Archive for the ‘Letter to the editor’ Category

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Hello Paul…I thought you might like to know that Ocean Grove, Australia has it’s very own wine. My god-daughter is a junior at Bard College and she is finishing up a semester in Australia. She messaged me on Facebook with this picture…just a note to say she was thinking of me while enjoying a glass of Ocean Grove wine.

I think she and her fellow students must be doing a lot of research for a class called “Alcohol 101”. Every time she posts a picture of herself with friends on Facebook, there’s always booze in the background (or foreground).


Ocean Grove, NJ.  2014


THE WAYFARERS  “The Drinkers of Australia”



Editor’s Note:  Mary Lou—–Your family must be very proud that she’s learning to drink cabernet sauvignon and not that rotgut swill in the pubs of Australia.    And when she gets back to Bard, you can be thankful that there are no frat boys there to lead her astray.—


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US and Afghan troops in country .  A U.S. soldier runs near a special forces unit of the Afghan National Army during a morning training session last year on a base near Kabul. (Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post)

This letter’s request was also sent to Neptune Township re: “creating an event.”    Troops should be home by Sept. 11.
Not inanimate objects or “boots on the ground.”   RATHER, human beings!
Someone’s brother, sister, mother, father  cousin, uncle, aunt,  or someone’s friend!
“Paul: I hope Neptune Township officially creates an event  (with pandemic safe-guards in mind) in recognition of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan;  a home-coming honoring our returning soldiers, those who died or were injured, and their families.”
Tim Scranton
Ocean Grove.
April 17, 2021

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August 3, 2019

Re:  New property tax bill:

I just received my new property tax bill and I am outraged by the lack of understanding this Township and the State of New Jersey have shown on their current residents with almost a 20% increase in the tax for 2020 and just as much increase in the previous year.

I have lost several neighbors, just this year, selling their homes and moving south, as their income was going to just taxes; enough is enough.

Gouging retired people of their lifetime savings, with high taxes just can’t continue in this Township or the State. People live on fixed costs and these erratic tax increases must come to an end!

Why should senior citizens be responsible for school taxes?

When you compare the plus and negatives of living in Ocean Grove, the negatives win out by far.   The only positive is living near the ocean, but the negatives include:

a. overcrowded congested living

b. horrible parking problems

c. high taxes with no representation

d. no longer a year round community with neighbors

e. poor police protection

f. high taxes force homeowners to rent to winter transients

g. difficulty getting code permits

h.   Airbnb’s have become epidemic.

i. And there are more…..

These negatives are creating a poor standard of living  in the Grove.  If this trend continues, would you buy in Ocean Grove?




Here is a “plus” that our writer forgot:


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Mt. HERMON WAY.. Monday, August 5, 2019. Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net ©



2016 illum

ILLUMINATION NIGHT. OG summer 2016. Blogfinger photograph. ©


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To the Editor:

Here are my concerns about handicap parking in Ocean Grove. I hope this generates some discussion.

We have a handicap parking spot in front of the home we purchased in town.  We are on the second block from the beach, and parking fills up quickly.  Over the course of the 3 years we have had our house there have been maybe 2 or 3 instances of a “handicapped” person emerging from a car taking the spot. (By handicapped I mean real ambulatory disability, not the medical definition.)

More typically, like today, an older  (or young overweight) couple pulls in, unpacks multiple chairs, cooler, umbrella and hikes it all down to beach.  Today that couple came jogging back to the car when the rain opened up.

I also have neighbors (older) that bike miles multiple days a week and hike around town just fine, but they too park in handicap spots just in front of their building.

I’m not sure what the handicap can be that necessitates access to a preferential spot. To a non-medical layman, it looks like they are gaming the system. In fact, a friend offered to get me a tag through a connection, but I declined the offer as I am healthy but I could have gotten one.

So, here are the issues:


1. What are the standards for obtaining such a tag?    How liberally do doctors offer prescriptions for the handicap designation?

2. Do others who live in town observe similar activity in relation to handicapped parking spots around the Grove  ?

3. I think it demonstrates a lack of character to use the spots or to game the system to get the spots.   Do others agree ?


Ocean Grove, N.J.  July 31, 2014


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Broadway west of Pilgrim Pathway, Sept 2014. Paul Weinstein photo, special to Blogfinger

Broadway west of Pilgrim Pathway, Sept 2014. Paul Weinstein photo, special to Blogfinger

To the Editor:

Blogfinger, the entire South End received damage from Hurricane Sandy, not just the Southeast. Starting from Broadway @ Ocean Ave, all the way down 2 blocks past the Inskip tennis courts. That’s pretty much the entire South End.

What is disturbing to me is despite the damage, the OGCMA and the Township  has done very little to protect the South End from future storms. During the cleanup it was brought to light that there is NO BULKHEAD on the southern end of the OG boardwalk; Bulkheads existed, and were repaired, on the North and Central sections.

Yes the South end is at a slightly lower elevation than the rest of the town, but it is not a significant difference. OGCMA fundraising was directed to key tourist attractions, the Auditorium, Thornley chapel, and the boardwalk.

Providing the South End with a bulkhead is costly, but zero efforts have been made to fundraise or apply for grants towards achieving that. The South End comprises 1/3 of our town; why are we were left vulnerable and treated like a red-headed stepkid?


Ocean Grove, NJ, October 30, 2015

The  writer lives on the south side of Ocean Grove

Editor’s Note:  OhGee:  You can check with Bill Bailey on this point  (just call him at the CMA offices,) but I believe that there was an old metal bulkhead which protected the south boardwalk.  I know that the metal bulkhead stretched north, but was not protective in the middle because it was situated to the west of the destroyed middle beach boardwalk.

Blogfinger link:   metal bulkhead link

Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger.

Addendum  October 30, 2015.       Bill Bailey, Chief Operating Officer of the OGCMA has submitted the following:

Dr.,  Just a note in reference to the letter to the editor in your blog today.  After the 92 nor’easter a bulkhead was constructed at the south end of the boardwalk, approximately from the Bradley Beach border to Embury Avenue or just shy of the beach office.  This bulkhead was engineered and in some cases integrated with the original metal bulkhead that had been in place.   The new bulkhead constructed after Sandy (to the north) is similar to the south end one from 93.  During Hurricane Sandy Ocean surges came up and over the bulkhead / boardwalk but the bulkhead remained intact as did the boardwalk.  I have attached photo’s taken today of the existing south end bulkhead constructed in 1993 after the 1992 storm.   Respectfully, Bill Bailey ” 

OG South End bulkhead Bulkhead constructed in 1993. Oct. 30, 2015 photo by Bill Bailey.

OG South End bulkhead Bulkhead constructed in 1993. Oct. 30, 2015 photo by Bill Bailey.


Closeup of South end  bulkhead.  Oct. 30, 2015 by Bill Bailey.

Closeup of South end bulkhead. Oct. 30, 2015 by Bill Bailey.


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Ocean Grove boardwalk. 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

Ocean Grove boardwalk. 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net  Click to enlarge

OG Boardwalk 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

OG Boardwalk 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

To the Editor:

I agree with the rules of not allowing skateboards and bikes on our boardwalks. I wish all towns at the shore would enforce this rule. One they are dangerous and some of the people riding them act like they on a racing track. Boardwalks are for people to walk and enjoy and relax on a bench. The scenery at the shore is just so beautiful, I mean how can you stop and admire it with bikes almost running you over. I was almost hurt by a biker when all I did was turn around on the boardwalk to tie my sneaker.

So. yes . keep it…with no bikes or skateboards on boardwalks. The towns could hire auxiliary guards to help keep our boardwalks safe. Thank you.


Ocean Grove, N.J.  Sept. 10, 2015

Editor’s note:  Here is a link to a pre-Sandy 2012 letter on this subject.   There were many comments.   —PG

Blogfinger 2012 link




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Great Auditorium.  June Doo Wops; 2011. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Great Auditorium. June Doo Wops; 2011. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

To the Editor:

Spring is bringing long awaited changes to our town.  Birds, flowers, smiles, conversation and unfortunately Asbury Park bar hoppers and their cars.  Free parking is a great attraction.  Imagine how crowded our beach would be if there was no fee.

Here’s a few thoughts.  Parking kiosks installed at “problem areas”.  My thought is the first two beach blocks, the North End, Broadway and the Main St. shopping blocks.  Residents will be able to buy, reasonably, a Neptune pass sticker.  A second sticker would cost double.

This is an necessary evil.  With more development planned for Asbury Park’s South End and our own North End, this issue will get much worse.  I live in the North End;  it’s bad now.


April 29, 2015

Ocean Grove, NJ


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Dear Paul and everyone at Blogfinger… Thanks for doing this reporting. Main Avenue isn`t just private property. It is part of the Ocean Grove “commons”… Am sure the wider OG community (extending all the way to Frankfurt, Germany where I am writing from and beyond…) will come together to make the rebuilding of this part of town.. once again… “an example for others to follow… (as was the case with the boardwalk and further damage from hurricane Sandy)

Calling on everyone in the larger Ocean Grove Community to take up their roles as loving and active neighbors and friends as I am sure they will… Your work Paul… is one powerful example of this indefatigable spirit and communitarian work ethic… Many Thanks… Steve Valk

Steve Valk, Feb. 7, 2015.

Editor’s Note:  Steve is a summer visitor to Ocean Grove. His family has been coming here for generations, so he has a Grover view of things.  We have posted prior interviews with him.  He is a social scientist with some unique opinions about our town and how it could work in the future.  Here is a link to our last post about him.   —PG

Steve Valk on Blogfinger August 2014

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Wesley Lake looking east from Ocean Grove. Blogfinger file photo. ©

Wesley Lake looking east from Ocean Grove. Blogfinger file photo. ©

Last night I attended the Wesley Lake Commission monthly meeting with my wife.  While  waiting for the the meeting to start we were remarking that the turnout was not great.  Much to our surprise, when the meeting started, the officials were overwhelmed by the turnout—-about 20 people.


The public part of the meeting seemed very productive.  I believe the well-thought-out comments helped to focus the Commission on the task at hand.  The next meeting is October 21st.  A really solid turnout of 50 or so and we might really see action improving the deplorable condition of the historic and valuable local resource.


Please spread the word as you do so well!


Ocean Grove, N.J., Sept. 17, 2014


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Carl at the Ocean Grove Town-wide yard sale.   Paul Goldfinger photo.  2013 ©

Carl at the Ocean Grove Town-wide yard sale. Paul Goldfinger photo. 2013 ©

To the Editor:

Hi Paul,

Your remark  in the Wassup section of Blogfinger  “…and the porch culture which exists for those who live here full time or part time.  Why is it that so many people want to live in this town and why so many  say “I love Ocean Grove ?” caught my eye and struck home because I just wrote a post in my own blog in which I quoted a slogan of sorts from Roadside Magazine.  I think you’ll find it speaks to the wonderful quality of life here in Ocean Grove. This is the excerpt:


“…So we were pretty surprised to see the For Sale sign out in front and two young people sitting on the front porch.

I have to lapse into an aside here because I believe front porches are one of the best means to meet and greet your neighbors, make new friends and visit with old friends. Porches are welcoming and beckon to passerby’s. There is a quote, actually more like a slogan that used to be published in every issue of ROADSIDE MAGAZINE that sums up an America we used to know, a place that I want to live and in fact I do when I’m in Ocean Grove. ROADSIDE refers to this slogan as a recipe for an American Renaissance: “Eat in diners, ride trains, shop on Main Street, put a porch on your house and live in a walk able community”. Sounds real good to me! And by the way, the stoops of Brooklyn and other boroughs of New York City offer the same way of life”…


Ocean Grove, N.J. August 19, 2014

The writer is a resident of Ocean Grove


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Internet graphic.

Internet graphic.

To the Editor:

I am writing concerning a  discovery I made today when paying my property taxes.  I noticed that my taxes, relative to what I paid the last quarter, increased a whopping 11.4%.   I was under the impression, from the mailing we all received from the tax office a month ago, that the overall tax rate had only gone up about 3%.


Upon calling the tax office, they said that my taxes had, in fact, gone up by 11.4% because “there was a $95 million reduction in taxable property value in Neptune Township due to Sandy.  The town still has to collect the same amount of total tax receipts, so taxes were raised.”


This statement is concerning on two levels:  first, $95 million is a lot of property value to be permanently lost to the storm.  That would be hundreds of homes or many acres of property. Between insurance, state money and FEMA money, I believe everyone has been made whole — and all property has been restored.  Where is this major amount of property that had to be permanently removed from the tax rolls because is was destroyed beyond recovery?   The difference between the typical 3% annual tax increase and the 11.4% increase is 8.4%.  If taxes went up 8.4% beyond normal for all property owners in the town, that would result in collections many times exceeding the taxes collected from $95 million worth of property.  The magnitude of tax increase just makes no sense and the rationale given to me is inadequate on its face.


My second concern is how the town can raise taxes 11.4% in a single year– an increase that is about 4-times the average increase of the previous few years, and no one knows about it?  They have completely hidden this fact until now, when the tax bills went out.  I would have thought that there would have been some sort of public outcry about this.


I would value any information Blogfinger readers could provide to explain where the large quantity of permanently lost property value is in Neptune and how our elected officials pulled off this enormous tax increase without any public debate?


I can’t wait to see what happens with the reassessment…..



Ocean Grove, NJ, July 25, 2014.


Editor’s Note:  David——By a miraculous coincidence, Bernard Haney, the Neptune Township Tax Assessor, will be at the OG Homeowners Assoc. meeting tomorrow morning, Saturday, July 26. 10:00 in the Community Room.

Gee, why hasn’t the HOA proactively prepared us for this increase instead of waiting until a few days before the 3rd quarter payment is due so that Mr. Haney can keep us informed ?

Is it possible that the Home Groaners Assoc. is all groans and no action?  —Paul @Blogfinger

Shark River part of Neptune had extensive damage to homes with flooding everywhere.  Boats floated out of the river and into this front yard.   Blogfinger  file photo ©

Shark River part of Neptune had extensive damage to homes with flooding everywhere. Boats floated out of the river and into this front yard. Blogfinger file photo ©

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Today while peacefully snoozing on the couch about 4:00 p.m. with the Olympics on, I was awakened by a loud banging on my front door. I was greeted by an early 20’s African-American man dressed in dark pants and a gray hoodie. I asked him how I could help him? He was wearing some sort of phony photo I.D. which had a BBB, Better Business Bureau,  logo on it.

His story alluded to the fact he was working on behalf of NJ Natural Gas and JCP&L. I then noticed he was accompanied by another young man wearing a yellow construction helmut and a quasi-constuction type vest lurking about. So I said, “OK what do you want?” He indicated that he was looking for copies of my most recent utility bills. At that point I looked him in the eyes and told him that it was time for him to  leave, which he did. I immediately dialed 911.

I went out on my front porch, and the answering dispatcher questioned which direction the man was moving in. I told her, south on Delaware. Looking east on Clark, two police cars arrived immediately and stopped two additional men who were several blocks away doing the same thing. For the uninitiated this is called slamming. They get your bills in this manner or over the phone and the next thing you know your utility bills commodity provider changes, usually for the worst.

I spoke with the cops. They said that they questioned, then told the young men that they needed a permit to go door to door and told them to leave. Really?

This is beyond unacceptable. With all that has been going on in OG with, how many burglaries now?   Here’s what we need to know from the Neptune police. If any car was patrolling around, clearly these guys stood out as being in the wrong place and up to something.   Secondly, we would like to know what 3rd party provider decided that this would be an acceptable marketing approach and put the heat on them. Do they even have a business license? If it happened in OG it could be taking place in other towns? This is a scam in which the elderly or naive could be susceptible to being duped.

We need to hear back about this situation and whether anyone handed over their bills unwittingly.   Also, NJ Natural Gas and JCP&L need to be informed that these people are going around mis-representing them.

We the citizens of Ocean Grove do not need any more of this sort of nonsense. We’ve had quite enough.

Seriously Concerned,

Robert Burns

Ocean Grove, N.J.

Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014.  4:30 p.m.

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Ocean Grove. Feb. 10, 2010. By Paul Goldfinger  ©

Ocean Grove. Feb. 10, 2010. By Paul Goldfinger ©



Last week I nearly took a dangerous “header” slipping on a safe looking icy sidewalk that was covered with a dusting of snow. I decided to look into why Neptune takes no action on snow covered sidewalks although it plows snow covered streets to facilitate vehicle passage.

I realize it affects only those of us living in OG in winter however, that  I could have slammed my head on the concrete with frightening possible consequences I looked further.

It turns out the ORDINANCE covering this, #1369, was adopted Feb. 22, 1988. It states: (condensed version)

1. “… owners or tenants ….shall remove…from the sidewalks….all snow and ice within twelve hours of day light after same shall be formed…thereon.”

2.  ” …it shall be the duty of the duly authorized officer having charge of the streets and highways to remove or cause to be removed such snow and ice…”

3.  ” The cost for removing …shall forthwith  become a lien…”

5      “This Ordinance …repeal(s) Ordinance #157”.

Presumably it was a tough winter that year that indicated the need for a new Ordinance to handle a problem.

I plan to attend the Township Committee meeting Monday evening and, during PUBLIC COMMENT at the end of the meeting, request the Ordinance be enforced, (sensibly).

Kennedy Buckley.S

Mr. Buckley is a resident of Broadway in Ocean Grove, NJ

Feb. 6, 2014

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