Bethlehem Press

Friday, February 28, 2020

Does Norco need a new jail?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

In 2000, then County Executive Glenn Reibman advised council that a new jail was needed to replace one built in 1871. He proposed a multi-phase plan, and got one $29 million addition.

In 2008, then Executive John Stoffa informed council that a new jail was needed, and proposed moving county offices to Gracedale while building a new jail at a cost ranging between $130 and $160 million. Stoffa got a work release center in West Easton for a maximum of 100 residents.

Now, it’s Executive John Brown’s turn. At a Sept. 14 meeting, Corrections Director Dan Keen pitched a new jail.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Opinion

‘[O]ur current system ... a tainted, corrupt, disingenuous mess’

Whether they love her or hate her, few would dispute that Democrat Lisa Boscola is very popular in her state senatorial district, which includes Bethlehem. Some of her Bethlehem constituents may actually love her. But leaders in the state house and senate? Not so much.

“I swear, if there was a bridge you could build to New Jersey, they’d put me there,” she only half-jokes.

Norco Council to hold remote meetings

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

By an 8-0 vote, Northampton County Council decided at its Sept. 1 meeting to take the show on the road. Believe it or not, their first stop, on Oct. 6, will be at ArtsQuest SteelStacks. If all goes well, council will consider meetings in all four corners of the county. Several membersjokingly suggested Detzi’s Tavern, a popular sports bar in Wind Gap.

In county business, council voted 8-0 to adopt a resolution opposing state legislation that will prohibit county recorders from charging fees when condominium association amendments are indexed against individual owners.

No grounds for dismissal of county employee, state court decides

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. That’s pretty basic stuff, enshrined in our federal and state Constitution. But according to the second highest court in this country, Northampton County violated this basic right, and with one of its own lawyers. A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals decided late Friday that Jill Mancini’s due process rights were violated when the county decided to fire her without giving her any prior notice or opportunity to be heard.

Frank Flisser: Like father, like son

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

The Rev. Frank Flisser was the pastor at St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church, located on Bethlehem’s Southside, for 35 years. He also served on the zoning hearing board, and for 35 years, with the Bethlehem Housing Authority.

While this community-minded cleric attended meetings, his son Frank started hanging around with a short but determined basketball player named John Morganelli and another kid just down the street named Bob Donchez.

Gerrymandering: How Our Elections Really Are Rigged - Part One

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Opinion

Before the 2014 Pennsylvania state and congressional races, Democrats outnumbered Republicans in voter registration by a 50 to 37 percent margin. But when the election was over, Republicans occupied 60 percent of the seats in the state legislature and controlled 13 of the state’s congressional seats. How can a minority rule in a representative democracy? That can be answered with one word.


‘Putting our dirty laundry on the table’

Monday, August 29, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Could the recent violence between police officers and minority community members occur in Bethlehem?

That was the focus of a recent town hall, attended by over 60 people. “It is basically ripping our country apart,” said Police Chief Mark DiLuzio. “If we’re going to solve this problem, we’re going to have to put our dirty laundry out on the table, every single one of us.”

NORCO: Children & Youth handling record calls

Monday, August 22, 2016 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Kevin Dolan is a long-distance runner. Diagnosed with a weak heart many years ago, he hit the pavement and even began entering local races. He never wins. He understands that the real victory is in the effort. He has applied that same effort for the past 42 years in one of government’s most vital roles - helping children in crisis. He directs Northampton County’s Children, Youth and Families (CYF) division, where he oversees a 125-person staff with a $32 million budget.

Unfortunately, he’s very busy. He provided a glimpse into his world at council’s Aug. 18 meeting.