Search Results for: kate okeson

RED BANK: COFFEE SHOP JAZZES UP CORNER

A customer checks her email at one of the new seating areas at Coffee Corral. (Photo by Chris Ern. Click to enlarge.)

By CHRIS ERN

It’s a warm summer night as Jessica Olszewski relaxes in an Adirondack chair while her wife and young daughter dance to live jazz under glimmering lights outside the Coffee Corral in in Red Bank.

A new, post-pandemic vibe has captured the attention of locals at the busy corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. There, owners Courtlyn Crosson and Erich Reulbach have developed their business into what Reulbach said is now “more than just a coffee shop on the corner.”

“It’s family-friendly. I have my wife and daughter here, and she’s able to run around and enjoy the live music,” says Olszewski, of Tinton Falls. “It’s a lot of what we couldn’t do for so long.”

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL WINS GYM OK

A rendering of the proposed charter school gym, which wouldn’t have room for bleachers, an architect said. (Rendering by Erick Wagner. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Charter School won approval Thursday night to create a gym in part of a commercial building it plans to buy on Monmouth Street.

In the process, the zoning board hearing on the plan re-exposed some long-simmering resentments harbored by parents who contend the charter school’s existence is a drain on the local school district.

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RED BANK: IMMIGRATION STANCE REVISITED

Rabbi Marc Kline at Monday’s Human Relations Advisory Committee meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After weeks of silence, the Red Bank council is expected next month to consider a proposed resolution that has thrust the borough into a national debate on illegal immigration.

Human Relations Advisory Committee Chairman David Pascale told the group Monday night that he’ll be at the April 12 council meeting to “stand by” a statement that calls for town officials to “monitor and challenge” any costs arising from federal efforts to find and deport undocumented aliens.

The HRAC, meanwhile, rejected member Ashley Homefield’s proposal that the committee simply “make a statement on behalf of the community rather than pushing [a resolution] to vote by the council.”

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RED BANK: HRC HEAD CALLS FOR RESIGNATION

Human Relations Committee Chairman David Pascale, seen above with member Kate Okeson, and his comment on a Facebook post by committee member Michael Clancy, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The head of Red Bank’s Human Relations Committee has asked one of its members to resign for characterizing the testimony of Latino witnesses at a meeting last month as “sob stories.”

HRC Chairman David Pascale also questioned whether member Michael Clancy, who leads the borough Republican party, is committed to the panel’s mission of fostering a “welcoming and inclusive community” after Clancy said he thought he was joining a “nothing committee.”

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RED BANK: SQUARING OFF OVER IMMIGRATION

Pro-immigrant protesters, above, outnumbered opponents outside borough hall both before and after Monday’s meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With rallies before and afterward heavily favoring the rights of undocumented residents, Red Bank’s Human Relations Committee voted Monday to oppose “any forced collaboration” between borough police and federal authorities when it comes to enforcing immigration law.

Short of declaring Red Bank a “sanctuary city,” the committee passed, by a 5-2 vote, a resolution that instead calls for town officials to “monitor and challenge” any costs arising from federal efforts to find and deport undocumented aliens.

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LITTLE SILVER: LET’S TALK GENDER AT RBR

sam-killermanAuthor, performer and internationally renowned internet celebrity Sam Killermann gave a well-received presentation on Gender Identity to the Red Bank Regional student body during the Week of Respect. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

In observance of the recent Week of Respect, Red Bank Regional High School partnered with makeitbetter4youth.org to bring a special multi-disciplinary artist to RBR for a an engaging and insightful presentation on the topic of Gender Identity.

Samuel (Sam) Killermann is an author, performer and internationally renowned internet celebrity on matters of social justice. Students from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s Gay Straight Alliance, as well as the Collier School, were also invited to the presentation.

Mr. Killermann explained to his audience that his fascination with gender had personal roots which crystallized in college, when he learned that his prospective girlfriend assumed that he (a heterosexual male) was gay. This misperception of his sexual identity seemed to occur often in college; so he sought counsel at the college’s LGBTQ center. He was told that people were confusing his sexuality for the way he expressed his gender.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL CANDIDATES FACE OFF

obosky-colwell-hanlon-101816Republican council candidates Kellie O’Bosky-Colwell and Brian Hanlon at the West Side Community Group’s Candidate’s Night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_Plain

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents brought concerns about property taxes, water costs, downtown development, parks and more to a forum that featured all five contenders for two borough council seats Tuesday night.

In a wide-ranging, two-hour question-and-answer session marked by minimal friction among candidates, incumbent Cindy Burnham, a former Republican now running as an independent, touted her “no” votes on a long series of spending bills while three-term Democratic incumbent Kathy Horgan defended tax increases.

Meanwhile, a trio of first-time candidates — Brian Hanlon, Kellie O’Bosky-Colwell and Erik Yngstrom — staked out positions on the arts, parks and schools at an event that drew about 100 to the River Street Commons senior housing facility.

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RFH DEPOSES ‘KING & QUEEN’ OVER BULLYING

rfh 010516Friday night’s homecoming game at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional will be the first in memory not to feature a king, queen and attendants. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[CLARIFICATION: Some of the quotes that appeared in the original version of this article were mistakenly attributed to Superintendent Pete Righi.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The king is dead. The queen, too. In fact, so is their entire court.

Officials at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High have killed the longstanding tradition of a homecoming king and queen because it had turned into a form of mass bullying.

So there will be no fanfare for student royalty when the 3-1 Bulldogs host undefeated Saint John Vianney Friday night.

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SANDY HOOK: ZERO WASTE, MAX FAMILY FUN

Lisa Bagwell PizzaRecycled-materials sculptures by Lisa Bagwell are among the art works featured during the Zero Waste Arts Fest, going on September 17 and 18 at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook.

Press release from Monmouth County Arts Council

On Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, the Monmouth County Arts Council invites the public to take part in a weekend of free family fun — in which the arts intersect with the wonders of our local environment — during the inaugural Zero Waste Arts Fest (ZWAF).

Going on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook, ZWAF represents a partnership  between Monmouth Arts and Gateway National Recreation Area Sandy Hook Unit. The event also marks the culminating phase of a larger Gateway to the Arts grant project, a $20,000 award that Monmouth Arts received from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2016, to honor both the 50th anniversary of the NEA and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

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RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN ‘NIGHT OF THE ARTS’ SPOTLIGHTS AWARD-WINNING TALENTS

Wagner Taffin Mueler EspositoClockwise from top left: Seen during the recent “Night of the Arts” at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional were freshman Julia Wagner with her 1st Place-winning pastel; junior Max Taffin with his 2nd Place winning sculpture; senior Lauren Mueller painting into a design she created on wood; senior John Esposito demonstrating his illustration technique.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On the evening of May 28, the annual “RFH Night of the Arts” spotlighting the spring concert and student art exhibit took place at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. This year’s event featured artwork and musical performances by RFH students who were honored at the Monmouth County Teen Arts Festival, held this past March at Brookdale Community College.

Attendees at “RFH Night of the Arts” enjoyed the spring concert including performances by the school’s Concert Band, Jazz Orchestra, Chorus, and String Ensemble, as well as solo acts. The RFH Jazz Choir performed for the opening of the Teen Arts Festival, while the Jazz Orchestra received the prized “Top of the Top” designation for the third consecutive year. Based on their performance, a jazz ensemble comprised of RFH students including Paddy Ahimovic and Christopher Fahey was invited to perform at the Monmouth County Art Education Awards ceremony, and RFH art students Taylor Blewett, Becca Ley, and Lauren Mueller were named “Top of the Top” in visual arts.

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RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN TEENS TOUR ST. JOHN’S

stjohnA group of students from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School — including Katie Eskwitt, John Esposito, Katherine Hill, Campbell Lee, and Julia Mosby — recently learned the stories behind the artwork and architecture of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. During the January 15 tour led by the Cathedral’s Docent, the group climbed more than 124 feet through spiral staircases in order to reach the top of the Cathedral, the largest in the U.S. and fourth-largest in the world. Among the highlights were discovering facts about the stained glass windows and sculpture, studying the grand architecture of the Cathedral while standing on a buttress, and enjoying the rooftop view of Manhattan. The students were accompanied by their Advanced Placement (AP) Art History teacher Kate Okeson for the excursion, in which they also viewed a large-scale installation by Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing.

RUMSON: A BRIDGE TO ART AND LEARNING

RFH Haiti 2Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

“What they paint seems to affect their reality and somehow improve it,” said Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School senior Max Reynolds.  “It’s almost as if the artists are closing their minds and opening them at the same time to create a brilliant interpretation of their existence.”

Max was reflecting on his experience as a Student Ambassador for Myke Joseph Surpris and David Thebaud, Haitian artists and founders of the ELT Art School in Haiti. Students in RFH French and Art classes were treated to an open dialogue and a close-up look at the work of the artists and their students on October 2 and 3.

RFH French teacher Christine Berg, who was instrumental in arranging the visit, made a connection with the artists and the ELT School — which they founded in 2002 — through the Haitian People’s Support Project in 2009.

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RED BANK: TENNIS, TRESTLE, PARKING & DOGS

rb tennis 102912The Red Bank clay courts during Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, above. Below, a truck stuck under the West Front Street railroad trestle last week. (Photos by Peter Lindner and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb stuck truck 052314 2Tennis enthusiasts pelted the Red Bank council over the lack of progress on rebuilding the town’s cherished clay courts Wednesday night.

At its bimonthly meeting – conducted over the loud hum of temporary air conditioners while the borough hall HVAC system gets an upgrade – the governing body also took up issues ranging from the vexing train trestle on West Front Street to beagle rights.

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RED BANK: SELFIES KICK OFF ARTFUL WEEKEND

Mirrored_Bob300A selfie by Bob McKay is among the works on display in the group show FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE opening Friday at Gallery 135 in Red Bank.

Leave it to Gerda Liebmann – the Swiss-born, internationally exhibited multimedia artist (and redbankgreen Clippings correspondent) – to discern the beauty in so tawdry a device as the cellphone selfie.

Liebmann, who established Gallery 135 in the second-floor space shared by Red Bank Community Church, has employed this maybe-misunderstood signifier of 21st century life – and its cousin in succinct cinema, the Vine – as the basis for her new group show, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Opening with a reception at 7 pm on Friday, the multimedia installation “will give viewers the opportunity to reconnect with the special intimacy and self-revelation that self-portraits uniquely offer,” she says.

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RFH SENIOR HAS A Q&A WITH EX-COACH RICE

KateShermanIn a local event recorded for the ABC program 20/20, RFH senior Kate Sherman recently participated in an open forum with former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, who was fired from the program earlier this year for bullying behavior. (click to enlarge)

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

The Central Jersey Chapter of the Gay Straight and Lesbian Education Network (GLSEN) recently presented a unique opportunity to local students. GLSEN planned to host an open conversation between New Jersey students and former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice on November 9, with the forum taking place that morning at Hoops, a recreational basketball facility located in Neptune. The network TV news show 20/20 planned to air segments of the conversation.

Local GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Advisors were asked by GLSEN to put a clarion call out to their student members. One of these was art teacher Kate Okeson of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

Would any of the students in her organization be willing to make the trip to Neptune and back, early on a Saturday morning, for the possibility of having a face to-face conversation with Rice?

As it turns out, she didn’t have to ask Kate Sherman twice.

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RFH: A GAYLA TO ‘JUST BE THEMSELVES’

Vanessa Cameron, David Ramos and Christina Mekheil at the Gayla prom held at RFH Friday night. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

About 100 high school students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and their straight allies gathered for a dance party in the cafeteria at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional on Friday night.

It was the third annual Gayla!, a prom-like event organized by Make It Better for Youth, a consortium which includes Monmouth County high schools, Jersey Shore PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), the county library system, the Two River Theater, and the Monmouth County Arts Council.

“What’s great about this is that you don’t go in feeling pressured to fit into any prom stereotype,” said Ellie Halfacre, RFH senior, member of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance and event organizer. “It’s not about what sexuality you are, it’s about being with people who accept you no matter what.

“Everyone’s here to have fun and just be themselves,” she said, adding that many friendships had grown out of the prior two Gayla gatherings.

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WALK, RUN, BOOZE AND CRUISE FOR A CAUSE

dsc00013crop1Dave McKenny of Shrewsbury in the wooden cab of his 1910 Ford Model T — a fabulous flivver scheduled to roll into the Middletown Lions Club Auto Show and Motorcycle Meet this Saturday.

donegoodlogoAs any year-round resident of the greater Green can tell you, the weeks after the end of summer are merely the starting gun for the real season of outdoor events; a prime-time panorama of runs, walks, bike tours, golf outings, race meets and other recreational activities — most if not all of them dedicated to a Done Good cause.

Even with the first bracing breezes off the local waterways, there’s still plenty going on under the skies of October country this weekend — and it begins tonight, with a simple stroll about town designed “to promote community wellness and safety.” A followup to a recent Talk About Red Bank public forum — organized in the wake of an August 8 altercation that left borough resident Larry Yarbrough dead of multiple stab wounds — the Community Unity Walk commences with a 6pm “meet and greet” inside Calvary Baptist Church at Bridge Avenue and River Street, after which representatives of co-sponsors Pilgrim Baptist Church, Count the Children Movement, Greater Red Bank NAACP, Iglesia La Mano De Dios, Nation of Islam of the Shore Area, Calvary Baptist Church and the PBC Men-of-Valor Street Walkers invite church and civic groups or individual citizens to join them on the streets of Red Bank. Additional info on tonight’s tour of positive reinforcement can be had by calling Pastor Terrence K. Porter at (732) 747-2348.

There’s more beneath October’s do-good moon, from a Fall Festival in Rumson and a charity Softball Tournament in Little Silver, to a songwriting contest in Fair Haven, a fundraiser Car Show in Middletown, and a slightly guignol-ish Blood Drive where the Banks run Red.

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R-FH CONFRONTS HARASSMENT OF GAYS

gsa_think_b4_youR-FH students have been proactive in educating people about tolerance and GLBTI issues. (Photo courtesy of Kate Okeson; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A rash of suicides by gay teens, and its spotlight in the national media, is simultaneously a tragedy and opportunity, said Kate Okeson, who heads Rumson-Fair Haven regional high’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

So when journalist and author Beth Greenfield, a native of Eatontown, comes to the school Friday night to speak about living as an out journalist and memoirist, the event takes on a little more importance than usual, Okeson said.

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BIKE GROUP PLANS ART RIDE, OR VICE-VERSA

criticalmass2Some of the participants in Spoke & Art’s inaugural ride in October.

[UPDATE: This event has been indefinitely postponed due to post-storm road conditions.]

Here’s a possible conversation starter: the sight of a people dressed in day-glo and riding bikes through Red Bank. At night.

Kate Okeson is organizing just such an event for Monday night.

Okeson, a Branch Avenue resident who teaches art at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, is the founder of Spoke & Art, a loose-knit effort to promote a variety of community-jelling ideas, including bike riding.

Unlike Safe Routes to School, another new organization but one that takes a conventional approach to securing bike and pedestrian paths to all the schools in town, Spoke & Art is more about mobile art events that spark awareness, Okeson says.

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