August 16, 2017
Photo by Charles R. PlohnPhoto by Charles R. PlohnPhoto by Charles R. PlohnPhoto by Charles R. PlohnPhoto by Charles R. Plohn

A diverse crowd of about 250 gathered in Palmer Square Sunday afternoon to show support for the victims of Charlottesville, Va., and to stand up against white supremacy, domestic terrorists, and hate groups in our country.

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Princeton Public Schools (PPS) last week were once again recognized by Niche, a national school-ranking website “highlighting the best places to live and go to school,” as the No. 1 public school district in New Jersey.

You might think that Superintendent Steve Cochrane and his staff would be satisfied with that honor, maybe even willing to revel in the acclaim. But no, Mr. Cochrane said, proud as they are to be recognized “for the excellence that we see daily in our schools Й and our staff who are dedicated to making our schools places of innovation and care,” PPS has a larger goal. more

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SUCCESS: Princeton Community Village celebrated winners of New Jersey Affordable Housing Management Association (JAHMA) and National Affordable Housing Association (NAHMA) scholarships. From left are Mary Ebong, Daniel Hanna, JAHMA and NAHMA Scholarship Foundation administrator Bruce Johnson, Princeton Community Housing Executive Director Ed Truscelli, Jonas Daniecki, Thundar Tun, and Katherine Thompson. Not pictured are Alana Chmiel and Harsh Raythattha. (Photo Courtesy of PCV)

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

August 9, 2017

Mercer County has agreed to transfer ownership of the 142-acre Herrontown Woods Arboretum to the town of Princeton, resolving years of discussion and opening the door for the Friends of Herrontown Woods (FOHW) to bid to take on restoration of the Veblen House.

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes and Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert on Monday made a joint announcement of the agreement, which must be approved by the Princeton Council, the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the New Jersey Green Acres Program.  more

SAFE STREETS KICK OFF CELEBRATION: Studio Hillier hosted a celebration on Friday evening to formally kick off events for this year’s Joint Effort Safe Streets Program in celebration of the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) community of Princeton. The entire W-J neighborhood has been designated Princeton’s 20th historic district to honor the African American contribution to the town. As part of its commitment to this unique community, Studio Hillier is designing a set of plaques to be located on 25 historic sites within the W-J community. Pictured, from left, are Aaron Fisher, artist of the Paul Robeson painting shown; Leighton Newlin, chairman of the Princeton Housing Authority; Barbara and Bob Hillier of Studio Hillier; and Shirley Satterfield, president of the Witherspoon-Jackson Historic and Cultural Society. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

Character Lesson No. 6 at the Witherspoon Street School for Colored Children (1858-1948): “You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from.” more

Princeton Charter School is preparing to expand, with an increase of 54 students this year. Trailers are on site to provide two new classrooms, six or seven new teachers will be coming on board, and plans are in the works with KSS Architects of Princeton to design permanent space for the future.

Controversy over the expansion continues, however, with Princeton Public Schools (PPS) claiming severe financial repercussions and awaiting a response from the Appellate Division of the Superior Court on their appeal of the acting state education commissioner’s decision to approve the PCS expansion. Also pending are law suits on both sides over alleged violations of the Open Public Meetings Act. more

August 2, 2017

Six candidates have filed to run for three available seats on the Princeton Public School Board in the November election, according to Mercer County Election Supervisor Bonnie Epps at Monday’s filing deadline.

Beth Behrend, Jenny Ludmer, Julie Ramirez, Jessica Deutsch, Michele Tuck-Ponder, and James K. Fields will be vying for the three-year, unpaid positions. There are 10 regular Board members, plus two student representatives. more

“COMMUNITY AND CARING”: New Littlebrook Principal Luis Ramirez looks forward to making connections with students, teachers, and the larger community. Princeton Schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane described him as “a caring, energetic, and truly visionary instructional leader.” (Photo courtesy of Littlebrook School)

“I believe what stood out most to people who interacted with Mr. Ramirez throughout the search process is that he is a champion of children,” said Princeton Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane in announcing his choice for the next principal of Littlebrook Elementary School. more

July 26, 2017

The Joint Effort Safe Streets Program has announced honorees to be recognized during its 10-day celebration of the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) Community of Princeton beginning next week.  Honoring the historic role of the black church will be the focus of this year’s event-filled festival, which is titled “Looking Back & Moving Forward.”

“All of this year’s award recipients have made significant contributions to the Witherspoon-Jackson and Princeton community and are more than worthy of this recognition,” said Princeton Councilman Lance Liverman.  “The recognition of the historic role of the black church in Princeton is amazing and long overdue.  The history of these four black churches are stories of faith, leadership, and community service and need to be told to current and future generations.  The individuals and organizations being recognized give continuously to Princeton through their service and contributions to the community.” more

“MOZART OF TEACHING”: Hun School teacher Ryan Brown, dressed in his signature sweater vest, loves conducting, teaching, and doing math.  He uses his musical abilities in the math classroom and his mathematical abilities in the music classroom.  

As a teacher of math and music at The Hun School, Ryan Brown described every day as “a beautiful mix of left brain and right brain.  The music makes my math teaching more creative, and the math makes my music classes more structured, logical, organized.” more

July 21, 2017

XIYUE WANG AND FAMILY: Shown here with his wife Hua Qu and their son, Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University graduate student in the history department, was arrested in Iran last summer while doing research for his doctoral dissertation and has been sentenced by Iranian authorities to 10 years in prison for espionage. (Family Photo Via Princeton University)

An Iranian court announced Sunday that it has sentenced Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University graduate student in the history department, to 10 years in prison for spying. A Chinese-born U.S. citizen, Mr. Wang, 37, was arrested last summer in Iran while conducting research on the administrative and cultural history of the late Qajar dynasty for his PhD dissertation. more

July 19, 2017

Don’t miss the biggest pool party of the summer!

For souvenir giveaways, ice cream, Zumba dancing, and free hot dogs and water bottles provided by McCaffrey’s Food Markets; displays of emergency tools and equipment by the Princeton Police Department (PPD), Fire Department, and First Aid Squad; and a host of other activities; the Community Park Pool at 380 Witherspoon Street is the place to be on Tuesday, August 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. for Princeton Community Night Out. more

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are still on the agenda at Princeton High School (PHS), but students, faculty, and administration are demanding more in response to these troubled times and will be introducing new courses for 2017-18 in racial literacy and harmony, as well as world religions and current events.

Based partly on “the need and desire expressed by students and parents to have rich conversations about issues that really matter to kids today,” the new course offerings will enable students and teachers “to focus more on the modern world” and “to make connections to lives in the contemporary world,” according to Humanities Supervisor Mark Shelley. more

July 12, 2017

The fate of the house and cottage formerly owned by the renowned mathematician Oscar Veblen and his wife, still standing in Princeton’s Herrontown Woods nature preserve, continues to hang in the balance. Mercer County, which owns the buildings, “is still contemplating demolition,” but the administration, according to Mercer County Deputy Director of Communications Michael Boonin, “is still internally discussing the Veblen matter.”  more

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: Commuters prepare to board the 7:45 New Jersey Transit train in Princeton Junction heading to New York Tuesday morning. After encountering surprisingly few delays on Monday’s first day of a major Amtrak infrastructure repair project in Penn Station, commuters were hopeful that their good fortune would continue. (Photo by Don Gilpin)

On day two yesterday of the predicted “summer of hell,” with two months of major infrastructure repairs underway at Penn Station in New York, Princeton Junction commuters were calm, pleasantly surprised so far and even, perhaps, hopeful. more

GIVING BACK: The Do Something Club at John Witherspoon Middle School is committed to making the school and the world a better place. Rising seventh grade club members (from left) Georgia Hansen, Maya Lerman, and Nina Esteghamat collect contributions for the club and its many initiatives. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Riely)

Partisanship, conflict, rancor, and frustration may characterize the contemporary national political climate, but at John Witherspoon Middle School (JWMS) the members of the Do Something Club are making positive differences in many ways, inside the school and in the larger community. more

July 5, 2017

END OF AN ERA: Original Main Street owners Sue Simpkins and her son John Marshall outside the Coffeehouse and Bakery in Kingston in the 1980s. The Main Street Bistro in the Princeton Shopping Center will be closing this fall. (Photo Courtesy of John Marshall)

When Main Street Bistro in the Princeton Shopping Center closes its doors some time this fall, it will leave many fond memories for its owners, employees, and thousands of patrons over the past 25 years.

“I think we left a mark in Princeton,” said original owner Sue Simpkins. “And we had a good time doing it. We had a great Main Street family that stayed with us for many years.” more

GIRL POWER: As part of their five days at appsForGirls computer camp, 21 middle school girls spent a day visiting the Tigerlabs innovation center on East Nassau Street and heard encouraging words about working in coding.

Girls tend to get short shrift when it comes to computer science. Just ask Grace Zhang, a Princeton High School rising junior who last week ran a new, five-day tech camp for middle school girls with an interest in coding.

Armed with a $3,000 grant from the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) AspireIT program, Grace put together a program designed to encourage young girls to pursue computer science. Twenty-one area tweens attended appsForGirls, developing apps in the high school’s computer lab, hearing talks from experts, visiting Princeton’s Tigerlabs innovation center, and, finally, presenting their own apps at a farewell ice cream party. more

“Looking Back and Moving Forward” is the theme for this year’s Joint Effort Safe Streets Program, which will focus on the historic role of the black church in the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) community and will include a rich array of events over a ten-day period, August 4-13.

Sponsored by many Princeton businesses, community leaders, organizations, and citizens, the 2017 program will be held at different locations throughout the Witherspoon-Jackson community, which last year was designated as Princeton’s 20th historic district, and the surrounding area.  more

June 28, 2017

Last week’s announcement of a two-year extension of the contract between the Princeton School Board and the teachers’ union marks “a real game changer,” according to Board President Patrick Sullivan, in the relationship between the board and teachers that has in the past seen significant conflict over contract negotiations.

The original contract was scheduled to conclude in June of 2018. The new agreement, ratified by teachers on June 19 and approved by the board at a special meeting on June 20, extends the contract through 2020.  more

NASH PARK: A sculpture of Nobel Laureate John Nash and his wife Alicia Nash will be created by Gyuri Hollosy of Grounds For Sculpture and erected in West Windsor’s Nash Park on Alexander Road.

“A beautiful place for a beautiful mind and a loving heart” reads the plaque in West Windsor’s Nash Park, dedicated in honor of Nobel Laureate John Nash and his wife Alicia Nash. And soon a sculpture of the mathematician and his wife will be added as an enhancement to the Alexander Road park.

West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh announced last week that either busts or full figures of John and Alicia Nash,
created by the artist Gyuri Hollosy of Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, assisted by Joseph W. Acquah, will become a permanent part of the park, which was named after the two West Windsor residents after they died in an automobile accident on the New Jersey Turnpike in 2015. more

TALK SHOW TALENT: From left, Jenny Yaros, Misha Meyer, and Rachel Bierman, three local teenagers who have developed a successful talk show on Princeton Community Television, look forward to continuing “Cue the Lights” for at least two more years as they polish their interviewing and performance skills.

If you want to find out what’s on the minds of some of the most interesting people and what goes on in some of the most interesting places in the Princeton area, you might want to tune in to Cue the Lights, a Princeton Community Television (PCT) show on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m.  more

June 26, 2017

ADOPTING AN ASH: Jason Bond, plant health care specialist at Bartlett Tree Experts, injects the white ash behind the War Memorial bench at Nassau and Mercer Streets with pesticides to attack the emerald ash borer. It is Princeton’s first street tree to be injected in the selective chemical resistance effort funded by Princeton’s ongoing Adopt-an-Ash program. (Photo Courtesy of Patricia Frawley and Alexandra Radbil)

A 50-year-old white ash behind the War Memorial bench at Nassau and Mercer Streets last Wednesday became Princeton’s first street tree to receive the chemical resistance necessary to attack the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB). more

June 21, 2017

In the wake of the June 6 primary contests, both Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for the November general elections, with the New Jersey governor’s race in the spotlight and state Senate and Assembly seats also up for grabs.

Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) President Owen O’Donnell urged Democrats to rally behind nominee Phil Murphy, who won Princeton only narrowly over PCDO-endorsed John Wisniewski in the primary, but triumphed handily in the statewide vote. more

Artifacts found recently on the Princeton Battlefield, including rifle balls and buckshot, period buttons, brass buckles, and an iron axe head, are helping to shed light on the events of January 3, 1777.

An archeological and historical study just completed by the Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) and its consultants, archeologist Wade Catts of Commonwealth Heritage Associates and historian Robert Selig, did not yet find an anticipated mass burial site, but they will be carrying out additional investigations in the coming months.  more