About this issue: For 19 years we have dedicated the last issue in December to people with full-time jobs who volunteer for good causes. May their tribes increase.

About the cover: It is the second for Jane Rodriguez. Craig Terry’s photograph of her and her first child, Emily, was the cover image for an article on maternity leave policies on October 25, 1989. Rodriguez was 41 when she gave birth, and Interpool CEO Martin Tuchman offered to pay for setting up a daycare center at the workplace. "I was back at work in six weeks, because I could bring her," she says. The cover is still framed on her wall.

With this issue our delivery team also brings the annual U.S. 1 Calendar and Datebook complete with hundreds of events for 2004. One copy is our gift to each of the companies on our delivery routes, but additional copies are $6.95.

This issue is also our last chance to send our holiday greetings. After a week’s break (no issue on Wednesday, December 24), our next delivery date will be Tuesday, December 30, one day ahead of our usual schedule, for our annual Survival Guide Issue. The deadline is Friday, December 19, but we will do our best to use what you send whenever you send it. Happy holidays!

To the Editor: Do-Good Website

Sometimes we create tools for one reason, only to learn that they have extremely useful applications in other areas as well. Such is the case with www.njserves.org, New Jersey’s largest online database of more than 40,000 volunteer groups and civic organizations. Originally designed in 1998 by Rutgers University students as a tool to link New Jersey’s citizens with community organizations that interest them, www.njserves.org has taken on a new, arguably timelier role.

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the importance of disaster preparedness and emergency response has moved to the forefront of our collective consciousness. That’s where a new value of www.njserves.org reveals itself. Immediately after this tragedy, thousands of people visited www.njserves.org to link to comprehensive information for support, assistance, and government agencies that could lend a hand. Prior to September 11, www.njserves.org averaged more than 7,000 visitors per month. Immediately following this national tragedy, site visitors skyrocketed to more than 75,000 with an average of 2,500 per day.

Unfortunately, disasters that are beyond our control will continue to happen. But we can plan ahead and try to prepare ourselves as much as possible. By book-marking www.njserves.org on your computer, you’ll have quick access to New Jersey’s most extensive virtual directory of local nonprofit, service, and relief agencies right at your fingertips. Since www.njserves.org provides a searchable directory of volunteer opportunities and a statewide calendar listing of family-friendly events, you can visit the site for everyday usage as well.

From finding a volunteer opportunity for the whole family to preparing your home for unforeseen emergencies, www.njserves.org is truly a one-stop source.

Dr. D. Michael Shafer

Director, njserves.org

Chamber’s Thanks

The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors would like to thank the participants and sponsors of our First Annual Business Leadership Awards Gala at Jasna Polana.

The Chamber is pleased to have had the opportunity to recognize a distinguished group of business and community leaders including David Holmes of the Eden Institute, Shirley Tilghman of Princeton University, and Peter Dawson of Leigh Photo and Imaging.

We thank the independent judges who selected Peter Dawson as the Entrepreneur of the Year. Professor Ron Cook, director of the Small Business Institute at Rider University, and Paul Belliveau, of Belliveau Associates, were diligent in their review of the credentials of the nominees, who were evaluated based upon the stringent standards set forth by the United States Small Business Administration. Tthe gala planning committee represented the Chamber membership and recommended David Holmes as Leader of the Year and Shirley Tilghman as Innovator of the Year.

It is their community and business involvement, along with the participation of countless others who are involved in the Chamber and the many other Princeton area civic and community service organizations, that helps to make the Princeton region one of the best places in the country to live, work, and raise a family.

Finally, we express our appreciation to Fleet Bank, Merrill Lynch, Princeton Communications Group, Bohren’s – United Van Lines, and NAI Fennelly for underwriting the awards. Their generosity, as well as the support of many others, helped to ensure that the proceeds can be fully used to support the Chamber’s expanding programs and services.

We encourage you to support your business owners and employees in the Princeton region. Remember to Buy Local!

Michael J. Hierl

Chairman of the Board

Kristin S. Appelget

President and CEO

Trischka’s Bluegrass

THANKS FOR THE PIECE on innovative and brilliant banjo player Tony Trischka ("Tony Trischka’s Dicey Take on Bluegrass Music," December 10). But the statement "some of Trischka’s recordings were trashed in stodgy magazines like Bluegrass Unlimited" needs tuning up.

The odd, reactionary record reviewer notwithstanding, Bluegrass Unlimited has been highly progressive in its support of "newgrass" music over the years. In fact, BU honored Tony Trischka & Skyline with a cover story way back in its October 1983 issue. I know. I wrote it.

Richard D. Smith

The writer is a former U.S. 1 editor and author of "Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ — The Life of Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass."

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