As most good salespeople eventually discover, when they visit a small business such as U.S. 1 they have an opportunity not only to make a sale but — if they are honest and not greedy — also to become a valuable advisor to the company.

Almost 25 years ago, when we were first considering the bold step of connecting our treasured PCs into a network connected to a central server, one of the companies that bid for the work was LAN Solutions, headed by an unassuming, soft-spoken computer guy named Pete Soloway.

Soloway got the work, eventually became an advertiser in the paper, and over the course of time became the expert we would call on whenever we needed some straight talk about a computer-related issue. Yes, he did make more sales at U.S. 1, but he also talked us out of buying lots of things he could have sold us. When we heard that Soloway died on April 13 at the age of 65, we felt as if we had lost one of our own staff.

Like a lot of people in our readership area, Soloway had a life outside of work. When he wasn’t tinkering with computers he was pursuing music — beginning at age 3 on drums and saxophone. His electrical engineering studies at Ohio Northern University were followed by a bachelor’s in music education with a minor in organ performance from Westminster Choir College. He played bass, mandolin, banjo, piano, and flute in several folk-dance groups, primarily the contra-dance band Raise the Roof.

Given those eclectic interests, Soloway easily understood the needs of our two-headed business and entertainment newspaper. When we were looking for an Internet-savvy but print literate production person we listened up when Soloway recommended a family friend, a recent Rutgers graduate. Ezra Fischer quickly lived up to Soloway’s promise. A few years later, when Soloway’s daughter Anna came back to town, she became a freelance contributor to the paper, with a writing style that has proved to be electric, as well as eclectic.

A memorial service will be Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Princeton. It will be followed — appropriately — by a contra dance. For details visit www.petesolowaymemorial.com.

#b#To the Editor: DOT Should Study Route 1 History#/b#

The recent revisiting of the U.S. 1 and Washington Road/Harrison Street intersection issues by NJDOT reminds us of the comment attributed to Yogi Berra: “Deja vu all over again.” Doesn’t NJDOT remember that only 10 years ago it and the Federal Highway Administration funded a study of this very issue? Citizens, engineers, and politicians met on a regular basis at a “Roundtable” for three years and came up with a solution called the Penns Neck Area Final Environmental Impact Statement: http://www.policy.rutgers.edu/vtc/pennsneckareaeis/index.html. The then-mayors of Plainsboro, West Windsor, Princeton Township, and Princeton Borough actively participated, as did representatives of the major stakeholders, including Princeton University and Sarnoff Laboratory.

The Penns Neck study found that the traffic problems on Route 1 were mainly due to the flow of east-west traffic across Route 1. The current proposal by NJDOT to eliminate lights at the Washington Road and Harrison Street intersections and have the only access by right turns was an alternative that was considered and rejected because it would increase congestion for the east-west flow of traffic.

The basic element of the solution accepted six years ago was structured around putting Route 1 under Washington Road, with Washington Road crossing over Route 1 at its existing grade. A new interchange at Harrison Street would also ease access to the new hospital.

Why spend taxpayer money on a repeat study? The current NJDOT proposed solution has been demonstrated to not be viable.

The below co-signers were active participants at the 2001-2004 Roundtable:

Lincoln S. Hollister, Sarah W. Hollister, Jean Mahoney, Alan Goodheart, Candace Preston, Richard Barrett, Patrick Lyons, Princeton

Paula McGuire, Sandra Shapiro, West Windsor

Laura Lynch, Lawrence

Editor’s note: The letter above was written in response to preliminary news reports that gave the impression that the entire intersections at Washington Road and Harrison Street would be eliminated for the DOT study. In fact, the DOT is proposing to eliminate northbound Route 1 traffic from using those jughandles for entrance into Princeton. U.S. 1’s own traffic surveys have shown that such changes can ease traffic on Route 1 itself, but exacerbate the traffic jams on the east-west crossroads, as the letter writers contend.

#b#CASA’s Success#/b#

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Mercer County (CASA) commemorated a decade of helping abused and neglected children in Mercer County, with a 10th anniversary gala on April 2 at the Chauncey Conference Center. We were delighted to recognize Educational Testing Service (ETS) as our corporate honoree and Sen. Peter Inverso, CEO of Roma Bank, as our individual honoree. We honored two exceptional volunteers: Lucy Halter, an advocate since “year one” in 2000, and Tracy Shehab, an advocate since 2004.

We also extend our thanks to Joe Piscopo, our skillful Master of Ceremonies, and to Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, a long-time CASA supporter.

CASA of Mercer County recruits, screens, and trains volunteer advocates from the community to speak up in Family Court for the best interests of abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes. Currently there are over 400 children in the county’s foster care system and the organization’s 120 advocates served 211 of them. CASA’s volunteers are commonly referred to as the eyes and ears of Family Court and are committed to helping their “kids” find safe and permanent homes. CASA of Mercer County officially merged with CASA of Burlington County on March 31; Burlington will serve as a satellite office from its current Mt. Holly offices.

A number of generous companies sponsored CASA’s Gala, co-chaired by Tim Losch, president of the First Washington division of The Bank, and Stuart Dember of Fox Rothschild.

Signature Sponsors were Educational Testing Service and Roma Bank; CSC, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group and Bloomberg Financial supported at the Protectors level; Diversityinc, Fox Rothschild, Glenmede Trust, NRG, PSE&G, RWJ Hamilton, and the Tuchman Foundation at the Advocates level; and Bracco Diagnostics, TD Bank, and The Bank were CASA Kids sponsors. We also deeply thank our individual Gold Patron sponsors Jim and Martha Wickenden, Aldo and Debbi Roldan, and Ed and Tracy Shehab. There is no adequate way to thank our staff, board members, donors, and our committed advocates, but we thank them all.

Our event raised just over $100,000 that will be used to recruit, screen, and train more community volunteers. Although our Spring Volunteer Training sessions finished on Wednesday, April 13, swearing in 19 new advocates, CASA is in a continual recruitment mode. Please contact CASA at 609-434-0050 or visit www.casamercer.org for the next information sessions at our Ewing offices.

Randall Kirkpatrick, Director of Community Development

Lori Morris, Executive Director, CASA of Mercer County

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