May 25, 2016

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As Princeton University alumni return for Reunions this weekend, many will remember an institution very different from the Princeton of 2016. It was 1909 when Princeton President Woodrow Wilson wrote to an African American applicant that it would be “altogether inadvisable for a colored man to enter,” but more recently, alumni from 70 years ago will recall a college that would not graduate an African American student until 1948.  more

As the 2015-16 school year winds down in Princeton Public Schools (PPS), many students and their teachers are working hard to keep their focus on the June 20 finish line, students’ last-day-of school and graduation day for Princeton High School seniors.

But Superintendent Steve Cochrane has a vision of the future that might mean dramatic changes for PPS.  more

5-25-16 Miki AIR event

STAR OF THE SHOW: Miki, an 8-year-old Pomeranian, received the American Kennel Club Award of Canine Excellence in 2011 for the therapy work he does with Attitudes in Reverse. His award inspired the AIR Dog: Paws for Minds program, where dogs improve the mental well being of humans and the Miki and Friends Walk/Run for AIR. (Photo Courtesy of Tricia Baker)

Dogs, butterflies, and a large contingent of celebrants of all ages gathered at the East Picnic Area in Mercer County Park last Saturday to celebrate dogs’ contributions to people’s quality of life and to promote education about mental health and suicide.  more

May 23, 2016

Theater Rev

MOTHER-DAUGHTER MATTERS: Ruth (Caroline Aaron, left) and her daughter Miranda (Stephanie Janssen) are completely bonded, and in conflict on almost every possible issue, in Sharyn Rothstein’s world premiere family “dramedy,” All the Days, at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre through May 29. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Dysfunctional families have always provided material for great literature and theater. From the ancient Greeks—Odysseus and the battling family of Olympian gods, the Trojan War, the families of Agamemnon and Oedipus—though the great tragedies may have played out in the global, public sphere, the issues always had their roots in family conflict. more

May 18, 2016

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ANDLINGER OPENING: National leaders in science, technology, industry and government will gather to celebrate the opening of Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment this Wednesday through Friday. (Photo by David Kelly Crow)

On the agenda is nothing less than the energy and environmental problems of the world and the future of technology in addressing those problems, as national leaders in science, technology, industry and government gather at Princeton University this Wednesday through Friday to celebrate the opening of the University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment.  more

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PDS CHESS CHAMPS: The PDS chess team tied for second place in the K-6 division of the National Elementary School Championship in Nashville, Tennessee: (front row from left) Dodge Martinson, Kai Shah, Albert Ming, and Arjun Kumar; (second row from left) Eric Wu, Winston Ni, and Jai Kasera.

Seven young chess stars have once again put Princeton Day School on the map as one of the strongest chess programs in the country, leading the PDS team to a second place tie in the K-6 section of the National School Championship in Nashville, Tennessee, in a two-day tournament on May 7 and 8. more

May 11, 2016

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has rejected Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora’s (D-15) request to meet with representatives of the IAS Board concerning the Institute’s faculty housing project, “to discuss alternatives and a possible resolution of this controversy.”

Institute director Robbert Dijkgraaf, in his response Friday, stated that the legislators’ letter “seems to be part of a larger publicity effort to discredit the Institute and mischaracterize its project.” more

Images of police in the news media and in the public imagination are often negative С depicting at best enforcement and at worst brutality. Think Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Ferguson С and so many other conflict locations throughout the country.

Princeton Chief of Police Nick Sutter sees vast changes in the nature of police work in the 21st century and the need for new approaches to the job.  more

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DESTRUCTIVE INVADER: The emerald ash borer recently arrived in Princeton. It can potentially destroy all of the town’s ash trees. Princeton Shade Tree Commission and the town Council are preparing to propose a plan to combat the infestation of this beetle, which originated in Asia.

An infestation of the emerald ash borer (EAB), a beetle that is killing ash trees in 25 states, has struck Princeton, demanding action by Municipal Council, the Princeton Shade Tree Commission (STC) and property owners. Since first discovered in Detroit in 2002, the invasive pests have killed hundreds of millions of trees in this country, that now includes an unspecified number in Princeton. more

May 4, 2016

 

RECONSIDERING WILSON’S LEGACY: A mural depicting Woodrow Wilson throwing out the first ball at a 1915 Washington Senators baseball game was removed on Saturday from Princeton University’s Wilson College dining hall, in accordance with the decision of Wilson College Head Eduardo Cadava and the recommendation of an undergraduate student committee. (Photos by Donald Gilpin)

A large mural depicting the image of Woodrow Wilson was removed Saturday from the dining hall of Wilson College at Princeton University, at the behest of Wilson College Head Eduardo Cadava.  more

As New Jersey public school students completed the 2016 PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) exams last week, the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education passed a resolution urging the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) to “withdraw its pending graduation requirement proposals.” more

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GILL DISEASE: Gizzard shad from Lake Carnegie that were necropsied last week by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife were found to have a gill disease caused by a common protozoan parasite. (Photo Courtesy of Division of Fish & Wildlife)

The spring die-off of hundreds of gizzard shad in Lake Carnegie, noted by many residents over the past couple of weeks, is the result of a gill disease caused by a parasite known as “Ich” (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis), according to a pathology report issued Saturday by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife (F&W). more

April 27, 2016

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ABOVE WATER: Princeton University women’s water polo player Haley Wan, right, pressures a foe in a game earlier this season. Sophomore Wan has starred this season for the No. 15 Tigers, scoring a team-high 50 goals. Princeton, now 17-6, plays in the CWPA Collegiate Water Polo Association) Championships this weekend at Cambridge, Mass. where it will face host Harvard in the quarterfinals on April 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It has been a youth movement by necessity this season for the Princeton University women’s water polo team. more

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CAUSE OF DEATH?: Numerous dead gizzard shad and a few dead carp were seen floating in Lake Carnegie during the past week, prompting an investigation by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. A spring die-off of gizzard shad is not uncommon, but the fish pathologist of the Fish and Wildlife Division of the DEP is evaluating specimens for possible bacterial diseases. (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

Is it an environmental crisis or just an annual rite of spring?  more

Prof in Educ

ARTIST, TEACHER, PERFORMER: Steve Kramer reflects on his exciting career as performer and teacher—from jazz clubs, wedding bands and the “Ice Capades” to Littlebrook and Riverside Elementary Schools.

The resume of Steve Kramer, music teacher and band director at Littlebrook and Riverside Elementary Schools, goes on and on, with jobs in schools, colleges, multiple facets of the music industry, and the bakery business too. The list of celebrities he’s played with, pictured in photos with him on his website, skramer.com, looks like a list of Who’s Who in the world of popular music over the past 30 years.  more

April 20, 2016

The Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS), in its ongoing efforts to halt an Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) construction project, last week asked the U.S. District Court for New Jersey to grant a preliminary injunction under the Clean Water Act.

If granted, that injunction would prevent the IAS from continuing work on its 15-unit faculty housing project until the Battlefield Society’s March 10 complaint concerning the destruction of wetlands on the site is resolved. The Institute has until May 2 to respond to the current motion, and on May 16 the court is scheduled to hear the case, according to Battlefield Society attorney Bruce Afran. more

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SUSTAINABLE FARMING, SUSTAINABLE LEARNING: Princeton High School senior Caroline -McClatchy tends to her aquaponics system, combining soil-less growing of plants with raising fish, in pursuing inquiry-based research as part of a new high school science course.

A new class on research methods is prompting students to observe and ask questions and has encouraged Princeton High School science students to stretch the boundaries of the traditional classroom and the field of science. more

April 13, 2016

It was an historic moment. On Monday evening after more than three hours of public hearings and significant controversy and debate among Council members, the Princeton Council passed, by a 5-0 vote, an ordinance to create the Witherspoon-Jackson Historic Preservation District.

Though acknowledging pros and cons of the ordinance and the uncertainties of its impact on the community, councilman Bernie Miller strongly urged the creation of this “unique historic district.” “If not now, when?” he questioned. more

As the town and the high school confront difficult questions about underage drinking, anti-semitism, and the effects of social media, the Princeton Police Department (PPD) continues to investigate last week’s “Nazis v Jews” beer pong incident, which involved a number of Princeton High School students.

“We are investigating who provided alcohol to the minors,” stated Lieutenant Jon Bucchere of the PPD. It is not a criminal violation for minors to possess and consume alcohol on private property, he added, so “many times these cases are hard to prove.”  more

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DEMOCRACY DEMANDS DIALOGUE: Scholars discuss Woodrow Wilson’s legacy in a forum at Princeton University’s Wilson School of Public and International Affairs last Friday — (L to R) Chad Williams, associate professor and chair of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis; Eric Yellin, associate professor of history and American studies at University of Richmond; Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders, history PhD candidate at Rutgers; and A. Scott Berg, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer.

A panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs last Friday brought together four distinguished scholars to “provide an educational and panoramic view of the many aspects of Woodrow Wilson’s life and career.” more

April 6, 2016

Controversy locally and across the country continues to pursue the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Test as Princeton Public Schools (PPS) prepare to administer the 2016 PARCC, starting next Monday. Testing over the next three weeks may result in a more stringent assessment of the PARCC itself than of the student test-takers and their schools.  more

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“GET A LEG UP ON LIFE”: Kristin Friberg, librarian at Princeton Public Library, loves her job and recommends a visit to the library to take advantage of its collection and its many other valuable resources. (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

“To Listen, to Engage, to Grow” — Kristin Friberg, Readers’ Services Librarian

Kristin Friberg has been a librarian at Princeton Public Library (PPL) for the past 11 years. According to Brett Bonfield, executive director of the library, “Kristin is an extraordinary librarian, a wonderful colleague, and terrific asset to our community. She clearly loves her work, takes pride in her ability to help people enjoy this great library and its outstanding collection, and brings other significant talents to our workplace as well. She’s a skilled, funny, and poetic writer and editor who helps the library tell its story through its blog and via Instagram, and, though she rarely needs to make use of this talent, at least during her desk shifts, she has a marvelous singing voice. The more I get to know Kristin, the more grateful I am for the work she does in our community’s behalf.” more

Transgender, gender non-conforming, gender questioning — a large contingent of trans youth, along with their allies and an assortment of educators, will gather at Princeton Day School this Saturday, April 9 for the 2nd Annual New Jersey Trans Youth Forum (TYF), sponsored by HiTops and GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network).  more

April 1, 2016

Andrew WilesAndrew Wiles, Oxford University mathematics professor and professor emeritus at Princeton, has received the 2016 Abel Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for “opening a new era in number theory” in 1994 with his “stunning proof” of Fermat’s Last Theorem.

The most famous long-running unsolved problem in mathematics, Fermat’s Last Theorem was a problem that had stumped the brightest mathematicians in the world since it was first conjectured by French mathematician Pierre de Fermat in 1637. The theorem states that there cannot be any whole number solutions to the equation xn+yn=zn if n is greater than 2.

The 62-year-old Mr. Wiles was a professor in Princeton’s mathematics department from 1982 until 2011, before  moving to Oxford, U.K. He is the third Princeton-affiliated Abel Prize recipient in a row, following 2014 winner Yakov Sinai and last year’s winner the late John Nash, who shared the prize with Louis Nirenberg of New York University. Considered the Nobel of mathematics, the Abel Prize includes an award of six million kroner ($700,000).

Mr. Wiles had been intrigued by the problem since the age of ten, and, in 1986, he began working on the theorem in secret. From the moment he first encountered Fermat’s Last Theorem, he knew, he claimed, “that I would never let it go. I had to solve it.”  more

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IN THE BEGINNING: Town Topics’ founders Dan Coyle (left) and Don Stuart wrote all the copy and sold all the ads for their timetable sized publication. 

Seventy years ago, on Friday, March 15, 1946, the Princeton Post Office delivered approximately 3,400 copies of the first issue of Town Topics to homes and businesses in town. Printed on both sides of a piece of paper 10” by 3.2,” the small paper was folded together like an oversized train timetable.

As Jeb (Donald C. III) Stuart (1941-2008), editor from 1981 until 2001, wrote in 1996 in a 50-year history of the paper, “Town Topics began in a couple of briefcases carried around Princeton early in 1946 by brothers-in-law Dan Coyle and Don Stuart [Jeb’s father]”. The plan was to cover the entire Borough and Township with a single free circulation newspaper, an idea which the editors felt would appeal to potential advertisers and set Town Topics apart from the competition, the Princeton Packet and the Princeton Herald. more