Bethlehem Press

Sunday, August 20, 2017

LV house sales down 4.4 percent in February

Friday, March 31, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Sales of houses in the greater Lehigh Valley declined for the second straight month in 2017, but at a lesser rate.

Closed sales dropped by 4.4 percent in February to 433 houses sold, compared to 453 in February 2016, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR).

On a bright note again, pending of houses sales in the Lehigh Valley were again up by double digits in February.

Pending sales were up 16.6 percent in February to 687, compared to 589 in February 2016.

Lehigh Valley Press garners 20 Professional Keystone Press Awards

Friday, March 31, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Bethlehem Press was again a big winner in the annual Professional Keystone Press Awards.

Overall, Lehigh Valley Press received 20 Keystone awards in the 2017 contest.

Of the total number of awards received by The Press newspapers, the Bethlehem Press and its contributors received 17 Keystones and the newspaper received the Sweepstakes Award in its division for the fourth year in a row.

Movie review: Wolverine shows claws in ‘Logan’

Thursday, March 23, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s called “Logan.”

Who, you might ask, is Logan?

After a blockbuster opening weekend, you may be among the few in the whole wide world who does not know that Logan is the name of Wolverine, here downplayed as a comic book superhero and presented more as a human being, albeit, a so-called mutant human being, played again with brooding gusto by Hugh Jackman.

Theater Review: The ‘Stuff’ that journeys are made of

Friday, March 10, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Complete and Authoritative Tour of Holy Stuff” is a multi-media presentation, continuing through at 8 p.m. March 10 and 11 and 2 p.m. March 12, Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem, about what makes us tick and rings our bells.

It’s around the world in 80 mimes as Emma Ackerman, who created and performs the one-woman show, continuing at 8 p.m. March 10 and 11 and 2 p.m. March 12, wordlessly leads the audience through a series of vignettes about the search for the meaning of life.

‘Moonlight’

Friday, March 10, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Moonlight” is an extraordinary slice-of-life film, representing in the best sense what cinema is all about: to take us to places where we may not typically go in our life or imagination.

The film’s unusual cinematography elevates the material to a dream-like state, which contrasts with remarkably realistic performances and a spare soundtrack that makes the film even more captivating.

“Moonlight” is based on a semi-autobiographical play, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” by Tarell Alvin McCraney, with the screenplay written by the film’s director Barry Jenkins.

Oscars will have surprises

Friday, February 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It was another good year at the movies in 2016.

In North America, movies grossed $11.4 billion in 2016, besting the record of $11.1 billion in 2015.

Walt Disney Studios held the top three positions: “Finding Dory,” $486.3 million; “Rogue One,” and “Captain America: Civil War.”

None of these was a Best Picture nominee for the Academy Awards, to be telecast at 8 p.m. EST Feb. 26. Here are my picks for the seven categories of the Lehigh Valley Press “Readers Pick the Oscar recipients” contest:

Movie Review: ‘Fences’

Friday, February 17, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Good fences make good neighbors.”

- Robert Frost,

“Mending Wall”

“Fences,” the film version of August Wilson’s 1987 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play is set in Pittsburgh circa 1956 where Troy (Denzel Washington, who also directs), is a municipal garbageman and former Negro League baseball player standout.

Troy and his wife, Rose (Viola Davis), have a son, Cory (Jovan Adepo, TV’s “The Leftovers,” 2015-17, in his theatrical feature debut), who excels at academics and football in high school and is being scouted for a college scholarship.

Laubach-Franko Master Plan approved; officials laud proposal, eager to implement

Monday, February 13, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

The Master Site Development Plan for the William H. Laubach Memorial Park and Franko Farm Recreation Area that calls for an estimated $5 million in improvements is being lauded to upgrade recreation on the east side of Salisbury Township.

“What we tried to do was take a little bit of the overcrowding from Laubach and shift it to Franko,” said Leonard J. Policelli, landscape architect, project manager, Urban Research & Development Corp., Bethlehem, consultant for the Laubach-Franko Master Plan.