Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Presents’ Category

Are the winds of zoning changes blowing again in the Grove? Are such changes good for the town? Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net  Click to Seymour.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

We have some credible information about the Aurora Hotel, #6 Atlantic Avenue in Ocean Grove,  which has been for sale for several years.

In a recent Blogfinger article we speculated that the majestic old hotel, currently officially registered as a single family home, would have to get some variances if a new owner wanted to do something with it, such as turn it into condominiums, which is what has happened to similar old buildings in the Grove in the past, despite violations of State parking laws. (RSIS).

Now we learn that the Aurora was sold in February, 2018, to a mysterious developer called “Old Forge at Ocean Grove, LLC.”  This LLC name was incorporated in New Jersey on Jan 9, 2018.

Shouldn’t Neptune discover the principals of this LLC?  What if there is someone involved who has a conflict of interest, such as a member of the Planning Board.

And the same applies to the secretive WAVE, the re-developer at the North End where some action on that plan is supposed to be brewing.

There is an application regarding the Aurora pending at Neptune Township, but no hearing has been scheduled yet.  The developer wants to convert the existing building into 4 individual residential units  (presumably luxury condos for sale.)

If we can learn from history, the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment will give permission for this, even though the property does not have enough off-street parking, and such a conversion would create even more congestion on Atlantic Avenue.

Why in the world would such a buyer purchase that building unless they were reassured, in advance, that a condo conversion would be approved or they have an escape clause pending approval or not?

God only knows what will happen.  This is crooked Ocean Grove.

Here are two  links to our recent posts on this subject, but there are others. Just use the search block at the upper right corner of this home page and type “Aurora.”

Aurora for sale BF post Jan. 2018.

Aurora false assumptions 2018 Blogfinger.net



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Marina at Shark River. Internet image.


11/3/12. No sign of Neptune workers helping with the OG cleanup. Volunteers are shown.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©



Neptune Township. Not Ocean Grove. Internet photo


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  Blogfinger.net

Last year Neptune spent over $2 million of Federal funds to complete the rebuilding of  the Shark River Municipal Marina. They also rebuilt the Riverside Park across the street.  In today’s Coaster we learn that $3 million in Neptune improvements were approved by the Committee on March 12 including a skate board park for about $500,000 and the purchase of a 2.65 acre tract for $1.25 million to be turned into a park in the Shark River Hills area.  Bonds are being issued to finance most of these projects along with some grants.   But bonds are not free.   The Township must pay interest which is supported by our taxes in the Grove.  And who will pay for building the park?

After Sandy, Neptune Township devoted a great deal of resources on recovery in that same Shark River area, but they kept their distance when it came to the recovery in Ocean Grove. We have photos of Randy Bishop setting up a headquarters trailer for Sandy relief at the Shark River, but where was the Committee on the OG side?  I was there at the ocean front cleanup zone where there were CMA officials and volunteers;  didn’t see Neptune workers anywhere.

If Neptune Township is avoiding spending in Ocean Grove because the Camp Meeting owns the land, as occurred with the ocean front cleanup after Sandy and with the limited park and sidewalk maintenance in the Grove,  then Ocean Grove should have its own lower tax rate.

So while Neptune is on a spending spree now, what will they do for the taxpayers in the Grove?  Recently they refused to hire experts to design a workable permit parking plan to help residents here.  Now they are “looking into” a shuttle bus plan to provide relief during major events, but they again wouldn’t spend some money to get a consultant involved, and they seem only mildly interested, at best.   They also failed to help the residents acquire a needed dog park or dog beach, and our parks are poorly maintained.

The Township is indifferent to OG.  We do have taxation without representation.  Just look at what they have done in the Grove, besides milking the cash cow, trying to ruin our historic preservation, allowing suspicious zoning activities, providing favoritism to certain citizens, ignoring our Master Plan, permitting our “historic district” to be flooded with tourists and cars, and ignoring State land use laws as they try to help developers.

So what have they done for us?  How about cancelling the North End redevelopment plan, buy the land by obtaining Federal grants  (as they have done elsewhere in town,) and turning those acres into a park.  Tit for tat.  We need some of that tat in the Grove.

BRIAN WILSON  “Heroes and Villains:”

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Condos on Sewall Avenue in A. Park March, 2018. Garages enter in the rear.   Blogfinger photo ©


Air, space and light at these beautiful low condos on Grand Avenue in A. Park. They all have off street parking. Blogfinger photo. 3/18.


Whenever a condo project is implemented in A. Park, off street parking is required, so there is no net resident increase in street parking.  But in OG, we get more and more cars, and the Township has violated NJ Land Use Laws on parking (RSIS) for years.   So what is going on at the Aurora?  We have made some inquiries.  And what will be the outcome at the Warrington site?

And how do developers get to do illegal condo conversions in the Grove? It’s simple–they get by with a little help from their friends.


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Wickipecko one

Early spring. Forsythia in bloom. Ocean Township, NJ. Paul Goldfinger ©   Click on image to enlarge


The tip of a yellow

crocus pushing through the snow—

spring fever



DICK HAYMES  sings “It Might As Well Be Spring.”


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Mayor Nicholas Williams is now involved in the train wreck called the North End plan.  Blogfinger photograph. December 2017 ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, Reporter and Researcher @Blogfinger.

At the Township Committee Meeting on February 26,  2018, Committeeman Brantley said, “At our next meeting we will have some big announcements to make regarding re-development.”  Neptune has a number of areas in need of redevelopment, including the OG North End.

At the Committee meeting of March 12,  2018,  Mayor Nicholas Williams reported, “We have been showing developers around town and telling them what we should like to see developed, and they are making proposals on what they would like to build.”

Then he went on to say, “There are two developers interested in the West Lake Avenue and the North End (OG).  We have a meeting next week with WAVE and the Redevelopment Attorney.”  Will WAVE be informed that they need to “fish or cut bait?”

This reminds Blogfinger of a photograph (below,)  posted on our site,  of Committeeman Michael Brantley showing the North End property to unnamed developers on July 27, 2016.

This Blogfinger photograph of Dr. Brantley giving a tour of the North End to developers. July 27, 2016. ©

This sounds to us like the Township may be fed up with the interminable delays regarding WAVE and the North End project which has floated like flotsam in the Atlantic Ocean for nine, non-transparent years, leaving an ugly ocean front dirt lot for Grovers and visitors to admire.

During the public portion, Jack Bredin went to the microphone to say that any meetings regarding this “area in need of redevelopment” should be open to the public. He stated that there are procedures and rules spelled out in New Jersey Land Use Laws regarding such transparency.  He said that if he were the mayor, he would never be showing developers around and/or having “private discussions in the back of some limousine”  about the project because “that would give the perception of an impropriety.”

Note that the Redevelopment Attorney was not present at either the February 26 or the March 12 meetings.

It’s time  for the Committee to do what’s best for the town and break off its relationship with WAVE, even if breaking up is hard to do.  And while they are at it, it’s time to cancel the Revelopment Plan and follow the Master Plan for single family homes on that property. All New Jersey Land Use laws should be followed and all future discussions on this issue should be held in public view.



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The Blogfinger cows chowing down after finding the pizza shop closed on Thursday.  Blogfinger photo.  ©


-BREAKING NEWS:   From the OG rumor mill—The CMA COO Rev. John DiGiamberardino will be leaving his post at the OGCMA.  We have no further details at this time, but he has stirred some controversies during his short stay  (since April, 2016)  including threatening to sue the Township over permit parking and the cancelling of most secular concerts in the Great Auditorium. It’s especially sad because some of us have actually learned how to say and spell his name.

—-In case you doubt that the “Asbury Park effect” is already influencing the real estate market in Ocean Grove, consider this marketing item from a recent OG house listing on Zillow:   “….with easy access to the Asbury Park bridge for dining and entertainment.”

As we pointed out recently some buyers are definitely looking for lower priced real estate in the Grove, primarily because of the proximity to Asbury Park.

The ad failed to mention the parking problems in that part of OG related to the exponential growth and siren call of A. Park.

—This may be a first for OG: A new OG resident is remodeling a historic house in the Grove and has installed a special electric charging station for his fully electric vehicle.  He will be able to charge his car at curbside in front of his home.  The device converts the charge from AC to DC giving new meaning to the term AC/DC in Ocean Grove.

—Zillow says that the Aurora is “off the market”.  This 30 bedroom building at 6 Atlantic Avenue paid $34,000 in taxes in 2014.  The OG rumor mill says that it is on the April agenda for the Board of Adjustment.

—We have heard from Neptune Twp that the Aurora is not on the agenda for the Board of Adjustment this month.  Our source said that it would be in April.  Unconfirmed now.

Yard Sale Poster 2018

—The new  2018 Town-Wide Yard Sale tab has been installed at the top of this page. It will contain information and the sellers list. You can sign up for the May 12 sale by emailing us at Blogfinger@verizon.net.  Help us promote the sale.  Tell everyone to come. Refer them to Blogfinger.net and then click on the tab.

—Song of the Week:    Lawrence Welk  “Bubbles in the Wine.”    “Somebody turn off the bubble machine”

Bubbles in Ocean Grove:

Haley (left) and Mom Rachel Hedberg in OG’s Firemen’s Park. May 25, 2015, waiting for the Memorial Day parade to arrive on Main Avenue. Click to enlarge. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Blogfinger.net

Valet parking??  At the Township Committee meeting on March 12, 2018, the Committee and the OGHOA brought up the possibility of valet parking to help alleviate parking congestion in the Grove.  This may be the dumbest parking suggestion ever, but we will hold off until we hear more details.  Remember that State Land Use Law will not allow moving cars  ( a private business) onto public streets.

–NJ license plate seen on the Garden State Parkway:   “Mr  If”     The car was driven by a woman—-evidently a tribute to gender ambiguity.

–The CMA has announced a major event for Bridgefest.  there will be a concert of Christian music on Saturday June 23rd. In the Great Auditorium.  It will be covered by 6 radio stations. This is the sort of event that will bring thousands of people into town.

–If you are looking to read the minutes of Township Committee meetings, the last set which was posted on their web site was January 22, 2018.

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Stephen Goldfinger ©



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Hunting for lunch.   Camelia River in Ft. Myers, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photograph.  Feb. 2018 ©  Click to enlarge


SARAH BRIGHTMAN  “O Mio Babbino Caro.”  By  Giacomo Puccini.


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St. Patrick’s Day parade. Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park. March 11, 2018. Paul Goldfinger © Blogfinger.net.


SESAME STREET  with The Fugees.  “Just Happy to Be Me.”

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Military band on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park. March 11, 2018. All photographs by Paul Goldfinger ©. Blogfinger.net.  Click on our images to enlarge them.  Then back arrow to see the rest.—PG


Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger Editor.

The first parade occurred when groups of  revelers in green parked on the Ocean Grove north side and then marched across the New Jersey Avenue bridge to see the 5th Annual St. Patrick’s  Day parade in A. Park.  This Sunday was a bright and sunny day–perfect for a happy parade.  A large crowd assembled along Ocean Avenue and on Cookman.  In A. Park this is a charity event, privately financed and run.

St. Paddy’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of the Irish experience in America, although technically it is about St. Patrick. Today’s event was very well done, and they had mummers bands, fire trucks, Days kazoo ensemble (from Ocean Grove,) rock bands, children’s groups, bag pipers, and all sorts of Asbury Park organizations marching.

The theme of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations generally seems a bit unclear to me. We never had one where I grew up, and in New York City I saw drunken revelry in the streets.  But the parade in New York City, where there is a huge Irish population, is supposed to be a spectacular tribute to the Irish.

Today, there was out-in-the-open drinking at the bars along Cookman Avenue, but no one that I saw got out of hand.  It felt more like New Orleans than Dublin.

Ironically,  in Dublin, the focus is not on drinking. It is mainly a religious event, and the first St. Patrick Day parade was in America, not Ireland. I understand they don’t eat corn beef and cabbage over there as part of the holiday.

Many children were present today, and they were having a great time.  I suppose you can say that in A. Park, it’s party time with a green hue and an Irish accent, devoted to celebrating  the City of Asbury Park.

In Ocean Grove, our Independence Day parade has a strong identifiable theme,and,  like this one, with a strong sense of community pride.  Our last parade was really weak in the music department.  This one today was not.

I was impressed by the Neptune High School marching band which was in full array with fine uniforms and all bases covered.   They were quite the sight. They weren’t playing when they went by my location, so I can’t comment about their music.   But I can only hope that they show up in Ocean Grove on July 4 with the same excellent complement of musicians and pride.

There will be after-parade events, and because of the fine weather, many of the thousands of visitors will probably stay awhile. Maybe some will put down their drinks and wander over to Ocean Grove for a quite different experience, and “viva la difference.”


Enjoying refreshments on Cookman Avenue during the parade. Blogfinger.net


These kids were dancing on the sideline. Blogfinger.net


This mummers group had a Mexican flavor. Blogfinger.net ©


A 2018 Irish lassie. Blogfinger.net ©


Mummers from outer space. Blogfinger.net ©


BAND OF HER MAJESTY’S ROYAL MARINES  play “A Bridge Too Far.”  But the bridge in Ocean Grove isn’t far enough.



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