Corrections or additions?
These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper
dated Wednesday, December 23, 1998. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
For the 10 families that moved into their own homes
last fall, Walden Woods was a dream come true. When Bootstraps was
featured in U.S. 1’s "Habitat’s Helpers" Helping Hands issue
(December 17, 1997), these families were all happy, grateful, and
excited about moving into their own homes inn West Windsor Township.
A year later, faced with the reality of paying the bills on their
homes, the picture is slightly different. Some of the new homeowners
believe they have been excessively and unfairly charged by Bootstraps.
The matter now rests with the American Arbitration Association.
Bootstraps: Self-help Homes and Communities is the Mercerville
organization that created Walden Woods, a build-it-yourself affordable
housing development on Bear Brook Road with donations, grants, and
subsidies from sources as diverse as the United States Department
of Agriculture, the Borden Foundation, and Home Depot. Founded by
Jay Tyson, a Princeton-educated civil engineer, Bootstraps helped
the families obtain low-interest mortgage loans and trained them in
Some of the families with bills close to $5,000 say they trusted Tyson
and he let them down. They complain that the purchases were not
accounted and that they were billed excessively. And the holiday
is an especially bad time to be hit by such bills.
The bills are accurate and the expenditure was approved by the
says Tyson. The families were given monthly statements detailing all
the costs and a copy of all the invoices and they knew there would
be overruns from April. "For most of the construction period,
we held meetings every two weeks. The families were not regular and
one or two of them seldom attended," says Tyson. "They have
always been welcome to sit down with us and review their records in
full detail. Our Board of Trustees also spent a lot of time reviewing
expenses with them in early summer, and they agreed these expenses
Tyson says that the overruns resulted from the homeowners wanting
to have upgraded interiors, which in several cases led them to spend
more. "And they misunderstood the role of the contingency fund
and interpreted this as free extra money." The funding source
for the project, the USDA’s Office of Rural Development, has concluded
that the costs are charged correctly, says Tyson. He is confident
that the Township and the arbitrators will reach the same conclusion.
Tyson adds that the homeowners who have been complaining do not speak
for all of the families. "Three of the families have paid for
the overruns and two families have no contest." The houses were
estimated to cost the homeowners around $100,000, less than half the
assessed value at West Windsor. "Mortgages are based on each
income and is never more than 31 percent of the family income,"
says Tyson. The families who own houses at Walden Woods have incomes
ranging from $20,000 to $43,000 per year, significantly below Mercer
County’s median family income of approximately $60,000.
All things said and done, Walden Woods is an example of what can be
achieved when a community comes together, says Tyson. "In spite
of all the difficulties, we feel that the families, in combination
with the government and the many volunteers and funding agencies,
have done a remarkable job in building homes that are well above the
standard of what is normally possible in the realm of affordable
Tyson adds that work on the second phase of Walden Woods, a group
of six more houses, is progressing smoothly.
— Teena Chandy
By this time next year, you will be able to edit this
year’s holiday videotapes in amazing ways. Ever wanted to remove
ex-spouse from a Christmas tree scene? Or make your own Roger the
Sarnoff Corporation has just released the first-ever object-based
authoring tools for MPEG-4 video. "People who do websites or
production ultimately can use this to replace JPEG as the standard
video file on the web and in other places where JPEG is currently
used," says Tom Lento, Sarnoff’s spokesperson.
"Our new authoring tools give users abilities they’ve never had
before," says Ya-Qin Zhang, director of Sarnoff’s multimedia
laboratory. "In fact, they let users do things that are difficult
or impossible on multimillion-dollar professional equipment used in
motion picture editing."
This tool is for hardware and software providers, who will use it
to create packages that will allow consumers to zap strong multimedia
content into presentations and websites. "It analyzes video and
designates the items into objects which you can then manipulate as
separate entities. Instead of working with frames you are working
with objects that cut across frames. You can add, subtract, alter,
edit, drag, drop, and put synthetic objects such as animation into
live video," says Lento. First you have to convert your VCR tape
to digital. "Then just plug a camcorder into a PC equipped with
an encoder and edit the video in real time."
These video editing packages should be on the market for the holiday
season in 1999.
08540-1434. Fran Consoli, project manager. 609-688-9100; fax,
E-mail: email@example.com. Home page: www.jrsarchitect.com.
Earlier this year James Lalli opened a branch of the architecture
firm headed by John R. Sorrenti, president and based in Mineola, New
York. "We wanted to move in the Princeton area and get work from
Philadelphia," says Lalli. The firm just completed a gamma knife
(high profile brainscan) project for Columbia Presbyterian. Among
its other clients for interior design, furniture, and "ground-up
design" are Columbia Presbyterian First Union Bank, and Chase,
with the most recent project being Sperry Credit Union in Long Island.
Lalli went to the New York Institute of Technology Class, Class of
08540. Jon Conant, president. 609-430-9080; fax, 609-430-9086. E-mail:
As a result of buying another firm, Computer Applications East, Jon
Conant’s Cascade Media Group moved from 254 Wall Street to another
Research Park location and now shares space with Speedway Blues, a
soft goods sales and marketing company. Conant’s firm offered
services, with a focus on computer telephony. Computer Applications
East, founded by Peter Palladino, did Windows-based and Novell
network faxing, Microsoft office, E-mail, virus protection, and
application design and development. Now, says Conant, "We do the
wiring to help people move in and change offices. Anything to do with
Among the services are premise wiring, computers and networking
providing specialty software), telecommunication systems (including
call accounting, audio and video conferencing), and computer telephony
(with call centers, automated database lookup, and visual telephony).
Conant went to Southern Illinois University, Class of ’81, and started
out as a programmer. "I’m one of the people that started the Year
2000 problem at Blue Cross and Blue Shield," he jokes. He worked
at Computer Associates in St. Louis, then moved to Holmdel, and then
the company moved to Princeton. He formed his own company in 1991.
Conant is retaining the name Cascade Media, he says, to communicate
the turmoil going on the industry. "The end result is that the
cascade flows into a nicer smooth stream. And everything is media,
whether video image, voice, or data."
322, Princeton 08542-0322. William Theroux, managing partner.
Building 1B, Lawrenceville 08648. John Zen Jackson. 609-620-9600;
The firm formerly known as Jackson & Buckley is now Buckley & Theroux
and all numbers have been changed. The named partners are William
Theroux and Sean Buckley. It emphasizes health care and civil
Meanwhile John Zen Jackson, a certified civil trial attorney, has
moved north and configured a new firm at 645 Martinsville Road, Box
814, Liberty Corner 07938, 908-647-4600; fax, 908-647-6226. Along
with Daniel R. Esposito and Alison Wholey Mynick he is now with
McBride & Jackson PA, which also has an office at 3131 Princeton Pike.
Ed Griffin, general manager. 609-924-1100; fax, 609-890-7576.
Princeton Fuel Oil has shifted its operations from 220 Alexander Road
to 125 Hovey Avenue in Hamilton Township. "We had our warehouse
in Hamilton for many years. It was where our trucks were coming and
going and it made more sense to shift to Hamilton so we could see
the trucks come and go," says Ed Griffin, general manager. The
220 Alexander Street property that the company owns is being rented
out — one tenant is Marsha Childs Contemporary art gallery.
It was difficult for the trucks to come and go in Princeton, says
Griffin. "But we are still Princeton Fuel Oil and Princeton is
still the center of our business."
Street, Princeton 08542. Stephen S. Thompson, branch manager.
Arlington Capital Mortgage Corporation has moved back to 33
Street from 228 Alexander Street.
G, Lawrenceville 08648. 609-219-9005; fax, 609-219-1027.
For six months this computer company occupied space on Princess Road,
but it vacated the premises last month and now the phone has been
"temporarily disconnected," according to the phone company.
The full name of the firm was Voyager General, and it reportedly
personal computers for distance learning, according to CEO Deborah
Suite B, Robbinsville 08691-1604. 609-584-9063; fax, 609-586-8186.
Home page: www.njpha.com.
Thomas Ireland has resigned his post as president.
22nd Floor, Newark 07102-5265. Samuel F. Crane, president.
fax, 973-824-6587. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
William M. Freeman, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey,
has been elected chairman of the board of the 1,300-member regional
business organization. He has also been elected to the board of
of Summit Bancorp and was appointed to the New Jersey Commission on
South Broad Street, Trenton 08608-2102. Dan B. Strombom, manager.
609-396-8801; fax, 609-396-8603. E-mail: email@example.com. Home page:
Dan B. Strombom has been appointed manager of the business incubator
that offers low-cost office space, business support services, and
free onsite management counseling. He has 20 years experience in
development at the federal commerce department and as a faculty member
at Rutgers. He also started his own business, based on a patented
invention that is licensed in this country and the United Kingdom.
The TBTC is directed by Mercer College’s Department of Corporate and
Community Programs. The center has an economic development program
assisting small businesses, providing office space and services, and
free small business counsel.
Box 147, Belle Mead 08502. Richard Sarle, president and CEO.
fax, 908-874-4818. Home page: http://www/carrier.org.
Vince Haba Jr., has been named director of the Carrier Center for
Counseling in Belle Mead. Formerly he directed Carrier’s South
Counseling Center. He has MSW and LCSW degrees.
08619. Ginger Brikowski, office manager. 609-631-0474; fax,
Formerly known as Managed Care Systems Inc., this company, which
managed care for workers’ compensation cases, is now known as Alta
Services LSC. It is owned by Selective Insurance.
U.S. 1 received a word of thanks, and a correction, regarding the
article on Chip Durell and Durell Builders (December 9). Vincent J.
Scozzari Jr. of V.J. Scozzari & Sons Inc. wrote that he was
surprised" to see his firm’s name included. But, he added, U.S.
1 was incorrect in reporting that Durell had built the skating rink
at Princeton Day School. Scozzari says his Lawrenceville Road-based
firm designed and built the facility.
engineer at the Sarnoff Center and the state Department of
professor at Rider U niversity.
U.S. 1 concludes its 1998 publishing schedule with this issue. The
next issue will be Wednesday, January 6.
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