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Southside.Fletcher Lake.  Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger ©






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26 Lake Ave. This beautiful historic home restoration was monitored and approved by the HPC using its guidelines. It won a Beersheba Award in 2012/. Blogfinger photo ©

26 Lake Ave. This beautiful historic home restoration was monitored and approved by the HPC using its guidelines. It won a Beersheba Award in 2012. Blogfinger photo ©

 By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfnger

A large crowd, mostly from Ocean Grove, assembled  on Monday night, December 12, at the Neptune Municipal Building for the regular session of the 5-person Township Committee.

The crowd was there because of an  item on the agenda: the rewriting of the Historic Preservation Guidelines.  But it quickly became apparent that ordinance #16-45 would be tabled.  The motion was made by Committeeman Nick Williams.  The crowd was not pleased. 

The Historic Guidelines are implemented by the HPC (Historic Preservation Commission) whose 7 members (and 2 alternates) are appointed by the mayor of Neptune Township.

Evidently, two Township Committeemen, Rizzo and Brantley, commissioned these revised guidelines and placed them on the agenda three days before the meeting.  The document was not properly marked up to reveal where the changes were, and interested parties had a difficult time deciphering the new document.  Even Committeemen Brantley  complained that he could not understand it.

This is ostensibly why the item was tabled three days after it suddenly appeared on the agenda.   Do you buy that?

The OGHOA had declared prior to the meeting that the changes would weaken the authority of the HPC to maintain historic construction standards in town. The Historical Society of OG came up with similar concerns, and both groups encouraged Grovers to come to the meeting. 

The HPC itself made no formal announcement about their opinions, but it is our understanding that they are not pleased with the changes.   Don’t they have an obligation to inform the OG public about their concerns?  

One change that emerged prior to the meeting was the idea that the HPC could only regulate the parts of buildings (the façades) that front on a street.  This is a big issue because its implementation could adversely affect the look of the town and perhaps even the chance to keep the historic designations which we have received—-federal and state.  

Many believe that weakening the guidelines will make it easier for developers and investors to introduce more condos and other buildings including non-Victorian private homes which could jeopardize the special character of Ocean Grove.  Without the guidelines we could become another Bradley Beach.

The HPC War is about that vulnerability, and there are concerns regarding the underlying motives behind this attempt to re-write the guidelines.  Committeeman Carol Rizzo asserted at the meeting that the reason for the re-write was  because of two complaints about the cost of HPC compliance.

Well, heck, folks sometimes complain about the HPC rules, but that shouldn’t prompt a re-write.   It is those rules that help keep the town the way we like it.

 What is the real reason for the new guidelines and why was it placed on the agenda in such an abrupt way without proper documentation and opportunity for study?

And, along those lines, we need to know who wrote the new document and why that document says “prepared by the HPC” on the cover when the HPC says it had nothing to do with it? 

This issue has significant potential repercussions, and the Mayor owes the people of Ocean Grove a true explanation.  In our initial article on this we suggested that the weakening of architectural standards is only one component of a conspiracy by Neptune/OG insiders to change Ocean Grove.  There have been plenty of reasons to suspect such a movement.

Last night a number of you went to the microphone for your 5 minutes in the spotlight. How about telling Blogfinger what you said?  Note that all those comments were recorded and can be retrieved whenever the CD is available. We will post your information anonymously if you wish.   Contact us at Blogfinger@verizon.net.

Please use this post for further comments on this topic. 




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Whitefield Avenue, Ocean Grove.  Independence Day parade.  All photos by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net  ©

Whitefield Avenue, Ocean Grove. Independence Day parade. All photos by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net ©  Click on photos to enlarge.


Even though some participants who were supposed to march on July 4 could not make it for the rain-delayed parade on July 5, a large and festive  crowd was on its feet to applaud this famous annual event.  There were all the usual suspects including almost every major Ocean Grove group. Among the participants were bag pipers, the Summer band (marching instead of sitting), the Neptune High School Scarlet Fliers which included two marching guitar players  (–reminds us of Woody Allen playing cello in the marching band in Take the Money and Run), the Days Kazoo Band which provided Sousa music that the march king would have enjoyed, politicians waving from open vehicles, and even Uncle Sam on stilts.

Ocean Grove.  July 5, 2014  © Blogfinger photo

Ocean Grove. July 5, 2014 © Blogfinger photo

There were so many young families with kids diving for candy. I got hit in the head with a few Tootsie rolls, and even OG historian Ted Bell took a shot at me from his car.   We came across Frank Panepento from Batavia, New York who was visiting his sister Rosalind.  Frank, who can’t read a note, was marching up and down Whitefield Avenue, providing his own solo parade,  playing patriotic music on his trumpet while waiting for the parade to start.

We met Mark and Flo Meier who were on their Main Avenue porch celebrating Flo’s birthday.

Flo and Mark Meier. Main Avenue.  Blogfinger photo ©

Flo and Mark Meier. Main Avenue. Blogfinger photo ©

Like Uncle Sam, she was born on the 4th of July. I was running around with Carl Hoffman of Mt. Tabor Way trying to get some good photos, along with so many others who were taking pictures. Almost instantly many of those photos were posted on Facebook.   The crowd on Main Avenue, as usual, was huge, and one had to be impressed by the shear joy of it all—the music, the cheers, the colors and the excitement.

What a great holiday this year starting with the opening of our new boardwalk and now this parade.  The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting must be congratulated for its huge effort in helping to bring the town together after Sandy, with fighting for Federal help in rebuilding the people’s boardwalk and finally for sponsoring this wonderfully happy July 5th parade—the epitome of  life in  an American small town.

Blogfinger photo ©

Whitfield and Main.   Blogfinger photo ©



Sweets were flying all around., and this trio was ready.  Blogfinger photo   ©

Sweets were flying all around,  and this trio was ready. Blogfinger photo ©


Blogfinger photo ©

OGU.    Blogfinger photo ©


A pretty patriot  Blogfinger photo ©

A pretty girl  is like a melody.  The Shoreline Dance Academy.  Blogfinger photo ©


Neptune  HS band's guitar section.

Neptune HS band’s guitar section. Did Sousa ever have a guitar in his band?   Who knows?  Blogfinger photo ©

SOUSA  “The Gladiator March”


Excitement on Main Avenue.   Blogfinger photo ©

Excitement on Main Avenue. Blogfinger photo ©


Ocean Grove Great Auditorium choir looking for an echo.  ©

Ocean Grove Great Auditorium choir looking for an echo. ©

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net







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