February 20, 2019

STEPS ON SUNDAY: Teachers from a range of backgrounds come to Princeton Ballet School the last Sunday of the month to lead classes that are open to all. This Sunday, Cuban ballerina Ana Lourdes Novoa will give intermediate and advanced ballet classes. Pictured are students in a regular ballet class.

By Anne Levin

After taking over as director of Princeton Ballet School last August, Aydmara Cabrera thought it might be a good idea to expose students to the ideas of master teachers from dance companies around the world. The concept evolved into a monthly series, which has become popular with students from inside and outside of the school.

This Sunday, Cuban ballerina Ana Lourdes Novoa will teach intermediate and advanced ballet classes at the school in Princeton Shopping Center. Last month’s guest teacher was Sean Mahoney of the Paul Taylor Dance Company; former Pennsylvania Ballet and San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Zachary Hench will visit next month and focus on partnering in ballet. In April, Xiomara Reyes, a past principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and current director of the Washington Ballet School, will lead classes. more

BELLE’S STORY: “You want people to respect you as a human being. And I do my best to respect others. When I look at a person, I look at God’s creation. I accept who they are, and I try to love everyone, even though I may not always agree with them. One of the problems is that people judge others before they even get to know them.” Princeton resident Ida Belle Dixon has a long history of finding the best in others. (Photo by Lance Liverman)

By Jean Stratton

How to tell Ida Belle Dixon’s story?

During her 100 years of living, she has witnessed history, and made her own. She has endured poverty and hardship, experienced joy and love, all the while sustained by her deep Christian faith.

She has chosen a life of service to others, helping children, families, friends, and relatives, making a difference in their lives that has continued through the years.

Known as Belle, Ida Belle, Mom Dixon, Mother Dixon, and Sister Dixon, she gladly answers to all of these appellations.

By whatever name she is known, however, there is no question that she is a true Princeton treasure. more

By Anne Levin

Princeton Council’s February 11 vote to settle a lawsuit filed in 2013 against former Police Chief David Dudeck, the Princeton Police Department, and the municipality, awards a total of $3.925 million to current and former police officers who accused Dudeck of sexual harassment, discrimination, and creating a hostile work environment.

Instead of having the case go to trial, the municipality will pay former officers Sharon Papp $1.3 million, Carol Raymond $600,000, Chris Quaste $150,000, and Mike Bender $125,000; current officers Chris Donnelly $500,000 and Dan Chitren $1.15 million; and retired officer Steve Riccitello $100,000. The town did not admit any guilt or liability as part of the settlement. The amounts have been entered into public record. more

By Donald Gilpin

Olive Giles

Olive Giles, child study team and guidance department secretary at Princeton High School (PHS), was awarded the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Education Support Professionals (ESP) Person of the Year Award earlier this month in a ceremony at the East Brunswick Hilton.

Among her many accomplishments over a 25-year career in education is the creation of a mentoring program which is the first of its kind in the state of New Jersey for educational support staffers. Mentoring programs for new teachers have long been an established education practice, but Princeton’s ESP program is one of only three district-supported mentoring programs for ESPs in the country, according to the NJEA.

Beginning in 2016, Giles, who is president of the Princeton Regional Education Support Staff Association (PRESSA), began collaborating with Lewis Goldstein, who was then assistant superintendent, to launch the PPS Support Staff Mentoring Program. Goldstein and Giles followed the model of PPS’ successful mentoring program for teachers, seeking to boost new ESPs’ confidence, build strong working relationships among staff, improve outcomes for students, and demonstrate the value administration and the Board of Education place on the work ESPs do.  more

Princeton Professor Emeritus Stanley Corngold will be at Labyrinth Books on Wednesday, February 27, at 6 p.m. to discuss and read from his biography, Walter Kaufmann: Philosopher, Humanist, Heretic (Princeton Univ. Press). This event is co-sponsored by Princeton University’s Humanities Council.

A Princeton professor for 30 years, best known for his book Existentialism: From Dostoevsky to Sartre, Walter Kaufmann (1921–1980) was a charismatic philosopher, critic, translator, and poet who fled Nazi Germany at the age of 18, emigrating alone to the United States. Corngold’s “luminous biography” (Kirkus Reviews) is the first in-depth study of Kaufmann’s thought, covering all his major works. According to Alexander Nehamas, author of Nietzsche: Life as Literature, Kaufmann “was erudite, passionate, opinionated, and deeply controversial. In this sweeping intellectual biography, Stanley Corngold paints a lively and engaging portrait of a thinker whose views on philosophy, art, literature, politics, religion, and modernity remain of immediate importance today―a portrait that is as touching as it is compelling.”

Stanley Corngold is professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at Princeton University. His many books include The Fate of the Self: German Writers and French Theory; Complex Pleasure: Forms of Feeling in German Literature; Lambent Traces: Franz Kafka; and Franz Kafka: The Ghosts in the Machine.

By Stuart Mitchner

And I’m conquered in a car seat,
Not a thing that I can do…
— Van Morrison, from “Cyprus Avenue.”

I’m driving down Nassau Street on a fine brisk late April afternoon in 1976 when something called “Bohemian Rhapsody” comes on the radio. Fresh from the birth of a son, I’m like a happy Ancient Mariner ready to stop people on the street to tell them my story, only instead of coming from the realm of the living dead I’ve been to the promised land of life and love. Now this piece of music erupting from the ancient Dodge Dart’s equally ancient radio, is giving me what I need, matching my emotional overload, speaking to and for me: “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”

Somewhere between the stoplights on Nassau, I’m wrenched from “easy come, easy go, a little high, a little low” to “Mama, just killed a man, put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he’s dead.” The words “life had just begun” rhyme with my first-time parental bliss, but not “I’ve gone and thrown it all away.” Looking back at the moment, I see the ultimate “little did he know” scenario. Go ahead, sing along, fool, blissfully ignorant of the highs and lows of the epic manic depressive opera of fatherhood awaiting you. Again, the song seems to know where I’m going. No sooner do the words “I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all” voice the lament I hear from my troubled son four decades later, here comes the zany, out-of-nowhere cry of “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango,” a light opera Harpo Marx Bronx cheer for apocalypse (“thunder and lightning very very frightening”), and then, incredibly, absurdly, thrillingly, “Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Figaro, magnifico!”  more

“BICYCLE FACE”: Passage Theatre has continued its Solo Flights series with “Bicycle Face.” The show is written and performed by Hannah Van Sciver (above), and directed by David O’Connor. (Photo by Kate Raines)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Passage Theatre continued its annual Solo Flights series with Bicycle Face, which was presented February 15-17. Written and performed by Hannah Van Sciver, and set in Philadelphia, this provocative monologue is a work of performance art. Multimedia is blended with live performance — dramatic and musical — to examine cultural attitudes in the late 19th century, the present, and a hypothetical future.

Created in 2015, the show premiered in June of that year in the Philadelphia SoLow Festival. Subsequent performances have included the Razor’s Edge Solo Performance Festival in New Orleans and the United Solo Theatre Festival at Theatre Row in New York City. more

Carol Thompson and Mort Paterson, seen here in ActorsNET’s 2017 production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” are the star and playwright of the world premiere production of “The Crimes of Diana Eastlake” at The Heritage Center Theatre, 635 North Delmorr Avenue, Morrisville, Pa., March 8-24. The play concerns a society widow whose daughter is kidnapped by Syrian terrorists. Parental discretion advised. Call (215) 295-3694, email actorsnet@aol.com, or visit www.brownpapertickets.com for reservations.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) announces its 2019-2020 Season celebrating Music Director Rossen Milanov’s 10th Anniversary. Milanov was recently named the PSO’s inaugural Edward T. Cone Music Director.

The season offers Saturday and Sunday performances of all programs at Richardson Auditorium, and features soloists including pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton and Natasha Paremski, cellist Pablo Ferrandez, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and violinist Stefan Jackiw. Violinist Daniel Rowland returns to perform Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with cellist Maja Bogdanovic and pianist Steven Beck.

An all-Mozart opening concert; symphonies by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Beethoven; Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade; Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition; concertos by Rachmaninoff, Elgar, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven; and contemporary works by Anna Clyne and Julian Grant are planned. In keeping with the PSO’s commitment to supporting today’s composers, the orchestra performs a new work by Saad Haddad, his second to be co-commissioned.  more

“BOLTS & STITCHES”: “Aquatic in Nature” a sculpture by Gene Hracho, above, and “Power Pose,” a cloth and stitch work by Peggy Hracho, below, are part of an exhibit at Artworks Trenton on view March 12 through April 13. An opening reception is March 16 from 7 to 9 p.m.

“Bolts & Stitches,” works by Gene and Peggy Hracho, will be on view in the main gallery at Artworks Trenton March 12 through April 13. An opening reception is Saturday, March 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. more

“THE HISTORY OF HER LIFE WRITTEN ACROSS HER FACE”: This work by Margo Humphrey is featured in “From Durer to Digital and 3-D: The Metamorphosis of the Printed Image,” an exhibit at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park, on view March 8 through April 28. An opening reception is March 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The Trenton Museum Society presents “From Durer to Digital and 3-D: The Metamorphosis of the Printed Image,” a new exhibit at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cawalader Park in Trenton, on display March 8 through April 28. The exhibit, curated by Judith K. Brodsky, shows how printmaking has evolved from traditional techniques like engraving and woodcut to three-dimensional works printed on the computer. 

An opening reception is Friday, March 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Brodsky will give a talk at 7:15 p.m. more

“RETABLO OF JOSÉ CRUZ SORIA”: This 1960 oil on metal work is featured in “Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants,” an exhibition of small-scale paintings on view at the Princeton University Art Museum March 16 through July 7.

More than 50 Mexican retablos — folk paintings dedicated to Christ, the Virgin Mary, or saints to commemorate a miraculous event — will be presented in an exhibition March 16 through July 7 at the Princeton University Art Museum. Vibrant and emotive, the small-scale paintings on metal span the entirety of the 20th century, serving as both historical documents and as personal expressions of suffering, insecurity and salvation, particularly in regard to the challenges of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The works in “Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants” were offered by Mexican migrants at churches and pilgrimage sites throughout western Mexico and the United States. more

STAR-CROSSED LOVERS: A celebrated musical director (Tomasz Kot) and an aspiring young singer (Joanna Kulig) find romance behind the post-World War II Iron Curtain in the romantic drama “Cold War.” (Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios)

By Kam Williams

Dateline: Poland, 1949. The countryside is still devastated by the blight left behind in the wake of World War II. It is amidst these ruins that we find young Zula Lichon (Joanna Kulig) auditioning for a spot in the national entertainment ensemble.

The aspiring singer-dancer survives the tryout because the repertory company’s powerful musical director, Wiktor Warski (Tomasz Kot), is quite taken by her beauty. The pretty peasant girl, in turn, is quite flattered by the attention being lavished on her by her handsome and relatively-sophisticated advocate, even though he’s old enough to be her father. more

BEST FRIENDS: “I have invested in my dream. When people walk in here, they are a guest in my home. I welcome them to my casa, my home. We build our clientele by performance, and I take no one for granted.” Gennaro Costabile, owner of Casa Gennaro in Kingston, is proud to share the business with his legal partner and grandson, 5-year-old Jax.

By Jean Stratton

It’s not just about the food, but about the customers’ well-being. When they leave, we want them to feel like they can’t wait to come back!”

Gennaro Costabile, owner of the new Casa Gennaro restaurant at 4585 Route 27 (Main Street) in Kingston, works very hard to ensure that visitors to his restaurant are treated to a special dining experience — in all ways.

And indeed, they are. Many customers come every week, and it is Gennaro’s great pleasure to spend time with them. “I will serve them, and I enjoy being with my guests and talking with them,” he explains.

Gennaro has a long history in the restaurant business and a successful story to tell. A native of Italy, he came to the U.S. in 1983 after meeting his American wife-to-be in Venice, where he was working at a hotel. more

LETTING IT FLY: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kathryn Hallett heads upfield last Saturday as Princeton hosted Temple in its season opener. Senior midfielder Hallett tallied four goals to help the eighth-ranked Tigers prevail 16-7 and make history in the process as the victory marked the 400th career win for longtime Tiger head coach Chris Sailer. Princeton will look to keep rolling as it plays at 12th-ranked Virginia (2-0) on February 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into the 2019 season, Kathryn Hallett knew that it was up to her to lead the midfield for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team.

“There are definitely some big shoes to fill, we graduated two really good impact starting midfielders last year,” said senior Hallett, referring to Ellie McNulty and Camille Sullivan.

“We have a lot of freshmen in the lineup. In the past I have been more of a lead by example type of person. I have really been making an effort to be more vocal, giving them tips during practice.” more

MAKING A STAND: Princeton University men’s basketball player Myles Stephens puts on the defensive pressure in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday against visiting Dartmouth, senior star and co-captain Stephens contributed 17 points, eight rebounds, and a blocked shot to help the Tigers pull out a 69-68 win over the Big Green. Princeton, now 13-8 overall and 5-3 Ivy League, hosts Cornell on February 22 and Columbia on February 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It may not have been a must-win game for the Princeton University men’s basketball team but it certainly felt like it.

Mired in a three-game losing streak in Ivy League play as it hosted Dartmouth last Saturday evening, Princeton was in danger of sliding out of the race for the top four in the league standings and spot in the Ivy postseason tournament.

“We had our backs up against the wall with a three-game skid,” said Princeton senior star and co-captain Myles Stephens. more

SENIOR MOMENT: Princeton University women’s hockey player Karlie Lund controls the puck in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior forward and co-captain Lund chipped in an assist in a losing cause cause as Princeton fell 2-1 to visiting Rensselaer. The fifth-ranked Tigers, now 18-4-5 overall and 15-2-3 ECAC Hockey, will look to wrap up the league’s regular season title when they play at Clarkson on February 22 and at St. Lawrence on February 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Karlie Lund didn’t want to leave the ice at Hobey Baker Rink last Saturday evening after the Princeton University women’s hockey team hosted Rensselaer in its final regular season home game.

Senior forward and co-captain Lund and her classmates lingered on the rink after the program held its annual Senior Day ceremony, cavorting with each other and family members, skating back and forth and posing for a number of pictures.

Even though fifth-ranked Princeton had just lost 2-1 to Rensselaer, that didn’t put a damper on the festivities honoring the Class of 2019. more

SIX SHOOTER: Hun School boys’ hockey player Brian Nelson fires the puck last Friday in the Mercer County Tournament title game. Senior forward and captain Nelson scored three goals to help top-seeded Hun defeat second-seeded Princeton High 9-4 and earn the program’s sixth straight county crown. Nelson was named the MVP of the tournament as the Raiders ended the winter with a 15-8-1 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even before Brian Nelson joined the Hun School boys’ hockey program, he had visions of taking a leading role in a run to the Mercer County Tournament championship.

“I was in 7th grade and I went to the title game and I remember seeing that crowd,” recalled Nelson, who attended William Penn Middle School before coming to Hun in the fall of 2015. “I can’t wait to be that guy.” more

BACK TO BACK: Members of the Stuart Country Day School basketball team show off the trophies they earned after defeating Morristown-Beard 71-63 in the state Prep B final last Wednesday. It marked the second straight Prep B title for Stuart. The Tartans, now 17-9, will be going after another championship this week as they have advanced to the final four of the Mercer County Tournament. Stuart, seeded third, was slated to face second-seeded Pennington in the MCT semis on February 19 with the victor advancing to the title game on February 21 at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton.

By Bill Alden

After enduring some tough times in January, the Stuart Country Day School basketball team is enjoying a fantastic February.

“There were a lot of losses, our record was approaching .500,” said Stuart head coach Justin Leith, whose team went 4-5 in January as it faced a gauntlet of formidable foes. more

ROCK FIGHT: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Rocco Salvato handles the puck last Friday in the Mercer County Tournament championship game. Junior defenseman Salvato and the second-seeded Tigers fell 9-4 to top-seeded and six-time champion Hun. PHS, now 13-9-3, will start play in the Public B state tournament where it is seeded sixth and will host 11th-seeded Jackson Memorial in a first round contest on February 21 at ProSkate in Monmouth Junction. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having split its two regular season meetings against Notre Dame, the Princeton High boys’ hockey team looked forward to getting a rubber match with the Irish in the Mercer County Tournament semifinals last Wednesday.

“We were excited to get another crack at them,” said PHS junior star defenseman Rocco Salvato. “We just wanted to get off to a hot start, that was key.” more

FAST AND FURIOUS: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Anna Intartaglia races upcourt last Thursday as PHS hosted Allentown in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament. Senior point guard Intartaglia contributed six points, four assists, and two steals as the seventh-seeded Tigers defeated the 10th-seeded Redbirds 37-30. Two days later, PHS fell 66-50 at second-seeded Pennington in the MCT quarterfinals. The Tigers, now 15-7, are next in action in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional where they are seeded fourth and slated to host 13th-seeded Long Branch in a first round contest on February 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High girls’ basketball team trailing Allentown 23-22 entering the fourth quarter of their Mercer County Tournament opener last Thursday, Anna Intartaglia took matters into her hands.

PHS senior guard Intartaglia drained a three-pointer from the corner in the first possession of the quarter to give the seventh-seeded Tigers a 25-23 lead over the 10th-seeded Redbirds.

“I feel like threes are always a huge momentum shift, especially when someone hits one at a time like that,” said Intartaglia. “It was really cool.” more

February 13, 2019

Live ice carving was a highlight of the annual Hearts on Fire winter festival on Palmer Square last weekend. The event also featured music, a caricaturist, a Valentine craft station, and hospitality offerings at select establishments. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Donald Gilpin

With over 20 percent of its students absent last Thursday and Friday and almost as many on Monday, John Witherspoon Middle School (JWMS) has been hit especially hard by what the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is reporting as widespread influenza (flu) or “influenza-like illnesses” in all regions of the state.

Princeton Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane said that PPS has implemented “a disinfection protocol” at JWMS that began last Friday and will continue throughout this week.

“Our number of students reported absent is down today at JW Middle School,” Cochrane stated in an email Monday, “and although the percentage is still close to 20 percent, we are moving in a positive direction.” He urged parents to make sure that children who had the flu were fever-free for at least 24 hours before sending them back to school. So far, other Princeton schools have not reported high rates of illness or absenteeism. more

By Anne Levin

In his annual visit with Princeton Council on Monday night, February 11, Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber cited the recent announcement that Google has established an office in downtown Princeton, part of a collaboration with the University, as an example of a “win-win” relationship between the school and the town.

Eisgruber described the Google deal, which facilitates work the company is doing with University faculty and students on artificial intelligence, as “a win-win for the town as well as a win for the University,” he said. “These kinds of joint ventures really matter to our students.” He added that he hoped to see more such collaborations in the future.

Asked by Mayor Liz Lempert what such companies are looking for, Eisgruber said that “flexibility and nimbleness” are key. “Companies, as they come in, want to be as proximate to the town as they can be.” Council President Jenny Crumiller thanked Eisgruber for opening up the free Tiger Transit bus to the community, and asked whether the University is considering the possibility of autonomous vehicles as a way to facilitate transit. Shared vehicles would likely be a better solution to transit problems, he replied. more

By Anne Levin

Commuters angered by the ongoing suspension of the Dinky Line and the looming shutdown of Alexander Road in advance of bridge repairs have gotten a reprieve of sorts. Riders of the NJ Transit bus that has temporarily replaced the Dinky will be given a 25 percent discount until the train line is restored. And the Alexander Road closure for utility work is now going to take place on weekends instead of during the week.

Assemblyman Roy Freiman announced the Dinky discount in a press release on Tuesday. “I would like to applaud NJ Transit’s decision to extend a 25 percent ticket discount to riders of the Princeton Dinky Line who have been inconvenienced as the line remains suspended,” he said. “While there is still work to be done, this discount will give a sense of relief to those who have had to go out of their way to find a different route to get to work.”

Freiman continued, “I would like to thank Assemblyman Dan Benson for making my constituents a priority and spearheading the efforts to address their concerns with NJ Transit. I also would like to thank Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert for being a strong advocate for her residents. I look forward to continuing to work together to get full restoration of the Dinky Line as soon as possible.” more