November 25, 2015

Saint Peter’s University Hospital has been recognized for the fourth consecutive year as a national “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures” by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in the United States.

Saint Peter’s was the only hospital in its geographic portion of central New Jersey — defined as Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon, and Mercer counties — to be cited on Tuesday for excellence in all six of the categories measured by The Joint Commission: heart failure, heart attack, surgical care, pneumonia, childhood asthma, and perinatal care.

Among those categories, Saint Peter’s was one of only two hospitals in New Jersey cited for excellence in the care of childhood asthma. In addition, Saint Peter’s was one of only 17 of the 71 hospitals in New Jersey that submitted data to receive the Top Performer award for 2014. On a broader scale, Saint Peter’s is among only six percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals in the United States to earn Top Performer status for clinical quality for four consecutive years.  more

Cherry Hill

Pre-schoolers from Cherry Hill Nursery School in Princeton gathered items for the Crisis Ministry food pantry of Mercer County in preparation for Thanksgiving distributions.

Six new police officers, sworn in two weeks ago, are preparing to take on the ever-increasing challenges of police work in Princeton 2016.

From a pool of more than 800 applicants, the officers passed a written exam, a physical exam, two panel reviews, an intensive background investigation, and two additional interviews.

Princeton Police Chief Nicholas Sutter described the search for “a diverse pool of candidates who possess intelligence, integrity, empathy, strong communication skills, and physical fitness.”

The number of officers in the Princeton Police Department (PPD) will remain at 52, with the new recruits taking the place of retirees over the past few years.  more

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SENIOR LEADER: Stuart Country Day school cross country runner Lindsay Craig displays her form in a race this fall. Senior star Craig placed 20th individually in the state Prep B meet this fall even though she wasn’t at full strength for much of the season. She helped Stuart finish fifth in the team standings at the Prep B meet and post a 10-0 record in dual meets. Craig earned All-Prep B honors all four years of her career.

Len Klepack was cautiously optimistic as his Stuart Country Day cross country team prepared for the fall.

“We felt we had a better team than we have had in the past,” said Stuart head coach Klepack. more

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Princeton Day School junior Ruchita Zaparde has been named a 2015 Nickelodeon HALO (Help and Lead Others) Honoree for her work with the non-profit organization Sew a Future, which provides sewing machines to widows with young children in rural India.  The HALO awards show will air on Nickelodeon on Sunday, November 29 at 7 p.m.  Ruchita’s fundraising efforts have helped more than 213 widows acquire sewing machines.

SlaughterAnn-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America and former director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department under Hillary Clinton, will discuss her new book, Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family (Random House, 2015), at 4:30 p.m., Monday, November 30, 2015, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall on the Princeton University campus. A book sale and signing will follow the discussion. This is a ticketed event.

Ms. Slaughter is the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and former dean of the University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, which is sponsoring the discussion.

After leaving her position at the U.S. State Department for family reasons, Ms. Slaughter wrote an article for The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” which generated much media attention and sparked a national debate.

For information, contact brhuber@princeton.edu.

book revOnce upon a time a long time ago Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) came to Bloomington, Indiana, in the form of a Classic Comic of Gulliver’s Travels being read by an eight-year-old boy and an impish, bespectacled, congenitally effusive young man of 25-going-on-15 who will eventually be proclaimed Swift’s “best and fullest biographer” by Christopher Ricks in the London Review of Books.

The boy and the biographer are both seated on the living room floor, the Swiftian-to-be having politely refused the boy’s parents’ offer of a chair. “It’s exciting, but scary” the eight-year-old says when asked his thoughts on Gulliver’s Travels. To show what he means by “scary,” he points out the frames where the Lilliputians are swarming over Gulliver’s body, binding it with ropes, staking his long blond hair to the ground. After discussing the imagery, the biographer begins to make playful comments about the “Life of Swift” on the comic’s last page, which the boy has read and finds disturbing. At this point, the parents intervene and the biographer is coaxed into a chair.

Savage Commentary

Because my parents had the first 20 issues of Classic Comics bound as a present for my ninth birthday, I still have the copy of Gulliver’s Travels Irvin Ehrenpreis and I were perusing together all those years ago. Looking over the “Life” at the end, I’m struck by the vehemence of the language describing Gulliver’s “savage commentary on the European world” as “the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.” Pretty heady stuff for an early reader; no wonder I found it disturbing, not to mention the concluding paragraph, in which “Swift’s satire became more and more violently bitter, possibly the result of a mental disease which, by 1736, caused him to become insane. He never recovered and died on October 19, 1745.” In the brief biographies at the end of every Classic Comic, each author dies in such and such a time and place, but Swift’s fate became one of the numerous shadowy elements of a childhood occasionally haunted by the sound of phantom footsteps and the sight of an abandoned playground where the empty swings were still in motion.  more

Chess Champs

Princeton Day School fifth grade chess champions — (left to right) Winston Ni (Princeton), Arjun Kumar (Moorestown), Jai Kasera (Princeton) — hold their team’s trophy.  The PDS teams were first in the first, fifth, and seventh grade New Jersey Grade Championship last Sunday in Lincroft, New Jersey.  

SchiffPulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff discusses and signs copies of her new book, The Witches: Salem, 1692, Tuesday, December 1 at 7 p.m. at Princeton Public Library.

Stacy Schiff is known for her biographies, many of them about notable women throughout history. In her latest project, she looks to one of the few historic events to center around women, the Salem Witch Trials. The book is set during the mysterious year of hysteria and injustice that resulted in the execution of 19 alleged witches and wizards and reveals the religious, social, and political context in which it took place.

According to Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller, “Stacy Schiff’s The Witches is an indelibly etched morality fable, the best recounting of the Salem hysteria in modern times. Clear-eyed and sympathetic, Schiff makes the complex seem simple, crafting a taut narrative that takes in religion, politics, folklore, and the intricate texture of daily life in Massachusetts Bay, with particular attention to those ‘wonder-working’ women and girls who chose this moment to blow apart the Puritan utopia they’d helped to found. It’s all here in one devilish, oracular book.”

Stacy Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Biography and Autobiography for Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov): Portrait of a Marriage. She is also the author of Cleopatra: A Life and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times and The New Yorker.

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The Parkinson Alliance has announced that the 2015 Carnegie Center 5K and Fun Run, held last September 26 in Princeton, raised over $95,000 and net proceeds will go to Parkinson’s disease research. In addition to raising money for much needed research, the race brought together runners and supporters to help find a cure for the disease.

The 2015 race was supported by 51 sponsors, including Boston Properties who served as the host. On the day of the race, The Parkinson Alliance presented the Bucks County Roadrunners Club (BCRR) with the King Award for their longstanding support of the event. In addition to their passion for running, BCRR participates in this race as a way of supporting several members of their club who are living with Parkinson’s disease and yet, continue to run.  more

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 www.drgreenway.org/art_galleries.htm)

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 www.mccarter.org 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

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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

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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

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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

DAR

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.