Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski


Ocean City Housing Project May Encounter COVID-Related Delay

Completion of the Ocean City Housing Authority’s nearly $7 million affordable housing project for senior citizens may be delayed by about a month because of “one hiccup” blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic. The company that will install the elevators in the three-story building has indicated that the pandemic is slowing down production at its factory and that could cause a delay with its work in Ocean City, the housing authority reported at its monthly board meeting Tuesday.

Deauville Inn Tempts Customers With New Menu

TJ Ricciardi has had the good fortune of having some of the country’s most acclaimed chefs as his mentors, including Luke Palladino, Stephen Kalt and Tom Harkins. By working in the kitchen with some of the luminaries of the culinary world, he cultivated his own extraordinary cooking talents and has brought them to the Jersey Shore as the new executive chef of the Deauville Inn in Strathmere. Combining flair with flavor, Ricciardi has reshaped the menu. The new menu is the latest change in the restaurant’s transformation under owner Dr. Tim Fox, who bought the Deauville in 2019 with the goal of blending the historic building’s old-fashioned charms with modern upgrades to create a more upscale experience for customers.

City Council Raises Concerns About Offshore Wind Farm

For the second time in two months, members of Ocean City’s governing body Thursday night expressed dismay about a proposed wind farm that would be powered by nearly 100 gigantic turbines anchored 15 miles off the coast. Touted as a form of clean energy, the project by the Dutch energy company Orsted is a centerpiece of Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of having 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacity in New Jersey by 2035. Members of City Council, though, pointedly asked whether Orsted’s 1,100-megawatt project would make financial sense while reiterating their concerns that it might harm Ocean City’s tourism industry as well as local businesses.

Ready For Demolition, An Old House Serves One Last Purpose

Ocean City firefighters took advantage of a unique opportunity for some realistic training at an old home that is ready to be demolished. Built in 1898, the Victorian-style house at 105 Simpson Ave. will soon be torn down to make room for two new single-family homes. Large construction machinery used for demolition work is parked in the side yard. With the fate of the old house sealed, the owners allowed the Ocean City Fire Department to use the property Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for a training exercise.

Ocean City Fishing Club Pier to Grow Longer

Extending an impressive 635 feet from the Boardwalk, over the beach and out into the ocean, the Ocean City Fishing Club pier is an enormous structure. Now, what is already the longest manmade attraction in Ocean City is about to get even longer. Work has started on a $500,000 project to extend the pier at 14th Street an additional 125 feet seaward, said Margaret Feil, secretary of the Ocean City Fishing Club.

Historic Homes Being Recognized With Plaques

A stroll along the tree-lined streets of Ocean City’s Historic District reveals a collection of alluring homes from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Among them are Folk Victorian, Queen Anne, Dutch Colonial Revival, Italianate and Second Empire houses reflecting the architectural styles popular in the Victorian and Edwardian eras that bookended Ocean City’s founding by a group of Methodist ministers in 1879 as a religious seaside resort. In the past 30 years, more than 100 homes in the Historic District have been designated with plaques that note the year they were built. Now, the city’s Historic Preservation Commission is planning to recognize other homes with similar plaques as an expression of appreciation to their owners.

Water Co. Makes Upgrades in Ocean City

New Jersey American Water Co. is investing $700,000 to upgrade water service and fire protection safety in the Gardens section of Ocean City. The company will replace approximately 2,600 feet of aging water mains on Seacrest Road, Seacliff Road and Seaview Road from Waverly Boulevard to the end of the street starting next week. Old cast iron water lines dating to the 1940s will be replaced with a new 8-inch ductile main on those streets, the company announced in a press release Friday.

Inspirational Christmas Tree On Beach Will Be Back For 2021

One by one, Melanie Stampone and her helpers carefully removed the shiny ornaments, handwritten inspirational messages, seashells and other bric-a-brac that decorated a Christmas tree on the beach that became a symbol of hope in Ocean City over the holidays. Stampone and her family anchored the 5-foot-tall Fraser fir in the sand at 55th Street in the city’s south end the day before Thanksgiving, hoping it would bring a bit of peace and happiness to the community during the pandemic. But they weren’t expecting what would grow into an overwhelming community reaction of joy as word of the Christmas tree spread on social media and so many people came out on the beach to marvel over it. But with the Christmas of 2020 now over, it was time to take down the tree on Sunday.

Ocean City’s Affordable Housing Plan to Include Five New Duplexes

Ocean City is planning to mix in another type of “affordable housing” for families thanks to a new $2 million state grant. Five duplexes having a total of 10 rental units of affordable housing will be built in different locations across town in 2021. “It will be something that will fit right in with the neighborhood,” said City Council President Bob Barr, who also serves as chairman of the Ocean City Housing Authority.

Biker’s Cross-Country Journey Ends in Triumph at Shore

Matt DiNote was overcome by emotion as soon as he arrived in Sea Isle City, the culmination of an arduous, 4,400-mile, cross-country journey powered by his legs and inspired by the love for his brother. “Oh, my God,” he said softly as he bowed his head and wiped away tears while sitting on his bike Saturday evening. He ceremoniously dipped his back bike tire in the Pacific Ocean when he set out from California in August. In a triumphant touch to end the trip on Saturday, he walked his bike out on the beach at 65th Street in Sea Isle and dipped his front tire in the Atlantic Ocean just before nightfall.