February 7, 2017

JAZZED UP: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Jasmine Hansford, left, dribbles past a foe in recent action. Last Friday, freshman guard Hansford scored a career-high 25 points in a losing cause as Stuart fell 55-46 to Pennington. The Tartans, who moved to 16-5 with a 74-33 loss to Bound Brook last Monday, host Lawrence on February 1 and the Hun School on February 3 before playing at the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart (Pa.) on February 7. Stuart has been seeded No. 1 in the state Prep B tournament and is slated to host a semifinal contest on February 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In the beginning of the season, Jasmine Hansford deferred to others on the court for the Stuart Country Day School basketball team. more

February 6, 2017

On Tuesday, February 7 from 6-8 p.m. at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College will hold a Westminster Community Town Hall Forum to discuss the recent announcement by Rider president Gregory Dell’Omo that the Rider Board of Trustees is considering a plan to sell the Westminster campus in Princeton and move the college to Rider’s Lawrenceville campus.

The forum panel will include representatives from student, alumni, and faculty groups from both campuses, including Art Taylor, president of the Rider University chapter of the AAUP faculty union. The university administration is looking for ways to stabilize  low enrollment and a projected $13.1 million deficit this year. Friends and neighbors of the college and the university are invited to participate and discuss how this proposed campus consolidation would affect their community.  The forum is open to the public.

February 1, 2017

There has been an outpouring of support in Princeton — from the University, the Institute for Advanced Study, town government and local groups — for refugees and other immigrants affected by President Donald Trump’s recent executive actions.

GOING OR STAYING: That’s the question on the minds of students at Westminster Choir College, which could be relocated to Lawrenceville if Rider University, which owns the school, decides to put the Princeton campus up for sale. A 24-hour musical performance marathon by Westminster students, faculty and alumni this week was mounted as a protest by those who want the campus to stay where it is. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Jody Doktor Velloso’s warm, melodious soprano filled the sanctuary of Nassau Presbyterian Church Tuesday afternoon, thrilling those seated in the pews. It was a sparse crowd. But Ms. Velloso’s recital was only the beginning of a 24-hour marathon held by The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College. It was in protest of a proposal by Rider University, which owns Westminster, to sell the Princeton campus and relocate the music school to Rider’s Lawrenceville location. more

Leaders from Princeton Charter School (PCS) and Princeton Public Schools (PPS) continue to hold confidential private meetings, most recently last Thursday, in search of a resolution to their clash over PCS’s proposed expansion, with a decision from State Department of Education (DOE) Acting Commissioner Kimberley Harrington expected by the end of February.  more

With chaos at airports, in the courts and elsewhere throughout the country amidst controversy over President Donald Trump’s recent immigration restriction orders, Princeton is making plans to protect vulnerable members of the community.

“Recent executive actions on immigration issues are cruel, counterproductive, and contrary to the values we hold dear in Princeton,” Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and the Town Council wrote in a statement issued Monday night.  more

LEADERSHIP TRANSITION: Princeton Day School on the Great Road will welcome Rebecca Bushnell, a University of Pennsylvania English professor and administrator, as its new Board Chair on July 1.

Rebecca Bushnell, elected last week as chair of the Board of Trustees at Princeton Day School, has a long history with the school, and looks forward to the challenges ahead.

“It was a young school when I was there,” the 1970 PDS graduate recalled. “I got a wonderful education that prepared me for education and life. PDS has certainly transformed over the years, but it has kept its core strengths in academics and athletics, with strong programs in the arts and architecture.” more

November is a long way off, but the race for the two Princeton Council seats that will become available is already underway. Bernie Miller and Jo Butler have announced they will not run again. Leticia Fraga recently declared her candidacy, and architect David Cohen sent out a press release Monday saying he is joining the race. more

Man is like a ball, the plaything of Chance and Passion. — Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Right now the late Dr. Seuss may be the only author with the vision to do antic justice to the doomsday chaos spiraling out of Breitbart’s White House. Even if we could bring back the author of The Cat in the Hat, my guess is he’d throw up his hands and let his creation, the fussy fish, speak on his behalf, as the hysterical little scold does when he comprehends the extent of the devastation created by The Cat and Thing One and Thing Two: “This mess is so big and so deep and so tall, we can not pick it up, there is no way at all!”

In case you’re wondering what the new regime in Washington has to do with Franz Schubert, whose 220th birthday was Tuesday, the answer is that after two weeks of Trump this level of disorder is so big and so deep that words written, spoken, and thought 200 years ago jump out at you like the line about Chance and Passion from Schubert’s diary of September 1816, or this description of the Big Brother regime in Schubert’s Vienna — “absolutism mitigated by sloppiness” — during an era when “youthful high spirits … were viewed with suspicion.” The way things are going in D.C., “sloppiness” or Schlamperei (also defined as “muddleheadedness”) isn‘t doing much to mitigate the rush toward “absolutism.” more

On day one of his presidency, Donald Trump asked Congress to repeal The Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the issue has taken a back seat to his more recent immigration ban, and no definitive action has been taken on removing and replacing the health care legislation, the new administration’s request has caused considerable controversy, alarm, and protest in many quarters.

There are local implications. Some 800,000 New Jersey residents have purchased health insurance under the act. In Princeton’s two zip codes, 1,696 people signed up. more

“FACES”: This oil and gold leaf on linen by artist Phyllis Plattner is from the “Chronicles of War” series, 2014. Two of Plattner’s most recent series are on display at Princeton University’s Bernstein Gallery.

Artist Phyllis Plattner’s two most recent series, “Legends” and “Chronicles of War,” are open at Princeton University’s Bernstein Gallery in Robertson Hall. There will be an opening reception on Friday, February 10 at 6 p.m.

The exhibit, “Gods of War,” will be open to the public through March 2, 2017. The exhibit and reception are free, open to the public, and sponsored by Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. more

“FALL FISHING”: Watercolorist Robert Sakson will be showing his work at the Hopewell Valley Bistro and Inn until March 3. The opening reception for the exhibit, “Through My Eyes” will be held February 3. Pictured here is one of Sakson’s paintings, which will be available for purchase.

The Hopewell Valley Bistro and Inn, located at 15 East Broad Street in Hopewell, will premiere the exhibition “Through My Eyes: The Watercolors of Robert Sakson” on Friday, February 3. The exhibit will continue through Friday, March 3, 2017. This is the second installation in a series of artist presentations at the Inn. more

When planning a season of performance, it is impossible to predict how news events will impact music in the coming year, or vice versa. At the end of a tumultuous weekend of national affairs, Princeton Symphony Orchestra presented a concert which could not have been more appropriate — music of a composer born in Belarus, a composer rooted in Middle Eastern musical heritage, music of an individual working in a repressive artistic climate, and a performer who has made a life mission excelling in a genre rooted in Eastern Europe. If there were ever an instance of music to reflect and inform a troubled time, Princeton Symphony’s concert Sunday afternoon at Richardson Auditorium was it.  more

The Princeton Folk Music Society presents The Jamcrackers, an Adirondack folk music trio named for river drivers who broke up log jams. The concert will take place on Friday, February 17 at Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane in Princeton. Admission at the door is $20 ($15 members, $10 students, and $5 children). Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8:15 p.m. Ample free parking is available. For more information, visit www.princetonfolk.org.

Comedian Lewis Black will perform at the State Theatre of NJ in New Brunswick on Saturday, February 25 at 8 p.m. as part of “The Rant, White, and Blue Tour.” Ticket prices range from $35-$75. To purchase, visit www.statetheatrenj.org or call (732) 246-7469. 

GREAT TASTES: “Our Mediterranean-inspired selection is what sets us apart. We take pride in our product and our preparation. We focus on healthy fats, high protein, and fresh veggies. Everything is freshly made every day.” Todd Lukas (left), regional operator for Zoë’s Kitchen, is shown with Sarah Holler, general manger of the new Zoës Kitchen in the Mercer Mall.

Fans of the Mediterranean diet are delighted that they now have a new dining spot to please their palate.

Zoës Kitchen opened December 1 in the Mercer Mall, 3371 Brunswick Pike in Lawrenceville. With seating for 86 inside and 44 outdoors on the patio, the restaurant offers a spacious, attractive setting for lunch and dinner. more

STATEMENT GAME: Princeton University men’s hockey player David Hallisey controls the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, junior forward Hallisey scored two goals as Princeton rallied from a 4-2 third period deficit to defeat No. 4 Penn State 5-4 at the Wells Fargo Center in the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff. The Tigers, now 8-11-2, play at Yale on February 3 and at Brown on February 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It was a situation that could have gone downhill quickly for the Princeton University men’s hockey team. more

RECORD PACE: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Melinda Tang displays her butterfly form in a recent meet. Last Saturday, senior star Tang won the 100 butterfly at the Mercer County Swimming Championships to help PHS finish fifth of 14 schools in the team standings at the meet.  Tang established a meet record in the 100 fly in the preliminary round when she clocked a time of 1:02.80. The Little Tigers are next in action when they compete in the Public state tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Melinda Tang wasn’t feeling 100 percent physically as she hit the pool last week for the Princeton High girls’ swimming team at the Mercer County Swimming Championships. more

January 25, 2017

The diverse crowd of more than 6,000 women, men, and children who showed up in Trenton on Saturday to march for women’s rights, civil rights, and other causes threatened by the new administration was upbeat and positive. Princeton Council members were among those marching from the War Memorial to the State House. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 outspoken community members the Municipal Council voted 4-1 on Monday night to approve a resolution urging the State Department of Education to deny Princeton Charter School’s (PCS) recent application to expand.

In responding to a conflict between PCS and Princeton Public Schools (PPS) supporters, who have claimed devastating effects to their budget if the expansion is approved, the Council members discussed the issue at some length and listened to a range of opinions from the public before casting their votes on the resolution.  more

Among the Trump administration’s planned budget cuts are the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. While this isn’t the first time these two agencies have been targeted, the current threats have culturally-minded citizens concerned.

The NEA and NEH, which at 0.02 percent represent only a small slice of the Federal budget, help fund locally-based arts and cultural organizations. The Princeton Public Library; People & Stories, Gente y Cuentos; McCarter Theatre; and Trenton’s Passage Theatre Company are among those that have received support. But landing a grant from the NEA or NEH isn’t only about finances. more

Among the millions taking part in the women’s marches Saturday, January 21 in several corners of the globe were members of Princeton’s governing body.

Council members Lance Liverman, Heather Howard, and Tim Quinn joined marchers in Trenton. Jo Butler was in Los Angeles and participated in that city’s event. While Mayor Liz Lempert was under the weather and could not attend, and Councilwoman Jenny Crumiller was not able to take part, both professed to be with the marchers in spirit. Bernie Miller did not take part, but his wife rode one of the two buses from Princeton to Washington to march there. more

DAZZLING DESIGNS: Among the many new retail and eating establishments coming onto the Princeton scene this spring is the Cargot Brasserie, a French inspired eatery next to the Dinky Pub and Kitchen, shown here in a rendering by Celano Design Studio of New York.

The ever-shifting landscape of Princeton shops and restaurants may be even more turbulent than usual over the coming months, with Carnevale Plaza preparing to open on eastern Nassau Street, MAC Cosmetics moving in to Palmer Square next to Ann Taylor, The Papery stationery store relocating to Princeton Shopping Center to be joined by Dental Care Princeton and a creative salad company called Chop’t, and the Cargot Brasserie opening in Princeton’s arts and transit neighborhood.  more