Attorney for Concerned Citizens of Princeton,
Defeated Borough Council
Candidates Thank Volunteers and Supporters
To the Editor:
To everyone who voted in the June 8 primary election for Princeton
Borough Council, I would like to thank you for being part of the
democratic process. For the hundreds of people who cast a vote
for me, I express an even bigger thank you. Very special thanks
to those who stuffed mailers, worked on or hosted neighborhood
meetings, wrote letters to the newspapers, and did all the other
things that need to get done in a campaign. I remain ever appreciative
of the support my candidacy received.
Our message was well-received
and our voices resonated. That is something for which we can be
proud. While some people may worry that Princeton Borough is a
one-party town, I suggest a true primary such as this one shows
what a strong Democratic Party exists here in the Borough. This
one party is able to provide residents with real choices, choices
that allow Democrats to have differing opinions while still being
good representatives of their party.
In the end, everyone
associated with election campaigns should share and foster one
set of overriding goals: fairness, honesty, and a trust that the
voters will make the right decision on that basis. My campaign
upheld those goals, and I am proud of that accomplishment. I look
forward to other opportunities to serve our town in the future.
To the Editor:
of four Democratic candidates for Borough Council in last week's
primary, I wish to congratulate Roger Martindell and Andrew Koontz
on their victories, say how much I learned to admire Mark Freda,
and thank those who helped and voted for me for their support,
especially my campaign treasurer Candace Preston.
campaigned door to door in the Borough, I was struck again and
again by the thoughtfulness of Princeton's residents, by the breadth
of their life experiences, and the depth of their expertise. Again
and again, I made notes of those I would wish to consult were
I fortunate enough to enter public service.
first attempt to win a seat on Borough Council was unsuccessful,
I happily recalled what our family pediatrician, Dr. Munro, used
to tell my mother nearly half a century ago. While my brother
and I chose one animal cracker each from the cardboard box shaped
like a menagerie cage that Dr. Munro kept atop the file cabinet
in her office on Evelyn Place, and Dr. Munro entered our heights
and weights on her chart, she never failed to tell my mother (long
before Garrison Keillor ever thought to say it), "Well, they're
a little above average. But then everyone in Princeton is a little
ANNE WALDRON NEUMANN
High School Administration
Faulted For Not Curbing Student Litterbugs
To the Editor:
I am a resident of Richard Court on Houghton Road, which borders
the Princeton High School grounds. I ask that parents of students
at the High School take a walk down our street during school hours
to observe for themselves the conditions that exist there. Taken
over by a group of students as a smoking and eating lounge, the
area has become a wasteland of cigarette butts, half-eaten lunches,
broken bottles, cans, and trash of all kinds. Students lounge
at their cars with radios blasting, and sit on the sidewalk blocking
passersby. They have destroyed all attempts our residents have
made at plantings and maintenance along the brick wall bordering
During the past month, I have undertaken
to improve these conditions by going out while the students are
there and asking them to help me as I collect the garbage and
place it in a litter can that Richard Court residents have provided
for them. The results have been interesting. A few help, but seem
almost ashamed to be caught "caving in" to my request. One young
man glanced at me and asked, "Why should I? I didn't put it there!"
Some others seem friendly to my cause. They assure me they are
doing their best to clean up before they leave, agree that my
complaint is justified, and are reasonable in their attitudes.
But the problem continues unabated.
When I asked why the
students don't use the school grounds for their breaks, one said
they are not supposed to smoke on school grounds. So in effect,
the school has neatly transferred their problem to us. By enforcing
their "No Smoking" policy, they have absolved themselves of their
responsibility and left us with the consequences. One young man
told me he had suggested that pails of sand be provided for butts,
but that the school authorities had forbidden the plan because
it seems to condone smoking. Technically, they are correct. But
practically, we are the ones left with hundreds of discarded cigarette
butts tossed onto a tract of trampled dirt and trash. We have
long since given up on plantings.
When I likened their
behavior to trashing my front yard, one young lady was quick to
correct me. "In no way is this your front yard! It's public property.
It's not yours!"
Again, technically, she is correct. But
the notion that trashing public property is hardly a commendable
activity was completely lost on her. These young people scale
and sit atop our brick wall, sometimes dropping over into our
yards to retrieve personal items, such as shoes tossed over by
playful companions, leave disgusting lunch remains and half-empty
soda cans and cups sitting on top of the wall, and then tell me
I have no right to complain. The same young man who refused to
help me pick up trash accused me of showing him "no respect" by
"pushing" him as I waved him away in an attempt to pick up
the garbage at his feet. I am an 80 year-old woman, weigh 110
pounds, and stand at 5'1". I estimate the young man in question
is around 18 years old, weighs in at about 145 pounds and stands
about 5'9 tall. Go figure.
I have given up on my crusade
to clean up the landscape single-handedly. It is long past time
for the school authorities to face this situation squarely instead
of pushing the problem off on their neighbors. I propose a solution
that will require the school administration to take a firm and
steadfast stand against all opposition and howls of protest. Since
they have clearly demonstrated they have not matured to the point
of accepting their responsibilities as young adults, all students,
including seniors, should be restricted to campus during the entire
school day, and the "No Smoking" policy should continue to be
strictly enforced. They are on school grounds for only about eight
hours a day. Curbing their addictions for that long should not
place undue stress on their young bodies. They would still have
16 hours a day to smoke, litter, back-talk and befoul their own
front yards where their parents can deal with the problem. The
school administration owes to the citizens of Princeton a policy
of strong leadership in this matter.
Expansion Deserves OK, With Paul Robeson Identification
I was one of those who listened to the long
presentation on the revised plans for the Arts Council building
on May 20. I was particularly struck by the remarks of Mr. Wolf
of SPRAB on the importance of the Paul Robeson identification
with the planned structure. This reinforced a point I had expected
to make during the audience discussion, which never happened due
to the lateness of the hour.
So I make the point here:
if the Arts Council application is not approved, the Paul Robeson
Building will cease to exist and the Princeton community will
lose an important identity with one of its great historical figures.
As one of my friends remarked, this could be a classic case of
unintended consequences. I trust that the members of the Planning
Board will think of this when they vote.
Candidate Looks Ahead, Focused on Borough's Worrisome Taxes
I thank all those Princeton Borough residents
who participated in the recent Borough Council primary election
by listening, questioning, commenting and voting.
you followed the newspaper coverage, attended Council meetings
or neighborhood gatherings, or joined your neighbors in conversation
over the backyard fence, your participation was valuable in the
As a result of that participation, and for the
first time since I have been involved in Princeton politics, I
have a sense that Borough residents are now frankly aware and
deeply concerned how the Borough's rapidly increasing tax rate
will affect the character of our community over the long run.
I congratulate Andrew Koontz for his win and Mark Freda
and Anne Waldron Neumann for their many substantive contributions
to the election campaign and to the community generally.
I thank Ryan Stark Lilienthal and Dorothy Mullen my re-election
committee for their wise counsel and generous contribution
During the time I have remaining to serve the
Borough, I look forward to working with all Princeton residents
concerning how we raise and spend our tax dollars in shaping our
community into the future.
Route 92 Would Negatively
Impact Traffic Into and Through Princeton
To the Editor:
Princeton intercepts about one-third of a semicircle around the
western terminus of Route 92 at Route 1 and Ridge Road. From the
law of averages, then, about a third of the extra westbound traffic
that Route 92 would generate will likely also burden Nassau Street,
Harrison Street, River Road, Cherry Valley Road, and other Princeton
roads, to reach points to the southwest of Princeton.
should be obvious to all but the most hardened Turnpike traffic
engineers and ratables-crazed mayors. It's certainly obvious at
the grassroots of Princeton Township and Borough. I've been quite
pleased to find that there are plenty of people in Princeton who
are unconvinced by the roadbuilding machine's propaganda, and
who realize that 92 would harm everyone in the region.
Route 92 would be in Princeton's backyard, as well as ours. Tarring
us with the NIMBY brush won't change that. A battle between Townships
is exactly what the sprawl apparat wants, because then they get
to pave over both your town and ours. Instead of falling for it,
let's sit down at a roundtable, as Princeton did with West Windsor
in the Penns Neck process, and work out a solution that works
for all of us.
Oncology Center Praised For Its Compassionate Caregivers
I have just completed 6- weeks of radiation
therapy for breast cancer at The Princeton Radiation Oncology
Center. With much trepidation I feared a depressing, somewhat
humiliating and lengthy undertaking. Was I ever mistaken! Instead,
what could have been a dismal and degrading course of treatment
was managed in a compassionate and professional manner. The entire
staff at Princeton Radiation Oncology Center treated me with the
sensitivity, kindness and respect that I so needed in a time of
Today I am finished. And I am deeply
grateful. The receptionist, nurse, therapists and doctors all
carried me. Despite the nature of the matter, I can't help but
think that I'm a better person for the experience, and I am eternally
grateful to this exceptional group of people.
Forecast to Offset Spring Street Garage Underutilization
At 11:15 a.m. on Friday, June 11, I walked
through Princeton Borough's $13.7 million parking garage to assess
how well it was doing. The answer: not well. With more than 500
spaces available on five levels, only 75 spaces were filled, less
than 15 percent of capacity. More distressing than overall underutilization,
however, only three vehicles were parked on the top three levels,
and only one of those was on the top level.
street the Tulane Street Lot which the Borough declared
to be "blighted" (using the euphemism for "area
in need of redevelopment") thus preventing a referendum on
the $13.7 million bond issue was as popular as usual. I
counted 72 spaces filled with only six or eight stalls still open
for patrons, and no cars circling for spaces in that pre-lunch
An hour later I returned, expecting usage to have
picked up. It had, but not by much. I counted 99 cars in the garage
this time, still below 20 percent of capacity, and only one driver
parked above the second level. As for the Tulane Street lot, this
time I counted 70 parked vehicles, down by two, but with others
circling and exchanging places with cars backing our of their
stalls on this "blighted" site.
What does this
informal count suggest? That, at a minimum, Princeton may have
a huge problem paying off the bonds for the garage with parking
fees alone; that even if usage picks up, residents may end up
paying through tax increases for part of the bonds that built
R. WILLIAM POTTER
for Concerned Citizens of Princeton, Inc.
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