Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Ocean City Housing Authority Struggles With Board Vacancies

The financially troubled Ocean City Housing Authority, still trying to recover from an embezzlement scandal involving its former chief executive, has been dealt even more blows following the death of one of its board members and resignation of another. The loss of those two commissioners was magnified Tuesday when the authority was forced to cancel its monthly board meeting because it lacked a quorum. Bob Barr, a city councilman who serves as the authority’s chairman, said the board likely will have to wait until October to meet again...

Air Show Brings Thrills, Chills in Ocean City

Pilot Scott Francis and his high-performance aerobatic plane defied the laws of gravity Sunday, proving that what goes up doesn’t necessarily have to come down. At one point, Francis made his amazingly nimble MXS aircraft hang motionless in midair for several seconds, hovering above the ocean as the crowds at the Ocean City Aerobatic Air Show peered into the sky in disbelief...

Court Ruling Gives New Life to Controversial Ocean City Condo-Hotel Project

In a setback for opponents of the project, a state Superior Court judge overturned Ocean City’s denial of a proposed oceanfront condo-hotel that has languished on the drawing board for more than 10 years. Judge Julio L. Mendez ruled that the city’s planning board exceeded its authority and acted in an “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” manner when it denied site plan approval in 2016 for the Soleil Resort project. Mendez ordered the board to approve the site plan application. He found that the project fully complied with the zoning requirements of a city redevelopment zone where it would be built...

Ocean City Council Approves Purchase of $1.1 Million Fire Truck

Ocean City is buying a million-dollar fire truck that will improve the fire department’s ability to fight high-rise blazes. The $1.1 million heavy duty aerial ladder truck will replace an aging fire truck plagued by mechanical problems that have cost the city tens of thousands of dollars in repair bills in the past year alone, city officials said...

Ocean City Remembers a Local Hero of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

As the horrors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks began to unfold around him, insurance executive Rick Blood urged his co-workers to evacuate their office on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower in New York. Blood, who served as a volunteer fire marshal for his company, Aon Corp., was last seen on Sept. 11, 2001, on the 78th floor of the South Tower while trying to lead a group of people to safety, after a hijacked jetliner slammed into the skyscraper and set it ablaze...

Corvette Show Gets Car Lovers All Revved Up on Ocean City...

A simple sticky note, tucked away in a drawer and thought to be forgotten, got Clyde Sutton his dream car. About 10 years ago, Sutton was driving past a Hammonton body shop and spotted a meticulously restored 1962 Corvette convertible resplendent in a Roman red color scheme. He offered to buy the car, but the body shop owner wasn’t interested in selling. Undeterred, Sutton handed him a note with his name and phone number scrawled on it and told the owner to call him if he ever changed his mind...

Seashore Towns Seek Federal Funds for Home-Elevation Projects

Sisters Loretta Harris and Alva Thompson, who live just a block apart in Ocean City, both suffered structural damage to their homes when flooding from Hurricane Sandy pummeled the barrier island in 2012. Now, the two lifelong residents of Ocean City are grappling with the decision of whether to spend the money to have their homes elevated to protect them from flooding in future storms...

Weathercasters Warn of Possibility of Major Storms at Jersey Shore

As Hurricane Irma churns ominously toward Florida, weather experts warned Thursday night that if such a monstrous storm ever struck the Jersey Shore, it would be catastrophic. “We would be absolutely devastated by a storm like that,” Jim Eberwine, a retired meteorologist with the National Weather Service in New Jersey, said bluntly...

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...