December 1, 2021

The annual Palmer Square Tree Lighting was live again on Friday, after going virtual last year, as the 32,000 lights on the giant spruce tree lit up the evening sky. The event also featured musical performances and a visit from Santa. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

COVID-19 cases in Princeton, reported on November 29 by the Princeton Health Department, approached the December 2020 highest weekly and biweekly totals of the pandemic.

The Princeton Health Department on Monday reported 35 new cases in the previous seven days and 56 cases in the previous 14 days. The highest seven-day total of the pandemic was 39 in the second week of December last year, with 66 as the highest 14-day total registered during the second and third weeks of that month.

In announcing this “significant increase in cases” the health department pointed out that although cases are occurring in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, “there is a substantial difference in the severity of symptoms in those who are unvaccinated.”

For the week ended November 26, Princeton University reported 39 new COVID-19 cases and on November 26 announced an increase in required testing frequency, a 20-person limit on social gatherings, and a tightening of the mask mandate to require students to wear masks in all academic contexts for the rest of the semester. On Saturday, November 27, the campus risk status was raised from “moderate” to “moderate to high.”

“The past two weeks in Princeton we have seen a very abrupt trend change from where it appeared the Delta surge was bottoming out and now we are seeing a slingshot trend back up again,” said Princeton Deputy Administrator for Health and Community Services Jeff Grosser. “As a town we were averaging just about a case a day at our low point of the Delta surge (middle/end of October). Now we are seeing daily, weekly, and biweekly totals that compete with Princeton’s winter 2020 surge.” more

By Anne Levin

A petition signed by 130 students and alumni of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, expressing concerns about inadequate facilities, decreasing enrollment, unfulfilled promises, and more, was delivered to Rider administration on Tuesday afternoon.

“We, the students of Westminster Choir College (WCC), undersigned, are concerned about our education, our institution, the impact inadequate facilities have on our education, the value that our degrees will hold upon graduation, and the quality of support that we receive from the administration,” reads the opening paragraph.

The 22-acre choral college campus, located on Walnut Lane since the 1930s, became part of Rider in 1992. Four years ago, Rider announced it would sell Westminster and its Princeton campus, saying the institution had been losing money. But the controversial plan was dropped in 2017 after attempts to sell fell through, and last year Rider absorbed Westminster into its Lawrenceville campus.

“The move was made with promises to build a premier fine arts building, with more practice rooms, teaching studios, performance facilities, dance studios, offices for music faculty, and accommodations for everyone taking courses in the Westminster College of the Arts (WCA) and Westminster Choir College,” the petition reads. “As we near the end of the fall 2021 semester, we have yet to see what was promised.”

The petition was spearheaded by Marion Jacob, pursuing a graduate degree in master choral conducting; and Debbie-Ann Francis, a graduate student in piano pedagogy. Jacob said she and other students had attempted to express their concerns in the past, with little or no response from Rider administration. more

By Donald Gilpin

With an emphasis on transforming research into information for the benefit of society, Princeton University will be hosting its second annual innovation and entrepreneurship conference online on December 1 and 2.

Engineers, scientists, humanists, social scientists, and business leaders will be gathering via Zoom to engage with each other in sharing discoveries and strategies for fostering innovation to make a difference in confronting some of the greatest challenges facing the world in 2021.

“Our support for innovation aligns with Princeton’s intertwined missions of research, education, and service,” said Princeton University Vice Dean for Innovation and Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Rodney Priestley. “The University’s informal motto is ‘In the nation’s service and the service of humanity.’ We want to ensure that discoveries made in our labs and working spaces can become solutions for humanity’s challenges, and one way to do that is through entrepreneurship, the creation of new ventures such as startup companies.”

He continued, “Through the Princeton Innovation initiative, we hope that our impact goes beyond Princeton as a university and extends to New Jersey, the broader Northeast region, the nation, and indeed the world.”

Highlights of the two-day virtual gathering, titled Engage 2021, which is free and open to everyone, will include a conversation with the inventor Marian Croak, Google vice president of engineering and a 1977 Princeton University graduate; presentations by an array of Princeton professors and others focusing on the growing innovation ecosystem in New Jersey and the tri-state area; and guidance on finding funding for research and entrepreneurship. more

A GIFT OF A GROVE: Ronnie Ragen, center, and Princeton Councilmember Michelle Pirone Lambros, far left, gathered recently with members of Ragen’s family and the Princeton Shade Tree Commission to plant trees in memory of Ragen’s parents.

By Anne Levin

Princeton’s Shade Tree Commission is hoping that a recent tree-planting project honoring the memory of two former residents will inspire others to consider making similar donations.

Ronnie Ragen and her brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Lisa Ragen, recently gifted a grove of trees in Harrison Street Park, where a dense forest stood before the ravages of storms and the notorious emerald ash borer. The donation is under the aegis of the Commission’s Commemorative Tree program.

The newly planted grove of Happidaze American sweetgums, American yellow woods, and Cherokee Princess Florida dogwoods is arranged in a semi-circle, “to create a restful and welcoming nook in the park,” according to a press release by Commission member Alexandra Radbil. A Norway spruce was also installed, to replace an aging white pine that had served as a screen.

“The new grove will provide multi-season interest: striking white flowers on the dogwood and the yellow wood in spring, a variety of colors in the fall, and fragrant leaves throughout the year on the sweetgum,” reads the release. “The flowers on all the trees are a source of food for pollinators, and the pods and seeds the trees produce are a food source for birds and mammals. Their placement and structure add visual interest and density to the park and serve as a buffer between the park and the road.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Merodie A. Hancock

Thomas Edison State University (TESU), a leader in transforming the lives of its adult students as well as the field of adult education, will be kicking off its 50th anniversary celebrations on Wednesday, December 1, with the initiation of its Edison Speakers Series. TESU celebrates University Day on December 1 each year to commemorate the day the college was granted university status in 2015.

In an era when traditional colleges and universities are being challenged and are forced to question their identities and their role and purpose in society, TESU has been way ahead of the curve from its inception.

According to the resolution that established the school in 1972, it was created “to enable individuals to receive academic recognition for skills and knowledge acquired in a variety of ways and would permit New Jersey residents to complete part or all of their work toward a baccalaureate or associate degree without formal attendance at a campus.”

TESU is one of the state’s public institutions of higher learning funded by the state in the same way as Rutgers, The College of New Jersey, and others, but it is the only public college in the state that is designed specifically for working adults. The average age of its approximately 15,000 students is 34.

Since 1972 TESU has grown from offering correspondence courses and just one associate degree to leadership in online education and more than 100 areas of study with associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. TESU has awarded a total of more than 65,000 degrees. more

HOLIDAY STROLL: Historic homes are decorated for this year’s “Holiday Walkabout” from 12- 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 4. This year’s event is all outdoors, featuring exterior decorations, peeks through the window at inside displays, and sidewalk hospitality areas featuring music, refreshments, and conversation.

The annual Mill Hill Holiday House Tour returns with an all outdoor “Holiday Walkabout” from 12-5 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, in the historic downtown Trenton neighborhood.

This year’s house tour was reimagined to accommodate health safety concerns due to COVID-19, said Mill Hill Holiday House and Window Tour Co-Chair Terry West. “We didn’t want another year to pass without a holiday house tour, so we had to come up with a creative way to celebrate the holidays in our beautiful neighborhood.”

 more

By Stuart Mitchner

“Though I don’t pretend to understand what makes these four rather odd-looking boys so fascinating to so many scores of millions of people, I admit that I feel a certain mindless joy stealing over me as they caper about uttering sounds.”

So says Brendan Gill in his review of A Hard Day’s Night in the August 22, 1964 New Yorker. As an example of mindless joy, he mentions “a lady of indubitable intelligence” who told him that the Beatles “make her happy in the very same way that butterflies do; she wouldn’t be surprised if, in a previous incarnation, the Beatles had been butterflies.” A more mindfully memorable response came from the Village Voice’s Andrew Sarris, who dubbed A Hard Day’s Night “the Citizen Kane of juke box musicals.”

Another Beatles Landmark

Fifty-seven years later here they are again alive and well in The Beatles Get Back, which could be called the Citizen Kane of rock documentaries. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has carved a landmark out of 60 hours of film and 150 hours of audio, much of it transcriptions of conversations among the Beatles during the making of the album that would be released more than a year later as Let It Be. While I have yet to see Jackson’s three-act epic, I’ve been enjoying the book (Callaway Arts & Entertainment $60). It’s a massive volume, 250-plus pages brimming with digitally scanned and restored frames from the original footage, along with photography by Linda McCartney and Ethan A. Russell. By far the book’s most fascinating feature is the in-the-moment sensation of “being there.” Reviewing Get Back in Variety, Chris Willman was impressed by how much of the dialogue “reads like it could be adaptable into an off-Broadway play, full of dark comedy and rich insight about what can and can’t emerge out of ego and compromise among longtime partners approaching a crossroads.”  more

PIANIST STEWART GOODYEAR: His recital on December 19, at McCarter Theatre, is among the musical highlights of the holiday season.

By Anne Levin

Traditionally, the local performing arts calendar ramps up during the winter holiday season. These cultural celebrations are especially meaningful this year, signifying a return to pre-pandemic days — at least for now. While some events are still available online or scheduled to be performed outdoors, most are planned for theaters and concert halls. Most require proof of vaccinations, and require masks be worn.

Following is a list of holiday-themed arts events scheduled for the local area:

Princeton University Orchestra, at Richardson Auditorium on the campus Friday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 5 at 3 p.m., conducted by Michael Pratt. Soprano soloist is Alison Spann ’20. On the program are works by Rachmaninoff and David del Tredici. Music.princeton.edu.

Roxey Ballet performs a sensory-friendly version of The Nutcracker at Eagle Fire Hall, 46 North Sugan Road, New Hope, Pa., Saturday and Sunday, December 4 and 5, at 1 p.m. Roxeyballet.orgmore

NEED A LAUGH?: Maysoon Zayid, actress, comedian, writer, and disability advocate, is one of nine comics at the Lewis Center on December 6. (Photo by Michelle Kinney)

Jersey Jokers, a night of comedy led by comedian and Princeton University Arts Fellow Maysoon Zayid and her “Art of Standup” students as they take their final exam live, is set for Monday, December 6 at 7 p.m. at the Wallace Theater, in the Lewis complex. Admission is free.

Zayid is a comedian, actress, writer, and disability advocate. She is a graduate of Arizona State University and a 2021-23 Princeton Arts Fellow. Zayid is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest. She was a full-time on-air contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and a columnist for The Daily Beast. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, CNN, ABC News, and Oprah Winfrey Networks. Zayid had the most-viewed TED Talk of 2014 and was named One of 100 Women of 2015 by the BBC. more

“INTERNALIZED”: Work by artist Chanika Svetvilas is now on view at the Plainsboro Public Library gallery. An artist’s talk and opening reception for the exhibit, “What I Have Learned (Fill in the Blank),” will be held on Saturday, December 4, from 1-3 p.m.

An exhibit of work by Chanika Svetvilas, who describes herself as “an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary artist,” opens at the Plainsboro Public Library gallery on Wednesday, December 1. Svetvilas is scheduled to give an artist’s talk on Saturday, December 4, at the opening reception, scheduled for 1-3 p.m.

The show, which runs run through January 26, features 50 oversize (36” x 24”) charcoal drawings — and some collage — created during the pandemic. Each piece has its own title, and collectively the series is entitled “What I Have Learned (Fill in the Blank).” 

The Princeton Junction artist said that the work in the show represents her response to the ongoing isolation of the pandemic, especially in its earlier days. She has tried to illustrate “satirically the disparities and inequities brought to light” during the nation’s experience of COVID-19.  Included in the exhibit are the artist’s representations of the Black Lives Matter movement, a response to George Floyd’s murder, pandemic charts, images of masking, and depictions of her own experience. more

“OPEN CALL”: This work by Linda Gilbert is part of the exhibit opening on Monday, December 6 at Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury. The show features works in a variety of styles and sizes in several different mediums by many artists.

Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury presents its 12th annual “Open Call” exhibit, on view Monday, December 6 through Tuesday, December 28. Admission to the gallery is free. The show will feature several different mediums (paintings, drawings, photography), in a variety of styles and sizes, created by many different artists. Admission to the gallery is free.

As part of the nonprofit Cranbury Arts Council, the Gourgaud Gallery donates 20 percent of art sales to the Cranbury Arts Council and its programs that support the arts in the community. Cash or a check made out to the artist is accepted as payment.

The gallery is located in Town Hall, 23-A North Main Street in Cranbury. Hours are  Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit cranburyartscouncil.org for more information.

“DNNERWARE”: This work by R. Piccione is part of “Master Class Artists,” on view in the Lower Gallery at the Arts Council of Princeton December 4 through January 29. An artists’ reception will be held on Saturday, December 4 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton will present an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by artists from the Painting and Drawing Master Class instructed by Charles David Viera. This exhibition will be offered in the Lower Gallery December 4 through January 29, and the public is invited to an artists’ reception on Saturday, December 4 from 3 to 5 p.m.

“These students are from a special class that the Arts Council is now adding to their regular schedule of classes, and it’s for artists that still appreciate a structured class environment,” said Viera. “These artists have worked for three months to create a wonderful exhibition that includes a variety of representational and expressionistic paintings. The range of ideas and creativity that these artists represent makes for an impressive and exciting exhibition.”

“Master Class Artists” will feature works from Mercer and Hunterdon county artists K. Chasalow, M. Babich, M. Kalvar, L. Langsner, A. Meisel , L. Berlik, S. Bershad, P. Huttner, R. Piccione, and E.Lange

The Arts Council of Princeton  is located at 102 Witherspoon Street. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (609) 924-8777 or visit artscouncilofprinceton.org.

IN THE MIDST OF HISTORY: Shown is the historic Colonial era Cranbury Inn. As owners and innkeepers Tom and Gay Ingegneri point out, “The Inn is really its own entity, with a history and stories to tell. We are just its stewards. It is a joy to own such an historic, well-loved entity. We think of it as a home away from home for our guests, and we are proud to be its stewards. We especially love to see the young people and students visit and become interested in its history.”

By Jean Stratton

A Colonial-era inn still fulfilling its purpose: serving customers high quality dinners, celebrating weddings, hosting banquets — and more. This is a rarity today, and all the more reason for it to be acknowledged and commemorated.

With changing tastes and customs, and altered community styles and landscapes, changes come along quickly, almost before we know it. The Cranbury Inn, located at 21 Main Street in Cranbury, has stood the test of time, and continues to offer its customers the highest standards of service and cuisine.

Its history is a story in itself.

In the mid-18th century, taverns were built in the Cranbury area to meet the needs of travelers passing through the region, often on their way from New York to Philadelphia, or in the opposite direction. What is now The Cranbury Inn has been functioning as a place to eat and drink since at least 1750. more

MAKING A SPLASH: Princeton University men’s water polo player Roko Pozaric fires the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman star Pozaric scored four goals to help 19th-ranked Princeton defeat No. 16 Fordham 17-8 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. The Tigers, now 26-7, will face No. UCLA on December 2 in Los Angeles in the second opening-round game of the tournament with the victor advancing to the semis on December 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

The Princeton University men’s water polo team had some options when it set up its schedule this year.

The Tigers could have looked at their less experienced roster after a year off from competition and scheduled to build momentum against East Coast teams. Instead, they challenged themselves from the get-go against a parade of talented West Coast squads and the resulting reward is a trip to the second opening-round game of the NCAA tournament.

“To me, it was worth the risk,” said Princeton head coach Dustin Litvak.

“Otherwise we’d end up playing the same teams we always play every weekend. If that was going to be the reality, it was almost going to be better that we’d end up just practicing. If we ended up getting a ‘no’ on our two California trips, I was fine with just practicing through those weekends. Thankfully it worked out and we were able to go out there and play a lot of great teams at a lot of great pools.”

Last Saturday, things worked out very well for the Tigers as 10th-ranked Princeton pulled away from 16th-ranked Fordham for a 17-8 win in the first opening-round game of the NCAAs. It is the program’s first NCAA win since 2011. The Tigers will play at No. 1 UCLA in the second opening-round game of the NCAA tournament Thursday.

“We want to compete and we want to play with confidence,” said Litvak. “If we do that, we give ourselves a chance.” more

TRIPLE THREAT: Princeton University men’s basketball player Tosan Evboumwan dribbles to the hoop in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday, junior forward Evboumwan scored a career-high 19 points and added eight rebounds and five assists as Princeton defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 89-79. The Tigers, now 5-2, play at Hofstra on December 1 before hosting Drexel on December 4 and Bucknell on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tosan Evboumwan was sidelined when the Princeton University men’s basketball team played at Monmouth last Wednesday, and he was missed.

Princeton built a 46-39 halftime lead against the Hawks but faltered down the stretch, falling 76-64, lacking the inside presence and playmaking ability that the 6’9, 215-pound junior forward Evboumwan brings to the table.

Last Sunday,  Evboumwan, a native of Newcastle, England, returned to the lineup as the Tigers hosted Fairleigh Dickinson University and he certainly made a difference. Evboumwan tallied a career-high 19 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists as Princeton topped FDU 89-79.

“It is great to be back and playing with my teammates,” said Evboumwan.

“We got a win after the loss to Monmouth. It was tough to watch and not be out there. I am glad to be back.”

Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson was certainly glad to see Evboumwan back in action. more

SHOOTING STAR: Princeton University women’s basketball player Abby Meyers puts up a shot in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday, senior guard Meyers scored a game-high 21 points to help Princeton defeat Maine 82-43. The Tigers, now 5-1, play at No. 22 Florida Gulf Coast on December 1 and at Fordham on December 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Abby Meyers knows that she has to be a go-to offensive player for the Princeton University women’s basketball team this winter.

After playing a supporting role to such stars as Bella Alarie and Carlie Littlefield in the past, it is time for Meyers to carry more of the scoring load.

“As a senior, I have gotten a lot of trust from my coaches and teammates, which I really value and appreciate,” said Meyers, who averaged 9.4 points a game in the 2017-18 and 6.3 points in 2019-20.

“I almost have the green light and that is something that not many people are lucky enough to have. I am working really hard on my game. My teammates are looking for me. In the end, we need the scorers to score. I really want to try and internalize that role, being a good scorer for our team. We need it.”

Last Sunday against visiting Maine, Meyers displayed her offensive game, tallying a game-high 21 points as the Tigers pulled away to an 82-43 win in improving to 5-1.

“Getting 100 shots a day is really key to keeping your shot good,” said Meyers, a 6’0 native of Potomac, Md., who is now averaging a team-best 17.7 points a game this season.

“It is just having fun with and not overthinking it. I think a lot of our players in the beginning started to overthink stuff because there is a year off. They pictured a lot of things, like I am going to do this, this, and this. It is just going in with no expectations and having a short term memory and playing the best that you can.” more

99 AND COUNTING: Princeton University women’s hockey player Maggie Connors fires the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, junior forward Connors scored the lone goal for 10th-ranked Princeton as it fell 3-1 to No. 4 Northeastern. The tally marked the 99th point for Connors in her college career. The Tigers, now 5-4-1 overall, play a two-game set at Providence on December 3 and 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University women’s hockey team having not scored in its previous two games heading into its contest against Northeastern last Saturday, Maggie Connors and her teammates came out firing.

The 10th-ranked Tigers outshot the visiting No. 4 Huskies 15-6 in the first period.

“After last night’s game, we really regrouped,” said junior forward Connors, referring to a 2-0 loss to Northeastern last Friday.

“We wanted to come out strong and really push the pace, knowing that they are a very fast team, respect to them.”

Even though the game was knotted in a 0-0 tie after the first with Northeastern goalie Aerie Frankel coming up big to repel Princeton, the Tigers were confident they would break through.

“We stuck together, we knew that it was going to come if we keep putting pucks on net,” said Connors. “She is an amazing goalie, we had to keep pushing.”

After the Huskies took a 1-0 lead with 6:38 left in the second period, Connors got a puck in the back of the net in the waning moments of the frame, stealing the puck from Frankel and flipping it past her.

“I just wanted to forecheck, I knew I was the closest there,” said Connors, whose tally was her eighth goal of the year and the 99th point in her Princeton career. more

TACKLING MACHINE: Princeton University star linebacker Jeremiah Tyler corrals a ball carrier in action this fall. Last week, Tyler was named as a finalist for the 2021 Stats Perform Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Buck Buchanan Award. The Buck Buchanan Award is presented to the FCS National Defensive Player of the Year. The award, in its 27th season, is named for Buchanan, a legendary Hall of Fame defensive lineman who starred with the Kansas City Chiefs and played collegiately for Grambling State. Tyler produced a team-high 58 tackles this season, adding seven for a loss as Princeton went 9-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy League, to tie Dartmouth for the league title. The senior captain also had two sacks, a fumble recovery for a touchdown, and six pass breakups. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Pito Walton has been around Hobey Baker Rink for around a decade.

Growing up in nearby Peapack, Walton played in youth hockey games at the historic rink. Going on to star at the Lawrenceville School, Walton was in the stands to watch Princeton University games.

Now as a junior defenseman for Princeton, Walton relishes the chance play on a daily basis in the storied building.

“It was a real privilege to come here and it is a dream come true,” said Walton.

“I came here to games when I was at Lawrenceville. When I was a kid, I played mite games here.”

Last Saturday, Walton was all over Baker Rink, helping Princeton produce a superb defensive effort as it battled RIT to a scoreless stalemate through regulation before losing 1-0 in overtime and moving to 3-5-1 overall.

“We definitely put an emphasis on our d-zone, making sure that we focused,” said Walton, reflecting on the contest which came on the heels of a 5-4 loss to RIT on Friday evening.

“We are just focused on staying connected in the d-zone and making sure that we are communicating, knowing that we are really a positionally-sound team. When pucks are turned over, we are going to pounce on them and get it going the other way.” more

HAN SOLO: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Han Shin gets ready to fire the puck up the ice in a game last winter. Sophomore defenseman Shin figures to be a key performer for PDS this winter. The Panthers, who open their 2021-22 season by falling 3-2 to Pope John, play the Hun School on December 1 at the Ice Land Rink and then host St. Augustine on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The 2021-22 season will mark the dawn of a new era for the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team.

While the storied program has established itself as a traditional power, winning state Prep and county titles and posting some memorable victories over Mid-Atlantic Hockey League foes like Lawrenceville and Hun, it is branching out this winter to join the Gordon Conference and compete in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) state Non-Public tournament for the first time.

PDS head coach Scott Bertoli is fired up about the program’s new path.

“I feel like the expectation and hope that it will be a normal, uninterrupted season — it lends itself right from the get-go to get really excited about being back on the ice,” said Bertoli, who guided his team to a 4-1-1 record last year in an abbreviated season.

“Every game we are going to play this year is a league game or a conference game. That is exciting.”

The Gordon Conference which includes such formidable foes as Delbarton, Don Bosco, Bergen Catholic, and Seton Hall Prep, among
others, will provide some stern tests for the Panthers.

“Personally I think it is awesome, it is a perfect fit for us,” said Bertoli, whose team fell 3-2 to Pope John in its Gordon debut last Monday. more

BREAKING THE ICE: Hun School boys’ hockey player Nick Dimatos skates in a 2019 game. Post-graduate defenseman and co-captain Dimatos will be leading the blue line unit for the Raiders this winter. Last weekend, Hun started its season by going 3-1 in the Shady Side Academy Thanksgiving Classic in Pittsburgh, Pa. In upcoming action, the Raiders host Princeton Day School on December 1 and St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.) on December 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Things were pretty bleak last winter for the Hun School boys’ hockey team as it only got to play three games due to COVID-19 concerns.

“There was a lot of anticipation for last year; you have these little windows where you can be pretty competitive and I think last year seemed like the pinnacle of one,” said Hun head coach Ian McNally.

“Everybody was very excited to play and then we didn’t; the air came out.”

Understandably, the Hun squad was very excited to start the 2021-22 season by heading to Pittsburgh, Pa., last weekend to compete in the Shady Side Academy Thanksgiving Classic where it played more games in three days than it did all season, going 3-1 at the event.

“Once we got on the ice here this season, the excitement was very high,” said McNally.

“People started looking around, saying wait a minute, we are going to be pretty good. The whole point of doing this tournament was to feel like we were hitting the ground rolling in December instead of it taking a couple weeks for you to get going. That is what we got out of it.”

After losing 5-2 to host Shady Side last Friday to open the season, Hun rebounded with a 7-2 win over the Blyth Academy (Ontario). more

ON GUARD: Hun School boys’ basketball player Dan Vessey, right, guards a foe in a 2019 game. Senior guard Vessey is looking to have a big final campaign at Hun. The Raiders were scheduled to tip off their 2021-22 season by hosting St. Benedict’s on November 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

A year ago, the Hun School boys’ basketball team started its preseason training outdoors on the school’s tennis courts as it wasn’t allowed to practice in the gym due to COVID-19 concerns.

As Hun got ready to tip-off its 2021-22 campaign by playing powerhouse St. Benedict’s on November 30, the Raider players were savoring the chance to be going through their paces inside the Shipley Pavilion.

“I think any way you cut it, we are so much further along than we were last year,” said Hun head coach Jon Stone who guided the Raiders to an 8-2 record in their abbreviated 2021 campaign.

“It is the thrill of playing every day, it has been great, the guys are really excited, as am I.”

Senior guard Jack Scott, who is headed to Princeton University next year to follow in the footsteps of his father, Joe Scott, a former hoops star and coach for the Tigers, is primed for a great season.

“Jack formally committed to the process at Princeton; he had a really big summer,” said Stone.

“It is a little bit of everything, he sees the floor really well, he is a really good passer. He has continued to grow, he is 6’5 now so just his size as a guard is a tremendous asset at both ends of the floor. Offensively, he has the ability to finish around the rim. Defensively, he can guard bigger players and guards.” more

WASHINGTON CROSSING: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Leila Washington brings the ball upcourt in a game last season. Sophomore guard Washington figures to emerge as a star for Stuart this winter. The Tartans were slated to start their 2021-22 campaign by hosting Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on November 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last few seasons, the Stuart Country Day School basketball team featured a formidable inside-outside punch.

With the pair of Ariel Jenkins and Laila Fair dominating in the paint and guards Nia Melvin and Aleah James starring on the perimeter, Stuart won three state Prep B titles from 2018-20 and advanced to the Mercer County Tournament final in 2020 for the first time in program history.

With that quartet having graduated and Jenkins playing at Georgetown, Fair at St. Joseph’s, James at LIU, and Melvin opting not to play at the college level despite a number of offers, the Tartans will have a radically different look this winter.

“Everyone is excited, we have a lot of new faces,” said Stuart head coach Justin Leith, who guided Stuart to a 7-6 record last winter in an abbreviated season.
“W
e have either inexperience or freshmen. It has been fun though as a coach, you are coaching different things, going back to more basic stuff. Even in a short amount of time, I am seeing them reaping the benefits of repetition. They are starting to get an understanding of the game which is exciting.”

As a result of the graduation losses, the Tartans will be employing an up-tempo style featuring interchangeable parts.

“We are tiny, we don’t have a backcourt or a frontcourt, we are just guards,” said Leith, who also lost valuable performers Catherine Martin and Molly Lagay to graduation. more

November 24, 2021

Members of the Princeton University football team celebrate after they defeated Penn 34-14 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia last Saturday to clinch a share of the Ivy League title. The Tigers ended up 9-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy to tie Dartmouth (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy) for the crown. It marked the fourth Ivy title in the last eight seasons for the program. For more details on the game, see page 32. (Photo by Mitchell Shields, provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) at their November 15 meeting voted unanimously to recommend the creation of the Prospect Avenue Historic District as Princeton’s 21st historic district. The recommendation will go to the Princeton Planning Board and Princeton Council for approval in the coming months.

The proposed district, which includes 17 current and former undergraduate eating clubs, two residences, a monumental wall and gateway, and an apartment building, would extend from Washington Road to Murray Place. It would not include the academic buildings on the corner of Washington Road.

“The historic district designation would bring a very important level of protection to Prospect Avenue,” said Clifford Zink, a historic preservation consultant and author of The Princeton Eating Clubs. Properties included in a local historic district require review by the Princeton HPC for any alterations or additions visible from the street.

“The value of this district designation is not to freeze Prospect Avenue at some particular period, but rather to appropriately manage changes in the future so that they respect the historic significance of the street,” Zink added. “You want to manage the changes appropriately so that any changes respect history.”

The HPC resolution recommending the Prospect Avenue Historic District emphasizes the “unique and character-defining streetscape comprised of stately structures in residential appearance,” the embodiment of “many aspects of significant American and local history,” primarily involving “the eating clubs of Princeton University and the people who fostered, belonged to, worked for, associated with and even opposed them over seventeen decades since the 1850s even to the present day.” more