Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Repairs Planned for Ocean City’s Damaged Downtown Sidewalks

Some of the damaged sidewalks in Ocean City’s downtown shopping district have little dips, depressions or jagged cracks. Some slope lazily toward the streets at odd angles, while others have an undulating appearance reminiscent of waves breaking on the shoreline. Over the past 20 years, some of the sidewalks have settled or shifted, creating a tripping hazard that has resulted in lawsuits being filed against the city. “Slip-and-fall-type lawsuits are fairly common both on the Boardwalk and downtown,” city spokesman Doug Bergen said...

Ocean City Announces Three More Bayfront Areas for Dredging Projects

By Donald Wittkowski Claire Driscoll marvels at the spectacular views of the water that unfold from the windows of her bayfront home on Pleasure Avenue. But the beautiful scenery is somewhat deceiving. At low tide, the shimmering water is replaced by an ugly, soup-like muck that has trapped many unsuspecting boaters who tried to navigate through the shallow channel known as Carnival Bayou, Driscoll noted. “It’s kind of funny to see all those boats stuck out there. But it’s not funny if you’re on one of those boats,” said Driscoll, who has lived on Pleasure Avenue at 16th Street for 18 years...

Sports-Themed Ocean City Flower Show Hits a Home Run

Kay Reilly turned to two workers at the Ocean City Music Pier on Friday afternoon and asked them to play something fun over the sound system. “What about, ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game?’’’ she suggested. While the classic baseball anthem might be appropriate for say, a Phillies-Cubs game, some might question its selection as the musical soundtrack for a flower show. But Reilly and Kathy Wheatcroft, co-chairs of the 45th annual Ocean City Flower Show, wanted to throw the fans a curve ball this year...

Keller Williams Redesigns Proposed Office Building in Ninth Street Corridor

The developer of a proposed real estate office that was rejected by Ocean City planners in January has redesigned the project in hopes of smoothing over a series of objections, including the size of the building...

Memorial Day Ceremony Honors Ocean City’s Hometown Heroes

Memorial Day is a particularly sad time for Joe Coserta, a 95-year-old World War II veteran who fought in Europe while serving as a tank commander with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Division. Coserta, who has lived in Ocean City for 30 years, explained that Memorial Day ceremonies remind him of his fellow soldiers who were killed on the battlefield more than 70 years ago. “It’s very sad,” he said. “I think about all the hard times we had and all the guys we lost who were with us. It was a long time ago, but we never forgot them.” Hundreds of people filled Ocean City’s Veterans Memorial Park on Monday for a somber Memorial Day service that showed that they, too, haven’t forgotten the military men and women who lost their lives while serving their country during different wars...

New “Gale Force” Roller-Coaster Gets Thumbs-Up From Riders

If shrieks and screams are any way to judge the thrill factor of an amusement ride, then the new Gale Force roller-coaster at Playland’s Castaway Cove is already a blockbuster hit. Primal, high-pitched screeching filled the air above the Ocean City Boardwalk as riders got their first taste of a towering roller-coaster that is exhilarating one moment and terrifying the next. “Scary, that’s all I have to say,” 8-year-old Mia Plocinik exclaimed moments after stepping off the coaster Sunday afternoon...

OCNJDaily.com Contest Winner is Enjoying a Blockbuster Holiday Weekend

It was clear from all of the suitcases they were toting Friday that Joanna Vassallo and her family planned to have a big Memorial Day weekend. Their holiday getaway in Ocean City includes a three-night stay at the historic Flanders Hotel, ensconced in a penthouse suite on the ninth floor that offers stunning views of the coastline for miles and miles. “It’s unbelievable,” Vassallo exclaimed while peeking out from the balcony. “The view is spectacular. The whole suite is gorgeous, too.”

Ocean City’s New Beach Patrol Chief Prepares for Busy Summer Season

Mark Jamieson isn’t sure how many swimmers he has saved during his nearly 20 years as an Ocean City lifeguard, but there is one rescue that stands out in his mind. In 2004, a big wave and strong winds pushed about 30 or 40 swimmers out to a jetty on the Ninth Street beach, putting all of them in severe danger. A mass rescue involving about 25 lifeguards ensued. When it was over, everyone was pulled to safety. “It was one of those rescues that was exhausting,” recalled Jamieson, who ended up with some cuts and bruises from brushing up against the jetty rocks...

Ocean City Business People Take the “Plunge” to Welcome Summer

Thomas Giacinto, vice president of marketing for The Title Company of Jersey, was attired in a dark blue suit, cranberry-colored tie and black dress shoes. Stacy Demcher, a realtor for Keller Williams Jersey Shore, wore a yellow print dress, black cardigan sweater and five-inch black heels. They and other nattily dressed business people gathered on the Ocean City beach Friday afternoon, looking as if they were prepared to nail down some multimillion-dollar real estate deal. Giacinto even carried a binder for some seemingly important papers...

Ocean City’s $2.1 Million Firehouse is Ready to Open

Aficionados of firefighting lore may be saddened to hear that there will be no brass pole to slide down. When the alarm sounds, firefighters at Ocean City’s new firehouse on 29th Street will instead scamper down the stairway as they rush to put on their gear and jump on the fire engines. “Most places are getting away from it. There are potential injuries,” Ocean City Acting Fire Chief Jim Smith explained of the lack of a fire pole in the two-story building. Although that piece of firefighting nostalgia wasn’t included in the project, the new $2.1 million firehouse opening this weekend does feature an exterior design that is definitely a throwback to old-fashioned times...