Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Presents’ Category

Ocean Grove. June 21, 2019. Morning. Paul Goldfinger ©


THE BEACH BOYS:    “Sloop John B.”


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SEALS AND CROFTS:   (play music and video together)


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Paul Goldfinger © Chicken Road #4. March, 2019.


GROUPLOVE     “Tongue Tied.”   From the album Never Trust a Happy Song.


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Paul Goldfinger ©. Ocean Grove, NJ, June 20, 2019




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In 2016 we posted a comprehensive article about the future of Wesley Lake including  24 comments as to how the North End Plan might influence it.

Now that the NERP seems to be lumbering to actual implementation, it seems like a good time to bring this post to the surface once again.    Click on the word “Blogfinger” beneath this sentence.—Paul @Blogfinger


Wesley Lake, Ocean Grove side. Paul Goldfinger photograph © 2015 Wesley Lake, Ocean Grove side. Paul Goldfinger photograph © 2015

By Paul Goldfinger, editor and Jack Bredin. researcher

Many years ago, Wesley Lake was an estuary, flowing directly into the ocean. When the founders of Ocean Grove arrived, it was a fairly small body of water, but it was influenced by tidal flows.

Once development of our town began, the Founders, who were interested in summer water activities (“Holy Leisure,”) built a dam at the east end to enlarge the Lake, and as many as 300 boats could be seen cruising those waters in the summer. They had fabulous festivals on the water such as Illumination Night which attracted thousands. There was a ferry.

Surface water from Asbury Park and Ocean Grove flowed into the Lake.   Water flowing over the dam would fill a retention basin which would collect the Lake spillover as well as sewage from the two towns…

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By Paul Goldfinger, and Jack Bredin. Blogfinger.net. June 18, 2019.  Ocean Grove, NJ.

It seems that those who are investing in the current North End Redevelopment Plan, including the CMA,  finally got fed up with 11 years of dithering.  Recall that in 2008 they persuaded the Township to declare the North End to be “an area in need of redevelopment.”

But such areas  are supposed to help  (public welfare)  down-and-out properties to recover, usually in down-and-out towns or cities. This has never described Ocean Grove.

No objective observer could consider this OG North End Redevelopment Plan to be anything but private welfare for a group of people and groups.  (WAVE and CMA; now known as OGNED and CMA.)

The Township inappropriately agreed to this charade and they recently recognized, due to the delays, that this was in fact “an area in need of attorneys.”

So fast forward through years of no-go.  In 2018 the Township used public money to pay for a private redevelopment lawyer who would guaranty an agreement that would legally be unassailable, would plug all holes, and would make the investors rich.

Whether it would be good for the town was an  irrelevant after-thought.

The lawyer saw to it that the Township would promise that OGNED would become the only Redeveloper, and that process is currently underway.  Heading this process is William Gannon, III, Esq. He is a private citizen but somehow he controls the controls at the Committee.

Why the Township went on with this subterfuge for 11 years is unknown since the NERP is, despite OGNED’s assertion, not good for the town of Ocean Grove.  It will produce more congestion, ugliness, and parking problems. Grovers like to take a deep breath and see the Ocean.

This brings us to the Trojan horse.  On the November 26, 2018  Township Committee Consent Agenda was Res 18-395.

“A consent agenda is a board meeting practice that groups routine business and reports into one agenda item.”    It is used to streamline items like ordering toilet paper for the Mother Ship. Its purpose is to approve items quickly and with little notice.   The list on November 26. 2018, consisted of 10 mundane items including awarding an animal control contract among other minor orders of business.

However, Resolution #18 -395 is also listed, and that item is not mundane at all—it is of major importance related to the North End Redevelopment Plan.   It “authorized the execution of a Conditional Designation and Interim Cost Agreement with OG North End Development, LLC”  including provisions for OGNED to pay money to Neptune to defray costs incurred in negotiating a Redevelopment Agreement.

But there were also exhibits and attachments which were not shared with the citizens in attendance, and those papers are complex legal documents.

Those documents, prepared by the special lawyer, covered a huge buffet of topics ranging from the details of the new plan, to lease arrangements, to flexibility in turning the hotel into condos, dropping the CMA from its role as redeveloper, opening a swimming pool and health club, and even doing the project in stages.  And there were many other topics listed and not mentioned or discussed out loud.

The lawyer created documents  (exhibits and attachments)  that closed every possible loophole and offered  assurances and variations for many items including how many residential units might be built.  Clearly, this was the heart and soul of the NERP, and it was being slipped under the door for approval by our elected officials without any public discussion and debate.

The Committee did not explain that this consent agenda item was really a Trojan Horse designed to hide and contain  all sorts of project details, allowing it to sneak inside the people’s house past the public’s filter.  Everyone on the Committee signed off on this blank check.

We suspect that Mr. Gannon’s appearance at the HOA is to use the meeting to let him charm the crowd and then claim that the people approved.  But the HOA by far does not represent the citizens of Ocean Grove.  They themselves are complicit in  this terrible North End Plan which, since 2008, is the only official plan, but somehow now is being exchanged for another plan without appropriate procedures.

Unfortunately, the Trojan horse enabled the Greeks to defeat Troy, and now, here, these modern day tricksters will get their way.  Just ask Joey, owner of Odyssey on Main, how that story worked out.

BAN THE PLAN: the only result that will keep our historic residential town from becoming Asbury Park South. Demand that the Neptune Committee cancel these agreements.






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Scene of the fire. 6/19/19. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has concluded that the fire  was “a  horrific accident.”   Click to enlarge.  Paul Goldfinger photograph ©


Trucks come down Ocean Avenue, enter the North End lot, and back into position on the beach. Paul Goldfinger photos and video. 6/19/19 . Blogfinger.net   ©


North End lot, watching the action. Blogfinger photo. 6/19/19 ©




By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Isn’t it curious, that these loaded trucks have no trouble crossing that lot, while parking for cars was refused in the past because of risk of collapse?

Onlookers continue to come by to gaze and take photos.  Children walk and bike by even though a large amount of debris is still present.

The asbestos sign on the fence has been removed, even though debris is still  being constantly moved around.

This job is being paid for by the White Whale owner.


KINGS OF LEON    (“Last Mile Home”)

“And the lights are swinging in the smoke
I’m a fool for conversation
And I’ve got nowhere to go….”

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Boys with toy guns are no longer politically correct on our beach. Click on the word Blogfinger below this sentence.


fig 22   By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.

Around 1912 Teddy Roosevelt was a hero in Ocean Grove. He had visited the Grove in 1899 and 1905.  “He epitomized the ideal of muscular Christianity….someone who became a skilled leader and protector of the nation.”  *  As President he spoke in the Great Auditorium, and he appeared on parade with his Rough Riders on the Ocean Pathway.

There was a major youth movement in the Grove back then including a militaristic version for boys called the Young Rough Riders. Boys in the Grove received militaristic training from the age of eight.

Regarding the photograph above, Troy Messenger *said, “A boy innocently playing soldier on the beach actually represented an important performance of gender identity within the perfectionism of Ocean Grove.”

Many of those boys went on to serve in the US Army during WW I.

* From Troy Messenger’s book “Holy Leisure: Recreation and…

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This photograph is from 2015 when I came upon members of the Liquid Church. So, now they are back in 2019—nothing new under the sun. Click on “Blogfinger” beneath this sentence


Sunday owning at the corner of Heck and Benson. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Sunday morning at the corner of Heck and Benson. The shirt says, “Fun.”   Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  May 31, 2015. Ocean Grove, NJ.  Blogfinger.net

The official program booklet of the OGCMA mentions nothing special for Sunday, May 31, but there is something special going on.  Driving around town this morning there are guides in the streets and at key corners wearing colorful T shirts and leis. They seem to be mostly young happy people who are carrying white arrows to direct visitors to shuttle buses and to the Great Auditorium for an 11:00 am church service.

The Liquid Church is based at 4 campuses in New Jersey and it offers a Christian message at their service this morning which includes live music and a sermon by their founder Pastor Tim. After the service they are holding a picnic on the Pathway and then, later, baptisms on the beach.

We spoke…

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North End Area in Need of Redevelopment Blogfinger photo ©


By Jack Bredin, Ocean Grove resident.

June 17, 2019.


In 2018, the Township Committee:

a. Withdrew the 2008 (10 year old) public North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) prepared by the Neptune Planning Board for the Township Committee.

b. Withdrew the title of “Co-Redevelopers” from both the OGCMA and WAVE.

c. Approved a 2011 private plan prepared by Shore Point Architecture for WAVE that the HOA took credit for negotiating with the CMA.  However, the Township is processing it as if it were a public plan.

That plan is now the OGNED plan that includes the Pavilion building in one section of resolution 18-395, but does not include the Pavilion in another section of the same resolution (Attachment A, dated 11-26-2018.)

d.  OGNED is now designated as the exclusive Conditional Redeveloper.  But it will become the Redeveloper when a Redevelopers Agreement is signed with the Township.

In 2019: The Township Business Administrator reported, “All issues regarding the OGNED plan have been worked out,” and a Redevelopers Agreement is ready to be signed.

It is clear that the Township Committee has already approved the private development plan prepared by WAVE for OGNED.

The next step is off to the Planning Board, and they will decide if the new OGNED plan is the same plan they prepared with Planning Consultants T&M Associates for the Township Committee in 2008.

Of course, it is not the same plan, but they will say “it is,” or they will be replaced

What is the Ocean Grove Homeowners Association’s role in all of this?

With a favorable response at the June 22 meeting of the HOA, the Township Committee can say, “The Home Owners of Ocean Grove support the high density WAVE/OGNED plan.”  After all, they supported the first 2008 plan and took credit for negotiating the new plan.

But to make the record clear on this matter, the Homeowners Association at their upcoming meeting should entertain a Motion of the Membership that they approve or do not approve the OGNED plan for the North End.

As to the HPC, they only make a recommendation, but the HOA represents the “conscience of the community of Ocean Grove” as well as the “will” of the people.

Is there any hope for Ocean Grove?


Editor’s note: HOA members—be sure to demand a vote as to whether the group wants to support the plan presented to them by Mr. Gannon.

That vote should only take place after all audience questions are answered and discussed.

And make sure that the individual who is presenting the plan is giving you confidence that he can be trusted to do the right thing  for the residential and historic town of Ocean Grove.

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor  Blogfinger.net.



THE PLATTERS.   Perhaps the HOA leadership will say they’re sorry for supporting the Township on this:




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