Canadian cuisine restaurant owners Matt and Christie Vymazal were granted a certificate of appropriateness from the Bethlehem Historic Conservation Commission for painting, signage and exterior light fixtures for The Flying V Poutinerie at 201 E. Third St. during the June 15 meeting held online. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ‘virtual’ hearing was conducted through gotomeeting.com. The vote was unanimous.
In a sparsely-attended remote council meeting June 16, Ed Gallagher, a retired Lehigh University English professor and author of the blog “Bethlehem Gadfly,” used his now-standard Bethlehem Moment historic recounting to describe the 1997 Southside drug bust conducted by Bethlehem police, which left John Hirko Jr. dead with 11 bullets in his back from a police “submachine gun.” The suspected drug dealer’s home was also burned as result of pyrotechnic ordnance or flash-bang grenade used by the police.
PPL Foundation announced June 22 that it is expanding its mission and focus to more directly support racial justice and equity initiatives in the communities it serves.
To demonstrate this commitment, the foundation announced a combined $100,000 in initial contributions to local organizations focused on confronting racism and injustice.
When he was only 4 years old, Frankie West’s parents decided to move their family north and ended up settling in Bethlehem. They had suffered one of the ultimate discriminatory experiences when, because of the color of their skin, they were refused admittance to the beach at Myrtle Beach, S.C. That was when they decided to move. West carries that scar deep inside and has only returned to Myrtle Beach once since, to watch his niece play basketball in a game at Coastal Carolina University.
POLICE USE OF FORCE DIRECTIVES
1. Ban chokeholds and strongholds: allowing officers to choke or strangle civilians, in many cases where less lethal force could be used instead, results in the unnecessary death or serious injury of civilians.
2. Require de-escalation: require officers to de-escalate situations, where possible, by communicating with subjects, maintaining distance, and otherwise eliminating the need to use force.
3. Require warning before shooting: require officers to give a verbal warning, when possible, before shooting a civilian.
Seventy years ago, I spent much of the summer on William Smith’s farm in Weaversville. My father, Anthony, was an immigrant from Austria. My first job was on the farm. The family’s main farm was in East Allen Township.
The farm was sold, so Willie moved to a small farm in Weaversville. My father would leave the farm when he was hired by Universal Atlas Cement Company but would also help on the farm when needed.
Youth House names new board members
Valley Youth House held a virtual annual meeting May 21. Guest speaker Jon Rubin, Deputy Secretary from the Pa Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth, and Families, spoke about the “Future Trends in Child Welfare in the Commonwealth of PA”.
Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez gives Roger Hudak a lot of credit.
“Roger’s motivation, energy and commitment of his personal time has been invaluable to the City of Bethlehem, especially the South Side,” Donchez said of Hudak.
Hudak acknowledges the South Side has for decades had to overcome negative attitudes about where to live.
Immigrants coming to this country to work at Bethlehem Steel in the mid-20th century settled on the South Side to be near where they worked.
Police brutality and racism have been a hot topic in America for the last several weeks, and the June 15 Hellertown Borough Council virtual meeting was no exception, as Mayor David Heintzelman, Council President Thomas J. Reiger and others addressed concerns from community members in separate statements.
Early in the meeting, Reiger read a question from an anonymous resident, “asking the Mayor (Heintzelman) and Chief of Police (Robert Shupp III) to share what specific steps Hellertown police have taken to ensure that none of our officers use excessive force.”