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Small Wonder

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Written by Christie Rotondo Thursday, August 02, 2012 04:47 pm

Artist Autumn de Forest, 10, is being called a child prodigy. She opens her first solo exhibition this weekend at Ocean Galleries

When Doug de Forest first noticed his daughter’s artistic talent, he wanted to capture it, like “lightning in a bottle.”

At the time, Autumn was 5 years old. He was working in the garage when she came up to him and asked if she could try painting something “for fun.”

He handed her a brush, some stain and a piece of plywood.

When he looked back a little while later, she had created a masterpiece, he said.

Autumn remembers the day, too.

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One Kook's Safari > A day at the beach, and much more

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Written by Bill Barlow Friday, July 27, 2012 06:24 pm

One Kook's Safari > A day at the beach, and much more

Brendan Borek’s high school class, Wildwood Catholic 1992, just held its 20th reunion.

We can only guess what Brendan would have done for his 40th birthday this year.

Maybe he would have wanted a beach party, like his last birthday 22 years ago. But at this point, he could have been anywhere in the world, doing almost anything.

It’s a safe bet he would be surrounded by friends. I never met Brendan, never saw him surf, but I have talked to people who did, and they describe a great kid with a boundless appetite for life.

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Beachcombing tours bring people out of their shell

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Written by Christie Rotondo Friday, July 27, 2012 04:50 pm

Isaiah Rosario, 5, holds up a shell that he found on a guided beachcombing tour in Sea Isle City. Isaiah Rosario, 5, holds up a shell that he found on a guided beachcombing tour in Sea Isle City.  You never know what might turn up on the beach – a lost ring, a piece of sea glass, or a natural treasure such as a starfish.

At Sea Isle City’s beachcombing tours, participants can collect and take home souvenirs of the area’s ecosystem.

The tours are now entering their 23rd season and are sponsored by the Sea Isle City Environmental Commission. They run 10-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 28, Tuesdays at 29th Street and the Promenade, and Thursdays at the 94th Street beach. The beachcombing tour costs $1, a tradition that dates to its inception.

Before going off to search the beach for shells, plants, exoskeletons and other natural treasures, beachcombers learn about the various types of plant and animal life that can be found at the beach. Volunteer tour guides, working with groups of about 25 children and adults, provide information on everything from starfish to seagulls.

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Lifeguard Profile > Quick-changing currents make the inlet a tough spot to guard

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, July 27, 2012 03:20 pm

Mark Gose Mark Gose

Mark Gose practically grew up on North Wildwood’s beach.

With his father serving as a part-time medic for the North Wildwood Beach Patrol, Gose started coming to the beach at age 4 and was constantly around the lifeguards.

“That’s what made being on the beach very natural to me,” he said.

He participated in the patrol’s junior lifeguard program, got to know nearly all of the senior lifeguards on the beach and even learned many of the ins and outs of being a lifeguard.

So it’s not surprising that Gose became a lifeguard himself once he got to the proper age.

“I used to come to work with my dad when he’d come in on the weekends,” Gose said. “When I was 4 or 5 years old I started coming down regularly. I definitely realized back then that I wanted to be a lifeguard.”

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With fish bite slow, crabbing provides most of the action

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Written by Heather Holtzapfel James Friday, July 27, 2012 03:00 pm

Eliza Burget, 8, of Lansdale, Pa., hefts her 19 1/2-inch flounder weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere. Eliza Burget, 8, of Lansdale, Pa., hefts her 19 1/2-inch flounder weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere. Bill and Bob Kingston of Philadelphia collect seven keepers to 4 pounds, 1 ounce, weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere Bill and Bob Kingston of Philadelphia collect seven keepers to 4 pounds, 1 ounce, weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere

Mixed reports came in this past week in regards to back bay fishing. Some marinas are reporting an improvement, while others are saying the bite has been slow. Offshore reports are all saying the action dropped off immensely.

While fishing can be unpredictable at times this time of the summer, crabbing is providing most of the action.

Frank Jankowski of Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere said crabbing is best either during the incoming or outgoing tide. While some people find success with chicken legs, Jankowski said bunker is essential. He said is it an oily fish, and as the slick is taken out with the current, it will attract the crabs. Just as long as the current is moving, the crabs will bite. Crabs tend not to bite when the current is at a standstill.

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Boaters must be their own best lifeguard

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, July 27, 2012 02:05 pm

Never dive head-first into a body of water before confirming the water depth. Never dive head-first into a body of water before confirming the water depth.

Seven safety tips for swimming while boating

Boating and swimming go hand in hand, but unlike a public pool or beach, boaters can’t count on a lifeguard to watch over them. As this summer’s sweltering heat drives more boaters to dive into the deep blue, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety offers these seven swimming tips:

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Beach Reads > July 28, 2012

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Written by Marjorie Preston Friday, July 27, 2012 01:00 am

Niceville by Carsten Stroud (Knopf). Almost 180 people have disappeared in the Southern town of Niceville since the late 1920s. Given that grim statistic, most residents would up and vamoose, but noooo. The latest to go missing is a young boy named Rainey Teague, who vanishes near a book store in the fraction of a second between two frames of surveillance video. That incident introduces investigator Nick Kavanagh and his wife, Kate, and sets up the complex structure of this Gothic thriller, which is part crime novel, part supernatural thriller. Don’t expect the book to follow any kind of orderly trajectory. It becomes a frankly confusing web of bizarre and occasionally violent episodes – there’s a bank robbery and a massacre of cops and reporters, along with some nonsense about a haunted mirror, along with so many plots and subplots that one can admire the marvelous writing while never becoming fully engaged with the characters. They appear onstage for a chapter or two, then bow out to give way to even more supporting players. Stick with Stroud and you’ll be rewarded with a satisfying end – but you have to be patient to get there. “Niceville” is the first novel in a trilogy, which may explain the excessive exposition. No novel should require a spread sheet to keep track of the story.

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Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes

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Written by Christie Rotondo Saturday, July 21, 2012 04:43 pm

Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes

Wildwood’s got a case of the blues this summer.

Reed Waddle, a contemporary singer-songwriter with a bluesy-rock sound, will be playing 9 p.m. Sunday nights at the Oceanic Hotel in Wildwood through Labor Day.

“My music is pretty mellow, so in some places I would not be the ideal fit, but the people here seem to enjoy it,” the singer said Thursday in a telephone interview.

Waddle is a native of Destin, Fla., who has romped through Boston and New York City, winning the grand prize at the New YorkSongwriters Circle. He was a finalist in the American Idol Songwriter Competition, and in June he took home the grand prize at the troubadour competition at 39th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado.

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One Kook's Safari > If you can’t catch a wave, capture the moment

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Written by Bill Barlow Friday, July 20, 2012 04:45 pm

There were some waves out there this week.

In true kook style, I'm writing this with a headache after getting knocked by my board Thursday morning. I tried to duck a wave, and I naturally assumed the board washed behind me. Instead, it was waiting for my head to come up to give me a polite, whitewater-powered tap.

There were also some good rides to be had, and I suspect they only improved as the tide changed. The hot spots looked packed, and the sets seemed about stomach high, maybe a couple coming in bigger. When I actually managed to catch a wave, it was a nice, long, smooth ride.

Several forecasts are calling for the swell to build this weekend, but it looks like it might be a lot messier as well.

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Fluke action moving from bay to ocean

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Written by Heather Holtzapfel James Friday, July 20, 2012 04:26 pm

Chase Colson of Cumming Ga. caught this flounder and several more from the Old Grounds. Chase Colson of Cumming Ga. caught this flounder and several more from the Old Grounds.

Connor Colson vacationing from Cumming, Ga. was able to net several flounder, bluefish and two black sea bass at the Old Grounds. Connor Colson vacationing from Cumming, Ga. was able to net several flounder, bluefish and two black sea bass at the Old Grounds.

Seasonal fishing is beginning to settle into the back bays, inlets and reefs. What started out to be a great flounder season in the back bays is now shifting to the ocean reefs and wrecks and Delaware Bay's Old Grounds. As we enter into the last couple of weeks of July anglers are still catching flounder in the back but the keepers are few and far between as the fish continue to move out into the ocean.

Tautog season will kick back in Friday, July 27 with a one fish limit at 15 inches. These fish are already beginning to hit the lines but anglers must release the fish until the season opens back up.

The weakfish continue to be caught and in good numbers. Tom Christ of Brennan Marine Supply in Somers Point reported that Bob Whiteside and party of Linwood ventured to the Great Egg Inlet and the Ocean City Reef and came back to the dock with a 16-inch weakfish as well as four keeper flounder. They were using a minnow, squid, and Gulps combo.

Angler Rick Rosenthal and party fished aboard Cashmere and bagged five keeper flounder ranging from 20-22 inches. They were at the southern end of the Ocean City Reef.

Frank Jankowski of Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere said the flounder are still being caught in his area but the finding a keeper is the challenge. He said being in the right spot at the right time is key. At least one keeper flounder was brought back to the dock every day this past week ranging from 17 1/2 to 22 inches. The bait proven much success at Frank's Boat Rentals has been minnows with a strip of squid above the minnow.

The biggest flounder brought in at Frank's was a 22-inch landed by Scot and Billy Pfeiffer of Abington, Pa., along with a nice 20-inch second keeper.

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Lifeguard Profile > Second time around is even better for Diamond Beach lifeguard

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, July 17, 2012 05:10 pm

Lifeguard Tom Popdan Lifeguard Tom Popdan

 Lifeguard Tom Popdan said he felt a strong sense of accomplishment when he swam around Five Mile Island as a 20-year-old back in 1980.

So imagine how he feels now after doing it again at 52.

Popdan, who guards the private beach at the Diamond Beach Club just south of Wildwood Crest, accomplished the feat earlier this month. He began his journey at the 15th Avenue beach in North Wildwood and swam around the entire island, through two inlets, the back bay and past the entire beachfront.

He even shaved significant time off his first effort, completing the journey in 7 hours, 59 minutes. It took him almost 10 hours to finish in 1980.

“It was one of those ‘If I knew then what I know now’ type of things,” Popdan said. “Looking back, I really didn’t know anything about the ocean at all back then when I did it the first time.”

Popdan is a longtime beach lifeguard in the area. Except for a couple of summers he missed due to other commitments, he worked in Wildwood Crest from 1977 through 1994, before doing a 10-year stint as a lifeguard in Stone Harbor. He has been serving in Diamond Beach each summer since 2004.

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One Kook's Safari > The rides wouldn’t be the same without the wait

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Written by Bill Barlow Friday, July 13, 2012 06:27 pm

A longboarder takes a look at the break after walking back up from a strong southern drift Thursday morning. A stellar forecast for the morning meant a lot of people traveled to hit the waves. A longboarder takes a look at the break after walking back up from a strong southern drift Thursday morning. A stellar forecast for the morning meant a lot of people traveled to hit the waves.

Surfing mostly consists of waiting.

That’s not the whole story, of course. There is also looking for waves, lugging your board around, paddling out; once in a while you even catch a ride.

On a good day, in an hour’s session, you might get several rides of maybe 10 seconds each. A 30-second ride is epic.

And people say not much happens in baseball.

Surf magazines, movies, even local columns often give the impression that surfing is mostly made up of time gliding on a wave or getting air above one. The occasional tedium of surf travel is romanticized, but once you hit the water, the image is of nonstop action.

Compare it to a football fan watching only the highlight reel.

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Here’s a treat that beats the heat > Invisible Cookie Dough Ice Pops

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, July 13, 2012 04:54 pm

In the summer, especially during weather like the recent heat waves, turning on the oven to bake a cake is one of the last things many people want to do.

So what is a dessert-loving family to do?

Lindsay Landis, author of a new book, “The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook,” says there is no need for an oven to create crowd-pleasing summer treats; all that is needed is a little ingenuity.

“On hot days, my mind usually turns to frozen treats such as popsicles or sorbet; for something a bit more elegant I'll whip up a chocolate ganache tart with cookie crust,” she said.

Landis has created more than 50 recipes using egg-free cookie dough that is safe to eat raw.

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Cinemania > ‘Ted’: a decent idea gone unbearably wrong

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Written by Joe Bell Friday, July 13, 2012 04:46 pm

ted

“Ted” is the latest in a long line of comedies about a man stuck in a state of arrested development who needs to grow up. In this case, the difference is the addition of a talking CGI teddy bear. It’s the directorial debut of Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the hit series “Family Guy.”

While this R-rated comedy is allowed to go further than his TV show ever could, the tone of the humor is fairly similar. But the occasional clever moment is surrounded by laziness and an endless number of pop-culture references disguised as jokes.

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Service with a Smile in OC- Jul. 13, 2012

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, July 13, 2012 04:31 pm

Shannon Belden, Matthew Maas, Sara Bruesehoff, and Jess Cowden of the Ocean City Free Public Library in Ocean City. Shannon Belden, Matthew Maas, Sara Bruesehoff, and Jess Cowden of the Ocean City Free Public Library in Ocean City.

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