February 15, 2017

All ages are off and running in Saturday’s Cupid’s Chase 5K Run in support of people with disabilities. Based at the Princeton Shopping Center, the event was sponsored by Community Options. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

HANDLING HIS BUSINESS: Princeton University men’s basketball player Steven Cook handles the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, Cook scored 19 points and had eight rebounds to help Princeton edge Columbia 61-59. A day earlier, Cook passed the 1,000-point mark in his Princeton career when he tallied nine points in a 69-60 win over Cornell. Princeton, which has posted 11 straight wins and is now 15-6 overall and 8-0 Ivy League, plays at Yale on February 17 and at Brown on February 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As Columbia’s Jake Killingsworth lofted a three-pointer with seconds remaining in regulation and the Princeton University men’s basketball team clinging to a 61-59 lead over the Lions, the crowd at Jadwin Gym held its breath as the ball flew to the hoop. more

Princeton and 16 other universities filed an amicus curiae brief on Monday in a civil action which the attorney general of New York and others are pursuing in federal district court in New York City. The brief follows up on a February 2 letter to President Trump signed by Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber and 47 other college and university presidents urging Mr. Trump “to rectify or rescind the recent executive order” on immigration. more

An overflow crowd attending a gubernatorial candidate forum at the Suzanne Patterson Center, held by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) Sunday evening, February 12, officially endorsed Assemblyman John Wisniewski for New Jersey governor in the next election.

After a first round of voting by PCDO members, Mr. Wisniewski and fellow candidate Phil Murphy, a financier and former U.S. ambassador, competed in a run-off. Mr. Wisniewski won with just over 60 percent of the vote, which is the amount required for the PCDO’s endorsement. Also appearing at the forum were State Senator Raymond Lesniak and former Treasury official and federal prosecutor Jim Johnson. more

As Princeton Charter School (PCS) awaits a decision from the State on its application to expand, both PCS and the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) face law suits in the state courts over violations of the open public meeting act (OPMA, the sunshine law).

The Charter School applied to the State Department of Education on December 1, 2016, requesting to add 76 students and to institute a weighted lottery to increase enrollment of economically disadvantaged students. The proposal set off immediate resistance from the PPS, which warned of severe financial consequences for the District. Controversy between the schools and within the community continues to seethe. more

QUALITY OF LIFE: Bike Planners look forward to finalizing their Princeton Bike Plan, winning Planning Board approval, and seeing their proposals put in place to enhance biking opportunities and the quality of life for the whole town. (Photo courtesy of Bicycle Master Plan)

There are the intrepid cyclists who are happy to ride in almost all conditions. There are the community members who wouldn’t ride under any circumstances, and then there are the 60 percent of people in Princeton who would like to bike, but find conditions a bit scary, with narrow roads, traffic, or other problems.  more

Lawrence Green Team and Sustainable Lawrence presented the Sustainable Jersey Silver Certification for 2016 at a Lawrence Township town council meeting on January 17.

Sustainable Jersey has 441 registered towns. Lawrence Township is one of 44 New Jersey municipalities that have attained certification at the silver level. The township was honored at the Sustainable Jersey Awards Luncheon in November in Atlantic City. Members of the board attended the event. more

Priya Vulchi (pictured left) and Winona Guo, Chapin ’13 (pictured right), co-founders and co-presidents of Choose present to the Chapin School Princeton Faculty. 

Artists from McCarter Theatre visited Littlebrook Elementary School on February 7, performing scenes from plays by black American playwrights. Among them were August Wilson’s “Fences” and Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” The students posed with artists Jade King Carroll, Toccarra Cash, Nathan James, and Joshua Campbell following the presentation.

Ever since a fire leveled the AvalonBay apartment complex in Edgewater two years ago, local residents concerned about safety at the company’s development on Witherspoon Street, which opened last fall but still has sections under construction, have been pushing for upgrades in New Jersey’s building and fire codes. They have stepped up their efforts since February 4, when another blaze destroyed part of an AvalonBay complex under construction in Maplewood.

“There are so many people working to change the codes,” said Princeton resident Alexi Assmus, one of several involved in the effort. “We have been doing an amazing amount of work. There are also citizens in Teaneck and Wayne who are trying to do this. It’s a big effort.”  more

“Gimme Some Truth” was never one of my favorite John Lennon songs, certainly not compared to “Strawberry Fields Forever,” which the Beatles released on a single with “Penny Lane” 50 years ago this month. But in February 2017 when truth is being blitzed by the unhinged president and his toxic handlers while the Republican Congress looks the other way, it’s time to listen to a song from the Nixon era that nails “neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians” and “uptight short-sighted narrow-minded hypocrites.”

Without knowing the numbers, my guess is that the same people who are making a surprise bestseller of George Orwell’s 1984 may soon be searching out this song, with its searing George Harrison guitar break and the passionate singing of a man who might have become a world-class rapper had he lived through the 1980s.

If you want truth with the dimensions of Keats’s “Truth is beauty beauty truth,” however, it can be found in Rectify, the Sundance show that helped my wife and me survive the post-election blues. Having seen all four seasons of Ray McKinnon’s courageous series in the span of a week, as if it were a single work of cinematic art, I’d nominate it for Best Picture and Best Actor of 2016 and throw in a Golden Globe and an Emmy. Given the crowded field, the best Rectify has done so far is a 2015 Peabody Award recognizing it as “a powerful, subtle dramatic series.” Besides some Critics Choice nominations and appearances on numerous Top Ten lists, Rectify is the only television drama to score a rating of 100 percent on Metacritic. more

INHERIT THE WIND: Rehearsing for Rider Theatre’s production of “Inherit the Wind” are Shelly Walsh in the role of Drummond and Dan Maldonado in the role of Matthew Harrison Brady in Rider University’s upcoming production of the play, that will be presented in the Yvonne Theater on the campus of Rider University in Lawrenceville. February 22-26. Learn more at www.rider.edu/arts.

Rider Theatre will present the Tony Award-winning play Inherit the Wind in the Yvonne Theater on the campus of Rider University in Lawrenceville. February 22 — 26. A preview performance will be Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m., and performances will be Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. The production, directed by Miriam Mills, will be performed by Rider University students. more

The Alma Choir, the premier touring choir at Alma College, in Alma, Michigan, will perform a concert on Monday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Chapel on Princeton Theological Seminary’s campus. It is free and open to the public. Conducted by Will Nichols, with Anthony J. Patterson, on piano, the concert will feature classic sacred songs, African American Spirituals, folk and love songs. In 2016 the choir won three prestigious awards at the Navan Choral Festival in Ireland.

The concert is presented in memory of David A. Weadon, the late director of music and organist at Princeton Seminary, and is underwritten in part by the David A. Weadon Memorial Trust.

For more information, call the Chapel Office at (609) 497-7890.

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With picturesque towns and medieval castles, the Baltic nation of Estonia is known to many as a stop on a Baltic sea cruise; much of the classical world is unaware of the rich Estonian choral tradition dating back to the 12th century. In and out of Russian control from the early 1700s, Estonia most recently came into its own politically in 1991 and since that time, the worldwide choral community has been eager to devour the unique music of Estonia’s composers. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, with its own 35-year high-level performance history, brought this long-standing musical tradition to the Princeton University Chapel last week. more

A drug that could bring hope to millions of people living with Alzheimer’s disease is being tested in clinical trials by a Monmouth Junction-based pharmaceutical company at research sites in Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Suven Inc. is seeking people ages 50 to 85 who have been diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s and who are taking two standard medications for the disease — donepezil and memantine/Namenda XR. The clinical testing is designed to examine the efficacy of SUVN-502 on mental abilities impaired by the disease. more

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will appear at Rider University on March 23 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Virtues of Free Markets: An Evening with Hon. Newt Gingrich” is presented by the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics and is part of the University’s Hennessy Family Lecture on Capitalism series, which was inaugurated last year with an appearance by writer, scholar, and public intellectual Dinesh D’Souza. more

“BREAKING POINT”: Starting February 28, this piece by Kahlilah Sabree will be on display at the Prindiville Mohey Gallery at Artworks Trenton. “Explorations in Geometry,” an exhibition of prints by Bill Brookover will open the same day in the Artworks Community Gallery.

Artworks Trenton presents two exhibitions opening February 28, 2017. There will be an opening reception March 11, 6-8 p.m. for both exhibitions. more

“CONCRETE REEF”: This photo by Valerie Chaucer-Levine is part of the “Cell Phone Images Only” art exhibition on display in the Considine Gallery at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton from March 3– April 13. The public is invited to the Opening Reception on Sunday, March 5, 2-4 p.m. and the Gallery Talk on Tuesday, March 7, 1-2 p.m.

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart announces the spring exhibition in the school’s Considine Gallery will feature works from the Princeton Photography Club. Over 25 photographers are represented in the innovative exhibition, “Cell Phone Images Only,” which runs March 3 — April 13, and is made up entirely of images taken on cell phones. The opening reception is Sunday, March 5 from 2-4 p.m. There will be a gallery talk with the artists on Tuesday, March 7 from 1-2 p.m. The gallery is open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, when school is in session.  more

FEELING FIT: “We have a state-of-the-art fitness center and want to offer the best for our members. We build a relationship with people. We listen to them and find out what they like and what they might want to change.” Ralph Basile, owner and general manager of Retro Fitness in the Kingston Mall, is shown next to the popular AbSolo strengthening machine.

Working out at Retro Fitness is not only beneficial for your health and well-being, it can be fun too, says new owner Ralph Basile. “We make a point of getting to know our members,” he says. “I‘m a people person. I enjoy being able to meet all the people and bond with them.” more

February 8, 2017

Ice experts from Ice Sculpture Philly created a winter wonderland on Palmer Square Saturday that included an Ice Throne, an Ice Graffiti Wall, and a Princeton tiger. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

A rally “Against the Muslim Ban and Bigotry,” co-sponsored by The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), took place on the steps of the Trenton City Hall Monday, as federal courts, which had temporarily banned the administration from enforcing two parts of Mr. Trump’s order, considered the federal government’s appeals against their ruling.

Meanwhile local institutions, groups, and individuals continue to express their concern and to take action to support vulnerable individuals. more

MAKING HIS MOVE: Princeton University wrestler Matt Kolodzik, right, battles a foe in a bout earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman star Kolodzik, currently ranked fourth nationally at 141 pounds with a 20-2 record, posted two wins to help Princeton defeat Brown 32-6 and Harvard 33-3. The Tigers, now 7-6 overall and 3-0 Ivy League, wrestle at Columbia on February 10 and at perennial league champion Cornell on February 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Matt Kolodzik boasts the most glittering resume of any freshman to ever join the Princeton University wrestling program. more

A fire last Saturday that ripped through an AvalonBay Communities apartment complex in Maplewood, under construction and scheduled to open in March, destroyed many of its units. While this is the second major blaze in two years at a property owned by AvalonBay, which opened Avalon Princeton last fall, a company official said the Witherspoon Street development is more than up to code. more

Efforts continue by those who support keeping Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton rather than relocating the school to Rider’s Lawrenceville campus. A town hall forum on the topic was held Tuesday evening at the Arts Council of Princeton, and pressure on financially strapped Rider is sure to continue as the administration works toward a decision on the fate of the Princeton music school. more

GOING GREEN ATJW: Green Team members show off their new plan for recycling and composting at John Witherspoon Middle School. The students presented the program to their teachers at a faculty meeting on Monday and will bring their peers on board in homerooms this Friday.

A group of seventh and eight graders, members of the John Witherspoon Middle School (JW) Green Team, are moving into high gear this week, first teaching their teachers about recycling and composting, then bringing their training to the whole school in homerooms on Friday. more

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