October 1, 2014

On Sunday, October 19, from 3 to 5 p.m., a community discussion on the hazards of driving with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and what parents, teens, educators and adults can do to create safe drivers, will take place at University Medical Center of Princeton 1 Plainsboro Road.

“Dangerous Curves Ahead” will feature speakers Thomas J. Power, PhD and director, Center for Management of ADHD at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Pamela Fischer, MLP, director: NJ Teen Safe Driving Coalition.

According to research, young drivers with ADHD are two to four times more likely to have traffic accidents, three times as likely to have injuries, four times more likely to be at fault, and six to eight times more likely to have their licenses suspended. Effective behavioral treatments are needed that can help young drivers with ADHD while driving, including additional behind the wheel hours and formal training, the use of cell phone blocking technology, and a driver’s contract.

Based on the research, clinicians should educate patients and caregivers about the increased risk of adverse outcomes among untreated individuals with ADHD, and the role of medication in improving driving performance.

For more information, visit www.chadd.net/template.cfm?affid=153&p=about.

Shortly after the recent fatal mauling of a 22-year-old Rutgers student by a black bear in New Jersey’s 572-acre Apshawa Nature Preserve, the Princeton Police Department has drawn attention to guidelines from the Division of Fish and Wildlife. Princeton residents can access numerous safety tips through he municipal website at princetonnj.gov. “Comprehensive information on bear safety is available for home owners as well as hikers,” said Lt. Robert Currier, Friday.

It is hoped that the information will inform Princeton residents about the best ways to maintain safety for their homes and for themselves if they ever come into contact with a black bear.

Edison resident Darsh Patel was with four friends when they encountered the bear. The friends bolted in separate directions and it was some time before Mr. Patel’s body was discovered by members of a volunteer search and rescue unit. The Rutgers student had sustained multiple bites and claw wounds.

According to police reports of the incident, rescuers told police that the bear had been circling Mr. Patel’s body and was behaving aggressively toward them. They had tried to scare off the animal by creating loud noises for some 30 minutes. A West Milford police officer killed the animal with a shotgun. The bear was found to be a 299-pound male.

According to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife (“Know the Bear Facts: Black Bears in New Jersey Bear Safety Tips) black bears “by nature tend to be wary of humans and avoid people.”

However, the directive goes on, “if you encounter a black bear in your neighborhood or outdoors while hiking or camping, follow these common-sense safety tips: Never feed or approach a bear; remain calm; make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises; make sure the bear has an escape route; If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open; avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge, and never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.”

Specific instructions include: “scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans or using an airhorn; make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms; and if you are with someone else, stand close together with your arms raised above your head.”

“The bear may utter a series of huffs, make popping jaw sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close. If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect scents in the air. It is usually not a threatening behavior. Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, then slowly back away. Black bear attacks are extremely rare.”

The Division of Fish and Wildlife has a policy of fostering coexistence between people and bears; the most common bear problem in New Jersey is black bears getting into their garbage.

Last year, Town Topics reported on several black bear sightings in Princeton. In June, one was tranquilized and relocated from the campus of The College of New Jersey by personnel from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to the Alexauken Creek Wildlife Management Area in northeast Hunterdon County, the nearest Wildlife Management Area.

Black bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey. They are 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.

Bear safety tips are listed on the NJDWM website and also to the state website: www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.

And remember, Never feed bears! It’s illegal in New Jersey, and it’s dangerous. Anyone who feeds bears could face a penalty of up to $1,000 for each offense.

If a bear is spotted, immediately call the 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).


cory booker

Senator Cory Booker opened a workshop designed to assist university professors and non-profit organizations tap into the resources of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities last week at Rider University with the words: “America needs more poets.” Mr. Booker, who currently serves on three U. S. Senate committees: Science and Transportation, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Environment and Public Works, spoke of the critical nature of the humanities to the American psyche and to the nation’s well-being and future success, and went on to describe his own upbringing and education. He ended with lines from Langston Hughes’s poem “Let America Be America Again:” “O Let America be America again/Let it be the dream it used to be./Let it be the pioneer on the plain/Seeking a home where he himself is free./(America never was America to me).”

NAMI Mercer N.J., an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will commemorate Mental Illness Awareness Week by hosting its sixth annual Harvest of Hope Wellness Conference on Saturday, October 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville. Throughout the observance period from October 5-11, the organization will sponsor educational and anti-stigma activities around the county.

This annual education event, funded in part by the Lawrence Township Community Foundation, is open to individuals and families affected by mental illness as well as the general public. The focus this year is “Recovery through Discovery.” Melody Moezzi, an Iranian-American activist, attorney, and award-winning author will deliver the keynote address. Her latest book, Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life, interweaves her experiences with both clinical and cultural bipolarity.

The conference then will offer attendees a choice of concurrent wellness workshops, with one session in the morning and another during the afternoon. The $10 registration fee includes breakfast and lunch. Although membership in NAMI Mercer is not required, there is an incentive price of $35 to join and attend the conference.

For more information and to register for the Harvest of Hope conference, go to www.namimercer.org or call 609-799-8994.

Ms. Moezzi will also appear on Friday, October 10 from 7-9 p.m. at Princeton Public Library, where she will deliver a book talk about her memoir. Call (609) 924-9529 or visit www.princetonlibrary.org for information.

Paul Sigmund IV, 49, of San Francisco, was arrested Sunday morning for DWI and possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia after allegedly striking a pole in the Park Place parking lot and fleeing the scene. His 2012 Chevy Malibu sustained a pushed in left front fender.

Mr. Sigmund is the son of Princeton University scholar of political theory, Paul Sigmund, who died on April 27, and former Princeton Borough mayor Barbara Boggs Sigmund, who died in 1990.

He had also served as a Mercer County freeholder and chief of staff to ex-mayor of Trenton Tony Mack.

In addition to the other charges, the Lawrence Township Municipal Court had a warrant for Sigmund for $120. After posting bail, he was released on his own recognizance.


Lined up, weapons in hand, this troop is ready to march, sort of, at the Princeton Battlefield during Saturday’s celebration of New Jersey’s 350th anniversary. The day’s events included tours, live music, food, and Shakespeare. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

September 29, 2014
Princeton Public Schools has hired Nutri-Serve Food Management, Inc. to be the new food service provider for Princeton’s schools. Nutri-Serve enables children to make good food choices and also promotes healthy eating for their parents. The change in service provider coincides with the growth of some key district programs centered on health and wellness, including the expansion of school breakfast program and the popular food tastings, which are made possible through partnerships with local organizations. “We provide the most nutritious food possible in helping kids make healthy choices,” said Joel Rosa, the director of Food Services, who moved into his office immediately adjacent to the PHS cafeteria this summer.
For more information, visit: facebook @PrincetonPublicSchoolsNJ.
September 26, 2014

Princeton Public Library has received a $25,000 donation from the Global Giving team of NRG Energy Inc. that will be directed to the library’s Stewardship Fund. The Stewardship Fund is a targeted endowment that provides, among other resources, funds for building upgrades that allow the library to operate more sustainably.

The $25,000 gift complements the guidance and thought leadership NRG Chief Operating Officer Mauricio Gutierrez and other company experts have provided in support of the library’s goal to reduce energy consumption and costs and to become a model of best sustainability practices for the community and other libraries.

“We are grateful to NRG for their generous gift and for their leadership in helping the library become a more sustainable institution,” said Princeton Public Library Executive Director Leslie Burger. “Our relationship with NRG has been instrumental to advancing our sustainability efforts, and we look forward to building on that relationship in the years to come.”

“Our contribution and involvement as an energy partner and corporate neighbor will help the Princeton Public Library achieve even more ambitious sustainability goals, serving as a shining example for other Princeton-area businesses and homeowners to follow,” said Gutierrez. “Just as public libraries inspire learning through books and media, we hope to inspire a local race for clean energy through our support of the community’s public library.”

Locally based NRG Energy Inc. is a Fortune 250 company that supports clean energy resources and technologies nationwide.


September 24, 2014

The Princeton University professor arrested this summer for stealing lawn signs has been offered a deal by the municipal prosecutor. John Mulvey, who was videotaped taking lawn signs of Princeton Computer Repairs, Tutoring and Digital Services — known as Computer Tutor — could see the case dropped if he agrees to completing community service at Trenton Central High School. The proposal was one of the ideas expressed at a pre-trial conference.

Ted Horodynsky, owner of the business, taped Mr. Mulvey in action and turned the video over to Princeton police, who went to Mr. Mulvey’s home and found the signs in his garage. Mr. Mulvey argued that he was removing debris and said he would fight the charges in court. Mr. Horodynsky and Mr. Mulvey, a professor of operations research and financial engineering and a founding member of the Bendheim Center for Finance, had previously been involved in a traffic-related dispute.

Mr. Mulvey is due to be back in court on October 6, 2014.

COOKING UP A BENEFIT: The culinary delights of local chefs will share the spotlight with author and guest speaker Gary Shteyngart at the Princeton Public Library’s annual gala fundraiser on November 1. Among the chefs are, from left: Scott Anderson of Elements, Terry Strong of Mediterra, and Ben Nerenhausen of Mistral.(Photo by Yamile Slebi)

COOKING UP A BENEFIT: The culinary delights of local chefs will share the spotlight with author and guest speaker Gary Shteyngart at the Princeton Public Library’s annual gala fundraiser on November 1. Among the chefs are, from left: Scott Anderson of Elements, Terry Strong of Mediterra, and Ben Nerenhausen of Mistral. (Photo by Yamile Slebi)

There was a time when Princeton was not considered a restaurant town. But as any local foodie knows, those days are in the past.

Capitalizing on the popularity of several successful eateries in and around town, the Princeton Public Library decided to ask local chefs to participate in this year’s benefit. The chefs agreed not only to prepare the food for the event on Saturday, November 1, but to donate most of it, for what planners of the party hope will be 425 or more guests.

Before dinner, the featured speaker at “Beyond Words” is Gary Shteyngart, author of novels The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story as well as the memoir Little Failure. Mr. Shteyngart will speak at 6 p.m. at Princeton University’s McCosh Hall.

Following the author’s talk, the party moves to Frick Chemistry Building on the campus. Partygoers can walk to the location or be ferried by shuttle bus. Dinner will be presented at food stations catered by restaurants including Chambers Walk Cafe, Elements, Eno Terra, Main Street, Mistral, Mediterra, Tre Piani, and Witherspoon Grill. The meal follows an array of hors d’oeuvres and drinks from Cherry Grove Farms, Olives, and Olsson’s. Desserts and additional items come from The Bent Spoon, Bon Appetit, Chez Alice, House of Cupcakes, Small World Coffee, and Thomas Sweet.

“After our success at last year’s event with dinner from food trucks, we knew that we wanted to offer a variety of cuisines,” said Yamile Slebi, chair of the benefit. “And we realized that we have that right here in town. We want to build community. After all, the library is known as the community’s living room. So we decided to invite local restauranteurs to work with us. We wanted to be inclusive, instead of hiring a single caterer.”

First to be approached by the library were Scott Anderson, chef at Elements, and Ben Nerenhausen, chef at Mistral. “They immediately responded,” Ms. Slebi said. “because they feel like they are our neighbors. The same thing happened with the Momos (of Mediterra and Eno Terra), Jack Morrison (Witherspoon Grill) and the owners of Main Street and Chambers Walk.”

Princeton University is donating the use of its buildings for the benefit. “We couldn’t have done anything without their support and generosity,” Ms. Slebi said. Additional donations have come from large companies like NRG, and smaller operations such as Suretech, Pinneo Construction, and Hamilton Jewelers. “Even the little companies that participate in the farmers’ market are helping out,” said Ms. Slebi. “One is donating its honey. So it’s a way for us to help promote them, while they support us.”

The evening includes silent and live auctions, as well as an after-party in a tent behind the Frick building. “It’s with a DJ in a clear tent, under the stars, for those who wish to stay longer,” Ms. Slebi said.

Benefit tickets range from $200 to $500 each. The library raised $130,000 from last year’s event. Sales are “going well,” Ms. Slebi said on Monday. “We’re halfway sold. It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for the library, in terms of events.”


Two lectures will be presented at the Princeton Public Library as part of the Princeton Area Six Historic Sites N.J. 350th Celebration this weekend, September 26 and 27.

Historian Tom Fleming kicks off the weekend-long event with “The Quest for Justice in the American Revolution” on Friday at 7 p.m. One of the foremost historians of the American Revolution, Mr. Fleming is the author of Now We Are Enemies, the Story of Bunker Hill, a 50th-anniversary edition of which was published in 2010. His most recent book is The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers.

Closing out the weekend will be a lecture, “Black Soldiers in the American Revolution” given by author Arthur Lefkowitz. Mr. Lefkowitz is the author of award-winning books including The Long Retreat, George Washington’s Indispensable Men, The American Turtle Submarine, The Best Kept Secret of the American Revolution, and others. His latest book is Benedict Arnold in the Company of Heroes. Mr. Lefkowitz is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Revolution Round Table and has lectured extensively for the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the National Park Service and Fraunces Tavern Museum, and has taught American history at Middlesex County College.

Princeton Area Six Historic Sites N.J. 350th Celebration activities will be held throughout the weekend at Princeton Battlefield State Park/Clarke House, Morven, Updike Farm, Drumthwacket, Bainbridge House and Rockingham. For more information, see visit

The library is at 65 Witherspoon Street. Call (609) 924-9529 or visit www.princetonlibrary.org.

ANGUISH IN ADVANCE OF SCOTS REFERENDUM: With just ten days to go before the Scottish Referendum question “Should Scotland be an independent country,” the British tabloids show fervent appeals to Scottish voters with headlines such as “Don’t Let Me Be Last Queen of Scotland,” “Only Ten Days Left to Save Britain,” “Scotland Heads for Exit,” and “‘No’ Camp Scrambles to Promise Scots New Powers.” One of the best came several days later, when Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, scenting a win for his “Yes” campaign, taunted U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in the Scots vernacular. “Your Jaicket’s on a Shoogly Peg,” he said, which might roughly be translated to: “Mr. Cameron, your leadership days are numbered.” Come voting day, Mr. Salmond had to eat his words when a “No” vote kept Scotland part of the United Kingdom.(Photo by L. Arntzenius)

ANGUISH IN ADVANCE OF SCOTS REFERENDUM: With just ten days to go before the Scottish Referendum question “Should Scotland be an independent country,” the British tabloids show fervent appeals to Scottish voters with headlines such as “Don’t Let Me Be Last Queen of Scotland,” “Only Ten Days Left to Save Britain,” “Scotland Heads for Exit,” and “‘No’ Camp Scrambles to Promise Scots New Powers.” One of the best came several days later, when Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, scenting a win for his “Yes” campaign, taunted U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in the Scots vernacular. “Your Jaicket’s on a Shoogly Peg,” he said, which might roughly be translated to: “Mr. Cameron, your leadership days are numbered.” Come voting day, Mr. Salmond had to eat his words when a “No” vote kept Scotland part of the United Kingdom. (Photo by L. Arntzenius)

Ties between Princeton and Scotland run as deep as the fight for independence that saw the death of General Hugh Mercer at the Battle of Princeton. Mercer was a medical student at Aberdeen University when he fled his native land for America after the bloody massacre of Highlanders by the Royal troops of George II at Culloden. That battle, the last fought on British soil, put an end to hopes of independence for Scotland in 1746. It’s ironic that Mercer met the cold steel of a British bayonet right here in Princeton in another battle for independence in 1777.

Mercer County bears his name, while other familiar place names hereabouts, such as Witherspoon, Drumthwacket, and Morven, echo their Scottish past.

Even today, many ex-patriot Scots make their home here as Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond found last year when he spoke to a crowded auditorium at Princeton University. So it was with some interest, even some anxiety, that many Princeton residents watched last week’s referendum on Scottish independence.

Last Friday morning in Scotland, as the votes were being counted after the referendum on Thursday that would have taken Scotland out of the United Kingdom, I packed my bags following a two week stay in my native land and headed back to Princeton. The previous two weeks had been agonizing emotionally. Everyone I spoke with seemed exhausted after months of discussing the issue. Many seemed to be in denial, wishing the whole debate would somehow go away.

Although I wasn’t able to vote, having lived outside of the country for some three decades, I had to ask myself “how I would vote?” Truth be told, I had a “Yes” sticker on my heart and a “No” sticker on my head. And that went for a lot of the people I spoke to as well.

As the big day neared, excitement and anxiety could be felt in the air in almost equal measure. For a moment the balance of power between Edinburgh and London teetered and then thumped down with a bump on the northern side of the border as Westminster politicians made haste for Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen. British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered an impassioned plea for Scots to stay in the union. As a Conservative, or Tory, he dared not go to the traditionally Labor stronghold of Glasgow, for fear of scoring a home goal, it was said, so he spoke in Aberdeen.

There was interest all over the world. And quite rightly so. For if Scotland voted for independence what would there be to stop the Shetland Islands, now part of Scotland but closer geographically and culturally to Norway, from severing ties with Scotland, especially with most of the U.K. oil reserves located just off their shores? And what about the Basques, the Catalans, The Québécois, and the Walloons. Visitors from Spain, Canada, and Belgium could be seen bearing the flags of their own hopes for independence in Edinburgh last week. Hikers from all three countries were interviewed by an intrepid BBC reporter on the top of Ben Nevis, the highest point in the British Isles. They had come to witness the referendum in anticipation of the same, perhaps, for their own lands.

Fear played a part too. I heard it said that leaders of the “Yes” campaign didn’t do such a great job in responding to the concerns of people like the young woman staffer in the Atholl Arms Hotel in Blair Atholl who worried about the security of an independent Scotland. “I don’t trust Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon,” she said “they have not been up front with the costs of funding a Scottish army and what about the economy? Will Scotland end up like Norway where a pint costs nine pounds? Will the National Health Service end up privatized like in America? What will happen then to our old people who can’t afford to turn their heating on now let alone choose between heat and paying for medicine.”

Many Glaswegians looked upon the sudden attention of Westminster Tories as “a bit late.” Memory of injustice runs deep in this city where older voters still express resentment of the Conservative party dating back to the days of U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Often regarded as a hero south of the border, The Iron Lady is more often vilified north of it for policies that sold off Scotland’s council housing stock (the equivalent of a what is called affordable housing here in Princeton) and measures against the trades unions.

In spite of last minute vows for further powers to devolve from the U.K. government in Westminster to the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, many Scottish voters I spoke to seemed skeptical of change from that quarter. Others were eager to share their optimism for the “Yes” position. “What have we got to lose?” was a frequent response of former Labor voters who had defected to the nationalist position. “It’s time for change,” and “Scotland can do better on its own,” were other common sentiments.

The euphoria of the “Yes” campaign seemed to obliterate concerns about the army, the pound, Trident, and the relations with rUk (the rest of the UK). The Queen, one wondered, might even need a passport to visit her highland estate of Balmoral.

One 75-year-old “No” voter from Inverness, spoke movingly for staying with the Union after 300 years, as he recalled the united spirit that prevailed against Hitler’s Germany during World War II. Originally from the north of England near the Scottish border, he described bomb blasts that had removed the plaster on the interior walls of his tenement home. He remembered a time before there was a National Health Service and pointed out that the oil so many “Yes” campaigners seemed to be relying on to solve all of Scotland’s problems could well be claimed by an independent Shetland. “My grandfather, who came from the Shetlands, would call himself a Shetlander but never a Scotsman,” he said.

There was much rallying on Wednesday, but on Thursday, most people went quietly to the polling stations to cast their ballots. While there was some criticism in the press of rude behavior by “Yes” campaigners in the last few days before the referendum, this reporter observed little of it, and witnessed instead a general recognition that the vote was going to be bittersweet whatever the outcome.

On the whole, people were well-mannered about their differences. All seemed to recognize the gravity of what was at stake. Families as well as regions were divided on the issue. In Edinburgh, the main street, known as the Royal Mile, was filled as usual with tourists. Numerous international media had set up but there were few politicians to talk to. All of the campaigning was over. The media frenzy came later, on Friday, after the ballots had been counted.

At around 5 p.m. Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister for Scotland, recognized defeat. Mr. Salmond was conspicuously absent. He later announced his resignation from the post of First Minister and as leader of the Scottish National Party, although he will stay on as the MSP for Aberdeenshire East.

Although he had described the referendum as a “once in a lifetime” chance, Mr. Salmond gave some hope for another stab at independence in his resignation speech even as he spoke of handing over to a younger generation. Scotland had not chosen separation from the United Kingdom “at this stage,” he said, clearly leaving the door open for future change.


Randy Cohen

Randy Cohen

Randy Cohen will interview  Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon and his wife novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz for his public radio program Person, Place, Thing on Monday, September 29 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Princeton Public Library. Guests on the program are asked to speak about a person, a place, and a thing they find meaningful, rather than about themselves.

Paul Muldoon is the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 university professor in the Humanities at Princeton and the founding chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts where he is a professor of creative writing. He is also the poetry editor for The New Yorker. His new collection One Thousand Things Worth Knowing: Poems will be published by Farrar Straus and Giroux in January. According to the publisher, “Muldoon can be somber or quick-witted — often within the same poem: The mournful refrain of “Cuthbert and the Otters” is ‘I cannot thole the thought of Seamus Heaney dead,’ but that doesn’t stop Muldoon from quipping that the ancient Danes “are already dyeing everything beige/In anticipation, perhaps, of the carpet and mustard factories.”

Nick Laird’s assessment, in The New York Review of Books, is that Muldoon is “the most formally ambitious and technically innovative of modern poets,” an experimenter and craftsman who “writes poems like no one else.”

Publishers Weekly calls Jean Hanff Korelitz’s new novel You Should Have Known (Grand Central $26) an “excellent literary mystery” that “unfolds with authentic detail in a rarified contemporary Manhattan.” Her 2009 novel, Admission, about a reader in Princeton University’s Office of Admissions, was made into a movie starring Tina Fey in 2013. Her other novels include The White Rose, The Sabbathday River, and A Jury of Her Peers.

Randy Cohen won multiple Emmy awards as a writer for Late Night with David Letterman and for 12 years wrote “The Ethicist” column for The New York Times Magazine.


CENT'ANNI: Dorothea van Dyke McLane and Guy Richards McLane on their wedding day.

CENT’ANNI: Dorothea van Dyke McLane and Guy Richards McLane on their wedding day.

Dorothea’s House, the Italian-American cultural center in Princeton, celebrates its 100th anniversary on October 5 with entertainment by Coro d’Italia, an Italian American singing and dancing group based in Upper Montclair, and specialties from area restaurants and food purveyors representing regions throughout Italy. The event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., rain or shine.

Dorothea’s House, located at 120 John Street, was founded as a living memorial to Dorothea van Dyke McLane, a volunteer social worker who assisted Princeton’s newly arrived Italian immigrants in the early 1900s. Similar Italian culture centers exist in metropolitan areas across the United States, but Dorothea’s House is a rare example of an ethnic settlement house that still thrives and serves the public today. It now serves community members, regardless of their background, as an Italian-American cultural institution, providing programs, events, and a link from the Princeton of today to the Italian immigrants who settled in the area over 100 years ago.

Admission to the celebration is free. Visit www.dorotheashouse.org for more information.



Illustrator Brian Floca is signing a copy of his 2014 Caldecott Award-winning book “Locomotive” at the Princeton Public Library’s Children’s Book Festival on Saturday. Comments from some of the young readers will be found in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

September 20, 2014

Before a packed house under the lights brought into Harris Field for homecoming, the Princeton High football team defeated Ewing 7-0 on Friday night. PHS scored on a 11-yard touchdown run by junior star Rory Helstrom in the third quarter as it moved to 2-0. Senior linebacker Sam Smallzamn keyed the defensive effort with a fumble recovery and a fourth quarter interception that sealed the win. The Little Tigers, who hadn’t won a game since 2012 before their season opening 28-7 victory against Hamilton on September 13, will look to keep on the winning track when they play at Hightstown on September 27. For more details on the win over Ewing, including quotes from Smallzman and head coach Charlie Gallagher, see the September 24 issue of the Town Topics.

September 19, 2014

Princeton officials have moved the date for starting demolition of the former Princeton Hospital site to Monday, September 22. Originally targeted for today (Friday), the razing will begin with the building closest to the parking garage, according to Princeton’s municipal engineer Bob Kiser.

Workers have been on site for the past several weeks preparing for the demolition. The entire process is expected to take four to six months. Asbestos removal from the main hospital building has been completed, except for the roof flashings, which the Yannuzzi Wrecking and Recycling Corporation is in the process of taking out.

The demolition will begin Monday, weather permitting. For more information, visit www.avalonprinceton.com.

September 18, 2014

Full page fax printYesterday afternoon, Princeton police announced the capture of Wesley A. Gugliuzza, a 28-year-old homeless man charged with the TD Bank robbery that occurred on Monday, September 15, in the bank at 883 State Road.

Police detectives were led to Mr. Gugliuzza, who was apprehended in Old Bridge, after getting a confidential tip. The arrest was a coordinated effort between Princeton and Old Bridge detectives. Mr. Gugliuzza was apprehended without incident.

Mr. Gugliuzza’s photograph was shared by news agencies after he was captured on surveillance video. He is currently incarcerated at the Middlesex County Correctional Center in New Brunswick, and is charged with one count of first-degree robbery, one count of third-degree terroristic threats, and one count of fourth-degree tampering with evidence. Bail has been set at $300,000.

September 17, 2014
MARKING A MILESTONE: Members of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund celebrated their 10th anniversary Monday with a reception at Mediterra. The fund promotes civil rights and helps provide access to health care and education for low-income Latin American immigrants.

MARKING A MILESTONE: Members of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund celebrated their 10th anniversary Monday with a reception at Mediterra. The fund promotes civil rights and helps provide access to health care and education for low-income Latin American immigrants.

For a growing number of Latino immigrants in Princeton, Trenton, and other parts of Mercer County, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) has provided much-needed assistance in everything from learning English to finding proper health care.

It has been a decade since a group of Princeton citizens calling themselves the Latin American Task Force decided to incorporate as a public charity. But the organization, started by local residents including Anne Reeves, founding director of the Arts Council of Princeton; Ryan Lilienthal, immigration attorney; and representatives from Princeton Friends Meeting, had already been helping the town’s Latino community for years. They reorganized in response to growing alienation faced by Latino residents due to an increased level of immigration enforcement after 9/11.

These days, LALDEF operates out of the Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton and a community center in Trenton’s Chambersburg neighborhood. Through its programs, more than 1,000 children and adults have gotten access to preventive health care and immunizations, Latino students have been mentored as they transition from high school to college, English and computer skills have been taught, and assistance in filing tax returns has been given.

A $25,000 grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF) has helped LALDEF with recent initiatives. “As with all of our grants and grantees, we saw important work being done for people in our community, by good and competent people,” said Nancy Kieling, PACF outgoing president, at the reception on Monday. “It’s hard to build a grass roots organization from the ground up. It’s wonderful to see, with this 10 year celebration, that it has worked.”

LALDEF chairman Patricia Fernandez-Kelly said she is most proud of the organization’s Community ID Card program, which has issued identification cards to some 7,000 residents allowing them to access basic services. Speaking to the assembled crowd, executive director Maria Juega recalled the founding of the organization. “Our collective distress about the senseless unfairness of it all” was a motivator. “It was a very personal commitment each one of us had to do,” she said “We were dismayed and wanted to raise our voices.”

Ms. Fernandez-Kelly said that the celebration was held at Mediterra because of a longstanding relationship between LALDEF and the restaurant’s owners, Carlo and Raoul Momo. “They have been so helpful to us,” she said. “This is capitalism that does well by doing good.”


U.S. News & World Report has ranked Princeton University number one over all in the Best National Universities category of its “2015 America’s Best Colleges” report. The University was ranked second in the most recent list of the 100 “Best Values in Private Colleges” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and fourth in the Forbes ranking of the country’s 650 best undergraduate institutions in “America’s Top Colleges.”

Internationally, the school was ranked sixth in the Shanghai Jiao Tong ranking, which is officially known as the Academic Ranking of World Universities, according to the University’s web site. In addition, Princeton ranked sixth in the latest Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings, and in the top ten among 800 institutions across the world by the QS World University Rankings.

lewis school

NEVER FORGET: During The Lewis School’s Annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony, Director of Admissions Laura Desai and Founder Marsha Lewis unveiled three 9/11 Memorial Panels from The Garden of Reflection Memorial in Yardley, Pennsylvania. The panels are currently on display on the school’s Bayard Lane campus. They were designed and donated by Ellen Saracini, Bucks County native and widow of United Airlines Flight 175 Captain Victor Saracini, whose plane crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Dozens of panels from the Walls of Remembrance have been displayed in many places throughout the nation including the White House, Congress and the 9/11 Ground Zero Memorial in New York City. Each panel is filled with handwritten personal reflections, messages, thoughts, memories and prayers from the thousands of visitors who have had the opportunity to sign them while on display. Lewis students, staff and faculty added their personal messages at the ceremony last week.

SIGNING: Illustrator Sophie Blackall signing a copy of Annie Barrows’s “Ivy + Bean” at a recent Prince-ton Public Library Children’s Book Festival. This year’s event will take place Saturday, September 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, on Hinds Plaza or in the library’s Community Room.

SIGNING: Illustrator Sophie Blackall signing a copy of Annie Barrows’s “Ivy + Bean” at a recent Prince-ton Public Library Children’s Book Festival. This year’s event will take place Saturday, September 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, on Hinds Plaza or in the library’s Community Room.

The ninth annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine on Hinds Plaza or in the library’s Community Room.

More than 80 authors and illustrators in children’s literature will participate in the festival, one of the largest of its kind on the East Coast. During the festival, young readers can interact with the people behind their favorite books who will talk about and sign copies of their works.

Author and illustrator Dan Yaccarino, created the poster announcing this year’s festival and will attend the event. In addition to writing and illustrating more than three dozen children’s books, Mr. Yaccarino is the creator and producer of the Nickelodeon series Oswald and Willa’s Wild Life and is the character designer behind The Backyardigans.

Also participating in this year’s festival will be 2014 Caldecott Medal-winner Brian Floca (Locomotive), 2014 Theodore Geisel Award-winner Greg Pizzoli (The Watermelon Seed); Coretta Scott King Award-winner Bryan Collier (Knock, Knock: My Father’s Dream for Me), Rita Williams Garcia (One Crazy Summer; P.S. Be Eleven), Pseudonymous Bosch (The Name of this Book is Secret), Bruce Coville (Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher), Tad Hills (Rocket the Dog series; Duck and Goose series), David Lubar (Warped and Creepy Tales series), Wendy Mass (Space Taxi series, 11 Birthdays series), Anne Rockwell (Apples and Pumpkins, Hey Charleston!) and Jon Scieszka (Stinky Cheese Man, Battle Bunny).

For a complete list of additional participating authors and illustrators, see bookfestival.princetonlibrary.org.

The Princeton Children’s Book Festival is made possible by a partnership with JaZams of Princeton, Bai5, Terra Momo Restaurant Group, and the Friends of the Princeton Public Library. The library is in the Sands Library Building at 65 Witherspoon Street in Princeton. Convenient parking is available on neighboring streets and in the Spring Street Garage, which is adjacent to the library. For more information about library programs and services, call (609) 924-9529 or visit www.princetonlibrary.org.


lewis centerTwo writers selected as Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts’ Fellows will read on Wednesday, September 24 at 4:30 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. Hodder Fellow and poet Roger Reeves and Princeton Arts Fellow and fiction writer Hanna Pylväinen will begin their residencies at the Lewis Center by opening the Program in Creative Writing’s 2014-15 Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, which is free and open to the public.

Hanna Pylväinen’s debut novel, We Sinners (Henry Holt 2012), which The Los Angeles Times called, “Remarkably funny for a book about a deeply religious family grappling with loss of faith,” tells the story — in alternating chapters from the point of view of the parents and several of the nine children — of the Midwestern Rovaniemi family, members of a Finnish sect of Lutheranism called Laestadianism. Ms. Pylväinen is the recipient of residencies at Djerassi, The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass. In 2012 she received the Whiting Writers’ Award and in 2013 the Balcones Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Tribune. Originally from suburban Detroit, she graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was also a postgraduate Zell Fellow. She currently lives in Brooklyn where she is completing her second novel, The End of Drum Time.

Roger Reeves’s first book, King Me, recently published by Copper Canyon Press, was described by The Los Angeles Review of Books as “A book of varied tongues and urgencies. Van Gogh is here, Mike Tyson, Ernest ‘Tiny’ Davis, and in the first and last poems, someone named Roger Reeves appears. It’s a book of inhabitations and transformations; the disembodied multitudes that constitute a single body.”

Mr. Reeves’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Tin House. His poem, “Kletic of Walt Whitman,” was selected for the Best New Poets 2009 anthology. He was awarded a 2013 NEA Fellowship, a 2013 Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation in 2008, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, an Alberta H. Walker Scholarship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and two Cave Canem Fellowships. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas and is currently an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

In addition to Mr. Reeves, Hodder Fellows for 2014-15 include choreographer Nora Chipaumire, visual artist Miko Veldkamp, and lewis center 2playwright/screenwriter Gabriel Jason Dean. Ms. Pylväinen begins her two-year appointment as an Arts Fellow along with theater/performance artist Aaron Landsman. They join graphic design artist Danielle Aubert and musician/composer Jason Treuting who are beginning their second year as Arts Fellows.


AN AWARD FOR AN ARTIST: Pennsylvania painter Robert Beck, whose “Classic Lighting, Fishtown” is shown here, is among three artists to be honored next month at The Philadelphia Sketch Club.

AN AWARD FOR AN ARTIST: Pennsylvania painter Robert Beck, whose “Classic Lighting, Fishtown” is shown here, is among three artists to be honored next month at The Philadelphia Sketch Club.

Artist Robert Beck will be honored, along with Moe Brooker and Elizabeth Osborne, at the 154th Anniversary Gala of The Philadelphia Sketch Club on Saturday, October 18. Bronze medals will be awarded to the artists for their contributions to the arts. Previous honorees include Alex Kanevsky, Jamie Wyeth, Robert Venturi, and Denise Scott Brown.

“It was a surprise,” says Beck. “Those are big names. It is an honor to be mentioned in that company.”

Mr. Beck studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and in addition to his many exhibitions and awards has four invitational museum shows to his credit, one of them a solo retrospective. He is also a lecturer and contributing writer to ICON Magazine. Beck maintains a studio at his home in New Hope, Pa, and a gallery in Lambertville.

Beck’s representational images, mostly painted “live,” bring the viewer to a broad range of subjects, often created in high-energy, even difficult, environments. “I have always been fascinated by what makes things happen, and I use painting to investigate the events of our lives. I’m creating a portrait of contemporary culture,” Mr. Beck says. “This is not nostalgia. My images are straightforward depictions of being in the American here and now.”

Mr. Beck has recently been using social media to share sequential photographs of his paintings in progress. “Seeing how the image is built informs the viewer whether painter or lay person,” he says. “It is like discovering a descriptive language. I’ve had good response to it.”

“I’ve always wanted my work to have a purpose,” he adds. “To identify simple truths, or move things forward. That is what is so fulfilling about the Sketch Club award. It is recognition from my colleagues that I am getting it done.”

Beck’s work can be seen at www.robertbeck.net. Visit www.sketchclub.org for tickets and information. The Philadelphia Sketch Club is at 235 South Camac Street in Philadelphia. The gala begins at 7 p.m.


GROVER’S CORNERS: Mary Barton, shown here with Richard Kondras in the 1995 production of Philip Jerry’s “Our Town” by American Repertory Ballet, coaches current dancers by relaying the late Mr. Jerry’s direction “almost word for word.” “Our Town” is being presented this weekend at Rider University.

GROVER’S CORNERS: Mary Barton, shown here with Richard Kondras in the 1995 production of Philip Jerry’s “Our Town” by American Repertory Ballet, coaches current dancers by relaying the late Mr. Jerry’s direction “almost word for word.” “Our Town” is being presented this weekend at Rider University.

Nineteen years ago, American Repertory Ballet (ARB) debuted the ballet Our Town, based on the play by Thornton Wilder that won the playwright a Pulitzer Prize in 1938. Choreographed by Philip Jerry, who was ballet master of the company while earning his undergraduate degree at Princeton University, the affecting drama was made all the more poignant by Mr. Jerry’s death from AIDS not long after the premiere. He was 41.

The fact that the ballet company has continued to perform Our Town over the ensuing two decades is testament to its dramatic power. This weekend, it is one of four works on a program ARB is presenting at Rider University’s Bart Luedeke Center. Coaching the dancers are artistic director Douglas Martin and the company’s ballet mistress Mary Barton, who starred in “Our Town” at its premiere. The two, who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last week, knew Mr. Jerry from when they were all members of The Joffrey Ballet in the 1980s.

“He was very clear about what he wanted,” Ms. Barton said, recalling Mr. Jerry before a rehearsal of Our Town last week. “We only had a week to learn the ballet. But he was so articulate and such a good actor that he got me to fully understand what he wanted. And I relay that today, almost word for word.”

Ms. Barton played Emily Webb, a central character in the story of Grover’s Corners, an average, early 20th century New England town as depicted through the simplicity of everyday life. Emily’s childhood, her romance with George Gibbs (played by Mr. Martin), her death giving birth to her second child, and her wrenching return to Earth for just one day are the crux of the three-act play, which Mr. Jerry condensed into one act.

“Philip had done a first draft of it elsewhere, but not on professional dancers,” Ms. Barton continued. “When he set it on us, a professional company, it felt like it was real to him, I think. This was his first drama. He had done some ballets for Joffrey 2 [the Joffrey Ballet’s second company] that were strictly just movement. But this was what he was really great at, in my opinion. The music, by Aaron Copland, really sweeps you along. Philip arranged it beautifully and set it in such a way that it just flowed from your body.”

Mr. Jerry was first accepted at Princeton University in 1972, but he deferred to pursue a dance career in New York. He was a member of the Joffrey Ballet until 1991, when he left to enroll at the University. He graduated with honors in art history and a certificate in French.

“Philip was very well read and very intelligent,” said Mr. Martin, during a rehearsal break last week. “He understood what artists of the early 20th century did, and he was so smart at understanding character.” As a younger dancer with the Joffrey, Mr. Martin remembers following Mr. Jerry into several roles. “I spent a lot of time with him in the rehearsal hall,” he recalled. “I mean, he had learned the role of the Chinese Conjurer (in the revival of the historic 1917 ballet Parade by Leonide Massine) from Massine himself. He was my role model.”

The local connections with Our Town go back to Mr. Wilder’s day. He taught French at The Lawrenceville School between 1921 and 1928. While there, he earned a master’s degree in French from Princeton University. Mr. Wilder won his first Pulitzer, for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, before resigning from Lawrenceville in 1928. When Our Town premiered a decade later, it was at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre.

The ballet Our Town was also given its first viewing at McCarter. “We performed it with the scrim up, as the play had been done,” said Ms. Barton. “Then we did it again during Douglas’s first year as artistic director.”

Monica Giragosian and Cameron Auble Branigan play Emily and George in the current version of Our Town. Jumping up during rehearsal to demonstrate Emily and George’s loving glances at each other and the baby in Emily’s arms, Ms. Barton and Mr. Martin look completely believable as the young couple. “After I learned the ballet, I felt like I had become Emily,” Ms. Barton said. “It was very powerful.”

It’s all about simplicity, Mr. Martin tells the dancers. “When you do it right, you feel the righteousness of this New England town. It’s about community. It’s almost like a Capra film. It’s a day in the life of everybody, and people are doing so much. If the people in the background aren’t doing their job, it doesn’t work.”

The ballet “is more about the story than the steps,” Ms. Barton said. “The way Philip felt about it — and I’m sure he knew his situation — imbued you with how important a piece it was. You felt entrusted with something very precious.”

American Repertory Ballet performs Our Town, Confetti, Fantasy Baroque, and Dreams Interrupted Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20, at 7:30 p.m. at Rider University’s Bart Luedeke Center. Tickets are $20; $10 for students and seniors. Call (609) 896-7775.