With an eye toward more funding for public education, school safety and career and technical education, I cast an affirmative vote on June 30 for the 2013-14 state budget.
The final state budget totals $28.376 billion, an increase of 2.3 percent over the recently concluded fiscal year.
It calls for no general fund tax increases and provides critical support for the core functions of government.
This budget responds to the calls from Pennsylvania taxpayers to keep spending within the amount of overall revenue available.
To the Editor:
Recently, members of Neighborhood Voter Network attended a talk by Dr. Peg Luksik on the issue of the Common Core Curriculum.
Dr. Luksik, an amazing speaker with impressive education credentials, used only official government documents to make her case against this federally-mandated curriculum from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 and beyond.
We believe her serious concerns should be examined carefully.
Summer is the season of Lions.
Let me explain.
My father was a dedicated member of the Lower Lehigh Lions and summer, in my memory at least, was the season when the Lions' calendar got in full swing: Bookended by flea market and garage sales in May and September, the summer calendar included my dad's shifts at breakfasts at Macungie Memorial Park and stints at Wheels of Time and Das Awkscht Fescht.
Our home phone number was among those listed to "make reservations or for more information" for various events.
As the weather moderates, many of us start to use an outdoor grill.
In fact, three out of four U.S. households own a barbecue grill and Americans are grilling a whopping 2.9 billion times a year.
Most often, one of the foods we grill is beef.
We are truly blessed with a wide range of beef production systems from which to pick what we will grill and consume.
Whether I buy from a local grass-based farmer or the traditional grocery store, I can be assured of a nutritious product.
Members of the Upper Lehigh Lions Club met on June 9 at the Schnecksville Grange for their annual executive board officer installation.
Two Melvin Jones Fellows and the Lion of the Year were recognized and 10 transfers from the Upper Lehigh Lioness Lions were welcomed.
Past President Ruthann Krause served as the meeting chairperson.
Past District Governor Larry Snyder, now membership director, installed the officers.
The Melvin Jones Fellowship awards were presented by Past President Henry Shoemaker.
It takes a heart to get to heaven
And no matter how you try
You'd better have one all your own
It's not something you can buy.
And this heart must be a special heart
There's certain traits it must possess
It must have inside
the things we treasure most
Like truth and love, with joy
It can't be hard or dark or cold
It must be alive and vibrant too
It must hold inside
our hopes and dreams
There's much that it must do.
It must yearn for peace
Yet be stout and strong
The terrorists seem to be winning the war against the American way of life, one catastrophe at a time.
Following the horrible 9-11 attacks, we cued up in airport security lines, having our luggage scanned, packing lotions and shampoos in Ziploc bags and leaving our pocket knives at home.
When a self-proclaimed Al-Qaida operative fashioned a bomb in a shoe and tried to ignite it on a flight, we began removing our shoes for inspection in those airport lines. (I was relieved when, after the thwarted attempt by the "underwear bomber," we were allowed to keep our skivvies on.)
·American Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem, is looking for people interested in becoming Disaster Action Team Members.
Contact Susan Kalkhuis-Beam at volunteerservices.NEPA@redcross.org.
·Hispanic Center of Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem, needs summer volunteers to help with various activities.
Contact Loran Velazquez at 610-868-7800 ext. 222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What qualities should Allentown's next police chief possess?
That interesting question recently was put to city residents by Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who will choose a new top cop in the fall.
My husband and I attended the mayor's information-gathering meeting and were disappointed with the relatively sparse turnout.
The attitude of folks who didn't plan to attend seemed to be, as one neighbor put it: "It makes no difference who's in charge. Nothing will change."
Each Fourth of July, thousands of people are injured from using consumer fireworks.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 9,000 fireworks-related injuries happen each year.
Of these, nearly half are head-related injuries, with nearly 30 percent of these injuries to the eyes.
One-fourth of fireworks eye injuries result in permanent vision loss or blindness.
June is Fireworks Eye Safety Awareness Month, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology wants to remind consumers to leave fireworks to professionals.