February 17, 2017

Photo Credit: @mouthfoods

Gifts with Spirit from Mouth.com

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February 15, 2017

To the Editor:

In last week’s Mailbox [“Some Unanswered Questions About PPS Resistance to Charter School Expansion,” Town Topics, Feb. 8], the writer cites “illegal immigrants” and “children of staff” as students who do not legally reside in the school district and unnecessarily add to the costs at PPS. As the national debate sometimes vilifies undocumented immigrants and questions arise about who should and should not be allowed into the U.S., it is sad to hear echoes of this argument in Princeton with regards to access to our public schools.

It should be noted that the children of undocumented immigrants are permitted to attend public schools according to U.S. Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe. And PPS staff members pay tuition to send their children to the district which enables PPS to attract even better teachers. Not only is this a reasonable employee benefit, it adds to a wonderful sense of community in our schools.

While PPS is thankfully required to accept all students, PCS has virtually closed its doors to its fair share of low-income, special education, and English-language- learners children in the district. If there is such a concern about educating students who do not legally reside in the school district, similar questions could be asked of PCS. Why isn’t PCS being held accountable for its responsibility and transparency on schooling a population representative to those in our district?

Carrie Elwood

Poe Road

To The Editor:

A couple months ago as I rode through my John-Witherspoon Street neighborhood I noticed a green, blue orange sign in someone’s yard and I wondered what it said, but didn’t stop to read it at that time. When I got home there was an email that gave me the answer! The email explained what the sign was about. It’s a “welcoming sign” originated by the Emanuel Mennonite Church in Virginia that says, “No matter where you are from, we are glad you’re our neighbor”! I was deeply moved by the friendly, welcoming message and immediately wanted a sign to put in our front yard!

By the way, the email that I received was from our friend Daniel Harris. Thank you Daniel for ordering the sign for us and others! I especially enjoy seeing our Latino neighbors and other passers-bye stopping to read our sign! It’s so great to see that the sign is popping up here and there in Princeton, especially during these troublesome times in our country. I wish that through the years we had read such a sign when my family and I felt unwelcomed at different places, even in our hometown of Princeton!

Minnie Craig

Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

Regarding the page one story, “Fire in Maplewood Hits AvalonBay Site Still Under Construction” [Town Topics, Feb. 8], a key problem with lightweight wood construction used in large multi-unit residences like the one in Maplewood, in Princeton, and many other newer developments for families, seniors and students, is that overall size, including area and height, is ever increasing. As a result, if a fire occurs it can spread more readily to more units and becomes more difficult for fire fighters to suppress. Under the current code, 4 — 5 stories are allowed.

Even if masonry firewalls are used, the current code allows too many units between firewalls (well over 100 vertical units in multiple stories). Older multi-unit residences were often limited to two or three stories and were of brick or heavier wood that burns less quickly than the lightweight wood now used. The argument of some developers for this less fire safe and moderately less expensive construction is “affordable housing.” However, this type of construction is also routinely used in highly profitable luxury style multi-unit housing.

The U.S. code writing entity, The ICC (International Code Council, a confusing misnomer) is not a government agency. It works on behalf of its partners, primarily U.S. groups in the building industries. The ICC sets minimum standards and its codes have allowed the construction of ever larger residential multi-unit structures with lightweight wood nationwide. These structures are not required to have internal masonry wall construction. Princeton got such masonry walls at the former hospital construction site as a concession after the AvalonBay Edgewater fire. States have limited opportunity (every 3 years) to give input to the ICC but this is often not as effective as it should be due to strong lobbying efforts by a powerful industry at the state and national level with minimal public input and less renter/buyer consumer knowledge of underlying construction before contract signing.

Several bills were introduced in the New Jersey legislature following the Edgewater AvalonBay fire in January, 2015 which displaced 500 people who were living in 240 destroyed apartments. (This is in addition to the same company’s year 2000 fire in a large nearly completed structure on the same site which destroyed 9 surrounding homes, and another conflagration this February 4 in Maplewood where reportedly 24/7 fire watch guards were on duty.) The most comprehensive of the bills is S1632 (Senate)/A3770 (Assembly) are sponsored by prominent legislators: Senators Bateman, Turner, and Weinberg and Assembly members Gusciora, Muoio, and Zwicker.

Even if no loss of life or injury to residents or first responders occurs, the external/social costs of conflagrations are great including: displaced residents, destruction of neighborhoods, lost revenues, and fire fighting/repair costs to municipalities and local businesses. Primary protective remedies should include:

1) limiting the currently allowed area and height of lightweight wood structures;

2) making masonry internal walls a requirement with fewer units between these walls;

3) requiring the completion of construction before allowing occupancy especially if the occupied and under-construction structures are attached.

At the municipal level we should continue to be pro-active with our state legislators and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

Grace Sinden

Ridgeview Circle 

P.S. I am a member of the Princeton Local Emergency Planning Committee which meets quarterly. However, I am writing as an individual.

Edward A. Whitehouse

Edward A. “Ted” Whitehouse of Ringoes, N.J., Owl’s Head Me., and formerly of Nantucket, Mass., died February 12, 2017. He was 75.

Ted was born on November 10, 1941 in West Orange, N.J. to the late Joseph H. Whitehouse and Anita F. Whitehouse. He grew up on a farm in Warren Township, N.J. and graduated from Watchung Hills Regional High School in 1960. As a young man, he drag-raced in events sponsored by Ford Motor Company and raced snowmobiles for Polaris. Ted started his own company, Somerset Mechanical Contractors, Inc., and completed large-scale projects throughout New Jersey for companies such as Lipton Tea, Tenneco, and Hunterdon Medical Center. He settled in Ringoes in 1973. He married the love of his life, Sarah Richardson Whitehouse, in 1989 and was a devoted husband and father. He cherished spending time with his seven grandchildren, who called him “Poppy.”

An avid outdoorsman, Ted loved to hunt and fish and spent many summers in Maine and Nantucket on his boat, Sundance. For most of his adult life, he served as president and then as captain of the Hunt for White Game Club in Shohola, Pa. and successfully guided and oversaw each hunting season. He was an outstanding marksman and was a mentor to many in safe hunting practices and technique. He was also a member of Rockland Yacht Club, Rockland, Me.

Ted had a wicked sense of humor, an infectious smile and enjoyed unique hobbies such as vintage outboard motor restoration. He was a great role model, a caring friend, and was loyal to a fault.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Sarah R. Whitehouse; his six children, Rena A. Whitehouse (Edwin Baskin), Omaha, Nebr.; Melissa J. Whitehouse (Atiba Gomez), Brooklyn, N.Y.; Edward J. Whitehouse (Dorothy), Rumson N.J.; Whitney B. Ross (Stephen Moseley), Princeton; Dennis B. Ross, Stamford, Conn.; Hillary H. Nastro (Joseph), Wallingford, Conn.; seven grandchildren, Ross Moseley, Parkman Moseley, Hunter Ross, Joseph Whitehouse, Edward Whitehouse, Charles Nastro, and Anna Nastro; and a sister, Anita W. Hoag (Richard) of Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home, 147 Main Street, Flemington, N.J. and services will be scheduled at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hunterdon Hospice’s Residential Hospice Fund, 2200 Wescott Drive, Flemington, NJ 08822, or to the Raritan Township Fire Company, 303 South Main Street, Flemington, NJ 08822.

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Marjory Gelpke White

Marjory Gelpke White, a long time Princeton resident, passed away peacefully on February 9, 2017 at the age of 92 in the home of her loving daughter, Laura White Marks in Windham, New Hampshire. Her daughter, Nancy White Baruch and granddaughter, Cayce Marks were also at her bedside at the time of her passing.

She was born Marjory Gerhardine Gelpke on July 25, 1924 to Ellen and Adolf Gelpke in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Marjory attended Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania in 1941-1945, graduating with a Masters Degree in both biology and chemistry. Marjory then attended Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia in 1946 — 1948. After meeting the love of her life, William Rolt White, they married in 1948 and lived in Easton, Pennsylvania while “Bill” finished his degree at Lafayette College. Settling back in the Philadelphia area for a number of years, they then moved to Princeton in 1963. Both were active members of the All Saint’s Church, the school and community.

At All Saint’s Church, Marjory served on the Altar Guild, Flower Guild and was the first woman to be elected to the Vestry. As her children were involved in the Boy and Girl Scouting programs, she volunteered to be leaders in both organizations. She was president of the Princeton High School PTA, a 27-year member of PEO, a philanthropic educational organization that raises money for women’s scholarships, and a long time active member of the Women’s College Club of Princeton (WCCP) from 1963 — 2016, serving as president 1981-1983. The WCCP also raises money for scholarships for young women to attend college. Having been raised to value education, Marjory was passionate about helping young women further their education through scholarship assistance.

After Bill White’s sudden and unexpected death (on his 50th birthday) in 1971, Marjory became sole provider for her three children; one in college, one on the way to college, and another in high school. Marjory, having just earned her Real Estate Brokers license a few months before, joined Audrey Short Realty World and embarked on an illustrious career, earning multiple awards as New Jersey’s top salesperson, spanning decades in the business. This was evident as, at the age of 85, she was being recruited by five competing Princeton real estate firms after her firm, Burgdorff Realtors, was bought by Coldwell Banker.

Marjory’s success in real estate was rooted in creating a caring relationship and welcoming her clients into the community she loved. Many of her clients became good friends and fellow parishioners at All Saint’s Church. As matriarch of the family, Marjory was the historian and keeper of the many generational stories. She helped strengthen the family bonds with her passion to connect everyone. Family reunions in Ocean City, New Jersey, were especially joyful occasions.

Always an adventurous spirit, Marjory enjoyed exploring the world with her children and grandchildren, traveling to England, Ireland, France, Costa Rica, the Caribbean Islands, Italy, and Greece. A life long learner and lover of the arts, Marjory reaped the benefits of living in Princeton, auditing courses at Princeton University and regularly attending performances at McCarter Theatre and the New Jersey Symphony at Richardson Auditorium.

Beloved wife,mother, mother in law, grandmother, and great grandmother, Marjory was predeceased by her parents, Ellen and Adolf Gelpke; her husband, William R. White; her sister Ellen Craun; brother in law Ted Craun; nephew Todd Craun; sister in law Gloria Gelpke; and brother in law John Macinko. She is survived by her three children; Geoffrey, Laura, and Nancy; brother Roy Gelpke; sister Connie Macinko; grandchildren Fenlon, Justine, Seaver, Brett, Tyler, Cayce, Luke; and great grandson, Adrian.

There will a memorial service to celebrate Marjory’s life on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 2:30 p.m., at All Saint’s Church, 16 All Saint’s Road, Princeton, New Jersey.

In lieu of flowers, Marjory requested that contributions be made to the Women’s College Club of Princeton, NJ, PO Box 3181, Princeton, NJ 08540; the PEO Foundation, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312; or All Saint’s Church, 16 All Saint’s Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.

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Gene P. Kaplan

Gene P. Kaplan, 88, of Princeton died suddenly on Friday, February 3, 2017, at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro after a brief illness.

Born in New York City, he resided in Princeton for almost 20 years. He earned a BS in economics from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA in accounting from the NYU Graduate School of Business Administration. During the Korean War, he served in the United States Army.

Gene had a long and varied career in financial services in both the private and public sectors, including CIT and William Sword & Co. He was also a financial consultant and co-founder of Seawoulfe Partners, Ltd in Princeton and Capital Consulting Network in Princeton, from which he retired as managing partner in 2011.

He was active in many civic and professional organizations and was president of the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival. He was also honored by Cancer Care of New Jersey and Financial Executives International (FEI) of New Jersey.

Son of the late Abraham and Rita (Gold) Kaplan, Gene was predeceased by his first wife Marjorie Moss Kaplan and his brother Alan. He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Patricia A. Meyer; and his three daughters Amy Kaplan, Betsy Kaplan, and Abigail Butrym (Michael); two grandchildren (Emma and Spenser); his brother Ralph; his aunt Alyce; and many caring nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and former colleagues.

A Memorial Service will be held on April 2, 2017 at 2 p.m. at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton followed by a Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to the Multiple Myeloma Association, Cancer Care of New Jersey or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

For additional information or to share condolences, please access the Mather-Hodge website at www.matherhodge.com.

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Blanche A. McCarthy

Blanche A. McCarthy, 94, of Princeton entered into eternal rest on Monday, February 13, 2017 at St. Joseph’s Skilled Nursing Center in Lawrenceville.

Born in Trenton, she was a lifelong resident of Princeton. Blanche married Robert David McCarthy on June 29, 1949 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Trenton. She was a former member of the Present Day Club of Princeton, an honorary member of Springdale Golf Club of Princeton, and a lifelong parishioner of St. Paul’s Church in Princeton.

Daughter of the late James J. and Blanche Marie (Gallagher) McGuire; wife of the late Robert David McCarthy; and sister of the late Elinor McCarthy; she is survived by two sons and a daughter-in-law Robert D. McCarthy, Jr. and Marly MacFarlane, and James J. McCarthy; one daughter and son-in-law Kathleen McCarthy and Richard J. Maylander.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday, February 17, 2017 at St. Paul’s Church, 216 Nassau Street, Princeton.

Burial will follow in St. Paul’s Cemetery.

Calling hours will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Ave., Princeton.

All ages are off and running in Saturday’s Cupid’s Chase 5K Run in support of people with disabilities. Based at the Princeton Shopping Center, the event was sponsored by Community Options. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Lawrence Green Team and Sustainable Lawrence presented the Sustainable Jersey Silver Certification for 2016 at a Lawrence Township town council meeting on January 17.

Sustainable Jersey has 441 registered towns. Lawrence Township is one of 44 New Jersey municipalities that have attained certification at the silver level. The township was honored at the Sustainable Jersey Awards Luncheon in November in Atlantic City. Members of the board attended the event. more

Priya Vulchi (pictured left) and Winona Guo, Chapin ’13 (pictured right), co-founders and co-presidents of Choose present to the Chapin School Princeton Faculty. 

Artists from McCarter Theatre visited Littlebrook Elementary School on February 7, performing scenes from plays by black American playwrights. Among them were August Wilson’s “Fences” and Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” The students posed with artists Jade King Carroll, Toccarra Cash, Nathan James, and Joshua Campbell following the presentation.

INHERIT THE WIND: Rehearsing for Rider Theatre’s production of “Inherit the Wind” are Shelly Walsh in the role of Drummond and Dan Maldonado in the role of Matthew Harrison Brady in Rider University’s upcoming production of the play, that will be presented in the Yvonne Theater on the campus of Rider University in Lawrenceville. February 22-26. Learn more at www.rider.edu/arts.

Rider Theatre will present the Tony Award-winning play Inherit the Wind in the Yvonne Theater on the campus of Rider University in Lawrenceville. February 22 — 26. A preview performance will be Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m., and performances will be Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. The production, directed by Miriam Mills, will be performed by Rider University students. more

The Alma Choir, the premier touring choir at Alma College, in Alma, Michigan, will perform a concert on Monday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Chapel on Princeton Theological Seminary’s campus. It is free and open to the public. Conducted by Will Nichols, with Anthony J. Patterson, on piano, the concert will feature classic sacred songs, African American Spirituals, folk and love songs. In 2016 the choir won three prestigious awards at the Navan Choral Festival in Ireland.

The concert is presented in memory of David A. Weadon, the late director of music and organist at Princeton Seminary, and is underwritten in part by the David A. Weadon Memorial Trust.

For more information, call the Chapel Office at (609) 497-7890.

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A drug that could bring hope to millions of people living with Alzheimer’s disease is being tested in clinical trials by a Monmouth Junction-based pharmaceutical company at research sites in Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Suven Inc. is seeking people ages 50 to 85 who have been diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s and who are taking two standard medications for the disease — donepezil and memantine/Namenda XR. The clinical testing is designed to examine the efficacy of SUVN-502 on mental abilities impaired by the disease. more

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will appear at Rider University on March 23 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Virtues of Free Markets: An Evening with Hon. Newt Gingrich” is presented by the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics and is part of the University’s Hennessy Family Lecture on Capitalism series, which was inaugurated last year with an appearance by writer, scholar, and public intellectual Dinesh D’Souza. more

“BREAKING POINT”: Starting February 28, this piece by Kahlilah Sabree will be on display at the Prindiville Mohey Gallery at Artworks Trenton. “Explorations in Geometry,” an exhibition of prints by Bill Brookover will open the same day in the Artworks Community Gallery.

Artworks Trenton presents two exhibitions opening February 28, 2017. There will be an opening reception March 11, 6-8 p.m. for both exhibitions. more

February 14, 2017

See below for the February 13, 2017 Princeton Council Meeting.

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

February 10, 2017
Photo Credit: @smittenkitchen

Ice Cream Cook Books, Taco Cook Books, Smoothie Cook Books Galore!

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February 8, 2017

To the Editor:

Like Princeton University, Westminster Choir College is a valued Princeton cultural institution. But Rider University is experiencing financial difficulties that must be addressed to sustain the University and the Choir College. Add to that the desire of millennials and seniors who want to live in walkable communities with a vibrant downtown.

Rather than say no, as Princeton and other towns so often do, we should look for creative solutions. For example, permit the Choir College, with developer participation, to build multi-story housing above their parking lots and open land. This would bring revenue to the Choir College, reduce dependence on cars, increase our tax base, and bring commerce to the downtown, where retail is weak with nearly ten vacant stores. The College of New Jersey successfully completed a venture like this recently.

We are living in a fast changing society, where changes in zoning and attitudes are essential to accommodate growth in a beneficial and tasteful way. Without creative thinking and compromise, we will be left behind, without the Choir College and a diversified community.

Peter Madison

Snowden Lane

To the Editor:

The controversy over the Princeton charter school application to expand its student enrollment by 76 students awakens old memories. I served on the Princeton school board from 1998-2001, a time when the mere idea of a charter school had become a divisive issue.

I know the kinds of emotions this issue can arouse and hope that we can minimize them this time around. They are not good for the community and most importantly not good for our children.

I see nothing nefarious in the Charter School’s desire to expand the school’s enrollment. It is perfectly natural if you believe in what your school is doing and you have a long waiting list.

Nevertheless, I am disturbed by the Charter School’s seemingly very narrow view of the School’s place in the larger community. Indeed, it seems to recognize no responsibility at all — at least that is what I take away from the statement of the president of the Charter School Board that defended the school’s application by noting that the fiduciary duty of the Board is to “our students and the financial viability of the school.”

That might be true as a legal matter but it is an unacceptably narrow view of the Charter School’s place in our community. I am not against charter schools. Indeed, our daughter worked for the KIP School organization before marriage and children. But I support it in its context as an element of our larger school system, one that plays a role but at a cost. And to pretend that the Charter School has no responsibility to consider the impact of its request on that larger community of taxpayers and public school parents undermines precisely the reason I believe charter schools have a useful role in the first place.

This application comes at a particularly sensitive time. The Princeton Council is wrestling with a $2 million budget gap and the School Board is facing challenges of its own. The mayor of Princeton and the president of the Princeton Regional School Board have both expressed their concerns about the size of this request. It does seem to be a rather large one; it would increase the Charter School’s size by more than 20 percent and would drain more than a $1 million dollars from the larger school system budget.

This is the kind of issue that should be amenable to compromise. But that can only happen if the Charter School Board recognizes that it is part of a mosaic, not a fortress on a hostile frontier. It is also incumbent on those who oppose charter schools in principle to recognize that this is not the context in which to re-litigate their legitimacy and that a modest expansion should be acceptable to all.

There is something else at stake in this controversy. Princeton likes to think of itself as a leader, a bit of a city upon a hill. But leadership is a matter of action, not words. In this case, leadership requires that Princeton figure this problem out for itself and not leave it up to the State Department of Education to declare a winner that will leave a portion of the community aggrieved.

I do know this. We decry the inability in Washington to resolve differences. Perhaps we can show them how it’s done.

Walter Frank

Riverside Drive

To the Editor:

I am a Princeton resident and the mother of two public school children. Six years ago, we moved to Princeton in large measure because of the high quality of the public schools. I myself am a product of New Jersey’s public education system (in Montclair), and I believe deeply in the promise of public schools to lift all members of our society through education and communal endeavor. I am writing today to urge my elected representatives to publicly oppose the Princeton Charter School’s (PCS) expansion request.

While I have no doubt that PCS is a wonderful, beloved school, I am gravely concerned about the effects its expansion would have on our town’s equally wonderful and beloved public schools. The expansion would take $1.16 million away from the Princeton Public Schools’ (PPS) budget, without lowering PPS’s expenses in any meaningful way. The Charter School argues that its expansion will reduce overcrowding in the public schools, but this is a canard, as PCS seeks to expand precisely in the grades (K through 2) in which the Princeton Public Schools do not experience overcrowding, leaving those grades in which crowding is a problem (6 through 12) untouched.

As I see it, the budgetary shortfall PCS’s expansion would create will have two significant, harmful effects on the education my children receive. First, obviously, it will reduce the funds available to support the schools we love. Teachers will be fired, programs will be cut, and class sizes — especially at the high school, which most PCS students eventually attend — will increase.

Second, more perniciously, it will erode our sense of community. When the funding decisions are being made, the lack of money will pit program against program, teacher against teacher, and families against families. The choices forced by a reduced pot of funding won’t result in efficiency; they’ll result in fights over critical resources, and anguished decisions that divide our population and weaken the sense of togetherness that is so crucial to our schools’ success. I witnessed the painful divisions created by the negotiation of the teachers’ contract two years ago; imagine how divisive such negotiations will be when all money raised by a tax increase goes straight to the Charter School, leaving nothing to cover cost increases for the rest of us?

Finally, a point of fairness: it is deeply troubling that an issue of such vital importance to all Princeton taxpayers is made not by Princeton voters, but by an appointed state official. When I went to the polls, I did not get to vote for the acting commissioner of education. Because I have no say in this decision, I hope that my elected representatives will speak out on my behalf, arguing loudly and forcefully against both an expansion that would severely harm our prized public schools and a funding system that takes away such a critical democratic right from their constituents. I commend Princeton’s town council for having recently done so, and I urge my state representatives to do the same.

Jane Manners

Wheatsheaf Lane

To the Editor:

Recent letters and emails cite “facts” yet when you look at different sources these “qualified” figures often vary greatly. Recent Niche K-12 rating has Princeton district as #1 in New Jersey with student/teacher ratio of 11:1 and expenses per student of $24,209 yet the superintendent quotes hypothetical increases of up to 29 kids per class in first grade if the expansion is allowed and a “weighted” per student cost of $17,373. Really? Again we are being told if expansion at the Charter School is allowed “the children will suffer with loss of programs, trips, and higher class sizes” No doubt these threats will be presented again as they always are when the district asks voters to approve an expansion of their own or their yearly budget.

What is lacking are answers to many unasked questions such as: are we educating students that we are not required by law to educate and if so how many and at what levels?

Are we making the best use of current facilities and staff?

Have we corrected the problems relating to oversight when it comes to facility management? How? (Millions of dollars have been squandered through mismanagement in the past).

Are we taking full advantage of other area resources?

Are we legally required to teach at pre-K level?

How many students do not legally reside in the school district and at what schools and grades are they attending? (This would obviously include illegal immigrants, children of staff members, as well as those who may be using a relative’s address to attend school here while actually living elsewhere).

In the case of staff members, are we as a district being reimbursed money by those sending districts similar to state choice program? How many students are sent from other districts due to special programs we have and at what cost vs. payments received? If overcrowding is of greatest concern at the high school level, why do we continue to accept Cranbury as a sending district and why are we not encouraging more students to take advantage of the County Vo Tech programs? (Some offer college credit courses yet we have very few kids taking advantage of these programs as compared to other districts.) With so many advanced PHS students graduating and attending Princeton University, perhaps some of those should be attending higher level courses there vs. PHS.

I supported the last referendum despite reservations. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have. Not only were there some serious maintenance concerns not addressed (i.e. flooding of PAC), assurances of program support were untrue as the loss of JW’s old gym has had tremendous negative impact upon programs during, before, and after school at both JW and PHS. When it comes to supporting the district’s objection to PCS, tricked me once…

Kenneth Verbeyst

Princetonian, Caldwell Drive

To the Editor:

As a non-profit professional for over 25 years, and a four-time executive director, I know first-hand that you can have the best mission in the world but that without talented, dedicated, and well-trained board members, you will never be truly successful in advancing your mission. In Mercer County we are very fortunate to have an organization that helps us move our nonprofit organizations forward in a very significant way – Volunteer Connect.

When I became the executive director of the Princeton-Blairstown Center a little over three years ago, one of the best pieces of advice I received was to contact Amy Klein, the executive director of Volunteer Connect. Amy recruits professionals from Mercer County who are interested in making a difference in their communities and then she and her board train them to be engaged and informed board members. Volunteer Connect’s trainees come to a “Meet and Greet” where nonprofit leaders talk with them about our missions and what kinds of skills our organizations need. This general meeting is usually followed by individual meetings to discuss our organization’s programs and the potential trustee’s interests.

I was fortunate to be accepted to participate in Volunteer Connect’s first class, where I met and recruited an incredible trustee who has led our rebranding efforts and chaired our first special event in many years. Since then, we have obtained an incredible new finance committee member and have three more trustees in the pipeline thanks to Volunteer Connect. These trustees ask thoughtful and insightful questions when they meet with our governance chair and they often ask to talk to other trustees before moving forward in the process. This increases the chance that the Princeton-Blairstown Center will be the right “fit” for them and helps them feel more prepared and engaged at their first board meeting.

Volunteer Connect’s highly trained future trustees understand their fiduciary responsibility; their duty of care, loyalty, and obedience; and the need for board members to help introduce the organization to their networks.

Thank you, Amy Klein and Volunteer Connect for helping the Princeton-Blairstown Center and many others in Mercer County strengthen our boards and increase our capacities to serve some of our community’s most vulnerable young people and adults.

Pam Gregory

President and CEO, Princeton-Blairstown Center

Ice experts from Ice Sculpture Philly created a winter wonderland on Palmer Square Saturday that included an Ice Throne, an Ice Graffiti Wall, and a Princeton tiger. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

The Pennington School welcomed poet, essayist, National Book Award winner, and bestselling author Mark Doty as a guest speaker on Tuesday, January 31, as part of the School’s 2016-17 Stephen Crane Lecture Series.

Mr. Doty read a selection of his poems and discussed his writing process with students and faculty. He noted that he often uses the world around him as a catalyst for his creative process. After his presentation, he held a Master Class and working lunch in the Silva Gallery of Art with 40 students grades 8-12.   more

Ruth Carr Denise

Ruth Carr Denise died Thursday, February 2, 2017 at home in Hightstown. She was 90.

Born and raised on Staten Island, she graduated from Curtis High School in 1944 and attended Packard’s Business College in Manhattan. In May of 1947, she married John Vanderveer Denise II. They were Princeton residents from 1964-1978, later living in Brick and Rossmoor. She was a devoted wife and a loving mother and grandmother. She cherished her time at the shore, and shared her love of crabbing and boating with friends and relatives alike. She was also a member of the “Swimming Women” group who met for conversation and lunch once a month long after their children had stopped swimming.

Daughter of the late William Snell Carr and Laura Alice Charles Carr; she is survived by her son and daughter-in-law David C. and Gail Denise of Princeton, and their children and spouses; John-Garrett Denise of Princeton; Will and Meg Denise of Manhattan; and Conrad Denise of Princeton; daughter and son-in-law Susan Denise Harris and Stanley A. Harris of Isle of Palms and their children, spouses, and grandchildren; Jack and Laura Harris of Atlanta, and their children Tyler, Hallie, Leighton and Foster; Jason and Ashley Harris of Manhattan, and their children Luke, Olivia, Eliza and Charlotte; Emily Harris Dreas and Chad Dreas of Rowayton, and their children Savannah, Skylar, and Charlie; Megan Harris Mahoney and Michael Mahoney of Daniels Island, and their children Ryleigh and Garrett; Thomas and Shanna Harris of Mount Pleasant, and their children TJ and Nate; and Christian and Bethany Harris of Savannah; and daughter and son-in-law Jan Denise Loughran and Christopher R. Loughran and their children and spouses; Lt. JG Rory and Kerry Loughran of Millbury, Mass.; Laura Loughran of Manhattan; Shannon Loughran of Port Royal; and David Loughran of Hightstown.

A memorial service with graveside service to follow will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, February 10, 2017 at Old Tennent Church, Tennent, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Peddie School, 201 South Main Street, Hightstown, NJ 08520-3349 or Princeton Hospice, 88 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550.

Arrangements are by Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.

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Edward Berger

Edward Berger died suddenly January 22 of apparent heart failure in his Princeton home. He was 67 years old.

Ed held numerous positions at the Institute for Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, Newark, and was associate director there for many years. A jazz expert, he was a respected author of four books and many articles and liner notes; editor; producer of Grammy-nominated recordings; founder of a jazz record label; road manager; right-hand man and confidant to several leading jazz musicians; and an accomplished, published jazz photographer. He was also a fixture on the basketball courts at Dillon Gym.

Edward Morris Berger was born in Manhattan to Morroe and Paula Berger. He is survived by brothers Ken of Rocky Hill and Larry of San Francisco. All three brothers remained close throughout Ed’s entire life.

A memorial gathering will be planned.

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Judith Marie Goodman

Judith Marie Goodman, 86, died on February 3 surrounded by her beloved family.

Judy was a resident of Verona, N.J. for more than 40 years before moving to Monroe Township, N.J. for three years, Boca Raton Fla. for three years, and Princeton for almost four years.

Born and raised in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., Judy was the second eldest of seven children. She was the first in her family to graduate college, and she did so in less than four years, receiving her Bachelors of Science degree in childhood education from New York State Teacher’s College in Oswego, N.Y. Judy taught kindergarten in New Port, N.Y. in 1953.

She met her husband, Hilton Goodman, while a college student. The couple, who raised four children, were married for 49 years; Hilton died in 2003.

Judy lived an active life. She was a member of the Belleville Synagogue Sisterhood, the Jewish Community Center of Verona Sisterhood, a Cub Scout Den mother, a Girl Scout Leader, a member of the Montclair Historical Society, and a Docent at the Israel Crane House, where she demonstrated colonial cooking, quilting and needlework, and where she shared her great love of colonial history.

Judy enjoyed running, hiking, biking, tennis, ping-pong, ice skating, kayaking, cross country skiing, and rowing. She loved to travel but most of all she loved her family and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed travelling out West with her family, and through the Adirondacks, Florida, and to the Jersey Shore.

Judy always had a great way of making people feel special and bringing out the best in everyone she met. She was our coach. She was a joy to be with. She is survived by her children Deb Gold of West Palm Beach, Fla.; Joel Goodman of Princeton; Dave Goodman of Sugar Land, Tex.; and Sue Fiedler of Rockaway, N.J.; and six grandchildren and one great grandchild. She will be greatly missed.

Funeral services were held Sunday February 5, 2017 at the Jewish Memorial Chapel 841 Allwood Road in Clifton, N.J. Interment followed at King Solomon Memorial Park in Clifton.

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Dorothy Spirer Beach

Dorothy “Dee” Spirer Beach of Lawrenceville passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Thursday, February 3rd, 2017, 13 days shy of her 67th birthday.

Born in North Bergen, N.J., she was a graduate of Mamaroneck High School in Westchester County New York and the University of New Hampshire where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology.

Dee was an outgoing, kind and generous free spirit who greeted everyone, friends and strangers alike with a warm smile.

She loved animals of all kinds and over the years rescued numerous dogs, cats, and rabbits and either found or provided them with a loving home. She was also a frequent volunteer at SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals in Montgomery.

A talented graphic artist, Dee worked as a freelance photographer for the Princeton Packet, a weekly newspaper in Mercer County. She also worked briefly for Berlitz languages and most recently as a caregiver for children and the elderly.

She spent many hours over the last several years at the Princeton Senior Resource Center where she shared stories and a laugh with her many friends over a cup of coffee or a game of table tennis.

Dee is predeceased by her parents, Etta and Lawrence Spirer and is survived by her son Scott Smude of Yardley, Pa. and brother, Alan Spirer of Wilton, Conn.

In lieu of flowers donations in Dee’s memory can be made to SAVE, A Friend for Homeless Animals in Skillman, N.J.

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Dorothy Hemphill

Following a short illness, Dorothy Louise Gadberry Irwin Hemphill passed away in her home at Princeton Windrows on Saturday, January 28, at the age of 100 years and five months. She was attended by her daughter, Joyce Irwin, and son, Galen Irwin.

Dorothy Gadberry was born in Carthage, Missouri, on August 26, 1916, the daughter of William and Ethel Gadberry. During elementary school a teacher discovered Dorothy’s talent for public performance. She was given elocution lessons and performed for various local civic groups. During high school, she was active in the drama society and graduated in 1934 as co-valedictorian of her class.

Dorothy would have liked to become a minister, but this career was not open to women, so she chose teaching and attended Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg, Kansas. She was again active in drama and it was during one production that she met her future husband, Arnold Irwin. Upon receiving a two-year teaching certificate she taught for one year at the Lone Star School, one-room schoolhouse in rural Missouri.

In June 1937 she married Arnold Irwin and they moved to Joplin, Missouri, where he was teaching secondary school. Two children, Galen and Joyce, were born to this union. In 1954, Arnold became ill with lymphatic cancer and Dorothy returned to school, completing her bachelor in education in 1958. She then began teaching in the Joplin Public Schools.

Upon the death of Arnold in 1959, she became the first woman to serve on the Joplin City Council, finishing out Arnold’s term. However, politics was not her passion and she did not choose to run for re-election. She directed her talents to other civic activities, serving, for example, as the president of the Joplin Teachers Association. In 1970 she received a Master’s degree in elementary counseling and guidance from Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield, Missouri, and began serving as an elementary counselor, first in Joplin, and later in Carthage, Missouri.

In 1973 she met and married Morris Dean Hemphill of Leann, Missouri, and Corona, California. In 1974 they invited all of their children to their farm to unite them into a single family. Since then all have been treated equally and have functioned as a single family unit, demonstrating that it is not necessarily blood that defines a family, but the love that all have for one another.

With Morris, Dorothy moved to Carthage, Missouri, where, in addition to her employment in the school system, she was active in civic groups, helping to organize Crisis Intervention, serving on the Board of the United Way, and helping with Crosslines and the Friends of the Library.

She also revived her interest in speech and drama, giving book reviews and speaking to various groups. She was active in the Joplin Little Theater and the Stone’s Throw Theater of Carthage, performing often in leading roles until close to 80 years old.

Dorothy was a woman of strong faith and an active church member, serving variously as Sunday School teacher, board member, committee member, and elder. She was a member of the Missouri State Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, and PEO.

Morris Hemphill died in 1994 and in 1996 Dorothy moved to Oneida, New York, to be near her daughter Joyce. She was immediately welcomed by Joyce’s step-children, Debby, Brian, and Lisa Smith, and their children, all of whom became part of her loving extended family. In 2000 Joyce and Dorothy moved to DeWitt, New York, and in 2012 to Princeton, New Jersey. In August 2016, Dorothy celebrated her 100th birthday. Almost all of her extended family was in attendance in a two-day event at Princeton Windrows and a local hotel. She was presented with a book of her reminiscences of her 100 years. She is survived by her daughters, Janice Verity of Los Osos, California; Sandra Hunt of San Francisco, California; Joyce Irwin of Princeton, New Jersey; and Letitia Garrison of Riverside, California; and son Galen Irwin of Wassenaar, the Netherlands; as well as nine grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.

Services to celebrate her life will be held at Plainsboro Presbyterian Church, 500 Plainsboro Rd., Plainsboro Township, 08536 at 1 p.m. on Monday, February 20. Her ashes will later be buried in Ozark Memorial Cemetery in Joplin, Missouri. A generous supporter of a wide variety of charitable organizations, Dorothy could be appropriately remembered through a contribution to your preferred charity, or to the Plainsboro Presbyterian Church, or to Doctors Without Borders https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org.

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Margaret White Dodge

Margaret White Dodge, a resident of Princeton for over 20 years, died on February 1, 2017 at 84 years of age. Known as Peggy, she was born on June 4, 1932 in Buffalo, New York, to Irene Margaret Lee and Emmet Daniel Hurley. Peggy was raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, and attended The Villa Maria Academy in Erie and Convent of the Sacred Heart, Noroton, Connecticut. She returned to Erie following the death of her father and graduated as valedictorian from Mercyhurst Academy. She then attended Manhattanville College and moved to New York City following graduation.

In 1959 she married Dr. Richard (Dick) L. White, a graduate of Princeton University and the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Peggy and Dick moved to Tenafly, New Jersey where they raised three children: Richard L. White Jr., John E. White, and Lee White Galvis. Dick died of melanoma in 1966 at the age of 37.

The department of surgery at Columbia hired Peggy and she began her pioneering life as a working, single mother of three. Over the years, her career path led her to become head of public relations at Fairleigh-Dickinson University. Aside from work, Peggy spent countless hours at hockey rinks, car-pooling, and generally encouraging her children to do well in school. In 1979, she met and married Dr. John H. Keating who had retired from practice as a doctor at St. Luke’s hospital in New York City. They moved to Rumson, New Jersey and enjoyed many trips to far-flung places including China, Australia, and New Zealand.

Peggy was actively engaged in her community and made many friends wherever she lived. She joined the Rumson garden club, played paddle tennis and tennis, and was particularly happy at the beach and near the ocean. Summers at the Sea Bright Beach Club were rejuvenating and sustained her through many difficult winters and times of loneliness. Alas, Jack, too, became ill and died in 1991. Always taking charge of her destiny, Peggy moved to what she hoped would be a vibrant and welcoming community: Princeton, New Jersey. She joined the Aquinas Institute, Bedens Brook Club, Pretty Brook Club, and the Nassau Club.

A lover of art, she audited classes at the University and eventually became a docent at the Princeton University Art Museum. Later in life, Peggy loved to play bridge and seized on any opportunity to use her mind and continue to learn.

Through her association with Columbia Presbyterian, she was introduced to David and Doris Dodge who became good friends. Following the death of Doris, Peggy had the good fortune to marry a remarkable man, David Dodge. Peggy and David spent seven happy years together. She particularly enjoyed getting to know his children — Nina, Bayard, Melissa, and Simon — David’s extended family, and the many organizations to which he had devoted his time and considerable talents. While being widowed three times seemed a burdensome fate, Peggy’s faith propelled her to seek a higher purpose. She was dedicated for over 50 years to her service for the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Auxiliary, which supports the hospital through philanthropy and volunteerism. She helped establish The Richard L. White Memorial, which supports cancer research in the department of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. She received the United Hospital Fund’s Hospital Auxiliary and Volunteer Achievement Award in 1998.

She will be remembered for her generosity of spirit, sense of humor, resilience, a love of doctors (and the medical profession), and being a great mother — not only to her children but many of their friends. In addition to her children, she is survived by her brother, John Hurley, and her ten grandchildren who brought her joy and made her feel perpetually young. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Richard L. White Memorial Fund for Cancer Research, Trustees of Columbia University, Office of Development, 516 West 168th Street, 3rd Floor, NY, NY 10032 or by calling (212) 304-7612. A funeral mass will be held in the Princeton University Chapel on Friday, February 10 at 10 a.m.

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

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Joseph Robert Cleary

Joseph Robert (“Bob”) Cleary, 91 — beloved husband, father, and grandfather — passed away peacefully at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, New Jersey on January 27th, 2017.

Born in East Orange, New Jersey on November 6th, 1925 to Joseph Denis Cleary and May O’Brien Cleary, Bob grew up in the Village of Lawrenceville and attended Princeton High School, where he served as the vice president of the Student Council and chief justice of the student court in his senior year. Following his graduation from Princeton High School in 1943, Bob intended to join the V-5 Naval Aviation Program — an aspiration that was promptly dashed after failing to pass his preliminary physical. Disappointed, but still determined to serve his country, he applied for and was awarded a prestigious appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, New York. Rather serendipitously, the Academy proved to be a particularly formative experience for Bob, and instilled in him a lifelong passion for all things “maritime”.

While attending the Academy, Bob was a member of the King’s Point Glee Club, and after completing his basic training, he served as a cadet-midshipman for over nine months on a tanker supplying high octane gasoline to islands in the Pacific during World War II. When the war ended, he returned to King’s Point to complete his studies, and graduated from the Academy in February 1946. Upon graduation, Bob sailed as third mate for Grace Line, where he raised his license to second mate, and served in that capacity on a Liberty ship hauling coal to European ports under the Marshall Plan.

In 1951, Bob began his 35-year career in education as a mathematics teacher in the Jamesburg, New Jersey and, later, Princeton, New Jersey public school systems. That same year, he married his high school sweetheart, Helen Birch — an elementary school teacher herself. In 1956, Bob joined the staff of Educational Testing Services (“ETS”), and earned his Master of Education degree from Rutgers University in 1959. After brief stints as director of program and research with the Scarsdale, New York public school system and as director of research and student selection with Webster College in St. Louis, Missouri, Bob returned to ETS in 1962 where he was tasked with opening the Midwestern Regional Office in Evanston, Illinois.

In 1967, ETS received a substantial grant from the Ford Foundation to conduct examination reform in Malaysia, and Bob was transferred back to Princeton to assume the role of project director. In 1971, he was asked by the Ford Foundation to become a resident specialist in Malaysia, where he supported the newly-formed educational planning and research division of the Malaysian Ministry of Education. Following his return from Malaysia in 1973, Bob began the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office for ETS, and in 1980, accepted a position with the Greece, New York public school system as their director of research, evaluation and accountability, where he spent his remaining professional years.

In 1986, Bob retired to Hilton Head, South Carolina, and spent his “golden years” as an active volunteer for the PGA’s Heritage Golf Tournament, sponsored by The Heritage Classic Foundation. In 2010, he co-authored the book Reflections, a personal memoir inspired by his fond memories of growing up in the Village of Lawrenceville. Bob was a gifted statistician, a talented teacher, a devout Catholic, a voracious reader, an avid golfer, a salty mariner, and a courageous patriot. He will be remembered as much for his cunning wit and sharp tongue as he will be for his unrelenting dedication to family and friends. He was always proud to say — ever so modestly — that he was an archetypal member of the “Greatest Generation”. Bob left a permanent and undeniable mark on this earth; from the many students whose intellectual development he stewarded, to his family whose lives he endowed with love and support, to the country for which he risked his young life. To all who knew him, Bob will assuredly be missed.

Joseph Robert Cleary is survived by his loving wife Helen Birch Cleary, his faithful son Mark Cleary, his adoring grandsons William and James Cleary and their mother, Jenifer Cleary. A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held at The Edith Memorial Chapel at the Lawrenceville School on February 25th at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to his favorite charity, The Heritage Classic Foundation — a non-profit organization dedicated to improving lives throughout the state of South Carolina. Donations can be mailed to The Heritage Classic Foundation, P.O. Box 3244, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928 or can be made by visiting the foundation’s website, www.heritageclassicfoundation.com.

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

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer will be holding its Business Networking Event on February 22 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Spruce Street Community Center located on 1040 Spruce Street in Lawrence.

Scheduled are a guided tour of the new community center, live program demonstrations, information about child care and club programs for employees, details regarding volunteer opportunities, and a chance to connect with other area professionals. Light refreshments will be served. more