July 9, 2014

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association has received a donation of $65,000 from the RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant program. The grant will fund river-friendly initiatives for water protection and restoration.

The funding will support the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association’s mission to enhance the quality of the natural environment in the 265-square mile area drained by the Stony Brook and the Millstone River. They accomplish this by addressing key issues affecting water quality and land use, educating area residents about the ecology of the natural environment, and preserving open space by maintaining a 930-acre nature reserve and organic farm.

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is central New Jersey’s first environmental organization. Since 1949, the organization has worked to protect clean water and the environment through conservation, advocacy, science, and education. RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grants fund programs in towns and cities with populations of more than 10,000 people that focus on improving water quality, improving management of urban storm and rain water, the efficient use of water in towns or cities, or protecting and restoring urban waterways.

In keeping with the science theme of Summer Reading this year at the Princeton Public Library, three children’s programs will be held in the Community Room.

On Wednesday, July 16 at 2 p.m., Piccirillo Sciencetelling presents “Potions,” using science experiments with dry ice and imagination to tell the story of a hidden underground laboratory and the ferocious guard determined to protect its mysteries forever. Children will discover the secrets of the laboratory while they learn about the concept of matter, its three states, and how to change it from one state to another.

“Sweet Science: Experiment with Candy” is the title of the program on Monday, July 21 at 4 p.m. Children five and older can test, soak, stretch, dissolve, smash — and maybe even taste — candy to learn more about science and the world around them in this fun and educational session.

The program on Wednesday, Aug. 6 at 3 p.m. is “The Science of Giant Animals.” Bill Bosenberg of Snakes-n-Scales returns to the library here, this time with some giant animals.

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




Talis Lin and daughter Emilija from New York City did some serious blueberry picking at last weekend’s Terhune Orchards Blueberry Bash. Parents may remember the little girl in Robert McCloskey’s popular book, “Blueberries for Sal.” Emilija’s parents are among the pickers at Terhune discussing their favorite ways of eating blueberries in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

July 2, 2014
Donna Carcaci Rhodes

Donna Carcaci Rhodes

Trenton Museum Society President Richard Willinger has announced that the Society selected Donna Carcaci Rhodes to serve as director.

Ms. Rhodes comes to Ellarslie from the Pearl S. Buck National Historic Landmark Home in Perkasie, Pa, where she was historic site director and curator. Her education includes degrees in art history and business. She lectures in and is published in artifact research, architectural sciences, historical studies, organizational volunteer support, and the literature and life of Pearl S. Buck. She has also worked with education program design, museum tour design, and volunteer docent training. She resides in Holland, Pa.

“The Trenton Museum Society is fortunate to have found an outstanding museum professional to lead the Society during these challenging times” said Ms. Willinger. “With her experience in curatorial management of art collections, research, archives, exhibit development, and historic site conservation, she brings many important skills to the Trenton City Museum which displays both regional fine arts exhibits and exhibits that highlight fascinating aspects of local history.”

The new director commented that she is “excited and energized about the opportunities offered by the Trenton City Museum housed in the beautiful Ellarslie Mansion.”

According to Rhodes, “With the commitment of a dedicated Board of Trustees, the museum continues to offer ever changing and engaging events and exhibits in history, art, music, and education for all ages. I am looking forward to being a part of the strong continued expansion of this great organization with increased partnerships, tours, and community involvement for the people of this great historic city and beyond.”

The Trenton Museum Society provides contemporary and historical art exhibits, Trenton history exhibits, student art classes, lectures, and musical performances for those who are interested in Trenton’s history and the arts in Mercer and Bucks Counties and central New Jersey.

The Museum Society maintains in trust for the citizens of Trenton a collection of thousands of artifacts and documents reflecting the industrial, political, educational, and commercial history of Trenton.

“There always seems to be so much going on at the museum,” she said. “I look forward to meeting members, artists, and patrons at these and other events.”

Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.; closed Mondays and municipal holidays. For more information, visit www.ellarslie.org.


PRINCETON’S COMMUNITY POOL: When temperatures rise, Princeton residents head for the pool, which has seen an increase in annual memberships since it was refurbished in 2012. But read on, it’s not the only place to beat the heat this summer.(Photo Courtesy of Princeton Recreation Department)

PRINCETON’S COMMUNITY POOL: When temperatures rise, Princeton residents head for the pool, which has seen an increase in annual memberships since it was refurbished in 2012. But read on, it’s not the only place to beat the heat this summer. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Recreation Department)

In spite of a power outage that closed the Community Park Pool briefly last week while work was carried out on the filtration systems, Princeton’s favorite place to cool off was up and running again quickly.

Executive Director Ben Stentz of the Princeton Recreation Department was on hand to see that the closure was of the shortest duration possible. The pool closed two hours earlier than normal on Friday, June 27. “We didn’t know how long it would take to make repairs on Friday night so we canceled Saturday morning swim lessons and lap swim. In the end, repairs were completed by about 4:45 a.m. on Saturday morning and we were able to open at our regular weekend time of 11 a.m. Long night but we got it done,” said Mr. Stentz, who reported yesterday that since the pool was rebuilt in 2012, membership has risen from around a steady 3,500 a year to in excess of 5,000 a year.

“As of July 1, the number is just shy of 5,200; last year it was 5,500,” said Mr. Stentz. “This is the new norm for us. In the 27 days that we’ve been open so far this year, including four of five rainy days, we’ve had 29,000 individual visits.”

The increased number of visitors to Community Park Pool may have had an effect on other local swimming locales where Princeton residents find respite from the summer’s heat.

Nassau Swim Club

Perhaps because the pool is tucked out of the way in a bucolic setting or perhaps because of increases in the number of users at the municipal Community Park Pool, membership at the Nassau Swim Club has fallen off in recent years. This is very good news for those who have long wished to join but might have been put off by the $600 one-time initiation fee. In order to encourage new members, the Club is waiving this fee and also offering reduced annual memberships.

Located on Lower Springdale Road between the Institute Woods, the grounds of Princeton University and Springdale Golf Club, this small co-op swim club has been around for nearly 50 years. The swimming pool is one that local families return to year after year. Today it boasts a 6-lane, 25-yard, competitive pool with a connected, 13.5-foot deep dive well. There is also a baby pool conveniently located next to the main pool and lots of green grass for sunbathing as well as shady spots. Swimming lessons are offered for children and adults and adult-only lap swims are a feature of the early mornings. Food trucks stop by and members are encouraged to hold social events at the club. ”This is a wonderful family spot that may just be Princeton’s best kept secret,” said board member Anne Mavis.

“To encourage new members, the club is offering a special rate of $50 for the entire July Fourth weekend from Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Not only that, if enrolling for July and August a family (of any number) can join for $399; $299 for a couple, and $199 for an individual,” said Ms. Mavis. Special rates also apply for seniors (55 plus) and for scholars visiting the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton graduate students, and Princeton Theological Seminary graduates and faculty.

For more information, call (609) 436-0797, email information@nassauswimclub.org, or visit: www.nassauswimclub.org, But be warned, not all membership details are currently up-to-date.

Quarry Swim Club, Hopewell

As its name suggests, the pool at the Quarry Swim Club was once part of a rock mining operation that closed down almost one hundred years ago. Located at 180 Crusher Road in Hopewell, the Club has been operating since 1928.

Fed by a natural spring, the quarry pool is up to 55 feet deep and children under 12 are required to pass an 80 yard swim test before being allowed in this old-fashioned “swimming hole” surrounded by rock cliffs. For children and adult non-swimmers there is a pool just 1.5 to 4 feet deep and Red Cross certified lifeguards are on duty at all times.

According to Jim Gypton, who has owned the Club with his wife Nancy for 27 years, the success of Princeton’s Community Park Pool has had no impact on business. “We don’t advertise, people find us by word of mouth,” said Mr. Gypton. “This isn’t a place for everybody, you won’t find lounge chairs but we have grass, a pool for children, diving boards in the Quarry and inner tubes for relaxation. We have a growing number of very loyal people who spread the word and bring their neighbors as guests. I know most of them by sight, if not by name.”

There’s a definite rustic feel to swimming here from Memorial Day weekend when it opens until Labor Day when it closes. In between it’s open seven days a week.

The pool has three large floats anchored in the water and three diving boards. Picnic tables and grills are provided under shade trees in a three-acre grove for visitors who want to spend the day. There’s also a snack bar and a sand volleyball court.

The Quarry Swim Club is a private facility for pass holders only. A variety of passes are available from full-season to partial-season and special pass options for late day visitors; there are no single day passes, however. Private and group swim lessons are offered for all ages.

For more information, call (609) 466-0810, or visit: www.quarryswimclub.com.

Broadmead Swim Club

Located on Broadmead Street off Western Way in Princeton, the Broadmead Swim Club is affiliated with Princeton University but membership is open to all. Fully staffed with experienced lifeguards, the pool remains open into the evening and it’s possible to order from local restaurants that are happy to deliver to Broadmead. Visits from the ice cream truck are a daily highlight for children.

In addition to a 20 meter pool, there’s a separate enclosed baby pool. Lifeguards offer private and group swim lessons, and there are yoga classes. Lawns cater to sunbathers and there are picnic tables in a shaded area.

This pool operates from May 24 through September 1, with changing hours as the summer progresses and specific times set aside for lap swimmers.

Memberships are available to the community and to members of Princeton University as follows: $680, community family ($600, University family; $300, student/postdoc family); $340, community single ($300, University single).

For more information, call (609) 759-0272, email: broadmead.swim.club@gmail.com, or visit: www.broadmeadswimclub.com.


Princeton writing tutor Ken Soufl presents two seminars in the Princeton Public Library’s Teen Center during July to help students write and edit their college admission essay.

On Wednesday, July 9, at 7 p.m., “Brainstorming and Beginning Your College Essay” will help students approach writing their college essays with confidence and a clear understanding of how to proceed. The function and form of the college essay, the relevant information to include and the most effective way to do so, will be covered. Practical strategies for composing essays will be learned through the composition of a rough draft during a brainstorming session.

The second seminar, “Editing and Polishing Your College Essay” takes place Wednesday, July 23, at 7 p.m. Mr. Soufl will help students fine tune and conclude their college essays. The seminar will include interactive group work as the participants work with their rough drafts to practice the strategies presented and share comments with each other. All participants should bring a rough draft of a college essay. This seminar is for rising ninth-,
10th-, 11th- and 12-graders.

Registration for both seminars through the events calendar on the library’s website is encouraged but not required. The seminars will be held in the library’s Teen Center. The library is located at 65 Witherspoon Street.



The annual Blueberry Bash summer festival that celebrates all things blueberry will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Terhune Orchards in Lawrenceville. Blueberry picking, food, live music, tractor rides, and Tuckers’ Tales Puppet Theatre are part of this family-oriented event.

The puppet show It’s the Wolf will be held at noon and 1:30 p.m. both days. The Magnolia Street Swing Band performs from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and Swinging Dixie appears at the same time on Sunday.

Pam Mount and Trenton Times food columnist Susan Yeske will judge at the blueberry baking contest Sunday at 1 p.m. The winners receive Terhune Orchards gift cards. Contest rules are available at the farm store and online at terhuneorchards.com. Entries and completed forms must be submitted by noon on Sunday, July 6.

Blueberry Bash admission is $5, and children under 3 are free. Terhune Orchards is located at 330 Cold Soil Road.

Yoga Page 1

Morven Museum & Garden hosted outdoor yoga classes Saturday afternoon in Morven’s garden with Gemma Farrell of Gratitude Yoga. The free event was open to the public regardless of age and skill level. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

The Painter At Work

Renowned New Jersey portraitist Mel Leipzig holds his audience spell-bound at a master class on figure drawing during Art All Night in Trenton. The veteran artist painted on through the night as thousands of art lovers attended the 24-hour event from Saturday June 21 until Sunday June 22 in the historic Roebling Wire Works. Now in its eighth year, Art All Night celebrates art with music, performances, and food. This year, 1,036 visual artists displayed their work and a selection will be on display at Artworks, Trenton’s downtown visual arts center through Saturday, July 26. For more information, visit: www.artworkstrenton.org. (Photo by Michelle Lawlor of Lucky 17 Photography)


June 25, 2014

The public is invited to celebrate America’s Independence Day on Friday, July 4, at Princeton Battlefield State Park, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

Revolutionary War period soldiers, from Mott’s 6th Company, 2nd Continental Artillery will be on hand to demonstrate drill, artillery, and flintlock muskets. The Clarke House Volunteers will be demonstrating domestic skills that might be found on a farm such as Thomas Clarke’s. Period games will be available for children of all ages to try. The Thomas Clarke House and the Arms of the Revolution exhibit will be open to tour. There will also be a talk on the Battle of Princeton at noon, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 1 p.m.

Visitors can have a picnic in the Park’s open fields and hike on the trails of the adjacent Institute Woods. Barbecues and alcohol are not permitted in the park.

Princeton Battlefield is located at 500 Mercer Road (Princeton Pike) in Princeton Township, 1.5 miles south of Princeton University and 3.8 miles north of Routes 95/295.

For further information call (609) 921-0074.



Ray TT

The Friendship Circle is seeking donations to help five-year-old Ray Fantel, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 when he was 5 months old. SMA is an incurable, terminal disease and the most frequent genetic cause of death in infants. Ray uses a small power wheelchair for mobility, but there is currently not much room in his family’s conversion van for them to enjoy family life. “This is becoming a safety issue as Ray grows,” said his mother, Marcy. “To fit his power wheelchair into their van, they have to elevate his seat, which is a safety concern because the wheelchair has not been crash tested in an elevated position. Further, Ray’s caregivers cannot easily and quickly perform necessary medical treatments while the van is moving. A larger van will eliminate this safety issue as well.” The total estimated cost of purchasing a larger vehicle and converting it is $62,500. The Fantels will sell their converted van for approximately $40,000 so they need $22,500 to allow Ray to be safely transported with his family and to participate more fully in family life. To help, visit www.mercerfriendshipcircle.org/forray.


North End Bistro in Princeton and Osteria Procaccini in Pennington area among eight restaurants in the northeast to win The American Culinary Federation’s 2014 Achievement of Excellence Award. ACF recognizes those food service establishments that exemplify a commitment to excellence in food service in the marketplace.

Both restaurants are members of the Gretalia Hospitality Group, comprising six area restaurants. In addition to the two listed above, these include Osteria Procaccini in Kingston and now in Crosswicks, plus PJ’s Pancakes in Princeton and West Windsor.

“We’re thrilled to win this award,” John Procaccini, one of the owners of Gretalia, said. “We strive in our family of restaurants to offer delicious food, well-prepared, in a personalized service atmosphere. We are honored to be recognized for professionalism.”

ACF, a professional organization for chefs and cooks, was founded in 1929 in New York City by three chefs’ organizations: the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, the Vatel Club, and the Chefs de Cuisine Association of America. It is an organization based on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.

Today, ACF is the largest professional chefs organization in North America. It is made up of more than 20,000 members who belong to more than 200 chapters in four regions across the United States. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef and Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and combat childhood obesity.



O ROSE THOU ART SICK: William Blake may not have meant his words to be taken so literally, but it’s hard to avoid his line when looking at these before and after images. Eriophyid mites, although tiny, can cause dramatic plant deformities such as the “witches broom” shown here.(Photograph by L. Arntzenius)

O ROSE THOU ART SICK: William Blake may not have meant his words to be taken so literally, but it’s hard to avoid his line when looking at these before and after images. Eriophyid mites, although tiny, can cause dramatic plant deformities such as the “witches broom” shown here. (Photograph by L. Arntzenius)

Princeton’s rose growers are struggling to come to terms with Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) a very nasty infection that is spreading through the region’s rose bushes. If you haven’t seen much about it in print, that might be because those affected are in denial when it comes to the possible demise of their beloved rosebushes.

“It’s a viral disease transferred from plant to plant by an eriophyid mite and there’s nothing you can do about it,” said horticulturist Barbara Bromley of the Cooperative Extension of Mercer County at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Ms. Bromley was responding to a call Monday about the sickness that has affected a fragrant floribunda in this reporter’s garden.

“Almost anyone who grows roses in Princeton will have this” she said, adding that she has responded to numerous calls from locals about destroyed leaves and blooms on prized ornamentals. “I’ve even seen this disease on Knockout roses too,” she said referencing the popular rose variety that is a favorite of garden supply sections in big box stores.

I first noticed the problem when a beautiful peachy-colored rose that has bloomed all summer long since it was planted some six years ago began showing foliage that was twisted in on itself. The leaves were reddish in color and the roses that ultimately formed were clearly not normal. When I described the growth to a fellow gardener, her immediate response was: “witches broom.” That did not sound good.

That was two summers ago. Last year, it got worse; this year, in spite of hopes that the recent hard winter might somehow have ameliorated its spread, there are even more signs. There is no magic bullet when it comes to dealing with RRD.

Known widely for her gardening advice through the Master Gardeners of Mercer County program, Ms. Bromley advised drastic action. Remove the entire plant including every bit of root. Although the virus will not be in the soil, she also advised resisting the temptation to replace the diseased rose with a healthy one. “If you got it once in that spot, chances are you will get it again,” she said. “And, ‘witches broom’ is a symptom of the disease rather than a name for the disease itself,” she clarified.

If you have wild multiflora roses nearby, you should do your best to get rid of them, she told me. But the best way to avoid problems such as this is, “not to plant too many of any one plant.”

Ms. Bromley explained that the airborne infected mites inject the RRD virus into the rose as they feed. Non-infected mites can pick up the disease from an infected rose and spread it to another plant courtesy of a gust of wind.

One Gardener’s Experience

It took a week for local rose cultivator Liz Hosny to discover that one of her roses had RRD. She sent a photograph to the well known Philadelphia gardener Judy Perry who identified the problem immediately. “This rose was in its own bed but three others elsewhere were showing signs of it; I pulled them out and carefully removed every piece of root,” said Ms. Hosny, who lives on the border between Princeton and Lawrenceville, where she has about 100 rose bushes in her garden including a bank of David Austen’s that are not grafted.

“Now I am feeding my roses with lots of natural feed like seaweed,” said the avid rose-grower, who is modeling her method of dealing with the virus on the survival history of former basketball player Magic Johnson. If the athlete can stave off full blown AIDS by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, perhaps, reasons Ms. Hosny, her roses will survive if she keeps them fit and healthy too.

In spite of the disease she is not taking out any of them until she absolutely has to, but she is on constant alert. “If I see any deformed branches, I remove them immediately,” she said.

“So far so good,” she said. Ms. Hosny has developed a philosophical attitude to gardening over many years. “If you are a gardener, you can’t always do what you want to do, sometimes you have to do what the land will allow you to do. If I have to live without roses, so be it,” she said.

Numerous online sources offer advice on RRD. One garden blogger, Ann Peck (see: www.rosegeek.com/index.htm), claims to have “cleaned” and saved a rose by cutting out and removing the infected parts. Ms. Peck is a member of the Asheville Blue Ridge Rose Society and a retired organic geochemist. Like Ms. Hosny, she suggests that removal of the infected parts might slow down the demise of an infected plant.

But beware of online misinformation, said Ms. Bromley. To be sure to get to a reliable source, she offers a handy trick: add the word “extension” to any search engine query. “That way you will get information from a university extension rather than from a chat room or from someone trying to sell you ‘a cure,’” she said. “There is no cure.”

As for substitutions for roses, Ms. Bromley suggests that if you want flowers, consider perennial plants instead.

If in doubt, Ms. Bromley suggests, gardeners should check with an expert like those in the County Extension system.

The Master Gardeners of Mercer County answers home horticulture questions through the helpline, (609) 989-6853, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (March through October) and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (November through February). For more information, visit www.mgofmc.org.


Princeton House Behavioral Health recently expanded its specialized services for young adults, offering an inpatient program that provides intensive, short-term medical detoxification and addiction treatment for men and women ages 18 through mid-20s.

The program, located exclusively at Princeton House’s main campus, 905 Herrontown Road, also treats individuals who are dually diagnosed with addiction and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. The length of stay averages between one and two weeks.

Chris Losch, LCSW, LCADC, Director of Addiction Services, said young adults are at the epicenter of a national opiate addiction epidemic, and they represent Princeton House’s fastest-growing patient population. Young adults benefit from a specialized program because they tend to fare better in treatment among their peers, whose common life experiences are significantly different from adults outside their age group.

The inpatient program features a curriculum focused on age-appropriate topics, personalized assessments, and groups specializing in topics such as school, work, relationships, substance abuse, and other relevant issues facing young adults.

An individualized treatment program is developed for each patient that may include group therapy, along with coping/life skills training and creative arts therapy; individual sessions; family and multifamily educational groups; and medication monitoring by psychiatrists, advanced practice nurses and RNs. Referrals for continuing care and post-hospitalization treatment are also important components of the care plan.

The inpatient service is a part of a continuum of treatment for young adults that includes partial hospital and intensive outpatient programs at Princeton House outpatient centers in Princeton, Hamilton, Moorestown and North Brunswick. For more information, visit www.princetonhouse.org.

Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association (GMTMA) announced routing changes for the NJ Transit 655 bus route that serves Princeton and Plainsboro as of Monday, June 23.

As an incentive to try the revised route, GMTMA and the 655 Partners have arranged for the public to try the service for free on Wednesday, June 25 and Thursday, June 26.

The bus route changes were made to provide more direct access to destinations in Princeton and Plainsboro. “The No. 655 route is a vital connection between Plainsboro and neighboring Princeton which will provide direct access to employment, recreation, and shopping opportunities for residents and visitors,” said N.J. Transit Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim. “We encourage community members and visitors alike to travel on the No. 655 and make public transportation a regular part of their day-to-day routine.”

In Princeton the route has been streamlined by having the bus travel on Witherspoon from Nassau to Terhune in both directions to and from the Princeton Shopping Center rather than looping on Harrison Street. “We listened to a number of residents, who felt the bus line was not as effective as it could be in meeting their needs,” said Cheryl Kastrenakes, executive director of GMTMA. “We then communicated their concerns to the 655 Partners and NJ TRANSIT and recommended the route changes.”

“When we evaluated the service in Plainsboro, we determined that passengers would be better served by routing the bus through the heart of Plainsboro, the Village Center and along Plainsboro Road to Enterprise,” said Ms. Kastrenakes. The new routing in Plainsboro will still serve the UMCPP, Novo Nordisk, Bristol Myers — Squibb and Plainsboro apartment complexes.

NJ TRANSIT’s 655 bus route first began providing service in May 2012 between the communities of Princeton and Plainsboro, with service to the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. The route is a Public–Private Partnership with funding being provided by Princeton University, UMCPP, Greater Mercer TMA, Middlesex County, and DVRPC. Ms. Kastrenakes believes the revised routing and free fare days will help to increase ridership on the route. “We want to encourage area residents to ride the 655 bus route to discover where they can go in Princeton and Plainsboro. The free fare days are “an excellent opportunity to try it out.”

For more information, call GMTMA Commuter Services at (609) 452-1491, or visit: 655route.com.


Kids made themselves at home at Friday’s JaZam’s block party on Palmer Square West. The festival of crafts, food, fun, and music ended at dusk with a showing of “Finding Nemo.” (Photo by Emily Reeves)

June 18, 2014
PRINCETON’S NEWEST RECRUIT: As of last Friday, the Princeton Police Department has a new officer, K9 Harris, whose keen sense of smell will be an additional tool in the Department’s efforts to keep Princeton safe. The 16-month-old Czech Shepherd, shown here with from left: Lt. Robert Toole, Police Chief Nicholas Sutter, Lt. Sharon Papp, Lt. Robert Currier, Lt. Christopher Morgan, and handler Corporal Matthew Solovay. The new K9 Unit will be part of the New Jersey Detect and Render Safe Task Force. Besides helping to find missing and/or endangered persons, K9 Harris will use his skills to track suspects and detect explosives. He is also expected to be a star of police community outreach efforts.

PRINCETON’S NEWEST RECRUIT: As of last Friday, the Princeton Police Department has a new officer, K9 Harris, whose keen sense of smell will be an additional tool in the Department’s efforts to keep Princeton safe. The 16-month-old Czech Shepherd, shown here with from left: Lt. Robert Toole, Police Chief Nicholas Sutter, Lt. Sharon Papp, Lt. Robert Currier, Lt. Christopher Morgan, and handler Corporal Matthew Solovay. The new K9 Unit will be part of the New Jersey Detect and Render Safe Task Force. Besides helping to find missing and/or endangered persons, K9 Harris will use his skills to track suspects and detect explosives. He is also expected to be a star of police community outreach efforts.

The Princeton Police Department has acquired its first K9 Unit. The Department’s newest recruit, K9 Officer Harris, a 16-month-old Czech Shepherd, served his first day of active duty on Friday, June 13.

K9 Harris has been in training since March and is a recent graduate of the New Jersey State Police K9 Academy, where he trained in specialty scent detection.

Handler Corporal Matthew Solovay graduated alongside him from the 14-week training course. Mr. Solovay has been with Princeton Police for 9 years.

The New Jersey State Police Canine Academy’s rigorous training typically includes obedience, agility, tracking, and narcotic and explosive detection.

According to Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, the job of a K-9 handler “is a 24-hour-a-day obligation and requires a long term commitment from handlers and their families. Our communities are safer with the addition of these canine teams.”

K9 Harris will live with Mr. Solovay. Man and dog form part of the New Jersey Detect and Render Safe Task Force, a state, county, and local collaboration supported by federal grant funds and coordinated by the New Jersey State Police. The task force is designed to detect explosives before they can be detonated and cause harm.

K9 Harris will also help locate missing and/or endangered persons and track suspects fleeing apprehension. It is expected that he will be particularly useful in locating missing victims suffering from mind altering illnesses.

“We are proud and excited in welcoming our first ever K9 Unit to the police department,” said Police Chief Nicholas Sutter, who expects the unit “to be a vital component in our public safety efforts.”

Asked what had prompted the department to acquire a K9 Unit, Mr. Sutter said that PPD was approached by the Office of Homeland Security based on a number of factors including the amount of callouts the Department made per year for canine support as well as an assessment of the needs of the community.

Princeton Police have used dogs regularly, said Mr. Sutter. “In the past they have come from West Windsor, Lawrence, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, and the New Jersey State Police.”

The new unit was formed using federal funds and with the assistance of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. It is expected to cost the Department between $1,500 and $2,000 per year in out-of-pocket expenses for food and medical care, said Mr. Sutter.

K9 Harris is named in remembrance of Princeton Borough Police Officer Walter B. Harris, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on February 2, 1946. Born in Princeton, Mr. Harris grew up on Jackson Street and was living with his young family on John Street at the time of the shooting. He was 31 when he died from injuries sustained while attempting to pacify an altercation at the Witherspoon Social Club. He had served over two years with the Borough Police.

According to Mr. Sutter, the Department’s newest recruit, K9 Harris will be a “rookie” until he completes a year of service. He is expected to take part in a number of community outreach projects, said the police chief.

New Jersey’s State Police canine training program was created in 1987 as part of the Statewide Narcotics Task Force. Police K-9 teams assist with criminal investigations, recover evidence, and provide security in crowd control situations. Members of the NJSP Canine Unit also conduct over 100 lectures and demonstrations each year to police organizations, civic groups, schools, and children.


The Princeton Battlefield Preservation Society (PBS) is readying for what it has called “The Second Battle of Princeton” when the Princeton Planning Board meets Thursday, June 19, for a hearing on plans by the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) to build eight townhomes and seven faculty houses on land adjacent to the Princeton Battlefield State Park.

In an email message, Battlefield Society President Jerry Hurwitz called for supporters to come to the meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building, Witherspoon Hall. The meeting officially begins at 7:30 p.m. and the IAS plans are the fifth item on the agenda.

The PBS has described the Institute’s plans as “destruction of the heart of the Princeton Battlefield” and “the destruction of hallowed ground.”

The IAS faculty housing would sit on seven-acres between existing faculty homes and the Institute’s main campus. A 200-foot buffer zone alongside the Battlefield Park would be permanently preserved as open space.

The land upon which the Institute proposes to build is not part of Princeton Battlefield State Park but the PBS has expressed the hope that it might one day be added to it. “Ultimately, it is our hope that someday we will have a willing seller and that the State of New Jersey will be able to proceed in purchasing this property and adding it to the Park …” a statement included in the PBS email message reads.

The land for the proposed faculty housing, which is owned by the Institute for Advanced Study, is described by the Battlefield Society as “the exact site on which Washington and his army broke the British line to win his very first victory over British regulars and successfully conclude the ‘Ten Crucial Days’ campaign that began with Washington’s crossing of the Delaware to attack Trenton.”

Thursday’s Planning Board hearing promises to be a lively one. “We need to get a maximum turnout of our supporters,” says Mr. Hurwitz’s message. “Three years ago, the Institute packed the Board meeting with their supporters. We cannot afford to allow that to happen again!”

Mr. Hurwitz goes on to say of the upcoming Planning Board hearing: “The Board will likely be influenced by who attends” and suggests that those unable to be there on Thursday, put their objections in writing to Ms. Wanda Gunning, Chair and Members of the Princeton Planning Board, so that the objections will become part of the record.

“The more people who attend the hearing to show their support of our fight to stop the revised faculty housing plan the more the Planning Board and the media will be impressed with the depth of your support to win the ‘second battle of Princeton,’” states the email.

The plans to be discussed at the public hearing have been described by the Institute as an amendment of originals submitted and approved by the Planning Board in 2012. According to the PBS, however, the changes made are so significant that the Planning Board should regard this as an entirely new plan, which would mean that the Battlefield Society would have a second chance to present their objections and ultimately, they hope, defeat the proposal. “Supported by newly discovered major flaws in the site plan, we are contending that the project is a new application and that, in fact, it does not meet the criteria necessary to approve their revised plan,” reads the PBS statement.

PBS attorney Bruce Afran is suing to overturn the Planning Board for approving the Institute’s plans in 2012, which was also the year in which the Princeton battlefield was named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in the United States.

In an article describing the Institute’s plans (Town Topics, June 11), Institute Director Robbert Dijkgraaf spoke of his optimism
regarding the hearing.

According to the Battlefield Society’s statement, the group also feels “very confident of our position.”

As for the Battlefield State Park, lovers of history are invited to celebrate Independence Day there on Friday, July 4, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Re-enactors in Revolutionary War period costume will be on hand to demonstrate drill, artillery, and flintlock muskets. The Thomas Clarke House will be open for tours and the Declaration of Independence will be read aloud at 1 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy hiking on the trails of the adjacent Institute Woods. For more information, call (609) 921-0074.


On Thursday, June 26, 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 50 Cherry Hill Road, attorney Jeffrey S. Chiesa will deliver a talk on “The Challenge of Human Trafficking.” The event is sponsored by the Princeton Area Interfaith Anti-Torture Group.

Mr. Chiesa is a former United States Senator and New Jersey attorney general who has had a long-term concern about human trafficking throughout his career. He served in the United States Senate following the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg. During his time in the Senate, Mr. Chiesa participated in a number of committees including Homeland Security, where he worked to improve information sharing among federal agencies following the bombing at the Boston marathon and continued his work to combat and raise awareness of human trafficking.

It is estimated that 100,000 girls under 18 years old in the United States are trafficked into commercial sex each year. In a place like Nigeria, some two-thirds of women in the region have had no formal education, only 1 in 20 has completed high school and half are married by age 15.

Mr. Chiesa will be introduced by Tracy Thompson, Assistant Attorney General for Human Trafficking. The event’s numerous co-sponsors, include Coalition for Peace Action; Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton – (UUCP) Social Justice Committee; All Saints Church; Princeton Community TV; Women Who Never Give Up, and Jonette C. Smart, President, Trenton NAACP. Light Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

The Princeton Area Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) is inviting the public to a panel discussion called ”Trenton from the Grass Roots” on Sunday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Suzanne Patterson Center, 45 Stockton Street.

The panel members will be architect John Hatch, a partner in Clark Caton Hintz and HHG Development Associates, specializing in the adaptive reuse of historic structures; the Reverend Toby Sanders, former president of the Trenton School Board and currently president, United Mercer interfaith Organization (UMIO), pastor, Beloved Community Church; Tracey Syphax, president, Capitol City Roofing (and ex-con) and the subject of a book called From the Block to the Boardroom — The Tracey D. Syphax Story; Nakia White, chief municipal prosecutor, City of Trenton; and Jeff Laurenti – former director of Foreign Policy Programs for The Century Foundation and former co-chair, Mercer for Obama — Moderator.

Mr. Laurenti will be posing several questions to the panel intended to reveal their visions of Trenton from the grassroots. Following comments by the panel, Mr. Laurenti will open questions from the floor. Kip Cherry, one of the organizers of the panel and a member of the PCDO’s executive committee, commented, “the concept behind the panel is to create a better understanding of the social, economic, and political dynamics of Trenton from the grassroots level, while focusing on positive opportunities and various good news announcements coming out of Trenton.”

Jon Durbin, president of the PCDO, noted that “Trenton has a solid multi-ethnic, multi-racial base and there are a multitude of nonprofit organizations that serve both Princeton and Trenton. He also cited, as a part of the good news,” recent announcements regarding the long-stalled replacement of Trenton Central High School and the resolution of the status of the city-financed Lafayette Yard hotel, recently relinquished by Marriott.”

“Our hope is to enhance communication with the potential for creating helpful future partnerships between people in Trenton and Princeton,” Ms. Cherry said. Mr. Laurenti noted that the event “fortuitously culminates a weekend of activities in Trenton that underscore its prospects for renewal,” citing the annual “Art All Night” event at the historic Roebling Wire Works the night June 21-22, and the “New Jersey 350th Celebration” at the Capitol complex, the afternoon of June 22.

Mr. Durbin noted that nonprofit organizations that serve both Princeton and Trenton are specifically invited to take part in the event and offer their insights. All nonprofit organizations and the general public are invited. The event is free.

SAVED FROM THE WRECKING BALL: The diner on Route One that was recently named to Preservation New Jersey’s “10 Most Endangered” list is lifted on pallets in preparation for its move to a mixed-use redevelopment site in Hamilton.(Photo by Michael Competielle)

SAVED FROM THE WRECKING BALL: The diner on Route One that was recently named to Preservation New Jersey’s “10 Most Endangered” list is lifted on pallets in preparation for its move to a mixed-use redevelopment site in Hamilton. (Photo by Michael Competielle)

Wednesday is moving day for the aluminum-clad diner that has stood empty on the north side of Route One, just south of Bakers Basin Road, for decades. The vintage building originally located on Calhoun Street in Trenton is scheduled to make a short trip to a mixed-use redevelopment project in Hamilton Township, to start a new life.

The diner was named to Preservation New Jersey’s “10 Most Endangered” list earlier this year. Situated next to the former home of Mrs. G’s TV & Appliance store, the building’s survival has become especially precarious as the land is cleared in preparation for a new shopping center. It is being saved and repurposed via a partnership between the developer Modern Recycled Spaces and Isles, Inc., the Trenton-based community development organization. Isles is moving its headquarters to the 200,000-square-foot mixed use site, known as Mill One, where the diner will be located.

The diner is being donated by its owner, SSL Realty Holding. Isles and Modern Recycled Spaces will raise funds to restore the building, which may be turned into a training site for food preparation services. “I have driven by the diner a million times over the years,” said Daniel Popkin, owner of Modern Recycled Spaces. “Because I’m involved with Isles, it seemed like a great partnership and a way to save this building.”

Isles president Marty Johnson said in a press release, “First, it’s important to save the diner from the landfill, and if we can bring it back to the Trenton area and restore it here, it’s a win for everyone.”

The diner has gone by various names — The Calhoun, the Cass, Giordano, Ben’s — since it was built around 1950 by the Mountain View Company, which produced prefabricated diners from 1939 to 1957, according to Preservation New Jersey (PNJ). From the 1920s to 1980s, New Jersey was home to at least six and as many as 20 prefabricated diners.

Referred to as the Giordano Diner by PNJ, the silver and green building on Route One is “one of the last of its kind,” said architect Jennifer A. Stark, who researched it for PNJ. “The mid-century architecture movement is really starting to explode now because of these buildings coming of age. It’s the modular aspect, the industrial Deco look, that resonates with a lot of people,” she said. “There were a lot of them, and this is one of the last ones.”

Bill Hotz, the developer of the shopping center to be built on the site, offered the building to anyone willing to have it moved. “It’s a great story,” he said last week of the partnership between Modern Recycled Spaces and Isles. “I know Isles and they seem like a pretty good organization. So if everything goes the way it’s supposed to, how great that the diner will be kept in Mercer County and repurposed for low income job training. I’m happy about it.”

The renovation of the diner fits in with Modern Recycled Spaces’ mission of restoring grand old structures into new spaces for start-up and creative businesses. According to Mr. Johnson of Isles, “The first step is to save it. The next step is to raise the funds and renovate it. We look forward to the chance to bring it back to a good life.”



After a rewarding first day of competition at Princeton University, members of the Pennsylvania delegation at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games wait for the bus that will take them back to their quarters at the College of New Jersey. From left: Tamika Newkirk, Katie Grohotolski, William Quinn, and assistant coach Tim Damiani. The athletes are among some 3,500 who have traveled to Mercer County from all over the country to compete in the games, which culminate Friday at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton. (Photo by Anne Levin)


June 11, 2014
PU PREP PROGRAM GRADUATES: Princeton High School graduates celebrated with fellow members of the PUPP Class of 2014 at a ceremony at Princeton University on Wednesday, June 4. Graduating Princeton High School seniors Cynthia Silva (left) and Chelsea-Mia Pierre will attend Muhlenberg College and Dickinson College, respectively.(Photo Courtesy of Torey Wilson)PU PREP PROGRAM GRADUATES: Princeton High School graduates celebrated with fellow members of the PUPP Class of 2014 at a ceremony at Princeton University on Wednesday, June 4. Graduating Princeton High School seniors Cynthia Silva (left) and Chelsea-Mia Pierre will attend Muhlenberg College and Dickinson College, respectively.	(Photo Courtesy of Torey Wilson)

PU PREP PROGRAM GRADUATES: Princeton High School graduates celebrated with fellow members of the PUPP Class of 2014 at a ceremony at Princeton University on Wednesday, June 4. Graduating Princeton High School seniors Cynthia Silva (left) and Chelsea-Mia Pierre will attend Muhlenberg College and Dickinson College, respectively. (Photo Courtesy of Torey Wilson)PU PREP PROGRAM GRADUATES: Princeton High School graduates celebrated with fellow members of the PUPP Class of 2014 at a ceremony at Princeton University on Wednesday, June 4. Graduating Princeton High School seniors Cynthia Silva (left) and Chelsea-Mia Pierre will attend Muhlenberg College and Dickinson College, respectively. (Photo Courtesy of Torey Wilson)

The Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP) celebrated the achievements of its tenth graduating class at a ceremony at the Princeton University Friend Center last week.

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber, fresh from the University’s 267th Commencement exercises the day before, addressed 21 high schoolers from Princeton High School, Trenton Central High School Chambers Street and West campuses, Ewing High School, Nottingham High School, and Lawrence High School, as well as program alumni who had just graduated from college.

Founded in 2001, PUPP identifies academically gifted high school students in their sophomore year who come from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. The students come to the Princeton University campus for three summers of rigorous study, and receive academic enrichment during the school year.

Having the president of the University speak to the graduating class is a tradition that began with Shirley Tilghman. Last year, both outgoing President Tilghman and incoming President Eisgruber attended the ceremony.

Directed by Jason Klugman and Associate Director Torey Wilson, PUPP is designed to help equalize access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. It enrolls 24 students a year and provides an academically intense, three-year college
preparatory experience.

Observed socioeconomic disparities in college admissions fueled the program’s creation by John Webb and Princeton University Professor Miguel Centeno in order to give high-achieving students the necessary resources to prepare them to apply and be accepted into selective colleges and universities.

The program consists of annual summer sessions during which the students take classes at Princeton University from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students are required to attend for three consecutive summers and participate in academic enrichment sessions during the school year. The curriculum consists of writing, literature, math, science, social science, art, music appreciation, and college preparation.

This year’s graduating class members and the colleges they will be attending in the fall are Angela Amankwaah, The George Washington University; D’Andre Battle, Dickinson College; Danica Bradley, The College of New Jersey; Ebony Brown, University of Richmond; Monica Collado, Rutgers University; Paola Dubon, Muhlenberg College; Jordan Finger, Monmouth University; Diana Gomez, Muhlenberg College; Aliya Grooms, Spelman College; Akahyl Henry, Rutgers University; Erik Lima, Colgate University; David Lopez, The College of New Jersey; Simon Lopez, Rutgers University; Karem Mathiang, Dickinson College; Wilhelmina Minney, Muhlenberg College; Chelsea-Mia Pierre, Dickinson College; Caelle Rousseau, Amherst College; Yadira Santos, The College of New Jersey; Cynthia Silva, Muhlenberg College; Magdalena Stankowska, Princeton University; Kadija Yilla, Pomona College.

“This year, all of our students were accepted into Rutgers, and this is a first, although all but one were accepted last year,” said Mr. Wilson, who has been with the program since its founding. “The one exception got an early acceptance at Princeton and didn’t apply to Rutgers. This year we have students going to some schools that are new for us such as Pomona College in California and Amherst College in Massachusetts.”

On average, PUPP students apply to about 10 colleges. For more information, visit: www.princeton.edu/pupp/.



Steve Carney and Gisela Kempkes of McCaffrey’s Princeton, which donates funds to many charitable causes, recently presented a donation of $4,714 to Carol Walton, the chief executive officer of The Parkinson Alliance.

Changes submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week by Williams/Transco, the company hoping to construct a 42-inch-diameter gas pipeline on the Princeton Ridge, are an improvement on the original plan, according to a citizens group concerned about safety and environmental issues. But the Princeton Ridge Coalition still has worries about the company that would be performing the work and how it would be carried out.

“They are definitely not our favorite,” Rob Goldston, chair of the Coalition’s safety committee, said of Henkels & McCoy, the company hired by Williams to do the job. The contractor is currently being sued by the family of a woman who died in a gas explosion at a housing development in Ewing Township last March, where seven utility workers were injured and 130 homes were damaged or destroyed. “We’re planning to install monitoring cameras on the pipeline, and that might help the safety culture,” Mr. Goldston said. “We can monitor and record what they’re doing 24-7.”

Williams wants to build a high-pressure pipeline for natural gas, next to one that was installed in 1958. The portion running through Princeton Ridge is part of the Skillman Loop and would carry natural gas from western Pennsylvania shale fields to customers from other states.

Members of the group held a meeting last week with Mayor Liz Lempert and municipal engineer Bob Kiser to give an update on the plan, which Williams has submitted to FERC for approval. The Coalition has met several times with representatives from the company, which has been largely responsive to their concerns, Mr. Goldston said.

Williams spokesman Chris Stockton said Monday that the company stands by the decision to hire Henkels & McCoy. “We have very high standards for our construction contractors. We would not have chosen them if we did not have confidence that they could do the job and do it safely,” he said. “We brought them on to this project last year. We have worked with them in the past and we know they work safely.”

Following last week’s meeting, Mr. Goldston said the changes Williams submitted to FERC last week show progress. “But it doesn’t solve all the problems from an environmental point of view,” he added. “There will be damage. They’ll be digging up the roots of trees.”

As far as safety is concerned, “They have agreed to a number of things we suggested and that they first said were impossible,” Mr. Goldston said. “For a period of time, they will empty the current pipeline and fill it with water during the three to six weeks of the construction period. But they haven’t told us which three to six weeks that will be.”

In an email before the meeting, Mr. Stockton said the natural gas in the existing pipeline would be replaced with water “when performing rock hammering operations.” Mr. Stockton also outlined Williams’ addressing of citizens’ concerns regarding widening of forest, revegetation after the pipeline is installed, blasting, the use of heavy equipment, various subterranean conditions that may exist, and the analysis of possible alternatives, submitted to them by the Coalition.

“We believe that we have worked in good faith to address the concerns raised by the PRC, going to great lengths to develop construction plans and techniques that will help minimize environmental impacts while ensuring that the pipeline is installed safely,” Mr. Stockton said.

What makes the project especially challenging is the hard basalt bedrock and wetlands that run through the ridge. The process of breaking up the boulders will require major heavy equipment. Additional concerns focus on the fact that the existing pipeline passes through the campuses of Princeton Day School, Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, and the Stuart Country Day School, as well as homes situated nearby.

Mr. Goldston said that although Williams has made compromises, the company is not committing to backfilling the pipeline with water, which he called “the right and responsible thing to do. We need to encourage them to go the rest of the way,” he said. “We will have to hire our own engineers to assess what Williams puts in.”

Williams is hoping to receive approval from FERC this fall and begin construction on the pipeline project next spring.