November 7, 2012

HELPING OUT: “We are happy to participate in this special Thanksgiving Turkey Drive,” says Jack Morrison (center). The owner of Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Co. is shown with long-time employees Jose Lopez (left) and Jeremy Stein. The Turkey Drive, under the sponsorship of JM Group and J.Vrola, will benefit Mercer Street Friends Food Bank and continue through November 9. Donations of $10 will be matched by the JM Group.

The fish is so fresh at Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Company, you can almost smell the ocean!

Owner Jack Morrison takes pride in offering customers the freshest seafood he can find. And he has been doing this for 30 years!

Opened in 1982 at 256 Nassau Street, Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Company has become a Princeton mainstay, with scores of regular customers over the years — many of whom joined the company’s 30th anniversary celebratory clambake on Saturday, September 8.

“It was a great event — a big birthday party,” says Mr. Morrison. “We were so glad so many people came to celebrate with us.”

Freshest Fish

And customers have been counting on Nassau Street Seafood to provide them with the freshest fish for their own private dinners, parties, and special events since that August beginning in 1982. It has surely become the go-to place for fresh seafood as well as prepared meals and take-out lunches and dinners.

From the earliest days, Mr. Morrison’s goal was to bring the Princeton community the freshest fish and shellfish available. “The fish here have just been harvested the day we get it,” he points out. “We’re at the New York fish market several days of the week, and we bring everything in whole and cut it. It’s fresher and preservative-free, and has no chemical treatments. We buy 95 percent of our fish directly, dealing with the boats and docks and fishermen.”

No doubt about it, Mr. Morrison knows his fish. Before opening in Princeton, he had a wholesale/retail seafood business in Philadelphia. When he moved here, he found a different clientele, and made adjustments in his selection of fish.

“The clientele in Princeton was different from that in Philadelphia. It was a more educated clientele than in Philadelphia. Their tastes were based on a greater variety of seafood. When we opened Nassau Street Seafood, we started with high standards, and they’ve gotten even higher.”

Around the World

Now, Nassau Street Seafood gets fish from around the world, including New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Hawaii as well as the Jersey shore, the Great Lakes, Alaska, and Nova Scotia. By developing and nurturing relationships with local fishermen and the top seafood purveyors from around the world, Nassau Street Seafood is able to provide its customers with the highest quality of sustainable, fresh seafood.

Wild salmon continues to be very popular with customers, as does halibut from Nova Scotia and Alaska, sea scallops from Barnegat Bay, and monk fish and skate, also from Barnegat Bay. Oysters, crab, lobster, and shrimp are always in demand.

“Nassau Street Seafood customers are interested in trying new and different fish, as well as enjoying raw fish,” reports Mr. Morrison. And although most people like their fish filleted, some customers prefer to buy the whole fish.

“We have a big international community here,” he explains. “Also, generally, milder fish is popular, but some people like the ‘fishier’ fish. For example, shad is very popular here.”

The store has also developed a very strong take-out lunch business (lots of people cheerfully stand in long lines waiting for their favorites). Popular choices include fish tacos, grilled tilapia wrap, shrimp ‘po boy, grilled salmon sandwich, fish & chips, crab cake sandwich, and many others.

The variety of dinner platters to go is also popular, including grilled Atlantic salmon, fried clam strips, grilled sword fish, Maryland crab cakes, and seared sea scallops.

Colorful Display

A few years after opening the store, Mr. Morrison added produce to the mix, and it, too, has proved highly successful. The colorful display includes peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, raspberries, blueberries, apples, and much more. It is all obtained from local vendors as often as possible.

“We get produce from Terhune Orchards, also Village Farm in Lawrenceville, the produce market in Philadelphia, and cheese from Cherry Grove Farm,” says Mr. Morrison.

In addition, he is a sponsor of the very popular Princeton Farmer’s Market, open every Thursday at the Albert Hinds Plaza at the Princeton Public Library, from May until Thanksgiving.

Always looking for ways to expand his operation and bringing new opportunities to the Princeton dining community, Mr. Morrison opened Blue Point Grill Restaurant in 1999. This was a natural outgrowth of Nassau Street Seafood, he believes. “We had also had a catering business for years, so opening the restaurant made sense. Blue Point Grill is really more of a fish house than a seafood restaurant. It is very down to earth.”

And, like all of his ventures, very successful.

In 2006, Mr. Morrison followed up with Witherspoon Grill, a very popular steak house, located at the library plaza. In addition, he became involved in the development of the real estate in the area. “First, Witherspoon Grill was a tenant in the building, and then, eventually, I became the owner. I had actually had experience as a landlord previously, having owned the Blue Point Grill building. There is a parallel between that and running a store and restaurant. It’s being in the hospitality business. In our real estate operation, we treat residents as guests.”

JM Group

In addition to the “Witherspoon House” building on the plaza, Mr. Morrison now owns the retail/residential building at 25 Spring Street. Together, the two buildings have 86 residential apartments and numerous retail tenants.

Collectively, his businesses form the JM Group.

Because of his business success and his emphasis on giving back to the community, including supporting charities, such as those benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Trenton Soup Kitchen, and others, Mr. Morrison was recently named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

And, it all comes back to Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Company.

“We’re still an old-fashioned neighborhood
market,” says Mr. Morrison. “We pay special attention to our customers and offer them the best service we can. Our experienced fish mongers can filet your choice of fish or shuck fresh oysters upon demand. We take pride in knowing we have been a part of many family meals and get-togethers, and it has been our pleasure to be part of such a great community.”

Many Intangibles

“Success is measured in many different ways. You realize this later. There are many intangibles. The value that I’ve been able to get out of this career and being a part of this community is so important. I have always had simple goals. I love food and hospitality. I enjoy business, retail, and people. And I still enjoy being in the fish business and spending time with fishermen.”

Mr. Morrison also takes pride in the many employees of long-standing at the store. Many have worked at Nassau Street Seafood 20 years and longer. “They have made a career here, raised their families, and sent their kids to college. That is an achievement.”

He is also not one to rest on his laurels. As he says, “I look forward to continuing to grow and expand. More things are to come! And, above all, I want to emphasize how appreciative we are to the community and our loyal customers who have supported us over the years.”

Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Company is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 8 to 6, Sunday 9 to 3. (609) 921-0620. Website: www.jmgroupprinceton.com.


When you need a plumber, most often, you need him ASAP. A broken pipe, flooded basement, inoperative toilet — all are problems needing immediate attention.

Knowing the plumber will arrive, take care of the situation quickly, correctly, and thoroughly brings peace of mind.

Tindall & Ranson, the plumbing, heating, and cooling company at 880 Alexander Road, has established a first-class reputation for quality service.

“We have highly skilled workers,” notes president and founder Kevin Tindall. “We are available 24/7 for emergencies, and when you call us, you speak to a live person.”

Good Job

“You know,” he adds, “we do such a good job in the industry that people sometimes take plumbers for granted. But when they need us, we will be there. And, it is hard work to become a plumber — 8000 hours in the field, 400 hours in the classroom. It’s skilled people teaching unskilled people.”

As a licensed plumber himself, Mr. Tindall knows all about it. Born and brought up in West Windsor, he worked part-time for a plumbing company when he was 16, and then later apprenticed to a plumber in the area.

“I always enjoyed being out in the field and fixing something, he explains. “This is important, and
today, my employees know that I’ve had the hands-on experience — ‘been there, done that’!”

With a partner and four employees, Mr. Tindall established the firm in 1993. It has now grown into a company with a staff of 20 and a client base of more than 5000 all over the Princeton area.

“The work is mostly residential, with some light commercial,” he points out. “We work with some businesses and also fire departments in Princeton. We do a lot of maintenance fit-out, that is, putting in a new sink, etc. for new tenants in a building, and a lot of renovation.

“With plumbing, there is a lot of repair work, traditionally including water heaters, toilets, drips and leaks, etc. We also get a lot of situations where someone says, ‘I dropped my diamond in the sink!’ And kids throw things in the toilet. Make-up caps can also be a big problem if they fall in the toilet. Hair in the sink and bathtub is another big problem. The water temperature now has to be set at 120 degrees, and this is not hot enough to dissolve soap and other things.”

Enhanced Service

Mr. Tindall points out that one way people can keep disaster at bay is to establish a regular maintenance plan with the company. “We will then look in regularly and can see evidence of a problem, something leaking, etc., before it becomes an emergency. Don’t ignore a leak or drip. If you let it go, there can be more damage, and it could come suddenly at night or on the weekend. We can offer enhanced service for those who have a maintenance plan with us.”

Over the years, he has noticed many changes in the business. “The technology that has come to the business is amazing. Thirty or 35 years ago, there was no GPS in the car or smart phone. Now, you can be in touch anytime, anywhere with anyone.

“Another big change is high efficiency, low flush toilets. In 1992, Congress mandated that toilets with a 3.2 gallon per flush capacity must change to 1.6 gallons per flush. That technology is very good today, and it offers both energy and water conservation. Shower heads have also become more energy efficient, going from 2½ gallons per minute to 1¾ per minute. If you save water, you save electricity.”

Energy conservation is very important to Mr. Tindall, and he belongs to varied organizations furthering energy programs. “My wife and I have been involved in the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors association. It is the oldest trade association in the country. I am chairman of the Energy Efficiency Committee.

“In addition, the New Jersey Clean Energy Program focuses on sustainable technology and helps develop standards. It was founded through the social development fee from the electric bill. We can save you 25 percent off your heating bill, and you can also get a $5000 grant toward energy efficiency and energy reduction.

“The challenge is to get people to know it is there for them. It is designed to reduce the total use of energy. You can go to NJCleanenergy.com to learn more about it.”

Time and Effort

Mr. Tindall is very much involved both in the heating industry and the community. His friend of long-standing — Princeton resident Mark Freda — who is a former member of Princeton Borough Council and very active in the community, comments on Mr. Tindall’s willingness to spend time and effort to help people in the area.

“I have known Kevin for decades. He is an honest guy, who isn’t in business just to make money. After one of our large storms in recent years, I was involved in trying to help a family that was facing many difficulties, one of which was financial, and another concerning one of the family members who was home-bound with health problems. Due to basement flooding, their furnace was ruined, and we needed to provide a solution to this immediately. I called Kevin, explained the situation, and told him I had no idea how or when he would get paid for this.

“Knowing that, he still agreed to help; he sent two of his crew to go and remove an almost new furnace from another property and get it to this home within a few hours. They worked until they completed the removal of the old furnace, and
installed the replacement furnace, resolving this situation — a very long day for them. But that is the kind of guy Kevin is.”

“I want to give back,” says Mr. Tindall. “I am very active in the heating industry. We work to raise money for scholarships for students to get into the plumbing, heating, and cooling business. This is a great industry to be in, and we have a great staff at Tindall & Ranson. Many have been with us for a long time.

“We are always looking to allowing the younger people at the firm to take more of a part. It’s important to keep up with the times, and change when necessary.”

What won’t change, he adds, is Tindall & Ranson’s emphasis on dedicated, quality, and honest service. “We strive to provide the best service we can for our customers.”

Cool, Calm, Collected

In addition, to helping customers keep as cool, calm,  and collected as possible this summer, Tindall & Ranson offers a series of tips to help conserve energy in hot weather.

• Keep drapes, blinds and shades closed during the day to block out the sun.

• Clear furniture away from air conditioning vents.

• Install an attic fan — it can cool the attic by nearly 30 degrees.

• Install reflective window coatings to reflect heat away from the house.

• Plant shade trees to shade the house from the sun during the summer — it could save up to 8 percent on cooling costs.

• Use ceiling fans to cool the house. They are much cheaper to operate than air conditioners, and moving air feels cooler, so you can keep the thermostat setting higher.

• Open windows on cool summer days and nights. A good rule of thumb is not to open windows when the outside temperature is warmer than the inside of the house.

• Keep the coils of the central or window air conditioner free of dust and dirt.

Tindall & Ranson’s regular hours are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (609) 924-3434. Website: www.tindallranson.com.


November 6, 2012

To the Editor:

It is very important for Princeton citizens to vote ‘yes’ on November 6 on the ballot question about continuing our open space tax (OST). The Township first passed its open space tax in 1997, with the Borough following in 2001. The tax has been instrumental in preserving at least 289 acres of open space, as well as helping to develop recreational facilities at Smoyer Park and to maintain existing parks. The preserved lands include Coventry Farm on the Great Road (92 acres conservation easement, 50 acres purchased in fee); Greenway Meadows Park on Rosedale Road (53 acres purchased); Tusculum Farm on Cherry Hill Road (35 acres purchased, 6+ acres conservation easement); the Ricciardi property between Terhune and Bunn Drive (14+ acres purchased); and the Gulick property between Princeton-Kingston Road, River Road and Herrontown Road (27.5 acres purchased, 11.6-acre conservation easement).

The proposal would authorize a “consolidated” tax of 1.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which would keep funding level to what it is now with the two separate taxes. We need these funds to be eligible for Green Acres 50 percent matching grants, as well as to match grants from the County. These funds will be critical for acquiring over 350 acres of additional lands and trail linkages identified for protection in our joint community Master Plan. Importantly, the OST gives Princeton the financial flexibility to be able to strike while the iron is hot, to acquire tracts that are needed to maintain our clean lakes and streams, for protection from flooding, and for the preservation of critical habitat.

The 1.7-cent Open Space Tax was recommended by the Transition Task Force and is supported by both mayoral candidates. It will help maintain the quality of life we treasure in Princeton for the future. We urge everyone to vote “yes” for it on November 6.

Wendy L. Mager President

Friends of Princeton Open Space

Dear Editor:

What wonderful open spaces we in Princeton have preserved over the years. We have protected natural habitats and critical wetlands, sweeping meadows and pristine woodlands – Mountain Lakes, The Institute Woods, Coventry Farm, Greenway Meadows and Barbara Smoyer Park to name just a few. Our many successful preservation projects in the 21st century have been realized thanks to our municipal open space taxes and partnerships with D&R Greenway Land Trust, the Friends of Princeton Open Space, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Mercer County and the State of New Jersey’s Green Acres program.

On November 6 we have an opportunity to make certain that open space preservation continues in Princeton. As a current board member of the D&R Greenway Land Trust and a former mayor of Princeton Township, I urge voters to vote “yes” on the Open Space ballot question in the upcoming election. I’m also a long-time resident who so enjoys the open spaces that we have successfully preserved over the years. Let’s continue the good work of Princeton Township, Princeton Borough and our nonprofit and government partners in preserving open space in our community by voting “yes” on November 6.

Cate Litvack

Laurel Road

To the Editor:

Princeton residents have an important opportunity to protect clean water and the environment on Election Day. A “yes” vote for the Princeton Open Space Trust Fund public question will continue Princeton’s long, successful tradition of land preservation. The Princeton Community has made great strides in preserving a variety of types of lands to protect clean water and the environment and provide both active and passive recreation for residents. For that to continue, voters must act.

The job of preserving land in Princeton is not complete. In fact there are several hundred acres that are neither developed nor protected. Building on these areas would cause more congestion, more traffic, and require more costly services, while preserving land protects our water and our quality of life.

A “yes” vote for the Princeton Open Space Trust Fund public question will continue the open space levy after consolidation of the new Princeton is complete. All residents of the consolidated town will pay the same rate of 1.7 cents per $100 of assessed property value, about $1.60 a week on a $500,000 home. Under the ballot measure, roughly the same amount of funding will be available for open space protection and management as is currently collected by the Township and the Borough.

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is pleased to have had the opportunity to partner with Princeton on a number of preservation efforts and with a “yes” vote on November 6 is eager to continue that partnership. We are proud to have supported the establishment of the Princeton Ridge Preserve to further protect the mature forests, abundant wetlands, steep slopes, and boulder fields, the Princeton Ridge, among the most important and sensitive environmental features in central New Jersey. We are eager to help continue that effort and to help protect additional lands along the town’s streams, an important strategy for protecting clean water and protecting against worsening flooding.

The Watershed Association has worked to protect clean water and a healthy environment in central New Jersey region through conservation, advocacy, science, and education since 1949. Learn more about us at thewatershed.org.

Jim Waltman

Executive Director, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

To the Editor:

I write this letter in strong support of Dick Woodbridge for Mayor of our consolidated Princeton. As a former Democrat Councilman, I worked with Dick on Borough Council, and I have known him for many years after that.

It’s fair to say that Dick has much more government experience and community involvement than his opponent, and this expertise is very important if we’re going to be successful in making consolidation work.

But I want to underscore an equally important fact about Dick — his ingrained sense of fairness and inclusion. In my view, these have not been the hallmarks of the politics we’ve had in the Princetons over the past several years.
I encourage your readers to take very seriously Dick’s proven ability to listen to and work with folks of diverse backgrounds and different views.

A mayor’s term is four years. We need to get the right mayor who can get us through the transition to a well-adjusted, highly-functional consolidated Princeton. Dick’s the best candidate to be the right mayor.

Gus Escher

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

In any election season when voters are often drawn to support their choice of candidates solely on the purported political promises or positions of the candidate it seems that the issue of character may often be overlooked either completely or given lesser importance than the politics.

Accordingly, Richard Woodbridge deserves strong consideration by voters if only by the quality of his character.

Local politics often become identified with state and national party positions at the expense of electing a representative who genuinely qualifies as the best local candidate. Richard Woodbridge is one who understands Princeton and has the experience as a longtime resident and business person in the community; and more importantly has been and will be an elected official who is willing and capable of compromise and honest dialogue among those of opposing views while keeping in mind the long term benefits due the community as a whole.

The integrity and honest forthrightness that Richard Woodbridge has demonstrated in the past as mayor of Princeton Twp. and a successful business resident in the community clearly identifies him as one who can be trusted to do what is best for the community as a whole disregarding private interests and those with absolute uncompromising ideologies.

I am pleased to present this opinion of Richard Woodbridge as a 35-year resident of the greater Princeton area community, former New Jersey teacher, school superintendent and director of various nonprofit public service organizations in our area.

Robert A Freda, Ed.D.

Andover Drive

To the Editor:

We are running for Council in the consolidated Princeton and strongly support Liz Lempert for Mayor. We have worked closely with Liz and seen her leadership, commitment, and vision for Princeton. We believe she has the right experience to lead Princeton and together, we can achieve the promise of consolidation.

As Deputy Mayor of Princeton Township, Liz has an unsurpassed record of results for taxpayers. The Township has had two consecutive years of no tax increases, and is one of the few municipalities in New Jersey to maintain a AAA bond rating. She also has promoted sustainability and environmental protection, spearheading efforts to preserve the Princeton Ridge. And she was a leader in the effort to approve consolidation last year and since then has worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition.

Time and again, we have seen Liz work to find common ground on contentious issues by listening and developing solutions that work for the community. She has the right experience to lead us in the new Princeton. We hope you will join us in supporting her for Mayor.

Jo Butler,

Hibben Road

Jenny Crumiller,

Library Place

Heather Howard,

Aiken Avenue

Lance Liverman,

Witherspoon Street

Bernie Miller,

Governor’s Lane

Patrick Simon,

Harriet Drive

To the Editor:

We in Princeton are very fortunate to have such a hard-working and decent Assemblywoman as Donna Simon. In the few months she has represented the 16th Legislative District, she has established an outstanding record of accomplishments:

• Route 1 Corridor: Donna successfully worked behind the scenes to reverse the NJDOT closure of the jug-handles.

• Consolidation Relief: Donna is a prime sponsor for consolidation relief, easing the costs of transition for the people of Princeton.

• Earned Income Tax Credit: Donna is a prime sponsor of a bill that raises the Earned Income Tax Credit back up to 25 percent. This bill will greatly help working families make ends meet- many of whom are working two or more jobs.

• Tax Rebates: Donna is a prime sponsor for a property tax rebate on your state income tax.

• School Funding: Assemblywoman Simon is asking tough questions about school funding, “Where’s the money going with our schools, because it isn’t reaching the classrooms.” She’s fighting hard for students and teachers alike.

• Economic Growth: Donna is outspoken in her support for smart growth, championing economic development on the municipal, county, and state levels.

• Pro Business Groups and Unions Endorse Donna: Donna has earned the endorsement of PENPAC, NEW JOBS, Operating Engineers, and IBEW.

• Donna is a “big tent” Assemblywoman who serves ALL the people of her district: Donna readily reaches out across the aisle for the benefit of her constituents and the people of New Jersey.

Donna Simon is decent, dedicated, delivers and has thus earned our votes this November.

Bonnie and Mark Scheibner

Prospect Avenue

To the Editor:

Anyone who has contacted Liz Lempert during her tenure as a Committee Woman and Deputy Mayor, knows that she is accessible, open-minded, knowledgeable, hard-working, and thorough. We have approached her about several issues and have found her to be a thoughtful, engaged listener who addresses concerns with well-reasoned responses supported by facts, explaining her reasoning with analysis of all possible solutions. Her skills have served Princeton well as she addressed the highly nuanced and multi-faceted issues facing the township, not the least of which were consolidation and negotiating the first voluntary contribution from the university. Liz has been involved in the consolidation process from the start and is the only candidate for mayor who can hit the ground running during the first year of consolidation, where recent experience and institutional knowledge about the complex decisions made during the process will be most critical.

Equally important, Liz has been a leader and innovator with ideas that have moved Princeton forward in many areas. When we moved back to Princeton 20 years ago, Dick Woodbridge was in his last year as the Republican mayor of the Township, and Princeton was a very different place. For years after our return, we found Princeton to be behind comparable neighboring and college towns in terms of recycling, biking, and sustainability. In the last four years, Liz has been actively involved in moving Princeton forward into the 21st century in these areas—preserving open space, achieving certification from Sustainable Jersey, promoting safe bicycling, and establishing the curbside composting program—while holding taxes flat for the last several years. She has an impressive record of success in achieving environmental, budgetary, town/gown, and technology goals.

Liz has earned our votes, and we hope you will join us in making her unified Princeton’s first mayor.

Ann Summer, Mark Feigenson

Cedar Lane

To the Editor:

I am enthusiastically supporting Geoff Aton for Princeton Council. Geoff’s background in business and finance will help to ensure that the ambitious goals of municipal consolidation will be realized to the taxpayers’ benefit. His open-minded approach to the issues at hand, willingness to listen to both sides of an argument and sound judgment, are just what we need in a climate of local governance which too often seems to get side-tracked by personal agendas and rancor.

Geoff is a graduate of Villanova University and is a partner with the owners of Princeton’s Ivy Inn. His previous experience was with large firms in the financial field. He is a current member of the Princeton Township Zoning Board. Geoff is deeply involved in his community, a strong supporter of our public schools and believes in having a council that will be the voice of the people.

I urge all my fellow Princetonians to join me in voting for Geoff. I particularly urge my Democratic Party friends to cross over and cast one of your six Council votes for Geoff. With Geoff on a more inclusive, transparent and diverse Council, his fresh perspective can only result in better decision-making and outcomes.

Please give Geoff Aton the opportunity to work for you.

Carol Wojciechowicz

Former Princeton Township Committeewoman,

Herrontown Road

To the Editor,

Having worked with every member of this year’s Democratic slate for the new Princeton municipal council and mayor, we feel lucky to have the opportunity to vote for this stellar group of individuals: Liz Lempert, Jo Butler, Jenny Crumiller, Heather Howard, Lance Liverman, Bernie Miller, and Patrick Simon. They represent a true cross section of the Princeton community – tradition-embracing long-time residents and energetic, forward-looking relative newcomers; policy wonks and big-hearted big-picture types; wise seniors and engaged parents of school-age children. Amidst all this diversity they have one thing in common – a devotion to our community which boggles the mind. They have collectively logged thousands of hours just over the past year in service to Princeton, and over the course of their lives in public service, many times that amount. Sometimes they agree on the issues, sometimes not, but they always share a mutual respect that allows them to work effectively together and get things done for the benefit of all Princeton residents. We urge you to vote for every one of them, not because of their party affiliation, but because the absence of any one of these gifted and dedicated public servants from our new government would be a grave loss to the community.

David & Liz Cohen

Terhune Road

To the Editor:

Princeton is going through a remarkable transformation as it continues on its way toward becoming a single unified community. There is a lot still to be worked out, and we are fortunate with the Democratic candidates that are running together for the new Council. They may be in a single slate, but it would be hard to find a more diverse group of people. Each one comes with a different background, different experiences, and different interests. Financial experience, management experience, government experience, business experience, it’s all there.

I look forward to voting for Bernie, Heather, Jenny, Jo, Lance, Pat, and, of course, for Liz!

Peter Lindenfeld

Harris Road

To the Editor:

The Friends of the Princeton Public Library Annual Book Sale, held the weekend of October 12-14, was a resounding success and a testament to a community that loves books and loves its library. Thanks to our 80-plus volunteers, the sale had another record-breaking year. Thanks also to the hundreds of community members who donated all the books for the sale; we are so lucky to have such great offerings from this community of readers! And, of course, thank you to the hundreds of people from Princeton and the surrounding areas who came to browse our offerings and who enjoyed and snapped up our tremendous bargains. Not to be overlooked, of course, is the wonderful staff of the Princeton Public Library and particularly the facilities crew, who gave the sale volunteers their wholehearted support. Many others provided valuable help: Johnson Park Elementary School Principal Bob Ginsburg coordinated, and the PPS facilities staff executed, the lending of tables for the sale; McCaffrey’s assisted us by donating bags for the Bag Sale, Jack Morrison donated a delicious dinner for our 20-plus-person clean-up crew, and last but not least, past President of the Friends and devoted behind-the-scenes book sale volunteer, Barbara L. Freedman, sponsored the Annual Sale again this year.

All profits from the Annual Book Sale (and from our used book store, open daily and located just inside the library entrance) go to support the Library. We accept donations year-round, so please think of us if it’s time to winnow your collection or if you’re moving. Our donation guidelines are available at: http://princetonlibrary.org/booksale

Sherri Garber, Eve Niedergang, Co-Chairs

Friends of the Princeton Public Library Book Sale

To The Editor:

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the community for supporting our recent Harvest Dinner. In particular, I would like to thank the area businesses both honored, and those not named, that have been longtime supporters of women in early recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Obtaining and maintaining employment is emphasized by Crawford House’s residential program as a key way to foster self-worth, economic independence and self-sufficiency. We remain grateful to the following community businesses who are giving women the opportunity to lead independent, productive and happy lives: Bon Appetit, Chartwells, Chez Alice, Jordan’s Stationery & Gifts, McCaffrey’s Supermarkets, Nelson’s Corner Pizza, Rawson Group/Wendy’s, Red Oak Diner, ShopRite of Hillsborough, and Smith’s Ace Hardware. We extend our thanks to the community for providing a supportive environment where women can achieve and sustain their recovery.

Linda M. Leyhane, CDA

Executive Director, Crawford House

October 24, 2012

To the Editor:

For those of us who lamented the demise of our venerable Merwick Rehabilitation Center, I am happy to report that it is alive and thriving, shiny and new, but now located next door to our new Princeton Hospital in Plainsboro.

My unplanned multi-week stay at this beautiful new facility was enlightening and rewarding. I found myself on the receiving end of an unusually caring, superior quality staff of both professional and unprofessional status, whose high level of services were delivered with kindness 24/7.

Especially noted is the sensitivity, dedication, and good spirit of their obviously well-trained physical and occupational therapists. The vulnerable patient is in good hands.

One feels welcome, warm, and individually cared for in this sunny, bright, and happy place. Who could ask for anything more?

Thank you Merwick!

R.Frisch

Ridgeview Circle

To the Editor:

If passed, Bill A2586 would exempt private universities and colleges from complying with zoning. This would be a nightmare for Princeton, Plainsboro, West Windsor, and Lawrence, as well as other municipalities with large private university campuses. And, if A2586 is passed, the exemptions likely will not stop there — private secondary schools, hospitals, daycare centers, and a myriad of others with “public missions” can be counted on to demand their exemptions quickly.

This has nothing to do with the respect or affection we may have for these private institutions, but let’s face it — private universities, such as Princeton University, or even Rider University or the Princeton Seminary, are, relative to the surrounding town, mammoth financial institutions with an appetite for development. Zoning exists to protect individual residents and a town’s quality of life, and without it we open our communities to rampant and unconstrained development — not just from large educational buildings, but from ANY type of commercial building that a university might conceive to be a good investment. A2586 allows for local zoning and local master plans to be ignored with total impunity.

Towns with private universities already face tax revenue shortfalls due to the existence of large amounts of tax exempt properties. Private institutions generally make a voluntary payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT). However, the record is that PILOTS are almost never close to the level that a regular taxpayer would have been required to pay. So, if private universities are permitted to expand without zoning review into prime real estate, tax revenues to the municipality may sustain dramatic decreases, requiring major tax increases to other taxpayers, and cuts in services.

The supposed “justification” for A2586 is that state universities “already” are exempt from local land use regulations. Not true. State universities are subject to regulation and oversight through the State budgetary process, which inevitably includes land use considerations. There is no such transparency and public control over the budgets and capital improvements of private universities. The idea that private universities need to have equalized standing is a complete fabrication.

Due to confusion around passing the State budget, the bill quickly passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly Higher Education Committee, chaired by Assemblywoman Celeste Riley. For more information please go to the League of Municipalities website www.njslom.org/letters/2012-0829-A2586-S1534.html. Please send letters to Committee members via e-mail (followed by hard copy by U.S. Mail) expressing your opposition to this bill. The next meeting of the Committee is on November 8. We don’t have the agenda yet, but A2586 could be on that agenda. If you are interested in being informed about when the hearing is scheduled, e-mail to kcherry10@gmail.com or call (609) 924-4232.

Kip Cherry

Dempsey Avenue

To the Editor:

We now know of the Medical Center’s original commitment to the Princeton community — and its breach of that commitment. On May 26, 2005, Barry Rabner (president and CEO of the Medical Center at Princeton) said at a Planning Board hearing: “It is our intent to do everything we can to work with the community, and work with this board, in developing a plan that has broad public support. Because it is clear certainly to us, I think to anyone who has done any work in Princeton, that unless there is a plan that has that support, it simply won’t be approved …. When we select a developer we are not going to simply pick the developer that proposes to pay the most. We need a developer that understands and embraces the plan that is finally approved. We need a developer that understands our neighbors, understands Princeton, and understands what it takes to get this project accomplished” (from unofficial transcripts, available from Daniel A. Harris, dah43@comcast.net).

The plan to which Mr. Rabner refers is one that the hospital itself commissioned. Its chief features are: retention of the hospital “towers” for 260 housing units, 20 town homes (total density: 280, as agreed with the community), a public green park of 35,000 square feet, with public walkways “crossing the site” leading to public playgrounds (public open space could be as much as 50,000 square feet), a public fitness center and local retail shops along Witherspoon Street. The entire project would have been green, sustainable.

What happened? Mr. Rabner picked “the developer that proposes to pay the most” — a reputed $36 million dollars. There was at least one other bid, possibly more than one, for around $32 million dollars (a number “heard on the street”). For a $4 million dollar differential (a smidge more than 10 percent below the top bid but less than .75 percent of the reported $537 million dollar cost of the new hospital, Mr. Rabner has done what? Contracted with AvalonBay.

We know what AvalonBay proposes: a site plan that violates Borough Code and the Master Plan on which Mr. Rabner himself worked so hard in over 75 meetings with community/neighborhood people — a monolith five stories high in a 1- and 2-story neighborhood, an all-wood building (potential firetrap), with no walkways through the site, no green public park, no sustainable green building. AvalonBay contributes to its corporate investor, not to the Princeton community. AvalonBay wants to co-opt Princeton by calling its development “AvalonPrinceton.”

How will Mr. Rabner rectify his breach of trust with the community? How can he face members of the Planning Board who heard him speak in 2005. What can he do now to push AvalonBay to comply with all of Borough Code? He and citizens’ groups are stakeholders in the upcoming vote of the Planning Board on the AvalonBay application. It’s high time for him to act, and render himself accountable for his words.

Joseph McGeady

John Street

To the Editor:

Our neighborhood, Scott Lane/Bainbridge Street, has just gone through an extensive and necessary renovation, involving new sewers, new sidewalks, and new street paving. Like all renovations, it was a sometimes exasperating experience which lasted longer than expected. However, now that it’s finished, I want to express my thanks for the exemplary way in which our Borough Council members and government employees handled this difficult situation.

This renovation was not without neighborhood disagreement, and Borough Council members sat through several hearings in which different views were forcefully aired by neighborhood residents. I was very impressed by the careful way Council members listened to differing opinions, and the calm way in which they responded. I am particularly grateful to Jo Butler, Jenny Crumiller, Barbara Trelstad, and Kevin Wilkes for their insightful and sensible comments regarding the need for adequate sidewalks, and to Barbara Trelstad for her oversight of the renovation.

The engineering department should be commended for the way in which it handled the renovation. Bob Pagan, assistant borough engineer, spent innumerable hours, often on his own time, to consult with individual homeowners regarding issues such as sidewalk alignment and driveway repair. Mr. Pagan arranged for timely recycling and trash pickup so that there would be minimal inconvenience for neighborhood residents. We were very fortunate to have had the services of such a dedicated Borough employee, and I know I speak for many neighbors in thanking him for his help.

Francesca Benson

Bainbridge Street

To the Editor:

Making a left turn out of the Route 1/Harrison Street Sunoco Station onto Harrison Street is a hazardous vehicular motion and should be banned.

The recently completed widening of Harrison Street at the intersection with Route 1 has succeeded in improving the flow of traffic turning on to Route 1 from Harrison Street. However, these changes have had the unintended and undesirable consequence of making the left turn motion out of the Sunoco station more dangerous than before. Vehicles exiting the gas station on to Harrison Street going toward Princeton now have to cross three lanes of traffic, often blocking traffic in the two lanes on the gas station side of Harrison Street. Vehicles turning to Harrison Street from Route 1 cannot safely see the vehicles crossing the three lanes of traffic on Harrison Street when they make the right turn to Harrison Street from Route 1. Crossing three lanes of traffic is a dangerous maneuver under any circumstances, but even more so if an ambulance is negotiating traffic on Harrison Street to get to the hospital.

It now appears that Sunoco is proposing major modifications for the station. An early review of the proposed plans by the West Windsor Site Plan Review Advisory Board raised many questions, and it is expected that Sunoco will submit revised plans in several weeks. As gas stations have evolved in recent years, it is likely that the owner will propose some form of a mini-mart and gas pumps to increase the use and profitability of the site.

The function of the Harrison Street/Route 1 intersection is critical to all of us who live north and west of the hospital. The hospital and Princeton University took leadership roles in widening the intersection to help solve the traffic problems that made it difficult to access Route 1 and the new hospital site. This includes the installation of a special traffic signal at the intersection that is maintained by Princeton Township that can be controlled to stop traffic on Route 1 by rescue squad vehicles heading to the hospital. However, the benefits of all of these expensive changes that are meant to improve access to the hospital can be negated by a driver exiting the gas station and blocking all three lanes of traffic while trying to get into the lane of traffic heading north on Harrison Street.

To protect the lives and safety of patients and EMT crews trying to get to the hospital, and motorists using the Sunoco station, I ask the mayor and Council of West Windsor Township to take the necessary actions to place “No Exit” signs at the gas station Harrison Street driveway to deter drivers from blocking traffic and risking an accident by crossing three lanes of traffic when exiting the gas station to head north on Harrison Street.

Bernie Miller

Princeton Township Committeeman,

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

Something very interesting happened on the way to the forum to elect our first united government in Princeton. The six Democratic candidates for Council — Heather Howard, Patrick Simon, Bernie Miller, Jo Butler, Lance Liverman, and Jenny Crumiller — could have run this campaign individually, with each candidate looking out for him or herself. These are confident individuals with varied backgrounds, positions, and constituencies, and it might have been easier to run independently. But that is not what they chose to do. They opted instead to put differences aside and to team up, to work together for a common campaign, just as they have been working together with many members of our community to implement consolidation. Looking for common ground and the greater good for the larger community is what defines this moment in our town’s history and the rationale for forming this team of Democrats.

As a volunteer I worked earlier this year with Democratic council candidates individually. Over the summer as the team formed and solidified, I have been impressed with the sharing, support, and bonding. The backgrounds that these candidates bring to the table is diverse in healthcare, public policy, transportation and logistics, job development, engineering, and real estate. Their experiences and their strengths complement each other. Five of the six currently hold elected positions on the Borough Council or Township Committee, and all six have worked with the Consolidation Commission or the Transition Task Force or on one or more of the subcommittees of those groups. Together these six candidates, along with Liz Lempert, our Democratic mayoral candidate, represent in unity a microcosm of our two communities coming together in consolidation. All six candidates have experience gained through working on current day-to-day issues of municipal government, ensuring that the benefits of consolidation are delivered as promised.

Consolidation is and will continue to be a journey, and its achievement is the defining mission of these Democratic candidates. The new town council will have six seats and I ask you to join me in supporting all six of these candidates for Princeton Council. They deserve our support so progress, guiding the consolidation strategy, will continue into successful implementation with their intelligent and sensitive stewardship.

Doreen Blanc Rockstrom

Maidenhead Road

To the Editor:

We support abstinence education and are writing in response to the Town Topics’ article, “Five Year Strategic Plan Outlined at Sexuality Education Fundraiser” (Town Topics, Oct. 17, p. 7).

The article reports on Elizabeth Schroeder’s rather tendentious and completely one-sided defense of the so-called “comprehensive” sex education approach that has been adopted by organizations such as HiTOPS and Answer. Ms. Schroeder accuses critics of this approach of “keeping young people in the dark” and “making young girls feel worthless.” These are gross mischaracterizations of the abstinence-until-marriage view. We are prepared to prove that in an open public debate.

Because no approach to sex education is value neutral, the tensions between the methods and the ancillary goals of sex education programs result in morally-charged debates about what is best for our teens.

People who support abstinence education often claim that “comprehensive” sex education curricula are not based on scientific evidence and teen sexual health but are used to promote an ideology of sexual freedom that puts teens’ physical, psychological, and intellectual well-being at great risk. Those who support comprehensive sex education often assume that abstinence education is based on an ideological commitment to an outdated and archaic view of virtue and morality that has little relevance to the latest scientific findings or the realities and temptations that teens face in today’s sex-saturated culture. People on both sides of the debate accuse the other side of politicizing, suppressing, and manipulating scientific evidence and peddling medically inaccurate information to unsuspecting and vulnerable teens.

We believe that it is important to foster respect and understanding between people who have different viewpoints on sexual morality and sex education. One of the ways to foster tolerance and mutual respect for diverse views is to give parents and students the opportunity to hear the best arguments on competing sides of an issue presented by thoughtful, well-informed people. It is important for all of us to acknowledge that there are intelligent and reasonable people of good will on different sides. Sometimes this acknowledgment requires that we reopen and judge anew a matter that has been treated as if it were settled or beyond dispute.

In the spirit of civil engagement and public deliberation, we propose a public debate focusing on what can validly be taught on the basis of truly sound science between experts on teen sexual health with different perspectives. We respectfully invite Ms. Schroeder and her colleagues at HiTOPS and Answer to work with us on this project. The goal would be to give our community an opportunity to hear two recognized experts who represent different views about the scientific soundness of claims made in competing approaches to sex education in our schools. We are prepared to have our view publicaly challenged by Ms. Schroeder herself or any expert favored by her organization. We hope that she and her colleagues are no less prepared to have their views challenged by an expert on our side.

Wai Far Bazar

Greenbrier Row

Aileen Collins

Guyot Avenue

Sarah Schemmann

Erdman Avenue

To the Editor:

I am licensed by the NJDEP and for ten years have owned an environmental contracting company that I still work for in a consulting capacity. I was asked by Princeton Citizens for Sustainable Neighborhoods to review a Phase I Environmental Assessment report performed by EcolSciences, Inc. as well as some conclusions in an Environmental Impact Study performed by Maser Consulting P.A., both on behalf of AvalonBay. The areas of the reports that I was specifically reviewing were those dealing with Underground Storage Tanks (USTs). The EcolSciences report lists four active UST systems: one 4,000 gallon diesel tank, one 1,000 gallon gasoline tank, and two 30,000 gallon fuel oil tanks. In addition, USTs were removed at 6 and 10 Harris Road and found to be leaking and as of the date of the EcolSciences report, soil and possible ground water contamination remained on both of these sites as a result of the leakage.

The Maser report summarizes the EcolSciences report in one sentence: “Site specific investigations performed for the property by Ecolsciences regarding the presence of underground tanks and possible contamination revealed that no underground storage tanks or contamination were found on the property” (p. 10). I had to read that statement several times. It is astounding to me that Maser could write their report and leave the existence of the tanks and known contamination out of the report. The EcolSciences report is not hard to read and it is not so cumbersome that even a lay person could find the section dealing with the tanks. Not to mention the fact that 30,000 gallon tanks are big — as in 50 feet long and 10 feet in diameter — and there are two of them. The main ways to these tanks are impossible to miss for anyone who walks the site. The only conclusion that I can draw is that Maser was extremely negligent when preparing their report. I do not even want to consider the only other possibility, which is that the information was left out of Maser’s report purposely. I understand that Maser does have a good reputation so I would have to assume that it was negligence. In any case, it calls into serious doubt the conclusions that Maser has drawn in its report and in my opinion, not only the conclusions about tanks and contamination that are known to exist on the site, but other conclusions as well.

Please come to the October 25 meeting of the Planning Board, Township Hall, 7:30 pm, where the Board will be considering the AvalonBay application. Let your concerns be known either by speaking or simply showing up.

Steven Hoffman

Jefferson Road

To the Editor:

The plans unveiled by Princeton University at last week’s Regional Planning Board hearing made it abundantly clear that the Dinky train line to the historic train station terminus does not interfere with the construction of a single building for the Arts Complex. The University nevertheless directed its experts long ago to design plans to move the Dinky terminus a football field and a half (460 feet) farther away from Princeton’s town center. In fact, the Arts complex could have been built (or largely built) by now, with the Dinky terminus remaining safe, exactly where it is — if the win-win approach long recommended by the community had been embraced by the University.

Study after study shows that moving transit farther from town centers leads to reductions in ridership and often ends in the eventual demise of the entire train line. Also, preserving the Dinky line to its current terminus would save this historic gateway to Princeton, which has been on state and national registers of historic places for nearly three decades. It could operate as a cafe as well as the station it once was.

In meeting after meeting during more than five years that the University has promoted its Arts and Transit plan, most of the public has supported the arts component while simultaneously voicing serious objections to its transit component, which has shortcomings and risks that could easily be corrected in cost efficient ways. Public groups have shown time and again how to address these challenges creatively, with expert inputs, so that the Dinky terminus would not have to be moved. Yet, not a single good idea from the public has been embraced by the University with respect to the Dinky transit corridor!

Having much respect for Princeton University, I am disappointed in its treating so cavalierly its community neighbors who have had such a long time collective interest and daily dependence on the Dinky train, a rare passenger transit line that other communities have lost and yearn to have back again. The Dinky has been a beloved public resource for more than 100 years, shared by the entire community including University faculty, students, and staff. It is our link to the northeast corridor and to the whole world.

The plan to move the Dinky terminus farther away from the town center is ill conceived and will place our transit corridor unnecessarily in jeopardy. We deserve better stewardship of our Dinky train and historic station, precious community resources. It is not too late for the University to recognize the public interest in our transit corridor over such a long period and to assimilate the well-founded wishes of the community rather than behaving as the only fountain of knowledge about this transit corridor.

William S. Moody

Jefferson Road

To the Editor:

On Friday, September 29, more than 300 members of the community joined the Friends of the Princeton Public Library for “Beyond Words,” the Friends’ annual benefit to support the library. The evening began at Richardson Auditorium with a stimulating talk by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jeffrey Eugenides, followed by a cocktail reception, a silent auction and dinner at the library.

The Friends wish to acknowledge our sponsors, guests, donors, benefit committee and volunteers, whose generosity and hard work helped the Friends raise more than $120,000 for the Princeton Public Library. These funds will be used to purchase books, DVDs, e-books and music, enhance staff development and support the many free programs the library offers.

In particular, we’d like to thank Jeffrey Eugenides, as well as our presenting sponsor, The Gould Group of Wells Fargo Advisors and our platinum sponsor, Glenmede. We are also grateful to gold sponsors, Howe Insurance Group, Inc. and Princeton University, bronze sponsor, Princeton University Press, and our corporate supporters, Princeton Black Squirrel and Stark & Stark. By supporting the Friends and the Princeton Public Library, they have done tremendous good for the entire community.

Ellen Pitts and Wendy Evans

Event Co-Chairs

To the Editor:

As a Princeton resident for most of seven decades I long believed this would be an even better place to live if it were one town with two competitive political parties rather than two towns with one ubiquitous political party.

The first half of my wish came true with the recent vote in favor of consolidation. The second half now can come true with the election of Dick Woodbridge, a Republican, as mayor of Princeton. Just imagine, one town with a genuine two-party democracy.

Peter R. Kann

Cleveland Lane

To the Editor:

Some of us who live in Spruce Circle, the Senior Resource Center, were delighted to meet with Dick Woodbridge in our community room. He told us he was running for mayor. Several among us shared stories of Princeton past with Dick and reminisced of breakfasting with his late father at the Carousel Diner on Nassau Street. Dick greeted old timers with the same warmth he showed to more recent arrivals to town. He grew up in Princeton and is devoted to the community, is highly respected and admired, both professionally and personally. As mayor, he will ensure that Princeton remains the diverse community it has always been, and he will be a committed advocate for all residents from the youngest to the oldest. Dick understands the need for urban planning and will find solutions in an environmentally beneficial manner, to the traffic and transportation problems which impact the quality of life of residents. His remarkable leadership and consensus building skills, honed as a successful lawyer, Police Commissioner, Public Works Commissioner, and Fire Commissioner as well as mayor of Princeton Township and member of the Borough Council, make him the candidate who is ready and prepared to lead Princeton in the challenging years ahead.

Palumbo Armando, Mark Vigiano, Manuel and Opi Sordan, Joan Liang

Spruce Circle

To the Editor:

We support Dick Woodbridge for mayor for three good reasons. He is a native of Princeton, born, raised and educated here. He knows our history, and the past does inform the future. He is experienced, having been township mayor and council member, as well as borough council president. He has been an active member of our community his whole life. He works effectively to build consensus and lead with conviction. As a full time mayor, Dick would have the vision and insight and fresh ideas to effectively lead us into the future as one Princeton.

Finally, during the last 30 years, we have both had opportunities to work closely with Dick on a variety activities benefiting the Princetons and can say from first hand experience that he has the skills needed to move Princeton forward as its mayor.

Suzanne and Peter Thompson

Hornor Lane

To the Editor:

When considering who to vote for in the upcoming mayoral election, realize that this is not a partisan issue but rather the opportunity to select the best, most qualified, most experienced, most objective, and most appropriate individual for the office. It’s critical for the United Princeton to start off on the right foot with Richard Woodbridge.

As died in the wool Democrats, we last voted for a Republican mayoral candidate, John Lindsay, when we lived in Manhattan, and we see this election in the same light. Party affiliation has little or nothing to do with local issues. We voted for Dick when he ran for Mayor of Princeton Borough in the 1980’s because we saw him as a person with vision and integrity. We are delighted to have the chance to vote for him again for the same reasons.

For a number of years, I sat next to Dick on the Princeton Regional Planning Board. At that time we both considered applications not as Democratic or Republican issues, nor Borough versus Township decisions, but rather, what was the right answer for the application. Objective sensibility and an ability to listen and understand both sides of an issue are key to making good decisions. I think that Dick has these attributes.

We’re both confident that he will be open minded, fair, and apolitical in his decision making. Princetonians are fortunate that he’s interested and excited to tackle this demanding opportunity and daunting task.

Liz Lempert is a good choice for mayor but Richard Woodbridge is a better choice. He would-bridge our differences and connect our past with our future.

Michael and Mimi Landau

Patton Avenue

To the Editor:

In his first public message about electing a new mayor for Princeton, well before he threw his own hat in the ring, Dick Woodbridge asked us all to consider making ourselves available to serve. He was interested in finding the best candidates, not just placing himself on a short list. Dick thinks, works, and lives with an inclusive perspective. He will set a positive tone for our town’s governance. He is our town’s best advocate. And this is exactly what I like about Dick. He wants the best for our town. He is open to good ideas from everyone and he respects views from everyone, including his opponent. The best for Princeton is not just a campaign slogan for him.

Dick Woodbridge will be an excellent mayor for Princeton and I will be voting for him.

Harry Levine

Crestview Drive

To the Editor:

On November 6th, Princetonians will go to the polls in an historic election consummating more than two years of hard work by many members of our community. During the first year the effort was directed first at putting Consolidation on the ballot and then getting the measure passed. The second year saw an endless round of hearings and meetings as the transitional government was discussed and defined in anticipation of 2013, which will be our first year as a single, combined municipality. The stakes are high: from the first moment in January when the curtain rises on One Princeton, many will be watching and taking the measure of our success.

The stakes are thus inherently high in terms of our choice of mayor. But the decision is easy. Liz Lempert was at the forefront of the Consolidation effort since this round began and remained a major force throughout 2012 as the new government began to take shape. At no time has this involvement been simple. The Consolidation meetings were often contentious. The transition meetings were frequently heated, with jobs and influence at stake for many people. Liz and her colleagues were unfailingly fair, prepared, thoughtful, and courteous. They created a path to a sustainable municipal plan. And through all this, Liz was also a member of Township Committee, with all the responsibilities and commitments that entails. As anyone who has watched Liz on the job can tell you, this former NPR producer comes to her positions through intelligent analysis, holds them with fair and balanced leadership, and comports herself with an easy dignity at all times.

The first mayor of a combined Princeton must be someone who has been through the maelstrom of the last two years in Princeton, who heard the myriad concerns of our citizens and who dealt with the pros and cons of the various municipal frameworks that were open to us. Liz was immersed in these discussions. She spoke constantly with the people whose lives will be affected by change. She will be able to speak intelligently to the questions and objections that will arise as we work our way through a new system of government. In short, she is intimately familiar with the issues, background, and consequences of the Consolidation decision. She will govern with a sure knowledge of what led us to this point and what the options were then and now. She is a skilled and experienced leader.

I hope you will join me in pulling the lever for the candidate who truly understands how we arrived at the One Princeton decision and will be the best representative of all the citizens of our new community – Liz Lempert.

Casey Lambert

North Road

To the Editor:

I had the distinct honor or working with each of the candidates for mayor during my 27 year tenure as an elected official in Princeton Borough. I know that I can categorically state that Princeton was the beneficiary of their outstanding service to this community. I am, however, supporting Liz Lempert because I think she has demonstrated the kind of leadership that Princeton needs at this time.

As mayor you get to work more closely with the governing body members than would otherwise be the case. Because there are 16 shared departments between Princeton Borough and Princeton Township, there are constant interchanges between the two municipalities. I had the opportunity to interact with Liz on many issues that were germane to the Princeton community and witnessed — first hand — her ability to get things done. She listens well, she can communicate with all members of our diverse community, residential, educational, and business, and she has shown her ability to be fiscally responsible.

We will achieve the full benefits of consolidation and have a responsible government if we have leaders that can move us through the process as seamlessly as possible while, at the same time, maintaining a balance between economic opportunity, fiscal constraints, and abiding commitment to democratic principles and values. Such qualities and characteristics have been demonstrated by Liz.

Mildred T. Trotman

Former mayor of Princeton Borough

To the Editor:

Liz Lempert is the clear choice for mayor of our newly united Princeton. As Deputy Mayor and as a member of Township Committee, Liz understands today’s issues and has built a clear track record of success. There is a lot of talk about experience in the mayor’s race. Experience is certainly important and she is the only candidate that has both current experience and results. Results matter.

Township Committee has accomplished a great deal over the last several years. We have not only achieved consolidation — something that had been attempted and failed virtually every decade since 1953 — but we have also exceeded the 2013 savings from consolidation estimated by the consolidation commission.

We have held taxes flat for the last several years — something that had never been done before in the Township. We have negotiated a voluntary contribution from Princeton University — the first significant contribution in our Township’s history. We opened up the application process for our boards and commissions to encourage more diversity and participation and have created a Citizens’ Finance Advisory Committee to bring additional community expertise in budgeting and strategic financial planning. This was also a community first.

We have promoted common sense development for our community resulting in developments like Copperwood that have preserved a significant portion of open space in perpetuity and contributed to the establishment of the Princeton Ridge Preserve. We have achieved certification from Sustainable Jersey and have made great strides when it comes to environmental and economic sustainability.

That’s the record. Liz is the candidate who can build the bridge to a united Princeton and carry forward the record of results that we have achieved. She’s done it and as mayor she’ll continue to deliver results for our community.

Chad Goerner

Mayor Princeton Township

To the Editor:

I have had the privilege of meeting, working with and learning from Liz Lempert, candidate for mayor in the new united Princeton. We Princetonians really lucked out with this candidate. Liz has the talent necessary to be a first rate leader. She is a worker and does her municipal homework in depth. She is at ease with all kinds of people and knows how to match people and tasks. She has a ready smile, a quick wit, and great calmness.

Many of these positive attributes were very evident at the Republican/Democratic debate on October 11. Liz was deeply familiar with difficult contemporary legal and economic issues. In particular, she approached the problems of consolidation, which she was instrumental in crafting, with thoughtfulness and intelligence. She clearly won the debate.

I urge Princetonians to vote for Liz Lempert as mayor on Nov. 6.

Beth Healey

Moore Street

MUSICAL MAGIC: “The musical ability of the singers in Princeton Pro Musica is high. I’m not at all constrained in the choice of repertoire. We’ll continue with most of the well-loved pieces as well as new ones. We also look forward to some collaboration with other arts groups.” Ryan Brandau, new artistic director of Princeton Pro Musica, looks forward to the organization’s upcoming season.

Providing beautiful choral music to the Princeton community has been the goal of Princeton Pro Musica for 33 years.

As its mission statement points out: “Princeton Pro Musica exists to perform choral masterworks and other works of the choral literature with energy, passion, and uncompromising artistic excellence. We believe in the power of choral music to uplift and transform our audiences, performers, and communities.”

Begun in 1979, the organization was founded by singer and choral conductor Frances Fowler Slade. At that time, a small singing group was sponsored by the YWCA, recalls Princeton resident and long-time Princeton Pro Musica singer Simon (Sy) Marchand. “I was a member of the Y group, which was the genesis of Princeton Pro Musica.”

Once under way, with approximately 30 singers, all amateurs but serious, experienced musicians from the Princeton area, the group rehearsed at the Y, notes Princeton Pro Musica executive director Mary Trigg. “They quickly outgrew the space, however. The group expanded so quickly under Ms. Slade’s leadership. Soon, there were 80 singers — there have never been fewer than that, and this season, we have 105.”

High Standards

The singers, who range in age from 18 to 70-plus, are serious musicians, and many continue to study voice. They must audition every year, and the standards are very high. In addition to the amateur musicians, there is a core group of eight professional singers.

Many singers have been with the organization over time, including some for 20, even 30 years. Simon Marchand is an original member and continues to sing with the group. “The community did not have a real community chorus, and Princeton Pro Musica started off as a community creation and has retained that flavor. It is something Princeton can be proud of.

“Personally, I love the weekly rehearsals, when you can hear it all coming together, and hear the sounds that really transport you. The sound that is produced is like no musical instrument.”

The importance and enjoyment of the rehearsal to the musicians is emphasized again and again. Princeton resident Jan Johnson, former children’s librarian at the Princeton Public Library, has been a member of Princeton Pro Musica since its beginning, and she is also a member of the organization’s smaller Chamber Chorus.

“When I think of music, I can hear harmony, but I need to sing with other people because I can only sing one note at a time. I prefer choral singing because it’s like being on a team. One of the things that makes it so special is this group of people who have such a strong commitment, take the music very seriously, and work very hard. The rewards are commensurate with the effort.

“And, we provide high quality performances for the community. People don’t have to go to New York or Philadelphia to hear beautiful music.”

Original Instrument

After a career in music and business in New York, executive director Mary Trigg has been singing with Princeton Pro Musica since 1998 (as did her father before her). She is proud of the quality of the performances the chorus brings to the Princeton area.

“These performances are experienced singers and the scope of musical works that this group has presented is impressive. The voice is the original instrument. The combined choral music is a unique combination of words and music, supported by instruments, and is unlike any other form of music.”

Princeton Pro Musica plans four concerts for the 2012-13 season by the full chorus, as well as a series of performances by the Chamber Chorus, consisting of 24 members who sing a cappella.

The full chorus will perform Mozart’s Requiem, K 626 and Bach’s O Jesu Christ meins Lebens Licht, BWV 118 at Richardson Auditorium on Sunday, October 28 at 3 p.m. Its 42nd performance of Handel’s Messiah — a holiday tradition — will be presented at Patriots’ Theater, Trenton War Memorial on December 16. Performances in 2013 will take place in March and May.

These and future performances will be under the leadership of the new artistic director Ryan Brandau, who recently joined the organization after Ms. Slade’s retirement.

“We had a national search for director, and considered  53 candidates,” says Ms. Trigg. “Ryan was an outstanding choice.”

Superior Musicianship

Previously the artistic director of the Santa Clara Chorale in California and director of choral activities at Santa Clara University, Brandau has also worked with choirs at colleges and churches in Massachusetts and Connecticut. A Princeton University graduate, he has received graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge and the Yale School of Music.

“Both our board and our chorus believe Brandau possesses just the right mix of superior musicianship, organizational and community relations skills, experience programming from a diverse yet compelling repertoire, and a personal/professional philosophy compatible with Princeton Pro Musica’s mission,” says Jacques Lebel, immediate past president of Princeton Pro Musica’s Board of Trustees. He is an outstanding choice to become our new artistic director.”

Brandau looks forward to continuing to bring the combined voices of Princeton Pro Musica to area audiences. “It’s the magic of taking something that is ink on a page and transforming it into sound. For me, it’s a process of getting 100 people together and making that magic happen. I love it!”

Carolyn Landis, president of Princeton Pro Musica’s board of trustees and a singer with the group, looks forward to seeing the orginization thrive with the continued help of private donations, and funding from the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, the Scheide Fund, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State.

“In my role as president, the most gratifying aspect is to see how well established and strong Princeton Pro Musica is. This is so important. Of course, the music is primary. The real essence for me is the weekly reshearsal, the opportunity to be transported to a higher level. Within the greater Princeton community, we hope to inspire hundreds, even thousands, of people with our performances of traditional and contemporary classical chord music.”

For further information, call (609) 683-5122, or contact www.princetonpromusica.org.

GREAT TASTES: “We are an informal but full-service restaurant. We have table-side service, and we have the freshest, highest quality 100 percent Angus beef — all-natural, vegetarian-fed with no antibiotics, hormones, or additives.” John Lim (second from left), owner of the new Cheeburger Cheeburger on Nassau Street, is shown with the staff, including from left: Vivian Lim, Matt Davis, Nick Collingwood, Jalyn Harden, and Tess Kazenoff.

How do you like your cheeseburger? You can “invent” your own at the new Cheeburger Cheeburger at 182 Nassau Street. Having just opened in mid-August, the eatery already has many fans, including a large number of regular customers, who love to customize their cheeseburgers with the myriad of toppings available.

“You can build your own burger, salad, or sandwich, with our huge variety of toppings,” says owner John Lim. “We have nine different cheeses, including blue, Swiss, feta, and parmesan, as well as cheddar and American. We also offer many, many more toppings, such as salsa, jalapeno peppers, honey mustard, horseradish, teriyaki, guacamole, curry, wasabi, and sriracha hot chili sauce. You can completely customize your burger to your own taste, and everything is made to order.”

The choices are truly unlimited, and customers are enjoying the opportunity to be creative, reports Mr. Lim, who opened the restaurant with his partner Adam Pasieka. Mr. Lim also owns two other Cheeburger Cheeburgers in the Mercer Mall in Lawrenceville and Hamilton.

An independently-owned franchise, the eatery is one of 70 across the country, says Mr. Lim, whose previous career was as an engineer in the corporate world. He decided to make a career change, after sampling one of the Cheeburger Cheeburger’s cheeseburgers (It was that good!). And, he has not regretted his decision.

John’s Place

“This is a franchise but a very exclusive franchise. We are known for the quality of our food and the fun that customers can have creating their special favorite. We are definitely not a fast food restaurant, which typically offers highly processed food, prepared elsewhere and delivered to the restaurant. Our beef, which is top-notch, is fresh, not salted or seasoned, and has great taste.

“I’m a foodie,” he adds. “(I love to cook — my spaghetti is second to none!), and I make certain that the food at our restaurant is the best it can be. What I want is for people to watch the Super Bowl, see a commercial for McDonald’s, and think, ‘On Monday, I’ll go to John’s Place for a burger.’”

Mr. Lim definitely looks forward to Cheeburger Cheeburger becoming a neighborhood favorite for families with young kids, teens, University students, as well as adults of all ages. “I want to embrace Princeton. I want us to be a local hang-out place. I want people to think of us as ‘John’s Place’. I’m local myself, and live nearby.”

Customers are enjoying everything — from the burgers to the wide variety of salads and the popular wraps, as well as turkey burgers, veggie burgers, portobello mushroom sandwiches, and many more choices. They also love the special French fries (with the skins) and onion rings, both available with any sauce or topping.

In addition, in keeping with the eatery’s vintage fun ‘50s-style, there is an array of shakes, malteds, ice cream sodas, root beer floats, and even the unique “egg cream” (made with the authentic Fox U Bet syrup), so familiar to New Yorkers and Brooklynites.

The true claim to fame, of course, is the cheeseburger — in all its variations and sizes.

Wall of Fame

“Our famous ‘Pounder’ — actually 20 ounces — is special,” says Mr. Lim. “We offer the ‘Pounder Challenge’. If someone can eat it, we take their picture and put it up on the Wall of Fame. We also have the three-quarter, half-pounder, quarter-pounder, and smaller. There is one for everyone. Kids love the burgers (they are served in a special colorful cardboard ‘car’ carton), and this is a great place for families. Prices are very affordable, with burgers starting at $5.59.”

Mr. Lim expects to have a big business with high school and college students as well. “We hope to establish a tradition with them. And we have already established a relationship with Princeton University, and have had a big catering order for their football team.”

Building a strong staff is very important to Mr. Lim, and he is pleased with his employees. “I make a point of hiring young people, often 17- and 18-year-olds. It’s our way of giving kids their first job and an opportunity to earn real money. I try to instill three concepts: honesty, integrity, and pride in their work. This will help them in their lives in whatever they eventually do.”

Giving back to the community is another focus for Cheeburger Cheeburger. “We are known for our fund-raisers for various community organizations, and we will continue to do this.”

Fun and Inviting

Cheeburger Cheeburger has seating for 110, with a counter, booths, tables, and chairs available. The colorful vintage atmosphere is fun and inviting, and Mr. Lim reports that many adult customers are reminded of fun times when they were kids going to the neighborhood diner to hang out with friends.

“I want everyone to be welcome here. I enjoy meeting and talking with people. It makes my day, and I want you to know that when you come into my restaurant, it’s as if you are coming into my home. You’re my guest, and I treat you as my guest.

“I also want people to know that we will always keep up the quality and maintain our standards — the best food, cleanliness, hospitality, and customer service.”

Cheeburger Cheeburger is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9/10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 to/9/10/11, Sunday 11 to 8/9. Hours will be adjusted over the next months. (609) 921-0011. Website: www.cheeburger.com.