Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Presents’ Category

Ocean Grove beach on May 24. 2020. By Ron Sedlak.

Mr. Blogfinger,

“Found this on the OG south end beach yesterday.  I guess we cannot even get a Smiley face to be happy these days!  I think that tells it all about the beach cautiously opening.”

Ron Sedlak.  5/25/20


Editor’s note:

I wonder if Ralph mugged Smiley.  Maybe it was deserved since the Smiley guy isn’t wearing a mask or a beach badge.

Point Pleasant Beach and boards were closed this weekend because there weren’t enough special police to patrol.  Gee… surely the town fathers and mothers over there could arrange some sort of friendly patrols so that the show could go on.

From the APP today regarding the challenges of enforcement at the shore towns:

“But officials made plain that police will necessarily play a major role, with assists from civilian personnel, in some places “ambassadors” charged with reminding beachgoers to stay 6 feet apart and encourage the wearing of masks.

“We’re really hopeful that we can do this in a way that doesn’t require summons and arrests,” Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said.”

“Summons and arrests?”   That A. Park mayor  won’t get reelected if she threatens her citizens.  Talk about abuse of power!

And this is the APP quote from CMA’s Michael Badger, “Safe social distancing will depend upon the cooperation of beach patrons, reminders from OGCMA staff and volunteers, and enforcement by Neptune Township Police Department,” Michael Badger, president of the association said. “Special attention will be towards spacing at the surf.” 




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Paul Goldfinger photograph on Memorial Day 2017. Ocean Grove Tent Village©. Click to feel the breeze.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net.   May 25, 2020.

I was in the Great Auditorium at dusk on Memorial Day May, 2017.

There was a concert, and I looked out the open doors on the left side.  A flag was  flying in front of a tent.  It caught my eye swinging in the breeze. It seemed to be alive.

So I waited for a pause and then casually strolled across the big room and stepped out that door. This photograph was the result.

Patriotic songs are rare these days, as if being patriotic is wrong.  Such songs were much more popular during the two great wars.

This song  “THE FLAG SONG” was written by Stephen Sondheim for the show Assassins (1990).  It was the opening number.

It is performed here by Brian Stokes Mitchell from his 2019 album “BSM Plays With Music.”

“And you know
It’s a dream,
And you know
It isn’t perfect,
And at times
It may seem
To go awry.

“Then that flag goes by,
And no matter how you sigh,
‘It’s the bright blue sky,
It’s just Mom and apple pie,’

“There’s this thing you can’t deny,
This idea:

“That it’s fixable tomorrow,
We’ve a chance,
There’s a choice.
We can change ourselves tomorrow,
We’re in charge,
We’ve a voice,
An idea about tomorrow
To remember
When the flag has gone by.”



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A member of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment decorates a grave on May 21, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery.  AP/Carolyn Haster.


Ocean Grove Memorial Day parade. May 27, 2019. By Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff. ©


Eileen’s dad Sgt. Bernard Harkavy. Served in Europe during WWII. He returned. Let’s remember those who did not. Harkavy family album.


The Arlington cemetery will be closed this weekend because of the coronavirus.  Families of deceased can enter with a mask and a special pass. The OG parade has been canceled this year.




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Saturday May 23, 2020. Ticket area of the Great Auditorium. Blogfinger.net photo.


Summer, 2019 Ocean Grove. Plenty of distancing illustrated here, but sometimes the OG beach gets very crowded. Paul Goldfinger photo.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger. net

May 23, 2020. Ocean Grove,  NJ

We had heard weeks ago that beach badge sales would have to be restricted in order to achieve a workable reduction in humanity on the beaches of the Jersey Shore to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Even though the governor waited to the last minute to announce such a reduction, all the towns were getting ready with a plan, and many knew it was coming.

So before  the season passes sales came to a screeching halt last week, all the towns knew what to do, and the word leaked out early.   That is why all the town online sales quickly shut down.   It seems that many people in the area knew to hurry up and buy badges.

Why didn’t the CMA  let everyone in the Grove know about this well in advance?   For that matter, why didn’t the jokers at Neptune Township sound the warning alarm for their citizens in the Grove?

Do you suppose that the CMA let the word out to its “community” in time for all those OG season passes to be snapped up by out-of-towners?

Perhaps someone should ask Pres. Badger why he didn’t tell the residents of Ocean Grove what was going to happen.  You can ask him to explain why Grovers were taken by such surprise when he appears before the HOA next week.

As  a result, many Grovers have been left out, leaving them wondering how they would be able to go on the beach in their  own town.


Today we learned how the towns, including ours, knew how to do the math in calculating the numbers of badges to sell.  The Asbury Park Press reported on a study by the Stevens Institute in Hoboken.   It seems that engineers have been calculating the square feet of beach at Jersey Shore towns using Google Earth photographs.  They were able to calculate the numbers of  people who could fit into any beach, allowing for enough room to physically distance.

Allowances are made for the high water mark back to the dunes. Typically families can congregate within less than the  6 foot diameter required between most people, but they also allow for 6-12 feet  between groups.

The special police who will monitor all this might have to patrol carrying 6 foot poles, according to the mayor of Bradley Beach.

For example Asbury Park was found to be able to accommodate 10,000 people per day.  The number of day passes to be sold are calculated according to the numbers of season passes already sold.  In AP their starting capacity is considered to be 500 day badges per day, with gradual increases in the numbers over time if all goes well.

One flaw in the calculations is that no allowances were made for the fact that most beach goers like to be near the water while some prefer back near the dunes. People never spread out evenly as is considered in the calculations.

The APP today listed all the Jersey Shore beaches and their sand capacities.  Included in the list were Spring Lake, Belmar, Avon, Deal Loch Arbour, Bradley, Asbury, and Long Branch.   But which beach was missing?

Just as  the coronavirus data has been missing for OG, Ocean Grove data was again missing when the beach sand numbers were published today.

Do you smell something fishy?  Why are the people of Ocean Grove being  deprived of this information?

Was it just one of those things, or was it something else?




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Opening day at Days. May 23, 2020. ? Six feet apart.  Paul Goldfinger photo. ©


Days opens Saturday, May 23, 2020.  Hours:  noon to eight.

You read the menu at the entrance. (which is closed) and step by the windows to give your order to someone inside.  No cones.  They call your name when ready, and you pay to receive your order.


YO YO MA,  JAMES TAYLOR  “Here Comes the Sun”  by George Harrison.


"Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right."


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San Carlos Bay. Ft. Myers, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo © Click to enlarge.


Paquito D’Rivera (clarinet ) and Alon Yavnai. (composer/piano).   From Yo Yo Ma’s Christmas album called Songs of Joy and Peace.  (2008).

This piece is “Improvisation on Dona Nobis Pacem.”   (Give Us Peace.)



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The Blogfinger cow says,
“Moo–Watch for the truth at the next HOA meeting.”


By Paul Goldfinger,   Editor at Blogfinger.net

Don’t bet the farm on what you will hear at the May 30 ZOOM meeting of the Groaners who will have as their guests CMA President Badger and Neptune Administrator Gadaleta.

We have been mislead before by these guys who happen to have power over Ocean Grove residents, none of which is based on being elected to Township office.    Why don’t some of those Town Comedy members, who, unfortunately, are elected, appear instead?

Badger and  Gadaleta are the faces of those who don’t know that the “People’s Resident Republic of Ocean Grove” actually exists.  Neither of them have ever (or as they say in Brooklyn “evah”)  shown any appreciation of  Grovarian issues.

So why are the Groaners inviting them?  It will be a love fest between the HOA, the CMA, and the Neptune “deep state.”

Perhaps the audience will once again be censored as occurred when OGNED was invited to an HOA meeting last year. The ladies of the HOA are in bed with the CMA, developers, and the Township.

So, if you tune in on your favorite home electronic device, listen carefully for double entendres, evasive/misleading  language, unsubstantiated “facts,”  hidden meanings, failure to answer questions directly, being cut short by the Groaners’ bossy president, beside-the-point statements by Pres. Badger, and a variety of other speech adjectives including:  equivocating, cunning, and elusive.

Think about your questions and write them down in advance.

You can get more information about the ZOOM session by contacting  the HOA.  They only communicate with their email list, so If you are not a member,  you are writ out of luck.

HUGH LAURIE:   “It Ain’t Necessarily So” by George and Ira Gershwin.   Sung by Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess.


The Gershwins


Sammy Davis, Jr. as Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess by George and Ira Gershwin.



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Tyler poses with his striped bass. But it didn’t have his name on it. May 22, 2020. Lee Morgan photo. Blogfinger.net.©


Lee obtained this portrait of Tyler at the Ocean Grove beach this morning.  New Jersey law says it has to be 28 inches to be a  “keeper.”  This one got a second life.

To catch a fish is, as Cole Porter would say, “De-Lovely”


Oscar Peterson plays Cole Porter:



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After Sandy the CMA mobilized citizens and other volunteers to work together in the cleanup Oct 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.



Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor @Blogfinger.net.   Once again the role of the CMA in the life of Ocean Grove has resurfaced.  May, 2020.

This post first appeared January  2019 regarding how the CMA affects the life styles of secular residents in town.

On Sunday June 2, 2019 a large religious event occurred that alarmed some residents who live near the Great Auditorium:

The Liquid Church brought a crowd of religious tourists here for a morning service in the Great Auditorium. Apparently it was noisy, then lunch on the Pathway with 7 food trucks, and then later with baptisms on the beach.  A usually quiet OG Sunday had changed.   The Liquid Church  was scheduled to be returning every Saturday night in July and August 2019.

This change raised these questions:  Is Ocean Grove once again becoming a Christian town?    Does the CMA have the unlimited power to expand in ways that can impact the quality of life of all who live here?   Does owning all the land give it that power?


That 2019  article below gets into some of these issues:

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association used to run this town, but all that changed in 1980 when the N.J. Supreme Court turned over our historic village to the municipality of Neptune Township.

None of the “blue laws” were left in effect, except for bans on selling tobacco, sales of alcohol, and closing of the beach on Sunday mornings.  There has been no coherent explanation for those bans and beach closure  as initiated by a private group in a public town.

The CMA retained control over the beachfront and they actually own the boardwalk but not the sand underneath, and they and others worked together to press FEMA in 2012 to help pay for the boardwalk restoration.

The Camp Meeting still owns most of the land in town as they pursue their religious “mission” which is growing year-round and has an effect on all who actually live in the Grove.

Interestingly, they have no membership list, so we don’t know how many residents in the Grove are committed to the CMA organization.  Most of their supporters seem to be religious tourists.

There is a group in town of private residents who are mostly secular and who probably number over 5,000 if second homers are included.  But, that group doesn’t  have much influence.

So how does the CMA maintain the reigns of power here, in  a democracy, to influence the residents of this community?

Around 2011,  Blogfinger became interested in the role of the CMA as it relates to the “community ” of Ocean Grove—ie the residents of the town.  We interviewed the  President of the CMA.  He said that the group would focus on its “mission” and not on the community of residents. That’s when I first learned that the CMA actually had a policy regarding the rest of the Grove.

After Sandy hit, the CMA stood tall to deal with the beachfront damage, but they also opened their arms to the secular OG community to help pay for it via the Together Fund.

Clearly the CMA is a sort of neighbor for all of us, but it is a peculiar sort.  They have power and influence in Neptune that enables them to strong arm certain issues in the Historic District such as congestion, parking, land use, North End Redevelopment, and life-styles for residents.

If we ask residents of OG the question: “What do you expect from the CMA,” we suspect that opinions will range from “nothing” to “a great deal.”

If you try to answer that question by thinking about the recent history of the CMA as neighbors in town, consider this summary below.  It is a short list of how they impact all who live here.

a.  They have lucrative large events through the year, especially during “prime time” which effects all of us who live here and which bring no money to help the OG  community.

b. They bring in thousands of tourists for their religious based events, but also for the town- wide clogging mega secular events on Ocean Pathway such as the Flea Market. They hope to extend their reach year-round.

c. They don’t care much about the secular residents in town as evidenced by their seeming indifference to issues that effect all of us, such as when they threatened to sue over permit parking before the conversation ever got out of the starting gate.

And you would think that they would be concerned about the Master Plan, the Land Use abuses, historic preservation, and other matters that involve them. But they never speak out about these topics.

d.  They were found to be guilty in 2007 of discrimination, and that stained the reputation of the entire town.

e.  They have been intimately involved with the worrisome plans for the project at the OG North End.

f.  Secular programming has been cut back at the GA.

Of course, there are many positive attributes for the entire town that stem from the CMA’s presence in the Grove such as: the 4th of July parade; Illumination Night;  Christmas events;  a clean and friendly beachfront; a wonderful summer music program; and activities for families, kids and teenagers.

So, what do you think?  Please comment below.

ELVIS:   “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”


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OGCMA front door at their Pitman Ave headquarters. 5/20/20 Imagine, they say, “United We Stand.”


Inside the Boardwalk Pavilion currently roped off. Blogfinger.net. 5/20/20


Ocean Pathway. Do not sit on this bench. Blogfinger photo.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor. Blogfinger.net

President Michael Badger of the CMA has a history of ignoring  OG citizens  known informally as “The People’s Community of Ocean Grove.”   This residential Grover demographic  consists of  primary  homeowners, renters, and 2nd homers.

The census says (2010) that we are 3,342 but that doesn’t include second homers who are also Grovers and who spend a lot of time here.   And in the summer, the population of “secular Grovers” probably climbs to 15,000.   (my guess.)

When  Badger  refers to his “community,” he  is not talking about  Grovers.  He never defines his community, but you can surmise that he is referring to religious supporters of the CMA, many of whom do not even live in town.   In fact, the CMA board, consisting of half ministers and the rest lay supporters, consists of mostly out-of-towners.

In most American small  towns, church membership consists of locals, so the church is in fact part of the community.

But in Ocean Grove we have a peculiar political situation.  The CMA has a strange “odd-couple” relationship with Neptune Township that gives them unelected power in town.  As a result they have received favored-nation-status in zoning, for example; witness the North End situation.

The CMA even exerts its power regarding other public interest issues such as parking.  And then there is the strange ground rent localism which is rarely found in other towns such as Mt. Tabor which is part of Parsippany, NJ.

And then there is the beachfront governance. In every other shore town, the beachfront is managed by the elected municipality which would favor the citizens.

In fact the Governor’s executive order #143 about boardwalks and beaches, refers to “municipality” control with no mention of the CMA, so that technically, the order should not be followed here unless Neptune Township were in charge—which it ought to be in the best of worlds.

Is this a practical matter?  Well, the CMA in all its functions does what it does to satisfy its “mission,” and it shows little interest in the  “People’s Community of Ocean Grove.”  (aka “we the people.”)

And because it was not elected by us, it has no obligation to worry about us, for example re: parking, secular life styles, taxes, and now beach badges.

Isak says that the CMA should consider residents first when it comes to policy such as beach badges.  And I agree with him, but you can’t expect the CMA to care, because they are not legally obligated to care.

We can expect the elected Neptuners  to care, but they don’t care about Grovers, as Blogfinger has pointed out ad infinitum.

I recall the Belmar mayor saying publicly, when he had to shut down his town because of tourist glut, that his priority was to represent the citizens of his town.  But no such sentiment has ever been voiced here.

At the Belmar web site it says, “To assist us in complying with social distancing guidelines we will temporarily suspend the sale of season badges on Friday May 22, 2020;  We will resume the sale of season badges on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at the Taylor Pavilion.

But no such  notice appears at the Neptune site. And at the CMA site, it says nothing about this topic.

Badger accepts no responsibility for what has occurred or will occur regarding season badges.   He pins it on the Governor,  Neptune Township, other shore towns,  and the behavior of those who do have beach badges to do what they have been told.

He said in his press release: “The actions of current beach patrons may affect our ability to welcome additional season badge holders in the future.”

He also said, “The decision will depend in part on Gov. Murphy, compliance at other shore towns, and the Neptune Committee.”

It’s about time that a new organization  of this town take place in order to achieve true representative government for we the people. Shouldn’t the Constitution provide this for us?  Our current system is not working.


NOTE:  See comments regarding CMA email sent after this posted.





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