”

Ms. Wilson continued: “In terms of the next thing we’re watching — I believe it’s on your agenda tonight — any development, AvalonBay or otherwise, any development within the town will be our next influx of students.”

The 2010-11 Princeton Schools total spending per pupil was $22,570. Coupled with the potential need for additional staff and classrooms, will the average taxpayer be likely to see a negative income stream from the AvalonBay rateables? At the High School overcrowding is already acute and it is hard to see where extra classroom space can be found. The impact of a development of this size on the school system should be properly analyzed before it is built and not after.

Susanna Monseau

Moore Street


To the Editor:

AvalonBay could do two things to make its development proposal much more palatable to a public that finds Plan B woefully massive, monolithic in scale, and noncompliant with multiple sections of Princeton Code.

They can open the central entrance to Building 2 as an archway open to the public moving between Witherspoon Street and the so-called public piazza. They can also install solar panels — now.

An open archway would make the piazza much more accessible to the public — a big neighborhood benefit. Why does AvalonBay balk? They’ve already shuffled all the apartments to create a central entrance. A mostly glass entryway will give the “appearance” of accessibility — with small doors maybe six feet wide within a much wider arch. The interior space will be an empty lobby running east-west. Of course the building needs locks — easily installed for the north-south corridors on either side of the present lobby. Marvin Reed on the Planning Board and all of SPRAB certainly support this idea. I am dismayed that AvalonBay continues to say “no” to the obvious. Why, on this simple thing, doesn’t AvalonBay care about neighbors and streetscape? If they opened the small courtyard in Plan A, they can certainly open this archway.

Solar. In response to SPRAB proposals, AvalonBay has revised its roof plans. The new plans offer much more south-facing space on the exterior ring of Building 1. If AvalonBay eliminated a small dormer window on the south-facing inner courtyard, they would have even more space available — plus south-facing roofs on Building 2, with very minor tweaks. Through a Power Purchase Agreement, AvalonBay could have a roof over the garage for a large solar array — paid for by the third party. They could generate more than enough energy to cover their electrical needs for all their common spaces (all exterior lighting, including garage, elevator and exhaust fan, bridges between garage, Building 1 and Building 2; pool; all interior lobbies, hallways, stairwells, mailroom, leasing office, marketing room, community room, lounge, fitness center, storage space, maintenance space, bike rooms, trash rooms and associated mechanical facilities; gas meter room).

All at a discount of 20-50 percent over conventional utility costs, with a profit on surplus energy. Why would AvalonBay say “no” to such a no-brainer? Their corporate website (“Sustainability,” p. 8) indicates they’ve used solar for freestanding clubhouses, so doing solar for an entire complex would be a first for them. Are they ignorant of PPAs? Do they need help and explanations? AvalonBay could in fact take a lead role in the industry by including this component; they would also satisfy the requests of both the PEC and SPRAB to utilize solar power.

Planning Board members should push hard on solar sustainability. Jon Vogel should show evidence that he’s committed to sustainability and green building. Right now, I’m missing proof.

Jane Buttars

Dodds Lane


FARM TO TABLE: “Someone can come in, have a ham and cheese sandwich on Rye with lettuce, and know that everything was grown or made within a five-mile radius. This is really farm to table.” Robin McConaughy, proprietor of the new Brick Farm Market in Hopewell, also owns Doublebrook Farm, which raises pastured, grass-fed cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens and turkeys, and in addition, features an extensive area for vegetables and herbs. Ms. McConaughy is shown spraying her sheep with apple cider vinegar to help reduce flies.

FARM TO TABLE: “Someone can come in, have a ham and cheese sandwich on Rye with lettuce, and know that everything was grown or made within a five-mile radius. This is really farm to table.” Robin McConaughy, proprietor of the new Brick Farm Market in Hopewell, also owns Doublebrook Farm, which raises pastured, grass-fed cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens and turkeys, and in addition, features an extensive area for vegetables and herbs. Ms. McConaughy is shown spraying her sheep with apple cider vinegar to help reduce flies.

Brick Farm Market has recently opened for business at 65 East Broad Street in Hopewell.

Robin and Jon McConaughy have a mission: healthy eating, humane treatment of farm animals, environmental responsibility, sustainability, and a local focus.

“The demand for healthful, local products has always driven our desire to become farmers. Like most people who care about healthful food, we want to know about everything that goes into creating what we serve to our family and friends. After a lot of research, we decided that if you want something done right — do it yourself! We started Double Brook Farm in earnest in 2006. Our passion for a local, sustainable, and humane operation has guided our approach to the farm from day one.”

As interest in and demand for the high quality products the McConaughys were providing grew, they expanded their operation to include raising sheep, pigs, and turkeys in addition to the cattle and chickens. They also cultivated a section for vegetables, including lettuce, carrots, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and a variety of herbs and other produce.

Now, where to sell all this high quality, fresh, local food?

Dedicated Outlet

As Ms. McConaughy explains, “We created Brick Farm Market to be the dedicated outlet for the farm — a full-service market within a stone’s throw of the source: Double Brook Farm. The market enables us to interact with our customers and share with them how the food they are buying is grown, raised, or made.”

Opened at 65 East Broad Street in Hopewell on May 17 at the former location of the Malek Chevrolet building, the market offers a variety of items either from the farm, made on the premises, or from like-minded vendors who share the McConaughys’ mission.

“With the Brick Farm Market, Double Brook Farm, our restaurant, Brick Farm Tavern (to open in 2014), we have a local sustainable operation that takes food from farm to market to table, and then back to the farm in the form of compost or animal feed. Three entities that rely on each other to create a full-circle model of responsible food creation and consumption.

“What you will find at the market reflects a culmination of informed choices and best practices. From selecting the seeds we grow, to humane animal treatment, to limiting our fossil fuel needs with clean energy, to preparing recipes with choice ingredients to educating the customers, we are taking some of the guess work out of nutritious, local, sustainable shopping.”

Brick Farm Market offers an attractive, convenient two-story setting in which to display the variety of items. Upstairs, the butcher shop features artisanal cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, charcuterie, and cheese. A long counter offers ample space for seating.

Downstairs, customers will find a juice/water/coffee bar, creamery (ice cream and other dairy), produce and herbs, bakery, and prepared foods. Tables are available for sit-down eating.

Amazing Team

The Brick Farm Market staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and happy to answer customers’ questions.

“We have very passionate, dedicated people working with us,” says Ms. McConaughy. “An amazing team of people. We want to be able to delegate and have a real partnership with them.”

General manager Deeann Lemmerling was previously with Bon Appetit in Princeton. Co-manager Jerry Baker is also a sommelier. Karen Child, formerly of The Village Bakery in Lawrenceville, is in charge of the bakery, and everything is made on the premises, including bread, croissants, cookies, brownies, Danishes, cupcakes, tarts, and cakes.

Bob Martinez, director of the creamery, makes the ice cream on-site. Single and double scoops are available in cones and cups, as well as quarts and pints. He is experimenting with new seasonal flavors in addition to the traditional vanilla and chocolate. Current specialties are blueberry gelato, salted caramel, and summer rum raisin. Ultimately, 32 flavors will be offered seasonally.

Chef Chase Gerstenbacher is in charge of the prepared foods, including rotisserie chicken, braised beef, chicken pot pie, shepherd’s pie, among many other dishes. He is also responsible for producing beef stock.

“We make our own bacon and sausage,” adds Ms. McConaughy, “and we also have a charcuterie, Salumeria Biellese, a certified slow food charcuterie in Jersey City, which uses our meat to make the prosciutto and other specialties.”

Michel Lemmerling, former owner of Bon Appetit, is the cheese guru (a “Taste Fromage”), and as Deeann Lemmerling points out, “We have an interesting cheese selection — all local, including brie-style, cheddar, Swiss, and gouda-style. Michel is an expert with cheeses around the world, and he is enjoying this new adventure, finding the best local cheeses.

“Aging Caves”

“We also have ‘Aging Caves’ for cheese and meat in three refrigerators, and customers can look into these and watch it being aged.”

Wooden bins are filled with a variety of vegetables and herbs, and Ms. Lemmerling explains that the bins were made of recycled wood from a former church in Trenton. “We also kept some of the vintage signs from the Malek Chevrolet dealership.”

Among the tempting treats customers can eat at the market or take out is the signature hamburger for $8; a variety of panini sandwiches for $7; breakfast dishes (served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.), including eggs benedict, egg white scramble with roasted potatoes, cheddar, and greens; and breakfast croissant egg, cheese, with choice of ham, chorizo or country sausage, ranging from $5 to $7. Large plates include roasted sausage sampler, beer braised short ribs, and half rotisserie chicken — natural or BBQ, among others.

Ms. McConaughy looks forward to Brick Farm Market becoming an important part of the community. “People are really enjoying the fact that everything is local, and I know they will love having the store here. We have local employees, and we will be a local place. I can’t wait to come in and see the place humming.

“Also, we are a local market, and we can run out of things. It will reflect the season. We offer what a local farm can provide. We don’t sell anything here unless we have grown it or made it. The exceptions are coffee and drinks, but they are local. Our stipulation is: did it come from the farm? If not, is it local? If it is not local, is it within a 100-200 mile radius? And is it from a company that supports our mission of fair trade and sustainability? We will continue to evolve, and we like to show that a local farm-to-table operation can be profitable.”

Brick Farm Market offers a number of other items for sale, such as coffee and travel mugs, baseball caps, T-shirts, and canvas shopping bags, all featuring the friendly Brick Farm Market rooster logo. Fair trade large woven bags are offered for shoppers to use in the store. Gift cards are also available.

The McConaughys landscaped the property surrounding the building, and the ample parking is a plus.

Hours through June are Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 to 6, Sunday 8 to 1. Starting in July, the market will be open Tuesday through Sunday 7 to 7. (609) 466-6500. Website: