Among the environmental losses that rarely make the news, our world's firefly populations are dropping like – leaves?
Fireflies aren't actually "flies," but luminous beetles. About 2,000 species of them exist globally, in the "shining" family Lampyridae.
In the mid-Atlantic, this summer, wet weather brightened prospects for the region's firefly species, which prefer damp soils. Worldwide, however, scientists report a steady plummet of firefly numbers as their woodland habitats fall.
As I read a report a couple weeks ago that detailed China's dismal record on food safety issues. I found myself wondering, "Is this the kind of country some politicians want for us?"
That feeling was reinforced the next day, when I read that freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is single-handedly holding up legislation that would tighten regulation and oversight of gas pipelines, because of his philosophical opposition to any government regulation.
The Whitehall Township Environmental Advisory Council meets at 7 p.m. in the township municipal building, 3219 MacArthur Road.
Whitehall-Coplay School Board meets at 7 p.m. at the school district administration building, 2940 MacArthur Road.
Whitehall Township Commissioners meet at 7 p.m. at the municipal building, 3219 MacArthur Road.
Coplay Borough Council meets at 7 p.m. at the municipal building, 98 S. Fourth St.
For three decades, Bill's Lunch on North Second Street, Coplay, served meals to area residents.
The landmark eatery closed at 3 p.m. Saturday when owners Mary and Bill Balliet cooked and served their final steak sandwich and bowl of soup.
It was the 32nd anniversary, to the day, of its opening Aug. 4, 1979. Over the years, the Balliets and daughters Renee and Tammy served countless patrons, many of whom came to be seen as part of the family.
A Whitehall Township commissioner said she was surprised Monday to learn of plans for a police substation at the new Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce offices.
Commissioners President Linda Snyder said Monday night she learned of the plans for a substation by reading newspapers.
Only six months after being appointed to Coplay Borough Council, Marvin Mann is resigning.
Mann was appointed to council Feb. 14 by a 5-1 vote with Councilman Bill Leiner Jr. dissenting. Mann was to serve until the end of 2013, running for election if he wished to retain the seat longer.
At Monday's workshop meeting, council acknowledged receipt of a letter from Mann stating his intention to resign for personal reasons.
A new chapter in local history unfolded last week when the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce officially opened its new office and visitors center.
A ribbon cutting took place July 31 at the site in front of the Lehigh Valley Mall off MacArthur Road and Route 22, one of the most visible locations in the region.
An overflow crowd of dignitaries, chamber members and officers, politicians, mall personnel and the public packed the chamber's new home for the celebration.
At a summer carnival or on a stop at the grocery store, I see an acquaintance across the lawn or down the aisle. I offer a warm smile and a "Hey, how are you?"
A friendly conversation ensues and all the while I am frantically trying to remember the person's name and sometimes even how I met her.
If I am lucky, she will steer the conversation in the direction of recalling a shared event or a mutual friend, helping me to recall where we met, but still, the name is often mystifyingly gone. It comes back to me on the drive home.