Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 16
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

(Photo by Emily Reeves)
UMBRELLAS AND DAFFODILS: Drumthwacket’s annual Easter Egg event carried on as scheduled Saturday in spite of the rain. There were dancing life-sized Easter bunnies, New Jersey’s First Lady Mary Pat Christie was honored by the Girl Scouts of America, and the governor himself was on the scene.

Front Page

Joint Meeting to Hear Update on Arts and Transit

Ellen Gilbert

Although University Vice-President Bob Durkee expressed optimism early Tuesday morning about receiving the municipalities’ blessing for a revised Arts and Transit proposal at this Wednesday’s joint meeting of the two governing bodies, the delivery of a new draft of the agreement, including “provisions [added by the Borough] that we have never seen before,” appeared to throw a damper on his optimism.

Council Introduces Budget Amendments, Adoption Next Week

Dilshanie Perera

Borough Council considered its surplus funds and approved proposed amendments to its budget plan for 2011 at its meeting last week. While the Borough budget has grown 3.4 percent from last year to approximately $25.67 million, the document proposed contains no increase in municipal taxes.

Hillier Project Under Borough Scrutiny As Rental Agreement Changes Proposed

Dilshanie Perera

Development Manager James Banks came before Borough Council last week to petition for a change to the occupancy qualifications of certain rental apartments within the Waxwood, a J. Robert Hillier-owned and operated development on Quarry Street. Council members agreed that the query should be put to residents of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood and that further negotiations were necessary.

Other News

Over 200 Area Households Served This Year By Free Bilingual Tax Preparation Program

Dilshanie Perera

Having struggled through another season of filing taxes, residents may not know about a source of assistance within the Princeton community. The Bilingual Tax Preparation Clinic is a unique resource formed jointly by AARP of Mercer County and the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) that works with residents, answers tax-related questions, and assists them in electronically filing their tax returns.

Corner House’s Annual Benefit To Honor Marie L. Matthews

Ellen Gilbert

The Corner House Foundation will present an evening of “Motown Magic” on Friday evening, April 29, at the Bedens Brook Club in Skillman. The evening, which includes a light dinner, dancing, and a silent auction, will begin at 6 p.m.

Poets From Around the World Reading At Princeton Poetry Festival April 29-30

Poets from around the world will read and share their work during the biennial Princeton Poetry Festival. Presented by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, the two-day event will take place on April 29 and 30 at Richardson Auditorium. Advance tickets are available through University Ticketing. This year’s international festival places an emphasis on translation, with Brazilian poet Paolo Henriques Britto and his translator Idra Novey, Slovenian poet Aleš Šteger and his translator Brian Henry, and Israeli poet Agi Mishol.

Topics in Brief
A Community Bulletin


PU Men’s Lax Tops Rutgers, Dartmouth; Primed for Pivotal Clash Against Harvard

Bill Alden

Things looked bleak on several levels for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team as it played at local rival Rutgers last week.

PU Women’s Lacrosse Runs Out of Time; Late Rally Falls Short in Loss to Harvard

Ed Benkin

It was the hot topic last week whenever any members of the Princeton University men’s basketball nation crossed paths.

PHS Softball Struggling to Find Rhythm; Blanks Hamilton to Get Into Win Column

Bill Alden

Last Thursday, the Princeton High softball team found itself trailing Hightstown 10-2 after four innings.

More Sports…

Book Review

Jubal Early, Walt Whitman, and the “Volcanic Upheaval of the Nation”

Stuart Mitchner

Late on the night of April 13, 1861, news of the attack on Fort Sumter reached New York City. Walt Whitman heard it in the “loud cries” of Broadway newsboys who came “tearing and yelling up the street, rushing from side to side even more furiously than usual.” Looking back on the moment some 20 years later in Specimen Days in America, he writes of buying a paper and reading the news with a “crowd of others, who gather’d impromptu.” For those who had no papers, “one of us read the telegram aloud while all listen’d silently and attentively….I can almost see them there now, under the lamps at midnight again.”


Theatre Intime Stages “The Elephant Man,” 1979 Broadway Hit; Abnormalities of the Main Character Reflect Our Own Deformities

Donald Gilpin

The Elephant Man is the story of the last seven years, 1884-1890, in the life of John Merrick of London, the “Elephant Man,” who suffered from neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that caused him to be grotesquely deformed.

Currently at Theatre Intime on the Princeton University campus, Bernard Pomerance’s drama, first produced in London in 1977, then on Broadway 1979-80, where it won both Tony and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for best play, shines a discerning light on both the sordid and the inspirational details of Merrick’s life. It gives equal attention to Merrick’s impact on those with whom he comes into contact. Frederick Treves, a rising young London physician who takes an interest in his case, rescues Merrick from freak show performances in the street and finds him a home at a prominent London hospital, and the prominent actress Madge Kendal, who befriends them both, share center stage with Merrick in Mr. Pomerance’s play.

Princeton University Orchestra Brings Beethoven, Mahler and Strauss to the Richardson Stage

Nancy Plum

In the written program of the recent Princeton University Orchestra concert, there was the annual list of the Orchestra’s graduating seniors and their plans for next year, in which one student commented that “Mahler’s ghost, it would seem, is particularly at home in Richardson Auditorium.” Mahler’s ghost would have had a busy day last Friday, between the Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance of Symphony #4 in the afternoon and the Princeton University Orchestra’s annual Stuart B. Mindlin Memorial Concert at night. University Orchestra conductor Michael Pratt often programs complete Mahler symphonies for this concert, which honors a former Orchestra percussionist, but expanded this year’s program to include Beethoven and Richard Strauss. Friday night’s concert in Richardson (the performance was repeated Saturday night) brought together extremely challenging repertory with a very large orchestral ensemble in which all players gave 110%.

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