July 10, 2019

Pick-your-own blueberries was just one of the activities at the Blueberry Bash, held last weekend at Terhune Orchards on Cold Soil Road. The annual event also featured a blueberry bake-off contest, wagon and pony rides, live music, a puppet show, wine tasting, and plenty of blueberry treats. Festivalgoers share their favorite ways to enjoy blueberries in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photos by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Anne Levin

A temporary restraining order issued Monday by Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson prevented Princeton Council from passing a resolution that would have ended its agreement with a sewer repair company for work on Spruce Street and Linden Lane.

At its meeting Monday evening, July 8, the governing body put aside the resolution that would have terminated its contract with Integrated Construction and Utilities of New Jersey (ICUNJ). The company is connected to an investigation into alleged illegal dumping at the River Road sewer department facility. ICUNJ, which does sewer repair, demolition, and asbestos abatement, has done work for Princeton for over a decade.

After it was revealed last month that a container filled with asbestos materials was at the River Road facility, the municipality informed ICUNJ that its contract would be canceled. The company responded by filing a lawsuit against the town, saying it was simply following directions from Princeton officials in disposing of materials at the site, and therefore should not be punished. more

By Donald Gilpin

Looking ahead to next month’s action-packed week of educational, celebratory, and athletic events, reflecting this year’s theme of “Celebrating Life by Honoring Our Past, Recognizing Our Families and Lifting Up Our Town,” the Joint Effort Princeton Witherspoon-Jackson Safe Streets Program has announced its honorees for 2019.

During the August 3-11 festivities, John Broadway, Ida Belle Dixon, Cecelia B. Hodges, Laura Wooten (posthumously), Mamie Oldham, Bob and Barbara Hillier (Town Topics shareholders), and Minnie and Eric Craig will receive the 2019 Paul Robeson Spirit Award.

Leighton Newlin and Lance Liverman will be honored as the 2019 Witherspoon-Jackson Citizens of the Year, and Frances Broadway Craig and Cynthia “Chip” Fisher (posthumously) will receive the 2019 Jim Floyd Memorial Lifetime Achievement Awards. more

By Donald Gilpin

Hundreds of Princeton area residents are expected to rally in Hinds Plaza this Friday from 7-9 p.m. to support immigrant rights and to protest the treatment of immigrant families by the current administration.

“We are expecting a contingent of students associated with LEDA (Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America) from Princeton, as well as some families directly affected by the policy, people of faith who believe this is not what their church/mosque/synagogue has taught them, and many community members who believe it is their duty as human beings to show compassion to those seeking refuge,” said local organizer and Indivisible Cranbury leader Laura Zurfluh. more

ROMANTIC AND HUMOROUS: The film “Strings Attached” by Peri Segel is among 18 short works by aspiring high school and college-age filmmakers, at Princeton Public Library July 17 and 18.

By Anne Levin

The Princeton Student Film Festival was launched 16 years ago to give young, local students a chance to test out their filmmaking talents. Held each summer at Princeton Public Library, the festival has grown and broadened over the years, much to the delight of its founders.

“When we started, it was just a handful of local kids with a couple of weeks’ notice,” said Susan Conlon, who heads the library’s Youth Services Department. “But now, we have this great mix of genres and styles from a variety of places. This is not just a teen festival. I think anyone interested in film who attends will be blown away by how talented these young people are.” more

ACE MENTORING: Mike Roseborough, Princeton Family YMCA’s ACE (Accept. Complete. Excel.) project director, is working with Princeton Public Schools on the program to reduce chronic absenteeism at Princeton High School. (Photo courtesy of Princeton Family YMCA)

By Donald Gilpin

Reducing chronic absenteeism at Princeton High School (PHS) is the goal of the YMCA’s ACE (Accept. Complete. Excel.) Program, which is kicking off this year with the support of a $300,000 grant over the next five years from the Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF).

Citing an absenteeism rate of nearly 30 percent among PHS junior and senior students of color, ACE Project Director Mike Roseborough, who joined the Y’s team last December, said, “We want to reduce that number by junior year, to help them academically and get them on a path to success, to give them the tools to compete. We want them to excel.”

The Princeton Family YMCA and PPS were one of 10 nonprofit and school partnerships selected by the PACF to win support through its All Kids Thrive initiative, which is focused on reducing chronic absenteeism in Mercer County. more

By Anne Levin

Photo by John Simpson

The June 26 passing of composer and educator Peter Westergaard has inspired numerous tributes in the Princeton University music community, of which he was a prominent member for five decades. In a story on the University’s website, numerous faculty, former students, and colleagues praised Westergaard, citing his warmth and sense of humor as well as his musical skills.

Westergaard, who was 88, died at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center after a brief battle with cancer.

“Peter shaped the artistic and intellectual direction of the music department in countless ways, not the least of which was supporting the intersections between performance, composition, and scholarship,” said Wendy Heller, the Scheide Professor of Music History who chairs the music department. Heller also praised Westergaard’s “extraordinary intelligence, sense of humor, gift for language, and deep understanding of poetry.”

The website quotes Scott Burnham, the Scheide Professor of Music History, Emeritus: “Peter combined cultural depth with a deft touch, and he brought this gift to bear upon all his creative work. He was an endlessly generous presence in the music department, always there for his students and colleagues in the richest possible way.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

The performers in Friday morning’s backyard circus are identified in the Audubon guide as Common Grackles, “a very familiar species on suburban lawns, striding about with deliberate steps,” searching for insects, nesting “in small colonies,” and perching “in adjacent treetops to sing their creaking, grating songs.” What held me and had me smiling, however, was the visual music they were making as they gathered, one by one, on the long limb of a hemlock tree until six of them were sitting in a row, the limb rocking under them, as if they were sharing the fun. It may be a common sight for this common species, but I never saw it before and I doubt that I ever will again.

To go from watching birds riding a limb to reading Proust, who was born on July 10, 1871, is easier said than done, considering that each of the three volumes of the 1981 Random House edition of Remembrance of Things Past tops a thousand pages. With five days to deadline, all I can do is pack my knapsack with possibilities (birds, summertime, the seaside, the moon landing, the primal joy of victorious athletes) and prepare for the voyage by reading around in the edition of Proust’s Letters edited and translated by Minna Curtis. My guide is the 20-year-old English girl I encountered there. Proust’s biographer George D. Painter says it was “the beautiful Marie Nordlinger” who led Proust “near to the heart of the labyrinth.” Short and slender, “with delicate Pre-Raphaelite hands, dark eyes, full lips, and a look of warm sincerity and intelligence,” the talented young painter/sculptor from Manchester was “a godsend” in Proust’s struggle to translate John Ruskin into French. A note in my 1949 edition of the Letters says that she “not only initiated him into the English texts but supplied him with endless information and assistance” and was “the only woman younger than himself, highly intellectual and of his own social background with whom he ever seems to have carried on a friendship.”  more

By Nancy Plum

Of the trumpet, French horn, and trombone, the most familiar is likely the trumpet, thanks to a repertory of 17th and 18th-century music featuring the instrument. The French horn is also well known though a number of concerti over several centuries. The trombone, however, is rarely featured in orchestral settings, and is a pleasure for audiences to hear and see close up. Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts brought these three instruments together last Tuesday night at Richardson Auditorium with a performance by the New York Brass Arts Trio. Definitely an ensemble for the 21st century, the Brass Arts Trio is comprised of trumpeter Joe Burgstaller, French horn player David Jolley, and trombonist Haim Avitsur, who came together in this performance to demonstrate the power of their instruments within the finesse of ensemble playing.

Burgstaller, Jolley, and Avitsur are not only expert performers, but also imaginative arrangers; almost all of the pieces on Tuesday night’s program were arranged by one of them. The Trio presented works spanning three centuries, beginning with David Jolley’s arrangements of three sinfonias of Johann Sebastian Bach. In these short pieces, the three brass instruments were able to achieve appropriate lightness in melodic lines, as well as dynamic contrasts. Burgstaller found numerous opportunities for ornamentation in music tailor-made for a bright trumpet sound. more

“DEATHTRAP”: Performances are underway for Princeton Summer Theater’s production of “Deathtrap.” Directed by Annika Bennett, the play runs through July 21 at Princeton University’s Hamilton Murray Theater. Sidney Bruhl, a playwright (C. Luke Soucy, left) implies to his wife, Myra (Kathryn Anne Marie) that he may kill a younger rival, in order to steal his script — leaving Myra to try to determine whether or not Sidney is joking. (Photo by Kirsten Traudt)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Princeton Summer Theater (PST) states that the mission of its 2019 season is to “explore love in all its forms.” The company’s previous production, Falsettos, was an obvious fit for this theme. That musical’s near-adolescent protagonist sings about his ambivalence toward love, but grows to feel compassion for his father’s terminally ill lover, despite the extent to which the latter disrupts the boy’s family.

In this context Deathtrap (1978), currently presented by PST, is a somewhat curious choice. This cerebral, darkly comic thriller by Ira Levin (1929-2007) — the author of novels such as A Kiss Before Dying, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Stepford Wives — chiefly is characterized by urbane banter, professional jealousy, and violence. There are brief displays of physical affection between characters, but to the extent that the theme of love is explored, it is subtle and confined to individual moments, rather than overarching. more

The 52nd season of the Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts closes on Friday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. with Rolston String Quartet at Richardson Auditorium on the Princeton University campus. The concert will include Haydn’s “Sunrise” Quartet, Beethoven’s “Razsumovsky,” and “Metamorphoses Nocturnes” by Ligeti. Admission is free.

The 2018 recipient and first international ensemble chosen for the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America, Canada’s Rolston String Quartet also earned First Prize at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition. They then toured Germany, Italy, Austria, Canada, and the United States, followed by a two-year term as the Yale School of Music’s fellowship quartet-in-residence in the fall of 2017.

The Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Chamber Music Residency. They take their name from Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston, founder and long time director of the music and sound programs at the Banff Centre.

Even though concerts are free, tickets are still required. Starting one week before each concert a block of tickets is available online through tickets.princeton.edu. Once the online tickets are “sold out” the remaining tickets will be available, first-come, first-served, at the box office on the day of the concert. There is a maximum of four tickets per party. Doors open for general seating one-half hour before the concert.

Visit www.princetonsummerchamberconcerts.org or call (609) 570-8404 for more information.

“IGNORE ME”: This large-scale sculpture is one of six now on view in “Rebirth: Kang Muxiang,” at Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton through May 2020. The works are made from steel elevator cables from Taipei 101, one of the world’s tallest buildings. (Photo by George Chevalier)

Now on view at Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) in Hamilton, “Rebirth: Kang Muxiang” is an exhibition of six large-scale sculptures by Taiwanese artist Kang Muxiang, sited outdoors in the gardens. Massive yet graceful, the embryonic forms are made from steel elevator cables from Taipei 101, one of the world’s tallest buildings. The works range in size, with the largest standing nearly 10 feet tall and weighing several thousand pounds.

Kang began his artistic practice with traditional woodcarving at the age of 13. Eventually turning to other media, the artist has also worked in bronze and stainless steel. In 2002, Kang spent a year living a largely solitary and primitive lifestyle on Guishan (Turtle Island), off the coast of Taiwan. This experience motivated him to create his Life series of sculptures that explores how our way of life impacts future generations.  more

“COLORS OF MEMORY”: This artist book created with laser cut woodblock and collograph plates is featured in “Reflections: Artist Books and Works on Paper by Maria G. Pisano,” on view at the Plainsboro Library gallery through July 31. An artist reception is Sunday, July 14 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Plainsboro Library Gallery presents artist books and works on paper by award-winning artist and Plainsboro resident Maria G. Pisano in “Reflections.” The exhibit runs through July 31, and an art reception will be held on Sunday, July 14, 2 to 4 p.m., with the artist on hand to speak about her work.

Pisano’s prints are a combination of collagraph plates and/or monotypes. Her artist books combine a variety of expressive forms, including drawing, painting, print and printmaking media, papermaking, text, and book design, making the book structure a complex and unique form of expression. more

RYAN’S HOPE: Ryan Smith delivers a pitch this spring in his senior season with the Princeton University baseball team. The recently graduated Smith was selected last month by the Los Angeles Angels in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. He is currently pitching for the Angels short season Class A team, the Orem Owlz in Utah. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Justin Feil

Whether it’s throwing a 95 mile-per-hour fastball or being fluent in Spanish to bond with his teammates, Ryan Smith has found a fit in professional baseball.

One day after Smith graduated from Princeton University on June 4, he was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

“It’s been a dream to be drafted and play professional baseball so obviously it’s pretty exciting,” said Smith, who grew up in Garden City, N.Y.

“I kind of had the idea in my head that I would be selected this year, so it was more of where, not if I would. Obviously I was hoping to get drafted as high as possible. The 18th round is a good round to get taken in, but obviously I would have loved to go higher. I can have a chip on my shoulder now.” more

STRONG COFFEE: Recently graduated Princeton High standout Connor Coffee, center, makes a block playing for the West squad in the 2019 Sunshine Football Classic at Notre Dame High last Wednesday evening.Coffee was joined on the West team by PHS teammates Jaylen Johnson, Evan Angelucci, and Steve Hennessy. The quartet battled hard as the West fell 14-7 to the East in game halted in the third quarter due to lightning strikes in the area. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Seven of the offensive linemen on the West squad in the 2019 Sunshine Football Classic had an average weight of 266 pounds.

The eighth lineman, recently graduated Princeton High star Connor Coffee, was listed at 6’1, 180 pounds.

Playing in the all-star game last Wednesday night at Notre Dame High, the wiry Coffee battled hard at left tackle, more than holding his own against the heavyweights he encountered in the trenches. more

HISTORIC FINISH: Mira Shane guards the net for the University of Michigan women’s lacrosse this spring in her senior campaign. Former Princeton High star Shane helped Michigan enjoy the best season in program history as it rose to No. 8 in the national rankings and made the NCAA tournament for the first time. The Wolverines advanced to the second round of the national tourney and ended with a 16-4 record. Shane, for her part, set Michigan program career records in wins (24), career saves (360) and career save percentage (.451). This spring, Shane made 19 starts with a goals against average of 9.99 and 139 saves. She was named as an Inside Lacrosse honorable mention All-American and a Tewaaraton Award Nominee. (Photo provided courtesy of Michigan Photography)

By Bill Alden

Even though the University of Michigan women’s lacrosse team posted a pedestrian 7-10 record in 2018, Mira Shane sensed the Wolverines were primed to step up this spring.

“We had an awesome fall ball season,” said former Princeton High star goalie Shane. “I think from there, we were ‘let’s go, this can really be our year.’”

After spending her first three years as a part-time starter, Shane was ready to produce an awesome final campaign. more

IN SYNC: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player Jaedyn Paria-Veron takes a swing in recent action. Last Sunday, former Princeton High standout Paria-Veron starred as Post 218 split a doubleheader at Ewing Post 314. Princeton won the opener 14-12 before dropping the nightcap 8-6. Paria-Veron had five RBIS in game one and was on base four times in the second game. Post 218, which moved to 3-13, plays at Trenton Post 93/182 on July 10, at South Brunswick Post 401 on July 11, hosts North Hamilton on the morning of July 14 and Hightstown Post 148 later that day in a rescheduled game, and then plays at Hopewell Post 339 on July 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jaedyn Paria-Veron has become a catalyst this summer for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team.

Batting in the leadoff spot for Post 218 as it played a doubleheader at Ewing Post 314 last Sunday, former Princeton High standout Paria-Veron was in center of the action all day long as the teams played for nearly five hours.

In the opener, center fielder Paria-Veron had two hits and five RBIs as Post 218 built an 11-2 lead and hung on for a 14-12 win. As afternoon turned into evening for the nightcap at Moody Park, Paria-Veron reached base four times on an error, two walks, and a single to help Princeton rally from an early 7-2 deficit to narrow the gap to one run before falling 8-6 as it dropped to 3-13. more

LEADING THE FIELD: Vince Anfield of Loyaltees goes up for a shot against NJ Spiritwear in last year’s championship series in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Anfield helped Loyaltees take the title. Last Monday, Anfield came up big as Loyaltees defeated previously undefeated NJ Spiritwear 70-52 in a regular season title rematch. Star guard Anfield tallied 16 points to help Loyaltees pull away to the victory and improve to 5-1. In other action on Monday night, Hometown Moving and Storage defeated Team NRGY 65-47 and Apex Sport topped Majeski Foundation 56-42. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There was excitement in the air at the Community Park courts last Monday evening as Loyaltees faced NJ Spiritwear in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.

The clash was a rematch of last year’s best-of-three title series won by Loyaltees in a decisive game three and the renewal of the rivalry drew a throng of fans to the park.

Loyaltees star guard Vince Anfield and his teammates, for their part, were determined to come out strong in the showdown against an undefeated Spiritwear squad bent on revenge. more

July 3, 2019

A deal to sell Westminster Choir College to a Chinese company is off the table. But Rider University’s plan to move the music school from Princeton to Rider’s Lawrenceville campus has many Westminster stakeholders vowing to get the decision reversed. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Anne Levin

Rider University announced Monday that a $40 million agreement to sell Westminster Choir College to a Chinese company, Kaiwen Education, is off. Instead, the University plans to move the prestigious music school from its Princeton location to Rider‘s Lawrenceville campus beginning in September, 2020.

While those who have consistently opposed the sale to Kaiwen are expressing relief that the deal will not go through, there is considerable opposition to the consolidation plan. “What they want to do is simply illegal,” said attorney Bruce Afran, who is representing the nonprofit Westminster Foundation in efforts to save the school and keep it in Princeton. “So we will be moving in court to block this, as we have before.”

Rider’s plan would keep Westminster Choir College, Westminster Conservatory, and the Westminster Continuing Education programs on the 22-acre Princeton campus during the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year. The University has not specified what the Princeton property on Walnut Lane would become after the move. more

By Donald Gilpin

As concern grows over the immigration crisis at the border and throughout the country, Princeton University and Microsoft have issued statements in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 28 decision to review cases regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Meanwhile, Princeton Human Services, in collaboration with the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) and the Princeton Public Library, last night held a Know Your Rights workshop “in preparation for the expected ICE raids in the upcoming weeks.” The workshop on immigrant rights was planned to provide information for what to do if one has an encounter with ICE. Lawyers were to be present to answer questions and notaries on hand to complete temporary power of attorneys for child guardianship.

In further support of the immigrant community, a coalition of area organizations has planned a Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps rally for Friday, July 12, from 7-9 p.m. in Hinds Plaza.  more

By Anne Levin

Most people associate autism with children and young adults. But thanks to better health care and increased understanding of the disorder, people with autism and developmental disabilities are living longer.

According to the Association on Aging with Developmental Disabilities, the average life expectancy for people with a developmental disability was just 22 years in 1931. Today, the average life expectancy is 70. Yet only two percent of autism research is focused on seniors, which leaves families with an autistic relative uncertain about the future.

It is this kind of statistic that inspired Eden Autism, the 44-year-old support organization, to create the Schalks Crossing Day Center for Aging Adults. The new center is located in the Plainsboro Plaza on Schalks Crossing Road. The facility opens this month, with an official ribbon cutting scheduled for Thursday, August 15. more

EARNING THEIR STARS: These proud participants in the Princeton Public Library’s Youth Summer Reading Program know that reading every day earns them special stars as well as ice cream, free books, and other prizes. The initiative for kids and teens is run alongside adult-oriented programs which have a “Summer of ’69” theme through Labor Day.

By Anne Levin

The summer season is in full swing at Princeton Public Library, where more readers than ever, young and not-so-young, have signed on to programs that challenge them to keep reading and reward them for doing so.

The children and young adults who meet their marks — at least 20 minutes of reading every day for 20 days — can win books and certificates for ice cream from Thomas Sweet, as well as other prizes. Reaching into an old-fashioned gumball machine, to grab balls of different colors revealing prizes, is a popular activity. And earning a star, to be tacked onto a bulletin board, is another incentive.

Parents, or anyone enrolled in the library’s Adult Summer Reading Program, might end up with a $150 gift card to Witherspoon Grill, or a individual pass for a year of visits to Grounds For Sculpture. The theme of this year’s program is “A Universe of Stories,” which comes from a consortium of libraries across the country called The Collaborative Summer Library Program. more

ON THE MOON: Buzz Aldrin, on the Apollo 11 mission, prepares to place the Lunar Laser Retroreflector on the moon. Designed by a Princeton University graduate student, the device is still working on the moon today, 50 years later, making it possible to measure the exact distance between the Earth and the moon. (Courtesy of Heraeus Corporation)

By Donald Gilpin

In the late 1950s, Jim Faller, a Princeton University graduate student studying gravitational physics, wrote a research paper, “A Proposed Lunar Package: A Corner Reflector on the Moon,” in which he conjectured that a lightweight reflector could be placed on the moon and laser beams could be sent from Earth and reflected back to provide a precise measurement of the distance between the Earth and the moon.

Before he turned his paper in to Professor Robert Henry Dicke, one of the country’s leading astrophysics experts, Faller wrote on the top: “Professor Dicke, would you see if this makes any sense?”

It did make sense. It gained particular relevance a decade later when Faller’s Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector experiment traveled to the moon with Apollo 11. And its importance endures unabated to this day. This July 20 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, and Faller’s experiment is the only piece of original equipment still functioning at the Apollo 11 landing site. more

“MOVING ON, MOVING UP”: Happy preschoolers Mars, left, and Josiah celebrate their graduation from HomeFront’s Atkinson Child Development Center at the HomeFront Family Campus in Ewing. Last month HomeFront also held a graduation ceremony for 10 adult Hire Expectations program participants, who received high school equivalency diplomas, and celebrated the graduations from local area high schools of many HomeFront alumni. (Photo by Terrance Harris)

By Donald Gilpin

HomeFront celebrated a wide array of graduations last month, with preschoolers moving on, ten adults receiving their high school equivalency diplomas, and a large contingent of HomeFront alumni graduating from local area high schools.

On June 28 at The Atkinson Child Development Center on the HomeFront Family Campus in Ewing, preschoolers participated in a “Moving On, Moving Up” ceremony.

On June 27, HomeFront’s Hire Expectations program students participated in a graduation ceremony to receive their New Jersey high school equivalency diplomas. And at graduation ceremonies at Trenton Central, Nottingham, Hopewell, and Princeton High Schools over the past month, diplomas were awarded to a number of students who had attended HomeFront’s nursery school or its Joy, Hopes and Dreams enrichment program for school-aged children. more