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Township special meeting held at the Arts Center. January 28, 2023.  Perhaps 200 Grover  citizens were present to plead their case before the Neptune tribunal.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor Blogfinger.net

 

Eight township officials sat up front to conduct this meeting to review a Pilot Residential Permit Parking Program offered by a Township Subcommittee. The meeting was run by Neptune Township  Mayor Cafferty, a grim looking character who didn’t seem to have a sense of humor. The meeting lasted over 3 hours and ended with a long line of Grovers who made speeches (3 minutes) or asked questions. There was quite a diversity of opinion expressed on that line and in the balcony.

Where did all these opinionated Grovers come from? I thought we had a silent majority in town.

 

Team Neptune: They don’t look happy to be there. These Neptuners get to continue the Township tradition of dumping on Grover citizens.   No Ocean Grover is part of that crew.   Paul Goldfinger photo Blogfinger.net. 1/28/23.  Click to study their demeanors.

 

The main question was whether the Township would approve this subcommittee  pilot plan which is sponsored by a group consisting of the OGHOA, the Better Parking Alliance, Chamber of Commerce, and a lawyer named Shane Martins.  Martins woke up the crowd when he said that “there already is a Neptune residential parking permit in the Township Code.”

Also on board was the Deputy Mayor Tassie York who is a newcomer on the Committee and now, by some political magic, is an expert on OG parking problems. She didn’t speak.

Speaking to the group were representatives of the HOA. (Joyce Klein)  and the BPA (Andy Levine).

 

Andy Levine (BPA)  says, regarding enforcement, “Call the cops.” Blogfinger photo.

 

 

Also speaking for 15 minutes was Michael Badger, President of the CMA.  His presence was controversial and he even drew some catcalls from the audience.

If you want to know the details of the plan, you can go to the OGHOA website or the Neptune site or go to our BF article below this one.

Many of those plan details were torn apart by Grovers who spoke.  We should have a T shirt that says, “Grovers Who Speak—GWS”. This could be the start of something big.

Blogfinger will not rattle off  all the details—that’s what the Coaster does,  but we will list some of what we learned this morning.

 

After a break a line began to form (on the right) to speak. That’s when the Mayor insisted that I sit down.  Busy taking these photos–free press?

 

a. Most citizens  supported the idea of a “pilot plan”.  The proposal called for the plan to begin in March and last for a year.

b. Michael Badger was very outspoken in opposing any permit parking plan.  He asked the Neptuners to “say  no to preferential parking.”    He said that the plan offered a special advantage to a few and that “everyone should have a shot at a parking space.”

He said that we should not give privileges to one group.  But which group is that?   In his speeches and writings he never acknowledges that we have a discrete group called “Ocean Grove residents.”  He said that if you don’t like your parking problems, then move somewhere else in town.

He said that such a plan was inappropriate because the Grove is “only 1/2 mile long.”

Really?   His signs say “God’s Square Mile.”

 

CMA slide during the CMA presentation. Click to find the devil and Badger’s argument.

 

 

Michael Badger, “Just say no.” Blogfinger photo. 1/28/23. Ocean Grove

 

Many in the audience condemned his message and even questioned his choice to speak at this meeting.  Dr. Cindy Williams of Ocean Grove berated  Neptune officials saying that they should “perform their duties under the authority of the people.”  She accused the Mayor of inappropriately allowing the CMA to speak and to allow Badger’s “outrageous power points.”    Others were shouting about a CMA slide depicting some people as devils. They though that was nasty.

c.  Nancy Badger went to the mic. and said that the pilot plan “discriminated” against other Neptune residents while benefitting “a few” in Ocean Grove

d. Nigel Newton, a parking engineer who lives in town, said that the design work was excellent and now it is time for “action over words.”  He said that Asbury Park is the problem, not Ocean Grove.  Ways to discourage AP parkers must be found or AP will control Ocean Grove.

Others, including Joyce Klein of the HOA, painted Asbury parkers as our main problem now.

 

Complements of the Home Owners. Joyce Klein provided these fascinating stats.

e. Some stressed that  residents of OG deserved  special treatment to deal with their  parking difficulties.  The HOA said that parking problems will “always exist” so this plan is to  find a way “to make it better.”  Klein said that the problem has been addressed for the last 8 years, and now is the time to take action.  Andy Levine of the BPA stressed that this is a “pilot—a chance to try something new and learn from it.”

f. Finally, some spoke out to agree with Blogfinger:  We have a large community of tax paying residents who have a major “quality of life” issue here, and parking permits will help–not cure. One speaker said that families are punished by the parking glut including the nurse who comes home with a child and groceries and can’t park.

Klein (HOA) said that 58 of 60 shore towns have laws to help with residential parking.  Only two do not:  Ocean Grove and Deal, and Deal has driveways.

Attention should be paid! Joyce Klein agreed that she and all Grovers deserve some help with parking. She also stressed the central issue now is of Asbury workers and tourists who park here and go there.

g.  The Chamber of Commercials spokesperson said that they support 3 hour parking for the business district but they are “neutral when it comes to the resident part.” Perhaps we should remember that when we go shopping downtown.

h.  Other topics that were raised included:  tenters, multifamily dwellings, enforcement, guests, cones saving spaces, and where do the 250 summer CMA workers park?     And other issues including short term renters.

i. When things became heated at the meeting, Joyce Klein put things into perspective recalling the story of Chicken Little saying, “The sky is not falling”.  She also said that “offering a little advantage to OG residents is not elitist.”   She encouraged the group to be patient and “let’s see if it works.”

ij  Once again a favorite Blogfinger point was ignored and that is that the Township could reign in the giant events such as the Flea Market and Craft show and others which drown the town with tourists each summer.    These mega- events prevent the residents from enjoying their town in prime season  while offering nothing to benefit we-the-people. Just ask Bradley Beach, Spring Lake and Deal, among others such as Seaside Heights.

 

Steve and Eydie:

 

 

 

 

The old folks at home…

Grovers await the start of the meeting. 1/28/23. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Click to enlarge.

 The meeting was held in a beautiful venue: The Jersey Shore Arts center of Ocean Grove. Remember Herb Herbst.

 

PAUL ROBESON WITH A STEVEN FOSTER DITTY:   Robeson performed in the Great Auditorium many years ago.

 

A Park Beach.     Public outdoor art is common in A. Park. Where is it in the Grove? Paul Goldfinger photo. Jan. 2023. Click to enlarge.

 Some at the parking meeting said Ocean Grove was “changing,” and not for the better.

 

MANDY PATINKIN:  Sunday in the Park With George.  By Stephen Sondheim. “Beautiful.”

 

 

Rough landing…

Across the street from the Shark River near the S.R.Marina. June, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger. © Left click for larger version

Across the street from the Shark River Marina.  A lone survivor from Sandy 2012.   By Paul Goldfinger. © Click for larger version.

 

GRADY TATE.   “My Ship.”    From his album Feeling Life.  (Composer Kurt Weill for the 1941 musical “Lady in the Dark.”)

 

 

 

The old road to an OG parking solution. Paul Goldfinger photo of a road less travelled…so far.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor at Blogfinger.net,  Ocean Grove’s only news and opinion source. OG had a newspaper for many years, but it folded around 2000.

Here is a Blogfinger report  about a similar Neptune parking  meeting  in December, 2017.  You can see where this issue has been:

 

2017 Township parking meeting.

 

Here is some parking background from a June 2021  Blogfinger article.

 

2021 parking post.

 

NOW JANUARY 2023—You may recall our repeated concern, ignored by everyone, that this town has too many cars for the number of spaces in season.   In other words, something needs to be done about unbridled tourism inside this small residential town.   Other towns have done so including Bradley Beach, Belmar, Spring Lake and, believe it or not, Asbury Park, although AP is becoming like a big zoo in season, parking in the Grove and walking or biking into AP.

Now the OGHOA has posted a new “pilot proposal” to provide parking permits on a trial basis in the most vulnerable area of the Grove, over by the border with Asbury Park.

To see the map with colors, click below.

RPPP-Pilot-Proposal-for-012823-Meeting (dragged)

There will be two zones, one is year round  (Zone 1. light blue on the map)  while the other is for prime season. (5/15-9/15.  Zone 2.  green on the map)

You can download the entire program by clicking here:

OGHOA.org

The credit for this proposal is being given to all the major organizations in town including the CMA.   The CMA has, in the past, been very resistant to such a program although they have supported a related plan which would place 3 hour metered parking in the business district.

The announcement sent out by email says that the Township Committee is presenting a “special meeting” on this subject on Saturday, January 28, at 9 am in the Jersey Shore Arts Center.  That email gives credit to Deputy Mayor Tassie York, the 2022 Parking Task Force, OGHOA,  OG Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Parking Alliance.

They also mention  “OG Resident Shane Martins.”  It is unusual to find an individual on such a list, but Shane Martins is a lawyer who also is involved with the activist group, currently under cover, called “Neptune United.”

Blogfinger had the opportunity to speak to him several months ago when he mentioned that he had designed a foolproof permit parking plan for the town.  We did not see his plan then, but could this currently announced plan be his?  If so, perhaps only he should get credit.  The others on the list have been failures in the past with regard to permit parking.

 

 

Blogfinger has been preaching about permits  literally for years without any response from players on the list.

At any rate it’s good to know that the residents of OG will finally be given some special treatment to help with their chronic parking woes.

The Committee meeting on Jan. 28 will be interesting since the Committee has been indifferent regarding this issue in the past, with promises made but none kept.  But now they have slipped one of their own, Ms. York, into the mix. She is getting credit as a leader of the current plan. What did she do?

But the Township has been worried about giving special treatment to the Grove while “neglecting” the people of Neptune proper. Even the CMA’s Michael Badger has voiced a similar concern suggesting that no parking plan for the Grove should exclude Neptuners  who need to park at the beach.  A bus shuttle program is currently being worked out.

It will also be interesting to see if the majority of Grovers, those excluded from the RPPP, will have something to say about this matter.   Over at the South End of the Grove, residents will tell you that they also are victimized by freeloader Asburians.  At a  prior town meeting, it appeared that about half of Grovers were opposed  to permit parking.

 

BEATLES:   “Day Tripper.”

 

An OG giant flea market where only a few select tourists should be allowed. Is she the Coaster reporter? Please! Paul Goldfinger photo

 

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor Blogfinger.net.   1/26/23

In a front page article today, Coaster reporter Carol Gorga Williams took a fresh look at the topic of OG’s parking mess in preparation for yet another Township meeting to address parking; this time, once again, a proposal for residential parking permits in town.

She said, “The Neptune Township Committee will convene a special meeting Sat, Jan. 28 to discuss a proposed pilot program for residential parking permits in Ocean Grove, where narrow streets and summer-season overcrowding have long creating frustration.”    That one sentence is a breath of fresh air even if it is not totally accurate.

Let’s consider her point of view.

a.  The result of our parking problems in season is “frustration.”  I don’t think any prior news report has used that word.  Why is that important, well it is because it reflects what Blogfinger has been saying for years:  This is a QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUE involving most importantly the community of Grovarian residents. It is the residents, home owners and renters, who have been ignored and “frustrated” by the blind-sighted officials and organizations in this town.  The mobs of tourists in season should not be given top priority in any proposed plan. Let’s give our citizens top priority.

b. Ms. Williams spoke in terms of “summer-season overcrowding.”   YES!  Those of us who live here are drowning in tourists, and it is the equation of too many tourists overwhelming too few parking spaces that is the fundamental problem.  Blogfinger has been saying that for years:   reduce the number of giant tourist events, as is done in many shore towns, and the problem will be over.  The Township has control over permits for events that bring out-of-town folks here by the thousands on summer weekends, causing  “FRUSTRATION” for our own tax paying townies.

Let the mega-events be held in some huge space with excess parking like the Monmouth Country Fair Ground.   The giant flea market does not have to be held in our small residential town!

c   And finally the Coasterican reporter decides that that one of our main problems is “narrow streets.”  Well, la-de-dah!   That may not be true, but it is marvelous to contemplate because it is a new idea, and we sure can use new ideas in the Grove.

The meeting will be held at the Arts Center at 9 am this Saturday 1/28/23.   After a stultifying presentation of plan details you will hear questions that will indicate yet another failure to solve the Grovarian parking mess, but I sure would like one of those permits.  And let’s put Ms. Williams on that committee!

 

LEON REDBONE:

 

 

Photo of a concentration camp by Paul Goldfinger from a documentary.

 

 

Paul Goldfinger, MD,  Editor Blogfinger.net

 

The Nazis’ goal was to make the world “judenfrei” (free of Jews) and they nearly succeeded.  The process began in 1930’s Germany and then became full blown as the Nazis invaded most of Europe as well as other areas such as North Africa and Scandinavia.    At first they killed Jews by shooting using “killing pits” (below).    When that was not efficient enough they used trucks that crowded victims and then pumped  carbon monoxide inside. But that was way too slow.

Then they switched to ghettos where Jews were crowded inside and usually died of disease and starvation.   After that they created extermination camps which used poison gas, following which they put the bodies into ovens for mass cremation. The neighbors knew what was emanating from the smokestacks.

Other groups were also singled out, but in much smaller numbers such as gays, Gypsies, mentally ill,  disabled , and Jehovah’s Witnesses, but nothing could compare to the Holocaust which refers to the estimated 6 million murdered Jews.  When Jews tried to escape to other countries, they were often met with hostility and were sent back.

 

Nazis used cattle cars to transport Jews and others to concentration camps. They offered no food or water to those in the  crowded stifling, filthy  cars.  Some died on the way.  Most  were gassed on arrival and then burned in ovens. Those who lived for awhile usually succumbed to exhaustion and starvation.      Photos by Paul Goldfinger from a live streamed commemorative broadcast from Israel.

 

Nazi shooting of civilians. Times of Israel.   That method of extermination resulted in an estimated 2.5 million Jewish deaths. Victims were rounded up, marched to an open area where pits had been dug by prisoners, and then lined up to be shot.    Numbers come  from meticulous German records. Yad Vashem has a film of this taken surreptitiously by a passing soldier.

 

This rare image is from the Holocaust Museum. (Yad Vashem) in Jerusalem. A solder is about to shoot a woman holding a child.

 

Women in concentration camps had their hair shaved off.  Most who arrived in the camps were murdered in gas chambers . They were stripped naked and marched into “showers.”   Many were accompanied by their children.   Violent sexual assaults were common.

 

SS guards greet the trains and then storm the doors.

 

 

 

Courageous Jews barricaded and resisting  in the Warsaw Ghetto held out longer than expected, but finally the survivors were marched off to their deaths if they weren’t killed by artillery and tanks. 1943.  Rare photograph. Very few photographs or footage  survived the war. Photography was banned by the Nazis.

 

In Israel the Holocaust Remembrance Day is  held at Yad Vashem, the amazing Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.  There also is a remarkable Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. You need two days to visit it.

6 million innocent Jews were killed by the Nazis as were many millions more across  Europe and Russia. An unbelievable number of Russian civilians and soldiers died.  But the Holocaust , specific towards Jews,  was just born out of hatred.  The underlying reason was anti-semitism which had been around long before Nazi Germany.

Hitler almost succeeded in accomplishing the “final solution.”   Despite all the dead, there were some  survivors, and they often dedicate themselves to telling their stories in an effort to prevent hate alone from destroying lives in the future. But for “survivors” and their families, the scars are handed on from generation to generation. In 2012 the Camp Meeting brought a survivor to OG to speak.

Here is a link to that event in the Grove.  This survivor is still alive (2023)

 

2012 program in Ocean Grove

 

Survivor is reunited with family in New York City. Still image by Paul Goldfinger.

 

A personal note: I am a 2nd generation Jewish-American. My family came from Poland and Austria around 1900.  Both sides undoubtedly lived in those locations for at least 400 years.

Most of us lost most or all of our relatives in Europe to the murderous Nazis.  Hitler wiped out the vast majority of Jewish communities in Europe, especially in eastern Europe–where millions lived.  As the German army (Wehrmacht) swept through Poland and Russia, they were followed by the Einsatzgruppen, a branch of the SS, whose job was only to kill Jews or to ship them to concentration camps where gas chambers were more efficient at killing than bullets.

I was going through my mother’s possessions. I knew that our family kept  nothing from the “old country.”  They came here with very little.

But I found a photograph dated 1938 of one of our cousins in Poland. It must have been sent to Mom’s family in Bayonne, NJ.   And the handwriting on the front indicates that some contact was maintained and that we did learn of his fate.

 

 

From my mother’s side of the family (Poland.) 1938  “Dr. Maury”

 

On the back he wrote a personal note:   “To my dearest New World cousins.”

He signed it and dated it: “1938”

Unfortunately he didn’t escape.  I wish we knew more about him, but at least I know that he existed and should be mourned.  From his brief greeting on the back, I think I would have liked him.

Kristallnacht occurred in Germany in 1938.  Little did our cousin know that the Nazis would invade Poland in 1939 and would go about killing every Jew that they could find, and they spent a lot of manpower and resources  to do that.

One Jewish child was killed with her Mom,  and the child  was only 30 minutes old.  The crazed Nazis spared no one.

On April 27, 2022, for the Holocaust commemoration, the Bundestag (Germany) President Barbel Bas was welcomed at an official ceremony in the Knesset  (Israel parliament.) Israeli representatives have gone to Germany for events and to meet with German Jews.  It is hard for today’s Jews to go there. No one in my family has been to Germany.  I bought a Mercedes some time ago, and my cousin Marty, a veteran, asked, “Why are you driving a Nazi car?”

I said, “Many taxis in Israel are Mercedes.”

The German President  said, “The lessons of the Holocaust oblige us to give no place to antisemitism.  Germany’s responsibility hasn’t ended. We stand alongside Israel.”

 

MICHELE GARRUTI.   “Theme from Schindler’s List:”

 

Paul Goldfinger still photograph. Tremé. Jan 26, 2023

 

JON CLEAREY.   Tremé. Season 2.    “Frenchmen Street Blues.”

 

 

Jean Bredin. Tent Village. January 2023. Ocean Grove.  Blogfinger.net

 

 

THOMAS MATO BLANCHOT   “Isn’t She Lovely?”

 

 

Sunrise, North Carolina.

Paul Goldfinger. Sunrise. North Carolina.  Route 95.  Paul Goldfinger photo. 2018.

Original Broadway Cast of In The Heights.   “Sunrise.”

Mandy Gonzalez, Christopher Jackson.

 

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