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Notes to my neighbors 2/15/2006

By Rick Racela

I do hate boring weather; I much prefer weather with character, whether it’s snow or hail or my personal favorite, thunderstorms.
Sunday morning when I opened the front door and saw the whole block disguised in white, the flakes still swirling, I felt like Dorothy opening her door and seeing that her drab, Kansas neighborhood had been replaced with Technicolor flowers and Munchkins. 
But by afternoon, the thrill was behind us, and the shoveling it aside wasn’t nearly as much fun as watching it accumulate.
Yesterday brought Valentine’s Day to keep things interesting.
My husband and I celebrated our 35 1/2 years of romance at Billy Joel’s concert at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. 
A wonderful treat, for sure. A great anti-doldrum treat(ment), in fact.
But today, the show, like the snow, is long gone, yet there are still weeks of winter left.
The next antidote?
Turn winter into summer.
I’m deep into dreaming about bringing the computer I’m working on out onto the deck, along with Jimmy Buffett CDs and sun block.
You see, here at the Herald, while we’re keeping up with bringing you the current, weekly, local news, we’re also planning for “the season.” 
For months now, we’ve been working on developing a new seasonal publication, a magazine that will have all sorts of information about restaurants, clubs, special events, and feature articles about interesting people, places, and things in Cape May County.
We’ve named it “On Deck,” which I love because it refers to lots of leisure activities like boating, baseball, outdoor parties, and music. 
It also means “to decorate” (as in “deck those decks in strings of lights”)
And it conveys the idea of being prepared, which is exactly what we are: ready to help you decide where you want to spend a summer afternoon, or where you want to have a pancake breakfast or candlelight dinner.
“On Deck” will have a calendar of events taking place everywhere from the tip of Cape May to Ocean City’s boardwalk.
If you’re used to spending time in Wildwood, you probably are familiar with the Herald’s “Shout News” magazine, which had been published for the past 40-some years. “Shout” was mainly a tourist publication that informed visitors about dining and entertainment on the island.
Our “Cape May Review” let you know everything you needed to know about eating, playing, and shopping in the Cape Mays.
But from here on in, as we all know, summers in Wildwood, Cape May, and throughout the county will never be the same.
For one thing, there are lots more people who live here year-round. The islands are full of young couples, families, and retirees who aren’t just here for one vacation week in July, but are looking for ways to fill their leisure time here all through the summer months.
We’re more mobile than ever, too. People in Court House want to try restaurants in Cape May. People who live in Wildwood may enjoy their own beach by day, but then want to spend their evening at the Bellevue or the Sand Barren’s Royal Oaks restaurant (what my husband calls magnificent).
“On Deck” will keep us locals, as well as our visitors, well informed about what’s going on county-wide.
Besides, it look fabulous, very new and very inviting, and it navigates like a seasoned sailboat.
I can’t wait until you see it. Watch for its debut in May.
In the meantime, continue sending in your announcements of upcoming events for the Planner and your snapshots of celebrations and fundraisers to Community News.
This little section is growing so much that we’re posting overflow pictures on our new and improved Web site.
If you haven’t visited yet, you’ll want to go there soon and often.
(Did I tell you we have an interactive Spout Off?)
Wow. Come to think of it, there’s a lot going on for a sleepy little February.

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