June 28, 2017

The best time of all was Monterey. It was one of the highest points of my life.

—Janis Joplin (1943-1970)

“Everyone thought the Beatles were at Monterey in disguise,” said Derek Taylor, the group’s close friend and onetime press officer. “Three of the four, no one knew which three. But they were there. Well, they were and they weren’t.”

It didn’t matter that the Beatles were in England that mid-June weekend 50 years ago. People wanted to believe they were at the festival, so they were, and if any entity on the planet could be two places at once in the summer of 1967 it was the creators of Sgt. Pepper, which had come out on the first day of June, like a preface to the glory of Monterey Pop. Plus, Paul McCartney was on the festival’s Board of Governors and George Harrison’s “Within You, Without You” was spreading the life-flows-on mantra through speakers all over the fairgrounds.  more

WINNERS IN THE PRINCETON FESTIVAL’S YOUNG PIANISTS COMPETITION: Randy Brown of Jacobs Music Company presents the Richard Tang Yuk Award for Outstanding Performance to LiYuan Byrne of Verona, N.J. Byrne’s Grand Prize includes a trip to Tanglewood. Six young pianists were declared winners in the annual event held at the Clark Music Center on the campus of The Lawrenceville School. Jacobs Music of Lawrenceville sponsored the competition.

On Sunday, June 11, six young pianists were declared winners in The Princeton Festival’s annual Competition for Young Pianists. The annual event was held at the Clark Music Center on the campus of The Lawrenceville School. more

Blue Curtain, in cooperation with the Princeton Recreation Department, presents two evenings of free concerts on Saturday, July 15 and 22 at 7 p.m.  Both events, that will present musical traditions from around the globe, promise to thrill audiences. Pettoranello Gardens Amphitheater is located at Community Park North, Route 206 and Mountain Avenue.

With the Fourth of July falling on a Tuesday this year, Princeton and neighboring towns have four full days to celebrate. Numerous area activities commemorate America’s independence. From traditional fireworks and barbecues to visits by George Washington and readings of the Declaration of Independence, there are events for history buffs and party-goers of all ages.

Princeton

Morven July 4th Jubilee: From noon to 3 p.m., this free event offers live bluegrass music, a barbecue, an appearance by George Washington, a chance for kids to “sign” the Declaration of Independence, a dramatic presentation about women who “belonged to the army” during the American Revolution, ice cream making, paper making, and several other activities. It will be cancelled in the event of prolonged rain. Morven is at 55 Stockton Street. morven.orgmore

DRIVE TO SUCCEED: Princeton University women’s golfer Maya Walton displays her driving form. This past spring, Walton wrapped a superb freshman campaign by qualifying for the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, where she tied for 113th. In so doing, she become the third Tiger and the first Princeton freshman to play in the NCAA finals, joining Mary Moan ’97 in 1997 and Kelly Shon ’14 in 2013. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Maya Walton wasn’t thrilled with how she played last fall as she started her freshman campaign with the Princeton University women’s golf team. more

The 1719 William Trent House Museum is hosting free Camp Trent events for children ages 5-12 on select Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. Advance registration is preferred but not required.

For reservations, contact sluft@williamtrenthouse.org.

Saturday, July 8: Find and identify herbs and plants from Mr. Trent’s garden, plant seeds to take home and grow your own vegetables and flowers, hear a story from George Washington, and enjoy free ice cream.

Saturday, July 22: Write a letter to Billy Trent using a colonial style quill pen and ink, design and make your own wind chimes, hear a story from George Washington, and enjoy free ice cream. more

UNDER PRESSURE: Eric Murdock, Jr., dribbles the ball into the paint for Majeski Foundation in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League action last week. Last Monday, Murdock helped Majeski, which is comprised of current players on the The College of New Jersey men’s hoops team, edge LoyalTees 58-53. Murdock scored 19 points for Majeski as it improved to 2-0. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Eric Murdock, Jr., happily dribbled out the last 15 seconds of regulation as Majeski Foundation closed out a 58-53 win over LoyalTees last Monday in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. more

June 27, 2017

Reverend Johan Johnson

The parishioners at Trinity Episcopal Church on Crescent Avenue in Rocky Hill have just welcomed a new vicar. The Reverend Johan Johnson divides his time between Rocky Hill and Hightstown where he serves as chaplain at the Peddie School. He lives in Hightstown with his wife and their two children, ages 5 and 7 years old.

Father Johnson’s hope is that his ministry at Trinity will include outreach that improves the life of the community. For 16 years, he served a parish with a large, aging church building in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. “In that neighborhood at the 125th Street subway station there is a long staircase and an escalator. But the escalator had been out of service for years. We got together as a group of churches to lobby the MTA to get that escalator fixed. That’s the faith community getting together and using our spirituality to make the community where we live a better place.”  more

SHAKESPEARE ’70 TAKES ON BIG MORAL QUESTIONS IN DARK COMEDY: Shakespeare ’70’s “Measure for Measure” will run at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre, June 23 to July 2. In rehearsal for “Measure for Measure” are, from left, Timothy Kirk of Delran as Pompey, Russ Walsh of Morrisville, Pa., as Elbow/Abhorson, and Ernie Albanesius of Chesterfield as Froth/Barnardine. Tickets are available at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling (609) 570-3333.

“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall,” proclaims Shakespeare in “Measure for Measure,” coming to Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre. Dates and show times for this dark comedy are: Friday, June 23 and 30, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 24 and July 1 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 25 and July 2 at 2 p.m.  more

June 26, 2017

ADOPTING AN ASH: Jason Bond, plant health care specialist at Bartlett Tree Experts, injects the white ash behind the War Memorial bench at Nassau and Mercer Streets with pesticides to attack the emerald ash borer. It is Princeton’s first street tree to be injected in the selective chemical resistance effort funded by Princeton’s ongoing Adopt-an-Ash program. (Photo Courtesy of Patricia Frawley and Alexandra Radbil)

A 50-year-old white ash behind the War Memorial bench at Nassau and Mercer Streets last Wednesday became Princeton’s first street tree to receive the chemical resistance necessary to attack the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB). more

June 22, 2017

SLIDE SHOW: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player Chris Sumners, right, slides into second base in recent action. Last Thursday, recent Hun School graduate Sumners reached base three times and contributed an RBI single in a losing cause as Post 218 fell 14-2 to Lawrence Post 414. Princeton, which fell 10-2 to South Brunswick last Friday to drop to 1-6, plays at Lawrence on June 22 and has a doubleheader at Bordentown Post 26 on June 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Hosting Lawrence Post 414 last Thursday evening, the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team dug a 5-0 hole. more

June 21, 2017

Sgt. Lagomarsino, shown here with Taco, and other members of the Princeton Police Department’s 4th Squad community policing project teamed up on Sunday with SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals, to help find homes for some sweet pups. This is the second year that one of the PPD patrol squads partnered with SAVE for this event. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

In the wake of the June 6 primary contests, both Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for the November general elections, with the New Jersey governor’s race in the spotlight and state Senate and Assembly seats also up for grabs.

Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) President Owen O’Donnell urged Democrats to rally behind nominee Phil Murphy, who won Princeton only narrowly over PCDO-endorsed John Wisniewski in the primary, but triumphed handily in the statewide vote. more

MAKING THE ROUNDS: A black bear recently seen on Campbelton Road is believed to be the same bear that has also been spotted in several other Princeton and Lawrence neighborhoods. Anyone who sees a bear should report it to the police department. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Police Department)

A black bear has been showing up on local streets during the past few days. A five-second video of the bear romping down Campbelton Road is posted on the Facebook page of the Princeton Police Department, as is information about what to do, and what not to do, in the event of an encounter.

“He’s a little guy, but bears are deceptively strong,” said Sergeant Frederick R. Williams, spokesman for the Princeton Police Department. “He’s just been running around in the open as opposed to staying in the woods. It’s probably the same bear that was taking a dip in a Lawrenceville swimming pool.” more

Plans for Triumph Brewery to move from Nassau Street into the former U.S. Post Office branch on Palmer Square are inching closer to reality. Last week, Princeton’s Site Plan Review Advisory Board (SPRAB) met to review LCOR Ventures’ proposal for Triumph to operate a 300-seat restaurant at the site. The main entrance would be on Palmer Square East, where the former loading dock was located.

SPRAB approved the plan, with certain reservations, and referred it to the Planning Board, which will consider the issue next month. In the meantime, the Princeton Environmental Commission is scheduled to review the proposal on June 26, and the town’s Historical Commission will discuss the plan on June 29. more

Mercer will offer a First-Time Homebuyer Program workshop on Wednesday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence.

“Mercer County is again offering assistance to potential homeowners through our First-Time Homebuyer Program, and I invite you to sit in on this workshop to learn more about the lending process,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. more

The 2017 Eighth Annual New Hope Film Festival will take place from July 21 through 30. The judges selected 136 Official Selections, a number that includes 104 films from 16 countries and 32 scripts. Many of the films are U.S. and world premieres. The Festival will screen films from the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Philippines, Malawi, and Iceland.

All films will be screened at the New Hope Arts Center, 2 Stockton Avenue in New Hope. Filmmakers and screenwriters from around the country and abroad will attend the screenings. more

Artifacts found recently on the Princeton Battlefield, including rifle balls and buckshot, period buttons, brass buckles, and an iron axe head, are helping to shed light on the events of January 3, 1777.

An archeological and historical study just completed by the Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) and its consultants, archeologist Wade Catts of Commonwealth Heritage Associates and historian Robert Selig, did not yet find an anticipated mass burial site, but they will be carrying out additional investigations in the coming months.  more

Princeton Arborist Lorraine Konopka and Bartlett Tree Experts Local Manager Scott Tapp are leaders in the battle to combat the emerald ash borer and preserve Princeton’s ash trees. (Photo Courtesy of Patricia Frawley and Alexandra Radbil)

Board members of the 101:Fund, which provides Princeton High School graduates with financial assistance for college, awarded $125,000 in need-based scholarships in 2017. The organization has awarded more than $1 million to PHS seniors over the last four decades. 

Saturday, June 24 is wheat harvest day at Howell Living History Farm in Hopewell Township. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., farmers will “cut and shock” this year’s crop. Wheat harvested that day will be threshed on Saturday, July 29, the first day of the annual 4-H Fair. A reaper-binder will be used to cut and bundle the wheat. The farm is at 79 Woodens Lane. Admission is free. Visit www.howellfarm.org.

With forecasters predicting a busy 2017 hurricane and tropical storm season, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is urging County residents to prepare and plan for potential storms this summer and fall. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.

Although it’s impossible to predict how the season might affect Mercer County residents, the county executive advises residents that it’s better to be over prepared. Mr. Hughes suggests taking the following readiness steps in preparation for hurricane season: more

At a meeting on June 12, Princeton Council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance to better address the growing problem of stormwater runoff. This was welcome news to members of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, the Princeton Environmental Commission, Sustainable Princeton, Friends of Princeton Open Space, and others concerned with the increasing threat of major storms and the rise in developments that turn the ground into hard surfaces that don’t absorb water.

But the ordinance is only the first phase of action that environmentalists say must be taken in order to tackle the issue. “The passing of Princeton’s stormwater ordinance is a significant step forward to begin addressing these stormwater challenges,” said Molly Jones, executive director of Sustainable Princeton, this week.  more

ROCK BROOK CONNECTIONS: The Rock Brook School in Skillman recently held its Third Annual Family Night/Community Open House. Shown at the event, from left, are Lauren, Rock Brook student; Mary Caterson, executive director, Rock Brook School; Mark Caliguire, Somerset County freeholder and former mayor of Montgomery; and Henry, a RBS staff member’s son. The group is holding a chain link Connections Project, which the students worked on to celebrate the conclusion of Special Education Week. (Photo Courtesy of Rock Brook School)

On May 19, the Rock Brook School (RBS) in Skillman hosted its Third Annual Family Night/Community Open House. This event offered an opportunity for the community to visit the school and meet the students, staff, and families who make Rock Brook such a special place.  more

Rutgers University–New Brunswick faculty member Azzan Yadin-Israel will speak about his book The Grace of God and the Grace of Man: The Theologies of Bruce Springsteen (Lingua Press, 2016) from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, at Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick. The event is free and open to the public.

The Grace of God and the Grace of Man is divided into three parts. The first section traces the evolution of theological ideas in Springsteen’s early albums with a focus on critiques of traditional religious institutions and the possibility of redemption on the open road, a notion that Springsteen ultimately rejects in Darkness on the Edge of Town. The second section looks at records after Darkness and Springsteen’s refashioning of three common religious concepts: sin, grace, and the struggle within. The book’s final section — named “Springsteen’s Midrash” after the ancient commentaries on Hebrew scriptures — looks at songs with explicitly biblical source material, such as “Adam Raised a Cain” and “Jesus Was an Only Son,” to examine how Springsteen recasts traditional biblical stories to grapple with his own uncertain faith. more