July 5, 2017

The Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF) has awarded more than $86,000 in scholarships to 28 high school and college students. The Community Foundation awarded $33,050 to 11 high school students who will begin college this fall, and renewed another $53,260 in scholarships to 17 college students who will return to classes in September.

“We’d like to congratulate these talented students, and we wish them success as they continue their studies,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are able to help these students thanks to our generous donors who have created scholarship funds here.” more

the minister, looking upward to the zenith, beheld there the appearance of an immense letter, — the letter A, — marked out in lines of dull red light. 

—Nathaniel Hawthorne, from The Scarlet Letter

Like Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was born on July 4, 1804, David Lynch knows how to sear his brand into the brains of his audience. Some viewers are still trying to shake the surreal image of the thing that slithers into the first-kiss sanctity of sleeping innocence at the end of Episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return. Those of us who have survived the first eight weeks of this most unsettled and unsettling series were given a July 4 holiday break on Sunday. Who knows why? Maybe Lynch is allowing us a week off to ponder the feast of excesses in “Gotta Light?,” his latest serving of killer coffee and spiked cherry pie. Or maybe this is his subtle way of marking the birthday of his predecessor in the never-ending investigation of the American mystery.  more

Library Live at Labyrinth will host Akhil Sharma reading from his new book, A Life of Adventure and Delight (W.W. Norton $24.95) at Labyrinth Books on Wednesday, July 12 at 6 p.m.

Hailed as a storyteller whose fiction is “a glowing work of art” (Wall Street Journal), Akhil Sharma is possessed of a narrative voice “as hypnotic as those found in the pages of Dostoyevsky” (The Nation). A Life of Adventure and Delight contains eight stories that focus on Indian protagonists at home and abroad. Labyrinth Books and the Princeton Public Library have joined forces to host a reading and conversation with the author. more

Kelsey Review, Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) online literary journal, has just posted its Summer 2017 issue. The latest issue features poetry and prose from contributors who live or work in Mercer County and is the final issue of the academic year.

Says editor Jacky Vogtman, a member of MCCC’s English faculty, “While editing the pieces in this issue, I was astounded by the wide-ranging styles and incredible talents of the writers in the Mercer County community …. So read these pieces, be inspired, and then apply that inspiration to your own life.” more

Co-Founder of Princeton Tutoring and PrepMaven Kevin Wong will lead a free “How to Prepare for College Admissions” workshop on Saturday, July 8, at 3 p.m. at Labyrinth Books.

The one hour seminar will share a framework for how to think properly about the college admissions and preparation process.

The following questions will be addressed:

How should I be preparing for college? Am I doing the right things?

How do I approach the college application process?

How do I write an awesome college essay? more

Terhune Orchards will host the sixth annual Farm to Table Fundraiser Dinner on Thursday, July 20 from 5 to 9 p.m. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Green Teams and Sustainable Organizations of the Mercer County Sustainability Coalition.

Chefs representing The Terra Momo Restaurant Group will cater the dinner. The five-course meal will utilize seasonal fruits and vegetables grown at Terhune Orchards and other local sources. Each course will be paired with wines from Terhune Orchards Vineyard and Winery.  more

Celebrate local history at the Hunterdon Land Trust (HLT) Farmers’ Market on Sunday, July 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dvoor Farm, 111 Mine Street in Raritan Township. HLT’s History Day will feature tours, a presentation about life in Hunterdon County in the 1870s, and a visit by several local historical organizations.

The event begins with a tour of the barns on the Dvoor Farm at 9:30 a.m. with Chris Pickell, the principal architect at Pickell Architecture in Flemington. He will lead a walking tour and discuss the farm’s bank barn, north and east barns, horse barn (with the iconic Dvoor Bros. advertisement painted on the roof) and wagon house. Pickell specializes in upgrading antique buildings, historic design, and timber and stone barns. He’s also a trustee of the Hunterdon County Historical Society. more

Einstein’s Alley, a member of the NJIEA Coalition, seeks nominations for the 5th Annual New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards. The awards will be presented on September 13 at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce/Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce Global Opportunities Summit at the Doubletree Hotel in Princeton.

In New Jersey, foreign-born individuals like 2014 winner Mario Casabona, CEO of Tech Launch; 2015 winner Iftekhar Hossain, of IH Engineering; and 2016 winner Jose “Pepe” Garcia, of Maverick Building Services have created more than one in three new businesses in recent years, ranking New Jersey behind California, New York, and Florida. New Jersey companies started by immigrants generate an annual business income of $6.2 billion. more

“THE MAGIC OF VERNAL PONDS”: Art by young students of Heather Barros of Art Collaborations! is featured in this exhibit running through July 28 at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery in the Johnson Education Center in Princeton.

The Magic of Vernal Ponds, by students of Heather Barros, fills D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery through July 28. The art may be viewed from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The Gallery is in the Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, Princeton 08540. There is no need to call to see if this gallery is open at the time of visit.

D&R Greenway contributor and Princetonian Suzanne Nash donated the vivid poster on life in and near vernal pools to the land trust in early spring. Heather Barros, of Art Collaborations!, immediately set her young students to work to study the vernal paradigm and recreate their varied population.  more

Beginning on July 8, the James A. Michener Art Museum will present “Dedicated, Displayed, Discovered: Celebrating the Region’s School Art Collections,” an exhibition that explores the longstanding tradition of art collecting by public educational institutions in southeastern Pennsylvania. The exhibition will be on view through January 7, 2018.

From the 1890s to the mid-20th century, artists and educators in the Delaware Valley region embraced opportunities to introduce original works in hallways and classrooms, advancing a holistic approach to educating and enriching the lives of students. Now, in collaboration with six educational entities, the Michener Art Museum is presenting the first-ever exhibition of these long-hidden artistic treasures, inviting the public to view these historically significant works and to learn the stories of the schools, artists, and educators behind them. The exhibition will draw from various collections throughout school districts in Bucks and Montgomery counties as well as from The School District of Philadelphia. more

BONNIE AND CLYDE: Mary Pomykacz and Noah Barson star as Bonnie and Clyde in the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre’s latest production, set to run July 7 through July 16 with performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. “Bonnie and Clyde” is sponsored in part by the Trenton Thunder baseball team. (Photo Credit: Jordan Brennan)

At the height of the Great Depression, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went from two small-town nobodies in West Texas to America’s most renowned folk heroes and Texas law enforcement’s worst nightmares. Bonnie and Clyde is an electrifying musical story of love, adventure, and crime that takes to the Open Air Theatre stage from July 7 through July 16 with performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The production is sponsored in part by the Trenton Thunder baseball team. more

Blue Curtain, in co-operation with the Princeton Recreation Department, presents two evenings of free concerts on Saturday, July 15 and 22 at 7 p.m. Both events will present musical traditions. Concerts will be held at the Pettoranello Gardens Amphitheater in Community Park North, Route 206 and Mountain Avenue. Kicking off the 2017 concert series on Saturday, July 15 will be Mystic Bowie, the legendary Jamaican front-man of the TomTom Club; and the New Orleans sounds of Sasha Masakowski and The Sidewalk Strutters. From humble beginnings in St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica, Mystic has released five studio albums: “Funky Reggae,” “Rebirth,” “Nevah Kiss and Tell,” “Sweet Jamaica,” and “Money Tree, The Best of Mystic Bowie Vol.1” Beginning in 1992, he was lead vocalist for the TomTom Club, the spin-off band from the Talking Heads, for nearly two decades.

Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) WWFM the Classical Network announces the launch of “Kids on Keys,” a new monthly broadcast series spotlighting some of the best young piano talent in the radio station’s immediate broadcast region of Central and Southern New Jersey.

Hosted by pianist, composer, critic and author Jed Distler, The Classical Network’s artist-in-residence, the program will air on the first Saturday of each month at 1 p.m. Each “Kids on Keys” program will feature performances given by young artists in recital at the Lawrenceville location of Jacobs Music Company, which is the program’s sponsor, and other regional venues. more

The Beguiled is a Civil War story based on the bestseller of the same name by the late novelist/playwright Thomas Cullinan (1919-1995). The book was first adapted to the screen in 1971 as a melodramatic film that starred Clint Eastwood. This year’s remake was directed by Sofia Coppola whose effort was rewarded at Cannes when she became the second woman in the history of the festival to be chosen Best Director.

The story is set in 1864 at a Virginia boarding school for girls run by Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman) with the help of Edwina Dabney (Kirsten Dunst). They have five students under their care, ranging from preteens to the late teens.

As the movie opens, the sounds of battle are heard in the distance. The fighting is in sharp contrast to the serenity of the campus where we see Amy (Oona Laurence) foraging in the forest for wild mushrooms.  more

The Pennington School Alumni Theater will hold its second annual production, titled Overnight, an original play written by Henry Sheeran (’14), production designed by Tim Secrest (’14), and directed by Henry Sheeran. Four shows will be held from July 12 to 15 at 8 p.m. and a matinee on July 15 at 3 p.m. in Pennington’s McLarty Blackbox Theater.

Overnight follows the story of newly married Paul and Susan as they find out what the strange noise is that comes from their neighbor’s backyard in the night. Written and developed during Mr. Sheeran’s time abroad in Berlin, Overnight is a play that deals with what separates people — walls, borders, fences — and what breaks these down. Taking place in Princeton, New Jersey in November 1989, the heart of the play is not any particular division between people, but rather the ghosts of division that seep from the public to the private world and back again. more

The 2017 Princeton Student Film Festival will be held Wednesday, July 19, and Thursday, July 20, at Princeton Public Library. Screenings will begin at 6:30 p.m. both nights in the library’s Community Room. Many of the filmmakers will be in attendance to answer questions about their films.

The 14th annual festival features 22 short works by high school and college students from the Princeton area and throughout the United States. Some films by international entrants are also featured. Final selections were made from nearly 150 submitted works in a broad range of styles and themes. Genres include animation, comedy, dramatic feature, documentary, experimental, personal narrative, and thrillers. more

BRINGING THE HAMMER: Julia Ratcliffe displays her hammer throw form. Recently graduated Ratcliffe wrapped up her storied career with the Princeton University women’s track team by placing sixth in the hammer at the NCAA Championships last month. New Zealand native Ratcliffe, who just missed making the 2016 Summer Olympics, will be continuing her international career this summer as she competes in the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships in London and the 2017 World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Julia Ratcliffe took a hiatus from her Princeton University track career, heading to her native New Zealand for a year to train for a shot at the 2016 Summer Olympics. more

June 28, 2017

Princeton resident Jacob Lilienthal, 8, takes some pre-game batting practice with the Flemington Neshanock at the Historical Society of Princeton’s annual 19th century baseball event held last Saturday in Greenway Meadows Park. In the background is Jeff “Duke” Schneider of the Neshanock. See page 28 for more details on the event. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

When Rider University announced in March that it was selling the Princeton campus of Westminster Choir College, it was emphasized that the aim was to find an academic institution that would keep Westminster, which Rider has owned since 1991, in operation on its longtime Princeton campus.

But a lawsuit filed in federal court last week by members of The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College in Princeton, Inc., lists names like Toll Brothers, Weichert Development Company, and Garden Homes of Princeton on the list of parties interested in the site. With growing concern that the 83-year-old campus will be turned into a housing development rather than operated by another academic institution and kept intact, the Coalition decided to take legal action. more

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Hitting a golf ball with distance and accuracy is hard enough when you’re in good health, let alone when you’re in pain or recovering from an injury or surgery.

To help golfers reclaim their best game, University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP) Outpatient Rehabilitation Network is now offering golf rehabilitation. The program helps golfers regain their strength, range of motion and correct swing mechanics to improve their game and prevent further injury, says Barbara Kutch, PT, DPT, CSCS, a Physical Therapist with the Outpatient Rehabilitation Network. more

Last week’s announcement of a two-year extension of the contract between the Princeton School Board and the teachers’ union marks “a real game changer,” according to Board President Patrick Sullivan, in the relationship between the board and teachers that has in the past seen significant conflict over contract negotiations.

The original contract was scheduled to conclude in June of 2018. The new agreement, ratified by teachers on June 19 and approved by the board at a special meeting on June 20, extends the contract through 2020.  more

NASH PARK: A sculpture of Nobel Laureate John Nash and his wife Alicia Nash will be created by Gyuri Hollosy of Grounds For Sculpture and erected in West Windsor’s Nash Park on Alexander Road.

“A beautiful place for a beautiful mind and a loving heart” reads the plaque in West Windsor’s Nash Park, dedicated in honor of Nobel Laureate John Nash and his wife Alicia Nash. And soon a sculpture of the mathematician and his wife will be added as an enhancement to the Alexander Road park.

West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh announced last week that either busts or full figures of John and Alicia Nash,
created by the artist Gyuri Hollosy of Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, assisted by Joseph W. Acquah, will become a permanent part of the park, which was named after the two West Windsor residents after they died in an automobile accident on the New Jersey Turnpike in 2015. more

Traffic in and around Princeton is about to get trickier than usual. Starting at 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 5 and continuing every day until November 3, the Route 206 bridge over the Stony Brook will be closed in both directions.

A second project, involving PSE&G’s replacement of a gas main on Route 206, will begin July 10 and continue through July 31. Already underway on East Nassau Street is New Jersey American Water’s replacement of a water main, scheduled to conclude in early September.

For details on suggested detours during the Route 206 bridge repair project, visit the town’s website, princetonnj.gov.

TALK SHOW TALENT: From left, Jenny Yaros, Misha Meyer, and Rachel Bierman, three local teenagers who have developed a successful talk show on Princeton Community Television, look forward to continuing “Cue the Lights” for at least two more years as they polish their interviewing and performance skills.

If you want to find out what’s on the minds of some of the most interesting people and what goes on in some of the most interesting places in the Princeton area, you might want to tune in to Cue the Lights, a Princeton Community Television (PCT) show on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m.  more

The Lawrenceville School announced June 21 that it has received the largest single gift in the School’s 207-year history. Joseph C. Tsai, Class of 1982 and executive vice chairman of the global e-commerce company, Alibaba Group, and his wife Clara, through the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, have made a major gift as an endorsement of the School’s Strategic Plan: A Vision for the Future: Lawrenceville 20/20. more