September 9, 2015


SUDDEN IMPACT: Princeton University field hockey player Sophia Tornetta, left, goes after the ball in action this weekend as the Tigers got their season underway. Freshman striker Tornetta notched Princeton’s first goal of the season in a 5-2 loss to second-ranked North Carolina on Friday and chipped in an assist and scored on a penalty stroke as No. 15 Princeton fell 4-3 to No. 9 Virginia two days later. The Tigers play at Bucknell on September 12 and at Delaware a day later. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Sophia Tornetta didn’t waste any time making an impact in her first weekend playing for the Princeton University field hockey team. more



When Erika Knudson left Bloomington, Indiana two years ago to join her husband after he landed a job as an art historian at Princeton University, she began scouring local real estate listings to see where they might be able to buy a home. Scrolling on line, she found herself returning to the same neighborhood, again and again. more

TT SustainableThanks to a program sponsored by the non-profit organization Sustainable Princeton, Witherspoon Presbyterian Church will soon find out how much energy is escaping its 175-year-old walls, roof, and windows. Along with Labyrinth Books at 122 Nassau Street, and One Monument Hall, the church is taking part in Sustainable Princeton’s EnergySmart Buildings Campaign, which is made possible by a $35,000 grant from Sustainable Jersey.

The idea is to track electricity, light and water usage, and analyze real time energy data via energy monitors from the Princeton start-up WattVision. According to Sustainable Princeton’s executive director Diane Landis, the data will help commercial properties, religious institutions, and other organizations be more conscious of how they are using energy and help them learn how to improve their practices.

“We wanted to get a cross-section of properties, and we were very thoughtful in choosing these buildings — a church, a local government building, a commercial property — all of which are very different and use energy differently,” Ms. Landis said.  more

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NIFTY LUNCHBOX: Community Park School kindergartener Jaxson Blue was definitely ready for the first day of school on Tuesday. School Superintendent Steve Cochrane reflected on the new school year in remarks he made at a September 2 convocation. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Public Schools) 


LOOSE BALL: Princeton University women’s soccer player Tyler Lussi, left, battles for the ball in recent action. Last Sunday, junior star Lussi scored a goal in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-2 to visiting Duquesne. Princeton, now 2-2, hosts Delaware on September 10 before playing at Villanova on September 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After rolling to a 2-0 start, outscoring its foes 8-1 in the process, the Princeton University women’s soccer team hit some bumps in the road last week. more

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Author, commentator and New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich will be the guest speaker at “Beyond Words: An Evening to Benefit Princeton Public Library,” which will take place Saturday, September 26, at Nassau Presbyterian Church, the library and Hinds Plaza. Organized by The Friends of the Princeton Public Library, the benefit is one of the largest fundraising events on the library’s calendar. Proceeds provide books and other materials, public programming, community outreach and more. more

L.N.Tolstoy_Prokudin-Gorsky“If I live.” These words translated from the Russian can be found at the end of nearly every dated entry in the 1895-1899 journals of Leo Tolstoy, who was born on this date, September 9, in 1828, and died at 82 on November 20, 1910. I wonder what Oliver Sacks, who died at 82 ten days ago, would make of Tolstoy’s daily acknowledgment of his mortality. Sacks’s maternal grandfather, who fled Russia at 16 to avoid being drafted into the Cossack army, might know. Perhaps it was nothing more than an abbreviated prayer. After “If I live” July 31, 1896, Tolstoy is quite literal, writing later the same day: “I am alive. It is evening now. It is past four. I am lying down and cannot fall asleep. My heart aches. I am tired out. I hear through the window — they play tennis and are laughing.”

Short, simple statements of fact. You can almost hear him breathing.

While the most familiar image of Tolstoy may be the photograph from 1908 of a white-bearded patriarch seated on a rattan chair, one leg crossed over the other, very much the ruler of his domain, I prefer the word-pictures by his neighbor in the Crimea, Maxim Gorky, who used to see him along the coast, “a smallish, angular figure in a gray, crumpled, ragged suit and crumpled hat … sitting with his head on his hands, the wind blowing the silvery hairs of his beard through his fingers.” This sounds more like the man who would write “If I live” and “I am alive” in his journal. But then, in the same paragraph, Tolstoy becomes “the old magician” in whose “musing motionlessness” Gorky feels “something fateful, magical, something which went down into the darkness beneath him and stretched up like a search-light into the blue emptiness above the earth.” more

Art Faculty

SELF-PORTRAIT: This self-portrait by noted painter and regional drawing teacher Paul Mordetsky will be among the works displayed in the “Faculty Exhibit” at Jerry’s Artarama. On Friday, September 18 from 5 to 8 p.m., there will be an open reception for the exhibition that features works by the artists currently offering classes and workshops at the Artarama Studios located at 2901 US-1 in Lawrenceville.

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A LOVELY SHOT: Photographer Donna Lovely’s “Great Blue Heron” will be among the works on view at “A New Leaf,” a show by The River Queen Artisans Gallery located at 8 Church Street in Lambertville. The show features local artists like Jay and Joanne Eisenberg who will be hosting its opening reception Saturday, September 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. “A New Leaf” will run until November 15.

New Hope artists, Jay and Joanne Eisenberg will be hosting the opening reception for the show “A New Leaf” at The River Queen Artisans Gallery on Saturday, September 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. “A New Leaf” will run through November 15 and many of the artists will be available at the opening.  more


French Theater ArtistsPrinceton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, Department of French and Italian, and L’Avant-Scène will present the fourth annual Seuls en Scène French Theater Festival, which will take place from September 24 through October 24 at venues across the University’s campus. All performances are free and open to the public. While performances will be in French, three productions will include English subtitles: Jaz, Le 20 novembre, and De mes propres mains.

Marking the launch of the fifteenth season of the student French theater workshop L’Avant-Scène, Seuls en Scène brings celebrated French actors and directors to the University and the local community. This year’s festival features an exciting line-up, including a play from the 2012 Avignon Theater Festival, a preview of a new production to premiere at the 2016 Avignon Festival, and works by some of the greatest contemporary playwrights in Europe and the Francophone world. Seuls en Scène has been organized by Florent Masse, Senior Lecturer in the Department of French and Italian and director of L’Avant-Scène. more

September 8, 2015

Bernie Sanders

The Princeton Area Committee for Bernie Sanders will kick off his local campaign with a free, informational event on Saturday, September 12 from noon to 4 p.m. at Hinds Plaza (adjacent to the Public Library) in downtown Princeton. Several of the Committee’s members will be available for conversation. There will also be card tables with information on Sanders’ political stance on a range of issues, including civil and labor rights, jobs, education, climate change, and health care. more

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September 7, 2015

NAMI 2NAMI Mercer will commemorate Mental Illness Awareness Week with its seventh annual Harvest of Hope Wellness Conference on Saturday, October 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville.

Sponsored in part by a grant from the Lawrence Township Community Foundation, the educational event is open to consumers, their families, and the general public.

The theme this year is “Finding Your Voice.” Hakeem Rahim will deliver the keynote address—“Mental Illness Unmasked: A Conversation on Living and Thriving with Mental Illness.” Mr. Rahim, an African-American graduate of Harvard and Columbia, began speaking openly about his 16-year journey with bipolar disorder in 2012. Since then, he has told his story to thousands, testified before Congress, and devoted his life to ending stigma. more

September 3, 2015

US Military

On September 1, 2015, three marines and three service dogs began a 100-mile journey from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the Freedom Tower in New York City. Dubbed “The Long Walk,” Sergeant Devon Richio, Sergeant Steven Walls, Sergeant Andrew Einstein, and their three working dogs, will arrive at the Kingston Fire Company in Kingston, NJ on Friday, September 4 at approximately 5 p.m. The Kingston Fire Company will welcome the hard working Marines with open arms and invites the Princeton and Kingston communities to do the same. more

WC Park

Travel back in time and experience the life of the Founding Fathers during “Market & Muster Day” at Washington Crossing Historic Park on Sunday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Witness Revolutionary War era townspeople gather at their colonial marketplace and soldiers assemble to drill 18th-century military tactics. While the soldiers march and fire their muskets, historic crafters will demonstrate and sell their wares. more

PU Irish Studies

Clair Wills, Princeton University’s new Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Chair of Irish Letters at Princeton, has announced the Fund for Irish Studies’ 2015-16 series, featuring talks by leading Irish writers, filmmakers and scholars, presented in collaboration with Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts.

The Fund for Irish Studies, previously chaired by Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities Paul Muldoon and now led by Wills, affords all Princeton students and the community at large a wider and deeper sense of the languages, literatures, drama, visual arts, history, politics, and economics, not only of Ireland but of “Ireland in the world.” more

September 2, 2015

Accident WEBThe Princeton Police Department has not yet completed its investigation into the August 26 automobile accident at Stockton Street and Library Place that took the life of Princeton Theological Seminary Professor Emeritus Donald Capps, 76. According to the latest report, his wife Karen, 73, remains in stable condition at Capitol Health Regional Medical Center, where Mr. Capps died at 8:54 p.m. the night of the accident.

According to Seminary President Dr. Craig Barnes, in a statement on the Seminary’s website, “Don Capps represented the very best in our profession. He was an accomplished scholar whose works shaped the field of pastoral theology. He was a beloved teacher who taught generations of future pastors to care not only for others but for themselves. He made a lasting impact on the church and our campus community, and we will miss him dearly.”

Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Seminary Robert Dykstra referred to his colleague’s kindness. “He always erred on the side of unfailing kindness on behalf of the individual. Don would shower attention on individual students and others who found themselves somehow off the beaten path, whose ideas about and experiences of God were spoken only hesitantly. It’s fair to say that Princeton Seminary, the discipline of pastoral theology, and the lives of many who have found themselves on the far edges of a Christian community in which they don’t quite fit, but cannot quit, will not see the judicious likes of Don Capps again.” more

Fire Truck

Thanks to a $1.4 million purchase funded by the municipality of Princeton and Princeton University, the town’s all-volunteer fire department will soon have a new ladder truck and a new engine truck to replace older vehicles that date to the 1980s and are being used “beyond safe and useful life,” according to a recent report made to Princeton Council by Princeton Fire Chief Dan Tomalin.

While Council has already approved the purchase of new equipment, to which the University is contributing $500,000, Mr. Tomalin’s August 24 power point presentation detailed specifics about the new trucks and the state of some of the old apparatus that is still in use.  more


CAT EYES: Princeton University field hockey player Cat Caro tracks down a ball in a game last fall. Junior star Caro figures to be a key player for the Tigers this fall as they go after their 11th straight Ivy League title. The 15th-ranked Tigers open their 2015 campaign by hosting No. 2 North Carolina (2-0) on September 4 and No. 9 Virginia (2-0) on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After stumbling to a 3-9 start in 2014 the Princeton University field hockey team is determined to hit the ground running this fall. more

Leaf Blower“It’s a great program,” says Mayor Liz Lempert of “Meet the Mayor,” the once-a-month “open office hours” opportunity she created soon after assuming office.

Originally based at Witherspoon Hall, “Meet the Mayor” is now held on the last Friday of every month from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in Hinds Plaza. However, the next meeting will not be until Friday, September 25. “Walk and talk outside, weather permitting,” says an announcement for the event. If the weather is bad, “office hours” are held in the lobby of the adjacent Princeton Public Library.

“The topics are all over the place,” Ms. Lempert reported, and there’s been a decided uptick in traffic since she relocated to Hinds Plaza. Rather than setting up formal appointments for “small” issues, she says, the informality of the setting encourages passers-by to come over and chat. A repeat complaint in recent months has been about noise from leaf blowers and lawn mowers, and as a result the agenda for addressing noise issues will probably be “pushed up,” as the Environmental Commission and Sustainable Princeton offices begin to do some preliminary research. more


2015, A BANNER SEASON: With 104,000 individuals and counting as of last week, the Community Park Swimming Pool has had a record-breaking summer. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

The Community Park Swimming Pool enjoyed a banner season and was still going strong recently when Recreation Department Executive Director Ben Stentz and Councilwoman Jo Butler, the Council’s liaison to the Recreation Commission, spoke to Town Topics.

“We already eclipsed the total number of visits for any year,” Mr. Stentz reported. At the time of the interview, a record number of 104,000 individuals had already passed through the Community Park pool gate, and the final total may be as much as 110,000. Regular pool memberships increased for the fourth consecutive season as well, with 5,000 total members. more

PU women's HEPS

PAN AM FLIGHT: Ashley Higginson races through a curve during her illustrious Princeton University track career. Higginson, a 2011 Princeton alum, recently took gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Higginson, who also graduated from Rutgers School of Law-Newark this summer, is turning her focus to making the U.S. Olympic team for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

On one hand, Ashley Higginson was disappointed to finish fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. outdoor nationals earlier this summer, missing a spot in the World Championships by two places.

But Higginson, a 2011 Princeton University alum who earned All-American honors in the steeplechase and the indoor 3,000 during her Tiger career, gained some important lessons from the experience. more

shutterstock_206557912It has been five years in the making, but Princeton University is installing an eruv, or virtual boundary, around most of the campus and parts of the town so that observant Jews can carry essential items outdoors without desecrating the Sabbath. Under construction during the coming few weeks, the eruv will stretch from Harrison Street to Elm Road and Terhune Road to the tow path.

With the addition of the eruv, Princeton joins other Ivy League institutions as well as such communities as East Windsor and Lawrence in creating a kind of enclosure that allows observant Jews to be more mobile while still respecting the Sabbath, which is a designated day of rest. There are eruvs all over the world. more

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LEAPING INTO A NEW SEASON: American Repertory Ballet dancer Mattia Pallozzi is among those to be introduced to the public at the company’s first “On Pointe” event of the fall at Rider University on September 23. The series is designed to familiarize the community with the company, it’s dancers, and repertory. (Photo by Richard Termine)

When Douglas Martin took over as artistic director of the American Repertory Ballet five years ago, he knew he wanted to forge relationships inside and outside the studio. Having a continuing dialogue with the public was as important as training his dancers. So Mr. Martin, who was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet and later with ARB before becoming its director, began to focus on a monthly series called “On Pointe.” more

Ira Dance

THREE ACTS, TWO DANCERS, ONE RADIO HOST: “This American Life” host Ira Glass joins forces with choreographer/dancers Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass to combine two art forms — radio storytelling and dance. The performance includes radio interviews re-staged as dance pieces. Glass delivers his trademark narratives and the two dancers evoke characters through movement. This unique performance takes place on Friday, November 21 at 8 p.m. at McCarter Theatre. more