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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.

O.C. Fundraiser For Shore Medical Center Offers Message of Thanks

An idea to help frontline workers sprouted, well, popped up in a way, between neighbors in Ocean City and nearby communities. Lawn signs began dotting the front yards in the community and surrounding towns in a fundraiser to help healthcare workers and other frontline staffers at Shore Medical Center who are treating COVID-19 patients. What started out as a modest, grassroots effort by spouses Chris and Andrew Monihan and Julie and Christian Bickings, who run a food donation program called Shore2Share, took off. More than 300 signs have been sold in just a few weeks and $15,000 has been raised for Shore Medical Center’s COVID-19 Fund, Chris Monihan pointed out.

Tom Rotondi Makes Voters’ Needs Top Priority in 2nd Ward Election

When describing his experience, Tom Rotondi, who is running unopposed for the 2nd Ward City Council seat in Ocean City, said he didn’t exactly plan to ever run for office. In fact, the 41-year-old married father of three was used to helping others with their campaigns to get elected. He spent time knocking on doors and speaking with voters about candidates he believed in when he lived in Lower Township and then in Ocean City, a place the Rotondis have called home for over a decade. “I really always wanted to pick the best candidate to represent the people. It is important you are doing this for the people. It is not about the title,” Rotondi explained in an interview. “If you are doing it for the people, you don’t care about the title. If it is about the title, then that is how you end up with bad government.”

O.C. School Board Approves Budget

The Ocean City Board of Education held its first virtual meeting, adopted the budget for the 2020-21 school year, gave thanks to the teachers for their virtual learning efforts and discussed the possibility of a prom alternative. The total budget is $41,555,147, down from $41.6 million last year. The bulk of the funding for the spending plan will come from $23.8 million in local tax revenue, School Business Administrator Timothy Kelley explained during the virtual meeting Wednesday night.

O.C. Education Foundation, School District Shows Seniors “Sign” of Appreciation

The Ocean City New Jersey Education Foundation (OCNJEF) ordered yard signs for each member of the 2020 graduating class to proudly display on their lawns, as well as to give them out in the community to celebrate an important time in the students' educational lives. “We ordered about 100 extra signs in case teachers, businesses, or other members of the community wanted to hang a sign to show some support as well,” explained President of OCNJEF Jennifer Shirk. “There are a bunch of parents willing to help with distribution.” She added that the signs were not expensive because they purchased a lot at one time. Shirk also pointed out that Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor was instrumental in offering the district’s support to assist with the signs. JASM Consulting designed the signs. “Dr. Taylor offered the high school as a place for distribution,” Shirk noted. “Some moms of seniors have offered to help out as well.” This most recent endeavor by the OCNJEF and the district came at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closing of schools countrywide, leaving students to learn through virtual instruction...

Recovery Initiative Task Force Works Toward Re-Opening County

Cape May County’s Recovery Initiative is making progress toward a plan to re-open the County, according to a county release. The Initiative began on April 14, when the Board of Chosen Freeholders created a Business Recovery Task Force co-chaired by Freeholder Vice Director Len Desiderio and Freeholder Will Morey. The Task Force set to work organizing leaders of various sectors of the business community, bringing in the mayors of Cape May County’s 16 municipalities, health sector professionals, state and federal elected officials and others. The Task Force has quickly evolved into the Cape May County-Wide Recovery Initiative. The mission of the recovery Initiative is to optimize and support economic recovery and the safe and thoughtful reopening of public places. “As we are now seeing with many States across the Country engaging in the reopening process, businesses are quickly learning to innovate in order to successfully operate in the present environment,” commented Morey. “That’s what businesses do to survive. Fact is, we can protect our most vulnerable population while adapting sufficiently to restore economic function to our communities.” The commitment of the Cape May County business community was broad and immediate. Local government and community leaders saw that collective action was needed to support recovery and reopening, and are pleased that yesterday New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy indicated the state is now weeks away from moving toward reopening...

Rotary Club Hosts Author of “The Drowning of Money Island”

The Rotary Club of Ocean City - Upper Township will hold an online program Thursday, April 30 with Andrew Lewis, of Ocean City, who will discuss his book. The author’s talk will be the Rotary Club’s first online meeting. The link for this free session will be posted on the Club website the day prior to the meeting. Lewis’s book is the story of the Bayshore community in nearby Cumberland County, ravaged by Superstorm Sandy, “where lack of recovery, sea level rise, and a state effort to buy out and demolish neighborhoods has fractured the community and foreshadowed coastal America’s sinking future.” The book details how climate change has already deepening preexisting inequality and it is a must read for all of living on the coastlines of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay...

County Reports New COVID-19 Death

The Cape May County Department of Health reported Wednesday that there are 323 people have now tested positive and an 89-year-old female from Dennis Township has died from COVID-19. The total deaths from this disease in Cape May County is now 21. “It’s with tremendous sorrow that we share the loss of this beloved woman. Our entire community grieves with this family and all of those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic,” said Freeholder Jeff Pierson. “This crisis impacts everyone. Those who have contracted the virus, those who need our care during this time as well as their loved ones.” Following is a breakdown of the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths for each municipality in Cape May County...