Around town with Jean Bredin. Nagle’s ice cream.. Ocean Grove, NJ. © 9/20/18.



Harmony 3 by Daniel Kainz.

Harmony 3 sculpture by Daniel Kainz (1993). Hamilton, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo © 2007

Harmony 3 sculpture by Daniel Kainz (1993). Grounds for Sculpture.  Hamilton, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo © 2007   Click to enlarge

YO-YO MA.    Ennio Morricone’s “Gabriel’s Oboe” from the film The Mission

Vigilance is needed to protect Ocean Grove’s North End. Paul Goldfinger photo



This painting of the Aurora by Jack Bredin shows the relative size of the Ocean Grove North End “parcel” which is partially revealed as the tan area bordering the boardwalk and Lake Avenue.


By Jack Bredin, reporter/researcher @Blogfinger and Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor.

In parts I and II  you saw how the North End Redevelopment process began in 2008 with the (public) North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) and then went 10 years without any real progress.  The Mayor’s negotiation team was appointed in 2008 and has had some personnel changes since then.  It still exists to this day and so far has accomplished nothing.

In 2011, WAVE and the OGCMA came up with a new private plan, but it was submitted to the Township, and no action was taken.

In 2013 the CMA was supposed to break-ground  with their new private plan, but that never happened due to Sandy.  No  plans were ever filed or permits issued.

Then in 2015, Committeeman Randy Bishop publicly  introduced the 2011 plan for the first time,but the Township Committee took no action.s

The only plan which was ever approved by law in Neptune Township was the North End Revelopment Plan of 2008 which is still in effect to this date.

Nothing further happened, at least as far as the public was concerned, until 2018.

In April, 2018, Michael Badger, President of the OGCMA, announced  by press release, that they had signed an agreement with a new developer called OGNED—-Ocean Grove North End Development,LLC.  We posted that information (see link below)

In June, Blogfinger posted a piece about the sloppiness of language used in discussing these latest issues:

North End: sloppy ideas and language June 25 , 2018.

This month we learned the  identity of OGNED and find that it is probably a reincarnation of WAVE. The information below came from the Clerk’s Office in Neptune Township.

“The Stockholder Disclosure Certification submitted by OG North End Development, LLC shows the stockholders who hold 10% or more of the issued and outstanding stock:”

William P. Gannon II

Paul R. Gannon

Joel S. Brudner

Christopher T. McCallion”

The certificate also revealed their addresses, which we did not include here.


Recently we also learned the identity of the Mayor’s negotiation team:

According to the Township Clerk, “The Redevelopment Committee” consists of Dr. Michael Brantley, Mayor Nicholas Williams, Land Use Administrator, Township Engineer, Business Administrator, Chief Financial Officer, Township Planner and Redevelopment Attorney.    Brantley has remained on this committee for the last 10 years.

The Clerk also informed us that “the Redevelopment  Attorney is Maraziti Falcon, LLP  at 150 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Short Hills, NJ.”  This attorney is part of this negotiating team, representing the Township.

So here we are in September of 2018, and this is what we know:

a. The “options agreement” signed by the CMA and OGNED  (April, 2018) names OGNED as as the “developer of the North End land parcel.”  This agreement was signed by the CMA even though they are not a “redeveloper.”

This is a private agreement which has nothing directly to do with the public Redevelopment Plan approved by Neptune Township in 2008. It would be a violation of land use law for the Township to change the NERP for this private plan without lawful procedures.

b.  Mayor Nicolas Williams and his committee have been re-negotiating a 10 year old agreement with a “self-appointed” redeveloper  (OGNED).  The original unofficial redevelopers were the CMA and WAVE.  Mayor Williams  refuses to explain the nature of the secret negotiations.

The principals now (developers and politicians) seem to be in a heated rush to get this done ASAP after years of little or no movement. But they have stalled because the Mayor says that his team  is “not getting what we want.” 

But he won’t disclose what he wants despite public pleas at recent Committee meetings.  The lack of transparency is over-the-top.

c. If or when the Mayor signs off on this new private plan he will be certifying that this new private North End project is in the best interest of the residents of Ocean Grove, something that no prior mayor has done since 2008.

If this new Redevelopers Plan with new re-developers is to replace the 2008 NERP, the Township will have to begin the process all over again including bidding for redevelopers, a bona fide Redevelopers Agreement, certification of financial integrity, public hearings, all necessary permits including DEP, and then Committee resolutions and approvals.

After all, this was and is still a public project.  That’s how the CMA and WAVE originally got the blank check for whatever zoning they wanted in the first place. Before that NERP ordinance in 2008, the North End was zoned for single family houses.

Mayor Williams recently said that that he was given a “Pre-redevelopment Agreement,” during negotiations,  but what is that?   He says that the document has gone back and forth over “a couple of items missing on it, so they gave it back to them to work on.”

Vito Gadaleta, the Business Administrator, is on that negotiating team and he said, “The next step would be to get the documents which will be reviewed by the Redevelopment Committee and the Redevelopment Attorney.”

He also said, “If there is a comfort level, there would be a discussion about appointing a conditional redeveloper for the site while the formal development is negotiated.”

This makes no sense.  New Jersey  Land Use law makes no provisions for “conditional redevelopers” or “comfort levels.”

A review of the history of all this reveals that the “formal development” is the March 24, 2008 North End Redevelopment Plan by Martin Truscott.

d.  At the last Committee meeting, Jack Bredin and Diane Harris requested that the Mayor invite the new Redevelopment Attorney to attend the next Township Committee meeting so he can explain why this Neptune Township process appears to be inconsistent with the Local Housing and Redevelopment Law.

e.  So the CMA and OGNED and the Mayor seem to think that they are on the verge of a breakthrough, but they continue to be silent about the details, and, as before, we worry about the perception of impropriety at the Municipal Building.

perception of impropriety

f.   Plan below is from Asbury Park’s Redevelopment Plan for the Wesley Lake area.

Nature abhors a vacuum, so here is one conspiracy theory:  In 2002, Asbury Park came up with a Waterfront Redevelopment Plan and Waterfront Redeveloper’s Agreement for the construction of Wesley Lake Village  (see above). The diagram shows “several smaller scale residential structures and pedestrian ways on the Asbury side.”

But if you look at the graphic, you will see the outlines of the Ocean Grove North End parcel.  Nothing else in OG is shown. This leads us to suspect that the OG North End Plan will result in the Asbury developer  (iStar) taking over the OG North End in order to pull Asbury and the Grove together near the lake. Remember, iStar has done nothing so far by way of development at the other side of the Casino.

Part II of this report.

Who is OGNED? Sept. 2018

The bottom line is to demand that the Township take down that wall and offer complete transparency to the North End public process.  Sunshine is the best disinfectant.


Seaside Heights. Paul Goldfinger photograph. September, 2018. ©  Click to enlarge.




Haiku by George Held

Monarch visits Ocean Grove. August, 2018. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger. ©



On a milkweed pod

a Monarch rests en route

to Mexico


By George Held, poet



Christopher Van Kampen   “Le Cygne”  (by Camille St. Saëns)

Lawrence Avenue workshop. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge.



Hi Mom!     Bamboozle attracted 80,000 people to A. Park in 2012.  Many crowded the rentals in OG.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor. Blogfinger.net

Did you ever hear certain Grovers belittle the parking complaints of residents in this way?   I have, and it is a cliché  chosen to intimidate residents and trivialize the effects of parking distress on their quality of life.   Such talk often emanates from the mouths of realtors and speculators who want to build condos, sell houses, and rent stores. And they want to minimize the parking problems here to naive prospective buyers and renters.

Here is a quote from a BF parking article last October, 2017.   “Jack Green said on Facebook that there are only about 18 days at peak season when there is trouble parking.” 

The truth is that there are many 3-day weekends and weekdays each summer and also on some spring and fall weekends where the number of cars exceeds the spaces in the Grove. The “season” actually extends from May through October.

When glut happens, there are  issues that  adversely affect those who live in town and ironically pay real estate taxes, one way or another.  Here is a link to our article regarding the “Parking Derangement Syndrome” first described at the Blogfinger Offshore School of Medicine in Ocean Grove:

Parking derangement syndrome

Did you happen to notice the syndrome during the Giant September Flea Market which just happened? The F bombs were flying around the Pathway and landing on the two Norms’ porches. This problem is about more than parking.  Crazed drivers were circling our streets looking for a space.  They were frustrated, wild-eyed, hot, and angry.    They were lured by advertisements promising a good time. (Fake news and false advertising) None of the organizers provided any parking assistance (such as shuttles.)    If a parking space were to appear, its life expectancy was averaging 15 seconds or less.

This is no way to live; I don’t care if it is “only” 50 days each year.

Consider the email we got today from Rosemary of Ocean Grove:

“Good Morning Paul:
I just learned that 20,000 attendees are expected for the inaugural Sea Hear Now Festival  (art, music and surfing) in neighboring Asbury Park on the weekend of September 29 and 30)  Much of the available parking near the boardwalk was acquired by the promoters from the city.  Not sure if this is to provide parking for attendees or to have space to stage.  AP will also receive $1 from each ticket sold.  
I assume we Grovers will be competing for spaces over here in Ocean Grove as the spillover would appear inevitable.  Just when we were beginning to enjoy the relative quiet of the post season.
Editor’s note:  Thanks Rosemary.   Not only is the Camp Meeting Association of Ocean Grove striving to have more tourist weekends year round, so is A. Park whose parkers will be inundating the Grove.  The AP crowd won’t be happy until every weekend  in their city is filled with tourist lures.
And, if the North End extravaganza eventually gets built here,  there will be yet another source of that sucking sound which draws cars, SUV’s and giant trucks into the Grove adding to air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution and culture pollution which we already are experiencing.
My son’s dog Pooja can’t even find a place to poop lately.
The Zombies come by the thousands. Last year a few lurched over to the Grove; this year it is October 6.

2013 Zombies. A. Park. At least 20,000 will come this fall. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Click to enlarge the mob.

* Dictionary.com:

adjective Slang. cockamamie
  1. ridiculous, pointless, or nonsensical: full of wild schemes and cockamamie ideas.



Inside Out—-It’s Autumn

Ocean Grove tent awaits final dismantling. September, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove tent awaits final dismantling. September, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge   Re-posted from Blogfinger September 2014.


Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

JOHN WILLIAMS  with Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

Wouldn’t it be great if Pachelbel himself were having an ice cream at Days when he hears an orchestra playing  this piece inside one of the tents?   It might be a little tight for the string section, and we can substitute a euphonium for the stand up bass.

But otherwise it would be fine if the conductor could just be on a pedestal by the Stokes statue.  And everybody could sit on beach chairs outside and enjoy the tent concert.

Naples is a fabulous city in southwest Florida. The downtown is elegant with beautiful shops and restaurants. Yet, despite attracting tourists, the beaches are open, free, and uncrowded.

That’s because they don’t want to attract throngs  (or thongs,)  so there is plenty of parking and no mega events to chase the residents into their homes such as happens in Ocean Grove and continues in New Jersey  into September and beyond.

This photograph is from March, peak season for southern Florida.


Naples Florida, southwest Florida. Paul Goldfinger © March 2016. Naples,  southwest Florida. Choppy waters on the Gulf of Mexico.    Paul Goldfinger © March 2016. Click to enlarge.

MATT MONRO   from the movie The Sand Pebbles.

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Rev. W.B. Osborn was the founder of Ocean Grove. This bio was written by his wife. Let’s see if she writes about a commercial North End.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfnger

Speaking at the Home Groaners meeting on August 6, 2018, CMA President Michael Badger said, ” The maps of Ocean Grove from the 1880’s contained a plan for the North End hotel and it will be excellent to have the founders’ vision fulfilled again,” 

This quote is from the Coaster which reported on that meeting.

Here is a  CMA map from  about 1879 when Stokes and other founders were in charge, so you know that it is very early:


Ocean Grove from about 1879.  Map commissioned by Dr. Stokes, President of the CMA.  Click on map for details. North End has 26 lots for single family homes. See Jack Bredin’s comment below about this map.



Ocean Grove 1889.  You can see 12 lots at the North End property.   Those lots were for single family houses for Methodist clergy.  No sign of a planned hotel there.


1881 Library of Congress map. Detail below this map.




Library of Congress map of OG and A. Park 1881. No North End hotel. There is the Ross bathing pavilion located there, by the ocean. The North End is otherwise shown as a barren lot.  Click to enlarge.


Click on these maps  to see the details. If you look carefully near the Ocean at the North End you will not find a “plan for the North End Hotel.”

Obviously Pres. Badger would like to find a precedent for a “very early” North End Hotel plan to back up his latest (2018) new North End plan.  He says that there are maps that reveal “the founders’ vision” for a North End hotel.

We have never seen such a map, so it would be good if Pres. Badger could back up his statement with at least one of his 1880’s  maps, and we would be pleased to post it on Blogfinger.

We have reviewed Elwood Stoke’s biography as well as the book about early Ocean Grove written by Mrs. W.B.  Osborn.  Neither of these books mention a hotel.

In fact Mrs. Osborn tells us that James Bradley, who developed Asbury Park, saw that the two cities might compliment each other, so he offered Osborn a chance to partner with him and make some money.   But Osborn refused saying that he founded Ocean Grove not for money but for the “glory of God.”

The Grand Ocean Grove North End Hotel complex opened in 1911, about 40 years after the founding—hardly a good precedent for 2018.

Besides, even if that founders’ vision can be verified, who’s to say that it justifies the CMA’s 2018 North End Plan to build a hotel?  OG’s history is full of hotels, but zoning normally would not allow one to be built from scratch now.


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