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This article was prepared for the March 24, 2004 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

When U.S. 1 was launched nearly 20 years ago, it was characterized by some skeptical media observers as “the yuppie newspaper.” But we quickly discovered that senior citizens were relying on our paper as much as the young office professionals. As one retired but still active businessman told us, “We actually have the time to go to all those events you list.”

So when writer Flora Davis and photographer Sally Davidson proposed a story on the Community Without Walls program we jumped at the idea and placed it on the cover of our March 10 issue, along with a sidebar by longtime U.S. 1 contributor Joan Crespi, also a member of CWW. Since then we have heard that the CWW organizers have received more than a dozen inquiries from potential participants. And we have received some thought provoking letters:

To the Editor

I was very impressed by the Aging Together articles by Flora Davis and Joan Crespi. They were clear, informative, and interesting. I also found myself reading U.S. 1 in more detail than I have for some time and I was pleased with what I read.

I wonder if you would consider doing a regular column for the “over 50” age cohort. There are hundreds of us who would become regular readers if such a column were a regular feature of your publication.

Francesca Benson

A Child’s Concern For Her Mother, 88

My compliments on your recent articles about aging in place. Having the care of an 88-year-old mother, I know the difficulties children of aging parents face. Trying to maintain comfort, safety and health from 350 miles away is a challenge I’d rather not be facing but do willingly.

The prospect of a “community without walls” allowing elders to maintain their residences or at least their presence in their hometowns is invaluable. Many children think they have no choice but to bring mother and/or father to live with them, a process that is dislocating in the extreme.

My own aunt was ready to settle into a single life when my uncle died after a long bout with Alzheimer’s. While seeing him to the end, she had maintained her circle of friends and even found a “special friend” again. Once my uncle died, her son announced that, now that she was alone and aged herself, she had to live with him in Oklahoma — a far cry from Maine. Goodbye friends, a home of many decades, a new beau, familiar shops, and favorite places. Had she had the opportunity to point to a secure safety net of resources and support, she may have been able to stay home. As it was, she died far from the ocean, in Oklahoma, in less than two years.

I hope that your newspaper will continue to share information on the alternatives to the prospect of generic nursing homes and ever-changing, anonymous caregivers. There are innovative choices becoming available. Who knows, I may age myself one day and need to know all about them!

E. E. Whiting

Sayre Drive

REGARDING the Community Without Walls article:

Interesting stuff. Yes, I’m a CWW member and know all about the organization, but it’s nice to see that it rose to the level of a cover story in your newspaper. Keep it up. There are so many seniors and senior issues in this area, particularly since Princeton has not been a very friendly place for seniors to live. That comment speaks particularly to housing.

And then there are all these health issue. Leaving Medicare and drug costs aside, I’m an exercise enthusiast. There’s a huge health difference between seniors who exercise regularly (and have exercised regularly throughout their adult lives) and those who do not. Someone someday ought to look at this difference that makes a difference.

Kay Klotzburger

YOUR well-written articles on CWW and “Aging Together” was most informative and read by our friends and neighbors.

We would enjoy more articles on seniors in the Princeton area and we like your newspaper U.S.1.

Marjorie Steinberg

NJ & Business: Moving Together

As chief executive officer of the state Economic Development Authority, I encourage every aspiring entrepreneur I meet to develop a sensible business plan. To chart the growth for New Jersey, the same advice applies.

Last year Governor Jim McGreevey laid out his plan for job growth in our state, which included targeted economic development, enhanced business incentives, and a streamlining of business services.

By focusing on growth industries such as emerging technologies, pharmaceuticals, financial services, and logistics, the governor took to heart the advice of the state Council of Economic Advisors, and put New Jersey’s resources where they have the highest potential for success.

To that end, in support of the high-tech industry, EDA is moving forward with implementing the governor’s plan to create “Innovation Zones” in Newark, New Brunswick, and Camden. The goal is to attract emerging technology businesses to these defined zones, where proximity to universities and hospitals will increase collaborative research efforts.

EDA existing business incentive programs: the Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP), Technology Tax Certificate Transfer Program, and Springboard II, will be enhanced within the zones.

Earlier this month, as he outlined his budget goals, the governor demonstrated his commitment to the success of the Technology Tax Certificate Transfer Program, which allows high-tech companies to sell net operating loss and other tax credits to larger companies for cash. Currently the program is capped at providing $40 million annually in tax credits that provide capital to new start-up and growing high-tech businesses. The governor has proposed providing an additional $20 million to the program, while dedicating $10 million to high-tech companies located within an Innovation Zone to encourage collaboration with state research universities.

This news is underscored by the governor’s recent action that strengthened the effectiveness of the Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP). Last year reforms made the program available to more businesses, especially high-tech and biotech businesses, and subject to a stable, assured source of funding. The reforms will also boost grant awards to companies within the four targeted industries.

The governor also plans to enhance job retention efforts by providing grants for companies retaining at least 500 jobs in New Jersey. The initiative would have a lower threshold for targeted industries, including manufacturing. Under the proposal, grants would range from $500 to $1,500 per employee.

Other steps taken to leverage state investments in growth industries include the new phase of the Springboard Fund, adding $10 million to the program. The fund assists early-stage technology companies by providing capital at an early time in their development.

The Administration also announced a commitment to a new Biotechnology/Life Sciences Venture Fund, to which the state will commit $10 million. Treasurer John E. McCormac predicted that state investment through the fund will likely be matched by triple that level of investment from private sources.

These new initiatives are in many ways the result of discussions with statewide technology organizations such as the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey, the New Jersey Technology Council, and the Research & Development Council of New Jersey. By listening to the business community, New Jersey is better able to respond to their needs.

The creation of these new programs at EDA highlights steps taken by the McGreevey Administration to streamline government programs and processes. By consolidating business financing programs into the EDA, we are creating a more efficient means to meet the needs of companies.

Caren S. Franzini

New Jersey Economic Development Authorit

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