TOWN TOPICS, PRINCETON, N.J., WEDNESDAY, JulY 27, 2016 • 12
Mailbox Suggesting Revisions to Rec Dept’s Mary Moss Playground Concept Plan
To the Editor: The Witherspoon-Jackson historic district’s Mary Moss Playground is planned for renovation. RBA Consultants, through the Recreation department, has presented an initial concept plan to Princeton Council, which was approved for further planning. Because few residents of the neighborhood were able to provide input, the Witherspoon-Jackson historic district Committee held three neighborhood meetings to review the Mary Moss Playground Concept Plan. To properly honor its founder, Mary Moss, create a learning environment for toddlers and young children, and to ensure that the playground is sustainable, safe, sanitary, and respectful of nearby neighbors, it is requested that the neighborhood determine the language, imagery, location, and placement of historical/cultural information about Mrs. Moss and the playground, including entry signage, pool outline marker, plaque, and seated Mary Moss 3-dimensional image, and we further request that the recreation department accept the following revisions: 1) Remove corner entry; retain access from lytle and John Streets, setting back entries from shallow sidewalk area; provide a traffic-calming intersection table (under consideration by Princeton Council); and install signage acknowledging the “Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood’s historic Mary Moss Playground” at the corner of lytle and John. 2) Shift aquatic spray area into the southern corner, bordered by shrubbery; create a single entry to spray area with perimeter bench seating to confine wet area: keep the spray level to low heights; and choose skid-proof adaptable surfacing for storytelling. 3) Promote sustainability, replacing canopies with trees, replacing redundant ramp with heavily planted evergreen and flowering shrubbery buffer (forsythia was Mary Moss’s favorite); ground cover, soft surfacing for sitting, installing solar voltaic pavilion roof panels; sourcing local quarries for boulders; using post-consumer materials for building materials and appropriate equipment; placing recycling and trash containers at both levels. 4) design slide and sloped area with more soft surfaces, age-appropriate for toddlers and attendant caregivers. 5) Provide a pavilion with dappled sunlight under which plants, art, and educational objects can be hung; and install an artwork wall. 6) Add a sand play area, shaded by pavilion; and consider reinstalling some form of animal sculptures. 7) Enhance book nook with a soft surfaced sitting area for storytime, (relocate spray area furnishings to storage area); accommodate displays of history and culture along both sides of ramp wall/barrier: install multi-media and audio-equipment for storytelling, including the history of Mary Moss, the playground, and the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood during segregated Princeton. 8) Install age-appropriate playground equipment in organic forms and colors, and of low-heat conducting materials. 9) Eliminate the port-a-potty, as the intended playground users either live or are cared for nearby. 10) Add motion-sensors and timers for daytime use of water-sprayers: add motion-sensor site-wide lighting; install time locked entry gates to prevent loitering; maintain deterrent plantings adjacent to permeable fencing at heights consistent with safety and aesthetic standards; install water fountains at upper and lower playing areas. 11) Provide appropriate staffing throughout the year for safety and educational programming. The Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood looks forward to working collaboratively with the Recreation department and its consultants in implementing these design revisions and refinements to the concept plan. Respectfully submitted by, YINA MooRE on behalf of the Witherspoon-Jackson historic district Committee: Shirley Satterfield, Bernadine hines, leighton Newlin, Kip Cherry, daniel harris, Tommy Parker, and John heilner
Gennaro’s Food for America, Caring Cooks Teaches People to Cook For Those In Need
To the Editor: I was pleased to see the write-up of Gennaro Costabile’s restaurants and catering business [It’s New To Us, July 20]. We have been going to Gennaro’s on State Road for many years and it’s our venue of choice for family celebrations. The food is excellent, Gennaro has always welcomed us warmly, and we’ve even gotten to know the wait staff, many of whom have been there for years. But this isn’t just a plug for a wonderful restaurant. I was very interested to learn from the article that Gennaro established Food for America, a non-profit which raises money for charitable organizations that deal with hunger, and Caring Cooks Academy, which teaches people to cook for those in need as a team-building experience. In this day and age, when “greed is good” seems to be the motto of so many businesses, so that prices go up, quality goes down, and customer service is non-existent, it is wonderfully refreshing to know that there are other ways to be successful. Gennaro, thank you for providing us not only with delicious food, but with a model of how to succeed and care for others at the same time. RUTh GoldSToN Bouvant drive
League of Women Voters Wants Readers To Urge State Senators to Post SCR66
To the editor: The NJ department of Environmental Protection has proposed harmful revisions to state regulations that would threaten our water supply. The league of Women Voters of the Princeton Area urges the NJ Senate to post SCR66 for a vote as soon as possible. If passed, it would prohibit the NJ department of Environmental Protection from adopting its harmful revisions to the Flood hazard, Coastal Zone, and Stormwater Management Rules. The Assembly has done its part and passed ACR160. We now need the Senate to post and vote on SCR66 at its next session on August 1. Several months ago, the legislature voted once to rescind the dEP’s unacceptable proposal, sending it back to the dEP for revision. Unfortunately the dEP has done nothing substantial to reduce the proposed damage to our water. These revisions cause irreparable harm by rolling back protections against flooding and allowing the clearing of more stream buffer vegetation; buffers are crucial to protecting our water supply. The interests of developers should not come before the public’s need for clean water. Cutting red tape should not mean placing people in harm’s way and risking the quality of our water supply, but that is precisely what the dEP’s proposed self-certification and loosely defined mitigation rules will do. The league of Women Voters implores readers to contact their State Senators and ask them to urge Senate President Sweeney to post SCR66 on August 1, and vote YES. A list of Senators can be found at www.njleg.state.nj.us, or by calling the league of Women Voters at 800-792-8683 (VoTE). SANdRA ShAPIRo Member, leadership Committee, league of Women Voters of the Princeton Area Wycombe Way
Chief’s Comments On Targeting of Police Are At Once Commendable and Deplorable
To the editor: Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter’s recent comments regarding the killings of police [“local Police Respond to Tense Climate,” page one, July 20] are at once commendable and deplorable. Commendable is his pledge to increase the “positive footprint” of police in the community, and to engage in “relationship-building.” deplorable is his over-the-top claim that “officers are being targeted, ambushed, and slaughtered nationwide,” to which he intends to respond by including two officers in patrol units, presumably cars. That tactic hardly helped officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian liu, who were shot and killed while on patrol together in New York on dec. 12, 2014. Beefed up patrols will likely only panic some of our more fearful citizens (and not-yet citizens).
More to the point: there is no “nationwide slaughter” of police. There is an increase in the rate of police deaths from shootings this year, 30 so far. There were 41 deaths in 2014. The recent low point was 73 in 2011. The fact is that felonious killings of police have been fairly stable over the years, with an average, according to F.B.I. figures, of 64 per year from 1980 to 2014. Moreover, police shootings in any given year constitute about one-third of all police deaths in the line of duty, the remainder clustering around vehicle accidents and job-related illnesses. No one claims that such an occupational death rate is acceptable, but it should be kept in mind that policing is not among the top ten most dangerous jobs. Try logging or farming. Almost needless to say, the shooting of police any time is tragic. Also tragic is the fact that more police die from suicide annually than gunfire and traffic accidents combined. There were 51 in the last six months of 2015, 126 in 2012. let’s not allow ourselves to panic and then enact policy that only increases panic. let’s go for that “positive footprint” instead. MARTIN oPPENhEIMER Prof. Emeritus of Sociology, Rutgers University Franklin Twp.
R.G. Belsky Local Author Appearing At Mystery Conference
Suspense author R. G. Belsky of Princeton, will sell and sign his books and take part in other activities during the 2016 deadly Ink Mystery Conference, running from August 5-7 at the hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. Mr. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a New York City journalist. his new mystery Blonde Ice—the latest in a series featuring newspaper reporter Gil Malloy—will be published by Atria in october. Previous books include Shooting for the Stars and The Kennedy Connection. Mr. Belsky is a former editor at the New York daily News, the New York Post, Star magazine and NBC News. Fans who register for this year’s deadly Ink conference can meet Mr. Belsky and more than two dozen other published suspense authors, who will share their expertise over three days of workshops and panels. 2016 Guest of honor will be Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times Bestselling author of Robert B. Parker’s Jeff Stone series; he is a threetime recipient of the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel, and also has won the Macavity,
Barry, Audie and Anthony awards. Toastmaster this year is hilary davidson, winner of the Anthony, derring and Crimespree awards, and two Ellery Queen Reader’s Choice Awards, for her short stories and novels. Fan Guest of honor is Rebecca Russell Mears, whose mystery short stories have appeared in Futures magazine and three Crime Scene New Jersey anthologies; she also is a former president of Sisters in Crime Central Jersey. The conference will kick off on Friday with deadly Ink Academy classes for aspiring writers, taught by Jane Cleland, author of the multiple-award-winning Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries, and S.W. hubbard, author of mystery novels and short stories and professional writing teacher. official registration for the conference takes place that evening, followed by a deadly desserts Party and a welcoming program. Saturday and Sunday feature continuous panels and presentations by the guest authors and other mystery and crime experts. At the Saturday night Gala Awards dinner, Reed Farrel Coleman will speak and the david G. Sasher, Sr. Award will be presented for Best Mystery of 2015. Attendees will vote for the winner, by secret ballot, during the conference. Those registering can pay a flat price for the entire conference or take advantage of many “a la carte” options, such as the deadly Ink Academy, Saturday only, or the programs minus the sit-down meals. For m ore i n for m at ion on the conference, and to register, visit www.deadly ink2016.org.
Witherspoon Media Group