August 16, 2017

Princeton Public Schools (PPS) last week were once again recognized by Niche, a national school-ranking website “highlighting the best places to live and go to school,” as the No. 1 public school district in New Jersey.

You might think that Superintendent Steve Cochrane and his staff would be satisfied with that honor, maybe even willing to revel in the acclaim. But no, Mr. Cochrane said, proud as they are to be recognized “for the excellence that we see daily in our schools Й and our staff who are dedicated to making our schools places of innovation and care,” PPS has a larger goal. more

KEEPING IT CLEAN: At Saint Peter’s University Hospital, environmental services staffer Hilda Guzman of Old Bridge prepares the Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot in order to disinfect a patient’s room. (Photo Credit: John O’’Boyle)

Hospitals around the world are looking for new and innovative ways to battle deadly pathogens and kill multidrug resistant organisms that can cause hospital-acquired infections, or HAIs. Saint Peter’s University Hospital has taken a leap into the future with the implementation of a LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot that emits ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy hard-to-kill infectious organisms in hard-to-clean places. more

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SUCCESS: Princeton Community Village celebrated winners of New Jersey Affordable Housing Management Association (JAHMA) and National Affordable Housing Association (NAHMA) scholarships. From left are Mary Ebong, Daniel Hanna, JAHMA and NAHMA Scholarship Foundation administrator Bruce Johnson, Princeton Community Housing Executive Director Ed Truscelli, Noah Daniecki, Thundar Tun, and Katherine Thompson. Not pictured are Alana Chmiel and Harsh Raythattha. (Photo Courtesy of PCV)

Seven talented Princeton Community Village (PCV) students have won scholarships from the New Jersey Affordable Housing Management Association (JAHMA) and the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA).  more

There is something visually satisfying about an avenue, or allee, of trees leading into a neighborhood. But planting trees of the same species in such close proximity can be asking for trouble. In Princeton, that trouble is in the form of the emerald ash borer, the metallic green beetle that has the potential to destroy nearly all of the town’s ash trees.

Residents of the Fieldwood Manors development off Cherry Valley Road are fortunate, because the ash trees that line the road into the neighborhood have been targeted for treatment. Princeton Council approved a resolution on August 7 to hire Robert Wells Tree and Landscape, Inc. for the job. more

United Way of Greater Mercer County (UWGMC), a nonprofit organization that improves the financial stability, self-sufficiency, and health of Mercer County residents, announced recently that Jennifer Woods of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has become the new chair of the board of directors.

Ms. Woods joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2014 as the staff development officer. In this role, she is tasked with improving organizational effectiveness by working with leadership to understand business challenges/skills gaps, and to determine and then implement strategies to address the learning needs of the organization.  more

Princeton Summer Theater is presenting Appropriate at the Hamilton Murray Theater. Written by Princeton University alumnus Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (who graduated in 2006), this contemporary drama is an apt conclusion to a season that has examined “whether it is better to look to the past for inspiration or to move in the direction of future progress,” as Princeton Summer Theater’s website states.

In Pippin, the title character comes of age and anticipates his future. The affluent heroine of Spider’s Web is a fantasist whose comfortable, orderly world permits her to live for the present. By contrast, The Crucible presents conflict as ever-present, using a brutal historical event as an allegory for more recent injustice.

Set in the present day, Appropriate develops themes explored by all three of these shows, epitomizing the exploration of tension between generations and eras. Princeton Summer Theater has given audiences a season that can be interpreted as a variation on A Christmas Carol in its interplay between past, present, and future.  more

I watched Carnie as she sang. I was looking at my daughter and thinking about when she was little; about her sister when she was little; about how I was young then, too; about the cover of Sunflower; about feeling my mom’s hands as she lowered me into the crib. People are beautiful. Life can be, too. —Brian Wilson

A week after the 72nd anniversary of Hiroshima, with people talking about fall-out shelters again thanks to the blustering president and his North Korean counterpart, i’ve been thinking about what makes life worth living, things like family, pets, comfort food, art and literature, baseball and rock and roll.  more

HV YOUTH CHORALE WELCOMES NEW DIRECTORS: Hopewell Valley Youth Chorale welcomes (from left) Managing Director Jennifer Ghannam, Preparatory Choir Director Ingrid Ladendorf, with founding director, Michele Alford.

The Board of Directors of Hopewell Valley Youth Chorale (HVYC) is pleased to announce the appointments of Ingrid Ladendorf as director of the preparatory choir and Jennifer Ghannam as managing director in charge of operations. more

Richard Tang Yuk, Voices Chorale’s new artistic director, is looking for altos, basses, baritones, and tenors for the 2017-18 Season. Auditions will be held in early September. Voices Chorale rehearses Monday evenings at Music Together, 225 Pennington-Hopewell Road in Hopewell. To schedule an audition, email Dr. Susan Evans at  more

The Trenton Children’s Chorus, a 28-year-old nonprofit organization that empowers the academic, social, and spiritual lives of children through artistry in music, announced recently that Dr. D.A. Graham (pictured here) has been named president of the board of directors and Dr. Rochelle Ellis has been named music director. 

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, one of New Jersey’s premier private charitable foundations, has awarded a $52,500 grant to Trenton Community Music School, to support the Trenton Music Makers preschool and orchestra programs.

The Trenton Music Makers preschool program was launched in 2000 to ensure that Trenton’s pre-K students received the academic and social benefits implicit in high-quality early-childhood music and movement instruction. Developed in partnership with the Office of Early Childhood Programs of the Trenton Public Schools and The Center for Music and Young Children, then in Princeton, the program has to date engaged over 3,000 children and their families, and trained 250 classroom teachers to integrate high-quality music activities into their daily routines.  more

HIGH INTENSITY: Trish Reilly looks for the ball in action last fall during her freshman season for the Lehigh University field hockey team. Former Princeton High standout Reilly saw time at midfield and defense during the 2016 campaign, receiving the program’s Coaches Award. Reilly, who has been voted as a team captain, is looking to earn a starting role on defense this fall for the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh begins its 2017 campaign when it hosts LIU-Brooklyn on August 25. (Photo Courtesy of Lehigh Athletics)

For Trish Reilly, playing college sports was a matter of following family tradition.

Her father, George, played football and competed at track at Brown University, while her mother, Ann, was a field hockey player for the Bears. Reilly’s oldest sister, Meg, played for the Muhlenberg College lacrosse program while older sister Katie was a lacrosse player at Amherst College. more

August 14, 2017

STRETCHING THE LIMITS: Matthew Michibata of the Princeton Tennis Program has been named to the second USTA Junior Leadership Team. (Photo Credit: Erica M. Cardenas)

Written by Erica M. Cardenas

Matthew Michibata, who trains with Princeton Tennis Program, has been named to the second USTA Junior Leadership Team, which recognizes the finest U.S. junior tennis players who exhibit leadership, sportsmanship, and character on and off the court. more

August 9, 2017

Joint Efforts Safe Streets organizer John Bailey, left with scarf, and many others gathered on Sunday in the Miller Chapel of the Princeton Theological Seminary at an ecumenical service that celebrated the four black churches of Princeton: First Baptist, Morning Star, Mt. Pisgah AME, and Witherspoon Street Presbyterian. The service also honored the historic Witherspoon-Jackson community and its people. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

Mercer County has agreed to transfer ownership of the 142-acre Herrontown Woods Arboretum to the town of Princeton, resolving years of discussion and opening the door for the Friends of Herrontown Woods (FOHW) to bid to take on restoration of the Veblen House.

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes and Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert on Monday made a joint announcement of the agreement, which must be approved by the Princeton Council, the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the New Jersey Green Acres Program.  more

SAFE STREETS KICK OFF CELEBRATION: Studio Hillier hosted a celebration on Friday evening to formally kick off events for this year’s Joint Effort Safe Streets Program in celebration of the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) community of Princeton. The entire W-J neighborhood has been designated Princeton’s 20th historic district to honor the African American contribution to the town. As part of its commitment to this unique community, Studio Hillier is designing a set of plaques to be located on 25 historic sites within the W-J community. Pictured, from left, are Aaron Fisher, artist of the Paul Robeson painting shown; Leighton Newlin, chairman of the Princeton Housing Authority; Barbara and Bob Hillier of Studio Hillier; and Shirley Satterfield, president of the Witherspoon-Jackson Historic and Cultural Society. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

Character Lesson No. 6 at the Witherspoon Street School for Colored Children (1858-1948): “You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from.” more

To many people, preserving open space is about preventing developers from turning fields and forests into housing developments. But maintaining the natural environment is also about keeping invasive species at bay.

With a $50,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres Stewardship Program, the Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS) will be doing just that on 18 acres of the Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve. This forest restoration effort, which will take two years, is designed to remove abundant invasive species and recreate natural plant communities.  more

Princeton Integral Yoga Community Center (Princeton IYCC) hosted an AcroYoga Workshop on Palmer Square on Saturday, August 5. Blending the wisdom of Thai massage, yoga, and partner acrobatics, the class focused on the fundamentals of flying, basing, and spotting, as well as inversion training, tightness drills, and partner warm-ups. Princeton IYCC will next host a free outdoor soft flow yoga class in the Princeton Shopping Center Courtyard on Saturday, August 12 at noon. The event is free. To learn more, visit

A TUSCAN VILLA IN PRINCETON: Painter and prominent Princetonian Howard Russell Butler, a graduate of Princeton University’s first school of science, lived in this unique property for several years and designed its significant expansion to include a tower and light-filled studio.

With its distinctive tower and roofline, the house at 107 Library Place in Princeton’s western section has long been a source of curiosity to those who drive past. Credit for its unusual layout goes to none other than Howard Russell Butler, the artist and scientist who is the subject of a current exhibit at the Princeton University Art Museum focused on his paintings of the 1918 solar eclipse. more

A $2 million donation from Eric and Wendy Schmidt will support the launch of the Program in Theoretical Machine Learning in the Institute for Advanced Study’s School of Mathematics. Eric Schmidt is the executive chairman of Google; Wendy Schmidt is president of The Schmidt Family Foundation and co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute.

The Schmidts have a history of supporting innovation. In 2009, they established the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund at Princeton University. more

Princeton Charter School is preparing to expand, with an increase of 54 students this year. Trailers are on site to provide two new classrooms, six or seven new teachers will be coming on board, and plans are in the works with KSS Architects of Princeton to design permanent space for the future.

Controversy over the expansion continues, however, with Princeton Public Schools (PPS) claiming severe financial repercussions and awaiting a response from the Appellate Division of the Superior Court on their appeal of the acting state education commissioner’s decision to approve the PCS expansion. Also pending are law suits on both sides over alleged violations of the Open Public Meetings Act. more

Girls on the Run of New Jersey East’s registration for the fall season is now open. Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program that inspires girls in third through eighth grade to be joyful, healthy, and confident. The volunteer-led program brings together groups of 8-20 girls for a ten-week program that encourages personal development, team building, and connection to the community. Girls on the Run New Jersey East has inspired girls throughout Essex, Morris, Union, Burlington, and Mercer Counties since 2000 and has impacted the lives of more than 10,000 girls. The program fee for the fall season is $199 and financial assistance is available based on a sliding scale. Visit the Girls on the Run of New Jersey East website,, for more information about the program and fall season registration.

Saint Peter’s University Hospital of New Brunswick has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.  more

Tutors, class leaders, workshop leaders and other volunteers are needed to teach teenagers through the Princeton Learning Cooperative in the coming academic year. PLC provides an alternative to regular school.

Subjects in which volunteers are sought include writing, math, evolution, nature, marine biology, animal behavior, social activism, geography, debate, world religions, American sign language, Brazilian conversation, basic auto mechanics, drama, piano, and many others.  more

The lengthy approval process for the proposed move of Triumph Brewery from its current location on Nassau Street into the former U.S. Post Office branch on Palmer Square continued last week without a final ruling.

On August 3, Princeton’s Planning Board heard more testimony from the preservation architect, traffic consultant, attorneys in favor and opposed to the project, and some members of the public before deciding to continue the discussion at their September 28 meeting. An earlier hearing on July 13 was ended prematurely due to a power outage during a storm. more