Home Authors Posts by mvitale
Members of the Ocean City Police Department went down to Washington, D.C., in perhaps the greatest call of duty – to assist in security for the Inauguration Day of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala D. Harris. "We’re proud to participate in securing the capital,” Police Chief Jay Prettyman said Wednesday. “It’s something we've had the pleasure to do, side by side with patrols from across the country, for the past four elections. It’s a memorable experience for our team and an important service to the nation.”
Ocean City church and community leaders didn’t allow the COVID-19 crisis to prevent them from observing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day to celebrate his message of peace and love. “Today, we celebrate the legacy, the work, the life of a man whose life was fueled by his faith in his creator, a man, who profoundly changed the consciousness and character of America,” Ocean City Tabernacle Director of Youth Ministry Jonathan Gonzales said on stage at the Tabernacle. “Did you know legacy is not what we do for ourselves; legacy is what we do for the next generation?” Although Ocean City's King Day celebration was not stopped by the pandemic, the ceremony was conducted virtually at the Tabernacle to protect the participants from COVID-19. Gonzalez called upon those who watched the virtual ceremony to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
There may be a chill in the air, but the Ocean City Tourism Development Commission is reminding visitors that spring is around the corner and now is the time to book that family vacation. During the commission’s remote meeting this week, officials noted that the marketing campaign is getting into full swing with billboards, mailings and contest giveaways on social media platforms. And while officials emphasized that there is a lot unknown about what 2021’s summer season will look like, they are hoping the COVID-19 vaccine will be more readily available, and life will return to normal, or at least closer to it than the summer of 2020.
Miles of shoreline, the Boardwalk, shops and eateries continue to attract visitors to Ocean City – even during the pandemic. And a lineup of special family-friendly events for 2021 will serve as another major attraction, as long as the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't force their cancellation.
Reserving a spot at the pool, gym, or ensuring a place in a favorite exercise class are now all just a few clicks away with Ocean City’s new online portal for members of the Aquatic & Fitness Center. The complex is a centerpiece of the community, where people go to unwind, work out, and focus on health. It is located in the Community Center at 1735 Simpson Ave. And up until the COVID-19 pandemic, it was buzzing with activity. But for the months that it was closed before September, city officials worked together to create an easier way for members to select a time to get on their favorite treadmill, swim those laps and take those classes.
Ocean City Free Public Library (OCFPL) staff members searched for ways to entertain, educate and enlighten their patrons, despite having to limit hours and cancel all in-house programs due to the pandemic. When they chose a program for families to enjoy outside, keeping reading at the forefront, called StoryWalk, they hoped, but weren’t certain, it would be a success, explained OCFPL Director Karen Mahar. Fast forward a few months and StoryWalk, which began in October, is hugely popular among children and adults. The reading program, held on various days and times each month, allows for social distancing and brings patrons together, safely outside at Lake Memorial Park, 407 Wesley Ave.
The Ocean City Free Public Library (OCFPL) Board of Trustees reorganized during a virtual meeting Monday. A new trustee member will be named this week and a new director of the Historical Museum was hired. Board of Trustees member Brian Broadley was on the nominating committee for the officers to the board. He named the selections. Jennifer Shirk remains as president of the board, Fred Marcell continues as vice president and Connie Pritchard stays on as treasurer. Lauren Cowden replaces Ron Denney as board secretary.
When Cape May County Zoo officials asked the public to donate leftover Christmas trees -- minus the ornaments, of course -- for the animals to nibble on and play with, they got a lot more than they expected. The zoo became a winter wonderland of trees placed in several of the animals’ enclosures. The donated trees piqued the curiosity of the monkeys and the goats and even became a delicious, albeit, prickly snack for the bison. Back on Dec. 22, the zoo put out a Facebook video of the lions, Lex and Bella, playing with a Christmas tree.
During the Ocean City Board of Education reorganization meeting Wednesday night, school officials were sworn in and the board member in charge of the COVID-19 committee laid out potential plans for returning the students to school full time. Board members Joseph Clark, Cecelia Gallelli-Keyes and Michael James were sworn in to their three-year terms. Clark was voted back in as board president. Board member Dr. Patrick Kane, an orthopedic surgeon who is in charge of the COVID-19 committee, was selected vice president in a 6-4 vote, replacing board member Jacqueline McAlister to the post. Dr. Kane gave a presentation with updates from the COVID-19 committee, which met Tuesday. Clark, who sat in on the committee meeting along with Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor, called it a very productive meeting. “There are a lot of obstacles we have to get through and it is amazing when you see the team he put together,” Clark said of the COVID-19 committee. “I don’t think anyone else statewide has a team quite like this. Hopefully, they will keep guiding us.” Dr. Kane explained the best and worst case scenarios for the school district amid the pandemic. The district schools have remained open since September, offering hybrid learning with both in-person and virtual instruction. Dr. Kane noted that the best case scenario would be to return the Primary School to five days of in-person instruction by Feb. 1...
The Cape May County Board of County Commissioners met on Wednesday evening to officially reorganize their government. Commissioners Will Morey and Jeffrey L. Pierson both were sworn in, along with Sheriff Robert A. Nolan and County Clerk Rita A. Rothberg. Senator Michael L. Testa, Jr. swore in Morey, Nolan, and Rothberg, while Surrogate Dean Marcolongo swore in Pierson. The meeting was held virtually for the public due to current restrictions of COVID-19...