February 6, 2019

Dancing, singing, and hot cider toasts were just some of the activities at Saturday’s Wassail Festival at Terhune Orchards. The longtime British tradition of honoring the apple trees to protect them from harm is an annual winter celebration at the farm. Live music, homemade donuts, and a bonfire with marshmallow roasting were also featured. Participants share their favorite winter activities in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

Taking steps to finance the renovation and construction projects approved by Princeton voters in the December 11, 2018 referendum, the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) last month sold $26.9 million in Moody’s Aaa-rated bonds. The sale allowed PPS to access 20-year capital at a favorable interest rate of 2.99 percent, significantly lower than the rate forecast by the Board’s financial advisors in December, according to a PPS press release

With cumulative financing costs for the bonds over the next 20 years more than $1 million lower than the original estimate, the BOE attributed the successful sale to favorable market conditions and the district’s Aaa credit rating. The bonds were sold by competitive sale, similar to an auction, and there were seven different bidders.

“This is the first, successful step of a two-year process to implement necessary facility renovations and upgrades that will improve learning spaces for our current and future students,” said PPS Superintendent Steve Cochrane in the press release. “With assistance from our professional advisors, stakeholders, and community experts, we look forward to completing these important projects thoughtfully, skillfully, and transparently.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Further bolstering its leadership structure and strengthening the department for future challenges, the Princeton Police Department (PPD) last week promoted two officers and swore in eight new officers in a ceremony at the municipal building.

Two longtime PPD veterans, Captain Christopher Morgan and Corporal James Martinez, received their promotions, as PPD Chief Nick Sutter cited their demonstration of the department’s professionalism and its values of knowledge, honor, integrity, and service.

“Captain Morgan and Corporal Martinez are two of the shining examples in our department of the core values of the department,” Sutter said. “They are respected and seasoned leaders who lead our department in furtherance of the tenets of 21st-century policing.  I am very proud and honored to have them as colleagues.” more

By Anne Levin

In cities across the globe, an annual tradition known as Restaurant Week allows diners to sample the fare at establishments they might otherwise be unable to afford. But in Princeton, where the first Restaurant Week will be launched March 10 to 17, just about every eatery is participating.

That means that foodies will be able to partake of special menus at restaurants ranging from PJ’s Pancake House and Princeton Soup & Sandwich to Eno Terra and The Peacock Inn. While many establishments will be offering fixed-priced menus of $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner, some of the lower-priced restaurants will be inviting diners in with other types of incentives.

“We really wanted to open it up to everybody,” said Michelle Pirone Lambros, whose company, Princeton Promotions, is marketing the event. “Whatever the smaller restaurants want to do is fine. We’re leaving it open to them. But we definitely wanted to include them. So not every restaurant has the $20 lunch and $35 menu.” more

SCIENCE FOR EVERYBODY: At the January 19 Science on Saturdays lecture at Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL), the topic was “Magnetic Universe.” PPPL Director Professor Steve Cowley and Science Education Physicist Dr. Arturo Dominguez had assistance from a youthful member of the audience. (Photo by Elle Starkman)

By Anne Levin

At the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s (PPPL) Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturdays Lecture Series, audience members might be as young as 9 and as old as 90. The popular talks on a range of scientific subjects have been attracting people curious about all aspects of science for more than three decades.

“The fact that we average nearly 300 a lecture is a testament to the community,” said Andrew Zwicker, who heads PPPL’s communications and public outreach (and is also a Democratic assemblyman for the 16th district). “Last year a gentleman celebrated his 90th birthday at one of the lectures. And we have a physician who gave a lecture  a week and a half ago on the science of joint replacement (Dr. Christina Gutowski of Cooper University Healthcare), who went to Science on Saturday when she was a little girl.”

PPPL is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory managed by Princeton University. The lecture series was started 34 years ago by PPPL physicists. “They wanted to have representatives from all branches of science, who are at the cutting-edge of research, present their results to the interested public,” said Zwicker. “They started with just a couple of lectures, and now there are nine every year, on Saturday mornings. They are very popular.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Tim Quinn

Princeton Councilman Tim Quinn has announced his campaign priorities and his re-election committee in his bid for a second term on Princeton Council. He will face a slate of fellow Democrats in the June primary, which will be followed by the general election in November.

Two Council seats are open with both Quinn’s and Jenny Crumiller’s terms ending, and Crumiller having announced that she will not run for another term. Other Democrats in the race so far include Michele Pirone Lambros and Adam Bierman, who announced their candidacies last month. 

The Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) will endorse two candidates at its meeting on March 17. On Sunday, February 10 at 3 p.m., the PCDO is holding a Princeton Council Candidate open house information session for Democrats interested in running for Council or getting involved in helping candidates get elected. more

SILVER LINING: In “My Stroke of Luck,” doctor-turned-actor Diane Barnes details how having a stroke ended up enriching her life. The one-woman show is Saturday, March 9 at 5 p.m. at Princeton Senior Resource Center.

By Anne Levin

Diane Barnes was horseback riding one evening near her home in San Rafael, California, when the worst headache she had ever experienced hit her like a thunderbolt. This fit, healthy woman in her mid-50s, with no family history of stroke, was having one.

Barnes is a radiologist. She knew what was happening. But she waited 20 hours, even driving her son to camp, before finally driving herself to the hospital. She was lucky, because the damage wasn’t as devastating as it could have been. She spent a week in the neurological intensive care unit before being discharged and beginning the long road to recovery. more

By Stuart Mitchner

The only performance that makes it, that really makes it, that makes it all the way, is the one that achieves madness.

—Mick Jagger in Performance

Asked if the line spoken by Turner, the character he plays in Donald Cammell and Nick Roeg’s enduringly outrageous film, could serve as a motto for performing live with the Rolling Stones (“When the Sixties Went Dark,” TLS Dec. 21&28), Jagger admitted “there’s something in it — its more interesting performing on the edge than going through the motions.”

This being Oscar month, I’ve been thinking about performers and performing and how when Warner Bros bankrolled a film called Performance in 1968, studio executives thought they’d scored another Hard’s Day’s Night. The Rolling Stones might be lowlifes, the dark side of the Beatles, but they were the second biggest rock group on the planet, and with Mick Jagger starring, there was sure to be a best-selling soundtrack album. Money in the bank! What Warners got instead was Swinging London in hell, the Citizen Kane of decadence, unremitting cinematic anarchy swarming with sex and drugs, and not a word from Mick Jagger for the first hour, just a heavy dose of London underworld mayhem featuring James Fox as a ruthless enforcer on the run after killing someone against the mob boss’s orders. By the time Jagger entered, he was swallowed up in the chaos described in Jay Glennie’s Performance: The Making of a Classic as “a heady cocktail of hallucinogenic mushrooms, sex (homosexual and three-way), violence, amalgamated identities, and artistic references to Jorge Luis Borges, Magritte, and Francis Bacon.”   

According to legend, the wife of a Warners executive vomited during a test screening; the studio seriously considered destroying the negative; and at a sneak preview, most of the audience walked out. Shelved for two years, the film was savaged by reviewers when it was finally released in 1970. If there had been an Academy Awards category based on the reviews, Performance would have copped the Oscar for the most pretentious, repellent, disgusting, fundamentally rotten, and completely worthless motion picture of 1970.  more

By Nancy Plum

Princeton Symphony Orchestra celebrated its 10-year relationship with Music Director Rossen Milanov this past weekend, with concerts paying tribute to the musical leadership which resulted from Milanov’s first concert with the Orchestra. Saturday night’s performance at Richardson Auditorium (the concert was repeated Sunday afternoon) featured Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 — the work which Milanov conducted in his debut with Princeton Symphony — as well as a Brahms piano concerto within the classical framework.

Johannes Brahms’ 1858 Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor reflected the composer’s homage to Robert Schumann, who served as a mentor to Brahms, and was originally intended as a sonata for two pianists — Brahms and Schumann’s wife Clara. Featured in this weekend’s performances by the Princeton Symphony was pianist Dominic Cheli, who received his training both at Yale University and Manhattan School of Music and is currently pursuing an artist diploma at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.   

Like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 which followed in the program, Brahms’ Concerto stated the music ferocity from the outset, with an extended orchestral introduction to the piano solo marked by both subdued strings and effective dynamic swells from timpanist Jeremy Levine. In his opening piano solo line, Cheli emerged from the orchestral texture seamlessly with thoughtful and sensitive playing, positioning the piano as a fellow instrument in the orchestra, rather than set off with its own part.    more

JAZZ PIANO: Steve Kramer, left, and Michael Bernabe bring jazz to the recital hall at Jacobs Music in Lawrenceville on Sunday, February 10, at 3 p.m.

The Greater Princeton Steinway Society will present a Jazz Musicale by pianists Steve Kramer and Michael Bernabe on Sunday, February 10, at 3 p.m. in the Recital Hall at Jacobs Music, 2540 Brunswick Pike (U.S. Route 1), Lawrenceville. A reception with refreshments and conversation with the performers will follow the performance.

Kramer has played and conducted from Broadway to Hollywood to the White House, and over his long career has played and conducted with many jazz musicians and comedians including The Artie Shaw Band, the Ice Capades, and the National Dance Institute under Jacques D’Amboise. He currently teaches in the Princeton public schools, has private students, and performs locally with his own band. Bernabe plays regularly throughout the tri-state area with musicians Jeff “Tain” Watts, Randy Brecker, Buddy Williams, Tony Campbell, Roger Humphries, and Victor Lewis. more

TELLING HIS STORY: PU Associate Professor of Theater Brian Herrera performing his one-person, multimedia, autobiographical play, “I Was the Voice of Democracy.”It will be presented Friday, February 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Godfrey Kerr Theater Studio in the Lewis Center for the Arts complex. (Photo by Kip Malone)

I Was the Voice of Democracy is an hour-long, solo performance written and performed by Princeton University Associate Professor of Theater Brian Herrera, will be presented Friday, February 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Godfrey Kerr Theater Studio in the Lewis Center for the Arts complex.

The show recalls the true story of a 17-year-old who is briefly thrust into a peculiar kind of fame when a patriotic speech he writes on a whim ends up winning a national contest. Through autobiographical storytelling, this one-person, multimedia event offers a mix of analysis and anecdote, both humorous and heartbreaking, as Herrera puzzles through the memories, mementos, and artifacts that comprise the archive of his own teenage experience. more

“BRONZE LION”: This watercolor painting by artist Jun Zhan is one of many now on view at the Plainsboro Library Gallery. A reception will be held on Saturday, February 9 from 12 to 2 p.m. in conjunction with the library’s annual Chinese New Year Festival.

The Plainsboro Library is hosting an exhibit by accomplished artist Jun Zhan through February 27. His large format and detailed watercolors depict scenes of the Forbidden City in Beijing, as well as portraits of seniors from the Xinjiang Uygur region in China. A reception will be held on Saturday, February 9, 12 to 2 p.m., in conjunction with the library’s annual Chinese New Year Festival.

Jun Zhan paints portraits, still life, and cityscapes in a photo-realistic style. Most of his compositions are meticulously detailed close-ups of daily scenes, produced with a combination of methods derived from Western classical painting techniques, the “negative space” aesthetic in Chinese painting, and a documentary photography style. The Plainsboro Library exhibit will focus on the Forbidden City and portrait collections. more

“JUJU”: This work by Will “Kasso” Condry is featured in “Stand Up Men,” on view through March 3 at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park. The exhibit also includes works by Habiyb Shu’Aib and Autin Dean Wright.

“Stand Up Men,” a new exhibit at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park, is on view through March 3. It features works by three Trenton artists — Will “Kasso” Condry, Habiyb Shu’Aib, and Autin Dean Wright.

“Stand Up Men” is a celebration of Trenton’s African American male artists and their use of canvas, photography, and sculpture to convey the pathos of what it means to exist as a man within the realm of Trenton’s black culture and beyond. “Stand Up Men” inhabits the world of the quiet, deliberate Trenton arts movement forged in love, life, and courage.

Trenton native Will “Kasso” Condry, whose murals still grace much of Trenton’s cityscape, conveys both chaos and beauty in his work. His work has graced spaces throughout the United States and echoes his strong commitment to both urban renewal and the challenges of being a local artist. His muralist approach to his work produces bold, moving images which focus on themes of history, community and humanity. He is one of the founders of the S.A.G.E Coalition, a nonprofit diverse group of visual artists, engineers, fabricators, musicians and teachers dedicated to the rebirth of Trenton. more


HERE TO STAY: “To survive in business today, you have to adapt and offer convenience for people. We provide the convenience of an in-town establishment, where customers can stop in and quickly get what they need — cards, office and school supplies, printer cartridges, pens, FedEx shipping, etc. And of course, we also offer our commercial online business.” John Roberto, left, and Andrew Mangone, co-owners of Hinkson’s, The Office Store, look forward to the store’s 100th anniversary under the Hinkson’s name.

By Jean Stratton

Hinkson’s, The Office Store at 28 Spring Street, is not only a Princeton favorite, but it has become a tradition for many shoppers. Independently owned, it is one of the town’s few remaining genuine family businesses.

Co-owners (and cousins) John Roberto and Andrew Mangone actually grew up in the store. Roberto’s father, the late Bert Roberto, purchased Hinkson’s in 1960 from then owner Harold M. Hinkson. A much smaller operation in those days, the shop offered newspapers, greeting cards, and a small selection of writing supplies.

As time passed, the merchandise greatly expanded, and the store became an essential resource in town.

It has a long and storied history in Princeton, and is now about to mark its 100th anniversary under the Hinkson’s name. more

HOW AM I GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS?: A Hollywood makeup artist (Gina Rodriguez) is kidnapped by the leader of a drug cartel in Mexico, who dupes her into committing a crime. She is forced to prove her innocence by helping the U.S. government bring down the crime syndicate in the action thriller “Miss Bala.” (Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

By Kam Williams

Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) is a Hollywood makeup artist sorely in need of a break from her abusive boss. The straw that broke the camel’s back came the day he condescendingly responded to her resourcefulness with the insulting, “Honey, we’re not paying you to think.”

So, on her way out the door, Gloria stole a couple of bags of cosmetics for her lifelong friend, Suzu (Cristina Rodlo), who is about to enter the Miss Baja beauty contest. Suzu still lives south of the border in their hometown of Tijuana with her little brother, Chava (Sebastian Cano).

Not long after Gloria arrives in Tijuana, the friends head out to a disco to attend a party sponsored by the pageant. But they are soon separated when a gunfight breaks out between the police and La Estrella, a drug cartel led by the bloodthirsty Lino Esperanza (Ismael Cruz Cordova). more

MAG FORCE: Princeton University women’s hockey player Maggie Connors controls the puck in recent action. Last Friday against St. Lawrence, freshman forward Connors scored the game winning goal with 3.2 second left in overtime as the Tigers prevailed 4-3 and extended their program-record unbeaten streak to 20. A day later, No. 4 Princeton lost 3-1 to No. 5 Clarkson to see the streak get snapped. The Tigers, now 15-3-5 overall and 12-1-3 ECAC Hockey, play at Brown on February 8 and at Yale on February 9. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

Maggie Connors realized that the game was on her stick as the Princeton University women’s hockey team headed into the waning seconds of overtime against St. Lawrence last Friday night at Hobey Baker Rink.

With the foes knotted in a 3-3 deadlock, Princeton freshman forward Connors chased down the puck and raced up ice.

“When I saw Sarah [Fillier] chip it, I was thinking this was most likely going to be the last chance,” recalled Connors. more

BOUNCING BACK: Princeton University women’s basketball player Gabrielle Rush dribbles the ball in a game earlier this season. Last weekend, senior guard Rush helped Princeton go 2-0 in its first Ivy League weekend of the season as the Tigers topped Columbia 79-64 last Friday and then defeated Cornell 75-46 a day later, getting on the winning track after having fallen 66-60 to Penn its its league opener on January 5. The Tigers, now 10-8 overall and 2-1 Ivy, host Yale on February 8 and Brown in February 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Gabrielle Rush is feeling a lot better this week.

It’s not just that the Princeton University senior guard’s fall exams are behind her, it’s that the Tigers women’s basketball team is back to winning.

“We’ve been super motivated and focused on ourselves to get where we need to be over the whole month of January,” said Rush.

“It was finally exciting to get to suit up against another team and show we have gotten better over this month and we’re coming for everyone else. That was exciting to have that show in this weekend and get those wins to move up a little in the rankings.” more

LION-HEARTED: Evan Barratt heads up the ice in action this winter during his sophomore campaign for the Penn State men’s hockey team. The former Hun School standout is starring for the  Nittany Lions, tallying 32 points on 14 goals and 18 assists through his first 21 games to rank third in the nation in scoring. In addition, he recently helped the United States National Junior Team take silver the IIHF World Junior Championships in British Columbia. (Photo by Mark Selders – Penn State Athletics)

By Justin Feil

When Evan Barratt won a silver medal with the United States National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championships on January 5 in British Columbia, it added another major achievement for the star ice hockey forward who isn’t even 20.

“It’s definitely a bigger stage this time,” said Barratt, who won gold with the U-18 team in 2017. “Being a year older helps a lot in this tournament. It’s hard to win. Being there with a bunch of guys that I used to play with was a lot of fun, and going as far as we did made it pretty special, but it didn’t finish the way we wanted it to. I thought it was a pretty good experience overall.”

Barratt’s list of accomplishments – individual and team – has mushroomed over the last five years since he was skating for The Hun School. He was on a Raiders ice hockey team that twice won the Mercer County Tournament and returned from injury to help them to their first Prep A state tournament title since 1996.  more

FAB FOUR: Members of the Princeton High girls’ track 4×400 relay, from left, freshman Kendall Williamson, junior Raina Williamson, sophomore Gabby Goddard, and junior Colleen Linko are all smiles after they placed first in the Central Jersey Group 4 Sectional meet last Saturday. The quartet clocked a winning time of 4:05.40 and their win helped PHS place seventh in the team standings at the event. The Tiger boys’ took sixth in the sectional, led by a victory in the shot put by senior star Paul Brennan.

By Bill Alden

A string of injuries to key performers robbed the Princeton High track teams of any realistic chance to challenge for team titles at the Central Jersey Group 4 Sectional indoor meet last Saturday.

But the PHS athletes who did compete at the Bennett Center at Toms River displayed a championship pedigree.

As for the boys, who placed sixth in the team standings in the meet won by South Brunswick, senior throwing star Paul Brennan added to his sterling resume as he placed first in the shot put with a heave of 56’1. more

CRASH COURSE: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Ben Drezner, second from left, crashes the net in a game earlier this winter. Last Thursday, senior forward Drezner scored the lone goal as PHS fell 3-1 to undefeated Manasquan (15-0). The Tigers, now 11-8-3, will start action in the Mercer County Tournament, where they are seeded second and are slated to play a quarterfinal contest on February 6 at the Mercer County Park rink, with the victor advancing to the semis on February 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Ben Drezner and his teammates on the Princeton High boys’ hockey team, facing undefeated Manasquan High last Thursday night was a litmus test with the postseason on the horizon.

“Manasquan is one of the top teams around, they are coming off a good season and they play a lot of good shore teams,” said PHS senior forward Drezner.

“It was a really good matchup for us, especially going right into playoffs. It is good to see where we are at.”

PHS fell behind right off the bat, yielding a goal in the first two minutes of the contest played at Pro Skate but then held the fort the rest of the period as neither team scored. The Tigers fell behind 2-0 in the second period but then made a late run, drawing back-to-back penalties and generating chances early in the third. more

A-GAME: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Aleah James dribbles the ball in a game last winter. Last Monday, sophomore guard James chipped in 11 points as second-seeded and defending champion Stuart defeated seventh-seeded Princeton Day School 83-31 in the state Prep B quarterfinals. The Tartans, now 13-9, are slated to host a Prep B semifinal contest on February 10 with the victor advancing to the title game on February 13. Stuart will also be starting play in the Mercer County Tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Bill Alden

There was a lot of emotion in the gym as second-seeded and defending champion Stuart Country Day School hosted seventh-seeded Princeton Day School in the state Prep B quarterfinals last Monday.

“We are excited to get into our prep tournament,” said Stuart sophomore guard Aleah James. “We were also excited because it was Bey-Shana Clark’s senior game. We were hyped for that.”

That excitement translated into a blazing start for the Tartans as they jumped out to a 25-3 first quarter lead over PDS. more

SENIOR LEADER: Hun School girls’ basketball player Leah Sutphen, left, handles the ball in a game last season. This past Saturday, senior forward Sutphen scored eight points to help Hun defeat Pingry 57-39, coming up big as the program held its annual Senior Day celebration. The Raiders, now 9-10, play at Pennington on February 6 before competing in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) tournament from February 8-10 at the Peddie School.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Leah Sutphen was determined to give her all last Saturday, playing in the final home game of her Hun School girls’ basketball career.

“It was a little bit upsetting, but I knew we should make the most of it and I think we did,” said Sutphen, reflecting on the emotions triggered by the ceremony that took part before the Raiders played Pingry.

With 5’6 forward and team co-captain Sutphen providing her usual brand of gritty play in the paint, Hun jumped out to a 26-14 halftime lead on the way to a 57-39 triumph over the Big Blue. more

AIDING AND ABETTING: Hun School boys’ hockey player Aidan McDowell goes after the puck in a game earlier this season. Senior defenseman McDowell’s production on the blue line has helped Hun go 12-8-1. In upcoming action, Hun will be starting play in the Mercer County Tournament as it goes after its sixth straight county crown. The Raiders are seeded first and are slated to play a quarterfinal contest on February 6 at the Mercer County Park rink with the victor advancing to the semis on February 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Aidan McDowell, the Senior Night celebration for the Hun School boys’ hockey team last week had special meaning even though he transferred into the program.

“Coming into Senior Night for us, it was a great moment for me and my family,” said Hun senior defenseman McDowell. “Just going through four years; coming here last year (from Manalapan) and having fun with the boys.”

Hosting Notre Dame in the January 29 contest at the Ice Land Skating Center, Hun had a lot of fun in the early going, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. more

January 30, 2019

The track remains empty at Princeton Station as the Dinky shuttle train is now expected to be out of service until the spring. Riders share how the Dinky’s closure has affected their commute in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Anne Levin

Having received numerous emails and listened to concerns from business owners and residents about an ordinance which would make meters along Witherspoon Street in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood available for all-day parking, Princeton Council opted to delay discussion and action on the measure.

Several members of the public took to the microphone at Council’s meeting on Monday, January 28, to air their views about the proposal.

Additional topics included the delay in restoration of Dinky service, and a bill, scheduled for Senate vote, that would give public utilities and cable companies the authority to cut down trees on public and private properties during extreme weather events.

Regarding the Witherspoon Street parking ordinance, Mayor Liz Lempert said a public hearing is still set for February 11, but action would not be taken at that time. “The reason why we are doing this is to help our businesses,” she said. “It helps to hear from all of you when we aren’t helping. It helps to hear there has to be turnover in that section. We issued a public notice for the ordinance hearing next month. So we’ will still hold that public hearing, but we won’t act on the ordinance when it comes up.” more