May 30, 2012

To the Editor:

We write in support of Scott Sillars for the new Princeton Council and urge our fellow citizens to do the same in the Democratic primary on June 5. Consolidation is now a reality and whether you supported it or not, it is critical to have the most thoughtful people on Council who can implement it successfully. Scott believes that consolidation’s success will be measured by how it benefits ALL our citizens. Issues of development and affordability are critical to Princeton’s future. He will work to defend our diverse neighborhoods in the face of development by insisting on a more engaged and proactive planning process. Scott has the financial expertise and is already very familiar with the complexities of merging two governments because of his work on municipal finance committees and on the Transition Task Force. He will be a new face on council, but will be ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work on day one. Please vote for Scott on June 5 — we need his unique skills on council.

Deborah Kaple, Miguel Centeno

Pine Street

To the Editor:

We are voting for Scott Sillars for Princeton Council because we believe he has the skills necessary to work effectively on the critical issues facing our town. We have known Scott and his wife, Margaret Griffin, for a number of years, and have witnessed first-hand his action and concern for the well-being of our community and beyond. From starting a low-income residential weatherization business for Isles, Inc. in Trenton, to his work managing Red Cross hurricane shelters, his support for the Princeton Public Library and other local organizations, to his foot-soldiering in the Mercer4Obama effort in ‘08, Scott has demonstrated that he can lead as well as follow, and that what’s most important is getting the job done. We need Scott on the new council because he will bring his considerable financial acumen, as well as a lot of heart, to the job. We urge our fellow Democrats to vote Sillars on June 5.

Shelly Yedlin, Charlie Yedlin

Beech Hill Circle

To the Editor:

On June 5, Princeton has the opportunity to vote for the candidate representing the Democratic slot on the general election ticket. There are two worthy choices and while Liz Lempert would make a good mayor, Kevin Wilkes will make a great one. I’ll tell you why.

Kevin has the skills to preside over consolidation. As an architect, he’s used to managing a design and construction team for demo, design, and reconstruction. Those skills have translated to his record as a Borough Councilman. But beyond execution, Kevin will know how to plan for it, or, to stick with the construction theme: he knows how to stage it.

This transition won’t be seamless and it could be turbulent. Princeton will need a thick-skinned taskmaster with a political gift bigger than just good communication skills and an eye toward sustainability.

Princeton needs a mayor who can bring an ecumenical cadence to the public trust who will then hook up the utilities for two separate communities now living in an under construction, split level home, as a family of one. Getting the foundation poured and the framing right is the first task at hand and most important stage of this consolidation. Kevin Wilkes will be that mayor.

He’ll be that mayor because this is what Kevin has done successfully all of his life. The new consolidation phase will also need a leader who is calm, but ready for a storm as different visions converge. Princeton will need a leader who can build these things, then after the sheetrock dust has cleared, turn around and inspect the job better than anyone else. The only person I know who can do this consolidation project the best is Kevin Wilkes, because Kevin Wilkes works for this town and he loves this town.

And he will always work for Princeton. Mercer County Freeholder Andrew Koontz once said that Kevin Wilkes was a tireless worker; not because he never gets tired but because he keeps working when he is tired. It’s true: Kevin is indefatigable.

I can’t wait for all residents to know what so many Princetonians already know about Kevin’s public life, but also his contributions to the town as a private citizen. One of the things that will emerge out of his legacy will be more public art in our town. The Princeton Writer’s Block on then-undeveloped land along Paul Robeson Place was achieved out of his own commitment to irrigate his community’s public art desert, keeping it watered for other things to come. In the two public art projects that I have worked on with Kevin, he always said two things to me, “We’ve got to keep this thing rolling and we have to pull it to the finish line.” Princeton needs this energy and this attitude in the nascent throes of a consolidation. Kevin will assess consolidation, address any problems, and you can be sure he’ll get Princeton landing on its feet.

Peter Soderman

Hamilton Avenue

To the Editor:

Tamera Matteo is a newcomer to politics but a familiar face among the community organizations in town. The president of the John Witherspoon Middle School PTO, a CASA volunteer, a Corner House Foundation board member, and a volunteer for McCarter Theater, to name just a few of her community leadership roles, Tamera has a stellar reputation among those who have worked with her. She’s a good listener who solicits input from a diverse community; she’s a collaborative leader who builds consensus; she is results-oriented. She brings a professional approach and a customer-service perspective, borne of her decade-long ownership of a local retail business, to all that she does.

We have worked alongside Tamera on the John Witherspoon (JW) Middle School PTO, and strongly support her for the new Council. She brings the experience, temperament, perspective and commitment that the new Princeton needs and deserves.

As JW’s PTO president, she was a wonderful bridge between the leadership of a principal who had headed the school for over 30 years, and a new principal who had to quickly learn the lay of the land. She was able to make even better the many positive aspects of JW. The highlights of her tenure as PTO president include:

Turning a negative PTO cash balance into a $20,000 surplus;

Assisting parents in developing the first JW swim club;

Being appointed by the District to participate in the Principal search committee for JW;

Redesigning the JW spiritwear to make it more appealing to the kids, thereby improving school spirit, and helping to raise more funds; and,

Finding an equivalent in quality/less expensive Washington, DC tour for the 8th graders.

Tamera’s ability to improve both the tangibles, such as cash balance and sports offerings, as well as the intangibles, such as school spirit, bodes well for her future success as a member of the Princeton Council. For this reason, we enthusiastically endorse her candidacy for Princeton Council.

Elizabeth Collier

Snowden Lane

Susan Kanter

Christopher Drive

Roxanne List

Jefferson Road

Leah McDonald

Journeys End Lane

Joan Morelli

Walker Drive

Lucy Quach Saengtawesin

Gallup Road

Elizabeth Samios

Bertrand Drive

AnaMaria Silva

Stonewall Circle

Jeanette Timmons

Marion Road East

Diana Traquina

Van Dyke Road

To the Editor:

On June 5, voters in the Democratic Primary election will nominate six candidates for the position of council person in the new consolidated Princeton government. Nine candidates are seeking the endorsement. All supported consolidation and all promise to work to fulfill its promises of efficiency and savings. All bring impressive talents and varied experience. How to choose? As members of the Joint Consolidation/Shared Services Study Commission, we urge you to give one of your votes to a newcomer, Patrick Simon. Pat served on the JCSSC as a citizen member from the Borough. Over the months that we worked together to develop the recommendation that led to the consolidation referendum, Pat demonstrated the qualities needed to serve our new united community. He brings formidable analytic talents, most notably his ability to unravel the arcane complexities of municipal finance and explain, in plain language, the financial impacts of policy decisions. He is fair and open minded. He worked with us on the Community Engagement Subcommittee and continually sought and carefully considered views from everyone in the Princeton community. He has demonstrated the ability to work with all sectors of the community – including Princeton University — and to find the common ground that will enable Princeton to continue to thrive as the stimulating, diverse community we all value. Pat will be a newcomer to elected office and we applaud that, but he has proven that he has the acumen and temperament to serve our community well. Please join us in giving one of your votes to Pat Simon.

Valerie Haynes

Mount Lucas Road

Anton Lahnston

Elm Road

Carol Golden

Snowden Lane

Ryan Lilienthal

Maple Street

Alice K. Small

Hawthorne Avenue

To the Editor:

Four years ago in the lead-up to the 2008 election, I met and worked for the young woman who was organizing the regional New Jersey-Pennsylvania effort to elect Obama. She was a model of capability, efficiency, calm, and intelligence. I was amazed at how much she constantly accomplished, what a fine leader she was, and how unflagging her drive was, from the beginning of the Obama campaign right through the day of the election.

You will not be surprised to know that this young woman was Liz Lempert. Since then I have watched with ever-growing admiration as Liz assumed significant responsibilities when she was elected to Township Committee and later took on leadership positions in the Consolidation and Transition Task Force processes. Liz has been unflappable and sensible at every turn and in every public meeting in her various roles. She radiates a sense of fairness, confidence, and quietly positive energy, encouraging those who work with her to give their best and find the most effective solutions to problems.

The next few years will inevitably bring their own strains as we work our way toward creating a merged municipal entity. The person we elect as mayor must be able to handle the huge array of consolidation processes and issues — to say nothing of unforeseen situations — with wisdom, aplomb, and good humour.

Liz has amply demonstrated all the necessary executive and managerial skills that will be required to be mayor of a combined Princeton. We are the poster child for consolidation, and other towns and municipal nonprofit groups are watching us closely. We have a crucial responsibility to consolidate with success. For this, we need a seasoned and effective leader as mayor. Liz Lempert is that person. Please vote for her on June 5.

Casey Lambert

North Road

To the Editor:

The Princeton community — Borough and Township — has long been defined and distinguished by three physical elements: (i) the woods and fields that separate Princeton from its neighbors; (ii) Nassau Street, Palmer Square, and our core downtown neighborhoods; and (iii) the historic portions of the Princeton University campus.

Jo Butler and Jenny Crumiller have demonstrated that they understand the fundamental relationship between Princeton’s three defining elements and the still unique character of our now rapidly growing community. They understand that Princeton will be diminished – substantively, immediately, and recognizably — if we permit any of our town’s three defining elements to be impaired.

Change is inevitable. But there are degrees of change, and change is not always beneficial. People instinctively resist transformative change. Governments are created and empowered to limit transformative change. Princeton’s many defenses include elected bodies, ordinances, master plans, a regional planning board, historic preservation review committees, and shade tree commissions. Sometimes those defenses are effective; more often they collapse limply whenever there is a promise of new tax revenues or a threat of litigation.

Notwithstanding the lamentable porosity of its defenses, Princeton Borough’s survival as an independent entity served until this year to prevent upheaval in our core downtown neighborhoods. Consolidation, however, changes everything. I suggest that the primary duty of our newly elected Council will be to combat the drive to transform our downtown into an urban hub. Doing so successfully will require wit and tenacity. Jo and Jenny have demonstrated those attributes in spades. They are courageous. They are resourceful. Their instincts are sound. They do not run for cover when attacked. I am comfortable entrusting our future to them. They have my strong support and I fervently hope they will have yours on June 5 and November 6.

Peter Marks

Moore Street

To the Editor:

I support Jo Butler for Princeton Council. I have known her for several years, working closely with her as the Borough Liaison to the Joint Recreation Board and can state first hand that she is a professional, no-nonsense individual, who brings an open mind to every issue with which she is faced. Never coming to a debate with a hidden agenda, Jo Butler listens well, asks good questions, is smart and does all the necessary background work to get her mind around the issues at hand.

From the start Jo Butler has been a champion of the new Community Park Pool. Once she listened to all the disparate points of view, she made up her mind and was integral in ending the ceaseless debates in the Borough about the pool and got the project moving forward. As a result, our beautiful new pool is opening this weekend, on budget and on time. Our community owes a debt of gratitude to Ms. Butler for those efforts.

Jo Butler also supports a combined Parks and Recreation Department, which would allow for more coordinated and efficient passive and active recreation services for all of our citizens. She is a thoughtful and decisive leader who also embodies that rare quality among public servants – she is selfless. We need Jo Butler. I urge like-minded members of the community to vote on June 5 for Jo Butler for Princeton Council.

Thomas Zucosky

Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

I believe Liz Lempert is the right candidate at the right time for a new Princeton. She has the unique ability to build bridges and trust between the two communities as we move to a consolidated municipality. Her accomplishments and abilities will only be more profound in the new Princeton:

• Liz is the only candidate to have support from Township Committee and Borough Council members. This speaks volumes for her ability to unify our new

• She led the way on preserving the Princeton Ridge resulting in 60-plus acres of total preserved land in perpetuity. From promoting walking and biking, food waste recycling to sustainability certification Liz’s record on the environment and sustainability is unsurpassed.

• Her common sense approach in working with our Citizens’ Finance Advisory Commission and negotiating with Princeton University has resulted in both zero tax increases and our first-ever contribution from Princeton University to help ease residents’ tax burdens.

Liz’s open-mindedness, energy and spirit of collaboration provide just the right combination for our newly consolidated municipality. I encourage you to vote for Liz on June 5.

Chad Goerner

Mayor, Princeton Township

To the Editor:

Many of you worked very hard to promote consolidation and were rewarded with its passage in 2011. I suspect that the opponents of consolidation now want the transition to be as smooth and as seamless as possible. We will be one Princeton. We want this to work, and we want to choose the best candidate to help make it work for all of us.

I have had the pleasure of working with each of the three candidates for mayor and feel that Princeton is much the better for having had their representation as leaders in this community. However, I support Kevin Wilkes to lead us in 2013 because he has clearly demonstrated over the years that his ability to listen, to work with others with varying views to reach resolution, to communicate with all members of our diverse community, to work (with ease) with members of our residential, educational and business communities, is the kind of leadership that we will need going forward. The decisions made within the next few years could determine the quality of life we will have in Princeton for years to come. I want the person leading that group to possess the caliber of qualities and leadership that have been demonstrated by Kevin.

I hope that he can count on your support on June 5.


Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

With all the hype about new beginnings and fresh ideas, Princeton voters choosing a government for their newly merged town may want to ask themselves: But, why are we doing all this?

No one can answer that question quite as well as Bernie Miller, a former mayor of Princeton Township who is following through the consolidation process from beginning to end. He first started as an ally of Jay Bleiman, then mayor of the Township, on the 1977 Consolidation Study Commission. Bernie has stayed active ever since. He’s been a Township Councilman, a member of the most recent Consolidation Commission, and now one of the elected officials on the Transition Task Force.

He’s the chair of the Facilities Subcommittee, where I watch him sensitively balancing multiple interests as we physically bring staff together from separate departments and agencies into new collaborative relationships. Bernie’s even-handedness is making a difference.

In the midst of all that might seem new, there’s a place for institutional memory and balance. Vote June 5 to keep Bernie Miller on the new town council.

Marvin Reed

Former Mayor Princeton Borough

Anne: “The Gerb Family Pool Bay is great! We really needed something like this for years.”
Brooke: ”I like the Gerb Family Pool Bay because I can bring the baby in with me and sit.”
—Anne (left) and Brooke Robotti, Princeton

“It‘s a lot bigger and a lot more spacious and there are a lot more cooler things, like the fish for the baby pool and the slide for the big pool.”
—Atticus Jamison, Princeton

“It’s very good. It’s more open and it’s laid out better, parents can see their children in the baby pool.”
—Jim Jones, Princeton

Morgan: “I really like it. I like water slides, so I really like the new slide.”
Sumaiyya: “I really, really like it. It’s very open and roomy.”
—Morgan Bestwick (left) and Sumaiyya Stephens, Princeton

Dahlia: “I like the changes, it’s bigger and a lot cleaner.”
Caroline: “I think the changes are good with the slide and the pool is much cleaner.”
—Dahlia Musa (left) and Caroline Giles, Princeton

Marco: “It looks better and there’s a big slide.”
Michael: “I like that the pool is way bigger.”
Isabella: “It’s big and it’s awesome.”
—Triplets (left to right and oldest to youngest) Marco, Michael, and Isabella Bahbah, Princeton 

Orlando: “I really like the slide.”
Julian: “I like that the pools are connected and that there’s an overhang over the pool for shade.”
—Orlando Chorney with son Julian, Princeton

NTU Polly 5-16-12

GRACEFUL GARDEN: “I love to work with plant combinations. That’s what makes a garden successful, using different textures and colors.” Master gardener Polly Burlingham, owner of Green Gardens & Polly’s Pots, is seated amidst a display of orange iris and ornamental grass in a garden she designed on Snowden Lane.

“A container garden personalizes things. Almost any plant can go into a container for a limited time, and what’s fun about containers is that you can start over again every year and experiment.”

Master gardener Polly Burlingham should know. She specializes in unique container gardens, including hanging baskets, and she knows what a difference they can make on a patio, terrace, or deck.

As owner of Green Gardens & Polly’s Pots for 10 years, Ms. Burlingham has designed innumerable container gardens for clients in Princeton and the surrounding area.

“I like to design and restore gardens, and I like creating intimate spaces,” she explains. “Most gardens have seasonal interest; things bloom at different times, and this creates variety. There can be fall colors, or interesting bark on trees, or texture that stands out in winter. Every season has something special.”

Master Gardener

Ms. Burlingham says she was always interested in creating beautiful gardens, a talent she shared with her mother. “My mom was a wonderful gardener, and I was a member of the Junior Garden Club.”

When she became a Master Gardener in 2001 (a process which entails a six-month study program, extensive volunteer work, and ongoing education), Ms. Burlingham became involved in the Barbara Sigmund Park. She has devoted many hours of landscaping, planting, and maintenance to the establishment of a garden there, which has provided a charming and colorful vista for the community.

“I also proposed doing a series of hanging baskets to the Borough, including on Nassau and Witherspoon Streets, and the Albert Hinds Plaza at the library.”

Her handiwork can be seen at all of these locations, as well as at the Princeton Shopping Center, the Peacock Inn, and Alchemist & Barrister. She is also known for the beautiful plantings in the elegant urns at Drumthwacket, the Governor’s mansion.

Ms. Burlingham’s clients depend on her throughout the year to combine her unique style with theirs to create a garden design that continues to provide pleasure, whatever the season.

“I enjoy choosing the plants,” she notes. “I’m very visual, and I also change my mind a lot. I shop for plant materials in a variety of nurseries, and find new combinations that I might not have thought of. This is the most fun — discovering a new plant or color combination.”

New Varieties

She adds that there are many more choices available today than in the past. “One of the surprises has been the emergence of so many new plants and varieties that are now available. The plant palette has expanded so much. Every year, there are new varieties to work with. It keeps it interesting.

“For example, there used to be a few types of geraniums; now, there are hundreds. Today, there are many different kinds of petunias. New varieties of old stand-bys keep us inspired.”

Placing a plant in the right location — whether sun or shade, wet or dry conditions — is crucial, Ms. Burlingham adds.

“The most important consideration is putting the plant in the right place. If a plant likes it dry, you don’t put it in a wet area. It’s good to put like plants together — that is, those that do well in similar types of soil and conditions. Although in container gardens, you have a little more flexibility because you can make changes. And, of course, you also have to think about deer-resistant plants.”

The ability to mix and match the plants in container gardens — from season to season or even within a season — creates ongoing interest, points out Ms. Burlingham. “I like to try several new plants every year. It’s great to experiment. I enjoy including more unusual plants. For example, in summer, you could have angelonia, coleus, and plectranthus. In spring, a container garden might include mini daffodils, herbs, such as rosemary, pansies, violas, and grape hyacinth.

“I also like to include succulents; they have so many interesting shapes and textures. And, I’ll use edible plants like herbs, kale, and lettuce. In addition, I like perennials, grasses, and small shrubs in containers.”

Textures and Colors

“I really specialize in interesting plant combinations, making the most of the textures and colors. My hanging baskets are a good example. There can be coleus (which does well in sun or shade), asparagus ferns (for a feathering look), trailing petunias, and upright angelonia. I can also add a big bold leaf like caladium.”

A winter basket could contain decorative branches, pine cones, berries, and evergreens, she adds.

Ms. Burlingham also provides the container for the plants, and this is another important part of the visual effect. “I use glazed containers, clay pots, wooden boxes, and unusual pieces of logs handcrafted by area artist Peter Soderman.

May and June are especially busy, but Green Gardens & Polly’s Pots is an active year-round operation. Ms. Burlingham has a part-time staff for digging, planting, and installation.

“Fall can also be busy,” she adds. “It is an excellent time for installing new gardens because traditionally, it’s a little wetter. Also, you can put in beautiful grasses, fall-blooming perennials, and a chrysanthemum as an accent. I often start with new clients in the fall, and it’s nice, too, because a lot of the containers are on sale.

“I have a real mix of clients,” she continues. “Some like to be very involved hands-on gardeners. Others just like to sit back and admire the lovely garden setting.”

Of course, budget is always a consideration in terms of the plant material and size of the project. In some cases, projects are on-going and done in increments, continuing over time. A work in progress can be very engaging, and more people seem to be taking an interest in improving their outdoor space, reports Ms. Burliingham.

“In some cases, people are not taking such expensive vacations as in the past, and they want to make their home environment more appealing. I love to help them, and I love to visit all the gardens. Many times, the clients have become good friends, and I really think of it as visiting my own garden!”

Green Gardens & Polly’s Pots can be reached at (609) 947-1015. Website:

—Jean Stratton

NTU Cafe 44 5-16-12

GREAT TASTES: “We thought it would be a good idea to have a place that offers breakfast all day and have a space that is easy to get to, with a down-to-earth atmosphere, and reasonable prices.” Jennifer Jefferis, owner of Cafe 44, and manager Matthew Miller, are happy their new coffee house is off to a rousing start.

“The best French toast ever!”

“The best ham and sausage omelette I’ve ever tasted!”

“It’s a great addition to the town — a real neighborhood gathering place.”

“Super food and friendly staff!”

These are just some of the rave reviews that are making the rounds about the hot new coffee house, Cafe 44 on Leigh Avenue.

Opened in March by Jennifer Jefferis, it is located in the former space of Tortuga’s Mexican Village, which has moved across the street, and which Ms. Jefferis also owns.

Great Response

‘We’ve had a great response,” she says. “There has been great word-of-mouth. People like to come, and they seem to enjoy everything. We have a friendly atmosphere; it’s fun, down-to-earth and good value for the money.”

Manager Matthew Miller has had extensive experience in the cafe business  and is a barista. “We roast our own coffee, and it is very popular,” he reports. “People are really commenting on how good the food is, and we have lots of repeat customers. Our staff is excellent, very reliable, and capable.”

The space, which is inviting and relaxing, was totally renovated, he adds. The new wood floors are handsome, and a side room, featuring leather sofas, comfortable chairs, and book shelves, attracts customers who appreciate a cozy “library” setting in which to sip coffee and also take advantage of the complimentary Wi-Fi.

“The main dining room’s tables and chairs can accommodate 34 people. Together, both rooms provide seating for nearly 50.

The cafe also offers rotating artwork, and on June 3, an artist’s reception will be held for Bucks County photographer Donna Lovely from 2 to 4 p.m.

Other than diners, not many places offer breakfast all day, and this has been a big draw. As a neighborhood customer reports, “There was a need for a place like this to serve breakfast all day. And what they have is delicious — generous portions and very high quality. I love to come for brunch. And you never feel rushed, even when it’s full of people.”

Fresh and Local

Fresh and local ingredients are emphasized, adds Mr. Miller. “This is important. We are a local establishment, and we support area farmers and vendors.”

“Some of the most popular items are the challah French toast, the peasant omelette (with red potato, onion, cheddar cheese, and bacon, ham, sausage or pork roll), and the home fries,” says Ms. Jefferis. Other favorites are pancakes, Belgian waffles, and the variety of omelettes, and scrambled or fried eggs.

Weekends are especially popular for brunch, but lunch is another option, and lunchtime customers are increasing in numbers. “We want people to see what a great place this is to come on week days, too. Parking is not difficult, and you can walk here from nearby offices. It’s just about a 10-minute walk from Nassau Street.”

Soups, sandwiches, and salads are on the lunch menu, and favorites include grilled turkey, brie, and green apple; also, the avocado BLT (with avocado added to the traditional bacon, lettuce and tomato). Other choices are grilled chicken with bacon, Swiss cheese, and honey mustard dressing, and grilled veggies with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Spinach, chef’s, Caesar, and mixed greens are all popular salads.

Cafe 44 is also noted for its scrumptious baked goods from Sweetmama. Muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, brownies, cupcakes, and cookies are all big sellers.

A variety of coffees covers the spectrum, from a cup of Joe to espresso, cappuccino, latte, au lait, mocha, and macchiato, among others. Assorted teas, juices, sodas, and smoothies are also offered.

French Toast Fans

Prices include two eggs any style for $5, pancakes and French toast at $6, grilled sandwiches from $7, and salads from $6.

Take-out and catering service are also provided, and while Ms. Jefferis and Mr. Miller are very happy with the response to their daytime hours, they are looking forward to providing dinner within a few months. “We plan to be open Thursday through Sunday, and we also hope to have live music on Friday and Saturday nights.”

The focus is on Princeton customers, but as word gets out, people are coming from the surrounding area as well. “They really like the unpretentious atmosphere, quality food, and reasonable prices, note Ms. Jefferis and Mr. Miller.

Cafe 44 is very family-friendly, and many parents come in with children. The edibles and the surroundings attract all ages!

The reviews and critiques continue to be excellent, both in person and on-line, such as on Yelp, the user review website.

“We’ve had a great response, and I really enjoy connecting with the people,” says Ms. Jefferis. “I like to see them enjoying themselves. All they have to do is come in and taste what we have, and they’ll be back!”

Cafe 44 is open Tuesday through Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (609) 924-3900. Web: Facebook:

May 23, 2012

CREATIVE CUTS: “Our specialty is Vidal Sassoon precision cutting. All our stylists have trained in a Sassoon salon center. We are set apart by our precision cutting, manageability, and style.” Tere Villamil, owner of La Jolie Salon Spa, is proud of its longtime success as a premier salon in Princeton.

Creative cuts and color are key to La Jolie Salon Spa, along with facials and massages, and attentive personal service.

All this and more has made La Jolie one of Princeton’s premier salons for the past 30 years. In addition, it has recently been named one of the top 200 salons nationwide by Salon Today Magazine.

“Jolie was the first female owner of a business in downtown Princeton, and I am the third female owner of the salon,” reports Tere Villamil, who purchased La Jolie in 2010.

“I had been a client for many years, and had 20 years experience in the hair industry,” she continues. “I was in the marketing and advertising end, and had also established a successful day spa in Manalapan. It had always been my goal to have my own business. My father and grandfather had owned businesses in Cuba, where I was born, and they always urged me to establish my own business.”

On-going Education

Ms. Villamil could not be happier with her own turn of events. Mindful of La Jolie’s tradition and reputation, she has fully respected that, while building on it to create a modern, up-to-date, fashionable salon in all ways.

“I have a great relationship with all the manufacturers and artists,” she points out. “They come here to give demonstrations, and we have continual training and on-going education courses in the latest styling techniques and product advances. We have an in-house education team, directed by Laura Benson, and our stylists have training sessions all over, from New York to Miami to New Orleans and abroad. Our products, including L’ANZA and Aveda, contain the most organic and healing benefits for hair available.”

Vidal Sassoon precision cutting is a specialty at the salon, as is the latest in creative color. La Jolie’s stylists include specialists in both areas, and the salon’s “level” system also includes intern/apprentices, recently graduated from cosmetology school, who train for six months to a year in La Jolie’s specialized, challenging program.

Long hair, short hair, mid-length, classic bobs, pixie cuts, curly hair, straight hair, perms, relaxers — everything is popular today, says Ms. Villamil.

People also like easy maintenance, wearable styles. Cuts today are so versatile, they can provide texture and volume and various styles to offer the easiest care.

“We are also known for our ‘up-styles’, up-do’s for special events, weddings, and parties,” she adds. “We do hair and make-up for bridal parties, and other groups or individuals.”


La Jolie’s services are for all types of hair texture and ethnicity. As Ms. Villamil points out, “We have many multi-cultural guests with different hair texture.”

Color, of course, is a hugely important part of a salon’s business today. Certainly, it is a long way from the days when it was a means to cover gray (although that is still one function). But, now it is seasonal — season-to-season color! Many guests opt for a total change — brown to red, red to blonde, etc. Highlights are another popular way to add interest, and lowlights offer still another option.

“Color is very safe now,” Ms. Villamil reports, “and we use the highest quality products with the safest ingredients. We also have corrective color for people who may have had a problem with home color experiments. In addition, we have products to help thinning hair. Sometimes, people may be undergoing chemotherapy or other treatments that can affect their hair.”

Both with color and cutting, careful attention is paid to a client’s facial structure, skin tone, eye color, and life-style. It is all about the individual at La Jolie, and each guest is given personal attention and focus.

This is true when they have spa services as well. Facials, massages, body treatments, waxing, pedicures and manicures are all available, and the spa setting will soon undergo expansion to offer an even more appealing atmosphere.

“Our facials are especially popular,” says Ms. Villamil. “We do active facials and hydrating facials, and they are all skin-specific.”

A spa service is an excellent gift, she adds. With proms, Mother’s Day, and graduations coming up, a gift certificate is a welcome way to remember — and often introduce — someone to the benefits of a facial or massage.

A variety of gift packages, offering savings, is available. In addition, all services can be mixed and matched for a custom gift.

Prices include manicures from $14, cuts from $50, facials and massages from $85.

Ms. Villamil is delighted to have so many clients who have been fans of La Jolie over the years, as well as newcomers. They are all ages, including children, and 40 percent are men!

Loyalty and Dedication

She looks forward to continuing to build on La Jolie’s success. “I think we are set apart by our technology and the ingredients of the products we use, and of course, our stylists. Not only are they talented, but they seek ongoing advanced education, and they demonstrate great loyalty and dedication to the salon and our guests.

“I strongly believe in building employee morale. We do this in many ways. We have 36 employees, and we have a wonderful management team, including Emely Molina, our general manager.”

Ms. Villamil adds that she is happily anticipating the salon’s “re-do.” “We’ll be going green in every way — in products and decor. We will have a wonderful new look!”

What is not new is the salon’s prominent place in the Princeton downtown, and Ms. Villamil is a strong supporter of local businesses. “We have a great relationship with the local people in town, and I love the networking. I love our location downtown, and Princeton is a great place to be!”

Ms. Villamil also makes a point of giving back to the community by La Jolie’s support of area foundations and organizations, including the Princeton Public Library, Autism Speaks, and AIR Foundation, among others.

La Jolie is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday 11 to 8, Friday 10 to 7, Saturday 9 to 6, Sunday 11 to 5. (609) 924-1188. Website:

FINE FORM: “I love teacher training. It is so important. The teachers are passionate about what they do,” says Deborah Metzger, founder/director of Princeton Center for Yoga and Health. Shown is teacher Lesley Haas, demonstrating the Warrior I pose in the Amethyst Yoga room, featuring bamboo flooring.

“I love to see people get into harmony. My aim is to create a safe, welcoming, peaceful environment, and a sense of community. People can come here and feel safe and free and in harmony.”

Deborah Metzger, founder and director of Princeton Center for Yoga & Health (PCYH), is pleased that the center, which she opened in 1996, has been featured as one of the top five traditional yoga studios in New Jersey by New Jersey Life Magazine. It continues to attract many adherents, both longtime students and those new to yoga.

It has recently moved to a new location in the Orchard Hill Center at 88 Orchard Road (just off Route 206) in Montgomery. Ms. Metzger wanted more space for her growing operation, and she also wanted to offer a particular type of setting.

“This location is more like a retreat, with that kind of serene ambiance,” she explains. “You look out of the window and see wonderful views of the countryside.”

Gathering Room

The existing building has been renovated to accommodate the various types of yoga, meditation, and holistic services PCYH offers. There is also a shower, changing room, and gathering room for refreshments as well as assorted retail items for sale, such as essential oils, yoga mats and towels, etc.

Clients need only their own comfortable clothes, however, explains Ms. Metzger. PCYH provides all the mats and props necessary for the yoga session as well as complimentary teas and snacks.

Students come to PCYH for many reasons, reports Ms. Metzger. Yoga is a known stress reliever and a chance for quiet and calm, which is certainly a big plus in today’s fast-moving society. Some clients like to stretch and exercise; and still others like the challenge of hot yoga and the more vigorous classes.

Whatever the reason, more and more people are discovering the benefits of this ancient Eastern discipline.

“With yoga, you can find who you are. All the answers are inside — it’s the moment of silence within yourself,” explains Ms. Metzger, who came to yoga herself in the mid-1980s. She trained at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts. The experience was so positive, including helping alleviate respiratory problems, that she determined to become a teacher and was certified in 1991.

“Here at PCYH, yoga is not simply a form of exercise, it is a life practice,” points out Ms. Metzger. “By establishing a regular practice, you can realize a deepening connection with your spirit. Each class deepens your connection to your true self. We offer different levels, traditions, and challenges.”

Yoga Styles

Classes at PCYH offer different levels, traditions, and challenges and are available in many types of yoga, from gentle to vigorous. They are all traditions of Hatha yoga, and they emphasize physical postures, alignments, breathing, and meditation. These postures or poses help to strengthen, stretch, and tone muscles, massage internal organs, and promote relaxation.

Other yoga styles at PCYH include Kripalu, the more vigorous Astanga, Vinyasa, and Soma yoga, among others.

The classes emphasize letting go of the stresses of the day, all those “To Do Lists”, and allowing them to fade away. Concentrating on breathing, on the physical poses helps to focus on “now” — present time consciousness. By doing so, a sense of calm, peace, and well-being is created.

“Be in the moment!” stresses Ms. Metzger. “The past is gone, we don’t have a clue about the future; we really only have this moment. When you focus on the sensation of the body and the breath, it brings you into the present moment.

“A number of things make yoga so popular now,” she adds. “Some people may have a health issue, such as stress, and they decide to try yoga. Or they may be involved in an active sport, such as tennis and golf, and yoga can strengthen and stretch their muscles in a way to help avoid injuries. Yoga also massages the glands and organs — it’s good for the whole body. You feel better afterwords, and it is not competitive. This is just about you.”

Poses can be modified and adjusted so that everyone can participate, guided by a well-trained teacher. As Ms. Metzger notes, there is never a sense of competition or pushing one’s body too far. The focus is on each individual’s sense of what is helpful and appropriate for that person. Therapeutic classes for people with specific physical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, shoulder or spine problems, or injuries, are also offered.

Singing Bowls

In addition to yoga; meditation classes, singing bowl workshops, and drum circles are available, and all-day retreats will also be offered.

Ms. Metzger co-leads two meditation classes with Dr. Jeffrey Rutstein. These include Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression.

In the first case, she helps people prevent stress from getting the upper hand. “I teach people not to be on automatic pilot, but to pause and take time to be in the moment. In the second case, I help give people the tools to learn to prevent a relapse into depression, including by identifying the early warning signs.”

A variety of other meditation sessions is also offered. “Studies have shown that meditation can help the brain to function better, and can even help people become more optimistic,” reports Ms. Metzger.

Classes for yoga and the other services are held throughout the week and weekend, most often in the mornings, evenings, or late afternoon. Drop-in yoga classes are $17, and there are many packages available, offering various savings. A first time try-out class is complimentary.

Approximately 50 classes are held each week, with 20 teachers, all certified in the various specialties. A full schedule of classes, including times and prices, is available on the PCYH extensive website. www.

Ms. Metzger looks forward to introducing even more people to the benefits of yoga. “Each time you do a yoga pose, it’s different because the body is different,” she explains. “We offer a safe, warm, inviting place where like-minded people can meet and explore different paths to health, healing, and personal growth.

“I am so pleased that they are giving me the privilege of sharing what I love with them.”

For more information, call (609) 924-7294. Website:

“Blackberries, watermelon, and corn.”
—Stephanie Chorney, Princeton

Dina: “Corn on the cob and watermelon.”
Charlie: “Broccoli and cantaloupe.”
—Dina, Charlie, and Tessa Olin, Princeton

Sophia: “Strawberries, watermelon and corn.”
Karen: “Fresh strawberries and beets.”
—Karen with daughter Sophia Naphan, Princeton

Penelope: “Carrots, watermelon, and strawberries.”
Marna: “Rhubarb, fennel, and sorrel.”
—Marna Seltzer (right) and Penelope White, Princeton

“Peaches, apples, grapes, blueberries, blackberries, kale, sorrel, lettuce, and leeks. I’m looking forward to the fruits of the garden year round.” —John Emmons, Princeton

Julie: “Asparagus that is still in season, strawberries, and I’m looking forward to cherries.”
Nick: “Carrots.”
—Julie Landweber with son Nick Hagedorn, Princeton

To The Editor:

As Princeton residents, we support Patrick Simon’s candidacy for the new Princeton Council. We believe Pat has the highest qualifications and commitment to public service and we urge you to join us in voting for him in the June 5 primary.

Pat will be an excellent Council member because he is committed to producing results through teamwork and collaboration. As a member of the Consolidation and Shared Services Study Commission, he worked with the other members to successfully produce a road map to consolidation, create an open process that engages the community, and prioritize continuity of government services. He is committed to fully realizing the intended benefits of consolidation: cost control and savings, maintaining the quality of services we enjoy, and creating a more effective government. We are confident that he will help manage the consolidation process in a way that will preserve the unique character and diversity of our community and also maintain the quality of life here in Princeton.

We are also confident that Pat will be an effective Council member on any issue facing him. As a Commission member, Pat was diligent in exploring the many difficult issues surrounding consolidation and has built an impressive knowledge base of the issues that concern members of our community. In his talks with us, he has displayed his ability to grasp the “big picture” while managing the minutiae surrounding the complex aspects of consolidation. Pat is thoughtful, prudent, and measured; these are qualities we look for on the new Princeton Council.

Finally, his candidacy has been endorsed both by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) and the two Democratic Party Municipal Committees. He is the only candidate to be endorsed by these organizations who is not currently serving on one of the elected town councils. We support this newcomer to politics and urge you to do the same on June 5.

Doreen Blanc Rockstrom,

Maidenhead Road

Laurie Harmon,

Spruce Street

Mary Clurman,

Harris Road

Peter Lindenfeld,

Harris Road

Seth McDowell,

Pine Street

Yan Bennett,

Markham Road

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Scott Sillars for Council in the new Princeton.  Scott has served as chairman of the Township’s Citizens Finance Advisory Committee since 2007 and is currently serving as vice chairman of the joint Borough/Township Transition Task Force.  I am also serving as a liaison to the Transition Task Force and have observed first-hand Scott’s dedication to ensuring that the transition from two towns to one goes as smoothly as possible.  Further he brings financial expertise to the table and is committed to ensuring that the savings contemplated by the Consolidation Commission will be realized, without compromising the level of service Princeton residents have come to expect.

He is a thoughtful person who listens.  And, when he speaks, his is a voice of reason. I am confident that Scott will work toward open and frank communication with Princeton University. We need public servants like Scott and we will especially need them on the new Council. There will remain work to be done as our towns continue the transition from two towns to one unified town and Scott will provide the necessary leadership to help us achieve our goals.   I urge you to vote for Scott on June 5.

Barbara Trelstad

President, Princeton Borough Council


To the Editor:

Recent meetings gave me the opportunity to talk at length with and to listen to presentations by Scott Sillars.  This prompts me to strongly recommend that Scott Sillars be elected in June as a member of the new consolidated Princeton Council!

Why?  Scott has the unique combination of a sharp businessman’s and a dedicated civil servant’s mind.  His organized, clear thinking and determined drive to accomplish results is impressive.  He has a clear picture of the priorities for our new Council:  Successful and generally beneficial consolidation, cost control, balanced diversity, a vibrant business downtown, and professional dialogue with the University for its contribution.

Scott’s career background in corporate finance, then chairing for years our Finance Advisory Committee, charitable volunteering and managing community projects with Isles in Trenton and for the Red Cross presents him as a most respectable and qualified citizen of our community

Helmut Schwab

Westcott Road


To the Editor:

We write in support of Scott Sillars for Princeton Council. We have observed first-hand the qualities that made him outstanding as the Chairman of the Citizens’ Financial Advisory Committee: Attention to detail, financial experience and a determination coupled with the moral courage to achieve the savings Consolidation promises for us all, if truly implemented. We can’t, as a community, afford not to vote for him.

David and Claire Jacobus

Cleveland Lane

To the Editor:

I am voting for Kevin Wilkes to be the candidate for mayor of Princeton in the June 5 Democratic primary. I would like to present my reasons and show why you, fellow Princetonians, should mark your ballot for him, too.

Kevin came to live in Princeton in 1975 when he started his architecture studies at Princeton University. So, for over 25 years he has been both Township and Borough resident. He has also served as a Borough council member for the past four years.

Mr. Wilkes in an architect. Architects are artists, creators of tangible beauty.  However, architecture studies are not easy. In fact, they are quite complex, for they give the artist concrete knowledge of what could and should be done when building.  In architecture school, these dreamers acquire so much through a host of subjects that “ground” them so they can not only dream about beauty, but understand how to make it happen. Architects not only draw; architects know about physics laws, stability and structures. Architects know about planning, zoning, and to integrate the landscape into the buildings and their functions.  Architects know how to prepare budgets and meet deadlines.  Architects know how to listen to their clients, complete projects with quality materials while solving last minute crises that are always encountered while involved in a construction.

With this vast knowledge and years of experience, Kevin Wilkes can’t be fooled. He gets the job done, within budget, no excuses.

As an artist, he created “Quark Park” and the “Writers’ Block”, both entrepreneurial art projects that embellished the Princeton brand across the country.

Kevin knows about diversity. For him, diversity is not the overused/misused fad of the moment.  His mother was a visionary, who sent young Kevin to spend his summers in Spain. There he mastered a new language , lived and appreciated a different culture, which left in Kevin’s psyche, the indelible gift of an open mind.

In combination with his professional and public life, Kevin has worked with our Hispanic population. He knows firsthand their work ethic, aspirations, and problems. Through his work with LALDEF and the  Latin American Task force, the Latinos here trust Kevin to look out for their interests.  Kevin feels and shows empathy towards them with actions.

On June 5, please vote for Kevin Wilkes in the Democratic primary to be the candidate for mayor of unified Princeton

Sandra J. Bierman

Grover Avenue

To the Editor:

I write to urge my fellow Princetonians to support Liz Lempert for mayor in the coming election. As the president of Friends of Princeton Open Space, I have attended many Township Committee meetings during the time Liz has served on Committee, and have also worked with her on a number of important land preservation projects and conservation issues. I have been consistently impressed by Liz’s openness, thoughtfulness, quickness to grasp an issue, and ability to see things through. She is responsive to citizen concerns, and concerned about our most vulnerable citizens.

Liz has been a leader in working to protect the eastern Princeton Ridge and create a Princeton Ridge Preserve. This benefits our town in many ways, not just because we have more passive-recreation open space and preserved critical habitat, but because the protected lands provide “environmental services” such as flood protection, carbon sequestration, counteracting the urban heat effect and reducing the public costs of too-intense development. Liz is knowledgeable about environmental issues, but she is not a one-issue person, and to my observation she contributes in all of the areas that Committee takes up.

My husband knows Liz through his work for the Friends of the Princeton Public Library, where she is an active volunteer and supporter. Liz obviously appreciates the important connections between libraries and the welfare of children, and makes time in her very busy schedule to support this critical institution.

We are blessed in Princeton to have many capable and intelligent individuals who are willing to run for and serve in our government. I believe that Liz is a standout even in this outstanding field.

Wendy Mager

Cherry Hill Road

To the Editor:

On November 8, 2011, voters in the Borough and Township of Princeton approved a ballot measure to consolidate their two local governments into one Princeton.  Because of the municipal consolidation, and due to population shifts in census numbers, Princeton election districts and polling locations may have changed from those in which votes were previously cast. The Mercer County Board of Elections earlier this year approved these new polling locations.

As Mercer County Election officials, we want Princeton voters to be aware of these changes as we approach the Primary Election on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, and the General Election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

Princeton voters, you will find your newly assigned polling locations and election district information on your sample ballots —which will be sent to all registered voters in the coming weeks.  Please be mindful that your sample ballot will clearly indicate the district and location of the polls where you should vote.  You can also find your current polling location online by visiting the “Voter Information” section at

Should Princeton voters have any questions regarding the location of a current polling place, please contact the Mercer County Board of Elections directly at (609) 278-6522 or the Princeton Township Municipal Clerk’s Office.

Catherine DiCostanzo,

Mercer County Superintendent of Elections

Joanne Palmucci,

Chairwoman, Mercer County Board of Elections

Paula Sollami Covello, Esq.

Mercer County Clerk

To the Editor:

For as long as I have served or lived in Princeton, I knew that I could always count on Jenny Crumiller. She has been a tremendous asset to Princeton and the surrounding communities and schools. Her volunteerism and commitment to local governmental services make her stand out, as well as her true character in always standing up for what she believes in.

As a Princeton Borough Council member, Jenny has consistently demonstrated her intelligence, dedication to the community, ability to organize, and deeply held Democratic values. As president of the PCDO, she transformed the organization by greatly increasing membership and encouraging openness and transparency in the democratic process.

With Princeton’s best interests in mind, I support Jenny Crumiller’s run for Princeton Council.

Reed Gusciora

(D-Mercer/Hunterdon), Assemblymember, LD15

To the Editor:

I am writing to strongly endorse Jo Butler for election to the new Princeton Council. Since the beginning of the year, I have served on the Princeton Consolidation Transition Task Force and have had the honor to get to know, and work with, a number of elected officials from both Princeton Borough and Princeton Township. Although it is fashionable to bash politicians, I generally have been impressed by the quality of Princeton’s public officials; I plan to vote for several of them in the upcoming primary and in the fall election.

So why Jo? Jo and I have worked closely together on a number of matters relating to the Princeton consolidation and I have found her to be remarkably hard-working, thoughtful and balanced. She is a “roll up your sleeves and get it done” type of person, entirely comfortable getting down into the weeds on an issue while at the same time keeping in mind the greater goal. Although there has been a great deal of “noise” about Princeton Borough vs. Princeton Township over the past several years, Jo has already embraced the paradigm shift of thinking about one Princeton. And while she brings a passion about certain important issues to the table, her instinct is to listen to other points of view and then seek ways to get to a workable resolution. In short, Jo is much more interested in good public policy than personal political gain. (I wish we had more like her in Washington!)

From my vantage point as a member of the Transition Task Force, I will be interested to see how the newly consolidated Princeton works in 2013 and beyond. With people like Jo Butler on the new Princeton Council, I will have high hopes that a consolidated Princeton community will become even more vibrant and livable.

Brad Middlekauff

Hibben Road

To the Editor:

We citizens of Princeton are lucky to have a deep bench of able candidates to choose from in the upcoming Democratic primary election on June 5. I am writing to throw my support behind one council candidate in particular — Heather Howard. I’m not sure everyone in town realizes just how impressive her resume is; from a senior position on Hillary Clinton’s staff when she was First Lady, to serving as New Jersey’s Health Care Commissioner under Governor Jon Corzine, Heather has played in the major leagues and brings all the skills and contacts she developed in those positions to our little “field of dreams” here in Princeton. She has a passion for progressive causes that shines through after only a couple minutes of conversation, but she tempers that passion with political acumen and know-how that enables her to really get things done. In her first year on Borough Council she introduced and passed a reform that moved public sessions up on the agenda, allowing more citizen input and greater transparency. This is just one example of her dedication to the principles of good governance, and her grasp of how to accomplish her goals with minimal fuss and bother. Please join me in voting for Heather on June 5.

David E. Cohen

Terhune Road

To the Editor:

A matter of civic dismay: Princeton Hospital has left, but hospital leadership has not explained to the community why it has selected AvalonBay to develop the old hospital site with plans that violate Borough Code and the 2006 Master Plan. Why has the hospital sold out greater Princeton, which gave it $100M to relocate?

On May 7, 2012, Princeton Citizens for Sustainable Neighborhoods / Witherspoon raised these issues in a letter sent to Barry Rabner, President and CEO of the University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP) and to all trustees. To date, no response has been received.

Why will hospital leadership not explain why it has reneged on commitments it made? Mr. Rabner was himself a primary participant in Health Care Task Force discussions, and his team negotiated a very high housing density (280 units) in exchange for specific commitments to large public plazas, bike/pathways crossing the site, compliance with LEED-certification, and building-heights in scale with the neighborhood.

Not one of these commitments is being honored by AvalonBay, the contract-buyer.

Hospital leadership has an obligation to fulfill its commitments. The burden of desperately poor urban planning with which Princeton is otherwise left is too heavy to be borne; AvalonBay plans a “gated community” (prohibited by the Master Plan), and that will drag down all of Witherspoon Street, together with the idea of what Princeton stands for.

It’s time for the hospital to exercise pressure. Contract negotiations are not yet settled. Indeed, the “word on the street” is that there are disputes between the hospital and AvalonBay, and that Barry Rabner will no longer engage in discussions with AvalonBay’s representative, Ron Ladell—“One of last year’s most polarizing top 10 picks — you either think he’s a joke or a rock star” (NJBIZ, Real Estate, 2011).

And it’s time for the hospital to honor its commitments. How can the hospital’s CEO step away from formal agreements in which he participated? Barry Rabner gained the hospital a decent selling price; he’s been leading tours of the new hospital for weeks.

It’s high time he and the hospital trustees rededicated themselves to the Princeton they’ve left in the lurch. We want a written response. And we want action: a better developer who will honor Borough Code at the insistence of hospital leadership. Anything less is betrayal.

Miki Mendelsohn

Hickory Court