Corrections or additions?
This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring & Bart Jackson was prepared for the May 7, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Reparations for Pollution May Hurt
<d>Edward Hogan was in third grade on the first Earth
Day, back in 1963. He decided then and there that his career would
revolve around the environment. The resolve was boosted by hiking
and fishing trips to the Adirondacks with his family, and further
reinforced by his favorite childhood reading. "I didn’t like to
read," he recalls, "so my parents bought me fishing magazines."
Now an attorney specializing in environmental law and litigation at
Norris McLaughlin & Marcus in Bridgewater (908-722-0700), Hogan speaks
on "The Politics of Natural Resource Damage" on Friday, May
9, at 8 a.m. for "Natural Resource Damages and the Public Trust,"
a one-day conference presented by NY/NJ Baykeeper at the Gateway Hilton
in Newark. Among the other speakers at this event are
president, Scenic Hudson;
Ricker of the Atlantic Branch Chief Damage Assessment Center of
Established in 1990, the Baykeeper works at protecting the ecological
integrity of the Hudson-Raritan estuary. The organization helped achieve
a multimillion dollar Natural Resource Damage settlement against Exxon
in a major oil spill; defeated the construction of a 2,300-acre toxic-mulch
dredge spoil island in the middle of Raritan Bay; and recently declared
victory in its effort to save the 7,000-acre Hackensack Meadowlands.
While organizations like the Baykeeper often work tirelessly against
corporate polluters, there are also cases where corporations bear
what some consider unfair blame — and severe penalties — for
environmental discharges that are not their fault, and that in some
cases have no negative effects in the real world. This is the issue
that Hogan, who holds a master’s degree from Yale’s School of Forestry
and Environmental Studies and a J.D. from Georgetown, addresses in
his talk. It has to do with the possibility that a crack out-of-state
class action attorney may be brought in to go after thousands of New
Jersey businesses, each of which could face substantial fines.
Here is the background.
"Under laws of the Earth Day era," says Hogan, "state
and federal governments have the authority to force people to do clean-ups
and to collect reparations for damages." He points to the Exxon
Valdez as a classic case. The spill, which occurred shortly after
the oil tanker’s captain admitted to drinking alcohol, released 11
million gallons of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Property
values plummeted, commercial fishermen were put out of business, ducks
died, and tourists canceled trips. Damage on this scale is spectacular,
and most reasonable men would believe that a punitive damage award
would be justified.
Most cases of pollution are far less dramatic. They often involve
industrial properties from which harmful manufacturing by-products
were released — often in an era when doing so was not against
the law. Since the first Earth Day, an enormous number of such sites
have been cleaned up. "The state has approved, closed out, 10,000
clean-ups," says Hogan. Efforts to remove contaminants from New
Jersey soil and water have been "very successful," he says.
Clean-ups most often are triggered by the sale of a property, at which
time the owner has to satisfy the state that sources of pollution,
perhaps a leaking gas tank, have been removed, and that any damage
from discharges has been remediated. This is often an expensive process,
and, Hogan points out, the bill is presented to the property’s owner.
In a great many cases, the owner is not the party who discharged the
materials, and, says Hogan, he often very well may not even be aware
that the damage occurred.
A common scenario is that a manufacturer released toxic materials
into ground water near his plant in the 1940s or 1950s, and then the
current owner purchased the site a decade or two later. In order to
sell the site, the owner has to clean it up. Or, as Hogan puts it,
"You may not have discharged, but you’re it." These owners
may not be polluters, but they are liable solely because of their
status as owners. By and large, business owners have accepted this
responsibility graciously, if not happily. In turn, the state has
refrained, in most cases, from collecting reparations — payments
for damage above and beyond the cost of clean-up.
"In the past 25 years," says Hogan, "the state has brought
about 60 or 70 reparation cases." This, of course, represents
just a tiny fraction of the 10,000-plus sites that have been cleaned
up. The state, says Hogan, did not go for reparations in most cases
"because they (current owners) didn’t do it. The state could have,
but it didn’t." Instead, reparations were sought only in cases
of acute spills.
Then in 1992 the legislature enacted a 10-year statute of limitations.
This freed businesses from the threat that the state could decide
to bring a suit for reparations at any time. The attitude as Hogan
characterizes it was "we’ve cleaned up. We want to settle so you
can’t come after us for reparations."
In 2000, as the clock began to run on the statue of limitations, Hogan
says the state snapped to attention, realizing that it was almost
out of time to decide whether to bring suit for reparations in a large
number of cases. The state made the preparation of lawsuits in 6,000
cases a high priority. "Every case manager in the state’s clean-up
division worked half time for six months helping to prepare the cases,"
says Hogan. "It was an enormous amount of effort."
The state legislature extended the statute of limitations, and the
legal community learned four or five months ago, Hogan says, that
the DEP was planning to contract with an out-of-state plaintiff’s
attorney, "the kind who brings big class actions," with an
eye toward having him prosecute some or all of the cases.
Hogan says that seeking reparations in the vast majority of the 6,000
cases is a bad idea. For one thing, he points out, the "damage"
done to the environment in any number of cases is, in a sense, virtual
damage. No real harm was done. For example, many companies’ discharges
went into ground water that sits under cities. It has never been tapped
as drinking water, and never will be. Damages, he says, would most
likely be calculated based upon the amount of water made unavailable
for drinking because of the discharge of toxins, when, in fact, no
one was ever going to drink that water anyway.
Another reason for going easy on seeking reparations, perhaps surprisingly,
is that, according to Hogan, doing so would be bad for the environment.
New Jersey has had great success in cleaning up brownfields, which
is the term used for abandoned or underutilized commercial or industrial
property that was contaminated by manufacturing by-products or other
discharges. Across the state many brownfields, the legacy of the early
decades of the century, have been reclaimed. Should owners be faced
with paying reparations as well as clean-up costs, Hogan believes
that many would just walk away.
Should the state decide to seek reparations, Hogan would gain some
business by defending some of those faced with making the payments.
But he says it is not work that he looks forward to. "These people
are liable only because of a statute," he says. "They tried
to do the right thing."
Women are busier than ever. This observation, from
Carson of the United Way, has implications for all facets of 21st
century life — from shopping, dining, and travel patterns to eldercare
to the future of the destination shopping mall. It also affects the
volunteer work that traditionally has met myriad community needs.
More women working longer hours at more demanding jobs means fewer
woman-hours available for organizing relief drives, raising money,
and identifying effective community aid programs.
Women who do find time to give are a precious commodity, and Carson’s
organization is eager to sign them on. Toward that end, the United
Way of Greater Mercer is launching a Women’s Leadership Initiative
on Friday, May 9, at 8:30 a.m. at a breakfast at the Nassau Club.
Called Rise and Shine, the meeting features a keynote by
Christopherson, executive director of NJN Public Television and
president of the NJN Foundation. PNC is a sponsor of the event. The
price of admission is two cans of protein-based food (think tuna,
or stew) to be donated to a food bank. Carson encourages women who
cannot make this date, but who want to be involved, to call her at
609-637-4904 for more information.
"We want women to lend perspective and to give us their experience,"
says Carson, a graduate of Rowan College (Class of 1964). "Here’s
an opportunity to form a network and to let women plan, work, and
At its first meeting the Women’s Leadership Initiative, whose co-chairs
are community volunteer
put our heads together," says Carson. In addition, a survey will
be sent to all who are interested, but who are not able to attend.
"By early June we will have the results," she says. Then,
by summer or perhaps in the early fall, depending on everyone’s schedules,
an expert on the chosen issue will be enlisted and will conduct an
While Carson and her steering committee are open to any number of
ideas, she does stress that the United Way stays within its stated
mission. The organization, relying heavily on payroll-deduction contributions
from area employees, concentrates its efforts on funding the work
of groups involved in addressing the needs of children in poverty,
youth at risk, the working poor, and seniors in need.
Once an issue is identified and explored, the Women’s Leadership Initiative
will get busy. But Carson, who is gregarious in a low-key, definitely
non-judgmental way, emphasizes that "no one has to sign up."
Those who do want to get onboard for a particular issue can be most
flexible in the way they help, and in the amount of time they give.
In fact, for a particular issue, the entire group may decide that
the most they can do is give one day a year to painting and sprucing
up in an area in need of a quick makeover. Or perhaps an issue might
trigger the dedication needed to start and staff a mentoring program
or an outreach to members of the community struggling with limited
"The sky’s the limit," declares Carson. "We’ll decide
what is going to meet the need, and then an expanded group of women
will decide what to do."
What if a man should want to join the Women’s Leadership Initiative?
Carson laughs, and encourages any man with a yen to improve his community
to give her agency a call.
The United Way is open to all volunteers. One of the agency’s important,
ongoing needs is for "resource development volunteers." Translation:
fund raisers. "Our biggest challenge is finding people who have
the time to raise money, who like people, and like asking them to
pitch in," says Carson. She adds that not everyone is comfortable
with asking for money.
That’s okay, she says. For those who like people, but who shrink from
hitting them up for donations, there is a need for people to help
the United Way to decide where to invest the contributions it receives,
and to go out and review and monitor the programs selected.
With the United Way for 15 years, Carson, a native of West Windsor,
has also been a teacher in the New York City school system and an
event coordinator in the fashion industry. Extremely sensitive to
the time constraints of those who want to volunteer for their communities,
Carson says she has first-hand experience of the increased demands
of the workplace.
"We went through a down-sizing last year," she says. And while
her agency’s payroll shrunk by 20 percent, its workload did not. "Profits
and non-profits, we’re facing the same thing," she says. Women
who want to help out anyway, and who are looking for an organization
that respects their time, might find the ideal outlet for their skills
at the United Way’s new Women’s Leadership Initiative.
More than 30 teams from Canada, China, and 15 states
are set to participate in this year’s Tour de Sol: The Great American
Green Transportation Festival, which takes place from Saturday through
Wednesday, May 10 through 14, in cities stretching from Trenton through
The festival, free and open to the public, takes place in Trenton
on May 12, moves to Philadelphia on May 13, and to Washington, D.C.
on May 14. In addition, an open house is set in Burlington City on
May 10. On that date, visitors can watch the teams go through pre-event
qualifying tests. For more information call 413-774-6051 or visit
The event showcases all greener modes of transportation that can reduce
oil use and, at the same time, improve the economy and the environment.
Cars, buses, and scooters that reduce gasoline use or that use a domestically-produced
fuel — such as biodiesel, electricity, hydrogen, natural gas,
or propane — will be on display and, in some cases, available
for test rides and drives. Also on display will be programs that promote
the health and quality-of-life benefits of walking, biking, and taking
Among the vehicles competing or exhibiting are those manufactured
by General Motors, Toyota, DaimlerChrysler, Allison Transmission,
and Honda. Some models are already being sold, while others are still
in the planning stages.
In addition to big manufacturers, the event includes some two dozen
university and high school teams as well as individuals who have built
one-of-a-kind experimental vehicles.
The Tour de Sol began in 1989 as a competition for solar-powered racing
vehicles. Over the years, it has expanded to include all greener vehicle
technologies. It is now the largest and longest running environmental
automotive competition in the United States.
The Iraq war saw the use of a sophisticated communications
infrastructure that revolutionized command and control functions,
will tell about the evolution of combat communications at the Society
of Internet Professionals on Wednesday, May 14, at 6 p.m. at the Sarnoff
auditorium on Fisher Place. Cost: $10. Call 215-369-4866.
Lockwood’s discussion will start with hand signals and musical instruments
and progress through more modern devices, such as the telegraph, walkie
talkies, and text messaging.
Lockwood’s interest in military history began at the age of 6, when
his father taught him chess using kings, queens, knights, and castles.
He started reading up on medieval knights, and then graduated to World
War II, "because the local library had more material on it."
A graduate of Syracuse University (Class of 1981), where he studied
journalism and history, Lockwood has written for the New York Times
Information Service, Creative Computing magazine, and Personal Computing
magazine. He also ran Compuserve forums, including AfterHours and
Computer Gaming World, and was editorial director of AT&T’s New Media
Services web division.
Magweb (short for Magazine Web) was founded in 1996 by Lockwood and
his three partners. A compendium of more than 100 magazines on military
history, the company, with offices in Stockton, is self-funded, turned
a profit in 2000, and continues to grow. Lockwood previously spoke
to this group on how content subscriptions can be profitable (U.S.
1, November 7, 2001).
Lockwood’s original business plan included websites for magazines
in a number of niches. He started with military history because, he
says, "if you’re going to be spending 12 hours a day on something,
it helps if you love it." Eighty percent of his subscribers pay
an annual fee to browse such periodicals as American Revolutionary
War Journal, English Civil War Times, Cry Havoc (all historical periods),
Dragonman (history of the Ottoman Empire), Abanderado (Spanish Civil
War history), and the Penny Whistle (military history, games, miniatures
The gauntlet has been thrown down to 500 employers at
Exit 8A, challenging them to unite and establish a reliable transportation
system to get workers to their warehouses. Many of the jobs pay minimum
wage, yet without the availability of public transportation, the workers
must supply their own.
Keep Middlesex Moving has set Thursday, May 15, 8:30 to 11 a.m., for
a free round-table conference on the problem at the New Jersey Principals
and Supervisors Association conference center. Fifteen companies had
signed up for the conference as of last week, about half the capacity
of the conference room. For reservations call
Speakers include moderator
the Middlesex County economic development commission,
of New Jersey Transit,
KMM representatives Fowler and
One attempt to solve the Exit 8A transportation problem was made last
year by the Mercer County Workforce Investment Board. Aided by the
Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, it instigated
a shuttle service from the Hamilton railroad station. Trenton residents
were supposed to take New Jersey Transit from Trenton to Hamilton
and board a bus that would wend its way past Robert Wood Johnson Hospital
at Hamilton to Route 130 to the big box warehouses. "It was intended
to get people to employment opportunities at Exit 8A and to some of
the employment centers, such as Hamilton Marketplace, along Route
which provided start-up support for the project through last August.
"We found most people were using it to get to Hightstown and East
Windsor locations, rather than the longer route to Exit 8A."
Unofficial results show that — at least as far as Exit 8A is concerned,
the Trenton-Hamilton-8A plan was not a roaring success. "Usually
these initiatives are more successful when employers are paying for
it themselves and when they have control over the schedule, the timing,
and the routing," says Brillhart. She points to successful shuttles
in Mercer County, "but they are express services and paid for
with private dollars. Public transportation shuttles make a lot of
stops and it is a long ride to begin with."
Also some temporary staffing firms supply both the workers and the
this (U.S. 1, December 12, 2002). "In the land of big boxes, there
is a strong demand for labor intensive workers and the staffing agencies
generally have to provide the transportation because there is no public
transportation to Cranbury, Dayton, and Monroe."
It’s hard to implement change, says Brown. "Years ago SEPTA ran
a bus to the Philadelphia airport and there were five giant packaging
companies less than two miles from where the bus turned around, but
they wouldn’t add that stop."
Has the web really leveled the playing field? Or has
it just opened the door for global conglomerates to extend their tentacles
into your small market niche? In either case, it is hard to deny that
the consumer and small business owner, hunting for an enormous range
of goods and services, and easily comparing prices and features online,
has become hooked on web shopping. Yet this leaves the small or mid-size
business owner wondering just how he can throw a saddle over this
unbridled, wildly competitive cyber-mart.
Options will be discussed at "Marketing Your Website," a seminar
on Thursday, May 15, at 8:30 a.m. at the Trenton Business and Technology
Center on South Broad Street in Trenton. Cost: $49. Contact 609-989-5232.
Sponsored by the New Jersey Small Business Development Center, this
talk features the NJSBDC’s director of E-business services,
Bender. For a sample of Bender’s own work, go to www.NJSBDC.com
and examine the site he designed. The site also provides a full calendar
and an explanation of the SBDC’s business mentoring, funding, and
other advisory programs aimed at the up and coming entrepreneur.
"The competition on the web is indeed real business competition
— just as fierce, but with a different set of players," says
Bender, "and this is one thing small firms seem to forget."
Helping them remember and crawl along the competitive web has been
Bender’s personal project during his past six years with the Small
Business Development Center.
Born, raised, and still living in Plainfield, Bender trained as a
writer, earning a journalism degree from Rutgers. After working for
Health Foods Magazine, he shifted to AT&T to help create its web communication
system. When the monopoly split, Bender moved to the New Jersey Institute
of Technology’s brand-new web certification program. "They tout
me as one of their rags-to-riches stories," laughs Bender. "But
actually it’s more rags-to- survival." Whatever the label, a mere
four weeks into the course the SBDC offered him an E-business career.
"The web has shifted the sands of every business," Bender
says, "so it becomes merely a question of choosing your best strategy
of business-applicable search engines, authored by Bender, is printed
on the www.NJSBDC.com site under "E-business." Once you’ve
broken the "Google-only" mindset, a world of specialized search
engines, worthy of comparison, unfolds. Some, like Yahoo and LookSmart,
are directories, leading browsers directly to your site by name. Others,
like Google and AltaVista, search via automated crawl systems that
focus on keywords and other points of content. It is imperative to
find out exactly how each engine works and to adjust your site accordingly.
Payment plans differ. Google’s AdSmart charges advertisers based on
cost per click. Others levy a flat fee; but even some of these also
have an underlying per-hit plan. Bender’s puts Yahoo, Inktomi, and
LookSmart on the "must do" list for small companies, with
Google and Alta Vista just behind. In the third tier are AOL, InfoSeek,
Excite, and Lycos.
With the country’s instinctive tilt toward size, notes Bender, many
of the very valuable specific search engines tend to get bypassed.
For example, Lycos specifically aids businesses with market surveys
and Northern Lights has gained a reputation as that last place to
look after you’ve tried all the rest. Industry-specific sites are
ideal for those on a budget — or those with a niche product. They
allow for sending targeted messages to likely customers. Www.SearchEngine
Guide.com lists a wide array of such sites. And yes, you can find
geographically specific sites. Look for them on www.searchenginecolossus.com
new cleaning fluid you’ve just invented in your basement lab. Want
to go head-to-head with Dupont?
Son, you will lose. Bender points out that big companies have a reach
against which the small firm cannot compete. He suggests avoiding
a David and Goliath showdown, suggesting a partnering arrangement
instead. One of the true wonders of the web is that big companies
are open to teaming up with complementary small companies.
Successful web designers know that, on the web, a teach-before-you-pitch
technique works best. Every business now is striving to make its site
the one potential customers turn to first for information. Big vendors
desperately want to become the one-stop shopping site in their business,
the place that provides encyclopedic information along with a full
array of products. If your new cleaning fluid takes care of spills
no other cleanser can handle, and if you can provide examples of problem
stains, along with techniques to banish them, you may be able to get
a link from a high-profile housewares or hardware chain website, or
even a little real estate right on the site.
can link up with others — and thereby gain much greater visibility
than it might attract on its own. Obviously Lillian Vernon does not
manufacture every kabob basket, floating cooler, and pet welcome sign
for sale in its online catalog. Rather, a large number of small businesses
have combined their products under a popular umbrella.
Other possibilities for winning through aggregation include product
or service advertisements on the websites of professional groups or
chambers of commerce. Often as not, the groups welcome the energy
of an aggressive marketer who will work to enrich everybody.
In joining with others, companies often fear that they will be touting
their competition at their own expense. Typically, this does not happen.
One of the area’s oldest horizontally linked websites belongs to the
state library system. Founded two decades ago as the South Middlesex
County Automation Consortium, each of its three largest member libraries
received a 20 percent annual boost in circulation the year they linked
together their interlink. Now that the system has gone statewide,
circulation continues to rise significantly despite a stable state
population. The lesson is that easing access enriches all.
industry, loan companies, and every raw materials producer in the
commodities market. Simply gather on a single site, and wait for bids
to roll in. This tactic has even boosted sales for the hard-hit airline
industry. Even sole practitioners offering a service can benefit from
an auction website. Elance (www.elance.com), for example, aggregates
grant writers, electrical engineers, word processors, tax attorneys,
web designers, and scores of other professionals, who get the attention
of businesses and individuals looking for expertise on a per-project
Bender suggests that they first critically examine products and services.
"You’ve got to make sure that the public wants what you are selling,"
he says. Simple as this back-to-basic business maxim sounds, there
are kaput E-commerce firms that forgot it, and live on only as abandoned
websites, floating aimlessly and forever in a cyber graveyard.
— Bart Jackson
They have lost our trust. Headlines tell of accountants
who sold $47 million of bogus tax shelters to Sprint, and now that
company’s stock is worth less than its tax bill. And Enron. Well,
suffice it to say that the energy-trading company’s name has entered
the vernacular as a synonym for shady dealings, and the accounting
firm that audited it is no more. These high- profile cases have put
a good number of accountants on the defensive. Can the accounting
profession convince a wary public that 99.9 percent of all who practice
the profession are honest and independent-minded? The New Jersey Society
of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) is working to restore that
Exactly what state law and personal morality require of all accountants
is the subject of the "New Jersey Law and Ethics Seminar,"
which takes place on Friday, May 16, at 8:30 a.m. at the Douglass
College Student Center in New Brunswick. Cost: $189. Register online
at www.NJSCPA.com or at 973-226-4494.
Sponsored by the Middlesex-Somerset chapter of the NJSCPA, a four-hour
course like this one is, as of January 1, mandated for every licensed
accountant in the Garden State. This one, run by
president of Morristown-based Kieley Capital Management (973-455-1894),
will involve 50 to 100 attendees. A similar course is sponsored by
the Mercer chapter on the same day at the Mercer College Conference
Kieley urges all New Jersey CPAs to take this course well before the
three-year limit. The NJSCPA will even hold in-house courses for firms
of 15 or more. Those who leave it to the last semester of 2005, he
warns, will find all the seminars full; and simply put, no one will
make it into 2006 as a licensed CPA without it.
"I am an accountant," says Kieley, whose practice is based
in Morristown. "It does clients no good to whine. I am just the
scorekeeper. I will not drive their getaway car." This breath
of ethical fresh air comes from a personal tax accountant who Worth
Magazine has listed among its best investment counselors for four
years running, and Accounting Magazine has honored among its top picks
twice. He has taught accounting at Rutgers University for 10 years.
After graduating from Rozelle Park High School, Kieley found himself
serving aboard a destroyer in Vietnam, where he spent downtime teaching
himself about mutual funds. After his tour was over, he went to night
school at Upsala, earning a degree in accounting. It was there, in
his money and banking class, that Kieley met another young accountant,
Yvonne, whom he was later to join both in wedlock and in business.
Continuing night classes, he gained an MBA in finance from Rutgers
University. "The first time I stepped into a daytime classroom,"
he laughs, "they called me professor."
"Rather than a four-hour lecture on morality," says Kieley,
"our members need to know the whole raft of state statutes that
somehow get skipped in college and later training." One fascinating
example he points out is that a CPA who fails to keep up with continuing
education courses can have his license quietly revoked. In this circumstance,
he could be advertising himself as an accountant when he is not, making
him guilty of fraud, and eligible for a stretch in prison. NJSCPA
past president Polito, who has had a great deal of input in this pilot
seminar, hastens to add that it mirrors all recent S.E.C. and federal
But beyond these older, if sometimes forgotten, statues loom ethical
gray areas that circle around client, accountant, government regulators.
between an accountant and his client are initiated by clients who
either don’t have the wherewithal to pay, or who are convinced that
their CPA should have worked harder. One’s taxes, so goes the myth,
are determined solely by the quality of one’s accounting team. If
they’re good enough, they can make the whole bill simply vanish in
a cloud of deductions. This is not true, but there are a number of
executives who come storming into their accountant’s office shaking
what they consider to be an unacceptably high tax bill.
Then, in a paper chase standoff, the angered client withholds payment,
and the accountant withholds vital documents, which he neither files
nor returns. At that point, the law steps in. Legally, an accountant
may not withhold documents. However, he may charge his client hefty
interest on the bill, and any IRS payments and penalties still stand.
(Note: unfinished documents, like an unsigned tax form, can be withheld.)
muddied when the SEC or IRS raises questions and everyone runs to
hide behind a scapegoat. Suppose a construction firm wants to deduct
the cost of certain new equipment and depreciate other equipment.
The company accountant prepares and signs the return. Later, the IRS
questions the deductions and the depreciation schedule. It penalizes
the construction firm, and even accuses it of fraud.
Now the finger pointing begins. The owner brings a negligence charge
against his accountant. "He’s my accountant," claims the owner.
"He should have told me this depreciation was outside the rules."
The accountant responds with "Hey, I just crunch the numbers.
If he wants to take an on-the-edge flyer, that’s his gamble."
Usually, Kieley notes, ultimate responsibility rests on the business
owner — the person who wanted to take the deductions and depreciate
the equipment, not the accountant who should have warned him. However,
he adds, "both sides here should err well on the side of caution,
and together examine the slightest possible red flag."
the insolence of office and the law’s delay, today’s business owner
might well add to the list of universal annoyances the overwhelming
tide of sluggishly-processed numbers. Our government, while so slow
in returning tax refunds, is Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to collecting
multiple kinds of taxes. Late payment penalties pile up quickly.
Whose fault is it that the forms were not signed and filed: the grieving
widow who is too upset to look at papers from her late-husband’s business
right away? The bank executor who takes his cut, but forgets his duty?
Or the accountant who didn’t crack the whip on them — and himself?
Deciding just who is responsible for delays that can cost tens of
thousands of dollars in taxes has made many an attorney a lot richer.
Fifteen thousand of New Jersey’s 17,000 CPAs belong to NJSCPA. In
addition to holding its members responsible for following state law,
this association employs a higher, more stringent set of professional
standards. But in the end ethics must be more than the fear of being
caught. Kieley insists that in the case of those high-profile scandals,
the accounting firms "needed to strap on their spines, refuse
to indulge in a con, and just honestly pay the tax bill." Yes,
the accounting profession will recover from the current black eyes,
he believes, "but it will take integrity; simply doing our job
honestly, not because the law threatens us, but because it is right."
— Bart Jackson
The 20th Annual Tribute to Women 2003 Achievement Awards
reception and dinner (formerly known as TWIN) is Thursday, May 8,
at 5:15 p.m. at the Princeton Hyatt. Cost: $100. Call 609-497-2100,
extension 333, for last minute reservations.
The YWCA has assembled a stellar array of women to honor for their
professional and community contributions; this year’s list includes
at the Medical Center at Princeton (and also the spouse of Representative
Rush Holt), as well as two other Medical Center physicians,
Sieglen (chair of the anesthesiology department) and
(medical director of the Merwick unit. The legal profession is represented
pharmaceutical arena is represented by
of human resources for Bracco Diagnostics, and
vice president of finance for Janssen Pharmaceutica.
of Merrill Lynch represents the financial sector.
(of the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton) and
(of the Arts Council of Princeton) represent the nonprofit arena.
Women in education include the president of the College of New Jersey,
Regional Schools board; and
chair of Stuart Country Day School. A chaplain at Princeton University,
This year’s group is surely the first to feature two librarians. The
The mayor of Princeton Township,
list, as are two executives in state government,
deputy superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, and
M. Johnson, an attorney directing legal and regulatory affairs
at the New Jersey Department of Health.
<d>Katherine Kish of Market Entry seeks sponsorships
for the National Conference for Community and Justice dinner on Thursday,
May 15, at the Doral Forrestal. Sponsors contribute $1,500 for a table
for 10 and an ad page in the program, and other categories of giving
include "supporter" (four seats for $500) and contributor
(two seats, $250). Call
The evening supports an historic group (formerly National Conference
of Christians and Jews) fighting bias, bigotry and racism and working
closely with young people, says Kish, who co-chairs the event with
a diversity award, as will Educational Testing Service, represented
Sponsors so far include Eden Institute Foundation, and the supporter
of Companies, Shiloh Baptist Church, and Wegmans Food Markets.
holds its sixth annual dinner dance, "A Capital Affair," at
the Princeton Hyatt. The event raises substantial sums for Capital
Health System programs. In 2002 the foundation provided $25,000 to
the system’s nursing program in support of continuing nursing education;
funded CUNA Program, which provides support, guidance, and direction
for new mothers; and provided $2.4 million for the purchase of a new
This year Capital Health Foundation is offering tables at its May
17 fundraiser for between $2,500 and $10,000. It is also offering
sponsorship opportunities for between $3,500 and $10,000.
on Monday, June 2, at both the Cherry Valley and Bedens Brook country
clubs. Following a buffet luncheon, an 18-hole shotgun start is at
12:30 p.m., followed by cocktails, appetizers, and dinner. Sponsorships
start at $750, and a foursome costs $1,400, or $350 for an individual
Major patrons are Fleet Bank, Johnson & Johnson — NCS, Johnson
& Johnson Consumer Companies, and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.
Proceeds will benefit programs in Mercer and Middlesex counties. Call
The New Jersey Business/Industry/Science Consortium
(NJ BISEC) and
Education Grant Program. The program is open to teachers of grades
K-5 and 6-9 who teach in PSE&G’s service area. Teachers who can successfully
link their students’ understanding of math, science, computer science,
and/or technology concepts with enthusiasms and appreciation for the
environment are encouraged to apply.
Applications that focus on the development of one or more classroom
units, the expansion of an existing course or curriculum, or the extension
of classroom work to community or after-school activities will be
PSE&G/NJ BISEC Environmental Education Grants provide funding to carry
out the project for up to two years. Grants are available in amounts
of up to $3,500, and may be used to purchase materials and equipment,
take field trips, and develop curriculum-related activities.
The grant application deadline is Monday, June 2, and awards will
be announced in September. For more information and an application
Celebrities from television, stage, sports, politics,
academe, and literature will be lending their support to
for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) for the nonprofit organization’s
ninth annual National Record-A-Thon. The New Jersey Unit of RFB&D
(www.rfbdnj.org), located in a new facility at 69 Mapleton Road (at
St. Joseph’s Seminary), is celebrating this event from Monday to Saturday,
May 12 to 17. Hours are Monday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30
p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Record-A-Thon
opening ceremony/studio grand opening takes place on May 12 at 1 p.m.,
and the studio will be open to the public for tours during Record-A-Thon
Founded in 1948 to serve veterans blinded in World War II, RFB&D is
the nation’s first and largest nonprofit organization to provide recorded
textbooks to students in kindergarten through graduate school with
disabilities such as blindness or severe dyslexia. RFB&D serves 117,000
students nationwide, including 5,000 students in New Jersey.
Celebrity readers join the 500 regular volunteers at the New Jersey
Unit who lend their time to record textbooks and other academic materials
for students who cannot read standard print effectively because of
a disability. Over the course of the New Jersey Unit’s Record-A-Thon,
volunteers expect to double the week’s regular production, increasing
the number of books available in RFB&D’s "learning through listening"
library in the organization’s national headquarters at 20 Roszel Road.
This event, the unit’s major fundraiser, is also designed to raise
awareness of the services RFB&D offers to students throughout the
"We could not sustain our operation without the support of all
the volunteers and local celebrities who believe as we do that education
is a right, not a privilege," says
executive director of the New Jersey unit of RFB&D. "The work
our volunteers do requires a great deal of training and focus, but
we take great satisfaction in knowing that every book we record represents
another step forward for a student trying to meet his or her educational
Recorded textbooks from RFB&D are unique because they are the only
recorded textbooks that include full and complete descriptions of
all graphic elements within a book, including pictures, photographs,
charts, maps and graphs. Because of the complex and advanced nature
of many of the titles requested by RFB&D members, regular recording
volunteers are required to have a level of expertise in the fields
they are assigned to read.
"Because not everyone has the skills or the desire to read textbooks,
we offer a variety of volunteer positions at our studio that allow
people to get involved in other areas of our work," says Boon.
"We’re proud of our new recording facility. We welcome people
who want to participate in our work and who share our commitment to
making education accessible for students with disabilities." For
more information, call 609-750-1830.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.