November 14, 2012

To the Editor:

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

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

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

Daniel Shungu,

Founder, UFAR

Charles Phillips and Liz Meggitt,

Race co-chairs

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

Grace Sinden

Ridgeview Circle

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

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

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

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

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

Hopeful View

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

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

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

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

Mood Disorder

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

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

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

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

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

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

Men’s Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Listener

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

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

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

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

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

November 7, 2012

To the Editor:

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

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

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

With our deepest gratitude,

The Sword Family

To the Editor:

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

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

Don Greenberg, Adam and Irina Irgon,

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

Henry Echeverria, Reba Orszag,

Candace and Marvin Preston,

Carol Rosenthal, Helene and

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

Sid Goldfarb, Hui and John Weihe.

The Bouvant/White Oak/Stuart neighborhood

To the Editors:

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

Liz Erickson

Howe Circle

To the Editors:

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

Susan Danoff

Clover Lane

To the Editor:

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

Bill and Joanne Dix

Snowden Lane

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helmut Schwab

Westcott Road

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cecil Marshall

Moore Street

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Perry

Random Road

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:

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 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:

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

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:

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!


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 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 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,

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