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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on April 5, 2000. All rights reserved.
Housing Helper: Trenton
Rebuilding Trenton is no longer just the business of
its residents. With a massive shortage of housing in central New Jersey
and the growing problem of sprawl, the outlying towns have a vested
interest in making Trenton an attractive place to live, says Martin
Johnson, director of Isles, the non-profit that seeks to foster
more self-sufficient families and sustainable communities through
urban housing, agriculture, and job training.
"People are tired of congestion, traffic, long lines, and destroyed
vistas," he says, "and increasingly wondering why development
isn’t happening where there’s already an infrastructure. It’s becoming
clear that long-term vision for healthy communities has to move outside
the geographic boundaries of municipal lines. Decisions are being
made in the town next door that have a direct impact on us, and sustainability
in our communities is jeopardized."
Johnson will speak at Regional Planning Partnership Thursday, April
6, at 8:30 a.m. at the Trenton Club. Also participating: author David
the Transportation Policy Institute; and William Watson
John S. Watson Institute of Public Policy. Call 609-393-5656.
The meeting will draw on ideas that Rusk outlines in his book, "Inside
Game/Outside Game." Rusk has looked at the connection between
a region’s health and the urban core. "He has in effect said that
when urban areas reach a certain level of distress, they reach a point
of no return unless the surrounding region steps up to help solve
the problems," says Johnson, who founded Isles while a student
at Princeton University, Class of 1981. "The premise is that city
organizations can’t just focus on the city’s health without engaging
Even while housing prices in surrounding areas soar, Trenton’s housing
costs remain relatively low. According to the April New Jersey Monthly
home cost survey, the average 1999 sale price in Trenton was $73,000
— one of the lowest in the state. Isles programs have focused
on creating quality affordable housing in Trenton that incorporates
open space, opportunities for agriculture, as well as benefits for
"For us sustainability is the ability to develop without damaging
opportunities for future generations," says Johnson. "The
bottom line is that Trenton can’t sustain all the growth that the
region has projected in the next 20 years. There’s not enough space
here for that, but we do have to be a part of the solution. While
we purchase and set aside open space, we also have to create quality
developments where people want to be. Our mission is to display how
denser developments can be exciting, great places to live. If we continue
the sprawl, we will eliminate the majority of our open space."
Your friend in government in Mercer County, is Dennis
Kinney, who is the new Business Services Representative (BSR) for
state government and will act as the "single point of contact"
for information on government services. "Make one call to your
BSR," says Kinney, "and we will handle your request and make
all the necessary contacts for you."
If you are a member of the Princeton Chamber, you probably received
a letter from him last week. You can meet Kinney when he attends the
chamber’s luncheon on Thursday, April 6, at 11:30 a.m. at the Doral
Forrestal. The main speaker on this program is Calvin Iszard
of Bell Atlantic, who will explain just how the Workforce Investment
Board (WIB) can help employers recruit staff. Also making short presentations
will be Robert Murray
chairs the new workforce development committee at the chamber, and
program manager. Kinney’s opposite number for Middlesex County is
and in Somerset County it is Eddy Mayen
Kinney at 609-777-4512 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Bucks County native, Kinney was the manager of the Raven restaurant
in New Hope and is most enthusiastic about his new job, the result
of a joint initiative between the labor and human services departments.
"I wanted to venture out to something different, and with this
job I can help get people off of welfare and back to work." His
training in customer service, he believes, will stand him in good
Among the programs that he wants to bring to the attention of employers:
the state’s customized training grants. "It is a major benefit
to the company to have some sort of funding to retrain and upgrade
the skills of the workers." He will also have information on Work
First New Jersey (welfare to the workforce), On the Job Training Grants,
and Work Opportunity Tax Credits, and the job posting website WNJPIN
(www.wnjpin.state.nj.us). "Our purpose is to make state government
more `user friendly’ for the business community," says Kinney.
Friday, April 7
Learn about E-commerce and Enterprise Resource Planning
or nominate your webmaster for an award, all through Technology New
"Turning Your E-vision into a Competitive Advantage" is the
topic for Dave Rizzo
gives the keynote for the E-Commerce and ERP conference and expo,
entitled "Building the Foundation for the New Millennium,"
for Technology New Jersey on Friday, April 7, from 8 a.m. to 5:30
p.m. at the Newark Marriott. Cost: $179. Call 609-419-4444 or go to
Other presenters include Mark Rhoney
who speaks on "Helping put the E in Business;" Jonathan
Lofton of Supply Chain Excellence/Lucent Technologies on "Transforming
Legacy ERP to Support E-supply chain and E-business initiatives;"
value of SAP;" Mark Goebel
in the Corporate Infrastructure;" and Jim Katzenberger
Bristlecone (www.bconde.com) on "From ERP to E-business: Why Should
We make the Shift, and What Challenges Will We Face?"
Also "Enterprise Decision Support — Sourcing from SAP R/3,"
by Karl Kaeten
and the Vision of the Future," by Mark Peterson
(www.jdedwards.com); "Warner-Lambert’s E-commerce within Global
Sourcing" by Srinivas Ragan
for Warner-Lambert); and "Next Generation ERP and E-commerce"
by Frank Meyers
Exhibitors and their websites also include www.access-commerce.com,
Applied Tactical Systems (www.atsworld.com), www.cognos.com, www.commerceone.com,
Computer Generated Solutions (www.cgsinc.com), www.dataedgeinc.com,
www.intelligroup.com, www.novasoftinfo.com, www.optika.com, www.orderfusion.com,
www.paylinx.com, www.rootcorp.com, www.rwd.com, www.sagasoftware.com,
www.technologygroup.com, www.enterpriseltd.com, www.ups.com, www.visionetsystems.com.
Nomination forms for TNJ’s Internet awards can be submitted until
Monday, May 1. Awards will be presented at an E-Commerce conference
and expo on Thursday, June 1, at the Sheraton Newark Airport Hotel.
The Internet Innovator Award recognizes the most influential Internet
commerce leaders in New Jersey. Only a specific individual can be
nominated. The Internet Excellence Awards, however, could include
teams, companies, and organizations that have created and implemented
a leading edge Web site or E-commerce site.
Those with an annual household income of below $28,000
may apply for Habitat Partnership housing in South Trenton. Applicants
must contribute sweat equity (500 hours of volunteer labor) and make
a down payment of $500. Houses are sold at cost and come with a 20-year,
no-interest mortgage. For a three-bedroom home, typical monthly payments
for mortgage, taxes, and insurance run about $400.
Prospective applicants must attend one of the information and application
sessions: Friday, April 7, 7 p.m., at Catholic Charities, 1 Centre
Street, or Sunday, April 9, 3 p.m., at the Boy’s & Girl’s Club of
Trenton, 212 Centre Street.
The South Trenton Habitat Project is part of Habitat for Humanity,
which has 1,500 affiliates in the United States and programs in 63
countries. Volunteers who want to help promote home ownership in Trenton’s
South Ward should call Rev. Jim Coston
at 609-393-8810 or 609-656-0288.
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