July 10, 2013
SPIRIT IN THE SKY: The Spirit of Princeton’s annual Independence Day fireworks display lit up the sky above the Princeton University sports fields last week.(Photo by Emily Reeves)

SPIRIT IN THE SKY: The Spirit of Princeton’s annual Independence Day fireworks display lit up the sky above the Princeton University sports fields last week. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Back about 20 years ago when she was president of the Junior League of Princeton, Kathy Russo happened to come across an article in a League newsletter about Court Appointed Special Advocates, better known as CASA. A longtime volunteer for various causes, she was touched by what she read about this organization dedicated to helping children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. She filed it away in her head.

Fast forward a decade or so to when Ms. Russo was working at a gift shop in Princeton Shopping Center. The shop closed, and she found herself with time on her hands. “I said to myself, ‘Okay. It’s time,’” she recalled this week. After some 30 hours of training at CASA, she began working as a volunteer advocate. She has never looked back.

For Ms. Russo’s work on behalf of her young clients over the past seven years, she was recognized last April by the Cherish the Children Foundation with its Program Award. The honor goes to a Mercer County volunteer “who has consistently shown tremendous character by taking an active interest in the well-being of the children in our community,” the proclamation reads. It goes on to describe Ms. Russo as “an exemplary role model for how dedicated advocates can change the lives of children in their care.”

All of these accolades are a bit embarrassing to Ms. Russo, who prefers to focus on getting the word out to others who may want to volunteer for the organization. She has spent many hours assisting children in Newark, Trenton, Camden, areas she knows some might be reluctant to visit. “You just have to be smart about it,” she said. “You can do this very safely. You can visit children in schools. They are put into safe homes. You don’t have to go into unsafe neighborhoods to be an advocate. And you can advocate while traveling, or working, because of technology.”

A longtime Princeton resident who is the mother of two boys and stepmother of two more, Ms. Russo is married to local orthodontist. Dr. Louis Russo. “He has been very supportive,” she said of her husband. “He encourages me to keep doing this. He knows how important it is.”

It was the hands-on approach of being a CASA advocate that appealed to Ms. Russo when she began her training. “I was tired of fundraising,” she said. “This was something different.” After a security check, she was assigned her first case. It was a challenge from the start that continued to grow.

“Usually, you get one or two kids and the case takes about 18 months,” she said. “I ended up with seven, and it took five years. But that’s really unusual.”

The children in Ms. Russo’s charge came from the same family, and ranged from ages four to 13. She started out with three of them, but kept adding to her caseload as she learned there were more members of the family who had been placed in different foster homes. Her efforts on their behalf included working with the biological parents, foster parents, teachers, a case worker, and the judge in charge of deciding their fates.

“You’re talking to everyone,” she said. “In a perfect world, you connect the dots and try to make a safety net. That’s the goal. But you are also considered the eyes and ears of the judge, and that’s very important.”

Ms. Russo tears up a bit when asked about the children themselves. “Visiting them was wonderful,” she said. “They feel like they have someone. They feel protected. We’re the only constant for them. I promise them that I’ll always find them in 48 hours [when they are moved around]. One little boy was worried about what was going to happen to him, and his brother said to him, “‘Don’t worry. Miss Kathy’ll find you. She always does.’”

Children are removed from their homes for reasons that include neglect, abuse, or problems their parents might be having. Some are reunited with their families after spending time in a foster home. If their families are unable to care for them, parental rights are terminated and sometimes they’re adopted. “However, all the kids love their biological parents and just want to go home,” Ms. Russo said.

CASA of Mercer and Burlington Counties is part of a national network established in 1977 by a Seattle Superior Court Judge concerned about trying to make decisions on behalf of neglected children without enough information. He came up with the idea of appointing community volunteers to investigate the cases, make recommendations, and speak up for the children in court. What began with 50 volunteers has grown to include programs all over the country that have helped more than two million children find safe homes, according to the CASA website.

As the children are repeatedly uprooted, it is their advocates who can keep them grounded. “I’m one of the few people they can talk to about where they’ve been,” Ms. Russo said. “I know their history. They enjoy sharing that history with me. There can be constant changes for the child, but you’re the historian for them.”

It is the small things that those in intact families take for granted that often make a child feel happy and safe, Ms. Russo said. “I asked one little boy what he wanted for his birthday. He said he wanted a cake with his name on it. It was such a little thing, but it was so important to him.”

Advocates are not permitted to give anything to the children. “You can get other agencies to do that. As an advocate, you’re just giving of yourself and your time,” Ms. Russo said. “You get a tremendous amount of support from the CASA staff and you get a tremendous amount of respect from the judge. There are people willing to help you. You just have to be a detective and find out who they are.”

Mr. Russo’s work currently focuses on a group of teenagers, helping them learn how to deal with life once they age out of foster care. “When kids turn 18, they have the option of staying with the Division [now called the Department of Children and Families ] or leaving,” she said. “Many leave because they’re so fed up.”

Her work as an advocate is as “a gatherer, not a sharer,” Ms. Russo said. “I’d like to adopt all of the kids I work with, but of course I know I can’t. I’d just love them to be in good adoptive homes. There are so few homes out there for them.”


An evening trail-and-stream-walk and family picnic at the D&R Greenway, co-sponsored by Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SBMA), will be held Thursday, July 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the King Terrace in D&R Greenway’s Greenway Meadows at One Preservation Place, off Rosedale Road in Princeton.

The trail-&-stream-walk will be led by SBMA’s Education Director Jeff Hoagland. The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association has protected central New Jersey’s water and environment since 1949. The organization teaches conservation, advocacy, science, and education and continually speaks out for water and the environment. It focuses on water in its quest to protect and restore sensitive habitats. It tests for water pollution. Its mission is to inspire the care of and protection for the natural world through its waterways.

Participants are invited to bring along a picnic supper. Beverages and dessert will be provided. Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian and it is advisable to wear shoes that can be worn in water. The cost is $5 per person. To register, call (609) 924-4646 or send an email to: rsvp@drgreen
way.org. If weather is “iffy,” call D&R Greenway, (609) 924-4646, on the afternoon of the event.

Hinds Plaza is the new location for the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 7th Annual Mid-Summer Marketing Showcase on July 16, sponsored by the Bank of Princeton.

“This year’s showcase is in partnership with the Princeton Public Library, which gives us the great space on Hinds Plaza that will allow us to grow the showcase,” said Peter Crowley, president and CEO of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We are very excited to be working with them on this event. To me, it proves how important this event is to the local business community and I’m very proud that the community sees the value in it.”

As of July 1, more than 60 businesses had signed up to participate and show what they have to offer to customers in the Princeton region. The event runs from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and is free for the public to attend; last year more than 1,000 people walked through the showcase. The rain date is Wednesday, July 24.

In addition to businesses presenting their services and goods, more than 10 area restaurants will be offering samples. “We are excited about the new traffic from the Library’s patrons in addition to the traffic that is generated on a summer Thursday evening in Princeton,” added Mr. Crowley. “The committee evaluated several locations but we felt that it was important to maintain the location in Princeton.”

The Bank of Princeton has been the title sponsor of this event, since its inception in 2007.

For more information about the showcase, contact Cheri Durst, director of events, at (609) 924-1776 or cheri@princetonchamber.org.



In July 1866, five years before Marcel Proust was born, the Flemington Neshanock Baseball Club played its first game. Revived in 2001 to make up for lost time, the Neshanock took the field recently at Greenway meadows park to play some vintage baseball with the Diamond State Club of Delaware. Sam, the gent in the top hat, is presumably the manager, not the hated umpire. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

July 3, 2013

The bill requiring that anyone convicted of drunk driving must have ignition interlocks on their vehicles was passed by the New Jersey Senate, Thursday, June 27 with 34 “yes” votes to two “no” votes.

In contrast to a national trend showing a decrease in drunk driving related deaths, deaths related to drunk driving have been on the rise in New Jersey. According to Mothers Against Drug Driving (MADD), figures show a decrease nationwide of seven percent, from 10,759 in 2009 to 9,878 in 2011, and an increase in New Jersey from 152 in 2009 to 193 in 2011.

MADD had called on New Jersey senators to push forward Senate Bill 2427 (S-2427), authored by Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, as “lifesaving legislation to stop drunk driving.”

“S-2427 is the solution to the problems caused by repeat offender drunk drivers,” said attorney Steven Benvenisti, spokesperson for MADD New Jersey. “States that have required ignition interlock devices for all offenders have seen as much as a 46 percent reduction in fatalities.”

According to MADD, ignition interlocks are critical to eliminating drunk driving, as a majority of convicted drunk drivers will continue to drive even with a suspended license.

An ignition interlock device is a mechanism akin to a breathalyzer that is installed on a motor vehicle’s dashboard. Before the vehicle’s motor can be started, the driver first must exhale into the device; if the breath-alcohol concentration is above a predetermined level, the device prevents the engine from being started. Breath samples are required thereafter at random times. If a significant level of alcohol is detected, an alarm will sound to warn the driver to stop driving and turn off the ignition.

Eighteen states require interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. As of 2010, with the passage of Ricci’s Law, ignition interlocks are required for repeat and first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater.

S-2427 would strengthen Ricci’s Law to require ignition interlocks for all first-time convicted drunk drivers for a period of at least three months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers save lives and reduce drunk driving recidivism by 67 percent. States that are enforcing all-offender ignition interlock laws, such as Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, and Louisiana, have seen their drunk driving deaths drop by more than 30 percent, largely due to laws requiring all drunk drivers to receive the device.

“As a survivor of a pedestrian crash caused by a repeat offender drunk driver, I know firsthand the devastation that can be caused by a repeat offender,” said Mr. Benvenisti.

MADD regards the New Jersey Senate vote as a significant victory for its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. “Being that MADD has been aggressively supporting S-2427 since its inception, by appearing in Trenton for Senate testimony, along with other measures, it is particularly gratifying to see this crucial bill advance further, commented Mr. Benvenisti. “I am confident that once the bill becomes the law of New Jersey, there will be a significant reduction of fatalities on our roadways.”

MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. For more information, call (877) ASK-MADD or visit: www.madd.org.

—Linda Arntzenius


According to the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ), the State of New Jersey violated the New Jersey Constitution and law against discrimination when it awarded taxpayer funds to Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS).

Describing PTS as “an institution of higher learning devoted solely to religious training and instruction,” the ACLU-NJ, together with the national ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, filed a lawsuit to stop the state from awarding PTS $645,323. The money is thought to have been requested for technology upgrades at the new PTS Library.

The lawsuit also aims to stop the state from granting $10.6 million to Beth Medrash Govoha, an orthodox Jewish rabbinical school in Lakewood, to pay for the construction of a new library and academic center. The all-male Orthodox Jewish school in Lakewood prepares students to become rabbis and religious educators. It was due to receive $10.6 million. Its courses of study are classified as “Theology/Theological Studies” or “Talmudic Studies.”

“The government has no business funding religious ministries,” said Ed Barocas, legal director of the ACLU of New Jersey. “Taxpayers should not foot the bill to train clergy or provide religious instruction, but the state is attempting to do exactly that.” He was expressing a view endorsed by Alex J. Luchenitser, associate legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who said: “These grants plainly violate the separation of church and state enshrined in the New Jersey Constitution.”

The New Jersey Constitution forbids taxpayer funds from supporting ministries or places of worship.

On April 29, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration released a list of 176 college construction projects slated for state aid. Mercer County institutions would receive more than $95 million as part of a $1.3 billion package for 46 public and private colleges and universities statewide. Described as the “first concerted contribution to New Jersey’s higher education infrastructure in decades,” the money would come from the Building Our Future Bond Act ($750 million) that New Jersey voters approved in November as well as four other higher education funding programs: the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund, the Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund, the Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund, and the Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund.

State funding for PTS came under scrutiny when Trenton lawmakers met for a budget hearing in May. Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks was questioned about the religious nature of the institution and the source of the funding. State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, was among those who queried the legality of the PTS funding source in the state’s Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund, which, it appears, can only go to state-funded institutions.

Institutions were required to present details of how projects served students and aligned with New Jersey’s workforce needs. According to the Governor’s Office the selected projects were those targeting academic programs, especially science, technology, engineering, and math.

Of the $6.4 million that Princeton University will receive, about $3.2 million will help fund construction of the new Andlinger Center for research on sustainable energy development and the environment. Princeton University was not eligible for funding from the higher education bond question in November because of its $17 billion endowment. The funding awarded to the University will come from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund.

Rider University’s $4.6 million will go to a new academic structure on the Westminster Choir College campus in Princeton that will feature a recital and rehearsal room, lobby, ticket booth, and multimedia classrooms.

The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in Trenton by ACLU-NJ, the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey (UULMNJ), and Gloria Schor Andersen of the Delaware Valley Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“These grants fly in the face of important state safeguards that protect the religious liberty of all New Jersey taxpayers,” said Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU program on freedom of religion and belief.

Contacted for a response, PTS President The Reverend Dr. M. Craig Barnes said that he was unable to comment: “Our attorneys have left clear instructions that we cannot make any comments upon the ACLU lawsuit of the state.”

Dr. Barnes has led the seminary since January as its seventh president. A seminary alumnus, he graduated in 1981 with a Master of Divinity in 1981.

According to its mission statement, “Princeton Theological Seminary prepares women and men to serve Jesus Christ in ministries marked by faith, integrity, scholarship, competence, compassion, and joy, equipping them for leadership worldwide in congregations and the larger church, in classrooms and the academy, and in the public arena.” The Seminary has non-Christian students and joint degree programs with Princeton University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Its students are able to take courses at both of these institutions.

—Linda Arntzenius


COOL ENTREPRENEURS: Nate Howard and Jacob Schwartz, inventors of the “Cooling Hat,” cool down with some ice cream at the final session of the first “8 and Up” program, held at Tigerlabs this spring. Children between the ages of 8 and 10 learned how to create a product and market their invention.

Most of the budding entrepreneurs who use Tigerlabs as a place to launch start-up businesses are in their 20s, 30s, or older. But the innovators who spent six weeks this spring at the shared office space at 252 Nassau Street, testing out ideas for new products and learning how to market them, come from a considerably younger age group.

Their name says it all: “8 and Up.” Founded by entrepreneur Reuben Steiger, a Princeton native and Princeton High School graduate, this group of 8- to 10-year-olds was part of a pilot program to test out Mr. Steiger’s challenge: Would kids that age be excited about creating small companies and using a $50 budget to fund their ideas?

The answer, as evidenced by the enthusiasm at a recent end-of-term show-and-tell, is a resounding “yes.” Seated in a circle with their parents looking on proudly from behind, the kids took turns demonstrating their inventions. There was the iPad Supporter, Cassian O’Beirne’s imaginative invention that hooks onto a headboard to allow reading in bed. There was the Egg Cracker machine, Abbey Walden and Luisa Boekelman’s system for separating egg yolks and whites.

Liam Goldstein’s Fingo, a finger massager; Nate Howard and Jacob Schwartz’s Cooling Hat, which keeps the wearer cool via a fan attached to a baseball cap; Allison Wilson’s “Day at the Beach” pillow; Alex Erickson’s “Pencils Down!” pencil clock; Sarah Rackowski’s Guppy Separator that keeps little fish safe from the bigger ones in a tank — these and several others showed the ingenuity that Mr. Steiger had a hunch was there, but untapped.

“We decided to start young, because we felt like by the time kids got to 14, where cognitively they have a lot of greater capabilities, and there are more companies out there operating like college camps, they’re prepping to go into the system,” he said. “Also, my own kids were that age, so it was an age that I knew.” [Phoebe Steiger is 7, and Theo Steiger is almost 9].

Mr. Steiger has spent most of his career creating projects for companies like Google and IBM and the TED conferences. He and his wife lived in California before having children and moving back to Princeton. While commuting to New York, Mr. Steiger thought about his children and the way they were learning.

“It seemed to me that it was very different from the way in which I had learned,” he said. “Mainly because when I was growing up, we focused on knowing answers to questions. And my kids, from very young, were learning how to ask questions and look things up on Google. They were consuming media in a way that was completely unlike the way I did. They were using thousands of [TV] channels as opposed to three. And they were being creative in different ways.”

Mr. Steiger began by placing an ad in local newspapers last April 30. By May 2, he was over-subscribed. The pilot class was made up of children from local public, private, and charter schools, about half of whom were male and half female. Classes began May 15.

“Each class had a different principle,” Mr. Steiger said. “How do you get a big idea? How do you jump right in? How do you build a prototype you can test? How do you sell something? And then the final session, which was on launching the product. We had guests at each class, including Jessica Durrie from Small World Coffee, and Adrian Chernoff, a former NASA guy and Disney imagineer and leader of GM’s ‘Car of the Future’ initiative.”

At the final session, Mario Cucci, owner of Thomas Sweet ice cream, shared his experiences about buying that business and making it thrive. He came armed with individual servings of ice cream, which the kids got to dig into after the presentation.

“I think the kids loved the program because it didn’t feel like a class,” Mr. Steiger said. “They never sat in their seats for more than 10 minutes. They were building things with their hands and playing with a 3-D printer. There were breaks in the middle for ping pong, and plenty of snacks. And by the end, they had achieved something.”

Among the parents in attendance at the end-of-session party was Princeton Council member Heather Howard. She is the mother of Nate, the brains behind the Cooling Hat. “Nate has loved this,” she said. “It spurred his creativity. It’s fun. Little kids are so open and creative, and they have been really thoughtful here about how to tailor that energy.”

Mr. Steiger has welcomed the input, and the response, of parents to the pilot program. “We’ve had an incredible reaction,” he said. “I sort of pinch myself. It’s an amazingly supportive group of parents. Because it hasn’t been done before, a lot of people didn’t know what to expect.”

Each of the children who took part in the first “8 and Up” series got a tee-shirt after making his or her presentation. Mr. Steiger’s news that Twine, a store in Hopewell, will be selling their products was met with enthusiasm. “They’ll be your first customer,” Mr. Steiger told the kids. “So you all have distribution now.”

With the inaugural program such a success, Mr. Steiger is actively planning future classes. Those who took part in the first one are certified “Level One Entrepreneurs” and will be able to move to Level Two, where they can further refine their ideas or start something new. Mr. Steiger said he is now recruiting and training people and will announce in the next week some expansion locations, to include New York City and other markets. The pilot program cost $200 a child, but new pricing is part of the expansion to more programs.

“Our aspiration is for it to be accessible, so that this becomes a really exciting part of a child’s education and extra-curricular life,” he said. “We want them to look forward to it, like soccer.”

—Anne Levin

June 26, 2013
NEW AND IMPROVED: A counseling office at the new headquarters of Corner House. The agency has moved from the Valley Road School building to the lower floor of the former Borough Hall. While the square footage is less, the capabilities have increased.(Photo by Danny Hernandez)

NEW AND IMPROVED: A counseling office at the new headquarters of Corner House. The agency has moved from the Valley Road School building to the lower floor of the former Borough Hall. While the square footage is less, the capabilities have increased. (Photo by Danny Hernandez)

Among the by-products of Princeton’s consolidation last January was the merger of municipal offices from two buildings into one. The new arrangement, which moved departments located at what was formerly Borough Hall at 1 Monument Drive into 400 Witherspoon Street, freed up valuable square footage, making room for tenants sorely in need of new space.

The non-profit counseling center Corner House and the local television channel TV 30 have moved from the beleaguered Valley Road School building to 1 Monument Drive. Princeton Community Housing is expected to relocate from its offices at 245 Nassau Street sometime this year, becoming the building’s third tenant.

The television station moved in this week. Corner House, at the new location since May 14, held an Open House last week to show off it’s new digs. What was formerly Princeton Borough’s engineering, fire inspection and sewer offices on the lower floor of the building is now a sleek series of offices, meeting rooms, and treatment areas. While the footprint is actually smaller than in the previous location, it is more practical, usable, and professional.

“It’s beautiful,” said Gary De Blasio, executive director. “My staff is so excited. The space worked out perfectly and accommodates all our programs. The kids love it, the clients love it. It’s a very warm, inviting, comfortable space where I think we’ll be perceived as a more professional environment. You walk in, you know you’re in a clinical space with professional offices.”

At Valley Road School for some two decades, the staff endeavored to cope with a building in disrepair. “We tried to make it as nice as possible, but it just wasn’t conducive to making people feel good,” De Blasio said. “We had ceilings collapsing. It was very bad, a pretty sick building. The square footage was misleading because we had those giant halls. What we have now works so much better.”

The new headquarters has a sound-masking system that prevents clients and those helping them from being overheard in the hallways. There are state-of-the-art training rooms with one-way mirrors. The clinical director can supervise both rooms from his office. These replace an antiquated system in the old building that used an old video camera mounted on the wall.

“It’s a better use of space,” De Blasio said. “There are more clinical and outreach offices. Before, the coordinators had to share an office. Now, we can see more kids at the same time. There is more access to group room space, and a lot of space to do things with larger groups after five o’clock.”

The refitting of Borough Hall has turned out better than expected, according to Princeton administrator Bob Bruschi. “In my mind, not realizing how things would boil out at the end, I envisioned Corner House taking over the entire police wing,” he said. “But it’s such a great fit for them to have that whole downstairs area. Clearly, from where they came, it’s awesome. It’s long overdue. They did their penance.”

The relocation means there will be continuous activity in the parking lot of the site, which also serves the Suzanne Patterson Center. “Corner House is a pretty high-traffic organization, but at a great time, between 3:30 and 9 p.m.,” Mr. Bruschi said. “That complements what goes on at the Patterson Center behind them, which is busy from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. That makes it a 14 to 15 hour a day facility.”

Corner House staff got new sofas and loveseats as part of the move. All of the other furniture was repurposed from the former Borough police department upstairs as well as other areas of the building. “The public works department did all of the painting,” Mr. De Blasio said. “We kept everything as economical as possible.”

KSS Architects assisted in the refitting process. While the basic outline of the walls on the lower floor stayed the same, there was some construction involved. “It’s funny, because this was the least costly model we had talked about, and it’s the most effective,” Mr. Bruschi said.

The non-profit Corner House provides counseling for young adults, adolescents, and their families on substance abuse and other issues. The organization was established in 1972 and was originally housed at Henry and Witherspoon streets before moving to the Valley Road School building at 369 Witherspoon Street.



A black bear was tranquilized and removed from the campus of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in Ewing last Thursday.

Ewing police were alerted to the bear by a phone call shortly before 12:30 p.m. The animal had been seen near Hollowbrook Drive and Green Lane close by the campus. Since semester classes are over, only a small number of students were on campus. Nonetheless, a text and email alert was sent out to students, faculty, and staff.

News of the sighting was quickly posted on the Ewing Police Department’s website with the warning not to go near the bear and to call 911 if necessary. Later, the website posted news that the bear had been found and that state Wildlife officials would be “locating it far away from here.”

The bear had climbed a tree when personnel from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife arrived. The animal was tranquilized around 3:15 p.m.

Larry Ragonese, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Protection, said Friday that the approximately 150-pound male bear is thought to have been about two years old. Unlike the bear that has been sighted on several occasions around Princeton, this one did not have any ear tags. Ear tags denote that the bear has at some time been handled by Fish and Wildlife Management.

The bear was removed by Fish and Wildlife Management to the nearest Wildlife Management Area, in this instance to the Alexauken Creek Wildlife Management Area in northeast Hunterdon County.

Since this bear did not have an ear tag, it is presumed not to be the same animal that has been in the Princeton area and was last seen on June 17, according to Princeton Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson.

Since the 1980s the State’s black bear population has been increasing and expanding southward and eastward from forested northwestern New Jersey. There are now confirmed bear sightings in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties. Michelle Smith of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Management, who presented a June 17 workshop on bears at Witherspoon Hall, described the Division’s approach to managing New Jersey’s black bear population as fostering coexistence between people and bears.

In recent years, the state’s black bear population has been thinned by hunting via state-sponsored hunts. In 2011, 469 bears were killed and a record 592 were taken during the 2010 hunt. In 2012, several large bears were “harvested.” A 702-pound male was killed in Mansfield and another male, killed in Frelinghuysen Township, weighed in at 686 pounds after being gutted.

Bear hunting is legal in New Jersey in designated areas during the same period as the Six-day Firearm Deer Season (December 9 through December 14, 2013). Participants are required to have a Black Bear Hunting Area Permit for the area(s) they hunt in and a current Firearm or All-around hunting license.

There are four bear hunting areas in New Jersey, in Sussex, Warren, Morris, and Passaic Counties. Hunters are limited to one black bear per hunter for the season. More information is available on the DEP website: www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/bearseason.

Report black bear damage or nuisance behavior to your local police department and/or the state’s Department of Environmental Protection’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337). And remember: NEVER FEED BEARS. Anyone who feeds bears could face a penalty of up to $1,000 for each offense. For more information, visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com/bearfacts.


At the Arts Council of Princeton’s (ACP) annual membership meeting June 20, Board of Trustees elections were held, and individuals and organizations were recognized for their service to the organization and community.

Members voted unanimously to elect Ben Colbert, Jim Levine, and Mary Wisnovsky as new trustees to three-year terms beginning July 1. Returning trustees are Ted Deutsch, Maria Dominguez, Johan Firmenich, Cheryl Goldman, Polly Griffin, Jacquie Phares, Debbie Shaeffer, Cindi Venizelos, and Marlyn Zucosky.

The Arts Council Board has term limits of two consecutive terms and four trustees stepped down. They are recognized for their years of service: former ACP President Tim Andrews, Eve Coulson, Debbie Gartenberg, and Charles Wampold.

In addition to the election of trustees, the Arts Council recognized volunteers, board and staff members, and presented awards for a range of contributions to the arts and the community. During the evening the ACP also presented the annual Pride of the Arts Council Awards for outstanding artists, volunteers, and business and community partners.

Recipients of the Pride awards include Morven Museum and Garden — Partnership Award, Joanne Farrugia and Dean Smith — Neighborhood Award, Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty — Business Award, Kathy Metaxas — Katherine M. Kapoor Artist Award, Sandy Bonasera and Deena Miller — Volunteer Award, Victoria Wayland — Future Arts Leader Award and Mary Owen Borden Foundation — Foundation Award. In addition, the ACP recognized student recipients of the Charles Evans Scholarship Awards.

A Mercer County grand jury returned a second indictment charging Birch Avenue resident Michael G. Rosenberg with animal cruelty last Tuesday.

At the time of the alleged incidents, the 31-year-old man was working as a dog trainer from his home. He has been charged with two counts of fourth-degree animal cruelty, crimes that carry a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

It is alleged that Mr. Rosenberg “purposely, knowingly, or recklessly, tormented, tortured, or unnecessarily or cruelly beat his own mixed breed dogs, Kaiser and Sanford” on diverse dates between February through August 2012.

According to the complaints signed by Princeton Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson in January, Mr. Rosenberg repeatedly picked his dogs up and threw them across the room, slamming them onto a concrete floor. The dogs have since been removed from Mr. Rosenberg’s care.

Last year Mr. Rosenberg was charged with causing the death of a three-year old female German Shepherd mix named Shyanne, left in his care for training by its owner Lawrence resident Tracy Stanton, an attorney working in Manhattan.

Two days after Ms. Stanton left her dog with Mr. Rosenberg, he called her to say that the dog was in need of veterinary attention. He then called again suggesting she come and pick up her dog immediately. Shortly thereafter, the dog was found unresponsive but still breathing on the front porch of Mr. Rosenberg’s residence. Shyanne died before arriving at the emergency vet hospital. Results of a necropsy showed that the dog had four broken ribs and a punctured lung.

According to the complaints signed by Mr. Johnson, Mr. Rosenberg hit Shyanne with a crop, slammed her to the ground, jabbed his fingers into her ribs, and failed to seek medical attention for her injuries.

At that time Mr. Johnson commented that in all his 19 years on the job, he had never seen a dog so cruelly treated that it had died of its injuries.

For this incident, Mr. Rosenberg was indicted on one count of third-degree animal cruelty, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in state prison and a $15,000 fine.

Mr. Rosenberg was scheduled to appear in Mercer County Superior Court for a status conference yesterday, Tuesday June 24, but this was rescheduled for July 12, at which time both indictments against Mr. Rosenberg will be considered.



Hosted by JaZAMS, Friday’s annual Palmer Square event, “Summer Concert and Movie on the Green,” featured a performance by Alex and the Kaleidoscope Band (shown here) and a screening of “The Princess Bride.” (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

June 21, 2013
VINTAGE KINGSTON: Lincoln Highway at the D&R Canal, Kingston. While much has changed since this photograph was taken, the D&R Canal remains as does the red brick building known as the Kingston Mill. Note the billboard in the background for Trenton’s Stacey-Trent Hotel, which opened in 1921 and was demolished in 1967.(Courtesy of Duke University Library Digital Collection)

VINTAGE KINGSTON: Lincoln Highway at the D&R Canal, Kingston. While much has changed since this photograph was taken, the D&R Canal remains as does the red brick building known as the Kingston Mill. Note the billboard in the background for Trenton’s Stacey-Trent Hotel, which opened in 1921 and was demolished in 1967. (Courtesy of Duke University Library Digital Collection)

We know it today as Route 27. But at one time, the road that runs through the village of Kingston and on through Princeton was known as “The Main Street across America.” That was the moniker given to The Lincoln Highway, the nation’s first transcontinental auto route, after it opened officially in 1913, nine years before the Lincoln Memorial was unveiled in 1922 in Washington, D.C.

Running right through New Jersey on its way from Times Square, New York City, to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, the Lincoln Highway originally traversed 13 states between New York and California. Today it’s estimated to cover almost six thousand miles.

To mark this year’s 100th anniversary, the Lincoln Highway Association has launched the Official Lincoln Highway 100th Anniversary Tours and Centennial Celebration.

Almost 300 people in 140 vehicles, from 28 states and from Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Norway, and Russia, will set off simultaneously from New York City and San Francisco, and take a week to reach the highway’s midpoint in Kearney, Nebraska on July 1.

This Saturday, June 22, the eastern half of the tour makes a pitstop in Kingston between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. According to the Kingston Historical Society, about 92 participants in about 50 cars are expected to stop for lunch between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The Lincoln Highway Association in partnership with the Kingston Historical Society (KHS) and Eno Terra Restaurant is providing lunch to the tour participants.

Some participants may merely pick up their lunch and go, but most are likely to linger for a while, before continuing on their way to Pennsylvania where they are to arrive by 3 p.m. The cars will not come all at once, but rather in small groups of one to six cars. And not all of them will be vintage Lincoln Highway era vehicles. Automobiles traveling to Nebraska must be capable of 55 mph.

Since most of the cars in the tour do not date to the Lincoln Highway’s heyday, considered to be from 1913 to before World War II, the Kingston Historical Society (KHS) has arranged for a display of antique and classic cars for the benefit of the tour participants and the public at large. KHS will also be placing markers along the route of the Lincoln Highway in the area historically considered Kingston.

A 1914 Model ‘T’ Ford will take pride of place in front of the Eno Terra restaurant. Other cars will be displayed at the parking lots of the two service stations that were in operation in Kingston during the Lincoln Highway period, as well as in the immediate vicinity of the Kingston Lock-tender’s House, where KHS has its headquarters. The Lock-tender’s House is on the Old Lincoln Highway at the D&R Canal in Kingston.

Formed in 1997, to preserve, enhance and promote the history of the village of Kingston, KHS is open April through October, on Saturdays, Sundays, and major holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On view through September, is “The Lincoln Highway: 1913-2013,” an exhibition of historical photographs and information. For more information, call (609) 223-3877, or visit: www.khsnj.org.

As Princeton has made it’s way through the process of consolidation, representatives from other municipalities have been watching with interest. Now, nearly six months since it took effect, three key architects of the merger of borough and township have decided to share their expertise with a new strategic partnership.

Anton Lahnston, who chaired the Joint Shared Services and Consolidation Study Commission; Chad Goerner, former mayor of Princeton Township; and Joseph Stefko, president and chief executive officer of CGR (Center for Governmental Research) the lead consultant for Princeton’s efforts, have formed GovWorks, a partnership with CGR that will offer assistance not only to those municipalities considering consolidation, but also those interested in shared services and other ideas that improve efficiency.

“The success we’ve had has spurred a lot of interest throughout the state,” said Mr. Goerner. “And ‘Courage to Connect’ [a non-profit that encourages municipal consolidation and held a conference in Princeton this month] has really fostered that discussion. Granted, it took us five decades to do this,” he added, referring to the fact that consolidation has been a local topic of interest for several decades. “But there is an opportunity to share what we’ve learned.”

Mr. Lahnston said the three partners had informal discussions throughout the consolidation process that became more formal as it was put into place. Calling Mr. Goerner “the guiding light” in the idea, he said, “I think it makes sense to take some of the experiences we went through and share them with other communities. We can help guide the process. And some of the work that would be focused on is what I have come to think of as service optimization. I think that’s really it.”

GovWorks is being launched with a special “white paper” series of short essays on the fiscal and operational challenges facing municipalities. The first in the series, “To Tackle Tough Government Efficiency Issues, Develop a Framework for Decision-Making,” outlines five steps that they consider crucial to success. Mr. Lahnston, Mr. Goerner, and Mr. Stefko will host their first webinar on July 25.

Working with Princeton to bring about consolidation since 2010, CGR, which is based in Rochester, New York, developed a strong relationship with the town that will transfer to the new initiative, according to Mr. Stefko. “I think Princeton offers some significant lessons for other communities,” he said. “A lot can be learned from the process. The bottom line is that it is not unique in the kind of questions it was asking about taxes, competitiveness, fiscal issues, and service sustainability. These are all questions being asked across New Jersey and the northeast. Certainly, that’s what we’ve seen at CGR in the last ten years or so.”

All three principals emphasize that GovWorks is not just about consolidation. “In some cases consolidation is misinterpreted as being the only solution, and that just isn’t the case,” Mr. Lahnston said. “There are lots of opportunities for services to be combined in creative ways.” Mr. Goerner adds, “Frankly, consolidation isn’t right for every town. But it is one option in our tool kit. Inside of that kit, some towns may opt to share services. There is also service optimization, which is trying to find ways to run a leaner and more efficient organization. Some just need to streamline, they don’t need to consolidate like we did.”

GovWorks is a part-time endeavor for the partners. Mr. Goerner is an advisor at UBS Financial Services Inc. Mr. Lahnston is an independent management consulting professional. Mr. Stefko, who runs CGR, said, “We feel the relationship with GovWorks is a big value add for us. It deepens our capacity to deliver these innovative services to local governments precisely when they’re needed the most. These are challenging economic times.”

The principals are working on how to market their services to interested municipalities. “I think CGR would say they’ve been a reactive organization in some respects,” said Mr. Lahnston. “They hear about a request for a proposal and they respond to it, and they do it really well. But the alternative is to be more pro-active. We want to go to market as a collaborative force. This is CGR’s business and they’ve been in it for a long time, and they are really good at it. What we’re working on is making it more integrative and reactive.”

University spokesperson Martin M. Mbugua declined to comment Tuesday on the ongoing investigation into the bomb threat that closed the Princeton University campus last week.

The University evacuated staff and students on June 11 after receiving a “credible” bomb threat for multiple, unspecified campus buildings.

The person who called in the bomb threat has not yet been caught. Mr. Mbugua said that there have been no arrests and that the Princeton University’s Department of Public Safety is in charge of the investigation along with other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

Asked about rumors that the caller had given details about the ingredients used in the bomb, Mr. Mbugua said that he was unable to provide any details as to what made the threat credible. “That is determined by the Department of Public Safety,” he said “and since this is an ongoing investigation I cannot discuss specifics of how the credibility of the threat was determined.”

Some 6,900 people were evacuated from campus and off-campus buildings after the threat was received at 8:57 a.m. and the University started sending out e-mail alerts at 10:30 a.m. Washington Road and North Harrison Street were closed to traffic coming from Route 1 around 11:40 a.m. and reopened around 12:30 p.m. Princeton’s Dinky train closed for an hour starting at 11:45 a.m. and the University’s TigerTransit service was suspended until Wednesday, June 12. Bomb-sniffing dogs were called in to look for explosives but found none and the campus was reopened at 6:25 p.m.

As a precautionary measure Superintendent of Schools Judy Wilson prohibited outside student activity for the day and all after school activities were canceled.

Shortly after the threat was called in, authorities checked out a suspicious package found at the Lawrence Road Apartments off Alexander Street. The apartment complex houses University graduate students. The item was discovered to be a harmless kitchen item left by someone moving out of the apartment complex.

A number of local, county, state and federal agencies took part in the response. In addition to the University’s Department of Public Safety and the Princeton Police Department, responders included the FBI, New Jersey Transit Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, state Police, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff’s Office, the Monmouth County K-9 unit, and Princeton First Aid and Rescue.

Friday’s False Alarm

On Friday, June 14, a member of the U.S. Marshals Service walking near the entrance of the Nassau Inn noticed an unattended bag near a structural support to the building. He reported the item a 5:43 p.m. and Princeton Police Department responded.

According to Captain Nick Sutter, no one had been seen leaving the item and no owner could be found. The item had been left unattended for over an hour. Access to the immediate area was restricted as surveillance footage was checked. The footage did not reveal who left the bag or when.

A canine unit from the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) was called in and in consultation with NJSP investigators raised the level of the package from unattended to suspicious. NJSP then requested explosive technicians and Palmer Square East was closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic at 6:18 p.m.

The bomb squad arrived around 7 p.m. and, after examining the package from a distance, ordered an immediate and full evacuation of all Palmer Square East buildings including restaurants, stores and the Nassau Inn before examining the package at closer quarters.

The evacuation, which was done in conjunction with Palmer Square Management and the management staff of the Nassau Inn, was completed by 7:30 p.m. and by 8:22 p.m. the bag was deemed safe. The ‘all clear’ was given and the area was reopened. The bag belongs to a customer at the Nassau Inn who has since been found and contacted, said Mr. Sutter.

At its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 11, the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education passed a resolution in support of a move to postpone for one year the full implementation of the new teacher evaluation system mandated by the state.

The Board approved Assembly Resolution 180 (AR180), of which Assemblyman Patrick Deignan and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, both members of the Assembly Education Committee, are co-sponsors.

“Many of the recent mandates from the state — all are unfunded and on the fast track — work against the efforts of the professionals who are hard at work educating our students,” said Board President Tim Quinn at the meeting.

The new teacher evaluation system, which is part of an overall assessment package that also includes the new standardized testing, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), is one of the numerous unfunded mandates handed down by the New Jersey\ Department of Education and is due to come into effect in the academic year 2013-14.

Mr. Quinn stated that while the Princeton Public School Board supports “a fair and thorough evaluation process for all educators, one that recognizes their professionalism and supports their efforts to grow as teachers and administrators,” the problem with the state mandate is that “we’re being asked to implement these changes at what, for school districts, is a breakneck speed.”

According to the resolution passed last week, the School Board supports the delay on the grounds that the New Jersey Department of Education’s regulations under the TEACHNJ Act “mandate dramatic, complex, and potentially very costly requirements” and because “the attendant costs of implementing these new mandated changes are difficult to clearly ascertain and definitively budget for.”

In addition, the Board points out that the TEACHNJ Act is still being developed and will not be finalized until after the commencement of the 2013-14 school year, which leaves little time for the district to comply without “widespread confusion about the final parameters and important details of the new evaluation system.”

Postponing the changes until 2014-2015 would, it was suggested, allow for the final adoption of the Department’s regulations, and provide the staff of the Princeton Public Schools with more time to complete the work required. The School District describes the state mandates as “burdensome.”

Instead, Mr. Quinn’s recommendation is “to slow down, do some further study and evaulation, and implement these changes in a thoughtful way that keeps the focus on what is best for the students.”

The resolution comes on the heels of the Board’s response to the wording of a new state law that, as it stands, appears to require the district to get a signed permission slip from parents anytime students use a district computer that has a camera installed. According to Mr. Quinn, this would put a “cumbersome” burden on the district. It seems that the intent of the law is to apply only to computers that students take home but the law is not worded that way. Rather, it is broad enough to apply to computers that students use in schools. The district’s law firm of Parker McCay has looked at the wording and agrees with the district’s concerns.


That’s how the Historical Society of Princeton envisioned the Updike Farmstead when it was opened two years ago, according to HSP Executive Director Erin Dougherty. “We want people to come out, have a picnic, sit, and watch the sunset.” At Saturday’s fundraiser, “Concert Under the Stars,” people could also enjoy food from Main Street and music by the Marshall Tucker Band. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

June 12, 2013

MCarterThe Christopher Durang comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the Tony Award for “Best Play” at this year’s Tony Award celebrations. The play, which was a McCarter Theatre commission, was nominated for six awards. Durang and McCarter Theatre Artistic Director Emily Mann accepted the award at last Sunday’s celebration. The play made its debut at McCarter Theatre in September 2012 and ran through October 2012 before arriving on Broadway. For more information on McCarter Theatre, visit www.mccarter.org.

CAUGHT NAPPING: Photographer Charles R. Plohn spotted this adult male black bear taking an afternoon nap on Saturday at around 3 p.m. high up in a tree on Terhune and Mt. Lucas Roads. Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson was at the site. “We won’t try to capture the bear, just keep people away and wait for him to come down and go on his way,” he said. What is thought to be the same bear was sighted at various spots from Thursday, June 6 through Monday, June 10. Another bear was reported on the University campus.

CAUGHT NAPPING: Photographer Charles R. Plohn spotted this adult male black bear taking an afternoon nap on Saturday at around 3 p.m. high up in a tree on Terhune and Mt. Lucas Roads. Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson was at the site. “We won’t try to capture the bear, just keep people away and wait for him to come down and go on his way,” he said. What is thought to be the same bear was sighted at various spots from Thursday, June 6 through Monday, June 10. Another bear was reported on the University campus.

We all know that Princeton is prime residential real estate. It seems that black bears think so too.

Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson reports that, according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Princeton area might well expect a resident bear in the next three to five years. If so, says Mr. Johnson, the public needs to learn how to live with it. Who knows, he says, the adult male shown here, taking an afternoon nap, might well be scoping out the area for a possible home.

The Princeton Police Department received several reports of bear sightings this past week. The bears were spotted in suburban gardens near wooded areas and also in town. The first sighting was on Thursday night near Arreton Road and Route 206. According to Mr. Johnson, it’s probably the same bear, shown here. In this instance, the bear climbed down after his siesta and went on his way. He was seen again on Friday at Ross Stevenson Circle and Mount Lucas Road, then on Saturday on Dempsey, Walnut, and Cuyler and again, by Mr. Johnson on Sunday and Monday. “We try to keep an eye on them and send them out of developed areas towards patches of woods so that there are no encounters with children or with dogs. We want to keep the public away and let the bear be a bear,” he said.

This is the time of year, late May, June and July, that juvenile bears are sent out by their mothers to find their own territory and search for a mate.

“The bears that were seen in and around town are an adult male, a second adult and a cub, assumed to be a mother with her cub,” said Mr. Johnson, who did not see the bear that was spotted on campus in the early hours of the morning, June 7.

The Department of Public Safety at Princeton University reported the bear to Princeton Police and Princeton Animal Control (ACO). The bear, thought to be a juvenile, was running east in the area of Dodge Osborn Hall, near McCosh Health Center, at 2:35 a.m. The animal didn’t come near anyone.

On June 8, Sergeant Michael R. Cifelli of the Princeton Police Department confirmed the two separate black bear sightings in town. The New Jersey Division of Wildlife Management (NJDWM) were contacted and Princeton ACO went to the location to assess the situation. Sgt. Cifelli urged all residents to follow bear safety tips as listed on the NJDWM website and also to the state website: www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.

DEP Spokesman Bob Considine said that the black bears are looking for food and that although they are pretty much harmless to people, they should not be provoked and can be dangerous to livestock and pets. If people see a bear, police and DEP officials advise them to stay away from it, bring pets indoors, and secure or get rid of any trash lying around outside.

According to the DEP, black bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey, an integral part of the state’s natural heritage, and a vital component of healthy ecosystems.

Since the 1980s the Garden State’s black bear population has been increasing and expanding its range both southward and eastward from the forested areas of northwestern New Jersey. Within the most densely populated state in the nation, black bears are thriving and there are now confirmed bear sightings in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties.

Division of Fish and Wildlife personnel use an integrated approach to managing New Jersey’s black bear population, fostering coexistence between people and bears. The most common problem for New Jersey residents is black bears getting into their garbage. Bears are attracted to neighborhoods by garbage odors, so properly securing your garbage is one of the best ways to prevent bears from becoming a nuisance in your community. To avoid attracting them Fish and Wildlife has tips on its website: www.njfishandwildlife.com/bearfacts.

And remember: Never Feed Bears. It’s not only dangerous, it’s illegal in New Jersey. Anyone who feeds bears could face a penalty of up to $1,000 for each offense. If a bear is spotted, call your local police and/or report black bear damage or nuisance behavior to the DEP’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).

Last year when Mr. Johnson gave a Bear Education class only about five people showed up. Chances are his next class will be better attended. It is scheduled for June 17, at 7 p.m. at Witherspoon Hall.

UNSPOILED UPDIKE FARMSTEAD: Among the visitors to Updike Farm on Quaker Road are artists taking advantage of the open air views. The Historical Society of Princeton, which owns the site, is celebrating it with a fundraiser this Saturday.

UNSPOILED UPDIKE FARMSTEAD: Among the visitors to Updike Farm on Quaker Road are artists taking advantage of the open air views. The Historical Society of Princeton, which owns the site, is celebrating it with a fundraiser this Saturday.

A three-story white farmhouse on six sprawling acres between Route 1 and Princeton Pike gives passing motorists a glimpse of rural life from another century. The Updike Farmstead on Quaker Road, occupied by descendants of its original owners until just over a decade ago, managed to survive area development and suburbanization. The farm and its outbuildings were purchased in 2004 by the Historical Society of Princeton.

The acquisition added a bucolic site to the Historical Society, whose in-town headquarters at Bainbridge House on Nassau Street. Since then, the organization has held several events on the grounds. The biggest is its annual fundraiser, which this Saturday evening brings the Marshall Tucker Band to the farm for the “Concert Under the Stars.”

The idea is not just to raise money. Making people aware of the farm as a resource for the public is a large part of the plan. “Our concept, when we opened the Farmstead two years ago, was that we wanted Princeton to think of it as their own back yard,” said Erin Dougherty, the Historical Society’s executive director. “That’s still our philosophy. We want people to come out, have a picnic, sit and watch the sunset.”

The farm is open to the public not only for events [check the website www.princetonhistory.com]. Ms. Dougherty said there are people who stop at the site while hiking, and others who bring their easels and paints to take advantage of the vista. “It’s the most beautiful place in Princeton, particularly in May and June with the gorgeous pink sunsets,” she said. “The views are incredible. You’re looking out at a farm field, at open space. It’s quiet. When you walk into the back of the house, you just hear nature. It’s so peaceful. We hear a lot from groups that it’s the freedom of the farm that people love, particularly kids. You can get out of the car and just run.”

Stanley and Sarah Updike lived at Updike Farm until their deaths in 2002, according to the Historical Society’s website. The brother and sister were descendants of George Furman Updike Sr., who bought approximately 190 acres of the original farmland, which was known as the Benjamin Clarke property, in 1892. The Updike family sold 184 acres of the property to the Institute for Advanced Study in 1969.

The Farmstead is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places and lies within the Princeton Battlefield/Stony Brook Settlement Historic District. Mr. Clarke, an early Stony Brook settler, purchased 1200 acres of the land in 1696. Continental troops passed the site on their way to take on British soldiers at the Thomas Clarke farm at Princeton Battlefield.

In addition to the farmhouse, the Updike site includes a large barn built in 1892, a wagon shed, corn crib, three-bay garage, garden sheds, and chicken coops. The farmhouse has been rehabilitated to house expanded operations of the Historical Society. At the concert on Saturday, the next step will be announced.

“We’re about to start some work on the large barn, replacing the roof as part of the first step of stabilizing the building,” Ms. Dougherty said. “Now that we have the house done and can use it as a museum and have programs there, we’re hoping to eventually use the barn for programming as well.”

The buildings on the site are of varying ages, but they form a seamless whole, Ms. Doughterty said. “We had a wedding out there a few weeks ago, and the photographs with the vistas of the fields, the corn crib, the weathered barn — they are just amazing,” she said. “The buildings are such a big part of it all.”

The fundraiser is Saturday, June 15, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Marshall Tucker Band will play for 90 minutes. Main Street is providing the food. Guests can explore the grounds and tour the farmhouse, where three exhibits are on display. Tickets start at $150 but groups get savings. visit www.princetonhistory.org or call (609) 921-6748.

The Arts Council of Princeton presents the sixth annual David R. Goldberg Lecture in Architecture on Wednesday, June 12, at 7 p.m. at the Paul Robeson Center, 102 Witherspoon Street. Admission is free.

Tom Wright moderates the talk featuring Alan Chimacoff, Max Hayden, MJ Sagan, and Kevin Wilkes.

Mr. Chimacoff, AIA is a founding principal of ikon.5 architects and teaches part-time at Princeton University. Mr. Hayden presently chairs the Hopewell Historic Preservation Commission and has served as a member for many years. He has owned his own architectural practice – Maximillian Hayden Architect Inc. — since 1991.

Ms. Sagan is the owner of MJ Sagan Architecture, an architecture and interior architecture firm in Princeton specializing in custom designs for a wide range of national and international architectural projects. Former Princeton Borough Councilman Kevin Wilkes is a local architect and small business owner. He founded the architecture and construction firm, the Prince-
ton Design Guild (PDG), in 1986.

Mr. Wright is the executive director of Regional Plan Association, a non-profit civic group that compiles long range plans for the N.Y.-N.J.-Conn. metropolitan region. He teaches graduate courses in urban planning at Columbia and Princeton universities and lectures widely on growth management and regional planning.

The David R. Goldberg Lecture in Architecture was established by Bunny and Marv Goldberg in memory of their son David and is supported by a fund that has over 250 contributors to date. The series features an annual lecture by a prominent architect. The first lecture took place in June 2008 featuring Paul Robeson Center designer Michael Graves. In 2009 the lecture featured J. Robert Hillier, Stan Allen in 2010, Harrison Fraker, Jr. in 2011 and James Polshek in 2012.

Reservations are suggested for this event. Call (609) 924-8777.

The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Alliance (WIBA) will be hosting the first Women of Achievement Awards breakfast honoring women from the Princeton Region and Central New Jersey for their professional accomplishments and contributions to the community on June 13 at Jasna Polana.

The Women of Achievement award acknowledges outstanding women and their supporters who have realized extraordinary levels of accomplishment in their respective fields. The first class of honorees includes such diverse fields as: architecture, not for profit organizations, entrepreneurial startups, and journalism.

The 2013 Women of Achievement honorees are: Barbara Fox, reporter at Lawrenceville-based US1, for her achievements in journalism; Danielle Gletow, founder of Trenton-based One Simple Wish, for her achievements in not-for-profit businesses; Barbara Hillier, of Princeton-based studiohillier, for her achievements in architecture; and Denise Taylor, of Lawrenceville-based Great Looks Salon, for her achievements in entrepreneurial initiatives.

“As leaders in their career fields we believe that these women are role models for others to admire and emulate for their strength of purpose and desire to accomplish something extraordinary against all challenges,” said Peter Crowley, president and CEO of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce. “These women may not be familiar to everyone but their remarkable stories and achievements make them influential leaders. The Women of Achievement award is designed to recognize these women and the people who have supported them on their journey to achieving success and expertise in their chosen profession.”

Recognition will take place during a breakfast at Jasna Polana on June 13. “The Princeton Regional Chamber and WIBA have listened to the voices and opinions of many women in the region and have created the Women of Achievement award to honor women who have made outstanding strides in their chosen professions,” said Michelle Everman, a member of the WIBA Committee who helped create the recognition.

Members of the WIBA committee nominated women and those candidates were reviewed by a selection committee along with the chamber staff. The Women in Business Alliance is a program of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, a membership organization committed to promoting business growth within the Princeton Region and surrounding areas. With more than 1,800 individual contacts and more than 880 Member companies, the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce membership is primarily focused in five central New Jersey counties and stretches as far as New York, Philadelphia, and Canada.

The public is welcome to attend the breakfast at TPC Jasna Polana on June 13 and registration can be done at www.princetonchamber.org.


Community Connection’s 2013 Princeton Kids Marathon Sunday was part of a region-wide effort to promote health and fitness for children in grades K-8 while raising funds for services provided to babies and children at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center at UMCPP. After running 25 miles at their own pace from March through May, they ran their last mile together in Sunday’s non-competitive event. The kids received medals, T-shirts, goody bags, and refreshments to celebrate their 26.2 mile accomplishment. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

June 5, 2013
EYE-CATCHING STONEWORK: The Princeton Seminary Library tower as seen from Mercer Street shows a frieze of carved stone medallions that were carefully removed from the old building to take pride of place on the new.(Image Courtesy of Barbara Chaapel)

EYE-CATCHING STONEWORK: The Princeton Seminary Library tower as seen from Mercer Street shows a frieze of carved stone medallions that were carefully removed from the old building to take pride of place on the new. (Image Courtesy of Barbara Chaapel)

Although the official opening festivities for the new Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) Library will not be until October of next year, anyone traveling to and from Princeton via Mercer Street will have seen the stone and glass structure take shape behind metal fences, some of which were recently removed to reveal an arched entryway below a tall tower decorated with carved stone medallions.

The medallions were saved from the old Speer library building to take pride of place on the tower. The new building replaces the Speer to form a single library in conjunction with the Luce Library, currently undergoing renovation.

“We are almost there,” said Reference Librarian Kate Screbutenas, as she led a tour of the building with PTS staff members Barbara A. Chaapel, director of communications, and Caryl E. Chambers, director of foundation relations. “It’s like hemming a dress, there are just a few loose threads hanging down that need to be attended to.”

Some loose ends were created when the upstate New York quarry supplying the building’s quartzite stone was unable to match stone that had been carefully saved for reuse from the old building. The new building’s exterior is comprised of blocks of quartzite with a border faced with dark Corinthian granite at the lower level. The main entrance arch on Mercer Street was cut and shaped in Carrara, Italy, and the staircase leading from the street is of granite and blue stone, some of which was reused from the Speer Library.

The design of the entryway deserves comment. Rather than a straight-on path to the doorway, it is angled, resulting in slower ingress. Whether this is for aesthetic or for safety reasons, or both, the result allows one to take in the majesty of the elevated site, the imposing tower, and the triangular overhanging windows that provide spectacular views from several floors.

The building’s architects (EYP Architecture & Engineering of Boston) and builders (Barr & Barr) as well as PTS staff were keen to make sure that whatever was usable from the old building found its way into the new. Marble from the interior walls of Speer have been repurposed as tables and disk-style lighting fixtures have been refurbished. Some benches for the café are being fashioned from trees felled during the renovation. Solar panels have been installed on the roof.

The building is designed to maximize natural light throughout. Because the new building takes up less of a footprint than the one it replaces, there is increased landscaping. Pin Oak trees, a gift of the Class of 2013, have been planted along a new walkway on Mercer Street. LEED certification at the silver level has been applied for.

Inside the main entrance a public space boasts two fully-wired assembly rooms that will be available, by arrangement, to local community groups. A small café has tables and chairs and vending machines.

Beyond the security screens, the library’s service desk is staffed with librarians and IT specialists who will provide the password for free Wifi available throughout the building on request.

This area, called the Concourse, has soft seating, cherry wood and glass display cases, and shelving for periodicals and new books. “The new books section is a popular meeting spot,” said Ms. Skrebutenas. “Often it’s the first place library users make for; new titles are always a conversation starter.”

On view here currently is an exhibition of archaeological artifacts from the collection of Dr. James H. Charlesworth, the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature. Dr. Charlesworth directs the Seminary’s Dead Sea Scrolls Project and has worked with others to make a text of the Qumran Scrolls available in English. He has excavated at Migdal, Bethsaida, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Khirbet Beza, Qumran, and elsewhere.

The Concourse is both welcoming and business-like, as befits a library for scholars. The reference librarian’s desk sits in front of glass walled offices and the area looks onto a central four-story atrium where the 3,000 square-foot floor below lends itself to receptions, lectures, and musical events. A newly installed light sculpture by Hyong Nam Ahn strikes a modern note.

Although not officially unveiled, the library is already in use by the seminary community and its neighbors at the Center of Theological Inquiry, the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), and Princeton University. It is also used by independent scholars and members of the public, although if you want to check out books you will need to pay $50 a year for a library card.

The first users to cross the threshold were an IAS visitor, a Princeton University professor, and an Episcopal priest from Plainsboro.

Public access includes work-station carrels but some parts of the library are reserved for the exclusive use of PhD students, accessed by card readers.

“Many people were consulted about the new library; we surveyed the entire PTS community of students and faculty as well as the educational media and information technology departments,” said Ms. Chaapel. “The physical space we had before was inadequate for our needs.”

The Speer Library was built in the late 1950s and the Luce Library in 1994. The two were joined by bridges and there was a compressed feeling, even more so during construction when Speer was demolished and Luce had to continue to function as a full service library. Much of the book collection was moved off site and brought back as requested. And while the process worked seamlessly with minimal disruption to scholary pursuits, it seemed to the staff and the PTS community that “Luce was bursting at the seams,” said Ms. Chaapel.

“The new library offers the opportunity for us to increase our hard copy collection even as we continue to digitize and expand our digital collection and resources,” said Ms. Skrebutenas. It has been embraced wholeheartedly by its users. Ms. Skrebutenas reports that students have become so comfortably engrossed in their new work environment that they are disinclined to leave at the end of the day.

The library website is a portal to the Internet Archive. In addition, a microform archive contains rare missionary records going back to the 18th century. A nice touch are the iPADs placed on walls at strategic points and offering immediate access to the library catalogue as well as the digital collection and news of the day’s events.

The Barr & Barr construction crew is now putting the finishing touches to the new building’s exterior and working on the interior of the Luce building that makes up the north wing of the library.

For more information, including a video tour of the new library and library hours, visit: ptsem.edu/library.

TUDOR MAJESTY: This elegant home is among 11 open for visitors on June 15 as part of the Cadwalader Heights Historic House and Garden Tour, set in a Trenton neighborhood that was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

TUDOR MAJESTY: This elegant home is among 11 open for visitors on June 15 as part of the Cadwalader Heights Historic House and Garden Tour, set in a Trenton neighborhood that was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Nestled into a neighborhood overlooking Cadwalader Park, the homes of Trenton’s Cadwalader Heights have been attracting attention since the community began hosting annual tours of its Tudor, Georgian, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and Mission-style homes more than two decades ago. The curved, tree-shaded streets form the only residential community in New Jersey to have been laid out by famed 19th century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed the park.

The neighborhood was home for decades to doctors, educators, and captains of industry. The current group of homeowners, who represent the arts, education, government, and other fields, are just as meticulous as their predecessors about maintaining and restoring their residences.

Their houses and gardens will be on display once again on Saturday, June 15, in a noon-to-5 p.m. event that encompasses art, food, even bee-keeping. After the house tour, participants can take a short drive over to Trenton’s historic Roebling Wire Works building for the annual Art All Night celebration. A portion of the proceeds from the tour go to the charitable organization Mercer Street Friends.

Among the homes on display is the 1919 Craftsman-style residence of landscape architect Randy Baum, on Ivy Court. Not surprisingly, the gardens that weave gracefully down to the Delaware and Raritan Canal are the show-stopper here, which is not to disparage the three-story, four-bedroom house. Mr. Baum and his late partner, artist Bob Harris, bought the property in 1986 and threw themselves into a major overhaul of its interior and exterior.

“It was pretty crusty,” Mr. Baum recalls with a laugh as he sips his morning coffee in the comfortable den off the living room. “But we were young. What did we know?” The partners began by throwing out just about everything that had been left in the house, and painting the walls white. Later, neighbors Kelly Ingram, a decorative painter, and Natalie Featherston, a trompe l’oeil artist, painted the interiors in rich greens and golds. Mr. Harris’s murals depicting Saint Sebastian are on the walls of the dining room.

The property was overgrown and unkempt when the partners moved in, but they could see its possibilities. “It was the view of the canal that sold us on the house,” Mr. Baum said, strolling down the bluestone steps he painstakingly put in, to the idyllic lawn by the water. Birdsong and breezes wafting through the trees are the only sounds here. This is Trenton?

“We hauled at least 50 bags of garbage from the back yard. We brought in tons of soil to make it level,” he said of one section of the property. Wrought iron tables and chairs are placed on different tiers, each with a distinctive design. Shade comes from oak and beech trees, primarily, with some hickory and linden thrown in.

The day lilies and hydrangeas should be in full bloom by the day of the tour. Visitors can also find Oregon grape holly, wiegela, itea, wisteria, and baptizia among the blossoms. “It took a couple of years to make,” Mr. Baum reflects. “It was a lot of work but it was worth it.”

There are 11 homes and several gardens on the Cadwalader Heights Historic House Tour, which will be held June 15 from noon-5 p.m., rain or shine. Plein air artists will be at work, Mercer County Master Gardeners will be on hand, and several restaurants and eateries including Cairo Cakes & Pastries, Chez Alice, Chocolate Lovers of Princeton, Palace of Asia, and Stoltzfus Family Bakery will be offering dessert tastings.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $20 the day of the tour. Visit www.cadwaladerheights.com for details.