September 26, 2012

To the Editor:

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

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

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

Ciara Celestin

Ambassador Girl Scout Princeton Troop 71204

Cynthia Mendez,

Director, Princeton Human Services

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jane Buttars

Dodds Lane

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alexi Assmus, PhD

Maple Street

To the Editor:

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

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

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

Jacob Reses ‘13

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

Kate Warren

Jefferson Road

September 19, 2012

To the Editor:

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

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

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

Jean & Jon Durbin, Mt. Lucas Road

Beatrice & Michael Bloom, White Pine Lane

Bonnie & Lance Itkoff, Elm Road

Karen & Archibald Reid, Westcott Road

Cindi & Bill Venizelos, Rosedale Lane

———

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

Karen A. Jezierny

Gregg R. Smith

Mt. Lucas Rd

———

To the Editor:

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

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

Michael and Julie Harrison

Jefferson Rd

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

William Stephenson

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yina Moore, Mayor

Princeton Borough

Chad Goerner, Mayor

Princeton Township

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

Bainy Suri

Chestnut Street

To the Editor:

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

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

Beverly T. Elston

Quarry Street

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharon Sibilia and Sanja Dimic

Washington Road

West Windsor Township

To the Editor:

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

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

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

Irv Urken

Kennedy Court

To the Editor:

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

Tamera Matteo

Snowden Lane

Dear Editor:

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

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

Margaret Griffin

Battle Road

AUTOMOTIVE EXCELLENCE: “We sell safety. This is major. At Volvo of Princeton, it’s all about safety, customer service, energy-efficiency, reliability, and recyclability” Chris Long, general manager of Volvo of Princeton, is shown by a silver XC60, Volvo’s popular cross-over vehicle.

What is it about a Volvo? This automobile has almost unmatched customer loyalty. Once people have one, they keep it as long as possible, and then, only when necessity dictates, turn it in for — of course — another Volvo.

“Customer loyalty is incredible,” says Chris Long, general manager of Volvo of Princeton (Long Motor Company) at Route One South in Lawrenceville. “We have customers who come back for another Volvo, and refer friends here. Customer service is very important to us. If customers have questions or if there is ever a problem, we take care of it right away. If people bring their cars in for service, we make sure they understand what is going to be done.

“Also, the cars today are so amazing, with such high quality and so many features. We’ll go over a new car with the customer for 35 minutes to make sure they understand it before they drive it away.”

Volvo of Princeton is very much a family business, adds Mr. Long. “My dad, David Long, with his brothers Matt and Larry opened the business at 255 Nassau Street in 1982.”

It relocated to its current spacious quarters in 1991.

Family Focus

The family focus is strong. Chris Long’s Three brothers are also in the business, and founders David and Matt continue to oversee the operation. There is lways a member of the Long family in every location

In addition to Princeton, the Long Motor Company has Volvo dealerships in Edison and Bridgewater?, and last April, they branched farther afield with the purchase of a Porsche/Mercedes-Benz dealership in Atlantic City. “This was an opportunity to diversify, and there has been a great response,” says Mr. Long. “My dad is in charge of the operation there.”

Volvo, with its unique history and passionately-devoted owners has a story all its own, he adds. Safety, durability, and longevity are stressed again and again. This has been paramount since the company began producing cars in Sweden in the 1920s.

“The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo is, and must remain, safety,” said Assar Gabrielson, a Volvo founder.

But how did this automotive company in Sweden (originally a ball-bearing manufacturer!) become such a big success in the car-conscious U.S.A.?

“The Swedes were very clever,” explains Mr. Long. “They had a contract to produce small delivery vehicles, and something happened to the contract, so in the early 1950s they added windows on the sides of the vehicles to resemble station wagons, and introduced them to the American audience.”

Love Affair

Thus began the American Volvo love affair, and it has only grown stronger over the years. The Longs felt Volvo would do well in Princeton, and it has been an excellent match.

“Our firm, an independent family-owned business, buys the most Volvos of any other small independent company in the world — outside of Sweden,” reports Mr. Long, who has worked full-time in the business since 1994. “Princeton people love their Volvos, and they keep coming back for more.”

Volvo cars are manufactured, assembled, and shipped out of Sweden, and the North American headquarters is in New Jersey, he adds.

Careful attention to every detail of the automobile’s production is key. “Steel is very important when the cars are made, and we use a very high grade of steel. It is also about the placement of the steel in the car. The air bags are another aspect. Many factors are involved to create the safest car,” points out Mr. Long.

“Another thing, Volvo is very environmentally-friendly. For example, Volvos are 85 percent recyclable.”

Also appealing to customers is the recent emphasis on design. Long known for its box-like shape, Volvo has added new lines with a more stylish look, a bit more flair. “We have a great range of styles,” says Mr. Long. “Our S-60 mid-size sedan is very popular, and we have a convertible, a sporty hatch-back, a wagon and various versatile SUVs.”

Exactly Right

Silver continues to be the best-selling color, he adds.

Mr. Long is enthusiastic about the upcoming years, with Volvo poised to make a breakthrough in a number of areas. “In the next 12 to 18 months, Volvo will be revamping; coming out with smaller engines, higher performance, and two or three hybrids will be available. The company has been very careful about hybrids because they want to get it exactly right. Also, three of our current cars get 30 miles per gallon.

“I am really looking forward to the next five years,” he says. “It will be out of sight — changes with engines, environmental awareness. It is so exciting!”

Mr. Long, who grew up in the business, and learned it all — “sales, service, parts” — has always loved cars, and is fascinated by the changes in the industry. “The whole business changed with the internet. It’s so much easier to obtain information, and customers are much more knowledgeable. And with all the technology today, our technicians have on-going training and education at computer school. Some cars now start with the press of a button — not a key. It’s amazing!”

“Tiger” Car

Customer satisfaction is a priority at Volvo of Princeton, and Mr. Long enjoys the interaction with all the clients. “We do all we can to make it a satisfying experience for them. We have a courtesy shuttle, our black and orange striped ‘Tiger’ car, to take people home or to the mall. We also have a complimentary loaner car, if their vehicle has to stay a longer time for service.

“And there are a lot of summer sales events now, with great leasing opportunities and payment plans available. For new Volvos, we offer free maintenance for five years or 50,000 miles.”

Volvo of Princeton has won many awards for sales and service over the years, and giving back to the community has always been an important part of the Long family’s philosophy.

“My dad received the Salute to Dealer Award from Ford Motor Company, when they owned Volvo,” notes Mr. Long. “This is based on commitment to service to the community, and he was one of nine recipients out of 62 nominations from 30 states.”

The company has donated a Volvo to the American Red Cross of central New Jersey’s annual raffle for more than 10 years, and Mr. Long is on the board. Volvo of Princeton regularly contributes to numerous charities and organizations in the area.

“The focus is about giving back,” says Mr. Long. “This has always been important to us. We want to make a difference to people.”

Volvo of Princeton is open Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday until 6, Saturday until 5. (609) 882-6000. Website: www.volvocountry.com


CREATIVE HARMONY: “We’re getting known for being the landscape “theme” experts. We do the landscape in keeping with the architecture and design of the client’s house.” Tom Rinehart, owner and founder of Princeton Lawn and Landscapes, emphasizes the importance of an overall landscaping theme in harmony with the house and environment.

Your home is your haven, and ideally, this should be reflected outdoors as well as indoors. A landscape design in keeping with the architecture of your home and the environment can go a long way both toward enhancing your personal pleasure as well as the property’s future value.

“We believe that the grounds of a home should be in balance with the design of a home,” says Tom Rinehart, founder and owner of Princeton Lawn and Landscapes. “We offer an unsurpassed visual aesthetic in landscape design and superior service at a fair price.”

Whether the house is a stately Tudor, a charming cottage, or traditional colonial, Princeton Lawn and Landscapes can provide the appropriate landscape design.

“For example,” explains Mr. Rinehart, “if your home resembles a cottage in Provence, then your landscape design should incorporate elements such as rustic limestone, decorative planters, groomed boxwoods, and of course, loads of lavender. Unfortunately, a lot of landscapers recommend a contemporary American look regardless of the architecture of your house.”

Design and Color

Mr. Rinehart has a special interest in design and color. Formerly a vice president at Macy’s, he has had a successful career in the fashion industry, including establishing his own children’s wear company. After moving to Princeton 12 years ago, he became a strategic consultant to a number of companies in New York and Philadelphia, as well as focusing on executive searches for many other firms.

In time, he found he wanted to make a change. “My passion was always to get outdoors again,” he explains. “I am originally from Ohio, and I was the first male in the family in 200 years not born on a farm! But we loved to be outdoors, and our whole family gardened together on Saturdays.”

Also, the idea of his own business always appealed to Mr. Rinehart — from his earliest days. “From the time I was 12 or 13, I cut lawns and saved all my money for college. I loved the dignity of work, and was proud to have my own bank account.”

So, after careful research into the landscaping industry, he acquired an existing business, Blue Sky Landscapes in Manalapan.

Dave Guy, former president of Blue Sky, became Mr. Rinehart’s partner in Princeton Lawn and Landscapes last February.

“Dave has a pragmatic sense of design, and expertise in native species, creating hardscapes, lawn renovation, and superior customer service,” notes Mr. Rinehart. “We feel there was a niche for two things in landscaping: one, excellence can be affordable. You can establish a profitable business and not overcharge. And two, the importance of aesthetic sense and style. We are targeting Princeton, Pennington, Hopewell, Kingston, Montgomery, and Belle Mead. We are very focused.”

“Outdoor Living”

Providing planting design, installation, and maintenance, and “outdoor living”, including hardscapes, such as patios, walkways, courtyards, outdoor kitchens, and fireplaces, is a year-round job, says Mr. Rinehart.

“We had our first job in early March. It was a patio and big landscaping installation. We have had great word-of-mouth and referrals, and we are very busy. First, the challenge was getting jobs; now, it’s scheduling all the jobs. We are very encouraged.”

Customers generally focus on two issues, he adds: low maintenance and deer-resistant plants. In the latter case, Mr. Rinehart recommends a variety of deer-resistant plants, such as American holly, viburnum, barberry, juniper, spirea, lilac, dogwood, and butterfly bush.

“We also have organic deer-resistant products to apply that are our own recipes,” he adds. “We like to use plants that are native to the climate and environment, which generally require less maintenance. We also have very big potted containers that only need watering once a week. In addition, after we do a plant installation, we leave behind written instructions. If we are seeding and sodding a lawn, we come and water it for two to three weeks every day. We guarantee the lawn.”

If clients are simply not into maintenance themselves, Princeton Lawn and Landscapes will provide weeding, trimming, lawn cutting, and watering, as needed.

Mr. Rinehart and the staff will advise customers on appropriate plantings for sun and shade, and also the best materials for a hardscape. For example, he points out, “If you want a natural look that blends in well with the local environment, we highly recommend field stone or blue stone. If you want a more economical, easier to install option, synthetic materials are constantly improving aesthetically and look better than ever now.”

Residential Focus

Residential work is the company’s focus, and this is Mr. Rinehart’s special priority. “My passion is residential. I feel it is more creative. I love the idea that we can create a landscape design to go with the theme of the house. And this will also enhance the property value. If owners eventually decide to sell, they will get their money back.”

Small and large projects are all part of the job — everything from a day-long clean-up to a current hardscape, including three patios. Jobs typically take one day to three weeks or more.

Water gardens are another customer favorite, reports Mr. Rinehart. “We also do bird habitats, butterfly gardens, and bird baths.”

Mr. Rinehart is very proud of the company’s special technology feature, enabling clients to see “before and after” pictures of a landscape. “We have fabulous software that can show people how the new landscape or hardscape will look. I love showing this to them on the internet, and then having them see it in person.”

He also is planning to develop an on-line business, including selling self-contained water features and birdbaths. “I am really excited about building the on-line retail business, which will allow us to offer clients exceptional products.

“We look forward to doing beautiful things, to acquiring a phenomenal reputation, and then building on that reputation.”

Princeton Lawn and Landscapes can be reached at (609) 497-3206. Website: www.princetonlawn.com email: tom@princetonlawn.com.


September 12, 2012

CLASSIC CHOICES: “The staff has been here a long time, and we all enjoy being together. We feel this is a second home! We love being here for our customers, and many of them have become friends over the years.” Ellen Sabino, right, owner of Ashton-Whyte in Pennington, is shown with staff members, from left: Darby Van Heyst and Anna Moreno-Paz.

Ashton-Whyte in Pennington is certainly one of the most attractive stores around. Its quality items and charming displays invite customers both to browse and buy.

Known especially for a classic selection of fine furnishings for the home, including bed and bath items, furniture, and choices for babies and toddlers, the store recently added a line of tabletop products, including dinnerware, flatware, and stemware. In addition, a selection of clothing and jewelry is now available.

Opened in 1995 at 250 South Main Street, Ashton-Whyte (the name derives from 18th century London shop signs) has always attracted customers who appreciated its signature classic style and quality, notes owner Ellen Sabino. “We have always had a market that focused on a classic style. There was a real interest in the products we sell. I had always had an interest in decorative arts, including furniture and accessories. And, bed and bath was the original focus, and it is still our core.”

There is no question that customers, who come from all over the Princeton and Pennington area, enjoy Ashton-Whyte’s classic mode, which is reflected in the items throughout the store. “We’ve had a good fit with the lines we carry,” points out Ms. Sabino “All the lines are rooted in the classic style. They endure. Important lines in bedding include Down Right pillows and duvets; elegant bedding and great alternative down from Sferra; casual bedding from Pine Cone Hill; and great classic bedding from Matouk, and prints from Lulu DK.”

Table Linens

Bath items include towels from Matouk and Abyss, and wonderful plush bath rugs with super colors and designs from Habidecor.

Ashton-Whyte is noteworthy for its lovely table linens, including tablecloths and napkins from Le Jacquard Francais, and Calaisio’s rattan placemats, chargers, and baskets.

Ms. Sabino is enthusiastic about two new categories recently added to the Ashton-Whyte collection. “We have brought in tabletop items, such as dinnerware, flatware, and stemware. Juliska and Gien dinnerware, glassware from Reed & Barton and Sabre, and Iittala stemware are included.

“The newest thing is clothing and jewelry,” she continues. “We wanted to offer an environment for personal accessories, but we chose carefully because we are not a clothing store. We have some dresses and tops, also sweats, robes, pajamas, and handbags. Some of our items include tunics from Gretchen Scott; Before & Again’s colorful tunics, T-shirt dresses and T-shirts; jewelry and scarves from the Julie Collection; and Louen Hide handbags.

New Categories

“I have been so pleased at how the new categories have been received,” she continues. “When customers come in, they see things they don’t expect to see. That’s fun for them, and it creates interest. People say it’s fun to shop here. There is always something interesting.”

Many new customers, in addition to the loyal regulars, are discovering Ashton-Whyte, adds Ms. Sabino. “A woman came in recently and said, ‘I’ve never been in here before, and I love it!’”

They seem to like everything and appreciate the “One Stop Shop” aspect of the store. They will find an array of often irresistible items for the home. Colorful Melamine dishes from France, vintage furniture, including beds and dressers, lamps, indoor/outdoor area rugs, pewter picture frames, wooden trays and salad bowls, and framed artwork are all on display, as are cotton sheets, soap and candles, colorful cotton tunics, long cashmere cardigans in beautiful shades, and buttery soft fleece, to crisp cotton robes.

The jewelry selection features pieces from delicate to dramatic. Striking gold chains and beaded bracelets in aqua, black, and natural are among the choices. The latter are priced at an affordable $14.

Beautiful Blankets

Babies and toddlers are not forgotten at the store either, notes Ms. Sabino, “We have layettes and beautiful blankets, and keepsakes items, including music boxes.”

There are also little ceramic dishes featuring two miniature boxes for “First Lock” and “First Tooth”, piggy banks, bibs, and an array of adorable apparel for tiny tots.

“We also now have a Wish List for special occasions, including weddings, and we are working with an event planner,” reports Ms. Sabino. “We always listen to our clientele, and customer service and personal attention are very important, but it’s low key. We don’t hover. We want customers to enjoy the store and the shopping experience.”

Ashton-Whyte offers a wide range of prices, seasonal sales, complimentary gift wrapping, and gift certificates. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (609) 737-7171. Website: www.ashtonwhyte.com.


GREAT TASTES: “I wanted to make food for people so they can eat well; my meals are diet and palate-specific. I feel I am helping to bring the family back to the dinner table!” Personal chef Dan Vogt, owner of food by dan, is enthusiastic about his new business venture.

What’s for dinner? It’s been a long day; you get home late, you’re tired; there’s not a lot of time to prepare dinner, give the kids their bath and read to them, let alone relax after your own demanding work day.

Options are available, of course. TV dinners, fast food take-out, eating at a restaurant. None of these work out for tonight, however. What you really need is food by dan!

Dan Vogt is a personal chef, who loves to cook nutritious meals for people. Headquartered in Hamilton, food by dan offers weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly meals, including five entrees (four servings each) with a vegetable side.

“I will do it all for you,” says Dan. “I do the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, and I stock the fridge. You have more time to enjoy!”

After School

From the time he was a young boy, Dan loved to cook. “I always had a passion for cooking,” he recalls, with a smile. “I started to love it when my nose could reach the countertop. My mom was my inspiration. I learned so much from her. She is the foundation of this project and of what I do.”

And he learned fast. “When I was 10, I made dinner for the family. At 15, I started cooking professionally at a nursing home for priests, where I was responsible for preparing meals for 80 people. I did this after school and in the summer.”

Dan especially loved to make “golumpki” (stuffed cabbage) and homemade pasta.

After college, he worked in restaurants and hotels, as a chef and also as concierge in the hospitality industry in northern New Jersey. When he later moved to Hamilton, he decided to go into business for himself. Looking for a way to demonstrate his unique creativity and love for cooking, he researched personal chef opportunities.

A personal chef, he explains, “serves several clients, and provides multiple meals that are custom-designed for the clients’ particular requests and requirements. These meals are packaged and stored so that clients may enjoy them at their leisure in the future.”

Dan began with a few clients, and very quickly, the business grew to encompass people in Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties, providing him with a thriving operation.

Perfect Match

“I started with a Thanksgiving dinner for a friend of my sister,” he explains. “It was so successful that I put an ad in FaceBook, and before I knew it, I did 10 more Thanksgiving dinners! One of the clients said, ‘I wish I could have you every week.’”

Why not? This fit in perfectly with his love of cooking and desire to offer healthy food to clients. A perfect match, indeed.

Helping his customers to enjoy nutritious meals, while relieving them of the shopping, preparation, cooking, and clean-up is Dan’s focus. Everything is completely customized to the client’s taste and needs, he points out. “I have an initial interview with people about their likes and dislikes, possible allergies or special dietary considerations. Do they need gluten-free? Are they lactose-intolerant? Vegetarians? Trying to lose weight?”

The entree can include meat, fish, or pasta, with a vegetable side. Dan enjoys preparing many of his own recipes for people. “I love to take classic American food and put a new twist on it. For example, meat loaf, with a balsamic glaze. I love to cook with vinegar. It adds great flavor and a whole new dimension.”

Summer Choices

Dan’s menu changes seasonally, he adds. Currently, summer choices include summer roasted chicken with pistachio sauce; Tuscan-style salmon; schnitzel (pork cutlet); tomato and watermelon salad; filet mignon with mustard whiskey sauce, and pasta dishes. Gazpacho is a popular summer soup, and chili is always a winter favorite.

Dan emphasizes that all the dishes are tailored to the individual. Roast chicken is a big favorite with many customers, as is Spanish chicken and rice.

He points out that fresh, quality ingredients are a must, and “I try to get produce and other items locally whenever possible. It is important that people know where their food comes from. I am also a member of the Slow Food Association and the American Personal and Private Chef Association.”

Dan shops for groceries the morning of the day he cooks (which can be in his commercial kitchen or at the clients’ home, if they wish).

Heating Instructions

After the meals are cooked, he then packages (vacuum-seals), labels, and delivers them to the customers freezer, with heating instructions.

Desserts can also be provided for an additional cost. “I love to make pies,” he notes.

Catering for parties and events is another service, as are cooking demonstrations and lessons.

“On Tax Day, I did a corporate event — a ‘Thank You’ for the company’s clients, with omelet stations for 25. I have also done picnics, barbecues, and romantic dinners.”

Dan couldn’t be happier that he has so many regular customers who are eager to sample even more of his cooking. “For me, this is being able to follow my passion. It’s edible art. It’s so creative — I’m creating something from my own hands that people can enjoy. Food is much more than what we eat. It is our culture, our company, our comfort, and our inspiration.”

food by dan is also a wonderful gift for a new mom, newlyweds, anniversary, birthday, housewarming, or a get well remembrance.

(609) 649-8238; email: dan@foodbydan.com; website: www.foodbydan.com.

To The Editor:

I am writing to ask you to vote on Monday, September 24, in favor of the bond referendum to repair and restore the Princeton Public Schools and playing fields. The referendum is necessary because the life expectancy has been exceeded for many of the systems and components in buildings that were mostly built in the 1950s. This is an opportune time to tackle such necessary projects because of low construction costs and very low interest rates.

The district has spent more than a year carefully considering a list of needed projects for the town’s schools with an eye toward making the most conservative request possible. The projects include exterior and interior repairs and refurbishments, field reconditioning and the repurposing of an old middle school gym into a media center.

The referendum will pay for exterior repairs or replacements for select windows, doors, roofs, playgrounds, brickwork and parking lots. Inside the schools, repairs and rehabilitation will take place for some air ventilation systems, climate controls, lockers, select classrooms and class storage, and safer gym flooring at elementary schools.

The referendum also will pay for the replacement of the artificial turf and track at the high school. Heavily used by the school, weekend clubs, and residents, the turf is disintegrating into black particles and the track surface is coming loose in chunks. Both are on the verge of becoming unusable.

Refreshing those surfaces calls for the simultaneous replacement of the aluminum spectator bleachers and press box because heavy equipment cannot cross the artificial surfaces unless they are under construction. In case you haven’t been to a game recently, the narrow (and uncomfortable) bleachers have no stairs, and no ramps for the disabled.

The referendum also includes the repurposing of the old gym at John Witherspoon Middle School into a media center that better reflects the current needs of the students, with more technology, resources, and instructional space. The existing library and its tiny book collection haven’t really changed since I went there as a student in the 1970s — even though the school population is much larger.

For more details about the projects, go to www.PrincetonK12.org.

Every vote counts!

Rebecca Cox

Madison Street, PHS Class of 1982

To the Editor:

Once again, the caring and generosity of our community has been immediate and impressive. This year, through HomeFront’s Back to School drive, 1,200 homeless or very low-income children are going back to school with their heads held high, thanks to the concerted efforts of area businesses, organizations, congregations, and individuals. In these opening days of the school year, these children will proudly open their backpacks, filled with all the school supplies they could possibly want or need. They are confident — and, most importantly, they are ready to learn.

Not only did community members provide clothing, backpacks, and supplies, they also contributed to HomeFront’s Children’s Fund, which will be used throughout the school year to help parents of our client families provide those items that mean so much to their children: school pictures, the fees for a class trip, and even athletic shoes and equipment.

HomeFront knows the critical role that education plays in an independent, positive life and we do our very best to encourage and support academic success for adults and the children we serve. We provide tutoring four evenings a week during the school year, and our summer camps have a strong educational component. If a child has a learning disability, we work to have it remediated. Throughout all of our work, the community plays a vital role; as just one example, we have an amazing corps of volunteers who work one-on-one with the children.

In these difficult economic times, community support is even more meaningful. I only wish everyone who helped with our Back to School drive could have seen the children’s faces when they came to HomeFront last week. All of their excitement as they saw their new clothing, backpacks, and supplies was possible because they lived in a community that cares. For all of you who made this happen, I thank you.

Connie Mercer

HomeFront President & CEO

To the Editor:

As deputy mayor of the Township, Liz Lempert has been closely involved in our town’s road to consolidation. But that’s not the best reason for her to become mayor of a united Princeton. The best reason is her record.

As Liz’s fellow member on the Princeton Environmental Commission, I can say that her commitment to the environment and sustainability has been unsurpassed by any other municipal official who has served on the PEC. One of her greatest achievements was helping preserve 66 acres of open space, including the Princeton Ridge Preserve. With Liz as mayor, our town will become greener faster.

As a fellow public school mother, I am grateful for Liz founding Save Our Schools, which has waged a tough and ongoing fight with the state legislature to give local voters — not the state — power over charter schools that usurp local funds to create boutique schools within a system ranked among the best in the nation. In my two decades in Princeton, I’ve not seen this kind of activism and commitment to public education by any other municipal official. Liz will keep working hard to keep our schools strong.

Liz also has been a local hero for the less fortunate in our town by leading the effort to save Princeton’s Human Service Commission. There are many individuals in Princeton with low-paying jobs and no health insurance who have difficulty paying rent and putting food on the table. The commission exists to help these people when they are in need or in crisis, yet it was nearly abolished.

Lastly, I am grateful for Liz’s successful efforts in working with officials and staff to keep the property tax rate flat, and for her intent to keep it flat once she’s elected mayor.

Liz is short on rhetoric and long on action. She is open-minded, fair, pragmatic, and gets things done, thanks in large part to her collaborative style of leadership. She’s not in the race for the limelight. She loves this town as much as her Princeton born and bred contender, and she’s in it to keep Princeton a great, neighborhood-oriented and progressive place to live.

Wendy Kaczerski

Chestnut Street

To the Editor:

I am a mother of a preschooler that folks in the linguistics and child development world call a dual language learner. Most of these children, if not all, go through a phase the American Language-Speech-Hearing Association call a “period of silence,” which is often mistaken for developmental or speech delay. The period of silence usually comes during the time most monolingual children are speaking and answering questions. My child was no exception to this rule and has been placed in a learning disability program here in Princeton. Through some research, I discovered that many dual language learners are in similar situations. The administration has agreed to meet with me to discuss my request to have my bilingual child be assessed with tests and standards appropriate for dual language learners.

While I am happy for the opportunity to discuss assessments with the administration, I fear that at the end of the day, financial considerations will prohibit my child and other bilingual children from getting an assessment that is appropriate for them. I had chatted with the president of one of the PTOs in Princeton about my child. She declared to me “The school doesn’t have money. The school should not pay for any special assessments. I don’t want to spend money on any other assessment.” I worry that the administration will reflect the same attitude as the PTO president.

Her financial concerns for the school are warranted. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which administers an international test called PISA to 15-year-olds worldwide, noted that the top performing nations had very cost effective educational systems. The U.S. was not one of the top ranking nations in PISA. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Governor Chris Christie hope to build educational systems that can run smarter on less money. Today, we can see some of the results of education reform. Recent rankings published in New Jersey Monthly, which had Princeton High School at number 59, reflects how well schools do during times of budget cutting.

While Princeton figures out how to make smarter decisions, I worry that because there are parents in Princeton who do not care about all the different children with different needs, the administration possesses the same ideas as the PTO president. If that is the case my children, other dual language learners in Princeton, the limited English proficiency students who are still trying to learn English, and a host of other children, will never get a fair shot at education.

Aggie Sung Tang

Herrontown Road

To the Editor:

These days one can’t underestimate the element of sustainability when building maintenance issues come to the fore. The Board of Education takes this responsibility very seriously. Both energy efficiency and sustainability have been a major focus in prioritizing the list of capital maintenance projects included in the September 24 bond referendum.

As many taxpayers will appreciate, the Board has been striving to minimize tax increases and striving to come in under every cap set at the state level. However, large maintenance/replacement projects now need attention and funding. Window and door replacement; new roofs; lighting and lighting controls’ and other building systems are by far the largest portion of the proposed work, representing nearly a third of the dollar value of the referendum. Leaking roofs, windows, and doors put expensive equipment and fixtures of all kinds at risk. Attending to these projects allows the Board to protect district assets while taking steps to minimize our buildings’ carbon footprint and reduce operating expenses.

Some may ask why the Board isn’t going further, why not install solar? Ironically, our joint purchase consortium for energy has seen such a dramatic decline (down nearly 25 percent for the next two years) that a solar project we analyzed for JWMS and PHS would have had a 40-year payback. No tax-funded organization could seriously consider such a project. However, by the time the proposed work is completed, all compatible preliminary roof work will have been done to take advantage of market inducements, such as the NJ SHEQ program, as opportunities present themselves in the future.

Please take the time to vote on September 24, or apply for your absentee ballot now.

Dorothy Bedford

Prospect Avenue,Chair, Facilities Committee, PPS

To the Editor:

At long last the Princeton Township Committee is building a sidewalk on the west side of Ewing Street between Valley Road and Harrison Street North. This sidewalk was recommended to the Township Committee in the early 1960’s by the Princeton Township Traffic Safety Committee, of which I was then chairman. Such a sidewalk would connect the then-existing sidewalk on the west side of Ewing Street at the Harrison Street North intersection to the then-existing sidewalk on the north side of Valley Road. In those days there were two school districts: Princeton Township residents attended Princeton Township schools, Princeton Borough residents attended Princeton Borough Schools.

The Township Committee at that time opined that such a sidewalk could not and would not be built until certain engineering feats were accomplished: some cutting and filling and some resetting of sanitary sewer lines, storm sewer drains, and some other underground lines. Mr. Kiser, currently Princeton Township Engineer, assured the committee that such items either had been, or would be, accomplished before the sidewalk was installed.

In the intervening half-century Princeton Township built many sidewalks, some needed, most not necessary. Whether or not the sidewalks were necessary, a New Jersey law passed in 1915 went into effect; once sidewalks are installed, pedestrians (walkers, joggers, runners) must use them. To quote NJSA 39:4-4, “Where sidewalks are provided it shall bc unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway”.

Henry J. Frank

Valley Road

To the Editor:

A little over a year ago, on August 28, 2011, the Princeton community lost a hero. During hurricane Irene, Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad (PFARS) EMT and rescue technician Michael Kenwood was swept into floodwaters and drowned while attempting a swiftwater rescue. Michael died in service to his community, trying to help those in need.

PFARS marked the anniversary of Michael’s passing with a memorial service at Greenway Meadows Park off of Rosedale Road. We are grateful to the special guests who spoke at the service of Michael’s altruism and legacy, including Reverend Richard White, Princeton Township Deputy Mayor Liz Lempert, Mercer County Freeholder Andrew Koontz, United States Congressman Rush Holt, and New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.

The service concluded with the dedication of a bench in Michael’s memory. Situated on a hilltop that overlooks the location of Michael’s ultimate sacrifice, the location provides a serene place for reflection, not only for his family and fellow emergency services colleagues, but for the community as a whole. For indeed, the heroic actions of Michael and countless other emergency services personnel are what make our community a stronger, more ideal place to live. It is our hope that visitors to the park can reflect on Michael’s devotion to public service and consider how they can help make their community better.

I would like to thank the PFARS members that coordinated all aspects of the service, Shannon Koch, Director Frank Setnicky, Robert Gregory, Jay Padulchick, Matthew Stiff, and Shawn Gallagher, and the PFARS Ladies Auxiliary for the reception. In addition, we greatly appreciate the work of Acting Township Administrator Kathy Monzo and Ben Stentz and the field maintenance staff from the Princeton Township Recreation Department for helping obtain and prepare space in the park for the bench. Thank you also to the Princeton Township Police Department Color Guard members Lieutenant Robert Toole and Sergeant Michael Cifelli. Further, we would like to extend our deepest appreciation to Michael’s family who joined us to recognize their son, brother, husband, uncle, and cousin. We thank you for raising Michael with the character to be an excellent role model, a trusted friend, and a devoted public servant.

Finally, for those in the community that were unable to attend the memorial service but would like the opportunity to honor Michael, PFARS is presenting a Tribute Concert celebrating his life and legacy on Sunday September 23, 2012 at 7 p.m. Broadway Sings, a professional concert production company featuring stars of Broadway musicals and National Touring productions, is donating its talents to provide an evening of joyful music in tribute to Michael. The event, to be held at the Princeton High School Performing Arts Center, will also feature a silent auction; bidding begins at 6 p.m. Tickets for the one-night event are reserved seating and can be ordered online at michaelkenwood.brownpapertickets.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, visit the PFARS website, www.pfars.org or email info@pfars.org.

Peter J. Simon

President, Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad