September 21, 2022

The demolition and construction continue on Witherspoon Street between Nassau Street and Spring Street, where an improvement project has been underway for months. Despite the disruption, all of the road and sidewalk work on this stretch of the street is expected to be completed by October 31, in time for the holiday shopping season. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Anne Levin

A recent Facebook post by the Westminster Foundation updated the Westminster Choir College community about efforts to restore the school from Rider University in Lawrence Township to its former campus in Princeton. While no definitive conclusion was included, “the fight is not over and our efforts and our commitment are ongoing,” reads the post by Constance Fee, president of the Foundation.

The Foundation is a coalition of alumni, students, and supporters of the choir college, which merged with Rider in 1991 and which Rider has unsuccessfully attempted to sell. The post describes an offer made to Rider by ML7, the real estate development and investment firm owned by Jeff Siegel. The firm would purchase the 22-acre campus and return Westminster to that location.  ML7, which has offices in Princeton and New York, owns multiple properties in town.

“Earlier this year, ML7 made a bid to purchase the campus and the choir college from Rider University,” the post reads. “Although Rider administration responded immediately to the bid, they will not engage in further negotiations with Siegel until the Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) claim on Westminster’s Princeton campus is resolved. We have approached PTS about settling their claim, but they wish to await the result of the trial court’s decision on their lawsuit and for our case to be decided by the Appellate Court.”

In a story in the Rider News, a statement from Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Kristine Brown said, “Rider has received many inquiries as to purchasing the Princeton property, including from ML7, but is not in a position to sell until the litigation being pursued by the Princeton Theological Seminary is resolved.” more

By Donald Gilpin

The Green movement is gaining momentum locally and throughout the country, and Princeton schools are taking leadership roles in showing the way towards sustainability.

Princeton Montessori School announced last week that its campus is now powered primarily by solar energy; Johnson Park and Littlebrook Elementary Schools have earned Sustainable Jersey for Schools Certification; and Katherine Monroe, a senior at Princeton High School (PHS), has been selected as one of only two students in the state as a student delegate to the World Food Prize’s 2022 Global Youth Institute.

Princeton Montessori on Cherry Valley Road has recently completed a year-long process, including research, procurement, and installation, and is now deriving 90 percent of its energy from the sun.

Leading the school’s solar energy project, as well as the Farm-to-School program, the school’s vegetable garden and composting, Princeton Montessori Sustainability Coordinator and ecology teacher Gery Juleff emphasized the teamwork involved in bringing the project to fruition.

“The key to finalizing this project was a partnership between my colleagues at the school and on the Board, including Head of School Michelle Morrison and Trustee Peter Egbert, along with our local partners the Circadia Group, Plankton Energy, and Green Power Energy,” he said.

He added, “Our installation of the solar panels will enable the school to make its contribution to the fight against climate change, inspire students, and save on energy costs.” more

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Police Department has reported four thefts of catalytic converters so far this month, from cars parked on Stanworth Lane and Lytle Street and two cars on Birch Avenue.  There have been eight catalytic converter thefts in Princeton this year, according to Lieutenant Chris Tash.

It’s a crime that is expensive for motorists — with replacement costs at $2,000 or more —  and frustratingly difficult for police to combat. Removal of the catalytic converter takes thieves just minutes with tools readily available from hardware stores and is usually performed at night.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has reported a sharp increase in catalytic converter thefts nationwide as the value of the precious metals they contain —platinum, palladium, or rhodium — has increased significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Tash noted that the converters are usually sold to recyclers, scrap yards or junk yards, which will pay from $100 to $300 apiece.

A catalytic converter, part of the car’s exhaust system, is designed to convert environmentally hazardous exhaust from the car’s engine into less harmful gasses.  If your catalytic converter is stolen, you’ll know, from the noise and probably the fumes, Tash noted, though your car will still run. “But you’ll have to get it fixed right away,” he added. more

THE POWER OF MUSIC: Broadcaster and writer Clemency Burton-Hill hosts a new series from Princeton University Concerts about how music aids recovery from illness. The first concert/conversation is September 29 at Richardson Auditorium. (Photo by Matthew Septimus)

By Anne Levin

There is scientific evidence that music can have a profound effect on physical and mental healing. Returning to the concert hall after the pandemic, planners of Princeton University Concerts (PUC) had that evidence — plus many personal stories — in mind when they created “Healing with Music,” a new series that starts Thursday, September 29 with an event at Richardson Auditorium.

The multi-year project hosted by writer and broadcaster Clemency Burton-Hill will spotlight musicians who will share their stories of how music has helped them rally from serious illness and personal upheaval. At the opening session, Burton-Hill will talk about her own recovery, helped by music, from a devastating brain hemorrhage. The surgeon who saved her life will also take part, and violinist Alexi Kenney will perform. Author Maria Popova will also take part in the conversation.

On November 9, cellist Joshua Roman will give a concert and discuss the role of music in his recovery from long COVID. On February 9, pianist Fred Hersch is the focus, talking about the role music played in his recovery following several months in an AIDS-related coma.

“I think everyone has that story of how music has served as a source of healing for them,” said Dasha Koltunyuk, PUC outreach manager and a pianist herself. Diagnosed with bone cancer at age 14, just before she was supposed to play a Beethoven concerto at the Manhattan School of Music, Koltunyuk has a personal connection to the subject. more

“THE GREAT RECKONING”: Artist Mario Moore, who was in residence at Princeton University from 2018 to 2020, will return on Thursday, September 22 for an artist talk and celebration of the installation of his new painting in Robertson Hall in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. (Photo: Egan Jimenez)

By Donald Gilpin

Artist Mario Moore, in residence at Princeton University from 2018-2020, will return on Thursday, September 22, for a celebration of the installation of his painting “The Great Reckoning” at 4:30 p.m. in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

On long-term loan from the Popkin Family through the Princeton University Art Museum, the large oil painting depicts Moore’s third-great uncle, Thomas Moore, a Black Union Army soldier who fought in the Civil War. A parchment inscribed with Frederick Douglass’ 1863 speech urging Black men to take up arms to support the Union lies at the soldier’s feet, and on the opposite side of the canvas a white horse rears up with a Confederate flag on the ground under his hooves.

Moore, who also created “The Work of Several Lifetimes,” his portraits of Black workers on Princeton’s campus, during his time as a Hodder Fellow at the Lewis Center for the Arts,  painted “The Great Reckoning” to “engage with the national conversation on race in the present and to contend with the legacy of the past,” according to SPIA Dean Amaney Jamal.

Explaining how “The Great Reckoning” grew out of the period leading up to the contested 2020 election and from his own search into his family’s history, Moore described looking into his family’s history through ancestry.com. An older cousin had a number of documents and knew of a family member who had fought in the Civil War. “The painting was really about the times we live in and a comparison to the election that led up to the Civil War, which was similar to the 2020 election that led up to January 6,” Moore said. “The Great Reckoning” was completed shortly before the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol. more

By Anne Levin

During the pandemic, Sustainable Princeton’s eCommuter Fest drew crowds of up to 600 people to Princeton Shopping Center, eager to examine electric vehicles and learn about how to get around without damaging the environment. With the easing of COVID, the latest rendition of the festival — taking place Friday, September 30 on the Westminster Choir College campus — is likely to be even more popular.

This year’s ride and drive event, which moved from the shopping center because of construction there, celebrates the latest in carbon-free commuter technology. It will begin with an opening statement. Raffles and prizes will be offered.

Test drives of some of the latest models of e-bikes and electric vehicles will be available. Local electric car and bike owners will be on hand to answer questions, and a free bicycle valet will provide temporary racks for those who attend on bikes.

“We are expanding this year to provide more than just electric vehicles,” said Christine Symington, executive director of Sustainable Princeton. “There will be more types of sustainable transportation. There will be more e-bikes. There will be folks to talk about public transit options. Someone from the [Princeton] University’s transportation office will talk about how folks in town can use Tiger Transit, which is being transitioned to electric, for free. Everyone is so shocked when they learn that it’s free for everyone. People should be aware of that resource.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

We do onstage the things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit being an entrance to somewhere else.

—from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

When the director Jean-Luc Godard died, an “assisted suicide,” five days after Queen Elizabeth’s monumental passing, I took a YouTube tour of the “most cinematic” images from his work. Accompanied by Georges Delarue’s warm, richly romantic soundtrack for Le mépris /Contempt (1963), the result was an uncharacteristically humane, borderline sentimental memorial for a director who set out to attack “all civilized values” in the 1968 Rolling Stones film One Plus One/Sympathy for the Devil. Godard’s version of doing “onstage the things that are supposed to happen off” was to punch the film’s English producer in the face onstage at the 1968 London Film Festival.

Stoppard’s Scoop

The onstage/offstage lines are spoken by the one of the players visiting Elsinore in Sir Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Grove Press 1967). The notion of the play as a “scoop” came to mind  as I read Maureen Dowd’s September 7 New York Times profile of Stoppard, which opens with the teenage journalist who “loved wearing a mackintosh and flashing his press pass, operating in the spirit of a British contemporary, Nicholas Tomalin, who wrote: ‘The only qualities essential for real success in journalism are ratlike cunning, a plausible manner, and a little literary ability.’ “

Call it what you will, a coup or a scoop, it took a world of cunning and more than a little literary ability to become the first playwright to claim the untold story between and behind the lines of two of the most fascinating and well-spoken minor characters in Shakespeare (although Gilbert and Sullivan had a shot in 1892 with a farce that ends with Rosencrantz marrying Ophelia). Hamlet’s Wittenberg classmates are clearly on a higher theatrical level than sycophants such as Osric of Elsinore (“Dost know this water-fly?”), who are mercilessly mocked, or slain onstage, like Goneril’s servant Oswald, his last words (“oh untimely death”) recorded for all time in the closing seconds of the Beatles’ “I am the Walrus.” Besides holding their own bantering with Hamlet as “the indifferent children of the earth” who live in “the secret parts of fortune,” they put in play phrases like “the shadow of a dream” and “a shadow’s shadow” that suggest how much there is to be imagined or discovered offstage. Jump ahead four centuries and Stoppard’s Guildenstern is speaking of the “half-lit, half-alive dawn” wherein a man was “just a hat and a cloak levitating in the  grey plume of his own breath.” more

MUSICAL AT MERCER: A scene from “Once,” the Broadway show that kicks off Kelsey Theatre’s 50th anniversary season on the campus of Mercer County Community College in West Windsor. (Photo by Lauren Kamps)

Once, winner of eight Tony awards including Best Musical, and winner of a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, will be the first offering of Kelsey Theatre’s 2022-2023 season. The romantic musical drama runs weekends from September 23 through October 2. Kelsey Theatre is located on the Mercer County Community College campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor.

“This joyously uplifting musical strikes an unforgettable chord in audiences and speaks to the power of music to connect us all,” said M. Kitty Getlik, artistic director of Kelsey Theatre. “I cannot think of a better show to open Kelsey Theatre’s 50th anniversary season. “The really neat thing is that the cast also serves as the orchestra and every cast member not only acts, but sings and plays a musical instrument.”

Presented by Playful Theatre, Once is a story about the life of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant who connect over their shared passion for music on the streets of Dublin. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, accentuated by the inviting, emotional score. The show features original songs from the critically acclaimed film, including Falling Slowly.

Shows are Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, September 25 at 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, September 30 and October 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $24. Visit KelseyTheatre.org or call (609) 570-3333.

A UNIQUE COLLABORATION: Princeton University Glee Club and the Pan-African Vocal Ensemble Mushandirapamwe Singers join forces for a concert at Richardson Auditorium Saturday.

On Saturday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, the Princeton University Glee Club collaborates with Mushandirapamwe Singers of Zimbabwe in a performance that weaves together personal narratives and national histories from the perspective of Dr. Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa, featuring the Mbira instrument of Zimbabwe.

This concert is the first of the current season’s “Glee Club Presents” events, in which the students of the Glee Club collaborate with and learn from a diversity of renowned vocal artists.

Created and directed by former Glee Club President Tawengwa ’14, the Mushandirapamwe Singers takes its name from the hotel of the same name in Harare, Zimbabwe, which served as a beacon for the artists and freedom fighters of Zimbabwe who strove to define and assert the nation’s cultural identity during the 1970s, in resistance to British colonial rule. more

THEATRE MAGIC: “We are proud of what we do, which is to offer you and your family a high quality convenient alternative to Broadway theater in New York City, and other theaters in New Jersey and Philadelphia,” says M. Kitty Getlik, artistic director of Kelsey Theatre, located at Mercer County Community College. “Our semi-professional theatre center offers musicals, plays, comedies, drama, children’s theater, dance programs, and music concerts year-round. And we try very hard to keep it all affordable for your budget.”

By Jean Stratton

The play’s the thing” at the Kelsey Theatre!

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the 399-seat theatre, located at Mercer County Community College (MCCC), 1200 Old Trenton Road, has a proud history of offering high quality productions.

Much of the theatre’s success is due to the longtime involvement of artistic director M. Kitty Getlik, who joined Kelsey’s operation a few years after its establishment in 1972-73.

Starting as stage manager, she has seen it grow into an important resource for theater-goers. more

“AURAT MARCH 2021”: A visitor contemplates a born-digital poster by Shehzil Malik, part of the “Records of Resistance: Documenting Global Activism 1933 to 2021” exhibit on view through December 11 at Princeton University Library. (Photo by Brandon Johnson for Princeton University Library)

“Records of Resistance: Documenting Global Activism 1933 to 2021,” the latest exhibition at Princeton University Library (PUL), considers how issues of perennial concern, including Indigenous, gender, and LGBTQIA+ rights; social inequality; antisemitism; and systemic racism manifest in resistance over time and across the globe. The exhibit is open to the public at Milberg Gallery in the library through December 11, from 12 to 6 p.m. Guided tours are available.

Showcased are large images, drawn from the library’s digital collections, that range from sacred Passover Haggadot that embody Jews’ spiritual resistance during the Holocaust, to photographs of marchers on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, to posters and pamphlets created by protesters taking to the streets of Santiago, Chile, and Lahore, Pakistan, only a few years ago.  more

“LUCAS KELLY 2019”: This work is part of the “Visual Arts Faculty Exhibit 2022,” on view through October 19 at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor. The community is invited to an opening reception on Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The focus is on the faculty at the first art show of the season at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College (MCCC), where the college’s own visual arts faculty members have put their creations on display.

The “Visual Arts Faculty Exhibit 2022” runs through Wednesday, October 19. The community is invited to a reception on Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The MCCC Gallery is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

According to Lucas Kelly, MCCC’s gallery director, the faculty show is an opportunity for community members and students to view the work that MCCC professors accomplish when they aren’t working with students. more

POLISHED STONE BENCHES”: This work by Steven Snyder is featured in the HOBART Fall 2022 exhibit, “Art In The Native Landscape,” on view September 24-25 and October 1-2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Steinbeiser’s Farm, 718 County Road 519, Frenchtown.

The HOBART Fall 2022 art show will feature some of the area’s leading sculptors and artists spanning the Delaware river region from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The show, on view September 24 and 25 and October 1 and 2 at Steinbeiser’s Farm, 718 County Road 519 in Frenchtown, offers a unique opportunity to experience “Art In The Native Landscape,” featuring sculpture installations by contemporary artists in a outdoor private setting. The exhibit is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Both an indoor and outdoor show, guests are invited to explore the property’s several outbuildings, including an historic antique barn, the Hannah Shaw Wagon House, which will house sculpture, paintings, mixed media art, and contemporary glass art. All artwork is for sale directly from the artists.

Artists include Alix Bacon, Anabel Bouza, Jacqueline Haut Evans, Wayne Freitag, Barry Good, Don Gonzalez, Martha Gonzalez, Harry Gordon, Annie Haslam, Gloria Kosco, Rory Mahon, Haley Manchon, Jessica Mueller Snyder, Joyce Murphy, Lisa Naples, Mike Pantuso, Erika Rachel, Peter Rosenthal, Stacie Speer Scott, Steven Snyder, Paul Steinbeiser, Annelies van Dommelen, Mayfield Williams, and Summer Yates.  more

“LIGHTS AT NIGHT”: Patricia Allingham Carlson’s painting was chosen as this year’s Phillips’ Mill Juried Art Show signature image. The work depicts the opening night festivities at the Mill for patrons and artists. The show opens on Saturday, September 24 and runs through Sunday, October 20.

The 93rd Juried Art Show at Phillips’ Mill in New Hope, Pa., opens this Saturday, September 24 and runs through Sunday, October 30. The gallery is open daily from 1 to 5 p.m.

Devoted to the artistic spirit of Bucks County and nearby areas, the show features over 100 framed pieces and sculptures including work by 2022 Honored Artist Luiz Vilela and the show’s signature image, Lights at Night by Patricia Allingham Carlson. A bounty of unframed portfolio pieces in a wide range of media fill out the show offering art lovers and collectors a full afternoon of browsing. All works are for sale both at the Mill and online.

A Meet the Artists schedule is on the Mill’s website at phillipsmill.org. Artists will be on hand at the Mill throughout the run of the show to meet and greet visitors, discuss their work, and share their love of the arts. more

OPEN THROTTLE: Princeton University football player John Volker races upfield in a 2021 game. Last Saturday, sophomore running back Volker rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown as Princeton defeated Stetson 39-14 in its season opener. Princeton is hosting Lehigh (1-2) on September 24 in its home opener. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It is a tried-and-true principle of football that a team makes its biggest improvement from game one to game two.

As the Princeton University football team opened its 2022 season at Stetson last Saturday in DeLand, Fla., it sped up the process, displaying improvement within the contest.

After a sloppy start which saw the Tigers fall behind 14-7 on a rain-soaked field at Spec Martin Municipal Stadium, the Tigers tightened up on defense and the offense got rolling as they pulled away to a 39-14 win.

Princeton head coach Bob Surace acknowledged that his squad struggled at the outset with the damp conditions.

“It was pouring, there were so many mishandled balls on both sides where they made an error,” said Surace.

“It is Florida, you have to be prepared. They had towels for the balls and you rotate four balls in the first half. By the second half, you are catching medicine balls.”

The emotions of opening day led to some jumpy play by the Tigers with some false starts.  more

BEN THERE, DONE THAT: Princeton University men’s soccer player Ben Bograd controls the ball in recent action. Senior Bograd has helped anchor the backline for the Tigers this fall as they have gotten off to a 1-2-1 start. Princeton, which fell 3-1 at Fairfield last Saturday, hosts Rider on September 23 before playing at St. John’s on September 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

All the analytics said that the Princeton University men’s soccer team had the upper hand on Fairfield last Saturday evening.

The scoreboard said otherwise. The Tigers suffered a 3-1 loss at Fairfield to follow up an incredible team effort that led to a 2-1 win at Penn State the week earlier.

“I think we’ve been pretty inconsistent through the first four games,” said Princeton head coach Jim Barlow after falling to 1-2-1 heading into Tuesday’s scheduled game against Loyola.

“There are certain parts of our game that haven’t progressed enough, especially defending the restarts.”

The first two goals by Fairfield came off restarts and their third came on a counterattack after a Princeton corner kick, one of numerous scoring chances that the Tigers created. Princeton has gotten better through the early season at creating chances, and is hoping to finish more of them in the upcoming stretch. Princeton fired seven more shots than did Fairfield and held a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.

“When you look at the stats of the Fairfield game, it was arguably our best game in terms of time of possession in their end and chances created,” said Barlow.

“When you look at the data analytics from that game, the expected goals were two goals more than Fairfield, but we still ended up losing. From that standpoint, it’s been a little bit frustrating.”

Princeton opened the season with a 1-1 tie against Rutgers, then fell to Vermont, 2-0, despite outshooting the Catamounts, 16-8.

“In both of our losses, we outshot our opponent pretty significantly and conceded goals that we felt like you just can’t concede if you expect to win a college soccer game,” said Barlow.  more

GOOD RUN: Princeton High field hockey player Delaney Keegan, right, marks a player in a game last season. Last Wednesday, junior midfielder Keegan had a goal and two assists to help PHS defeat Allentown 4-0. The Tigers, who improved to 4-0 with a 6-0 win over Ewing last Monday, play at WW/P-South on September 21, host Robbinsville on September 23, and play at Steinert on September27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Delaney Keegan was a bit frustrated as the Princeton High field hockey team dominated possession in the early going against Allentown last Wednesday but had nothing to show for it.

“At the beginning, everyone was playing a little bit off,” said junior standout Keegan. “At the start of the game we are just trying to get into the mood.”

Keegan helped break the ice, setting up Hannah Christopher as she scored with 1:18 left in the first quarter to give PHS a 1-0 lead.

“Once we got into it, I think it was using each other, effectively passing and communicating, not even with screaming,” said Keegan.

“It was just with signals and looking up, that really, really helped us out.”

With the Tigers scoring a goal in each quarter and the defense holding the first, PHS earned a 4-0 win over the Redbirds. more

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Grace Romano controls the ball in a 2020 game. Senior standout Romano tallied a goal and an assist to help PDS defeat Mount St. Mary 4-2 last Saturday. The Panthers, who defeated Lenape 2-1 last Monday to improve to 4-1, play at Jonathan Dayton on September 22 and at the Blair Academy on September 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Grace Romano has evolved into a senior leader for the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team and is enjoying imparting her wisdom to her younger teammates.

“It has been really great, this is an awesome preparation for college,” said senior forward and co-captain Romano who has committed to attend Vassar College and play for its women’s soccer team.

“It is nice to sit back and give players a chance to see where they were when I was in their shoes. It is really building them up, it is great to be in a position to put them in success.”

Last Saturday, Romano set a good example for the squad’s young players, tallying a goal and an assist to help PDS rally from a 1-0 first half deficit against Mount St. Mary to pull away to a 4-2 victory.

“It was really just digging in and playing our game, just playing the whole game through,” said Romano, who scored a goal with 4:20 left in the first half on an assist from Adriana Salzano to knot the game at 1-1 heading into intermission.

“That is what we talked about at halftime. We just needed to be first to the ball, that was really an emphasis. I think you could see that in the second half. Every goal was a different player. We just really wanted to play for each other and I think we did that really well.” more

OVERDRIVE: Princeton Day School field hockey player Jadyn Huff, right, dribbles the ball in recent action. Last Friday, senior star Huff scored the winning goal as PDS edged Stuart Country Day 1-0 in overtime. The Panthers, who improved to 1-3 with the victory, host the Hun School on September 22 and Pennington on September 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jadyn Huff knew her assignment for the Princeton Day School field hockey team and she finished it with aplomb.

With PDS locked in a scoreless deadlock in overtime against Stuart Country Day School last Friday, the Panthers earned a penalty corner when Tessa Caputo was fouled on the way to goal.

After a shot went wide, the Panthers got another corner and the play was designed to go to senior star midfielder Huff at the top of the circle. Kelly Christie inserted the ball to Huff and she blasted it into the back of the cage to give the Panthers a 1-0 win.

“I remember what the coach said and kept my head down because on the last corner, I had my chest up and the ball went right over,” said Huff.

“I kept my head down and trusted my abilities and it went right in.”

Four-year starter and team co-captain Huff likes being under the gun in crunch time.

“I feel like the pressure sometimes allows me to execute the way the coach wants me to,” said Huff.

With PDS having started the season with three straight losses, Huff is hoping that the dramatic victory over Stuart will be a turning point.

“We started out hard; we had a lot of tough games in the beginning so we used this game as an opportunity to set us forward,” said Huff.

“We needed this. I feel like it is going to set us up for success later down the line.” more

STRONG START: Hun School field hockey Mia Chiodo, left, goes after the ball in a game last season. Last Thursday, senior star Chiodo scored a goal to help Hun defeat Hopewell Valley 4-0. The Raiders, who improved to 2-0 with the win, play at the Princeton Day School on September 22, at the Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) on September 24, and at Robbinsville on September 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mia Chiodo got things off to a good start for the Hun School field hockey team as it hosted Hopewell Valley last Thursday.

In the first minute of the contest, senior co-captain and forward Chiodo stuck her nose into a traffic jam in the circle and poked the ball into the cage to give Hun a 1-0 lead.

Chiodo acknowledged that her tally wasn’t a thing of beauty.

“It was really busy in the goal and I just snuck in there,” said Chiodo with a smile.

The goal set the tone as Hun jumped out to a 3-0 lead 12 minutes into the contest and never looked back on the way to a 4-0 victory over the Bulldogs.

“We kind of clicked, we brought together our three forwards,” said Chiodo, who was playing on a forward line along with fellow senior Logan Frith and junior Alexa Cavalli.

“We have never really played together before, we are in a rotation. The three forwards that we have starting worked really well together so that is why she puts us first.”

Chiodo was encouraged to see the Raiders improve to 2-0 as they built on their 6-0 win over Morristown Friends in the season opener on September 12. more

By Bill Alden

Toni Olaleye had a busy day at the office last Monday as the Hun School girls’ soccer team hosted the Pingry School.

Imposing center back and senior captain Olaleye battled all over the field for Hun. She had a clearance off the line and made some end-to-end runs to goal while patrolling the Raider backfield.

Olaleye’s efforts weren’t enough as Pingry topped Hun 4-1 to drop the Raiders to 3-2.

“They had No. 5 (Casey Phair) up top who was really good,” said Olaleye of the Pingry freshman star who tallied three goals in the day.

“Gabi [Rollins] did a good job sticking on her, shutting her down. We did the best we could in the back.”

Trailing 2-0 at half, Hun looked to tighten things up down the stretch.

“It was just marking up better and playing better defense as a whole,” said Olaleye.

So far this fall, Hun has faced a gauntlet of high-powered opponents including Episcopal Academy (Pa.) and the Mercersburg Academy (Pa.)

“We thrive off of playing tougher teams,” said Olaleye. “It is what we want to do. It is how we get better, we love it.”

Olaleye thrives in being a take-charge player for the Raiders. “I played a leadership role last year as well,” said Olaleye. “It is not that big of a change, it is just a title really.”

Hun head coach Jenn Barrett credits Olaleye with assuming a huge role this fall.

“Tooni is absolutely amazing; what I love about Tooni is that she leaves everything on the field and she gives 100 percent every single second,” said Barrett. more

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Mia Zebrauskas, right, controls the ball last Friday as Stuart hosted Princeton Day School. Senior Zebrauskas helped key a strong defensive effort for Stuart as it fell 1-0 in overtime to PDS. The Tartans, now 3-1, play at the Baldwin School (Pa.) on September 21 before hosting Delaware Valley in September 24 and South Hunterdon on September 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jumping out to a 3-0 start this season, the Stuart Country Day School field hockey realized it faced a stern test when it hosted Great Road rival Princeton Day School last Friday afternoon.

“We knew it would be a tough one, we knew it would be a game,” said Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik, noting that even though PDS brought a 0-3 record into the contest meant nothing.

“We said this game is going to be about who capitalizes on those opportunities. We are getting our sticks on the ball and we want to keep the momentum going with it.”

Displaying the intensity that characterizes this matchup on an annual basis, the local foes fought to a scoreless draw through regulation. In overtime, it was PDS that capitalized as Jadyn Huff found the back of the cage to give the Panthers a 1-0 victory.

While disappointed with the result, Bruvik believes that getting the first taste of OT, where the teams are reduced to six field players from 10, will benefit Stuart in the long run

“This is our first overtime and it takes experience,” said Bruvik.

“It is who are you going to put out there; everybody had a good game but you have to figure it out and that is good. We will work on that, hopefully it will pay off for us.” more

September 14, 2022

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County hosted their annual Insect Festival on Saturday at the Mercer Educational Gardens in Hopewell Township. Attendees share what they learned at the event in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Weronika A. Plohn)

By Anne Levin

At its first in-person meeting since the beginning of the pandemic more than two years ago, Princeton Council held two work sessions on the town’s ongoing parking issues, and heard an update on construction projects that have been underway on Witherspoon Street and Chambers Street.

The good news, as reported by Municipal Land Use Engineer Jim Purcell, is that work on both projects is on schedule. The section of Witherspoon Street between Nassau Street and Paul Robeson Place is expected to be completely open to traffic and pedestrians by the end of October, in time for the holiday season. “They won’t be working over the winter, so they will be completely out of our way while all the shopping and revelry takes place during all of the holidays,” he said.

Merchants on Witherspoon Street have complained that the Witherspoon Street Improvement Project, which has involved relocating and upgrading sanitary and storm sewers and the replacement of curbs and sidewalks, has caused a serious downturn in business. In response, Council introduced an ordinance increasing free parking in the Spring Street Garage from 30 minutes to one hour, seven days a week. The time limit would revert back to 30 minutes on July 31, 2023, or when the Witherspoon Street project’s first phase is finished. The ordinance also permits free parking on certain holidays. A public hearing will be held at the next Council meeting on September 27.

On Chambers Street, demolition that began in May for the Graduate Hotel project has necessitated road and lane closures. The project is expected to take 20 months to complete. “Rest assured, the contractors are moving along as diligently and efficiently as possible and hope to be out of our hair right on time,” Purcell said. more