July 20, 2022

HISTORIC DISTRICT: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player Jaxon Petrone hits the ball in recent action. Last Sunday, recent Princeton High grad Petrone got two hits, including a homer, in a losing cause as Post 218 lost 5-3 to Washington Township Post 521 in an elimination game at the N.J. District 4 tournament at West Deptford. It makes the first-ever appearance in District play for Post 218, which finished the summer with an 8-12 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team looking to make its first-ever trip to the New Jersey District tournament, it wanted to clinch a spot by beating Allentown last week rather than relying on help from other teams.

Allentown, though, posed a formidable obstacle to Post 218’s plan as it had already clinched a share of the Mercer County American Legion League (MCALL) regular season title.

Undaunted, a scrappy Post 218 team jumped out to an 11-2 lead over Allentown and held on for an 11-9 win to punch its ticket to the Districts.

“It was huge, at the time they were 14-3,” said Post 218 manager Benito Gonzalez. “We played them well the first time, it was Rohan [Sheth] starting in that game too. It was the fifth inning that was the issue the first time. The second time around was probably the best overall offensive effort that we put up the whole year.”

The victory epitomized the resilience that Post 218 displayed as it battled down the stretch.

“Our last four, five games we responded by winning a bunch of ones that we had to,” said Gonzalez. “We knew when we won against Allentown, we clinched it. We said guys, congratulations, you didn’t not let it go to fate.” more

YOUNG AT HEART: Freddy Young Jr., right, unloads the ball for Homestead in recent action in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Monday night, Young, a former Princeton Day School and Trenton Catholic standout, tallied 12 points to help Homestead edge Athlete Engineering Institute 69-68 as it improved to 6-2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Freddy Young Jr. was primed to make his debut for the Lincoln University men’s basketball team this past winter, but he was stopped in his tracks before he even played a game.

“I hurt my foot in the first scrimmage,” said Young, a former Princeton Day School and Trenton Catholic standout guard. “I was running through a play and I happened to break my foot. It was really unlucky but I got to learn a lot.”

While being sidelined, Young developed a better feel for the college game.

“I got to hoop in college before I broke my foot so I was experiencing it,” said  the 6’3, 180-pound Young.

“I saw how fast it was when I was hooping. When I had to sit back and watch, I got to see how slow that game actually was. I got to slow down my mental approach. I am a more complete player because I can see what everybody can do and what I can do better.”

Young did keep busy as he rehabbed his injury. “The team kept me with them throughout everything,” said Young of the squad which also includes Princeton High alum Zahrion Blue and Princeton Day School grad Ethan Garita. more

July 13, 2022

Pick-your-own in Terhune Orchards’ two-acre blueberry patch was one of the many activities at the farm’s annual Blueberry Bash last weekend. Participants share their favorite ways to eat blueberries in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Weronika A. Plohn)

By Anne Levin

At a meeting Monday night, Princeton Council voted to adopt an ordinance establishing the Prospect Avenue Historic District, designating the street that is home to Princeton University’s eating clubs as the 21st such district in the town.

The unanimous vote brings to an official end a long, controversial process related to the University’s June 2021 proposal to demolish three Queen Anne Victorian houses on the north side of Prospect Avenue and move the 91 Prospect former Court Clubhouse across the street into their place, to make room for a Theorist Pavilion and entrance into the new Environmental Studies and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (ES+SEAS) complex.

Extensive protests from members of the local community and alumni, hearings in front of the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Board, and encouragement from Council led the University to revise the proposal. The three houses will be preserved. The house at 110 Prospect will be moved to a space behind the other two, which are at numbers 114 and 116. The Court Club building will be moved to the space where 110 currently stands.

During public comment on the ordinance, Sandy Harrison, who chairs the board of the Princeton Prospect
Foundation, said both the University and the eating clubs supported the designation of the historic district. The Princeton Prospect Foundation and the Graduate Interclub Council “met with the board chairs of the clubs to make sure they understood what it means to be a historic district,” he said.

Author/historian Clifford Zink, who wrote a book about the eating clubs and often leads tours of the iconic buildings, spoke in support of the ordinance. “Adoption will be a very positive outcome of well over a year of work by so many people to come up with a compromise solution on Prospect Avenue to maintain the quality of the historic character of the street, and also allow the University to do some very important and needed changes in a way that respects the historic character,” he said.

 more

By Donald Gilpin

Three incumbents — Debbie Bronfeld, Susan Kanter, and Dafna Kendal — will be running in the November 8 election to keep their seats on the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) for another three years.

As of Tuesday morning, July 12, no additional candidates had stepped up to challenge them. The deadline for candidates to file with the Mercer County Clerk is July 25, less than two weeks away.

Bronfeld, who has lived in Princeton for more than 20 years and has two sons who graduated from Princeton High School (PHS), will be running for her third term on the Board. “My goals are to continue supporting the superintendent in not only keeping our schools clean, safe, and open for our students and staff, but to ensure every student reaches their full potential while attending PPS,” she wrote in an email.

Bronfeld looks forward to continuing her work on the BOE Operations and Student Achievement committees and as chair of the Personnel Committee and co-chair of the Equity Committee.

“In my next term I will also continue overseeing improvements in our departments and programs, creative ways to balance the budget, and creating more opportunities for our students to participate in all academic and extracurricular programs,” she added.

Kanter, with three children who have graduated from PHS and more than 20 years in Princeton, wrote, “I am seeking a second BOE term for the opportunity to use my 20 years of experience in business, multiple community volunteer roles, and recent Board service to ensure continued excellence and meaningful changes in our district.” more

FUSION PILOT PLANT: Shown here is PPPL’s National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U). The spherical device is shaped like a cored apple and can produce high-pressure plasmas — a necessity for fusion reactions — with relatively low and cost-effective magnetic fields. Temperatures of the plasma encircling the central core of the machine can exceed 10 million degrees Celsius. (Photo by Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications)

By Taylor Smith

A National Academy of Sciences panel chaired by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) Senior Physicist Richard Hawryluk has recommended that the U.S. move quickly to accelerate the development of fusion energy. According to PPPL, the panel presented the recommendation to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the sole body of non-governmental advisors charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the president and the White House.

PPPL is rapidly advancing in support of this recommendation, which calls for collaborating with private industry.

Jon Menard, deputy director for research  at PPPL in Plainsboro, said that fusion energy is the way of the future.

A potential game changer in terms of providing clean, efficient, and environmentally-sound energy, fusion energy is something that the White House is currently focusing on. This form of energy has the potential to counteract climate change and become a self-sustaining energy source. So, what exactly is fusion energy?

Menard explained, “All the energy from the sun that you see every day, that lights up our solar system and heats our planet, comes from fusion. In the case of the sun it’s hydrogen or hydrogen fusion. As gravitational forces push the nuclei together and they fuse, that process releases energy.”

“The fusion reactions themselves must reach enough heat to make the process self-sustaining,” continued Menard. “Burning plasma processes are estimated to be on course to viability in the 2030s.”

PPPL, which is managed by Princeton University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, is a highly collaborative and international community of scientists where people from around the world share ideas and questions. Princeton University has been a longtime leader and pioneer in the field of plasma physics research. PPPL also works with private fusion companies, many of them startups, to address the scientific and technical issues that they face. PPPL is also engaged in exploring all design, engineering, and fabrication issues required to bring a pilot plant into operation.  more

“LOVE AND COMMUNICATION”: Filmmaker Jim Christy is shown at the Arizona International Film Festival, where his film, a fictionalized account of how having a child with autism impacts family relationships, had its premiere in May. (Photo courtesy of Jim Christy).

By Wendy Greenberg

Jim Christy wants you to know that he is just like any other parent who wants the best for his child. But as the father of a son with autism, his parenting experience presented him with additional challenges and decisions that can put family relationships at risk.

Christy, of Princeton, an award-winning playwright, director, producer, and actor, makes that point in his film, Love and Communication, which will have its East Coast premiere at the New Hope Film Festival on July 23. (It was shown in the Arizona International Film Festival in May.)

Christy, and his wife, artist Mary Phillipuk, have stood up to school leadership, done their own research, looked into myriad healing and educational techniques, and spent out of pocket to help their son try to reach his potential and live as independently as possible.

The film is “generating some energy” as more people hear about it, Christy says, because “people feel like these kinds of stories are not being told, stories about the impact on the family.”

While the events in the film are fictionalized, the premise is real. “When you want the best for your kid, raising a child with autism, it can be so hard on a family,” said Christy. “For my wife and I, it brought us closer together. For the couple in the film, like so many in real life, it pushes their marriage to the breaking point.”

A well-received play by Christy on which the film is based was produced at the Passage Theatre in Trenton in 2010. Why a film? ”To open the world up a little bit,” said Christy. “Expand the story, get a wider audience.” The film was shot in 2018 but was delayed during the pandemic. more

HELPING HANDS: Three friends who ran a chess program at HomeFront’s Joy, Hopes and Dreams after-school program taught the game to youths who had never played the game before. They are, from left,  Jinu Ryu, Winston Ni, and Arjun Kumar.

By Wendy Greenberg

When Arjun Kumar was in fifth grade, he learned to play chess and became a competitive player. Recently, the Princeton Day School (PDS) rising senior decided he would put his passion for chess to use serving the community.

Arjun, 16, and two friends set up a program that is not for competitive players, but introduces the game to youngsters, most of whom had never played it before. It went over well.

Most of the youths in the Joy, Hopes and Dreams program at HomeFront had never moved pieces across a chess board before. But now many have a new interest, said Arjun.

The program nurtures children from birth through teenage years by providing homework help, mentoring, and cultural enrichment. It provides after-school programs on weekdays and educational and recreational programs on weekends, according to the HomeFront website. HomeFront offers housing and other services to help families break the cycle of poverty.

Arjun conducted the camp, along with classmates Jinu Ryu and Winston Ni, at the Lawrence Community Center in Lawrenceville the week of June 20 through June 24. The nonprofit organization that Arjun started last fall received a grant award, the Serve This Summer Challenge, through America’s Promise Alliance. A total of 375 grants were given to summer service projects, to young adults serving their communities. The $300 grant was used to purchase chess sets.

The program was not without challenges. “When we came there were 20-30 kids each time and a variety of ages,” said Arjun in a telephone interview. “So we were trying to teach everyone to play chess, despite the difference in ages. But after one week, a lot of kids were developing a passion for it.”

Community service is not new to Arjun, who started his own nonprofit, Helping Hands of Princeton. “Helping Hands is a volunteer initiative. We have organized food drives for HomeFront and Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), a diaper drive, and a personal hygiene drive. We help local communities,” he said.  more

REVIVING A TRADITION: This plaque has been re-installed on South Warren Street in Trenton, where the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time in 1776.

By Anne Levin

Monday, July 8, 1776 was a historic day in Trenton. The city — then part of Hunterdon County — was among three sites (Easton and Philadelphia were the others) where the Declaration of Independence was read aloud for the first time.

Last year, 245 years to the day of that historic reading on the steps of the courthouse on Warren Street, the Kiwanis Club of Trenton revived the tradition where the building once stood. Among those reciting a portion of the document aloud was Bernard McMullan, president of the Trenton Council of Civic Associations. He got an idea.

“I knew that the first reading had taken place across the street. A plaque that had been there on a granite pedestal was gone — probably ripped off and never replaced 30 or 40 years ago,” he said. “I thought, wouldn’t it be great to restore the plaque?”

McMullan invited the Kiwanis Club to collaborate with him on an effort to find funding for a new plaque. They secured grants and support from the Mercer County Cultural and Historical Commission, and Trenton’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture. Local graphic artist John Gummere was recruited to create the design. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Half a year into his presidency, on July 2, 1961, John F. Kennedy released a statement on the death of Ernest Hemingway. After mentioning the Nobel Prize-winning author’s “impact on the emotions and attitudes of the American people” and how he had “almost singlehandedly transformed the literature and the ways of thought of men and women in every country in the world,” Kennedy declared that Hemingway “ended his life as he began it — in the heartland of America to which he brought renown and from which he drew his art.” 

The connection between Hemingway and Kennedy is sealed not only by the presence of the writer’s papers and effects at the Kennedy Presidential Library but by the fact that both men died of gun shots to the head, the writer by his own hand, the president less than three years later by the hand of an assassin.

Why This Image?

The first time I saw the cover of Ernest Hemingway: Artifacts from a Life (Scribner 2018), I wanted to put it aside, out of sight. It troubled me, made me uneasy, the underlying question being not what did this man create but what happened to him? Instead of a more characteristic photograph that makes you think of his best work, you’re met with a strikingly uncharacteristic, undated, uncredited photograph that appears to come from the 1930s when he  was actually on his way to fame and fortune, having already produced the first stories, The Sun Also Rises, and A Farewell to Arms.

Given what you know and value of Hemingway at his best, the more you see of this deeply unhappy face, the more it moves you. What is he trying to say? What is he afraid of? Who or what is he mourning? That baleful stare won’t let you go, there’s no denying it, no looking away. Round and round you go asking  yourself unanswerable questions until you feel like Nick Adams at the end of “The Killers,” fretting over the impending fate of a doomed man and being told “You better not think about it.”

 more

By Nancy Plum

The piano quartet is an unusual form of music. Leaving out the second violin part of the string quartet, piano quartets create opportunities for unusual combinations of musical colors and timbres from violin, viola, cello, and keyboard. The performance collective known as Manhattan Chamber Players sent a “subset” of its musical roster to Richardson Auditorium last Friday night to present two piano quartets demonstrating the quick evolution and popularity of the form.

As Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was reaching his compositional peak in the 1780s, the piano was in its infancy — mostly appearing in concerti and salon pieces. There was little use of the instrument in chamber music, and when Mozart was commissioned to write a set of piano quartets, the first was deemed “too difficult” by the publisher. Little did the composer know that the form would take off in the 19th century, and the two quartets not successful in his lifetime would later become quite popular.

The ensemble of musicians from Manhattan Chamber Players presented the second of Mozart’s two piano quartets Friday night. Violinist Brendan Speltz, violist Luke Fleming, cellist Brook Speltz, and pianist David Fung performed Piano Quartet in E-flat Major with all the grace and elegance one would expect from Mozart, expertly mastering the virtuosity which apparently rendered the work too challenging for the average 18th-century instrumentalist.

The Manhattan Chamber Players began Mozart’s Quartet with ensemble refinement from the outset, aided by especially fluid keyboard passages from Fung. Violin and piano had a number of well-played duets, with subtle accompaniment from viola and cello. Brendan Speltz and Fleming played well-tuned intervals between violin and viola in the first movement, while the second movement Larghetto was marked by clarity from the piano. The string instruments played a bit of musical tag in the closing movement, while Fung skillfully maneuvered fiendish piano lines. Throughout this movement, the piano dared the strings to supply elegant answers to its musical “questions.” more

“THE MIGHTY ZEP”: Get The Led Out brings the music of Led Zeppelin to the State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick on August 6. (Photo by Lisa Schaffer)

State Theatre New Jersey presents Get The Led Out: A Celebration of “The Mighty Zep” on Saturday, August 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$65.

Get The Led Out (GTLO) captures the essence of the recorded music of Led Zeppelin and brings it to the concert stage. The Philadelphia-based group consists of six veteran musicians intent on delivering Led Zeppelin live, as never heard before. GTLO re-create the songs with the studio overdubs that Zeppelin themselves never performed.

Dubbed by the media as “The American Led Zeppelin,” GTLO offers a strong focus on the early years. They also touch on the deeper cuts that were seldom, if ever heard in concert. GTLO also includes a special acoustic set with Zep favorites such as “Tangerine” and “Hey Hey What Can I Do.”

The group features Paul Sinclair (lead vocals, harmonica), Paul Hammond (electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, theremin), Tommy Marchiano (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals), Eddie Kurek (keyboards, guitar, vocals, percussion), Adam Ferraioli (drums, percussion), and Phil D›Agostino (bass, vocals).

The State Theatre New Jersey is at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick. Visit stnj.org for tickets.

SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE: The Arts Council of Princeton is now accepting vendor applications for its annual Sauce for the Goose Outdoor Art Market. Artists and crafters are encouraged to apply to sell their wares at this pop-up market on Saturday, November 12 along Paul Robeson Place. The deadline for submissions is September 1.

The Arts Council of Princeton is now accepting vendor applications for its annual Sauce for the Goose Outdoor Art Market. Artists and crafters are encouraged to apply to sell their wares at this pop-up market, now in its 29th year, on Saturday, November 12.

Sauce for the Goose will return to its roots in downtown Princeton, this year taking place on Paul Robeson Place, just steps from the doors of the Arts Council. The market will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature a myriad of creative vendors offering high-quality, handmade works in anticipation of the holiday season.

The Arts Council looks forward to welcoming back returning vendors as well as introducing new talent to the sale. Artistic Director Maria Evans said, “Every year, we’re blown away by the diversity in offerings from Sauce for the Goose artisans. For this year’s market, we’re more excited than ever to hear from new and emerging vendors to continue to offer our area’s most impressive art market. We are really looking forward to working with returning vendors and meeting new artists.”

Applications are available at artscouncilofprinceton.org. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, September 1 at 11:59 p.m.

“THRIVE”: Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold hosts an interdisciplinary art exhibit through July 7, 2023. An opening reception is on Thursday, July 14 from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Monmouth County Park System now presents the interdisciplinary art exhibit “Thrive” at Historic Walnford, 62 Walnford Road in Upper Freehold.   

Exploring the cyclical nature of the world around us, this exhibit invites visitors to experience the flow of life through the works of featured artists Alice Momm, Maureen Bennett, Susan Hoenig, and Katrina Bello. The intimate one-room exhibit is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through July 7, 2023. An opening reception is on Thursday, July 14 from 5 to 9 p.m. 

Visitors to the exhibit should plan to spend some time exploring Historic Walnford. This historic district features a 19th century gristmill, the elegant Waln family home (1773), a carriage house, and an assortment of outbuildings. The site showcases over 200 years of social, technological, and environmental history through the Waln family and offers weekend mill demonstrations April through November.  Admission and parking for both the exhibit and the site are free.  

For more information about the “Thrive” exhibit or Historic Walnford, visit MonmouthCountyParks.com or call (732) 842-4000.

OPEN AIR ART: This work by Bob Barish is featured in “By The Light of Day: Plein Air Show,” on view through August 27 at the West Windsor Arts Center. An opening reception will be held on July 15 from 6 to 8 p.m.

West Windsor Arts Center, 952 Alexander Road, West Windsor, presents “By The Light of Day: Plein Air Show,on view through August 27. An opening reception is on Friday, July 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. Free admission. 

For this exhibition, West Windsor Arts invited artists to enter their en plein air artwork; artwork done outdoors. According to the organization, since the 1800s painting en plein air has allowed artists to capture the emotional and sensory dimensions of a particular landscape at a particular moment in time. It expresses a spirit of spontaneity and truth to personal impulse within art. Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh was notably a fan of plein air painting, or the practice of painting in the great outdoors. Other impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir advocated plein air painting, and much of their work was done outdoors in the diffuse light of a large white umbrella. Decisions have to be made quickly, therefore painting reactions are more intuitive.

Exhibiting artists include Bob Barish, Larry Chestnut, Emily Chiles, Huchen Courouleau, Magda Dodd, Carlo Fiorentini, Michael Graham, Marzena Haupa, Joelle Hofbauer, Margaret Kalvar-Bushnell, Snehal Kumbhar, Lori Langsner, Yun Li, Patrick Lieg, Christopher Mac Kinnon, Mary Manahan, Denise McDaniel, Mark Oldland, Neelam Padte, Rupa Sanbui, Aurelle Sprout, David Terrar, Mary Lou Thomas, Maria Vasquez, and Lei Yua.

For more information, visit westwindsorarts.org.

“COSMOS AT PHILLIPS”: Ann Thomas of Stockton received the Curator’s Award for her painting in “Ellarslie Open 39,” on view through October 2 at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park. Thirty-one of 134 exhibiting artists received awards in this year’s juried exhibition.

Thirty-one of 134 exhibiting artists received awards during last month’s artists’ reception for Ellarslie Open 39 at Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion. The annual juried exhibition showcases this year over 160 artworks by artists from greater Trenton and throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, as well as Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and Texas. Deborah Oliver oversaw the installation of the diverse artwork that fills gallery and display areas throughout the museum. Most of the artwork is available for purchase.

Before a crowd of 350 artists and guests, Trenton Museum Society’s Patricia Allen, juror Walter Wickiser, and Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora gave welcoming remarks, with Mayor Gusciora then delivering the awards.

Carole Doerr Allen of Flemington won the Doug Palmer Award for Best in Show, Overall, for her painting Dark Horse; Storm Approaching.

“If the exhibition offered unlimited space, I would have chosen all artists who entered,” said Wickiser of New York City’s Walter Wickiser Gallery. “All had something important to express and were worthy. My choices and awards were no easy task, as I felt for each and every artist and artwork.”

Category winners were Tasha Branham (digital), North Brunswick; Diane Greenberg (drawing), New Hope, Pa.; Caroline Feiveson (fiber arts), Princeton; David Gootnick (mixed media), Washington, D.C.; Kathleen Beausoleil (painting), Fair Haven; Alexandra Pietsch (pastel), Ewing; Jeffrey Weiser (photography), Bensalem, Pa.; Marc Schimsky (printmaking), Yardley, Pa.; Michael Pascucci (sculpture), Monroe Township; and Elizabeth Oberman (watercolor), Flemington. more

FRIENDLY FARMING: “We practice rotational grazing, moving the cows to different pastures daily or every few days,” explains Tish Streeten, education, events, and community outreach director at Cherry Grove Farm. Shown is cow herd manager Anna Reinalda with her charges in one of the Cherry Grove pastures.

By Jean Stratton

Respect for the land, the environment, and the animals has always been the priority of Cherry Grove Farm. Located on Lawrenceville Road (Route 206) in Lawrenceville, the farm has a long history, dating to pre-Revolutionary War days.

In 1987, the three Hamill brothers, Oliver, Sam, and Bill inherited 400-plus acres of undeveloped land in the Lawrenceville/Princeton area. Their ancestors had actually farmed the land at one time, but over the years, the dairy operation was leased to various farmers, and the land suffered under more and more intensive conventional farming techniques, explains Oliver Hamill.

“Land preservation and locally-grown food are family passions, and we decided to create something special — something that would give back to the community while keeping the land healthy and undeveloped for generations to come.”

The Hamills, with their children, were determined to regenerate the land by embracing sustainable farming, using vintage pastoral techniques as a guide. The focus would be artisanal farmstead cheese, and everything done on the farm would support the making of a quality handcrafted product. more

FRIENDLY FARMING: “We practice rotational grazing, moving the cows to different pastures daily or every few days,” explains Tish Streeten, education, events, and community outreach director at Cherry Grove Farm. Shown is cow herd manager Anna Reinalda with her charges in one of the Cherry Grove pastures.

By Jean Stratton

Respect for the land, the environment, and the animals has always been the priority of Cherry Grove Farm. Located on Lawrenceville Road (Route 206) in Lawrenceville, the farm has a long history, dating to pre-Revolutionary War days.

In 1987, the three Hamill brothers, Oliver, Sam, and Bill inherited 400-plus acres of undeveloped land in the Lawrenceville/Princeton area. Their ancestors had actually farmed the land at one time, but over the years, the dairy operation was leased to various farmers, and the land suffered under more and more intensive conventional farming techniques, explains Oliver Hamill.

“Land preservation and locally-grown food are family passions, and we decided to create something special — something that would give back to the community while keeping the land healthy and undeveloped for generations to come.”

The Hamills, with their children, were determined to regenerate the land by embracing sustainable farming, using vintage pastoral techniques as a guide. The focus would be artisanal farmstead cheese, and everything done on the farm would support the making of a quality handcrafted product. more

NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: Kevin O’Toole controls the ball in game last fall during his senior season for the Princeton University men’s soccer team. O’Toole, who was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year to help Princeton win the 2021 league crown, is currently playing for New York City Football Club (NYCFC)in Major League Soccer (MLS). Midfielder/forward O’Toole has yet to appear in an MLS game, but has been logging heavy minutes for NYCFC’s second team. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Kevin O’Toole got a jump start on his professional career. As his final semester at Princeton University approached this past January, the New York City Football Club (NYCFC) selected him with the 34th pick in the 2022 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft.

“I was kind of thrust into my career while I was finishing up school, which was definitely a challenge to balance the two, especially with the senior thesis,” said O’Toole, who was officially inked in March to a contract for the 2022 season with options for 2023 and 2024.“That was the hardest thing to get done while doing both. It definitely kept me busy for full days.”

O’Toole was one of two Ivy League players selected in this year’s draft along with Cornell’s Tyler Bagley. His selection and subsequent signing helped him fulfill a goal he had set upon entering Princeton.

“I always wanted to play professional soccer,” said O’Toole, a 5’10, 165-pound midfielder/forward. “That was a goal of mine. I know a lot of guys come into Princeton and get obsessed with the academics and then have lucrative career paths awaiting them when they graduate. I never veered from the soccer course and continued on playing and working hard through the school seasons to make sure I was in shape and performing well enough to get looks from professional scouts. That was always my goal. Maybe I was a bit overconfident that would happen because it is pretty rare for guys to make it out of the Ivy League. I was very fortunate to do it and very happy how it worked out.”

O’Toole heard before the draft through his agent and through Princeton University men’s soccer head coach Jim Barlow that there was interest in him from four or five MLS teams. He was coming off a season in which he returned from a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic to post seven goals and nine assists to claim his second Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year. The three-time first-team All-Ivy forward had family on hand at his home in Montclair, and they joined in a chorus of screams when his name popped up on the draft board. more

GOING FOR GOLD: Andrew Goldsmith goes after the ball in a 2016 game during his senior season for the Princeton High boys’ soccer team. After wrapping up a superb career for the Vassar College men’s soccer team last fall, Goldsmith is currently in Israel playing for the U.S. open men’s soccer team in the Maccabiah Games. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last fall, Andrew Goldsmith enjoyed a superb senior season for the Vassar College men’s soccer team.

The former Princeton High standout served as a team captain for the Brewers, helping the squad go 11-4-2, earning United Soccer Coaches Division III All-Region third team and All-Liberty League Honorable Mention honors in the process.

“It was my last season and it was definitely my favorite season; it was a combination of doing well record-wise but it was also the playing style,” said Goldsmith, a 6’0 defensive midfielder.

“It is keeping the ball moving, the one and two touch approach  that fit my playing style. I was able to help the rest of the guys and we were all able to mold to that system and win games by playing the right soccer. That is the best feeling of it all. I have never been one to care for accolades but I felt like I had my best season and getting honored as an all-regional player was a great feeling as well.”

This month, Goldsmith is savoring another honor as he is playing for the U.S. open men’s team at the 21st Maccabiah Games in Israel to get his last taste of competitive soccer.

“To be able to wear the USA jersey and compete against other countries is a dream come true,” said Goldsmith. “It is something I have aspired to do for a while now. One of the reasons I chose Vassar was that I believed I would get a lot of playing time and be a leader right away. I got four years of playing soccer and I wanted to make the most of it. To be able to have this final encompassing soccer event is going to be an extremely incredible experience.” more

NATIONAL STAGE: Members of the Princeton FC Barcelona 2006 squad show off the trophy and medals they earned for winning the boys’ 16U final in the US Youth Soccer (USYS) 2022 National Presidents Cup tournament. PFC Barcelona defeated Chicago KICS FC 2006 City MWC 2-1 in the national final last Sunday in Greensboro, N.C.

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton FC Barcelona 2006 faced Chicago KICS FC 2006 City MWC last Thursday to open play in the boys’ 16U bracket in the US Youth Soccer (USYS) National Presidents Cup tournament in Greensboro, N.C., it got off to a shaky start.

PFC Barcelona trailed 1-0 at halftime and some doubts started to creep in.

“We didn’t really know how it would go at the start, there were a lot of nerves,” said PFC Barcelona center back Nick Matese, a rising Princeton High junior. “It was a stage none of us had been on before. The coaches always say that the first game of the tournament is the most important because if you lose, you are basically out so you have to get a result. We went down in the first half so it was definitely worrying and there were thoughts, ‘Are we really up to this?’”

PFC Barcelona proved to be up to the challenge, pulling out a 1-1 draw.

“We knew we had to fight back to get the result,” said PFC midfielder Felipe Matar Grandi, also a rising PHS junior. “We got a tie, we got the job done. We learned a lot about them, it was a tough game.”

Getting the job done in the rest of Bracket A action, PFC Barcelona topped 2-0 Tuzos Garfio 06 (Ariz.) and then edged Bayern Munich 2006 Boys White (Texas) 1-0. As a result, it finished tied for first in the bracket with Chicago KICS, setting up a rematch between the foes in the national final last Sunday at the Bryan Park –Truist Soccer Complex.

Matar Grandi and his teammates were primed for the second round with the Chicago side. more

SWINGING AWAY: Princeton Little League (PLL) player Brady Lee takes a swing in recent action. Lee helped PLL take third in the Section 3 Intermediate 50/70 tournament last week as it posted an 11-3 win over Old Bridge last Wednesday to go 1-2 in the double elimination competition won by Toms River East. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After the Princeton Little League (PLL) squad suffered a lopsided 22-0 defeat to powerhouse Toms River East last week to open the Section 3 Intermediate 50/70 tournament, its players could have thrown in the towel in the double-elimination competition.

As PLL manager Matt Bellace addressed his players before they faced Old Bridge in a knock-out game last Wednesday in the division which utilizes a 50-foot pitching distance and 70-foot base paths and is open to players ages 11-13, he challenged them to bounce back.

“I was thinking about the moment for those guys and I talked about a book I wrote, Life is Disappointing and Other Inspiring Thoughts,” said Bellace. “The one conclusion I came to after writing that whole book is that sometimes after huge disappointments, the only thing you can do is ask yourself is what is this going to inspire. So here we are against Old Bridge; we have just gotten crushed by Toms River East and the question is what is this going to inspire. Does it inspire you guys to say we can play in another level. We can give it everything we have and not just say, ‘oh well, woe is me, we are not going to win the Section, who cares.’”

PLL produced an inspired performance, defeating Old Bridge 11-3 to stay alive in the competition.

“I really do think that clicked ultimately,” said Bellace, referring to his pregame message. “Old Bridge was more to our level age-wise and the speed of the game. We had no errors on that game and we also hit the ball really, really well. We had 13 hits so it seemed like every inning we were getting guys on base.”

Victor Espita and Noah Prete led the hit parade for Princeton as they each went 3-for-4 in the win with Brady Lee going 2-for-4.

On the mound, Matthew Brophy stymied Old Bridge with some crafty work.

“Matthew pitched a gem, he is so calm under pressure,” said Bellace. “He went six of seven innings. He lulls teams to sleep, he is consistent. They don’t know what to do, they are hitting pop-ups and grounders. They can’t figure him out. He is not trying to overpower anybody. He is throwing location at the right time with a little curveball and a little off speed. Hitters can’t sit back on it.” more

FOR PETE’S SAKE: Peter Hare makes contact in a recent game for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team. Last Sunday, recent Princeton High grad Hare had three hits and two RBIs to help Princeton defeat Trenton Post 93/182 9-2. On Monday, Post 218 defeated Trenton again, prevailing 9-5 to improve to 7-10 and stay alive in the race for a spot in the upcoming Legion State District Tournament. Princeton was slated to end regular season play by hosting Allentown on July 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Peter Hare was dragging a bit when he arrived at Smoyer Park last Sunday to play catcher for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team as it hosted Trenton Post 93/182.

“Waking up this morning I was tired,” said Hare, who had reason to be fatigued as Post 218 had a marathon Saturday, falling 16-3 to Broad St. Park Post 313 and then losing 13-6 to Bordentown Post 26. “I think everyone else was too.”

With Post 218 trailing Trenton 1-0 heading into the second inning on Sunday, Hare helped key a rally in improbable fashion, laying down a bunt with two runners aboard that was misplayed and found himself standing on third with two runs in.

“I joked that I was going to hit for the cycle,” said Hare, reflecting on the sequence which gave Princeton a 2-1 lead.

Hare kept hitting, smacking a two-run double in the bottom of the third to put Post 218 up 5-2 and added two singles as Princeton pulled away to a 9-2 victory.

“I think it was two strikes and their right fielder was playing closer to the line,” said Hare, reflecting on his double. “I knew if I got it to right center there was some room so I just flared it out there and then he sort of bobbled it and I took second.”

On Monday, Princeton took it to Trenton again, topping Post 93/182 9-5 to improve to 7-10 and stay alive in the race for a spot in the upcoming Legion State District Tournament. more

TEEING IT UP: Nick Davidson unloads the ball in a game last year for LoyalTees in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Monday, Davidson tallied 21 points to help LoyalTees defeat Princeton Supply 72-47 as it improved to 5-2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With its sights set on earning a fourth straight title in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League, the LoyalTees squad has hit some bumps in the road this season.

The proud team lost 51-38 to Athlete Engineering Institute on June 24 and then fell 65-49 to Majeski Foundation last Friday evening.

But as LoyalTees got ready to hit the Community Park courts last Monday to face Princeton Supply, one of its veteran stars, Nick Davidson, was unfazed by the recent setbacks.

“Every loss we have had this season, we haven’t had our full roster or we have had guys coming late,” said Davidson.

On Monday, LoyalTees was missing some key players in Zahrion Blue and Vince Anfield, leading Davidson to assume a playmaking role.

“I tried to get the ball around and get everyone involved,” said Davidson. “I wanted TB (Terrance Bailey) to have a good game. We need a lot out of TB and he played great for us.” more

July 6, 2022

Morven Museum & Garden’s annual Independence Day celebration, held in person for the first time since 2019, featured educational activities, games, dancing in the gardens, live music, food trucks, and more on Monday afternoon. Participants share their favorite way to celebrate the Fourth of July in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)