October 18, 2017

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton University’s endowment, ranked fourth highest of all United States universities at $23.8 billion, has reported a 12.5 percent investment gain for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, up $1.6 billion over the past year.

“The University relies on earnings from the endowment to cover more than half of its operating budget, as well as to help fund its highest priority strategic initiatives,“ said Provost Deborah Prentice. Last year, spending distributions from the endowment contributed about $875 million to the University’s budget.


By Donald Gilpin

A determined group of residents has successfully taken the first step in blocking a plan to connect Springdale Road to West Drive and then open the combined road as a major artery in and out of Princeton.

Last Wednesday, October 11, the Master Plan Subcommittee of the Princeton Planning Board read letters from the Princeton Environmental Commission, the Marquand Park Foundation, the Friends of the Rogers Wildlife Refuge, and the Nassau Swim Club; perused a petition with 102 signatures, urging the deletion of the Springdale Road extension from the Master Plan; listened to public comments, including testimony from Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; and then voted unanimously to recommend to the whole Planning Board that West Drive be deleted from the Circulation Element of the Master Plan.


A COMMUNITY FOCUS: Arts Council of Princeton Executive Director Taneshia Nash Laird, left, and American Repertory Ballet II dancers Julia Lloyd and Greta Battistin at the announcement of the Council’s new Community Stage Series on Monday. The dancers are among several groups collaborating with the Council on the new initiative.

By Anne Levin

Since taking over as executive director of the Arts Council of Princeton last January, Taneshia Nash Laird has noticed that its Solley Theater was not being used to its full potential. Different organizations would rent the space for various functions, but there was no process in place for making it available on a non-rental basis.

“We started thinking,” said Laird after a presentation on Monday morning, “What could we do to open up our theater to the community, and bring free or nearly free events to the public in partnership with other groups? That’s how the idea for Community Stage got started.” more

BRINGING THE MUSIC HOME: Buddy Miller, son of Councilman Bernie Miller, performs with his band at an October 26 fundraiser for Princeton Community Housing. The award-winning musician was the executive music producer of the TV show “Nashville,” which is where he has lived for many years. (Photo by CJ Hicks)

By Anne Levin

It isn’t often that Princeton Councilman Bernie Miller asks his son, Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and producer Buddy Miller, to volunteer his services for a hometown cause. But the elder Miller recently broke with tradition, asking his son to perform at an upcoming fundraiser for Princeton Community Housing.

“My Dad has never asked me to do anything that I can think of,” said Miller in a phone interview last week from his Nashville home. “So when he does, it gets my attention.” more

GATHERING STEAM: The Princeton Day School STEAM Committee meets in the new STEAM Center (for science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics). From left, Chief Information Officer Jon Ostendorf, Upper School Head Jason Robinson, Interim Math Chair Chip Cash, Libraries Department Chair Sheila Goeke, STEAM Coordinator Jonathan Tatkon-Coker, Head of School Paul Stellato, STEAM Committee Chair and Scientist in Residence Leon Rosenberg, Science Department Chair Jason Park, Lower School Math Teacher Jennifer Vradenburgh, and Lower School Science Teacher Aaron Schomburg. (Photo Courtesy of PDS)

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton Day School (PDS), long known for its deep commitment and strong programs in the humanities and the fine and performing arts, has recently turned its focus to the establishment of a dynamic new STEAM program, with major construction of a STEAM Center and new faculty to support it.

“We have created a program and facility that has the potential to touch and shape the experience of every kid in the school,” said Head of School Paul Stellato. “The Upper School program is designed to speak to kids who have no experience, to introduce them to the subject, and also to meet the needs of kids who have extensive experience in the field. It’s an all-encompassing program.”


By Stuart Mitchner

One thing to be said for living in a country led by a deranged narcissicist is how it heightens your appreciation for explosive poets; it also exposes your stressed senses to outrageous fantasies. For days now I’ve been reading Rimbaud’s Season in Hell with special pleasure (“Alas! there were days when all active men seemed to him playthings of grotesque madness”) while enjoying a twisted vision out of Disney’s Snow White where an evil queen with an orange pompadour is staring in the mirror shouting, “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest ruler of them all?” and being told time after time in an icky sweet sugar-plum fairy voice, “Snobama! Snobama! Snobama!” And when Snobama’s face actually appears in the mirror grinning that ear to ear grin, the queen begins screaming. Once she’s calmed down she sends a troupe of rogues and jesters out to destroy everything Snobama created, a futile task because the documents of destruction have no substance, it’s like writing in water.


“A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN”: Performances are underway for “A Night with Janis Joplin.” Written and directed by Randy Johnson, the musical runs through October 29 at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. Janis Joplin (Kacee Clanton, front and center) gives a high-energy concert, backed by the Joplinaires: Sharon Catherine Brown, left; Amma Osei; Sylvia MacCalla; and Tawny Dolley. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

A Night with Janis Joplin is playing at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. Written and directed by Randy Johnson, this raw, high-energy entertainment is a tribute to Joplin and several of the artists who inspired her. Although the show undoubtedly holds special resonance for Joplin’s fans, multi-generational audiences are likely to enjoy this rousing mix of blues, soul, and psychedelic rock.

October 11, 2017

Last weekend’s Festival of the Arts at Princeton University featured many events, including an immersive performance featuring original music by Director of Electronic Music Jeff Snyder for the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), TILT Brass, and So Percussion. The performance was in collaboration with theatrical lighting designer Jane Cox, director of PU’s Program in Theater, and Assistant Professor of Architecture Alex Kilian. Festivalgoers share their impressions of the new Lewis Arts complex on page 6, and more photos are on page 16. (Photo by Erica Cardenas)

By Anne Levin

Soon after moving to Princeton eight years ago and becoming a history professor at Princeton University, Martha A. Sandweiss began thinking about a project examining the town’s relationship to slavery. She was aware that other universities were involved in similar endeavors, and thought there might be a relationship worth investigating in Princeton. more

REEL LIFE: After the film, John Stier, one of Nash’s sons, and Dr. Joseph Kohn spoke about their memories of the real John Nash. “You have ten years of fantastic work, and it sort of looks like in the movie that he spent most of his time cutting out newspapers,” said Kohn. “He did really remarkable work.”

By William Uhl

On October 4, Princeton Garden Theatre partnered with the Historical Society of Princeton to hold a screening of A Beautiful Mind, a 2001 film about Nobel Prize winner and Princeton Professor John Nash’s mathematical achievements and struggles with schizophrenia. more

By Donald Gilpin

Edward Felten, professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School (WW), and Alan Krueger, professor of economics and public policy at WW, will serve on a new task force seeking to transform America’s labor market from one based largely on degrees to one based on skills. more

OLD MILL, NEW LOOK: A view of the interior of Isles’ Mill One facility, a historic mill in the final stages of renovation, that will serve as the home of the organization’s Social Profit Center. (Photo courtesy of Isles, Inc.)

By Doug Wallack

On Saturday, October 21, Trenton-based nonprofit Isles will hold its first ever Fall Fest fundraiser in the new Social Profit Center at Mill One in Hamilton. The event will feature food and drink from local restaurants and vendors, along with performances and works from area musicians and artists.  more

Breast cancer survivors, physicians, and others walked the runway October 6 at The Westin Princeton. The annual Lord & Taylor “In the Pink” fashion show benefits the YWCA Princeton’s Breast Cancer Resource Center.

CALLING ALL PHS ALUMNI: Donna Wilkinson, PHS class of 1957, at her 60th anniversary reunion. Wilkinson’s daughter, Mia Sacks, PHS ’83, is co-chair of the alumni steering committee and a leading organizer of the newly formed PHS Alumni Association.

By Donald Gilpin

Looking to engage alumni, build a relationship with them, and at the same time benefit current students, the Princeton Public Schools District (PPS) is launching an alumni association for Princeton High School (PHS) graduates. more

ART AND LIFE: From his childhood behind the Iron Curtain in Bulgaria to a successful career in the restaurant business (starting at a resort on the Black Sea) to a new life in New Jersey as a painter, muralist, and designer, Cvetko Ivanov has come a long way to his porch on Vandeventer Street, where he stands amidst a selection of his original works. 

By Donald Gilpin

Artist Cvetko Ivanov can be found most Saturdays and Sundays surrounded by dozens of his paintings on the front porch of the Vandeventer Street house where he lives with his niece and her husband. From his easy-going, friendly demeanor as he talks to passers-by and other interested customers, it might be hard to guess that his life has taken more than a few dramatic turns.  more

By Anne Levin

Six years after it was first proposed, a 3-megawatt solar array is about to open at the closed municipal landfill on River Road. Officials will gather Thursday morning, October 12 at 11 a.m., for the ribbon cutting.

The project is a partnership between Princeton, Stony Brook Regional Sewage Authority, and New Jersey Resources Clean Energy Ventures. It will supply up to 25 percent of the energy needs of the Stony Brook sewage facility on River Road. The municipality will receive a lease payment of $25,000 a year for the use of the site. more

“AFGHAN GIRL, 2001”: This photograph by Princeton Day School photography teacher Thatcher Cook is featured in the school’s Visual and Design Arts Faculty Exhibition, on view from October 16 through November 9. An opening reception with the artists will be held on on Friday, October 20 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School presents the Visual and Design Arts Faculty Exhibition, on view from October 16 through November 9. There will be an opening reception with the artists on Friday, October 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. more

“BELLE”: The collage paintings of Meredith Remz are on exhibit at Blawenburg Cafe in Skillman through January 5, 2018. Remz says she draws inspiration from contemporary and industrial design, as well as Mother Nature.

Meredith Remz debuts her work at Blawenburg Cafe in Skillman this fall with a solo exhibition of expressive collage paintings. The exhibit will be on display through January 5, 2018. It is is free and open to the public, child-friendly, and all art is for sale. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Movie actors are not always the most quotable beings. The value of their words depends not on substance or style so much as gossip potential, career-advancement, otherwise known as the publicity quotient. Then you have one-of-a-kind people like Robert Mitchum, who was born 100 years ago, August 6, 1917. Unless Mitchum has a ghostwriter named Hemingway slipping him gems, what he says fits perfectly with the big man dwarfing the screen at the Garden two summers ago in Out of the Past. Anyone who has seen Mitchum in that film or in other RKO noirs like Where Danger Lives will recognize him in these words — “Listen. I got three expressions: looking left, looking right, and looking straight ahead.” I hope Hemingway read that line before he died.  more

BY GEORGE: Princeton University football player Jesper Horsted races upfield last Saturday against visiting Georgetown. Junior star receiver Horsted made nine catches for 112 yards and a touchdown to help Princeton rally from a 10-0 deficit on the way to a 50-30 win over the Hoyas. Princeton, now 3-1 overall and 0-1 Ivy League, plays at Brown (2-2 overall, 0-1 Ivy) on October 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the leadoff hitter for the Princeton University baseball team, Jesper Horsted looks to start rallies for the Tigers.

Doubling as a star receiver for the Princeton football team, Horsted displayed his ability to start a rally on the gridiron as the Tigers hosted Georgetown last Saturday. more

HEAD FIRST: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Drew Beamer (No. 23) heads the ball last week as PHS hosted WW/P-North. Senior midfielder Beamer scored two goals in the contest as PHS prevailed 4-0. The Little Tigers, who moved to 8-2-1 with a 2-1 loss at Ewing last Friday, are slated to play at Trenton High on October 12 and at Hopewell Valley on October 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Drew Beamer has grown into a top scorer for the Princeton High boys’ soccer team.

Having broken into the lineup as a defender in his freshman season in the fall of 2014, Beamer eventually moved into the midfield due to his athleticism and versatility. more

TARTAN PRIDE: Members of the Stuart Country Day School cross country team gather together after a recent race at Rosedale Park. Pictured in the front row, from left to right, are Sharon Song, Melanie Burgess, Diana Tian, Jasmine Hansford, and Kathryn Ix. In the back row, from left, are Miranda Maley, Alexandra Rounds, Sonia Mohandas, and Grace Sheppard. The Tartans have won 22 straight dual meets with their last defeat coming against Lawrenceville in 2014.

By Bill Alden

With talented frontrunner Casey Nelson graduating this past spring, the Stuart Country Day School cross country team figured to take a step back.

But featuring a mix of battle-tested veterans and talented newcomers, Stuart has continued to make strides. more

October 4, 2017

Boating enthusiasts took advantage of a beautiful fall day to get outside and enjoy a canoe trip on the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Princeton. Area residents and visitors share their favorite fall activities in this week’s Town Talk, and more photos are featured on page 20. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Anne Levin

In two separate incidents that occurred two days apart, two people were struck and killed by Amtrak trains near the Princeton Junction station.

The first, on Thursday afternoon, September 28, involved a Princeton High School sophomore and is believed to have been a suicide. The Crescent train 20 was on its way from New Orleans to New York when it struck the student at about 2:45 p.m., according to an Amtrak spokesman. The second incident took place Saturday evening, September 30, when Amtrak train 92 hit an individual at about 8:30 p.m. more

By Donald Gilpin

The six candidates who will be on the ballot for the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education election on November 7 presented their qualifications and shared their perspectives on the greatest challenges facing the district in the coming years in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV) in the Municipal Building Monday night.  more