October 10, 2018

To the Editor:

Ralph Perry’s letter [“Ideas to Help Solve Overcrowding In Schools and Reduce Cost of Bond,” Mailbox, October 3] presents a pair of interrelated data points whose joint significance appears to need emphasizing. He notes that the school system has plans to buy a particular property on Thanet Road for $12.6 million, on which its present owners are paying taxes of $230,000 a year. The selling price is disproportionate to the tax payments. Taxes of $230,000 per year project to an assessed valuation of approximately 9.7 million, not 12.6 million. If and when this transaction takes place, logically either the school system should pay less or the sellers should pay back taxes at least back to the general revaluation circa 2010 on the underassessment they have been benefiting from — preferably with interest.

John Strother

Grover Avenue

To the Editor:

Regardless of which side you fall on the referendum, it is clear that Betsy Baglio and Dafna Kendal are working day and night, as current School Board members, to be positive change agents.

As a parent who has worked closely with the school board and administration over the past decade, I can understand that being a Board member is not an easy job. I appreciate Betsy and Dafna’s tenacity and resolve to delve into great detail on many topics, and actively work towards solutions. They do the hard work that I expect from a School Board member by asking tough questions and giving challenging answers. They are working to improve Board transparency and encourage community participation. I feel they are honestly trying to look at all sides, make compromises when needed, and be vocal on sensitive matters. more

To the Editor:

Princetonians attending the many School Board meetings on the proposed referendum this summer witnessed levels of division that rivaled our national political scene. The silver lining to emerge from that acrimonious process is that it propelled a truly exceptional candidate, Brian McDonald, to run for the School Board.  more

To the Editor:

As a student at Princeton High School, I have observed a number of problems that could be corrected if the proposed referendum is passed. The school is crowded, classrooms are often too hot to concentrate, and bathrooms are in disrepair.

Class sizes vary from small to large, which in my opinion is not as much of a problem as battling large crowds of students trying to navigate from class to class. The schedule allows for four minutes between classes, and it can be nearly impossible to get from one class to another in this amount of time due to the distances and crowds.  more

To the Editor:

Housing Initiatives of Princeton (HIP) held its annual Rent Party on Saturday, September 22 when over 120 people gathered at the beautiful home of Melanie and John Clarke to help us “raise the rent” to assist low-income working families in our community. Through the generosity of our supporters — and the more than 40 event sponsors — HIP raised more than $48,000 which we will use to provide transitional housing with family-focused supportive services and emergency rental assistance to help families avoid homelessness and move towards long-term self-sufficiency.  more

To the Editor:

As a resident of the Littlebrook neighborhood, it has come to my attention via the newspapers and word of mouth that the School Board is proposing to move their administrative offices, as well as buses to the Thanet property off of Terhune Road.

I would like to make the following points with regards to this issue:

First: The school system/town should first provide all interested parties in the area of their plans in detail. To find out about a plan that will impact daily life in a neighborhood via the newspapers is entirely unacceptable and possibly illegal if it affects air quality, noise levels etc. in an area that is not zoned for their proposed use at least with regards to buses.  more

Five candidates for the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education offered their ideas on the facilities referendum and other school issues at a forum last Thursday night sponsored by The League of Women Voters of the Princeton area. From left, Betsy Kalber Baglio, Mary Clurman, Daniel J. Dart, Dafna Kendal, and Brian McDonald are vying for three seats up for grabs in the November 6 election. (Photo by Anna Savoia)

By Donald Gilpin

As press time approached yesterday afternoon, Princeton Public Schools Board of Education (BOE) Chair Patrick Sullivan prepared to present a new compromise proposal to his Board and the community at the special BOE meeting scheduled for last night.

At a BOE forum in September, PPS Superintendent Steve Cochrane had posted on the screen a quotation from Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association President Leighton Newlin: “Let’s not have a good plan for our children become divisive for our community.” more

By Anne Levin

NJ Transit’s plan for a three-month halt of the Dinky train that connects Princeton with Princeton Junction on the Northeast Corridor line is not going over well with commuters and members of the town’s governing body.

At Princeton Council’s meeting Monday night, October 8, several residents and Council members spoke in opposition to the plan, which NJ Transit representatives attending the meeting said is necessary so that all NJ Transit equipment and personnel can be utilized during the installation of federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) in other parts of the system. The train’s two cars would be replaced by buses. more

By Donald Gilpin

With the election just a month away, five candidates, including two incumbents, for three available seats on the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) exchanged ideas at a public forum last Thursday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Cherry Hill Road.

In a 90-minute session sponsored by The Princeton League of Women Voters (LWV), incumbents Betsy Kalber Baglio and Dafna Kendal and new candidates Mary Clurman, Daniel J. Dart, and Brian McDonald presented their qualifications and answered questions on a wide range of subjects, many related to recent concerns about school finances and the facilities referendum proposal planned for December 11. more

JUSTICES AT JADWIN: U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor (center) and Elena Kagan (right) were interviewed by Dean of Yale Law School Heather Gerken in Princeton University’s Jadwin Gym on Friday, October 5, during the “She Roars” conference. All three women are University alumnae. (Photo by Denise Applewhite, Princeton University Office of Communications)

By Anne Levin

When Princeton University planned the “She Roars: Celebrating Women at Princeton” alumnae event that took place last weekend, there was no inkling that one of the highlights — an interview with Supreme Court justices and alumnae Sonia Sotomayor and Elana Kagan — would coincide with one of the most divisive nominations in the court’s history.

But there they were at Jadwin Gym on Friday, October 5, just hours after nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s spot on the court was all but assured. Kavanaugh’s name was never mentioned during the discussion. The only reference made to the controversial appointment came when moderator Heather Gerken, a 1991 Princeton graduate and the dean of Yale Law School, asked Kagan and Sotomayor how they view their roles given the current political climate. more

By Donald Gilpin

“Growth will come to our town,” the flier noted. “The choice we have is whether to plan for that growth or just react to it.”

Launching a new visioning study for the central business district (CBD), Princeton Future (PF) attracted a group of about 45 on Saturday morning in the Princeton Public Library to work together to imagine how Princeton can develop significant new public spaces.  more

By Stuart Mitchner

Early morning, early October, my wife and I are walking along the Delaware near Lambertville, the roar of the rapids so loud there’s no talking until we’re past the sound, heading south toward Washington’s Crossing. Downriver near Pennsbury Manor my paternal ancestors John and Sarah were indentured servants on William Penn’s estate, having come to America with him from England in 1682 on the good ship Welcome.

I’m mindful of my roots these days after unloading boxes of family photos, clippings, genealogies, old letters, and journals like my mother’s from the time she and my father took a cruise up the St. Lawrence to visit Barnhart’s Island, the home of her maternal ancestors. Just before she died, my mother, who grew up in river towns like St. Joseph, on the Missouri, and Smithville, on the Little Platte, told me, “Go down to the river.” My scholar father’s last words were “What’s on the agenda for today?” It would be hard to find two sentences more expressive of the differences between my parents and their families.  more

ITALIANATE AND GOTHIC: John Notman designed the original portion of this house at 86 Mercer Street, part of the Historical Society of Princeton’s 17th Annual House Tour on Saturday, November 3.

The Historical Society of Princeton’s 17th Annual House Tour is planned for Saturday, November 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Six houses will be open for the event, which celebrates significant architecture and design in the community.

Each home is a distinct example of its own time and style. Visitors will observe modifications, redesigns, furnishings, and personal art collections during the self-guided tour. more

“FOUNDATION@50”: The new exhibition at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton celebrates 50 years of support by the New Jersey State Museum Foundation. The show features more than 60 objects, artifacts, and specimens that have been added to the museum’s collections over the past 50 years, runs through January 27, 2019.

The New Jersey State Museum has announced the opening of its new exhibition, “Foundation@50: Celebrating Five Decades of Support.” Since its founding in 1968, the New Jersey State Museum Foundation has provided vital support to the museum. The exhibition highlights more than 60 objects, artifacts, and specimens that have been added to the museum’s collections over the past 50 years through the support of the Foundation. It will be on view through January 27, 2019. more

Organist Stephen Buzard will lead a master class on Tuesday, October 16 at 2:30 p.m. and participate in the Sacred Music Lab at 6:30 p.m., in Bristol Chapel on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton. Sacred Music Lab is a worship service led by Westminster’s Sacred Music students and is open to the public. Admission is free. He will also present a recital in the Princeton University Chapel on Monday, October 15 at 8 p.m. more

By Kam Williams

Neil Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969 when he became the first person to walk on the moon. Subsequently, the NASA astronaut never sought to cash in on his celebrity status. Instead, he eschewed fame and fortune and withdrew from the limelight in favor of sharing his experiences in the classroom as a college professor. He even discouraged biographers until he finally agreed to cooperate with James R. Hansen on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.

Published in 2005, the book has been adapted to the screen by Oscar-winning scriptwriter Josh Singer (Spotlight). However, the movie covers 1961 through 1969 — Armstrong’s early years in the space program — and ending with Apollo 11’s historic lunar landing. more

Hands-On: “My practice is different because I work one-on-one with the patient for an hour. I am focused on the patient’s goal, and we work together to achieve it.” Gianna Bigliani, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, founder and owner of Fluid Physio, is shown in the patient area where she provides individual treatments for each person.

By Jean Stratton

“I  wanted to spend all my time with one patient at each therapy session.”

Explaining why she decided to open her own physical therapy practice, Dr. Gianna Bigliani, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, owner and founder of Fluid Physio, points out the difference in her practice.

“The first thing you need to know about Fluid Physio is that we can help you much more quickly than what you expect. We are different than any other physical therapy practice because of our approach: a full hour of one-on-one specialized manual therapy treatment that will return you to pain-free optimal performance and function much faster than others.” more

GOOD RUN: Princeton University running back Charlie Volker heads upfield last Saturday as Princeton hosted Lehigh. Senior star Volker rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns to help the Tigers rout the Mountain Hawks 66-7. Princeton, now 4-0 overall and 1-0 Ivy League, hosts Brown (1-3, 0-1 Ivy) on October 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Charlie Volker’s sprinting prowess has helped him earn Ivy League titles for the Princeton University track team.

In the fall, Volker’s blazing speed has resulted in him becoming one of the top running backs in program history for Princeton’s football team.

For Volker, his dual athletic focus keeps him sharp through the school year. more

Dustin Litvak sensed that it could be a tough trip for the Princeton University men’s water polo team when it headed to the Boston area last weekend.

“We played seven conference games in nine days. It is not ideal; it doesn’t give us a lot of time to prepare,” said Princeton head coach Dustin Litvak, who is in his first season at the helm of the program. more

STRONG FINISH: Princeton University men’s soccer player Gaby Paniagua goes after the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore midfielder Paniagua scored a second half goal to help Princeton defeat visiting Brown 2-0. The Tigers, who improved to 5-4-1 overall and 1-0-1 Ivy League with the win, were slated to play at St. John’s on October 9 before resuming Ivy play with a game at Columbia on October 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though his Princeton University men’s soccer team controlled possession in the first half against visiting Brown last Saturday, Jim Barlow was aggravated.

Despite Princeton’s dazzling play, it had nothing to show for it as the rivals were locked in a 0-0 stalemate at halftime. more

By Bill Alden

Jackson Barletta prides himself on being a multi-faceted threat for the Hun School football team.

“It is good to be all around the field and just impact the team however I can,” said senior star Barletta, who plays receiver, quarterback, and defensive back for the Raiders.

Last Saturday against visiting Blair Academy, Barletta made an impact in the first half with his arm and legs, throwing a touchdown pass to Nicholas DeGennaro and then catching a scoring strike from Logan Clouse as the Raiders built a 12-0 halftime lead. more

SETTING THE PACE: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Acasio Pinheiro (No. 858, second from right) competes in a 2017 race. Last Saturday, senior star Pinheiro took third individually in the Boys’ Varsity C race at the Shore Coaches Invitational in Holmdel Park to help the Little Tigers place third of 27 schools in the team standings in the race. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last several years, the individual brilliance of Alex Roth and and then Will Hare helped spark the Princeton High boys’ cross country team to county and state crowns.

This fall, a triumvirate of senior standouts, Acasio Pinheiro, Jackson McCarthy, and Tucker Zullo, have combined to make PHS formidable again. more

PLAYING SMART: Hun School boys’ soccer player Elijah Smarr controls the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, senior midfielder Smarr chipped in an assist to help Hun defeat Blair Academy 3-0 in its Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) opener. The Raiders, now 5-4, play at the Hill School (Pa.) on October 13 before hosting Northern Burlington on October 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Hun School boys’ soccer team locked in a scoreless tie with Life Center Academy last week, Elijah Smarr had the ball on his foot near the goal.

But rather than firing away, Hun senior midfield Smarr saw teammate Amar Anand breaking free and slotted the ball to him and he found the back of the net.

“Jack Tarzy played me a nice ball in; I could have taken him on but I saw that Amar had a better angle so I just played it to him and he was able to put it away,” said Smarr of the score that came with 27:13 left in the half. more

SET POINT: Princeton High girls’ volleyball player Gillian Hauschild sets the ball last Thursday as PHS defeated Hopewell Valley 2-0. Junior star Hauschild contributed three kills, four assists, two blocks, and one dig to help the Little Tigers prevail 25-10, 25-12. PHS, which moved to 13-4 with a 2-0 loss to Montgomery last Friday, is hosting Fairfield Prep (Conn.) on October 13 before playing at Florence on October 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gillian Hauschild is displaying her versatility this fall in her junior season for the Princeton High girls’ volleyball team.

After dominating on the front row in her first two seasons, Hauschild has added a playmaking role to her portfolio.

“We are running a 6-2 this year, which is a lot different than last year,” said Hauschild. more