January 19, 2018

See below for the January 18, 2018 Princeton Planning Board Meeting.

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

January 17, 2018

In 2016 I wrote, “Princeton School Board (PRS) Election/Huge Tax Increases Pre-ordained.” As the town now enters 2018, it is evident that predictions re: PRS cost growth will be exceeded and the problem will become a tax and fiscal crisis for our town. How so?

First and foremost, PRS per student costs are totally out of control and far exceed those of other high performing districts, even those in Mercer County. Costs up to 38 percent more on a $100 million budget. This grievously impacts the town’s ability to fund other priority needs. PLUS, the percent of real estate taxes allocated to PRS keeps growing.

Second, PRS current demographic projections and related plans to accommodate predicted growth will mandate a major bond issue to fund school construction for hundreds of additional students in several schools. Teachers and administrative personnel required will increase concurrently.

Third, actions that might eliminate or reduce both forecasted increases in enrollment and the scope of capital investments are not being fully explored and certainly not being aggressively pursued. Cranbury High School sending district, non-resident, and various ineligible students comprise a list of hundreds PPS is not required to admit.

Fourth and most important, the demographic data and trends used to justify the huge expenditures being planned are flawed. They ignore or place no credence in the possible impact of macro-scale programs which are being initiated or expanded at the federal level by the new administration’s secretary of education, including school choice, vouchers, charter schools, etc. These programs may reduce PRS future enrollments significantly, as there are large numbers of empty seats in area private schools of diverse character, plus under-enrollment and closure of many financially troubled schools, especially those with religious affiliations. Vouchers and school choice options alone could significantly increase enrollments and financial viability of many schools and enable reopening of several in our area.

Personally, I have spent over 30 years, most often as a pro-bono volunteer, involved in and strongly supporting both public and private education at all levels. In Princeton, I have always supported ensuring continuity of their treasured traditions of excellence! I am reminded of my first election campaign for PRS Board in 1992 and trying to “foster a climate for constructive change.” I recall very welcome and detailed, fact-based coverage of all candidates in our local media including my seven priorities listed below:

• Restore Board’s proper role — GOVERNANCE

• Get educational priorities straight

• Stop Board’s preoccupation with raising revenues (taxes)

• Start reducing and controlling costs

• Stop explosive growth in salaries and benefits

• Downsize administration

• Focus on performance and accountability

John Clearwater,

Governors Lane 

To the Editor:

As I was walking up Witherspoon Street, a little sign in the window of Lisa Jones brought home the hard fact that the greed so evident in the workings of the world at large, a greed we tend to associate with the unscrupulous acquisitiveness of mega-corporations, was at work on our little Princeton streets. Does a rent increase of 33 percent amount to an eviction notice for these four businesses who have thus been slapped for their contribution to the charm of our town? Ah well, so long charm, hello chains. So long the pleasure of uniqueness, hello the ennui of sameness. When out for a stroll a year from now, let’s pray the aroma of coffee wafts in the Witherspoon air. And turning the corner onto Nassau, let’s hope there’s a bookstore where the delight of discovery is within a glance’s reach.

Patricia Donahue

Hamilton Avenue

To the Editor:

Having been a victim of the recent fire at Griggs Farm (Building 33 on 12/27/17) I want to express my sincerest, heartfelt thanks to all the people of Princeton for their help and support for not only myself, but all the people displaced by this terrible tragedy. We are all sorry to have lost our homes, many possessions, and the life of our neighbor, Larisa Bartone, to the fire and now we face the enormous task of rebuilding our lives.

Because I came to this country 16 years ago with nothing but my talent, I am no stranger to starting over. Bless Princeton University for giving me the chance to capture their beautiful campus in my watercolors when I first arrived in Princeton and to be able to share them with the world.

I am grateful to be alive and still have my ability to paint, although I have lost my art studio as well. I was uninsured and have no savings, but I am confident thanks to the help of our landlords, Princeton Community Housing (PCH), Griggs Farm Condominium Association, Princeton Human Services Department, and the other local agencies that have cooperated in the organization of donations for our immediate needs. I also want to thank the Princeton Police and Fire Department, as well as the local Red Cross for their efforts that terrible night in the bitter cold.

Out of every tragedy comes a lesson for each of us. Personally, I never want to be without renters insurance again and I encourage everyone renting apartments or houses to make sure that they have this coverage. This has taught me that you never know what life will throw at you and even though we can’t predict the future, there are some practical things we can do that will help if a disaster, like this fire, should happen.

I lost some of my original art that I will only know in the future from the pictures that I took and it saddens me that I will never have them again. Because of this, I am going to be reaching out to the professional and amateur art community at large with the message, and hopefully the means, to raise awareness of the need to be covered by adequate insurance for their artworks, materials, and studios.

I also want to thank again those people, friends and strangers alike, who donated to me personally and PCH on the gofundme.com website (marina-ahun-artist-fire-fund).

Bless you Princeton, you are the Best!

Marina Ahun

formerly of Billie Ellis Lane

John Frederick Bernard

John Frederick Bernard, longtime insurance executive and ice hockey enthusiast, often described as “Mr. Hockey,” died on Friday, January 12, 2018 at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. He was 94 years old and a longtime Princeton resident.

Born in 1923 in Cambridge, Mass., Mr. Bernard grew up in Wellesley Hills, Mass. where he enjoyed playing ice hockey and other sports. He attended Wellesley High School and graduated from Exeter Academy in 1943. He served in the U.S. Army with the 20th Armored Division in Europe for two years before attending Princeton University where he played varsity hockey and lacrosse and was a member of Tiger Inn.

After graduating from Princeton in 1949, Mr. Bernard began working as a special agent for the Phoenix Insurance Company of Hartford, Conn. After several years, he and Mel Dickenson, a Princeton classmate whom he had known at Exeter, decided to start their own firm, MP Dickenson, which began in Philadelphia and later moved to Princeton. In 1958 they merged it with the firm owned by H.C. (“Cobbles”) Sturhahn to become Sturhahn, Dickenson, and Bernard or SDB.

Mr. Bernard was married in 1952 to Peggy Donahue, who grew up in Vermont. They lived in Montclair, N.J. for several years before moving to Princeton in 1958. As his two sons reached the age at which they could skate, he founded Pee Wee Hockey, based at the University’s Baker Rink. Modeled on the Youth Hockey Program he started in Montclair in 1957, the program grew from 20 boys the first winter to nearly 200 and was the subject of feature stories in Boys Life magazine and the New York Times.

In addition to his administrative duties for the program, Mr. Bernard coached and served as a referee for 15 years. Later he wrote two stories about ice hockey for children, “The Mouse Who Lived at Baker Rink” and “Ballerina on Ice.”

Mr. Bernard served as a member of the board of the Lawrenceville School’s boy’s hockey tournament for many years. In 1973, having helped get the women’s hockey program started at Princeton, he was named the first coach of the University’s Women’s Hockey Team. As a hockey referee he was a member of the National Ice Hockey Officials Association. He also refereed lacrosse.

Mr. Bernard provided insurance coverage to USA Hockey and played a major role in its growth. He was founding director of the US Hockey Hall of Fame and host of the Swedish hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. He was also host to various Soviet Union hockey teams that visited America in the 1980s.

In 1987 he was co-director of the European Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament played in Russia. In 1989 he hosted the Norwegian Women’s ice hockey team in a series with USA women that was played in Princeton. He was also involved in the 2001 World’s Ice Hockey Championship held in Russia.

Mr. Bernard was inducted in the first class of honorees of the Atlantic District of the USA Hockey Hall of Fame. In addition, he received a certificate and trophy from USA Hockey for 30 years of service and was also honored at a dinner for his many years of service to the Lawrenceville Invitational Hockey Tournament.

In addition to his travels in connection with hockey, Mr. Bernard and his wife enjoyed visiting India and other places around the world. Sailing, skiing, and enjoying the outdoors at their summer home in remote Washington, Vt. were important pastimes as was attending opera at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

Artwork, consisting of painted cutouts applied to wood, creating religious icons that he gave to friends at Christmas or making wall plaques of three-dimensional ship models, was a major hobby in retirement. An exhibit of his artwork was shown at the Nassau Club, where he was a 50 year member. One piece of artwork, entitled “Wind in the Willows’ was displayed at Rat’s restaurant at the Grounds For Sculpture, Trenton, NJ. His artwork was also on display in his garage, which he called his museum.

Predeceased by his wife Peggy, he is survived by his daughter, Shelley Bernard Kuussalo of Louisville, Ky.; and two sons, Jay Bernard of Princeton and Peter Bernard of Staunton, Va. He is also survived by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Interment will be in Vermont at the convenience of the family.

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


Leonard Blank

Leonard Blank, 90, of Princeton, New Jersey, passed away at home surrounded by loved ones. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1927, he was the son of Sam and Molly Bernstein Blank. Leonard was married to Bernice Bukar Blank who passed away in 1991. He is survived by his three children, Jordan and Lyda Blank, and Rona Blank Rundle; and two grandchildren, Asa and Julian Rundle.

Leonard Blank was a significant member of the professional psychological community. He was certified in Psychoanalysis 1968, postdoctoral Fellow in Clinical Psychology at Stanford University 1955, PhD in Clinical Research at NYU 1955, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, licensed MFT, and President of Princeton Association of Human Resources. Dr Blank was an Adjunct Professor at Union Graduate School — Antioch College, Associate Professor — Rutgers University, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Chief of Psychological Services — Stanford Medical School. Dr Blank was President of the NJ Group Psychotherapy Association in 1974 and a long-standing member of the APA in New Jersey and New York. Dr. Blank was in private practice in New York City, Kingston, and Princeton, New Jersey. He authored innumerable publications, texts including The Age of Shrinks, Psychology for Everyday Living, and Change: Components of Behavioral Modification, and novels including The Diogenes Group and Chinese Paper.

A private gathering to celebrate Leonard Blank’s memory was held in his home.


Dr. Judith Elaine Mikeal Gross

After almost three years living with advanced lung cancer, Dr. Judith Elaine Mikeal Gross died peacefully and surrounded by family in her home in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 8, 2017 at the age of 76. She is survived by her daughter, Rosa Mikeal Martey, son-in-law, Nii Martey, granddaughter, Rowan Martey, and brother, Stephen Mikeal. Judith’s love, support, and boundless wisdom will be deeply missed.

Judith was born in High Coal, West Virginia in 1941 to Ruth Petty and Frank D. Mikeal. High Coal was one of the many “coal camps” of the region — towns created and run by coal companies in the first half of the 20th century — where her father worked as a miner for Anchor Coal Company. After attending Maryville College in Tennessee (BA, ‘63), she attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (MA, ‘65), where she wrote her thesis on a series of previously undiscovered letters to and from the labor union leader “Mother Jones.” She went on to be one of the first women to get a PhD in economics at Princeton University in 1975.

Judith and her husband Graham Gross lived on Cleveland Lane in Princeton for over 30 years. Judith was a member of Trinity Church, where she supported her daughter’s choral singing and was a devoted member of the Trinity book club. She also taught English as a second language for the Princeton Y.M.C.A. for many years.

Judith and Graham were active participants in the Civil Rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and Judith worked for the “Poor People’s Campaign” of the Southern Poverty Law Center, organized by Martin Luther King in 1968. Although she and her husband attended fewer rallies, sit-ins, and protests after the birth of their daughter in 1970, Judith never stopped wearing her Birkenstocks.

Judith was an avid reader and a dedicated diarist. She left over 60 years’ worth of near-daily writings chronicling her day-to-day life from age 15 onward. She lived a life full of enduring curiosity, learning, and kindness that she shared with all those she encountered.

And she was proud to be a coal miner’s daughter.

Services will be held at Trinity Church in Princeton on Saturday, February 10th at 1 p.m. All are welcome.


Robert Greiff

Robert Greiff, 92, of Princeton, died January 15, 2018, at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. He was born in New York City, June 15, 1925, to Victor and Fannie Ferbstein Greiff, who predeceased him. He also was predeceased by his aunt, Helen Greiff, who raised him.

He grew up in Belle Harbor and Neponsit, New York. He graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnical High School in 1942 and served in the United States Navy from 1942 until 1945. He graduated from Columbia College with the class of 1946 and received a Master’s degree from Columbia Engineering School in 1951. Robert worked for the Curtiss-Wright Corp. in New York, Chicago, and Princeton. He then spent several years with Electronics Associates Inc. in Princeton before becoming a partner in Management Advisors of Princeton, an executive-recruiting firm. He retired in 1995.

Robert is survived by his loving wife, Constance Greiff, of Princeton; son James and his wife Beatriz of New York City; son Peter of Madrid; and three grandchildren, Rachel, Samuel, and Lara. He brought joy, humor, and love to those who knew him. He was a gentle and kind soul, and for many years he was a fixture on the Delaware-Raritan Canal towpath, walking a series of much-loved dogs. He will be much missed, but never forgotten. A memorial service will be held in February.

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


Memorial Service Announcement

The McClure family welcomes our friends to a gathering in memory of Donald McClure on Saturday morning, March 10 at 10 o’clock in the Princeton University Chapel.

The Rev. Carlton Branscomb, First Baptist senior pastor, spoke to a multifaith gathering of about 300 at Monday’s service to commemorate and honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at First Baptist Church on Paul Robeson Place and John Street in Princeton. (Photo by John Lien)

January 10, 2018

To the Editor:

Our community suffered a terrible tragedy on Wednesday night, December 27, when a fire ravaged a 24-unit apartment building we own at Griggs Farm. We mourn the loss of one life.

We are immensely grateful to all the first responders, including Princeton fire and rescue personnel, for preventing further tragedy and helping people to safety. We also gratefully acknowledge the municipality of Princeton for its ongoing support and for providing immediate transport and shelter for the victims at the Nassau Inn on Wednesday night. Thank you to Bob Gregory (director of Emergency Management), Elisa Neira (executive director of Human Services), and others for their assistance and support.

We have been working closely with the 34 displaced residents to help address their needs. As of Friday, December 29, PCH is providing temporary housing and some meals at a local extended-stay hotel for the 24 displaced residents who could not secure housing with friends or relatives. A daily breakfast is provided at the hotel, along with three light dinners per week. In addition, kitchens are available in the suites there, so residents will be able to cook meals.

The Princeton community has already rallied to our displaced residents’ support in a variety of sincere and spontaneous ways. We are coordinating with community organizations in several efforts for household donations and other fundraising. These include the donation site at Trinity Church (33 Mercer Street) for blankets, clothing, shoes, new toiletries, universal gift cards, and non-perishable food.

Because the damage from the fire is significant, it is expected that the reconstruction of the building at Billie Ellis Lane may take several months. We are thus asking all our neighbors, friends, and supporters to help us provide temporary housing for our renters during the reconstruction period and to assist the displaced residents with other immediate and ongoing needs. This includes assistance for those who have found temporary housing with friends or relatives but still need other support due to their displacement.

To this end, Princeton Community Housing has created the “Griggs Farm Fire Relief Fund” to aid all those displaced. Donations may be sent to Princeton Community Housing, One Monument Drive, Lower Level, Princeton, NJ 08540. Please make check payable to Princeton Community Housing and note “Griggs Farm Fire Relief Fund” on the memo line. You can also donate securely and immediately via credit card at princetoncommunityhousing.org. Gifts to PCH are tax-deductible, as PCH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

We are profoundly grateful for anything and all that you can do to help our displaced residents while we work as quickly and efficiently as possible to restore them to their homes.

Princeton has a big heart: we know we can get through this tragedy together, with your support. Many thanks from all of us! — The Trustees and Staff of Princeton Community Housing.

Edward Truscelli

Executive Director PCH Development Corporation

An Affiliate of Princeton Community Housing

To the Editor:

The fire on December 27 that destroyed 10 homes and displaced 35 people and took the life of one person was a tragedy. The SHUPP [Send Hunger Packing Princeton] group, the School Band, PCH [Princeton Community Housing], Princeton Human Services, and others have shown their kindness in so many ways. SHUPP has transferred $25,000 raised through a Go Fund Me campaign to the PCH non-profit corporation to offset some of the extraordinary expenses these folks have experienced.

A number of the people displaced have found places to stay with families and friends. Some are being housed in a local extended stay hotel. A group of volunteers met recently to sort donated food and clothing for these families. The compassion being shown by the Princeton community is commendable.

These affected people have lost a lot, if not all, of their possessions. Once their homes have been rebuilt, they will need furniture, kitchen supplies, clothing, and lots of household supplies. Starting with the food is a good beginning.

To the supportive families in Princeton, its a pleasure to witness your grace and your generosity.

Bob Rabner

Christopher Drive

Ross Wishnick 

Edgerstoune Road

SHUPP Board Members

To the Editor:

As physicians living in Princeton with children in local public schools, we are encouraged by the district’s decision to move the daily start time from 7:50 to 8:20 a.m. at Princeton High School. There is convincing evidence that later start times — allowing for increased and higher quality sleep — significantly improve adolescent physical and emotional well-being, including academic and athletic performance. It is for this reason that we are asking Princeton Public Schools to work toward an 8:30 or later start time for older students.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), sleep deprivation is one of the greatest public health problems in the United States. It impacts millions of people — especially adolescents — causing widespread and well-documented negative consequences to society as a whole. Lack of sleep is associated with adolescent stress, poor academic performance, and an overall decline in social and emotional health, at a time when we already face alarming rates of adolescent depression, anxiety, and suicide.

In 2014, the AAP released a policy statement, “School Start Times for Adolescents,” recommending that middle and high school students start school at 8:30 or later to reflect the natural shift in adolescent circadian rhythms. In 2015, the CDC published research about school start times that echoed the AAP’s recommendation and found that nearly two-thirds of adolescents in the United States are chronically sleep deprived.

The August 7, 2017 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report describes common obstacles faced by proponents of delayed start times. These include concerns about transportation, scheduling of athletic and other after-school activities, as well as a lack of awareness about the link between sleep, school start times, and adolescent health outcomes. The report urges those resistant to later start times to study the compelling research behind this policy recommendation. We hope decision-makers in our community will do the same. More information can be found at www.aap.org and www.CDC.gov.

We also support other recent district initiatives that help alleviate stress and improve the overall health of our students, including changes to the homework policy, healthier cafeteria food options, and updates to the health and physical education curriculum. We hope the PPS superintendent and the Board of Education will implement the AAP’s 8:30 or later start time recommendation for both PHS and JWMS, in the near future, and we encourage the community to support the efforts of our school district to put the health of our children first.

Stephanie Chorney, MD, FAAP

Race Street

Phil Ludmer, MD

Caldwell Drive

David Nathan, MD, DFAPA

Jefferson Road

Abigail Rose, MD, MPH

Wheatsheaf Lane

Bruce Rose, MD, ACM-ASIM;
Helen Rose, MD, FAAP

Linden Lane

To The Editor:

What a joyous feeling I got when riding down one of our Jackson-Witherspoon Neighborhood streets — Lytle Street — and seeing the pretty red ribbons placed down the entire street for holiday decorations! It just showed a sense of neighborly togetherness. I recently went on a bus trip to Bethlehem, Pa. to see the wonderful Christmas decorations throughout the “Christmas City” and I thought of our Lytle Street. Thanks to our Lytle Street neighbors for spreading joy!

Minnie Craig

Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

A friend visiting from out of town helped take recycling to the curb last week. Upon wrestling with the cans, he tripped and tumbled into the street. Within seconds, Jefferson Road traffic came to a standstill and people came running out of every car to help us older people. They were wonderfully caring, got Bob up and checked him for injury, helped us back into the house and saw that he was comfortable. They even finished taking out the recycling! X-rays later proved that Bob had cracked two ribs in his back; he has been on medication for pain, but is now back home and doing well.

We both extend a heartfelt thank you to the many who helped!

Berit Marshall

Jefferson Road

To the Editor:

We write in appreciation of Patrolman Christopher Best of the Princeton Police Department, who saved our unoccupied house from a massive flood by his timely intervention very late on Christmas night, and later gave us critical information on what to do next — call our insurance company about engaging an emergency remediation service — that we would not otherwise have known and that made a big difference to the condition of our house when we returned from out of town. We are deeply grateful for his professionalism, skill, and generosity. To homeowners more than a thousand miles away, he provided invaluable help and support under very challenging circumstances.

Nancy and Burton Malkiel

North Road

To the Editor:

I was in Leonia, New Jersey last weekend, where I learned that the town does not allow tear-downs unless the house can be proved uninhabitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if such a law existed in Princeton, before this town is covered with beige McMansions?

Peggy Skemer

Robert Road

Mary Clare (Reilly) Mooney

The heavens were short on angels after Christmas and called one the day after. Mary Clare (Reilly) Mooney of West Hartford, Conn. passed peacefully surrounded by her family on December 26, 2017 at the age of 54. Her passing follows a six year courageous battle against cancer. She was born in 1963 in Conn., daughter of Anne (Crotty) Reilly and the late Jeremiah Kenaway Reilly. She is survived by her husband, Anson Mooney, former owner of Hartford Despatch Allied Van Lines; her two beloved daughters, Shannon and Schuyler; along with her grandson, Ryder Burns Jalbert. She is also survived by her loving mother Anne, sisters Kathleen Arnold, Eileen Reilly, and brother Brian Reilly all of Princeton, N.J.

Mary Clare grew up in Princeton, N.J., and graduated from Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. She was instrumental in establishing a tennis program at Stuart and led the effort in fundraising to build tennis courts there. She graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. in 1985 and was captain of her two favorite sports, tennis and lacrosse. In 1988 she married her best friend Anson and together they raised two extraordinary daughters.

She began her career at Merrill Lynch in New York City. After she moved to Hartford, Conn. she worked alongside her husband Anson at the Hartford Despatch. She more recently worked at Suddath International of Miami, Fla. and concluded her career serving as International Coordinator at S&M Moving Systems of Fremont, Calif.

During her life, Mary Clare had a longing to give back, and chaired many philanthropic endeavors. She had a remarkable talent as a fundraiser. She was a former Board member of The Mark Twain House, Chaired the Cystic Fibrosis Annual gala, and was instrumental in Share Our Strength with Billy Grant of The Bricco Restaurant Group, the proceeds of which went to “No Kid Hungry.” She was a champion of Mayor Mike’s Tennis Camp for Kids. Mary Clare was also a former member of The Hartford Golf Club and YPO — Yankee Chapter.

A kind, funny, generous soul, loyal friend, and loving sibling she will be greatly missed by all those she touched.

Friends and family were invited to join for a celebration of life at The Trinity College Chapel, 300 Summit St., Hartford Conn. on Saturday, January 6th at 10 a.m. The memorial service was followed by a reception on campus. Burial will be private at the family’s request. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mary Clare’s honor to Share Our Strength, P.O. Box 75475, Baltimore MD 21275-5475.


Donald Paul Moore

Donald Paul Moore, 94, of Princeton, N.J., passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, January 4, 2018, while visiting his daughter and her family in Massachusetts. Born in Philadelphia, Pa., he was the son of the late Jeanette (Nash) and Arthur C. Moore. He was the husband of 66 years to Ruth (Kirk) Moore of Princeton.

Donald attended the Witherspoon School for colored children as well as the Bordentown School known as the “Tuskegee of the North.” He graduated from Pierce College. An Army Veteran of World War II, Donald was noted as one of the best gunners in the 969th Field Battalion. He was sought out by the Historical Society of Princeton to obtain information and facts regarding the African-American community. Donald was well loved by many, where he was affectionately called the Mayor of Spring Street.

Besides his wife, Donald is survived by two children, Kirk W. Moore of Springfield and Christine Morrison and her husband Curtis of Hopkinton, Mass. He also leaves behind two grandchildren, Blake Morrisson and Simone Moore.

Funeral services will be held privately with the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Paul Robeson House, 112 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542. Arrangements are under the care of the Chesmore Funeral Home of Hopkinton, www.ChesmoreFuneralHome.com.


Marion Ruth Salkind

Marion Ruth Salkind (nee Koenig), 85, died Sunday, December 31, 2017 at Stonebridge at Montgomery Health Care Center in Skillman, N.J. Born in New York, N.Y., she had been a resident of Princeton since 1966. Daughter of the late Louis and Hannah (Pappert) Koenig; wife of the late Dr. Alvin J. Salkind; she is survived by a son and daughter-in-law James Salkind and Starlet Jacobs; a daughter Susanne Salkind and her two children, Abigail Salkind-Foraker and Jacob Salkind-Foraker; and a brother Kenneth Koenig.

Marion graduated from James Madison High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1949. She attended Beaver College in Jenkintown, Pa. as well as Pratt Institute in New York. Marion had a lifelong passion for art. She worked as a commercial artist through the 1960’s designing packaging for many familiar products, most notably the board game Mousetrap. After moving to Princeton and becoming a mother, Marion shifted her artistic endeavors to the fine arts. She was a skilled painter, calligrapher, and knitter. For many years she studied under Jacques Fabert in Bucks County, Pa. and was an active member of the Princeton arts community.

The funeral service was held at 10 a.m. on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at the Star of David Memorial Chapel of Princeton, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton. Burial will follow in the Old Mount Carmel Cemetery, Queens, N.Y.


Allison Cook Elston

Allison Cook Elston, 87, of Edmond, Oklahoma and a native of Princeton, died December 31st.

A lifelong supporter of music and the arts, Mrs. Elston was the widow of James L. Elston, her loving husband of 51 years, a retired attorney and professor of political science at the University of Arkansas. He died in October 2016.

She was the daughter of George R. Cook III and Margaretta Roebling Cook of Princeton and Naples, Fla. She attended Miss Fine’s School and graduated from Garrison Forest School. She made her debut in 1948. Before her marriage to Mr. Elston in 1965, she worked as an editor at Town & Country magazine in New York.

She served as the primary reader for her husband, who was blind, during his graduate studies at Princeton University and throughout his teaching career.

With her husband, Allison was a supporter of the Seeing Eye in Morristown N.J. During her husband’s tenure at the University of Arkansas, she was one of the founders and president of the Northwest Arkansas Symphony Guild and contributed to the vision and concept of the now-renowned Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Allison was on the board of the Desert Chorale in Santa Fe, N.M., where the Elstons had a home for many years.

Allison was an avid reader and lover of the arts, travel, and cooking, but it was her family that brought her the most joy. She could often be found playing imaginary games with, reading to, or doing art-related activities with her grandchildren. Her extensive background in art and music was a strong influence throughout her life. She had a storybook romance with her husband, and in truly magical form, they were reunited at her passing just before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

She is survived by her children, Jennifer Elston Stiglets of Edmond, Okla. and Ted Elston of Beverly Hills, Calif.; her sister, Constance C. Moore of Philadelphia; grandchildren Lilly, Lane, and Georgia Elston, Mason Cook, Beau Stiglets, and Stella Elston; and two step-grandchildren, Allison and Ashley Stiglets.

Funeral services will be private.


David J. Lenihan

David Joseph Lenihan, 67, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, passed away unexpectedly on December 27, 2017 at the family’s vacation home in Skytop, Pa. in the Poconos. Born March 4, 1950 to C. Joseph and Alice (Meisner) Lenihan in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada, David was raised in Garden City, New York, and graduated from Garden City High School in 1968. He attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1972. For the past 20 years, David has been a resident of Princeton, N.J.

David began his business career with Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City, and was transferred to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1975 and later became president of Oryx Bank, Ltd. in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He joined McLeod, Young & Weir in London covering the Middle East and later was with Merrill Lynch, also covering the Middle East. He later joined the Canadian Consulate in New York City where he was responsible for expansion of cross-border business between the U.S. and Canada. He then became a serial entrepreneur, forming health care industry start-ups, most notably CareGain, Inc., which was sold to Fiserv. At the time of his death, he was chairman and CEO of Healthper, Inc. a health care software company that helps people engage in healthy behaviors, and UVT Therapeutics, a medical device company focusing on Lupus and other autoimmune diseases. David was also on the Advisory Board of SpectraMedix.

He worked to ensure the 2006 passage of the U.S. legislation for Health Savings Accounts, and was a frequent industry speaker on consumer-directed health care. He served as a trustee of his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, from 2009 to 2014.

David is survived by his devoted wife, JoAnn Heisen; his children Sara Lenihan, Caroline Lenihan Downs, Douglas, Cindy, Gregory and Courtney Heisen; two grandchildren, Sarina and Jacob Downs; his beloved brother, Michael and his wife Barbara; and his nieces Kathryn Lochrie and Laura Lenihan; and his nephew Michael Lenihan.

He enriched the lives of all who knew him with his wisdom, his love, his smile, his humor, and his grace. He will be sadly missed.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the Princeton Healthcare System Foundation, 5 Plainsboro Road, Suite 365, Plainsboro, NJ 08536.


Angeline Cifelli

Angeline Margaret (Pinelli) Cifelli, 102, passed away on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at St. Joseph’s Skilled Nursing at Morris Hall in Lawrenceville, N.J. Born in Princeton on November 16, 1915, she was a Princeton resident until 2013 when she moved to Morris Hall.

Mrs. Cifelli worked for the Princeton Regional School System for many years as a cook at the Valley Road School. She loved cooking and in her later years delighted in getting together with her siblings to enjoy a good meal and a card game.

Angeline was one of 11 children born to Michael and Bambina (Nini) Pinelli. She is predeceased by her husband Nicholas; son David N.; daughter-in-law Sophia; granddaughter Patricia Lynn; great-granddaughter Nicole Marie; great-grandson Devon Lucas; and brothers Joseph, Emerson, Michael, Claude, William, and Antonio; and sisters Mary, beloved twin Jane, Eleanor, and Elizabeth.

Surviving are her sons Robert P., John G.. and Anthony F. and wife Patricia; and a daughter-in-law Shirley Cifelli; as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She leaves behind her granddaughter Kimberly Lucas, with whom she had a special bond, and who took loving care of her and made certain that she was among the best dressed residents at St. Joseph’s.

Visitation will be on Thursday, January 11, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Paul Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton, followed by an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial. Burial will be in Princeton Cemetery.

Contributions to Morris Hall-St. Joseph’s Employee Appreciation Fund, 1 Bishop’s Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 are appreciated.

Arrangements are entrusted to Kimble Funeral Home, Princeton, N.J. Extend condolences and share remembrances at TheKimbleFuneralHome.com.


Charles F. Baunach, Jr.

Charles F. Baunach, Jr., 83, a lifelong resident of Princeton passed away on Friday, December 29, 2017.

He served in the U.S. Army in Korea. He was part of the family building contracting business until his retirement. He was an avid snow skier and boater and model train enthusiast. He had a passion in retirement for model boat building.

He is predeceased by his parents, Charles F. Baunach, Sr. and Bertha Baunach, and his sister Virginia. He is survived by his sister Carolyn, his brother Gerald and wife Marcia, nieces Andrea Crannage and Abigail Weitgelt and husband Justin, nephews Gregg Crannage and wife Stacey and Michael Baunach, and grand nephews Austin and Benjamin Crannage, and many cousins.

Services were private and interment is at Kingston Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

With students still on winter recess, all was quiet on the Princeton University campus after last Thursday’s snowstorm. People discuss how the town handled snow removal in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

John Witherspoon Middle School principal Jason Burr recently thanked Princeton School Gardens Cooperative for funding of the part-time edible gardens educator position for the school year 2017-18. Provided by a partnership between the bent spoon and Whole Earth Center, it makes possible the seed-to-table efforts of master gardener Priscilla Hayes, underway in the school’s Food Science course and also in the 501c3’s JW Cooks+Gardens program under the culinary direction of Chef Michelle Fuerst.

YWCA Princeton has partnered with Corner House to host monthly inter-generational discussions leading up to April’s Stand Against Racism. The series was started in order to increase awareness of the YWCA mission, the Stand Against Racism campaign, and the impact of racism in our community. The location is Bramwell House Living Room, 77 Bayard Lane.

The next event will take place on Tuesday January 16, 7-9 p.m. David Campt, consultant on racial equity and civic engagement and author of Read the Room for Real: How A Simple Technology Creates Better Meetings, will speak. Campt is a Princeton University graduate with a career in strategic planning, conflict resolution, and cultural competence.  more

“IT’S A DOG’S LIFE”: This painting by Charles David Viera is part of his “Narrative Paintings” exhibition, on view in the Arts Council of Princeton’s Lower Level Gallery through February 3. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 13 from 3-5 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton presents two new exhibitions, “Heroes of Comic Art” and “Narrative Paintings.” Both will have opening receptions on Saturday, January 13 from 3-5 p.m.

“Heroes of Comic Art” features original published artworks by Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert, Curt Swan, John Buscema, Jack Davis, Steve Ditko, and other artists that created many of the comic heroes in today’s books and films. It will be on view in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery through March 10. The works are from the collection of Charles David Viera. more

TANJUNG DATU: The beaded art of Wendy Ellsworth is featured in “A Passion for Beads,” running January 14 through April 22 at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, January 14 at 2 p.m.

Wendy Ellsworth creates art bead by tiny bead, and with a seemingly endless variety of colors, shapes, and textures at her fingertips, her palette appears unlimited.

“I consider myself a color artist, with beads representing tiny photons of colored light which can be woven together to form infinite patterns of beauty and delight,” Ellsworth said.  more

Alumni of the Westminster Choir College CoOPERAtive Program will perform Mozart’s fairy tale opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) Thursday, January 18 through Saturday, January 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 21 at 2 p.m. in the Robert L. Annis Playhouse on the Westminster campus in Princeton. The staged production will be performed with piano accompaniment and sung in German with English dialogue. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students. more

January 3, 2018

See below for the January 2, 2018 Princeton Council Meeting.

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

Mary Ellen Cooke Johnson

July 5, 1930 – December 5, 2017

Mary Ellen “Melon” Cooke Johnson of Princeton, NJ, died peacefully on December 5, 2017. She was born July 5, 1930, in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, to Jay Cooke IV and Mary Glendinning Cooke. Her sister, Nina Cooke Cochran, predeceased her. She graduated magna cum laude and valedictorian from Springside School, where she was president of the student government and played field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. She also attended Wellesley College, where as class president she committed to memory every student’s name so she could address each one personally on the first day of school.

In 1946, Melon met the love of her life, naval air pilot Hallett Johnson, Jr., on the top of Cadillac Mountain in Maine’s Acadia National Park. They married in 1950 and moved to Stone House Farm, Princeton, NJ, where they raised four children, many of their children’s friends, and countless horses, cows, sheep, pigs, chicken, dairy goats, bees, and an ever-expanding number of abandoned cats with great love, grace, and humor. Together they championed organic farming and community coops long before they were a trend. They also shared a lifelong love of competitive sports and the outdoors, racing on board Seagull and Sandia along the Atlantic seaboard, competing in tennis matches in NJ and on Mount Desert Island, Maine, and flyfishing at their cherished Ogontz in Pennsylvania.

Melon also was an equestrian, competing sidesaddle on her beloved Flagpole; a fearless singles tennis competitor, winning many singles and parent/child championships; and a baseball and football aficionado that enjoyed the notoriety of being the first and only woman for years in an all-male fantasy baseball league. She also dearly loved gardening and was passionate about conservation. The Garden Club of America and the Garden Club of Princeton awarded her the Margaret Dulles Sebring Club Conservation Award and the GCA Medal of Merit in recognition of her Civic Projects and “quiet competence.” Capable of running a small country, she loved managing teams of dealers and buyers at the annual Princeton Antiques Show and Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale.

An early pioneer in squash, she won the US Squash Junior Girls Championship while at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, won the national doubles championship three times (1960-1962) with fellow pioneer Susie O’Neil, won the National Singles (1980) and was for many decades the driving force behind the NJ State Women’s Championship tournament and the annual Howe Cup Team Championship, which she ran while also coaching squash at Princeton University. She received the US Squash Racquets Achievement Bowl Award for contributions to the sportsmanship and advancement of the game. In field hockey, she and squash coach Betty Constable founded and coached the first women’s team at Princeton University in 1970 (it then became one of the first original women’s varsity sports to be introduced in 1971-72), competed on an adult regional team and was a high school and college field hockey official referee through her 60s, earning numerous awards for service and growing the game.

She won the respect and gratitude of all she touched for her kindness, compassion, ethics, inclusivity, and joyful sense of humor. Her humbleness, humanity, and steadfast belief in the goodness within us all will forever light our way forward.  She was the heart and soul of her large, boisterous and adoring family.  The world is a better and more beautiful place because she walked it; she will be missed deeply as she’s moved on to ever-blooming gardens and a place where her beloved Phillies may win every year.

Melon is survived by her four children: Hallett Johnson III and his wife, Barbara, of Birmingham, AL; Mary Johnson of Dorset, VT; Livingston Johnson and his wife, Maria, of Skillman, NJ; and Beth Johnson Nixon and her husband, David, of Greenwich, CT. In addition, she is survived by nine grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.  A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 27, 2018, at Trinity Church in Princeton, NJ. Contributions in Melon’s memory may be made to the D&R Greenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place, Princeton, NJ 08540.


Marcia H. Stillman

Marcia H. Stillman, 84, passed away Saturday, December 23, 2017. Born in Perth Amboy, Mrs. Stillman was a former resident of Edison and Metuchen.

She was a graduate of Douglass College and Seton Hall University where she earned a master’s degree in library science.

Mrs. Stillman was a librarian for the Woodbridge Board of Education for many years before retiring. She served as a hospital volunteer, with the Metuchen Civil Rights Commission, and was active in the League of Women Voters.

She is survived by her husband Jack M. Stillman; a daughter and son-in-law Laurie Stillman and Robert Rosofsky; a son and daughter-in-law Dr. Richard and Jeannie Stillman; four grandchildren Anna Rosofsky, Kaytlena, Gabriel, and Jordan Stillman; several cousins including Dr. Arthur and Minnie Zack and the Rosenblum cousins.

Funeral services were Wednesday, December 27 at 11 a.m. at Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, 1534 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ. Burial followed at Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge.


Leon Judah Kamin

Kamin, Leon Judah of Boston, on Friday, December 22, 2017. Son of the late Rabbi Jonas and Jean (Rybak) Kamin. Husband of Marie-Claire Kamin. Father of John, Katie, Sylvie, and Christine. Grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of seven. Brother of the late Joseph Kamin and his surviving wife Judy Kamin. Friend to many.

Known for his contributions to learning theory and his critique of the heritability of IQ, Dr. Kamin chaired Psychology at McMaster, Princeton, and Northeastern Universities. He was an Honorary Professor at the University of Capetown.

Dr. Kamin’s principles were tested when he defied the McCarthy Committee and Harvard’s Corporation; his values held strong and shaped his life.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to SOS Children’s Villages, South Africa.

“Dead and divine and brother to all, and here again he lies.”

To the Editor:

When I read in a past issue of Town Topics that Larry Ivan had died [Obituaries, Dec. 6, pg. 39], I had a lot of remorse. Although I stopped going to the Princeton Community Park Pool in 2005, I was a patron for 20 years and during that time had a lot of contact with Larry Ivan. In my opinion he was a person of honor and profound integrity. I extend my deepest sympathy to his family.

Ethan Finley

Princeton Community Village

To the Editor

Every year in December, I tally my family’s carbon emissions from things like heating our home, driving our car, the food we eat, our purchases and (ouch) our air travel. The CoolClimate network has a fairly detailed carbon calculator that steps you through the process; it is an illuminating exercise. Carbon offsetting happens in the form of a check I send to Cotap, an organization that promotes tree planting and sustainable agroforestry.

This year I’m sending additional carbon offsets to Sustainable Princeton, which has embarked on a two-year mission to build a community climate action plan for our town. I reckon supporting this important work has greater impact in the sense of larger, faster, and local carbon reductions; I hope you will consider doing the same.

Tineke Thio

Dempsey Avenue

Princeton Montessori School students and their families donated toys, hats, and mittens for the school’s annual Holiday Giving Drive, which ended December 15 at the school’s Cherry Valley Road campus. Toys were collected in bins throughout the school and hats and mittens were hung on the “Giving Line” garland in the foyers. The donations went to The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, which protects abused and neglected children, and the CYO of Mercer County.  The drive taught the children how their small efforts can have a big impact on the lives of others.