Ocean Grove. October 2020. By Paul Goldfinger. ©. Click to enlarge.




By Charles Pierre



In letters of my name

I see the weathered pier,


where boys fished all day

above the ocean swells,


and teens kissed by night

as the tide slid under them,


until that storm, unseen

along this coast before,


split the planks and rails

to nameless bits onshore.





From Puccini’s La Boheme.









By Paul Goldfinger © 2012

Ocean Grove, NJ.   Fletcher Lake, by Paul Goldfinger ©   Posted on November 1, 2012. Click all photos to enlarge.

Ocean Grove , the morning after Sandy hit on the evening of Oct. 29. 2012. By Bob Bowné; special to Blogfinger ©

Volunteers arrive at the OG boards to help. Oct. 30, 2012. Blogfinger.net photo.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

The huge storm of October 29, 2012, has been such an iconic event for the Jersey Shore that photographs of  Superstorm Sandy in Ocean Grove/Neptune  and its aftermath will become a genre of its own, as occurred with Bob Bowné’s now famous image of the surf  thundering into shore, demolishing the OG Fishing Pier.    (here is a BF link regarding Bob’s photo:   Bob Bowné iconic Sandy photo Oct. 29, 2012. )

You can use our search box  (top right) to see some of our Sandy photographs of OG which have been published on Blogfinger.

Sandy was a turning point for our town—a momentous event which continues to influence how Ocean Grove has been evolving recently. This town has become more popular as city-folk and North Jersey people have heard about us.  Now, they seek protection from the virus, and the town continues to change dramatically with many second-homers replacing year-round residents.

The storm showed us our physical vulnerability. Luckily, we were not hit nearly as hard as other places at the Shore.

Sandy  revealed the potential of OG to come together as a community and it showed how much this town means to people all over the world.  As some of you may recall, the day after Sandy hit, Blogfinger received 25,000 hits. Ocean Grove is a very special place.

Volunteers from all over, including New England, arrived and went to work. The Camp Meeting set up facilities for them, and in the Community Room they offered Wi-Fi access and information about assistance for victims.

Ordinary citizens drove into town and found ways to help at the beach front.

Neptune Township failed to help at the Ocean Avenue-boardwalk-beach.  They did not show over a technicality, ie that they have no jurisdiction over those privately owned locations.

Unfortunately, the Camp Meeting Association, which welcomed the help, financial and physical from the residential community in town has now become more self centered and oblivious to those who actually live here.  Evidently they learned nothing of the potential “community ” of Ocean Grove which could have evolved out of Sandy. Their idea of “community” is those outsiders who are religious tourists.

Other towns along the Jersey Shore have also been changing since Sandy, but this town, with its definition as a historic residential community should have grabbed that momentum and run with it.  But no, as we see with the North End situation, we are still failing to define ourselves as a special small town community with everyone caring about the town’s future.  Factions continue to divide the Grove.

STUART MATTHEWMAN.  From the original movie soundtrack of the film  Twin Falls, Idaho–“Amapola”

This email is from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net dated October 28,. 2020.   Read it carefully:


Re: Ocean Grove: The application remains pending.  Notice of the 30-day public comment period was published on page 46 of the Oct. 21, 2020 edition of the DEP bulletin. 

A fact-finding public hearing on a CAFRA* individual permit application would be held if additional information is necessary to help the DEP evaluate the proposed project’s potential impacts, and if that information can only be obtained through a public hearing. 

As part of the process, the DEP reviews submitted public comments, and/or the proposed project’s scope, and/or the environmental impact of the proposed project.

To date, the DEP has heard from two commenters, both of which have indicated that their counsel will submit further comment on their behalf.

At this time, a public hearing has not been deemed necessary.


Editor’s note:  Note that “submitted public comments” are reviewed by DEP and they are taken seriously.

If you have something to say to the DEP about the NORTH END OGNED CAFRA APPLICATION, then you should put it in writing and send it to the NJDEP, return receipt requested.



New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Permit Application Submitted to the Division of Land Resource Protection Changes in the Status Submitted of the Period 09/29/2020 to 10/12/2020.  Note the date submitted 04/13/2020.  The names are the project managers.  The  applicants’ name is OGNED  (Ocean Grove North End Development)  The project location is listed as 17 Spray Avenue.


Monmouth – Neptune Twp

1334-04-0007.2 – LUP – 200001


The North End Redevelopment project located in the northern Ocean Grove section of the Township of Neptune includes the replacement 5 story, 40 room historic hotel, two multi-family 3- 4 story buildings containing 39 dwelling units; ten detached

2.5 story single family residence. 7353 s.f. first floor retail area facing the boardwalk, 155 parking spaces 140 of which are covered by the podium deck; the restoration of a waterfront promenade, and recreation



Becky Mazzei, Christian Zografos



*The Coastal Area Facility Review Act, also known as CAFRA, authorizes the Department to regulate a wide variety of residential, commercial, public, or industrial development, such as the construction, relocation, and enlargement of buildings and structures, and associated work, such as grading and excavation

The generator is under the skin. A wire is passed into a vein and into the right side of the heart (the tip is positioned in the right ventricle). This technique has stood the test of time.

Permanent pacemaker configuration.   The generator is under the skin. A wire is passed into a vein beneath the clavicle and into the right side of the heart (the tip is positioned in the right ventricle). In this example there is a second wire in the right atrium.


I saved this 1970's unit made by Cordis. The surgeon would place it into a

I saved this used 1970’s single lead unit made by Cordis in Miami.  The surgeon would place it into a “pocket” under the skin and attach it to an electrode in the heart.   Paul Goldfinger photo. ©


The opposite side of the unit shown.

The opposite side of the unit shown.  Cardiologists would go into the OR with the surgeon when a pacemaker was placed. Now, surgeons are usually no longer needed for this procedure. ©  Paul Goldfinger photo


A tiny modern version of a permanent pacemaker.

A tiny modern version of a permanent pacemaker.


Current model.

Current model.

By Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC,  Dean at the Blogfinger  Off-shore School of Medicine .   Re-posted from Feb. 2016 on Blogfinger.net

My career spanned the remarkable history of permanent cardiac pacemakers. In the early 1970’s, those devices were as a big as a can of tuna fish. They had limited functions and a variety of technical problems. Today they are miniature electronic marvels.

The story began around 1930 when an Australian researcher found that the heart could be stimulated with a localized electrical shock delivered from a wire.

1949: The Medtronic Company, pioneers in pacemakers, was begun in a garage in Buffalo by an engineer and a physician.

1952: At the Boston Beth Israel Hospital, a patient was admitted with fainting spells due to drastic slowing of the heart. These are called Stokes-Adams attacks. This was the first case to be treated with a temporary pacemaker. A wire was attached to the external wall of his heart, while the pacemaker generator was outside his body.

1957: The first battery powered unit was developed, and, in 1958, the first permanent pacemaker was implanted in a dog, consisting of a generator under the skin and a wire attached to the outside wall of the heart.

1960: The first permanent pacemaker was implanted in a human. In 1961, the first in New Jersey was performed by heart surgeon Victor Parsonnet at Newark Beth Israel. Dr. Parsonnet is one of a core group of doctors world-wide to get credit for pioneering work in permanent pacemakers.

1973- 1980: The era when my own career began, the technology of permanent pacemakers evolved strikingly, with smaller and more complicated  “generators,” longer lasting batteries, and better electrode (wire) systems.  Medical electronics had been evolving thanks to the invention of the microprocessor.

When a patient only needed a temporary pacemaker, a cardiologist such as myself would pass a wire into the right ventricle through a vein in the arm or neck and attach it to an external pacemaker which hung from an IV pole at the bedside.  Eileen sometimes kids me by saying, “If you can put a wire into somebody’s heart, how come you can’t…….(fill in the blank)”

The permanent units could just only control slow heart rates at first, but later, more functions were developed and could be programmed (changing the settings) from without.

At first, pacemakers had to be routinely changed every two years because of battery life, but later the batteries were improved.

In the early 1970’s research with a nuclear powered pacemaker was performed by Dr. Parsonnet and his team at Newark’s Beth Israel Hospital . They were trying to increase the battery life.   That technology did not work out.

During this phase, techniques for monitoring the battery life and functions of a permanent pacemaker were developed. Eventually a patient could be followed by the use of a telephone, so hospitals throughout NJ had a setup where they could check their patients by phoning into NBIH for monitoring allowing doctors to predict when a pacemaker had to be changed and how well it was working. In-person visits to a pacemaker clinic were also required to check a variety of other functions .

In late 1970’s, at Dover (NJ) General Hospital and Medical Center, Jean Wiarda, RN ( a cardiac nurse) and myself,  with the cooperation of Medtronic, set up the first free-standing pacemaker clinic in north Jersey. After that, many other hospitals followed suit and broke away from the NBIH connection.  Later patients were able to phone in  their pacemaker signals from home  to the clinics. They also had to come for in-person evaluations intermittently depending on what we wanted to measure or program.

A major development, evolving in the 1970’s, was the transvenous lead for permanent pacemakers which eliminated the need to open the chest and sew an electrode into the heart muscle.   Instead, an electrode could be passed through a vein under the collar bone and into the right ventricular chamber, eliminating the need for heart surgery.

Now that continues to be standard, although the pacemaker generators are much smaller, and the electrodes have been refined, and sometimes more than one wire is used. Even though the generators are now tiny (you can’t even tell that someone has a unit,) they can perform all sorts of miraculous functions and are totally adjustable from without using a device called a programmer.

Surgeons used to install permanent transvenous pacemakers, but now these complex devices are placed by electrophysiologists, cardiologists who specialize in electrical diagnostics and therapeutics including implantable cardio-defibrillators.

The future of electrophysiology is huge, and progress is made every day in this field.

The latest development, currently  being perfected is that of wireless pacemakers, meaning no wires into the heart.  This will revolutionize the field since about 250,000 permanent pacemakers are placed yearly in the US, and about 750,000 around the world.

Around here, Jersey Shore Medical Center and Morristown Medical Center have first rate electrophysiology departments.


The Albatross. Ocean Pathway, Ocean Grove.   Blogfinger photo ©


By Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net:


The article below was from 2017 on Blogfinger when a reader called the Albatross “..just another menace to society.”  But rest assured that the recent drug raid on Oct. 9, 2020, on Ocean Pathway was at another address, closer to the ocean—-a tribute to skepticism regarding preconceived notions and stereotypes.


Ocean Pathway drug bust Oct 9 2020



From Samuel Taylor’s  poem :    Ryme of the Ancient Mariner:

“With my cross-bow,
I shot the albatross.

‘Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.”

But now, in Ocean Grove, Joe Grove has something similar to say about the Albatross, but he is referring to an old hotel on the Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove, NJ.

“The Albatross has been functioning as vagrant housing. It seems the B and B’s of Ocean Grove have a 10 day stay limit for guests and to circumvent this limitation one simply has to change rooms. The Albatross is apparently applying a 90 day limitation and has basically converted into vagrant housing. The residents from the Whitfield and La Pierre are staying there under contract with a state agency.

“To have a B and B  on the Pathway between the Great Auditorium and the boardwalk pavilion operating under this charade is pretty amazing. The integrity of the surrounding area has negatively impacted other residents, and the vagrants in the Albatross have definitely left their mark with cigarette butts and other trash inconsiderately tossed on the streets.

“Hats off to the owner of the Albatross which has become just another menace to society…”

There had been talk that the owner of the Albatross would like to turn it into condominiums, but we don’t know for sure. It had some moments of fame on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

As portrayed on HBO–cast as an early 20th century hotel; which it is. Blogfinger photo of the TV showing Boardwalk Empire (HBO).

The Albatross appears in “Boardwalk Empire”

But why can’t these old hotels succeed as they did in the past?  The Manchester Inn seemed successful, but the owner wanted condos….and then it burned down.  Single family homes resulted.  But others deteriorated like the Whitfield which was demolished and will become single family homes.  One recently tried to become a drug rehab center.  And yet others have become condominiums with pseudo-Victorian facades and no parking, increased congestion, and no character.

But Neptune’s elected officials  should  owe their allegiance to the citizens of the “historic district” and not to developers.  The ideal should be a historic town that brings comfort and beauty to the residents and the visitors.  It should be a place with honesty, light and air.  It should attract art, music, children, flowers, teenagers, yard sales, dinner on the porches, bicyclists, film festivals, ice cream, theater, girls in summer clothes, good eateries, diversity, and more….not trash and scum in Wesley Lake, not politicians in the shadows,  and not cigarette butts on the ground.

Too bad for the owners, but the dying old hotels should revert to single family homes.  Why did the Township bother to write a master plan?

And what will happen to Ocean Grove in the future—maybe it will become like Ocean Grove, Australia, which now bears no resemblance to Osborne’s dream.  It’s a surfers’ town now. Maybe that’s OK.  Some wouldn’t care if our Grove were to drift away to become something else.


Vernazza, Italy. Silver gelatin print. By Paul Goldfinger © Click left for full view

Vernazza, Italy. Silver gelatin print. By Paul Goldfinger © Click left for full view

RONALD NALDI  (Tenor from Ocean Grove and the Metropolitan Opera)

Peter Tallman, Union Army soldier, 1861. Submitted by Peter Stunz of Ocean Grove.

We received this photograph from Peter Stunz of Ocean Grove.   His email offers this explanation:

Just a side note: This is my great grandfather Peter Tallman (I was named after him, my mother’s maiden name is Tallman). He was a volunteer with the 127th Volunteer Infantry.  He never saw a battlefield. He was severely injured when a tree limb fell on him while they were clearing a path somewhere unknown.

His past was one of many reasons that lead me to be a student of history.  I would also like to add as a side note that the Tallmans have been living in Ocean Grove (renting) since nearly the beginning and we have had our summer home here since 1955. We love reading your blog and have been loyal readers since Sandy.

Editor’s note:  Thanks to Peter for sharing.  I love to hear  anecdotes from those who have lived here and know the history of Ocean Grove.  Of course, OG was founded after the Civil War  (1861-1865.)  But, the Methodist antecedents that ultimately led to the founding of the Grove, had their origins much earlier.

There were many Civil War soldiers from New Jersey and New York, and Peter’s great grandfather was a member of a volunteer regiment that was mustered in 1862 in Staten Island for 3 years service  (until 1865).   It was, as he points out, the 127th Volunteer New York Infantry Regiment.

That outfit did see some action, but I was interested, from a medical point of view, to learn that they lost 130 men—35 killed and 94 dead of “disease.”  Conditions tended to be awful for soldiers on both sides, with malnutrition, poor water, bad hygiene and of course many communicable diseases before the age of antibiotics.  The most common medical procedure was amputation of legs—a horrible chapter in American medical history, but combat medicine/surgery is so much better now.  However, like all military preparations, we hope that the techniques will never be needed.

The photograph Peter sent is a daguerreotype, a process that was invented around 1840 by Louis Daguerre and used mostly for portraits.  It was an expensive and fragile method using silvered   (light sensitive) copper plates. These images are  very collectible these days, especially ones that are of Civil War soldiers.

Below is a link on BF that discusses photography during the Civil War  (the last part of a piece about a historic photograph from Ocean Grove):

Fred’s Last Summer

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

JAQUELINE SCHWAB  “The Battle Cry of Freedom”  from Ken Burns documentary “The Civil War.”

Kiss the girl…..

A. Park Zombie Walk. Hey man, Emmy is looking for you..Paul Goldfinger photo 2016. ©


EMMY ROSSUM:  From her album Sentimental Journey.

August 20, 2016. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

August 20, 2016. Ocean Grove. Mt. Carmel Way at Asbury Avenue.   Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger ©.  October 27, 2020 re-post.


The hills are alive with the sound of music.  Thanks to barricades from Neptune Township, the block party at Mt. Carmel Way came alive with food, fun and friends.    It began in daylight at about 6 pm and continued into the night.  The celebrants seem to be ignoring the ordinance which says you can’t eat between the  yellow lines.

These events occur around town towards the end of summer.   The most famous is the concert version on the beach block of Embury Avenue.



“Come on baby while the thrill is on
Come on baby lets have some fun
Come on baby let the good times roll
Roll all night long…”


Speaking of environmental: Will the North End Plan take care of increased ground water that could pollute the ocean and the lake? Blogfinger photo.


By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net.

October 26, 2020.  Ocean Grove, NJ


The DEP application has been held up for months now; we don’t know all the details about what is delaying approval, but our last communication with the DEP  (Oct. 8)  is linked below.

In it, the DEP Press Officer told us:

“Paul, nothing has been approved at this point. The fact that the application has been deemed complete only means the DEP has been provided all the required information to now put the proposal up for public review and comment.”


North End update on Blogfinger Oct. 8, 2020


I have also checked the latest DEP Bimonthly Bulletin, but there is nothing there about the North End application. I will look into that further.  If nothing else, Blogfinger will shine a light on the opaque and sneaky OGNED.

Remember when they came to the Groaners’ meeting, refusing to answer certain questions, and the Groaners supported that censorship?  What do the Groaners stand for?

We have reached this point without any updated public statements on the subject by Neptune Township, the CMA, the Home Groaners, or the opaque and secretive OGNED.  The bottom line is that nothing has been approved yet, and public comments will have to be solicited.

The letter below, dated Oct. 20, 2020, is written by the Lomax Consulting Group which has been representing OGNED, the self-proclaimed North End Re-developer. We believe that the letter was sent to everyone who owns a home within 200 feet of the North End project.

The letter was shared with us by an anonymous source.  He/she says, “Just received this updated notification of the application for a CAFRA permit for the north end.   The only difference from the original one received in March is the location now includes Part of Lot 5 and the End of Beach Avenue which were not on the original application as well as the NJDEP File Number.   There is no change to the plan attached to the application.”

Click on letter and site plan for easier reading. 

Note that the letter doesn’t spell out the process whereby public hearings might be held.   The only way that the fraudulent aspects of this application might be exposed is if knowledgeable OG organizations or individuals formally contact the DEP to request hearings to be held in the Grove.

In a normal town, the Home Owners Association would step up and make sure that the interests of  OG residents are represented, but our HOA is useless when it comes to advocacy in the face of dangerous issues such as  what OGNED, CMA and Neptune Townships are planning for the North End.  But if anyone does want to formally request such an inquiry, they need to send a letter with return receipt requested.  

As we have pointed out, the plan which Lomax submitted to the NJDEP is not the one approved by the Neptune Township Committee back in 2008 which included 165 condominiums.  And it is not the one which Mayor Rizzo carelessly signed off on in her “Redevelopers Agreement” with OGNED last year.


Site plan submitted to NJDEPfor Block 101, lots 3&4, parts of loat 2 and 54, and end of Beach Avenue


Editor’s note
:   Read that letter.  They don’t mention an “underground garage,”  only 140 spaces  “covered by a podium deck..”  The total parking is 155 spaces.  Where are the other 15?

They also mention a “historic hotel.”  That is clearly nonsensical and dishonest  terminology.

Speaking of “historic;”


The Lenape Indians probably were in Ocean Grove back when, so tents are truly historic for the North End. And so were bikinis on the beach.  Let’s turn the North End into Tent Village II. Source: Google says so.


And they say, “The project will not result in the adverse impact on environmentally sensitive areas”  Really?  Are Wesley Lake and the Atlantic Ocean “environmentally sensitive areas?”


Let’s not let Ocean Grove slip slide away:  


PAUL SIMON    2011 in London at the iTunes Festival

“Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away.”




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