It’s like Old Home Week around here, as we call business owners we have known for 15 or 20 years for this year’s U.S. 1 Business Directory. We may have reported on these companies when they opened their offices in Princeton, or when they expanded here, so these calls are like greeting classmates at a reunion.
That’s how it felt when we reached Dean Stevens, who founded an unusual business called Vide-O-Go Inc./That’s Infotainment. We always look forward to talking to Stevens because he is so upbeat. In 1989 he started out selling business-related training videos at the just-built Princeton Forrestal Village, where his toddler son helped him mind the store. When his business model changed, he moved to the wholesale distribution of multimedia programs to institutions, public schools, and library systems.
Now he has moved to North Carolina. “After 18 years, I made the move, and I’m lovin’ it down here,” says Stevens. He is earning a master’s in higher education at North Carolina State, with the aim of being regional admissions coordinator for Syracuse. That toddler son is now in his senior year there.
If the 79 degree weather last Wednesday, March 14, seemed more like mid-summer than late winter, then we would call it a gift from Mother Nature, highlighting our cover story on global warming that appeared in that issue.
But of course that gift soon gave way to a most “inconvenient truth” — the ice and sleet storm that blanketed our region just two days later and reminded us that winter was still with us and that, as the scientists at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab say, the weather on any particular day is not a good gauge of overall climate.
Having said that we can’t resist adding a few more weather observations to the mix from last week. We implied that the recent freezing of Lake Carnegie was an unusual event that had not happened in several years — some people around town swear it hadn’t been open for skating like that since 1993.
But Ted Ernst of the Princeton Recreation Department, which is responsible for checking the ice for safety, supplied some information based on fact rather than anecdote. In the winter of 1993-’94 there was a lot of skating, township records show, but then it fell off dramatically, with only a handful of skating days until 2002-’03, when there were about two weeks.
Since then there was only a single day of ice time until this year. But, says Ernst, open skating at Carnegie Lake is not a good measure of how cold the weather is. That’s because the ice not only has to be solid, a good seven inches thick, but it also has to be clear of snow. Some wonderful skating opportunities were lost in recent years when snowstorms followed deep freezes. The snow not only impedes skaters, but it also covers up open spots in the ice that exist even during deep freezes.
All we know for sure is that isn’t like it was in 1906, when Carnegie Lake was dedicated on December 5. One of the attendees at that ceremony noted that he was “absolutely thrilled” to arrive in town and see a hundred boys skating on the frozen lake.