Bethlehem Press

Friday, September 21, 2018

A quarter century later, Pastor Jerry Smith still has the best job in the world

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 by STEPHEN ALTHOUSE in Local News

Pastor Gerald Smith is a man of faith and a man whose car has no air conditioning.

The first is very important, the latter not so much. It’s a good ride and most days runs like a charm.

Heatwave? No problem, he opens the windows and enjoys the fresh air. It whips through his black and silvery hair and the whiskers in his white beard.

But there is one thing Pastor Jerry wouldn’t mind having. Not a sports car or a SUV, but more parking spots at his church.

God, could you please work on that? Thank you Lord for your consideration.

LEHIGH COUNTY Where do my taxes go?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong answered his own rhetorical question, “What Do My Lehigh County Tax Dollars Pay For?”

•Law and Order: Courts, Jail, District Attorney, Sheriff, Public Defender, Coroner

•Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation

•General Services

•County Infrastructure including, parks, trails, the Velodrome and historic sites, Coca-Cola Park, Trexler Nature Preserve, emergency management, the 9-1-1 Center and farmland preservation

City golf course funding approved

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Two new ordinances were scheduled to be voted on by Bethlehem City Council Sept. 4 but one, an amendment to the fireworks ordinance was pulled to allow council to reconcile differences on the permitted hours for fireworks.

The second bill, a $2 million general obligation note for improvement at the Bethlehem Golf Club on Illicks Mill Road, got preliminary or first reading approval from the council, but over the objection of councilwomen Dr. Paige Van Wirt and Olga Negrón.

Council ponders purchasing building

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Northampton County’s Centralized Human Services Building is located at 2801 Emrick Boulevard in Bethlehem Township. It was dedicated a little over four years ago, in April 2014. It was a dream come true for former Executive John Stoffa. He devoted his career to human services. Throughout two terms, he argued for a centralized location for the 80,000 clients who often need services from several departments. The county leases this building from Polaris Emrick Development at a rate of $1.05 million per year. Is it time to buy?

It’s not working Airbnb law ineffective

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Residents packed the city council’s chambers last week to hear that the recent law passed by Bethlehem’s legislative body to control the phenomenon of private homes being turned into short-term rentals for a constantly shifting population is not working.

Bethlehem City Solicitor William Leeson explained that there is a pending lawsuit against the City of Bethlehem challenging the validity of the ordinance. He said this has effectively put enforcement on hold until that case has been adjudicated – a process that, if appealed, could take years.

The Kolbe Academy -- Allentown Diocese opens recovery high school

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by NATE JASTRZEMSKI in Local News

The Diocese of Allentown announced in a press event Friday the planned opening of the nation’s first Catholic-run high school for students recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

The Kolbe Academy will open its doors next September to up to 90 ninth-12th grade students in need of an environment specifically designed to cater to recovery, where curriculum, staff and counselors are all focused on teens in need.

Diocese Department of Education Deputy Superintendent of Secondary and Special Education Dr. Brooke Tesche began work on the project two years ago.

Rosenthal scaling back public service

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by BERNIE O’HARE in Local News

Joan Rosenthal has been a Northampton County Elections Commissioner, Hanover Township Supervisor, Planning Commissioner and Zoning Hearing Board member. “You name it, I was on it,” she laughs. Over the past few years, she’s been trying to scale back so that others can serve. On Aug, 28, she informed township supervisors that she’s stepping down from the Neighborhood Block Watch, another organization she managed for many years.