Physical Education teachers Philip Russell and David Jost spoke to the school board in the hope of gaining their support for the implementation of rock climbing walls at the Saucon Valley MS gymnasium.
The proposal is to construct two rock climbing walls that would be 30 feet high and 6 feet wide. Students would utilize all the necessary gear including ropes and safety harnesses. Teachers would receive training and would be re-certified on a regular basis.
At their Feb. 5 meeting, council discussed options on how to deal with junked or abandoned vehicles. After several complaints from residents about increasing numbers of inoperable vehicles being left out by residents with little or no effort to repair them, the borough wants to resolve a situation that some believe is a growing problem.
Some concerned citizens believe the vehicles will lower their property values.
The increasing number of vehicles covered by blue tarps in neighborhoods with limited space - some inoperable and missing parts - has council seriously discussing the junked or abandoned vehicles ordinance Feb. 5.
Currently, under Chapter 430 of the code index, the borough does not allow junked or abandoned vehicles, unless the owner has a permit and covers the vehicles with a blue tarp. The permit cost $50 per vehicle and is valid for one year. The owner has the option to renew at the end of a year.
Back in October, Hellertown council announced the Water Street Pedestrian Bicycle Safety Project. In that plan, the borough was going to replace the current advanced warning flashers with rapid flashers that are shared with the Heller Homestead Crossing and the Thomas Street Crossing. Subsequently, the Federal Highway Administration has discontinued the use of rapid flashers for pedestrian crosswalk use. Initially the FHA put the flashers in place as an experimental proprietary project. The project ultimately lasted 10 years.
Minsi Trails Council Boy Scouts of America held ita special recognition dinner and annual business meeting at East Hills Moravian Church Jan. 26. The evening consisted of distinguished awards handed out to individuals who exemplified scouting traits through their character and actions.
Some of the highlights included the Alumnus of the Year Award, Outstanding Eagle Scout Awards and Silver Beaver Awards. Robert K. Smith of Emmaus received the Alumnus of the Year Award. Mr. Smith is a coffee maker, Arrowman and Head Commissioner of the Trexler Scout Reservation.
Up for a vote by the school board was a decision to add the Advanced Placement Chemistry course to the high school’s program of studies beginning in the fall of 2018. Currently, the high school offers 12 other advanced placement courses for students to choose from. The AP Chemistry course is a rigorous class that would require students to do a significant level of work over the summer in preparation for taking the class. The district has chosen high school science teacher Ashley Yestrumskas to teach the course when it begins. Yestrumskas has already co-taught the course previously.
In November, Saucon Valley High School Principal Beth Guarriello presented a plan to update policies in the HS Student Handbook. At that time, a proposal was presented to ban five words that were considered “hate speech.” Those words were “Bitch”, the N-Word, “Terrorist”, “Retarded” and “Gay.”
At the council meeting Dec. 4, the borough highlighted the success of the recent Hellertown Light Up Night. On hand was Jessica O’Donnell from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. According to O’Donnell, with this year’s expansion of the event from one to three hours, an estimated 1,200 people were in attendance. Individuals came from across the Lehigh Valley and beyond, including Phillipsburg, Easton and Carbon County. The success of the event promoted increased foot traffic to the downtown area.
Two outgoing school board members received special recognition for their years of service.
Members Ralph Puerta and John Dowling are leaving the board. Puerta served from 2005-17 and in a previous stint during the 80s and 90s. Dowling served from 2013-17.
Both members were presented with a plaque of recognition by Superintendent Dr. Craig Butler.
The plaques read, “To honor your service to education by word and deed, your presence has enriched the lives of students and served as example for all.”
After Hellertown council authorized the hire of a new part-time police officer, Kyle Bartholomew was sworn in by Mayor Richard Fluck Nov. 20.
In addition to the authorization, council voted to waive 300 hours of training based on Hellertown Police Chief Robert Shupp’s recommendation.