A glimpse of Christmas lighting plan
Asking for input, Deputy Director Department of Community & Economic Development Amy Burkhart shared mockups of proposed holiday lighting for the Christmas City at the Mayor’s South Side Task Force meeting Sept. 24. These were created by David Weiner Design with white lights on the north side of the Lehigh River and multi-color lights for south of the river. Bridges between the two Bethlehems feature a combination of the two styles to create a transition. Digital projection on buildings is also being explored.
Burkhart asked for opinions on this approach. Most, including Chairman Roger Hudak, agreed it was a good way to treat the more traditional Moravian influence for the north and the more modern and colorful history of the Southside.
According to Burkhart, the change will not happen for another year or two, with the new decorations being phased in equitably over time between the north and south.
She mentioned that the city will be revamping their web site soon. Residents can download and use a new city “service center” app, call 610-865-7000, or email bethlehempa.org about non-emergency issues.
Burkhart also spoke the mayor’s recent “Dare to Care” walk on Mechanic St. where Mayor Donchez gave away 35 smoke detectors to residents. Donchez is scheduled to speak at the Latino Convention being hosted at the Hotel Bethlehem on Oct. 29-31.
She briefly touched on how the 2020 census could impact grants if Bethlehem is under-reported.
Glorilex Vasquez, legislative assistant to Rep. Samuelson (D), announced a Community Health & Wellness Fair for Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Salvation Army on 521 Pembroke Rd. The event, co-sponsored by the Salvation Army and Samuelson’s office will feature senior health services and screenings, health-related information provided by community organizations and wellness vendors, door prizes and a free lunch. She said her office will soon begin another diaper drive. For information: 610-867-4681.
Janine Santoro from the Bethlehem Area Public Library listed several programs and events for fall at the South Side Branch. Ongoing programs include Vocational ESL and Conversational Spanish classes. Workshops focused on Hispanic Heritage Month and autumn holidays include creating wearable art with Chris Colon on Oct. 5, making a Vejigante magnet on Oct. 19, Day of the Dead hands-on activities with Adriana Santos for Oct. 31, and learning how to create a paperback pumpkin on Nov. 16. A discussion on gerrymandering is scheduled for Nov. 2 and a Women and Money Seminar is being held Nov. 30.
Santoro announced Silver Screen at the South Side, a fundraiser for a much-needed elevator, is happening Oct. 26. It is an adults-only Halloween party featuring a classic Hollywood horror movie theme. Tickets are $40.
Starting in 2020 the branch will be setting up a garden tool and seed library for patrons with a grant from SouthSide Vision. “We are doing a call for tools now,” she said, adding the library is currently seeking donations of new or like-new tools.
Some of these programs require registration. For information: bapl.org; 610-867-7852.
Adrienne McNeil-Washington from Lehigh University passed out copies of the recent alumni magazine that featured an article highlighting the partnership the university has formed with South Side community organizations. “Sunrise on the Southside” describes how they are working together to foster South Bethlehem’s resurgence.
Hudak said the transition of the Sands Casino over to Wind Creek is now complete.
The Mayor’s South Side Task Force meets regularly on the last Tuesday of the month at Northampton Community College’s E. Third street campus. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 29.