Morning has broken.

One foggy morn in Ft. Myers,  What was that splash?   Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo. © March, 2017.  Click to enlarge.


JOHNNY HARTMAN     From the film soundtrack of  “The Bridges of Madison County.”

Yard sales in Ocean Grove are not only fun, but they are artistic as well.


Attention Yard Sailors and everybody else:

We have 4 addresses already signed up on the first day.  We hope to get over 70 this year.  All yard sailors are being asked to email us their names, addresses, cross street ,  email or phone number, and list of items for sale.  That list can be bigger later or added later; or no list at all.  Your items can bet a surprise for whoever shows up.  We will not reveal your names or email addresses or phone numbers unless you contact Paul to request that we do so.

As in the past, we have established a page for the yard sale seen as a tab at the top of our home page.  That is where the list of sellers will live.  It will be a resource page for information.

We will not reveal the list of items for sale at this time—only the addresses.  The reason is that we do not want to expose our sellers to premature shoppers.  Our goal is to sell our goods on Saturday, May 13 only.  The items for sale will be added to the list prior to the sale.

When we do post the list of items, anyone can retrieve it by clicking on a link which will appear in our ads.

Our new volunteer Yard-Sale manager is Vincent Cannavo, an Ocean Grover who is happy to be joining Team Blogfinger to help make this event a success.  You can reach him at 732 735 0409.  If you want to sign up as a seller, please email us at Blogfinger@verizon.net  or call Vince.

Keep an eye on the yard sale page above.  If you have any photos from prior sales, please email them to us.  If you are having a sale, consider playing some music and putting up balloons, or blow bubbles, or whatever to make your place visible.  Take pictures that day.  Tell your friends about it.  It is the Mother’s Day Saturday, so bring Mom–she’ll love it.  And bring dogs and bring kids.  Get the kids to sell lemonade.


PAUL EVANS    (He’s driving over with a few of his friends)

From the New York City street series. 2012. © By Paul Goldfinger. If you go to Greenwich Village, there are thousands of young people there. Many are NYU students. This is Washington Square Park. Romance is in the air.

re-post from 2012

SOUNDTRACK:  Paul Simon “Quality”

Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ. March 25, 2017. By Tom Costantino, citizen reporter @Blogfinger ©

BEVERLY KENNEY:  (Or is it a starway to the stairs?)

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In our March 18 article about the Whitfield Hotel site and its zoning concerns, we said, “Do you suppose that this is a well traveled highway in Ocean Grove?  Have we now lost that loving feeling in our town, or did it disappear a long time ago?”    Well, it seems that this sort of manipulative process has been going on for some time.

1986. 11 Webb Avenue.

Perhaps some of you “old-timers” recall the case of 11 Webb Avenue.  That situation from 1986 resulted in a law suit “against a local construction company (Frank Bridge Construction,) Dorothy and William Green, Vito Gadaleta (Neptune Zoning Official,) and Neptune Township.”

The suit claimed that “construction was permitted by Township officials to begin work on a new home at 11 Webb without proper permits and without required variances..”  The suit also contended that the lot was “undersized, and the  construction was invading the setback.”*

The court case was brought by the Sutherlands  (Phyllis and Donald,) a couple living next door at 9 Webb Avenue.   They contended that “under their protest, the Township zoning officer issued an improper building permit and yet that construction continued.”

“In addition the house towered over its two neighbors blocking their light, views and air. It was 3 stories high and had a garage.”  Some locals called it “the too tall house.”

From the Ocean Grove and Neptune Times. c. 1987. Before an injunction blocked further work.

In a letter to the editor of the Ocean Grove and Neptune Times on January 18, 1990, Kevin Chambers of Ocean Grove wrote, “The house was built illegally with the tacit approval of Neptune’s zoning department.  11 Webb became a symbol of chronic zoning abuses in the historic district, and homeowners throughout the community rallied to support the couple that fought it.”

According to a 1993 OGHOA newsletter, printed in the Coaster,  “The Township had ruled that the building lot was ‘grandfathered,’ a claim that was eventually proven to be erroneous.”   The suit also said that “no building permit had been issued and that the builder had not appeared before the Board of Adjustment.”  

Eventually the court sent the matter to the Neptune Township Board of Adjustment and then later to the Neptune Township Planning Board. Both boards denied Frank Bridge his variances and his subdivision respectively” *

Eventually the exterior of the house was completed, but not the interior. The building was never occupied after work was stopped by an injunction.   According to Chambers, “The shell house had become a negative tourist attraction over the last few years. People drive slowly by and wonder what is going on with the court case.”

The suit was supported by the OGHOA who “voted its moral support to the Sutherlands”  The HOA said, “We would like to thank the Sutherlands for their commitment. We owe them a deep debt of gratitude.”*

After 7 long years of litigation, the Sutherlands won their case, and the house at 11 Webb was torn down in August, 1993.   But the family had spent $100,000 to pay for  their “due process.”*  It’s a shame that a “deep debt of gratitude” was all the HOA could come up with, but at least they were on the side of OG citizens this time around.  But today, whose side are they on when it comes to zoning disputes?

So, clearly this kind of zoning subterfuge by local developers and Township officials, abetted by the inaction of the Home Groaners, is nothing new.

And now we see the Whitfield zoning fiasco where the same sort of “grandfathering” has been used by the Neptune zoning office to avoid seeking necessary variances at the Boards.

Remember Mary’s Place where the zoning officers allowed the developer to merge two lots and build what they did without requiring any variances?  In fact the zoning permission was granted by Haney’s office using a dubious justification without ever asking a Township Board to evaluate the application.  Haney’s assistant George Waterman allowed the Mary’s construction to go on under the zoning designation of “community shelter–terminally ill.” That project should have applied for multiple variances.

And then there is the matter of the Township ignoring the State RSIS standards in order to permit certain projects like condos to go ahead without providing on-site parking.

And finally there is the North End Redevelopment Plan, currently stuck in the mud, which used an illegal sleight of hand to bypass the single family zoning at the North End to approve an ambitious plan that would offer 160 residential units and commercial development, a proposal that would change the town for the worst in terms of congestion, ecologic effects and and lifestyle.

So why do we bother reporting about  these situations  when the developers in this town seem to be able, in multiple instances over the years, to do whatever they want and to be above the law?

Well, we must admit that these instances in our town often dissolve into history as abstract moral concerns without practical resolutions.  And yet, the Sutherlands of Ocean Grove won their case with the support of the people.

Besides, what’s wrong with standing up for honesty, truth, equality under the law and preservation of history in our town?

Sources.  All quotes are from the Ocean Grove and Neptune Times (1986 and 1987)  and the September 1993 newsletter of the OG Homeowners’ Association  (printed in the Coaster*.)  The latter quotes are marked with asterisks. We also quote a published letter (1990) from Kevin Chambers.  And we  received assistance from a knowledgable Grover who lived in town during this period.


Ft. Myers’ Bunch Beach. 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Click to enlarge.

SARAH BRIGHTMAN  “O Mio Babbino Caro”  from her album Classics.  The composer is Giacomo Puccini from his opera Gianni Schicchi

Many thanks to Andrew Gioulis of KFR Communications for designing and updating our flier.


Blogfinger is pleased to announce that the Town-Wide Yard sale tradition in Ocean Grove will continue on the Saturday of the Mothers Day weekend  (May 13, 2017).  We have a Grover volunteer who has stepped to the plate to help.  His name is Vincent Cannavo  and he will be the manager for the event, working with the Blogfinger staff.   Please contact us if you have ideas or wish to volunteer in some capacity.  For example, we will need a photographer that day and someone to work on a map to be posted and distributed.

We will operate the sale in the same way as before, maintaining an on-line list for interested folks to reference.  We will promote the event including advertising.

More details will be forthcoming next week, but meanwhile start planning your sale.  Eileen and I will be participating  (practicing what we preach.) Contact information for Vincent will be posted shortly.  Fliers will be distributed starting next week.

So yard sailors, welcome aboard, mark your calendars, and dig out your favorite junk.

To be added to the list, send your information to Blogfinger@verizon.net.  We need your name  (although we won’t post that unless you want it,) address, email, phone number (if you don’t have email), nearest cross street, and list of your sale items.  You can always add the list of items later, or begin it now and add more items later.  You can decide to join up to the day before the sale. And you will need a Township sale permit. Tell them that you are with the town-wide sale, and they will charge a discounted fee of $5.00 at the Mother Ship (Municipal building building department )

FRENCHIE DAVIS from Ain’t Misbehavin’:


Florida morning light

McGregor Blvd. Palm tree. Morning. Ft. Myers, Fla. By Paul Goldfinger


CACHAO    “Si Me Pudieras Querer”   from his album  Ahora Si

Two wood storks, who may now be making babies of their own, were captured photographically by Ernie Bergman, FOB, at the Wakodahatchie Wetlands in Del Ray Beach, Florida (east coast).  March, 2017. Special to Blogfinger.©

These birds do a lot for love, but when they tried to remember  the song from A Chorus Line about that, they could not. So here are Big Bird and Ernie, with the Sesame Street cast singing:





By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

The CMA got so sick of the Doo Wops that they cancelled all traces of Little Richard, the Drifters, the Platters  and the rest of that  ’50’s and ’60’s music-making crew from their summer events schedule in the Great Auditorium. We are told that only the Beach Boys will be back seeking help from Rhonda.  (There actually is a waitress named Rhonda over at the Seville Diner in East Brunswick.)

But, as if nature really abhors a vacuum, we now have the QFest Film Festival in April, sponsored by QSpot from the Grove,  and, surprise, a gay sponsored Memorial Day event at the Melrose Inn.  It looks like the Melrose’s owner/operators have  decided to be  trend setters in promoting gay-sponsored entertainment events in (gasp!) Ocean Grove where such happenings have not occurred in the past.   But now we have two new events, and boy are they needed.

Would you say that this town is stale?  It really does need a shot in the arm, but not like the massive events such as the Craft Show on the Pathway.    The gay community in Ocean Grove is well positioned to inject some new-look happy events here, but of the sort that brings culture and neighborhood interest.  The Melrose Memorial Day event  and the QSpot film festival are great starters.

Is Ocean Grove ready for this?  There is no doubt. The times they are a’changin.’


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