How do you put together a newspaper cover to represent a complex issue such as Obamacare? Our solution last week was to run the photographs of our two experts and interview subjects, dress it up with a typographical representation of the prescription “Rx” symbol, and then tie it all together with some clever verbiage.
That’s where we ran into trouble. Our editor, having just read Michele Alperin’s informative article on the healthcare subject, volunteered to provide the verbiage: “Princeton University professors Fred Starr and Elizabeth Bogan critique the new healthcare plan,” the editor began.
There was just one problem — there is no professor Fred Starr at Princeton. The source interviewed by Alperin (and correctly identified in her story) was sociologist Paul Starr.
We apologize for the error. But we also can’t help but offer an explanation: When our editor was an undergraduate at Princeton in the late 1960s one of the cooler professors in the history department was S. Frederick Starr, an expert on Russia and central Asia. Fred Starr left Princeton to eventually become a vice president at Tulane and — in 1983 — the president of Oberlin College. Along the way he earned separate credits as a jazz clarinetist. He is now at Johns Hopkins and — so far as we know — no relation to Paul Starr.
#b#To the Editor: Good Treatment Should Have Value#/b#
Professor Elizabeth Bogan (U.S. 1, September 19) brings up a frequently heard concern about what treatments to fund, whether under Medicare or any insurer.
Rehabilitation professionals recommend treatments with an expected functional return or enhancement of the quality of life.
It is the right and responsibility of the patients and responsible party to question whether treatments are necessary and worthwhile. Plans of care are developed with patient input and agreement. Woe to the rehabilitation program that encourages less than worthwhile therapies. Having started my career at the time of the Stein nursing home investigations in New York City, it is depressing to hear tales of therapy that has questionable value. Evidence-based practice should be the norm.
Marlene Tarshish PT
Rehabilitation Manager, Princeton Home Care Services
#b#Keep Zoning For Private Schools#/b#
The New Jersey Assembly is currently considering legislation, already passed in the Senate, that would exempt private universities and colleges from the requirement of gaining approval from municipal planning and zoning boards when they seek to develop their land. A past court decision exempts public colleges and universities from the need to secure these approvals because they are seen as instrumentalities of the state that are serving a critical public mission.
The fractured logic behind this legislation is that private institutions should be treated as public institutions because they also “contribute substantially to that important public mission.” But the danger in extending this exemption is that private colleges and universities are also private developers.
In Plainsboro, Princeton University owns approximately 685 acres of land, about half of which could still be developed. These undeveloped parcels encompass about 62 percent of all the land that can be developed in Plainsboro Township. That means that just under two-thirds of all the undeveloped land in Plainsboro would be exempt from the open and sensible public planning process.
A portion of this land has been developed in direct support of education activities, but the vast majority has been developed for profit to the financial benefit of the university. Some of these lands include the Princeton Forrestal Center and the Princeton Forrestal Village. To date, the university has developed approximately 161 acres. This development has been a success largely because the local planning process has insured that the land was developed consistent with the township’s master plan.
Should this legislation become law, the university-owned land not yet developed would not be subject to local planning. This represents approximately 62 percent of all the land in Plainsboro that is still available for development and we would have no voice!
Would the university develop the tax revenue generating office research projects (at appropriate densities) that are currently planned; or will institutional needs trump the public interest with Plainsboro becoming the home of oversized office and housing developments? Will the impacts on traffic, the environment, and the schools be considered? Will we be certain that tax revenues will be raised to pay for the added services? Sadly, the answer is no.
I urge the Assembly to exercise the good judgment that escaped the Senate and reject this legislation.
Peter A. Cantu
Mayor, Plainsboro Township