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Heck Avenue by Jean Bredin.   4/4/16   Blogfinger staff. ©

Heck Avenue by Jean Bredin. 4/4/16 Blogfinger staff. ©  Click to enlarge.

 

Jean Bredin:  “I can’t help but think of that famous warning ‘THE BRITISH ARE COMING!!THE BRITISH ARE COMING!!” But in this case, THE MILLING MACHINE IS COMING…!!! THE MILLING MACHINE IS COMING!!     GRIND, BANG, CRUNCH, GRIND,

“Just when you thought it was over, some more hubbub on Heck.
What an operation.! But,I am happy we will get some new streets .”

THE TRASHMEN:

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Jack Bredin photo.

Jack Bredin photo.

By Jack Bredin:

Ocean Grove residents recently received a letter from L&L Paving Company Inc., advising that milling and paving will begin on Tuesday March 29  and listing the streets to be repaired. Also advising, “Any other questions or concerns please see on-site supervisor”.

But just a reminder that if you do have questions or concerns (missing slate curb stones, etc.) it may be best to call the Township Business Administrator, Mr. Vito Gadaleta, at 732-988-5200 ext 232,  because individual homeowners do not have a contract with L & L Paving Company; the Township does, and all work must be completed to the satisfaction to the Township.

It’s best to talk to the Chief, and not the Indians.

Patience and Prudence:

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Ocean Grove Flower Shop on Main Avenue will not be in bloom this spring,  Jean Bredin photo, Blogfinger staff. March 30, 2016. ©

Ocean Grove Flower Shop on Main Avenue will not be in bloom this spring, Jean Bredin photo, Blogfinger staff. March 30, 2016. ©

By Jean Bredin  (Around the Grove with Jean)

A favorite Rite of Passage in Ocean Grove has always been the profusion of colorful plants lined up welcoming Spring. You would forget about the cold, the snow, the grayness, the bleakness. The corner resembled the Paris flower markets. It was a destination. A place where you could be inspired.

Sadly, we will just have to imagine what it once was, and wonder if we will ever see it again.

JOAN BAEZ

 

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Photos by Prosper Bellizia, Blogfinger staff.  Feb 22, 2016.  ©

Photos by Prosper Bellizia, Blogfinger staff. Feb 22, 2016. ©

From Prosper Bellizia, Blogfinger staff:   “There is a complaint on the window of the Pizza Shoppe for nonpayment of rent, as you had previously reported that the business may not be coming back. ”

Posted on the door.  Blogfinger photo ©  2/22/16   Click to enlarge

Posted on the door. Blogfinger photo © 2/22/16 Click to enlarge

Maybe a real coffee shop might be in the cards?  That would be delightful.

BOB DYLAN   “One More Cup of Coffee.”   from his album Desire.

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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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#50 Main Avenue. Feb. 11, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photos.

#50 Main Avenue. Ocean Grove.    Looking west in front of the work site.  Feb. 11, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photos.

 

#50 Main Avenue, Ocean Grove. ©

#50 Main Avenue, Ocean Grove. ©  as seen from the sidewalk in front.

In May there was flooding in the bottom of the elevator hole at Mary’s Place.  Here is a link:    https://blogfinger.net/2015/05/09/double-double-toil-and-trouble-marys-place-springs-a-leak-and-a-river-of-muddy-water-flows-into-fletcher-lake/

After extensive pumping of water onto Main Avenue and beyond, the Mary’s leak eventually stopped. We were told that the same thing occurred when the Youth Temple was built.

Now a similar problem is occurring at the #50 Main Avenue foundation site.   An elaborate pumping system has been set up, and water is being expelled onto Main Avenue.  It will be interesting to see what that looks like when the temperature hits 5 degrees or less over the weekend. We will probably see horizontal icicles.   The contractors are probably waiting for the leak to stop spontaneously or with some creative placement of cement.

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Newly-elected Committeeman Nicholas Williams (L)  poses with re-elected incumbent Committeeman Dr. Michael Brantley. (source: Candidates web site)   Williams lives in Neptune, but he is a member of the Ocean Grove Citizens Patrol, so he knows how to spot trouble. We have high hopes for him.   Perhaps Dr. Brantley will pay more attention to OG issues in 2016.      Internet photo.

 

In a recent Blogfinger poll, 88% of respondents said that they did not trust the Neptune Township Committee to do what is fair and just for Ocean Grove.  310 respondents voted. 85% said No; 9% said Yes; the rest were unsure.

In January there will be a new Neptune Township Committee. Returning are Dr. Michael Brantley (newly re-elected), Kevin McMillan (incumbent and new Mayor)  and Randy Bishop (incumbent.)   Taking the place of Mary Beth Jahn is Nicholas Williams (newly elected.)  We don’t know yet who will take the place of Eric Houghtaling.

Mary Beth Jahn was not nominated to run again  by the Monmouth County Democrats despite the protests of Randy Bishop. Eric Houghtaling will vacate his seat on January 12, as he will move up to the Assembly in Trenton.

Randy Bishop may soon be vacating his seat voluntarily, but there is no official word about that.

In 2016, the Committee will remain all Democratic. Neptune used to be solidly Republican. Now it is the most Democratic town in Monmouth County.   Some say that party politics are not important in local elections, but don’t believe it. If you look at the Facebook page of Brantley and Williams, after winning, they said, “Democratic residents of Neptune. This was a victory for you.”

Hopefully it will be a victory for all of us.

At Blogfinger our New Year wish is that the newly reshuffled Committee, headed by a new Mayor, will take a fresh look at the way Ocean Grove citizens have been treated with regards to our historic designations, fair and equal zoning applications, out-of-control property taxes, parking standards, and protection against being overrun by condo-building developers.

We have been especially worried about how the North End Redevelopment is being handled.  How about zoning all of OG for single family.  And how about cancelling the redevelopment zone at the North End.

Also, many of us believe that the current application for an RISS exemption in Trenton will jeopardize our town’s future. Why not trash that application to the SIAB and start enforcing the State parking law in the Grove.

We want our Committee to represent us in a fair and transparent manner.   Hopefully that poll, when repeated in 2016, will show a better relationship between the Committee and Ocean Grove.

We also want to remind the Committee that the OGHOA does not represent most Grovers, so the Committee needs to do more outreach in the Grove to judge what our citizens prefer.  Don’t wait for the citizens to come to you.   Let’s reach out of the box.

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

THE SHIRELLES:

 

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Sam from Surf and Skate shop. Blogfinger photo. © Dec. 19, 2015.

Sam from Surf and Skate shop on Main Avenue. Blogfinger photo. © Dec. 19, 2015.

Despite the fact that it is only 6 days till the big day, there were few shoppers on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove on a sunny, cold  Saturday. What the Heck Avenue is happening to our commercial district?  But it wasn’t a total loss: The Wall High School Fabulous Four were playing carols in front of Favorite Things, but music lovers everywhere were elsewhere.

We did get the the recording in  only two takes.  The first was a warm-up.  A bandstand fell over during the taping, and the flute player had to fake the entire song, but she amazingly came through without showing signs of stage panic. A few wrong notes don’t bother this marvelous ensemble.  Their motto is, “good enough for jazz.”

The second piece was “Oh Come all Ye Faithful.”  What a marvelous performance. You must see them at half time sometime, these Knights of the Wall High School.  Martin Scorsese would have said “cut” and shown the first take as an example of cinema verité, so we are posting both takes.

Pizza Shoppe. Saturday, Dec 19, 2015. Blogfinger.net

The so called Pizza Shoppe (above)  still has the sign on the door that says “open weekends” but it was still closed.  What’s up with that?  The surf and skate shop was open, but Sam wasn’t having much traffic today.  But she had her cheerful face on, as always, as she waited for some skaters or surfers to fly into her Main Avenue shop where the newstand/toy shop used to be.

Here’s a link to our original post on Sam and her shop:      Surf and Skate in OG

Other shops were also open including Seasons, Favorite Things, Cheese on Main,OG bakery, The Emporium, Nagles, and The Comfort Zone.

BEVERLY KENNEY  from Guys and Dolls

 

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Internet photo

Sports report from the Blogfinger sports department, Paul Goldfinger, Editor.    Updated to 2015.  Go Navy.  I still have my Navy sword which I keep in our OG bedroom in case the Barbary pirates show up seeking revenge.

On Saturday, December 12, there will be a battle in Philadelphia—Army vs. Navy. This rivalry goes back 116 games.  Navy has won 59 times, and the army 49, with 7 ties.    Navy has  a long winning streak, having won the last thirteen times.  The weather should be warm, so we won’t have to shiver our timbers;  it will be a spirited event at 3:00 pm on CBS.

But here in Ocean Grove, we have two neighbors on Seaview Avenue who have chosen opposite sides every year, and each year they hang out the appropriate banner.  At 18 Seaview is Liz Ogden’s house where the Navy reigns and the goats go baaaaa.  This is what she said yesterday, “The Flags are flying on Sea View Ave in excitement for the upcoming football game Saturday at 3pm..  I learned recently that my Dad marched in the 1953 Army – Navy Football game with the American Flag..  GOOOOO NAVY!!!!!  BEAT ARMY.

 

18 Seaview18 Seaview Avenue in Ocean Grove.  Liz Ogden’s house.

US Navy Band:    

Ted Bell's home at 24 Seaview Avenue. Blogfinger photos.

Ted Bell’s home at 24 Seaview Avenue. Blogfinger photos.  Dec 10, 2015 Ted’s team are the Black Knights and they eat beans while the Navy eats the gravy.

A few houses down at 24 Seaview is the Army house where Ted Bell will be cheering for the Army mules. Ted’s grandson is a graduate of the USMA and served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.   Ted and Liz have been competing over this game for more than 10 years.  Ted gave us a quote: “Go Army, Beat Navy.”  Ted was there when the army beat the Brits at Bunker Hill.

Ted likes the traditions, especially when the two sides sing their alma maters at the end of the game.   He predicts that Army will win by a score of 13-12.  Really, Ted?   You can call him and make a bet.

Liz Ogden on Main Avenue counting her chickens. Her team are the "Midshipmen". © Paul Goldfinger photo. Dec 10, 2015.

Liz Ogden on Main Avenue, Ocean Grove,  counting her chickens. Her team are the “Midshipmen”. © Paul Goldfinger photo. Dec 10, 2015.

Liz: Watch out;  Ted may get your goat or steal your goat or eat your goat.

US Army Band      

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Editor’s Note  (2015) : Kevin Chambers is a long time Ocean Grover who has brought suit against Neptune Township regarding  condominium projects  in town.

Kevin has never, in the past, commented on Blogfinger, but he decided to join the discussion in 2011.

–This article was originally posted on BF in January 2011, but it is as relevant now as it was then.   I think this 2011 post pretty much explains Kevin’s views in 2015, but perhaps we  will  hear from Kevin again now if he wants to bring us up to date with his views on zoning and parking in Ocean Grove.

—Note the interesting comments section from 2011 which can be added to now.

———Paul  Goldfinger . Editor  @Blogfinger

August 2012. Kevin Chambers, and OG histsorian, testifies at the HPC demolition hearing re: Whitfield Hotel on Surf Avenue.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©

August 2013. Kevin Chambers, an OG historian, testifies at the HPC demolition hearing re: Whitfield Hotel on Surf Avenue. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

From Kevin Chambers of Ocean Grove:

The following is to address RSIS and parking in Ocean Grove:

In 1997 the State of New Jersey created the New Jersey Site Improvement Advisory Board that established “Residential Site Improvement Standards” (RSIS). RSIS is a part of the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) that governs all zoning in the state of New Jersey. Every town in the state, including Neptune, was mandated to amend its zoning to conform to RSIS.

Neptune, when amending its Land Development Ordinance in 2000, violated the MLUL and RSIS when it created the Historic District Oceanfront (HD-0) zone.
The Historic District of Ocean Grove, a section of Neptune, is the only development in the entire state, in which the township that governs it refuses to enforce RSIS.

The state wrote three letters informing Neptune that it is required by law to enforce RSIS. Neptune, seeking a way to circumvent the law, created an ordinance that prohibits driveways and curb cuts for Ocean Grove. Believing that the new ordinance gave Neptune the right to ignore RSIS, the Township continued permitting the conversion of unauthorized nonconforming apartments and hotels into condominiums without providing parking.
The Township, still in violation of RSIS, was then forced into seeking a waiver known as the “Special Area Standard” designation from the State. Neptune believed that the designation would permit the Board of Adjustment to continue its abuse of granting improper high density development within Ocean Grove, which in turn has lead to more car congestion on the streets.
The RSIS Board explained to Neptune’s representatives, that if Neptune enforced RSIS within Ocean Grove that it would prohibit improper high density uses that would in turn lessen the density of cars on the streets.

If Neptune acted responsibly and brought its zoning for Ocean Grove into conformity with the MLUL it then wouldn’t need to seek the designation from the state. The enforcement of RSIS would break the vicious cycle of permitting greater density in Ocean Grove at the expense and the detriment to Ocean Grove residents.
Even though all the committee members of the RSIS Board were well aware of Ocean Grove’s problems having visited Ocean Grove, the RSIS Board was forced to deny Neptune the “Special Area Standard” designation since Neptune’s zoning for Ocean Grove was and is in violation of the MLUL.

Even more troubling, Neptune was in violation of the “Open Public Meeting Act” when it sought the designation. Neptune is now required to hold open public meetings in which to provide a legitimate parking study in order to establish a need to seek a waiver from the state. Neptune must also bring Ocean Grove’s zoning into compliance with the MLUL before reappearing before the RSIS Board.

Solving Ocean Grove’s high density and over crowding of the streets doesn’t take “brainpower or innovation;”   it only takes following the law, the very law that every Committee member in the state is sworn to uphold.

To this very day, the Township continues to be in violation of the MLUL and continues to refuse to enforce RSIS. Both were created and designed for the protection of every resident of the state, including the residents of Ocean Grove. Every resident of Ocean Grove should be leery of any township committee person who hinders or who refuses to demand their enforcement.

Kevin Chambers

Editor’s credit:  Top photo was taken at the Historical Society of Ocean Grove Museum.   Blogfinger photo

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