July 12, 2017

ASPIRING FILMMAKERS: “The Last Playboys,” directed by Luke Momo (son of local restauranteur Raoul Momo), is among the entries in the 2017 Princeton Student Film Festival, on screen at the Princeton Public Library July 19 and 20.

Everett Shen isn’t sure he wants to make filmmaking a career. But the rising Princeton High School senior, who will do an independent study in film next fall, has plenty to think about as he considers his future.

Mr. Shen is among 22 filmmakers showing their work at the upcoming Princeton Student Film Festival, screening at Princeton Public Library July 19 and 20. He also served on the selection committee, helping to decide which of the nearly 60 short films, culled by librarian Susan Conlon from nearly 150 submitted by young people across the globe, would be included in the annual gathering. more

OPERA TRAINING PROGRAM: Opera coach and conductor Kathleen Kelly will lead a master class with aspiring opera singers participating in Westminster Choir College’s CoOPERAtive program on Monday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert L. Annis Playhouse on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

The Westminster CoOPERAtive Program, Westminster Choir College’s three-week intensive opera training program, is in full swing at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton. The public is invited to attend an array of free recitals, concerts, and master classes featuring talented singers and accompanists from around the world who are taking the next step in their operatic careers. more

The Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System will host a lecture by rock historian Vincent Bruno that will showcase Bob Dylan’s life through the turbulent decade of the 1960s – from his childhood in Minnesota to international fame. His extraordinary artistic achievements as a songwriter, poet, and cultural icon will be discussed in-depth. The event will be held on Thursday, August 10 at 7 p.m. Advance registration is suggested by calling (609) 989-6920. The Lawrence Library is located at 2751 Brunswick Pike in Lawrenceville. 

Mill Ballet School is offering a new program this fall geared towards boys ages 7-13. Boy’s Athletic Dance, or B.A.D. for short, is a boys-only course that will aid in the development of coordination, balance, flexibility, rhythm, and strength. The male dancers will be exposed to ballet, jazz, hip hop, and creative movement. Founding directors Mark Roxey and Melissa Roxey hope that B.A.D. will provide a platform for teamwork, respect, and self-confidence.  more

Summer is not always for the outdoors, as a full house at Richardson Auditorium proved Sunday at a concert of the Brentano String Quartet. In an unusual Sunday afternoon concert time, the Brentano Quartet showed that good chamber music is welcome at any time of day. As part of Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts’ 50th Season Celebration, the Brentano String Quartet returned to Richardson and presented music ranging from the 16th to the 21st centuries. more

The art of Jane Zamost and nine other artists will be featured at a reception for the exhibit “Healing Art Stories” on Thursday, July 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Investors Bank Art and Healing Gallery at Capital Health Medical Center — Hopewell. The exhibit, which features artists who are or have been patients, caregivers, and individuals faced with health care challenges, also includes works by Priscilla Algava, Tyler Bell, Janis Blayne Paul, N.J. DeVico, Jan K. Lipes, Tasha O’Neill, Janet Purcell, Aurelle Sprout, and Andrew Weiss. “Healing Art Stories” runs through October 16.

Amelia Chin received First Place and Best in Show honors in the watercolor/non-professional category at the 2016 Mercer County Senior Art Show. This year’s show will run from July 19 through August 4 at the Meadow Lakes Gallery in East Windsor.

FIGHTING IRISH: Nonie Andersen heads up the field this spring for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team. Rising junior defender Andersen is currently competing for Ireland in the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in England. She is being joined at the competition, which runs from July 12-22, by Princeton teammate Olivia Hompe ’17, who is playing for England. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As Nonie Andersen entered her final year at Glenbrook High in the Chicago area in the fall of 2014, she didn’t appear to be a likely candidate to play for Ireland’s women’s national lacrosse team. more

HERE COMES THE SUN: Davon Reed dribbles up the court during his career with the University of Miami men’s basketball team. Reed, a former Princeton Day School standout, was recently chosen in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns as the 32nd pick overall. Last Friday, he made his debut for the Suns, scoring 17 points as the Suns defeated the Sacramento Kings 89-85 in their NBA Summer League opener. (Photo Courtesy of Miami’s Office of Athletic Communications)

As a youngster, Davon Reed knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up.

“When people ask you what you want to be, some people say like a doctor or a teacher or an airplane pilot, I always said that I want to play in the NBA,” said Reed, a former Princeton Day School hoops star who went on to enjoy a superb career for the University of Miami. “That is what I have been saying all of my life.” more

July 11, 2017

2017 Summer Games Opening Ceremony. (Photo Credit: Special Olympics New Jersey)

By Doug Wallack 

Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) held its annual summer games last month. June 9th, the night of the opening ceremonies, showed the Garden State summer at its finest; as the sun went down, temperatures hovered at a dry 70 degrees. Nearly 2,500 athletes of all ages had come to that weekend’s games, held on the campus of The College of New Jersey, to participate in seven sports: aquatics, track and field, bocce, powerlifting, softball, tennis, and gymnastics. For some, the New Jersey games would serve as a qualifying event for the Special Olympics USA Games — which will be held in Seattle next summer — but for all, the weekend was an opportunity to push themselves and build friendships. more

July 5, 2017

This bald eagle was photographed at Lake Carnegie, one of Princeton’s most open and natural spaces. The lake’s fish, open water, and surrounding trees attract numerous bird species, both seasonally and year-round. Bald eagles have been sighted regularly at the lake in recent years. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

On the same day last March that Rider University announced it was putting Westminster Choir College and its Walnut Avenue campus up for sale, the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) made known its interest in acquiring the property. But a few weeks later, PPS appeared to put the idea on hold following protests from those intent on keeping the prestigious music college in place.

Last week, PPS made an official offer for the property. In an email, Superintendent Steve Cochrane confirmed the offer. “The process with Rider University is a confidential one at this stage, but I can share that we have officially expressed our interest in acquiring the Westminster Choir College property,” he said. “That expression of interest was due to Rider by June 7.КIf Rider chooses to talk with us further about our interest, that meeting would likely take place in July.” more

BANNER DAY: Members of the Princeton Little League (PLL) team enjoy the moment after they defeated West End 10-3 last Wednesday at Farmview Fields to win the District 12 Intermediate 50/70 tournament. Over the weekend, PLL went 2-1 at the Section 3 tournament to earn a spot in the final round against Freehold. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Jonathan Tao, Jack Durbin, Eli Sofer, Jensen Bergman, Theo Steiger, Jake Zuckerman, James Petrone, and Bobby Kuczynski. In the back row, from left, are coach Gary Zuckerman, coach Jeff Bergman, Carl Birge, Dhillon Choudhri, Andrew Lambert, Jaxon Petrone, Palmer Maurer, and manager Jon Durbin.

One of the traditional spoils of victory when a Little League team wins a district title involves the players brandishing the championship banner collectively in the post-game celebration. more

ALL-SEASON TRACTORS: Belle Mead Garage owners Christopher “Kip” Higgins (right) and Roy “Murph” Higgins (seated), and new partner Chris Carnevale are proud of their new selection of Massey Ferguson tractors. They are shown with their popular and versatile Model 1739E, which offers a front loader for digging and features on the rear for a mower, rake, scraper, rotary tiller, post hole digger, and so on.

Summer is here for sure, and what better time to zip down the open road in a new convertible, mini van, SUV, or special sedan? Whether it’s a brand new model just off the assembly line or a carefully-tended, pre-owned choice, area dealers have a full range of vehicles in all styles, sizes, colors, and price ranges.

Perhaps a Mercedes-Benz is in your future. Have you always wished to have one of these high-end expertly designed and manufactured automobiles in your driveway? Now you can! more

END OF AN ERA: Original Main Street owners Sue Simpkins and her son John Marshall outside the Coffeehouse and Bakery in Kingston in the 1980s. The Main Street Bistro in the Princeton Shopping Center will be closing this fall. (Photo Courtesy of John Marshall)

When Main Street Bistro in the Princeton Shopping Center closes its doors some time this fall, it will leave many fond memories for its owners, employees, and thousands of patrons over the past 25 years.

“I think we left a mark in Princeton,” said original owner Sue Simpkins. “And we had a good time doing it. We had a great Main Street family that stayed with us for many years.” more

This past April, the town of Princeton announced it had reached a “settlement in principle” with the Fair Share Housing Center regarding how many affordable units the town is obligated to provide through 2025. But negotiations appear to have broken down. Fair Share Housing, which advocates for affordable housing in New Jersey, said in a statement last week that Princeton has “walked away” from the settlement.

“We are disappointed that Princeton is attempting to find a way to build fewer homes that working families, seniors, and people with disabilities can afford, by refusing to proceed with the settlement we reached with them in principle two months ago,” the statement reads. “These homes are desperately needed. Despite our willingness to abide by the terms both sides had agreed to, we will now have to resolve this matter through litigation.” more

HEALTHY CHOICES: “We spent a lot of time looking for the right place, and we felt at home in Princeton. There is diversity here, and well-educated people, who are intelligent about self-care. We felt they would understand our pharmacy.” JoAnn Issenman (right), Barry Perzow (center), and Chris Castagna (left) are owners of the new Santé Integrative Pharmacy. They look forward to introducing customers to their unique integrative concept.

The new Santé Integrative Pharmacy at 200 Nassau Street has created a stir of interest among increasing numbers of curious customers. While many people are familiar with the integrative concept, it is a new idea for many others.

“The idea of an integrative pharmacy began about 10 years ago,” explains JoAnn Issenman, owner with Barry Perzow and pharmacist Chris Castagna. “It offers choices of different modalities, including traditional, homeopathic, and herbal solutions. We are a full-service prescription and compounding pharmacy, offering traditional and natural healthy living solutions.” more

By Doug Wallack

Three months after its opening in downtown Hopewell, Basilico Trattoria is going strong. In an area rich with Italian restaurants of all stripes, co-owners Kari LaSpisa and Joe Trani have aimed to carve out a niche for themselves as purveyors of authentic Neapolitan cuisine. “The concept we have here is fresh food, made to order, by an Italian chef,” Ms. LaSpisa explains, “not several people in the kitchen — like a line cook set-up — it’s one chef cooking your food for you, to order.”  more

GIRL POWER: As part of their five days at appsForGirls computer camp, 21 middle school girls spent a day visiting the Tigerlabs innovation center on East Nassau Street and heard encouraging words about working in coding.

Girls tend to get short shrift when it comes to computer science. Just ask Grace Zhang, a Princeton High School rising junior who last week ran a new, five-day tech camp for middle school girls with an interest in coding.

Armed with a $3,000 grant from the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) AspireIT program, Grace put together a program designed to encourage young girls to pursue computer science. Twenty-one area tweens attended appsForGirls, developing apps in the high school’s computer lab, hearing talks from experts, visiting Princeton’s Tigerlabs innovation center, and, finally, presenting their own apps at a farewell ice cream party. more

The Farmhouse Store in Palmer Square has been named one of Home Accents Today’s 50 Retail Stars for 2017 by editors of the trade magazine for the home accents industry. The Retail Stars list, now in its 13th year, recognizes independent brick-and-mortar retailers of home accents — including furniture stores and interior design boutiques — that are creative in their merchandising, have a positive presence in their local communities, and are distinguishing themselves from the competition.

The Farmhouse Store Princeton is owned by Kristin and Ron Menapace and is located at 34 Hulfish Street. more

“Looking Back and Moving Forward” is the theme for this year’s Joint Effort Safe Streets Program, which will focus on the historic role of the black church in the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) community and will include a rich array of events over a ten-day period, August 4-13.

Sponsored by many Princeton businesses, community leaders, organizations, and citizens, the 2017 program will be held at different locations throughout the Witherspoon-Jackson community, which last year was designated as Princeton’s 20th historic district, and the surrounding area.  more

The Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF) has awarded more than $86,000 in scholarships to 28 high school and college students. The Community Foundation awarded $33,050 to 11 high school students who will begin college this fall, and renewed another $53,260 in scholarships to 17 college students who will return to classes in September.

“We’d like to congratulate these talented students, and we wish them success as they continue their studies,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are able to help these students thanks to our generous donors who have created scholarship funds here.” more

the minister, looking upward to the zenith, beheld there the appearance of an immense letter, — the letter A, — marked out in lines of dull red light. 

—Nathaniel Hawthorne, from The Scarlet Letter

Like Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was born on July 4, 1804, David Lynch knows how to sear his brand into the brains of his audience. Some viewers are still trying to shake the surreal image of the thing that slithers into the first-kiss sanctity of sleeping innocence at the end of Episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return. Those of us who have survived the first eight weeks of this most unsettled and unsettling series were given a July 4 holiday break on Sunday. Who knows why? Maybe Lynch is allowing us a week off to ponder the feast of excesses in “Gotta Light?,” his latest serving of killer coffee and spiked cherry pie. Or maybe this is his subtle way of marking the birthday of his predecessor in the never-ending investigation of the American mystery.  more

Library Live at Labyrinth will host Akhil Sharma reading from his new book, A Life of Adventure and Delight (W.W. Norton $24.95) at Labyrinth Books on Wednesday, July 12 at 6 p.m.

Hailed as a storyteller whose fiction is “a glowing work of art” (Wall Street Journal), Akhil Sharma is possessed of a narrative voice “as hypnotic as those found in the pages of Dostoyevsky” (The Nation). A Life of Adventure and Delight contains eight stories that focus on Indian protagonists at home and abroad. Labyrinth Books and the Princeton Public Library have joined forces to host a reading and conversation with the author. more

Kelsey Review, Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) online literary journal, has just posted its Summer 2017 issue. The latest issue features poetry and prose from contributors who live or work in Mercer County and is the final issue of the academic year.

Says editor Jacky Vogtman, a member of MCCC’s English faculty, “While editing the pieces in this issue, I was astounded by the wide-ranging styles and incredible talents of the writers in the Mercer County community …. So read these pieces, be inspired, and then apply that inspiration to your own life.” more