November 27, 2019

By Anne Levin

On November 19, the Office of the Attorney General issued an opinion that Rider University may have the legal right to move Westminster Choir College, with which it merged in 1991, from Princeton to Rider’s Lawrenceville campus. Two days later, Rider President Gregory Dell’Omo sent an email to the Rider/Westminster community.

“We are pleased that the attorney general agrees with our legal position as to the legality of the move, and we continue to move forward with our efforts to complete the relocation by the fall semester of 2020,” he wrote.

Not so fast, say members of the Westminster Foundation, the American Association of University Professors, the Westminster Alumni Council, and the attorney representing plaintiffs in suits against Rider aimed at stopping the move. While the report does not prohibit Rider’s ability to relocate the music school, it lays out the potential consequences should Rider not continue to use the 22-acre site for the purpose dictated by the original land trust from the 1930s — serving the Presbyterian church through music. more

By Donald Gilpin

Local residents will have opportunities to stand up for the environment at two events in the coming week: “OptOutside,” sponsored by Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS) at the Mountain Lakes House on Black Friday, November 29, from 2-4 p.m., and Sustainable Princeton’s “Shrink Your Footprint: On the Go” program offering practical suggestions to help reduce carbon emissions by exploring transportation options at the Princeton Public Library (PPL) on December 4 at 7 p.m.

“Friends of Princeton Open Space truly believes in the values that inspired REI [the Seattle-based Recreational Equipment, Inc.] to start OptOutside Friday, an initiative which encourages people to enjoy spending time in nature with their family and the community the day after Thanksgiving, rather than focusing on a consumer culture that creates so much needless waste,” said FOPOS President Wendy Mager.

The Princeton OptOutside free event features a nature-themed art activity, music, cider and snacks, and a walk on the trails in the Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve.

“We encourage everyone to visit the Mountain Lakes House on Friday to socialize, enjoy music and a nature art activity, and then go for a soul-refreshing walk in the Mountain Lakes Preserve,” Mager added. “Outside, folks will see what FOPOS is doing to care for this special park and restore the forest for ourselves and our fellow creatures.”

Attendees are requested to pre-register at (search “OptOutside in Princeton”). more

A TOUCH FOOTBALL TRADITION: The Princeton Gentleman’s Society will celebrate its 25th anniversary the usual way — playing football and eating homemade kielbasas at Marquand Park on Thanksgiving Day. Many in this group from 2007 are expected to turn out for this year’s event.

By Anne Levin

On Thanksgiving morning in 1994, a few local fathers and their pre-teenaged sons got together to play some touch football at Princeton Battlefield Park. The idea was simple — get some exercise before heading home to indulge in the holiday dinner.

The pickup games were repeated the following year, with more players joining in. By 1997, 20 fathers, sons, and friends were showing up at the Turkey Bowl. That year, the first Most Valuable Player (MVP) was being presented the honorary Turkey Bowl football, to be signed and kept until the following year.

The Bowl was becoming a tradition, at one point drawing some 50 or 60 players to the Battlefield to get some pre-feast exercise, rain or shine. The popular event moved to Marquand Park in 2003, and has been held there ever since. This year marks the 25th anniversary. The founders never dreamed that their informal Thanksgiving gathering would become an annual holiday ritual. more

By Donald Gilpin

Bon Appétit may be in a transition mode, with the prospect of a new owner joining forces with current owner Bill Lettier, but social media warnings of “destined to close” and cries of decline seem unwarranted.

Earlier this week, Bon Appétit, a Princeton institution for more than 50 years, became the topic of a Facebook post claiming “bare shelves and none of the usual piles of holiday chocolates and food gifts,” employees warned of a “new buyer or closure,” and “the owner for a decade has not invested in the space, which is in disrepair.”

Numerous Bon Appétit fans and a few detractors weighed in in response. “Go-to place for holiday treats,” “heartbreaking,” “one of the few places I could find maple sugar candy,” and “part of modern Princeton history” were among the comments, along with some criticisms of items lacking freshness.

At the store in its prime corner location in the Princeton Shopping Center at lunchtime on Monday, there were dozens of customers ordering various foods to take out or eat in the cafe area. Others were making holiday orders. The shelves were reasonably stocked with a variety of gourmet items, a few looking like holiday attractions. Not exactly full or overflowing, and there were a few empty spaces, but far from “bare.” more

By Anne Levin

Last year, Princeton was the first University in the United States to host Being Human, an international festival of the humanities based in the U.K. The month-long series of workshops, interactive exhibits, panels, and performances was so well received by the local community that it has been brought back this fall, in a longer and more comprehensive version.

The festival has been underway since October. Faculty, students, and staff at the University have been collaborating with organizations throughout town and beyond including the Princeton Public Library, the Arts Council of Princeton, D&R Greenway Land Trust, and the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility. Events continue through December 18 (visit for a full schedule).

“This year, we have more than tripled our events, and it is incredibly exciting,” said Executive Director Kathleen Crown. “There was just so much interest last year. We realized we had struck a chord, so we committed more resources.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

To screen out the screeching of the train wheels, I’d pull out my CD player and plug in earphones, to listen to the only music that I could tolerate during these years: Beethoven’s late quartets.
—Elaine Pagels, from Why Religion?

For all the time I spend consulting, exploring, exploiting the oracles of the internet, as often as not I find what I’m looking for, in material form, among the oracles shelved at the Princeton Public Library.

Sometimes the oracle offers more than I counted on, as happened recently when I opened a copy of Why Religion? A Personal Story (Ecco 2018) to the passage where Elaine Pagels recalls the aftermath of her six-year-old son’s death, a time “when professions of faith in God sounded only like unintelligible noise, heard from the bottom of the sea.” Looking through the window of the train bound from Penn Station to Princeton, where she had accepted a teaching position at the University, she sees “lots dense with weeds and paper, cans, tricycles left in the rain, plastic wading pools,” and “swing sets, some with ropes dangling loosely, the seats down.” The imagery of backyards haunted by the playthings of absent children frames the questions that follow: “Why did this happen? Why to this child? Why to any child, any person?”

It’s at this point that the author looks to Beethoven’s late quartets, her preferred remedy for discord in “body and mind … separate islands of feeling, sharp with pain, interspersed with patches where feeling had numbed, wholly blocked. … Since my arteries felt tangled and separate, in danger of disintegrating, I felt that only the strands of that music could help weave them together again, perhaps could bring, for moments, a semblance of integration and order.”

Standing book in hand on the library’s second floor study area, reading and rereading that raw, visceral account of the healing power of music, I decided to take the book home, already sensing the theme it was leading me to, as if the title had changed from Why Religion? to Why Beethoven? or, more to the point, Why Music? The oracle had given me an answer I needed but didn’t know I was looking for. Isn’t this what books and libraries are all about?  more

By Nancy Plum

Ideally, the mission of any university includes expanding the horizons of its students, and the members of the Princeton University Glee Club have been achieving that goal well in recent years. Under the leadership of Gabriel Crouch, the Glee Club has collaborated with ensembles from far corners of the world, including South Africa and the former Eastern European countries.

Last week, the 90-member Glee Club hosted a visit from the all-male Ensemble Basiani, touring the United States from the former Soviet region of Georgia, introducing audiences to the rich polyphonic tradition of this area. In a Princeton University Concerts program last Monday night, the 12-member Ensemble Basiani, led by director Zurab Tskrialashvili, entertained the audience at the Princeton University Chapel with a wide variety of a cappella sacred and secular choral works from seven centuries of musical history. more

NATURE’S LAST GASPS: In the documentary film “Soundtracker,” part of a series at Hopewell Theater, an Emmy-winning sound recordist tries to capture the vanishing sounds of nature.

Hopewell Theater’s ongoing “The Art of Living Well” series features films, speakers, and interactive discussions exploring ways to cultivate serenity, meaning, and a deeper connection to one’s self and the world, through February. Hopewell Theater is at 5 South Greenwood Avenue in Hopewell Borough. more

The premiere of Gay People Princeton, a documentary tracing the history of the community’s first gay rights organization, will be screened Friday, December 13 at 7 p.m. at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, 21 Wiggins Street.

The film features interviews, original images, and recollections of early members. Founded in 1972 by undergraduates, the Gay Alliance of Princeton gathered together Princeton University students, workers, and faculty; local townsfolk; and greater community members to come out and declare their identity. After two years, Gay People Princeton, a separate organization for the community, emerged out of it, forging a way for the future.

This event spotlights a new archive of materials that captures the history of Gay People Princeton. Co-sponsored by the Historical Society of Princeton, Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, and filmmaker and early member of the Gay Alliance of Princeton, Frank Mahood, this event spotlights a new archive of materials that captures the history of Gay People Princeton.

Seating is limited. To register, visit

Alex Mitnick brings his band, Alex & The Kaleidoscope, to the Arts Council of Princeton December 15. The “Holiday Family Jam” is from 3-4:30 p.m. at 102 Witherspoon Street. Tickets are $15. Visit to purchase.

JAZZ AND MORE: Jazz pianist Phil Orr will open the Holidays at Westminster festival of holiday music with “Jingle Bell Jazz” on Sunday, December 8 at 3 p.m. at Westminster Choir College. (Photo credit: Michael Haworth)

The Holidays at Westminster festival of holiday music begins with a performance by jazz pianist Phil Orr on Sunday, December 8 at 3 p.m. in the Robert L. Annis Playhouse on the Westminster Choir College campus.

“Phil Orr and More: Jingle Bell Jazz” features Orr, joined by Michael O’Brien on bass, and Sean Dixon on drums. They will perform traditional favorites such as “Jingle Bells,” “Carol of the Drums,” and “All I Want for Christmas is You,” plus other holiday favorites in swing, post-bop, Brazilian, Afro-Latin, New Orleans, and even klezmer-infused jazz styles. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. more

“CITYSCAPE”: Leon Rainbow, whose work is shown here, has brought a group of premier graffiti artists together to showcase their work in “Urban Architecture,” on view at Princeton Day School’s Anne Reid ‘72 Art Gallery December 2 through January 9. An opening reception is December 12 from 5-7 p.m.

Making the dean’s list multiple times at Mercer County Community College while studying with retired professor and renowned painter Mel Leipzig, California native Leon Rainbow has always been hungry to learn. A firm believer in education, he has taught at Princeton’s Young Achievers, TerraCycle, and at countless workshops from New York to Washington, D.C., to Florida. Rainbow says, “I encourage my students to make the most of their educational experiences. The more education and skills you possess, the more valuable you will be.” more

WILLOWOOD POTTERY: Local master potter Caryn Newman will open her studio at 7 Willowood Drive, Ewing, to the public on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the annual holiday show and sale of her new ceramic works. For more information, visit

Local master potter Caryn Newman opens her studio to the public on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment, for the annual sale of new ceramics. more

FINAL HIT: Princeton University field hockey player Hannah Davey gets ready for a big hit in a game this season. Sophomore Davey had an assist to help Princeton defeat Virginia 2-1 in the NCAA semis on Friday. Two days later, Davey and the Tigers fell 6-1 in the NCAA final to undefeated and defending national champion North Carolina. Davey was later named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team along with teammates Julianna Tornetta and Emma Street. The Tigers ended the fall with a 16-5 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Something had to give when the Princeton University field hockey team faced North Carolina in the NCAA championship game last Sunday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Ninth-ranked Princeton brought a 13-game winning streak into the contest while defending national champs UNC had posted 45 straight victories.

Continuing their sizzling play, the Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead over the Tar Heels 2:13 into the game.

“I thought we had a great game plan for them; we started off great, it doesn’t get much better to go up 1-0 a couple of minutes into the game,” said Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente, whose team started regular season play by falling 4-3 to UNC in early September. “I thought defensively we had a good plan to contain Erin Matson.” more

RUNNING WILD: Princeton University running back Collin Eaddy heads upfield in a game earlier this fall. Junior star Eaddy rushed for 172 yards to help Princeton defeat Penn 28-7 last Saturday at Franklin Field in Philadelphia to wrap up the season. The victory left Princeton at 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League as it finished just behind Dartmouth (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy) and Yale (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy), who tied for league title. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a raw, chilly afternoon last Saturday in Philadelphia as the Princeton University football team faced Penn at venerable Franklin Field in the season finale.

Notwithstanding temperatures hovering in the low 40s and a brisk breeze whipping through the ancient cement structure opened in 1895, Princeton ended the day with a warm feeling as it pulled away to a 28-7 win over the Quakers before a bundled-up crowd of 7,898.

“In our league it is just so tight, it is the little things that matter,” said Princeton head coach Bob Surace, whose team snapped a two-game losing streak and ended the fall at 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League, finishing just behind Dartmouth (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy) and Yale (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy), who tied for league title.

“That is what we look like, at times it might be a little ugly and everything else. But we didn’t turn the ball over, we fought through some things, and we did really well in certain situational football.” more

By Justin Feil

TAYLOR MADE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Taylor Baur displays some defensive intensity in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday in a 52-40 win over visiting Monmouth, senior forward and co-captain Baur posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and added three blocks, two assists, and two steals. The Tigers, now 5-1, host St. Francis-Brooklyn on December 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Taylor Baur is making up for lost time with the Princeton University women’s basketball team.

The senior forward posted her second career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks, two steals and two assists in the Tigers’ 52-40 win over visiting Monmouth on Sunday as Princeton improved to 5-1.

“I know at the end of last season we all were talking about our goals and set our sights high,” said Baur, who is a co-captain of the Tigers along with classmate and good friend Bella Alarie.

“We all worked really hard during the offseason. With the coaching transition we just came in and got to work. We were all on the same page. It’s really translated into these first couple games we’ve had and we’ve come out really strong.”

Baur has been snake bitten over her first three years. She tore her ACL and missed all of her freshman season, returned to the team as a sophomore with limited time behind several stronger players, and then last year broke her foot in the first game of the year and missed more time upon her return due to a sprained ankle.

“I think it’s taught me a lot,” said Baur, a 6’2 native of St. Louis.

“As a senior, I feel like I’ve seen every angle of being injured, with not having what it takes to be on the court. I wasn’t ready (sophomore year). Then this year being able to play, it helps us be able to relate to younger players who are all in different situations. Every time I get to step on the court, this is my last year and I’ve already had a lot of it limited. So playing like it’s my last time is really important to me.”

Giving the Tigers another inside presence at both ends of the floor to go with Alarie, keeping Baur on the court is a priority for Princeton.

“She’s really important,” said Princeton head coach Carla Berube.  more

KEEPING UP THE PRESSURE: Princeton University women’s hockey player Mariah Keopple (No. 2) battles for the puck in recent action. Last Friday, sophomore defenseman Keopple had an assist on the winning goal as eighth-ranked Princeton edged No. 5 Clarkson 2-1 at Hobey Baker Rink. A day later, Keopple and the Tigers defeated St. Lawrence 6-2 to improve to 9-2 overall and 7-2 ECAC Hockey. Princeton hosts a pro women’s squad for an exhibition game on December 1 and then resumes ECACH action by hosting Cornell on December 6 and Colgate on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After soaking up some valuable lessons last winter during her freshman season on the Princeton University women’s hockey team, Mariah Keopple has passed on some of that knowledge to this year’s newcomers.

“Last year we had a lot of seniors on defense; coming in this year it was very different without them,” said sophomore defenseman Keopple.

“These freshmen are stepping into these roles that they need to. It is really great to see them and have some people I can help guide.”

Last Friday evening, Keopple stepped up, getting an assist on the winning goal as eighth-ranked Princeton edged No. 5 Clarkson 2-1 at Hobey Baker Rink. more

By Bill Alden

Will Asch knew that his Princeton Day School girls’ tennis team faced an uphill battle as they competed in the state Prep B tournament in late October to culminate the season.

“There were some incredibly good singles players in the Prep B this year, two on Ranney and two on Gill St. Bernard’s; certainly all four of them would have been among the best in Mercer County,” said PDS head coach Asch.

“There wasn’t really much of a chance at first or second singles for anybody else.”

But making the most of its chances in the other flights, PDS got state titles at third singles from freshman Neha Khandkar and at first doubles from juniors Hayden Masia and Hannah Van Dusen.

As a result, PDS took second in the team standings behind champion Gill St. Bernard’s. more

TOP GUN: Princeton Day School boys’ cross country star Gunnar Clingman heads to the finish line in a race earlier this fall. Junior Clingman placed second individually in the state Prep B championship meet to help PDS take fourth in the team standings. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Things looked bleak for the Princeton Day School boys’ cross country team as it convened for its 2019 campaign.

“We lost two of our top three runners that were supposed to come back and I was thinking this was going to be a disaster,” said PDS head coach John Woodside.

But with some veterans making progress and some newcomers stepping up, the Panthers made strides through the fall and culminated the season by finishing a strong fourth at the state Prep B championship meet  at Blair Academy earlier this month.

“We showed very well, it was the best we had done there in a while,” said Woodside, whose team had 102 points in taking fourth with Newark Academy winning the meet with a score of 28. more

ALEX THE GREAT: Hun School boys’ soccer goalie Alex Donahue sends the ball up the field in a game this fall. Junior Donahue emerged as a star for Hun, earning All-Prep A first team honors. The Raiders advanced to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals and the state Prep A semis on the way to posting a 6-10-3 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In the early stages of the 2019 season, the Hun School boys’ soccer team didn’t look like it was destined to do any damage in postseason play.

The Raiders suffered three straight losses in the first two weeks of the season, getting outscored 10-5 in those setbacks. 

Undeterred by the shaky start, Hun regrouped and ended up advancing to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals and the state Prep A semis.

“It is the first time we won a county game and a state game in the same year a while,” said Hun head coach Pat Quirk, whose team ended 2019 with a final record of 6-10-3. “It was good for the younger guys to see what it takes to win in those tournaments.”

Two of the squad’s older guys, senior Brian Spencer and junior Amar Anand came through in a dramatic 3-2 overtime win against Blair in the opening round of the Prep A tourney.

“It was a back and forth game; it was a battle,” recalled Quirk. more

STICKING WITH IT: Hun School field hockey player Catherine Argiriou dribbles the ball in a game this fall. Senior Argiriou provided leadership and production for Hun as it showed improvement down the stretch. After starting 0-9, the Raiders ended up with a 3-15 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

When the Hun School field hockey team started this fall by losing its first nine games, it would have been understandable if its players had simply thrown in the towel on the season.

Instead, the Raiders didn’t stop grinding, sharpening their skills and earning three wins over the last few weeks of the season.

“They kept getting better,” said Hun head coach Tracey Arndt, who was in her first season guiding the program.

“I was really proud of them that they continued to work hard no matter what with the setbacks and adversity they had.”

Displaying that progress, the Raiders gave second-seeded Lawrence a battle in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament, falling 2-0 after having lost to the Cardinals 6-0 two weeks earlier in a regular season contest. more

November 20, 2019

D&R Greenway Land Trust recently purchased the three-acre Koch property on Stony Brook Road in Hopewell adjacent to Cedar Ridge, one of its earliest and largest preserves at more than 200 acres. The new property has 650 feet of frontage on a key tributary stream of the Stony Brook. Here, volunteers from the Princeton area’s Ernest Schwiebert Chapter of Trout Unlimited stand behind debris recently removed from the property. Since its founding 30 years ago, D&R Greenway has permanently preserved 20,865 acres, including 31 miles of trails open to the public. (Photo courtesy of D&R Greenway)

By Anne Levin

Having considered recommendations from the town’s Public Works Committee, Princeton Council voted 5-1 Monday night, November 18, to leave the municipal fueling station on Mt. Lucas Road instead of moving it to another location.

The fueling station, which is next to the new headquarters of Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad (PFARS), has been a source of controversy among residents of the adjacent neighborhood, who have complained about increased traffic, lighting, aesthetics, pedestrian and cyclist safety, and environmental health issues. Several spoke at the Council meeting, urging the governing body to go back to the drawing board before taking a vote.

“In the end, we have a fueling station that never should have been put there,” said resident Dennis Scheil. “We need to find a better spot.” Mt. Lucas Road resident Karen Jezierny said, “The remediation that has been suggested hasn’t yet hit the mark. Go back and do better before you vote.” more

CHALLENGING DACA TERMINATION: Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber, Maria Perales Sanchez, and Microsoft President Brad Smith attended arguments on termination of the DACA program at the U.S. Supreme Court last week. The Court is expected to render its decision in early 2020. (Photo by Princeton University, Office of Communications, Ben Chang)

By Donald Gilpin

As the Supreme Court continues to deliberate over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the fate of some 700,000 young adults who are affected by it, Princeton University and local agencies are working in support of the undocumented Dreamers.

The Supreme Court’s decision, expected early in 2020, may allow President Donald Trump to end the program, forcing DACA enrollments to expire and confronting DACA holders with deportation.

“The DACA deliberations in the Supreme Court will determine if they have jurisdiction over the matter,” said Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) Executive Director Adriana Abizadeh. ”If it is decided that they do not, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients will ultimately have their status terminated because jurisdiction will be in the hands of the executive office.” more