March 23, 2017

See below for the March 22, 2017 Princeton Zoning Board Meeting.

 Town Topics Newspaper will be posting videos of all future municipal meetings.

See below for the March 20, 2017 Princeton Council Meeting.

 Town Topics Newspaper will be posting videos of all future municipal meetings.

March 22, 2017

STANDING TALL: Princeton University men’s basketball head coach Mitch Henderson surveys the action in a game this winter. Last Thursday, Henderson’s squad nearly engineered a major upset as the 12th-seeded Tigers fell 60-58 to fifth-seeded Notre Dame in the opening round of the NCAA tournament at the KeyCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. The loss snapped a 19-game winning streak for Princeton and left it with a final record of 23-7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

The luck of the Irish came a few hours early as the Notre Dame men’s basketball team battled Princeton on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day last week in the first round of the NCAA tournament. more

A NEAR MISS: Princeton University men’s basketball player Amir Bell dribbles the ball in recent action. Last Thursday, junior guard Bell contributed seven points and seven rebounds as the 12th-seeded Tigers fell 60-58 to fifth-seeded Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tournament at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The defeat left Princeton with final record of 23-7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

The season for the Princeton University men’s basketball team ended up in the hands of Amir Bell and Devin Cannady. more

DOUBLE VISION: Princeton University women’s basketball player Leslie Robinson dribbles to the hoop in a game this season. Last Friday, junior star Robinson recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 59-53 to visiting Villanova in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 16-14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

When the Princeton University women’s basketball team started its 2016-17 campaign by losing its first four games, it didn’t look like a squad headed to postseason play. more

IN PLAY: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Gavin McBride prepares to unload the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star McBride tallied a career-high five goals to help No. 15 Princeton top No. 19 Penn 17-8 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The Tigers, now 5-2 overall and 1-0 Ivy, host Yale (3-3 overall, 1-0 Ivy) on March 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

When Princeton University men’s lacrosse team hosted Penn last spring, it fell behind 9-3 at halftime on the way to a 20-10 drubbing at the hands of the Quakers. more

MAKING A POINT: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Anna Intartaglia calls out instructions in a game this winter. Sophomore point guard Intartaglia’s floor leadership was a big plus for PHS this season as it went 6-20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For the Princeton High girls’ basketball team, defeating Princeton Day School in a Mercer County Tournament consolation game in the final week of the season reflected how much progress it had made this winter. more

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Ryan Robinson heads up the floor in a game this winter. Star forward Robinson produced a big junior campaign for PDS, leading the team in rebounds, blocked shots, and steals in addition to being the second top scorer. The Panthers finished the winter with an 8-17 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team entered the season, Kamau Bailey realized that scrappiness and heart needed to be the squad’s calling cards. more

TURNING THE CORNER: Hun School girls’ basketball player Julie Fassl dribbles around a foe in a game this winter. Senior guard Fassl’s scrappy play helped Hun finish with a final record of 10-14, a marked improvement on the 1-22 mark posted in 2015-16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Although the Hun School girls’ basketball team wasn’t in the running for a title at the end of the season, it culminated the winter with a memorable triumph. more

To the Editor:

As I join our community and my colleagues at the Princeton Public Library in preparing for the grand reopening of the library’s second floor on Saturday, March 25, I want to take a moment to thank the Princeton University Library for its generous partnership in serving our cardholders during our renovation. We were committed to remaining open throughout the renovation and to offering the easiest possible access to the collection while the second floor was closed to the public. Princeton University Library made that possible by offering us storage, at no charge, in their facilities and supporting our efforts to page books upon request. This was a significant service to our cardholders, making the 30,000 volumes in the library’s adult nonfiction collection available typically within just a day or two after we received a request.

Princeton University Library’s generosity also allowed my colleagues to spend the last several months completing an ambitious and innovative reorganization of the collection into “neighborhoods,” a new system that combines the best of bookstore organizational systems with the best of our tried and true Dewey Decimal System. We have invested a tremendous amount of time, attention, and our collection budget into ensuring that the books in the collection meet the needs of this community, and we are excited to share the reorganized adult nonfiction collection with everyone when we reopen the floor. We have never had a collection that was more likely to exceed everyone’s expectations and we have never before been able to make specific titles easier or more appealing to browse or find. The collection itself has never looked better, and we could not have completed this vital work without our friends and colleagues at the Princeton University Library.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, and during the day-long celebration that will follow.

Brett Bonfield

Executive Director, Princeton Public Library

To the Editor:

Why can’t some kind of jointly operated music school be developed with Princeton University? Why not a newly contoured school where students are chosen for admission based on their musical abilities, while the degrees they receive come from either Rider or Princeton Universities, depending on where they are matriculating? Westminster Choir College is too wonderful a place just to let it slip down the drain. It is the crown jewel of choral music schools and a crown jewel of our community.

There is at least one precedent for organizing a university institution so that it is shared, and so that the degrees given are granted specifically by the participating institutions. Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) has its own campus in Indianapolis, and is jointly operated by Indiana University and Purdue University. See website: www.iupui.edu. My husband was once an adjunct professor there teaching classical studies.

IUPUI is led by a chancellor, currently Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar. With both Indiana U and Purdue operating in Indianapolis, UIPUI was formed in 1968, after then Mayor Richard Lugar called for establishing a single great state university in Indianapolis. From this premise Indiana U. and Purdue, each commanding their strengths, established a new, bifurcated institution.

When we were there, degrees granted in the humanities carried the name of Indiana University on its diplomas. Faculty in the humanities received paychecks from Indiana University. Conversely on the science side, diplomas and paychecks bore the name of Purdue. Twenty years ago at least, when we were there, this division of mutual respect, comfortably remained, as IUPUI continued to evolve.

So let’s look at Westminster Choir College with new eyes and a new creative solution that can enhance the choral offerings and prestige of several institutions.

Kip Cherry

Dempsey Avenue

To the Editor:

I am an elected member of the Princeton Board of Education, writing as an individual rather than in any official capacity as a member of the Board. I write to reiterate my support for the students, teachers, staff, and administration of our community’s public schools.

I also write to encourage honest dialogue. The Board needs your input, and that of all members of our community, as it looks to craft a difficult school budget for next year, as well as to decide on the best long-term path to make sure that it has the facilities in place to serve our students and families. I urge you to attend the Tuesday, March 28 Board meeting at 8 p.m. The Board will hear a presentation from its demographer on the projected growth in enrollment in the Princeton Public Schools over the course of the next ten years. The Board will then continue its discussion of how best to shape next year’s school budget in light of those growing enrollments, the Princeton Charter School expansion, and the many goals of its strategic plan.

My personal plea is for us to work together while acknowledging the hard work of those who teach and help our students. Let us also reject divisiveness — the misguided urge to tear down individual schools or question the worthiness of specific groups of our students. In any fair assessment, we know from years of official data that all our schools are ranked extremely high, due to the hard work of our children and the unflagging efforts of our teachers and staff, backed by the crucial support of this remarkable community.

Let us continue working together, as parents, residents, and Board members, to identify and fix areas that may need strengthening, but let us stay united to better protect our schools in the current troubled political and economic environment. With your help, the Board has pledged to do so in as efficient a manner as possible, mindful of the financial burden it is asking you to assume.

Most importantly, however, let us heed the words of our superintendent, and never lose sight of the fact that we are working on behalf of all our children. They include those living in every one of our many neighborhoods that together make up our diverse community; they are recently arrived as well as from long-standing Princeton families; they are high school students from Cranbury and from the Princeton Charter School; and they are students who need additional services and support. Our goal should be to continue to serve them all, in order to help each one of them fulfill his or her personal vision of a meaningful life. With your guidance and input, this is a goal that I hope the community will remain willing to support.

Gregory Stankiewicz

Jefferson Road

To The Editor:

As explained in the last Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) meeting, schools are not businesses; in other words, we simply can’t slash one area of the curriculum in order to limit expenses. However, let’s consider the thought for a moment. How would any business that is losing customers to a competitor handle this situation? The answer is obvious: In order to stay in the game, they would rapidly assess why they are losing clients and innovate accordingly. Similarly, since PPS is so clearly concerned by the Princeton Charter School (PCS) expansion, they should begin to ask the hard question: Why are families leaving for PCS?

Thus far, the community debate has largely focused on discrediting PCS goals, shaming PCS parents, and even belittling PCS students. Instead we should move towards rational and data-driven thought. We should reach across the aisles and learn what PCS is doing to attract these families. While some parents are quite comfortable marching into the school to advocate for their child, others are not, and prefer to quietly pack up and move on without ever sharing their reasons.

The solution is not complex. A simple, and potentially anonymous, survey of elementary school PPS parents could tease out these issues. Important questions could be asked. Do you feel your child is appropriately challenged in school? Does homework seem suitable and relevant? Do you feel your child’s report card provides worthwhile feedback? How responsive do you feel teachers, administrators, and board members are to your concerns? Is the after-school program meeting your needs? Are you considering moving your child to another local school next year? Why?

But let’s not stop there. Let’s also try to survey all the current PCS parents and compare the results. With this information, we could move away from ineffective insults and toward thoughtful innovations. In doing so, not only can we make PPS truly strong, but we could even make PCS unnecessary.

Jenny Ludmer

Caldwell Drive

To the Editor:

In the publicity campaign being conducted by Princeton Charter School supporters, I am dismayed to see recurring tactics: discrediting of ample public data showing that PCS is segregated, saddling of taxpayers with a financially draining and inefficient burden; diverting public attention by manufacturing off-base or flatly false counter-accusations; and attacking those who support our public schools. These strategies are sadly similar to those employed by the current administration in Washington. Yet these offensive tactics were publicly lauded by the PCS trustees’ chairman at a recent, lavish PCS fundraising gala.

We are all friends with PCS parents. Surely these calculated conspiracy theories, personal attacks, and especially, reprehensible denigration of public school children aren’t something that our fair-minded PCS friends condone. Anyone can see that they only compound the damage to the Charter School’s reputation following the widely-opposed expansion. I hope that PCS parents and the other trustees of the Princeton Charter School will publicly disavow rather than encourage them. I also urge the PCS trustees to do the right thing for our entire community and unilaterally stay or significantly reduce the number of seats by which PCS will expand. The trustees can do this without state approval.

The only silver lining to this undemocratic, secretly-planned PCS expansion is that thousands of Princeton residents are now keenly aware that New Jersey’s charter school law is broken. As a founding member of Save Our Schools New Jersey (SOSNJ), I can attest that this always has been the position of our organization regarding charter schools. SOSNJ is not “anti-charter;” since its founding in 2010 in response to the Christie administration’s devastating school aid cuts, SOSNJ’s position on charter schools has been straightforward: the state law should be amended to require local, democratic approval of new charter schools or expansions, and greater transparency and public accountability for existing charter schools.

SOSNJ simply seeks basic democratic control for communities and transparency for charter schools. That certain Princeton Charter School leaders see these fundamentally fair tenets as an existential threat to their school is disturbing and very revealing.

Audrey Chen

Linwood Circle

To the Editor:

I want to register my complete dismay with Cara Carpenito’s comments [Mailbox, March 8] suggesting parents of Princeton Charter School examine their conscience for sending their children to a segregated school. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Carol Williams, an African American who resides in Princeton. All three of my children attend PCS.

Ms. Carpenito, I would love to better understand your intentions, but I found your remarks incendiary and representative of the unnecessary animus the topic of the Charter School expansion has led to in our community. Should you be so concerned about our experience, it might help for you to know the PCS school administrators, teachers, and community could not have been more welcoming and my children are thriving academically and socially.

I am completely aware of the history of de jure and de facto school segregation in this country and to suggest these conditions are true of PCS is completely uninformed and irresponsible.

Carol Williams

Crooked Tree Lane

To the Editor:

After attending two Princeton Public Schools Board of Education meetings regarding the district’s proposed 2017-18 budget, I’d like to commend the administrators and Board members for working to find ways to plug the gaping hole created by the expansion of Princeton Charter School, which will add $826,266 this year to PPS’s non-discretionary obligations.

Many hackneyed, misleading tropes are being tossed around attempting to minimize PCS’s effect on taxpayers. But the numbers reveal the significant impact of this new obligation forced on us by non-elected charter school trustees and a politically-motivated governor.

This year’s $800+K additional payment to PCS almost doubles the increase in the district’s total non-discretionary expenditures from the prior: the change in non-discretionary expenses overall is $1,721,520, of which the increased PCS payment is 47.8 percent.

Of the total $3,794,989 proposed increase in both non-discretionary and discretionary expenses for 2017-18, the additional payment to PCS accounts for 21 percent. Thus, 21 percent of the increase to taxpayers will pay charter school tuition for 1.4 percent of our total student population — all of whom could be well-served in the public schools.

The proposed budget also includes cuts — money taken from the remaining 98.6 percent of our community’s public school children. The proposed cuts will hit curriculum and instruction, maintenance, technology/security, staff, all spending categories essential to maintaining high-quality education and services to our diverse student population.

Listening to the in-depth discussions on what actions can be taken to meet the additional $826,266 burden caused by PCS’s expansion, it’s clear how limited the district’s options are, given that the budget is predominantly fixed-cost and non-discretionary, and given the tight time frame (state law requires approval of a final budget by April 25). Many good ideas were raised, but most require a longer horizon for implementation.

But right now, even with cuts, a tax increase of 4.7 percent may be required to balance the budget. More than a quarter of that increase is due to PCS’s expansion, one that the local taxpayers subsidizing it overwhelmingly opposed.

The next school board meeting about the budget is Tuesday, March 28. I encourage the public to attend.

Anne Desmond

Tee-Ar Place

Durant Robertson III

Durant Robertson III, 74, of Medford died Thursday, March 16, 2017 at Virtua-West Jersey Hospital Marlton of Evesham Township, NJ.

Durant was born September 24, 1942 in Maryland. Starting at the age of eleven, he studied classical guitar and composition. His teachers have included such noted composers as Kenneth Gaburo, Alexander Bellow, William Syderman, and Vladimir Ussachevsky. He taught guitar and had written several pieces exploiting some unusual resources of the instrument. His compositions include: Summer (for guitar and two track tape); Addison Street Rag; Velocity II (for trumpet and electronic sounds) which was performed at Carnegie Recital Hall; Queen of the Morning (for guitar and tape); and Dance Music for Peggy Cicierska and her Dance Troup.

Mr. Robertson has performed at Carl Fischer Hall and Mannes College in New York. He formerly appeared in recitals at the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society, Columbus Boychoir School in Princeton, and the Painted Bride Gallery in Philadelphia. In addition to formal concerts, he has given a number of informal presentations. He appeared on the Channel 12 television program “Take Twelve,” and has had excerpts from his compositions (Vision for Two Guitars and Dance Music For Peggy Cicierska) broadcast on WHYY FM, Philadelphia. He performed at Lincoln Center (Fordham University), the WILKA Theatre Project (Philadelphia), and with the Friends of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Robertson’s repertoire ranged from classical works to contemporary compositions.

He is the son of the late Durant and Elizabeth (Hansen) Robertson Jr. He is survived by his sister Susan and brother-in-law Lawrence Howley and brother Douglas Robertson.

Burial will be private.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.

———

Joan Mary McKeon 

Joan Mary McKeon passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, March 12, 2017.

Joan is survived by her husband Edward and children Margaret and Jonathan.

She will be remembered as a kind and loving wife, mother and teacher. She will remain in our hearts.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton, NJ 08540.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Joan’s name to Trinity Church.

———

David C. Scott 

David C. Scott died on March 18, 2017 at the age of 76 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was a third generation Princetonian: the son of Anne Clark Martindell, and the grandson of William Clark.

David began school in Montreal, Canada. Later, he attended Miss Chapin’s School and Princeton Country Day School in Princeton, and Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts. He completed his bachelor’s degree in political science at Trinity College in Connecticut in 1962 where he was an enthusiastic rower on the crew team.

David was a knowledgeable historian and patient teacher, and a master carpenter as demonstrated in the houses he renovated in Kristiansand, Norway and Princeton. He was a savvy trip planner and delightful travel companion, an avid reader of The New York Times and The Atlantic, and a generous benefactor to friends and family alike. He was a member of the Yale Club in New York City and Springdale Golf Club in Princeton.

David began his career in the printing and publishing industry at Connecticut Printers in Hartford, Connecticut. He then worked in NYC for the next thirty five years at McGraw Hill, Rand McNally, Western Publishing Company where he was the Vice President of Sales, and Lanman Engraving Company. He particularly loved his work in the creative department of Lanman, producing the film that was used in the publications of the Smithsonian, National Geographic, and Time-Life Books.

David’s greatest pride lay in the homes and gardens he created in Princeton and Norway and in his children, Christopher and Katharine. He would tell anyone who would listen about their accomplishments—that Christopher was following his lifelong passion as an animator in Canada, and Katharine was pursuing her Ph.D. in psychology with a focus on prejudice reduction starting in childhood at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

David is survived by “the love of his life” of 50 years, Randi Burlingham Scott, his son, Christopher, his daughter, Katharine, his sisters, Marjory Luther of Ann Arbor Michigan and Kippy Maitland-Smith of Alberta, Canada, and his brothers, George C. Scott of Richmond, Virginia and Roger Martindell of Princeton.

In lieu of flowers, David asked that donations be made to the TCNJ Foundation, designated to the Music Department (http://give.tcnj.edu/ Select “other” and write in “Music Dept, in memory of David Scott”).

———

Jane P. Poole

Jane P. Poole, 89, wife, mother, grandmother and devoted friend, died peacefully in Scottsdale, AZ on January 12, 2017 with family members at her side.

Jane lived a life filled with laughter, love and smiles. Indeed, her smile was her trademark, something she never lost even during her decade long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

A proud third generation Californian, Jane was born October 7, 1927 in Oxnard, CA to Abby Lyman and Howard Fay Pressey, a citrus rancher. Growing up on a ranch instilled in Jane a lifelong love for animals and nature. She graduated from Fillmore H.S. and attended Pomona College before leaving her beloved California to earn a Bachelor of Science in Retailing from Webber College in Florida.

She returned to Los Angeles for a retail career, but soon was compelled by her adventurous spirit to move across the country with two friends to experience life in New York City. It was there she met her husband-to-be, Tom Poole. She loved to tell the story of how they met on a double-date, each set up with the other person, and how she was not initially impressed. But Tom soon won her heart with his quick wit and love of poetry.

Jane and Tom raised their two daughters in Princeton, NJ, where for 54 years they created a loving, welcoming, home before retiring to Scottsdale in 2014. Jane’s real and abiding passions were her family and friends. She was the neighborhood mom; quick to offer a smile, a helping hand with a coat zipper, or even breakfast to the many kids who were always at their home. She worked in Financial Aid at Princeton University for ten years; was President of Chapter AE of PEO, an international sisterhood dedicated to women’s education. She was particularly proud of her work with the adult literacy program at the Princeton Public Library.

Jane is survived by her husband of 61 years, Thomas of Scottsdale, AZ; two daughters, Joanne Reese (Steve) of Scottsdale, Grace Ellen Benn (Alex) of Los Angeles; two granddaughters Abby Meredith Benn and Caroline Jane “CJ” Benn; two step-grandsons Steven Reese, Jr (Leah), and Matthew Reese (Sara) all of Tennessee; her brother Lyman Pressey (Carolyn), of Clovis, CA; and many family and friends.

The family welcomes contributions in Jane’s memory to a charity of your choosing. Gifts may acknowledge Jane’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, her commitment to adult literacy, her love of animals, or simply pass along the gift of a smile. Her family gratefully thanks you for any remembrance.

———

Marjorie Freeman

Marjorie Kler Freeman, age 87, of Princeton died Friday, March 17, 2017 at University Medical Center of Princeton. Born in Philadelphia, PA she resided in Belle Mead before moving to Plainsboro. She received her BA from Pratt University and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. Marjorie was the owner of Marjorie Kler Interiors in Princeton. She was also co-owner of the Jewelry Box. Marjorie was the founder of the Raritan Millstone Alliance, Past Regent of the Jersey Blue Chapter DAR, president of East Jersey Olde Town Restoration Village, board member of the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers University. Marjorie was also a member of the Travel Club of New Brunswick, traveling to over 100 countries, a member of the New Jersey State and National Garden Club, she wrote, edited, illustrated, and published a number of cookbooks. Marjorie was described by those who loved her as a strong person and leader.

Daughter of the late, Dr. Joseph H. and Elizabeth Kler, she is survived by her husband of 34 years Bruce G. Freeman, two sons and a daughter in law John and Laurie Hale, David Hale, two stepsons David Freeman, Mark Freeman, stepdaughter Judith Rafallo, sister Mary Heisinger, three grandchildren Maura Chadwick, Dana and Sarah Freeman.

A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday March 21, 2017 at Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, Princeton. Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather Hodge Funeral Home
Princeton.

Every couple of years or so, this reviewer is approached by a friend or acquaintance who is excited about some great new product that they’ve just quit their job to sell. Curiously, instead of trying to make me a customer, they’re always more interested in offering me an opportunity to share in their good fortune by becoming a distributor.

That’s a red flag that the business isn’t legitimate, but a pyramid scheme. Such an operation is easy to identify, because its participants profit primarily by recruitment rather than by the sale of goods or services to consumers.

Directed by Ted Braun (Darfur Now), Betting on Zero chronicles hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s campaign to expose the health food corporation Herbalife as being a multi-level marketing Ponzi scheme. What makes the movie intriguing is that Ackman may not have been acting altruistically, since he had also shorted Herbalife by placing a billion-dollar bet that the company’s stock price would plummet.

Nevertheless, Ackman was considered a Robin Hood in working-class circles, because he promised to distribute any profits he might make — when the stock’s value plummeted — to the unsophisticated minorities who had lost their life savings that they had invested in the company. The millions of victims were predominantly undocumented immigrants who were afraid to report how they’d been fleeced to the authorities because they were afraid of being deported.

To prove his case, Ackman first needed to convince the Federal Trade Commission that Herbalife was indeed a criminal enterprise. That would not be easy, considering all the prominent individuals who were lobbying on behalf of the firm, such as CNBC investment adviser Jim Kramer, Donald Trump’s crony Carl Icahn, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and ex-Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa.

For instance, billionaire Carl Icahn not only propped up Herbalife’s stock by taking a huge stake in the company but even went on television to refute Ackman’s pledge to give his financial gains from short selling the stock to charity. Ultimately, the controversial case is resolved in one side’s favor, though it would be unfair for me to spoil the ending.

Is Herbalife a con game being run by shady snake oil salesmen, or a benign operation affording average people a realistic shot at the elusive American Dream? You be the judge.

Excellent (****). Unrated. In English and Spanish with subtitles. Running time: 104 minutes. Distributor: Zipper Bros. Films.

The word derives from the Greek “ephemeros,” meaning “lasting only one day, short-lived,” which includes papers, curiosities, and collectible odds and ends of the sort found on a table in the Collector’s Corner during this year’s Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale, which lasted five days and will come back to life again next year. Special finds are mentioned in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

After lengthy preparations and deliberations, the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) last Thursday approved a tentative budget of $95,702 million for the 2017-18 school year, an increase of 4.88 percent over last year, with an anticipated 4.7 percent rise in the tax levy.

School taxes on the average Princeton home, assessed at $821,771, would increase by $223.95, a 2.5 percent hike.  more

On March 28, Rider University’s Board of Trustees is expected to vote on whether to sell the Princeton campus of Westminster Choir College, which it has owned since 1992. As the date nears, a growing list of alumni, students, parents, and members of the public are working feverishly to keep the world-renowned choral institution alive and well as cash-strapped Rider comes up with a plan for its overall future. more

As repairs to New Jersey’s oldest bridge and the construction of a new bridge next to it move forward, a portion of Route 206 will be closed completely from July through October, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) announced at a public information meeting yesterday. more

NEW AND IMPROVED: Princeton Public Library unveils its redesigned second floor Saturday at a special day of activities. This sleek seating area is part of the vision of Andrew Berman, architect. (Photo by Cie Stroud Courtesy of Princeton Public Library)

Since last June, tarpaulins have covered the windows of Princeton Public Library’s second floor as renovations have been underway to reconfigure its layout and make it more relevant to the digital age. The “2Reimagine” project is now complete, and the public is invited to tour the new space on Saturday while participating in a roster of celebratory activities. more

David Dye and Tom Cunningham will discuss the early part of Bruce Springsteen’s career and the role that radio played in it in “Bruce Springsteen on the Radio: 1973-21st Century,” at the Present Day Club, located at 72 Stockton Street on April 6 at 7 p.m. Special guest, photographer Frank Stefanko, will join the conversation and talk about his experiences working with Springsteen early in both of their careers. The cover photo on Springsteen’s memoir, “Born to Run,” was shot by Stefanko in 1978. The event is presented in partnership with the Princeton Public Library and Morven Museum and Garden in conjunction with Morven’s current exhibition, Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journey, curated by The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibition is on view through May 21. Reservations are required. Tickets at $12 ($10 Friends of Morven) are available online at morven.org or by calling (609) 924-8144, ext. 113.

Princeton Fitness & Wellness at Plainsboro will host a free community health fair on Saturday, March 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The facility is located at 7 Plainsboro Road on the campus of the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. more