Looking north!    It’s time for Grovers to speak up about the North End. This scene is from when the White Whale went up in flames. Don’t wait for the North End to be consumed by commercialism.    Paul Goldfinger photo. ©. Spring, 2019.



As most of you know, the NJDEP has been considering the North End Plan for CAFRA approvals.  CAFRA is the Coastal Area Facility Review Act of 1973.

OGNED, the “re-developers ” of the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Plan, are awaiting approval of their application.  Many of us have been concerned about the environmental impact of that project, nestled between the ocean and Wesley Lake.  The plan calls for an underground garage, condominiums, private homes, retail, and a hotel.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the NJDEP.  Their web site says, “Celebrating its 50th birthday in 2020, the DEP makes New Jersey a stronger and fairer state by protecting our environment and public health. With hard work, exceptional knowledge and expertise, the DEP’s men and women have made the agency an unfailing guardian of New Jersey’s precious natural and historic resources.”  (our italics)

The public is now invited to express their concerns to the NJDEP.   The DEP has no plans for public hearings on this topic, but any of you are in a position to communicate with them as individuals or as a group.

At Blogfinger we know about the Ocean Grove public’s opposition to the project, so now’s the time to send an email to the DEP. We know that the DEP is interested in what the citizens of Ocean Grove have to say.

Blogfinger has obtained the contact information below, thanks to the Press Department at DEP in Trenton:


“Residents wanting to comment on the proposed project may email the project manager at becky.mazzei@dep.nj.gov or send their comment to this address:


“New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Division of Land Use Regulation

P.O. Box 420, Code 501-02A

Trenton, New Jersey 08625

Attn: Neptune Supervisor “


Editor’s Note:  If you send BF a copy of your note, we will post it on this site.  Using your real name is most effective, and we will collect those notes in our comments section.

For those of you who belong to organizations in town which profess to care about the Grove’s history, safety, welfare, health, and future, you should urge them to pressure the DEP to reject this application.

The Homeowners Assoc. is planning a town-wide survey because they don’t know what to do to keep busy, so here is something that they should support forcefully. It’s about time they gave a damn!  Others which should step up include OG United,  Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Parking Alliance.

Approval of the North End as a Zone in Need of Redevelopment was illegal to begin with,  and  the Plan can still be turned back on those grounds alone, notwithstanding the environmental concerns.

This plan is not in the best interest of the people of Ocean Grove.  Speak up now or regret it later.  The DEP can stop this ill-conceived project.

Write an email. You have until Dec. 21.

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor Blogfinger.net.


HARRY NILSSON.  from Midnight Cowboy;


Don’t get lost—-get a house number. Blogfinger photo in the Grove.

This will help: deliveries, lost visitors including relatives,  prospective house hunters, emergency services,  mail men, yard sail browsers, and exploring  tourists. It also can help those parkers who need a landmark for finding their cars, but they also have to memorize or write down the street name.

In our case, our house is now called “The Beagle House” if you are on the self-guided  walking tour which you can get at the Historical Society.   Incidentally, Rev. Beagle was one of the early residents of the Grove.  But you still need to see the number if you want to visit it.

People used to have “lawn signs” for the front of their house.   I grew up in garden apartments where there were no lawn signs.  So when our 7th grade shop teacher asked us do some carpentry, we had to choose between a lawn sign or a cutting board in the shape of a pig. (But your honor, I’m Jewish—what will Mom say?     I was on the horns of a dilemma: lawn sign or pig?

I chose the pig, and Mom loved it! But we never ate pork in our house.    It is currently hanging in our Grovarian kitchen.

But the house numbers won’t help if you are lost in the fifties.   Ronnie Milsap:

Seaside Horses

Seaside Heights. October, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

Seaside Heights. October, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net  Click to enlarge.

PAUL DESMOND:   “Romance de Amor”  (arranged by Don Sebesky)


On the sentimental side

Central Park c. 1970. By Paul Goldfinger

Central Park c. 1970. By Paul Goldfinger



SUSIE ARIOLI from her album “That’s For Me”


 By Paul Goldfinger © April, 2014.

Freehold Township, New Jersey.  By Paul Goldfinger © April, 2014.  Click left


Blogfinger photo. Confusing nomenclature?  Does owning the boardwalk allow the CMA to give the inaccurate impression that Ocean Grove is a religious community?

By Paul Goldfinger, editor @Blogfinger.  Re-post from May 5, 2019. Look below for a followup piece by Jack Bredin, on the same date.

In the Asbury Park Press  article regarding the North End fire cleanup, they refer to Ocean Grove this way:    “Ocean Grove, a Victorian town known as a Methodist retreat….. ”

Blogfinger has complained in the past about how the media mischaracterizes our town all the time, from National Geographic, to the NY Times, and to the APP, which should know better.

The media like to imagine that the Grove is about nothing but the religious life of the town,  and that confusion often mixes up the name “Ocean Grove” with the name “Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association,” or “OGCMA.”

Such confusion stems in part from sloppy investigative reporting.  These media outlets seem to be unaware that there is a secular community of residents in town, and they also rarely explain that OG is part of Neptune Township.  The reporters seem to fall in love with the town’s historic origins, and they go down that road without taking the trouble to look around.

The OGCMA does nothing to counter the tendency to use “Ocean Grove” interchangeably with the “Camp Meeting Association.”  In fact they seem to promote the confusion.  Look at their 2019 summer program guide called “OCEAN GROVE 2019 SUMMER PROGRAM GUIDE” which is almost entirely about CMA activities.

They refused to include our Town-Wide Yard Sale in that booklet’s calendar, and there is no mention of the Jersey Shore Arts Center, Mary’s Place, or any other non-CMA related events, except for some of their advertisers.

We didn’t know what else might be going on in town because they did not solicit any other events to place in their “Ocean Grove” calendar.

In the article about the new three year pledge drive ($1.5 million) the Chair of the campaign refers to “ensuring the spiritual vision for Ocean Grove.”  She then goes on to quote the New Testament  in describing the “spiritual theme” of the campaign.  The official name of the drive is “An American Treasure”—a euphemism for a fund raiser that is not about America or treasure.

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to call the drive,  “Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association Fund Raising Drive”–or some other name that makes it perfectly clear what the fund raising is all about?

The use of language to identify this town, its activities, and even its “landmarks” such as the boardwalk should be chosen to provide meaningful, not confusing, terminology.

See the comments.


Ocean Grove was founded as a religious summer community. It was run by Methodist ministers, and Alfred Cookman was one of them. His story has been told on Blogfinger. Do a search.


Blogfinger posted a piece on May 5, 2019  (scroll up)  about the confusion in terminology for those who are unsure about the relationship of the Town of Ocean Grove to the Camp Meeting Association.  The unique story of the CMA in OG, with its history of running the town for over 100 years, making laws, and prevailing here in so many ways, up to the present, has to be unheard of across the country.  If anyone knows of some comparable place, please let us know.

That  post is called, “How to Refer to Our Town.”

If you look at the comments section of that article, you will see a statement by Grover 13 who thinks he/she knows the truth.  Jack Bredin was moved to try and explain the background of some of this, and his contribution below is very special–I’ve never seen anyone else take a shot at explaining that history.  .—–Paul Goldfinger,  Editor, Blogfinger.net


To Grover 13 from Jack Bredin, Researcher/reporter/historian  at Blogfinger.net:

“For over 100 years, from 1869-1980, the “Town” of Ocean Grove was first “illegally permitted” by Ocean Township in 1869 and then by Neptune Township from 1879-1980 to act as its own municipality. OG had their own police department, court, board of health, etc. The “Town” was operated pursuant to CMA rules and not State Law; and the OG residents could not vote for the OG “governing body” which was the CMA.  However, the OG residents did have the privilege to pay taxes to Neptune and vote for the Township Committee.

“And so the residents in fact had two (2) governing bodies, both acting outside State Law, but I don’t blame the CMA for doing what the Township permitted them to do. However, in 1980, the NJ Supreme Court said this all must stop.

“Ocean Grove was also founded by the CMA as a Camp Meeting Ground for people who belonged to the Methodist Church, but the CMA is not the Methodist Church in town; St. Paul’s is the Church.

“The CMA registered with the NJ Secretary of State as a corporation. When the Corporation “divided” the land into 2,000 parcels, one (1) share of voting stock should have been issued to each “Lot Owner.” As a result, OG residents could not vote for their OG municipal governing body or at a stock holders meeting.

“As NJ State Land Use Law, State Land Use Standards, and State Land Use Procedures evolved over the years throughout the State, land use law and procedures in OG remained unchanged, and they are now interpreted by the Neptune Township “Land Use Administrator” who has no authority to make any land use decisions.

“Is it any wonder why OG has so many land use problems?

“Paul Goldfinger is one of the few people in OG trying to make sense of it all, and Blogfinger is the only one reporting on it.”


BEATLES:   (Paul McCartney)

“The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door”

Sinusitis: You can get a print of this, suitable for framing, by writing the Mayo Clinic.


The Washington Post (2/15, Huget) “The Checkup” blog reports, “A study released Tuesday adds to the growing body of science suggesting that with some infections, including those of the sinuses, antibiotics aren’t the best course of treatment.” Investigators found “that in their study of 166 adults with sinus infections, those who were given the antibiotic amoxicillin didn’t feel better any faster than those who received a placebo. People in both groups experienced about the same amount of relief after three days.” The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Bloomberg News (2/15, Ostrow) adds, “One in five antibiotic prescriptions in the US are given to adults for sinus infections, the authors wrote. The findings suggest doctors avoid routine antibiotic treatment for patients with an uncomplicated sinus infection, they said in the study.”

Medscape (2/15, Brown) reports, “‘Considering the public health threat posed by increasing antibiotic resistance, strong evidence of symptom relief is needed to justify prescribing of antibiotics for this usually self-limiting disease,’ the authors write.”

“CDC guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of adults with sinusitis…suggested that doctors only prescribe antibiotic treatment for the condition when patients have moderately severe or severe symptoms,” WebMD (2/15, Broder) notes.

Blogfinger Medical Commentary by Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC.  This post is from 2013, but is still valid.

It has been known for over fifty years that most upper respiratory infections  (URI’s) are due to viruses and not bacteria.  Why is that important?  Because viruses do not respond to antibiotics, while bacteria do.  When I went to med school they taught us to rule out Strep throat (the cause of rheumatic heart disease) with a throat culture and treat with penicillin if positive.

If the  culture was negative, and since most URI’s are viral, we were encouraged to withhold antibiotics and treat with decongestants, humidifiers and analgesics.  Then, if signs of bacterial overgrowth were to develop later (e.g. a bronchitic cough, discolored sputum, fever, signs of pneumonia, etc.) then an antibiotic could be added.  The main reason why everyone with a URI should not get antibiotics is because of concern about a major public health problem—antibiotic resistance.

Many patients with URI’s involving the nose and throat also have sinusitis, which is one of the most common conditions that doctors treat. It is very uncomfortable, and patients expect doctors to give antibiotics—most do.  The study above shows that for patients with uncomplicated rhinosinusitis (rhino refers to your nose), antibiotics do not reduce symptoms better than placebo.  About 70% of cases will subside spontaneously.  The study was done using a special questionnaire called SNOT-16. Who says doctors have no sense of humor?

Even if bacteria are present in the sinuses, antibiotics may not work, because the sinuses are closed spaces with limited drainage; good drainage is an essential aspect of curing infections. Complicated and/or recurrent sinus infections can be difficult to treat, and ENT docs have a variety of approaches to such cases.

But if you have a “common cold” with or without an element of sinus infection, the problem usually will resolve without antibiotics. If you are sick, let your doctor decide.

ADELAIDE’S  LAMENT..from Guys and Dolls:

Violet at the Arte Restaurant. April 9, 2013.

Violet at the Arte Restaurant. April 9, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click left for full view.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger   (This post was originally published on Blogfinger  in April, 2013)

While shooting some images in Greenwich Village, I wandered over to University Place for a Blogfinger Film Festival meeting with our producer Marlee. On the way I spotted a small restaurant just a few steps down the block on East 9th Street.   The restaurant caught my eye for two reasons.  One is that it is a place that looks like Europe.  There were tables out front with flowers , and the rich colors  of the facade  and the lights showing from inside said, “Eat here—it’s authentic.”

The other element that made the image even more visually arresting was the presence of a very tall young lady walking back and forth in front, speaking on a cell phone.  Her striking appearance was enhanced by her color scheme—-bright turquoise  shoes and yellow skirt.

I went up to her and asked if I could photograph her.  She said, “Sure.”   It turns out that she is Violet Hasangjekja. I could not resist asking about her nationality.  She said that she and her family are from Montenegro. Violet is the manager, supervisor, and event planner for the  family-owned Arte Restaurant at 21 East 9th Street.   The cuisine is Northern Italian.  The neighborhood is very scenic—right near the Washington Mews, one of the most famous streets in the City.

I was intrigued, so I went home later  to review all the visitors that came to Blogfinger from Montenegro in 2012. There was just one.  Violet’s image on the blog will make her our second Montenegrin visitor.

GLORIA ESTEFAN:  This song  “Hablas de mi” is  not what you might probably hear in Montenegro, but it means “talking about me” and we are talking about Violet, and this music seems to fit with her charming image.

Paris Blossoms

Paris flower market. by Paul Goldfinger  Re-posted from Blogfinger.net  January, 2015. ©

SOUNDTRACK:   Madeleine Peyroux is an American who has spent many years in France.  This song, sung in French, is called “La Javanaise.”  Supposedly it is difficult to translate. But it evidently is a bitter-sweet love song—something about true love only lasting as long as a romantic dance.

So, forget the translation. Everything in Paris is about love—at least that is its reputation, so just enjoy it and imagine what it means.

—-Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

MADELEINE PEYROUX   from her album Half the Perfect World  This song, “La Javanaise” was performed in the movie the Shape of Water by Madeleine Peyroux in 2017.

Madeline Peyroux

Madeline Peyroux


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