Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Boutique Hotel Wins Approval From Ocean City Planning Board

A proposed all-suite boutique hotel that languished on the drawing board while the economy remained sluggish for several years was granted final approval Wednesday night by Ocean City planners. Called the North Island Inn, the 15-unit complex is planned at the corner of 10th Street and Ocean Avenue and would join a cluster of hotels in the same area owned by the project’s developer, Anthony J. Frank, and his family.,,

Ocean City Looks to Close the Gap in North End Dunes

The barrier of protective dunes that runs along Beach Road in Ocean City’s north end has no gaps in it – except for a curious opening in front of a tiny, shack-like restaurant located just steps from the ocean. While these unobstructed views of the water may be pleasing to customers at the North End Beach Grill, a legal fight over the beachfront property may result in the gap finally being filled in. The city is looking to acquire an easement in front of the restaurant through eminent domain, which would give it the ability to complete the dunes in this part of town from “tip to tip,” city spokesman Doug Bergen said...

Ocean City Seafood Festival Reels in Hungry Crowds

Kim Thomas and her family were having what could best be described as a smorgasbord of seafood on Sunday. “I got everyone a little bit of everything,” Thomas said with a hearty laugh while glancing at her crowded food tray. There were clam fritters, a crab cake platter, clam chowder and lobster bisque soup for starters. Thomas noted that her husband, Pete, would probably go back for clams...

Ocean City Throws One Heck of a Block Party For 50,000...

The notion that the seashore closes down after Labor Day and becomes a veritable ghost town can be refuted with just three words: Fall Block Party. Resembling Times Square on a busy afternoon, Ocean City’s Asbury Avenue retail corridor was transformed into a sprawling, downtown pedestrian mall Saturday for the annual Fall Block Party celebration...

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...