letter to the editor 3

Bright Outlook for Dohm Alley

At the end of an auspicious year for Princeton Future, the private, non-profit community planning organization can now share good news about Dohm Alley and its future in 2021.

Dohm Alley, the 10-foot-wide space that runs off Nassau Street between Starbucks and Landau’s store, was transformed several years ago into an arts and performance space, which also offers a quiet and comfortable place to sit — a pleasant discovery for many Nassau Street pedestrians. A team of artists and craftspeople, organized by Princeton Future’s Kevin Wilkes, created the inaugural exhibit dedicated to the Romantic poets. This outdoor space has also been the site of several dance recitals, poetry readings, and lectures.

Now Emma Brigaud, a Princeton resident who is a graduate of the Stuart School and William & Mary, has replaced the alley’s inaugural exhibit with “Winter Wonderland,” a brightly lit installation that creates a warm space in the dark days of winter. Emma, who worked on the project with four other volunteers, was an intern on the original Dohm Alley installation.

Another exhibit, sponsored by Princeton Future in conjunction with the Arts Council of Princeton and its Artist in Residence, Robin Resch, will open in the spring. The work, titled “Taking Pause,” will include reflections of Princeton during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Artists or performers are urged to offer suggestions for other displays or exhibits suitable for Dohm Alley. Please e-mail Princeton.Future.2035@gmail.com.

The year 2020, Princeton Future’s 20th year of engaging the community in pursuit of smart growth and sustainable and equitable planning, was marked by other good news. Princeton Future’s participatory planning process has helped create real progress in consideration of affordable and market rate housing at the former medical center parking lot on Franklin Avenue. A community wide Princeton Future meeting in February was followed up by several workshops and another community meeting in October, this one moderated by Princeton mayor Liz Lempert. A 17-person task force, chaired by Princeton Future board member Tony Nelessen, now is studying the Franklin Avenue project in greater depth.

Last year has been a tumultuous one, with national and global challenges that often seem overwhelming. We at Princeton Future take heart in the realization that small steps we can all take in our own community can make a difference.

Sheldon Sturges

Executive Director, Princeton Future

Recognizing Volunteers

On behalf of the Board and members of the Sourland Conservancy, I would like to thank the many community volunteers, partner nonprofits, and teen leaders of Hopewell Gives Back (HGB) for observing the Martin Luther King Day of Service by volunteering on January 16 through 18.

This year the HGB teen leaders planned a virtual event to invite families and individuals of all ages to pick up a project “kit” to complete at home. Each project will benefit one of four local nonprofits: I Support the Girls (feminine hygiene packs), Seeds to Sew International (decorating paper bags/boxes), The Rescue Mission of Trenton (making no-sew fleece blankets or face masks), and the Sourland Conservancy (assembling native seed packets).

I would also like to thank the Hopewell Presbyterian Church for once again opening its doors to allow safe pick-up of project kits on Saturday morning and drop off of completed projects on Monday morning.

I am honored to be a part of this special event that welcomes volunteers of all ages and encourages us all to work together to support each other, which is especially important during this challenging time.

Laurie Cleveland

Executive Director, Sourland Conservancy

Editor’s Note: For more ways to give back on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, see page 7.

Help the Hungry at West Windsor Farmers’ Market

I am writing this letter for two reasons. One, because Yes We CAN! Food Drives is so deeply appreciative of the community support we have received this past year in collecting food to help our neighbors overcome food security. Through our food drives at supermarkets and farmers markets, our volunteers have collected an astonishing 14,000 pounds of donations or seven tons.

All that fresh and canned food goes to Arm in Arm food pantries in Trenton and Princeton for free distribution to their clients, a list that includes families, seniors, and veterans.

Due to the health crisis, many more people find themselves unemployed. Is it any wonder that Arm in Arm has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of individuals and families needing food support?

This brings me to the second reason for writing. You have an opportunity to help Yes We CAN! Food Drives, and by extension, your neighbors, by supporting the winter market of the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market. Every first and third Saturday through April, the market is held outdoors, rain, snow, or shine, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at MarketFair on Route 1 in West Windsor.

Unfortunately, not enough people know about the market. What you are missing is an amazing experience — vibrant, fun, and busy. Come meet your neighbors and enjoy a Saturday morning outing while buying directly from local farmers. Available to you is fresh produce, coastal seafood, farm fresh eggs, artisan cheese, fresh pasta and sauces, soups and chili, pastured meats and poultry, gluten-free baked goods, alpaca fiber wear, and much more.

Yes We Can! volunteers are set up at the outdoor market, where we use cash donations from visitors to buy fresh produce from the farmers. A win-win for both the farmers and those in need of food.

So, please mark the farmers’ market dates on your calendar, January 16, February 6 and 20, March 6 and 20, and April 3 and 17. You can reach the market from the Meadow Road side parking lot in front of the AMC Theater.

For more information about the market, go online to www.westwindsorfarmersmarket.org. For information or to volunteer for Yes We CAN! Food Drives, go to https://arminarm.org/yeswecanfooddrives.

Fran Engler

Publicity Chair, Yes We CAN! Food Drives

COVID Tests Offered

Mercer County offers free COVID-19 testing on Tuesdays, January 19 and 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the CURE Insurance Arena, 81 Hamilton Avenue, Trenton. The saliva test is available to county residents 14 years or older and anyone employed as a first responder or health care worker in Mercer County.

Those going to the arena for testing should use Parking Lot 2 off South Broad Street to access Gate A. Testing will be conducted in the arena concourse. Bring identification showing Mercer County residency and a smartphone or tablet if you have one. No prescription is necessary. Please avoid eating, drinking, chewing gum, or smoking 30 minutes prior to taking the test.

Mercer County also offers an at-home saliva test for COVID-19, which can be requested by visiting www.mercercares.org. If you need help with the online registration process, assistance will be available Tuesday at the arena.

An updated list of COVID-19 testing locations in Mercer County can be found on the Trenton Health Team’s website: www.trentonhealthteam.org/covidtests.

Recommended for you