Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Mayor Gives Some Wiggle Room on Police Station’s Renovation Plan

Mayor Jay Gillian said Thursday night that his proposal to overhaul Ocean City’s antiquated public safety building “is not a done deal” and stressed he will not try to force the $17.5 million project on taxpayers if it does not work. Speaking during a City Council meeting, Gillian emphasized that he has not made a final decision and will only do so after the project is thoroughly analyzed and discussed with local residents to solicit their opinions. “Nothing’s going to be force-fed,” he said. “The police station is not a done deal.”

City Council to Consider Plan to Convert Old Gas Station Sites...

One of the last things motorists see while leaving Ocean City on the Ninth Street corridor is an abandoned, ramshackle Getty gas station that has a “Sorry, we’re closed” sign in a front window smeared with dust and smudges. Next door to the hulking Getty site is a muddy lot where a shuttered BP gas station once stood before it was torn down last year after the city bought the property for $475,000. Taken together, these eyesores hardly create an inviting tableau that would beckon visitors back to town again. But the city is about to embark on a cleanup plan for the Ninth Street gateway that would transform the old gas station sites into landscaped green space...

Mayor Proposes New Five-Year Capital Plan for Ocean City Upgrades

Mayor Jay Gillian proposed a $112.2 million, five-year capital plan Tuesday night that would pack a series of big-ticket projects in 2017, including an overhaul of the antiquated public safety building and the continuation of upgrades to the tourist-friendly Boardwalk. Calling it a “bold” blueprint for the future, Gillian said the plan spreads out improvements across the entire town and addresses Ocean City’s critical infrastructure needs after years of neglect. “The five-year capital plan you’re about to see dedicates more than $112 million to fixing up everything in the city – from flooded streets to shallow lagoons, from tip to tip, from Boardwalk to bay,” Gillian said in prepared remarks while unveiling his proposal to City Council during a budget workshop...

Traffic Headaches on Ocean City’s 34th Street Bridge to Continue Until...

Motorists crossing over the 34th Street Bridge must navigate through a gauntlet of concrete construction barriers, narrow lanes, traffic lights and flashing road signs that bluntly warn them, “Be prepared to stop.” This frustrating, patience-testing commute will continue until construction on the bridge’s $6.5 million redecking project is halted in May to avoid disrupting the surge of summer tourists into Ocean City, Cape May County engineer Dale Foster said Saturday at a meeting organized by Councilman Bob Barr...

OCPD Heads to Washington for Inauguration Parade Security

Tom Strunk recalled how he stood only a few feet away from Barack Obama as the president strode up Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., during the Inauguration Day Parade in January 2013. One of Jeffrey Doto’s most vivid memories of the parade was when Vice President Joe Biden walked by members of the Ocean City Police Department and acknowledged them with a salute. For Strunk and Doto, both patrolmen with the Ocean City police, it was a monumental day in Washington – one that gave them a close-up view of history in the making. They were part of the massive national police force that helped to protect Obama, Biden and other dignitaries during the parade...

Foglio’s Flooring Center in Marmora is the Hometown Home-Improvement Store

You might say that Liz Foglio has a home-field advantage when it comes to competing against the big-box retailers in the carpeting and flooring business. Her 5,000-square-foot Foglio’s Flooring Center at 344 S. Shore Road in the Marmora section of Upper Township is next door to the house she grew up in with her parents, Doris and Frank Foglio. Her father is deceased, but her mother still lives in the same house...

Ocean City Volunteers Honor Dr. King’s Memory in Annual Communitywide Cleanup

Suzanne Pelkaus and Ingrid Hickman were out on a frigid Monday morning, lugging around two large trash bags filled with discarded bottles, cans, plastic, Styrofoam and other litter they had picked up from the marshlands near the Ocean City Humane Society. Both women, members of Ocean City’s chapter of the AARP, could have spent the morning lounging around the house or enjoying a leisurely breakfast. But they felt it was their civic duty to help clean up the local community to honor the legacy of a man whose name brought tears to Hickman’s eyes...

Ocean City Celebrates Dr. King’s “Dream”

Gospel music, prayers and expressions of hope filled the auditorium Saturday during Ocean City’s 27th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But the keynote speaker, the Rev. Darwin Ransom of the St. Paul Baptist Church in Vineland, delivered cautionary remarks about economic and racial equality in America by repeatedly asking the question, “Are we there yet?”

Ocean City Senior Citizens Learn How to Protect Themselves From Falls

Denise Tumelty always has her cellphone within reach. She also carries a list of her prescription medications whenever she steps outside her home. And in her house, she has installed grab bars in the shower and near the toilet. All of those precautions are part of the 72-year-old Tumelty’s transition into what she calls “senior living.” America’s growing aging population continues to put stress on the healthcare system, but some seniors, like Tumelty, are taking steps to protect themselves from falls and other medical calamities that could be fatal...

Mayor Plans to Craft New Version of Boardwalk Performers Ordinance

A proposed ordinance that represented Ocean City’s latest attempt to regulate the singers, musicians and other Boardwalk performers who entertain the summer crowds died Thursday night, but an encore is coming. Acting on a request by Mayor Jay Gillian, City Council allowed the ordinance to lapse while negotiations continue with the performers and Boardwalk merchants on a new compromise version...