July 25, 2018

MERCER COUNTY SENIOR ART SHOW: A sample of some of the entries in the Drawing/Non-Professional category at the 2018 Mercer County Senior Art Show, on display through August 3 at the Meadow Lakes Gallery in East Windsor. The art was created by Mercer County residents age 60 or older.

The 2018 Mercer County Senior Art Show is on display through August 3 at the Meadow Lakes Gallery in East Windsor.

The exhibit, which is sponsored by the Mercer County Division of Culture and Heritage and the Office on Aging, features original artworks created within the past three years, from drawings to paintings to crafts, by Mercer County residents age 60 or older. more

LOTS OF LAVENDER: “We are very encouraged, sales are four times what they were our first year. We love to sell the lavender, and see how much people enjoy it.” Brad and Beth Smith, owners of Princeton Lavender on 3741 Lawrenceville Road, are shown by an assortment of lavender plants.

By Jean Stratton

It’s not only in the gardens of Provence or the fields of the English countryside. Lavender flourishes right here in New Jersey. Its fragrant aroma, so appealing, is a favorite, not only in its natural, fresh form, but also in soaps, lotions, and in numerous dried products.

Princeton Lavender at 3741 Lawrenceville Road opened in 2016. Owners Brad and Beth Smith purchased the eight-and-a-half-acre property, previously a horse farm, three years ago. more

LETTING IT FLY: Chad Kanoff lofts a pass for the Arizona Cardinals during a training session this spring. The former star Princeton University quarterback signed with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent and is starting training camp with the team this week in Glendale, Ariz. (Photo Courtesy of the Arizona Cardinals)

By Bill Alden

When the Arizona Cardinals chose talented but volatile UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen with the 10th pick in the NFL Draft this spring, it ensured a closely-watched battle at the high-profile position.

With the franchise having previously signed NFL veterans Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon in the wake of the retirement of longtime starter Carson Palmer, there didn’t seem to be room for another QB. more

ON COURSE: A view of the third hole at the Springdale Golf Club, which is hosting the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Championship from July 30-August 1. The field of the event includes 71 of the top boy and girl junior players in the country. (Photo Courtesy of Springdale Golf Club)

By Bill Alden

For Stuart Francis, the lessons he learned spending hours around the Springdale Golf Club while competing for the Princeton University men’s golf team in the early 1970s changed the course of his life.

“We had a team of very good players; like all Princeton student athletes, they worked hard on their game and hard academically,” said Francis, a 1974 Princeton alum who was the co-captain of the Tigers his senior year, helping the team win the Ivy League title and earning All-Ivy and All-American honors. more

HIGH SPIRITS: NJ Spiritwear guard Troy Jones flies to the rim against LoyalTees last Monday as the teams met in the opening game of the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League’s best-of-three championship series. Jones scored 19 points as NJ Spiritwear edged LoyalTees 70-67. Game two is slated for July 25 with game three, if necessary, to be played on July 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In its regular season finale in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League earlier this month, NJ Spiritwear had a chance to clinch first place when it faced LoyalTees.

But failing to rise to the occasion, NJ Spiritwear lost 66-51 as LoyalTees earned the top seed for the playoffs. more

HEADING TO THE HALL: Chris Hatchell heads to the hoop for Winberie’s in 2013 action in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Hatchell, who earned two regular season MVP awards and was named the playoff MVP four times over the years, was inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame last Wednesday. Getting inducted along with Hatchell in this year’s HOF class was the Ivy Inn team, which won three straight league titles from 2008-10 and six overall, and Town Topics sports editor Bill Alden, who has been covering the league since 2003. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

During his heyday in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League, a flurry of three-pointers from Chris Hatchell would often prompt the admonition “don’t let him heat up” from the scorer’s table at the Community Park courts.

Hatchell became a league legend as his hot shooting from the perimeter in crunch time helped him earn two regular season MVP awards (2011, 2014) and get named the playoff MVP four times (2003, 2004, 2012, and 2014). more

RITE STUFF: Members of the Princeton High boys’ hockey team celebrate after a goal last season. The team’s run to the state Public B semifinals helped PHS tie for fifth place in the Group IV standings for the ShopRite Cup, a contest among NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) programs based on points earned for finishing in the top four in state championship competition across 31 sports. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With fall preseason practices starting in a few weeks, the Princeton High athletics program was recently recognized for its accomplishments during the 2017-18 school year.

PHS tied for fifth place in the Group IV standings for the ShopRite Cup, a contest among NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) programs based on points earned for finishing in the top four in state championship competition across 31 sports. more

July 23, 2018
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July 18, 2018

THREE ALARMS: Two firefighters sustained minor injuries in the three-alarm blaze at 140 Hodge Road on Monday night. But damage to the nine-bedroom mansion, which was empty and has been on and off the market for years, was considerable. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Anne Levin

A three-alarm fire caused significant damage and minor injuries to two firefighters at a house on Hodge Road in Princeton’s Western Section late Monday night. No one was inside the 5,802-square-foot home at 140 Hodge Road when the fire was reported at about 11:50 p.m. more

By Donald Gilpin

An equity audit of Princeton Public Schools (PPS) has cited significant strengths along with a range of issues and disparities that the district needs to address.

Initiated by PPS “in response to known and suspected educational inequities and gaps between the district’s mission and students’ day-to-day school experiences,” the audit noted continuing “racially-predictable disparities in achievement data, a perception of disparities in discipline and academic expectations, a difference between various identities’ sense of welcoming and belonging, challenges in addressing incidents of oppression and bias, and a strong sense of academic pressure and competition.” more

By Donald Gilpin

At last night’s meeting, which took place after press time, the Princeton Board of Education (BOE) seemed prepared to support the latest referendum proposal from its facilities committee, calling for two questions on the ballot.

Question No. 1 would include improvements at all the elementary schools; construction of a new 5/6 school at Valley Road; the purchase of property at Thanet Road for central administration, transportation, and maintenance; security improvements; HVAC and other infrastructure improvements; an athletic field at Valley Road; a few additional high school classrooms; a second floor over the high school fitness center; and renovations to the guidance area — at a projected cost of $82,528,490. more

LEARNING ABOUT LEADERSHIP: At the closing ceremony of last year’s “At the Well” session on the campus of Princeton University, girls who completed the motivational program posed for a group portrait. This summer’s session, which begins July 22, inaugurates a companion program for boys.

By Anne Levin

For the past eight years, a week-long summer leadership academy designed to motivate teenaged girls of color has been held on the campus of Princeton University. “At the Well” has focused on critical reading, critical writing, and activities for leadership development, bringing in speakers from the worlds of business, education, and entertainment.  more

By Anne Levin

Princeton University is seeking approval from Princeton’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to turn Bainbridge House, the historic building at 158 Nassau Street that most recently housed the Historical Society of Princeton, into office space for the educational programming staff of the Princeton University Art Museum, as well as a gallery and gathering space. more

TAKING CARE OF LEGACIES: Friends of Herrontown Woods (FOHW) volunteers installed plant labels, with QR codes that connect to native plant information on the group’s website, at a rain garden designed to catch runoff. Princeton Council last week agreed to accept ownership of the Herrontown Woods property from Mercer County and is currently working on a formal agreement with FOHW to proceed with work on the grounds and renovations of the buildings that used to be the Veblen homestead. (Photo Courtesy of FOHW)

By Donald Gilpin

Friends of Herrontown Woods (FOHW) held a picnic last month with games, food, and presentations to celebrate Oswald Veblen’s 138th birthday. There’s a lot to celebrate, with Princeton Council agreeing last week to accept the property from Mercer County and the FOHW stepping up work on various environmental projects and looking to renovate the Veblen House and Cottage. more

Baseball is the hurrah game of the republic! —Walt Whitman, April 1889

By Stuart Mitchner

The Good Grey Poet was speaking to his Boswell, Horace L. Traubel, whose notes of conversations between 1888 and Whitman’s death in 1892 were eventually published in the multi-volume series, With Walt Whitman in Camden. Walt went on to call baseball “America’s game.” It has “the snap, go, fling, of the American atmosphere — belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly, as our constitutions, laws: is just as important in the sum total of our historic life.” more

“UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS”: Performances are underway for Princeton Summer Theater’s production of “Uncommon Women and Others.” Directed by Daniel Krane, the play runs through July 22 at Princeton University’s Hamilton Murray Theater. Mrs. Plumm (Carol Lee, center) serves tea to residents of North Stimson Hall, from left: Rita (Allison Spann), Kate (Kat Giordano), Susie (E Harper Nora Jerimijenko-Conley), and Leilah  (Michelle Navis). Photo by Sarah Golobish.

By Donald Sanborn III

Princeton Summer Theater is delivering a polished production of Uncommon Women and Others at Princeton University’s Hamilton Murray Theater. A press release for this season’s previous production, Tick, Tick…Boom!, states that it “sets the stage for a summer of performances that center around self-discovery as seen through critical turning points in our characters’ lives.” That theme — as well as pressure to succeed with personal and professional accomplishments by the time one reaches a certain age — is shared by this play, which was written by Wendy Wasserstein (1950-2006). more

By Nancy Plum

No matter how much doubt is shed on the future of orchestral music, it is clear that there will always be composers looking for opportunities to present newly-created musical works. In Princeton, thanks to a collaboration among the Edward T. Cone Foundation, Princeton University, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, four emerging composers have had the chance to explore in depth symphonic composition as part of the Fifth Annual NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute. Conductor David Robertson, Institute director and composer Steven Mackey and members of the New Jersey Symphony mentored four composers in creating significant musical pieces, as well as learning the business aspects of the field. This year’s Institute culminated last Saturday night in a public performance of four new one-movement works at Richardson Auditorium to an audience which has continued to grow over the five years of the Institute. Composers Jonathan Cziner, Brian Shank, Aaron Hendrix, and Natalie Dietterich spent last week in Princeton receiving an invaluable experience and education as a huge stepping stone in already successful careers. more

By Kam Williams

Since 1950, Rucker Park has been home to a popular basketball tournament that takes place on an outdoor court located at 155th Street in Harlem. Many promising prospects have honed their skills on the world famous proving ground en route to NBA careers: Kevin Durant, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, “Dr. J” (Julius Erving), and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, to name a few.

Uncle Drew is a hilarious hoops movie that pays tribute to Rucker Park as well as to the athletes who have mesmerized generations of fans who have attended the annual summer classic. Directed by Charles Stone III (Drumline), the picture stars the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving as the title character, but don’t expect to be able to recognize him under all the plastic makeup that turns him into a senior citizen. more

“FISHING ON CARNEGIE LAKE”: This painting by Helene Mazur is featured in “Plein-Air Painters of Princeton,” on view through July 25 at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Evelyne V. Johnson Gallery at 1 Preservation Place in Princeton.

What does Princeton have in common with Giverny? Its own corps of plein-air painters actively immortalizing natural scenes in and around the town. D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Evelyne V. Johnson Gallery shimmers with plein-air art just completed, on view through July 25. more

“Anywhere But Here: Mixed Media Works” by Ilene Dube is on view through August 9 at Northfield Bank, 280 Route 31 in Hopewell. Gallery and bank hours are Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fri 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

“WANDERINGS & WONDERINGS”: Landscape paintings including “Autumn Memories” by Joe Kazimierczyk, above, and “Red Shed and American Boathouse” by Michael Schweigart, below, are featured in a joint exhibit at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville. It runs August 9 through September 2, with an opening reception on August 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville presents new landscape paintings by artists Joe Kazimierczyk and Michael Schweigart in an exhibition of their “Wanderings & Wonderings.” The exhibit runs August 9 through September 2, with an opening reception on Saturday, August 11, from 5 to 8 pm.  more

July 11, 2018

At a recent Princeton Council meeting, Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS) Board President Wendy Mager, left, presented Mayor Liz Lempert with a check for $200,000 as reimbursement of funds for the acquisition of 20-plus acres for the Mt. Lucas Preserve and 35 acres for the Tusculum property, originally the farm of John Witherspoon. FOPOS is a nonprofit devoted to preservation and stewardship of land in Princeton. (Photo Courtesy of FOPOS)

By Donald Gilpin

In response to public concerns about the $130M price tag and its effect on local property taxes, the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education is considering dividing its facilities referendum proposal into two parts, with the two questions to be voted on separately.

“I think the entire proposed referendum is a sound plan,” said Board President Patrick Sullivan. “but we’ve gotten feedback from the community that it’s a big bite. We wanted to give people another option to postpone part of the plan for two — three years.” more

By Anne Levin

Following a work session on parking and the financial modeling workbook being prepared by the consulting firm Dixon Resources Unlimited, Princeton Council voted Monday to introduce a parking contract agreement with the IPS Group for single space smart meters.

Last month, the Council approved a contract with PassportParking, Inc., for a new app that allows payment for parking through mobile phones. Monday’s vote was the next step in the revamping of the town’s parking system, and consultant Julie Dixon said she is hoping to schedule a kickoff meeting soon. She is hopeful that a rollout of the multi-layered plan can take place in mid-September. The public hearing on the agreement with IPS Group will be at the Council meeting on August 1. more

By Anne Levin

Now that Reed Gusciora has been elected mayor of Trenton, his 15th District New Jersey Assembly seat is up for grabs. Kevin Kuchinski, mayor of Hopewell Township, has issued a statement saying he is pursuing the post.

“Our district has a long history of strong representation and innovative leadership, most recently with Reed Gusciora,” he said. “Reed led the charge to bring fairness back to New Jersey, including a major victory on gay marriage several years ago. My goal is to build on Reed’s accomplishments in the Fighting 15th.” more