August 2, 2017

TRIUMPHANT AT THE FINISH: A team celebrates completing the R2C relay just beyond the finish line in Manasquan. (Photo by Paul Mecca: PaulMecca.com)

Early on Saturday morning, 44 teams comprising over 300 runners will gather in Lambertville, on the banks on the Delaware River, and head east across the Garden State, winding 72 miles through Mercer and Monmouth counties before arriving at the beach in Manasquan late in the day. This year will mark the 22nd running of the River 2 Sea Relay, an event that for many participants has become a beloved annual tradition. Each team of seven divides the course’s nine stages between its members in an event that embodies teamwork to an extent that is rare in the world of distance running. The teams are required to have two support vehicles both to ferry the runners along to their next stage, but, crucially, also to bring cold drinks and energy bars to the runners along the route, towels and sunscreen for those between stages.  more

Princeton Day School has welcomed the following new trustees to its board: Ashley Aitken-Davies, Lucy Englander van den Brand ’78, Karen Law, Oye Olukotun, and Lorraine Sciarra.

Ashley Aitken-Davies works as a financial consultant and private investor, in addition to volunteering at local nonprofits. She worked in the investment banking and fixed income divisions at Goldman Sachs for nine years, and holds a BA from Colgate University. She is the co-chair of the PDS annual fund leadership gift committee, and the mother of three PDS students in the Lower School. more

Kathryn Watterson’s I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African American Princeton (Princeton Univ. Press) takes its title from the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood’s most famous citizen, Paul Robeson (1898-1976), who celebrates “the honest joy of laughter in these homes, folk-wit and story, hearty appetites for life, and warmth of song” in “hard-working people … filled with the goodness of humanity.” Coming from a man known above all for his prowess as a singer, the emphasis is on “the warmth of song,” as in “Songs of love and longing, trials and triumphs … hymn-song and ragtime ballad, gospels and blues.”  more

Terhune Orchards’ Just Peachy Festival is August 5 and 6 at the farm on Cold Soil Road. A summer harvest, farm-to-fork tasting, and ice cream social are planned along with kids’ activities including tractor rides, pony rides, face-painting, interactive tumbling, and barnyard animals. Live music includes Borderline on Saturday and Dixie on Sunday. From noon to 4 p.m. both days, a special tasting is held ($12), and cooking demonstrations will be held along with Pam Mount’s free canning and freezing class (10 a.m. Saturday, registration necessary). Visit terhuneorchards.com for details.

ALLEY GALLERY: Dohm Alley’s first exhibit features sculpted portraits of Romantic poets, as well as acoustic guitar and birdsongs played over speakers. (Photo by Will Uhl)

After years of planning, the construction and assembly of Design at Dohm Alley’s (DaDA) first exhibit is underway. The public art project seeks to merge Princeton University’s scholarly sensibilities with the public life of the town by adorning the alley with art exhibits. The first exhibit, currently unfolding as the weeks pass, is a tribute to Romantic-era poets.  more

The Trenton Museum Society is pleased to announce “Bosted on Olmsted” on Sunday, August 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Trenton City Museum. The talk will focus on Olmsted’s two designs in Mercer County. There are exhibitions about Olmsted during the Summer of 2017 on both floors of the Trenton City Museum. The exhibits run to September 17. more

Photo Credit: Julia Peiperl

Princeton Summer Theater is presenting The Crucible at Princeton University’s Hamilton Murray Theater. This production of Arthur Miller’s 1953 classic is raw, artfully anachronistic, and evokes the spirit of a staged reading. Theatrical excess has been removed, leaving the ritual of performance.

Although The Crucible is set in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, this production avoids establishing a specific time and place. The set is minimal, and the costumes by Julia Peiperl consist of contemporary clothing. Props are limited to lawn chairs, flashlights, and a cooler that one would use on a picnic. A campfire is at center stage.

On opposite sides of the stage, two women sit at the campfire. The other performers join them as we hear contemporary music and eerie, otherworldly noises synthesized by Sound Designer Joseph Haggerty. An actor opens a script and begins reading the title, stage directions, and opening scene. more

The West Windsor Arts Council (WWAC) presents a free full-day of outdoor music and performances at Nassau Park Pavilion Shopping Center (behind Panera) on Saturday, August 5 from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Latin Grammy nominees Mariachi Flor de Toloache will headline the event. There will also be dance, live theater, circus acts, and craft and food vendors throughout the day. If it rains, event performances will take place on Sunday, August 6.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a program, in partnership with the federal government, to reduce organic certification costs as part of the Christie Administration’s ongoing efforts to promote New Jersey-grown and marketed organic food products.

Through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, each qualified producer or handler of organic products is eligible for a reimbursement of up to 75 percent of its costs of certification not to exceed $750. Certification costs include fees and charges levied by the certifying agent for certification activities. more

The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce (PRCC) has launched a new website. The newly-designed site offers quick and easy access to essential information and features that allow a comprehensive view of Chamber events, benefits, and member businesses that facilitates an interactive and more engaging user experience, while offering their members substantially more visibility.

The PRCC is unique because its central location enables the organization to actively engage individuals, businesses, and communities throughout five New Jersey counties and as far as New York, Philadelphia, and Canada. Leading the website redesign is the Chamber’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Robert Blanda. more

Come and enjoy the pleasure of singing the best Jewish music. Dr. Elayne Robinson Grossman, music director of Sharim v’Sharot, will hold auditions for all voice parts during August and September. Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings from September through June in Ewing. The choir performs throughout Central New Jersey and the Delaware Valley, including a concert at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center as part of the Leonard Bernstein Bicentennial Celebration. Other concerts will be held in synagogues, concert halls, museums, and community centers. Sharim v’Sharot performs an extensive repertoire of Jewish music of many eras, styles, and languages. To schedule an audition, email sharimvsharot@gmail.com.

As part of the celebration of 115 years of Cadwalader Park, the Trenton Museum Society and the city of Trenton welcome Amazin Grace and the Grace Little Band in a free concert in Cadwalader Park on Sunday, August 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. This dynamic group consists of eight talented musicians, including two lead vocalists, a full rhythm section, and a sax player. Patrons should bring a chair or blanket.  more

TEAM WORK: “The issue in aging is that everyone is an individual, and the issues are different for every family. The family dynamics are different, and the fragmented healthcare system is very challenging. We are the single point of contact, the quarterback who can help people find what they need.” Joanna Gordon Martin, founder and CEO of Theia Senior Solutions (back row, far right), is shown with the company’s team of experts.

If indeed, as studies indicate, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and will continue to do so for at least the next decade, the implications for the health care system, for seniors and spouses with health problems, and for adult children of aging parents are very challenging. more

SHOWING HEART: Kate Hickey is rowing in the stroke seat for the Stanford women’s lightweight varsity 8 this spring during her freshman campaign. Former Princeton National Rowing Association Mercer Rowing Club (PNRA/Mercer) standout overcame a cardiac issue to help Stanford win its third straight Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national title. (Photo by David Bernal, Courtesy of Stanford’s Office of Athletic Communications)

Kate Hickey was having the time of her life coming into this spring.

The former Princeton National Rowing Association Mercer Rowing Club (PNRA/Mercer) standout was rowing on the top varsity women’s lightweight 8 at Stanford University, her dream school. more

BRACKETT BUSTER: Nick Brackett, right, of Packer Hall All-Stars battles with Elias Bermudez of Majeski Foundation last Wednesday at the Community Park courts in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League best-of-three championship series. Brackett helped lead seventh-seeded Packer Hall to an unlikely title run as it swept top-seeded and defending champion Majeski to win the championship. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Nick Brackett enjoyed two campaigns with the The College of New Jersey men’s basketball team after transferring from Delaware State where he had played football. more

July 26, 2017

The annual Princeton Community Night Out, sponsored by the Princeton Police Department, PBA Local 130, and the Princeton Recreation Department, will take place on August 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Community Park Pool. Activities will include Zumba dancing, free use of the pool, and a rock-climbing wall. There will also be hot dogs, ice cream, souvenir giveaways, and police and emergency tools and equipment on display. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Recreation Department)

At its meeting Monday evening, July 24, Princeton Council approved a resolution to authorize the Princeton Police Department’s appointment of five probationary police officers. With three retirements possible by the end of the year and 11 officers eligible for retirement through 2020, it is important to be proactive, Chief Nick Sutter told Council.

“My vision is that we anticipate these retirements because there is a lag time between when we hire someone and when they get fully certified,” he said. At a press conference earlier in the day, Mr. Sutter said this completes the most recent recruiting list, which he called “particularly robust.” more

The Joint Effort Safe Streets Program has announced honorees to be recognized during its 10-day celebration of the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) Community of Princeton beginning next week.  Honoring the historic role of the black church will be the focus of this year’s event-filled festival, which is titled “Looking Back & Moving Forward.”

“All of this year’s award recipients have made significant contributions to the Witherspoon-Jackson and Princeton community and are more than worthy of this recognition,” said Princeton Councilman Lance Liverman.  “The recognition of the historic role of the black church in Princeton is amazing and long overdue.  The history of these four black churches are stories of faith, leadership, and community service and need to be told to current and future generations.  The individuals and organizations being recognized give continuously to Princeton through their service and contributions to the community.” more

In a letter to the Rider University community this week, Rider President Gregory Dell’Omo said “great progress” is being made in efforts to sell Westminster Choir College in Princeton, which Rider has owned since 1991 and announced this past spring that it was putting it up for sale. Rider’s campus is located in Lawrenceville.

Rider’s Board of Trustees and PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance have communicated with some 280 possible purchasers, and have received “multiple proposals” from buyers who would either purchase the property and Choir College and keep it in Princeton, acquire the property and relocate the Westminster programs to another location, or simply buy the property. more

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM: These students from Trenton got to enjoy the outdoors while polishing their academic and leadership abilities during a week at Princeton-Blairstown Center’s Summer Bridge Academy. They are among 450 to experience nature and learning at the site this summer.

Learning tends to move outside during the summer months. At local nature preserves and green spaces, the outdoors become the classroom as students and teachers pursue everything from literacy and math to the wonders of the natural world. more

“MOZART OF TEACHING”: Hun School teacher Ryan Brown, dressed in his signature sweater vest, loves conducting, teaching, and doing math.  He uses his musical abilities in the math classroom and his mathematical abilities in the music classroom.  

As a teacher of math and music at The Hun School, Ryan Brown described every day as “a beautiful mix of left brain and right brain.  The music makes my math teaching more creative, and the math makes my music classes more structured, logical, organized.” more

Delphinium Books will publish Princeton resident Katherine Nouri Hughes’s novel The Mapmaker’s Daughter next month. Although the author will not be appearing at Labyrinth until October 9, the book has been receiving impressive advance notice.

According to Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus, Princeton University’s Bernard Lewis, “When the fiction is good, the history is usually distorted, and on the rare occasions when the history is good, the fiction is usually less interesting than the straight historical narrative. This novel is a remarkable exception…part history, part fiction, it is enthralling.” more

The image shown is Anna Alma-Tadema’s Girl in a Bonnet with Her Head on a Blue Pillow, 1902, watercolor and bodycolor with some graphite on board, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. 

BBC America’s Broadchurch and HBO’s Game of Thrones have descended on our household just in time to impact my impressions of the Princeton University Art Museum’s (PUAM) current exhibit, “Great British Drawings from the Ashmolean Museum.”  more

“SALT MARSH, BIRDS”: This painting by Lucretia E. McGuff-Silverman is featured in the exhibit “Celebration III by Creative Collective Group,” running August 6 through August 25 at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury. An opening reception will be held on August 6 from 1-3 p.m.

The Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury will host the exhibit “Celebration III by Creative Collective Group” from August 6 through August 25. An opening reception will be held on August 6 from 1-3 p.m.  more

PERCUSSIVE MULTI-TASKING: A typical performance by Sō Percussion, which concludes its summer institute at Princeton this weekend, is never confined to traditional instruments. (Photo by Claudia Hansen)

In a popular YouTube video from 2014, four men seated on a stage with their backs to the Los Angeles Philharmonic are snapping twigs in carefully timed unison. As the orchestra, led by famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel, continues to play a piece called man made by composer David Lang, the four turn their attention from the twigs to rows of wine bottles, which they clink and plonk with precision. more