November 21, 2012

To the Editor:

I could never find the correct words to express my sincere gratitude. There were so many Princeton residents who decided to trust me. I do not take this vote for granted. I will continue to work for a united, diverse, safe, welcoming, and lovable Princeton.

This could not have happened if it was not for a great support staff that really did most of the work. Special thanks go to Walter, Peter, Doreen, Helen, Sue, Dan, and Jon. Every campaign has it’s ups and downs. We were lucky that we were all able to get along and to understand the big picture. Princeton is truly lucky to have Liz Lempert as the next mayor. The council members: Jo Butler, Jenny Crumiller, Heather Howard, Bernie Miller, and Patrick Simon will work for the interest of good local government. I wanted to thank my family for always supporting me. I wanted to thank Dick Woodbridge and Geoff Aton for running a positive campaign. I am hoping they will stay involved and help the new government.

Now there is work to be done. We cannot do all of the work alone. We need support. Please consider joining one of the Boards and Commissions in the new Princeton. I have always believed that Princeton is a melting pot of gifted talent, please share this gift with all of us. By all of us working together we can continue to make a difference.

Lance Liverman

Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

I want to thank all those Princetonians who voted for me in the election on November 6. I have worked for consolidation for my entire political career, so it is very rewarding to have been elected to serve on the new Princeton Council to help make what I have long advocated a reality. I will work for a better Princeton for all of our residents, and to maintain the high standards set by our municipal government.

During my ten years of service on Princeton Township Committee I have learned that it is the many volunteers that serve on our boards and commissions that do much of the hard work that prepares those of us that represent you as elected officials to have the background and insight to deal with the issues that affect our community. Our new Princeton will need the expertise and enthusiasm that our volunteers have shown in the past. I urge you to take an active role in guiding our new community by applying to serve on a board, committee or commission.

It has been an honor for me to serve you and I look forward to a bright future working together with my fellow Council members. Thank you for the confidence you have placed in me. I give my word that I will work hard to repay that confidence.

Bernie Miller

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

I would like to warmly congratulate Mayor-elect Liz Lempert for a well-earned victory on November 6 and for running a clean, spirited and issues oriented campaign. Congratulations also to Heather, Jenny, Jo, Patrick, Bernie and Lance for a great race. In the spirit of cooperation, I pledge to do whatever needs to be done to make consolidation work.

I also would like to thank the many supporters and contributors who came from across the entire spectrum of the community to help our non-partisan effort. We received roughly 40 percent of the vote and I believe we added some much needed diversity to the local conversation.

Geoff Aton deserves special credit for running a fantastic race as our only candidate for the six person Council. It’s like being the Maytag repairman in a town where everyone owns a Kenmore.

It is always a privilege to run for public office. The campaign was hard fought, the choices were clear, and we did our best.

Now it’s time to transform the promise of the Consolidation Study Commission into reality and make the Town of Princeton a better place for future generations.

Richard C. Woodbridge

Prospect Avenue

To the Editor:

While Hurricane Sandy caused considerable disruption to our community when it struck several weeks ago, the soon-to-be consolidated Princeton stood tall and responded efficiently and effectively. While emergency response may not be one of the key reasons why residents voted for consolidation, having a consolidated emergency response was a clear benefit to the Princeton community in the wake of hurricane Sandy.

I want to thank our Emergency Operations Center team: Bob Gregory, the town administrators, police forces, public works, engineering, and fire departments for coming together and working as one during the hurricane response. The Princeton First Aid Squad, the school district and Princeton University were also critical members of our emergency response team. With a single operations center, we dramatically improved our communications and thus our ability to respond to clearing roads, marshalling our resources and communicating to our residents. One communication component was our periodic reverse 9-11 message delivered by our IT Director, Bob McQueen, who did a great job in keeping our residents updated.

I want to extend a special thanks to our clerks office led by Linda McDermott and Kathy Brzezynski. It was this office (with Recycling Coordinator Janet Pellichero assisting) that was on the front lines through calls and emails from residents and they met the challenge with poise and empathy and assisted wherever they could. It was also the clerks office that responded quickly in establishing emergency voting locations due to power outages and helping the election take place with minimal disruption.

Princeton University and the school district helped our community immensely during the storm. The University provided food to our staff and provided a rest and recharge location on campus for residents. They also were vitally important in establishing Jadwin Gym as an emergency voting location. The school district worked closely with the community to establish the temporary reception center at the John Witherspoon Middle School as power outages continued.

While we certainly have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week, there will always be areas to improve and work to be done. It is with great sadness that we lost an important member of the Princeton community in Bill Sword during hurricane Sandy. Many residents were without power as we approached 10 days after the hurricane. We will be holding a de-briefing this week with the goal of continually improving our response in the next storm and communicating our concerns to our partners (read: PSE&G) about improving communications with the community when the next storm arrives. Until then, be safe and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Chad Goerner

Mayor, Princeton Township

To the Editor:

Thank you to the voters of Princeton for electing me to the new municipal council, and thank you to our local campaign team, supporters, and canvassers. In particular, while many people helped to make the campaign a robust effort, I would like to particularly note my personal appreciation to Walter Bliss, Helen Heintz, Dan Preston, Peter Wolanin, Jon Durbin, Doreen Blanc Rockstrom, Sue Nemeth, Caroline Hancock, Owen O’Donnell, Margaret Griffin, James and Connie Camner, Valerie Haynes, Liz and David Cohen, Peter Lindenfeld, Mary Clurman, Elizabeth Bates, Claire and David Jacobus, Pamela Hughes, Andrew Koontz, and Bill Scholfield. I especially appreciate the wonderful support and education I received from my running mates, Liz Lempert, Bernie Miller, Heather Howard, Lance Liverman, Jenny Crumiller, and Jo Butler. I would also like to thank the Republican candidates Dick Woodbridge and Geoff Aton, who waged an engaged effort and furthered the spirit of electoral contest in Princeton. And a special thanks to my spouse, Marc Weiner, as well as to our family and friends for their support.

I appreciate the trust placed in me by the people of Princeton, and I look forward to serving on the new council. As we unite to form one Princeton, I will work with the new mayor and council and with the community to realize savings for the taxpayers while sustaining and improving current services. I look forward to being part of a more responsive and open and transparent consolidated municipal government, to working to improve municipal emergency management, and to developing more collaborative relationships with our key institutional stakeholders.

Our new local government is a collaboration open to all members of the community, and we will especially need to hear from diverse points of view as we come together to form one town. We are still taking applications to serve on our local boards, commissions, and committees, and I encourage all interested citizens to apply. You can find the application online at www.princetonnj.gov. I look forward to working with you, and appreciate your support.

Patrick Simon

Harriet Drive

To the Editor:

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and in all of Princeton’s all-too-frequent power outages, communication was key. I’d like to commend the almost-merged Township and Borough officials for frequent updates from their reverse 911 notification system. And special kudos to Krystal Knapp of Planet Princeton and Greta Cuyler of Princeton Patch, whose constant stream of wide-ranging critical information, provided online at all hours of the day and night, was absolutely invaluable — a real community service.

It can be tricky to receive these communications when power is out. The reverse 911 messages are by phone. If you can’t rely on a hardwired landline when power is out, I recommend registering a cell phone number online at princetontwp.org (link to Register for Emergency Telephone Notifications from the homepage).

If you’ve been thinking about getting a smartphone, I highly recommend it, as mine was an essential lifeline for my family in this crisis. Through the good graces of the always-reliable Verizon Wireless and a generous friend with a generator, for constant recharging, I could always get the news and be in touch with friends and family. I had never before understood why anyone would want to use Twitter, but became an instant convert in this emergency. With a Twitter feed from Planet Princeton and Princeton Patch, I knew pretty much everything I needed to know. I cannot thank them enough.

Amy Goldstein

Snowden Lane

POPULAR PLACE: “I had been wanting to have my own place for a while, and the opportunity came along when the Red Oak Diner was available. The timing was right.” Jeff Delaney, new owner of the Red Oak Diner & Bakery, looks forward to bringing his restaurant experience to the longtime Montgomery diner.

Diners are fun. They’re often reminders of times past — stopping in with friends for a malt, cheeseburger, and French fries when you were a teen. They can be a perfect place when you’re in a hurry, with just time for a piece of pie and cup of coffee. They’re a great stopping spot to bring the family after a movie or sports event.

And, they can be so much more.

Take the Red Oak Diner & Bakery at 1217 Route 206 in Montgomery. Under new ownership, it offers a wide variety of choices, from typical traditional diner fare to entree specials for lunch and dinner, as well as Greek and Italian specialties, and seafood, such as shrimp scampi and broiled salmon.

“I thought this place had a lot of potential, and it’s a great location,” explains new owner Jeff Delaney. Based on his long experience in the restaurant business with his family, he brought with him definite ideas of how he envisaged the diner.

Complete Menu

“It goes beyond diner food. We are looking to add to the menu and keep it varied and fresh. We will include daily specials — with entree, soup, or salad and dessert. A complete menu. I believe the specials will set us apart. It will be quality food, quality service, and affordable prices. We want to provide a family atmosphere, and we have a children’s menu.”

Recent dinner specials, which are updated daily, include roasted pork loin, roast lamb, roasted tilapia, shrimp scampi, leg of lamb, baked pork chops, broiled salmon, and the always popular meat loaf. These specials (with soup or salad and dessert) range from $11.95 to $15.95.

Similar choices, also with soup or salad and dessert, are available for lunch, starting at $7.95.

“Baked pork chops are very popular,” says Mr. Delaney. “And, people always want the meat loaf — you can count on that! They also like the salads, especially the Greek salads, and the pita specials. People are definitely interested in healthier eating today. We try to get things locally, and the freshest ingredients are essential”

Big Sellers

Other favorites are the Greek specialty spanakopita, the traditional turkey club sandwich, and the array of hamburgers (from $5.15) and deli sandwiches. Baked ham on rye, grilled cheese, tuna melt, and the famous Reuben are all available.

Breakfast is offered throughout the day and night — eggs of every kind, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, and French toast are always big sellers.

And, certainly, the ice cream sodas, shakes, root beer floats, and various pies, cakes (including cheese cake), Danish, muffins, and brownies are here to stay at Red Oak.

Customers enjoy the friendly low key setting and atmosphere, reports Mr. Delaney. The diner is larger than it appears at first glance, with seating for more than 100 at the counter, restaurant-style tables, and booths. Many regular customers are coming in often and new faces are arriving too, he adds.

Busiest Times

“We have gotten very busy. The dinner crowd is getting busier, especially on weekends. Breakfast and lunch are very much in demand on weekdays, and brunch is popular on weekends too. A pattern will become evident, too, and we will see what are the busiest times with the most numbers of people.

“The customers are all across the board,” he says. “All ages, families, singles — everyone. The majority are local but we also have people who stop in when they are on the road. People often come to a diner because they are in a hurry, and they want a smooth and positive experience. What is so important is that we offer a seamless experience for customers. We want them to get service right away and have everything go smoothly. We strive to have the best staff, people who are well-trained, experienced, and welcoming.

“The pride comes from being able to provide quality food and have customers smile and be happy when they leave, and say ‘That was great!’ The compliments are really coming in, and we are so encouraged. It’s such positive feedback. People are really noticing the difference.”

Red Oak Diner & Bakery is open seven days 6 a.m. through 9 p.m. Hours will expand. (609) 430-8200. Website: www.redoakdinerandbakery.com.


November 14, 2012

“It was not hard to find the polling location. Usually we go to Community Park School but since the power was out, we went to John Witherspoon School. It was not difficult to find, everyone was talking about changes. I was very excited with the results and so was my family. I was not surprised with the results locally either.” —Rachel Basie, Princeton

“I found my polling place, as they were very good about letting us know where to go. And the results were as expected. I nailed the predictions. It wasn’t even close, and I knew it wouldn’t be.” —John Barrett, Princeton

“Our polling place was the same, so it was not a problem. And I was really happy with the results.”  —Marilyn Zagorin, Princeton

“I just turned 18, and this was my first time voting. It was pretty cool. I went with my mother and since she has voted plenty of times, she knew where to go. I thought Obama would win, I’m happy. Obama is helping schools and students with financial aid and I’m a student at Rider University.”  —Justice Healy, Princeton

“I was advised at Jadwin Gym, where I work, that my voting location was at Riverside School. It was very easy to find and convenient. I’m cautiously optimistic about the national election results. I feel there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed affecting a lot of people. I hope more courageous conversations will be held, to make decisions and solve problems. I’ve lived in Princeton for a year and am still getting myself up to speed with local politics.”  —Sean Morey, Princeton

To the Editor:

As I write, the Planning Board has just voted to ask Borough Council’s agreement to retain Sovereign Consulting to review the AvalonBay (AB) Environmental Impact Statement and related documents. That EIS contains serious misrepresentations, as indicated by Aaron Kleinbaum, legal director of the Eastern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of Princeton Citizens for Sustainable Neighborhoods, in a series of letters to the Planning Board and the Princeton Environmental Commission.

To its credit, the Planning Board understands the public health issues at stake. But if the review does no more than evaluate the documents thus far submitted, it will be inadequate. Mr. Kleinbaum has called for an independent investigation of the MRRO site, including soil samples that test for contaminant leakage and sewer overflows, before construction — not simply a review of documents to date. Mr. Kleinbaum has recommended sampling throughout the site, including testing underneath the garage. Steve Miller of the Princeton Environmental Commission has noted that the technology exists to test soils underneath concrete, and he supported such testing of the garage at its meeting on October 24 2012. The shortcoming of the Princeton Environmental Commission’s recommendation to the Planning Board is that it recommends “independent testimony … regarding whether the testing was adequate” (not new testing), and “To the extent that it is concluded that the testing was inadequate, we recommend that you request adequate testing from the developer.” The developer? — AvalonBay? hardly an independent party.

Indeed, Avalon is so lax in its environmental practices, and so glib on its website about supposedly sustainable measures (13 pages of fluff) — that AB’s corporate leadership has been called to task. On April 11, 2012, the Office of the Comptroller for New York City, which manages pension funds for its employees, issued a memorandum to AvalonBay shareholders setting forth substantive reasons why AB has “lagged behind” its peers in the commercial rental market: inadequate reporting on greenhouse emissions, water conservation, waste minimization, energy efficiency, and other environmental and social impacts (full text available from Daniel A. Harris).

We don’t know the scope of work the Planning Board requests, nor what Sovereign Consulting will recommend. We must hope that its proposals insist on an absolutely clean building site and that any further consideration of AvalonBay’s application by the Planning Board be postponed until such a clearance is given. Indeed, Sovereign will not be able to complete its work prior to November 15, when AB will demand that the Planning Board approve their site plan for the garage. But the Planning Board has ample legal grounds to deny this minor site application on the basis of insufficient evidence (as well as New Jersey case law upholding the rights of municipalities to deny developer’s applications on the basis of concerns about public health). Next step: if Sovereign cannot responsibly complete its report until after December 15, when the supposed “clock” for a Planning Board decision runs out, then the Planning Board will be absolutely within its legal rights to deny AvalonBay’s application on the grounds of inadequate and insufficient information.

Jane Buttars

Dodds Lane

To the Editor:

I want to thank the people of Princeton for electing me as your mayor. And I especially want to thank my amazing campaign team, including Walter Bliss, Sue Nemeth, Chad Goerner, Doreen Blanc Rockstrom, Helen Heintz, Bob and Betty Fleming, Peter Wolanin, Dan Preston, Jon Durbin, Anne Burns, Sarah Lewis Smith, John Cashman, and the newly elected members of council: Jo Butler, Jenny Crumiller, Heather Howard, Lance Liverman, Bernie Miller, and Patrick Simon. I also want to thank my opponent, Dick Woodbridge, who has a long record of service to the community and who ran a strong campaign. Now that the election is over, it is time for us to come together for the benefit of the community. As mayor I will listen to everyone and represent everyone.

Consolidation presents us with a tremendous opportunity to both save money and improve the job we do. I look forward to working with the new council and the community to seize upon these opportunities and to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

We are still collecting applications for our volunteer boards and commissions. Volunteering as a commissioner or board member is a great way to give back to our town, and the work will be especially interesting and rewarding in the coming years in light of consolidation. For an application and more information, go to: www.princetonnj.gov.

Liz Lempert

Meadowbrook Drive

To the Editor,

I am writing to thank the voters of Princeton for voting in the recent election. Despite the difficulties caused by the storm, Princeton once again proved itself an engaged and involved community by still making it out to the polls. I appreciate the support I received and will be honored to serve on the new Princeton Council. I look forward to working with the community to achieve the promise of consolidation: fiscal savings, enhanced services, and a more efficient government.

To that end, I encourage all those interested in participating in the consolidated government to apply to serve on one of the municipal boards, committees, and commissions, all of which will be reconstituted in the New Year; applications can be found at www.princetonnj.gov.

Heather Howard

Aiken Avenue

To the Editor,

I want to thank Princetonians for electing me to the new Princeton Council. It is an honor to serve you. Our new beginning presents a golden opportunity for positive change. With our new mayor and fellow council members, I will work diligently to fulfill the promises of our united Princeton.

Jenny Crumiller

Library Place

To the Editor:

On behalf of Friends of Princeton Open Space, I want to thank the citizens of Princeton for their support of the open space tax ballot question in our recent election. The outcome was compelling: almost 77 percent voted “yes” for a blended open space tax of 1.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which will continue to raise the same amount of annual funding, post-consolidation, as the two municipalities together raised before.

The open space tax has already helped us to preserve almost 290 acres of land, as well as to develop athletic fields at Smoyer Park. Friends of Princeton Open Space looks forward to working with the town of Princeton, the state Green Acres fund, our non-profit partners, and generous individual donors to put the open space tax funds to good use protecting land in the future.

We are grateful to live in a community that is so supportive of open space preservation.

Wendy L. Mager, President

Friends of Princeton Open Space, Inc.

To the Editor:

On behalf of the district election workers whose districts were moved to Jadwin Gym on Nov. 6, I would like to express sincere appreciation to Princeton University and, in particular, to Kristen Appelget and her staff for their very generous assistance and hospitality.

They helped in a number of important ways. They set aside plenty of parking for workers and voters, and had people there in the wee hours of the morning to guide us. They arranged all of the voting machines and furniture into a well-organized set-up for the seven districts. And, most importantly because of this year’s redrawn districts and because of the storm, they had complete lists of registered voters and guided them to the correct voting places. They even supplied generous nourishment for the tired election workers.

Our heartfelt thanks!

John Schivell

District Election Judge, Princeton District 20

To the Editor:

I was very interested to read both Anne Levin’s piece (“Five Year Strategic Plan Outlined at Sexuality Education Fundraiser,” p. 7, Oct. 17) and the co-authored reply proposing a public debate on sex education (“Supporters of Abstinence Education Dispute Claims in Recent Article. Ask For Public Debate,” Mailbox, Oct. 24). While a student at Princeton University several years ago, my classmates and I founded a student group that aimed to enrich the University’s sexual health programming by providing additional resources on building healthy relationships and on the benefits of sexual abstinence. The students we represented and served came from a variety of educational, ethnic, socio-economic, and religious backgrounds, and some did not practice any faith at all. But all shared the same frustration. The sex education they had received prior to college and continued to receive while at Princeton was failing them. My peers found that they struggled to understand the role of sex within the greater context of human intimacy, and that their education – and the habits and attitudes that spawned from it — left them ill-equipped when pursuing more significant romantic relationships.

From my undergraduate and professional experience, I know the importance of educating young men and women to be confident in and responsible with their sexuality. And I have seen the effect their sexual education can have on their ability to relate to others in a meaningful and deeply personal way. I enthusiastically support the proposal for a public debate on sex education, because it is essential that we — as parents and as a community — honestly evaluate our programs and how it prepares our youth to be confident men and women who are able to develop successful and stable relationships down the road.

Cassandra Hough

Loetscher Place

To the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Emergency Management Team, the Police and Fire Departments, Rescue Squads, and all of the municipal employees for their tireless work on behalf of the residents of the Borough and Township. Not only did they do yeoman’s service in preparing us all for the devastating storm that was predicted to hit our town, but they were on the job during and in the immediate aftermath of the storm. In more than one instance, these folks had personal situations related to the storm that were set aside in order that they could do their jobs bringing our town back to life as quickly as possible.

I have worked with many of our municipal employees over the past few years and I know that they are dedicated and hardworking and have the interests of the residents at heart. But their dedication to duty during the storm and in its aftermath far surpasses anything written in their job descriptions. Thank you one and all!

Barbara Trelstad

President, Princeton Borough Council

To the Editor:

At this year’s UFAR 5K to Combat Riverblindness, more than 100 runners helped to keep people from going blind in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We are grateful to the Princeton Theological Seminary for hosting the start and finish of this race, which goes through some of Princeton’s loveliest scenery. Our sponsors also included Merck, Princeton United Methodist Church, Princeton Eye Group, Sight Savers International, Road ID, Rocky Hill Inn, Songbird Capital, Trader Joe’s, and Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center.

All runners received T-shirts, and we were able to give nine prizes, thanks to the generosity of these donors: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Anthony Rabara Pilates Studio, Rocky Hill Yoga, Forest Jewelers, Princeton Running Company, Landau of Princeton, and the Optical Gallery of Princeton. Race results and photos are posted at www.riverblindness.org.

UFAR is the African-inspired, Lawrenceville-based nonprofit charitable organization that aims — in partnership with other organizations — to eradicate onchocerciasis, known as riverblindness. This is a horrific disease that causes severe itching and, eventually, leads to blindness by the age of 40. It afflicts more than 13 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). According to the World Health Organization, the disease can be eradicated by 2020. The medicine for riverblindness is provided free by Merck & Co., but distributing it to remote villages is difficult yet only costs 58 cents per person per year for 10 years.

Daniel Shungu,

Founder, UFAR

Charles Phillips and Liz Meggitt,

Race co-chairs

To the Editor:

We need to have a community discussion about our unreliable utility system and the possibility of putting utility wires underground over a 5 or 10 year period. I’ve been told it’s too costly. The threat to public health and life, the economic loss to our businesses and to residents who cannot get to work, is also very costly. With climate change and increasing numbers and severity of destructive weather events likely in the future, we should get ahead of the situation rather than being in reaction mode with each event. That is also very costly in staff use, and time and equipment.

New developments here and elsewhere have underground wires. We can start the process in currently developed areas of Princeton and move gradually over a period of years as necessary. But we need to get started in early 2013 in discussing this issue and see what can be done and not allow it to fade as this latest emergency gets dimmer in our memories.

We need local leadership in getting this discussion started soon with our engineering and other technical staff as well as with PSE&G and knowledgeable and interested residents.

In the larger context, such infrastructure improvements will also create much needed jobs and help our overall economy.

Grace Sinden

Ridgeview Circle

FEELING BETTER: “It’s more acceptable to go to therapy today, to see it as a path to find a solution to problems. It’s more normalized, nothing to be ashamed of. And many people can be helped.” Ashley Paul Wright, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and certified psychoanalyst (left) and Robin Fein, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and pyschotherapist are partners in Vanguard Counseling of Princeton.

“The biggest challenge is to get the person to make the first call,” states Ashley Paul Wright LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and certified psychoanalyst.

Adds Robin Fein, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and psychotherapist, “When you find the right therapist, it can be life-changing.”

Mr. Wright and Ms. Fein are partners in Vanguard Counseling of Princeton, their psychotherapy and psychoanalysis practice. Both have practiced in Princeton for more than 20 years, with a goal of helping clients resolve problems in a way that provides them with a more hopeful view of the future.

For people struggling with emotional and mental health issues, reaching out for help is so important, points out Mr. Wright, who previously served as director of clinical services for AAMH (Association for the Advancement of Mental Health) in Princeton and also as director for Early Intervention Support Services in Cherry Hill.

Hopeful View

A certified psychoanalyst, he strongly believes people can change their lives for the better with the help of a concerned, compassionate, experienced therapist. “Earlier in my career, I became interested in psychoanalyst Karen Horney’s theories on psychoanalysis. She had a very hopeful view of human growth, and believed you are never too old to change. I was trained at the American Institute for Psychoanalysis-Karen Horney Center in New York.”

“We can help people grow,” points out Ms. Fein. “The relationship we develop with the client creates the mechanism for this. It’s how you do the therapy and the quality of the therapy that makes the difference.”

It is crucial that an individual finds a therapist with whom he or she can build a solid relationship based on trust, she adds. “It is so important to find the right therapist for you.”

Ms. Fein’s practice emphasizes older adolescents, including high school and college-aged patients, 17 and up. Before coming to Princeton, she trained in psychodynamic therapy at the Postgraduate Center in New York, and also worked at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital in the early development of services for sexually abused women.

Mood Disorder

Other focuses in her practice include mood disorder (depression, anxiety, and bi-polar disorder), life transitions, such as separation and divorce, aging, and also chronic illness, and grief.

“A special interest for me has been psychological trauma — Holocaust survivors, and those who have suffered sexual abuse, including rape and incest.”

Depression and anxiety are frequent conditions that both Ms. Fein and Mr. Wright see in their practices. Addictions of various kinds are other issues that bring patients to seek their help.

When an individual has taken the first — often momentous — step of making an appointment, he or she wants to feel respected by the therapist, explains Mr. Wright. “Patients want to be respected and valued, and feel wanted. I let them know that I respect them and want to help them. Trust is built between the client and therapist.

“People are often unhappy with themselves and with their lives,” he continues. “They feel they haven’t lived up to their potential. Also, people frequently repeat the wrong solutions. I try to help them develop an acceptance of what they have experienced. They need to develop compassion for themselves and forgive themselves. I want to help them find a new path and develop a present-mindedness. The only place to live is in the present moment. Most people live in the past or look to the future.

“They limit their lives that way. They may think it’s more comfortable and safe; I want them to be able to experience a fuller and ultimately happier life. I want to help them identify their values and set goals for themselves, and be comfortable with present-mindedness.”

Men’s Issues

Mr. Wright also focuses on men’s issues, including helping men develop their strengths as individuals and in relationships. Helping them deal with the problems associated with aging, including social, psychological, and physical loss, is another area of concern. “It is important to develop psychological flexibility to deal with the changes that come,” he points out.

And, as Ms. Fein explains, “All the losses that come with aging can be hard to face; and certain stages of life are more difficult — retirement, illnesses, losing friends. And the society is so focused on youth and being productive that people may feel they don’t matter any more.”

Both Ms. Fein and Mr. Wright work with individuals and groups. “In a group, not only do patients interact with the therapist, but with each other,” they note.

Their patients are primarily from the Princeton area, and vary in age — from teens to retired persons. Sessions for individuals are 50 minutes, and are usually scheduled once a week. The overall length of time a person is in therapy can vary from a month to several months to years, depending on the goals of the patient.

“If it’s a crisis, we may be able to solve the problem in a few sessions,” says Mr. Wright. “To accomplish long-term change to enable people to manage problems in the future can take longer.”

“When people have experienced a traumatic event, I try to help them find equilibrium and to recalibrate, notes Ms. Fein. “This can be a longer process.”

Good Listener

Both therapists agree that being a good listener is essential to being a good therapist. “I feel there is almost something sacred in the connection and trust that develops between patient and therapist,” says Ms. Fein. “The openness and communication can be very powerful. It helps the individual feel understood and cared about, and then they can consider how they want to change. It’s relational therapy. We are relational creatures.”

Mr. Wright also works with families, and whether he is with a family, treating individuals, or leading groups, he finds it extremely fulfilling. “What I do is full of creativity. It’s not work to me. In a sense, I feel as if I am playing — in a serious way. I feel I’m in the moment — exploring and learning, and having this encounter with patients. In the course of the therapy, we both change. I impact the patient, and the patient impacts me. It’s learning and interacting, and it’s fascinating and enriching.”

As Ms. Fein points out, “People are unique and so complicated. This work is never dull. There is always something new. I have always had curiosity about people, and I have always wanted to be of service and to do something of value with my life. I want to continue to be of service.”

Because she and Mr. Wright want to make therapy available to a wide range of individuals, they have established an affordable payment plan, based on a sliding scale. “We offer affordable solutions for life’s problems.”

They also offer flexible hours. For more information, call (609) 480-6415 or contact vanguardcounseling@gmail.com.


November 7, 2012

To the Editor:

In the words of Bill Sword, Jr., thank you for all of your tender mercies.

In the midst of the chaos and devastation that our community experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, our family was embraced with extraordinary love, care and thoughtfulness.

On behalf of our entire family, we want to thank the Princeton Police and the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, who risked their lives in the storm to come to Bill’s aid, our incredible Princeton community of friends, and especially our Nassau Presbyterian Church family for the warmth that you brought to all of us during this very difficult time.

With our deepest gratitude,

The Sword Family

To the Editor:

The residents of the Bouvant/White Oak/Stuart neighborhood would like to thank PSE&G for all they have done to restore our power. We realize that this was the worst storm in their history and their task was monumental. Yet under these extreme circumstances, they quickly prioritized what needed to be done and then carefully, safely, and expeditiously started bringing power back. Everyone that we dealt with at PSE&G, from the people working in the streets to those manning the phones, to management, were nothing but helpful and professional during this catastrophe. We also appreciated the status reports, even when we weren’t happy with what we heard. Job well done.

Faye and Hamed Abdou, Amy Borovoy, Jonathan Morduch, Sherri and Vic Garber, Ruth and Rob Goldston, Mary Anne and

Don Greenberg, Adam and Irina Irgon,

Susan and Ashok Kapoor, Sheila and Suresh Kumar, Indrani and Rajiv Malhotra, Carol and Myron Mehlman, Jill Morrison, Greg Peel, Karen Ohringer,

Henry Echeverria, Reba Orszag,

Candace and Marvin Preston,

Carol Rosenthal, Helene and

Paul Shapiro, Sheila Siderman, Jerry Palin, Ann and Rudy Skalka, Naomi Vilko,

Sid Goldfarb, Hui and John Weihe.

The Bouvant/White Oak/Stuart neighborhood

To the Editors:

My children and I were among the lucky beneficiaries of the Princeton Public Library’s generosity in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. I am writing to extend my deepest thanks to every one of the staff who worked tirelessly and selflessly (long hours without breaks and food) to provide a comfortable, fun, clean, and supportive environment for all of us camped out there. You were no doubt personally affected by the storm yet you managed to not only get to work but to show those of us gathered there remarkable compassion, patience, and kindness. I will never forget — and will always be inspired by — you.

Liz Erickson

Howe Circle

To the Editors:

I am writing to thank the Princeton Public Library for its generosity in the days following the storm. I imagine that in many other communities there was really no place to go, but in Princeton we could come down to the library, recharge our cell phones, check email, warm up, read in the light, and even have a cup of coffee. In fact, I’m still here at the library writing this letter a week after the storm. Thank you to the library staff for your patience and kindness amidst the hordes of people and to the administration for making the generous decision to open your doors wide, not just to Princeton residents, but to the greater community as well.

Susan Danoff

Clover Lane

To the Editor:

Princeton has survived yet another storm, and this was one for the record books. We’re grateful for the tireless efforts of our first responders and utility crews, who had their hands full. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the special contributions made by a few local institutions and businesses that went beyond the call of duty to make this ordeal more manageable: the Princeton Public Library, whose staff graciously accommodated the multitudes that descended on the library to study, to commune with their fellow townspeople, to recharge their batteries and to seek that elusive wi-fi; McCaffrey’s, whose giant generator allowed them to keep us supplied with food and ice, as well as another refuge for charging batteries and staying warm; Smith’s Ace Hardware, whose flashlight-wielding sales personnel led us through the darkened shelves to find needed supplies; and WWFM whose staff managed to keep the station on the air, providing beautiful music to accompany our candlelight dinners. Thank you.

Bill and Joanne Dix

Snowden Lane

To the Editor:

AvalonBay demands a building for 324 units (to maximize profits) for the bonus of 44 over 280 originally planned. They want only 17.3 percent affordable housing units, seeking to override the Master Plan and Borough Code, which admirably stipulate 20 percent. They want more floors than the International Fire Code permits.

AvalonBay wants to do less in other areas: less sustainable building than the Master Plan’s (MP) goal for new or remodeled buildings as “models of environmental, economic and social stewardship” (2006 MP, page 39). They’ve committed publicly only to using EnergyStar appliances, stating that they’ll discuss other green, sustainable measures “at the appropriate time” — unnamed: a refrain echoed March 2012. And almost zero public open space, despite Borough Code requirements.

Aggressive withholding of information has been an AvalonBay method. At the SPRAB meeting on October 10, 2012, they provided so few documents that SPRAB Board member Harry Cooke remarked that “given the fact that items such as reports requested by the PEC and engineer, use of the garage and traffic studies are not complete, and particularly that the design does not meet the established Princeton Design Standards, he could not, in good conscience recommend that the Planning Board approve this application” (SPRAB Report, 10/20/12, pp. 4-5). Ron Ladell, for AvalonBay, said all questions would be answered in a “letter”; he did not say when.

Probably not in time for municipal staff or committees to consider the responses. People should know that AvalonBay turned in replies to Borough and Township engineer’s reports so late that staff could not review them before the first Planning Board meeting on October 25. The replies that came in are refusenik: everyone should hang tight until formal “testimony” before the Board — including issues about parking calculations, ADA — compliant parking spaces, fire protection information (for this all-wood building), the physical connection between the garage and the apartment complex, etc. Right now, there’s still no accurate Environmental Impact Statement (requested by Derek Bridger at PEC on October 10), and no complete Traffic Impact Study.

The Planning Board should push back against such disrespectful shenanigans and repudiate AvalonBay’s attempt to intimidate the community. AvalonBay claims that, because it has finally consented to build 20 percent affordable housing (Code requirements), every moment lost before an approval is granted is somehow a communal violation of an “inherently beneficial use” of the hospital site (for affordable units). This is nonsense. So is Avalon’s calculated withholding of information necessary for Princeton staff and Planning Board members to conduct a responsible review. Yes, 20 percent affordable housing is beneficial; and yes, Princeton will follow its own Code, and any developer will have to provide it.

But of course AvalonBay’s Princeton is not our “Princeton.” Its “private community” would be named “AvalonPrinceton.” Are we ready to have the new consolidated town’s name absorbed into a monolith that defies years of intelligent urban planning?

Helmut Schwab

Westcott Road

To the Editor:

Princetonians should know that AvalonBay has rashly misrepresented plain facts about the Borough Code related to the old hospital site. At the Planning Board meeting on Oct. 25, 2012, Jeremy Lang (for AvalonBay) stated that “The garage has nothing to do with design standards.” He was seconded by Anne Studholme, attorney for AvalonBay.

Both people are incorrect. The garage will abut seamlessly against the new apartment complex (if the Planning Board votes to approve the application). The “location” of the seamless join is in Princeton Borough; it is consequently governed by Borough Code. That Code stipulates that “the development shall have an enhanced system of public open spaces and pathways that provide linkages between and through the development” (17A-193B.d.4; see also d.1).

As the SPRAB report of 10/10/2012 indicates, the seamless abutment of residential complex and garage in fact eliminates the present public walkway from Witherspoon Street to Harris Road. If AvalonBay insists on closing off this public linkage, it must surely consent to provide others — and thus break up the monolithic cubes. Because the garage would become an appendage to the residences, enlarging the total overall footprint, the Planning Board needs to understand that the AvalonBay site plan is a direct and unacceptable violation of the Borough Code.

A development designed to be fully open to public access “crossing the site” is what the 2006 Master Plan envisages. Countless individuals spent hundreds of hours (and meetings) contributing to the plan. Barry Rabner, president and CEO of the Medical Center, through his architect-consultant Robert Hillier, “signed on” to the plan (as transcripts of Planning Board hearings show), in exchange for an excessive density of 280 units.

The design standards for the site define any development on this property. A stipulation such as the public’s ability to “[cross] the site” can be demonstrated by eye, hand, or foot. Either you can or can’t walk through and between the buildings. The design standards are written in such a way that a single monolithic building is not allowed — unless the present seven-story towers are sustainably retained.

The Planning Board must understand that the garage cannot be evaluated without reference to design standards in Borough Code and that there should be only one application.

The Planning Board must also follow these principles: 1) Design standards are not “vague” or “subjective” (as some have carelessly stated) — “crossing the site” is very specific. 2) The burden of proving that a design standard is “vague” or “subjective” falls on the developer, not on the municipality in whose code the standard is embodied. 3) The only legitimate venue in which a developer’s claim of “vagueness” or “subjectivity” can be upheld or denied is a court of law. 4) The only person who can sustain or dismiss such a claim is a judge.

I call upon the Planning Board to honor its responsibilities to Princeton, to invoke design standards wherever appropriate, and to deny the AvalonBay application completely.

The next Planning Board meeting falls on November 15, 2012. Please come and speak.

Cecil Marshall

Moore Street

To the Editor:

Between 2010 and 2012 the Township’s tax rate remained flat but the County tax rate increased by 5.6 percent and the Regional School tax rate increased by 9.13 percent. We just heard (Packet of 10/19/12) that the Consolidation Task Force revised its estimate of 2013 savings up to $2.2 million. Should we go out and celebrate? Absolutely not.

Future taxes in the new Princeton will continue to go up even if the new mayor and Council will find a way to keep the future tax rates unchanged. That is because we have no say in what the county does, nor have we any jurisdiction over the schools’ budget. We have a history of past Township Committees failing to exert pressure on the Board of Education to reduce expenses and lessen the burden imposed on the middle class of Princeton.

Lest we forget Princeton University, and all other federally tax exempt institutions, that own about 53 percent of all land in Princeton, where we go to every year, hat in hand, begging for a few kopecks with scant results.

Just look at the numbers, the school bond cost of carry in 2013 will be more than $1.2 million and the rise of normal school expenses due to contractual obligations (salaries, pensions, etc) may probably go up close to a million dollars, wiping out all the savings that consolidation worked so hard to achieve.

Yes, the new mayor and Council have no jurisdiction over the School Board, the county and all federally tax exempt institutions that are part of Princeton. But unless they are willing to exert great pressure on all these entities. Unless the school system will reduce its annual 3 percent tax rate rise. Unless the University which has about a $17 billion endowment fund will find its way to increase its annual PILOT payments to about 25 percent of the estimated $28 million tax bill they would have had if not for the federal exemption. If nothing changes, the middle class in Princeton will be forced to either reduce their standard of living or sell their houses and move to another town.

We should be aware that for middle class senior citizens and retirees the average property taxes in Princeton are larger than their average Social Security payments. We can not increase their taxes year after year.

The new mayor and Council must address this problem with the same urgency as they will address consolidation. In ten years, if we continue as in the past, the tax rate will be up another 50 percent and Princeton will be a town without a middle class. The time to act is NOW.

Ralph Perry

Random Road