October 22, 2014

The Princeton Senior Resource Center will hold its tenth annual fall conference on Saturday, November 1, theme “Technology and Aging Independently.” The event will be held at the Suzanne Patterson Building, 45 Stockton Street, starting at 8:30 a.m.

The day includes a keynote speaker, a resource fair featuring representatives from area organizations, vendors with information about new products and services, and a series of topical workshops led by industry professionals.

In lockstep with Princeton’s recent designation by the World Health Organization as an “Age-Friendly Community,” this conference is designed to address both user-friendly and cutting-edge technology. PSRC Executive Director Susan Hoskins says, “We want to make people aware of emerging technologies that can help them stay active in our community. It’s exciting to learn about these modalities that can help us stay socially connected, engaged in lifelong learning, have unlimited information at our fingertips, stay healthier and have tools to help us manage our own lives as we age.”

The keynote speaker is Tobey Gordon Dichter, founder and CEO of Generations on Line, a national nonprofit company dedicated to simplifying the internet through special software available to more than 1800 facilities nationwide, including public libraries, senior centers, retirement communities, and low-income elder housing. She will address the many ways that technology is currently being used to help people maintain independence.

Workshop presenters and their guests will introduce numerous opportunities that are currently available or coming soon. The leaders include Barbara Lundy and Don Benjamin, PSRC’s Computer Lab facilitators, who will present “Getting Started,” an introduction to internet resources and online safety; Tom Callahan, of Answers for Issues Consulting, who will shed light on Social Media, Online Education and Entertainment; Barbara Vaning from Princeton HealthCare System Community Outreach, who will offer a workshop on electronic medical records, online consultations, hospital, and home technologies; Holly Hardaway from Independent Domain, who will describe the multiple ways technology can be implemented to support home safety; and Annette Murphy of Senior Care Management and Janet Hauge from the Princeton Public Library, who will show how to pay bills, shop, communicate, and learn through social media.

As our culture becomes ever more technology-oriented and dependent, PSRC is committed to helping our community stay connected. This conference is an opportunity for anyone interested in the latest, most practical technologies to learn which gadgets, devices, and apps are useful, and which to ignore or reject.

The conference is free; pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Call (609) 924-7108.

A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

When the Spring Street Garage next to Princeton Public Library opened a decade ago, the technology used for payment was considered state-of-the-art. But not for long.

“We were at the cutting edge, we thought. But that cutting edge lasted about 30 minutes,” joked Bob Bruschi, the town’s administrator. Mr. Bruschi was speaking to members of the Princeton Merchants Association Tuesday morning about parking, a hot topic among those who patronize local establishments and those who run them.

Along with Mayor Liz Lempert and the town’s Assistant Engineer Deanna Stockton, Mr. Bruschi was at the meeting to get feedback from merchants about some parking innovations being considered for the garage and other locations in the central business district. The topic will be on the agenda at the next Princeton Council meeting on Monday, October 27.

“Technology has changed so much,” said Mr. Bruschi, who recalled that parking meters cost six cents an hour when he was growing up in Princeton. “We’re at the point now where we know we need to make some decisions. We’re very excited over the options, but we’re also nervous about them.”

Anyone who parks in the Spring Street Garage knows the frustration of getting caught behind a line of vehicles trying to exit when the gate malfunctions. Whether to upgrade the present post-pay infrastructure at the garage or switch to a pre-pay system is the main question, Ms. Stockton said in her presentation. “The post-pay infrastructure is a very easy system, as long as it works,” she said. “Pre-pay is more difficult, but there are advantages.”

Among the options with pre-paying are bulk coupons for merchants to offer customers, and the ability to make payments, validations, and adding time through cell phones and computers. While the pre-pay option would be cheapest for the municipality, keeping the post-payment option is “in the mid-range,” Ms. Stockton said. “It’s just a matter of switching out the technology.” The most costly option would be hiring people to take payments in booths, as in the Palmer Square garage.

Mr. Bruschi said the technical abilities of people who park in town are being considered. “Are they savvy enough? We do have an aging population,” he said. “Would we drive people away if it was too advanced?”

Joanne Farrugia, who owns Jazam’s in Palmer Square, said she has concerns about the more technologically advanced option. “We still have customers who don’t get it about getting their parking validated,” she said. “You just want to keep it as simple as possible.” Others in the audience expressed similar sentiments.

There are 1,100 single-head meters, seven surface lots, and three parking garages in Princeton. Multi-space meters have been installed on Alexander Street and at the temporary Dinky train station, and more will be added when the new Dinky station opens next month, Ms. Stockton said.

The Spring Street Garage is a priority because of its aging technology. Asked whether they would favor upgrading the post-payment system or switching to a pre-payment initiative, most at the meeting raised their hands for the former. A few more indicated they were undecided.

“I understand wanting to keep it simple,” said Mr. Bruschi. “But we also want to be able to grow this as people become more technologically savvy.”

At the close of the meeting, Mr. Bruschi, who is retiring at the end of the year after 15 years on the job, was presented with a gift from the Princeton Merchants Association for his service to the business community.

 

Prompted by the repeated failure of the Princeton Regional Education Association (PREA) and the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education (BOE) to negotiate a new contract for Princeton’s teachers and other staff, two concerned Princeton residents have formed a new group.

Attorney Nicole Soffin and public relations consultant Jennifer Lea Cohan created Community for Princeton Public Schools in an effort to “promote awareness, connection and support for the Princeton Public Schools.”

“[The group] was launched in response to the confusion and curiosity many people feel about the current negotiations between PREA and the Board of Education,” said Ms. Cohan, who is urging those interested to attend an inaugural community gathering in front of the School District’s Administration Building at 25 Valley Road, today, October 22, between 4 and 5 p.m.

The gathering is timed to take place prior to tonight’s second bargaining session between union representatives and members of the school board.

The first bargaining session, on October 2, had lasted less than an hour before members of the PREA negotiating team walked out. At that time, PREA Chief Negotiator John Baxter and PREA President Joanne Ryan cited the District’s failure to “put a counter proposal on the table.”

Negotiations have stalled repeatedly over the issues of health care, salary increases, and a profound disagreement over the intent and impact of N.J. law Chapter 78.

The crux of the issue is whether premium contributions are subject to collective bargaining under the Chapter 78 law. PREA contends that, after this year, premium contributions are subject to collective bargaining. But, according to the District, increases in healthcare costs have been “imposed by State Law Chapter 78” and the union’s demands are “simply unaffordable.”

Such entrenchment provided the impetus for Ms. Soffin and Ms. Cohan, who said that today’s Community for Princeton Public Schools gathering, which will take place without a speaker or a formal program, is intended in “support of a positive resolution to the negotiations.”

“Public education affects the vibrance, safety, property values and prosperity of a community,” the group said in an email to supporters. “[Princeton] has a legacy of respect for public education. Your show of support, either physical, virtual, or both (#comm4pps), is essential to continuing this legacy.”

Using email and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the group is spreading word of today’s gathering to local media, PTO groups, School Board members, the Superintendent of Princeton Schools, as well as community organizations and others.

In anticipation of tonight’s bargaining session, Mr. Baxter said yesterday that he was hoping for progress. “We enter the session prepared with proposals to do our part should the Board agree to negotiate premium contributions or an equivalent proposal,” he said, adding that he was looking for answers from the Board in advance of the public meeting on October 28.

In an email, yesterday, District representative Patrick Sullivan commented: “The goals of the board’s negotiations team have not changed since these negotiations began. We want an agreement that 1) is fair to and affirming of our teachers, whom we value; 2) is affordable for the duration of the new agreement; and 3) ensures the sustainability of the high quality of programs, staffing levels and class sizes we all value for the children in our public schools. We hope the PREA will work with us to achieve that, within the limits of what is possible and compliant with the laws of our State.”

The Board of Education is due to meet Tuesday, October 28, at 8 p.m., at which time Princeton residents are expected to put some difficult questions with respect to Chapter 78, the schools budget, and other matters (See Letters to the Editor, page 14).

Following next week’s board meeting, the two sides will have the help of a state-appointed mediator in their search for common ground. Kathy Vogt, Esq. assisted with negotiations for the 2011-2014 contract which expired June 30 but continues in operation until the terms and conditions of a new contract can be agreed upon. She will work with both sides on November 20.

For more information on Community for Princeton Public Schools, contact: comm4pps@gmail.com, Facebook (comm4pps), Twitter & Instagram, @comm4PPS.

As the former Princeton Hospital building is steadily dismantled, officials are keeping a close eye С or ear С on decibel levels. AvalonBay, the developer building a rental complex on the Witherspoon Street site, has an acoustical consultant on hand, while engineering and health officers from the municipality and Mercer County continue to monitor the sounds of crunching concrete.

While complaints have been lodged by a number of area residents, acceptable noise levels have not been exceeded so far. But that could change once the largest of the buildings come down. “They’re sort of acting as a shield for the neighborhood right now,” said Bob Kiser, the town’s municipal engineer. “So it remains to be seen how things will work out once they get started on those buildings.”

Depending on the weather, that could happen within the next month. Excessively cold temperatures could halt the demolition because the misting operation being used to help control dust could freeze, Mr. Kiser said.

Princeton’s health officer Jeffrey Grosser said most of the noise issues reported by residents have had to do with work on the parking garage, where removal of the upper level concrete floor deck is being replaced with a new concrete deck. “That was addressed through some noise dampening walls they had purchased, which worked pretty effectively,” he said. “There were also some blankets in use. But obviously with the larger structure coming down, that will change.”

Council member Jo Butler said that she and fellow Council member Jenny Crumiller have been contacted on a number of occasions by residents bothered by the noise. “But Bob Kiser and [health officer] Jeff Grosser have been terrific, really getting out there and working with the county,” she said. “I really think they’re doing their best.”

Mr. Grosser, Mr. Kiser, the town’s construction official, and land use engineer Jack West have been meeting at the demolition site every Monday with representatives from AvalonBay and Yannuzzi Wrecking and Recycling to go over the progress, Mr. Grosser said. At the most recent meeting, the issue of an odor was raised.

“My initial evaluation was that it was due to some kind of exhaust from one of the machines,” Mr. Grosser said. “I haven’t heard anything else. There were no odors on Monday when we were out there.”

Demolition work on the former hospital site, to make room for the 280 unit rental property, began September 22. Three of eight buildings have already been razed, leaving another five to be taken down. The overall project is expected to take another six months, according to progress reports from the town.

Should noise levels become extreme once the larger buildings are dismantled, “we will take readings and appropriate action if we have to,” Mr. Kiser said. “We would have to document it and then go back and determine what can be done to reduce the noise. If necessary, I’m sure our attorneys will be dealing with it.”

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Compared to certain past years, the scene appears calm and orderly during Friday’s opening preview of the Friends of the Princeton Public Library’s Annual Book Sale. Dealers like the man in the foreground came armed with price scanners. This year’s three-day sale was another record breaker. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

October 20, 2014

At a conference held at Princeton University this past weekend, University president Christopher L. Eisgruber announced that the papers of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who taught at Princeton for 17 years, are now in the permanent library collection of the school.

Mr. Eisgruber made the announcement in Richardson Auditorium to those attending the conference, “Coming Back: Reconnection Princeton’s Black Alumni,” following a tribute to Ms. Morrison’s legacy at the University by trustee Ruth Simmons and before an onstage interview with Ms. Morrison by Claudia Brodsky, professor of comparative literature.

“Toni Morrison’s place among the giants of American literature is firmly entrenched, and I am overjoyed that we are adding her papers to the Princeton University Library’s collections,” Mr. Eisgruber said. “This extraordinary resource will provide scholars and students with unprecedented insights into Professor Morrison’s remarkable life and her magnificent, influential literary works. We at Princeton are fortunate that Professor Morrison brought her brilliant talents as a writer and teacher to our campus 25 years ago, and we are deeply honored to house her papers and to help preserve her inspiring legacy.”

Ms. Morrison was awarded an honorary doctorate from Princeton in 2013. She came to the University in 1989 and was a member of the creative writing program until retiring in 2006. In 1994, she founded the Princeton Atelier, bringing together undergraduates in interdisciplinary collaborations with acclaimed artists and performers.

Ms. Morrison’s papers include about 180 linear feet of research materials documenting the author’s life, work, and writing methods, according to Don Skemer, curator of manuscripts in the University Library’s Department of rare Books and Special Collections.

The papers have been gathered from many locations over time, beginning with manuscripts and other original materials that the library’s preservation office recovered and conserved after a fire in 1993 at Morrison’s home in Grandview, New York. Manuscripts, drafts and proofs for her most famous novels as well as materials for children’s literature, lyrics, lectures, non-fiction writing, and more are included.

Over the next year, archivists will focus on the arrangement, description, cataloging, preservation, and selective digitization of the papers to make them available for research. An exhibit of some of Ms. Morrison’s papers are on display through November 24 in the Main Gallery of Firestone Library.

October 16, 2014

A limited number of tickets remain for the Dalai Lama’s talk at Princeton University on Tuesday, October 28. The tickets will be made available to the public online from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21. Tickets are free.

One ticket per person will be available. Those who obtain them will be notified by noon on Wednesday, October 22, by email. Tickets must then be picked up in person by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 24.

The Dalai Lama’s talk is entitled “Develop the Heart.” When his appearance was announced last month, the 1,000 tickets made available to the general public were taken within minutes. The remaining 3,000 went to University students, faculty and staff. The University will provide a live-streaming broadcast of the lecture at mediacentrallive.princeton.edu.

An event for a selected group of students and faculty will be held following the talk.The Dalai Lama will focus on the University’s motto, “In the Nation’s Service and in the Service of all Nations.”

October 15, 2014
GEORGIAN BRICK FOR TODAY: The style of the new Marion Buckelew Cullen Center at The Westminster Choir College of Rider University might echo the past but its construction is very much up to contemporary standards. The first new construction at the college in 39 years, the $8.5 million project, designed by KSS Architects, has received LEED Silver Certification. An open house offers a tour of new rehearsal and performance spaces as well as an afternoon of musical performances by faculty and students on Sunday, October 26, from 1 to 5 p.m.

GEORGIAN BRICK FOR TODAY: The style of the new Marion Buckelew Cullen Center at The Westminster Choir College of Rider University might echo the past but its construction is very much up to contemporary standards. The first new construction at the college in 39 years, the $8.5 million project, designed by KSS Architects, has received LEED Silver Certification. An open house offers a tour of new rehearsal and performance spaces as well as an afternoon of musical performances by faculty and students on Sunday, October 26, from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Westminster Choir College of Rider University, on Walnut Lane next door to Princeton High School, will treat members of the Princeton community to a look inside its new building on Sunday, October 26, from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Open House will showcase the The Marion Buckelew Cullen Center, with a tour of the building and afternoon of musical performances by faculty and students.

The new Center’s design, by the Princeton firm KSS Architects, was inspired by the Georgian style of the four original buildings surrounding the Morgan Quadrangle at the center of the college campus. The $8.5 million project was funded by pledges, gifts, and grants from various sources.

Named in honor of Marion Buckelew Cullen, a long time supporter of the Choir College, the building was erected in less than a year since ground broke in September of 2013.“It was finished in August and ready for students at the start of this school year,” said Anne Sears, Rider University’s director of external affairs, who led this reporter on a tour of the new facility Monday. “Some wonderful time lapse photography on our website [www.rider.edu/wcc/about-us/construction] shows the building taking shape through all of the snow storms we had last winter.”

The outcome has been LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified at the Silver level for construction focused on pollution prevention as well as its use of green power, low emitting materials, wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), recycled materials, low water use, and storm water management.

The first new construction on the campus in 39 years, the Center boasts a 3,000-square-foot performance and rehearsal hall, the Hillman Performance Hall, named in recognition of a $3 million grant in support of the project from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

The hall has acoustical panels that can be moved according to the varying sound requirements of symphony orchestra, choir, small ensembles. A peek inside reveals Director of Choir Activities Joe Miller at work with the Westminster Choir, rehearsing in the new space.

There’s also a green room and three flexibly configured classrooms that will accommodate a wide range of academic and choral uses. The Center and its restrooms are handicap-accessible.

The airy classrooms are all sound isolated, as is the entire building. “A lot of money, care, and attention went into the acoustics,” said Ms. Sears, pointing out the state-of-the-art audio/visual technology. “The quality of the acoustics is such that we can produce professional recordings here, as was demonstrated recently when we webcast to alumnae around the world. This new building and the technology we have will allow us to bring Westminster to the world in new ways that will raise the profile of the school.”

The large entry way and lobby is painted in a soft Williamsburg Blue and looks out onto a green lawn that forms a quadrangle between the new building and the existing campus. The courtyard in front of the Center and the as yet unnamed “quad” is expected to be a primary outdoor venue for Westminster student and alumni events.

Located next to and connecting to one of the College’s existing rehearsal and performance spaces, The Playhouse, the new Center creates much needed access for audiences who used to have to stand outside waiting to get inside. No more, said Ms. Sears. “Now we have a real box office, no more standing in the rain to get into The Playhouse,” she said, noting that an upgrade to The Playhouse will be the “next step.” The building where Leonard Bernstein once rehearsed could use some changing rooms, for example. “The Playhouse has phenomenal acoustics as Bernstein noted; he loved it.”

Having had a long association with the Choir College, Ms. Cullen could recall campus rehearsals “when some of the world’s greatest conductors, such as Leonard Bernstein and Riccardo Muti, came to prepare students for major orchestral performances.”

Ms. Cullen, who died in 2012, was one of the Westminster Choir College’s strongest supporters. She had no children and left her entire $5 million estate to the Westminster Choir College.

“I knew Marion very well,” said Ms. Sears, who has been with the Choir College since 1984. “She was not someone who would draw attention to herself and she would be surprised to see her name on the building, but I am sure she would be absolutely thrilled to see a building that was being used so thoughtfully and so well.”

Descended from three of New Jersey’s oldest families, the Buckelews, the Housels, and the Stouts. Ms. Cullen was a graduate of the New Jersey College for Women, now Douglass College of Rutgers University, where she majored in English, history and the dramatic arts. From 1983 to 1989, she was a member of the Westminster Choir College Board of Trustees.

In 2003, when she received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from the College, she said: “I’ve traveled extensively throughout my life. No matter where I’ve been in the world, whether it was attending services at a Presbyterian Church in Egypt or the chapel of West Point, I’ve encountered a Westminster graduate. They are undoubtedly the best.”

Ms. Cullen described the honorary degree as a “highlight of my life.”

Celebratory Events

As befits a music college, the Open House will include performances by ensembles, students, and faculty from Westminster Choir College and Westminster Conservatory, Westminster’s community music school.

Arrive at 1 p.m. to hear the Conservatory’s Suzuki Violin Ensemble performing favorite works by Vivaldi, Schumann, Bach, and Suzuki. At 1:30 p.m., students in the High School Honors Music Program: pianists Benjamin Qi, Richard Qi, and Charlie Liu, and violinist Dallas Noble will present violin and piano duets, with excerpts of Corigliano’s Gazebo Dances and Grieg’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 45.

Westminster Choir College student pianist Asher Severini will perform movements of Barber’s Piano Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 26, at 2 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m., the Westminster Community Orchestra, will present highlights from Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, conducted by Ruth Ochs with narrator Lois Laverty.

Children will have an opportunity to “Meet the Instruments” at 3 p.m. followed by other performances by the Westminster Opera Theatre, the Westminster Chinese Instrument Orchestra, the Cantus Children’s Choir, conducted by Patricia Thel, and Westminster Harmonie, a chamber music ensemble composed of Westminster Conservatory faculty and advanced students.

Admission is free. For more information, visit: www.rider.edu/cullen.

 

Dogs and cats in need of loving homes will come to Palmer Square on Sunday, October 19 from noon to 3 p.m., when SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals and Palmer Square hosts “SAVE on the Square.”

In keeping with National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, this family-friendly event is designed to raise awareness about the “adoption option” for homeless dogs and cats and to showcase several of SAVE’s furry friends.

“We approached SAVE about hosting this event with us because we admire their work, as do many supporters in the community,” says Anita Fresolone, marketing director for Palmer Square Management. “We felt that coming up with a way to showcase them on the Green would be great exposure for their mission.”

The afternoon will include a visit from the Trenton Thunder mascot from noon to 1 p.m., a demonstration by the Princeton Dog Training Club from 1-2 p.m., local, pet-friendly vendors, and a veterinarian to answer pet-related questions.

Games and raffle prizes will be donated by Palmer Square stores and restaurants. There will be a 50/50 raffle (drawing to take place on November 15), and children can enter an art contest by submitting a drawing of “their perfect day with a pet.”

Since 1941, SAVE has been dedicated to strengthening the human-animal bond. The SAVE family works to make a difference in the lives of many deserving pets by cleaning cages, walking dogs, socializing the animals in residence, and assisting with special events. SAVE depends on the community at large to support the shelter’s dogs and cats in residence. For more information about SAVE or SAVE on the Square, call (609) 921-6122.

TIME FOR TEA: This image of perhaps the most famous tea kettle ever, is one that evokes the name of Princeton’s own Michael Graves, the internationally renowned architect and designer who has won numerous awards and distinctions including the National Medal of Arts. Mr. Graves’s work has been widely exhibited and published, and his drawings, paintings, and objects have found permanent homes in museums and private collections around the world. A retrospective of his work, “Michael Graves: Past as Prologue,” marks the 50th anniversary of his design firm, and opens at Grounds for Sculpture Saturday, October 18. For more information, visit: www.groundsforsculpture.org. For more on Mr. Graves, visit www.michaelgraves.com.

TIME FOR TEA: This image of perhaps the most famous tea kettle ever, is one that evokes the name of Princeton’s own Michael Graves, the internationally renowned architect and designer who has won numerous awards and distinctions including the National Medal of Arts. Mr. Graves’s work has been widely exhibited and published, and his drawings, paintings, and objects have found permanent homes in museums and private collections around the world. A retrospective of his work, “Michael Graves: Past as Prologue,” marks the 50th anniversary of his design firm, and opens at Grounds for Sculpture Saturday, October 18. For more information, visit: www.groundsforsculpture.org. For more on Mr. Graves, visit www.michaelgraves.com.

Grounds For Sculpture’s Fall/Winter exhibition season features an installation of work by internationally acclaimed artist and architect Michael Graves. The exhibition, “Michael Graves: Past as Prologue,” will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Graves’ design firm and its five decades of visionary work. It will run from October 18 through April 5, 2015.

The exhibition will feature a tour through seminal architecture and product design projects, and will display some of Graves’ original works of art, including sculpture and paintings. It will reflect the evolution of Mr. Graves’ core design principles and how the past influences the present, setting the stage for the future.

On view in the Museum, Domestic Arts Building, and Welcome Center, “Past as Prologue” will present projects ranging from rarely seen work from 1964 through current work “on the boards.” Some of Graves’ most influential architectural designs will be on display including the iconic Denver Central Library and the Team Disney Building in Burbank. Also featured will be everyday objects such as his celebrated ALESSI teakettle and a collection of bowls and vases for Steuben Glass.

The exhibition will reflect the breadth of the Princeton architect’s accomplishments at every scale. Visitors will have a rare glimpse at the early Linear City project on which Graves collaborated with architect Peter Eisenman. They will also have an opportunity to see the progression of Graves’s design philosophy and the core values he developed with his collaborators and gain insight into how such a broad spectrum of work produced across five decades is inter-connected.

“Reminiscing over 50 years of projects is wonderful for me, but I am most excited about how the future of our practice is evolving from the energetic collaboration of our disciplines,” commented Michael Graves. “I hope that visitors experience the many scales of our designs with the same joy that we feel in creating them.”

In addition to an extensive collection of Graves’ architectural models, products, furniture, paintings, sculptural pieces, and photos of built projects from around the world, some of his never-before-seen drawings will also be on view, providing a behind-the scenes glimpse into the design process from original concept to the final product or project.

“Michael is a true visionary,” said GFS Chief Curator Tom Moran. “This exhibition will feature many of his never-before-seen drawings created over five decades, which will enable visitors to experience his thought process in the same space as the finished product. He approaches every project with a human sensibility; whether it’s a hotel, office building, or product for home and health, he insists that it be intuitive and functional. And he is able to balance this requirement with streamlined design and a heightened aesthetic. He is a master at his craft, and we are so pleased to be able to share his work and celebrate the 50 years leading up to this momentous exhibition.”

Throughout the duration of “Michael Graves: Past as Prologue,” GFS will offer special events, talks, tours, and hands-on art-making workshops for families and adults, in addition to a film series and a Product Design Challenge, all inspired by the exhibition. This exhibition has been made possible in part through the generous support of its presenting sponsor, Kimberly-Clark, and by ALESSI, one of the leading “factories of Italian design.”

For more information, visit: www.groundsforsculpture.org.

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Princeton Police have charged 22-year-old Taquan E. Knight, with the Hamilton Jewelers robbery that occurred on October, 5, 2014, when a Rolex Sky-Dweller watch valued at over $46,000 was stolen by a black male who fled the store.

Networking between police agencies in Princeton and Pittsburgh, Pa, led to Knight’s identification.

He was allegedly arrested for a similar robbery in Pittsburgh, Pa, last Tuesday, October 7, when he attempted to flee a jewelry store with a Rolex watch. He was stopped and detained by a store security officer until police arrived. Knight is being held at the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh on charges stemming from the theft.

Princeton Police charged Knight with one count of second-degree robbery and one count of third-degree theft.  Bail was set at $50,000.00.

 

BOOK NIRVANA: The Library’s Community Room will once again be the place to go for book lovers when the Friends of the Princeton Public Library’s annual event opens with a $10 Preview Sale Friday, October 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. Starting at noon, admission to the event is free for the remainder of the sale. Hours are noon-8:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

BOOK NIRVANA: The Library’s Community Room will once again be the place to go for book lovers when the Friends of the Princeton Public Library’s annual event opens with a $10 Preview Sale Friday, October 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. Starting at noon, admission to the event is free for the remainder of the sale. Hours are noon-8:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

The 2014 Friends of the Princeton Public Library Book Sale, which will take place October 17-19 in the library’s Community Room and in a tent on Hinds Plaza, features a substantial donation from the collection of John Wilmerding, former senior curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and professor emeritus of American Art at Princeton University. Included in this collection are books inscribed to Mr. Wilmerding by photographer Walker Evans as well as other renowned artists and art scholars.

The event features nearly 10,000 books for all ages on a wide variety of topics. Most books are priced between $1 and $3, with art books and special selections priced higher. The sale opens with a preview on Friday, October 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. A ticket for the preview sale is $10, but is free for Friends of the Library. Numbered tickets will be available at the door starting at 8 a.m. Customers enter the sale in numerical order. This year, barcode scanners will be permitted at the tables, but collecting books to scan will not be allowed.

Starting at noon, admission to the book sale is free for the remainder of the sale. Hours are noon-8:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

On Sunday, books will be sold at half price in the Community Room and in the tent on Hinds Plaza. From 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, a Bag Sale will be held in the tent where a standard grocery bag can be filled with books for $5. Bags will be supplied at the sale.

In addition to the Wilmerding donation, the sale includes a large number of art, history, and political science books, and good selections in classics and literature, fiction, children’s and numerous other categories. Buyers will also find many old and unusual books, books in a variety of foreign languages for both adults and children, sheet music, CDs, DVDs (including many popular series), and audiobooks.

Other special items at this year’s sale include: a trove of gardening books donated by a local garden designer; a small collection of inscribed books by Ashley Montagu related to his work, The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity, which inspired the movie and the Tony Award-winning play; books signed or inscribed by Eugene O’Neill, John Dos Passos, Edith Sitwell, Ted Hughes, Leonard Baskin, and Abbie Hoffman; a rare early volume by Patti Smith; the 3rd edition of Thomas Chatterton’s Rowley poems from 1778 in the original boards; fine volumes by collectible illustrators include Kay Nielsen’s The Twelve Dancing Princesses. J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey is one of a number of modern first editions being offered.

For more information, contact Abby McCall, Friends Administrator, (609) 924-9529 ext. 280, or friends@princetonlibrary.org.

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CONTEMPORARY INDIAN ART: The Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School’s current exhibition“Confluence: Contemporary Indian Art,” on view through November 14, includes this 12 by 18 inch work by T. Vaikuntam, titled :Radha Krishna,” alongside other examples of modern art. A gallery reception and informal discussion of Indian culture with Sumit Ganguli will take place Saturday, October 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 609) 924-6700 x 1772 or visit: www.pds.org.

CONTEMPORARY INDIAN ART: The Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School’s current exhibition“Confluence: Contemporary Indian Art,” on view through November 14, includes this 12 by 18 inch work by T. Vaikuntam, titled :Radha Krishna,” alongside other examples of modern art. A gallery reception and informal discussion of Indian culture with Sumit Ganguli will take place Saturday, October 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 609) 924-6700 x 1772 or visit: www.pds.org.

The Anne Reid ’72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School is the venue for “Confluence: Contemporary Indian Art,” curated by Meena Dadha and on view through November 14.

A reception and informal discussion of Indian culture with Sumit Ganguli will take place on Saturday, October 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“Confluence: Contemporary Indian Art” presents a selection of contemporary art that represents the best of modern art in India today. It comprises a collection brought to the United States by Ms. Dadha of Prakrit Arts, Chennai, India.

The artists whose works are featured represent many different styles while maintaining their Indian identity. Some work in realism, some are modernist, some idealistic, and some abstract.

M. Senathipathi has had many solo exhibitions in India, Amsterdam and Morocco and his work in the permanent collection of the Academy of Fine Arts in Calcutta.

Suhas Roy has studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and paints in poetic imagery. His work is in many private collections and the permanent collection of the Chandigarth Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.

Deepak Madhukar Sonar’s abstracted landscapes of intensely warm tones have received awards from Art Society of India and the Bombay Society. Among his interests are the effects of global warming.

A native of Calcutta, Dilip Chaudhury, received a gold medal from the Indian College of Art and Draftsmanship. His black and white paintings of the Bengali countryside bathed in monsoon rains are in collections around the world.

T. Vaikuntam’s bold and striking figurative work has been in exhibits in New York, London, and Kassal, Germany, and can also be found in the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.

“We are truly fortunate to have such a rare collection of contemporary Indian art on view at Princeton Day School,” commented Gallery Director Jody Erdman.

“Confluence: Contemporary Indian Art” is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday when school is in session, and by appointment on weekends. For more information, call (609) 924-6700 x 1772 or visit: www.pds.org.

quakerbridgemall

During October, Brighton Collectibles in the Quaker Bridge Mall is joining forces with St. Francis Medical Center and has identified the hospital as the recipient of a portion of the proceeds on the sale of their special limited-edition bracelet ‘2014 Power of Pink bracelet’. Ten dollars from the sale of every sixty dollar bracelet sold will benefit St. Francis Medical Center’s ‘Are You At Risk’ Cancer Program. The founders of the Brighton Corporation support a variety of charities including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Brighton has donated nearly $7 million to date. St. Francis Medical Center’s “Are You at Risk” Cancer Program is the result of a continuing partnership with Susan G. Komen since April 2008, resulting in community-based education for 1,000 and mammography for 1,150 Trenton women who would otherwise not have access to these services.

Princeton resident and NBC News Chief Medical Editor and Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman, 62, issued an apology Monday via a statement read during the NBC Nightly News broadcast by Anchorman Brian Williams.

“While under voluntary quarantine guidelines, which called for our team to avoid public contact for 21 days, members of our group violated those guidelines and understand that our quarantine is now mandatory until 21 days have passed,” the statement read. “We remain healthy and our temperatures are normal. As a health professional I know that we have no symptoms and pose no risk to the public, but I am deeply sorry for the concerns this episode caused.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those exposed to the virus may develop symptoms up to 21 days after exposure. The NBC crew’s exposure was considered to be “low risk.”

The voluntary quarantine required Ms. Snyderman and the rest of her team to stay in touch with local health authorities for the remainder of the recommended 21-day period after a camera man they were working with tested positive for the disease and the team returned to the United States from Liberia where they had been reporting about the Ebola outbreak in Monrovia.

The American camera man, Ashoka Mukpo, a 33-year-old photo-journalist from Rhode Island, is being treated at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he is reportedly receiving an experimental drug and recovering.

Ms. Snyderman’s Monday night statement was in response to the New Jersey Department of Health’s upping the quarantine from voluntary to mandatory status late Friday after news broke that Ms. Snyderman had been spotted outside a Hopewell restaurant.

The change came after local reporter Krystal Knapp reported the alleged sighting on the online news media outlet, Planet Princeton. Ms. Knapp had received a tip that Ms. Snyderman was sitting in her black Mercedes outside of the restaurant last Thursday afternoon; a man had been seen getting out of the car and going inside the restaurant to pick up a take-out order. Another man had been seen in the back seat of the vehicle.

“Unfortunately, the NBC crew violated this agreement and so the Department of Health today issued a mandatory quarantine order to ensure that the crew will remain confined until Oct. 22,” said Health Department spokesperson Dawn Thomas on Friday.

Of the trip to the restaurant, Ms. Thomas observed, “The NBC crew remains symptom-free, so there is no reason for concern of exposure to the community.”

The voluntary quarantine agreement violation as reported on Planet Princeton was picked up Friday by websites that cover the media industry, including JimRomenesko.com and Mediabistro.

Health Officer’s Report

At Monday night’s meeting of the Mayor and Princeton Council, Health Officer Jeffrey Grosser updated the council on the NBC team and the status of the quarantine.

After describing the disease in some detail and then the situation that had brought Ms. Snyderman and members of her team into self-quarantine in Princeton, he said, “The virus now has Princeton ties. The NBC team violated their agreement with the Princeton Health Department. Currently they are symptom free. Princeton police have been charged with policing the isolation area.”

Mr. Grosser, who became Princeton Health Officer just six months ago, explained that initial testing had determined the NBC team to be at “no risk” for the disease. But, he continued, a second test by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) had changed that assessment to “low risk,” and the team had been asked to self-monitor for 21 days. “Low risk,” Mr. Grosser explained, means being within three feet of an infected person. The second risk assessment was “erring on the side of caution,” he said. “For low risk exposure it is typical to have monitoring by a public health nurse.”

While expressing the need to support Mr. Grosser’s efforts to protect the community, councillor Heather Howard asked whether the costs of extra hours for the public health nurse might be reimbursed by the state. Mr. Grosser said he would look into it. Jo Butler asked him a hypothetical question about the alleged NBC team’s visit to Hopewell for take-out food: “If prior notice had been given to the health department, would he have approved?” He responded to the effect that this sort of question had come up when the self-monitoring agreement was put in place. “Public places were to be avoided. Food could have been delivered. It wasn’t necessary,” he said.

According to reports on CNN, the Ebola virus has been contracted for the first time by someone inside the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Sunday that the first known transmission of the disease in the United States had occurred when a nurse at a Dallas Hospital, who had worn protective gear during her “extensive contact” with Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, tested positive for Ebola. The nurse is reported to be in stable condition. Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died last Wednesday, October 8.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports more than 8,300 people have contracted Ebola during the current outbreak. Of those, more than 4,000 have died. In spite of these figures, it is said that the disease is “not very contagious,” and “difficult to catch.”

People are at risk if they come into very close contact with the blood, saliva, sweat, feces, semen, vomit, or soiled clothing of an Ebola patient, or if they travel to affected areas in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia) and come into contact with someone who has Ebola.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, fever, and unexplained bleeding. WHO estimates that some 416 health care workers have contracted Ebola, and at least 233 have died.

Ms. Snyderman joined NBC News as the chief medical editor in September 2006. She has reported on wide-ranging medical topics and has traveled the world extensively, reporting from many of the world’s most troubled areas.

 

While concerns about the town’s handling of possible exposure to the Ebola virus (see accompanying story) dominated Monday night’s meeting of Princeton Council, there was additional business on the agenda. The governing body passed resolutions to accept a 2013 audit, the first since consolidation, and to approve a related corrective action plan. Also approved was a resolution to officially oppose the Penneast Pipeline Project, among other actions.

Mayor Liz Lempert said she was pleased with the results of the town’s audit. Discussion was led by Robert Morrison of the Highland Park firm Hodulik & Morrison. Mr. Morrison said there were only minor concerns with the report, which did not affect the fairness of the financial statements.

In response to a recommendation that data entry privileges for financial accounting software be modified to limit them to authorized personnel, the municipality said there is new software in place that allows only Kathy Monzo, the town’s director of finance, and Sandra Webb, its chief financial officer, to have access.

It was also recommended that reports of parking costs by credit card be obtained and checked against the amounts paid by credit card companies to make sure parking revenues are obtained in a timely manner.

Members of the Princeton Environmental Commission delivered a presentation about the “Leave the Leaves” initiative, which encourages property owners to use fallen leaves as mulch and ground-cover rather than piling them up at the curb for pickup. Piles of leaves can cause safety concerns for drivers, said Stephanie Chorney, PEC member. Having the town pick up the leaves “is not sustainable, and it increases energy consumption,” she said, adding, “It hauls away rich nutrients.”

The PEC recommends mulching leaves with a mower, spreading leaves on the garden to hold in moisture, using leaves to control weeds, and creating a “leaf corral,” a circle of wire fencing to help contain leaves. Robert Hough, the town’s director of infrastructure and operations, said the mega-storms of recent seasons have prevented his department from documenting whether professional landcapers deal properly with leaves, but they hope to do more in the future. “I think you should tell them that Princeton customers want that kind of service,” said Council member Jo Butler.

Resident and environmentalist Steve Hiltner commented that an ordinance dealing with the dumping of leaves needs to be strictly enforced. Mayor Lempert said educating the public about the issue is important and Council will work with the PEC on the problem.

Council approved resolutions to allow United Bow Hunters of New Jersey and White Buffalo Inc. Wildlife Management Services to control the herds of deer in certain areas. Also approved was a resolution allowing the Rodgers Group to develop a strategic plan for the Princeton Police Department.

 

Diane Landis was in a meeting with Mayor Liz Lempert Monday when the good news came through in an email: Princeton has been awarded silver level certification by Sustainable Jersey, the statewide non-profit organization that helps communities become more energy efficient and less wasteful.

“It’s very exciting,’” said Diane Landis, the executive director of Sustainable Princeton, speaking before Ms. Lempert announced the news at Monday night’s Princeton Council meeting. “A lot of effort has gone into this. It’s been a real collaboration between us, the different municipal departments, and Sustainable Jersey.

“It means that we are moving in a coordinated fashion as a town to address sustainability in different departments of the municipality,” she continued. “We are in good company. There are a number of municipalities that have received this certification in New Jersey. It has really grown. It’s so important to keep moving on the initiatives so we can stand out and have the kind of town we want.”

At the Council meeting, Ms. Landis said 160 communities across the state earned certification. Princeton is one of 27 to attain the silver status.

The town’s forming of a “municipal green team” last October was key in helping Princeton move from bronze to silver certification. A total of 350 points are needed to secure the designation, and Princeton submitted 420 points. “We were approved for 34 actions in 19 different categories,” Ms. Landis said. “These actions can range from forming a municipal green team to having a tree inventory, or a fleet inventory [of vehicles].”

The team met the submission deadline in September. It was reviewed by Sustainable Jersey and sent back for revisions. “We had to redo about 100 points,” said Landis. “It’s very technical. We had to do things like go and take a photo of the drop box at the police department where you can put the old drugs; stuff like that.”

The process has also been helped by changes in attitude by the public. “Since we applied for the bronze level three years ago, there is much more interest in sustainability,” Ms. Landis said. “People are really seeing through the lens of being sustainable, and that’s helped us move our agenda forward. We’re not asked so much anymore, ‘Why should I do it?’ Instead, it’s ‘How do I do it?’ ”

Sustainable Princeton is housed in Monument Hall, formerly known as Borough Hall. The non-profit organization got $15,000 in funding from the town last year, Ms. Landis said.

Ms. Lempert was elated by the news of the silver level. “This is not a trivial process,” she said Monday afternoon. “For each level, you have to do a substantial amount of documentation, which Sustainable Jersey helps us with. We got credits for several things, like the Farmer’s Market in Hinds Plaza. It’s another way for us to learn from other communities and for them to learn from us about best practices.”

 

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Witherspoon Grill’s sixth annual Harvest and Music Festival, benefitting the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, brought the colors of the season to Hinds Plaza Sunday. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

 

October 9, 2014

Motor vehicle crashes claim the lives of more than 500 New Jersey residents each year. In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities, a country-wide safety initiative, “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day,” takes place each year on October 10. This Friday, all drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists are encouraged to be exceptionally careful so that for at least one day, there will be no fatalities on New Jersey’s roads. The Princeton Police Department is asking Princeton residents to join the day-long effort and is encouraging motorists to obey all traffic laws, including buckling up, every ride; driving the posted speed limit; avoiding distractions while driving; and always being safe and sober behind the wheel. The Department will be conducting increased selective enforcement details focusing on speeding, seatbelt and illegal cell phone use violations throughout the course of the day. For more information, contact Sgt. Thomas Murray 609.921.2100 ext. 1879 or via email to tmurray@princetonnj.gov, or visit: www.brakesonfatalities.org.

October 8, 2014

Basketball showmen the Harlem Wizards are coming to Princeton High School (PHS) on Sunday, October 12, at 2 p.m. The team will showcase their amazing basketball tricks and present some friendly competition when they play against the home team of the Princeton Education Foundation All-Stars, which includes teachers from across the school district.

Tickets range from $10 to $15 and are available at www.harlemwizards.com/schedules and at PHS on game day. For more information, email PEFallstars@gmail.com or call 609.806.4214.

Motor vehicle crashes claim the lives of more than 500 New Jersey residents each year. In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities, a country-wide safety initiative, “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day,” takes place each year on October 10. This Friday, all drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists are encouraged to be exceptionally careful so that for at least one day, there will be no fatalities on New Jersey’s roads.

The Princeton Police Department is asking Princeton residents to join the day-long effort and is encouraging motorists to obey all traffic laws, including buckling up, every ride; driving the posted speed limit; avoiding distractions while driving; and always being safe and sober behind the wheel.

The Department will be conducting increased selective enforcement details focusing on speeding, seatbelt and illegal cell phone use violations throughout the course of the day.

In 2013, 542 individuals lost their lives in motor vehicle-related crashes in New Jersey, a decrease from the previous year’s number of 589. The decline continues a downward trend in motor vehicle fatalities. The 2013 number of motor vehicle related deaths was the lowest in the State since the 1940s.

“Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day not only raises awareness about the individual responsibility we have for our driving behaviors, but also engages drivers in making positive changes behind the wheel every day of the year,” said Sgt. Thomas Murray of the Princeton Police Department, who will answer any questions or concerns at (609) 921-2100 ext. 1879 or via email to tmurray@princetonnj.gov.

For more information, visit: www.brakesonfatalities.org.

 

EAT YOUR VEGETABLES: Garden State on Your Plate brings Princeton University chefs to local elementary schools this month to help educate children about appreciating locally grown produce. Adorned in chard grown by Jess Niederer of Chicadee Creek Farm in Pennington, the Princeton Tiger is joined by Smitha Haneef, executive director of campus dining; Rob Harbison, executive chef; and Brad Ortega, chef manager.

EAT YOUR VEGETABLES: Garden State on Your Plate brings Princeton University chefs to local elementary schools this month to help educate children about appreciating locally grown produce. Adorned in chard grown by Jess Niederer of Chicadee Creek Farm in Pennington, the Princeton Tiger is joined by Smitha Haneef, executive director of campus dining; Rob Harbison, executive chef; and Brad Ortega, chef manager.

Swiss chard is about to take over Princeton. During the last two weeks of this month, the ruffly green vegetable with a ruby-red spine will appear in storefronts, window displays, planters, and on menus all over town. Bent Spoon will have chard ice cream on its list of flavors. Mediterra, Olsson’s, and the brand-new Jammin’ Crepes are among the eateries planning to include the crinkly vegetable as part of their offerings.

It’s all part of Garden State on Your Plate, a program taking place in the Princeton Public Schools that brings children together with chefs and local farmers. The goal is to educate young palates and make kids “food literate” from an early age. Funded by a $12,000 grant from Princeton University this year, the program is poised to begin its third season with four sessions each at Community Park, Riverside, Johnson Park, and Littlebrook schools.

“We want to expose the entire elementary school population to well-prepared, locally grown produce, and bring the whole community to the table around the idea that we’re really fortunate to live in the Garden State,” said Karla Cook, a founder with Fran McManus, Dorothy Mullen, and Diane Landis of the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative, Inc. in 2006. Garden State on Your Plate grew out of the school gardens initiative, an edible garden started by Ms. Mullen at Riverside Elementary School.

 “Elementary school is the perfect time to introduce children to new foods. They’re out of their own homes, they’re open to new things,” said Ms. McManus “We have these wonderful chefs because we want this first experience for the children to be the best — the best of what a beet or chard can taste like.”

On October 30, the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative and Ms. Mullen will be among the honorees at the Princeton Family YMCA’s annual Centennial Awards, for outstanding commitment and leadership in improving the community’s health and well-being. Also being honored are Tracy Sipprelle, founder of Bee Fit with Tracy and Make a Child Smile; Dr. Elliott Sigal, past executive vice president, chief scientific officer and president of research and development at Bristol-Myers Squibb; and Christoph Hunt, an internist at University Medical Center at Princeton.

Ms. Cook and Ms. McManus spoke about their project last Thursday while seated in the Princeton Public Library’s Terra Libri cafe. Outside on Hinds Plaza, the weekly Princeton Farmers Market was in full swing. “People don’t realize how much farming there is here,” said Ms. Cook, who is the former New Jersey restaurant critic for The New York Times. “When you fly over this part of New Jersey, it’s amazing how many farms there are. And they’re focused on produce.”

Making children and the community aware of that fact is just one goal of Garden State on Your Plate. Designed to reach the district’s 1,320 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and their families as well as teachers and staff members in the schools, it earned rave reviews in its first two years.

“To the kids, these chefs are like rock stars. They want their autographs,” said Shannon Conner, a mother of three girls and the owner of Indigo by Shannon Conner Interiors on Palmer Square. There is a marked difference between the way Ms. Conner’s two teenage daughters, who did not experience the program, and her nine-year-old Littlebrook student, who does, think about food.

“My youngest daughter comes home from these tastings very enthusiastic,” said Ms. Conner, who has been active in efforts to improve school lunches over the years. “She tastes and finds these vegetables that look funny or have scary names, and finds they are actually good. She really enjoys the tastings. It’s a fun thing for them to do. It’s exciting, and the whole school participates.”

Parents help the chefs prepare the vegetables at each session. “There is such an energy; the kids love it,” Ms. Conner enthused. “They do the vegetables raw first, then cooked in some way, and then seasoned in a different way. The kids taste all three and see the differences. Along the way, they are treated with respect in regard to their opinions. Every kid gets to share their thoughts.”

The pilot program of Garden State on Your Plate was in 2010, funded with a grant of $30,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The partners organized 10 tastings in two elementary schools. The funds allowed them to purchase things like kitchen carts and cookware, and also to collect data. “This time around, we know everybody will eat this food,” said Ms. McManus. “So it’s more celebratory.”

Beets were the star of the program last year. Chard will be the focus when the sessions begin October 21 at Community Park, to be followed during the ensuing two weeks at Riverside, Johnson Park, and Littlebrook. The children will be joined by farmer Jess Niederer of Chickadee Creek Farm and chefs Smitha Haneef and Rob Harbison from Princeton University Campus Dining to watch how chard can be prepared and learn how its flavor can be altered.

Cheese and mushrooms are on the roster for November, led by chef Terry Strong of Mediterra and farmer Eran Wajswol of Valley Shepherd Creamery and Phillips Mushroom Farm. April is for asparagus, with Witherspoon Grill chef Chris Graciano and farmers Pam, Gary, and Tannwen Mount of Terhune Orchards. In May, Agricola chef Josh Thomsen and Great Road Farm’s Steve Tomlinson teach the children the joys of radishes.

The chefs go out of their way to include not only the parents, but the children, in preparations at each session. “I believe that the chef giving them a job to do changes the whole calculus of the moment,” said Ms. McManus. “It’s valuable, even when some of the kids choose not to taste. They’re observing their peers, and that’s important.”

Plans are for Garden State On Your Plate to embrace middle school and high school students in the near future. While the high school part, geared to helping nurture an interest in food-related career paths, is still being developed, the middle school section, an after-school cooking program, has been set. Ms. Mullen, known in the community for her work with the Suppers program, will be teaching them food preparation. “The mission is to give children personal, hands-on experience and show them that delicious food and healthy food can be the same as long as you learn how to prepare it,” she said.

Ms. Mullen is also continuing a food and literature project at Riverside School that is an outgrowth of the school gardens program there. “It has been hugely popular and is a real game changer about how children eat,” she said.

The fact that school garden produce is now allowed in the cafeteria makes a big difference. Nutri-Serve, which is the new food service management company for Princeton Public Schools, is participating in the push for educating children about where their food comes from and how it can be prepared.

“One of the things we’re so tickled about is how excited they are to stand by with us at tastings and put the food on their menus,” said Ms. Cook. “We are just so excited about the receptiveness, not only from Nutri-Serve but from the whole embrace of the school system, the businesses, and the town leaders. It’s a myth that kids won’t eat these foods. They just have to be well prepared, and the message is getting across.”

A draft of an ordinance that would merge historic preservation policies from Princeton’s former Borough and Township was presented to the consolidated town’s Planning Board last week. Preservation proponents who attended the meeting expressed several concerns and pushed for changes in the draft document.

Chief among their complaints is a $3,000 escrow fee for applications for historic districts and buffer districts. A proposed $1,000 fee for concept reviews was eliminated after lengthy discussion during the meeting.

Resident John Heilner commended the Planning Board for recommending the removal of that fee, but said that the $3,000 fees, which were in neither the former Borough or Township ordinances, “will work to discourage resident participation in preserving our communal heritage. They will stifle and chill citizens’ initiative and motivation to apply for historic determinations.”

In a letter sent last month to the Planning Board by members of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), chairperson Julie Capozzoli wrote, “The purpose of escrow is to provide a fund against which professional review fees may be charged, and is a benefit to the taxpayers as it lowers administrative costs. Over the last few years taxpayers have spent six to 10 thousand dollars on review of districts that have not been adopted. The escrow fee proposed for review of historic district designations prepared by parties other than the HPC is intended to ensure that all proposals being placed before the HPC and the professional staff meet the requirements of the ordinance. The HPC’s intent in establishing an escrow fee is to encourage groups to work in partnership with the Commission, not to discourage historic preservation in our community.”

Mr. Heilner argued that even the appearance of the $3,000 fee would be a deterrent to citizen participation. “It leaves a big question in the public’s mind. What if the HPC doesn’t ‘take up’ our proposal? It’s nice to say that the $3,000 fee will be waived if the HPC does take it up and approve it going forward, but suppose the HPC calendar is ‘just too full’?”

A few days after the meeting, Mr. Heilner said that he commends the HPC for taking the two complicated ordinances and putting them together. “They did a great job,” he said. “But all of a sudden out of the blue come these two things that were never in either of the previous ordinances. It seems like they are anti-historic-preservation. They’re making it more difficult for residents to not just designate a historic district, but even a single historic site.”

Mr. Heilner lives in the town’s western section, and has been a proponent of designating parts of the neighborhood a historic district.

The argument that the $3,000 fee goes to fund staff work on reviewing applications does not sit well with Mr. Heilner and the others who spoke at the meeting, including former Township Mayor Jim Floyd and Princeton Battlefield Society member Kip Cherry. “I don’t buy it,” Mr. Heilner said. “What are our taxes going for? Why do we have a historic preservation officer?”

The residents also disagree with staff’s assessment that because historic designations are part of zoning, they should carry escrow fees like other applications for zoning variances. “This completely fails to recognize that historic preservation benefits all the residents of Princeton — not an individual property owner like other zoning variance applications,” Mr. Heilner said in his remarks to the Planning Board.

Other concerns noted by the residents who spoke at the meeting have to do with a new definition of “historic site,” and other issues. The next step is for Princeton Council’s code review subcommittee to review the Planning Board’s recommendations and then bring the proposal before Council at a date to be determined.

 

GIVING BACK: "I want all students to believe in the idea that their Pennington education prepares them to give back to the world rather than giving them a leg up on getting ahead in the world." Headmaster William S. Hawkey, PhD is proud of the education available to students at The Pennington School.

GIVING BACK: “I want all students to believe in the idea that their Pennington education prepares them to give back to the world rather than giving them a leg up on getting ahead in the world.” Headmaster William S. Hawkey, PhD is proud of the education available to students at The Pennington School.

Dedicated to educating students for nearly two centuries, The Pennington School is one of the oldest private schools in the United States.

Founded in 1838 by the New Jersey Conference of the Methodist Church, it opened its doors in 1840, and was originally known as the Methodist Episcopal Male Seminary. That first year, the school was housed in one building and enrolled three students under the tutelage of one teacher.

Fast forward to 2014. Today, 487 day and boarding students in grades six through 12 attend the school, which is located at 112 West Delaware Avenue in Pennington. Four academic buildings (a new humanities building, named for alumni Kenneth Yen, is expected to open in 2015), library, campus center, dining hall, health center, wellness center, fitness center, indoor swimming pool, outdoor tennis courts, and sports playing fields are all fixtures on the school’s 54 acre campus.

One hundred faculty members (half of whom live on campus) lead a rigorous college preparatory program. Honors and advanced placement courses are available in many disciplines, and The Pennington School students typically have a 100 percent college admission success rate.

Distinguishing Factor

“I think what attracts most families to private school education is the intimacy of our education,” notes William S. Hawkey, PhD who became headmaster in July. “The largest classes here have 16 students, and the typical class size is 13. The relationship that develops between faculty members and students brings about the best learning experience.”

As it has evolved over the years, the school has remained true to its guiding principles, he adds. “Our roots are in the John Wesley Methodist tradition, which speaks to inclusivity. We believe we are the school with a soul. It comes from our being a religiously-affiliated school that celebrates all denominations. It gives the kids an opportunity to explore spirituality. This is a distinguishing feature of our school.”

When the New Jersey Conference of the Methodist Church founded the school, it identified three guiding principles: “The education of the physical, the training of the mental, and the grounding of the soul in character.”

These principles reflected the vision of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who envisioned schools as places that cared for the whole individual. Central to this philosophy was the belief that the real purpose of education is not just to fill students with information, but to enable them to think, points out a school information statement.

Such beliefs were reinforced by Dr. Francis Green, one of The Pennington School’s most influential headmasters. It was he who emphasized the importance of “Honor, Virtue, and Humility,” three words which have become a focus of The Pennington School experience.

“We work hard to make sure that our students become ethical and well-educated young adults: people who are globally aware, work collaboratively, think critically, and communicate effectively, and who are engaged in their communities. Ours is a community built on mutual responsibility and trust, where personal ethics and moral behavior are emphasized. We also have a robust global studies program,” points out Dr. Hawkey.

In The Forefront

The school has been in the forefront of social and moral innovations in many ways over the years, he adds.

Originally enrolling boys only, in 1854, it became a co-ed institution. “The school was empowered by the New Jersey Legislature to confer the degree of Mistress of English Literature and Mistress of Liberal Arts upon young ladies who had finished their course of study,” notes a school statement.

In 1910, however, it reverted to educating boys exclusively, and then girls were admitted again in 1972. Now, boys and girls are enrolled in equal numbers at the school.

“Our admission standards are in line with our roots,” says Dr. Hawkey. “We have traditionally been diverse, and we continue to be broadly diverse.”

Indeed, currently, students representing 16 countries and 12 U.S. states are enrolled at the school.

“We also have a small college preparatory support program for students with learning differences,” adds Dr. Hawkey, “It includes high-ability kids who are dyslexic and those with ADHD.”

Individual Excellence

This innovative Center for Learning program was introduced in 1975, well before many other schools began to identify and offer programs for these students. It has been very successful, and the students in this program have gone on to college.

Dr. Hawkey, who has been at The Pennington School for more than 30 years as a teacher and coach, is very proud of the school’s focus on each individual student. “This is a place that cares about kids and treats them as individuals. Our mission is to develop individual excellence.

“It’s very much about educating the whole person,” he continues. “We believe in balance, which includes the most challenging academic program, but also trying out for the school play, the sports teams, etc. It makes for happy and healthy students.

“With 487 students, there are many varieties of kids with different make-ups and personalities. We offer them a place where they can find balance.

“They also get a feeling of balance from the adults here, on the playing field, in the residences, and at meals together with the faculty. That all helps to emphasize that this school community really takes care of the people here. We have a guidance program, and the kids meet every week with their advisor. They talk about courses, studying, and discuss what’s on their mind, what’s going on.”

A variety of student leadership programs is offered, and students can serve as proctors, peer leaders, and also hall prefects for boarding students. Opportunities to participate in student government and community service are also available.

Service Programs

“The students are involved in many service and volunteer programs,” says Dr. Hawkey. “There are many opportunities to do this, ranging from weekly tutoring of elementary school kids to trips over the holidays to such places as Haiti and Kentucky, where help is needed in various areas.”

They are also involved locally with the Crisis Ministry and HomeFront, he adds. The students plan a holiday party every year with gifts for the HomeFront families.

An engaging arts program at the school includes drama, music, fine arts, with plays, concerts, and exhibitions frequently presented.

Extra curricular activities are abundant, with many clubs — from chess, to languages, to technology, to the environment — all available, as are opportunities to contribute to the school’s literary magazine, year book, and newspaper.

A full sports program includes teams in a variety of sports, such as football, baseball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, etc. for boys and girls.

“We have had a Pennington School football team for 138 years, one of the oldest of any private school,” reports Dr. Hawkey. “We take the whole issue of injuries very seriously and have a concussion testing protocol. It’s a distinguishing factor of our athletic program.”

Honor, Respect, Trust

Honor, respect, and trust are important at the school, and the students adhere to an honor code, which governs their behavior in all areas of their life, including honesty regarding academic exams, papers, etc.

In addition, as has been mentioned, spirituality is a significant focus at the school, and is deemed to be an important factor in fostering character and morality among the students.

Over the years, the students and their religious beliefs have diversified, and in turn, the school’s chapel services have changed, points out Dr. Hawkey. Today, students at the school come from many faiths and traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.

A school information statement notes that “Chapel services are a peaceful time for reflection and thought about life and love, friendship and community, right and wrong — themes that are important in every religion and in every country in the world.”

Dr. Hawkey looks forward to continuing The Pennington School tradition of excellence and service, at the same time focusing on the particular educational challenges of the 21st century. His long association with the school places him in a unique position to lead and build a school community while continuing to teach psychology and public speaking, and coach girl’s soccer.

“As a member of the faculty, I fully embraced the Pennington philosophy. I love being in the classroom and working with the kids, helping them get to that point of discovery and understanding. It is very gratifying.”

Dr. Hawkey’s position as headmaster is a dream come true, he adds. “As headmaster, I have a vision of a school community, and I hope to be able to implement that vision. My job includes overseeing the entire school program. That’s every aspect of it — from the grounds and housekeeping to academics.

“One of the biggest challenges for a school like Pennington is meeting the fund-raising challenge. It’s a number one question for independent schools to provide the resources you need. First and foremost, you need a top-notch faculty. I want Pennington to grow, to push the envelope academically school-wide. I want our program to be second to none. I see myself as a steward of The Pennington School’s image and mission.”

 

book mug 1On Wednesday, October 15, poet Ben Lerner and fiction writer Steven Millhauser will read from their works as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series of the Program in Creative Writing at the Lewis Center for the Arts. The reading, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Berlind Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center, is free and open to the public.

Ben Lerner, who will be introduced by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Princeton University professor of Creative Writing Paul Muldoon, is the author of several full-length poetry collections, including Mean Free Path (2010) and Angle of Yaw (2006), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award. Noting his use of “arresting lines that are comical, anxious, and hauntingly true,” Boston Review critic Craig Morgan Teicher described Lerner’s aim in Angle of Yaw to “juxtapose discordant elements of noise such that their collective racket cancels each component out, leaving behind a language purged by negation — refreshed, defiant, and wholly self-aware.” Also a fiction writer and essayist, Lerner’s novels include Leaving the Atocha Station (2011) and 10:04 (2014).

Steven Millhauser, who will be introduced by novelist and professor of Creative Writing Chang-rae Lee, is the author of numerous works of fiction including Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1997, and Dangerous Laughter, a New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year. His most recent collection, We Others: New and Selected Stories, won the Story Prize and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. In awarding the Story Prize the judges called We Others “a powerful and intriguing collection of stories, marked by page after page of beautifully written, intelligent, and sensitive prose.”

Mr. Millhauser is a recipient of the Lannan Award and has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into 15 languages. His story “Eisenheim the Illusionist” was the basis of the 2006 film The Illusionist. He currently teaches at Skidmore College and lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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