August 15, 2018

Members of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad displayed their emergency tools and equipment last Tuesday at the annual event at Community Park Pool. The Princeton Police Department, PBS Local #130, and Princeton Recreation Department hosted the festivities, which also featured free swimming, hot dogs, bottled water, and ice cream as well as K-9 demonstrations, games, and a dunk tank. Participants share how they would show appreciation for first responders in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Anne Levin

A 23-year-old man died Friday after jumping into Lake Carnegie off the dock near the boat launch. Talven Page, of Trenton, swam a few moments before disappearing under the water and failed to resurface, according to the Princeton Police Department.

The matter remains under investigation by the department’s Detective Bureau. Police were notified at 2:52 p.m. Friday, August 10, by a friend of Page, who said he saw him enter the water. The police arrived three minutes later, and two officers entered the water and searched the area. more

By Donald Gilpin

When Princeton voters go to the polls on November 6, the much discussed facilities referendum won’t be the only important question they face in determining the future of thousands of Princeton Public Schools (PPS) children. Also on the ballot will be five candidates vying for three positions on the Board of Education (BOE).

Two one-term incumbents, Betsy Baglio and Dafna Kendal, and three new hopefuls, Mary Clurman, Daniel J. Dart, and Brian J. McDonald, are all seeking three-year terms on the ten-member board. more

By Anne Levin

As the sale of Westminster Choir College (WCC) by Rider University remains unresolved, those in favor and those opposed to the transaction continue to publicize their positions. A public forum on Wednesday, August 29 at Nassau Presbyterian Church will provide an update on the situation, which includes two pending lawsuits against the University.

In recent weeks, Rider’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has been circulating a petition to segments of the higher education and classical music communities asking for support in their opposition to the proposed sale. Rider wants to sell the 22-acre Westminster campus to the Chinese company known as Kaiwen Education. more

WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE: Children from the Princeton Recreation Department’s summer programs were the first to try out the Mary Moss Playground’s new sprayground at the reopening of the park last week. Judging from their screams of joy, they approved. (Photo by Scotia Macrae)

By Anne Levin

The official reopening of the Mary Moss Playground last week marked the last of the revitalizations of Princeton’s small pocket parks. The August 8 ribbon-cutting ceremony, which concluded with the ecstatic yelps of children negotiating the new sprayground, marked a milestone for the Witherspoon/Jackson historic district. more

SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the first time that SAVE has earned this top distinction, which recognizes strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders.  more

Sarah Ferguson

By Donald Gilpin

The 88th annual Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale (BM-WBS), the longest-running and largest used-book sale on the East Coast, is still seven months away, but you’d never guess that from the pace of activity and the thousands of books, sorted and packed into hundreds of boxes, piled high in a small barn behind 32 Vandeventer Avenue, just off Nassau Street.

Every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon between now and the March sale, volunteers gather at the barn to welcome donors — some moving to smaller living quarters, some settling their parents’ estates, some just cleaning house — who arrive with books and more books. more

A Robotics Outreach Program piloted by the YWCA Princeton and Princeton Community Village returned this summer to bring a week of fun and learning to students from grades four to nine. They built and programmed two robot dogs pulling a sleigh, a to-scale robot puppy, a ball rollercoaster, a catapult, and a top spinner, all under the supervision of Princeton University’s Al Liang.

By Donald Gilpin

The Jim Floyd Memorial Lecture at the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church Saturday morning, featuring an open community discussion on the school referendum and a conversation with futurist Chet Sisk on “Blacks and the Future and Current World Paradigm Shifts,” provided energetic, illuminating discussion on all sides and a dynamic culmination to the ten-day 2018 Joint Effort/Safe Streets Program.

Kip Cherry, one of the referendum panelists along with Leighton Newlin, Joel Schwartz, Greg Stankiewicz, and Michele Tuck-Ponder, described the dialogue as “balanced” and the commentary as “vigorous,” but “very civil and not combative.” “Everyone is trying to do the best they can for our school system and our children,” she said. “We’re all concerned for our students. People in the community have a lot of questions, a lot of concerns.”  more

Custom Ink, an online leader in custom apparel and accessories for groups and communities, will open its newest store at 39 Palmer Square West in late summer. The company offers in-person advice and design assistance for creating custom apparel, as well as the ability to see, touch, and compare products.

“We are thrilled to welcome Custom Ink to Palmer Square and the Princeton community,” said Lori Rabon, vice president of Palmer Square. “Their strong commitment to local businesses and nonprofits, combined with their massive online presence, is the perfect experiential retailer to join the Palmer Square family. We look forward to watching their relationships flourish and working with them for years to come.” more

PLANES AT THE PLANT: The former GM Fisher Body Plant in Ewing was converted to build torpedo bombers for the U.S. Navy during World War II. This photo and others are featured in “Changing Face/Changing Place: A Look at the Architectural History of the Trenton Area,” celebrating the 100th anniversary of FVHD Architects-Planners. The exhibit runs September 15 through January 11, 2019 at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park.

The Trenton Museum Society and FVHD Architects – Planners have announced an exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the full-service architectural design firm founded in Trenton in 1918 by PL Fowler. “Changing Face/Changing Place: A Look at the Architectural History of the Trenton Area,” will feature historical and architectural photographs, drawings, and artifacts from FVHD history. The exhibit will be in the second-floor galleries at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park from September 15 through January 11, 2019. An opening reception is Sunday, September 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. more

“FOUR SHADES OF GREY”: The work of photographer Jamel Shabazz is featured in “Love is the Message,” on display through September 22 at the BSB Gallery in Trenton. An opening reception is scheduled for August 25 from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Trenton Downtown Association has announced the third exhibit at BSB Gallery with the launch of “Love is the Message,” featuring the work of photographer Jamel Shabazz. A special opening reception with the artist is planned for August 25 from 5 to 9 p.m. Shabazz is also scheduled to conduct an Artist Talk on Saturday, September 8 from 3 to 4 p.m. “Love is the Message” will be on display through September 22.  more

You know, I’m a New York guy — Sonny Rollins, in People Magazine

By Stuart Mitchner

New York City, Christmas week 1948, St. James Theatre: Ray Bolger is performing “Once In Love With Amy” and life will never be the same for the ten-year-old in the balcony. He’s in the heart of the holiday city, suspended above a bright new world of sight and sound, captivated, taken out of himself, “in heaven,” watching a living man, in person, here and now, singing and dancing while a live band plays, and there’s nothing to do but laugh in sheer delight when the man on stage does a drunken gambit singing “You might be quite the fickle-hearted ro-ver, so carefree and bold, who loves a girl and later — “ hiccup “ — thinks it over, and justquits cold!” When the chorus comes round again — “Once you’re kissed by Amy, tear up the list, it’s Amy!” — Bolger stops singing to go cavorting around the stage in an ecstasy, so full of the song that singing isn’t enough, he’s catapaulted by the music, waving his arms, leaping about, calling on the audience to share the joy until the whole theatre is singing along, “Once in love with Amy! Always in love with Amy!” more

By Kam Williams

Although Nick (Henry Golding) and Rachel (Constance Wu) have been dating for a few years, they don’t know much about each other’s background. They both live in New York City, and Nick has never mentioned that he’s from one the wealthiest families in Singapore, and she’s never talked about how she was raised by an immigrant (Kheng Hua Tan) from China who was a single mom.

The difference in social status has not affected their relationship, because Nick is unassuming, and Rachel was able to take advantage of a great education and become an economics professor at NYU. In fact, Nick is seriously considering marrying her and he’s even picked out a diamond ring. more

From September 7 to October 7 in the Berlind Theatre, McCarter Theatre is hosting the world premiere production of “The Age of Innocence,” a tale of star-crossed lovers forced to choose between love and honor. The play is adapted by Oscar and Tony nominee (and Princeton University alumnus) Douglas McGrath and directed by Tony Award-winner Doug Hughes. About the production, McCarter Artistic Director Emily Mann said: “What I love most about Douglas McGrath’s brilliant adaptation is how all of us — regardless of age, background, or varied experiences — look back on our past decisions and wonder ‘did I make the right choice?’ This production shows the universal truth behind the struggle of choosing one path over another.” Tickets start at $25 –­­­­­  to purchase, visit mccarter.org or call (609) 258-2787.

BLUE CHIP: Eric Robinson heads up the ice as he made his NHL debut for the Columbus Blue Jackets this past April. Former Princeton University men’s hockey star Robinson, who helped the Tigers win the ECAC Hockey title this winter in his final season with the program, is now preparing for training camp as he looks to make the Blue Jackets. The team starts training camp next month with its first preseason game slated for September 17 against Buffalo.(Photo by John Russell, Courtesy of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

Eric Robinson didn’t have much time to dwell on the disappointment of seeing his career with the Princeton University men’s hockey team end with a 4-2 loss to Ohio State in the NCAA tournament.

Two days after the defeat on March 24 in the first round of the national tourney, star forward Robinson followed the Buckeyes to Ohio as he signed a contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL and joined the pro team on Monday. more

HEADING EAST: Dustin Litvak surveys the action during his time as an assistant water polo coach at UCLA. Southern California native Litvak is coming east to become the head coach of the Princeton University men’s water polo team and serve as an assistant for the Tiger women’s water polo program.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

Dustin Litvak was living the dream of thousands around Los Angeles, landing a job with Jimmy Kimmel Live! shortly after graduating from Pepperdine University in 2001.

Starting as an intern, Litvak rose to production assistant for the hit show, running its green room and hoping to get into the writing side.

But Litvak turned his back on Hollywood in 2003 to follow his love for water polo, having coached the boys’ squad at his high school alma mater, Agoura High, in the L.A. area while he was in college. more

LEADING LIGHTS: Maddy Peel, far right, pilots the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA)/Mercer Juniors women’s lightweight eight in action this spring. Coxswain Peel, a Princeton High graduate who is headed to Cornell this month to join its women’s rowing program, helped the Mercer boat take fifth at the USRowing Youth National Championship in Sacramento, Calif. this June.

By Bill Alden

For Maddy Peel, mastering a new vocabulary proved to be a key challenge when she joined the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) Mercer Junior rowing program as a neophyte coxswain in the fall of 2014.

“It was a lot about learning the lingo at first. There are a lot of words that aren’t used anywhere else,” said Peel.

“Once you get the hang of what to say, it starts getting a little bit easier. It is also knowing what is going on in your boat. When you are brand new, you are sitting down and you can’t really tell what is going on. You see eight oars but you don’t really know what is happening.” more

HEAD START: C.J. Uche, right, heads the ball during a game last fall in his senior season for the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team. Star midfielder Uche, who helped PDS win the state Prep B title in 2016, is now in preseason practice for the Bucknell University men’s soccer team as he gets ready to start his college career. Bucknell opens regular season action when it plays at Mount St. Mary’s on August 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When C.J. Uche joined the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team in 2014 as a freshman, he didn’t see himself playing at the next level.

“I came in thinking that I wasn’t the D-I soccer type; that wasn’t my goal at that time,” said Uche.

But after emerging as a star midfielder early in his PDS career, Uche realized that he might have a future in college soccer.

“I played Match Fit Academy for four years and the summer after sophomore year, we won the national tournament against some of the highest competition,” said Uche. more

Alex Ni competes at the 7th World Junior Wushu Championships held last month in Brazil. Ni, a West Windsor resident and rising junior at the Hun School, won two gold medals and a silver medal at the competition. He prevailed in the Changquan (Long Fist) and straightsword events and took second in spear. The event is held biennially and each country/region can send up to two boys and two girls for each of three age groups -12 and under, 13-15, and 16-18. Athletes from 42 countries competed in this year’s Championships. Ni, who took up martial arts at age 6, has earned spots in the U.S. junior wushu team, the U.S. senior wushu team, as well as the U.S. kungfu team. In addition, he regularly performs in school and local community talent and cultural shows, in senior and rehab centers, Plainsboro Founders Day, Chinese New Year celebrations, and in Lincoln Center in New York City.  Ni has been teaching Xingyi Quan, a fist form in the martial arts club at the Hun School.

The 10th Annual Helene Cody 5-kilometer race and 1-Mile Fun Run is taking place on September 8, starting near the Cranbury Fire Department at 2 South Main Street in Cranbury.

The fun run begins at 8:15 a.m. and the 5K starts at 9 a.m. The 5K is chip-timed and USATF-certified with water stations and musical performers throughout the course.

The post-race celebration at the Cranbury Fire Department features a DJ, drinks, bagels, fruit, and free massages. Trophies will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers overall and in each age group for the 5K. Every Fun Run finisher will receive a medal and trophies will be awarded to the top three boys and girls. The Cranbury Day celebration will begin immediately after the race on Main Street. more

August 8, 2018

Helen O’Shea and The Shanakees were the first group to perform on the newly-built, enhanced stage at Community Park North Ampitheater in June. The group will return Sunday as part of a new program co-sponsored by Princeton Public Library. From left are Jay Posipanko John Mazzeo, David Ross, O’Shea, and Marvin Perkins.

“SAY ‘NO’ TO HATE”: Black Lives Matter leader Hawk Newsome spoke at a Hinds Plaza rally to commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Sunday evening. Newsome is leading a group of marchers from New York City to Washington D.C. to counter-protest a Unite the Right rally planned for this weekend in D.C. on the anniversary of last year’s violent demonstration in Charlottesville. (Photo by John Lien)

By Donald Gilpin

About 90 people gathered downtown in Hinds Park last Sunday evening for a rally to commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and “to bear witness to the urgent need for global nuclear weapons abolition,” according to the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), which sponsored the event. more

By Donald Gilpin

In a ruling Friday, August 3, a Washington, D.C. federal court reaffirmed its earlier finding that the federal government’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful.

Supporting a lawsuit brought by Princeton University, recent Princeton graduate Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez, and Microsoft Corporation, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates gave the government until August 23 to decide if it will appeal the decision, which requires the government to accept new DACA applications and issue renewals.

As Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) Executive Director Adriana Abizadeh pointed out, however, the DACA controversy remains unresolved and the DREAMers remain in limbo. more

By Anne Levin

A new stage is in place at Community Park North Amphitheater in Pettoranello Gardens.

After two decades of wear and tear by musicians, dancers, and Shakespearean actors, the platform in the park off of Mountain Avenue was showing its age.

“It was time,” said Ben Stentz, executive director of Princeton’s Department of Recreation. “The stage that had been there was constructed by the recreation department’s maintenance staff more than 20 years ago. It was obvious to us that it was getting to the end of it’s life. And a bigger, better stage would open up the doors to other types of events there.” more