October 7, 2015


ALMOST THERE: Sunday’s Half-Marathon began and ended at Paul Robeson Place, not far from where Princeton’s most famous native son was born. Sponsored by HiTOPS, this year’s race drew more than 1200 runners. Winner Zach Rivers, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who set a new course record, reveals what his favorite part of the course was in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Emily Reeves)


RAIN MAN: Princeton University running back Joe Rhattigan heads upfield in recent action. Last Friday night, junior star Rhattigan sloshed through the rain for 85 yards rushing to help Princeton top Columbia 10-5 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The Tigers, now 3-0 overall and 1-0 Ivy, host Colgate on October 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

The conditions were miserable as the Princeton University football team hosted Columbia last Friday evening in the Ivy League opener for both squads, with a driving rain, winds gusting over 20 miles an hour, and the temperature hovering in the high 40s. more

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Princeton University’s endowment earned a 12.7 percent investment gain for the most recent fiscal year, it was announced this week. The University has a $22.7 billion endowment, an increase of about $1.7 billion from the previous year.

Major schools began reporting their annual return figures during the past few weeks. Harvard said it had earned 5.8 percent, while Yale reported an 11.5 percent return. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s figure was 13.2 percent, and Bowdoin College reported 14.2 percent earned for the year. more

PSRC Page 1Princeton Senior Resource Center is about to embark on a capital campaign to raise $1.5 million for a much-needed expansion of its facility in the Suzanne Paterson Center on Stockton Street. That figure would augment $250,000 already in Princeton’s capital budget and another $250,000 that would come from Mercer County for the project.

When PSRC’s director Susan Hoskins presented Princeton Council with the organization’s expansion plan at a meeting late last month, Council members had some questions not only about the scope of the project, but about just who it will serve. Heather Howard asked how many users of the senior center are actual residents of Princeton. Ms. Hoskins put that figure at about half, though all social service programs are restricted to town residents.

Councilwoman Jenny Crumiller commented, “So in a way, we’re building a bigger building for residents in other towns.”  more

Princeton Po Page 1“How do we stop this?” asked Princeton Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane.

That is the big question for the schools and the Police Department after a series of bomb threats over the past two weeks that have disrupted classes at Littlebrook Elementary, Princeton High School, and, most recently, John Witherspoon Middle School.

Students, teachers, parents, administrators, and police officials share feelings of frustration and anxiety in the face of what Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter calls “acts of terrorism.” “The motivation is to disrupt,” Mr. Sutter explained, “to cause fear and anxiety, to scare people and disrupt our lives. These incidents are random and widespread across the entire country.”

PHS drama teacher Pat Wray voiced the consternation felt by many, inside and outside the schools. “The swatting actually started last spring and was scary for the students and staff,” she recalled. “Now that it’s happening again and regularly, it is a huge disruption to educational instruction and there is the danger that lockdown and evacuation procedures may become mundane.” more


GREEN DAY: Princeton University men’s soccer player Patrick Barba heads the ball in a 2014 game. Last Saturday, junior defender Barba and Princeton came up just short as the Tigers fell 1-0 at Dartmouth in the Ivy League opener for both teams. Princeton, which dropped to 3-3-1 overall and 0-1 Ivy with the loss to the Big Green, play at Brown (5-3 overall, 1-0 Ivy) on October 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Having started 1-2, the Princeton University men’s soccer team appeared to be on the right track, winning two straight games by a combined margin of 5-2 as it edged Boston University 2-1 before topping Binghamton 3-1. more


DANCING FOR DOLLARS: Staffers and breast cancer survivors from the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro celebrated their second place win in the Pink Glove Dance competition last week. A total of $12,000 resulted from the competition, and all of it will go to the Breast Cancer Resource Center at YWCA Princeton.

When Barbara Christiano was asked last May if she had heard of The Pink Glove Dance, she had to plead ignorance. But since then, this five-year-old national dance video competition has become a priority — not only for Ms. Christiano, who is vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro — but for hospital staff members, physicians, service workers, volunteers, and their family members as well. more

Homework Help Page 9

Princeton public school students are looking forward to a recently announced homework-free schedule during winter and spring breaks and other designated weekends throughout the year.

At its September 29 meeting, the School Board passed a resolution designating no-homework days for the long weekend of the NJEA Convention in November, Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, and Mother’s Day weekend. Additionally, no projects will be due or tests given immediately upon return from these holidays.

Since the days of Socrates and Plato, the question of homework has been a controversial one. What to assign? How much to assign? How to make it worthwhile?  more


STORMING THROUGH: Princeton High running back Rory Helstrom runs to daylight in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star Helstrom rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown to help PHS top Lawrence 20-6. The Little Tigers, now 2-2, play at Steinert (2-1) on October 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Rory Helstrom sensed that the ground game would be critical as the Princeton High football team played at Lawrence High last Saturday. more

Book SaleFeaturing collectible books by Jane Austen, Henry James, and Eva Peron, not to mention Zelda Fitzgerald, the 2015 Friends of the Princeton Public Library Book Sale will take place October 16 to 18 in the library’s Community Room and in a tent on Hinds Plaza.

Featuring nearly 10,000 books for all ages on a wide variety of topics, the event opens with a preview sale Friday, October 16, from 10 a.m. to noon. A ticket for the preview sale is $10, but is free for Friends of the Library. Numbered tickets will be available at the door starting at 8 a.m. Customers enter the sale in numerical order. Barcode scanners will be permitted at the tables, but collecting books to scan will not be allowed.

Starting at noon, admission is free for the remainder of the sale. Hours are noon-8:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1-5:30 p.m. Sunday.

On Sunday, books will be sold at half price in the Community Room and in the tent on Hinds Plaza. From 3-5:30 p.m. on Sunday, a bag sale will be held in the tent where a standard grocery bag can be filled with books for $5. Bags will be supplied at the sale.

In addition to the Peacock edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; a first edition, first printing of The Golden Bowl by Henry James; the first U.K. edition of Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save Me the Waltz; and a rare copy of La Razon De Mi Vida by Eva Peron, there will be books signed by Wyndham Lewis and Aaron Copland, among many inscribed volumes, as well as a first printing of Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, among a number of modern first editions.  more

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MOGAO CAVE 158: This photograph by James Lo features a reclining Buddha in nirvana in Mogao Cave 158. This image is among the paintings, sculpture, and manuscripts in the “Sacred Caves of the Silk Road: Ways of Knowing and Re-creating Dunhuang” exhibit at the PU Art Museum. The exhibit aims to provide a greater understanding of the Silk Road site.

“Sacred Caves of the Silk Road: Ways of Knowing and Re-creating Dunhuang” is on view at the Princeton University Art Museum now until January 10. The exhibit brings together paintings, sculpture, and manuscripts from the Mogao Caves to provide a greater understanding of the Silk Road site.

Since their creation over 1,500 years ago, the Mogao Caves, located on the outskirts of the city of Dunhuang in northwestern China, continue to narrate the history of religious art and connect the Eastern and Western worlds through their once central location at the gateway to the Silk Road. The caves come to Princeton through a time capsule of objects dating from A.D. 270 to the 1960s. The exhibit explores the aesthetic and transcontinental nature of this World Heritage Site.  more

Book RevI’m planning ways to pipe “All I Need is a Miracle” by Mike and the Mechanics into the St. Louis clubhouse when the Cardinals host the National League Central Division playoffs this Friday. Why send a Power Pop anthem to a team that has won 100 games in spite of losing virtually half their starting lineup this season? That’s not miracle enough? Not if you add to that truckload of adversity the loss of a potential Hall of Fame catcher and proven post-season clutch hitter who saves pitcher’s souls and throws out baserunners at a major-league-leading clip. When “things fall apart” and “the center cannot hold,” Yadier Molina is the center that holds, and at this writing, there’s no way of knowing how effective he’ll be even if he’s cleared to play in the post season.

The September 20 incident that put Molina out of action is an example of what his former manager Tony LaRussa calls “beautiful baseball” — in the bottom of the eighth inning in a do or die game against the surging Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo racing for home, a perfect throw from right-fielder Jason Hayward snagged on one hop by Molina, one quick stab of Molina’s mitt to tag out the sliding runner, a medley of forces converging in game-saving synchronicity. Except that as the catcher executes the neat rapier-like motion of the tag, the force embodied by the 6’3, 240-pound Rizzo going hellbent for home has Molina slinging off his mitt, in pain from what proved to be a partially torn ligament in his left thumb, and just like that, the one indispensable player is out for the last ten days of the regular season and perhaps the playoffs.

So it goes with baseball. Beautiful, yes, but also inevitably bipolar, a field of ups and downs and broken dreams. more

Mary Norris Page 12

Mary Norris, who has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker’s copy department, will be at Labyrinth Books on Tuesday, October 13, at 6 p.m. to read from and discuss her new book Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen (Norton $24.95).

Writing in The New Yorker, John McPhee calls Mary Norris “the verbal diagnostician I would turn to for a first, second, or third opinion on just about anything.” The New York Times’ Sarah Lyall writes, “Ms. Norris, who has a dirty laugh that evokes late nights and Scotch, is … like the worldly aunt who pulls you aside at Thanksgiving and whispers that it is all right to occasionally flout the rules.” more

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Organist Daryl Robinson will perform at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, October 18 at 2:30 p.m. A free-will offering will be accepted at the performance.

Titled “Organ Spectacular VIII,” the program will include Elgar’s “Allegro Maestoso” from Organ Sonata, Op. 28; Max Reger’s arrangement of Bach’s Präludium und Fuge D-dur, BWV 874; Franck’s Deuxième Choral en Si Mineur, M. 39; Briggs’ Concert Variations on ‘Nicaea’; Hampton’s “Lullaby” from Suite No. 2; and Cochereau’s Scherzo Symphoniquemore

October 6, 2015


Still have those old vinyl records and the turntable you used until CDs took over in the late 1980s? You may be well positioned to take advantage of a wave of “vinyl frenzy,” as reported in a recent New York Times, article about a new vinyl factory in New Jersey.

Using equipment from the 1970s, Independent Record Pressing in Bordentown is struggling to keep up with the booming demand, which has led to a six-month delay in processing orders for new vinyl, according to Princeton Record Exchange owner Jon Lambert. more

October 5, 2015

See below for the October 1, 2015 Planning Board Meeting. 

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


Volunteers are needed to join in a community art project building an airplane on the Great Lawn at Morven, which will open an exhibit, “Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Couple of an Age,” on November 13. Morven is located at 55 Stockton Street.

From Saturday, October 17 to Sunday, October 25, volunteers will work in shifts to build an interpretation of Charles Lindbergh’s plane, the Spirit of St. Louis. more

October 4, 2015

Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The public service papers of Paul A. Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, are now part of the permanent collection of Princeton University, where the economist earned his undergraduate degree in 1949.

These documents, which include correspondence, speeches, reports and memos, are housed in the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, a division of the Princeton University Library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. more

Ivan Web“May I have your attention, please? May I have your attention, please?” Anyone at the Community Park Pool Complex between 1967 and 2014 remembers that voice booming out over the public address system.

Larry Ivan, owner of that voice, has had the community’s attention for almost 60 years — as phys ed and social studies teacher for 42 years at Princeton High, John Witherspoon, and Community Park Schools, as renowned coach and referee of basketball and track, as an official for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), and as “the man at the pool” since its inception in 1967 and manager there for 41 years.

A bronze bas-relief portrait, to be created by Princeton sculptor Stephanie Magdziak, and permanently installed at the Community Park Pool, ensures that Mr. Ivan will have our attention far into the future. ”I’m glad to know that Mr. Ivan will be as much of a fixture for future generations as he was for mine,” reflected CP Pool member Lauren Bender.

The project is being funded by donations from community members and CP Pool supporters — about 140 so far, many of whom were also Mr. Ivan’s students or parents of students. An unveiling ceremony will take place next spring. more

October 2, 2015

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Image Source: The Weather Channel

After Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency in New Jersey as a precaution, PSE&G is making preparations for a possible landfall of Hurricane Joaquin in its service area. The utility also is closely monitoring the heavy rains and high winds forecasted for the region tomorrow.

“Right now, we are focused on shoring up critical equipment against possible storm surges and river flooding – installing concrete barriers, sandbags and portable pumps,” said John Latka, senior vice president of electric and gas operations for PSE&G. “While the track of Joaquin remains uncertain, we are preparing for the worst case scenario – a direct hit from the storm.” more

October 1, 2015


SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals, has cancelled its “Stroll for Strays” dog walk and pet fair, which was scheduled for Saturday in Mercer County Park. The event will be rescheduled as soon as a new date can be set.

“We have been faced with a very difficult decision regarding this Saturday’s Stroll for Strays event,” reads the organization’s website. “Because of the predicted hurricane/storm affecting our area, for the safety of everyone involved, vendors and attendees, four-legged and two-legged, we feel it is in everyone’s best interest to reschedule the dog walk. A little rain wouldn’t keep us down, but windy conditions combined with rain and flooding will simply be unsafe.” more

September 30, 2015


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The Quad at the Princeton Theological Seminary was the setting for Saturday’s Community Festival of families, food trucks, games, and live bluegrass music. Some participants offer their thoughts about the Pope’s visit in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn) 

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The Princeton Police Department continues to investigate bomb threats that occurred at Riverside School last Thursday and Princeton High School last Friday. Riverside was placed on “shelter-in-place” watch and PHS was evacuated for approximately two and one-half hours, on successive days last week, as K-9 explosive-sniffing dogs and their handlers searched the schools.  more

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Work on the apartment complex being built by AvalonBay Communities could resume as early as next week, according to information provided at a meeting of Princeton Council Monday evening. The Witherspoon Street construction site, formerly home to University Medical Center at Princeton, has been quiet since the presence of harmful chemicals was detected earlier this month. It was originally shut down in August after a worker was injured in a fall from an elevator shaft. more