The number of reported COVID-19 cases is still on the rise in Ocean City and throughout the region. I want to urge everybody to continue to take personal responsibility for following all public health recommendations. I know the holidays are a difficult time to limit family and social gatherings, but at this time we all have to remain very cautious.
I spoke with the Rev. Marcia Stanford this week, and she and the Ocean City Ecumenical Council have decided that it’s best not to continue with the annual Community Thanksgiving Service, which had been scheduled for Tuesday. It’s always great to see neighbors come together for this event, so we’ll now look forward to a safe and healthy service in 2021.
The Dec. 5 town hall meeting to share our plans on flooding issues island-wide will now be held only virtually. We will prepare our presentation in advance, then invite the public to view it at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, followed by an online Q&A session. The presentation will remain online as a resource for anybody to see. Along the same lines, all public meetings that have not already been advertised will move back to a virtual format.
Ocean City’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Ceremony also will be held virtually this year, and we’re currently seeking nominations for our MLK Community Services Awards. The award is given to local citizens who exemplify the philosophy, service and ideas of Dr. King. For more information and to make a nomination, please visit www.ocnj.us/mlk.
Seasonal beach tags for summer 2021 will go on sale starting tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 21). The discounted price of $20 will remain in place through May 2021. I know we’re all looking forward to a brighter 2021, so summer tags could make a great gift for the holidays. Visit store.ocnj.us for more information on how to purchase online or in-person.
I want to remind everybody that the ACME supermarket at 800 West Avenue was able to reopen on Thursday after a fire in the garage area last weekend. I’m glad to know that this important community resource was closed for only a few days, and I want to thank all of the OCNJ CARE volunteers who helped transport fellow citizens during the closing.
Bill Hollingsworth of the Humane Society of Ocean City and I spoke earlier this week about plans to raise awareness about the laws requiring dogs to be leashed when they are on the beaches or streets. I have always taken a “be nice, be kind” approach to laws like this, but I want to let everybody know that we are prepared to fully enforce this measure if pet owners do not voluntarily comply.
With Thanksgiving coming next week, trash and recycling pickup on routes normally scheduled for Thursday and Friday will be pushed back by one day. See more information.
I hope you all have a great weekend. The weather looks good, and it’s great opportunity to shop the Avenue during the Earlier Than the Bird event tomorrow morning.
Jay A. Gillian