June 4, 2014

TT Reggie Ponder

“I’ve noticed that the areas for students to congregate are updated. Kids can study and work on their computers anywhere. They can eat and watch TV together in common areas and play games to relax. The University worked very hard to make it so people can get together.”

 —Reggie Ponder, PU Class of 1984, Chicago

 TT Karen and Fred Chuchill

Karen: “The campus has really grown and with some interesting architecture. Some of the modern building that has been combined with the traditional Collegiate Gothic is really interesting to me. I’m looking forward to seeing the new area along Alexander Road develop over the next few years. As far as the town’s growth, I guess I kind of miss the days when it was more of little college town. I loved the simplicity of Princeton when my husband was in school and I used to take the train up with friends from my college in Virginia. I just loved all of the local businesses and the little ice cream shops and restaurants and things like that.”

Fred: “To come back here where I went to school and spend my time primarily on campus and on Nassau Street just feels really good. The names of the stores have changed but I don’t think the character of the street has changed. I miss my favorite men’s shop. That’s not here anymore. But as far as growth goes, you see buildings now where there used to be woods. The town and the campus have both grown tremendously, and it’s been neat seeing it transform over all of these years.”—Karen and Fred Churchill, 

PU Class of 1964, Vienna, Virginia

 
TT Rick Wright

“You stand here in front of Nassau Hall on a gorgeous day like today and it’s just one of the most beautiful places in the world. It always has been and always will be. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity not only to go to college here, but also to have raised my family here. I think anyone who has lived in Princeton, knows how lucky they are to be part of such a special place.”

—Rick Wright, PU Class of 1964, Princeton

 
May 28, 2014

TT William Hobbs Kathryn O'Donnell

“It means freedom. We have lost so many, so that we can be free. So that we can enjoy all the things that we enjoy. It means freedom of speech, education, freedom to practice religion. All of these things. Men like my father (a World War II veteran), my son (Iraqi Freedom veteran) served willingly, sacrificed, so we could enjoy these freedoms.”

—Kathryn O’Donnell, Wrightstown, Pa., with father 

William Hobbs of Acorn Glen, Princeton

TT Lauralyn Bowen Michael Archer

“We are immigrants; we have relatives in the service. We always remember them. We are grateful. They came here and got the opportunity to work for and now serve the country we now call home. It is good to see America’s spirit is still strong; that is what attracted us to this country in the first place.”

—Lauralyn Bowen with father Michael Archer, Plainsboro

TT Tony Julia Altieri

Julia: “We were thinking of all the veterans that gave their lives for our country. My father was a Marine and John Basilone a Marine Gunnery Sergeant comes to mind. Raritan N.J. holds the John Basilone parade, every year in his honor and to honor all military personnel.”

Tony: “We are here in support of all the veterans from the Revolutionary war to the Korean, Vietnam, and Iraqi wars.”

—Tony and Julia Altieri, Princeton

TT Nikkaya Roper

“It means to me a day of remembrance and respect to our fallen troops. Right now, I am thinking about my family that are in the army and hoping that they will always be safe.”

—Nikkaya Roper, Trenton

TT Andy  Analise Sutphin

“I am the first generation male in my family not to serve in the armed services. I feel very lucky on Memorial Day. On the weekends growing up, on Memorial Day, we used to go to my kin’s grave sites and clean them up. It was a nice day.”

—Andy Sutphin with daughter Annelise, Princeton

 
 
 

 

To the Editor:

Why do those who oppose Jo Butler’s re-election to the Princeton Council feel it necessary to distort the facts? If you look at the true, undistorted facts you will be compelled to vote for Jo.

A recent letter to the editor from two long time Princeton residents and political insiders [“Registered Princeton Democrats Should Endorse PCDO Line of Miller and Nemeth.” May 7 Mailbox], concluding that there is “overwhelming” support for Jo’s opponents, contains several inaccuracies that need to be corrected. All three candidates for Council have the exact same status as a result of the endorsement meeting of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization. All received the 40 percent of the votes necessary to be “Recommended.” Not one received the 60 percent necessary to be “Endorsed.” Plain and simple there is no “overwhelming” result that can be ascribed to either the vote of the Municipal Committee (where the margin of victory was three votes) or the PCDO.

Furthermore, the PCDO is a political club whose members must pay dues to vote. While its goals may be lofty, one should not place undue stock in an organization that represents fewer than 5 percent of the registered Democratic voters and an even smaller percentage of all eligible voters in the Democratic primary. (Unaffiliated voters can declare party affiliation at the polls on June 3 and vote for Jo in the Democratic primary)

Other letters to the editor from Princeton’s old time establishment contain factually misleading endorsements and meaningless bromides. For example they repeat hearsay from one of Jo’s rivals that meetings are interminable because of her. Meetings may take a little longer than her opponents might like because she resists their attempts to push through items without debate on a consent agenda, because she argued long and hard for a conflict of interest policy, because she wouldn’t vote to overpay the town attorney. She had the audacity to ask to see the attorney’s contract before voting on it.

Apparently some supporters of Jo’s rivals would prefer that in the interests of collegiality she give her unthinking proxy to her colleagues. We pay the salaries of six council members; we are entitled to six independent votes. Each council member should have the strength and courage to run, be elected, and vote independently. Each voter should cast an independent thinking vote.

Those who know the facts and are capable of analyzing those facts for themselves are voting to re-elect the one truly independent Democratic candidate for Princeton Council, Jo Butler. Why do those who oppose Jo Butler’s incisive questioning of often hurried undeveloped proposals want to silence her? Vote like the independent thinking voter that you know you are. Read and heed the letters of Peter Marks and Alain Kornhauser [May 14 Mailbox], independents who urge you to vote for Jo. They cite the undistorted facts supporting her re-election. Please join us and the other independents and independent Democrats who will vote to re-elect Councilwoman Jo Butler in the Democratic primary on Tuesday June 3.

Alice K. and Joseph C. Small

Hawthorne Avenue

 

To the Editor:

A recent letter writer supporting Jo Butler indicated that Butler had his ‘first vote’ and wondered which of the two candidates running together, Bernie Miller or Sue Nemeth, would get his ‘second vote.’

In an election with one candidate running against a slate of two candidates it is better for a supporter of the single candidate to forego their ‘second vote.’ Here’s why: suppose 66 percent of voters were Butler supporters and voted for her but then cast their ‘second vote’ for either Miller or Nemeth. Meanwhile only 34 percent of voters supported Miller/Nemeth and voted for both Miller and Nemeth. Even with 66 percent support, Butler would lose to the 34 percent Miller/Nemeth vote plus the 33 percent ‘second votes’ cast for Miller and Nemeth by Butler supporters! It’s not quite fair unless Butler supporters suppress their desire to influence the secondary contest of Miller vs. Nemeth with their ‘second vote.’

Conversely, supporters of Miller/Nemeth who actually favor one over the other may want to consider which of the two candidates they prefer and then forego their ‘second vote.’ If Butler wins, the choice between Miller and Nemeth will have been made only by those voters who rejected voting for Miller/Nemeth.

Peter Kramer

Prospect Avenue

 

To the Editor:

Sue Nemeth is an excellent choice for Princeton Council; so much so that Council President Bernie Miller chose to run a joint campaign with her, and so much so that our mayor and two other members of Council chose to endorse Sue and Bernie in this election. It takes courage for four out of six of our elected officials to opt to support a candidate other than the incumbent. They must have very good reasons to take the uncomfortable position of passing over a member of their own party. Instead of suspecting our elected leaders of ganging up on the incumbent, we should be noting that our leaders feel compelled to upset Democratic party harmony by underscoring and highlighting to the voters of Princeton the urgency of making a change in Council for the benefit of Princeton.

Bernie and Sue know that the task of governing is the art of guiding disparate views to common ground. Collegiality is something to be valued in our elected leaders. Productive and efficient use of time in Council meetings saves taxpayer money, but more important, it permits us to remain focused on the big issues (in point: If Borough Council had spent less time on legal bills and pointless parliamentary games they would have had the time to read the agreement that permitted AvalonBay to have its way at the old hospital site). There is a difference between holding true to one’s convictions and intransigence, and Sue and Bernie understand the difference and have demonstrated their ability to govern with conviction, collegiality, and focus on the big picture.

Please join me in moving Princeton forward by voting for Sue Nemeth and Bernie Miller for Princeton Council on June 3.

Scott Sillars

Patton Avenue

 

To the Editor:

I was very sad when Rush Holt announced this past March that he wouldn’t seek another term as our Congressional representative. I was eager, however, to learn about the candidates who were seeking his seat. I attended two debates in which all four candidates participated. I also researched the candidates’ stands on key issues and looked at their past voting records. It became clear to me that all four of the candidates are qualified to be in Congress and that all four of them are true progressives. However, I think that Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman stands out for three key reasons.

First, when a bill to abolish the death penalty came before the Assembly in December 2007, Assemblywoman Watson Coleman voted in favor of abolishing it; her main opponent in this race, Linda Greenstein (also in the Assembly at that time) voted in favor of retaining the death penalty (https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/22544/linda-greenstein/71/death-penalty#.U4OaDdq9KSN ).

Second, Bonnie Watson Coleman campaigned vigorously for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono at a time when many Democrats, in deference to Governor Chris Christie’s popularity, refused to do so. This is not the only example of Assemblywoman Watson Coleman standing up for her beliefs in the face of pressure from Governor Christie and even from her own party. When Barbara Buono endorsed Watson Coleman for Congress, she emphasized that the commitment that Watson Coleman had shown to her principles and to her constituents was a key factor in her own (Buono’s) endorsement decision.

Third, Assemblywoman Watson Coleman has proven that she can identify and move forward legislation that attracts the backing of both Democrats and Republicans. For example, she sponsored legislation that sends people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses to drug court and supervision rather than to jail and this money-saving legislation attracted the support of both Republicans and Democrats. For these reasons and many more, I will be voting for Bonnie Watson Coleman on June 3; I hope that you will join me.

Eve Niedergang

Forester Drive

 

To the Editor:

As the June 3 Democratic Primary approaches, I feel compelled to present some needed clarity to the upcoming election.

There are no teams running! There are 3 candidates, who should be judged on their individual merits, running for two seats.

When registered Democrats go to the polls, each voter should choose either one or two of the best qualified of the three candidates to represent our consolidated Princeton. Yes, if you feel really strongly about one candidate over the other two, you can vote for one. Some people call it “bullet voting,” but I see it as a strong vote of confidence for the best qualified candidate. The numbers in the Democratic primary are so low that several votes can determine the results. By voting for two candidates, you could be providing the vote that defeats your first choice candidate.

Personally, I feel so strongly about the qualifications of Jo Butler, I plan to vote only for her. She has amazing credentials and experience. Her only agenda is to do what is best for our consolidated town. She has no personal agenda or state or national ambitions. Should she have a perceived conflict of interest, she would be the first to recuse herself. Serving us is not a stepping stone. It is a mission. We are so fortunate to have her and to have her care about us.

Please join me on June 3 to affirm the service of this talented woman, resident of the former Borough and citizen of our new Town. Vote for Jo Butler that she may continue to represent us on Town Council.

Ruth Sayer

Library Place

 

To the Editor:

It is with regret and disappointment that I must advise Princeton voters that the Princeton Republican Committee will not be fielding candidates in the June 3 primary election this year for the two positions on the ballot for Princeton Council.

The reason is not a lack of highly qualified Republican candidates. In recent years, long time Princeton residents with outstanding qualifications have been candidates. They have included community activists, lawyers, businessmen, financial planners, diplomats, an art critic, teachers, minorities and NGO leaders. All conducted energetic and spirited campaigns focused on important local issues.

Unfortunately, most Princeton Democrats have a deep and difficult inability to rationalize prejudice against Republicans which is illustrated in the typical Democrat campaign ads which focus on party label rather than a candidate’s demonstrated competencies relevant to resolving local problems. Local Democrats would rather conjure up stereotypes based on outliers on the national political scene than discuss local issues and candidates on their merits. This approach results in a highly partisan, one-party Council and political stultification to the detriment of good government

Until Princeton Democrat elites who profess to champion “diversity” achieve logical consistency and accept that “political diversity” is a benefit to society, the community will be under stress and local government will continue to muddle along. Think high taxes and fees, bureaucratic regulation, potholes, a mountain of debt, bloated budgets, entanglement in lawsuits and expensive settlements, lack of transparency and political grandstanding about issues irrelevant to Princeton’s quality of life.

Princeton Republicans wish only the best to our Democrat friends and neighbors. I know that many of them have followed with interest the contentious lead-up to the Democrat primary election. The reality is that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the candidates. All three of the candidates are highly partisan taxers and spenders. The current Council votes unanimously 95 percent of the time. The outcome of the primary will not change this group-think. The tax savings ballyhooed to promote municipal consolidation will continue to be a pipe dream.

Princeton should be a beacon of municipal governance in New Jersey and match the excellence of other local entities. That it manifestly is not is an embarrassment to us all.

Dudley Sipprelle

Chairman. Princeton Republican Committee,

Nassau Street

To the Editor:

We believe that when elected representatives do a good job — advocating for shared values, keeping their promises, getting things done — they deserve to be re-elected. Jo Butler has done an exemplary job during her first two years on Town Council. She has worked to sustain Princeton as an affordable and diverse community. She has kept the promises of consolidation, voting for a tax decrease and against Council pay raises. She has provided critically important leadership, most notably in Council’s enactment of a conflict of interest policy and other measures to foster good government. Please join us in voting on June 3 to nominate Jo Butler for re-election.

Walter and Mary Bliss

Moore Street

 

To the Editor:

I am supporting Jo Butler in the June 3 Democratic primary and I hope that Princeton voters will too. Jo Butler is to be respected for approaching difficult issues in the open before the public with the public’s opinions heard for consideration in the decision process. She listens to and respects the points-of-view of constituents and when she believes their views are correct she goes to bat for them. Her work on the community pool is a good example. So were her efforts to preserve Princeton’s train service to University Place. On consolidation, Jo Butler argued to skeptics (including myself) that it was the right thing to do. Despite all sorts of criticism that her attention to detail slows things down, she has held to the promise of the consolidation referendum that the new Council operate under the Borough form of government which assumes that Council members will directly respond to resident concerns and which allows them to directly communicate with staff members to resolve problems. Some have said that she cares too much, but to my mind our details are what Council should care about. A call to Jo Butler about a brush pick-up or some other problem with services will get results.

On finances and taxes, it is noteworthy that, in fact, Jo is the only candidate running who has never voted for a tax increase, and is also the only candidate who has saved us money on professional services by closely scrutinizing contracts. It is really hard to understand why she has been criticized for this.

I hope that Princeton Democrats will reward Jo Butler’s hard work and integrity by voting for her in the June 3 primary. If she is defeated, it will be Princeton’s loss.

Anita Garoniak

Harris Road

 

To the Editor:

Bernie Miller and Sue Nemeth are the right choice for Princeton Council. Sue and Bernie have those leadership qualities required for responsible and responsive local governance. They have demonstrated their ability to work with different constituencies and listen to all sides before crafting reasonable and workable compromises.

Bernie was the liaison to the Princeton Regional Health Commission when I chaired the Commission. I was always impressed with his ability to grasp the issues, ask probing questions, and devise reasonable responses and solutions. These are the precise qualities needed for effective governance.

Sue and Bernie have spent weeks walking through our community, talking and listening to us. They know of our concerns regarding parking zones, barriers to new business development, and tenant issues, among others. They are already devising ways to address these concerns. In the past, they have proven their effectiveness in moving this town forward by working together to bring new senior housing to Princeton and to bring our new Community Park pool to fruition.

Bernie and Sue are the right choice for Princeton. I urge all Princetonians to come out and vote on June 3 for Bernie and Sue.

Susan Kapoor

Bouvant Drive

 

To the Editor:

Princeton needs the skilled experienced leadership of Sue Nemeth and Bernie Miller. Sue and Bernie have a vision for our consolidated Princeton … one that includes a hard look at our zoning, a renewed commitment to our downtown business district, and continued emphasis on fiscal responsibility.

Bernie’s leadership during the recent negotiations with Princeton University provided Princeton with a long-term voluntary financial commitment from the University. Sue’s advocacy of the Community Park Pool project resulted in a renewed community asset completed at a price the community could afford.

Sue and Bernie are thoughtful, collaborative leaders. They are listeners and doers. They won’t waste time playing games, trying to score political points, and distracting us from the real work at hand. We encourage the voters of Princeton to support the team of Miller and Nemeth on June 3.

Lincoln Hollister

Ridgeview Road

 

To the Editor:

In their March 30 debate, the three Democratic candidates for Princeton Council were asked to name the most important issue facing Princeton. Incumbent Jo Butler named affordability. Indeed, she is the only candidate who has voted to lower property taxes.

Bernie Miller, running with Sue Nemeth as a slate, wanted a thriving downtown. But our downtown is thriving, as everyone knows who has actually tried to park there, especially on weekends.

Nemeth, finally, named zoning as Princeton’s most important issue. What did she mean? On walkableprinceton.com, each candidate answered other questions, including: with 21,000 people driving into town to work, what should Princeton do to reduce vehicle-miles-traveled?

Yes, 21,000! Butler stressed mass transit as well as convenient walkways. Nemeth and Miller both said that zoning should 兎encourage modest increases in housing density in downtown re-development projects so more people can live near work (Nemeth).

Butler replied that development means asking whether our infrastructure will support the density, considering the impact on surrounding neighborhoods, and predicting the burden on 登our already congested streets.

Many people believe that development brings higher tax revenues. But development also requires more infrastructure, parking, and police. New housing, in particular, may bring more schoolchildren, who eventually need more teachers, classrooms, even schools.

Meanwhile, Sue Nemeth claims that Jo Butler has targeted our school budget. Nonsense. First, Council doesn’t oversee the school budget directly. Second, by scrutinizing new development, Butler will help safeguard our school budget indirectly.

If you know anywhere near downtown where you’d like another AvalonBay, vote for Nemeth and Miller in the June 3 Democratic Primary. I support Jo Butler.

Anne Waldron Neumann

Alexander Street

 

ALL ABOUT ACCESSORIES: “I like color, and I like texture. We specialize in scarves, jewelry, and handbags. My mix of accessories is culled from my own love of the items as well as listening to what my customers want.” Hannah Schussel is owner of Hannah! Jewelry & Accessories, the new shop on Chambers Street.

ALL ABOUT ACCESSORIES: “I like color, and I like texture. We specialize in scarves, jewelry, and handbags. My mix of accessories is culled from my own love of the items as well as listening to what my customers want.” Hannah Schussel is owner of Hannah! Jewelry & Accessories, the new shop on Chambers Street.

Accessories complete the fashion statement. They also add flair, fun, and flourish.

Now, there is a shop in Princeton that is all about accessories. Hannah! Jewelry & Accessories opened in March at 6 Chambers Street, and is ready to help with that special look.

“I love being a retailer. This is what I do,” explains owner Hannah Schussel. She certainly has experience. Former owner of Toys …. The Store on Palmer Square for several years, Ms. Schussel went on to wear many hats at the gift shop at McCarter Theater. “I created, managed, and bought for that shop for 12½ years. When it closed last year, I realized that I missed it. Just as I felt all those years ago when we began our toy store, being a retailer is part of me. I love the interaction with people it allows me.”

“I especially wanted to be in Princeton. Being part of the Princeton community of merchants feels as if I’m back home with family. And it’s great just being two blocks away from McCarter.”

Special Focus

Ms. Schussel wanted to focus on accessories because “people love them. We have items from around the world, including the U.S., Colombia, France, Italy, Germany, and the U.K. I decided to start with 20 of the most popular lines we had at McCarter, and see what people liked.”

So far, they seem to like everything, with a special focus on scarves, she adds. “The scarves are mostly from Italy, with some from local textile designers as well, and we will also be getting others from Africa,” she reports. “They are silk, cotton, and viscose (natural fiber), and the very large ones are especially popular. They range in price from $29 to $97.”

The selection includes a variety of over-size multi-colored choices in gorgeous designs as well as smaller sizes. “We also have vintage scarves with fabric from the 1920s and 30s, with fringes done by women in Bolivia,” says Ms. Schussel. “And, people are buying more than one. A woman came in recently, got one as a gift for a friend, and then bought one for herself. This happens all the time.”

The eclectic jewelry collection is also intriguing customers, she adds. “It’s like eye candy! We offer up-to-the-minute costume jewelry always based on seasonal fashion colors. And our prices are for everyone — a very wide range, including crystal studs from Germany for $19. We have items from Patricia Locke and also Anne Koplik, who designs all the jewelry for ‘Dancing With the Stars’. In addition, the jewelry from Pink Powder in England incorporates semi-precious stones and very avant garde styles.”

Clip-on Earrings

“Another line from Detail includes antique brass and cabochons, that is, cone-shaped multi-surface glass, which is polished to offer multi facets. There are necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, and they are striking.”

Ms. Schussel also wants customers to know that she offers a selection of clip-on earrings.

Handbags are in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, including leather designs from Latico; a new clutch line by the designers of Big Buddha bags; and Mei vintage bags with vintage kimono fabric will be available soon. A lovely selection of evening bags is also offered.

Related items include charming purse hangers in assorted colors, which can attach to the edge of a restaurant table, effectively concealing the handbag below the table. Attractive Ponchee purse inserts are also in several colors, with spaces for cell phone, wallet, etc. They are pretty enough to be used as a small purse, offered at $35.

AirQuart see-through travel plastic cosmetic bags from Flannabag are popular at $21, and the same company offers jewelry pockets.

Ms. Schussel notes that rolling travel bags will also be available soon. Small eyeglass magnets — the glasses attach to the magnet, which is worn near the shoulder — are another popular choice, and there is also a nice selection of hair accessories.

Engaging Collection

Men are not forgotten, and wallets and cuff links are available for them. In addition, a selection of greeting cards — all handpicked by Ms. Schussel — rounds out the engaging collection of items in this charming shop.

“I look forward to having a shop that people will go out of their way to visit and spend time in,” says Ms. Schussel. “Our customers are all ages, and we have a price range for everyone — from $15 to several hundred dollars. I want people to feel comfortable and at home — just as they did at the toy store. They can try things on, sit down, and see what they like. I really enjoy the interaction with everyone, and I am so glad that people are finding me.”

She adds that special 10 percent discounts are available for former McCarter Gift Shop customers and for first time customers to Hannah! In addition, a special “Celebrate Princeton” discount will be offered to Princeton University alumni wearing orange and black during Reunions weekend.

Hannah! is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, Friday until 7, and Sunday noon to 5. (609)921-2490. Website: www.hannahshop.com.

 

May 21, 2014

To the Editor:

When I think of the one person who will best represent the seat being vacated by Rush Holt, our Congressional Representative from the 12th District, I think of Bonnie Watson Coleman immediately. I think of Bonnie because of her proven record during the 14 years she represented Princeton as our Assemblywoman in Trenton; and because of her leadership as chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee; and as majority leader of The General Assembly; and because of legislation she sponsored on many different issues and her consistent voting record on those things that define us as a party.

While Bonnie is an independent thinker, her record in the Assembly represents ideology for which the Democratic Party is known. Bonnie will continue the fight for the economy, jobs, education, pay equity, preservation of Social Security and Medicare, the environment and immigration, etc., serious issues that should not and cannot be ignored.

I know Bonnie Watson Coleman and I know that she will continue to work tirelessly to represent all of us in Washington. I hope that you will join me and vote for Bonnie on June 3.

Mildred T. Trotman

Former Mayor, Princeton Borough

 

To the Editor:

I am a parent of two college kids who made it to the top 15 colleges of the country because of their education from Princeton Regional Schools, and I have another child attending PHS.

We have returned from living abroad so that my daughter could to go to this high school. We decided to separate the family because we wanted our daughter to have the same education we gave our boys. I was shocked to watch the teachers outside the buildings [at PHS] today wearing their blue T shirts and handing out papers that summarized three years of negotiations. I am very upset to know that this has been going on and we, as parents have had no say. We moved to Princeton because of the schools!!! Everybody who lives in Princeton does it for the same purpose. I (like many more) commute to the city every day because I wanted my kids to study here (we could easily pack and go to any other town with less taxes and a closer commute).

What the teachers are asking for is only fair!

Please take the opinion of a concerned parent and just do what is needed to have our teachers satisfied and let them continue to do what they are doing — an excellent job educating our kids.

Liliana Morenilla

Mount Lucas Road

 

To the Editor:

On June 3, Princeton Democratic voters will choose among three candidates for Princeton Council: The two incumbents Jo Butler and Bernie Miller and challenger Sue Nemeth. Voters may cast up to two votes for any combination of candidates. My first vote will definitely go for Jo since she is already performing the job admirably, and provides an independent perspective as one of a group of progressive Democrats currently serving.

This year’s campaign for Council had an unusual start. Bernie and Sue announced in January that they would run as a “slate” with the clear intent of unseating Jo. The stated reasons for this aggressive move were somewhat vague, but centered on the notion that Jo was not always a team player and asked too many questions, slowing the decision-making process. In fact, in the past year Council has voted unanimously about 97 percent of the time. With the mayor, they can be proud of many accomplishments, especially regarding the many complex challenges stemming from consolidation, and reaching a long-term agreement with Princeton University. So there’s no gridlock or lack of progress in meeting the community’s needs.

As it turns out, many citizens actually value having a sometimes dissenting voice on Council, compared to a Council where all decisions are reached behind closed doors and then presented to the public on a “consent agenda” with a happy face. So that case for dumping Jo and replacing her with Sue has faltered.

Then there is the question of consolidation, and whether there’s some difference there. In fact, all three candidates (and the rest of the local elected officials) were all strong supporters of consolidation. In the Borough, where success was uncertain, Jo campaigned vigorously for passage. Following approval, Jo and Bernie both served on the consolidation transition task force in 2012.

Meanwhile, Sue mounted a notably negative Democratic Primary campaign for a state Assembly seat against public school teacher Marie Corfield, who won the primary but then narrowly lost the general election in November 2012. It’s now interesting that Sue cites her support of the public schools as one of her qualifications for office. It’s also irrelevant. While all three candidates are firm in their support of public education, they all acknowledge that the Council has absolutely no jurisdiction over the schools or their budget: The independent Board of Education has sole responsibility for that.

In sum, I see clear benefits in keeping Jo on the Council. There are few differences in substance: All three candidates are progressive Democrats who are strong advocates for community priorities including making consolidation a success and supporting great public schools. Jo stands out because of her willingness to go the extra mile, and delve more deeply into issues than some of her colleagues. So Jo gets my first vote. Both Bernie and Sue are highly capable, and either one will be a great choice as my second vote.

Dan Preston

Moore Street

 

To the Editor

I am writing to express my enthusiastic support for the team of Bernie Miller and Sue Nemeth for Princeton Council. Sue and Bernie have the experience and commitment we need to keep Princeton moving. Sue’s collaborative manner, her knowledge and respect for Princeton’s neighborhoods and her energy are qualities we need on Council. Bernie is a thoughtful, deliberative, and fair gentleman whose commitment to the central business district and to the establishment of a strong healthy relationship with the University serves us well.

Princeton needs leaders who are ready to move us forward, not continue to drag us back. Bernie Miller and Sue Nemeth are those leaders. I encourage all Princeton residents to vote for Bernie Miller and Sue Nemeth on June 3.

Anne Burns

Baldwin Lane

 

To the Editor:

In his May 7 letter [“12th District Primary Voters Should Not Vote Solely According to the ‘Line’ on the Ballot”], Zachary Israel pointed out the need to learn what our candidates stand for rather than just voting the party line. Recent research shows that our government now resembles an oligarchy instead of the democracy we thought we had. This is largely the result of big money taking over our elections and our lawmaking. For this reason it is crucial to know how our candidates will respond to the issue of big money in politics when they are elected. The local chapter of Represent.Us is pleased to have received responses from Linda Greenstein, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Andrew Zwicker on their position on our campaign against the corrupting influence of big money on our government. All three of these candidates have pledged to publicly endorse the American Anti-Corruption Act and to become a co-sponsor of the Government by the People Act (as Rush Holt already is). Their pledge means that they will fight to stop political bribery, remove the secrecy in political spending, and give everyday voters power over elections. Knowing that our eventual Congressional Representative is committed to reclaiming our democracy is a critical piece of information to have on entering the voting booth.

Susan Colby

NJ District 12 Chapter Represent.Us Team Leader

Herrontown Circle

To the Editor:

It was good to see that the Wednesday, May 14 “Town Talk” asked the important question “On a scale of 1 to 10, how concerned are you about climate change?” Even better to hear from six respondents that their concern about this critical issue tops that scale. Everyone asked was appropriately aware and worried about our destabilizing climate. Some felt “it’s hard for anybody to do anything” or “It doesn’t seem that anyone is doing anything about it,” while another said that “there’s still a chance that we can do something about it” but asked what to do.

I, too, long wondered how any ordinary person could begin to address a challenge of this magnitude. It seemed that traditional “green” groups could become overwhelmed by local battles over individual sources of carbon-based energy, one pipeline or fracking well at a time, when the problem is massive.

Fortunately, an environmentalist neighbor told me about Citizens’ Climate Lobby: a growing, energetic nonpartisan group with the big-picture strategy and grassroots tactics to pull our country together on mitigating climate change. To the people interviewed by Town Topics, who spoke on behalf of billions who need a de-carbonized future: hope and help are here. We cannot just give up, and there is effective focused action to be taken, now.

Caroline (Callie) Hancock

Group Leader, Citizens Climate Lobby

NJ – Princeton Chapter, Laurel Road

To the Editor:

It was encouraging to see Town Topics raising the issue of belief in the seriousness of global warming and the local residents in Town Talk largely agreeing that it is a very serious issue already changing our climate. Fortunately there are things we all can do that can have an impact.

1. Which a number of countries have already put in place (as has British Columbia) and which some states like Massachusetts and California are investigating, is a “carbon tax,” which would act like the cigarette tax, in encouraging people to reduce CO2 emissions, and turn away from fossil fuels.

2. Make our houses and businesses more energy efficient, while saving money on energy expenditures.

3. Drive electric or hybrid cars.

4. Contact our political representatives at local and national levels telling them that this is an issue that needs to be addressed quickly. (Again, a carbon tax with proceeds returned to tax payers is simple and efficient.)

Huck Fairman

Mt. Lucas Road

 

To the Editor:

On Communiversity a huge crowd gathered around a large series of blank paper rolls asking the simple question: “What would you ask God?” The booth, put up by Stone Hill Church of Princeton, attracted many curious onlookers, and over the course of the afternoon, more than 300 questions and comments were written across the paper. So many wanted to write, and even more wanted to read the questions posed by others. We believe this is one small example of a great, latent desire within our community to ask the big questions and to engage others in conversations around these questions.

The relative anonymity of the vast canvas of paper gave people the freedom to ask questions and make comments spanning a wide range of categories. Many struggled with the problem of evil, on a personal and on a global level. Others asked deeply personal questions about decisions they needed to make. Many asked after loved ones now dead — and others chose to ask about celebrities like Jimi Hendrix and Tupac. Several different languages were used, and there were entries from people of all ages (including several heartfelt questions from children about the eternal fates of their pets).

There was such a beautiful spirit of engagement surrounding the question boards. Over and over, we saw people wanting to reach out to God, sharing their struggles and trying to make sense of life. The booth was staffed by volunteers from the church, many of whom had wonderful discussions with community members from all different walks of life and perspectives on the big questions. Given just the briefest of opportunities, the Princeton community showed their desire and ability to engage together in the big questions of life.

Too often, we stifle these discussions. We’re too busy, scared of judgment or argument, or otherwise unwilling to engage one another. But a simple anonymous question board at Communiversity showed the depth of the desire in our community for an outlet for these questions. As a community, we should give each other the freedom to wrestle with questions of faith and the purpose of life together — we’re clearly already wrestling with these questions individually. It’s our hope that this small Communiversity booth will be a springboard to greater and more open discussion about faith, life, and community. Simply asking each other the question of what you would ask God, with a readiness to listen well, would be a big step forward for our community.

REV. DR. MATTHEW P. RISTUCCIA

Senior Pastor, Stone Hill Church of Princeton

 

To the Editor:

Most people don’t wake up one day and decide that they want to move into a nursing home. Traditionally, they live there because they have medical and personal needs that cannot be met at home.

As a former nursing home administrator and current New Jersey Long-term Care Ombudsman, I think I can state with some authority that most New Jersey nursing homes generally provide a safe, caring and therapeutic environment for their residents. However, nursing home care is expensive.

When you examine the continuum of today’s long-term care options, it is clear that there are many people currently living in nursing homes who may be able live in their own home with the proper home-based supports and services.

The good news is that the State of New Jersey, working in partnership with the federal Medicaid program, has dramatically expanded access to the types of services that people need in their homes, if they are to avoid an extended nursing home stay. These services include: visiting nurses, personal care assistants, care management, and assistance obtaining housing.

If you are living in a nursing home, or you know someone who is, and you want more information about moving back to the community, I strongly urge you to call the I Choose Home NJ program — a collaboration among the NJ Department of Human Services’ divisions of Aging Services, Disability Services and Developmental Disabilities, and my office.

Under the I Choose Home NJ program, people who have been living in nursing homes for more than three months and are eligible for Medicaid, may be able to move home with home-based services. Just as important, each person who is transitioned home will also save the state thousands of dollars per year that will be reinvested back into more community-based services for everyone.

May is Older Americans Month. What better way to honor our older citizens than to allow them more opportunities to return to, or stay in, their own homes?

Call for more information at (855) 466-3005 or (855) HOME-005 or visit our website at www.ichoosehome.nj.gov.

James W. McCracken

New Jersey Ombudsman

for the Institutionalized Elderly

Trenton

To the Editor:

Pam Hersh’s recent Princeton Packet article about Edgar Palmer focuses on architect Jerry Ford’s discussion of Palmer. Ford states that “Palmer created this bizarre competition between himself and Moses Taylor Pyne,” with Pyne being a huge benefactor of Princeton University and Palmer transforming downtown Princeton into a “sustainable and viable entity.“

However, Palmer did not neglect Princeton University. He donated substantial funds to the University for a football stadium, which was known as Palmer Memorial Stadium, as well as the Palmer Physical Laboratory, which housed the newly developing physics department. In both places, the Palmer name has been dropped.

At the time it was built in the early 1900s, the Palmer Physical Laboratory was considered the finest laboratory of its kind in the world. The building was subsequently modernized and converted to the Frist Campus Center. Room 302 of the Frist Center, where Albert Einstein sometimes worked (although he worked primarily at the Institute for Advanced Study), has been restored to its original appearance, including original old scientific apparatuses salvaged from the old Palmer Laboratory.

The University tore down the old stadium and erected a new one in its place in 1998-99. Originally, the new stadium was called Palmer Stadium, but the University soon dropped his name, renaming it Princeton Stadium. The University was presumably hoping that a new benefactor would come forward with a substantial donation for the stadium, after which the University would rename the stadium with that person’s name. This hasn’t yet happened.

Palmer’s donation for the stadium was probably given in perpetuity, yet his name was not perpetuated. It is unfortunate that the University did not continue using Palmer’s name for the new stadium. This would have been a fitting way to honor his great contribution. The University did erect a Palmer pavilion there, but this is hardly the same as having Palmer’s name on the new stadium.

The University still has time to recognize Palmer’s contribution and restore his name to its rightful place.

Joseph Burns

Bertrand Drive

 

To the Editor:

After various proposals to consolidate the two Princetons failed, it was said that the Berlin Wall would fall before Princeton was united, which turned out to be an accurate prediction. Finally, in the second decade of the 21st, citizens voted to consolidate the two municipalities and adopted a borough form of government with the expectation of lively engagement.

Sadly, one year after the inauguration of One Princeton, the mayor and three council members made it clear, by endorsing another candidate, that they wanted to oust incumbent Councilwoman Princeton Jo Butler, who had also been a member of Princeton Borough Council.

Their reasons for this troublesome attempt to influence voters remain unclear. Vague references to increasing collegiality on Council are not much of an explanation since Jo Butler voted with the majority 97 percent of the time.

So, what were the reasons for this slap in the face that has resulted, not in increased collegiality, but in intense discord within the town and voters fearing that they would lose friendships over a municipal election?

Is it because Jo Butler stated in a Council meeting that she could not vote to approve contracts that none of the Council members had yet seen, thus putting taxpayer funds at risk?

Is it because Jo Butler insisted on a Conflict of Interest policy reflecting state requirements that a member of Council should recuse him- or herself from voting on matters in which he/she or a member of his/her family have a significant financial or personal interest? This is a particularly difficult issue in a town where many residents have ties to Princeton University. The University is a major financial force and developer; therefore, votes by a member of Council who is employed, or whose spouse is employed, by the University puts the town at a serious risk of time-consuming and expensive lawsuits that would be funded by taxpayers.

Is it because Jo Butler questioned the consistency of legal bills that were — as a result of her inquiries — reduced, thus saving taxpayers thousands of dollars?

Whatever the reason, we believe that representatives on Council should be chosen by the voters. We support Jo Butler because she has shown herself to be exceptionally competent, conscientious, and responsive to constituent concerns. She represents the interests of Princeton residents, not the narrow agenda of those who think that Council members should always agree.

There are three people running for two seats on Princeton Council. Make your voice heard. Vote in the primary on June 3 for Democrat Jo Butler, Princeton’s independent voice on Council.

Scotia W. MacRae, Richard S. Blofson

Evelyn Place

 

May 14, 2014

 

TT Adela Agnew

“A seven, because yesterday there was an article in the newspaper about temperature changes in the U.S. In New Jersey the temperature is plus two degrees since 2001 and it keeps on getting warmer and warmer. This summer is going to be really hot. Even up in Maine we’re going to get temperatures in the hundreds. They’re always around us, global warming and climate change. It’s hard for anybody to do anything. My dad said that it’s almost impossible to reverse, you can slow it down but not reverse it. It’s already gone too far.”—Adela Agnew, Princeton


TT Luka Njeim Louisa Ajami

“I am a 10 concerned. I’m terrified because we don’t know what’s going to happen and we’re not prepared. We don’t know how bad it’s going to get and how it will affect the world. There are so many of us on the planet and it’s going to affect all of us. It doesn’t seem that anyone is doing anything about it, which is the scariest part.”

—Louisa Ajami with son Luka Njeim, Princeton


TT Robert Diamond

“Eight: it’s obviously happening, it’s very disconcerting seeing what’s going on with weather patterns and floods. We have been getting extreme weather lately. The reason I didn’t say 10 was I think there’s still a chance that we can do something about it or nature will do something about it. This sort of thing has happened in the past due to volcanos and things eventually corrected themselves. I’m very concerned, but there might be hope.”—Robert Diamond, Cranbury


TT Marty Barbara Demsky

Marty: “The weather patterns have changed dramatically over the last couple of years. We have more tornadoes happening around the country then before. It obviously has to do with the climate. Our polar caps are melting at a very high rate and showing a tremendous change in our temperatures.”

Barbara: “I say an 11. It’s getting really scary. My husband and I have discussed how the weather has changed since our childhood. I think we need scientific ways to tell people that this weather is coming and alert them in advance about how to protect themselves.”

—Marty and Barbara Demsky, Princeton Junction


TT Chris Hefele

“Seven to eight: it’s real and I’m concerned. It’s become a political issue. The recent articles in the New York Times about government studies show that we’re seeing the impact today. The question is what to do about it? It’s a global issue. I’m concerned about a global movement. Governments need to take a lead to get something done. Like all political issues it’s prone to gridlock.”—Chris Hefele, Princeton Junction

 

To the Editor:

We write on two issues in the primary nomination for council: On the relationship with the University, and on Town governance. The University has made a very substantial contribution to the Town, received by Council President Bernie Miller, reflecting both the University’s appreciation of The Town’s needs and our matching efforts to develop a consolidated, well managed government supportive of both our citizens and the University. Bernie Miller has a proven record.

Governance is critical with many unfilled needs both from consolidation and from each prior government. Town Council has supervision but does not execute the work. At the council level questions on governance include data on performance, objectives, responsibilities, management of competing priorities, as well as a careful review of each past year. Since council members are not executing, technical questions such as components of contracts should not be at the level of a Council meeting. Bernie Miller is again strong. Sue Nemeth has an excellent management record; when she was on Township Council she lead a complex project coordinating the diverse components of government to “save the ridge”.

In each campaign talk Bernie has reported that current Council meetings are interminable and, even then often inconclusive. Let’s change. Let’s vote the slate of Miller-Nemeth.

Claire and David Jacobus

Cleveland Lane

 

To the Editor:

I’m writing in response to a letter in the May 7 Mailbox urging primary voters not to support 12th Congressional District candidates who received the ‘ballot line’ in Mercer or Middlesex counties. Instead Zachary Israel, author of this letter, urges a vote for Upendra Chvukula or Andrew Zwicker as the progressive candidates most independent of the “establishment.” While I disagree with Mr. Israel on several points, I think he is absolutely correct on one point: ballot order should not determine a voter’s decision. As voters, we should make our choices based on the issues and the records of the candidates, and we should know something about the candidates before we step into the voting booth.

Each county party is required to determine the order in which candidates will be placed on the ballot. The first ballot position in each race is commonly referred to as “the party line.” In Mercer County the decision is made by the party executive in consultation with party members at a public convention. The delegates to this convention are party committee members, elected at the local level by primary voters. Mercer’s process is among the most open of any county in the state. Although Mr. Israel implicitly criticizes Bonnie Watson Coleman and Linda Greenstein for achieving the best ballot positions in the 12th Congressional District’s two most populous counties, he fails to note that his native Somerset county awarded this favored position to Upendra Chivukula, a candidate he describes as not endorsed by “establishment insiders.”

In any case, the assignments of ‘the party line’ were hardly a conspiracy of machine politics. Ms. Coleman, Ms. Greenstein, and Mr. Chivukula are members of the state assembly from Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties respectively. With only a short period of time between the announcement of Mr. Holt’s retirement and the deadline for deciding ballot placement, each county chose a figure already familiar to a large number of its voters. Given how much of our state is still run by party bosses, even a questionable assignment of the party line would be negligible in comparison to the machine politics in some of our neighboring districts.

In closing, I would like to object to Mr. Israel’s assertion that Mr. Chivukula and Mr. Zwicker are the most progressive candidates in the race. I count myself a supporter of Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman in large measure because she has the most consistently progressive voting record of the three candidates who currently serve in the State Legislature. She holds the endorsement of Barbara Buono, whom she supported during the 2013 gubernatorial campaign even as many Democrats shied away from opposing a popular Governor Christie. I think Ms. Watson Coleman will have the voting record in the House that will most closely match that of Congressman Holt. Of course, I hope that my fellow voters will take some time to inform themselves about the candidates and, on June 3, chose the person they think will best represent our district, regardless of placement on the ballot.

Samuel Weiss

Forester Drive