October 25, 2017

Princeton High boys’ cross country runners, Acasio Pinheiro (far right, No. 858) and Will Hare (No. 856), take off at the start of the Boys’ Varsity race at the Mercer County Championships at Thompson Park in Jamesburg last Friday. Senior star Hare placed first individually and junior Pinheiro took second to help PHS win its second straight team title at the event. For more details on the race, see page 31. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Donald Gilpin

“Redistricting: It’s Not Just for Political Junkies Anymore!” read the words on the screen at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Princeton Monday night, as Princeton University Neurobiology Professor Sam Wang and Queens College City University of New York Political Science Professor Keena Lipsitz explained how gerrymandering is undermining our democratic system. more

By Anne Levin

Proposed changes to the schedule of the FreeB, which takes commuters to and from the Dinky train station and other locations in town, are being reconsidered following comments offered by members of the public at a meeting of Princeton Council Monday night, October 23. more

WHO KNEW?: Filmmaker Roger Sherman, seen shooting a scene for “In Search of Israeli Cuisine,” was stunned to discover the country’s food scene, “the hottest, most dynamic in the world.” The documentary, preceded by a food tasting, screens Sunday at The Jewish Center of Princeton.

By Anne Levin

Roger Sherman had never been to Israel when a friend invited him, last minute, to join a food-focused trip to that country. Always looking for a new project, the Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker decided to accept the offer. more

By Donald Gilpin

“There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face,” said Shakespeare’s King Duncan in Macbeth, as he observed the execution of the traitorous, once-loyal Thane of Cawdor.

Princeton University Psychology Professor Alexander Todorov has come to the same conclusion in Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions, his recent book that explores why we continue — irrationally, often dangerously, — to pay so much attention to faces. more

The body of Nicholas Pratico, the 18-year-old student at Mercer County Community College who disappeared on September 20, was found at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday, October 23 by Hamilton Township Police with the assistance of New Jersey State Police, in the woods across from the campus on Old Trenton Road in West Windsor. more

New York Times best-selling author SJ Rozan will join with 10 other award-winning mystery authors, two of them from Princeton, on Saturday afternoon, November 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Solley Theater, Arts Council of Princeton for “Mysterious Affair in Princeton” — a conversation with fans on how the perfect “who-dunnit” is created. The event is hosted by Princeton’s Cloak & Dagger Mystery Bookshop, along with the local chapters of Mystery Writers of America-NY and Sisters in Crime-Central Jersey.

Rozan is the winner of numerous mystery awards, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Nero, Macavity, Japanese Maltese Falcon, and the Private Eye Writers of America Life Achievement.  more

ANTI-NUCLEAR RALLY: This archival photo by Gary Schoichet, taken at an Anti-Nuclear Rally in New York City on June 12, 1982, is featured in the exhibit “Shadows and Ashes: The Peril of Nuclear Weapons,” running November 6 through December 7 at Princeton University’s Bernstein Gallery in Robertson Hall. A discussion panel and reception will be held on Monday, November 13 at 4:30 p.m.

A multifaceted exhibition, “Shadows and Ashes: The Peril of Nuclear Weapons,” will open at Princeton University’s Bernstein Gallery in Robertson Hall on November 6. A discussion panel and reception will be held on Monday, November 13 at 4:30 p.m. Moderated by Princeton Professor Stanley N. Katz, the panel, “A Perpetual Menace: Nuclear Weapons Today, Tomorrow, Forever?” will be held in Arthur Lewis Auditorium (previously known as Dodds Auditorium). more

“THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME”: Performances are underway for the Pennington Players’ production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Directed by Frank Ferrara, the musical runs through October 29 at the Kelsey Theatre. Quasimodo (C.J. Carter) sings “Out There,” in which he dreams of venturing into the streets of Paris. (Photo by Kyrus Keenan Photography)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

The Pennington Players are presenting The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Kelsey Theatre. Because the musical contains adult themes and violence, the theater’s website emphasizes that it is “not recommended for children.” For audiences 13 and older, however, this writer enthusiastically recommends the show. more

By Nancy Plum

With the opening of Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, there has been a new buzz of musical excitement in the community. One of the core University ensembles settling into the new state-of-the-art facility is the Princeton University Orchestra, which opened its 2017-18 season this past Friday and Saturday nights at Richardson Auditorium. Also celebrating conductor Michael Pratt’s 40th year leading the ensemble, the University Orchestra presented music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Mahler — works Pratt called “three sonic columns of sound” to usher in a “new era of music” at the University. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Writing about Twin Peaks in May of 2014, I made special mention of Angelo Badalamenti’s score, how from the first note, the mood created by his music is warm, mellow, musing, inviting, dreamily beautiful, with a subtle undercurrent of menace and dread that comes into play whenever the scene shifts to the interior of Laura Palmer’s home. Above all the music is about Laura Palmer, whose murder is what sets the machinery of the Twin Peaks project in motion with the simplistic but effective tag-line Who killed Laura Palmer? and the answer delivered toward the end of the series’ second season: her father.  more

ON COURSE: Princeton University men’s hockey player Eric Robinson glides up the ice in action last winter. Senior forward and co-captain Robinson will be taking a leading role as the Tigers look to keep building after going 15-16-3 last season and advancing to the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. Princeton opens its 2017-18 season when it hosts Holy Cross on October 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton University men’s hockey team started the 2016-17 campaign by going 0-6-1, it looked like the Tigers were headed for another rough winter.

After all, Princeton had won a total of just nine games (9-46-6) over the previous two seasons.

Instead, the Tigers caught fire, going 13-7-2 over the rest of the regular season with wins over seven top-20 teams to write one of the best turnaround stories in college hockey. more

KAN DO: Princeton University quarterback Chad Kanoff prepares to unload the ball in recent action. Last Friday at Harvard, senior star and tri-captain Kanoff enjoyed a career game, completing his first 21 passes on the way to going 31-for-35 for 421 yards and two touchdowns as Princeton defeated Harvard 52-17. Kanoff was named as the STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Week and the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week in the wake of his performance, which amounted to the eighth-most single-game passing yards in Princeton history. The Tigers, now 5-1 overall and 2-1 Ivy, host Cornell (2-4 overall, 2-1 Ivy) on October 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While Bob Surace liked what he was seeing from his Princeton University football team on the practice field, he knows that doesn’t guarantee success on game day.

“I really felt the last couple of weeks that we have really practiced well,” said Princeton head coach Surace. more

TAYLOR MADE: Princeton High girls’ cross country runner Chloe Taylor shows her form last Friday on the way to taking second in the Girls’ Varsity race in the Mercer County Championships at Thompson Park. Senior star Taylor’s performance helped PHS take second in the team standings behind champion WW/P-South. The Little Tigers are next in action when they compete in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional on November 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into the fall, Chloe Taylor realized that she needed to set the pace for the Princeton High girls’ cross country team.

“I am the oldest now, before there used to be a lot of older kids there,” said senior Taylor. “There is more pressure on me to lead the team.” more

MAKING STRIDES: Princeton Day School boys’ cross country runner Kevin Dougherty competes at Boys’ Varsity race at the Mercer County Championships at Thompson Park in Jamesburg last Friday. Sophomore Dougherty led the way for PDS, taking 65th individually in a time of 18:16.96 over the 5,000-meter course. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though his Princeton Day School boys’ cross country team finished 16th of 19 teams in the Boys’ Varsity race at the Mercer County Championships last Friday, John Woodside was all smiles afterward.

“I have to say that our team’s performance for the whole year has been tremendous,” said PDS head coach Woodside. more

October 20, 2017

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October 18, 2017

Many children previewed their Halloween costumes on Saturday at Finding the Great Pumpkin, presented by the Arts Council of Princeton and Princeton Shopping Center. The event featured family-friendly fun with autumn-themed crafts and activities along with live music. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Anne Levin

Westminster Choir College is set to be sold by Rider University to an as yet unnamed buyer, said to be from China. But faculty at the famed music institution, which was merged with Rider in 1992, feels they have been denied a voice in the process. To demonstrate their distress, faculty members staged a “teach-in” Monday on the Princeton campus.


By Donald Gilpin

Princeton University’s endowment, ranked fourth highest of all United States universities at $23.8 billion, has reported a 12.5 percent investment gain for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, up $1.6 billion over the past year.

“The University relies on earnings from the endowment to cover more than half of its operating budget, as well as to help fund its highest priority strategic initiatives,“ said Provost Deborah Prentice. Last year, spending distributions from the endowment contributed about $875 million to the University’s budget.


By Donald Gilpin

A determined group of residents has successfully taken the first step in blocking a plan to connect Springdale Road to West Drive and then open the combined road as a major artery in and out of Princeton.

Last Wednesday, October 11, the Master Plan Subcommittee of the Princeton Planning Board read letters from the Princeton Environmental Commission, the Marquand Park Foundation, the Friends of the Rogers Wildlife Refuge, and the Nassau Swim Club; perused a petition with 102 signatures, urging the deletion of the Springdale Road extension from the Master Plan; listened to public comments, including testimony from Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; and then voted unanimously to recommend to the whole Planning Board that West Drive be deleted from the Circulation Element of the Master Plan.


A COMMUNITY FOCUS: Arts Council of Princeton Executive Director Taneshia Nash Laird, left, and American Repertory Ballet II dancers Julia Lloyd and Greta Battistin at the announcement of the Council’s new Community Stage Series on Monday. The dancers are among several groups collaborating with the Council on the new initiative.

By Anne Levin

Since taking over as executive director of the Arts Council of Princeton last January, Taneshia Nash Laird has noticed that its Solley Theater was not being used to its full potential. Different organizations would rent the space for various functions, but there was no process in place for making it available on a non-rental basis.

“We started thinking,” said Laird after a presentation on Monday morning, “What could we do to open up our theater to the community, and bring free or nearly free events to the public in partnership with other groups? That’s how the idea for Community Stage got started.” more

BRINGING THE MUSIC HOME: Buddy Miller, son of Councilman Bernie Miller, performs with his band at an October 26 fundraiser for Princeton Community Housing. The award-winning musician was the executive music producer of the TV show “Nashville,” which is where he has lived for many years. (Photo by CJ Hicks)

By Anne Levin

It isn’t often that Princeton Councilman Bernie Miller asks his son, Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and producer Buddy Miller, to volunteer his services for a hometown cause. But the elder Miller recently broke with tradition, asking his son to perform at an upcoming fundraiser for Princeton Community Housing.

“My Dad has never asked me to do anything that I can think of,” said Miller in a phone interview last week from his Nashville home. “So when he does, it gets my attention.” more

GATHERING STEAM: The Princeton Day School STEAM Committee meets in the new STEAM Center (for science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics). From left, Chief Information Officer Jon Ostendorf, Upper School Head Jason Robinson, Interim Math Chair Chip Cash, Libraries Department Chair Sheila Goeke, STEAM Coordinator Jonathan Tatkon-Coker, Head of School Paul Stellato, STEAM Committee Chair and Scientist in Residence Leon Rosenberg, Science Department Chair Jason Park, Lower School Math Teacher Jennifer Vradenburgh, and Lower School Science Teacher Aaron Schomburg. (Photo Courtesy of PDS)

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton Day School (PDS), long known for its deep commitment and strong programs in the humanities and the fine and performing arts, has recently turned its focus to the establishment of a dynamic new STEAM program, with major construction of a STEAM Center and new faculty to support it.

“We have created a program and facility that has the potential to touch and shape the experience of every kid in the school,” said Head of School Paul Stellato. “The Upper School program is designed to speak to kids who have no experience, to introduce them to the subject, and also to meet the needs of kids who have extensive experience in the field. It’s an all-encompassing program.”


By Stuart Mitchner

One thing to be said for living in a country led by a deranged narcissicist is how it heightens your appreciation for explosive poets; it also exposes your stressed senses to outrageous fantasies. For days now I’ve been reading Rimbaud’s Season in Hell with special pleasure (“Alas! there were days when all active men seemed to him playthings of grotesque madness”) while enjoying a twisted vision out of Disney’s Snow White where an evil queen with an orange pompadour is staring in the mirror shouting, “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest ruler of them all?” and being told time after time in an icky sweet sugar-plum fairy voice, “Snobama! Snobama! Snobama!” And when Snobama’s face actually appears in the mirror grinning that ear to ear grin, the queen begins screaming. Once she’s calmed down she sends a troupe of rogues and jesters out to destroy everything Snobama created, a futile task because the documents of destruction have no substance, it’s like writing in water.


“A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN”: Performances are underway for “A Night with Janis Joplin.” Written and directed by Randy Johnson, the musical runs through October 29 at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. Janis Joplin (Kacee Clanton, front and center) gives a high-energy concert, backed by the Joplinaires: Sharon Catherine Brown, left; Amma Osei; Sylvia MacCalla; and Tawny Dolley. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

A Night with Janis Joplin is playing at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. Written and directed by Randy Johnson, this raw, high-energy entertainment is a tribute to Joplin and several of the artists who inspired her. Although the show undoubtedly holds special resonance for Joplin’s fans, multi-generational audiences are likely to enjoy this rousing mix of blues, soul, and psychedelic rock.