How soon we all forget. Shortly after we published the five-column wide photograph of the “Continuum” mural on the side of the Terra Momo Bread Co. building in downtown Princeton in our June 20 issue, a discerning reader called to suggest that we should have mentioned the names of the two people whose smart idea sparked the creation of Quark Park, the temporary vest-pocket park that in 2006 took up some otherwise unused land until a developer turned it into a major housing project.

One of the Quark Park creators was visible in our photograph of the dedication ceremony. Kevin Wilkes can be seen in the crowd, sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with the name of his architecture and construction company, Princeton Design Guild. The co-creator, Peter Soderman, also was credited for his contributions in the dedication ceremony. Also involved in the planning — and present at the dedication — was landscape architect Alan Goodheart.

Unfortunately for them, and for all the other Princetonians who participated in the project, our little story on the mural focused on the muralist, Illia Barger.

Fortunately for them, however, there is a wealth of information about Quark Park and its 2004 predecessor at the same location, Writers’ Block, available online. One good starting point is U.S. 1’s story on August 23, 2006, and another on January 6, 2010, available at As always, if you have trouble navigating our website give us a call — 609-452-7000. Or send an E-mail — — and we will E-mail back a link.

#b#To the Editor: Solar’s True Cost#/b#

I read the June 20 article in U.S. 1 about how New Jersey has passed California in the solar subsidy business. Now New Jersey lawmakers are trying to put us in a bigger hole by expanding the subsidy.

I would appreciate it if you gave equal time to others who have a different viewpoint. Please interview knowledgeable people who will include a true cost picture of what you and I are paying in our utility bill and taxes so I can subsidize our neighbor’s electric bill.

Before we spend the time, energy, and money to enhance renewable energy initiatives, why doesn’t someone knowledgeable and trustworthy explore the actual costs of all of the proposed renewable energy and determine whether or not the populace can afford it?

In every nation where renewable energy has had a successful tenure the costs have been well above the costs of fossil-fueled energy. And those nations do not have the virtual limitless resources such as natural gas or coal available to them. Renewable energy is being exploited in this nation because of the enormous subsidies expended, but what happens when the subsidies are no longer available? Why doesn’t this nation spend a bit more time, energy, and money in development — exploring ways to reduce the costs of renewables, while enhancing their reliability — before going hog wild endorsing legislation to create something that may not be affordable?

Spain was the biggest country for solar construction for years because of the subsidies, and now they are bankrupt with 22 percent unemployment.

Please ask the questions: If PSE&G as a utility spends $1 on the green subsidies, are they guaranteed a return on that money? The more money they spend, the bigger the return? Are they objective about green?

Green energy does not affect my business. I work for a Fortune 500 company that supplies natural gas to commercial end users such as manufacturers, hotels, hospitals, and schools. Businesses and homeowners are paying a lot less for energy today because of fracking, and that is helping their bottom line with no direct subsidy.

I am speaking as a New Jersey taxpayer. I do not want my electric bill to go up because my neighbor was subsidized by me to install a system that is not financially feasible unless others pay additional dollars for the same product that is more efficient and costs less today and will continue to be more economical for years to come.

Do a true return on investment (ROI) for any installation in New Jersey without any subsidy and see how many would have been installed based on economics.

Roland LaPierre


Facebook Comments