December 30, 2015

Mirroring the Success Achieved by Pro Women Athletes, Girls Had More Fun on the Local Sporting Scene in 2015

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SUPER SAVER: Princeton University women’s water polo player Ashleigh Johnson makes a save in a game this season. Junior goalie Johnson starred as the Tigers won the CWPA crown and took sixth in the NCAA tourney. Johnson went on to help the U.S. national team win the FINA world championship in early August. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In a year that saw such women athletes as tennis player Serena Williams, U.S. women’s soccer star and New Jersey native Carli Lloyd, and mixed martial arts phenom Ronda Rousey dominate the headlines, it is no wonder that female athletes spiced up the local sporting landscape.

During the winter, the Princeton University women’s basketball team thrust itself into the national spotlight as it went 30-0 in the regular season, becoming the first men’s or women’s Ivy League hoops program to accomplish that feat. Coach Courtney Banghart’s squad topped Wisconsin-Green Bay 80-70 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to earn the team’s first-ever win in the national tourney and ended the season at 31-1 after falling to Maryland in the second round. Banghart, for her part, was named United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Women’s Coach of the Year. more

Book Rev

My wife and I celebrated Christmas Day in Simla, the former summer capital of British India. The only catch is it’s not really Simla, it’s the Masterpiece Theatre series Indian Summers, filmed on location — in Malaysia.

As it happens, Rudyard Kipling’s 150th birthday is today, December 30, 2015, and the lively, elegant nightmare of a doomed society that is the Simla Club in Indian Summers (“No Dogs or Indians”) evokes, for better or worse, the writer who put Simla on the map in 1888 in his first and most famous story collection, Plain Tales from the Hills. Half a century later in the PBS series being billed as “Downton Abbey Goes to India,” it’s 1932, Gandhi is on a hunger strike and Kipling’s “imperialist claptrap” is being mocked by two of the most likeable characters in the series, a politically passionate Parsi girl and a haplessly heroic Scotsman. They’re talking about the man George Orwell nonetheless credited for “the only literary picture that we possess of nineteenth-century Anglo-India,” something Orwell claims could be accomplished because Kipling “was just coarse enough to be able to exist and keep his mouth shut in clubs and regimental messes.” more

Art Rev

EXHIBIT HONORS GALLERY NAMESAKE: D&R Greenway Land Trust presents the artwork of three generations of Kuennes, the family that donated the funds to establish the Olivia Rainbow Gallery when the Johnson Education Center opened its doors as headquarters for D&R Greenway in 2006. The exhibit, on view through January 15, 2016, includes the image seen above, “Lake Champlain” by Peter William and Matthew Kuenne.

D&R Greenway Land Trust presents the artwork of three generations of Kuennes, the family who donated the funds to establish the Olivia Rainbow Gallery when the Johnson Education Center opened its doors as headquarters for D&R Greenway in 2006. The gallery is named in memory of the family’s gifted young daughter, Olivia Kuenne. The exhibit, on view through January 15, 2016, includes art by Olivia’s grandfather, noted painter Peter Vought; her mother, Leslie Kuenne, of Princeton; and Olivia’s brothers, Peter, William and Matthew Kuenne. The family has won prizes, awards, and had gallery displays in many media. Gallery hours are business days through January 15. Free and open to the public at One Preservation Place, Princeton.  more

Civil War Flags

The New Jersey State Museum will hold a special unveiling of 100 historic flags carried by New Jersey’s troops during the Civil War on Wednesday, December 30 at noon. The flags are some of the most distinctive in the collection and have not been on display for a number of years. Included will be the national colors of the 3rd and 15th Infantry regiments, the state colors of the 33rd Infantry regiment, a guidon from the 3rd cavalry, and a rare General McAllister’s headquarters Second New Jersey Brigade flag.  more

PugheAmong the descriptions of Princeton resident Roberta Pughe’s new book, Body as Sanctuary for Soul (White Cloud Press), is clinical psychologist and international shamanic teacher C. Michael Smith’s “a tour de force for our time” in which Ms. Pughe “weaves the practices of psyche and the sacred together in an embodied way. She diagnoses our cultural malaise and how this is reflected in much psychotherapy today.”

Roberta Pughe is a psychotherapist (licensed marriage and family therapist) and shamanic practitioner who has been practicing privately in Princeton for over 30 years. Her experience combines systems therapy, gestalt theory, and theological studies. She is the author of Resurrecting Eve.

For more information, visit www.whitecloudpress.com.

December 23, 2015

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An interactive candlelight service for children and families will take place at Princeton United Methodist Church at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Tom Shelton will direct the children’s choir and Rev. Jana Purkis-Brash will tell the story of Christ’s birth. The church is located at the corner of Nassau and Vandeventer. For more information, visit www.princetonumc.org.

The State Senate Environment and Energy Committee at a hearing in the State House in Trenton yesterday listened to more than two hours of testimony from the Princeton Battlefield Society and its allies, and proceeded to call for the Department of Environmental Protection to issue a stay, pending a meeting with the committee, on all activity at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) proposed building site, “to prevent irreparable harm to the historic site where the Battle of Princeton occurred as well as damage to the existing wetlands.

Neither the IAS nor the DEP was represented at the hearing.

The IAS project, construction of eight townhouses and seven single-family houses for Institute faculty on a parcel of approximately seven acres, has moved forward in the ground clearing process and many truckloads of sand have been delivered to the property, but no construction has yet commenced.  more

Hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. have risen in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and the anti-Muslim political rhetoric has persisted.

The nationwide conflict has reverberated in New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie called on the state to turn away Syrian refugees, including children, and a Rutgers-Eagleton poll early this month said that 45 percent of New Jersey residents do not want New Jersey open to refugees from Syria. Princeton University has not been immune to concerns about Islamophobia and offensive political rhetoric.  more

Tim Quinn, a former president of Princeton Public Schools and the director of communications for Princeton Public Library, announced last week that he will seek a seat on Princeton Council in the next election.

Bernie Miller, a Council member who has served as the governing body’s president for the past three years, said Monday that he will not stand for re-election to that position in 2016 but will continue his term on Council.

Mr. Quinn, a Democrat, currently serves as an alternate on the town’s Planning Board. In making his announcement last week, he said, “I want to help build a stronger, more inclusive and sustainable Princeton, where difference is celebrated and where all share in an abundance of municipal services and opportunities. In this stronger Princeton, newcomers will be embraced, and those, like me, who have lived here for a long time can continue to enjoy all our town has to offer.” more

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WALLS AND WINDOWS: Repainting the exterior and reglazing windows at Nassau Presbyterian Church was a recent project for Greenleaf Painters, which counts many houses of worship among its client base. Former pastor Jonathan Shenk started the company a decade ago.

Jonathan Shenk doesn’t limit his client base to houses of worship. But churches, synagogues, and Quaker meetinghouses figure highly in the work done by Greenleaf Painters, the company he founded a decade ago. Since Mr. Shenk is a former pastor and a self-described “missionary kid” whose parents were Mennonite missionaries, it makes sense.

The Princeton Junction resident, whose company is based in Lawrenceville, recently completed work on the exterior of Nassau Presbyterian Church, to which he and his family belong. In addition to residential projects, other local jobs have included the Jewish Center of Princeton and Princeton Baptist Church. The Ewing Presbyterian Church, which was considered uninhabitable and listed as one of Preservation New Jersey’s Ten Most Endangered Sites in New Jersey, is another client, as is the Friends Meetinghouse in Trenton. more

Kiplinger has named Princeton University as first in private universities and second overall in its 2016’s Top 300 Best College Values. Introduced in 1998, the rankings combine public schools, private universities, and private liberal arts colleges into a single, comprehensive list.

Washington and Lee University took the number 1 spot on the overall list, followed by Princeton and Harvard. Princeton took first place for private universities. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was ranked best public college for the 15th consecutive time. Davidson College earned second place, after Washington and Lee, for best liberal arts college.
The full rankings are now available online at Kiplinger.com/links/college and will appear in print in the February 2016 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 5. “We start with a universe of 1,200 schools, so each school in our rankings, from number 1 to number 300, is a best value,” said Janet Bodnar, Editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.  more

PPS Team

GREEN TEAM ON THEIR WAY: (L to R) Facilities Director Gary Weisman, Assistant Superintendent Bonnie Lehet, Athletics Director John Miranda, PPS parent Jennifer Jang, and Social Studies K-8 Supervisor Tim Charleston participate in the opening meeting of Princeton Schools’ program to achieve Sustainability Certification.

In partnership with the community to “reduce our collective carbon footprint,” Princeton Public Schools (PPS) has formed a Green Team and embarked on an initiative to achieve certification from Sustainable Jersey for Schools.

Co-chaired by Superintendent Steve Cochrane and science supervisor Edward Cohen, the PPS Green Team of approximately 20 staff, administrators, parents, community, and board members will advise and support the district’s efforts to study and adopt practices that integrate sustainability education into the curriculum, professional training, and use of resources.  more

Herrera BookRevBrian Eugenio Herrera, assistant professor in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater at Princeton University, has received the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his book, Latin Numbers: Playing Latino in Twentieth-Century U.S. Popular Performance, which examines Latino representation and Latino artists in American theater and culture. The Nathan Committee took particular note of the analysis of the success and impact of the 1957 musical West Side Story.

The Nathan Award, administered by Cornell University’s Department of English, has been given annually since 1959 for “the best piece of drama criticism during the theatrical year.” Named for theater critic George Jean Nathan, the award realizes his “object and desire to encourage and assist in developing the art of drama criticism and the stimulation of intelligent playgoing.” Awardees are selected by a majority vote of the heads of the English departments of Cornell, Princeton, and Yale universities. The award carries a $10,000 prize and is considered one of the most generous and distinguished in the American theater.

“I still can’t imagine my name among that august list of Nathan honorees,” said Mr. Herrera. “It’s humbling, really. But I am just so unapologetically proud that this year’s Nathan award recognizes a Latino writer writing about the long history of Latina/o performance in this country.” more

Berti Spranger BookEva Jana Siroka has published a new novel, My Life with Berti Spranger (Jorge Pinto Books, paper, $14.95). A sequel to Maddalena (2005), it centers on the discovery of a lost memoir.

“The memoir is fictionalized,” said Ms. Siroka, who has a PhD in art history from Princeton, “but is rooted in the culture of Rudolfine Prague and Spranger’s patron’s taste for exotica and erotica.” Spranger’s paintings were recently exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. “I had been carrying his paintings and drawings in my mind for decades. He is such a fascinating character, a court painter who served a cardinal, a pope, and two Holy Roman Emperors, that I knew he’d be a natural narrator for the sequel to Maddalena, given his privileged position at the Rudolfine court.”

According to Midwest Book Review, My Life with Berti Spranger “is one of those novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library Literary Fiction collection…enthusiastically recommended reading.”

A professional artist with works in North America and Europe, Ms. Siroka is currently preparing two exhibitions in Princeton and Toronto. Inspired by Spranger’s original drawings and period prints, she has illustrated the current book and designed its cover.

PU Art Museum

Princeton University’s upcoming exhibition, “By Dawn’s Early Light: Jewish Contributions to American Culture from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War,” consists of more than 160 books, maps, manuscripts, prints, and paintings, including some of the earliest novels, plays, scientific treatises, and religious works produced by Jews in the United States. The exhibition is based on the loans and gifts to Princeton University from Leonard L. Milberg, Class of 1953, as well as loans from museums, libraries, synagogues, and private collections. The exhibit will open on Saturday, February 13 and be on view through June 12. Pictured above is a work by American-born Thomas Sully, “Rebecca Gratz, 1831,” an oil on panel from The Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia.

There might be as many ways to perform Handel’s oratorio Messiah as there are to cook a holiday turkey — how many “sides” and “dressings” there are to the performance is at the discretion of the conductor from a myriad of choices in historical versions, soloists, phrasing, tempi, and ornamentation. December Messiah performances in Princeton are usually the domain of local choruses, but last weekend conductor Jacques Lacombe brought the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra NJSO) to Richardson Auditorium for a presentation of Handel’s immortal choral/orchestral work.

It was clear from the outset of the performance that Mr. Lacombe was very familiar with the work, exploring unique ideas in instrumentation and selection of arias. For Friday night’s concert, Mr. Lacombe looked back to the 1743 London performances of the piece, with an orchestra resembling Handel’s original ensemble. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra onstage included chamber-sized contingents of strings, as well as a pair of trumpets and oboes, a single bassoon, timpani, and both harpsichord and portative organ. Conducting without a baton, Mr. Lacombe began the opening “Overture” with decisive double-dotted rhythms, yet found grace and elegance with small sweeps in the lean string playing.  more

A struggle between a family’s enduring legacy and its chance for a brighter future takes center stage in August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, running January 8 through February 7 at McCarter Theatre.

Winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, The Piano Lesson is set in 1930s Pittsburgh, revolving around the Charles family and the fate of an ancient piano covered in carvings. To reclaim his family’s legacy, Boy Willie (Marcus Callender) wishes to sell their priceless heirloom, but will his sister Berniece (Miriam A. Hyman) and the ghosts of their past stand in his way? more

record revA good way to go in this life is to find something you really enjoy doing and then learn to do it better than anybody. — Chet Baker

Tis the season to be jolly and celebrate Chet Baker, who was born on this date, a day short of Christmas Eve, December 23, 1929. What does the man whose trumpet and voice put West Coast jazz on the map have to do with Christmas? You could ask the same of the weather, with 72 degrees predicted for Christmas Eve, or of Bob Dylan, whose album, Christmas in the Heart, was reviewed here on the same day of the month six years ago.

Online you can join the patrons of an Amsterdam jazz club watching Chet Baker play “Auld Lang Syne” on the last New Year’s Eve of his life, December 31, 1987. He begins in a tentative, almost desultory way before the momentum of the moment moves him and he makes a gesture to the rhythm section, as if to say really play it, take it to the limit, give it the full measure of your devotion, and with that he dives into the second chorus, bending the notes just so, as only he can do, each one as bright and simple as the lights on a Christmas tree.  more

Battlefield Tour

Join members of the Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) on Wednesday, December 30 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. for a free walking tour of Clarke House and Princeton Battlefield. Learn about the progress of the battle through its two main phases and how the Patriots were beaten back in the first phase, only to rally under General Washington to win in the Counterattack. PBS will also reveal the details of a recently discovered mass grave, which is the focus of a federal grant. more

Toy Drive

Displaying some of the thousands of toys and gifts collected during the annual Mercer County holiday toy drive are Mercer County Park Rangers Fran Lippincott, Jeffrey Pownall, and Andrew Ridolfi. For security reasons, the Marine could not be named. This year’s drive was an unprecedented success due to support from such local businesses as PetSmart in Hamilton Township and Atrium Health and Senior Living, which between them donated thousands of toys for less fortunate children. The toys were presented to Marine Corps Reserve representatives for the Toys for Tots Program at the historic Hunt House in Hopewell Township.

December 16, 2015

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Today, December 16, is the last chance to see the beautiful holiday decorations by garden clubs from across New Jersey at Drumthwacket, the New Jersey governor’s mansion on Stockton Street. For more than 25 years, decorating for the holidays on the mansion’s first floor has been a tradition. The Drumthwacket Foundation continues this year with a nostalgic look back, partnering with The Garden Club of New Jersey and Garden Club of America. Other participating clubs in this festive display include clubs from Bay Head, Keyport, Mountain Lakes, Warren, Morristown and Somerset Hills. Hours are 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and reservations are necessary. Visit drumthwacket.org/vist/reservation-form. Admission is free. (Photo courtesy of NJ Office of Information Technology) 

See below for the December 14, 2015 Princeton Council Meeting.

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

At a meeting between Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber and Princeton Council, Mr. Eisgruber touched on a host of issues ranging from expansion of the student body to sexual assaults on campus. The meeting was held at the former Borough Hall on Monday evening.

This is the third time in three years that the governing body has invited Mr. Eisgruber to speak about issues pertinent to “town and gown.” “Maintaining an open channel is important,” Mr. Eisgruber said in his opening remarks, adding, “Three years is sufficient to call it a tradition at this point.” more

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FIGHTING FOR RESPECT: Princeton University men’s hockey player David Hallisey, left, battles a foe for the puck in a game earlier this season. Last Friday at Penn State, sophomore forward Hallisey chipped in two assists as Princeton rallied from a 4-0 deficit to draw within one goal before succumbing 6-3. A night later, Hallisey scored the lone goal for Princeton as it fell 4-1 in an exhibition game against the USA Under-18 team. The Tigers, now 4-9 overall, are next in action when they host No. 3 Quinnipiac (15-1-2) on December 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

David Hallisey is making up for lost time this winter in his sophomore season with the Princeton University men’s hockey team. more

Princeton Insider Feature Image

Princeton Magazine has hand-picked a selection of stocking stuffers to suit everyone in your family. From delicious chocolates to gifts for the outdoorsman, simply click each product image to browse and buy. Be sure to place orders as soon as possible for Christmas delivery!

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