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Month: January 2012

Vote for Cape May as America’s Coolest Small Town

Vote for Cape May

Budget Travel‘s readers nominated a record 647 towns this year – and now they’ve narrowed that list down to just 10 standout communities across the country. Cape May is currently holding down a respectable 6th place, but you can still help us climb higher by just clicking the image to your right. It takes just a second (you don’t have to type anything).

You can vote once daily, so be sure to get all your votes in before the contest closes on January 31st.

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Wendel White’s Schools for the Colored: Highlighting the Life and Soul of the Franklin Street School

Schools for the Colored – a collection of photographs by Wendell White, professor at Stockton University – depicts the landscape and architecture of historically segregated schools in northern states. Each B&W photo shows the school as it is today – or in some cases where it once stood – with all other elements in the picture grayed back. A nationally renowned New Jersey photographer, Professor White emphasized his rationale for this dramatic effect was to symbolize the “veil” caused by segregation.

Also included is an exhibit highlighting the life and soul of Cape May’s Franklin Street School. A video of the Franklin Street School in Cape May showed the attendees the progress of the rehabilitation of the historic building.
Opening remarks were offered by Cape May Mayor Edward Mahaney, Jr a well as exhibit sponsors Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities president Doug McMain  and Center for Community Arts director Bernadette Matthews.


Free admission Jan. 14-April 15. Gallery hours and days vary. Co-sponsored by the Center for Community Arts (CCA) and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).

Sharon and Mark Bostrom are Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities’ (MAC) Volunteers of the Month for December

Pictured Here: (photo credit: Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities): Volunteers Sharon and Mark Bostrom man the Physick Estate hospitality center Dec. 3 on the first Christmas Candlelight House Tour of the 2011 season, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). The Bostroms were chosen as MAC’s Volunteers of the Month for December for putting in many volunteer hours decorating the Carriage House at various times of the year – Christmas and Halloween being two of their favorite holidays.
Mark and Sharon own an extensive collection of elaborate holiday decorations that grows yearly from which they draw materials and inspiration. The Bostroms find joy in decorating for the holidays. “Halloween is one of our favorites, although we go all-out for Christmas. We’ve been collecting for many years. We just enjoy the holiday,” Sharon said. One year, the challenge of how to decorate the tent pole on the patio behind the Carriage House for Halloween resulted in a life-sized King Kong suspended from the top with a Barbie doll in tow. “I can come up with the ideas and Mark is the one who helps put them together,” she said.
The Volunteer of the Month award is given to a person who demonstrates a high degree of dedication, commitment and constancy to MAC’s volunteer program. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at

Looking forward to 2012

Conceptual drawing of the new Convention Hall

While many look back at what has transpired the previous year, we here at have decided to look forward. We asked a few of the movers and shakers in Cape May to tell us what they are looking forward to on the Cape May landscape next year.

Cape May Mayor Edward Mahaney, Jr.

This year marks the 80th Queen Maysea Coronation

  1. A happy, healthy, prosperous, and enjoyable 2012 Year for all our residents and business people.
  2. The completion of the City’s high priority economic development initiative with the Grand Opening of our new multi-purpose Convention Hall facility with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops on Memorial Day Weekend.
  3. The initial functioning of the new Tourism Utility which should result in a more comprehensive, planned approach and strategies by the cooperating public and private sectors to promote and market Cape May more effectively and efficiently as a premier tourist destination in all four seasons.
  4. The formulation and passage of an overall municipal budget (including current fund, water and sewer utility, beach utility, and the new tourism utility) which provides the requisite programs and services expected by the public while maintaining the affordability for all of us to continue to live, work, and visit here and shifting the cost burden of tourism activities from the residential and commercial taxpayers to the participants in tourism-related activities.
  5. Continued progress on our detailed continuum of initiatives to achieve State-certification for Cape May’s Plan Endorsement program and to repeat our certification as a Sustainable Jersey community at the Silver Level so that we solidify Cape May’s long-term future as a sustainable town economically and environmentally as well as in terms of infrastructure and quality of life.

John Cooke, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May

  1. More businesses getting involved in social media, such as Twitter to promote their businesses as well as Cape May.
  2. The pedestrian shopping mall becoming dog friendly in 2012. In 2010, at least 60% of 115 million households traveled with a pet.
  3. A community wide effort to engage line employees in customer service training.
  4. The possibility of headlining acts and other great shows in the newly constructed Convention Hall in Cape May.
  5. A reduction in the occupancy tax levied upon visitors to Cape May allowing them more spending power in the local economy.

The National Lifeguard Championships returns to Cape May in August 2012

Bernard Haas, publisher of and Cape May Magazine

  1. The Race at the Cape: Renewing the Cape May Motor Car Challenge 1905-2012. Cape May Forum is planning a reenactment of the 1905 famous car races on the beach which included Henry Ford and Louis Chevrolet – only this time they are doing it with energy-efficient cars! The event takes place on Saturday, May 19. Details to follow.
  2. The return to Cape May of the 2012 National Lifeguard Championships August 8-11.
  3. The anticipated April 6 (Easter weekend) opening of Stewarts Root-Beer Restaurant at the corner of Decatur Street and the Washington Street Mall. Stewarts takes over the old Atlantic Books location. The décor is expected to resemble an old-fashioned Stewarts Restaurant a la 1924.
  4. The 2012 municipal elections. Mayor Edward Mahaney, Jr and Councilmember Terri Swain are up for reelection. Will they choose to run again? If so, who will against them, if anyone? Also, the elections are Nov.6 this year. Traditionally they have been in May but residents voted to change that in a 610-232 vote cast in November 2010.
  5. The first snow blizzard of 2012.

Cape May City Manager Bruce MacLeod

Stewarts Root Beer will be opening in the old Atlantic Books

…was a little more fluid in looking toward 2012.

  1. It might have something to do with his being preoccupied with balancing the city’s proposed 2012 budget which generally comes in around $15 million and change. There is also a Water and Sewer budget of $6.2 million, a Beach Utility of $2 million and a new Tourism Utility budget – the exact dollars are unknown as yet. MacLeod estimates $80,000 will go into from the occupancy tax collected from the accommodations businesses. $50 from each mercantile license issued will also be deferred to the Tourism Utility – in prior years it went to the Tourism Commission which has been abolished with the advent of the new utility. Rental of the two retail spaces should garner $130,000 – $65,000 per store is the starting bid for the spaces. One space has been rented by Pete Smith’s Surf Shop, which used to be located in the now defunct Solarium. The other store front has yet to be rented. Revenues will also come from leasing the space for weddings, conferences, seminars, and concerts as well as programs the Recreation Department has traditionally offered at Convention Hall – among them, summer camp, dances and exercise classes.
  2. So it stands to reason one of the City Manger’s top wishes for 2012 is the “successful opening of Convention Hall and that it be completed on budget.”
  3. The completion of the first phase of Carpenters Lane improvements to Carpenters Lane beginning with the 500 block. The goal is to provide a connector or side street leading to the center of the mall. The project begins in January or February and is the beginning of three phases to be done in the winter months.
  4. Beach replenishment. “Back passing” began in December. Sand was moved from Convention Hall beach to Trenton Avenue beach. The sand collected is being placed at Wilmington Avenue, near Poverty Beach – a spot which is particularly vulnerable to beach erosion. The project involves 70,000 cubic yards of sand.
  5. More beach replenishment. This involves the dredging of sand four miles off Cape May beaches. The 620,000 cubic yards of sand is being dredged to replenish the U.S. Coast Guard Base Training Center’s artillery range which has suffered a sizable amount of erosion recently. The project is expected to be completed in January.

80th Annual Cape May Baby Parade

So that’s what those in the know are looking forward to. We here at are looking forward to:

  1. The opening of Convention Hall Memorial Day Weekend.
  2. The celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Queen Maysea Coronation and
  3. The celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Cape May Baby Parade.
  4. We are also looking forward to listening to the Cape May Music Festival, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for Arts & Humanities, inside a proper venue, i.e. Convention Hall.
  5. We are positively pining for the return of the Cape May Jazz Festival.

Hey, tell us what you are looking forward to seeing in Cape May in 2012. Meanwhile Happy New Year and Happy Trails.