To the Editor: Bryn Mawr & Wellesley

Social Capital: Heartening Concept

From the Editor: U.S. 1 Arts Editor Takes a Final Bow

Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the April 7, 2004

issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

We have a surfeit of communiques this week. For your reading pleasure

we present two letters to the editor, and one unusual letter from an

editor about an editor.

Top Of Page
To the Editor: Bryn Mawr & Wellesley

It was great to see "Bryn Mawr Books" on the cover of U.S. 1 as the

"Best Bet" (U.S. 1, March 24). Annual book sales, even this

great-grandmother of them all, appreciate all the help they can get to

let people know they are still alive and kicking!

For its first 70 years, this sale was indeed run solely by Bryn Mawr

alumnae. (There are still some remarkable, spry alums who’ve been

involved for more than half a century.) However, for the last three

years, Wellesley alumnae have come to the aid of their Bryn Mawr

sisters to help the sale survive to what is now almost three-quarters

of a century! As the president of the Wellesley Club of Central NJ, I

am very aware of the hours and hours of help we provided this year.

After all, there were 100,000 books to unpack, dust off, evaluate and

price, and cans of sand to fill, in which to prop up signs indicating

the more than 60 categories into which they had been sorted. This went

on at Princeton Day School for eight days and nights before the sale

even opened. Speaking of "befores"…those tens of thousands of books

had to be accepted and sorted all year long in the sale’s warehouse.

Then came the sale itself for another five days.

So, despite the enthusiasm and lucid advice of your bibliophiles Lanny

Jones and Ed Tenner, and the alliterative beauty of Bryn

Mawr/Books/Bibliophile, the correct name for this endeavor is now the

Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale, an un-alliterative, lo-o-ong name,

unfortunately missing from an otherwise superb piece.

U.S. 1, thank you so much for selecting us as your Best Bet! You

helped make this year’s sale exceedingly successful. Now there will be

more young women from the area who will be able to receive financial

help to attend Bryn Mawr and Wellesley colleges – and more books

recycled back to local readers, as well as those up and down the East


Erica Weeder

Top Of Page
Social Capital: Heartening Concept

We were very interested to see your March 24th cover story describing

Princeton Social Capital’s philanthropy consulting services. Our

family has been fortunate to know President Curt Bassett personally

for years, and have always been inspired by his unique skills and

ability to positively impact such a specialty field.

With increasingly scarce public sector funding, the company’s vision

of leveraging one of our country’s greatest historical strengths –

philanthropy – is especially timely.

As a nonprofit organization focused on implementing telemedicine and

distance learning solutions for the autism community, we’re heartened

to see the emergence of companies like Curt Bassett’s, which can help

philanthropists greatly impact innovative programs in the non-profit

sector. Knowing first-hand the strains pressing down on ‘special

needs’ families, we consciously minimize grass roots fundraising for

our initiatives, and recognize what a vital funding source

philanthropists can be.

There is a special philanthropic mindset in our U.S. 1 Corridor that

can positively change the world, and we nonprofits can also learn a

lot from Mr. Bassett’s experience to better appeal to our giving

philanthropy community. Thank you for highlighting this special view

of the nonprofit/philanthropy field.

Ron Oberleitner


Princeton Autism Technology

Top Of Page
From the Editor: U.S. 1 Arts Editor Takes a Final Bow

For the past eight and a half years, the arts and entertainment

section of this paper – Preview – has been edited by Nicole Plett. The

Preview section in this issue is the last one under Plett’s tenure,

and this is the time to take notice of an artistic endeavor that has

produced more than 400 carefully balanced sections, which included

scores of stories reported and written by the editor herself.

Eight and a half years may not be that many in some fields, but in the

arts it’s a long time. Most of us wouldn’t recognize the prime time

television schedule from 1995. Since then on Broadway hundreds of new

shows have opened. The only ones remaining from that year are "Beauty

and the Beast" and "Phantom of the Opera." Plett has kept her act

going all these years, as well, even though every week she has had to

strike the sets, rebuild the stage, and begin to learn new lines. No

coasting in our business, even after you get it all down pat. And it’s

a job made more difficult by the proliferation of new technologies

that promise faster delivery of more information. The question is no

longer simply, "Did you send those photographs from opening night?"

but also, "How did you send them, in what format, and at what


Plett’s own stories helped energize the section and the various

freelance writers whose efforts she coordinated over that time period.

Among those profiled by Plett in the pages of U.S. 1:

Emily Mann, Michael Graves, Bill T. Jones, Joyce Carol Oates, Janis

Ian, Christo, Elaine Showalter, Emmet Gowin, George Segal, Athol

Fugard, Anne Meara, Mikhail Baryshnikov, J. Seward Johnson Jr.,

Priscilla Herdman, Twyla Tharp, Paul Muldoon, Scott Berg, and Paul


Her specialty was the arts, but that didn’t stop her from addressing

other subjects. She turned an art exhibit featuring images from the

Sourland Mountains north of Princeton into a cover story on the threat

of surburban sprawl and the formation of the Sourlands Planning

Council. On the 50th anniversary of the nuclear attack on the

Japanese, she recounted the work of the Allied mission that studied

the devastation – it included her father, Jacob Bronowski, the British

philosopher of science and the creator of the 1973 BBC series, "The

Ascent of Man."

One of her most challenging moments as an editor was in the fall of

2002, when our annual fall arts Preview section fell on September 11.

Plett led U.S. 1’s effort to commemorate that day. The cover headline

read "From the Ashes: Making Art and Making Sense of September 11."

The section delivered on the promise.

In the journalistic version of the "old soldiers never die" adage,

editors who step down often go back to what they did before they got

caught up in the deadline grind. Most often that’s writing.

In the case of Plett, she came to U.S. 1 after a distinguished career

in academic writing and dance criticism. Before she took over

Preview’s reins, she had served as a senior research assistant for the

Program in the Study of Women and Gender at Princeton University. With

a master’s degree in art history from the University of New Mexico,

Plett had been a dance and visual arts critic, writing for the New

Mexican, Santa Fe’s daily newspaper, the New York Times, the

Albuquerque Journal, and Dance Magazine. Among the resumes of U.S. 1

writers, editors, and freelance contributors, hers was one of the more

erudite: One of her credits: An article on gender issues in the ballet

"Coppelia" – titled "Uncanny Women and Anxious Masters: Reading

Coppelia Against Freud."

Like any savvy journalist, Plett is keeping her career options open.

But she does say that she "will continue to be active in arts

coverage in our area." We applaud her eight-year run at U.S. 1 and

look forward to her next act.

– Richard K. Rein

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