September 25, 2019

Princeton Children’s Fund Advances Equity

The Princeton Children’s Fund (PCF) had a busy summer, working in partnership with the Princeton Education Foundation and the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) to advance equity and overcome achievement gaps.

Twenty-five John Witherspoon Middle School (JWMS) students and 17 Princeton High School (PHS) students participated in the PCF’s The Book U Get summer reading book clubs, with more than 460 books making their way into the hands of the student readers. Princeton Public Library hosted both clubs for eight weeks over the summer.

PCF’s Mission to Mars summer science camp took 24 sixth- to tenth-grade students on an imaginary adventure to Mars, including real adventures to iFly Indoor Skydiving, Great Adventure, and Rutgers University, as well as three weeks of hands-on biology, physics, and food science at JWMS. more

By Donald Gilpin

What if an automated vehicle could drop you off with your groceries at your front door, then go pick up someone else? One car could make about 50 “person” trips per day instead of five, so that only one car is needed for every ten that exist now, and at night only one car, not ten, would need to be parked.

Could Princeton families with a few cars cut back to one or two, or none?

Princeton Future (PF) will be exploring possibilities for changing the way Princeton residents get around at a public workshop on Saturday, September 28, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Community Room of the Princeton Public Library. 

According to PF, a transit-on-demand system could use small vehicles that could be summoned by a smart phone app to a location within walking distance of a user’s home. more

By Anne Levin

Four historians will explore the connections of Princeton native Paul Robeson to the Jewish community, left-wing political movements, and the Soviet Union in the 1940s at a special program Sunday, October 6, at Rutgers University’s Douglass Student Center in New Brunswick.

“Paul Robeson: ‘Negro-Jewish Unity,’ and the ‘Jewish People’s Movement’ in the 1940s: Legacy and Challenges” is the title of the program co-sponsored by the Paul Robeson Centennial Celebration at Rutgers. Robeson graduated from the University in 1919.

“Paul Robeson had a very important connection to the Jewish community,” said Nancy Sinkoff, associate professor of Jewish Studies and History, and academic director of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at the University. Sinkoff organized the event. “He was an iconic figure of interracial activism.”

According to a statement about the program, “Robeson, a Communist, was active in building a popular anti-fascist movement among Jews and an alliance between American Jews and African Americans. He contributed to this effort through his songs in Yiddish and Hebrew and his endorsement of Jewish causes, including support for the modern state of Israel. Robeson’s defense of the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, the subjugation of Eastern Europe, and the crushing of Soviet Jewish culture challenges the legacy of his commitment to universal human rights.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands…
—T.S. Eliot, from “Preludes”

I meant to be writing about the Beatles’ farewell album Abbey Road, which saw the light 50 years ago tomorrow, September 26. No chore that, far from it, but this is the last week of the regular baseball season, and when I should be thinking about London, all that comes to mind is that St. Louis — where T.S. Eliot was born on September 26, 1888 — is the home of the Cardinals, who clinched a spot in the playoffs Sunday and are looking to win the Central Division after sweeping a crucial four game series from the Cubs at Chicago, something that last happened in 1921.

It’s safe to say that St. Louis is not the city Tom Eliot was imagining when he wrote “Preludes.” But a poem suggesting that a street is capable of understanding a vision of itself tells me, hey, why worry about limits? Since Beatles and baseball are two of the best things in my life, there’s no reason why they can’t share the same column.  more

By Nancy Plum

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed more than 20 piano concerti which grace the repertories of symphony orchestras worldwide, but less than a handful of pieces for two pianos. To celebrate Rossen Milanov’s 10th anniversary as music director of the ensemble, Princeton Symphony Orchestra presented Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in E-flat Major, featuring a 21st-century pair of virtuosic sisters in pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton. Bracketed by one of Mozart’s more popular operatic overtures and one of his more joyful symphonies, this Concerto proved to be the perfect vehicle to commemorate Milanov’s tenure as conductor of the Orchestra and welcome the audience to a new season.

Saturday night’s performance at Richardson Auditorium (the concert was repeated Sunday afternoon) also paid homage to former Princeton Professor Edward T. Cone’s role as pianist and mentor — the last time the Mozart double piano Concerto was performed by Princeton Symphony was with Cone himself and his student Robert Taub (who had his own extended history with the Orchestra) at the keyboards. Milanov and the Orchestra warmed up the audience with Mozart’s “Overture” to The Marriage of Figaro, an operatic standard since its premiere in 1786. Musically launched with lithe bassoon swirls, Mozart’s “Overture” was full of well-tapered lines and well-defined accents. Inner instrumental parts were heard well and the Orchestra effectively closed the work in a blaze of glory. more

“GLORIA: A LIFE”: Performances are underway for “Gloria: A Life.” Originally directed by Diane Paulus and restaged for McCarter by playwright Emily Mann, the play runs through October 6 at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre. Gloria Steinem (Mary McDonnell, above) speaks at the 2017 Women’s March. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

McCarter Theatre is presenting Gloria: A Life. Originally directed for off-Broadway by Diane Paulus, this groundbreaking drama has been restaged for McCarter by playwright Emily Mann. This production opens Mann’s 30th and final season as the company’s artistic director and resident playwright.

Gloria: A Life was conceived by actor Kathy Najimy. Najimy envisioned a show in which feminist activist and journalist Gloria Steinem would portray herself. Producer Daryl Roth presented the concept to André Bishop, the producing artistic director of Lincoln Center Theater, and Mann was commissioned to write the script. Ultimately Christine Lahti portrayed Steinem in the off-Broadway production, which opened at the Daryl Roth Theatre in 2018.

In McCarter’s current production Mary McDonnell portrays Steinem, who shares her life story with the audience in the first act. The shorter second act offers members of the audience an opportunity to react to the play, and share their own experiences. “The first act is Gloria’s life, and the history of the movement — and how those reflect on each other; the second part is about the audience,” Mann explains in a promotional video. more

Bisbee ’17, a film by Robert Greene, will be shown Thursday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at the James Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau Street, on the Princeton University campus. The film will be followed by a discussion with Greene and Vox film critic Alissa Wilkinson.

This film is part of the “Radical Nonfiction: Fantasy, Observation and Elasticity in the Documentary Film” series, organized by filmmaker Robert Greene and presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts. Admission is free and open to the public.

Excerpts from some of Greene’s other films will also be shown. The series is put together by Greene to take the current pulse of the ever-changing documentary film form. “Documentary film is full of contradictions; the staged meets the observed, intervention meets the authentic,” he said. “Documentary film uses observation to show us the world we inhabit, but nonfiction images are also records of the fantasies of both filmmakers and subjects. What we believe, how we subjectively formulate our experiences — the fantasy of our own realities — can be captured and magnified by the camera and how we edit images together. This is documentary: an elastic, ever-changing attempt at working with the world as it is and as we hope it be.” more

RETURNING FOR A RECITAL: Westminster Choir College alumnus Gonzalo Aguilar will come back to the Westminster campus to present the first recital in the inaugural season of the Rinaldi Steinway Westminster Piano Alumni Series on Sunday, October 6 at 3 p.m.

Westminster Choir College alumnus Gonzalo Aguilar will return to the Westminster campus to present the first recital in the inaugural season of the Rinaldi Steinway Westminster Piano Alumni Series on Sunday, October 6 at 3 p.m. His performance will be in Bristol Chapel on the Westminster campus on Walnut Lane. Admission is free.

Aguilar will perform J. S. Bach’s Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo BWV 992, W. A. Mozart’s Fantasy in C minor, K. 475 and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata No. 2 Op. 36. more

Beppe Gambetta

Guitarist Beppe Gambetta returns to Princeton on Friday, October 11, at 8 p.m., when The Princeton Folk Music Society brings him to Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane.

The concert is billed as a fusion of American and Italian folk music traditions. Gambetta taught himself to flat-pick by listening to bluegrass LPs. He combines the folk music of Italy and points east with the bluegrass style of Kentucky. While he may be best known for his picking prowess, he also is a talented vocalist. He sometimes likes to step away from the microphone so that the audience can enjoy the pure beauty of a performance without electronic enhancements. more

BECK TALK AT MORPETH: Bucks County artist Robert Beck will give a Gallery Talk on Sunday, September 29 at 2:30 p.m. at Morpeth Contemporary in Hopewell. It will focus on his paintings from the Delaware Valley, Maine, and New York.

Bucks County painter Robert Beck will discuss his studio images and how he develops them from inception to completion at a Gallery Talk at Morpeth Contemporary in Hopewell on Sunday, September 29 at 2:30 p.m. Beck will focus on paintings from the three locations he paints in most often: Maine, New York, and his home in the Delaware Valley.

This presentation marks the beginning of Morpeth’s recent association with Beck, representing and exhibiting his work in the area.  more

“ETHNIC EXPO”: An exhibit of Indian textiles will be on view October 5 through 30 at the Plainsboro Library. A reception with live demonstrations is Sunday, October 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“Ethnic Expo,” an exhibit of Indian textiles, opens at Plainsboro Library on October 5. Curated by Anita Kulkarni, the exhibit is designed as a visual and tactile experience that features both framed art and unframed art that can be touched. It is also educational, exploring the rich artistic traditions of India.

A reception will be held on Sunday, October 6, 2 to 4 p.m., where visitors can view live demonstrations of Warli and Madhubani handpainting styles (3:30-4 p.m.). The show runs through October 30. more

“THE POWER OF FACES”: A photograph of a family in a refugee camp in Mexico is featured in an exhibit of photographs on view at Princeton Public Library through November 30. The images are part of a global photojournalism project by Theresa Menders and Daniel Farber Huang.

An exhibit of photographs that put a human face on the worldwide refugee crisis is on view through November 30 at Princeton Public Library. Part of “The Power of Faces,” a global photojournalism project by Theresa Menders and Daniel Farber Huang, the images are displayed on the library’s second floor. more

“A GOLDEN FIELD”: This painting by Carol Sanzalone is featured in “Visual Harmony,” her joint exhibit with Gail Bracegirdle at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville, on view October 10 through November 3. An opening reception is Saturday, October 12 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Artists’ Gallery at 18 Bridge Street, Lambertville, will feature watercolor paintings by Gail Bracegirdle and Carol Sanzalone in “Visual Harmony,” from October 10 to November 3. An opening reception is Saturday, October 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Closing Tea is scheduled for Sunday, November 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. more

SHOWING HIS WORTH: Princeton University defensive back Delan Stallworth corrals a Butler player last Saturday in the season opener for the Tigers. Junior Stallworth made a team-high eight tackles and had an interception to spearhead a stifling defensive effort as Princeton rolled to a 49-7 win over the Bulldogs. The Tigers, who have posted 11 straight victories, will look to keep on the winning track as they play at Bucknell (0-3) on September 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last fall as the Princeton University football team rolled to a 10-0 record, the defense flew under the radar, overshadowed by an offensive unit that averaged an Ivy League-record 47 points a game.

Boasting eight returning starters, the Tiger defense was primed to come out flying as Princeton opened its 2019 campaign by hosting Butler University last Saturday evening.

“This camp, we emphasized running to the ball,” said junior defensive back Delan Stallworth. “When we came out here tonight, everybody was excited to play for the first game.” more

WRAPPED IN THE FLAG: Former Princeton University field hockey standout Kathleen Sharkey ’13 controls the ball in action for the U.S. national team. Last month, Sharkey served as Team USA’s flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the XVIII Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. She was the first field hockey athlete to serve as U.S. flag bearer at the Pan Am Games. She went on to help the U.S. earn the bronze medal at the competition. (Photo provided courtesy of USA Field Hockey)

By Justin Feil

Eggs and pancakes.

The food itself wasn’t especially memorable, but Kathleen Sharkey won’t forget the breakfast in the athlete’s village dining hall in Lima, Peru, when she was informed that she had been selected as the flag bearer for the United States at the Pan American Games that concluded August 11.

“It was definitely one of the coolest, if not the coolest, experience of my life,” said Sharkey, a 2013 Princeton University graduate and four-time All-American for the Tiger field hockey program.

“It was such an honor. I was actually pretty surprised when I found out. I knew before we headed down to Peru that I had been nominated to be a flag bearer. I didn’t have much information at that point. I thought every sport had a nomination from their team.”

Sharkey is the first field hockey player to be selected by Team USA as flag bearer. She is the third local product to carry the U.S. flag at the Pan American Opening Ceremony in the last 20 years. Princeton University graduate Karen Smyers, a triathlete, was flag bearer in 1999 while Hun School graduate Jason Read, a rower, carried the flag for Team USA in 2011. The flag bearer is selected by vote from the U.S. athletes. more

GEE WHIZ: Princeton University women’s soccer player Tatum Gee controls the ball in game last year. Last Sunday, junior Gee notched the first goal of her college career, scoring the lone tally of the game as Princeton edged William & Mary 1-0 last Sunday. The Tigers, now 3-3-2 overall, host Yale (6-2) on September 28 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tatum Gee didn’t score a goal in her first 42 games for the Princeton University women’s soccer team.

The junior picked a good time to break the ice, scoring the lone tally as Princeton edged William & Mary 1-0 last Sunday.

“I was so excited, it was a great pass; Olivia Kane just slipped it through and it wasn’t hard to put it in,” said Gee, a native of Buena Park, Calif. “It is an amazing feeling. I am hoping the team can ride this kind of high and start a winning streak.”

Gee acknowledged that Princeton was primed to resume its winning ways on a day when the program welcomed back its all-time winningest coach, Julie Shackford (203-115-29 in 20 seasons at Princeton, including an NCAA College Cup semifinal appearance in 2004 and eight NCAA tournament bids), who is now guiding William & Mary. more

HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Kirin Kunukkasseril, right, battles for the ball in recent action. Last Wednesday, senior midfielder and Gettysburg College-bound Kunukkasseril scored a goal to help PHS defeat Trenton 6-0. The Tigers, who defeated WW/P-North 3-0 last Friday to improve to 5-1-1, are playing at Ewing on September 26 before hosting Hamilton West on October 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton High girls’ soccer team wasn’t pushed as it cruised to a 6-0 win over Trenton last Wednesday, Kirin Kunukkasseril saw the victory as a valuable effort despite the lopsided score.

“We were just learning, working off passes together, getting runs together for future games,” said PHS senior midfielder and co-captain Kunukkasseril. “We just need to get the basics down, this is a game where we could work on that.”

Kunukkasseril got something that she needed in the win when she tallied the second goal of the game. more

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High boys’ soccer team trailing WW/P-North 1-0 heading into the second half last Friday, defender James Novak got new marching orders.

“They wanted me to push higher and go forward up the flank,” said PHS junior Novak, recalling the halftime message from the Tiger coaching staff.

Novak executed those instructions with aplomb early in the second half, heading into the box, taking a feed from Ian Pompliano, and slotting it into the back of the net to knot the contest at 1-1.

“I just saw a bunch of space,” said Novak. “I was hoping that the ball would pop out, it did, and I got a goal.” more

AVIS TRYING HARD: Princeton High football player Stephen Avis heads upfield last Saturday as PHS hosted Pemberton High in its home opener. The Tigers were unable to get their offense going as Pemberton pulled away to a 53-0 win. PHS, now 0-2, plays at Hamilton West (1-1) on September 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into this fall, Charlie Gallagher was looking for his Princeton High football team to be more competitive.

Hosting Pemberton in its home opener last Saturday, PHS hung tough in the early going, trailing only 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.

But the roof fell in on the Tigers over the next 12 minutes of action as the Hornets tallied 21 unanswered points and never looked back on the way to a 53-0 win.

PHS head coach Gallagher acknowledged that his squad failed to develop a rhythm against the Hornets.

“I didn’t like the way our offense started; our offense is really struggling,” said Gallagher, whose team dropped to 0-2 with the defeat. “Until we get some first downs, we are going to struggle.”

After a 49-8 opening night loss at Hightstown on September 13, Gallagher was looking for PHS to make some progress from the first game but he conceded that didn’t happen. more

LIFE OF RILEY: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer goalie Riley Felsher goes up for a save in a game earlier this season. Last Thursday, senior star and NYU-bound Felsher made nine saves to help PDS defeat Pennington 3-1. The Panthers, who moved to 6-1 with a 6-3 loss at Blair Academy last Saturday, are slated to host Lawrenceville School on September 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Riley Felsher had a good feeling as the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team hosted powerhouse Pennington last Wednesday afternoon.

Even though PDS had lost four in row in the rivalry, including defeats last year in a regular season meeting and Mercer County Tournament semifinals, senior goalie Felsher and her teammates were ready to turn the tables on the Red Raiders.

“Knowing we have been close to beating them and how the competition has been in the last couple of years that we have seen them, we were confident,” said Felsher. more

ON THE BALL: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Molly Lagay controls the ball in recent action. Last week, junior star Lagay scored the winning goal as Stuart edged the George School (Pa.) 1-0 in overtime. The Tartans, who defeated Hamilton West 3-0 last Friday to improve to 4-1-1, are next in action when they play at Peddie on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Molly Lagay got herself in the right spot at the right time as the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team battled visiting George School (Pa.) in overtime last week.

With the teams knotted in a scoreless tie as the extra session began, Stuart junior star and co-captain Lagay headed to the corner of the goal and pounced on a rebound and blasted it home to give Stuart a 1-0 victory.

“On the first shot we did on the corner, I saw Kaitlyn [Magnani] hit it right and it was so close, I almost got it on the post,” recalled Lagay.

“I saw that Caroline [Mullen] was coming in and was heading toward that post. I sat there and got in that space where I thought it was going to go. It went right there and I hit it in.” more

KICKING IN: Hun School girls’ soccer player Hannah Cavanaugh, left, battles a foe for the ball in recent action. Hun, which moved to 2-3 with a 3-0 loss to Monroe last Saturday, hosts Friends Central (Pa.) on September 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jenn Barrett didn’t have to wait long to earn the first win of her tenure as the head coach of the Hun School girls’ soccer teams.

Hun started the fall with a bang, defeating Ewing 6-1 in its season opener on September 7 and followed that up with a 2-1 win over the George School (Pa.) three days later.

“We played really well in our first game, we got the kinks out in the first half and in the second half we just opened up and exploded,” said Barrett.

“Against George we came out a little flat; they had really improved since last year. That was a little more of a challenge in that game but we came through and worked really hard and worked well together. It was a good game.”

The Raiders produced another good game in a losing cause as it fell 2-0 to Princeton Day School on September 12. more

September 18, 2019

The annual community event, held Sunday afternoon at Princeton Airport, featured a vendor fair, local food, live music, classic cars and planes, helicopter rides, children’s activities, and more. Participants share their favorite parts of FunFest in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

As the 2019-20 school year enters its third week, the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) is wrestling with the challenges of maintaining top-flight schools in the face of steadily rising enrollments and limited financial resources.

All six schools are at or over capacity, with school buildings more than 50 years old, and, in the case of Princeton High School, more than 90 years old.

“We need more space,” BOE President Beth Behrend told a September 10 special meeting, “but are faced with budgetary constraints on our ability to staff and teach in these spaces.”

Emphasizing the importance of collaboration within the schools and with the larger community, Behrend noted, “What we do next requires big thinking. Solving the puzzle of ‘growth with great schools’ requires planning and action, not just by the Princeton Board of Education, but also by our municipal bodies, our local institutions, and by the entire community.” more

By Anne Levin

A group of Westminster Choir College students has joined the list of plaintiffs in a lawsuit aimed at preventing Rider University from relocating Westminster Choir College from its Princeton home to Rider’s Lawrenceville campus. But while litigation to stop the move gathers strength, enrollment at the choir college is at a dangerously low level.

“Enrollment has dropped 60 percent in the last two freshman classes,” attorney Bruce Afran told a standing-room-only crowd gathered for a public forum on Westminster’s future last Tuesday evening, September 10, at Nassau Presbyterian Church. “I am fearful that the students who visit the Lawrenceville campus, which is the only campus where they are being given tours, will not attend, because they will see [Rider] does not have the facilities they need for their craft. We may end up with zero students, and that is a horrible waste.”

Some members of the audience, which included students as well as faculty and members of the community, expressed concern that the college could be decimated by the time litigation is complete. But Afran vowed to continue the suits, adding that efforts are still being made to sit down with Rider and come up with a financial solution. more