October 19, 2016

Poet Adam Fitzgerald and five seniors in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing at Princeton University will read from their work at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 21 at Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau Street. The reading is part of the C. K. Williams Reading Series, named in honor of Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poet who served on Princeton’s creative writing faculty for 20 years.  more

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All are invited to dress in their best costumes to join the Arts Council of Princeton for the Annual Hometown Halloween Parade on Friday, October 28 at 5 p.m. The parade will start on Palmer Square Green at 5 p.m. and make its way through downtown Princeton, ending at the Princeton Family YMCA. Fall festivities will continue at the YMCA with “Trunk or Treat,” bounce houses, and family-friendly crafts. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit artscouncilofprinceton.org.

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The Asian island nation of Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country, with some 203 million adherents. Much about their practice of Islam and their attitudes toward America and the West was revealed to Rocky Hill-based journalist/author Smith during a recent visit. Smith will deliver a presentation entitled, “What Indonesia Tells Me About Islam – A Non-Muslim’s Travelogue” at Princeton University’s Murray-Dodge Hall, Room 103 on Monday, October 24 at 4:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

For further information, visit www.princeton.edu/muslimlife.

October 13, 2016

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Morven Museum & Garden’s exhibit, “Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Couple of an Age,” will end its long run through on October 23. The name of Lindbergh’s plane has taken on a certain  significance in the wake of Sunday’s contentious presidential debate.  (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

October 12, 2016

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Chennai Chimney invites the general public to a Grand Opening on Saturday, October 15. A buffet of South Indian cuisine will be available from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and dinner will be served from 5 to 10 p.m. Patrons will receive 20% off with the Ad that appears in today’s Town Topics Newspaper (offer is valid from 10/11 through 10/21).

Chennai Chimney is located at 19 Chambers Street in downtown Princeton. The name “Chennai” refers to the region known as the Gateway to South India. The unique blend of native spices is complemented by the décor, which brings the atmosphere of South India to life. Food and drink is served in the traditional etiquette with clay bowls, banana leaves, and glass chai tumblers.

Learn more at www.chennaichimney.com.

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Princeton High School was evacuated Tuesday morning after Princeton Police received a call threatening that there was a bomb inside the school. The threat, which came from an unknown male, was called in about 10:15 a.m., and officials immediately emptied out the building and brought in bomb-sniffing K-9 dogs. No device was found. more

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SCHOOL BOARD CONTEST: Four newcomers, competing in the November 8 election for three seats with three-year terms on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education, squared off in a public forum last week, sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV).  Hopefuls are (L to R) Debbie Bronfeld, William Hare, Alex Martin, and Gregory Stankiewicz, with Karen Siracusa (on left, standing) moderating for the LWV.  (Photo courtesy of Princeton Community Television)

With a range of financial, academic and philosophical issues on the table, and a teacher contract to be negotiated in early 2018, four Princeton residentsСDebbie Bronfeld, William Hare, Alex Martin, and Gregory StankiewiczСare competing for three open seats in Princeton School Board elections on November 8. more

Demography, the statistical study of populations, is not an exact science. The consequences of that fact are currently playing out in the Princeton Public Schools (PPS), where the student population this year is 184 higher than anticipated, classrooms and schools are over-crowded, and school officials are ”doing what we can” for the short term, and planning for more favorable long-term solutions. more

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BOMBS TO BOOKS: Rachel Asir, a senior at Stuart Country Day School, has created a foundation and launched a project to bring books and literacy to Syrian children in refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey.

This time of year is fraught with pressure for college-bound high school seniors, and Stuart Country Day School’s Rachel Asir is even busier than most. In addition to her daunting course load, she spends the hours of her week in rehearsals as a concert pianist, cellist, and Indian Classical dancer; responsibilities as president of the Stuart High School student body; practices and games on the varsity field hockey team and as captain of the South Jersey Devils Girls Rugby team — not to mention SAT and ACT tests, college visits, essays, and applications. more

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HONORED FOR VOLUNTEERING: Set to receive awards October 25 for their work helping area non-profits through VolunteerConnect are, left to right: recipients Mika and Pat Ryan, Jane Latini, Kathy Lo Bue, and Aquatia Owens. The honorees gathered recently at a special event launch held at CoolVines in Princeton.

Back when Amy Klein was a stay-at-home Mom, she was asked to join a local non-profit’s board of trustees. She gave it some serious thought. But ultimately, she declined. more

“Barriers To Decision-Making In End of Life Care: An Introduction to New Jersey Goals of Care” will be the topic of a presentation by David Barile, MD; CEO and medical director of New Jersey Goals of Care, at the meeting of the 55-Plus Club t 10 a.m., Thursday, October 20, at The Jewish Center of Princeton, 435 Nassau Street. Everyone is welcome. Admission is free, with a $3 donation suggested.  more

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The portrait of Charlotte Brontë by George Richmond (1809-1896), chalk, 1850. © National Portrait Gallery, London. Image courtesy of the Morgan Museum and Library.

As opening sentences of great novels go, “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day” doesn’t make much of an impression, certainly not compared to the upfront immediacy of “Call Me Ishmael” from Moby Dick or the expansive vision of society suggested by “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” from Pride and Prejudice. Herman Melville and Jane Austen head the American Book Review’s 100 Best First Lines from Novels. Charlotte Brontë’s no-walk-that-day opener doesn’t make the list. more

The 2016 Friends of the Princeton Public Library Book Sale, which takes place October 14-16, will feature among its special offerings a limited edition copy of Letters from His Excellency George Washington (1803) in its original binding and a signed copy of Subtle is the Lord, a biography of Albert Einstein by his Institute colleague Abraham Pais. The sale will be held in the library’s Community Room and in a tent on Hinds Plaza. more

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The Penguin Book of the Undead: Fifteen Hundred Years of Supernatural Encounters edited by Scott Bruce

The threat of redistricting, an Arab military leader, and The Penguin Book of the Undead are featured subjects this week at Labyrinth Books.

Today, Wednesday, October 12 at 6 p.m., David Daley and Sam Wang will be discussing Mr. Daley’s new book Ratf**ked: The True Story behind the Secret Story to Steal America’s Democracy through Redistricting (Norton $26.95). The book details how Republican legislators and political operatives “fundamentally rigged our American democracy through redistricting.” David Daley examines the far-reaching effects of the so-called REDMAP program, which has radically altered America’s electoral map and created a firewall in the House, insulating the party and its wealthy donors from popular democracy.  more

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Peter Singer

Peter Singer and Robert George will be at Labyrinth to discuss Mr. Singer’s new book, Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter (Princeton Univ. Press $27.95) on Tuesday, October 18 at 6 p.m.).

Mr. Singer helped launch the animal rights and effective altruism movements and contributed to the development of bioethics. According to The Economist, Ethics in the Real World is an “accessible introduction to the work of a philosopher who would not regard being described as ‘accessible’ as an insult …. Despite their brevity, the essays do not shirk the big moral questions.”  more

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TALENTED TEACHERS: (Left to right) Phyllis E. Wright’s “Ascending,” Deborah Land’s “Umbrella Factory” and Andrew Wilkinson’s “Bonsai Geometry 03” are on exhibit in the Considine Gallery at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, October 16 – November 22, 2016. All the exhibitors are local artists and faculty members. The public is invited to an opening reception on Sunday, October 16 at 2 p.m.

The fall gallery exhibition in Stuart Country Day School’s Considine Gallery will include new work by local artists and faculty members Deborah Land, Phyllis E. Wright, and Andrew Wilkinson. The public is invited to view the art faculty show on display from October 16 through November 22. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. — 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, when school is in session. The opening reception is Sunday, October 16, from 2 – 4 p.m., and a gallery talk with the artists is Tuesday, October 18, from 1 — 2 p.m. The public is welcome. more

The Asian art collections at the Princeton University Art Museum (PUAM) will be highlighted for search and discovery thanks to a $150,000 Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This IMLS grant will support the museum’s ongoing Collections Discovery Initiative and is designed to ensure that Princeton’s Asian art collections — widely considered among the premier collections of Asian art in the United States — can be shared with the broadest possible audiences, especially with scholars and researchers. The grant will allow the museum to enhance and standardize the cataloging of its Asian art holdings, develop rich educational materials, and restructure its award-winning Asian art microsite into an in-depth sustainable resource with an innovative new interface. more

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The longtime comedians and Saturday Night Live co-stars reunite for a one-night performance of stand-up comedy, film clips, and musical numbers at NJPAC in Newark on Sunday, October 30 at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit www.njpac.org

With the appointment of Xian Zhang as music director, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) is entering a new era of musical accomplishment. Ms. Zhang will make her Princeton debut later this month, and this past Friday night, the NJSO invited an old friend back to the podium. Former Associate Conductor Gemma New led the orchestra in a concert paying tribute to her homeland and including an audience favorite from the piano concerto repertory.  more

October 5, 2016

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BUSINESS AS USUAL?: F. Duncan Haldane, teaching his first class as a Nobel Laureate, was greeted with loud cheers and applause from his students at his Tuesday session on “Electromagnetism: Principles and Problem Solving.”  Mr. Haldane had received a call at 4:30 that morning from the Royal Swedish Academy, notifying him that he had won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. (Photo courtesy of Princeton University Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite)

Princeton University professor F. Duncan Haldane has been awarded the 2016 Nobel prize in Physics for revealing secrets of exotic states of matter, such as superconductivity, discoveries that could lead to new applications in material science and electronics.  more

The Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS), in a statement released last week, continued to accuse the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) of “flagrant disregard” for the “widespread and longstanding public opposition” to its plans to build 15 faculty housing units on a seven-acre tract at the edge of the battlefield.

Institute Director of Communications Christine Ferrara stated, “the project continues to move ahead, as we have all the necessary regulatory approvals to proceed. As we have stated previously, the plan as configured addresses the concerns raised by the opposition, and will be adding 14 acres of open space adjacent to the current Battlefield State Park.” more

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Local children have another cozy spot to share their favorite books thanks to a new Little Free Library, officially dedicated last Sunday in Marquand Park. Built on the massive stump of what was once a cucumber magnolia tree, the reading nook, being tested here by Aidan and Annelise Sutphin, joins others in town and across the country, as part of a national movement. The Princeton Public Library supplied the initial books to get the project going. Mayor Liz Lempert and other local dignitaries were on hand to celebrate the opening. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Princeton Public Schools Superintendent, Board of Education President and the Teachers’ Union Presidents came together last Tuesday in their opposition to the New Jersey Department of Education’s (DOE) decision to triple the weight of the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) tests in the evaluation of teachers.

Two days later the State Assembly weighed in, and went a step further to approve by a 52-11-8 vote a bill that would prohibit the use of student standardized test results as any part of teacher or principal evaluations. more

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EXONERATED: This father-and-son photo of Kerry Max Cook, who spent 22 years on Texas death row before his innocence was finally revealed, is among the images by Diane Bladecki in a show opening Friday at the Arts Council of Princeton. Mr. Cook, who went to prison at 17 and was freed at 50, ended up using Ms. Bladecki’s photograph on the cover of a book about his journey. (Photo by Diane Bladecki)

At a performance in New York of the play The Exonerated about wrongfully committed prisoners, Diane Bladecki noticed that the photographs lining the lobby made their subjects look exactly like what they were not: criminals. more

Come and join a festive crowd of revelers under the twinkling lights of a German Biergarten at the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association’s annual WatershedFest on October 15 at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s theme, OktoberFest!, will feature an oompah band, cocktails, and a silent auction in The Watershed Center. Dinner will follow in a festive Biergarten tent, where a live auction will take place. All proceeds will support the Watershed, central New Jersey’s first environmental group, whose staff works tirelessly to keep the region’s water clean, safe, and healthy, and to protect our natural environment. more