Corrections or additions?
These articles were prepared for the May 17, 2006 issue of U.S. 1
Newspaper, and a typo was corrected on June 26, 2006. All rights
Life in the Fast Lane
What price peace and solitude? A gentleman’s farm in Hopewell might go
for a bargain price when the bidding starts on Thursday, May 25, at 4
p.m. Prospective bidders may register at an open house set for
Thursday, May 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. Call 888-299-1438 or go to
Last year Mercer County spent $2 million for 248 Pleasant Valley Road,
which came with 25 acres bordered by the Howell Living History Farm,
preserved open space, and a creek. Then the county carved out the
eight acres next to a creek (to be used as farmland by the Howell
Farm) and slapped on restrictions to development. The restrictions
might cool the bids.
"Our expectation is that it will sell for nowhere near $2 million,"
says Max Spann. Before the restrictions were applied, in October,
2004, it listed with Coldwell Banker for $2,250,000. "But I learned a
long time ago never to predict, and the final price is subject to the
At age 42, Spann is a graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut
and the Missouri School of Auctions. His great grandfather began by
auctioning cattle that he had shipped from the Isle of Jersey.
Spann, whose Clinton-based auctioneering firm focuses on real estate,
reports that more than 100 potential buyers have seen the house, and
they are talking about prices of from the $600,000 range to more than
Though there is a restored 180-year-old shed on the 16-acre property,
the house is just 10 years old and has five bedrooms, five baths and
two half baths, full basement, art studio, geothermal heating, and
in-ground pool. A 3,000-foot barn has a big loft.
On the day of the auction Spann plans to set the stage with a tent and
chairs, light refreshments, and a live blue grass band. Tire kickers
are welcome. "It’s show business," says Spann. "Auctioned houses
rarely fail to sell."
Universal Display Corporation Inc. (PANL), 375 Phillips Boulevard,
Ewing 08618; 609-671-0980; fax, 609-671-0995. Steven Abramson,
president. Home page: www.universaldisplay.com
Universal Display Corporation will showcase its new, 40,000
square-foot research laboratory at an invitation-only open house on
Monday, May 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.. Congressman Rush Holt is
scheduled to speak on how Universal Display has led the revitalization
of `Einstein Alley,’ the high tech research corridor for Central New
Universal Display is a pioneer in organic light emitting diode (OLED)
technology that was incubated at Princeton University. OLEDs
(naturally existing chemicals that glow when electrically charged)
could revolutionize displays on TVs, cell phones, and even buildings.
Consumer products using OLEDs are scheduled to debut in 2006.
The company’s revenues doubled for the first quarter of this year,
compared to last, thanks to a contract with a major display
manufacturer. It owns or has exclusive license rights in approximately
725 issued and pending patents.
John Torkelsen has another day in federal court on Friday, May 26. He
was sentenced in March to 70 months imprisonment, to be followed by
five years of supervised release, as part of a plea bargain for his
2005 conviction for Making a False Entry in the Books, Reports and
Statements of Acorn Technology Fund, formerly based on Vaughn Drive.
The plea bargain terms were supposed to include "soft time" in a
minimum security prison known as the "camp" in Fairton, New Jersey, 92
miles south of Princeton, near Bridgeton. Instead Judge Reggie Walton,
in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, sentenced
Torkelsen to a medium security prison at Fairton. "The placement of a
defendant at a specific facility for security reasons is a
classification decision for the Bureau of Prisons to make, and this
court should not have attempted to influence the decision through its
recommendation," Walton wrote.
For a prison term of that length, the first part of the sentence is
generally in a medium security prison because of the perceived
security risk, says Peter J. Henning, a law professor at Wayne State
University who has been following the case.
One difference is that inmates at the minimum security camp can have
unlimited visitors, but the medium security jail allows each inmate
just nine "visitor points" per month, with a weekday visit counting
for one point and a weekend visit for three points.
Torkelsen, 60, is also supposed to pay restitution to the SBA in the
amount of $1,905,634. Torkelsen got funding from the Small Business
Administration for Acorn Technology Fund (ATF) to invest in start-up
businesses. "During the year 2000," says the FBI, "Torkelsen converted
at least $5 million ATF received from the SBA. He thereafter falsified
ATF’s records to make it appear to the SBA that $5 million in
‘pre-paid management fees’ had been repaid with funds from outside of
ATF, when in reality the ‘repayments’ were made with loan proceeds
secured by ATF’s assets. Torkelsen also submitted false reports and
statements to the SBA representing that none of ATF’s assets were
pledged as security for any liability."
Pamela Torkelsen, Torkelsen’s wife, has a status hearing on the same
day in the same court. She had entered a guilty plea and is
cooperating with investigators in connection with an ongoing criminal
investigation into the affairs of her husband’s former client, law
firm Milberg Weiss, according to Justin Scheck of CalLaw.com.
No one is saying whether John Torkelsen is cooperating with the Los
Angeles grand jury that is investigating Milberg Weiss and former
Milberg Weiss attorney, William Lerach. "If Torkelsen is cooperating,
his contribution will have to come quickly because the statute of
limitations is ticking," wrote Henning in a legal blog.
Maybe you saw the glamorous advertisement for a new magazine with an
odd name, Obit, and a puzzling mailing address – architect Robert
Hillier’s headquarters at 500 Alexander Park.
By writing about "lives well lived," (yes, they do mean obituaries),
Obit hopes to be, according to the brochure, the "voice of the
generation of Americans who refuse to passively slip into old age, who
realize that life reinvents itself every moment."
"It is research that we are conducting on behalf of one of the firm’s
important clients," says a Hillier spokesperson.
Will this new magazine be, as it predicts, the hottest thing in
periodicals since the golden years of Esquire and Playboy?
"The advertising will be extremely challenging," suggests Lanny Jones,
a former managing editor of People Magazine and a Princeton resident.
"But it could have a very strong editorial franchise, because
assessments of someone’s life get very high readership. You don’t see
the arc of a person’s life until they die."
Teresa Honnen, 53, on April 20. An artist, clothing, designer, and
tailor, she worked at the Jaeger Store in Princeton.
Barbara LaTourette Prosser, 59, on May 5. She had worked at
Bristol-Myers Squibb in virology and infectious diseases.
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