October 26, 2016

Princeton Council passed an ordinance Monday night to re-establish a Civil Rights Commission. The proposal to form the Commission, which previously existed from 1968 to 1998, was officially introduced last month.

Before the vote was taken, there was considerable discussion among Council and members of a subcommittee of the town’s Human Services department about the intake process for those registering complaints of discrimination, and the setting up of outside mediation should an issue not be internally resolved. The subcommittee has worked on the issue for the past two years. more


FUN WITH DONALD AND HILLARY: The Second City comedy troupe pokes fun at the presidential campaign with a show at NJPAC on October 29. Princeton-bred Carley Moseley, fourth from left, is a member of the cast.

The current presidential campaign is a gold mine for Carley Moseley and her fellow performers from the Chicago-based comedy troupe, Second City. Please Don’t Feed the Candidates, the title of their touring show at Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center this Saturday night, October 29, says it all.

“I’m sitting here watching part of the speech Trump gave laying out his first 100 days in office,” said Ms. Moseley, who grew up in Princeton. She spoke last weekend from a hotel in Michigan, where the troupe was appearing as part of its current tour.  more


STAR OF THE SHOWPLACES: Part of the original Moses Taylor Pyne estate, this house at 505 Mercer Road has a dairy barn with floor-to-ceiling tilework by Rafael Guastavino, whose work is in some New York City subway stations. The 1901 home is among five on this year’s Historical Society of Princeton House Tour. (Photo by Izzy Kasdin)

Every fall for the past 15 years, The Historical Society of Princeton has searched out eye-catching residences to feature on its annual fundraiser, the House Tour. This year’s crop of five, the first since Izzy Kasdin took over as executive director last May, combines the historically significant with the adaptively re-used. The tour is Saturday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. more

October 23, 2016


MAKING IT EASIER TO TALK ABOUT RACE: Princeton High School seniors Priya Vulchi, left, and Winona Guo, right, have spent the past two years creating a teacher-tool textbook to help encourage dialogue in the classroom about race and ethnicity. The second edition, recently released, is 224 pages and a third is in the works.

Between them, Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo have grown up in seven different countries. Priya, who is Indian American; and Winona, whose first language is Chinese, know first-hand about feeling like an outsider because of race and ethnicity. more

October 19, 2016


Just a few days before it was headed to trial, a case in which 27 Princeton residents were suing Princeton University over property tax exemptions was settled last Friday. The school will pay out $18.2 million over the next six years to help lower-income residents of the town pay their property tax bills.

The plaintiffs had claimed the school was profiting from research and development in certain campus buildings and should therefore be taxed. The University maintained that educational purposes were the focus. The suit has been dropped. more

October 12, 2016

Princeton High School was evacuated Tuesday morning after Princeton Police received a call threatening that there was a bomb inside the school. The threat, which came from an unknown male, was called in about 10:15 a.m., and officials immediately emptied out the building and brought in bomb-sniffing K-9 dogs. No device was found. more


HONORED FOR VOLUNTEERING: Set to receive awards October 25 for their work helping area non-profits through VolunteerConnect are, left to right: recipients Mika and Pat Ryan, Jane Latini, Kathy Lo Bue, and Aquatia Owens. The honorees gathered recently at a special event launch held at CoolVines in Princeton.

Back when Amy Klein was a stay-at-home Mom, she was asked to join a local non-profit’s board of trustees. She gave it some serious thought. But ultimately, she declined. more

October 5, 2016

The Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS), in a statement released last week, continued to accuse the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) of “flagrant disregard” for the “widespread and longstanding public opposition” to its plans to build 15 faculty housing units on a seven-acre tract at the edge of the battlefield.

Institute Director of Communications Christine Ferrara stated, “the project continues to move ahead, as we have all the necessary regulatory approvals to proceed. As we have stated previously, the plan as configured addresses the concerns raised by the opposition, and will be adding 14 acres of open space adjacent to the current Battlefield State Park.” more


EXONERATED: This father-and-son photo of Kerry Max Cook, who spent 22 years on Texas death row before his innocence was finally revealed, is among the images by Diane Bladecki in a show opening Friday at the Arts Council of Princeton. Mr. Cook, who went to prison at 17 and was freed at 50, ended up using Ms. Bladecki’s photograph on the cover of a book about his journey. (Photo by Diane Bladecki)

At a performance in New York of the play The Exonerated about wrongfully committed prisoners, Diane Bladecki noticed that the photographs lining the lobby made their subjects look exactly like what they were not: criminals. more

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber is expected to be the first witness in a property tax case scheduled to go to court in Trenton this week. The University is being sued by Princeton residents who are challenging the tax exempt status of several of its properties.

The issue is being watched closely by educational institutions and non-profits. The lawsuit, which dates back four years, says the University should pay taxes on the buildings it rents out for private functions. The suit also maintains that the school shares profits with professors on some of the patents they receive and the research they conduct. Lawyers for the school have argued that the buildings serve its educational mission and should therefore be exempt. more

The recent news that Governor Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Speaker Vincent Prieto have reached an agreement on funding for New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund means that work may finally resume on stalled road projects across the state.

But completing one of those projects, the reconstruction of Valley Road, remains on hold while the 23-cent increase in the gasoline tax awaits approval. more

September 28, 2016

At a meeting on Monday, September 26, Princeton Council voted to introduce an ordinance to re-establish a Civil Rights Commission, which previously existed in Princeton but was discontinued 18 years ago. more


A FEAST FOR THE SENSES: Mountain Lakes Preserve is the setting for a four-part series of workshops focused on the way nature inspires creativity. Professionals from the worlds of food, perfume, graphic design and poetry will lead the sessions.

On Fran McManus’s regular walks through the Mountain Lakes Preserve, she often ponders the relationship of the natural world and creativity. Nature, she has come to realize, can inspire ideas in ways that are not always immediately apparent. more

Princeton University’s campus plan for the next 10 years won’t be released until next summer. But last week University administrators provided a glimpse of the document under development at a meeting of a Princeton Planning Board subcommittee. The presentation will be repeated on Wednesday, October 5 at a municipal meeting in West Windsor.  more

September 21, 2016

Fed up with the ongoing shutdown of transportation projects including the replacement of a bridge on Carter Road, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes has announced that the county has served a “notice of claim” against the State of New Jersey and the Department of Transportation. more

If you listened to National Public Radio in recent weeks, you may have heard a series by journalist Deborah Amos about a family of Syrian refugees in Princeton. The compelling broadcasts focused on efforts by volunteers from Nassau Presbyterian Church to help settle the family of six, who arrived here last May. more

With a $500,000 contribution from Princeton University added to its coffers this month, the Princeton Fire and Rescue Squad (PFARS) is a few steps closer to construction of a new $7.5 million headquarters at the former location of Princeton’s Public Works Department between Route 206 and Valley Road. more

September 14, 2016

There was good news for the second year in a row at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Toast to Tourism Awards, held Tuesday morning at The Boathouse overlooking Mercer Lake in Mercer County Park.

Brian Tyrrell, Stockton University professor and CEO of Travel and Tourism Research and Training Associates, said during a presentation of his 2016 Economic Impact Study of Tourism in the Princeton and Mercer Region that activity in the area continues to be on the rise. more

At a public hearing Monday night, Princeton Council voted to adopt an amended ordinance related to cutting down trees and shrubs. Originally introduced this past July, the ordinance was amended and passed 5-1, with Patrick Simon voting against the measure as presented. more


THE SEARCH IS ON: The Arts Council of Princeton, where a Fall Open House was held last weekend, is one of two non-profit organizations looking for a new executive director. The deadline for applications was last Friday. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

Last Friday was the official deadline to apply for the leading jobs at two of the town’s key non-profit groups. Both the Arts Council of Princeton and Sustainable Princeton are looking for new executive directors, as Jeff Nathanson and Diane Landis, respectively, move on to other challenges. more

September 7, 2016

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is holding two “scoping” hearings regarding the Williams Transco company’s newest pipeline proposal, which includes a compressor station in the Trap Rock Quarry in South Brunswick, 3.5 miles of pipe in Old Bridge and Sayreville, and 22 miles under the Raritan Bay. more

From September 16 to 25, the volunteers who have been helping plan Princeton’s first official Welcoming Week will finally see their summer-long efforts materialize. Princeton High School junior Leah Williamson, senior Luis Estrada, and Rutgers University senior Melissa Urias are among those who have been hard at work on this series of events, designed to bring together immigrants and U.S.-born residents and promote a spirit of unity between cultures. more


PADDLING THROUGH MONET’S GARDEN: Kelsey Kane-Ritsch, recipient of a fellowship that has landed her at Princeton’s D&R Greenway, will use her experiences working at the famous garden at Giverny and other far-flung locations to encourage stewardship of the environment during the one-year program.

Kelsey Kane-Ritsch has worked on environmental issues in different corners of the globe. She helped develop a curriculum on biodiversity in Kenya, worked with tribal elders and conservation groups in New Caledonia, and focused on invasive species management at Monet’s Garden at Giverny, France — all during her four years at Princeton University, from which she graduated in May having majored in anthropology with minors in environmental studies and French. more

August 31, 2016


Unlike his students in Princeton and West Windsor, the young string players who studied with Paul Manulik at the CEMUCHCA (Circle of Christian Musicians of Cap-Haitian) Music Camp in Haiti this summer didn’t have video games or other devices to distract them. That made the two weeks that Mr. Manulik and his wife Lindsay Diehl spent volunteering at the camp all the more meaningful.

Mr. Manulik and Ms. Diehl are the directors of the Princeton String Academy, which they founded in 2008. Recently, they were looking for a music-related summer teaching experience in the Caribbean, a region that Ms. Diehl, who grew up in Trinidad, knows well.

“On the internet, we found this place in the colonial city of Cap Haitian that looked really interesting to me at first because of the art from there,” said Ms. Diehl, who majored in art history in college. “And Paul knew someone who ran a school in Haiti. The connections were made and we got to go. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. The kids were so enthusiastic.” more

August 24, 2016

It would be an understatement to say that Dwaine Williamson, the recently announced chairman of the joint campaign for Princeton Council candidates Jenny Crumiller, Tim Quinn, and Mayor Liz Lempert, has been around. The Princeton resident, who serves on the town’s Planning Board, was born in Jamaica, raised in Trenton, worked on Wall Street, and made music videos for rap groups before becoming a lawyer and opening his own office back in Trenton. more