There is Bach for every taste, as well as some exciting new concerts, at the 111th Bach Festival, May 11-12, 18-19, at various sites in Bethlehem.
The Festival features performances by the Bethlehem Bach Choir and Bach Festival Orchestra, along with guest vocalists and musicians, conducted by Bach Choir artistic director Greg Funfgeld.
The choir, celebrating its 120th anniversary, is the oldest Bach choir organization in the United States.
Thinking outside the Bach: There’s a ‘new guise’ in town for Bach Choir 111th Festival and its 120th anniversary year
Bach is getting unbuttoned and heading outside this year for the 111th Bethlehem Bach Festival taking place over two weekends May 11-12 and 18-19 in Bethlehem.
New this year, the annual festival is presenting “Bach Outdoors!” a free performance kicking off the festivities at noon both Fridays on Payrow Plaza between the Bethlehem Public Library and City Hall. Organizers hope the new free event will engage people about the music of Bach in an entirely new way.
Returning to Whitehall Township is like a reunion for new Mayor Michael P. Harakal Jr.
According to Harakal, who served as the township’s executive from 1984 to 1991, in his first few weeks in office, he has been walking around the municipal building “smiling most of the day.”
Especially warm was the welcome from the township staff, more than 30 of whom he hired during his tenure as executive.
“I always loved what I did here and knew, if I had the opportunity, I would love to do it again,” he said.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners voted April 9 to give conditional approval for a new CVS Pharmacy that will be built at 1223-1225 Third St.
Frank Clark, township engineer, said all the concerns about trucks pulling in and out of the location have been addressed and developers agreed to widen the entrance and flare the curb, so the trucks can safely make the turn.
A recently completed survey of property owners in the proposed Hokendauqua historic district has revealed a majority supports the project.
In a report from Howard Lieberman, director of the Whitehall Township Economic Development Authority, 171 property owners within the residential neighborhood around the former Thomas Iron Works in Hokendauqua were sent surveys asking for feedback about the proposed district.
Lieberman said nearly 67 percent of respondents said they favored moving forward on the project.
A former Whitehall Township executive, who served the township for eight years, was unanimously voted mayor by the township board of commissioners at its April 9 meeting.
Michael P. Harakal Jr., who was township executive from 1984 to 1991, was tapped to fill the position left vacant when longtime Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. left for a county position. Harakal was one of six candidates who applied for the position.
“Every one of them would have done a fantastic job,” board President Dennis Hower said. “It came down to experience, and Harakal has a boatload of experience.”
Whitehall Township residents could learn who will be the new mayor as soon as Monday.
For three hours before the board of commissioners workshop meeting April 2, board members interviewed six candidates for the mayoral position left vacant since February when the longtime mayor, Edward D. Hozza Jr., left to take a county position.
Board Vice President Philip Ginder said the members will discuss the candidates and their qualifications and plan to recommend an appointment at the board of commissioners meeting 7 p.m. April 9.
Increasing volunteerism in the township was one of the topics discussed at the March 12 Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners meeting.
Resident and committee member Joe Wilfinger asked the board to be more aggressive about recruiting volunteers for township committees, many of which he said are short staffed and often don’t even have a quorum when they meet.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners said it wants to move forward aggressively with plans for a new emergency services building.
The township had hoped to build off Lehigh Street on a 14-acre vacant parcel behind Arlington Cemetery, but plans fell through last year. Now they are looking for another piece of property.
“We need to find land,” board member Joseph Marx said. “We’ve been working on this for the last two years, and we’re still looking, but we are going to be very aggressive.”
Several residents came before Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners at the March 12 meeting to express concerns about parking and traffic at Fourth and Grape streets.
Tina and Harry Mellinger and Cindy and Bill Kern, all of whom live on Fourth Street, said they have been having ongoing issues with illegally parked vehicles and cars using private driveways to turn around. Tina Mellinger said her vehicle has been hit four times.
She alleged the traffic stems from the Indian Bazaar II grocery store, which only has 10 parking spaces and often has overflow traffic.