Just when everyone seemed to be ready to give up on spring, it arrived. A streak of 11 April days where the nighttime temps were running 10-15 degrees above normal was the catalyst. The heavy rain on April 26th got lawns to kick in and lawnmowers out of storage.
Our trees and perennials usually wake up about two weeks behind those in Pennsylvania and inland New Jersey. However, we get it back in the fall when warm ocean temperatures extend the growing season.
The first trees to get full leaves were the maples, as usual. Most of the rest of the trees are just now blooming, delighting us with whites, pinks, reds and yellows.
With just four weeks until Memorial Weekend, it’s time to make your shore plans. We’re hoping for great weather all summer!
The Townsend Inlet Bridge, which links Avalon to Sea Isle City, closed for repairs last September 17th and it was tentatively scheduled to reopen May 22. Surprise, surprise; it’s not going to reopen until after Labor Day. Enough said!
There is a controversy brewing about Kate Smith, the iconic singer who is most famous for her rendition of “God Bless America”. Her legacy is now being questioned because she sang “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” and a couple other ballads no longer politically correct.
The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers both recently announced that the iconic song would no longer be offered.
This is where Wildwood enters the picture. Mayor Ernie Troiano countered that “God Bless America” would continue to be played each summer day at 11 am on the Boardwalk. It’s a tradition embraced by so many locals and visitors. He is even pursuing acquiring the Kate Smith statue that now stands covered in black cloth in front of the Flyers’ arena.
As we delve a little deeper we see that it is a complex issue. The times were different, as was entertainment.
Kate Smith was born in another era, 1907, in the South. The song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” is at the center of the controversy. Before equating her statue and stature with those of Confederate leaders, let’s look under the surface.
“That’s Why Darkies Were Born” was written in 1931 for a Broadway show that featured, amongst others, Rudy Vallee and Ethel Barrymore. The song was even recorded by black bass-baritone legend Paul Robeson.
As for Kate Smith, she helped raise over $100 million for the war effort in World War II. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1982.
So now we’re left wondering if Wildwood will let the Irving Berlin classic play each day on the Boardwalk. So many get goosebumps when Kate Smith belts out “God Bless America”. You decide.
The BL England plant, located on the back bay in Upper Township, is finally going to be taken out of service. It’s long overdue.
The coal-fired power generating plant has been spewing pollutants, mainly sulfur dioxide, into the air for most of its 57 years. An attempt to retrofit to natural gas was met with much opposition and its owner RC Cape May Holdings, LLC is throwing in the towel.
Opponents to the conversion fought the pipeline concept that would bring natural gas from Millville, crossing many environmentally fragile creeks and wetlands, plus infringing on protected Pinelands. They argued that focusing on wind power and solar power would be a more effective alternative.
Although Wildwood Crest has been a “dry town” for almost 80 years, a movement is afoot to offer one liquor license. It will take the support of residents, plus a positive vote as a referendum in November.
Those in support of the liquor license see a lot of restaurant business being lost to adjoining towns. They feel that the added revenue would help fuel the rebirth of New Jersey Avenue and it wouldn’t be a burden to local police.
Middle Township is still hemming and hawing about whether to offer a sixth liquor license. In the state of New Jersey, one liquor license is allowed for every 3,000 resident. Now that Middle has surpassed the 18,000 mark, they are eligible to add one.
Needless to say, the biggest opposition is from those establishments that already have a license. Should this small self-interest group rule the day?
It is a good time to get into the Cape May County real estate market. For sellers; prices are slightly increasing and demand is way up. You’ll be going to the bank before you know it.
For buyers; there is sufficient inventory so that family legacy you’ve always dreamed about is out there waiting for you to pull the trigger.
I love to talk about real estate and our island. I am always glad to share my insights, observations, and visions.
I am still involved in real estate 365 days a year. It’s my passion. I will gladly handle listing your property, give you a free market analysis, or show you a wide variety of properties that may suit your needs.
Stop by our office at 5602 New Jersey Avenue and chat. Or give me a call at 609-780-7131. I answer my phone 8 am to 9 pm EVERY DAY and you always get a real, live person. That’s service!