Corrections or additions?
These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and Barbara Fox were prepared for the February 26, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
Let the upgrades begin! Patriot Media and Communications
finalized its purchase of RCN’s New Jersey cable services on Wednesday,
February 19, according to company spokesman John Gdovin. The new company
is reported to have paid $3,100 for each of RCN’s 80,000 subscribers
in central New Jersey. Princeton Borough, Princeton Township, and
Montgomery are among the towns served by Patriot. Trade magazine CableWorld
has reported that the company will spend $44 million to upgrade the
Patriot was formed by Steve Simmons, who sold 350,000-subscriber cable
system Simmons Communications about 10 years ago, and by Spectrum
Equity Partners. In addition to his business experience, Simmons served
as associate director of domestic policy in Jimmy Carter’s administration.
Simmons is also an author. His children’s picture books include Alice
and Greta, a tale of two witches, one good, one not so good. The book
has received five out of five stars by everyone who has reviewed it
on Amazon.com Long-suffering former RCN cable subscribers can hope
to give Patriot as high a rating.
RCN, focused on building its subscriber base from among apartment
dwellers in big cities, never really wanted the Princeton-area cable
franchise, which it took over from C-TEC. Promised improvements are
less than 20 percent complete, and residents have complained about
poor service and high prices. Under a deal with the state Board of
Public Utilities, to which local towns have taken their complaints,
Patriot will provide increased bandwidth for two-way, high-speed cable
modem service, high-quality cable channels, and compact disc quality
music channels by the end of next year.
Cable subscribers in Patriot territory, Princeton up through Somerset
and Hunterdon, can hope that Patriot will emulate Alice, the good
witch, and bring their system up to the standards of nearby communities.
— Kathleen McGinn Spring
Road, Suite 104-107, Hillsborough 08844. Jim Holanda, president. 908-371-9700;
Parag Pruthi, founder of Niksun Inc. on Cornwall Drive,
is scheduled to appear in South Brunswick Municipal Court on Thursday,
March 6, as a result of downgraded charges resulting from a sex assault
allegation by a female employee.
When Pruthi was arrested on November 30, 2001, he was charged with
criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint, and lewdness. The charges
have since been downgraded to disorderly persons by the COunty Prosecutor’s
Whether by chance or by someone’s planning, on the day of the arrest,
a camera crew was parked in front of Pruthi’s Cornwall Road office,
to do an interview about how his company had just made the top 100
list at Computerworld magazine. Instead, the crew filmed Pruthi’s
Detective James Ryan of the South Brunswick Police investigated the
complaint by the 32-year-old employee.
Representing Pruthi, Joseph Benedict, of Benedict and Arnold on Livingston
Avenue in New Brunswick, emphasizes how the charges were downgraded.
"It was not a case the county prosecutor wanted to pursue,"
says Benedict. "We have a very good defense."
The complainant’s original statement, according to Detective Ryan,
was that "she was restrained and he made unwanted contact with
parts of her body. She questioned whether anyone would follow through
on her complaints."
But after extensive investigation Benedict believes he can prove that
neither the party was in the building on the weekend day that the
offense allegedly occurred. Nor were they in the building on the weekends
before or after that day. "The building has an access code and
neither shows up as having worked that day," says Pruthi’s attorney.
"We interviewed everyone who was there, and they are sure the
complainant was not there. We checked phone records and we have Pruthi’s
cell phone showing that he was checking the office."
Benedict also reports that the complainant had recorded a stalking
incident involving someone from her former place of employment. "My
surmise is that she was probably setting somebody up and found a better
target here. She has filed a civil suit and made an outrageous demand,
Founded in 1997, the 60-person firm offers non-intrusive network monitoring,
performance and security enhancement, equipment provider for IP networks.
It also has offices at 111 North Center Drive.
— Barbara Fox
Firms founded by four people who used to work at Vandal
Proof Products now share an office, and the office has moved from
Crossroads Drive to Kuser Road.
Two years ago Ron Keppel, the owner of Vandal Proof Products, sold
the company to Electronic Microsystems, which has a parent company,
the Halma Group, based in the United Kingdom. Ron Keppel started another
company, Emcom Systems to do technology integration in the communications
08690. Ron Keppel, owner. 609-584-7817; fax, 609-584-7723.
Les Slater of Slater Associates covers the marketing arrangements
for VandalProof as well as for two other companies. "I hire manufacturers
reps and set up their national marketing plans, functioning for some
companies as the outsourced vice president of marketing. My company
reaches the telecommunications and security industries," says
Slater. A 1960 graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota,
Class of 1960, he had worked at Viking Electronics in Wisconsin. What
he represents: vandal resistant telephones (Vandal Proof Products),
small office/home office phone systems (for TMC Corporation, based
in Cranbury), and door entry (DoorBell Fone).
Vandal Proof phones are used by the Port Authority of New York/New
Jersey, the Baltimore Mass Transit Association, and Amtrak for the
Hudson River Tunnel, where the steel-encased unbreakable phones are
used by train personnel for emergencies and maintenance purposes.
08690. Les Slater, regional manager. 609-584-7790; fax, 609-584-7723.
Home page: www.slater-associates.com
Jon Zeier has a marketing business.
08690. Jon Zeier 609-587-8240; fax, 609-584-7723.
Richard Mextras programmed the embedded systems for the Vandal Proof
products. A Dartmouth graduate, Class of 1969, he did graduate work
at Princeton in music composition, particularly focused on computer
music with Jim Randall. "I was the first of the composers to end
up as a computer professional," says Mextras. He founded his consulting
firm in 1979 and has a home office in Hopewell. In addition to embedded
systems, he works on real-time financial news distribution.
08690. Richard Mextras. 609-818-9143; fax, 609-584-7723.
525 Milltown Road, North Brunswick 08902. Al DeLuca, president. 732-846-4200;
fax, 732-846-0456. Home page: www.advinadv.com
The DeLucas expanded their printing and advertising firm from 2070
Route 1 in North Brunswick to Milltown Road in the same township,
and it has a new phone and fax. The move took place December 30.
Al DeLuca majored in economics at Boston University ’82 and sold printing
and computer supplies on Wall Street for Wallace Computer Services,
then worked for a small private firm before starting his own business.
He and his wife have four children, and his mother, Beverly, and
his brother, Michael, are also in the business.
"Our new space has more room for storage," says Beverly DeLuca,
"which we need since we took on a franchise, Adventures in Advertising,
for promotional items."
The DeLucas does printing — letterheads, parking programs, invitations
— for the New York Yankees, and bags and hats for the Yankees’
DS Networks. "They have a package for executives for spring training,
and we are doing bathrobes with logos," she says, and phone cards.
Phone cards are the next hot, inexpensive promotional item. Other
clients are JFK Medical Center, Coors Light, and medical companies
— magazines to promote new drugs.
Road, Suite 11361, West Windsor 08550. Joseph Marasco. 609-275-6861;
fax, 609-275-1458. Home page: www.dow.com
Joseph Marasco’s company, Chirotech, was bought by Dow Chemical last
year and the United States office moved from the Carnegie Center.
A developer of key chemical intermediates, Chirotech was headquartered
in Cambridge, England.
Electrical Supply Company.
director of Stony Brook Regional Sewer Authority.
of public relations at Gillespie Associates, he was a consultant to
the Princeton Chamber, Princeton University, and Bovis Lend Lease,
Barbara Sipos Arrison, 46, on February 20. She had worked at
Dow Jones on Route 1 North and as a bookkeeper at Mercer Street Friends.
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