Corrections or additions?
These articles were prepared for the May 11, 2005
issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Buying new construction can be like purchasing the proverbial pig in a
poke, because you don’t really know what you are getting until the
house is built. Does the cellar flood or the roof leak in a heavy
rain? Will the house settle, leaving cracks in the wall?
Some new homes do turn out to be duds, and – warranty or no warranty –
the victims of unscrupulous or incompetent builders face a legal
ordeal that can sap their time and drain their finances.
On Monday, May 9, Acting Governor Richard J. Codey responded to an
indepth investigation into shoddy and deficient construction
practices, lax regulatory oversight, and poor remediation options for
By executive order, every owner of a new home will receive a
Department of Community Affairs (DCA) pamphlet that explains how to
protect their warranty rights. The booklet is to be mailed within four
months of the closing date.
In addition, homeowners will be able to go to a DCA website for
information on claims against builders, industry standard guides,
housing codes, inspection information, and warranty rights. Said Codey
in a press release: "This executive order affords homeowners new
rights and protections and helps restore consumer confidence."
If a problem develops, the current drawn-out series of arbitration
meetings will be replaced by a single arbitration hearing. Instead of
the homeowner receiving money to repair the defects, the arbitration
will focus on actually getting the defects repaired. "The
method-of-repair standard should be the repair necessary to restore
the home to ‘as new’ condition and place the residence in compliance
with applicable codes and industry standards," says a press release.
To forestall any potential ethics problems, arbitrators who are
handling major structural or fire safety defect claims must be
licensed as architects or professional engineers and specifically
qualified in residential construction technology. If they are
operating under a private warranty plan, they must prove they are free
from conflicts of interest.
If a code violation is found after a new home has received a
certificate of occupancy, the builder must pay for the municipal
The New Jersey Builders Association supported this initiative.
Smoke, gas, and carbon monoxide are well-known household hazards. But
because electrical safety hazards are less often in the public eye,
homeowners are less apt to be aware of them. Nevertheless, they pose a
serious risk to health and well-being. According to the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 411 people were accidentally
electrocuted, 500 were killed, and 5,000 were injured in electrical
fires during 2001, the last year for which statistics were available.
Many of these accidents can, however, be prevented.
During May, Electrical Safety Month, the Leviton Institute, the
educational arm of Little Neck, New York-based Leviton Manufacturing
Company, urges consumers to conduct an electrical safety inspection.
Look for overloaded circuits, cracked switches and outlets and those
that are hot to the touch, frayed or worn electrical cords,
improperly-rated extension cords, extension cords used for permanent
connections, and those that are run under carpet and appliances where
they can’t be seen or inspected. The Leviton Institute also urges
consumers to make sure they have GFCIs (ground fault circuit
interrupters) installed in areas where water and electricity are
likely to come in contact.
GFCIs protect against the risk of ground fault shock hazard. A ground
fault can occur when current leaks from an electrical circuit through
damaged or incorrect wiring, or from a defective appliance, such as a
coffee maker, shaver or hairdryer. If you are in contact with this
appliance and something’s that connected to ground, such as a metal
faucet or cold water pipe, this can be a potentially lethal
GFCIs don’t last forever. To test a GFCI, plug a lamp or radio into
the GFCI outlet. Turn on the lamp or radio. Push the test button on
the GFCI. If it is working properly, the GFCI will trip and power to
the lamp or radio will be cut off. If power did not go off when you
pushed the TEST button, there is an electrical problem and protection
may be compromised. At this point, you should contact a licensed
electrical contractor and have the device replaced.
The New Jersey Bar Association points out that buying or selling a
home is a major transaction. Because the transfer of property in New
Jersey is very complicated, there are many serious problems that might
crop up when you are buying or selling real estate. For example:
Clear title problems. Missing heirs, forgers, invalid divorces,
irregular foreclosures, and other unexpected complications can leave
the legal ownership of the property up in the air, even though the
deed appears to transfer full title. The seller’s title to the
property may be burdened with mortgages, easements, unpaid taxes, or
Hidden defects. You may not be able to determine personally beforehand
whether the property has any serious physical defects like water
conditions, structural problems, inadequate electrical wiring, termite
infestation, or radon contamination.
Boundary issues. The description or survey of the property may be
either inadequate or incorrect. You may be acquiring less property
than you think you are. Furthermore, deed or zoning restrictions may
prevent you from using the property as you would like.
Misunderstandings. All important details of the transaction may not be
included in the contract of sale. Even if you have verbally agreed
upon an item, if it’s left out of the contract, it’s unenforceable.
A carefully-drawn contract of sale can ensure that many of the above
problems will not haunt a home buyer. A contract of sale is the most
important piece of paper involved in any real estate transaction
because it sets the rights and responsibilities of the purchaser and
The contract may be called a binder, a broker’s agreement, a
memorandum of sale, or a deposit receipt. Whatever it’s called, if the
paper contains the essential parts of a contract, it is a legal
contract of sale. After this is signed, no further "formal" or "legal"
contract is needed to bind you. From then on, any dispute between the
buyer and seller will be settled by referring to the provisions of the
The parties to a real estate contract prepared by a licensed real
estate broker have three business days to have the contract reviewed
by their respective attorneys. The attorney can have the contract
amended or even cancel the contract provided that the attorney is
afforded the opportunity to review the contract and consult with you
in a timely fashion.
An attorney can help get answers to questions concerning termite,
structural, and radon inspections, the zoning status of the property,
restrictions on property use, and property insurance. He may also help
with your mortgage commitment and explaining your prepayment rights,
and will often order and then review the survey and all title searches
that will define the description, location, and legal ownership of the
Unless the computer on your desktop is a Macintosh, you probably have
never even considered anything other than Bill Gates’ and Microsoft’s
ubiquitous Windows to make your PC run.
But there is an alternative – free of charge – and there is even a
group to help explain it all: The LUG/IP (Linux Users Group in
Princeton) meets Wednesday, May 11, at 7 p.m. at the Lawrence Library
for a panel discussion on "The Open CD." The meeting is free and open
to the public. For information visit www.lugip.org.
The users group describes Linux as "an alternative to using the
Microsoft Windows operating system. Linux can be made to appear
similar to Windows, for those who are used to their desktop formats,
but it will out-perform the sometimes unstable MS product."
The Linux users are also proponents of open source software: "When
programmers can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a
piece of software, the software evolves. People improve it, people
adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one
is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems
According to a statement from the Linux users group, "those in the
open source community have learned that this rapid evolutionary
process produces better software than the traditional closed model, in
which only a very few programmers can see the source and everybody
else must blindly use an opaque block of bits."
For more views on open source software (OSS) see the preview of the
Thursday, May 19, meeting of the New Jersey Technology Council
seminar, beginning on page 11.
We know how to get there; we just don’t know where to go. Twenty years
ago, the business crisis was inadequately-trained managers. Faced with
global growth, companies pined for executives who could adapt,
negotiate, and compete on a worldwide scale. In answer, MBA schools
rolled up their sleeves, repackaged their curricula, and the corporate
realm quickly got all the properly trained managers it required. They
knew how to guide their firms anywhere.
But today’s business crisis is leaders. There is a need for people
with the vision to point us in the right direction. Can this more
ephemeral quality be met by yet another MBA skillset shift, or must
company owners seek it out and foster it on site? These issues are on
the table at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s "Spring
Leadership Forum" on Thursday, May 12, at 8 a.m. at the Harrison
Conference Center on Scudders Mill Road. Cost $50. Call 609-924-1776
or visit www. PrincetonChamber.org.
Michael Hierl, CEO of Princeton’s Pacesetter Group, moderates.
Featured speakers include James Hyman, president of the Hopewell
Community Bank; Joseph P. Teti, CEO of Triangle Reprocenters; and
Janet Lasley, founder of Lasley Construction.
It was 66 years ago that Teti’s father, Joseph L. Teti, opened the
first Triangle arts supply store in Trenton. "He put it there because
in those days Trenton was the center of the universe. Later as
Princeton became the shining star, we moved up here." Today the third
generation has entered into managing Triangle’s 15 stores. Teti’s son,
John Paul, is assistant to the president. His daughter, Gianine, works
in customer service. Joseph’s own sister, Kathlene, acts as treasurer,
and her daughter works in outside sales. Yet success in Triangle is
scarcely all relative.
Teti is always on the lookout for capable new leadership talent. He
admits that he seeks leaders endowed both by nature and nurture; a mix
of learned skills and inherent traits.
Entrepreneurial spirit. While difficult to define, Teti finds this
trait easy to spot. His company includes 11 franchise branches, and he
says that most of the franchise owners have been working class people,
with no family role models of ownership or management. "At the same
time," he says, "their abilities were great and we had not enough
slots in house to hold their ambition."
This is a company owner’s most delicate dilemma. How is it possible to
let the leader forge ahead on his own, yet keep him bound enough to
the firm to bring the others along with him? For Triangle, the
franchise option has proved an excellent solution.
Urge to please. This may not fit the swashbuckling image of America’s
legendary capitalists, but for both Triangle’s Teti and Hopewell
Community Bank’s Hyman it is a top leadership attribute. "Each
individual, whether employee or customer, is unique," says Hyman.
"Each must be motivated in a different way. And a leader has to have
the interpersonal skills to do it."
Hyman experienced leadership in the raw as a sailor in the Vietnam War
in the late 1960s. Returning to finish his political science degree
from Rutgers in l972 after his military tour, he entered the field of
banking, where he has remained for the past 40 years. When this
Scottish immigrant, son of a plumber, speaks of pleasing, he does not
envision some cringing executive. "Pleasing people entails being able
to quickly deliver the service or idea that suits them, on time at
your own price."
Accuracy. The larger the business, the more important the details
become. A good business leader constantly absorbs enormous numbers of
facts on which he bases his decisions. The more precise his knowledge,
the better not only his decisions, but those of all the staff. A
passion for accuracy is contagious, Teti says, and it comes from the
Inherent in this striving for accuracy is the ability to carefully
select and delegate to able individuals. If he truly is a leader, the
executive will acknowledge his own weaknesses and surround himself
with experts who can fill in the necessary skills.
Initiative. Annual reviews can bring up the employee mantra: "But I’ve
done everything you’ve asked. What more do you want?" Neither Hyman
nor Teti are seeking the individual who just performs all the tasks or
does his job by rote. "A leader must be able to maneuver within
policy, reason his way through to a solution, and do it on his feet,"
As a final thought, Teti ticks off the obvious, but unfortunately rare
skills that an outstanding leader possesses – an absorbing interest in
the business, ability to meet deadlines, a non-threatening, congenial
persona, and just plain hard work.
"Not everyone has to lead others as an executive," says Teti, "but
everyone can exhibit leadership qualities – being there physically and
mentally, at their best, five days a week."
– Bart Jackson
When the word "networking" comes up, most people’s reactions are not
so different from those of Donna Mugavero’s MBA students in business
communications at the Rutgers Graduate School of Management. They’ve
heard that networking is something they’re supposed to do, but the
whole idea makes them uncomfortable. They may be shy, fear rejection,
or just not feel up to the task. Yet networking is essential, not only
to finding a job – Mugavero estimates that 70 to 80 percent of all
jobs come through networking – but also to advancing within a company
and even simply finding help with the mundane tasks of life.
Mugavero defines networking as "building and nurturing personal and
professional relationships to create a system of information,
contacts, and supports." For her, the key to networking is building
mutually beneficial relationships. This is contrary to the widespread
– but erroneous – ideas expressed about it by her students. They
perceive networking as trying to get something from somebody, and they
tell her they hate to call someone and ask for favors. She tells them
that there is "always a give and take." Not only are you part of
someone else’s network, but they are part of yours.
Mugavero speaks on "Networking – Learn to Love It!" on Thursday, May
12, at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at Tinton Falls. The event is
sponsored by the Central Jersey Women’s Network. Cost: $44. Call
According to Mugavero, networking is typically used in four contexts –
on a personal level, among colleagues and superiors at a current job,
for making sales, and for job seeking.
To illustrate the personal side, Mugavero relates the story of a
friend whose daughter asked her for information about getting a
mortgage. Her mom soon got back to her with the help she needed, and
the daughter responded in surprise: "I can’t believe you just know all
this stuff." The mom’s wise return was "you know, honey, I don’t know
all this stuff, but I know a lot of women who know all this stuff." By
maintaining a web of personal contacts, her mom and many other
plugged-in networkers are usually able to find any help they need.
Internal networking within a company or organization is critical for a
person’s advancement. It involves meeting people in various levels and
departments in a personal way – what a lot of people call "shmoozing."
This includes having upper management know your name and face. In many
companies, says Mugavero, for promotions, special projects, raises,
and ratings, the more people who know you and know about you – even if
you met at a softball game – the better. They remember you at
evaluation time and can also provide information you may need to do
your job. But, she cautions, "it’s about more than being nice to
people; it’s about making sure to develop relationships that work both
Networking is also important for the business owner and salesperson,
and is invaluable for the job hunter.
Mugavero finds that, aside from networking naturals, many people don’t
realize the importance of networking. And even if they do, they often
either don’t know how to do it or don’t like to. For these people,
Mugavero has a few suggestions:
Start small. When you go to company or industry events, set a small,
doable goal. For example, "go to the event thinking, ‘I’ll get into a
conversation with one new person.’" That’s not too daunting, and
success is likely. Then at the next event, try for two, then maybe
three or four. Setting a small goal and succeeding, she observes,
"gives us the confidence to keep doing it."
Be knowledgeable about a few things. Many people tell Mugavero they
don’t know what to talk about. She suggests being knowledgeable about
current events, sports, popular movies, and books. "The more things
you can get into a conversation about, the more comfortable you are."
Become really good at questioning. "Collect questions that work for
you – things that you know are good conversation starters," she says,
suggesting that good questions are reusable. At a company picnic you
might ask people how long they’ve worked for the company or what
projects they have worked on. At a social event, you can ask how they
know the host. A good all-around question is: Do you have any
vacations planned? Who doesn’t like to talk about vacations?
"We like to talk about ourselves," says Mugavero. "You can appear to
be a great conversationalist if you have a lot of questions. You can
keep the conversation going and don’t have to talk a lot."
Create a 30-second introduction. Be prepared with what is basically a
canned introduction of what you’re looking for and what your skills
are. If you want help, know what you’re asking for and be able to
express it concisely. "You need to have this down pat, so that you
don’t stumble," she advises. With this information at your finger
tips, you can take advantage of any unexpected encounters that might
lead to a job.
Make your introduction distinctive. Mugavero tells of a friend who is
a financial planner and is always on the lookout for a client. At
meetings she uses the following opener to introduce herself: "I make
dreams happen. I work with clients to find out what their dreams are
and help them build financial plans to get them there." Suppose
another financial planner at the same meeting introduced herself with
"I’m a financial planner and I work for XYZ Company." Which person
would people tend to remember?
Have a business card. Even if you’re not working, it’s easy to have a
business card made at Staples, a print center, or on the ‘Net that
includes your name and contact information. "If someone is meeting a
lot of people and pulls a card out the next day, they’ll remember if
they have made a commitment," says Mugavero.
Follow up. Don’t wait until you really need to follow up. "If someone
has offered to pass along your information, to give you contacts, or
to chat about their industry, job, or company, following up in a
couple of days is important," she says. Don’t wait until you really
Plan informational interviews. "Networking when job seeking is not
only important for contacts," she says. If you are thinking about
moving to a different industry, "it is helpful to meet with someone in
that industry and find out how your skills will transfer."
When you do manage to schedule an informational interview, she has a
few words of advice: (1) Be prepared. "If someone is giving you one of
their more precious things – their time – don’t go in shooting the
breeze," she says. Have specific questions ready. (2) Stick to what
you came for. If you asked for an informational interview, then that’s
what it should be. Don’t ask for a job or contacts. (3) Be mindful of
the time. If you asked for a half hour, don’t go overtime. The person
should remember meeting you as a pleasant experience. (4) Send a
thank-you. A quick E-mail is fine.
Mugavero owns a marketing communications business and works as a
consultant for Shared Learning, a Branchburg-based company that
focuses on communication issues in the workplace. She came to her
networking expertise when her students started asking questions about
it, and she added it to her course.
Mugavero received a B.S. in computer science from Montclair State
College and an M.B.A. from Seton Hall University. She is a member of
the Board of Governors for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at
Rahway, a board member of the Interfaith Council for the Homeless of
Union County, a charter member of the New Jersey Chapter of the Women
Presidents Organization (WPO), and a member of the Executive Women of
New Jersey (EWNJ).
Mugavero’s final recommendation is to "be known as a networker."
Networking is a two-way street, and she suggests being on the giving
end first. One way to do that is to take a minute and jot down a few
notes when you meet new people. If you know of a great contact for
someone, let them know. If you see an article that would interest
someone, send it.
If you’re known as someone who helps others, says Mugavero, eventually
you’ll be able to get the help and information you need.
– Michele Alperin
Cynthia Palka says that most people don’t understand that they use
values to make decisions. But they should. Understanding the
connection between the two can help you make smarter decisions,
achieve balance, and decrease stress around future decision-making.
Palka was scheduled to describe how to best bring values into the
decision-making process on Tuesday, May 17, before the Central Jersey
Women’s Network. The meeting was canceled at the last minute, but
Palka’s talk, on "Mastering Change from the Inside Out: Using Core
Values to Make Smart Choices," will be rescheduled in the fall. Call
908-281-9234 or check www.cjwn.org.
A certified empowerment coach, Palka is president of Future Map, a
professional coaching and consulting firm based in Endicott, New York
(www.futuremapinc.com). She is convinced that anyone can discover how
what they think and feel on the inside (their core values) influences
what they do on the outside (their decision-making).
Each person has a different level of awareness. Some people are very
aware of who they are, why they’re here, what their gifts are, and
what their purpose is. Other people just can’t go there – and it’s
enough for them just to make it through the day, get the job done, and
manage the house and pay the bills.
"Life coaches help people become aware of what’s going on inside
themselves," says Palka. "I help people go inside their heads. I ask a
lot of questions to help them get in touch with what they’re thinking
and how they feel about their life. I help them think about things
differently and shift their perspective."
If that sounds similar to therapy, it’s because there’s a thin line
between therapy and life coaching, with some therapists beginning to
add coaching to their practices.
"Therapy typically focuses on your past," says Palka. "Emotional
baggage can prevent you from making the changes you want to make. Life
coaching is very present and future-focused; it starts with who you
are today. Like a therapist, we ask questions about the past because
each of us is a product of our experience. But our focus is on the
present and the future."
A more appropriate comparison, according to Palka, would be to a
personal trainer. They don’t do the exercise for you, but rather they
provide knowledge, a roadmap, and emotional support. A life coach is
like a personal trainer who helps you make changes in other parts of
Palka was certified in coaching by the Institute of Professional
Empowerment Coaching (IPEC) and is a member of the International Coach
Federation (ICF). She holds a BS in chemistry from Canisius College in
Buffalo and a earned an MS in chemistry from Princeton in 1995. A
former West Windsor resident, she lives with her husband and two sons
in upstate New York.
She started her career as a chemist with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in
Monmouth Junction, where she worked full-time, attended graduate
school three times a week, and tended to a newborn. She is familiar
with making life-changing decisions, having left a Ph.D. program at
SUNY Buffalo to get married and have a baby, and then switched
careers, and started her own company.
"Look at my life transitions, from chemistry to executive recruiting
to life coaching. It took me a long time but if you’re aware it makes
the journey a lot easier."
Palka’s husband, Joseph, is currently undergoing his own transition.
Having worked for Baker Environment for a dozen years, he did what
Palka calls the inner/outer work to decide what he really valued doing
in life. He’s now going to school to become a math teacher.
"I define values," says Palka, "as experiences that you need to have
in order for life to be meaningful and satisfying for you. So the
things that we value are the things that we do and the things that
show up in our lives. So if you say your family is a value, tell me
how you demonstrate that in your life."
About decision-making itself, Palka says people get stressed out
because they don’t understand what they’re basing their decision on.
"Most of the time, we only look at the pain of our current situation,
not the gain of the future," she says. "If the decision is to quit
smoking, you know that smoking is bad for your health. You know what
you would gain if you quit. It’s enlightening for people to take a
close look at ‘the gain’ of their current behavior. Most people don’t
do that, but if we weren’t gaining something, we wouldn’t be doing it.
For instance, many smokers use smoking as a way to socialize. But if
they could find a way to socialize without smoking, you wouldn’t need
to smoke anymore."
Palka encourages clients to face down the pain of taking an action by
writing everything down in one of four quadrants, pain/gain juxtaposed
with a current/future action. "It gets all the fears out on the table.
Once you have everything down on paper, you can make a fully informed
decision on whether to change the behavior or situation." It helps
people find different ways to keep the gain without the pain.
According to Palka, there are five things that stop us from making
changes in our lives. The first are external circumstances – things
that affect your life at any given time that you just can’t change.
The other four are all in your head:
"Life coaches help people deal with the fears, the assumptions, the
interpretations and the limiting beliefs that are associated with
change," she says. "Then we help them figure out their goals and how
to make the changes they decide they want to make."
Sometimes decisions are hard to make simply because we don’t
understand at that moment what we value more. "Many times we are
forced to make a decision between two things we value – like attending
the 5 p.m. business meeting or making our child’s soccer game," she
gives as an example. "Once people realize that they’re trying to make
a decision between two things that are both important to them, it
relieves the stress. Because no matter what they decide, it’s
something they value!"
"Life coaches look at people as perfect – as creative, resourceful,
and whole with the ability to make the changes they want to make,"
says Palka. "They just need help figuring out how to do that."
– Fran Ianacone
Which technologies will drive a massive resurgence in innovation over
the next decade? Which will transform or kill entire new industries –
or spawn new ones?
CEOs, CIOs, CFOs, and CTOs get answers at the New Jersey Technology
Council seminar, "What’s Next in IT – Technology in Perspective," on
Thursday, May 19, at 4 p.m. at Automatic Data Processing headquarters
at 2 Journal Square in Jersey City. Speakers include Rick Pinto of
Princeton-based Stevens & Lee at 600 College Road East; Jacob George
of Yash Technologies, who speaks on security issues; Rajiv Bawa of
IBM, who speaks on software as services; and Bill Puig of Multimedia
Solutions, who addresses Internet marketing. Cost: $40. Call
Ben Reytblat, CEO of software service company, CE Dev, short for
Cost-Effective Development, a company with offices at 87 Saratoga
Drive in Princeton Junction, represents the open source technology
"I’ll try to get a feel for how many members of the audience are
familiar with open source and define what it is and why they should
care," he says. "There are a lot of business people from small to
medium-sized companies and start-ups who might not be aware that there
is an alternative point of view from that of Redmond," he adds, naming
the Microsoft’s home town.
Open source software programs are those with licenses that give users
the freedom to run the software or operating programs for any purpose
– to study, discuss, repair, modify, and tinker – without having to
pay royalties to proprietary-based companies, like Microsoft.
Proprietary-based companies typically require permission and a hefty
fee any time the user – who doesn’t own but merely leases the
technology – needs to make modifications.
The open source movement has been building momentum in the techie
world – the same culture that brought you the Internet and the World
Wide Web – for almost 20 years. Open source is finally breaking out
into the commercial world, and while larger companies tend to be more
focused on risk-aversion and not as "open" to an open source
solutions, smaller companies are generally more willing to take risks
on newer technology. That’s where open source advantages really shine.
"Even though executives may be exposed to it at work and their kids
may be using it at school, most probably don’t realize that open
source solutions are cheaper to acquire and cheaper to support," says
Reytblat. "Cost is the elephant in the room. We have found that open
source is one of the best ways to use your budget as efficiently as
possible, while giving you the most control possible over your
Reytblat started CE Dev with his wife, Susan, two years ago. He holds
a BA in mathematics from the University of Illinois, and an MS in
computer science from Rutgers. Having lived in New Jersey since 1980,
Reytblat worked for 10 years at AT&T Laboratories, teaching computer
architecture and languages. Traveling around the country, he taught
Bell engineers how to switch from analog to digital technology and
then worked in network management systems. He and his wife live in
Princeton Junction with their baby daughter, and another child is
While open source software solutions may not be the answer for every
problem, they are flexible, secure, safe, and budget sensitive.
"Often – but not always – open source alternatives are more secure,"
says Reytblat. "Many of the costs, like time and energy, that go into
defending against viruses and worms, are less with open source
solutions. Nothing’s perfect and these challenges don’t go away. But
the cost can be substantially lowered."
But open source may not always be the way to go. Reytblat strongly
supports the use of proprietary databases in more critical
applications. "We use them from time to time because none of the
current open source databases are yet up to the standards set by
Oracle, Sybase, or Microsoft," he says. "I’m an engineer, and as an
engineer, my job is to find the right tools for the job. That’s what
the customer is paying me for. As much as I am a proponent of open
source, I am not a religious zealot. I don’t believe open source is
the solution for every problem. There are times when other solutions
are clearly more appropriate."
While open to using proprietary software, Reytblat is more than
comfortable with open source. "I’ve been in this particular open
source pool for about six years now and the water is perfectly fine,"
he says. "Come join the fun."
– Fran Ianacone
Family & Children’s Services of Central New Jersey
(www.nj-counseling.org) has received a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb
of Princeton. The donation will be applied towards the provision of
mental health and substance abuse services to uninsured and
working-poor families, according to Mimi Ballard, executive director.
Employees of Amper, Politziner & Mattia, an accounting firm at 731
Alexander Road, with an assist from an 11-year-old and his classmates,
have donated $7,150 for tsumani relief. The contribution was given to
Asha for Education, whose tsunami relief efforts focus primarily on
The 11-year-old, Jon Risk, is the son of Amper employee Robert Risk,
director of information technology for the firm. Jon initiated the
collection among his sixth-grade classmates, raising a total of $125.
His parents matched the contribution and added it to the amount raised
by other Amper employees.
More than 100 employees of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New
Jersey, including a number from Mercer County, joined in the March of
Dimes Walk on May 1. Last year they raised $11,000 during the one-day
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