June 5, 2019

SPOILS OF VICTORY: Members of the Princeton High boys’ golf team display the plaque and medals they earned for winning the Central Group 4 sectional at Charleston Springs in Millstone last month. Sophomore Adam MacMillan led the way for PHS, carding a two-over 74 to take third individually at the competition. The team’s lineup at the sectional also included Harry Skopas, Atticus Lynch, Abhi Vachani, and Jonathan Lin. MacMillan went on to compete individually at the Tournament of Champions at the Hopewell Valley Golf Club where he tied for 51st with an 11-over 83.

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton High boys’ golf team finished seventh in the Mercer County Tournament in early May, Sheryl Severance saw that performance as a harbinger of good things to come in state competition.

“The county tournament is tough, you have the private schools like Pennington and Peddie,” said PHS head coach Severance.

“If it was just the public schools, we were right in there; WW/P-North and Allentown only beat us by a couple of strokes

Competing in the South/Central Group 4 sectional at Charleston Springs in Millstone on May 14, PHS displayed its toughness, placing fourth overall and first among Central teams to earn the sectional title.

The triumph caught Severance by surprise as she was initially focusing on the exploits of PHS sophomore star Adam MacMillan, who carded a two-over 74 to take third individually at the competition.

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BRINGING IT: Stuart Country Day School lacrosse player Kaitlyn Magnani brings the ball upfield in a game this spring. Freshman midfielder Magnani provided a spark for Stuart as it overcame a 1-4 start to finish with a 6-7 record, advancing to the second round of the Mercer County Tournament and the state Prep B quarters along the way. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After getting off to a 1-4 start, it looked like it could be a rough spring for the Stuart Country Day School lacrosse team.

But Stuart reeled off five straight wins to right the ship,  showing that it wasn’t about to fold after the bumpy beginning.

“It was the consistency that was working for us once we got a better transition game down,” said Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik.

“That is when we were really getting to know each other’s strengths and who was going to be playing where. To the kids’ credit, we were able to move many kids around to different positions.”

While the Tartans fell in the second round of the Mercer County Tournament and the state Prep B quarters after posting wins in both tourneys, Bruvik liked the way her kids competed to the end.

“We played tough teams down the stretch,” said Bruvik,  whose squad lost 18-5 to Princeton Day School in the MCT and then fell 16-2 to Montclair Kimberley in the Prep B competition.

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May 29, 2019

The Spirit of Princeton’s annual Memorial Day Parade down Nassau Street on Saturday morning was followed by a ceremony at Monument Hall. The keynote speaker was Eugene Marsh, center, a highly-decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. Paradegoers share who they were thinking of this Memorial Day in Town Talk on page 6. (Photos by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Donald Gilpin

With the June 4 Democratic primary election less than a week away, the three Democratic candidates for two spots on the November ballot for Princeton Council continue their outreach to Princeton voters.

Michelle Pirone Lambros, Tim Quinn, and Mia Sacks are competing next Tuesday, with the two highest vote-getters to be joined on the ballot for Council in November by Adam Bierman, who is running as an Independent. There are no Republican candidates for Council in this year’s election.

In a number of public forums, in the media, on lawn signs, pamphlets, and elsewhere, the candidates have presented their views over the past few months. Town Topics has now given each Democratic candidate the opportunity to sum up “why Princeton residents should vote for you” in the primary election. Their responses follow. more

By Donald Gilpin

Warning that “survival demands action; inaction means extinction,” about 50 Princeton High School (PHS) students joined representatives from the Princeton University Students Climate Initiative (SCI) and others in Hinds Plaza on Friday afternoon, May 24, to demand action to combat climate change.

As part of a growing international movement led by youth to push for climate action, the PHS contingent carried signs stating “Save Our Planet. Save Our Future”; “Climate Justice Now”; and “The climate is changing, why aren’t we?” And they chanted, “We demand change”; Our planet, our future”; and “There is no Planet B.”

“We have a right to be angry about what has been done to our planet,” said rally co-organizer Nate Howard, PHS Democrats in Action (DIA) director of activism, in a speech to the gathering. “We are left to clean up the mess. If we wait, it will be too late. That’s why we’re here today. Politicians need to get on board.”  more

By Anne Levin

When Donna Sobel became the director of business development at Greenwood House last August, she began searching for new, relevant programs to support the Ewing-based organization’s mission of senior health care. It wasn’t long before she found a focus.

“I did research and met with public health officials and nurses, and the topic that kept coming up, again and again, was dementia care,” Sobel said. “I was very surprised. I didn’t realize there is so much interest in this in the health care community.”

Blame it on baby boomers and medical advances that have extended our life spans. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, there were an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2015. This number is believed to be close to 50 million people in 2017. The figure will almost double every 20 years, reaching 75 million in 2030 and 131.5 million in 2050, with much of the increase in developing countries. more

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: The William Trent House, the oldest house in Mercer County and home to the 1719 William Trent House Museum, is celebrating its 300th birthday starting with an event on June 1. The building is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian colonial architecture in the United States.

By Anne Levin

Imagine an 800-acre estate on the Delaware River, centered around a stately brick house topped with a white cupola. That was Trenton in 1719, the year that Philadelphia merchant William Trent moved his family and enslaved servants up the river to what had been a traditional Lenape site.

That acreage, of course, has long been home to office buildings and parking lots. But Trent’s two-story home has been a museum for 80 years — since June 1, 1939, to be exact. So it makes sense that the William Trent House is beginning a celebration of its 300th birthday on the evening of June 1, 2019.

The party is being co-hosted by the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art, Philadelphia Chapter, and will include food, drinks, music, guest speakers, and tours led by experts who have been involved in interpreting and restoring the National Historic Landmark. Another big fundraiser is in October. more

By Anne Levin

The cancellation of an 8 a.m. exercise class at Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC) last month was disappointing news to those who regularly attended the weekday morning sessions. Responding to their concerns, the senior center administration is trying to come up with a mutually beneficial compromise.

“We’re looking at all types of possibilities,” PSRC Executive Director Drew Dyson said Tuesday. “We have to be financially sustainable for our organization. But today, we worked with several women from the class to see if we can come up with a solution for our early birds.”

Dyson said last week that the Early Bird Aerobics class has averaged just under seven people a day this year. “Our exercise classes vary in popularity,” he said last week. “Other classes later in the day are better attended.” more

By Donald Gilpin

The school year is winding down at Princeton University with exams over, Reunions on tap for this weekend, and graduation next Tuesday, June 4. But there is unfinished business for the Princeton Students for Title IX Reform (PIXR), not satisfied with the University’s response to their demands for changes in Princeton’s sexual misconduct policies.

The student group, which held a sit-in at Nassau Hall for more than a week earlier this month, issuing 11 demands for the University administration to take action in combatting sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence, has called for a demonstration at the Reunions P-rade on Saturday, June 1. Earlier this week PIXR was joined by the student environmental and social issues organization Pink House, which, in a Facebook post, urged supporters to wear purple, not orange and black, to the P-rade.

“This year, WEAR PURPLE to the P-rade in support of the survivors throughout Princeton’s class years,” stated the the Pink House post. “A wave of purple interrupting the sea of orange and black will send a message of strength and unity as we call for reforms.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

Meantime, in Washington, among the great persons and their entourage, a mixture of awful consternation, uncertainty, rage, shame, helplessness, and stupefying disappointment,” with “the worst not only imminent, but already here.”

When he wrote those words, Walt Whitman, born 200 years ago Friday, was not casting a prophetic glance toward Memorial Day 2019, he was responding to the calamitous aftermath of the Battle of Bull Run on July 22, 1861, Union forces having “exploded in a panic and fled from the field.” Writing in Specimen Days in America (1881), Whitman describes defeated troops pouring into the city over the Long Bridge — ”a horrible march of twenty miles, returning to Washington baffled, humiliated, panic-struck.” The sidewalks of Pennsylvania Avenue are jammed with “lookers-on” as “swarms of dirt-cover’d return’d soldiers (will they never end?) move by; but nothing said, no comments.” Half the lookers-on are confederate sympathizers “of the most venomous kind—they say nothing; but the devil snickers in their faces.” There is “loud and undisguised” talk around Washington “for yielding out and out, and substituting the southern rule, and Lincoln promptly abdicating and departing.” If the Rebel officers and forces “had immediately follow’d, and by a bold Napoleonic movement had enter’d Washington the first day (or even the second), they could have had things their own way, and a powerful faction north to back them.” It was a “bitter, bitter hour — perhaps proud America will never again know such an hour. She must pack and fly — no time to spare. Those white palaces — the dome-crown’d capitol there on the hill, so stately over the trees — shall they be left — or destroy’d first?”

With America facing “a bitter, bitter hour” amid presidential stonewalling and the targeting of the free press, it’s worth recalling  Whitman’s tribute to “the great New York papers” whose headlines “rang out over the land with the loudest, most reverberating ring of clearest bugles, full of encouragement, hope, inspiration, unfaltering defiance,” especially “those magnificent editorials! they never flagg’d for a fortnight…. They came in good time, for they were needed.” more

An electric harp, flamenco dancing, and improvisation were on the programs when the Princeton Symphony Orchestra performed recently for hundreds of school children at Richardson Auditorium as part of the PSO Bravo School Day Concerts. Dancer Griset Damas-Roche and harpist Jacqueline Kerrod were the guest artists. PSO Music Director and Conductor Rossen Milanov encouraged students to let their fingers do some marching, taught students to waltz onstage, and looked for volunteers to time the orchestra’s performance of the “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

“UNSAID”: Paintings by Anna Berghuis are featured in “Final Runnings Before the After,” an exhibition of recent work in a wide range of media by graduating seniors in the Visual Arts Program in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. The exhibition runs through June 5 at the Hurley Gallery on campus, and is free and open to the public.

The Visual Arts Program in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University now presents “Final Runnings Before the After,” an exhibition of recent work in a wide range of media by graduating seniors in the Program. The exhibit highlights work by students completed as part of their senior thesis projects, and is on view through June 5 in the Hurley Gallery in the Lewis Arts complex on Princeton University campus. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The work featured in the exhibition has been selected by faculty member Nathan Carter from among photography, paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, photography, film, video, and multimedia installations created by students majoring in visual arts or earning a certificate in visual arts in addition to a degree in their major. Each presented a solo exhibition or a screening of new work during the past semester as a requirement of the program. more

TEACHER ART: An exhibit by members of the New York City United Federation of Retired Teachers Art Group will be on display at Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury June 2-28. It features works from the Manalapan branch of the program. An artist reception is Sunday, June 2, from 1-3 p.m.

Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury Town Hall, 23-A North Main Street, Cranbury will host an exhibit by members of the New York City United Federation of Retired Teachers Art Group June 2 through June 28. The works include paintings in variety of styles and sizes. 

An artist reception will be held on Sunday, June 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Gallery. The exhibiting artists will be present, and light refreshments will be served. more

“INSIDE MASAI HUT”: This painting by Nanci Gunkelman is featured in “Bringing the World Back Home: A Tribute to the Peace Corps,” on view at the Plainsboro Library Gallery June 1-26. An art reception will be held on June 2, 2-4 p.m., with former members of the Peace Corps on hand to discuss their experiences.

On view June 1-26 at the Plainsboro Library Gallery, “Bringing the World Back Home: A Tribute to the Peace Corps” celebrates nearly 60 years of American public service and an appreciate the myriad of cultures abroad. In the exhibit, artist and a former Peace Corps volunteer Nancie Gunkelman presents a collection of large scale paintings of people and landscapes she encountered during her years overseas. Working in a photo-realistic style, she captures the vivid colors, textures, and light in everyday scenes of life in developing countries.  An art reception will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2-4 p.m., with former members of the Peace Corps on hand to discuss their experiences.  more

LOVE OF THE GAME: Princeton University football star John Lovett enjoys the moment last November in the season finale as Princeton defeated Penn 42-14 to put the finishing touches on a 10-0 campaign. Quarterback Lovett went on the earn his second Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year. This April, he signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

John Lovett is trying to prove himself all over.

The Princeton University senior football star has taken the same attitude to Kansas City Chiefs preseason camp that he had when he started with the Tigers.

“When he first got here, he just wanted to get on the field,” recalled Princeton football head coach Bob Surace. “He said, ‘Coach, I can long snap.’ I don’t know if he ever long snapped before, and he had no technique, but the ball went exactly where it was supposed to go faster than anyone else we had. He’s going to find his way to make the club.”

Surace never did let Lovett long snap — for fear of losing his job if his starting quarterback with NFL potential were to be hurt — but instead watched him grow into a player that the Tigers had to get on the field. It meant that Lovett played his favorite spot, quarterback, at times, but also lined up at running back and wide receiver. He could be doing the same for Kansas City. more

RALLY TIME: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse player Shaylah Marciano runs past a Howell High defender last week in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semis. Junior star Marciano tallied three goals and two assists as top-seeded PHS defeated fourth-seeded Howell 21-4 in the May 21 contest. Last Friday, Marciano had three goals and an assist as PHS rallied from a 4-2 halftime deficit to defeat second-seeded Rancocas Valley 10-5 in the sectional final. The Tigers, now 18-2, will face South sectional champion Eastern (17-3) in the Group 4 semis on May 29 at Moorestown with the victor advancing to the title game on June 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team trailed Rancocas Valley 4-2 at halftime of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional final last Friday, Shaylah Marciano had no doubts that PHS could rally for victory.

“I knew we had in it us to come back,” said Tiger junior star midfielder Marciano. “We knew if we put the foot on the pedal, we just would be able to keep it going.”

That confidence was also based on experience as PHS had overcome an 8-4 deficit against Rancocas Valley in last year’s sectional final to pull out a 9-8 win, sparked by Mariana Lopez-Ona dominating the draw control. more

CENTURY CLUB: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse player Kathryn DeMilt, left, races up the field last week as PHS hosted Howell in Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semis. Senior attacker DeMilt tallied 10 points in six goals and four assists, including her 100th career goal, as top-seeded PHS defeated fourth-seeded Howell 21-4 in the May 21 contest. Three days later, DeMilt chipped in a goal as PHS defeated second-seeded Rancocas Valley 10-5 in the sectional final. The Tigers, now 18-2, will face South sectional champion Eastern in the Group 4 semis on May 29 at Moorestown. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As part of the supporting cast for the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team during her debut season in the spring of 2016, Kathyrn DeMilt set a goal.

“When I started off my freshman year I would look up to my seniors, like Taylor Lis,” recalled DeMilt.

All these players are getting their 100th goal and I thought I want to be like them one day.”

Over the last three years, DeMilt followed in their footsteps, emerging as a top scorer for the Tigers. With top-seeded PHS hosting fourth-seeded Howell High in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semis last week, DeMilt was approaching her target, coming into the contest with 94 goals on her career. more

IN THE FAST LANE: Princeton High boys’ track star Nils Wildberg heads to the finish line in action last weekend at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional outdoor track meet at Howell High. Dartmouth-bound Wildberg starred at the meet, winning the long jump and taking second in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Wildberg’s heroics helped PHS tie Freehold for third in the team standings. The Tigers are next in action when they compete in the state Group 4 meet at Franklin High from May 31-June 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Competing in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional outdoor meet at Howell High last weekend, the Princeton High boys’ track team found itself in a four-horse race for the team title.

While PHS ended up tying Freehold for third with 70 pointe behind winner Franklin (78) and runner-up South Brunswick (71), Ben Samara had no qualms with the effort he got from his athletes.

“We fell short in just a couple of places but pretty much across the board everyone performed really well,” said PHS associate head coach Samara. “We were so proud of the team.”

Senior star and Dartmouth-bound Nils Wildberg performed at a very high level, winning the long jump and taking second in  both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. more

AD COURT: Princeton Day School boys’ tennis player Neel Adusimilli hits a forehand in a match this spring. Last week, freshman singles player Adusimilli and PDS wrapped up their season by competing in the state Prep B tournament. The Panthers finished third in the team standings at the tourney. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Going with a youth movement by necessity and dealing with a number of injuries, the Princeton Day School boys’ tennis team experienced an up-and-down spring.

But with everyone up to speed for the state Prep B tournament, the Panthers ended the season on a high note by taking third at the competition held last week at Wardlaw Hartridge.

“We were just happy to get there with the full roster,” said PDS head coach Jen Johnson, reflecting on the tourney which was won by Pennington (12 points) with Rutgers Prep (eight points) taking second and the Panthers getting seven points in coming in third. more

PARTING SHOT: Hun School girls’ lacrosse player Lauren Johns heads to goal in a game this spring. Senior midfielder Johns went out with a bang, scoring four goals in the season finale as Hun defeated WW/P-North 14-7. The win in the May 10 contest gave the Raiders a final record of 5-9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After the Hun School girls’ lacrosse team fell to WW/P-North in the second round of the Mercer County Tournament, it didn’t have to wait long for a rematch against the Northern Knights.

A week after the 14-10 defeat in the MCT, Hun traveled to WW/P-North for its season finale and turned the tables on their foe, posting a 14-7 win.

As the Raiders prepared for round two with the Northern Knights, Hun head coach Rachel Hickey sensed that her squad was primed for redemption in the May 10 contest. more

May 22, 2019

The Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, Princeton’s 20th historic district, hosted a Welcome Weekend celebration last Saturday and Sunday. Events included the ceremonial planting of a native tree at Mary Moss Playground as pictured in the first photo: assisted by, from left, a young helper; former Councilman Lance Liverman; Antoine Newlin; Dr. Anthony Vasselli, who donated the tree; and Councilman Tim Quinn. (Photos by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) will be holding its Third Annual Stakeholders Meeting on May 29, 5-7 p.m., at the Nassau Presbyterian Church on Nassau Street.

“LALDEF has been the key advocate for immigrants in Mercer County and Central New Jersey for one and a half decades,” said immigration lawyer and LALDEF advisory council member Ryan Lilienthal, one of the featured speakers at the May 29 event. “It’s invaluable and irreplaceable. LALDEF is advocating for people who otherwise would go unrepresented.”

Four times the size it was only two years ago, LALDEF serves 3,000 people from its headquarters Casa de Bienvenida/Welcome House in Trenton’s Chambersburg District. In her invitation to the May 29 gathering, Board Chair Patricia Fernandez-Kelly emphasized the
organization’s contributions to the immigrant community in Princeton and Trenton. more

PRIDE PARADE PROMOTERS: A large group of organizers and supporters of the first-ever Pride Parade in Princeton met at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice on Wiggins Street earlier in the month to help plan for the launching of the June 22 event. (Photo courtesy of the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice)

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton’s first-ever Pride Parade will take place on Saturday, June 22, with participants starting at 11 a.m. at the Municipal Building and marching up Witherspoon Street before turning right on Paul Robeson Place and ending at the Family YMCA.

“We invite all to join us as our LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual or allied) community and their friends, family, and allies march through the historic Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood and end up at a fabulous after-party at the Princeton YMCA,” said Chief Activist Robt Seda-Schreiber of the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, which is organizing the event.

“What better way to walk the walk (both literally and figuratively) of inclusivity and intersectionality than to bring together all of our beautifully diverse communities,” he continued. [Intersectionality refers to a person, group, or social problem affected by more than one discrimination or disadvantage.] more

NAMED IN THEIR HONOR: New Jersey Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture and Design has been named for Princeton architects Barbara and J. Robert Hillier, whose recent donation is the largest in the school’s history. The Hilliers also built three versions of the school over the past 45 years.

By Anne Levin

The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has named its College of Architecture and Design for Princeton architects J. Robert and Barbara Hillier. Announced Tuesday, May 21, following the Newark school’s undergraduate commencement ceremony, the naming is in recognition of a gift from the Hilliers that represents the largest donation in the school’s history.

J. Robert Hillier, a Town Topics shareholder, declined to reveal the amount of the gift. But he praised the Newark-based NJIT, for which the couple’s firm has built all three versions of its architecture school since 1974.

“They are the top architecture school in the country in terms of return on investment for tuition,” he said Monday. “They are kind of an unknown, but they do a really good job. more

VICTORIAN AND MORE: Architectural tours of Hopewell Borough will be led by, at rear: architects Max Hayden and Alison Baxter; and at front right, archaeologist Ian Burrow. Architect Michael Mills, front left, was involved in planning the tours.

By Anne Levin

Asked to associate Hopewell Borough with a particular style of architecture, most people would identify that style as Victorian. But there is more, architecturally, to the historic little town at the base of the Sourland Mountains.

On Saturday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as part of Hopewell Heritage Weekend, a team of two architects and one archaeologist will address the topic with walking tours through the town. The Hopewell Borough Architectural Walking Tour will be given four times during the day, starting at Hopewell Public Library. Admission is free.

“I have wanted to do this for a while,” said Annie Anderson, a staff librarian at Hopewell Public Library who organizes events. “When I first moved back to New Jersey from Vermont about 10 years ago, a friend sent me an article in the New York Times that described Hopewell as the closest thing to Vermont in New Jersey. It also said the town’s style was Victorian. But in fact, Hopewell has many other styles. So it kind of caught in my craw. I wanted to have a tour where there were people who were knowledgeable and could counteract that.” more