Parkland Press

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Human service workers fear low-staff outcome

Friday, May 3, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Members of Lehigh County’s human services office again made a strong showing at the county commissioners’ April 24 meeting.

They have been making regular appearances recently at commissioners’ meetings arguing for more staff.

“We have a wholesale system breakdown,” Tony Lupo said, referring to the ability of staff to properly care for children referred to human services. “Caseworkers are not able to protect the children of Lehigh County. We can’t keep people. They run out the door.”

Lupo said he has 47 cases.

Commissioners name conference room for Scott Grim

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Former Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim will be remembered long after he has left office because county commissioners voted on a resolution April 10 to name the conference room in the Coroner’s Office and Forensic Center in his honor.

According to the resolution approved by the commissioners, Grim served in the coroner’s office for 26 years, 22 of which he was county coroner.

Under his leadership, the coroner’s office was nationally accredited by the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners in 2005.

SEIU workers attend county commissioners’ meeting

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Several employees of Lehigh County’s Department of Human Services Department attended the county commissioners March 27 meeting voicing concern about lack of progress on a contract.

Security was increased around the room with additional deputies inside and outside.

The assembly, however, remained peaceful and respectful.

Their union contract expired Dec. 31, 2018, according to one of the representatives speaking to commissioners during the public comment portion of the regular meeting.

The employees have been working without a contract for almost three months.

Crowded Kitchen Players’ premiere addresses topic that’s ‘Unspeakable’

Friday, March 22, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Focus

“’Unspeakable’” describes a system that often finds itself inadequate to help the very individuals it has been created to serve,” says Ara Barlieb about the genesis of his new play.

The Crowded Kitchen Players’ “Unspeakable” has its world premiere March 22, Charles A. Brown Ice House, Bethlehem, where it continues March 23, 24, 29, 30 and 31.

Referendum idea for commissioner term limits fails

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

A motion to put a referendum on term limits before voters failed in a 5-2 vote on March 13 during the Lehigh County Commissioners’ regular meeting.

The sole sponsor, Commissioner Amy Zanelli, could not muster enough support to pass the measure.

Even fellow Democrat Dan Hartzell could not be persuaded to support his colleague with his vote. He sided with Republicans to vote against the measure.

“We need to use reason instead of emotion,” Hartzell said. “This implies long service is a problem.

“I can’t convince myself this is a problem in search of a solution.”

Springhouse, Orefield middle school students win at MATHCOUNTS

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in School

Math was cool — at least for a few hours during the MATHCOUNTS Lehigh Valley Regional 35th annual Competition held recently at Lower Macungie Middle School.

The Saturday event had a bunch of kids out of bed and away from televisions and social media, while being excited about math.

Kevin Campbell of the Lehigh Valley Chapter Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, sponsor of the event spoke with The Press.

Term limits to be discussed at future county board meeting

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County commissioners discussed the ramifications of a proposed referendum amending the Home Rule Charter contained in a motion by Commissioner Amy Zanelli to limit commissioners to three terms.

Commissioner Nathan Brown speaking during the governance committee, before the regular Feb. 27 meeting, said he does not see a need for term limits in local government, which he defined as county government and below.

Chairman Marty Nothstein said he supports term limits for higher government levels.

State of county address offers changes, praises accomplishments

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong has proposed limiting a commissioner’s term to three terms or 12 years; creating an independent ethics oversight committee; and getting commissioners out of negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

Armstrong addressed a crowded room Feb. 21 at Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, to report the state of the county and to tell the public what his administration has done over the past year and what the future holds.

Board creates director position for Cedarbrook

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Lehigh County commissioners have approved an amendment to modify the 2019 budget authorizing creation of a new job position — Director of Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation.

They needed the new slot so they can pay for a director to replace Good Shepherd Rehabilitation, which gave up the contract to manage the facility in South Whitehall. The annual salary for the position is $123,136.

In other business, commissioners commemorated the long service of Deputy Controller John A. Falk, who is retiring after almost 31 years.