July 14, 2021

To the Editor:

I have lived in Princeton since my family moved here in 1955. That’s 66 years.

It became obvious very soon that there were two very special streets in Princeton. One was, of course, Nassau Street, and I include Palmer Square in that description. And the other was Prospect Avenue. Any time we had friends come to Princeton for the first time, those were the two “must see” places on our tour of the town. Nothing defines Princeton the way those two streets define the community in terms of its character and beauty.

Week after week, Town Topics has been filled with letters to the editor that eloquently describe why the University’s variance request relating to Prospect Avenue plan should not be approved, as does the report of the Historical Commission. There is no need to repeat those reasons at this point. (And in terms of the letters, I thank the authors for writing them.)

What concerns me more than anything else at this point is the attitude of our proverbial 800-pound gorilla, Princeton University (a university, I might add, that is not overly generous in terms of its payment in lieu of taxes). Please don’t get me wrong. I have had some great associations with the University over the years, most recently as the head coach of the Princeton University Mock Trial team. But in this case, not only is the University our 800-pound gorilla, it is also a bully. more

To the Editor:

The Cannabis Task Force (CTF), appointed by the Municipality of Princeton, has been hard at work. We would like to update Princeton residents on the status of the development of ordinances for licenses to grow, process, and sell cannabis for adult recreational use in Princeton. As cannabis delivery will be available throughout the state, the CTF recommends that Princeton set optimal parameters around local ordinances for our community as soon as possible. The Princeton community voted overwhelmingly in support of legalization in the 2020 election, and a public forum held by the CTF confirmed our community’s support of adult recreational use of cannabis, so long as our policies and educational materials promote safety and social justice. The CTF is working on an initial ordinance to allow the retail sale of recreational and medical cannabis, with plans to consider other cannabis licenses at a later date.

The state set an early deadline of August 21 for municipalities to pass ordinances for opting in or opting out of licenses. However, the legal consensus in the state is that municipalities that opt in cannot then opt out for a period of five years, while municipalities that initially opt out may opt in at any time. When a municipality opts in, it sets an ordinance for their community’s licenses that establishes guidelines and restrictions in addition to the state’s licensing legislation. Municipal ordinances determine where dispensaries can be located and establish community requirements for dispensary owners. Given that our community needs more time to develop requirements that fit Princeton’s values and needs, Princeton will temporarily opt out, with the goal of developing an ordinance by early fall to opt in. This will allow the CTF time to solicit community input and examine legislation in states where cannabis is legalized to inform its recommendations. more

To the Editor:

The Sustainable Landscaping Steering Committee, which includes community partners such as the Princeton Environmental Commission, Quiet Princeton, Sustainable Princeton, Unidad Latina en Acción, the Civil Rights Commission and others, has been considering steps to reduce harm to human and environmental health and enhance the well-being of landscapers. As an important part of this process, Princeton’s Environmental Commission is recommending limiting the hours and seasons that certain lawn maintenance equipment can be used in order to reduce exposure to harmful air, noise, soil and water pollution, and to promote sustainable landscaping practices. The proposed changes would also strengthen the current landscaper registration requirements. 

As the Council liaison to this effort and the chair of the Princeton Environmental Commission, we would like to invite the public to a meeting tonight, July 14 (sorry for the short notice!) at 7 p.m. The link can be found on the municipal website at princetonnj.gov. Members of the Sustainable Landscaping Steering Committee will give a brief update about this project, including its use of the Civil Rights Commission’s Racial Equity Assessment Toolkit and engagement of Princeton’s landscaping community. The meeting is an opportunity for residents to learn about and discuss these proposed changes and to get answers to their questions.

If you are unable to attend tonight (again, sorry for the short notice) please feel free to contact us with your comments at eniedergang@princetonnj.gov or princetonnj.gov/535/Environmental-Commission.

Eve Niedergang
Princeton Council Member 

Tammy L. Sands
Chair, Princeton Environmental Commission

July 7, 2021

To the Editor:

The Princeton Coalition for Responsible Development, or PCRD, is a nonprofit organization formed recently to advocate for and enable a more effective and collaborative approach to land use development in Princeton.  We are not opposed to new development in our town; that said, we do believe in smart, eco-friendly development that will respect and build upon Princeton’s unique character and reflect the voices of its residents. Such development is best accomplished through transparent and inclusive deliberations that heed the input of developers, elected officials, and, importantly, those who live in town.

Princeton University has announced its intention to destroy three buildings that form part of the historic Prospect Avenue streetscape. PCRD supports the effort to protect the former Court Club in its current location and to protect the homes on Prospect Avenue from demolition by Princeton University. More broadly, PCRD is concerned about the disregard for the Princeton Master Plan and the diminished prospect for the evaluation of Club Row as a local historic district that Princeton University’s plan represents. Each degradation of this part of town becomes yet another step toward further undesirable changes throughout Princeton, thus diminishing, building by building and lot by lot, what makes Princeton so attractive to its residents.

Recently, Princeton has witnessed financially capable property owners neglect their facilities, only to turn to the municipality for relief by pointing to the poor state of buildings they have let deteriorate. Rewarding such bad behavior isn’t good for the town in the short run or the long run. Additionally, the environmental impact of demolition and its associated release of embodied carbon, isn’t consistent with sustainable development. more

To the Editor:

Princeton University’s massive (666,000 square feet in four new buildings) expansion of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is exciting for the future of teaching, research, and studying at Princeton. This project has been in the works for more than a decade and finally has emerged into public view as a packaged deal, much like the Lewis Center across campus.

The process now moves to the town of Princeton’s Planning Board to review and approve or reject the Plan. While the concept and plan are admirable, there should be room to improve the Plan with comments from the neighbors, alumni, and other interested parties.

I would like to suggest a Plan B.

First, moving (or tearing down if Plan is not approved) Court Club, which is located within a National Registered Landmark District, seems an offense to the town of Princeton. We should respect our National Landmarks and make an effort to preserve our fortunate heritage. Environmental studies teach us to recycle, reuse, or repurpose objects whenever possible so as not to waste resources. Court Club would make an ideal setting for small conferences, intimate dining opportunities, or prime seminar space for focused group conversation. Think a second “Faculty Club,” an annex to Prospect House. more

June 30, 2021

To the Editor:

Last week’s lead article “PU Prospect Ave. Plans Remain Unresolved” [Page 1, June 23] comprehensively covered the Planning Board (PB) meeting on June 17 and the current public controversy over the University’s intentions to remove the former Court Clubhouse from the Princeton Historic District and to demolish three historically-significant Victorian-era houses as part of its planned ES+SEAS complex to be located adjacent to the University’s iconic eating clubs. However, as board chair of the nonprofit charitable organization Princeton Prospect Foundation (PPF), which for months has objected to this small aspect of the project, I would like to clarify a misstatement in the article. The community petition opposing the plan, which has garnered over 1,100 signatures, is not sponsored by PPF, as the article states. Rather, town residents created the petition without any prior interactions with PPF, although PPF now strongly supports it, and a Save Prospect Coalition comprised of town residents, University alumni, and PPF has since emerged.  more

To the Editor:

If people in Princeton think that parking, truck traffic, and noise are a problem in town now, they should be very concerned about Princeton University’s plans for Prospect Avenue. The University intends to insert a truck access to the 666,000-square-foot complex into the otherwise residential street where the eating clubs are located, moving one of them and destroying three Victorian homes for good measure. This ES+SEAS complex replaces dozens of residences, including the Ferris Thompson Apts, with a sprawling structure that will be home to hundreds of employees, displacing many families who will need to commute from further afield. The labs will need to be supplied with chemical and biological engineering equipment and supplies, bringing more truck traffic to the neighborhood. All of this is part of the University’s long-term plan to “evolve” the town into a “city” in the words of Ron McCoy, University architect. In the past 13 years, the University has pushed a plan that expands the campus out at its residential edges; displacing the Dinky, destroying 19th-century homes on Alexander, destroying the Victorians at Olden and Williams, destroying historic 86 Olden Street, and soon demolishing the remaining Gothic Revival portion of Princeton Museum. more

To the Editor:

I’m writing as a member of the Permit Parking Task Force who grew up on Jefferson Road and, on semi-retirement, returned to the same neighborhood. Princeton’s Council recently heard the Task Force’s initial recommendations for improving the town’s permit parking regime. The Task Force has recently posted on its website answers to FAQ and a comparison of how the proposed changes would affect each of Princeton’s inner neighborhoods. These documents incorporate modifications of the Task Force’s proposals in response to resident feedback received at that Council meeting. Hopefully, a perusal of the website will help to clear-up the misconceptions on which much of the voiced opposition to the proposals has been premised. Some further refinements of the plan remain under active discussion. (See princetonnj.gov/329/Permit-Parking-Task-Force)

This letter focuses on how the Task Force’s proposal will affect my neighbors in the High School Permit zone. This zone was established to prohibit PHS students from parking on residential streets. However, unlike other central neighborhoods, current regulation also excludes all daytime parking for employees and customers during the academic year. Moreover, unlike those other neighborhoods, High School zone residents receive as many as four daytime permits. more

To the Editor:

I was pleased to read about the youth advisory groups that have been making an impact on Princeton government and nonprofits [Youth Advisory Groups Help Set Policies for Government and Nonprofits,” page 1, June 23]. There was no mention, however, of the very active and well-established youth advisory group at the Princeton Public Library. Made up of teens from several of the local schools and known by one and all as TAB (Teen Advisory Board), they meet regularly and are represented at the library’s Board of Trustees monthly meetings by three of their number.

This past year, the representatives were Elizabeth Leonard, Chiara Goldenstern, and Eleni Staikos. Each of them spoke at every meeting, and were articulate, thoughtful, and creative, whether it was letting us know about the latest edition of their podcast or about library-wide programs initiated and organized by them, such as I Read This Book, and many others. more

June 23, 2021

To the Editor:

Princeton University’s plan to relocate 91 Prospect to create a gateway to its Schools of Environmental Studies and Engineering and Applied Science is in the Municipality of Princeton’s interest. The Municipal Planning Board should approve the minor site variance needed to accomplish it without further delay. 

The post-pandemic shift toward hybrid work will exacerbate future regional growth pressures on Princeton’s infrastructure. We need to meet that challenge as a community, among other things, by taking steps to improve circulation and alleviate congestion. Fostering multi-modal means for transportation throughout town, including bike mobility, pedestrian mobility, and pathways friendly to all types of wheels, including carriages, strollers, wheelchairs and walkers is a key component of that effort. The University’s proposed plan to link Prospect to the south and north is consistent with the Municipality’s Master Plan and should be lauded as a welcome contribution to furthering these objectives.

The University’s Prospect plan also perfectly reflects the municipality’s sustainability goals. The green infrastructure, native plantings, stormwater management, and landscape architectural elements of the University plan will enhance the climate resilience of the Prospect Avenue streetscape.

In an era of hybrid work, we will also want and need more shared spaces for meaningful personal connections in our neighborhoods. The University’s plan serves this public interest with its proposed tree-lined plaza on Prospect. more

To the Editor:

I live on Maple Street and believe it exemplifies the best of Princeton, where tree-lined neighborhoods nurture a safe, friendly, and diverse community that cultivates spontaneous interactions, and where one can walk within minutes to locally owned restaurants, cafes, and food shops, as well as a huge variety of University activities. However, as Princeton returns to pre-pandemic days, Tree Street residents return to the difficult task of finding daytime on-street parking. The fundamental problem is that some Tree Streets have unregulated daytime parking and are thus home to free parking for University employees and students, business employees and customers, in addition to residents and visitors.

The Princeton Permit Parking Task Force (TF) has studied town parking since June 2019 and it has incorporated data from the 2017 Nelson/Nygard report. TF deliberations have been extensive, with views and needs examined across a broad spectrum of town interests. It is unlikely that any proposed solution will perfectly satisfy every scenario and constituent, nor will a single solution work for every neighborhood. With these points in mind, the proposal (available at princetonnj.gov/329/Permit-Parking-Task-Force) aims for equity across the concerns of residents and merchants. I am particularly hopeful that the proposal’s recommendations will relieve the excessive daytime parking burden now carried by the Tree Streets as well as the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhoods. more

To the Editor:

Part 1:

The Permit Parking proposal (sensiblestreets.org) is a show-stopper. Let’s check the details.

The first “Guiding Principle” asks residents to “Share available on-street parking resources equitably between residents, customers of neighborhood businesses, visitors, and employees (italics mine).

Analysis: 1)There are no “neighborhood businesses” beyond the streets of what’s now “downtown.” Businesses are not permitted on residential streets, which are residential: R-1, R-2, etc. 2) The only possible purpose for euphemisms is to confuse opposition to commuter-clogging, accident-inducing, bicycle-and-tree-unfriendly cars. Why have residential streets at all?

Next: Princeton will “Adapt (sic: “adopt”?) general rules to meet the needs of individual streets without overcomplicating the system.” It’s too complicated now. Separate the needs of streets from those of retail. These are different questions (see Part 2, below).

The final Guiding Principle: “Use latest technology to benefit all users of parking as well as simplify municipal paperwork, and enforcement.” Here I had to parse even the punctuation: it says the Plan will “simplify … enforcement.” How? Municipal records of license plates? Street corner cameras? Don’t we deride such “enforcement” tech in China? Would you put it in Princeton? more

To the Editor:

I have been disappointed to see the pushback on the proposal put forth by the Princeton Parking Task Force, much of which ignores the fact that employees and customers are already parking on many residential streets. Because most of this on-street parking is in neighborhoods where many residents lack off-street parking — the Tree Streets and Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhoods — this “commercial” parking crowds out the residents of these neighborhoods from being able to park near their homes. Allowing limited on-street parking in other in-town neighborhoods will help alleviate the overcrowding on these streets.

It’s important to note that this proposal addresses serious inequities in resident parking access that have long existed. Living on Leigh Avenue without a driveway, I have access to two free 24-hour parking permits for my family. Throughout the former-borough portions of Witherspoon-Jackson, residents without a driveway haven’t been allowed to park overnight on the street at all. Those on Green and Quarry can’t even park on the street during the day for more than two hours. Overnight parking is available only in the McLean lot for a fee that is more than double what is proposed for on-street permits. And, there is a waiting list for those spots.

Even low-income residents living in affordable housing have had to pay for parking permits to enable them to access their jobs and other necessities. The Task Force’s proposal would reduce on-street parking fees for these residents, something I hope we can all support. more

To the Editor:

I completely understand why the BOE felt compelled to change the name of the middle school to something other than John Witherspoon. I count myself among those who thought it should be renamed after Shirley Satterfield as an acknowledgment of her accomplishments and contributions to racial equity in the Princeton community.

However, once the decision was made to go with a generic “non-person” name, why did they have to change it from Princeton Unified Middle School at all? That name is equally as generic as Princeton Middle School and arguably better. Am I the only one who feels renaming a school to something that shortens to “PMS” has sexist undertones, especially considering the students who attend there are at an age when these issues start to emerge?

In my view, all the BOE succeeded in doing was creating whole new micro-aggression problem, not to mention once again demonstrating a lack of creativity. Complete waste of time, money, and energy!

Margaret Johnson
Burr Drive

To the Editor:

After reading last week’s page one story on cicadas [“Cicadas Peak Before Disappearing Until 2038,” June 16] I was inspired to compose the following poem, which begins with a reference to the Nobel Prize-winning Greek poet Odysseus Elytis:

CICADAS

Elytis celebrates the cicadas he hears
Singing constantly in the ears of the trees
As though they belong in his country
As naturally as the squid and octopus
That regularly define his wine-dark waters.
But how much time does our belated cicada
Have to know the wonders of our world
After seventeen years of silence underground
And no way to see what might lie ahead?
They say it has a week or two
But surely that isn’t enough time
To fathom the mystery of their coming and going
Along with the green world and its flowering
Of love and its sorrow and all the rest
We alone have time to discover.
Yet does our own devotion to silence
Allow us what we need to sing
So long and loud and tirelessly
Of the sometimes wonder given us
Before our week or two is over
And our song left for others to sing?

Edmund Keeley
Windrow Drive

The writer is a novelist, translator, poet, and professor of English emeritus at Princeton University.

June 16, 2021

To the Editor:

As a Princeton University Engineering School alumnus, I have carefully considered the pros and cons of moving the former Court Club across Prospect Avenue, turning it sideways, and tearing down three functional and historic Victorian houses.

My conclusion is that there are perfectly good alternatives that will satisfy the University’s understandable desire for a larger and more up-to-date physical facility for science and engineering. For example, the majestic Court Club building can be kept just where it is, as a part of the historic architectural row of eating clubs on Prospect Avenue. Its interior can be renovated for offices and meeting spaces with new construction out the back. This is exactly what the University did with an excellent result on Washington Road, when it retained the beautiful former Frick Chemistry Building. It is now the entrance to the Louis Simpson International Building.

The municipality’s planning staff opposes the current plan. Last week the Town’s Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to recommend against it. more

To the Editor:

On June 17 the Planning Board will meet to vote on the University’s proposal to relocate 91 Prospect Avenue. Before that vote I hope members of the board would spend time exploring the Prospect/Fitzrandolph/Murray Place neighborhood. Because it is a neighborhood, a community of families who live here, day and night, all year round. And we who live here want it to stay as it is, a thriving corner of greater Princeton township.

I hope the board will see the neighborhood as worth preserving, old Victorian houses and all.

Marianne C. Grey
Murray Place

To the Editor:

We write with great concern about the University’s plans that will denigrate the Princeton Historic District and Prospect Avenue — a major public street — and we seek the help of the mayor and town Council in preventing this. The University’s proposed new Prospect Avenue entrance to its ES+SEAS development is detrimental to the public interest, and, as the Historic Preservation Commission unanimously recommends, the Planning Board should deny the University’s variance request.

We admire the University, but until its public presentation on May 27, the potential damage of its Prospect plan — just a 3 percent portion of the enormous 666,000 sf development – was generally unknown. The entrance violates National Park Service Guidelines by: 1) unnecessarily dislocating the former Court Club at 91 Prospect from Eating Club Row, out of the Princeton Historic District and off the National Register, to an isolated site across the street; 2) demolishing three perfectly viable and historically significant Victorian houses identified for preservation by the HPC and the Master Plan, and 3) erecting at 91 Prospect a new building and landscaping that will be incompatible with the historic streetscape.

In its report on a proposed municipal Prospect Avenue Historic District, named the Club Row Historic District in the Master Plan, HPC cited the houses as “part of the District’s visual and institutional history.” Notable scholars have lived in them, including Erwin Panofsky, “the most important art historian of the 20th Century,” and a “good companion” to fellow-refugee Albert Einstein. Indeed, the full history of the houses is yet to be discovered. more

To the Editor:

Recently, a polished but anonymous website has trumpeted opposition to a proposal for a pilot parking program developed by Princeton’s Parking Task Force. The website warns ominously about the introduction of “commercial parking” into Princeton’s neighborhoods. The fact of the matter is, though, that residential streets have always included parking derived from Princeton’s businesses.

Employees and customers — many of them, of course, residents of more distant Princeton neighborhoods — park on streets designated as two- or three-hour zones (such as Green and Quarry in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, Pine and Chestnut in the Tree Street neighborhood, and Hodge and Boudinot in the Western Section). They also park on unregulated streets, such as Lytle, most of Spruce, Moran, and Maple. In the most affected neighborhoods (primarily the Witherspoon-Jackson and Tree Street areas), residents are frequently crowded out from parking on their own blocks. There are other residential areas where, despite proximity to the downtown business district, visitor parking is effectively banned.

By allocating a limited number of spots for the use of downtown employees, the pilot proposal aims to lower the impact residents of some streets face from visitor parking. Including streets that currently bar visitor parking will help advance this goal. It’s important to keep in mind that businesses already pay a significant portion of taxes in Princeton and should share in public resources. No one owns the streets because we all do — residents and businesses alike. The task force seeks to distribute street parking more effectively in different areas of town while retaining the resource as a means of sustaining the vitality and convenience that benefits us all. more

To the Editor:

Years ago, my neighbors reached a compromise with Princeton Township for Smoyer Park, which can be noisy, but is an asset to the entire community. The recent downtown parking issue, like affordable housing and nearly every other item, requires compromise for the benefit of all.

Princeton likes to think of itself as an enlightened community, but too often we have the same divisive self-interest that exists throughout this country. There is a benefit to living in close proximity to the downtown, just as my neighbors have experienced the benefits of living near Smoyer Park even though it is particularly noisy on weekends.

Unfortunately, the typical response now is to acknowledge a problem, but rather than compromise for the benefit of the entire community, react as a NIMBY.

Peter Madison
Snowden Lane

To the Editor:

As I write this, over 800 people have joined the petition at change.org/saveprospect urging the town Council to uphold our zoning laws and maintain the integrity of the Historic District on Prospect Avenue. In the 11 years that I have lived around corner from Prospect’s threatened homes, I’ve watched the destruction of the 19th-century canal houses on Alexander and the planned destruction of the last of the Gothic Revival portion of the Princeton Museum. In the Prospect area alone, I’ve seen the tearing down of the Victorians at Olden and Williams, and the demolition of the early 20th-century house at Olden and Prospect. University representatives claim the Victorians they are planning to demolish lack a “context” and are in poor repair. If they lack a context, it’s because the University is systematically removing that context. They are in poor repair because the University is not maintaining them – seemingly engaged in a practice known as “demolition by neglect.”

University representatives argue that the Prospect houses are not historic because they’re “not the work of a master” and weren’t homes to prominent people. While the latter is demonstrably false, history is larger than simply the study of so-called “masters” and elites. Indeed, many residents observe that the eating clubs are monuments to the privileged. If that is all they represent, then perhaps we should tear them all down. But these homes and buildings mean more than that to the community. For some of us, their age and rarity attracted us to this neighborhood; for others, they’re filled with memories (good and bad), but the community values them as they are. That is why the town created the current zoning. more

To the Editor:

One of the factors that the town of Princeton used to convince the then College of New Jersey to move here in 1756 was land, land for expansion. From its initial 4.5-acre lot 265 years ago, the University has grown to about 600 acres today, half on this side of Lake Carnegie and half on the other. While most of this expansion has been on empty farmland, much has been at the expense of existing buildings as described in great detail in Gerald Breese’s 1986 book, Princeton University Land. For example, only the cost of moving or reconstructing the First Presbyterian Church saved it from being demolished or moved like the houses which used to line Nassau Street to its right and left. More recently, the buildings at the corner of University Place and Alexander Road fell to the wrecking ball to make space for the new Lewis Center, and the Osborn Field House at the corner of Olden and Prospect was demolished for the new Maeder Hall.

Now the University seeks to demolish the three Queen Anne Victorians at 110, 114, and 116 Prospect in order to make way for the new ES+SEAS. As other town residents who spoke at the HPC meeting noted, this land accounts for 3 percent of a 15-acre project but has significant impact on this public (not University owned) street. The benefit to the greater community of the University’s project is difficult to see, while the detriment — more historic buildings destroyed and replaced by stretches of gravel and benches out of character with the broad lawns enclosed by stone walls and hedges that line the rest of the street — is obvious. In addition to the direct impact on the street, the number of Queen Anne Victorians in Princeton is small, and demolishing these three would make that number even smaller. more

To the Editor:

In May of 2021 the Parking Task Force was prepared, after several years of work, to present their final plan to Council and the town’s residents. They faced, and still face, complicated problems and competing viewpoints. In my opinion, for all of their work, in the end they have gone astray in some respects.

The lead sentence in the Town Topics article of May 12 [“Parking Task Force is Almost Ready to Present Plan,” page 1] was, “Thanks to new technology, the parking woes that plague different neighborhoods of Princeton could soon be eased.” That article made no mention of the costly changes the task force has in mind for PHS neighbors nor any details about the new technology being promoted to the town by Passport, the company that provides Princeton’s automated parking program, and their partner Genetec.

First I’ll react briefly to the task force’s view that parking in front of our own houses is “a luxury” and that residents of the affected streets must pay for permits for themselves, guests, and contractors who have to park longer than the allotted three hours. If parking on our neighborhood streets by employees from the Business District is considered necessary to help our town thrive, shouldn’t the cost be borne by the businesses who will benefit, not just by those who live on these affected streets? Parking by PHS students is a separate issue, beside the point of this letter. more

To the Editor:

Speaking to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday, June 11, Attorney General Merrick Garland affirmed voting rights as a “central pillar” to American democracy, stating, “We know that expanding the ability of all eligible citizens to vote is a central pillar…. That means ensuring that all eligible voters can cast a vote; that all lawful votes are counted; and that every voter has access to accurate information.”

On Tuesday, June 8, I had the privilege and opportunity to participate in this pillar of democracy as a citizen poll worker for one of the voting districts in Princeton. As this was my first time serving in this role, it was extremely insightful to witness a slice of the voting process from the inside, beginning with attending a two-hour poll-worker training session a few weeks ago, to picking up the supplies and documents at the Municipal Clerk’s Office for my assigned voting district before dawn on Tuesday morning, assisting with voting procedures throughout the day through the closing process, and then returning the supplies and secured documents and provisional ballots to the Clerk’s Office late Tuesday evening. Woven through all of this is an intricate web of voting rights and ballot security laws and procedures with checks and balances, all to ensure that this “central pillar” of American democracy stands, right here in Princeton and throughout Mercer County and New Jersey.

Furthermore, I would like to express gratitude and praise for all those individuals in the Mercer County Board of Elections office and their colleagues throughout New Jersey who worked together to implement our June 8 primary, as well as the numerous other citizen poll workers who stepped up to make this election possible. Especially praiseworthy was the master board worker (citizen board worker with over 10 years of poll worker experience) who patiently worked with me, as a first-time poll worker, along with those at other polling districts throughout the day.

As a final note, if you are interested in serving as a poll worker for the General Election in November, you can sign up now at pollworker.nj.gov. Most of all, if you are eligible, be sure to register and VOTE.

Collene Mildes
Meadow Woods Lane, Lawrence

June 9, 2021

To the Editor:

After over a year in “hibernation,” the Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale recently held a pop-up children’s sale to get books out of storage and into the hands of local families and classrooms. The event was held in partnership with the Princeton Shopping Center, which made space available to us and helped with marketing. It is this kind of support from our business community that helps local nonprofits thrive. We are grateful for their support and enthusiasm. 

Kathryn Morris
President, Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale

Witherspoon Street