Hey Millionaires, Save Westminster!

It appears that Rider University is now determined to close down the Princeton campus of Westminster Choir College and move the whole college or whatever parts they can pick up and ship it all to Lawrenceville. This academically excellent college has educated so many singers, choir masters, musicians, and composers and has prospered in its beautiful Princeton campus, but is now to be melded with Rider’s rather banal university, which only became a university when Rider acquired Westminster. It seems inconceivable that Westminster will ever again be anything like what we have known and admired for so many decades.

Rider simply wants out of the Princeton campus — and to keep the college as it is, Rider has asked for tens of millions of dollars. So how about it, millionaires of New Jersey? How about getting together $40,000,000 or whatever Rider is looking for and simply buying Westminster from Rider? As long as Rider is rid of its presence in Princeton and can get its money, it does not care where the money comes from. And this is an era in which we are told there are more and more billionaires in America, many of whom are profoundly generous with their funds.

So how about it? Instead of building yet another McMansion or spending millions to get yourself elected to some political office, how about using your money to do a great service for the students and teachers of a renowned school of the creative and performing arts, not to mention helping Princeton retain a beautiful academic campus in a quiet residential neighborhood?

If you can save Westminster from dissolution, or if you know people who have the star power to help raise the needed money, I can assure you that you and they will be beloved by all the students, teachers, and townspeople who care for Westminster, and you will be fondly and gratefully remembered for many decades to come.

Marvin Harold Cheiten

Meadowbrook Drive, Princeton

Latino Community Needs Princeton TV

For years I’ve worked to provide information in Spanish about the socio-economic impact Latinos are making to the fabric of society. Unless Latinos are aware that we indeed are making strides to better our lives (Hispanics, Not Trump, Are the Biggest Engine Of U.S. Economic Growth, Forbes, February 2019), to better the places we work and live, we won’t have a seat at the table. Mercer County is made up of 300,000 people; almost 80,000 thousand are Latino. There are only two elected officials in Mercer County of Latino background.

I have been a member of Princeton Community TV for the past eight years. I want to voice the importance this communication platform for the Latino community. As a growing ethnically diverse population, our community needs to get to the root of the problem: a lack of reliable information presented in a manner that is non-commercial and at the same time engaging.

Princeton TV provides equipment and video training for “The Latino Spirit’s” coverage of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ’s yearly Diversity signature event with speakers such as Senator Bob Menendez. Princeton TV has also provided equipment to cover statewide Hispanic parades and Latino youth initiatives such as “Ay Caramba Nico,” a Latino youth’s perspective on the importance of speaking Spanish to maintain heritage and culture.

As a Princeton resident, Princeton TV has offered my Latino colleagues and me the opportunity for our voices to be heard. The Princeton TV team and its facilities are an immensely valuable resource. Continued support is necessary so that this organization can keep fostering communication without commercial interests. Princeton TV opens the doors for producers and leaders to communicate critical issues not covered by cable or regional channels. We ask the Princeton Council to consider resume the funding of such a valuable resource.

Diego Maya

William Livingston Court, Princeton

Put an End to the PennEast Pipeline

The fight against the PennEast pipeline has been going on now for almost five years. Citizen activists, elected officials, the NJ Attorney General, and environmental organizations have come together to block this destructive project, which has been deemed “unnecessary” by the NJ Division of Rate Counsel and characterized by them as “unduly generous to PennEast and unfair to consumers.”

Thanks to the broad cooperation of the many groups fighting this project, PennEast — whose original plan was to have its pipeline in the ground in 2017 — has been stymied. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that PennEast cannot condemn state-owned lands for the pipeline and recently denied the company’s request for a re-hearing on that issue. NJDEP followed that decision with a denial of Penn­East’s permit, finding that its application was “deficient.”

There is one more front where YOU can have an impact and help put the final nail in the coffin of PennEast. The Delaware River Basin Commission has authority over the pipeline because it crosses the river. It will be meeting on Wednesday, December 11, at 10 a.m. at Washington Crossing State Park Visitor Center, 1112 River Road, in Pennsylvania.

Please try to attend this meeting to demonstrate to the DRBC that this pipeline should be rejected from its docket and that the people of this region stand united against PennEast. Groups such as Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Sourland Conservancy, and Sierra Club will be delivering a petition to the Commissioners, available at www.delawareriverkeeper.org.

Sign on and share. We hope to fill the auditorium to demonstrate to the Commission that the people want this pipeline stopped. This is a chance for you to stand up and speak out against PennEast. You don’t even need to testify; most of the slots for testimony have been filled. We just need to show up and prove how serious we are about killing this project. On behalf of the Sourland Conservancy, I hope you can join us. And bring a friend!

Marylou Ferrara

Advocacy Chair, Sourland Conservancy

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