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
See below for the February 29, 2016 Princeton Council Meeting.
Town Topics Newspaper will be posting videos of all future municipal meetings.
A TWO-WAY STREET: An inmate at Albert Wagner Correctional Facility in Bordentown works towards his GED in weekly sessions under the guidance of a Princeton University student tutor as part of the Petey Greene Prison Assistance Program. The program has expanded rapidly over the past eight years and now boasts 120 student volunteers from Princeton and many more throughout New Jersey and beyond. (Photo Courtesy of Petey Greene Prison Assistance Program)
The United States has more people in prison than any other country in the world — upwards of 2.2 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. And the experience and consequences of incarceration leave formerly imprisoned people even more likely to remain poor and marginalized.
Although the U.S. spends more than $86 billion on corrections each year, it provides limited resources to facilitate re-entry. Ninety percent of incarcerated people will be released, but 40 percent will return to prison within three years. High recidivism weakens families and communities, perpetuating social and economic equalities. more
In the fall of 1969, as a sophomore, I walked into the Princeton University Office of Teacher Preparation to investigate the possibilities for a career in teaching. Mrs. Swain was presiding. Last week, a 41-year teaching career behind me, I walked into the Teacher Prep Office again. Mrs. Swain is still presiding.
The Office has moved, from West College to William Street. The program has seen five different directors, many changes in personnel and about 1000 University students gaining New Jersey Teacher Certification. Jacqueline L. Swain remembers, and has helped, all of them. “She is Teacher Prep,” said current program director Christopher J. Campisano. “If you want to know, Jacqui’s the one to talk to. She’s the heart and soul of the program. It’s the extraordinary program it is because of her work, because of Mrs. Swain. Anybody who walks through that door, regardless of whether they’re graduating or they were here 10 or 20 years ago, Jacqui will know their name.”
Jacqui Swain was born in Princeton, where her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents lived in a rambling old house on Clay Street near Witherspoon. Her parents moved to Rahway, where she went to school. She attended Rider College, graduated with a degree in Commerce and returned to Princeton, where she still lives. more
Labyrinth Books will host a discussion of two new books at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9: Noriko Manabe’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima (Oxford 2015) and Jonathan Pieslak’s Radicalism and Music (Wesleyan 2015).
According to Michael K. Bourdaghs, University of Chicago, “Contrary to widely held stereotypes, Japan has a long and loud history of public protest. As Noriko Manabe shows in her important new book, the massive demonstrations in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster belong to this tradition but also have produced their own distinct soundscape. Her detailed ethnographic and musical analysis of the parts numerous musicians have played in the movement vividly captures the sonic dimensions of this latest chapter from the history of Japanese street democracy.”
In Radicalism and Music (Wesleyan 2015), Jonathan Pieslak discusses music’s transformational impact on the radicalization, reinforcement, and motivational techniques of violent political activists in four radical groups: al-Qa’ida, racist Skinheads, Christian-affiliated radicals, and eco-animal rights militants.
Benjamin J. Harbert, co-editor of The Arab Avant-Garde: Music, Politics, Modernity, calls Radicalism and Music “a well-argued foil to the notion that music is a universal language that brings people together. The subtheme of music and its relationship to the Internet provides important groundwork for thinking of music as a particular ‘information technology’ without divorcing it from its ritual function.” more
The Garden Club of Princeton, member of Garden Club of America, Conservation Committee recently constructed a “Solar Suitcase,” a stand alone complete solar electricity system that fits into a rugged, weather and dust proof plastic suitcase suitable for travel to remote destinations, to help provide electricity to women at a birthing home in Sierra Leone.
The entire club supported the endeavor, allocating civic project funds to purchase the suitcase kit from the We Share Solar program. We Share Solar typically provides the kits to schools around the country, enabling students to learn about the science of solar electricity and international philanthropy. It also chooses and is responsible for delivery to communities without access to reliable electricity, which include schools, orphanages, community centers, and libraries. more
“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST”: This photograph by Olivia Nini, grade 10 — Ken Lockwood Gorge, High Bridge, New Jersey is part of the “Beauty and the Beast — the Fall and Rise of the Raritan River” exhibit at the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery on view through March 30.
D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery presents “Beauty and the Beast — the Fall and Rise of the Raritan River,” fine art photography by Princeton Day School students of Eileen Hohmuth-Lemonick, head of Upper School photography. Focusing on the historic Raritan River, the images are on view through March 30, 2016.
The “Beauty” section evokes the river’s course through stunningly beautiful New Jersey locations, home to many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals — many threatened and endangered. The “Beast” segment of the exhibit chronicles effects of the river’s use for transportation; as an energy source for crucial industries; and, tragically, receptacle for toxic wastes.
“We have canoed and photographed the Raritan from New Brunswick to Edison,” says Hohmuth-Lemonick. The Raritan is New Jersey’s longest river and includes the state’s largest contiguous stretch of wildlife habitat. D&R Greenway was founded to preserve land adjacent to waterways such as the Raritan River. more
EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING: Diana Weymar’s “Telegraph Creek: Tanning a Moose Hide” is part of the Arts Council of Princeton’s new exhibition, “Every Fiber of My Being,” on view in the Taplin Gallery, March 5 – April 17.
The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) presents Every Fiber of My Being, a group exhibition featuring textile and contemporary embroidery. Visitors can expect original works from artists Maira Kalman, Amy Meissner, Cassie Jones, Diana Weymar, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, Danielle Hogan, and Katie Truk.
Every Fiber of My Being is curated by the Arts Council’s 2016 Spring Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence, Diana Weymar. Growing up in the wilderness of British Columbia, Diana learned the importance and practical value of a vivid imagination. In her artwork, she is interested in how to interact with existing materials — photographs, clothing, text — to address issues of storytelling, identity, narrative, and documentation. more
“London, Waterloo Bridge” by Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)
To D.H. Lawrence, who died on March 2,1930 at 45, a “painted landscape is the background with the real subject left out.” It’s also where “the English exist and hold their own.”
Clearly, this is a novelist speaking, as well as a poet, philosopher, essayist in many realms, revolutionary, and a painter for whom landscape is the “background to an intenser vision of life.”
Some Serious Fun
As I make my way to the Princeton University Art Museum, I imagine Lawrence by my side looking the way he did to the doctor he hosted for tea and toast only weeks before he died, “a colorful figure with bright blue coat, red hair and beard and lively blue eyes” who “made the toast himself treating the operation as though it were a serious matter and at the same time great fun” — which is how I’d like to treat the subject of this column and the current exhibit, “Pastures Green & Dark Satanic Mills: The British Passion for Landscape.” more
When Mary Pat Robertson and her husband Michael came from New York City to Princeton in 1980, she thought she’d be retiring from her dance career. But the town, where the Robertsons moved so that he could pursue his doctorate at Princeton University, turned out to have a lot more dance to offer than she expected.
It wasn’t long before Ms. Robertson began teaching at Princeton Ballet School. Six years later, she was named the school’s director. In June, she will step down after 35 years teaching and administrating hundreds of students, some of whom have gone on to professional careers.
“I’ll miss the kids,” she said during a telephone interview last week. “But it’s time. I’ll probably do a little private coaching, and I look forward to getting back to choreography. I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking and I hope to expand that. I’m even contemplating writing a book for parents about what to look for in a ballet school.”
While ballet has played a major role in Ms. Robertson’s long career, contemporary dance has also been a focus. Before becoming the ballet school’s director, she co-founded the company Teamwork Dance and did a lot of freelance dancing and choreography. In New York, she studied the techniques of José Limón, Merce Cunningham, and Martha Graham. more
National Youth Art is celebrated during the month of March. Cranbury school student artists will be featured at the Gourgaud Gallery at Town Hall in Cranbury. The show will run from March 6-25.
Stacey Crannage, art teacher at Cranbury School, has selected art pieces from kindergarten through eighth grade to be showcased. Criteria used for selecting the Gallery artwork included technique, originality, and showcasing the student’s unique strengths and talents. Student artwork will include paintings, drawings, and sculpture, amongst others. more
Princeton Day School boys’ basketball players, from left, Craig Wrenn (No. 12), Chase Lewis (No. 3), and David Coit (No. 11) celebrate with teammates last Wednesday after top-seeded PDS edged third-seeded Morristown-Beard 66-62 in overtime in the state Prep B final. It was the first state crown for the program since the Panthers won the Prep A title in 1999. See page 40 for more details on the championship game. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Princeton Magazine is continuing the Oscar celebration with a selection of dazzling gold products.
The Oscar gold was spread around last night with Spotlight winning Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay; Leonardo DiCaprio taking home Best Actor for The Revenant; Mark Rylance and Alicia Vikander were named best supporting actor and actress, respectively, she for The Danish Girl; and Brie Larson took the best actress prize for Room.
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A NEIGHBORHOOD IN PICTURES: Several photo collages created by Witherspoon-Jackson resident Romus Broadway were on display in the corridor at Witherspoon Monday night, where Princeton Council met to consider making the neighborhood a historic district. The photo essays, spanning several decades, illustrate the history and heritage of the area. Before the meeting, many people were observed pointing out familiar places and locations.
At another standing-room-only meeting of Princeton Council in Witherspoon Hall Monday night, the proposed ordinance that would make the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood Princeton’s twentieth historic district drew spirited commentary from residents and other members of the public. Nearly all spoke strongly in favor of the concept. more
About 50 members of the Princeton Battlefield Society, meeting Saturday afternoon on the Maxwell Field buffer zone between the main battlefield and the Institute for Advanced Study, vowed to press on with their law suit and other measures planned to halt the Institute’s construction of faculty housing units. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon, in contemporary dress at center) spoke on behalf of the Battlefield Society’s efforts, as did Society President Jerry Hurwitz (standing to Gusciora’s left).
Fenwick Hospitality Group, owned by Jim Nawn, who also owns Agricola, the Great Road Farm, and the bar and bistro planned for the old Dinky train station, has purchased the Main Street Restaurant Group, including the Main Street Bistro in the Princeton Shopping Center, Main Street Eatery and Gourmet Bakery in Kingston and Main Street Fine Catering in Rocky Hill.
Mr. Nawn, former owner of 37 Panera Bread franchises in New Jersey, stated his respect for Main Street, which has been in the community since 1984. Mr. Nawn plans to move slowly with any future changes. more
See below for the February 22, 2016 Princeton Council Meeting.
Town Topics Newspaper will be posting videos of all future municipal meetings.
A fourth Democrat has announced her candidacy for a seat on Princeton Council. Anne Waldron Neumann, a former member of the Princeton Environmental Commission and Site Plan Review Advisory Board, has joined newcomers Tim Quinn and Leticia Fraga and incumbent Jenny Crumiller in the race for the two seats that are up for grabs. Ms. Crumiller issued a formal announcement this week that she is seeking re-election.
Incumbent Patrick Simon has said he will not seek re-election.
Affordability is the most pressing local issue to Ms. Neumann, who ran for Borough Council in 2010 but was defeated in the primary. “I grew up in Princeton,” she said in her release, “and I’m passionate about preserving our many diverse neighborhoods. How many Princetonians know that a third of all Princeton households, based on income alone, would be eligible for affordable housing?” more
BI-LINGUAL MORNING MEETING: In Damaris Rodriguez’s first grade class at Community Park School the dual language immersion program is in full swing, with half the classes conducted in English and half in Spanish and benefits for both native and non-native speakers.
For about 80 kindergarteners and first graders the school year so far at Community Park has provided a different sort of experience from that of past years or that of many of their peers. Those students and their four teachers have been plunged into a dual language immersion program (DLI), learning half the day in Spanish and half the day in English. more
FROM BROOKLYN TO MT. LUCAS ROAD: Brooklyn-born Grisele Gamboa at her desk at the Pediatric Group on Mt. Lucas Road: “I can’t see myself working anywhere else.” (Photo by Donald Gilpin)
Grisele Gamboa is a medical assistant at The Pediatric Group on Mt. Lucas Road in Princeton. After a series of jobs first in her hometown of Brooklyn, then getting married and moving to New Jersey and working as a paraoptometric assistant for Dr. Charles Allen in Princeton and a brief stint in the corporate world, she decided that nursing would be her future. Starting at The Pediatric Group about four years ago was a big step in that direction. Grisele, age 29, lives in Bridgewater with her husband and two-year-old son and is expecting another child in early May. She hopes to stay with The Pediatric Group forever and plans to earn her RN and possibly nurse practitioner degrees as she juggles her family and career over the next few years. Here, in her own words, Grisele talks about her life in the pediatrician’s office. more
The Princeton Family YMCA and YWCA, longtime neighbors on Paul Robeson Place, are reorganizing operations to help reduce confusion about which programs and services are held in which facility. Following the recommendations of a task group made up of representatives from both organizations, the YMCA Board of Directors voted unanimously at its January meeting to sign a Letter of Intent with the YWCA to put the changes into effect.
The transition will get underway in June. By September, the YWCA will run services from the Program Building and the Bramwell House, providing the childcare and bilingual nursery school, the Newcomers and Friends Club, robotics, the Breast Cancer Resource Center, dance, English as a Second Language, and the High School Equivalency Training Center. more
Best-selling author Lynn Olson will deliver a lecture on Morven Museum & Garden’s behalf on Sunday, March 6 at 4 p.m. at McCosh 50. “Those Angry Days: The Lindberghs and World War II” is presented in conjunction with Morven’s exhibition “Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Couple of an Age.”
The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required but seating is limited to a first come, first serve basis. Doors to McCosh 50 will open at 3 p.m. more
The Nassau Club will host an exhibition, “Landscapes,” from March 6 to May 1 by Hopewell artist Ken McIndoe. There will be a reception on Sunday, April 3, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Nassau Club, located at 6 Mercer Street, Princeton. Call (609) 924-0580 for exhibition hours. The show and reception are free and open to the public. The artist has been painting in New Jersey since 1960 and has been teaching a studio class at the Art Students League in New York City since 1981. He was a recipient of two New Jersey State fellowships, has exhibited frequently, and is represented in several private collections. Pictured above is McIndoe’s 22 x 30” oil on canvas titled, “Summer Clouds.”