We’re not sure what made our day more on Super Bowl Sunday. The little brother triumphing in the shadow of his big brother? The two robins that landed on our porch? Or was it the “Halftime in America” Chrysler commercial featuring actor Clint Eastwood?
In the commercial Eastwood says, “We find a way through tough times. If we can’t find a way, we make one. All that matters now is what’s ahead, how do we come from behind, how do we come together and how do we win.”
For us the spot reverberated with our February 1 cover story, “Finally, Time to Smile,” featuring several area businesses that have not only weathered the recession but also found ways to grow and expand despite the tough economic times.
But like the commercial –– which some critics have interpreted as a pro-Obama ad –– our meaning could possibly be misconstrued.
Some who read the headline “The Partners Split But The Firm Survives” assumed the firm was in turmoil. As anyone who read the story knows, though, the architecture firm KSS is alive and well, thanks to careful transition planning by its senior partners. Like a clever commercial, our headlines are meant to attract attention. But they’re also meant to be read along with the articles below them.
#b#To the Editor: Act Now to Reuse Valley Road School#/b#
The time for the Princeton Regional School Board and the Township Committee to turn ownership of the Valley Road School over to the non-profit Valley Road School Community Center Inc. (VRSCCI) is today — not tomorrow, not next year — but now.
The basic structure of the old Valley Road Building is sound, but there is a new leak in the roof that is getting exponentially worse. The Township was kind enough to fix the boiler so that Community TV 30 can have heat, and the School Board recently passed a resolution to allow TV 30 to stay in the building until January, 2013. TV 30 and the VRSCCI appreciate what the School Board and Township Committee have done to date, but it appears that neither body is ready to either fix the roof or let the VRSCCI take over the building and convert it into a community center at no cost to the town.
Princeton has a history of converting schools like the Nassau Street School and the Quarry Street School into useful modern buildings. Other towns, like Somerset, have converted schools into community centers. The VRSCCI has a sizable list of local non-profits that are ready, willing, and able to move into the Valley Road School and pay a reasonable rent if the building is upgraded.
While the towns and School Board are mired in the weeds of consolidation they aren’t showing the leadership needed to do the obvious — namely, let a local non-profit take the burden of the Valley Road School off of the hands of the School Board, which clearly doesn’t want the building, and put it into the hands of a group that clearly does.
The time to act is now.
Richard C. Woodbridge
Chairman, Valley Road School – Adaptive Reuse Committee
#b#Komen’s Position . . .#/b#
The first letter below was sent to supporters of Susan G. Komen for the Cure on February 1. The second letter was received two days later.
By now you may have heard about our national office’s recent decision to halt funding to Planned Parenthood due to a pending federal investigation. We appreciate the outpouring of concern from our constituents. This resolution was made on a national level and we are not a part of these overarching decisions.
We’d like to address concerns regarding women in Central and South Jersey receiving life-saving mammograms and breast health education.
Our affiliate prides itself on evidence and outcomes based programming reaching underserved women in our neediest communities. This has been our focus since 2005. We address barriers to health care, and our programs increase access to screening and education initiatives. Our grantees are chosen by an independent committee of volunteers from various backgrounds. Planned Parenthood is not a current grantee of the affiliate and no funding for vital services in Central and South Jersey has been halted. We continue to fund 31 programs in 13 counties that provide the highest level of service to our community. For a full list of our programs for fiscal year 2011-’12, visit www.komencsnj.org.
Seventy-five percent of our revenue supports programs in the local community where our constituents live and work. The remaining 25 percent supports innovative breast cancer research bringing us closer to the cure. Susan G. Komen for the Cure has been a part of every major advance in the disease since 1982.
We remain committed to our mission to end breast cancer forever. We value the support of our constituents who make our work possible. It is because of your passion that we are able to make a difference. We hope that you will continue to work with our organization.
Nancy K. Healey
Executive Director, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 2 Princess Road
#b# . . . And Re-Position#/b#
Finally! Our national headquarters has reversed its decision. The responsibility to fund grant programs is back in the rightful hands of the affiliates. We know our communities and needs best. On behalf of the staff and board of CSNJ, we are very happy about this decision. Your strong opposition and passionate voices were heard. We heard from hundreds of Central and South Jersey supporters this week. Your request for a reversal of this decision along with ours was passed along to headquarters and they listened.
It has been a difficult week at the affiliate as I am sure it has been for all of you, our most dedicated supporters. We are united in one mission — to end breast cancer forever. This is not, and should never be, a political issue that divides our diverse constituency. In 2011, with your support, the affiliate invested $1.6 million into the local community to reach 45,000 women in Central and South Jersey.
Our programs provide life-saving mammograms and breast health programs reaching under-served communities. We also invest 25 percent of our proceeds to find a cure and end breast cancer forever. For a full list of our current grant programs and learn more about the granting process, visit our website, www.komencsnj.org.
Now, as an affiliate, we have to get back to the business of helping women in our neediest communities. I would like to personally thank you for your feedback and passionate support. I hope you will continue to help us fight breast cancer in Central and South Jersey. With grateful appreciation,
Nancy K. Healey
#b#Surgery Center Inspections#/b#
Re: N.J. health department posts online inspection records for 260 surgery centers www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/02/nj_health_department_posts_ins.html AARP congratulates Governor Chris Christie and Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O’Dowd regarding the announcement of a new Internet resource for New Jersey’s health care consumers.
The state has now posted inspection reports on its website for New Jersey’s 260 licensed and nationally accredited same-day surgery centers, thus presenting consumers with valuable information. The public, healthcare professionals and researchers, and members of the media can now examine online inspection and safety reports with great ease and efficiency.
The return on this investment will lead to safer healthcare facilities and better choices for consumers as they consider where to have their elective surgeries and procedures.
Ambulatory surgery centers pride themselves on their ability to perform procedures that require less than a 24-hour stay including cosmetic surgery, colonoscopy screenings, as well as eye and knee surgery.
The policy provides a new level of governmental transparency, serving as a motivator for improvement to healthcare providers. The site allows the public to research and make proper decisions by comparing one surgery center to another, proving the policy to be a useful tool for both consumers and facilities state wide.
AARP encourages consumers to access the reports by visiting www.nj.gov/cgi-bin/dhss/healthfacilities/hospitalsearch.pl
AARP Governmental Affairs Director, 101 Rockingham Row, Forrestal Village
#b#Battlefield Housing, Pro#/b#
I join the many residents of our community who have written and spoken in strong support of allowing the Institute for Advanced Study faculty housing to proceed. The tract of Institute land designated for faculty housing was first agreed to in 1971, and the proposed residences are designed with the greatest respect to the Princeton Battlefield State Park and to the environment.
Critical for this discussion is the 1997 conservation easement to preserve permanently a predominant proportion of the Institute’s land. At that time, in response to a special Green Acres program of grants and loans and just prior to the commercial development of land at the intersection of Route 1 and Quakerbridge Road, the Institute participated in the successful public/private partnership to preserve 589 acres of IAS woods and farmlands. This partnership was led by the D&R Greenway, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, Friends of Princeton Open Space, and Princeton Township, and was supported by numerous other individuals and organizations including the Princeton Battlefield Society.
These lands, which the Institute maintains at its own expense, are noted for their historical, environmental, ornithological, and agricultural significance. They provide a buffer to the Princeton Battlefield State Park, the Institute, and really to all of Princeton. The Institute cooperated in the preservation effort knowing that the small tract now being discussed would be the only remaining land available for faculty housing.
Since its founding, the Institute has been a community of scholars — a permanent faculty and visiting scholars from throughout the world — who seek to advance knowledge, pursue innovation and deepen understanding across a broad range of the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
The Institute is an absolutely unique institution; one that plays a very special role in the scientific and intellectual life of this country. The work done there provides the well-spring for the creation of knowledge that undergirds our country long term.
It is with the greatest respect for the crucial role the Battle of Princeton played in the development of our country that I trust education about this important role will be enhanced so that visitors to the Princeton Battlefield will have a deep learning experience and lasting understanding.
This is also our opportunity to preserve the productivity of an institution that serves scholars from throughout the world and contributes significantly to our country’s critical long-term needs.
Battle Road Circle, Princeton
Editor’s note: Gray was employed by the Institute from 1990 to 2006 and was associate director at the time of the 1997 agreement.
#b#Battlefield Plans, Con#/b#
The advice of others to the Princeton Battlefield Society to focus its efforts exclusively on the needs of the battlefield and Clarke House prompts my letter. I am a Society trustee, but I write to you because I have a personal commitment to protect the Princeton Battlefield.
The Society’s challenge against the Institute for Advanced Study’s housing development on historically significant battlefield land, and the money the Society is spending, was a result of actions and disrespect by the IAS. The Society had no other recourse if we were to fulfill our mission to protect, preserve, and promote the Princeton Battlefield, the Clarke House, and the Revolutionary War Heritage of both. (On the same point, I question whether a housing development is contained in IAS’ mission.) A housing development on this land was and continues to be unacceptable. If some consider our stance at Planning Board meetings as obstruction, I accept that statement. The alternative is to give in to a housing development. I refuse to accept that.
Who else stepped up to take on the challenge to protect battlefield land, determined by study and testimony to be historically significant to the outcome of the battle? There are no fast food restaurants on Little Round Top in Gettysburg, so why should we stand by as a housing development is built on Princeton Battlefield land? Our challenge continues because this land is significant to American history and to our Revolutionary War heritage.
Yes, we have invested money, generously donated by people from Princeton, from New Jersey, and throughout the U.S., in our challenge. We continue to welcome their support. We would have preferred to invest in other ways, but the decision to build housing on this land was not ours. To step aside without a challenge to the IAS’ plans was unacceptable. Again to the point, what has been the financial drain on IAS funds for lawyers, architects, and others to plan and defend the development?
I continue to ask: Is this housing development necessary on this land? Wouldn’t another location be as suitable to the IAS’ purposes and respectful of the historic land in question?
The land we are fighting to protect is critical to our American Revolutionary War heritage and for the future. I ask the IAS to respect the significance of this land and to help us protect it.
24 Old Georgetown Road, Princeton