Bethlehem Press

Saturday, December 14, 2019

LEHIGH COUNTY - Term limit referendum fails in council

Monday, March 18, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

A motion to put a referendum on term limits before citizens failed in a 5–2 vote March 13 during the Lehigh County Commissioners’ regular meeting.

The sole sponsor, Commissioner Amy Zanelli, couldn’t muster enough support to pass the measure. Even fellow Democrat Dan Hartzell could not be persuaded to support his colleague with his vote; he sided with Republicans to vote against the measure.

“We need to use reason instead of emotion,” said Hartzell. “This implies that long service is a problem. I can’t convince myself – this a problem in search of a solution.”

Armstrong delivers state of county

Monday, March 4, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

The county executive, a Democrat, proposed measures that may shake up the Republican-dominated Board of Commissioners; limit commissioner’s terms to three or 12 years; secondly, create an independent ethics oversight committee; and third, get them out of the negotiating collective bargaining agreements business.

Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong addressed a crowded room at Coca-Cola Stadium in Allentown on Feb. 21 to report the state of the County and to tell the public what his administration has done over the past year and what the future holds.

MATHCOUNTS - even on weekends

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in School

Math was cool – at least for a few hours during the MATHCOUNTS Lehigh Valley Regional Competition held at Lower Macungie MS Feb. 9.

The Saturday event had a bunch of smart kids out of bed and away from their TVs and social media while being excited about math.

“According to Kevin Campbell of Lehigh Valley Chapter Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers – the sponsor of the event, “Math is the foundation to being a good engineer –” therefore, he continued, “since engineers make all the good things that make life easier, “all engineers go to heaven.”

Isis Irizarry goes to Mexico

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

“I’m my mother’s daughter,” said new lawyer Isis [pronounced Ee-sis in Spanish] Irizarry when explaining why a local woman now working in Connecticut would go to the West Coast, and then to Tijuana, Mexico, to help asylum seekers.

Irizarry is the daughter of Olga Negrón, a Bethlehem city councilwoman and high-profile spokesperson for the Latino community in the Lehigh Valley.

“She’s not one to sit idle while there is an injustice,” Irizarry said of her mother in a recent interview.

New website brings promise

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Are you curious about how much the city spent on maintaining the streets last year? How about for the last four years?

How about pension or snow removal expenses for the last three years?

If you want to know exactly where your tax dollars are being spent, you will be able to find and analyze all things financial when the new city website is rolled out.

According to City of Bethlehem Business Manager Eric Evans, that’s when phase one of the new program, OpenGov.com, will be available to the general public via a link on the new website.

A NIGHT TO SHINE

Monday, February 18, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

‘An unforgettable prom night experience’

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.

Callahan’s proposal targets disparity

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

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.

Community business grads celebrate

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

“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.”

School board asks for support

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

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.”