April 22, 2015

Morven in May, the annual juried exhibition and sale of contemporary, American-made crafts by 35 artisans from around the country, will take place May 1-3 on the Great Lawn at Morven Museum at 55 Stockton Street.

All of the art is displayed in gallery-style booths. In addition, plants including fragrant heirloom flowers, new varieties of annuals and perennials, flowering shrubs, and select items propagated from Morven’s own gardens will be for sale.

The weekend kicks off on the Great Lawn with a Friday evening preview party before opening to the public for two days of art and garden treasure hunting. All proceeds help fund the museum’s exhibitions, historic gardens, and educational programs. The preview plant sale for Friends of Morven is May 1, 1-3:30 p.m. The Preview Garden Party is 6:30-9:30 p.m. For tickets to that event, which start at $125, call (609) 924-8144 ext. 113.

The public hours for the craft show and plant sale are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 at the door ($8 for Friends of Morven) to the craft show. No tickets are necessary for the plant sale. For more information, visit www.morven.org.

pr record exchange

The world-renowned Princeton Record Exchange marked 35 years in Princeton Friday on National Record Store Day. As usual, fans and collectors lined up well before the doors opened. In this week’s Town Talk you’ll find out some of the special items people were looking for. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

orson theater

Princeton Garden Theatre will screen five films honoring the late actor, director, writer, and producer Orson Welles beginning on May 6. One of Welles’ best-loved films, “Citizen Kane,” will be shown on May 14 at 7:30 p.m. For a complete listing of events, visit www. thegardentheatre.com.

April 17, 2015

The New Jersey State Police have released a composite of the suspect from the criminal sexual contact that occurred on Friday, April 10, in the area of Franklin Avenue near Jefferson Road, where he grabbed the buttocks of a 15 year-old female walking to school.  The male is described as Hispanic, 5’5” – 5’7”, 30 – 40 years of age, thin build, black hair, brown eyes, wrinkled complexion, and wearing a gray hoodie jacket, green puffy vest, and blue jeans.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Benjamin Gering at (609) 921-2100 ext. 1840  or email bgering@princetonnj.gov.

 criminal suspect

At a meeting Monday night, Princeton Council introduced an ordinance that would turn a four-bedroom house on Hilltop Drive into a group residence for developmentally disabled adults. The municipality is providing $400,000 toward the purchase, which will earn affordable housing credits toward Princeton’s Fair Share Affordable Housing Obligation.

 While the town will contribute to the purchase, it will not own the property. Money for the project would come from Princeton’s affordable housing trust fund. Youth Consultation Services would run the home, providing any extra funding for the purchase and renovations.

 Low or moderate income residents from throughout New Jersey with developmental disabilities would be eligible for a room in the residence, but one room would be reserved for a Princeton resident.

 The ordinance comes up for public hearing and adoption at Council’s meeting on April 27.

April 15, 2015

page3Colleagues, former students, and family of Michael Graves celebrated his life and work Sunday in a three-hour memorial at Princeton University, where the late architect taught for 39 years. Famed architects Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, and Robert A.M. Stern; critic Paul Goldberger; and many members of the local architectural community were among those who gathered to remember Mr. Graves, who died suddenly on March 12 at age 80.

Mr. Graves “changed the rules and altered architectural debate,” said Robert Ivy, chief executive officer of the American Institute of Architects. Learning of Mr. Graves death “was as if a light had gone out.” By introducing color and wit to the architectural landscape in the early 1980’s, “his work continued to confront and challenge us at the same time,” he said. “It continued to bring us joy.”

Patrick Burke, a principal with the Princeton-based Michael Graves Architecture and Design, described his colleague and mentor as “the most passionate, optimistic, talented, insatiable, determined person I have ever known.” He added, “The most damning criticism was when he would point to your drawing on the wall and say, ‘Well, I just don’t want to be there,’” he added, to knowing chuckles from former students and colleagues in the audience.

Mary Sue Sweeney Price, former director of The Newark Museum, commented that the rebirth of Newark is often credited to the renovation and ongoing projects the Graves firm has done for the museum. Mr. Meier recalled his friendship with Mr. Graves, dating from 1972 when they shared a Manhattan art studio. Both decided to focus on architecture rather than painting. “I stopped painting, but Michael didn’t,” he said. “He continued throughout his life. It was unusual for an architect to be known for his objects as well as his work,” he added, referring to Mr. Graves product designs, “but Michael did everything.”

Paralyzed from the chest down since 2003, Mr. Graves became an advocate for people with disabilities and accessible design. He was especially passionate about the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, one of his most recent projects. Mr. Graves was appointed to the United States Access Board by President Barack Obama in 2013. “He would always give us his candid opinions, but with humor,” recalled David Capozzi, executive director. “He attended all 12 of our meetings, including one the day before he died.”

More than one of the 12 speakers were visibly moved by the occasion. Susan Conger-Austin, a former student of Mr. Graves who is now a professor in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute, became emotional while telling how she incorporates Mr. Graves’ philosophies in her teaching. “I try to impart to my students the responsibilities of an architect, the process of thinking, but most importantly, the principles that Michael instilled in those of us fortunate enough to have known him,” she said. “That is the living legacy of Michael.”

The memorial featured two videos about Mr. Graves and four musical selections. Slides of his work, from iconic buildings to products he designed for Target stores, were projected during the gathering.

Several people spoke of Mr. Graves’s superior abilities in drawing and the importance he placed on drawing and painting. He had a strong connection to Rome, where he won the prestigious Rome Prize early in his career and studied at the American Academy. Mr. Graves returned frequently to Rome to teach. “He’d be both super-charged and walking on air,” said Adele Chatfield-Taylor, president emerita of the American Academy in Rome. “His students worshipped him and followed him around like the Pied Piper.”

Mr. Graves’ daughter Sarah Graves Stelfox recalled her father’s notorious sweet tooth, his fondness for Mozart and Bob Dylan, and his joy at taking every ride at Disney World with his grandchildren. The spinal cord infection that left him partially paralyzed was difficult for him, she acknowledged. “But like the artist he was, he had a new creative journey. And he remained hopeful and positive.”

THE WRITER WHEN YOUNG: Landon Jones in his first job at Time magazine in 1968. “Notice all the period details, the manual typewriter, the old Manhattan skyline, and the pencils stuck in the ceiling because I threw them there,” said the award-winning editor and writer who receives Time Inc’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award tonight, April 15, at a celebratory dinner in New York City. If the image prompts thoughts of “Mad Men,” that may be because The Time-Life building served as the model for the interiors and exteriors in the AMC series.(Image Courtesy of Lanny Jones)

THE WRITER WHEN YOUNG: Landon Jones in his first job at Time magazine in 1968. “Notice all the period details, the manual typewriter, the old Manhattan skyline, and the pencils stuck in the ceiling because I threw them there,” said the award-winning editor and writer who receives Time Inc’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award tonight, April 15, at a celebratory dinner in New York City. If the image prompts thoughts of “Mad Men,” that may be because The Time-Life building served as the model for the interiors and exteriors in the AMC series. (Image Courtesy of Lanny Jones)

Time Inc.’s 17th Annual Luce Awards will be celebrated tonight, April 15, at a dinner in New York City. Longtime Princeton resident and Princeton University alumnus Landon Jones will be spruced up and ready to receive The Lifetime Achievement Award.

“During the years I served as Time Inc.’s editor-in-chief, I relied on Lanny’s professionalism and his good judgment. He made every magazine he touched better,” said Norman Pearlstine, the company’s executive vice president and chief content officer since October 2013, in his announcement of the award winners last month.

Time Inc.’s highest honors, the Luce Awards recognize editorial excellence in 19 print, digital, and multimedia categories in the media company’s magazines People, Money, and InStyle, among others. Mr. Jones had an enormous influence over many of these publications. He is the former editor of both People and Money magazines.

Mr. Jones grew up in St. Louis and attended Princeton University, where he wrote for the Daily Princetonian. He joined Time Inc. After graduating in 1966, he wrote for Time until 1970, when he returned to Princeton to edit the Princeton Alumni Weekly. After working on the alumni publication for five years, he went back to Time Inc. as a writer for People magazine, where stayed until 1984 when he was named editor of Money.

During his five years as Money’s editor, the magazine won three National Magazine awards, including one for General Excellence. Mr. Jones returned to People as its top editor in 1989, a position he held until 1997. While at People, he helped plan and launch three new magazines: Who Weekly for the Australian market, InStyle, and People en Español.

After leaving People, Mr. Jones served as Time Inc. vice president for strategic planning until he retired in 2000. He is the author of three books: Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation (1980); The Essential Lewis and Clark (2000); and William Clark and the Shaping of the West (2004).

Town Topics asked Mr. Jones to share some of the highlights of his long career.

Linda Arntzenius (LA): Do you remember your first day at People?

Landon Jones (LJ): My first day at People was in March 1974, when this audacious new magazine was just three weeks old. I had previously worked at both Life and Time, from 1966-69, so I knew some of the first editors at People. The tiny staff had worked about five straight all-nighters to close the first issue and were totally exhausted. But it was a weekly. It was as if someone finally realized, ‘Do you mean we have to do this again?’ So they brought me in during my spring publication break at the Princeton Alumni Weekly, where I was then the editor.

LA: What was your job and how did it come about?

LJ: I was hired as a temporary writer, what we called a ‘green req’ writer (so named for some Human Resources form). My first story was about a crusading TV newsman in Houston, Texas named Marvin Zindler. In those days, People would do stories about just about anyone we thought was interesting. We thought we were starting a magazine about extraordinary people, no matter what field they were in. We did not think of it as a celebrity magazine.

LA: Where did you live when you were working at the magazine?

LJ: I had just moved with my wife Sarah and 2-year-old daughter Rebecca to 40 Morgan Place in Princeton. My wife still talks about all the late-night closes at People when I would get home at dawn and walk in and hand her the newspaper while she was fixing breakfast. This happened two or three times a week. At People we called those early years ‘the Bataan Death March.’

LA: Who are some of the most interesting people you came into contact with over your long career? Any standouts?

LJ: I came into contact with some amazing people. I personally interviewed Presidents Reagan, Bush 41 [George Herbert Walker Bush], Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton several times, Elizabeth Taylor and Arlo Guthrie. One of the most remarkable people I met was Malcolm X, whom I interviewed as a Princeton student for The Daily Princetonian. He was killed a few months later. Others I met briefly were Raquel Welch, Barbra Streisand, and Fidel Castro.

Then there was Princess Diana. I flew to London to have tea with her to talk about People doing a fund-raising gala with her at the Field Museum in Chicago. It was a great kick to get into a London taxi and tell the driver, ‘Kensington Palace, please.’ He said, ‘You mean Kensington Park, guv?’ I said, ‘No, I mean Kensington Palace.’ We did do the event in Chicago, by the way, and she was wonderful and charming, very girlish. Her jewelry was probably worth more than the Field Museum.

The great thing about journalism, as you know, is that if you have an itch to find out something, or meet somebody, you probably can do it.

LA: Did you ever expect to be receiving a lifetime achievement award?

LJ: Not really. Awards like this usually go to well-known journalists with names like Isaacson, Deford, Loomis and Grunwald. But as an editor I was always looking for ways to do the unexpected, take chances, to expand what a magazine can do. So at Money I moved it from just covering personal finance to doing investigative stories on AIDS and the blood supply. At People I moved the magazine from black and white to all-color and did stories on teen pregnancy and racism in Hollywood.

One morning when I read that thousands of Latinos had gone to the funeral of the singer named Selena whom I had never heard of, I wondered if we could start a magazine for Hispanic readers. It’s now People en Espanol, a big success. We had the luxury to be able to take chances. And it worked! People’s success made my baby boom book possible. I had met the demographer Charlie Westoff at Princeton University, who helped me see the relationship between population change and social change. I knew I wanted to write about it. And then People gave me a six-month leave to write my book. The magazine’s success made that possible.

LA: How do you feel about the award?

LJ: Well, I am proud to be recognized for some of the innovations we did — taking People to all-color, assigning investigative pieces, looking for injustices. That is the job of journalism, and we showed that a so-called celebrity magazine could also practice first-rate journalism along with the best of them. We were lucky in one sense that we caught the wave of public interest in celebrities and really rode it well. But that’s not the whole story. People became the most successful magazine in history because it spoke to the better angels of our nature. It’s much tougher to do that now in the wild world of the internet.

LA What are you up to these days?

LJ: I do a lot of writing. Most recently op-ed pieces for the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Time.com. I am from St. Louis, so after the situation erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, I wrote longer, personal pieces for The New Yorker.com and The Atlantic.com. I am not used to writing that personally, and to my surprise I liked it.

For more on Mr. Jones, visit: http://lannyjones.com.

National Book Award-Winning poet Mark Doty will be reading from his latest collection, Deep Lane: Poems (Norton $25.95) at Labyrinth Books on Wednesday, April 22, at 6 p.m.

The National Book Award citation for Mr. Doty’s Fire to Fire reads, “Elegant, plain-spoken, and unflinching, Mark Doty’s poems … invite us to share their ferocious compassion.”

Says Poet Gerald Stern: “Mark Doty writes with absolute exactitude, with one eye on the ideal or absolute and one on the real; the ghost of Walt Whitman on one hand, and a laundromat on 16th Street in New York on the other. There is not a finer, more delicate, more sublime poet writing today in the English language. It’s a poet’s job to show us what we knew but never saw before; and it’s a poet’s job to tell us over and over what love is. Doty is this poet.”

According to poet Mary Oliver, “One of the things that has been constant about Mark Doty’s work, poetry and prose, is his intense search for the exact word or phrase, of whatever issue, which leads him (and us) into the very furnace of meaning within the human story. It might be the color of the inside of a shell of a mussel found on the beach; it might be the recognition that the heart that feels close to dying might not die, if the will can be fed just a little.”

Mark Doty is the author of eight previous books of poetry and four books of prose. In addition to the National Book Award, his honors include National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, and, in the UK, the T. S. Eliot Prize. He is a professor at Rutgers University.

Princeton Record Exchange will celebrate National Record Store Day on Saturday, April 18. Doors open at 10 a.m., but customers line up much earlier than that to increase their chances of purchasing rarer titles. As a special treat, the musical group Wild Rice will perform in-store at 6 p.m. The psychedelic band includes current and former Record Exchange staff.

The purpose of National Record Store Day is to celebrate independently owned record stores. On this day, hundreds of limited edition titles are sold all over the country. This year’s slate of releases covers a wide scope of genres. Some of the highlights include The Doors Strange Days in mono (first mono re-issue since 1967); Jerry Garcia’s Compliments on green vinyl; Phish’s New Year’s Eve 1995 Live at MSG, and many more.

Princeton Record Exchange has been consistently ranked as one of the top record stores in the country. The store has been buying and selling new and used music and movies since 1980. Princeton Record Exchange is located at 20 South Tulane Street in downtown Princeton. Learn more at www.prex.com.

Princeton Police have reported that on Tuesday afternoon at Hamilton Avenue near Chestnut Street, a man attempted to lure an 11-year-old boy into his vehicle while the child was walking home from school. The incident was reported Tuesday evening.

The man is described as a Hispanic or black male, 35 to 40 years old, five feet 10 inches to six feet and approximately six feet tall. He is of slim and lanky build and was wearing gray sweat pants and a long sleeve shirt, possibly with yellow stripes. The vehicle he attempted to lure the child into is a four-door mini-van or small SUV, gray in color, and a newer model, of unknown registration.

The suspect allegedly parked along the south curb of Hamilton Avenue approximately 100 feet east of Chestnut Street with the engine running, and stood outside on the south sidewalk. As the child walked east and approached, the suspect motioned with his hands to come toward him, opened the rear passenger door and pointed for the child to get in. The child ran away in the opposite direction where he coincidentally met his mother driving by and reported the incident to her, according to police reports. The suspect was not located in the area.

The victim was not injured and there was no verbal communication between him and the suspect. The vehicle was empty and no on else was present.

Police ask that anyone with information contact Detective Sergeant Christopher Quaste at (609) 921-2100 ext. 2120 or cquaste!princetonnj.gov.

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) inducted Princeton resident Judith K. Brodsky into its Hall of Fame at its annual benefit Tuesday, April 14 at 583 park Avenue in New York City.

In addition to Ms. Brodsky, three artists who received early career support from NYFA, singer/songwriter Antony Hegarty, visual artist Shirin Neshat, and screenwriter Eric Overmyer were also honored.

Past honorees include: Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio; The Ford Foundation; Elliot Goldenthal; Todd Haynes; Deborah Kass; Christian Marclay; Terry McMillan; Mira Nair; Kathleen O’Grady; Suzan-Lori Parks; Wendy Perron; Dwight Rhoden; Ben Rodriguez-Cubenas; Andres Serrano, and Fred Wilson.

Ms. Brodsky was recognized for her extraordinary accomplishments as a patron of the arts and artist. She is a NYFA board member, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Visual Arts Department at Rutgers University where she founded the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions (BCIE) and co-founded the Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art. She is a former president of the College Art Association, National Women’s Caucus for Art, and ArtTable. Through her leadership, teaching, activism, and fundraising ability, she has had an important impact on the transformation of the art world into a diverse global community. Brodsky currently resides in Princeton.

During her years at Rutgers from 1978 to 2001, she held administrative positions in addition to teaching. From 1978 to 1986, she was at the Rutgers Newark campus first as chair of the art department, then as a dean and finally as associate provost of the campus. She has organized and curated many exhibitions and written extensively about women and prints. A current project is the 30th anniversary exhibition of the Brodsky Center, which is scheduled to open at the New Jersey State Museum in the fall of 2018. In addition, she is working on a book project documenting women artists who are using and influencing digital technology.

For more information, visit: NYFA.org.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 4, the squad responded to the corner of Henry Avenue and Harris Road on the report of a woman in labor in a vehicle on the side of the road. Upon arrival, the crew discovered a woman in the front seat of the car holding a newborn child. The mother was accompanied by her husband, her doula, and police officers who had arrived on the scene prior to the squad. The doula reported that after the onset of labor, she and the patient’s husband attempted to transport the mother to University Medical Center of Princeton. Unaware that the hospital had moved to Plainsboro in 2012, the trio drove to the site of the recently demolished former hospital, and when it became apparent that delivery of the child was imminent, and not knowing the hospital’s new location, they requested that the squad respond. The crew evaluated both mother and child and determined them to be healthy and displaying no critical symptoms. The delivery of the placenta, however, had not yet taken place. Mother and child were placed on the stretcher and loaded into the ambulance for transport to University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) for further treatment and evaluation.

The Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad is staffed 24 hours a day by approximately 90 volunteer and career personnel. Members of the community who are interested in volunteering with the Squad are encouraged to visit www.pfars.org, e-mail info@pfars.org, or call (609) 924-3338 to learn more about EMS, technical rescue, and administrative opportunities.

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Though Saturday was “training day” for the British 43rd Regiment of Foot and the 4th Battalion Royal Artillery, the Red Coats appear to be taking a break adjacent to the Thomas Clarke House, where General Mercer died after being wounded during the actual battle. There were demonstrations with muskets, cannon, tactical formations and drills, marching, and loading and firing volleys. Some period local color was provided by campfires and the other domestic activities of camp followers and colonials, such as cooking, baking, lap-looming, knitting, spinning, laundry, candle-making, and herbal-medicine-making. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

April 14, 2015

Princeton’s engineering department has applied for a grant that could expand Princeton University’s bicycle rental program. The grant was submitted to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission under a program that funds projects geared toward reducing emissions.

The funding would enable local residents and visitors to rent more bicycles for transportation around town. Up to five rental sites in town and two more on the campus could be created as part of the program, said Deanna Stockton, Princeton’s assistant municipal engineer.

The University launched its bike rental program last November, when the new Dinky train station opened. It was designed as a pilot program, with a one-year contract.

Kristin Appelget, with the University’s Department of Community Affairs, told Princeton Council members Monday night that the program’s success is not being measured by the recent winter, “one of our coldest we will ever remember.”

The town’s contribution to start the program would be $196,000, which the grant would reimburse. It would cost between $50,000 and $75,000 annually to run the program, which would be assessed after a year to see if it is working.

The current racks at the Dinky station house 10 Zagster rental bikes. There is space for up to 90 additional bikes. The University has agreed to provide funding and operating expenses for the program on sites owned by the school. Zagster would furnish the bikes, maintenance, and rider support.

The town should be notified as to whether the grant will be administered by August. The program would then be launched in September 2016.

Steven Cruz, 20, of Princeton was charged today with one count of reckless driving and one count of failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk after the April 8 accident on Washington Road. Ms. Nyssa Emerson, 25, of Florida, a graduate student at Princeton University remains hospitalized in stable but guarded condition.

April 10, 2015

From 8 p.m. tonight (Friday) until 6 a.m. tomorrow, the intersection of Mount Lucas and Cherry Hill roads will be closed to through traffic to allow for replacement of an existing storm drain pipe.

The municipality has contracted with Top Line Construction Corporation to do the work. During the construction, detours will be in effect for through traffic with northbound detoured onto Route 206 at Terhune Road, and southbound onto Terhune Road via Jefferson Road.

For questions, contact Rich Decker at rdecker@princetonnj.gov or call him at (609) 751-6826.

anthony-gardner
After serving as New Jersey State Museum executive director for four years, Anthony Gardner will take on the role of vice president of community engagement at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

“Anthony has promoted the very best of New Jersey through his passion for engaging audiences of all ages in the stories of our shared history,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno in making the announcement. “We are grateful for his service and proud that he has been recognized for his leadership and his dedication to ensuring that the lessons of September 11 are never forgotten. I join his family, friends, and colleagues in congratulating him on this well-deserved opportunity.”

Under Mr. Gardner’s direction, museum attendance increased by more than 63 percent. In addition to his many other accomplishments, he managed the renovation and reopening of the museum’s Archaeology Collections Galleries, developed strategic STEM education partnerships and led the museum in the development of “Remember 9/11: Reflections and Memories from New Jersey.”

Mr. Gardner’s brother, Harvey Joseph Gardner, III, was a victim of the September 11 attacks.

“Leading the State Museum and contributing to its renewal over these last four years has been an absolute gift and I will always be grateful to Lt. Governor Guadagno and the museum’s Board of Trustees for giving me this opportunity to advance this important institution,” said Mr. Gardner. “I leave here proud of all that we have been able to accomplish together to advance a strategic vision that has made the museum more visible, visitor-centered, engaging, and impactful.”

Fine Art Curator Margaret O’Reilly, who has been with the museum for more than 20 years, will serve as acting director while a nationwide search is conducted for a new executive director.

April 9, 2015

On Wednesday, the state of New Jersey issued three permits to the Williams Transco company allowing them to begin construction work on the natural gas pipeline project that will run through the environmentally sensitive Princeton ridge and parts of Montgomery.

The $650 million project would add a 42-inch pipeline to an existing line. Transco needed permits for freshwater wetland and flood hazard areas from the Department of Environmental Protection before beginning construction. The project is part of the 6.36-mile Skillman Loop that will transport gas to produce enough energy to heat about two million homes, according to the company.

Construction is scheduled to begin May 1. Gas in the existing pipeline will be shut off for safety reasons. Clearing of trees for the pipeline expansion began last month.

In February, a public hearing where numerous concerns were raised by local residents resulted in several changes made to Transco’s application. The company plans now to tunnel beneath stream and wetland areas instead of digging open trenches.

The Princeton Ridge Coalition, a residents’ group, said last week that the permit approval process was being rushed to conform with Transco’s schedule. The NJ Sierra Club has also commented that the approval was being rushed. The Sierra Club is calling for a full Environmental Impact Statement about the project, saying it will destroy wetland, forests, and cause flooding.

A 25-year-old pedestrian crossing the marked crosswalk on Washington Road just south of Ivy Lane was hit by a car at approximately 9:32 p.m., April 8. Ms. Nyssa Emerson of Florida, a Princeton University graduate student, suffered extensive injuries and was transported by the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, NJ. Police report that they have been advised by medical staff that Ms. Emerson suffered significant injuries as a result of the crash and is in guarded but stable condition. The car, which was traveling southbound on Washington Road, was driven by Steven G. Cruz 20 years old of Princeton. There were no other occupants in the vehicle. Mr. Cruz’s Toyota Prius suffered front end and windshield damage and was towed from the scene. An investigation is being conducted and charges are pending against Mr. Cruz.

FILMS FROM AFAR: For the fifth year, the Trenton International Film Festival brings features from a range of countries to the Mill Hill Playhouse. Opening the festival Thursday, April 9 and shown here is “Felix and Meira,” set in Montreal’s Orthodox Jewish community.

FILMS FROM AFAR: For the fifth year, the Trenton International Film Festival brings features from a range of countries to the Mill Hill Playhouse. Opening the festival Thursday, April 9 and shown here is “Felix and Meira,” set in Montreal’s Orthodox Jewish community.

A key component of Trenton’s efforts to revitalize itself is the promotion of cultural activities. Prominent among them are three annual film festivals, which have been drawing a growing group of film buffs to the capital city from the local area and beyond.

From Thursday, April 9 through Saturday, April 11, the five-year-old Trenton International Film Festival will return to Mill Hill Playhouse with a roster of seven films. None of these features — from South Korea, Latin America, Estonia, Canada, Australia, and Iran — have been seen in this country. This is part of the festival’s appeal.

“We’re only showing films not distributed in the United States,” says Susan Fou, a board member of the Trenton Film Society. “They have played only in festivals, but not in theaters. So we get people who want to see things they might not otherwise get to see. Last year, two of them, the Polish film Ida and the Swedish film We are the Best, ended up in art houses and Ida won an Oscar for best foreign language film.”

As members of the Film Society did last year, they hired Jed Ratfogel, a full-time film programmer at the Anthology Film Archive in New York, to curate the current series. “His job is going to festivals and looking at a variety of films,” said Ms. Fou. “So he’s out there seeing everything. He has worked hard on programming this as a festival, knowing that we’re looking for a wide range of drama, comedy, documentary, and more.”

This year’s festival has a theme of cross cultural encounters. “One of the films, Felix and Meira, is set in Montreal’s Orthodox Jewish community and deals with that community and non-Jews living closely together,” said Ms. Fou. “In Charlie’s Country, from Australia, the protagonist struggles to find his place within that country’s white and indigenous cultures.”

Other films in the series include two from Latin America that are comedic in tone. Gueros, from Mexico, follows a troublemaking teenager and his slacker older brother searching for their father’s favorite singer in the midst of a student strike. Two Shots Fired, made by Martin Rejtman, one of the founders of Argentine cinema, explores what happens when a boy inexplicably shoots himself twice but emerges unscathed.

There are two documentaries. “These are very personal,” Ms. Fou said. “They deal with that theme of cross cultural encounters, but within an individual. One of the filmmakers was born in Iran and immigrated to Belgium as a child. She’s now learning how to read and write Persian as an adult, and that’s the focus of the film. The other is by a filmmaker born in South Korea. The film is about North Korea. She weaves together interview footage with her father, who lived through the separation, and footage she shot herself while visiting North Korea as well as popular media footage, and she has commentary as well. So it’s about a culture that is her own, but vastly different from what she’s familiar with.”

The festival is divided into seven different programs. Six are feature length films, and the seventh has a short film and a longer feature. A festival pass is $25, while individual programs cost $8. Mill Hill Playhouse is located at 205 East Front Street in Trenton. For more information, visit www.trentonfilmsociety.com.

“The Current Challenges of Immigration and Reform” will be the topic of a panel discussion at the April 19 meeting of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization at 7 p.m. at the Suzanne Patterson Center, 45 Stockton Street, behind Monument Hall in Princeton. The event is free and open to the public.

The panel will discuss the current status of the Obama administration’s immigration policy on undocumented immigrants, the issues facing undocumented immigrants in New Jersey, and the efforts of Princeton to address immigration issues and to welcome immigrants to our community.

Panelists are: Alice Lugo, Immigration Counsel for U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey; Tatiana Durbak, Esq., who specializes in Immigration Law; Maria R. Juega, executive director of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, located in Trenton; Princeton Councilwoman Heather Howard; and John Heilner, chair of the Immigration Subcommittee, Princeton Human Rights Commission.

A question-and-answer period will follow short presentations by each panelist. For more information on the PCDO please go to www.princetondems.org.

The Sourland Conservancy will sponsor “Sourlands, a Threatened Treasure,” the semi-annual bus tour of the Eastern Sourland Mountain Region, on Saturday, May 2, from 1-4 p.m.

The tour will investigate the history of this unspoiled landscape of forested ridges and farmland, covering its history as a refuge for heroes, patriots, artists, and even ghosts. The home of Charles Lindbergh will be included, inside and out. Participants will learn about the Sourland environment and heritage, and how to protect it for future generations.

For information or to sign up, visit www.sourland.org or call Marcia Maguire at (609) 466-0701 by April 16.

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Two people have filed to run as Republicans in the election for Princeton Council next November. Kelly DiTosto and Lynn Irving officially entered their names to challenge Democrats Heather Howard and Lance Liverman, current Council members who will be up for re-election. Democrats currently hold all of the Council seats.

Both women replied to a series of questions this week. In an email, Ms. DiTosto described herself as a longtime Princeton resident whose three children have attended Princeton public schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Villanova University and currently works in the accounting field.

“I have a sincere interest in looking out for the best interests of all of Princeton’s residents and taxpayers,” she wrote, “and a belief that office holders should serve the best interests of all members of our community regardless of party affiliation.”

Ms. Irving, a native of Guangzhou, China, was a pre-school teacher and administrator before becoming a licensed real estate agent. Two of her three children are Princeton High School graduates, and one is a PHS freshman. She has been a Princeton resident for more than 25 years.

Like others who have run as Republicans, Ms. DiTosto feels the political system in Princeton leans too heavily to one side. “Our town deserves true diversity,” she wrote. “We have had one political party making all of our decisions for far too long. I believe my accounting and financial background will enable me to play an instrumental role in bringing about a more fiscally responsible Council.”

Ms. Irving said she experienced a one-party system while growing up in China. “It was not to my liking,” she said. “So I’m not that much party-affiliated. We all want the same things.”

Issues on Ms. DiTosto’s list of priorities include the pay increase Council recently voted for its members. “This action was not only a retreat from earlier pledges, but an unprecedented conflict of interest as well,” she wrote. “This is an insult to all taxpayers regardless of party affiliation and a prime example of the consequences of one-party control of Council.”

Ms. Irving feels that property taxes are an important issue. “Being in the real estate industry, I see that the rise of taxes is good in one way, not good in another,” she said. “So many residents, when their kids are grown, leave town because of the high taxes. It’s hard for us to see our friends moving away simply because of that.”

Ms. DiTosto feels the financial relationship between the town and Princeton University needs re-examination. “Many ordinary citizens believe the University is not contributing its ‘fair share,’” she wrote. “Voters need to be assured that the University’s ‘payment in lieu of taxes’ is equitable.”

She added, “The current Council appears to be concerned about rising property taxes only as a talking point at election time. Fiscal responsibility means living within a carefully crafted budget much like Princeton residents must do in their own households.”

Referring to a controversial proposal to purchase a property in the Witherspoon/Jackson neighborhood for possible expansion of a park, Ms. DiTosto wrote, “Spending $600,000 for a mini-park so soon after spending millions at Community Park only a few blocks away seems unwarranted in these times.”

The six members of Council serve three-year terms. The terms of Mr. Liverman and Ms. Howard are the only ones up for re-election. Ms. Howard served on Borough Council and Mr. Liverman on Township Committee prior to consolidation in 2013. Both were re-elected to the new governing body.

Mark Salzman, the author of Iron & Silk, will read from his work at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart on Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m. A book signing will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public.

Mr. Salzman has written on a variety of subjects, from a novel about a Carmelite nun’s ecstatic visions and crisis of faith (Lying Awake) to a memoir about growing up a misfit in a Connecticut suburb (Lost in Place). As a boy, he dreamed about becoming a Kung Fu master, but his academic achievements, along with his
proficiency on the cello, facilitated his acceptance to Yale at 16. He soon changed his major to Chinese Language and Philosophy, which took him to mainland China where he taught English for two years and studied martial arts.

“We are very excited to welcome Mark Salzman to campus,” said Dr. Patty L. Fagin, Head of School at Stuart.” She continued, “His theme of how people struggle to reach an ideal or a goal is one that I feel will resonate with students, parents, and community members.”

Mr. Salzman’s first memoir, Iron and Silk, inspired by his years in China, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction and received the Christopher Award. His book True Notebooks is a look at his experiences as a writing teacher at Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall, a lockup for violent teenage offenders. He is also the author of the memoir Lost in Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia, and the novels The Laughing Sutra, The Soloist, and Lying Awake. Common to each of his works is a theme of how people struggle to reach an ideal but often fall short, and the quiet change that takes place in facing the discouragement and the possibility of never achieving their goal. His newest work is the non-fiction title The Man in the Empty Boat

Mr. Salzman never gave up music, and his cello playing appears on the soundtrack to several films, including the Academy Award-winning documentary Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien. He has also played with Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax at Lincoln Center. His unusual combination of talents – as both a well-known author and a concert-proficient cellist – led to a feature profile about him in The New Yorker magazine. He was also recently presented with the Algonquin West Hollywood Literary Award.

As part of the Visiting Author Program, students, faculty, and staff have been reading and studying Mr. Salzman’s work and Stuart’s Senior Scholars have worked with Lower and Middle School girls in preparation for his visit. In addition to the public reading on April 9, Mr. Salzman will spend the day on campus on Friday, April 10. Besides meeting with students of all ages at Stuart to share his expertise on the craft of writing, he will spend time with K-4 Lower School girls, share lunch with the Stuart Senior Scholars, and give a private reading to Middle and Upper School students.

April 8, 2015

Hamilton Jewelers

At a special event Tuesday, April 7 to promote an upcoming fundraiser for Corner House taking place April 17 at Pretty Brook Country Club, Hamilton Jewelers gave a sneak preview of the $1 million suite of jewelry that guests at the gala will be allowed to try on. From left: Geniva Martin, Corner House representative; Donna Bouchard,  Vice President, Hamilton Jewelers; Leslie Ward, Corner House representative; and Gary J. De Blasio, Executive Director, Corner House. (Photo by Robin Broomer)