New in Town

Dataline, 5 Vaughn Drive, Suite 307, Princeton 08540; 609-730-1642; fax, 609-730-1050. Paul Sobel, CEO.

Consumer database information supplier Dataline has moved into its new offices at 5 Vaughn Drive.

Founded in 2000 by Paul Sobel, a 25-year veteran of the direct marketing industry, Dataline operates a proprietary database containing consumer information on more than 235 million individuals. Information is broken into categories such as lifestyle interests, demographics, political or religious affiliations, and spending habits. The core of the database “is comprised of consumers that have responded and purchased items and/or services offered through direct mail, the Internet and telemarketing,” according to the company’s website.

Customers include publishing, insurance, consumer products, and fundraising organizations.

Sobel previously worked for Database America, where he was responsible for establishing and running the firm’s five national sales offices. He then established and ran the company’s 9 million-business database and 80 million-consumer database. He also established and managed the electronic media division, which sold the company’s products online and via CD-ROM.

Sobel also worked at Experian, where he managed a $14 million data acquisition budget. He earned a bachelor’s from Brandeis in 1975, a master’s from Michigan, and an MBA from NYU.

PulseTor LLC, 1580 Reed Road, Suite C3, Pennington 08534; 609-303-0578; fax, 609-303-0581. Gary Schnerr, director of operations.

Scientific instrumentation company PulseTor LLC has relocated from Jacksonville, Florida, to Reed Road in Pennington.

Founded in 2006, PulseTor was established to design, build and distribute the highest performance Silicon Drift Detectors (SDDs) as well as SDD-optimized preamplifiers and digital pulse processors. The products are used in the development of X-Ray microanalysis systems.

New Center Promises Community Justice

Most people talk a good game when it comes to honoring returning soldiers. The trouble is, not as many listen.

In fact, a 2008 study by the Rand Corporation noted that a full 20 percent of the 1.6 million soldiers who have served in the Middle East since October, 2001 — that’s 320,000 men and women — have suffered psychological problems that keep them from functioning fully in the civilian world. And many of them need legal assistance to help them secure disability benefits from the Veterans Administration and Social Security Administration.

This, says Melissa Gertz, executive director of the recently opened Community Justice Center, on West State Street in Trenton ( is a major, largely unaddressed problem. There are, in fact, no public interest law firms that deal with such matters.

The reason for the scarcity is simple — there’s no money in it. Or at least there never was. Until recently attorneys could not collect fees on veterans’ and Social Security cases. Law school, in turn, did not teach students the specifics of handling these cases. But though the law now allows retainers from clients, there still is not that much money.

The non-profit CJC, which hosted its grand opening on Thursday, March 19, aims to be the champion of social justice for disabled veterans and others by providing free and low-cost legal services. Gertz says the center will offer statewide legal representation for eligible disabled individuals in front of the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration. It also seeks to effect systemic change through outreach and education.

The center is run by three attorneys, including Gertz, Bordentown attorney Lisa Turowsky, and environmental attorney C. Patterson McKenna.

A social advocate from an early age, Gertz grew up in Ringoes, where she first learned about the civil rights movement during middle-school classes. In high school she was active in Amnesty International, and went on to study sociology at Oberlin College and at Eugene Lang College in New York, earning her bachelor’s there in 2002. She also minored in gender studies. She earned her J.D. from Rutgers in 2005.

“Law shouldn’t be held just in the hands of a few, but in the hands of the community,” Gertz says. She also quotes Robert F. Kennedy’s famous words, “If you can’t make waves, make ripples.”

From 2005 until January Gertz worked as a staff attorney at the Community Health Law Project’s central New Jersey office, on East State Street. There she represented indigent and disabled people in a variety of civil matters. Gertz also is the founder of the New Jersey chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

This background, entrenched in grassroots justice, offers Gertz and those who know her a chance to laugh off a question everyone seems to ask when they’ve heard she was nearly killed in a traffic accident in 2004 — “Did the crash change the way you looked at the world?”

“I get it all the time,” Gertz says — even from NPR, for which she recited the story for 20 minutes earlier this month. “But it’s not the sexy answer everyone wants to hear.”

The short answer is, no. She already had the drive to help the disadvantaged. The crash, which crushed her head and robbed her of her sight for most of her third year in law school — though after seven surgeries she can now see from her right eye — did not change her perspectives in one St. Paul-like moment.

The perspective the accident did afford her is to help her believe in people who are sick but don’t look it. “I don’t look sick, but I am,” she says. “And a lot of people are like that.” These same people are often dismissed, she says, because people simply don’t buy that someone could look perfectly normal and still not be.

Fellow founder Patterson McKenna, has been blind since age 5; and here Gertz acknowledges the condition as an asset in helping the disabled. “Because key staff are both disabled themselves and have experience in representing other disabled individuals, we are keenly aware of the need in our geographical area for additional, high-quality legal representation,” Gertz says. “We will be focusing on representation of ‘wounded warriors’ before the Veterans Administration to address a critical gap in such services.”

McKenna earned his bachelor’s in environmental geology from Lafayette College, a master’s in environmental science, and his J.D. from Rutgers, and specializes in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Since 2003 he has been working as a mediator and arbitrator for the ADR Unit of NJ Consumer Affairs and has participated in mediated family and employee discrimination conflicts. He also works in conjunction with the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Turowsky, a graduate of UMass, earned her law degree from Boston University in 1983. After moving to southern Vermont in 1987 Turowski worked in a cutting-edge program for survivors of abuse and earned a master’s in clinical social work. Turowski worked as a staff advocate for the Community Health Law Project, where her primary responsibility was to assist mentally ill clients with their claims for Social Security and other entitlements.

“As we become more established and widely recognized, we plan to hire a community activist to assist the CJC in collaborating with others in central New Jersey who seek to work for social justice,” Gertz says.

The CJC will provide the majority of its services to individuals as follows:

— Legal representation for disabled individuals whose income is at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty level and who have been denied supplemental security income (SSI) benefits;

— Legal representation for disabled veterans who have been denied disability benefits either by the Social Security Administration or the Veterans Administration;

— Legal representation for persons alleging civil rights violations under federal or New Jersey law; and

— Legal representation for persons who are effectively denied access to public spaces on the basis of economic status or disability.

Gertz says the trio is living from saved money and free help from volunteers who have provided services including computer tech work, taxes, and phone installation. A banker who is an auctioneer on the side has even offered to donate his time if the CJC ever needs a fundraiser. People everywhere, she says, are eager to see the center succeed because it’s simply about time something like this has come along in New Jersey.

The CJC also has received free advice from Andrew Rothman, dean of the Rutgers School of Law, and free legal services, from contracts to research, by Rutgers law students. Coupled with an inexpensive lease of a converted apartment — CJC has managed to set up for very little money.

“The underlying principle of our work is the belief that the free flow of information between citizens and those in positions of power can help bridge the gap between them,” Gertz says. “The CJC will be a conduit.”

— Scott Morgan

Community Justice Center, 310 West State Street, Third Floor, Trenton 08618; 609-218-5120; fax, 609-218-5126. Melissa Gertz, executive director.

Gone Virtual

A&S Technologies, Box 42, Princeton Junction 08550; 609-619-4811. James Appenzeller, founder.

A&S Technologies has gone virtual. The web integration software company has left its offices at 330 Wall Street in Research Park and its employees are working at-large, says CEO James Appenzeller.

“We’re saving a bunch of money,” Appenzeller says, adding that if the company feels the need for a physical space it will deal with the notion then.

Crosstown Move

American Eagle Express, 10-B Jules Lane, New Brunswick 08901; 484-768-1202. Felicia L. Davidson, office manager.

Ashton, Pennsylvania-based American Eagle Express, a precision delivery company that goes by the initials AEX, has moved its Princeton area offices to New Brunswick.

The four-person office, formerly located at 741 Alexander Road, now operates on Jules Lane. The company provides delivery services for time-sensitive documents across seven states in the middle Atlantic region.

Leaving Town

Ames Walker International Inc., 856 Route 206, Belle Mead 08502; 908-874-4472; fax, 908-359-9471.

Ames Walker, a purveyer of soft medical goods and accessories, has closed its Belle Meade office and no longer operates in New Jersey. According to the company, the distribution that occurred here has been moved to the company’s North Carolina headquarters.

Alsgen Inc., 7 Deer Park Drive, Suite L-1, Monmouth Junction.

The drug discovery company Alsgen, which focuses on drugs to combat ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, has left its labs on Deer Park Drive.

The suite Alsgen occupied has been taken over by a startup called Biotranex. Alsgen’s phone and fax lines no longer answer and it has no web presence.

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