The Riverbend Community Church went all out to give some of the community’s most excluded people a chance to dress up, be feted, and have fun at a prom just for them. The Night to Shine celebration at the Palace Center on Hanover Street in Allentown gave 140 special needs guests the chance to dance, eat and socialize.
The lobby of the Palace Center was transformed to create the atmosphere of a grand hotel lobby, complete with red carpet, where arriving guests strutted their finery as they entered the building.
Councilman Bryan Callahan introduced the local press corps and supporters to an amendment Jan. 31 that will make it illegal for employers to ask job candidates about their salary for past jobs.
He said he expects the measure, if approved by the city council, to be challenged in court by the business community.
Callahan’s amendment would modify the existing ordinance Section 145.01, of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Bethlehem, which deals with human Rrsources.
“The entrepreneurial spirt is alive and well in the Lehigh Valley,” Pa. Rep. Steve Samuelson told a motivated group of mostly young businesspeople who received certificates for mastering one or more business courses taught by Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem last month,
As inspiration, Samuelson quoted one of America’s most famous early businessmen, Benjamin Franklin: “Energy and persistence conquers all things.”
Bethlehem Area School District’s Board of School Directors President Michael Faccinetto addressed Bethlehem City Council Jan. 15 to urge a “yes” vote on a resolution titled “Fair Funding Formula for Pennsylvania Schools,” which was on the agenda. The resolution was sponsored by Councilman William Reynolds, who is a teacher. The draft resolution requests that the state “pass legislation in support of the full implementation of the Fair Funding Formula by rerouting all or substantially more state basic education dollars through the formula.”
“The stories of black Bethlehemites have hardly been told,” said M. Rayah Levy, head of Adult Services at Bethlehem Area Public Library. Levy and a team of local professors and their students may be about to change that. She is leading a team that will collect, catalog and store materials “from the African Diaspora.”
Drunken and rowdy behavior on Third Street near a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) club in South Bethlehem has gotten the attention of local residents, Chief of Police Mark DiLuzio and Mayor Robert Donchez.
Resident Tyler Buck, who spoke to council on Jan. 2 about loud and aggressive behavior in the parking lot used by patrons of the lounge and said shots have been fired, with bullets hitting a nearby pizza shop and a cigar store.
He said a shooting occurred in late December and that one person had been put in an ambulance. “There was blood everywhere,” said Buck.
In a short meeting Jan. 9 Lehigh County Supervisors appointed Dennis Nemes to serve on the Lehigh County Election and Registration Commission. He replaces Gail Coffin. Nemes is a former principal at Northwestern HS; he later served as the principal at Allentown Catholic HS.
Commissioner Percy Dougherty was back in his seat after a hospital stay resulting from a fall at his home; he had missed two previous meetings. He thanked his fellow commissioners and members of the public who had visited him while he was in the hospital.
Bethlehem City Council approved the 2019 municipal budget Dec. 18. The budget of $78 million was passed unanimously.
Under the budget, council set the millage rate for Northampton County residents at 8.61 mils; the rate for Lehigh County residents was set at 2.72 mils.
In other business, council members split 4–3, but approved the amendment to the zoning ordinance to further define the uses suitable for corner commercial lots in high density residential (RT) and medium density residential (RG) zoning districts.
Lehigh County Jail has a new warden. Lehigh County Commissioner recommended Kyle Russell’s appointment Nov. 28. A final vote was to confirm the position at the next regular meeting of the commissioners Dec. 12.
Russell, already a long-time Northampton resident, is currently a Deputy Warden in Berks County. He has 17 years’ experience in corrections management.
“He is the right man for the job,” said Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong in remarks to the commissioners.
Russell said he “fell in love with corrections” as a career early on.
BETHLEHEM COUNCIL-2 West Market; 4-3 vote seen as failure of council members to protect city’s integrity
After a long evening of testimony on both sides of the issue Dec. 4, Bethlehem City Council voted 4-3 to approve a revision of the zoning code that approves the existing office and residence complex at 2 West Market St. to allow the owners – Quadrant Private Wealth owned by the Herman Rij family – to continue using the property for commercial purposes. They converted a residential home to an office space after receiving previous approval from the city – approval that had since been challenged by neighbors and in court.