July 1, 2015
ARE YOU READY FOR HURRICANE SEASON? These volunteers are, from left, back row: Robert Gregory, director of Princeton’s Office of Emergency Management; Jeffery Clarke; Jerome Scott; Martin Mbugua; Jay Vaughn; Mark Scheibner; TR Johnson of the Princeton Fire Department; Kate Warren; Roz Warren; Sal Baldino, of the Princeton Fire Department; front row: Rania Salem. Fayez Azeez, Ron DiLapo. Volunteer team members not pictured are recent CERT Team graduates  Afroula Ippolito and Trish Verbeyst; and Sara Braverman, Penelope Chambers, Judy Gorberg, Steve Kolock and David Sayen, who completed an earlier class. (Image courtesy of Princeton Office of Emergency Management)

ARE YOU READY FOR HURRICANE SEASON? These volunteers are, from left, back row: Robert Gregory, director of Princeton’s Office of Emergency Management; Jeffery Clarke; Jerome Scott; Martin Mbugua; Jay Vaughn; Mark Scheibner; TR Johnson of the Princeton Fire Department; Kate Warren; Roz Warren; Sal Baldino, of the Princeton Fire Department; front row: Rania Salem. Fayez Azeez, Ron DiLapo. Volunteer team members not pictured are recent CERT Team graduates
Afroula Ippolito and Trish Verbeyst; and Sara Braverman, Penelope Chambers, Judy Gorberg, Steve Kolock and David Sayen, who completed an earlier class. (Image courtesy of Princeton Office of Emergency Management)

According to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) the Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. New Jersey’s tropical storm activity is typically between August and late October. All of which means that now is the time to prepare.

With hazardous weather affecting New Jersey residents on a regular basis with short- and long-term power outages and possibilities of flooding and the destruction of property, “There has been a huge push on the part of the state to encourage participation from the community and enlist volunteers,” said Princeton Director of Emergency and Safety Services Robert G. Gregory.

In recognition of this, Princeton Council President Bernie Miller and Council members Heather Howard and Patrick Simon have been instrumental in the municipality’s participation in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program, which prepares team members to assist their families, neighbors, and co-workers in the event of an emergency. They are trained to support professional and volunteer first responders, and to provide assistance themselves when first responders are not immediately available.

Twelve Princeton residents completed a seven-week CERT course this spring at the Mercer County Fire Academy that included fire extinguisher training, first aid skills, and search and rescue drills. Training was conducted by Fire Academy staff and members of the Princeton Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services.

“Our first set of volunteers graduated in April and in addition six more just went through the CERT Administrative Program of the state Office of Emergency Management including myself, Princeton Health Officer Jeffrey Grosser and Director of Human Services Elisa Neira.”

While natural disasters like hurricanes cannot be avoided, there are safety measures that might ameliorate their effects. NJOEM’s Hurricane Survival Guide for New Jersey gives advice on ways of securing the safety of families, homes and pets; advice that holds for all types of natural disasters.

Mr. Simon agrees that now is the time to plan ahead and make sure emergency supplies are in order. He suggests the guidelines provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, www.ready.gov), which recommends that people prepare to shelter in place for at least three days in the event of an emergency. “FEMA recommends keeping at least three days’ supply of water and non-perishable food, a first aid kit, flashlights and spare batteries, a fire extinguisher, and other essential supplies,” he said.

The rule of thumb, said Mr. Gregory, is to take care of your own family first, then look to neighbors and then to the community at large. “Weather-related emergencies can be planned for,” he said, noting that one of the first things that the municipality will do is to time the opening of the Emergency Operation Centers for police, first responders, representatives from the Recreation Department, Fire Department and Rescue Squad to meet and plan for the allocation of resources.”

“I tell people not to wait until there’s an emergency, there’s a lot can be done in advance,” said Mr. Gregory. “A huge push after Superstorm Sandy to have people shelter-in-place. And it’s my experience that most people want to stay at home, where they feel most comfortable. One of the things that the public can do is to purchase a back-up generator. Having food and water for three days is another.”

What does Mr. Gregory have in his home? “My wife is great at finding charging devices and there are many options out there including portable flashlights with chargers. I have three different charging devices that I use for a computer and small devices like cell phones. If the cable is still working it’s good to be able to turn on the TV to check for news and weather updates. Radios are always good too. If people can’t afford, or if they are not able to get, a generator, these devices are most helpful. I’m also looking into getting a generator. Ideally I’d like to find one that is solar powered.”

As for hurricane season, Mr. Gregory said that according to weather experts tropical depressions that can turn into hurricanes can be expected in New Jersey from June through November, but in his experience the heightened period is August through October. Although you can’t let your guard down, that seems to be the period for this region.

“As necessary, we will open up community resource centers where people can go to find coffee and charge up their phones and computers,” said Mr. Gregory. “For a prolonged emergency, it would be possible to open up local schools and gyms so that people could take showers.”

NJOEM’s Hurricane Survival Guide suggests three steps from which the following is a very brief excerpt.

Step 1 is to stay informed, via traditional or social media. NJOEM (www.ready.nj.gov) works closely with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center regarding storm predictions and forecasts.

The NJOEM website contains a link to New Jersey’s 21 County Offices of Emergency Management with county websites, social media tools and county alert and warning systems listed as well. Sign up, opt-in or connect to receive important local alerts. http://www.ready.nj.gov/about/association.html

Individuals can subscribe to the NJ State Police on Nixle Connect (http://local.nixle.com/new-jersey-state-police). Nixle allows verified government agencies to communicate with the public via text/SMS, email, and internet posts and unlike other social media applications, Nixle does not contain any third-party advertisements.

NJ Alert is a free, voluntary, and confidential emergency alerting system that allows NJOEM officials to send email or text messages to cell phones and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. To sign up for NJ Alert, visit: www.njalert.gov.

Step 2 is to make a plan with family members as to how to stay close and
connected; designate an individual outside of the state to serve as a family point of contact, since after a disaster it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area; after a disaster, all family members should make contact with the designated individual. Try choosing a certain time for everyone to check in.

Step 3 is to gather emergency supplies, many of which can be found around the home. NJOEM’s “Hurricane Kit” includes a 2 week supply of these emergency necessities together with clean-up and repair supplies stored in a safe place.

In addition to basics necessities, residents are advised to gather together important documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, marriage and death records, wills, insurance policies, deeds and mortgages, computer file backups, and personal photographs, as well as important phone numbers and prescriptions.

To download the complete NJ Hurricane Survival Guide, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/pdf/070214_hurricane_survival_guide.pdf

Additional information can be found on the Princeton Office of Emergency Management web page at www.princetonnj.gov/emerg-mgt.html, and at the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA’s public education site for emergency preparedness, www.ready.gov.

The municipality encourages all residents to register for the Mass Notification System at http://www.princetonnj.gov/ems-phone-register.html, or in person at the municipal clerk’s office in Witherspoon Hall, 400 Witherspoon Street. A list of emergency phone numbers is on the municipal website (princetonnj.gov)

Another CERT training course for Princeton volunteers will take place this fall. For more information, call Robert Gregory of the Department of Emergency and Safety Services, 1 Monument Drive, at (609) 497-7632.

An exhibition titled “On Their Walls: Area African American Collectors and Their African American Art” will run at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park, Trenton, from Saturday July 11 through September 13. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, July 11, from 7 to 9 p.m.

A gallery talk focusing on collecting African American art will take place Sunday, July 26, at 2 p.m. and the exhibition will be on display in conjunction with the Trenton African American Cultural Festival held in Cadwalader Park August 15.

Curated by Kali McMillan, the exhibition will showcase works of art by a select group of African American artists collected by four local African American women.

Highlights of the show include five serigraphs from the “Prevalence of Ritual Portfolio” by Romare Bearden completed in 1974 as well as a few rarely seen paintings by noted Trenton artist Tom Malloy. The artists in the exhibition range from established to rising local and international artists, including Frank Morrison, Sanford Biggers, Ellen Powell Tiberino, and Mercy Moyo.

Ms. McMillan, a former West Windsor resident, is an art historian who recently earned her masters in art history from the University of Glasgow: Christie’s Education, London. Her thesis “How Ya Like Me Now?” explored issues of redefining black identity in contemporary art. Ms. McMillan received her BA in art and art history from Colgate University. Also an accomplished photographer, her work has been exhibited both in the U.S. and abroad. She was selected as an emerging photographer at Milk Underground Gallery New York City in the fall of 2011. She currently is a cataloguer at an estate auction house.

“This exhibition is not only an assortment of fantastic works held in private collections created by a wide range of African American artists, but it visually translates the role of ritual and tradition in the African American experience and shows how artists use their lives and stories to convey these multi-generational values,” said Ms. McMillan.

The exhibition includes pieces collected by New Jersey resident Diana Tyson who also fosters the development of emerging female African artists including Mercy Moyo. When asked why she collects art, Ms. Tyson said, “My collection reflects my life: experiences that I have had, social commentary, and flights of fantasy inspired by abstract works.”

The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, visit ellarslie.org.

———

 

PICTURE THIS: Each year, the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) recognizes architectural projects that exhibit design excellence in one of four categories: open (meant for any building type); residential, historic preservation and interior architecture. Awards are made for built or un-built designs. This year, Princeton’s ikon.5 Architects won a Merit Award in the Unbuilt category for the above design for a new Training, Recreation and Education Center for the Newark Housing Authority. Inspired by the geometric clash of the city’s urban grid and idyllic Weequahic Park in southern Newark, the building would feature two interlocking triangular wedges, the walls of one would be transparent, and the other opaque. The community center will feature a gym, aerobic room, meeting rooms and childcare center. For more information, visit www.aia-nj.org. (Image courtesy of ikon.5 Architects)

PICTURE THIS: Each year, the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) recognizes architectural projects that exhibit design excellence in one of four categories: open (meant for any building type); residential, historic preservation and interior architecture. Awards are made for built or un-built designs. This year, Princeton’s ikon.5 Architects won a Merit Award in the Unbuilt category for the above design for a new Training, Recreation and Education Center for the Newark Housing Authority. Inspired by the geometric clash of the city’s urban grid and idyllic Weequahic Park in southern Newark, the building would feature two interlocking triangular wedges, the walls of one would be transparent, and the other opaque. The community center will feature a gym, aerobic room, meeting rooms and childcare center. For more information, visit www.aia-nj.org. (Image courtesy of ikon.5 Architects)

The Princeton-based architectural firm ikon.5 Architects has been awarded a Merit Award in the Unbuilt category by the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) for its design of a new Training, Recreation and Education Center for the Newark Housing Authority.

The community center will feature a gym, aerobic room, meeting rooms and childcare center. Its design was inspired by its location in Newark, and it will benefit the surrounding community.

As conceived by ikon.5, the community center will be housed in one building composed of two interlocking triangular wedges. One wedge is transparent, and is designed to contain meeting and educational facilities, while the adjacent building, with its opaque walls, will be used for recreational activities. The unique creation was inspired by the geometric clash of the city’s urban grid and idyllic Weequahic Park in southern Newark.

“The design’s two triangles represent an important and iconic trait of this city,” said Joseph G. Tattoni, FAIA, principal of ikon.5 Architects. “The final product will demonstrate the complementary nature of the two components, which will combine to create a multi-use community facility that will benefit the entire neighborhood.”

The 22,000-square-foot building will feature a gymnasium, fitness and aerobic room, community meeting rooms, locker room and showers, childcare center, and a library and study area. The center is a welcomed addition to the surrounding community and is expected to rejuvenate the residential community.

“ikon.5 Architects has created something special and demonstrated how creative architecture can contribute to the reinvigoration of a neighborhood,” said Kimberly Bunn, president of AIA-NJ. “Despite the project’s tight budget constraints, ikon.5 utilized efficient design techniques to create a low-cost building that is visually dynamic and will meet the community’s need.”

The project was commissioned by the Newark Housing Authority and will serve the residential Dayton Neighborhood in the South Ward of Newark. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority both contributed funding.

The AIA-NJ Annual Design Awards program recognizes architectural projects that exhibit design excellence in one of four categories: Open (meant for any building type), Residential, Historic Preservation and Interior Architecture. Projects are further designated as either Built or Un-built. To be eligible, projects must be either located in New Jersey or designed by an AIA-NJ architect. Submitted projects are evaluated during the organization’s annual Design Conference by a group of distinguished architects from throughout the country.

For more information, visit www.aia-nj.org.

Art Fashion 2

Charles Sheeler’s 1928 photographic portrait “Madame Lassen Seated in an Armchair,” won’t be on display at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown until 2017, but it will be worth the wait to see the exhibition “Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form.” The museum has just received a grant of $300,000 from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to mount the exhibition. For more information, call (215) 340-9800, or visit: MichenerArtMuseum.org. (Image Courtesy of Charles Sheeler / Vogue; © Condé Nast).

Lambertville’s Downtown Performing Arts Center (PAC) has announced a six-week summer class schedule focusing on Teen and Adult Acting, Tap, Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary Dance. Classes will take place on Tuesday evenings between 5 and 8 p.m. from July 7 through August 11 at the Downtown Performing Arts Studios located at 54 Mt. Airy Village Road in Lambertville.

This six-week intensive study is designed for students of all skill levels. Classes, taught by performing arts professionals some of whom have had long standing relationships with the Downtown Performing Arts Center, will enhance performance techniques.

Teen and Adult Acting will be taught by Stephen Stahl. Stahl is an internationally renowned writer and director who received his early training at The Hedgerow Theatre under Jasper Deeter and Rose Schulman. He then moved to New York and studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actor’s Studio. Stahl’s workshops have helped numerous actors build the self-assured courage needed to achieve successful characterization. Through exercises that include improvisation and vocal projection, students will learn how to properly embody a character and do so while at ease in front of an audience.

Stahl, a Bucks County native, has had numerous theatrical and film successes both in the United States and abroad. In 2006 Mr. Stahl won the top award for “Best Director” and “Best Featured Thriller” for his film “Consequences” at the International Independent Film and Video Festival held in Los Angeles, New York City and Cannes, France. Stahl has worked with Jason Bateman, Phyllis Hyman, Evander Holyfield, Billy Joel, Kitty Kallen, Hall & Oates, Grant Shaud, Julie Gold, Joyce Heyser, Clint Holmes, Bobby Rydell, Peggy King, Divine, James Ingram, and Teddy Pendergrass.

Beginning and Intermediate Tap will be taught by Jill Palena. Jill has been performing leading roles at various venues throughout the Bucks County region for over 15 years including the Bucks County Playhouse and Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre.

Tina DiMichele will head classes in Intermediate and Advanced Jazz and Contemporary Dance. Tina studied tap, ballet and jazz from the age of seven with the Debra Sparks Dance Works in Philadelphia (now in Newtown) winning several awards and a scholarship to study at the Rock School.  She graduated from NYU in 1997 with a degree in Dance Education and went on to choreograph, teach and perform in New York, Switzerland and Paris.  She is a regular performer at the Open Air Theatre.

Advanced Tap and Intermediate Ballet will be taught by Sharon Rudda. Sharon holds a B.A. in Performing Arts with a focus on Ballet from La Roche College and further trained at Bravo Dance. She regularly appears in productions at the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre.

The Downtown Performing Arts Center’s Tuesday evening classes begin on July 7 and continue through August 11. For information on summer classes, tuition fees, performing arts camps and more, visit www.downtownpac.com or call (609) 397-3337.

———

Bucket Brigade

John Witherspoon Middle School’s 240 eighth graders finished the school year with a service project for Mercer County’s homeless families Monday, June 22. They formed a “bucket brigade” to load hampers full of home supplies for HomeFront families in their community. From left Olivia Rist, Isabel Figueroa and Molly Trueman carried some of the 40 laundry baskets filled with home cleaning supplies and summer camp essentials. (Photo courtesy of JWMS)

Art Desert 1

This watercolor by Sheila Norton, a member of the Ewing Art Group, will be featured along with that of other members of the group in an exhibition at PEAC Health and Fitness, 1440 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, during July. The Ewing Art Group is Comprised of a small group of local artists who come together to cultivate their passion for art and further develop their works. The group shows its work locally in Ewing, Pennington, Hopewell, Lawrence and the surrounding areas. In addition to the PEAC show, members have work currently on display at Terhune Orchards. PEAC’s Art on Display program features a different local artist or organization each month and is open to the public. For more information, call (609) 883-2000, email bdipierro@peachealthfitness.com or visit www.peachealthfitness.com.

page1

Speaking at the Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace and Racial Justice held in response to the previous week’s shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., Director of the Coalition for Peace Action and Co-Pastor of Christ Congregation in Princeton Rev. Robert Moore told the gathering “We stand together in unity as a community of love.” The event was organized by CPA, the Mt. Pisgah AME Church and the Princeton Clergy Association.

June 30, 2015

The Princeton Police Department states that as of 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, a four year old female on Cleveland Lane was reported missing. She was found 30 minutes later safely in her home.

Rutgers Master Gardeners, pictured from left to right, Ann Vaurio and Ann Summer of Princeton and Tom McGeachen of East Windsor, “tend to” the Perennial Garden at MEG.  The Rutgers Master gardeners of Mercer County will present “An Evening at MEG” on Wednesday, July 15, from 6:30 – 8:00 PM, at Mercer Educational Gardens in Princeton.

Rutgers Master Gardeners, pictured from left to right: Ann Vaurio and Ann Summer of Princeton and Tom McGeachen of East Windsor, “tend to” the Perennial Garden at MEG. The Rutgers Master gardeners of Mercer County will present “An Evening at MEG” on Wednesday, July 15, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at Mercer Educational Gardens in Pennington.

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County will host a program, “An Evening at MEG” on Wednesday, July 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Mercer Educational Gardens (MEG), 431A Federal City Road in Pennington, adjacent to the Mercer County Equestrian Center. The evening will include demonstrations on how to keep perennials in top shape during the hot summer months. Guests will also be invited to take a stroll through the other gardens at MEG including Annual, Herbs, Native Plant, Butterfly, Cottage, the Meadow, and even the Weed Identification bed.

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County is a volunteer educational outreach program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Rutgers Master Gardeners participate in many volunteer programs throughout the County, as well as answer home horticulture questions through their Rutgers Master Gardener Helpline, (609) 989-6853, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (March through October) and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (November through February). For more information, visit www.mgofmc.org.

 (l-r): McCarter Theatre Center Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann with outgoing board members  Elizabeth Christopherson, Kathleen Nolan, Gigi Goldman, Dr. Cynthia Cherrey, and McCarter Board Chair Brian J. McDonald.   Not pictured: James Burke, Jim Marino, Bob Mintz, and Val Smith. Photo: Matt Pilsner.

(l-r): McCarter Theatre Center Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann with outgoing board members
Elizabeth Christopherson, Kathleen Nolan, Gigi Goldman, Dr. Cynthia Cherrey, and McCarter Board Chair Brian J. McDonald.
Not pictured: James Burke, Jim Marino, Bob Mintz, and Val Smith. Photo: Matt Pilsner.

At its June Board meeting, the final gathering of the 2014/2015 season, McCarter Theatre Center bid a fond farewell to eight outgoing board members. Departing the Board are James Burke, Dr. Cynthia Cherrey, Elizabeth Christopherson, Gigi Goldman, Jim Marino, Bob Mintz, Kathleen Nolan, and Val Smith.

McCarter Theatre Center Board Chair Brian J. McDonald said, “McCarter has always been fortunate to have extremely talented and dedicated Trustees. This year eight outstanding members of our board have completed their service and each deserves credit for significantly advancing McCarter’s mission during their tenure. Since 2008, the challenges faced by performing arts organizations have been considerable and these dedicated Trustees worked creatively and with great enthusiasm to ensure that McCarter successfully addressed challenges and sustained our commitment to our vital mission.”

McCarter’s Managing Director Timothy Shields said, “It’s been such a pleasure to work closely with each of these outstanding community volunteers.  Although we’ll deeply miss their wise counsel, gentle guidance, and sustaining support, most of all we’ll miss seeing their smiling faces in the Board room.  We do take some solace in knowing that we’ll see them each frequently in the audience for shows at McCarter.”

McCarter Theatre Center maintains term limits for its Trustees, who must depart after nine consecutive years of service (or three terms of three years each).

June 26, 2015
Princeton HealthCare System may merge with another health care organization, chief executive officer Barry S. Rabner revealed to physicians in an email that was sent out last week.
Though PCHS, which moved from Witherspoon Street to Route 1 in Plainsboro three years ago, is having one of the best years in its 96-year-history,” Rabner wrote, options are being explored due to significant changes expected in the areas of reimbursement, care delivery and coordination, information and clinical technology over the next two to five years.
We are engaged in a thorough and thoughtful strategic planning process to determine how we can best remain a leading provider of healthcare services,” reads a statement issued by PHCS. As part of this planning process, the Board of Trustees has decided to evaluate partnership options to determine if we could be most successful in addressing our patients’ and the community’s future needs if we partnered with another organization.  We are now determining what type of partnership we might want and the criteria we will consider when evaluating potential partners.  PHCS is committed to transparency and we will keep our community informed of our progress and welcome their input along the way.” 
PCHS’ acute care hospital, University Medical Center of Princeton, was one of 40 across the country to be named High Performing for every procedure and medical condition for which it was rated in U.S. News & World Reports Best Hospitals for Common Care ratings, according to the statement.
 Mr. Rabner said, “Princeton HealthCare System has achieved great success in large measure because of our commitment to the needs of our community and our ability to embrace change and think beyond who we are today to what we must do for our patients tomorrow.  The decision to explore a potential partnership is one more step in our long-standing practice of planning, exploring options and initiating change for the good of our community.” 
The hospital cost $522 million to build and has 231 single patient rooms spread over some 636,000 square feet. PCHS employs more than 3,000 and has 1,100 doctors on its staff.
June 25, 2015

shutterstock_159496601

Shark Week, the long-running cable television event kicks off this year on July 6, and Princeton Public Library is marking the week with some complementary programs. Designed to entertain as well as educate, the programs include: “Why Sharks Are Not Scary” on Monday, July 6 at 11 a.m.; “Fins Up” Storytime on Tuesday, July 7 at 2 p.m.; screening of the film, “Shark Girl” on Wednesday, July 8 at 7 p.m.; and a Shark and Ocean Trivia Contest on Thursday, July 9 at 6 p.m. All of the programs are free to attend and open to the public. For additional details, visit www.princetonlibrary.org.

June 24, 2015
A MOM WITH A MISSION: Princeton resident Barbara Majeski, shown here with her husband Jim and three children, from left, Max, Milena, and Gabe, has become a star fundraiser for Operation Smile, which honored her with its Founders Circle Award in May. The non-profit helps children and young adults born with cleft palate and other facial deformities get the surgery they need.

A MOM WITH A MISSION: Princeton resident Barbara Majeski, shown here with her husband Jim and three children, from left, Max, Milena, and Gabe, has become a star fundraiser for Operation Smile, which honored her with its Founders Circle Award in May. The non-profit helps children and young adults born with cleft palate and other facial deformities get the surgery they need.

Barbara Majeski will never forget the day her parents told her and her siblings that their brother Steven was never going to develop like other children. She was only six years old. But it was a day that would shape her life.

Steven had Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic inherited neurological disorder that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges. He had just come home from a long stay at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “I was just so grateful at that moment to know he was home,” Ms. Majeski recalled. “I was there when he had seizures. I knew he was sick. But as long as he came home, I knew I would always take care of him. I didn’t care that he couldn’t speak. I just remember being so grateful that he was home and I could protect him from the world.”

Several decades later, Ms. Majeski, a Princeton resident and West Windsor native, is still protecting children with special needs. Last month, she was honored with Operation Smile’s Founder’s Circle Award for her philanthropic efforts. Since joining the charity on a medical mission to the Dominican Republic in 2010, she has raised more than half a million dollars and plans to up that figure to $1 million by the end of this year. The non-profit provides surgical procedures to children and young adults in more than 60 countries.

“I saw that in 45 minutes you can change the trajectory of a child’s life,” she said, recalling that mission. “What’s heartbreaking is that some families can’t qualify (for the assistance). I realized that this is happening globally. You feel like, ‘I’ll write the check right now.’ On the flight back, I talked to people and brainstormed about how to raise more money.”

A few years before, Ms. Majeski had retired from a lucrative career in sales to be a stay-at-home mother to her three children and continue caring for her brother, with whom she is very close. Philanthropic work she had been doing all along brought her to the attention of Operation Smile, and she was invited to meet the charity’s founders. Soon, she was joining the mission to the Dominican Republic. The trip gave her a renewed
focus on protecting children in need.

“I was looking for a way to continue to look out for the most vulnerable members of the community,” she said, “to make sure they have a voice. I would think about families other than mine, about children who don’t have access to people and resources. I think it’s easy to look away and hope that somebody else does the work. But I always assume that maybe they need a voice, and maybe that’s my purpose. I’m not a big person, but I turn into a linebacker when I hear about this stuff. I’m bigger than anyone in the room. It’s like an out of body experience when I feel like somebody is not being taken care of.”

With her philanthropic efforts in high gear, Ms. Majeski began to attract notice. The fact that she is pretty and blonde didn’t hurt, and she was soon approached by the Bravo TV network about joining the cast of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, which she turned down.

“I was very flattered,” Ms. Majeski said. “I don’t know what they were thinking. Maybe it was about rethinking the cast, since one of them (Teresa Guidice) is now in jail. I was having fun with it, but when the rubber hit the road and they were down to the final eight, I realized this just wasn’t the trajectory of our family. But I did see the value in elevating my profile, which would give me more opportunity to talk about bringing philanthropy into the workplace and into the home. I just think it’s so important to look for ways to help, even if you don’t have a penny to spare. It’s a matter of not looking away, of raising kids with that way of thinking. So I did like that purpose of celebrity.”

Much of Ms. Majeski’s fundraising work has been centered on her husband’s company, Cydcor Inc., which has 400 independently owned sales offices. In 2011, she launched a national fundraising campaign for Operation Smile within the company, raising more than a million dollars toward three medical missions.

On June 6, Ms. Majeski led Princeton’s participation in a national fundraising day called “Day of Smiles,” for Operation Smile. The numbers were still being counted as of last week, but she estimated that the effort will bring about $200,000 to help children with special needs. Future plans include creating more alliances with Cydcor, inspiring employees to do more and give more for those less fortunate.

When she was honored by Operation Smile in May, Ms. Majeski was surrounded by celebrities including Eli Manning, Kate Walsh, and Wendy Williams. “Getting that award was amazing,” she said. “And it was fun to meet those celebrities. But I feel that it will be most rewarding when someone I’ve introduced to this work is using their voice and leveraging resources to give back. I don’t get any more time in a day than anyone else. But we all have the heart. We use it, we go for it. That’s what I hope to do — inspire and influence.”

MEET CULEX PIPIENS: Although it’s only three to seven millimeters long, the common house mosquito, Culex pipiens pipiens, can not only feed on human blood it can spread the West Nile virus. Given the chance, it’s the female of the species that feeds on the blood of birds and humans, while males enjoy pollen, nectar, and plant juices. The one shown here is about to strike. Clearly it doesn’t live in Mercer County, which runs a highly sophisticated Mosquito Control program said to be on the cutting edge of mosquito management. So be thankful you’re not in London, England, where a subspecies Culex pipiens molestus lives in the London Underground. Mercer Counthy residents can call on mosquito inspectors to help with their mosquito problems. (Photo from Shutterstock)

MEET CULEX PIPIENS: Although it’s only three to seven millimeters long, the common house mosquito, Culex pipiens pipiens, can not only feed on human blood it can spread the West Nile virus. Given the chance, it’s the female of the species that feeds on the blood of birds and humans, while males enjoy pollen, nectar, and plant juices. The one shown here is about to strike. Clearly it doesn’t live in Mercer County, which runs a highly sophisticated Mosquito Control program said to be on the cutting edge of mosquito management. So be thankful you’re not in London, England, where a subspecies Culex pipiens molestus lives in the London Underground. Mercer Counthy residents can call on mosquito inspectors to help with their mosquito problems. (Photo from Shutterstock)

It’s that time of year again. Recent rains have not only been good for gardens, they have provided the perfect conditions for mosquitos to breed. This week is National Mosquito Awareness Week (June 21 through June 27) and Mercer County has been deep into its Mosquito Control Program since mid-March when Dr. Insuk Unlu, who supervises the program, began looking at the insects during their larval stage.

“Adult surveillance began the first week of May,” said Ms. Unlu. “Ninety percent of our operations involve larviciding to prevent adults from emerging, and when there is a need, we target adult mosquitoes with insecticides only as a last resort.”

The County has also started a program of countywide disease surveillance and a multi-year study of the Asian Tiger mosquito. “We conduct operational research to better fine-tune our control measure,” said Ms. Unlu, adding that research conducted by the program has found drain pipes to be a major habitat for the Asian Tiger. “We have modified our control measures to take these habitats into consideration.”

But even though the County runs a highly sophisticated Mosquito Control program, Mercer County Executive and Princeton resident Brian M. Hughes noted in a recent press release that mosquitoes remain a reality in the area throughout the warmer months. He urges residents to be vigilant about emptying vessels that contain water and can attract mosquitoes.

“Our nationally recognized Mosquito Control operation is on the cutting edge of mosquito management,” said Mr. Hughes. “To ameliorate the risks from mosquitos to local residents, our office practices what is known as Integrated Mosquito Management (or IMM) to suppress mosquito populations in Mercer County; both larval and adult surveillance programs are the backbone of our operations.”

In addition, said Mr. Hughes, the program responds to residents who call for help. “Traditionally, every spring our inspectors treat mosquito habitats such as flooded areas, woodland pools, and catch basins for mosquito larvae. They also respond to every service opportunity they receive and take measures to help residents with their mosquito problems,” he said.

Along with mosquitoes, Mr. Hughes urges residents to familiarize themselves with tick species that can put them at risk for severe illnesses such as West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme disease.

Dr. Unlu advises the following measures all summer long to keep mosquito numbers low:

  • Empty out water from containers in and around your backyard such as buckets, recycle bins, and potted plant saucers
  • Store tires indoors or away from rain; check for tire recycling programs in your area
  • Empty and replace water at least once for bird baths
  • Do not forget water plus 7 days equals mosquitoes
  • Make sure drain pipes slope downward. These drain pipes are dominated by Asian tiger mosquito immatures, and this species is an aggressive day biter
  • Maintain your pool. Remove water from tarps and pool covers.

“Residents can use any repellent endorsed by the EPA and CDC,” said Ms. Unlu. “My personal favorite one is oil of lemon eucalyptus followed by DEET and picaridin.”

“Eliminating standing water is probably the most important thing to remember when preventing or controlling mosquito problems,” said Joe Conlon of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), which advocates the suppression of mosquitoes for the health of the public at large, and is headquartered in Mount Laurel. “Keep it in the back of your mind during all outdoor activities—even remember to irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days,” he said. AMCA has a handy trick for Mosquito Awareness Week: bear in mind the Three D’s of prevention: Drain, Dress and Defend.

Drain water containers at least once per week; Dress in long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing; and Defend the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened. Mr. Conlon also recommends the use of oil of lemon-eucalyptus.

For more information, contact Mercer County Mosquito Control (609) 530-7516.

Every year, in honor of Independence Day, Morven Museum and Garden at 55 Stockton Street hosts a free event celebrating America’s heritage at the home-turned-museum of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

This year, the free event will take place Saturday, July 4, from noon to 3 p.m. No registration is necessary.

Visitors will enjoy fun for the whole family with live bluegrass music on the front porch; refreshments by Oink & Moo BBQ; and an opportunity for children of all ages to “sign” the Declaration of Independence.

Stacy Flora Roth will deliver a costumed presentation of tea lore, history, songs, poetry, living history display and demonstration, “Revolutionary Tea!” with an explanation of the importance of tea in the 18th century, when fashion-conscious families posed for portraits with their tea sets. If you’ve wondered whether Britain really lost her American Colonies over “the cup that cheers,” now is your time to find out.

“Benjamin Franklin” will be strolling through Morven’s gardens and in a celebration of art, visitors will be invited to sit down and draw inspiration from Morven’s current chairmaking exhibition.

   Every visitor will have the opportunity to create his/her own chalk or oil pastel rendering of a chair guided by artist and Arts Council of Princeton instructor Libby Ramage.

There will also be various demonstrations of early-American domestic life including ice-cream making, bread baking, papermaking, music, gunsmithing and more, with plenty of opportunities for guest participation.

Visitors are invited to use the Princeton Theological Seminary or Monument Hall parking lots, or park on the street as there will be no parking at Morven because of the many children who are expected to be on the grounds.

This event will take place weather permitting only. It will be cancelled if there is prolonged rain.

For more information visit www.morven.org or call 609-924-8144 or visit www.morven.org.

—-

Firebrand BookPhysicist and author Tony Rothman will be speaking about his latest novels, Firebird and The Course of Fortune at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, at the Lawrence branch of the Mercer County Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike in Lawrenceville.

According to the author, Firebird (Wildside Press $15.99) is “a scientifically accurate suspense novel that concerns a race for nuclear fusion between two giant laboratories. One is the real-life ITER project, currently under construction in France. The other is partially based on the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, where I spent a year researching it.” Published in three volumes, The Course of Fortune (Ibooks $36.66) “is a big historical novel about the Great Siege of Malta, whose 450th anniversary is this summer.  It’s considered perhaps the most ferociously contested siege in history—about 40,000 Turks descended on Malta, which was defended by 600 Knights of Malta and perhaps another 7,000 or 8,000 soldiers and untrained irregulars. After four months of the most ingenious and vicious fighting imaginable, the Turks gave up, having lost up to 20,000 men.”

Copies of Firebird and The Course of Fortune will be available for purchase by the Friends of the Lawrence Library for the author to sign after the presentation. Registration is suggested.

 Tony Rothman received a B.A.in physics from Swarthmore College in 1975 and a Ph.D. from the Center for Relativity at the University of Texas, Austin in 1981. His area of specialization is cosmology, the study of the early universe, and he has authored about 60 scientific papers on that subject. Apart from his scientific work, he is the author of eleven books, among them Sacred Mathematic: Japanese Temple Geometry, with Fukagawa Hidetoshi (Princeton University Press, 2008), which won the 2008 American Association of Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in mathematics, and A Physicist on Madison Avenue (Princeton, 1991), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Duct Tape Dress

Princeton High School seniors Margot Shumaker and Jordan Hunter are among 10 finalists in Duck Brand’s “Stuck at Prom” scholarship contest for their imaginative prom outfits made entirely of duct tape, except for a pair of socks. If they win, they get $10,000 each in addition to $5,000 for PHS. “We are most proud of our detail work,” the pair wrote. “We essentially made lace out of duct tape, and we included that lace in everything from the back of Jordan’s suit to Margot’s bodice, shoes, corsage, and purse.” The duo have some stiff competition, but their teardrop-themed outfits, which took 192 hours and 30 rolls of duct tape to make, are sure to win a lot of votes. The voting period is open until July 8. Visit www.stuckatprom.readysetpromo.com/vote-gp.html to show support.

Jim Amon, the first executive director of the D&R Canal Commission, will discuss the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park at the annual meeting of D&R Canal Watch at the Mule tenders barracks, 7 Griggstown Causeway, Griggstown, Sunday, June 28.

The nonprofit D&R Canal Watch helps promote, enhance and preserve the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park.

Mr. Amon is widely credited with transforming the canal into one of the great recreational and environmental assets of Central New Jersey during his 29 years as the commission’s first director, beginning in 1974. He led the Canal Commission when the canal became a state park, which transformed the neglected canal into the treasured linear park that it is today.

After retiring from the Commission, he became director of stewardship of the D&R Greenway, an organization he helped to found in 1989. He recently retired from that post.

Mr. Amon will discuss how the canal and park changed during his nearly three decades at the commission and his experiences as director.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. The Mule Tenders barracks building is adjacent to the canal towpath. For more information, call (908) 240-0488 or email: barthlinda123@aol.com.

Faraz Khan

Faraz Khan, the Arts Council of Princeton’s Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence, will transform a bookcase full of old books into a painting using Arabic calligraphy in the lobby of Princeton Public Library on Friday, June 26, from 1 to 8 p.m. Mr. Khan, whose work is influenced by Islamic art, will explain his process while he works. “Reading is a lifelong endeavor that takes many forms,” he said of his inspiration for the project. “Sometimes we learn from reading books but other times we learn by reading people. We read history to better understand our present and to create a better future but sometimes we read just to ignore time. We read to learn, explore, and imagine but sometimes we read to put ourselves to sleep. We read to seek answers and question that which we love, hate, or ignore but sometimes we read to gather our souls. We read to understand but sometimes we read to be understood.” The event, “Read and Be Read” is co-sponsored by the library and The Arts Council of Princeton. For more information about library programs and services, call (609) 924-9529 or visit www.princetonlibrary.org.

Summer Lake

An upcoming show at the Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville will feature oil paintings by Maxine Shore (like this 36 by 48 inch oil, shown here) and photographs by Joseph DeFay from July 9, through August 2, with an opening reception on Saturday, July 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. Ms. Shore is a contemporary colorist who uses color and light in an effort to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Her paintings are in many private collections as well as prominent institutions. Mr. DeFay’s photography pulls out the simpler aspects of everyday life so they can be seen with a renewed beauty, and an exciting new perspective. For more on the artists, visit: www.lambertvillearts.com.

page1

If the library is the Community’s Living Room, the sidewalks on Palmer Square were the place for playing at jaZams Summer Block Party Friday, where there were food trucks, plenty of games and activities, and a free concert with the Pig Pen Theatre Company on the Palmer Square Green. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

June 23, 2015

Blue Curtain

Blue Curtain at Princeton’s Pettoranello Gardens announces two free concerts on Saturday, July 11 and Saturday, July 18. Pettoranello Gardens is located at the corner of Route 206 and Mountain Avenue in Princeton.

Soulful singer Aurelio of Honduras will perform a concert of guitar and percussion on July 11 at 7 p.m. He’s been casting the warm glow of the Caribbean upon audiences since becoming the country’s musical ambassador. Aurelio takes pride is preserving the language and unique sounds of the small Honduran fishing village where he was born.

Aurelio will be joined by instrumental Brazilian music group Regional de NY. The ensemble plays traditional arrangements of Brazil’s oldest popular music. Regional de NY’s band members include flutist Hadar Noiberg; Cesar Garabini on 7-string guitar; Vitor Goncalves on accordion; Kahil Nayton on cavaquinho; and Ranjan Ramchandani on pandeiro.

African American gospel group The Campbell Brothers will perform on July 18 at 7 p.m. The Campbell Brothers present a variety of material deriving from a Pentecostal repertoire. The growling, wailing, shouting, and singing will be sure to move audiences.

The Campbell Brothers will be followed by guitarist Michael Gregory Jackson. Jackson paved the way for the Black Rock movement of the 1980s, recorded for Arista and Island, and headed the power trio Signal. He has recorded with the likes of Carlos Santana and Patti LaBelle.

Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy the best outdoor seating. The concert series is presented by Blue Curtain and the Princeton Recreation Department.

June 22, 2015

Following the release of Pope Francis’ much-anticipated encyclical dealing with climate change, four volunteers from the Princeton chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby will meet in Washington with their representatives and senators to press for legislation that places a fee on carbon and returns revenue to households.

The Princeton CCL members, who are traveling to the nation’s capital to attend the 6th International Citizens’ Climate Lobby Conference, will spend a day, June 23, visiting the offices of senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, as well as representative Bonnie Watson Coleman. Their message: We need to reduce the risk of climate change by reducing the carbon pollution we currently emit. We can achieve that with a market-based solution that places a steadily-rising fee on carbon and gives the revenue back to consumers, thereby shielding families from the economic impact of higher energy costs.

As Princeton advocates prepare to go to Washington, Pope Francis is releasing his encyclical – a papal letter sent to all bishops in the Catholic Church – calling for action to address climate change. Titled “Laudato Si” (Praised Be), the encyclical speaks about the need to care for God’s creation and to protect the most vulnerable from the ravages of global warming. Francis’ encyclical comes in advance of his visit to the U.S. in September, where he will address a joint session of Congress and also speak at the UN General Assembly in New York. The pontiff’s actions are timed to encourage nations to reach agreement on a global climate change accord in Paris at the end of the year.

“It’s very exciting that the Pope’s encyclical is being released just before we go to   lobby our members of Congress,” said Callie Hancock, group leader for the Princeton CCL chapter. “With one third of Congress being Catholic, Francis’ message is bound to have a big impact.”

In their meetings with members of Congress, CCL volunteers hope to assuage fears that placing a price on carbon will be detrimental to the economy. A study from Regional Economic Models, Inc. found that CCL’s proposal, known as Carbon Fee and Dividend, would actually ADD 2.8 million jobs over 20 years while cutting carbon emissions in half.

“If it’s done the right way, pricing carbon can actually be good for our economy,” Hancock said. “That can happen if we give all the money back to households. It will act as an economic stimulus.”

The CCL International Conference in Washington is being held June 21-23, and features keynote speaker Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, who was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people and who also appeared in Showtime’s award-winning series about climate change, “Years of Living Dangerously.”

The Spirit of Princeton invites the community to the 14th Annual Independence Day Fireworks on Thursday, July 2 at 9 p.m. at the fields next to the Princeton University Stadium, along Western Way. The site opens at 7 p.m. for picnics and socializing with friends and family.

The event is free and open to all. The 16th Annual Spirit of Princeton Fireworks Celebration will take place rain or shine – only lightning will cancel the show. No alcoholic beverages are allowed at the site. Also, no smoking is allowed on the field because of the new artificial turf. But food, fun, music, and frolic are encouraged to be followed by the spectacular fireworks. Parking is available in University Lot 21 below the fields off of Faculty Road, as well as in the University parking garage on Prospect Street. Better yet, walk to the fields and beat the traffic.

Thanks to the Spirit of Princeton, a Princeton-based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the community together through a variety of civic events, the town residents can enjoy not only the fireworks, but also the Memorial Day Parade, the Flag Day celebration, and the Veteran’s Day ceremony.

To make a much needed donation and for further information, visit: www.spiritofprinceton.org