March 15, 2017

National TV personality and best-selling author the Rev. Dr. Robin L. Smith, will speak on Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in the Daniel J. Theron Assembly Room in the Princeton Theological Seminary Library. Smith will give a talk titled, “Moving Forward with Restorative Justice: Strategies in Engaging Racial Fatigue.” It is free and open to the public.  more

The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold “Disrupt or be Disrupted,” a technology summit, at The Conference Center of Mercer on Thursday, March 30 from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Keynote speakers will be Simon Nynes of Wayside Technology Group, who will speak on Cloud Computing; and Roy Mehta of CoolR Group, whose talk is titled “The Internet of Things.” more

Wear green and bring your dancing shoes! D&R Greenway Land Trust, in partnership with VOICES will “celebrate green” with a St. Patrick’s Day Party and Fundraiser at Music Together on March 17 at 7 p.m., located at 225 Hopewell-Pennington Road in Hopewell. Enjoy performances by VOICES, Rince O’Chroi School of Irish Dance, Amy Zakar and Teamwork Dance, green silent auction, beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres. Money raised will benefit D&R Greenway and VOICES. Tickets cost $65. To purchase, visit or call (609) 924-4646. 

The Plainsboro Public Library will observe NJ Makers’ Day on March 25 from noon to 3 p.m. A statewide event, the observance will promote individual creative pursuits (or “maker” activity) in the science and the arts.

Participants in “Makers’ Day” will focus on projects at the library, which they might not be able to pursue in their own homes. Mentors will be on hand to help with activities like weaving; hands-on quilting for adults, in the first-floor Community Room; scientific projects; and simple inventions using small LED bulbs, magnets, and batteries. more

The cover image of Fitzgerald’s Thoughtbook shown here is from the recent University of Minnesota reprint, subtitled A Secret Boyhood Diary, which is available in Kindle and paperback; the copy in Collector’s Corner is the much rarer 1965 Princeton University Library edition of the facsimile of Fitzgerald’s handwritten journal. For more information on the book sale, visit

It’s so quiet a moment you can hear the earth turning. “Here’s the book I sought,” Brutus says. “I put it in the pocket of my gown.” He’s talking to his servant Lucius in a scene near the end of Act IV of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. “Let me see, let me see, is not the leaf turn’d down where I left reading? Here it is, I think.” more

University orchestras frequently sponsor student concerto competitions, with resulting performances of single movements of a winning concerto or a standard work from the Baroque or Classical periods. Not the Princeton University Orchestra — the 2017 Concerto Competition winners presented this past weekend played some of the most difficult music in the concerto repertory. Hornist Nivanthi Karunaratne and pianists Kevin Chien and Seho Young chose complete and substantial works from the 19th and 20th centuries for their performance with the University orchestra. Led by conductor Michael Pratt in a performance last Friday night at Richardson Auditorium (the performance was repeated Saturday night), these remarkable soloists demonstrated performance abilities and composure way beyond their years.  more

“Library Live at Labyrinth” will feature Maria DiBattista and Deborah Epstein Nord in a conversation about their book At Home in the World: Women Writers and Public Life, from Austen to the Present (Princeton Univ. Press ($29.95). The event will take place on Thursday, March 16 at 6 p.m. more

At age 32, Iranian-American harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani will perform on McCarter’s Berlind stage on Sunday, March 19 at 3 p.m. His McCarter program will include a mixture of old and new, including works by Cowell, Kalabis, Bach and  Scarlatti. Single tickets are $50 and can be purchased online. For further information, visit Credit: Bernhard Musil/Deutsche Grammophon)

MORTGAGE SPECIALIST: “I help people buy homes and refinance their existing homes. Based on the last few decades, this is still historically a very good time to buy a home, while the interest rates are still low for mortgages.” Joe Hage, Chase Private Client Mortgage Banker, looks forward to helping more people with their biggest financial decision — purchasing a home.

“Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything, Scarlet, for it’s the only thing in the world that lasts.”

Gerald O’Hara’s statement to his daughter Scarlet about their plantation Tara in Gone With the Wind still resonates today. more

BANJO DUO: On Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 7:30pm at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, 16-time Grammy award-winner Béla Fleck will collaborate with singer, fellow banjoist and wife, Abigail Washburn, to present vernacular music of Appalachia. This special event hosted by Princeton University Concerts (“PUC”) spans the genres of bluegrass, jazz, African and Asian styles. The duo will bring highlights from the their recent album, which won Best Folk Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Tickets are only $40 ($15 for students), available at, and by calling (609) 258-9220. (Photo Credit: Jim McGuire)

16-time Grammy award-winner Béla Fleck will collaborate with singer, fellow banjoist and wife, Abigail Washburn, to present vernacular music of Appalachia at Richardson Auditorium on Thursday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. more

UP FOR THE IRISH: Members of the Princeton University men’s basketball team, from left, Hans Brase, Pete Miller, Steve Cook, and Spencer Weisz, let out a yelp at a gathering at Triumph Brewing Company last Sunday evening after learning that they will be facing Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers defeated Yale 71-59 earlier in the day in the finals of the inaugural Ivy League tournament in improving to 23-6 and posting their 19th straight victory. Princeton earned a No. 12 seed in the West Regional of the NCAA tourney and will head to Buffalo, N.Y. to face the fifth-seeded Fighting Irish (25-8) on March 16 at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It was a nightmare scenario coming to life for the Princeton University men’s basketball team.

After producing a dream season that saw the Tigers go 14-0 in Ivy League regular season play, Princeton found itself trailing host Penn last Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the league’s inaugural postseason tournament. more

CRUNCH TIME: Princeton University men’s hockey player David Hallisey, right, takes a hit in recent action. Last Saturday, junior forward Hallisey had a goal and an assist in a losing cause as seventh-seeded Princeton lost 4-3 in overtime to second-seeded and No. 6 Union 4-3 to fall 2-0 in a best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series. The Tigers ended the season at 15-16-3, a marked turnaround for a program that went a combined 15-72-6 in the past three seasons, including 5-23-3 in 2015-16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It ended up being a microcosm of a turnaround season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team as it played at Union last weekend in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals.

With seventh-seeded Princeton having lost 4-1 in the first game of the best-of-three series against second-seeded and No. 6 Union on Friday, the Tigers found themselves trailing 2-0 to the powerful Dutchmen entering the second period a night later. more

Tristan Gooley will be at Labyrinth Books on Tuesday, March 21 at 6 p.m. to talk about his book, How to Read Water: Clues and Patterns from Puddles to the Sea (The Experiment $19.95).

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Gooley misses little in his paean to Earth’s most abundant resource … He starts small, at a mud puddle watching ripples fan out from a pebble drop, and ends big, in the frigid reaches of the Arctic Sea. Along the way he asks and answers many questions. If you like water, as I do, you will learn a lot.”

In his books The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs and The Natural Navigator, Tristan Gooley helped readers reconnect with nature by finding direction from the trees, stars, clouds, and more. Now, he shares hundreds of techniques in How to Read Water. Readers will: find north using puddles; forecast the weather from waves; decode the colors of ponds; spot dangerous water in the dark; and decipher wave patterns on beaches. more

March 8, 2017

Members of the Princeton University men’s basketball team enjoy the moment after cutting down the net at Jadwin Gym last Saturday in celebration of beating Dartmouth 85-48 to finish the regular season at 21-6 overall and 14-0 Ivy League. It marked the program’s first perfect Ivy campaign since the 1997-98 season. The Tigers are next in action when they compete in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament this weekend at the Palestra in Philadelphia. See page 27 for more details on the team’s victory. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

The N.J. Acting Commissioner of Education on March 1 approved Princeton Charter School’s (PCS) proposal to expand its enrollment by 76 additional students, but the conflict that has raged in Princeton over the past three months since PCS submitted its application is not over.

Princeton Public Schools (PPS) announced yesterday that it will be filing an appeal of the decision with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court, and the Board will also file a request with the Acting Commissioner Kimberley Harrington to stay her decision. more

A decision has yet to be announced on whether Rider University will sell the Princeton campus of Westminster Choir College, which Rider has owned since 1992. As negotiations continue, efforts to save the 85-year-old musical academy on Walnut Lane have intensified. more

An orange swastika is painted on a sculpture on the Princeton University campus. A Jewish cemetery is desecrated in Philadelphia. Bomb threats are called in to Jewish community centers all over the country, including Cherry Hill. more

COOKING UP COOKWARE: Princeton Day School seventh graders Emily and Lyla Allen, known in the food world as The Kitchen Twins, will demonstrate a new line of cookware by Michael Graves Architecture & Design at the International Housewares Show in Chicago next week. In the front row are Emily, left, and Lyla, right. Behind them are, from left, Vladimir Anohkin, Graves product designer; Rob Van Varick, principal — design, insights and strategy; and Donald Strum, principal of product design.

As they do each spring, thousands of designers, chefs, and consumers will descend upon the International Housewares Show at Chicago’s McCormick Center next week to discover the latest in cookware, appliances, and innovative home products.  more

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker will be joined by State Senate candidate Laurie Poppe and Assembly candidate Roy Freiman in the 2017 race to represent Legislative District 16, it has been announced. Mr. Zwicker defeated Republican Assemblywoman Donna Simon in 2015.

Mr. Freiman is a former executive at Prudential Financial. Ms. Poppe is a lawyer and social worker. Both candidates live in Hillsborough.  more

Over Oscars weekend, more than 50 students of The Hun School’s Community Service Club put on a Hollywood-themed senior prom at Brandywine Senior Living. Attendees were treated to a special dinner, photo booth, jazz performances, and elaborate decorations. Club officer Laura McBryan ’18, left, was happy to hand over flowers to the prom queen Rhoda Kessler, while prom king Chester Parkes looked on. The Senior Prom is the club’s newest event.

Hundreds of students, faculty members, and others crowded into more than 60 different teach-in sessions at Princeton University’s Frist Campus Center Monday, as part of a Day of Action in responding to new Trump administration policies and the current political climate.

The event was organized by Princeton Citizen Scientists (PCS), created by graduate students after last November’s election, and Princeton Advocates for Justice (PAJ), a coalition representing more than 25 different campus organizations advocating for human rights. more

In reflecting on how he arrived at his current position as co-owner, with his brothers Carlo and Anthony of the Terra Momo Group of local restaurants, Raoul Momo thought about a subject much in the news recently: immigration.

“My parents were immigrants,” he said. “They came to America in 1960. I was born in 1961. It’s a melting pot culture. We have the rich food cultures here thanks to immigrants. The fact that my parents were immigrants is part of the history of this country. Immigrants have brought with them the great food cultures, and the melting pot has so much potential for the future.”

Including Teresa’s Caffe and Mediterra on Palmer Square, Eno Terra wine bar and restaurant in Kingston, and The Terra Momo Bread Company on Witherspoon Street, the Momo’s restaurant group “all started with Teresa Azario Momo, our mother, who was born in Bergamo, Italy, and our father, Raul Momo Marmonti, who was born in Chile.”  more

Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Independence Day, Rock Springs, and Canada, will read from his work at the People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos annual spring benefit at the Princeton Nassau Club at 7:30 p.m. on March 24. Proceeds will support People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos, a reading and discussion program offered in English or Spanish for adults and young adults who have had limited opportunities to experience the transformative power of great and enduring literature. more

I have no idea who I am. — James A. Michener (1907-1997)

Exactly when or where the novelist James Michener came into the world has never been officially documented. Which is why I’ve never had a satisfactory answer to the question I’ve been asked most of my life the moment people hear my last name:

“Any relation to the author?”

Perhaps the most remarkable instance of this perennial minor dilemma occurred recently at the Doylestown museum that bears Michener’s name. Although I’ve been showing my press card at the admission desk for 13 years in the course of covering close to 30 exhibits, this was the first time I’ve been asked the any-relation question. I gave my usual answer: “Well, uh, um, no, not really, but —”

If I have time or energy for the conversation that often follows, I’ll offer the standard storyline, which is that the famous, fabulously successful author was a foundling taken in by a distant cousin of mine, Mabel Michener, a Quaker woman in Doylestown, Pennsylvania who raised him along with a coming, going brood of as many as 13 homeless children.  more

YOUNG NEW JERSEY ARTISTS: Shannon L. Kerrigan, who is a senior at Somerville High School, was one of the artists from Somerset County selected for a statewide exhibition at the Statehouse in Trenton. Pictured here is Kerrington’s award-winning painting.

Each year for the past 16 years, in recognition of Youth Art Month, The Center for Contemporary Art has presented exhibitions of Somerset County student work in partnership with Art Educators of New Jersey. Youth Art Month has an extensive history going back to 1961 and is supported by the National Art Education Association.  more