Friday, March 09, 2007

Panel Discussion Next Tuesday About Bethlehem's Schools

Concerned about Bethlehem's schools? Bethlehem plans to tear down Broughal middle school, and its school board tried to muzzle some members of the public from speaking against it. Now, Rev. Joel Atkinson of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem has scheduled a Panel Discussion forum regarding school development with an emphasis on the Broughal issue.

DATE: March 13 (Tuesday)

TIME: 7:00-8:30 pm

Location: Cathedral Church of Nativity
Sayre Hall
321 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem– hosted by Rev. Joel

Panel Participants:

- Loretta Leeson, BASD SB Member (CONFIRMED)

- Supt. Joe Lewis, BASD SB (CONFIRMED)

- BASD Business Administrator (CONFIRMED)

- Amey Senape, Friends of Broughal School (CONFIRMED)

- Dana Grubb, Friends of Broughal School (CONFIRMED)

Amey Senape tells me, "This is an excellent opportunity to point out why Broughal is an Economic, Environmental & Cultural ASSET & should be REUSED. Taxpayers should NOT be expected to foot the bill for this ill-conceived demolition plan that much of the community is opposed to – they can have their new school, but there is no valid reason that Broughal cannot be reused or sold for redevelopment. A NEW Nitschmann will also be discussed."


Anonymous said...

Read the latest posting on my blog, bearing today's date, to understand why Bethlehem's South Side neighborhood is not protected by the same local historic district ordinance that protects the city's historic architecture north of the Lehigh River in the Moravian district.

Mayor John Callahan and the city's council, under the presidency of J. Michael Schweder, didn't want their "fast track" Sands BethWorks LLP casino project slowed by any meaningful review process that with the potential of derailing the casino development.

Generalissimo Benito Mussolini boasted that he made facist Italy's trains "run of time," to which Winnie Churchill retorted, "In a democracy, the trains don't always run on time.

Bethlehem's hypocritical "leaders" like Karen Dolan who labels Northampton County Councilman Ron Angle a "demogogue," tout South Side Bethlehem's "historical" significance, yet have failed to protect that neighborhood's architecutural heritage with a local historic district ordinance as enabled by Pennsylvania Act 167 of 1961.

To conclude on a personal note, I oppose the demolition of the Broughal School because of its historic value to me;

The Broughal School was the scene of Bethlehem City Council's "public hearing" where The Morning Call Girl's pimp Bill White wrote this column about me"

"Some of you may recall the climactic scene in Stephen King's "The Dead Zone" where the hero climbs into the balcony with his rifle to kill the candidate he knows is destined to lead the United States to nuclear annihilation.

"As I followed the progress of volcanic Hall of Famer Billy Givens to bis seat in the balcony before this meeting, it occurred to me that he would be well situated for heckling. Then I saw the metallic glint, and I realized he was armed and dangerous.

"A gun? Of course not.

"He had his bullhorn!

"Many's the time I've heard Givens regaling people in Easton with that bullhorn. It's as much his trademark as his ranting, paranoid, factually challended newsletter.

"But this wasn't Easton. Was he really going to fire up bis bullhorn and disrupt a meeting in Bethlehem, land of civility? Would they have to drag him out of there? Here was drama.

"But nothing happened. He sat quietly, almost alone up there once the early crowd cleared out. The bullhorn never came near his lips. And when he finally got his change to speak, near the end of the meeting, he used the microphone, just like everyone else.

"I guess civility is catching."

Anonymous said...

I guess Dana Grubb is going to try to use this issue as springboard to get on council.

Why is he even on this panel?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe Dana is one of the Friends of Broughal school.

RadCenter said...

You can view the guidelines for the South Bethlehem Historic Conservation District on Bethlehem's Web site:

The district only covers 2nd, 3rd, and 4th streets from Hayes Street on the West to Broadway on the East. Broughal Middle School unfortunately falls outside this district.

Anonymous said...

Very well spoken as always Billy, even on subject.

Yes I feel that Dana is attempting to catch some free pre election press on this popular issue.

What is his answer to finding athletic fields for the students?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nancyrutman, Thanks for your contribution. It's nice to know that this historic school falls outside the historic district.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Billy, There must be something wrong with you. Your posts are always well-written, but this one was both factually accurate and on topic. I have to sit down.

Anonymous said...


I'm less familiar with the Allentown political landscape, but its sister third-class cities in the so-called "Lehigh Valley's" (its borders change every 10 years with the National Bureau of Census figures), Bethlehem and Easton, are notorious for the gerrymandering of their historic districts.

Their purpose is the accommodate the developers/redevelopers, including two of the largest and most influential in these two cities, repectively: Lehigh University and Lafayette College.

That's why the politicians of these two cities and Governornor Ed Rendell, the Pennsylvania legislature, and its courts - all the way to the Commonwealth's Supreme Court - concocted the latest wrinkle in their Keystone Opportunity Zone scheme.

This corporate giveaway began in 1998 with the Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) statute under former PA Guv and later HSD Secretary Tom Ridge and its latest rendition, the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) under Rendell et al, including the Lehigh University and Lafayette College and every other institution of higher learning like Franklin and Marshall that has bought into the program and its lavish grants.


Will the meeting be a BYOCM event? (Bring your own Crystal Meth)

Or BYOST (Bring your own sex toys)?

I mean its the Bethlehem school district.

Hickory Dickory Dock, the principal was smoking rocks, and when the police arrested him he was yanking his.... OHHHHHHH!

Anonymous said...

When I addressed Bethlehem City Council in the Broughal Middle School, I did, in fact, use the microphone provided and not my bullhorn, as accurately reported by The Morning Call columnist Bill White.

What White did not report was what I said: that after routing the slot machine gambling casino and running it off the hallowed ground of Gettysburg and Abraham Lincoln, Pennsylvania's casino foes would return to the Christmas City of Bethlehem and County Nicholas Von Zinzendorf and rout the Sands BethWorks LLP casino of Pennsylvania's Governor Ed Rendell, Senate Minority Leader Vince Fumo (since indicted), General Assembly Speaker John Perzel, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan and Council members J. Michael Schweder(president), Robert Donchez (vice-president), Jean Belinski, and Magdalena (Maggie's Drawers) Szabo, and Sands BethWorks LLP principals Sheldon Adelson and Phillipsburg, New jersey, resident and Jim Florio law partner Mike Perrucci.

On May 15 of this year, Bethlehem voters will have the opportunity to exact revenge at the polls (if John Stoffa's touch-screen machines aren't fixed lide their one-armed bandit counterparts) on Donchez or Szabo (but not anti-casino Gordon Mower) by voting for their opponent.

Nor did White report my closing remark that evening in the Broughal School that after defeating the casinos first in Gettysburg and then in Bethlehem, the casinos' foes would then march on behind Bucks County Assemblyman Paul Clymer's legislation to repeal Act 71, "legalized grand larceny," and its fraudulent corollary, Act 71, gambling revenue property tax relief through the "back-end refundum."

The only non-fraudulent feature of Act 71 is its title. With its own fat-ass so laden down with exemptions, from public school teacher and administrator in pay and perks to the financing of new school construction, the Keystone State's school property tax payers would - except for the repeal of Act 71 and Act 72, continue to get it up the "back end" from their elected officials, including judges.

Anonymous said...

Once again, I can't understand what the hell Billy is saying.
(If he's NOT on drugs, he needs to be put on drugs!)

It doesn't make sense to tear down a historic landmark when BASD can sell it to off-set some of the exhorbitant costs of building a new Taj Mahal.

Why should taxpayers pay for a $6-million professional athletic field? Why don't they have the guts to put this question on the ballot and let the people decide?

Anonymous said...

The blue-blooded Brahmins who reign over the city of Easton from their silk-stocking neighborhood of College Hill, home to Lafayette College, are busy creating a "conservation district."

Their purpose, ostensibly, is the protection and preservation of the 1,000 turn-of-the century Victorian structures that shelter the residences and small busineses located there.

The true purpose of this "conservation district," however, is to subsidize the ever-encroaching Lafayette College campus.

The campus, located in the property tax-exempt Community, Civic, Education (CCE)zone, creeps, invidiously, into the adjacent blocks zoned residential and neighborhood-business.

This insidious encroachment is as invidious and pervasive as the inv kudzu vine (an invasive, pernicious plant introduced in the 1930s from its native Japan to control soil erosion in the southeastern United States like my native Alabama).

The Brahmin members of the College Hill "conservation district" committee are Bea Cohen, Danny Cohen, David Drake, Lisa Medeiros, Cathy Moorehead, Rodger Ruggles, Andrea Warren, and Sandra Woodring.

Anonymous said...

OK, now I realize Billy is just an asshole AND an idiot.

Anonymous said...

For those who have indicated that they believe my motives of involvement on the Broughal issue are because I am using it as a springboard for a Bethlehem City Council run, you couldn’t be further from the truth.

I was approached by a concerned south side Bethlehem resident during 2006, who wanted to know if my experience in Bethlehem city government might offer him a way to pursue preservation of the existing building. I suggested at that time that the use of a Request for Proposal (RFP) could determine whether or not there might be interest in the Broughal building for development purposes. I have lent my time and efforts to that group because I feel strongly that the BASD could have pursued a more inclusive and open path on the Broughal matter.

I also have made it known that my belief coincides with those who feel that if the existing Broughal is to be preserved, comparable athletic facilities should be provided in the immediate neighborhood. However, I don’t think that the public should be held responsible for determining what opportunities are available in terms of land purchases. Based on recent deed transfers, I do know that nine residential properties in that neighborhood were recently sold. My feeling is that if the BASD were doing their due diligence on this matter, perhaps these properties, along with others, might be available for athletic field needs.

In the end, I’m of the opinion that if a fair, open and inclusive process were adhered to, then the public can rest assured that all logical actions have been taken on their behalf regarding this and any other issue that comes before a public body such as the BASD Board.

I would expect that if I am successful in my efforts to be elected to Bethlehem City Council, that the public’s expectations of me would be no different. Like many citizens and taxpayers, I too have been frustrated by what can be perceived as a lack of accountability, fairness and openness in governmental and elected bodies. It’s a large part of the reason I’ve wanted to run for elected office and serve my hometown in this capacity.

I find it ironic that someone might be critical of me, a candidate, who feels strongly that I can make a difference, and that I have demonstrated throughout my entire life a sense of fair play, strong work ethic, a caring about others, and a willingness to be held accountable. I am after all still a taxpayer like everyone else in my community.