April 26, 2017

Following a no-confidence vote against Rider University President Gregory Dell’Omo and his financial team, the University’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has sent a letter to the Board of Trustees stating its opposition to Rider’s March 28 decision to sell Westminster Choir College.

“We urge the Board of Trustees to rescind this decision and to begin the long, hard task of rebuilding trust with all of Rider’s stakeholders,” said Professor Jeffrey Halpern, Rider AAUP’s chief negotiator, in the letter. “Its de-acquisition will not alter Rider’s financial position or improve its long term viability. Instead, it will surely lead to a loss of both reputation and endowment.” more

Following repeated protests voiced by residents of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood at a meeting of Princeton Council Monday night, the governing body agreed to hold off on an ordinance concerning overnight parking and permits.

The ordinance is part of an effort to harmonize regulations of the former Borough and Township. Residents of areas in the old Township section С on Birch Avenue, Leigh Avenue, Race, and John Streets С would be required to begin paying $120 a year for overnight on-street parking permits (a concession would be made for low income residents who qualify for certain programs). They would also follow the former Borough’s regulations regarding the number of permits available to households. more

Princeton has reached a “settlement in principle” with Fair Share House Center regarding the town’s fair share affordable housing obligation. The municipality has been involved in a court case with Fair Share over just how many units of affordable housing will be zoned through 2025.

“It means we’re in broad agreement on a settlement, but the details need to be worked out. We’re not ready to release them yet,” Mayor Liz Lempert said Monday. more

April 19, 2017

Third graders from all five of Princeton’s elementary schools are spending some time outdoors this week and next. They are learning what it takes to plant a tree and С more importantly С keep it healthy.

It’s all part of the annual commemoration of Arbor Day, which is officially April 28. Saving trees is a particularly relevant issue in Princeton, where emerald ash borer beetles have been destroying ash trees across the area. The Princeton school events began Tuesday morning at Princeton Charter School and will wind up Friday, April 28 at Johnson Park School. more

MUSIC AND HISTORY: Joe Miller, Choral Director at Westminster Choir College, is the conductor of this weekend’s performances of “Anthracite Fields” at Trenton’s Roebling Wireworks. Mr. Miller spent two years working to bring the Pulitzer-winning oratorio by Julia Wolfe to the Wireworks, where he is pictured.

When Westminster Choir College embarked on Transforming Space, a project exploring how the arts can alter a site not originally intended for that purpose, Trenton’s historic Roebling Wireworks immediately fit the bill. more

April 12, 2017

Princeton has hired a consultant to undertake a parking study, and input from the public is a key component of the project. On Wednesday, April 19, members of the community are invited to attend a workshop and share views about how to solve the downtown area’s ongoing parking issues.

The focus includes making parking more available, and deciding how much to charge and in which locations. Residents can take an online survey, attend public events, or send written comments about changes they would like to see implemented. more

INSPIRING FAITH IN YOUNG ADULTS: Princeton Theological Seminary’s Zoe Project is geared toward helping 12 congregations better understand the needs of those in their 20s. Shown here are participants in the Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry, a recent program of the Seminary. (Photo courtesy of Princeton Theological Seminary).

When it comes to millennials, religious faith isn’t necessarily a priority. But young adults have ideas, interests, and perceptions that are inherently spiritual, according to proponents of a program designed to encourage twentysomethings to examine and embrace their faith. more

Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) is considering a substantial reduction of its student body — by 30 to 40 percent — for a period of eight to ten years. Citing projected lower market returns in coming years, the 205-year-old institution is studying ways to cut costs, according to a letter from PTS President Craig Barnes to the Seminary community dated February 20, 2017. more

April 5, 2017

At its meeting on Monday, April 3, Princeton Council voted to adopt the 2017 amended municipal budget and engaged in a work session on requests for the 2017 capital budget. In addition, Mayor Liz Lempert gave an update on the ongoing litigation regarding Princeton’s affordable housing obligation.

“Whatever Princeton’s ultimate obligation is determined to be, the number will be significant,” Ms. Lempert warned. The town has been in contact with the Princeton school district to let them know they should anticipate additional housing units, she added. more

Since Rider University announced plans last week to sell Westminster Choir College, ideally to an institution that would keep the music school in Princeton; faculty, students, parents, and alumni of Westminster have been hard at work toward that outcome. Westminster’s faculty issued a statement this week insisting that their two deans be a part of the process.

A second option, in which Rider would sell to a buyer that would relocate the music school and leave Rider to sell the Princeton campus, is something The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College and others devoted to the school want to avoid. Westminster, which was purchased by Rider in 1992, has been in Princeton since 1932. Rider is selling the school to help fill a projected deficit of more than $13 million. more

JANE AUSTEN ON POINTE: American Repertory Ballet’s new production of “Pride and Prejudice,” at McCarter Theatre April 21 and 22, is the culmination of five years of work by choreographer Douglas Martin. Shown here are Erikka Reenstierna-Cates, who plays Caroline Bingley; Mattia Pallozzi, portraying Mr. Darcy, and Monica Giragosian as Elizabeth Bennet. (Photo by Richard Termine)

Over lunch with a friend, American Repertory Ballet artistic director Douglas Martin was brainstorming about possible full-length ballets to choreograph for the company. His friend made an unusual suggestion: Jane Austen’s 1813 novel of manners, Pride and Prejudice. more

March 29, 2017

Westminster Choir College will remain in Princeton. It just won’t be a part of Rider University, as it has for the past 25 years, it was announced Tuesday afternoon.

Rider’s Board of Trustees has voted to find another institution to purchase the famed music school and keep it at its Walnut Lane campus. Rider, based in Lawrenceville, has hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers to help in the search, which Rider president Gregory Dell’Omo is confident will yield results, he said at a press conference. more

At a meeting of Princeton Council on Monday evening, March 27, a public hearing was held on the proposed municipal budget of $62.4 million for 2017. Scott Sillars, chairman of the Citizens Finance Advisory Committee, presented an outline of the proposed budget, which had been introduced on February 27. more

SIZE MATTERS: When this Martha’s Vineyard mega-mansion came close to falling into the sea, the owner simply bought up the neighboring property and had it moved back. The house is among several that inspired the filmmaker to make “One Big Home,” one of the offerings at the Princeton Environmental Film Festival through this weekend at Princeton Public Library.

Thomas Bena was working as a carpenter on the idyllic island of Martha’s Vineyard when he started noticing that homes being built were getting bigger — a lot bigger. On land overlooking the ocean where modest, clapboard homes once stood, huge mansions many times their size were going up at a rapid pace.  more

March 22, 2017

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

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

March 15, 2017

With some weather websites predicting a foot or more of snow and strong winds for Monday night into Wednesday thanks to the nor’easter named Stella, Princeton’s public works and police departments were taking no chances and preparing for the worst.

“We’re ready to go,” said Dan Van Mater, superintendent in the Department of Public Works, on Monday afternoon. “We’re just getting the trucks ready, and the salt dome is full. We’re replenishing what we used last Friday and we have more salt coming in today.” more

RECONSIDERING CONSOLIDATION: Former Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner, whose book on Princeton’s historic consolidation has been recently released, is shown here delivering the keynote speech at the New York State Local Government Innovation Conference last November.

By the time consolidation of Princeton Township and Princeton Borough was officially put into effect four years ago, Chad Goerner was no longer in public office. But Mr. Goerner, who served as mayor of the former Township from 2006 until opting not to run for re-election in 2012, remained actively involved in making the historic merger a reality. more

March 8, 2017

A decision has yet to be announced on whether Rider University will sell the Princeton campus of Westminster Choir College, which Rider has owned since 1992. As negotiations continue, efforts to save the 85-year-old musical academy on Walnut Lane have intensified. more

An orange swastika is painted on a sculpture on the Princeton University campus. A Jewish cemetery is desecrated in Philadelphia. Bomb threats are called in to Jewish community centers all over the country, including Cherry Hill. more

COOKING UP COOKWARE: Princeton Day School seventh graders Emily and Lyla Allen, known in the food world as The Kitchen Twins, will demonstrate a new line of cookware by Michael Graves Architecture & Design at the International Housewares Show in Chicago next week. In the front row are Emily, left, and Lyla, right. Behind them are, from left, Vladimir Anohkin, Graves product designer; Rob Van Varick, principal — design, insights and strategy; and Donald Strum, principal of product design.

As they do each spring, thousands of designers, chefs, and consumers will descend upon the International Housewares Show at Chicago’s McCormick Center next week to discover the latest in cookware, appliances, and innovative home products.  more

March 1, 2017

In a letter to Princeton officials this week, AvalonBay senior vice president Ron Ladell accused the town of failing to provide required information that would help settle a dispute over payments to a consultant overseeing construction of Avalon Princeton, the residential complex on Witherspoon Street. Because the documentation has not been received, Mr. Ladell wrote, he plans to request a formal hearing with the Mercer County Construction Board of Appeals (CBOA). more

At a meeting on Monday, February 27, Princeton Council introduced a municipal budget for 2017 of $62.4 million. Among other business, the governing body also heard a report from representatives of the 12-member Youth Advisory Committee, which was formed last year and is made up of students from Princeton High School, The Hun School, Princeton Day School, and Stuart Country Day School. more

In response to the Williams company’s choice of a site on the grounds of Trap Rock Quarry in Kingston for the addition of a compressor station along an existing natural gas pipeline, residents of the area near the site attended a forum Monday night, February 27, to express their opposition to the proposal and hear from local environmentalists and lawmakers.

The Williams firm, which installed a natural gas pipeline in 2015 along the Princeton Ridge, is recommending to the Federal Environmental Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the site be used for the addition of 32 miles of extra pipeline with a 32,000 horsepower, gas-powered compressor station, at the quarry. The company plans to apply to FERC this month. more

February 22, 2017

FIVE DECADES OF DANCE: Twyla Tharp Dance visits McCarter Theatre as part of the choreographer’s 50th year of creating eclectic work. John Selya, offering his hand to the woman in blue, appears here with the company in “Preludes and Fugues.”

Since forming her own dance troupe after graduating from Barnard College more than five decades ago, Twyla Tharp has continued to challenge the way we think about dance. Starkly modern at first, her style has expanded over the decades to encompass classical ballet while weaving in elements of jazz, slapstick, even boxing. more