Archive for the ‘Blogfinger editorial’ Category

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Rutherford High School  (NJ) Yearbook.   RHS Dance Band  (Rutherfordians)  on top. I am third sax from the left.  We wrote and put on a variety show. Students volunteered.   Who knew that some of our classmates were talented—their performances were magic moments. Greg Thompson was a photographer for the school newspaper, but this day he was Fred Astaire—a magic moment for sure.   And Carol in the left lower corner: Wowee!


The gorilla suits were my idea–to mock the hoods from Lyndhurst High. It was Sharon and Janie inside.  When they came running down the center aisle, that was magic.   For those of  you who are wondering, we are missing our baritone sax player for the photo.  Yes, you are correct–a sax section has 5 players, with the baritone on the right side end. We’re still searching for him.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @ Blogfinger.net   (Former sports editor at the R-Hi)

It begins at a very early age:  we teach children to imagine magic.  It’s in so many of the books for kids, so we can’t be surprised if they engage in magical thinking as they grow older.

But even as adults, we still  have magical ideation to help us deal with the realities and challenges of the world around us.  We use such  thinking to see into the future and foresee perfect moments.

Such moments, even if the magic fails us, tend to stick in our minds.

I recall three such events from when I was 16 or 17 years old,  a senior at Rutherford (NJ) High School:

The first  moment to remember was on the stage with the  “dance band” –The Rutherfordians.  I played lead alto sax.  My sound was admirable and I was competent at sight-reading music, but I had no idea how to improvise a solo, and nobody in the band was advanced enough for that.

We were rehearsing the “Theme from Peter Gunn”–a raucous tune to open our forthcoming show. The music reached a point where a sax solo was desirable, and the boys in the band were encouraging me to do it—“Come on Goldie; stand up and play  it.”  I demurred , knowing that I couldn’t do it, but they persisted, and I somehow envisioned a magic moment.  So I stood up and tried, but it wasn’t there, and I had to sit down—–a failure of magical thinking.


The second took place on a chilly autumn day, on a muddy soccer field.  As a senior varsity player for the RHS Bulldogs, I desperately wanted to do something for the team and to justify their playing me at center forward.

I won a starting position out of sheer good fortune—we barely had enough players to field a team and we were losing every game, and I wished for a magic moment.

It came in the second half.  Our goalie, Tim Krupa, was an amazing all-state player  (who later played for Columbia)  and he could kick the ball a mile. He sent one up the field—high and long, and I raced to catch up with it.  The ball bounced and bounced towards the opposing goal, with me trying to catch it.  I could hear the team yelling from the bench and I really needed some magic.

Here was the magic moment:   I was pursuing the ball while the goalie prepared for our arrival.  It should have been a heroic moment, but just as I caught up with the ball, it bounced off my chest and lamely dribbled into the hands of the goalie.  Ignominy–not magic.


And finally, I was playing on the RHS junior varsity in basketball.  But the varsity coach needed to fill his bench for a big game–So I got to sit on the varsity bench for that game knowing that I was there just for the optics.  Anyhow, late in the game coach put me in.  The game was already decided–we were losing.  I went onto the court, and we had the ball. A pass was tossed to me. I took one dribble, tried a jump shot and then I was clobbered by a nasty foul.

So I went to the line for 2 shots.  I can’t imagine how I could possibly hit even one……but I hit two.  A roar went up from the stands.  And so, a bit of magic, and I am in the RHS varsity basketball record books forever!

But isn’t it funny how such moments stick with us and how, no matter how old we get, we still can experience some  magic moments and failed magic moments, and we still retain them along with the accompanying feelings that never diminish?





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“Nu Couché” by Modigliani was painted in 1917. It just sold for $170.4 million and is considered to be a great masterpiece.  NY Times 11/10/15

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

Re-posted and slightly edited from the original 2015  BF post.     This topic reminds me of recent (2017) debates about the definition of “harassment” of women.

Definition of objectifying women:   ” Female sexual objectification by a male involves a woman being viewed primarily as an object of male sexual desire, rather than as a whole person.”   (Wikipedia )

But the definition of objectification includes more than just that.  It also includes a  broader statement as  “treating anyone or any idea as a physical  object.”

The  painting   “Nu Couché” by Amedeo Modigliani  (above)  sold yesterday  (2015) at Christie’s for  $170.4 million and  made headline news all over the world, but the reporting did not raise the issue of Modigliani’s objectifying women.

After all, ever since man could draw a picture on a cave wall he would draw a naked woman. When photography was invented in the early 19th century, what do you think was first photographed?  And, of course naked women have captured the creative juices of many male and female artists over the years, and the images are not always complimentary of the female form.

There are some female photographers who have achieved fame by photographing women, sometimes in a highly sexualized way. I wonder how many of those critics who attacked Blogfinger would have criticized Ruth Bernhard, a famous artist known for her erotic black and white images of the female nude.  Her work was compared to that of Ansel Adams, and in 2014,  a retrospective of her photographs was shown in New York City at the Peter Fetterman Gallery.  The exhibit was called “The Eternal Nude.”  She also has published a number of books of her work and she has won many awards.   Can anyone seriously claim that only men can be accused of “objectification?”

Picasso is a good example of an artist who loved to paint and sculpt  women, often  with bulging eyes and multiple breasts   (see below.)  That painting  (“Les Femmes d’Alger”  1955) sold for $179.4 million in 2015.   Would any of  you feminists accuse him of objectification?  And how about Georgia O’Keefe whose paintings of flowers were often likened to female genitalia?

Picasso. $179.4 million. NY Times. Nov 10, 2015.

The sale of the Nu Couché  reminded me of  two incidents this past summer when Ocean Grovers, two women and one man, accused me of “objectifying” women in our series “Girls in Their Summer Clothes.” You can search above to see some of those photographs from that series, but you will find that none of the women are naked, disrespected,  or even objectified.

On one occasion we posted a photo of a  female OG lifeguard in a bikini munching on a Weezer ice.  The image was taken by a woman on our staff. Would she be accused of objectification?   Here is a link to Jean Bredin’s  photo;

2017 lifeguard photo

This 2017 photo on Ocean Pathway is from our “Girls in Their Summer Clothes” series. It was accompanied by a discussion of her visit to Ocean Grove.  Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©

There are incidences when the phrase  “objectification of women” might fairly fit, as when a woman’s body is used to sell a product, but our photographs do not fit  by any reasonable standard, and I believe the accusation has been overdone in our society.

Sometimes political correctness results in nonsensical allegations, such as when feminists say that photographing or looking  at a woman in a mini-skirt is objectifying her.  The attacks on Blogfinger fall into that category.

Women have been making great strides in the US  in an effort to be appreciated as whole individuals and not the sum of their parts.  Attacking responsible segments of our society such as Blogfinger for objectification of  women is to be small minded, to distort reality, to divert attention from the important goals of women, and to turn them into victims when just the opposite is necessary.


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RAlly on September 3, 2007. Tabernacle. Paul Goldfinger photo.©

Rally on September 3, 2007. Tabernacle. Paul Goldfinger photo.©



Sunday service in the Boardwalk Pavilion on Sept 2, 2007. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Sunday service in the Boardwalk Pavilion on Sept 2, 2007. Paul Goldfinger photo ©



Youth Temple: Community joins together to raise money after Sandy. c. 2014 Paul Goldfinger photo

Youth Temple: Community joins together to raise money after Sandy.
c. 2014 Paul Goldfinger photo


By Paul Goldfinger, MD,  Editor @Blogfinger  (April, 2015 ).  Update in 2020 and repost in 2021.

On January 13, 2013, about 300,000 marchers converged on Paris to oppose the idea of legalizing gay marriage in France.

Earlier that week, the Episcopal Diocese of the Washington, D.C. area announced that gay marriage ceremonies will be held in the National Cathedral, the 6th largest in the world. In 2013, the US Supreme Court  ruled in favor of gay marriage in two cases, the first such cases since they last looked at it 10 years before.

So far, 37 states and the District of Columbia allow gays and lesbians to marry including New Jersey which joined the group on October 21, 2013.

The issue has been contentious in those states where, so far, gay marriage has not been legalized, although there are civil union laws in some states.   Now, about 75% of the population lives in places where gay marriage is legal.

Gay marriage also is a cause for debate by many religions in the US and around the world. The Episcopal church has had a wrenching controversy about gay marriage, and their ruling, which allows such ceremonies in states where it is legal, has caused members and parishes to leave the church.

The United Methodist Church has been discussing changing its policies. Many Fortune 500 corporations have given support to the gay marriage movement. Public opinion has been changing rapidly in that direction as well, and President Obama has reversed himself on the subject. Now over 50% of citizens polled across the country support gay marriage.

Currently the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments regarding whether same sex marriage is a a right under the 14th amendment regarding equal protection under the laws. That ruling will be issued in June.*

Ocean Grove received state-wide and national attention over the 2007 Pavilion controversy. The Camp Meeting Association had refused to allow a lesbian couple have a civil union ceremony in the Boardwalk Pavilion, and later the State of New Jersey ruled the CMA guilty of discrimination. It resulted in the formation of a gay rights organization in the Grove (Ocean Grove United.)

But the brouhaha in the Grove  was not about civil unions per se, nor did it have anything to do with gay marriage.   It wasn’t even about the tenets of the Methodist Church to ban gay unions and marriages in their churches. Instead it was about discrimination in that one building.

The Boardwalk Pavilion was judged to be a public place, so turning the gay couple away on religious grounds was ruled discriminatory by the State.  And this event in Ocean Grove became part of the fabric of the gay rights movement in New Jersey.

Some wondered whether the Grove would get a reputation as being an anti-gay town and if our town would become a lightening rod for gay issues which might erupt with any local provocation such as the 2013 refusal of the Asbury Park Council to support the OG FEMA appeal.  That refusal was based on the views of some Asbury councilmen who connected the Pavilion matter to their decision to support The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association or not with the FEMA appeal, and they chose not.  (Subsequently they wisely changed their minds.)

In 2012, when Kirk Cameron came to speak about marriage in the Great Auditorium, there was a demonstration involving perhaps 200 people who protested his appearance because of anti-gay rhetoric which supposedly had expressed elsewhere. The event resulted in a great deal of publicity, even though no actual anti-gay rhetoric on his part occurred then in the Grove.

In July 2013, when Mike Huckabee came to preside at Sunday services in the Great Auditorium, a meeting was held to discuss free speech in the Grove. In attendance were officials of the Camp Meeting and of Ocean Grove United. Just the fact of such a meeting points up how sensitive these issues can be in this town.

Ocean Grove is a unique village, not only because of the significant presence of a religious-based group that follows the tenets of the Methodist Church, but also because of a relatively large gay community living here.

It is fundamentally a tolerant town, but because of past experiences as outlined above, we need to keep our eyes on LGBTQ issues and try to prevent any more brush fires from igniting the whole forest.

The recent initiative of working together for the good of the town sprang from a natural disaster—Superstorm Sandy (2012.)     It created a model for everyone in the Grove to continue this neighborly attitude where everyone works for the common good.

And besides, any issue which is important to a significant number of Grovers should attract the attention of the rest of us.


2020 Update:

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that same sex marriage be legalized in all states.*

The United Methodist Church has 13 million members worldwide.  They have been struggling for over 50 years with concerns surrounding the issues of marriage equality and gay clergy.

Now, the Church is on the threshold of dividing into two branches over these controversies by forming a splinter group—a “traditionalist” Methodist denomination.

Evidently, the stage is set for the two-Church solution to become policy at a meeting in May to be attended by Church officials from all over the world including about 30% from Africa. About 55% are American.

We haven’t heard of any official notice from the OGCMA regarding which group it will associate with, but our sources tell us that the CMA will retain its past “traditional” approach in these matters.

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is not a church, but it has formed an affiliated  Ocean Grove Church which will be meeting at St. Paul’s in the off-season and at the beach in season.  We  understand that the new church will have a “brick and mortar” location on Embury Avenue, but no details have been announced.

We all remember the controversies which surfaced in 2007.  Those wounds could be easily reopened without vigilance in the Grove.

So this topic regarding the split is of interest to many of us who live here and those from out of town who also care.  After Sandy, Blogfinger received  25,000 visits in one day from all over the world, so we do know that there are many who care about Ocean Grove.

Here is a link to a very good update on this topic.  It seems to be a fair presentation by VOX an on-line news site, although VOX is generally a left leaning source.

As usual, comments are welcome here on Blogfinger.



2021 update:   The UMC has decided to delay a split in their church until 2022.  Meanwhile a conservative. “traditionalist”  group called “The Global Methodist Church” will leave the UMC regardless of the eventual decision of the General Conference.


Other churches will also not wait.  Many of those are “Progressive.”

The main issues have to due with ordination and marriage of LGBTQ people.




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Mt. Sinai Hospital 1985. Upper East Side.

Mt. Sinai Hospital early 1900’s. Upper East Side.

By Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC  (original post 2015.)

Charles K. Friedberg was Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Mt. Sinai Hospital and School of Medicine in New York City during the 1960’s until his death in a car accident in 1972. He was also the most famous cardiologist in the world, being the sole author of Diseases of the Heart, the “bible” of cardiology—–a textbook of over 1,000 pages that was translated into 6 languages.

Charles K. Friedberg, MD

Charles K. Friedberg, MD  Paul Goldfinger photo  ©

He was the Chief of the Cardiology Department at “Sinai” when I took my cardiology residency there. Dr. Friedberg was famous not only as an author, scholar, editor, researcher and teacher, but also as a brilliant clinician, so it was a great privilege to make rounds with him at the hospital.

In 1985, Nanette Wenger, MD, from  Emory University School of Medicine, who trained under Dr. Friedberg, wrote a tribute to him and said, “Author of the classic textbook of cardiology, Diseases of the Heart, his knowledge was encyclopedic; and his eloquence in describing and his skills in analyzing, organizing, and categorizing clinical cardiac problems remain unparalleled.”

“CKF” was the man to see if a patient had a problem that no one could solve.   Many of his patients were captains of industry and celebrities, but they all deferred to him as they lay in their hospital beds, literally looking up to him. I recall rounding on Gus Levy, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, and seeing this extraordinarily important man chatting amiably with Dr. F. and basically adopting a “Yes, sir” attitude.     I recall rounding with him on Pearl Bailey, Frank Sinatra’s father, and many New York titans. 

But he wasn’t mainly a doctor to the stars. He rounded on the “teaching service” regularly to help the residents with their toughest cases. He always stressed talking to the patient and taking a careful history, a talent that is in danger of evaporating these days. He would walk into the room, pull up a chair and sit next to the head of the bed to have an intimate conversation with the patient, while the house staff, med students and nurses crowded around at the foot.

One time he asked me to accompany him; he was giving a lecture at St. Vincent’s Hospital in lower Manhattan. A “car” picked us up, and when we arrived, I walked into the auditorium of this Catholic hospital with him. There were nuns around and crosses on the walls.   I was wearing my “whites” and on the jacket sleeve was the red Mt. Sinai emblem, complete with Hebrew writing. It was a bit ironic, and I felt like I was accompanying a great rabbi on a Papal visit.

At Mt. Sinai, a hospital created in 1852 to provide healthcare for immigrant Jews, the medical staff was mostly Jewish, although there were many exceptions. Jim Dove was a very Waspish kind of guy, but he went out of his way to become a resident there, and the other residents would always kid him about it. Jim eventually became president of the American College of Cardiology.

I loved the jokes and the cultural references that were quite a change for me, coming from a med school where there were more Mormons than Jews. Both our sons were born at Sinai, and Eileen had a room in the “private” Guggenheim Pavilion where they gave her lobster. She didn’t want to leave.

Charles Friedberg, MD was from an era when creative doctors at medical centers could do research and teaching, while still maintaining a private practice. It was hard to imagine how he found the time to write his book all by himself, and we used to speculate who might have secretly helped him, but we never could prove the point.

One time he invited all the attendings and residents (and spouses)  from the Cardiology Dept. to his elegant Fifth Avenue apartment which was spacious and grand. It had many rooms and even its own elevator. He and his wife were gracious hosts, and his library had a row of his books in multiple editions and in multiple languages.

It was the art of medicine that distinguished Dr. Friedberg’s  approach to patient care—something that you can’t get from a text book or a medical journal, and despite today’s emphasis on practice guidelines, physician assistants, controlled trials, and electronic medical records, doctors will not be as effective if they lose that special doctor-patient connection that has been handed down from Hippocrates to teachers like Dr. Friedberg. Let’s hope that the upstarts who are taking over healthcare get to appreciate that point.

ADDENDUM:   Woody in Hannah and her Sisters gets cured of a brain tumor at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

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Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor  Blogfinger.net 

 2020 re-post  (The original question posited in the headline is still valid.)

There are multiple factions in the small town of Ocean Grove (pop  3,700,) and these organized groups are largely isolated from each other. Woven into the fabric are homeowners and renters who live here but do not belong to any organizations, thus becoming, by default, a faction of their own.

According to social scientist Steve Valk, whose family has lived here for several generations, it would be important for these factions to find ways to appreciate and cooperate with each other. For example he cites the religious groups and the secular groups which ought to find common ground for the benefit of the town. One example of such cooperation is the recent interaction, since Sandy, between Ocean Grove United (OGU) and the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association  (CMA); however we have recently seen how tenuous that relationship is when we recall the  recent clash about Sunday sermons.

The CMA ran the town from 1869 to 1980 as a tax paying part of Neptune Twp.—-111 years.

Neptune Township  treated OG as a sort of gated community.  The CMA made the rules and imposed blue laws until the N.J. Supreme Court put a stop to that in 1980 when Neptune  took over active governance in the Grove  (although the Neptuners were technically the governing body almost since the town’s founding.)  Since 1980, the CMA has continued its mission and  it has largely kept out of the way of Neptune Township.

But we now see the CMA and the Township working together on the North End Redevelopment Project, but suspicious elements have been revealed, and that project does not seem to be designed primarily with the town’s best interest at heart.  By 2021, the CMA, OGNED, and the Neptunites seem to be on the verge of going ahead with the NERP.

As for the Neptune Township governance, you have seen the results of our recent poll which shows that 80% of respondents mistrust  the Neptune Township Committee. Interestingly, over the years, there were times when the citizens rose up against Neptune control resulting in law suits and even a failed referendum to allow the Grove to become a separate town which it did for one year in 1925.

The other organizations here also tend to have their own agendas and to be run like private clubs. Such groups include the Homeowners Association, the Historical Society, Ocean Grove United, and the Chamber of Commerce.

They don’t work together very much for the good of the town.  They are busy with their own agendas.  For example, the Chamber of Commerce runs big events to try and drum up business for the merchants.  But what do they do for the benefit of those who live here?  We asked them to take over sponsorship of the Town-wide Yard Sale, but they refused.

 When we introduced a new idea for the town—the Blogfinger Film Festival—a benefit for the boardwalk—-only a few of the members would be sponsors for the program, and hardly any attended the event.

When we think of factions in town, we can see the visible ones, but how about the invisible ones such as families that have lived here for generations and are part of networks that act in concert with each other, with the CMA,  and with the Township governance, especially where land use, zoning,  and parking are concerned.  Let’s call that “the OG network of special interests.”

For them the town of Ocean Grove seems like a gift that keeps on giving. This network never speaks publicly, shows its face, or identifies itself, but what it does and has done will impact all of us and will determine what the town will be in the future.  Take a look at all the Grovers who are involved with OGNED and will gain financially from that North  End project; to the detriment of those of us who live here and pay taxes.

We have seen the results of favoritism for those special interests in the Greek Temple and Mary’s Place.  The North End Redevelopment Project is a good example to keep an eye on.  Who will be the winners, and who will be the losers?

Because of indifference by the public, organizations, and special interests, Ocean Grove may become an at-risk town which could end up a failed historic  place without focus and character, such as is seen in other shore towns—unless the public pays attention and the organizations here begin to work together for the overall benefit of the town and not just on their narrow pet projects, like the Homeowners Association which is currently circulating a simple-minded parking survey while ignoring the improprieties and illegalities around town regarding land use issues.  The HOA has teamed up with the Neptune Committee ever since 2008 when it supported 165 residential units, mostly condos, at the North End.

In 2002, a professor* at Monmouth University published an academic paper about OG history, emphasizing the powerful way that the activist HOA of 25-30 years ago  fought for the town and saved its life.  Below  is a quote**  from that research about that era.

Contrast the conclusion below with the current HOA which now is failing Ocean Grove through impotence, inaction, and lack of focus towards the issues which currently threaten our town the most.

The Home Groaners need to step up and save the town once again,  but this version appears to so far be hopeless in that regard.

** 2002:   “The HOA has maintained or reconstructed the carefully planned infrastructure of the founders, and even as Ocean Grove is being reborn as a contemporary tourist site, the HOA has worked with the CMA to preserve its sacred foundations. Just like the CMA, the HOA has been outstanding in its ability to secure what it wants and what it believes the community needs. Property values have risen, the community is again a safe place, tourism has been revived, an enormous amount of social capital has been generated, and the Victorian charm of the town has been restored.”

By Karen Schmelzkopf*  in the Journal of Historical Geography, 2002





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By Paul Goldfinger, MD   Video 12/22/19  Ft. Myers, Fla

As a boy I was fascinated by UFO’s.  I read whatever I could find about flying saucers and about eyewitness accounts of visitors from outer space or unexplained phenomena in the skies.  I wrote papers about it for my teachers, but they were clueless. Did you ever look into the sky and wonder about something up there?

Standing about in late afternoon on a rainy day yesterday, I looked up and saw this cloud moving  across the sky, but maybe it is not merely a cloud.  Maybe there is some other purposeful explanation. No one could say for sure. So I took a video, but it is just for Blogfinger.  I wouldn’t dare submit it to some government agency. They’ll just write it off as a natural event. Case closed.

We know so little of the mysteries around us.  As a physician I saw many unexplained  phenomena in the human body, so when something strange appeared, we would postulate an explanation and do the best we could.

A patient with a subarachnoid (brain) hemorrhage was admitted, and when I did his ECG there were profound but unexplained changes.  What was the connection.?   I kept recording the changes, but they progressed from one ECG to the next and then resolved. A day later they recurred. I photographed those changes.   How to connect the brain to the heart’s electrical patterns?  I wrote a paper about it and speculated as much as possible, but definite answers have remained unknown.

Since my paper in the Mt. Sinai Journal of Medicine, over 100 studies have been published about this, but no clear explanation has been found.  And now even Google can’t find what I said.

Humans, going back to Galileo and before, tried to understand everything, but not knowing it all is part of the human condition.  He saw the rings of Saturn, but he didn’t know exactly what they were.

And now, in 2019 A.D., have there really been visitors from outer space?


Yo-Yo Ma   “Dona Nobis Pacem: (Give Us Peace.”)


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Wegmans Ocean. Morning, 3/23/19. The missing top word is “you.” Can someone explain this public display of free speech?

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA:   “Sweet Talkin’ Woman.”

“I was walkin’, many days go by
I was thinkin’ ’bout the lonely nights
Communication break down all around’

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A man reads a newspaper by the wall. 23% of US citizens read a newspaper regularly—a declining number.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.  Original  post Jan. 2019


Ocean Grove had a local newspaper for most of its history, but there has been none for about the last 20 years.  Why is that newsworthy?  It’s because citizens need a way to receive community information.

Since 2004, ” financial cutbacks have led to the shutdown of nearly 1,800 daily and weekly newspapers.”*  In general, declining numbers of people read newspapers or care about the news.

Social media, especially Facebook, is taking an interest in this problem, recently spending over $300 million to look into the situation.   But does that source seem trustworthy?

And those who use social networking sites  for social networking (such as Twitter) get news that way.

Many people read their favorite  “newspaper” (e-editions)  on their mobile devices. Recently new sources of news post on line in a variety of formats  (eg BuzzFeed),  and much of that is suspect in terms of fake news, hoaxes, and outright lies. People have learned to verify “news” obtained on line before believing the information.

In a recent piece by the Associated Press*, a journalism professor said, “The  challenge for the news business is convincing the public–many of whom aren’t particularly enamored with journalists anyway—that this loss hurts them too, in terms of how connected they are to their communities when there is less opportunity to know what’s going on.”

In Ocean Grove, Blogfinger has been interested in certain selected local issues, such as the North End Redevelopment Plan, but we never claimed to be the “Ocean Grove newspaper.”   Our original idea to have an information sharing blog has largely failed because of lack of public input and lack of interest by the local elected officials.

We offer citizens the opportunity to bring up topics for discussion  (our “Just Wondering” segments) but there has been little cooperation.

The Coaster barely looks our way and they are not actually journalists.  And the APP is only good for headline news such as when a body was found stuffed into a car trunk on Main Avenue many years ago.

The statistics show that huge numbers of US newspapers and journalists are vanishing. “Metropolitan and regional newspapers cut circulation in outlying suburban and rural areas, while many weekly newspapers simply shuttered.”*

From England: The Guardian has declining readership.

Ocean Grove really needs a local news source to tap into.  Some small towns have online publications where a few people earn some money with ads, but covering local stories can be time consuming and difficult  (as you can see from the messy North End situation which has been ignored by all except Blogfinger.)

At Blogfinger we try to find out about selected important local stories, but we don’t have the manpower or womanpower to investigate all such news.    If we return to our blogging roots, then there will be a news blackout which will enable the Neptuners at the Mother Ship and all the rest of those indifferent local OG organizations to continue dumping on the citizens.

Human nature is such, especially in a democracy, that we take for granted certain rights and institutions. The First Amendment speaks of “freedom of the press.” What a gift that is, but when that freedom is ignored in Ocean Grove and other small towns across America, then the locals will eventually appreciate what is missing—-and who then will pick up the ball?

We will do the best we can for as long as we can.  Maybe someone will now think about what will replace us, and that time will come.

—–*David Bauder in an Associated Press article widely distributed 1/17/2019


BILLY JOEL:  “Movin’ Out

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Annual Blogfinger OG town-wide yard sale sponsored by the residents of Ocean Grove.. Paul Goldfinger photograph ©


Heck Avenue block party–an authentic neighborhood event. Click to see what they’re eating. Jean Bredin photo© Blogfinger.net

Blogfinger Commentary:   

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

In my opinion, once again, the media, made up of outsiders, miscasts the town of Ocean Grove as a predominantly religious destination.  There is much in the way of Camp Meeting events and tourism in OG  which should be mentioned in that APA write-up, but there is little recognition of the widely diverse citizen population which, through its investment in historic homes and the continually evolving lifestyles of the townspeople, make Ocean Grove the desirable “neighborhood” that it is. The APA doesn’t seem to understand the words “community” and “neighborhood.”

However, this neighborhood award is well deserved, even if the “spin” is lopsided.

The specific mention of our two lakes as “exceptional natural features” emphasizes the importance of those bodies of water and should light a fire under the Wesley Lake Commission to do something significant about the dirty street water flowing into the Lake and ultimately into the ocean off our shores.

As for the idea that the Chamber of Commerce and the OGCMA deserve special mention for “creating an overall sense of community,”  that is simply not true.  The write-up indicates that the APA failed to do its homework in evaluating our town.

Those two groups are interested predominantly  in their individual agendas, and along with Neptune Township, fail utterly to help the citizens who live in the Grove develop a stronger sense of community identity, rewarding lifestyles, and fine neighborhoods.

And finally, Neptune Township cannot take credit for the planning and evolution of our town.  The planning began with the CMA  during the 19th century, and it was the citizens who pushed for the historic designations in the late 20th.  It is the residents of this town and not tourists or Neptuners who can claim credit for our lifestyles and desirability as a community.

Blogfinger  demands that only Ocean Grovers attend the award ceremony.  Neptune Township—sit down and stay home!



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The Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove. By Paul Goldfinger.

The Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove. By Paul Goldfinger  ©  c 2015

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Have any of you noticed that there is not a single organized group in town which is willing to join with Blogfinger readers in discussing and clarifying issues which our neighbors need to know about?    In the case of the ground rent topic, why won’t the Camp Meeting help us out with clarity regarding a subject which affects them and us?   Why is the OGHOA holding back on releasing the legal opinion about ground rents which was paid for with member money?

OK,  so there is a suit and maybe the lawyer told the CMA to say nothing, but they have been silent on our forum for the last 8 years.  The same thing happened during the Pavilion matter.  But they are not the only ones—we have complained about the Chamber, OGU, Historical Society, Historic Preservation Commission, and Township  elected officials among others.

We are not complaining on behalf of Blogfinger—-  instead we are concerned about those readers who seek honest debate and factual discourse on this site.

Perhaps you have observed that none of these groups offer the opportunity for discussion on their web sites.   The Township Committee will scarcely allow citizens at their public meetings to bring up controversial issues.

I think that it is fear—-they are frightened to stand behind their views, to be honest with our readers, and, especially to have to answer questions in writing.  They won’t even do it anonymously.

The only time that such interaction actually occurred was during the few years when  Committeewoman Mary Beth Jahn participated regularly  in our comments section.  That was illuminating, honest, caring, educational and a breath of fresh air, and we won’t forget her for that.

So we currently depend on courageous readers such as Dr. Carol, Joe D, Joe G, Sal, Wisher, Frank S, J.Cortese, Kevin Chambers, David, OhGee, Paulie D, A. Curmudgeon, Tom C, OGrover, Nancy,  and many others who are not afraid to interact on BF.  And, of course, we are grateful to Jack Bredin who courageously sticks his neck out  regularly, uses his real name, and speaks truth to power on this blog and in person to the Committee.

However we would like  the “players” themselves to join in, but they are frightened of being exposed.

Recently OGU invited its members to join a women’s protest march in Washington. But why won’t they invite their members to join the conversations here regarding our town and why did they tape their mouths shut in the shadows of the Great Auditorium when they demonstrated there, refusing to talk to us about their concerns in Ocean Grove ?   Are our issues  in this town less important than politics in Washington? Did they tape their mouths in D.C.?

The former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill,  said that all politics are local, but we are having trouble getting the process going in the Grove because of fear and the corrosive silent treatment pervasive in this town.




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