Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Ocean City Shopping Bonanza Brings Out the “Girls” on Asbury Avenue

They attended a fashion show Friday night. On Saturday, they did some shopping, indulged in a massage and then went out for dinner. On Sunday, they topped it all off with some more shopping. For best friends Lynn Broderick and Lori Gilliam, it was a whirlwind weekend of fun and relaxation that cost them only $250 each, including their room at an oceanfront hotel...

“Star Wars” is a Blockbuster at OC-Con Show

John Kearney joked that he blames his mother for his obsession with a pop phenomenon that has continued for 40 years. “She took me to the movies in 1977,” he recalled. The movie he saw then was “Star Wars,” which led to Kearney’s penchant for dressing up like one of the imposing Imperial Stormtroopers, the ground forces of the evil Galactic Empire and Darth Vader. Shrouded in the distinctive white body armor and the sculpted helmet of a Stormtrooper, Kearney made the rounds at the OC-Con show Saturday at the Ocean City Music Pier on the Boardwalk...

Getty Ready – Gas to Grass Coming Soon

Say goodbye to Getty. For Ocean City officials eager to see the blighted, former Getty gas station demolished, it’s more like good riddance. The hulking building that was an eyesore marring the appearance of the city’s main gateway for years was torn down Wednesday as a prelude to transforming the property into a landscaped park...

Voters to Pick Best Alcohol-Free “Mocktail” in HERO Campaign Contest

Don’t be surprised this summer if you hear the patrons at your favorite Jersey Shore tavern or restaurant say, “Bartender, give me a HEROtini.” A HERO what? The Great HEROtini Mocktail Challenge is the trademarked name for a contest that will run from Memorial Day to Labor Day to promote the importance of responsible drinking and using a designated driver. Conceived by the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers, the contest will feature bars, taverns and restaurants at the Jersey Shore concocting a special alcohol-free “mocktail” and vying for top honors in an online poll...

Councilwoman Wants Ocean City to Consider Rules for Mass Balloon Launches

Whatever happened to just throwing hats into the air in celebration? The mass release of balloons, floating lanterns, doves and even butterflies has become an increasingly popular way to provide a picture-perfect ending at weddings, graduations, birthday parties and other festive events. But some people seem to have forgotten one thing: What goes up, must come down...

New Regulations Approved for Ocean City’s Boardwalk Performers

Singers, musicians and other performers who entertain the bustling summer crowds on the family-friendly Ocean City Boardwalk will have to play by a new set of rules starting on Memorial Day weekend. Culminating more than a year of debate, City Council unanimously approved new regulations Thursday night that designate special areas of the Boardwalk where entertainers will be allowed to perform five nights a week between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Mayor Jay Gillian originally had proposed the regulations last year as a way to prevent conflicts between the performers and the Boardwalk merchants, but withdrew the proposal twice to give negotiators more time to craft a compromise that would satisfy both sides...

Council to Vote on Upgrades for Ninth Street Corridor and Boardwalk

Ocean City’s main entryway and its top tourist attraction are both in line for major upgrades as part of separate projects scheduled for a vote by City Council at its meeting Thursday. The Ninth Street corridor, the principal artery into town, will be spruced up when the city acquires a blighted former Getty gas station and redevelops the site into green space. Council is expected to approve a $650,000 funding package to buy the old gas station at the highly visible corner of Ninth Street and Bay Avenue. Plans call for tearing down the abandoned Getty building to rid the Ninth Street corridor of one of its most notorious eyesores...

Ocean City Mother Goes Public About Son’s Overdose Death to Fight...

Often, the obituaries for young people will discreetly note that they died “suddenly” or “unexpectedly,” without specifying the cause of death. Tyler Onesty’s obituary also said that he passed away suddenly, but it went on to disclose that the 22-year-old Ocean City resident died “from a heroin overdose, after a hard battle with addiction.” His mother, Sally Onesty, wanted Tyler’s obituary to be a loving remembrance of his life. But she also wanted it to serve as a blunt warning to other families about the perils of drug addiction, in hopes that their children won’t die in the same way as her son, a well-known and popular 2012 graduate of Ocean City High School...

Organ Transplant Recipient Talks About the “Gift of Life”

Every year, on Sept. 15, Joe Pratt sends a “thank you” card to a family he has never met. That date is the anniversary of Pratt’s life-saving surgery in 2013. He received two transplanted lungs from an organ donor who was killed in a car crash and was just 23 years old. “This is all the information we have on my donor,” Pratt said of the man’s age and how he died. “I wish I knew more.” Pratt, 74, of Upper Township, sends the cards to his donor’s family members to thank them and let them know he is in good health now. The cards are forwarded to the family by the Gift of Life Donor Program, but Pratt has not yet received a reply...

Ocean City School Board Approves New Policy for Overdose Antidote

Joseph S. Clark Jr., the president of the Ocean City Board of Education, says he knows of five people who have died of a drug overdose in just the past few months. Although none of those people were local students, the possibility of drug overdoses occurring in Ocean City’s schools prompted the Board of Education to adopt a new policy Wednesday night to equip the school district with a potentially life-saving opioid antidote. “We have to be proactive,” Clark stressed...