March 7, 2018

By Nancy Plum

In its annual tribute to long-time conductor Walter L. Nollner this year, the Princeton University Glee Club showed how much the ensemble has grown under the leadership of current music director Gabriel Crouch, as well as how multi-national choral music has become since Nollner’s time. Not content to merely present a masterpiece of the repertory, the Glee Club stretched its performance wings well into the 21st century with a work by one of its own members. more

By Stuart Mitchner

In one film the lovers are a mute cleaning woman and an aquatic creature in a top-secret government research facility in Baltimore; in the other, they’re a young, socially retarded quality control inspector and an aging financial director at a slaughterhouse in Budapest. In the first, the lovers communicate by sign language; in the second they dream the same dreams. Which plot is the more improbable? Put another way, which requires a more willing suspension of disbelief? That a lonely mute cleaning woman finds love with a humanoid amphibian god who glows in the dark or that an autistic meat inspector finds it with a man who has a withered arm?  more

By Kam Williams

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is an Oscar-nominated documentary that chronicles an outrageous example of bigotry against the Sung’s Chinese American immigrant family. Patriarch Thomas Sung was inspired by the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life, when he and his family founded the Abacus Federal Savings Bank in 1984 in New York City’s Chinatown.

He wanted to help the people of his community get loans after repeatedly witnessing how other lending institutions were willing take Chinese people’s deposits, but were reluctant to let them borrow money. Abacus flourished over the years, and his daughters, Jill and Heather, joined the family business as executives after they became lawyers. more

LES IS MORE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Leslie Robinson puts up a shot last Friday against visiting Brown. Senior forward Robinson produced a historic performance in a 79-44 win over the Bears, scoring 10 points with 15 rebounds and 10 assists to achieve the first triple-double in Princeton history. A night later in her Jadwin Gym finale, Robinson contributed nine points and six rebounds as Princeton topped Yale 64-53 to finish the regular season at 22-5 overall and 12-2 Ivy and clinch the outright league title. The Tigers will now compete in the Ivy postseason tournament in Philadelphia for the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA tourney. Princeton is seeded first and will face fourth-seeded Yale on March 10 in the semifinals. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Leslie Robinson took the court at Jadwin Gym last Friday evening to start her final home weekend for the Princeton University women’s basketball team, her mind was racing. more

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Max Garlock goes after the puck last Wednesday evening as 11th-seeded PHS battled second-seeded Northern Highlands in the state Public B semifinals at the Mennen Sports Arena. Senior defenseman and team captain Garlock contributed an assist in a losing cause as the Little Tigers fell 6-1. The defeat left PHS with a final record of 18-9-2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into the state Public B tournament, the Princeton High boys’ hockey team didn’t look destined to make a deep run in the competition.

PHS was seeded 11th and entered the state tourney having suffered a disappointing 9-4 defeat to Hun in the final of the Mercer County Tournament. more

ALEC THE GREAT: Princeton High wrestler Alec Bobchin, top, battles Monroe’s Andrew Lombard at 138 pounds in the semifinals of the Region V championships last month. Over the weekend, junior star Bobchin took eighth at 138 in the NJSIAA Wrestling Championships at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. It marked the first time a PHS wrestler had made the podium at the event since Ian Reddy took fourth in 1993. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Alec Bobchin knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish this winter in his junior campaign with the Princeton High wrestling team.

“My goals were definitely to win districts again,” said Bobchin. “I really wanted to win region and the main goal and what I have really been training to do is to place top 8 in the states.” more

DEVINE INTERVENTION: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Erin Devine looks for an opening in a game this winter. Junior forward Devine scored a game-high 14 points as 12th-seeded PHS upset fifth-seeded South Brunswick 34-18 in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional on February 27 to earn the program’s first win in the state tourney since the mid-1990s. Two days later, Devine tallied 12 points in a losing cause as PHS fell 60-41 at fourth-seeded Marlboro in the sectional quarterfinals. The defeat left the Little Tigers with a final record of 14-14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Playing at South Brunswick in in the opening round of the state tournament last year, the Princeton High girls’ basketball team took its lumps in falling 56-25.

Last week, PHS got a rematch with the Vikings as the teams were matched up in the opening round of this year’s Central Jersey Group 4 sectional. more

February 28, 2018

RINGING TRUE: Princeton University men’s basketball player Amir Bell dribbles the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior guard Bell enjoyed a special finale at Jadwin Gym, reaching the 1,000-point mark in his career as Princeton rolled to a 64-47 win over Dartmouth. The Tigers, now 12-15 overall and 4-8 Ivy League, play at Brown on March 2 and at Yale on March 3 still in the running for a spot in the upcoming Ivy postseason tournament, which includes the top four teams in the regular season standings. Princeton stands one game out of fourth place heading into the final weekend of the regular season as it trails Cornell (11-14 overall, 5-7 Ivy) and Columbia (8-17 overall, 5-7 Ivy). (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Amir Bell came off the court at Jadwin Gym for the final time in his career with the Princeton University men’s basketball team last Saturday, he was showered with an avalanche of affection.

Many in the crowd of 2,754 on hand for the program’s annual Senior Night rose to give Bell a standing ovation as he left the game against Dartmouth with 2:42 remaining and Princeton on the way to a 64-47 win as it broke a seven-game losing streak, improving to 12-15 overall and 4-8 Ivy League. more

Bob Brown and Ellie Suttmeier passed out samples of Terhune Orchards’ newly-released Traminette and Heritage Chardonnay at last weekend’s Wine Release event in Terhune’s new wine barn. Musicians Jerry Steele and Larry Tritel provided live music for the festivities. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Anne Levin

Last week, Rider University revealed the identity of the company that is the prospective buyer for Westminster Choir College, with which Rider merged in 1991. Kaiwen Education Technology Company of China signed a non-binding term sheet for the $40 million purchase of Westminster’s Princeton campus, facilities, and programs.  more

By Anne Levin

The municipal budget for 2018 was officially introduced Monday at a meeting of Princeton Council. Also on the agenda was a visit from Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber, who took questions from the governing body but not from members of the public.

This is the fifth year that Council has invited Eisgruber to engage in a dialogue. Questioning him has always been limited at these events to the governing body, Mayor Liz Lempert told a member of the public who was loudly critical of the proceedings. The woman became so unruly that the Princeton Police Department was summoned. Three officers stood at the rear of the room throughout much of the meeting, but she did not have to be removed and eventually left on her own. more

By Donald Gilpin

As Princeton Public Schools prepare to submit preliminary designs to the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) in preparation for the October 2 Facilities Referendum, the need for more space is clear, but the question of what sort of space is still under discussion.

PPS Superintendent Steve Cochrane emphasized widespread participation in the planning process. “We are particularly pleased with the level of involvement from our students, our staff, and our community in helping shape the plans for the referendum. We have established a direction С from designing classrooms that will allow for more flexible learning to enhancing facilities for athletics to incorporating commitment to sustainability С that will support the skills our students need to flourish now and in the future.” more

“WEEDING OUT THE TRUTH”: A panel of experts at Rider University last week discussed the impact of marijuana legalization in New Jersey. From left, Grace Hanlon, director of New Jersey Responsible Approaches to Marijuana Policy (RAMP); Cathleen Lewis, former mayor of Lawrenceville; Diane Litterer, CEO and executive director of New Jersey Prevention Network (NJPN); Stephen D. Reid, mayor of Point Pleasant Beach; and Robert Czepiel, supervising New Jersey deputy attorney general.

By Donald Gilpin

Bills to legalize the recreational use of marijuana have been introduced in the state Assembly and the state Senate. Legalizing marijuana was part of Governor Phil Murphy’s campaign platform, and he continues to support the cause, citing social justice concerns and a racial disparity in marijuana arrests and prison sentences. But the heated debate over cannabis legalization in New Jersey continues. more

FOREIGN POLICY CHALLENGES: Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns spoke to a capacity crowd in Princeton University’s Arthur Lewis Auditorium on Monday, warning of difficulties and dangers ahead in U.S. international relations. He focused his remarks on Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

By Donald Gilpin

With both deep worries and occasional doses of optimism as he focused on daunting challenges in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns offered a rich overview of “American Foreign Policy in an Era of Turbulence and Trump,” to a packed audience of about 200 in Princeton University’s Arthur Lewis Auditorium on Monday afternoon.

A career ambassador with 33 years in diplomacy and currently “a recovering diplomat” serving as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Burns described a turbulent global landscape “against the backdrop of the Trump administration, which has its own turbulence.” more

BEST BARBECUE: “Barbecue is so popular because it tastes good — it’s true American cooking. When it’s done the right way, slow-cooked with hard wood logs, it tenderizes, flavors, and adds a unique property you can’t get anywhere else.” “Smoke Chef Jeff” McKay (center), owner of Hambone Opera in the Trenton Farmers Market, is shown with staff members Amber Tomlinson (left) and Christine Brennan.

By Jean Stratton

“It tastes great, it smells great, and it’s fun to eat!”

This observation was recently made by a young visitor to Hambone Opera at 960 Spruce Street in the Trenton Farmers Market.

Opened in 2013, it has become a favorite of barbecue fans all over the area.

“People come in and tell me there’s no barbecue like mine,” reports owner “Smoke Chef Jeff” McKay. “It’s my ingredients. I use nothing but cherry wood logs in an offset fire box. Slow cooking is the key. more

Lance Liverman

By Anne Levin

On Thursday, March 15, the Joint Effort Safe Streets Program of Princeton is scheduled to salute long-standing public servant Lance Liverman. A fixture of Princeton’s governing body for the past 15 years, Liverman will be honored with music, dance, presentations, and remarks from family, friends, and a long list of local officials.

All of this is a bit overwhelming to Liverman, who recently announced that he won’t make another run for a seat on Princeton Council. He still has another 10 months before stepping down. more

On March 19 at 12 p.m., silver expert Jennifer Pitman of Rago Arts and Auctions will visit the Historical Society of Princeton (HSP) to help uncover the hidden stories of silver. Guests can bring their own silver, and will also have the chance to handle items from HSP’s collection, including some belonging to Grover Cleveland’s family.

The marks on the base of a piece of silver can indicate its age, maker, and origin. Pitman will take a closer look at silver, and explore the differences between silver, silver plate, and Sheffield plate. Guests can bring their own silver pieces for identification and valuation following the talk (appointments required). more

Pi Day, the annual celebration of former Princeton resident Albert Einstein, is March 10 to 14 this year, including activities, contests, and Pi-themed events. Locations include The Nassau inn and other places throughout Princeton.

The winners of the Einstein Lookalike Contest, Pi Recitation Contest, and MakersFaire Robotics Competition will receive $314.15, which is the approximate calculation of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (pi). more

Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold The Second Annual Central NJ Technology Summit on Friday, March 16, at The Conference Center of Mercer County Community College in West Windsor. The event will take place from 7:30-10:30 a.m.

The keynote, “Social Media Disruption: ‘Why Care?’ is the New Marketing” will be delivered by Carlos Dominguez of the $2 billion company Sprinklr, which has developed a broad set of solutions in a seamless, standardized way for companies to manage their social media. more

The Princeton Migrations Series will present two discussion and conversations with Jhumpa Lahiri on March 1 and March 5 at Labyrinth Books. Both events require (free) tickets.

Lahiri will talk with Neel Mukherjee about his novel A State of Freedom, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 1. The event is co-sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts. more

By Stuart Mitchner

George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo (Random House $17) and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (Anchor $16.95), both available now in paperback, appeared on either side of the “matterlightblooming phenomenon” that took place on November 8, 2016.

Instead of using “catastrophe” or “debacle” for the election, I’m borrowing Saunders’ term for the lightning-flash-and-crack explosion that catapults souls not-yet-dead from the Buddhist limbo of the bardo to their fate in the afterlife.  more

By Nancy Plum

The Westminster Conservatory “Showcase” at Richardson Auditorium demonstrated that Westminster Choir College has a “town and gown” impact at all ages and in all genres, with performances of the Westminster Community Orchestra, Children’s Choir, Choir College Opera Workshop, and several winners of the Choir College’s Concerto Competition. Sunday’s concert showed the range of Choir College vocal students, a sampling of the next generation of performers, and community residents who just love to make music. more

COLM AND COLLECTED: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Colm Trainor controls the puck in a game earlier this season. Last Monday, freshman forward Trainor scored two goals, including the game winner, as 11th-seeded PHS upset third-seeded Ridge 4-3 in overtime in the state Public B quarterfinals. The Little Tigers, who improved to 18-8-2 with victory, will now face second-seeded Northern Highlands in the Public B semis at the Mennen Sports Arena on February 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming off the ice after falling to Hun in the Mercer County Tournament boys’ hockey final, the players on the Princeton High squad slammed their sticks in their locker room and screamed in frustration.

Fueled by that disappointment, PHS bought a sense of urgency as they faced Middletown North in the Round of 16 in the state Public B tournament last week. more

ALMOST THERE: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Ryan Lisk reaches for the puck last Wednesday as PDS hosted Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) in the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) championship game. Despite outshooting the Blue Knights 29-12, PDS ended up falling 1-0. The defeat left the Panthers with a final record of 17-8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team had already defeated Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) twice this season, Scott Bertoli knew that his squad faced a challenge as the rivals met in the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) championship game last Wednesday.

“They have adjusted and adapted a new style of play,” said PDS head coach Bertoli, whose team had topped Wyoming 4-3 on December 10 and 3-0 on January 3. more

February 22, 2018

By Anne Levin

Rider University’s Board of Trustees has revealed the identity of the company with which they have been negotiating to buy Westminster Choir College, Westminster Conservatory of Music, and Westminster Continuing Education, for $40 million.

The board has signed a non-binding term sheet with Beijing Kaiwen Education Technology Co., Ltd, a Chinese firm that owns the Kaiwen Academies, two K-12 international schools in Beijing, for the transfer of ownership of the three entities. “This major step forward will ensure that the choir college and its entities remain open in Princeton, NJ,” reads a press release from Rider president Gregory Dell’Omo. more