Following three years of work and $2 million in fundraising, a broad partnership of various city and Southside organizations finally celebrated the opening of a new Community Wellness Center on East Fourth Street.
“This is a vision for a renaissance in the Southside,” said Hispanic Center board President Donna Taggart, who listed St. Luke’s University Hospital, Pinebrook Family Solutions, Lehigh University, the Fowler Foundation and the city’s Health Department as but a sample of the cooperative effort in play.
A $5,000 grant to the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center failed last week when the one of the sponsors of the bill, Amy Zanelli, abstained from voting for the bill; however, she then watched the votes split between the remaining eight commissioners, 4–4. With Zanelli’s vote, the bill would have passed. She said that she abstained because, “I volunteer for, contribute to, and benefit from” the Bradbury-Sullivan Community Center, “I will abstain.”
As the school year ended, the BASD board of directors had one outstanding decision, dating all the way to late 2017, which had to be wrapped up. Since November, the board has known that it would need to approve the charter for the Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts, which was set to expire June 30. The district conducted a full investigation of the charter school, and had only a few small recommendations to improve the curriculum and address educational needs.
The third annual Dave DiGiacinto “DiGi” golf tournament was held in early May, gathering friends of the late city controller at the Bethlehem Golf Club in a fundraiser that benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Bethlehem. DiGiacinto served on the organization’s board of directors. Eighty-five golfers participated, kicking the event off with a shotgun start under the threat of rain showers. On hand to greet golfers and sponsors were DiGiacinto’s sister, Sally Horan, son Luke and former wife Kelly. After the round of play, participants enjoyed dinner and a party with live entertainment.
The Portuguese community of Bethlehem hosted the annual “Dia de Portugal,” Portuguese Heritage Day, the weekend of June 8 and 9. Featuring a colorful parade of participants who marched from city hall, the event attracted an overflow crowd to the hall and yard of Holy Infancy Church on the Southside.
A highlight of this year’s festival was the presence of three groups of dancers and musicians from different parts of Portugal. Participants wore clothing traditional to their region and performed traditional dances.
The Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley is offering the following free education and support programs for cancer patients and their caregivers in June.
Unless otherwise noted, programs are held at the Cancer Support Community, 944 Marcon Blvd., Suite 110, Allentown.
Programs are offered free to people affected by cancer.
Years of bickering over a $350,000 bathroom complex for Bethlehem Township’s athletic fields may have finally come to an end. On June 4, commissioners voted unanimously to seek bids for a mobile restroom that would include four toilets and a big ADA-compliant toilet, complete with a wheelchair ramp, for someone who is disabled. PPIS Director Steve Hunsberger presented the options to commissioners. He predicted that they could probably purchase a trailer for about $42,000, and place it on a concrete pad. It will take about 16 weeks to arrive once it’s ordered.
Should Bethlehem Township continue its participation in the Bethlehem Area Public Library? According to a survey recently conducted by National Citizen Survey, the answer is Yes. When township commissioners learned that the state Library Code prevents a referendum, they opted to gauge public opinion on the library and other issues through a $14,265 survey conducted by the National Research Center. Close to 500 responses were received to a questionnaire that went to 1,500 families. The results are available on the township’s internet dashboard.
The computer consultant company Computer Aid, Inc., based in Allentown, finally saw a contract amendment approved by commissioners 6–1 with one abstention May 23. Commissioner Amanda Holt voted “no” on the amendment.