Donald C. (Jeb) Stuart III, former co-owner, editor, publisher, and — fortunately for us at U.S. 1 — all-around good guy at Town Topics newspaper, died June 4 after a decade-long battle with prostate cancer.
Stuart, who would have been 67 on June 13, took over Town Topics, a free weekly paper that serves Princeton Borough and Township, in 1981 after the unexpected death of his father, the paper’s co-founder. At that time U.S. 1’s Richard K. Rein was a freelance contributor to Town Topics and other publications. But just three years later Rein was launching U.S. 1 — and asking for advice and help from anyone he knew.
Jeb Stuart, still new to the job, could have said he was busy enough coping with his own publishing challenges and told Rein to look elsewhere. Instead he offered the services of one of his production people and opened up his production equipment in the off hours so that Rein (with the help of the Daily Princetonian’s Larry DuPraz) could produce the galleys of paper that would become the editorial content of the early issues of U.S. 1.
Stuart was similarly generous in his dealings with the Daily Princetonian, the college newspaper produced just a few hundred yards down University Place from the Town Topics at 4 Mercer Street. Even though Jeb never served on the ‘Prince’ as an undergraduate at Princeton, he nevertheless served for nearly two decades on the organization’s board of trustees.
When he and his wife, Sheila, sold the Town Topics in 2001, he knew he was living his life with cancer as an unwelcome partner. He spent that time well, and that example should serve all of us as we face our own adversities. We thank Jeb for that, as well as for being a good and generous guy back in 1984.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 18, at 3 p.m. in the Princeton University Chapel. Gifts may be made to the Princeton Healthcare System Foundation, Radiation Oncology Department, 253 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08542.
To the Editor: Family Leave Much Appreciated
With all due respect to Philip Kirschner’s commentary in the May 28 edition (“Paid Family Leave Will Kill Small Business”), I am compelled to respond.
Although I agree with some points made about Governor Jon Corzine’s decision to push “six weeks of paid time off to care for a family or newborn,” I completely disagree that this legislation should not have been passed. I applaud Corzine for this.
Although there are many people who might not agree with a number of the Governor’s decisions he has made over the years, I am thankful to his and Senator Menendez’s office for the support they have offered in the wake of a crisis that began for our family in 2007. The imposing of a “one-size-all” approach might require tweaking in the future, but please review my reasoning behind why I felt the need to respond.
My wife was diagnosed with a Grade III inoperable brain tumor in February, 2007. My wife was 29 weeks pregnant at the time and we have a beautiful daughter after an elective c-section at 32 weeks on February 15, 2007. My wife became 90 percent paralyzed on her right (dominant) side, after undergoing an unsuccessful “awake” craniotomy on February 23, 2007. She also had two other surgeries due to a cyst that developed on top of her tumor.
She was 32 when the episode happened and is making tremendous progress to date. I cannot thank the tremendous support of our neurosurgeon and staff, maternal fetal medicine, Brunswick Hills OBGYN, NICU, SICU, pediatricians, family, friends, and my employer. I can go on and on but am currently on medical leave due the stress I have fought through to have my wife and daughter be healthy.
In regards to this legislation, I was and am fortunate that my company created a “Vacation Donation” program, which other people are able to use and which included over 200 days donated from my colleagues that allowed me to care for a premature child and a wife who I carried up and down stairs for two months, suffers from seizures, takes numerous medications, went through radiation/chemo, and continues to take chemotherapy five days per month and requires MRIs every two months.
My issues with the commentary by Mr. Kirschner are the following:
— Our situation is no different from that of so many individuals who are dealt setbacks from serious illnesses. Whether it is brain cancer, MS, car accident, or anything you can imagine, this mandate that begins in 2009 allows for “peace of mind” for caregivers throughout the state of New Jersey.
— I am blessed that my employer continued to pay me through FMLA and beyond, but many individuals are not so lucky.
— Although I am currently on a medical leave to get myself healthy again, I do not have any regrets about the time I have taken to care for my two ladies, fight my insurance company, and research this disease that is finally getting national attention through Senator Ted Kennedy’s unfortunate situation.
Please understand that I am well aware of the financial impact it has on small companies throughout the state during a recession, but what would you do? Many people I know are working more than ever, have no time to balance work/family, and are strapped to get through the events of recent history. Throw a major tragedy of a loved one into the mix.
I only ask Mr. Kirschner and others that they respect my opinion on a topic that turned our lives upside down. I do understand certain points of his commentary, but think how you would handle this situation at 37 years old, married for almost 10 years, finally have a beautiful child, and are faced with a crisis like so many others deal with. With all due respect, thank you for your article but I also applaud Governor Jon Corzine for pushing this mandate.
Costly to Business
New Jersey’s Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) recently adopted revised rules that went into effect on June 2. While providing for affordable housing is a good cause, these changes will have a devastating impact on economic development efforts in New Jersey and discourage employers from growing jobs. This comes at a time when New Jersey’s economy is in recession and job opportunities for residents are shrinking.
Why would affordable housing have a detrimental impact on economic development?
While we support the idea of affordable housing, we disagree with one of the ways that COAH wants to pay for it — by taxing job growth. Under the revised rules, for every 16 jobs that a New Jersey company adds, it must pay a “growth share” for the privilege. In other words, the new rules would force companies to pay for a unit of housing for every 16 jobs they add.
The “growth share” amount paid by companies varies by region. Job creation in Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean counties, for example, will cost companies $152,227 for every new affordable housing obligation. COAH has determined a need for 115,666 units of affordable housing in New Jersey through 2018 — up from 52,000 in the previous rules. Therefore, the financial impact on employers will be great over the long-term.
New Jersey is the only state with a mandate that ties affordable housing to economic growth. There is also a component of the new rules that forces companies to pay additional amounts to COAH if they decide to expand their facilities. To make expansion and job creation punishable by additional fees is at odds with the Governor’s goal of growing us out of our debt through economic vitality.
In a statewide survey of New Jersey residents, 62 percent felt that businesses should pay lower taxes so they can stay and reinvest here. More than three quarters of residents agreed that the state ought to create a better business climate for New Jersey-based businesses, so they stay here and hire here. Residents get it. Why doesn’t the government?
Let COAH and your legislators know that the state should be doing everything humanly possible to grow jobs, not discourage them. Full contact information for them may be found at www.njchamber.com. These affordable housing rules penalize companies for providing opportunities for New Jersey workers.
NJ Chamber of Commerce
216 West State Street, Trenton