• VENTNOR – The city’s municipal budget was introduced last month and adopted April 17 without comment from neither the governing body nor the public. City Commissioner Theresa Kelly voted against its adoption.

    The $30,934,239 budget raised municipal tax rate 4.9 cents to $.896 per $100 of assessed valuation, up from $.847 last year. The average homeowner with a house assessed at $250,000 will pay $124 more this year for a total municipal tax of $2,240, up from $2116 last year. In Ventnor, a penny on the tax rate is equal to $250,000 in spending.

    “Money is tight all over and a lot of our residents are still suffering from Sandy,” Kelly said. “Some are unable to pay their taxes now, and there are so many houses for sale.”

  •  Members of the Mental Health Association were available to help homeowners still struggling more than 18 months after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Pictured are caseworkers Jordan Brunette of Absecon, Jaime Angelini of Smithville and Meghan Cusack of Linwood. EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – More than 50 people showed up to find out how they can get help repairing their Sandy damaged homes at a special meeting held at the township’s Community Center Wednesday, April 16.

  • VENTNOR – The Planning Board will need more time to decide what type of commercial uses and ancillary uses, including live music, are allowed in the Dorset Avenue Commercial Zone.

    At a lengthy board meeting April 10 about zoning concerns in the city, planners heard complaints from area residents about the noise coming from Ventnor Coffee, which recently held daylong band competitions. Officials said Ventnor Coffee will need a use variance to continue to provide live music at the shop.

  • VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners took no action following a lengthy executive session on Thursday, April 10.

    Mayor Michael Bagnell and city attorney Amy R. Weintraub were excused from the meeting, which was called to hear a report from an independent attorney who investigated the city’s involvement in a Latin music festival that was cancelled at the 11th hour at the end of last summer.

    “Amy and I recused ourselves from the discussion because it involves us,” Bagnell said as he left the auditorium at the Ventnor Educational Community Complex where public meetings are being held while the municipal building undergoes extensive HVAC renovations.

  • LONGPORT – Following a 30-minute executive session Tuesday, April 8, the Board of Commissioners agreed to revise commissioner appointments and duties.

    Mayor Nicholas Russo gave a brief statement following three unanimous votes to approve the new assignments and realigned duties.

  • Cookie Till plants primroses in the flower garden. PLEASANTVILLE – More than 15 volunteers showed up Friday, April 11 to ensure several local residents eat well, get fresh air and socialize with neighbors.

    Volunteers from Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May counties and representatives of Growing Green AtlantiCare, built raised garden beds and helped JFS consumers plant early spring vegetables they can harvest by June.

    The JFS garden program is in its second three-year cycle, which includes building the gardens, planting, growing, weeding and harvesting over a three-year period.

    The first garden project was completed in Hammonton, but this project was completed at a house owned by the Pleasantville Housing Authority and occupied by three tenants who need the ongoing assistance that JFS offers.

  • WASHINGTON – A group of New Jersey members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Michael Boots, acting chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality requesting that they attend a New Jersey congressional delegation meeting to hear out questions and concerns about why the process for helping homeowners recovering from Hurricane Sandy is taking so long.

    The lawmakers want to discuss what can be done to assist 4,000 homeowners who still are not in their homes nearly a year and half after the October 2012 storm, and what might be done to properly modify any other procedures that may be delaying reconstruction.

  • VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners is considering naming the city an area in need of rehabilitation, which would provide homeowners with tax incentives to improve their homes.

    “This is a way to stimulate growth in the city,” Mayor Michael Bagnell said.

Downbeach Current | Longport, Margate, Ventnor

Bocca hosts Ross School families for dinner

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Thursday, March 27, 2014 02:45 pm

The Gormley family enjoyed Ross Night Out. From left are Sean, Sean, Jr., Lexi and Jaime Gormley. The Gormley family enjoyed Ross Night Out. From left are Sean, Sean, Jr., Lexi and Jaime Gormley. MARGATE – Bocca Coal Fired Bistro welcomed students of the William H. Ross School and their families during the dinner hour Wednesday, March 26. “Ross Night Out” was held at the restaurant to raise money for the school’s Positive School Climate activities, which includes the WAVE program.

Read more: Bocca hosts Ross School families for dinner

 

Mom's last visit from frosty

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Thursday, March 27, 2014 01:21 pm

Luke's last stand. Luke's last stand. This is "Luke," hopefully, the last snowman of the spring season. Mark Howell fashioned Luke on the unit block of Clermont Avenue in Margate after the nor'easter snowstorm on March 25.

"I do it every snowstorm for my mom, she's 89 years old and she enjoys looking at them," Howell said. "But this is the last one. Tell Old Man Winter it's spring."

 

   

Margate Police Blotter, edition of March 27, 2014

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, March 26, 2014 03:11 pm

Margate Police Police Blotter information is supplied by local police departments and other law enforcement agencies. All persons named are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Read more: Margate Police Blotter, edition of March 27, 2014

 

JCC honors Cookie Till for her philanthropic work

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, March 26, 2014 02:58 pm

Katz JCC board President Eric Goldstein presents Cookie Till with a piece of pottery at the annual gala Feb. 22. Katz JCC board President Eric Goldstein presents Cookie Till with a piece of pottery at the annual gala Feb. 22. ATLANTIC CITY – More than 250 people gathered to recognize Cookie Till, the owner of Steve & Cookies by the Bay, at the annual gala of the Milton & Betty Katz Jewish Community Center Saturday, March 22 at One Atlantic in the Pier Shops at Caesars.

“The attendance at the event was a clear reflection of how much Cookie is appreciated for her continued community outreach,” said Jack I. Fox, CEO of the Katz JCC. “It was a wonderful evening for the JCC and allowed us to recognize a wonderful individual while raising close to $60,000 for the Katz JCC children and senior scholarship fund.”

 

Read more: JCC honors Cookie Till for her philanthropic work

   

Margate hires conflict attorney amid real estate firm’s apology demand

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, March 26, 2014 02:48 pm

MARGATE – Residents and Commissioner Maury Blumberg objected March 20 to the Board of Commissioners spending up to $10,000 to settle a disagreement between Realtor Gigi Gallagher of Marketplace Realty and Commissioner Brenda Taube.

Because Solicitor Scott Abbott has a conflict of interest, the city will hire attorney Michael A. Barker of Barker, Gelfand and James of Linwood to respond to a letter from Gallagher’s attorney. Abbott’s family members are licensed agents who work for the real estate broker.

Barker will be paid $175 an hour, up to $10,000 to settle the issue, hopefully without litigation, officials said.

Read more: Margate hires conflict attorney amid real estate firm’s apology demand

 

Miss New Jersey meets students at VECC Book Fair

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, March 26, 2014 12:10 pm

Sisters Gabby, Francesca and Lulu Gentile wait for Miss New Jersey Cara McCollum to sign autographs Sisters Gabby, Francesca and Lulu Gentile wait for Miss New Jersey Cara McCollum to sign autographs Ventnor Educational Community Complex held its annual Scholastic Book Fair family night on Tuesday, March 25. Students and their families browsed and purchased books and got to meet Miss New Jersey Cara McCollum, 22, of Princeton.

Read more: Miss New Jersey meets students at VECC Book Fair

   

Ross Night Out Wednesday at Bocca

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Tuesday, March 25, 2014 08:52 am

Print photo bring to Bocca for Ross School to receive credit. Print photo bring to Bocca for Ross School to receive credit. The William H. Ross School will host a Ross Night Out at Bocca Coal Fired Bistro to raise funds for the school's Positive School Climate activities 5 p.m. to closing. Twenty-five percent of food and drink bill will go to the school. Reserve your seat by calling 609-823-3663. Download the flyer and bring it to the restaurant for the school to receive credit.

 

 

Ventnor Beautification Committee reinstates 'Chef's Night Out'

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Monday, March 24, 2014 01:24 pm

Ventnor resident Marsha Gillespie speaks with Walt and June Jarema of Margate, and Sydria Schaffer and Stacey Jaskol of Ventnor at Lisa's Italian Market during the 2012 Chef's Night Out. Ventnor resident Marsha Gillespie speaks with Walt and June Jarema of Margate, and Sydria Schaffer and Stacey Jaskol of Ventnor at Lisa's Italian Market during the 2012 Chef's Night Out. VENTNOR – Hurricane Sandy may have put a damper on holding Chef's Night Out last year, but the annual progressive dining experience is back bigger and better this year.

The event is hosted by the Ventnor Beautification Committee and features tastings from city dining establishments, great local art and entertainment, and the opportunity to socialize with friends or meet new friends, event organizer Shelly D’Orazio said.

Although it was an extremely successful event when held in prior years, the city was not ready to host the event last year following devastation from the November storm.

Read more: Ventnor Beautification Committee reinstates 'Chef's Night Out'

   

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