Whitehall-Coplay Press

Saturday, January 19, 2019

‘Ella’ takes the stage: Allentown Symphony Pops, vocalists, pay tribute to icon

Friday, January 18, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

When Aisha De Haas was growing up in Chicago, the jazz sounds of Ella Fitzgerald were part of her aural landscape.

Her father was a jazz bassist, her mother a vocalist, and the family had moved to the Windy City to play jazz.

“She sang and he played,” De Haas says. “I was introduced to this music in the womb.”

De Haas is one of three singers paying tribute to the Queen of Jazz in “A Tribute to Ella,” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

Station gets new firetruck

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Local News

Engine 3911 dedicated to the late Robert Benner

Whitehall Township Fire Department is officially the owner of a new pumper truck for the Egypt station. The new apparatus, designated as Engine 3911, is a 2018 Pierce pumper, which pumps 1,500 gallons per minute and has a 750-gallon reserve water tank.

It replaces a 1999 Kovatch pumper.

The new pumper, which cost approximately $650,000, is one of seven fire engines operated by the township department.

Firefighters recognized for service

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Local News

Scholtis lauded for 50-plus years of volunteerism in township, county

Eight Whitehall Township firefighters, including one volunteer with more than 50 years of service, were recognized by the Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners at the Jan. 14 meeting.

Dennis Scholtis, current safety officer for the fire department, received his third commendation from the township in his 50 years as a volunteer firefighter.

Mayor Michael Harakal Jr. called Scholtis “one of the brightest lights in the volunteer and rescue world” and said his accomplishments are “at a national level in both competence and dedication.”

To the Shanty and back: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay stirs it up at Allentown bistro for hit Fox reality-TV show

Thursday, January 10, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

To say Joe Tatasciore was nervous is an understatement.

At 8 p.m. Jan. 9, his restaurant, Shanty on 19th, was featured on the Fox-TV reality show “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back.”

The Allentown bistro was given a makeover by the celebrity chef for for his television show, which began its second season Jan. 2. The Shanty is featured on the second episode of the 2019 season.

“I’m definitely nervous to see how they portray us,” Tatasciore says. “Let’s just say it’s made for television.”

Board discusses complex funding

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Local News

Proposals requested for financing of $17 million emergency services site

Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners, at its workshop meeting Jan. 7, heard a proposed ordinance to borrow $10 million to begin funding the emergency services complex.

Christopher Gibbons, a financial adviser and municipal manager from Concord Public Finance of Lancaster, said the township would get a lower interest rate by borrowing $10 million in 2019 and the remainder of the project cost in 2020. The project’s estimated cost is $17,735,000.

The right place: Community Music School plays new tune at Allentown’s former Lehigh Valley Club

Friday, January 4, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

It’s the perfect location.

Raub Middle School and Allen High School are within walking distance. Nearby is Allentown Public Library and the city’s West Park. It’s right across the street from the Scottish Rite Cathedral. And it’s hard to beat two acres of free parking.

The new home of Community Music School of the Lehigh Valley (CMS) in a renovated historic mansion at 1544 Hamilton St. is everything CMS officials could have dreamed of.

Board OKs capital improvement plan

Wednesday, December 26, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Local News

Five-year township program will fund vehicles, road improvements

At its Dec. 10 meeting, Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a five-year capital improvement plan that will replace vehicles, improve roads and bring other enhancements to township departments.

The plan for 2019-23 projects involves capital improvement expenses ranging from $1.9 million to $2.9 million each year, ending in 2023 with nearly $500,000 left in reserve funds.

Civic Theatre has holiday spirit for Christmas season: Glassman back in ‘Carol’; new lead elf in ‘SantaLand’

Friday, December 14, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

There is plenty of holiday spirit to go around this season at Civic Theatre of Allentown.

The traditional “A Christmas Carol” based on Charles Dickens’ novel continues through Dec. 15 in Civic’s 19th Street Theatre and the modern more mature David Sedaris play “The SantaLand Diaries” continues through Dec. 16 in Civic’s Theatre 514.

And to top it off, there was an engagement on stage opening weekend of “A Christmas Carol.”

Commissioners approve 2019 budget

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Local News

Township’s real estate tax will remain the same for ninth straight year

Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a budget for 2019 that includes no real estate tax increase for the ninth year in a row at its meeting Dec. 10.

The board approved a real estate tax rate of 2.8 mills, which has remained the same since 2011. One mill equals $1 per thousand dollars of value.

The township remains in “good financial shape,” Colleen Gober, township treasurer, told the board.

The township’s $24.2 million general fund includes an $8.4 million balance to begin the year, with $20 million in anticipated revenues.

Broadway veteran launches children’s chorus for holiday concert

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

She’s performed on the Broadway stage, in New York City cabarets and appeared on television and in films.

But at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Broadway veteran Lynnie Godfrey performs in downtown Allentown with some of her most beloved co-stars, the 15 members of Allentown Children’s Chorus.

Godfrey and the young singers, who are first- through sixth-grade students, will perform for “Come Spend the Holidays with Lynnie Godfrey and the ACC” at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 37 S. Fifth St., Allentown.

The concert came about out of “an interesting situation,” Godfrey says.