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

PHS Science

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

all in a days

“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

March 30, 2016

Princeton Public Schools (PPS) will administer the 2016 PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Tests April 11-29 for all students in grades 3 through 11 — but how many students will show up?

In its first year last year nearly 800 of 1164 students in grades nine through 11 declined to take the PARCC, with only 30 of 370 juniors taking the test, though participation numbers were higher in the elementary and middle school grades. more

In the wake of anti-Semitic messages sent to several network printers on the Princeton campus and at other universities throughout the country last week, the University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) have teamed up to prevent any further hate messages, sent from external sources, from infiltrating the University’s internet-accessible printers. more

March 29, 2016

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RACE AND DEMOCRACY: Eddie Glaude Jr. signed copies of his new book “Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul” and responded to students’ questions after his forum at Labyrinth Books with fellow professor Keeanga-Yamhatta Taylor on the need for radical change in race relations in the United States.

In 2008 America elected its first black president. A Forbes Magazine headline that year proclaimed “The End of Racism.” And seven years later the nation is trying to understand the recent tragedies of Ferguson, Flint, Baltimore, the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and others.  more

March 16, 2016

Seeking again to stop construction on an Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) faculty housing project, the Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) took its long fight to federal court last Thursday, filing a complaint under the Clean Water Act against IAS, its contractor, and its engineers.

The Battlefield Society claims that the proposed IAS construction infringes on unprotected wetlands, though the state Department of Environmental Protection stated in late January that they have found no evidence of that.  more

Theater rev

MURDER LURKS: Mollie (Jessica Bedford) finds herself in the midst of a deadly intrigue, in an isolated old manor house, cut off from the rest of the world, surrounded by an odd assortment of complete strangers, one of whom is a murderer, in McCarter Theatre’s production of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” the longest running play in the history of English theater. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap opened in London in 1952, and 64 years later, after more than 25,000 performances, it is still playing, by far the longest running show in theater history. Though McCarter’s current rendition of the classic murder mystery will run only two more weeks, until March 27, the high-energy, captivating Matthews Theatre production displays vividly the lasting appeal of this show. Whether you’re a whodunit aficionado or not, this show with its eight finely drawn, deftly presented characters and its rich visual appeal is highly entertaining from start to finish. more

March 9, 2016

The historic stone masonry arch bridge over Stony Brook south of town on Route 206 re-opened Sunday evening after almost two weeks of emergency repair work by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT).  The truck detour will remain in place until the bridge is fully restored.

DOT officials, engineers and Historic Preservation Commission members are already moving ahead with plans for permanent reconstruction of the 1792 bridge, with an emphasis on strength, safety, durability, and a sensitivity to history.   more

The Institute for Advanced Study continues to move forward with its 15-unit faculty housing project on seven acres of land adjacent to Princeton Battlefield, despite renewed calls to halt construction С this time from “The Save Princeton Coalition,” a newly-created group of nine organizations.

The Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS), along with the Washington D.C.-based Civil War Trust (CWT), which has offered to purchase the disputed property for $4.5 million, has opposed the project from its inception, and last week they joined with seven other groups in forming a coalition of historic preservation and conservation groups and sending a letter to the Institute’s Board of Trustees, urging that IAS “cease its development plans and pursue alternate building locations for the faculty housing project.” more

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it’s going to take a village to save them,” Michael De Leon, founder of Steered Straight, former drug addict and prison inmate, told the audience of about 120 in the Princeton High School Auditorium last Wednesday night.

“Don’t believe it’s not your kid,” said Mr. De Leon.  “Don’t believe it’s not your family.  Don’t believe it’s not in your backyard—because it is.” more

March 2, 2016

ML7, a real estate investment, development, management, and construction company headed by Jeffrey Siegel, has purchased two adjacent properties on Witherspoon Street, one currently occupied by Small World Coffee and the other formerly occupied by the Princeton Army & Navy Store, according to Jessica Durrie, owner of Small World, and David Newton, vice president of Palmer Square Management.

ML7, with offices in Princeton and New York City, purchases and redevelops commercial real estate assets throughout the state and in the city. According to their website, ”We are an opportunistic buyer, focusing on acquiring special situation properties or properties experiencing some level of distress, whether in their existing capital structures, as a result of mismanagement or physical distress. ML7’s expertise is in repositioning real estate assets and unlocking value.” more