Ocean Grove man expresses concerns over new pier that would resemble a cross
The design of a fishing pier is causing a little stir in Ocean Grove, a community founded on religious beliefs. When one Ocean Grove man spoke with a local online newspaper about his concerns that the soon to be rebuilt pier would resemble a cross, the comments lit up.
“We make no apology for that we love the fact that it looks like a cross,” says Camp Meeting Association COO Jamie Jackson. “This is a religious town founded as such in Ocean Grove and most people are excited, we will be able to have this pier shaped this way for these purposes.”
It took a full decade after Superstorm Sandy, but Ocean Grove will have a new fishing pier by the end of the year -- paid for with private funds raised by the Methodist overseers in town - the Camp Meeting Association.
“As long as it works well, I don't really care,” says Oliver Stebich, of Scarsdale, New York. “I'm just happy something's coming back. If it happens to be in the shape of a cross, fine, guess what will be a lot more fishing space, a lot more people will be out there to enjoy the water.”
The design just so happens to be in the shape of a cross, with north and south facing wings, similar to the pier at Coney Island.
“We've added the extensions north and south to create opportunities for better life saving, weather stations, lightning detection,” says Jackson.
But one town local took his concerns about the shape to an online newspaper, calling it "Christian bullying" - and set off a chain reaction of comments.
“I woke up in the middle of the night to a text from my sister-in-law in Wyoming with the article about the fishing pier so then I woke up I saw you here and all the buzz everyone's walking around talking about it,” says Gretchen Yallowitz.
News 12 spoke with the man quoted in the paper off camera. He didn't want to make any public comments today. He did say he's glad he started the lively conversation.
The new pier is scheduled to be dedicated and open on Dec. 7.