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Neptune High School graduation. Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, NJ. Photo by Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff. ©

Neptune High School graduation. Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, NJ. Photo by Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff. ©

Monday night.  June 20, 2016.  the first day of summer.

Text and all photos below by Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

I got to the Great Auditorium as the names of the Class of 2016, Neptune High School, were being read.  There was a joyful noise as cheers erupted, one after the other, like a happy chain reaction. Then they all stood for the Star Spangled Banner, and then  over 300 Scarlet Fliers were clutching their diplomas as they flowed out into the twilight.   I stood there,  enveloped by the moving throng.  There were hugs, kisses, laughter and yes joy all around me.  It was hard to focus the camera.

The crowd was in motion as the grads greeted their families, friends and colleagues.  No doubt there will be parties, as there should be, because this is such a momentous accomplishment for these teen-aged students.   At this moment, only the here and now seemed important.

I was shooting very quickly, recording motion all around, trying to capture moments of truth.   There was little chance for composition.

When the images later popped up on the computer screen, I was surprised to see the faces.  Besides excitement and happiness, so many seemed serious. What was in their minds?  Was it fear of the future or were they merely overwhelmed by the moment?  They can’t control the expressions on their faces, but they will have many chances later to reflect on the meaning of what just occurred.

So congratulations to all the grads of Neptune High School  ’16.  This is an achievement to be proud of.

Click on the music and then click on a photo for the ultimate multimedia BF experience. Click on one and follow the arrows.  Click small X to go back.

SHIRLEY McLAINE:

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It’s been 7 years since a non-Democrat has been elected to the Neptune Township Committee.  The election on Nov. 3 will offer two four-year terms to be filled by the voters.  Dianna Harris and Kevin Sheehan are on the ballot as the “Coalition4Change.” Yesterday a team of pamphleteers scoured our neighborhoods, handing out the card shown above (both sides).

I was on my porch enjoying a sunny Saturday in the Grove when a smiling young man handed me the card, but as I said, “What’s this?”  (suspecting a menu from some joint,)  he was gone.  Wouldn’t it have been better if Harris and Sheehan had been strolling along with these latter-day Thomas Paines?  The 18th century version of information-giver may have been a pain as he rode into town on his horse, sending dust, manure,  and pebbles flying, but at least you could flag him down and ask a question.

The scenario is that incumbent and Mayor Mary Beth Jahn was shut out of the re-election process by the local Democrat party.  She is quoted as suggesting that women not vote for any of the Neptune Democrats because of how she was treated. The Democrats who are running for those two Committee seats are incumbent Michael Brantley and  Nick Williams.

Harris and Sheehan say, “Vote Independent,” so their party affiliation must be Independent unless they are playing some sort of identity games.  We know that Sheehan has been a Republican. Harris is a member of the Neptune Zoning Board of Adjustment.

I have contacted these Independent candidates to see if they want to discuss Ocean Grove issues with me. I want to know where they stand on the North End Redevelopment Plan fiasco.  And I want to know if Dianna Harris will tell me how she feels about the zoning manipulations that have gone on at Mary’s Place and with the North End Plan (dating back to 2008).

If I hear anything from them, I will let you know.

As for Brantley and Williams, will they shed any light  and transparency on the OG issues that Brantley has so far, said nothing publicly about?   Maybe Nick Williams will contact us with his views regarding these contentious Ocean Grove matters, or is he merely an appendage to Brantley?

Paul

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

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Memorial Day parade in Ocean Grove 2013.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Memorial Day parade in Ocean Grove 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

The parade will form on Neptune Blvd at the Municipal Bldg. at 10:00 am. Then it will go east on Rt. 33 to Rt. 71  (Main Street at at the top of Broadway.) They will stop there for a brief service at the monuments there. Then it is north a short distance on  71  (Main Street)  and make a right onto Main Avenue (Ocean Grove) They go the length of  Main Avenue to Ocean Avenue and then turn north (i.e. left) At Surf they turn left to Pilgrim Pathway and turn left again. There will be a service at Auditorium Park by the Great Auditorium 

JESSICA MOLASKEY

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

At the end of each Neptune Township Committee meeting, a citizen is allowed to come up to the microphone and speak for 5 minutes. The citizen may ask questions or make a statement. No Township official has to respond, although they are free to do so.

We have received a report from Mr. Jack Bredin on Heck Avenue that he  went to the podium last night to express some concerns about the North End Plan. He was in the middle of his time when he asked why the Mayor was not present at the April 15 meeting which was, according to the Township Clerk, supposed to be about negotiations for a Redeveloper Agreement. Mary Beth Jahn is one of the two Committee people who were chosen to participate in those negotiations.

However, Mayor Jahn reacted angrily to Mr. Bredin’s question by slamming her gavel down several times—a signal to have a policeman come in and remove the citizen.

The officer assigned to attend Committee Meetings approached Mr.Bredin, at the podium, to indicate that he should return to his seat.

As this was occurring, Mayor Jahn allegedly said into the microphone that she could have him thrown out because “I am a bitch!”

None of the representatives of the Homeowners Association and none of the other elected officials rose in Mr. Bredin’s defense.

We have requested an audio recording of the meeting, and we will post a precise transcription of the exchange when the Clerk’s office makes it available to us  in one week.

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Who knew they have an arboretum in town?  Now’s your chance to go over there for a special Arbor Day event.  Also, free tree seedlings will be given out there from 9 am to 12 pm. You can plant them in your grassy strip.

Here’s a song from the soundtrack of the off-Broadway production of  The Fantasticks:

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Main Avenue, Ocean Grove: Small town America.  By Paul Goldfinger ©

Main Avenue, Ocean Grove: Small town America. By Paul Goldfinger ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Viewing the big picture, it is clear that there is no certain set of rules that encompasses how all things work in this town. There are many holes in the fabric that keeps the town functioning, and those holes, as in “nature abhors a vacuum,” are where the most interesting aspects can be found.

Consider a current headline which we have been covering: “South End flooding persists intermittently despite completion of a two year water drainage remediation project by Neptune Township.”

At first it wasn’t clear if the Township was willing to do anything more, except for Band-Aids such as clearing the storm drains during a heavy rain. But a group of neighbors led by Connie Ogden complained to the Township Committee (over 25 people went to the microphone) resulting in the Township’s plan to so some further research into the matter, consult with their engineers, and then come up with an analysis and solutions, which we will hear about at a meeting on Dec. 1, 7:00 pm, at Thornley Chapel.

After the neighborhood group blew some whistles, the Home Owners Association decided to jump into the act, so they produced a questionnaire (requested by the Township) to survey about 35 South End neighbors regarding such things as sump pumps in their basements. The results of that survey have not been made public.

Now, Vito Gadaleta, Township Administrator, has called for that promised meeting to be held in the promised land of Ocean Grove. He was seeking a small venue because he was expecting a small crowd of South End citizens. The HOA sent out an announcement of the meeting which said that Gadaleta “will meet with residents of Broadway” regarding flood issues.

The Thornley Chapel was selected because the Community Room was busy. It holds about 70 people. Gadaleta was unwilling to call this a “public meeting,” but he didn’t think that any citizen who wanted to attend would be told to leave. He did say that no one would be permitted to bring up any subjects other than the flood issues. He also said that the press was welcome.

So, what is this meeting? It’s not private, but it’s not exactly public. If he’s presiding, would he really refuse to answer an unrelated question from the audience?

And what is the role of the Home Owners Association here? This is a Neptune Township meeting being arranged and presented by the Township Administrator. Perhaps a Neptune Committee person or two will show up. (Really, doubtful , or fuhgetaboutit?  Let’s do a poll.)

In addition, why wasn’t a larger venue chosen? Why make the assumption that only South End residents care about this flooding problem?  J.P. Gradone, COO of the OGCMA said that if a larger crowd were to show up, the meeting could be segued into the Thornley Annex or even the  Youth Temple.

As far as the Thornley Chapel is concerned, it seems that a public meeting can be held in that church, giving it the feel of rural town hall meetings which are often held in churches—- something very American. Is this a precedent setting event at the Thornley Chapel, or have there been such meetings before? Gradone said that other secular meetings might be held there in the future, but only if the content of such events pass muster.

I’m sure that some of you, including my wife,  who reached this sentence are wondering, “What’s the big deal?”   Well, it’s not a big deal——small town news is often just small town talk.  I find it interesting.

And finally,  Vito Gadaleta of Neptune Township, the OGCMA, the HOA and the citizen activists of the South End all should be congratulated for finding ways to solve one of Ocean Grove’s  problems together and to close some openings in that fabric.

To use an expression which I find both annoying and helpful, “Just saying….”

Link to the last Blogfinger article about the flooding problem (September, 2014):   flood link BF

CILLA BLACK  from the movie:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bring your non-perishable food items to Neptune Recreation’s free beach movie in Ocean Grove

Grab your blankets and lawn chairs and join us on the beach in Ocean Grove on Monday, August 18, for the movie Surf’s Up (rated PG)-a 2007  family comedy film starring penguin surfer counterparts performing a parody of surfing documentaries.  The feature movie will be shown at 8pm on a large outdoor screen on the beach at Ocean Grove.

Admission is free; please bring your own snacks and drinks!  Remember alcohol and tobacco products are prohibited on the beach. There is no rain date.  Note-this movie is part of a summer movie series with Shore Flicks.  We’ll be collecting non-perishable food items each night to benefit the area food banks, as well as supporting Clean Ocean Action and www.kickcanceroverboard.org.

Thanks to Shore Flicks who presents a series of free summer movies across Monmouth County all summer long; be sure to visit their website and movie calendar at shoreflicks.com. Thanks to local sponsors Saker ShopRite, New Jersey Natural Gas, WaWa, and NY Waterway

For questions or directions, please contact Neptune Township Recreation at 732-869-1202.

Note:  This article is submitted by Neptune Township Rec. Dept.

TIM TIMEBOMB;

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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN  “Land of Hope and Dreams”  E Street Band.    12/12/12 The Concert for Sandy Relief.

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Internet photo

Internet photo

 

With Easter just around the corner, the Neptune Township Recreation Committee announces that its annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2014 weather permitting.  There will be thousands of eggs, and even a few silver egg surprises!

Put on your hopping shoes, bring your basket or bag, and join Mr. and Mrs. Peter Cottontail at 10am sharp at Bert Willis Field on Old Corlies Avenue.  The event is for children up to 5th grade.  The inclement weather date and time, at the same location, is April 13 at 1pm.

For event information or postponement details, please contact the Recreation Department at 732-869-1202.

Dawn Thompson, CPRP, RA.     Neptune Recreation Director

dthompson@neptunetownship.org

FATS DOMINO

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THE LONDON THEATRE ORCHESTRA .  “It’s Hairspray.”

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