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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove in the news’ Category

Ocean Grove United demonstrating in the Grove. Mary Walton photograph. 2012

Editorial by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net

This article is from 2018, but we post it again now in case there are Grovers in 2019 who want to engage in unnecessary provocation based on identity politics.   There’s a lot of this going around nationally, but no sign of  “hate” in Ocean Grove  (except for an occasional sign that says, “Hate has no home here.”)  But it is worthwhile to keep an eye on this topic.

Interestingly, it is impossible to find an accepted definition for the terms “hate speech” or “hate crime” because the definition is in the eyes of the beholder.  Miriam-Webster says that hate speech is defined as “speech expressing hatred of a particular group of people.”  Even the Anti-Defamation League web site does not attempt to define these terms. They basically oppose discrimination of all types.

So this broad definition allows for the term to be used for all sorts of groups, so no particular group owns the complaint of “hate speech.”   I don’t know how the Neptune Police define “hate crime,” but they did use the term last year  (see below.)  Their web site doesn’t clarify the term.

November, 2018:    This past Mischief Night, some individuals “vandalized cars with swastikas and racial slurs in Ocean Grove.” (APP 11/7/18)  The Neptune Police Department said that they were not viewing the incident as a bias crime or anything “politically motivated.”

Deputy Mayor Carol Rizzo   (a Grover) said  (APP), “The community should view this as simply ‘something that happened during Mischief Night. I don’t think we should give it anymore credence than that. ‘”

The descriptions of the event in the news did not include any anti-Semitic language, and swastikas are not necessarily anti-Semitic symbols.  Some kids, like punk rockers, may draw a swastika without thinking of Jews.    The “N word” was also found, according to the APP.

A representative, Joshua Cohen, of the NJ Regional Office of ADL said, “The swastika has become a ubiquitous symbol in graffiti, but it does not always carry “anti-Semitic intent.”

He also said, “A random swastika appearing in a neutral location is an entirely different proposition than compared to one on a synagogue.”

“Incidents involving the image found with no accompanying anti-Semitic imagery or writing on, say, a dumpster at a 7-Eleven or an overpass on the Garden State Parkway, fall into a category that the ADL has stopped including in its annual audit of anti-Jewish hate crimes. There is no indication that such cases specifically target Jews.”

Cohen concluded by saying, “Regardless of the specific intent, it would be a mistake to minimize the swastika. It shocks the conscience, and we all know what it is. It’s a hate symbol.”

The NTPD was going to investigate the possibility of a “hate crime,” but they have so far come up with nothing.

OGU is joining forces with the OGHOA to fan the flames of controversy when other such incidents did not occur before or since that night.

But, the OGU/HOA combined complainers consortium (CCC) have invited the Anti-Defamation League  (ADL), an international organization that fights anti-Semitism world-wide,  to come here in January to “speak on this issue.”

Is this what the members of the Home Groaners want their organization to get involved with?  And why is the HOA having any sort of joint activity with the highly partisan group ironically called Ocean Grove United.

It is almost laughable for the OGU and its ally the Home Groaners to jump on this bandwagon. Jews have been subject to all sorts of murder and mayhem since the times of the Romans, so the Jewish people have largely developed a thick skin over minor incidents such as what the OGU and HOA are jumping up and down over in Ocean Grove.

The ADL says, “Anti-Semitism is the belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish.”

Is that what’s going on in the Grove?  Doesn’t the ADL have some terrorism, synagogue shootings, or murders of civilians to spend their time with?

The truth is that anti-Semitism does not “have a home” in the Grove, and many Jewish people live here without such concerns.

Most popular sentiment in the Grove is to assume the Halloween vandalism to be the work of ignorant out-of-towners, probably kids looking for trouble.  Most think that the incident should have been dropped as an indicator of bias in this town, and as a news story, it lasted about 24 hours, with no noise coming out of the Grove.

OGU, a group that seems to be in a deep sleep most of the time, reappears, like Brigadoon,  whenever they find an excuse to complain about bias in the Grove.  They say that the ADL meeting in January is “in response to the concerns of Ocean Grove residents.”

Perhaps they should tell us how many OG residents would like to see the big guns  (ADL) brought into the Grove to satisfy those “concerns?”

In our recent piece about the “hate has no home here” signs, we had a flurry of opinions in the Comments, but hardly any concern about the Mischief Night event.

In America we live in a free society, one which is not perfect and where hate is sometimes expressed and where such hate needs to be opposed, but Ocean Grove is not such a place.

Addendum:  This Blogfinger article below says a lot about Ocean Grove United:

OGU slams the Camp Meeting Association 2016

NICOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV:  “The Flight of the Bumblebee”

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This is a better picture and we can pet her she has blueish green eyes and is frightened outside. Thank you so much for helping.  Corey photo.

“This is a better picture and we can pet her she has blueish green eyes and is frightened outside. Thank you so much for helping.”  Corey photo.

Hi:    I found this little girl calico on Sept 22 and have not been able to catch her, but she comes for food twice a day. I’m trying to figure out how to get her before it gets too cold. She definitely  is not a stray. She is very clean and talks a lot.  And she is very pretty.  She was found on Pennsylvania and Asbury Avenue in Ocean Grove; and my name is Corey; my email is Coreyclayton3@gmail.com; or my number is 732-693-6516 thank you so much.   I’m sure she is lost. She is very young and friendly and pretty.

Corey

“MR. MISTOFFELEES”  by the original cast of CATS:

 

 

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The Warrington's condition has been deteriorating. Photo by concerned neighbor. 9/16 © Special to Blogfinger

The Warrington’s condition has been deteriorating. Note the graffiti. Photo by Concerned Neighbor. 7/1/16. © Special to Blogfinger

The Warrington: Squatters, drug users and other upstanding citizens have been seen in the building. Note the graffiiti. Photo by concerned neighbor 9/16. Special to Blogfinger

The Warrington: Squatters, drug users and other upstanding citizens have been seen in the building. Note the graffiti. Photo by Concerned Neighbor, 7/1/16. Special to Blogfinger.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

“Jack Ancona, LLC, aka the Warrington Hotel ” intends to go ahead with plans to remodel this former rest home into a high-end boutique hotel overlooking Wesley Lake.  Supposedly it will have 16 rooms.  The owner of the building, which is next to the site of the former Park View Inn, has received site plan approval from the Township.  At the last Committee meeting, the owner was granted approval to “build and locate an innkeeper’s suite in the basement.”  Such a structure is prohibited by ordinance, but the Zoning Board of Adjustment has  permitted this,  and so has the Township. The Township has executed a Developers Agreement with “Jack Ancona LLC” to make sure that the work is done properly.  But Developers Agreements are not executed until all other approvals have been recorded.

We will look into those approvals, including concerns about the 3 lots that are included in the Warrington’s plans.  The Warrington used to be shown on the tax map as existing on one lot:  Block 101, Lot 2.

Meanwhile the building is in poor condition.  Sawbucks Construction Co. has been sending one or two workers into the building daily  for the last 4-6 weeks, and the neighbors have noted daily hammering. No one seems to know what those workers are doing inside. They wonder if building permits were granted for this work.  Such permits should be openly posted at the site.

The Neptune Township Police Dept has been “exceptional” according to a neighbor in responding quickly to calls to deal with incursions at the site.  Graffiti has been cleared from the building, and, according to nearby residents,  the contractor has taken down shrubbery on the lakeside, and that is supposed to be illegal in a Green Acres location, which Lake Avenue is said to be.

As usual, due to lack of transparency, the neighbors on Seaview Avenue are complaining that they do not have enough information regarding the future of the site.  They worry that the hotel, which will not have on-site parking, will worsen an already difficult parking situation.  Many people in that vicinity are year-round residents, and they already often have trouble with parking, 12 months of the year.   One resident estimates that at least 10% of those who park there are headed to Asbury.  They also are worried about the garbage disposal from the hotel.  How will that be accomplished?

The owner has told some of them that all guests will park off-site somewhere and then be offered transportation back to the hotel.  Has such a shuttle plan been approved? This sounds potentially  like an innovative solution, but will it work and satisfy those high end customers, and where will they park those cars?  And will those well-to-do guests return after experiencing the OG parking life?

Locals are also worried because the hotel front is on Lake Avenue, a walkway, and they were told that the hotel has been granted an  access pathway between the buildings to reach the Lake side of the hotel from Seaview, but that no garbage, deliveries,  or other non-personal items can be moved via that passageway—-it would be just for guests and their luggage.    We have no details regarding these elements.

It is said that a room in that luxury hotel might cost up to $300.00 per night.  Can someone want to stay there when there is inconvenient parking and when there is no alcohol inside?  And what about parking for visitors that the guests attract? And how about the Asbury Hotel, a boutique hotel just a few blocks away in A. Park?

More details should be provided to the public.  How will this hotel impact the quality of life for that community?

Finally, we have reported on speculation that the Township would like to turn that part of Lake Avenue into a road for cars.  There is widespread anticipatory opposition to that idea.  See our recent articles about whether Lake Avenue is a road or a street. If it is not, then no road could be built there. It would be illegal.

See our forthcoming piece about the 4 lot subdivision which is the site of the former Park View Inn on Seaview, next door to the Warrington. There are some related issues.

Here is a link to a related article dated March, 2015 on BF:

https://blogfinger.net/2015/03/18/just-wondering-about-the-warrington-hotel/

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III    from The Aviator

 

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OceanGrove pier during Hurricane Irene in 2011. Ted Aanensen photo, blogfinger staff ©

Ocean Grove pier during Hurricane Irene in 2011. The waters were also dangerous over the Labor Day weekend 2016.  Ted Aanensen photo, Blogfinger staff ©

Body recovered 9/14/16 APP photo.

Body recovered 9/14/16 APP photo.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

The Neptune Township Police Dept has confirmed that a body was found on the Ocean Grove beach near Atlantic Avenue on Wednesday afternoon, September 14, 2016.   The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office is involved and “will release any further information.”

Blogfinger has spoken to some local sources who tell us that the body, buried under a sand dune, was discovered after board walkers noted a terrible  odor.

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Neighbors on Heck Avenue report that an Ocean Grove man, Richard Morton, had been missing for two weeks—last seen Aug. 25.  Posters appeared  (see above; click to enlarge) around town over the Labor Day weekend regarding his disappearance. That weekend the waters off Ocean Grove were very dangerous due to tropical storm Hermine.  Neighbors are suspicious that the body may be his, and that there might have been foul play.

Facebook photo of the missing Richard Morton. Undated.

Facebook photo of the missing Richard Morton. Undated.

Mr. Morton, a clothing salesman about age 60, had been acting “strangely”  prior to his disappearance according to his family. He is not married, but he is close to his extended family, which reported his disappearance.

Mr. Morton is described as a kind, elegantly dressed and dignified person who drove a car to work 6 days per week. Those who know him say that he loved to collect rocks on the beach.

Speculation is growing regarding this matter by those close to the situation. Comments have already appeared on Facebook and Google searches. A cousin, Patrick Mackin, has indicated on Facebook that the body is that of Richard Morton.

Editor’s note:  On Sept. 15, the County Prosecutor confirmed the identity of the deceased as being that of Richard Morton. Foul play is not suspected as of now. 

 

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Rubbermaid commercial grade 50 gallon garbage pail holds up to 175 pounds. Blogfinger photo.

Rubbermaid commercial grade 50 gallon garbage pail holds up to 175 pounds. Blogfinger photo.

This morning I watched the garbage pickup at my house in the Grove.  The two workers placed the above container onto a holder which enabled the lifting/dumping mechanism to pick it up and turn it upside down in the truck.  It was 90 degrees out,  and it was a pleasure to see them stand there while the machinery did the heavy lifting.   I never knew that this technology was available in OG.

So, it would be a kind gesture to get one of these. Note that the squirrels are trying to tunnel their way in though that stubborn Rubbermaid material.  They seem to be gaining ground.

BETTE MIDLER:  “You Can’t Hurry Love.”  And Momma also said, “Take out the garbage—–now!!!”  And my old girlfriend also said, “Paul, you can’t  hurry love.”

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NY Times

NY Times

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

If you actually attend a Neptune Township Committee meeting, you will hear only what is scripted in the agenda.  After  several hours of hanging around, you can go to the microphone and offer a 5 minute  opinion, but none of the robots on the dais will actually have a conversation with you.  They may say, “Your time is up.”  Or they may ask a police officer to force you to sit down, or they may say something like, “We’ll look into that.”   So no one really expects them to offer much in the way of explanations or opinions when they face the public.  Luckily, whatever you might say is recorded and may actually be documented  in the minutes

However, amazingly, on June 30. 2016, they sent a letter to the editor of the Coaster to explain some things to us Grovers. This is unprecedented , so it must really be important.

In the letter they explain that  two members left early during the infamous Parking Committee meeting of a few weeks ago because  they had to attend a memorial service for Orlando victims.  Apparently the Committee doesn’t mind being accused of malfeasance ( eg the RSIS controversy), because they never respond to those opinions,  but now they had to go public to say why they cut the meeting short.

Here are some quotes from that Coaster letter.   You can judge it for yourselves.  None of the Committeemen  (and one woman)  actually signed the letter using their actual names.

“It is a false impression that the concerns of Ocean Grove residents regarding parking were not being fully addressed”

In relation to the parking issue, we take great pride in our efforts to make sure Neptune Township truly is a place where ‘community, business and tourism prosper.’   (Can anyone say “non sequitur?” )

…we will continue to focus on this issue while considering the effect our actions will have on the entirety of Neptune Township”     (Anyone want to explain this statement?)

“In addition to the establishment of this Advisory Board  (ie the Parking Task Force) we have also requested that the Neptune Township Business Administrator seek immediate solutions that can be implemented in the short term, and not be held up due to the necessary process actions which the municipal Committee must go though.   We expect residents will see some changes in the coming weeks.”   

(So, one bureaucrat at the Mother Ship will prepare  some sort of “immediate solutions” without letting those solutions be examined first by the citizens?  Who’s to say we will like those “solutions?”    Can you say “transparency?”   Does the Committte now rule  OG by edict?   Is this the slippery slope in action?  )

“As elected officials our jobs are to listen to, and act on, the concerns of all of the residents we serve…….We have no greater obligation than to make our Township an even better one to live and raise a family in.”   (Editor’s note:  “Really?”)

Can any of you find any specific information regarding parking in this letter which was entitled “Parking Changes will be Coming Soon.”    Can  you find anything besides platitudes and political double talk?

JACK JOHNSON   “Anything but the Truth”

What is this place?
Who am I?
Why did we come here?”

 

 

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Ocean Grove: Can we keep it? By Paul Goldfinger ©

Ocean Grove: Can we keep it? By Paul Goldfinger ©

Saturday, March 26, 2016.    Ocean Grove, NJ.:

At this morning’s HOA meeting, the membership voted, by an estimated 3:1 margin, to defeat Jack Bredin’s motion, which would have supported a plan to promote single family home zoning throughout Ocean Grove.  We have spelled out the technical details of this subject in our many recent posts.

This vote means that the OGHOA, Board and membership, will be supportive as Neptune Township  continues to approve condominium buildings without parking and to maintain its ongoing policy to defy State Land Use Law .

The OGHOA has become an impotent organization without any coherent values to protect the Grove from greedy developers and unprincipled elected officials.

At Blogfinger we tried to warn everyone. It’s not that we care about what that crew at the HOA Board thinks, but we do care about what Grovers think , so the vote today was disappointing.

We will continue to report the news, but we are done trying to encourage our HOA neighbors into opposing those who would exploit our town.

We are not giving up on Ocean Grove, but we will divert our attention from the HOA, an organization which has straight-lined as far as we are concerned.

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger     Jack Bredin, Researcher.

 

KARRIN ALLLYSON

 

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Finally, Construction Action at 80 Main Ave and New York Avenue. By Prosper Bellizia, Blogfinger staff © February 16, 2016.

Finally, construction action at 80 Main Ave and New York Avenue. By Prosper Bellizia, Blogfinger staff © February 16, 2016.

Editor’s note:  There is a Jack Green Co. truck seen around the corner in our photo, but that company is not involved in this project according to his office.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM:  “Move On”  From Sunday in the Park with George.

 

 

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February 5, 2015 fire on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove, NJ destroys a building at #50 Main Ave. TV News Report

February 5, 2015 fire on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove, NJ destroys a building at #50 Main Ave. CBS TV News Report

One year ago a rapidly progressive fire destroyed #50 Main Avenue and took with it some apartments and a few stores including Yvonne’s Restaurant, Smuggler’s Cove and Fusion. There was also some adjacent damage that ruined  the coffee shop, The Barbaric Bean.

The plan was to rebuild by next summer, but things have slowed considerably. The foundation seems to be close to completion, but a shadow has been cast over the plans due to a law suit which challenges the project on a number of grounds including illegal density, violations of  the State RSIS parking regulations, violations of the Federal Disability Act  (including not providing handicapped parking)  and a number of zoning complaints. With regard to the latter, if you look at the current foundation, it seems to extend beyond the legal setback, up to the sidewalk.

Another issue includes allegations that the lawyer for the Neptune Township Board of Adjustment illegally  stopped the  meeting in mid-stream for an intermission, allowing time for potential collusion.

The preliminary hearing will take place at Monmouth County Superior Court on February 24, 2016.  The defendant is Kurt Cavano, the property’s owner, together with the Neptune Township Board of Adjustment.  The plaintiff is Kevin Chambers of Ocean Grove, NJ.

If you want to attend you might have to call ahead to see if the hearing is open to the public.

Here is a link to the BF article from last October regarding this topic.   If you go to that link you will find some additional new comments.

https://blogfinger.net/2015/10/22/blogfinger-breaking-news-law-suit-filed-over-new-main-avenue-building/

LONDON THEATER ORCHESTRA AND SINGERS

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Park View Inn rear view faces Wesley Lake. Two houses are proposed for that spot facing Lake Avenue. Blogfinger photo

Park View Inn rear view faces Wesley Lake. Two houses are proposed for that spot facing Lake Avenue. The building will be demolished.  Blogfinger photo  ©

We have a report from the Planning Board meeting last week where the Park View Inn owner asked that the site of the PVI be subdivided into 4 lots for single family homes.  The Board voted to accept that subdivision plan, but a resolution needs to be passed, and there may be some controversial issues. For one, two of the houses will face Wesley Lake, but there is no street there.  The Lake Avenue portion behind the PVI is not a street, so how do you build two homes where there is no street?

It’s a similar issue as the suggestion that condos might be built in the Pavilion building (“the White Whale” ) at the Boardwalk, which, incidentally is no street either.

Another issue is whether it is legal to place 4 houses on that lot. We will provide more information on this potentially problematic issue as we learn more about it.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

SHE AND HIM:

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