Last week’s cover story — on Ben Barlyn and his lawsuit charging that he was wrongfully terminated from his job as a Hunterdon County prosecutor after he protested the dismissal of several indictments against political allies of the governor and lieutenant — drew a lot of attention and a few questions. Several readers noted that Barlyn’s $1.5 million settlement was announced on Tuesday, October 4, and our 3,500-word story by Dan Aubrey appeared the very next day.
How did we turn it around so fast? In part we were lucky. Aubrey, who himself had been a target of some harassment by the Christie gang (U.S. 1, January 15, 2014), had been following the Barlyn case for several years. He targeted his final draft for the first week in October, to coincide with the highly publicized “Bridgegate” trial going on in Newark. When the settlement was announced Aubrey needed only to do some minor rewriting and updating to the story.
The Barlyn settlement has also attracted the attention of some New Jersey legislators, who questioned the wisdom of a whistleblower lawsuit ending in a settlement that includes confidentiality agreements. On Friday, October 7, Assemblyman John McKeon introduced a bill that would prohibit public entities and public employees from entering into confidential settlements of whistleblower lawsuits. As McKeon told the online statewide news venue NJ Spotlight: “The very essence of the whistleblower statute is to encourage the public discourse of whether it was corruption or wrongdoing or whatever. It’s counterintuitive that the litigation as part of a settlement should be stifled.”
#b#To the Editor: A Lindbergh Museum in Flemington?#/b#
There is less than a month left of the extraordinary exhibit at Morven Museum in Princeton on the lives of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. It’s too bad it has to come down. Everyone should see it before October 26.
I believe this exhibit belongs permanently in Flemington, NJ, where the attention of the entire world was focused on the trial of the kidnapper/murderer of the Lindbergh baby.
This could revive tourism to Flemington, where the Downtown has been listed on the Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. That makes it important to the local economy, but it’s also about understanding these extraordinary people and understanding another era in our national history and culture.
I am sending this e-mail to Flemington organizations, to the curators at Morven, to New Jersey newspaper editors, and to Scott Berg, the author of the biography “Lindbergh,” who could be influential in making this happen. What can be done to encourage this?
Editor’s Note: We checked with the people at Morven who sounded excited by the idea of the Lindbergh exhibit living on at another venue, but also realistic about the work and expense that would entail. Among other obstacles: permissions and fees to re-use images, resizing and remounting exhibits so that they are suitable for a different exhibition space, and making new arrangements with the owners of various objects and documents that were loaned to Morven for use in the current exhibit, which closes Sunday, October 23.
#b#A Welcome Success#/b3
Princeton Human Services had a successful Welcoming Week this year thanks to the many community partners and volunteers who contributed to its success during the weeklong event. Last year Princeton joined Welcoming America, an organization dedicated to welcoming all people, immigrants and non-immigrants, and helping create welcoming and inclusive cities and towns. Welcoming America’s goal is to change systems and cultures by helping create policies, reinforce welcoming principles, and communicate the socioeconomic benefits of inclusion.
“Welcoming Week was a tremendous success. I strongly believe that the more people we invite to our table, the more successful our initiatives are and planning for welcoming week was a great example of that.
The department would like to thank the Princeton Human Services Commission, Princeton Public Library, the Historical Society of Princeton, Shirley Satterfield, Access Princeton, YMCA, YWCA, Princeton Senior Resource Center, the Princeton School district, Princeton Rotary Club, Dorothea’s House, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Trinity Church, Crisis Ministry, Jewish Family and Children Services, Latin America Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Latin American Task Force and all residents who participated and supported the efforts. Welcoming Week was also made possible thanks to the students from Princeton High School and Stuart Country Day School. A special thanks to the restaurant owners who participated in the immigrant owned business interviews. These stories will be available in the town’s website. .
For information on how to participate to next year, call 609-688-2055 or ENeira@princetonnj.gov
Elisa Neira, MSW
Director, Princeton Department of Human Services