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By Paul Goldfinger. Undated but timeless. Washington , D.C. ©

By Paul Goldfinger. Undated but timeless. Washington , D.C. ©

JERRY ORBACH:

Newark, New Jersey. Special to Blogfinger ©

Newark, New Jersey. Special to Blogfinger ©  Click to enlarge.

GIAMPAOLO PASQUILE:   “Theme From Twin Peaks.”

Main Avenue in Ocean Grove.  May, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. May, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge

FATS WALLER

Lee Morgan captured the demo of the Whitfield Hotel which was over 135 years old. 1/19/17 ©

Lee Morgan captured the demo of the Whitfield Hotel which was over 135 years old. 1/19/17 ©

 

A recent Blogfinger photo of the Whitfield. Single family homes will be built on the site.

A recent Blogfinger photo of the Whitfield. Single family homes will be built on the site.

Here is a Blogfinger link about the Whitfield’s history:

https://blogfinger.net/2013/08/30/the-hotel-whitfield-a-nightmare/

CAST OF FOLLIES BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM:  There was a time when the Whitfield was a romantic place to spend the morning. And most recently it provided shelter to the unfortunate. Lee Morgan says, “No more open doors at The Whitfield.”

Click on the word “Blogfinger”

 

Blogfinger

Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove, NJ.  By Bob Green  Sept. 26, 2014 ©  Special to Blogfinger Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove, NJ. By Bob Green Sept. 26, 2014 © Special to Blogfinger

Hi Paul,

National Geographic  called Ocean Pathway “The prettiest short street in America.” With numbers 13 and 11 so beautifully housescapped with plants, it’s even prettier. This photo, taken yesterday, shows but two of the many homes in Ocean Grove that are occupied by master gardeners.

Congratulations to all who work so hard to bring beauty to so many.

Bob

Bob Green  (Ocean Grove),  Gardener

EYDIE GORME´

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Delaware Memorial Bridge.   By Eileen Goldfinger . Jan. 2017. Heading south on route 95. ©

Delaware Memorial Bridge. By Eileen Goldfinger . Jan. 2017. Heading south on route 95. ©

MAX RAABE AND DAS PALAST ORCHESTER

Ocean Grove 1878. See any condos or rehab centers there?

Ocean Grove 1878. See any condos or rehab centers there? From a Camp Meeting report that year.

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

In December 2016 the HPC created an uproar complaining that the Township was going to seriously change the historic guidelines which the HPC uses to protect our historic designations.   A new guidelines document was made public by the Township, but it was not annotated for the changes and it  seemed to favor developers who would be enabled to compromise historic structures in town.

The HPC complained to the Township Committee and were promised a new document which would clearly note all the changes.  Deb Osepchuk, the chairperson of the HPC, promised that they would supply Blogfinger with a formal statement of their opinions regarding the new guidelines.  But later she said that their lawyer would not allow it.  Here is a link regarding that denial.

https://blogfinger.net/2016/12/16/hpc-muzzled-no-more-public-statements-to-the-media/

Yesterday we contacted her by email and said, in part, “Deb. I know you can’t make a formal statement, but after the initial fuss which Blogfinger helped publicize where you appealed  to everyone about the dangers of meddling with the guidelines,  I hope you would at least tell our readers if the issue has been resolved or what the status is.”

She responded by saying, “As of this time I have received no official notice from the the Township Committee. I do believe however, that the lines of communication are open and will remain so.”

She also said that she and another HPC member would be making a presentation at the HOA meeting on January 28.   She said, “We’ll be talking preservation and the importance of the Guidelines.”

We also contacted a Neptune Township official who said that the new guidelines had been tabled and that no “marked up version” was yet available.  We also inquired about the “lines of communication” which the HPC mentioned. We were told that “as of now, there is no public meeting scheduled for discussion of revisions to the guidelines.”

So, in conclusion, after all the fuss and worry about the guidelines, nothing has come of it.  But if there are any backroom discussions, this matter is of great interest to the Ocean Grove public and should not be hidden behind a stone wall.  We are familiar with lack of transparency on the part of the Neptune Township Committee, but the HPC owes it to the public to be open regarding this matter which they, themselves, said was so important.

JULIE ANDREWS:

The City of Orange Township's municipal building was raided by agents from the FBI, IRS, and Inspector General investigative arm of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A search warrant shows the agents were looking for evidence in connection to a sweeping fraud, extortion, and money laundering investigation. (Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

The City of Orange Township’s municipal building was raided by agents from the FBI, IRS, and Inspector General investigative arm of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A search warrant shows the agents were looking for evidence in connection to a sweeping fraud, extortion, and money laundering investigation. (Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Small cities may disappear under the radar of Federal investigations as in New Jersey where places like Newark provide plenty to do for the FBI.   But in Orange, NJ, a small (2 1/2 square mile) Essex County city  with a population of 30,000, locals have been concerned about financial irregularities for some time.

In 2007, the mayor of that city went to jail.  Until recently, the current mayor of Orange thought everything was just fine, but after a quiet 3 month Federal evaluation and then a raid by the Feds on January 11, the situation has exploded:
Quote from NJ News out of Montclair State University:    “An investigation by NJ Advance Media has found that, for at least five years, a small group of political operators “has left behind a trail of financial problems in Orange, a city of about 30,000 where playing fast and loose with taxpayer funds appears to be the norm.”

“The three-month review found that ‘nearly every city department has been cited since 2011 for violating some of the most basic spending rules.'”

Quote from NJ.com:   “The three-month review – including hundreds of pages of city and court records, as well as interviews with current and former city officials – found nearly every city department has been cited since 2011 for violating some of the most basic spending rules.”

We received word about this situation a few days ago from Blogfinger Citizen Reporter Tom C. who sent us the link from NJ.com. (below)

Tom said that he was forwarding the article because:

“Paul,

“This is of interest to BF  for 2 reasons related to ongoing concerns about Neptune Township and OG…

“1) Grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence – sometimes its worse.

“2) If it ever gets really bad in our small city, it’s good to know the FBI is ready to charge in and punish the guilty.

-Tom”

Blogfinger has been reporting on irregularities in how the Neptune Township government  functions, especially in the areas of land use management and adherence to the NJ Land Use Laws.  We have found reasons to be concerned.

Tom is correct that “it’s good to know” that Federal law enforcement sometimes takes a close look at how local governments do their jobs.

rules.www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2017/01/why_an_fbi_raid_of_this_small_nj_city_has_been_a_l.html#incart_river_mobile_home_pop

LEON REDBONE:

Frank's 1406 Main Avenue near Sunset Avenue. Blogfinger file photo

Frank’s  at 1406 Main Street  near Sunset Avenue. Blogfinger file photo

 

 

Frank's Deli. Late morning in October. All photos by Paul Goldfinger ©

Frank’s Deli.  Late morning in October, 2015. All photos by Paul Goldfinger ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @blogfinger

In 2015  we featured Frank’s Deli and Restaurant in a BF post, and now we re-post it for 2017, with some updates. Not much has changed.  Here is a quote from that piece:

“You might also be tempted to turn into Frank’s Restaurant where everybody goes for  breakfast and lunch including cops, contractors, politicians,  bloggers, realtors, homeboys, celebrities, wayward Grovers, and stylish types from across the border on Cookman Avenue.”

UPS man waits for his sub delivery. Blogfinger photo ©

UPS man waits for his sub delivery. Blogfinger photo ©

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Frank’s, a local family-owned place where they have been cooking breakfast and lunch since 1960. It has a very down-home feel.  You can sit at a table or at the counter where you can watch the chefs work—poetry in motion.  “Those fries are getting cold; dump them and serve some hot ones,” says the cook; he is at the grill and he is a perfectionist.

He watches his little assembly line, with his back to the counter  and he doesn’t miss a detail.  He turns around  and asks us if everything is OK. They make more eggs, toast  and bacon than any other place in the area.  Frank’s is a destination with a pedigree–more so than any of the newly arrived eateries on Cookman-by-the-Grove.

Grillmaster efficient and accurate

Grillmaster efficient and accurate

The waitresses are attentive. They seem to know everybody and they are friendly and accommodating—-not like the diner waitress who waited on Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces. If there are any waiters, we haven’t seen one. Besides, gender is out these days—–they are all “servers”  However, at Frank’s you feel like political correctness is not on the menu. It is a place to relax and speak freely.

Joe Maggio, owner at FRank's. From a Bruce Springsteen music video.

Joe Maggio, owner at Frank’s. From a Bruce Springsteen music video.

Joe Maggio is the owner and the main-man at the grill. His father started the business.   We go there often, but he was on vacation this time. However, his staff wasn’t missing a beat. One of the cooks noticed an elderly man near the end of the counter near where we were sitting. He called him by name and said, “How about a grilled cheese; I’ll make you one now.” The man grinned and said, “Thanks.”

Everything at Franks is fresh and made-to-order. BF photo

Everything at Frank’s is fresh and made-to-order. The toast was ordered that way.   BF photo   ©

You can walk up to the deli counter and order a superb sub. made to order. Even Bruce Springsteen visits Frank’s, and he included Frank’s in a 2012 music video.  Bruce  likes the turkey club.  In 2015,  Anthony Bourdain and Southside Johnny visited Frank’s while CNN filmed the episode for Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” show.

We get a kick out of the diverse clientele who are going in and out of Frank’s which  reminds me of some places my friends and I frequented when we were in high school in Rutherford. We would go to towns like Lyndhurst or Passaic to get soul food:  pizza and burgers.

At night, after walking up and down Park Avenue in Rutherford, we would visit Stio’s, a family luncheonette and ice cream place near the tracks that was so old, everyone and everything there seemed to be in slow motion. But all sorts of characters would show up, and we would laugh and joke and kid the owners.  Frank’s takes me back to that sort of Jersey place.  If you are from Jersey, you need a dose of that every once in a while.

BILLIE HOLIDAY

 

Portrait of Eileen

Eileen. c. 2014 in Ocean Grove. Photo by Paul Goldfinger ©

Eileen. c. 2014 in Ocean Grove. Photo by Paul Goldfinger ©

COUNT BASIE AND JOE WILLIAMS:

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