Thirty-five residents stepped forward at the recent South Whitehall planning commission meeting to express their feeling on the possible impact on their lives of the proposed Ridge Farm development.
The 741 housing units, showed in a slideshow by Kay Builders, the new community would occupy 190 acres of what is now open fields, woodland, and a few older homes.
While traffic issues were mentioned frequently, residents’ comments covered nearly every aspect relating to quality of life in the township.
The passing of former pastor, the Rev. Harry Kissinger, in December 2017, brought to mind some history of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Laurys Station.
The Rev. Kissinger began his ministry at St. John’s in 1961 when it was a union church with active Lutheran and Reformed congregations.
They worshipped on alternate Sundays, although many people attended every week, no matter which denomination was in charge that day.
Soon after the Rev. Kissinger’s arrival, people started talking about merging the two congregations.
South Whitehall commissioners have accepted and approved Jason M. Werley as a member of the special fire police for the Cetronia Fire Department.
He joins Bob Hines and Capt. William Kordilla on the team.
Kordilla said a state statute governs the requirements for special fire police training and prescribed what they may do.
He said an applicant must first be accepted by the fire department, then sworn in by a district judge, and finally read for acceptance at the board of commissioners.
For 67 years, the Parkland Trojan Alumni Varsity Club has worked to promote and encourage participation in extracurricular athletic activities in the school district.
President Ron Bealer reports the club provides educational scholarships for athletes, offers support for various school activities, advances social and physical improvement among students, and promotes camaraderie for all district athletes and friends.
Union United Church of Christ, Neffs, notes Lent starts on Valentine’s Day this year and ends with the Easter celebration on April Fool’s Day, April 1.
Before that spiritual journey begins, Union UCC will have a pancake, sausage, applesauce and fastnacht supper 6 p.m. Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 13.
The mealis free but donations will be accepted.
On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, worship services will be in the sanctuary with a quiet time for prayer, communion and ashes, noon to 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Parkland School Board has approved a resolution to increase taxes for the 2018-19 school year no higher than the 2.4 percent Act 1 Index calculated for the district by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Business Manager John Vignone said the department of education blends the statewide average weekly wage with the national employment cost index into a formula to derive a base index for each school district.
As Parkland is considered a wealthier school, its index is on the lowest tier. An economically challenged district would have a higher allowable index.
Salaries, at $81.4 million, are the largest item in the proposed $180.3 million Parkland School District budget.
Benefits are second at $52.7 million.
In a budget presentation at the Jan. 23 school board meeting, Business Manager John Vignone reported the amount for salaries was helped along by a $200,000 attrition savings.
As most retirements have been announced, Vignone could calculate how much the district is likely to save as new teachers at the lower end of the salary scale replace long-term, higher paid staff.
In response to growing enrollment in Parkland schools, the proposed 2018-19 budget includes funding for 10 new teachers.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rod Troutman spoke with The Press about the need for additional professional staff.
“We’ll use them [new employees] in areas where enrollment continues to grow,” Troutman said.
He said seven of the new teachers will be assigned to various schools throughout the district, probably Springhouse Middle School, the high school, and Parkway Manor and Cetronia elementary schools.
During the public comment portion of a recent South Whitehall commissioners’ meeting, township resident Sam Lipot complained about the trees bordering Grandview Cemetery along Walbert Avenue.
The cemetery is owned by Stonemore PA LLC, 2735 Walbert Ave., South Whitehall
“The trees over near the cemetery look like a jungle,” Lipot said. “The township should be involved in it.”
Township Manager Renee Bickel replied PennDOT trimmed the trees, as Walbert Avenue is part of its jurisdiction.
Under the direction of Pastor Adam Kern, The Vine Church has been meeting at the Schnecksville Grange, 5322 Route 873, for more than a year.
Services take place at 6 p.m. every Sunday on the upper level.
On the first Sunday of each month, a free meal is offered at 5 p.m.
Kern explains the worship experience.
“We teach verse by verse through the Bible,” Kern said. “It is a contemporary worship with a more modern type of songs.
“Child care is provided up to third grade with snacks, play and a short Bible lesson.”