September 8, 2021

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton’s Cannabis Task Force (CTF) is preparing to recommend an ordinance for Princeton Council permitting three cannabis dispensaries in town. The CTF is seeking input at two public meetings in the next 10 days, on Thursday, September 9 at 7 p.m. on Zoom (link available on the municipal website at princetonnj.gov) and Saturday, September 18 at 10 a.m. in person, location to be determined, or on Zoom depending on weather and COVID-19.

“The purpose of these meetings is to get people to weigh in on the proposed recommendations of the CTF to allow three retail establishments in town,” said Councilwoman and CTF Chair Eve Niedergang in a September 6 phone interview. “We’re reaching out to the public. We want people to be aware of this and the earlier we get input from the public the earlier we can take advantage of that input.”

The 23-member CTF, appointed by the municipality of Princeton, chose to opt out on the state’s August 21 deadline for passing ordinances for the cannabis industry in town. Their goal is to prepare an ordinance to opt in at some point this fall. The CTF felt that the community needed more time to solicit community input and develop plans and requirements that fit Princeton’s values and needs.

Niedergang explained that the CTF has been considering which of the town’s seven commercial zones might be the most appropriate locations for cannabis dispensaries. The discussion has been lively, she said, but the members seem to be in agreement on moving ahead with public meetings followed by an October recommendation to Council, if possible.

The Princeton zones under consideration include the central business district, the northern portion of Witherspoon Street, Jugtown near the intersection of Nassau and Harrison streets, the Alexander Street/Road area, the Princeton Shopping Center, and two areas on Route 206: one south of the Municipal Building near Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad and another near Bottle King. more

By Donald Gilpin

The population of Princeton is 30,681, in an area of about 18 square miles, with a population density of 1,729 per square mile, according to the United States Census Bureau 2020 results reported last month.

The consolidated Princeton population (the municipality was established in its current form with the merging of the Borough and the Township in 2013) grew by about 7.4 percent over the past 10 years, making Princeton the 26th largest town in the state.

The racial composition of Princeton is 72.5 percent white, 16.9 percent Asian, 7.5 percent Hispanic or Latino, 5.7 percent Black or African American, and 3.7 percent two or more races.

The median house value in Princeton is $866,200, and the median age in Princeton is 33.8 years, 30.7 for males and 39.4 for females. Females make up 49.2 percent of the Princeton population, males 50.8 percent.

The population in Mercer County grew by 5.7 percent from 2010 to 2020, with Robbinsville seeing the biggest increase of 13.4 percent to 15,476, followed by East Windsor 10.5 percent to 30,045, West Windsor 8.7 percent to 29,518, Pennington 8.4 percent to 2,802, Hightstown 7.4 percent to 5,900, Trenton 7 percent to 90,871, Hamilton 4.3 percent to 92,297, Ewing 4.1 percent to 37,264, and Hopewell Township up 1.1 percent to 17,491. Hopewell Borough saw a .2 percent decline to 1,918, and Lawrence Township a 1.2 percent decline to 33,077.  more

FARMLAND PRESERVED: As Hunterdon Land Trust celebrates 25 years of preserving farmland and open space, it offers events such as a tour of the barns at Dvoor Farm, its headquarters in Flemington, on September 12 at 10:30 a.m. The farm tells the story of the region’s farm culture and architecture from the mid-18th to mid-20th centuries through its buildings and barns, like this horse barn built in the 1930s.

By Wendy Greenberg

Hunterdon Land Trust (HLT) is celebrating 25 years of protecting open space, but Patricia Ruby is looking forward as well.

“We are constantly working on new land preservation projects,” said Ruby, who has served as HLT executive director since 2012. “But one of the big stories is that this year we closed more projects than ever before.”

The goal, she said, was to have 10,000 acres preserved by 2020, “and we have blown through that milestone, and now we are at 10,350 acres,” she said. “We closed recently on 70 acres, and this year there have been nine closings compared to the typical two to five.” (Two additional closings were expected shortly.)

To celebrate both past and current achievements, a virtual Celebration and Fundraiser on September 19 at 5 p.m. will mark HLT’s 25-year anniversary, and also look ahead. In addition to workshops, the organization will honor Board Secretary Larry LaFevre, along with Ralph Celebre and Susan Haase, owners of Basil Bandwagon Natural Market.

The nationally accredited nonprofit HLT will host several events this fall, including a free tour of the historic barns at Dvoor Farm in Flemington, which serves as its headquarters, on Sunday, September 12 at 10:30 a.m. On the tour, Christopher Pickell of Pickell Architecture in Flemington will discuss the history of the property’s barns and wagon house, which date from around 1800 to the 1930s. For the first time, participants can see how the buildings were constructed and what makes them unique. Space is limited, and registration is required. To sign up, email Director of Outreach Dave Harding at dave@hunterdonlandtrust.org.

HLT’s plans for Dvoor Farm call for a “sensitive rehabilitation” of the barns, so they can be used for children’s camps, corporate retreats, life celebrations, and educational programming. Infrastructure improvements to provide public restrooms are on the agenda, as well as improved traffic flow and parking, and natural resource restorations to benefit pollinator meadows and wetlands, streams, and stormwater management. more

By Wendy Greenberg

Some three years ago Princeton architect Joshua Zinder viewed the film Sukkah City, the story of a New York City competition based on the creative design of a sukkah, a hut-like shelter made for the Jewish fall festival of Sukkot. The event was a means to draw attention to such issues as housing insecurity, homelessness, and hunger.

When Zinder brought the movie to The Jewish Center Princeton, it ignited the enthusiasm to hold a similar event in town. But fall 2019 was a busy time for the synagogue, celebrating its 75th anniversary, and by March 2020, COVID-19 canceled the plans.

“I’m not one who gives up so easily,” said Zinder, who is president of the AIA of New Jersey and managing partner of the Princeton integrated architecture and design firm JZA+D. “So this year we reinvigorated it.”

Sukkah Village Princeton 2021 is finally happening. The interfaith community program involves some 20 Princeton area religious and cultural groups bringing attention to affordable housing, hunger, homelessness, sustainability, and refugees, via architecture. Princeton’s Sukkah Village opens September 19 at noon and closes September 29 at 9 a.m.

“Even though Sukkot is a Jewish holiday,” said Zinder, “everyone can celebrate it. It brings awareness to critical issues in New Jersey.”

Sukkot is a weeklong Jewish holiday that celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the sheltering of the Israelites wandering for 40 years in the desert following the exodus from Egypt. The observance is marked by spending time in a sukkah, a recreation of the hut-like structures that housed the ancient Jews. As a temporary dwelling, Zinder explained, the sukkah symbolizes the fragility of human existence.  more

“A PRINCETITUTION”: The Trinity Church Rummage Sale, in operation since 1971, is scheduled for September 23, 24, and 25 at the Trinity Church on Mercer Street. Trinity Librarian Rob Fraser and Department Chair for Art and Antiquities Connie Escher display some of the thousands of items to be sold to support the church’s outreach efforts in what might be the end of a tradition after 50 years.

By Donald Gilpin

It started in 1971 with just one table for each sales category — used clothing, toys, jewelry, white elephants. A few “better things” (now known as “The Boutique”) were sold on the tiny stage, all in the old Pierce Hall at Trinity Church on Mercer Street. The idea originated in the “jumble sales” in Victorian England, where the Anglican church raised money for itself and for causes worldwide.

Fifty years later the Trinity Church Rummage Sale, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of sales over the years to support the church’s outreach efforts, is preparing for its possible grand finale on September 23, 24, and 25. Thousands of items — clothing, art, antiques, housewares, linens, books, and much more — will fill five or six large rooms at the church. Dozens of volunteers will be working long hours, with many hundreds of shoppers anticipated.

Thursday, September 23 is sale preview day from 1 to 5 p.m., with a $10 entry fee and a long waiting line expected before the 1 p.m. opening. On Friday, September 24, the sale runs from noon to 5 p.m., and on Saturday, September 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (no entry fee on regular sale days).

In preparation for that first sale in 1971, a few volunteers sorted and priced items in front of the Pierce Hall stage, and the items were stored on the stage and in two small rooms. The treasurer’s report from 1971 lists a total of $2,585.77 in sales of accessories, children’s clothes, fun and games, household jewelry, bric-a-brac, and men’s and women’s clothes.

“The volume of the sale grew almost exponentially,” according to a 1987 Trinity Church report titled “Come, Celebrate Rummage at Trinity: A Serious Enterprise.” The previous year the Boutique and Better Dresses sections had produced “an astounding $18,000 in six hours of non-stop action,” with the one-day event earning $25,000.  more

By Stuart Mitchner

A little bit of courage is all we lack
So catch me if you can, I’m goin’ back…

—Carole King, from “Goin Back”

Looking ahead to Thursday, Princeton’s first day of the new school year, I’ve been going back to school, way way back to my first, McCalla Elementary, which was named for Bloomington Indiana’s first female school superintendent and was an easy two-block walk from home. Otherwise, all my schooling, K-12, took place in the same building, with one notable exception (ninth grade in New York City). The country school where I spent grades four through six is a lesser exception since getting there involved a long school bus ride through hills and valleys and woods to a two-room red-brick schoolhouse called Poplar Grove. That humble building still stands and so does the two-story Classical Revival structure that housed McCalla, which is currently used by the Indiana University School of Fine Arts for sculpture classes.

Lost and Found

After a too-hasty online search, I actually began to fear that the university had demolished the Art Deco building I’d entered as a kindergartner and left as a graduating senior. I was aware that the interior had been gutted long ago because I have a small, neatly cut and polished chunk of the wooden banister with a small plaque attached: University School 1937-1964. On the opening page of my senior yearbook there’s a two-page photograph of U-School’s Indiana limestone facade next to which a “lamentful” sophomore friend has drawn a ballpoint arrow and the words, “Stu, if you’re smart, boy, you’ll stay the hell out of here.”

And so I did for decades, until a classmate and I wandered inside on a June day in 1989. As soon as I walked down the hallway where my locker had been, I realized that I’d been there before in my dreams. I don’t mean nightmares, just dreams of the sort that take you down long, strange, vaguely familiar hallways and stairways and landings, while you try to fulfill enigmatic missions at the urging of various ghostly teachers whose names you’ve forgotten or would prefer not to remember. In these dreams I sometimes end up on the ground floor outside the boy’s locker room, the scene of an ugly, real-life fistfight between a senior class officer and a tough country kid. The class officer was getting the worst of it, his nose bleeding all over his powder blue cashmere sweater. Here were two societal extremes, the elite city kid and the country boy who was never invited to parties of the in-crowd, even if he happened to be a hero on the field.

My friend and I were in there no longer than the time it took to hear the spooky quavering of our voices echoing in the hallway. We’d been kidding around, like old times, and the sounds we were making came back at us like something on the soundtrack of a low-grade horror movie.  more

SO PERCUSSION: The ensemble will perform in a free (ticketed) concert in Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on Saturday, September 18. The event marks the University Department of Music’s first in-person campus concert since the pandemic.

So Percussion will present a free (ticketed) concert on Saturday, September 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, on the campus of Princeton University.

This marks the University Department of Music’s first in-person campus concert since the pandemic. The University’s Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence will be joined by guest artist Shodekeh Talifero, a beatboxer, vocal percussionist, and breath artist who pushes the boundaries of the human voice.

The program will feature works by Bryce Dessner, Nathalie Joachim, Shodekeh Talifero, Jason Treuting, and Julia Wolfe, including Dessner’s Music for Wood and Strings, a work commissioned by Carnegie Hall for which the composer worked with instrument builder Aron Sanchez of the Blue Man Group to develop new dulcimer-like instruments for the ensemble. Dessner has become a familiar voice on campus, with a new work co-commissioned by Princeton University Concerts to be performed by the Takács String Quartet in February. 

In accordance with Princeton University policy, all concert attendees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to wear a mask inside the concert venue. Unvaccinated children will not be permitted entry. Free tickets are required, and will become available on Monday, September 13 at 12 p.m. (ET) online at music.princeton.edu. Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

Fingers crossed, New York City Ballet’s production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” will be back on the stage of the David Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center from November 26 through January 2. There are 47 performances of the holiday classic, which Balanchine created in 1954. Single tickets go on sale October 11. There are certain protocols in place involving COVID testing for unvaccinated children, and other requirements. Visit nycballet.com for details and online purchases.

Danielia Cotton

After a year and a half pandemic shutdown, Hopewell Theater is reopening its doors on Friday, September 10 at 8 p.m. — the date of the Theater’s four-year anniversary — with a grand reopening show featuring international recording artist Danielia Cotton.

The event begins with a pre-show party at 6:30 p.m., followed by the 8 p.m. live music performance by Cotton.

“Happy to be a part of the official reopening of my hometown theater post COVID lockdown,” says Cotton, a rock singer-songwriter born and raised in Hopewell. “It is my honor to once again perform in this small but mighty theater that has become a true gem in the town I grew up in.”

During the pre-show celebration, patrons are invited to enjoy light gourmet refreshments, and sip to toast the grand reopening. There will also be activities such as a photo booth and prize giveaways. Patrons can enter to win giveaways such as Danielia Cotton merchandise and a dual membership to the theater. Additionally, all attending patrons will receive a free gift, courtesy of the artist and Hopewell Theater.

“We are relived to be reopening and grateful to our patrons for their support during this long shutdown,” says Sara Scully, co-owner of Hopewell Theater. “We cannot wait to see everyone together again in out theater at our reopening celebration, September 10.”

The theater has taken the necessary precautions for the safety of its patrons, staff, and artists, including HVAC upgrades, thorough cleaning and sanitation before and after shows, and requiring all patrons, talent, and staff to wear a mask when in the building.

Tickets for the reopening celebration are for sale for $30-35 ($36 on day of show) and can be purchased at tickets.hopewelltheater.com.

Following the reopening celebration, the theater will reopen at full capacity with an eclectic lineup of fall programs.

Hopewell Theater is located at 5 South Greenwood Avenue in Hopewell. For more information, visit HopewellTheater.com.

The Nassau Club of Princeton, 6 Mercer Street, will present an Artist’s Reception with Charles David Viera on Sunday, September 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. Viera will discuss his current exhibition, “Reality Revisited: Paintings by Charles David Viera,” on display at The Nassau Club through September 26. The reception is free and open to the public but due to COVID restrictions, no refreshments will be served, and visitors are encouraged to wear masks. For more about the artist, visit charlesdavidviera.com.

“CROSSWORLDS”: This work by Jeff McConnell is part of a pinhole photography exhibit, featuring photographs by seven local artists, on view at Small World Coffee on Nassau Street September 9 through October 5. A reception is Sunday, September 12 from 12-3 p.m.

Small World Coffee, 254 Nassau Street will host an exhibit by seven local artists working with the historical photography process of pinhole photography. On view Thursday, September 9 through October 5., the exhibit will be open daily during business hours. A reception with the artists will be held on Sunday, September 12 from 12 to 3 p.m.

Pinhole photography requires the artist to use a rudimentary lens-less camera, oftentimes homemade from recycled materials, to capture an image through a small pin-sized hole. This type of camera lends itself to creating photographs with long exposures with almost infinite depth of field, possible light leaks, and warped perspectives.  more

 

Warren Street downtown Trenton, St. Joe’s Avenue in East Trenton, the Roebling Wire Works building, and Artworks’ main galleries will be bursting with art and activities as a combined Art All Day/Ciclovia returns on Saturday, September 18 from noon to 6 p.m. Mindful of the continuing threat of COVID-19, organizers are again planning an event where safety is a priority, featuring outdoor activities and multiple safety protocols for indoor sites.

Highlights include the Freedom Skate Park and Trenton Circus Squad at the Roebling Wire Works, live mural painting outdoors and artist open studios and two special exhibits inside at Artworks, plus an activated open Warren Street downtown in partnership with the Trenton Downtown Association, and another open street on St. Joe’s Avenue at Breunig Avenue Park in partnership with the East Trenton Collaborative. more

“THE LOOK”: This mixed media mosaic by Helene Plank was featured on the cover of the National Button Bulletin, and will be on display at the New Jersey State Button Society’s Fall Show September 11 at the Union Fire Company in Titusville. Measuring 25 by 31 inches, it uses buttons, sequins, and beads made from glass, plastic, metal, wood, and ceramics, and it took 118 hours to complete.

Celebrating its 80th birthday, the New Jersey State Button Society (NJSBS) will open its Fall Show and Competition to the public, for free, on Saturday, September 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Union Fire Company and Rescue Squad hall, 1396 River Road in Titusville.

“We’re offering special activities for those new to button collecting, says Barbara Figge Fox, NJSBS president. “Safety is our first priority. Masks, available at the door, will be required at all times.”

Members of the NJSBS share an interest in studying, collecting, and preserving clothing buttons, both old and new. Sewers, knitters, quilters, costume designers, and re-enactors will be able to choose from thousands of clothing buttons offered by dealers from the eastern seaboard.

Button displays will celebrate its birthday, and Frank Sinatra song hits from 1941 (“Oh Look at Me Now”) will signal the hourly drawing of door prizes. On view will be button art by Helene Plank, who has created more than 20 prize-winning button mosaics, each using from 1,700 to 1,900 buttons, sewn onto the canvas.

For information on “Together Again,” the first in-person button show in the tri-state area since COVID, go to NewJerseyStateButtonSociety.com, email ButtonsInNewJersey@gmail.com, or call (609) 759-4804.

EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE: “In addition to instructing students and introducing them to all aspects of dance, a huge part of our program is building relationships. We’ve had some students since they were 3 years old, and who have continued to come over the years. We offer a wonderful program for students of all ages and levels of ability.” Elise Knecht, left, and her daughter Ashlee, co-owners of Knecht’s Danceworks, are enthusiastic about their current program, which is on site and in person.

By Jean Stratton

For more than 60 years, the Knecht family has been sharing its dance expertise with students, audiences, and all those who love the dance in all its forms.

Established in 1959 by Fred and Joanne Knecht, Danceworks (then known as Knecht Dance Academy) has been a dynamic force in dance instruction, and it is a true family operation.

Their daughter Elise is now co-owner of the studio with her daughter Ashlee, who is the third generation to be actively involved. Both women also serve as instructors.

After many years in Bucks County, Knecht’s Danceworks moved to the Pennington Square Shopping Center on Route 31 in Pennington last year. Formerly the location of Karen Martin’s Dance Works of Mercer County, the spacious setting offers two state-of-the-art dance studios, featuring sprung and Marley floors, which are easier on the legs and feet and overall body health, points out Elise Knecht. more

BIRD IN FLIGHT: Lizzie Bird flies over a hurdle in a 3,000-meter steeplechase race during her career with the Princeton University women’s track team. Last month, Bird ’17, competing for Great Britain, took ninth in the women’s steeplechase in the Tokyo Olympics, setting a new British national record of 9:19.68 in the process. (Photo provided by Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Justin Feil

Lizzie Bird felt that she could run better after graduating from Princeton University, but even she was surprised by the level of her recent success.

The 2017 Princeton graduate and native of St. Albans Herts, England, set a new British national record of 9:19.68 and placed ninth in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in August.

“I wouldn’t have expected this three or four years ago when I just graduated,” said Bird. “I feel like the progression since 2018 has been steady.”

Bird closed her racing season by taking 12th place in the women’s steeple at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., after the Olympics, and shifted attention to starting law school.

Given her recent success, Bird has no plans to stop racing, but the build-up will look different while she studies and trains quite fortunately in the running mecca at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

“I know not being full-time, I won’t be able to train at the same rate,” said Bird.

“I can’t do two-a-days. I think I still have a lot more in me. I think I can still improve. At the Olympics, just seeing I was third European, maybe I can be challenging for a medal at Europeans or Commonwealths and that can be a pretty cool thing for this year. I have to be realistic that by taking on law school at the same time it will be more challenging and I might not improve at the same rate; but this is a decision I made that I’m ready to do something else on the side that’s a little less of a selfish pursuit.” more

ON HIS TOES: Princeton University men’s soccer player Daniel Diaz-Bonilla, right, battles Nico Rosamilia of Rutgers for the ball last Friday night in Princeton’s season opener. Junior forward Diaz-Bonilla generated a number of chances for the Tigers in a losing cause as Princeton fell 1-0 to the Scarlet Knights. Princeton was slated to play at Vermont on September 7 before heading to Colgate on September 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Daniel Diaz-Bonilla and his teammates on the Princeton University men’s soccer team were bound to be a bit rusty as they hosted Rutgers last Friday night in their season opener.

Princeton hadn’t played a game in nearly two years with the 2020 season having been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns and had a brief preseason in preparing to play a battle-tested Scarlet Knight squad.

“This team has only been together for two weeks after two years off and that team had a season in the spring,” said junior forward Diaz-Bonilla. “They have already had two games and a month together.”

But with the shifty Diaz-Bonilla displaying some dazzling footwork, the Tigers were able to put Rutgers on its heels several times outshooting the Scarlet Knights 8-7 in the first half as rivals played to a scoreless draw over the first 45 minutes of the contest.

The attacking unit of senior Kevin O’Toole, sophomore Walker Gillespie, senior Frankie DeRosa, and junior Ryan Clare along with Diaz-Bonilla was in sync despite the long hiatus from game action.

“We trust each other,” said Diaz-Bonilla. “We are always fluid, we are moving, we are getting off each other. I could play on the right, Kevin can play on the left and Walker can drop down. It is super fluid. We have got Frankie coming off the bench and Ryan sometimes goes up for us. We have a lot of options.” more

FRESH APPROACH: Princeton University field hockey player Beth Yeager, center, races upfield past two North Carolina defenders last Friday in Princeton’s season opener. The 13th-ranked Tigers fell 4-1 to top-ranked UNC and then showed progress in losing 3-2 in overtime to No. 5 Louisville two days later. Freshman star Yeager notched her first college goals in the loss to the Cardinals, tallying both scores for Princeton in the defeat. In upcoming action, the Tigers host No. 12 Duke on September 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It didn’t take long for Beth Yeager to make an impact for the Princeton University field hockey team last weekend in her collegiate debut.

After the highly touted striker generated five shots on goal but was held scoreless in a 4-1 loss to top-ranked and three-time defending national champion North Carolina on Friday, Yeager tallied both goals for No. 13 Princeton in a 3-2 overtime loss to fifth-ranked Louisville two days later.

While Yeager was disappointed by the defeat to the Cardinals, she saw positives coming out of the setback.

“We were excited to come out today and work on a few things,” said Yeager.

“Even though it was a disappointing result, there was a lot of progress that we made. It is a long season, there is lots to build on.”

Yeager was excited to notch her first collegiate goal, which came on a penalty stroke midway through the first period to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

“I was just aiming for the spot, trying to keep calm, not focus on all of the noise around me and do my best,” recalled Yeager, a 5’7 native of Greenwich, Conn., who has competed for the U.S. U-17 and U-19 outdoor junior teams.  more

Princeton High football player Jaiden Johnson, center, leaps for the ball in a game last fall. Last Saturday, Johnson and the PHS kicked off the 2021 campaign by falling 26-7 at Overbrook High. Senior receiver Johnson scored the lone Tiger touchdown in the game on a 27-yard reception from quarterback Jaxon Petrone. Johnson made nine catches for 140 yards in the contest with Petrone completing 14-of-35 passes for 189 yards. The Tigers will look to get on the winning track when they host Haddon Heights (1-0) on September 11 in their home opener. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

KEY MAN: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Richard Wegman dribbles the ball in a contest last fall. Junior Wegman should be a key offensive threat this fall for PHS. The Tigers start their 2021 season by hosting Robbinsville on September 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the years, the Princeton High boys’ soccer team has proven that it is one of those programs that doesn’t rebuild, it reloads.

After losing 14 seniors from a squad that went 9-3-1 last year and advanced to the Central West Group 4 sectional final, the cupboard is far from bare as PHS opens its 2021 season by hosting Robbinsville on September 8.

“We have a really good nucleus of senior players, five of whom have been on the team a while; this is their third year,” said PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe, who is in his 25th season at the helm of the program and guided the Tigers to 2009 and 2012 Group 3 state titles in addition to several sectional and county crowns and passing the 300-win milestone in 2016.

“The preseason has been great. There is a sense of excitement at the prospect of some normalcy here.”

PHS tested itself in the preseason, scrimmaging such formidable foes as Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Christian Brothers Academy, and Gill St Bernard’s, among others.

“We just kept getting better at everything which is encouraging,” said Sutcliffe. more

SO READY: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Sophia Lis boots the ball in a game last fall. Senior star forward Lis, who has committed to attend Lehigh University and play for its women’s soccer team, is primed for a big final campaign for PHS. The Tigers start the 2021 season by playing at Robbinsville on September 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Dave Kosa has been exposed to a lot of outstanding high school girls’ soccer squads over the years.

Growing up, Kosa sent a lot of time in the stands as his late father, Louis Kosa, enjoyed a legendary career coaching the East Brunswick High girls’ soccer team, guiding the program to a 527-63-22 record, capturing eight state championships, and a No. 1 ranking in the nation in 1992. 

Over the last six years, Kosa has served as an assistant coach for the successful Princeton High girls’ soccer program, also leading the JV squad in five of those seasons.

This fall, Kosa will look to help PHS continue its winning ways, taking the helm of the program, succeeding Val Rodriguez, who stepped down last fall after coaching the Tigers to a 9-3-1 record in 2020.

“I am really excited and happy to continue the tradition of the girls’ soccer program that Greg [Hand] had and passed on to Val,” said Kosa, who also serves as the head coach of the PHS girls’ basketball team.

“It is a really good bunch. They are really good kids and good people; that is the most important thing. They have taken to working hard and just trying to get better. We want to play the best soccer at the end of the season. We have a lot of great talent. It is my job to mesh then and work them hard. We are really looking forward to that.” more

WEIR ON A TEAR: Princeton High field hockey player Olivia Weir, right, brings the ball up the field in a game last year. Senior star Weir, who has committed to attend Rutgers University and play for its field hockey program, has emerged as the go-to finisher for PHS. The Tigers begin their 2021 season by playing at Allentown on September 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The players on the Princeton High field hockey team started laying the groundwork for a big 2021 season well before they hit the field for preseason practices in mid-August.

“We have been playing all summer, we really never stopped so this is just another part of our season,” said PHS head coach Heather Serverson, noting that her players have played pickup at school two days a week and have also played pickup at Centercourt Sports in Lawrence and competed for various club programs.

“They are such a close-knit group and we only graduated three people. It is kind of just like getting the band back together. One of the biggest plusses about this team is that they are all extremely familiar with playing with one another.”

There will be plenty of familiar faces on the field for the Tigers as the squad boasts a stellar senior group.

“We have seven seniors and they have been doing a great job, trying to set the standards in practices and at games,” said Serverson, whose team went 8-2 last year and begins its 2021 season by playing at Allentown on September 9.

“They are great leaders in general, they really make an effort to reach out to the younger girls. They make sure that everyone feels included and welcome. It is great environment.”

The forward line features a great player in senior Olivia Weir, who has committed to attend Rutgers University and play for its field hockey program.

“Olivia is looking good, she is healthy, she is happy,” said Serverson. “She is a creative player too. She is a good team player and that is why she helps make us look good as well as herself. She would rather someone else would have the goal almost than herself.” more

HALE STORM: Princeton Day School field hockey player Haley Sullivan heads to goal in a game last fall. Senior star Sullivan figures to be a key weapon on the forward line for PDS this fall. The Panthers open their 2021 campaign by hosting WW/P-North on September 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After having an abbreviated season in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, the Princeton Day School field hockey team is looking forward to being busy this fall.

“There is a sense of excitement,” said PDS head coach Heather Farlow, who guided the Panthers to 5-4-1 record last season.

“We have joined the other state association (the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) so that means that we are averaging three games a week, which is a lot.”

PDS boasts some exciting performers in the forward line in senior Ally Antonacci, senior Haley Sullivan, sophomore Tessa Caputo, senior Kacey Fisher, and senior Gabriella Thomas.

“We have only had one scrimmage against Florence and we won 6-3,” said Farlow, whose team opens its 2021 campaign by hosting WW/P-North on September 8. “Ally, Haley, and Tessa have stood out, they are finishers.”

In the midfield, the Panthers will rely on a quartet of standouts in junior Jadyn Huff, senior Maggie Zarish-Yasunas, senior Franny Gallagher, and freshman Charlotte Mullen. more

By Bill Alden

With the Hun School boys’ soccer team boasting skill all over the field, its daily practice sessions have turned into a pitched battles.

“From top to bottom, it is one of the most talented teams that I have had,” said Hun head coach Pat Quirk, whose team went 1-5 last fall in a season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns and will start its 2021 campaign by playing at the Germantown Academy (Pa.) on September 10.

“It is going to be tough, that is the culture that the kids want it to be. It needs to be competitive every day in practice, maybe even more competitive than when we get into games. If a kid is off one practice, we have kids who can fill the role.”

A quartet of forwards, junior Mass Verduci, sophomore Joey Bucchere, junior Will Zeng, and senior Hector Suriel, should provide the firepower to keep Hun competitive.

“Those are our main guys up top, we will mix and match them,” said Quirk.

“We scored 11 goals in a scrimmage against Nottingham and we scored three goals against Hopewell in a scrimmage. I think we are going to see some goals. Those guys are going to be finishing but they are going to be set up by the midfield.” more

September 3, 2021

The remnants of Hurricane Ida caused major problems in the Princeton area, including flooding, downed trees, and multiple road closures. The Princeton Police Department, Fire Department, and the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad were involved in several water rescues. (Photo by Melissa Bilyeu)

September 2, 2021

By Anne Levin

The remnants of Hurricane Ida have caused major problems in the Princeton area, including flooding and downed trees. As of Thursday afternoon, September 2, most of the main roads into town remained closed, and people were being advised to stay home. Those who do venture out can expect significant delays.

Among the roads closed as of Thursday afternoon were Quaker Road, Alexander Road, Rosedale Road, Harrison Street, and Stockton Street. Washington Road was closed for several hours, but reopened Thursday around 10 a.m. Kingston was hit especially hard, with flooding on Mapleton Road and elsewhere.

Local streams and rivers have overflowed. The Delaware River is expected to crest Thursday night. The Millstone River is continuing to rise, and Canal Road in Rocky Hill and Franklin Township were still flooding as of Thursday afternoon.

There are numerous photos on social media showing cars abandoned or submerged, in towns including Hopewell, Pennington, and Lambertville. The Princeton Police Department, Fire Department, and the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad were involved in several water rescues.

Trenton’s Island neighborhood, which borders the Delaware River, was scheduled to be evacuated by 8 a.m. Thursday.

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on Wednesday night. While more than 5,000 households in the local area were without power Wednesday night, most was restored by Thursday morning.

Police are urging people to avoid the roadways, and to turn around instead of driving through flooded streets.