April 26, 2017

Following a no-confidence vote against Rider University President Gregory Dell’Omo and his financial team, the University’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has sent a letter to the Board of Trustees stating its opposition to Rider’s March 28 decision to sell Westminster Choir College.

“We urge the Board of Trustees to rescind this decision and to begin the long, hard task of rebuilding trust with all of Rider’s stakeholders,” said Professor Jeffrey Halpern, Rider AAUP’s chief negotiator, in the letter. “Its de-acquisition will not alter Rider’s financial position or improve its long term viability. Instead, it will surely lead to a loss of both reputation and endowment.” more

Following repeated protests voiced by residents of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood at a meeting of Princeton Council Monday night, the governing body agreed to hold off on an ordinance concerning overnight parking and permits.

The ordinance is part of an effort to harmonize regulations of the former Borough and Township. Residents of areas in the old Township section С on Birch Avenue, Leigh Avenue, Race, and John Streets С would be required to begin paying $120 a year for overnight on-street parking permits (a concession would be made for low income residents who qualify for certain programs). They would also follow the former Borough’s regulations regarding the number of permits available to households. more

STORY TIME: It is often the simple things that mean the most. As the Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC) has found, its popular GrandPals reading program with children in the Princeton elementary schools, while simple on the surface, has lasting benefits. Intergenerational bonds are formed, imaginations soar, and a door to the future is opened. Shown in the photo are GrandPal Lorna Kaluzny with Riverside School students Polly North (left) and Nolen Copen-Bailey.

“Their voices would change; they became the

characters, and suddenly, the story came alive.

They were pirates or wolves or princes and

princesses; the world had slipped away. And so,

you might remember that special time when 

someone read aloud to you.”

—Anonymous more

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County offers two college scholarship opportunities available to Jewish students who reside in the Princeton-Mercer-Bucks-County community.

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer is offering book awards to college bound Jewish students. Facilitated by Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) of Greater Mercer County, the scholarships are awarded based on financial need and students must be accepted and enrolled in a college or university for the fall semester. The application deadline is June 1. more

From left, Edward Cohen, board member of Princeton School Gardens Cooperative and science curriculum coordinator for the Princeton Public Schools, and Billy Demko, Whole Earth Center employee, balance a bounty of The Bent Spoon’s School Garden pints, which are available for sale only at the Whole Earth Center and benefit the nonprofit. All proceeds from the sale of each pint (minus the price of the reusable containers) are donated to the Cooperative. In its decade of existence, the program has raised tens of thousands of dollars for food- and garden-based education in the public schools. In 2016 alone, the campaign raised almost $5,000.

Eight Princeton University faculty members who have demonstrated “exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts” will be pursuing a range of projects under the auspices of the Guggenheim Foundation during the coming year.

Among the 173 artists, scientists, and scholars chosen from a group of almost 3000 applicants, five members of the Princeton contingent are Lewis Center for the Arts Faculty members, and the others teach in the politics, history, and physics departments.  more

Toni Morrison at Princeton University. (Photo by Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy)

West College, a prominent central campus building at Princeton University, will be named for emeritus faculty member and Nobel Prize-wining novelist Toni Morrison, and the major auditorium in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs will be named for Arthur Lewis, Nobel laureate in economics and a member of the school’s faculty from 1963 to 1983.  more

Princeton has reached a “settlement in principle” with Fair Share House Center regarding the town’s fair share affordable housing obligation. The municipality has been involved in a court case with Fair Share over just how many units of affordable housing will be zoned through 2025.

“It means we’re in broad agreement on a settlement, but the details need to be worked out. We’re not ready to release them yet,” Mayor Liz Lempert said Monday. more

The Arts Council of Princeton is gearing up for the annual Communiversity ArtsFest, set for April 30, 2017 in downtown Princeton from 1-6 p.m. Central New Jersey’s largest and longest running cultural event will have more than 200 booths showing original art and contemporary crafts, merchandise, and food from around the globe, plus six stages of continuous live entertainment. The event draws more than 40,000 to the streets of downtown Princeton. (Photo Credit: Emily Reeves, Town Topics Newspaper) 

Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s Metamorphosis concert on Sunday, May 7 at 4 p.m. features the U.S. premiere of Zhou Tian’s “Broken Ink,” Claude Debussy’s “La Mer,” and Paul Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber.” Rossen Milanov conducts. A 3 p.m. pre-concert talk is free to ticket-holders. Both events will be held at Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, on the campus of Princeton University. For more information, visit princetonsymphony.org or call (609) 497-0020. (Photo Credit: Zhou Tian)

Sophie Glovier’s Walk the Trails In and Around Princeton (spiral-bound paperback Princeton Univ. Press 19.95) has been revised to include the newest trails. The guide includes 16 of the best trails through preserved open space in Princeton and its neighboring towns. This revised edition includes eight new walks, several of which have been created on land that has been preserved since the guide was originally published in 2009. The walks range from two to four miles, but many include suggestions for trail connections that allow people to extend the hike if they choose. The guide includes detailed color maps of the trails, directions on how to get to them and where to park, and recommendations for the most scenic routes. Each walk has been designed with a “reason to walk” in mind: a special boulder or waterfall to find, a bit of local history or a beautiful vista to enjoy. The guide is illustrated with specially commissioned color photographs, 16 of which are featured on detachable postcards. Among the new walks: the Scott and Hella McVay Poetry Trail, the Stony Brook Trail, and the trails at St. Michaels Farm Preserve. more

Wild River Review co-founder Joy E. Stocke and West Coast Editor Angie Brenner will celebrate the publication of their cultural and culinary cookbook, Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking (Burgess Lea Press $30) at Labyrinth Books on Thursday, April 27 at 6 p.m. They will be joined by Cocktail Whisperer Warren Bobrow who will make and serve Bosporus Fizzes, which he created for Tree of Life. Poet and translator Edmund Keeley will be reading his poem “Moussaka,” which asks the question: “To use Béchamel sauce or no?” The cookbook’s Spice Route Moussaka recipe has one answer. more

Beginning a column about Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday (April 25, 2017) on my mother’s 105th birthday (April 20, 2017), feels sentimentally right if only because she lived in the songs Ella sang, notably “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Whenever my father played either of those classics on the piano, my mother would be, as she liked to say, “reduced to rubble.”

In Visions of Jazz (1998), Gary Giddins makes the point that Ella “taught us something vital about joy, as Billie Holiday taught us something vital about pain.” He also observes that she was one of those jazz performers “who have become public monuments,” her “enduring authority” having “more than a little to do with an image of youthless (which is to say ageless) maternalism, sturdy and implacable.” Terms like “enduring authority” help explain why I never owned a single Ella album, never was a fan, even though she’d been magnificent the few times I’d seen her in person. Another problem was that, as Henry Pleasants notes in The Great American Popular Singers (1974), she’d “never been one for exposing her own heart in public,” preferring to share “her pleasures, not her troubles,” so that listening to her was “a joyous, exhilarating, memorable, but hardly an emotional experience.” more

MERCER DANCE ENSEMBLE AT MCCC: From left, dancers Brittany Dintinger of Hamilton, Caitlin Kazanski of Robbinsville, Victoria Smalls of Hamilton, Kimberly King of Hamilton and Kayla Johnson of Wrightstown will perform “On the Nature of Flying,” choreographed by Rebecca Brodowski. Mercer Dance Ensemble’s “Roots to Wings” concert features 15 original dance numbers and is coming to MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre May 6 and 7. Tickets are available at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling (609) 570-3333.

Creative exploration and joyful energy have been the hallmarks of the Dance Program at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) this year. With new artistic direction and three new instructors, MCCC’s current students, Dance alumni and faculty are eager to bring their work to the stage. The Mercer Dance Ensemble (MDE) presents “Roots to Wings: MDE in Concert” on Saturday, May 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 7 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. more

“PRETTY IN PINK”: Wondrous on Witherspoon Pop Up Art Gallery at 14½ Witherspoon Street is presenting “WoW, Spring into Art! An Artist Invitational.” It will feature the works and demonstrations by accomplished and emerging artists from April 28–June 8. There will also be a reception and art walk on May 19 from 6–9 p.m. Pictured here is a watercolor by artist Sandy O’Connor.

Beginning April 28 and just two days before Communiversity ArtFest, Wondrous on Witherspoon (WoW) will once again be “popping up” to offer works of art for sale by some of New Jersey’s most accomplished artists. Thanks to owner, Jeffrey Siegel, this show will mark WoW’s fourth pop-up gallery event in the former Army and Navy Store, located just steps away from Nassau Street and the gates to Princeton University. more

“ST. MICHAELS FARM PATH”: This piece by Lucy Kalian is among the works on display at the D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center as part of the “Eternal Beauty, Perpetual Green” exhibit.

D&R Greenway Land Trust presents Eternal Beauty, Perpetual Green: Preserves through the Seasons at the Johnson Education Center, 1 Preservation Place in Princeton until June 16, with a reception on Friday, April 28 from 5:30–7:30 p.m.; light refreshments will be served. RSVP by (609) 924-4646 or rsvp@drgreenway.org. The artists in this exhibit celebrate the beauty of preservation with many works depicting D&R Greenway preserves throughout the year. Also on view in the Olivia Rainbow Gallery is Eden/Habitat: Celebrating April as Autism Awareness Month. In this exhibit, Eden Autism students share creative views of their campus, through May 12. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, visit www.drgreenway.org.  more

For its annual concert commemorating founder and long-time conductor Walter L. Nollner, the Princeton University Glee Club reached high into the professional choral arena to lead the ensemble’s closing performance of the season. British conductor and composer James Burton, recently appointed choral director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductor of the orchestra’s resident Tanglewood Festival Chorus, led the Glee Club on Sunday afternoon in Richardson Auditorium in a concert featuring works of Francis Poulenc and Ralph Vaughan Williams, an opportunity made possible by the spring sabbatical of University Director of Choral Activities Gabriel Crouch. While Mr. Crouch has been on sabbatical, the Glee Club has been ably directed by Renata Berlin, assistant director of choirs at the University and conductor of the William Trego Singers. Sunday afternoon’s performance showed the strength of the Glee Club as an organization and its consistent quality under different conductors. more

GOAL ORIENTED: Stuart Country Day School lacrosse player Ali Hannah heads upfield in recent action. Last Wednesday, junior star Hannah tallied nine goals to help Stuart defeat Trinity Hall 15-10 and improve 5-3. The Tartans host Hightstown on April 27 before starting play in the state Prep B tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Ali Hannah decided that she had to be ready to go the distance in order to make a greater impact this season for the Stuart Country Day lacrosse team. more

April 24, 2017

There are many places to enjoy Princeton in the spring, including Cannon Green behind Nassau Hall at Princeton University. A variety of responses to favorite things about spring in Princeton can be found in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

April 19, 2017

Angela Siso Stentz, Princeton Public Schools (PPS) supervisor of guidance for K-12, has been appointed assistant principal at Princeton High School (PHS). She will replace Lori Rotz, who will be retiring from that position on July 1.

In the district since 2000, first as a special education teacher in math and Spanish and for the past ten years in guidance, Ms. Siso Stentz looks forward to using her experience and knowledge and the relationships she’s developed across the district to help in her work with students in the high school.

“I’ve had an opportunity to see the district perspective,” she said, “and that knowledge and awareness, knowing where the students are coming from, will help me fill in gaps and work with students, parents, colleagues, and others.”

Ms. Siso Stentz, who was supervisor of student activities at PHS, is particularly eager to focus more directly on working with students in her new role, both inside and outside the classroom. “I’m looking forward to enjoying myself in working more closely with students and their families,” she said. “As guidance director I worked district-wide, focusing on programs and staff, sometimes not engaging with students that much. I’m looking forward to helping students with the challenges in their lives and celebrating their accomplishments. I’m especially interested in getting involved in extra-curricular activities and athletics.” more

Third graders from all five of Princeton’s elementary schools are spending some time outdoors this week and next. They are learning what it takes to plant a tree and С more importantly С keep it healthy.

It’s all part of the annual commemoration of Arbor Day, which is officially April 28. Saving trees is a particularly relevant issue in Princeton, where emerald ash borer beetles have been destroying ash trees across the area. The Princeton school events began Tuesday morning at Princeton Charter School and will wind up Friday, April 28 at Johnson Park School. more

MUSIC AND HISTORY: Joe Miller, Choral Director at Westminster Choir College, is the conductor of this weekend’s performances of “Anthracite Fields” at Trenton’s Roebling Wireworks. Mr. Miller spent two years working to bring the Pulitzer-winning oratorio by Julia Wolfe to the Wireworks, where he is pictured.

When Westminster Choir College embarked on Transforming Space, a project exploring how the arts can alter a site not originally intended for that purpose, Trenton’s historic Roebling Wireworks immediately fit the bill. more

The public has used the Internet to empower bargain shopping in many different areas, but one realm particularly resistant to transparency and equity is the funeral industry, according to Josh Slocum, nationally-known consumer advocate and expert on funeral issues.

In a talk on “Bringing the Funeral Industry into the 21st Century” at Princeton Abbey on Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m., Mr. Slocum will advise audience members on how to protect themselves from paying too much for a funeral. He will also describe his plans to bring transparency and fairness to the funeral business. more

“NASSAU INN”: This charming oil painting of the Nassau Inn is among the 27 works by James McPhillips currently on view on the second floor Reading Room of the Princeton Public Library. The exhibit titled, “Nassau Hall to Hoagie Haven,” includes familiar scenes of Princeton along with McPhillips’ pop rebus images. The paintings are on display and available for purchase until July 31.

If you don’t already have James (Jay) McPhillips’ Princeton rebus on your car, you’ve likely seen the bright orange bumper stickers around town. Mr. McPhillips’ pop rebus graphics have certainly made their mark on Princeton, and most recently, the Princeton Public Library (PPL). In conjunction with the redesign of the library’s second floor, Mr. McPhillips debuted his biggest art show to date, “Nassau Hall to Hoagie Haven.” On display in the Reading Room until July 31, the body of work features paintings of Princeton and the surrounding areas, along with the pop rebus graphics synonymous with Mr. McPhillips’ name.  more

ARTJAM 2017: ArtSpace, the art therapy program at HomeFront, is welcoming sponsors for this year’s ArtJam. Opening in May, the art show and sale brings together established artists and HomeFront client-artists to celebrate community, creativity, and the love of art. Pictured here is a piece by one of the HomeFront artists titled, “Mountains.”

HomeFront’s ArtJam, a fun and funky pop-up art gallery, will open Friday, May 19 at 19 Hulfish Street, Princeton and run for three weeks. The 7th annual event brings together professional artists and HomeFront client-artists in a celebration of creativity. It will feature a rotating collection of art for sale and meet-and-greets with the artists.  more