The City of Trenton took a blow last week as the New York Yankees announced that they were dropping the Trenton Thunder as their AA-level Minor League affiliate.

The Yankees’ new AA team will be the Somerset Patriots, who play in Bridgewater. The move is part of a larger restructuring within Minor League Baseball, leaving it unclear if the Thunder will have a Major League affiliation going forward or join an independent league.

The Thunder have had a Major League affiliation since 1980 and were part of the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Boston Red Sox organizations before becoming part of the Yankees’ farm system in 2003.

In a published statement, Thunder owner Joseph Plumeri criticized the Yankees and commented on the depth of the loss for the city. “This is about more than baseball; the Thunder is a pillar of the Trenton community. My heart breaks for the thousands of stadium workers, fans, and residents of this great city,” he said.

“This move by the Yankees removes a key source of income for Trenton. Despite repeated assurances that the Thunder would remain its Double-A affiliate over the last 16 months, the Yankees betrayed their partnership at the 11th hour. By doing so, the Yankees have misled and abandoned the Thunder and the taxpayers of Mercer County, who have invested millions of dollars over the years to ensure that Arm & Hammer Park remains one of the premier ballparks in America.

“While this community built the Yankees organization up and set minor league baseball attendance records, it seems the Yankees were only focused on trying to cut culturally diverse Trenton down in favor of a wealthy, higher socioeconomic area in Somerset.

“On behalf of my fellow owners, Joseph Caruso and Joseph Finley, I want to thank Trenton and all of the Thunder faithful, along with our sponsors and our partners. To all Thunder players past and present — we thank you for your inspiring teamwork, your community involvement, and for bringing your very best to the diamond every day. You helped Trenton make memories on and off the field.”

The 2020 Minor League season was canceled due to COVID-19; no announcement has been made about plans for the 2021 season.

Management Moves

WIRB Copernicus Group, 212 Carnegie Center, Suite 301, Princeton 08540. 609-945-0101. Donald A. Deieso, president and CEO.

WIRB Copernicus Group, the Carnegie Center-based provider of regulatory and ethical review services for human research, has announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors.

The new board members are Dr. Kavita Patel, a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution focused on healthcare policy and a practicing physician, and Pascale Witz, a former senior pharmaceutical executive who has broad corporate board experience. She was previously executive vice president at Sanofi and president and CEO of GE Healthcare Pharmaceutical Diagnostics.

Area Arts Groups Receive Grants

As arts organizations feel the financial strain of prolonged closures and limited operations due to COVID-19, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts has announced $16.3 million in grants awarded for the 2021 fiscal year.

Numerous groups in the Princeton area received grants ranging from $10,000 to more than $600,000 for general operating support and specific projects.

Princeton-based organizations receiving funding include the Arts Council of Princeton, $50,774; McCarter Theatre Center, $626,820; Princeton University Art Museum, $30,000; Princeton Pro Musica, $14,647; Princeton Symphony Orchestra, $45,592; Princeton Festival, $20,900; and Westrick Music Academy, $30,000. Young Audiences of New Jersey & Eastern PA received a total of $458,193.

Trenton-based organizations awarded grants include Artworks Trenton, $14,850; Boheme Opera Company, $15,450; Mercer County Cultural & Heritage Commission Senior Citizen Art Show, $30,000, and Local Arts Program, $101,280; Passage Theatre Company, $22,092; and Trenton Circus Project, $25,764.

Also in Trenton, The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey received $19,007 in general support as well as $17,800 for its TEDI Arts Education Special Initiatives.

In Hamilton Grounds For Sculpture received $112,741 and the International Sculpture Center received $34,248. The Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey General received $10,000.

Lawrenceville’s People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos received $18,450, and the West Windsor Arts Council received $30,000.

“The situation is dire for many, and we are grateful to Governor Murphy and the legislature for recognizing the need for robust public support of the arts right now,” Council Chair Elizabeth Mattson said in a statement announcing the grants. “We’re witnessing some of the most innovative and successful adaptations of artistic engagement — necessitated by crisis and fueled by skill and passion. But passion doesn’t keep the lights on or put food on the table. New Jersey’s creative industries are at risk.”

The remaining $3.3 million in the council’s 2021 budget will be allocated later in the year as part of a COVID critical needs grant program.


The Princeton Senior Resource Center has announced plans to expand its operations with the acquisition of the 12,000-square-foot building at 101 Poor Farm Road in Princeton. The center would maintain its exiting home at the Suzanne Patterson Center and use the new facility as a gathering place for seniors featuring a learning center, technology lab, and administrative offices.

The nonprofit PSRC, founded in 1974, has 18 staff and more than 400 volunteers and is supported by donors, sponsorships, community partnerships, grants, and revenue from programming and special events. Programming, which includes classes, lectures, social events, and volunteer work, has been fully virtual since March. A capital campaign is set to launch later this year to fund the purchase of the new building.

In a statement the PSRC’s executive director, Drew Dyson, explained the center’s vision “to develop a world-class, multi-site senior center serving older adults across the region. With our new facility supplementing our current space, we will have the means we need to continue helping older adults thrive.”

“The board of PSRC has been engaged in conversations for many years about our need for additional space for programs and offices as well as additional parking for our programs,” PSRC board president Joan Girgus said in a statement. “This new building, coupled with our existing location at the Suzanne Patterson Building, will enable us to serve the growing population of older adults in our region for years to come.”

Princeton Senior Resource Center, 45 Stockton Street, Suzanne Patterson Building, Princeton 08540. 609-924-7108. Drew A. Dyson, executive director.

New in Town

TCG GreenChem, the U.S. subsidiary of a pharmaceutical firm headquartered in Kolkata, India, has signed a lease at Princeton South Corporate Center in Ewing. The 10-year deal was announced by Lee & Associates, the commercial real estate services firm that negotiated the lease. Lee & Associates has 59 offices in the United States, including three in New Jersey.

The 54,520-square-foot space at 701 Princeton South Corporate Center is a mix of office and lab space backed up by a 400 kilowatt generator and served by roughly 100 parking spaces.

TCG GreenChem is a subsidiary of TCG Lifesciences, a contract research and manufacturing services company focused on drug development and discovery. TCG GreenChem specializes in chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) development. In addition to its headquarters in India the company has additional locations in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. Its Ewing location will be its first U.S.-based research and development site and its first location in New Jersey.

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PU Announces Gift

Princeton University has announced another major donation, this time to support environmental research and educational initiatives through the Princeton Environmental Institute. The gift comes from the High Meadows Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by 1964 alumnus Carl Ferenbach III and his wife, Judy. Going forward the Princeton Environmental Institute will be known as the High Meadows Environmental Institute.

The institute was founded in 1994 and today has more than 120 affiliated faculty members. “With our planet increasingly threatened by intersecting environmental crises, Judy and Carl Ferenbach’s passion and vision for protecting the environment are more important than ever,” university president Christopher Eisgruber said in a statement.

“Carl and Judy have helped to guide PEI from its inception, and their support has enabled the University to become an innovative leader in the effort to understand and protect our natural world. As the Institute enters a new chapter in its history, it is with deep gratitude that we recognize the Ferenbachs’ many contributions by naming the High Meadows Environmental Institute in their honor.”


Catherine Selma Firestone, 89, on November 5. She worked for General Electric, Superior Title Search, and the State of New Jersey, retiring from the Department of Labor and Industry.

Elaine Hartman Robinson, 91, on November 5. She worked for the Hibbert Group in Trenton for 35 years.

John E. Jackson Jr., 74, on November 3. He retired as a vice president from New Jersey Manufacturers.

Joan M. O’Kane on November 2. In the 1970s she was an active member of the Twin W First Aid Squad in West Windsor before taking a job at Princeton University, from which she retired as a department administrator.

William L. Huber, 86, on November 1. He owned and operated Huber Funeral Home in Bordentown and also served as Burlington County Medical Examiner for 30 years.

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