• Sen. Jim Whelan joins volunteers who showed up last year to clean the beach in Atlantic City. Volunteers will turn out en masse Saturday to be part of the solution to ocean pollution. Beach sweeps will be held in shore communities up and down the New Jersey coastline on Saturday, April 26.

    Volunteers in Downbeach communities will canvass the beaches to pick up trash and debris to get them ready for summer visitors.

    Organizations and families are encouraged to participate in the statewide event to keep beaches clean and safe and protect New Jersey’s coastal environment.

  • The Ventnor Fishing Pier opens on Monday, April 28 with new membership fees for the 2014 season.

    Memberships are now available on a seasonal, weekly and daily basis with new fees and fines for violating the Ventnor City Recreation Board’s rules and regulations.

    The Board of Commissioners approved the amended ordinance at its April 17 meeting. The commission added a new weekly fee schedule in addition to last year’s seasonal and daily rate schedule.

  • 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.

Downbeach Current | Longport, Margate, Ventnor

Throwdown for a cause to take place in Ventnor

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Written by SHAUN SMITH Sunday, March 17, 2013 01:00 am

Ventnor native Anthony Graves will appear at the “From the Ashes” wrestling event Saturday, March 23 at the Ventnor Educational Community Complex. Ventnor native Anthony Graves will appear at the “From the Ashes” wrestling event Saturday, March 23 at the Ventnor Educational Community Complex.

VENTNOR – Whatcha gonna do brother, when professional wrestling comes to a venue near you?

No, it’s not Hulk Hogan. The Bodyslam Wrestling Organization will present a full card of professional wrestling to benefit Ventnor City Policeman’s Benevolent Association Local 97 Saturday, March 23 at the Ventnor Educational Community Complex.

Read more: Throwdown for a cause to take place in Ventnor

 

Margate seniors celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Irish way

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Written by SHAUN SMITH Sunday, March 17, 2013 01:00 am

Joe McGonigal of Mays Landing, playing guitar on far right, leads the South Jersey Ceili Band. From left are James Gillion of Ocean City on the tin whistle and bodhran, Tim Johnson of Ventnor on fiddle, Roberta Beckler of Absecon playing flute and accordionists  Michael Garvin of Longport, Dorothy Sutherland of Dennisville and Jean MacNaughton of Petersburg.  Joe McGonigal of Mays Landing, playing guitar on far right, leads the South Jersey Ceili Band. From left are James Gillion of Ocean City on the tin whistle and bodhran, Tim Johnson of Ventnor on fiddle, Roberta Beckler of Absecon playing flute and accordionists Michael Garvin of Longport, Dorothy Sutherland of Dennisville and Jean MacNaughton of Petersburg.

MARGATE – Everyone joined in the wearing o’ the green here Monday afternoon, March 11 when the Martin Bloom Community Pavilion hosted a St. Patrick’s Day party for senior citizens complete with Irish music and fare.

Program coordinators Marianne Christian and Bill Walsh were busy cooking up an authentic Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage with soda bread, while volunteers served the meal.

Read more: Margate seniors celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Irish way

   

Ventnor recognizes students of the month

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Written by SHAUN SMITH Saturday, March 16, 2013 01:00 am

Ventnor Elementary School Principal Eileen Johnson congratulates February students of the month. Ventnor Elementary School Principal Eileen Johnson congratulates February students of the month.

Ventnor Elementary School recognized its February students of the month for best displaying the character trait of fairness.

Read more: Ventnor recognizes students of the month

 

Flynns to perform in Margate

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Written by SHAUN SMITH Friday, March 15, 2013 01:00 am

The Flynns from left are Tom Flynn of Margate, guitar and vocals; Glenn Carey of Egg Harbor Township, bass; Tom Flynn Sr. of Margate, bandleader emeritus; Pete McLaughlin of Margate, mandolin; Dan Walsh of Margate, lead vocals; Fred Hair of Galloway, fiddle; and Tom Flynn III of Margate, banjo. The Flynns from left are Tom Flynn of Margate, guitar and vocals; Glenn Carey of Egg Harbor Township, bass; Tom Flynn Sr. of Margate, bandleader emeritus; Pete McLaughlin of Margate, mandolin; Dan Walsh of Margate, lead vocals; Fred Hair of Galloway, fiddle; and Tom Flynn III of Margate, banjo.

The Margate-based Irish band the Flynns will perform twice over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. On the day of the Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saturday, March 16, they will perform 6-10 p.m. at the Margate Log Cabin, 600 Jerome Ave., after the Baloney Brothers, who play 3-5 p.m. Saturday is one of the few days each year the private social club opens its doors to the public. See www.margatelogcabin.com.

Read more: Flynns to perform in Margate

   

Margate officials discuss plans for former City Hall

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Written by SHAUN SMITH Wednesday, March 13, 2013 02:51 pm

Possibilities include moving historical society into Union Ave.

MARGATE – Now that the city has accepted the deed to the Union Avenue School, officials are discussing what to do with City Hall, which is undergoing mold remediation.

The city commissioners tossed out a few ideas during their workshop session Thursday, March 14.

Read more: Margate officials discuss plans for former City Hall

 

Downbeach Police Blotter – Released March 13, 2013

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Written by SHAUN SMITH Wednesday, March 13, 2013 02:41 pm

Ventnor police Ventnor police

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

Read more: Downbeach Police Blotter – Released March 13, 2013

   

Guild keeps on knittin’ those mittens

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Written by SHAUN SMITH Wednesday, March 13, 2013 02:26 pm

In back, from left are Liv Dietrich of Margate, Chris Eichinger of Somers Point, Fran Baronowitz of Ventnor, Rhonda Morgenstern of Northfield, Anita Lamey of Somers Point and Beth Apter of Brigantine. In front row Bev Bromley of Atlantic City Elizabeth Slater of Ventnor, Ellen Sekel of Galloway and Katharina Grande of Margate, and in the foreground is Juliette Loftus of Margate. In back, from left are Liv Dietrich of Margate, Chris Eichinger of Somers Point, Fran Baronowitz of Ventnor, Rhonda Morgenstern of Northfield, Anita Lamey of Somers Point and Beth Apter of Brigantine. In front row Bev Bromley of Atlantic City Elizabeth Slater of Ventnor, Ellen Sekel of Galloway and Katharina Grande of Margate, and in the foreground is Juliette Loftus of Margate.

VENTNOR – Members of the Jersey Shore Knitters Guild made nearly 200 hats, mittens and scarves for area youth during their annual knitathon. The group had 35 women knitting Saturday, March 9 at the Ventnor Library and Cultural Art Center.

The items were donated to Ventnor Elementary School, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Atlantic City Head Start and elementary schools in Atlantic City.

Read more: Guild keeps on knittin’ those mittens

 

New superintendent says it’s time for Ventnor schools to blossom

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Written by SHAUN SMITH Monday, March 11, 2013 04:11 pm

Eileen Johnson, center, is welcomed as the superintendent of schools. Pictured from left are elementary school secretary Vicki Cahill, security officer Lisa Petullo, Johnson, school board member Capt. Doug Biagi and residency officer Barbara Goldberg. Eileen Johnson, center, is welcomed as the superintendent of schools. Pictured from left are elementary school secretary Vicki Cahill, security officer Lisa Petullo, Johnson, school board member Capt. Doug Biagi and residency officer Barbara Goldberg.

VENTNOR – Eileen Johnson's office smells like flowers. That is how the school community welcomed her as the new school district superintendent on her first full week at the job.

"They wanted to wish me well. It's a very good feeling, "Johnson said Friday, March 8.

Read more: New superintendent says it’s time for Ventnor schools to blossom

   

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