Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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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...

Ocean City Police Crack Down on Heavy Trucks Invading Neighborhoods

The huge Universal Supply Co. tractor trailer immediately caught the attention of police as it lumbered down Wesley Avenue in what is supposed to be a quiet section of Ocean City off-limits to heavy truck traffic. “A tractor trailer on Wesley Avenue has no business being here,” Sgt. Brian Hopely, of the Ocean City Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit, said bluntly. Hopely and other police officers pulled the tractor trailer over to the side of the road as part of an enforcement program Thursday targeting big trucks that strayed outside of the city’s designated truck routes...

Farmers Market Brings a Little Bit of Country to the Jersey...

Ocean City residents Carol and Jerry Meister eagerly await summer’s arrival each year. No surprise, right? So does everyone else who lives in or visits the beach town that boldly touts itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort.” But listening to the Meisters talk, you get the impression that they might want to change the tourism slogan to “America’s Greatest Farmers Market.” Big, juicy peaches and succulent corn on the cob are some of the things that make their summers special...

Need a Lift? Try Sky River Helicopters Out of Ocean City...

A mother in Bucks County, Pa., decided to throw a surprise party for her son on his 21st birthday this past Saturday. But the real surprise was who – or in this case – what dropped in. All of a sudden, a helicopter hovered overhead and landed in the yard, near the pool where the party was being held. “He was so excited to see the helicopter. You should have seen his smile,” Maria Kepp said of the 21-year-old son...

Drainage Project Will Bring Relief to Flood-Prone Ocean City Neighborhood

Kay Jacobs spent $6,000 to build a decorative wall around her garden that doubles as a foot-high barrier to protect her home on the 200 block of Third Street from frequent flooding. Michael Giordano, Jacobs’ neighbor across the street, says his house has been swamped by storm water so many times that he considers his property the “ground zero” of flooding. “Every time there’s a storm, I’m underwater,” an exasperated Giordano said...

Ocean City’s Green Fair Promotes Environmental Theme

Being ever so careful not to drop it, Quinn Smith held a wet, brown creature that had a helmet-like shell, spooky looking legs and nearly 20 eyes. While the horseshoe crab may have lacked the cuteness of a puppy, the 12-year-old Quinn broke into a big smile and seemed fascinated by this denizen of the seashore whose ancestors date back 450 million years. “I think he’s a very interesting creature,” Quinn said. “In general, he’s pretty cool. He feels kind of like a crab, but his shell is a little bit rougher and is kind of curvy.”...

Ocean City Bike Forum Stresses Safety

Sgt. Brian Hopely, of the Ocean City Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit, recalled pulling a man over this summer who had blown through two stop signs while traveling down Haven Avenue. “He looked at me like I had two heads,” Hopely said of the man’s incredulous reaction to being stopped by police. It was not a motorist, but a bicyclist in his 60s, who had ignored the stop signs. Hopely let him off with a warning after reminding him of the rules of the road...