Each summer, serious ballet students across the country take advantage of their time off from academics to shift their training schedules into high gear. Instead of a few classes a week, they take a few classes a day — six days a week. more
Each summer, serious ballet students across the country take advantage of their time off from academics to shift their training schedules into high gear. Instead of a few classes a week, they take a few classes a day — six days a week. more
The Delaware & Raritan Canal Watch will hold the next in a series free walking tours of the D&R Canal on Sunday, July 26.
The walk will explore the part of the canal park between Carnegie Road in Lawrence Township and Alexander Road in Princeton, a distance of 5.6 miles. A shorter walk of 2.9 miles to Port Mercer is an option. more
On July 7, at 2:04 p.m., a 28-year-old male from Hillsborough was charged with one count of theft by deception after an investigation revealed that as an employee of the Princeton University Store, he stole cash from the store register at various times during a 16 month period, totaling $26,000. Bail was set at $5,000.
Visitors to Princeton’s first “Parklet” located across two parking spots in front of Small World Coffee on Witherspoon Street are not only delighted by the concept and design of the space. They are intrigued by the hand behind two enormous wood benches, each of which has been carved from a single block of wood. more
The 2015 Sixth Annual New Hope Film Festival will take place from July 24 through August 2. The Festival is proud to be honoring Susan Seidelman with a Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday, August 2 for her outstanding contributions to film. Seidelman is a writer, producer, director, and actor. Her best-known film is “Desperately Seeking Susan,” starring Madonna, which Seidelman directed. For more information, visit www.newhopefilmfestival.com.
DON’T SPILL IT! The walkways at Princeton Shopping Center transformed into a race course last Thursday for the fifth annual Waiters’ Race, sponsored by the Princeton Merchants Association. After Mayor Liz Lempert kicked off the event, 70 men and women from 15 local restaurants balanced glasses of water and BAI beverage bottles minus their caps on trays as they raced around the courtyard. more
This year is the 174th Anniversary of the John A. Roebling’s Sons company, once the largest employer in Trenton and a world leader in the construction of suspension bridges. To mark the occasion, The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie will present an exhibition centered on the business that was owned by four generations of the Roebling family over 112 years.
The exhibition, which opens with a reception Friday, July 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., will be on view through December 6.
Clifford W. Zink, author of The Roebling Legacy, will speak and conduct a tour of the remaining buildings of the Roebling complex in Trenton at dates and times yet to be announced. For details, check the museum’s website, http://ellarslie.org.
John A, Roebling started making wire rope in 1841 in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, and moved his factory to Trenton in 1848. His sons built the steel and wire mill and town of Roebling, in 1905. In 1953, the family sold the Trenton and Roebling plants to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I). CF&I closed the Trenton plants in 1973 and the Roebling plant in 1974.
Mr. Roebling was the world’s foremost builder of suspension bridges in the 19th century and his bridges spanned major rivers when people said it couldn’t be done. His son Washington A. Roebling completed the most famous Roebling bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, in 1883, and today it is an iconic national landmark. more
D&R Greenway presents a spring-inspired poetry reading at the Johnson Education Center in Princeton on Wednesday, July 15 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a light reception. Carolyn Foote Edelmann, Vida Chu, Sharon Olson, Betty Lies, and Linda Arntzenius will read poetry featured in the April 2015 edition of Princeton Magazine. The readings will be accompanied by a slideshow of floral arrangements styled by Diana Moore and photographed by Andrew Wilkinson.
The reading will also include a special introduction by Princeton Magazine Publisher and Architect Robert Hillier.
All of the evening’s poets are members of the U.S. 1 Poets Cooperative and appear in U.S . 1 Worksheets. This literary journal showcases writers from across the globe.
For more information, visit www.drgreenway.org.
Attention, ballet fans: On Saturday, July 18 at 3 p.m., Intensio, a group of stellar dancers from American Ballet Theatre, will hold an invitation-only working rehearsal at McCarter Theatre. Intensio is the project of Daniil Simkin, a soloist with ABT.
He describes it as “an art project and series of performances created and curated by me and my family. Our intention is to merge the highest level of ballet and choreography with the new possibilities of media in order to create a unique and special experience for the audience.”
The troupe is using McCarter to rehearse for an upcoming appearance at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Lee, Massachusetts July 22-26. Members of the company along with Mr. Simkin include ABT’s Isabella Boylston, Alexandre Hammoudi, Blaine Hoven, Calvin Royal III, Hee Seo, Cassandra Trenary, and James Whiteside, as well as Céline Cassone, a special guest artist from Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal.
They will perform new works by choreographers Alexander Ekman, Gregory Dolbashian, Jorma Elo, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.
The rehearsal will be held in the Matthews Theatre at McCarter, which is located at 91 University Place.
The pool at Mary Moss Park, in the Witherspoon/Jackson neighborhood, was reopened Monday after a brief shutdown due to cracks in its plaster bottom.
The town closed it for repairs last Wednesday after a municipal employee cut her foot while walking in the pool. “It’s very old, dating back at least to the fifties,” said Ben Stentz, Princeton’s Recreation Director. “Why it started to peel more rapidly in the last few weeks, we don’t know. But it brought to our attention the fact that the deterioration was getting worse.”
Temporary repairs have been made to the pool to keep it safe through the summer. The small, shallow pool is used regularly by children from Princeton Nursery School and others from the neighborhood. “It’s concrete, so it has been replastered and repainted many times,” Mr. Stentz said. “It shows its age, but still serves a nice function.”
The future of the Mary Moss Park, and the pool, is being reevaluated by the town and will be the subject of feedback from the neighborhood and the community. “It’s up in the air. We’re not sure right now what the renovation will look like,” said Mr. Stentz. “We’ll see what 2016 brings.”
Shoppers at Quaker Bridge Mall are now able to recharge their electric cars, in 30 minutes or less, at new charging stations. At an opening ceremony Tuesday morning, David Crane, the CEO of NRG, charged his personal electric vehicle (EV). Also in attendance were congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin.
The sites, known as Freedom Stations, are equipped with DC Fast Chargers, which can deliver 40 miles of range in as little as 15 minutes, allowing EV drivers to quickly charge their vehicles. The station also has a Level 2 charger that can charge all EVs.
“Simon (owner of the mall) is committed to providing sustainable amenities for our customers and the opening of an EV charging station in a market where there is a lot of interest in electric vehicles is a great example of that,” said Mona Benisi, Senior Director of Sustainability for Simon. “The locations of our shopping centers across the U.S. mean that Simon is ideally positioned to contribute to the development of a a national infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations, and also advances the company’s sustainability efforts.”
The charging stations will occupy two parking spots located on the Grover’s Mill side of the property, near the lower level mall entrance between Sears and Lord & Taylor.
For additional information, visit www.quakerbridgemall.com.
When Ziad Ahmed founded the organization Redefy to help teenagers recognize and remove cultural stereotypes, he never imagined that just two years later he would be dining with President Obama at the White House. But on June 22, that is exactly where the 16-year-old Princeton Day School (PDS) student found himself — and not just at any table. At the annual White House Iftar, which marks the traditional breaking of the fast observed by Muslims during Ramadan, the president chose to sit with Ziad and seven other young people and engage them in conversation. As if that wasn’t enough, Mr. Obama singled Ziad out in his speech.
“They’re Muslim Americans like Ziad Ahmed,” he said. “As a Bangladeshi-American growing up in New Jersey, he saw early on that there was not enough understanding in the world. So two years ago, he founded Redefy, a website to push back against harmful stereotypes by encouraging teens like him — he’s only 16; I think our youngest guest tonight — to share their stories. Because, in Ziad’s words, ‘ignorance can be defeated through education.’ He wants to do his part to make sure that ‘Muslims can be equal members of society and still hold onto their faith and identity.’ So we’re very proud of you, Ziad.”
“The whole thing was just mind-blowing,” Ziad said this week. “It’s the most prestigious event Muslim Americans get invited to. I just thought I’d be at some table, but Obama sat with us for an hour. And I was with the most amazing people, who had incredible stories to tell.”
The invitation to the White House came after MTV News profiled Ziad’s work with Redefy, as well as later efforts to inspire teen forums on racial profiling. Last April, the organization launched #PrincetonAgainstRacism, a social media campaign in which 125 portraits of people were taken at PDS and the Communiversity street fair, asking them to finish the prompt “I stand against racism because …” The goal was to use social media platforms to inspire teens everywhere to take a stand against racism. Redefy led the initiative in partnership with Princeton CHOOSE and Not in Our Town in recognition of the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism campaign.
The son of a hedge fund manager and a stay-at-home mom who does property management, Ziad was first inspired to take action the summer before ninth grade. “That summer, when I was 14, I noticed that in the community, people needed a platform by which they could be educated about minority experience,” he said. “I found a lot of ignorance — not malicious hate, just innocent ignorance. I wanted to initiate positive change at school, so I decided to create Redefy.”
The organization was officially launched that September. Today the leadership team has six people and representatives as far as Brazil and Pakistan, whom Ziad met through summer programs he has attended. “But due to recent publicity, now we have people I don’t know,” he said. “So that’s new.”
The idea is to produce “measurable change,” Ziad said. “Our mission in 2014 was to promote integration. For this year, it is to reduce racial prejudice and hate.” A blog posted every three days includes personal stories that anyone can submit. “When you read these intimate stories of issues people deal with, you get a soft spot in your heart,” he said “You make more educated, thoughtful decisions. It’s hard to hate somebody you know.”
Key to Redefy’s mission is equality for everyone. “All any of us want is a world that’s safe and accepting for our children,” Ziad said. “The only way that’s possible is if we’re willing to advocate for everyone, not just for our own minorities. You can’t just believe in selective equality. So on our stories page, we try to encompass that.”
Ziad and his team do workshops at local schools and hold bi-monthly conversations about current events. Media coverage led to the story by MTV News, “the most exciting thing that ever happened to me,” he said. “To get that coverage on national news was mind-blowing.” The invitation to The White House came just before Ziad was leaving for a service trip to Morocco. While he was on the trip, he got an email from one of Mr. Obama’s speechwriters saying the president wanted to include his story.
“The next day I got an email saying I was at the president’s table,” Ziad recalled. “I was with all of these really impressive people. I couldn’t believe it. I’m just some kid from New Jersey sitting with these people who have done so much.”
Among Ziad’s table-mates were Samantha Elauf, who won a Supreme Court case against the Abercrombie company after she was denied employment because she wore a traditional head scarf; Munir Khalif, the child of Somali immigrants who was accepted into all eight Ivy League schools and created an organization to help children in East Africa get an education; and Wai Wai Nu, a former political prisoner and the co-founder of Justice for Women.
Mr. Obama spoke with all of them. “I answered some of his questions and I asked him some, to which he responded eloquently and respectfully,” Ziad said. “He had read about me, and he told me to keep doing the work I’m doing. I was thrilled. A lot of people wanted to speak with him about different things, and he was so articulate, kind, and witty.”
Not surprisingly, the experience was an inspiration for Ziad to expand his work with Redefy. His mission is to include teens who might not feel as committed to the issues that are the organization’s focus, but might have skills and interests through which they can contribute.
“I was up till 4 a.m. thinking about this,” he said. “I want all kids in Princeton to get involved. Because one of my biggest obstacles has been trying to engage kids who aren’t particularly passionate about social justice. I’m super motivated now to engage people of all interests, not just the ones interested in social justice. Anyone can get involved, and use their particular skills. If we engage people in that way, we can get a wide variety and become a better organization.”
The Princeton-Blairstown Center has named two new officers to the Board of Trustees and appointed a new Advisory Council member. PBC offers a wide variety of youth development experiential educational programs to students in the Mid-Atlantic States, including Rivera Middle School and Trenton Central High in Trenton.
The current board unanimously voted Kevin C. Hudson and Romy Riddick, both from Princeton University, to three-year terms as Trustees and appointed Sari Chang to the Advisory Council. Both Mr. Hudson and Ms. Riddick bring extensive experience in increasing diversity.
Mr. Hudson, Assistant Director for College Opportunity in the Office of the Provost at Princeton University, brings to PBC a track record of success in helping young people access an undergraduate degree. He also continues his work as a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Education Access Granted, which assists schools, districts and families in navigating the college admissions process successfully. He is a graduate of Princeton University with an AB in Sociology and certificates in African American Studies and American Studies. He also holds a M.S.Ed in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education.
Ms. Riddick, Assistant Vice President of the Client Services Team in Human Resources at Princeton University, originally joined the University in 2012 as Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and she continues to manage that function in her current role. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a BA in Political Science. Her history of successful diversity strategy development and implementation coupled with human resource expertise at TD Bank, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Merrill Lynch & Company.
Pam Gregory, PBC President & CEO commented, “Over the past year and a half we have strategically worked to build our Board to be a highly effective force for outstanding governance. Kevin and Romy fill gaps in our expertise we’ve looked to address and I look forward to their active participation in molding the future of the organization.”
Sari Chang, new to the Advisory Council, is a Registered Architect and Principal at Mike Jacobs Architecture in New York City. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the Yale School of Architecture. As a Princeton undergraduate, she had an inspiring Freshman Outdoor Action experience which led her to additional leadership roles in Outdoor Action activities. Her focus on sustainability in architecture and her enthusiasm for skiing and other outdoor endeavors makes her a natural fit for the PBC team.
PBC’s program at Rivera Middle School addresses the need to improve Trenton graduation rates by identifying students at high risk of dropping out and engaging them in an innovative combination of programming emphasizing social emotional learning, academic counseling, leadership development, environmental awareness, and practical applications of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
PBC seeks to transform the lives of vulnerable young people through integrated experiential and adventure-based programming in schools and at their outdoor campus. What began in 1908 as a summer camp run by Princeton University students to give inner-city boys an opportunity to have a character-building fresh air experience has evolved into a wide variety of year-round youth development experiential educational programs serving over 5,200 students from the Mid-Atlantic States. For more information on PBC’s services or to donate, visit www.princetonblairstowncenter.org.
The musician Aurelio Martinez will perform at Princeton’s Pettoranello Gardens on Saturday, July 11 at 7 p.m. Martinez is known for his percussive mix of Caribbean, Central American, and West African music. The event is part of the free summer music series presented by Blue Curtain and the Princeton Recreation Department.
Pygmalion, the second show of Princeton Summer Theater’s (PST) 2015 season, runs through July 19 at the Hamilton Murray Theater on Princeton University’s Campus. This timeless comedy by George Bernard Shaw is a sharply funny commentary on class, gender, and what it means to be true to yourself. This production is adapted and directed by Princeton lecturer in Theater and English, R. N. Sandberg.
The show highlights the battle of wits and wills between Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. Speech professor Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can transform cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle from a low-class nobody to the toast of society at an upcoming garden party. He soon realizes, however, that this feat might not be so easily accomplished; Eliza has strong opinions of her own, and she is prepared to fight Henry every step of the way on her transformation from street urchin to sophisticated duchess.
Pygmalion features Jake Robertson as Henry Higgins and Princeton Summer Theater company member Bits Sola as Eliza Doolittle. The cast also includes Ross Barron (Pickering), Maeve Brady (Mrs. Higgins), Sarah Cuneo (Mrs. Eynsford Hill) Caroline Hertz (Mrs. Pearce/Miss Eynsford Hill), Kanoa Mulling (Freddy Eynsford Hill), and Evan Thompson (Mr. Doolittle).
Tickets are $27.50 for general admission and $22 for students and matinees. To pre-order tickets, visit www.princetonsummertheater.org or call the PST box office at (732) 997-0205.
On Friday, July 10, the Princeton Senior Resource Center will host a “Lunch and Learn” program on E-Bikes by Russ White, a partner in Sourland Cycles in Hopewell. Mr. White will discuss the battery technology that makes possible the Tesla and other electrically- powered cars which is now available on bicycles.
Five levels of pedal assist capability on these bikes permits any cyclist to easily climb any hill or go miles further with just gentle effort on the pedals. This technologic assistance could be of particular interest to anyone who wants to ride alongside a more experienced cyclist or with a group of companions at varying levels of energy and endurance. The high quality e-bikes are built to last, easy to ride and perform under all conditions. Program attendees will have the opportunity to take a test ride on the latest and greatest bike technology.
Mr. White, a former publishing executive, founded the Trenton Boys & Girls Club Bike Exchange in 2009, a program that provides working bicycles to low-income families at a low cost; offers internships to Trenton high school youth; and raises money – so far more than $500,000 – for the after school programs of the Trenton Boys and Girls Club.
The program is free and begins at noon at the Suzanne Patterson Building, 45 Stockton Street. Participants can bring a brown bag lunch; beverages and dessert will be provided. Registration is encouraged. Call (609) 924.7108.
Children played a variety of games during Saturday’s July 4 festivities at Princeton Battlefield State Park. Revolutionary War period soldiers from Mott’s 6th Company, 2nd Continental Artillery were on hand to demonstrate drill, artillery, and flintlock muskets while volunteers from Clarke House (shown here) demonstrated domestic skills of the day, and Battlefield Park Curator John Mills read the Declaration of Independence. (Photo by Emily Reeves)
Princeton AlumniCorps, an independent nonprofit organization that engages Princeton alumni in public service, selected 46 recent Princeton University graduates to serve as Project 55 Fellows.
Started in 1990 by the Princeton University class of 1955, Project 55 connects talented and committed Princeton graduates to public interest organizations in six cities across the country. Fellows spend a year working with their organization and join more than 1,500 Princeton alumni who are part of the AlumniCorps community. Two integral parts of the year-long fellowship are ongoing seminars and connecting with a mentor via the AlumniCorps’ network.
Fellows are located in New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, New Jersey, Boston and San Francisco.
Ryan Whalen, Director of Initiatives and Strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation, says of Project 55, “The Foundation has had a number of Project 55 Fellows, and we are excited to have another join the team this summer. It has been a positive and productive experience and we are looking forward to continuing it.“
Andrew Nurkin, AlumniCorps Executive Director states, “The new group of Project 55 fellows are outstanding individuals who will spend the next year contributing to and learning from the work of effective public interest organizations around the US. We expect them to live purposeful lives working to create healthier communities and a more just society.”
For a complete list of Project 55 Fellows and partner organizations, visit www.alumnicorps.org.
The Mercer County Park Commission will offer free Saturday evening hayrides at Howell Living History Farm on July 11, 18 and 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. The horse-drawn rides last 20 minutes, carrying visitors over the lanes of the 130-acre working farm.
During the program, visitors can also take self-guided tours, picnic in the picnic area and join a marshmallow roast.
Rides will leave the barnyard area every 25 minutes beginning at 5:10 p.m. with the last ride departing at 8 p.m. Rides will be given on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 200 visitors. Rides are intended for individual and family participation; groups cannot be accommodated.
A wheelchair-accessible wagon is also available. Individuals who would like to ride on this wagon should call (609) 737-3299 in advance, and ask for Kathy. The wagon is horse drawn.
On the dates when evening hayrides are offered, the farm will be closed during the day.
On Thursday, July 9, local wait staff will put their tray-balancing skills to the test at the 5th Annual Waiters’ Race, an event exclusively held by the Princeton Merchants Association (PMA). The event kicks off at 4 p.m. at the Princeton Shopping Center, Harrison Street (no rain date is scheduled). The event is a celebration of the servers and staff who take care of over 60,000 guests a week throughout Princeton. Waiters and waitresses from Princeton area restaurants will race to complete a course while balancing two full glasses of water and two full BAI Beverage bottles on their trays. Last year there were 17 participating restaurants and many are expected to be back in 2015. The fastest racers – who don’t spill their teetering cargo – will take home cash prizes, an overnight stay at the Nassau Inn, champagne, cooler, and gift cards. Those interested in participating need to pre-register. The fee is $20. Six participants are allowed to register from each local restaurant. All participants will receive an official race day tee-shirt and goodie bag.
With their stone walls and timber frames, Bucks County barns are prized for their architecture as well as their link to the area’s agricultural heritage. Increasingly, barns that are structurally sound are being converted into unique living or working spaces for those with the resources to take on these often daunting projects.
Seven of them in New Hope, Solebury, and Buckingham, Pennsylvania will be open to the public the weekend of July 10-12 as part of the 16th Annual Art of the Barn Tour & Show. This popular event showcases the work of accomplished local artists and sculptors. But for some, it is the barns themselves that are the stars of the show.
Architect Moira McClintock, a partner with the Princeton firm FORD3, is familiar with the challenges of converting a barn to other uses through her work on the barn at Princeton’s Johnson Education Center as well as one for members of her family. On July 10, she will officially open the tour with a talk about her experiences converting barns into living and working spaces.
“Every barn is unique,” she said last week. “What’s fascinating to me as an architect is the differences within them, and how those shape what you ultimately do with the space.”
Depending on when a barn was built, these differences can be considerable. Bucks County barns range from those built in the 1700s to some from the 1930s. “The older ones tend to be built much better than those from the twenties and thirties, when people started moving away from heavy timber construction,” Ms. McClintock said. “In a 1930s dairy barn, the upper level was a hayloft, and that’s different from earlier ones.”
Most of the large spaces in former barns are located on the upper levels. Animals were kept in smaller areas on the lower levels. “When you think about most residential design, you think about the big spaces being downstairs,” Ms. McClintock said. “When you’re working with an agricultural structure, you have to be open to the larger spaces being upstairs, rather than forcing it to be something it is not.”
Ms. McClintock was especially fond of the work FORD3 did on the barn that became the D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center. “It’s a great fit of program and space,” she said. “I also loved a project we did that is on the tour, because it was done for part of my family. We were able to re-use a lot of materials we’d saved over the years. Part of the barn had collapsed in a big snowstorm in 1996, but we were able to use the siding for interior finishes.”
That oldest part of the barn dates from 1800. Like others in Bucks County, some of its walls are stone, which presented a challenge. “A big stone wall has very little insulate value,” Ms. McClintock said. “We wanted it to be energy efficient, so we had to cover up the stone on the inside and use spray foam insulation and radiant heat. Those were the trade-offs we had to make. That’s one of the biggest challenges — deciding how to approach insulation. Do you do it from the outside, or the inside? Especially if you have post and beam structure, you don’t want to hide that. So it’s a big decision.”
At her talk, Ms. McClintock will focus on those kinds of details and experiences. “There are different things you need to think about when you’re approaching this kind of project,” she said. “There are different ways to give historic buildings, and particularly agricultural structures, viable life in today’s society. I’ll be looking at living history barns, residential conversions, and a number of case studies. Not every barn can become a living history structure. But we don’t want to lose the ones that are left.”
Discovering that a barn cannot be converted to a living space can be discouraging. “There was a couple looking to buy properties, and they had the idea of living in a converted barn,” Ms. McClintock recalled. “They found one in a beautiful setting in Bucks County. It looked fabulous from the outside. But on the inside, people had taken out the timber and built a conventional house. It was the saddest thing.”
Despite such scenarios, Ms. McClintock sees an increase in the number of barns being converted to other uses. “People are looking for ways to keep these buildings viable,” she said. “The most important thing people can do is keep the roof sound. Because once the water comes in, it’s amazing how quickly damage can occur.”
The Art of the Barn Tour and Show begins with Ms. McClintock’s talk on Friday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Audubon Visitor Center, 2877 Creamery Road in New Hope. Admission is $5 for members of the Bucks County Audubon Society; $10 for non-members.
Docents will be on hand at each location to reveal facts about the barns’ history and renovations. The tour and show is Saturday, July 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, July 12 from 12-4:30 p.m. Admission is $20 for members; $30 for non-members. Combination tickets for the talk and show are $25 for members; $35 for non-members. Visit www.bcas.org for more information and barn locations.
According to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) the Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. New Jersey’s tropical storm activity is typically between August and late October. All of which means that now is the time to prepare.
With hazardous weather affecting New Jersey residents on a regular basis with short- and long-term power outages and possibilities of flooding and the destruction of property, “There has been a huge push on the part of the state to encourage participation from the community and enlist volunteers,” said Princeton Director of Emergency and Safety Services Robert G. Gregory.
In recognition of this, Princeton Council President Bernie Miller and Council members Heather Howard and Patrick Simon have been instrumental in the municipality’s participation in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program, which prepares team members to assist their families, neighbors, and co-workers in the event of an emergency. They are trained to support professional and volunteer first responders, and to provide assistance themselves when first responders are not immediately available.
Twelve Princeton residents completed a seven-week CERT course this spring at the Mercer County Fire Academy that included fire extinguisher training, first aid skills, and search and rescue drills. Training was conducted by Fire Academy staff and members of the Princeton Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services.
“Our first set of volunteers graduated in April and in addition six more just went through the CERT Administrative Program of the state Office of Emergency Management including myself, Princeton Health Officer Jeffrey Grosser and Director of Human Services Elisa Neira.”
While natural disasters like hurricanes cannot be avoided, there are safety measures that might ameliorate their effects. NJOEM’s Hurricane Survival Guide for New Jersey gives advice on ways of securing the safety of families, homes and pets; advice that holds for all types of natural disasters.
Mr. Simon agrees that now is the time to plan ahead and make sure emergency supplies are in order. He suggests the guidelines provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, www.ready.gov), which recommends that people prepare to shelter in place for at least three days in the event of an emergency. “FEMA recommends keeping at least three days’ supply of water and non-perishable food, a first aid kit, flashlights and spare batteries, a fire extinguisher, and other essential supplies,” he said.
The rule of thumb, said Mr. Gregory, is to take care of your own family first, then look to neighbors and then to the community at large. “Weather-related emergencies can be planned for,” he said, noting that one of the first things that the municipality will do is to time the opening of the Emergency Operation Centers for police, first responders, representatives from the Recreation Department, Fire Department and Rescue Squad to meet and plan for the allocation of resources.”
“I tell people not to wait until there’s an emergency, there’s a lot can be done in advance,” said Mr. Gregory. “A huge push after Superstorm Sandy to have people shelter-in-place. And it’s my experience that most people want to stay at home, where they feel most comfortable. One of the things that the public can do is to purchase a back-up generator. Having food and water for three days is another.”
What does Mr. Gregory have in his home? “My wife is great at finding charging devices and there are many options out there including portable flashlights with chargers. I have three different charging devices that I use for a computer and small devices like cell phones. If the cable is still working it’s good to be able to turn on the TV to check for news and weather updates. Radios are always good too. If people can’t afford, or if they are not able to get, a generator, these devices are most helpful. I’m also looking into getting a generator. Ideally I’d like to find one that is solar powered.”
As for hurricane season, Mr. Gregory said that according to weather experts tropical depressions that can turn into hurricanes can be expected in New Jersey from June through November, but in his experience the heightened period is August through October. Although you can’t let your guard down, that seems to be the period for this region.
“As necessary, we will open up community resource centers where people can go to find coffee and charge up their phones and computers,” said Mr. Gregory. “For a prolonged emergency, it would be possible to open up local schools and gyms so that people could take showers.”
NJOEM’s Hurricane Survival Guide suggests three steps from which the following is a very brief excerpt.
Step 1 is to stay informed, via traditional or social media. NJOEM (www.ready.nj.gov) works closely with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center regarding storm predictions and forecasts.
The NJOEM website contains a link to New Jersey’s 21 County Offices of Emergency Management with county websites, social media tools and county alert and warning systems listed as well. Sign up, opt-in or connect to receive important local alerts. http://www.ready.nj.gov/about/association.html
Individuals can subscribe to the NJ State Police on Nixle Connect (http://local.nixle.com/new-jersey-state-police). Nixle allows verified government agencies to communicate with the public via text/SMS, email, and internet posts and unlike other social media applications, Nixle does not contain any third-party advertisements.
NJ Alert is a free, voluntary, and confidential emergency alerting system that allows NJOEM officials to send email or text messages to cell phones and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. To sign up for NJ Alert, visit: www.njalert.gov.
Step 2 is to make a plan with family members as to how to stay close and
connected; designate an individual outside of the state to serve as a family point of contact, since after a disaster it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area; after a disaster, all family members should make contact with the designated individual. Try choosing a certain time for everyone to check in.
Step 3 is to gather emergency supplies, many of which can be found around the home. NJOEM’s “Hurricane Kit” includes a 2 week supply of these emergency necessities together with clean-up and repair supplies stored in a safe place.
In addition to basics necessities, residents are advised to gather together important documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, marriage and death records, wills, insurance policies, deeds and mortgages, computer file backups, and personal photographs, as well as important phone numbers and prescriptions.
To download the complete NJ Hurricane Survival Guide, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/pdf/070214_hurricane_survival_guide.pdf
Additional information can be found on the Princeton Office of Emergency Management web page at www.princetonnj.gov/emerg-mgt.html, and at the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA’s public education site for emergency preparedness, www.ready.gov.
The municipality encourages all residents to register for the Mass Notification System at http://www.princetonnj.gov/ems-phone-register.html, or in person at the municipal clerk’s office in Witherspoon Hall, 400 Witherspoon Street. A list of emergency phone numbers is on the municipal website (princetonnj.gov)
Another CERT training course for Princeton volunteers will take place this fall. For more information, call Robert Gregory of the Department of Emergency and Safety Services, 1 Monument Drive, at (609) 497-7632.
An exhibition titled “On Their Walls: Area African American Collectors and Their African American Art” will run at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park, Trenton, from Saturday July 11 through September 13. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, July 11, from 7 to 9 p.m.
A gallery talk focusing on collecting African American art will take place Sunday, July 26, at 2 p.m. and the exhibition will be on display in conjunction with the Trenton African American Cultural Festival held in Cadwalader Park August 15.
Curated by Kali McMillan, the exhibition will showcase works of art by a select group of African American artists collected by four local African American women.
Highlights of the show include five serigraphs from the “Prevalence of Ritual Portfolio” by Romare Bearden completed in 1974 as well as a few rarely seen paintings by noted Trenton artist Tom Malloy. The artists in the exhibition range from established to rising local and international artists, including Frank Morrison, Sanford Biggers, Ellen Powell Tiberino, and Mercy Moyo.
Ms. McMillan, a former West Windsor resident, is an art historian who recently earned her masters in art history from the University of Glasgow: Christie’s Education, London. Her thesis “How Ya Like Me Now?” explored issues of redefining black identity in contemporary art. Ms. McMillan received her BA in art and art history from Colgate University. Also an accomplished photographer, her work has been exhibited both in the U.S. and abroad. She was selected as an emerging photographer at Milk Underground Gallery New York City in the fall of 2011. She currently is a cataloguer at an estate auction house.
“This exhibition is not only an assortment of fantastic works held in private collections created by a wide range of African American artists, but it visually translates the role of ritual and tradition in the African American experience and shows how artists use their lives and stories to convey these multi-generational values,” said Ms. McMillan.
The exhibition includes pieces collected by New Jersey resident Diana Tyson who also fosters the development of emerging female African artists including Mercy Moyo. When asked why she collects art, Ms. Tyson said, “My collection reflects my life: experiences that I have had, social commentary, and flights of fantasy inspired by abstract works.”
The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, visit ellarslie.org.
The Princeton-based architectural firm ikon.5 Architects has been awarded a Merit Award in the Unbuilt category by the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) for its design of a new Training, Recreation and Education Center for the Newark Housing Authority.
The community center will feature a gym, aerobic room, meeting rooms and childcare center. Its design was inspired by its location in Newark, and it will benefit the surrounding community.
As conceived by ikon.5, the community center will be housed in one building composed of two interlocking triangular wedges. One wedge is transparent, and is designed to contain meeting and educational facilities, while the adjacent building, with its opaque walls, will be used for recreational activities. The unique creation was inspired by the geometric clash of the city’s urban grid and idyllic Weequahic Park in southern Newark.
“The design’s two triangles represent an important and iconic trait of this city,” said Joseph G. Tattoni, FAIA, principal of ikon.5 Architects. “The final product will demonstrate the complementary nature of the two components, which will combine to create a multi-use community facility that will benefit the entire neighborhood.”
The 22,000-square-foot building will feature a gymnasium, fitness and aerobic room, community meeting rooms, locker room and showers, childcare center, and a library and study area. The center is a welcomed addition to the surrounding community and is expected to rejuvenate the residential community.
“ikon.5 Architects has created something special and demonstrated how creative architecture can contribute to the reinvigoration of a neighborhood,” said Kimberly Bunn, president of AIA-NJ. “Despite the project’s tight budget constraints, ikon.5 utilized efficient design techniques to create a low-cost building that is visually dynamic and will meet the community’s need.”
The project was commissioned by the Newark Housing Authority and will serve the residential Dayton Neighborhood in the South Ward of Newark. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority both contributed funding.
The AIA-NJ Annual Design Awards program recognizes architectural projects that exhibit design excellence in one of four categories: Open (meant for any building type), Residential, Historic Preservation and Interior Architecture. Projects are further designated as either Built or Un-built. To be eligible, projects must be either located in New Jersey or designed by an AIA-NJ architect. Submitted projects are evaluated during the organization’s annual Design Conference by a group of distinguished architects from throughout the country.
For more information, visit www.aia-nj.org.