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New marina construction: floating docks, bulkheads June 9, 2013

New Shark River Municipal Marina construction: floating docks, June 9, 2013

New bulkheads, docking posts, water and electric almost complete

New bulkheads, docking posts, water and electric almost complete. Blogfinger photos.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.  This topic came to the surface after Sandy, but it was relevant before then and is relevant today.  Read it now in 2019 and you will see the similarities between Sandy and now.    Neptune Township has not changed its stripes—it takes from Ocean Grove but doesn’t give.

It is a bizarre relationship that should be subject to legal scrutiny, but that doesn’t happen.   We get minimal value for our tax dollars while other parts of town have favorite nation status.  It was unfair then, and it is unfair now, and the 800 pound gorilla in the Township, the OG Camp Meeting Association, is not interested in recognizing this conundrum.  (defined as “A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma.”)

 

The Fairness Dilemma in Neptune Township: (June, 2013) on Blogfinger.net

There are two similar public recreational places in Neptune Township: The Shark River Municipal Marina and the Ocean Grove Boardwalk. The Marina is owned by Neptune Township, while the OG Boardwalk is owned by the OG Camp Meeting Association. Both places are open to the public and provide public services.

Neptune manages and maintains the Marina, while the CMA does the same for the Boardwalk. Supposedly the Marina is self- sustaining, requiring no taxpayer dollars for its routine functions. The OG Boardwalk receives no taxpayer dollars from Neptune Township either.

But along comes a massive storm called Sandy, and there is destruction in both parts of town. A cleanup ensues after the storm, and Neptune Township borrows a great deal of money and  quickly begins to deal with the mess at Shark River. It sends crews everywhere except the beachfront at Ocean Grove. Its workers do not step beyond the eastern curb of Ocean Avenue.

Marina building after post-Sandy demolition by Neptune Township

Marina building after post-Sandy demolition by Neptune Township

Ocean Grove embarks on a slow cleanup, mostly with the help of volunteers. A remarkable outpouring of support brings help from around the state and other states as well. While the CMA struggles with its oceanfront cleanup, it tries to figure out how to pay the bills for the boardwalk reconstruction. Because of the uncertainty of financing, a phased project is designed. Once FEMA rejects their initial application, they know that the boardwalk will not be done for this coming summer.

In February, 2013, construction work begins at the Marina to replace bulkheads, docks, electric and water systems. The Township is sure it can get funding from FEMA. Their confidence lets them issue bonds while they wait for FEMA to pick up 75-90% of the bill.

Now, June, 2013, expensive floating docks are arriving and being installed at the Marina along South Riverside Drive at the Shark River. There are plans to rebuild the Marina buildings which were demolished. The Marina will be operational this summer; boaters are already enjoying their new dockings. The Riverside Park across the street has already been rebuilt to help lift the spirits of the citizens who live near the river. The final reconstruction of the Municipal Marina will be expensive.

Riverside Park is across the street from the Marina.

Riverside Park is across the street from the Marina. Blogfinger photo June 10, 2013

In Ocean Grove, a part of town which is almost identical in population to Shark River Hills, minimal rebuilding of the boardwalk has occurred—paid for by the OGCMA. There are no  plans to reconstruct the entire middle of the Boardwalk at this time. No FEMA money is approved, and an appeal has been denied.

Not a dime has been paid by Neptune Township for the oceanfront cleanup, nor do they intend to help pay for the boardwalk. They have given some advice and moral support, but evidently, it appears that they are certain that it is not their business. The Mayor says that no money can come from NT because the Boardwalk “is private.” In fact the financial burden for that is all on the CMA, generous donors from outside, and the people of Ocean Grove.

Yet the citizens of both parts of town pay taxes to Neptune and the Federal Government. One part is being helped, but not the other part. The only difference between the two is that the owners are different. But in terms of public service, they are essentially the same. In fact Ocean Grove serves many more people on their Boardwalk than are served at the Marina.

Where is the fairness in that? The people who live by the ocean want access to their public place restored just as those who live along the Shark River do.

OK, the CMA owns the boardwalk, but it is used as a public facility and it has been recognized as such in the past by court rulings. (ref: State Sen. Jeniffer Beck) The CMA has acted in good faith all these years by maintaining the boardwalk so that it is accessible and free to everyone. I bet most of the boardwalkers never wonder who actually owns that wonderful place, and Neptune has not objected in the past to the public services provided by a private group. They were OK with the unique private/public relationship as long as they were getting, but not giving. But now, after the storm destruction, the boardwalk is recognized only as being private. They seem to have forgotten the rest.

Maybe the FEMA bureaucrats see a distinction according to their rules, but to the people of the Grove, it fails the smell test. The situation requires special consideration by Neptune Township because fairness is the American way, and, in our country, rules are often changed in the interest of fairness. Neptune needs to take down the smokescreen, start thinking out of the box, and try harder to find a way to help the taxpaying citizens of Ocean Grove.

2019 update:  A private fund raising effort by the CMA brings in over $1,000,000 (the Together Fund.)  The Township eventually issues bonds to help pay for part of the boardwalk, but that isn’t the same as free money provided by FEMA to the Shark River area.  Eventually FEMA did award some money after appeals, but not enough to rebuild it all in the Grove, and they denied payment to bring back the pier after initially promising  payment.  It took several years to restore the entire boardwalk, one of the slowest beach towns to recover.  Meanwhile, while the CMA had to beg for some FEMA money, parts of Seaside Park were rebuilt twice.

Today, Neptune Township continues to show little interest in its “historic district,” and it refuses to recognize the specific demographic of “OG residents.”

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This is the cover of the Together Campaign 2015 booklet. This painting was made by Sue Anderson Gioulis, artist of Ocean Grove. ©

This is the cover of the Together Campaign appreciation 2015 booklet. The painting was created  by Sue Anderson Gioulis, Ocean Grove artist. © Re-post in Blogfinger from 2015.  The Together Campaign raised over $1,500,000.

 

Sign on the Great Auditorium before Sandy hit. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

 

August, 2015:      “May what we do and how we do it strengthen and rebuild Ocean Grove.”

“These words introduce the booklet just distributed at the Together Campaign dedication of the newly renovated Cupola in Auditorium Square Park on Sunday, August 2, 2015.  The booklet lists all the contributors, volunteers, organizations, fund raiser events, citizens, businesses, Together Campaign workers, and others who deserve recognition for their contributions to achieve the Campaign’s goals. Over 2,000 people contributed money, large and small amounts.”

“The recognition list of all these groups and people is huge and will make great bedtime reading.    The booklet contains a history of the Sandy super-storm in OG along with many photographs.  It will become a treasured memento.”

“Dale Whilden, President of the OGCMA said  (August 2, 2015) , ‘The great and overwhelming success of the TOGETHER Campaign was achieved by the generosity of dedicated donors, valuable volunteers, extraordinary organizations, and commitment of the Campaign Steering Committee, each of which worked hand-in-hand to accomplish a virtually miraculous outcome’ ”

 

Editor’s Note, April, 2019:  The OG Camp Meeting Association accomplished quite a few projects with this fund including boardwalk repairs, Great Auditorium roof reconstruction, and Thornley Chapel project, among others.

The Blogfinger Film Festival is mentioned among that large list of contributors.  We brought  film students from  6 universities in the area.  The event was held in the Youth Temple with the help of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and the OGCMA.  All profits went to the Fund.

Soon the CMA will embark on another fund raising drive which will have multiple goals including restoring the Pier.  We will report on the details.

–Paul Goldfinger,   Editor@Blogfinger.net

ALICIA MORTON and VICTOR GARBER  from Annie—-“Leaping lizards, together at last, together forever”

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OG Beachfront. Jan. 13, 2014. by Bob Bowne

Ocean Grove beachfront.  The dredge has arrived.  January 13, 2014.   Photo by Bob Bowné. ©  Special to Blogfinger. Click to enlarge

MINDY GLEDHILL    “Winter Moon”

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4 degrees F. January 2004. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger ©

4 degrees F. January 2004. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click for full view

2004. Ocean Grove, NJ. by Paul Goldfinger © Left click for full view

2004. Ocean Grove, NJ. by Paul Goldfinger © Click for full view

By Paul Goldfinger, M.D.  Editor Blogfinger.net.   Re-posted from May, 2013, post-Sandy.

On May 2, 2013, we posted Part I of our piece about the Ocean Grove fishing pier,  “a historic landmark in a historic town.”  At the end of that article we discussed some of the more recent history of the pier and of the  Ocean Grove Fishing Club, also a historic entity dating back to the late 19th century.

Part II is below:

It would be best to pick up the story in December 1992 when a huge nor’easter destroyed most of the pier and some of the boardwalk. Only a small portion at the end of the pier was left, and the Fishing Clubhouse was carried out to sea.  The Club’s activities were curtailed until 1994 when the pier was rebuilt by the Fishing Club which obtained a Small Business Loan from the Government.  They borrowed $277,000 which was paid off by the Club members.

In exchange for that financial commitment, the only quid pro quo was that the Camp Meeting Association would grant them a 30 year lease extending out to 2024.

The mortgage was paid off a few years ago.  Note that the Club has always paid the property taxes for the pier, even though the property is still legally owned by the CMA.

Fast forward to August, 2011, when a hurricane named Irene damaged the fishing pier causing destruction of 9 pilings and 20 feet of pier. The boardwalk was not harmed.

The Camp Meeting Association applied to FEMA for $150,000 to make repairs to the pier, but the request was denied.

In a Blogfinger article  by Charles Layton (10/22/12)  about this matter, Mr. Ralph delCampo of the CMA is quoted as saying “The rejection was because the Fishing Club area is private.”

Once again the OG Fishing Club proposed to finance the reconstruction work if they could be granted an extension of the lease for another 30 years.

Link to 10/22/12 Blogfinger article about 2011 Irene damage to pier

Negotiations between the two sides moved slowly, and finally a decision by the CMA was to be presented on October 29, 2012, ironically the day that Sandy hit.  That meeting was never held.

Since Sandy, the Fishing Club has met with the CMA, but the CMA has not been willing to make a commitment regarding the future of the Fishing Club which still has 11 years on its lease.  The only thing that they will say with certainty is that they will rebuild the pier.

At this point  (2013,) the Fishing Club has lost some members, dropping down to 100.  Again, it has offered to finance the rebuilding of the pier, but the CMA has expressed concerns about that financing arrangement and will not agree to the proposal at this time. Mr. delCampo estimates that the pier will cost between $750,000 to $1 million, although the Fishing Club members think it could be less.

Mr. delCampo will not discuss the pier situation beyond what he has said already.  If the CMA has more specific plans for the pier, it has not revealed those plans publicly.

At a meeting of the Fishing Club Board of Trustees today  (May, 2013,)  we heard some frustration  expressed.  The members can’t understand why the CMA would refuse their offer to pay.  “Where is the downside of accepting our offer?” asked one member. “We are willing to foot the bill.”  The members pointed out that the 1992 nor’easter was a similar situation, and the club kept all its promises including paying off the loan   “There is a precedent,” said one of the trustees.

The Fishing Club views itself as being “good citizens” of Ocean Grove, always supportive of the town including a $5,000.00 donation to the Phase 1 rebuilding effort.   They say, “We want what’s best for the community.”  Their frustrations can be heard in their comments including: “We’re very disappointed.  We’re  saddened and perplexed.  What are their intentions? They don’t want to engage us. This is a stalemate.”

The Fishing Club trustees refuse to consider their organization as a private club.  They say that anyone can be a member, and the only reason for limiting the membership has to do with size—-“engineering and safety issues.”

Since 2011, the famous “teaching kids to fish program” has been curtailed. The group thinks that their history and their record of being a “community within a community” needs to be recognized.

What if the Fishing Club is not reinstated on the pier?  This is something they do not want to consider, but if it happens, they will continue as a surf-fishing club, but without the kids—it would be too risky and there would have to be lifeguards, rescue boats, etc.

President Al Dawson points out that Asbury Park and Bradley Beach have fishing clubs, but no piers.  However, continuing a fishing pier  tradition in the Grove that is at least 115 years old is the only way to satisfy these OG fishermen and fisherwomen.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  May 21, 2013.  Besides the members of the OGFC and the management of the OGCMA, I don’t know how many of you actually care about the intricate details of this situation.  However, after another interview with Mr. Ralph delCampo of the OGCMA, I have to clarify a few points.

First, the FEMA denial for funds to restore the fishing pier after Irene (2011)  was not due to the presence of a private club at the end of the pier.  That is what the October article in BF said, but Mr. delCampo believes there was a misunderstanding.

Instead, the denial in 2011 was because the pier was defined as a recreational facility owned by a private nonprofit organization.

The only difference now  (2013),  post Sandy,  is that financing for  both the pier and the boardwalk were denied by FEMA because they are deemed recreational and owned by a private nonprofit.

Second, regarding the OG Fishing Club, Mr. delCampo says that he cannot accept an agreement now with the OGFC until he has “clarity” regarding the FEMA appeal.  He says that there are “four or five scenarios” which could develop regarding financing  which could  influence decisions about the Fishing Club.  He said, “Once we have clarity we will talk to the Fishing Club and entertain all options.”

He reminded me that in 1992, when the OGFC financed the reconstruction of the pier, the collateral for that financing was the Camp Meeting Association itself. This is the first time that fact has been mentioned in this dialogue.  So here is yet another variable to consider.

Mr. delCampo says that he is working on “parallel sequential decision trees” which make a final decision impossible at this time. One variable that he acknowledges is that he has not seen a formal, concrete financing commitment  from the Fishing Club.  If one were to materialize now, he says that he would consider it. His working understanding, based on engineering analysis, is that  the job will cost $750,000-$1,000,000.

I think I have laid out the facts, so at this point, May, 2013, the two parties need to talk to each other.  Either party may, of course, comment below.—–Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger.

Editor’s note January 20, 2018:     *Eventually FEMA approved boardwalk funding in 2014, but they did not approve the request for public funds to rebuild the pier, and there was no appeal because the CMA did not want to rattle the cages in Washington once again.

The CMA has placed the pier reconstruction at the bottom of their priority list, and currently the North End boardwalk work is about to begin. At no time has the CMA bailed out on their promise to eventually restore the pier.

As for the Fishing Club’s current status, we have no information, but if that group still exists, they are welcome to comment below.

JOHN COLTRANE  “Say It Over and Over Again.”

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October 30, 2012, 7:45 am. Rear of Great Auditorium.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

October 30, 2012, 7:45 am. Rear of Great Auditorium. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

GA roof on the morning of  Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Great Auditorium  roof on the morning of Tuesday, October 30, 2012, one day after Sandy hit. The photo does not show the front side damage.  This portion of the roof is on the north side.     Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

BF roof story Nov. 5, 2012

BF roof story Jan 14, 2014

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is ready to complete work on the Great Auditorium roof, but they have had daunting problems deciding about which material to use.  Their plan had been to obtain zinc coated stainless steel material, but manufacturing challenges have prevented that.  JP Gradone, COO of the OGCMA, sent us the comment below in response to a Blogfinger inquiry yesterday.

“Our insurance company has recently agreed to pay for the installation of a temporary EPDM rubber roof on the damaged area while we continue to work closely with the insurance company to find a permanent solution to resolvethe situation with the roofing material.  The temporary roof was completed this week  and gives the Great Auditorium an excellent short-term solution while we carefully determine the best material for the permanent roof.”

EPDM rubber roofing on the south side.  Blogfinger photos

EPDM rubber roofing on the south side. Blogfinger photos

EPDM rubber roofing on the north side.

EPDM rubber roofing on the north side.

 

One year ago we wrote about the Woody Allen movie “Stardust Memories.”  Here is a link to that article because it shows the Great Auditorium decked out as the Stardust Hotel for that 1980 film which Allen considers one of his best.

https://blogfinger.net/2013/12/28/remembering-stardust-memories/

And for this article about the GA roof, here is a version of “Stardust,” a song by Hoagy Carmichael,  that was performed by Louis Armstrong in the movie.

But now, in 2015, we present a contemporary jazz version of “Stardust,” an instrumental, by Warren Vaché on trumpet  (a Jersey boy,)  Derek Watkins, and the Brian Lemon Quartet.

 

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South end beach in Ocean Grove after Dec. 9 2014 nor'easter.  Paul Goldfinger photo

South end beach in Ocean Grove after Dec. 9 2014 nor’easter. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

CMA logo

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

On December 9, 2014, the Jersey Shore got blasted by a nor’easter which produced several inches of rain and high winds. We went down to the Ocean Grove beach and found the beach and dunes to appear a bit wasted.

Four days ago, NJTV News posted a report from Mantoloking, Bay Head, and Ortley Beach (Toms River) regarding the sand and dune losses at those beach towns.  All three had less damage to their beaches than what might have occurred if they hadn’t provided post-Sandy protections, including  a steel wall,  a rock wall with 7 ton boulders, and a huge dune respectively.

Here is a link to that article:   NJTV link

In Ocean Grove, the Camp Meeting Association has been engineering the new beachfront to provide protections from future storms, including our own steel bulkhead, new dunes, and a new strong boardwalk design. 

 

We contacted William Bailey, Director of Operations at the OGCMA, and this is his reply:

“Paul, the nor’easter caused minimal sand loss, and we anticipate that it will once again build back up.  The “sad” dune photo you posted was of the south end dune that was established in the months following the hurricane.  That dune has remained as it is now, with little change other than more sand accumulating.

“The new dune process is from the Pier towards the boardwalk pavilion or between Heck and McClintock St.   Those dunes were not affected by the nor’easter;  in fact the newly established dunes along with the sand fence recently installed collected sand as designed, thus you will note there was no sand blown on the boardwalk or roadway.

“The dune work will be on going over the next year as more sand fence is installed and then dune grass plantings in the fall of 2015.”

William H Bailey

Director of Operations

 

AL JOLSON:   (we’re sending this out to Susan and Jim of OG who themselves are soon heading for the Golden State)

 

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next day oct 30 am

Ocean Grove.  The next day.  Oct. 30, 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

After consulting with a well known dune scientist and other experts,  an “engineered design” was developed for rebuilding OG’s dunes, and that project will begin next week. The main purpose of the dunes will be to protect the OG beachfront and the town itself from future storms.

This announcement was made by J.P. Gradone, the COO of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, and we also interviewed Bill Bailey, the CMA Director of Operations, who has been the point man for all the post-Sandy work that we have been witnessing during the last two years.

Stewart Farrell, our dune consultant, is a  scientist who is the Director of the Richard Stockton Coastal Research Center. He has been studying the Jersey Shore for nearly 30 years. Farrell walked our beach to assess elevations and sand loss immediately after Sandy hit.  Then, he returned in March, 2013, to hit the beach again with Bill Bailey and to begin discussions of dune planning.  Two weeks ago  he returned to help finalize the plans for rebuilding the dunes here in the Grove.

After Sandy devastated the Shore, Farrell said that the beaches which had received prior replenishment from the Army Corps of Engineers and which had the highest and widest dunes had the least amount of damage.

In Ocean Grove, the places where there were no bulkheads and where openings in the dunes let in the storm flood (“the funnel effect,”) there was the most boardwalk destruction. Our dunes had been developing for 25 years, and they offered a good measure of protection for the town during Sandy, “getting us through some high tides. ”

Except for the beach and board damage, however, Ocean Grove didn’t do too badly from Sandy compared to the damage elsewhere such as in Mantoloking and Harvey Cedars. Besides the dunes, we were additionally protected by bulkheads, where they existed north and south, and also because Ocean Grove is among a relatively small number of Shore towns ( including Long Branch, Asbury Park and Cape May) that are on the mainland, as opposed to barrier islands which are much more vulnerable.

Our dune project will begin next week with excavation.   A 25 foot wide space will be created north to south between the boardwalk and the back of the dunes. This will allow vehicles to get through.

The new dune will be made from existing and excavated sand  and it will be 32 feet wide (east to west.). The height will be four feet, in contrast to giant dunes, over 20 feet in some locations, which are being constructed in more vulnerable places at the Shore.

Our dune is designed to be a continuum of about 1,000 feet, with “cuts” that zigzag through to allow access to the beach. Eventually there will be “walk-overs” that allow access “over the top” of the dunes. If a big storm is expected, those “cuts” can be filled in.

Snow fences will be installed on the east and west sides of the dune. The latter will prevent sand from blowing onto the boardwalk and Ocean Avenue; an extra benefit will be to keep people off. The former will be important in “catching sand” to make the dunes denser and bigger over time.

Since dune grass does best if planted in November, the CMA will wait until next year to plant the grass, and Mr. Farrell has laid out suggestions as to how to do that in terms of spacing. Over time, the root systems of the dune grass will help “fortify” the dune.

Note that the beach replenishment made the beach bigger. It is now 12 feet above sea level, so adding that to the 4 foot engineered dunes yields a dune height of 16 feet, just slightly higher than the 15.5 foot elevated boardwalk.

In summary, Ocean Grove will be protected by a “series of engineered systems” starting with the beach replenishment, then the dunes, then the reinforced bulkhead which is a complex structure tied into the east side of the boardwalk,  coupled with the relocation of the middle boardwalk west, about 30 feet.  And finally there are the  strong construction methods that were used in building the boardwalk itself.

Bill Bailey says, “As promised, we built it right.”

 

In May, the existing metal bulkhead was tied into new wood construction which later was bolted to the new boardwalk. Blogfinger photo

In May, the existing metal bulkhead was tied into new wood construction which later was bolted to the new boardwalk. Blogfinger photo

For those in government and for scientists such as Stewart Farrell, they know that the Jersey shore will be increasingly vulnerable in the future due to rising ocean levels and continued erosion of sand from the beaches, coupled with more severe storms.      The Army Corps has been back to the Jersey shore many times during the last 60 years or so, and hopefully the government will stay involved in the future.

A private contractor will do the work, and it should be noted that the dune construction is being financed entirely by the OGCMA.

For Ocean Grove, we have reason to be optimistic as to how well we will do when the next big storm hits. Bill Bailey is quick to credit the “experts” who collaborated in the design of this fortress construction and he also loves to tell how a Boy Scout, Bobby Easton, working on an Eagle project about 20 years ago, and assisted by his friend Dave Shotwell, Jr., came up with the notion that sand dunes in the Grove could help protect the town. Well, it turns out that the idea was successful; it just took a couple of decades to prove the point.

Note: Excellent related article from the New Yorker magazine:  link to “The Beach Builders.”

SUE RANEY:

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Are you going to snap that photo, or what?  Paul Goldfinger photo on the new OG boards. July, 2014. ©

Are you going to snap that photo, or what? Paul Goldfinger photo on the new OG boards. July, 2014. ©  click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Life at the shore has been energized by our new boardwalk in Ocean Grove. Compared to the summer of 2013, this one is amazing.  There is so much going on there. You should all go onto the boardwalk and walk there, if you haven’t done so already.   You can run around and act goofy, you can walk or jog, or. like the young lady above, you can merely stand still and stare at me, or, like the guy on the bench, you can snooze.  But the thing is, like Jack, the boards are back!

I’m trying to document that theme, and  if you do, send us the photographs by email to blogfinger@verizon.net

CAROL WEISMAN.   From a tribute to Benny Goodman:

 

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Steppin' out on the new Ocean Grove boardwalk.  Photos by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.  Click on images to enlarge.

Steppin’ out on the new Ocean Grove boardwalk. Photos by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger. Click on images to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

 

Once the ribbon was cut, the public was allowed onto the new boardwalk. Most were milling about watching Chris Christie mingle with the crowd. A few set out to be the first to walk the boards.

 

We met two people who were standing on the Trex, not wondering at all what material had been used under foot.

 

Nina Koridek (L), Danielle Kimelstein, Cooper Pickren    Photos by Paul Goldfinger  @Blogfinger ©

Nina Koridek (L), Danielle Kimelstein, Cooper Pickren Photos by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger ©

Nina Koridek is a “summer resident” from Stirling, New Jersey. Her family has been coming to Ocean Grove for seven generations. She was watching the governor carefully because she is “a fan.” Nina was carrying an American flag and wearing a broad rim hat in fashionable black. She said that she wasn’t confident that FEMA would help the Grove, but now she and her family were happy to be on the new boardwalk for this ceremony. She and her son Cooper Pickren reached Governor Christie and posed for a photo with him. Cooper, a law student, got to talk a little politics with the Gov. Then they were ready to pose for a Blogfinger photo on the new boards.

 

Patience M. Osborn Chalmers from Spring Lake.  ©

Patience M. Osborn Chalmers from Spring Lake. ©

 

Patience M. Osborn Chalmers is from Spring Lake, but she loves to ride her 10 speed Schwinn into Ocean Grove and sometimes beyond to Pier Village. She confessed that she would like to ride her bike on the OG boardwalk during the day, and if a policeman stopped her, she would say, “But officer, isn’t it 3:00 am?”

Patience’s family has been in the area for numerous generations going back to around the Mayflower. (My family goes back to the Staten Island Ferry.)  She likes to volunteer with the OG Ladies Auxiliary, and her current project is to help with their book sale which will occur on the weekend of July 10. I asked her how she liked the new boardwalk, and she exclaimed, “It’s fantastic.” She said that now all the elements of our shore area boardwalks have come together, and she is thrilled to be at our opening.

NAT KING COLE:

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images-5

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @ Blogfinger

JP Gradone, of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has informed us that the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new boardwalk will be held on Thursday, July 3, at 11:00 a.m.  Governor Chris Christie will be in attendance.

Also attending will be Congressman, (R  ) Chris Smith  and NJ Senator ( R)  Jennifer Beck.  Those three politicians will speak at the ceremony along with the OGCMA President, Dr. Dale Whilden.

For those of you who don’t know who Chris Smith  is, he is our representative  (4th Congressional district)   in the US Congress. Rep. Smith has been in Congress since 1980.

Neptune Twp. used to be in Frank Palllone’s 6th District, but we were switched to the 4th District in January, 2013.  Asbury Park and Long Branch remain in the 6th District.

The OGCMA has been consistent in praising Rep. Chris Smith for his help in getting a favorable ruling by FEMA with respect to the new boardwalk.  Many of us have never seen him in Ocean Grove, although JP Gradone of the OGCMA tells us that the Congressman has actually been here since Sandy.

As far as we know, Gov. Christie has never visited the Ocean Grove oceanfront after Sandy despite multiple visits to surrounding towns including Asbury Park and Bradley Beach.  We are looking forward to his visit on July 3.

State Sen. Jennifer Beck  (  R)  has been a supporter of FEMA help for Ocean Grove since Sandy.

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