Authors Posts by mvitale



Mayor’s Message: July 24

Dear Friends, Ocean City lost two of its finest gentlemen this week. I’m sad to report on the passing of Bill Cruice and Jim Frisby. Jim was a neighbor, a Navy veteran, a long-time member of the Ocean City Yacht Club and a successful real estate broker. Bill was a veteran of the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and he was a founder of the Morvay-Miley American Legion Post 524 here in Ocean City. I’m proud that our veterans groups remain strong and provide so many valuable programs in town. We owe a debt of gratitude to people like Bill and Jim for their service to country and community. I hope you all will join Michele and me in extending deepest condolences to their families and many friends. Donations in Bill’s memory can be made to American Legion Post 524 and mailed to P.O. Box 363, Ocean City, NJ 08226. Donations in Jim’s memory can be made to the Humane Society of Ocean City and mailed to One Shelter Road, P.O. Box 1254, Ocean City, NJ 08226. The Army Corps of Engineers’ beach replenishment project continues to make good progress, and work is approaching the Fifth Street jetty, an area where sand is needed the most. The newly rebuilt beaches are elevated, wide and beautiful with plenty of room for social distancing and for any beachgoers displaced by the ongoing operations. Daily updates are available at

Mario’s Pizzeria: New Owners, Still O.C. Favorite

Some things in life are too good to change, too good to be altered, best just to stay the same. That is the case with Mario’s Pizzeria. It is under new ownership by Mary and Jonathan Baltz, of Upper Township, and Mary’s father, Michael Sannuti, of Ocean City. But it continues with the same old traditions.

Ocean City Vacation Rental Website Offers Hot July Promotion

Ocean City’s Vacation Rental website is having a great first summer in Ocean City and will soon be ending its $99 introductory offer for new owners to advertise on their website for the 2021 rental season. Duane Watlington, founder of Vacation Rentals Jersey Shore LLC, said there are plenty of reasons why the vacation rental website has taken off since being launched this year. “It provides a lot of ways to connect with no hidden fees or taxes,” he noted. With the promotional offer of $99 ending by July 31, Watlington said renters should take advantage of the rental listing site now.

Vacationers Enjoy Beaches in Blazing Temps

A furnace or a stove were some of the descriptors for the scorching air as temperatures soared into the high 90s at the shore Monday afternoon. George Groves, of Bensalem, Pa., simply put it like this, “hot,” as he swooshed and coasted on his skim board alongside his son, Jeff, and his 17-year-old grandson, John, along the water’s edge on the 34th Street Beach. The family of 14 rented homes for the week in Ocean City and spent their Monday enjoying the 75-degree ocean temps and some breezes.

Playa Bowls Offers Delicious, Healthy Delights

For anyone who wants something that looks too good to eat, take a picture of an acai, pitaya, coconut or banana bowl from one of the Playa Bowls locations in Ocean City and Sea Isle City. And then take a bite. Not only are the treats scrumptious looking, they are flavorful delights for the many customers who lined up at both locations recently at the Promenade Food Court in Ocean City and 33 42nd Street in Sea Isle to give their orders – while socially distancing. The bowls are just as healthy as they are great tasting. They are loaded with vitamins, fresh fruits, veggies and even tailored to specific dietary needs, explained the owner of the two franchise locations, Joe Wallash, of Dennis Township.

Body Recovered in Great Egg Harbor Inlet

At approximately 6 a.m. Saturday a fisherman located the body of an unidentified adult male floating in the Great Egg Harbor Inlet between Longport and Ocean City. The fisherman called 911 and Longport fire and police personnel were dispatched. The Longport Fire Department launched a boat and recovered the body. The Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating and working to identify the body. The body could be that of Jabed Ikbal, 24, of Clementon, Camden County, who went missing around 7 p.m. Sunday, July 12 after rescuing two family members from the surf at Ocean City’s Great Egg Harbor Inlet. He was last seen near the Ocean City-Longport Bridge. The family of Ikbal has been notified about the unidentified body...

County Offers New Ride-Sharing Program in Ocean City

Cape May County already offers Fare Free Transportation rides to seniors, the disabled, veterans and low-income residents who need to get to appointments, shopping and other places. Next week, a trial run of Fare Free Now begins. The service will give all Ocean City residents the ability to get to wherever they need to go on the island at no cost. All they have to do is fill out a short application and once signed up, they can call for a ride or use the Fare Free Now app, explained Fare Free Transportation Assistant Director Katie Hollenback. “If you live in Ocean City and just want to get a slice of pizza, we will bring you and pick you up,” Hollenback said.

WWII Vet From Ocean City Honored by French Consulate

Francis X. McCormac is a U.S. Army veteran – and the Ocean City resident is one of a dwindling number of servicemen still alive who fought valiantly in World War II. At 99 years old, McCormac said in an interview Tuesday he still feels pretty good, as he lounged on the deck of his daughter Maureen’s resort home while awaiting the arrival of some important people. Members of the French Consulate were en route to present him with the highest honor – a Chevalier (Knight) of France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor. The award was for McCormac’s service from 1942-45 as a signal corpsman, most notably during the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach in Normandy.

Recovery Efforts Ensue For Missing Ocean City Swimmer

The search continues for a Clementon, N.J. man who rescued two family members in Ocean City’s Great Egg Harbor inlet Sunday night, only to disappear in the rough waters. Ocean City Beach Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard searched again through Monday to try and locate 24-year-old Jabed Ikbal into. Beach Patrol Chief Mark Jamieson said in a phone interview Monday afternoon that it has become a recovery, rather than rescue effort. At 6 a.m. Monday members of the beach patrol began their day of assisting the U.S. Coast Guard with the search. The Ocean City Police Department and Ocean City Fire Department personnel also assisted. “We are doing a mixture of visual from the shoreline, to see if there are any abnormalities in the water and we also have guards out on the water,” Jamieson said. He noted that search and recovery are vital to the family of the lost swimmer. “It is important to give the family closure,” he said...

Library Curbside Pickup Temporarily Moved

The city will be replacing the heating and cooling systems at the Ocean City Free Public Library and Community Center from Tuesday to Wednesday. The library's nonfiction collection and computer center will be closed during this time.,,