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Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Presents’ Category

a.  WordPress has provided the platform for Blogfinger  over the years, and we  have learned work- flows that allow us to post what you see including images, text, poetry and music.

Today, abruptly, they changed their blog posting platform for us, and everyone else,  leaving us heading upstream without a paddle. It looks like we have a huge learning curve in front of us.

There will be a slowdown, so bear with us as we try to navigate this new technology morass.

If any of you know anyone who is qualified to teach the WordPress Block Editing system, please email us their contact information. 

So below is our first attempt with this new world:

Here’s a music sample:   “Acappella.”

b.  A fox was seen late last night in Firemen’s Park

c.  In the past we were able to find out how Grovers voted in the last election, but now, because no voting machines were used, we will never get this information.  

This is what we heard from the Township Clerk:    “

 
Paul,
 
“There is no problem with the count.   Because the election was unprecedented in that it was all done by mail in ballot, there was no voting machine count by district.  There will be no district breakdown for this election.”
 
Rick Cuttrell, Municipal Clerk
Township of Neptune
 
I got the same story from the County Clerk’s election office in Freehold. 
 
 
 
 
Image sample:

d. Site Stats: Nov 27 produced 670 visits. Most interest in the Casino photo, rain storm, and official misconduct. Other countries 11, including China, Montenegro, Norway and the Brits.

e. Regarding the CAFRA application to DEP by OGNED regarding the North End, here is the latest word from DEP Press Office:

“The application remains pending and the public comment period ends Dec. 19, 2020.”

This is what was said last October:

A fact-finding public hearing on a CAFRA individual permit application would be held if additional information is necessary to help the DEP evaluate the proposed project’s potential impacts, and if that information can only be obtained through a public hearing. 

As part of the process, the DEP reviews submitted public comments, and/or the proposed project’s scope, and/or the environmental impact of the proposed project.

To date, the DEP has heard from two commenters, both of which have indicated that their counsel will submit further comment on their behalf.

At this time, a public hearing has not been deemed necessary.

There is still time if anyone wants to comment. The two commenters must have been OGNED. Where are the voices of the people?

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By  Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net.  Re-post 2017.

 

This article was inspired by a comment from a Grover, Nancy Clarke:    She asked, “When did a member of the Township Committee go to jail?    Who was it? Are they a member of the current Committee?”

In the fall of 2007, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced that “Three more Monmouth County officials get prison terms for corruption”   This announcement came from the U.S. Department of Justice, District of New Jersey, 970 Broad Street, Seventh floor, Newark, NJ 07102

One of these  officials was Richard Iadanza, the former Deputy Mayor of Neptune Township. He received four months in  in prison, four months home confinement with electronic monitoring, a $4,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.

He pleaded guilty to extortion. He admitted accepting $3,000 in two cash payments in return for his official assistance in securing government contracts for an FBI undercover company.

His sentence had been reduced because he cooperated in two FBI investigations.

In 2005,  the former Director of the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders , Harry Larrison, Jr., was charged with accepting $8,500 in bribes to help real estate developers win approval for their construction projects.  (our source is the NY Times. April 28, 2015. The italics are ours)  The charges were brought by US Attorney Christopher J. Christie.  It was part of a federal investigation into corruption “that has led to criminal cases against 15 local officials so far.”

“Larrison accepted bribes three times in 2001 and 2002. He was 39 years in that job and was the longest serving freeholder in New Jersey history.”  Mr. Christie said that “Harry Larrison is one of the most enduring political figures in Monmouth County and has long held himself out to be a fine public servant.  In fact, as alleged, he used his power, prestige and political clout to corruptly serve himself. This is more of what we’ve already seen in Monmouth County, and we will persist in our efforts with the F.B.I to uncover all public corruption in Monmouth County.”

According to the Times, “The federal investigation  which has been underway for four years, has led to a variety of corruption charges against low-level officials, including accusations of bid rigging, bribery, and money laundering.  Federal agents said that they had used informants to secretly tape-record conversations between elected officials who were willing to trade official favors for cash, or, in one case, for free paving on a driveway.”

Also the Times reported that the county prosecutor had been accused by federal officials of interfering with the investigation.”

Larrison died of cancer before his case was heard.

In February 2005, the New York Times also reported:

“Mr. Christie said the corruption festered “against a backdrop of greed, arrogance and entitlement in which the officials traded contracts for cash.”

“These complaints portray a shocking eagerness and ease with which these public officials engaged in criminal activity, to trade contracts for cash or even to be involved in money laundering,” Mr. Christie said in a news release.

“The roundup is the latest in a series of crackdowns in Monmouth County, which included the arrest and conviction two years ago of the city manager of Asbury Park, who was also the mayor of Ocean Township, and four other local officials. In an age of campaign finance violations and other modern-era instances involving money and politics, the accusations are the type of old-fashioned municipal corruption charges which have long tainted New Jersey politics.”

“The public officials were picked up based on federal complaints in early-morning raids by as many as 100 F.B.I. agents in teams of six to eight, who rousted them from their beds. Later, the men appeared in court wearing leg irons and handcuffs but, casually dressed and all middle-aged, they resembled a gathering of a civic club rather than one of the biggest corruption roundups in New Jersey’s recent history. All were released on $50,000 personal recognizance.”

The Times  in Feb. 2005 also reported on “11 NJ officials being arrested including 3 mayors.  These arrests were developed over 4 years using a “sting” undercover contractor.  One was an Asbury Park councilman.”  Here is a taste of how these things work:

“In one case, a criminal complaint says, the contractor put in a driveway worth about $5,000 at the home of an Asbury Park councilman, in return for a promise that the councilman would help him get public work.”

“In another case, the mayor of Hazlet, Paul Coughlin, was urged by an unnamed public official from another municipality to do business with the contractor, saying “Nobody watches, nobody hears, nobody sees,” a complaint says.”

“Another official, a former mayor of Middletown Township, told the undercover agents not to worry about detection because he “could smell a cop a mile away,” the federal officials said.”

Clearly, local officials can get caught up in schemes to make money derived from abusing their positions in government.

It’s important for citizens to be vigilant and to pay attention to what is going on in our town, Ocean Grove, as we observe suspicious activities and lack of transparency on the part of local government that favors developers—activities that seem to defy the expectation that officials will do what is best for the residents and home-owners in the Grove.

We are accusing no one currently in office or now working for the Township of doing anything criminal, but these examples above teach us to not be naive.

 

ORIGINAL CAST OF FIORELLO:

 

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November 30, 2020. Noon. Ocean Grove beachfront. Paul Goldfinger photo.

Two Neptune Police cars were parked on Ocean Avenue.   It wasn’t a fit day for anyone given the 40 mph winds and the stinging rain. The ocean was impressively rough, with layers of whitecaps.   No one dared to surf.

I got out of the car to run up for a photo. I took a few frames and then had to run back because the wind was behind me. I gripped my camera tightly under my jacket and felt momentarily that I might blow over.

Downtown most of the parking spaces were full.  I parked on Central where that sad, blue cottage was getting soaked.  Over at the hardware store they still were not allowing anyone in.  I went to the entrance where a wet hooded guy was saying to the shop keeper, “Could you bring back a few so I can check the sizes?”  Well, that was my signal to move up the block and stand in someone else’s doorway.

Finally the space was open and I got what I needed: a round, wooden toilet seat.  It reminded me of when we had a tiny house up on pilings at Long Beach Island, and in a wind, the seat would rock while it was occupied.  The kids loved it.

It almost was like when our whole house shook during Sandy in Ocean Grove.

JUNE CARTER CASH    “The Storms Are On the Ocean.”  From her album Wildwood Flower.

“The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion love
If I prove false to thee.”

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Wet, windy Monday in OG. The cottage is blue too.  Blogfinger photo.  November 30, 2020. Beware of the…

 

EMMY ROSSUM:

 

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Photograph by Anne Brigman. A large show of her work opens on Sept. 29, 2018  at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Internet photo.

 

 

Ad published in Camera Works. Design by Edward Steichen, 1906.  Click to read it.

By Paul Goldfinger, photography editor at Blogfinger.net  Re-post 2018.  Part of our ongoing series about female photographers.

Anne Brigman  (1869-1950)  photographed  in the early 1900’s.  Her best known works were landscapes featuring nude women–herself and others at the Sierra Nevada.

The work was considered radical, but early innovators of photographic art considered her images to be “ground breaking”  and “ahead of her time” including  Alfred Stieglitz, the publisher of the first major photographic magazine  Camera Works.

Wikipedia says,  “Anne  Brigman was an American amateur photographer and one of the original members of the Photo-Secession movement in America  (founded 1902)  which was a major force in promoting photography as an expressive art form.  Brigman’s most famous images were taken between 1900 and 1920.”

Anne Brigman, who was from California,  may have been an amateur, but she was a pioneer of the feminist movement in America.

The show in Reno will have 250 original prints.  It opens on September 29, 2018 and closes on January 27.

A book is also being published—the first of Brigman’s photographs:

 

 

So if any of you are visiting the crap tables in Reno, stop by the NMA for a bit of culture.

 

DEANNA DURBIN:

 

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8:35 AM sun is out in Ocean Grove. Firemen’s Park May 12, 2018, after a heavy rain in the early morning hours.   After 9 am, it was cloudy with some sun, so a day of eager shopping began. Blogfinger action photo

 

 

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Sometimes, at the Town-Wide yard sale , a girl can find something fetching in pink to wear this summer. All photographs by Paul Goldfinger taken in Ocean Grove, Blogfinger.net © 5/12/18

 

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Combining fun and bargains on Stockton Avenue in Ocean Grove..  Town-Wide Yard Sale. Blogfinger photo 5/12/18 ©

 

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Probably the most unusual item for sale was this sitar at Eric and Gina’s home on Stockton Avenue. ©

 

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Jean ran the sale at their home on Heck Ave., but Jack Bredin got to wear his Stones’ T Shirt which he got working backstage at that concert in the 1990’s. Blogfinger photo .

 

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Some sellers featured artwork—paintings and photography.

 

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All kidding aside, what a deal! This was an unusual Saturday event: no parking problems; relaxed mood; meeting and greeting friends, and no kids. (well, there were a few,  one little guy bought a squeezable Obama head from us–he liked the ears.) Blogfinger.net

 

With 63 sellers  (a record)  and a nice turnout by shoppers as the day wore on, the yard sailors we interviewed agreed that the Town-Wide Yard Sale was a success:  a rewarding, fun, and social Ocean Grove happening—a neighborhood project by community minded residents.

As for the  weather, first you  say you do and then you don’t; then you say you will, and then you won’t; you’re undecided now, so what are you going to do?

Well, we all rolled the dice, stuck to the plan, and it was a fine fine day.

THE ANDREWS SISTERS:

 

2020 note:    This year we cancelled. This remains  a perfect concept for “small town America.”   It is really fun!  But will we have it next May?  We’re undecided now, so what are we going to do?

As peeping Tom once said, “Let’s wait and see.”

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Bonfire on the OG beach. 150th birthday of this historic town. Paul Goldfinger © 2019.

LONDON PHILHARMONIC:  “LES PATINEURS VALSE”

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Ocean Grove. November 26, 2020. Installation by a team of Ocean Grove firemen.     Paul Goldfinger.  Blogfinger.net photograph. ©. Click enlarge.

 

SARAH McLACHLAN.    From the album Wintersong.

 

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Tent Village. Ocean Grove, November 27, 2020. By Jean Bredin. Blogfinger.net staff ©

 

Around town with Jean:  She says, “Tent village is quiet for the holiday season, but some joy lingers on.”

 

THE KLEZMONAUTS  from their album Oy To The World–A Klezmer Christmas.

 

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The Aurora before Old Forge got hold of it. Internet photo.

Here is a link to our last progress note in 2018 including Jack Bredin’s painting of the Aurora:

The Aurora BF 2018 when it was sold and the Planning Board was bulldozed.

 

Why did the Town of Neptune allow the Aurora zoning to be changed by this owner?  Below is a link

2018: Changing the Aurora zoning. Something fishy…BF article

 

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Here is an update on the Aurora’s status as a 4-condo building in Ocean Grove. This progress note is based on a large advertisement, presented as if it were news, in the Real Estate section of the Star-Ledger, Nov. 22, 2020.

The headline says that “The “Aurora, a historic 30 room hotel in vibrant Ocean Grove is transformed.”

I get a kick out of seeing the distortions and fake news perpetrated by supposed journalists–in this case Nancy Parello who signed her name to the piece.    Wonder what she meant when she referred to the Grove as “vibrant” and what is the “transformation” that would allow them to proclaim that they are somehow recreating “history.”

a.  They tell us that “a piece of history is for sale in Ocean Grove.” Their theme of reliving history in that condoized building is just nonsense.  The Aurora participated in OG history as a hotel, but now it has been turned into a commercial venture with 4 condominiums under the same roof with two elevators; hardly a “historic transformation.”  The actual transformation is about synthetic materials,new windows, cosmetic ginger-bread flourishes outside, ocean views, and “luxurious” interiors.

Converting historic buildings into condos has resulted in over 300 such makeovers in OG in recent years—-no condos ever existed during OG’s history, and no such conversions have made our town better—except for the bank accounts of developers along with their partners at the CMA and the Neptune boards and the boards’ “professionals.”

When the new owners of the Aurora went to the Planning Board, their lawyer had no patience or respect for the public or the Board.

b. The developer, Dave Papes, says that a “former 30 room hotel, circa 1884, is now four luxury homes, wrapped in history.”    But what exactly does “wrapped in history” mean?  He implies that somehow living there will offer a sort of historic experience connecting the dots back to 1884 . But this is just gibberish.

Two of those homes sold within a few weeks of going on the market. The other two will go soon.

c .Papes, the President of Old Forge Luxury Homes said, “We sought to revive this intricate building while respecting the history of the town and the community’s tight-knit nature.”  Really?  What does this guy know about our “community” and its “nature?”

And how does he show respect for history? He left the place looking like it did before he arrived,  but the heart and soul of a historic building is more than remodeling.  It is about recreating what it was over 100 years ago, and that is not what we have here now.  They took a truly historic building and then turned it into something else.  And the Planning Board let them get away with it.

d. He also said that he  “renovated a cherished building in a town that maintains strict standards when it comes to preserving the enclave’s historic nature.”

So this developer, who knows nothing about our town, has decided that we have “strict standards” regarding historic preservation, but that is not the truth. If we had strict standards, he would not have been permitted to put up his 4 condominiums inside his fake “historic” building.

And he refers to the Grove as an “enclave.”  Where did he find that word to describe the Grove?   An enclave is, according to Oxford Languages,  “a portion of territory within or surrounded by a larger territory whose inhabitants are culturally or ethnically distinct.”  Does he have a clue of what he speaks?  Talk about baloney.

e. In an effort to provide a lifestyle narrative he talks about the Great Auditorium as a place that “still hosts concerts and other events year round.”    Isn’t it curious that he gives the impression of the GA as being a venue which will provide lovely entertainment for his condo owners without mentioning a word about the religious heritage in our town or explaining that there hasn’t been a secular concert there in a couple of years, and there are no programs during the winter.   He refers to “other events year round” but that is just plain baloney.

f. He concludes with more nonsense when he says, “We are very pleased with the way the Aurora turned out.  There was a lot of pressure to get this right because it is such an important part of Ocean Grove’s history. We always say our buyers are purchasing a piece of history.”

This is a piece of double talk.  The last owner, who owned the building as a single family home, never seemed to mention that he owned “a piece of history.” He actually owned a pizza joint downtown.

And, as far as “pressure to get this right,” the only pressure was to gut the place and make it marketable at over $1 million each unit. In addition, in all the advertisements for the Aurora which we have seen, at no time  is the word “parking” mentioned;  and no mention that the project violates state parking rules. (RSIS standards.)

And regarding the neighbors’ lifestyles, he evidently didn’t notice that there are neighbors nearby,  and his project will just amplify the congestion in season.

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