Authors Posts by mvitale



Ocean City Boardwalk Reopens to Delight of Residents, Visitors

Just one day after Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian gave the green light to beach lovers and opened the city’s beaches, he officially opened the Boardwalk on Monday to strollers, joggers and others who make the resort’s 2.5-mile-long wooden promenade a staple to spring and summer enjoyment. Police Chief Jay Prettyman said everything was going well and it appeared people were keeping a safe distance from each other and adhering to other guidelines.

Families Enjoy Access to O.C. Beaches

Maria Ricci said coming down to Ocean City to enjoy the beach with her husband, Dave, and their 8-year-old son, Vincenzo, was particularly special on Sunday. It wasn’t just that it was Mother’s Day, but it was that the beaches in the community, were just reopened the day before, after some of the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. The Riccis, who are from Vineland and have a vacation home on the Ocean City bay, were also delighted to take their boat out. “We are excited to be on the beach. This is definitely the best Mother’s Day. The sun is shining. It is a wonderful day,” Maria, a teacher, said. For Vincenzo, it was also a way to get out in the fresh air, on a breezy day in the upper 50s to low 60s. “Even if we can’t use all of the amenities because a lot is still closed, at least Vincenzo is out and not on an Ipad,” David Ricci, a firefighter in Vineland said. “We can go out for a drive together to Ocean City. We are safe. You couldn’t ask for a better day.” The Riccis were like so many other families who took advantage of the soft-opening of Ocean City on Sunday. Neighboring towns, such as Sea Isle City and Upper Township, also opened this weekend. The Boardwalk was still officially closed Sunday, and was only to be used as an access to the beaches. Walking, jogging, surfing, and fishing are permitted but no sunbathing, or large gatherings...

Cape May County Details Road to Reopening

Cape May County’s total COVID-19 cases has increased by five cases, making a total of 463 cases in the county, according to a county release...

Summer’s Coming! Martin Z. Mollusk Sees His Shadow

Ocean City celebrated Martin Z. Mollusk Day on Saturday and yes, folks, the crustacean indeed saw his shadow, which means summer is on its way a week early. Although the annual event did not take place at its traditional location on the beach, which was closed until Saturday afternoon as part of a prolonged shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the city's mollusk mascot came through with the early prediction, as he has done for 47 years.

O.C. Council Candidates Give Their Views on the Issues

The Ocean City municipal election is just days away. And with an unprecedented pandemic shifting everything to mail-in ballots, the candidates' priorities and how they campaigned also changed. In a time where strict social distancing has to be adhered to in an effort to lessen the COVID-19 spread, the campaign messages were not through the traditional knocking on doors or the meet-and-greets at the local businesses. The five candidates offered their views on what they believe matters most to the residents in their specific wards. They each presented what they think matters most to residents in the shore community, at a time when the tourism industry and the economic landscape of the community are a concern amid the outbreak.

O.C. Council Offers Additional Relief to Taxpayers

City Council passed a resolution on Tuesday that extends the grace period to pay quarterly taxes to June 1 from May 10, in an effort to help property owners who are struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

PTA Shows “Teacher Appreciation” With Gift Bags

The Ocean City Parent Teacher Association has had to find creative ways to reach out to the school community to express gratitude for the work of the educators on behalf of the students. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week but with COVID-19 forcing the continued shutdown of schools, the PTA needed a new plan. “The PTA always celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week with luncheons at each school and the district office. We do coffee and snack carts throughout the week with gifts and obviously we can’t do it,” PTA President Jocelyn Palaganas pointed out. With the shift to online learning in March and the statewide shutdown of schools to continue social distancing amid the pandemic, Palaganas had to find an alternative way to express gratitude toward the teachers in the district. The PTA, through funds raised throughout the school year, purchased items to put into gift bags for each of the 93 teachers at the primary and intermediate schools.

N.J. Schools to Remain Closed, But Ocean City Committed to Online...

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that New Jersey's schools would remain closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic for the protection of students, faculty and families. In the meantime, Ocean City Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Taylor said that students would continue with their online learning.

Sports & Civic Center Getting Facelift

By the end of 2020, Ocean City's Sports & Civic Center at Sixth Street and the Boardwalk will be renovated. A new exterior, an addition and amenities are planned to create a more attractive space for athletic and other events, city officials said. On April 23, City Council approved a $3.2 million contract, the lowest out of six competing bids, to Capri Construction Co. Inc. based in Vineland. According to the resolution, other work includes the demolition and reconstruction of existing bathrooms, office areas, windows, a new vestibule area, storage, and concessions space.

Crowds Relish Reopening of Parks

This was the day that they took off their masks and gloves and put on their bathing suits, shorts and sandals. Saturday was a liberating experience for people tired of being cooped up for the past six weeks adhering to social distancing restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Beachgoers and boaters crowded into Corson’s Inlet State Park in Ocean City to enjoy a warm day in May and a time to almost forget that the country is in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic.