May 1, 2016

Edens, the company that has owned Princeton Shopping Center since 2012, is committed to “catering to the community,” the company’s vice president of development David Germakian told Princeton Council at a meeting of the governing body Monday night. Mr. Germakian said that Edens, which owns 120 retail centers along the east coast and in Texas, sees the shopping center as “Princeton’s second downtown.” more

April 27, 2016

Deanna L. Stockton, Princeton’s assistant municipal engineer, will succeed Robert V. Kiser as municipal engineer when Mr. Kiser retires at the end of June. Mayor Liz Lempert announced the appointment to a round of applause at the beginning of the Council meeting Monday evening. more

At its meeting Monday night, April 25, Princeton Council decided more investigation is needed before voting to adopt the proposed 2016 municipal budget of $61.9 million. The governing body also tabled the introduction of an ordinance to establish a new Civil Rights Commission. more

April 20, 2016

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INSPIRATION FOR A RUN AND SOME FAMILY FUN: Alexander Michael Dodson’s parents choose to honor his memory by holding the annual Alexander’s Run, a race and family festival taking place in Trenton on Saturday. The 5K run and walk raises funds to support research into Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) and programs for Trenton children at Stuart Country Day School.

Alexander Michael Dodson was only 19-months-old when he died in his sleep on December 20, 2008. The curly-haired toddler who loved to dance, eat waffles, and play with his friends was a victim of Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC), which claims the lives of healthy children over the age of 12 months. more

“What’s going on? Are you closing? No, you can’t!,” a customer at Jordan’s Stationery and Gifts in Princeton Shopping Center exclaimed to owner Lewis Wildman last week after noticing the “Everything Must Go” signs in the windows.

The refrain has become familiar to Mr. Wildman, who has operated the eclectic store for almost 35 years and has been informed by EDENS, the owner of the center on North Harrison Street since 2012, that his lease is not being renewed. He has until the end of June to get rid of his inventory and vacate the space. more

Kathy Monzo, municipal deputy administrator and director of finance, has announced that she will be leaving her post in Princeton to become administrator of North Brunswick Township in Middlesex County.

“I have mixed feelings. It’s bittersweet because I have been blessed to have worked with so many wonderful people here,” she said Monday. “But at the same time, this is a very exciting challenge and I’m looking forward to it.” more

April 13, 2016

CJL FRONT

CELEBRATING A MILESTONE: Princeton University’s Center of Jewish Life has been a gathering place of Jewish students on campus for more than two decades. The long history of the faith on campus is the theme of a special, four-day conference.

It has been a century since Jewish students at Princeton University first gathered to celebrate the Sabbath, or Shabbat. It would have been unthinkable, in 1915, to imagine a four-day conference of lectures, panel discussions, religious services, and meals celebrating the University’s role in Jewish life. more

April 6, 2016

WWS

Princeton University will not remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from two campus buildings despite a recent outcry over his views on race. A trustee committee charged with examining the Wilson legacy announced Monday that there is a need for “an expanded and more vigorous commitment to diversity and inclusion at Princeton,” but the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs and Wilson College will retain his name. more

A group of residents from Princeton’s Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood has joined a lawsuit challenging tax exemptions for some buildings on the Princeton University campus. Originally brought by four Princeton residents, the suit now has 24 people listed as plaintiffs. more

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BRINGING IN THE LIGHT: Architect Steven Holl’s concept of integrating the surrounding landscape into the building, with plenty of natural light, was a major factor in the selection of his firm to design the new Rubinstein Commons at the Institute for Advanced Study. (Graphic courtesy of the Institute for Advanced Study)

Every ten years, The Institute for Advanced Study assesses the state of the campus and considers its most pressing issues. At the last review, the most outstanding need was identified: a new, 21st-century gathering space for the kind of social engagement and academic collaboration that makes this 86-year-old research community unique. more

March 30, 2016

At Princeton Council’s meeting on Monday, March 28, members got a first look at the proposed budget for 2016. For the average household assessed at around $810,191, taxes will go up about $110, according to the town’s administrator Marc Dashield.  more

Local businessman Peter Marks has announced he will run for mayor in the Republican primary this June. Mr. Marks is the only candidate so far to challenge the incumbent, Democratic Mayor Liz Lempert, who will run for a second term in the November general election. more

Tess Kowalski was only six years old when she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS), a neurological condition that causes involuntary movements or sounds known as tics. Just entering kindergarten, she was understandably shy about revealing her disorder to her classmates. more

A second rally to protest the Princeton 7-Eleven store’s alleged failure to treat employees fairly in terms of wages will be held Thursday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. in front of the store on East Nassau Street. Turnout at the first rally, which was held the morning of March 24, was lower than expected because of the early hour. more

March 23, 2016

Triumph Brewery is looking to relocate from the Nassau Street location it has occupied for two decades to the Palmer Square building that was home to the Princeton post office until a few months ago.

Last week, 20 Palmer Square East, the entity that bought the historic post office building in 2013, filed a preliminary site plan with the town to install a 297-seat restaurant and brew pub at that location. David Eichler of the California-based company, and Adam Rechnitz, owner of Triumph Brewery, confirmed Tuesday that Triumph is the operator targeted for the building. more

At a gathering of the Princeton Community Democratic Club on Sunday evening, members voted on which candidates to endorse for two open seats on Princeton Council. But none of the four hopefuls С Anne Neumann, Leticia Fraga, Tim Quinn, or incumbent Jenny Crumiller С were able to win the 60 percent of the votes needed for an official endorsement, even after a runoff vote.

Ms. Crumiller, Mr. Quinn, and Ms. Neumann were able to secure the support of the PCDO, but not a full endorsement. Ms. Fraga did not win the 40 percent needed for that designation. The local Democratic municipal committee was scheduled to vote on the candidates at a meeting Tuesday night, March 22. more

March 16, 2016

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TIRELESS ADVOCATE: Television anchor/reporter Tamron Hall, who has been working to end domestic violence, is being honored by Womanspace in May for her efforts both on and off camera. She will accept the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award at the organization’s annual gala at the Westin Princeton.

The devastation of domestic violence is all too familiar to Tamron Hall. It has haunted the TODAY show co-host and MSNBC anchor since 2004, when Hall’s sister, Renate, was murdered by her partner. He was never charged with the crime. more

Residents of the neighborhood near the 33-acre Butler Tract want Princeton Council to reconsider rezoning the nearly demolished site from educational to residential. A group of homeowners spoke at the meeting of the governing body on Monday to express their concerns about the future of the property, which for several decades served as housing for Princeton University graduate students and their families.

Demolition of the barracks-like buildings on the tract has been underway since December. Because the property is currently zoned E-1, for educational purposes, it could conceivably be used for new school buildings. While the University has indicated that the site will most likely be used for housing, neighborhood residents want to make that official by having the zoning changed. more

March 9, 2016

At a special meeting of Princeton Council Thursday evening, March 10, the governing body introduced an ordinance that, if passed, would make the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood a historic district. The measure next goes to the Planning Board, and could return to Council for a public hearing and vote on April 11.

If passed, the ordinance would please the many residents who want to honor the historical significance of the neighborhood and keep developers from tearing down existing buildings to put up new ones they feel would not fit in with the existing streetscapes. But for those who have invested in some of those properties, the issue is more complicated. more

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CRACKING THE CODE: A screening and discussion of “CodeGirl,” a documentary about teams of high school girls all over the world who develop apps to solve problems in their communities, is among the upcoming events at the Princeton Public Library’s History of Science series.

It was a chat with her uncle, who happened to have been her middle school science teacher in upstate New York, that gave Princeton Public Library’s Humanities Programming Coordinator Hannah Schmidl the idea for a series of events focused on the history of science. more

March 3, 2016

In light of the decision by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s office to close their independent review of the traffic stop and arrest of Princeton University Professor Imani Perry, finding that the arresting officers were “to be commended, not criticized,” Mayor Liz Lempert and five members of Princeton Council have issued a statement praising the “professional, compassionate conduct” of the town’s police officers.

Ms. Perry was stopped February 6 for speeding on Princeton Pike. The police officer running her license discovered it was suspended in Pennsylvania. She could not provide her car registration, and she had an outstanding warrant for failure to pay two parking tickets in Princeton. Following policy, the officer arrested her. She was handcuffed and taken to headquarters. On social media, Ms. Perry accused the officers involved in her arrest of inappropriate and racially motivated behavior. more

March 2, 2016

The Stony Brook Bridge on Route 206 near Quaker Road, believed to be New Jersey’s oldest bridge, will likely remain closed through next week while damage to the historic span is assessed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

The state of the bridge was among the issues brought up at a meeting of Princeton Council on Monday. Among the additional topics of discussion were a possible solar array plant atop the municipal garage, the end of July 4th fireworks, and the formation of a youth advisory committee to advise the governing body.

Princeton’s engineer Bob Kiser reported to Council that the cracks in the Stony Brook Bridge’s stone arches, found during an inspection, are worse than originally thought. Mr. Kiser and assistant engineer Deanna Stockton were to meet with the DOT on Tuesday to discuss making a temporary fix, and later a permanent repair, to the bridge. more

At Princeton Council’s January meeting devoted to setting goals for 2016, addressing the continuing problem of wage theft was voted a high priority.

The governing body had adopted an ordinance in 2014 specifically geared to the issue in the landscaping industry, giving the town the ability to revoke a landscaper’s license if they violate state and federal wage laws. But the illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work persists in other areas С most notably, the restaurant industry.

A recent case involving Soonja’s restaurant on Alexander Street illustrates the situation. “It involved two workers who were owed money,” said Lou Kimmel, of the New Brunswick-based organization New Labor, which strives to improve working conditions for immigrants. “We tried to resolve it informally, but couldn’t. It was formally resolved with the state Department of Labor. The judge decided in favor of the workers, so they got paid.” more

Anne_BalletWhen Mary Pat Robertson and her husband Michael came from New York City to Princeton in 1980, she thought she’d be retiring from her dance career. But the town, where the Robertsons moved so that he could pursue his doctorate at Princeton University, turned out to have a lot more dance to offer than she expected.

It wasn’t long before Ms. Robertson began teaching at Princeton Ballet School. Six years later, she was named the school’s director. In June, she will step down after 35 years teaching and administrating hundreds of students, some of whom have gone on to professional careers.

“I’ll miss the kids,” she said during a telephone interview last week. “But it’s time. I’ll probably do a little private coaching, and I look forward to getting back to choreography. I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking and I hope to expand that. I’m even contemplating writing a book for parents about what to look for in a ballet school.”

While ballet has played a major role in Ms. Robertson’s long career, contemporary dance has also been a focus. Before becoming the ballet school’s director, she co-founded the company Teamwork Dance and did a lot of freelance dancing and choreography. In New York, she studied the techniques of José Limón, Merce Cunningham, and Martha Graham. more

February 24, 2016

Witherspoon Jackson

A NEIGHBORHOOD IN PICTURES: Several photo collages created by Witherspoon-Jackson resident Romus Broadway were on display in the corridor at Witherspoon Monday night, where Princeton Council met to consider making the neighborhood a historic district. The photo essays, spanning several decades, illustrate the history and heritage of the area. Before the meeting, many people were observed pointing out familiar places and locations. 

At another standing-room-only meeting of Princeton Council in Witherspoon Hall Monday night, the proposed ordinance that would make the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood Princeton’s twentieth historic district drew spirited commentary from residents and other members of the public. Nearly all spoke strongly in favor of the concept. more