October 19, 2016

The Princeton Public Schools Student Services team laid out their plans for the coming year for a group of about 50 in the John Witherspoon School Academic Conference Center (ACC) on Monday night in a forum sponsored by the Special Education PTO.

In setting the tone for the evening, special ed PTO co-chair Joan Spindel emphasized the value of communication, “learning from each other’s stories” and providing feedback to”help shape the agenda of the Student Services team.”  more

In an ongoing battle against the infestation of a tree-killing insect known as the emerald ash borer (EAB), town officials will be voting next week to grant Princeton property owners the right to cut down ash trees without paying the usual $40 permit fee or replacing trees that are removed.

Municipal arborist Lorraine Konopka pointed out that the town wanted to alleviate the burden on residents, particularly those with numerous ash trees on their property, though they will still be required to notify her when removing ash trees of eight inches or more in diameter. “We’d like to know when that work is happening,” she said, “in case neighbors get upset or we need to help keep everything running smoothly.”  more


A few years ago, when Lisa Eckstrom was an English teacher and chair of the English Department at Stuart Country Day School, she received the following advice: “Every day think of all the people you can help.”

That advice has guided her career and her work. She is now assistant head of Princeton Charter School (PCS), directing the fifth through eighth grades, while continuing to teach a fifth grade English class.

“That’s definitely advice that has stayed with me,” she said. “You can make such a difference in somebody’s life by being reasonable and compassionate and making the rules work for the students. How can you help the situation? How can you make it better? At the end of the day, that’s what you think about.”

Sister Frances de la Chapelle, long-time Head of Stuart and the purveyor of the well remembered advice, described Ms. Eckstrom as “a gift to Stuart.” Commenting on the extraordinary respect and admiration that students, administrators, faculty, and parents had for her, Sister de la Chapelle noted, ”As a faculty member, she loved her students and the subject which she taught. She was creative, very demanding, and always wanted her students to learn as much as they could. She wanted the best for them and they responded.”  more

October 12, 2016


SCHOOL BOARD CONTEST: Four newcomers, competing in the November 8 election for three seats with three-year terms on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education, squared off in a public forum last week, sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV).  Hopefuls are (L to R) Debbie Bronfeld, William Hare, Alex Martin, and Gregory Stankiewicz, with Karen Siracusa (on left, standing) moderating for the LWV.  (Photo courtesy of Princeton Community Television)

With a range of financial, academic and philosophical issues on the table, and a teacher contract to be negotiated in early 2018, four Princeton residentsСDebbie Bronfeld, William Hare, Alex Martin, and Gregory StankiewiczСare competing for three open seats in Princeton School Board elections on November 8. more

Demography, the statistical study of populations, is not an exact science. The consequences of that fact are currently playing out in the Princeton Public Schools (PPS), where the student population this year is 184 higher than anticipated, classrooms and schools are over-crowded, and school officials are ”doing what we can” for the short term, and planning for more favorable long-term solutions. more


BOMBS TO BOOKS: Rachel Asir, a senior at Stuart Country Day School, has created a foundation and launched a project to bring books and literacy to Syrian children in refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey.

This time of year is fraught with pressure for college-bound high school seniors, and Stuart Country Day School’s Rachel Asir is even busier than most. In addition to her daunting course load, she spends the hours of her week in rehearsals as a concert pianist, cellist, and Indian Classical dancer; responsibilities as president of the Stuart High School student body; practices and games on the varsity field hockey team and as captain of the South Jersey Devils Girls Rugby team — not to mention SAT and ACT tests, college visits, essays, and applications. more

October 5, 2016


BUSINESS AS USUAL?: F. Duncan Haldane, teaching his first class as a Nobel Laureate, was greeted with loud cheers and applause from his students at his Tuesday session on “Electromagnetism: Principles and Problem Solving.”  Mr. Haldane had received a call at 4:30 that morning from the Royal Swedish Academy, notifying him that he had won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. (Photo courtesy of Princeton University Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite)

Princeton University professor F. Duncan Haldane has been awarded the 2016 Nobel prize in Physics for revealing secrets of exotic states of matter, such as superconductivity, discoveries that could lead to new applications in material science and electronics.  more

Princeton Public Schools Superintendent, Board of Education President and the Teachers’ Union Presidents came together last Tuesday in their opposition to the New Jersey Department of Education’s (DOE) decision to triple the weight of the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) tests in the evaluation of teachers.

Two days later the State Assembly weighed in, and went a step further to approve by a 52-11-8 vote a bill that would prohibit the use of student standardized test results as any part of teacher or principal evaluations. more

September 28, 2016

The town of Princeton has embarked on two groundbreaking solar energy projects С one with the Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority on River Road and the other with the Princeton Public Library С that could potentially bring financial rewards, save on energy bills for the participating partners, and promote sustainability by investing in renewable energy.  more

Residents and town officials are all in agreement about the need for repairs and infrastructure renovations on Bank Street. The narrow, single-block thoroughfare, tucked away off Nassau Street between Bayard Lane and Chambers Street, needs electrical, telephone, and cable lines placed underground, and the street, curbs, sidewalks, and sewage system all require extensive upgrades. more

September 22, 2016


REVOLUTION AT PRINCETON: Artillery demonstrations will start the day’s celebrations this Saturday at Princeton Battlefield, as the Battlefield Society hosts a series of educational and entertaining events in approaching the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Princeton, a pivotal clash in the American Revolution. (Photo by John Lien)

On January 3, 1777 General George Washington’s revolutionary forces fought and defeated British troops in the Battle of Princeton, a pivotal event in the American Revolution. more

September 21, 2016


RALLYING THE FAITHFUL: A crowd of more than 1000 filled Democratic headquarters, the Triumph Brewery overflow area below and the sidewalks of Nassau Street to hear U.S. Senator Cory Booker (shown here) and to support Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on Sunday. (Photo by Timothy K. Quinn)

More than a thousand Hillary Clinton supporters filled the Democratic Campaign headquarters, filled an overflow area in The Triumph Brewery below, and lined up on Nassau Street Sunday to celebrate their candidate and greet U.S. Senator Cory Booker. more

Owen Bardzilowski, 14-year-old ninth grader at Princeton High School who took his own life at his family’s home on Henry Street last Thursday, has been remembered and mourned by many different people in many different ways during the past week. more


FORBIDDEN PASSION: Father Monroe (Raul Mendez) visits Marcela (Hannia Guillen) and her struggling Cuban-American family, but his pastoral kindness turns into much more, in McCarter Theatre’s production of Nilo Cruz’s world premiere of “Bathing in Moonlight” at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre through October 9. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Father Monroe (Raul Mendez) welcomes the audience into his church in the opening moments of Bathing in Moonlight, Nilo Cruz’s new play, currently at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre. The smiling priest in his 40s, attractive, warm, addressing his “parishioners” individually as friends, makes his way down the aisle to the stage, where Edward Pierce’s striking set and lighting — with a red cross in the middle of a large stained glass window and latticed wooden screen backdrop — emphasizes the church setting. more

September 14, 2016

Calling for a “revolution in values,” in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Princeton Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. told a standing-room-only audience on Monday that white supremacy, in the form of a belief that white lives are worth more than others, prevails in this country.  more


Martha Friend

Mark Eastburn at Riverside and Martha Friend at Littlebrook are two of five New Jersey finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the highest honors bestowed by the United States government for K-12 mathematics and science teaching. They are also the kind of elementary school science teachers who would make anyone want to start kindergarten all over again. They love the adventure of science, and they love working with young children.  more

September 7, 2016

The Princeton Family YMCA on Paul Robeson Place is just six weeks away from completing the first step in a three-part “refresh” project designed to brighten up several key facets of their facility, to use their space to the greatest advantage, and to bring the building into the 21st century.  more

Peter Peng:Joseph Li IMO

NOT RIO, BUT HONG KONG: Junyao (Peter) Peng (right), with his PRISMS math teacher Joseph Li, shows off his gold medal, won as a member of the U.S. team at the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad in Hong Kong this past summer. (Photo Courtesy of PRISMS)

Rio was not the only spot on the globe for Olympian accomplishments and impressive displays of gold medals this past summer.  more

August 31, 2016

Has there ever been a more challenging time to prepare young people to enter and engage with the world they will be living in? That’s the job of the Princeton Public Schools, and Superintendent Steve Cochrane has some ideas about how to do it. more

August 24, 2016


GETTING OUT THE VOTE: Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) volunteers will be staffing tables in Hinds Plaza and outside the Garden Theatre on Saturdays and Sundays to register voters. Their Hillary Clinton for President campaign will be holding its grand opening in two weeks. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

The Princeton Community Democratic Organization’s (PCDO) Hillary Clinton for President Campaign is underway, with headquarters on the second floor at 138 Nassau Street, between Triumph Brewery and the MacLean Agency, and voter registration tables outside the Garden Theatre and on Hinds Plaza on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. more

Work on the Carter Road bridge in Lawrence Township is still suspended as a result of Governor Chris Christie’s shut down order, and nobody is happy about it.

Local business owners are suffering financial losses. Motorists are facing increasing delays and hazards as detoured traffic clogs area roads. Roadways not intended for heavy traffic, let alone large truck traffic, are rapidly deteriorating. And necessary repairs and reconstruction of two historic bridges on 206 can’t start until the Carter Road bridge is reopened, because Carter Road is part of the designated detour route for the 206 bridge work.  more

Princeton Police

“FORWARD MARCH”: Police Sergeant Fred Williams, former U.S. Marines drill instructor, welcomes the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students participating in Princeton’s week-long Youth Police Academy, which will include classroom activities, hands-on techniques, and police demonstrations. (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

Recent news reports on police departments throughout the country may have been full of tension, violence, and controversy, but for 20 young area residents this week’s Princeton Youth Police Academy is providing a fun and exciting opportunity to learn about police work from the inside.  more

August 17, 2016

No neighborhood in historic, tradition-steeped Princeton is changing more rapidly than Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J), and amidst last week’s Joint Effort Safe Streets Summer Program celebrating W-J, the black community and its history, a group of local leaders and developers worked toward a “vision of and for the Witherspoon-Jackson Community,” in a Saturday morning panel discussion at the Hank Pannell Center on Clay Street.  more

Princeton Public Schools (PPS) look forward to starting the 2016-17 school year in just three weeks with more than 40 new staff members, including three new positions, and a number of new programs and approaches.

Nearly all the new staff members are filling positions of retirees or staff taking temporary leaves. The new positions will include an additional kindergarten teacher at Community Park, where enrollment is rising, an additional guidance counselor at Princeton High School, and С still to be hired С “an innovation and instructional technology specialist to support our teachers district-wide in the use of new technologies and learning approaches,” according to Superintendent Steve Cochrane.  more

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A PROUD COMMUNITY: Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and Dr. Bruce Johnson (center), administrator of the New Jersey Affordable Housing Management Association and National Affordable Housing Management Association Scholarship Foundation, pose with student award winners (L to R) Cindy Guzman, Alana Chmiel, Mary Ebong, and Joshua Hsieh, at last Wednesday’s scholarship awards ceremony at Princeton Community Village. Scholarship recipients not pictured include Jonas Daniecki, Vanessa Guzman, Daniel Hanna, and Christian Nazario. (Photo courtesy of planetprinceton.com)

Eight students from Princeton Community Village (PCV) have won scholarships from the New Jersey Affordable Housing Management Association (JAHMA) and the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA). more