September 1, 2021

Cyclists head to the Princeton Family YMCA field on Saturday after completing the first leg of the 125-mile East Coast Greenway Alliance Ride from New York to Philadelphia. About 400 riders spent the night in Princeton, many camping in tents at the Y, before continuing on to Philadelphia the next morning. Participants share what they liked best about the ride in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Weronika A. Plohn) 

By Donald Gilpin

As teachers, staff, parents, and more than 3,800 students of the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) prepare for the first day of school on Thursday, September 9, the district remains committed to in-person, full-day school for all.

“The past two school years have been unprecedented for schools everywhere,” new Superintendent Carol Kelley wrote to PPS families on August 20. “This three-pronged crisis (health, financial, and social) has been overwhelming for families, students, and staff. Yet I am encouraged and optimistic about the school year ahead.”

Kelley, who took over as superintendent two months ago, was scheduled to meet parents on September 2 on the front lawn of the Valley Road administrative building from 9 to 10 a.m. and again from 6 to 7 p.m. The event was postponed due to the local flooding.

She continued, “In terms of the health and safety of our students, we have a strong foundation to build on. Last school year, we had zero COVID cases transmitted in our schools. To date, we are fortunate that 77 percent of people (over age 12) in our Princeton community have been vaccinated. Through the safety protocols we have in place, we hope to maintain this record once we reopen school in September.”

Kelley highlighted the dedication of educators, parents, and community supporters and emphasized, “we are prepared to foster a school culture that’s welcoming and affirming for all, which is even more critical during this time. For the first time in over a year, our students will engage in full-day learning, five days a week in their respective school buildings.” more

By Donald Gilpin

On Monday, August 30, the Princeton Health Department reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 in Princeton in the previous seven days, 31 cases in the previous 14 days. Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser noted that the recent surge, with the spread of the Delta variant, has been about 50 percent as big as the COVID-19 surge Princeton experienced last winter.

The Delta variant is “a much more contagious strain that has spread on a much different scale from what we saw with the Alpha variant,” he said. “With Delta, it felt as if once someone from a household was infected it was a waiting game for everyone else in that house. There was certainly vaccine protection in situations where households were not completely infected, but in low vaccination-rate households infection rates neared 100 percent of the dwelling’s inhabitants.”

Grosser emphasized the need for mask-wearing, social distancing, and vaccinations as the way to reduce transmission of all strains of the virus.

The Princeton vaccination rate, as of August 24, was 79 percent (ages 12 and over) and 98 percent for residents 65 and over. The vaccination rate for Mercer County (age 12 and over) is 65 percent, 75 percent for 65 and over. For New Jersey it’s 72 percent (12 and over), 85 percent for 65 and over, and for the United States as a whole, the vaccination rate is 61 percent (ages 12 and over) and 82 percent for age 65 and over. more

By Donald Gilpin

A new Princeton University-led regional innovation hub, seeking to promote entrepreneurial startups based on fundamental science and engineering research, has received $15 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The consortium will focus on transforming scientific discoveries into technologies that improve everyday lives, through the fields of health care, energy and the environment, computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, advanced materials, and other areas — and enhance diversity in research opportunities and entrepreneurship.

With the University of Delaware and Rutgers University as partners, Princeton University will be the principal institution in the Innovation-Corps (I-Corps) Northeast Hub, which will also include New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University, Lehigh University, Temple University, and Delaware State University (a historically Black college or university) as initial affiliates. The hub will expand, adding new affiliates each year.

The Northeast Hub is one of five new innovation corps hubs announced by the NSF last week, “a diverse and inclusive innovation system throughout the USA.”  With $3 million funding per year over the next five years, the Northeast Hub will provide entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and other resources to enable researchers to form startup companies that take ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace.  more

“RED BALL”: A work in watercolor and pencil by Heloisa dos Devanelos, one of the 25 local artists who are part of Princeton Makes, a new cooperative debuting September 18 in Princeton Shopping Center.

By Anne Levin

As the former interim executive director of the Arts Council of Princeton, Jim Levine has long been aware of a lack of sufficient studio space for artists in the area. Since stepping down when permanent director Adam Welch was hired last year, Levine has been intent on remedying the situation.

His persistence has paid off. Starting September 18, 12 local artists in different media will be creating in studio space at what was formerly Blue Ridge Mountain Sports in Princeton Shopping Center. A retail store in the front will sell work by members of the cooperative, which includes another 13 artists who work outside the studio.

Painted white by some of the members over two Saturdays, the large, airy space is being divided into individual areas. Each member works eight hours every two weeks, either in their studio or in the retail store. “So there will always be an opportunity for people to talk to an artist and maybe watch them work,” said Levine. “Whenever we are open, there will always be someone working here.”

The grand opening is Saturday, September 18 from 2 to 6 p.m., and will include plein air painting in the courtyard, artist demonstrations, open studios, and live music. Admission is free. more

By Anne Levin

Three local houses of worship are collaborating on a program that explores affordable housing.

On Sunday, October 3 at 5 p.m., The Jewish Center Princeton, Har Sinai Temple of Pennington, and Congregation Beth Chaim of Princeton Junction will jointly present an online discussion that delves into issues of exclusionary zoning and its history in New Jersey.

The Mount Laurel decisions of 1975 and 1983 declared that municipal land use regulations that prevent affordable housing opportunities for the poor are unconstitutional.

The subject is particularly relevant to the Jewish faith because of its emphasis on welcoming and hospitality. “To me, it’s very much of a piece with the Jewish value of treating strangers,” said Peter Buchsbaum, who will moderate the event. Buchsbaum is a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, of counsel to Lanza and Lanza in Flemington, and court master in six Mount Laurel cases.

Speakers will include Carl Bisgaier, who was the lead counsel in the first two Mount Laurel cases and is a real estate and affordable housing attorney; Princeton University sociologist Douglas Massey, lead author of Climbing Mount Laurel: The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb; and Dietra Chamberlain, a resident of Ethel R. Lawrence Homes in Mount Laurel since December 2004.

The Ethel Lawrence Homes are named for the Mount Laurel activist who organized a 1969 petition to the Mount Laurel zoning board to permit the development of affordable garden apartments and was a plaintiff in both cases, but died in 1994, six years before the first units were completed. more

By Stuart Mitchner

A smile relieves a heart that grieves.

—from “Waiting On a Friend”

It’s July 1981, I’m walking down St. Mark’s Place in the East Village when I see Mick Jagger standing in the doorway of Number 96 and pretty soon here comes Keith Richards smoking and smiling his way through the sidewalk crowd. After a clumsy hug, the two head for St. Mark’s Bar & Grill on First Avenue, where Ron Wood, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts are waiting, everything’s cool, it’s time to play, and for some curious reason, no one knows the Rolling Stones are in the house and about to deliver a free performance. The way the video for “Waiting On a Friend” spins it, these five guys are only neighborhood musicians. The folks at the bar take no notice and could care less that the character looning about as if he were Mick Jagger really is Mick Jagger.

This East Village street-life fantasy began with last week’s news of the death of drummer Charlie Watts. Making the rounds of obits, remembrances, and videos, I learned it was thanks to Watts that tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins agreed to play on “Waiting On a Friend” and two other songs on the Tattoo You LP. “My love for Sonny goes a long way back,” Watts says in an “American Legends” article in the January 23, 2010 Guardian. “I first saw him in 1964 at the original Birdland club on 52nd Street, playing with a trio. To sit there and watch Sonny Rollins, my God! In those days he did this fantastic thing: he used to start playing in the dressing room with no band, then walk out and go around the stage, using the room to bounce the sound off. It was amazing. I’d never seen anyone do that.”

Neither had I when I saw Rollins two blocks up St. Mark’s Place at the Five Spot. That night he started playing in the kitchen, warming up amid the rattle of glassware, plates, and cutlery. When the giant with the mohawk haircut pushed through the swinging door, he had a garland of bells around his neck jingling and tinkling as he strolled among the tables lifting and dipping his tenor sax like a divining rod.  more

By Anne Levin

Approaching the 125th anniversary of Princeton University Concerts (PUC) a few years ago, staff and board members of the music performance series began thinking about how to best mark the significant milestone. Among the original ideas was a coffee table book.

Gustavo Dudamel

That concept has evolved into something very different. Ways of Hearing: Reflections on Music in 26 Pieces is an anthology that asks prominent musicians, poets, visual artists, scholars, and others — from conductor Gustavo Dudamel to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — to share thoughts on their favorite music and how it has influenced their lives.

Published by Princeton University Press, the book debuts with a virtual book launch on Wednesday, September 29 at 6 p.m., taking place at the Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. Princeton’s Labyrinth Books is taking pre-orders for the volume until September 15.

“This was such a nice collaboration between the three of us,” said PUC director Marna Seltzer, who edited the book with University Professor Emeritus Scott Burnham and Labyrinth co-owner Dorothea von Moltke, both of whom are board members with the presenting organization. “We all have different strengths. The idea just evolved and blossomed in a way that I don’t think would have happened if we hadn’t come together.”

The collection of essays, poetry, interviews, visual art, and more spans different styles and subjects. Violinist Arnold Steinhardt shares his thoughts on Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge. Ginsburg, who was a noted opera fan, talks about what she considers the sexiest duet in the genre. Writer Pico Iyer offers meditations on Handel. more

“CONSTANT REPEATING THEMES”: The Arts Council of Princeton will present a collection of works by New Jersey photographer Aubrey J. Kauffman from September 11 through October 9. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 11 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) will exhibit “Constant Repeating Themes,” a collection of photography works by Aubrey J. Kauffman, in its Taplin Gallery from September 11 through October 9.

The themes of urban landscape and man’s impact on the environment have long intrigued Kauffman as a photographer.

“I witness this in constructions as simple as building façades in a strip mall to the deserted athletic fields in parks and playgrounds,” said Kauffman. “Through my viewfinder I seek to contrast and compare the interactions of natural and man-made elements. I tend to seek out landscapes that speak to a certain stillness. In the buildings and structures that I photograph, I emphasize their architectural quality in the space that they exist. Geometry, shadow, and light play major roles in my image making. I consider my work to be informed by traditional landscape photography. My interpretation reflects a sense of solitude that I wish to convey onto the viewer.”  more

“BLACK LIKE BLUE IN ARGENTINA”: This work by Adama Delphine Fawundu is part of “Gathering Together / Adama Delphine Fawundu,” opening September 4 at the Princeton University Art Museum’s downtown gallery space, Art@Bainbridge, 158 Nassau Street. It will be on view through October 24.

A selection of works by multimedia artist Adama Delphine Fawundu that explore cultural inheritance and collective creation through photography, fabric-making and video will be on view in “Gathering Together / Adama Delphine Fawundu.” The installation will include 10 works by Fawundu acquired by the Princeton University Art Museum earlier this year. The exhibition’s title simultaneously alludes to Fawundu’s artistic practice, which gathers together multiple strands of history; to the installation, which assembles several bodies of her work across a range of media; and to this shared moment as we begin to gather together again.

“Gathering Together” will be on view September 4 through October 24 at Art@Bainbridge, the museum’s gallery project in Bainbridge House (1766), one of the oldest buildings in Princeton. The installation is organized by Beth Gollnick, curatorial associate, with Mitra Abbaspour, Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Princeton University Art Museum.

“Adama Delphine Fawundu’s extraordinary multisensory work reminds all of us of the power of experiencing compelling works of art in the original in time and space,” said James Steward, Nancy A. Nasher–David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, director. “We are honored to showcase this artist’s work — work that is part of a more pluralistic story of global art making — first in our downtown gallery space and later in our collections galleries in the new, David Adjaye–designed Museum scheduled to open in late 2024.”  more

“HE LOVES ME NOT”: This quilt by Gay Bitter of Princeton has been selected to compete in the 2021 Great Wisconsin Quilt Show’s 100 Years of Art Deco Challenge. Virtual attendees can vote for their favorite quilt September 9 to 11 at quiltshow.com/vote.

Dozens of quilters submitted their best work for judging in this year’s Great Wisconsin Quilt Show quilt challenges. Gay Bitter of Princeton and her quilt “He Loves Me Not” have been selected to compete in the 2021 Great Wisconsin Quilt Show’s 100 Years of Art Deco Challenge.

Every quilt has a story, and Bitter fashioned her quilt from an Art Deco era illustration. “I chose my inspiration image because of the lovely lines of this woman in her Art Deco inspired dress and furnishings,” she said in her artist’s statement. “It’s hard to detect exactly what she is up to, but once you look closely, you know there is a story behind her actions.”  more

“LUCID”: This work by Arushi Patel is part of “Well-Being Ourselves: Reflect, Reimagine, Connect,” on view through October 23 at West Windsor Arts in Princeton Junction and Whole World Arts in the MarketFair mall on Route 1. An opening reception is September 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. at West Windsor Arts.

West Windsor Arts presents a multimedia exhibition of the work of 22 diverse artists in “Well-Being Ourselves: Reflect, Reimagine, Connect,” on view through October 23 in the galleries at West Windsor Arts, 952 Alexander Road, Princeton Junction, and at the new Whole World Arts in MarketFair mall on Route 1. The opening reception will be in person at West Windsor Arts on September 12 from 4 to 6 p.m.

For this exhibition, artists were invited to explore well-being in a time of growing awareness around mental health, including emotional, psychological, and social aspects. According to West Windsor Arts, our shifted context has led to the potential for a revision of well-being. This caused us to ask, “How have conventional concepts reflected this shift for your lived experience? Has this impacted ways you have been able to sustain yourself, your challenges and resilience?” Recent social justice tides have brought sweeping momentum, action, and calls to reimagine justice and movement building. Intersecting legacies of injustice and trauma can impact mental health and well-being. West Windsor Arts wanted to know how artmaking reflects interdependence of communities and intersectional identities. They sought art that could envision new ways of being that are relational, fight stigma, dismantle ableism, and uphold disability justice.

The jurors for the show are Chanika Svetvilas and Gwynneth VanLaven, whose works explore mental health issues with engaging and thought-provoking art through installations, videos, mixed media, and photography.

Exhibiting Artists include Kelly Becker, Terrance Cummings, Jayme Fahrer, Guga, Joseph Goldfedder, Nancie Gunkelman, Barry Hantman, Margaret Kalvar-Bushnell, Ray Kopacz, Nelly Kouzmina, Eleni Litt, Claire Moore, Sara Niroobakhsh, Avani Palkhiwala, Arushi Patel, K. Rose Quayle, Anandi Ramanathan, Joy Sacalis, Rooma Sehar, Aurelle Purdy Sprout, Chanika Svetvilas, Gwynneth VanLaven, Susan Winter, and The-0.

For more information, call (609) 716-1931 or visit westwindsorarts.org.

ELECTRIC FOOTPRINT: “I believe electric cars will be competitive with gasoline-fueled cars in two to three years,” says Nicholas Long of Polestar Princeton, Long Motor Company. “We look forward to seeing more electric cars on the road, and having our footprint there.” He is shown next to one of Polestar’s new electric models, the Polestar 2.

By Jean Stratton

It is actually not a new idea, but one that has lingered on the fringes of the automotive world for more than a century.

Developed in the mid-1800s, the electric car was a definite factor in the initial development of the automobile. It was an important focus in the early 20th century, only falling out of favor in the 1920s, when the internal combustion engine (ICE) took over.

Now, however, it is surely an idea whose time has come. The electric vehicle (EV) is moving to the forefront on the highways — and quickly.

With the promise of less pollution and price savings, sales are up all over the country, and charging stations are appearing at numerous locations. more

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: Princeton University women’s soccer goalie Grace Barbara handles the ball last Friday night as Princeton defeated Loyola (Md.) 2-1 in its season opener and first game since 2019 after last season was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Senior Barbara, a former Princeton Day School standout, made one save in the win. Two days later, Barbara combined with freshman Tyler McCamey to post a shutout as the Tigers defeated Saint Joseph’s 3-0 with each goalie playing a half. In upcoming action, Princeton plays at George Mason (0-4) on September 2 and at 11th-ranked Georgetown (1-0-1) on September 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Grace Barbara started at goalie for the Princeton University women’s soccer team last Friday night in its first game since 2019, she just had to look to her right wrist to see the theme of the evening.

The word “grit” was scrawled in black ink on the tape around her wrist and it characterized the effort that senior Barbara, a former Princeton Day School standout, made to help Princeton pull out a 2-1 win over Loyola (Md.) in its first action after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

“I definitely didn’t play my best game tonight but I think that is to be expected coming off of so long of not competing at Princeton,” said Barbara.

“But I am ready to build every day and get better every single day. That is really my mentality here. I actually came in at a deficit. I wasn’t able to train with the team for the first couple of days. I had COVID  earlier in the month and had to go through a return-to-play protocol. I had a really short preseason and was working really, really hard to get the starting spot here.”

Princeton had to show some grit collectively as it built a 2-0 lead only to see the Greyhounds score on a penalty kick with 9:18 left in the second half, making the final minutes of the contest a bit edgy for the Tigers.

“It definitely was a dicey win but a win is a win and that is what we have to say,” said Barbara, who had one save on the evening.

“This team, Loyola, has already had two games under their belt. They came in off of a pretty harsh loss (4-0) to Clemson and they were just ready to play. We saw that, they were scrappy to the end. It really taught us about how we can respond in a situation where we conceded a goal. Our mantra is grit this year and we showed exactly that. We really stepped up.” more

MACK IS BACK: Former Princeton University track star John Mack ’00, shown competing in a 1999 track meet at left, returned to his alma mater last week, getting introduced as Princeton’s Ford Family Director of Athletics. Mack, a winner of the Roper Award as the top male senior student-athlete to cap a stellar track career, is succeeding Mollie Marcoux Samaan ’91 who announced in May she would be stepping down to take over as commissioner of the LPGA. (Track photo by Beverly Schaefer, both photos provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Justin Feil

It was going to take a lot for John Mack to leave his beloved roots behind.

Princeton University had it. Again.

Mack, a 2000 Princeton graduate who won the Roper Award as the top male senior student-athlete to cap a stellar career in track and field, is returning to his alma mater as the Ford Family Director of Athletics. His duties begin officially on September 1.

“From the minute I set foot on campus as a prospective student-athlete on my recruiting visit, there hasn’t been any place in the world that I’ve loved as much as being at Princeton,” said Mack.

“So the chance to come back and serve in this capacity, it’s kind of mind-blowing. I’m pinching myself. Who gets their dream job?”

Following stints at Northwestern, the Big Ten and Princeton, Mack had returned to his hometown of New Haven, Mich., a village with less than 5,000 residents. He practiced law the last 10 years, and for the last three and a half years, Mack also served as pastor of Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church of New Haven.

“It was tough,” said Mack. “I said to my church congregation, this is literally the only job in the world that would have gotten me to leave. I do it happily and completely at peace and they could not have been more supportive, even when I told them I was leaving.”

Mack knows a bit about filling big shoes and big expectations. Mack’s late father had been pastor of the same church before him for 33 years. Last Sunday was Mack’s final in the pulpit before he leaves the church and his hometown again.

“My mom still lives in the house that I grew up in,” said Mack.

“All my sisters still come to the church. I see my nieces and nephews. It’ll be an adjustment, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. They’re supportive. Everybody has wrapped their minds around the change. It’s all good.”

The last time Mack left his hometown it was for four life-changing years at Princeton as a student-athlete. The record-setting sprinter at New Haven High became a captain and standout at Princeton. He still holds Top 10 times in the Princeton record books in the indoor and outdoor 200 and 400, and shares Top 10 times on the 4×400 relay. He won five Ivy League Heptagonals indoor titles and five outdoor Heptagonals. Princeton won six Heps team crowns in his career. more

KICK STARTER: Princeton University men’s soccer player Kevin O’Toole, right, controls the ball in a 2019 game. Senior star O’Toole, a two-time All-Ivy League selection and the Ivy Offensive Player of the Year in 2018, will be looking to get his senior season off to a big start when Princeton hosts Rutgers (1-0-1) on September 3 at Class of 1952 Stadium in its season opener.It will mark the first game for the Tigers since November 16, 2019 when they fell 2-1 to Yale to end the season at 10-4-3 overall and 2-2-3 Ivy League before the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Princeton University men’s soccer head coach Jim Barlow, seeing the 2020 season canceled due to COVID-19 concerns robbed him and his players of what they cherish most.

“It is the reason we do what we do; it is the thing that is most joyful about our job and we weren’t able to do it,” said Barlow, whose team last played on November 16, 2019 when it fell 2-1 to Yale to end that season at 10-4-3 overall and 2-2-3 Ivy League.

“That was the hardest part, not being able to get after it with the guys. I think what we do is important to their well-being, and to have it not happen was tough.”

There was lots of joy as the squad hit the field for preseason training starting on August 21 to start preparing for hosting Rutgers (1-0-1) in the season opener on September 3 at Class of 1952 Stadium.

“There is definitely an extra level of excitement to be back,” said Barlow.

“The guys have been waiting for it for a long time. The energy has been really positive, the guys came back fit.” more

BACK IN THE SWING: Princeton University field hockey player Hannah Davey gets ready for a big hit in a 2019 contest. Senior Davey and the 13th-ranked Tigers open their 2021 campaign by hosting three-time defending national champion North Carolina on September 3. It will mark Princeton’s first game since losing to the Tar Heels in the NCAA title game on November 24, 2019. Two days later, Princeton will host fifth-ranked Louisville (2-0) to wrap up a busy opening weekend. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

When the Princeton University field hockey team last played North Carolina, it was for the 2019 national championship.

It’s also the last time that the Tigers played a game because the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Princeton will return to action for the first time since that November 24, 2019 matchup with some familiar faces when it hosts the three-time defending national champion Tar Heels on September 3 on Bedford Field, but also a ton of inexperience on the field.

“Our potential is high,” said Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente, whose team went 16-5 overall and 7-0 Ivy League in 2019 on the way to the program’s fourth appearance in the national championship game.

“The goal is to continue to move the needle and improve throughout the year. We are very, very young. We have a large junior class and a lot of them reclassified, but they also have only played two seasons. They didn’t play last year. We have a lot of room to grow. We just don’t have much time in preseason to figure it out and iron out the kinks. We have to do that as we go.”

Gabby Andretta, Hannah Davey, Ali McCarthy, and Sammy Popper all started in that 2019 title contest that North Carolina won, 6-1. Ophelie Bemelmans, Claire Donovan, and Zoe Shephard also played in it. Now they’re at the top of the ladder as juniors on a team without a single senior and they bring a veteran presence to the two classes below them that have yet to play a college game.

“The leadership and experience of having been there and done it before, having been through preseason and been through a full season and been in the grind a bit,” said Tagliente.  more

AIRING IT OUT: Princeton High quarterback Jaxon Petrone fires a pass in a game last season. Senior star Petrone is primed for a big final campaign, turning heads with his passing prowess in preseason practices. PHS, which went 1-5 last fall, kicks off its 2021 season by playing at Overbrook High on September 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The seniors on the Princeton High football team are going to get plenty of chances to shine this fall.

“I have eight seniors and every single one of those seniors will be on the field, they are not taking any plays off,” said PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher, who guided his team to a 1-5 record last fall in a season shortened by COVID-19 concerns.

“We have seniors at all of the right positions and the right spots. If you can balance it out with a couple of good juniors and two or three sophomores in the mix, then guess what, you have got a chance.”

Senior quarterback Jaxon Petrone is primed to produce a big season for PHS.

“It starts with Jaxon, he looks phenomenal and is doing a really stellar job,” said Gallagher, whose team kicks off its 2021 season by playing at Overbrook High on September 4.

“He is football savvy, he wants to win, and he is a competitor. It is a quarterback-driven sport. If you have a good quarterback, that is a good starting point so you can build around him.”

The Tigers boast two very good pieces to catch passes from Petrone in Everaldo Servil and Jaiden Johnson.

“We have two senior wide receivers which I am very happy about, you couldn’t ask for better wide receivers,” said Gallagher of Servil and Johnson.

“We only had one scrimmage this year, but we threw four into the end zone from outside of 30 yards. We made some big plays.” more

August 25, 2021

Visitors can enjoy Morven Museum & Garden on Stockton Street Wednesday through Sunday via timed admission tickets. An evening Bugs and Butterflies Walk in the gardens is scheduled for September 1. Visit morven.org for more information.  (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

At his first press conference in two weeks, on Monday, August 23, just hours after the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that all school personnel, public and private, from preschool through high school, must be fully vaccinated by October 18 or be subjected to weekly testing. The rule also applies to state employees and faculty and staff at state colleges and universities.

Murphy expressed hope that the FDA approval would encourage people to get vaccinated who had previously been holding off.

The Princeton Health Department reported Monday a total of 14 new COVID-19 cases in the previous seven days and 31 cases in the previous 14 days. Out of Princeton residents age 12 and over, 78 percent have been vaccinated (96 percent of residents 65 and over).

Since July 7 the health department has reported 57 cases of COVID-19 in Princeton, 39 (68.4 percent) of which have been breakthrough cases.

Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser, in a memo last week to the town administrator, urged that the return to in-person local government meetings, originally planned for mid-September, be delayed until further notice due to the spread of the Delta variant and rising infection rates.

In the August 23 Princeton Newsletter, the health department stated, “COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. are highly effective, including against the Delta variant, but they are not 100 percent effective and some fully vaccinated people will become infected (called a breakthrough infection) and experience illness. For such people, the vaccine still provides them strong protection against serious illness and death. Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. However, fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.”

The Princeton Health Department has announced that, starting September 20, it will begin to offer booster doses to individuals who have had the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for at least eight months. The Princeton Health Department expects to host regular booster clinics starting in September. More details will be provided soon. more

By Donald Gilpin

There have been periods during the past 18 months of the pandemic when the Princeton University campus — from the spires of the graduate college through the central campus to the edges of Harrison Street and the banks of Lake Carnegie — has seemed unusually quiet. But the University has been anything but dormant.

Moving ahead on its 2026 Campus Plan, developed and initiated over the past five years with “the most ambitious and comprehensive planning process” in its history, Princeton University has been progressing rapidly on its “transformative journey” towards its “mission-centered vision for the campus.”

Last week’s special Princeton University Weekly Bulletin noted “tremendous progress campus-wide,” with several projects completed over the last 18 months, much new construction underway on campus, and construction that will be starting in the coming months. The University declined to discuss costs of its massive array of construction projects.

Most striking so far, under the heading of “Renewal of Central Campus,” are the new residential colleges 7 and 8, slated for completion in the summer of 2022, and the new Princeton University Art Museum, scheduled to open in the fall of 2024.

The residential colleges, under construction during the past year adjacent to each other  in the southeastern portion of the central campus south of Poe Field, are built to each potentially house an additional 500 undergraduates and to advance “one of Princeton’s highest strategic priorities” — expanding the undergraduate population by about 10 percent. more

By Donald Gilpin

In August of 1781 thousands of troops under General George Washington and the allied French General Comte de Rochambeau marched through Princeton via Mount Lucas Road, Witherspoon Street, and Nassau Street, with about 5,000 soldiers camping on the grounds at Morven House on their way to help the Continental Army win its final major victory in the Revolutionary War in October at Yorktown, Virginia.

The 700-mile march will be commemorated this Saturday, August 28 along the Millstone River in Griggstown, with Canal Road in Franklin Township closed from Amwell Road to Route 518 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to encourage walking and biking on the narrow thoroughfare. (A half-mile section between Butler Road and the Griggstown Causeway will remain open to permit east-west traffic to cross the Millstone River.)

“Come ready to walk or bike on this historic and scenic roadway,” said Brad Fay, president of the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition (MVPC), co-sponsor of the event along with Franklin Township. “It’s a rare opportunity to enjoy the scenic byway without fearing for the through traffic.”

Troops crossed the Millstone River twice, at the one-lane Griggstown Causeway bridge and again at Route 518 near Rocky Hill. The National Park Service’s Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail from New England to Yorktown memorializes the historic march.

In the morning of August 28, a Trenton-based group will interpret the First Rhode Island Regiment, a mixed-race American unit that marched the trail and fought at Yorktown. In the afternoon, two re-enactors will interpret the French officers Rochambeau and Major General Francois-Jean de Chastellux, who led the allied French troops. A third re-enactor will interpret George Washington on horseback, beginning at about 1 p.m. more

COWS AND CLIMATE: A herd of Hereford and Devon cattle are now grazing at St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Hopewell, helping keep the earth cool while drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequestering it in soil.

By Anne Levin

For the past few months, 15 cows have been contentedly munching on grasses at a farm preserve in Hopewell Township. When the sun gets too hot, they are shaded by a “cow umbrella” that moves when they move.

This happy group of Hereford and Devon cattle are unwittingly helping to slow climate change, part of a new project of D&R Greenway Land Trust.

“We are so excited to be involved in this research,” said Linda Mead, D&R Greenway CEO and president. “The extreme weather that has been plaguing all of us has been devastating. We need to come up with solutions to the problems with climate change not just here, but all over. The fact that we are able to work with Soil Carbon Partners (SCP) on this project, to demonstrate how this will reduce these extreme situations, is a really important contribution to the scientific thought process.”

This past spring, SCP added a mix of organic materials to 50 acres of farm fields at D&R Greenway’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve. According to a release from D&R Greenway, the dry weight of newly planted forage grasses is 300 percent greater compared to control plots, after only two months.

“Growing more food on less land is essential for combatting climate change, because if food production per acre could be significantly increased, we would no longer need to cut down forests to feed a growing population,” reads the release. “Recent Princeton [University] research proves that forests powerfully cool the planet. The authors, Sara Cerasoli and Amilcare Porporato, recently published their breakthrough research on the cooling effect of forests in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” more

By Anne Levin

For the Orthodox Jewish students at Princeton University, the pandemic presented an especially difficult problem during the last school year. Prayer services have to be done in person, and the campus was closed.

“We were in a bind,” said Ezra Zimble ’22, who is president of Yavneh, the Orthodox student group affiliated with the University’s Center for Jewish Life-Hillel (CJL). “Orthodox law does not let us do virtual services on Shabbat, because we can’t use computers or phones. So we really had a need for in-person services.”

Thanks to the Nassau Inn, Yavneh was able to keep daily and sabbath observances going. “They very graciously offered to host our services, for free, until the end of April,” said Zimble. “It was really kind of them and we are so grateful. Rabbi Julie Roth [CJL executive director and Jewish chaplain at the University] worked really hard to make it happen, and the University worked hard, too. She reached out to a bunch of local businesses, and Lori Rabon [vice president of Palmer Square Management and general manager of the Nassau Inn] got back to her with this amazing offer.”

Services were held in the hotel’s main ballroom, which provided ample room for social distancing. Some 40 students, faculty, and members of Princeton’s Orthodox community attended. “We have active members who are not University students,” said Zimble, speaking from his family’s home outside Boston. “ These are people who live in the area, and because of COVID, they would not have been allowed into campus buildings.” more

By Anne Levin

Princeton Council is putting off a tentative plan to resume in-person meetings next month, instead continuing via Zoom until the rising number of COVID-19 cases goes down, it was announced at the Council meeting Monday, August 23.

The governing body also heard reports on proposed changes to sustainable landscaping, plans for the upcoming Sukkah Village event, and the latest updates on the Witherspoon Street redesign plan, which was followed by a lengthy discussion. Several resolutions were passed and ordinances were considered.

Municipal Administrator Bernie Hvozdovic  delivered the news about in-person meetings. “The numbers were really good at that time,” he said of original plans to resume the gatherings. “But we’ve always understood it would be a fluid situation. So now that the numbers are up, we will continue to meet remotely, at least for the near future.”

Councilman David Cohen said he was interested in having a hybrid of in-person and online meetings in the future. “Nobody else in the state is doing it, but to me that doesn’t conclude the discussion,” he said. Council President Leticia Fraga added that it is important to hear from the Princeton Board of Health before making a final decision.

Councilwoman Eve Niedergang updated Council on proposed changes to regulations on the use of landscaping equipment. Among them are elimination of a registration fee, revised dates for use of gas-powered and electric leaf blowers and chainsaws, and changes in enforcement.  more