March 7, 2012

To the Editor:

There is a current movement toward declaring historic districts that would cover much of Princeton. Over 50 percent of neighborhoods could be declared historic based on recent proposals by the HPRC. We are very happy that our work to restore our beautiful old home has been recognized by The Princeton Historical Society. However, we firmly oppose the current effort to declare our area an historic district.

We are opposed to this designation in spite of the fact that our home has been recognized for its historical restoration. Over the 60 years that Bill has made this a home, he has done what many people do: remodel to accommodate a growing family. This is something that homeowners would no longer be able to do without lengthy and costly committee approval in an historic district. There are a number of historic sites in Princeton already covered by historic designation, but the current wholesale declaration that most of the town needs a committee to tell homeowners what they can and cannot do with their property seems to be a solution in search of a problem. Historic designation may sound like a harmless “merit badge” but it is also a very restrictive legal designation that dictates what a homeowner can and cannot do and how much it will cost.

It seems both short-sighted and self-interested to systematically attempt to call a halt, or create a substantial disincentive to remodel or build in neighborhoods across Princeton.

There is an existing and working system to protect our historic sites, but trying to put most of Princeton in a bureaucratic bell jar to protect it from any and all change is not the answer. While we place tremendous value on the importance of history, at the same time, we believe that homeowners should be allowed to make decisions about how their homes might evolve to adjust to the needs of growing or aging families; just as we have been permitted to do since 1952.

Bill and Judith Scheide
Library Place

To the Editor:

A record-breaking more than 450 enthusiastic participants attended the 14th annual Princeton Community Works at the Frist Center on the Princeton University campus on January 30. Participants from more than 200 non-profit organizations across the state, networked and gained insight and information by attending workshops. Our deep gratitude goes to Princeton University for its generosity as our host, to the Princeton Rotary for their significant administrative help, and to the 27 workshop presenters who donated their time and talents. A special thank you to our keynote presenter Robert Loughran for conducting the wonderful Princeton High School Orchestra, and to the 50 very talented students who performed. I also want to express my sincere appreciation to our dedicated, hard-working Community Works volunteers and to the on-going support of the media.

Marge Smith
Founder and Chair Princeton Community Works
Montadale Drive

To the Editor:

I was happy to read that the NJDOT has agreed to postpone its experimental closing of the Harrison Street and Washington Road jug-handles on Route 1. It was refreshing to see what can be accomplished when our merchants, University, and elected officials present a united front. My only concern is that this experiment will lead to biased results (in favor of permanent closure) if it is conducted in August. Many employees and customers who would typically enter Princeton using one of these jug-handles will be away on vacation in August. Since many of the folks who will be most impacted by the proposed closures will not be around to voice their concerns, the cost of the closure will be underestimated. Furthermore, the benefits of the experiment will be overestimated since NJDOT will observe reduced congestion at these intersections and attribute it to the jug-handle closures (and not to the fact that fewer cars are on the road). Thus, I propose that the experiment be conducted in September or October, not August.

Smita Brunnermeier
Maclean Circle

To the Editor:

I am running for mayor because I am excited to lead our newly united town into an era of financial savings, improved services, and more responsive government. The new government must deliver on the savings promised by consolidation and reduce the burden on our taxpayers. Achieving that goal will involve examining and improving nearly everything we do. Last year I was part of the team that put together a zero-increase Township budget — the first in decades — while preserving our valuable AAA-bond rating and high level of services. I will continue to make it a priority to deliver services more effectively and efficiently and make our community an even better place in which to live.

As deputy mayor and as a member of Township Committee, I’ve learned how to make tough decisions. I listen with respect, tackle problems thoughtfully and honestly, and work to bring people together. This approach has garnered me support from residents throughout our community, including members of both Township Committee and Borough Council. As mayor, I would strive to be a unifying figure to lead Princeton through this time of tremendous challenge and opportunity.

I will work to find ways to preserve and enhance the character of the downtown, and insist that any redevelopment projects reflect our values by incorporating green building principles and fulfilling our affordable housing obligations. Redevelopment should fit within the context of the surrounding neighborhoods. I would encourage Advisory Planning Districts to participate in the planning process so that local neighborhood voices will help us make better decisions.

This past year the Princetons received Bronze-level certification from Sustainable Jersey. It was a significant first step, but I believe we need to do more, and I will make it a priority to earn Silver certification and realize the associated environmental and financial benefits.

The consolidation study and transition have inspired many bright people to volunteer their time and skills. The next few years promise to bring positive changes to our community, and we need continued citizen involvement in order to be successful. I’m always interested in hearing your ideas as we move together toward a united community. You can reach me at lizlemp@gmail.com or (732) 997-7212.

Liz Lempert 
Deputy Mayor Princeton Township

“Yes, I missed the winter but I still decorated the exterior of my home for winter anyway. And for spring, I’m looking forward to the return of birds.”
—Todd Reichart, Princeton

Sara: “I kind of missed snow, but I liked not having as much snow as last year. I’m looking forward to wearing short sleeves and having nice, warm weather.”
Lily: “I didn’t really miss the winter, I look forward to being able to walk around Princeton in shorts and tee shirts this spring.”
—Sara Vigiaso (left) and Lily Leonard, Princeton

Matt: “I missed having some big snow storms but didn’t miss the cold weather. I’m looking forward to spending time outside and flowers blooming.”
Hadley: “I wished we’d had at least some snow, this winter. I’m looking forward to Easter, flowers, warm weather, and my birthday.”
—Matt, Poppy Lee, and Hadley Malatish, Princeton

“I absolutely did miss the winter weather. I’m looking forward to a March snow storm.”
—Steve Carson, Princeton

Desta: “I enjoyed the winter but, I’m really looking forward to the spring. I love the warm weather.”
Emma: “I missed the winter weather because I love snow. I’m looking forward to the birds and leaves coming back.”
—Desta Harrison (left) and Emma Cosaboom, Princeton

Sophy: “I wish it wouldn’t be spring. I really want snow. I missed skiing this winter. I love to ski, I really missed the winter.”
Amara: “It seems like we never had any proper snow. We missed out on snow days, sledding, and snow angels. Looking forward to warm weather, wearing shorts, and not having to wear jackets.”
Natasha: “I definitely missed winter because snow is pretty much the best precipitation. In the spring, I’m looking forward to some good thunderstorms.”
—Sophy Warner, Clinton, Amara Leonard, Princeton and Natasha Shatzkin, Princeton

February 29, 2012

Camille: “Johnny Depp because he is the best actor ever!”
Sophie: “The Big Year, a really funny movie about three men that take a sabbatical to go look at birds.”
—Camille Lefebbre, Hillsborough (left) and Sophie Guenin, Pennington

“The film Amigo by John Sales about the Philippine-American War. And, the dog in The Artist deserved a nomination because he was really great in the film.” —Anne Desmond, Princeton

In Time with Justin Timberlake.”
—Charlie Vinch, Philadelphia

Courageous, about four police officers, with Alex Kendrick, who also directed it.”
—Lauren and John Velarde, Burlington

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 for Best Picture and Daniel Radcliffe for leading actor in the same film. We are big Harry Potter fans.”
—Mausam Shah and Bob Miller, West Windsor

“Patton Oswalt. He was great comic relief as supporting actor in Young Adult with Charlize Theron.”
—Glenn McDorment, Princeton University student and Valerie Hoagland, NYU student

To the Editor:

This year Princeton will hold historic elections to elect the new consolidated Princeton Council and a new mayor. As the president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) and as the municipal chairs of the Democratic Committees in the Borough and the Township, we are writing to encourage all genuinely interested Democrats to step forward as candidates for these offices, and to briefly outline the endorsement process. Potential candidates should feel free to contact us to learn more about endorsement and election process. We will also host an open reception on Sunday, March 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. at 210 Moore Street, for those interested in running to ask questions and get advice.

The endorsement process will involve two steps. First, the PCDO will hold its annual endorsement meeting for local candidates on Sunday, March 25beginning at 6 p.m. in the Suzanne Patterson Center (behind Borough Hall). After what we expect will be a lively debate, PCDO members will vote to endorse Democratic candidates for six members of the new Council and for mayor. The PCDO endorsement is an important step for Democrats who wish to compete for the nomination for these offices.

Second, the joint Democratic Committees from the Borough and Township will hold their endorsement meeting the following evening on March 26, where candidates will each appear for a “Q & A” with the Democratic Committee members. The results of this two-step endorsement process will decide which candidates will receive the Democratic Party endorsements for the June Primary. Candidates will have until April 2 to file nominating petitions in order to actually appear on the primary ballot. The Democrats selected in the June Primary will then appear on the November ballot.

Candidates seeking the PCDO endorsement must notify PCDO President Dan Preston by March 11 (14 days prior to the meeting) by email at dan@princetondems.org or at 609-252-0011. Similarly, Princeton Democrats should join the PCDO or renew their membership by March 11 to be eligible to vote at the March 25 meeting (dues are annual per calendar year, $15 suggested and $5 minimum). Membership information and a downloadable form are available at www.princetondems.org/join.

Running for local office and joining the PCDO are just two ways to get involved. The Princeton Democratic Party also needs committee women and men to represent each of the 22 new voting districts comprising the new consolidated town. This committee, to be elected in the June Primary, serves as the “official” (i.e. established by state law) representative body of the party, and has important statutory duties, such as endorsing candidates, as well as a key role in campaigns. For more information, please contact Jon Durbin, Municipal Chair of Princeton Township (jonwdurbin@gmail.com) and/or Peter Wolanin, Municipal Chair of Princeton Borough (pwolanin@princetondems.org).

Dan Preston,

President, PCDO

Jon Durbin,

Municipal Chair, Princeton Township Democratic Committee

Peter Wolanin,

Municipal Chair, Princeton Borough Democratic Committee

To the Editor:

The Princeton Regional Schools needs to “do the right thing” and let the http://savevalleyroadschool.org/Home.html rehab the old Valley Road School.

Picture this, Princeton and Central New Jersey. Affordable non-profit office space in the heart of Princeton, with convenient parking. A community center with a gym, theater, rooms for rent for toddler birthday parties. Close to the Princeton Shopping Center if you need some office supplies or food. This can all be done with out costing a dime to the beleaguered taxpayer. No bond referendum needs to be fussed over. This seems to be an inspirational future. But the PRS is too busy with other issues and will not let “Save Valley Road” do the job.

Picture this, Princetonians, a dilapidated Valley Road School with a hurricane fence around it. Just sitting there unused, while some commission is looking for a consensus, having endless meetings on how to raise money to be able to tear the building down. As time marches on.

The Save Valley Road School non profit already has donors lined up. Tenants who want to occupy the building. I ask the PRS to have the courage to lead. Make the right choice and let Valley Road Reuse Committee get on with the business of recycling Valley Road for future generations.

Right now, at least let the VRC fund spot repairs to the Valley Road roof with no cost to you and no obligation.

The future is NOW.

Adam Bierman

Grover Avenue

To the Editor:

As mayor, I have received numerous letters for and against the proposed housing development for the Institute for Advanced Study. As many may know, the Battle of Princeton was not just a battle at what is today’s Princeton Battlefield park. It was a battle that moved through a number of sites all the way to Nassau Hall. It is clear to me that the most value in interpreting many revolutionary era battles, as they typically spanned large areas of ground and consisted of various skirmishes, is to do so through interpretive signage, archaeology, historical tours, and of course, preserved land.

To that end, I agree with the two esteemed historians, Jim McPherson and David Hackett Fischer, in their proposed compromise regarding this development. They have put forth a compromise that would allow for the housing project to move forward with the ability to preserve a large area of the overall site from development through a permanent conservation easement. The size of the land preserved would be about double the footprint of the Institute’s housing project.

In addition, the Institute will provide for archeological work on site before and during construction, access to a path through the preserved land and public interpretive signage upon completion of the project, and potential coordination with historical agencies for historical tours, thereby enabling the public to learn more about the Battle of Princeton.

Compromises inevitably leave both sides with perceived gains and losses. However, in this case I believe the right balance presents itself. We will enable many generations to more fully understand the Battle of Princeton and its importance through interpretive signage, historical tours, archaeology, and preserved land. We will also see to the housing needs met for the talented and creative faculty at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Chad Goerner

Mayor, Princeton Township

To the Editor:

Recently several people claiming to be “independent observers” have said that the Princeton Battlefield Society has been unfair in challenging the Institute for Advanced Study’s proposed faculty housing project. Please note that the Battlefield Society was founded as the Princeton Battlefield AREA PRESERVATION Society, with the express mission of preserving and protecting the battlefield, much of which lies outside the park.

A number of people are under the impression that the Institute had a major role in founding the park. Untrue. Governor Edge approached the Institute about contributing to the park in 1944, and he provided a map showing his plan. The IAS indicated to the governor that they were “interested,” but they did nothing to contribute to the park until 1973, almost 30 years later. At that time they finally sold two pieces of property to the State, many years after the park was founded. Further, it could easily be argued that the IAS undermined formation of the park by purchasing property that Governor Edge was expressly seeking for the park, much of which, to this day, is still not a part of the park. This includes the site of the winning counterattack, the very property where the IAS wants to build its housing project.

A recent letter to the press claimed that the State assured the Institute that it could build on the location it now proposes. This statement only represented the perspective of a single individual at the time. Further the State of New Jersey does not have authority over determinations of local land use.

Hopefully the IAS isn’t saying that it doesn’t have to meet the requirements of local land-use laws and environmental regulations. To qualify for Cluster Zoning, the developer must show that its project meets the standard 1-acre zoning required for this property. The Institute has not done this. In addition, there are wetlands that were identified on the property in 1990 and again in 2011 that were somehow not included on maps submitted by the IAS to DEP.

The “compromise” that was offered to the Battlefield Society was essentially what the IAS was proposing all along as a cluster development. Furthermore, Professor McPherson clearly confirmed at the Planning Board meeting that the counterattack that won the battle occurred on the site the Institute wants to develop. This is something the Institute has always denied.

The Planning Board should decide that this project with its multiple violations of land use and environmental regulations does not meet the requirements of the town’s ordinances and master plan.

Daniel Thompson

Dempsey Avenue

Member, Princeton Battlefield Society

To the Editor:

It was good to see a creative and thoughtful discussion regarding affordable housing at the hospital site during the February 14 Council meeting. This discussion should be part of a larger conversation on Princeton’s housing policy. Future policy decisions must be informed by good data and should ultimately be driven by identified needs.

The rezoning of the UMCP site has always called for a 20 percent set-aside for those making less than 80 percent of the area median income. Avalon Bay has requested that they be allowed to both build more units and reduce the percentage of affordable units. If Princeton wishes to grant the developer a density bonus, it should only be done in exchange for a commensurate benefit to the town. One possibility worth considering is that they be required to provide additional units for a slightly higher income range — so-called ‘workforce housing’.

Princeton has been losing its middle class residents since the 1970s. According to the 2010 census, households earning between $75,000 and $100,000 now make up only 7 percent of the population of the Borough and Township while a quarter of our households have incomes over $200,000. This imbalance is neither healthy nor sustainable.

The affordable range (paying no more than 30 percent of earnings) of housing costs for area median-income households is between $1,714 (for a one bedroom) and $2,376 (for a three bedroom). According to Avalon Bay, rents in the development will range from $1,600 for a studio to $3,200 for a three-bedroom unit. This indicates an affordability gap — the three bedroom units will be affordable only to those making 135 percent of the median.

The 2010 census also shows us that existing gaps in housing affordability range widely. 100 percent of owner-occupied households in the Borough earning less than $20,000 are paying more than 30 percent of their income. Significantly, an average of 69 percent of all households making below $75,000 are paying more than 30 percent of income towards their housing costs.

Because the biggest need for affordable homes exists in low-income families, it makes sense that we continue to provide units for that population, even in the absence of state mandates. We should also be encouraging a greater diversity in our town by making units affordable to residents whose incomes fall outside of the range that typically benefits from housing subsidies.

For the developer to request both a density bonus and a reduction in the required affordable percentage is audacious, to say the least. Avalon Bay should be compelled to provide 20 percent of the total number of units as set-aside for traditional affordable units and 20 percent of the bonus units should be designated as affordable to households earning between 80-120 percent of the area median.

I hope that the current negotiations with Avalon Bay will lead to a discussion about overall goals for affordability and diversity in our housing stock and what can be done, on a policy level, to reach those goals.

David Schrayer

Spruce Street

To the Editor:

When Princeton Hospital moves to its new site in May 2012, it is widely anticipated that AvalonBay, the nationwide developer of residential rental housing, will sign on to develop the present site: Princeton surely needs rental units.

But it’s critical that AvalonBay (www.avalonbay.com) generate designs that represent to the fullest extent possible the real future needs of the new consolidated Princeton. This site is possibly the last large tract to be developed in our downtown: its effect upon Witherspoon Street and surrounding neighborhoods will be dramatic. Princetonians are entitled to know what AvalonBay plans to do; we are equally entitled to have our voices heard as plans evolve.

Important issues include the following:

First, the site plan itself should be compatible to the fullest extent with present neighborhoods and their future needs; this matter includes both the height and the appearance of the buildings that will have frontages on Witherspoon Street and Franklin Avenue.

Second: AvalonBay must commit to a full complement of units (20 percent) to be marketed to/for low- and lower-middle income housing. It is essential that Princeton be able to draw into the community a truly diverse population that includes the young, the non-affluent, seniors, and others who contribute to our local workforce. Present zoning calls for 20 percent affordable housing on 280 units; I understand that AvalonBay will seek a variance to build 40 additional units WITHOUT affordable-housing constraints. AvalonBay’s likely request for such a variance should be scrutinized carefully.

Third: AvalonBay must “build green” to the fullest extent possible. AvalonBay’s website advertises that its headquarters is LEED-certified at the Silver level — no mean achievement. The developer should feel equally responsible for making comparable commitments to meeting these or similar standards (e.g., Energy Star) in the development project itself. Building green includes managing storm water, developing an integrated approach to optimizing energy and water use, installing renewable energy sources including solar panels, using non-toxic materials, and installing the most advanced infrastructure for managing construction waste and the waste produced by occupants. (AvalonBay will then of course be able to advertise itself as a “green developer” when it seeks to develop projects elsewhere: Princeton can be their first exemplar of the green intelligence in city planning that we all need.)

Finally, AvalonBay should be invited to present one or more public information sessions for all proposals, and the Princeton community should be welcomed by AvalonBay to provide feedback. While the public may provide input at Borough Council and Planning Board meetings when AvalonBay’s proposal is on the agenda, less formal information sessions would be a more community-friendly way for Avalon to learn about and address community and neighborhood concerns. Such sessions might be sponsored and organized by either Sustainable Princeton or Princeton Future (as both bodies are non-partisan). Mayoral candidates should also be asked publicly to state their views of the AvalonBay proposals.

Daniel A. Harris

Dodds Lane

February 22, 2012

To the Editor: 

Having lived in Princeton for decades, I remember less than fondly the traffic backups at the Harrison Street/US 1 intersection — particularly those at rush hour. Recently this situation has been greatly improved as a second lane was added by the DOT. This has effectively alleviated the traffic jam exiting Princeton via Harrison Street. The traffic light timing has been optimized, and there are now two lanes, both of which allow left turns onto US-1 North. Since the improvement, I have yet to wait more than a single light cycle to proceed onto US-1. I am sure there are exceptions, but I have yet to see them.

For those who are concerned that they will be delayed getting to the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro in an emergency, the situation seems much less serious than it had previously. Emergency services vehicles can easily traverse Harrison Street, and the recently announced traffic light override equipment being installed will expedite access to Route 1 and the emergency vehicle access drive to the hospital.

We may be losing our downtown hospital, but the state-of-the-art facility opening soon will still be readily accessible just on the edge of Princeton.

Peter Thompson

Hornor Lane

To the Editor:

My husband and I spent a very informative meeting at the library on Saturday morning, February 18, learning about Emergency Management in Princeton. It’s a much more complex subject than I’d realized, and it was reassuring to hear from the competent panel members who had been asked to speak by Princeton Future, which sponsored the meeting. I think everyone in town would benefit from getting a copy of “Preparing for Emergencies,” published by the Mercer County Office of Emergency Management; it’s a very practical document.

The presentation of Frank Setnicky, Director of Operations of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, was clear and concise, but one of Mr. Setnicky’s slides startled me. It showed that donations to the Squad have been dropping steadily for the last few years. As someone who remembers how quickly and effectively the Squad came through when we had an emergency at our home, I’ve always sent the Squad yearly donations. Now that the hospital is moving and Princeton residents will depend on the Squad even more, I’m concerned that it may not have the funds to continue its excellent work and to meet the increased demand.

So I’m writing two checks this week. The first is to the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, North Harrison St., Princeton 08542 (www.pfars.org). It will reach them at their inadequate, leaky building, which needs replacement. The other check is to Princeton Future, PO Box 1172, Princeton 08542, which continues to sponsor these excellent, community-oriented meetings. Both organizations are 501(C)3 non-profits who depend on our continued support.

Francesca Benson

Bainbridge Street

To the Editor:

The swearing-in of Assemblywoman Donna M. Simon to the seat vacated by the late Peter J. Biondi now completes the delegation for the 16th Legislative District, which includes Princeton Borough and Princeton Township. With that, we would like to say we are honored to represent the citizens of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township in the state legislature.

As your state representatives, we are committed to providing leadership that is honest, independent, principled, and determined; we are committed to reforms that make our state government smaller, less expensive, and smarter; and we are committed to addressing the tax burdens New Jerseyans face, especially specific to property taxes. Not before our state government fulfills these commitments can we expect the private sector to create jobs, grow the economy, and return New Jersey to prosperity.

Nothing serves the public good more than an involved citizenry — we ask that our constituents publicly engage as we endeavor to provide them with the quality representation they deserve.

Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman

Assemblyman Jack M. Ciattarelli

Assemblywoman Donna M. Simon

Editor’s Note: Legislative District 16 includes Delaware Township, Borough of Flemington, Township of Readington, Township of Raritan, and Borough of Stockton in Hunterdon County; Borough of Princeton and Princeton Township in Mercer County; Township of South Brunswick in Middlesex County; and Township of Branchburg, Hillsborough Township, Borough of Manville, Millstone Borough, Montgomery Township, Borough of Rocky Hill, and Borough of Somerville in Somerset County.


To the Editor:

I was astonished by information contained in a February 15 Town Topics article (“Public Input Is Integral to Task Force Mission”), which publicized a call for volunteers for the Transition Team focused on sub-committee tasks. My first question is who directed or authorized this posting?

As one of the volunteers and being familiar with the lists of both those chosen and those not, my second question is who decided that those volunteers not selected were not asked to serve and new candidates recruited? Within the long list of volunteers published in print media were several individuals known to me with outstanding credentials, some of whom were not even interviewed by those involved in the appointments process.

As I see it and as it is clearly revealed by the selections alone, the primary consideration in the culling process was support for the status quo politically and a clear commitment to continuing current ways of doing business, including organization and staffing models and otherwise.

Although I’m not one of Roger Martindell’s political compatriots, his letter in the February 15 Town Topics (“Consolidation Transition Task Force Can Re-Invent Delivery of Municipal Services”), has merit. It frames succinctly how the consolidation effort should be conducted and by whom, especially as regards the Task Force serving as the “linchpin” to “aggressively re-invent local government” and “deliver municipal services.”

Two of the three “main groups “ Martindell describes, municipal staffs and the two existing municipal governing bodies, have far too much baggage to carry, including their own self-interest to plow any new ground. As to the Task Force, in my view the individuals already listed as selected to serve on the working groups’ sub-committees of the Task Force are not the hoped for “core group of volunteer residents” to get done what needs done! They are already set up with controlling membership from the first two groups.

One could easily predict the outcomes will be that neither the Transition Team nor the sub-committee working groups will reinvent anything and just resolve to do the same functions the same way on a modestly larger scale. This also will result in cost savings less than those thought initially achievable and, more importantly, lost opportunity for synergistically magnifying consolidation benefits through innovative changes.

Informally, I have already heard that activities and organizations that are already consolidated are not to be addressed. This is transparently due to a control and status quo perspective based on an unreasoned assumption that they are already performing in a collaborative and effective manner. This preordains that any seminal changes in key areas of public interest will not even be on the table.

John Clearwater

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Councilman Roger Martindell’s baffling letter that appeared in the February 15 issue of the Town Topics. (“Consolidation Transition Task Force Can Re-Invent Delivery of Municipal Services”)

Perhaps Mr. Martindell did not read the resolution that he voted for establishing the Transition Task Force (TTF) because it clearly states that: “the general mission of said task force shall be to propose implementation of the recommended municipal consolidation of the Borough and Township, using the Joint Consolidation Study Commission Final Report date June 2011 as a guide.”

The Joint Shared Services and Consolidation Commission made specific recommendations that will result in an estimated annual savings of 3.2 million dollars upon full implementation. This serves as the basis for the voters’ expectations when they voted for consolidation. The final report issued by the commission is to serve as the guideline for the Transition Task Force. While the TTF will review and analyze the nuts and bolts of the recommendations from an implementation perspective – even potentially varying from certain recommendations, it does not exist to re-invent the wheel as Mr. Martindell implies in his letter.

For example, Mr. Martindell cites the new police department and asks “Should the new Princeton retain all 60 [police], or reduce that number, and by how many?” If he read the report, he would have been aware that the commission already studied these questions and recommended a police force reduction of 9 personnel — ultimately resulting in a staff of 51.

The TTF comprised of 4 elected officials, 4 citizen representatives from each municipality and both administrators serving as ex-officio members) has a significant amount of work ahead of it in the next 11 months, but it must also prioritize. It will certainly have an opportunity to ‘re-invent’ our operating budgets (potential for additional cost savings), but it must review the recommendations of the Joint Shared Services and Consolidation Commission with the goal of making structural staffing recommendations that will realize the savings that have been promised to the voters. Furthermore, it will review existing employee benefits and union contracts in detail (as there are differences in both municipalities) and recommend how it will be best to manage these benefits and contracts moving forward. These are just some of the many tasks that lie ahead and I have full confidence that the TTF is up to the task. Finally, the TTF is an advisory body. The real decision making authority will continue to rest with the governing bodies. While Mr. Martindell questioned the ability of the governing bodies, it is important for the reader to know that Mr. Martindell has been a Borough Councilman for the last 22 years. It is up to us as elected officials to lead and make the hard decisions about staffing, benefits and services, and maybe Mr. Martindell is uncomfortable making those decisions. However, it is our job and we answer to our residents. It is time to stop the grandstanding, work together, and put ourselves on a path for a single municipality in 2013.

Chad Goerner

Mayor, Princeton Township

To the Editor:

For the past eight years I’ve been proud to serve as a trustee for the Princeton Battlefield society and help further the cause of preserving an important piece of American history.

During the overnight of January 2-3, 1777, George Washington led his rag-tag army of patriots from Trenton on a daring all-night march in an attempt to outflank the far superior British army by attacking the garrison in Princeton. Upon arrival, a portion of Washington’s army was routed by the British. In response, General Washington personally led his army on a successful counterattack, sweeping the British from the field.

The Battle of Princeton is widely recognized by historians and writers, such as James McPherson, David Hackett Fischer, Tom Fleming, and David McCullough, as one of the most important engagements in the American Revolution. The British had claimed that Washington’s victory at Trenton a week earlier was a fluke won only because they faced the poorly led and inferior Hessian mercenaries. The victory at Princeton over British Regulars, made possible by the courage, foresight and tenacity of Washington and his men, destroyed the myth of British invincibility and firmly established Washington as a master strategist and revolutionary leader. The victory at Princeton inspired Americans everywhere to challenge the British and ultimately led to the liberation of New Jersey a few months later.

The site of the proposed development is Maxwell’s Field, the exact location where Washington led the successful counterattack that won the battle.

In 2009 the Princeton Battlefield was named one of the Ten Most Endangered sites in New Jersey by Preservation New Jersey, and prior to that in 2008 the National Park Service named the Princeton Battlefield a ‘Priority I Principal Site’ in its Report to Congress. The Princeton Battlefield is among just 29 Revolutionary War sites with that status.

John Milner Associates (JMA) completed a thorough mapping project which was accepted by the National Park Service in 2011 as having satisfied the high standards of scholarship, technique and analysis. The conclusion that this is the site of heavy fighting is supported by an archeological study showing the military artifacts, mostly musket balls and cannon shot found on the Institute’s development site as well as by JMA’s analysis of the eyewitness descriptions of the action recorded by both British and American participants and witnesses. The study directly contradicts the Institute’s stated position that nothing important happened on the land earmarked for development.

Up until recently they have denied that any part of the battle was fought on Maxwell’s Field. Despite the overwhelming evidence and admissions by some witnesses for the IAS of the significance of the field, they claim that it is irrelevant because the town no longer has a right to block their plans.

A victory at the planning board may force the IAS to finally reconsider their ill-advised development and perhaps open the door to renewed negotiations which our experts have offered for many years to relocate the development to an alternate site.

Bill Spadea

Ewing Street

To the Editor:

All your readers who have been following the sturm und drang of the Institute for Advanced Study’s (IAS) housing proposal and the Princeton Battlefield Society’s (PBS) opposition should be aware that it did not have to be so contentious. I am unaffiliated with either the IAS or the PBS, and as an area resident I believe both institutions contribute greatly to making Princeton a wonderful place. I’m dismayed that one of these parties appears absolutely unwilling to work with the other party — a party that historically has been one of the greatest supporters and certainly the largest contributor of land to the battlefield. I see that one party has gone overboard to find a solution that works for both institutions, while the other is obstreperous and is playing political games.

I do not doubt the noble purposes of either body, nor their sincere intentions to do what is right as they see it. To bridge the gap, our own Congressman Rush Holt entered the fray behind the scenes to try to broker (in the best sense of that word) a compromise. It was at his urging that two eminent historians — Princeton’s own James McPherson and Brandeis University professor David Hackett-Fisher — attempted to bring the parties together over a series of suggestions that they made to find common ground. Alas, the Battlefield Society would have none of it and refused to be a party to any proposed compromise. And here we are: weeks and weeks of hearings at great public and private expense, with little, if any, public benefit. In fact, a negative benefit, as this infighting has certainly tarnished the reputation of both institutions. And the money and energy spent obstructing progress could have been much better deployed improving the battlefield — which is in dire need of improvements — rather than lining the pockets of lawyers and consultants.

The Institute has agreed to abide by the McPherson/Hackett-Fisher suggestions and the Battlefield Society has taken an all-or-nothing approach. Under the compromise, not only is even more open space preserved, but educational signage is improved (it is in  deplorable shape currently). During the last hearing, the Battlefield Society’s own historical witness, having heard the essence of the compromise which commits the Institute to yet more archeological excavations, indicated he could live with the compromise! And Professors McPherson and Hackett-Fisher are themselves staunch preservationists.

What more need be said? The Institute, with no obligation to negotiate and with no party with which to negotiate, and at no small cost, has done the right thing and more. I still hope the Battlefield Society will see reason.

But in any case, I would hope that the planning board approves the IAS proposal at its next meeting; it is the only right thing to do.

Sev Onyshkevych

Bayberry Road

To the Editor:

We thought the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, but apparently not in Princeton. We have followed the accounts of the Princeton Battlefield Society’s attempt to stop the Institute for Advanced Study’s Faculty Housing Plan for lo these many months. We are confounded by the ability of a small group of “historians” to thwart a plan that not only undermines the good of an internationally renowned institution; but also undermines the preservation and enhancement of the Princeton Battlefield itself.

The Institute consulted with noted historians James McPherson of Princeton University and David Hackett-Fisher of Brandeis, both leading preservationists. They proposed amendments to the Institute’s plan, which the Institute adopted. Moreover, both historians agree that the Institute’s faculty housing plan, as amended and presently before the Regional Planning Board, is a good compromise — one that respects the Battlefield.

It bears noting that Professors McPherson and Hackett-Fisher are among several historians who, over the last several decades, have restored balance and credibility to the written history of our country. Both men were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for history. Mr. Hackett-Fisher’s prize was for a book he wrote, which included a detailed account of the battle of Princeton. Their opinions are entitled to great weight and deference.

The housing plan provides for a 200-foot buffer zone alongside the Battlefield Park, which will now be permanently preserved as open space. Further, the Institute believes that it is important to enhance the interpretive materials provided for visitors to the Battlefield Park, and is ready to be a partner in realizing this objective. The Institute has also agreed, yet again, to survey the archaeology of the site before and monitor it during construction.

We support the Institute and its Faculty Housing Plan and urge the Regional Planning board to approve it at its next meeting.

Robert O. Cohen

Mary Robinson Cohen

(former member,

Princeton Regional Planning Commission)

Clover Lane

To the editor:

The Princeton Battlefield Society has done much to honor its mission, but it seems to be reacting unreasonably to the Institute for Advanced Study’s sensible and accommodating proposal for its much-needed faculty housing. The Institute has hardly ignored legitimate historical concerns. As the Battlefield Society’s own historical witness conceded at the last hearing when properly informed of the Institute’s plans to yet again survey the archeology of the site before and during construction, the Institute’s plan was something even he could accept. That would appear to conclude the issue. Newly-minted claims by the Battlefield Society about wetlands and stream corridors appear to be a distraction. The planning board should approve the Institute’s plan without further delay.

George L. Bustin

Pennington

To the Editor:

The ten days of the Trenton and Princeton Battles were arguably the most important of the Revolutionary War and were certainly key to enabling General George Washington to keep a Continental Army in the field during the winter of 1777. This was the battle, and the ground in question, the ground that George Washington personally led his staff forward on rallying the broken troops of General Mercer, stopping the advance of the British 55th Foot under LTC Mawhood, and forcing them back on to the grounds of the College of New Jersey.

In June 2008 The National Park Service declared the Princeton Battlefield a Priority 1 Principal Site requiring immediate preservation action. To claim previous maintenance failures at the current park as a reason to build on the disputed land is a smoke screen designed to obscure the fact that the construction of the houses the IAS wants to build will forever alter the look and feel of the battlefield and will destroy and displace artifacts critical to an understanding of the Battle of Princeton. There are no eyewitnesses to the battle alive today, but advances in technologies and the study of battlefield archaeology allow trained professionals to reassess what we know of battlefields across the width and breadth of recorded warfare. The National Park Service is in the middle of reassessing the positions of several of the markers indicating the location of the Continental Lines of battle at the Guilford Courthouse Battlefield in NC based solely on the findings and analysis of battlefield archaeology. What we do know is that once the construction starts we will never be able to know what actually happened on that specific ground and a piece of history, potentially important history will be forever destroyed.

Just because this battlefield and the disputed parcel of land are in the northeastern United States, where the cost of property is astronomical, does not reduce the historical significance of it or relieve us of our obligation to preserve it for future generations; at a minimum in its current state and preferably in better condition and more accurately as new information comes to the fore. Surely the IAS realizes this and can find 7 acres somewhere else on their property to build on. George Washington proved himself a leader and a general capable of dealing with the best the British could put in the field, Lord Charles Cornwallis. I’m hoping the IAS will exhibit some leadership worthy of their esteemed reputation and withdraw this proposal. If they do not then it is up to local government to do the right thing and block proposal. I live in Kansas and the word of the fight to preserve this sacred land has reached us here. It is about to become a national debate. How does the town of Princeton and the University want to be seen in this, on the side of history or the side of development? Please do the right thing!

Thomas B. Lyles, Jr.

Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (retired)

Leavenworth, Kansas

“Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, and Michele Oka Doner.”
—Andrew Wilkinson, Titusville

“Cindy Sherman and Frida Kahlo”
—Shady Patterson, Plainfield

Sandra: “Audre Lorde, poet.”
Lexi: “Linda Benglace, and Zanele Muholi, a South African photographer.”
—Sandra Mukasa (left) and Lexi Johnson, Princeton University students

“Cindy Sherman’s photography; Louise Nevelson, the sculptor; Frida Kahlo; and Rita Moreno in West Side Story.”
—Henry Vega, Princeton

Deul: “Corrine Bailey Rae, a singer-songwriter from the U.K.”
Jarrah: “Sade.” —Deul Lim (left) and Jarrah O’Neill, Princeton University students

Chloe: “This presentation made me realize that I don’t follow art very much. I can’t name many female artists but I do think this is a big issue.”
Destiny: “Frida Kahlo, I have seen her work at the Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.”
—Chloe Haimson (left) and Destiny Ortega, Princeton University students

February 15, 2012
NTU endocrinology

MEDICAL EXPERTISE: “We have really brought big city medicine to suburban New Jersey. We are committed to remaining on the cutting edge of clinical thyroidology.” Jason M. Hollander, MD, founder of Endocrinology Associates of Princeton, LLC, is aware of the latest developments in the field to help his patients.

January is Thyroid Awareness Month. Chances are many people are unaware of that, and perhaps have not given much thought to the thyroid either.

Jason M. Hollander, MD, founder of Endocrinology Associates of Princeton, LLC, wants to change that. As an expert in diagnosing and treating thyroid problems, as well as diabetes, he wants people to be informed and aware.

“We are committed to building strong doctor-patient relationships based on mutual respect and open communication. We hope that every treatment plan is the product of collaboration between an informed patient and a knowledgeable physician.”

Dr. Hollander loves what he does, and he strives to be as knowledgeable and expert a physician as possible.

Focus on Excellence

That focus on excellence has been evident from the time he was a student at Princeton Day School, and later graduated with honors from Princeton University. He received his MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), again graduating with honors, and was awarded membership to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), the highest honor bestowed on a graduating medical student.

Dr. Hollander completed a combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, and served as chief resident from 2003-2004. After working as an emergency room physician in downtown Manhattan, he returned to Mt. Sinai to complete a Fellowship in endocrinology. He is board-certified in endocrinology, internal medicine, pediatrics, clinical nutrition, and clinical nutrition support.

Completing the Fellowship in 2007, he returned to Princeton, where he had grown up, and was intent upon bringing academic endocrinology to suburban New Jersey. He opened Endocrinology Associates of Princeton at 601 Ewing Street in 2010.

“The reason I like endocrinology is that we practically never give a patient bad news,” he explains. Most thyroid conditions, for example, can be controlled by medication, and if it is thyroid cancer, the thyroid can be removed, offering a very encouraging outlook.

Endocrinology is the study of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is comprised of glands, which are organs that produce hormones, such as insulin, testosterone, growth hormone, epinephrine (also know as adrenalin), and thyroid hormone.

“The bulk of my practice is treating thyroid problems and diabetes,” says Dr. Hollander, while noting that osteoporosis and low testosterone are other conditions often seen at Endocrinology Associates of Princeton.

Positive Results

Thyroid problems, including under- and over-active thyroid, are common, more so among women, he reports. With proper diagnosis and treatment, they can be controlled, and Dr. Hollander’s expertise and methods are helping numerous patients gain positive results.

“I’m a clinician,” he points out. “It’s hands-on, not research. I see patients six days a week, every week. The more patients I see, the more I learn, and the better physician I become. I always look forward to that very unique case that you may see once in a lifetime.”

Dr. Hollander brings the most advanced knowledge and the most advanced equipment to the practice. His emphasis on providing the best care is evidenced in his being the first endocrinologist in the region to perform ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirations of suspicious thyroid nodules. He was also the first physician in New Jersey to employ a novel gene classifier to reduce the number of unneeded thyroid surgeries.

He has earned the prestigious ECNU certification, a professional certification in the field of ultrasonography. ECNU is recognized by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, a pre-eminent national accreditation body for ultrasound practice. It allows those with the ECNU accreditation to be directors of ultrasound laboratories.

Fastest-Growing

“I love endocrinology,” he states. “I’m very interested in thyroid cancer and the future of genetics relating to it. The incidence of thyroid cancer is the fastest growing of any other cancer. We are picking up much smaller cancers by the advanced technology of today.”

Nodules, which are lumps in the thyroid gland, are very common, and most are benign. If a nodule is malignant, the thyroid gland is typically removed surgically, explains Dr. Hollander, and the outlook is usually very good.

Thyroid nodules are usually discovered by the family physician, patient, or sometimes when the patient has a carotid artery test or MRI of the neck. Once it has been discovered, and if it is suspicious, Dr. Hollander will perform ultrasound tests and fine needle biopsies to determine if it is malignant. He personally performs every neck ultrasound.

As this is Thyroid Awareness Month, he recommends that individuals “be aware of any symptoms, such as fatigue, weight gain, and hair loss. It is also good to have the doctor examine the thyroid during your annual physical check-up. And, if people have a history of thyroid cancer in their family, they should have an ultrasound.”

Dr. Hollander is proud of his work and that his practice has grown to two locations, the Princeton office and another at 3100 Princeton Pike in Lawrenceville.

“I hung out my shingle in 2010, and now, there are three of us in the practice, with a fourth physician coming in the spring. It is very rewarding to do something I love to do and find that people are so appreciative.”

Endocrinology Associates of Princeton is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 to 1. Princeton office: (609) 924-4433; Lawrenceville: (609) 896-0075. Website: www.princ
etonendocrinology.com.


NTU neurac 1-11-12

PERFECT POSITION: Jamie Kornbluth, PT and Certified Redcord Neurac Practitioner (top) guides professional dancer Kelsey Burns into proper biomechanical alignment during a side-lying hip abduction exercise with Redcord equipment at the Neurac Institute, 800 Bunn Drive.

Chances are you haven’t heard of Neurac — or Redcord. If you have a knee, shoulder, or back problem, or other chronic condition that just doesn’t get better, or if you need post-surgery rehabilitation, or if you are an athlete looking to improve strength and stamina, you will certainly want to know about this innovative center for neuromuscular rehabilitation, wellness, and fitness.

The Neurac Institute for Physical Therapy, P.A. opened at 800 Bunn Drive in 2010. As the first accredited Redcord Neuromuscular Activation clinic in the U.S., the Neurac Institute utilizes the cutting edge Redcord suspension therapy system in combination with other progression/regression techniques that provide high levels of neuromuscular stimulation and strength and restore one’s normal movement patterns, explains Brad Gulick, Neurac’s Director of Operations.

Begun in Norway 20 years ago, the Neurac method and Redcord equipment were established in the U.S. by Tyler Joyce and Ian Kornbluth, both physical therapists, who founded the Neurac Institute for Physical Therapy, P.A. Physical therapist Jamie Kornbluth, who specializes in Pilates, is the third partner.

“Musculoskeletal disorders typically involve muscle inhibition and over activity in response to pain, injury, over use, disuse, or inactivity,” explains Mr. Gulick. “This results in further restriction in movement, deficits in performance, and often chronic pain. These conditions represent a major treatment challenge for therapy professionals. They compromise quality of life, and they are a significant risk factor threatening a long and successful career as an athlete.”

Positive Results

Mr. Gulick speaks from experience, and can attest to Neurac’s positive results. Plagued by back pain as a result of sports injuries, he had been unable to obtain relief through traditional physical therapy. Hearing of Neurac, he decided to give it a try.

“I struggled so long with these injuries, especially my back, and I wasn’t able to enjoy my sport (rowing). After treatment here, the results were amazing and immediate. It returned my identity as an athlete.”

What sets Neurac (short for neuromuscular-activation) from other physical therapy methods is its utilization of the Redcord suspension therapy system in combination with other progression/regression exercise techniques. Progressive/regression involves moving forward and backward with the patient.

Neurac restores impaired or altered neuromuscular coordination patterns and can often provide immediate pain relief and improved physical function.

Now used in 40 countries around the world, the Neurac/Redcord system treats all ages. Unweighted with bungees, slings, and rope supports, patients can exercise in almost any position in a safe and painless manner.

At the beginning of treatment, the Neurac therapists (five at the Princeton location) identify muscle imbalances and then “activate” deep stabilizing muscles in the core and joints with corrective exercises and high levels of neuromuscular stimulation that promote core control, joint stability, extremity strength, coordination and balance, and every day function.

One-on-One

Using the patient’s own body weight and controlled instability, Redcord gets effective, fast results. Depending on the severity of the condition, freedom from pain is sometimes immediate. A course of treatment is typically one hour for three to four weeks, with most patients coming twice a week.

“Unlike other physical therapists, Neurac PTs do not rotate among patients,” notes Mr. Gulick. “They remain with the patient, one-on-one for the entire session.”

Common conditions treated by the Neurac professionals include ACL injuries, arthritis, balance problems, headaches, neck pain, knee problems, shoulder injuries (torn rotator cuff), and tendinitis, among many others.

Pilates, which focuses on core control, extremity strength, posture, flexibility, balance, coordination, and joint and bone health, is often used in combination with the Redcord equipment. Hands-on manual therapy is another technique utilized to enhance mobility of joints, stretch and release soft tissue, and help to improve circulation.

In addition to treating patients, the Neurac Institute is the national education center for Redcord’s neuromuscular activation training and continuing education courses for health and other professionals.

“Doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers, endurance athletes, sports coaches, and Pilates instructors all come for training in the Neurac method,” points out Mr. Gulick.

Those who come for help include people six years-old to 90, and all ages can be helped, he adds. In addition, athletes often come to concentrate on special training, incorporating the Redcord equipment.

“I never cease to be amazed at the results. And, now, we are getting more and more referrals from doctors, including pediatricians, as well as chiropractors and sports coaches, too. We are very encouraged.”

Health Professionals

Co-founders Tyler Joyce and Ian Kornbluth are very busy with their hands-on therapy, overseeing the operation, and educating health professionals at the Institute, on speaking tours and at conferences.

“When I first learned of this methodology, I was interested right away,” reports Mr. Joyce. “I saw amazing results. To see people get better so quickly is great. As a physical therapist, you really want to help people get better.”

Adds Mr. Kornbluth: “When we were doing traditional physical therapy, we were looking to see what was missing, why people didn’t get better sooner. We were missing the exercise component. Then, Tyler found Redcord. This is something new, and it’s challenging. We really help people to improve their quality of life.”

Referrals from a doctor or chiropractor are needed for Neurac/Redcord treatment. Pilates sessions are available without a referral.

Once a patient has finished treatment, and has been trained in the Neurac/Redcord method, the Redcord Mini, portable take home equipment, is available for maintenance.

The Neurac Institute is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (609) 683-1010. Website:www.NeuracPT.com