December 18, 2019

DRIVING FORCE: Hun School girls’ basketball player Kennedy Jardine drives to the basket in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star Jardine scored 15 points in a losing cause as Hun fell 50-47 in overtime to the Baldwin School (Pa.) to move to 5-2. The Raiders are next in action when they host the Blair Academy on January 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Bill Holup liked what he saw as his Hun School girls’ basketball team won its first four games.

“We beat some solid teams and we won close games,” said Hun head coach Holup. “The girls were finding ways to win.”

Last Wednesday, Hun ran into a very solid team as it played at Stuart Country Day School and tasted defeat for the first time this winter, falling 73-35 to the Tartans.

“Today was more of a reality check,” said Holup. “I think we did a little too much dribbling, we just weren’t prepared for the pressure they were going to put on us.” more

December 11, 2019

Palmer Square’s first outdoor skating rink is now open on Hulfish Street behind the Nassau Inn. It features a non-refrigerated surface called Glice, which provides an eco-friendly skating experience. Participants share their impressions of the new rink in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

CLIMATE STRIKERS: About 40 students and other local residents gathered in Hinds Plaza on Friday, December 6, joining an international strike to protest inaction in the face of climate change. A lockdown at Princeton High School due to a swatter threat prevented many students from attending the rally.

By Donald Gilpin

Combating both “generalized violence” and climate change, all in the same day, may have become the new normal for high school students.

At least that’s what many at Princeton High School (PHS) faced last Friday, as students, slated to lead a mid-day climate strike in downtown Princeton, found that a call to the school threatening “generalized violence,” according to the Princeton Police Department (PPD), necessitated a shelter in place until the school’s 3 p.m. dismissal time.

The announcement of a district-wide lockdown came at around 11:15 a.m. during lunch at PHS, where Junior Nate Howard, Princeton Student Climate Initiative member and a leader of the climate rally, was, ironically, attending a lunch meeting of the PHS branch of March For Our Lives, a student-led group that supports legislation to prevent gun violence. more

By Anne Levin

The release last week of Princeton University graduate student Xiyue Wang, imprisoned in Iran for the past three years, was reason to rejoice for his family and members of the University community.

Jailed on espionage charges after traveling to Tehran to study Farsi and do research for his dissertation on 19th and early 20th-century Eurasian history, the 38-year-old, third-year doctoral student was freed in a prisoner exchange with Masoud Soleimani, an Iranian scientist arrested last year and convicted on charges he violated trade sanctions against Iran.

““The entire Princeton University community is overjoyed that Xiyue Wang can finally return home to his wife and young son, and we look forward to welcoming him back to campus,” University President Christopher L. Eisgruber said in an issued statement. “We are grateful to everyone, at Princeton and beyond, who has supported Xiyue and his family throughout his unjust imprisonment, and for all the efforts that have led to his release. We would like to especially extend our thanks to the United States government, the government of Switzerland, and the students, faculty, and staff who continued to advocate for Xiyue’s freedom throughout this ordeal.” more

PROMOTING EQUITY: In one of the district’s equity workshops Monday afternoon, featured guest speaker Fatema Sumrein urged John Witherspoon Middle School teachers to make sure to really “see” all of their students.  (Photo courtesy of Princeton Public Schools)

By Donald Gilpin

Two years ago the Princeton Public Schools undertook an equity audit conducted by an outside expert. The results of that study continue to drive many of the district’s ongoing efforts in the quest for equity, most recently in a series of in-service training workshops that took place during a half-day professional day on Monday at all the schools.

“It’s not a theme of the year. It’s not an add-on to the work we are doing. It is the work,” said Superintendent Steve Cochrane at last week’s PPS Board of Education meeting.

Describing the PPS as “an ideal environment in which ”to strive for both equity and excellence,” the audit report cited the PPS “stated commitment to equity, strong academic outcomes, and a budding commitment to culturally responsive curriculum and instruction” as “a base on which more effort around educational equity should take place.”  more

BEAUTY IN NATURE: In his new book of essays and photos about the Sourlands, Jim Amon hopes to make local residents aware that this unique region of forests and wetlands is just a short drive away. All sales of the book benefit the Sourland Conservancy. (Photo by Jim Amon)

By Anne Levin

Jim Amon had been leading nature walks through the Sourlands for 20 years when it occurred to him that visitors might not be learning as much as they could about the treasured region encompassing parts of Mercer, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties. He decided it was time to write a book.

“It became clear to me that a lot of people just see green, and they don’t know what they’re looking at,” said Amon of Seeing the Sourlands, a coffee table book-style collection of essays and photographs. Newly released, the book’s sales will benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

“If people knew more about what they were seeing, they would get more out of it,” Amon continued. “I wrote the book in the style of someone who says, ‘I’m not really an expert but I’ve done some research and this is what I found out, and isn’t it wonderful?’ And that’s an accurate representation of who I am.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Dina Paulson-McEwen

Dina Paulson-McEwen, a writer, educator, and editor, will be taking over this month as executive director of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF), based in Trenton and serving 3,000 clients annually throughout Mercer County.

She succeeds Adriana Abizadeh, whose three-year tenure saw an unprecedented period of growth at LALDEF. With 15 paid staff and more than 40 volunteers, LALDEF provides English-as-a-Second Language classes, legal representation in immigration matters, tax preparation assistance, supports for victims of domestic violence, community identification cards, and education programs for youngsters in transition to college.   

A Queens, New York, native of Ecuadorean and Jewish descent, Paulson-McEwen is the founder of Aqua Editing LLC, a story developer for creative thinkers. She has worked as a communications leader, a fundraiser for nonprofits, and an LGBTQ staff liaison in a Detroit early education and day care center.  more

By Anne Levin

Princeton may finally have an affordable housing plan in place. Mayor Liz Lempert said Monday, December 9 that the town is close to reaching a settlement with the advocacy group Fair Share Housing Center.

Should all go as planned, Princeton Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Witherspoon Hall to present the settlement agreement to the public and vote on the first set of items needed to act on in coming months.

“One of the most difficult aspects of pulling together this plan has been operating under the constraints of a legal process directed by the courts instead of an open planning process prescribed under regulations that should have been established by the state legislature,” Lempert said in a statement on Tuesday. “We have tried our best to protect the interests of the community by following the advice of legal council to keep negotiations confidential while communicating with the community as fully as possible under these constraints.”

Under a ruling by Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson in March, 2018, Princeton is required to build 753 new affordable units by 2025. The town will receive credits for affordable homes built between 1999 and 2018. That obligation has not changed, Lempert said. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Making room for Monday’s New York Times in the chaos of my work space are Berlioz the Bear, a slender storybook for children written and illustrated by Jan Brett, alongside a copy of The Memoirs of Hector Berlioz, who was born on December 11, in 1803 and died on March 8, 1869, making this his sesquicentenary year.

Late the night before, I’d left the Memoirs open to a paragraph in which the famously tempestuous French composer is expounding on a caricature of himself as “a colossal nightingale, a lark the size of an eagle.” Thus the presence of the Times on my desk, folded open to a photograph of Sesame Street’s Big Bird reading a storybook resembling Berlioz the Bear to a couple of kids. While it’s unfortunate that the cheery image accompanies an obituary for the “whole-body puppeteer” Caroll Spinney, it’s not often lately that page one of the Times has roused something sunnier than a grimace or a groan.

Besides the fun of imagining Berlioz embodied in a double-bass-playing bear who would be at home on Sesame Street, the coincidence encourages a closer look at the passage where even as he seems to be taking issue with Heinrich Heine’s hyperbolic portrayal of his music, Berlioz obviously enjoys repeating the poet’s vision of its “fabulous empires of preternatural depravity, and many a cloud-capped impossible wonder,” and the way “its magical strains conjure up Babylon, the hanging gardens of Semiramis,” and “the marvels of Nineveh.”

But what actually bothers Berlioz is Heine’s claim that his music has “little melody” and “no real simplicity whatever.” After receiving a profoundy apologetic letter from the poet praising his oratorio L’Enfance du Christ as “a masterpiece of simplicity” with “the most exquisite blooms of melody,” Berlioz scolds Heine for behaving “like a critic” and making “a categorical statement about an artist when you only know part of his work.”  more

By Nancy Plum

In a concert taking place as University students are preparing for Christmas vacation, the Princeton University Orchestra presented a program which certainly entitled its members to enjoy their holiday break. Led by conductor Michael Pratt, the Orchestra performed two large-scale Romantic symphonic works which showed the strength and power of the ensemble, even before the school year is half over. Friday night’s performance at Richardson Auditorium (the concert was also presented Thursday night) featured Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Major. Both in the prime of their compositional lives when these works were composed, Rachmaninoff and Bruckner were archetypes of the lush orchestration and emotional drama which marked 19th-century music.

Rachmaninoff based his 1934 Rhapsody for solo piano and orchestra on a melodic theme from the last of Niccolò Paganini’s 24 violin “Caprices,” likely composed in 1807. Beyond a virtuoso violinist as well as composer, Paganini was alleged to have cut a deal with the devil in return for his extraordinary talent. In particular, “Caprice” No. 24 was considered one of the most technically difficult pieces ever composed for violin, and Rachmaninoff brought the same demonic virtuosic requirements to the piano soloist. Pratt and the Orchestra began the Rhapsody decisively, with the theme’s fiendish quirkiness evident from the outset. Precise in rhythmic punctuation, the Orchestra continually demonstrated graceful lyricism and delicate ends of phrases. more

“MEASURE FOR MEASURE”: Theatre Intime and the Princeton Shakespeare Company has presented “Measure for Measure.” Directed by Naomi Park ‘21, the play ran December 6-8 at the Hamilton Murray Theater. Angelo (Colin Vega, right) is briefly, and unwittingly, reunited with his former fiancée, Mariana (Eliana Abraham), in a pivotal scene that contains one of the play’s multiple uses of dual identity. (Photo by Nora Aguilar ’21)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Theatre Intime, whose cast and production team consist of Princeton University students, has continued its season with Measure for Measure. Presented with the Princeton Shakespeare Company, the production has offered a resolutely contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare’s play (1603 or 1604), which explores themes that include piety, lust, and hypocrisy.

Although it is classified as a comedy in the 1623 First Folio, Measure for Measure is a “strange mix of comedy and serious topics,” director Naomi Park acknowledges in a program note. “I’ve tried to work through these issues, cutting and mixing up the text. I brought the show into the light of the Me Too Movement, highlighting women’s issues and homophobia.”

“However, it is still far from a perfect play,” Park continues. “I chose, therefore, to use the framing device of a staged reading — reminding you that this is a play, not a thing to take at face value, and not an art piece whose message I fully endorse.” more

THE TALLIS SCHOLARS: The beauty of the human voice is the focus of this ensemble, who perform at Richardson Auditorium on Friday, December 13 at 8 p.m.

McCarter Theatre Center will present three special concert events on December 13-15, showcasing musical range and styles to celebrate the holiday season. On December 13, McCarter hosts The Tallis Scholars at Richardson Auditorium with Reflections, a special holiday program of a capella Renaissance sacred music, co-presented with The Princeton Singers. On December 13 and 14, McCarter’s Berlind Theatre hosts a holiday program from Catherine Russell and John Pizzarelli. more

“IF I WERE A RICH MAN”: Israeli theater, film, and television star Yehezkel Lazarov stars as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” coming to State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick December 20-22. For tickets, call (732) 246-SHOW (7469), or visit (Photo by Joan Marcus)

State Theatre New Jersey presents the musical Fiddler on the Roof for four performances on Friday, December 20, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, December 21, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, December 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $40-$98.

A theatrical classic from Tony Award-winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, this Tony Award-nominated production is directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (To Kill a Mockingbird, South Pacific, The King and I) and choreographed by acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter.

Fiddler on the Roof is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters; husbands and wives; and life, love and laughter. This musical is rich with Broadway hits, including “To Life (L’Chaim!),” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “Tradition.” more

DYNAMIC DUO: The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo will perform a “Christmas Pastorale” on Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 50 York Street, Lambertville. The concert will feature music from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical eras with works by Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, Pachelbel, Brahms, Corelli, and Luther, among others.

The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo will perform a Christmas Pastorale on Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 50 York Street, Lambertville. This special concert celebrates the rich musical tradition of the Christmas season.

The program includes music from their critically-acclaimed CD, A Christmas Pastorale – 600 Years of Carols, Chorales, Preludes & Pastorales for Two Guitars, featuring music from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical eras with works by Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, Pachelbel, Brahms, Corelli, and Luther, among others.

Hailed as a “revelation to hear” by The Washington Post, the Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo’s musicianship places them solidly at the top of their field. Their concert tours have taken them to world cultural capitals and premiere venues across five continents, the Caribbean, and South Pacific. In addition to their international engagements, they have performed at Carnegie Hall, aboard the Queen Elizabeth II, Caramoor, and the Grand Canyon. more

“MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, THE PLAY”: Presented by Acting Naturally Theatre in Langhorne, Pa., performances begin on Thursday, December 12 at 8 p.m. and run through December 21. Call (267) 798-9165 or visit to purchase tickets. ( Photo courtesy of Acting Naturally Theatre)

Miracle on 34th Street, The Play, adapted by Mountain Community Theatre from the novel by Valentine Davies and based upon the Twentieth Century Fox motion picture Miracle on 34th Street, will be performed at Acting Naturally Theatre in Langhorne, Pa., from December 12-21.

The play tells the tale of a retired man named Kris Kringle, played by Paul Cottone of Yardley, Pa., who begins a job working as Santa for Macy’s. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy’s customers by referring parents to other stores to find the exact toy their child has asked for. more

“ROCKY POINT ON THE SAND”: Seascape and still life oil paintings by Christine Lafuente are on view at Morpeth Contemporary in Hopewell through January 4. The exhibition celebrates the gallery’s 20-year working relationship with the artist.

Morpeth Contemporary in Hopewell presents “Looking Into Water,” a new body of seascape and still life oil paintings by Christine Lafuente, on view through January 4. The exhibition, which explores how painting seascapes has influenced her shimmering floral arrangements, celebrates the gallery’s 20-year working relationship with Lafuente.

In her paintings of harbors, rocky coasts, and the islands of Acadia, light plays through varying atmospheres of fogs, mists, and clear sunny days. “Looking into water changes how I see nature,” says Lafuente. “It becomes abstracted and mysterious, as in the way form falls apart and coalesces again in a reflection on the water. As I begin to express this transformation in paint, I also seek to recreate this visual experience in my still life compositions. Inside a glass water-filled vase is a microcosm of how the world reveals itself in paint.” more

“REVEAL PARTY”: A close-up view of one of the objects that is part of a gallery-wide circuit creating surprising hidden sounds in the installation by artist Jess Rowland. It is on view at Hurley Gallery at Lewis Arts complex at Princeton University through January 3. (Photo courtesy of Jess Rowland)

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts at Princeton University presents a sound installation by artist and Princeton Arts Fellow Jess Rowland in the Hurley Gallery at the Lewis Arts complex. The interactive exhibition, free and open to the public, is on view through January 3.

“Reveal Party” transforms the gallery space into one large connected audio circuit with the generation of sound created by visitors to the exhibition interacting with objects and elements created by Rowland. As the artist suggests, “Sound lives in everything. There is a power in keeping your sound potent; and an equal power in allowing it to be revealed.” more

“SACRALIZATORS”: This graphite and watercolor on paper work by Viktor Pivovarov is featured in “Dialogues — Ilya Kabakov and Viktor Pivovarov: Stories About Ourselves,” on view at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers through March 28. A free exhibition celebration is Saturday, December 14, with a curator-led tour at 4 p.m., followed by a reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

A new exhibition invites visitors to delve into one of the hallmarks of unofficial Soviet art from the height of the Cold War. “Dialogues – Ilya Kabakov and Viktor Pivovarov: Stories About Ourselves,” on view at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers through March 28, focuses on the two artists’ work created in the format of the album: an innovative genre of visual art popularized in the 1970s by conceptual artists in Moscow. more

“SELAH”: This oil painting by Maxine Sheaffer is part of “Young Visions,” on view at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park through January 12. The exhibition features the works of ten emerging artists.

The visions of ten emerging artists are now highlighted in the galleries of the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park through January 12. “Young Visions” highlights the interpretations of these young, creative individuals as they balance the line between traditional, industrial, and contemporary work.

Several of the artists have shown recently in Ellarslie Open 36 as up-and-coming artists to watch. Patrick Seufert was awarded the top prize in oils for Duel Extension and Cassaundra Flor won Best in Show Overall with her large etching Aeolian Cityscape. The large, abstract paintings and sculptures of Vincent Hawley occupy the Malloy Gallery. The hyper-detailed animal portraits of Maxine Sheaffer fill the Holland Gallery. more

RISING FORCE: Princeton University wrestler Mike D’Angelo, bottom, battles a foe from Lehigh in a match earlier this season. Last Sunday, 14th-ranked D’Angelo dropped a 3-2 decision overtime to No. 3 Pat Lugo at 149 pounds as No. 12 Princeton fell 30-9 to top-ranked Iowa before a throng of 2,284 at Jadwin Gym. The Tigers, now 1-2, host No. 20 Rider on December 19 at Dillon Gym.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Mike D’Angelo had never seen a crowd at Jadwin Gym like the one that showed up to see the 12th-ranked Princeton University wrestling team take on No. 1 Iowa last Sunday.

“It was awesome,” said the Tiger senior captain D’Angelo, a native of Commack, N.Y.

“When I started, all of our matches were at Dillon Gym. That’s one thing that was different. (Sunday) was the most packed I’d ever seen Jadwin. They actually had people in the upper decks and we also had the bleachers on both sides. That was by far the most fans that I’ve seen. We also had more students. It was just a great environment. I love competing in environments where there’s a lot of people. It inspires me to really go out there and wrestle my best and try to put on a show.” more

CHRISTIAN SOLDIER: Princeton University men’s hockey player Christian O’Neill controls the puck last weekend as Princeton hosted Colorado College for a two-game set. Sophomore forward O’Neill scored a goal in each game as the Tigers fell 7-2 on Friday and 2-1 in overtime a night later. Princeton, who moved to 1-8-3 with the defeats, was slated to host AIC on December 10 before going on holiday break. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University men’s hockey team trailing Colorado College 1-0 in the third period last Saturday evening, Christian O’Neill and his teammates were determined to get the equalizer.

“We had a couple of opportunities that we thought should have gone in, he closed the door on us,” said Princeton sophomore forward O’Neill.

“We told ourselves that we have to keep going, keep getting pucks to the net, keep shooting and eventually it would fall in.”

O’Neill got one to fall, scoring with 31 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

“It was a broken play, I thought they were going to get the clear there,” recalled O’Neill. more

RIGHT AT HOME: Princeton University women’s hockey player Kate Monihan fires the puck up the ice in recent action. Freshman defenseman Monihan, a former Lawrenceville School standout, has helped Princeton go 10-3 overall and 8-3 ECAC Hockey so far this season. Princeton heads to Las Vegas this weekend for a two-game set with Ohio State from December 14-15 in its last action before the holiday break. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although Kate Monihan is only in her freshman season for the Princeton University women’s hockey team, she has already spent a lot of time around Hobey Baker Rink.

Growing up in nearby Moorestown and playing for the Lawrenceville School and the New Jersey Colonials club program, Monihan has plenty of memories surrounding the historic rink

“I remember skating out here for a club game against the Princeton Stars; it is so interesting coming back and seeing how much it has changed since I was that little mite,” said the 5’5 Monihan. more

GOAL ORIENTED: Princeton High boys’ hockey player John Zammit goes after the puck in game last season. This past Wednesday, sophomore forward Zammit scored three goals to help PHS defeat Lawrence 12-2 in its season opener. Last Monday, Zammit scored two goals as the Tigers defeated WW/P 9-3 to improve to 2-0. In upcoming action, PHS faces Paul VI at the Skate Zone in Pennsauken on December 13 and then plays Hopewell Valley on December 17 at Mercer County Park.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

John Zammit has taken his game to a higher level this winter as he starts his sophomore season for the Princeton High boys’ hockey team.

“It is just a bunch of confidence; freshman year, I was a little hesitant at times with the size and weight difference of the older players,” said Zammit.

“I am bigger and more physical, size helps. Puck possession wise, I think my stickhandling has been getting more accurate and I am more consistent.”

Last Wednesday, Zammit displayed some deft stickhandling, scoring three goals as PHS overcame an early 1-0 deficit and defeated Lawrence High 12-2 in its season opener at Mercer County Park. more

FAST START: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Gibson Linnehan races to goal in recent action. Last Thursday, junior forward Linnehan scored a goal to help PDS defeat Randolph 3-1. The Panthers, now 2-0, host Morristown-Beard on December 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Moving up to the top line for the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team this winter, Gibson Linnehan is ready to shoulder more responsibility.

Teaming with Stefan Gorelenkov and junior Drew McConaughy, junior Linnehan is relishing his new duties.

“We are leading the team every single practice and every single game,” said Linnehan. “It is our job, we are having fun with it.”

The trio has been doing a good job of controlling play. “We keep the puck in the offensive zone the whole game, we get shots to the net,” said Linnehan. more

ON A ROLL: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player Jaylin Champion-Adams looks to make a pass in a game last season. Junior forward Colon helped the Panthers get their 2019-20 season off to a promising start as they won the Solebury School (Pa.) Invitational last weekend, defeating George School (Pa.) 69-59 in the opening round on Friday and then defeating host Solebury 71-49 in the final on Saturday. PDS will look to keep on the winning track as it plays at the Academy of New Church (Pa.) on December 14 before hosting Pennington on December 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last winter, the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team displayed flashes of brilliance but ended up faltering in postseason play.

PDS was seeded first in the state Prep B tournament but fell to archival Pennington in the semis. Days later, the Panthers lost to WW/P-North in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament.

“There were a lot of missed opportunities last year, that is from the top down,” said PDS head coach Doug Davis, who guided the Panthers to a 12-13 record last winter in his debut season at the helm of the program.

“We are thinking about things we could do better as a coaching staff and what our guys who were there last year can improve on this season. We are really trying to right the wrong and go a bit farther. We want to play together as a team a little bit more. There were some spots last year where we didn’t play together as much.” more