November 25, 2015

Art Fire

This painting by Heather Barros is among the works in the “Earth/Fire” juried art exhibit hosted by D&R Greenway Land Trust. The show celebrates the themes of earth and/or fire. These inspirational elements are essential to land conservation and our spiritual passion and grounding. The artists in this juried exhibition celebrate the playfulness of flame and the steadiness of soil in a wide variety of interpretations and mediums. “Earth/Fire” runs through January 22, 2016 with an opening reception on Friday, December 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at One Preservation Place. (Photo Courtesy of

Music in response to great tragedy over the centuries has covered the spectrum of war songs, to orchestral works inspired by current events, to popular music. Perhaps as a sign of the time, musical works addressing man-made tragedies have become more common in the past two decades, such as John Adam’s On the Transmigration of Souls, commissioned shortly after 9/11. In 2014, composer and Princeton Singers Artistic Director Steven Sametz found himself compelled to compose a work in memory of those killed in the 2012 Sandy Hooks Elementary School shootings in Connecticut, believing that “as artists, we are hopeful that what we create may offer healing to those who mourn.” Perhaps also as a sign of the times, Sametz’s A Child’s Requiem is a multi-media work, incorporating artwork from elementary school-age children into a supertitled performance featuring two choirs, soloists, and orchestra. For Saturday night’s concert at Princeton Meadows Church and Event Center, The Princeton Singers were joined by the Ensemble and Cantores choirs of the Princeton Girlchoir, as well as three vocal soloists and a highly-polished orchestra.

The tributes to the victims of Sandy Hook began Saturday night in the entryway to Princeton Meadow Church with portraits of the children. In this work, Sametz also paid tribute to several musical traditions of the past, beginning with a musical anagram of letters from the words “Sandy Hook.” The four pitches derived formed a musical cell which Sametz wove into an orchestral “Prologue” marked by a poignant cello solo and visually accompanied by a child’s drawing of a broken heart.  more

Theater Cabaret

A longtime fixture of the New York cabaret scene, two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole will perform her new show, Big Noise from Winnetka, at McCarter Theatre on December 12 at 8 p.m. Ebersole created the production with her longtime music director Bette Sussman. Song selections in Big Noise from Winnetka include “Alfie,” “Woodstock,” “Landslide,” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” To purchase tickets, visit or call (609) 258-2787. 

November 24, 2015

See below for the November 23, 2015 Princeton Council Meeting.

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

November 20, 2015


Following an investigation by the Princeton University Department of Public Safety, it was determined that a non-specific bomb and gun threat delivered via email on Thursday night, was not credible.

Campus patrols were increased and security was tightened around the campus after the email was received around 9 p.m. The email arrived just as a 32-hour sit-in at President Christopher L. Eisbgruber’s office in Nassau Hall was ending. The protesters and the University had reached an agreement addressing demands of the Black Justice League. more

November 18, 2015


This was the scene with the PU band playing and the tailgaters feasting behind the Cap and Gown eating club before the Yale-Princeton game Saturday. There’s a cross-section of tailgate gastronomy in this week’s Town Talk. The only inedible thing on the menu for the Tigers was the outcome of the game. (Photo by Emily Reeves) 

Since announcing last Thursday that she will run for a second term in the general election next year, Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert has begun putting her new campaign into place. On her team are Leticia Fraga, chair; Dan Preston, vice-chair; Helen Heintz, treasurer; and former Princeton Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman, honorary co-chair.

“It’s an intense job, but like a lot of things that are intense, it’s highly rewarding,” Ms. Lempert, a Democrat, said Monday of her decision to run again. “There aren’t that many jobs where you can have an impact on people’s lives and make things better and actually see that impact. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together with Council, staff, volunteers, and boards and commissions. But there is so much to do and still a lot of activity on the plate that I’d like to have the opportunity to work on.” more


FRESH FACE: Princeton University basketball player Devin -Cannady is all smiles at the program’s recent media day. Last Friday, freshman guard Cannady had a lot to smile about as he scored a game-high 17 points in his college debut to help Princeton defeat Rider 64-56 in its season opener. Princeton hosts Saint Peter’s at Dillon Gym this Saturday evening, its first game at the venerable venue since 1969. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Devin Cannady was rushing things as he made his debut for the Princeton University men’s basketball team when it played at Rider last Friday in its season opener. more

CP School

Community Park kindergarteners in Sheila Aguilar’s Dual Language Immersion (DLI) class went outdoors last week to discover signs of fall. This is the first year for the DLI program in grades K-1 at Community Park, with a planned expansion of the program to include second grade next year.

At a meeting of Princeton Council on November 9, a proposal to extend sick leave pay to all municipal workers, including part-time and seasonal employees, was outlined by administrator Marc Dashield. Providing extra sick pay would not have a significant financial impact on the budget, Mr. Dashield estimated.

Currently, all full time and part time municipal employees who work more than 20 hours a week are entitled to sick pay. Under an ordinance proposed earlier this year that would affect not only municipal workers but also those who are employed by local businesses, seasonal workers like lifeguards and part-timers such as garage workers and crossing guards would also be covered. Mr. Dashield went through each department to show how much estimated additional sick leave would be taken if the ordinance passed. A part time worker would be able to get one hour of sick leave for 30 hours worked, but would not be eligible to use the sick leave until they had worked 90 days. more

book rev

In Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, Paris is a “cradle” in which “each one slips back into his soil: one dreams back to Berlin, New York, Chicago, Vienna, Minsk. Vienna is never more Vienna than in Paris” — which could also be said of cities everywhere, including Cairo and Damascus, Istanbul, Aleppo, and Baghdad. In Paris, Miller adds, “Everything is raised to apotheosis. The cradle gives up its babes and new ones take their places … where Zola lived and Balzac and Dante and Strindberg and everybody who ever was anything. Everyone has lived here some time or other. Nobody dies here.” more

Input, input, and more input is the mantra of the Bike Master Planners as they gather information from all varieties of bicycle riders, non-riders, homeowners, merchants, and other community members in the ongoing creation of a Bike Master Plan to serve all stakeholders and advance Princeton’s Complete Streets Policy.

At stake, they claim, is nothing less than the quality of life in the community С its environment and its health, as well as a solution for traffic congestion and parking problems.

Hundreds of citizens have responded so far to an online survey, a wiki mapping tool and comment forms, and about 80 concerned residents gathered last Thursday in the Community Room at 400 Witherspoon Street to find out what’s going on and to make sure their voices were heard by engineers, local officials, and other members of the planning group. more

(Photo by MS AKR)

(Photo by MS AKR)

Thanks to a $175,000 gift from the Synod of the Northeast, Witherspoon Presbyterian Church now owns outright the Robeson House, the birthplace of actor and civil rights leader Paul Robeson and the parsonage occupied by Mr. Robeson’s father, the Rev. William Drew Robeson, when he was pastor of the historic church.

The announcement of the gift at a banquet last Sunday celebrating the church’s 175th anniversary wasn’t the only good news for the more than 200 people attending the event at The Nassau Inn. The congregation also received a formal apology from the Presbytery of New Brunswick for asking blacks to leave Nassau Presbyterian Church in 1836.

The monetary gift means the church can cover the two mortgages on the Robeson House. “This gift is just wonderful for us,” said Denyce Leslie, a ruling elder who chairs the church’s buildings and grounds committee. “Now we clearly outright own four properties within town — the church, the Paul Robeson House on Witherspoon Street, the church office next door, and the manse on Walnut Street.”

The apology from the Presbytery of New Brunswick for removal of Rev. Robeson from his post in 1900, after 21 years of service, is equally significant, Ms. Leslie said. “We had worked on this for several years starting with David Prince many years ago,” she said, referring to an interim pastor of the church, who died last year. The Rev. Prince and his wife Nancy, who was present at the anniversary celebration, researched the history of the church and learned that Rev. Robeson was forced out when some white people thought he was too outspoken about the rights of black people. more

As of January 5, according to Frontier Airlines, commercial planes from Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) will fly to just four destinations, all in Florida. Frontier, the only commercial carrier serving TTN, plans to resume service to six other destinations in the spring.

“The changes are being made based on supply and demand,” stated Frontier Corporate Communications Representative Jim Faulkner. “There’s a greater demand to travel to warm destinations in the winter so that’s where Frontier’s focus is.” more


On October 25, the Princeton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, members of which are shown here, dedicated a plaque on the grave of Josephine Ward Thomson Swann at Princeton Cemetery. Mrs. Swann founded the chapter in 1893, and was essential in preserving the deteriorating Rockingham, the last wartime headquarters of George Washington, which is in Kingston. By bequeathing her home to the town of Princeton, she enabled it to acquire the property that became its borough hall and senior center. And by leaving Princeton University $325,000 to help found its Graduate School, she helped it to expand as an institution.


DRIVEN: Princeton University women’s basketball player -Michelle Miller drives past a foe in action last year. Last Sunday, senior star Miller scored a game-high 24 points to help No. 25 Princeton defeat Duquesne 94-66. Miller is showing drive off the court as the chemistry major is applying to medical schools and has been named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. Miller and the Tigers, now 2-0, play at Seton Hall on November 19 and at Rider on November 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Michelle Miller is taking multi-tasking to a higher level this fall during her senior year at Princeton University.

In addition to starring for the 25th-ranked Princeton women’s basketball team and working on her senior thesis, chemistry major Miller is applying to medical school and is a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, having reached the interview stage of the process. more

Fall Farmers

Lawrenceville Presbyterian Preschool will hold their second annual Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market on Tuesday, November 24 from noon to 6:30 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, 2688 Main Street in downtown Lawrenceville.

Shop for local produce from Cherry Grove Organic Farm, Hlubik Family Farm, Pineland Farms, Z Food Farm, Big Red Farm, and North Slope Farm. Customers can also pre-order pies, cake pops, and other desserts from Happy Wanderer Bakery and The Farmer’s Daughter, which will be made available for pick-up on the day of the event.  more

The Princeton Amateur Wrestling Society (PAWS) invites all local youth (boys and girls in grades 3 through 8) to join the recreation based club for the new season. All practices are conducted in Jadwin Gymnasium on the Princeton University campus. Beginners and advanced wrestlers are welcome. Practice, training, and competition is based on age, weight, and skill level.

PAWS boasts a tradition of outstanding graduates who have found success at major universities and beyond. The program also includes a highly experienced coaching staff. Practices begin on November 17 and occur weekly on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. A PAWS Cubs parent-child program is open to children in grades K-2 (practices occur on Saturdays).  more

Music Trenton

Trenton children beginning music study will have their own instruments to take home for practicing, and neglected instruments will find a whole new life, as Princeton University’s Office of Public Affairs and WWFM The Classical Network host “Instruments of Change,” benefitting the Trenton Community Music School. From November 30 through December 4, the Office of Public Affairs will open its doors for members of the community whose musical instruments are in need of a good home. Families whose children have outgrown their small instruments, shifted their interests away from playing, or developed into the need for a finer instrument, will find grateful recipients for their ½-size violins, novice-level flutes, or instruments that are no longer played. The Office of Public Affairs is located at 22 Chambers Street in Princeton, and will be open for donations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

D&R Greenway Land Trust has announced that its Princeton campus will become a Conservation Campus. The YWCA Princeton Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) will be its first campus partner by moving into 2 Preservation Place.

“The new strategic alliance between the two nonprofit groups celebrates the healing value that nature brings to our lives,” says D&R Greenway President and CEO Linda Mead. “D&R Greenway Land Trust has been working for more than 25 years to preserve open space and has recognized the important connection between the outdoors and health. The YWCA Princeton BCRC will be able to offer a welcoming and nurturing home setting for women and families, establishing a direct connection between nature and well-being.” more

Book Scott Berg

A. Scott Berg will deliver a lecture on his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, “Lindbergh,” at McCarter Theatre Center on Saturday, November 21 at 4 p.m. The lecture is in support of Morven’s year-long exhibition, “Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Couple of an Age.” Tickets for the lecture are available at, or by calling (609) 258-2787. A 1971 graduate of Princeton University, Mr. Berg is the author of five best-selling books, including “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius,” “Goldwyn: A Biography,” and “Wilson.”

First place finisher for PHS

LEAD GROUP: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Alex Roth, left, races with the frontrunners in a recent meet. Last Saturday, junior star Roth took sixth individually at the Group 4 state championship meet at Holmdel, covering the 5-kilometer course in a time of 16:11. Roth’s heroics helped PHS finish fifth in the team standings and earn a wild card spot in the Meet of Champions (MOC), slated for November 21 at Holmdel. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the Princeton High boys’ cross country team hit the track to sharpen up for the Group 4 state championship meet with its final speed session, it was met with a drenching rain. more

C Carol

McCarter Theatre has produced “A Christmas Carol” every year since 1980, when then Artistic Director Nagle Jackson brought his adaptation to the theater. The current adaptation by David Thompson remains faithful to much of the language and spirit of Dickens’s original story, capturing both the struggles of Victorian life, and the joy and redemption of the holiday season. 2015 performance dates run from December 4 through 27. Seen here (l-r) are Graeme Malcolm, Michele Tauber, Sari Weinerman, Madeline Fox, and Bradley Mott. (Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson)

Art 1

“HARVEST TIME”: This watercolor by Amy Amico is one of the plein air paintings on display at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury from December 6-23. Each painting is inspired by a private property or park in and around the town of Cranbury.

A group show of paintings by artists who participated in the Art in the Park plein air series sponsored by the Cranbury Arts Council will run from December 6 to 23 at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury.

There will be an artist reception on Sunday, December 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Gallery located in Cranbury Town Hall (Old School Building), 23-A North Main Street. Each month from May to October, a different Cranbury property hosts local artists to capture the scenes offered at their beautiful gardens and historic homes.  more

Theater rev 11-18-15 Bengal

GO, TIGER!: The Tiger (Victoria Davidjohn, center), who serves as narrator, aggressor, victim, and philosopher; is guarded by two U.S. Marines, Kev (Max Feldman, left) and Tom (Matt Chuckran) in war-torn Baghdad in Theatre Intime’s production of Rajiv Joseph’s dark surrealistic comedy “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” (2009), playing at the Hamilton Murray Theater on the Princeton University campus through November 21.

The legacy of Saddam Hussein and the repercussions of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq continue to haunt us. Playwright Rajiv Joseph, who understands the power of ghosts and the inexorable reverberations of violence and corruption, would not be surprised.

Mr. Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (2009) is a war story, a dark comedy, with much more darkness than humor. Set in Baghdad in 2003, the first days of the Iraq War, the play is strikingly, shockingly realistic in its depictions of the brutalities of war and its effects on all parties involved. But it is also disturbingly surrealistic, with ghosts gradually taking over the stage from live characters, and an eloquent, acerbic, philosophical tiger presiding over the proceedings.  more