Council Approves Ordinance to Repair Damaged Downtown Sidewalks

first_imgBy Donald WittkowskiSome 20 years ago, Ocean City decided to enhance the appearance of the downtown shopping district by dressing up the sidewalks with decorative redbrick pavers and small metal grates for shade trees.But what was thought of as a good idea then has come back to haunt the city. Over the years, those redbrick pavers and tree grates have caused the sidewalks to shift, settle and sink. That, in turn, has created a tripping hazard resulting in slip-and-fall lawsuits being filed against the city.Hoping to make the sidewalks both safer and more attractive, the seven-member City Council unanimously approved a new ordinance Thursday night to remove the pavers and tree grates and repair the damaged sidewalks.“Over time, these pavers and tree grates, or some of them, have shifted or settled, and may, at times, provide an uneven surface, which can be difficult for strollers, wheelchairs and persons using canes, walkers and crutches to easily traverse,” the ordinance says.Some sections of sidewalk in the downtown area are badly cracked or uneven.The main areas targeted for an overhaul are the sidewalks on the Asbury Avenue shopping corridor between Fifth and 14th streets. Also slated for a makeover are sidewalks on Eighth Street from West Avenue to the Boardwalk, Ninth Street from the bridge to the Boardwalk and 10th Street from West Avenue to the Boardwalk.The pavers and tree grates were required about 20 years ago in “bygone ordinances,” before the city’s existing streetscaping standards were put in place. Unintentionally, those old ordinances resulted in a patchwork of designs and decorative touches in the sidewalks throughout the downtown area.City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson told City Council the damaged sidewalks will be repaired with a fresh coat of concrete that will give the downtown district a uniform look. A newly built stretch of concrete sidewalk on Asbury Avenue in front of City Hall will serve as a model.A newly built stretch of concrete sidewalk on Asbury Avenue in front of City Hall will serve as a model for the rest of downtown.Although the city will rebuild damaged sections of the sidewalks, the onus for maintaining the sidewalks in good shape will continue to fall on the business owners, McCrosson said in an interview after the Council meeting. As has been the case in years past, the business owners are required to maintain the sidewalks in front of their stores, she noted.In another vote Thursday, Council unanimously approved a new ordinance that requires homeowners to install smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers, if they rent out rooms.The measure responds to an emerging trend in room rentals at private homes through lodging websites such as Airbnb. With homeowners now able to easily rent out rooms using online providers, the city wants to make sure the proper safety codes are met.“The whole thrust of this (ordinance) is the safety of rental units,” McCrosson said.Under the proposed ordinance, homeowners would be required to have a mercantile license before renting any single- or two-family home. The fee for the license would be $30, plus a $145 Ocean City Tourism Commission fee. There must also be an inspection for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers in the home.City Council also approved a new ordinance that requires private homeowners to follow safety requirements such as installing smoke detectors when they rent out rooms.The Ocean City, N.J., Hospitality Association, a trade group representing the local lodging industry, worked with Council on the ordinance. Karen Morella, the hospitality association’s secretary, said it is important that homeowners who rent rooms to the public fall under the same stringent safety standards and inspections as the rest of the lodging industry.“They are doing the same type of business as we are doing,” Morella said.Morella, appearing on behalf of the hospitality association at the Council meeting, thanked the governing body for approving the ordinance. The association represents the hotels, motels, B&Bs and guest houses in town.In an interview after the meeting, Morella said the ordinance is “the start of the leveling of the playing field” between the homeowners and the lodging industry. Although the private homeowners must now follow tougher safety standards, Morella said they are not yet up to the same rigorous standards as other lodging establishments.In other business, two Ocean City High School teams that captured South Jersey championships this season were honored in City Council resolutions.The Red Raiders girls basketball team won a school-record 30 games while advancing all the way to the state title game, dropping a nail biter to Pascack Valley.In the playoffs, they topped Mainland to grab the South Jersey Group 3 championship and beat Ewing in an overtime thriller in the state semifinals. During the regular season, they shared the Cape-Atlantic League championship with Mainland.Ocean City High School girls swim coach Steve Warrington, center, accepted honors on behalf of his South Jersey championship team from members of City Council, including Keith Hartzell, left, and Tony Wilson.Also receiving honors from Council was the girls swimming team. For the second straight year, the Red Raiders swim team made it to the state championship meet, but fell short to Chatham. Last year, Ocean City beat Chatham to win the state Public B title.This season, the swim team racked up its fourth straight South Jersey championship and also captured its fourth consecutive Cape-Atlantic League title.“We’re going to build. We’re going to continue to be successful,” girls swim coach Steve Warrington told Council while accepting the resolution. Plans call for fixing damaged sections of sidewalk throughout Ocean City’s downtown shopping area to make them safer for pedestrians.last_img read more

Operation Hard Hat issues more construction zone tickets in 2020 than 2019

first_img“Anything that could potentially be reckless. That one mistake could be something that’s critical, it might critically hurt somebody or injure somebody, or even worse, kill somebody,” Said NYSP Troop C Public Information Officer Aga Dembinska. “We don’t want that to happen and we don’t want a motorist to have to live with that for the rest of their life.” The New York State Department of Transportation says often, road workers are working with their backs to oncoming traffic. This could create a dangerous situation if drivers aren’t paying attention or slowing down. “The safety of you, your family, and essential workers isn’t enough incentive, maybe a couple hundred dollars for a ticket might be,” said NYSDOT Region 9 Public Information Officer Scott Cook. (WBNG) — Operation Hard Hat has been running for several months, placing New York State Police troopers in construction zones dressed as road workers. center_img State troopers say they will continue to hold operations at active zones until construction season ends. In 2019, 1,048 tickets were issued in these zones, for anything from speeding, to using a cell phone. In 2020, that number has gone up to 1,222 tickets, and construction season isn’t over yet. last_img read more

VIDEO:Gunman tries to rob a woman at drive-thru ATM in Lauderdale Lakes

first_imgAn attempted armed robbery at a drive-thru ATM in Lauderdale Lakes was caught on video.Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies have released surveillance video of the attempted robbery that happened last Friday at a SunTrust branch on Oakland Park Boulevard.The video shows a woman about to use the drive-thru ATM before a man crept up and pointed a gun at her.Miranda Grossman, Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said the gunman demanded that she enter her personal identification number into the ATM to withdraw money, but instead the woman drove away.The gunman was not able to get any cash, and he walked away empty-handed. Police say no one was injured.Anyone with information about the incident or who recognizes the gunman is asked to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.(Video courtesy of Broward Sheriff’s Office )last_img read more

President and Chief Operating Officer of Ben Bridge Jeweler Lisa Bridge…

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston County ChamberThe community is invited to attend a unique Thurston Chamber Forum. On Wednesday, September 12 at 11:30 a.m. at the Macy’s Courtyard at Capital Mall, Lisa Bridge, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ben Bridge Jeweler will speak to attendees about her experience growing up in a renowned Pacific Northwest retailing family. She’ll also speak to how the retail industry has changed over her tenure and she’ll address changes in workforce demands.Forum includes lunch and the cost is $35 for general admission, $25 for prepaid Chamber members, and $30 for members at the door.What: Thurston Chamber’s September Forum:When: Wednesday, September 12 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.Where: Capital Mall, Macy’s Courtyard, 625 Black Lake Blvd SW, Olympia, WA 98502.For more information call 360-357-3362 or visit thurstonchamber.comThank you to our sponsors, Our Community Credit Union, Right! Systems and Window Genie.last_img read more

Saint Martin’s University will Serve as the Custodial Institution for Marylhurst…

first_imgFacebook85Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Saint Martin’s UniversityMarylhurst University, located in Marylhurst, Oregon, announced in May 2018 that it would close by the end of the calendar year. The university chose to partner with Saint Martin’s University to continue its legacy. As part of the agreement, Marylhurst will transfer a $3.14 million endowment to Saint Martin’s, which will generate over $100,000 in scholarships annually to future Saint Martin’s students. Saint Martin’s will serve as the custodial institution for Marylhurst University’s records and transcripts. In addition, Marylhurst alumni will be able to opt-in to communications from Saint Martin’s to connect with fellow alumni and stay up-to-date on important information, special events and future programs. Marylhurst alumni can opt-in through a special page on the Saint Martin’s website.“As a fellow Catholic institution of higher education, Saint Martin’s University is honored to partner with Marylhurst University to serve as a custodial institution and to assist its alumni,” said Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. “We look forward to welcoming Marylhurst alumni into our community.”Marylhurst University was in operation for 125 years. In 1859, 12 Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary left their home in Quebec to establish an educational community in Portland, Oregon. St. Mary’s Academy opened its doors that same year, expanding to St. Mary’s Academy and College in 1893, and in 1930, the college operations relocated to the current campus nestled between the cities of Lake Oswego and West Linn. In its early days, Marylhurst College provided higher education to young women. In 1974, Marylhurst transitioned to a co-educational college for lifelong learners, one of the first in the nation, serving older students returning to complete degrees. In 1998, Marylhurst became a university, adding master’s degrees and online degree completion programs. With each turn, Marylhurst University provided access to a quality education to those whose opportunities were limited by gender, age, location and other barriers. Marylhurst University has awarded thousands of degrees, with more than 12,000 living alumni today.Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 26 majors and ten graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at read more