July 31, 2019

PULLING AHEAD: Morgan Linsley, center, competes for the U.S. U-19 women’s four in recent action. Recent Princeton High grad and Duke University commit Linsley is heading to Tokyo next week to row for the U.S. in 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

By Bill Alden

For Morgan Linsley, suffering a knee injury put her on the path to competing in rowing on the world stage.

After being involved in competitive swimming for nine years, Linsley hurt her knee in eighth grade and was forced to take a hiatus from the pool. When she recovered, Linsley realized that she needed to find a new athletic outlet as she entered her freshman year at Princeton High in 2015.

“I saw that I had lost a lot of my swimming ability since I had to take a whole year off,” said Linsley.

“I wanted to try a new sport. My knee doctor was the wife of the Princeton men’s crew coach [Greg Hughes] and she said I could be a good rower so give it a shot.” more

FAB FOUR: Recent Stuart Country Day School grad Annie Huber, third from left, enjoys the moment after helping the Princeton National Rowing Association Mercer Junior Rowing (PNRA-Mercer) Youth Men’s 4 with coxswain take second at the USRowing Youth National Championships last month in Sarasota, Fla. The boat included Brady Stergion (Notre Dame High), Jack Gallagher (Council Rock North), and juniors Leon Deng (Princeton High) and Grant Smith (Montgomery High) in addition to coxswain Huber.

By Bill Alden

In her junior season with Princeton National Rowing Association Mercer Junior Rowing (PNRA-Mercer) in 2018, Annie Huber wasn’t expecting to guide her Men’s Four to a medal at the USRowing Youth National Championships.

“I don’t think I understood how good we were; I knew that the boys on my boat were fast and that we rowed well together,” said coxswain Huber, who helped the crew place third and earn bronze. “I was thinking maybe we could make the A final.”

Losing three rowers from that boat, Huber wasn’t sure if this year’s four could make a big run at nationals. more

BLAZE OF GLORY: Jude Blaser takes a swing last week at the Babe Ruth Middle Atlantic Regional. Blaser, a Princeton resident, helped the West Windsor-Plainsboro 14U all-star team reach the quarterfinals of the competition, which was held at Switlik Park in Hamilton. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the West Windsor-Plainsboro 14U all-star team had already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals of the Babe Ruth Middle Atlantic Regional, it kept scrapping as it faced SORENSCO (Southern Rensselaer County, N.Y.) in a pool play game last Wednesday night.

WW-P yielded two runs in the top of the first inning in the contest played at Switlik Park in Hamilton but answered back quickly as Jude Blaser knocked in a run in the bottom of the frame. Jack Durbin added an RBI in the bottom of the third to knot the game at 2-2.

After SORENSCO broke the deadlock with two runs in the the top of the fourth, Kenny Schiavone blasted a homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the sixth to narrow the gap to 4-3. more

BLUE THUNDER: Loyaltees star Zahrion Blue flies to the hoop earlier this season in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Monday, former Princeton High star Blue poured in a game-high 29 points as top-seeded and defending champion Loyaltees defeated second-seeded NJ Spiritwear 88-45 in game one of the best-of-three championship series. Game two is slated for Wednesday evening at the Community Park courts with game three, if necessary, to take place on August 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Zahrion Blue is saving his best for last as he stars for the Loyaltees squad in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.

Former Princeton High star and current Lincoln University standout Blue poured in 35 points as top-seeded and defending champion Loyaltees defeated second-seeded defeated eighth-seeded Team NRGY 83-62 in a playoff quarterfinal contest last Wednesday.

Two days later, Blue tallied 19 points to help Loyaltees overcome a 40-30 second half deficit against fifth-seeded Sakana and pull out a 52-50 win in the semis. more

July 24, 2019

Sixty acres of land on Mountain View Road near Cherry Valley Road will become part of the largest green belt in Montgomery as a result of Montgomery Township’s recent acquisition of two parcels, totaling 85 acres. The piece has attracted several land development proposals over the years, but the Township is committed to its preservation.

CANVAS FOR A MURAL?: The wall of Lupita’s Groceries, on Leigh Avenue, facing John Street in the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) section of Princeton, has been proposed as the site for a mural, under the sponsorship of the Arts Council of Princeton. But many local residents have concerns about that. A Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association meeting this Saturday will discuss the use of public art in the W-J Historic District. (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

By Donald Gilpin

A mural, proposed by the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) to cover the wall of Lupita Groceries on Leigh Avenue, has stirred up controversy among the residents of the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) community and beyond, while raising issues surrounding the use and purpose of pu blic art.

“It’s only paint,” said Maria Evans, ACP artistic director and project director for the proposed mural, but she acknowledged that the question of the mural is complex and involves far larger questions.

A meeting at the ACP last month, described as lively and at times heated, did not come to a conclusion on the future of the proposed mural.  more

By Anne Levin

Princeton Council passed a resolution Monday, July 22 in support of the town’s Climate Action Plan, following an update on the measure by Sustainable Princeton. The 96-page proposal is focused on resilience, making sure that Princeton is prepared for the extreme weather that has become a regular occurrence.

“It’s real, and it’s happening here,” said Molly Jones, Sustainable Princeton’s executive director, as rain pelted the plaza outside Witherspoon Hall. Jones cited several incidences of flooding, extreme heat, and falling trees caused by weather during the past three weeks. “Much of the choir is here tonight, but I wanted to reiterate the challenge of what we are facing.”

Coming up with the plan, the organization’s steering committee consulted with members of the community at schools, churches, and a “Greenfest” that was attended by 700 people, said Christine Symington, programming director. A draft of the plan, posted online, received several comments. Princeton’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, Board of Health, Environmental Commission, Public Transit Advisory Committee, Shade Tree Commission, and the Sustainable Princeton Board of Trustees have all provided letters of support. more

By Anne Levin

Sixth-generation Princetonian and historian Shirley Satterfield was honored with an award of recognition at the Monday, July 22 meeting of Princeton Council. A standing-room-only crowd at Witherspoon Hall gave Satterfield, whose knowledge of local history and activism has made her something of a local legend, an ovation as she accepted her award and expressed gratitude for the honor.

“I’m humbled and very thankful for this recognition,” Satterfield said after Council member Eve Niedergang presented her with the award. “Everything I do is a labor of love,” she added, quoting from a sermon by the Rev. Lukata A. Mjumbe, her pastor at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church.

Satterfield paid tribute to numerous people and organizations with whom she has been involved during her ongoing career as a teacher, guidance counselor, researcher, historian, and tour guide. She asked members of each group to stand. Among them: the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, the Historical Society of Princeton, the former Princeton Borough Council, the current Princeton Council, Not in Our Town, Princeton’s Historical Commission, the committee to establish the Witherspoon-Jackson Historic District, the Paul Robeson House, the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, and the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society. She also singled out a group of her childhood friends. more

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: The young string players, their teachers, and administrators from Trenton Music Makers have been chosen to take part in PlayUSA, a network of music education organizations based at New York’s Carnegie Hall. (Photo by Nick Donnoli Productions LLC)

By Anne Levin

It has been less than five years since Trenton Music Makers began teaching Trenton Public School students to play violin, viola, cello, and bass. Despite its youth, the program was recently selected for membership in the PlayUSA network, part of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.

That means a $30,000 grant, training for teaching artists from Carnegie Hall staff, and interactions with some of the 16 other musical organizations that have also been selected for 2019-20.

“We are delighted, and honored, and proud, of course,” said Carol Burden, executive director of Trenton Music Makers. “This is giving us exactly what we want, which is wonderful professional development, opportunities for our teachers to learn, and a chance to show people that what we’re doing is successful.” more

By Donald Gilpin

The heat over the weekend was extreme, and the late Monday storms were intense, but impacts were much greater in surrounding Mercer and Monmouth counties than in Princeton.

“It’s amazing to me,” said Bob Gregory, director of Princeton Emergency and Safety Services. “Princeton fared pretty well.”

Princeton Police Department (PPD) Assistant Press Information Officer Fred Williams agreed. “We came through it pretty well, which is unusual,” he said. “It usually hits us. There were some sporadic power outages, some older trees came down, but within Princeton’s borders we were lucky.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Incumbents Debbie Bronfeld and Greg Stankiewicz and new candidate Susan Kanter are gearing up for this fall’s race for three available spots on the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE). At press time Kanter had officially filed with the Mercer County clerk, while Bronfeld and Stankiewicz, whose terms end this year, were preparing to file by the 4 p.m. July 29 deadline.

Bill Hare, whose term also expires on January 1, 2020, was undecided, but “tending towards not filing” for re-election. The candidates will be competing for three-year terms on the 10-member Board. more

By Stuart Mitchner

During the first season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, the Duffer Brothers, Ross and Matt, waved a magic wand and gave us a once-in-a-lifetime character in Eleven, the fugitive child with telekinetic powers played by Millie Bobby Brown.

In Stranger Things 3, the Duffers have conjured up a white rabbit surprise in the form of a romantic comedy that blends screwball fun and creature feature clout. No need to worry about spoiler alerts and such because when the dust clears what makes the ride worth taking has less to do with why or how or who gets slimed, who dies and who doesn’t, than with the old boy-girl, man-woman, person-person scenario that’s been delighting audiences ever since Shakespeare dreamed up the star-crossed lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hollywood paired Katherine Hepburn’s scatterbrained Susan with Cary Grant’s hapless paleontologist in Bringing Up Baby, where romance turns on the search for a lost dinosaur bone, a dog named George, and a leopard named Baby. The best thing about the spectacular doings of the Mindflayer in Stranger Things 3 is the challenge it offers the various amusingly human couples fighting, arguing, laughing and loving their way through life-and-death situations. When it comes down to choosing between human beings and special effects, it’s the human moments you hold close. Twenty-two years this side of Titanic, what stays with you, the sinking of a luxury liner or the romance between Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack and Kate Winslet’s Rose?  more

By Nancy Plum

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra spent last week in Princeton coaching and guiding four contemporary composers in an immersive laboratory experience through which the talented participants received musical and practical feedback about their pieces, composing for a symphonic orchestra, and getting music published and performed in today’s market. Dichotomy, conflict, and ultimate hope seemed to be the overriding themes of the pieces resulting from this year’s Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, as these works were presented in a concert entitled Scores last Saturday night at Richardson Auditorium. Led by Romanian conductor Cristian Macelaru, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performed four works of the Cone Institute’s composers, along with an East Coast premiere of Institute director and Princeton University professor Steven Mackey. more

The final concert of the Blue Curtain series at Pettoranello Gardens Ampitheater features the Afro-Cuban music of OKAN and Latin-jazz legend Charlie Sepulveda and The Turnaround, shown here. Bring picnics and blankets to the free concert, which starts at 7 p.m. on July 27. The ampitheater is at Route 206 and Mountain Avenue. The bad weather location is the Princeton High School Performing Arts Center.

“CELEBRATION”: This work by Aleksandra Seletskaya is featured in an exhibit of works by Creative Collective/Tuesday Colorists Groups, on view at the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury August 4-30. An opening reception is Sunday, August 4 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Gourgaud Gallery, 23 North Main Street, Cranbury, will present “Celebration,” an exhibit by Creative Collective/Tuesday Colorists Groups, August 4 through August 30. An opening reception with the artists will be held on Sunday, August 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Gallery. Light refreshments will be served. All events are free and open to the public. more

“TRANSITION”: This 1965 work, originally commissioned for the J. C. Penney Headquarters Building in New York City, is featured in “The Poetry of Sculpture: Raymond Granville Barger (1906–2001),” on view through October 20 at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa.

The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., now features “The Poetry of Sculpture: Raymond Granville Barger (1906–2001),” on view through October 20.

Visitors have the opportunity to meander through the indoor and outdoor exhibition viewing objects from the museum’s permanent collection as well as several loans, many of which come from private collections. Rarely exhibited works from the 1930s provide insight into Barger’s early classical approach, while later sculptures signal his development as a symbolic abstractionist as well as a technical innovator.

While best-known for his monumental outdoor sculptures, including works for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Barger also created smaller-scale, more intimate works for interior spaces. His Transition, a 25-foot long bronze sculpture originally commissioned for the J. C. Penney Headquarters Building in New York City in 1965, has graced the Byers Garden at the Michener since the year after the museum opened. more

THREE BALL: Kareem Maddox goes up for a shot in the 2010-11 season during his senior campaign for the Princeton University men’s basketball team. Maddox, the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection in 2011, is moving up the ranks in the United Stares 3×3 hoops program. Recently, he teamed up with Robbie Hummel, Damon Huffman, and Canyon Barry to help the U.S. defeat Latvia for its first World Cup championship title at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in Amsterdam. In late June, Maddox was selected for the USA Men’s 3×3 Pan American Games team that will play in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, from July 27-August 10. (Photo by Stephen Goldsmith)

By Justin Feil

Five years after former Princeton University men’s basketball star Kareem Maddox retired from playing professional ball overseas, he has a realistic shot at the 2020 Olympics.

After working as a radio host and producer in his hometown Los Angeles and then Colorado, the 2011 Princeton graduate has revived a chance at his childhood dream through 3×3 basketball which will be contested at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo for the first time.

“It’s unbelievable,” said the multi-talented 6’ 8, 220-pound Maddox.  more

SEEING THE LIGHT: Elizabeth Brennan controls the ball during a game in the fall of 2017 as she played in her senior season for the Princeton Day School field hockey team. Matriculating to Princeton University last fall, Brennan has switched from the turf to the water, walking on to the Tiger women’s lightweight rowing program. She competed for the third varsity eight this past spring for Princeton. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Some of Elizabeth Brennan’s fondest memories of her time at Princeton Day School came from playing field hockey and lacrosse.

When Brennan went across town last fall to start her freshman year at Princeton University, she felt a void in her life.

“I missed being on a team,” said Brennan. “I think it is one of the biggest things that I loved about high school, having my teammates and having that connection with them.”

Searching for a new sporting outlet, Brennan went to the school’s athletic exposition last September to survey her options. more

DIPLOMATIC APPROACH: Bridget Kane, right, battles to get past a foe in a game during her career for the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team. This past spring, Kane competed in her debut season for the Franklin & Marshall women’s program, helping the Diplomats advance to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When Bridget Kane started going to the Franklin & Marshall lacrosse camp in seventh grade, she was focusing on sharpening her skills.

“I did the college camps, not to get recruited but to improve my game,” said Kane.

Entering the Princeton Day School in the fall of 2014, Kane got serious about the college recruiting process.

“My freshman year is when I started going to the big recruiting tournaments,” said Kane. “It was really real, that it is was an option to play in college.” more

By Bill Alden

A week ago, NJ Spiritwear cruised to a 69-46 win over Hometown Moving and Storage at the Community Park courts in its final game of regular season play in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.

When the teams met for a rematch in a quarterfinal contest inside a steamy John Witherspoon Middle School gym last Monday evening, second-seeded Spiritwear struggled to find a rhythm in the early going against seventh-seeded Hometown Moving, clinging to a 16-12 lead at halftime

In reflecting on the sluggish start for Spiritwear, guard Tyler Jones acknowledged that moving inside to the stifling gym took some adjustment.

“The indoor court was the biggest difference,” said Jones. “We started off a little slow. It is hot in here and the ball got a little wet.” more

July 17, 2019

A magical array of participants lined up to show off their costumes in the Fairy Fashion Show, held last Saturday at the annual Summer Fairy Festival at The Watershed Institute in Pennington. The event also featured crafts, dancing around the maypole, constructing villages, and strolling with water sprites. Festivalgoers share their favorite magical story or character in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

“ANGRY AND UPSET AND DETERMINED”: Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker addressed the crowd of about 400 at the Lights for Liberty rally to support immigrants’ rights Friday night in Hinds Plaza. He urged an end to a policy of separating children from their parents at the border. (Photo by Andrea Kane)

By Donald Gilpin

Lighting candles “for liberty,” carrying signs, and chanting “close the camps,” more than 400 demonstrators gathered in Hinds Plaza Friday night to rally for immigrants’ rights and to protest policies of the Trump administration.

Sponsored by several local activist groups, Princeton’s Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps was one of more than 700 events held across the country and around the world as tensions continue to rise over conditions at border detention centers and warnings of large-scale nationwide immigration raids.

“Values of our country are being trampled on again and again under this administration,” Princeton Councilwoman Leticia Fraga told the demonstrators. “We must demand that our country keep its promises. We cannot look away.”  more

By Anne Levin

There has been no swimming, boating, or fishing on Rosedale Lake at Pennington’s Mercer Meadows Park this summer. The culprit is the discovery of a harmful algal bloom (HAB), which has also closed the Spruce Run Reservoir in Hunterdon County and Lake Hopatcong in Morris and Sussex counties.

Stormwater experts blame the problem on a lack of watershed protections and stormwater management at the state level. But according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), updates to the state’s stormwater management rules, which were rolled back under the Christie administration, have been proposed and are pending adoption.

“This is going to be the summer of closed swimming areas. Rosedale Lake in Mercer County has now joined the list,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, in a press release. “The failure to implement proper watershed protections and stormwater management have allowed harmful algal blooms (HAB) to get out of hand. Lake Hopatcong has been shut down since June 27. The Spruce Run Reservoir has been off limits to swimmers for more than a month. Swartswood Lake was closed for a week in June before reopening. Overdevelopment and stormwater runoff are causing nutrients to pour into our lakes allowing the algae to thrive.” more

By Donald Gilpin

AvalonBayCommunities, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT) that already owns 280 apartment units on Witherspoon Street, has recently signed a contract to purchase for an undisclosed amount the 15-acre Thanet property at 100 and 101 Thanet Circle off Terhune Road from the KABR Group, a real estate developer based in Ridgefield Park.

Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert announced at last week’s Council meeting that the town has been in discussions with AvalonBay over “a number of options for including affordable housing as part of any future development there.”

Lempert could not disclose further details about the Thanet sale, but she did comment briefly on the the town’s ongoing work in revising its affordable housing proposal. She noted that they are close to a final plan, but “we have not yet reached a final settlement and, therefore, we are precluded from sharing details of those discussions or our proposed plan at this time.” more

EYES ON THE SKY: Astronomy buffs are hoping for clear weather on three upcoming evenings, when local experts will bring out their telescopes to view the sky above. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Anne Levin

For astronomy enthusiasts, summer is prime time to search the night sky. The weather is balmy. People are on vacation, giving them time to watch for meteors, look for passing satellites, and peer through telescopes and binoculars for deep sky objects like the Ring Nebula, the Coathanger, or the Dumbbell Nebula, to name a few.

There are skywatches scheduled for three locations in coming weeks, starting with Stargazing at Morven on Thursday, July 25. Stargazing at Mountain Lakes House is Wednesday, August 7, and Rancocas Nature Center has planned Star Watch/Astronomy Night for Friday, August 30. Princeton University’s Peyton Observatory holds regular star watch events with its 12-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope on the roof of Peyton Hall, with the next two scheduled for July 31 and August 28. more