July 13, 2016

Governor Chris Christie’s order to halt $3.5 billion of “nonessential” road and rail projects across New Jersey went into effect at midnight last Friday. Concerned about delays to a key bridge replacement project on Carter Road, Mayor Liz Lempert is supporting Mercer County in its efforts to get the state to make an exemption and let work on that bridge continue. more

PUMC

WARMER, SAFER, DRIER: That is the motto for these volunteers from Princeton United Methodist Church who recently spent a week working to improve houses and trailers in Appalachia. The church has been sending volunteers to the region for four decades as part of the national Appalachian Service Project.

Each summer, 14,000 volunteers from across the country travel to Appalachia to help improve living conditions for those less fortunate. Two local churches, Princeton United Methodist and Nassau Presbyterian, have sent groups this month. Their goal, and the slogan of the Appalachian Service Project (ASP), is to make trailers and other dwellings in the mountain region “warmer, safer, and drier.” more

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Looking for a lazy afternoon activity? Hop aboard the Mercer County Park Commission’s pontoon boat for a fun and informative nature tour of Mercer Lake. These family-friendly tours will be held on Thursday, July 21 and 28, August 4, 11, and 25, and September 1. There are two tours each day, noon to 1:30 p.m. and 2 to 3:30 p.m., weather permitting. Tour tickets are sold at the Mercer County Marina on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the tour. Children must be at least 6 years old. Tour rates for in-county residents are $10 per person for adults and $8 per person for children and seniors. Out-of-county rates are $12 per person for adults and $10 per person for children and seniors. For more information, please call (609) 448-4004.

The Early Childhood (EC) Music Program at Westminster Conservatory is hosting an information meeting on Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. This Parent-Only information session will be led by Jennifer Garr, EC department head. She will focus on Westminster’s early childhood music program and preview the new recordings and materials created by the faculty.  more

A week-long program of “community, faith, hope and history” will celebrate the Witherspoon-Jackson community, black history, and black families of Princeton from August 6-14.

In recognition of the recent designation of the Witherspoon-Jackson community as Princeton’s 20th historic district, the annual Joint Effort Safe Streets Summer Program will include recognition of Paul Robeson and Jim Floyd, a salute to educators (“We Must Not Be Forgotten”), a concert with Grace Little and a local church choir, a salute to seniors and black families (“The Shoulders We Stand On”), discussion forums, workout and conditioning sessions, a block party/music festival, walking tours, and a clean-up project.  more

Terhune Peaches

Summer at Terhune Orchards means peaches! The farm grows over 28 varieties and will celebrate “everything peachy” on the last weekend in July.

Activities include tractor-drawn wagon rides through the orchards, pony rides, face painting, and more. Also, Live country music will have the whole family dancing along every day from noon to 4 p.m.  more

Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) is stepping up its efforts to halt Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) faculty housing construction, with appeals planned to overturn recent decisions approving the project.

Claiming that the Institute has been “handing out misinformation to the public,” Kip Cherry, vice president of the PBS, stated, “PBS intends to continue its appeals and plans to file a new lawsuit over the coming weeks.” On June 22, the U.S. District Court in Trenton denied the PBS request for a preliminary injunction to halt Institute construction on a seven-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Battlefield, stating that the PBS had not established its case under the Clean Water Act.  more

Topics_Dada

That’s the acronym for Design at Dohm Alley, a multi-media “sensorium” planned for the space between Starbucks and Landau off of Nassau Street. This rendering shows how the entry is envisioned.

book rev

Vietnam Vietnam Vietnam, we’ve all been there.

—Michael Herr (1940-2016)

All I need to do is type “nyt” on the iMac and Paul Krugman is hurrying past “the horror in Dallas” on his way to the subject of the day. In his column headed “A Week from Hell” Charles M. Blow is asking “soul-of-a-nation questions.” On Sunday’s virtual front page of the Times, a detective from Queens says, “This is insanity. It’s just freaking horrendous.” The African American Dallas police chief David Brown “cannot adequately express” the sadness he feels.  more

Morven Mus

The Board of Trustees of Morven Museum and Garden has announced the appointment of Jill M. Barry as executive director. Ms. Barry comes to Morven from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, where she has been deputy director since 2012. She will begin her transition over the summer as she relocates to Princeton and assumes full-time responsibilities in early September. more

princetonchronicles

Princeton Chronicles, a group of student researchers and artists from Princeton High School, propose a community project featuring murals commemorating historical Princetonians from the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. Princeton Chronicles invites the public to learn about the project by viewing an exhibition on view at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts and encourages the public to provide feedback. 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. The exhibition runs through July 30. For more information, visit artscouncilofprinceton.org or call (609) 924-8777.

Art_Climate

“GHOST HOUSE”: This painting by Joanie Chirico is on view at the D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center through August 26. The exhibition titled “Art as Activism: Climate Change” demonstrates the role of artists in the climate change movement.

“Art as Activism: Climate Change” is on view at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, through August 26. Art works document nature’s threatened beauty and show the influence of artists on the climate change discussion in the Anthropocene era. An artists’ reception will take place Friday, July 15, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  more

Music_Blue Curt

BLUE CURTAIN RETURNS WITH AN EVENING OF WORLD MUSIC TO HEAT UP THE SUMMER NIGHT: Celebrating 12 years of bringing world-class musicians from around the globe to Princeton for FREE summer concerts, Blue Curtain returns to Community Park North Amphitheater in Pettoranello Gardens on Saturday, July 16 starting at 7 p.m. with Latin jazz legend Papo Vázquez, Mighty Pirates Troubadours and Sofia Rei, who has been called “one of the best Argentine singers ever.”

Featuring Caribbean and South American sounds, Blue Curtain welcomes Papo Vázquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours and Sofia Rei to Pettoranello Gardens on Saturday, July 16 at 7 p.m. The concert is free. more

July 6, 2016

“INVOLVED WITH BEN”: Ben Franklin was there to “meet and greet” the public at Morven Museum & Garden’s July 4 Jubilee Monday. These youngsters are living proof of his words of wisdom about involvement: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Governor Chris Christie’s proposal to overhaul New Jersey’s school funding system has set off a firestorm of controversy among lawmakers, educators, and others, both locally and across the state. In a speech at Hillsborough High School two weeks ago, Mr. Christie presented his “Fairness Formula” education plan, which would give every school district the same amount of state aid per student.

That plan would see some districts, including Princeton, receiving significantly more state funding and a lowering of property taxes, while aid to many urban districts with the highest percentage of low-income residents would be significantly reduced.
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Once Kean University’s School of Public Architecture settles into the former residence and studio of the late architect Michael Graves, plans are for the intimate salons Mr. Graves often held inside the iconic building known as The Warehouse to be revived. And these programs, with key leaders of the architectural profession, won’t be limited to Kean students.

“Some of these will be by invitation, some by request,” said David Mohney, the Dean of the University’s Michael Graves College. “We have to develop a full program and gauge interest. Some will be geared toward neighbors and residents of Princeton. The important thing is that our board was strongly supportive of reaching out to the Princeton community.”
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The Supreme Court’s June 23 decision on affirmative action, re-emphasizing “the educational benefits that flow from student body diversity” at colleges and universities and allowing race as a factor in admissions criteria, has provided welcome support for Princeton University’s efforts to promote inclusion, diversity, and equity on campus.

Citing Supreme Court rulings back to the 1978 Bakke decision, Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber stated, “The Court has consistently recognized that the judicious use of race as one factor among many admission criteria can play an important role in universities’ efforts to enroll talented students from all backgrounds, promote intercultural understanding, eliminate stereotypes, and cultivate leaders for our multiracial society.”
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PRINCETON ABBEY: That is the new name for the former St. Joseph’s Seminary on Mapleton Road. A new plan to create a cemetery and cremation niches for people of all faiths is well underway. The chapel on the campus dates from 1934.

When Bernard “Buzzy” Stoecklein got his first look at St. Joseph’s Seminary on Mapleton Road, he was amazed. The sprawling, 87-acre property, which was purchased by the Vincentian order in 1914 to train young men for the priesthood, was lushly landscaped. Its Gothic stone chapel had beautiful stained glass windows reminiscent of Sainte Chapelle in Paris and Chartres Cathedral. But the property was not being used to anywhere near it’s potential.

Mr. Stoecklein, who heads a company that manages cemeteries in New Jersey and New York, came to Plainsboro to help decide what to do with a small cemetery on the property that is the final resting place of hundreds of Vincentian priests and brothers.

“I was in awe,” he said last week. “It was one thing to see the grounds and the size of the buildings. But when I went into the abbey, I immediately was reminded of Westminster Abbey. I just couldn’t get over it.”
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dvd revOne-hundred fifty years ago this month Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit, was born in London. Peter entered the wider world in book form in 1902 and since then has reportedly sold more than 40 million copies in as many as 35 languages. Just to keep things in perspective on Britain’s place in that wider world amid the withdrawal trauma of Brexit, it’s worth noting that by 1903, six decades in advance of Beatlemania, there was a Peter Rabbit doll and a board game, the first items in a never-ending outpouring of English merchandise featuring Peter and his “Little England” community of friends.
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In musical performance, the term “trio” refers to any combination of three instruments, often two stringed instruments and a keyboard. Prima Trio, which performed last Tuesday night on the Princeton Summer Chamber Concerts series, has put their own twist on this tradition by combining piano and clarinet with either violin or viola. Gulia Gurevich has expanded the range of Prima Trio by playing both violin and viola, joining clarinetist Boris Allakhverdyan and pianist Anastasia Dedik. Each of these players comes from a unique part of the world, and brought their multicultural backgrounds and solid training to Richardson Auditorium for last Tuesday night’s performance. The members of Prima Trio honed their craft at Oberlin Conservatory and through 12 years of playing together and touring, their performance moved from traditional to contemporary, with much of the program drawn from the 20th century.
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Theater rev 7-6-16

VENEER OF CIVILITY: Two sets of parents come together for a rational, civilized discussion of a playground dispute that has taken place between their sons, in Princeton Summer Theater’s production of Yasmina Reza’s black comedy “God of Carnage.” (L to R) Maddie Meyers as Annette, Billy Cohen as Alan, Olivia Nice as Veronica, and Jake McCready as Michael. (Photo by Ogemdi Ude)

The setting is a fashionable living room in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn. The leather furniture is spare and tasteful. A large vase of tulips graces the elegant coffee table, which is covered with art books. An expensive-looking painting fills the back wall.

Two sets of well-educated upper middle class parents are discussing a playground dispute that has taken place between their 11-year-old sons. “Fortunately, there is still such a thing as the art of co-existence, isn’t there?” says Veronica, whose son has lost two teeth in the incident.
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June 29, 2016

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Robert Frost says that though fireflies never equal stars in size, they achieve at times “a very star-like start.” These three star-like visitors to Sunday’s Firefly Festival at Terhune Orchards made their own wings. Some firefly fans discuss their plans for the Fourth of July in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

U.S. District Court Judge Freda L. Wolfson has denied the Princeton Battlefield Society’s (PBS) motion for a preliminary injunction to halt faculty housing construction by the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) on a seven-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Battlefield.

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Last Thursday’s 4-4 Supreme Court ruling concerning President Obama’s executive actions on immigration has blocked the president’s programs from going into effect and disappointed hundreds of hopeful Princeton residents.
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In his will, architect Michael Graves left three of his Princeton properties, including his Patton Avenue residence and studio, to Princeton University. But the University, where Mr. Graves taught for 39 years and was the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture, has rejected the gift due to the expenses involved in its preservation and maintenance.
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