Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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As Tourists Leave, Ocean City Residents Eagerly Await “Local Summer”

Dot Tochterman, who has lived in Ocean City for about 25 years, compares tourists to house guests. “You’re happy to see them come, but you’re also happy to see them go,” she said with a smile. As the summer tourism season comes to its traditional close at the end of the Labor Day weekend, Tochterman and other local residents are saying goodbye to the visitors and getting ready to welcome the quieter fall months.

Vacationers Improvise During Soggy Start to Labor Day Weekend

Capping a six-hour drive from Pittsburgh, vacationer Mary Beth Reynolds arrived in Ocean City early Saturday afternoon, just as the overcast skies unleashed heavy rain that threatened to spoil the first part of the Labor Day weekend. With a day on the beach definitely out of the question, Reynolds stopped at the Ocean City Welcome Center, hoping to get some ideas on how she and her husband, Dean, could salvage their holiday trip to the Jersey Shore, despite the dreary weather. Right on cue, Nancy Neal, who was working at the Welcome Center counter, greeted Reynolds and handed her a...

Ocean City Police Crack Down on Heavy Trucks Invading Neighborhoods

The huge Universal Supply Co. tractor trailer immediately caught the attention of police as it lumbered down Wesley Avenue in what is supposed to be a quiet section of Ocean City off-limits to heavy truck traffic. “A tractor trailer on Wesley Avenue has no business being here,” Sgt. Brian Hopely, of the Ocean City Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit, said bluntly. Hopely and other police officers pulled the tractor trailer over to the side of the road as part of an enforcement program Thursday targeting big trucks that strayed outside of the city’s designated truck routes...

Farmers Market Brings a Little Bit of Country to the Jersey...

Ocean City residents Carol and Jerry Meister eagerly await summer’s arrival each year. No surprise, right? So does everyone else who lives in or visits the beach town that boldly touts itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort.” But listening to the Meisters talk, you get the impression that they might want to change the tourism slogan to “America’s Greatest Farmers Market.” Big, juicy peaches and succulent corn on the cob are some of the things that make their summers special...

Need a Lift? Try Sky River Helicopters Out of Ocean City...

A mother in Bucks County, Pa., decided to throw a surprise party for her son on his 21st birthday this past Saturday. But the real surprise was who – or in this case – what dropped in. All of a sudden, a helicopter hovered overhead and landed in the yard, near the pool where the party was being held. “He was so excited to see the helicopter. You should have seen his smile,” Maria Kepp said of the 21-year-old son...

Drainage Project Will Bring Relief to Flood-Prone Ocean City Neighborhood

Kay Jacobs spent $6,000 to build a decorative wall around her garden that doubles as a foot-high barrier to protect her home on the 200 block of Third Street from frequent flooding. Michael Giordano, Jacobs’ neighbor across the street, says his house has been swamped by storm water so many times that he considers his property the “ground zero” of flooding. “Every time there’s a storm, I’m underwater,” an exasperated Giordano said...

Ocean City’s Green Fair Promotes Environmental Theme

Being ever so careful not to drop it, Quinn Smith held a wet, brown creature that had a helmet-like shell, spooky looking legs and nearly 20 eyes. While the horseshoe crab may have lacked the cuteness of a puppy, the 12-year-old Quinn broke into a big smile and seemed fascinated by this denizen of the seashore whose ancestors date back 450 million years. “I think he’s a very interesting creature,” Quinn said. “In general, he’s pretty cool. He feels kind of like a crab, but his shell is a little bit rougher and is kind of curvy.”...

Ocean City Bike Forum Stresses Safety

Sgt. Brian Hopely, of the Ocean City Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit, recalled pulling a man over this summer who had blown through two stop signs while traveling down Haven Avenue. “He looked at me like I had two heads,” Hopely said of the man’s incredulous reaction to being stopped by police. It was not a motorist, but a bicyclist in his 60s, who had ignored the stop signs. Hopely let him off with a warning after reminding him of the rules of the road...

Ocean City Introduces Ordinance to Comply with FEMA Flood Mapping

City Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday to bring Ocean City in line with the federal government’s new flood maps for the National Flood Insurance Program. Utilizing the latest mapping technology, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is updating the nation’s flood maps for the first time since 1984 to reflect the current flooding risks to coastal communities. “Flood hazard mapping is an important part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as it is the basis of the NFIP regulations and flood insurance requirements,” FEMA says on its website...

Council to Consider Dredging Agreement for $1.3 Million in State Funding

Ocean City will receive more than $1 million in state funding for a major dredging project to clear out sediment-choked lagoons along the back bays. At its meeting Tuesday, City Council is scheduled to approve the funding agreement with the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Maritime Resources for the dredging of the Carnival Bayou lagoon. Council is holding its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, instead of its normal schedule of 7 p.m. Thursday...