September 12, 2018

DRIVING ELECTRIC: Electric vehicle owners, enthusiasts, and curious locals gathered Saturday at the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market to take part in a National Drive Electric Week event featuring more than 23 plug-in vehicles and their owners. New Jersey Electric Auto Association Vice President Sal Cameli stands beside his 100 percent electric Nissan Leaf.

By Donald Gilpin

If the electric vehicle (EV) drivers, enthusiasts, and curious onlookers who showed up Saturday at the National Drive Electric Week event at the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market are any indication, your next car might be electric, and it won’t be long before traditional internal combustion engines have gone the way of the horse and buggy.

The owners of the 23 EVs in attendance Saturday emphasized the clean-air benefits and cost-savings of their cars, answered questions from spectators, and shared their EV ownership experiences.  more

BACK ON THE AIR: John Weingart returns to WPRB radio on September 16 to begin his 45th year of the unique folk music program “Music You Can’t Hear on the Radio.”

John Weingart’s Sunday evening show on WRPB radio begins its 45th year on Sunday, September 16, from 7 to 10 p.m. Music You Can’t Hear on the Radio is broadcast live from Princeton on 103.3 FM and streamed worldwide at

The program is notable for the well of often little-known music from which Weingart draws and the sets he creates around varied themes that may be topical, humorous, poignant, beautiful, or just great music. The show generally includes old and new country blues and string band music, bluegrass, singer-songwriters, and other music loosely classified as folk or Americana that was recorded as long ago as the 1920s, and as recently as this month.

Weingart, a former assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and chair of the New Jersey Highlands Council, is currently associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers. He started Music You Can’t Hear on the Radio in February 1974 while a graduate student at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.

“SUN RIZING”: More than 50 artists who have exhibited their work in small group or solo shows at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie during the past 40 years will be featured in “Pushing 40,” running September 15 through November 10. An opening reception is on Saturday, September 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The Trenton Museum Society has announced “Pushing 40,” a “reunion” exhibit celebrating 40 years of promoting fine art by artists in the greater Trenton region. More than 50 artists who have exhibited their work in small group or solo shows at the Trenton City Museum during the past 40 years are returning to the Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park from September 15 to November 10. An opening reception is on Saturday, September 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  more

PLAINSBORO PUBLIC LIBRARY ARTS FESTIVAL: Sheela Raj of Plainsboro will again demonstrate painting on textiles at this year’s event on Saturday, September 15 from 12-4 p.m. at the Plainsboro Public Library. Other Plainsboro artists, as well as members of the Plainsboro Library Artists’ Group, will also show their work, demonstrate their techniques, and help festivalgoers develop their own artwork.

You can learn everything you ever wanted to know about fabric painting, Chinese knotting, sketchbook journaling, face painting, henna, Chinese and Marathi calligraphy, clay jewelry, and much more when local artists take center stage at the Plainsboro Public Library on Saturday, September 15, for the library’s annual Arts Festival. The event is scheduled from 12-4 p.m.

A disc jockey will be on hand throughout the festival; and members of the West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North a capella group Out of the Blue will perform, as will the high school’s string orchestra, Nonet.

Funded by the Friends of the Plainsboro Public Library, the festival will take place rain or shine, and will feature Plainsboro artists as well as members of the Plainsboro Library Artists’ Group. In addition to showing their work, they will demonstrate their techniques and will help visitors develop their own artwork.

Celebrate the centennial of Plainsboro Township, which will take place in 2019, by participating in the creation of a centennial banner during the Arts Festival. Plainsboro artist Sangeeta Vinoth will distribute patches on which festivalgoers may write their names in paint, ink, or other media. The patches will be glued to a large banner, which will hang in the library art gallery next May, in conjunction with an exhibit commemorating the centennial.

CUBAN ROOTS: Aydmara Cabrera, shown here in “Swan Lake,” hopes to bring her experience at National Ballet of Cuba into the curriculum of Princeton Ballet School.

Former National Ballet of Cuba principal dancer Aydmara Cabrera has been named school director of Princeton Ballet School (PBS), the official school of American Repertory Ballet (ARB).

According to Julie Diana Hench, executive director of American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School, “Ms. Cabrera is already a beloved teacher and ballet master at PBS, and will be an incredible member of the leadership team. She has impressive professional experience and an inspiring vision for the School that will provide students even greater opportunities. Ms. Cabrera’s passion for the art form is infectious and we are thrilled to have her lead Princeton Ballet School into an exciting new era.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

We are stardust

We are golden

And we have to get ourselves

Back to the garden

I’m not a big Joni Mitchell fan. She never moved me the way Kate Bush does when she becomes the spirit of Cathy singing outside Heathcliff’s window in “Wuthering Heights” or the spirit of Emily Brontë herself in all her untapped wildness when she makes albums like The Dreaming and Hounds of Love. But those lines from Mitchell’s “Woodstock” not only capture the best spirit of the Sixties, they speak to the here and now of Princeton in September 2018, where we have a Garden to get back to, and on Hollywood Nights it’s not just a refuge from the breaking-news madness of our time, it’s an escape route to the days when a B-movie gangster became Humphrey Bogart. My wife and I took our time getting to the Garden to see Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place (1950), one of the lesser known Bogarts. But Bogart is Bogart, the house was packed, and we were lucky to find seats together. more

“NEWSIES”: Performances are underway for PinnWorth Productions’ presentation of “Newsies.” Directed by LouJ Stalsworth, the musical runs through September 16 at the Kelsey Theatre. Katherine Plumber, a mysterious reporter (Bridget Hughes, left) interviews Jack Kelly (Rob Ryan), who leads the delivery boys on strike after Joseph Pulitzer increases the cost of the newspapers to them. (Photo by Robert A. Terrano)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

On July 23, 1899, the New York Herald printed the following headline: “Newsboys’ Strike Promises Success.” That promise is fulfilled by PinnWorth Productions’ presentation of the Broadway musical Newsies, which is playing at the Kelsey Theatre. Directed by LouJ Stalsworth, this polished, energetic production demonstrates why the unsuccessful 1992 film succeeds on stage.

Having rejuvenated the genre of animated musicals with blockbusters such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, Disney attempted to do the same for live-action musical films. However, Newsies was commercially unsuccessful in its theatrical release. more

VOICE OF OPTIMISM: Princeton University football head coach Bob Surace makes a point during the program’s recently-held media day. Princeton is coming off a 5-5 campaign in 2017 as it was decimated by injuries and lost its final four games after starting 5-1. With some of the injured stars returning and other players having gained valuable experience last year in their stead, Surace believes the Tigers have the depth to be an Ivy League title contender this fall. Princeton opens its 2018 season underway when it plays at Butler University (2-0) on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After routing Harvard 52-17 last October in improving to 5-1, the Princeton University football team appeared to be on track for a run at a second straight Ivy League title.

But derailed by an avalanche of injuries, the Tigers lost their last four games in slipping to seventh place in the league standings, finishing the season at 5-5 overall and 2-5 Ivy. more

NO DOUBTING THOMAS: Princeton University football captains, from left, Thomas Johnson, John Lovett, Mark Fossati, and Kurt Holuba are all smiles as they posed together at the program’s media day. While Lovett, Fossati, and Holuba were all sidelined by injuries last fall, Johnson emerged as a defensive force, earning first-team All-Ivy League honors at inside linebacker after ranking third in the league with 95 tackles. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Thomas Johnson faced a trial by fire last fall in his junior season for the Princeton University football team.

First, Johnson was moved to a new spot on the field, getting switched to inside linebacker from the outside.


By Bill Alden

Hosting Hightstown last Saturday afternoon, the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team found itself in an uphill battle.

Getting off to a sluggish start, PDS yielded a goal 15 minutes into the contest to fall behind 1-0.


LINING IT UP: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Caroline Mullen, left, goes after the ball in a game last season. Last Wednesday, junior midfielder Mullen picked up two assists to help Stuart defeat Burlington City High 5-0 in its season opener. In upcoming action, the Tartans play at Princeton Day School on September 13 and at George School (Pa.) on September 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Caroline Mullen and her teammates on the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team were determined to start the season on a high note as they hosted Burlington City High last Wednesday in their opener.

“I think we wanted to come out with a lot of intensity,” said junior midfielder and co-captain Mullen. more

RARE JEWEL: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Jules Romano, right, controls the ball last Saturday against Princeton High. Romano and PDS rallied to pull out a 2-2 tie against PHS. The Panthers, who moved to 1-0-1 with the draw, were slated to host Morristown High on September 11 before playing at Hun on September 13 and at Moorestown Friends on September 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jules Romano feels calmer on the field this fall for the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer season, with one season under her belt.

“Once I am on the ball, I am not as rushed as I was as a freshman,” said sophomore midfielder Romano. “I am more confident, I know my players.”


HIGH AND DRY: Princeton High football player Drew Staples heads upfield last Saturday as PHS hosted Hightstown in the season opener for both teams. Falling behind 28-0 by halftime, the Little Tigers went on to fall 52-0 to the visiting Rams. PHS will look to get on the winning track when it plays at Pemberton on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There was reason for optimism early on for the Princeton High football team as it hosted Hightstown last Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

Taking the opening kickoff, PHS drove 34 yards into Hightstown territory before punting it to the Rams.


TIGHT BATTLE: Princeton University men’s soccer player Sean McSherry, left, goes after the ball last Saturday as Princeton hosted Monmouth. McSherry and Tigers dropped a heartbreaker to the Hawks, falling 1-0 despite building a 19-5 edge in shots. Princeton, now 1-3, hosts Temple on September 12 and Boston University on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jim Barlow has seen a lot in his 23 seasons guiding the Princeton University men’s soccer program.

But he never experienced anything quite like Princeton’s heartbreaking 1-0 loss to visiting Monmouth University last Saturday evening. more

SHOCKING NEWS: Sergeant Darren Hill (Liam Matthews) was just finishing up a tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was killed during an ambush of his unit.

By Kam Williams

Sergeant Darren Hill (Liam Matthews) was just days away from finishing up a tour of duty in Afghanistan when he died during an ambush of his unit. The shocking news devastated his wife, Amber (Lindsay Pulsipher), and their young daughter, Bree (Makenzie Moss).

In fact, Amber was so embittered she stepped down as her church’s choir director, saying, “Look where my faith in God got us.” And pep talks from Pastor Williams (LaDainian Tomlinson) and her friends, Bridgette (Jordin Sparks) and Karena (Robin Givens), fail to bring her back into the fold. more

September 5, 2018

There were plenty of moving trucks and boxes at Princeton University on Saturday morning as students from the Class of 2022 moved into their dormitories on campus. Students share where they are from and what they will be studying in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Erica M. Cardenas)

By Donald Gilpin

A Princeton Council subcommittee last week offered its recommendations for upgrading Princeton’s Civil Rights Commission (CRC), an advisory body without investigatory or enforcement authority that has recently been the source of controversy and the target of charges of “dysfunction.”

Recommendations of the committee included a more streamlined and clear conflict resolution process, an upgrade of the orientation process for new commission members, and improvement of communications and opportunities for commissioners to get to know each other. more

By Donald Gilpin

It’s back to school today, Wednesday, September 5, for about 3,800 Princeton Public School (PPS) students. PPS is also welcoming 29 new teachers and 26 new support staff members, eight unaffiliated staff, and three administrators — all pursuing the theme of “expanding our capacity.”

The theme applies to both the tangible — the $129.6M bond referendum, just postponed from its original November 6 ballot date, which seeks funds for the building of a new 5/6 school and extensive renovations and upgrades throughout the district — and the intangible — the human capacities for learning and growth in the students and the school community. more

By Anne Levin

Keeping Westminster Choir College in the hands of an entity that understands its mission was the focus on an open discussion held by The Westminster Foundation at Nassau Presbyterian Church on August 29. The public forum was the second to be presented by the Foundation in recent months.

Rider University, which absorbed the famed choir college in 1991, plans to sell it to a Chinese company for $40 million. Those opposing the sale of the school to the Beijing Kaiwen Education Technology Corporation say the company is ill equipped, financially and academically, to run the college. At least two lawsuits against Rider, related to the sale, are pending. more

FROM PAGE TO STAGE: Helen Cespedes and Andrew Veenstra star in Douglas McGrath’s play adapted from Edith Wharton’s classic novel “The Age of Innocence,” at McCarter Theatre Center starting Friday. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

By Anne Levin

Fans of Edith Wharton find plenty to love in The Age of Innocence, her novel about a New York love triangle in the stultifying high society of the Gilded Age. But when they were younger, playwright Douglas McGrath, who wrote the theatrical adaptation that opens at McCarter Theatre Center on September 7, and Doug Hughes, who directed the production, did not count themselves among those fans. more

MATH & MAGIC: Princeton University Mathematics Professor Manjul Bhargava, recently appointed as the first distinguished chair for the public dissemination of mathematics at The National Museum of Mathematics in New York City (MoMath), will be offering a course titled Math & Magic with Manjul at MoMath from September 12 to December 12. (Photo by Denise Applewhite, Princeton University)

By Donald Gilpin

Recently named inaugural distinguished visiting professor of the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), Princeton University Professor Manjul Bhargava will be teaching a course starting next week on math and magic at MoMath in New York.

As the first distinguished chair for the public dissemination of mathematics, a position dedicated to raising public awareness of math, Bhargava will lead the eight-session course from September 12 to December 12, focusing on mathematical concepts such as number theory, group theory, recursion theory, topology, coding theory, and cryptography, and how they reveal secrets behind some of the most puzzling and well-known magic tricks.  more

By Stuart Mitchner

The image of Emily Brontë on the cover of Robert Barnard’s contribution to The British Library Writers’ Lives series is a retouched detail from the portrait of the three Brontë sisters, Anne, Emily, and Charlotte, painted by their brother Branwell. Two years ago at the Morgan Library’s Charlotte Brontë bicentennial, I stood in front of the original painting (circa 1834), with its folds, creases, and marks of wear. The contrast between the spectral Emily I saw then and this radiant girl is eerie. There’s color in the cheeks and brow and lips and the light of thought in the eyes. What had seemed a neutral expression now appears appealingly impertinent. It’s incredible to think this fresh-faced human being aglow with attitude was born 200 years ago, July 30, 1818, and died at 30 in 1848, a year after the publication of her only novel, which came into the world with its author concealed behind the pen name Ellis Bell. Wuthering Heights has been synonymous with mystery ever since.


Thanks to Princeton Human Services’ successful Book Bag Drive and the donors who contributed, more than 170 children have school supplies and backpacks to put them in. The items are distributed to children from low-income families who attend Princeton Public Schools.

The ribbon was cut August 28 at a new home on Dorann Avenue for Community Options. Senator Kip Bateman, Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, and Mayor Liz Lempert were among those on hand to help resident Jack Lidstone, who has autism and ADHD and works at McCaffrey’s Food Market, do the honors. The four-bedroom home, which will provide special needs housing credits towards Princeton’s affordable housing plan, was acquired through a funding partnership with Princeton. The funding allowed Community Options to fully renovate the home to meet the needs of the residents.

You don’t have to be a grandparent to participate in GrandPals, which matches adult volunteers aged 50 and up with children in Princeton Public Schools to promote a love of books. Shown here at Johnson Park School, Isabella Reyes, left, and GrandPal Stephanie Ives get ready to spend a half hour reading together. To recruit volunteers for the coming school year, an event will be held at PSRC’s Suzanne Patterson Building, 45 Stockton Street, Monday, September 17 at 11 a.m. Most volunteers read once a week with children during the day. Register online at or call (609) 924-7108.