• Gov. Chris Christie holds a press conference to announce the activation of a statewide Ebola preparedness plan at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack Wednesday, Oct. 22. Administration officials, state agencies and departments will work in a coordinated manner to ensure the health and safety of New Jersey residents is protected and to execute on decisions in an efficient and effective manner. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

    Gov. Chris Christie signed Executive Order 164 on Oct. 22, creating the Ebola Virus Disease Joint Response Team to implement the state’s Ebola preparedness plan. The plan covers airport travel, public transportation, schools and universities, and hospitals.

  • Incumbents Joseph S. Clark Jr. and Cecilia Gallelli-Keyes are running for re-election with newcomers Michael Allan James and Dale F. Braun Jr. also seeking seats.

    OCEAN CITY — Four candidates are hoping to fill the three open seats on the Ocean City Board of Education in the Nov. 4 general election.

    Incumbents Joseph S. Clark Jr. and Cecilia Gallelli-Keyes are running for re-election with newcomers Dale F. Braun Jr. and Michael Allan James also seeking seats. Incumbent Tiffany Prettyman will not run for re-election.

  • Ocean City Halloween events 2014

    Ocean City Theatre Co. presents Halloween costume party

    The Greater Ocean City Theatre Company will host a spooktacular evening of fun at this year’s “Black and Orange” Halloween Costume Party 7-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 at the Ocean City Yacht Club, 100 Bay Road in Ocean City.

  • 
Kevin Gill, holding a proclamation, is honored by Upper Township Committee members (from left) John Coggins, Hobie Young, Richard Palombo, Anthony Inserra and Ed Barr.
PETERSBURG – Upper Township Committee last week honored Kevin Gill for winning the ocean swim event at the South Jersey Lifeguarding Championships this summer.

    Gill, 17, also helped the Upper Township Beach Patrol finish second overall at the Cape May County Championships by winning two events. He won the swimming events at the Beschen-Callahan Memorial Lifeguard Races, the Dutch Hoffman Memorial Lifeguard Championships and Margate Memorials.

  • TRENTON – The state Senate Judiciary Committee unexpectedly put a hold on two of Gov. Chris Christie’s nominees to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission last week.

    Committee chair Sen. Nicholas Scutari said at the beginning of the meeting on Thursday, Oct. 16 that he expected to have a vote on the nominees following their testimony and comments from members of the public. But after testimony from New Hanover Mayor Dennis Roohr and Robert Barr of Ocean City he adjourned the hearing.

  • OCEAN CITY —When he took a seat at the board table at a Wednesday, Oct. 15 meeting of the Ocean City Board of Education, Carl Tripician made history.

    Tripician, of Longport, was representing the Longport School District, the result of a sending-receiving relationship established between the two districts this year. While permitted to participate in board discussion, the Longport representative will not be permitted to vote.

  • Members of the Trail of Two Cities Committee visit the Ocean City Welcome Center overlooking the Route 52 causeway between the two cities where the event will be held on Nov. 1. Displaying Trail of Two Cities T-shirts are Sydney Somers and Peg Meidel of Somers Point and Mark Soifer, Karen Pratz and Wendy Moyle representing Ocean City.

    Trail of Two Cities Nov. 1

    The 25th annual Trail of Two Cities 5K Run/Walk over the causeway between Ocean City and Somers Point is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. The event begins at the Ocean City Transportation Center, Ninth Street and Haven Avenue in Ocean City, and ends at JFK Park in Somers Point.

Shore Clean Car Wash celebrates new expansion

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Chuck Baker and his son, Brandon, at Shore Clean Car Wash in Marmora. Chuck Baker and his son, Brandon, at Shore Clean Car Wash in Marmora.

MARMORA – Chuck Baker recently celebrated the expansion of his Shore Clean Car Wash in Marmora, but that he expanded at all is nothing short of a miracle, he said.

That’s because little more than a year ago Baker was not expected to live. He contracted swine flu, complicated by pneumonia. When he went into septic shock, doctors gave him a three percent chance to live.

“I spent 190 days in the hospital,” he said. “Only because of experimental medicine did I survive. I battled back to build this place. Thank God I am here. I guess God has a plan for me.”

Baker and his wife Regina opened Shore Clean Car Wash 16 years ago. It was Upper Township’s first car wash and detail center. Building on success, the couple opened “Shore Clean Express” last week. With the debut of the Valvoline lube and oil service, Baker said customers have a one-stop option for car maintenance.

“There’s nothing like it here, in Upper Township or Ocean City,” he said.

Baker replaced three enclosed hand-wash bays with an in-and-out, 20 minutes no-appointment necessary “express” oil change area.

“It’s like an oil change center, you top off your fluids and you get a free car wash and vacuum,” he said. “I look at it as filling a necessity.”

Opening in a bad economy may be risky, but Baker said saw an upside for his business. People are not trading vehicles in, he said, and they’re not buying new cars as often.

“They’re taking care of the car they have and driving it a lot longer,” he said. “You have to keep your car going, so you have to take good care of it. That’s what we do here, offer preventative maintenance, all in one location. We help make the car last a little longer.”

Baker, who resides in Ocean City, is a graduate of Frankford High School in Philadelphia. He spent his summers in Ocean City growing up. When he was 16, he was hired as a ride operator at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier.

After graduation, he continued working at the Pier and worked for an asphalt company on the side. Before long he was managing the various concession areas.

“I can’t say enough about the Gillian family, they helped me get where I am,” he said.

In the mid-1990’s the Gillian family attempted to open a go-cart park on the land where Baker’s business is now situated. Upper Township placed roadblocks to developing the land for amusement purposes, so the Gillian family sold the land to Baker.

“I worked for the Gillian’s for 13 years, and I had a desire to go out on my own, to build a car wash and they provided the opportunity to take off,” he said.

Howard Stainton gave Roy Gillian an opportunity to build Wonderland. Baker said the Gillians in turn did the same for him.

“Jay Gillian is my buddy, he’s like a brother to me,” he said. “Last year I went back and helped him on the Boardwalk at night. I missed it. If he needs help, I’ll be there.

Baker is used to hard work. From April through October he worked from 7 a.m. when he opened the concession stands until after midnight when everything closed up.

“I got six hours of sleep,” he said. “All I know is hard work and family. I’m a street-smart kind of guy.”

Regina works as a respiratory therapist at Shore Memorial Hospital and Atlantic Care while he runs the family business. Baker employs a total of ten people in his business.

“I try to do what someone did for me,” he said. “When I expanded I was able to hire four more people. I gave unemployed people a chance to work and that’s exciting for me. I hope to continue to expand and hire more people.”

Baker said his employees know he expects them to work hard.

“We are a professional detail center, we wash your car twice at the car wash,” he said. “We prep it by hand and then send it through the wash.”

The Valvoline side, he said, is no less precise. Sandy Tisi stopped in Monday morning to check it out.

“I couldn’t be happier,” she said. “I brought my car into the car wash several times and they did things and didn’t charge me. Little things, but that made a difference to me. They always did a great job so I figured why not try the oil change? Chuck’s an honest guy, I trust them.”

The Baker’s have two sons, Brandon, 11, and Cody, 8. Brandon spends the day with his father working. On a recent visit, he was making out the schedule.

“He loves this business,” said Baker, adding that Brandon encouraged him to take his birthday and Father’s Day off. “He said he’d fill in for me. The guys were great with him. He was proud as a peacock. He’s the man, that’s for sure.”

When Baker was sick last year, Brandon filled in by necessity.

“He ran the car wash,” said Baker. “He was counting the number of tire dressings, an extra in the car wash, that the guys were doing. One day they only had 11 and he told them they should be doing about 20. He said ‘my dad wouldn’t like that, you need to sell it more.’”

Baker said he is thrilled with the response to the expansion.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” said Baker. “I’m the kind of a guy who loves to work and stay busy. It’s great to be able to do that and at the same time employ people and provide a valuable service to the community.”

The expanded Shore Clean Express opened last week. The expanded Shore Clean Express opened last week.


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