Jack Bredin (L), Kevin Chambers (R) and Paul Goldfinger (photographer) represented Ocean Grove at the SIAB in December 2015.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor and Jack Bredin, reporter/researcher for Blogfinger.net  (Ocean Grove, NJ)

The Site Improvement Advisory Board (SIAB)  is a regulatory board, part of the N.J. Department of Community Affairs.  The 12 appointed members meet quarterly to implement their task of regulating residential development in New Jersey.  They concern themselves with matters such as streets/parking, storm-water management, water supply, and sanitary sewers.  It provides engineering standards to ensure public health and safety.

Exceptions can be made to these standards   (“A municipality or a developer may individually or jointly request a waiver from a provision of the RSIS from the Site Improvement Advisory Board by showing that adherence to a particular provision presents a danger to public health and safety.“)*

The 12 members are all professionals representing various groups including planners, engineers, Builders Association, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Div. of Codes and Standards, and others.  This group is clearly devoted to protecting the citizens of New Jersey.

Remember when Neptune wanted to get an exception to the RSIS  (Residential Site Improvement Standards) regarding parking in Ocean Grove which would allow the floodgates to open for condoization all over town, gridlock, and a worsening parking situation?  So, when Blogfinger and some other Ocean Grove citizens showed up at that 12/15 meeting, the Neptuners took a look around and asked for their request to be cancelled.  It has not re-appeared on the agenda since then.

But we expect that exceptions will be requested again by Neptune with respect to the North End Redevelopment Plan.

So today, October  18, 2018, Jack and I went to a meeting of the SIAB in Trenton.  We were treated cordially by the Chairman Joseph  Doyle,Jr and by John Lago, administrator.  We were attracted to this meeting because of agenda items:  committee reports on storm-water and streets/parking, parking decks and large surface lots. And we were pleased to see that the Board  recognized us and were interested in why we were there.

We listened carefully to their discussions which were quite technical and not specifically about us, but it was important that the SIAB knows that Ocean Grove citizens have issues.

During the public portion, Jack stood up and read a statement which he wrote about Wesley Lake pollution and about the name change of that body of water. Jack reported that Neptune  had instituted an “illegal” name change on the tax map. He asked for “guidance” from the board about this matter.  We did not raise parking issues this time.

Chairman Doyle said the Wesley Lake matter was ” a very complicated issue,” but that his board could not “address it.”   He and other board members did however respond to Jack’s statement that the name change violated the requirements of the DEP’s Green Acre program of which Wesley Lake is part.

Mr. Doyle recommended that the matter be taken up with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection  (DEP) because this may be a violation of State and Federal laws.  At a personal level, the Chairman said that he has a home in Bradley Beach and was familiar with Ocean Grove and its lakes.

It is our belief that our ongoing relationship with the SIAB will help us monitor the efforts of Neptune Township to bypass regulations in Ocean Grove which also include zoning and land use improprieties. It will help to remind the SIAB that we are still around and active.

Note:  If you Google the SIAB, the last Blogfinger post on this subject comes up high on the list.  Also, a search of the BF search box on top will reveal some other posts about SIAB.

Blogfinger goes to Trenton in 2015


Wells, Jaworski and Liebman  law firm*



October 2015. Design by Eileen Goldfinger. Blogfinger.net photo.

Ocean Grove. October 2015.  Design  by Eileen Goldfinger. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Fresh cranberries harvested  at Chatsworth, NJ.  Leaves from the Garden State Parkway.  Eileen’s homemade cranberry sauce is  in the center.  Click to enlarge.  © Blogfinger.net


Cranberry bog. nchip.uga.edu

Harvest time.  Cranberry bog. nchip.uga.edu

By Eileen Goldfinger, food editor @Blogfinger and Paul Goldfinger, official taster and photographer  @Blogfinger.

On Oct. 20 and 21, 2018,  (next weekend) is the 35th Chatsworth Cranberry Festival. It’s fun. Read about it at http://www.cranfest.info.

This is a very crowded event in the Pine Barrens, about an hour from here.  The best bet is to go on Sunday morning early and park along the side of the road.

New Jersey is one of the most important cranberry growing regions in the world with over 3,500 acres devoted to the crop.  In the US, we are second in size to Wisconsin and Massachusetts.  Cranberries are grown in bogs where the soil and water requirements are quite complicated. The harvest is usually complete by the end of October.

In New Jersey, most of the growing occurs in Burlington County, around Chatsworth, where the annual Cranberry Festival will be held this month.


Annual Cranberry Festival. Chatsworth, NJ. Oct. 19, 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Annual Cranberry Festival. Chatsworth, NJ. Oct. 19, 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click left

We go to the Festival  to enjoy this unique cultural event—-Appalachia in Jersey.  Hear bluegrass music and  buy fresh picked cranberries.  Eileen purchases her usual 7 pound box.

In 2015 we were away for the Festival, so we drove to Tabernacle, NJ  ( BF search Tabernacle))  down the road from Chatsworth, one week later,  and visited Russo’s Farm Market where Eileen purchased her supply of cranberries.

She makes fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and freezes the rest of the berries in small Ziploc portions to use throughout the year.  Fresh cranberries can be purchased at Wegmans and Delicious Orchards.

Fresh cranberries from New Jersey. Photo design by Eileen Goldfinger. Background is a 1950's dish cloth. PG photo ©

2013  photo design by Eileen Goldfinger. Background is a 1950’s dish cloth. PG photo ©. Left click to enlarge.

Below is Eileen’s recipe for homemade cranberry sauce.   It’s a treat for your company on Thanksgiving, so don’t get bogged down with that gelatinous canned stuff.


1 cup of water

1 cup sugar

2 cups fresh cranberries

1 orange, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon orange zest

1/8 cup Grand Marnier (optional)


Mix sugar and water in a medium sauce pan.

Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar.

Add cranberries and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and gently boil for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat.

Cool to room temperature.

Add diced orange and zest and Grand Marnier.


Makes approx. 2 cups of cranberry sauce. In general, if used as a condiment, it will serve about 4 people.

BETTE MIDLER   You can’t hurry cranberry sauce or love.

Pine Barrens, New Jersey. October 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©



“Helpless.”  (Concert version)



JOY WILLIAMS:  “Charmed Life.”

The morning after….

Breakfast.  Rhinebeck, NY. Paul Goldfinger © 10/14/18


RENEE OLSTEAD:  “What a Difference a Day Makes.”




Love is Christmas.


Christmas Eve, Firemen’s Park, Ocean Grove. 2015. Paul Goldfinger, ©.


SARAH BAREILLES   “Love is Christmas.”

Eileen.    Photographer unknown.



The lobby bar is the Soundbooth where you can hear live music every night. All photos by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net July 21, 2016. ©

The lobby bar at The Asbury is the Soundbooth where you can hear live music every night. All photos by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net. Re-post from July 21, 2016. ©  Click on the music below and then return here.


Check in here or visit the juice/coffee bar. Get a snack and sit down and relax. No pressure. © Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

Check in here or visit the juice/coffee bar. Get a snack and sit down and relax. No pressure. © Paul Goldfinger photo ©.


asbury-3 (1)

The nocturnal Asbury. July 2016. Paul Goldfinger ©


One time, in Paris, we wanted to walk through the lobby of the Hotel George V, a very ritzy famous place.  But we were not allowed to even walk in the front doors. Some hotels are fussy about non-guests coming in.  But the new Asbury Hotel at Kingsley and 5th Avenue, near the ocean by the Paramount Theater, is just the opposite.

Anda Andrei (foreground) was guiding a photo-shoot in the lobby. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Architect Anda Andrei (looking at us) was guiding a photo-shoot in the lobby. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

The designer/architect Anda Andrei wants her new hotel to be full of life and to be welcoming.   Steve Valk and I took a tour of her new Asbury Park establishment and we found out that they want the public to come in and visit:  have a coffee, listen to live music, sit at the bar, do your homework, or chat with the staff.

Be sure to check out the roof top space called “Salvation” where the views are spectacular in all directions. It is particularly impressive at night.

The eastward view from Salvation (not the mystical place; it is a wonderful rooftop lounge and bar. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

The eastward view from Salvation (not the mystical place; it is a wonderful rooftop lounge and bar.) Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Photo from the NY Times July 5, 2016 by Tony Cenicola (see link below) ©

Roof top lounge and bar.   Photo from the NY Times July 5, 2016 by Tony Cenicola ©  See link below.

You can also watch classic or cult movies at the roof top garden called The Baronet, a tribute to the old Asbury Park theater which was torn down a few years ago.

Rooftop garden "The Baronet" where you can watch movies every night. © Paul Goldfinger photo.

Rooftop garden “The Baronet” where you can watch movies every night. © Paul Goldfinger photo.

In the lobby you can have casual food like a sandwich or something from the juice bar or the coffee bar.  Steve and I ordered cappuccinos, and they were very good.The lobby bar area is called the “Soundbar” and it is beautiful and functions as a music venue.

More relaxation space on the ground floor. Paul Goldfinger photo

More relaxation space on the ground floor. Paul Goldfinger photo

In fact you will marvel at the functional and gorgeous design features.   Every night there is live music in the lobby, and you can just walk in and sit down. The staff is welcoming and very proud of their hotel.

If you are from Ocean Grove, do not fail to walk or bike or even drive  (there are parking meters) to the Asbury.  You will be impressed and you will enjoy yourself even if you don’t rent a room…but then again….

Paul Goldfinger, Travel Editor @Blogfinger.net



LINK:   Click on this NY Times article below.

Here is a link to a Blogfinger article in response to the Times piece above:



By Paul Goldfinger, Editor

On the front page of the October Neptune News is a picture of Mayor Nicholas Williams along with his “Mayor’s Message.”

And this is what he said, “Thanks to the non-stop work of our Redevelopment Committee, residents will soon be hearing about two major investments that will transform our community for the better, bringing jobs and tax ratables, as well as additional retail and dining options.. Neptune Township is turning a major corner, nearly a decade in the making.”

Really, Mayor?  This is political doublespeak.*  Why don’t you tell us what you mean by “two major investments?”  Can you define “investments” for us in this context?  And which “corner” is being “turned?”

Might you be referring to the Ocean Grove North End Plan?  Do you think the commercialization of the OG North End “will transform our community for the better?”  And what do you mean  by “community?”    Will we have lower taxes if you get those “ratables?”

It would be nice if you could communicate with the public without beating around the bush.  You owe us transparency and clarity.

Here  (below) are the two Committeemen who are running to renew their seats in the November election. Unfortunately, they will be running unopposed. So you might want to know what these candidates look like who are supposed to be representing all the people of Neptune Township.

Have you been happy with them in their roll as representatives of the people who live in Ocean Grove?  Have you ever seen them walking along Main Avenue in the Grove, talking to the residents?  Oh, that’s right, they march or ride in our parades and wave to the folks.

This is what 2 of the 5 Committee-persons look like.  What have they done for the town of Ocean Grove?  They are opening a skate board park in Neptune.  They have tabled the parking permit plan.  And they have been silent about the North End plan, carrying on secretive “negotiations” with the re-developers. They also should explain why they don’t follow State land-use laws  such as RSIS, or show interest in the pollution of Wesley Lake.

You may have seen their signs along the side of the road—they are running together, although their party affiliation is not mentioned.   FYI They are Democrats.

Committeemen Brantley (R) and Williams (L)—These Neptuners are running to be re-elected. Photo source unknown.


Twin Peaks: Is this weird? Well that’s like the lack of representative government  for the people of Ocean Grove by the Neptuner Committee.


*Doublespeak:  deliberately euphemistic, ambiguous, or obscure language.

Paul Goldfinger © October, 2018. Poughkeepsie, NY




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