June 8, 2022

MONUMENTAL DEDICATION: The unveiling of the Princeton Battle Monument on June 9, 1922, featured dignitaries including President Warren G. Harding. A 100th anniversary commemoration of that unveiling and dedication, hosted by Morven Museum & Garden, will take place on Thursday, June 9 at 11 a.m. at the monument. (Photo from the Morven Archive)

By Wendy Greenberg

One hundred years ago this week, on June 9, 1922, President Warren G. Harding stood before a festive crowd in boater hats to dedicate the huge limestone Princeton Battle Monument, which was draped with a large American flag. A photograph was taken that day during a celebratory luncheon, after which Harding stopped at Princeton University to pick up an honorary degree.

Now, a century later, on June 9 at 11 a.m., Morven Museum & Garden is hosting an anniversary commemoration of that unveiling and dedication. The event will feature speakers, a historic photo re-creation, and the display of a historic flag.

The monument itself commemorates the January 3, 1777 Battle of Princeton and depicts George Washington and his troops, who, after crossing the Delaware River on December 25, 1776, embarked on a 10-day campaign that is credited with changing the course of the war as the Continental Army defeated the British. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Do you want to feel how it feels?”

—Kate Bush, from “Running Up That Hill”

Three days after the May 24 Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, Matt and Ross Duffer’s Stranger Things 4 opened with a jarring series of shots showing the bloodied bodies of children. Rather than cut the sequence, which is flashed back to in subsequent episodes, Netflix covers the coincidence with an advisory, noting that the season was  filmed a year ago, and that, “given the recent tragic shooting,” viewers may find the opening scene “distressing.” Then: “We are deeply saddened by this unspeakable violence, and our hearts go out to every family mourning a loved one.”

The placement makes it possible to relate “unspeakable violence” to both the show and the massacre. However you read it, that’s not a good way to begin the fourth season of a school-centered show, especially not a season as wildly, graphically, and sometimes gratuitously violent as this one. The formulaic statement only sharpens the focus on this season’s excesses and the relative absence of the humor and character and other qualities that made Stranger Things special.

Building to an Ending

In an interview about ST 2 on ign.com, Matt Duffer shared his thoughts on the future of the series. Speaking of “the shows that we really look up to,” Duffer said Breaking Bad was his favorite because “it feels like it was never treading water … like it built to an ending that was very much intended from the beginning. It feels like a very, very complete show, and it just nailed the landing, so that’s the goal and the hope, and it’s really, really difficult. But hopefully we get there.”

Perhaps the fear of “treading water” explains why the Duffers are piling the action on in the new season, as if desperate to cover every base, every horror, every action sequence, every character, with the result that episodes go on too long, the first seven running for nine hours total.  more

By Nancy Plum 

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) wrapped up its 2021-22 Richardson Auditorium concert series with a program ranging from sublime to sprightly and highlighting three members of the Orchestra as soloists. Associate concertmaster and violinist Brennan Sweet, assistant principal violist Elzbieta Weyman, and assistant principal flute Kathleen Nester were featured in works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Vivaldi, with performances that demonstrated their own soloistic talents and presented rarely-heard sides of these composers. Led by NJSO Music Director Xian Zhang, the musicians of New Jersey Symphony found the perfect musical vehicle to close the season and launch summer.

Friday night’s concert at Richardson Auditorium began with a nimble and humorous opera overture by a youthful Gioachino Rossini. Even at a young age, Rossini knew how to create an operatic showstopper, and his 1813 “Overture” to L’Italiana in Algeri contained all the elements necessary to energize a 19th-century audience. One of Rossini’s compositional signatures was a slowly rising crescendo to a full orchestral sound, and Zhang led the New Jersey Symphony well through these dynamic swells while allowing teasing wind solos to emerge from the texture. Like many opera overtures of this time period, Rossini’s “Overture” took off in tempo after a graceful start. Wind solos conveyed saucy melodic themes, including from oboist Robert Ingliss, clarinetist Andrew Lamy, and flutist Bart Feller. The three wind soloists had quick lines to maneuver, all of which were well executed.  more

“THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA”: William Shakespeare’s comic adventure will hit the Kelsey Theatre stage June 10 through June 19. Pictured are Stephanie Hampton of Hamilton as Lucetta and Charlotte Kirkby of Ewing as Julia. (Photo: Shakespeare 70)

Shakespeare 70 is presents the comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona at Kelsey Theatre weekends June 10-19, on the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor.

One of Shakespeare’s most light-hearted plays, this coming-of-age comedy begins when young Proteus becomes smitten with his best friend’s lover while on a trip to Milan. Events spin out of control as romantic rivals face off. Shakespeare 70’s staging brings out all the usual suspects before journey’s end: young lovers, servants, and a band of outlaws as well as some unanticipated developments with disguised genders. There is even a mysterious dog.

“We are thrilled to present The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The show is fast and funny,” said director Janet Quartarone. “We set the show during the jazz era to surprise folks with an imaginative and enjoyable twist.”

Shows are Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11; 17 and 18 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, June 12 and 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18-$20. Visit KelseyTheatre.org.

“KRAFTWERK 3-D”: The revolutionary group comes to State Theatre New Jersey on Tuesday, June 14 at 8 p.m. as part of their North American tour. The concert brings together music, 3-D visuals, and performance art. (Photo by Out of the Black Photography)

The newly renovated State Theatre New Jersey presents “Kraftwerk 3-D” as part of their North American tour on Tuesday, June 14 at 8 p.m. This Kraftwerk concert brings together music, 3-D visuals, and performance art. Tickets range from $45-$160.

In April 2022, Kraftwerk released their Remixes compilation album. The compilation showcases Kraftwerk’s influence on Club and DJ culture, techno, and all forms of electronic dance music. Featuring 19 official remixes, it collates Kraftwerk’s own remixes alongside contributions from some of the world’s biggest DJs and producers including François Kervorkian, William Orbit, Étienne de Crécy, Orbital, Underground Resistance, DJ Rolando, and Hot Chip. The remixes are taken from various Kraftwerk’s music from 1991-2021. more

FREE PIANO CONCERT: Students of pianist Ingrid Clarfield, center, will perform a free concert open to the public at McCarter Theatre’s Berlind Theatre on Sunday, June 12 from 2 to 5 p.m.

On Sunday, June 12 from 2-5 p.m., students of pianist Ingrid Clarfield will perform a free concert open to the public at McCarter Theatre’s Berlind Theatre, 91 University Place. The program includes works by Mozart, Haydn, Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and two women composers, Amy Beach and Margaret Bonds.

For the past nine years, Clarfield has held piano recitals that included a fundraising component called Performathons. Students not only practiced for their recital, they also raised money to support child-related causes. This year, the money will support the Children’s Fund at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). more

George Hartpence

William Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear returns to the stage in this area after a 20-year absence. From June 10-26, ActorsNET of Morrisville, Pa., presents the drama two decades after they first presented it in 2002.

The company’s Artistic Director Cheryl Doyle once again directs the play at the Heritage Theater along the Delaware River. The title role will be played this time by George Hartpence.

“When I was 12 years old,” Doyle said, “my Great Books Club read the play King Lear, and then I saw what has become a rather famous production at the Shakespeare festival in Stratford, Connecticut. I was immediately hooked on Shakespeare’s works, as a fan and a lifelong student. When ActorsNET started producing Shakespeare in 2001, I directed George Hartpence in Hamlet, and the next year George and I co-directed King Lear.

“Over the years,” she continued, “ActorsNET has produced more than a dozen Shakespeare comedies and tragedies (and our current king has been in all of them). It seems appropriate to return to King Lear in these uncertain times, as the play plumbs the depths of sorrow and anger while also reaching great heights of love and redemption.” more

“LATE SUMMER VIREO”: This watercolor painting by Beatrice Bork is featured in “Natural Influences,” her joint exhibit with Claudia Fouse Fountaine, on view June 9 through July 3 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville. An opening reception is on Saturday, June 11 from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Natural Influences” is the perfect title for a show featuring acrylic and watercolor paintings by two artists whose love of the natural world is reflected in everything they paint. While Claudia Fouse Fountaine and Beatrice Bork differ in their methods, they are both inspired by feather and fur, leaf and stone.

“Natural Influences” is on view at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville June 9 through July 3. All are welcome to meet the artists at the opening reception on Saturday, June 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. more

Princeton Makes will host a Knit in Public Day at the Princeton Shopping Center on Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This is part of the world’s largest knitting celebration, with similar events happening around the globe that day. The event will take place in the center of the Princeton Shopping Center courtyard, and in the event of rain will take place inside the Princeton Makes store.

Knitters and the knitting-curious are invited to attend the event to share their love of knitting, techniques, and projects. The event is open to knitters, crocheters, and spinners. People are encouraged to bring a current project on which they’re working along with a chair to relax in while they work. 

Piroska Toth, organizer of the event and a co-op member at Princeton Makes, said, “This is a great way for the knitting community to get together and enjoy each other’s company and learn from one another.  Knitting, though done individually, has always been a communal activity that brings people together.  I’m thrilled that Princeton will be a part of this worldwide event.” more

Paintings by Catherine J. Martzloff are featured in “Colors of Hope,” on view through June 30 at The Bank of Princeton, 10 Bridge Street in Lambertville, during banking hours. Martzloff is a longtime New Jersey resident and currently lives in Cranbury.

ART AT NAKASHIMA: The “Golconde: Introduction of Modernism in India” reception and exhibit will be held at the Nakashima Foundation Arts Building in New Hope, Pa., on June 12. (Photo by Komal Sharma)

“Golconde,” a hidden gem and a treasure in India’s architectural history located in Pondicherry, has a special connection to the work and life of George Nakashima. As Nakashima shepherded the construction of the building, he was awakened to a higher consciousness which changed the course of his life forever, enabling him to manifest Karma Yoga in his own unique way — both in architecture and in furniture making.

The Nakashima Foundation will host a special “Golconde: Introduction of Modernism in India” exhibit and reception at the Nakashima Foundation Arts Building on Sunday, June 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. on the Nakashima property at 1847 Aquetong Road, New Hope, Pa.

“Golconde” itself is not open to the public — it remains a private sanctuary — a home for some of the residents who are members of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. This exhibit invites visitors to experience virtually its beauty and tranquility, as well as to learn about the story of its creation.

The “Golconde” exhibit was inaugurated at the University of Texas in Austin, then traveled to Chicago, Arizona, Seattle, and Virginia before arriving in New Hope. It is a glimpse into the “discovery” of “Golconde” by Pankaj and Christine Gupta, founding partners of VirMueller architects in Delhi in 2003. They discovered a building with an atmosphere of peace and beauty remaining intact since it was completed during World War II. more

SUMMER ART CAMPS: The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster offers a variety of weekly camps for children ages 5-15. Sessions begin June 20, and take place both in person and in a hybrid format.

Registration is underway for in-person Summer Art Camps offered by The Center for Contemporary Art (The Center). Ten weekly Summer Art Camps, from June 20–August 26, are offered for children ages 5-15 in half-day sessions. Art Camps take place in person with select camps being offered in a hybrid format.

Summer Art Camps allow children to develop important artistic techniques and learn about the principles of visual art, historical periods and well-known artists. All camps are led by professional, experienced, and creative teaching artists; provide a curriculum tailored to three individual age groups; and allow students to enjoy small class sizes with projects and themes which vary weekly.

Each week children ages 5-8 and 9-11 will spend the morning exploring drawing, painting, collage, and other mixed media projects, and pottery in the ceramics studio. In the afternoon, campers ages 9-11 will explore a wide range of subjects in depth such as drawing, painting, pottery, upcycled art, cartooning, manga/anime, and more.

Teens ages 12-15 may choose to spend their mornings or afternoons in an intensive art camp studying a single subject.  more

SHINING LIGHTS: Members of the Princeton University women’s lightweight crew program show off the spoils of victory last Sunday at Mercer County Park after they earned their first-ever team title at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta. The Tigers took first in the varsity 8 and the double sculls on the way to the title. Both boats went undefeated this season. (Photo by Row2K, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

Having not lost a race this season, the Princeton University women’s lightweight varsity 8 wasn’t messing around as it hit the water last Sunday for the grand final of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta.

“Our race plan was to throw the kitchen sink at them; we wanted to get up on the first 500 meters, the first few strokes and just hold them to the last,” said graduate student Rebecca Mays, who rowed in the No. 2 seat on the boat. “I think we were really successful doing that.”

Even though Georgetown made a late push and narrowed the gap, Princeton held on for the victory, posting a winning time of 6:55.89 over the 2,000-meter course, 1.596 seconds better than the Hoyas.

“Not at all, we knew what we had left in the tank,” said Mays with a smile when asked if she was concerned about Georgetown’s surge.

The varsity 8’s win helped Princeton earn the national team title for the first time in program history as double sculls also placed first and its varsity 4 took fourth.

For Mays, the win by the varsity 8 resulted from months of hard work.

“It didn’t feel real at first because we have worked towards this all year long,” said Mays, a native of Annandale, Va. “The whole past year, this has been the goal. We finally accomplished that, it was really beautiful. It was really overwhelming.”

It was the second straight crown for the boat, which had won the title in 2021 by beating Wisconsin in a two-boat grand final.

“It was incredible, last year we knew we could have done it against a full field,” said Mays. “It is just really exciting to finally put that into action and see it through to the end.” more

HEAVY MEDAL: Members of the Princeton University men’s heavyweight varsity 4 celebrate after they won the grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta last Saturday. The boat clocked a winning time of 6:20.001 over the 2,000-meter course on Mercer Lake, edging runner-up Washington, who came in at 6:20.897. The boat included coxswain Eleanor Bauer, Greg Le Meur, Matthew Wagner, Emmett Infante, and Samuel Kleiner. (Photo by Row2K, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

Heading into the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta last weekend at Mercer Lake, the Princeton University men’s heavyweight rowing program was girding for a dogfight.

“It has been an interesting year, we faced plenty of challenges,” said Princeton heavyweight head coach Greg Hughes. “The [Eastern] Sprints for us was just an awesome breakthrough. It was a really, really positive step forward. We knew coming in that the level is high and there is a lot of depth. There are new programs in that top mix. Syracuse has done a really amazing job. Northeastern has done an amazing job. Dartmouth has done an amazing job, they are in the mix now. Look back to 2018 and 2019, those teams are here now and they are players. We knew that. We did a decent job preparing. We were in a position to be a contender and I think we were.”

The varsity 4 provided the highlight of the regatta for Princeton, winning its grand final on Saturday to earn a national title. The boat posted a winning time of 6:20.001 over the 2,000-meter course, edging runner-up Washington, who came in at 6:20.897.

“It was amazing, that was such an inspiration for me to watch,” said Hughes of the boat which included coxswain Eleanor Bauer, Greg Le Meur, Matthew Wagner, Emmett Infante, and Samuel Kleiner.

“What is great is that learning to win matters and that is something we will bring into the program next year. All of those guys will be back. That was phenomenal and it was an inspiration to the rest of our team too. That was really, really rewarding and positive.”

Another positive moment for Princeton came on Saturday when the second varsity 8 battled hard to take third in its semi to earn a spot in the grand final. more

CHASING A TITLE: Princeton University men’s track star Ed Trippas heads to a hurdle in a steeplechase race. Trippas, who competed in the Olympics for Australia last summer, set the top mark at the NCAA East Regional with a 8:33.93 time for the 3,000-meter steeplechase in late May. This week, he will be competing at the NCAA Championships, which begin on June 8 and run through Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Trippas will be joined by 10 teammates as the Tigers are sending a program-record 11 athletes to the NCAA meet. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Justin Feil

Princeton University men’s track and field coach Fred Samara was confident a year ago that the Tigers team would be special this spring.

The Tigers have more than fulfilled that hope while rewriting the record books with what could be argued is its best team in school history. Excelling at the NCAA East Regional in late May, Princeton advanced to the NCAA Championships in a program-record 11 events. The NCAAs begin on June 8 and run through Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. 

“You can say you’re going to have a good year, but to back it up is incredible,” said Samara, who brought 27 athletes to the East Regional. “The credit goes to the guys. They believe in themselves and they want to do well.”

Princeton finished fifth at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, but matching that is a tall order, even with its record numbers. No other school in the East had as many qualifiers. Add the qualifier numbers to the long list or records that Princeton athletes set this year.

“We knew we had a great team, but I was telling John Mack, our new AD who understands track and field, it’s the level of performances that we were a little surprised in,” said Samara.

“If you go down event by event, starting with the 100 meters and the relay, we knew we had good guys but to run 39.1 in the relay is unbelievable. In the 100, we had a 10.17. We had two guys at 20.5 in the 200, a 45.8 in the 400, a new record in the 800, a new record in the 1500. Field events, discus almost 206 (feet), 65 (feet) in the shot, the pole vault we knew we’d be good, high jump. I think in every event we exceeded our performance level that we had hoped for. It’s been remarkable.” more

GOAL-ORIENTED: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Paige Gardner heads to goal in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public B tournament. Last week, junior star Gardner tallied five goals and three assists, including the game-winner, as top-seeded PDS edged fourth-seeded Bishop Eustace 15-14 in the Non-Public B semis. On Saturday, Gardner scored seven goals to help PDS defeat third-seeded Holy Spirit in the Non-Public B final. The Panthers, who improved to 14-8 with the win, were slated to face Oak Knoll in the quarterfinal of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions on June 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The heat was on as the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team hosted Bishop Eustace in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public B semifinals last week and Paige Gardner was determined to keep firing away.

With the temperatures soaring into the 90s during the May 31 contest, top-seeded PDS fell behind fourth-seeded Bishop Eustace 10-9 with 18:17 left in the second half.

Junior attacker Gardner took matters into her hands, scoring two goals and assisting on another as the Panthers forged ahead 14-10.

“I think we were concerned and the yellow cards were not on our side, that was something we were really battling with,” said Gardner. “There was a point where we have to go, we have to keep going. Once we get a goal we can’t take a break, we just have to keep going and know your break is coming after the game.”

Bishop Eustace, though, responded with a 4-0 run to knot the contest at 14-14. Gardner came through again, finding the back of the cage with 2:00 left in the game on a feed from Tessa Caputo in what proved to be the decisive tally in a 15-14 win for the Panthers. more

DOUBLING THEIR FUN: Members of the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team celebrate after the top-seeded Panthers defeated third-seeded Holy Spirit 17-11 in the NJSIAA Non-Public B state final last Saturday at Hunterdon Central. It also marked the second title this season for the Panthers as they had previously edged Montclair Kimberley Academy 13-12 in the Prep B state final. The triumph gave head coach Jill Thomas a special going away present as the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Famer previously announced that she is retiring at the end of the season after 34 years at the school. PDS, who improved to 14-8 with the victory, was slated to face Oak Knoll in the quarterfinal of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions on June 7. (Photo by Bill Alden)

By Bill Alden

“We before me” has been the mantra all spring for the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team and Elle Anhut exemplified that philosophy as PDS battled Holy Spirit last Saturday in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public B state final.

With top-seeded PDS leading third-seeded Holy Spirit 12-7 early in the second half at Hunterdon Central, Panther senior star Anhut went down with a cramp in her calf and limped off the field.

Knowing that her team needed her, Anhut furiously worked on her leg to get back into the contest.

“It was at the beginning of the second half so I was thinking there was no shot that I cannot be in this because we weren’t up that much,” said Anhut.

“I just chugged some Pedialyte and I Theragunned a little bit and I was ready to go back in because I knew I was not going to spend my last time on the side of the field.”

Returning to the game with 12:50 left, Anhut made the most of her time on the field as PDS pulled away to a 17-11 victory to win the title in its debut appearance in the competition and the final season for departing head coach Jill Thomas, a New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Famer who previously announced that she is retiring at the end of the season after 34 years at the school.

It also marked the second title this season for the Panthers as they had previously edged Montclair Kimberley Academy 13-12 in the Prep B state final. PDS, who improved to 14-8 with the victory, was slated to face Oak Knoll in the quarterfinal of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions on June 7.

For Anhut, achieving the title double was surreal. “I just got goosebumps; it is crazy, first time in this tournament,” said Anhut, reflecting on the triumph. more

ON THE BALL: Princeton High baseball player Drew Petrone takes a swing in a game this season. Senior infielder Petrone batted .391 this season to help PHS go 11-14. The Tigers saw their season end when they fell 8-1 at Middletown South last Wednesday in the first round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 4 sectional tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Dom Capuano knew that his 16th-seeded Princeton High baseball team faced a big challenge as it played at top-seeded Middletown South last Wednesday in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 4 sectional tournament

“If you look across another Group 4 bracket or even a group 3 bracket which we are pretty close to, we would have been an 8th seed in North 2 or the Group 3 central so that is unfortunate,” said PHS head coach Capuano. “But with that said, we did that to ourselves, losing multiple games that were winnable and could have set ourselves up for a better seed.”

Having upset Edison 6-4 in the first round of the 2021 state tourney, the Tigers came out swinging.

“Jensen [Bergman] led off the game with a hit so right off that bat I was thinking maybe this could be something,” said Capuano.

But the Tigers could only muster one more hit the rest of the game as they fell 8-1 to the Eagles to end the spring with an 11-14 record.

“It was the same thing all year, we have hot bats at one point and then we don’t,” said Capuano. “We didn’t against them, the pitcher was good and we just didn’t match up well.”

PHS struggled down the stretch, losing its last four regular season games coming into the state opener.

“We just get over the hump in any of those last games, the last four before Middletown South were winnable games against opponents that we matched up with better,” said Capuano. “We had the better talent, we just didn’t win. That is competitive sports.” more

FINAL STATEMENT: Princeton High boys’ tennis player Jonathan Gu hits a backhand during a match last season. Junior star Gu helped PHS make the NJSIAA Group 3 state final last Friday at the Mercer County Park tennis complex.He posted a straight-set win at first singles as PHS edged Tenafly 3-2 in the state semis and then earned another straight-set win to give the Tigers their only point in a 4-1 loss to Millburn in the state final. The defeat left PHS with final record of 16-2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jonathan Gu got things off to a good start in what turned out to be a long day for the Princeton High boys’ tennis team as it competed in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group 3 state Final 4 last Friday at the Mercer County Park tennis complex.

As PHS faced Tenafly in a semifinal contest, junior star Gu made short work of Jon Tsipunyuk at first singles, rolling to a  6-0, 6-1 win to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

“Tenafly is a good team, their No. 1 was a good player but I played really well,” said Gu. “I ended points early.”

Melvin Huang followed suit and posted a win at second singles for PHS but then Eric Zhu fell in three sets at third singles and first doubles team of Jason Singer and Nikita Medvedev fell in straight sets to turn the match into a 2-2 nail biter.

With the match hanging in the balance, the second doubles team of Aman Kapur, who moved into the lineup for the match, and Varun Vaidyanathan rallied to win 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 (in a 10-point match tiebreaker) and send PHS to the final.

“Aman and Varun came up clutch, they won the third set tiebreaker,” said Gu, noting that Roberto Haubold, who normally plays first doubles with Singer, was not able to play last week due to another commitment.

“It was a tight one 10-7. Roberto was out and Aman came in and stepped up.”

In the state final, the Tigers faced powerhouse Millburn and Gu came up big again, topping Matias Feoli 6-4, 6-2.

“Matias is really good,” said Gu. “I played really well today. I served really well and won a few crucial points. That made the difference.” more

FAST COMPANY: Wilberforce School track stars, from left, Gwen Mersereau, Laura Prothero, Adeline Edwards, and Sophia Park are all smiles after they finished first in the 4×800-meter relay at the Mercer County Track and Field championships on Memorial Day weekend. The quartet clocked a school-record time of 9:55.75 in winning the program’s first-ever county relay title. Wilberforce will be competing in the NJSIAA Non-Public championship meet this weekend. (Photo provided courtesy of Lois Szeliga)

By Bill Alden

Although the Wilberforce School girls’ 4×800-meter relay took first at the Mercer County Relays earlier this spring, Lois Szeliga knows that guaranteed nothing when the quartet competed at the county meet on Memorial Day weekend.

“Because there are so many relays, coaches have to strategize what relay are we going to put our A team in,” said Wilberforce track head coach Szeliga, referring to the relays competition.

“You only have so many girls that can run certain distances. The county meet is the real test, you only have the 4×100, the 4×400, and 4×800 so you are getting everybody’s A team.”

The group of Gwen Mersereau, Laura Prothero, Adeline Edwards, and Sophia Park passed that test with flying colors at the Mercer County Track and Field championship meet at Robbinsville, taking first in a school-record time of 9:55.75 as they earned the program’s first-ever county relay title.

“We were really excited, we thought we could do well but the big surprise was breaking 10 minutes and just how well they did,” said Szeliga. “They had their eyes on that all year because there is something about the relay, it just multiplies the joy because it is with your teammates. That is what they love the most. They couldn’t stop talking about the 4×8, they were really excited to compete at counties.”

Freshmen Mersereau and Edwards, who took second and third respectively in the girls’ 800, have made an instant impact this spring.

“Gwen is an experienced racer and Adeline is an athlete who just started track,” said Szeliga of the pair, who combined with Park and Georgie Pandolfo to take fourth in the 4×400 relay. “They are great for each other, they push each other. It brings excitement for the future.”

In addition to Mersereau and Edwards, a number of other athletes excelled at the county meet. Junior Park took eighth in the 800 and ninth in the 1,600 while sophomore Maria Madigan placed sixth in the 400 in a school record time of 1:01.14. The squad’s top thrower, Jenna Fischer, set school records as she took 13th in the javelin (77’1) and 15th in the shot put (26’5). more

June 1, 2022

Presented by Spirit of Princeton, the Princeton Memorial Day Parade returned on Saturday morning after a two-year hiatus with participants, including the MacGregor Pipe Band, shown here, marching down Nassau Street to Monument Plaza. The parade was followed by a ceremony at Monument Hall. (Photo by Weronika A. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

With COVID-19 numbers apparently leveling off, the school year winding down, and summer arriving, the Princeton Health Department is juggling a full schedule of obligations to the community along with the need for ongoing COVID-19 monitoring.

Jeff Grosser, Princeton deputy administrator for health and community services, recently discussed the current challenges for the health department in adjusting to a new phase in the pandemic and a new workflow.

“For over two years everything has gone into the COVID-19 response,” he said. “Now, many of our annual obligations of regular food, youth camp, and pool inspections, along with investigating communicable disease outbreaks, are being worked into our existing COVID-19 workload.”

Grosser noted that many routine, cyclical responsibilities, like strategic planning, quality improvement, and workforce development, were back on the priority list. Public health professionals are now “working out how to budget pre-COVID responsibilities with the continued expectations of COVID-19 case investigations, outbreak cluster review, and guidance consultations to community stakeholders,” he said. “This, of course, is coupled with continued COVID-19 vaccination clinics.”

According to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), the state’s seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday was down 16 percent from a week ago and up 54 percent from a month ago. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the daily average of new cases in New Jersey was down five percent over the previous 14 days, and in Mercer County the daily average was down nine percent over the previous 14 days. more

By Anne Levin

Problems blamed on the pre-construction process for a new complex at Princeton University have sparked anxiety among some neighbors of Princeton Theological Seminary, where the demolition of buildings on the Tennent-Roberts-Whiteley (TRW) property on Stockton Street is planned.

“Nearby neighbors have had surprise visits from an employee of Princeton Theological Seminary, who is going door to door to schedule appointments to document roofs and foundations prior to the demolition of the TRW buildings,” reads an email from the Princeton Coalition for Responsible Development (PCRD), sent last week. “These unexpected visits have sparked anxious calls among neighbors who are appropriately worried about their property and also worried generally about the demolition process and environmental impacts.”

While the process for construction of Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (ES & SEAS) involves blasting of bedrock, which neighbors of surrounding streets say has caused cracks and leaks, the demolition on the Seminary property does not.

“Indeed, there will be no blasting at the site,” wrote Beth DeMauro, interim director of communication and marketing for the school, in an email. “The Seminary is taking every step to ensure that this project has minimal impact to the surrounding homes and community. Individual meetings have been held with neighbors contiguous to the site to assess and address any concerns related to the demolition.  The project has been thoughtfully planned and will be carefully executed to minimize disruption to the neighborhood.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Tuesday, June 7 is primary day in New Jersey, and the two candidates for Princeton Council, incumbents Michelle Pirone Lambros and Mia Sacks, are running unopposed for the Democratic nomination for two available seats.

They have both been endorsed by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) and have received the support of the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee (PDMC). No one has filed to run for the Republican nomination.

Also on the ballot are Bonnie Watson Coleman, running unopposed for the Democratic nomination for another two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and, looking to face Watson Coleman in the November general election, unopposed Republican Darius Mayfield.

Princeton voters will be able to cast their ballots in one of three different ways. They can vote in person on June 7 between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the polling place listed on the front of the sample ballot received in the mail. Early in-person voting is available from June 3 to 5 at various locations throughout the county, including a voting site at the Princeton Shopping Center.

Up until Monday, June 6, at 3 p.m. prospective voters can apply in person for vote-by-mail ballots at the county clerk’s office in Trenton. Those ballots must be filled out and postmarked, or placed in a special county drop box, or delivered to the board of elections in Trenton by 8 p.m. on June 7. more

A FAMILY OF STUDENTS: The children of Henry Egglesfield, the butler at Moses Taylor Pyne’s Drumthwacket estate, attended a small school at Stony Brook. This image is among those now on permanent digital display by the Historical Society of Princeton.

By Anne Levin

Anyone who attended Princeton Public Schools over the past several decades might recognize themselves, or their classmates, in a digital tour available on the website of the Historical Society of Princeton (HSP). But “Princeton’s Public Schools: A History” is as much about the distant past as it is about more recent years.

The 19-part tour goes back to a time that predates photography. Starting with “Betsey Stockton and Her District No. 6 School” in the 1830s and continuing through last year’s student-driven renaming of John Witherspoon Middle School to Princeton Middle School, because of its namesake’s links to slavery, the profile of Princeton’s public educational system is all-encompassing.

A collaboration of the HSP and Princeton Public Schools, the tour is illustrated with photographs, documents, and oral histories. The issue of race figures prominently, as it did in an original exhibition mounted in 2009 acknowledging 150 years of Princeton Public Schools history. The tour draws on, and makes digitally accessible, materials and research collected for that first show, which was the product of efforts by the historical society, Princeton Public Schools, Princeton Public Library, Princeton University Libraries, Lisa Paine, Shirley Satterfield, and several other contributors.

“Race definitely plays a huge part in the Princeton Public Schools story,” said Stephanie Schwartz, the HSP’s curator of collections and research. “I imagine it shows up in other towns’ stories as well. But in terms of how well known The Princeton Plan is [for school reorganization, in 1948] was nationally as a model for integration, it naturally is a focus of the exhibition.” more