April 11, 2012

To the Editor:

Recognizing the era that began in 2007, the school board, administration, faculty, and staff have worked together over the last few years to reexamine our operations and programs with an eye toward running them as efficiently as possible with your tax dollars, while continuing to prepare our students well for life in the 21st century. As reported at every monthly meeting, the Board has focused on savings, efficiencies, conservation, and cost containment in areas such as energy, insurances, health benefits, and work schedules in order to deliver declining tax increases to our residents even as we strive to maintain the Princeton Schools’ standards of excellence. Like every homeowner, the Board of Education copes with trends in energy and health costs, so we kindly ask your support for the Budget on Tuesday, April 17, with the smallest tax increase in many years (2 percent).

We are living in an era of great debate over the efficacy of public education, as well as uncertainty over public funding of education. Nevertheless, the Board and its employees are rising to the challenges imposed by the New Jersey department of education to align curriculum with “core content standards,” updating teacher evaluation protocols, as well as supporting valued local initiatives such as funding full-day pre-K and kindergarten classrooms; maintaining arts education; and addressing the needs of each child who learns differently for any reason, or has limited English proficiency. At the same time, we can all be very proud of the accomplishments of our PHS seniors who have enjoyed so much community support and so much national recognition for their achievements. Please vote on the April 17 to continue this record of success

Dorothy Bedford
Prospect Avenue

To the Editor:

On April 17, the Princeton Regional School (PRS) operating budget for 2012-13 will be voted on. Some may be inclined to refuse the one-percent increase — everyone is making due with less, right? Well, PRS is dealing with a lot less. In 2010, in addition to drastically reducing state aid to PRS, the state took from the district 1.7 million dollars — savings for capital expenditures. Governor Christie has ignored the mandates of the School Funding Reform Act of 2008, leaving the district with losses in the millions, even given the increase in state aid (still not at the mandated level) proposed for next year.

Superintendent Wilson and the school board have juggled and cut over the last few years while still protecting core academics. If the school budget is not approved on April 17, what will get cut? The obvious “extras,” arts and sports. School is an environment where students learn about who they are and how to navigate life. As parents we try to provide a diverse range of opportunities for our children to explore the world and flourish. Schools do the same through the extra-curricular activities they offer. My three children are involved in the exceptional music program our district offers. My two oldest children play in our phenomenal and acclaimed Princeton High School Studio Band, where they have had the opportunity to travel and represent their school with pride. The experience has instilled in them a sense of discipline and confidence. The band room is their home away from home. For other students, home may be the stage, the art room, the newsroom or the gym.

Teens in Princeton are faced with so many negative temptations, from drugs and alcohol to computer and TV screens. Please vote to approve the school budget so PRS can continue to provide so many extremely positive options for our students.

Lisa Marcus Levine
Linden Lane

“It’s great for the kids; they love to feed the animals. And the food here is really good.”
—Dan Cordle with daughter Ivy, Princeton

“Apple cider and the people here. Our daughter loves to feed the farm animals.”
—Julia and Charlie Yu with daughter Abriella, Freehold

Spencer: “The fresh air, sunshine and a little bit of country.”
Sydney: “It brings back memories, I have been coming here for so long.”
Peyton: “Feeding the animals corn.”
—Spencer Reynolds with daughters Sydney and Peyton, Princeton

“The atmosphere is very family oriented with fun activities for the kids. We all like it very much.”
—Kenya and Andre Parson with son Christian, Ewing

Debbie: “It’s lots of fun for the whole family. We had an awesome birthday party here for our daughter in the fall.”
Rory: “I like the pets.” —Andrew and Debbie Kraft
with Rory and Alexander, Monroe

“Our daughter’s favorite thing to do is feed the animals corn.”
—Ryan Moslin with daughter, Alexis, Montgomery

“It’s a beautiful farm where we like to come apple picking and a great place for our extended family to meet this holiday weekend.”
—Ed Volkwein, Maine, who used to live in Princeton
and daughter Katherine Singer, with son Jackson, visiting from New York City

April 4, 2012

To the Editor:

On April 17 the residents of Princeton will have the opportunity to vote in the annual Board of Education election. This opportunity to approve the annual budget of the Princeton Public Schools, as well as to elect members of the Board of Education, is a privilege that relatively few citizens in the State of New Jersey will have this year. At its February meeting, the Board resisted the transfer of the annual elections to the Fall in large part to preserve the ability of the citizens to continue to vote on the annual budget. A move to the Fall would have eliminated this crucial component of local supervision of public education.

The budget being presented is, once again, a remarkable achievement. It reflects an increase of approximately 1 percent at a time when we face some of the most severe conditions any organization could encounter: our ability to raise income is limited by the state cap on tax increases; on the other hand, many of our largest expenses are out of our control (for example, double digit increases in health care costs and a $4.7 million payment to the Princeton Charter School which we are obliged under state law to raise from taxpayers); and, meanwhile, state aid has been dramatically decreased.

It is a tribute to the hard work of the Administration and the intense oversight by the Finance Committee of the Board for once again presenting a balanced budget that preserves the core educational needs of our outstanding school system. I urge my fellow citizens to come to the polls on April 17 (noon to 9 p.m.).

Charles F. Kalmbach
Chair Finance Committee, 
Princeton Board of Education
Orchard Circle, Princeton

To the Editor:

The Princeton Service Unit of the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey wishes to thank our wonderful community for its support of our nearly 300 girls who live and go to school in Princeton.

During January and February, the community supported our work through the annual Girl Scout cookie sale. Palmer Square Management and WaWa provided outdoor space where the girls braved snow, cold, and wind, as well as sunny and warm conditions, to sell their cookies to the community.

Also during March, the girls enjoyed earning badges through the generous contributions of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, and the local chapter of the Society of Women Engineers at Princeton University. At communiversity last year, we gathered signatures of an extraordinary number of area women who are, or were, girl scouts. Our banner will be proudly carried in the Memorial Day parade. Look for us!

As the current girls grow and continue to serve and lead, we, the over 150 volunteer leaders and coordinators, experience first hand the joy of watching this process occur.

Karen Freundlich
Volunteer Manager, Princeton Girl Scouts, 
Stanford Place

To the Editor:

I want to thank the hundreds of members of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization who attended the PCDO endorsement meeting on Sunday, March 25. The record-breaking crowd and the large field of thoughtful candidates made me proud to be a Princetonian. I am grateful for your endorsement, and the endorsement of the Municipal Committees, and look forward to running in the Democratic primary for mayor this June.

I’m committed to making consolidation a success on every level — from financial savings, to enhanced services, to more responsive government. I hope you will join with me in creating a sustainable Princeton where neighborhoods retain their character and have a voice in decision making and where it is easy for residents to contribute their talents. If you believe, as I do, that consolidation brings with it a chance for a fresh start and that we need a mayor who can bring people together, then I hope you will support me.

Liz Lempert
Meadowbrook Drive

To The Editor:

One wonders how they get away with it. Even after all these years of legislation in favor of the elderly and the handicapped, the Westminster Choir College (WCC) still keeps its box office on the third floor of Williamson Hall, sans elevator.

A woman who works in this area told me that she has been trying for over 10 years to persuade the WCC to locate its box office at a more hospitable altitude, so far without any result.

How does the WCC get around the accessibility laws that seem to apply to most public access buildings in New Jersey?

Mrs. Lucille Gaignault
Bank Street

To the Editor: 

The YWCA Princeton launched Women’s History Month on March 1 with the celebration of the 29th Annual Tribute to Women Awards Dinner. This evening highlighted the personal and professional achievements of 12 area women and their commitment to the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. With the help of this community, the event was an incredible success, raising nearly $80,000 to support the YWCA Princeton’s programming and services.

Countless community partners were involved in making this event a success, and the YWCA Princeton appreciates their support and generosity. We would like to thank nearly 400 community residents in attendance at the event; our event sponsors Bill and Judy Scheide, NRG Energy, WithumSmith+Brown, and the Times of Trenton; as well as event in-kind donors Jill Jachera and Monday Morning Flower and Balloon Company.

Jane Kelly and Linda Richter 
YWCA Tribute to Women 2012 Co-Chairs

To the Editor:

This was a most memorable sale in many ways. Thanks to the wonderful response of the community to our needs after  hurricane Irene, we had more books than we’ve had in years. We are grateful to everyone who so generously came to our rescue. More than 115 volunteers from the alumnae of both colleges as well as community friends turned out to unpack, price, and sort the books and then to help the thousands who came to buy them. But for all this, the sale would not have been ready in time without the help of the high school volunteers from Stuart Country Day School and from the Lawrenceville School who worked day by day beside us for the two weeks of preparation and during the sale. They were remarkable in their dedication and commitment. As always, the staff of our host, Princeton Day School, smoothed the way for us and were there to provide for every emergency. Thank you everyone, and remember — keep on donating.

Fran Reichl
Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale

To the Editor: 

We have good news and better news! Since 1996 Princeton has been supporting the annual Great Strides Walk to Cure Cystic Fibrosis. The good news is that the donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation have supported the development of kalydeco, the first medicine ever developed to treat the mechanism of a disease at the molecular level. Our son, David is taking it and he is able to breathe without effort!

The better news is that there are three more medicines being tested which could treat all the genetic forms of cystic fibrosis. We hope, with your continued help, to be able to eliminate the “fatal” part of the description from cystic fibrosis by 2017. More information is available at www.cff.org.

Please mark your calendars and join us on May 12 for the Great Strides Walk to really cure cystic fibrosis!

Mary, Paul, John, Janae, Meghan, Matthew, and David Gerard
Talbot Lane

To the Editor:

Almost half way through my son’s senior year I’m wondering what the empty nest will truly be like next fall. Among many memories of the last 17 years, the one that stands out is Dillon Basketball. Anyone in Princeton with a child in grades 4-9 may be familiar with the Saturday morning ritual that was and will always be Dillon. Regardless of height, weight, prowess, you could sign up and show up at practice once a week, and join classmates and strangers on teams sponsored by local businesses whose names you wore on your back.

Dillon is coached by Princeton University students, giving of their time freely, some seriously into it, dressing in coats, shirts and ties as NBA coaches do, others just for the experience and fun of it all. Early Saturday mornings the games are held at Dillon gym, several games at once.

Organized and run by Evan Moorhead and Ben Stentz, the always affable head of the recreation department, the teams were somehow evenly put together, tall and short, fast and slow. Parents got to know one another, the decibel level would rise as the teams played, with some serious cheerleading going on. Our kids made many new friends, it was always exciting, and it felt like a true community. There is nothing else like it around town.

Thank you Dillon for some of the best times we had here. We miss you, 9th grade came a little too soon, just as college has.

Laraine Lesnik
Benjamin Rush Lane

To the Editor:

It was a great day for the Irish and for Derek’s Dreams, as the Princeton community rallied to support 14-year-old Derek DiGregorio as part of the Alchemist & Barrister’s (A&B) annual St. Patrick’s Day Party and Longbeard Contest.

Thanks to the commitment of the A&B’s staff, patrons and friends, we were able to raise $7500 for Derek’s Dreams. This local charity was founded to raise awareness of Ataxia Telangiectasia, the rare and deadly neurodegenerative disease from which Derek DiGregorio suffers. It causes severe disability and the fund is also designed to meet the needs of Derek himself.

We are especially grateful to The Princeton Township and Princeton Borough Police Departments, Princeton University Athletic Coaches, Princeton Mayor Chad Goerner and Dr. Kimberley Levitt and Jesse Barron who served as guest bartenders on Tuesday nights leading up to the event.

Each year, the Alchemist & Barrister chooses a local cause to benefit from a month of fundraising activities, culminating in our St. Patrick’s Day Party. On behalf of the A&B, may I thank the Princeton Community for again helping us celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a meaningful way.

Arthur Kukoda
Chef/Owner, The Alchemist & Barrister
Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

I was dismayed to see the draft site plans that AvalonBay has submitted for its proposed development on the present hospital site. The coldly forbidding four or five story façade in the architect’s plan includes no break or setback. It is one thing for a hospital whose first buildings were erected in 1919 to have grown to its present size, but another for a contemporary builder to introduce such unrelieved massiveness by design.

The Borough’s Zoning Code specifically states in Sec.17A-193B.a.6,8 (“Design Standards”): “Buildings should be designed to avoid a monolithic appearance”; “New construction should be concentrated in the central portion of the site and building setback should increase as building height increases.” Sec.17A-193.c.1,3: “Building façades should relate well in composition and scale to development in the area.” “Careful consideration should be given to the mass and bulk of any buildings to ensure they are harmonious with their surroundings …” The code stipulates that the “visual appearance” must “not be that of a continuous row of tall buildings … architectural design techniques should be incorporated which break up and mitigate the larger scale” of the building, with the aim of “minimizing the length of a single plane of a façade.”

AvalonBay has asked for a density bonus of 44 units beyond the 280 rental units permitted under current zoning (17A-358.a.4). If these 44 units were subtracted from the developer’s plan, which now reflects their inclusion, I can imagine a frontage of three stories, slightly set back, rising to four stories at the central part of the block or zone, in a way that would mitigate, as specified in the Borough’s Zoning Code, the negative effects of mass and height.

Few people question the need for additional rental space in Princeton, at both market-rate and affordable-housing rates; but providing this space should not come at the cost of uninspired architectural design and inconsistency with existing neighborhoods. Borough Council and the Planning Board should reject the bonus density that has led to poorly designed plans for the purpose of amassing many people within a single area. The developer should be advised by Borough Council (next meeting on April 10), the Site Plan Review Advisory Board, and the Planning Board (where a hearing on the enabling ordinance is scheduled for April 19) to revise its plans in accordance with the Borough code.

Suzanne Nash
Governors Lane

To the Editor:

For the current hospital site, any building permitted by Borough Ordinance 2012-05, as introduced, will result in a megablock. Such a monolith is specifically disapproved by Borough Code Sec. 17A-193B.a.6.

The draft ordinance should be withdrawn now — either that, or the Planning Board must vote against it to prevent folly: the ruin of the hospital neighborhood, the historic character of Princeton, and the diversity of our newly consolidated community.

I have read the proposed ordinance in light of the Borough Code, and have examined plans proposed by AvalonBay. Did Borough Council members really write this ordinance, or did they take dictation from AvalonBay?

When Borough Code was rewritten some years ago, in contemplation of the hospital’s eventual (now imminent) move, virtually all phrasing aimed to get any new construction back down into scale with the neighborhood (one- and two-story houses — rarely three, as incorrectly stated in Sec. 17A-193B.c.1). The text allows for “up to” 280 housing units but also wants those units to blend with the neighborhood. Some of many samples: residential “uses” (plural) means a variety of building types, not an Avalon monolith (Sec. 17A-193B.a.2. New construction should “help soften” its own presence (17A-193B.a.4). People should be able to walk through the site (17A-193B.d.1). Site plans must show “how the public and residents will circulate in and through the site” (17A-193B.e.3) — currently impossible according to AvalonBay’s design.

The Council ordinance disregards all these stipulations and their specific intent. If a code is not written to be honored, then what is its use?

With the increased density bonus it would permit, it allows for a completely closed, gated community (AvalonBay’s standard format). A closed “community” should be anathema to Princetonians, and to our officials who have vaunted so highly the values of diversity. Where will the contradictions and “inconsistencies” of judgment stop?

And what of signage for this gated community? The ordinance permits AvalonBay to turn Witherspoon Street into our local Route One: a facade sign can be ten feet square (the writers of the ordinance did not think in three dimensions); a free-standing sign (also ten feet square) “shall” (not even “may”!) jut out into open space within five feet of the sidewalk.

I do not want my Princeton to look like this. I also want our hospital, which has achieved such outstanding regional excellence, to take some responsibility for its choice of buyers, even in this tricky market.

Borough Council members should have the good sense to withdraw the draft ordinance. Additions to residential housing stock can be gotten without selling out Princeton downstream.

Joe McGeady
John Street

Dan: “Matzo Ball Soup.”
Bryan: “Easter Bunny Chocolate.”
—Dan Gorman (left) and Bryan Hill, Princeton

“Ham, sweet potato casserole, pineapple swing bread, and hard boiled eggs.”
—Ellen and Scott Brown, Hamilton

Michael: “Lamb and roast potatoes.”
Kalina: “Eggs.”
—Michael Feeney and Kalina Misiolek, Princeton

Mihai: “Eggs.”
Ana: “Lamb.” —Mihai and Ana Tudor, California
(visiting relatives in Princeton)

“Lamb Soup.” —Alexandru Oancea, Princeton

Margaret: “Winterberry pie. My mother makes it every year for Easter.”
Ellen: “Lindt chocolate bunnies.”
—Ellen Whiteside (left) and Margaret Evered, Princeton

Princeton resident Frank Ryle has recently added “author” to his long list of credentials.

Civil engineer, project manager, teacher, pilot, scuba diver, surfer, single-figure golfer, top-flight tennis player — all these and more fill out his catalogue of accomplishments.

An enthusiastic traveler, Mr. Ryle has lived in and visited 50 countries, including a six-month stay in a kibbutz in Israel, four years in Russia, three in Papua, New Guinea, and one year in Australia.

A curiosity about people and places and a desire for adventure and new challenges has led him to explore a range of opportunities.

As an author, he has recently published Keeping Score: Project Management for the Pros, which deftly combines his love of golf and his project management expertise. His approach includes the nine holes of golf to teach the nine key steps to accomplish a project any time, anywhere successfully. It is a suitable guide both for professionals and those new to or struggling with project planning.

Desired Outcome

Planning has come naturally to Mr. Ryle. At an early age, he was combining a variety of projects and was able to achieve the desired outcome.

The second child of Maurice and Rita Ryle, he was born in Dalkey, Ireland, near Dublin in 1960. Siblings include Cathy, Philip, Jack, and Liz. When Frank was 11, the family moved to the seaside village of Tramore, also the site of a highly respected golf course and the nearby Waterford Crystal company.

The family was close, and Frank enjoyed fishing with his father, playing golf with his mother, and going on family vacations throughout Ireland. “It was a simple upbringing and a happy childhood,” he recalls.

Frank liked math and later, drama in high school. He washed cars and worked in a hotel to earn extra money, and he reports, “At the hotel, I was interested in the people who worked there. I wanted to understand them.”

From the time he began playing tennis at six, however, sports was his passion. “Both of my parents were very good tennis players, and at 12, I was playing tennis competitively all over Ireland.”

At 10, Frank took up golf, and became equally proficient in that sport. “We had sports idols then,” he says. “I especially looked up to Eamon Coughlin, at one time the world record holder in the mile. He was the fastest in the world.”

First Excursion

Tennis gave Frank his first excursion to another country and a taste for travel and faraway places.

“When I was 14 , we went to Paris for a tournament, and I loved it,” remembers Mr. Ryle. “By this time, I had a wanderlust. I wanted to see the world and have adventures.”

Before the adventures, however, college was a must. His good academic record enabled him to attend University College Dublin, where he studied civil engineering. It was a rigorous program, requiring many hours of demanding study.

“I made a lot of good friends, though, and we’re still in touch. We have class reunions in Ireland. I also admired my professors, especially Professor Sidebottom in chemistry. He was engaging and humorous — he had to be with a name like that!”

After graduating with a bachelor of engineering degree in 1981 (he was later made a Fellow of the Irish Engineering Institute in 1993), Frank went to work for Arup International, a global firm of designers, engineers, planners, and consultants.

“I got a job with them in London, and Sir Ove Arup, founder of the company, had a great influence on me. He was a philosopher as well as an engineer. He’d ask, ‘Why are you building this?’ ‘Who is it for?’”

Many Locations

During his 20 years with Arup, Mr. Ryle undertook projects in Hong Kong, Australia, Papua, New Guinea, Russia, Ireland, and the U.S., among many other locations.

In 1985, he moved to Australia for a year to work on Arup’s America’s Cup preparations in Perth and Sydney, which remains one of his favorite projects.

Over time, Mr. Ryle became increasingly interested in the project management aspect of his work. The “how to” of getting things done efficiently and effectively.

“With project management, you think in terms of ‘how to’, he explains. “How to bring in the project on time, how to do it with the resources, how will you get it done?

“I made a natural and gradual transition from pure engineering design to being the project manager on our projects,” he continues. “This was probably due to a matching of desire and aptitude. It happened from when I was 28 until I was 33, and then I became a full-time project manager, but still very much associated with construction-type projects.”

In 1994, a new adventure presented itself, one which would have far-reaching consequences for his future. He traveled to Russia to serve as Cadbury’s construction manager and first production manager for the company’s new chocolate factory in St. Petersburg. He lived there and in Moscow for four years.

Chance Meeting

The challenging project was exceeded in importance by Mr. Ryle’s chance meeting in 1996 with Vivian Slee, originally from Princeton. This meeting even outranked the enormous pleasure of playing in the first Russian Open golf tournament!

“Vivian had an MFA, and had been selling art in New York,” says Mr. Ryle. “She had come to Russia for eight months to work on a movie with friends.”

Some things don’t require a lot of planning — even for a project manager. As Mr. Ryle reports, “I met her in May, and in 10 days, we were engaged. Five months later, we were married in a castle on the west coast of Ireland.”

The couple spent another year in Russia, while the new Mrs. Ryle was engaged in research for a book, and Mr. Ryle continued with his work on the chocolate factory.

In 1998, the Ryles, with baby Oona, moved to the U.S., settling in Brooklyn Heights. Mr. Ryle became project manager for Arup’s $800 million remaster plan for the Eero Saarinen-designed General Motors Tech Center near Detroit, and for the design of JFK Airport’s International Terminal Four. In 1999, he earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

The next year, the Ryles came to Princeton, and in 2001, after 20 years with Arup, Mr. Ryle chose a new direction and a new challenge.

Understanding Wife

“I decided to start my own business due to a combination of factors: turning 40, the imminent arrival of our second daughter (Maisie), a desire to try something different and on my own, my dislike of commuting to New York, and a very understanding wife.”

He set up his own company, PMPulse, which developed software for project management. “We were the first to to do that,” he points out. “I have also worked with the International Institute for Learning (IIL) since 2001, when they bought the rights to the software that I had developed. We have a great relationship, and I have taught more than 10,000 students in 22 countries for them.”

Through his relationship with IIL, Mr. Ryle provides consulting and training to professionals in banking, IT, accounting, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing. Companies include UBS, Ernst & Young, SAP, Murex, Deutsche Bank, Mars Inc., and Thomson Reuters, among others.

Teaching has become a distinct pleasure for Mr. Ryle, who says, “I love the interaction with people from many disciplines, cultures, and ages. My students range across all industries and from undergraduates to retiring age, from students to Ph.D.s, from the U.S. to all countries and cultures. I love helping them see that project management is complex but can be learned in a ‘simple’ way.”

He enjoys teaching so much, in fact, that he agreed to teach a course this semester at Princeton University. “Teaching at Princeton University is delightful, as the staff is amazingly friendly, and the students are above average in ability and willingness to learn new concepts.”

Mr. Ryle teaches mostly project management materials (program and portfolio management are part of project management), and as he says, “Recently, I have also focused on the soft skills required for successful projects — hence my passion for psychology and science. I also want to weave my thinking from the book into the classes, and will be developing one class on a golf course, perhaps Springdale, soon. I am also working with a professor in London to bring psychology to project management.”

Happy Choice

Living in Princeton has been a happy choice for Mr. Ryle, who became an American citizen in 2008. It offers opportunities in many areas, and after 12 years, it feels like home.

“I like a lot about Princeton,” he says. “I like the fact that it’s a real town, and you can walk to places. I like being in a university town. I also love the library — it’s very good architecture, by the way. And, I love the plaza outside and downtown Princeton. There’s a lot of energy here and a sense of identity.”

Another positive aspect of living in Princeton is the opportunity to be with his children. As he points out, “I left Arup because I wanted to spend more time with my daughters — my proudest achievement! It’s very important to me to see them growing up and being able to spend a lot of time with them.” He also enjoys the chance to see his in=laws, Louis and Biby Slee. “They are well known in Princeton and are wonderful grandparents to the girls.”

In addition to teaching at the University, Mr. Ryle enjoys auditing courses there, including anthropology and psychology. He is also looking forward to a course in philosophy.

Indeed a man of wide-ranging interests, he started the “Topic Club” eight years ago, which meets once a month to discuss a myriad of subjects, from Iran to humor to the Pyramids to the psychology of happiness to affordable housing.

“We have seven to 20 men who get together to discuss a topic,” he explains. “We meet at 8 and can go on until midnight. They are all professionals from different fields and backgrounds. It makes for fascinating conversation”

Constructive Facilitator

Mr. Ryle’s friend, Princeton resident Ted Nadeau is one of the participants in the club. “It’s pretty much like a book club,” he explains, “except there isn’t a book! Usually there is a presenter who has done some specific preparation.

“Frank is a very constructive facilitator, and easily gathered a group of diverse and interesting people together. I very much enjoy meeting and speaking with Frank. He has interesting world travel experiences and engineering/building experience that I’m interested in, and also of course, his professional management expertise.”

When not traveling, teaching, or writing a book, Mr. Ryle especially enjoys reading about science, including psychology. “I particularly like Matt Ridley, the best science writer, I believe. I like bringing science and the arts together, and I’m also getting into well-written fiction, such as Somerset Maugham, Steinbeck, Hemingway, and Herman Wouk.

“I like classical music, and I am learning to play the piano,” he continues. “And, when we can, we enjoy getting down to Long Beach Island. I grew up by the sea, and we like the ocean.”

The Ryles also have a house in Tramore, and often visit his family in Ireland.

Tennis and golf remain a part of his life, and he plays whenever possible in Princeton and also on his travels. In 1983, he qualified as a tennis coach, and taught part-time in Israel, Kenya, and Australia. His friend and fellow tennis player, Bobby Hackett of Princeton can vouch for Mr. Ryle’s tennis prowess.

“We play regularly, and Frank is a great tennis player. I have gotten better playing with him. But more than that, just being with Frank is fun. He’s very clever and very interested in what you are doing. One of the things I get from being with him is the international perspective. He has opportunities to blend people from different backgrounds, different countries, and different perspectives and get them to work together in this global society and economy.

“He sometimes helps me puzzle through some of my work just by asking interesting questions. He’s very smart, but very down-to-earth.”

Right Questions

The ability to ask the right questions to develop a plan and ultimately complete a project successfully is evidenced in Mr. Ryle’s book. He uses a narrative format with three fictional primary characters, who must come up with a plan to save a company facing a crisis. The story takes place in New Jersey and Cork, Ireland, and a golf course is prominently featured. As the scenario evolves, Mr. Ryle points out the methods they can employ to reach a positive outcome.

Use of the golf theme, with nine specific questions and a score card, is an intriguing strategy. Including characters within the story format adds a personal touch, and creates immediacy. The project management tips he reveals are helpful to anyone working on a project and trying to formulate a plan.

As he notes in the preface of the book, “My personal goal is that after reading this book, your own approach to projects becomes less of a maze and more of a labyrinth. A maze, like some project processes, is something in which you can easily waste time and get lost. A labyrinth, by contrast, is something in which you can lose yourself and therefore free your mind from the burden of project navigation to maintain the agility and creativity required in this exciting new world.”

On Wednesday, April 11, Mr. Ryle will discuss his book at the Princeton Public Library at 7 p.m. A book signing will follow, with proceeds from sales of the books going to help a Princeton family whose young daughter is suffering from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“I look forward to interaction with those who come to the book discussion,” says Mr. Ryle. “I hope it will lead to a lively conversation.”

March 28, 2012

“I found the paper back 1932 [Odyssey Press] edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses and assorted other books. And Sophie found books for her to read.”
—Doug Haeuber with daughter Sophie, Plainsboro

Sylvia: “Dorothy L. Sayers mysteries which are hard to find. I found a first edition, which is exciting. I also found a lot of sheet music.”
Joan: “I found a lot of music, Burt Bacharach and opera.”
—Sylvia Korman with Mother Joan Hsiao, Princeton

“I come every year.  Today I found history books and classics.”
—Mike Spaul, Mercerville

Susan: “I found this Civil War book. I’m a teacher, and it’s a wonderful, visual representation for teaching history. These are hard to find and expensive. I found this today for $2 as opposed to $75.”
Natalie: “I found a lot of good animal books and they’re really my style. I really love animals.”
—Susan Eustis and daughter Natalie, Pennington

“I like to read and found a lot of different fiction.”
—Wouter Rock, Princeton

“I’m a performing artist and when I’m through savoring the books I purchased today, biographies of those from the golden age of stage, screen and television from days gone by, they will join my collection of similar books donated to needy children hoping some day to have a life as an artist themselves.”
  —Rosemary Peters, Princeton

To the Editor:

So now we learn the truth — the consolidation wasn’t a merger, it was a takeover of the Township by the Borough.

If this weren’t one sided, both administrators and both police chiefs should have offered their resignations. Then the personnel committee could have made their decision in the open and shared with all residents their rationale.

Jim Pascale and Bob Buchanan have served our town with distinction for 30 years, but now they get 10 days to clean out their desks. During the first Battle of Princeton in 1777, the Americans lost a number of able officers: General Mercer, Colonel Haslet and several others. Who will be the next to fall in the 2012 version? In consolidation right now, the Township is clearly losing.

John F. Kelsey, III
Winfield Road

To the Editor:

The Princeton High School Boys/Girls Track and Field team thanks the community for its support of the 2nd annual Princeton 5K Race, held Sunday March 18. Special thanks goes to the Princeton Running Company for presenting the event, and to our sponsors Small World Coffee, IvyRehab, in8Graphics, Princeton Soccer Association, Buckley Theroux Kline & Petraske, LLC, Tiger Noodles, Gibbons Foot & Ankle Group, LLC, Twist, Mercer Bucks Orthopedics, the Cody family, the Whaley family, the Cavallaro family, the McIsaac family, the Monks Family, and USAF, and to all the individuals who supported the race with additional registration donations.

The race could not have been a success without the support from the Borough and Township Police Departments, the Borough Department of Public Works, Princeton First Aid Squad, and the Princeton School district. We also appreciate the residents who cheered while we ran past their homes on this fast and friendly neighborhood course.

The race was a successful fundraiser for the team and on behalf of the athletes we say “Thank You!”

Kathryn McIsaac, Julie Cavallaro,
Donna Dourney, Coach John Woodside
and Coach Jim Smirk

The Princeton 5K Race Committee, 

Princeton High School

To the Editor,

Borough Council (BC) recently voted to introduce an ordinance that would give a density bonus to “any developer” who builds on the almost “old” Princeton Hospital site. AvalonBay (AB), a national builder of residential complexes (the likely developer), has requested a density bonus of 44 rental units that are NOT fully subject to the standard 20 percent set-aside for affordable housing. The ordinance, if passed, would allow AB to bypass affordable housing in the bonus units (44, in addition to the 280 units allowed under current zoning) by making a per-unit payment to Princeton Borough’s Affordable Housing Trust.

The ordinance tramples historical commitments to diversity of opportunity in the Princeton housing market, which are here diluted by substitute provisions for “workforce housing.” While most Council members voted for the ordinance to “get the ball rolling,” AB has seemingly won the first round against a full commitment to affordable housing. What has Borough Council gotten in exchange for this variance-by-means-of-ordinance? Nothing. Why has BC initiated rezoning without getting a quid-pro-quo?

AB has submitted a preliminary/final site plan (unexpectedly bypassing the “concept plan” phase) that is incompatible with neighborhood needs and concerns: a four- or five-story monolith fronting residential streets that have one- or two-story houses — without any setbacks. Residents are upset and disturbed. Environmentally, the plan shrugs off Princeton’s push towards sustainability; we are proud of our Bronze certification from Sustainable Jersey. For example, the roof could have solar panels or gardens — the plan shows neither. Nothing indicates high-performance measures for energy-conservation.

AB has apparently agreed (in writing?) to comply with Energy Star standards (less stringent than LEED). But why should a company that vaunts its LEED-Silver headquarters on its website (for 13 pages under the “Sustainability” link: go look!) be permitted to do anything less than LEED-Silver in Princeton? The Princeton Regional Master Plan in its most recent revisions gives high priority to the following: diversity in Princeton, maintaining the integrity of neighborhoods, “continuing to provide Princeton’s ‘fair share of affordable housing,’” satisfaction of LEED requirements (strongly recommended by the Princeton Environmental Commission) — all of these issues are at stake in Ordinance 2012-05. Borough Council should honor the master plan, now.

And Borough Council and the Planning Board should insist that AB seek LEED-certification at the Silver level. They must reject Ordinance 2012-05 as written and restore full commitment to 20 percent affordable housing, along with major provisions for sustainable building. If “any developer” disappears because it can’t get everything for nothing, so be it. Consolidated Princeton is not a town impoverished in resources, networking, or reputation. Another builder will appear, and in short order. Princeton Hospital, which owns the land, will soon find another buyer; it has no stake in paying taxes on land it will not use after May 2012.

Jane Buttars
Dodds Lane

To the Editor:

In “Hoping that Consolidation Brings End to White Buffalo Deer Culling” (Town Topics March 12), Mr. Laznovsky makes the right arguments about the squandering of tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on deer killing in the eleventh year of the so-called “management program,” and the invalid link between deer and Lyme disease.

With respect to the economic argument, it is hard to miss the connection between the anguished cries of the school board members and others (“Princetonians among those protesting Christie’s ‘Reverse Robin Hood Budget,” Town Topics March 14) on the one hand, about diminished resources for education, and on the other, money squandered for the extermination of deer. The specious argument made by Phyllis Marchand in 2002 that Princeton’s program “is bringing the township’s residents much needed relief from the deer” (New York Times, March 10, 2002) remains specious to this day. Princeton should put these taxpayer dollars not into the extermination of deer, but into needed investments to educate its children.

On one point I disagree with Mr. Laznovsky, however. It will take more than hope to effect change. Princeton’s own Einstein wrote: “Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” The task of a consolidated Princeton is to end the ludicrous “deer cull” once and for all, by active citizen involvement through the democratic process.

Sheila M. MacRae
Orchid Court

March 21, 2012
NTU Doerler

LANDSCAPE LONGEVITY: “I enjoy meeting the clients. I’m a people person, and we meet all kinds of people. We have had many regular customers over the years. I’m working with people now who had worked with my dad years ago. They may be down-sizing now, and need a new landscape plan.” Steven J. Doerler, owner and president of Doerler Landscapes, is proud of his company’s reputation and longevity.

Building a reputation for high quality work and service over five decades is an outstanding achievement. So many businesses come and go so quickly these days that Doerler Landscapes’ 50 years in business is the exception not the rule today.

“People know they can count on us,” says owner and president Steven J. Doerler, a certified landscape architect. “For 50 years, they have seen our orange trucks in their neighborhood, and for that same 50 years, we have worked hard to be a leader in our industry and in our community.”

Doerler Landscapes has been recognized with numerous design and business awards, including “Landscape Award of Superior Excellence” from the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association; “Landscape Design Excellence” from the New Jersey Builders Association; “Conservator of the Year” from the Mercer County Soil Conservation Service; and “Community Excellence Award” from the Hamilton Area YMCA, to name just a few. The company was started in 1962 by Mr. Doerler’s father, William K. Doerler.

“My dad studied landscape architecture at Cornell, and then after working in a landscape company, he decided to set up his own business in Yardville. I started working in the nursery when I was 12. My dad put me to work!” says Mr. Doerler, with a smile. “I began working full-time in 1984, after I graduated from college.”

Landscape Projects

In 1986, the company moved to its current location at 5570 South Broad Street in Yardville. The property is a 175-acre farm, and serves as the base of operations for the landscaping and is also the home of Crosswicks Tree Farm, another part of the Doerler family business. The tree farm grows a variety of nursery stock for use in Doerler’s residential and commercial landscape projects.

Steven Doerler became owner and president in 2000, and he has reinforced and enhanced the company’s prominent place in the landscape business. Doerler Landscapes covers a complete range: landscape architecture, construction, maintenance, lighting, and irrigation services.

“We can design and install everything except swimming pools and tennis courts,” he explains. “Although we also do help with designs to locate pools. If someone is planning to build a pool, it’s a good idea to call a landscape architect and have them locate the pool in the proper setting.”

Plantings including trees, shrubs, and flowers; and hardscapes, such as patios, terraces, decks, etc., are a big part of Doerler’s business. “We advise clients on plantings and the best placement regarding sun or shade, those that are low-maintenance, and also specimens that deer don’t like. More people want low maintenance now. Fewer people seem to want to do hands-on gardening.”

Outdoor Entertaining

What is big, however, is outdoor entertaining — and with all the bells and whistles!

“Current trends are outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, and water gardens.” he reports. “Absolutely one of the biggest trends in the last 10 years has been the increase in outdoor kitchens.”

Some clients want a landscape geared for entertaining, and others are interested in a tranquil, serene garden setting. “Lots of people have bird feeders and bird baths, and I have put in butterfly gardens, perennial gardens, cutting gardens, vegetable gardens, grasses, and bat houses!

“Also popular today is the pondless waterfall. With this format, the water flows onto river stone, with just a few inches of water over the stones. This is nice because it is versatile, and can be placed in a small area, such as on a terrace or patio. People like to have water gardens, fountains, etc. because it is very relaxing.”

Mr. Doerler handles projects of all sizes, both residential and commercial, with many in Princeton. In addition, Doerler landscapes are seen all over the area and beyond, in Northern New Jersey, Bucks County, and at the shore.

“Our real specialty is residential work, although we do a lot of commercial projects, too, including landscape management and irrigation for corporations, such as Church & Dwight in Princeton.

Design Center

“We are a design center,” he continues. “First, we go to the site and get the homeowner’s or company’s ‘wish list’. Then I’ll put together a conceptual idea and plan. The client comes in to look at the design, and we can make immediate changes on the computer.”

Budget is a key factor, of course. “Budget drives the materials,” he notes. Projects can last for a couple of days to a couple of years. Very large jobs are often completed in phases because of budgeting requirements.

“Sometimes, clients may start with plantings for the front of the house; other times, if they want a pool, they’ll do that first, along with the patio. With our plantings, we strive to have something in bloom and colorful from early spring to late fall. In design, it’s a textured look, and can include varying shades of green.

“Flowering trees are always popular, and right now, everything is ready sooner this year because of the mild winter. We are very busy in March, April, and May, and we can be busy in the fall too. We work year-round.

“We have all kinds of projects, and I especially like working on older houses with quaint gardens. Of course, every project is unique. Our goal is always to enhance the home environment and to complement the architecture of the house. The landscape needs to match the architecture.”

The company also does repair and remodeling work for hardscapes as well as installing new ones. “We can also transplant or ‘repurpose’ plantings and even move plants from a current house to a new one. We often work on a client’s second home, such as a beach house.”

Finished Product

“This is very gratifying and fulfilling work, says Mr. Doerler, “and I like seeing the finished product, seeing the plan come to life.”

Doerler Landscapes’ concept of a family business extends to the employees, he adds. “They regularly attend professional development and continuing education courses, and we have in-house training. We have a strong internal culture based on team work and family. Many employees have been with us for a long time, 20 years and more.”

Mr. Doerler also believes strongly in giving back to the community, and he serves on several boards. Doerler Landscapes supports various charities and organizations. “I do in-kind service work, and we also established the Miracle League, and built a barrier-free baseball field in Yardville for disabled kids. We now have six teams in the league.”

Doerler Landscapes can be reached at (609) 585-7500. Website: www.doerler.com.

NTU insideout 3-14-12

ACTIVE ACHIEVEMENT: “I enjoy so many things about what I do. I really love helping people realize what they are capable of achieving. I look forward to continuing to learn and gain knowledge to empower myself to be the best trainer I can be, so I can help my clients reach their potential.” Maryalice Goldsmith, owner of InsideOut Fitness, is shown lifting a barbell.

Maryalice Goldsmith wears many hats. She is a certified personal trainer, Spin instructor, TRX trainer, and boxing fitness trainer. In addition, she has a degree in social work and is a nutrition specialist.

All of these areas of expertise come together in her role as founder and owner of InsideOut Fitness. Established in Kingston in 2008, the program offers one-on-one personal training, partner training, group-focused “boot camp,” boxing, and nutrition guidance.

A long-time advocate and practitioner of fitness, Ms. Goldsmith has completed several marathons and half-marathons, and a triathalon.

“Fitness has always been important to me,” she explains. “But it is not just physical. My concept of fitness includes nutrition, mind, and spirit, as well as physical conditioning. The name of my program, InsideOut, reflects that. If you are not OK on the inside, you won’t do as well. Nutrition is hugely important. In fact, I believe 70 to 80 percent of progress really depends on nutrition, and this is the big issue for many clients.”

Full Analysis

After an initial consultation, usually by phone, Ms. Goldsmith meets the client for a detailed assessment, including measurements, body fat evaluation, heart rate, etc.

“It’s a full analysis of the person, their current level of conditioning and fitness,” she explains. “I will also ask if they have any medical issues and what their goals are. With women, it is often to lose weight; with men, it’s to bulk up. I also ask about their nutrition and what they eat.”

Based on the results of the evaluation, Ms. Goldsmith creates a custom plan for the client, which includes specific nutrition guidance in addition to the physical workout.

“For example,” she points out, “if their body fat is too high, there can be a nutrition problem. The biggest problem I find is that people don’t eat enough! They’re often on the run and don’t have time for a balanced, healthy meal. Then, by 9 at night, they’re hungry, and can end up eating junk food.”

Interestingly, she adds, when one doesn’t eat enough, the body stores fat because the brain thinks there isn’t enough caloric intake. The body goes into starvation mode! So even with less food, one may not lose weight.

“I give people menu suggestions. I advise them to keep it simple, healthy, and nutritional. Try to make things ahead of time. Pick a day, perhaps Sunday, and make enough to have for a week. People can often be tired and stressed if they are not eating properly.”

Many Benefits

One-on-one workout sessions are an hour, and start with cardio warm-ups and stretching. It can then include weight-lifting, working with dumbbells, exercise balls, balance balls, TRX equipment, and various other exercise tools. It is geared to each client’s current fitness level and ability, and to his or her goal.

Boxing classes are held on Wednesday and Friday. There are many benefits to boxing, including strengthening the core, points out Ms. Goldsmith. “The core is so important. It is your main foundation.”

“Boot Camp” includes group activities for a minimum of six and maximum of 14 participants. “It is a total body conditioning class. It can be everything, including weights, TRX, and kickboxing,” Ms. Goldsmith explains.

Many clients participate in both one-on-one personal training and the boot camp classes.

Current clients range in age from 13 to 65, and many are committed to improving their overall fitness, she reports. Some come as often as five times a week, others three, and some twice a week. “You should try to come in at least twice a week to make real progress. With that commitment, you can see improvement within two weeks.”

During the course of the workout, conversation is a key element, she adds. In her role as social worker, Ms. Goldsmith is able to help people who may be struggling with underlying issues that are keeping them from reaching their fitness — and other — potentials.

Happy and Energetic

“My fitness approach includes conversation. How is the client doing and feeling? Sometimes, clients don’t have a sense of their own value and self-worth. I want them to know they are not just average, but that they have value and can achieve more than they think they can. They are happier and more energetic when they have accomplished something.

“Also, sometimes, if someone is very stressed out with all the pressures that exist today, I tell them that it is important for them to take at least 10 minutes off during the day, just for themselves.”

It often takes a while for clients to commit fully to the nutrition part of the InsideOut program, she adds. A client can progress by engaging only in the physical workout, but without the overall success that participating in a healthy diet, coupled with physical exercise, will bring.

As Yoshi Lassiter of Trenton, who has been a client for more than a year, and who is a member of the U.S. Army Reserves, notes, “The biggest benefit of Maryalice’s fitness program is education. She is a great motivator, and training is never boring or repetitive.

“It was getting harder for me to meet the requirements of my bi-annual Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), and I am delighted to share that I have taken two APFTs under Maryalice’s tutelage, and the last one was the best I have had in my entire Reserve career. I felt so good!

“It gets even better,” continues Ms. Lassiter. “For the first 12 months, I had not changed my eating habits. On February 1 of this year, I decided to listen to her in terms of getting serious nutrition. Since I started following her guidance, I dropped seven pounds in less than three weeks, and the pounds are still off. Maryalice does not support anything that is not conducive to the entire well-being of her clients — not just physically, but emotionally, and even spiritually. The sessions have been so therapeutic.”

Adds Kathy Grmek of South Brunswick, a client of one year: “Maryalice has changed my life. I feel healthier and stronger than I have in years.”

Classes are available Monday through Friday, and three payment packages are offered. Installment payments are available. The more sessions taken, the more economical the plan.

Interactive Relationship

Establishing an interactive, communicative relationship with clients is very important to Ms. Goldsmith. Every week, she sends them emails, news of upcoming workouts, a tip of the week, and a recipe.

“As a personal trainer, fitness is a big part of my life.” she points out. “I work out six days a week. But it takes work and focus. I understand the challenge of trying to live healthy. We all face the same obstacles of lack of time, running a home, working, and simply enjoying food! It’s not easy to get those daily workouts in. But I also know that without them, I would be an entirely different person. Fitness has made me happier, more energetic, and grateful for the body God has given me.

“This is what I want to convey to my clients. Fitness is a commitment to the value of who you are, and it’s an important investment. I want them to know it has been such a privilege knowing them, working with them, and seeing them become all they can be. I am so happy when my clients make progress.”

Ms. Goldsmith can be reached at (732) 616-1853. Website: www.insideoutfitness.net.

NTU windrows

COMMUNITY LIVING: “Princeton Windrows is a real community. We have all read about the disintegration of communities today. At Windrows, there are different committees on which residents serve. There is strong encouragement for residents to offer their views, and there is an enormous number of activities and events. The location and service are excellent.” Princeton Windrows residents Russell and Patricia Marks are shown by their collection of Pre-Columbian Peruvian pottery.

It’s about choices.

At Princeton Windrows, the independent retirement community for people 55 and older, residents have many options. Life-style, type of dwelling, meal choices, participation in activities, attending events, pets (Windrows is very pet-friendly) — it is all up to the residents. They have complete control of how they wish to live within a worry-free, easy-living setting.

No more snow shoveling, leaf-raking, house-painting, house cleaning, etc. Instead — more time to focus on what is important at this point in one’s life.

Located on 35 acres at 2000 Windrow Drive, four miles from downtown Princeton, and adjacent to Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton Windrows offers 294 homes — apartment-style condominiums in Windrows Hall, 1-story villas, and 2-story townhomes, individually-owned by the resident.

Windrows Concept

“I have been working here two and a half years, and I believe in the Windrows concept,” says marketing director Mary Ann Bond. “I had worked in the senior living field before, and Windrows is different. It’s unique, a 55-plus hybrid, a full-service community. Many of the 55-plus retirement communities don’t have the range of services and activities we have. Also, you can truly age in place here.”

Princeton Windrows is not an assisted living facility or a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). As its name suggests, the latter offers a range of health care services depending on the resident’s needs. Also, at a CCRC, residents do not own their own homes.

At Princeton Windrows, residents own real property, which they can choose to upgrade or sell at any time.

Princeton Windrows health care services, while not the complete care offered at a CCRC, include a wide range of services. Doctors and medical professionals hold regular hours at the Wellness Center. A registered nurse is on-site seven days a week; an internist, physiatrist, and psychologist come weekly; and an audiologist and podiatrist also have appointments on-site. The registered nurse is available to visit residents in their homes, if needed.

The Wellness Center offers services, such as blood pressure monitoring treatments, injections, and lab work (with doctor’s prescription), medication delivery from local pharmacies, and emergency 24-hour call response.

Programs, such as tai chi, balance, water aerobics, yoga, and strong bones classes, are designed as preventative options. Fitness trainers and massage therapists are available, as are health care education and disease-prevention programs.

Priority Access

In addition, the site of the new University Medical Center at Princeton is located just two miles from Windrows.

Should a resident’s health needs change, options are available to stay in place, notes Ms. Bond. “You can stay here and bring in help, such as a home health aid, or even hospice, if needed. We also have priority access to other care facilities in the area, if someone needs additional support elsewhere. If someone broke a hip or had a knee replacement, for example.”

Walks of Life

Residents at Windrows come from all walks of life and from many professions. A number still continue to work as well.

Retirees include CEOs, members of NYC Opera, NYC Ballet Orchestra, and American Symphony Orchestra, master gardeners, engineers, former president of NYU, a Broadway and TV actress, economists, scientists, clergy, missionaries, stock brokers, and publishers, among many others.

Windrows and the wider community offer many opportunities for involvement and continued learning, points out Ms. Bond. “Many people audit classes at Princeton University, and go to concerts and lectures there. They attend plays at McCarter Theater in Princeton, and go to the many events offered by Windrows, including to New York, Philadelphia, to museums, plays, operas, etc.

Book Club

“There are an enormous number of activities,” notes Russell Marks, “and many of them have been started by the residents themselves.”

“For example,” adds Mrs. Patricia Marks, “a group of women got together and wanted to read books, so we started a book club. Others wanted to organize a drawing club.”

Other residents wanted to continue their outside activities, add the Marks. “There are 17 members of the Old Guard, also the Present Day Club, and Beden’s Brook Country Club, and Springdale. This is a community within a community.”

Mrs. Marks, a published author, with a Ph.D. from Princeton University, is working on a second book on Peruvian history, and serves on the Council of the Friends of Princeton University Library.

Open House

An annual Open House is held each January for prospective residents and this year it also included an opportunity to see displays of items residents have collected over the years. Among the collections were the vintage keys of Bill Barger, which he accumulated from all over the world; the Marks’ Latin American collection; a unique display of owls in fine porcelain and crystal; also, antique bottles; and rare glassware.

Ms. Bond adds that Windrows offers two-day “Try Out Stays” for people who are interested in sampling the Windrows life-style at no charge. This can include the many amenities Princeton residents enjoy, including several different dining opportunities, from elegant to casual settings as well as take-out.

Many residents comment on the experienced and congenial staff, notes Ms. Bond. “The staff is outstanding — they are the most caring and friendly people. Many of them have been here 10 years. There is also always someone at the front desk 24/7 for security and if anyone needs help.”

Princeton Windrows offers studio apartments starting at $145,000 with monthly fees from $1,109 to $1,471. One bedroom apartments begin at $252,000, with fees from $1,281 to $1,997; two bedroom apartments start at $355,000, with fees from $1,698 to $2,235. Townhomes begin at $298,000, with fees from $2,700 to $3,320. Villas are priced from $392,000, with fees from $2,181 to $2,855.

For further information, call 609-520-3700. Website: www.princetonwind

NTU Cake it up 2-29-12

STANDS IN DEMAND: “A beautiful cake needs a beautiful stand to display it. The cake is showcased and enhanced by the stand.” Beth Carnevale, founder of Cake It Up, LLC, is shown by a grouping of her custom couture cake stands.

“Everyone is saying this is such a great idea, and thank goodness it’s here!”

Beth Carnevale, founder of Cake It Up, LLC, is delighted by the response to her new custom couture cake stand business.

“It all started with my daughter Nicolina’s wedding last August,” she explains. “I have always been very visual and have enjoyed decorating since I was a girl. For the wedding, we coordinated everything, and it was custom throughout — from table numbers and place cards for the reception to flowers to monograms for the ring bearer pillow.

“Then, I realized that there was no really nice cake stand for the wedding cake. It was a beautiful cake, and should be really beautifully displayed. I asked my husband Nick (Princeton architect Nicholas Carnevale) to build a box, and I bought couture ribbon and bridal satin, which I cut and ironed, to cover it. The box was made to architect’s specifications, and was very strong and solid. Everyone was so impressed with it — it blended beautifully with the cake.”

Creative Vision

Clearly, an idea whose time had come!

Ms. Carnevale’s creative vision and innovation has launched a new career for her. After the wedding, requests came in for boxes — one is displayed in the Chez Alice window in Palmer Square and another in Cramer’s Bakery in Yardley, Pa. — and she decided to explore this uncharted territory.

“I told Nick that I had to do this, and he has been very supportive. I launched it in FaceBook in January, and now have a website. We have already had responses from around the world, including Belgium and Italy, as well as close to home. I think this is really filling a need. The presentation of the cake is so important, and I don’t know of anyone else doing custom cake stands here.

“My design consultant, Laura Bair, is my right hand, and we are very busy going to bridal shows and other events. In fact, I am so busy, I am looking for an intern to help out!”

The boxes, which can become keepsakes, vary in size and style, with most, typically 18 inches by 18 inches. They are covered with different fabrics, such as satin, raw silk, moiré, and basket-weave cotton/linen. Grosgrain ribbon, rosettes, bows, and jewelry, especially brooches, are all used for trim and accent. All the high quality materials can be monogrammed, including the exquisite embroidery, for further customizing.

“Gray and taupe are very popular colors for weddings now, and also blush and ivory,” points out Ms. Carnevale. “We can do whatever color the bride wants. I always ask if she has a special theme, and then, we can carry that theme and style through with the cake stand.”

Elegant Bow

She has a series of sample stands available for customers to view in her studio and on FaceBook and her website. They vary considerably in style, including the sophisticated black and white “High Society”; the signature “Aisle Collection” in ivory moiré or bridal blush with rosettes; “Sweetheart” in pale pink with rhinestone heart accent; and “Chanelesque” in ivory with creamy ribbon and elegant bow, among many other choices.

Ms. Carnevale points out that the cake stands are not limited to wedding cakes. “They are very versatile, and can be for special anniversaries, birthdays, showers, bar/bat mitzvahs, graduations, Mother’s Day, etc. The stands can also become keepsake and memory boxes, and I have made presentation boxes for the place cards and table numbers at wedding receptions.”

Another example of her design skill includes a series of charmingly customized wedding ring/cake plate keepsakes, which she does in collaboration with ceramic artist Nancy Pirone-Tamasi.

“Icing It Up”

In addition to the variety of brooches and other jewelry used as trim for the boxes, Ms. Carnevale is offering “Icing It Up”, a line of jewelry, including bracelets, pins, earrings, necklaces, and accessories. She has also designed her own collection of one-of-a-kind large simulated gemstone and rhinestone rings, very reasonably priced at $25.

Cake stands begin at $125 for a 12-inch by 12-inch model, and Ms. Carnevale suggests three weeks notice for a custom design. A 10 percent discount is available for stands already in stock. A large bridal satin box, encrusted with rhinestones, is available to rent.

“This is such a happy thing,” she says, with a smile. “I love working with the brides, and it’s another way for them to express their own style. I feel I have taken everything I have done in my life, including so much of the design sense I’ve gotten from Nick, and it has all come together.

“It has really all come out of love. My daughter Nicolina was the inspiration, and now, it is my passion!”

Ms. Carnevale is available by appointment. (609) 216-7677. Website:www.cakeit