Commercial Lease Bible

Tinseltown Tips

`Chemical-Free’?

Legislative Data

Late Bus on Route 1

Road Closed

For Girl Scouts,

Corrections or additions?

New on the Internet: Site Pollution Data

These stories by Melinda Sherwood and Teena Chandy were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 31, 1999. All rights

reserved.

Sensitive company information — violations, enforcement

records and soil-sampling results — may become available to the

general public on the Internet, says Jeffrey Entin, a senior

associate at Sadat Associates at Forrestal Village. "Confidentiality

and security may be at stake," he cautions.

Under the Department of Environmental Protection’s Technical Requirements

for Site Remediation, companies are now required to submit environmental

data on clean-up sites electronically. "Before, company data was

buried in voluminous files," says Entin. "In a year or two,

anyone will be able to get commercial site reports immediately."

The new technology may make companies vulnerable to inquiries from

competitors, banks, citizens groups and insurance companies, while

raising a multitude of questions about what kind of information belongs

in the public domain.

Entin will talk more about the ramifications of the DEP’s electronic

deliverables program at a roundtable discussion on Thursday, April

7, at 4 p.m. at Envirogen Inc. at 4100 Quakerbridge Road. he title:

"Point and Click: Now who’s got your environmental data?"

Sam Wolfe of PSE&G and Adel Abeid of the state government

will also offer their opinions on how companies can cope with costs

and resolve security issues related to the proliferation of information

technology. Susan Hoffman, a partner at Drinker Biddle and Reath

LLP on College Road East, will moderate the discussion. Cost: $30.

Call the New Jersey Technology Council at 609-452-1010.

Entin holds a BS from Rutgers Cook College, Class of 1988, and earned

a master’s in environmental engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Prior to completing his undergraduate education, Entin joined Sadat

Associates, an environmental consulting and engineering firm with

only six employees, as an entry-level technician.

As senior associate and project manager, Entin is responsible for

designing, directing, and carrying out remedial projects regulated

under the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA), Resources Conservation

and Recovery Act (RECRA) and other environmental clean-up programs.

In the short term, Entin explains, the DEP’s electronic delivery program

may save both time and money by minimizing the paper involved. The

use of information technology may exact a much higher price in the

end, however. "It raises a whole host of issues, such as competition

and people finding out what your secrets are," says Entin.

An ongoing controversy between industry and state government concerns

what kind of information is confidential and what can be kept out

of the public domain. "Until now, publicly available information

was not really publicly available," he says. "You have to

physically go to Trenton and request a file to review and pay someone

to make copies for you and interpret it." Only the most diligent

individuals are likely to jump through the hoops necessary to exercise

their rights to company information.

All of that is going to change with the introduction of information

technology, Entin says. Companies should prepare themselves by strengthening

their own internal protocol for dealing with privacy issues and environmental

disasters. Companies may also want to play a more active role in community

relations. He offers advice for companies learning to use the electronic

deliverables system and hoping to see positive results:

Choose a reliable system for submitting your electronic

data. Some programs used to submit data in the GIS compatible format

still have some bugs. The HazSite program, for example, won’t allow

data fields to be left empty. Spreadsheet programs, such as Microsoft

Excel, have also been problematic. "Make sure that the consultant

and laboratory both know exactly what kind of format you’re looking

for to minimize costs," Entin says. "Otherwise, you could

lose two or three weeks, which is a lot of time when you’re doing

a clean-up."

Build community relations. Since more and more people

will eventually gain access to company data, it is wise to begin a

public dialogue now. "Take the time to work with the community

and generate confidence so there is no suspicion that a facility could

have a problem and affect surrounding residences," says Entin.

Company-sponsored meetings, newsletters, and communication with town

officials will all help secure the public trust.

Establish a plan to prevent or remedy catastrophes that

result from misuse of company information. "You need to have a

legal protocol and security protocol, and it needs to be integrated

within the company," says Entin. Strong community relations are

only a small part of that plan.

Work with the Department of Environment Protection. Use

the DEP’s resources and be patient, urges Entin. "Recognize that

the DEP’s system is evolving, and one day, hopefully, all the costs

that are being borne now may trickle down to the people who are bearing

them in the form of reduced oversight costs."

Businesses are not the only ones that need to be concerned about

the quick and easy access of information through the DEP’s internet-based

system. The general public must also be aware that it poses a security

threat to their own neighborhoods as well. In the worst case scenario,

publicly available environmental information could be used to execute

terrorist acts. Experts are still trying to figure out ways to put

security issues to rest, Entin says, in part by focusing on the definition

of "public domain."

"One thing that has been suggested is that information be made

publicly available through certain channels," says Entin, "maybe

by subscription." If that’s going to happen, law will have to

race to catch up with technology in the next year.

— Melinda Sherwood

Top Of Page
Commercial Lease Bible

With small businesses making up much of the American

economy, millions of Americans find themselves negotiating commercial

leases every year. Yet it remains one of the most difficult transactions

to execute. The commercial lease is so mired in "legalese"

that the average person is ill-equipped to cope with its implications.

Thomas G. Mitchell wrote "The Commercial Lease Guidebook:

Learn how to win the leasing game!" to be a concise reference

that simplifies the lease process. In easy-to-understand language,

Mitchell features a step-by-step system that shows how to organize

and review a lease. The book costs $19.95 plus $4 shipping. Call 800-888-4741

or write to Macore International, Box 10811, Lahaina, HI 96761.

Mitchell, who has been active in brokerage, development, and property

management since 1975, examines 155 commonly included provisions of

retail, office, industrial, and ground leases from both tenant’s and

landlord’s positions. His descriptions enable all three parties to

the lease — landlord, tenant, and agent — to understand what

clauses are generally about, who wants what positions, and why.

The book’s section on "negotiation" will help the reader make

a better deal. Mitchell quips that the commercial lease is a great

example of "The Golden Rule," as in "he who has the gold

makes the rule."

"Since the landlord owns the property, the lease is designed primarily

to protect the landlord’s property and ownership rights, and to satisfy

the requirements of a lending institution. Secondarily, the lease

defines the rights of the tenant.

"If you are on the tenant’s side of the table, expect a `landlord-oriented’

lease as you start your review, and you will find it to be a lot less

frustrating.

"If you are a tenant using an agent to conduct your negotiations,

give the agent the proper negotiating tools. Your negotiator should

be equipped with a detailed list of specifications, budget restraints,

critical dates, names and titles of the parties who will sign the

lease, and some understanding of your financial situation. Your agent

can then make a much better impression on prospective landlords.

"To conduct effective negotiations, you must distinguish your

`needs’ from your `wants.’

"Bargain hard for your `needs,’ and don’t be afraid to establish

a bottom line on each issue. Create an agenda, and during the negotiating

process, explain the reasons for the positions you take so as not

to seem arbitrary."

Mitchell refers to "wants" as "give-ups," saying that

before you even start negotiating, prioritize your "give-ups"

and sacrifice them carefully in exchange for "needs."

"Also understand that both parties have a hidden agenda. It contains

their list of needs — the points that will make or break the deal.

It is camouflaged with `wants.’ Uncovering the other party’s hidden

agenda is, therefore, the key to success.

An example: As a tenant, if you "need" extra parking spaces

(above the landlord’s standard "parking ratio," but you "want"

a designated parking area, you might give up the designated area just

to get the spaces.

Top Of Page
Tinseltown Tips

When a film is made in Hollywood many people come together

— the actors, director, screen-writers, artists — and they

all get listed in the credits. "We can apply this model to how

we do business," says Ronnie Fielding, general manager of

the interactive division of the marketing firm Princeton Partners

on Research Way.

Fielding, who built a successful new media business using the "Hollywood

Model," will discuss how this can be applied to a variety of businesses

at the meeting of the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network on Wednesday,

April 7, at noon at the Princeton Forrestal Hotel. Cost: $35. Call

609-279-0010 for more information.

Fielding majored in English at Rider University, Class of 1981, and

has been working in new media for 15 years. After nine years at Dow

Jones Interactive, she and a partner started United Multimedia in

1995, and it was bought by Princeton Partners last year. Fielding

expanded and refined her Hollywood model and is running the interactive

division at Princeton Partners.

"The difference with the Hollywood Model," says Fielding,

"is that we don’t use vendors, we use partners. We are not pretending

that we are doing the whole thing. A lot of companies come together

to create the project."

As in Hollywood, all partners get credit for getting results for the

client, says Fielding. "We are not outsourcing. We have the strategic

expertise inhouse to understand the business issues and to manage

the resources to complete the project. But we also hire artists and

programmers, and they work with us hand-in-hand, and are very visible

to the client."

The partners share in both the rewards and the risks, says Fielding.

"We work for a fixed fee, and everybody works for the fee they

agreed on. Our partners get compensated when we do."

Fielding says that the Hollywood model is ideal for new media businesses,

a term that refers to any type of computer-based media such as websites,

DVDs (digitized video on disc), CD-ROMs, and kiosks. "In new media

it is very difficult to hire and retain good talent. When we work

this way, we have an ever expanding workpool to choose from."

The Hollywood Model, Fielding says, can be tailored to any business

that needs alliances to move forward. "By making strategic alliances

you can keep your overheads low and profits high."

— Teena Chandy

Top Of Page
`Chemical-Free’?

No Way

What are Americans being sold? The emperor’s new clothes?"

asks Irmgard Howard, a biochemist on the faculty of Houghton

College, referring to the myriad of "chemical-free" products

that the American public seems to be seeking in earnest today. In

reality there is no such thing as a "chemical-free" product

and the chemistry-naive consumer is being misled, says Howard.

Howard will present the biochemist’s approach to the public’s fear

of chemicals at a meeting of the American Chemical Society on Thursday,

April 8, at 6 p.m. at Princeton University’s Prospect House and Frick

Chemistry Lab. Call Alice Fankhauser at 609-258-3922. The lecture

is free; the dinner is $20.

"Chemicals are made of elements, and elements are all the members

of the periodic table," says Howard. If you go back to what you

learned in high school, this would include "everything" —

and "everybody" too. That is what Howard wants to convey through

her presentation — that "people" are chemicals too.

"Once people understand that they are made of chemicals and that

they interact with a world made of chemicals," Howard says, "they

understand better how their bodies work and make more informed chemical

decisions." It’s a choice of chemicals that we have to make, Howard

says, and not a denial of chemicals.

Howard has a bachelor’s in zoology and a PhD in biochemistry from

Duke University. She has done research in clinical chemistry, immunochemistry,

molecular genetics, and nutrition. Since 1970, she has taught clinical

chemistry, biochemistry of nutrition, and a course called "The

Impact of Science on Society" at Houghton.

Howard began collecting examples of chemophobia 24 years ago, after

she saw an advertisement of a chemical company claiming their vitamins

had no chemicals in them. "I took it to my class and realized

that everybody had already become used to the idea of chemical-free

vitamins and didn’t think it was strange at all."

"Words like `herbal’ and `organic’ are good, but the word `chemical’

has become a bad word, and we as chemists are being discriminated

against," says Howard. She says that there should be better communication

between the chemical society and the rest of the world. "It’s

important for chemists to use words correctly," says Howard, "and

insist that others use words correctly too. Nutrition and biochemistry

can be used to communicate what is happening with chemicals in people

and in their environment."

In this country there is so much processing of food, that it is essential

for the consumer to make informed decisions, says Howard. For example,

"You can choose to eat foods that contain certain preservatives,

or foods that don’t have preservatives, which could end up being more

harmful."

The word "chemical" has come to replace "synthetic"

and that is not correct, says Howard. "People look down on anything

that is being made in a lab." Advertisers get away with misleading

messages because there are no regulations by the FDA, says Howard.

"I am not against saying `no chemicals added’ or `no harmful chemicals’

but to say that something is `chemical free’ is senseless."

A good place for the consumer to start, Howard suggests, is by reading

the labels of products. A "chemical-free shampoo," for example,

would have natural ingredients like aloe and water but "there

also has to be a detergent molecule in there that will make the suds

that will clean your hair."

In the end, Howard says "it’s not good versus bad, or no chemical

versus some chemical. It’s the quantitative decisions that we make.

Like everything in life, this is also just a matter of balance."

— Teena Chandy

Top Of Page
Legislative Data

Should you decide to get seriously involved in politics,

you may need this map of the area, the 1998 New Jersey Legislative

District Data Book, published by the Center for Government Services

at Rutgers University School of Planning and Public Policy. This 23rd

annual publication presents a detailed statistical description of

the state’s legislative districts.

The book includes statistical and directory information for each of

the state’s legislative and congressional districts and for the counties,

municipalities, and school districts of which they are composed. There

is also a map of the district, showing municipal and county boundaries,

a general description of the district, including its political orientation,

and names of incumbent legislators.

The data book is also available on 3.5-inch disk. The book costs $39,

the disk costs $50, and a set in print and on disk costs $75. Call

Joan Buck at 732-932-3640, extension 628 for more information.

A less extensive book is the 1999 State Chamber Legislative Roster,

available to members free or for a fee to non-members. Call 609-989-7888.

Top Of Page
Late Bus on Route 1

New Jersey Transit will run a late night trip on the

600 bus route from Forrestal Village to Trenton and the Princeton

Junction railroad station starting Saturday, April 3. This was arranged

by the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association (TMA)

in response to the growing number of service employees on Route 1

working late night shifts.

The trip will begin at Forrestal Village at 11:15 p.m. and make stops

along College Road East and Scudders Mill Road, at the Princeton Junction

station, throughout Carnegie Center, and along Route 1. In Trenton

the bus will stop at State and Warren streets and at the Trenton rail

station.

This service will run seven days a week and on holidays on a six-month

trial basis. If ridership is consistent with other trips on the route,

NJ Transit will continue the late night service. For schedule information,

call 800-772-2222 or 800-582-5946.

Top Of Page
Road Closed

The intersection of Grovers Mill Road and Cranbury Neck Road will

be closed for construction until Friday, April 2. Cranbury Neck Road

will be closed at Nostrand Road and Grovers Mill Road will be closed

at Maple Avenue. The closing comes as part of the New Jersey Department

of Transportation’s construction of a new bridge along Cranbury Neck

Road, over the Millstone River.

Top Of Page
For Girl Scouts,

Lucent Stock

Thomas Weber of Edison, a retired professor of history at Rutgers

University, has donated $15,323 of Lucent Technology stock to the

Delaware-Raritan Girl Scout Council, as part of a two year $28,700

donation.

"My daughter wears a brace on her leg due to polio," says

Weber of his daughter, now the proprietor and a veterinarian at Sea

Girt Animal Hospital in Wall Township. "Girl Scouting helped her

gain confidence and feel accepted by her peers. I felt compelled to

help Delaware-Raritan Girl Scouts give other girls the same advantages."

The donation will assist the council to achieve its goal to ensure

universally accessible facilities at the New Leaf Environmental Center

and Oak Spring Day Camp, Somerset. For information about the activities

of the Delaware-Raritan Girl Scout Council, or to make donations call

732-821-9090, extension 3.


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