North-South Game: Real Community##M:[more]##

Everybody told Columbus the earth was flat. In West Windsor everybody said residents are opposed to athletic field lights and community spirit. For 30 years they said this.

Columbus wasn’t sure the earth was flat, so he decided to check it out. High School North wasn’t sure it could fund lights, but some people decided to try it out.

The rest is history. Either the earth is flat or at some point in the future, a few brave Columbuses will see the light — and there will be lights. Whether you are High School North or High School South, anyone can be a Columbus. Or one of those flat-earth people who lean on excuses as to why something cannot be done. There are still people sailing into the horizon and falling off the earth. But they try.

Remember: “NO” is infinitely easier to say than “YES” because there are two letters in the word instead of three. The results, however, are markedly different. Are you a Columbus? Do you want to make a difference? Call me: 609-987-8816.

Pete Weale

P.S.: About that North-South football game on November 19: It was great to see a community come together for one night watching a football game. What a turnout on Friday night and what a great game. Why can’t there be permanent lighting at both schools? We really looked like a township and a community on Friday night.

Plainsboro’s Plans

We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the voters of Plainsboro for their support and their confidence during our campaign for re-election to the Plainsboro Township Committee.

We welcome the chance this election has given us to continue to work with our colleagues on the Township Committee and to build on the committee’s record of good government — a record of conservative fiscal management of our resources that has enabled Plainsboro to continue to have the lowest municipal tax rate and highest bond rating in Middlesex County, and a record that has resulted in more than 50 percent of the township being permanently preserved as open space.

We look forward to the establishment of our new Village Center, expansion of the Plainsboro Library and the services it provides, and continued improvements to our infrastructure. We hope that our efforts will continue to make Plainsboro a desirable community where citizens choose to live, work, and raise their families.

As we begin our third terms, we pledge to continue to move Plainsboro forward in a positive direction. We look forward to serving all the residents of our community for the next three years.

Ed Yates, Drayton Lane

Michael Weaver, Krebs Road

Stem Cell Ethics

I was privileged to attend the seminar on embryonic stem-cell research at Princeton University on November 18. Having spent hundreds of hours studying the efficacy and ethics of the medical use of stem cells over the last year through the ROGATE project (Research Opportunities for Gifted and Talented Education), I found the discussion as riveting and disturbing as the data I gathered for my study.

My hypothesis, that genetic research is ethical because the discoveries in this field have aided lives, I found to be partially true. My research indicated that gene therapy and adult stem-cell research are ethical (as defined by published medical, legislative, and religious standards) and have aided lives. However, cloning and embryonic stem-cell research remain highly controversial ethically and have not definitely aided lives.

My research led me to conclude that it is important for society to come to an agreement on the definition of life, which can then be used as a guidepost for ethical study. The moral issues the seminar’s panel explored also seemed to center on defining life.

As our population ages, the definition of life (including variables such as usefulness and viability) may need to be applied to those at the end of the life cycle as well as those at its earliest stages. The public forum at Princeton was an important step in extending dialogue about this significant issue.

Lumeny “Jenny” Yu

Plainsboro

Grover Middle School Student

Women in Politics

A recent story on the low rates of participation of women in New Jersey politics was both embarrassing and eye-opening. The fact that New Jersey ranked 49th in a recent study for Women’s Policy Research should be a wake-up call to those who feel New Jersey should be in the forefront of women’s leadership issues.

Several of us in the Legislature have taken note of such disappointing statistics and are doing something constructive to dismantle the roadblocks to women’s participation. Next year, under a law I co-sponsored, New Jersey will begin an experiment in publicly financed “clean elections.” By removing the daunting task of stockpiling huge sums of cash to run for office, I believe clean elections will enable more women to consider throwing their hats in the ring — such were the experiences of Maine and Arizona, where clean elections have increased ballot access for women.

In addition, a proposal I’m sponsoring to create an office of lieutenant governor also holds the promise of greater exposure for women in government. Only once has a woman served as New Jersey governor, and none has ever served as Senate president, the next in line. An elected lieutenant governor would open the door to the executive office for women.

I applaud my colleagues in the Assembly for recently passing this bill. Women have played important roles in our history. Hopefully, these advances will allow them to write chapters into the future.

Linda Greenstein

Assemblywoman, 14th District

Red Cross Spirit

As the chief executive officer for the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey, I have the opportunity to witness the strength of the human spirit each day. As we celebrate the holiday season, the American Red Cross would like to say thank you to everyone whose contribution of time, money, or blood has helped us help others in their time of need.

I see it in the actions of the numerous volunteers who work alongside American Red Cross employees when we need their help the most. I see it in the faces of employees who put in countless hours when a disaster strikes. I see it in the face of victims of disaster when a Red Cross worker lends them a helping hand. I see it in the dedication of health and safety instructors teaching infant CPR to new parents. I hear it in the voices of concerned donors who call to give the gift of money or come in to donate life-saving blood.

This year, the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey has assisted 1,"238 individuals who were personally affected by a disaster. We have also taught life-saving skills such as CPR, Automated External Defibrillation, first aid and water safety to 41,"785 individuals.

Thank you to each of you who has helped out your fellow Americans and our international neighbors through your contributions to the American Red Cross.

Kevin Sullivan

Alexander Road, West Windsor