March 21, 2016


Dress-up your spring wardrobe with dark florals from adidas and L.K. Bennett London. 

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March 16, 2016

The news, of course, is the foundation of any newspaper. Right alongside, however, are the advertisers, who support and contribute to the success of the publication.

As Town Topics marks its 70th anniversary, it has been fortunate to count upon many loyal advertisers over the years. They differ widely in merchandise and type of services; what they share is a commitment to quality products, customer consideration, and support of this newspaper over many years.

Many are family businesses, which have been passed down through the generations. All have remained competitive in changing times and tastes, while retaining the individual qualities that make them unique. And, above all, they have stood the test of time. more


Get those baskets ready!

Make Easter fun for the whole family with these personalized Easter gifts. Simply click on each item to purchase. more

Pi Day

The 2016 Pi Day Einstein Lookalike Contest was, as always, a highlight of Princeton’s annual celebration of all things Einstein. At the Nassau Inn this past Saturday, 3-14, a standing-room-only crowd cheered on impersonators of all ages as they marked the famous scientist’s birthday by dressing up as his likeness. The winner, nine-year-old Andrew Marucci, decided to shop local, taking his winnings (a check for $314, of course) across the street to Jazam’s where he quickly spent every penny. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

The Princeton Packet, in a transaction expected to close on April 1, will become part of Pennsylvania-based Broad Street Media, which will own and operate the newspapers and digital websites of the Packet Media Group.

James B. Kilgore, who has lived in Princeton for most of his life, will remain publisher of the new company’s titles and will retain a seat on the board. Mr. Kilgore joined Packet Media Group in 1976 and has served as president and publisher since 1980. Packet Media’s general manager and marketing director Michele Nesbihal will also keep her current position. more


TIRELESS ADVOCATE: Television anchor/reporter Tamron Hall, who has been working to end domestic violence, is being honored by Womanspace in May for her efforts both on and off camera. She will accept the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award at the organization’s annual gala at the Westin Princeton.

The devastation of domestic violence is all too familiar to Tamron Hall. It has haunted the TODAY show co-host and MSNBC anchor since 2004, when Hall’s sister, Renate, was murdered by her partner. He was never charged with the crime. more

Seeking again to stop construction on an Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) faculty housing project, the Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) took its long fight to federal court last Thursday, filing a complaint under the Clean Water Act against IAS, its contractor, and its engineers.

The Battlefield Society claims that the proposed IAS construction infringes on unprotected wetlands, though the state Department of Environmental Protection stated in late January that they have found no evidence of that.  more

Residents of the neighborhood near the 33-acre Butler Tract want Princeton Council to reconsider rezoning the nearly demolished site from educational to residential. A group of homeowners spoke at the meeting of the governing body on Monday to express their concerns about the future of the property, which for several decades served as housing for Princeton University graduate students and their families.

Demolition of the barracks-like buildings on the tract has been underway since December. Because the property is currently zoned E-1, for educational purposes, it could conceivably be used for new school buildings. While the University has indicated that the site will most likely be used for housing, neighborhood residents want to make that official by having the zoning changed. more


MARCH GLADNESS: Princeton University women’s basketball player Alex Wheatley goes up for a hook shot last week against Penn. Senior star Wheatley scored 20 points but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 62-60 to the Quakers in a winner-take-all showdown for the Ivy League title on March 8. The Tigers, who moved to 23-5 overall and 12-2 Ivy with the loss, were able to put that setback behind them last Monday evening when they received a bid to the NCAA tournament. Becoming the first Ivy team to ever be an at-large selection to March Madness, the Tigers were seeded 11th in the Sioux Falls, S.D. region and will face sixth-seeded West Virginia (24-9 overall, 12-6 Big 12) on March 18 at Columbus, Ohio in an opening round contest. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Last March, a 30-0 Princeton University women’s basketball team seemed to get a raw deal when it was seeded eighth in the NCAA tournament and put on a collision course for a second round clash with top-seeded Maryland in its home arena. more

book revHere’s a trivia question from left field: what do Allen Ginsberg, Philip Roth, C.K. Williams, Stephen Crane, Paul Simon, Sarah Vaughan, Chris Christie, Jerry Lewis, and Percy Shelley’s grandfather have in common? 

Answer: they were all born in Newark.

So was Leslie Fiedler, author of the landmark study Love and Death in the American Novel. In his essay, “Whatever Happened to Jerry Lewis?” from Murray Pomerance’s anthology Enfant Terrible! Jerry Lewis in American Film (NYU Press), Fielder recalls once working in a shoe store side by side with “a crew of losers,” one of whom was Danny Levitch, who happened to be Jerry (Levitch) Lewis’s father. Fiedler recalls that although Levitch was constantly boasting about his “rosy prospects in the theater,” he always seemed to end up working as an extra salesman. Fiedler thinks that the father’s habitual failure “must have haunted Jerry and fueled in him a relentless desire to succeed.”

In 1945, Jerry Lewis, who turns 90 today, was 19, living in Newark with “a very pregnant wife” and earning $135 on “a good week” in various Manhattan night clubs; his act was to make funny faces while lip-synching along with photograph records.  more

978-0-8223-6035-3_prEben Kirksey, Joao Biehl, and Bill Gleason will be discussing Mr. Kirksey’s book Emergent Ecologies(Duke $25.95) at Labyrinth Books on Wednesday, March 23 at 6 p.m. Emergent Ecologies uses artwork and contemporary philosophy to illustrate opportunities and reframe problems in conservation biology such as invasive species, extinction, environmental management, and reforestation. Following the flight of capital and nomadic forms of life — through fragmented landscapes of Panama, Costa Rica, and the United States — Mr. Kirksey explores how chance encounters, historical accidents, and parasitic invasions have shaped present and future multispecies communities. New generations of thinkers and tinkerers are learning how to care for emergent ecological assemblages — involving frogs, fungal pathogens, ants, monkeys, people, and plants — by seeding them, nurturing them, protecting them, and ultimately letting go.

According to Sarah Franklin, author of Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship, “Emergent Ecologies is a great read. It is movingly written, methodologically innovative, and provides an intellectually rich account of an important and timely subject that will inspire, entertain, and challenge.” more


WOODROW WILSON EXHIBIT: On April 4 Princeton University will open an exhibit that examines the contested legacy of Woodrow Wilson. The exhibit will be held in the Bernstein Gallery, Robertson Hall. In conjunction with the exhibit, there will be a panel discussion on April 8 discussing Wilson’s life and career held in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

The contested legacy of Woodrow Wilson forms the focus of a new exhibition and panel discussion at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  more

On March 28 at 6:30 p.m., more than 200 singers will gather on the Mayo Concert Hall stage at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) campus in Ewing. TCNJ students will perform alongside five high school choirs from Japan who all come from the region affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear disaster. The performance is part of Project Hand-in-hand, which aims to support the recovery of the Japan disaster by using music to support cultural exchange and communication. This will be the fourth time in five years that TCNJ has partnered with Project Hand-in-Hand.  more

girls 200 fly Madeleine Deardorff

HAPPY ENDING: Princeton High girls’ swimming star Madeleine Deardorff displays her butterfly form in a race last season. Senior star Deardorff ended her PHS career on a high note earlier this month, combining with classmate Brianna Romaine, junior Melinda Tang, and sophomore Abbey Berloco to win the 400 freestyle relay at the Meet of Champions. The quartet clocked a time of 3:28.60 in winning the event, just .28 seconds short of the meet record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Even though it was the last swim of her Princeton High career, Madeleine Deardorff didn’t let emotions get the best of her as she stood in the blocks for the second leg of the 400 freestyle relay final last month at the Meet of Champions. more

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.12.16 AMPrinceton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) Executive Director Marc Uys returns to his musician roots when he performs live at the PSO’s Spring Chamber Concert Sunday, March 20 at 4:30 p.m. at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Uys, harpist Bridget Kibbey, and soprano Mary Mackenzie will perform works by composer and former Princeton University professor Edward T. Cone, IAS’s Artist-in-Residence Sebastian Currier, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

Written nearly 50 years apart, Cone’s Duo for Violin and Harp and Currier’s Night Time are significant contributions to the repertoire, reflecting the influence of Béla Bartók’s compositional symmetry and rhythmic manipulation upon their individual styles. Also on the program is Saint-Saëns’ Violons dans le soir, based on the eponymous poem by Anna Elizabeth Mathieu.

Prior to joining the PSO, Uys was concertmaster of New York City-based Arcos Orchestra and assistant concertmaster of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. He collaborated with harpist Jacqueline Kerrod in the duo Clockwise, touring South Africa performing premieres of newly commissioned works by 10 South African composers. In 2007 he led performances of Philip Miller’s RewindA Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony, including its world premiere in Cape Town and U.S. premiere in New York.  more


This artwork by Nadini Chirimar entitled “City Journal” is apart of the Indo-American Arts Council’s seventh annual “Erasing Borders 2010: Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora.” The piece is a 44×66 inch mix of drawing, woodblock printing, gold leaf, collage, and embroidery on Japanese Kozo paper.

Theater rev

MURDER LURKS: Mollie (Jessica Bedford) finds herself in the midst of a deadly intrigue, in an isolated old manor house, cut off from the rest of the world, surrounded by an odd assortment of complete strangers, one of whom is a murderer, in McCarter Theatre’s production of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” the longest running play in the history of English theater. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap opened in London in 1952, and 64 years later, after more than 25,000 performances, it is still playing, by far the longest running show in theater history. Though McCarter’s current rendition of the classic murder mystery will run only two more weeks, until March 27, the high-energy, captivating Matthews Theatre production displays vividly the lasting appeal of this show. Whether you’re a whodunit aficionado or not, this show with its eight finely drawn, deftly presented characters and its rich visual appeal is highly entertaining from start to finish. more

This season, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director, Rossen Milanov, have dedicated programming to the creativity of women, and this past Sunday afternoon’s performance at Richardson Auditorium featured one of the more creative artists on the music scene today. Composer Caroline Shaw, who doubled as violinist soloist in her own Lo for Violin and Orchestra, crossed many genres of music as both composer and performer. These multiple genres of music thoroughly permeated her three-movement work, which was effectively played by the Princeton Symphony. With movements delineated by tempo markings rather than titles, Lo seemed to be semi-autobiographical, showing bits and pieces of many composers whom Ms. Shaw has credited with influencing her own creativity.  more


The first African-American expedition to climb Denali, North America’s highest peak, is the subject of An American Ascent. The film is being screened Saturday, April 2, as part of the Princeton Environmental Film Festival at Princeton Public Library. Now in its tenth year, the festival features a line-up of more than 25 acclaimed films with filmmakers and other speakers presented over the course of 7 days. For a complete list of festival films, and updates on speakers, see

March 10, 2016


Chef Max Hansen has announced plans for a 25,000-square-foot new catering venue in an old farmhouse on Carter Road in Hopewell. The $7 million project geared to weddings, corporate events, and catered affairs is scheduled to open by the summer of 2017. The project will create some 100 full-time jobs.

The location will also become the headquarters for Mr. Hansen’s entire operation. For the past 25 years, Max & Me Catering, Max Hansen Caterer, and Max Hansen Carversville Grocery in Bucks County have served the area. more

March 9, 2016


The Route 206 stone masonry arch bridge over Stony Brook, New Jersey’s oldest bridge carrying highway traffic, re-opened — no trucks — Sunday, after the New Jersey Department of Transportation completed emergency repairs, including the colorful portable dam that was installed around the footing of the bridge. Extensive permanent reconstruction will be required, with designers and engineers looking ahead to imagine what might be traveling over that bridge between now and 2240. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

The historic stone masonry arch bridge over Stony Brook south of town on Route 206 re-opened Sunday evening after almost two weeks of emergency repair work by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT).  The truck detour will remain in place until the bridge is fully restored.

DOT officials, engineers and Historic Preservation Commission members are already moving ahead with plans for permanent reconstruction of the 1792 bridge, with an emphasis on strength, safety, durability, and a sensitivity to history.   more


SAVING GRACE: Princeton University women’s lacrosse goalie Ellie DeGarmo makes a save in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, junior star DeGarmo recorded 12 saves as Princeton started its Ivy League campaign by topping Dartmouth 11-5. The No. 6 Tigers, now 4-0, play at No. 7 Notre Dame (5-1) on March 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After seeing just 24 minutes of action during her freshman season for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team in 2014, goalie Ellie DeGarmo started last spring on the bench. more

The Institute for Advanced Study continues to move forward with its 15-unit faculty housing project on seven acres of land adjacent to Princeton Battlefield, despite renewed calls to halt construction С this time from “The Save Princeton Coalition,” a newly-created group of nine organizations.

The Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS), along with the Washington D.C.-based Civil War Trust (CWT), which has offered to purchase the disputed property for $4.5 million, has opposed the project from its inception, and last week they joined with seven other groups in forming a coalition of historic preservation and conservation groups and sending a letter to the Institute’s Board of Trustees, urging that IAS “cease its development plans and pursue alternate building locations for the faculty housing project.” more

At a special meeting of Princeton Council Thursday evening, March 10, the governing body introduced an ordinance that, if passed, would make the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood a historic district. The measure next goes to the Planning Board, and could return to Council for a public hearing and vote on April 11.

If passed, the ordinance would please the many residents who want to honor the historical significance of the neighborhood and keep developers from tearing down existing buildings to put up new ones they feel would not fit in with the existing streetscapes. But for those who have invested in some of those properties, the issue is more complicated. more