June 27, 2018

TEEING OFF: Terrance Bailey of LoyalTees heads to the hoop in recent action in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Monday. Bailey scored 18 points to help LoyalTees defeat Majeski Foundation 73-62 and improve to 4-0. In other action on Monday, Cure Insurance defeated Gomo Health 67-44 and NJ Spiritwear topped Apex Sport 70-43. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a battle of unbeatens when LoyalTees faced Majeski Foundation last Monday evening in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.

Terrance Bailey and his LoyalTees teammates were primed for the clash at the Community Park courts.

“We knew this was going to be a tough game,” said Bailey. “We just wanted to come out and keep the tone going and set it right.” more

June 20, 2018

All was calm at 8 p.m. Saturday, as viewers strolled through the historic Roebling Wire Works building in Trenton to view some 1,500 works by professional and amateur artists. But gun violence disrupted the festival seven hours later. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Anne Levin

A second suspect has been charged in the shooting that closed down Trenton’s Art All Night festival early Sunday morning. Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced Tuesday that Davonne White, 26, who remains hospitalized in stable condition, is charged with three weapons offenses.

Already charged in the incident is Amir “Mir” Armstrong, 23, who is hospitalized in critical condition. The exchange of gunfire inside the historic Roebling Wire Works just before 3 a.m. Sunday injured 22 people. Tahaij Wells, identifed as a shooter, is said to have been shot and killed by police. The incident is believed to have been gang related and the festival itself was not a target. more

By Anne Levin

For decades, members of the local community have been welcome at Princeton University’s Dillon Gymnasium and Stephens Fitness Center. But by the end of the year, use of the pool, squash courts, and other facilities will no longer be open to the public.

“Due to space limitations and student demand for the fitness and recreation facilities at Dillon Gymnasium and the Stephens Fitness Center, the University will no longer offer gym memberships to the general public as of January 1, 2019,” reads a letter sent to members on June 11. “In order to provide you with a transition period to find new fitness and recreation facilities to meet your needs, as of July 1, 2018 we will offer you the option of a half-year membership for non-University patrons. When the term of that membership option concludes at the end of the 2018, members of the general public will no longer be able to purchase a membership.” more

By Donald Gilpin

About 100 local residents with a range of concerns and questions about plans for the October 2 Princeton Public Schools facilities bond referendum gathered in John Witherspoon Middle School’s (JWMS) auditorium Monday evening, as Superintendent Steve Cochrane presented “A Vision for Our Schools” and fielded follow-up questions.

For about an hour and fifteen minutes, Cochrane described the needs for more space and infrastructure upgrades, for a plan that aligns those improvements with the district’s educational goals, and a plan to optimize the district’s investment in a first-rate, cost-effective education. more

BOG TURTLE BILL: Governor Murphy came to Riverside Elementary School Monday to sign a bill designating the bog turtle as the official New Jersey state reptile, culminating two years of campaigning by Riverside and Community Park School students and their teachers Mark Eastburn and Bevan Jones. (Photo by Donald Gilpin)

By Donald Gilpin

“This is your bill. Let’s all have a “shellabration,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, as he signed a bill declaring the bog turtle as the official state reptile before a full house in the Riverside Elementary School gym on Monday afternoon.

The event was the culmination of a two-year effort by students working with science teacher Mark Eastburn at Riverside, with librarian Bevan Jones at Community Park School (CPS), and others throughout the state.  more

By Jean Stratton

Brunch For Good is a new initiative that combines distinctive international cuisines with important community causes. Started this year by Princeton and Hopewell residents Mic Boekelmann and Maricel Hermann, three brunches, two focusing on Filipino cuisine and the other Italian, have been held. The causes have included political action and students working for sensible gun control.

The most recent brunch featured modernized favorites from the Philippine Islands fused with selected European influences. Filipino food has been hailed as the next “hot” cuisine, according to The New York Times and other publications. more

By Anne Levin

Most people recall James J. “Jim” Florio from his years as governor of New Jersey. But the Brooklyn-born Democrat’s political legacy includes much more than his term in Trenton, which lasted from 1990 to 1994.

Prior to being elected governor, Florio was a state assemblyman and congressman. He was the architect of the federal Superfund program that would clean up thousands of toxic waste sites around the country. He is also credited with designating the New Jersey Pinelands as a national preserve. more

A partnership this summer between the Princeton Children’s Fund, the Princeton Recreation Department, and Send Hunger Packing Princeton is making it possible for as many as 175 public school students to attend the Recreation Department’s summer camps.

“Because of the generosity of our donors and our partnership with the Princeton Recreation Department, we are able to provide an opportunity for our students to attend camp and engage in active and creative programs, while giving their parents full-day childcare,” said Felicia Spitz of the Princeton Children’s Fund.  more

Micah Rasmussen has been named the new director of The Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. Rasmussen has more than 26 years of experience in political, governmental, and public communication and has spent more than 15 years as an adjunct professor of political science. 

“Micah’s breadth of experience and extensive network inside the State House and out is poised to help expand the awareness and mission of The Rebovich Institute,” says Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs DonnaJean A. Fredeen.  more

The Sourland Conservancy has published a new hiking atlas created by former trustee, Kevin Burkman. Burkman is a resident of the Sourland region who specializes in digital mapping for natural resources, urban/environmental planning, and historic land preservation and volunteers as SC’s geographic information systems (GIS) analyst.

Burkman created the Sourland Region Hiking Atlas as a follow-up to Sourland Conservancy’s online hiking maps, which he also developed and continues to update. This new book highlights 24 parks and preserves with hiking trails in the 90-square-mile Sourland region. In addition to shaded relief maps, the atlas also features descriptions for each site, including history, geology, flora and fauna, and information on access and parking. His other work with the Conservancy includes open space analysis, tour maps, and pipeline corridor analysis.  more

Ten Young People Combatting Prejudice

Ten Princeton students who are working to combat prejudice and promote racial unity were recognized by Not in Our Town at its 2018 Unity Awards 20th Anniversary Event on June 10 at Princeton University’s Carl A. Fields Center.

The students were celebrated for being leaders at their schools in activities that range from starting student groups on racial awareness, to organizing a conference, to being active in a group that helped put together a textbook on racial awareness.

Award winners included PHS students Hamza Nishtar, Valeria Torres-Olivares, Fedlyne Cleophat, Brianna Silva, Leah Williamson, Nina Tillmann, Zainab Qureshi, and Shane Spring; Princeton Charter School eighth-grader Yayla Tur; and John Witherspoon eighth-grader Mojisola Ayodele.

PHS AP Exam Survey

Student Board of Education representatives Amy Wang and Brian Lu have reported to the Board on the Advanced Placement exam survey completed by 423 students. Seventy-seven percent of the students surveyed took at least one exam this year. Of those who did take an AP exam 36 percent took one exam, 19 percent took two exams, 21 percent took three exams, 11 percent took four exams, 7 percent took five exams, and 6 percent took six or more AP exams.

According to Wang and Lu’s report to the Board, the survey indicated that juniors tended to take the most AP courses, and that there is a correlation between students’ stress levels and the numbers of AP exams they took.

Community Options has recently named Phyllis L. Marchand to the board of trustees for Community Options Enterprises, which operates several programs as well as entrepreneurial businesses that successfully integrate people with disabilities into the workforce.

Marchand served 23 years as an elected official in Princeton Township, and for 12 years as mayor before retiring in 2009. She recently joined the Community Options board to augment production of their new Princeton VASEFUL flower store, scheduled to open on Witherspoon Street in the fall. more

PATTI’S PELOTON: Patti Maslanka will be joined this year on her fifth Anchor House Ride for Runaways by five of her children. From left, Mark, Patti, Jeff, Rebecca, Christopher, and Carolyn Maslanka. (Their dog Oliver will be staying home.) (Photo Courtesy of Christopher Maslanka)

By Donald Gilpin

Patti Maslanka is preparing to ride in her fifth consecutive annual Anchor House Ride for Runaways, setting out from Virginia on July 7 and riding 500 miles back to Trenton by July 14.

Maslanka won’t be alone at this 40th annual ride to raise money for Anchor House, which provides shelter, school, and outreach to youth ages 12 to 21 from Mercer County and throughout the state. She will be joined by five of her children, one as support and four as riders. It is the fourth year for one son, the third for another, the second for one daughter, and the first for another. more

In Michael Robertson’s coda to The Last Utopians: Four Late 19th Century Visionaries and Their Legacy (Princeton Univ, Press 2018), he stresses the necessity of “utopian dreaming” at a time when “nakedly racist and nativist rhetoric” is “permeating political discourse” and “powerful political optimism is in short supply.”

Walking around Princeton after reading The Last Utopians, I saw intimations of utopia everywhere and I was wide awake. It’s like music, a subtle, infectious refrain; wherever you go you hear the utopian melody. Take a perfect day in June on Nassau Street (utopia defined online is “a state in which everything is perfect”): you’ve been browsing in one of the best bookstores in the country, you’re carrying a yellow Princeton Record Exchange bag brimming with great music, and you’ve just passed Dohm Alley with its visionary evocations of Blake, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, and Coleridge. Turn the corner and you come to the rustic parklet in front of Small World, a cozy nook with tree-stump tables.  more

NATURAL WELL-BEING : “There is nothing like our wellness center in the area, with all the elements we include. Our clients like the whole range of services we offer.” Owner Silvia Fedorcikova (center) of 4 Elements Wellness in the Princeton Shopping Center is shown with staff members Kate Raynor (left) and Christine Flanagan.

By Jean Stratton

Earth, air, fire, and water! These elements are in full force at 4 Elements Wellness in the Princeton Shopping Center. This new wellness center offers an array of holistic therapeutic treatments.

“This is something I have a passion for,” explains owner Silvia Fedorcikova. “I love holistic and natural therapy. I had done research about innovative treatments, including cryotherapy, and I also learned about the upcoming industry in flotation. more

FASHION FORWARD: NIC+ZOE, the women’s boutique on Palmer Square, offers up-to-date, fun, and comfortable fashion, explains Cynthia Saffi, director of marketing. “Our clothing is made to flatter the female form. It moves with you, and it can take you from one activity to the next, from day to night.” Shown from left are store manager Sara Brosious, Cynthia Saffi, and assistant manager Jacque Keck.

By Jean Stratton

Fashion is fun at NIC+ZOE, the women’s shop at 73 Palmer Square West. Opened in November, it is one of eight stores owned by Dorian Lightbown, creative officer and designer.

Headquartered in Massachussetts, the first store was opened in 2015, after Lightbown saw a need to update and creatively coordinate women’s wardrobes. Previously, she had established a thriving online operation. Her idea was so successful that plans to launch more stores, which are named for Nicholas and Zoe, Lightbown’s children, quickly materialized. more

By Nancy Plum

Princeton Festival opened its mainstage opera production this past weekend with an audience favorite in Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Now one of the most popular Italian operas in the repertory, Puccini’s 1904 Butterfly was an unexpected disaster on its premiere night in Milan, leading the composer to revise the opera into the blockbuster it is today. Princeton Festival’s presentation Saturday night at McCarter Theatre Center’s Matthews Theatre was every bit the crowd-pleaser it should be, showcasing several stand-out singers in the process. Some operas lend themselves to restaging in other time periods, but Madama Butterfly is best left in its original timeframe of late 19th-early 20th-century Japan. Set in the harbor town of Nagasaki, Butterfly combined Puccini’s lush orchestrations and melodies with an exotic seaside locale to tug at audience heartstrings. Princeton Festival’s production, sung in Italian with English supertitles, took every advantage of Puccini’s rich melodic writing to convey a poignant storyline.  more

The Chinese American Music Ensemble, an adult chorus, will present a program at the Plainsboro Public Library on Sunday, June 24, at 2 p.m. It is one of four concerts by New Jersey-based musicians that will be presented on four separate Sundays at 2 p.m. as part of the library’s Community Fusion program. The ensemble will perform songs of love and passion from China and the West, dating from ancient times to the present.

On July 8, the influence of African American music on western music will be the focus of a concert by the three-person musical group The Drinking Gourd.  more

On Tuesday, July 31, from 7-9 p.m., the Nassau Presbyterian Church is hosting The World is My Home, which depicts the life of African American artist, activist, and Princeton native Paul Robeson as he fights globally for social justice on behalf of minority workers.  more

HOMECOMING: Addie Micir, center, surveys the action during her role as an assistant coach for the Dartmouth College women’s basketball team. Micir, a 2011 Princeton University alum and former star for the Tigers women’s hoops program, is coming home to serve as an assistant coach for her alma mater. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill  Alden

When Addie Micir arrived at Princeton University in the fall of 2007 and joined the women’s basketball team, she developed an instant rapport with head coach Courtney Banghart.

“She has been a mentor of mine since day one when I stepped on campus and she was my coach,” said Micir. more

FLYING HIGH: Princeton High boys’ track star Varun Narayan competes in a meet this spring. Last weekend at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., senior star and Carnegie Mellon-bound Narayan posted a mark of 23’ 2.5 in the long jump to finish sixth and earn All-American honors. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After dominating the New Jersey competition this spring by winning the Mercer County Championships, the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet, and the state Group 4 title, the Princeton High boys’ track team excelled on the national stage last weekend.

Competing at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., two of the boys’ entries earned All-America honors. more

FILLING IN: Princeton High boys’ lacrosse player Evan Filion heads to goal in a game this spring. Junior midfielder Filion was a bright spot for PHS this season, tallying 21 points on 14 goals and seven assists. The Little Tigers posted a final record of 5-12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton High boys’ lacrosse team edged Allentown 6-5 in late April, it reached the .500 mark for the first time this spring as it improved to 5-5.

That win turned out to be the high water mark for PHS as it ended the season on a tailspin, losing its last seven games to finish with a 5-12 record. more

GINNED UP:  Stuart Country Day School lacrosse player Gin Gin Plehn looks for an opening in a game this season. Senior star Plehn enjoyed a productive senior campaign as Stuart went 5-11-1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the course of the spring, the Stuart Country Day School lacrosse team proved to be a study in persistence.

“It really became about everybody doing their part to contribute,” said Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik, whose squad posted a final record of 5-11-1. “Nobody ever gave up all season long. Every day was a positive atmosphere.” more

CONTACT HITTER: Princeton Day School softball player Julie Patterson makes contact in a game this spring. Junior catcher Patterson starred at the plate and in the field for PDS, who posted a final record of 1-9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton Day School softball team, defeating Peddie in early April provided a glimpse of its potential.

“It is the absolute highlight,” said PDS head coach Paul Lano, reflecting on the 21-13 triumph over the Falcons. more