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By Paul Goldfinger,   Editor @Blogfinger

Just when you thought that we have finished defining the parking situation in the Grove, we receive an anonymous statement about a related matter.

We will call this commenter “Pupu Platter” in the absence of his/her real moniker.

“There has been trouble parking in my neighborhood for much longer than when the Liquid Church got here last weekend.

“The blossoming daily and weekly house and apartment rentals are squeezing multiple college kids and adults into small homes and apartments.

“Each has their own vehicle. I actually feel like I’m living in Belmar of old – only they have garages”

 

Editor’s note:

Pupu: The parking problems in the Grove are the gifts that keep on giving.

You raise yet another issue, referring to short term rentals, so maybe you are referring  in part to the Airbnb challenges or other similar web sites.

Aside from trouble parking, as you indicate, due to multiple tenants renting, there is the effect of short term renters on the stability of neighborhoods in the Grove.

This topic has been poorly defined in the Grove, and we need more facts and input regarding this subject.

Blogfinger has  covered this topic  before.  Use the search box at the top right to find some of our prior coverage, but we could use some informed information.  Type in “airbnb”

Here is one—a poll from last year:

airbnb in Ocean Grove a poll 2018

 

Any realtors out there want to send us a comment?

 

 

JESSICA MOLASKEY

 

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Portrait of Eileen. Coney Island.   Paul Goldfinger ©

 

 

Chicken Road, Fairmont, North Carolina. Paul Goldfinger ©

 

 

Apollo 11. The Eagle Has Landed. Paul Goldfinger ©  Image taken off the TV.  July 20, 1969. NYC.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Seinfeld was on the air for 9 years and earned over $3 billion. This is our 10th year, and we have been operating in the red. But who cares?   And who’s counting?

During these 10 years, Blogfinger has  had 3,717,485 visits so far. Maybe we will hit 4 million this year. The total number of posts exceeded 8,000 a few months ago.  We post more articles daily than most blogs according to the NJ Top Blog ratings.  We have recently been bringing back some re-runs.

Our biggest year was 2012 with 612,000 hits, but I think that was partly due to Sandy coverage.  The day after Sandy hit, most people around the Northeast did not have Internet access, so we had 25,000 hits that day, broadcasting from Wegmans and McDonald’s.  That stat told me that there are many people who are interested in Ocean Grove, way beyond the numbers who live here.

We are proud of those numbers but also the fact that 180 Bloggers follow us on WordPress.

Our posts may seem to be too long at times for some of you, but the average words per BF post is 150, which is the average at the NY Times for their Letters to the Editor.  Pres. Lincoln used 250 words in the Gettysburg Address.

Blogfinger has created the Town Wide Yard Sale, The People’s Garden Tour, and the Blogfinger Film Festival (one of which was a fund raiser for the Together Fund.) We are also proud of our swarm of posts after Sandy, trying to convince FEMA to award funding for the Grove.

Our staff has varied over the years, and I want to thank all of them…. I will mention their first names:   Charles , Mary , Eileen, Michael, Moe, Stephen,  Ted,  Pegi, Rich, Bob, Yvette, Vince,  Jean, Jack, Sue and Ken.  Also thanks to those citizen reporters who sent us words and pictures. And let’s not forget our poets Charles and George.

One of our readers sent me an email a few years ago asking what will happen to Blogfinger when I die.   I don’t know for sure, but probably it will just disappear into the mist along with Brigadoon. I will probably be dancing with the stars.

And thanks to all our readers.  Some of them have vanished, but new ones come along on a regular basis.

For those who like the photographs, in case you don’t know, just click on the Gallery at the top our home page.

 

Here is a very special song by Tony Bennett from the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding.

 

 

 

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After Sandy the CMA mobilized citizens and other volunteers to work together in the cleanup Oct 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

Paul Goldfinger,MD.  Editor @Blogfinger.net

This post first appeared last January regarding how the CMA affects the life styles of secular residents in town.  This past Sunday (June 2, 2019) a large religious event occurred that alarmed some residents who live near the Great Auditorium.

The Liquid Church brought a crowd of religious tourists here for a morning service in the Great Auditorium. Apparently it was noisy, then lunch on the Pathway with 7 food trucks, and then later with baptisms on the beach.  The usual quiet OG Sunday had changed.   The Liquid Church  will be returning every Saturday night   in July and August.

This change raises these questions:  Is Ocean Grove once again becoming a Christian town?    Does the CMA have the unlimited power to expand in ways that can impact the quality of life of all who live here?   Does owning all the land give it that power?

The article below gets into some of these issues:

 

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association  used to run this town, but all that changed in 1980 when the NJ Supreme Court turned over our historic village to the municipality of Neptune Township.

None of the “blue laws” were left in effect, except for bans on selling tobacco, sales of alcohol, and closing of the beach on Sunday mornings.  There has been no coherent explanation for those bans and beach closure  as initiated by a private group in a public town.

The CMA retained control over the beachfront and they actually own the boardwalk; they and others worked together to press FEMA to help pay for the boardwalk restoration.  The Camp Meeting still owns most of the land in town as they pursue their religious “mission” which is growing year-round and has an effect on all who actually live in the Grove.

Interestingly, they have no membership list, so we don’t know how many residents in the Grove are committed to the CMA organization.  Most of their supporters seem to be religious tourists.

There is a group in town of private residents who are mostly secular and who probably number over 5,000 if second homers are included.  But, that group doesn’t seem to have much influence.

So how does the CMA maintain the reigns of power here, in  a democracy,  to influence the residents of this community?

Around 2011,  Blogfinger became interested in the role of the CMA as it relates to the “community ” of Ocean Grove—ie the residents of the town.  We interviewed the  President of the CMA.  He said that the group would focus on its “mission” and not on the community of residents. That’s when I first learned that the CMA actually had a policy regarding the rest of the Grove.

After Sandy hit, the CMA stood tall to deal with the beachfront damage, but they opened their arms to the OG community to help pay for it via the Together Fund.

Clearly the CMA is a sort of neighbor for all of us, but it is a peculiar sort.  They have power and influence in Neptune that enables them to strong arm certain issues in the Historic District such as congestion, parking, land use, North End Redevelopment, and life-styles for residents.

If we ask residents of OG the question: “What do you expect from the CMA,” we suspect that opinions will range from “nothing” to “a great deal.”

If you try to answer that question by thinking about the recent history of the CMA as neighbors in town, consider this summary below.  It is a short list of how they impact all who live here.

a.  They have lucrative large events through the year, especially during “prime time” which effects all of us who live here and which bring no money to help the OG  community.

b. They bring in thousands of tourists for their religious based events, but also for the town- wide clogging mega secular events on Ocean Pathway such as the Flea Market. They hope to extend their reach year-round.

c. They don’t seem to care much about the secular residents in town as evidenced by their seeming indifference to issues that effect all of us, such as when they threatened to sue over permit parking before the conversation ever got out of the starting gate.

And you would think that they would be concerned about the Master Plan, the Land Use abuses,  historic preservation, and other matters that involve them. But they never speak out about these topics.

d.  They were found to be guilty in 2007 of discrimination, and that stained the reputation of the entire town.

e.  They have been intimately involved with the worrisome plans for the project at the OG North End.

f.  Secular programming has been cut back at the GA.

Of course, there are many positive attributes for the entire town that stem from the CMA’s presence in the Grove such as: the 4th of July parade; Illumination Night;  Christmas events;  a clean and friendly beachfront; a wonderful summer music program; and activities for families, kids and teenagers.

So, what do you think?  Please comment below.

ELVIS:   “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”

 

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Jean Marie.  Asbury Park. 6/2/19. Paul Goldfinger ©. Blogfinger.net.  Click to enlarge image.

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net (Ocean Grove.)

Jean Marie stood out at the Pride Day Parade on Cookman Avenue in A. Park.  She was wearing a light blue  Ocean Grove hat while I had my turquoise OG T shirt from the Emporium on. So we had something in common, plus she qualified for our “girls in their summer clothes” series.

Jean is from Wayne, but she is currently staying in Belmar.  She says that she “loves” Ocean Grove and would like to live there.

Today she pedaled her bike from Belmar, and she was enjoying the show from her curbside location. She is one parade fan who didn’t park a car in Ocean Grove.

She also stood out because, unlike a lot of people at the parade, she could wear this outfit tomorrow.

So we only had to take a few frames, because Jean is a fine model. As I was getting ready to leave, she said, “Nice to meet you.”

And I said, “but you haven’t actually met me.”  I gave her a Blogfinger card and explained our series on women’s summer fashions.

That was a wrap on our parade coverage, so I collected some beads  (New Orleans style)  and a Pride flag  (all given to me by marchers who liked the idea that I was taking their pictures; or may be they were encouraging me to change sides. )

Anyhow it was back across the New Jersey Avenue bridge to the Ocean Grove community parking lot.

 

 

BEVERLY KENNEY:

 

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All these photos can be enlarged by clicking on the image.  They are all copy right.

Photographs by Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net.  Ocean Grove NJ

This Pride Parade filled Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park with joy, fun, and potent messaging.

Paul Goldfinger. Blogfinger.net. © 6/2/19. Asbury Park, NJ

 

Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net 6/2/19 Asbury Park ©

 

JOHN WILLIAMS AND THE BOSTON  POPS ORCHESTRA:

 

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Resident permit parking is essential to bring justice to those who live in the Grove. Let the tourists find their own way,

 

 

Paul Goldfinger,  editor @Blogfinger.  June 2, 2019. Ocean Grove, NJ.

Saturday June 1, 2019,  was Flea Market Day, and it was perhaps the worst day ever for Ocean Grove in terms of a parking glut due to a mega-event.   OK, it was a giant parking mess, but it was our mess.

So Sunday (June 2) comes around.  It is a bright, cool, sunny morning and there are some parking spaces available around 9 am when we vacate our space near our house and head to Wegmans.

On the way back, on Main Street in A. Park  (aka “no park,”)  a big party is going on, thousands are milling about, a band is rehearsing, and it dawns on us, after taking a closer look, that this is the assembling of the Pride Day Parade.

As we drive  home to the Grove into our North End neighborhood, every parking space is occupied. It is clear that this is no ordinary Sunday where a few A. Parkers, like employees from Cookman, might be around because of free parking.

Instead, this  time, our neighborhood is a massive parking lot not due to some mega-event in the Grove, but this time it is due to a mega-event in AP.

I went over there, and Cookman Avenue was clogged with marchers and folks lining the streets.

Actually it was a very festive and joyful event, but A. Park got the parade and the pride, and Ocean Grove got the cars.

So this is yet another example of parking mayhem in the Grove, but this time it is not home grown.

We can now add a new category to our list of events that place the residents of OG under seige by outsiders attending a mega event.  It’s like Jerusalem when the Crusaders filled up the streets of that old town—chariots everywhere.

Why are Grovers resigned to such abuse in their town, where they pay taxes and where others often show up to crowd us out during the most beautiful time of year?

Permit parking must be accomplished to help the residents of OG enjoy their town and park their cars.  I know Grovers who have moved away primarily over parking, and others, who would consider that reason. It is that important and should not be trivialized.

Link to BF article on permit parking:

permit parking post in 2017

 

and a 2018 link,  where you will find  lively comments section:

Township rejects permit parking

 

MARILYN MONROE.   This song should be sent by the Home Groaners to the Fabulous Five at the Mother Ship:

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Will the North End Plan take care of increased ground water that could pollute the ocean and the lake? Blogfinger photo.

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

This information is  obtained from a recording of the Township Workshop Session on May 23, 2019, with Administrator Vito Gadaleta summarizing  the “progress” as the Township seeks to move forward with the North End project.

He said that the Township Redevelopment Committee had come to an agreement with the Redeveloper OGNED.   Supposedly the parties involved have “resolved all the issues.”

Of course Gadaleta gave no indication as to what those issues are and how they were “resolved.”  We expect that the agreement will be made public because the end result of all this talk will be a “re-draft” of the long expected Redevelopers Agreement, a public document, which would have to be signed by Neptune Township.

At Blogfinger we have questioned the procedures which have been followed to move the project to this point.  All redevelopment projects are public and are run by the Township.

After the Agreement is finalized, the plan will go to the Planning Board  (perhaps at their July meeting) and then will finish up at the Historic Preservation Commission.

We have no information about a site plan or about DEP permits.   We want to know about elevations and environmental issues including ground water controls and protection of the ocean and Wesley Lake.

As for the fire cleanup, Gadaleta said that the owner of the building (Robert Dweck) will be receiving permission from the CMA to dismantle part of the boardwalk at the North End so that the debris can be moved westward to waiting vehicles.  They expect that this cleanup will happen in one week.

He also reported that he, Mayor Rizzo, William Gannon (an owner of the Dunes), and Robert Dweck, the owner of the White  Whale, went to the Governor’s office to seek grants to help the businesses that were lost in the fire.

 

 

FATS WALLER:

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5/27/19. Memorial Day in Ocean Grove.  Blogfinger.net

 

 

Paul Goldfinger (L) and Jack Bredin. Photo by Jean Bredin, Blogfinger.net 5/27/19

 

Vicki Bacolo.  Blogfinger.net

 

Neptune High School. Navy Junior ROTC.  Blogfinger.net

 

BUDDY:

 

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CPI-peaking-through-shades

images-1

images

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

We have previously complained about non-transparency by the Neptune Township Committee regarding public information such as the hidden truths behind the North End Redevelopment Project.

And now we have seen yet  another way to conceal important information by announcing it before any citizen shows up at the twice per month Committee meeting.   Each time, from 6-7 pm, there is a “Workshop” which is open to the public, but the citizens usually don’t show up until the general meeting at 7 pm. So if important information is read during the Workshop, the public will miss it.

Of paramount importance at these Committee meetings are the reports from the Committeemen regarding what has happened since the last session regarding every function under their supervision.

Each department, eg public works, has a Committeeman who acts as a liaison.   (see comment below.)   That Comitteeman is supposed to make a public statement  at each meeting about those departments which he represents.

But the meat and potatoes of those reports are no longer spelled out  by the elected officials, but rather by Vito Gadaleta, an administrator.

The problem is that Gadaleta’s reports are scheduled during the Workshop, when hardly any citizens are present yet.

I  spoke to 2 concerned citizens who attended the May 23 meeting: one from the OGHOA and one from Blogfinger, and neither got there early enough to hear the Gadaleta report which, this time, included the news of  a unique trip to the Governor’s office by the Mayor and others.   How do these people go to the Governor’s office without making their visit widely known to the public?

Undoubtedly, Vito and the Committee  (sounds like a rock group) realize that such information should be made available during the regular open meeting when concerned citizens generally show up.

This smells like a purposeful attempt to suppress information from the public. The Committeemen  clearly don’t want to misspeak about anything, so they keep quiet while Gadaleta speaks for them on important matters. and then, during the main meeting, they get up to report on mundane topics such as their attendance at parades and ribbon cuttings.  They don’t speak about anything useful except during their response to the roll call.

They do not allow themselves to be in a position of vulnerability to public scrutiny.  And if someone from the audience gets up during the  Public Portion, they only get 5 minutes to speak, but the Committeemen do not respond to the public comments.   They usually  sit silently while the Mayor might say something like: “We will look into that.”  Or she might ask one of her “experts” like Vito to provide a terse answer.

So, what should be done?    Email the Mayor and demand that Vito’s regular news summary be held during the general public open session.

Mayor Carol Rizzo email

The idea that we have transparent representative government in Neptune is a joke.

THE BEE GEES:

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A fence was erected on the west side of the rubble only; what about westerly winds scattering the mess eastward?    Paul Goldfinger photo

 

We can get some powerful winds at the OG  beachfront. This photo is from October, 2018 when such an event occurred.  Paul Goldfinger photo. 10/18 ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

An Ocean Grover who is a “waterman” and a surfer was down at the North End beach this morning when a westerly wind blew through and scattered “garbage” from the rubble piles onto the beach and into the ocean.

Those rubble piles have been allowed to stand while the building owner figures out whom he should hire for the job. This piece of information is from Vito Gadaleta, the Neptune administrator, who said so at the last Home Groaner’s meeting.

The Groaners won’t say anything because, think about it, what have they said about the pollution at Wesley Lake? And the Township seems to be indifferent  regarding the environment. Remember when they didn’t set foot on the beachfront after Sandy?

They should be pushing the Land Owner and the White Whale owner to clean the mess now, under penalty of daily fines.

Can you think of another more environmentally vulnerable place besides the ocean?  That’s why the NJDEP has got to be looking into this mess as well as the secret plans for the North End Redevelopment project.

As for this situation, a high fence should have been constructed all around the rubble pile; not just on the west side of the mess.

Patsy Cline:

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