Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Coastal Living Magazine to Highlight Ocean City Once Again

The magazine that gave Ocean City oodles of free national publicity last year by crowning it as the “Best Beach in America” will feature the resort town again in an upcoming issue. Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, revealed Thursday night that Coastal Living Magazine plans to publicize one of the island’s wackiest Memorial Day weekend traditions. Known as the Business Persons Plunge, the annual event features hundreds of nattily attired men and women marching blithely into the surf to kick off what city officials hope will be a busy summer tourism season. Speaking during the Chamber of Commerce’s annual installation dinner of officers and board members, Gillian told the audience that Coastal Living contacted the city on Thursday for information about the Business Persons Plunge. The magazine plans to publish an item about the plunge in its May edition and may also highlight other Ocean City events, she said...

Boardwalk Reopens as Construction Project Winds Down : All Clear

There were no cheers, no applause, no speeches. There was absolutely no hoopla at all. At 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, union carpenters Joe Kurtz and Aaron Taylor unceremoniously removed the last remaining barrier that had blocked access to the Boardwalk between Ninth and 10th streets during a reconstruction project. The lack of fanfare, however, did not detract from the importance of the occasion. The 2.5-mile Boardwalk is now open from tip to tip just in time for the Presidents Day holiday weekend. “Obviously, this is the centerpiece of everyone’s vacation, as well as a way of life for year-round residents,” city spokesman Doug Bergen said of the Boardwalk...

Proposed Keller Williams Office Building May Return in Redesigned Form

The developer of a $2 million office building that critics believe is grossly oversized for its proposed location overlooking the main gateway into town will probably redesign the project to address a series of objections raised by Ocean City planners and the public. Paul Chiolo, owner of the Keller Williams real estate firm, has been considering his options following the city Planning Board’s 7-2 vote on Jan. 11 to reject the company’s proposed new corporate headquarters at the foot of the Ninth Street corridor...

Security Upgrades Coming for Ocean City Dog Park

Dirt went flying and the sound of playful barking filled the air Saturday afternoon as canines Molly and Justice tore through the sandy soil at the Ocean City Dog Park. “Whoa,” Susan Chorba shouted to her two young German shorthaired pointers to try to slow them down when they approached her at high speed. “This is what they do,” Chorba said. “I can let them run around here without them being on a leash. They can’t do that anywhere else in town. This is why we need a dog park.” Tucked away near the marshlands at 45th Street and Haven Avenue, the park offers canines plenty of space to romp around off-leash without their owners having to worry about them getting loose. The facility is enclosed by a tall metal fence and includes electronic entrance gates to keep the dogs secure...

Ocean City to Consider Possible Ban on Mass Balloon Launches

Those balloons that are launched during birthday parties, weddings, graduations and other celebrations don’t simply float away harmlessly into the upper atmosphere, never to be seen again. Acknowledging the potential harm to marine life and the environment, Ocean City will consider joining three other nearby shore towns that already ban the mass release of helium balloons. At least three members of City Council, Karen Bergman, Michael DeVlieger and Tony Wilson, have expressed interest in studying the balloon ordinances approved by Margate, Longport and Ventnor to see if a similar ban would be appropriate for Ocean City...

City Council Approves $6.6 Million Drainage Project for Flood-Prone Neighborhood

Come spring, residents of one low-lying neighborhood can expect to see the start of construction on a series of road, drainage and pumping improvements that represent the biggest flood-control project in Ocean City history. As a first step, City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to approve a $6.6 million construction contract for the drainage upgrades. They will encompass a flood-prone, 24-block area stretching from 26th Street to 34th Street between West Avenue and Bay Avenue. “It’s been a long time coming,” Councilman Bob Barr said of the work...

City Council to Consider Major Drainage Project for Flood-Prone Area

Construction of a series of roadway, drainage and pumping improvements that would bring relief to a flood-prone neighborhood vulnerable to even run-of-the-mill rainstorms will come before City Council on Thursday for approval. The nearly $6.6 million project targets a low-lying, 24-block area that runs from 26th Street to 34th Street roughly between West Avenue and Bay Avenue. Mayor Jay Gillian calls it the largest flood-mitigation project in Ocean City history. It would represent the second major flood-control project undertaken by the city since similar work was done in the Merion Park neighborhood in 2014...

Ocean City Boy Scout Overcomes Challenges for his Community Project

He had to redesign it, cope with some warped wood, strenuously sand it down to make it level and then deal with some bolts that wouldn’t fit properly in the holes. The Boy Scouts of America’s motto is “Be Prepared,” but for Andrew Leonetti, his project to become an Eagle Scout taught him to “Be Prepared … for the worse.” But, ultimately, the 16-year-old sophomore at Ocean City High School conquered the challenges of building a large coat rack that he donated to the Ocean City Free Public Library during a ceremony Monday attended by his beaming family...

Ocean City Proposes to Clean up the Mess at Dog Beach

Baron, a 12-year-old Dalmatian and Labrador retriever mix who has been dubbed the “mayor of Dog Beach” by his owner, met a new constituent the other day when he touched noses with a rambunctious puppy named Minion. Over the years, countless other canines have gotten acquainted in the same way on a nearly mile-long stretch of sand that is part of the state-owned Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area, but is better known by its “Dog Beach” nickname. While Baron may reign over these sands as the four-legged mayor, it is a human mayor who has come to the rescue to keep Dog Beach open amid threats it might be closed down because of concerns over stinky pooch poop and overflowing trash...

Legalize Pot? Drug Analyst Tells N.J. Forum that Colorado’s Pot Law...

Kevin Wong ruefully noted that visitors flying to Colorado can arrange to be picked up directly at the airport for special tours of the state’s bumper crop of marijuana dispensaries. Retail outlets where adults 21 years and older can legally buy pot in Colorado far outnumber the popular Starbucks coffee shops and McDonald’s restaurants dotting the state, Wong also pointed out. As the first state in the nation to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana, Colorado is now at the forefront of a voter trend sweeping across the country...