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Life in the Fast Lane

Incubator Growth

Expansions

Crosstown Moves

Expansions

Leaving Town

Management Moves

Corrections or additions?

These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 25,

1998. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane

Last week’s U.S. 1 cover story on Caren Franzini told

how part of state government, the New Jersey Economic Development

Authority, was acting more like a business than a bureaucracy. One

pertinent example is the Technology Center of New Jersey on Route

1 in North Brunswick. EDA’s new building there, "Tech One,"

had been marketed to small and medium size companies that did not

have enough credit to borrow the money to build out their own labs.

EDA would do the build-out and charge it back to the tenant in form

of rent.

The small firms had expressed interest in a total of 30,000 feet,

about half the space, but they were slow to sign their leases.

Franzini,

executive director of the NJEDA, thinks that was because smaller firms

typically need to "kick the tires" — see the space before

they decide to move in.

Then the EDA received an offer from one big company (Mariel, a joint

venture between Merck and Rhone-Poulenc formed last fall) to take

the entire 60,000 feet. Late last year Mariel signed a letter of

intent

to occupy the entire space, and discussions are going on as expected.

Everyone but the smaller would-be tenants thought that was a good

business decision.

The deal could, after all, have gone to outposts of Merck and

Rhone-Poulenc

in Pennsylvania or Georgia. "We’re lucky to be able to put a

package

together to keep them in New Jersey," says Tim Lizura, who handles

EDA’s asset and leasing management. "This is good news for New

Jersey."

"It is a really nice thing for New Jersey that Mariel has been

able to base its North American headquarters as well as part of its

global operations in New Jersey," says Janice Keene of Merial’s

Iselin office.

"There was a month when we took flack from the prospective tenants

waiting in the wings, but we felt with the market the way it was,

we needed an anchor in the park," says Sab Russo of CB Commercial.

"Keep in mind this is not taxpayer money; they have raised this

money privately."

"Perhaps we didn’t communicate what the Tech Center was all

about,"

admits Franzini. She says the Tech Center vision has always been to

provide a place for major companies to expand, to be a home for

growing

businesses, and to foster synergy between high tech companies and

the state’s universities.

Merial, for instance, has a $1.9 billion revenue base and a $120

million

R&D budget, the largest in the industry. It is the world’s largest

company solely dedicated to the discovery, manufacture, and marketing

of veterinary pharmaceuticals and vaccines, everything from flea

treatment

for cats to medicines for chickens and cows. With about 1,600

employees

in North America, it has a North American operational headquarters

in Iselin (the former site for Merck AgVet) plus a global headquarters

in London, England, and an operation in Lyon, France (formerly Rhone

Merieux).

"In our mind, large companies feed off of small companies,

especially

in the scientific field," says Franzini. And though two of the

would-be tenants have found space, one in Princeton and the other

at Exit 8A, other companies are still interested in getting lab space.

"This gave us a great opportunity — to start on the second

building a full nine months early," says Franzini. CUH2A, based

on Roszel Road, will again do the architecture for Tech Two, at 651

Route 1 South, and Torcon will be the contractor. When complete, the

TCNJ will have 200,000 square feet. And, promises Franzini, "We

are building Tech Two dedicated to smaller businesses and no question

about that."

— Barbara Fox

Top Of Page
Incubator Growth

Bunsen burners in New Brunswick, computers in Trenton.

That’s how it seemed state incubator space would be allocated. New

Brunswick’s Jersey Avenue incubators would be for young high tech

businesses and Trenton’s would be devoted to those businesses whose

technology needs were centered around computers.

Now space is so tight on Jersey Avenue that the Trenton Business and

Technology Center has begun to take some lab-space tenants. The TBTC

has fitted out a $30,000 lab space for John J. Wille to use for his

consulting business, Bioderm.

Wille has degrees from Cornell University, Class of 1960, and Indiana

University. He worked at the universities of Cincinnati, Chicago,

and Louisiana State, and then did experimental pathology at the Mayo

Clinic.

The former director of medical product research at Bristol-Myers

Squibb,

Wille is also president and chief operating officer of the 13-year-old

firm Hy-Gene Inc., (U.S. 1, November 9, 1997).

His own firm, Bioderm, has a consulting contract with Bristol-Myers

Squibb. Among his areas of interest: R&D for early stage development

of advanced wound healing products including living skin substitutes,

advanced wound dressing, design of quality control tests required

for regulatory approvals, and design of medical products for wound

healing.

Unlike Bioderm, most of Trenton’s tenants are the more traditional

businesses, and they are moving in with gratifying speed. Nationwide

there are 600 incubators and the average time needed to fill them

up is three years, but, says Joseph E. Kielec, TBTC manager, Trenton’s

may be full just 18 months from the day it opened. The TBTC is now

60 percent occupied.

Bioderm is the only biotech one. "We don’t have the ventilation

systems for high volume experimental labs," says Kielec. "If

the TBTC expands, our next building may need laboratory space."

Bioderm Technologies Inc., 36 South Broad Street,

Trenton 08608. John J. Wille PhD, president. 609-656-0784; fax,

609-396-8603.

E-mail: jjwille@aol.com.

Top Of Page
Expansions

SEQ Ltd., 17 Princess Road, Suite A, Lawrenceville

08648. Robert F. Johnston, acting president and CEO. 609-620-0220;

fax, 609-620-0221. E-mail: iweston@seq.sarnoff.com.

A Bob Johnston biotech company is moving out of its incubator,

from the basement of Sarnoff to 15,000 square feet at 17A Princess

Road. SEQ is not a Sarnoff company, but it was renting space there

during its incubation stage. Now it has 12 employees, including

Johnston

as acting CEO. Just a few scientists are at the new place now, and

everyone else is at 201 Washington Road, phone 609-452-6033; fax

609-452-5955.

The technology involves proprietary gene sequencing, single molecule

sequencing by fluorescence, and high throughput screening (U.S. 1,

May 14, 1997). The space they occupy had been a lab for the state

health department.

Top Of Page
Crosstown Moves

Amway Corporation, 1 Applegate Drive, Northeast

Business Park, Box 9985, Hamilton 08650-0900. Thomas C. Ehler,

manager.

609-259-4000; fax, 609-259-4031.

Matrix Development’s Northeast Business Park boasts a new building

with a build-to-suit tenant, Amway Corporation. The distributor of

household cleaning products and farm maintenance supplies began moving

to its $4 million state-of-the-art facility on December 6 and

officially

opened in January. Set on 11 acres, the building is 113,000 square

feet and has more warehouse but less office space than its previous

quarters in Dayton at 461 Ridge Road. The phone and fax are new.

Tom Sullivan and Sab Russo of CB Commercial in Piscataway assisted

CB Commercial’s Philadelphia office to represent Matrix and the

contractor,

Dolan Contractors of Westhampton New Jersey.

Meridian Enterprises Corporation, 101 Interchange

Plaza, First Floor, Cranbury 08512. Paul Lewis, associate account

executive. 609-409-1776; fax, 609-409-1779.

The marketing incentive firm that U.S. 1 reported moving out of 666

Plainsboro Road (February 18) has been found by one of U.S. 1’s

vigilant

deliverers. Meridian has relocated to 101 Interchange Plaza near Exit

8A. Paul Lewis notes that the new location is "a little bigger

and better" and a little more central than the prior location

at the Princeton Meadows Office Center. The firm is based in St Louis.

Phone and fax are new.

Pharmaceutical Quality Associates, 20 Nassau

Street,

Suite 202, Princeton 08542. Leonard Kaplan PhD, president.

609-683-9484;

fax, 609-683-9487.

In January Leonard Kaplan moved his firm from 103 Carnegie

Center

to 20 Nassau Street, where it has a new phone and fax. The firm offers

consulting services and product development of oral and topical drug

delivery systems.

Knitting Concepts Inc., 24 A Forge Street,

Jamesburg

08831. Derek Fairey, owner. 732-521-4488; fax, 732-521-2117.

Derek Fairey has moved his weaving business from 2394 Route

130 in Dayton to less expensive quarters in Jamesburg. He manufactures

knit fabric for sweaters from raw material yarn. Phone and fax are

new.

Fairey grew up in Leicestershire, the weaving center of England, and

comes from a long line of weavers. He immigrated to the United States

in 1979 and started his own firm 10 years later when he bought his

first computerized knitting machine and set it up in a garage (U.S.

1, May 6, 1992).

Weaving, he has said, requires a certain knack. "If you’ve not

got it you can’t buy it," says Fairey. "The feel in the hands

— you have to have that feel, or you are not going to be a

knitter."

Top Of Page
Expansions

The Nielsen-Wurster Group Inc., 345 Wall Street,

Princeton 08540. Kris R. Nielsen, CEO and president. 609-497-7300;

fax, 609-497-3412.

The engineering, construction, and construction management firm has

added nearly 2,000 square feet for a total of 8,650 feet.

Top Of Page
Leaving Town

Ameriquest Mortgage, 4000 Route 66, Tinton Falls

07753. Joe Suarez, branch manager. 732-922-6118; fax, 732-922-4748.

Joe Suarez has moved the office from a temporary location at 14

Washington

Road to Tinton Falls. The firm is based in California.

Bedard Kurowicki & Company, 318 Route 202 North,

Suite 5, Box 77062, Flemington 08822. John R. Bedard CPA,

partner.

908-782-7900; fax, 908-782-4328.

This accounting firm has relocated from West Trenton and has

a new phone and fax.

Comprehensive Asset Management, 8 South River Road,

Cranbury. David L. Bailin CLU ChFc, general agent.

David Baillin has moved his office to be part of MidMonmouth

Financial Concepts, 3301-A, Highway 66, Neptune 07753; 732-932-6300;

fax, 732-922-3353. It is part of Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance

Company

and does business and personal financial planning.

FMC Specialty Products, 105 College Road East,

Princeton 08543-0008. Anthony J. Maro, director. 609-951-3000; fax,

609-951-3809.

About 40 employees in the special products research division will

be moving to FMC’s group headquarters in Philadelphia on March 1.

Lincoln Company, 626 Sayre Drive, Princeton 08540.

Philip J. Carcara, managing partner. 215-238-1259. E-mail:

pjcarcara@juno.com.

Philip Carcara has moved his office to Pennsylvania. He consults

on management, financing, and funding needs for manufacturing

companies.

Top Of Page
Management Moves

Glenmede Trust Company of New Jersey, 16 Chambers

Street, Princeton 08540-6232. William D. Baird Jr., president.

609-683-1005;

fax, 609-252-0082.

William Baird succeeds Bruce D. Simon as president of the New

Jersey company, which offers asset management services and trust

services

and is part of Glenmede Corporation and Pew Charitable Trusts. Simon

was named chief investment officer of the parent Glenmede company.

The Pennington School, 112 West Delaware Avenue,

Pennington 08534. 609-737-1838; fax, 609-730-1405.

In July, Lyle D. Rigg, 53, will take the position of headmaster at

this private, coeducational, college preparatory school. He comes

from the headmaster’s post at The American School in Switzerland.

He is married to Sharon Creech, whose children’s novel "Walk Two

Moons" won the Newbery Medal in 1995.

Schaeffer Lamont & Associates, 35-37 Montgomery

Knoll, Box 3561, Princeton 08543-3561. Sharon Lamont and Linda J.

Schaeffer, managing partners. 609-683-4970; fax, 609-683-0523.

Sharon Lamont and Linda Schaeffer bought out the Princeton office

of R.D. Hunter and renamed it Schaeffer Lamont & Associates. R.D.

Hunter & Co. has offices in Paramus and New York City.

n


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This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Toni Morrison’s `Paradise’

Oprah’s Influence

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Nicole Plett and Lisa Jardine were published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 25, 1998..

Toni Morrison’s `Paradise’

They shoot the white girl first. With the rest they

can take their time. No need to hurry out here," intoned Toni

Morrison from the podium of McCosh 50 on the campus of Princeton

University.

It was almost exactly one year ago, the occasion was a reading of

the work in progress that became "Paradise," the Nobel

laureate’s

first novel to follow her historic prize.

Morrison will read from her completed novel, "Paradise," at

a benefit event at Nassau Presbyterian Church, on Friday, February

27, at 7:30 p.m. A question and answer session follows the reading.

At press time tickets for the reading were sold out.

"I had the choice of reading something published, but my whole

attention is involved, engaged, and locked in this manuscript I’m

working on," Morrison told last year’s capacity audience. The

title of the novel, "Paradise," she described as "possibly

the most overused title in the world." Her original choice had

been "War," but her publishers "didn’t like it much,"

and she was overruled.

The Ivy League setting could not have been more classic — the

imposing, oak-paneled auditorium, stone Gothic arches, wood and iron

seats, each with its own little fold-down desktop, overlooked by the

upstairs gallery, bounded by elegant turned wood rails.

This is storytelling at its most elemental. The storyteller locked

into communion with a rapt audience. Morrison weaves her words,

phrases,

sentences, and thoughts calmly, yet with breathtaking eloquence. The

audience listens in reverential silence.

At 66, Morrison is dressed fashionably, in a simple and comfortable

black suit set off by a coffee-colored scarf, her myriad, tiny gray

braids drawn are together into a heavy braid down her back.

In quiet, incantatory tones Morrison takes her listeners on a

blood-chilling

tour of the Convent, a decadent mansion that was once "an

embezzler’s

folly," as seen through the eyes of the nine men of Ruby who have

come to annihilate its innocent inhabitants, a motley group of women

(of unspecified race) who have found a refuge there from the accidents

of their lives. "The target, after all, is detritus: throwaway

people that sometimes blow back into a room after being swept out

the door," says one of the characters, a young man with a gun.

The reverential mood of the hall turns palpably to dread.

"Although it is the dawn of a July day, there is a chill

within,"

Morrison continues. "The chill intensifies as the men spread

deeper

into the mansion, taking their time, looking, listening, alert to

the female malice that hides here and the yeast-and-butter smell of

rising dough."

The war that is "Paradise" takes place in Ruby, Oklahoma,

a fictional town founded by former slaves, that remains a town

exclusively

of and for African-Americans, described as a place where "race

exists but doesn’t matter." With fortune and harmony now failing

in Ruby, its male leaders seek their scapegoat.

"The book coalesced around the idea of where paradise is, who

belongs in it," explained Morrison, in a January, 1998, interview

with Dinitia Smith in the New York Times. "All paradises are

described

as male enclaves, where the interloper is a woman, defenseless and

threatening. When we get ourselves together and get powerful is when

we are assaulted."

The volume of critical and popular acclaim that has arisen around

the work of Toni Morrison is great indeed. Her six major novels —

"The Bluest Eye," "Song of Solomon," "Sula,"

"Tar Baby," "Beloved," and "Jazz" — focus

on the unique joys and sorrows of black American women’s lives. They

have collected nearly every major literary prize: the 1993 Nobel

Prize,

the Pulitzer, the National Book Foundation medal, the Pearl Buck

Award,

and the title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from

France.

She joined the faculty of Princeton University as the

Robert F. Goheen Professor in spring 1989. Before coming to Princeton

she held teaching posts at Yale University, Bard College, and Rutgers

University.

Although Morrison would probably say that her heart is in her home

overlooking the Hudson, in her 1996 address at Princeton University’s

250th anniversary convocation, she expressed a strong affection for

her academic home. "This place is redolent with the breath of

the emotional life lived here and the intellectual life made manifest

here," she told her audience. "Those trees down there on

Witherspoon

Street — how they reach across the pavement and the shops and

the pedestrians to touch each other . . . If you are there in spring

at twilight, falling petals cover the walkers and the road like

snowflakes

in December."

Morrison grew up poor as Chloe Anthony Wofford in the rust-belt town

of Lorain, Ohio. Her father was a ship welder, and her mother, Ramah,

a homemaker. Yet her parents instilled in all their children a strong

sense of their own worth. "I always knew we were very poor. But

that was never degrading," she told one interviewer. "My

parents

made all of us feel as though there were these rather extraordinary

deserving people within us. I felt like an aristocrat."

As a teenager, she cleaned the houses of white families after school.

She found fascination, nonetheless, in working gadgets, such as a

vacuum cleaner, that she didn’t have at home. Readers will recognize

her experience in the portrait of Pauline of "The Bluest Eye."

Books were a vital part of Morrison’s formative years. "My mother

belonged to a book club, one of those early ones. And that was

hard-earned

money, you know."

Who could have predicted that another book club, the Oprah Winfrey

book club, would have introduced Morrison’s fiction to such an

immensely

increased readership. "It’s true that the interest in Toni

increased

dramatically when Oprah promoted `Song of Solomon,’" stated Craig

Sweeny of Knopf, with characteristic corporate understatement last

week. "This is the largest first printing of any of her books

— 450,000 copies in first printing. And there are now 900,000

copies in print."

"Yes, the Oprah Club selection has had an enormous effect, but

she’s has also been on `60 Minutes’ and on the cover of Time, so we

can’t assign a specific number of books to the Oprah selection.

There’s

no formula for determining that number. We base our numbers on

bookseller

interest."

Oprah’s on-air discussion of "Paradise," set for broadcast

Friday, March 6, will be followed in March by short segments taped

at Princeton University with footage of Morrison teaching her class.

Morrison names as her early literary influences James

Baldwin, and the African novelists Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye.

"They did not explain their black world. Or clarify it. Or justify

it," she says. "These African writers took their blackness

as central and the whites were the `other.’"

"When I began, there was just one thing that I wanted to write

about, which was the true devastation of racism on the most

vulnerable,

the most helpless unit in the society — a black female and a

child."

It was as an undergraduate at Howard University that Chloe became

known as Toni. The fact that she became published under that name

was an accident that she regrets. "I was upset. They had the wrong

name. My name is Chloe Wofford. Toni’s a nickname." Her family

all calls her Chloe, and it was as Chloe, she notes, that she went

to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize.

After earning an MA in English at Cornell, she married Harold Morrison

in 1959. The couple divorced in 1964. She moved to Syracuse with her

two sons, Harold Ford (then 3) and Slade (three months), and supported

the family as a textbook editor. When the company was bought by Random

House, she moved to New York City. During her 18 years as a Random

House editor (she stayed through the publication of "Tar

Baby,"

until being offered a professorship at SUNY in 1985), she nurtured

such black authors as Angela Davis, June Jordan, Wesley Brown, and

Toni Cade Bambara.

Raising her sons as a single mother, Morrison credits the

"carapace"

of family and friends for making it possible. Women sharing their

burdens with other women has been her experience as well as her

subject.

Her son Slade, 30, is a painter and musician; Ford, 33, is an

architect;

and she has a granddaughter, Kali, 10, who is Slade’s daughter.

In her 1994 interview with Claudia Dreifus of the New York Times

Magazine,

Morrison says her Nobel Prize represented a special kind of triumph.

"I felt I represented a whole world of women who either were

silenced

or who had never received the imprimatur of the established literary

world. Seeing me up there might encourage [young black people] to

write one of those books I’m desperate to read. And that made me

happy.

It gave me licence to strut."

Morrison compares her work to jazz music: very complicated, very

sophisticated,

and very difficult. it is also very popular. And it has the

characteristic

of being sensual and illegal. "I would like my work to do two

things: be as demanding and sophisticated as I want it to be, and

at the same time be accessible in a sort of emotional way to lot of

people, just like jazz. That’s a hard task. But that’s what I want

to do."

"I’ve always thought best when I wrote," says Morrison.

"Writing

is what centered me. In the act of writing, I felt most alive, most

coherent, most stable, and most vulnerable."

Morrison has homes in Princeton, New York, and her house in

Grandview-on-Hudson,

in upstate New York, now rebuilt after the fire that destroyed it

in December, 1993, just weeks after she won the Nobel Prize. Losing

the structure was inconsequential, she says, compared to the personal

devastation of the fire that stole her photographs, plants she had

nurtured for 20 years, her children’s report cards, and her own

manuscripts.

For months after, she said she couldn’t speak to anyone who hadn’t

suffered the same loss — and the list proved surprisingly long.

Having put away her Nobel Prize money, just over $800,000, against

her future retirement, she couldn’t get her hands on it at the time

of the fire. If she could have, she told an interviewer, "I would

have taken the money and rebuilt my house and it would have been like

most of the money I’ve ever had: as soon as you get it, there’s a

big hole waiting for it."

Like any editor, Morrison finds she still has unfinished business.

"I’m mad," she told the New York Times this January.

"Something

I forgot to do is bothering me a lot. The last word in the book,

`paradise,’

should have a small `p,’ not a capital `P,’" she said, referring

to the final sentence of the novel: "Now they will rest before

shouldering the endless work they were created to do down here in

Paradise."

"The whole point is to get paradise off its pedestal, as a place

for anyone to open it up for passengers and crew," continues

Morrison.

"I want all the readers to put a lowercase mark on that `p.’"

Spoken like a seasoned editor. And for the benefit of readers who

haven’t worked on a copy desk, that proofreader’s mark for a lowercase

letter is a diagonal slash, like this, /. Right through the letter.

Go to it.

— Nicole Plett

An Evening with Toni Morrison, Micawber Books,

Nassau

Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, 609-921-8454. Donation $12

adults, $7 students & seniors, to benefit Save Our Kids (SOKS).

Friday,

February 27, 7:30 p.m.

Top Of Page
Oprah’s Influence

On an Oprah’s Book Club website at the moment you can

join in a passionate debate about Toni Morrison’s new novel

"Paradise."

Ordinary readers unselfconsciously explain how difficult they found

Paradise, but how ultimately rewarding the experience was:

"I’m a everyday mother of three who is looking for

something

of my own to do. Completing `Paradise’ is rewarding in itself. Yes

it’s complicated and challenging but you’ll feel successful when you

get to the end."

"I have read `Paradise’ twice. The first time through

I too was lost. Even after I was finished, I wondered what Toni

Morrison’s

point was. But I remembered that Oprah had said she was reading it

for the third time, so I started reading it again. The second time

through I understood the characters better, and I began to really

think about what was being said, and even discovered some things I

missed my first reading through. This book is deep, and is not one

you can just run through."

Oprah’s Book Club is probably the most significant initiative

in the field of fiction this decade. I’ve been hooked on it ever since

she picked her first book in September, 1996 — unknown author

Jacqueline Mitchard’s, "The Deep End of the Ocean," which

was promptly catapulted into the best-seller list, and went on to

sell almost a million copies.

The books Oprah chose at the beginning were mostly about women and

pain — about women who are, or who become, dysfunctional, under

the pressure of their everyday, working lives, and their struggles

to find some meaning to their existence. "The Deep End of the

Ocean" is the story of a woman whose three-year-old disappears

from a hotel lobby while her back is turned. The writing is painfully

understated, the detail of the family’s failure to understand what

is happening to their lives, or to communicate with one another, is

precise and believable.

But Oprah has moved her Book Club members along a lot since the

Mitchard,

which is still, in the end, a somewhat sentimental book, a book for

readers straightforwardly to identify with. She picked Maya Angelou’s,

"The Heart of a Woman," she picked Toni Morrison’s "Song

of Solomon," she picked Ernest Gaines’s "A Lesson Before

Dying,"

a moving story about a black boy on death row, about fundamental human

dignity, and simple heroism. Selected authors include women and men,

black and white, American and foreign-born.

She has taken her audience on a journey that started with popular

identity politics — being poor, being abused, being dumb, being

a woman, being black, being disabled — moved on to black literary

classics like Angelou and early Morrison, which require some skills

in reading for style as well as content, to a book like "A Lesson

Before Dying," which asks big questions about living well in the

face of the inevitable.

Last Christmas her choice was three little books by Bill Cosby for

beginning readers — elementary school children’s books with black

central characters. So, having drawn her daytime TV-show audience

into serious reading, she is also saying, don’t just leave it there,

make this a family matter, start your children reading and let them

grow in reading maturity alongside their mothers. She offers reading

as solace and salvation — a wonderfully traditional evangelical

thing, to which she gives an important secular twist.

And now, a real book, a difficult book, a book that highbrow readers

are having trouble coming to terms with — as is clear from the

reviews in publications that Oprah’s readers never look at, like the

New York Times and the New Yorker. If Oprah’s readers are going there

with her, and are understanding and responding to "Paradise,"

the 13th book selected, then they are now reading at college level.

There’s a brand new set of feisty book buyers out there, with strong

opinions of their own, and a shared new reading experience. They are

going to alter the literary landscape forever.

— Lisa Jardine

Lisa Jardine, professor of literature at Queen Mary and

Westfield

College, University of London, is currently visiting professor at

Johns Hopkins University. She is a regular columnist for the Telegraph

Newspaper, London, and hosted the late-night arts program Night Waves

for BBC radio.

The Oprah Book Club discussion page, maintained by Canadian student

Rachel Decoste, is at

http://oprah.virtual-space.com/books.

The Oprah Winfrey Show maintains a website on AOL, keyword Oprah.

The discussion of Morrison’s `Paradise’ is scheduled for broadcast

on Friday, March 6, at 4 p.m.


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This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Review: `The Balkan Women’

Corrections or additions?

This article by Joan Crespi was published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 25, 1998. All rights reserved.

Review: `The Balkan Women’

For an excellent play, beautifully acted by a

professional

cast, hurry south to Bristol Riverside Theater where the world

premiere

of Jules Tasca’s drama, "The Balkan Women," is playing until

March 1. You won’t see better on Broadway.

The contemporary play by an award-winning playwright is about the

bitter ethnic strife between Christians and Muslims, Serbs and Croats.

As one character tells us, "Hate is the ground we stand on."

From the moment the play opens, with blasts, bright lights, and smoke,

until its final lines, this conflict fires the play, which never lets

up in intensity.

But the audience is mistaken. This blast is the explosion of a Serb

fuel depot, and who drove the car with the explosives on a timing

device is the question that first sets the play in motion. Amina Jusic

and her daughter Samira are brought — thrust — into the

concentration

camp for Muslim women in the Serb round-up of women suspects. Only

women, children, and old men are left to be held responsible for the

blast: the younger Muslim men, including Amina’s husband and Samira’s

purported father, are all gone into the Muslim army. It soon becomes

clear that Samira, unknown to her mother, drove the truck carrying

the explosives that blew up the depot and the 16 Serb soldiers inside.

What she didn’t know was that some of the victims were buddies of

one of her Serb captors.

The entire play is set in the concentration camp —

indicated with a few strands of barbed wire strung across the back

of the stage and a chain-link gate — and both time and space are

telescoped as the gripping action moves from one part of the stage

to another, progressing fluidly, from blackout scene to blackout

scene.

The scenes may be punctuated by a narrator, the character Lieutenant

Jovan Vlaco, whose often near-poetic remarks underscore the action.

At the outset we see this character applying a monster’s red-and-black

make up, thus transforming himself from an ordinary, feeling human

being into a monster, here a Muslim-hating Serb soldier.

Tasca knows how to ratchet up tension; the play’s twists and turns

are constantly spellbinding. "The Balkan Women" both documents

in action and in the narrator’s words the cruelty and futility of

war among neighbors who once lived peacefully together, bought eggs,

and made love (with attendant consequences) across ethnic lines, never

minding whether the other worshiped Jesus Christ or Allah. But after

Yugoslavia broke up, so did peaceful co-existence, as the people

reverted

to a strife dating back to medieval times, and each became to the

other "the enemy." (Tasca wisely delivers his history in the

mouths of his well-drawn characters.)

Sean Dougherty is fierce and convincing as Lieutenant Jovan Vlaco,

Marta Vidal plays a desperate and stricken Amina trying to save her

daughter, and Elizabeth Mestnik is angry and winsome and strong as

Samira. Maya Israel plays the fierce, fanatical Jela Kaljanao

believably,

and Stephen Schnetzer does a fine acting job, tough yet tender, as

Colonel Branislav Herak (although he looks too young to have fathered

a grown daughter). With most of the large cast — including the

two four-person choruses — always on stage, Edward Keith Baker

makes his directing seem that best kind, unobtrusive.

The skillfully plotted and moving play is all about the senselessness

and brutality of war — "The whole war’s an atrocity."

The title is reminiscent of Euripides’ tragedy "The Trojan

Women,"

written four centuries before Christ (does mankind never learn?).

Tasca uses ancient techniques such as narrator and a chorus, but here

the two choruses, whether four black-clad Serbian guards or four

gray-robed

and scarved Muslim women, have no lines of their own. Unlike a

classical

chorus’s direct commentaries, here the choral actors say the lines

along with the main characters precisely as they are spoken, so

underscoring

and giving community backing to the words. "The Trojan Women"

has been called "one of the most powerful indictments of war ever

written." To such powerful indictments of war add "The Balkan

Women."

— Joan Crespi

The Balkan Women, Bristol Riverside Theater, 120

Radcliffe Street, Bristol, 215-785-0100. Continues Wednesday, February

25, through Sunday, March 1. $22 to $27.

Directions: Take Route 1 south across the bridge at Trenton;

then turn right onto and follow Route 13. At EconoLodge get in left

lane, make a left at large "Charles" sign onto Green Lane.

Continue to the end, to Radcliffe Street, and turn right.

Bristol-Riverside

Theater is about two miles down on the left at 120 Radcliffe Street.


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Review: `Ragtime’

On Broadway

Off-Broadway

Ticket Numbers

Corrections or additions?

This article by Simon Saltzmanwas published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 25, 1998. All rights reserved.

Review: `Ragtime’

Ragtime," one of the most ambitious musicals of

our time, has all the makings of a classic. If it falls just a little

short of greatness, it isn’t because everyone involved in turning

E.L. Doctorow’s best-selling 1975 novel into a stunning, affecting

and imposing musical hasn’t done their job to the fullest. At its

best, which is much of the time, "Ragtime" is as impressively

propelled by its compelling interwoven dramas, as it is by its

splendid

visual and musical texture.

However, "Ragtime," also gives the impression of being content

with delivering what was safe and secure about the book, rather than

what was nervy and challenging. Would that other shows could arrive

looking as slick, as polished and as professional in all departments

as "Ragtime." Still, the musical, for all its pleasures, has

the misfortune to appear standing in its own way to being a work of

real greatness.

Nowhere in this impeccably produced, splendidly acted, and

meticulously

directed (by Frank Galati) musical drama is the edgy sense of danger

that comes with a bold artistic breakthrough or that of an

extraordinary

vision. No where is the daring that made musicals like "Show

Boat,"

"Oklahoma," and "Sunday in the Park With George,"

landmarks. But even with the feeling that greatness has been encrusted

upon it rather than coming from within, "Ragtime" offers the

reward of a remarkably intelligent, adult, thought-provoking, and

genuinely moving theatrical experience.

The mammoth show looks perfectly at home in the new 1,821 seat Ford

Center for the Performing Arts built by the Canadian production

company,

Livent. Like a phoenix, the theater gives the feeling of having arisen

from the ashes of the old Apollo (1920) and Lyric (1903) theaters,

two grand old theaters that once occupied the site. I was impressed

by the tasteful and subdued color scheme of the theater whose design

elements were inspired by and incorporated a combination of the

Apollo’s

Adamesque and Lyric’s Italian Renaissance style. The single most

awesome

feature, apart from the Greek mythological theme of the interior,

is the 650 square-foot mosaic, incorporating some 172,800 hand-cut

pieces of marble, that grabs the eye upon entering the oval atrium

lobby.

If "Ragtime," the novel, proved daunting to film makers, it

has had no such effect on the musical’s book writer, Terrence McNally,

who has done a masterful job of telling, and mostly keeping clear,

the multiple and interweaving stories. It is amazing in a show with

so many principal characters, that such significant, yet peripheral,

characters as the great escape artist Harry Houdini, explorer Admiral

Robert E. Peary, anarchist Emma Goldman, industrialists Henry Ford

and J.P. Morgan, and prominent black educator Booker T. Washington,

leave lasting impressions.

And that infamous menage-a-trois — architect Stanford White,

show-girl

Evelyn Nesbit, and her jealous husband Harry K. Thaw — who are

making headlines in a murder-sex scandal known as "The Crime of

the Century" (kittenishly sung by Lynette Perry on that famous

velvet swing), are also part of remarkable lot. Judy Kaye is standout

as the speechifying Goldman. As part of the form and fabric of this

musical, they all go about their affairs and business with great verve

and panache affecting and changing the entertainment, economic,

social,

and political world around them.

The admirably restrained theatricality with which the musical presents

a panoramic portrait of America during the early part of the 20th

century is not to be undervalued. Spectacle is rampant but exercised

without upstaging the drama. That the $10 million musical still

manages

to keep its focus on the entwining lives of the middle-class WASP

family of New Rochelle, New York, Tateh, the Jewish immigrant and

his daughter, and Coalhouse Walker Jr., the black musician, the woman

he loves, and their son, is a feat nothing short of amazing.

Tying it all musically together is the towering quasi-operatic score

by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. Theirs is a monumental

achievement

that captures the flamboyance and romantic bravura of the ragtime

era. But beyond the obligatory homage to Scott Joplin, the music also

vibrates with its own metaphors to express the rage of economic

hardship,

the reforms of political unrest, as well as the soaring declarations

of love and hope that also mark this rapidly changing time. It isn’t

such a bad thing that the broad sweep of Flaherty’s music and the

depth of Ahrens lyrics evokes a feeling of Americana that we haven’t

heard since Gershwin’s "Porgy and Bess."

The musical begins on a wistful nostalgic key with a

young boy (Alex Strange) coming forward in a path of light. As seen

through his stereopticon, his well-dressed family is brought into

view in a tableau of marked elegance and simplicity. Soon, all the

main fictional characters are introduced, including the arriving

immigrants

and impoverished blacks, each group giving a graceful, unhurried

expression

in dance of its own social class, culture, and traditions. Although

there are some delightfully danced fragments throughout, choreographer

Graciela Daniele never surpasses her haunting musical staging of the

opening scene.

The show’s cleverest conceit and one used to great effect is the use

of narrative in the third person, as spoken by the characters

themselves.

This musical’s dramatic complexity and its musical richness are

moving.

Brian Stokes Mitchell is dynamic as the ill-fated, persecuted

Coalhouse.

As the love of his life and the mother of his son, the also tragically

consigned Audra McDonald will break your heart, especially in the

ravishing duet "Wheels of a Dream."

In a role with all the potential for cliche, Peter Friedman brings

a tender twist to his performance as Tateh, the ingenious Jew with

a destiny in movies. Marin Mazzie is terrific as the compassionate

mother at the center of the WASP family who is about to take one of

the era’s first pro-feminist stands. You won’t remain neutral when

it comes to Mark Jacoby’s stiff unrelenting countenance as a typical

chauvinist husband, or Steven Sutcliffe’s obsessive behavior as the

impetuous brother.

The list of stirring performances could go on. There are the awesome

contributions of set designer Eugene Lee, who through his artistry

and that of lighting designers Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer,

allow such ordinary places as the docks of New York, Ellis Island,

a vaudeville theater, an automobile assembly line, the beach at

Atlantic

City, and a hideout in Harlem to mirror a time that struggled between

the naive and neurotic, the impulsive and compulsive, the corrupt

and courageous. It was a time when the press could label a 1904 murder

"The Crime of the Century." Now that takes chutzpah, which

this musical requires just a little more of. HHHH

— Simon Saltzman

Ragtime, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, 213 West

42 Street, 212-307-4100. $31 to $135.

Top Of Page
On Broadway

The key: HHHH Don’t miss; HHH You

won’t feel cheated;

HH Maybe you should have stayed home; H

Don’t blame us.

Ah, Wilderness, Vivian Beaumont, 150 West 65. By Euguene

O’Neill. Previews.

Art, Royale, 242 West 45. Alan Alda, Victor Garber, Alfred

Molina. Previews. Opens March 1.

Beauty and the Beast HHH Palace, Broadway at

47.

Ticketmaster.

Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk

HHHH, Ambassador,

219 West 49.

Cabaret, Roundabout, 124 West 43, 212-719-1300. Previews

begin February 13.

Cats HHH Winter Garden, Broadway & 50.

Chicago HHHH Shubert, 225 West 44. With

Bebe

Neuwirth and six Tonys.

Forever Tango HHHH Walter Kerr, 219 West 48.

The

Luis Bravo hit.

Freak, Cort, 138 West 48. By John Leguizamo.

Jekyll & Hyde HH Plymouth, 236 West 45.

Les Miserables HHH Imperial, 249 West 45.

Miss Saigon HHHH Broadway, 53 and Broadway.

Rent HHHH Nederlander, 208 West 41.

Ticketmaster.

1776 HHHH Gershwin, 222 West 51.

Ticketmaster.

Smokey Joe’s Cafe HH Virginia, 245 West 52.

The Capeman H Marquis, Broadway at 46

Street. Ticketmaster.

Paul Simon’s flop.

The Deep Blue Sea, Roundabout, 1530 Broadway,

212-719-1300.

Previews begin February 28.

The Diary of Anne Frank HH Music Box, 239

West

45.

The Last Night of Ballyhoo HHH Helen

Hayes, 240

West 44. Ticketmaster.

The Life H Barrymore, 243 West 47.

The Lion King HHHH New Amsterdam,

Broadway &

42. 212-307-4747. Disney’s world theater.

The Old Neighborhood HH Booth, 222 West

45. By

David Mamet.

The Phantom of the Opera HHH Majestic,

247 West

44.

The Scarlet Pimpernel H Minskoff, 200 West

45. Ticketmaster.

The Sound of Music, Martin Beck, 302 West 45. Previews.

The Sunshine Boys HHH Lyceum, 45 Street.

Jack

Klugman and Tony Randall.

Titanic HHHH Lunt-Fontanne, 205 West 46.

Ticketmaster.

More affecting than the movie.

Top Of Page
Off-Broadway

A Flea in Her Ear, Roundabout, 1530 Broadway,

212-719-1300.

Amazing Grace, Theater Four, 424 West 55. Previews.

As Bees in Honey Drown HHH Lucille

Lortel, 121

Christopher.

Black Humor, Cherry Lane, 38 Commerce Street.

Blue Man Group HHHH Astor Place, 434

Lafayette,

212-254-4370.

Christopher Columbus, Harry De Jur, 466 Grand. By Nikos

Kazantzakis. To March 22.

Eddie Izzard, Westbeth, 151 Bank. Ticketmaster.

Eyes for Consuela, City Center Stage, 212-581-1212. By

Sam Shepard.

Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back HHH

Stardust

Theater, Broadway at 51st.

Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral HHH Soho Playhouse,

15

Vandam, 212-691-1555.

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde

HHH

Minetta Lane, 212-420-8000.

How I Learned to Drive HHHH Century

Theater Center,

111 East 15.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

HH, Westside,

407 West 43.

Perfect Crime, Duffy, 1553 Broadway, 212-695-3401.

Pride’s Crossing, Mitzi Newhouse at Lincoln Center, 150

West 65. To April 5.

R & J, Houseman Studio, 450 West 42, 212-354-2220.

Shakespeare

adapted by Joe Calarco.

Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants, Second Stage, Broadway

at 76, 212-787-3392. David Mamet.

Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know, Triad, 158 West

72, 212-799-4599.

Stomp HHHH Orpheum, Second Avenue at 8.

Ticketmaster.

The Fantasticks, 181 Sullivan Street Playhouse.

Ticketmaster.

The Maiden’s Prayer, Vineyard, 108 East 15, 212-353-3874.

Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding HHH St. John’s

Church, 212-279-4200.

2 Pianos, 4 Hands HHH Promenade, Broadway &

76.

Visiting Mr. Green, Union Square, 100 East 17.

Ticketmaster.

Eli Wallach.

When Pigs Fly HHH Fairbanks, 432 West 42.

Howard

Crabtree.

— Simon Saltzman

Top Of Page
Ticket Numbers

Unless otherwise noted, all Broadway reservations can

be made through Tele-Charge at 212-239-6200. For

Ticketmaster

reservations, call 212-307-4100.

For current information on Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, music,

and dance call NYC/On Stage at 212-768-1818, a 24-hour performing

arts hotline operated by the Theater Development Fund. The TKTS

same-day,

half-price ticket booth at Times Square (Broadway & 47th) is open

daily, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. for evening performances; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

for Wednesday and Saturday matinees; and noon to closing for Sunday

matinees. The lower Manhattan booth, on the Mezzanine at 2 World Trade

Center, is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday

from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; closed on Sunday. Cash or travelers’ checks

only. Visit TKS at: http://www.tdf.org.

A Broadway ticket line, 212-563-BWAY, gives information on Broadway

and selected Off-Broadway shows. Calls can be transferred to various

ticket agencies. Sponsored by Continental Airlines.


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John Brown’s Body Revisited

Corrections or additions?

This article by Joan Crespi was published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 25, 1998. All rights reserved.

John Brown’s Body Revisited

John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave,

His soul goes marching on." And so does the life of John Brown

the man, as Russell Banks, one of the nation’s outstanding novelists,

imagines it. Banks has made John Brown, the white abolitionist who

believed with Old Testament fury that slavery was an absolute evil,

a man who was willing to risk white lives for black — the focus

of his new and monumental novel, "Cloudsplitter."

Banks is the author of 13 books of fiction. His novel "Continental

Drift " (1985) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; his novel

"Affliction," was short listed for both the PEN/Faulkner

Fiction

Prize and the Irish International Prize. "Cloudsplitter"

recounts

the events surrounding John Brown’s legendary 1859 raid on the armory

at Harpers Ferry. Featured on the cover of this week’s New York Times

Book Review, Walter Kirn calls this "a novel of near biblical

proportions." It is widely viewed as the author’s most ambitious

work to date.

Banks, a Princeton University professor in creative writing, in recent

years has lived in Princeton four months of the year, teaching during

the spring semester. The remainder of the year he lives in Keene,

New York, in the Adirondacks. He will be reading from

"Cloudsplitter"

at Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m.

Cloudsplitter is the name of an Adirondacks mountain (the Iroquois

named it "Tahawus"), Cloudsplitter is also the name Banks

bestows on John Brown, the leader of a raid meant to spark a guerrilla

war that would force the South to free the slaves. This was, in

effect,

the first salvo of the Civil War, Banks says, in a telephone interview

from his home in Princeton.

Banks, 57, dates his interest in Brown back to his

radical

student days in the 1960s at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, when John

Brown was a mythic figure supported by Emerson and Thoreau, whom Banks

admired. As the ’60s faded, so did his interest in Brown. However,

it was revived in the late ’80s when he and his wife bought their

house in the Adirondacks, and Banks learned that Brown’s mythic grave

and his farm were only five miles down the road in North Elba. (North

Elba is near the original small black colony of Timbuctoo.)

After the bloody, abortive raid on Harpers Ferry that took place

October

16 to 18, 1859, Brown was captured and, on December 2, 1859, hanged.

Two of Brown’s sons were killed in the raid. A third son, Owen Brown,

escaped. It is Owen that Banks has chosen to make the voice and

central

character in "Cloudsplitter." Banks found in Owen, who lived

the rest of his life as a recluse in California, "the perfect

witness," he says, to the varied and complex aspects of his

father’s

private life with his family, his public life, and the way into the

story.

"To whites, John Brown is a madman; to African-Americans he is

a hero," says Banks. "Our view of him is determined by the

color of our skin." He sees a recent parallel to the O.J. Simpson

trial as an illustration of how "we [Americans] have two opposing

views of history."

"Brown is central to the American experience," Banks

continues.

"Race in America shapes our consciousness. It shapes our ideas

about class, violence, and sexuality."

Brown is particularly American, says Banks, because unlike other

countries

with racial conflicts, such as South Africa, ours is a country born

in "a conscious and deliberate political act, born in

violence"

(the American Revolution), settled and taken over by violence (against

native tribes), settled by white Puritans (with fundamentalists

religious

beliefs). And then Americans forcibly imported black slaves.

"Given

our history, you mix religion, politics, and race and you’re going

to come up with violence," Banks says.

At the outset, Banks makes doubly clear that "Cloudsplitter"

is a novel, a work of the imagination. There are several excellent

biographies of Brown, which Banks consulted; he did not set out to

write a new version of history. He wrote of Brown, he says, because

he wanted "to write the story from inside;" because he was

"interested in John Brown up close." "This is not a

biography,"

he says. "I had to shape and rearrange and manipulate and

add."

Banks so adroitly interweaves fiction and fact that a reader cannot

decipher which is which.

Banks says he was at first uncertain how to organize the mass of

material.

Then he discovered Katherine Mayo’s letters. In 1905 Mayo interviewed

Brown’s surviving children, part of her work for Columbia professor

Oswald Garrison Villard, who wrote a 1910 biography of John Brown.

Over the course of two marriages, Brown had 20 children; the youngest

were in their 80s when Mayo interviewed them. Banks uses the real

Miss Mayo as the floodgate to release the fictionalized Owen Brown’s

extensive and detailed "recollections."

In the 19th century, Brown was a mythic figure to leftists, committed

to the abolitionist cause. By the early 20th century, he had become

an icon of the right. "How could one person be emblematic of both

left and right?" Banks asked himself.

Today the militant figure of Brown is still invoked by the right,

terrorists and abortionists and extreme rightists militias, to justify

their use of violence in what they see as a just cause. (Is then

Timothy

McVeigh’s bombing justified by Waco? Banks’ voice is adamant:

"It’s

a pathological act.")

Seen through Banks and Owen’s eyes, here is Brown as husband, loving

yet harsh father, strict disciplinarian, settler, tanner, land

speculator,

debtor, sheep herder, land surveyor, wholly dedicated to the struggle

against slavery, and "engineer" on the Underground Railroad

(which was, for runaway slaves, the escape route to Canada).

But Owen is no mere convenient mouthpiece. "Cloudsplitter"

imagines a fictionalized, turbulent Owen’s own personal struggle —

with his father and with himself.

Although Owen Brown, born in 1824, died before the turn of the

century,

when Banks sets his novel of remembered events, Banks took a fiction

writer’s liberty and gave him 14 more years of life. Banks chose to

set his story at the turn of the century, so that it could be more

than an anti-slavery story, "a story that could cast light forward

and backward," Banks says. "All good stories, historical

fiction,

even science fiction, are about the present."

Banks has written about male violence upon wives and children before

and, in 1992, told U.S. 1 that he was working on a book about John

Brown, "New England Presbyterian, old-time Calvinist" to

"explore

the relation between religion and violence." But it was not only

his fundamentalist religion that drove Brown — "people aren’t

motivated only by one thing," Banks says — it was also other

things including his belief in the evil of slavery, the death of his

mother when he was very young.

Banks was born in Eastern Massachusetts and grew up in Barnstead,

New Hampshire, the eldest of four children. When he was 12 his father,

a plumber and construction worker, deserted, and he moved with the

rest of his family to Wakefield, Massachusetts. He was an excellent

student but had a checkered school attendance record. Offered a full

scholarship to Phillips Andover, he missed the acceptance deadline

because he had run away with a friend, first to Texas, then to

California.

He won a full scholarship to Colgate but felt so isolated and socially

inadequate among his preppy classmates that, after eight weeks, he

dropped out and went south, hoping to join Castro in Cuba. He only

got as far as Florida where he married and had a daughter. Then, with

tuition paid by the mother of his second wife, he entered the

University

of North Carolina in 1964 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2-1/2 years.

His third marriage, like the first two, ended in divorce. He is

currently

married to the poet Chase Twichell. He is the father of four grown

daughters.

Before he could support himself as a writer, Banks tried being a

plumber,

shoe salesman, and window dresser. He has taught at a number of

colleges

and universities, including Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence, and

New York University. His works have been widely translated in Europe

and Asia. His awards for his work including a Guggenheim Fellowship

and a National Endowment Creative Writing Fellowships.

For a novel based on a historical figure, Banks had to know how

weapons

worked and the difference between them and what people then wore and

what they ate for dinner. His book is full of research — of life

lived in the mid 19th century — and detail of timeless natural

phenomena of sun and shadow, snow and rain. There’s the freezing cold

of the Adirondacks’ dawn, the vast sweep of the Kansas prairie, and

the hideous, mesmerizing descriptions of human slaughter. Banks says

he has a 10-foot high bookshelf of books that he used for research.

Foremost among these was the Bible.

"Cloudsplitter" is more than the imaginative study of John

Brown. Owen Brown’s story "is the Abraham and Isaac story told

from the kid’s point of view," Banks says. The Bible’s

Abraham-Isaac

story has always chilled him, he says. He identified with Isaac.

"His

father is willing to martyr his son for God." So Brown "was

willing to risk his sons’ lives," says Banks.

"Cloudsplitter" is unlike any of Banks’ previous novels and

collections of short stories, and is the first that is not

contemporary.

Banks began it in 1991. "I began to hear the voice of this

14-year-old

mall rat in my head." And "Cloudsplitter" was bogged down.

"Three years into the book, I parked it and began to write `Rule

of the Bone,’" published in 1995. He returned to the John Brown

novel, and Owen’s voice, with renewed vigor.

The mammoth 758-page novel went through six drafts and took six years

to write. Had he known at the outset how long it would be and how

much time this novel would take, "I wouldn’t have done it,"

Banks says. He adds immediately, "But it was great fun." The

book is twice as long as anything he’s ever written, "but it

tested

my limits, and it gave me a chance to look at the world through the

eyes of John Brown." Sometime in the future, he says, he may write

a novel on another historical figure

But Russell Banks is not simply a novelist. Right now he’s at work

on a libretto for an opera on Mark Twain and Charles Ives. Two of

his novels, "Affliction" (1989) and "The Sweet

Hereafter"

(1991), have been made into films. Three more of his novels are in

various stages of metamorphosis into films. Banks wrote the screenplay

for "Continental Drift," he is the producer for "The Book

of Jamaica;" "Rule of the Bone" is being developed by

20th Century Fox.

"The Sweet Hereafter," a dark and tragic story of a school

bus accident, has made this past year for Banks especially sweet.

The novel was made into a film by Toronto director Atom Egoyan. It

won the Canadian film industry’s Genie awards in eight categories,

including best picture and best director. It was the grand prize

winner

at the Cannes Film Festival. (Banks is also an actor in the film:

he plays the doctor and has one line.) And just this month it was

nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director.

Like a puppet-master holding a fistful of strings, so Banks, a mature

novelist at the height of his power, has, in "Cloudsplitter,"

this massive, leisurely, mighty novel, pulled together multiple

strands

of the American experience.

— Joan Crespi

Russell Banks, Barnes & Noble, MarketFair,

609-897-9250.

The author reads from "Cloudsplitter." Free. Tuesday,

March 3, 7 p.m.

The Sweet Hereafter, Montgomery Center Theater,

Routes 206 and 518, 609-924-7444. $7.


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— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

NJSO’s Homecoming for Hugh Wolff

Corrections or additions?

This article by Elaine Strauss was published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 25, 1998. All rights reserved.

NJSO’s Homecoming for Hugh Wolff

Hugh Wolff ‘s return to New Jersey is, in part the

homecoming of a successful member of the family. As music director

of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) from 1985 to 1992, when

he left for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO), he sought out

new horizons for the NJSO. During his tenure, he began a regular

series

of New York concerts at Carnegie Hall, inaugurated the orchestra’s

Pops series, and almost doubled the number of performances by the

orchestra. Under Wolff both the number of subscribers and the earned

income of the orchestra increased by about 50 percent, and the

orchestra

made its first commercial recordings.

Interviewed by telephone from Cincinnati as he toured with the SPCO,

he seemed eager to catch up with the fortunes of the NJSO since his

departure, and try out his baton in the New Jersey Performing Arts

Center (NJPAC), Newark’s bid for equality with Manhattan in music,

theater, and dance. "It’s something we all worked hard on and

dreamed about back then," he says. " Last time I was there

it was just a big hole in the ground."

Wolff conducts the NJSO in New Brunswick’s State Theater, Thursday,

February 26 at 8 p.m.; and at Trenton’s Crescent Temple, Friday,

February

27 at 8:30 p.m.; as well as performances at NJPAC in Newark, Saturday,

February 28 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m. The program

consists

of Aaron Jay Kernis’ "New Era Dance," a New Jersey premiere,

Aaron Copland’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, and Ludwig van

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral"). Karl Herman,

principal

clarinetist of the NJSO, solos in the Copland piece.

Wolff notes that this cluster of NJSO concerts embodies the

programming

pattern he most likes. There is a new work (the Kernis), a piece in

which a musician that he respects solos (the Copland concerto with

Herman), and a selection by Beethoven, a perennial favorite of

Wolff’s.

Indeed Wolff’s first concert upon undertaking his full conductorial

duties in New Jersey consisted of a recreation of the 1808 concert

where Beethoven introduced his Symphonies No. 5 and 6.

The new Kernis work, "New Era Dance," says Wolff, "is

a good concert opener. It’s a take off on `West Side Story.’ I like

Kernis’ energy, the melodic aspects of the piece, and its color."

This is a piece that belies the strenuous efforts musicians must make

to ready it for performance. "It’s easy to listen to," says

Wolff. "It’s very difficult to play." Kernis’ accessibility

comes through on a new Argo CD, nominated for a Grammy, where Wolff

Conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Kernis’ Second

Symphony, his "Musica Celestis," and his "Invisible Mosaic

III."

When Wolff came to New Jersey in 1985, he was 31. After having served

an apprenticeship with Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, the

NJSO was the first orchestra that he could call his own. Born in Paris

of American parents, Wolff studied piano with Leon Fleisher and

composition

with George Crumb. At Harvard he majored in composition, studying

with Leon Kirchner and Leonard Shure. Awarded a fellowship to Paris

to study with Olivier Messiaen, he simultaneously studied conducting

with Charles Bruck, and determined at that time that he would focus

on conducting.

Although he abandoned composition, his compositional studies

undoubtedly

influenced his conducting. Particularly revealing is Wolff’s

description

of how his Harvard composition teacher Kirchner presented a musical

work. Kirchner’s viewpoint seems to infuse how Wolff conducts.

"Kirchner

would focus on the first 10 seconds of a piece," Wolff told

Fanfare

magazine. "Depending on the density and the importance of the

gestures in those first 10 seconds, you’d know whether it was going

to be a long piece, a short piece, a complex piece, or a light piece

. . . You had the sense that every piece kind of unfolded on its own

terms, and you had to find those terms."

"I think that what the public perceives as your conducting

style,"

he continued, "is in large measure determined by your physical

shape. I’m pretty slender, but I have very long arms and big hands,

and so I get this sort of praying mantis or bird kind of posture!

There’s nothing I can do about that. Being long armed, I sometimes

have to remind myself to not cover too much ground."

Wolff’s conducting philosophy is exemplary in its

respect

for the instrumentalists he leads. "The age of tyrannical

conductors

is long past," he says. "I was never part of that. If you

can’t maintain good relations with the musicians, you can’t play music

with them. It’s part of the job description." Modestly, Wolff

declines to take credit for seeing the NJSO through a crisis period

when, to some observers, it appeared that his charisma kept the

orchestra

playing, despite the absence of a contract, and in the face of

extremely

unsettled fiscal weather in the arts in New Jersey. "The musicians

are good," says Wolff about the NJSO, "in crisis and without

it. I don’t take credit for this. I don’t solve financial problems,

but I’m aware that the music director plays a role. My role, rather,

is to keep morale up."

Actually, Wolff sees his role as much more than cheerleader. "I

spend a lot of time just dealing with the things the players are going

to have a tough time dealing with themselves," he told interviewer

Royal S. Brown in 1992. "Primarily the balance and clarity of

the sound. Another level of involvement that I think has to come from

me is the style. Do you play Ravel differently from Dvorak? Do you

approach a phrase, do you approach a crescendo differently? And I

think that yes, absolutely, you do and must and should, and you need

to remind yourself about that all the time. I’m not shy about changing

composers’ markings. I’m not shy about crossing out a fortissimo in

a trumpet part and making it a mezzo-forte. It shortcuts the whole

balance thing."

When it comes to making career moves, Wolff acts with similar clarity

and purpose. When he left New Jersey for Saint Paul in 1992, he told

U.S. 1 that, having made a distinct contribution at the NJSO, he was

attracted by increased opportunities to tour and to record with the

Minnesota orchestra. For a time, he simultaneously was music director

in New Jersey and principal conductor in Saint Paul, but he declared

himself temperamentally unsuited to two directorships (April 22,

1992).

His expectations for Saint Paul were amply fulfilled, he says now.

He has taken the orchestra on tour for two to four weeks each year,

tallying up 10 tours of the United States and three international

tours. During his five or so years with Saint Paul he has made more

than 20 recordings, exceeding his expectations.

Curiously, as he returns to New Jersey, Wolff’s position in Saint

Paul parallels his leaving New Jersey. Since September, he has

simultaneously

been music director in Saint Paul and chief conductor of the Frankfurt

Radio Symphony Orchestra in Germany. He still believes that he is

not cut out for two directorships, and has decided, once again, that

it is time to move on. On February 12 he announced that he will not

renew his contract with the SPCO when it expires in June, 2000. "I

will have done 12 years in Saint Paul, well over 500 concerts. I will

have devoted more to Saint Paul than any other conductor, more years,

more concerts, and more recordings."

Wolff contrasts the Saint Paul and Frankfurt directorships.

"They’re

two very different jobs," he says. "There’s very little

overlap."

The SPCO, the only full-time chamber orchestra in the United States,

consists of 30 some members; Frankfurt has about 125. "I want

to concentrate on big orchestral repertoire," Wolff says.

In Frankfurt Wolff will be able to eat his cake and have it, too.

He is happy to further Frankfurt’s interest, despite its massive

forces,

in playing the Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert pieces that call for leaner

resources, and tend to be neglected by big orchestras. Indeed, Wolff

has already conducted the Frankfurt orchestra in pieces for small

instrumental forces. What you have to do, he explains, "is cut

the orchestra down to the size that you think is appropriate.

Frankfurt

participates every other year in the annual Mozart festival in

Wurzburg

in June. The orchestra is divided into two 50-player groups. Half

plays one concert, half another, on alternate nights. There are enough

players for two Mozart-sized orchestras."

Wolff is attracted to Frankfurt, also, because of its working habits.

"There is a big difference between Frankfurt and American

orchestras,"

he says. "German orchestras schedule more rehearsal time, work

more slowly, and in more detail. They have about twice as much

rehearsal

time as American orchestras. I like that. You end up with a slightly

different product that way. German musicians want to go into an amount

of detail that some American orchestras would find excruciating. The

downside is that players come to the first rehearsal less well

prepared

than in American orchestras, where rehearsal time is at a

premium."

Wolff remains mindful of the advantages that American

orchestras, with their short rehearsal time have in preparing music

for performance. "American orchestras," he says, "bring

more finesse and knowledge of detail to the first rehearsal, and can

assimilate new pieces quicker." However, he foresees no problems

in Frankfurt. "Frankfurt has a long history of playing

contemporary

music."

Encouraging new music is a high priority for Wolff. "I do it a

lot. There’s no question about it," he says. "There are tons

of good composers out there, more than there were 25 years ago. This

is a good time for music. After the Saint Paul concert in Carnegie

Hall on January 30, which included the premiere of Kernis’ `Too Hot

Toccata,’ no fewer than five young composers came backstage to say

hello, composers I’d like to work with." Wolff brought Kernis

to Minneapolis for a three-year stint as the SPCO

composer-in-residence.

Minnesota has considerable appeal for Wolff. One of his considerations

in leaving New York was having, in 1992, two toddlers, who he thought

could lead a more wholesome life in Minneapolis than in Manhattan.

On the verge of making Frankfurt his professional center, he’s not

sure that he will move the family to Germany. He now has three small

children, whom he is not eager to displace. He says his wife, writer

Judith Kogan, could work anyplace.

"I like living in Minnesota," Wolff says. "It’s very

progressive,

the way the state government operates, providing social services.

There are gorgeous spots throughout the state. Minneapolis is the

ideal mix of city and small town. The Twin Cities have more than 2

million people. Chicago is seven hours away by car. There’s not the

New Jersey problem of the gravitational pull of New York City. People

know that the Twin Cities is all there is. Since it’s somewhat

isolated,

it’s self-sufficient."

Wolff admits that there is "a certain truth" to the Minnesota

depicted by Garrison Keillor on his public radio show, "Prairie

Home Companion." Keillor’s Minnesota seeps into Wolff’s

discography

of more than 20 items. Taking its place along Vivaldi, Haydn,

Corigliano,

and Stravinsky, is an item narrated by Keillor that includes "The

Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra," a parody of Benjamin

Britten’s "Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra."

His New Jersey experience, directing an orchestra with no fixed home,

has left a permanent residue with Wolff. "I learned a lot in New

Jersey," he says, "because of the shifting concert halls with

their varying acoustics, and their sizes ranging from 700 to 3,000

seats." My guess is that Wolff will find the new NJPAC singularly

agreeable. Its X-ray acoustics are a good fit for his X-ray vision

of how music is put together.

— Elaine Strauss

Hugh Wolff Returns, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra,

State Theater, New Brunswick, 800-ALLEGRO. $10 to $48. Thursday,

February 26, 8 p.m. The program is repeated at the Crescent

Theater,

Trenton, on Friday, February 27, 8:30 p.m.


Previous Story


Corrections or additions?


This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Future Shocks

Firewalking for Fortune

Hazmat Chutzpah

Executing Wills

Bridging Science and Sales

An EDF from PSE&G

Workfare Wants You

Rethinking Careers

For Entrepreneurs,

Abstinence Pays

For Developers

Extra Expo Space

The Book on MBAs

Engineering’s Best

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Peter J. Mladineo were published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 25, 1998. All rights reserved.

Future Shocks

What do antigravity, nuclear fusion, perpetual life,

and teleportation have in common? As far-fetched as they seem, they

each have a fairly good chance of being achieved in the coming

millennium,

thinks Richard Woodbridge.

A patent attorney who in the last 25 years has seen hundreds of ideas

pass through his office, Woodbridge doesn’t give these predictions

as favorable odds as he does his shorter-term predictions like

electric

cars and cloned body parts. But Woodbridge is certain that the future

will have unimaginable advances in store. "Somebody once said

that there exists unthinkable thoughts," he says. "And you

have to think unthinkable thoughts in order to be honest with

yourself."

A senior partner of Woodbridge & Associates at 15 Chambers Street,

Woodbridge, 54, is a former mayor of Princeton Township and Princeton

University alumnus (Class of 1965) and has practiced patent law in

the Princeton area since 1973. He speaks at the Princeton Chamber

on "Future of the Future: The Year 2000 and Beyond," on

Thursday,

March 5, 11:30 a.m. at the Forrestal. Call 609-520-1776.

"This is the first time I’ve had a chance to do some really wild

spitballing," he says. "It’s really been kind of fun. The

best part of this is I’m going to be so dead by the time any of this

stuff happens that nobody is going to care."

The complications with calling the future arise, he says, because

most people perceive the future as a single, unmalleable entity.

"When

you think about the future I think everybody tends to close their

eyes and think of a set time," he says. "The problem with

the future is there are many futures just as there are many past

events.

We are limited in our ability to observe by the instruments we have

to observe with."

Woodbridge maintains that advances like wireless society, digital

photography, electric cars, and flat screen PCs and TVs are nearly

certain to become widespread. In fact, most of these near-term

predictions

have already arrived, he reports. "Pretty soon the majority of

people will have some sort of a wireless communicator that they carry

with them all the time. Flat screen PCs and TVs are virtually here.

I can remember as a patent attorney 30 years ago when they were just

getting to work on these things."

He also delves into longer range, more controversial predictions like

cloning, smart pills, a single human race, or — sure to rock the

world of Creationism — perpetual life.

This, he reports, could be achieved by keeping a separate cloned body

in store, but it might have some unintended consequences. "If

people have the ability of being able to hang around longer than their

lifetime, then we have a real problem — overcrowding," says

Woodbridge. "If people don’t get off the train to make room for

other people, you’re going to have a very crowded train."

Since futurism implies that there is a future, Woodbridge might be

mistakenly labeled as an optimist. But his vision also cites some

possibly devastating futurescapes. And some hit close to home. He

is especially vocal about problems that could arise from New Jersey’s

extremely dense population and warns about impending health disasters

caused by fast-moving plagues transported into the country via

immigrants

or malevolent dictators. "I lost two great uncles during the

tremendous

flu epidemics of 1918 — the result of people floating around

between

the two continents during World War I."

Also on the negative side, Woodbridge predicts a further erosion of

personal liberties at the hands of the information revolution.

"What’s

happening is it’s getting harder and harder to disappear into the

woodwork, especially when you start moving into the area of electronic

commerce," he says.

He coins a phrase, "people farming," to describe what happens

when you mix an Orwellian nightmare with Huxleyan overpopulation

paranoia.

"It’s a little bit like an extension of `Animal Farm,’" he

explains. "As the population continues to increase it’s going

to be harder from a practical point of view to manage those people

— so you’ll have to continue to exert more pressure to keep people

in a conformed state. It’s getting to be to the point where there

are so many ways you can affect people’s attitudes that it’s going

to be increasingly harder to do original thinking."

On the medical side, Woodbridge anticipates the development of

"prophylactic

MRI/CAT diagnostics" — the ability to use medical technology

to anticipate future health problems. For example, a future

prophylactic

MRI scanner would be able to look at someone’s arteries and determine

that the person will someday suffer a heart attack.

Within 100 years, expect inventions like super batteries (to be used

to power electric cars) and super magnets (to help keep levitated

trains "afloat"), as well as conductive polymers and cheap

and efficient solar power. Some longer-term innovations — like

cloning or smart pills — are now already becoming media hits,

but Woodbridge is concerned with where these innovations will lead.

"Cloned parts are virtually here," he says. "It’s not

too far a stretch to think about the possibility of keeping an

inventory

of a headless self. Say you get lung cancer, you go to this self

inventory

and get a lung. That’s the sort of thing that is probably doable,

but you’d have to have a very enlightened type of political

environment"

to help bring it about.

The bottom line, Woodbridge concludes, is not technological but

political

and commercial in nature. He mentions Chester Carlson, the

inventor

of the modern Xerographic process. He got his patents in the early

’30s, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the first major Xerox machine

was shipped.

"I often tell a client I like to think of a successful idea as

a car with four tires," Woodbridge says. "One tire is a good

idea, the second is having good business sense, the third tire is

being able to market the idea, and the fourth tire is being able to

get the financing. Those tires don’t have to be inflated to the

maximum.

They can be a little soft. But if one of those tires is flat you’re

just going to go around in circles. The big mistake that people make

is thinking that having a good idea is going to be all you need."

Woodbridge takes umbrage at Emerson’s oft-quoted slogan, "If you

can build a better mousetrap the world will a beat path to your

door."

That’s nonsense, he says. "Edison was correct when he said

invention

was one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration. How hard

somebody

really pushes for something makes a tremendous difference in whether

it will come to pass. Without that real hard push it won’t

happen."

— Peter J. Mladineo

Top Of PageFirewalking for Fortune

More than 2,000 people will converge on the Garden State

Convention Center in Somerset for the Anthony Robbins’

"Unleash

the Power Within" weekend starting Friday, February 27, at 6 p.m.

Some will participate in the Firewalk — storming barefoot across

a hot bed of glowing coals.

You’ve heard of Tony Robbins and seen him on TV. His promotional

material

says that he has advised President Clinton, members of two royal

families,

members of Parliament, Olympic and professional athletes, and CEOs.

The weekend program is given four times annually and costs from $695

to $895 depending on where you sit in the hall. Call 800-898-8669,

extension 6280.

You can expect, the promotional material states, to "know how

to instantly place yourself in peak emotional, mental and physical

states with unstoppable courage — to achieve results beyond your

dreams" and to "condition yourself mentally, emotionally and

physically for consistent and overwhelming success."

The Firewalk is supposed to serve as "the ultimate metaphor for

your newly emerging mastery." If you think you might be tempted

to make the Firewalk, eat only light meals after noon on Friday

"to

maximize the energy available to you" suggests the brochure. And

wear pants that roll up. You want to inflame your ambition, not your

clothes.

Top Of PageHazmat Chutzpah

Late last year, a hazardous waste truck traveling on

Interstate 80 ignited when one type of liquid waste it was hauling

leaked into another kind of dry waste on board. The truck was only

partially loaded but the small amount of ignited waste still managed

to incinerate the trailer. Luckily, the truck driver had noticed the

smoke early and was able to disconnect from the trailer and watch

the blaze safely from a distance.

Now, imagine that very same truck igniting with a full load in the

Holland Tunnel. "I think you could put together the outcome,"

says Gary Bezilla, a state trooper who speaks at the

Refrigeration

Service Engineers Society on Thursday, February 26, at 6 p.m. at the

Holiday Inn on Route 22 West in Springfield. Call 201-794-0055 for

details.

After most of the motorists finish their swim with the fishes, they

would be outraged to learn that, for the most part, shipping hazardous

materials through tunnels or bridges is strictly forbidden. But that

doesn’t stop thrifty shippers from doing it anyway, Bezilla reports.

At the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel, for instance, the side of the road just

before the entrance is marred with tire tracks and extra-yellowed

grass. That’s evidence of truckers pulling over to remove their

placards

before entering the 13-mile tunnel, Bezilla says.

"A lot of companies will actually take off their placards and

run through these bridges and tunnels illegally," he says.

"That’s

the scary part. If they were to have an accident in a tunnel or on

a bridge it could cause mass destruction. There’s no doubt about

it."

"With hazardous materials there is oftentimes a hazardous

materials

shipping charge. Some shippers are cutting corners so bad they won’t

even pay the shipping charge, and they’ll lie to the regulators. We

lobby very heavy fines on these people," says Bezilla, who can

be found inspecting tractor trailers on I-78 as part of the State

Police hazardous materials transportation enforcement group.

A hazardous material is "an item or product that can cause harm

to you physically," Bezilla reports. Of the nine kinds, the most

common are flammables (gasoline or fuel oil), corrosives (things like

sodium hydroxide that would cause burning if they are spilled),

radioactives

(legally shipped in minuscule portions and heavily regulated), and

poisons (usually transported in cylinders).

"Basically this nation runs by chemicals," says Bezilla.

"A

lot of these corrosives like sulfuric acid or hydrogen sulfides are

used to make things. You’d probably shudder if you were informed about

all of the hazardous materials in your home."

And trucks laden with hazardous materials are about as common on New

Jersey roadways as are radar guns. Says Bezilla: "Approximately

five out of every ten trucks would have some sort of hazardous

materials

on board." With a thousands of tons of freight coming into and

out of New Jersey every day, that adds up to an awful lot of hazmats.

Besides damning tunnels and bridges, the act of not labeling hazardous

materials can have other devastating consequences, Bezilla warns.

In early December, a truck driver was injured when he touched some

leaky cargo that was misleadingly labeled as fish bait. This "fish

bait" turned out to be a boiler cleaning compound that should

have been labeled as a corrosive. "He wasn’t seriously injured,

but it could have been more severe," says Bezilla. "Acid could

have burnt a hole right through his hands. This happens out here."

Bezilla has always had a penchant for excitement. At 38, he has spent

the last three years tracking down hazardous materials offenders.

Bezilla first served with the U.S. Coast Guard on the iceberg cutter,

Northwind, which worked the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean and off

Antarctica. He joined the State Police 10 years ago, and spent some

time providing escorts for politicians and visiting dignitaries such

as George Bush, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Dan

Quayle

and numerous foreign leaders. "You name them and we were

involved,"

he says. Perhaps that stint was the true origin of his hazmat

training.

— Peter J. Mladineo

Top Of PageExecuting Wills

After his uncle died last year, Richard Bergman

became the executor of his will. For Bergman, this was his third will

(he had done those of his mother and father) and it caused him to

begin thinking about making a business out of it. "After you’ve

done it three times you start to wonder if what you learned has some

potential," says Bergman. "I’ve actually begun to wonder if

there might be some consulting market for people who didn’t want to

have an attorney as their primary executor."

Bergman and his wife, Victoria, already co-own three other businesses:

Project Masters Inc., a medical record systems business, Savant

Associates,

a healthcare and environmental safety consulting business, and a small

medical and scientific stock photo business. They are all based out

of their home at 134 Leabrook Lane.

Bergman and David Mulchinock, a Princeton attorney, are giving

a class, "Being an Executor: Duties and Surprises," at the

Princeton Adult School, beginning Thursday, February 26, at 8 p.m.

at Princeton High School. Call 609-683-1101 to register.

"This is a time where there is going to be an enormous transfer

of assets from one generation to the next," Bergman says. "The

average folks are stacking away much more money than they thought

they would."

Mulchinock, 53, has been practicing probate law since 1974 and has

a JD from Cornell University (Class of 1970). He also was executor

of his father’s will. "You have to deal with everything,"

he says. "It isn’t just the business aspects of it. You’re

basically

helping people get through a difficult time and for a lot of people

it’s very foreign what they’re going to experience. You have to

handhold

and help them get through the emotional part of it and make sure

they’re

protected and try to minimize the annoyances and the trauma of

it."

He explains that there are three phases of executing wills. The first

is to collect the decedent’s assets. Then any debts, including estate

taxes, must be paid using those assets. Finally, the executor

distributes

the property.

The problems usually begin with the first step. "Even if you’ve

gotten involved early it’s difficult to find and locate the

assets,"

says Bergman. "Number two, the taxes sometimes have a few

surprises

in them."

The issue of distributing property gets complicated when the emotional

aspect comes in. "Sometimes people have emotional attachments

to a property and find it hard to let go," says Bergman.

"David

once gave me a quotation, `Being an executor is 80 percent emotion,

20 percent substance.’"

Bergman hired Mulchinock for two out of his three wills, and has found

his help indispensable. "Every case is a little bit different.

I find that almost on a weekly basis there is a question I have to

run by David, in part because being an executor has some liability

attached to it." That’s right — the executor is personally

held liable for the taxes. "The better course is not to distribute

until you know all the reasonable taxes have been paid," says

Mulchinock.

The tax aspect on large estates can also be oppressively time

consuming.

"If there are no taxes, the estate can be wound up in a matter

of months," says Mulchinock. "If there’s a federal tax you

would file the federal estate tax from nine months after the person

dies, then you have to wait another four to six months for the IRS

to contact you and send a closing letter or do an audit. In that case

it takes a couple of years before the estate is finally wound up."

Hardly offsetting the risk and responsibilities is the fact that an

executor is paid a commission, the amount of which varies from state

to state. In New Jersey, executors get five percent of testamentary

assets (property in the decedent’s name alone) on the first $200,000.

That amount decreases as the size of the estate increases, Mulchinock

explains. Pennsylvania executors get a flat five percent of all

assets.

But, says Bergman, don’t expect to earn a profit from this avocation.

"My experience has been, at least with the estates I’m talking

about, what you get paid really doesn’t compensate for the amount

of time you put in it," he says. "I’m basically doing it

because

my uncle asked me to."

— Peter J. Mladineo

Top Of PageBridging Science and Sales

The ability to interpret what’s going on in a scientific

experiment is the same as the ability to interpret what’s going on

in a sales situation. That’s the thesis of Elizabeth Antry,

who speaks at the Association for Women in Science on Wednesday on

February 25, at 5:45 p.m. at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Call 609-716-2266

for more information.

Her talk is entitled "You’ve Got What It Takes" and it’s about

making the jump from science to sales. As the marketing communications

director for Dalloz Safety in Reading, Pennsylvania, Antry made that

jump herself.

After getting an associate’s degree in chemical technology from Cedar

Crest College in Pennsylvania, her career started at Victaulic

Corporation

as a quality control manufacturer, using an electron spectrophotometer

to analyze the quality of steel. It was at Victaulic that she says

she got an "on-the-job education in manufacturing," which

she capitalized on to help further her sales career. "To get my

foot in the marketing door I first took on an extra project while

I was still in sales," she says. "One of the departments at

Air Products was working on a carbonizing annealing process for steel

using methanol and nitrogen, and they couldn’t get market research

information from their own customer base. I talked to my boss about

it and she volunteered me to write a usage and competitive analysis

report. When a market analyst position opened, I was able to say that

I had done some of that type of work."

Here are some other suggestions Antry has for aspiring scientific

salespeople:

Brush up on those interpersonal skills. "You have

to be perceptive and stay one step ahead," she says. "I was

continually polishing my verbal and written skills learning to be

flexible enough to handle a wide variety of situations. One of the

biggest challenges I faced was going into situations with potentially

poor outcomes and trying to end the encounter on a positive note."

Go to trade shows. "You never know who you’ll meet.

My current position came out of a contact that I made at a

semiconductor

trade show — and it’s not even in the same field. But marketing

is marketing."

Get additional experience and education. Besides her

associates

degree, Antry also has a BS from Cedar Crest College and an MBA in

marketing management from Wilkes University. She has also done

post-graduate

work at the University of Michigan. She has nurtured a healthy

appetite

for learning. "From time to time I try to brush up on my skills

and build on them, whether it’s by taking a writing class or joining

Toastmasters."

Become a savvy computer user. "You could use Power

Point software to develop a presentation showing a director new

possibilities

for a product," she says. "Or you could put together a mini

research report with ideas from the customer base. Run it through

the proper channels in your company and CC key people to let them

know what you’re doing."

Last but not least, she says, there is much to be gained from

networking. "Make yourself a visible part of the process."

Top Of PageAn EDF from PSE&G

PSE&G is bolstering state incentive programs with $30

million of its own money. Its New Millennium Economic Development

Fund is a series of loan and loan guarantee programs for companies

to use in conjunction with state or private funding.

The fund can be used to help companies getting New Jersey Economic

Development Authority Business Employment Incentive Program rebates

see the money quicker. The rebate is a stream of payments that usually

starts two to three years after a relocation. The PSE&G fund will

loan the projected payments to the company up front. The company

repays

the loan by assigning its future rebates to PSE&G.

The fund also augments loans from the NJEDA, local or county

governments,

or private institutions for expansion and relocation. It covers

expenses

for moving, equipment, training new employees, electric and gas

infrastructure,

and tenant fit-out. This program is intended to reduce the loan cost

or to provide credit support of the project.

While companies of any size are eligible for the fund, PSE&G is

targeting

"projects that would not happen if we were not giving that added

assistance," says Tim Comerford, PSE&G’s manager of area

development. "We are looking to assist companies that come close

to meeting EDA standards but fall a little short." For more

information

about this fund, call 973-430-6861.

Top Of PageWorkfare Wants You

Hire a welfare recipient and you will be helping New

Jersey’s economy. That seems to be the message from New Jersey’s

Department

of Human Services, which is touting its Work First New Jersey

Corporate

Partners program.

Work First not only encourages business to hire and retain former

welfare recipients, but it also provides those companies with

information,

technical assistance, and the support necessary to ensure success.

Membership is open to all businesses that have hired or will commit

to hiring at least one welfare recipient, or will commit to furthering

the goals of welfare-to-work efforts through other supportive

activities.

Signed into law last year, Work First New Jersey incorporates several

features of the federal welfare reform law, including elimination

of federal entitlement to cash assistance, a 60-month lifetime limit

on use of federal funds for cash assistance, and the institution of

block grants to states.

New Jersey’s law includes setting a five-year time limit for receiving

welfare benefits, providing subsidized child care and extended

healthcare

benefits for up to two years, ensuring that both parents contribute

to the financial well-being of their children, and requiring that

those receiving welfare to get a job or participate in work readiness

activities. More information is available at

http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/wfnj.html.

Or call 609-588-2401.

Top Of PageRethinking Careers

Anyone thinking about changing jobs or careers is

invited

to weekly meetings of Jobseekers at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street

in Princeton, says Neils Nielsen, founder and facilitator. The

next meeting is Tuesday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Call 609-924-2277 for

information.

The format alternates between open discussion and support group one

week and topical workshops by professional speakers the next. Subjects

include marketing strategies, resumes and cover letters, career

planning,

finding job opportunities, networking and information interviews,

phone and personal interviewing skills, managing finances and emotions

while unemployed. Spouses and partners are welcome, and there is no

charge.

Top Of PageFor Entrepreneurs,

A Workshop

Find out if you have the Right Stuff to start a business

by taking a workshop at the Entrepreneurial Training Institute

Tuesday,

March 3, at 6 p.m. at Galilee Baptist Church, 440 Martin Luther

King Boulevard in Trenton. For $15 registration call 609-292-1890

or come 30 minutes early. Or E-mail to >sbl@njeda.com.

Sponsored by the New Jersey Development Authority for Small

Businesses,

Minorities’, and Women’s Enterprises (NJDA), the program offers

support

for new and would-be entrepreneurs. After the introduction, those

who qualify can enroll in a seven-session $150 class covering

everything

from business planning and goal setting to making decisions on

financing

and marketing.

Those who graduate can apply for financing from a revolving loan fund

established by the NJDA and supplemented by staff and facilities

contributed

by members of the Entrepreneurial Training Institute Consortiums.

The class will also be held in eight other locations, including

Brookdale

College in Long Branch on Monday, March 2.

Top Of PageAbstinence Pays

Christie Whitman’s call for sexual abstinence

in young people is now backed with $765,000 in federal funds.

Nonprofits can apply to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior

Services for one-year grants. The money will be awarded to programs

that teach children from 10 to 14 that abstinence is the only certain

way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The money

will also go to programs that teach skills for refusing sexual

advances

and that teach the importance of delaying sexual activity until the

child is self-sufficient.

For every $4 in grant money received, programs must supply $3 in

matching

funds. The application is Wednesday, March 25. Decisions will be made

in early May and the grants will be awarded by July 1. The state

expects

to fund from 10 to 20 programs. For more information, call

609-984-1384.

Top Of PageFor Developers

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency is

offering federal tax credits to developers to build new rental

apartments

or rehabilitate existing units for low-income families.

In this program, low-income housing tax credits are allocated to

states

by the federal government on an annual per capita basis. The HMFA

is the designated housing credit agency for New Jersey, and is

responsible

for the annual allocation of $10 million in federal tax credits.

The federal housing tax credit program has spurred construction of

more than 13,000 new rental units statewide since 1987. The HMFA will

be offering free tax credit training workshops for developers

interested

in learning more about the application process. The dates are Friday,

February 27, at 8:15 a.m. at the Center Point Holiday Inn in Jamesburg

and Tuesday, March 3, at 8:15 a.m. at the Eatontown Sheraton. For

more information call 609-278-7578.

Top Of PageExtra Expo Space

There is still prime exhibit space available for the

Middlesex Chamber’s 44th Annual Business and Industry Expo. The event

will be held on Wednesday, March 18, at the New Jersey Convention

and Exposition Center at Raritan Center in Edison. Booths are $400

and islands are $900. The luncheon costs $25.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for $1,000, $3,000, or $5,000

contributions. For more information call 732-821-1700.

Top Of PageThe Book on MBAs

The degree used to be scorned as shallow and mercenary;

now it’s nearly a must for anyone kowtowing to illusions of guaranteed

income. Carter A. Daniel, director of business communication

programs at Rutgers Faculty of Management, recently published a book,

"MBA: The First Century," which chronicles the "turbulent

growth of the master’s program." The book begins the founding

of America’s first such program at Dartmouth University in 1900 and

traces its evolution to a "complex hybrid in education" shared

by more than one million Americans.

"The first challenge for business education was simply to have

it become an acceptable idea," says Carter. "To universities,

business seemed a lowly and unworthy topic. Businesses, just as

intransigently,

scoffed at colleges as idle and irrelevant playgrounds for the

rich."

Call 973-353-5366 for more information.

Top Of PageEngineering’s Best

One fixes bridges, one fixes highways, and the other

provided counter-intelligence during the Vietnam War. But despite

their differences, all three will be given awards at the Mercer County

Professional Engineers Society awards dinner Saturday, February 28,

at 6:30 p.m. at the Hopewell Valley Golf Club. Call 609-890-3636.

The recipients: James J. Silimeo, vice president of New

Jersey operations with Shah Associates at 340 Scotch Road, wins the

1998 Engineer of the Year. Silimeo’s notable projects include the

resurfacing of Route 29 in Trenton, the East Duke’s Parkway bridge

replacement in Somerset County, and the Calhoun Street Bridge in

Trenton.

The 1998 Young Engineer of the Year award goes to Michael

D. Helmlinger of Parsons Brinckerhoff at 506 Carnegie Center. His

projects include the final design of road improvement projects for

the new Hudson/Bergen light rail transit system. He also led the

highway

design efforts for the interim interchange improvements between Route

1 and the Garden State Parkway in Middlesex County.

Earle S. Rommel, director of public relations at Rider

University, wins the 1998 Citizen of the Year award. Known for his

publicity and staging work on the Mercer County Science and

Engineering

Fair for the last six years, Rommel has a BA in journalism from Rider

and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War as a

counter-intelligence

agent with Vietnamese language training. He was decorated with several

medals.

Corrections or additions?

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SELLING NEW JERSEY

">Behind the Counter:

Medina’s Plans

About the EDA

Corrections or additions?

SELLING NEW JERSEY

The state takes a nimble, business-like approach

To attract and retain high technology enterprises

by Barbara Figge Fox

Government — all governments — have a

reputation

for sluggishness that is hard to shake, and New Jersey’s is no

exception.

The word "bureaucrat," "red tape," and, yes, even

"state worker" evoke the stereotype, deserved or not, of

ponderous

paper-pushers who block the wheels of progress.

Last week Governor Christie Whitman and Commerce Commissioner Gil

Medina announced they want to streamline government so it can more

efficiently attract and retain business, especially high tech

businesses.

They plan to abolish the Department of Commerce and Economic

development

and reorganize it as an independent publicprivate commission.

Will that make a big difference? It could. A commission has more

independence

than a department and as a public-private organization it would be

in a position to recruit significant support from corporations.

Whitman

would chair the commission and Medina would be CEO. Among its first

moves would be to hire technical specialists who can help draw more

high tech firms to New Jersey.

"We have an intransigent bureaucracy in place that does not allow

us the ability to react quickly to help businesses and ward off

problems

before they turn into crises," said Medina at last week’s press

conference. "We do not have the people on staff with the knowledge

about the major industry sectors such as pharmaceutical or technology

that are important to our economy."

In the same announcement Whitman proposed "One-Stop Shopping for

Businesses," to consolidate the payments to three departments

with 11 forms to one department and four forms. All payments —

tax, unemployment and disability, workers compensation, and

registration

fees for trade names and annual reports — would go to the

Department

of Treasury’s Division of Revenue, created last year.

These sweeping changes stem from Whitman’s 1995 master plan for

economic

development, and they have been engineered by Prosperity New Jersey,

a public-private partnership. Medina and Finn Casperson, chairman

of Beneficial Corporation, are co-chairs, and Stephen J. Kukan was

brought in from the private sector to be the executive director.

"I see the new commission as the ultimate in terms of being

responsive

to economic development questions and servicing clients who are

interested

both in retention and retraction," says Kukan, who had served

on the master plan committee. An industrial engineering major from

NJIT, Class of 1967, he has an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson and worked

for Public Service Electric & Gas.

Kukan spent virtually his entire career trying to attract business

to the state, to "sell" New Jersey. He calls it "a

wonderful

product." He wholeheartedly agrees with the new, unusual strategy

and believes the commission will provide the tools to convince

outsiders

that New Jersey is indeed "open for business."

"The people at the level the governor is talking about will enable

government to think like a business and business to understand more

of government’s role," says Kukan.

The proposed commission is not without precedent. The

concept was based on the Michigan Jobs Commission, created in 1993

to consolidate all the opportunities (worker training, economic

development,

grants, etc.) available to corporations thinking of moving to

Michigan.

It is also not without controversy. Abolishing the department will

eliminate 120 staff jobs. Every current staffer can apply for a

commission

job, but these jobs will be non-union and have flexible hiring and

firing rules, and the Communications Workers of America union already

has raised the predictable fuss.

Others question the plan as well. Jon Shure, president of New Policy

Perspective and formerly Governor Florio’s communications director,

points out that it was a Republican governor, Tom Kean, who divided

the Department of Labor and Industry to create the Department of

Commerce

and Economic Development.

"You have to wonder what will result from losing the commitment

to a separate department," says Shure. "The extra

identification

that you have from being an official department of state government

can be a helpful thing. It gives you equal status with other cabinet

departments." Medina will retain his seat in the cabinet, but

the next governor might not continue that arrangement. "Down the

road, when you are looking for a high powered person, you would be

hiring the head of a commission, not a member of the governor’s

cabinet."

Yet in 1994 Whitman eliminated a department, Higher Education, and

replaced it with a commission, and she seems bent on doing it again.

In fact, some of the elements of the future commission are already

in place. Gerald A. Janssen heads a team of six regional account

managers

and five industry account managers (see sidebar, page 49).

But when you look closely at how New Jersey supports high tech

businesses,

you realize that two important commerce organizations were already

freeing themselves from the bureaucratic mire. One is a commission,

the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, and one is an

authority, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

A commission receives its budget from the legislature, whereas an

authority, such as the Port Authority and the Turnpike Authority,

raises its own funds. Both are under Medina’s supervision and both

are public-private partnerships. Both are efficiently oiling the

wheels

of New Jersey’s high tech cart.

The New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, headed by Jay

J. Brandinger (executive director) and Irwin Dorros (formerly

executive

vice president of Bellcore), has just six staff members. It gets about

$15 million from the legislature, including nearly $12 million for

R&D programs and $2.7 million for business assistance programs, and

it attracts matching funds from private industry, philanthropy, and

the federal government.

Last year it gained some nimbleness for its granting procedures.

Instead

of being tethered to "line items" on a budget passed by the

legislature, it now gets a lump sum. Now, says David R. Eater,

associate

director, it can respond more quickly to changes on the technology

scene.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority, directed by Caren

Franzini

and chaired by Anthony Coscia, is able to sidestep the legislative

funding process completely. It uses no taxpayer dollars and raises

its own money. Then it reinvests to support business ventures that

need more help than commercial sources can give. In 23 years it has

provided more than $12 billion to more than 600 entrepreneurs and

corporations. (See Survival Guide, page 6, for examples.)

"For years the private sector has been trying to get the attention

of the public sector in terms of being responsive to private sector

needs," says Kukan. "We at Prosperity New Jersey say that

economic development has to be the governor’s bag, and the private

sector has to be an active participant in terms of resources and

expertise.

I look at this, the proposal for the commerce department, as the

crowning

point. It shows that all bets are off," says Kukan. "It is

not business as usual in New Jersey."

Top Of Page
Behind the Counter:

Caren Franzini

Call her the unflappable Franzini. As executive director

of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Caren S. Franzini

works with bankers, lawyers, accountants, and CEOs to arrange

financing

of more than $600 million a year to more than 200 companies. But

unless

she has a dinner meeting she manages to leave her office at 5 p.m.

sharp to pick up her two school-age children and her three-month-old

baby.

"She’s a cool cat . . . she never gets flustered," says one

of her employees.

"As far as I’m concerned, she walks on water," says a former

peer.

"Hers is one state agency that really works," says a prominent

venture capitalist.

With its impressive list of accomplishments the EDA has been making

news on its own, but the proposal to change the commerce department

to be more like the EDA, an independent public-private partnership,

makes it an even more intriguing subject. Add a much-admired executive

director who balances the needs of private business with the goals

of the state — and juggles her work schedule with being a mother

of three — and it’s a fascinating story indeed.

Her vision for the EDA? "I like to keep pushing it in new

directions,"

says Franzini, "to be responsive to and adhere to policy

directions

that the governor and Commissioner Medina set forth, and to work with

the business community to implement them. We are really that middle

ground. It’s great fun."

Fun for someone as unflappable as Caren Franzini. "She is an

extraordinary

women," says Alison Harris, former director of McCarter Theater,

now director of business development for the Mapleton Road architect,

Ford Farewell Mills & Gatsch. Harris and Franzini had served together

in the Kean administration as assistant state treasurers under Feather

O’Connor. "There are a lot of good women in state government,

but she is a shining example of someone who is nonpartisan and has

deep roots in the state but understands the way the state operates

and knows how to make everybody around her do their best work. As

far as I am concerned she walks on water."

Franzini credits O’Connor with being an important mentor who showed

her how to empower others to be creative. "At a young age for

me, she gave me a lot of independence to think for myself and come

up with ideas to present to her. It made me rise to the occasion and

to try that with people I work with as well, to let other people share

in the glory."

But she was also strongly influenced by her parents. One aspect of

her success is her ability to build consensus, to sell an idea to

everyone who will be at the table before they get to the table. That

came from her father. "My father was in politics for a long time.

He knew how to get everyone on your side before you walk in the door

— and I grew up selling. That is part of my personality."

Another success factor is being able to come up with creative

solutions

to conflict. That came from her mother, who served as the problem

solver in an extended family of 12. "Her technique was to let

people talk and try to come up with a solution so that each party

knew they were giving up something." For instance, her mother

solved a continuing squabble over whether Caren could borrow her older

sister’s clothes with the compromise that Caren was allowed to wear

one of the coveted outfits — but only once a week.

Her mother’s conflict solving translates to: "Before you sit down

with a client who is mad at you, find out where they are coming from,

and know how to listen."

The day before this interview an attorney had called about a client,

an elderly gentleman who wants to build a shopping center but refuses

to personally guarantee the loan. "I understood he did not want

to jeopardize his estate or have his wife worry about the loan if

he passed away, but I also knew we had to have collateral. I told

the attorney we don’t have to have his personal guarantee if he gives

me a CD or a letter of credit that would equal the value of what we

need."

That simple change, to separate the loan from the estate, was

sufficient.

"I got what I needed by thinking out of the box and being

creative."

Caren S. Raphel Franzini grew up in Atlantic City, where her family

started out living "over the store," Gordon’s, a

mini-department

store with clothing for infants through adults. The family consisted

of her parents and two siblings plus an aunt and uncle and three

cousins

in another apartment, and grandparents who lived in a third apartment.

Everyone ate dinner together, and when they moved to a house, they

all moved together.

"When I was really young I would help do things like check in

the clothes and gift wrap, and when I was 11 or 12 I started selling.

I was tall," she remembers, "and I could get away with looking

older."

With six years of experience at the cash register,

Franzini

went to University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1980, to major in urban

studies. She was influenced by a Wharton professor, Anita Summers,

to choose a Wharton MBA rather than a graduate degree in public

policy.

"She said that Wharton would help me understand how the private

sector thinks, and that I should take the nuts and bolts, finance

and marketing courses, to learn how to apply the skills of private

business to government."

Her first job was as a consultant with Public Financial Management,

a financial advisory firm in Philadelphia, and then she worked in

the finance division at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

After a stint as assistant state treasurer in the New Jersey Treasury

Department she joined the New Jersey Economic Development Authority

in 1991. She was appointed executive director of the NJEDA by

Commissioner

Medina in January, 1994.

Last year the EDA’s financial activity totaled $790 million, making

it one of the most aggressive and diversified financing and real

estate

development agencies in the country (http://www.njeda.com).

With 1997 financing to more than 300 businesses and not-for-profits

it helped generate $1.27 billion in new investments that will create

4,000 permanent new jobs and employ 7,200 construction workers on

expansion projects.

It creates public-private partnerships to bridge financing gaps and

increase access to capital for small and middle-size businesses and

not-for-profit borrowers. It arranges low-cost financing, loan

guarantees,and

creative financing packages. It provides a full range of real estate

development services, and it offers technical support to strengthen

targeted business sectors important to the state’s economy.

Franzini is past president of the National Council of Development

Finance Agencies, a member of the Edison II Advisory Committee, a

director of the New Jersey Technology Council, and president of the

Corporation for Business Assistance in New Jersey. The AFL-CIO

Building

Investment Trust recently honored her, along with Mayor Willie Brown

of San Francisco, with the Golden Investment Partnership Award for

her part in innovative investment partnerships that create jobs in

New Jersey. Her salary is on the brink of six figures.

She is married to an attorney, and their three children are ages 7

1/2, 5, and 3 1/2 months. She did some work from home during maternity

leave and returned to the workplace full-time when the baby was 10

weeks old. Her day starts at 6 a.m. "Every day is a new

story,"

says Franzini. "If I have to be at a breakfast meeting, my husband

will take all three kids; they get dropped off at three places. We

work with each other’s schedules."

Her strict rule is to leave on the dot of 5 p.m., unless she has a

dinner meeting, to pick up the children. During the day she has

"yellow

stickered" articles she wants to read from the EDA’s assortment

of newspapers and periodicals, and she reads them and answers memos

after the children are tucked in.

She advocates the same flexibility for her staff, "whatever you

need to get the job done, get it done. Everyone has their own needs

and work habits."

Her goal for the EDA? "To never lose the excitement for the staff,

that when they come to work they are helping the businesses of New

Jersey."

Part of the excitement is empowerment. "I want people to come

to me, as some do now, and say, `Caren, why don’t we start this new

area,’ to be proactive in the marketplace." Part is creativity,

"to understand the gaps in the marketplace and come up with the

right way to fill them."

Part is "getting out there" to talk and listen to people.

Franzini increased EDA’s outreach by one-third last year, going from

160 speaking engagements in 1996 to 240 in 1997 (which, it must be

noted, was an election year). "We get out in the trenches, to

speak to all kinds of professionals — lawyers, accountants,

bankers,

county and municipal development authorities, business groups —

to understand what they need and tell about our programs."

Part of the success secret is just plain being likable. "I get

a lot of letters saying, for instance, `I worked with this loan

officer

and he or she was helpful, and that makes them feel good about New

Jersey. Commissioner Medina wants people and an organization that

is proactive and that will make people feel good about the business

community. Bankers and lawyers and accountants like dealing with us,

and you want to keep them happy to deal with us."

It comes from her father’s slogan: "find out what your customer

wants, and give it to them." Caren Franzini is selling New Jersey.

Top Of Page
Medina’s Plans

Prosperity New Jersey is, says Governor Whitman,

"rewriting

the book on how to do economic development in the state of New

Jersey."

Commissioner Gil Medina — an alumnus of Rutgers and Temple who

is both an attorney and a CPA — planned the creation of Prosperity

New Jersey, and several of its major initiatives are already in place.

It has accomplished a technology promotion strategy called the Edison

Partnership, a tourism master plan, and research and recommendations

for regulatory reform, a $1.8 million image marketing campaign, a

business resource center, and a system of accounts managers. The

Office

of Accounts Management, launched last September, is modeled after

corporate sales organizations and organized by geographical territory

and business type.

"The account executives are going to give New Jersey a true

competitive

edge," says Medina. He appointed Gerald A. Janssen to be executive

director of the accounts management office. Janssen spent seven years

at Sarnoff and was most recently senior vice president of human

resources

and facilities operation. He had also worked for Pullman Company (a

diversified merger and acquisition manufacturing firm), PTC Aerospace

Inc. (a Pullman subsidiary and a manufacturer of commercial aircraft

interior products), and UOP Inc. (a petrochemical research unit of

Allied Signal).

The account executives are charged with providing a 24-hour guaranteed

response for requests for assistance so that any business with a

problem

will hear from the appropriate person in government. Industry

specialists

will focus on the largest employers and those with the greatest growth

potential. Already appointed are John Celentano (food processing),

Jim Donnelly (telecommunications), Sophia Koch (F.I.R.E. —

finance,

insurance, and real estate), Charles Lynch (petrochemical), and Keith

Moore (urban). Yet to be covered are business services,

pharmaceuticals,

and biotechnology.

Janssen has also appointed regional account managers to work with

companies with less than 100 employees. They include Maryann Buga

(for Hudson, Essex, Morris, Warren counties), Edward Dietz

(Burlington,

Camden, Gloucester, Salem), Gary Marx (Bergen, Passaic, Sussex), Paul

Shaffery (Middlesex, Monmouth), Charlotte Tomaszewski (Mercer,

Somerset,

Hunterdon, Union), and James Waldron (Ocean, Atlantic, Cape May, and

Cumberland).

A Business Resource Center has centralized all the current information

on site availability, tax incentives, local zoning and regulation.

This year a multimedia tool for the account executives is planned.

By answering a questionnaire based on a company’s statistics and needs

they will be able to produce a custom CD-ROM — overlaid with a

message from the governor — for any client. A less detailed

database

will be for general use on the Internet.

Says Medina: "We want to make sure that no business falls through

the cracks."

Top Of Page
About the EDA

EDA programs pave the way for businesses to get the capital they need

to invest in New Jersey. It has a Commercial Lending Division

with more than a dozen programs, including the Statewide Loan Pool for

Business, which works with New Jersey banks to arrange loans of up to

$3 million; long-term financing through the federal SBA 504 program of

up to $750,000 for fixed assets; loan guarantees of up to $1 million

for working capital and $1.5 million for fixed assets; and direct

loans of up to $500,000 for fixed assets and $250,000 for working

capital.

The Community Development and Small Business Lending Division

offers financial and technical assistance to start-up and

micro-businesses located in qualified municipalities. New this year: a

$36 million EDA regional venture capital fund, GS Capital, targets

women’s and minority businesses. Organized as a Small Business

Investment Company the fund has $12 million from the EDA and private

banks and $24 million from the federal Small Business Administration.

It aims to help minority and female entrepreneurs get into business in

such tested franchise products as fast food restaurants and service

stations, and it provides financing below conventional venture capital

market costs.

The Real Estate Development Division supports projects of

significant economic impact by helping with land assembly, site

improvements, construction, and renovations. Princeton area projects

range from a loan of $162,500 for the Association for the Advancement

of Mental Health’s purchase of a headquarters building on Alexander

Road to a $12,000 site remediation loan for a Princeton borough

homeowner. In Trenton, site remediation loans total $154,000 and $1.35

million has been loaned to Roebling Urban Renewal Associates.

The Investment Banking Division offers long-term, lower interest

rate bond financing for a minimum of $750,000 for a wide variety of

businesses and not-for-profit corporations including the New Jersey

Performing Arts Center in Newark and the 50-acre Technology Center of

New Jersey in North Brunswick (Franzini is justifiably proud of both

these projects). Bonds are financing a total of $19.3 million for the

Peddie School and Lawrenceville School.


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Extreme Ski

Diamonds in the East

Corrections or additions?

Winter to the Max: Your Sport + Ice

This article by Bart Jackson as published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 18, 1998. All rights reserved.

Rapehua was already erupting. The morning’s pristine

powder was turning black with spewed ash and visibility was dwindling

to a squint. The geologist beside me who was shooting lasers to

measure

mountain movement remarked, "You got down just in time."

Then, a puff of wind parted the cloud and two snowboards piloted by

crazies tore into view. Number one swerved for a stone outcrop,

launched

off and swirled two full helicopters while dropping 25 feet into the

ashy mush. Number two followed with a full flip and merrily cascaded

along. Mt. Rapehua on New Zealand’s north island is a typical volcanic

cone and my scrabble up to the crater’s edge had demanded two

makeshift

axes and terrifying 60-degree steeps on the way up — and down.

But these tool-less clowns had scrambled up here so they could catch

beer-commercial-size jumps as the earth trembled beneath them.

We chatted as they tossed gear in and out of in their VW bus. The

geologist packed up his lasers, shook his head and left. The two

boarders

waved a cheery good bye as they started clambering up for a second

run. Amid the plaster of bumperstickers on the VW, one asked in large

letters "Snowboard – Die – What else is there?"

Winter has long passed from the season to huddle in, to the ultimate

stage for the extreme sports person. Sheer ice and steep snow have

become the new fields of challenge where the extreme athletes and

endorphin junkies get their fix. The pioneers push hard and the

farmers

trudge in not far behind. Runs and climbs that 20 years ago were

impossible,

10 years ago terrifying, are today ho-hum formulaic.

Even the staid Olympic Committee now grudgingly takes these new

hotdogging

athletes into its fold, legitimizing mogul in — this year —

adding snowboarding to its gold medal pursuits.

Top Of Page
Death of Seasons

Joggers bundle more on, hikers turn into snowshoers

and bikers go to Jay’s Cycle to special order double wide or studded

tires for those truly awesome runs. That wonderful essence in man

that just doesn’t know when to quit prods the hardy out weekend after

weekend. With a little adaptation, everything has become year round.

The phone rings January 12th. It’s Glenn Spellman, fanatic whitewater

paddler in Princeton. Ice has broken in the upper Hudson.

It would be a bit of a wade dragging the boats through the two-feet

of snow to the put-in, but what a run! Wanna come? Why quit paddling

just because it’s 10 degrees?

Princeton mountain bikers wait for the first few inches to dust over

Allaire State Park so they can add hidden ice and slick surfaces to

the normal trail runs. Interestingly, in all of this winter cavorting,

the athletes do not seek to tough out cold, or "take it like a

man." Leave the thrill of the chill to those ancient wool-wearers.

Today, the play alone’s the thing and comfort’s deemed a necessity.

Wick-away fabrics, comfort-zone layering, endlessly gadgeteered

equipment

and outerwear allow us to move the gymnasium outdoors.

Of course, the few bold ones see winter not as pesky, but as the

bringer

of new challenges. One top-end mountain biker I know totes both

snowboard

and bike to Blue Mountain ski area and when the action’s slow shushes

the slopes on his mountain bike. "Steeps" and moguls are fun,

but dodging the ski patrol adds just that extra flavor.

Top Of Page
From Rock to Ice

Hey,"’ came the invitation, "how about going

to a land that boasts the ultimate ice on the planet and the world’s

most beautiful women?"

"Seems like a very logical step," shrugs Anthony Lorenzoni.

I envision Lorenzoni a month from now sprawled on the 600-foot

Glymsgil

glacier in Iceland, ice axe in each hand, crampons kicked in, ropes

all dangling down, puzzling whether the ice screws will hold on this

absolutely horizontal overhang. Somehow his logic escapes me.

But if you live to rock climb and also run Lorenzoni Landscaping,

which gobbles up seven days a week during the spring and summer, your

climbs necessarily get transferred to winter’s icy faces.

Mountaineering has always demanded some ice climbing. Yet most

traditional

summit attempts entail routes that avoid the slick stuff in favor

if good solid stone. You’re scaling a more predictable surface, with

more solid anchor points, and, hey, it’s warmer. But as technical

rock climbing became a sport in itself, ice climbing followed as a

natural outcrop. Today ice climbing has soared in popularity with

estimates as high as 7 million participants and a half million avid

faithful. Some credit the lighter gear: boots, crampons and ice axes,

available in the last five years for this spurt. The more romantic

just see it as the next, newest thrill. Whatever the reason, "Rock

and Ice Magazine" recently found that at least 27 percent of its

readers are scaling the white in addition to rock.

Currently Lorenzoni trains on ice up in Rieglesville, just across

the river from Frenchtown, in preparation for his Iceland expedition.

Looking at his lean, fairly solid 29-year-old frame, one somehow

expects

more from this level challenger. But little things give him away —

the strong fingers, the muscles on the forearm. Anthony’s got what

he needs.

As with so many outdoor fanatics Lorenzoni forges a patchwork of jobs

that all flex to his climbing career. When landscaping is not in

season,

Lorenzoni works as a salesman at Eastern Mountain Sports at

MarketFair.

There he encountered another ice-climber, James Battaglia. It was

Battaglia who proffered the ultimate ice of Iceland to Lorenzoni and

in accepting, Lorenzoni was clipping onto a truly renaissance

outdoorsman

who has done it all.

Battaglia’s resume would make Harrison Ford pause: River

raft guiding on Colorado’s Arkansas river; founder and co-owner of

Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center; exploration of Amazon basin in Brazil;

trainer in outdoor leadership seminars; Grand Canyon kayaker;

self-taught

rock climber in the early ’80s in Colorado’s Clear Creek Canyon; rock

and ice instructor on both coasts; work on a farm in Hawaii; financial

consulting in California — 46 years of doing it very much his

way.

If that’s not rugged enough, consider that Battaglia has continued

his passion for these endeavors despite a medical obstacle that might

have sidelined many others — he’s the recipient of a kidney

transplant

(see sidebar, page 45).

Like virtually all ice scalers, Battaglia and Lorenzoni came to the

sport through a strong background in technical rock climbing. Much

of the gear, basic strategies and techniques, and the teamwork remain

the same. But there it ends. Rock is as constant as a stone. Ice,

however — well you know what happened to Frosty the Snowman.

"The real trick," states Battaglia, "is that ice varies

constantly. The consistency changes from day to day, morning to

afternoon."

The route scampered up madly at 9 a.m. — the one that held each

ice screw solidly — may take the afternoon sun and grow too mushy

even for an axe to grab. On the other hand, if the temperature dips

too low, no tool can penetrate. Such temperature swings threaten

Glymsgil

particularly. Iceland verges on the Arctic Circle where north winds

collide with warm Gulf Stream waters. Premier climber Dougald

MacDonald

calls it a geographical stewpot.

Like life, victories won on an ice face stand precarious and

temporary.

Pressure makes ice melt, so best not to stand poised in your crampons

more than a few seconds. Axes will quickly refreeze solidly into the

ice sheet so best yank ’em out and move on while you can. And watch

out for windblown ice. Don’t be like my friend Ginny, who took a

platter-size

chunk to the cheek that was inadvertently cast off by the climber

up the line. And don’t even mind the fact that your fingers may get

a little cold.

Fear haunts the climber’s every move. It draws the few to the sport

and repels most from it. Veterans joke that ice climbing entails very

few injuries — except among the dead. For Lorenzoni, "it’s

really a matter of using the right protection." (The amazing host

of piton-like gadgets slung onto your belt such as ice screws,

nautilus-shaped

"friends," bird-beaked specters — and the usual stoppers

and chocks for encountering rock.) You can even toss a sling over

a cauliflower (ice outcrop) and wedge it in tight, and tie off.

"That’s what will save you," he tries to assure me.

"Therefore

if you fall, you’ll only drop the length of your rope, plus the

stretch.

Of course, on ice, the sharp shards and icicles can get rather

nasty."

For Battaglia, one would guess, fear’s a flickering concern. His is

the calculated risk born of long years and great trust. Upon arriving

in Reykjavik, Battaglia will be joining old friend and employer Jeff

Lowe — inventor of the internal frame pack. They will discuss

the routes. He has arranged for Iceland Alpine Club members to host

the team. Battaglia reads the ice expertly, absorbs the advice and

scopes out a strategy.

"Glymsgil is magnificent and offers the full range of ice from

moderate to ultimate. We’ll bite off as much as we can, but no

more."

Judging from Battaglia’s taste for serene beauty, for life and all

things spiritual, that should probably be a major mouthful.

Top Of Page
Snowboard Explosion

Last season 52 million visits were made to commercial

ski slopes by over 14 million "sliders" in the United States

— 10.5 million skiers; 3.7 million snowboarders. The sport has,

in the estimation of the National Sporting Goods Association, pretty

much plateaued. But within, major shifts toward the snowboards are

taking place. A new generation that has learned the moves on

surfboards

and skateboards finds two skis a cumbersome arrangement. Even some

of the extreme ski athletes sheepishly admit that if they had it to

do all over again, today, they’d hit the board.

Virtually everyone admits that the snowboard is easier to master than

the longer skis which need be kept parallel. Granted the tumbles are

a bit rougher, but most new skiers favor its learning curve. "Not

only does the total novice learn faster on his first days out,"

says extreme skier Rich Konczyk, an engineering consultant by

profession,

"but it helps many folks make the jump from intermediate to

expert."

Top Of Page
Extreme Ski

Should you ever spy a refrigerator on skis hurtling

off a 25 foot rock cornice and cutting hard for the trees below, you

will probably be witnessing Larry Hartenstein. Pity the pine bough

this lad smacks. At age 22, Hartenstein breaks all the rules and skier

stereotypes. Extreme skiers are supposed to appear sylph-like in form,

balletic in grace. They train on bicycles, roller blades and

Nordic-tracks.

Hartenstein, a student at the College of New Jersey and a manager

at the Ski Barn on Route 1, primarily powerlifts, pumping his thighs

to the size of most cyclers’ chests. Football and soccer "help

the old wind" and keep him limber. The mountaineering just

enhances

his soul. "Five foot nine with a fighting weight of 210?"

gawked fellow expert Rich Konczyk. "Can’t believe he’s any

good."

But any man who joyfully squats 1,000 pounds and jumps any steep that

comes his way, is not a man to be argued with.

Now, 42-year-old Konczyk is more like it. The lean athletic build

moves lightly, with total control — fulfilling our visions of

the ultimate skier. And unlike burly Hartenstein, he does train on

bike and roller blades. With Princeton Freewheeler friends in the

steep-seeking Hillbillies group, Konczyk puts 4,000 miles annually

on his Cannondale. "So much of skiing is respiratory, I always

ask would-be fellow skiers what their other sports are."

Two dedicated athletes, each sculpting his frame drastically

differently,

towards a common sport. Not all rockets must look alike. Never judge

a skier by his frame — or headstone.

Hartenstein first stepped on skis at age seven and ever since his

early teens (when his brother got a license) spends 55 days a year

on the slopes — or past the back fence. Racing came early, and

today he typically gleans silver or gold both locally and out West.

But all that formal stuff is a mere sideline.

Spirit, lungs and risk expand out in the back bowls and off in the

trees. "Give me a tight, tight trail, silent through the woods,

with plenty of steeps and chutes. Love it." Hartenstein lapses

into swiftly shifting reminiscence about routes found out back in

Squaw Valley: 200 centimeter skis turning down a trail 190 centimeters

wide; tight narrow openings, fast jump turns of 120 to 150 degrees;

bypassing even the expert slopes in Crested Butte, Colorado —

trails with in-your-face names like Banana Nose and No Fat Chicks

— and hiking to the site of the Extreme Ski National Competitions.

Forty degree pitch is common — your shoulder scrapes the snow

and jumps of 25 feet . . .

I interrupt Hartenstein’s reverie with a question: Just how does one

deliberately run a 25-foot rock overhang that may drop another 10

feet before you hit snow again? "Well, on that one, I saw the

lip and a boulder about 45 feet downhill demanding a hard cut

immediately

afterward. I angled toward the edge, trying to gain as much

comfortable

speed as possible without losing control. Then it was a matter of

aiming for the lip — the highest notch in the boulder with enough

angle so you would land with a downhill ski ready for the cut to the

left." All so elementary.

Hartenstein rolls restlessly on the couch and flips back the afghan

revealing The Leg. Currently it holds a titanium rod: souvenir of

his recent trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Shucks, Mam, ’tweren’t

nothin.’

Just a fluke that came from a little five foot jump when his ski tip

shoveled too deep into the powder. "As the ski patrol sledded

me down to the hospital, I asked `When do my endorphins kick in?’

`They already have’ was the reply."

At this point, Hartenstein is very busy cramming four years into five

at College of New Jersey. He will graduate with a major in sociology

with minors in biology, psychology and oh, yes, women’s studies. Days

are spent with classes until 12:30 then a quick race to the Ski Barn

until 9 p.m. Then it’s back to the dorm and homework ’til the wee

hours. "There doesn’t seem to be much time for TV," he laughs.

In the future, Hartenstein seeks more northern exposure. His sophomore

year was spent as an exchange student in Calgary. "I let the

grades

slip to Bs," he admits, "and spent most of my time on

skis."

Then the call for new ski equipment drove him up to the little village

of Pelican on an island 70 miles west of Juneau. He started as just

another "Funigee" (f — -in’ new guy) at the crab plant but

soon parlayed his way up to manager.

Everyone is a little scared on the extreme runs, unless they’re a

damn fool. "Well, I guess, I’m a damn fool. I’ve yet to see

something

I wouldn’t run. On the other hand I’ve never been to Valdez, Alaska.

One thing for sure, there’s a whole other level above me that I’ve

just encountered and that’s where I’m striving."

I look at the leg: skin graft gouges, quarter-size stitches

reminiscent

of a Transylvanian seamstress. "The doctor says four months total

recovery. I may not get total dorsal motion (foot lifting) and

everyone

says for gawd’s sake you’re out this season. But I’ll be on skis again

this year. If I waited a year, I might grow scared. I’ve got to go

— just enough to put fear in its place." The hat says "Ski

Like Hell."

Top Of Page
Diamonds in the East

Extreme skiers don’t exist in the East, some people

claim, certainly not along Route 1 in New Jersey. Tell that it to

the Outer Circle Ski Club of Plainsboro. "Actually," counters

Rich Konczyk, "you check your list of top racers — you’ll

find a strong majority started out in the East: ice makes folks

fast."

And, he claims, the reaction time demanded helps in the bigger steeps

out West and abroad. Our Eastern ice, after all, has set West

Milford’s

Donna Weinbrecht tearing up the Olympic moguls course at Nganago.

He should know. When the group heads for the back fence and looks

down a totally unrun chute, they invariably choose Konczyk as the

probe — (that sucker making the first run. If he dies, probably

best to bypass this one.) For the past dozen years, Konczyk has led

groups of up to 75 all over the world and found for himself mastering

the most difficult routes the mountains can offer.

It all began about age 30, he had been round the world twice, raced

motorcycles and blended his thrills happily with his engineering jobs.

Then one day he was called upon to play golf. "They all had pot

bellies, cigars, and were talking about retirement funds. Even the

young guys gabbled about nothing but business. I said to myself, `I’m

not old enough to play this sport.’"

With that watershed, he put his clubs in the basement and began

sculpting

his life around the realm of the physical. Today he runs Control

Technology,

a one-man engineering consulting firm from his Hillsborough home.

His specialty of plant start-ups has the occasional emergency

demanding

a 36-hour straight work binge, but mostly it’s a straight 40 hours.

"And my clients know better than to call me on weekends."

The rest of life is sport — 45 days a year are spent on the

slopes,

including at least two major expeditions. "Three years ago in

Chamonix, France" he recalls, "powder up to your neck; then

over your head. You ski blind and keep your mouth closed so you won’t

choke. Only occasionally could your head pop above the snow line

enough

to see some obstacle." Then it’s a quick slide, plant pole and

jump — and pray you have jumped that ski high enough so it won’t

catch the rock.

Fear seems to play little part in Konczyk’s strategies. "I’ve

always figured that I wouldn’t have gotten to this mountain top if

I weren’t good enough to run it." Like Anthony Lorenzoni’s, his

logic also escapes me, but I guess it works for him. He’ll jump and

grab 25 feet of big air without a thought.

Konczyk also draws strength from the group. He always runs in groups

with a clearly defined probe and pole (a sweep skier who follows to

‘pick up remains.’ "Obviously, skiing is individual, but being

with a group affords you a trust and support to try new things you

never would alone."

But despite all the calculation of risks, the teamwork, the thousands

of hours training the body, the injuries come, of course. They are

a given for the top end. Konczyk refused to have a broken knee cap

wrapped and chose to hit the Colorado’s slopes with pain-killing drugs

as his only protection. How long can this go on; I mean you’re not

22 any more. "Oh I don’t know. It worries me from time to time,

so I figure I’d better grab what I can while I can still walk. After

that — maybe then it’ll be time for golf and an ocean cruise."

Few common chords bind extreme athletes Lorenzoni, Battaglia

Hartenstein

and Konczyk. Each one explodes the myth that success demands being

focused on a single activity. But perhaps more important is the

willingness

to take the big risk — not the risk of the jump or grabbing big

air, but the risk of marching to a different drummer. We have armored

our world today safe, cozy and totally adventure free. Contemporary

Achilles and Odysseus must seek out their own voyages and battles.

For all who aren’t, these extremists are "crazies." We delight

in their broken limbs, and often frequent poverty. "Just

desserts."

Extremists like Rockefeller, Trump and other robber barons we can

understand. Their greed is comfortable, perhaps because their track

is well trod and their goals tangible. Maybe, however, we should

rethink

and not condemn our loved ones to "have a safe trip." But

instead wish them a joyous galavant through life. After all, risk,

excitement, death — what else is there?


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Corrections or additions?


This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Life in the Fast Lane

Secondary School’s

Bonner’s New Home

Expansions

Crosstown Moves

Leaving Town

Management Moves

Basketball News: Caliper’s Turn

Deaths

Corrections or additions?

Life in the Fast Lane

These articles by Barbara Fox and Peter J. Mladineo were published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 18, 1998. All rights reserved.

The word of the day is double for everything we are

doing," says Donna Jakubowski, spokesperson for Bristol-Myers

Squibb. "We are doubling the size of pharmaceutical drug

discovery,

doubling the number of new drugs entering the development pipeline

in the near term, doubling that number again in the long term,

doubling

the number of drugs in late development, and doubling product launches

in the next three years."

To permanently house a major productivity program that is expected

to save $1.5 billion, Bristol-Myers Squibb has bought a prominent

Route 1 office building at 100 Nassau Park Boulevard. It has also

started construction on a new building at the Route 206 headquarters

of its pharmaceutical group, is reoccupying a building on Business

Park Drive, and is moving as fast as possible into the former Mobil

research center in Hopewell. Overall the pharmaceutical firm has added

about 1,400 employees to Central New Jersey since last year, growing

from 6,600 to 8,000. It also operates sites on Scudders Mill Road,

New Brunswick, and Cranbury.

B-MS’s Global Business Services Center, staffed by 800 employees now,

resulted from a 1994 productivity effort to reduce costs and reinvest

the benefits in future growth with the eventual aim of increasing

productivity by $1.5 billion through 1998. "The program strives

to exploit advanced technology and work collaboratively across

functions

and business units to share information and services and to reduce

costs," says Jakubowski.

Occupying 2 1/2 floors at the 220,000-foot Nassau Park, this center

supports businesses in North America, Puerto Rico, and Latin America.

It includes Financial Shared Services, Global Strategic Sourcing

(unified

purchasing), Demand Management, and Global Order to Cash. A similar

center has been established in England to provide shared services

for Europe.

Two outside occupants — the law firm of Pellettieri Rabstein &

Altman and Valuation Research — take up the remaining 10 percent

of the space at 100 Nassau Park, and Jakubowski says her firm intends

to maintain those leases. Connecticut General Life Insurance Company

(CIGNA) was the owner and the selling price of the 12-year-old

building,

which includes a cafeteria, was not disclosed. Early in its existence

the long, green-faced building looking out on Route 1 South, was being

characterized as a "sick" building because of some workers’

persistent complaints of headaches and dizziness. Extensive

modifications

were made in the HVAC and the complaints subsided.

Last year Nassau Park added 300 workers for the current total of 800,

and such "staffing up" reflects Bristol-Myers Squibb’s

aggressive

growth plans. Also growing are the sites in Hopewell, Skillman, and

Lawrence.

Eventually the former Mobil site in Hopewell will have 1,200 workers,

and about 800 have already moved into jobs in drug discovery

laboratories,

administration, and information management.

Convatec, at Headquarters Park Drive in Skillman, has grown from 400

to 700 employees. It manufactures ostomy, wound, skin care and

continence

products, and it is headed by the firm’s just-appointed highest

ranking

woman, Christine Poon.

The Route 206 facility in Lawrence (the company refers to it as the

Princeton site) currently houses 2,000 employees and will add 200

discovery chemists by the middle of next year. Under construction

is a 150,000 square foot laboratory and office module, connected with

the existing structure, for state-of-the art chemistry. Also under

construction is a clinical unit, to support clinical studies at Robert

Wood Johnson Hospital at Hamilton.

Remaining stable are the distribution center at Exit

8A, which employs 200 workers, and 777 Scudders Mill Road, which

houses

domestic sales and training offices for the Pharmaceutical Group,

Apothecon, and Convatec. About 2,000 people report to work there.

Because the Hopewell campus has drawn some away, the population at

the New Brunswick headquarters has diminished by about 50 people,

and now 1,450 employees are engaged in administration, R&D, and some

manufacturing at 1 Squibb Drive. (Many of the original manufacturing

jobs went to Indiana and Puerto Rico when Squibb merged with

Bristol-Myers).

Add in 60 people at Forrestal Greens and a handful on Alexander Road.

Douglas P. Tunnell, senior vice president of Global Business Services

and Planning, points out that Nassau Park’s location is central and

attributes the purchase to "our continuing commitment to New

Jersey."

— Barbara Fox

Top Of Page
Secondary School’s

Quick Move

You can’t run a building that serves 76 countries and

1,200 test sites from a trailer. So says Regan Kenyon, executive

director

of the Secondary School Admission Test Board. His organization bought

a building, rehabbed it, and moved in — all within three months.

Why the rush? Because SSATB is a test organization and has a testing

season, just a one-week delay would have put off the move for eight

months.

"If we had delayed one week we would not have had the requisite

time run parallel computer systems and test them at the new site,"

says Kenyon. SSATB’s transition could be a model for companies making

a crucial move quickly.

SSATB develops and administers tests primarily for admission to

independent

schools. A non-profit educational organization, it moved last fall

from a building that it owned, an historic Steadman building on

Stockton

Street in Princeton Borough, to a building twice as big that it

purchased,

a Route 518 building formerly owned by the Princeton Bio Center.

Known most recently as the Carl C. Pfeiffer Institute, the Bio Center

was founded in 1973 as an outpatient nutrition clinic specializing

in biochemical testing, allergies, and diet and treating a variety

of disorders and diseases. The institute has closed but the vitamin

sales division has relocated as Princeton Bio Center to 1000

Herrontown

Road.

SSATB paid $1.3 million for the 11,000-foot building with 3,000 feet

of basement storage, and the renovations totaled $400,000. Lawrence

and Sharon Tarantino did the design and Sweetwater Construction

knocked

out 30 walls, removed washstands, took out a big laboratory with

showers

and a biohazardous refrigerator, and totally rewired it for computers.

In addition to "SSATB green," used in the logo, the decor

is cream, tan, gray, and white plus stainless steel and glass in the

office area and mahogany and teak in the public area. "I wanted

a high tech look in operations, and a traditional look in the

executive

end — and no transition," says Kenyon.

Allied handled a moving contract that specified "no

18-wheelers"

on the residential street. "The 12 trucks were out in the parking

lot waiting for the final certificate of occupancy," says Kenyon.

"The business was down two weeks. We had everything run in

parallel,

all the phones and high speed international faxes, but at the same

time we couldn’t immediately overload the server with 30

terminals."

Why move? In addition to needing more space, SSATB needed a different

floor plan. Until five years ago it was part of Educational Testing

Service and required no space for operations, only for hosting and

conferences. Now it must store tests. "We essentially had a

horizontal

business in a vertical building," says Kenyon. "We had to

process tests and take them through computers, and we were carrying

them up and down three and four floors." All under tight security.

SSATB employs 17 full-timers and brings in 15 temps during the testing

season. That does not include the cadre of consultants who help write

the test, which has 72 forms. Student fees of $57 to take the test

constitute most of the SSATB’s $3.5 million budget. Roughly $250,000

($300 to $500 from each of 600 member schools) is collected from the

schools.

When parents receive the scores they are often shocked, because the

test compares students applying to such top schools as Andover,

Princeton

Day School, and Hun. "They are used to dumbed down achievement

tests," says Kenyon.

Kenyon insists testing does not favor the elite. "I see it as

a tool of access," says Kenyon. "We give fee waivers out to

almost 10 percent of the kids, and we find a lot of kids in inner

cities could score well on this."

"I grew up in a family that emphasized education," says

Kenyon.

His mother was a teacher who earned her Ph.D., and his father, a

foundryman,

went to night school, and ended up as a librarian. He loved

Shakespeare

and named his son after one of King Lear’s daughters. "The other

two were Cordelia and Goneril, and I think I lucked out," Kenyon

jokes.

He majored in American history at the University of

Mississippi, Class of ’69, and stayed to earn a master’s in education.

He taught "at risk youth" in St. Louis, founded a minority

high school and independent day school at St. Croix, then during the

Carter administration served as the first federal official in the

United States office for private schools. After earning his doctor’s

degree at Harvard he came to Princeton in 1983 be in charge of

separating

SSATB from ETS. He has a son and a daughter at Lawrenceville School.

"It had become evident the two organizations had different

educational

philosophies," says Kenyon. "We deal with many fewer

test-takers

than they. Just like any smaller company we are able to offer a

customer

service at a different level."

Also ETS had established another test, the ISEE, the Independent

School

Entrance Exam, and it was competing against itself. "Their test

is not meant to be as difficult as ours. We do have the bulk of the

well-known schools. We probably have more minority test takers than

they do."

"It’s meant to distinguish high academic ability, and it deals

with the ceiling of the population," says Kenyon. The test is

not federally regulated because it is used only by private

institutions

for eighth through tenth grades.

The Tarantinos and contractor Bob Dunham had won an award for historic

renovation on the Stockton Street house, which was appraised several

years ago at $1.25 million. Princeton Borough is temporarily occupying

it during the renovation of Borough Hall. The structure is zoned for

residential or nonprofit use and, says Kenyon, "we want to be

very careful who we sell it to."

Secondary School Admission Test Board, 862 Route

518, Skillman 08558. Regan Kenyon, executive director. 609-683-4440;

fax, 609-683-1702. Home page: http://www.ssatb.org.ssat.

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Bonner’s New Home

Need a 12-person conference room for your community

or nonprofit meeting? Forget the church basement, have your meeting

in a 150-year-old $850,000 mansion on Mercer Street. It’s the new

home of the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, and it came

complete with an extra conference room that the foundation’s executive

director, Wayne Meisel, invites you to use.

The 17-year-old Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, operates

on a national level to support faith-based organizations (synagogues

and churches) in their hunger-fighting efforts. It also provides

scholarships

at 22 southeastern colleges. Bertram Bonner, who died in 1993, was

a developer who built 30,000 homes and apartments on the East Coast

including the Quail Ridge townhomes in Franklin Township. His wife

now supervises the work of the foundation. Last week, in fact, she

bought a $30,000 refrigerated truck to support the work for a

statewide

food "gleaning" program, a program for which the foundation

helped Farmers Against Hunger land a $.5 million federal grant.

In addition to being the traditional type of foundation that gives

out money, the Bonner Foundation works actively with the institutions

to convene meetings, provide training, and develop materials —

work traditionally done by separate nonprofit groups. Second, it

operates

as an advocate for the institutions as if it were a consortium. It

also brings its eight years of experience to the higher education

community. "We do outreach, offering other colleges and

universities

the chance to learn from our challenges and successes with our 23

schools," says Meisel.

Princeton University owned the house, which it had been vacant since

faculty members moved out about 10 years ago. Residential neighbors

were concerned about preserving the integrity of the neighborhood,

and in response a gravel driveway was used and no signs were erected

for the parking slots.

Mrs. Bonner bought and restored the building and donated it to the

foundation to serve as its headquarters. Including the renovations

it cost about $870,000 and comes with nine parking spaces. "Our

lease at 22 Chambers Street was ending, and it wasn’t clear whether

we would get the space," says Meisel. "At the same time this

building came up."

The architect was Jeffrey Clarke of Clarke Caton Hintz in West

Trenton,

and John Garretson, a member of the family that used to own Clayton’s

department store on Palmer Square, was the general contractor. Mrs.

Bonner decorated and furnished the offices. "Mrs. Bonner’s whole

heart and soul was into this place," says Meisel. "She didn’t

want to leave us with a building that was semi-broke."

Operating from Mercer Street will not save money, because its upkeep

is expensive. But it will assure the foundation a comfortable

environment

in the decades to come. Is this place, in fact, too cushy for an

antipoverty

foundation? Meisel is a notorious penny pincher when it comes to

spending

foundation money on administrative expenses, and he has thought this

question through: "I have talked to people getting money from

us — college presidents and local community groups — about

this very issue. Nobody has begrudged that we are here."

"Our society is filled with dichotomies," he says.

"Princeton

is filled with nice buildings. I think it makes all the difference

in the world that the building was restored and given to us from

outside

the foundation. My feeling is, that that was the gift, and what I

would like to do is make it as friendly and open as I possibly can,

and get as much work done on these issues and causes that I can

possibly

do."

"We are downtown, next to a private club (the Nassau Club), the

seminary, and to the university," says Meisel. "Given what

we are doing in education, service, community and institutional

relations,

and given the people that we attract to the town — whether they

be college presidents or religious leaders involved in social justice

or local people convened to address community challenges and

opportunities

— I hope our presence here opens up a spirit in the town while

preserving the integrity of the town."

"It’s a great place to work," says Meisel. "The wood and

the vibrations are kind of crisp and clear. I feel like I am working

inside a large violin."

The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation Inc.,

10 Mercer Street, Box 712, Princeton 08542-0712. Wayne W. Meisel,

executive director. 609-924-6663; fax, 609-683-4626.

Top Of Page
Expansions

Evcor Distribution Plus, 2555 Route 130, Unit 3,

Cranbury 08512. 609-409-1015; fax, 609-409-1014. E-mail:

evcornj@aol.com.

Home page: http://www.evcor.com.

Got a question about postage rates? Stephen H. Cooper

is the man to ask. Cooper is president of Evcor Distribution Plus,

a "software integrator and value-added reseller" that recently

took 3,800 square feet at Campus 130 in Cranbury.

"We do software primarily for companies’ warehouse and shipping

departments," says Cooper. "We integrate an off-the-shelf

package to meet the specific needs of our customers."

"We help companies with small package carrier compliance and

rating

issues," he says.

The need for such a product is justifiable — recent changes in

the UPS system are a case in point. "It’s not as easy as it used

to be to ship UPS," says Cooper. "The label has to look a

certain way, the barcode has to look a certain way, the rating

structure

is getting more complicated as they add new service levels. Our job

is to understand what those compliance issues are."

Cooper, 39, studied marketing at the Philadelphia College of Textiles

and Science (Class of 1980) and worked for a competitor, NeoPost,

then located in Iselin, for the first part of his career. He started

Evcor in 1990 after seeing that "the flexible communications niche

wasn’t being filled," he says.

"Even though it’s a small market to begin with there’s a big niche

in there that wasn’t being introduced. So we went out and figured

out how to do it."

Evcor’s systems cost from $100 a month to $3,000 a month to lease,

but, Cooper maintains, don’t quite qualify as a tough sell. "It’s

tougher than selling a stand-alone PC but not as hard quite as hard

selling a warehouse management system," says Cooper. "The

company has to change the way they do business to fit that automation.

What we do the customer doesn’t have to change the way they do

business.

We’re just enhancing the way they do business. Our products are

cost-justifiable

or people don’t do it."

Robbins concedes a little bit of dismay on moving. The old location,

at 13 Main Street in Robbinsville, was next door to the beloved

Ernie’s

Pub. "We’re bummed," he says. "No more beers and

cheeseburgers

at lunch time." Instead, Evcor employees will have to acquaint

themselves with nearby Cranbury Station, 400 yards south on Route

130. "That’s a pretty good pub," he says.

Rylan Forbes Consulting Group, 102 Campus Drive,

Princeton 08540. Robert Criscuolo Jr. CPA, president. 609-419-0600;

fax, 609-419-0737. Home page:

http://www.acsysinc.com/rylan.htm.

Rylan Forbes has announced a merger with ACSYS Resources, which also

has a location at 5 Independence Way, one of seven offices in New

Jersey and Pennsylvania. It provides accounting, finance, and

information

technology recruiting and staffing — permanent, temporary, or

consulting.

Top Of Page
Crosstown Moves

W.D. Associates, 127 Route 206 South, Hamilton

08610. 609-987-0199; fax, 609-585-9465.

The accounting firm, headed by Wellington Davenport, a former

financial

officer at Johnson & Johnson, moved from Lawrence Commons. The phone

number is answered at the new location. The fax is new.

Top Of Page
Leaving Town

Meridian Enterprises Inc., 666 Plainsboro Road,

Suite 648, Plainsboro 08536. Steve Puchalsky, vice president, sales.

609-799-4403; fax, 609-799-7405.

A marketing incentive firm based in St Louis has moved and did not

respond to requests for a forwarding address.

Wells Fargo Alarm Services, 29 Emmons Drive,

Building

D, CN 5201, Princeton 08543-5201. Ray Walsh, general manager.

800-927-2790.

The security company moved from Emmons Drive to 50 Twosome Drive,

Unit 5, Box 1013, Moorestown 08057. Phone, 800-927-2790; fax

609-642-2207.

American Homeowners Alliance, 3371 Route 1, Suite

220, Lawrenceville 08648. John McGuire, president. 609-452-9595; fax,

609-452-7235.

The business that arranged group discount purchasing of legal fees,

financial fees, and other real estate related items has apparently

moved out of its quarters. The phone has been disconnected and there

is no listing in directory assistance. It moved into the space in

early 1996.

John Hancock Acorn Group Insurance, 600 Alexander

Road, Suite 101, Princeton 08540. 609-520-2044.

The firm has closed this office on Alexander Road. Phone calls are

being directed to the Norton-Oaks Agency at 6 Becker Farm Road,

Roseland.

Top Of Page
Management Moves

Nicholas C. Maida CPA Chartered, 379

Princeton-Hightstown

Road, Cranbury 08512. Joseph C. Maida, president. 609-443-4409; fax,

609-443-5796. E-mail: wvhw76a@prodigy.com.

Harttraft & Associates PA, 379 Princeton-Windsor

Office Park, Building 1, Cranbury 08512. 609-443-4409; fax,

609-443-5796.

James Harttraft Jr. CPA died in October. His business has been

purchased

by Nicholas C. Maida, CPA Chartered. Location, phone, and fax remain

the same and clients have been referred.

Top Of Page
Basketball News: Caliper’s Turn

The Continental Basketball Association has approved

the entry of a Trenton squad in the expanding 10-team league, pending

community support. The team’s organization is currently headed by

Caliper Sports & Associates, a group of investors headed by Herbert

M. Greenberg, CEO of Caliper, the psychological testing firm located

at 751 Mount Lucas Road (http://www.caliper.txt).

To win final approval, Greenberg and crew must sell at least 2,500

season tickets and gain "a reasonable amount of corporate support

through the sale of advertising and box seats," says a press

release

issued by Caliper.

If this effort succeeds, the team will play in the planned Mercer

County Arena, the Trenton site that will be home also to the minor

league hockey team scheduled to begin playing in the fall.

The other stockholders in Caliper Sports & Associates are Harold

Weinstein,

Greenberg’s consulting partner; Steve Wills, a partner at Golomb,

Wills & Company; Ben Shiriak, president of Maxim Sewerage Corporation;

Bob Wenzel, former head coach at Rutgers and assistant coach for the

New Jersey Nets.

Last year 50 CBA players were called up by NBA teams; NBA stars from

the CBA include John Starks, Anthony Mason, and Matt Maloney. For

Greenberg and Caliper this could be the opportunity to put into

practice its own advice. Among Caliper’s many clients are several

pro teams seeking psychological profiles of prospective players.

Caliper

claims it can often distinguish potential winners on the basis of

its tests (U.S. 1, October 29, 1997).

Once the deal is sealed, there will be a community-wide effort to

pick the team’s name, says Greenberg.

Caliper, 741 Mount Lucas Road, Box 2050, Princeton

08543-2050. Herbert M. Greenberg Ph.D., CEO. 609-924-3800; fax,

609-683-8560.

E-mail: writeus@caliperonline.com. Home page:

http://www.caliperonline.com.

Top Of Page
Deaths

Carole E. Donald, 57, on February 5. She had been

supervisor

of road service at AAA of Central New Jersey and had worked for Starr

Tours.

Betty Lou Kennedy, 47, on February 10. She was manager

at the Fashion Bug at Lawrence Shopping Center.

Joyce A. Goshorn, 55, on February 10. She worked in the

internal auditing department at Dow Jones on Route 1 North.

Corrections or additions?


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