SOUTH SIDES TASK FORCE-LU police to take kids shopping
Lehigh University Police patrol officer Lora Martin described the department’s “Shop with a Lehigh Cop” program for financially disadvantaged families at the Mayor’s South Side Task Force meeting Oct. 29. Lehigh University Police Department receives referrals from Southside schools and other stakeholders in the area to help select families of kids age 10 or younger to participate in the annual program.
After breakfast with the police, the children will be bused to Target Dec. 14 to purchase holiday gifts for themselves and family members. Then it’s lunch with their law enforcement hosts before going home. “It’s for the kids to feel comfortable being around with first responders and not be intimidated” said Martin.
LU Police Captain Rich McGarr outlined the partnership they have with the Bethlehem Police Dept. that enables them to patrol neighborhoods adjoining the university to handle loud parties and student alcohol abuse. This is funded through a one-year state Liquor Control Board grant.
Adrienne McNeil from Lehigh University spoke about the recent groundbreaking for the new Health Science Technology Building. “That should be open for fall 2021,” she added.
Janine Santoro from the Bethlehem Area Public Library listed several programs and events for November at the Southside branch. Included is a Women and Money Seminar scheduled for Nov. 30. Ongoing programs include Vocational ESL and Conversational Spanish classes for adults, and kid-friendly fall storytime and craft activities.
Santoro announced they raised $3,500 at their adults-only Halloween elevator fundraiser party Oct. 26. The branch continues to seek funding for a much-needed elevator that is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $200,000. The basement level of the branch is currently not accessible to the disabled.
For information, visit bapl.org; 610-867-7852.
Glorilex Vasquez, legislative assistant to Rep. Steve Samuelson (D), said their office has begun a diaper drive in partnership with the Hispanic Center WIC Clinic. They are seeking donations of new diapers through the end of December. Rent rebates and utility bill assistance programs are available to constituents through December. For information: 610-867-4681.
“I have never seen that many different kinds of hors d’oeuvres in my life!” declared Chairman Roger Hudak about the recent Wind Creek grand opening he had attended. Hudak said that he is comfortable with the casino’s new owners and current management team. “Everything will continue to go through Donna Taggart for Wind Creek,” Hudak said about the not-for-profit organizations on the Southside seeking funding for projects.
Hudak also spoke about the City’s holiday decorations still ending at Hayes Street. “We are the ‘Christmas City’ and the major gateway to the city is Route 412,” he said, lamenting, “They don’t have any Christmas lights.” Hudak said he is pushing for digital projection of Christmas-themed images on the high house and other buildings along Route 412 east of Hayes Street.
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 Nov. 26.