April 18, 2018

To the Editor:

Before all else, it’s important to understand that members of the Mayor’s own Task Force on Affordable Housing have openly praised the cooperative attitude of neighbors, our responsiveness to dialog, and our thoughtful approach to housing issues. Similarly at BOE meetings on school expansion, neighbors regularly present courteous, sensible, moderate criticisms and questions. Clearly, given the opportunity before decisions are pronounced, Princeton neighborhood residents seek to help, not obstruct, when the town has a problem.

Therefore, now that the town has the judge’s numbers to work with, it is time for the process of developing affordable housing here to become open and public, i.e., finally transparent. Why work behind closed doors, when there is so much to offer out here?

On affordable housing, two issues concern us: the number of units and where they are built.

We clearly need more low-income housing. We are also losing middle-income housing. Since there are few municipal properties available to build on, they must be used efficiently, but without crowding. However, expensive apartments – Palmer Square, Copperwood, AvalonBay — do not fix the problem. And the bigger the development, the more municipal, school, sewage, police, and traffic problems they bring. Mayor and Council need sensible, low-cost solutions that will work in Princeton. Why not ask those of us who live here? How can our representatives represent us if they don’t know what — and how — we think???

When two or more groups work together to resolve a mutual problem, it’s called visioning. All sides look at the issues, and at each other’s concerns, and at possible solutions. Our authority is purely consultative: we don’t implement ideas; that’s the job of elected officials. But we can provide background facts so that Mayor and Council have an informed basis on which to decide zoning, regulations, and resolutions. The Butler Tract neighbors resolved their concerns with the University by meeting with them and talking. Will Mayor and Council accept input from neighbors?

It’s time for collective visioning.

Mary Clurman

Harris Road

To the Editor:

A recent letter from Jian Chen regarding the costs of serving the Cranbury students in the Princeton Schools is worth further comment.

As a former member of the Princeton School Board, I learned that sending district (Cranbury) costs are covered by state law and are intended to reimburse the receiving district (Princeton) for all per-cost student expenses. In fact, we receive more per-student from Cranbury than we expend within the district on a routine basis.

However, what is not covered in these agreements, are the capital expense budgetary needs for school districts such as ours, which come under stress when projected higher enrollment might require issuance of a bond or other forms of budget increase to cover the costs of new facilities. This is apparently the current situation.

Despite limitations in current state law, a real budget requires consideration of both running expenses and capital expenditure needs.

While I am not certain, I would bet that current state law forbids sending/receiving districts to even negotiate a capital budget agreement.

So what can we do? I would like to see the Princeton schools actively engage the Cranbury community to see if some sort of goodwill gesture is possible that would encourage them to contribute to our capital budgetary needs. A precedent can be found in the efforts of the Princeton government to obtain similar goodwill agreements with tax-free, non-profit institutions (e.g., Princeton University, Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Princeton Theological Seminary) to contribute to the municipal government budget. 

Ultimately, any negotiation of this sort requires awareness of what real leverage we bring to the table. At this point we have the power of persuasion, but also an implied threat of terminating the sending/receiving relationship entirely.

When I sat on the Princeton School Board, we learned of the positive contributions of the Cranbury students to our school system, and I hope that persuasion on the merits of the issue will carry the day. Failing that, we have to be ready to act on our own behalf and consider options for the budget that seriously consider termination of the relationship.

I hope the School Board will represent to Cranbury that there are many people in Princeton who want to see some gesture to address a disproportionate cost to us as a receiving district. The fact that state law does not seem to recognize those impacts should not stop us from pursuing this matter as soon as possible.

Todd Tieger

Dorann Avenue

To the Editor:

As a Princeton taxpayer, I have observed the handling of this Cranbury Agreement renewal for quite some time now. Besides communicating to the Board of Education directly in one of the recent meetings, I have talked to other fellow taxpayers, many of whom also repeatedly express their concerns and questions directly or indirectly to Board.

Since there are so many unaddressed issues and with the Board’s fairly clear indication of their intention to renew the agreement regardless of different opinions expressed, I would like to publicly express my disagreement on the way this issue has been handled by the Board and PPS.

Due to the fact that the Board may take a vote on this issue in very near future, I would like to request this to be published as soon as possible. A copy has been sent to Board members separately.

Shenwei Zhao

Prospect Avenue

To the Editor:

It will be Earth Day on April 22, an excellent time for me to talk about the environmental qualifications of Eve Niedergang, who is running for Princeton Council in the June 5 primary election. I myself am a member of the Princeton Environmental Commission, and serve as the municipal policy specialist at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, the first environmental organization of Central New Jersey that protects clean water and the environment through a combination of conservation, advocacy, science and education.

I have worked closely with Eve at the Watershed, so I have seen her in operation. Eve has a key position at the Watershed — coordinator of volunteers. Eve has done remarkable things in this position. She grew the volunteer program from 60 volunteers when she started the job to over 250 volunteers now — a great achievement. The Watershed is a nonprofit organization with a lean staff and various programs that heavily rely on volunteers. Eve’s ability to augment the number of volunteers from 60 to 250 continues to enhance our ability to conquer many environmental challenges.

Although high turnover of volunteer staff may create difficulties for organizations, Eve’s ability in attracting, training, and retaining so many volunteers reveals a lot about her as a person. She is a leader who works well with people, motivates them, and makes them want to stay. In addition to her fine work with the volunteers, Eve is well respected by her colleagues and serves as a valued member of the Watershed staff.

Eve is a strong advocate for the environment. She cares deeply about Princeton’s sustainability and reducing Princeton’s carbon footprint. She has been a proactive leader in supporting measures to make our community more sustainable. For example, she testified before Princeton Council on the importance of Princeton taking leadership on controlling storm water runoff. Princeton is one of the first municipalities in our area to have enacted these important environmental regulations. Additionally, Eve takes her own personal commitment to the environment seriously; she drives a hybrid car, is part of the municipal composting program, and made renovations to her home to conserve energy after having a home energy audit.

Eve’s values and experience with environmental issues will make her an excellent member of Princeton Council. Please vote for Eve on June 5.

TAMMY L SANDS

Winant Road

Kit Helen Hildick-Smith

Kit Hildick-Smith died on April 14, 2018 at the age of 92 in Princeton. She was born in New York City in 1925, the daughter of Fredrick and Eutha Richter. Kit was an adventurous person, who starting flying at age 17 while in college at Bucknell University, class of 1946. She became involved in social service and political activities in New York City and New York State. After World War II she moved to Denver, Colorado for work and more study. In 1948 she moved to Norway where she worked at the U.S. Embassy as part of the Marshall Plan program and its reconstruction of post-war Europe. After two years stationed in Oslo, she was transferred back to Marshall Plan headquarters in Washington, D.C., then next posted to the U.S. Embassy in London. While working in London she met Dr. Gavin (Pete) Hildick-Smith. They were married in Switzerland in 1953 and emigrated to Canada later that year, where Pete continued in his practice of Pediatrics in Toronto and Ottawa.

Two years later they moved to Princeton, where Pete changed careers into pharmaceutical medical research. While raising two sons, Peter and Andrew, Kit served on the Vestry of Trinity Church, on the Board of their Trenton After-School and mentoring program for many years. In 1974 she started a local support group of the N.J. Symphony Orchestra, ultimately serving as a Trustee of the Symphony and as Chair of the Youth Concerts program state-wide. Young Audiences of New Jersey was another similar interest and activity. Environmental concerns and land preservation were also of great importance to Kit in her work with the Stony Brook Watershed Association in preserving land and water and encouraging young people in their programs. Beyond her 63 years as a resident of Princeton, she also lived part-time in West Arlington, Vermont where she supported the Vermont Land Trust in local land conservation.

Kit is survived by her beloved sons, their wives and children: Peter and Beth Kaplan Hildick-Smith of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., and their sons Alex, Jack and Charlie; Andrew Hildick-Smith and Hughie Jacobus of Winchester, Mass., and their sons Gordon, Seth, and Neil.

A small remembrance service will be held at Trinity Church, Princeton, on May 5 at 11 a.m. Memorials can be offered, if desired, to Trinity Church, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, or the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.

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Memorial Service

George W. Pitcher

A memorial service for the late George W. Pitcher will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m. in the Princeton University Chapel. The Reverend Sue Anne Steffey Morrow will lead the service which will include readings, tributes and music. A luncheon for family, friends and colleagues will follow at Prospect House.

A Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton University and a trustee of the Edward T. Cone Foundation, Pitcher died peacefully at his home in Princeton on January 12 at the age of 92. He was the author of The Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Berkeley, and A Theory of Perception, as well as the memoir The Dogs Who Came to Stay.

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John C. Borden Jr.

John C. Borden Jr., Fundraiser for Quaker Projects, died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on April 11, 2018. Born in New York City in 1929, he was a descendent of the prominent Borden textile family – which included the notorious Lizzie Borden – of Fall River, Mass. John grew up in New York and Rumson, N.J. and was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951 and was stationed in Alaska before joining the family business, Borden Mills, in 1955.

He married the love of his life — the actress Gloria Jones — in 1955, and they moved to Princeton in the late 1950s to raise a family and become members of Princeton Friends Meeting. Spurred by a keen interest in photography, John founded Gallery 100 in 1960. The popular Nassau Street shop specialized in graphic design, framing, photography, and art supplies, but also featured a gallery of original art, much of it by prominent New Jersey artists from the Roosevelt art community.

John’s true passion, however, lay in world peace, social justice, and care for the underserved. Following the sale of Gallery 100 in the late 1960s, he dedicated himself to non-profit service both locally and abroad. As a professional fundraiser and consultant for the American Friends Service Committee, John traveled extensively to secure grants from European agencies for the support of famine relief, development, and peace programs in Africa’s developing nations. John also served for almost 50 years as Executive Director and Trustee of the Mary Owen Borden Foundation, where he provided grants and support to countless non-profit organizations throughout New Jersey’s Mercer and Monmouth counties. He also helped found and served on the board of Princeton Community Housing, which became the largest provider of affordable housing in Princeton. During his 60 years as a member of Princeton Friends Meeting, he served on virtually every volunteer committee, ran a thriving First Day School and provided significant support when Gloria committed herself to establishing the Princeton Friends School in the 1980s. He was actively engaged in nuclear disarmament efforts over the years. He was also an active and longtime member of Princeton’s Community Without Walls as a member of House 2.

Throughout his life, John was an avid gardener, an enthusiastic tennis player, a patient fly fisherman, and dedicated baseball and opera fan. Predeceased by his wife Gloria in 2014, he is survived by his sister Linda McKean of Rumson, N.J.; his daughters Rebecca Bunnell and Julia Kennedy of Fairfield, Conn.; his sons Thomas of Newport, R.I. and Samuel of Amherst, Mass.; and by the 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild who were his greatest pride and joy.

Gifts in John’s memory may be made to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry Street. Philadelphia, PA 19102 or to the Princeton Friends Meeting, 470 Quaker Rd, Princeton, NJ 08540. A memorial gathering will be held at the Princeton Friends Meetinghouse on June 16 at 10 a.m.

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Robert Byrne Baxter, Jr.

Baxter, Robert Byrne; OFM, Conv. passed away on March 22, 2018, in New Albany, Indiana. He was born Robert Byrne Baxter, Jr., to Robert Byrne and Theodora (Tuomey) Baxter in Bay Shore, New York. He was predeceased by his parents and is survived by his uncle Robert N. Tuomey (Joan), sisters Anne B. Humes (William), Elaine B. Tracy (William), Julie Baxter (Robert Robinson), Clare Baxter, and Margaret B. Helmig (Albert); brothers William E. (Robin) and James E. (Felice) Baxter; and five nephews and nine nieces. He professed Simple Vows as a Conventual Franciscan Friar on August 5, 1972, and Solemn Vows on November 1, 1976.

Mass of Christian Burial was held in the Mount St. Francis Chapel at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 5. Interment followed in the Province of Our Lady of Consolation Cemetery on the grounds of Mount St. Francis. Contributions may be made to the Mount St. Francis Retreat Assistance Fund or to Province of Our Lady of Consolation. They may be mailed to 103 St. Francis Blvd., Mount St. Francis, IN 47146.

With Toto in her basket, Heather Achenbach, Executive Director of SAVE, a Friend to Homeless Animals, was ready to go to Oz at the organization’s annual gala fundraiser last Saturday night. Achenbach is flanked at “The Wizard of Paws” by Liza Morehouse, board member; Pam Murdoch, president; and board members Cate Murdoch and Tara Hand. The event was held at Princeton Airport. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Vijay Seshadri, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of 3 Sections, Wild Kingdom, and The Long Meadow, will read from his work at the People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos annual spring benefit at the Princeton Nassau Club at 7:30 p.m. on April 20. Proceeds will support People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos, a reading and discussion program offered in English or Spanish for adults and young adults who have had limited opportunities to experience the transformative power of enduring literature. more

This acrylic and oil painting called “Meng’s Land” by Chung-Fan Chang will be on display at the West Windsor Arts Center’s exhibition “Cross Cultural Currents” along with work by four other Chinese-American artists who are also faculty at colleges and universities throughout NJ.

The West Windsor Arts Center will present “Cross Cultural Currents,” an exhibition showcasing four Chinese American artists, who are also professors at four New Jersey-based colleges and universities, from April 30 through June 22. The exhibition, which features the works of Chung-Fan Chang, Zhiyuan Cong, LiQin Tan, and Jing Zhou, highlights the cultural influences on their art. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, May 6, from 4-6 p.m. more

Original paintings from Princeton Junction artist Nalini Sawhney are on exhibit at the West Windsor Library through April 30. The paintings are from the artist’s “Water Views” collection, and feature a variety of seasons and global locals that span Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The works are a mix of acrylic, oil, and watercolor paintings on canvas. West Windsor Library is at 333 North Post Road in Princeton Junction.

“BEIRUT/BIG BEN”: The black-and-white digital photography of Manal Abu-Shaheen will be featured in “Beirut: Theater of Dreams,” at Princeton University’s Bernstein Gallery in Robertson Hall. The exhibit runs April 23 through August 15, with an artist’s reception on Friday, April 27 from 6 to 8 p.m.

An exhibition of black-and-white digital photography by Manal Abu-Shaheen, “Beirut: Theater of Dreams,” will open at Princeton University’s Bernstein Gallery in Robertson Hall on April 23. The exhibit will run through August 15, with an artist reception on Friday, April 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free, open to the public, and sponsored by Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. more

BAKERSFIELD MIST: Performances are underway for Pegasus Theatre Project’s production of “Bakersfield Mist.” Directed by Peter Bisgaier, the play runs through April 22 at the West Windsor Arts Center. Maude (Donne Petito, left) and Lionel (Rupert Hinton) have a heated discussion about the authenticity of a painting. (Photo by John M. Maurer)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Bakersfield Mist is a tragicomedy in which Maude Gutman, an unemployed bartender, has purchased a painting from a thrift store. She believes that her acquisition is a Jackson Pollack masterpiece worth millions of dollars; the initial conflict arises when Lionel Percy, a haughty art expert, doubts the painting’s authenticity.  more

April 11, 2018

Blanid E. Scott

Longtime Princeton resident Blanid E. Scott died of natural causes at her home on April 3, 2018. She had recently celebrated her 94th birthday with her family on March 25.

Mrs. Scott was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1924 to Blanid McGady Ennis and Dr. William Ennis. She attended St. Xavier’s in Brooklyn before her 1942 graduation from the Convent of the Sacred Heart-Eden Hall in Torresdale, Pa. She worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during World War II before moving to California to marry Princeton University alumnus David Janvier Scott in 1947.

Mrs. Scott relocated to Princeton in 1960 with her husband and six children. She cut a familiar and welcoming figure to countless Princetonians who came of age in the 60s and 70s, presiding over a busy household where an antique pool table and the latest music were in constant play. Throughout her long life, many of her children’s grown friends and classmates from Stuart Country Day School, Princeton High School, and the Lawrenceville School made a special point of visiting her home whenever they returned to town. She will be remembered and cherished by all who knew her for impeccable manners, effortless style, genuine warmth, and undying loyalty.

Mrs. Scott was predeceased by her husband David in 1991 and her eldest son, David J. Scott, Jr. in 1981. She is survived by her children Sheila N. Scott of New York, N.Y.; Bridgett L. Scott of Yardley, Pa.; Samuel R. Scott (Kimberly) of Tampa, Fla.; Peter M. Scott (Julie) of Washington, D.C.; and Nora C. Scott of London, U.K.; grandchildren Samuel R. Scott,Jr. of New York, N.Y.; Katharine N. Kennedy-Sloane of London, U.K.; Abigail J. Scott of Tampa Fla.; Charlotte P. Scott, Bridgett R. D. Scott, and Audrey F. Scott (all of Washington D.C.); and a sister, Sheelagh Rabo of Armonk, N.Y.

On her 90th birthday her children donated a Yoshino Cherry Tree in her honor to Marquand Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Marquand Park Foundation.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.

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John Zullo

John Zullo, 83 of Lawrenceville, passed away peacefully at his home Monday, April 9, 2018. He was born in Carpinone, Italy, and came to America in 1950. He and his brother, Dominic, owned and operated Reilly’s Market in Princeton for several years. John retired from American Boychoir School in 1996.

He was a lifetime member of Circulo Hispano Americano de Princeton. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and cooking for friends. He is survived by his fiancée Catherine Consoli; daughter Anna Elbaum, and grandchildren, Christopher and Kimberly Elbaum; niece Carmen Imfeld of Florida, nephew Alfredo (Nicole) Zullo of Connecticut; cousin Eduardo Criscouli, and a special kind and caring friend, Dr. John Mercuro, who was considered a son. 

Calling hours will be held on Thursday April 12, 5-8 p.m. at Mather-Hodge, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton.

The funeral will be held 9 a.m. on Friday, April 13, 2018 from the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday April 13, 10 a.m. at the Church of Saint Paul, 216 Nassau Street, Princeton,

Burial will follow in the Princeton Cemetery.

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Joseph M. Pylka

Pylka, Joseph M., 80, of Absecon, passed away peacefully, with his family by his side on April 4, 2018. He was predeceased by his parents, Karol and Mary (Czarnecki) Pylka. He was born in Jersey City, N.J. and grew up in New York City until the family moved to the Princeton area (Griggstown). He is survived by a son, John of Washington, D.C., and his sister, Carolyn Johnson of Absecon, with whom he shared a home. He attended the University of Florida in Gainesville. His professional career involved being a researcher and educator at Princeton University. His private life was comprised of an avid interest in the environment, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and birding. He taught many nature and recreational courses at adult evening classes in the Princeton area.

Visitation will be Thursday, April 12 at 10 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Absecon, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Interment of cremains will be private. In lieu of flowers, please donate to an environmental organization such as Washington Crossing Audubon or Green Acres. For online condolences, please visit www.parselsfh.com.

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Phyllis Spiegel

Phyllis Spiegel of Plainsboro died in February at age 85. Born in the Bronx, she visited over 40 countries and was an avid reader, filmgoer, and lover of classical music and The New York Times. After graduating from NYU she worked in magazine publishing and public relations before starting her own successful PR firm. She always said her greatest achievements were her sons Mark and Adam. She loved and admired their partners Sidney Wu & Guillemette Brouillat-Spiegel as well as nieces Debra Gordon, Fran Katz-Watson, and Marsha Shapiro. Of late, her grandson Seth was the joy of her life. Living alone for decades, she filled her life with learning, intellectual pursuits, exercise classes, travel, and friends. She audited classes at Princeton University, regularly attended the Telluride Film Festival, and volunteered within the New Jersey foster care system and for the Literacy Volunteers. She believed that one should “Create your own life as you go” and that “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. on June 23rd at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton. All are welcome. Contributions in her name may be made to Plainsboro Public Library and the Society for Humanistic Judaism.

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Memorial Service:

George W. Pitcher

A memorial service for the late George W. Pitcher will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m. in the Princeton University Chapel. The Reverend Sue Anne Steffey Morrow will lead the service which will include readings, tributes, and music. A luncheon for family, friends and colleagues will follow at Prospect House.

A Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton University and a trustee of the Edward T. Cone Foundation, Pitcher died peacefully at his home in Princeton on January 12 at the age of 92. He was the author of The Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Berkeley, and A Theory of Perception, as well as the memoir The Dogs Who Came to Stay.

To the Editor:

Ever mindful of the comment that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics, I have come across the following information.

The Cranbury students make up about 17 percent of Princeton High School’s population. The high school facilities would not now and would not for at least 10 years be above capacity if the Cranbury students were not included in the high school population. Without the Cranbury students, there would be no need for an addition to the high school.

Furthermore, the tuition rate per Cranbury student is about $17,200. According to the New Jersey Department of Education’s Guide to Education Spending, the budgeted costs amount per pupil in the Princeton Public Schools for 2016-2017 was $19,964.

In addition, according to U.S. News, Princeton High School ranks sixth among 424 high schools in New Jersey.

I have seen little of any of the above reviewed in presentations for the $137 million bond referendum. And there is little mention of how maintenance for expenses would significantly increase if the referendum covering the addition and reconfiguring of the high school is passed.

It would be helpful to all voters if the above were discussed in detail before we are asked to approve the bond.

Patricia A. Taylor

Richard Court

To the Editor:

I am writing to endorse Eve Niedergang for Princeton Council. I’ve known Eve since I was co-president of the Riverside Elementary School PTO from 2003-05 and I found in Eve a person who was willing to pitch in and who could work with a wide range of people. She ran the annual Book Fair at Riverside for several years and expanded its funding so that every child walked out of the Book Fair with a book, regardless of means. She also started the trick-or-treat for UNICEF program at the school to encourage our children to collect money to help poor children throughout the world. Equity was always one of her chief concerns. No wonder I worked hard to persuade Eve to succeed me as PTO co-president in 2005.

My faith in Eve’s abilities was well justified. As the PTO co-president, she expanded access to after-school and enrichment programs so that every child could attend. Similarly, every child received a Riverside T-shirt annually, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. She also revitalized and expanded the PTO’s program of mini-grants to teachers. These grants allowed teachers to pursue new instructional goals and to purchase equipment and supplies for special projects. Our School Garden program was already under way but Eve raised money to fund year-round care of the garden, expanding the time period that the garden was available as a resource for teachers and students.

Eve also made sure that the PTO supported the arts and music. One year the PTO funded an opera residency in collaboration with Opera New Jersey that culminated in an opera that the students wrote, produced, and performed in. She also spearheaded a fundraiser to acquire a piano for the school’s music department. Due to the enthusiasm with which parents greeted these programs, the PTO was able to not only expand the programs it offered but also to build up a surplus to use for future programming. In short, Eve took a good organization and made it even better, always mindful that every child should have the same opportunities as her own children.

Eve would bring all of the qualities exemplified in her leadership of the PTO to the Princeton Council: an ability to engage with all members of a community; a zeal to include all; support for innovative approaches; and a commitment to the environment, the arts, and education. I urge all of you to join me in voting for Eve Niedergang in the Democratic Primary on June 5.

Jane Jemas

Riverside Drive

To the Editor:

We should all applaud the Princeton Board of Education’s decision to delay a vote on the proposed $137.1 million bond referendum. Now, we all must urge the Board to take the next difficult but important step: Declare a total moratorium on the bond issue for now.

Let’s be clear. This call for a moratorium is not a judgment on the Board’s stewardship of public education in Princeton. Most of us who live and pay taxes in Princeton are proud of our schools and the teachers and administrators who serve our kids.

But, we in New Jersey are in a financial crisis resulting from the Federal Income Tax Law of 2017. Until the legislature and governor can effect a workable and legal remedy, adding more bond debt is irresponsible. The 2017 Tax Law reduces the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000. For high tax states, like New Jersey, California, and New York, this is draconian and punishing – and may have been intentionally so – but it is the law.

Governor Murphy may join with other states to fight this law but that outcome remains to be seen. For now, adding anything to the tax impact on assessed homes should be declared a non-starter. If the Board cannot step outside its own thinking on this issue, then, regrettably, voters must reject the referendum on October 2.

The Princeton Board of Education is a non-partisan body and must stay out of politics. Instead, we citizens and voters must urge our state legislators and governor to come up with a reasonable solution that is sustainable in this new federal tax era and allows communities, like Princeton, to resume funding needed improvements.

David M. Goodman

Duffield Place

To the Editor:

The recently completed 87th annual Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale could not have been the resounding success it was without the help of over 100 volunteers and Princeton Day School. Our volunteers work throughout the year to collect and sort donated books, then expend a great deal of time and energy setting up and running the sale. Thank you for your dedication!

We are also grateful for the warm and professional collaboration we enjoy with the PDS staff during the event when we sell over 80,000 books in just five days. Together we raise college scholarship funds for Bryn Mawr and Wellesley students from throughout central New Jersey.

Elizabeth Romanaux

President, The Bryn Mawr Wellesley Book Sale

To the Editor: 

The primary election to be held on June 5 for the two open Princeton Council seats will likely determine the ultimate winners in the November general election. Given that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by five to one in Princeton, the Democratic Primary has produced the final general election outcome in recent council and mayoral elections.

In reflecting on recent elections, some voters have expressed that they don’t have a voice in our local government.

Many of the over 6,700 unaffiliated voters in Princeton may not realize that they can easily vote in the Democratic primary, either by changing their party affiliation prior to the election or by simply declaring that they would like to vote on the Democratic ticket at the polls on June 5. 

For Republicans who would like to participate in the Democratic primary, they can do so by submitting a political party declaration form by April 11. All voters can check their party affiliation on the website www.njelections.org, where they may also print the Political Party Affiliation Declaration forms. There is no limit to the number of times voters can change their political party affiliation.

Historically, voter participation for “off-year,” or non-presidential year, primary elections is very low, with fewer than 10 percent of registered voters turning out to the polls. The more voters participating and voting in the primary election, the better representation the election will have for the population at large.

Our Council is the main legislative body that makes important decisions affecting our community. With many critical issues facing us and two open seats to fill, this is a very important election.

I encourage everyone to vote in the primary. Let your voice be heard.

You can find out more about me and my platform at www.pironeforcouncil.com.

Michelle Pirone Lambros

Grover Avenue,

Candidate for Princeton Town Council

Shoppers were bundled up as they strolled through Palmer Square on Sunday. Warmer weather is predicted for later this week. Downtown Princeton merchants discuss spring trends in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

Fox & Roach Charities’ Princeton Junction office recently made a charitable contribution to Anchor House in Trenton. The funding supports services for runaways, and abused and homeless youth. Kim McNear, Anchor House executive director, is pictured third from left with, from left: Ben Thornton, director of outreach services; Kathy Drulis, of Anchor House Foundation; Kassie Erb, Fox & Roach Charities president; Princeton Junction sales associate and charity representative Virginia Santana-Ferrer; Anchor House shelter case manager Todd Wilson; and Anchor House business manager Karen Stettner.

Cornerhouse Behavioral Health, in conjunction with the Princeton Alcohol and Drug Alliance and the Princeton Police Department, will hold a forum, “Vaping, What YOU Need to Know,” on Monday, April 30, 7-9 p.m. at Witherspoon Hall, 400 Witherspoon Street.

The program is designed to educate middle and high school parents, children, and other members of the community about what is happening in the world of e-cigarettes, or vaping. Linda Richter, director of policy research and analysis at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, is the guest speaker. A panel discussion and question and answer session will follow her talk. more

Hun School senior Ellie Briggs holds a satisfied customer of Operation Smile’s surgery center, which repairs cleft lips and palates in Bogota, Colombia.  Briggs has visited Bogota three times, traveled to an Operation Smile student leadership conference in Rome, and raised nearly $2,000 for the charity at Hun. (Photo Courtesy of The Hun School)

Hamilton Jewelers will hold its annual event geared to brides and grooms on Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15. Ronnie Ross, brand ambassador for The Knot, will meet and greet couples to give advice and pointers about wedding planning.

In addition, Hamilton will be offering a $500 American Express Gift card with the purchase of an engagement ring of $5,000 or more, and 20 percent off all wedding bands for these two days only. Attendees are invited to get a complimentary couples portrait valued at $150. Champagne and truffles while be served, and guests will also receive a set of crystal champagne flutes with their purchase. They will also be registered to win a Samsung 65” Smart TV valued at $1,499, and will receive gifts from partners such as Metropolis Spa & Salon, Viburnum Designs, Grounds for Sculpture, Janet Makrancy, and more.  more

“OUR TOWN — PRINCETON”: Carolyn Scott’s photographs will be featured from Sunday, April 15 through Friday, April 20 at the Center of Theological Inquiry, 50 Stockton Street, Princeton. The exhibit is a celebration of the people at the heart of Princeton, with personal histories of migration.

Scottish artist Carolyn Scott will present her photographs of the diverse community of Princeton in a week-long exhibition at the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI) from Sunday, April 15 to Friday, April 20, opening each day at the Center’s Luce Hall, 50 Stockton Street, from 1 to 4 p.m. more

DIGITAL ART: Photographs by Cranbury digital Camera Club members are on display through April 27 at the Gourgaud Gallery at Cranbury Town Hall. The organization concentrates on digital photographic techniques and methods.

Photos from Cranbury digital Camera Club (CdCC) photographers are on display at the Gourgaud Gallery, located at Cranbury Town Hall, 23-A North Main Street in Cranbury, through April 27. The photos selected by the photographers for the show depict various themes and subject matter. The photographers are from Cranbury, Hightstown, Monroe, West Windsor, and other communities in Central New Jersey. Their work has been on display at various galleries throughout New Jersey.  more

Eve Niedergang, candidate for Princeton Council, will officially kick off her campaign on Sunday, April 15, at 1 p.m. at a rally in Tiger Park on Palmer Square. The public is encouraged to attend.

Niedergang, whose campaign motto is “Building Community Together,” is committed to actively engaging with Princeton residents to better understand their concerns and to work together to solve the issues that challenge all Princeton residents. Priorities include ensuring that Princeton is welcoming and affordable for all, identifying sensible growth solutions to address Princeton’s affordable housing needs, and maintaining Princeton’s commitment to environmental sustainability. more