May 16, 2018

This year, The Princeton Police and Princeton Human Services will host the 8th annual Wheels Rodeo on Sunday, May 20 due to the weather. The event was originally to be held on Saturday, May 19. The event will be held from 10 am – 1 pm on Sunday, May 20, at the Community Park Pool Parking lot located at 400 Witherspoon Street. more

By Donald Gilpin

Last week Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation into law that will grant access to state aid at public and private colleges and universities for New Jersey DREAMers. Qualified students will be permitted to apply for aid starting in the fall 2018 semester, making New Jersey the 10th state in the country to offer state financial aid to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented students.

“When policies at the federal level have purposely and systematically excluded immigrants in our communities, New Jersey stands up,” said Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund Executive Director Adriana Abizadeh. “Our state legislature is showing the country that immigrants are valued in our state.  more

RALLY FOR IRAN DIPLOMACY: Princeton University physicist Rob Goldston urges his Hinds Plaza audience to oppose President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement last Wednesday at a rally organized by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action. (Photo by John Lien)

By Donald Gilpin

American politics continues to interweave and often clash with Iranian politics, and last week those entanglements precipitated two rallies in Princeton.

The first took place in Hinds Plaza on Wednesday to protest against President Trump’s announcement that the United States would be withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran; and the second was held on Friday evening at Princeton University outside Frist Campus Center to show support and solidarity for Xiyue Wang, a Princeton graduate student who has been imprisoned in Iran for almost two years. more

RELIEF FROM GRIEF: Friendships were renewed at a recent Friends and Family Day held by the Princeton University chapter of Camp Kesem, which helps children with a parent suffering from cancer. The event was held on the campus for the first time as part of an effort to attract more students to participate in the all-volunteer organization.

By Anne Levin

Witnessing a parent’s fight with cancer can be devastating for a child, even when the battle against the disease is ultimately won. Giving kids a break from their worries and grief is the goal of Camp Kesem, a nationwide organization of college students that sponsors week-long summer programs at camps and camp sites throughout the nation.

Princeton University established a Camp Kesem chapter four years ago. Earlier this month, the students held a Friends and Family Day in front of Frist Campus Center, drawing some 80 visitors to an event described by sophomore Ashley Dong, whose camp name is “Cloud,” as “a sort of reunion.” Dong is one of the chapter’s outreach coordinators. more

Children love learning about where their food comes from. Read and Pick is an innovative, educational program that combines a hands-on activity with a story highlighting that aspect of farming. Children (ages preschool to 8 years) gather around a storyteller to listen to stories about fruits, vegetables, pollinators, or farming equipment. Read and Pick programs are held biweekly on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Please call (609) 924-2310 to register or register online at

EDUCATION EXCELLENCE: “Each year is different, and the students are different. I love the fact that they are engaged in the work, and that I can learn from them too. In the beginning of my teaching career, I thought I would be the one to do the talking and teaching, but now I feel the teaching should come from the students.” William E. Hutnik, Upper School English teacher at The Pennington School, is shown in front of Old Main, one of the oldest buildings at the school.

By Jean Stratton

The greatest gift a teacher can impart to a student is a love of learning. This will begin a lifelong journey of exploration, discovery, and enlightenment.

William E. Hutnik is such a teacher.

For 20 years in the English Department at The Pennington School, he has been inspiring students not only to read great literature, but also, through his collaborative strategies, has encouraged them to exchange ideas and sharpen critical thinking skills. more

Littlebrook Science Students Dream About Their Future

Littlebrook Elementary School (LB) is gearing up for its ninth annual Science Expo on Friday, May 18. Each of the approximately 300 students from kindergarten through fifth grade will participate in up to 15 different 20-minute presentations by dozens of parents and other science experts and enthusiasts who have volunteered their time.

“I’m so grateful to the many parents and community members who give up their day to engage with our kids,” said LB science teacher Martha Friend. “Taking an entire teaching day to focus on science sends a powerful message to our students: Science is a vital component of all of our lives.” more

Alzheimer’s New Jersey, formerly the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater New Jersey Chapter, named Educational Testing Services (ETS) as the recipient of the Corporation of the Year Award for outstanding corporate philanthropy and community dedication at its annual gala on May 3 at The Grove in Cedar Grove.

ETS’s mission is to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research, and related services. ETS has consecutively been a top fundraising team for the Walk to Fight Alzheimer’s Central Regional Walk and continues to support Alzheimer’s New Jersey in raising awareness and funds to support local programs for those impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in New Jersey. more

The Spirit of Princeton invites the community to the annual Memorial Day Parade and Dedication Ceremony on Saturday, May 26 at 10 a.m. (parade on Nassau Street) and 11 a.m. dedication ceremony at Princeton Monument Hall (formerly Borough Hall). The parade features veterans’ groups, marching bands, and civic and youth groups, walking to honor those who have died in military service to their country.

All current active duty or veteran service men and women throughout Central New Jersey are welcome as walkers in the parade. At the conclusion of the event, residents are encouraged to continue their Memorial Day commemoration by participating in the Princeton Battlefield Society Living History Program at noon at the Princeton Battlefield.  more

By Stuart Mitchner

It’s too soon to write at length about A Village in France (Un village français) a television series available on Hulu that at this writing, after five outstanding seasons, belongs in the company of The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones.

When a series is this unique and engaging, powerful and true, it renews your interest in the nation that for two intense weeks has been at the center of your viewing life. You want to know more about the German occupation and the Resistance. You want to go back to films like Grand Illusion and Army of Shadows, directors such as Jean Renoir and Jean-Pierre Melville, writers like Albert Camus and composers like Claude Debussy, who died 100 years ago, March 25, 1918, the last year of the Great War.  more

“TURNING OFF THE MORNING NEWS”: Performances are underway for “Turning Off the Morning News.” Directed by Artistic Director Emily Mann, the play runs through June 3 at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre. From left: Jimmy (John Pankow) and Polly (Kristine Nielsen) make a memorable, if undesirable, first impression on new neighbors Salena (Rachel Nicks) and Clifford (Robert Sella). (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

middle-aged father, Jimmy, nonchalantly announces his decision to shoot either his wife Polly and their 13-year-old son Timmy, or strangers at a mall. Polly attempts to ignore Jimmy’s behavior by focusing on her houseplant, and dreaming of going to heaven. Dysfunctional characters and horrifying events are viewed through the lens of a wholesome family sitcom. more

“BARBARA SIGMUND”: This stitched fabric page by Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert is part of the “Interwoven Stories International” exhibit, on view in the Arts Council of Princeton’s Taplin Gallery at 102 Witherspoon Street through June 23.

The Arts Council of Princeton presents “Interwoven Stories International,” three-hole fabric pages, stitched with memories, places, and people, speaking to the generosity, diversity, spirit, commitment and creativity of an international stitching community. more

SMALL WORKS ART SHOW: Artist Paul Hoffman, a native of Hunterdon County, will be painting at the Small Works Art Show at 123 Main Street in Flemington on May 19 and 20. The art show will benefit Friends of Historic Flemington, which is working to preserve historic buildings in the town.

“Interested in original art by area artists? Come to the Small Works Art Show, and support local history at the same time,” says Catherine Langley, co-chair of the event, which will benefit Friends of Historic Flemington.

The show and sale will be Saturday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 20 from noon to 6 p.m., at 123 Main Street, Flemington. An artists’ reception is planned for Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m., with live music and refreshments. The public is welcome. more

This oil painting by Merrilee Drakulich is featured in “Layers of the Earth: From Core to Cloud,” on exhibit at D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center in Princeton through June 15. A reception is Friday, May 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

NONNA AND HER “LEMMINGS”: “The Nassau Swim Club has a very attractive environment in the woods. It is very family-oriented, and there are activities all the time.” Chiara Nappi (“Nonna”), treasurer of the Nassau Swim Club, is shown with her granddaughters Nava Brenner-Witten (left) and Liliana Brenner-Witten. Both are swimmers (“lemmings”) at the club.

By Jean Stratton

Nassau Swim Club has been welcoming swimmers of all ages for 50 years. Nestled in the woods near the Institute for Advanced Study, at the tip end of Springdale Road, it is a hidden gem!

“We offer a safe and bucolic environment and constant contact with nature,” says Dr. Chiara Nappi, treasurer of the club. “In addition to the swimming, we have nature walks to the Institute and the Princeton Battlefield. We take advantage of our proximity to these places.” more

OPEN ARMS: Members of the Princeton University women’s open varsity eight celebrate after winning the grand final at the Ivy League championship regatta on Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J. last Sunday. It was the third straight Ivy crown for the open top boat and its fourth in the last five years. Princeton is next in action when it competes at the NCAA championship regatta from May 25-27 in Sarasota, Fla. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

Lori Dauphiny had a good feeling about her Princeton University women’s open varsity eight as it headed into the Ivy League championship regatta last weekend.

“This last week of training prior to the championships, they made some really nice strides,” said Princeton head coach Dauphiny. “I started to notice that the boat was picking up speed.” more

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Members of the Princeton High boys’ track and field team celebrate last Saturday after they dominated the competition on the way to winning the Mercer County Championships. PHS won 10 of 18 events in the meet held at Steinert High and piled up 136.50 points with runner-up Trenton far behind with 57. In so doing, the Little Tigers achieved the “triple crown” of county titles as they have won the boys’ cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track crowns this school year. PHS will go after another title when it competes in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet on May 25-26.

By Bill Alden

Last May, the Princeton High boys’ track and field team was bitterly disappointed when it fell one point short of winning the Mercer County Championships.

“The moment we lost that meet by one point, the guys looked at each and said we are not letting this happen again,” said Ben Samara, the associate head coach of the PHS boys’ and girls’ teams. more

COMING THROUGH: Princeton High baseball player Tommy Reid takes a swing in recent action. Junior star Reid came through with some clutch hitting to help seventh-seeded PHS advance to the Mercer County Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2005. The Little Tigers fell 4-2 to third-seeded Nottingham last Monday in the semis to move to 13-8. PHS will look to produce another deep run as it competes in the upcoming state tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton High baseball team, getting to open the Mercer County Tournament with a home game proved to the catalyst for a memorable run.

Hosting 10th-seeded Hightstown in the first-round matchup on May 7, seventh-seeded PHS came through with a 4-0 win.  more

THIRD DEGREE: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Brooks Johnson marks a Hightstown attacker in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Thursday. Senior star and Gettysburg College-bound defender Johnson helped key a stifling performance as second-seeded PDS defeated top-seeded Hightstown 9-3 to earn its third straight county crown and end the spring with 10-5 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Brooks Johnson and his teammates on the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team know how to handle the high-stakes atmosphere of the Mercer County Tournament championship game.

Having won county crowns in 2016 and 2017 and advancing to the final in 2015, the second-seeded Panthers brought a sense of calm to the field when they faced top-seeded Highstown in this year’s title game last Thursday at WW/P-North. more

FIGHTING TO THE END: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Kate Bennett, center, draws a crowd as she goes to goal against Morristown-Beard in the state Prep B title game last Monday. PDS senior star and Dartmouth-bound Bennett tallied three goals and an assist, but it wasn’t enough as the third-seeded Panthers fell 10-9 to the fifth-seeded Crimson on a last second goal. PDS, which was seeking a fourth-straight Prep B crown, ended the spring with an 8-9 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last Monday was a date that had been circled on the calendar all spring for the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team.

It was the state Prep B championship game and, having won three straight crowns, the program was shooting from day one of the season to achieve a four-peat. more

GOOD RUN: Hun School baseball Adam Wijaya runs to first base in recent action. Senior third baseman Wijaya starred as Hun advanced to the Mercer County Tournament semifinals for the first time in 11 years. The fifth-seeded Raiders topped 12th-seeded Pennington 8-5 in a first-round contest on May 7 and then upended fourth-seeded Steinert 5-2 last Wednesday. Hun’s county run ended when it fell 9-0 to top-seeded Hopewell Valley in the semis last Monday evening. The Raiders, now 13-6, will be going after a third consecutive state Prep A title this week. Top-seeded Hun will host fourth-seeded Peddie School in a first round game on May 16 with the double elimination tournament to wrap up this weekend at Peddie from May 19-20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having experienced a number of early exits in the Mercer County Tournament in recent years, the Hun School baseball team was determined to make a deep run in the tourney this spring.

Hosting 12th-seeded Pennington in the opening round last week, fifth-seeded Hun didn’t waste any time showing that it meant business, scoring a run in the first inning and five in the second on the way to an 8-5 victory. more

May 9, 2018


Town Topics invited elementary school children to create and submit an ad for their favorite Princeton-area business, with the chance to be published in the paper and online. Five-year-old Violeta, a student at Stuart Country Day School, was the favorite with her colorful “ad” for Jay’s Cycles. Artwork from the runners-up is also featured here. Congratulations to all!

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton Council, currently in the process of drafting its Housing Element and Fair Share Plan (HEFSP) to comply with state affordable housing requirements, announced its Affordable Housing Compliance Schedule at its May 7 meeting.

At the meeting, Council also presented former Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman with an award of recognition, proclaimed May 2018 Walk and Bike to School Month, and held a working session on the ongoing parking meter and smart card replacement project. more

By Donald Gilpin

Beta bike lanes, a new bike corral, Ciclovia, valet bike parking, the Bike Rodeo, the Police Unity Tour, Bike To School Day, Bike To Work Week — May is National Bike Month, and Princeton police, municipal engineers, Council members and Bicycle Advisory Committee members are taking the lead.

“This is all part of a bike culture that we’re trying to build in town, keeping pace with changes in our community,” said Council member Tim Quinn as he discussed the creation of experimental beta bike lanes on Wiggins Street and Hamilton Avenue from the Princeton Public Library to Walnut Lane. more

By Donald Gilpin

Just three days after President Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran, graduate students and other members of the Princeton University community have planned a rally to support Xiyue Wang, their colleague who has been imprisoned in Iran for almost two years.

The rally to urge Wang’s release and return to his country and family will take place on the north lawn in front of Frist Campus Center on Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m., with scheduled speakers including Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert, Wang’s wife Hua Qu, and other family and friends. more