From Carl Swenson of OG March, 2019.

Paul: “An old post card of what the North End looked like at one time.  Before a hotel and pool it was a tenting area.  Only vehicle was a buggy, so it’s not a Sunday shot for sure.  Carl”

From Rich Amole who sent us the same postcard last year.


This post card image shows a horse drawn delivery cart making rounds to the folks in the tents at the north end of the Grove.

Asbury Park and Wesley Lake at the top of the image would help identify that the section of the Grove that the delivery is being made would appear to be on Spray Avenue right off of Ocean Avenue. Laundry is hanging on lines in the yards behind the tents, and everyone has a wonderful display of those colorful red stripe and blue stripe awnings. Each structure has a chimney.

This scene is from 1906, and within a few short years. this tent neighborhood will be making way for the North End Hotel, turning that tent neighborhood into two outdoor pools and a laundry/maintenance facility for this 256 room complex.


(Rich Amole is Blogfinger’s staff historian and reporter)

Editor’s note:   So which is more historic?  Tent City or a commercialized North End?

Don’t let the historic argument sway you.  —PG @Blogfinger

BLOSSOM DEARIE   (Could it be a surrey and not a cart?—Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry…)

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By Jack Bredin, researcher/reporter @Blogfinger and Paul Goldfinger, Editor

The Coaster, August 16, 2018.

We stumbled on this recently. It was tucked away in Jack’s filing system. As you can see, this “watershed watchdog” group has been battling ground water pollution in the Shark River area. It is the threat of a suit by citizens that hits home. In this case we see Neptuners blaming Neptune City.

Read the last paragraph. The coalition began its fight against dirty water running into the Shark River Estuary in 2001. The goal was to improve the water quality and bring back natural processes. In Ocean Grove we lack that sort of citizen activism, and it is ironic that this group of clean water activists come from Neptune. But we have the special additional issue of urban sprawl and developers on both sides of Wesley Lake.

We have no information about the current status of that 18 year old fight.




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By Jack Bredin, reporter/researcher @Blogfinger.net

Fletcher Lake, Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger © Another riparian waterway subject to public trust rights. This one empties to the ocean via the floodgates seen above. But the dirty ground water burden is much less over there.

7:7-9.48 Lands and waters subject to public trust rights.

“Lands and waters subject to public trust rights are tidal waterways and their shores, including both lands now or formerly below the mean high water line, and the shores above the mean high water line.

“Tidal waterways and their shores are subject to the Public Trust Doctrine and are held in trust by the State for the benefit of all the people, allowing the public to fully enjoy these lands and waters for a variety of public uses.”

DALIDA “Dans le bleu du ciel bleu” (In the blue of the blue sky.”)





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1905 Wesley Lake postcard. Ocean Grove, NJ


By Jack Bredin, reporter-researcher and Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger.net

On March 11, 2019, at the Township Committee meeting, Blogfinger reporter/researcher Jack Bredin, a full time resident of the Grove, spoke during the public portion and challenged the Committee to tell the public if Neptune Township has ever received a written transfer of ownership of Wesley Lake from the State of New Jersey.

This documentation, if it exists,  would go to the issue of who owns Wesley Lake. This is important, because if Neptune Township does not own Wesley Lake, then it would have no right to change the name on the tax map to Wesley Detention/Retention Basin.  And thus it would have no right to grant permission to developers to change the Lake’s function which, according to the towns ROSI list, is a public open space reserved for conservation and recreation.

If you click on the link below regarding that March 11 meeting,  promises were made to “research” the questions by the Township Attorney Gene Anthony and Township Business Manager Vito Gadaleta.

And Mayor Rizzo promised, ““We will have a discussion to decide if we will discuss it.” 

That exchange with the Mayor is recorded in our post of March 12:

Jack Bredin vs, Neptune Mayor March 11, 2019

This brings us to the next Committee meeting of March 25, 2019, during which nothing was said about those promises, and there was nothing on the agenda about the matter.  The Mayor decided to avoid any Wesley Lake identity topics, and to, instead, push her plan to ban plastic bags in town.

At the end of the meeting, Jack Bredin went to the mic  to make some important points about Wesley Lake:

a. He reminded the Committee that they changed the name of the Lake on the tax map in 2014 without ever documenting that they had the right to do that.  These days the Committee doesn’t seem to know why it changed the name in the first place nor do they know who gave the order to do that.

The Township and the Wesley Lake Commission insist that Wesley Lake is not a lake but is a retention /detention basin. 

However, the Township’s Master Plan identifies Wesley Lake correctly as a lake, and there is considerable further documentation of that fact including finding the Lake on the ROSI list of Neptune public open spaces and, according to Neptune Township’s Planning Board Engineer Peter Avakian, “Wesley Lake is not a detention basin.”

b.  Also the Committee does not seem to know who legally owns the Lake or if they ever went before the DEP or Green Acres to claim the property.  Jack says, “This is an embarrassment.” 

Ironically, if one looks at the original North End Redevelopment Plan, approved by the Committee, it says that the Camp Meeting Association owns the Lake. 

c.  Jack Bredin reminded the Mayor that “the State of New Jersey owns the Lake and its banks, because the land is “held in Trust” by the State for all the people, under the jurisdiction of the DEP, managed by the two municipalities, under the authority of the bi-town Wesley Lake Commission and reserved  for recreation and conservation in perpetuity, pursuant to the NJ DEP Division of Land Use Regulations. ”  (See our post about NJ Land Use Regulations.)

“And, State regulations supersede municipal regulations, leaving Neptune on the wrong side of environmental law.”

d.  In 2014, when the tax map name change occurred, Neptune failed to follow the complex official  process of overriding the Master Plan.  And the Committee bamboozled the Wesley Lake Commission into believing that the “Lake” in their name referred to a basin. This maneuver was a big favor for developers.

e.  Finally Jack Bredin asked the Mayor if she discussed these matters with the Township Engineer and the Township Attorney “or with anyone.”  But the Mayor refused to say a word about Jack’s question.   She simply said, “Are you finished? Time is up. Next.”  

Jack says that he received “the silent treatment” from the Mayor.

The next speaker up was the OGHOA Vice-President Richard Williams who said that he has “been doing research” on Wesley Lake, and he believes that Mr. Bredin “deserves a response to his presentation. He deserves an answer.”

For Mr. Williams, Mayor Rizzo offered an answer.  She said that she consulted no experts on these issues, but that she has “made up her own mind.”  She said, “I am aware ” of this matter.  She admitted that she received no legal advice or technical advice.  Instead she decided that “Wesley Lake could be both a lake or a detention basin.”

Jack concluded that the Mayor is “100% wrong.” 

He was appreciative of the support which he received from the OG Home Owners Association Vice President Williams in provoking a response from the reticent Mayor.



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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

In a letter to prospective members, The Groaners President presented the Annual Report in which the group bragged about all that they have accomplished during the “year just ended.” (This is gibberish for 2018.)

The Groaners would have us believe that they actually accomplished something as they wrestled with a variety of issues:

a. Parking. The Groaners Parking Committee “worked hard” to “resolve the problem.” But, by December 31, 2018, they had accomplished nothing.

b. The North End Redevelopment. The Groaners “continued to monitor the negotiations and to report on its progress.” And, in an outrageous example of fake news, they sought to milk a cow that ran out of gas years ago.

They took credit for “being instrumental in persuading the Township to reduce the density of the project by scaling back the number of condominiums and hotel rooms. and requiring the inclusion of single family homes…”

But that change in the NERP was just talk–it never happened. The only plan still current is the original one from 2007.

The Groaners have supported the commercial development at the North End from day one. They should have opposed the illegal zoning changes and violations of the Master Plan. They still are on the wrong side of this issue.

What did they accomplish in 2018 regarding the North End Redevelopment? Absolutely nothing!

c. They keep busy by going to Township meetings, praying for Certified Local Government preservation grants, having parties, and entertaining political figures who barely know anything about our problems

The Groaners say that they “enjoy and are proud of our work” but what tangible results did they accomplish in 2018? Nothing to write home about or to write a report about.

The Ocean Grove Homeowners Ass. may be well intentioned, but they are not helping the home owners in the Grove with their main problems.

They need to stop worrying about Neptune mid-town, fake antisemitism, and the approval of one-party Committeemen and developers.

Where are they on Airbnb issues, Wesley Lake pollution, condo conversions, lifestyles of residents, excess mega-events, tourism choking the town, excessive street closures, dog beach,  ignoring the Master Plan, rising property taxes, relations with the Camp Meeting, downtown business strategies focused on residents, and changing demographics. 

And members, don’t forget—-send them money. They may use it to pay lawyers whose opinions have never been released to the public regarding ground rents.  


MONKS CHANT:  From Monty Python’s Spamalot:

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Bradley Beach Lobster Festival 2017.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Last year we reported on how the residents of BB got their town to cancel a mega-event, “The Lobster Festival” because it would overwhelm their town on the first weekend of the summer season. This way those families who actually live in that famous beach community could enjoy the ambience of their town. There would still be residents, families, guests, beach tourists and others in manageable numbers who could come, park and visit the local restaurants, bars and shops.

T.J.Coan who succeeded to win this battle last year on behalf of the locals was pleased. We spoke, and what a difference was evident when we compared our town, Ocean Grove. Blogfinger wrote about it:


In the Grove, all the power centers are about tourism with barely a nod towards our resident community which hardly has any identity here, much less the clout to influence lifestyles such as how many suffocating weekends we would have to endure.

But, we heard from T.J. again today, and the news is upsetting. The local governance hired the Passion Group from Asbury Park to create two new giant festivals: Memorial Day for 3 days and Labor Day for 4 days.

T.J. said that their town (twice the size of OG and with garages and driveways) was a “residential town” and should not be subjected to such festivals which would create phenomena as “the parking wars.”

We asked him why their town leaders wanted to have such events. Why not stick to the philosophy, which the Belmar mayor enunciated a few years ago, that the main function of these towns should be to benefit the residents. T.J. couldn’t give a clear answer as to why Bradley Beach would go out of its way to drown their town with tourists. He said that the business people on Main Street were not enthused either.

In Ocean Grove we have several driving forces that are motivated to subject the Grove to more crowds and parking problems without any consideration for the residents. Our situation is more complex than T.J.’s because of those factions which each have their own motives: Camp Meeting Association, Home Groaners, Chamber of Commercials, Neptune Township Comedy and its friends the developers; and because of the creature from outer space: the new Asbury Park. There are those who do want us to become Asbury Park Light and do want us to continue our roll as cash cows.

It’s time to change our subtitle:

1869: OG, home of the Methodists and their summer Camp Meeting

1900: OG, Christian summer town and home of religious tourism.

1900-1950’s: OG, diverse Victorian town unchanging

1950-1990: OG, town in gradual decline. Will it survive? Neptune runs the joint as of 1980.

1990-2010: OG, recovering historic town with quaint houses, growing tourism, crowds, and parking strife. Culture shifts; swing towards secularism

2010-2019 OG, magnet for second homers and multiple mega-events. Decline in lifestyles for residents, some of whom have been leaving.

2019 OG, residential town at heart overdosing on tourism from all sides. Increasing secular presence by second homers. Parking wars.

It’s time that residents demand to be placed at the top of the priority list by Neptune Township. From now on we will refer to the Grove as “a residential community.”

We need to identify with Bradley Beach and not A. Park. The latter is becoming a high power attraction for the wealthy and the superficial. It will become a cultural wasteland.



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This profile of Mildred Hardeman PhD is from 2013. By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net. Click on “BLOGFINGER” below this sentence


Mildred Hardeman on the porch of her Ocean Grove home.  Paul Goldfinger photo July 2013 Mildred Hardeman on the porch of her Ocean Grove home. Paul Goldfinger photo July 2013

Mildred was born in Alabama. At the time of the depression, her family moved to Texas so her father could find work. Then they moved to Georgia where she went to high school. Her mother urged her to seek higher education, so she obtained a scholarship to an all-girls college in Athens, Georgia in 1942. Shorter College had 200 students then. They encouraged careers for women. Today it is Shorter University and has several thousand students.

While at Shorter, Mildred got a job as assistant to a faculty member who encouraged her to move to New York City. Mildred obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy and psychology at Columbia University.

No university in NYC would hire her to teach philosophy–that field was reserved for men— but Queens College hired her to teach psychology. Over the years…

View original post 280 more words

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AP “Musical Renaissance.”
Michael Black, Getty Images via AP website. This photo references the Sea.Hear.Now Festival for Sept 21-22, 2019


Asbury Park boards after the 2018  Sea.Hear.Now Festival closed. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Shortly after we obtained this image, a long caravan of open bed trucks carrying about 100 Port-a-Johns moved slowly down Ocean Avenue toward Wesley Lake and Ocean Grove.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

March 4, 20129 Ocean Grove, New Jersey:

Most  Grovers have looked on with interest at the evolution of the new City of Asbury Park  (sometimes called a “town” by other media.) We have witnessed first hand, by our proximity, at how successful the process has been. 

In Ocean Grove we have already experienced parking, crowding, and noise issues.  In addition there is concern about the ecology of Wesley Lake which is now officially called a “detention/retention basin” by Neptune officials, but not by Asbury officials.  The two towns share ownership of that lake.    We have no idea as to what Asbury Park will do about the progressively worsening storm water drainage into the Lake.

But recently, bubbling up from the murky underground, we hear that the CMA, Neptune Township, and OGNED Developers are on the verge of beginning the commercial transformation of our North End, a process that we have been observing.   But in this post we wonder out loud regarding what further  effect the Asbury transformation will have on the Grove going into the future.

The City of A. Park has been mute regarding their plans for their south end which, as you know, borders our North End just south of the Casino, near the White Whale.  Do the A. Park developers have any opinions or plans regarding their proximity to us?  The quotes below are from a website called Asbury Park Waterfront   (link to S. Park’s waterfront plans)

“While the City of Asbury Park maintains control and responsibility for the beach and actual boardwalk, Madison Marquette leads the redevelopment effort on Convention Hall, the Casino building and Carousel

“iStar, in its thoughtful approach to development, is helping to create a vision of something special, while being mindful of Asbury Park’s treasured past. Today, iStar owns 35 acres along the waterfront. Over the past eight years, the Company has invested more than $300 million in what is expected to be a multi-billion-dollar revitalization effort over the coming decade.

“As the Master Developer for Asbury Park’s waterfront area, we take our civic and social responsibility for the entire City seriously. We are committed to being transparent about our future development plans and want to involve the community in creating a new vision for the waterfront.”


We filled in a form found on that website  (see below):

To Asbury Park Waterfront Developers:

I am the editor of Blogfinger.net, an Ocean Grove site that has taken a keen interest in the rebirth of Asbury Park. We have published a variety of articles about this subject.

But we would like to know more about the south end of AP waterfront,  especially the future of the Casino and the section of the ocean front property between the Casino and the border with Ocean Grove.

Developers in Ocean Grove are planning a large commercial project on the currently barren “North End” of Ocean Grove.

Will you, as the Master Developer, play any part in the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Plan?

Thank you for any information you might provide.

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor of Blogfinger.net”



AMY ADAMS  and LEE PACE,  from the soundtrack of Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day


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Eileen's Beef Stew. Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Eileen’s Beef Stew. Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger

2 1/2 pounds chuck roast, trimmed of fat, cut into 2″ cubes

10 cipollini onions, peeled

4  carrots, peeled (2 diced, 2 cut into 2″ rounds)

2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ pieces

2 yellow onions. diced

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed

3 stalks celery, diced

1 cup fresh green peas (frozen can be substituted)

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 large mushrooms, thickly sliced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dry thyme

1 cup Guinness stout

1 cup red burgundy wine

1 cup beef stock

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons margarine

searing flour, as needed

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 plum tomatoes,  seeded and diced

In a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup of oil on medium.  Remove moisture from meat with a paper towel and  lightly sprinkle cubes with searing flour;  place meat in oil and brown on all sides. Do  this in small batches and set meat aside as they brown.

Add diced carrots, celery and yellow onions to the Dutch oven and cook until they soften and brown, approximately 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes. Add wine, stout, beef broth, thyme, tomato paste, black pepper, salt and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and stir.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add meat to pot and simmer covered for 1 hour.  Stir occasionally.

While the meat and sauce are simmering, heat margarine and 2 tablespoons of oil on medium in a large nonstick fry pan.  Add the 2″ pieces of carrot, potatoes, cipollini onions, tomatoes, and green beans; and sauté until the vegetables turn a little brown,  approximately 30  minutes.

Add the browned vegetables to the meat and sauce after the meat has cooked for 1 hour.

* For the best flavor prepare the stew to this point a day or two prior to serving.

Reheat the stew on medium-low until the sauce begins to simmer.  Add the green peas and mushrooms.  Stir and cook for 1 hour.   Taste to adjust for flavoring.

Serves 4

FATS WALLER:  “The Rump Steak Serenade”

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American sponsors of the 2017 hypertension guidelines.


By Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC  and Editor  @Blogfinger.net

Part III: Who Cares?

Almost all doctors believe in treating hypertension, but how many will be enthused about following the new guidelines?  We’re talking about the American Heart Association/ American College of Cardiology 2017 guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure.

If you were a doctor, would you spend hours going through piles of hypertension guidelines, looking at all the intricate details, and trying to resolve the controversies? Or would you just do whatever it is that you normally do to treat the most common cause of death in the US ?

And even if a physician were trying to wade into the weeds and trying to figure all this out, he might emerge confused, because in the end, he will have to use his best judgement. Guidelines are supposed to provide consistency not controversy.  But when it comes to hypertension, knowledge has been evolving since the 19th century when a device to measure blood pressure was invented.

I have hypertension and I keep my finger on the pulse of advances in cardiology. My own cardiologist is an eminent and respected doctor in this area. But he is fairly conservative, and when I press him about the new guidelines, he usually falls back on his own judgement which doesn’t try to push too hard on drugs. Last time I saw him, it appeared that he was beginning to adopt the new American guidelines, yet he didn’t change my treatment, although he might have. He was going to take his time figuring out how to use the new guidelines.

But my biggest concern is that not only will physicians pay little attention to the guidelines, but probably half of their patients with high blood pressure are not under good control.

However, in the new world of medical practice in America, we have new ways to practice, and that involves mid-level practitioners such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Also we have electronic medical records and fabulous new technologies to help accomplish our goals. And there is a welcomed trend to use home BP measurements to guide diagnosis and treatment.

The new corporate style of practice involves a team approach to try and improve the track record in hypertension. And when a patient is put into the hands of such “teams,” those teams will be forced to use the latest guidelines, taking it out of the hands of doctors.

And we know that perhaps up to 800 entities such as the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, Summit Medical Group, Monmouth Cardiology, etc. across the country have already established this new approach, and more will jump on the bandwagon.

Then, it is hoped that the success rates of hypertension care will become much better. But I am also suspicious of corporate motives in such circumstances. Insurance companies, healthcare entities, and Big Pharma are interested in this topic.

I am skeptical of turning over the care of our patients to corporate managers, mid-level teams, and one-size-fits-all algorithms. It is a recipe for reduced quality of care, failure to properly evaluate patients, and higher risk of complications.

I would be more enthused if the system were returned to the control of physicians.

So, having expressed that concern, we will proceed with the nitty-gritty of providing successful care for the millions of hypertensives in America. Watch for Part IV.


DIANA KRALL  from her album Turn Up the Quiet


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