Donchez said the city is now celebrating 275 years of rich history, and its recent placement on a list of tentative World Heritage sites reinforces not only its place in history, but the community’s perseverance through challenges.
“We have always risen to the occasion and created a better, more stable future for our community, and our children. We are hardworking and determined. Our strength comes from our partnerships, and our ability to work together. United…we can stand up to any adversity,” Donchez said.
“For being 275 years old, I think we look pretty good.”
Russell K. Laros Jr. joined his father’s already long-running charitable foundation in 1965, and over more than 50 years he served as trustee, chair and board member while pursuing an equally storied career in obstetric medicine.
For five years architect Mike Mayrosh has toiled over designs as residents waited, shaking their heads at dripping ceilings, equipment and extension cords lying about, and great unsecured fuel tanks rusting amid their Pool Street homes.
But Feb. 15 it came to pass: Council voted to advertise for the construction of a new public works facility.
Sen. Lisa Boscola has proposed eliminating property taxes statewide, citing a desire to release senior citizens from the burden. HB/SB 76 has been introduced before and almost succeeded, said Boscola representative Joe Kelly, but it will likely be on the agenda for further discussion at a special session in the near future.
Though its aftermath was controversial, the presidential inauguration Jan. 19 was attended by many Lehigh Valley residents wishing to experience firsthand the changeover from the Obama to Trump administrations.
Following an introduction by Bethlehem Area School District solicitor Donald Spry, newly named Pa. Superintendent of the Year Dr. Joe Roy embodied the responsibilities of his station Jan. 19 by specifying, “I should clarify: That was covered by the retainer and not additional billable hours.”
The city’s Water Authority began its Jan. 12 meeting with its annual reorganization, though seeing a winning combination there were no changes from last year.
John Tallarico remains chair for a third year, though he says they prefer to change every two years so it’s unlikely he’ll remain for a fourth. Tallarico and Vaughn Gower are joined by newer members Dennis Domchek, Sharon Zondag and Thomas Donchez.
City Council President J. Willie Reynolds held a press conference Jan. 10 and released a document titled Bethlehem 2017, a manifesto in which he delineates eight major proposals he wishes to initiate in the city this year. At a whopping 36 pages, the proposals end in resolution and ordinance drafts for council consideration.
Proposals include a climate action plan, campaign contribution limits, a Northside development plan, investments in city social media and community policing, and reinvesting Parking Authority revenue.
In our Dec. 28 issue, we published an article indicating the Bethlehem Area School District could soon be the beneficiary of a retooled state schools funding formula and could reap hundreds of millions of dollars. Since then, school administrators have corrected the numbers we published and specified the district doesn’t expect a windfall. Far from it.
It was our first full year in an office outside the city, but The Bethlehem Press has maintained its deep involvement in and love for the city and the surrounding municipalities we serve.
Each of our weekly issues has been filled with matters close to home and of statewide or national interest with a local twist. It was a year of both economic recovery and social unrest as … Here are highlights of items we brought you in 2016:
• Becahi grad and actor Dan Roebuck returns to film a movie, “Getting Grace,” in his hometown