Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Chatterbox Restaurant, Ocean City’s Pink-Hued Icon, Celebrates 80th Anniversary

Customers strolling through the doors of the Chatterbox Restaurant might think they have passed through a time portal transporting them back to the 1950s. The Platters croon their 1955 hit “The Great Pretender” over the loudspeaker, old 45 rpm records tacked on the walls serve as old-school decorations and a neon Pepsi Cola sign behind the counter is faintly reminiscent of the Eisenhower era. Yo, all we need are Richie and Fonzie from “Happy Days” to stop by to make this nostalgic atmosphere complete. Although the reproduction retro-chic look may be trendy in some modern restaurants, the Chatterbox is an authentic throwback to the 1950s. Actually, it traces its roots to 1937, when the original owner, Jean Campbell, opened the family-style eatery in downtown Ocean City...

Mailman Charged With Theft in Ocean City

A veteran postal worker has been charged with stealing cash and checks from the mail in Ocean City, authorities said. John R. Reese, 43, of Petersburg, was taken into custody June 7 by postal agents while on his mail route, Ocean City Police Department Capt. Steven Ang said. Authorities released details of the arrest on Tuesday...

Ocean City High School’s “Always Spectacular” Class of 2017 Graduates

Hiba Ahmad recalled how she clumsily walked into a door during her first-period class on her first day as a freshman at Ocean City High School four years ago. “Not through. Into,” she noted. “I was so embarrassed, I wanted to melt into the ground and disappear. If this was how high school would go, I thought, I’d never graduate.” But Ahmad, who is heading to Georgetown University, now stands on the threshold of walking “through” many doors. She graduated Thursday as valedictorian of the Ocean City High School Class of 2017 and assured her classmates that they, too, will join her in walking through those doors of opportunity during their lives.

Miss N.J. Parade Rolls Down the Boardwalk on Wednesday Evening

Glitz, glamour and shouts of “Show us your shoes” will liven up the Boardwalk on Wednesday evening during the Miss New Jersey Parade, an event that traditionally attracts thousands of spectators to Ocean City. In all, 28 Miss New Jersey Pageant contestants will be chauffeured along the Boardwalk between Sixth and 14th streets starting at 7 p.m. The parade is free to the public. Riding in convertibles, the contestants follow tradition by flashing their colorfully decorated footwear to the famous command of “Show us your shoes” from the crowds...

Music Pier, Ocean City Pops to Benefit From $150,000 Donation

The fund-raising arm of the Ocean City Pops orchestra is donating $150,000 to the city to buy large video and TV screens that will enhance the experience for concertgoers at the Music Pier. Jon Batastini, chairman of the Friends of the Ocean City Pops, announced the donation during a City Council meeting Thursday night, drawing praise from members of the governing body and Mayor Jay Gillian...

Repairs Planned for Ocean City’s Damaged Downtown Sidewalks

Some of the damaged sidewalks in Ocean City’s downtown shopping district have little dips, depressions or jagged cracks. Some slope lazily toward the streets at odd angles, while others have an undulating appearance reminiscent of waves breaking on the shoreline. Over the past 20 years, some of the sidewalks have settled or shifted, creating a tripping hazard that has resulted in lawsuits being filed against the city. “Slip-and-fall-type lawsuits are fairly common both on the Boardwalk and downtown,” city spokesman Doug Bergen said...

Ocean City Announces Three More Bayfront Areas for Dredging Projects

By Donald Wittkowski Claire Driscoll marvels at the spectacular views of the water that unfold from the windows of her bayfront home on Pleasure Avenue. But the beautiful scenery is somewhat deceiving. At low tide, the shimmering water is replaced by an ugly, soup-like muck that has trapped many unsuspecting boaters who tried to navigate through the shallow channel known as Carnival Bayou, Driscoll noted. “It’s kind of funny to see all those boats stuck out there. But it’s not funny if you’re on one of those boats,” said Driscoll, who has lived on Pleasure Avenue at 16th Street for 18 years...

Sports-Themed Ocean City Flower Show Hits a Home Run

Kay Reilly turned to two workers at the Ocean City Music Pier on Friday afternoon and asked them to play something fun over the sound system. “What about, ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game?’’’ she suggested. While the classic baseball anthem might be appropriate for say, a Phillies-Cubs game, some might question its selection as the musical soundtrack for a flower show. But Reilly and Kathy Wheatcroft, co-chairs of the 45th annual Ocean City Flower Show, wanted to throw the fans a curve ball this year...

Keller Williams Redesigns Proposed Office Building in Ninth Street Corridor

The developer of a proposed real estate office that was rejected by Ocean City planners in January has redesigned the project in hopes of smoothing over a series of objections, including the size of the building...

Memorial Day Ceremony Honors Ocean City’s Hometown Heroes

Memorial Day is a particularly sad time for Joe Coserta, a 95-year-old World War II veteran who fought in Europe while serving as a tank commander with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Division. Coserta, who has lived in Ocean City for 30 years, explained that Memorial Day ceremonies remind him of his fellow soldiers who were killed on the battlefield more than 70 years ago. “It’s very sad,” he said. “I think about all the hard times we had and all the guys we lost who were with us. It was a long time ago, but we never forgot them.” Hundreds of people filled Ocean City’s Veterans Memorial Park on Monday for a somber Memorial Day service that showed that they, too, haven’t forgotten the military men and women who lost their lives while serving their country during different wars...