Letters to the Editor, March 9


Stores should drop Promenade lawsuit
To the editor:
As a long time patron of both Ms. Graziani’s wonderful Bagel shop and Mr. Borredon’s pizza emporium I am somewhat dismayed that they would so readily join the suit to stop the Montgomery Promenade. Today my wife and I waste time and money traveling to Princeton and Bridgewater to retail and service stores that are not located in Montgomery. We look forward to spending more of our time and money in Montgomery when the Promenade opens. By joining the suit Ms. Graziani and Mr. Borredon are telling their customers that our wishes to buy local are misplaced.
   They are also ignoring a fundamental fact: Property taxes in Montgomery place a crushing burden on their customers. Montgomery Promenade will help slow down the rate of tax increases by increasing commercial ratables. At the current rate of increase, once my daughter finishes school my wife and I will virtually be forced to move to a town with lower taxes.
   If you continue to support the suit, it would seem likely that the town will have to spend more of our tax dollars to fight you. I’d rather spend that money on a fresh bagel with nova and cream cheese or a perfectly baked calzone.
   Ms. Graziani and Mr. Borredon, please rethink your position. Help your customers stay home, buy local and take a small bite out of our property taxes. Doing so would show respect for your patrons and confidence in your wonderful products.
Bill Pisarra
Hills Drive
Belle Mead
Activity fees unfair to parents
To the editor:
Attention Montgomery parents: Your child wants to be in the Oliver! or Grease production? $250. Your other child wants to join the horn ensemble? Another $250! You have an athlete who wants to play football and baseball? $250 a pop. Your musician also wants to be on the debate team and join the high school Amnesty International group? Another $50 and another $50.
   While all the specifics of what each program will cost next year have not been published, that is a picture of what fees – pay as you play – could look like next year.
   Meanwhile, as for early language studies, forget about it, cut!
   Believe in a livable wage with benefits for custodial staff? Try privatization and outsourced instead.
   Wait. How much is the board and administration proposing to cut from the central administration office? Guess again! Zero! If times are so lean – how can that be? The entire sacrifice is shouldered by parents, students, curricular studies and nothing from central administration.
   My son, a 7th grade musician who participates in musicals, started a petition at http://NJPerformingArtsYouth.org opposing music fees. Between Internet signers and hard copy signatures, we are approaching 150 signatures. Go there today and sign, print your own copy of the petition and gather signatures.
   Write to the board at [email protected] and demand that the burden of the cuts be taken out of administration and not out of student activities, language curriculum and custodial compensation.
   My son’s petition is focused on music but we stand ready to unite with athletes, organization members, language advocates and custodial staff. Cut central administration, not student programs.
   The district information officer, Ms. Murphy, states that the community has made clear that they want across the board fees. Many in the community are saying "No fees!" across the board!
   Spread the word – say no to fees and privatization and yes to maintaining language curriculum. Look for cuts within central administration instead.
Bob Witanek
Griggstown Road
Belle Mead
Others also helped black students at PU
To the editor:
I was very pleased to see that some people were acknowledged for the support they gave Princeton University students (The Packet, Feb. 23).
   I know everyone mentioned and they deserve to be acknowledged. However I was very surprised that Donald Johnson and his wife, Jimmy were omitted as well as Joe Moore, Hank Pannell, Romus Broadway, Eddie Butler, Marv Trotman and the late Pete Young. All of these people have been on the porch at 111 Birch Ave. and 98 Birch Ave, the home of the Johnsons and residence of Eddie Butler respectively.
   Often someone would ride by and toot their horn in Marv’s car or Eddies car, it would be one of the students that borrowed their car. How many meals did Pete and his wife, Donald and Jimmy supply to hungry students? How many days, nights and summers did the Johnsons provide lodging for the students, those facts were never recorded but there were many.
   Home away from home, this love and respect was earned and had to be comfortable with the students family to let them stay with strangers.
   Let me leave you with this. Donald would come home and find someone sitting on his porch smiling and delightfully greeting him, how long have you been in town he would ask, they would reply, I just got here, this is my first stop. How gratifying is that?
Preston "Brady" Evers
Lawnside Drive
Lawrence Township
Guyot Stream work is much appreciated
To the editor:
The efforts to improve the public Guyot Stream walkway between Moore Street, Harris Road, Jefferson Road, Carnahan Place and Witherspoon Street, continued for the 10th year during 2006 with major help from the township.
   The township completed most of the planned enhancements to the walkway during the summer of 2006. These improvements included new trees and plantings, plus resurfacing of the walkway, and enhanced drainage to the area and streambed. After the renovations volunteers added additional plantings and ground cover to the area.
   The numerous shrubs and plants, regularly donated to the project by the Obal Garden Center on Alexander Road and the Belle Mead Co-op on Township Line Road, were not accepted this past year due to the renovations.
   The following Princeton residents have provided time, plants or money in 2006 to make the area more enjoyable for all the community to use: Janet Arrington, Ron Berlin, Charlotte Bialak, the Kagays, the Moodys, Vincenza Pirone, P. M. Prendergast, Sally Stout and an anonymous donor of Jefferson Road; the Baldwins, and the Gibneys of Moore Street; Dennis Stark of Henry Avenue; Paul Driscoll, Marco Gottardis, Yaron Inbar, Peter Lindenfield, Jean Myer and Areta Pawlynsky of Harris Road; Jimmy Mack of Carnahan Place; and the Crumillers of Library Place.
   We wish to publicly recognize the continued help of the above community members and the Township Engineering Department.
S. Moody
Jefferson Road
U. Perna
Harris Road
D. Stark
Henry Avenue
Officials can make "Historic" call
To the editor:
I am writing in response to the concerns raised regarding the "Morven tract" becoming an historic district.
   In the spring of 2006 a group of homeowners in the Morven tract decided to move forward with activating an historic district identified as such by the May 15, 1997 amendment to the 1996 Princeton Community Master Plan. This action was taken out of love and respect for our neighborhood and to allow us to speak as one voice on the subjects of truck traffic on Route 206, overhead electric and communications wires, potential Morven expansion into residential areas, tear down/rebuilds, and preservation of our streetscapes. Any "rights" which we might "lose" would be more than compensated for by being good stewards of our as-built environment including the former homes of two U.S. presidents and numerous documented architecturally significant structures.
   The boundaries of this proposed district were suggested to us by recently retired Borough Zoning /Historic Preservation official Frank Slimak. They are a square bounded by Stockton Street, Library Place, Hodge Road and Bayard Lane. Following the destruction of the Dilworth property on Hodge Road Extension (between Library and Elm), we extended an invitation for inclusion in our efforts to the residents of that block. We quickly learned that they did not wish to be included.
   We who have pursued historic district designation for our neighborhood have faith in our elected officials and any decision they may render in this matter.
Ruth Sayer
Library Place