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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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A PASSION FOR GEMOLOGY: Hope Mouko, service coordinator at Hamilton Jewelers, has won a scholarship to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). She is pictured with, at left, Hank Siegel, Hamilton president; and his father Martin Siegel, right, the company’s chairman. Ms. Mouko will study at the GIA while continuing her work at the Nassau Street store.

After living in New York, modeling for Donna Karan and other high-end designers, Princeton native Hope Mouko was ready to move back home and try something new. She had always been interested in jewelry and design. So when she noticed an ad last year for an opening at Hamilton Jewelers on Nassau Street, she decided to apply for the position. more

August 17, 2016

The Williams Company, which installed a natural gas pipeline last year on the Princeton Ridge, is proposing to build a compressor station along an existing natural gas pipeline, possibly inside Trap Rock Quarry in Kingston.

Residents of the area who are worried about the environmental impact and noise of such a project attended a special meeting August 10 of the Franklin Township Council to air their concerns and hear from the Texas-based Williams firm. more

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THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Campers at the Princeton Blairstown Center’s Summer Bridge Program count canoeing as a favorite activity. Now in its second summer, the program serves kids from Trenton, Newark, and New York City. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Blairstown Center)

Pam Gregory has worked for several organizations that give underserved urban youth a chance to spend time in peaceful, bucolic settings. But none have impressed her as much as the Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC), a 107-year-old summer camp on 264 acres of wilderness in New Jersey’s Delaware Water Gap. more

August 10, 2016

After hearing from some members of the community and municipal staff, Princeton Council opted Monday evening to extend a public hearing on an ordinance that would alter the rules about cutting down trees in town. The meeting’s light agenda allowed for an extended discussion about the ordinance, which has been reworked by Princeton’s Shade Tree Commission and Code Review Committee. The measure will be taken up again at the Council’s next meeting on September 12. more

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HAPPY CAMPERS: These youngsters from the Princeton Family YMCA Specialty Camps were all smiles after enjoying lunch at Eno Terra in Kingston. The restaurant’s owners Carlo and Raoul Momo, who are second and third from left in the back row, treated the kids to lunch after accompanying them to the nearby farm where the eatery grows its own vegetables and herbs. (Photo by Luke Momo)

Telling children to eat their vegetables is one thing. Showing them where their vegetables come from, and letting them pluck them off the vine and yank them out of the ground, is something else altogether. more

August 3, 2016

The afternoon rain storm that soaked the Princeton area last Saturday paralyzed traffic and closed roads in several areas of town. But by Tuesday, most everything was back to normal.

More than seven inches of hard-driving rain flooded Hinds Plaza and sent water rushing into the Community Room of Princeton Public Library, raised water to unprecedented levels at Princeton Junction train station in West Windsor, and flooded Princeton High School’s boiler room and the orchestra pit in its performing arts center.  more

Concerned about trees being removed when houses are torn down to make way for new construction, Princeton Council introduced an ordinance July 29 that would change the rules about cutting down trees that are under municipal protection. more

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FROM URBAN BLIGHT TO FARM: Planting is ongoing at Trenton’s Capital City Farm, a joint effort of several non-profit groups that has turned a trash-strewn lot into a verdant space designed to provide fresh produce and more to the local community and beyond.

For years, the two-acre lot next to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) was an eyesore filled with weeds, trash, and debris. But thanks to the efforts of several non-profit groups including Princeton’s D&R Greenway, the sprawling lot is now home to wildflowers, berry bushes, beekeeping, raised vegetable beds, and a farm stand. more

July 27, 2016

Princeton HealthCare System’s newly announced partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Health System could lead, eventually, to an expansion of the four-year-old campus on Route 1 in Plainsboro. But for now, the focus of the shared future is on things like ambulatory care and expanded clinical capabilities. more

Route 518 is one of the busiest roads in southern Somerset County. Between Rocky Hill and Franklin, the bridge on that roadway over the Delaware and Raritan Canal has been closed for replacement since late last month, causing frustrating traffic tie-ups and concerns about safety among residents of Rocky Hill.

The July 8 order by Governor Chris Christie to suspend work on all “non-essential” road projects С in response to a Senate stalemate over which taxes should be cut in exchange for raising the gas tax to fund road work С has halted the construction work, making matters worse.  more

Princeton Council passed a resolution Monday night that will enable residents of the 60 affordable housing units at the Washington Oaks community to obtain low-interest loans that would help pay for replacement of emergency fire sprinkler heads. Washington Oaks is located on Route 206, opposite the Jasna Polana golf club. more