August 26, 2014

HiTops is looking for volunteer traffic cyclists as well as volunteers for other positions in anticipation of the Princeton Half Marathon that is scheduled to take place on November 2 from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. For more information, or to register, go to

August 25, 2014

The Arts Council of Princeton’s new website design is interactive, filled with colorful photographs, and reflects a commitment to the organization’s mission of “building community through the arts.” New features include an improved format for events and calendar, more information on how the Arts Council serves the greater Princeton region, and the  “ACP Insider” Blog, which will be updated regularly. Administrative Manager, Julie Sullivan-Crowley, spearheaded the re-design and launch, working closely with Command C, a Brooklyn-based custom web design firm, and with help from the entire ACP staff. Check it out at: Anyone experiencing an issue with the site is asked to contact Alyssa Gillon at (609) 924-8777 x110 or email

August 22, 2014

AvalonBay, the developer of a planned 280-unit rental complex on the former Princeton Hospital site, is holding a neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, September 3 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 400 Witherspoon Street.

Princeton Council voted August 18 to approve the developer’s agreement, which allows AvalonBay to begin planning demolition of the former hospital buildings. The controversial agreement was the subject of recent legal proceedings over how much environmental testing would be done before the during the demolition. Many neighborhood residents have expressed concerns about potential dangers associated with the process.

All neighborhood residents and members of the public are invited to attend the meeting, which was announced on Friday afternoon.

August 21, 2014

The Princeton University professor charged with stealing 21 signs from in the area of Rosedale and Elm roads is scheduled to appear in pre-trial hearing on September 8. John Mulvey, 67, will appear in Princeton municipal court with his lawyer, Kim Otis.

Mr. Mulvey was videotaped removing the two-by-two-foot signs advertising Princeton Computer Tutor, which is owned by Ted Horodynsky. Mr. Horodynsky has claimed that the signs, which are valued at a total of $471, began to disappear after Mr. Mulvey cut him off in traffic.

Mr. Mulvey teaches operations research and financial engineering. He was charged with theft after the signs started disappearing in June 2013. He has said that he intends to fight the charges, and claims he was picking up debris. The signs were found by police in his garage.

August 20, 2014

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FINAL MOMENTS FOR THE “FLOOD HOUSE”: This rental property at 59 Meadowbrook Drive was demolished Wednesday morning, to the relief of many neighbors who have watched over the years as the low-lying property was repeatedly inundated with stormwater. It wasn’t uncommon to see occupants’ belongings being dried out on the lawn after a heavy rain. Princeton Council approved an ordinance recently to tear down the house, which was built in 1960. The site is to be turned into a pocket park, which must be completed by September 12 under the terms of the FEMA grant that paid for the demolition.

Members of the Princeton community will host a parade and rally to support justice for Mike Brown on Saturday, August 23 from 2-4 p.m., starting at Tiger Park on Nassau Street. “Please join us in solidarity and determination to fight for equality and justice for all — the words we say when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance,” a notice announcing the rally reads.

Those joining the gathering will march peaceably along Nassau Street to Witherspoon Street and to Hinds Plaza next to the Princeton Public Library, where participants can deliver speeches, songs, poems, and demonstrations of solidarity, with remarks kept to approximately three minutes. Signs should be cardboard or the like, not on poles or sticks. Language should preferably be for justice, healing, and (radical) reform, not against the police.

Volunteers are needed to serve as marshals and help keep the walk in line. Contact Daniel Harris at or (609) 683-0198 to volunteer, or to let organizers know you will be attending.


Titled “Landisville Road Meadow,” this painting by Cindy Roesinger will be on view as part of an exhibition of and sale of work by two dozen members of the New Hope Art League at the Upstairs Gallery in Peddlers Village, Courtyard Shop #10 (behind Earl’s Restaurant), Lahaska, Pa., from September 5 through October 3. The following artists will be on display: Jeanne Chesterton, Lois Clarkson, Kit Dalton, Joyce Danko, Diane DeAngelis, Susan Eckstein, Shane Forbes, Oz Freegood, Jeanette Gonzales, Diane Greenberg, Susan Halstrick, Donna D. Lovely, Loretta Luglio, Katalin Lukzay, John Mertz, Betty Minnucci, Margie Perry, Cindy Roesinger, Ilene Rubin, Cindy Ruenes, Natalie Searl, Kate Viola, and Chaz Walter. An opening reception with the artists will take place Friday, September 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. Gallery hours are Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call (215) 794-8486, or visit


August is Canning and Preserving Month at the Pennington Farmer’s Market. The market is located at Rosedale Mills, 101 Route 31 in Pennington and is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Visitors can learn how to preserve the summer’s bounty and try some local salsa, jams, and sauces. Available for purchase are fresh plums, peaches, apple butter, sweet corn, sunflowers, bread pudding, homemade granola, tea, vegetables, breads, sauces, wine, meats, dairy products, desserts, crafts, creams and lotions, and others — all produced within 50 miles of Pennington.

The August 23 vendors include: Beechtree Farm, Chickadee Creek, Fulper Farms, Hopewell Valley Vineyards, Hoppin’ Good Salsa, Judith’s Desserts, Kerr’s Korn, Lincoln Creek Smokehouse, Sacred Roses, Seeds to Sew, Stace of Cakes, Terra Momo Bread and Camella Sauces, and live music by Jeff Griesemer. The local Sierra Club chapter will be visiting with information about the People’s Climate March, happening in New York City on September 21.

For more information, visit

HELPING HANDS: Princeton Day School student Emily Yuhas and two young Haitian friends spent time together during the recent summer service trip by KONEKTE to Haiti, where participants helped with construction of a new remote village school, leading art classes, installing a “solar suitcase” at an orphanage and middle school, and other tasks.

HELPING HANDS: Princeton Day School student Emily Yuhas and two young Haitian friends spent time together during the recent summer service trip by KONEKTE to Haiti, where participants helped with construction of a new remote village school, leading art classes, installing a “solar suitcase” at an orphanage and middle school, and other tasks.

When Princeton teenagers travel to Haiti as part of the locally based summer service program known as KONEKTE, they often arrive with certain expectations. But those assumptions are usually dispelled as soon as the teenagers begin to interact with the Haitian people they have come to help.

“One of the things they are surprised to see is that in spite of the poverty, the people are positive and joyful,” said Judy Sarvary, a board member of KONEKTE, which took 15 teenagers and five adults to Haiti this summer to work on a variety of projects, from building a school to teaching art classes. “They are very welcoming to us. There is no resentment. They are so happy to share and are very proud of their country.”

Students from Stuart Country Day School, Princeton Day School, and Princeton High School were among those who were part of the group. KONEKTE was founded over three years ago by Madelaine Shellaby, a former art teacher at Stuart, and Anne Hoppenot, who teaches French at the school. Ms. Sarvary has been involved since 2012.

“What our kids come away with is that there is great productivity in Haiti’s younger generation,” she continued. “They’re expecting to see a lot of poverty and hardship. But they come away with how much joy there is.”

While the students are taken to Haiti in the summer, Ms. Sarvary and Ms. Hoppenot travel to the country a few times a year. “It’s really a collaboration,” says Ms. Hoppenot. “We stay in touch and keep a real relationship going all year long. It’s not just about going for 10 days. It’s about a long relationship, and that’s what we’re trying to build.”

The group’s focus is determined before they arrive on Haitian soil. “We do quite a lot of organization before we go,” said Ms. Sarvary. “They tell us what they’d like us to do, what is needed in the village. Then we say what we’d like to do, what skills we have. It’s a bit of back and forth. It ends up being a little bit of everything.”

Construction projects are always part of the mix. Last year, the group helped build a health and hygiene clinic. This summer, they worked on the foundations for a new remote village school as well as the second floor of the Men Nan Men vocational school, which is a project of the Foundation for Peace, the New Jersey-based organization that hosts the group in Haiti.

There was also a call for mosquito nets and repellents. Aided by Hillsborough Presbyterian Church, young team participants Eric Kinney and Celena Stoia raised funds for more than 100 nets and repellents to distribute in the village of Kwa Kok, where residents are exposed to the fast-spreading and painful Chikungunya virus. Princeton area dentists donated hundreds of tubes of toothpaste and tooth brushes, which were also distributed.

Volunteers helped out with mixing cement by hand, teaching business, and leading soap-making classes. They also brought solar power to an orphanage dormitory. Assembled by students at Stuart as part of a two-week program, a “solar suitcase” — a transportable system that provides lighting and charging for places without regular electricity — was given to an orphanage. A second solar suitcase was installed in a local middle school so that students can study after dark.

A celebratory graduation at the school KONEKTE sponsors and a soccer tournament were among the activities during the visit.

The participants stayed in a hotel near Port au Prince, traveling to and from there by bus each day to an area on Haiti’s east coast, near the border of the Dominican Republic. “We go back to the same place each year,” said Ms. Sarvary. “It makes it personal. It’s not just statistics or pictures you’ve seen on Facebook. These are real people and they’re our friends. There is a real sense of community.”

The idea is to educate people at home as well as helping Haitians in need. “This is year round,” Ms. Hoppentot said. “We’re trying to raise money, raise awareness, get more of the schools involved, and even talk to businesses about getting involved. We want it to be community-wide, and we’re trying to expand on that idea.”

For information about Princeton Haiti KONEKTE, visit


HiTOPS Adolescent Health and Education Center of Princeton is pleased to announce the addition of George Benaur and Grayson Barber to their Board of Trustees.

Mr. Benaur, an experienced U.S. business lawyer specializing in contracts and dispute resolution, has been selected as New Jersey Super Lawyers® Rising Star for the past three years and in 2014 was selected to the New Jersey “Leaders of the Bar” list, formerly known as “40 under 40”. In addition to a broad range of business litigations in federal and state courts across the country, George works on corporate deals, contracts, risk analysis, due diligence, and other compliance projects. In 2013, George served as the chair of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Group, and remains on the steering committee this year. He recently completed Volunteer Connect’s pilot program Board Connect, and joins his first non-profit board this year.

Ms. Barber is a longtime admirer of HiTOPS and its services in our community. Her interest in reproductive health care dates from working at a Planned Parenthood clinic in the 1970s. As an attorney she worked in private practice, followed by several years as a volunteer for civil liberties organizations like the ACLU and EFF. In 2013 she received the Intellectual Freedom Award bestowed by the New Jersey Library Association. She served on the New Jersey Privacy Study Commission, the state Supreme Court Special Committee on Public Access to Court Records, and the Individual Rights Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. As a preceptor at Princeton University, Grayson contributed to courses on discrimination and the law. She served on a number of nonprofit boards, including the national board of the ACLU and the Princeton Public Library. She retired from the practice of law in March 2014. As a privacy advocate, she continues to serve on the board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and is pleased to join the board of HiTOPS.

HiTOPS is a non-profit organization located in Mercer County, New Jersey. HiTOPS’ ultimate goal is healthy, empowered youth who make healthy enhancing choices and avoid long-term negative health outcomes. For more information, visit

When Princeton Public Schools open this fall, teachers will be working under their “old” contract, which expired at the end of June. Negotiations that would put a new contract in place have stalled over the issue of health care and salary increases.

The Board of Education last met with representatives of the teachers’ union, the Princeton Regional Education Association (PREA) on July 24. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 11, after the beginning of the school year.

Under New Jersey state law, when a new employment agreement is not reached before a contract expires, the prior contract continues in place for both parties until a new agreement replaces it.

“So the public should rest assured that all staff will start the new school year working under the same collectively-bargained contract that has been in effect for the past three years,” said BOE negotiator Patrick Sullivan in a statement released to the media. “No one will be working without pay or without contractual protections.”

PREA negotiators have repeatedly expressed their frustration with the Board of Education’s stance on health care, which Mr. Sullivan described as being constrained by the school budget and the two percent budget cap required by New Jersey law.

“At our last meeting on July 24, the Board made a detailed proposal to the PREA team that would provide all employees with a fair, predictable salary increase in each of the three years of the new contract, within the Board’s financial constraints,” said Mr. Sullivan, who announced that details of their proposal would be shared with the public at a District board meeting on Tuesday, August 26.



The former Princeton Hospital building has finally been scheduled for demolition. Thanks to the approval Monday night of a controversial developer’s agreement, AvalonBay will begin to take down the buildings at Witherspoon Street and Franklin Avenue in preparation for a rental housing complex that has been the subject of much debate over the past three years. (Photo by Linda Arntzenius)

August 19, 2014
The Princeton University fall sports teams are starting preseason practice later this week. The Town Topics will be running profiles of Tiger football star Anthony Gaffney along with PU field hockey players Maddie Copeland and Sarah Brennan in the August 20 edition to kick off its fall coverage with team preview stories to follow in upcoming issues. The regular season starts September 5 with women’s soccer hosting Rutgers, field hockey playing at Duke, men’s soccer playing at Fairleigh Dickinson, and women’s volleyball taking part in the Temple Invitational in Philadelphia.

August 18, 2014

Princeton University students and staff are being advised to contact university medical personnel if they recently have been in parts of West Africa and have developed a fever, one of the symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone should be avoided. The University said it would not provide financial aid or other support to undergraduate and graduate students traveling to these countries as per its policy regarding countries that are on a government travel advisory or places the school feels are unsafe. Along with Nigeria, the three countries listed are currently dealing with an outbreak of Ebola that has claimed over 1,000 lives so far. The disease is transmitted through contact with an infected person’s blood or other bodily fluid; and spread through contact with infected animals and meat from an infected animal. Symptoms include fever, headache and joint and muscle pain, according to the federal government. The New Jersey Department of Health’s “interim guidance” for colleges and universities that have students coming back from the impacted areas in West Africa states that there is no need to quarantine students who had visited those countries and show no symptoms. Students should monitor themselves for 21 days from the time they were in one of those nations. Ebola-like symptoms should be treated in an emergency department, not a campus health center, according to the state.

August 15, 2014
Phillip Griffiths, Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, has been awarded the Chern Medal by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) at the International Congress of Mathematicians, in Seoul, South Korea. For full story, see this Wednesday’s Town Topics.
The Chern Medal, established in 2010 in honor of mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern (1911–2004), is awarded every four years in recognition of outstanding and sustained achievements in the field. Griffiths, whose work has stimulated a wide range of advances in mathematics over the past 50 years, was cited by the IMU, the global mathematics professional organization, for his “groundbreaking and transformative development of transcendental methods in complex geometry, particularly his seminal work in Hodge theory and periods of algebraic varieties.” Of the $500,000 monetary award, half will be donated to support the African Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative (AMMSI), which is a distributed network of mathematics research, training and promotion throughout Africa.


August 14, 2014

Manjul Bhargava, the Brandon Fradd Class of 1983 Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, has been awarded the Fields Medal for influential mathematicians under 40. The honor is in recognition of his work in the geometry of numbers.

The International Mathematical Union gives the medal every four years based on the influence of existing work and the promise of future achievement. It is frequently referred to as “the Nobel Prize of mathematics” and is awarded at the IMU International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, South Korea. Bhargava is the eighth Fields Medal recipient from Princeton since 1954. He joined the faculty in 2003 after earning his Ph.D. from the University in 2001.

The Princeton High fall sports teams are starting preseason training this week. Squads from the Hun School, Princeton Day School, and Stuart Country Day School will be getting underway during the week of August 18.
The Town Topics will be running a profile of new Hun football head coach Todd Smith in the August 20 edition to kick off its fall coverage with team preview stories to follow in upcoming editions. The first regular season games are slated for September 4.
August 13, 2014

As residents of the Princeton Ridge deal with the planned addition to the Williams/Transco company pipeline, another natural gas pipeline project is being proposed for an area of Hopewell Township. PennEast Pipeline Company LLC has announced plans to run a 30-inch wide line through portions of Mercer and Hunterdon counties if its $1 billion proposal is approved by the federal government.

Natural gas would be carried from a distribution center north of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania through four counties in that state before crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey. It would run parallel to the Williams/Transco pipeline.

The New Jersey branch of the Sierra Club has voiced opposition to the proposal, which they say would promote fracking.

PRINCETON PERSPECTIVES: Karen Andrade-Mims and her daughter Bethany Andrade, who works as outreach coordinator for Corner House, at home in the Griggs Farm condominium. Karen was among the first to buy into the development when it was new almost 25 years ago. Bethany has just signed the contract to buy her own apartment there. This is the third story in a series on the diversity of Princeton’s residents and housing options. The first introduced Dan and Mary Beth Scheid (Town Topics, July 23) who were among the first homeowners in the residences at Palmer Square. The second (Town Topics, July 30) described the lives of Ghanaian immigrants Elizabeth Bonnah and Tony Smith and their two U.S.-born children renting an apartment with hopes to buy their own affordable unit in Griggs Farm.(Photo by L. Arntzenius)

PRINCETON PERSPECTIVES: Karen Andrade-Mims and her daughter Bethany Andrade, who works as outreach coordinator for Corner House, at home in their Griggs Farm condominium. Karen was among the first to buy into the development when it was new almost 25 years ago. Bethany has just signed the contract to buy her own apartment there. This is the third story in a series on the diversity of Princeton’s residents and housing options. The first introduced Dan and Mary Beth Scheid (Town Topics, July 23) who were among the first homeowners in the residences at Palmer Square. The second (Town Topics, July 30) described the lives of Ghanaian immigrants Elizabeth Bonnah and Tony Smith and their two U.S.-born children renting an apartment with hopes to buy their own affordable unit in Griggs Farm. (Photo by L. Arntzenius)

Bethany Andrade won’t have far to go when it comes to moving into the one-bedroom apartment for which she has just signed a contract with First Choice Bank.

Her new home, purchased through Princeton’s Affordable Housing Program, is on the third floor of the same building as the condo in which she was raised by her single mother Karen Andrade-Mims. “When I found out, I couldn’t believe it. There will be no moving truck, just me schlepping boxes up the stairs,” laughed Bethany in a recent interview at home with her mother. “At last, I’ll have my own space that I’ve worked so hard for.”

For Bethany, who attended Littlebrook, John Witherspoon Middle School (JWMS), and graduated from Princeton High School in 2003, the purchase is the culmination of a period of hard work and study. She went on to Indiana University of Pennsylvania for a bachelor’s degree in sociology, graduating in 2007, and then started work for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) in Trenton.

Although she grew up in an affordable housing unit, a municipal housing program was not her first thought when she began looking for a place of her own after three years in her job. With what she thought of as a good salary, she expected to buy on the open market. “My salary wasn’t enough for even a rental in Princeton, which is where I wanted to be; not being able to afford market prices was very discouraging so I decided to make a transition in my career. I went back to school, to Monmouth University — West Long Branch, to earn a master’s in social work in 2012. My concentration was international and community development, something a little different,” she said.

During her time as a graduate student, Ms. Andrade had internships at the Children’s Home Society of New Jersey and at the United Nations in New York, where she participated in non-governmental organization (NGO) meetings and contributed to initiatives that enhance the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

She also took on a part-time job. Although she had been advised to look for a desk job that wouldn’t be too demanding and allow her to devote all her energies to her studies, Ms. Andrade went to work part-time for Corner House facilitating the World of Work for Youth (WOWY) program for girls at PHS that meets once a week. “It’s for students who are struggling, particularly young women of African American or Hispanic descent who are often the first of their families to go on to higher education; working with these young ladies is very dear to my heart and I got pretty involved and ultimately I became full-time at Corner House when I graduated in 2012.”

As outreach coordinator for Corner House, Ms. Andrade oversees the development and implementation of adolescent outreach programs World of Work for Youth (WOWY), Super Teens Acting Responsibly (STAR) and Advocacy for Youth Program (AYP). She also created the Illuminations Mentor Program with a mandate to enhance the lives of students identified as being at risk and improve the climate of the school.

Under her leadership the outreach programs have exceeded expectations. For three consecutive years, all of the participating students have graduated and all have gone on to college.

The closing date on Ms. Andrade’s condominium is September 30. “I am very excited. I really wanted to stay in the town where I grew up, where I have a job and where I have family. As someone who has been educated in this community and who works for the municipal government, I am grateful to the Affordable Housing Program for offering me, as a first-time buyer, comprehensive assistance and advice as well as help with finding an attorney — all that goes into a first-time purchase,” said Bethany. “The Affordable Housing Program is a jewel in the crown of the municipality. Princeton is an amazing place to live; it has great schools, it’s safe, close to New York and Philadelphia, who wouldn’t want to live here? I am very proud to be able to own a home here.”

On hearing her daughter speak so eloquently about her life and her goals, Karen Andrade-Mims expressed gratitude to the environment in which Bethany was raised. “I am so proud of Bethany; she has come a long way in no short measure as a result of living in this community.”

Housing Lottery

Ms. Andrade-Mims purchased her condo at Griggs Farm in 1990 after entering her name in a lottery for first time buyers of new homes at Griggs Farm. In spite of naysayers who told her it was a waste of time, Karen’s number was called. “I was in the throes of divorce but I was working at the Princeton YWCA, Bethany was five, about to enter grade school and we had established family roots here in Princeton, so I was very excited,” she recalled. “Because I was one of the first to buy one of the new units, I got my pick.” She chose a two-bedroom unit in the first floor and will soon have her mortgage paid off.

Having grown up on the outskirts of Philadephia in Yeadon, Pa. Ms. Andrade-Mims had come to the Princeton area in 1987 as a newlywed to live with her aunt and uncle Clementine Leo Brisco. Her aunt, a seamstress with many clients in Princeton, was ailing and the young couple moved in to help take care of her. Her aunt ultimately went into Princeton Nursing Home and Karen and her husband George Jenkins divorced.

Like her daughter, Ms. Andrade-Mims is deeply involved with the Princeton community. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the YWCA, HiTops, and Princeton Human Services for about 10 years. She’s also been a member of the Junior League of Princeton and is now executive director of the nonprofit UIH (United Industrial Home) Family Partners in Trenton, which “dates to 1859 and is the oldest child welfare agency in New Jersey,” she said. “My involvement began as a board member and when the executive director left in 2008, I was asked to take over as an interim. I’m still here,” she laughed. “It’s long hours, but I enjoy the work.”

Griggs Farm Living

Mother and daughter speak highly of the Griggs Farm environment with its movie nights in the club house, multi-family yard sales, community events, and cook-outs.

In recent years, Ms. Andrade-Mims has noticed an influx of immigrant families to Griggs Farm and points out the significance to the town. “If Princeton wants to maintain a diverse environment, it’s important to maintain the Affordable Housing Program,” she said, adding that “diversity” has multiple aspects, many of which are exemplified by Griggs Farm residents. “Diversity isn’t just socioeconomic, it includes racial diversity as well as the disabled and the elderly living on fixed incomes.”

“It’s a spectrum that includes young people looking for their starter home, people new to the country, people on disability and veterans,” added Bethany.

“I wouldn’t be able to afford property in Princeton if it weren’t for this program,” said Bethany. “A lot of young people I went to PHS with have left the town because they can’t afford to live here. The same isn’t true of Lawrenceville, for example where civil servants, teachers, social workers who work there are able to live there too. Having homes for such people in the town where they are working enriches our community.”

Princeton’s Affordable Housing

Although Princeton’s Mayor Liz Lempert and members of Princeton Council have suggested that they would like to see more affordable housing in Princeton, the state Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) has stated that the municipality has a “zero” obligation” to provide more. Princeton currently has about 463 affordable units with a waiting list of some 1,900.

Basing its recommendations on census data rather than on-site surveys, COAH also recommends that developers planning large projects be required to set aside 10 percent for affordable housing. Princeton has had a 20 percent set aside for several decades.

The municipality’s Affordable Housing Program offers a broad range of opportunities for rentals and purchases to residents from diverse social and economic backgrounds.

For more information on rentals, call Princeton Community Housing at (609) 924-3822; for purchases, contact Princeton Affordable Housing at (609) 688-2029. An Affordable Housing Fact Sheet is available online (


A faculty committee’s report on grading policies at Princeton University recommends that guidelines need to be changed, particularly when it comes to limiting the number of “A” grades a professor can give out.

University President Christopher Eisgruber appointed the ad hoc committee last fall to review the undergraduate grading policy, which was adopted a decade ago. The nine members of the committee determined that numerical targets “are too often misinterpreted as quotas,” according to the study, and that they add stress to students’ lives. That policy states that A’s can not account for more than 35 percent of the grades given in undergraduate courses.

The committee surveyed students as part of their reviewing process. Several consider grade deflation a problem, because it forces professors to lower what might be an A to a B plus. “Classes here often feel like shark tanks,” one student wrote. “If I had known about this I very probably would have not attended Princeton despite it being a wonderful university otherwise.”

Another student wrote, “The grading policy is particularly unreasonable in introductory language courses. On the first day of classes, my teacher said that only three of us in a class of 11 would receive A’s. This often means that despite receiving an overall grade of 90+ a student cannot receive an A-grade because some other student got a 91 or 92.”

Another common theme was that the grading policy harms the spirit of collaboration. “Because of grade deflation it has been extremely hard to find any kind of collaborative environment in any department and class I have taken at Princeton,” a student wrote. “Often even good friends of mine would refuse to explain simple concepts that I might have not understood in class for fear that I would do better than them.”

The committee recommended that the University remove numerical targets from the policy, replacing them with grading standards created by each individual department. According to a story in The Daily Princetonian, “The committee suggested that the dean of the college continue to monitor grades across departments and that departments regularly review their grading history to ensure consistency with the standards they adopt.”

Mr. Eisgruber expressed support for the study, calling it “a very thoughtful review of our policies, an excellent report, and a set of recommendations that I fully support,” according to the story. “I agree with the committee that it is important to give students meaningful feedback and clear signals about the quality of their work, and that the numerical targets in our
current policy were undermining our goals rather than advancing them.”

Mr. Eisgruber asked the University’s Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing to review the committee’s report. If they agree with the recommendations, the report could be acted upon in October.


CARNIVAL ATMOSPHERE: For an authentic New Jersey Shore experience, the Wildwood Boardwalk is hard to beat. This popular summer destination makes the top five list for boardwalk eateries according to the online food and drink website, The Daily Meal ( Their report on the “Best Boardwalks for Food in America” includes seven in New Jersey.

CARNIVAL ATMOSPHERE: For an authentic New Jersey Shore experience, the Wildwood Boardwalk is hard to beat. This popular summer destination makes the top five list for boardwalk eateries according to the online food and drink website, The Daily Meal ( Their report on the “Best Boardwalks for Food in America” includes seven in New Jersey.

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Shakespeare’s line, from Sonnet 18, coupled with unseasonably cool weather for the time of year, is a reminder that Labor Day will soon be here.

There’s still time for last minute plans to visit the Jersey Shore, however, and while many Princeton residents have their own special places to which they return each year, a new Best Boardwalks listing offers the rest of us a useful guide.

Compiled by the popular food and drink website, The Daily Meal (www.the, the report combines food and boardwalk fun in identifying the “Best Boardwalks for Food in America.”

Of the 31 boardwalks listed, no less than seven of them are in New Jersey. By comparison, New York has just two: Coney Island, which ranks ninth and Rockaway Beach, which comes in 25th.

New Jersey’s Wildwood Boardwalk and The Atlantic City Boardwalk are listed third and fourth after Mission Beach Boardwalk in San Diego, California, and Ocean City Boardwalk in Maryland.

The other Jersey shore boardwalks are the Seaside Heights Boardwalk (number 14), the Jersey Shore Boardwalk in Ocean City (number 15), the Asbury Park Boardwalk (number 18), the boardwalk at the Keansburg Amusement Park (number 26), and Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant (number 27).

It’s been decades since the Philadelphia-born teen idol Bobby Rydell sang “Oh those Wildwood Days, wild, wild Wildwood days, when every day is a holiday and every night a Saturday night!” But you can still hear the 1963 hit on the two-mile long Wildwood Boardwalk where over 100 eateries offer everything from funnel cakes, ice cream and frozen custard, to burgers and fries, as well as fresh seafood and apple pie a la mode.

Stretching some 38 blocks, this popular boardwalk has three piers and dozens of amusements rides that light up the night. The boardwalk caters to all ages and there are Sightseer Tram Cars to take you from one end to the other.

This weekend, August 15 to 17, Wildwood hosts its Fifth Annual Tattoo Beach Bash in the Wildwoods Convention Center. The event brings tattoo enthusiasts and tattoo artists to town with demonstrations of live tattooing, a traveling tattoo museum, and contests. For more information, visit:

If the length of the Wildwood Boardwalk seems a little daunting and you are looking for a seaside experience closer to Princeton than the two-hour drive to Wildwood, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk at Point
Pleasant is another family-friendly destination and boasts a small aquarium and amusements.

To determine which American boardwalks were the best for food, The Daily Meal selected popular boardwalk vacation destinations and reviewed them according to several criteria. First, they took into consideration the social media buzz, examining the number of followers each boardwalk destination had on the social media sites Twitter and Facebook; they noted the frequency of posts about the boardwalk’s food scene as well as the number of “deals” posted.

Then they looked at “the actual quantity of restaurants on or just off of the boards. The more locations, the better!” If that sounds a little too much regard for quantity over quality, The Daily Meal, reports that all of the eateries they looked at had to be “highly rated,” and that there had to be a wide variety.

Another factor was the “atmosphere surrounding the boardwalk and eateries, as well as the fun-factor of it being bustling with fun people.”

The final listing, created with a dash of “editorial judgment,” can be viewed at: No specific eateries are mentioned, so visitors will have to do their own hands-on research. Enjoy!



“Bubbles & Beauty” was the title of a celebration of women at Eno Terra on Monday, August 11. Complimentary hair and beauty consultations were part of the fun, along with small bites and sparkling wines. All proceeds went to Dress for Success. From left: Alex Davis and Megan Lapore of Eno Terra, Tere Villamil of La Jolie, Jane O’Conor of Dress for Success, Amanda Garrett of La Jolie, and Julie Acuff of La Jolie.


Jewel of the ThamesJewel of the Thames author Angela Misri will be making three appearances in Princeton this week. She will be at Marketfair Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, August 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. From 6 to 7 p.m. that day she will be reading and signing at Chocolate Lovers. On August 15 from 6 to 7:30 she will be doing the same at Infini-T Café.

On August 16 the author will take time out from her book tour to appear as one of the panelists at GRIDLock DC in Alexandria, Virginia, a fan-based convention that focuses on all things Sherlock, including a discussion session with Ms. Misri at 3 p.m. Fans will get the chance to ask her anything they want to know about Jewel of the Thames, writing a mystery novel and, of course, paying homage to Sherlock Holmes.

Jewel of the Thames, book one in the Portia Adams Adventure Series, focuses on the granddaughter of Dr. Watson and was published March 2014 by Fierce Ink Press. The second book in the series, Thrice Burned, will be available in Canada in March, 2015.

According to CM Magazine, “Misri has made a clever contribution to Sherlock Holmes spin-off literature. Jewel of the Thames will introduce younger readers to the Holmes world while also appealing to seasoned Sherlock fans.”


ART ACQUISITION: Princeton University Art Museum has received this ancient item of terra-cotta artwork. It’s the head of a woman, perhaps a priestess, and it dates to 600 B.C. According to University scholars, the head, which was part of a statue that stood in a sanctuary at Idalion, on the island of Cyprus, was discovered in the 19th century and was used in the cult of Aphrodite, “whose worship was widespread on Cyprus, where she was associated with the Semitic goddess Ishtar/Astarte.” She wears a beaded choker, ear-rings, and a garlanded diadem, on which traces of paint survive.(Image from PUAM Web Site)



ALL THE BETTER TO EAT YOU WITH!: Artworks in Trenton is drawing attention to its upcoming 4th Annual Monsters Ball Halloween Art Exhibition, from October 11 through November 1, with Gustave Doré’s 19th century illustration for “Little Red Riding Hood.” The theme of this year’s ”Art of Darkness” exhibition will be “Dark Fairytales,” and promises to include “everything from the spooky to the spoofy, scary or hairy, funny or ghastly!” An opening reception will be held Saturday, October 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. The Monsters Ball will take place on October 25. Artworks is located at 19 Everett Alley in Trenton. For more information, call (609) 394-9436 or visit: