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Auditorium Square Park. July, 2016.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Auditorium Square Park. July, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo ©   Click image to enlarge. 

NORAH JONES  “Carnival Town”      From her album Feels Like Home.

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NJ Marathon in Ocean Grove 2011. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

NJ Marathon heading south  in Ocean Grove 2011. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

 

MATTHEW WILDER   “Break My Stride.”

“Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
Nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on movin’
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on moving'”

 

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Summer Saturday night in the Grove. Paul Goldfinger photograph © c.2015

Summer Saturday night in the Grove. Paul Goldfinger photograph © c.2015

THE DANLEERS   (1958)

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A small rehab center for short term care in W. Palm Beach Fla. Internet photo.

A small rehab center for short term care in W. Palm Beach Fla. Internet photo.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor at Blogfinger.net

As we noted recently, Gov. Christie said that he would prioritize the problem of opioid substance abuse which has caused many deaths in New Jersey, especially in Essex, Ocean, Camden, and Monmouth Counties.

He is promoting a new bill that would mandate insurance coverage for such treatment by commercial companies. Federal mandates already exist for Medicaid.

Philly.com says, “While the Affordable Care Act requires substance-abuse coverage, New Jersey could account for the federal law’s potential repeal by passing state legislation.” (Source article by Philly.com reporter Maddie Hanna.)

“If the federal law goes away, it reverts to whatever the old state law was,” said Joel Cantor, founding director of the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University.

Very few states have such laws. The N.J. proposal would provide for inpatient coverage for up to 30 days for those who qualify. There have been some objections about the emphasis on inpatient vs. outpatient care. The Laingdon proposal for Ocean Grove would seem to fall under the heading of outpatient care, although maybe the housing component would categorize it as inpatient care. Regardless, increased funding would increase the pressure to create more such services for those who would be housed while undergoing treatment. (This is the model described for the Laingdon/Sprout concept.)

Our town would be a perfect location for places to house clients after an inpatient admission or for outpatient care.  We have old hotels/boarding houses as well as homes (especially multi-family) which could be used for small residential operations doing short term care.  But if there is an explosion of investment in such facilities in NJ, the article says that there will be zoning battles around the state (see quote below.)

Here is another quote from the Hanna piece, “There is an inadequate supply of substance-abuse treatment services, period. Not just in New Jersey, but around the country.”

“Others spoke Monday of challenges to opening treatment centers, including zoning battles. ‘I used to have a saying: It’s easier to open up a gentlemen’s club in this state than it is to open up a drug and alcohol treatment program. And that’s not far off from the truth,’ Tom Allen, co-founder of Summit Behavioral Health, told Senate lawmakers.”

It’s important for those of us who care about the Grove’s future, our lifestyles, our  historical preservation, and our home values to keep an eye on zoning approvals and to take them seriously as precedent-setting events.

We cautioned about the zoning manipulation that allowed Mary’s Place, but hardly anyone seemed to care. And, even though the Laingdon application was withdrawn, we need to stay alert.  The key will be the Zoning Board of Adjustment use variances

BARBRA LICA:

 

 

 

 

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images

 exit 100 off the GSP.


Exit 100 off the GSP.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

The deal to turn the Laingdon Hotel into a substance treatment center on Main Avenue was hatched last August—before the presidential election.  In our discussions about this matter, we learned something about the economics and we found out that such facilities can be very lucrative, especially for those high end clients who probably would have been found at the new Sprout/Laingdon location. But we also found out that insurance money is available for patients, including those who are not wealthy, such as those under Medicaid.    Also we spoke about a law enforcement program which lets drug criminals enter rehab instead of going to jail.

And that money trail exposed why entrepreneurs were interested in such facilities.

Our discussion also revealed that Ocean Grove still has  multifamily dwellings  and some multi-unit boarding houses such as the Whitfield (now deceased) and the Warrington  (now unoccupied and  aspiring to be an expensive “boutique hotel.”)

But a rehab facility could be created in a smallish multi-family house, even of only 2 or 3 units, just as such places could also be condoized, and neither use seems to be good for the town.   But the pressure to find new sources of investment income in OG could grow even larger, given the rising spending on healthcare.

Now the Grove is in danger of going viral with such “medical shelters” for addicts (rich or poor), Mary’s style clients, or whatever such “shelters” might be devised  by inventive investors.

Those who lived in this town in the 1980’s vividly recall all the “shelters” that were found around the Grove, and many of those attracted unattractive residents who hung out in various favored locations, smoking, yelling, sleeping on benches, and smelling.  We have heard of some of that from  residents who lived here during that era who are now dismayed that we might move in that direction once again.

But why would Neptune Township allow such deterioration?  Well, there are those in the Grove who believe that  Neptune officials really don’t care much about Ocean Grove and would be happy for it to slide into the abyss, as long as the tax dollars continue to flow in one form or another. And there are the local developers who are happy to exploit the town for money regardless of the consequences in terms of crowding, parking, and lifestyle deterioration.

However, during our last look at this subject,  before we could really sink our digital teeth into the rehab/Laingdon matter, the application for a use-variance at the Zoning Board of Adjustment was abruptly withdrawn, and we don’t know why.  Maybe the Blogfinger poll and citizen comments scared them away, but more likely we could find the answer by following the money.  Being unpopular with the OG public has never frightened the Neptune Township and Ocean Grove movers and shakers when money was at stake.

The Township ZBA office denies knowing anything about the withdrawal. But on January 14, an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal by Jeanne Whalen in the US News section, page A-3. which might shed some light on the situation. It was sent to us by a citizen reporter.

In it she explains that there are provisions under the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare) that forces ACA insurance providers to pay for addiction rehab. The amount of money available that way is “huge,” as it tries to chase the widespread increase in deaths due to opioids such as heroine and fentanyl, especially in the north east, including Monmouth County.

According to the WSJ, “There are 2.8 million Americans with substance abuse disorders who would lose some or all of their insurance if the ACA is repealed.”

“Researchers at Harvard Medical School and NYU estimated a repeal would withdraw at least $5.5 billion annually from the treatment of mental health conditions including substance abuse.”

So, is there any wonder that investors have been  sniffing around our town thinking of rehab facilities as sources of healthcare income?  And perhaps, after Trump won, Sprout may have freaked out and chosen to drop the  Laingdon idea.

But, because the opioid addiction problem is growing and harming families and small businesses, the new administration might be compelled to keep the money coming, and if so, OG is really a perfect place to open rehab. facilities.

If Mary’s Place could get zoning approval for their “shelter” without even a variance, then you’d better not pout, you’d better not cry–I’m telling you why:  Santa Claus is coming to town and he has goodies in his sleigh for those who want to help addicts in the Grove.

THE PUPPINI SISTERS:

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July 4 parade on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. Running the swan show is Proprietor Linda Occhipinti.. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

July 4 parade on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. Running the swan show is proprietor Linda Occhipinti. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

 

 

MEL TILLIS:

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Cello soloist in the OG Great Auditorium. Photo by Paul Goldfinger

Cello soloist in the OG Great Auditorium. Photograph by Paul Goldfinger. Click to enlarge.

* Quote from Radar O’Reilly in the TV series “M.A.S.H.”

MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH:   BACH’S CELLO SUITE #1 in G major, prélude:

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Main Avenue in Ocean Grove.  May, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. May, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge

FATS WALLER

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"OMG. Did I miss the exit for Short Hills?"

“OMG. Did I miss the exit for Short Hills?”       ©Blogfinger.net

Photo from the May 2012 OG Flea Market on Ocean Pathway. Paul Goldfinger photograph.

LARRY WILLIAMS  “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.”  From the soundtrack of the film Pleasantville.

 

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Deal Lake by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net ©

Deal Lake by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net   c.  2014.    ©  Click to enlarge the E.Coli.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Deal Lake water quality is a concern, but the citizens there are doing something about it. In a piece posted in the latest Coaster (Dec 22, 2016) we learn that the Monmouth County Health Department will embark on a quarterly testing program to find out “if Deal Lake water is a health hazard.” The county will be doing multiple quality testing over the next two years.   That program will need to be approved by the State DEP.

Like Wesley Lake, Deal Lake, the largest lake in the county, has a lake commission (DLC), but unlike Wesley Lake, they also have an activist citizens group called Friends of Deal Lake (FODL) who went to county officials to ask that something be done about the “continuing deterioration” of DL including its filling with dirt at the west end despite dredging. In addition, there are concerns about adverse health problems due to that water.   The FODL motto is “Save Deal Lake.”

The article tells us that the county has many resources which can be mobilized for lake water safety, and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, led by Freeholder John P. Curley, held a conference call in October which included the Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore; County Public Health Coordinator and Health Officer Christopher P. Merkel, Environmental Specialist Turner Shell, and Testing Manager Joel Grimm.  As a result of that activism, some new results should be seen at Deal Lake which borders 7 towns in this area.

We found one quote of particular interest:   “The FODL said that Deal Lake water quality is important for many reasons, citing untreated water being discharged directly into the ocean and to the local beaches, including Asbury Park, Loch Arbour, Allenhurst, Deal and Ocean Grove. “

They also asserted that “even minor or incidental contact with the water during activities such as canoeing* can result in adverse health effects.”

Let this be a role model for Grovers and Asburians who could push harder on county officials to duplicate for Wesley Lake what they are doing for Deal Lake. Our Wesley Lake Commission is useless in this regard; in fact they disdain any such criticism regarding water health and functionality. (see the Blogfinger article by Jack Bredin Dec. 26, 2016 above.)

*(? or riding paddle swans?)

 

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL:  “Water Music Suite 2, D major.”   Academy of Ancient Music.

 

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