Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Presents’ Category

Haiku by George Held

“In My Room” by Saul Leiter.



Your bra & panties

hanging on the door—

Do Not Disturb


Haiku by George Held



Joao Gilberto “Outra Vez” (Tr: Another Time)

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Ocean Grove, NJ. September 21, 2018. Paul Goldfinger photo ©. Blogfinger.net


To the Editor:

Our “unique look” is disappearing slowly but surely. And we all see it. We’re blind if we don’t. Our status as “a shining light on the hill” is becoming a farce. The CMA doesn’t have the backbone that it once did.

The Neptune people in government aren’t helping our founding fathers’ goal or mission at all.

And we are “a welcoming place” to whom? Certainly not the locals. The New Yorkers are grabbing up every piece of real estate available with no concern of our history. They’re here for investment purposes only.

They have no intention of making Ocean Grove a better place to live and experience.


The writer is a resident of Ocean Grove.

September 23, 2018.




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Wassup:   Blogfinger blue cow. Our blue milk is Kosher. Buy no udder, but never on Saturday.


a.  Asbury Pollutes:  12 hours of noise pollution wafting across Wesley Lake from the Asbury Obnoxious Noise Machine. Began about 11 am and ended about 10 pm on Saturday, September 22, 2018.  Non-stop amplified “music” was loud at the OG north side.

Recorded 9 pm from the corner of Mt. Tabor and Delaware–“Standing on the corner listening to all the noise float by.”  Crank up the volume for a more realistic experience.



b.  Chamber of Commercials in OG sent out a mailing with an ad from “Odyssey Coffeehouse” to open “this fall” at 50 Main Avenue.

#50 Main Ave. Comfort Zone is left. On right would be the location of a coffeehouse. Windows are covered.  Blogfinger photo. 9/22/18 ©


c. Speaking of A. Park pollution, what is the plan for street water runoff from the new skyscraper on Ocean Avenue. ? Into the ocean or into the lake?  Did the iStar tycoons provide for that with a water treatment facility?

Below is an ugly storm sewer on Sunset Avenue.  At least the Parkers know that their dirty water (pollution) is running into the Lake.  Hopefully their system of street drainage is better than this example chosen at random.

Sunset Ave. near Main Street. 9/22/18. Blogfinger action photo. © Gulp!


d.  Run for your life:  Last weekend we had a crowd here running for the Arts.  Yesterday we had a large group walking for breast cancer.  Why don’t these people find a park or a school field somewhere–we have plenty.  Or they can go to one of our racetracks around here to run or walk for something.  What is the point of running for a disease or for an arts center anyhow?  How do these events help the people of Ocean Grove who pay for these historic houses?

This town is not cut out for large competitions or amplified outdoor concerts.  Next weekend thousands will show up for an Asbury event.  We don’t have enough parking for these invading barbarians (at our gates).  Let them start in Asbury and then bus them into Bradley Beach where they can proceed to Spring Lake for the big finish.

And the Zombies will be back in A. Park  with blood and vomit on October 6.   I say we build a wall to keep out those Zombies and all the rest of that Asbury crowd.  And let’s get the Mexicans to pay for it, if we can get them off the roofs and the riding mowers.

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A lovely event was held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 on Ocean Avenue at Main and Heck.  This single family house is doing just fine without being divided into condominiums. All that is required are owners who care about the town.  Such owners could have been found for the Aurora.  Blogfinger photo.


In August, Blogfinger questioned the decision by the Board of Adjustment to allow the single family zoned Aurora to be turned into a 4 condominium building.

Here is a link to that post:

Aurora zoning change

In that article, we asked, “Why didn’t this Board insist on the single family zoning that was present when the owner bought the property? Do you think any promises were made to that owner, and who might have made those promises?”  Zoning is supposed to protect the town and its citizens.

We know that the previous owner had trouble selling the property, presumably because of the single family zoning, but he bought it that way and lived with it that way, and this historically important building should have been left with its original zoning.

Some might argue that it is unfair to require that this old hotel be continued with single family zoning, because they say, “What can you do with such a big single family home?”

But you can visit any Jersey Shore town, including Ocean Grove, and find very large single family homes.

For example, on Ocean Avenue in OG are such buildings.  Our photo shows a beautiful single family home which was happily occupied by 2 people before it was acquired by the current owners who left the zoning alone.  You can see that it is often rented out for events, and none of its history has been compromised.   It is located on Ocean Avenue, lovingly straddling Main Avenue and Heck Avenue, for all visitors and residents to enjoy.

Will you be able to say the same thing about the new Aurora?

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net


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A historic town with an uncertain future. Do a search for our follow ups on Micanopy.   Click on the word “Blogfinger” below.


Micanopy, Florida. Settled 1821 after Spain sold Florida to the US.  One mile square former Indian village.  Pop. 638  (2016)   Now on the National Record of Historic Places   Paul Goldfinger © December, 2017.   Micanopy series:  #1


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Long view from Ocean Grove of the new A. Park skyline. September 21, 2018 © Blogfinger.net.  Click to enlarge.


By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net.

The development of this site began in 1989 and was a failure.  Then the Esperanza project began and was lost in the Great Recession  (2009) leaving a steel skeleton.

Here is a Blogfinger post reflecting on the Esperanza:


But now a 16 story mixed-use building will soon be finished. It will have 130 condominiums starting at $1 million each, a parking garage for 411 cars, and a 54 room boutique hotel.  There will be thousands of feet of retail space—the prospective occupants have not been revealed.

Some skeptics are doubting that this project will attract buyers for all those multi-million dollar condominiums.  We have also wondered if Asbury has enough juice to be special all year round. Last winter,  the city seemed pretty dreary in the off season, although the restaurant and bar scene should be able to hold on for a few months.

iStar is the developer, and some of us at Blogfinger speculate that  iStar has its eyes on our North End and may have met the Grovarian movers and shakers.

From Ocean Grove, the altered skyline is readily apparent.  The low slung A. Park silhouette now looks like it is on the way to become Long Branch, a once great resort trashed in the interest of money.  As you drive by on Ocean Avenue in LB, you rarely get to see the Ocean.  Tall buildings block the views.

But, in contrast, at Ocean Grove, if we can retain our unique look, there will be no trouble seeing the differences, and the Grove will be even more of a welcoming place;  unless the view south from Asbury Park begins to look like the view inside Asbury Park.

iStar has built the Monroe Condos—another skyline altering building seen from the Grove—this one viewed from Wesley Lake.  We wrote about the Monroe two years ago:

Monroe Condos in Asbury

It will be interesting to see the impact of this new building on the entire area.


KATHY BRIER with The NIghthawks:  from Boardwalk Empire

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Vigilance is needed to protect Ocean Grove’s North End. Paul Goldfinger photo



This painting of the Aurora by Jack Bredin shows the relative size of the Ocean Grove North End “parcel” which is partially revealed as the tan area bordering the boardwalk and Lake Avenue.


By Jack Bredin, reporter/researcher @Blogfinger and Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor.

In parts I and II  you saw how the North End Redevelopment process began in 2008 with the (public) North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) and then went 10 years without any real progress.  The Mayor’s negotiation team was appointed in 2008 and has had some personnel changes since then.  It still exists to this day and so far has accomplished nothing.

In 2011, WAVE and the OGCMA came up with a new private plan, but it was submitted to the Township, and no action was taken.

In 2013 the CMA was supposed to break-ground  with their new private plan, but that never happened due to Sandy.  No  plans were ever filed or permits issued.

Then in 2015, Committeeman Randy Bishop publicly  introduced the 2011 plan for the first time,but the Township Committee took no action.s

The only plan which was ever approved by law in Neptune Township was the North End Revelopment Plan of 2008 which is still in effect to this date.

Nothing further happened, at least as far as the public was concerned, until 2018.

In April, 2018, Michael Badger, President of the OGCMA, announced  by press release, that they had signed an agreement with a new developer called OGNED—-Ocean Grove North End Development,LLC.  We posted that information (see link below)

In June, Blogfinger posted a piece about the sloppiness of language used in discussing these latest issues:

North End: sloppy ideas and language June 25 , 2018.

This month we learned the  identity of OGNED and find that it is probably a reincarnation of WAVE. The information below came from the Clerk’s Office in Neptune Township.

“The Stockholder Disclosure Certification submitted by OG North End Development, LLC shows the stockholders who hold 10% or more of the issued and outstanding stock:”

William P. Gannon II

Paul R. Gannon

Joel S. Brudner

Christopher T. McCallion”

The certificate also revealed their addresses, which we did not include here.


Recently we also learned the identity of the Mayor’s negotiation team:

According to the Township Clerk, “The Redevelopment Committee” consists of Dr. Michael Brantley, Mayor Nicholas Williams, Land Use Administrator, Township Engineer, Business Administrator, Chief Financial Officer, Township Planner and Redevelopment Attorney.    Brantley has remained on this committee for the last 10 years.

The Clerk also informed us that “the Redevelopment  Attorney is Maraziti Falcon, LLP  at 150 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Short Hills, NJ.”  This attorney is part of this negotiating team, representing the Township.

So here we are in September of 2018, and this is what we know:

a. The “options agreement” signed by the CMA and OGNED  (April, 2018) names OGNED as as the “developer of the North End land parcel.”  This agreement was signed by the CMA even though they are not a “redeveloper.”

This is a private agreement which has nothing directly to do with the public Redevelopment Plan approved by Neptune Township in 2008. It would be a violation of land use law for the Township to change the NERP for this private plan without lawful procedures.

b.  Mayor Nicolas Williams and his committee have been re-negotiating a 10 year old agreement with a “self-appointed” redeveloper  (OGNED).  The original unofficial redevelopers were the CMA and WAVE.  Mayor Williams  refuses to explain the nature of the secret negotiations.

The principals now (developers and politicians) seem to be in a heated rush to get this done ASAP after years of little or no movement. But they have stalled because the Mayor says that his team  is “not getting what we want.” 

But he won’t disclose what he wants despite public pleas at recent Committee meetings.  The lack of transparency is over-the-top.

c. If or when the Mayor signs off on this new private plan he will be certifying that this new private North End project is in the best interest of the residents of Ocean Grove, something that no prior mayor has done since 2008.

If this new Redevelopers Plan with new re-developers is to replace the 2008 NERP, the Township will have to begin the process all over again including bidding for redevelopers, a bona fide Redevelopers Agreement, certification of financial integrity, public hearings, all necessary permits including DEP, and then Committee resolutions and approvals.

After all, this was and is still a public project.  That’s how the CMA and WAVE originally got the blank check for whatever zoning they wanted in the first place. Before that NERP ordinance in 2008, the North End was zoned for single family houses.

Mayor Williams recently said that that he was given a “Pre-redevelopment Agreement,” during negotiations,  but what is that?   He says that the document has gone back and forth over “a couple of items missing on it, so they gave it back to them to work on.”

Vito Gadaleta, the Business Administrator, is on that negotiating team and he said, “The next step would be to get the documents which will be reviewed by the Redevelopment Committee and the Redevelopment Attorney.”

He also said, “If there is a comfort level, there would be a discussion about appointing a conditional redeveloper for the site while the formal development is negotiated.”

This makes no sense.  New Jersey  Land Use law makes no provisions for “conditional redevelopers” or “comfort levels.”

A review of the history of all this reveals that the “formal development” is the March 24, 2008 North End Redevelopment Plan by Martin Truscott.

d.  At the last Committee meeting, Jack Bredin and Diane Harris requested that the Mayor invite the new Redevelopment Attorney to attend the next Township Committee meeting so he can explain why this Neptune Township process appears to be inconsistent with the Local Housing and Redevelopment Law.

e.  So the CMA and OGNED and the Mayor seem to think that they are on the verge of a breakthrough, but they continue to be silent about the details, and, as before, we worry about the perception of impropriety at the Municipal Building.

perception of impropriety

f.   Plan below is from Asbury Park’s Redevelopment Plan for the Wesley Lake area.

Nature abhors a vacuum, so here is one conspiracy theory:  In 2002, Asbury Park came up with a Waterfront Redevelopment Plan and Waterfront Redeveloper’s Agreement for the construction of Wesley Lake Village  (see above). The diagram shows “several smaller scale residential structures and pedestrian ways on the Asbury side.”

But if you look at the graphic, you will see the outlines of the Ocean Grove North End parcel.  Nothing else in OG is shown. This leads us to suspect that the OG North End Plan will result in the Asbury developer  (iStar) taking over the OG North End in order to pull Asbury and the Grove together near the lake. Remember, iStar has done nothing so far by way of development at the other side of the Casino.

Part II of this report.

Who is OGNED? Sept. 2018

The bottom line is to demand that the Township take down that wall and offer complete transparency to the North End public process.  Sunshine is the best disinfectant.


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Haiku by George Held

Monarch visits Ocean Grove. August, 2018. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger. ©



On a milkweed pod

a Monarch rests en route

to Mexico


By George Held, poet



Christopher Van Kampen   “Le Cygne”  (by Camille St. Saëns)

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Hi Mom!     Bamboozle attracted 80,000 people to A. Park in 2012.  Many crowded the rentals in OG.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor. Blogfinger.net

Did you ever hear certain Grovers belittle the parking complaints of residents in this way?   I have, and it is a cliché  chosen to intimidate residents and trivialize the effects of parking distress on their quality of life.   Such talk often emanates from the mouths of realtors and speculators who want to build condos, sell houses, and rent stores. And they want to minimize the parking problems here to naive prospective buyers and renters.

Here is a quote from a BF parking article last October, 2017.   “Jack Green said on Facebook that there are only about 18 days at peak season when there is trouble parking.” 

The truth is that there are many 3-day weekends and weekdays each summer and also on some spring and fall weekends where the number of cars exceeds the spaces in the Grove. The “season” actually extends from May through October.

When glut happens, there are  issues that  adversely affect those who live in town and ironically pay real estate taxes, one way or another.  Here is a link to our article regarding the “Parking Derangement Syndrome” first described at the Blogfinger Offshore School of Medicine in Ocean Grove:

Parking derangement syndrome

Did you happen to notice the syndrome during the Giant September Flea Market which just happened? The F bombs were flying around the Pathway and landing on the two Norms’ porches. This problem is about more than parking.  Crazed drivers were circling our streets looking for a space.  They were frustrated, wild-eyed, hot, and angry.    They were lured by advertisements promising a good time. (Fake news and false advertising) None of the organizers provided any parking assistance (such as shuttles.)    If a parking space were to appear, its life expectancy was averaging 15 seconds or less.

This is no way to live; I don’t care if it is “only” 50 days each year.

Consider the email we got today from Rosemary of Ocean Grove:

“Good Morning Paul:
I just learned that 20,000 attendees are expected for the inaugural Sea Hear Now Festival  (art, music and surfing) in neighboring Asbury Park on the weekend of September 29 and 30)  Much of the available parking near the boardwalk was acquired by the promoters from the city.  Not sure if this is to provide parking for attendees or to have space to stage.  AP will also receive $1 from each ticket sold.  
I assume we Grovers will be competing for spaces over here in Ocean Grove as the spillover would appear inevitable.  Just when we were beginning to enjoy the relative quiet of the post season.
Editor’s note:  Thanks Rosemary.   Not only is the Camp Meeting Association of Ocean Grove striving to have more tourist weekends year round, so is A. Park whose parkers will be inundating the Grove.  The AP crowd won’t be happy until every weekend  in their city is filled with tourist lures.
And, if the North End extravaganza eventually gets built here,  there will be yet another source of that sucking sound which draws cars, SUV’s and giant trucks into the Grove adding to air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution and culture pollution which we already are experiencing.
My son’s dog Pooja can’t even find a place to poop lately.
The Zombies come by the thousands. Last year a few lurched over to the Grove; this year it is October 6.

2013 Zombies. A. Park. At least 20,000 will come this fall. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Click to enlarge the mob.

* Dictionary.com:

adjective Slang. cockamamie
  1. ridiculous, pointless, or nonsensical: full of wild schemes and cockamamie ideas.



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