Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 16
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
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(Photo by Emily Reeves)
RECYCLING IN ACTION: Books, bikes, and music were all in evidence Saturday on Hinds Plaza at 3-R (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse) Day, for which the Princeton Public Library, the Princeton University chapter of Engineers Without Borders, Better World Books, and the Princeton Record Exchange joined forces.

Front Page

Budget Passes; Spalla, Bedford, Chrein on Board

Ellen Gilbert

In a Township- and Borough-wide election on Tuesday, Princeton residents voted in favor of a 3.9 percent tax hike to support the 2010-2011 school budget. At press time, the unofficial vote in the Township was 1,740 votes for the budget, 813 against. In the Borough, 619 voters supported the budget, with 330 voting against it.

Council Votes to Add Captain to Police Dept, Limit Police Positions

Dilshanie Perera

In a 4-1 vote, Council passed an ordinance restructuring the Borough Police Department by adding the position of a captain, who would be the second in command after the chief of police, and to limit the department size to a maximum of 30 officers.

Council members Jenny Crumiller, Andrew Koontz, Barbara Trelstad, and Kevin Wilkes voted in favor of the change, while Roger Martindell opposed it. David Goldfarb was absent.

Partnerships to Improve Business, Community Are Princeton Merchants Association Themes

Dilshanie Perera

The Princeton Merchants Association (PMA) meeting prompted a dialogue regarding partnerships and future collaborations between local business owners and Borough and Township Zoning specialists, as well as Princeton University officials.

Other News

Free Community-University Shuttle Service Looks to Integrate With Larger Transit System

Dilshanie Perera

Borough Zoning Officer Derek Bridger acknowledged at last week’s Regional Planning Board meeting that Princeton University is “doing well in accommodating community needs” regarding its shuttle and transportation system.

Anyone can ride on the University’s Tiger Transit shuttles for free, and no identification is checked or required.

Holt: Primary Care, Especially for Elderly, Will Be Improved by Health Care Reform

Ellen Gilbert

“I can’t help but talk about it as a historic piece of legislation,” said Congressman Rush Holt (D-12) in a recent conversation with district AARP members, which also included call-in questions from telephone listeners.

Slide Show, Rare Books From Firestone Illuminate “Cartographies of Time”

Ellen Gilbert

Ways of looking at time were abundantly in evidence last week at Labyrinth Books when authors Anthony Grafton and Daniel Rosenberg talked about their new book, Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline (Princeton Architectural Press $50). A visibly appreciative audience witnessed not only a slide show, but the presence of actual examples of representations of time used in the book, courtesy of Firestone’s Rare Books and Special Collections Department.

Topics in Brief
A Community Bulletin


PU Men’s Lax Finally Clicks on All Cylinders; Thrashing Dartmouth to Stay Atop Ivy League

Bill Alden

Chris Bates enjoyed a superb career with the Dartmouth College men’s lacrosse team.

PU Sophomore Previ Overcoming Challenges in Competing for Tiger Women’s Lax and Soccer

Ed Benkin

Barb Previ is not one to shy away from a challenge.

Senior Boehm Providing Leadership, Production As PHS Softball Is Showing Major Improvement

Bill Alden

Over the previous three springs, Deanna Boehm carried the workload as the Princeton High softball team struggled mightily.

More Sports…

Book Review

Walt Whitman Takes the Stage — Out of Brooklyn, Endlessly Rocking

Stuart Mitchner

I look in vain for the poet I describe ….Time and nature yield us many gifts but not yet the timely man, the new religion, the reconciler, whom all things await ….We have yet had no genius in America, with tyrannous eye, which knew the value of our incomparable materials.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Poet” (1844)

If Emerson were the master of ceremonies teasing his audience with those words, now would come the fanfare, the curtains would part, and Walt Whitman would step onto the stage in the floodlit arena of the ages. But the star of this show isn’t the lap-robed sage of Camden, N.J., in his rocking chair; it’s the 37-year-old roughneck from Brooklyn pictured in the first 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass eyeing posterity’s full house as he prepares to rock us out of our seats and into the aisles.


Beware! The Demon Weed May Be Poisoning Your Children! “Reefer Madness,” Campy Musical, Spoofs 1936 Propaganda Film

Donald Gilpin

The 1936 “instructional” propaganda film Reefer Madness (also known as Tell Your Children) became a cult classic during the 1960s and ‘70s, widely mocked for its alarmist views — “Something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace!” — and exaggerations of the effects (orgiastic sexuality, criminal behavior, violence, insanity, suicide) of “the devil weed.” The musical version, which opened in Los Angeles in 1998, moved to Off-Broadway in 2001 and was made into a film in 2005, takes the ludicrous excesses of the original movie further over the top (Add cannibalism and sado-masochism here to the shocking consequences of marijuana smoking.) and creates a wild, campy, tuneful, often hilarious, relentlessly fun, occasionally tasteless show.

New Territory for Boheme Opera Company In Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance”

Nancy Plum

For its 21st anniversary season, Boheme Opera Company has taken a new direction in its programming. Departing from the operatic standards, this year’s performances have included Handel’s Messiah, a preview of the Broadway-bound musical Warsaw, and this past weekend the company’s premiere production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. Boheme Opera Company has been a staple of Trenton area stages for many years, providing operatic opportunity for seasoned professional singers, up-and-comers, and apprentices alike, and Saturday night’s performance of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic was no exception, with a cast including both international opera performers and students from area music schools.

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