• Michael Becker, Brenda Taube and John AmodeoMARGATE – Four candidates turned in nominating petitions by the Monday, March 9 deadline for three seats on the Board of Commissioners. The nonpartisan election will be held Tuesday, May 12.

    Mayor Michael Becker and Commissioners Maury Blumberg and Brenda Taube are all seeking re-election to four-year terms. Former Assemblyman John Amodeo is also seeking a seat on the board.

    Becker, Taube and Amodeo are running as a team.

    Blumberg is seeking his third consecutive term.

  • 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

Playground must come down, commissioners say

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Thursday, February 05, 2015 02:43 pm

The playground equipment at the rear of Borough Hall is no longer safe for children, according to the borough commissioners. The playground equipment at the rear of Borough Hall is no longer safe for children, according to the borough commissioners. LONGPORT – The playground in the park at the rear of Borough Hall could soon be a thing of the past. The Board of Commissioners said the equipment poses a potential hazard to children.

“It’s old and rusty and beyond repair, and children can get cut on it,” Commissioner Dan Lawler said.

He said that although there is no money in the budget to replace the equipment, a fundraising campaign could be launched.

The playset should be removed by the start of the summer season for liability reasons, he said.

“It would be the prudent thing to do rather than take the chance a child could get hurt,” Mayor Nicholas Russo said.

Read more: Playground must come down, commissioners say

 

Ventnor Elementary students of the month: Jan. 2015

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, February 05, 2015 12:00 am

Ventnor Elementary School Principal Carmella Somershoe recently announced the students of the month for January. The theme was tolerance. The students are, first grade: Jack Shelly, Jesmary Santos, Kayla Barrie, Jeremiah Gates and Damian Montes-Ramirez; second grade: Merrin McGeown, Aliviana Connoly, Jonathan Almodovar, Arden Hazlett and Alexis Marenco; third grade: Ashley Gallardo, Gracie Clark, Jack Chen and Marcell Snow; and fourth grade: Colin Roselle, Chase Calhoun, Ckassandra Fuentes, Jae Crump and Alex Balderas. Ventnor Elementary School Principal Carmella Somershoe recently announced the students of the month for January. The theme was tolerance. The students are, first grade: Jack Shelly, Jesmary Santos, Kayla Barrie, Jeremiah Gates and Damian Montes-Ramirez; second grade: Merrin McGeown, Aliviana Connoly, Jonathan Almodovar, Arden Hazlett and Alexis Marenco; third grade: Ashley Gallardo, Gracie Clark, Jack Chen and Marcell Snow; and fourth grade: Colin Roselle, Chase Calhoun, Ckassandra Fuentes, Jae Crump and Alex Balderas. Ventnor Elementary School Principal Carmella Somershoe recently announced the students of the month for January. The theme was tolerance. The students are, first grade: Jack Shelly, Jesmary Santos, Kayla Barrie, Jeremiah Gates and Damian Montes-Ramirez; second grade: Merrin McGeown, Aliviana Connoly, Jonathan Almodovar, Arden Hazlett and Alexis Marenco; third grade: Ashley Gallardo, Gracie Clark, Jack Chen and Marcell Snow; and fourth grade: Colin Roselle, Chase Calhoun, Ckassandra Fuentes, Jae Crump and Alex Balderas.

   

Army Corps gets extension to award contract for Margate-Longport dunes project

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Wednesday, February 04, 2015 12:08 pm

MARGATE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has obtained a second extension of the deadline to award a contract to build sand dunes in Margate and Longport.

According to Edward C. Voight, chief of Public and Legislative Affairs for the Philadelphia office of the Army Corps of Engineers, the bidders have agreed to extend their bid offerings for one month. The new deadline is Feb. 25.

Additionally, The Downbeach Current has learned that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has not filed eminent domain proceedings in state court to obtain the easements needed to build sand dunes in Margate.

Read more: Army Corps gets extension to award contract for Margate-Longport dunes project

 

Longport board schedules special meeting

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, February 04, 2015 12:04 pm

Commission reschedules Feburary meeting

The Longport Board of Commissioners scheduled a special meeting 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 at Borough Hall to appoint a new certified tax collector. Other agenda items include approval of a temporary emergency appropriation and disposal of surplus equipment.

The Feb. 18 commission meeting has been rescheduled to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25 at Borough Hall. 

   

Middle school students learn about careers

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Tuesday, February 03, 2015 01:54 pm

Jared Kirschenbaum, a funeral director at Adams Perfect Funeral Home in Northfield, shows students an urn for the ashes of a deceased person. Jared Kirschenbaum, a funeral director at Adams Perfect Funeral Home in Northfield, shows students an urn for the ashes of a deceased person. VENTNOR – Career day used to mean mom or dad went to school to share what they did at work with their child’s classmates. Not anymore. Today, people from a myriad of careers speak with students round-robin style, reaching every middle school classroom in a span of 90 minutes.

The Ventnor Middle School Career Day program was coordinated by guidance counselor Jennifer Holmstrom to give students a cross-section of careers they might want to pursue in college.

Read more: Middle school students learn about careers

 

US Army Corps of Engineers releases new coastal study

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Tuesday, February 03, 2015 01:41 pm

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jan. 28 released a public report on a two-year study addressing coastal storms and flood risks in the North Atlantic region, which includes New Jersey. The study was authorized by Congress following hurricane Sandy and funded with $20 million from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.

The North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study was a collaboration between federal, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and academia to assess flood risks for coastal communities. The report is designed to develop a coastal storm risk management framework that can help to identify strategies to reduce those risks.

Read more: US Army Corps of Engineers releases new coastal study

   

Hoops for All gives disabled players an assist

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Written by SUZANNE MARINO Tuesday, February 03, 2015 12:00 am

Ashley Kaspar of Mays Landing comes off the court at the Hoops for All basketball game and gives a big high five to volunteer Avery Wythe of Port Republic. Ashley Kaspar of Mays Landing comes off the court at the Hoops for All basketball game and gives a big high five to volunteer Avery Wythe of Port Republic. MARGATE – St. Joe’s was battling Temple in one gym at the Eugene A. Tighe School on Sunday, while Syracuse took on Notre Dame in the other. Both games were part of the Hoops for All adaptive basketball league for children with cognitive and developmental disabilities.

Wheelchairs and walkers are a common sight at these games, and while the players may not hit every shot or ever make a fast break, they play with heart and grit. 

Read more: Hoops for All gives disabled players an assist

 

Residents escape morning fire in Ventnor

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Monday, February 02, 2015 11:46 am

VENTNOR – Three residents were able to escape a fire at their North Martindale Avenue home Monday morning. According to Chief John Hazlett, they were lucky to get out alive because their smoke detectors were not working.

Firefighters of 4th Platoon, led by Deputy Chief Tom O’Brien and Capt. Joseph Deibert, responded to the call of a fire at 6:40 a.m. Monday, Feb. 2. The occupants woke up to the smell of smoke and one of them called 911. All were able to evacuate and there were no injuries, Hazlett said.

Read more: Residents escape morning fire in Ventnor

   

Fire damages Lancaster Avenue home

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Friday, January 30, 2015 02:55 pm

Fire destroyed a home at 118 Lancaster Ave., Friday, Jan. 30. Fire destroyed a home at 118 Lancaster Ave., Friday, Jan. 30.

MARGATE – An early morning fire engulfed a two-story, single-family home on Lancaster Avenue Friday, Jan. 30 but no one was home at the time, and there were no injuries.

A neighbor reported the fire after seeing flames coming from the back of the Cape Cod-style house at 118 N. Lancaster Ave., according to Fire Chief Anthony Tabasso. 

 

Read more: Fire damages Lancaster Avenue home

 

High school civics students recommend ways to improve their world

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Written by Nanette LoBiondo Galloway Thursday, January 29, 2015 05:04 pm

C.J. Kramer and Joseph Zee show their presentation board about establishing a community center in Atlantic City C.J. Kramer and Joseph Zee show their presentation board about establishing a community center in Atlantic City ATLANTIC CITY – Sophomores presented civic projects science-fair style at Atlantic City High School’s second annual civics fair Thursday, Jan. 29, called “Project Citizen.”

More than just a class project, some of the students are serious about their efforts to make improvements in their school and community.

The program is designed to educate students about public policy and empower them to develop solutions to some of the problems facing their own communities, which could include the school or the community at large.

Read more: High school civics students recommend ways to improve their world

   

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