Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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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...

First Ever Cape May County School Security Summit Focuses on Student...

Terms such as “lockdown,” “active shooter,” and “cyber threat” have become part of the modern vernacular in U.S. schools. With one national study showing that nearly 1 million students bring a gun to school each year, school officials across the country are scrambling to develop security measures to prevent more mass shootings like those at Columbine High School in Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut...

First Ever Cape May County School Security Summit Coming to Ocean...

Locked doors, X-ray machines and even armed guards are some of the security measures that have been implemented at schools nationwide amid an outbreak of shootings and other acts of violence against children. Officials from the state, Cape May County and Ocean City will focus on ways that schools are protecting their students – and what more might be done – during the first ever school security summit organized by the Cape May County School Boards Association...

Ocean City Says Goodbye to its Government “Rock Star”

It had to be the first time in history that a local government official was both hailed as a “rock star” and equated with New England Patriots superstar quarterback Tom Brady. Matthew von der Hayden, manager of capital planning for Ocean City, was the recipient of such lavish praise after it was disclosed that he is leaving to become the new deputy administrator in Egg Harbor Township...

Mayor Gives Some Wiggle Room on Police Station’s Renovation Plan

Mayor Jay Gillian said Thursday night that his proposal to overhaul Ocean City’s antiquated public safety building “is not a done deal” and stressed he will not try to force the $17.5 million project on taxpayers if it does not work. Speaking during a City Council meeting, Gillian emphasized that he has not made a final decision and will only do so after the project is thoroughly analyzed and discussed with local residents to solicit their opinions. “Nothing’s going to be force-fed,” he said. “The police station is not a done deal.”

City Council to Consider Plan to Convert Old Gas Station Sites...

One of the last things motorists see while leaving Ocean City on the Ninth Street corridor is an abandoned, ramshackle Getty gas station that has a “Sorry, we’re closed” sign in a front window smeared with dust and smudges. Next door to the hulking Getty site is a muddy lot where a shuttered BP gas station once stood before it was torn down last year after the city bought the property for $475,000. Taken together, these eyesores hardly create an inviting tableau that would beckon visitors back to town again. But the city is about to embark on a cleanup plan for the Ninth Street gateway that would transform the old gas station sites into landscaped green space...