November 4, 2015

Investigations continue, as local school and police officials work with the FBI and other state and federal authorities to confront the fraudulent bomb threats at area schools.

About 50 parents of Princeton school children joined Princeton Police Chief Nicholas Sutter and Schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane in the John Witherspoon School Auditorium last Thursday evening for a Community Forum on Swatting, a discussion of the ongoing investigations of swatting threats and the evolving responses implemented to help mitigate these “acts of terrorism,” as Mr. Sutter described them.  more


HARNESSING THE POWER OF LITERATURE: Last month, a group of select librarians from around the country came together at Princeton Public Library to learn the techniques of People and Stories/Gente y Cuentos, which shares literature with those who might otherwise not have access. Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the participants were led by Pat Andres and Alma Concepcion, fourth and fifth from left, of People and Stories/Gente y Cuentos.

It wasn’t exactly quiet in the Quiet Room at Princeton Public Library. Seated around a table one day last month, nine librarians from around the country were reviewing a short story and how it can be used to get the people they serve excited about literature. While tones were muted — these were librarians, after all — the discussion was animated.

Josie Andrews, from Nevada City, California, counts a large homeless population among her library clients. Cindy Welsh, from Greeley, Colorado, works with refugees and immigrants with low literacy. Aida Quinones, from Athens, Georgia, manages a bilingual library that attracts a lot of migrants. more

You see them blowing in the street or beside the road. You’ll see them if you wander into the woods. You’ll see them in streams, rivers, and the ocean. You probably have a few in your car, maybe a bag full in your garage or under the sink or in the kitchen closet.

Each of us brings home hundreds of plastic bags every year — more than 100 billion total in the United States, according to the United States International Trade Commission. There’s widespread agreement that this is a problem for our environment, and widespread disagreement over the best thing to do about it. Can we break our addiction to plastic bags, which didn’t appear in grocery stores until the late 1970s, and embrace reusable non-plastic bags?  more

goalie with #4 at left

GOING OFF: Princeton University field hockey goalie Anya Gersoff, right, enjoys the moment after a 2014 win. Last Saturday against visiting Cornell, senior star Gersoff made five saves in earning the shutout as 20th-ranked Princeton defeated the Big Red 4-0 and earned at least a tie for the Ivy League title. The win marked Princeton’s 21st league crown in the last 22 seasons and 11th in a row. The Tigers, now 9-6 overall and 6-0 Ivy, play at Penn, 13-2 overall and 5-1 Ivy, on November 7 with the winner to get the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Anya Gersoff and the other members of the Class of 2016 on the Princeton University field hockey team were showered with affection in the program’s annual Senior Day ceremony last Saturday.

As the Tigers took the field to host Cornell, star goalie Gersoff was looking to return the favor. more

Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times

KEEPING IT REAL: Chef David Tanis will be at Princeton Public Library on Thursday, November 12, at 7 p.m., discussing his new cookbook “One Good Dish” (Artisan $25.95). Says the Washington Post, “Trust David Tanis to keep it real …. ‘One Good Dish’ is modern and American, unfussy and charming.”

Chef David Tanis will appear at Princeton Public Library on Thursday, November 12, at 7 p.m., to discuss his new cookbook One Good Dish (Artisan $25.95). Offering 100 one-dish recipes that epitomize his no-fuss approach to comfort food, One Good Dish is the chef’s first non-menu cookbook.

According to a starred review in Publishers Weekly, David Tanis “turns his focus to an eclectic array of simple, casual meals that satisfy and are appropriate to be eaten at any time of day. Tanis’s whimsy runs from bread, snacks, and condiments to vegetables, griddled foods, desserts, and more …. His chapter titled ‘Eating with a Spoon’ centers on pleasures in a bowl and contains a full-bodied, save-your-life garlic soup, rice porridge with salted egg, yellow risotto with saffron and lemon, and clams in the shell with fennel and parsley …. Accompanied by numerous full-color photographs, the recipes in this collection are suitable for solo dining or entertaining guests and are certain to please.” more

Art Drum

INSPIRING PHOTOGRAPHS: Bruce M. White is among the nine New Jersey photographers featured in the “Inspire: Everyday People Changing New Jersey” exhibit at Drumthwacket that is on view until July 31, 2016. White’s award winning, internationally recognized photographs have illustrated numerous art books and exhibitions commissioned by leading educational, cultural, and historic institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The White House, BreastIntentions, and Urban Promise USA. Pictured above, First Lady Mary Pat Christie views White’s portrait of NJ Hero Jodina Hicks, executive director of Urban Promise, Camden.

Combining the homegrown talents of nine New Jersey fine arts photographers with the efforts of 18 New Jersey Heroes, First Lady Mary Pat Christie recently unveiled a new photographic exhibit that will be on display at Drumthwacket, the Governor’s Official Residence in Princeton, through July 31, 2016. The black and white portrait collection, Inspire: Everyday People Changing New Jersey, is part of the Drumthwacket Foundation’s fine arts initiative to curate historical and contemporary exhibits that recognize the state’s rich cultural heritage and instill pride. more

Art Rev 1

“MOONSCAPE”: The watercolor pictured above titled “Moonscape” will be among the paintings by Jane Adriance displayed at the University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP) through February 2016. On Friday, November 20 there will be an opening reception for the exhibit from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Art for Healing Gallery at UMCP.

The University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP) will host a wine and cheese reception on Friday, November 20, to mark the opening of an exhibit featuring works by Princeton watercolor artist Jane Adriance.

The reception is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Art for Healing Gallery, which is located in the concourse connecting UMCP to the Medical Arts Pavilion and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center. To attend, please RSVP at by November 13. more

Stuart RevIn the course of checking to see whether the 2015 World Series is the first to begin and end in extra innings, I found that the longest game ever played without being called a tie or suspended was between the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals on September 11, 1974. The game lasted 7 hours and 45 minutes, and when the Cardinals won it 4-3 in the 25th inning, it was 3:13 a.m. and only a thousand fans were still at Shea Stadium. Writing a few weeks ago when post-season play had just begun, I quoted catcher Bengie Molina’s father telling Bengie that it was possible for a baseball game to last forever if no team scored. The idea that baseball could defy space and time sounded to Bengie “more like God than anything I heard in church.”

If I’m thinking of extra innings in cosmic terms — baseball’s version of the afterlife — it’s because I’ve been reading W.P. Kinsella’s novel Shoeless Joe (1982), the basis for the 1989 film Field of Dreams. Among the novel’s numerous challenges to the “suspension of disbelief” are two formidable fantasies: the return of baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson to a ball field laid out for him (“If you build it, he will come”) and the forced return of literary legend J.D. Salinger from self-imposed exile in New Hampshire. An even more improbable leap of the imagination for Kinsella than the resurrection of Jackson was the notion of a fictional baseball-loving Salinger ultimately going along with the field-of-dreams fantasy. Still more improbable was that the real-life Salinger would allow himself to be written into someone else’s novel.  more


CONTEMPORARY CHOREOGRAPHERS: Beth Gill will be one of three choreographers to present during the Lewis Center for the Arts’ “Choreographers in Residence and in Conversation” on Tuesday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Patricia Ward Hagan ’48 Dance Studio, 185 Nassau Street. Gill is a 2015-16 Hodder Fellow at the Lewis Center. In addition to commissions from New York Live Arts, The Chocolate Factory Theater, The Kitchen, and Dance Theater Workshop, in 2011 she won two New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. (Photo Credit: Chris Cameron)

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance will present “Choreographers in Residence and in Conversation,” featuring three choreographers associated with the Princeton Dance Program on Tuesday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Patricia and Ward Hagan ’48 Dance Studio, 185 Nassau Street. Choreographers Beth Gill, a 2015-16 Hodder Fellow; Dean Moss, a current guest artist; and Pavel Zustiak, a 2015-17 Princeton Arts Fellow, will present works-in-progress, as well as discuss the doubts, difficulties, and revelations they’ve encountered in the course of their current artistic undertakings. This event is free and open to the public. more

Music Faust

Violinist Isabelle Faust will perform the complete set of solo violin sonatas and partitas by Johann Sebastian Bach at Princeton University Chapel on Monday, November 16 at 7 p.m.

In keeping with the new concert format launched earlier this year called PUC125: Performances Up Close, this concert will be presented in-the-round with the violinist elevated on a platform. Given the intimate nature of the reconfigured space and its acoustic setting, seating is limited.  more

Felix Mendelssohn did very little in the field of opera, however, his sacred oratorios are as theatrical as any 19th-century operatic work. In particular, the oratorio Elijah, premiered in 1846, musically depicts a dramatic Biblical story through arias, recitatives, and choruses, infused with the composer’s gift for melodic writing. The more than 100-voice Princeton Pro Musica, conducted by Ryan James Brandau, presented a well-informed performance of this work to a very appreciative audience on Sunday afternoon in Richardson Auditorium, showing off the capabilities of the chorus as well as four seasoned vocal soloists. more


Dr. Aly Cohen is on a mission. Board-certified rheumatologist, integrative medicine physician, and environmental health specialist, she is the founder and medical director of The Smart Human.

Dr. Cohen is recognized as one of the leading authorities on the harmful effects of exposure to everyday chemicals in the U.S. Helping people to make smart choices in a world in which they are constantly bombarded by chemicals is her goal.

“The Smart Human seeks to educate, coach, and empower everyday people to make safer, smarter choices for human health,” explains Dr. Cohen. “We help hospitals, schools, and manufacturers make changes to reduce unsafe chemical exposure to the children and adults whom they serve.” more

November 2, 2015


“BEAUTIFUL MINDS”: John and Alicia Nash, who died in a car crash on May 23, were celebrated last Saturday in a full day of lectures on Nash’s work followed by a Remembrance Service in the Princeton University Chapel. (Courtesy of Princeton University)

“His life story is something out of a fairy tale, a Greek myth or a Shakespeare play,” said biographer Sylvia Nasar, at last Saturday’s celebration of the life and work of John F. Nash, Jr. at Princeton University.

Hundreds of admirers of Professor Nash and his wife Alicia, who died in a car crash on May 23 on the New Jersey Turnpike on their return home from Norway where he had received the coveted Abel Prize, gathered for a day of lectures, culminating in an early evening Service of Remembrance in the University Chapel.  more


To mark the centennial of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, there are events taking place from Berlin to Bozeman, Montana. Prominent among them is a two-day conference November 5-6 at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, where the physicist was a faculty member from 1933 to 1955.

“General Relativity at 100” is aimed, mostly, at an invited audience. But it opens on Wednesday, November 4 with a performance of a play at Princeton University’s Richardson Hall, Light Falls: Space, Time, and an Obsession of Einstein, that is open to the public. And for those who want to witness international experts trading ideas on diverse aspects of general relativity from cosmology to quantum gravity and from black holes to neutron stars, the entire conference can be live-streamed by logging on to the IAS website. more

SENIOR MOMENT: Princeton Day School field hockey player Rowan Schomburg, second from right, goes after the ball as PDS played Stuart Country Day School last Wednesday in the opening round of the state Prep B tournament. Senior star Schomburg chipped in an assist as fourth-seeded PDS prevailed 3-2 in overtime over the fifth-seeded Tartans. PDS, which defeated Steinert 7-1 in a Mercer County Tournament consolation last Thursday to improve to 6-11-1, is slated to play at top-seeded Montclair Kimberley in the Prep B semis on October 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the Princeton Day School field hockey team prepared to play local rival Stuart Country Day in the opening round of the state Prep B tournament last Wednesday, the emphasis was on striking quickly.

“We wanted to get out of the gate strong,” said PDS senior star Rowan Schomburg. “We knew our mindset had to be score first and score often.”

The Panthers accomplished that goal, jumping out to a 1-0 lead on a first half goal by senior Katie Shih. After Stuart answered with a tally 10 minutes into the second half, Schomburg helped get PDS back in the lead as she assisted Val Radvany on a goal off a penalty corner.

“Inserting, I always want to get to the post and that is what happened,” said Schomburg. “Everyone was in the right spot at the right time.”

October 28, 2015

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Photographers, amateur and professional alike, were feasting on the last week’s stunning autumn weather, particularly in the area around Lake Carnegie and the D&R canal, where this vision of the season in its glory was captured. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

In the upcoming election on Tuesday, November 3, Democrats Lance Liverman and Heather Howard, both Democrats, will be up for re-election to Princeton Council. Contesting them are Republicans Lynn Lu Irving and Kelly Di Tosto, both newcomers to the Princeton political arena.

The incumbents cite improvements and accomplishments during their time on Council, particularly during the adjustment period to a consolidated community, as reasons for re-election to the all-Democrat governing body. Ms. Irving and Ms. Di Tosto count party diversity and keeping Princeton affordable among the reasons to cast votes their way. more

Thomas John Muza, 57, of Hightstown, was sentenced to state prison Friday for embezzling $240,000 from the Princeton University Triangle Club over a period of five years, 2008-2013. He was the Triangle Club’s accountant from 1993 to 2013.

According to the Attorney General’s office, Mr. Muza pleaded guilty on March 27 to a charge of second degree theft by unlawful taking. In addition to his sentence, he must pay a restitution of $240,000. At the sentencing hearing he had already paid $200,000 of that sum. more

At a meeting of Princeton Council Monday night, several residents of the neighborhood surrounding the construction site where the developer AvalonBay is building an apartment complex voiced strong concerns about chemical smells. Citing migraine headaches, sore throats and other unsettling effects, they urged the governing body to take action to make the Witherspoon Street site safer as construction continues.

Municipal staff members said they have been monitoring the site since strong odors were first reported on Wednesday, October 21. The smells were identified by the town’s health and engineering departments as coming from painting primer and top coat polyurethanes on the Henry Avenue parking garage, adjacent to the site. The Mercer County Division of Public Health was called in to help investigate the matter, and a Materials Safety Data Sheet was posted on the town’s website. more

OPENING STATEMENT: Princeton University women’s hockey player Cristin Shanahan, right, battles for the puck in a game last season. Last Friday, senior forward Shanahan scored the winning goal in the third period as Princeton edged Mercyhurst 3-2 in its season opener. A day later, she chipped in an assist as the Tigers completed a sweep of the two-game set with a 2-1 victory. Princeton starts ECAC Hockey action this weekend when it plays at Yale on October 30 and at Brown on October 31. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Opening its season at Mercyhurst last Friday, the Princeton University women’s hockey didn’t waste any time getting in the swing of things, taking a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Morgan Sly.

“The kids have been preparing hard for three weeks and they were ready to play so they came out strong,” said Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal.

“Mercyhurst is a really good team, they are really well coached. I think it was their fifth game and it was our first game so us competing in the first period was what I was most worried about. They showed up and answered the call for sure.”

The Tigers built on that tally by junior forward Sly as junior Audrey Potts scored in the second period and senior Cristin Shanahan notched a third period goal that turned out to be the game winner in a 3-2 triumph. A day later, freshman Karlie Lund scored the first goal of her career and Sly added another tally as the Tigers held on for a 2-1 win over the Lakers.

The Princeton Battlefield Society will appeal a Mercer County judge’s rejection of its most recent attempt to keep the Institute for Advanced Study from building faculty housing on land owned by the Institute that the Battlefield Society says is historic and should not be disturbed.

Attorney Bruce Afran, representing the Battlefield Society, said Judge Mary Jacobson’s ruling last Friday was not unexpected. “These cases are really resolved in appellate court, so everybody expected this to have to go to a higher level,” he said on Monday. more


Morris S. Fabian will deliver a free, public lecture on his personal recollections of the local agricultural industry from 1943 to 1962 on Sunday, November 1 at 2 p.m. The presentation will focus on the area’s former dairy industry including Cool Meadows Farm, owned and operated by J.M. Fabian, breeder of Guernsey cattle and producer of Golden Guernsey milk. The event will take place at the Hopewell Township Branch of the Mercer County Library, located at 245 Pennington-Titusville Road in Pennington. To RSVP, email

MAKING STRIDES: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Alex Roth heads to the finish line last Friday at the Mercer County Cross Country Championships. Junior star Roth took third individually to help PHS finish a strong second, just three points (74-77) behind champion Robbinsville. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In 2014, Alex Roth couldn’t run in the Mercer County Cross Country Championships due to injury.

Last Friday, Princeton High boys’ junior star Roth was thrilled to toe the starting line at this year’s county meet.

“It is a great environment,” said Roth. “It was super cool to run with all of these competitive teams and competitive guys. It was great experience.”

Roth proved to be one of the top competitors on the course at Thompson Park in Jamesburg, taking third individually to help PHS finish a strong second, just three points (74-77) behind champion Robbinsville.

Coming into the race, Roth was focused on going after WW/P-S senior star Tim Bason, who ended up taking first.

“I wasn’t really worrying about time; I was trying to get in the mix to get a top position,” said Roth, who covered the course in 15:59.61. “I basically went out and just tried to hang with Tim Bason and just tried to go with it after that in the second half.”

Roth hung with Bason for about half of the race before getting edged  by 1.40 for second place by Zach Michon of Robbinsville down the final straightaway.

“I thought it was a good race; I felt confident,” said Roth. “The Robbinsville guy got me at the end but I felt like I ran the race I was looking for.”

While PHS entered the day looking for the team title, Roth saw the second-place finish as a positive.

True Style Book

G. Bruce Boyer, the author of True Style: The History & Principles of Classic Menswear (Basic Books) will be visiting Nick Hilton, 221 Witherspoon Street, on Saturday, October 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mr. Boyer has been called the “Robert Caro of the cufflink, the Boswell of the bow tie” and “the Raymond Chandler of menswear journalism.”

Mr. Boyer will be meeting and greeting customers, speaking casually about his life and work, and signing free copies of True Style. The event is in conjunction with an appearance by Nick Hilton’s premier fabric supplier, Gladson, Ltd. more

Book Rev

Like everyone else, I’ve never gotten over The Recognitions. — Harold Bloom

When I told a friend who likes big, difficult novels that I was about to begin William Gaddis’s 956-page tour de force The Recognitions, which was published by Harcourt Brace 60 years ago, he wished me luck: “I’ve tried at least 4 or 5 times to crack that book, but without success.” In a later message, after hearing that I’d embarked on so daunting a journey, he said, “I’ll pray for you.”

Over the decades, for every person who told me I had to read The Recognitions, someone else told me it was unreadable. Yet people who had “been there” carried on as if they’d returned from the journey of a lifetime. Having arrived safely, if dazed and word-weary, I’ll tell you some of what I experienced on my four-month sojurn in Gaddis’s mid-century wasteland. more