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Tyler poses with his striped bass. But it didn’t have his name on it. May 22, 2020. Lee Morgan photo. Blogfinger.net.©

 

Lee obtained this portrait of Tyler at the Ocean Grove beach this morning.  New Jersey law says it has to be 28 inches to be a  “keeper.”  This one got a second life.

To catch a fish is, as Cole Porter would say, “De-Lovely”

 

Oscar Peterson plays Cole Porter:

 

 

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.   Once again the role of the CMA in the life of Ocean Grove has resurfaced.  May, 2020.

This post first appeared January  2019 regarding how the CMA affects the life styles of secular residents in town.

On 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.  A usually quiet OG Sunday had changed.   The Liquid Church  was scheduled to be returning every Saturday night in July and August 2019.

This change raised 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?

 

That 2019  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 N.J. 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 but not the sand underneath, and they and others worked together to press FEMA in 2012 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  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 also opened their arms to the secular 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 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”

 

Zorba's Brother. A plain jane diner style eatery on Nassau Street in Princeton. Zorba’s Brother—-a plain Jane diner style Greek restaurant on Nassau Street in Princeton. April, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor at Blogfinger.  Re-posted from  2015.

In Princeton, you expect eateries that reflect the Ivy League pedigree of the place. The fancy Nassau Inn is on Palmer Square in addition to a trendy coffee shop, a fine chocolate store and an ice cream parlor  that serves their goods on the soft side.  There also is a lacrosse store and a Barbour shop that carries high brow sporty clothes from England.

But  right across from that amazing opulent campus is Zorba’s Brother. It wasn’t crowded, but it was very appealing because of its simplicity. Music from the show Zorba played in the background.  We had Greek lemon soup and the lunch special—fish and chips. The coffee was so-so.  Have the Greeks forgotten how to make coffee?

Carl, my “date”  from Mt. Tabor Way, went with me to see a photography exhibit at the Princeton University Art Museum. We walked on the magnificent campus and took some photographs. It was a glorious morning.   Those old buildings were accompanied by newly flowering trees, and it was all very lovely.  Everyone there seemed well behaved and most walked on the pathways instead of on the grass. No one smoked cigarettes and no one swore.

Small clumps of visitors were taking tours, and some high school kids got to sit on the tigers in front of Nassau Hall.

I saw a student with a violin and one with a cello.  So that’s how those two got in, thought I.  Two students came by on skateboards. Do they have a skateboard team at Princeton?  All those kids must have gold-plated extracurricular activites in their resumes.

Inside the museum, a guard warned us not to take pictures of the traveling exhibits.  Then he wanted to discuss race relations in America because I was looking at videos of the 1968 Chicago riots at the Democratic convention.

Carl and I stared at the naked gorgeous Diana who was up on a pedestal shooting a bow and arrow. She was hunting. I did a 360 around her, but didn’t dwell on it.  After all, this is Princeton!   But the Greeks did have naughty goddesses, and Diana’s SAT’s must have been quite good, and how many applicants can hit a rabbit at 50 yards with a bow and arrow while standing on one leg?

Diana at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At this time she was shooting for NYU. Internet photo. Diana at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has excellent form shooting on one leg. . Internet photo.

We  picked up a copy of the school newspaper which had a headline that said “U. appoints Graduate dean of diversity.” I’m not sure why only some words were capitalized.  Another headline said, “Associate dean of the college for programs of access and inclusion appointed by U.”

It seems that political correctness is in the limelight at U.  If any parents are planning to spend about 1/4 million bucks for their kid to go to Princeton, they might want to read that newspaper first.

Carl and I decided not to apply to the U.  Naked Diana is in the museum—-outrageous!

MIKIS THEODORAKIS      “Zorba the Greek”

Three Dog Night. By Jean Bredin. Blogfinger.net staff. 5/21/20

 

Sitting in Fireman’s Park today was a change of pace from sitting in the house during this pandemic.  Fresh air, sunshine, and three non-social distancing pups made my day.

 

TREVOR PEACOCK from the film “Quartet.”   We recommend this movie streaming on Netflix. Original motion picture soundtrack.

Asbury Park. 2012 ©. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Asbury Park. 2012 ©. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

REBECCA LUKER   from her album Greenwich Time.  “Summer With You.”

 

OGCMA front door at their Pitman Ave headquarters. 5/20/20 Imagine, they say, “United We Stand.”

 

Inside the Boardwalk Pavilion currently roped off. Blogfinger.net. 5/20/20

 

Ocean Pathway. Do not sit on this bench. Blogfinger photo.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor. Blogfinger.net

President Michael Badger of the CMA has a history of ignoring  OG citizens  known informally as “The People’s Community of Ocean Grove.”   This residential Grover demographic  consists of  primary  homeowners, renters, and 2nd homers.

The census says (2010) that we are 3,342 but that doesn’t include second homers who are also Grovers and who spend a lot of time here.   And in the summer, the population of “secular Grovers” probably climbs to 15,000.   (my guess.)

When  Badger  refers to his “community,” he  is not talking about  Grovers.  He never defines his community, but you can surmise that he is referring to religious supporters of the CMA, many of whom do not even live in town.   In fact, the CMA board, consisting of half ministers and the rest lay supporters, consists of mostly out-of-towners.

In most American small  towns, church membership consists of locals, so the church is in fact part of the community.

But in Ocean Grove we have a peculiar political situation.  The CMA has a strange “odd-couple” relationship with Neptune Township that gives them unelected power in town.  As a result they have received favored-nation-status in zoning, for example; witness the North End situation.

The CMA even exerts its power regarding other public interest issues such as parking.  And then there is the strange ground rent localism which is rarely found in other towns such as Mt. Tabor which is part of Parsippany, NJ.

And then there is the beachfront governance. In every other shore town, the beachfront is managed by the elected municipality which would favor the citizens.

In fact the Governor’s executive order #143 about boardwalks and beaches, refers to “municipality” control with no mention of the CMA, so that technically, the order should not be followed here unless Neptune Township were in charge—which it ought to be in the best of worlds.

Is this a practical matter?  Well, the CMA in all its functions does what it does to satisfy its “mission,” and it shows little interest in the  “People’s Community of Ocean Grove.”  (aka “we the people.”)

And because it was not elected by us, it has no obligation to worry about us, for example re: parking, secular life styles, taxes, and now beach badges.

Isak says that the CMA should consider residents first when it comes to policy such as beach badges.  And I agree with him, but you can’t expect the CMA to care, because they are not legally obligated to care.

We can expect the elected Neptuners  to care, but they don’t care about Grovers, as Blogfinger has pointed out ad infinitum.

I recall the Belmar mayor saying publicly, when he had to shut down his town because of tourist glut, that his priority was to represent the citizens of his town.  But no such sentiment has ever been voiced here.

At the Belmar web site it says, “To assist us in complying with social distancing guidelines we will temporarily suspend the sale of season badges on Friday May 22, 2020;  We will resume the sale of season badges on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at the Taylor Pavilion.

But no such  notice appears at the Neptune site. And at the CMA site, it says nothing about this topic.

Badger accepts no responsibility for what has occurred or will occur regarding season badges.   He pins it on the Governor,  Neptune Township, other shore towns,  and the behavior of those who do have beach badges to do what they have been told.

He said in his press release: “The actions of current beach patrons may affect our ability to welcome additional season badge holders in the future.”

He also said, “The decision will depend in part on Gov. Murphy, compliance at other shore towns, and the Neptune Committee.”

It’s about time that a new organization  of this town take place in order to achieve true representative government for we the people. Shouldn’t the Constitution provide this for us?  Our current system is not working.

 

NOTE:  See comments regarding CMA email sent after this posted.

 

LANA DEL REY

 

 

Milt Hinton on bass; Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar; Stefan Grapelli on violin. NJ Jazz Society. Paul Goldfinger photo © Milt Hinton on bass; Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar; Stephane Grappelli on violin. NJ Jazz Society. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

STEPHANE GRAPPELLI   “If I Had You.”  from the album Vintage Grappelli

“I could show the world how to smile

I could be glad all of the while

I could change the gray skies to blue

If I had you.”

“Jean’s Kitchen” by Jack Bredin. May, 2020. Ocean Grove. Photograph by Rob Bredin.

 

Julia Child’s kitchen is in the Smithsonian, but to Jack, friends and family of Jean, this kitchen, on Heck Avenue is a gourmet’s delight.  Jack works at home, so he didn’t need to travel far for his model.

This is more than a painting of a room.  Jean is there, and Jack has placed some clues to his existence as her best customer:  his glasses and his tush pillow.  We also see other signs of life in the Bredin house: plants, flowers and the cat.

And as a further tribute to Jean, Jack rolled back the years for his sweet partner and cook.

 

FRANK SINATRA  with a tribute to Jean Bredin:

Sunset Avenue, Asbury Park. Blogfinger.net photo © 5/20/20.

 

SEAN HAYES from Promises Promises

 

 

 

Carolyn.  Paul Goldfinger photo. May 20, 2020. Blogfinger.net. ©

 

This is Carolyn.  She is from Neptune and she loves to walk on the Grovarian boardwalk.  She pointed to the Great Auditorium and said that she graduated in “that church” and she loves the idea that Neptune High School is the only one to graduate in a “church.”

I told her that the traditional Scarlet Flier graduation in the Great Auditorium might not happen this year, although they probably could distance everyone in that large space and require masks.

Today she is wearing a mask made by a relative. It has musical notations on it, and I told her that a marching band couldn’t use it because how do you blow a trumpet through that?  I guess you can put a mask on a  trumpet or even a large one on a tuba.

She berated me in a quiet way, even though we were more than six feet apart, because I had no mask on, but I said that I didn’t need one because I was outdoors with no-one close to me.

She disagreed, and I guess she is correct.   But if you are riding a bike or walking or jogging on an empty path, do you need one?  From a medical point of view, probably not, but it’s safer and more civilized to always wear one when people are around.

Notice the Pavilion on the boardwalk which is taped closed.  The Exec. order does say, “No pavilions.”

I saw three Neptune police vehicles simultaneously on Ocean Avenue. That’s a rare sight.

One was parked  by the pier, the other was riding by, and the third was parked about 15 yards north of Carolyn and me.  A man, dressed like a civilian, without a mask, was at the driver’s window speaking to the officer.

I don’t know if the officer was wearing a mask, but any Township official doing business in town should wear a mask, especially  when interacting with the public.

The rules about masks are fraught with confusion, and you can’t officially fault anyone about it because the requirement is voluntary,  but wearing one outdoors seems like good sense because you never know when someone might pop up in your face.

I guess the police could warn someone who is not distancing, but masks?  I’ll have to ask a police officer.

This morning I complained to Public Works because they left a pail of recyclables.  They reluctantly  sent the truck back, and I was waiting.  2 workers approached me maskless (I had one on) and then a third spoke to me, (also maskless.)   They found no problem, so they took the contents of my official green pail.

At the boardwalk pavilion, Ocean Avenue side. May 20, 2020. 10:00 am. Blogfinger.net photo © Click to see the details. 

 

Paul Goldfinger editor Blogfinger.net

 

BECK