To the Editor:
Regarding the proposed bond referendum, one question won’t go away: if we didn’t have Cranbury’s 280 students, would we need to expand the high school? And even if we did, would we need to do it so quickly? Behind this one question are many that really haven’t been answered:
• The Cranbury send-receive agreement can, by law, be terminated. (See NJSA 18A:38-21 and NJSA 18A:38-21.1.) How would the legal fees associated with termination, a problem noted at one Board of Education (BoE) meeting, compare with the price of the proposed bond?
• How does Cranbury’s annual contribution compare with the annual interest expected on the full bond of $130M?
• Do people live inexpensively in Cranbury so their children can go to PHS? If we are forever tied to this agreement, and must we rebuild to accommodate it, could a better contract be negotiated so that Cranbury pays its share of capital costs?
• Does it ever pay to rush into an expensive deal, or to ignore the concerns of those who must pay for it? Although these questions and more remain unresolved, the BoE has set May 22 for approval of this 10-year agreement. If the BoE truly wants community support, it must openly and fully respond to the voters.
Write now to the Board of Education with copies to Mayor and Council. Tell the BoE they must delay the vote until all questions are answered.
We are one community. All of us support good schools.
To the Editor:
I live in Princeton Junction and read Town Topics pretty often. I am writing to you with respect to your latest immigration article on DACA [“DACA Remains for Now; Dreamers Look for Permanent Resolution,” page 1, May 2]. I am a DACA recipient and I appreciate that the article mentions that we need a permanent solution, because we do. I came to the U.S.A., to Princeton, when I was 10 years old, along with my mom, and two little brothers; one was 5 years old and the other was 7 years old. We came without inspection and this has caused a series of issues for all of us that 20-plus years later, we still cannot fix, and that only immigration law changes can fix. On April 13, 2018, both of my brothers were raided by ICE and taken away from us. Without a permanent solution, I run the risk of having a similar fate, and that is extremely frightening.
I wanted to thank you for writing about the subject and wanted to encourage you to write more in the future. I have been sharing my story with a lot of people lately and I am amazed at how little people know about immigration and the nightmare its laws can be. The more that is known about this issue, the more they will understand how black and white immigration law is and how inhumanely undocumented people are treated.
To the Editor:
I am writing to support Eve Niedergang for Princeton Council. I first met Eve when our children attended Riverside Elementary School together. I found her to be intelligent and organized, but more importantly, a parent and later PTO co-president who truly cared about all the children in the school. Eve advocated for an equity agenda at Riverside, ensuring that all children could participate in all programs regardless of their ability to pay.
I am chair of the Board of Trustees of Housing Initiatives of Princeton (HIP). We work with low-income families and individuals who are homeless or facing imminent homelessness to enable them to transition to permanent housing and sustained self-sufficiency. We offer housing to these families and provide individualized services to enhance their life skills so they can achieve these goals. Ever since I spoke with Eve about this organization, she has been an enthusiastic supporter of HIP. Eve believes strongly that building affordable housing in our community is a moral obligation as well as a legal obligation. Her support of our work reflects this passion.
It is timely that Eve, a person with a long history of commitment to social justice in all areas, is running for Council. As we know, Princeton has recently received its mandate for new affordable housing. No doubt this will be a process marked by strongly differing points of view.
I’ve seen Eve in other situations where complex decisions had to be made. She listens carefully to all voices and makes what she thinks is the best choice, no matter how tough. At the Princeton Community Democratic Organization’s endorsement meeting, she stated that “you may not always agree with my decisions, but you will know you’ve been listened to.” (At that meeting, Eve received 77 percent of the votes cast and won the organization’s endorsement.)
Princeton faces many challenges in the years ahead. Vote for Eve on June 5 to help us meet them.
575 Snowden Lane
To the Editor:
On behalf of McCarter Theatre Center, I want to thank all who helped to make our annual gala on Saturday, April 28, such a tremendous success! This year, longtime friend of McCarter Audra McDonald performed for a packed-to-the-rafters theatre as the centerpiece of the evening. Our guests were treated to an extraordinary 90-minute performance of beautiful songs and personal stories and anecdotes by Ms. McDonald, the remarkable Tony Award®-winning star of Broadway.
Thank you to our lead sponsor, BNY Mellon Wealth Management; as well as our major sponsors: Bloomberg Philanthropies, CURE Auto Insurance, Drinker Biddle, Maiden Re, Mathematica Policy Research, and Merrill Lynch. We also wish to thank Bryn Mawr Trust; Joshua Zinder Architecture and Design; and longtime supporter Saul Ewing, Arnstein, and Lehr, LLP for their early support which helped us reach our fundraising goal. McCarter is deeply grateful for their support and for that of many other corporate and individual sponsors and advertisers who helped to make this event such a wonderful success.
We want to extend a special thanks to our Gala Committee and to Gala Committee co-chairpersons: Liza and Sky Morehouse, Sonya and Bill Sappington, and Courtney Lederer and Mark Thierfelder who orchestrated a glittering evening for our guests. Thank you also to Sebastian Clarke of Rago Arts and Auction Center for conducting our live auction and to Starr Catering and Viburnum Designs of Princeton for all their help with the event.
During the course of the evening, it was my great pleasure to introduce McCarter’s new managing director, Michael S. Rosenberg, to our guests. Mike comes to us from the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and has assumed his new role as of Monday, April 30. He joins Emily Mann and Bill Lockwood in leading McCarter towards even greater artistic heights in the years ahead.
The proceeds from this special annual event support McCarter’s artistic, education, and engagement programming throughout our region. McCarter partners with several local school districts to provide curriculum design assistance. In schools from Trenton to New Brunswick, McCarter helps train and support teachers, send our teaching artists into local classrooms, and create opportunities for all to participate in our classes and camps and so much more. The gala is the largest fundraiser of the year for McCarter and is critical for the success and breadth of these programs.
Again, my heartfelt thanks to all involved for their support of this great institution. We are so deeply grateful!
President, Board of Trustees, McCarter Theatre Center
To the Editor:
We would like to thank all of those who made the 14th Annual Princeton Festival Gala on April 21 such an enjoyable and successful event. The Gala helps support our 2018 season of performing arts presentations, from opera to jazz to Broadway, and our free community educational programs, which this year include four workshops and over a dozen lectures and presentations (www.princtonfestival.org has all the details and ticket information).
Our thanks go first to the members of the Princeton community who supported us with such enthusiasm. We had the largest crowd ever, and the busiest dance floor. Gala goers really got into the spirit of the event, from the pre-dinner cocktail hour through the live and silent auctions. We were also honored to have Governor Philip Murphy join us.
Of course we are enormously grateful to our Gala chairs: Marcia Bossart, Helene Kulsrud, Anastasia Marty, and Susan Rhoda-Hansen. Their planning and hard work paid off with a wonderful event, ably executed by executive chef Chris Krail and the banquet staff at Cobblestone Creek Country Club. Susan Hoover deserves special credit for her decorations.
We also want to recognize Harry Fini’s contribution as both cocktail pianist and auctioneer. He set the perfect mood in both roles. Our guest artists, Jordan Bunshaft and Janara Kellerman, entertained everyone with wonderful songs from opera and the Broadway stage, accompanied by pianist Akiko Hosaki. Jordan will be in this season’s musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, opening June 10, while Janara takes a major role in Madama Butterfly, opening June 16.
This kind of support makes it possible for the Festival to bring the best in performing arts to central New Jersey year after year, and to conduct community enrichment programs around the region. Our sincerest thanks go to everyone involved.
Richard Tang Yuk
Executive and Artistic Director
Board Chair, The Princeton Festival
To the Editor:
A video of the forum for Democrats running for Princeton Council will be aired on Princeton Community TV (Comcast Channel 30 and Verizon’s FIOS Channel 45) on May 18 at noon, and on May 19 at 8 p.m. The video is also available online at www.lwvprinceton.org.
To read responses from candidates to the League of Women Voters’ questions, go to www.VOTE411.org, where you will also find a link to the video. The League’s goal is to provide voters with non-partisan information to make an informed choice on June 5. Please visit our sites and vote. Thank you.
Monroe Lane, Voter Service,
League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area
To the Editor:
Like some other taxpayers, I’ve been thinking about the Princeton-Cranbury agreement since learning of the upcoming facilities referendum. Initially, it seemed that if Princeton High School is significantly over capacity, then ending the send-receive relationship would be an option to consider, just on an available space basis — and nothing against the great Cranbury students, who have been attending since 1991 and are, by all accounts, valued members of our high school community.
At first glance, the idea sounds reasonable, and there’s been some talk about it online and in the papers.
The problem, though, as I’ve learned, is that it’s not nearly so simple as that.
Even if Princeton wished to unilaterally end the agreement, it is not up to Princeton. It would (solely) be up to the State of New Jersey.
The district wishing to end the relationship is required to pay for and submit a feasibility study to the State Commissioner of Education that must demonstrate no adverse impact to either district in terms of three factors: educational, financial, and racial composition. In other words, Cranbury would need to have someplace else for their 280 students to go that is as good or better than Princeton, for the same or lower cost, and without materially affecting overall student diversity. What’s more, there would need to be no negative effects on Princeton kids either.
So even if Princeton Public Schools (PPS) wished to end the agreement, Cranbury doesn’t, and the ultimate decision is not the call of PPS – it is, by law, exclusively the decision of the N.J. Department of Education. And if one party didn’t like how the State ruled, there could be lawsuits and appeals, and the whole thing could drag on for years with no operational change or resolution, just animosity and extra expense.
Look up all the issues in Englewood over the past three decades for how hard it is to break these unions, unless both parties want it and furthermore the State agrees. In fact, no receiving district has ever been able to unilaterally end such an agreement in 32 years of case law. Even in some cases where both districts wanted to split, the State still struck it down because of adverse impacts — in quality of education, financial terms, or racial balance — to the students of either or both districts (which is the State’s only concern).
Importantly, the State also sets the tuition that Cranbury pays Princeton, on a per-student basis, using audited financials. Last year, this amounted to $4.81 million, or about one-third of the total PPS discretionary budget.
So while on the face of it, attempting to sever (or not renew) the Cranbury send-receive relationship might seem a partial solution to help reduce overcrowding, it appears to be a non-starter. Presuming it were even feasible, PHS would nevertheless remain over its capacity of 1,423 students, even if Cranbury’s students were to depart gradually in the coming years.
All in all, our energies may be best spent in working to help the referendum encompass what is needed to make our students and teachers safe, secure, and comfortable in their schools. Let’s keep focusing on the “must-haves” and continue eschewing the “nice-to-haves,” in order to address the critical needs and infrastructure problems happening today in our schools.
The legal aspects of send-receive relationships were covered extensively at the public meeting on April 24th. See http://bit.ly/CranburyVideo for a replay of session, and http://bit.ly/CranburySlides for the presentation slides.
South Harrison Street
To the Editor:
Our mothers, along with several other adult volunteers of the Princeton Service Unit, were recently honored at the Celebrate Adult Awards Ceremony for the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey. This event recognizes the contributions of the more than 10,000 adults who volunteer every year to support Girl Scouts in this area. We want to honor Lauren Sanders (alumna), Laura Felten, Barbara Thomas, Sue Evans, Mary Eckert, Betsy Armstrong, and Karen Freundlich, along with all of our Girl Scout leaders in Princeton for their contributions.
Girl Scouts in Princeton has provided unique opportunities for all girls over the past 60 years. The network of volunteers includes professors, professionals, and non-profit experts who make the Girl Scout troop experience possible for over 300 girls in Princeton every year. We have benefited so much from their efforts. Our participation in Girl Scouts has given us opportunities to hike, camp, rock climb, and go whitewater rafting, to earn the Silver and Gold Awards, to travel, to perform, to practice business and entrepreneurship, to serve our communities, to attend the National Convention, and to attend and work at summer camp. Our adventures have challenged us, turned us into leaders, created friendships and support networks, and made us ready to become adults who make the world a better place. On behalf of all Princeton Girl Scouts, we want to thank our mothers and all the other volunteers who make Girl Scouts the best girls leadership experience in the world.
9th grade, PHS
12th Grade, Stuart
To the Editor:
The BoE’s (Board of Education) claim that the high school is overcrowded while continuing to admit 280 students who do not live in Princeton is outrageous. The School Board would have us believe that these students — 1 in 6! — are somehow invisible, that the high school would be overcrowded whether they were there or not, and that it’s not really costing us anything to educate them, so the tuition they pay us is free money. This is nonsense. The BoE loses more than $2,500 on every one of them, and this figure does not include the money they now want for new construction so that they can keep on doing so.
The bond issue would be for $130 million. Each of the owners of the approximately 7500 taxable properties in Town would be borrowing approximately $17,000 on average. This is real money, real debt. We’ll have 30 years to pay it back, plus interest.
There is no reason to expand Princeton High School at the present time. The Board’s insistence otherwise only undermines its claims about overcrowding elsewhere in the system. If the Board wants us to take those claims seriously, they should first stop admitting students who do not live here.
To the Editor:
I want to share a conversation I recently had with Michelle Pirone Lambros about the biggest problem in our downtown — the consistent exodus of retail stores and their replacement with empty store fronts decorated with “space available” signs. After listening to Michelle, it is clear she is a successful business person who knows how to solve problems. From our discussion I came away impressed with her ability to recognize a problem, develop a research process for analyzing the problem, conduct her research, come up with creative solutions, and make it all look easy. Michelle has spent considerable time researching possible solutions, including listening to, and getting feedback from, local business owners, property owners, and property managers. With Michelle Pirone Lambros joining Princeton Council, we can expect her to be a major contributor to reversing the prevalence of “space available” signs in our downtown — either by well-thought out analytical solutions or her convincing personality.
To the Editor:
As a business that has supported biking in Princeton for over 40 years, we are excited to see all of the activity in town aimed at encouraging biking. Biking contributes in so many ways to the health of our community and we hope that the town’s efforts to create safer bike routes will inspire more residents to choose to bike rather than drive when running errands and commuting to local schools and jobs.
Each May, in celebration of National Bike Month, the Whole Earth Center takes to the streets of Princeton to encourage and reward cyclists. Now in its 13th year, our annual Random Acts of Community program distributes over $2,000 in gift cards from local businesses to cyclists in town. We also give each of the 30 cyclists that we reward a safety sheet outlining the most common types of car-bike accidents.
We love and appreciate the chance to work with so many of our fellow local businesses and the municipality on our annual bike reward program. Our partners in this community-wide effort include Mediterra, Teresa Caffe, Eno Terra, Terra Momo Bread Company, Blue Point Grill, Witherspoon Grill, Nassau Street Seafood, Yankee Doodle Tap Room, Nassau Inn, Agricola, Cargot, Two Sevens, the Dinky Bar, McCarter Theatre, small world coffee, bent spoon, LiLLiPiES Bakery, Princeton Record Exchange, jaZams, Olives, Tico’s Eatery & Juice Bar, Princeton Tour Company, Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company, Town of Princeton, Labyrinth Books, greendesign, Kopps Cycle, Local Greek, Olsson’s Fine Foods, Hinkson’s, and the Princeton Family YMCA.
Whole Earth Center Manager
To the Editor:
I am writing to endorse Adam Bierman for the June 5 Democratic primary for a seat on the Princeton Council. A Princeton native, Adam has acquired a great deal of experience working with local politics. Also, as a member of the PCDO, Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee. and working with Princeton TV.
After evaluating the other candidates, I decided to vote for Adam Bierman. I urge others in town to do the same. He has pragmatic and honest insights into Princeton’s issues and future. He has an outstanding reputation and is known for his generosity, intelligence, and dedication in doing his utmost in the challenges for Princeton.
Mary Anne Haas
Founder of the Mary Anne Haas Women’s Symposiun, Former Executive Assistant to the
President of International Schools Services, Princeton
To the Editor,
The June 5th primary will be here before we know it and it is time to take a serious look at the candidates and what assets they can bring to the Princeton Council.
I am writing to strongly endorse Dwaine Williamson: he can provide competence, experience, and a proven ability to work with others to reach a consensus. These are important and needed qualities. Heather Howard and Lance Liverman, who are leaving Council, brought both legal expertise and years of community involvement: their experience will be missed as they exit the Council.
Dwaine brings experience both in town government, serving on the Planning Board at a key time for our town, and in other leadership positions both in Princeton and Mercer County. As a member of the Planning Board, he has worked on issues of neighborhood character and factors influencing affordability. He chaired the committee to harmonize borough and township ordinances into a single code for our consolidated community. This will be valuable experience as the town moves to implement affordable housing.
I served with Dwaine on the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) Executive Committee and saw his leadership qualities as he quickly moved to the position of first vice president. He received the support of the organization at their recent meeting and passionately spoke of his commitment to Princeton and his vision for a sustainable and inclusive town. He recognized challenges of keeping a viable commercial sector and addressing affordability issues for longtime residents and young families.
Dwaine embodies the American dream. He was born in Jamaica and emigrated at a young age with his family. He grew up in Mercer County and graduated from Trenton High before going on to Georgetown and then receiving a Law degree from Rutgers. He is a lawyer in private practice with a focus on finance. He has lived in Princeton for 20 years and has been active in the community.
As an immigrant himself, he is a strong supporter of Princeton’s commitment to being a welcoming community with diverse and stable neighborhoods.
I am delighted that Dwaine decided to run for the Princeton Council. I believe he will be a great asset.
Mt. Lucas Road
To the Editor:
The Afternoon Tea, given to support the Trinity Church Choir’s upcoming 2021 tour of England, was a wonderful and happy event on May 6. Guests enjoyed a traditional English tea of savories and sweets, as well as a short choral selection given by the choir. The choir then sang Evensong in the historic church, which rounded out a special and unique event. Thanks to all who enjoyed this afternoon with Trinity Church members, guests, and choirs.
JACK OF ALL TRADES: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Jack Konopka controls the ball against Hightstown in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Thursday. Senior star Konopka contributed an assist and good work on face-offs to help the Panthers prevail 9-3 and win their third straight county crown. Earlier in the week, Konopka tallied three goals and two assists to help PDS pull away to a 14-4 win over Robbinsville in the MCT semifinals. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Last spring, Nick Day starred as a face-off man extraordinaire for the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team.
With Day having graduated and now playing at Bowdoin, senior Jack Konopka stepped into the face-off role this year.
“For me, most of the year, I have been a scrappy guy who tries to create a 50/50 ground ball for our wings to win it,” said Konopka. more
By Kam Williams
As an adolescent, Sean (Robert Sheehan) moved with his mother from Ireland to Portland, Oregon so that his stepfather could take a construction job. Seven years later, Sean has become an aspiring artist who is eking out a living parking cars at a trendy restaurant.
He and a fellow valet, Derek (Carlito Olivero), devise a plan to burglarize the homes of the well-to-do customers while they’re dining. The scheme seems like an easy source of money, since most people hand over all their keys when they check their vehicles.
Unfortunately, the pair didn’t consider that they might break into the house of a homicidal maniac who was in the midst of a killing spree. That’s precisely what happened the night they decided to rob Cale Erendreich (David Tennant), whose multimillion-dollar mansion was just minutes away from the restaurant. more
Theodore A. Peck Jr.
Theodore A. Peck Jr., 93, (Ted) of West Windsor died May 5. A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 23 at 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton.
Ted was an artist, writer, activist, and a programmer from the early days of computers.
He was born in 1924 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He grew up in Charlotte and in Alexandria, Virginia. He received a degree in mathematics from the University of Virginia in 1944, and was a member of the Raven Society and Phi Beta Kappa. After working with the U.S. Navy in Washington as a civilian, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Okinawa in 1946 and 1947, and later also at Fort Campbell, Ky., Aberdeen, Md., and in Toledo, Ohio.
From 1949 through 1953 he attended the Art Students League of New York. In 1953 he began work as a “computer” of geodesic calculations at the Army Map Service in Washington D.C. He met his future wife Mary Sill there where she was part of the calculators pool.
In 1956 he began his career as a computer systems analyst with a position as field technical representative for IBM, with assignments in the Pentagon and the Navy Annex. Subsequently he accepted positions with Honeywell, RCA, Applied Data Research, and Mainstem. From 1975 through 1995 he was employed by Sedgwick Publishing Services of Princeton.
Ted was active in the Unitarian Church of Princeton, where he served as chairman of the Social Concerns Committee from 1970 through 1972 and as secretary of the Board of Trustees from 1973 through 1975.
He was appointed to the West Windsor planning board in 1966 and won election to the West Windsor Township Committee in 1972.
He was a founding member of Thresholds of Central New Jersey, a group which taught decision making techniques to prison inmates. He was also active with the Conservation Coalition of Princeton which pioneered the recycling movement, and with the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and the anti-nuclear SEA alliance.
He lost his wife of 37 years, Mary Sill Peck, to cancer in 1990.
In 1998 he married Elizabeth Murray, now Elizabeth Peck, his wife of 20 years.
Ted shared with Elizabeth a passion for painting and the arts. Each January they jointly organized an art and poetry show at the Unitarian Church and for many years Mr. Peck would organize and lead a tour of galleries, often in SoHo, New York City.
In recent years Ted participated in the Unitarian play reading group, a ROMEO breakfast club (Retired Old Men Eating Out), and delighted in attending the creative writing program at the West Windsor Senior Center through April of this year. Along with his wife Elizabeth, he served on the West Windsor Democratic Committee and as a poll worker.
He is survived by his wife, four sons, and seven grandchildren. His sons are Theodore A Peck III (Trey), Frederick Sill Peck (Fred), Arthur Merriman Peck (Art), and Christopher Mount Peck (Chris). His grandchildren are Hannah Peck, Sam Peck, Godwin Peck, Matthew Peck, Nathen Peck, Alexandra Peck, and Forrest Peck.
Ted had made it known that he would like any memorial contributions to be made to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton.
Thomas L. Gray, Jr.
Thomas L. Gray, Jr., age 73 years, died Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at his home in Hopewell Township.
Born January 16, 1945 in the Vailsburg Section of Newark, N.J., Tom was the son of the late Thomas L. and Nancy (Carucci) Gray, Sr. He attended high school at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, N.J. and later graduated from Seton Hall University in 1966 with a BS Degree in English and in 1973 with an MBA in Finance.
Tom served in the United States Army Reserves during the Vietnam War as a Medic in the #322 General Hospital in Newark.
Tom will be best remembered with his storied career in banking. In 1966, he joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in New York as a National Bank Examiner. At the age of 27, Tom became the President and CEO of Peoples National Bank of North Jersey in Denville, N.J., a position he held for more than ten years. In 1983, he was hired as the President and CEO of Lafayette Bank & Trust Company in Bridgeport, Conn., where he successfully turned around that once financially troubled institution.
As the end of his tenure at Lafayette Bank approached, Tom began the process (with other local N.J. executives) to form a new bank in 1987, Carnegie Bank NA, headquartered in Princeton. As President and CEO, Carnegie Bank was one of the fastest growing banks in the U.S. and eventually was sold in 1998. Upon the sale of Carnegie Bank in 1998, Tom helped to form Grand Bank NA in Hamilton, N.J., where he served as Chairman of the Board, as well as President and Chief Executive Officer, positions he currently held.
Tom was a member of the Board of Directors for other banks including, Admiralty Bank (Palm Beach, Fla.), First Bancap (Allentown, Pa.), Sunrise Bank (Cocoa Beach, Fla.), and Paradise Bank (Boca Raton, Fla.). He was also a member of the Board of Directors of VIIAD, Inc. (Newtown, Pa.).
Tom also served his professional community as a member of the Community Bank Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the American Bankers Association, New Jersey Bankers Association, South Jersey Bankers Association, Community Bankers Association, Bank Marketing Association, Confrèrie de la Chaine des Rôtisseurs, the Florida Brotherhood of the Knights of Columbus of the Vine, as well as the N.J. State and Regional Chambers of Commerce and the World Presidents’ Organization.
In 1997, Tom was a finalist for the N.J. Entrepreneur of Year, a Board member of the American Heart Association, the Greater Trenton Community Mental Health Center, Junior Achievement, the NJ EDA Entrepreneurial Training Institute, the Princeton Scholarship Fund, Rotary International, St. Clare’s Hospital Development Board, St. Vincent Hospital, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, and the Young Presidents’ Association.
As a friend and colleague, Tom was unique. His passions included automobile restorations (especially those from the late ’50s and ’60s), playing a good game of golf, sailing the seas, or snow skiing with his many friends. He completed the New York City Marathon in 1985, something he was proud of accomplishing. However, his joys were truly spending time with his son, Mark, and the many treasured moments with his partner of more than 25 years, Karen Cinkay. Together, Tom and Karen travelled the world, loved a good dinner party with friends, or taking in a Broadway show.
In addition to his parents, Tom was predeceased by his sister, Kathy Wade. He is survived by his son, Mark Everton Gray, his partner, Karen Cinkay, as well as several cousins, nieces, nephews, and many friends.
A Celebration of Life to honor Tom will be at noon, Sunday, June 3, 2018 at the Trenton Country Club (TCC), 201 Sullivan Way, West Trenton, NJ 08628. Friends may gather beginning at 11 a.m. until the time of service at TCC. Please join with Mark and Karen immediately after the service for food and fellowship at TCC.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Tom’s name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the American Cancer Society, 7 Ridgedale Avenue, Suite 103, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home, 147 Main Street, Flemington, NJ.
For further information or to leave on online condolence, please visit www.holcombefisher.com.
Richard G. Williams
Richard G. Williams, “Dick”, 75, of Princeton Junction died Friday, May 11, 2018. Born in Westerly, R.I., he has been a resident of Princeton Junction for over 45 years. Dick was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a decorated major in the U.S. Army, serving in the 173rd Airborne Brigade during the Vietnam War. He retired in 2010 as Associate Dean of Princeton University with over 30 years of service. Dick was also a member of St. David the King Church, West Windsor.
Son of the late Palmer and Agnes Williams, father of the late Dennis Williams (wife Lisa), he is survived by his wife of 20 years Victoria J. Ridge; two daughters Karen Williams Newman (husband Jim); Elizabeth Williams Munns (husband Jeff); step daughter Laura Ridge; two brothers Robert Williams, Thomas Williams; and five grandchildren: Morgan, Dylan, Caroline, Michael, and Tommy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 17, 2018, St. David the King Church, 1 New Village Road, West Windsor. Burial will be private.
Friends may call on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 from 6:30- 8:30 p.m. at St. David the King Church.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy Attn: Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA, 22203; Nursing for All, 110 Reade Street #5 NY, NY 10013 or St. Joseph’s Indian School, PO Box 326, Chamberlain, SD 57325.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.
Margery Cornell Brearley Ward
Margery Cornell Brearley Ward died May 7, 2018. Born in Princeton, in 1920, she attended public school there until she enrolled in George School in Pennsylvania. Her childhood summers were spent in New Hampshire and Montana. She earned a Masters degree at Mount Holyoke College after graduating from Swarthmore College in 1941. After a summer course at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, she met and married Herman M. Ward. Margery then taught for one year in Bound Brook, N.J. public schools. She and her husband moved into their historic 18th century house in Belle Mead, N.J. in 1946 and continued to care for and restore it through their 65 years of living there together. They raised two girls and two boys before Margery again became a teacher, first at Stuart School and then at Princeton High School, where she taught biology from 1970-73. She also spent two summers as a nature counselor at Camp Becket, a YMCA camp in the Berkshires.
Margery, a devoted environmentalist, was active in local community affairs, attending meetings of the Montgomery Township committee and planning board during the period that 3M hoped to open up a quarry near their home and also when Johnson and Johnson (of Skillman) was operating a polluting manufacturing facility, which was finally forced to shut down.
Prior to becoming a member of the Princeton Society of Friends (Quakers), she taught in two other local church Sunday schools attended by her children. She also taught at the Children’s School of Science in Woods Hole, Mass. where she and her family owned a summer home. Throughout her life, she was an avid gardener and naturalist.
Margery was an officer for many years of the Van Harlingen Historical Society and active in their annual May in Montgomery fair. She, and her husband who died in 2006, frequently opened their doors to Scout troops, historians, and her husband’s colleagues, students, and foreign guests from Trenton State College (now The College of NJ), where he was an English professor for 30 years. She especially enjoyed accompanying him during three different years when he taught abroad in Greece, Germany, and Iceland. In her final years, Margery was a regular attendee at the Montgomery Senior Center where her always sunny presence will be much missed.
She is survived by her four children: David B. Ward and wife Alison of Falmouth, Mass.; Michael Whelan Ward of Belle Mead, N.J.; Gretchen Ward Warren of Saint Petersburg, Fla.; and Bonnie Ward Simon of New York City. Also surviving are five grandchildren: Basil and Sebastian Simon; Ray and Nicole Ward; and Jonathan Ward, his wife Sarah and her great grandchildren, Brearley and Lissie.
A celebration of her life will be held later this year in Woods Hole, Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Oxfam or the Van Harlingen Historical Society.
A commemoration of the life of Midge Quandt will be held on Sunday, May 27 at 2 p.m. in the large auditorium at Stonebridge at Montgomery, 100 Hollinshead Spring Road, Skillman, NJ 08558. The commemoration will include tributes and readings by family and friends. A reception will follow immediately afterwards. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alliance for Global Justice at https://afgj.org/.
Midge died peacefully at the University Medical Center of Princeton on March 14 at the age of 85. She was the author of From the Small Town to the Great Community (Rutgers University Press) and of Unbinding the Ties: The Popular Organizations and the FSLN in Nicaragua (Nicaragua Network Education Fund) and editor (with Margot Badran) of Sex, History and Culture (Trends in History).
PILLAR OF THE COMMUNITY: James Floyd’s influence on Princeton, especially the Witherspoon-Jackson district, touched many over several decades.
By Anne Levin
James Floyd, Princeton’s first African American mayor and longtime civil servant, died Monday morning. A community activist who worked tirelessly to promote civil rights, he was a mentor to many and a familiar figure to anyone involved in local politics. He was instrumental in getting the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood designated a historic district.
“Jim Floyd was a change agent,” said Princeton Councilman Lance Liverman, who grew up in Princeton and knew Floyd nearly his whole life. “This is my definition of someone who truly has changed the direction or path others may have gone. Jim was a mover and shaker in the area of affordable housing in Princeton. This was his passion.” more
This year, The Princeton Police and Princeton Human Services will host the 8th annual Wheels Rodeo on Sunday, May 20 due to the weather. The event was originally to be held on Saturday, May 19. The event will be held from 10 am – 1 pm on Sunday, May 20, at the Community Park Pool Parking lot located at 400 Witherspoon Street. more
By Donald Gilpin
Last week Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation into law that will grant access to state aid at public and private colleges and universities for New Jersey DREAMers. Qualified students will be permitted to apply for aid starting in the fall 2018 semester, making New Jersey the 10th state in the country to offer state financial aid to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented students.
“When policies at the federal level have purposely and systematically excluded immigrants in our communities, New Jersey stands up,” said Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund Executive Director Adriana Abizadeh. “Our state legislature is showing the country that immigrants are valued in our state. more
RALLY FOR IRAN DIPLOMACY: Princeton University physicist Rob Goldston urges his Hinds Plaza audience to oppose President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement last Wednesday at a rally organized by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action. (Photo by John Lien)
By Donald Gilpin
American politics continues to interweave and often clash with Iranian politics, and last week those entanglements precipitated two rallies in Princeton.
The first took place in Hinds Plaza on Wednesday to protest against President Trump’s announcement that the United States would be withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran; and the second was held on Friday evening at Princeton University outside Frist Campus Center to show support and solidarity for Xiyue Wang, a Princeton graduate student who has been imprisoned in Iran for almost two years. more
RELIEF FROM GRIEF: Friendships were renewed at a recent Friends and Family Day held by the Princeton University chapter of Camp Kesem, which helps children with a parent suffering from cancer. The event was held on the campus for the first time as part of an effort to attract more students to participate in the all-volunteer organization.
By Anne Levin
Witnessing a parent’s fight with cancer can be devastating for a child, even when the battle against the disease is ultimately won. Giving kids a break from their worries and grief is the goal of Camp Kesem, a nationwide organization of college students that sponsors week-long summer programs at camps and camp sites throughout the nation.
Princeton University established a Camp Kesem chapter four years ago. Earlier this month, the students held a Friends and Family Day in front of Frist Campus Center, drawing some 80 visitors to an event described by sophomore Ashley Dong, whose camp name is “Cloud,” as “a sort of reunion.” Dong is one of the chapter’s outreach coordinators. more
Children love learning about where their food comes from. Read and Pick is an innovative, educational program that combines a hands-on activity with a story highlighting that aspect of farming. Children (ages preschool to 8 years) gather around a storyteller to listen to stories about fruits, vegetables, pollinators, or farming equipment. Read and Pick programs are held biweekly on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Please call (609) 924-2310 to register or register online at terhuneorchards.com/read-pick-sign-up.
EDUCATION EXCELLENCE: “Each year is different, and the students are different. I love the fact that they are engaged in the work, and that I can learn from them too. In the beginning of my teaching career, I thought I would be the one to do the talking and teaching, but now I feel the teaching should come from the students.” William E. Hutnik, Upper School English teacher at The Pennington School, is shown in front of Old Main, one of the oldest buildings at the school.
By Jean Stratton
The greatest gift a teacher can impart to a student is a love of learning. This will begin a lifelong journey of exploration, discovery, and enlightenment.
William E. Hutnik is such a teacher.
For 20 years in the English Department at The Pennington School, he has been inspiring students not only to read great literature, but also, through his collaborative strategies, has encouraged them to exchange ideas and sharpen critical thinking skills. more