The Southside Arts District in South Bethlehem is developing a new five-year plan to help it become nationally accredited and designated as a Main Street Program with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The plan is focused on ways to improve streetscape, economic development, marketing and branding, and organizational sustainability.
Q. Steve and I have been living together for four years, and we are thinking about starting a family. Is it important for children to have married parents? We are fine as we are, but not sure whether getting married is the right thing.
In answering this question, the panel discussed it from several different perspectives.
It was a very merry Christmas this year for nearly 600 children and adults from throughout the Lehigh Valley who, thanks to Project Hope of Easton, enjoyed a traditional turkey and ham dinner with all the trimmings, and took home gifts of coats and other warm clothing, along with bags of packaged food for families to have another holiday meal.
As part of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January, Truth for Women (TFW) and a Penn State Lehigh Valley arts class have joined forces on an awareness and fundraising project involving the sale of silver heart charms meant to symbolize healing for sex trafficking victims.
Q. I’m sure everyone has gone through this, but it mortified me. What do you do when a young child (loudly) points to someone and says, “That man is fat,” or something equally embarrassing?
In response to the question, the panel observed that what young children say is an observation, not judgmental.
“Children learn from observation, sight and sound, and experience,” panelist Mike Daniels said, adding, “They make comparisons, but not connections.”
Q. I am a single mom with two young children. Nearly all my income goes to rent, keeping my car on the road and bills. “Good” food is expensive. I can already see my six-year-old getting fat on what I can afford. What can I do? I’m not sure they will eat vegetables and salad, but they sure love macaroni and cheese.
“The idea that good food is necessarily expensive isn’t exacting accurate,” panelist Chad Stefanyak said. “Grandmother showed us that if you have chicken tonight, you have chicken salad for lunch tomorrow and chicken soup the next day. You can stretch things.”
Peepsfest, the family friendly New Year’s celebration in Bethlehem, has become as iconic as the yellow marshmallow chick it commemorates. The 2018 Peepsfest marked the 10th anniversary of the popular two-day event that partners ArtsQuest, Just Born Quality Confections and PBS39. It was also the 65th year since Just Born acquired its marshmallow chick line from the Rodda Candy Company of Lancaster, Pa.
Q. My 16-year-old daughter does not have a driver’s license, but some of her friends do. She asks repeatedly for permission to get into cars with her friends who have drivers’ licenses, but are inexperienced drivers. How many ways can I say, “No?” When, or under what circumstances, should I say, “Yes?”
The panel first talked about how to deal with the daughter’s repeated requests to go driving in vehicles with friends, then switched to ways to make the experience safer when the mother eventually has to say, “Yes.”
If you think it is cold outside this month, imagine how much colder you would be if you were homeless and living on the streets. Thankfully, for the homeless in the Lehigh Valley there is a temporary shelter in Bethlehem that offers an escape from the cold, nutritious meals and a needed helping hand.
Q. My in-laws have an active social life that often includes heavy drinking. My children, ages 11 and 13, have overheard them talk about their escapades, as well as their hangovers. One Sunday, my mother-in-law blatantly said that she was not getting out of bed because she had had too much to drink the night before. My kids have begun asking questions. My husband thinks it is funny, but I am worried about the effects this could have on our kids as they come of age. Am I overreacting?
The consensus of the panel is that the mother was not overreacting.