December 6, 2017

The Garden Çlub of Stony Brook decorated the dining room in the official governor’s mansion as part of the New Jersey Garden Clubs’ annual “Holidays at Drumthwacket” open house. Clubs from across the state have bedecked nine locations around the house with festive holiday decor. Visitors can take self-guided tours on December 6, 10, 13, and 20, between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are necessary. The house, at 354 Stockton Street, is wheelchair accessible. Reserve at drumthwacket.org/visit/.

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton University yesterday announced plans С or at least “a planning framework” С for several anticipated campus development projects in the coming years, including a new residential college or colleges to permit the University to expand its undergraduate student body by 10 percent, new and improved facilities for engineering and environmental studies, and a new Lake Campus on lands south of Lake Carnegie. more

By Anne Levin

Rider University president Gregory Dell’Omo sent a letter this week to faculty, staff, and students of Westminster Choir College updating them on the state of the school’s proposed transition to its new, as-yet-unnamed operator. There wasn’t much to report.

“In response to questions, we said at the time that we felt it was important for a number of reasons to have a term sheet in place with the partner before introducing them to our community, and we hoped to have that term sheet in place in approximately 30 days from that time,” reads the letter, referring to meetings that were held a month ago with the college community. “While we are making good progress, we do not yet have agreement on a term sheet. Consequently, we are not yet in a position to introduce the partner to you.” more

By Anne Levin

Concerns about the continuing problem of parking in Princeton brought residents to a forum held by Princeton Future last Saturday, at Princeton Public Library. The gathering was the latest in a series of discussions on the issue, specifically related to a municipal parking study Princeton Council will consider adopting at a coming meeting. more

JOIN THE CLUB: Charter Club, designed in 1913 by Philadelphia architect Arthur Meigs, is among the palatial Princeton University eating clubs profiled in a new book by local author and historian Clifford Zink. Meigs was a member of Charter Club and the Class of 1903.

By Anne Levin

Back in the mid-19th century when Princeton University was still called The College of New Jersey, undergraduates had a hard time finding a decent meal. This gastronomic inadequacy regularly sent students to local taverns and inns, much to the disapproval of faculty at Nassau Hall. more

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Architecture and Design Professor Keisuke Kitagawa (right) and John Witherspoon Middle School (JWMS) Social Studies and Global Education Supervisor Tim Charleston show off the inflatable Instant House erected at JWMS on Friday as a prototype for a seventh-grade collaborative project on Puerto Rico and disaster relief. (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

By Donald Gilpin

Seventh-graders at John Witherspoon Middle School (JWMS) witnessed the power of collaboration last Friday morning as they gathered on the front lawn to participate in the creation of an Instant House, a 60-square-foot inflatable structure with the potential to be used for disaster and humanitarian relief all over the world. more

ON THE BORDER: Hun School students and their teachers experienced the complexities of immigration first-hand in the border town of Nogales, Arizona-Mexico, for four days in October. They visited an immigration court, a shelter for deported immigrants, and a Border Patrol station, and met with officials, immigrants, ranchers, and others as part of their Global Immersion experience. (Photo Courtesy of The Hun School)

By Donald Gilpin

Seven Hun School students and three teachers recently went to a United States-Mexico border town to examine first-hand the thorny issues of immigration.

As part of the school’s Global Immersion program, focused on experiential learning and designed “to humanize the immigration issue, recognize its complexities, and encourage critical thinking,” the group visited the town of Nogales on the Arizona-Mexico border. more

Raven Wright, 16, a student at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, has won the National All-American Miss Pageant that was held over Thanksgiving in Anaheim, Calif. Shown here at her crowning moment, Wright competed against 75 girls from across the nation to capture the honor. The NAM organization is based on the principle of fostering positive self-image by enhancing natural beauty within.

TOP RESTAURATEURS: Brothers Raoul, left, and Carlo Momo were recently named the 2017 “Restaurateurs of the Year” by the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association at its 37th Annual Awards Gala. They were honored for their outstanding service to the restaurant industry, as well as to the greater Princeton community. (Photo courtesy of NJRHA)

The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association (NJRHA) honored the state’s best and brightest on November 27 at its 37th Annual Awards Gala held at the Liberty House Restaurant in Jersey City. Raoul and Carlo Momo received this year’s “Restaurateurs of the Year” award for their outstanding service to the restaurant industry, as well as to their own community. more

The Princeton University Library Numismatic Collection has received a bequest from the Benjamin R. Bell Collection of Ducats. Bell, who worked as a coin dealer and died at a young age earlier this year, was a collector and scholar of the medieval ducats of Venice and their manifold imitations.

The collection of 190 gold coins is particularly rich in the ducats attributed to Italian, Greek, and Turkish minters and later examples struck on the Indian sub-continent. It also includes many examples of significantly lower weight and fineness than Venetian ducats, which Bell argued were minted to fit into the Byzantine monetary system. more

HOLIDAY MAGIC: Kale’s Nursery & Landscape Service offers moments of magic at its annual Christmas Shop. “We look forward to inviting everyone to come and see our holiday specialties,” says owner and president Douglas W. Kale. He is shown by a display of handmade, decorated single-face balsam wreaths. Kale’s offers an array of handmade bows and other holiday decorations.

By Jean Stratton

Once upon a time, family businesses dotted the Princeton shopping scene, but now, with the changes in shopping habits, including the arrival of chain stores in town  and online shopping, these independently-owned businesses are slipping away. more

An instructor is shown helping children make holiday cards at last year’s Winter Warm Up event hosted by the West Windsor Arts Council and MarketFair Mall. The fourth annual Winter Warm Up is this Sunday, December 10 from 1-4 p.m., and will feature music, arts and crafts, and original artwork for sale.

“GRANITE STREET”: This oil painting by Debbie Pisacreta is featured in “Memories,” an exhibit featuring the work of four artists at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville running December 7 to 31. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, December 10, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Fine artists Alla Podolsky, Joseph Zogorski, Gail Bracegirdle, and Debbie Pisacreta invite the public to view images that capture each artist’s memory of a location, scene, or life moment in “Memories” the 4×4 Winter Group exhibit series at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville running December 7 to 31. more

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) announces its Sauce for the Goose Holiday Market at the Arts Council of Princeton’s Pop-Up studio (next to Metropolis Spa and Salon), located at the Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton.

Now in its 24th year, the Sauce for the Goose Holiday Market has long been established as a high-quality resource for ceramics, glassware, ornaments, and other forms of fine art and crafts for holiday gift-giving. more

“AN ACT OF GOD”: Performances are underway for George Street Playhouse’s production of “An Act of God.” Directed by David Saint, the comedy runs through December 23. God (Kathleen Turner, center) takes a phone call — and a selfie — with archangels Michael (Stephen DeRosa, left) and Gabriel (Jim Walton, right). (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Film and stage luminary Kathleen Turner is starring in An Act of God at the George Street Playhouse. David Javerbaum, the former executive producer of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, and a writer whose theatrical credits include the musicals Cry-Baby and Suburb, adapted the show from his 2011 book The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. more

By Stuart Mitchner 

Imagine a literary theme park, a Disneyland for readers and their kids where you can ride a raft with Huck and Jim, or climb aboard the Pequod with Ishmael, or fish the Big Two-Hearted River with Hemingway. Since the former Soviet Union is ever more massively imminent as we approach the moment of truth about Russian involvement in last year’s election, let’s say you could also visit a Chekhov pavilion complete with cherry orchard or tour Tolstoy’s estate where little Natashas can enjoy horseback rides and make-believe balls, or better yet you could take your chances in a fun house of existential chills dedicated to the work of Dostoevsky. Given the American public’s undying fascination with the dark side, the Dostoevsky House would draw the biggest crowds.  more

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is considered the preeminent novelist of the Victorian Era because of his touching and timeless tales that described the plight of the poor in that time. He experienced poverty  at an early age when he had to drop out of school to work in a factory in order to support the family, after his bankrupt father (Jonathan Pryce) was sent to debtors’ prison.

Dickens’s challenging childhood may have served as the inspiration for such classics as The Adventures of Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and David Copperfield.

However, his book which may have had the biggest effect on Western culture is A Christmas Carol, since it arguably altered how we now celebrate the holiday.

That is the premise of The Man Who Invented Christmas, Les Standiford’s historical narrative that describes the events in December of 1843 that led Dickens to write A Christmas Carol. The novella has now been adapted into a movie by Bharat Nalluri (MI-5) as a sentimental tale of redemption. more

IRON MIKE: Princeton University wrestler Mike D’Angelo, right, controls Lehigh’s Ian Brown last Friday at 157 pounds. Junior D’Angelo overcame a 6-0 deficit to prevail 17-7 in the match. D’Angelo’s heroics weren’t enough as Princeton fell 25-13 to fifth-ranked Lehigh. Princeton faces No. 10 Virginia Tech on December 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton University wrestling team fell 25-13 to fifth-ranked Lehigh last Friday in its first dual match of the season, Chris Ayres won’t soon forget what he saw on the mat from his athletes.

“I told the guys that there were two matches in that dual that were some of the most inspired I have seen in the wrestlers I have coached,” said Ayres. more

HIGH BEAM: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Drew Beamer controls the ball in a game this fall. Senior midfielder Beamer led PHS with 22 goals this fall, helping the Little Tigers advance to the state Group 4 title game and finish with a 17-6-1 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Will Hare was the understudy to frontrunner Alex Roth for the Princeton High boys’ cross country team in 2016 while Drew Beamer provided cover in the midfield for the PHS boys’ soccer team last season as senior stars led the way.

This fall, however, Hare shot to the front of the pack for the Little Tigers with Roth having graduated and competing at Penn while Beamer emerged as one of the top scorers in the area. more

IN SYNCH: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Jalynn Spaulding dribbles upcourt in a game last season. Last weekend, senior guard Spaulding helped Stuart reach the final of the Peddie School Girls Tip-Off tournament as it started the 2018-19 campaign. On Friday, she scored 10 points to help the Tartans edge host Peddie 44-43 in an opening round contest. A day later, she tallied six points in a losing cause as Stuart fell 50-26 to Pennington in the title game. The Tartans are next in action when they compete in the Mercersburg (Pa.) showcase where they face St. Ann Bayfield on December 8 and Stone Ridge (Md.) on December 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Justin Leith is looking to up the ante for his Stuart Country Day basketball team this winter.

“We are trying to step up the schedule and take the program to the next level,” said Stuart head coach Justin Leith.

“We had won the George School (Pa.) tournament at least two years in a row, it wasn’t as competitive. We were invited to the Peddie tournament and we decided to enter.” more

November 29, 2017

Thousands gathered in Palmer Square on Friday evening for the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting to usher in the holiday season. The 65-foot Norwegian spruce tree, decorated with more than 32,000 lights, was lit with the help of Santa Claus. The event also featured music by Holiday Brass and the Princeton High School Choir, a special performance by the American Repertory Ballet’s Nutcracker and Clara, and a visit from Ebenezer Scrooge from McCarter Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.” (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

About 200 people rallied in Hinds Plaza outside the Princeton Public Library at noon yesterday, loudly voicing support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and calling on Congress to pass the DREAM Act by December 8.

Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests earlier in the morning on Witherspoon and John Streets provided a certain urgency and sobering context to the proceedings, but did not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants.  more

By Donald Gilpin

Hundreds of members of the Princeton University community have been gathering this week in town hall meetings organized by the Faculty-Student Committee on Sexual Misconduct and the Title IX Office, responding with widespread frustration and criticism to the University’s handling of a sexual harassment case involving a distinguished electrical engineering professor.

Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering Sergio Verdu was found guilty in June, after a Title IX investigation, of sexually harassing one of his graduate students, Yeohee Im. A November 9 Huffington Post article (“Grad Student Says Princeton Prof who Sexually Harassed Her Was Given Slap On the Wrist”) reported that Verdu’s only punishment was an eight-hour training session.  more

By Anne Levin

Just what signing a resolution to support the North America Climate Summit Charter would mean to the town was the subject of a debate at a meeting of Princeton Council on Monday, November 27. After much discussion, the governing body voted four to one in favor of the measure.

In reaction to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, cities and
communities across the country have committed themselves to supporting the accord on a local basis. Princeton Council passed a resolution in support of the agreement and that committed to development of a Climate Action Plan as part of its 2017 goals and priorities. A summit of mayors from across the country will be held December 4-5 in Chicago. more