Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year
Princeton Landing!

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you.
Merry Christmas to our Princeton Landing neighbors,
and to Sal, Matt, Pat, Crystal and Lori!
Vesele Vianoce, Walter!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

To our Princeton Landing neighbors
celebrating the Festival of Lights,

Happy Hanukkah to you and your loved ones.

Winter Storm Update: Sunday

Saturday's hard freeze made it difficult to remove the snow that fell during Friday's storm. The freezing rain and sleet we got early Sunday morning posed additional problems. However, as Sunday's weather turned rainy and temperatures rose above freezing later in the morning, Shearer Penn was able to resume snow removal. Matt Lubas reports that by late afternoon Shearer Penn was able to clear driveways and walks throughout the community.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Storm Update

Our property manager Matt Lubas has been working closely today with the Association's snow removal contractor Shearer Penn. In an email update late this afternoon, Matt said that slushy snow was being removed from roadways in the community and from walks in Parcels 1 and 2, where residents do not have driveways and garages. Matt checked in by phone again this evening and said that he and Shearer Penn's owner were keeping in touch to determine what additional work was necessary. With temperatures overnight forecast to remain above freezing, he is hoping the wet snow on walks and drives won't become ice. Matt will be on the property early Saturday morning to assess conditions again in person. Shearer Penn has done snow removal in the community for many years. Matt reports that their experience working on the property is very helpful.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Coming Soon: Rejuvenative Pruning

Right after New Year's, our landscape contractor Brickman will begin the second phase of their three-year rejuvenative pruning program. The program was developed by their regional horticulturist and is one of the services included in Brickman's contract. It is intended to enhance the landscape design, maintain the health of the plants and create a beautiful natural environment for the community. Brickman's long-range goal is to create a consistent look for the entire community while maintaining the health of the plants. Viburnum, Inkberry Holly, and Azaleas and Rhododendrons will be pruned during this phase.

Rejuvenative pruning is very aggressive and seems drastic, but it is very good for the plant. The highest impact will be on the large rhododendrons. In some locations in the community these plants are completely covering windows and even rising above the roof line. The height of these plants will be reduced dramatically. Plant material will be pruned using the proper horticultural techniques, but some plants may need a few seasons to redevelop a full and visually pleasing appearance. A rejuvenated shrub will eventually result in a new, vigorous, well-established plant.

Matt Lubas, our property manager for landscaping, reports, "Brickman recognizes our desire for an appealing landscape and our residents' need to maintain privacy. They will do their best to preserve each home's curb appeal and deal with individual privacy concerns." If you have any questions about rejuvenative pruning, please feel free to contact your parcel's landscape chair or management at The Smith House.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This Week at Princeton Landing

Summit Construction is continuing to clear leaves and debris from gutters. If weather permits, work should be completed by the end of the week. See our December 9 post for more information about this work, including total cost to the community. Brickman, the Association's landscape maintenance contractor, is continuing with fall cleanup and will be working through remaining parcels in the following order: 7, 6, 4, 3 and 1. If weather permits, Brickman also expects to complete fall cleanup by the end of this week. Contact the management office if you have comments, either negative or positive, about the work by Summit or Brickman. You can also post a comment on this blog by clicking the Comments link below.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New at the News

We're happy to announce that Princeton Landing News now has its own domain name, replacing the old one in the "" domain. That means we have a new address on the web that's simpler and easier to remember:

Click the link above to go to the new address, then set a bookmark in your browser so you can come back regularly. But don't worry - if you use the old address, you'll be redirected automatically to the right place. 

Since we launched our blog, traffic to the site has been growing steadily. Let us know what you think about Princeton Landing News by posting a comment. And don't forget to tell your neighbors to visit us too. We'll be posting regularly to keep our readers up to date about what's going on in the community.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Photo Exhibit in Bucks County

If you are interested in great photography or you just enjoy seeing pictures of well-known people, you might want to check out "Saving Face: Portraits from the Collection of Robert Infarinato," at the Fred Beans Gallery of the James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA. Mr. Infarinato, a Bucks County resident, has assembled a collection of portraits by renowned photographers Ansel Adams, Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, among others. The collection includes photos of painters, writers, musicians, celebrities and more. Subjects include Picasso, Matisse, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and many others. The exhibit runs through March 15, 2009. If you take the drive to Doylestown, post a comment and let us know if you enjoyed the show.

Congratulations Pat and Sal!

Pat Hill and Sal Pirrera, two members of the Princeton Landing management staff, have been selected from among over 80 of their peers at Signature Property Group to receive awards based on their hard work and efforts during 2008. Pat received the Property Administrator of the Year award. Sal was given the President's Service Award. Lori Kenyon, Assistant Vice President and Regional Manager for Signature, reports, "We are pleased that we are able to provide Princeton Landing with a top-notch management staff and are grateful for the opportunity to serve your community." Congratulations to Pat and Sal on their well-deserved awards!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This Week at Princeton Landing

The Association's landscape contractor Brickman will continue with fall cleanup. The crew will be finishing up in Parcel 9 and will then move to Parcels 8, 7 and 6 in that order. This work is included in the services Brickman provides under its overall landscape maintenance contract with FVCSA. With winter coming it is also important to remove leaves and other debris from roof gutters to allow proper runoff of rainwater and melting snow. This year the Association has hired Summit Construction of Cranbury, New Jersey, to clean roof gutters throughout the community. Work began this week in Parcel 2 and will proceed parcel by parcel around the inner loop, then back around the outer loop ending in Parcel 1. Along the way, the contractor will also identify any gutters needing repair. Property Manager Sal Pirrera will discuss those repairs with the appropriate parcel committees. Weather permitting, gutter cleaning should be completed by December 20th. The Board authorized this service at its meeting on December 2, 2008, at a total cost not to exceed $11,100 for all homes in the community.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tell Us What You Think: The Front Entrance

This week a new winter foliage display was installed at the entrance to the community. The project was initiated by the Landscape Committee to add seasonal color and was carried out by Princeton Landing's landscape contractor Brickman. Tell us what you think about it by clicking the Comments link below. You can click the photo in this post to see a larger image. You can see more pictures here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thank You, Bernie!

At the end of the annual meeting, outgoing President Bernie Siebers was honored for his long years of service to the community. Bernie has been actively involved in community affairs for more than 15 years and has been a fixture on the Board — so much so that it's hard to imagine what the Board will be like next year without him. Board members and residents gave Bernie a standing ovation and everyone enjoyed sharing a cake decorated with a "thank you" message.

2009 FVCSA Officers

As required by the Association's Governing Documents, after the annual meeting the newly elected and the continuing members of the Board of Directors met in executive session to elect officers for 2009. The following officers were elected:

Paul Nolting, President
Av Magram, Vice President
Elliott Eisenberg, Treasurer
Mary Ryan, Secretary

The Board will meet again in executive session on January 13 to discuss plans for the coming year. The next monthly meeting will be at The Smith House on Tuesday, January 27, 2009, at 7:30 pm. The meeting on the 27th is a regular meeting open to all Members of the Association.

Election Results

Results of the 2008 election for the FVCSA Board of Directors were announced at the Association's annual meeting on December 2. Paul Nolting was re-elected to a two-year term. Av Magram was re-elected to a one-year term. Rich Ciarciello and Mari Molenaar were elected to two-year terms. Rich and Mari replace outgoing directors Bernie Siebers and Beth Dalzell, who were not candidates for re-election. Votes were counted by the Election Committee earlier in the day, and Pat Miele of Parcel 6 read the tally at the meeting. The Board thanked committee members Kay Bingeman, Pat Miele and Lennie Libes for their service again this year. Former FVCSA President Dave Grant and Parcel 1 resident Mary Beth Dixon were also present for the vote count and assisted the committee. The Association's auditors Wilkin & Guttenplan observed the count. Click the title of this post to see the election results in detail. Minutes of the meeting have been posted here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Voting Deadline

Just a reminder to everyone that today is your last day to vote in the board election. All ballots must be delivered to The Smith House by 4 pm. Results will be announced at the annual meeting which is tomorrow at 7:30 pm at The Smith House. All are invited to attend.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

2009 Landscape Committee Meetings

During 2009 the FVCSA Landscape Committee will meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm, except in January, August and December. Meetings will be held at The Smith House and are open to the community. We are now posting meetings and other community events on the Princeton Landing News calendar. Bookmark this blog and the calendar and check both regularly to find out what's happening in our community.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We wish all of our Princeton Landing neighbors a Happy Thanksgiving. Buon appetito!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Princeton Holiday Events

Living in Princeton Landing we always enjoy the wonderful holiday festivities in Palmer Square. This year's events will include the Annual Tree Lighting on November 28 in front of the Nassau Inn, the Annual Hanukkah Celebration on December 22 on Palmer Square North Plaza in front of Mediterra restaurant and Christmas Eve Caroling on December 24. On weekends throughout the holiday season there will be old-fashioned carriage rides, strolling musical entertainment and a strolling Santa Claus. For details, click the title of this post to go to the official Palmer Square website.

New Princeton Landing Calendar

We sometimes hear that Princeton Landing doesn't have an online calendar that is kept current. So today we added a community calendar to this blog. To see it, click the title of this post or use the "Calendar" link in the column to the right. Entries start with December 1, 2008. We will be posting more to it soon and hope to keep it up to date throughout 2009. Use the arrows in the upper left of the calendar to find the month you want to see. Click an event on the calendar for more information.

Let us know if there is an event or meeting you think should be posted. Please spread the word in our community about this blog and the new calendar.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Association Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Forrestal Village Community Services Association, Inc. will take place at The Smith House at 7:30 pm on December 2, 2008. The meeting is open to all Members of the association. Members include owners and lessees. The agenda for the meeting includes approval of the annual operating budget and announcement of the results of the election for the Board of Directors.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Princeton Landing 2008 Election

Check your mail! If you live in Princeton Landing, you've just received your ballot for this year's election for the Board of Directors. When you vote, be sure to choose the candidates for fiscal responsibility:

Paul Nolting
Mari Molenaar
Rich Ciarciello

Scroll down to meet the candidates and read our campaign statement. We are committed to maintaining both the physical and the fiscal attractiveness of our community. Please support us!

The deadline for voting is 4:00 pm on Monday, December 1, 2008. The voting instructions that came with your ballot explain how to cast your vote. Follow them carefully to be sure your vote counts. If you did not receive a ballot or have misplaced it, contact the management office at The Smith House for a replacement. Contact information is in the right hand column of this blog. You can also click Ballot to go to a copy that is posted on Google Docs.
Thank you for your consideration

Statement of the Candidates

As candidates in this year's election for the Board of Directors, Paul Nolting, Mari Molenaar and Rich Ciarciello support the following statement :

Princeton Landing is a special place. We have a distinctive architectural style and landscape that sets us apart from the cookie cutter design so common in other communities. To maintain this unique character, we have to deal with three challenges:

  1. In this difficult economy, we must keep any further increases in monthly fees to an absolute minimum. Our monthly fees are among the highest in the area and must be controlled. Substantial increases would make it more difficult to market our homes and may reduce property values and our equity.
  2. We must face the fact that homes in Princeton Landing are now old enough that roofing, paving and other major components will need repairs or replacement in the foreseeable future. We must build our capital reserves to meet those costs.
  3. We must continue to provide maintenance services and landscape care that meet the high expectations of our residents and preserve the character of our community.

These challenges impose conflicting demands on our Association’s finances. The first two will limit the amount of money we have to meet the third. The need is therefore obvious: we must control our operating costs. In the short term, our Association must get good value for every dollar it spends. In the longer term, we must plan and manage more effectively and reduce what it costs to operate and maintain the property. With better fiscal responsibility and strategic thinking, we can work to minimize our expenses and still achieve our community goals. As members of the Board we will focus on finding ways the community can operate more efficiently.

Meet the Candidate: Paul Nolting, Parcel VI

I have lived in Parcel VI since 2001 and have been a member of the Board of Directors since 2006. In 2008 I served as Vice President of FVCSA. Before joining the Board, I had served on the Covenants Committee and the Management Selection Committee where I helped run a successful competitive bidding process that led to the selection of Signature Property Group at a significant reduction in cost. I graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Law, and I am admitted to the bar in NY and NJ. As Assistant General Counsel for Verizon Communications, I lead negotiations on complex agreements involving financial, engineering and technical issues, insurance and risk management questions, and the purchase of goods and services. I also have had responsibility for major real estate and construction matters, multi-million dollar financial transactions and the settlement or litigation of disputes involving significant liability risks. My wife Karen is an author and editor.

Meet the Candidate: Mari Molenaar, Parcel VII

Princeton Landing has been my home for 16 years. As Parcel VII Chair for the last seven years, I’m well acquainted with Princeton Landing and its governance. A regular attendee at the board meetings, I am also aware of the issues and concerns of residents and the responsibilities of board membership. After 25 years, I retired as Senior Research Analyst for the NJ Department of Education in special education. I continue to consult with NJ school districts on special education issues. I conducted a year-long research project on special education finances for the NJ School Boards Association. Recently I completed nine years on the board of the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. I also served as founder and president of the Steinway Society for 11 years and am currently studying the piano. My husband Warren Fioretti is a professional jazz musician.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Get Involved in Your Community

Many who buy homes in communities like Princeton Landing do so because a homeowners' association handles some of the chores of homeownership, such as cutting the grass, clearing snow from the driveway, or painting the deck. While it's true that living here lets us leave some things to the community, "FVCSA" isn't some remote entity that does everything needed to take care of residents' homes. In fact, FVCSA isn't anyone other than than us, the homeowners who live here. There are 600 homes in Princeton Landing — enough for a small town in some places. Someone has to help prepare a budget, oversee the property management firm we hire, make decisions about policies affecting homeowners, and otherwise do the things needed to run our community. Unless residents are willing to get involved, our community cannot succeed.

PLEASE GET INVOLVED — VOLUNTEER FOR A COMMITTEE! Call the management office or your parcel chair for further information about opportunities to get involved at Princeton Landing.

New Office Hours in 2008

For 2008, the management office in The Smith House will have new hours. General office hours will be 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Residents may visit during general hours without an appointment. Residents who want to speak to the management staff at other times are welcome to call ahead for an appointment. The change is intended to provide specific times during the work day when our management staff can meet with parcel and committee officers, other residents, vendors and others they need to speak to, without interruption by walk-in visitors.