Bethlehem Press

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Russian Orthodox Church

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

A taste of Russia comes to the city

The beautiful blue of the ornate Russian Orthodox Church on Bridle Path Road complemented a blue sky Sept. 7 as the church in Bethlehem was the scene of the Russian Food Festival.

George, Dimitra and Angelika came from Nazareth to browse the vendor’s tables at the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church’s 37th annual Russian Days Food Festival.

“We are from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Nazareth,” said George, who preferred not to give his last name. “We want to support other local communities in the Lehigh Valley.”

Council, admin have partisan fallout

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

The Republican members who dominate the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners 6–3 don’t trust the Democrats who head up Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong’s administration.

An amendment establishing procedures to allow the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners to recommend health care provider vendors other than the one recommended by the administration had its first reading Sept. 25.

PPL trucks helped in storm aftermath

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

Fifty PPL Electric Utilities engineers, supervisors and line workers formed a convoy of 20 special-purpose trucks and other vehicles and headed out Aug. 30 for Florida to help local power companies deal with Hurricane Dorian.

However, before the convoy reached Florida, the storm track of Dorian changed and Florida was no longer threatened with a direct hit. The major power company in Florida, Duke Energy, released the PPL workers from their task. The workers were then ordered to return to their home base in Pennsylvania.

Executive’s predicted tax increase arrives in 2020 budget proposal

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Perhaps hoping that wearing a purple shirt would predispose Lehigh County Commissioners into thinking that his 2020 proposed $514.6 million budget is bi-partisan, County Executive Phillips Armstrong unveiled his fiscal plan on Friday to department heads and staffers, attending commissioners and the public.

Crampsie Smith replaces Martell

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Grace Crampsie Smith was seated Aug. 20 as a Bethlehem City Council member five months early after Shawn M. Martell announced plans to resign and accept a job with the public education team at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C.

Smith, a Democrat, won the seat in the last general election, but in accordance with city policy was not slated to take her seat until January 2020. She is currently a high school counselor with the Easton Area School District.

Lehigh Valley shows its Pride

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

A blazing sun made attendees at the Aug. 18 Lehigh Valley Pride event appreciate any shady spot they could find. But the heat didn’t melt the enthusiasm of the attendees who paraded, dressed in their campiest pride finery, or who just came to show support for the LGBT community and just to have fun.

Politicians and government officials came to show their support and their faces at the event held in Allentown at the Jewish Community Center on Tilghman Street. The Lehigh Valley Pride event was a program of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.

Member rant ends meeting Zoning issue questioned

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

The Bethlehem City Council meeting went off the rails Aug. 23. Fortunately, it was at the end of the agenda, after the council’s business had been already accomplished.

Councilman Bryan Callahan started out challenging some comments that he alleged were made by another councilperson to one of Mayor Robert Donchez’s nominees for the Zoning Hearing Board.

At the heart of Callahan’s indignation was the idea that campaign contributions would somehow influence a politician’s vote and thus call into question the civil servant’s integrity.

Conflicts arise; members cast rules aside

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Commissioners suspended “rules of the board” and added the long-delayed and much-belabored Human Services union contract to their agenda Aug. 14. Even that simple act was not without drama, as commissioners voted 8-1 to authorize the exception to regular order, which allowed the contract to be added to the already published agenda.

Commissioner Geoff Brace objected to suspending the rules in such an irregular fashion.

Human Services workers have been working without an agreement since Dec. 31, 2018.