February 15, 2017

A drug that could bring hope to millions of people living with Alzheimer’s disease is being tested in clinical trials by a Monmouth Junction-based pharmaceutical company at research sites in Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Suven Inc. is seeking people ages 50 to 85 who have been diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s and who are taking two standard medications for the disease — donepezil and memantine/Namenda XR. The clinical testing is designed to examine the efficacy of SUVN-502 on mental abilities impaired by the disease. more

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will appear at Rider University on March 23 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Virtues of Free Markets: An Evening with Hon. Newt Gingrich” is presented by the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics and is part of the University’s Hennessy Family Lecture on Capitalism series, which was inaugurated last year with an appearance by writer, scholar, and public intellectual Dinesh D’Souza. more

“BREAKING POINT”: Starting February 28, this piece by Kahlilah Sabree will be on display at the Prindiville Mohey Gallery at Artworks Trenton. “Explorations in Geometry,” an exhibition of prints by Bill Brookover will open the same day in the Artworks Community Gallery.

Artworks Trenton presents two exhibitions opening February 28, 2017. There will be an opening reception March 11, 6-8 p.m. for both exhibitions. more

“CONCRETE REEF”: This photo by Valerie Chaucer-Levine is part of the “Cell Phone Images Only” art exhibition on display in the Considine Gallery at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton from March 3– April 13. The public is invited to the Opening Reception on Sunday, March 5, 2-4 p.m. and the Gallery Talk on Tuesday, March 7, 1-2 p.m.

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart announces the spring exhibition in the school’s Considine Gallery will feature works from the Princeton Photography Club. Over 25 photographers are represented in the innovative exhibition, “Cell Phone Images Only,” which runs March 3 — April 13, and is made up entirely of images taken on cell phones. The opening reception is Sunday, March 5 from 2-4 p.m. There will be a gallery talk with the artists on Tuesday, March 7 from 1-2 p.m. The gallery is open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, when school is in session.  more

FEELING FIT: “We have a state-of-the-art fitness center and want to offer the best for our members. We build a relationship with people. We listen to them and find out what they like and what they might want to change.” Ralph Basile, owner and general manager of Retro Fitness in the Kingston Mall, is shown next to the popular AbSolo strengthening machine.

Working out at Retro Fitness is not only beneficial for your health and well-being, it can be fun too, says new owner Ralph Basile. “We make a point of getting to know our members,” he says. “I‘m a people person. I enjoy being able to meet all the people and bond with them.” more

February 8, 2017

Ice experts from Ice Sculpture Philly created a winter wonderland on Palmer Square Saturday that included an Ice Throne, an Ice Graffiti Wall, and a Princeton tiger. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

A rally “Against the Muslim Ban and Bigotry,” co-sponsored by The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), took place on the steps of the Trenton City Hall Monday, as federal courts, which had temporarily banned the administration from enforcing two parts of Mr. Trump’s order, considered the federal government’s appeals against their ruling.

Meanwhile local institutions, groups, and individuals continue to express their concern and to take action to support vulnerable individuals. more

MAKING HIS MOVE: Princeton University wrestler Matt Kolodzik, right, battles a foe in a bout earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman star Kolodzik, currently ranked fourth nationally at 141 pounds with a 20-2 record, posted two wins to help Princeton defeat Brown 32-6 and Harvard 33-3. The Tigers, now 7-6 overall and 3-0 Ivy League, wrestle at Columbia on February 10 and at perennial league champion Cornell on February 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Matt Kolodzik boasts the most glittering resume of any freshman to ever join the Princeton University wrestling program. more

A fire last Saturday that ripped through an AvalonBay Communities apartment complex in Maplewood, under construction and scheduled to open in March, destroyed many of its units. While this is the second major blaze in two years at a property owned by AvalonBay, which opened Avalon Princeton last fall, a company official said the Witherspoon Street development is more than up to code. more

Efforts continue by those who support keeping Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton rather than relocating the school to Rider’s Lawrenceville campus. A town hall forum on the topic was held Tuesday evening at the Arts Council of Princeton, and pressure on financially strapped Rider is sure to continue as the administration works toward a decision on the fate of the Princeton music school. more

GOING GREEN ATJW: Green Team members show off their new plan for recycling and composting at John Witherspoon Middle School. The students presented the program to their teachers at a faculty meeting on Monday and will bring their peers on board in homerooms this Friday.

A group of seventh and eight graders, members of the John Witherspoon Middle School (JW) Green Team, are moving into high gear this week, first teaching their teachers about recycling and composting, then bringing their training to the whole school in homerooms on Friday. more

As she was growing up, Joy Barnes-Johnson planned her future life as a dancer. Then an injury during her junior year in high school turned into a loss for the world of dance but a great gain for the world of education and for hundreds of students at Princeton High School, where she has taught science since 2007.

“When I knew I couldn’t be a dancer, I fell in love with science,” she recalled. “And I remember my chemistry teacher said to me, ‘Joy, you’re not going to be a dancer, but you’re really smart and you’ll probably be a great teacher.’ I knew I had this ability to explain things to my peers.”  more

The Pennington School welcomed poet, essayist, National Book Award winner, and bestselling author Mark Doty as a guest speaker on Tuesday, January 31, as part of the School’s 2016-17 Stephen Crane Lecture Series.

Mr. Doty read a selection of his poems and discussed his writing process with students and faculty. He noted that he often uses the world around him as a catalyst for his creative process. After his presentation, he held a Master Class and working lunch in the Silva Gallery of Art with 40 students grades 8-12.   more

THREE CENTURIES OF BLACK SOLDIERS: That’s the title of a program at Trenton’s Old Barracks, taking place later this month. One of several area commemorations of Black History Month, the presentation is by re-enactors who represent African American soldiers who have fought in American wars, from the Revolution onward.

Al Ward and his colleagues from the Sixth Regiment United States Colored Troops Re-enactors Inc. often get the same comment from onlookers when they deliver presentations about African American involvement in American wars.

“People are surprised to hear of the many contributions blacks have made, in everything from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam and beyond,” said Mr. Ward, a retired research scientist at the New Jersey Department of Health. “But black soldiers have been participating in the American military experience from the beginning of our country through the present. It’s a story that needs to be told — and to all Americans, not just blacks.” more

Sometimes it feels even when no one is there that someone something is watching and listening …. —C.K. Williams (1936-2015), from “The Singing”

With Valentine’s Day approaching, here’s a bouquet of love notes from three writers who were all born on this date, February 8. According to the peerless prose stylist John Ruskin (1819-1900), he of the unconsummated marriage, “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” Jules Verne (1828-1905), the author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, sounded the amorous depths when he asked, “Is not a woman’s heart unfathomable?” While it’s a challenge to pick any one gem from the riches Robert Burton (1577-1640) compiled for his “Symptoms of Love” in The Anatomy of Melancholy, it’s hard to top this spectacular valentine: “better a Metropolitan City were sackt, a Royal Army overcome, an Invincible Armada sunk, and twenty thousand Kings should perish, than her little finger ache ….”

Another literary luminary born into the world of love and loss on this date, Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) begins her poem “Three Valentines” by claiming, “Love, with his gilded bow and crystal arrows/Has slain us all.”  more

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer will be holding its Business Networking Event on February 22 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Spruce Street Community Center located on 1040 Spruce Street in Lawrence.

Scheduled are a guided tour of the new community center, live program demonstrations, information about child care and club programs for employees, details regarding volunteer opportunities, and a chance to connect with other area professionals. Light refreshments will be served. more

The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion presents a talk with David Bosted entitled, “Eslanda and Paul Robeson: A Twentieth Century Love Affair” on Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m. at Ellarslie Mansion at Cadwalader Park in Trenton. The 1937 movie “Big Fella,” starring Paul Robeson as a street-wise but honest dockworker, is set on the docks and streets of Marseilles. Elisabeth Welch plays opposite him as a café singer in love with Robeson’s character. Robeson’s wife, Eslanda Robeson, plays the role of the café owner. For more information, visit www.ellarslie.org

Join Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands for a walk through the fields of Mapleton Preserve in Kingston on Sunday, February 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. Walkers will look for signs of life in the winter landscape including plants, animals, and birds. Hot chocolate will be served after the walk. This event is free to attend, but pre-registration is requested by calling Karen Linder at (609) 683-0483. For directions to Mapleton Preserve, visit http://fpnl.org.

Princeton Summer Theater is pleased to welcome Luke Soucy and Megan Berry as the company’s new leadership team for the 2017 season.

Minneapolis native Luke Soucy will serve as PST’s Artistic Director, with Megan Berry of Cambridge, MA as Executive Director. Both are theater certificate students in Princeton University’s Class of 2019. more

A SATIRICAL FANTASIA: Princeton University freshman Tri Le (left) as Frank and senior Kathy Zhao (right) as Kathy in rehearsal for Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery to be presented at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts and directed by faculty member Peter Kim on February 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. Performances will take place at the Marie and Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio located at 185 Nassau Street in Princeton. (Photo Credit: Justin Goldberg)

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater at Princeton University will present Charles Francis Chan, Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery by Lloyd Suh, directed by faculty member Peter Kim and featuring senior Kathy Zhao, on February 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18 at 8 p.m. Performances will take place in the Marie and Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio located at 185 Nassau Street in Princeton. The February 17 performance will be American Sign Language-interpreted. A symposium presented in collaboration with the student theater group East West Theater Company will precede the February 11 performance, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Matthews Acting Studio. more

Howell Living History Farm’s maple sugaring operations are in full swing in late February when freezing nights and thawing days make for heavy sap flows. Related work and rendering of maple syrup at the farm sometimes goes round-the-clock this time of the season. On Saturday, February 18 and 25, visitors can join the work and fun by helping farmers in the sugar bush, sugarhouse and farmhouse kitchen, where many hands are needed to ensure that syrup-drenched pancakes are on the table for tasting. Parking and admission are free. For more information, visit www.howellfarm.org.

“WITHIN THE LIGHT TENT: A SELF- PORTRAIT”: This photo by Shana Mimnaugh ’17, will be a part of Princeton Day School’s upcoming exhibit, “Identity.” The student artwork explores the individual identities of the PDS community and will be on display from February 13 until March 8.

The Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School is pleased to present an exhibit titled “Identity,” on view from February 13 to March 8. Entirely composed of work created by Princeton Day School students in all three divisions, the exhibit centers around individual identities and the diversity of the PDS community. The artists reception will take place on Thursday, February 16, from 12:30–1:30 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. more

February 7, 2017

JAZZED UP: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Jasmine Hansford, left, dribbles past a foe in recent action. Last Friday, freshman guard Hansford scored a career-high 25 points in a losing cause as Stuart fell 55-46 to Pennington. The Tartans, who moved to 16-5 with a 74-33 loss to Bound Brook last Monday, host Lawrence on February 1 and the Hun School on February 3 before playing at the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart (Pa.) on February 7. Stuart has been seeded No. 1 in the state Prep B tournament and is slated to host a semifinal contest on February 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In the beginning of the season, Jasmine Hansford deferred to others on the court for the Stuart Country Day School basketball team. more

February 6, 2017

On Tuesday, February 7 from 6-8 p.m. at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College will hold a Westminster Community Town Hall Forum to discuss the recent announcement by Rider president Gregory Dell’Omo that the Rider Board of Trustees is considering a plan to sell the Westminster campus in Princeton and move the college to Rider’s Lawrenceville campus.

The forum panel will include representatives from student, alumni, and faculty groups from both campuses, including Art Taylor, president of the Rider University chapter of the AAUP faculty union. The university administration is looking for ways to stabilize  low enrollment and a projected $13.1 million deficit this year. Friends and neighbors of the college and the university are invited to participate and discuss how this proposed campus consolidation would affect their community.  The forum is open to the public.

February 1, 2017

There has been an outpouring of support in Princeton — from the University, the Institute for Advanced Study, town government and local groups — for refugees and other immigrants affected by President Donald Trump’s recent executive actions.