Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Economy Remains Strong in Ocean City, Business Leaders Say

Boosted by a strong housing market and brisk tourism industry, Ocean City’s economy is surging overall and should continue on an upward trend through 2018 and beyond, business leaders predicted at an economic summit Thursday night. At the same time, the city should make an aggressive push to attract more millennials because they represent the next wave in the travel industry and will be crucial for helping the beach town remain a coveted vacation destination, they said...

Condo-Hotel Project Returns to Planning Board for Approval Oct. 11

A controversial condo-hotel project rejected by Ocean City planners last year is about to come back to them for another vote – and this time they will have no choice but to approve it. The proposed Soleil Resort is expected to receive preliminary approval when the planning board meets Oct. 11, a key step in what has been a lengthy battle by the project’s development group to finally build the oceanfront complex...

Ocean City Shows it Can Really Dish it Out at Chowder...

It wasn’t just the salt air that Terri Derozario smelled Sunday while standing on the outdoor balcony of the Music Pier just steps from the ocean. Derozario smiled as the aroma emanating from pots of clam chowder and chili blended together in one mouthwatering bouquet that tempted her taste buds. “It makes me hungry,” she exclaimed. “It was a good idea not to eat before I came here. I’m saving myself for all of the chowder.” Derozario, of Upper Township, was among hundreds of people who brought their appetites with them for the Ocean City Restaurant Association’s second annual Chili Chowder Festival at the Music Pier...

Hundreds Take Part in Walk for the Wounded in Ocean City

Most Americans probably don’t know that Baqubah is a city in Iraq. Quite possibly, they’ve never even heard of it. But Sean Lewis is all too aware that Baqubah was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting between the U.S. military and the al-Qaida terrorist network during the Iraq war. While serving as an Army sergeant in Baqubah, Lewis had his right leg blown off and suffered brain damage when a mortar shell exploded near him on Jan. 21, 2004. Two of his fellow soldiers were killed in the attack. “They were two of my closest friends,” Lewis recalled of Gabriel Palacios and David Parker...

A Day of Friendship, Mentoring and Teambuilding for Ocean City’s Freshmen

Looking somewhat bewildered, dozens of freshmen at Ocean City High School walked outside Friday and were greeted by a raucous scene of upperclassmen waving signs and calling out their names. “Hey, Tommy. Over here,” one of the older students shouted to a freshman who appeared nervous. But fear not. The newbies were not being picked on by the high school juniors or seniors. In fact, it was just the opposite. Each year, the incoming freshmen are welcomed by the upperclassmen in what is basically a daylong get-together that helps the younger students make an easier transition from middle school to high school...

Ocean City Looks to Buy Bayfront Building to Help Revitalize Boat...

On Thursday evening, Ocean City’s public boat ramp overlooking the picturesque back bays at the end of Tennessee Avenue was eerily quiet. Not one person was on the docks. No one boat was in the water. Not one car was in the parking lot. Although the natural beauty surrounding this prime piece of real estate is stunning, the nondescript boat ramp and its other lackluster manmade facilities are hardly impressive, city officials acknowledge...

Dredging Agreements, Land Deals Top City Council’s Agenda

City Council appears to be ready to play “Let’s Make a Deal” at its meeting Thursday. The agenda includes agreements to both buy and sell property as well as accept more than $1 million in funding from the New Jersey Department of Transportation to help pay for a major dredging project along the back bay. Council is expected to approve a funding agreement with the NJDOT’s Office of Maritime Resources for the dredging of the sediment-choked Carnival Bayou lagoon. Under the plan, the state will kick in $1.2 million toward the $1.6 million total cost of the project, according to a copy of the agreement attached to Council’s agenda...

Ocean City Beachgoers Wary of Strong Surf Stirred up by Hurricane

Hurricane Maria was swirling hundreds of miles away off the coast of North Carolina, but Hannah and Elijah McCready felt the effects of the storm while splashing in the surf Tuesday morning in Ocean City. Elijah, 9, described how the waves knocked him down a few times when he was standing in only knee-deep water at the Eighth Street beach. His 10-year-old sister said she had to fight the back-and-forth flow of the choppy surf. “When you stand up, it pushes you back a little bit and then it pushes you in,” Hannah said...

Nearly 1,800 Runners Turn Out For Races in Ocean City

Steve Hallman was completely alone as he approached the finish line Sunday morning in the Ocean City Half Marathon. So alone, he could have crawled the last quarter mile and probably still have won the race. The 29-year-old union plumber from Langhorne, Pa., led the 13.1-mile race from start to finish, breezing in a winning time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 41 seconds. The second-place runner was a full 2 minutes behind him...

Cyclists Receive Warm Ocean City Welcome in MS Ride

Thousands of bicyclists crossing the finish line Saturday in the MS City to Shore Ride were greeted by a woman holding an orange sign with two words written in black letters: “Thank you.” The sign seemed like a simple expression of gratitude, but for Trish Repetski, it conveyed a very powerful message. To her, it symbolized the efforts of so many people who have banded together in the fight against multiple sclerosis, an incurable, often disabling disease that disrupts the central nervous system...