With Memorial Day soon to arrive, we are offering this re-post which is about Ocean Grove in relation to the Civil War. The photo is submitted by Peter Stunz whose family has been in the Grove for generations. And we have Ken Burns music, a bit of commentary about photography from back then, as well as some military medicine recollections.

Click on the word “Blogfinger” beneath this sentence.—Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Blogfinger.net.


Peter Tallman, Union Army soldier, 1861. Submitted by Peter Stunz of Ocean Grove.

We received this photograph from Peter Stunz of Ocean Grove.   His email offers this explanation:

Just a side note: This is my great grandfather Peter Tallman (I was named after him, my mother’s maiden name is Tallman). He was a volunteer with the 127th Volunteer Infantry.  He never saw a battlefield. He was severely injured when a tree limb fell on him while they were clearing a path somewhere unknown.

His past was one of many reasons that lead me to be a student of history.  I would also like to add as a side note that the Tallmans have been living in Ocean Grove (renting) since nearly the beginning and we have had our summer home here since 1955. We love reading your blog and have been loyal readers since Sandy.

Editor’s note:  Thanks to…

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Flea Market w shuttle-1

Note: The Chamber has arranged for shuttle buses to help alleviate the parking situation for this event.


a.  Wesley Lake Commission meets on Tuesday, May 21 at 7 pm in the Committee Meeting Room.  If you live near the Lake, you might want to attend.

b.  July 6 parade is 10:30-12:30. There will be shuttle buses in and out of town to off-site parking, but not for fireworks that night.

c. Tuesday May 21:  Annual Police Memorial Service in the Great Auditorium.  11 am.

d . Asbury may soon ban single use plastic bags, as has Bradley Beach.

e.  Free concert in the GA on Sat. May 25 at 8 pm.  Features the Atlantic Wind Ensemble–a 40 piece concert band:  There will be patriotic and military music.

f. Memorial Day parade May 27  10 am, but won’t reach OG until later—maybe 10:30

g.  The wild turkey was seen strolling on Delaware Avenue near Mt. Hermon this morning  5/18/19,  with a fox stalking her.  The fox  (reddish with bushy tail) was standing in the middle of Delaware while the turkey was on the sidewalk  She flew onto a tall nearby tree.

We have a winner in the name-the-turkey contest:

In honor of the Township Committee persons who, themselves are a sort of turkey, we have her new name:
Gobbledygook.”   The winner is Kevin Chambers of Ocean Grove.

h.  The Rain Tunnel car wash on Main St in Bradley Beach, just outside OG, has an “all you can eat” deal for unlimited car washes.  It is particularly good for Grovers because it is so convenient to bop over there for a wash.

THE DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET:  “Kathy’s Waltz”  from their famous album Time Out.

Don’t expect to hear a waltz when you begin to listen to “Kathy’s Waltz.”

About 1/3 into the piece after Dave Brubeck’s piano intro, Paul Desmond comes in with his wonderful cool alto sax and segues into the waltz tempo.

Brubeck wrote the piece for his daughter. —-PG

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

The current issue of NJ Monthly features their “great destinations” choices including Long Branch, Ocean Grove, Manasquan, Seaside Heights and Sea Isle City.

The glossy issue is full of hype and clearly the destinations are edited to present these 5 Shore communities in a light which would attract tourists.

For Ocean Grove, a wide cross-section of information was presented, but the truth, which may be beside the point for such a piece, is not exactly told, because the piece is supposed to entice and entertain.

Here are some highlights:

a. About 25% of the piece features the “Tent City” as if that is the most important element that the reader should know about our town.

b. Emphasis on religion: The subtitle of the article is “SUMMER CONGREGANTS MAINTAIN A CENTURY OLD TRADITION”.   There is a photo of the GA with the cross lit and a photo of a gospel service on the boardwalk.  The piece refers to “the town’s religious character”  and then there is a history of the OGCMA.

c.  Restaurants and B&B’s are mentioned, but the list is not inclusive. For example Days is not on the list.

d. A theme which wanders through this piece is that Asbury Park is a vibrant place for fun as opposed to the Grove where you can sit on your porch and smell the roses.  Asbury is given credit for boosting businesses and lodgings in the Grove, saying that guests sleep in the Grove but go to AP for more lively pursuits.

e. The writer takes a stab at presenting the demographics in town by saying, “The inclusive community’s 19th century charm is a magnet for a diverse colony of artists and other creative types, who in recent decades have been gobbling up Ocean Grove’s cozy gingerbread-trimmed homes. Their decidedly 21st century influence has not changed  the town’s religious character.”

There is no mention of the large number of ordinary people who inhabit the Grove including retirees, gays, renters, singles, children, and second-homers.

f. Activities in the Grove get short shrift.  Specifically mentioned are Christian concerts, other concerts such as Peter Paul and Mary, church services, Bible studies, sunbathing, Ladies Aux. events, and the July 4 parade, but missing is the phenomenal summer classical music program,  Jersey Shore Arts Center, strolling through our town enjoying its porch culture, mega-events like flea markets, bike riding, surfing, and other activities.  Our boardwalk is cited in passing and there is  no mention of the pier.   Also missing are the activities for children, the parks, and the lakes.

g. And finally we have quotes by Grovers such as  Arnold of the Starving Artist who says that he closes in January because “There’s no one here in the winter time; no one.”   A Re-Max realtor in OG is quoted as referring to the two towns as “innocence and decadence.”

An Inn keeper in town says, “You feel like you’re in Mayberry…everybody is so friendly. It just cracks me up.”

So, we might disagree about whether such a piece is good for the town or not, but it is nice to see Ocean Grove on the cover. And, at last, we see a list without Asbury on it.

GLENN MILLER  “In the Mood.”


This review is old, but we have James Bond, Frank Sinatra, food talk, and a description of an Asbury Park joint that feels authentic in the face of gentrification. If any of you go there, let us know how it is now.—Paul. Click on “Blogfinger” below this sentence.


The Bond STreet (#208) Bar in Asbury Park.  By Paul Goldfinger © The Bond Street (#208) Bar in Asbury Park. By Paul Goldfinger ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

If James Bond, in a tux, walked into the Asbury Park dive called the Bond Street Bar and asked for a martini “shaken, but not stirred” I doubt that he would have been impressed.  la-sci-sn-james-bond-alcohol-shaken-not-stirre-001

I mean no disrespect by calling this bar a “dive,” because it is that quality which seems to provide its appeal for its customers. I went there because a couple of Grovers liked it and suggested I do a restaurant review.

It’s a small place down a small one-way street in Asbury Park, intersecting with Cookman, but having to be approached from the other side. At night, the street is dark and seems a bit scary, although I saw quite a few cops monitoring the downtown.

The BSB has a bar that seats perhaps 20 people, and minimal seating…

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The Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ.  Does this look like a town that needed an Area in Need of Redevelopment?     Paul Goldfinger ©.. Undated.


Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

“Redevelopment is a tool which may be used by municipalities to turnaround stagnating, deteriorating, underutilized, or “undeveloped” properties which are not being properly maintained or invested in through the instrumentality of private capital.”  (From the NJ Redevelopment Law)


In 2007, the CMA and WAVE persuaded Neptune Township to declare the North End of Ocean Grove as an “Area In Need of Redevelopment.” The Planning Board agreed, and the deed was done, giving developers the green light to dump the existing single family home zoning  recommended by the Master Plan in favor of a mixed use that would allow the commercialized NERP which we have all heard about.

But that designation was inappropriate for the North End of Ocean Grove where there was no shortage of investors to develop that property.  This was a decision that appeared to be illegal and was done to enrich investors at the expense of our historic town and its citizens.

Now the latest group of developers plan to implement that same designation when the best interests of the community would be better served by the Township’s cancelling that 12 year old plan and reverting to the original single family zoning.



The old Neptune Township Municipal Building. This undated photo hangs on the wall of the Township Committee. It should be an inspiration, but they don’t know much about history over there.


At Blogfinger we swore off politics 10 years ago, but every once in a while, at the local level, we try to engage Neptune politicians, but as you know, it is almost unheard of for an elected official to actually have a conversation with the readers of Blogfinger, and that is a shame, because those people have the power, and they are supposed to represent we the people.  Our door has always been open for such exchanges, but it just doesn’t happen; with one exception:

Ever since the era of Mary Beth Jahn  (D), who actually participated on Blogfinger even when she was sitting up on that dais at the Mother Ship, no other Committeeman has ever had the courage  to engage our citizens in this forum where they would have to publicly explain the issues in writing.  That is why no one is  currently occupying the Chair of Open Government at the Blogfinger Off-Shore University.

However, today is a remarkable day, because the two Republican candidates, Kendra Hogan and Gary Moll, did reach out to us in the comments section of our post about their candidacies. Scroll down to see their pictures  (2 posts south)

Here is that comment:

“We’re looking forward to having some great conversations with
Grove residents as we crank up the campaign. We’re most especially
interested In hearing from residents as to what’s on their minds as we
door knock our way through the Grove.

“We won’t promise to have all the answers, but we promise to be fresh voices on the Township Committee, not only for Ocean Grove; but all of Neptune”  – Kendra & Gary

So we welcome the chance to hear from  Neptune politicians who promise to take an interest in Ocean Grove issues.

We understand that they will do some strolling through the charming streets of our village in an effort to hear from Grovers, and Blogfinger hopes that we will listen to them and encourage them to learn about topics that concern us. We have been abused by the incumbents, and it will be good to hear the other side.

We also will have an opportunity for the Blogfinger editors to meet with the candidates, and we look forward to that.  We might deputize a few of you to join us when that happens.

Don’t hold your breath for the Fabulous Five to do the same, but if they want to come out from behind the curtain, their views will also be welcome here as they always have been.

–Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net


“I can always find someone
To say they sympathize
If I wear my heart out on my sleeve
But I don’t want some pretty face
To tell me pretty lies
All I want is someone to believe.”


Ocean Grove skyline as seen from the non-fishing pier. To the right (not shown) is our North End. What will that look like if the current planners have their way?   Have you seen the Asbury skyline lately?   Paul Goldfinger photograph published in Maine Ahead magazine. ©

By Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net

At the May 13 Township Committee meeting, Vito Gadaleta, administrator at the Mother Ship, told the Committee that the owner of the White Whale building  (aka #4  Boardwalk”), Robert Dwek, was considering two companies to remove the debris that remains at the fire site.

Gadaleta said that the building’s owner is planning to remove the debris by using access across the boardwalk to the site from the north (Asbury) side.

Blogfinger has suggested that the land is owned by the State of New Jersey in trust for the public. Gadaleta seems to think that the OGCMA is the land owner.  This could prove to be problematic if one of those entities claims the right to lease the land in the future and if the DEP decides to review this issue.

He also stated that because the building was totally destroyed in the fire, the owner could rebuild a totally different building than the one which was there before.  Gadaleta said that the first step towards rebuilding would be to get a site plan together followed by certain approvals. (see below.) That site plan should contain the signature of the land owner.  We’ll see if the CMA is so listed.

However, the 800 pound gorilla  in the room is the New Jersey DEP (CAFRA) which must give approvals that should satisfy new post-Sandy rules dealing with elevations. And they could not rule on just a piece of the pie  (ie the White Whale property) but those elevations would have to be consistent for the entire North End Redevelopment Plan.

Wiki:   “The Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) (N.J.S.A. 13:19) is intended to protect coastal areas from the effects of uncoordinated development, and thus preserve the most ecologically sensitive and fragile coastal lands. … In general, the closer the property is to the coast, the more likely it is to be regulated.” 

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) administers the CAFRA rules for our state.

But we suspect that when the DEP looks at the most recent proposals, they might unearth revelations about such hidden-from-view matters as zoning for that White Whale property.

Gadaleta specifically said that the Planning Board approval would come before the HPC, but we believe that HPC approval should be a prerequisite for PB approval. This is because once the PB says OK, it becomes a “done deal.”

As this process evolves, we also are concerned about whether any additional parking will be provided for the White Whale Part II which may become the largest building in the Grove.  The original NERP contains no plan to add additional parking for that site.  The underground garage is planned for the condos, homes, stores, etc on the west side of the boardwalk.

If no parking is provided for the new building, then a “special parking standard” would be required from the NJ Department of Community Affairs  but only if parking is available on Ocean Avenue, because the State has Development Standards that require a minimum amount of parking for any type of residential or commercial development.

Gadaleta said that they expect the “Pavilion Plan” to go before the Planning Board in June of this year, and the Township cannot grant a variance from parking standards.  Only the State can do that.

Committeeman Michael Brantley, reporting on the over-all North End Redevelopment Plan by OGNED,  said, “The Plan is expected to “break ground” early next year.

Play it again Sam?    In 2012, the CMA had announced that it would break ground at the North End in 2013 and that DEP and other approvals had been obtained, but we doubted that and never saw documentation  (We received those assurances from a Neptune Township official.)

But Sandy happened, and there was no ground breaking in 2013 as promised.

BOB DYLAN  from his album Triplicate.   The song, from 1931, was featured in the movie Casablanca, and it is the second most famous song in film; the first is “Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz.

“It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.”

Kendra Hogan and Gary Moll. These two candidates are running for Township Committee in November. Photo source: Neptune Replica Committee.


By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

In January, the Neptune Township Republicans announced that they were seeking candidates to oppose Rizzo and Lane in November for the two seats coming up at the Township Committee.

We have discussed this topic before.  On the incumbent side, we have two Committeemen who do not represent the people of Ocean Grove; they are part of a monolithic one-party rule Democrat machine that might as well be a dictatorship.

The Committee certainly lacks transparency  and motivation to represent the citizens of Ocean Grove.   They are secretive, abusive of Grovers who attend their meetings, and disdainful of our issues.

In fact they are suspected of worrisome motives in how they are administering  the North End Area in Need of Redevelopment.  Since the days of Mary Beth Jahn, they refuse to participate in legitimate dialogues on Blogfinger, despite the fact that we average about 1,000 hits a day, yet they will appear before the Home Groaners to dish out murky “news” before maybe 60 people.

The Dem incumbents never say anything to Grover citizens other than their usual evasive gobbledygook offered at their meetings which are tightly controlled to prevent any meaningful exchanges.

Our only hope is elect the two Republicans:  Gary Moll and Kendra Hogan, both of Neptune Township.  They sent a press release to the Qoaster, which the Qoastericans dutifully regurgitated back in the May 9 edition.  In that release, the words “Ocean Grove” were not uttered.

In the last two years I have had some conversations with the Neptune Repubs, but so far I have heard nothing from their candidates that would indicate a familiarity with our specific problems much less solutions to the issues.

If we get the chance, we will ask them if they represent the citizens of Ocean Grove in addition to the Neptuners, and what can they tell us about the performance of the current Committee regarding OG.

Also, how do they feel about term limits and a possible change in how the mayor is chosen?

We will have to see if the elephants offer any good reasons to vote for them other than to fill at least one seat on the Committee which, in of itself, might be reason enough to give them our votes.

This song is dedicated to the 5 Committeemen.  They don’t seem to be good with numbers,  but they do understand counting votes.  Let’s give them Grover numbers to worry about.



By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.  Re-post from 2013.

Marian McPartland, jazz pianist, died last week at the age of 95.  She was born in Britain and came to New York in the 1940’s as a young musician.  Critics said that she had three strikes against her:  she was British, white, and a woman. Upon hearing her play, some said, “You sound just like a man.”

She eventually became known among the underground 1950’s jazz community in New York and she got to know all the greats in the jazz world. She married one of them— a jazz cornetist,  Jimmy McPartland.

In the 1960’s, jazz lost ground as the rock and roll invasion began. In addition to teaching at the college level, she continued to perform and to work as a disc jockey . She soon developed the idea of an interview show coupled with live performances.  In 1979 she began her famous NPR show  “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz.”  I listened to that show often.  It was wonderful. She would bring on musicians—mostly piano players—discuss jazz theory and music–and then she and her guest would improvise solos and duets.

We heard her play live a few times, including once in a small theatre in Southhampton, New York.  She was so warm and friendly, and her playing was melodic and interesting.

Below is an NPR link about her sent to us by Lee Morgan of Ocean Grove who emailed, ” Just read that you are going to do a piece on Marian. Curiously, I had recently bookmarked an NPR item on her. (See link below). I loved to listen to her on Piano Jazz.”

NPR McPartland report

Birdland was a fabled  jazz club in mid-town Manhattan where my friends and I often went. We didn’t see her there, but here is Marian McPartland playing that jazz favorite:” Lullaby of Birdland.”  Following that is a beautiful ballad called “Blackberry Winter,” from her album “Twilight World.”  Grab a tissue, it’s about a cold snap bringing spring to an unexpected halt.


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