U.S. 1’s Fall Arts Preview, beginning on page 16 of this issue, is a good time to consider the value — literal and figurative — of the arts in our community.

The current brouhaha in West Windsor, where some citizens are protesting the township’s support for a new arts center near Princeton Junction train station, is a good reason to consider this value.

In West Windsor some citizens begrudge the allocation of $800,000 to refurbish an old firehouse and open it up as the headquarters of the formerly homeless West Windsor Arts Council (Saturday, September 25, is the big opening day). Even though the Arts Council can’t be blamed for all the rehabilitation costs (the facility continues to house some emergency equipment), the argument is that the building could have been rented to a business enterprise that would have paid a higher rent and possibly additional taxes to the township.

Maybe so. But that also presupposes that the Arts Council will not generate a dime of economic benefits. We would not make that assumption. Looking close to home (downtown Princeton just this past weekend when a jazz festival drew a crowd of several thousand, we would guess) and farther afield (to towns such as New Brunswick, Lambertville, Bordentown, and others that have used the arts to revitalize tired old downtowns), we think that West Windsor’s downtown will be well served by a new entity that is not another bank, real estate agency, or drug store.

West Windsor is not mentioned often in this season’s listings. A year from now that may not be the case.

#b#To the Editor: Politics Is Personal, Vote for Sipprelle#/b#

Congratulations to U.S. 1 for presenting your September 8 article about the Congressional election in a very human fashion. Most political stories leave out that personal touch, but your writer — John Heenehan — knew what the voter is most interested in, and what the reader wanted to find out.

Rush Holt has been in the Congress for 12 years; that’s a long time. The history stretches across three presidents. After that length of time there should be much, much in accomplishments and much in seniority. I didn’t find that much from Holt’s side of the article.

Holt was assistant director for the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University. Princeton University is in no other Congressional District than the New Jersey 12th. Sipprelle lives in Westland, President Grover Cleveland’s former home. Sipprelle even named his business Westland. That parcel of land exists only in the 12th District. Why do I bring up what is unique to the 12th District? Because the voting record of Rush Holt is just a rubber stamp, just a repeat, just a regurgitation of the Nancy Pelosi agenda, the Democratic Party agenda. You can take our 12th District and move it to Nancy Pelosi’s California and the voting record would be the same.

Holt has 12 years in office, six elections. That’s opportunity after opportunity. And we are treated just like any other district. Nothing special. Time to vote in a Congressional Representative who Represents us. They do call it The House of Representatives.

“Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” — that’s what Sipprelle says is the biggest issue he hears. And he’s right.

Yet, after 12 years of Holt we have the highest unemployment here in our Congressional District. This is the worst economy in recent memory. Businesses have failed, businesses have moved out, shut down and let everyone go. Housing foreclosures are at unprecedented highs. Housing values have gone down. These are what are called Tough Times.

In your article only Sipprelle’s discussion of issues includes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These government-supported agencies are named as the “precipitating cause for the bursting of the bubble that caused the economy to tumble.” Holt never mentions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That’s a disgraceful omission in this election.

To gingerly omit Fannie and Freddie from our economic discussion is inexcusable. If they are toxic assets, if they are destructive, if they are worthless, then STOP voting to pump in money. Shut them down. Whatever is toxic, get rid of. For that alone Holt needs to be voted OUT of office. We are not talking about a few thousand, a few million; no we have graduated up to billions and trillions.

I agree with Sipprelle that deficit spending leads to higher taxes. I agree, extend the Bush tax cuts. Sipprelle knows his economics, he knows capitalism.

Healthcare reform is a major issue. Only Sipprelle talks about tort reform. Holt makes it sound as though insurance companies are the enemy: “egregious abuses of the healthcare insurance industry.” Insurance companies are part of the industry; not the enemy. Bringing the federal government in as the major competitor and regulator of final resort is not the solution.

By now you should be able to figure out that I favor Sipprelle. Scott Sipprelle gets my vote and he deserves to get yours.

Cheryl Bass, Spotswood

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