Rutgers President Falls Short on Demands from Students

Students vow to continue fighting for educational accessibility 

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Today Rutgers University president Richard McCormick announced that he had not been swayed by the popular movement which seized Old Queens, the main administration building at RU, Wednesday and Thursday.

McCormick has characterized the event—which drew over one hundred protesters and more than a dozen media outlets—as being “unrepresentative” of the student body. Though the rally organizers included more than fifteen members of the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), McCormick has expressed his repeated unwillingness to include student leaders in budgetary decisions.

In a public statement, University officials claimed that the demonstrators had been given access to food and medicine, a claim which student organizers label as “patently false.” According to protest leader Molly Magier, the group occupying Old Queens was denied access to food for more than 20 hours, despite chants of “Let them eat!” by sympathizers on the lawn outside.

“The administration has repeatedly demonstrated that they care more about appeasing private donors and Trenton politicians than the needs of the RU community,” said RUSA representative Renee Coppola.

Student leaders have vowed to continue fighting for educational accessibility, and have announced plans for another day of action, to coincide with the University’s annual “Rutgers Day” festivities, an event that draws thousands to the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus each year. They have planned a satirical “Millionares for McCormick” demonstration, which lampoons his elitist beliefs by praising policies which restrict access to higher education.

The demonstration is planned for 1:30pm at Old Queens today, April 30, 2011.

Rutgers President Falls Short on Demands from Students

Students vow to continue fighting for educational accessibility 

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Today Rutgers University president Richard McCormick announced that he had not been swayed by the popular movement which seized Old Queens, the main administration building at RU, Wednesday and Thursday.

McCormick has characterized the event—which drew over one hundred protesters and more than a dozen media outlets—as being “unrepresentative” of the student body. Though the rally organizers included more than fifteen members of the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), McCormick has expressed his repeated unwillingness to include student leaders in budgetary decisions.

In a public statement, University officials claimed that the demonstrators had been given access to food and medicine, a claim which student organizers label as “patently false.” According to protest leader Molly Magier, the group occupying Old Queens was denied access to food for more than 20 hours, despite chants of “Let them eat!” by sympathizers on the lawn outside.

“The administration has repeatedly demonstrated that they care more about appeasing private donors and Trenton politicians than the needs of the RU community,” said RUSA representative Renee Coppola.

Student leaders have vowed to continue fighting for educational accessibility, and have announced plans for another day of action, to coincide with the University’s annual “Rutgers Day” festivities, an event that draws thousands to the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus each year. They have planned a satirical “Millionares for McCormick” demonstration, which lampoons his elitist beliefs by praising policies which restrict access to higher education.

The demonstration is planned for 1:30pm at Old Queens today, April 30, 2011.

Beach Sweepers Unite

26TH ANNUAL SPRING BEACH SWEEPS

Coastal New Jersey – Today, an estimated 4,000 volunteers hit the beaches to participate in Clean Ocean Action’s (COA) 26th Annual Spring Beach Sweeps at 69 sites throughout New Jersey.  Volunteers removed and catalogued thousands of pieces of debris to document ongoing local pollution issues.

coa_beach_sweeps_2011_surfboards
“For over twenty-six years, this event has inspired everyone, from the small to the tall.  On this beautiful spring day, thousands of citizens are coming together, and again, giving back to the ocean by “sweeping” the beaches from harmful debris,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.  “We applaud the diligent efforts of the Beach Captains and Sweepers for another extraordinary day of citizen action!”

The data collected today will be combined with data collected at the Fall Beach Sweep in October, and then analyzed and presented in an annual report. These annual reports identify pollution problems, educate citizens on the types and quantities of debris, aid legislators in passing and enforcing laws to protect the marine environment, and contribute to local and international efforts to combat marine pollution.

Continue reading Beach Sweepers Unite

Beach Sweepers Unite

26TH ANNUAL SPRING BEACH SWEEPS

Coastal New Jersey – Today, an estimated 4,000 volunteers hit the beaches to participate in Clean Ocean Action’s (COA) 26th Annual Spring Beach Sweeps at 69 sites throughout New Jersey.  Volunteers removed and catalogued thousands of pieces of debris to document ongoing local pollution issues.

coa_beach_sweeps_2011_surfboards
“For over twenty-six years, this event has inspired everyone, from the small to the tall.  On this beautiful spring day, thousands of citizens are coming together, and again, giving back to the ocean by “sweeping” the beaches from harmful debris,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.  “We applaud the diligent efforts of the Beach Captains and Sweepers for another extraordinary day of citizen action!”

The data collected today will be combined with data collected at the Fall Beach Sweep in October, and then analyzed and presented in an annual report. These annual reports identify pollution problems, educate citizens on the types and quantities of debris, aid legislators in passing and enforcing laws to protect the marine environment, and contribute to local and international efforts to combat marine pollution.

Continue reading Beach Sweepers Unite

Twin Lights Museum Receives the Gift of Lifesaving Artifacts

Hayden Collection will serve as focal point of upcoming exhibit

Highlands, NJ – Each year, around 100,000 visitors to the Twin Lights National Historic Site stroll past a tiny, shingle-covered boathouse without giving it a second thought. Little do they realize that this non-descript building—which sits a mere stone’s throw from the North Tower—is perhaps the most historically significant structure on the Jersey Shore.

The late Howard Hayden knew. An ardent collector of lifesaving memorabilia for most of his life, he was among the very few who understood the importance of Spermaceti Cove Lifesaving Station #2—which, contrary to its official designation—was actually the first building ever constructed by the U.S. Lifesaving Service. Hayden passed his fascination with lifesaving history, along with his remarkable collection, to his daughter, Laurie.

On April 15th, Laurie and her family—husband Roy and sons Ryan, J.J. and Aaron—donated the Hayden Collection to the Twin Lights Museum. The collection, which contains more than 400 pieces (including uniforms, badges, photos and documents from the Lifesaving Service), enables the Twin Lights Museum to begin planning a comprehensive Lifesaving Exhibit for 2012, when the Twin Lights will celebrate its 150th anniversary.

“The Hayden artifacts fill in a lot of gaps in the Lifesaving timeline,” says Mark Stewart, who heads the Twin Light Historical Society’s Collections Committee. “We are fortunate to have a full-time curator on-site who understands the significance of this donation, and can help us blend these pieces with what we already have to create an exhibit of true national importance. We are incredibly grateful for this donation.”

Continue reading Twin Lights Museum Receives the Gift of Lifesaving Artifacts

Twin Lights Museum Receives the Gift of Lifesaving Artifacts

Hayden Collection will serve as focal point of upcoming exhibit

Highlands, NJ – Each year, around 100,000 visitors to the Twin Lights National Historic Site stroll past a tiny, shingle-covered boathouse without giving it a second thought. Little do they realize that this non-descript building—which sits a mere stone’s throw from the North Tower—is perhaps the most historically significant structure on the Jersey Shore.

The late Howard Hayden knew. An ardent collector of lifesaving memorabilia for most of his life, he was among the very few who understood the importance of Spermaceti Cove Lifesaving Station #2—which, contrary to its official designation—was actually the first building ever constructed by the U.S. Lifesaving Service. Hayden passed his fascination with lifesaving history, along with his remarkable collection, to his daughter, Laurie.

On April 15th, Laurie and her family—husband Roy and sons Ryan, J.J. and Aaron—donated the Hayden Collection to the Twin Lights Museum. The collection, which contains more than 400 pieces (including uniforms, badges, photos and documents from the Lifesaving Service), enables the Twin Lights Museum to begin planning a comprehensive Lifesaving Exhibit for 2012, when the Twin Lights will celebrate its 150th anniversary.

“The Hayden artifacts fill in a lot of gaps in the Lifesaving timeline,” says Mark Stewart, who heads the Twin Light Historical Society’s Collections Committee. “We are fortunate to have a full-time curator on-site who understands the significance of this donation, and can help us blend these pieces with what we already have to create an exhibit of true national importance. We are incredibly grateful for this donation.”

Continue reading Twin Lights Museum Receives the Gift of Lifesaving Artifacts

Springsteen Singer Helps iPoet Celebrate ‘The Poetry of Music’ on May 14

LONG BRANCH, NJ — They meet, compete and commingle like the sand and the surf here in our seaside city…the words and the music; the sounds that compel our attention and the poetry that speaks to our heart. You’d expect nothing less from a place that’s produced Poets Laureate, novelists, wits and screenwriters — and where a young up-and-coming musician named Bruce Springsteen penned a handful of his most epic songs.

ipoet_lisa_lowell

Singer, songwriter and recording artist Lisa Lowell is the special guest for the May 14 edition of the “iPoet” events at the Long Branch Free Public Library, as the backing vocalist for Bruce Springsteen and many others helps the Long Branch Arts Council celebrate the theme of “Poetry in Music.”

When The Boss goes out on the road, enters the studio or assembles an ambitious project like the Seeger Sessions Band, he often calls upon singer Lisa Lowell — possessor of a voice and a versatility that captures both the stadium-scale drama and the coffeehouse intimacy of his finest performances. On the afternoon of Saturday, May 14, Lisa Lowell visits the Long Branch Free Public Library at 328 Broadway, as the special guest for the latest celebration of new poetic voices known as iPoet.

Scheduled from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. inside the library’s Community Room, and sponsored by the Long Branch Arts Council, the Long Branch Free Public Library and the Long Branch Historical Association (supported by Investors Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Monmouth County Arts Council and the City of Long Branch), the event known as iPoet represents the next generation of a medium that’s powered not by the latest in personal tech gadgetry, but by the power of words. It’s a series that spotlights the words of area students — many of them sharing their poetry for the first time in public — alongside published professionals, veteran amateurs, notable “guest readers” and anyone who wishes to participate; at a friendly forum in which no one is graded by professors, criticized by workshop groups or hooted down by hecklers.

For the May presentation, subtitled “The Poetry of Music,” Lowell will be sharing some of the original prose and poetry works that inspired the creation of Beautiful Behavior, her first self-released collection of songs. The sought-after vocalist, who grew up in Long Branch and graduated from the city’s High School, has also collaborated with artists ranging from Southside Johnny, Stevie Wonder and BB King, to the B-52’s Fred Schneider, Buster Poindexter and even RuPaul. On May 14 she’ll join such “daylighting” musicians as Gee Guillen from regional favorites Xol Azul, and notable guest readers (including historians Beth Woolley and Helen Pike) who will recite lyrics by folk-rock hitmaker Melanie (who also attended LBHS) and George “Words and Music” Wirth.

Also joining in the act will be an acclaimed artist with a unique expertise in both words and music — returning host Rock Wilk, the Brooklyn-based singer/ writer/ producer/ performance poet whose arrangements and harmonies have been heard on sessions by Grammy-lauded music veterans — and who’s been known to incorporate the power of song into the intensely personal spoken pieces that make up his nationally celebrated, autobiographical one man show, “Broke Wide Open.”

At the heart of the Saturday afternoon event, of course, is a chance to see and hear the work of some talented and creative young writers, from area grade schools and colleges — and there’s still time for young poets from grades 6 through college level to get on board. To obtain a sign-up form or find out more about iPoet, contact Kate Angelo, director of Outreach and Adult Programming at Long Branch Free Public Library, at [email protected].

Admission to iPoet is free of charge, with participants invited to bring family and friends, and enjoy complimentary refreshments while meeting fellow poets and enthusiasts during a post-event reception.

The Long Branch Arts Council is a partnership dedicated to working with the city government, civic and business organizations and the arts community to re-establish the City of Long Branch as a thriving regional center for the arts. Our aim is to accomplish this goal by attracting artists and arts organizations, by coordinating fundraising and development efforts, by establishing arts education programs, and by presenting arts-oriented events that draw upon the natural resources, accessibility, historic assets and “people power” that are unique to our beloved city.

Springsteen Singer Helps iPoet Celebrate ‘The Poetry of Music’ on May 14

LONG BRANCH, NJ — They meet, compete and commingle like the sand and the surf here in our seaside city…the words and the music; the sounds that compel our attention and the poetry that speaks to our heart. You’d expect nothing less from a place that’s produced Poets Laureate, novelists, wits and screenwriters — and where a young up-and-coming musician named Bruce Springsteen penned a handful of his most epic songs.

ipoet_lisa_lowell

Singer, songwriter and recording artist Lisa Lowell is the special guest for the May 14 edition of the “iPoet” events at the Long Branch Free Public Library, as the backing vocalist for Bruce Springsteen and many others helps the Long Branch Arts Council celebrate the theme of “Poetry in Music.”

When The Boss goes out on the road, enters the studio or assembles an ambitious project like the Seeger Sessions Band, he often calls upon singer Lisa Lowell — possessor of a voice and a versatility that captures both the stadium-scale drama and the coffeehouse intimacy of his finest performances. On the afternoon of Saturday, May 14, Lisa Lowell visits the Long Branch Free Public Library at 328 Broadway, as the special guest for the latest celebration of new poetic voices known as iPoet.

Scheduled from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. inside the library’s Community Room, and sponsored by the Long Branch Arts Council, the Long Branch Free Public Library and the Long Branch Historical Association (supported by Investors Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Monmouth County Arts Council and the City of Long Branch), the event known as iPoet represents the next generation of a medium that’s powered not by the latest in personal tech gadgetry, but by the power of words. It’s a series that spotlights the words of area students — many of them sharing their poetry for the first time in public — alongside published professionals, veteran amateurs, notable “guest readers” and anyone who wishes to participate; at a friendly forum in which no one is graded by professors, criticized by workshop groups or hooted down by hecklers.

For the May presentation, subtitled “The Poetry of Music,” Lowell will be sharing some of the original prose and poetry works that inspired the creation of Beautiful Behavior, her first self-released collection of songs. The sought-after vocalist, who grew up in Long Branch and graduated from the city’s High School, has also collaborated with artists ranging from Southside Johnny, Stevie Wonder and BB King, to the B-52’s Fred Schneider, Buster Poindexter and even RuPaul. On May 14 she’ll join such “daylighting” musicians as Gee Guillen from regional favorites Xol Azul, and notable guest readers (including historians Beth Woolley and Helen Pike) who will recite lyrics by folk-rock hitmaker Melanie (who also attended LBHS) and George “Words and Music” Wirth.

Also joining in the act will be an acclaimed artist with a unique expertise in both words and music — returning host Rock Wilk, the Brooklyn-based singer/ writer/ producer/ performance poet whose arrangements and harmonies have been heard on sessions by Grammy-lauded music veterans — and who’s been known to incorporate the power of song into the intensely personal spoken pieces that make up his nationally celebrated, autobiographical one man show, “Broke Wide Open.”

At the heart of the Saturday afternoon event, of course, is a chance to see and hear the work of some talented and creative young writers, from area grade schools and colleges — and there’s still time for young poets from grades 6 through college level to get on board. To obtain a sign-up form or find out more about iPoet, contact Kate Angelo, director of Outreach and Adult Programming at Long Branch Free Public Library, at [email protected].

Admission to iPoet is free of charge, with participants invited to bring family and friends, and enjoy complimentary refreshments while meeting fellow poets and enthusiasts during a post-event reception.

The Long Branch Arts Council is a partnership dedicated to working with the city government, civic and business organizations and the arts community to re-establish the City of Long Branch as a thriving regional center for the arts. Our aim is to accomplish this goal by attracting artists and arts organizations, by coordinating fundraising and development efforts, by establishing arts education programs, and by presenting arts-oriented events that draw upon the natural resources, accessibility, historic assets and “people power” that are unique to our beloved city.

Giving Fort Hancock a New Lease on Life

Each year, two million people visit the beaches at Sandy Hook, a unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. Yet at the northern tip of Sandy Hook, near its famous lighthouse, sits a historic treasure, crumbling away.

From 1898 to 1974, Fort Hancock guarded New York Harbor. Its yellow brick buildings, dating from the early 1900s, were meant to rival the Presidio in San Francisco in their beauty, and they still do. The view alone is priceless.

Today Fort Hancock is under attack by the forces of time and weather. A look at the video on our website shows that most of the buildings are empty and in disrepair.

Gateway and our partners have been able to save a few buildings. For example, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium did a spectacular job restoring an old Army barracks into an office and education facility. However, many other buildings remain unused and unrestored.

nps_ft_hancock_officers_home_foha037

Fixing a single one of these beautiful old buildings can cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. The National Park Service has more than 30 useable buildings that it hopes to preserve. In today’s economy, the National Park Service and America’s taxpayers cannot afford to restore those buildings alone. Public-private partnerships can do what the National Park Service alone cannot.

So, how do we save these wonderful buildings from America’s past? In January, Gateway and National Park Service staff met with a variety of people representing several organizations and groups. (You can see the general list of attendees on our website). This was one of many meetings to gather information, not to decide policy. That dialogue continued at two open houses in February. More than 140 people discussed their vision of Fort Hancock with National Park Service planners and offered comments in person or online.

The National Park Service has a long history with public-private partnerships preserving historic structures and providing amenities. It is hard to imagine Grand Canyon or Yellowstone without hotels, lodges and restaurants—each of which represents private investment in public facilities.

At Gateway, partnerships have not only restored buildings but have often improved public access. Dilapidated buildings that were once closed for public safety have reopened with new purpose. The historic airplane hangar at Gateway’s Floyd Bennett Field now houses the Aviator Sports Complex, where more than 150,000 visitors enjoyed recreational activities last year. The Post Theater at Fort Hancock offers a new cultural institution for local theater.

However, what works at Yellowstone may not work in Monmouth County, New Jersey. So, Gateway needs help from the experts in the local community: you. Fort Hancock can survive, even flourish, but only if the local community and the National Park Service keep talking to each other.

There are also some lessons we can draw from the debates of the past.

First, we will not compromise the peace and serenity of Sandy Hook itself. Fort Hancock can flourish without disturbing Sandy Hook’s beaches and wildlife habitats.

Second, we do not need to build a single new building. Gateway wants to preserve the historic buildings that we already have, not add to the list of buildings that need to be fixed and maintained.

Third, ongoing dialogue with the local community is essential. We may not always agree on the details, but let us at least agree on the goals.

Fort Hancock deserves a new lease on life, and its future is in our collective hands. How can Fort Hancock be preserved, serve the needs of the local community and not be a burden on taxpayers? Let’s continue to talk and listen.

 

Linda Canzanelli is the superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area.

Giving Fort Hancock a New Lease on Life

Each year, two million people visit the beaches at Sandy Hook, a unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. Yet at the northern tip of Sandy Hook, near its famous lighthouse, sits a historic treasure, crumbling away.

From 1898 to 1974, Fort Hancock guarded New York Harbor. Its yellow brick buildings, dating from the early 1900s, were meant to rival the Presidio in San Francisco in their beauty, and they still do. The view alone is priceless.

Today Fort Hancock is under attack by the forces of time and weather. A look at the video on our website shows that most of the buildings are empty and in disrepair.

Gateway and our partners have been able to save a few buildings. For example, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium did a spectacular job restoring an old Army barracks into an office and education facility. However, many other buildings remain unused and unrestored.

nps_ft_hancock_officers_home_foha037

Fixing a single one of these beautiful old buildings can cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. The National Park Service has more than 30 useable buildings that it hopes to preserve. In today’s economy, the National Park Service and America’s taxpayers cannot afford to restore those buildings alone. Public-private partnerships can do what the National Park Service alone cannot.

So, how do we save these wonderful buildings from America’s past? In January, Gateway and National Park Service staff met with a variety of people representing several organizations and groups. (You can see the general list of attendees on our website). This was one of many meetings to gather information, not to decide policy. That dialogue continued at two open houses in February. More than 140 people discussed their vision of Fort Hancock with National Park Service planners and offered comments in person or online.

The National Park Service has a long history with public-private partnerships preserving historic structures and providing amenities. It is hard to imagine Grand Canyon or Yellowstone without hotels, lodges and restaurants—each of which represents private investment in public facilities.

At Gateway, partnerships have not only restored buildings but have often improved public access. Dilapidated buildings that were once closed for public safety have reopened with new purpose. The historic airplane hangar at Gateway’s Floyd Bennett Field now houses the Aviator Sports Complex, where more than 150,000 visitors enjoyed recreational activities last year. The Post Theater at Fort Hancock offers a new cultural institution for local theater.

However, what works at Yellowstone may not work in Monmouth County, New Jersey. So, Gateway needs help from the experts in the local community: you. Fort Hancock can survive, even flourish, but only if the local community and the National Park Service keep talking to each other.

There are also some lessons we can draw from the debates of the past.

First, we will not compromise the peace and serenity of Sandy Hook itself. Fort Hancock can flourish without disturbing Sandy Hook’s beaches and wildlife habitats.

Second, we do not need to build a single new building. Gateway wants to preserve the historic buildings that we already have, not add to the list of buildings that need to be fixed and maintained.

Third, ongoing dialogue with the local community is essential. We may not always agree on the details, but let us at least agree on the goals.

Fort Hancock deserves a new lease on life, and its future is in our collective hands. How can Fort Hancock be preserved, serve the needs of the local community and not be a burden on taxpayers? Let’s continue to talk and listen.

 

Linda Canzanelli is the superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area.