What to do if you can’t get on the beach? This Paul Goldfinger photo is from 2016, but that was another story. ©. And here the benches were available.


The CMA may close down entrances if beach gets too crowded. This photo is from another time when our beach was closed. Paul Goldfinger 2016.


What else can you do if you can’t get on the beach. Paul Goldfinger photo 2016 when the beach was closed. ©


If you are curious about that 2016 Labor Day beach closing, here is a BF link.

2016 link

By Paul Goldfinger Editor Blogfinger. net, reporting from my home office while looking at Barbara Burns closeup for a Zoom hour.  Speaking of talking heads, there were a few others also.

We have often criticized the CMA for keeping the citizens in the dark about its policies.  But recently, Pres. Michael Badger has giving interviews with the Coaster and the APP, but he usually says what he says and takes no questions.

However today, at the first virtual meeting of the HOA, two CMA officials showed up and willingly answered questions from the 72 virtual visitors who logged on.  In addition to Badger, Jaimie Jackson, the COO also participated.

It was a potpourri of topics, but mostly it was about beach badges, COVID related policies, tents, dogs, bikes, benches, beach capacity, relations with the OG residents demographic, “secular programming,” toilets, stolen toilet paper, surfer beach, bazaar and book sales.

Congratulations to Barbara Burns, the HOA president, for keeping the flow going and recognizing all questions.  The Coaster will gladly supply us all with a blow by blow account on Thursday, but today Blogfinger will reminisce with you regarding some moments that interested us:

a.  The CMA is weighing a wide variety of options about how to make the oceanfront work best during these difficult times.  One question was whether they would consider opening the North End surfers’ beach at times for swimmers if the beach crowd became very heavy.

Yes, they might do that, but surfers would be banned at those times.  One option is to restrict surfing on weekends and to open that Northside beach.

b. More season badges might be allocated depending  largely on maintaining COVID safety conditions at the beach, mostly related to crowd  cooperation and numbers.  Enforcement will be by Special Law Enforcement Officers (“SLEO’s”) supplied by the Township. There will be two during the day and one each evening. They will patrol the beach, boardwalk, tents and cottages.   The CMA has no enforcement powers .

But the lifeguards will have to  take part in enforcement if a crowded  situation were to develop at the water’s edge.  Whistles will blow, and the crowd will move away.

One interesting enforcement issue is that no “toy sharing” will be allowed.  And, there is no sharing of badges allowed either.

And they might consider weekday season passes for residents.

c.  Move-in day for 114 tents takes place today, May 30.  They did not discuss the concerns about virus transmission there.

d. Regarding COVID concerns,  the use of masks outdoors is “strongly encouraged.”

e. 10 portable toilets will be serviced each day.  Stolen toilet paper is a problem.  Benches are taped, but exceptions are made for some who are handicapped, etc.

f.  As for beach capacity, we had reported that a scientific approach measuring beach capacity was being used to determine how many badges to issue, but the CMA has abandoned that method preferring instead to use the eyeball approach to judge crowding.  If they notice that distancing is failing, they will close entrances one at a time.  The reaction to that method was not well received.

Day badges will be sold each day at 5 pm  the night before.  Those who sent in checks for season badges will have first priority when more are issued.

g. Did the CMA give preference to outsiders for badges over OG residents, and, “in general” does the CMA put the interests of outsiders ahead of residents?    Barbara Burns said that some Grovers felt that residents were ignored by the CMA ,” and Blogfinger has made that point as well many times.

But the CMA totally denied the truth of that.  Badger said that he cannot give preferential treatment to residents because that is “illegal.”  But he did not account for the fact that his public pronouncements on various topics never recognize the existence of the “we the people” demographic.

Jackson went further saying that the CMA “goes our of our way” to care about “year round residents” including keeping the beach and boards open year round and providing free events.

Pres. Burns reminded him that their mega-events cause problems for Grover residents including parking and congestion, saying that we “feel invisible at times.”

The CMA must look harder at this matter because their credibility and good relations with the town is at stake, and it goes deeper than whether The Beach Boys come back again or not.

Interestingly, Jackson denied that there is such a category as “secular” in town.  He claims that “all of our activities are part of our mission.”

As far as big events like concerts, the “gathering” COVID-19 rules will govern that, and the CMA is being careful not to cancel events too soon, pending further “opening” of categories currently under lockdown.  Even the summer band on the boardwalk is currently out of business.

h. Bikers have been perpetually confused by the hours and the times of the year.  Someone asked to make the signs better, but another idea which they might consider is to ban bicycles altogether  on the boards.

Blogfinger hopes that you have enjoyed this mixed bag.   Feel free to comment on any of this, but be prepared for a commentary free-for-all, however that’s how the meeting was.

Neptune Administrator Vito Gadaleta was there also, and we will give you a summary of that soon.







New tree planted on the north side in Firemen’s Park by Neptune DPW. 5/28/20. Blogfinger photo. ©

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor@Blogfinger.net

One day after BF complained   (with a photo)  about a dead tree in Firemen’s Park, a crew from Neptune Township arrived to dig up the deceased weep-no-more cherry, replacing  it with a white lilac tree donated by a neighbor who lives across from the park.

In years past, the north-side park neighbors donated trees and benches, and today’s donation carries that tradition forward. A lilac tree can grow up to 25 feet but some still consider it to be a bush.

The CMA approved the project since they own all the parks in the Grove, including those “maintained” by the Township.  But the care given to parks in the Grove is sad.

In the case of Firemen’s Park, there are three fingers in the pie:  CMA, Neptune and Fire Dept, but none of those sees to it that the park is properly maintained. Look at the “grass” in the photo.   That’s where kids play and dogs poop.

Some of the large trees in this park have not been pruned correctly for safety.   The electric company comes around to protect their wires.

The name “Grove” is ironic for a town that pays so little attention to its trees.

SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY AND THE POOR FOOLS.    “Mexicali Waltz”.  Songs from the Barn.   His group is usually the Asbury Jukes, but this album was with the Poor Fools.  It was recorded in 2013 at Jon Bon Jovi’s Middletown, New Jersey studio in a converted Monmouth County horse barn.

When we moved to Mt. Hermon Way, across the street on the north side of Firemen’s Park, a neighbor told us that Southside Johnny was renting an apartment just a few doors down from us.

But she warned us that Southside liked his privacy, so we shouldn’t stare or indicate that we recognized him. Of course, we wouldn’t have recognized him even without the heads up.

He was living right across from where this tree is being planted.  But he was known to have rented short-term  in various locations in town.

Southside grew up in Ocean Grove, on its south side.   Here is a Wiki quote:

Lyon was born in  Neptune, NJ, and grew up in Ocean Grove, NJ.   He grew up in a home full of music and with his parents’ big record collection of blues and jazz; his father played bass in bands. “I grew up on music. We listened to Billie Holiday, T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters and Big Joe Turner.

“My parents loved music, the louder the better. My father played in bands for years, and my mother went into labor with me at some seedy New Jersey club. I guess some things were just meant to be.”

In 1967; Lyon graduated from Neptune High School with Garry Tallent and Vinni Lopez who both would go on to play with him in the future.

7/17/17., Re-post.   Photo by Moe Demby,  Blogfinger staff © Seaside Heights, NJ

Blogfinger posted an article with this Moe Demby image regarding the recovery of Seaside Heights after Sandy. The piece also has an iconic image after Sandy:

Seaside Heights recovery

MILLS BROTHER    from the movie soundtrack  The War


Bohemian Girl: Internet photo

Bohemian Girl: Internet photo


Written in 1843 by M.W. Balfe, this aria is the most famous from that work. In the 20th century, the story was adapted for a Laurel and Hardy movie.

The singer, Meav Ni Mhachatha is from Ireland and is a beautiful blond with a sweet voice, one of the founders of the group Celtic Woman, an all female ensemble which is known for performing traditional Irish music.  —-PG

From Act II of the Bohemian Girl:   “I Dreamt I Dwelled in Marble Halls,”

“I dreamt that suitors sought my hand;

“That knights upon bended knee,

“And with vows no maiden heart could withstand,

“They pledg’d their faith to me;”


Hydrangea. From Southernliving.com

Hydrangea. From Southernliving.com


By Miss Pegi.   (This piece was written in 2014, but Pegi’s  wise words are still true:)

I don’t think anyone really enjoyed this past winter. If possible we should leave it in the past and focus on the warm sun and the bursting forth of spring. However, it may not be possible when we have to look at the Hydrangeas. Winter slammed them hard. They are pitiful.

The snowball type and the lacecap type both come in many sizes and assorted colors. Some of the newer varieties are so dark pink they are almost red. Most Hydrangeas work well down the shore since they bloom in early summer to late summer and hold their flowers for a long time. This year??? Not so much.

The most common Hydrangeas bloom on last year’s growth. The way it works is this year’s green shoots make next year’s flowers. That is why you should never cut a hydrangea all the way down in the spring. It may look like dead sticks, but only the ones that made flowers last year are actually dead. The rest will sprout happy green buds and later make fabulous flowers. Once you see the green buds, prune the sticks that don’t have any.

Hydrangea in trouble. By Miss Pegi. May 2014. ©

Hydrangea in trouble. By Miss Pegi. May 2014. ©  Click left to enlarge.

The cold, cold weather along with ice and snow pruned everything. All over Ocean Grove (and the rest of the State) are brown crunchy sputnik-like plants with a crown of thick green leaves at the base. Luckily, the roots are tougher than the rest of the plant and just about every one will turn into a lovely green bush. Only newer varieties, such as the Endless Summer series, that have the ability to bloom later in the season on new growth will grace us with flowers this year. Also the PeeGee types, that are less common but only bloom on new growth should do fine. Strawberry Vanilla is a new PeeGee type. The blooms open white and turn pink as the season progresses. It also continues to make new flowers so you can have white, white and pink, and all pink clusters at the same time.

Damaged hydrangea properly pruned.

Damaged hydrangea properly pruned. By Miss Pegi. May, 2014. ©

So if you haven’t pruned your hydrangeas yet, you should get to it. Those ugly sticks will hang around forever and may stick out above the branches even as the green shoots take over. The plants will benefit from a shot of fertilizer and your forgiveness. They would bloom if they could. As a comfort to the disappointed, all those green shoots should make an amazing display next year!


Editor’s Note: Pegi Costantino is a gardening expert.  She has written books on the subject  and has had a radio show on Sunday mornings (8:00 am) for over 25 years. It is called “The Garden Show” on 1450 am WCTC.  She goes under the name of Pegi Ballister-Howells.

Pegi is also the founder of the new Woman’s Club of Ocean Grove. Check their Facebook page.

She has graciously agreed to write a series of short pieces addressing some of the challenges of gardening in Ocean Grove.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger


MARTY ROBBINS.   From the soundtrack of Scorcese’s The Irishman


Thermal spa in Montecatini, Tuscany , Italy By Paul Goldfinger ©

Montecatini, Tuscany , Italy By Paul Goldfinger ©


The old Tuscan hill town of Montecatini is famous for its thermal baths. You go there and walk around with your hands clenched behind your back, stopping to have a cup of their warm “curative” water.

You can take a warm bath, do some breathing treatments, listen to live classical music or just people watch, which is what we did.

Besides the water, you might want to try their Chianti and Brunello wines.  After all, red wine is also curative.


RONALD NALDI:  “O Paese d’O Sole.” (“Land of the Sun” from his album of Neapolitan music)

Eileen has returned from sheltering in Fla to sheltering in OG, but now she has her garden back.

JUDY KUHN AND MALCOM GETS.  from the album Rodgers, Rodgers and Guettel

“We’re Gonna Be All Right”

Central Park by Stephen Goldfinger. Blogfinger.net. ©



YO YO MA AND JAKE SHIMABAKURO.  From the album Songs of Joy and Peace.   “Happy Christmas. (War is Over.)


Asbury Park, Main Street. May, 2020. Blogfinger photo ©.



*The headline is a quote from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke


SANTO AND JOHNNY.    “Sleep Walk.”


Have I sinned?

Paul Goldfinger photograph. Ocean Grove boardwalk. August 2019. ©. Click to enlarge.

DONNIE ELBERT.   From the original soundtrack score of  The Irishman.