December 7, 2016

EGYPTIAN EXPLORATIONS: Justin Mathews and Connie Escher team up to investigate the pharaohs of ancient Egypt and many other wonders of the ancient world with their sixth grade social studies students at John Witherspoon Middle School. (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

Tim Charleston, K-8 social studies supervisor for the Princeton Public Schools, described Connie Escher and Justin Mathews, sixth grade ancient world cultures teachers: “As a team they complement each other phenomenally. They both have significant individual strengths. They’re at the top of their game professionally. They take pride and pleasure in providing learning experiences for their students. They approach social studies in a hands-on way, and they care deeply about their students and about history.” more

Princeton Council voted on Monday, December 5 to approve an extension to March 31 of a developer’s agreement requested by architect J. Robert Hillier (a Town Topics shareholder).

Mr. Hillier had asked the governing body at its November 28 meeting to modify an amendment to the original agreement for the Waxwood, a former school for black children in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood that he converted to 34 rental units over a decade ago. The agreement dictated that eight of the 34 rental units would be sold after a period of five years. Mr. Hillier would like to keep them as rentals. more

There’s a crack in everything — that’s how the light gets in. — Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

A famous singer songwriter dies, someone you never found time to appreciate, so you go back and start listening and recognize the distant music you heard long ago walking through the fairgrounds of rock, a snatch of song coming from over there, not far, just a whisper away if you’d taken another turn somewhere between Van Morrison and David Bowie. more

Award-winning novelist Jhumpa Lahiri and book designer Amanda Weiss will discuss Ms. Lahiri’s The Clothing of Books (Penguin $7.95) at Labyrinth on Tuesday, December 13 at 6 p.m.

The conversation will consider the art of the book jacket from the perspectives of both reader and writer. The Clothing of Books probes the relationships between text and image, author and designer, and art and commerce. Ms. Lahiri discusses the role of the uniform; explains what book jackets and design have come to mean to her; and how, sometimes, “the covers become a part of me.” more

“SNOW ON THE CANAL AT LUMBERVILLE”: This wintery painting by Bucks County artist Glenn Harrington is a perfect addition to the Home for the Holidays Open House at the Silverman Gallery in Pa. The event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11. The gallery is located five miles south of New Hope and just north of Pa. 413 in the Buckingham Green Shopping Center, located at 4920 York Road (Route 202) in Holicong, Pa. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional hours, shipping, delivery and in-home consultation are available by appointment at silvermangallery.com.

“WEDDING GUESTS”: Photographer Katie Orlinsky took this photo in Timbuktu, Mali on October 13, 2013, when an international coalition pushed out the jihadist militants who overtook the city. More of Orlinksky’s photographs of women’s lives in central Mali and their resistance to jihadist efforts will be on display at the Princeton University’s Bernstein Gallery in Robertson Hall from December 16, 2016 to January 26, 2017.

UP AND RUNNING: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Jalynn Spaulding dribbles up the court in a game last winter. Junior guard Spaulding helped Stuart get the 2016-17 season off to a good start, scoring 13 points as the Tartans defeated the George School (Pa.) 41-24 last Saturday in the finals of the George School Tournament. Stuart, which improved to 2-0 with the win, hosts the Solebury School (Pa.) on December 13.

After posting an impressive 19-9 record last winter, the Stuart Country Day School basketball team is raising the bar this season. more

December 2, 2016

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Art Garfunkel

Art Garfunkel, one of the most celebrated voices in American music, will perform at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on Tuesday, December 13 at 4:30 p.m.

Garfunkel, along with his former partner Paul Simon, has received numerous awards and critical acclaim for his music, including 5 Grammy awards, the prestigious Britannia Award, Rolling Stone’s Best Album of the Year notation, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. more

November 30, 2016

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Friday’s lighting of the Christmas tree on Palmer Square Green featured the Princeton High School Choir, Bob Denson’s Blues, and a visit from Santa. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

Speculation about the impact of a Trump presidency on international politics continues with seven weeks to go before the president-elect actually takes office. A panel of Princeton University historians, political scientists, anthropologists, and sociologists gathered in Aaron Burr Hall Monday under the auspices of Princeton’s Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) to discuss how the rest of the world views Mr. Trump and what might be the consequences of a Trump presidency in various parts of the world.  more

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Each December, thousands gather on the banks of the Delaware River to watch the reenactment of George Washington’s daring Christmas Day 1776 river crossing. During the event, several hundred reenactors in Continental military dress will listen to an inspiring speech by General Washington and then row across the river in replica Durham boats. The public has two opportunities to view the reenactment at Washington Crossing Historic Park. The first is on Sunday, December 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (actual crossing at 1 p.m.) and the second is on Sunday, December 25 from noon to 3 p.m. (actual crossing at 1 p.m.).

A request to amend a developer’s agreement for The Waxwood building on Quarry Street, in the historic Witherspoon-Jackson district, was the topic of a work session at a meeting of Princeton Council Monday night.

Architect/developer J. Robert Hillier (a Town Topics shareholder) has asked Council to modify an amendment to the original agreement, which dictated that the rental units would be sold after a period of five years. Mr. Hillier told Council that should the units be converted, he feared tenants would not be able to afford to buy them. more

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SHAKE AND BLAKE: Hun School boys’ hockey player Blake Brown cruises up the ice in a game last year. Senior co-captain and star forward Brown is being depended on to be the offensive catalyst this season for the Raiders. Hun is scheduled to open its 2016-17 season by playing at Holy Ghost (Pa.) on November 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Over the last few years, the Hun School boys’ hockey team thrived on a freewheeling approach, featuring some talented performers whose offensive flair could overcome mistakes. more

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QUAKER ROOTS: Built in 1781, the Princeton schoolmaster’s house, one of only two surviving Quaker schoolmaster houses in New Jersey and the only one still in use by a school, will be renovated over the next year to serve as a welcoming “front door” to Princeton Friends School and the Princeton Quaker Meeting property. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Friends School)

During the coming year, the 1781 Schoolmaster’s House and the adjacent 19th-century barn will be renovated to serve as a welcoming “front door” to Princeton Friends School (PFS) and the historic Quaker Meeting property on Quaker Road. Erected as a residence and classroom building, the House is today one of only two surviving Quaker schoolmaster houses in New Jersey and the only one still in use by a school.  more

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HELP AND SUSTENANCE: During a recent visit to Matipwiri, the village in Malawi sponsored by Trinity Church, Ruth Thurmond Scott, center, delivered a supplemental food package to residents affected by HIV and AIDS.

Thursday, December 1 is World AIDS Day, an annual observance that promotes awareness of the AIDS pandemic. While AIDS-related morality rates have dropped dramatically in some parts of the globe, there are regions where the disease continues to claim victims at a devastating rate. more

Jeffrey C. Grosser, Princeton’s health officer since 2014, will become the town’s new assistant administrator starting in January. Mr. Grosser fills the vacancy left by the departure of longtime assistant administrator Kathy Monzo, who left earlier this year to take a position in North Brunswick.

“We did an extensive search and we had people apply from as far away as Chicago and Florida, but he rose to the top,” said Marc Dashield, Princeton’s administrator. “It’s really a credit to him.” more

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Sustainable Princeton (SP), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the environment and make Princeton a more sustainable place, has chosen Molly Jones as its next executive director. Ms. Jones, who brings to the job experience from volunteer and professional roles at a number of local non-profit groups, understands the organization’s accomplishments in the realms of energy conservation and waste reduction and the challenges to further engage the community in changing habits to change the world.  more

The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Development Fund (PRCC-CDF) recently awarded $30,000 in grants to four local nonprofit groups.

The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation working together established the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Development Fund in partnership with the Princeton Area Community Foundation in July of 2013. Starting with a $500,000 gift from the Chamber Foundation, the goal was to provide support to nonprofit organizations located throughout the Chamber’s central New Jersey footprint.  more

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Oscar Wilde died in Paris on this day, November 30, in the first year of the 20th century. He was 46.

“They could attack him, but they could not take their eyes off him. Derision was a form of tribute and, if it went on long enough, could not fail to be so interpreted. He could, moreover, appeal over the head of the journalists, to the people. This he did.”  more

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Mimi Omiecinski of Princeton Tour Company has written a children’s book that celebrates growing up in “the world’s most perfect Ivy League town.” The book sells for $25 and features art by Courtney La Forest. For further information contact blacksquirrelpromotions@gmail.com.

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James D. Zirin, a 1961 Princeton University graduate and author of the recently published “Supremely Partisan: How Raw Politics Tips the Scales in the United States Supreme Court” will discuss this issue during a free public lecture at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, December 5 in Robertson Hall, Bowl 016, on the Princeton University campus. The event, which will be livestreamed on the Wilson School’s YouTube channel, is co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School, the Program in Law and Public Affairs, and the Department of Politics. A book sale and signing will follow the discussion.

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“INFINITE INSPIRATION”: This digital print by Pamela Turczyn will be included in the upcoming art show, “MANDALA, locating self” at the Art Times Two gallery at Princeton Brain and Spine.

MANDALA, locating self will be on display from December 2016 through March 2017 at Art Times Two, the gallery at Princeton Brain and Spine. The gallery is within the offices at 731 Alexander Road, Suite 200. There will be a reception on Sunday, December 4 from 2-4 p.m. open to the public. After the opening, visits to the gallery are made by appointment, evenings and weekend days. For more information, call (609) 203-4622. more

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Master potter Caryn Newman will open her studio to the public on December 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the annual sale of her new work. Newman makes functional pottery in stoneware and porcelain in vibrant colors. Ms. Newman’s work was featured in the juried Ellarslie Open Show this year. Her studio is at 7 Willowood Drive, Ewing. Call (609) 203-7141 for more information.

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ANNUAL FESTIVAL FEATURES A DIVERSE PROGRAM OF NEW WORKS: Two Princeton students are rehearsing for a new work by choreographer Olivier Tarpaga that will be performed at the Princeton Dance Festival at McCarter Theatre Center. Festival performances are scheduled for December 2 at 8 p.m., December 3 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and December 4 at 1 p.m. (Photo Credit: Elena Anamos)

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance at Princeton University presents the annual Princeton Dance Festival, in which 40 Princeton dance students will perform repertory works by Zvi Gotheiner, John Jasperse, and Mark Morris, along with new works by Kimberly Bartosik, Francesca Harper, and Olivier Tarpaga. Four performances will take place December 2 at 8 p.m., December 3 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and December 4 at 1 p.m. at the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. more