August 5, 2015
SUMMER FUN AND LEARNING: Trying out hula hoops is just one aspect of Hop the Gap, a YMCA program — part of a national initiative — that helps prepare children for kindergarten. The kids get a nutritious lunch, go on field trips, play games, and catch up on skills they might have missed by not attending pre-school.(Photo Courtesy of the Princeton YMCA)

SUMMER FUN AND LEARNING: Trying out hula hoops is just one aspect of Hop the Gap, a YMCA program — part of a national initiative — that helps prepare children for kindergarten. The kids get a nutritious lunch, go on field trips, play games, and catch up on skills they might have missed by not attending pre-school. (Photo Courtesy of the Princeton YMCA)

 

Most Princeton children start kindergarten with a year of pre-school behind them. But an increasing number of the town’s low income residents do not have the resources to give their offspring that early start. It is this segment of the population that the local YMCA is targeting with Hop the Gap — a new program at the Community Park Elementary School — serving 23 youngsters this summer from low to moderate income households. The program is part of a national YMCA initiative. more

THE PRIDE of PCV: Proud parents and residents of Princeton Community Village celebrated the scholars in their midst at a celebration for students receiving awards from the New Jersey and National Affordable Housing Management Associations (JAHMA and NAHMA). The award winners, pictured here with JAHMA and NAHMA Scholarship Administrator Bruce Johnson, are: from left: Christian James Nazario, Alana Chmiel, Celaine Sackey, Cindy Guzman, Vanessa Guzman, and Mary Ebong. Scholarship recipients not pictured: Jackie Chmiel, Jonas I. Daniecki and Phoebe Hanna.(Photo by L. Arntzenius)

THE PRIDE of PCV: Proud parents and residents of Princeton Community Village celebrated the scholars in their midst at a celebration for students receiving awards from the New Jersey and National Affordable Housing Management Associations (JAHMA and NAHMA). The award winners, pictured here with JAHMA and NAHMA Scholarship Administrator Bruce Johnson, are: from left: Christian James Nazario, Alana Chmiel, Celaine Sackey, Cindy Guzman, Vanessa Guzman, and Mary Ebong. Scholarship recipients not pictured: Jackie Chmiel, Jonas I. Daniecki and Phoebe Hanna. (Photo by L. Arntzenius)

 

Nine accomplished students from Princeton are the recipients of this year’s scholarships, given annually by the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) and its New Jersey affiliate (JAHMA). more

Max Gerbert

Max Gebert of Princeton was among the 15 students who graduated from Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center, a nationally accredited non-profit education program for individuals with disabilities. The graduation ceremony was held on Friday, July 10.

Based in Westbrook and Madison, Connecticut, Vista provides a range of services and programs to help individuals gain independence and achieve personal success. Max came to Vista in July 2012 and has worked toward strengthening his social skills and developing vocational skills. One of his greatest accomplishments includes acting as a peer leader at a local job site.

Graduation is a monumental occasion that acknowledges the achievements of Vista students who have reached a level of independence and, as a result, graduate from Vista’s Entrance Program— a residential post-secondary program.  more

BelskyMystery author R. G. Belsky, of Princeton, will sell and sign his books and take part in other activities during the 2015 Deadly Ink Mystery Conference, from August 7 to 9 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick.

Mr. Belsky’s latest thriller, The Kennedy Connection, is the first in a series of books featuring Gil Malloy, a hard-driving newspaper reporter with a penchant for breaking big stories in the New York Daily News. A former managing editor at the Daily News, he  writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. At the Daily News, he also held the titles of metropolitan editor and deputy national editor. Before that, he was metropolitan editor of the New York Post and news editor at Star magazine. Most recently, he served as managing editor for news at NBCNews.com – where he worked on Nightly News with Brian Williams and the Today show and oversaw all digital news content on the NBCNews website. His previous suspense novels include Playing Dead and Loverboy. His website is www.rgbelsky.com.

Fans who register for this year’s Deadly Ink Conference can meet R.G. Belsky and more than two dozen other published suspense authors, who will share their expertise in three days of workshops and panels. 2015 Guest of Honor will be Brad Parks, the only author to have won the Shamus, Nero and Lefty mystery awards. more

Art ReviewA mini-exhibition on early American typewriters currently on display at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park, Trenton, will run through November 8.

Located on the second floor of the museum, the exhibition was curated by Richard Willinger, Chair of the Museum Society’s Collections Management Committee, and a typewriter collector.

Because people stopped using typewriters many years ago when the personal computer came out, many young people have never used a typewriter. Older people remember typewriters as the standard four-bank machine with a typed sheet visible on the rubber platen in front of you. more

CLEAR AS A BELL: Music from Princeton University’s carillon can be heard as far away as the Institute for Advanced Study, according to the University Carilloneur Lisa Lonie, shown here with the instrument in Cleveland Tower of the Graduate College. The 23rd Annual Summer Carillon Series of concerts is currently underway and continues through the end of August.

CLEAR AS A BELL: Music from Princeton University’s carillon can be heard as far away as the Institute for Advanced Study, according to the University Carilloneur Lisa Lonie, shown here with the instrument in Cleveland Tower of the Graduate College. The 23rd Annual Summer Carillon Series of concerts is currently underway and continues through the end of August.

On summer Sundays at 1 p.m., there is a gathering of sorts on the lawn outside Princeton University’s Cleveland Tower. The Collegiate Gothic style building is home to the University’s carillon, on which a short concert is performed by carilloneurs who come from as far as Australia to take their turn on the massive instrument. more

rec rev

In the sleeve notes accompanying Beatles for Sale, Derek Taylor surmises that “the kids of AD 2000 will draw from the music much the same sense of well being and warmth as we do today,” for “the magic of the Beatles” has “cut through our differences of race, age, and class” and “is adored by the world.” Half a century later in AD 2015, “One of the strangest things about the Beatles phenomenon,” according to the group’s first biographer, Hunter Davies, “is that the further we get from them, the bigger they become.” more

Gipsy Music

The Grammy Award-winning musical group The Gipsy Kings performs at The State Theatre of NJ in New Brunswick alongside Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo on Friday, September 11 at 8 p.m. Melding the rhythms of flamenco, rumba, salsa, and pop, The Gipsy Kings have found worldwide success. Ticket prices start at just $35. To purchase, call (732) 246-7469 or visit www.statetheatrenj.org.

Music TogetherJanet Campbell, a resident of Frenchtown, NJ, just celebrated her 100th semester teaching Music Together classes. Since the summer of 1990, Campbell has brought the award-winning early childhood music education program to thousands of families in Flemington, High Bridge, Annandale, Whitehouse Station, Stockton, Princeton, Trenton, Hopewell, and Lawrenceville.

According to Kenneth K. Guilmartin, Founder and Artistic Director of Music Together, “Janet has exceptional stamina, creativity, perseverance, musical skills and knowledge. The thousands of Music Together children and parents throughout New Jersey whom she has taught have thrived because of her love for music and teaching. She also has prodigious guitar and vocal skills! She is our first teacher to reach the 100-semester milestone—and we are very proud and honored that she is a part of the Music Together family.” more

HEART AND SOUL: Tommy Soulias of Ivy Inn heads up the court in action during the championship series of the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Wednesday, Kean University star and summer league regular season MVP Soulias scored 12 points to help Ivy Inn top Bring Me Food 45-27 in Game 2 of the best-of-three series. The victory tied the series at 1-1 and Ivy Inn ended up winning the title by forfeit when Bring Me Food didn’t have enough players to field a team on Friday for the decisive Game 3.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Tommy Soulias emerged as one of the top offensive threats in local college basketball circles this winter during his junior campaign for Kean University.

The 6’3, 195-pound guard led the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) in scoring with 21.4 points per game, earning All-NJAC, All-ECAC, All-Region, and Division III All-Metropolitan honors.

Over the last two months, Soulias built on his college success in his third campaign with Ivy Inn in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League, earning league regular season MVP honors as he scored 18.8 points a game.

“It gave me a lot of confidence coming into this league; it is an extremely competitive league with a lot of talented players,” said Soulias.

“I know what I am capable of and what I bring. I realized that the role I needed to play this year was to score and just defend hard every night to help us win.”

Soulias filled that role admirably as Ivy Inn produced a 7-2 record to tie for first place in the regular season and then topped Princeton Pi 67-54 in the playoff quarterfinals and posted a 48-44 win over Aria Health in the semis on the way to the league’s best-of three championship series against second-seeded Bring Me Food. more

August 4, 2015

shutterstock_199019246Princeton police are making an effort to enforce new regulations regarding buses that bring tourists to town.

In a statement issued Monday, the department said that “Many in our community have observed an increased presence of passenger motor coaches visiting our downtown area in recent months.  While Princeton welcomes all visitors to enjoy our scenic community, the manner of loading and unloading of passengers by a number of these motor coaches has created a serious concern for public safety.  In order to address this issue, Princeton has designated loading, unloading, and parking locations for these vehicles.” more

"Vinalhaven" by Charles McVicker

“Vinalhaven” by Charles McVicker

Garden State Watercolor Society presents its 46th annual juried show, “Nature’s Beauty,” at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, Princeton, August 11 through September 25, with an awards and closing reception September 25, 4:30-6:30 p.m. more

shutterstock_111103529Princeton Public Library is accepting applications from authors interested in participating in an Author Fair as part of the library’s seventh annual Local Author Day on October 24, 2015.

Open to authors from Central New Jersey and Bucks County, Pa., with preference given to those who reside within 20 miles of Princeton Public Library, the Author Fair takes place from 1-4 p.m. as the highlight of Local Author Day.

The event is an opportunity for authors to gain exposure while showcasing their work in the highly regarded setting of Princeton Public Library. While the day’s emphasis is on marketing and networking, authors are also given space to display, sign and sell their books during the Author Fair. more

August 3, 2015
Hun School students in Anne Soos’s environmental studies class built two We Care Solar ® suitcases, in the final weeks of the 2014-2015 academic year.

Hun School students in Anne Soos’s environmental studies class built two We Care Solar ® suitcases, in the final weeks of the 2014-2015 academic year.

This spring, environmental science students at The Hun School of Princeton built two We Care Solar® Suitcases – traveling energy sources. Twelve of their peers then hand-delivered one of the suitcases to a research facility in the Amazon of Ecuador, during a School-led Global and Immersion Programs trip. A second suitcase was sent to a rural community in the Haitian village of Kwakok. more

July 29, 2015

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Since neither Seurat nor Manet were on hand to paint the scene at Saturday’s Music Fest on Palmer Square, Town Topics’ Emily Reeves stopped by to capture this summer moment. Comments from some listeners are in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

STICKING WITH IT: Carly O’Brien heads up the field in action this spring during her senior season with the Dickinson College women’s lacrosse team. Former Princeton Day School standout O’Brien enjoyed a superb career for Dickinson, tallying 166 points in her career, fifth best in program history.  (Photo by by James Rasp, provided courtesy of Dickinson’s Office of Athletic Communications)

STICKING WITH IT: Carly O’Brien heads up the field in action this spring during her senior season with the Dickinson College women’s lacrosse team. Former Princeton Day School standout O’Brien enjoyed a superb career for Dickinson, tallying 166 points in her career, fifth best in program history.
(Photo by by James Rasp, provided courtesy of Dickinson’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Sadly, Carly O’Brien ended her senior season with the Dickinson College women’s lacrosse team this spring the same way she finished her freshman campaign – with a serious knee injury.

While injuries may have hampered O’Brien during her college career, the former Princeton Day School standout accomplished a lot when she was on the field for the Red Devils.

The high-scoring 5’8 forward tallied 166 points in her career, fifth best in program history, on 114 goals and 52 assists. She ranks seventh all-time for the team in goals and fifth in assists.

“Every time I stepped on the field, it was my job to score,” said O’Brien, a three-sport performer at PDS, who played soccer and ice hockey in addition to lacrosse.

“The defense worked so hard to get the ball and I wanted to come through. Because of the injuries, I wanted to make the most of the time I was on the field.”

Coming into this spring, O’Brien was looking to make the most of her senior season.

“My first three years, we came so close to the Centennial Conference  playoffs so my main goal was to make playoffs,” said O’Brien reflecting on her mindset coming into 2015. “It was a young team with a lot of talent and potential.”

O’Brien and the Red Devils got off to a good start, going 3-0, but couldn’t get over the hump, losing some tough games to ned the season at 8-7 overall and 4-5 Centennial. more

GaragePatrons of the Spring Street Garage will have some changes to adjust to in coming months. Parking fees at the municipal lot will be raised to prices yet to be determined and go into effect at the beginning of next year. In addition, the two hours of free parking traditionally given to users of Princeton Public Library will be done away with.

There is a silver lining: The half-hour of free parking in the lot will be upgraded to a full hour, for everyone. And during the week of September 14, when new equipment is to be installed at the two entrances to the garage, parking will be free, it was announced at Monday night’s meeting of Princeton Council. more

Amimal Control

Princeton’s new Animal Control Officer (ACO), Nate Barson, made a brief appearance at a meeting of the Board of Health last week.

Unlike his predecessor Mark Johnson, who came under the umbrella of the Princeton Police Department for most of his time with the municipality, Mr. Barson will be attached to the health department and have an office in Monument Hall. more

Now that construction of the Lakeside Apartments is completed and graduate students and their families are moving into the new complex on Faculty Road, Princeton University is preparing to demolish the Butler Tract apartments on Harrison Street. The barracks-like development, which was built as temporary housing after World War II but served for almost 70 years as a home for graduate students, will finally meet the wrecking ball in early fall. more

ON TOUR: Kelly Shon displays her form as she follows through on a shot during her career with the Princeton University women’s golf team. Shon, a 2014 Princeton alum who was a four-time All Ivy league honoree and the 2013 Ivy individual champion, is currently competing as a rookie on the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) tour.  (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

ON TOUR: Kelly Shon displays her form as she follows through on a shot during her career with the Princeton University women’s golf team. Shon, a 2014 Princeton alum who was a four-time All Ivy league honoree and the 2013 Ivy individual champion, is currently competing as a rookie on the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) tour.
(Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Kelly Shon graduated from Princeton University in June 2014 with a degree in sociology but her education was just beginning on another front as she went from college to the Symetra Tour, the development circuit for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).

For Shon, a four-time All Ivy league honoree and the 2013 Ivy individual champion during her stellar career with the Tiger women’s golf program, competing as a pro was an eye-opening experience, on and off the course. more

FISHING THE FLATS: Adventurous traveler Melanie Tucker, shown here fishing the flats in Key West, will share her knowledge of off-the-beaten track destinations in the Community Room at the Princeton Public Library, this Thursday, July 30, at 7 p.m. The travel designer will present a slide illustrated talk, “Short Sojourns: Rejuvenating Travel in Just Three Days,” as part of the Library’s summer series, “Escape the Ordinary,” which hosts writers, book groups, artists, and guest speakers. Ms. Tucker is the owner of Rare Finds Travel (www.rarefindstravel.com) and specializes in custom travel itineraries. For more information, call (609) 923.0304, or visit: http://rarefindstravel.com(Photo Courtesy of Rare Finds Travel)

FISHING THE FLATS: Adventurous traveler Melanie Tucker, shown here fishing the flats in Key West, will share her knowledge of off-the-beaten track destinations in the Community Room at the Princeton Public Library, this Thursday, July 30, at 7 p.m. The travel designer will present a slide illustrated talk, “Short Sojourns: Rejuvenating Travel in Just Three Days,” as part of the Library’s summer series, “Escape the Ordinary,” which hosts writers, book groups, artists, and guest speakers. Ms. Tucker is the owner of Rare Finds Travel (www.rarefindstravel.com) and specializes in custom travel itineraries. For more information, call (609) 923.0304, or visit: http://rarefindstravel.com (Photo Courtesy of Rare Finds Travel)

According to a recent study from the U.S. Travel Association, America is becoming a nation of workaholics, with workers taking less and less vacation time than ever before.

Travel designer Melanie Tucker has the antidote for the time-pressed traveler. With a lifetime of adventurous, off-the-beaten track trips behind her, the former Princeton resident has a wealth of knowledge of three-day breaks that can deliver the feel of a much longer vacation.  more

Bus 2

After welcoming Princeton’s new Animal Control Officer Nate Barson to the municipality (see page one story), Health Officer Jeffrey C. Grosser and the rest of the Board got down to business at the Princeton Board of Health’s regular monthly meeting last week. more

Zodiac 2

After a four-year ban that prevented him from all international travel and kept him from visiting Princeton in 2012, Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has had his passport returned to him.

Last week, Mr. Ai posted a photo of himself on Instagram holding the document, which had been confiscated by Chinese authorities following the artist’s outspoken remarks on number of national scandals, including collapse of badly-constructed schools during a 2008 earthquake.  more

book revI recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for. — George Orwell, from Homage to Catalonia

A friend who went to Antioch College tells of arriving as a freshman to find himself confronted on a dormitory stairway by a stunningly lovely girl holding a pail of water, shouting, “Would you have fought in Spain?” Taking into account the water, the stairway, and the girl, he answered in the affirmative and was allowed to pass.

George Orwell, who fought in Spain and wrote about it in Homage to Catalonia (1938), found something more rewarding than the chance to fight fascism: “Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people…all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality.  more

Nightmare1

Princeton Summer Theater’s double bill of one-acts, The Actor’s Nightmare (1981) by Christopher Durang and The Real Inspector Hound (1968) by Tom Stoppard, is an insider’s delight with both plays set in a theater, both plays about plays, performances and actors (and, in the latter case, critics too). The highly skilled young performers of these brilliantly clever works at the Hamilton Murray Theater on the Princeton University campus through August 2, enjoy themselves immensely in their madcap endeavors, and the enjoyment inexorably spreads through the loudly laughing audience.  more