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This article was prepared for the March 5, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Between the Lines
Never underestimate the importance of beauty and culture
when it comes to attracting the right employees. Take the choice that
Helena Froehlich had to make. She had one week to decide whether to
move with her four children from France to Princeton so her husband,
Juergen Froehlich, could take a job to be vice president of global
development life care management at Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Her previous experience with the United States had been from 1984
to 1987 when she studied dance in New York and met her German husband,
Juergen, who was studying sports medicine and internal medicine. So
when she visited Princeton she was delighted to see the pretty countryside,
with its mixture of woods and fields, and the mixture of historical
houses and new ones.
It helped that Princeton is known as an international community where
multinationals quickly feel at home. What truly sealed the deal was
her visit to the Princeton Ballet School’s impressive four-studio
space at the Princeton Shopping Center, where she was warmly received
by the school’s director, Mary Pat Robertson. With these facilities
and support, she knew she could transfer her dance career and her
company, Compagnie Creation D, from Alsace to Princeton (see page
Now the Froehlich family is happily ensconced in their Hopewell
home, and Compagnie Creation D is actively performing. Yet all the
dance companies, not just those based at Princeton Ballet, and its
professional parent, American Repertory Ballet, are struggling to
survive in the face of proposed major state arts budget cuts.
I read with great interest Richard K. Rein’s reply to
Lincoln Hollister about the bald eagles in the vicinity of Carnegie
Lake in Princeton (U.S. 1, February 19). I view the sightings of the
bald eagle as a good omen that somehow, some way, a solution will
be found that doesn’t wreck the environment to build a highway called
the Millstone Bypass, or what is more recently referred to as "Penns
Neck Area Improvements."
I happen to think the balance is dangerously tilted in central New
Jersey and the wildlife and birdlife don’t have enough places to call
home or seek a safe haven from the human population! It’s time to
guide growth away from environmentally sensitive areas, such as the
Millstone River, Delaware and Raritan Canal, Carnegie Lake, and Washington
Road’s historic Elm trees. Some people don’t question why and where
a road is built. They say, "Why fight progress?" Well, that
all depends on what on what we consider to be progress!
Building a highway that will cause more problems than it solves is
never a solution! Building a highway next to a river or canal where
millions of residents and businesses draw their water is not progress;
it merely transfers the costs to water treatment when we have to pump
the water to make it drinkable. Being afraid to drink the water coming
from your tap and buying bottled water instead is not progress. Water
quality is severely threatened because we are creating more miles
of asphalt, parking lots and big box stores. Air quality will continue
to diminish if people have to sit in their cars for longer periods
of time or drive farther to services that are outside city centers
and away from mass transit routes.
Our view of progress may differ somewhat, however we seem to agree
that business leaders and environmentalists can sit down and find
ways to co-exist.
Mr. Rein, please take up Mr. Hollister’s invitation for a ride in
a canoe and explore the D&R Canal and Millstone River when spring
finally comes! You will find that every possibility must be explored
in order to avoid destroying our waterways and natural places to construct
a highway. Asphalt is man’s final crop.
Keep the dialogue open. I am a person who is hopefully optimistic
that the group of citizens, mayors, environmental organizations, corporate
representatives and state agencies meeting across the table from one
another in the process called the "Penns Neck Area EIS Roundtable"
can take a very complex problem before them, weigh all the alternatives,
and hammer out a new definition of "progress."
Mary M. Penney
ALLOW ME TO REPORT: A friend who lives in Kingston reported
seeing an (American Bald) eagle flying past her windows while she
was working with a client last week (it would have been inappropriate
for her to jump up and follow the bird with eyes or binoculars). This
woman is a birder, a participant in the Kingston Christmas Bird Count.
She was particularly aware of the bird’s large bright/dark yellow
beak — not the size or color of the osprey, for example.
Another friend, new to the region, this past Saturday saw an (American
Bald) eagle sitting on the ice on "What is that lake?" She
meant the widened part of the Millstone River at US Route 1 and Plainsboro
Road. Her companion saw it first and she didn’t believe him. But there
was no mistaking that head and that size. They tried to pull off,
but everywhere was posted "No Trespassing."
She was very clear regarding size and coloring, the very white head,
the very dark body feathers. I checked, as blandly as I could, about
a "mask" — in case it was an osprey. No mask. She knows
I’ve just come back from seeing hundreds of bald eagles fishing on
ice, then eating them in trees along the Illinois and Mississippi
Rivers, near Grafton, Illinois. This is why she told me — not
because she realizes that eagle habitat has anything to do my concerns
over bypass roads.
As Scott Isringhausen, site interpreter at Pere Marquette State Park,
told us in February in Illinois, "In order to save the eagle,
it is essential to save his habitat."
Carolyn Foote Edelmann
Paid family leave is a defining issue for the 21st century
workplace. Labor unions, women’s groups, and child advocacy associations
across the country support paid family leave and New Jersey is one
of 28 states where paid family leave has been introduced. In response,
the business community has been fighting tooth-and-nail against paid
family leave, even though New Jersey already has paid disability leave
that workers can use.
Indeed, more than 40 business groups, including the Association of
Women Business Owners, the state Chamber of Commerce, and the New
Jersey Business and Industry Association, have opposed paid family
However, the debate in New Jersey is muddled in politics and stale
thinking. Neither side in the debate is thinking outside the box.
With a little creativity the New Jersey work force can have paid family
leave without raiding the trust funds or instituting a new payroll
tax. At the same time, individual choice can be preserved. If people
are paying for pet grooming services through flexible spending accounts,
it’s a no-brainer to think of paid family leave as another benefit
choice that an employee makes.
Such a paid benefit has yet to be introduced into the market, but
it could work like any other employer-sponsored spending account,
with pre-tax dollars contributed by the employee. The employer could
make a voluntary contribution as well.
Employers Association of New Jersey
ADS CONGRATULATING a company’s client are commonplace in New York,
but not in Princeton. So the ad for a law firm on the back cover of
this issue will get attention. And if the name of the client, Stephen
Chou, looks familiar, there’s a good reason why. Chou was featured
on the front of U.S. 1 on October 16, 2002, in a cover story
on the Brave (Small) New World of Nanotechnology.
Chou has a nano-laboratory at Princeton University and two companies
that use nanotechnology — NanoOpto and Nanonex. Known as the leading
authority on the commercialization of nanotechnology, Chou was the
only New Jersey scientist to make the Top 10 list compiled by the
MIT Technology Review. Chou’s motto: "Conventional theories no
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