American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) concessions will save Gracedale Nursing Home money and reduce Northampton County's contribution to Gracedale's 2012 operating budget. Recently ratified by union members, the new four-year contract was approved by an 8-1 vote at Northampton County Council's Aug. 16 meeting.
"We're back in the hiring business – to some degree," said Bethlehem Area School District Human Resources Director Russell Giordano, speaking at the school board's Human Resources Committee meeting Aug. 6.
Giordano was describing how the district is bringing back some of the teachers that it fired or "furloughed" after last year's budget cuts.
The Lehigh Valley Health Network will hold marathons and a walk to benefit VIA Sept. 8 and 9 from Allentown to Easton via Bethlehem. Late registration ends Aug. 26.
There will be family fun walks and other events beginning at 9 a.m. Sept. 8 at the ArtsQuest Center, 101 Founder's Way. The race opening ceremonies and marathons begin at 6:40 a.m. at L.V. Hospital, Cedar Crest and I-78, Allentown, on Sept. 9.
For information, visit www.vianet.org.
The southeast corner of Center Street and Dewberry Avenue, once part of a sleepy cemetery, is now the most hotly litigated piece of property in Bethlehem. Frustrated residents, normally very cordial, lashed out against owner Abe Atiyeh during an Aug. 16 meeting of the Planning Commission. But neither he nor anyone from his sundry business concerns was present, despite having submitted plans for review. Atiyeh, who has zoning approval for an assisted living facility at the 5-acre site, has abandoned that project as a result of market conditions.
Smokers, litter and oversized vehicle parking were identified as nuisances that the Fountain Hill Council agreed it needs to tackle in the upcoming months. At its monthly meeting Aug. 6, the members also voted unanimously to table a shopping cart enforcement ordinance until the September meeting.
In his report to the council, Mayor Jose Rosado called for a no-smoking policy to prevent employees at St. Luke's Hospital from going off hospital grounds to smoke in groups in nearby residential neighborhoods. St. Luke's forbids smoking anywhere on its campus.
It's been on the national stage and in the Harrisburg courts, but even here in the semi-rural Lehigh Valley the Voter ID law is maligned as a needless and expensive partisan encroachment on basic American rights.
As liberals decry the law's unconstitutionality, conservatives have faced a court decision on an argument so thin they wouldn't even use their straw man in the proceedings.
The Bethlehem City Council replaced the zoning ordinance Aug. 7 in a 6 to 1 vote for final passage, in spite of pleas from several residents to amend the paragraph related to use of corner lots.
It was the first significant revision of the ordinance in several decades.
The issue of corner lot or corner building use was not resolved, but there seems to be a consensus among members to revisit the paragraph, which was poorly written, according to one of its authors, resident and former candidate for city Controller William Scheirer.