January 10, 2018

FRANK EXCHANGE: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sharon Frankel, right, fights for the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, freshman forward Frankel scored a goal in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-2 to No. 4 Colgate. The Tigers, now 6-10-4 overall and 5-8-1 ECAC Hockey, host Brown on January 12 and Yale on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sharon Frankel stands only 5’1 but she is making a big impact in her freshman season with the Princeton University women’s hockey team.

After tallying a goal and an assist in her first 15 games for the Tigers, she has chipped in two goals and an assist over her last five appearances. more

SNAP DECISION: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jerome Desrosiers dribbles the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman Desrosiers made his Ivy League debut, contributing eight points and five rebounds in a losing cause as Princeton fell 76-70 at Penn in the Ivy opener for both teams. The defeat snapped the Tigers’ 18-game winning streak in Ivy League regular season and tournament play. Princeton, now 7-8 overall and 0-1 Ivy, hosts Columbia on January 12 and Cornell on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mitch Henderson believed that his Princeton University men’s basketball team was in a good place as it faced Penn last Saturday in the Ivy League opener.

Heading into the clash with the Quakers, Princeton was coming off a superb western swing which saw it go 4-1, posting wins at Cal Poly and Southern Cal and then topping Akron and host Hawaii after falling to Middle Tennessee State at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. more

ANCHOR AWAY: Princeton University water polo head coach Luis Nicolao makes a point to his women players. Nicolao announced last week that he will be stepping down from his post to be the head coach of the water polo program at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy. Nicolao spent 20 years at Princeton as the head coach of both the men’s and women’s programs. During that time, Nicolao posted a combined 844-312 (.730) record, going 402-163 (.712) with the men and 442-149 (.748) with the women. He took the Princeton men’s and women’s water polo teams to the NCAA tournament a combined seven times. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Luis Nicolao, the hard lessons he learned as a student-athlete at the U.S. Naval Academy have served him well. more

January 3, 2018

POETRY AND POLITICS: Paul Muldoon, Princeton University professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts and director of the Princeton Atelier, has been approved by Queen Elizabeth II for the award of Her Majesty’s Gold Medal for Poetry for 2017. Muldoon said his award was an acknowledgment of both “the impact of a few of my poems” and of the current positive relations between Ireland and England. (Photo by Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite 2017)

By Donald Gilpin

Paul Muldoon, Princeton University creative writing professor in the Lewis Center for the Arts and director of the Princeton Atelier, will be awarded Her Majesty’s Gold Medal for Poetry for 2017 by Queen Elizabeth II in an upcoming ceremony.  more

By Anne Levin

A two-alarm fire that started Wednesday night, December 27, on the top floor of a three-story apartment building at the Griggs Farm complex on Billie Ellis Lane, took the life of a 73-year-old woman and displaced 35 residents. Larisa Bartone, who lived at 21 Billie Ellis Lane, died in the fire. An investigation into the cause of the blaze was ongoing at press time last Friday.

The Princeton Police Department, Princeton Fire Department, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, and multiple fire departments from the area responded to the scene. It was brought under control in about 45 minutes, said Robert Gregory, director of Princeton’s Office of Emergency Management. more

By Anne Levin

A 116-acre property in Hopewell Township dating back more than two centuries has been preserved, linking three counties and boosting the total acreage that D&R Greenway Land Trust has preserved since 1989 to 20,000 acres.

The historic Schwinn farm on Hopewell-Amwell Road is near the historic Lindbergh estate and the 700-acre Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve. The expanse includes about 20 acres open to the public, and its trails will connect to a large network of neighboring protected lands. more

FROM DIFFERENT SIDES: Ashley Wright, left, and Lewis Maltby will discuss their experiences during the Vietnam War on Wednesday, January 10, at Princeton Public Library. The discussion will follow the screening of the fourth episode of the documentary “The Vietnam War.” (Photo by Hannah Schmidl)

By Anne Levin

After watching the initial episode of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary The Vietnam War at Princeton Public Library last month, Lewis Maltby was leaving the library’s Newsroom when he was approached by a man who looked to be of a similar age. The man asked Maltby if, like him, he had served in Vietnam. more

Princeton Montessori School students and their families donated toys, hats, and mittens for the school’s annual Holiday Giving Drive, which ended December 15 at the school’s Cherry Valley Road campus. Toys were collected in bins throughout the school and hats and mittens were hung on the “Giving Line” garland in the foyers. The donations went to The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, which protects abused and neglected children, and the CYO of Mercer County.  The drive taught the children how their small efforts can have a big impact on the lives of others.

PREPAYING TAXES: Hundreds of Princeton homeowners waited in line at the Municipal Building last week to prepay their 2018 taxes before the new tax plan goes into effect, limiting the amount of money you can deduct for state income, sales, and property taxes to $10,000.

By Donald Gilpin

There were long lines last week outside the tax collection office, filling the hallway of Princeton’s Municipal Building. But even after waiting for almost an hour, the early taxpayers were patient and mostly upbeat, no doubt buoyed by the prospect of saving maybe a few hundred, maybe thousands on their taxes.  more

Aquatia Owens, senior vice president and wealth market director at PNC Wealth Management (left); and Carolyn Sanderson, chair, Princeton Area Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls, honored the late Chris Lokhammer recently when PNC Wealth Management made grants of $2,500 each to two funds at the Princeton Area Community Foundation: the Chris Lokhammer Fund for Women and Girls, and The Chris Lokhammer Internship Fund for the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed. A former trustee of the Community Foundation who was well known in the community for her volunteer work on nonprofit boards and committees, Lokhammer passed away in June.

“Now’s The Hour to Repower” is the title of a talk being given Wednesday, January 10 by Doug O’Malley, executive director of Environment New Jersey, at Mercer County Community College.

Following pizza at 6 p.m., the program begins at 6:30 p.m. O’Malley will discuss the implications of the new Federal Tax Act on renewables, and what New Jersey needs to do under the Murphy Administration to push forward with 100 percent renewables, including building-up solar and wind, while moving away from petroleum-based fuels and nuclear energy.  more

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Superintendent Steve Cochrane has joined nine other Mercer County Schools superintendents in issuing a “Call to Action” to address an alarming trend in teenage mental health concerns.

“During the last 20 months there have been seven confirmed suicides of teenagers who were residents of, or students attending, schools in Mercer County,” the announcement stated. “We write this letter jointly as superintendents representing every public school in Mercer County because we are heartbroken by the senseless loss of our children.” more

“TAKE FLIGHT”: This acrylic painting by Michael Schweigart is part of “Visionaries,” an exhibit also featuring the work of Claudia Fouse Fountaine, Alan Klawans, and Carol McClure Sanzalone. The exhibit will be at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville from February 8 to March 4. An artists’ reception will be on February 11 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville presents “Visionaries,” an exhibit featuring works of Claudia Fouse Fountaine, Alan Klawans, Carol McClure Sanzalone, and Michael Schweigart from February 8 to March 4. Highlighting images of nature and the environment, the exhibit will showcase a variety of media and creative techniques unique to each artist as they express their creative visions. more

“3 LINE ASCENDING #5”: This turned wood piece is part of “David Ellsworth: A Passion for Wood,” an exhibition running January 14 through April 22 at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, January 14 from 2 to 4 p.m.

In a career spanning four decades, David Ellsworth has become one of the premier designers of turned wooden vessels, deeply influencing contemporary craft and numerous artists.

This month, the Hunterdon Art Museum (HAM) will spotlight his work in “David Ellsworth: A Passion for Wood,” an exhibition which focuses on the woodturner’s technical and aesthetic development through the years, noted Ingrid Renard, who is curating the exhibition with Hildreth York. more

By Nancy Plum

The holiday season means many things in Princeton — a brightly-decorated tree in Palmer Square, busy post office lines, and in musical terms, the annual performance of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Presented by McCarter Theatre, this performance in Richardson Auditorium has always given audiences a respite from breakneck December activities, and this year was no exception. Last Monday night, 21 instrumentalists joined together in a variety of combinations to perform Bach’s six concertos which are considered the epitome of the Baroque form. Each concerto featured a different blend of soloists, and the members of the Chamber Music Society demonstrated both solid ensemble and refined solo playing.  more

By Stuart Mitchner

At the dawn of a new year in American popular culture it’s time to remember the losses of 2017 and pay tribute to the gains of 1917. Major deaths in the world of rock were legends Fats Domino and Chuck Berry, along with Tom Petty, Greg Allman, John Wetton, among others, and in the grey area between rock and jazz, Allan Holdsworth and Larry Coryell. Jazz losses included pianist Horace Parlan, bop vocalist Jon Hendricks of the premiere word-jazz group, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, and Buddy Greco who began his jazz, pop, and country career at 16 playing piano, singing, arranging, and touring the world with the Benny Goodman band. The jazz world also lost columnist and social critic Nat Hentoff, who wrote for Down Beat and the Village Voice, and was listening to Billie Holiday when he died. more

By Kam Williams

In 1998, 19-year-old Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) met a mysterious, middle-aged man named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) in a San Francisco acting class. Wiseau not only lied about his age but claimed to be from New Orleans, despite a thick, Eastern European accent.

However, Tommy was wealthy enough to underwrite a Hollywood production that starred himself. And Greg was willing to overlook the eccentric millionaire’s inexperience when he was offered a co-starring role. more

SMOOTH SLIDING: “ShelfGenie is most commonly used in the kitchen and pantry, although it is also helpful in a variety of other spaces. We can work within any size and style kitchen, including older ones. Our philosophy is to maximize the available space and make it more convenient.” Benjamin R. Rozenblat, owner of the ShelfGenie Glide-Out Shelving System franchise in central New Jersey, is shown beside a display of the varied products.

By Jean Stratton

Benjamin R. Rozenblat is a big fan of the ShelfGenie Glide-Out Shelving System. He is so convinced of the value of this product that in 2010 he opened his own franchise serving central New Jersey.

After a career as a mechanical engineer, he decided he wanted a change, and opening a franchise turned out to be a new adventure.  more

ON POINT: Princeton University women’s basketball player Leslie Robinson guards a foe in recent action. Senior forward and team co-captain Robinson starred as the Tigers went 2-0 at the Gator Classic in late December. She earned All-Tournament honors, averaging 11 points and 7.5 rebounds a game as Princeton defeated St. Joseph’s 63-54 and then topped Tennessee-Chattanooga 59-49 to improve to 9-3. The Tigers, who were slated to host Maryland-Baltimore County on December 30, will start Ivy League play with a game at Penn on January 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton University women’s basketball team, competing at the Gator Classic tested its adaptability.

“It was a tale of two opponents,” said Princeton head coach Courtney Banghart, reflecting on the event which saw the Tigers face St. Joseph’s and Tennessee-Chattanooga in Gainesville, Fla. on December 20 and 21.

“So with St. Joe’s, three of their better players were in the post, outside of their leading scorer. Then with Chattanooga, their best players were the three guards. We were forced to play different ways and it was really awesome that we were able to adjust.”

The Tigers adjusted very well, defeating St. Joseph’s 63-54 and then topping Tennessee-Chattanooga 59-49 to improve to 9-3.

“It was two good mid major teams, a team we tried to schedule originally; they are a really dominant inside team,” said Banghart, reflecting on the win over the Hawks.

“Our defense was excellent, we switched at one through five.”

Defense made the difference for Princeton in the win over Chattanooga as the Tigers held the Mocs to 36.5 percent shooting and out rebounded them 44-24.

“They had beaten Northwestern, Indiana, Auburn, and Georgetown all this year and they have been to five straight NCAA tournaments; they are really good team,” said Banghart, in assessing Chattanooga.

“I told the kids this is the best team left on our schedule. It is not one guard but three guards that are equally dangerous. It is a team that adjusts quickly. One of our keys was that we are going to have to adjust throughout the game. It is not going to be one certain way to play. Our kids really stayed locked in, it was a great win for our program.”

Sophomore standout Bella Alarie and senior forward and co-captain Leslie Robinson led the way for the Tigers in Florida. Alarie was named the tournament MVP and an All-Tournament selection after averaging 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in the squad’s two victories while Robinson was also an All-Tournament choice, averaging 11 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.

“Bella is continuing to get better and better; she is really committed, she wants to be good here,” said Banghart of Alarie, who was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week.

“She is getting better around the rim, she is getting more relentless on the glass. She is a highly efficient player offensively. She blocks more shots than she gets credit for. Leslie is that competitor that when the going gets tough, she just gets tougher. In tough games she has shown that she is a difference. She was a difference in both games.”

While Banghart came into the winter believing that the Tigers would be competitive, their impressive start has exceeded her expectations.

“To be 9-3 with the schedule we have made, I honestly would not have guessed it,” said Banghart. “Our schedule bas been incredibly difficult. Our RPI was in the 20s before the Rutgers loss (70-50 on December 13) out of 350 programs. We are in the 30s now.”

Banghart likes the progress she is seeing at both ends of the court. “Defensively, we are getting really gritty,” said Banghart, whose team was holding opponents to 56.8 points a game and 38.4 percent shooting from the floor through its first 12 contests.

“Offensively, we have challenged post to be more of an interior presence. In the quarter court, we have asked our guards to be more relentless on the dribble attack. As we say, share it and shoot it. Both positional groups are raising their game and they are playing together pretty well too.”

With Princeton starting its Ivy League campaign at defending champion Penn on January 6, Banghart believes her squad has what it takes to regain the league crown.

“You have a pretty good sense by the end of December where you are and who you are,” noted Banghart, whose team was slated to play its last non-conference game when it hosted Maryland-Baltimore County on December 30.

“I really like this team. I think we have great versatility, we have great depth, we have a star (Alarie), we have a really good point guard (freshman Carlie Littlefield), and we have pieces that are continually evolving. It will be fun to see where this team goes.”

HAWAIIAN PUNCH: Princeton University men’s basketball player Devin Cannady puts up a free throw in a game earlier this season. Junior guard and tri-captain Cannady exploded for 26 points in the second half as the Tigers pulled away to a 77-63 win over Hawai’i on Christmas Day in a consolation contest at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Cannady totaled a career-high 28 points in the game and was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. Princeton, now 7-7, returns to action when it starts Ivy play with a game at Penn on January 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University men’s basketball team tied 31-31 at halftime against the University of Hawai’i in its third and final game at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Devin Cannady knew the Tigers had to step up the intensity.

“We went into halftime tied and I don’t think we played the best that we could have defensively,” said Cannady, as quoted on the Princeton sports website.  more

A-TRAIN: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Aidan Trainor controls the puck in a game earlier this season. Sophomore forward Trainor scored two goals to help PHS rally from a 3-0 deficit as it defeated Cranford 5-4 on December 22. The Little Tigers, who improved to 6-1-2 with the win, start the 2018 portion of their schedule when they face Steinert on January 3 and Notre Dame on January 5 at the Mercer County Skating Center and then play at Wayne Valley on January 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High boys’ hockey team fell behind Cranford 3-0 in the first period of its final game in 2017, Aidan Trainor wasn’t fazed.

“That was kind of rough falling down early,” said PHS sophomore forward Trainor, reflecting on the December 22 contest played at Baker Rink. “We knew we had the offensive power to come back.” more

December 28, 2017

A two-alarm fire that started Wednesday night, December 27, in a three-story apartment building at the Griggs Farm complex on Billie Ellis Lane, took the life of a 73-year-old woman and displaced 35 residents. Larisa Bartone, who lived in an apartment at 21 Billie Ellis Lane, died in the fire. An investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.

The Princeton Police Department, Princeton Fire Department, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, and multiple fire departments from the area responded to the scene. The American Red Cross and Princeton’s Human Services department are assisting the residents, some of whom spent Wednesday night at The Nassau Inn. more

December 27, 2017

In a year characterized by protests and urgent affirmation of core values, about 250 people gathered in Palmer Square on Sunday, August 13 to show their support for the victims of Charlottesville and make their voices heard, taking to heart the words of Martin Luther King Jr., quoted by Assemblywoman Liz Muoio: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Anne Levin and Donald Gilpin

Much of the news in Princeton in 2017 arose in response to actions and initiatives emanating from Washington. It was a year full of political activity, with rallies and demonstrations taking place in Princeton almost weekly.

Immediately following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, a number of Princeton residents, including at least three Council members, joined more than 6,000 marching in Trenton for women’s rights, civil rights, and other issues. Many in Princeton also expressed concern for arts and education, with cuts threatened for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. more

LIVING LARGE: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Olivia Hompe, left, looks to unload the ball in game this spring. Senior star Hompe ended her career with a bang, setting the Princeton single-season record for points (with 110) and goals (with 75) as she helped the Tigers reach the NCAA quarterfinals. She graduated as program’s all-time leading scorer and goal-scorer with 285 points on 198 goals and 87 assists. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

A number of memorable and somewhat improbable title runs spiced up the pro sports world in 2017. Sloane Stephens shocked the world of women’s tennis when the unseeded and 83rd ranked American won the U.S. Open to earn her first major title. On the diamond, the Houston Astros outlasted the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers on the way to winning the first World Series title in franchise history, bringing joy to a city ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. In college football, the Clemson Tigers avenged a defeat to powerhouse Alabama in 2016 in the national final to win its first national title since the 1981 season. more