Bethlehem Press

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Lehigh Commissioners OK tax raise

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Commissioners held their final bi-partisan compromise vote Oct. 23 on the $514.6 million 2020 budget with amendments, passing a tax increase to 3.78 mills.

Before the vote, Commissioner Brad Osborne, who moments later voted against the budget, made a statement saying he has respect for the ability of Financial Officer Tim Reeves, but objected to the procedure by which the administration and members of the board of commissioners reached the compromise presented in the final version of the bill.

Council allows a contested fence

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

The fence between two feuding neighbors got the green light Oct. 15 when city council voted to allow one of the neighbors to build their fence, over the objection of the other.

It’s an age-old problem, one that Robert Frost tried to address in his poem, “Mending Wall,” of which the most famous (and often misinterpreted) line goes: “Good fences make good neighbors.”

However, in the poem, Frost is actually challenging the wisdom of building fences as he and his neighbor are mending a stone wall between their properties. Here is an excerpt:

City hosts state Latino convention

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

The deep religious underpinnings of Latino culture came to the forefront in the opening ceremony of the second annual Pennsylvania Latino Convention held at Bethlehem city hall Oct. 29.

Prayer, music and dancing were foremost on the evening’s agenda, as speakers welcomed delegates, and invocations and calls for unity were voiced by local religious leaders heading into the three-day event.

County nets $142K prevention grant

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Northampton County has received a $142,000 grant which will be applied toward drug and alcohol prevention, Executive Lamont McClure announced Sept. 17. “The longer you take to have your first drink, the less likely you will have a problem with drinking,” he said.

“Since the day I was elected, I said, ‘We didn’t have one person to give up on Northampton County,’” said McClure to drug abuse professionals, survivors and students at Northampton Community College.

Scheller announces bid for Congress

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Allentown resident and Tamaqua business woman Lisa Scheller announced last week that she is running for Congress next year in the 7th Congressional District. The district includes Lehigh and Northampton counties and part of Monroe County.

Speaking to supporters and the press in a small event room at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Allentown, Scheller read an announcement touching on her personal history, her business experience, her community service and her philanthropical work.

Notable was her pledge to serve for only four terms, or eight years.

Wild hosts town hall meeting

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

United States Representative Susan Wild, of Pennsylvania’s Seventh District, met generally friendly constituents in a town hall session Oct. 2 at Muhlenberg College’s Seegers Union Hall.

“I’m always happy to see young people involved in the political process,” said Wild, as she looked out at many younger citizens. However, there was an impressive cross section of ages at the event.

Enthusiasm was high, with mainly supportive attendees interspersed with a few who challenged her positions on several issues.

Budget passes with bipartisan support

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Commissioners moved the proposed 2020 budget closer to the finish line Thursday when two Republican commissioners voted with the Democratic minority to pass County Executive Phillips Armstrong’s budget.

The 5–3 vote brought praise from Armstrong, who called Commissioners Nathan Brown and Marc Grammes, the Republicans, “statesmen,” not “partisan politicians.”

County ahead of game in election prep

Monday, October 7, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Pennsylvania gave Lehigh County election officials a check for $380,868 that will partially pay the expense of new voting machines.

Secretary of State Kathleen Boockvar presented a mock-up oversize check to Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong in a short presentation last week in the administration building on Seventh Street in Allentown.

She said the check is part of a $14.15 million packet of state and federal funds set aside in 2018 for just this purpose.

11-15 West Garrison City considers apartment structure

Monday, September 30, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Emotional responses dominated the public hearing Sept. 17 to rezone the zoning map to accommodate a planned apartment building spanning 11 to 15 West Garrison St. Dennis Connell, an architect who owns the property, wants to erect a five-story apartment building that could have 72 units and a garage with 74 parking spaces.

The properties are currently in the RT or High-Density Residential District, but Connell wants city council to approve a re-designation of the zoning map to classify the properties back to CB, or Central Business District, as they had been until 2005.