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The West Windsor Environmental Club, a group of high school environmental activists, first met at a township meeting on Nov. 18, 2019.
Addressed at that meeting was a single use plastic bag ban ordinance, and we stood before the town council and audience and spoke out in support of it: “Implementing this ordinance will benefit our town and ameliorate the environmental state of our planet. We don’t want ourselves and future generations to have to live in a community that is polluted, and banning plastic bags is a necessary first step in addressing the problem.”
The room filled with applause as we concluded, because who wouldn’t listen to the riveting words of the town’s youth? Well not even a month later, Mayor Marathe vetoed the ordinance.
We had even sent him an e-mail following our speech, urging him not to veto it, yet we received no reply or explanation as to why he did. But for whatever his reasons were, politics have no place in this pressing issue as plastic bags harm our ecosystem and destroy our world.
At that same township meeting, I first met Tirza Wahrman, a committed member (and now vice chair) of the West Windsor Environmental Commission. She congratulated us on our speech and collected our names and emails to involve us in the Commission and future township events.
Since that day, Tirza has been sending us emails and talking to me about every development in the Commission’s work and how my club can help. She recognizes the importance of getting the youth of West Windsor involved in the town, as each decision made impacts us the most.
My club has been to Commission meetings and events, such as reusable bag giveaways, where we have directly worked with Tirza. Her transparency and genuine dedication to her work allows us to feel included and understand what is going on in our town.
Tirza has the absolute support of our club members (me, Seher Talukdar, Tiffany Kemeklis, Eva Hu, Amira Adarkwah, Anitra Krishnan, Akshita Prakash, Sahana Senthilkumar, Arshia Tadipatri, Sakhee Daga, Vivien Huang, Nicole Wang, Leel Dias), as well as all environmentally-conscious students across West Windsor.
As minors, we can’t vote, so we encourage you to make the right decision for our town and vote Tirza Wahrman for Mayor.
For more information about the West Windsor Environmental Club, visit westwindsorenviron.wixsite.com/website.
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The current plan for the large south Clarksville Road tract (American Cyanamid/Howard Hughes property) in West Windsor is to build nine warehouses on 653 acres.
I have in mind an inspiring and innovative alternative. Consider the success of the 42-acre Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township and contemplate a museum/park and tech incubator center for drones and robotics.
It could offer on-site ancillary learning for schools in the area, as well as technology expanding full-time, part-time and summer jobs for adults and local teens. It could be designed to maintain much of the green space the community values, along with wetland mitigation areas, which are needed to reduce flooding.
Seoul, Korea is planning a Robot Science Museum to spur “public education in robots and raise awareness.” (SmithsonianMag.com, February 22, 2019), although my concept is broader. I think such a concept could dramatically enhance quality of life in our community now and for the future.
Perhaps we could leverage private and public money. An endeavor of this type could bring major excitement to the community and knit together the diverse skills, intellectual talents and resources of our residents.
Grounds for Sculpture is a compelling model showing if you develop an idea with great vision, people will come.
We need a mayor in West Windsor who will support a progressive future for West Windsor that advances science, education and a healthy environment. Tirza Wahrman has my vote.