• MARGATE – For the fourth year in a row, the tax rate for real property in Margate will remain unchanged. The Board of Commissioners introduced its 2015 municipal budget Feb. 19 with no increase in taxes.

    The $31.5 million budget calls for a tax rate of 60.1 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the same as last year. The average homeowner with a house assessed at $516,007 will pay $3,101.20 in municipal taxes this year.

    Salaries, pensions and debt service are up slightly, but overall spending is down $124,843, according to Chief Financial Officer Lisa McLaughlin.

  • Lt. Frank CulmoneLONGPORT – At its Feb. 25 regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to support Mayor Nicholas Russo’s recommendation of Lt. Frank Culmone as the next chief of police.

    Culmone will replace Police Chief Vincent Pacentrilli, who will retire April 1 after 29 years on the police force.

    Russo said Culmone has the two most important traits for a police officer – morals and ethics.

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday, Feb. 24 cancelled its bid solicitation to build sand dunes on the beaches of Margate and Longport.

    “Today, we notified the bidders that we are cancelling the solicitation,” said Steve Rochette, public affairs officer of the Army Corps Philadelphia District.

    The Army Corps had received two extensions to finalize the contract from two bidders vying for the job. The latest deadline to award the contract was Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Downbeach Current | Longport, Margate, Ventnor

Margate native to receive award at Atlantic City’s Garden State Film Festival

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Written by Staff Reports Monday, March 17, 2014 07:24 am

Margate native Scott Neustadter will be honored at the Garden State Film Festival, which moved to Atlantic City this year from Asbury Park. Margate native Scott Neustadter will be honored at the Garden State Film Festival, which moved to Atlantic City this year from Asbury Park. ATLANTIC CITY – The Garden State Film Festival, which will locate here after being held in Asbury Park for many years, will present its 2014 Spirit of New Jersey Award to Margate native Scott Neustadter at an awards dinner being held at Trump Taj Mahal April 6.

Neustadter, who currently lives in California with his wife and child, will be on hand to accept his award. He is one-half of Hollywood’s hottest screen-writing and adapting team. With Michael H. Weber, they have proven themselves as the most versatile and sought-after writers working in film today with their witty, fresh and intelligent storytelling.

Read more: Margate native to receive award at Atlantic City’s Garden State Film Festival

 

Restaurant Gala raises $155,000 for culinary scholarships (VIDEO)

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Saturday, March 15, 2014 08:03 am

Sophia Papastamelos of Sophia’s in Margate poses with her staff Maria Erhardt, Michelle Gaagliardi and Christina Dianantes. Sophia Papastamelos of Sophia’s in Margate poses with her staff Maria Erhardt, Michelle Gaagliardi and Christina Dianantes. ATLANTIC CITY ­– Atlantic Cape Community College held its 31st annual Restaurant Gala at Bally’s Casino Hotel Thursday, March 13. The gala was attended by more than 800 friends of the Academy of Culinary Arts, which has provided the restaurant industry with quality chefs for as many years. The sumptuous offerings from 40 of the area’s best restaurants, fabulous music by FM and Don’t Call Me Francis bands and vintage carnival décor made it “The Greatest Gala on Earth.”

Read more: Restaurant Gala raises $155,000 for culinary scholarships (VIDEO)

   

Balding for a cure

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Friday, March 14, 2014 01:46 pm

James Pacanowski gets his head shaved to combat pediatric cancer. James Pacanowski gets his head shaved to combat pediatric cancer. VENTNOR – T’was a bit of the shavin’ o’ the heads at Ventnor Educational Community Complex Friday, March 14 as students, staff and a few friends celebrated St. Baldrick’s Day to combat pediatric cancer.

The entire student body of both the elementary and middle school gathered in the gym for a dodge ball tournament, pie eating contest, raffles and more. Fifth grade teacher Scott Yakita organized the event after a one-year hiatus due to Hurricane Sandy.

“My nephew was diagnosed with pediatric cancer about 17 years ago. It was because of him that I got involved,” Yakita said.

Read more: Balding for a cure

 

Margate schools seek funding for $2.2 million in capital projects

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Thursday, March 13, 2014 01:41 pm

MARGATE ­– The Board of Education is seeking funding from the municipality to complete several capital improvement projects planned for the William H. Ross Elementary School and the Eugene A. Tighe Middle School.

The state Department of Education has agreed to provide the district with funding to cover 40 percent of the $2.2 million cost of construction projects at the two schools. A grant will cover $887,834 of the total cost of the projects and local taxpayers will provide the remaining $1,331,751. The district has asked the Board of School Estimate to authorize the bond, Superintendent Theresa DeFranco said.

“Once we can show the Schools Development Authority that we have the local share, we can finalize our application and go out to bid for the projects,” DeFranco said.

Read more: Margate schools seek funding for $2.2 million in capital projects

   

Margate Police blotter, Mar. 13, 2014

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:28 am

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.

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Gallery features photographs by Ventnor’s Rand Snyderman; reception Saturday

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, March 12, 2014 02:30 pm

Colors of India by Rand Snyderman of Ventnor Colors of India by Rand Snyderman of Ventnor VENTNOR – The Holtzman Gallery is presenting its second solo exhibition featuring the photographs of local artist Rand Snyderman through April 7. A free wine and cheese reception to meet the artist behind the camera will be held 7-9 p.m. Saturday, March 15at the gallery, 5301 Atlantic Ave.

The Ventnor resident and award-winning director of commercials and corporate marketing films, has turned his attention to his original love, fine art photography.

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City to name dog park for Anne Pancoast

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Monday, March 10, 2014 11:16 am

City to name dog park for Anne Pancoast City to name dog park for Anne Pancoast MARGATE – According to Commissioner Maury Blumberg, the city’s administrator has recommended holding off on renaming the Margate Dog Park until a policy for naming public facilities after prominent citizens is adopted.

Commissioner Brenda Taube and Mayor Michael Becker support naming the dog park in honor of longtime community activist Anne Pancoast, who passed away last month.

“Administrator Richard Deaney thought that we should wait at least a year before we did this and that we should come up with a policy so that we don’t open the floodgates for requests dedicating city properties to individuals,” Blumberg said at the March 6 Board of Commissioners meeting.

Read more: City to name dog park for Anne Pancoast

 

Commission approves 2 capital improvement bonds, introduces a third

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Friday, March 07, 2014 02:53 pm

MARGATE – The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved two bond ordinances March 6 appropriating more than $4.5 million for various capital improvement projects and introduced a new bond ordinance totaling $1.67 million more for Hurricane Sandy related projects.

Chief Financial Officer Lisa McLaughlin said the new ordinance covers Sandy repairs at the old City Hall and Margate Municipal Complex at the former Union Avenue School that are already covered under one of the adopted ordinances.

McLaughlin said she recently learned that the Local Finance Board is waiving the 5 percent down payment requirement for any general capital projects related to Hurricane Sandy.

Read more: Commission approves 2 capital improvement bonds, introduces a third

   

Catering to a healthy mindset

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Thursday, March 06, 2014 10:26 am

Nicole Jacoby and her assistant, Tyler Scanny of Linwood, prepare a vegan dinner party at Jacoby’s Ventnor home. Nicole Jacoby and her assistant, Tyler Scanny of Linwood, prepare a vegan dinner party at Jacoby’s Ventnor home. VENTNOR – Nicole Jacoby became a vegetarian when she was 12 because she didn’t believe in eating animals. But since becoming enlightened to holistic healing in 2006, she wants others to learn that good nutrition without meat and dairy is not as difficult to manage as most people think.

“I always had an interest in eating well, but since attending the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in Manhattan, I took the plunge and went vegan about a year ago,” she said Feb. 25 in her Edgewater Avenue home. “I feel better than ever at age 32. I’m body clean and mind clean.”

Her diet now consists of dark leafy vegetables, whole grains, organic vegetables, fruits and berries, and a variety of seeds, nuts and other raw foods.

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LoBiondo praises House passage of flood insurance relief

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, March 05, 2014 10:00 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) March 4 praised the 306 to 91 vote in the House of Representatives on legislation that would lower premium increases mandated under the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform law for most homeowners, permanently remove the home sale rate increase trigger to provide certainty to the real estate market, and ensure greater fiscal solvency of the National Flood Insurance Program.

“The House acted tonight to remove a major financial hurdle to the tens of thousands of homeowners still rebuilding 18 months after Sandy came ashore. By no means is this legislation all that I have advocated for, however it does represent a fair and workable compromise to assist many South Jersey residents while ensuring the long-term solvency of the NFIP,” said LoBiondo. “To not act today would mean the financial devastation of countless families and communities tomorrow. I applaud my colleagues for choosing the fiscally-sound, long-term solution.”

Read more: LoBiondo praises House passage of flood insurance relief

   

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