December 12, 2018

Thursday evening marked the fifth night of Hanukkah and the Annual Menorah Lighting on Palmer Square. The event, led by Rabbi Adam Feldman and Cantor Jeff Warschauer of The Jewish Center of Princeton, also featured holiday food and live music. Participants share their favorite Hanukkah gifts in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)


By Donald Gilpin

Princeton voters passed a $26.9 million Princeton Public Schools facilities referendum bond yesterday by a vote of 2,186 to 1,613, according to unofficial results at press time. Provisional ballots have not yet been counted.

Though fewer voters turned out for this one-question, “yes” or “no” vote than for the November 6 election, there has been a significant show of interest in the community over the much-debated proposed renovations and upgrades to the Princeton Public Schools (PPS). more

By Anne Levin

Travelers on New Jersey Transit (NJT) know all about delays, cancellations, aging trains, and not enough engineers to run them. And local commuters, faced with the ongoing suspension of Dinky train service between Princeton and Princeton Junction, are all too familiar with the agency’s woes.

According to a recent announcement by NJT, some relief may be in sight. Last week, the agency revealed plans to launch a “customer focused communications initiative.” The new effort “focuses on addressing customer needs, providing more timely information, and improving all customer touchpoints including announcements, station and facility conditions, and the onboard experience.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Tanya Talaga, journalist and author of the recent bestseller Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, told the stories of the seven fallen feathers and how she had come to write a book about the seven indigenous high school students who died in Thunder Bay, Ontario between 2000 and 2011.  more

KEEPING THE NEIGHBORS IN MIND: Princeton Theological Seminary’s plan to redevelop portions of its Princeton campus is being explored in a series of neighborhood meetings, two of which were held December 8 and 10. The school wants to add more housing to its Tennent campus.

By Anne Levin

Residents of the neighborhood bordering Princeton Theological Seminary attended two recent meetings regarding the school’s proposal to redevelop sections of the campus located on Stockton Street, Library Place, Hibben Road, and Edgehill Street. Organized by an ad hoc committee of Princeton’s Planning Board studying whether the Seminary’s Tennent campus should be declared an area in need of redevelopment, the gatherings were designed to hear input from neighbors as well as to provide information. more

PDS Wins Green Restaurant Award

The Princeton Day School (PDS) campus food service has been awarded the highest rating of four stars from the Green Restaurant Association (GRA). PDS is one of only three secondary schools and 30 restaurants in the country to achieve the four-star status. 

“We started the qualifying process in 2011,” said PDS Sustainability Coordinator Liz Cutler, “and everyone has worked hard to make our food services more sustainable according to GRA standards.”

Cutler noted that Flik Independent School Dining Director Brian Mochnal, Chef Mason Irving, the Flik staff, and PDS Building and Grounds “have been amazing partners in this endeavor.” She emphasized PDS’ progress in the areas of water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable durable goods and building materials, sustainable food, energy, reusables and environmentally preferable disposables, chemical and pollution reduction, and transparency and education.

Pen Pal Project Connects Waldorf Students with the World

Waldorf School of Princeton (WSP) students have joined a global initiative to connect with over 1,000 Waldorf Schools all around the world. Students are writing and designing unique postcards to send to each of their sister schools around the world.

The halls of WSP are decorated with postcards from other participating schools alongside a map that marks the origin of each card. Each postcard contains an illustration or anecdote that communicates something about the students, telling or showing something about their country, community, or values.

“This has been an inspiring exercise for the children,” said WSP Arts Teacher Pamela Shafer. “They are gaining an awareness of something larger than themselves, understanding their place in history and the history of the school. When they see the pins on the map they feel connected to their peers around the world.” 

The postcards will be completed and mailed to all the schools in time to kick off the 100th anniversary of Waldorf education in 2019.

St. Paul Eighth Grader Wins Holocaust Essay Contest

St. Paul School of Princeton (SPS) eighth-grader Claire King has been named a winner in the Fifth Annual Holocaust Essay Competition, sponsored by Fegelson-Young-Feinberg Post 697 Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.

King, who read her essay at the recent awards ceremony, received her honor from Allan Silverberg, chair of the Holocaust Remembrance program. The essay reflected on the childhood experiences of Holocaust survivor Daniel Goldsmith, who spoke at SPS last spring as a culmination of the SPS Holocaust Studies Program.

Wilberforce School To Host Author of Book on Marijuana

Alex Berenson, former New York Times reporter and award-winning novelist, will be at the Wilberforce School in Princeton Junction on Thursday, January 31, as part of a speaking tour and book-signing event focusing on his new book Tell Your Children the Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence.

Revealing links between teenage marijuana use and mental illness and violence, the book warns about the impact of the recent legalization of marijuana in nine states. New Jersey might legalize marijuana in the near future.

Morgan E. Bunting married Samuel C. Finnell IV on September 22, 2018, in Nantucket, Mass., at the First Congregational Church, followed by a reception at Sankaty Head Golf Club. The bride’s parents are Robert L. Bunting, Jr., of Westfield, N.J., and Dana L. Bunting of New York City. The groom’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. (Molly) Samuel C. Finnell III, of Skillman, formerly of Princeton.

The bride is a 2013 graduate of Villanova. The groom is a 2006 graduate of Princeton High School and a 2011 graduate of Bucknell. He earned a master’s degree in real estate from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University in Chicago. The bride is an investment analyst at TIFF, The Investment Fund for Foundations. The groom is an associate director at Bentall Kennedy, a real estate investment manager. Attendants included PHS classmates Emory Long, best man; Ned Konin; and David Giancola.

The couple resides in Boston, Mass.

By Donald Gilpin

Joining the distinguished ranks of Princeton University’s four 2019 Rhodes Scholars were three recent winners of Marshall Scholarships for graduate study in the U.K., four Schwarzman Scholarships for study in Beijing, a Mitchell Scholarship winner who will be studying in Ireland, and a Rangel Fellowship winner for graduate work in international affairs.

Princeton 2017 alumnus Ararat Gocmen and seniors Jonah Herzog-Arbeitman and Myrial Holbrook have been named Marshall Scholars for 2019, members of a group of 48 chosen from more than 1,000 applicants. more

Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins

By Donald Gilpin

Among the memorable experiences Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins has had in his five-plus decades as a spiritual leader, the 13 years he spent at The Jewish Center of Princeton rank high. Elkins was the congregation’s rabbi from 1992 to 2005, a period he is detailing in a memoir that is part of a book to be released next year.

“I met an amazing number of very world-class people during that time, both in the congregation and in visitors to the congregation,” Elkins said during a phone conversation from his home in Jerusalem, where he moved three years ago. “These were people of very high intelligence. They knew I was an expert in my field, just as they were experts in theirs. But it was challenging, because I had to be on a very high intellectual level and I worked very hard at that.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

The first thing you see when you walk into Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment at the Princeton University Art Museum could be called an act of war. Or you could downgrade it to a metaphor for climate change like the one recently used by scientists comparing greenhouse gas emissions to “a speeding freight train.” However you frame the dynamic, it happens as your eyes move from the majesty of Albert Bierstadt’s Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite (ca. 1871-73) to Valerie Hegarty’s travesty Fallen Bierstadt (2007). According to an online video narrated by Hegarty, she painted her own version of the Bierstadt and then, in effect, blew it up, leaving a hole in the bottom half, the remains scattered in a pile of papier-mâché debris on the gallery floor that museum aides have to occasionally rearrange. The artist says her intention was to simulate “acts of entropy, as if maybe the painting went over the falls and was left to decay.”


“A CHRISTMAS CAROL”: Performances are underway for “A Christmas Carol.” Directed by Adam Immerwahr, the play runs through December 29 at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. Bob Cratchit (Jon Norman Schneider, second from left) and Mrs. Cratchit (Sharin Martin, back right) celebrate with their children, played by members of the young ensemble (from left): Alexander Perez, Ethan Chang, Romy Johnson, and Alicianna Rodriguez. (Photo by Mark Garvin)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

A Christmas Carol has returned to McCarter Theatre. To fully experience this annual production, audiences should arrive well before curtain time. Dressed in costumes that evoke Dickensian London, adult members of the community ensemble circulate the lobby. They are eager to discuss a model of the set, or to serenade anyone who will join them in a spirited rendition of “Jingle Bells.” more

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance will present a series of showings of dances, new choreography, and visual artworks created by students during the past semester on December 12 and 14 and January 17 in various locations in the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton University campus. All performances are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, December 12 at 1 p.m. in the Forum, there will be a presentation from “Introduction to Contemporary Dance,” taught by Alexandra Beller. In this course, students tried on various identities within dance — mover, creator, performer, writer, historian — in an attempt to learn holistically about contemporary dance. Following at 3:15 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater there will be a presentation from “The American Dance Experience and Africanist Dance Practices,” a popular studio course taught by Dyane Harvey-Salaam that introduces students to American dance aesthetics and practices, with a focus on how its evolution has been influenced by African American choreographers and dancers. more

FASHION FORWARD: “We focus on quality, style, versatility, wearability, and the right price. We offer boutique lines not found in department stores,” says Jill Wargo, owner of Highbar Boutique on Palmer Square. “What I have in the store is something I would wear, buy, want to receive, or give as a gift.” Shown is one of the store’s holiday window displays.

By Jean Stratton

What is your fashion style? Your best look? Your signature color?

A visit to Highbar Boutique, the charming women’s boutique at 7 Palmer Square West, will both help you underscore your established style, or if you need advice for a new look, assist you in discovering your best fashion focus. more

HAPPY RETURN: Princeton University women’s basketball player Bella Alarie goes up for a shot in a game last winter. This past Saturday against visiting Quinnipiac, junior star and reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Alarie made her season debut after being sidelined for nine games due to a broken arm. Alarie picked up where she left off last year, scoring 16 points and grabbing a career-high 19 rebounds to help Princeton prevail 54-42. She was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. The Tigers, now 3-7, host Marist on December 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Bella Alarie came back in a big way.

The reigning Ivy League Player of the Year returned after missing the first nine games this season for Princeton University women’s basketball team due to a broken arm to score 16 points and snare a career-high 19 rebounds in the Tigers’ 54-42 win over Quinnipiac at Jadwin Gym last Saturday evening. more

RISING FORCE: Princeton University men’s basketball player Richmond Aririguzoh heads to the basket in recent action. Junior center Aririguzoh is emerging as an inside force this winter for the Tigers. The former Trenton Catholic Academy standout scored a career-high 14 points in a 92-82 loss to the visiting Saint Joseph’s last Wednesday and then matched that output in an 89-74 loss to St. John’s last Sunday in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Princeton, now 4-4, faces Iona at Atlantic City on December 15 and then plays at No. 2 Duke on December 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Richmond Aririguzoh was a definite work in progress offensively in his first two seasons on the Princeton University men’s basketball team.

While the 6’9, 230-pound Aririguzoh, a former star for Trenton Catholic Academy, possessed the size and athleticism to pound the boards and run the floor, his low-post game lacked polish. He averaged 1.5 points a game in 13 appearances as a freshman and 2.7 points in 27 contests last year. more

DEVIL OF A TIME: Princeton University men’s hockey player Alex Riche, right, goes after the puck in recent action. Last Saturday against visiting Arizona State, senior forward Riche contributed an assist in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-2 to the No. 19 Sun Devils to get swept in the two-game set between the foes, having lost 4-0 a night earlier. The Tigers, who have now suffered seven straight losses to drop to 3-8-1 overall, face No. 9 Penn State (11-5-1 overall) on December 15 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It didn’t take long for a struggling Princeton University men’s hockey team to dig a hole as it hosted No. 19 Arizona Stare last Friday at Hobey Baker Rink in the opener of of a two-game set between the foes.

Coming into the evening mired in a five-game losing streak, Princeton yielded a goal in the first 15 seconds of the contest and found itself trailing 2-0 by the end of the first period.

“We were very soft in the first period; on the very first shift, we come down in bad coverage,” said Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty. “That is inexcusable, we have to be ready to go from puck drop.” more

JAY TRAIN: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Jaylen Johnson heads to the hoop in a game last winter. PHS will he relying on senior forward Johnson to provide inside scoring this winter. The Little Tigers tip off their 2018-19 campaign by playing at Hopewell Valley on December 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming off a disappointing 4-21 campaign last winter, the Princeton High boys’ basketball team is hungry to get back on the winning track.

“Everyone has come in a little more focused; they are ready,” said PHS Head Coach Pat Noone.

“They want to get back to where we were two years ago (12-14 record) and not last year. It has been high energy. We have some returning guys playing well and the young guys are enjoying it.” more

ON POINT: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Shaylah Marciano gets ready to unload the ball in a game last season. Junior point guard Marciano figures to be a catalyst for the PHS offense this winter. The Little Tigers open their 2018-19 campaign by hosting Hopewell Valley on December 14.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last winter, the Princeton High girls’ basketball team made big progress in its first campaign under the guidance of Dave Kosa.

PHS posted a 14-14 record in 2017-18, a marked improvement on the 6-20 mark posted in the previous season, and earned its first win in the state tournament since the mid-1990s when it defeated South Brunswick in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional. more

FAIR PLAY: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Laila Fair, middle, goes up for a shot last week against Hun. Sophomore transfer Fair contributed 10 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks as Stuart rolled to a 62-33 win the December 4 contest. The Tartans, now 2-1, host Princeton Day School on December 12 before playing in the Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) Tip-Off Tournament from December 14-15 and then hosting Montgomery on December 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Laila Fair struggled through a lost season in 2017-18 as a knee injury prevented her from taking the court in her freshman campaign with the Middlesex High girls’ basketball team.

Turning the page, Fair transferred to Stuart Country Day School and has found a home with its hoops program. more

LEADING THE WAY: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Julie Patterson controls the puck in game last year. Last Wednesday, senior forward and captain Patterson scored two goals to help PDS defeat Pingry 5-1. The Panthers, who fell 3-0 to Portledge School (N.Y.) last Monday to move to 2-2, head to Maryland this weekend to play the Holton-Arms School (Md.) on December 14 and 15 and Georgetown Visitation Prep (D.C.) on December 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having been a star for the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey since joining the program as a freshman in 2015, Julie Patterson relishes being a resource for her younger teammates.

“I like showing them what to do on and off the ice, being a good leader and helping them grow,” said senior star and team captain Patterson. more

FULL NELSON: Hun School boys’ hockey player Brian Nelson, right, battles for the puck in recent action. Senior forward and team captain Nelson has been triggering the offense this season for Hun as it has gotten off to a 3-2 start. In upcoming action, the Raiders were slated to host Lawrenceville on December 11 and Princeton Day School on December 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Brian Nelson soaked in some valuable lessons over his first three seasons with the Hun School boys’ hockey program.

Looking up to such stars and team leaders as Blake Brown, Tanner Preston, and Kyle Mandleur, Nelson was ready to follow in their footsteps when he was named captain for the 2018-19 season. more

December 5, 2018

Courtney’s Carolers entertained visitors and shoppers around Palmer Square in downtown Princeton on Saturday afternoon. Strolling Holiday Music is featured every Saturday and Sunday in December leading up to Christmas. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Donald Gilpin

Voters will face just one question, requiring a “yes’ or “no” response, on December 11, when they vote on the Princeton Public Schools’ proposal for a $26.9 million bond referendum. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. next Tuesday, with just four consolidated polling locations at the elementary schools: Community Park, Riverside, Johnson Park, and Littlebrook. 

Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert noted that most people would not be voting at their usual voting spots because of the reduced number of polling locations, and she urged  everyone to check the sample ballots that were mailed out to all residents for information on voting districts and polling locations. Information is also posted on the Princeton municipal website and on the PPS website.

Lempert also pointed out that in the December 11 referendum vote new voting machines with a verifiable paper trail will be piloted at the Johnson Park polling location. As part of a statewide effort to enhance voter security, the pilot program will use voting machines on loan from Dominion Voting Systems at no cost to the county. The technology allows voters to fill out an oval marking the vote and then feed the ballot into a scanner, with the paper ballot retained for verification. more

By Donald Gilpin

Gary Snyder, Princeton High School (PHS) principal for more than 15 years, has announced that he will retire in June 2019, at the end of this school year.

When Snyder came to PHS in 2003 at the age of 40, the school had been led by seven different principals in the previous decade. “I hope to bring some stability in the leadership position, and to create a vision for what we do,” he said at the time of his hiring, and over the past decade and a half he has displayed that successful staying power.

“This time of year, the steamy days of June are probably only in the thoughts of high school seniors and retiring principals,” he wrote in a letter to PHS students, parents, and community yesterday, “but we will each keep focus on the work and learning before us in the coming months.” more

By Anne Levin

Responding to concerns from the public, Princeton will allow people who have balances on their smart cards to transfer them to the new Park Princeton app after April 30. Mayor Liz Lempert announced the revised plan, part of the municipality’s revamping of the parking system, at the Princeton Council meeting on Monday night, December 3.

“Sometimes Council makes a decision and it’s the wrong decision, and we reverse course,” she said. “That is what happened with this. At one point we said we weren’t going to refund the smart card balances. We changed course when we heard feedback from the community. We are working on a plan to transfer the balances.”

Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton said those with balances on their smart cards are still urged to spend them in the Spring Street Garage, next to Princeton Public Library, by April 30. But those who still have balances on their cards after that date will be permitted to transfer the amount to the new app. A 10 percent administrative fee will be charged. more