Bethlehem Press

Friday, September 22, 2017

Standing up for ‘sensible center’

Monday, September 11, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

On Sunday, Congressman Charlie Dent (R - Pa.15) hosted what was supposed to be a “formal announcement” concerning his intentions next year. But news of his retirement leaked out on Thursday. Dent revealed his intentions to a few of his congressional colleagues, and they spilled the beans.

“They’re wonderful friends, but they have big mouths,” Dent joked Sunday at the swanky Renaissance Hotel in downtown Allentown.

“I just wanted to say thank you to everybody in this room,” said Dent, who apologized for interrupting one of the biggest sports weekends of the year.

Supervisors approve Sun Inn distillary

Monday, September 11, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Was alcohol a staple in Colonial-era America? That’s one of the claims made on the historic Sun Inn’s webpage. The tavern hopes to replicate that time with Christmas City Spirits, its own distilled beverage. Unanimously, Hanover Township Supervisors voted August 22 to allow Christmas City Spirits to operate a distillery at 167 N Commerce Way. These beverages will supply a tavern whose guest list at one time boasted George Washington, Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Ethan Allen, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Laurens, Richard Lee and Marquis de Lafayette.

NEWS ANALYSIS ‘Working from the center out’

Monday, September 11, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

In a major surprise that resulted in national headlines, Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent (R Pa.15) announced late last week that he’s decided against seeking re-election next year. He vowed to continue “giving voice to the sensible center and working to solve problems for the American people through smart policy - the product of negotiation, cooperation and inevitably, compromise.”

A seven-term Congressman, Dent has dedicated 27 years of his life to public service.

Edinger honored for 20 years service

Monday, September 11, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

At their Sept. 4 meeting, Kenn Edinger was honored by Bethlehem Township Commissioners for 20 years of service on the planning commission. That’s an unpaid job for volunteers. He’s leaving with a plaque. But as fellow Planning Commissioner Don Wright joked, no check.

The resolution honoring Edinger, which passed unanimously, cited his “keen insight and important township historical knowledge.”

Germany grocery chain sinks Lehigh Valley roots

Monday, September 11, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

German discount grocer Lidl (pronounced like needle) is coming to the Lehigh Valley. It has plans for both Whitehall Township and Wilson Borough. And as Bethlehem Township Commissioners learned during their Aug. 21 meeting, a 36,000 square-foot store has been proposed at Freemansburg Square. That’s directly across the street from the recently constructed Shoprite Supermarket. Lidl engineer Mike Jeitner stated that the company’s strategy is to “entrench ourselves in corridors that already have traffic.” He hopes to have all approvals in place so that construction can begin next year.

Article By: BERNIE O’HARE Special to the Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

PBS 39 TOWN HALL - Toomey on Obamacare: ‘Not OK to just tear it up’

Fairly or unfairly, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa) has come under heavy criticism for refusing to meet his constituents at one of those increasingly raucous town halls. One group calling itself Tuesdays with Toomey actually camps outside his legislative offices weekly. Last night, it was Thursday with Toomey. It was a one-hour televised town hall at the Steelstacks’ PBS-39 Studios before a small crowd of 54 people and nine reporters and photographers.

Food is big business in the LV

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

We love our food. Before every snowstorm, we flock to local supermarkets to stock up with milk, eggs and bread. A trip to the grocery is a weekly ritual. Holidays are an excuse for a feast, picnic or barbecue. But amazingly, we only spend about 6.5 percent of our household budget on food. This is far less than any other country in the world. Europeans spend between two and three times as much as we do. Russian families spend nearly a third of their household budget to put food on the table.

Toomey on Obamacare: ‘Not OK to just tear it up’

Friday, September 1, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

PBS 39 TOWN HALL

Fairly or unfairly, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa) has come under heavy criticism for refusing to meet his constituents at one of those increasingly raucous town halls. One group calling itself Tuesdays with Toomey actually camps outside his legislative offices weekly. Last night, it was Thursday with Toomey. It was a one-hour televised town hall at the Steelstacks’ PBS-39 Studios before a small crowd of 54 people and nine reporters and photographers.

Article By: Bernie O’Hare Special to the Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Back in January, Bethlehem Township Commissioners were poised for a referendum about the township’s continued participation in Bethlehem Area Public Library. President Mike Hudak complained that only a small percentage of residents use it, but the annual fee is $17.25 per capita. But the Library Law makes it virtually impossible to ask voters directly whether they want to remain. So lawmakers have come up with another way to gauge public opinion - a survey.

NORCO: Brown has some good news ... and even better news

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Northampton County Executive John Brown usually passes when given an opportunity to address county council. But he had good news and even better news at the Aug. 17 meeting.

First, he reported that the annual payment that must be set aside for worker’s compensation claims, set by an outside actuary, has been decreased sharply, from $9 million to just $6 million. This means an additional $3 million will go into the general fund next year.