Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Presents’ Category

This photo taken at the east end of the Lake, confirms that water still flows from the Ocean to the Lake whenever a high high tide brings the level above the Lake’s. Wesley Lake was and is still an estuary. Jack Bredin photo. Oct. 2017. We will have more on the anatomy of the Lake/Ocean relationship subsequently .


Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, Reporter/researcher at Blogfinger.net.

The Wesley Lake Commission met on October 17, 2017, a meeting punctuated by many question marks, ignorance of the facts, volume turned to soft, and stifling of  public opinion.

Once again the Commissioners revealed that they have no knowledge of their jurisdiction since they have no watershed map as mandated by their charter.  In fact, when the charter was written in 2015, the engineer Peter Avakian promised a map, but he is gone, and the map is nonexistent.

An engineer was supposed to show up at this meeting to address the lack of a watershed map, but he never appeared, and no one knew why.  The Commission didn’t even know who hired him.

In fact, no licensed engineer who has ever been involved with Wesley Lake discussions, such as the Neptune engineer LeeAnne Hoffman, has been willing to put their signature on a water shed map for this lake.

So without a map of their jurisdiction, this Commission is unable to function properly, and the Commission should be dissolved since they have no mission, no jurisdiction, no methods, no knowledge of the facts,  and nothing meaningful to do regarding pollution.

In fact, some members of the Phony Baloney Commission have revealed that they are in favor of the continued pollution of Wesley Lake by dirty street drainage from both sides of the divide.  They do not oppose the unexplained re-designation of the Lake as a “man-made body of water” which is now called, since 2014,  a “retention/detention basin” on the Neptune Twp. tax map.  They don’t even know how that re-naming occurred or who was responsible.

Do they support the illegal name change or do they not? Do they accept their mandate to protect the Lake, or do they not?   And they do not seem to want to address the divisions within their own group.

Is it possible that some members of the Commission are sympathetic to developers who plan a large project at the North End where Wesley Lake is vulnerable to increased street water pollution?

Recently a member of the Commission said that Wesley Lake is “not protected by Green Acres,” but Mayor Brantley disagreed.  The Lake is on the Neptune ROSSI list of Green Acres properties in town, and that designation means that the Lake is to be protected for recreation and conservation only, and the Township already gets grant money for that protection

It also didn’t seem to bother the Chair Gail Rosewater that there were no functioning microphones at the meeting held in the large Neptune Committee Room, so it was hard for the public to hear anything, particularly since there was some whispering going on between commissioners.   Also, they do not record their meetings for review at a later date, and their minutes are inadequate. The last set posted is from July 18 and it is less than one page long.

Here are some quotes emanating from the Phony Baloney Commission, as documented by Jack Bredin who heard them in person:

“The Lake is man-made.”

“The Lake’s filthy conditions are naturally occurring.”

“The Lake is a detention basin used to treat street run-off.”

“The State allows Lake pollution by street water draining into the Lake”

“The Lake is not a lake, it is a pond.”

Finally, the WLC is fearful of public opinions at their meetings, so they announced at this meeting that from now on, the public portion will be held at the beginning of the meeting rather than at the end, so whatever they say at a meeting is not open for public comments at that time.   The Chairwoman also wanted to reduce public comments to 3 minutes instead of 5.  Even though there was no resolution regarding the public portion, these decisions will begin at the next meeting, although she initially wanted to begin immediately without a vote.

Isn’t it pathetic that this group wants to stifle public comment when their meetings are so useless that only one or two citizens actually  show up and want to speak, and two meetings ago, Jack and I wanted to speak but were shouted down?

If we had a citizen activist group in Ocean Grove we could picket the meetings, demand action, and shout them down, unless the Mayors shut them down first.










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Girls in their summer clothes. Ocean Grove 1923. Photographer unknown.

This photograph, taken in 1923, was during Prohibition, which ended in 1933.  The HBO series called Boardwalk Empire was all about prohibition at the Jersey Shore, especially in Atlantic City, but some location shots were filmed in the Grove. The Albatross was used for some scenes.   Do a Blogfinger search for “Albatross.”

Of course, OG was a dry town, but who knows how much illegal booze made its way here?  But the clip below shows why Atlantic City was more fun than Ocean Grove in 1923..

1923 was a pivotal year. It was only 3 years after the newly incorporated independent Borough of Ocean Grove was shut down by the State Supreme Court, unfortunately returning governance to the Camp Meeting Association and Neptune Township. This latter partnership has remained alive and continues to cause havoc for the people of Ocean Grove, even today, even after the CMA finally lost centralized governmental control in 1980.

1923 also saw a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan at the Jersey Shore, especially in Long Branch and Asbury Park. But in May, 1924, the Grand Dragon spoke in the Great Auditorium. He emphasized religious themes, but also attacked Jews and Catholics for allegedly plotting against America.

He returned to the GA in 1924 to make the case against miscegenation.  The KKK was thrown out of Long Branch as it was bad for business. Similarly, Asbury  also repelled the Klan because those two towns had many minority groups including Italians, Jews, Greeks and blacks.

Another important event in 1923 Ocean Grove was a bill that made its way into the Legislature in Trenton to grant Ocean Grove a separate tax district with its own tax rates. But somehow, that bill “got lost” in the legislature.

During 1923, Ocean Grove was actively advertising for the tourist trade, and it was successful for years after, out to the 1960’s.

Also, 1923 was one of the last summers when John Phillip Sousa would perform in the Great Auditorium.

The 1970’s saw riots at the Shore, especially A. Park,  which threw a monkey wrench into tourism. Over the ensuing years, the Shore began to deteriorate. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s in a downtrodden Ocean Grove, that the comeback began.

OG history timeline on Blogfinger:

Ocean Grove history timeline by Blogfinger

Here is a link to Sousa in the Grove:

Sousa in the Grove. Click me


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“Many haunting and fun songs come out of Winterpills  (2007), and I like this one in particular—- “Shameful.” Each number appears as a part of a larger message machine, or portfolio.”

Winterpills is an American Indie Rock band.

From Brian O’Reilly:    “The musicians speak as one voice,  as they say on their bio page. They formed after one brutal winter of “breakups and deaths.” But this crew distills experiences like a musical moonshine operation with poetry and images run through their distillery, transforming despair into hope, cold into joy, and empty jars into product.

“As read in their website, band members were drawn together not out of fame and sport, but out of their real and very personal lives. “Not of disport and recreation,” as Queen Elizabeth I so famously said to her soldiers in her Tilbury speech to Renaissance troops fighting Spain.  The fighters there were dispirited regarding the coming battlefield, but then elevated by her crafted appearance.”

“The lyrics are abstract, brief. Taken together with their other music, a story of the importance to view despair as fleeting is kindly conveyed. The music and imagery are reflections of inspirational and familiar 60’s riffs. It seems the best acts fondly recount for our pleasure their history, fleeting history, and our shared history. Enjoy!”

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Rhinebeck, NY (Hudson River Valley) Paul Goldfinger © October, 2017. Click to enlarge.


STAN GETZ  “‘Tis Autumn:”

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Carly Brown is a student at the Culinary Institute of America  (CIA)  in Hyde Park, NY.  Photo and text  by Paul Goldfinger © 10/15/17.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

We met Carly today when we visited the Rhinebeck, NY,  Sunday morning Farmers Market.  She is in her second year at the famous school of culinary arts located at a 170 acre campus on the east bank of the Hudson River.  She is working towards a 2 year associates degree in  Baking and Pastry Arts.

Today Carly is representing the Tousey Winery of Clermont, New York.  We were surprised to find out that Tousey made a pinot noir.  We bought a bottle to try.   Of course, NY State is famous for its wineries. I recommend the dry Riesling by Dr. Konstantin Frank of the Finger Lakes.


Rhinebeck Farmers Market. October 16,2017. Blogfinger photo © Click to enlarge.

We enjoy this farmers market because it provides a look at the wide variety of products originating in the Hudson Valley where they have many farms producing some unusual crops and products.  After November the market moves indoors, but it does continue year round. It is about 3 hours from Ocean Grove, but they have some wonderful B and B’s up there.

The restaurateurs in that region  follow the “farm to table” idea of serving all regional ingredients, and we saw some excellent examples of that today including goat feta cheese, fine baked goods including  excellent Danish and baguettes,  chicken liver mousse, terrific scalion sausages served on a stick with a piece of crunchy bread, fingerling potatoes, long red radishes like we had in France, baby kale served raw in salads or sauteed as a side dish,  local beers, wool from sheep farms, yarn from alpaca farms, and even a local distillery selling apple jack and single malt whiskey among other selections. 

The meat farmers were offering foi gras,  venison,  chickens, pork, duck, and turkey sausages.   Of course there was a huge selection of fresh picked apples and pears. 

This was a real farmers market selling very little besides food.  I got a T-shirt celebrating the market, and the designer was there. She told me to get the XL.  Wouldn’t it be great if you went to buy clothes, and the designer was there?       They had two alpacas , and Eileen got some yarn to crochet a tiny hat for our new grandson who is now into his second  trimester.  But he won’t get his hat until he is born.  Yet it would be fun if he popped out wearing a hat


Alpaca fleece is warm, comfy and hypoallergenic. It comes in a variety of colors. It is related to camels. Blogfinger photo. Rhinebeck, NY.

The market is only open for 4 hours, and it is primarily for the locals. They don’t have flea markets, car shows and other large dopey events to paralyze their town.   There was a parking lot for the market-goers.  It there is a large event, like the annual NY State sheep shearing festival, it is held at the Duchess County Fair Grounds nearby.

Rhinebeck is a small historic town (pop 7,500)  in the Hudson River Valley dating back to the 1600’s. It now is a fabulous place with art, culture, music, fashion, great eateries and no shlock.    It could be a roll model for Ocean Grove.

The downtown is successful with businesses like galleries, yarn shops,  fine coffee shops, a fabulous  book store,  a shoe store, and an art house movie theater.   A restaurant “Terrapin,” is in a converted Baptist church. It was just voted two Best in the Hudson Valley awards, and the owner/chef Josh Kroner is from New Jersey.  We ate there. The oyster shooters are addictive.




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3 Goldfingers: Michael, Myrna and Stephen. (left to right) Chester, NJ. Myrna, my Mom, loved music–especially Broadway show tunes.


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Peter Tallman, Union Army soldier, 1861. Submitted by Peter Stunz of Ocean Grove.

We received this photograph from Peter Stunz of Ocean Grove.   His email offers this explanation:

Just a side note: This is my great grandfather Peter Tallman (I was named after him, my mother’s maiden name is Tallman). He was a volunteer with the 127th Volunteer Infantry.  He never saw a battlefield. He was severely injured when a tree limb fell on him while they were clearing a path somewhere unknown.

His past was one of many reasons that lead me to be a student of history.  I would also like to add as a side note that the Tallmans have been living in Ocean Grove (renting) since nearly the beginning and we have had our summer home here since 1955. We love reading your blog and have been loyal readers since Sandy.

Editor’s note:  Thanks to Peter for sharing.  I love to hear  anecdotes from those who have lived here and know the history of Ocean Grove.  Of course, OG was founded after the Civil War  (1861-1865.)  But, the Methodist antecedents that ultimately led to the founding of the Grove, had their origins much earlier.

There were many Civil War soldiers from New Jersey and New York, and Peter’s great grandfather was a member of a volunteer regiment that was mustered in 1862 in Staten Island for 3 years service  (until 1865).   It was, as he points out, the 127th Volunteer New York Infantry Regiment.

That outfit did see some action, but I was interested, from a medical point of view, to learn that they lost 130 men—35 killed and 94 dead of “disease.”  Conditions tended to be awful for soldiers on both sides, with malnutrition, poor water, bad hygiene and of course many communicable diseases before the age of antibiotics.  The most common medical procedure was amputation of legs—a horrible chapter in American medical history, but combat medicine/surgery is so much better now.  However, like all military preparations, we hope that the techniques will never be needed.

The photograph Peter sent is a daguerreotype, a process that was invented around 1840 by Louis Daguerre and used mostly for portraits.  It was an expensive and fragile method using silvered   (light sensitive) copper plates. These images are  very collectible these days, especially ones that are of Civil War soldiers.

Below is a link on BF that discusses photography during the Civil War  (the last part of a piece about a historic photograph from Ocean Grove):

Fred’s Last Summer

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

JAQUELINE SCHWAB  “The Battle Cry of Freedom”  from Ken Burns documentary “The Civil War.”

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North Carolina monument at Gettysburg.  Paul Goldfinger photograph©  Tri-X collection.  Blogfinger.net



KINGS OF LEON with “Back Down South.”

“If you wanna go,
I’m going back down south now.
Come on take my hand,
I’m going back down south now.
When we see the lights,
And we hear those fights,
I’m going back down south now.”

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Heck Avenue south side, between Whitefield and Delaware Avenues. There are 3 handicapped spaces. All Blogfinger photos © 10/12/17


On the south side of Heck Avenue, between Whitefield an Delaware, are 6 parking spaces, and 3 are handicapped.  Each of those addresses have a reserved spot in front of their house.  The individual who is handicapped  is allowed to park in that spot or a vehicle owned by member of the immediate family who also resides at that address.

Typical handicapped space.  Blogfinger photo. ©

Only someone with a specific handicapped yellow sticker may park there, so another handicapped person cannot use that space.

The installation consists of a generous blue box with a white wheelchair painted within.  There is a handicapped street sign with two parts.

To get this privilege, one must get a report signed by a doctor. The eligibility criteria are below:


The Neptune Township ordinance regarding handicapped parking is 14-32, and the final approval is by the Chief of Police.  There are no restrictions related to whether the individual is full time or part time.


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Paul Goldfinger © Mt. Hermon Way, North End.  Ocean Grove,NJ.  December, 2012. Blogfinger.net


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