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Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Presents’ Category

Ocean Grove Beach. 2018. Paul Goldfinger ©

 

 

PETER GALLAGHER  AND JOSIE DE GUZMAN   From Guys and Dolls (1992)   Peter spots Josie on the OG Beach

 

 

 

 

 

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Eileen. By Paul Goldfinger ©

 

KARRIN ALLYSON  from her album Round Midnight.

 

 

 

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Ft. Myers, Fla. Paul Goldfinger portrait. December, 2019. ©

 

WAYLON JENNINGS AND WILLY NELSON:   Just substitute the word  cowgirls for cowboys—“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”

 

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Ralph Bunche in 1963 at the Civil Rights March on Washington. Internet photo.

Ralph Bunche in 1963 at the Civil Rights March on Washington. Internet photo.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

Ralph Bunche (1903-1971) reminds me of Paul Robeson because both were involved in the civil rights struggle for African-Americans long before the “Civil Rights Movement” actually began. Bunche wrote books about that subject and he became the first black to win a Nobel Peace Prize–he won the award in 1950 for his work in Palestine during the ’40’s. He grew up in Los Angeles, graduated UCLA summa cum laude, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard.

During WWII he worked for the OSS (the precursor of the CIA) and he also was instrumental in the formation of the United Nations. For over 20 years he was the chairman of Political Science at Howard University.

In 1963 he marched with Martin Luther King on the occasion of the “I Have a Dream” speech. He also was on the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Ralph Bunche walked the walk and talked the talk, and society valued him greatly during his lifetime.

We remember Ralph Bunche today on Blogfinger for his role in racial justice, but also because he was a great man who performed  good deeds all over the world;  and I have my eye on his memory specifically for the work he did in mediating peace–an “armistice”– in 1949 between the new State of Israel and the Arab side—Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

He said,    “I have a bias in favor of both Arabs and Jews in the sense that I believe that both are good, honorable and essentially peace-loving peoples, and are therefore as capable of making peace as of waging war …” – Ralph Bunche, 1949

In Fort Myers, Florida, there is a lovely beach dedicated to the memory of Ralph Bunche. Ironically, it was the site years ago of a segregated beach for local black citizens.

Bunche Beach, Fort Myers, Florida. Jan. 18, 2015. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Bunche Beach, Fort Myers, Florida. Jan. 18, 2015. Photos by Paul Goldfinger ©

Bunche Beach. Jan 18, 2015. ©

Bunche Beach. Jan 18, 2015. ©

 

 

JOHN BARRY   “Coney Island”    From the motion picture Across the Sea of Time

 

 

2020 addendum:  There was a historic separate beach for African-Americans in Asbury Park  (see Helen’s comment).  This photo from 1908 refers to “Negroes” at that  segregated beach.  It is from the Internet:   (“history in photos.blogspot.com.)

 

 

Paul Goldfinger photograph. Bunche Beach, Fla. 2019.

 

THE MOONGLOWS

 

 

The Moonglows

 

 

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Paul Goldfinger. Ft. Myers Fla  Jan 17, 2020.

 

AMY WINEHOUSE:

 

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The Lagoon* at Shell Point, a private contained religious-owned community in Fort Myers, Florida Paul Goldfinger photo. Jan, 2020.

 

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.

Is the Camp Meeting Association’s unique status in Ocean Grove  so unusual that there is no other town exactly like it?  We would be interested to find another for historical and comparison purposes.

After all, the OGCMA is a religious organization with its own goals within the larger universe of Neptune Township and Ocean Grove.  They own 99% of the land in OG and they have political leverage in Neptune Township even though they no longer have official power.  When they governed the town—1869 to 1980, everyone had to follow their rules.

They functioned like a gated community.   They would interview prospective residents and explain that all who were accepted had to follow those rules, many of which were religious based, such as the constraints on many activities on Sundays.

But OG is no longer like a gated community. No one can make laws for Ocean Grove except the elected officials in Neptune.  Of course the CMA can make rules for its own buildings  (like no food in the Great Auditorium and no gay weddings in its chapel.)  Some would say that the CMA can make rules for its public parks and for the beachfront (eg no admittance on Sunday morning.)  The entire town is prevented from organizing certain events on Sunday, such as occur in Asbury Park  (eg  Pride Parade  and their January Beer Festival.)  Such limitations trace back to the CMA and they still persist in 2020.

We discovered  one such place similar to the OGCMA within the city of Fort Myers, Florida, called Shell Point.  This is a 700 acre community that provides homes and life styles for retirees. Everything within its boundaries is owned by the CMA—the Christian Missionary Alliance.

Unlike the OGCMA, the Alliance owns both the land and all the residences (homes, condos, apartments.)   And, unlike with the OGCMA, everyone who lives in Shell Point has signed a contract to follow all the rules.  So if they say “no alcohol” within their boundaries, then that is what happens, and rule breakers can be forced out, and the city stays out of it.

OGCMA insists on no alcohol in town by convincing Neptune to have an ordinance—an actual law, but only in the OG part of town.   So the way that power is exerted, in this regard, is different for these two religious-based communities when compared to each other.

Like OG, Shell Point is bordered by water on 3 sides, and they have a large central auditorium where religious events are held.  They also have parking problems. Governance is by a Board that has a mixture of religious and lay people.  The residents do pay some property taxes, but the amount is small and shared with management.  Everything is leased.

Unlike Ocean Grove, Shell Point does resemble a gated community but without gates.  And it is different in many other ways as well.

Geographically, the OGCMA is woven into the fabric of life in the Grove, literally and figuratively, whereas Shell Point’s properties, physical and otherwise,  are clearly demarcated by boundaries and this characteristic reduces the chances of clashes with the community at large, as sometimes occur in Ocean Grove.

Overall, we would be hard pressed to find any towns in New Jersey that are comparable to OG, especially the way we have the CMA which is part and yet not part of our town at the same time.

At a person-to-person level, an important difference  is that there is considerable overlap of the OGCMA with the secular and diverse residents of Ocean Grove.  And that is where conflicts may occur, as we saw in 2007 during the gay civil ceremony angry exchanges and the fight over Kirk Cameron’s appearance in the Great Auditorium. And now we have the Parking Wars.

In Shell Point, the residents are all on the same page and rarely overlap in important ways with those who live outside their invisible borders.

And unlike with many gated communities and unlike Shell Point, our CMA isn’t able to exert its powers of persuasion within a geographically demarcated zone, as it did pre-1980, and the demographics in OG are now quite diverse.  We are sometimes stepping on each others’ toes, priorities and life styles.

So Shell Point does resemble Ocean Grove’s CMA in some ways, and that is interesting, but there are many differences.

We are still looking for another community where a religious presence like the CMA coexists in a comfortable way with others in town.  We have found no nearly identical community to compare with.

So we are on our own in OG,  trying to find solutions to certain issues, and sometimes that seems insurmountable as with parking.  And that is why parking is about more than parking.

 

* “Forever Friends” is a 1500 pound stainless steel structure by Douglas Hayes (b. 1968) and donated by a Shell Point benefactor.  The birds have a 10 foot wing span.  The lagoon features manatees which visit regularly.  Shell Point is open to the public and has various races and religions among its residents.

 

PAUL MOTIAN:    “I Remember You”

 

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Blogfinger cows. BF photo.  Eat more grass, pass more gas.

 

a.  From the OGHOA—  next meeting:

 Saturday, January 25  10:00 am

The Community Room on Pilgrim Pathway

Guest Speakers – Matt Nolan, owner of Park West Property Appraisals, and Thea Bowers, real estate broker w/ ReMax, will discuss home prices in Ocean Grove, what factors — including parking — affect sale prices, whether to appeal a property assessment, and the appeal process itself.

Editor’s note; If you are concerned about your home’s price assessment, do something to improve the outlook for home owners in this town:  life styles, congestion, one party rule, secession, oppressive taxes, CMA indifference, street closings,  tourist glut and other abominations.

Begin by getting an effective Home Owners Association.   They are having speakers about property assessments, but what are they actually doing about it?    Blogfinger awards them our excess cow gas prize for 2019.

 

b.  OGHOA web site:   Currently the President’s report says, “For the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association, 2016 was a successful and consequential year.”    After that it has been inconsequential.

 

c.   Dog show

Dog beautification. Cape Coral, Fla.  What the hey?

 

 

d.  Quote of the day:  “Don’t get your bowels in an uproar”     My mother said that to quiet down noisy  protestations.  As a physician I did find out about mind-body connections, so my Mom knew something about that.  She also believed in wheat germ, but that’s another story.

e.  Song of the day   JOHNNY CASH:

 

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We have heard from a number of citizens in the Grove that their home assessments have gone up substantially, beyond what would reasonably be expected. They fear that the result will be an increase in property taxes above the State mandated cap of 2%.

Some believe that substantial tax increases could occur in Ocean Grove if taxes elsewhere in Neptune were lowered yielding extra funds for schools and maintenance of the cap overall in the city (at the expense of OG.)

In Trenton, the legislature has been wanting to allow increases above the caps, but the Governor is looking for other answers. Where are Assemblymen Houghtaling and Downey on this issue?  Is there any level of government where our elected officials will communicate with OG citizens?

Some OG residents have engaged an attorney to fight what they see are unfair  and  illegal tax increases.

If the OG Home Groaners had any sense of doing their job, they would have somebody on their board who is knowledgeable and who is aggressively looking into property taxes on behalf of the homeowners and then communicating with the citizens.  But their priorities are elsewhere.

BF  LINKS:

 

Leaving town

tax man

 

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dca-1

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Blogfinger keeps one eye out for announcements from Trenton that might impact us in Ocean Grove.  We periodically hear from the Division of Codes and Standards in Trenton.

They know of our interest in RSIS parking standards and they know that Blogfinger and other citizens might show up at a pertinent meeting of the Site Improvement Advisory Board (SIAB,) and that is something that the Neptuners would not enjoy.

We just received an announcement  of the SIAB’s meeting schedule for 2020.

The letter says “Proposed 2020 changes to the Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS) are now at the Governor’s office for review. The following changes were approved and recommended by the Site Improvement Advisory Board (SIAB).”

 

a.  ” Assisted Living facilities (as defined by the NJ Department of Health) are considered residential uses subject to RSIS.”

We don’t know if Allegria might be “grandfathered” in, but this new regulation may cause them trouble in terms of parking in the Grove for residents, visitors and staff.  Typically the parking situation over at the south side is not bad.

 

b.  “Large parking lots to multifamily, residential development with 100 or more spaces must have divided or secondary entrance for emergency access.  Designers may extend use of secondary access to residents and guests, but only with reviewer approval.”

We assume that these “changes” would apply to the proposed 140 space underground parking facility at the North End.  The main access is supposed to receive cars from Ocean Avenue.  Then there is an egress on Beach, but perhaps that can also be used for ingress.

FYI–around town in the Grove.

 

 

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Critics’ consensus. “Hard-hitting, and an impressive technical achievement, 1917 captures the trench warfare of World War I with raw, startling immediacy.”

 

 

Forbes review:

1917 is the most immersive experience I’ve had at the cinema for some time; many movies are equally as enjoyable in the living room as they are in the theater, but 1917 simply demands to be experienced on a grand scale, on an oversized screen, boasting powerful speakers. 

The film follows two unremarkable British corporals on a mission, to make their way through enemy territory and deliver an important message to their comrades. The Germans have set a trap, seemingly making a strategic withdrawal, but are secretly waiting, armed and ready to slaughter the incoming British soldiers. 

Schofield and Blake (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) are in a race against time, struggling to remain alive in the apocalyptic fever dream of WWI.

 

Blogfinger:    I have always enjoyed war movies, especially those about WWII.  But now we have an amazing film about the “great war,”  WWI, the era of trench warfare. Oscar nominated for “Best Picture.”

Seeing this film on the big screen is amazing as the audience is brought into the experience as if they were along for the dangerous ride.   The movie gives the illusion that it was all shot in one span of time.

I was so glued to my seat that I forgot to eat my Snow Caps.

The story is one of great risk, adventure, heroism and long odds for success.   The cinematography, directing, scenics and acting were so good that you want to grab a gun and help them out.  The  tension heats up as the movie progresses, and there are some uproarious combat scenes near the end when the suspense becomes almost unbearable.  There was music, but I barely noticed it, and that is likely the intention.

As I have done in the past, starting with the Apollo landing on TV, I did some photography of the screen.  Click to enlarge.  All images credit to Universal and Dreamworks©

 

All screen shots by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net.

 

All images by Universal and Dreamworks.

 

Universal and Dreamworks.
Universal and Dreamworks

 

 

 

THOMAS NEWMAN.   Composer of the movie soundtrack (1917).  “Come Back To Us.”  (Oscar nominee for best original music score)

 

 

 

 

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