Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Ocean City Housing Authority Getting Two New Board Members

A prominent local builder and a former top government official have been appointed to the board of the Ocean City Housing Authority in the latest move to restructure the agency following an embezzlement scandal involving its former chief executive. M. Sean Scarborough, a principal in the development company Scarborough Properties, and Mike Dattilo, who served as Ocean City’s business administrator before retiring in 2015, are expected to join the board in November...

Legal Battle Erupts Over Land in Ocean City’s Main Entranceway

Ocean City plans to use its power of eminent domain to acquire a key piece of property overlooking the main gateway into town, even though a real estate company wants to redevelop the same site into an office complex. City Council took the first step Tuesday night to acquire the high-profile site at the corner of Ninth Street and Bay Avenue by introducing an ordinance that would pay the property owner $650,000...

Beach Replenishment Project Begins for Ocean City’s North End

Help for Ocean City’s eroded beaches arrived Monday in the form of giant excavators, flat-bed tractor trailers, mountainous piles of pipe and workers wearing hard hats. Soon, they will be joined by a 305-foot dredge, named “Texas,” anchored about a mile offshore to pump fresh sand through pipes from the bottom of Great Egg Harbor Inlet onto the beaches at the barrier island’s northern tip...

Hundreds of Volunteers Remove Litter From Ocean City’s Beachfront

Janine and Wilfredo Chevere and their five children took a long look at their checklist and began naming the types of trash they found on Ocean City’s beaches Saturday morning. One of their sons, Anteo, had just one word to describe it all: “Gross,” he said, frowning. There were discarded cigarette butts, paper food wrappers, plastic shopping bags, pieces of wood, soda and beer bottles and even some broken glass...

Ocean City Housing Authority Awaits New Board Members

The Ocean City Housing Authority was forced to cancel its second straight monthly meeting because of vacancies on its board of commissioners, but help is on the way. The seven-member board is down to only four commissioners following the death of Ed Speitel in September and resignation of Portia Thompson. There is a third vacancy on the board because Gov. Chris Christie has not yet appointed his representative to the authority. The governor’s seat has been open for more than a year, and it is not yet clear when Christie intends to fill it, said Bob Barr, a city councilman who also serves as the housing authority’s chairman...

Dredging Program to Help Boat Slip Owners on Ocean City’s Back...

At low tide, Pam and Chris Pippett know that their 24-foot boat isn’t going anywhere because it is literally trapped in the mud at their bayfront home. They also know that once they get their boat out on the water, they have to head home within two hours of low tide or risk not being able to get back through the shallow lagoon. “That’s our boat slip – absolutely stuck in the mud,” Pam Pippett said while showing a cellphone photo of the lagoon, known as Carnival Bayou...

“Ghost Hunters” Make Spooky Appearance in Ocean City

Alas, not all ghost stories end up with ghosts in them. Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango, of “Ghost Hunters” TV fame, recalled one time when they investigated some alleged paranormal activity on board the old Queen Mary luxury liner harbored in Long Beach, Calif. One woman on the ship told them that she kept hearing “ghostly music” emanating from somewhere on the enormous vessel...

Final Phase of Boardwalk Reconstruction Gets Underway in Ocean City

Tony Polcini, owner of Tony P’s House of Pie, knew that Ocean City’s Boardwalk reconstruction project would eventually reach his doorstep. Monday was that day. On an overcast morning punctuated by light rain, a chain-link fence, barriers and orange signs saying “Boardwalk closed” went up in front of his pizzeria. A giant excavator, dump trucks and construction workers wearing hard hats arrived on the scene, too...

Hope Aita Wins Junior Miss Ocean City Title

Hope Aita, a 14-year-old girl who comes from a family of doctors, wants to be remembered some day as the person who discovers the cure for breast cancer. For now, though, her claim to fame will be as the newly crowned 2018 Junior Miss Ocean City. The eighth-grader from Newtown, Pa., beat out 19 other contestants to capture the title Saturday night during the 12th edition of the Junior Miss Ocean City Pageant at the Music Pier. “I’m in shock,” Aita said minutes after she was crowned by 2017 Junior Miss Ocean City Stella Schwartz...

In Split Vote, Council Takes First Step Toward Buying Bayfront Building

Over the strenuous objections of two of its members, City Council approved a financial package Thursday night to possibly buy an empty commercial building that Mayor Jay Gillian and others envision as the centerpiece of a bayfront revitalization plan. Capping a tense Council discussion, the governing body voted 5-2 in favor of a $700,000 funding ordinance that represents the first step toward acquiring the two-story structure known as 50 Tennessee Avenue...