October 4, 2023

To the Editor:

Beginning in late October, Princeton will open a new pilot program that will allow all residents of the municipality to recycle their food scraps at one of two drop-off locations: Witherspoon Hall near the EV charging stations, or Monument Hall, towards the rear of the lot next to Suzanne Patterson. This pilot program is a much more affordable option for the town than the previous curbside organics recycling, and allows everyone to participate, including renters whose trash is not collected through the municipality, who could not join the curbside program.

Initially, the program will be limited to 200 residents (100 at each site) who can register online, and who will be chosen by lottery. If successful, it is quite possible that the program may be expanded to include more drop-off sites. more

To the Editor:
We are voting for Rene Obregon in the upcoming Princeton Public Schools Board of Education election, and encourage our fellow residents to also vote for Rene.

We have known Rene for nearly 10 years, and over that time he has always actively supported our schools and our community.  We have boys of similar ages so we have had the pleasure of working on many school events together, from International Night at Johnson Park school where he would make his Cuban flan dessert to arranging the field day sport activities at Princeton Middle School.  more

To the Editor:

Adam Bierman is knowledgeable, experienced, and deeply committed to public education. He has a proven track record of success as a teacher and understands the challenges and opportunities facing public schools today.

Adam teaches at a school for young teen moms in Trenton. In his role, he has helped to implement programs such as Business ESL, Reading Recovery, and a partnership with Planned Parenthood. He is also a CWA (Communication Workers of America) shop steward.

In his previous roles teaching in Latin America and China, Adam has demonstrated the ability to build consensus, manage teams, and achieve results. He is also a skilled communicator and listener.  He is committed to working collaboratively with all students and staff to ensure that all students in Princeton have access to a high-quality education.

In addition to his professional qualifications, Adam is a dedicated lifelong Princetonian. He was raised by parents who instilled in him the value of public service; his mom taught in the Princeton Public Schools for over 30 years while his dad was a town doctor and served as the School Board president.  Adam is passionate about making Princeton a better place for all.

Vote for a lifelong Princeton resident with practical ideas and sensible. He would be a valuable asset to the Board and the community.

Kathryn King
Linden Lane

To the Editor:
I am writing in support of Michele Tuck-Ponder for School Board. Why, since I am beyond having children in the public schools, would I be interested in School Board candidates? My late husband, David Brodsky, was on the Princeton Township School Board before consolidation. He was also elected to the first joint School Board. My daughter, a molecular biologist, says her interest in science was all due to her third- grade teacher at Riverside School. And I, as a Rutgers professor emerita, have spent my career in education.

Michele has an amazing record of public service. No one is more dedicated to the welfare of Princeton and its schools. After serving as a mayor of Princeton Township (she campaigned vigorously for consolidation during her tenure), she became a member of the Board of Education.  more

To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in support of my friend, Adam Bierman, who is running for Princeton Public School Board. I have lived in Princeton since 1989 and I am also the mother of two sons who graduated from Princeton High School in 2020 and 2021.

Adam is a product of the Princeton public school system. Like many brilliant people who learn differently, Adam overcame his challenges to earn both a BA and an MA.   more

To the Editor:
I devoted most of my professional career working for educational reform. I spent 20 years of my retirement volunteering at Community Park School. I came to know hundreds of Princeton children, parents, teachers, and administrators very well. And I have followed the decisions and actions of our Board of Education for more than 50 years.

I am convinced that the time is ripe — some would say long overdue — to strengthen the effectiveness of the Board in governing the Princeton public schools. I think it needs fresh voices with the vision, the experience, and the temperament to get the job done. This year we are fortunate to have just the right candidate in Eleanor Hubbard.  more

To the Editor:

Beth Behrend has served on the Princeton School Board for six years, including terms as president of the Board. As former School Board members, we know that Beth Behrend’s reelection is critically important and in the best interest of our town, school district, taxpayers, and children.

Beth’s tenure of service coincided with some of the most momentous challenges of recent memory, including navigating through the COVID-19 crisis, and working with all constituencies on a long-term plan to address growth in our town and in the school district.   more

To the Editor:
The importance of a healthy and effective Princeton Public School system cannot be overstated. For many decades the reputation of our school district has been a primary consideration for families that have chosen to live in and contribute to our vibrant community — families from New Jersey, from across the country, and increasingly from around the world.

As with most school districts around the country, Princeton schools were severely impacted by the response to COVID-19 with the repercussions continuing to be felt by students, educators, and parents alike. In addition, faculty and staff turnover, not to mention principals, is unacceptably high, further imperiling already stressed classrooms and students. Add to that the challenges of rising enrollment, misgivings about curriculums, building and technology infrastructure expansion plans, and a well-managed administration and Board of Education (BOE) becomes a necessity. Unfortunately, over the past year, some actions by the BOE, while perhaps well-intentioned, have alienated and disenfranchised many students and their families. This threatens to damage our school district and by extension our community. more

September 27, 2023

To the Editor:

What a great idea! Nearly every summer, the day after Labor Day is very hot. I walk over to Community Park, put my fingers through the chain link fence, and stare at the pristine, still pool.

This year, along with hundreds of other celebrants, I got to swim! For two extra days! Thank you Evan and staff. In the spirit of Mr. Ivan, you gave us two joyful afternoons.

Stephanie Magdziak
Jefferson Road

To the Editor:

We are grateful that the municipality acknowledges the importance of expanding and enhancing mental health services in our community [“Town Behavioral Health Services to Be Provided by Catholic Charities,” September 20, page 1].

The pandemic highlighted the need for mental health services with individuals and families seeking support in record numbers. Yet there is clearly an alarming shortage of health care providers with availability in Princeton and neighboring communities.

This year Trinity Counseling Service (TCS) celebrates our 55th Anniversary providing mental health services to the Greater Princeton Community. We have relied on our partnership with Corner House and Catholic Charities for decades.  more

To the Editor:

Candidates for the Princeton Board of Education will meet in a webinar hosted by the Princeton Public Library on Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m. Go to https://princetonlibrary.libnet.info/event/9223094 to register for the event. Send questions for the candidates to lwvprinceton@gmail.com — subject line Princeton BOE — by October 9.  Questions will also be taken during the event.

Video of the forum will be posted on the League of Women Voters’ website lwvprinceton.org, at VOTE411.org, and on the library’s YouTube channel.

To read about the platforms of these candidates as well as others, visit VOTE411.org.  If any candidates on your ballot have not responded, please urge them to do so. more

To the Editor:

We are voting for Rene Obregon in the upcoming Princeton Public Schools Board of Education election and encourage our fellow residents to also vote for Rene.

We have known Rene since meeting at a fundraiser for Johnson Park Elementary PTO almost nine years ago. Over that time Rene has actively supported our schools and the community in many ways, ranging from fundraising at JP, to being a class co-president at PMS, and advocating for all our kids at PHS. Rene was also a strong supporter of the Princeton Education Foundation which Rene’s wife Karolin served on the board of with Amanda.  more

To the Editor:

Princeton needs a contiguous sidewalk on at least one side of Terhune Road. Terhune between Route 206 and Snowden will soon have a large increase in traffic which, by my very modest estimate, will be several hundred more vehicles coming from the new housing on Terhune near Ewing.

There’s already a bus that runs on Terhune, and we currently have more truck traffic due to nearby construction, all of which makes it difficult for school children, caregivers pushing strollers, and even the occasional senior citizen (like me) trying to navigate Terhune without getting hit by a car, bus, or truck. How has this escaped the attention of our mayor (who was recently selected for membership in the Mayors Institute on Pedestrian Safety) or our Princeton Town Council (one of whom lives on Terhune, and cannot help but be aware of the necessity of a decent sidewalk along Terhune)? more

To the Editor:

I write to support Eleanor Hubbard’s candidacy to join the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education.

You want Eleanor Hubbard on your team. No matter the task at hand, Eleanor will be an asset. I’ve become familiar with the limitless talents of Eleanor Hubbard as a fellow parent raising children in the Riverside neighborhood. 

For several years, I’ve served on the executive board of the Riverside School PTO. In this role, I have witnessed Eleanor in action. She shows up. She works hard. She gets things done.  more

To the Editor:

As members of the Board of Trustees of the Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC), we want to thank all those who helped to make the PSRC gala on the evening of September 14 a spectacular success. The 250 attendees at the sold-out event had a wonderful time thanks to the PSRC leadership — especially CEO Drew Dyson, COO Donna Cosgrove, and CDO Lisa Adler — the entire staff, and our many amazing volunteers. The event included a celebration of PSRC’s social services — a core feature of PSRC’s work in the community since its inception in 1974 as “Tenant Services” at Spruce Circle. It was also an opportunity to celebrate our honorees, Hazel Stix, Bryn Mawr Trust, and the mayor and Council of Princeton.

Hazel Stix, our individual honoree, has been an active leader at PSRC since the beginning, working alongside and supporting Jocelyn Helm in creating this organization 49 years ago. Hazel has been a generous supporter, engaged leader, and avid participant in the work of PSRC.  more

To the Editor:

I read the recent letters from Mike Head [“Wondering if Recent Court Ruling Means End of Tax Breaks for Developers in Town,” Mailbox, September 13] and Carlos Rodrigues [“Group Should Stop Peddling Misinformation About Redevelopment Plans in Princeton,” Mailbox, September 20] concerning development in our community, and I was surprised at the level of personal attack in Mr. Rodrigues’ letter. 

If he wishes to defend his role in the developments in our town, can’t he do so with facts and logic instead of criticizing residents whose opinions differ from his?

Maryann Witalec Keyes
Franklin Avenue

To the Editor:

We are writing to express our enthusiastic endorsement and support for Beth Behrend, a dedicated and highly qualified candidate running for reelection on the Princeton Board of Education. Having closely followed her commitment to data-driven education and student-centered decisions, we believe she is the right choice to help lead our schools forward providing valuable experience and continuity.

Beth’s extensive experience in educational leadership, as well as her advocacy for quality education for all students, showcase her dedication to ensuring that each child receives the support and opportunities they need to succeed academically and personally. more

To the Editor:

Last Wednesday and Thursday, both perfect fall weather, there was a terrible back-up of cars going in all directions between 8 and 8:15 a.m. at my crossing guard post. Worse, on Thursday, motorists were honking their horns in impatience at having to wait their turn. While there were some road closures, I don’t think that accounts for the delays — the closures were no worse than the previous week, but the traffic was.

I think part of the problem is that it is early in the school year, and students and parents are eager to get to school to live up to personal resolutions to “be the early bird” and “catch the worm.” An admirable goal, but I have a suggestion for an equally admirable approach which doesn’t involve waiting in line. more

To the Editor:

I am writing to urge fellow Princeton parents and taxpayers to vote for Eleanor Hubbard for Board of Education (BOE) on November 7.

There is a real need for new and competent leadership on the BOE, which is the elected body that oversees the Princeton Public Schools system. In recent years there has been a marked decline in the academic achievement of Princeton Public Schools students as compared with surrounding school systems such as West Windsor-Plainsboro and Montgomery, which now surpass Princeton on standardized test scores. In particular, the quality of the math program in Princeton schools has been degraded, for example through incoherent reforms in the Princeton Middle School that have dramatically weakened students’ understanding of algebra, reducing opportunity for advancement in math for Princeton High School students. At the same time, Princeton Public Schools’ spending, which accounts for over half of residents’ property tax bill, has increased significantly.

Both school curriculum and school spending are overseen by the BOE. Your vote for Eleanor Hubbard, as a candidate who was not on BOE previously and did not support these decisions, could help get the Princeton Public Schools system back on the track of excellence that our students and taxpayers deserve. more

September 20, 2023

To the Editor:

Before the final screening of Oppenheimer at the Garden Theatre last week, the Princeton Einstein Museum of Science was invited to address the audience and explain our plans for a hands-on science education museum based on the work of Albert Einstein. 

The museum will tap into the public’s apparently unquenchable interest in Albert Einstein to highlight his humanitarianism, explore his time as a town resident, and get visitors ages 8 and up excited about physics, cosmology, and mathematics. People will learn about his contributions to our world and how his influence continues to be felt today in GPS systems, solar panels, and more.

Support for our nascent museum from other organizations such as the nonprofit Princeton Garden Theatre and its parent company, Renew Theaters, helps all of us grow as we add to the exciting venues and educational opportunities in town. Thank you!

Elizabeth Romanaux
Founder and Board Chair
Princeton Einstein Museum of Science
Sycamore Place

To the Editor:

As the municipality of Princeton considers improvements to Hinds Plaza, it is fitting that Marvin Reed be honored there. One of Princeton’s most dedicated citizens, Marvin died in October of 2020, and it is now time to officially remember him with gratitude.

Marvin Reed, who served as Borough mayor from 1990 to 2003 and was a longtime councilman, was the primary force in guiding the redevelopment of the Princeton Public Library and the surrounding downtown area. The development of the plaza in particular faced passionate opposition from some citizens and merchants, who feared the loss of a surface parking lot. But as those who knew him remember, Marvin persevered with a calm determination and much wisdom on the subject of public spaces. He was committed to making Princeton a better place and worked tirelessly to bring this vision to fruition, always answering the doubters and critics with civil discourse.  more

To the Editor:

We are writing to share our enthusiastic support of Beth Behrend for reelection to the Princeton School Board. As former elected officials, we see in Beth the qualities necessary for effective leadership and good governance — an analytical mind, a compassionate heart, a calm and steady demeanor, and a collaborative approach to problem solving.

Beth has skillfully led the district through especially challenging and unprecedented times. As Board president, she helped steer the district through uncharted territory during the sudden shift to remote schooling due to COVID, ensuring equal access to learning through a revenue neutral 1:1 device initiative. She also helped convene a group of community partners to figure out, literally overnight, how to safely deliver nourishing meals to over 500 food-insecure students and their families.   more

To the Editor:

In a recent letter [“Wondering if Recent Court Ruling Means End of Tax Breaks for Developers in Town,” Mailbox, September 13], Mr. Mike Head of Hibben Road — who has no professional credentials in either city planning or the law — claims that the N.J. Supreme Court’s decision in the Malanga v. West Orange case implies that the applications of the 1992 N.J. Redevelopment and Housing Law to various properties in Princeton — the Seminary lands, the defunct Thanet Drive office park, and the visibly ailing Princeton Shopping Center — have been inappropriate and should be struck down.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Thanet Drive and the shopping center have rock solid redevelopment designations. I will not opine as to the validity of the designation of the Seminary lands, but in any event Mr. Head and friends missed the statutory deadline long ago for challenging the designation and are now playing rear guard interference. And the particulars of the Malanga case — which I would urge Mr. Head to read, before he misquotes from it — have no bearing whatsoever on any of the three properties in question. more

To the Editor:

I am writing to support Eleanor Hubbard’s candidacy to join the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education (BOE).

I have known Eleanor for almost eight years, mostly as a fellow member of the UNOW Board.  UNOW is the day care/preschool on the University Campus. I have come to know Eleanor while observing her as a parent of young children and as a colleague. I mostly write from my perspective as a 37-year veteran educator, both as an elementary and middle school teacher and then as a principal in public and independent schools.

A successful school district depends on collaboration, cooperation, and trust amongst administrators, teachers, and parents, all overseen by the BOE. Together, these groups must work to meet the complicated challenge of providing a rich and varied program that responds to children’s developmental needs while it simultaneously stimulates children to think critically and creatively and ensures mastery of basic skills. A successful school develops students who are independent, confident, and intellectually curious learners, and of equal importance are also kind, honest, compassionate, and respectful individuals. The sense of community in a school is essential for children and their teachers  to do their best, with support of parents.  more

September 13, 2023

To the Editor:

The Princeton Environmental Commission (PEC), in partnership with Sustainable Princeton (SP), has been busy as bees (pun intended) in preparing for the Green House Tour (GHT) on Saturday, September 30. This event will provide the community with the opportunity to observe what their neighbors (GHT hosts) have done to support the environment through energy efficiency, native vegetation, and various other green property improvement methods. more