December 2, 2015


CLOSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: Participants in the district’s new Mobile Access Program get tips from teacher Daniel Scibienski at a training session held at John Witherspoon School in October. More sessions will take place as the program expands to a total of about 200 eligible students across the district.

The Princeton Public Schools Mobile Access Program (MAP) will be providing all eligible students with free internet access and laptops, with the goal of giving every student in the district, regardless of means, with access to online educational resources to build their academic skills, to enhance communication between home and school, and to increase general knowledge.

So far 20 students in the district at John Witherspoon Middle School have received laptops and a Wi-Fi hotspot through the Sprint network, including three gigabytes of internet data each month at no cost.

The Princeton Education Foundation provided funding for this initiative, which will eventually extend to about 200 eligible students across the district. The ultimate goal of MAP is to ensure that every student can complete computer-based assignments and conduct academic research at home. A training session has taken place for the first group of participating families and more sessions will be scheduled as the program expands. more


BIG MAC: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Brendon -McCormick controls the puck in a game last season. Junior forward -McCormick  figures to be a go-to scorer for PHS this winter. The Little Tigers start their 2015-16 campaign by facing Nottingham on December 3 at Mercer County Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

While the Princeton High boys’ hockey team has suffered some heavy graduation losses, saying goodbye to eight seniors from last year, the formula for success remains the same. more

Pr Academy

Alfred F. (Rik) Dugan III (left) was officially installed as the second headmaster at Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart in a ceremony last month presided over by Abbot Brian H. Clarke (right), O.S.B. of St. Mary’s Abbey Delbarton School.  Mr. Dugan, who assumed his duties on July 1, 2015, praised “the palpable can-do spirit” at Princeton Academy, an independent school for boys in junior kindergarten through eighth grade. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton Academy)

Art Zink

ZINK’S “MERCER MAGIC” TALK: Clifford Zink will talk about his new book, “Mercer Magic: Roeblings, Kusers, The Mercer Automobile Company and America’s First Sports Car,” on Sunday, December 13, at 2 p.m. at Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum. The cost is $5 for members of the Trenton Museum Society and $10 for non-members. Pictured above is a photograph of New Mercers lined up at the factory for road testing in 1912.

Clifford W. Zink, the foremost expert on the Roebling family and the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company, talks about his new book, Mercer Magic: Roeblings, Kusers, The Mercer Automobile Company and America’s First Sports Car, on Sunday, December 13, at 2 p.m. at Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum, in Cadwalader Park, Trenton. The cost is $5 for members of the Trenton Museum Society and $10 for non-members.

Mercer Magic is a story of Trenton’s entrepreneurship, innovation, and national achievement in the exciting first decades of the 20th century when the new technology of automobiles was sweeping the country.

Members of the Roebling and Kuser families started the Mercer Automobile Company in 1909 to build automobiles “in a class by itself,” and that’s what they did. Mercer Automobile Company produced fine touring and sporting cars, most notably the two-seater Raceabout, which an amateur sportsman could drive around town during the week and take to the local track to race on weekends.  more

Art Provincetown

“DRIZZLY PROVINCETOWN DAY”: This 18×24 acrylic and collage on canvas is an example of local artist SiriOm Singh’s artwork. There will be an exhibition at the Blawenburg Café in Skillman displaying Singh’s “’scapes,” which include landscapes, seascapes, and inner scapes. The artist sees all images as portraits to create structures that have a personality and become living things that serve as a testament to how we care for our world. Singh’s exhibition will be on display until Friday, January 8.

Local artist SiriOm Singh will be displaying his art in Skillman’s Blawenburg Café located at 391 County Road 518 in Blawenburg until Friday, January 8. The work can be viewed weekdays from 7 a.m.–4 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. There will be an artist reception on Friday, December 5 from 6-8 p.m.

Singh sees himself as an abstract expressionist. He uses acrylic and collage applying layering techniques, primarily with a pallet knife, to create images that are intended to help the viewer experience inner peace, love, and unity.

The show displays recent images of landscapes and seascapes, some painted on location, and some recreated in the studio, from memory, or from the artist’s imagination. Singh sees all images as portraits – representations of our humanity and our need to plant ourselves solidly in the world. more



When Bogart tells Bergman “We’ll always have Paris” as they say their farewells in Casablanca, he’s responding to her plaintive question “What about us?” For Rick and Ilsa, Paris is another word for love. “We lost it until you came to Casablanca,” he tells her. “We got it back last night.”

While the city of the title is a Moorish fantasy fabricated on a back lot at Warners with stock footage of an overview, Paris is the absolute that will always be the City of Light as Humphrey Bogart will always be the epitome of cool, Ingrid Bergman the epitome of beauty, and “As Time Goes By” the theme song of their romance.

When the two lovers were reunited in Rick’s night club, they talked of the last time they were together, in a Montmartre cafe called the Belle Aurore on the day the Germans marched into Paris. “Not an easy day to forget,” said Rick. “I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue.” more


ON THE DEFENSIVE: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Gianluca Travia guards the blue line in a game last season. Junior Travia is being counted on to spearhead the PDS defense this winter as it looks to bounce back from a 3-16-1 season last year. The Panthers were slated to start the 2015-16 campaign by hosting St. Joe’s Prep on December 1, Montclair Kimberly on December 2, and the Hun School on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Going with a youth movement by necessity last winter, the Princeton Day School boy’s hockey team took its lumps.

As the proud program endured a 3-16-1 campaign, its younger players were fighting a losing battle on a nightly basis. more

For its annual Thanksgiving weekend concert this year, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) looked back through music history. NJSO concertmaster Eric Wyrick served as both conductor and violin soloist for three works harking back to the days before conductors formally stood in front of orchestras. Friday night’s NJSO performance in Richardson Auditorium showed the nearly full house how an instrumental ensemble can work within itself to create music rooted in solid communication and musical trust.

In his career, Mr. Wyrick has had extensive experience as both a follower and a leader in an ensemble; in conjunction with his position as concertmaster of NJSO, he regularly appears as soloist with orchestras worldwide and has recorded an extensive repertory. Friday night’s concert was centered on Antonio Vivaldi’s early 18th-century concerto set The Four Seasons, for which Mr. Wyrick served as violin soloist. In the four concerti selected, a chamber-sized NJSO demonstrated the true orchestral intricacy of 18th-century music with themes passed among players and complex musical conversations. Mr. Wyrick brought The Four Seasons into the 21st century by playing off an iPad, and added a wealth of 19th and 20th-century interpretive style to music which is sometimes considered repetitive. In this performance, nothing was boring, and there was tremendous variety in dynamics, contrast, and melodic lines.  more


AJ Cedeño and Graeme Malcolm as seen in a recent production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. Tickets start at just $25 and are available by calling the box office at (609) 258-2787 or online at Special discounts are available for groups of six or more. Purchase a McCarter Theatre membership and automatically receive one free ticket. (Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson)

The American Boychoir’s annual “Home for the Holidays” performance will take place at Richardson Auditorium on Sunday, December 20 at 4 p.m. To purchase tickets, call (609) 258-9220.

Artistic Director Fernando Malvar-Ruiz states, “This year’s holiday program was created as an homage to our many supporters and fans. It stemmed from this fundamental question: if people could pick one song for the American Boychoir to sing for them during the holidays, what would it be? The answers to that question put together an ‘all-star’ collection of favorites, as well as what I hope to be a most enjoyable concert experience.”

Earlier this year, there was some doubt that the American Boychoir School would even be open for the holidays, because the school filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April and the fate of the school was unknown. However, the American Boychoir School leadership, students, parents, and community came together in an unprecedented effort to not only keep the doors open, but to position the school and its revered choir for the future. The holiday season offers the perfect opportunity for the American Boychoir to celebrate and thank its many friends and supporters who are working so hard to keep the school open. more

Join the Princeton Singers for their traditional holiday favorite, A Child’s Christmas in Wales on Saturday, December 12 at 6 p.m. at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton.

Narrated by author Paul Watkins, holiday carols will be accompanied by a reading of Dylan Thomas’s classic story. This local favorite will be, as always, replete with snowballs, Christmas pranks, and a heart-warming ending.

The program is recommended for children ages 10 and older. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please visit


NTU Camillo 12-2-15

DINING ITALIANO: “We’re keeping the Camillo’s tradition with the same authentic Italian cuisine. At the same time, we are continuing to offer many of the Avanti specialties.” Camillo Tortola, chef/owner of the new Camillo’s Avanti in Pennington, is happy to offer his signature Italian cuisine to both former and new customers.

Good news! Camillo is back. After a hiatus of two years during which time he had closed Camillo’s Cafe in the Princeton Shopping Center, Camillo Tortola has opened Camillo’s Avanti.

He recently purchased Avanti Restaurant at 23 West Delaware Street in Pennington, and is now ready to offer customers his traditional classic Italian cuisine in Camillo’s signature relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” says Chef Tortola, quoting Virginia Woolf.

As a chef, he has been devoted to creating delicious authentic Italian dishes. It is what he has been doing his adult life, and what fascinated him when he was a boy. Born in Italy, and brought up by his grandmother in the small village of Miranda, Camillo was intrigued by his grandmother’s cooking. more

November 25, 2015

library-directorFollowing a vote by the Princeton Public Library’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday evening, Brett Bonfield was named to succeed Leslie Burger as the library’s executive director. Mr. Bonfield, who is currently the director of the Collingswood Public Library, will take over on January 19, 2016. Ms. Burger is retiring in January after 16 years at the library.

“Brett is a committed and experienced community builder,” said Kiki Jamieson, president of the Board. “He is an advocate for public libraries and all who use them, and I have been impressed with his deep commitment to nurturing libraries as the heart and hearth of diverse communities. I think he will build on the excellence to which we as a community have become accustomed.”

Mr. Bonfield was selected from a field of 25 candidates during a national search, which also included Canada. Assisting Library Strategies International LLC were search committee members John Anagbo, supervisor for language arts and social studies at Princeton High School; Jan Johnson, retired librarian and former head of the library’s Youth Service Department; and Jane Silverman, president of Jane Silverman and Associates and former chairperson of the Princeton Public Library Foundation. more


Look down the table at Saturday’s Princeton Future Meeting and you’ll see the embodiment of the future, recalling Loudon Wainwright III’s song, “Be Careful, There’s a Baby in the House,” which tells us “a baby will not be fooled … will play it for real … and is better than smart.” (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)


GOING TO THE MATT: Princeton University football player Matt Arends surveys the action in a game earlier this fall. Last Saturday, senior linebacker and co-captain Arends fought hard in his last game for the Tigers, making nine tackles and forcing a fumble in a losing cause as Princeton fell 17-10 at Dartmouth. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 5-5 overall and 2-5 Ivy League. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In 2013, the Princeton University football team played at Dartmouth in the season finale needing a win to clinch an outright Ivy League title only to get upended 28-24 by the Big Green. more

The company that owns the Agricola restaurant has been chosen by Princeton University to run a bar and bistro in the former Dinky train station buildings across from McCarter Theatre. The buildings are part of the Arts and Transit project currently under construction on the campus.

Fenwick Hospitality Group, founded by local resident Jim Nawn, has proposed a bar for the smaller, north building, with 60 indoor seats and 30 seasonal seats outside. Drinks, including cocktails, wine, and beer, would be served, as well as small bites for lunch and dinner. In the south building, formerly where baggage was handled, there would be a bistro serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The menu would be French-influenced. Seating for 125 inside and 50 outside, counter seating, and a private dining room are also part of the plan. more

In the aftermath of a 32-hour sit-in at Nassau Hall, culminating last Thursday in an agreement, a follow-up letter Sunday from University President Christopher L. Eisgruber, and much ensuing controversy, Princeton University will be examining its past, present, and future in order to “make Princeton a more welcoming and supportive community for all its members.”

At the center of the controversy are two Princeton University presidents: Woodrow Wilson, University president from 1902 to 1910 and U.S. president from 1913-21, whom Princeton has honored with the establishment of its prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and its Wilson residential college, but whose record on race is disturbing; and Mr. Eisgruber, currently in his third year as Princeton president, who, after acknowledging that Woodrow Wilson was racist, met last Wednesday and Thursday with the protesting members of the Black Justice League (BJL) student organization, and agreed to follow up on their concerns in a series of discussions with trustees and various groups of students, staff and alumni. more

Theater PBS

NEW ORIGINAL PBS SERIES: The Lewis Center for the Arts presents a screening of the new PBS Civil War drama, “Mercy Street” on Monday, December 7 at 7 p.m. followed by a panel discussion moderated by Christina Lazaridi. Both events are free and open to the public, but advance reservations are strongly recommended. Tickets can be reserved at (Photo Courtesy of Antony Platt/PBS)

The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University will present a special preview screening of the new PBS Civil War era drama series Mercy Street on Monday, December 7 at 7 p.m. in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street. The screening, preceded by a reception beginning at 6:15 p.m., is free and open to the public, however advance reservations are encouraged.

Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862, Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict; Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a staunch New England abolitionist, and Emma Green (Hannah James), a naive young Confederate belle. The two collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel that has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army Hospital in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest-occupied Confederate city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria is now the melting pot of the region, filled with soldiers, civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded fighting men from both sides, runaway slaves, prostitutes, speculators, and spies. more


A HOME FOR BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS: At a recent ribbon-cutting, Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert, left, and Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber, right, officially opened the University’s Entrepreneurial Hub. Flanking them on the portico were Provost David Lee, left, and Mung Chiang, right, who directs the University’s Keller Center and chairs its Princeton Entrepreneurial Center. (Photo by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications)

Like most contemporary educational institutions, Princeton University considers entrepreneurship a priority — so much so that it has dedicated a 10,000-square-foot building in downtown Princeton for just that purpose. The Entrepreneurial Hub officially opened with a ribbon-cutting on November 11, confirming the school’s commitment to innovation among its students and partnerships with the local community.

The red brick building at 34 Chambers Street has served throughout its history as offices for the telephone company, the Gallup company, William Sword & Company, and Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty. The University is renting it from owner Kinsale Properties, of which Jud and Matt Henderson are principal partners. more


MAKING A SPLASH: Princeton University men’s water polo goalie Vojislav Mitrovic guards the net in a game this season. Last Sunday, sophomore standout Mitrovic made 14 saves to help Princeton edge Johns Hopkins 7-6 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) championship game. Mitrovic was named the MVP of the CWPA tourney. The win earned the Tigers, now 22-4, a spot in the NCAA tournament where they will be facing UC-San Diego in a play-in game on December 2 at UCLA with the Final 4 taking place at the same site from December 5-6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Even though the Princeton University men’s water polo team had already beaten Johns Hopkins three times this season, Luis Nicolao felt the pressure was on his squad when it faced the Blue Jays in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) championship game last Sunday. more

Saint Peter’s University Hospital has been recognized for the fourth consecutive year as a national “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures” by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in the United States.

Saint Peter’s was the only hospital in its geographic portion of central New Jersey — defined as Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon, and Mercer counties — to be cited on Tuesday for excellence in all six of the categories measured by The Joint Commission: heart failure, heart attack, surgical care, pneumonia, childhood asthma, and perinatal care.

Among those categories, Saint Peter’s was one of only two hospitals in New Jersey cited for excellence in the care of childhood asthma. In addition, Saint Peter’s was one of only 17 of the 71 hospitals in New Jersey that submitted data to receive the Top Performer award for 2014. On a broader scale, Saint Peter’s is among only six percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals in the United States to earn Top Performer status for clinical quality for four consecutive years.  more

Cherry Hill

Pre-schoolers from Cherry Hill Nursery School in Princeton gathered items for the Crisis Ministry food pantry of Mercer County in preparation for Thanksgiving distributions.

Six new police officers, sworn in two weeks ago, are preparing to take on the ever-increasing challenges of police work in Princeton 2016.

From a pool of more than 800 applicants, the officers passed a written exam, a physical exam, two panel reviews, an intensive background investigation, and two additional interviews.

Princeton Police Chief Nicholas Sutter described the search for “a diverse pool of candidates who possess intelligence, integrity, empathy, strong communication skills, and physical fitness.”

The number of officers in the Princeton Police Department (PPD) will remain at 52, with the new recruits taking the place of retirees over the past few years.  more


SENIOR LEADER: Stuart Country Day school cross country runner Lindsay Craig displays her form in a race this fall. Senior star Craig placed 20th individually in the state Prep B meet this fall even though she wasn’t at full strength for much of the season. She helped Stuart finish fifth in the team standings at the Prep B meet and post a 10-0 record in dual meets. Craig earned All-Prep B honors all four years of her career.

Len Klepack was cautiously optimistic as his Stuart Country Day cross country team prepared for the fall.

“We felt we had a better team than we have had in the past,” said Stuart head coach Klepack. more


Princeton Day School junior Ruchita Zaparde has been named a 2015 Nickelodeon HALO (Help and Lead Others) Honoree for her work with the non-profit organization Sew a Future, which provides sewing machines to widows with young children in rural India.  The HALO awards show will air on Nickelodeon on Sunday, November 29 at 7 p.m.  Ruchita’s fundraising efforts have helped more than 213 widows acquire sewing machines.