To the Editor: New Form of Terrorism?##M:[more]##
I was dismayed to learn of the deportation of a law-abiding West Windsor neighbor and resident of 12 years after his home was raided at 4 a.m. by agents of ICE, which was formed after 9/11 to prevent terrorist attacks, not to create terror. Our neighbor was detained in an Elizabeth jail. After two weeks, he was held at the Mexico City airport — handcuffed, and without food or water for seven hours — before being flown to his native Guatemala.
Then I was dismayed again by a letter to the editor from another West Windsor resident who seems to have forgotten that we have always been a nation of immigrants. He asked why he should have to pay taxes so that undocumented immigrants can have health care and education. The people he complains about do the low-paid work, as nannies and cleaners and dishwashers, so that more affluent Americans can maintain, most as two-income families now, their accustomed, more comfortable lifestyle.
Then the tsunami hit, killing over 150,"000. Survivors lost everything. Americans are responding with compassion to our neighbors across the world. Perhaps the same spirit of generosity we show our Asian and South Asian neighbors will remind us to support our nearer neighbors, who also need our help here at home.
Let us enjoy a fiesta with food and music and wonderful Latin dancing by Ballet Folklorico of Princeton University, Pasion Latina from Princeton High School, and Oaxaca Dance Group of New Brunswick, as well as professional dance lessons in salsa, merenge, and bolero. On Friday, January 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton, the fiesta will support the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF@yahoo.com).
Heather Drive, West Windsor
Editors’ note: On November 30 agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office took into custody four family members living in an apartment on Meadow Road in West Windsor. Township police said they were notified of the incident but were not involved in the raid.
A recent letter, written by a West Windsor Councilman, “Why PATRIOT Act Is a Local Issue” (The News, January 7), attacked me for my opposition to a Patriot Act resolution passed by the Council.
He states that I should have reviewed his web site and then contacted him before opposing it. How pretentious! Who knew that he had a website? Who cares? I always thought that the best form of democratic political participation was to publicly state your views, which I did to West Windsor Town Council.
The Councilman uses terms such as ‘disappointed’ and ‘astounded.’ Let’s also use clueless. Clueless if he believes that this resolution was not a partisan political exercise, fueled by a small, vocal pressure group, and adopted by a Council with no competency to make an informed judgment. After all, none of them had read the Act.
My constructive criticism was given when I urged the Council not to adopt the resolution, giving a goodly number of reasons. In fact, one of my points was added to the resolution, something the Councilman would have known if he had bothered to show up for the vote.
My main point was that Council should be addressing the local issues for which they were elected to handle, and not engage in partisan political activity.
Jack Flood, Former Mayor
Yeger Road, West Windsor
The following is a letter sent to the WW-P Board of Education:
Thank you for affording the WW-P High School North Boosters Club, Kevin Chapman, and Henry Wieck, as board sponsor, the opportunity to present an offer to externally fund athletic field lights at High School North. As suggested in my writings since July, 2003, I wonder if the outcome would have been different if the interested parents’ children attended High School South.
I was disappointed we were unable to create a template for greater public involvement in the processes and use our communities’ resources to leverage capital improvements. Your collective rejection of private monies for capital improvements in light of your opposition to state restrictions on capital spending are inconsistent.
For a Board that talks about a lack of Administrative and Board time for addressing key issues, I cannot fathom spending a majority of TWO meetings trying to justify a “no” vote. Instead of focusing on how the Board could facilitate a simple “yes” vote to raise the bar of excellence and opportunities for our academic and residential community, you did the opposite. The matter’s details could have been ironed out in June when your punch-list was more manageable. It is part of the planning process.
You are reminded, when criticism arises about the High School North Booster Club’s financial projections for the project, that the WW-P Administration’s own numbers were flawed with mathematical impossibilities. The limited information was rife with its lack of documentation one would expect at the executive level. However, it was easier to criticize our numbers than to do your own analysis so we could assess YOUR numbers.
I am requesting the answers to three areas germane to the Board’s action of January 11. Let us look at the official Board records and statements:
(1). The purpose of this message is to request a copy of the 108 to 110 “projects” (depending on which news source is cited) on which the WW-P Board of Education and Administration are currently working. We assume you have assigned a respective time requirement, associated costs, and source of funding to complete the individual projects.
As you know, multiple members of the Board cited this to-do list as the primary reason to forego acceptance of the donation.
You are also aware that when the objections of attorney fees, engineering review, and architectural costs were raised, the Booster Club offered to absorb these costs. We never considered these ancillary costs significant because we have parent professionals who do this “comp” work for us. The District itself would, most likely, have to utilize a professional services contract or in-house billing to get this done. This is the value of the public-private partnership.
(2). The athletic field track at North was reconstructed following the (reported) bankruptcy of the project’s initial low bidder. I am asking for an administrative summary of the details, including dates, costs, companies involved, and any Board minutes associated with the reconstruction of the athletic field at North. Detail, too, why the initial or reconstructed field could not be utilized for multiple sports, such as soccer or lacrosse.
(3). Installed at High School North is a (visible) large power supply in addition to (alleged) underground electrical conduit. President Marathe suggested that the Booster Club provide evidence that a prior Board discussed field lights. I did indeed infer a prior WW-P Board of Education must have approved of the construction plans showing their presence or inclusion. However, I submit that contractors would not be permitted to install anything not included in the approved plans, which would have come from the Board of Education.
Consequently, I am requesting an administrative summary of how the power supply and conduit at North was installed without School Board knowledge or Plainsboro Township inspector approvals. Thank you for supplying the answers to these questions in the public interest.
Peter R. Weale
144 Fisher Place
Serving on the School Board
Now is the time to think about becoming a School Board member. Prospective candidates can obtain a candidate kit from the central office at 505 Village Road West.
A candidate must be able to read and write; hold citizenship and one year’s residency in the district; have no interest in any contract with, or claim against, the Board; not hold office as mayor or member of the municipal governing body; and be registered to vote in the district.
A candidate must obtain the signatures of at least 10 qualified voters, one of which may be the candidate, and file a petition at least 50 days prior to the election. The deadline is 4 p.m. Monday, February 28. For more information, contact the Central Office, 609-716-5000, ext. 5020.
Public Information Officer
In 1986 parents of students at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School held their first Post-Prom Party. The event was designed to discourage drinking and driving by providing a safe, fun alternative at no cost to students. The party proved to be a huge success and has since become an annual tradition.
We expect to entertain more than 500 guests (seniors and dates) this year and we know that with continued support from friends, Post-Prom will again be the safe place to be on prom night.
All of our supporters will be remembered in a public ad in the West Windsor-Plainsboro News as well as in the school newsletter sent home to parents. The Post-Prom is a 501C3 registered PTSA charity event and your donation is tax-deductible. Although these events do not occur until late spring, monies are needed now for deposits.
Thank you in advance for your support. Please send donations to Post Prom 2005, 4 Green Court, West Windsor 08550.
Bevy of Thanks
Thanks very much for publishing a story about our production of “The Foreigner” in the West Windsor-Plainsboro News. It’s always great to see the media supporting our efforts to make the arts more accessible to the local community.
THANKS FOR THE coverage on Kelsey shows in the January 7 issue, as well as inclusion of the “Women in Science” presentation coordinated by MCCC Professor Helen Tanzini. The students from WW-P North deserve credit for a terrific presentation.
Mercer Community College
THANKS for running my WWAC year end letter in the January 7 WW-P News. What a great surprise! Your support has been so very important to getting the word out on our activities.
We are now working on our plans for the upcoming Arts ConneXion on January 22.
Acting Executive Director,
West Windsor Arts Council
Editor’s note: See story, page 24.
JUST WANTED to thank you for the story in the West Windsor-Plainsboro News on the Village Grande Follies. It looked good and was enjoyed by many, many people in the community!
How often do you visit the barber shop, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly? I frequent the shop monthly; not that my hair needs attention but my eyebrows become unruly impairing my vision with jungle-like growth, then it’s time.
I’m flattered to hear “How do you want it styled?” I don’t have enough hair to cover half of my head; as a matter of fact, an estimate of 200 strands would be very generous, besides a styled cut is more expensive. I say, “Do the best you can but don’t forget the eyebrows and also trim the ears and nose.” The operation is completed within five minutes.
After the cut, I feel as though all my troubles have disappeared; the euphoria is more satisfying than having my doctor proclaim me in good shape. Holy Moly, if you look good, you feel good.
— Victor Opalski